Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Two out of Three

If someone could just photoshop Klaus in there it would be my Holy Trinity of Metal.

So, I had a great time at the gym today, despite the fact that I was so very bad yesterday at the cookout. I could definitely feel those cigarettes when I was on the treadmill, but I worked it out. I also got up on the elliptical trainer thingy, which was super fun! I only did it for a few minutes because the place was super crowded and Jennie was about done, but I am SO going to climb on one of those things next time! I was trying to find a picture online of the thing I got up on, but I could not. It sort of imitated cross country skiing and bicycle riding and mountain climbing all at the same time. Very cool. I also got back up to my 50 pound lifting level. Last week for some reason I was feeling wussy and could not press 50 pounds any which way. Today I was back on top. I think it has to do with the fact that I was rocking Defenders of the Faith. Gayest. Album. Ever. Sooooo good to work out with! I didn't end up walking home today because my batteries were running out. It started to get really sad there at the end with the slowing down. Gotta remember to refresh the batteries before Thursday!
Oh! I just realized that I did not post about Krishnaland! I'll try to get up and do that in the morning. Now I think I wanna lay around a little and then get to bed!
Ok, so I am having my first go round with Voyeurs by Two (the Rob Halford/John 5 and Trent thing) It's okay, doesn't really sound anything like any of the assembled parties. Actually, and I really wish I had not read this particular review, I have to agree with whomever said it sounds more like Stabbing Westward than anything else. I was totally into Stabbing Westward back in the day so that is not at all a bad thing. I guess I was hoping this would completely blow me away, but it's not happening so far. The picture of Rob on the front cover is smoking hot though. He had a pretty serious Anton Levey thing going on at this time. Only his big black beard is rounded rather than pointy. I could definitely see dancing around to this in black clothing sometime. Perhaps I will.
Today was a frustrating day at the restaurant because I had to wait around to talk to the payroll specialist. I left her two messages, and whilst I was totally sympathetic that she probably had a lot of catching up to do with all the clients who normally do their payroll on Monday, I also really did not want to spend three hours sitting around waiting for the phone to ring. Ugh. It's cool though. I finally called back and chose to speak to another payroll specialist. She was fine.
Yesterday I had to sit around and wait futiley for a couple hours as well, but that one was all my own fault. I managed to let my phone completely lose it's charge, and this phone seems to be of a mind that once it loses it's charge you can just forget about anything until it is fully recharged, plug in or no plug in. (Full Disclosure: late last night I determined that probably I could have turned it back on when I plugged it in by hitting the power button, but that did not occur to me at the time)
I was supposed to call Rebby to pick me up for the cookout when I was done working, but as her phone number resides solely in my cell phone, I was screwed. Finally I realized that I could call her neighbor and get her to let Rebby know that I was ready. Which is what I did, and she came to get me and the decadent chocolate raspberry birthday cake, and we went to the house and commenced to drinking Lord Chesterfields. I smoked a lot of cigarettes with my beer. I sat in the hot sun. I ate some ribs and some amazing salmon and nice shrimp pasta salad and coleslaw and shrimps and a teensy little bit of chicken. But mostly I got to hang with Juli and Will, which was super fun. Everyone at the party was nice, but I was especially happy to get to hang with those guys. At the end after everyone left we had a really nice time watching Yacht Rock with Jim Mueller. He and Rebby had some filmmakers conversations whilst I nodded off in the big chair. Good times.
Before the frustrating into awesome Memorial day, we went to see X Men 3. I LOVED this movie! Many times I found myself gasping out loud at the plot twists. The second scene with a young Angel made me cry. As did the very last scene. The scene that made me laugh the loudest was when Wolverine looks around at the assembled X MEN and says "We're All X Men" and I whispered "even the women." I understand the sentiment behind the line, but I just thought it was a little silly. Oh well. I really want to rent the first two soon and see if it really was my favorite or not.
Woah! this song sounds sort of like neo psychedelic rock! Weird. I wasn't expecting that. I want to check out some of Rob's other solo and non-Priest work and see what that's about too, I think. Right now I am just totally in love with Defenders of the Faith. Gayest. Album. Ever. ha!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Heavy Duty

I know you like it hot
Love to writhe and sweat
You think that this feels good
You ain’t felt nothin’ yet

Red-hot licks in the palm of my hand
Feel your body quake
As we hit the promised land
I’m heavy duty

We’ll rise inside ya till the power
Splits your head
We’re gonna rock ya till your metal
Hunger’s fed

Let’s all join forces
Rule with iron hand
And prove to all the world
Metal rules the land
We’re heavy duty
So come on let’s tell the world

We are defenders of the faith

--Judas Priest from Defenders of the Faith

OK, so after that little not-quite-a-sex-dream, I did a little Rob Halford internet research. And discovered that he made this album called Voyeur with John5 from Rob Zombie/Marilyn Manson fame, and.....TRENT REZNOR. Help. Me. I found a copy from Amazon Marketplace for a dollar. It is on it's way to me. I think I might have a new favorite thing.....
Just woke up from a very weird dream involving Rob Halford. I had gone to "80s Night" (though it wasn't in the Upstage, and wasn't very much like 80s Night at all) with Becky, and it was my birthday. We sat down at a table and my old assistant manager came in dressed very uncharacteristically in all light colors. He had a book of puzzles of some kind which he had brought with him to "pass the time."
So eventually Rob Halford comes in and there is some sort of contest to "hang out" with him. Or something. Someone tells him it's my birthday and he decides that I should win the contest, so he comes over to me and pulls me up out of my chair, and puts his arms around me while the bar sings happy birthday. As we're standing there he starts pulling me closer and closer and petting my hair. When the singing is over he asks my former assistant if I am his wife, and he replies that I was once. I seem to be made speechless by the fact that Rob Halford is sort of pushing his leather clad thigh between my legs, so I don't say anything about Becky (although in the dream I am thinking that maybe it would make both of us feel better if he knew I had a girlfriend) So then Rob Halford takes me into this back room where there is a bed, and we lay down on it but nothing happens, he just holds me against him and tells me that I am so very lovely it makes him feel strange. I do notice, however, that he has a raging erection which is poking very uncomfortably into my hip. Suddenly he tells me that his leg has fallen asleep, so I get up and he peels off his pant leg to reveal that his leg is sort of withered and has all kinds of pins and braces on it. I was kind of disturbed but still did what I could to rub it and get the blood flowing. And that was the end of the Rob Halford portion of the dream.
I wonder what it could all mean? I woke up sort of startled but very quickly started laughing at my strange subconscious.
Today I work lunch-dinner so I get to spend the morning trying to catch up on housework. I've got laundry to put away, and dishes to wash and trash to take out. Bigtime. I've also got lots and lots of slip tallying to do, but I don't know that I will get into that this morning. This has been a very weird week. I've been feeling a little off kilter, and I think it has to do with the fact that I wasn't able to get to the labyrinth on Monday because I had to run into the restaurant to cover for a very sick lunch cook. It just threw me off balance. I had a very good workout on Tuesday, but felt sort of weird and spacey after it instead of energized. Then Wednesday morning my ankle was killing me all morning, and by the afternoon my ankle and my knee were conspiring against me. So I blew off my dance class, and went early to my friend's birthday party where I drank many pints of Guinness and smoked some cigarettes. And indulged in cake. It was really, really fun, but by the end I was thinking "this week is definitely an off the bandwagon kind of week." To confirm that, I felt like a dog's breakfast yesterday morning, and instead of going to the gym after work I went directly to bed. Got up in time to eat a gyro from Quaker Steak and Lube (what?!?!) and meet with my dear friend from Germany and another friend of hers I haven't seen in YEARS, and Jennie. It was a great time. Nothing quite like spending a couple of hours with really brilliant funny women to perk up the spirits.
That brings me up to date. Tomorrow I am very very excited to go to the Krishna temple and see the new deity of Garuda, Lord Vishnu's transport. Jeffy and his Tori Amos lookalike girlfriend are organizing the trip. He has never been there before and is super excited. Hopefully the weather will be great so we can go walk around the gardens. Tomorrow evening is the opening of the Downtown Show at the Warhol, with Richard Hell and Jayne County. That should be really good. Then Sunday I am on brunch, and if I get my way I will get to see XMen after brunch. I cannot wait to get an eyeful of Magneto.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Why the internet was invented.

Finally, the truth is known.
Via cardhouse.

I had forgotten all about Robert Plant doing karate in "Burning Down One Side."

Alternate title for this post:

Why I must get DSL NOW!
Some very good things about today (and yesterday):

1)I am working dinner instead of lunch today
2)Rob Halford is my new myspace friend!!!!!!!
3)my hot pink skull hand towel arrived yesterday!
4)I bought a giant bag of frozen shrimp on sale
5)the stamps I bought yesterday are PRODUCE THEMED!!! (so cute!)
6)vegan banana chocolate chip muffins with chocolate glaze
7)it's REALLY sunny this morning!
8)new walking shoes!
9)having all day to do dishes and laundry
10)yoga, for reals!

Yesterday was a really awesome day. I made some gorgeous muffins and yogurt fruit smoothies at work, and several breakfasts for people. The breakfast count seems to be hovering around 11-12 these days, which is a nice trend upwards from the 7 or less we had going for a while. Breakfast is never going to win the game, but it's gratifying to see the numbers climb a bit. Put away the restaurant depot order and mopped out the walk in again. I am determined (read, obsessed) to keep the walk in DRY. I left earlier than usual since I will be doing the long breakfast into lunch shift on Saturday. My plan was to get downtown early so I could go to the bank and the post office and the shoes store.
But no, got sucked into the internet. Bah.
I did eventually get downtown, where I ran into Payless and found a nice pair of Champion walking shoes for $20. They are probably not ideal, but they are better than the ole worn out pair I have had since 2001. It's weird to have suddenly been downtown two days in a row after not going there for months. SO many new restaurants, and so many newly abandoned buildings. Rumor has it they are going to build a movie theater down there somewhere! That would be kind of cool.
Headed down to CMU and we got our gym on. Thursdays seem to be the busiest day, but I kept telling myself that soon all the kids will be gone......well, most of them anyway. I had to start out on the ab machine because there were no open treadmills! I have a new dedication to the ab machine now that I have started bellydance class..those muscles are really going to have to start working for me!
I need to figure out what is up with the eliptical trainer. It sort of terrifies me, with it's up and down and round and round motion, but it seems like it would feel pretty great. Maybe when all the children are finally gone I will try it out.
The weightroom drama couple was back.....these two are kind of like a free floor show while you work out. The girl follows the boy around and natters at him constantly while he is trying to work out. She occasionally does a few half hearted reps on something next to where he is, but often she will just stand next to his machine and tell him about grocery shopping or their friend's relationship problems. I feel a little bad for the guy, but he doesn't really do anything to discourage her. I am really hoping that they will be leaving town for the summer.
After the gym we ran into someone Jennie used to work with and her friend having an evening walk. They were really fun ladies and we had some nice conversation about public art and architecture. Then I strapped on the Judas Priest headphones and started on my walk home.
It is much more pleasant to walk home in the sunshine, but it was still nice even though it was overcast. I explored a little dead end at the end of Amberson Ave behind the hospital which revealed some super secret rich people's enclave. Then I climbed up behind the Amberson Apartments and onto Center Ave. I felt like an explorer!
Stopped into the Market District where I got the shrimps and the cutest ever stamps, and then came home and made myself some delicious stir fried shrimp with garlic, red peppers, onions, and spinach. Yummy! Watched the final episode of Will and Grace. It makes me sad that Will and Grace is going off the air just as the evangelical conservatives are gaining power. Hopefully something else affirming will arise to take their place.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

What will you do to commemorate 6/6/6?

Perhaps you would like to consider listening to Slayer?

I'll put Reign In Blood in the walkman for the gym, for sure!
Happy Thursday!
I'm up before the sun (which isn't hard to do in these gray and rainy times) and having my first coffee and feeling all the new places where I am sore. I had my first bellydance class last night! It was really fun, and very relaxed. The teacher, Amethyst, is extremely sweet. Also very small, which was a little disconcerting. There is some odd function in my head which seems to think that someone who is teaching me should be somehow taller than me. Does it go back to childhood? I dunno. It was just weird to realize that I had this strange issue.
Anyway, there were two other women present for the class, both of whom have taken classes before. But luckily I did not feel intimidated or awkward, even though it took a lot of concentration to train my body to do these things it hasn't done before. One of the ladies was especially nice and welcoming to me, and the teacher was very friendly and encouraging. The exercises we worked on are all things on my Rachel Brice DVD, so it will be easy for me to practice at home.
The place where the class is being held, The Dance Cafe, is a really beautiful space. I got a schedule so maybe I can go and see a tango performance sometime! That would be a lot of fun. I can't wait to practice my moves! The hardest thing for me seems to be doing something with my hips and my arms at the same time. I'll have to think back and call upon my marching band training to get that together.
Before class, I had a really good day at the restaurant. Got a lot of organizing done and then I spent about 45 minutes cleaning the walkin. When I had arrived in the morning there was a small lake in the middle of the floor, which had sprouted some tributaries that had potatoes and onions floating in them. Not cool. So I emptied all the condenser drip trays and swept and mopped the thing out, and transferred the vegetables to plastic bins and also rigged up a sort of pallet for the juice boxes to sit upon so they would not be directly on the floor. Should a flood happen again, nothing will be gettin soggy in there!
Today I think is going to be yogurt smoothie day. I have some bananas and strawberries and a whole bunch of yogurt that needs to be dealt with. Anyone care for a liquid breakfast?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Whew! What a day! It started with waking up at 6am, as usual. I managed to get myself more or less back to sleep for a couple of hours, but around 8 I woke up bigtime and started furiously writing text for our new party catering brochure. It was sort of like being possessed. I think it was a combination of all the stuff I picked up at the bridal fair, the catering book I got out of the library yesterday, and a reaction against the proposal my sister got from her caterer in Boston. It was very easy to take the parts I liked and react against the parts I didn't. Also, I spelled out the extra cake cutting charge pretty damn clear, so the next time I find myself up to the elbows in frosting I can rest assured that I am getting paid extra for it.
After I was finished channeling the catering brochure, I had to go to the Market District because I was out of coffee. I brushed my teeth and put on a bra and headed out the door around 9:15. It's nice to shop in the morning when most people are on their way to work. I lingered in the produce section and I took a twirl through the international aisles. Didn't get anything Swedish this time, though. I treated myself to a nice piece of salmon and some chicken breakfast sausages. And a freshly baked onion bagel. I filled up my bag and hoofed it home. Then I had to clean out the fridge before I could put it away. And I had to do the dishes before I could clean out the fridge. I put on a pot of coffee and ate some chicken sausages and my bagel and a little bit of fruit salad, and then I got to work. Took care of all of the above, and typed out the brochure, and folded and put away the laundry. Woohoo!
I paused for a lunch salad and to watch the Judas Priest DVD that came with their latest album. Good lord, I love Rob Halford. I will never forgive myself for not encouraging rebby to get tickets to see them at Blossom Music Center a couple of summers ago. I was sure they would play in Pittsburgh. And they did schedule a show, but it got cancelled. Rumor has it because of low ticket sales. People are FOOLS! I just hope I get another chance to see them someday....Anyway, after lunch I dyed my hair. This is the closest I have been to my "natural" color in a long time, I think. It's called Medium Ash Brown, but it's darker than I would expect that color to be. I'm just glad to be more or less free of red, as it was starting to seem brassy to me (especially with the grown out grays!) I think I might have gotten a chemical burn on my tongue from opening the bottle of developer with my teeth. Every time I do it, and every time I think "this is a really bad idea." My learning curve can be pretty steep sometimes.
So yeah, all that and I cleaned the bathroom too! AND voted, AND went to the gym, AND walked home. Now I am completely worn the fuck out. But that's okay. There's no reason not to turn in early!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Just back from a very last minute fancy evening out! I got to go to the Persad Center Art for AIDS auction as Jennie's guest. Well, both of us were guests of Sharon Spell, who was the emcee for the verbal auction. It was really great.
The event was held in the Carnegie museum, so we got to look at art and eat some delicious food from local restaurants in the hall of architecture. Sweet! We went in there and I saw an item that would have been the best ever wedding present for my sister and her gal....an oil on canvas painting called "The Power of Mercury". It was a beautifully rendered portrait of Freddie in all his glory on stage. I bid $100 and was the high bidder for most of the night, but when I went back through at the end it was up to $180. Drat.
Anyway, I got to have a sampler plate from Abay Ethiopian restaurant, which was extra awesome because I was THISCLOSE to having lunch there today, and decided not to at the last moment. So it was good to get the ethiopian goodness after all. Beets AND kale AND lentils. Good stuff! I also sampled a sweet and sour beef brisket sandwich from Shallot catering. Shallot catering doesn't seem to have a website, which sucks because I really liked his food and his presentation and his gorgeous vellum business card. I'd like to find out more what he is about. We wandered on down to the ballroom where I got to sample the wares of Le Pommier(a country porc pate and salmon mousse on toast) and Gypsy Cafe and Palomino. I think it was Palomio that was sporting the BOMB crab and artichoke dip. It was very nicely crabby. Gypsy cafe had some spicy meatballs and nice fresh moz and cherry tomato skewers. It made me think I REALLY need to get this gig for next year. It's a lot of food to donate, but people were picking up business cards left and right. I get the feeling that alot of the people who were there are very serious about giving their money to businesses that support the community. And I want to be in on that!

Wow, I haven't listened to the Jayhawks in a while. It's like a cool river flowing right over me.....

The verbal auction was very entertaining. The auctioneer was fantastic and really did a great job getting people to bid. "It's your opportunity to donate!" he'd say, and people would respond. The couple of pieces that ended up going for $900-$2000 really made my heart sing. It's not often that you get to see people really putting their money where their mouth is like that. Sure they were getting amazing pieces of art in return, but it was pretty clear that in most cases it was just as much about donating the money to an important cause.
After the verbal auction we went in search of the desserts and finally found them in the museum cafe. I had a piece of the most sugary sweet cake I could possibly imagine at the moment. It physically HURT to eat it. I'm not saying it was BAD, but man, it made me grind my teeth! I got a cup of coffee and headed out to the busstop. A really nice and unexpected way to spend the evening.
Of course, now I need to do ALL the housework tomorrow. But that's fine.
Today I went on my Monday walk to the library and the labyrinth. At the library I got A Cook's Tour by Bourdain (I'm almost finished with Kitchen Confidential) and what looks to be a really good book on the business side of catering business. It has all sorts of useful looking charts and graphs. I can't wait to study it. I also renewed The Motorcycle Diaries because I didn't manage to watch it last week. So I have a second chance.
The labyrinth was really good...this week there was another person who came when I was almost done, so we passed each other. It was interesting to be there with another person, in a good way. I am looking forward to the summer when they put it out in the courtyard and maybe I can meet some more people who are into labyrinth walking. Still no candles or music, which I think would make it even nicer. But this week they did have the informational signs up, so maybe it's one thing at a time.
After the labyrinth I went to WALGREENS for some personal items. Deodorant and haircolor and dryer sheets and whatnot. I have such fond memories of Walgreens from Alburquerque, but I think that has more to do with the fact that in Alburquerque I could buy beer and wine in the Walgreens than anything else. I got some good deals on the items I bought today though.
Then I stopped in to Whole Foods for lunch. It was my first time eating off the hot bar. I got some cuban pork, a corn and cilantro fritter, some really delicious sauteed squash, and some african rice that had WAY too much allspice in it. I can be pretty heavy handed with the allspice sometimes, but this was out of control. I ate it anyway. I also got a big ole bottle of Bolthouse VEDGE juice, my new favorite thing. Especially since I like to pretend that it is called BATHhouse juice. I am easily amused, you see.
I ought to get some sleep. I have a lot of housework ahead of me tomorrow!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

It's a deliciously scented Sunday morning...happy mother's day to all the mothers!
I'm stretching and yawning and listening to Groove Armada, after already having had coffee and pancakes and watching some Aqua Teens and doing a lot of computering. (sheesh! that sentence was hard to tense. I'm not sure it's correct even now) Including finding Peter from Mace on myspace! I was so excited. I think about him an awful lot and it is nice to know that he is still doing alot of creative things musically, in addition to being the soundguy at the Club Cafe.
So anyways, it occurred to me a few minutes ago that I might have to work today...and it turns out I do. So no lazy afternoon with occasional bouts of housework for me! I gotta maximize my time and save my energy for 3pm. It's been a bangup weekend so far at the Quiz, so I need to be on top of my game. I think I'll eat a salad and maybe do the dishes, and save the rest of the housework for tomorrow.
The samosas turned out great, although they were a supergiant pain in the ass. Or more precisely, in the lower back. I really need to get myself some sort of stool so I can sit when I am doing work like that. I worked all the way through Brutally Live, Born to Boogie, and the Rob Zombie video compilation. Got to sleep at about 1am.
I woke up at 6:30 as usual and a million things were going through my mind, so I went ahead and got out of bed. Around 9 rebby took me up to the QS where I smoked a rollie and ate some of a VERY stale brownie. Ugh. I got most of the stuff for the wedding packed up, cut up my apples and made lime crema for the black bean cakes. Les got there and we loaded up everything and then had to stop at Jilly's to get the labels. So we got to the site technically "late", although as the time table of the events was completely different from what we had previously arranged, it was fine. We unloaded all the stuff and then I got to work getting the table skirts secured and water chilled. Leslie went to town traying up the crudites and finger foods. We really banged the stuff out quickly, which was good because the wedding was done at least 20 minutes early. We weren't QUITE ready when people started to pour through the door, due in large part to the SEVEN Whole Foods Cakes we had to remove from their boxes and display attractively in addition to all our stuff. We ran out of room and I had to crawl into the back to get another small table for the plates and napkins and forks. That was just the ticket, because it also kept people from coming around to the other side of the tables where we were hiding stuff. We worked out a really good system that made it not quite so terrible to have to go out of the room and across the courtyard and down a hallway to get to the kitchen. Soon enough there was nothing to do but watch the tables and refill the bucket with the water bottles and keep the punch cold. And also listen to all the delighted comments of the vegetarians, who were so thrilled to be able to eat everything at a wedding reception. It all went pretty smoothly until the cake debacle, where we had to try to cut these seven cakes as quickly as possible as the groom invited everyone up the moment they had finished their ceremonial cut. I ended up covered in frosting, but I did get to sneak a taste of the toasted almond buttercream cake which made it worth the hassle. The time went by pretty quickly, and soon we were unloading everything and packing it up and I was chasing down the brides father for a check. We got back to the QS before 3pm, and got all our stuff put away. Then I sat down, and the mad rush took it's toll. It's weird how you can really feel fine in the midst of craziness but as soon as you relax, the fatigue hits you like a ton of bricks. I had a couple more cigarettes and then rebby came to get me and we headed to Damons the Place for Ribs, where I had steak. It is so nice that their food is totally consistent, and very simple and good. It was JUST what I wanted. Then got home and took a NAP. Sweet, delicious sleep.
That's about a wrap. I need to try to get in some yoga and a shower. I'm SO GLAD that the weatherpeople can't be trusted....you have no idea.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

What if you reached the age of reason
Only to find there was no reprieve
Would you still be a man for all seasons?
Or would you just have to leave
We measure our days out
In steps of uncertainty
Not turning to see how we've come
And peer down the highway
From here to eternity
And reach out for love on the run
While the man for all seasons
Is lost behind the sun

Henry Plantagenet still looks for someone
To bring good news in his hour of doubt
While Thomas More waits in the Tower of London
Watching the sands running out
And measures the hours out
From here to oblivion
In actions that can't be undone
A sailor through the darkness
He scans the meridian
And caught by the first rays of dawn
The man for all seasons
Is lost beneath the storm

And I should know by now
I should know by now
I hear them call it out all around
Oh, they go
There's nothing to believe in
Hear them,
Just daydreams, deceiving
They'll just let you down

What if you reached the age of reason
Only to find there was no reprieve
Would you still be a man for all seasons?
Or would you just disbelieve?

We measure our gains out in luck and coincidence
Lanterns to turn back the night
And put our defeats down to chance or experience
And try once again for the light
Some wait for the waters of fortune to cover them
Some just see the tides of ill chance running over them

Some call on Jehovah
Some cry out to Allah
Some wait for the boats that still row to Valhallah
Well, you should try to accept what the fates are unfolding
While some say they're sure where the blame should be falling
You look round for maybe a chance of forestalling
Bot too soon its over and done
And the man for all seasons
Is lost behind the sun

----Al Stewart, "Man For All Seasons"

This song keeps running through my head for some reason, even though he didn't play it. I think it must be because he says "Henry Plantagenet".

The black bean cakes are done, and I think I am going to call it a night. For some reason I can't get the sound to play on the DVD player, so I had to make black bean cakes with Iron Maiden instead of Alice Cooper. It was fun, especially singing along to "Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter". Good times. Hopefully I can get rebby to come over and fix my sound problem tomorrow so I can make samosas with Alice Cooper and Ryan Roxie.
It's the calm before the storm.
In a few minutes, I will walk down to the MARKET DISTRICT for cooking oil and toilet paper and soda water and maybe something fun to eat, depending on how much booty the alien head delivers. Then, I'll get home and rig up the DVD player with Alice Cooper Brutally Live, starring Ryan Roxie and his sexual muppet dreads. Then, I will commence to cookin'. I've got mini samosas and black bean cakes on my plate tonight...and half the battle is already fought as I mixed up the batters for both at work today. So it's just a matter of forming and baking (black bean cakes) or rolling out dough, shaping, and frying (samosas) At least I think samosas are fried. I better get a recipe.
The past couple of days have been a flurry of activity, none of it all that newsworthy. I went out to dinner at Sharp Edge Monday night and was sort of disappointed (that makes twice....guess it's time to revert permanently to Lot 17, though the sudden disappearance of Bass Ale is hard to take) and then we settled in with coconut fruit bars and watched Team America. Wow, that was incredibly funny. Fuck yeah.
Tuesday I worked the dinner shift and it was all smooth sailing until right at the end when a bunch of non english speaking people all rolled through the door for a party. My barista gave them a lesson in American Restaurant Etiquette, but I ended up feeding 13 or so of the 25 or so who were there. He tacked a 20% gratuity onto their bill and let them stay an extra hour. That's the way we do it.
Yesterday I made a lot of stuff I don't remember at work, then went papergoods shopping for Saturday's wedding in the Strip. I love doing that. Then went to the gym and had a really awesome work out that left me ruddy complected for at least 1/2 an hour. That was nice. I was very energized by it and would have probably walked home if not for the fact that I had eaten nothing but fruit salad all day and didn't want to chance falling over in the street. Once I got home I made a proper dinner and watched half of Richard III.
It's super-intense and I was sort of nodding off so I gave up and took a disco nap.
Got back up at 10:30pm to fold the laundry and wash the dishes. I am very proud of myself for actually doing that.
This morning my barista was late (as is usual on a Thursday, it seems) and that put a rush on the day. He got there a little after I did so I didn't lose much time, but it always makes me jumbled when I have to open up in the morning instead of enjoying my luxurious first cup of coffee. Once I did get in the kitchen, I did a bunch of prep for the wedding, and made the cutest little grilled feta bites. They are basically tiny little grilled cheese sandwiches shaped like hearts and flowers with my tiny little canape cutter. I could not be more charmed by a cheese sandwich. I banged out some other stuff for catering and then had to do some incredible jenga to get the produce order to fit in the walk in. There is so much BEER in there from our beer nights that it is starting to take over all the food space! Not to mention the fact that milk is starting to encroach on the vegetables as well. I am really overly protective of walk in realestate, I realize, but today I was getting all bent out of shape and saying "we need another walk in for beverages!" And perhaps we do. I doubt we'll be getting that in the slowed down summer time, though.
Ok, that about catches me up. Time to go get my shop on.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Good morning and welcome to my day OFF! I was so looking forward to sleeping in this morning.....of course, I woke up at 6:30am anyway. I managed to go back to sleep for another two hours. It felt great! I do have a little bit of a headache this morning which I have to attribute to the fact that I smoked a few cigarettes yesterday during the course of a pretty slow brunch. The ibuprofen and caffeine are teaming up on it right now though, so I should be fine soon. Also, Ed Kowalczyk is singing to me and that always makes me feel good. I wish LIVE would come back to Pittsburgh. They always seem to play just a little too far away for me to get to. While rebbyro had a fine time when we went to see them a couple of summers ago, I don't think she would be all that in to going if it meant having to drive a long way AND pay for the tickets (we got the tickets that time for free)
So, weekend recap. Saturday I met Jennie at Bruggers where we had nice big salads. Oh, the vegetables! I chose a mango chicken salad which had lots of spring greens and red peppers and onions and chicken and mango chutney. They served it with ranch dressing, which I thought was a really odd choice. I ignored the ranch dressing for the most part, but I used a little of it at the end when the chutney had run out. I also had a giant iced tea which made me very happy. I really need to get my shit together and make myself some iced tea one of these days. I've got a suntea picture and a very sunny window. I could be rockin the iced earl grey RIGHT NOW! Maybe that will be a part of today's game plan.
Anyway, we just barely made it to the bus, as the Brugger's wall clock is about 5 minutes slow. We had to sprint for a block, which was not so great for my ankle, but we made it. I wish I had a lot of great stories about the freaky shit we saw at the Whole Health Expo, but .....nah. For the most part, it was a lot of chiropractic and thermal imaging and vitamin supplements and waterless cookware. Ekankar was right at the front. There was a very warm and personable lady who gave us packets of info and really did not try at all to huckster us into her offbeat religion. From what I read while we waited for the bus to come home it seems to be about light and sound vibrations, and some past life stuff, and the supreme leader of this thing looks an awful lot like a lawyer. And there's this song called HU. Interesting. I'm just glad that I have a little better sense of what that Ekankar thing is all about. There were some people selling jewelry (I didn't see anything I really wanted! I might not have been really looking since I knew I didn't have the cash for it, but my cursory glimpses didn't reveal anything. hmm.) There were people selling various aromatherapies and creams and lotions and the like. Jennie was really into the rose therapy. I bought a jar of hand salve from the wildcraft herbs lady. Later, I read her pamphlet and learned that when she kept saying "emu oil" she was talking about oil from EMUs! That makes me feel a little weird. Apparently emu oil has been a healing ungent for centuries in Australia or something, but I don't know how she gets the emu oil and that is strange. However, I have to admit that the stuff did make my skin a lot smoother than even the Swiss Formula, so I can't say I regret purchasing it. I'll have to do some internet research on emu oil.
I also got a kitchen magic book by Scott Cunningham, master herbalist and all around swell pagan guy. It's a really funny book....he's got stuff in there about using fig newtons with magical intent in money drawing spells. Ha! I really like his down to earth writings on witchcraft. Jennie got a book about symbolism in the Crowley deck. I am sure glad she is around to take care of learning about the Crowley deck, cuz that thing still spooks me. Speaking of spooking me, there was this one crystal booth that I walked into and immediately had to walk out of because of all the high energy vibrations. Seriously, and I don't mean to sound like I am full of hooey here, I am very sensitive to crystal vibrations. Always have been. Some people can pick up a crystal like it's no big deal, but I can get immediately "vibed out" very easily. And this booth was full of big crystals all pulsing their different energies at me like mad. I couldn't cope with it. Conversely, there was another booth full of crystals that didn't have any effect at all. So there you go. Wish I could make a lot of money off of it, but I haven't tapped into that.
We also came across a few people doing aural photography but it was $25 a pop. I should have just swallowed the bait since I have always been really interested in it, but I didn't. I guess maybe I should try to find someone who does it outside of the Whole Health Expo environment and go for it. I'll put it on my short list. There were also several "readers" of various kinds...tarot, mediums, etc. None of them were particularly appealing to me, but one of them had a pile of brochures about Lilydale and Jennie and I each picked one up. Later, as I was eating my fruit cup in the food court of the mall, we made a pact to go in August for the seminar on Spiritualists in the suffrage movement. We may even get up there a day earlier for the workshop on female images of divinity in the judeo-christian tradition. Woohoo!
So yeah, the Whole Health Expo was mostly just EH. I'm really glad we went, and I'm really glad I got the Cunningham book. The faerie people were running around with wings and garlands on. Cute. There was some meditating under a strange object. Jennie got a feng shui coin to put in the northwest(?) corner of her home. It was definitely a lot more hands off than the bridal fair had been, even though two different people rubbed stuff on the back of my neck.
We walked over to the mall where I had the aforementioned fruit cup, and then we wandered around. There is this amazing cheap colorful underwear store where I got a serviceable (low impact) sports bra for $3.00. I also got a small bottle of grapefruit body lotion from Bath and Bodyworks (by the same CG Bigelow company. Yum) But the memory of the mall that sticks with me, the disturbing image I just can't shake, is from Claire's Fashion Boutique. Apparently the new fashion hot trend is "support the troops" camo accessories. Including, and it is difficult for me to even type this, FAUX BULLET BELTS. I was filled with white hot blinding rage when I saw this. You know, Claire's Fashion Boutique is aimed at LITTLE GIRLS. I almost sought out the manager, but the chances that a manager was there at 3pm on a Saturday were pretty slim anyway. Maybe I'll write a letter to the company. It just ain't right, people. On top of the camo accessory display was the red white and blue stars and stripes accessory display. It was so gross. I am so glad I don't have a preteen daughter right now.
By the time we were done wandering the Expo and the Mall I had a little headache and the hour or so we spent waiting for various busses didn't help. I took a little nap when I finally got home and then headed to the QS for brunch prep around 7pm. Business was kinda slow, so the lovely dinner cook helped me out by chopping three large containers of potatoes. Sweet. I roasted mushrooms and cauliflower and leeks and chopped vegetables and boiled potatoes with garlic and cleaned greens and chopped apples and had a really nice time in the kitchen with the sweet cook and the sweet dishwasher. I finished around 9:30, then strolled to the grocery store to get some last minute supplies, then got home and spent about two hours on the computer making a quote sheet of the famous vegetarians we were feteing on the menu. It was fun, though I accidentally stumbled on some argument about whether or not Leonard Nimoy is actually a vegetarian. Similarly, there were sites claiming that Steve Jobs eats fish, and sites claiming that Steve Jobs is a strict vegan. You never know what to believe, I guess. Anyhow, it turned out nice and I made 20 copies to leave on the tables.
Got up with the sun and was in the kitchen by 6am. I had done so well with prep that it was a relatively leisurely morning for me. It was a pimpy menu, with lots of variety and healthful vegan and vegetarian foods, but unfortunately it wasn't terribly busy. The people who came loved it, but there weren't a ton of people. Apparently Saturday night was full of parties, so most people probably slept late and then wanted grease. Oh well. I had a big bowl of greens with roasted portobello and onion gravy, and then came home for a little nap. I woke up and took a lovely lavender shower and dressed nicely, and then did some bus voodoo to get to the southside by 6pm when the doors opened for the Al Stewart show. When I got there, there was already a line and I got a little crestfallen. But, it didn't say SOLD OUT, so I held my own with the mostly over 45 crowd. There was a biker meet up going on at Jack's so the whole street was lined with machines and every once in a while some drunk bikers would stumble out and make a big show of revving their engines. It was great.
Finally the doors really opened at about 6:2o, and I GOT IN!!! And, even more miraculous, I got a SEAT AT THE BAR!! I ordered up a sky vodka martini (forgetting that club cafe, although supposedly swank and charging $8 for a martini, DOES NOT STOCK OLIVES. WTF?!?!) I sipped my martini and noticed that Peter was not doing sound. Drag. I listened surreptitiously to the conversations of the grownups around me. I was very pleased that next to me at the bar was a little cotillion of super cool high school history teachers who use Al Stewart songs in class. So I got to listen to them talk throughout about which songs he sang they had played to their classes. It was nice. Al was occasionally walking through the crowd before the show and it almost made me cry to see him. He's just this sort of little, extremely British looking sixty something man. With a very, very "fey" sort of speaking voice. Again, extremely British. His associate guitar player opened the show with a few songs, which was just fine. I ordered a bowl of chips and salsa to pass the time while he played. Finally, Al took the stage. He told such funny stories, including one long one about London in the 60s wherein he not only lived with Simon and Garfunkel, but used to play guitar for Yoko Ono before she met John. He did a very convincing imitation of her. So funny. I could have listened to him talk about the civil war between the Basques and the Spaniards for hours. I kept thinking I really need to make an Al Stewart mixtape for Jennie because even though his big "hits" are sort of AOR lovesongs, most of his albums are these incredible historical ballads that I know she would appreciate. He didn't play any of my very favorite songs, but as he has something like 175 songs to choose from, I didn't really expect it. He played "Year of the Cat" of course and it made me weep a little. His voice is totally intact, maybe even a little richer with age and experience. It was like a warm rain shower. I was able to block out all the middle aged drunken men who were actually THROWING DEVIL HORNS at Al Stewart when he broke into the beginning riff. I kid you not. More than one of them. I really need to start scouring the thrift stores for some more of his albums....there were a few songs I had not heard before that I really, really would love to have.
So, I slinked out while the mad rush for t shirts and CDs was going on, and had another arduous bus wait. But finally I made it home, and fell happily and sleepily into bed. Sweet, exhausting weekend.
Today I have to go to the library to return my books and try to find some other ones. Hopefully get in a labyrinth walk. Then home to take care of the domestic chores I have neglected all weekend. Hopefully clean out the fridge and then stock up on some vegetables for the week. I also gotta get planning for the wedding this weekend. I'm so excited the season is finally here!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

So, I totally failed to eat vegetables yesterday. However, I did manage to maintain a gleeful disposition all day, so I get half credit. Truthfully, I barely ate anything at all yesterday--a little huevos rancheros for breakfast, and then the rest of the day I pretty much lived on rootbeer and whatever I licked off my fingers during the course of a very busy dinner shift. Whoosh! It all went by so fast! My tempeh mole turned out really well, judging from people's comments and the little bit I licked off my fingers. (note to food safety professionals:I make sure to wash my hands any time I lick something off my fingers. I went to school for this)
So yeah, Cinco De Mayo supper was a huge hit! It seemed like lots of people came out specifically FOR the special dinner, and made sure to tell the servers how happy they were for it. Does this mean we should bring back the pre-planned suppers? Will these people be steady constant customers, or will they get tired of it after a few months? Maybe once a month special dinners are the key. Who knows.
Today Jennie and I are going to the Whole Health Expo to get our chakras massaged and our auras read and to meet the people who are organizing the first annual western pennsylvania fairie festival. (oh, not really. but it's in the brochure) I can't wait to see the Ekankar people. Back when Jennie and I lived in south oakland, we used to walk past the Ekankar office every day. I've always been totally fascinated by them. It should be an interesting time and now that I have a PICTUREPHONE! I can capture the memories. Ha.
Speaking of the picturephone! I spent $7.50 this morning downloading ringtones. I just had to. I had a hard time deciding between "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake and "Final Countdown" by Europe for my default ring....I decided on the Whitesnake. That song looms large in my legend, as John Lennon might say. (or was it Paul? Oh lord, I'm not at all sure...) Anyway, I can't wait till Jennie calls me this morning...I got a Joy Division ringtone for her.
My ankle is feeling pretty good today. I think I might be able to indulge in some yoga tonight after the Whole Health Expo and brunch prep. This is a very interesting moment for me....looking forward to an exciting Saturday night of YOGA.
OK, it's McLaughlin Group Time! Hope you have a lovely Saturday.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Grrr! I am feeling frustrated and sad.
Wednesday after work while walking home with my computer on my back and my new cell phone in my pocket, I stepped on a stone and wrenched my left ankle, falling down and hitting on my right knee which got super scraped up. (my indestructible American Eagle Outfitters flight pants were unharmed, though) The thought as I was going down was "Waaaah! It's gym day!!!" Not "I could be about to smash my computer to bits if it hits the ground" Luckily it didn't as I had enough stuff crammed into my computer bag and also I had my new reebok hoodie on (a handmedown from rebbyro--it's awesome!)so it sort of bounced off all this padding on my back and didn't even come anywhere near the ground.
So, I got myself up and hobbled home, but decided I was determined to go to the gym anyway, having missed the last week and feeling like once a week is barely enough. The weather was lovely and I really would have liked to have walked to CMU, but I didn't think that was such a good idea given the tender state of my ankle. I strapped on the ace bandage under the sweatsock and got on the bus. I did end up doing about 15 minutes on the treadmill which was fine, and then a whole lot of exercise machines. There were way less young people in there than usual and it was nice to be able to do the machines at a relaxed pace. There were also a few very entertaining musclebound dudes lifting 150 or so pounds over their heads, and that was fun to watch. I did everything except the leg lifts as that was just waaaaay too hard on my poor knees.
I took the bus home and rebbyro and I ordered up some yumtastic Thai food and then settled in to watch Encino Man. I had really forgotten (despite the fact that Baron Baptiste, the power yoga dude on my video, reminds me of him) how much I love Pauly Shore. The whole weasel thing just fills my heart with glee, not to mention his incredible hair and fashion sense. So I had a wonderful time with the thai summer rolls and the Pauly Shore, but then before bed my ankle and scraped up knee started to bum me out. I took some ibuprofen and went to bed, hoping for the best.
Yesterday morning it seemed okay, so I strapped on the ankle brace again and went to work. I got a lot accomplished even though I really couldn't do much of the up and down the stairs stuff. By about 2pm, though, it was starting to bother me again.
Here's the thing: I am really an expert ankle wrencher, as I usually do it a couple times a year. As an Aquarius I have accepted the fact that weak ankles are astrologically determined for me, and despite my best and most careful efforts I am going to go down every once in a while. Usually I am more than happy to just slow down for a few days till it stops being swollen and sore. But now suddenly I am in the throes of this "active lifestyle" and having a lame ankle totally bums me out. I can't really do yoga, I can't do any extended walking, and I don't have any time to go to the gym this weekend. Waaah! So last night I sank into depression and ate some new york superfudge chunk depression ice cream. There was a small voice somewhere deep in side whispering "salad! salad!" but I ignored it and dove into the chocolately goodness. It didn't make me feel any better, but it was sure yummy.
Today I hope to spend some quality time with vegetables having pretty much ignored them the last two days. This is my problem....I can easily go most of the day without eating anything, because I am occupied and thinking about food all day for work makes me less hungry. But then when I do hit the wall and feel super hungry, I immediately want something that is going to be easy and filling. So often this means bread and cheese which will fill me up superfast. Vegetables take too long and are not as filling. I was doing a good job of consciously reversing this trend for a while there, but I got sidetracked by the ankle and bam! Back to the old habits. So today is going to be VEGETABLE DAY! I've got some leafy kale in the fridge and I know how to use it.
Alright, on to more exciting news: I got the new picture phone! Woowoo! This phone comes complete with a built in tip calculator, and Jilly showed me yesterday that this phone also has a speaker function. She tried it out with her mom and it worked great. This will definitely come in handy for me when people call to chat and I am in the middle of something. It happens quite a lot. I took what turned out to be an extremely arty picture of my pirate sticker for the wallpaper of my phone...arty in that in addition to a pretty clear shot of the sticker, there is a very ghostly shadow of my face. It looks super cool! I will try to figure out how to send it to flickr and then I can share it. I feel like a whole new adventure is opening up before me.
Last night when it turned out that I wasn't going out for beers(which in light of how I ended up feeling last night I think is a very good thing) I spent a lot of time online searching for ringtones. I found several on Ringtone Jukebox that had me bouncing in my seat, including a polyphonic ringtone of "She's In Parties" by bauhaus. I was all set to order it and several others when it turns out that Ringtone Jukebox is NOT COMPATIBLE WITH MY PHONE. WTF?!?! Crestfallen. The verizon ringtone site has a lot of things that are pretty cool but they are "realtones", meaning that it plays actual snippets of the song rather than an adorable polyphonic version. Something about the old skool charm really gets me, so I am going to keep searching till I can find the polyphonic ringtone site of my dreams. In the meantime, my phone rings "When The Saints Go Marching In" in a very nawlins jazzy spirit, and that suites me just fine. I was really looking forward to UB40's "Red Red Wine" , but maybe it's just a matter of waiting for ringtone jukebox to catch up. Apparently my phone is all kinds of brandnew so maybe they just haven't listed it yet. I can hope.
Today is going to be a major day...hanging out with rebby a little in the morning, making jicama salad and doing some dishes and laundry in the afternoon, and then going in to work at 2pm for Cinco De Mayo supper. I was going to try to get out and see some music tonight but now that I have to work this super long shift it's looking pretty doubtful. Sigh. Tomorrow Jennie and I are going on the Whole Health Expo adventure, to get our chakras read and our ears candled and to see what the Ekankar folks are up to these days. I'm really excited! After the expo I need to go in to the restaurant to do prep for brunch, as the brand new prep guy who hadn't even worked one actual shift yet gave his resignation yesterday because he got an offer from a music store. What-eva. That's cool. Sunday I'm commandeering a theme brunch dedicated to Famous Vegetarians and Vegans, featuring dishes inspired by Einstein, Rikki Rocket, Dennis Kucinich, and both Doctor Spocks. (Benjamin and Vulcan) The all vegetarian and vegan soundtrack is set to include Massive Attack, Outkast, Fiona Apple, Black Sabbath, Erykah Badu, and maybe even Earth Crisis if I can find a crusty punk with a CD. It's gonna be a good ole time!
Today I vow to eat vegetables and be in a better mood. Seriously.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Yay! I terminated my cell phone contract today! It took a while, as the billing was in the name of the previous owner of the Quiet Storm, and they wanted me to give his social security number. I don't know that. Nor do I know his new address. Seriously, it would have been a lot easier for him to just terminate the contract since it was all in his name, but whatever. After explaining my situation the lady took care of it for me. I don't have to send back the phone, so I can donate it to some worthy cause. I have had a nice run with my Motorola batphone, but I am very excited for the upgrade.
I am more excited than I would have expected for the picturephone. There are so many times in my life that I am walking around thinking "if I had a digital camera I would so take a picture of that!" but of course, I don't. So now I can fulfill all my arty photog fantasies. I should be in possession of the new phone tomorrow. I cannot wait to load it up with contacts!
The next project on the horizon is DSL. Unfortunately I just paid my $25/month dialup bill, so I really shouldn't invest in the DSL until next month. But if I can make it work so they charge it to my phone bill, I will do it as soon as possible. It doesn't really make sense to pay $25 a month for dialup when I could have DSL for $18/month, right?
And then there is the fantasy of cable. I really don't think it's a good idea for me to get it, but sometimes my soul longs for the food network. Since the roster of cooking shows on PBS on Saturday have gotten pretty disappointing except for Jacques Pepin, who I never manage to catch anymore. And plus, Larry O'Donnell has his own show on MSNBC. Oooh, the glory. I can't really be thinking like that until I find a way to get more catering jobs going, though. I have bellydance and yoga and walking shoes to pay for already!
Last night I made an amazing green chile stew. I couldn't stop eating it. It's not especially soupy...more a thick glop of green chiles, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, and ground beef. I was trying to remember where I had ever had green chile stew with meat in it before, as I was pretty sure I didn't have it at Frontier when I was a vegetarian. Then I remembered that sometimes I would go to breakfast at Manny's where they put beef in the green chile, and sneak some. The first time I ordered it I didn't KNOW they put beef in it, but the times after that I certainly did. I was a very bad vegetarian for a lot of the time I lived in Albuquerque.
My new cellphone email resulted in getting a couple of messages from some long lost people I thought had fallen into the Pacific ocean. I'm glad to hear that they are alive and that one is having a charmed life of traveling to the Caribbean every two weeks from his condo in Hawaii, and dating a really hot woman who just happens to be a massage therapist. The other one is coming to visit me in June with her husband and baby, who is already a year old! I can't wait to meet him.
Not a very exciting entry, I'm sorry. I've got a Frankferd order to do and I have to get in the shower and I am rapidly running out of time. I'll try to be more fun and informative later.