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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Ryan Bourret -- the genius behind my Dark Avenger art and an all-around, stand-up kind of guy -- decided Me Grimlock needed his own actual cooking show.

No, seriously, this is why we have YouTube.

I love my friends. This absolutely made my day. Thank you, Rai.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Oh, look. It's snowing. Again. Thank you, January, for underlining that point.

In red Sharpie.


It seems like this January lasted for eighteen years, don't you think? It was a month of snow, more snow, even more snow, couple of illnesses thrown in for good measure, oooooooh one nice day! and then more snow. This wasn't January in New Mexico, this was January in the northern territories of Canada.

I've never been partial to January. It starts out with a hangover and descends into the hell of a level 5 clean room, what with the cold and the lists of resolutions and packed away Christmas decorations. Used to be the Super Bowl was the one bright spot at the end of January, but they've moved that to February and now there's nothing except 31 days of blah. January is spent knocking around a cold house, clutching lukewarm cups of coffee, muttering about the heating bill and waiting for a spring which is never going to come.

February has the virtue of being short and sweet. Twenty-eight days -- a civilized length of time in the dead of winter -- where we celebrate weather-predicting rodents, love, presidents and Black History Month, with Bill Murray movies, candies, sales and elementary kids hearing "I Have a Dream" for the first time ever. Who doesn't love February?

God, I'm ready for February.

The family joke has been that Adam's salsa has curative powers akin to Popeye's spinach. I'm thinking it's not humorous hyperbole anymore. I won't tire you with the details, but it involves a painkiller-resistant migraine, Adam's salsa, a touch of his guacamole and the restoration of me to the living.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Welcome to "In Kitchen with Me Grimlock."

Me Grimlock your host. You may remember Me Grimlock from such fine programming as "How to Neuter Your Pet for Free" and "Terror of Christmas IV."


Today, Me Grimlock take you step-by-step through happy world of Cuppycake Land!

In Kitchen with Me Grimlock!

First Me Grimlock pick out recipe for Red Devil Food Cuppycake. Me Grimlock dino enough for Red Devil food. And cuppycake!

Me Grimlock need glasses

Me Grimlock double-check ingredients.

Me Grimlock stronger than Kitchen Aid

Me Grimlock mix everything together in kitchen robot. Me Grimlock help kitchen robot with arduous task of stirring. Me Grimlock strong.

Me Grimlock want eat cuppycake now!

Me Grimlock sez just because cuppycakes in cups doesn't mean cuppycakes ready for Me Grimlock's tummy.

Me Grimlock show off lovely assistant

Me Grimlock tell purty assistant she hurry up if she know what good. For her. And Me Grimlock.

Me Grimlock say lick bowl.

Me Grimlock always lick bowl.


Me Grimlock revel in cuppycake carnage.

Frosting! Gimme frosting now!

Me Grimlock so happy with cuppycakes, Me Grimlock forget frosting! Me Grimlock LOVE frosting!

Me Grimlock lost in sea of cuppycakes

Me Grimlock say follow easy steps and you too can be lost in sea of cuppycakes like Me Grimlock!





Me Grimlock love cuppycakes!

Me Grimlock sugarcrash hard

Saturday, January 27, 2007

I canceled my credit card today for no other reason than I don't want or need it. Adam calls it the most un-American act one can perpetrate in the 21st century, which I think means he's impressed by my chutzpah. I think.

The guy at Citibank seemed surprised that I'd be so rash as to cancel! My! Account! that he offered to tack on an extra two! zeros onto my previous limit. I declined and asked him to please close the account, which he did with no other argument.

I'm free.

This could fall into the great simplification of 2007. Or this could fall into an unspecified anti-consumer-driven-lifestyle category. I haven't decided.

Cutting up the card was liberating. I'd opened that account ten years ago -- one of those "fill out this form for a t-shirt" snags that companies use on college campuses; thank God I only did it once.

I got in trouble with the card once, running up a debt of more than $600, which doesn't sound like a lot in the grand scheme of credit card debt, but I was trying to pay for tuition and housing and incidentals on a bare bones salary, and that debt printed on the line might as well have been all the money in the world. Hell, the minimum payment might as well have been all the money in the world. It took me a couple of years to pay it off, and then a few years more of using the card to make very small purchases I could pay off immediately, to increase my credit rating or some nonsensical thinking.

The specter of the old debt lingered. Every purchase I put on that card would make my stomach knot; even when it was a pound of coffee or tank of gas. So taking the kitchen sheers to the card really did feel like taking a shiv-fashioned-out-of-cafeteria-tray to the warden's soft belly.


Friday, January 26, 2007

Real fast before I head off to work:

Adam got an e-mail from the Pearl Jam Ten Club announcing a European tour made up of mostly festival dates (which is rather surprising) this summer. So the question becomes do we go to Australia or do we go to Europe? And while we're in Europe, do we go see a concert (or two) and then see an F1 race? Or do we hold off to see if they'll play a few US dates later in the year?

I miss you* already

And if we decide to take a wait-and-see approach, does that invalidate what I wrote yesterday, or does it just underscore how wafflesque I really am?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A new blog discovered, thanks to the Fix: Why the Heck Not? A former Duke City resident by the name of Amy has dropped out of the race to travel the world and is currently heading to Australia and you'd better believe my eyes are crossed with the jellies.

And the title of the blog has merged with Pearl Jam in my mind, so I'm humming the chorus of "Why Go" which sort of turned into our traveling manta during the Hawaiian Jaunt of '06, with the answer being, of course, "Why the heck not?" (though with a touch saltier language) and now is about the point in the program where I either A) start running some number or B) get very depressed for buying into the bourgeoisie lifestyle that I can't even imagine Life Without Steady Income.

I'm leaning more towards A) because I am big on wallowing in self-pity, but I'm trying not to be as big. If you follow.

Anyway. Why the heck not?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

There's a rumor floating around the intarweb -- one that I haven't bothered Googling for confirmation, mind you -- that Obama's a smoker. Some of my friends have expressed more dismay at the smoking allegation than to his admission he did coke in college.

Me? Not so much. While I do believe Smoking Is Very Bad for You, I'm okay him going where the flavor is. It shows a rebellious streak, a small exercise of personal liberty, a tiny metaphorical flip-off to the idea of the granola left wing. I like a touch of the contrary in presidental candidates.

Smoking shouldn't be as dismaying as coke use. One's legal, though kind of smelly and disgusting. One involves both the phrase "now we add the gasoline" and being smuggled into the country via swallowed Trojans.

It's not even a contest.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

After being house-bound since the middle of last Thursday, I welcomed this morning because I felt well enough to get out for a little while. Granted "out" meant a trip to Walgreen's, but it's a beginning.

I engaged in all those post-ick ceremonies of recovery: there was the long, hot shower and the extra time spent with the hair dryer; real clothes instead of the fuzzy monkey pants and eye makeup. Oh em gee, I actually smeared on some eye makeup.

It all fell apart after we got home, but I was a functioning human being for a few hours today.

The upshot is that I'm feeling better, if not 100%. But better is something.

(Not that I should have been in any hurry to recover. It's snowing again.)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Addendum to the standard protocol: antibiotics, ibuprofen, liquids, quarantine and regular applications of Arrested Development and sushi. AD and sushi are a very important part of the healing process.

I'm feeling better relative to yesterday, decent enough to turn on the news and see what was happening in the world.

According to the intarweb, King Bill's running. This is awesome, not because I am reduced to fangirlish fawning whenever he's in the building (that is reserved for when Bingaman comes around; St. Pete is met with quiet awe, or quiet or awe, but mostly quiet). No. This isn't the fan girl in me. This is bigger than my inner politico geek. This is going to be great for the state. Are you kidding me? This is going to raise the 505's profile. Until he is washed out in a wave on Super Tuesday (. . . whaaaa?), Richardson will be the face of New Mexico, and I am looking forward to the hundreds of interviews featuring the fifth graf nugget: "New Mexico was the 47th state to enter the union, and has not been a part of Mexico for over 150 years."

Seriously. Chocolate-covered banana for every reference you find.

Also, there's supposed to be a snow storm? Headed straight for us? Has Albuquerque dead in its sites? Anyone else heard of this?

That's all I've got. I'm popping some Advil and going to bed.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Dear People With Whom I Have Been in Occasional Contact Over This Past Week:

I owe you an apology. Unbeknownst to everyone, I have been spewing strep germs the way an Ebola-infected monkey flings pooh. I'm sorry. Unless, of course, you're the person who tagged me with the yuck, in which case, I'm not sorry, I loathe you.


Either way, disinfect.

It's the standard: antibiotics, ibuprofen, liquids and quarantine. I'm miserable. Could be worse, though. Could be the Spanish Flu.

See you when I'm feeling human.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

This morning on Duke City Fix, there was a post on comfort food, and the resulting comments thread had turned into a two item (as of this posting) list of "food you can't find," but one of those items was hot Hatch red enchilada sauce, which reminded me of a recipe I wanted to share.

And by "recipe," I mean "logical concoction we threw together last Saturday that was bliss in a bowl."

It goes like this: brown a hunk of hamburger (about a pound) and some diced onion in a 12" skillet. Season with garlic and onion and cumin and salt and some red chile powder to taste. When the meat's brown, slop over a can of red enchilada sauce and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, heat up some refried beans in the microwave, which takes about as long as you need to warm the sauce. Throw beans and red sauce into a bowl, top with a generous handful of mozzarella, give a stir and eat with a warmed flour tortilla if you're so inclined.

It's, oh, it is so very good.

Monday, January 15, 2007

We've had an ongoing state of the union conversation this weekend. Not that this particular union's in any danger of hanging an abolitionist or firing on Fort Sumter nor have we split into factions of cavilers and roundheads. No, no, no. The state of the union is strong.

The conversation has been about location. The union tires of the western suburbs of Albuquerque. The union craves adventure! Excitment! (The union is not a jedi, so it's allowed) The union wants to live life like it's gonna die, because it's gonna. The union can't define itself without reaching for pop culture cliches, but that's another post for another time.

It's a loopy conversation, which starts out with, "Well, we'll put the house on the market" and runs through a cycle of "where do you want to live" "well I don't know, where do you want to live" followed by a list of possible relocations:
  • Downtown
  • Nob Hill
  • UNM Law area or
  • Australia
That last one might add some time onto the commute, but it's a hit I'm willing to take.

We've actually talked about living in a foreign country for years, and I've always voted for the antipodes, though we've toyed with the idea of Great Britain (no), Italy (no), Germany (nein) and Calgary (despite Lisa, Dex, Jen and Scott all being up there, sadly, we're just not cut out for a life in the great white north), though you might have noticed we've never actually moved. Just the opposite, in fact. We bought a house, we kept our jobs, we put down roots.

Moving within the city would be a confirmation of yes, this is where we are going to live our lives. This is where we will someday raise a family, and this is where we'll die. Moving within the city would be a vote of confidence in Albuquerque. For. Ever.


There is a very, very large world out there, just itching to be discovered and explored. Which brings us to the second loop of the conversation, which goes "do we go visit first or do we do like the ancestors and get on a boat blind?" (except, in this case, we'd take Qantas and only our stuff would take the boat.)

On the one hand, we are two very picky people. There are only narrow swaths of this country where we would condescend to live, and each time we go out into the world, we return to Albuquerque with a sigh of relief and a promise of never leaving, so visiting Australia would be wise.

On the other hand, none of the ancestors knew what the hell they were getting into when they climbed into those rickety wooden boats and made the leap across the pond, and everything turned out well enough that I'm writing this from the comfort of the 21st century, so what's a little adventure? What's a little flyin' blind in the face of a great and wonderful adventure?

Or we could buy that house on 8th and never have to worry about going without green chile for the rest of our lives.

It's a looping, loopy conversation. I think the most we've managed to hash out is an agreement of saving all of our cash and heading down later this year to check things out. Whether or not we come back is another matter.

Or we could buy that house on 8th.

Friday, January 12, 2007

(After we watched the weather broadcast twice)

Adam: You know, you're gonna have to change the weather dude's name in your blog. You can't be using them two dollar english major words any more. He's too nerdy.

Sarah: Is this because of the Star Wars copyright infringing crawl?

Adam: Yes. It was the awesome.

Sarah: Do you want to storm the station and chant "one of us, one of us?"

Adam: Yes.

Sarah: Okay, nerdmeyer, what should I call him?

Adam: Wedge. Wedge the Weather Dude.

Sarah: Nerd.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Another Thursday, another promise/hedge on weekend snow from Hyperbole the Weather Dude.

I've got my eye set on that big red L. It had better stay to the north if it knows what's good for it. And no, I haven't figured out how to take a hit out on low pressure, but I'll think of something.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

When I am Dictator of Albuquerque #36

All motorists over the age of 70 will have their licenses pulled, pending approval by the Maybe We'll Let You Drive Taskforce. To get your license back, you would have to pass a driving test administered by a taskforce team member, and it wouldn't be one of those simple "drive-around-the-block-and-back-up" dealies they run at the MVD. No sir. It'd be an all day endeavor, where you'd be forced to drive on the freeway and major city streets. Any failure to keep up with traffic, change lanes, stay within your chosen lane or make a traffic-related decision without wavering would be met with a license denial.

Because seriously? As there is no crying in baseball, there is no putting/braking on Paseo.

Live it. Learn it.

-the dictator

Monday, January 08, 2007

The cat is my constant companion.

On Mondays, I go into work later, running a swing shift before returning to more civilized hours, which means I have a morning and half the afternoon to putter around the house and work on projects before I head out into the world to make my living.

The cat, who is an only cat, adores this extra time, because it means she's only left alone for two or three hours. If she is not perched on some part of a warm person, she gets lonesome; I've been in the bedroom folding laundry before only to hear her cry in the stairwell. Poor kitten.

So I call down to her and she comes bounding up the stairs, all conversation and sits on Adam's pillow, watching me put away laundry until I'm finished and prepared to sit down and provide her with a cozy lap and some typing.

The cat loves typing. Not the actual doing of it, what would a cat say? but the sound of the tip-tap of the keyboard, and the feel of my arms trying to maintain 60 wpm while being pressed down by her little kitty bulk. Her favorite spot in the entire world is draping herself across my forearms, blocking my view of the keyboard and most of the computer screen, and then having me type. If I'm just surfing, or not typing enough, she gets persnickity and a touch bitey.

She's like having an in-house deadline enforcer. I've been able to make progress on the current revision because of her. And I like having her intruding and reading over my shoulder. The weight is comforting. The warmth, especially in winter, is nice. And the built-in vibration feature is a bonus.

Not that I'm trying to turn this into a cat blog, or think that I'm the only person in the world whose wrists have been co-opted by a feline. More, this is an SOS because my cat is holding me hostage to my work and I kind of have to pee.


Sunday, January 07, 2007

While it did snow enough to coat the Civic, it did not snow enough for Snow Jabba to gain a Snow Han Solo Frozen in Carbonite. It was your typical Albuquerque storm, thank god. Snowed in the night, covered the cars, looked pretty and had the decency to melt off by noon.

Now that's what I'm talking about.

Friday, January 05, 2007

The Love . . .

The Alameda branch of Satellite Coffee was pouring a wicked good Yemen bean for their Brew of the Moment this morning. Scrounge around for you frequent drinker card and tally-ho it across the river before the snow hits. It wins the Holy Friggin' Crap, Dude award of the day.

I've been trying to keep the winter blahs away by listening to the 12/2/06 Pearl Jam show. I mean, we were there. In Hawaii. A month ago. And it was a fantastic concert, one of the best shows they played last year. And now it's sitting on my iPod. For ten bucks, it could be sitting on your iPod. (I've also been loving on the Lisbon shows, Verona and Gorge 1, should you decide you want to stalk me to the point of co-opting my musical tastes)

"Men in Trees" (Thursdays 9 p.m. on ABC) proves if I say in 2004 "They should really bring back 'Northern Exposure'" while watching an episode of "Sex and the City," the gods will listen, mix the concepts and put it on ABC two years later.

Christopher Moore. My friend Duane gave me a copy of "Bloodsucking Fiends" a couple of years ago, which I loaned to Adam during the emergency vacation, which he loved, which prompted us to buy "Lamb" and "The Stupidest Angel" while still on vacation, which turned into "Practical Demonkeeping" and "The Island of the Sequined Love Nun" under the tree. And now the sequel to "Fiends," "You Suck" comes out a week from Tuesday. Yowzers.

The Fix kept me sane through last week's snowstorm, and I'm not just saying that because I was quoted there.

And I can't stop playing with Flickr.

The love, people. It's the love.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

It's supposed to snow again on Friday night.

Now, Hyperbole the Weather Dude is assuring us that this one? Not gonna be as bad as last week. Which is what he said last week in reference to the previous week's storm.

Are you panicking yet?

I think the technical term is "screwed."

Personally, I'm imagining 11-foot drifts, snowmen of the abominable variety, dog teams, and polar bears delivering the mail. (And then eating people who complain about their mail not showing up until after dark.) (Don't mess with the polar bears who deliver your mail.) (Yes, polar bears. What else are they going to do when the ice cap melts?)

Since we're looking another freakin' weekend housebound and snowed-in, it's time to put together another survival list, and just pray Raley's is only 75% picked-over tomorrow.

And I'm not talking about picking up cans of stuff that usually end up in the food donation box around the holidays, where one is, by the second night of staring into the pantry and saying, "Well, we've got corn." That's not going to cut it this go around. Do you hear me, Hyperbole? Not this go around!

Tonight is a time to hunker down with the Gourmet cookbook (also simply known as the yellow book) and do some serious menu planning. It's time to sketch out an elaborate weekend of cooking and eating and cleaning and cleaning and cooking and then looking at what we made and poking it and muttering about going to Slate Street. It is time to remember that a snowbound weekend is best passed with booze. Booze and DVDs. Booze and DVDs we haven't seen forty-nine million times. And cold remedies. Adam still has the sniffles.

Anyone know of a grocery store in town still stocked with eggs?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

So, a very happy birthday to my pal, Jordan. He is now old enough to buy Guinness and go to Burt's. Only another four years, and he can rent a car.

Raise one to him tonight!

Monday, January 01, 2007

A month later, and I still haven't found Vanessa to thank her. If you happen to know of a pediatric nurse in Miami with a bitchin' Pearl Jam habit, would you send her my way?

And here are the late aughts, toasted with cups of fizzy vitamin tablets. I wished the L-shaped scar on my left hand a very happy 10th birthday, fluffed Adam's sickbed pillow and that has been the extent of our celebrations.

Happy New Year, everyone.

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