Friday, November 30, 2007

We went to see this last night. I'm going to have to watch it a couple more times to really get all of it, but anyone who has an interest in Dylan, moviemaking, storytelling, or mythology should definitely make an effort to see it. It's remarkable for many reasons. Also, Richie Havens is in it! Worth the price of admission there, but really---it's fantastic.
I'm really excited that the weekend is here. I have big plans to do a lot of cooking and also a lot of paperwork. Yay! I also have big plans to finally check out the East Liberty Farmer's Market that is open year round in the building next to Home Depot. I will report back!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

So, Rebby left Tuesday to go to her grandparent's place for Thanksgiving. I went to my job and had a nice time in the kitchen with Greg, and then he gave me a ride home. I probably didn't start cooking on Tuesday night---can't remember--but Wednesday I woke up early and got to work. I pre-made everything, thinking that it would be best to be able to just throw things in the oven after the turkey was done. Little did I know what a good plan that was....
I made a butternut squash pie that I wasn't super thrilled with, and a mincemeat pie that I think was delicious but no one ended up eating(to be fair, no desserts were attacked with abandon) I made the brussels sprouts of the gods (apple, onion, bacon, and a german style sweet and sour dressing. yum!) roasted sweet potatoes with apples and maple syrup, acorn squash stuffed with lentils, millet and kale, trader joe's style green bean casserole, vegan stuffing with chestnuts, not vegan stuffing with bacon and chicken stock and various pieces of bread ends I've been hording in the freezer for a few months, and my famous orange ginger cranberry relish. I decided to save the horseradish mashed potatoes and crescent rolls for right before dinner time.
I did a bunch of cleaning and straightening too, and at some point I had to go up to Trader Joe's for oranges, so I got some cheeses and crackers too. I had a nice spread.
Wednesday is just a blur of cooking, and I went to bed really early. Like 9pm or something. Woke up early on Thursday to finish the cooking and start drinking. I tore into my bottle of Mateus like a champ, and by the time the first guests (Jilly, Jeff and Lisa) arrived, I was pleasantly buzzed. I gave them the tour, and when we got to the celebratory weed den, they insisted I partake. It was a holiday after all.
And that, my friends, is the crucial moment of my story.
I have a few little bright shining memories of other guests arriving, taking them on the tour, welcoming their cakes and cookies and bottles of wine. I vividly remember taking the turkey out of the oven and making sure the meat thermometer read POULTRY.
I remember insisting Jeff was the dad and he had to carve. I sort of remember telling him he had to make the crescent rolls.
I DO NOT remember mashing the potatoes, which I apparently did with gusto. I also don't remember peeling and chopping the horseradish to put in them, which I definitely did because I have the leftovers and I can taste them. I have no idea how all the rest of the food got on the table, heated and ready. (I think I have Jilly and Leslie to thank for that, mostly) I barely remember sitting in the front room eating with some people, and I remember insisting that everyone come in to watch Klaus Nomi. I remember John Roman showing up to eat cranberry relish and I remember Bill showing up to play trivial pursuit (well, that's not WHY he came, but that's what happened)
It's all a very pleasant fuzzy---but it's all fuzzy. Everyone tells me they had a great time, so it's all good. Just funny. Thanksgiving has always been the mother of drunken holidays for me so it's nice to revive the tradition.
I cleaned up as best I could, and then Friday I went to work. Still drunk, I think.
Friday afternoon the sisters arrived and we headed home and cleaned up a bit, and then rebby got home and we headed to Dormont for part one of family time.
It was just dad and Michaeline, and we had a really nice meal and some nice talking time, and then we extricated ourselves.
Saturday we cleaned and talked and watched Live Aid and waited for NOBODY to show up to the open house. No-body. I'm not terribly upset about it, I must say---the two people who had told me specifically they were coming called to say they couldn't. But still---nobody? That's just weird. Anyway, we waited until the end of the appointed party time, and then we got ready to go to the big show.
We saw ballet dancers, aerialists, belly dancers, the ukelady, a lady who plays cello and sings really funny songs, kill the unicorn tearing it up with a hip hop version of Queen's Dont Stop Me Now, a torch song trio, and more. It was a really lovely evening, though also really long. We got an old tymey photo in the lobby from a guy who really didn't have his act together. The picture is funny, and with proper cropping and sepia toning we can make it better. We walked home in the chilly air and went to bed right away.
Rebby got up at 4am to go hunting. I still can't believe it.
Sunday was BABY DAY. First lilD and his mom and pops came over despite the fact that he was suffering a nasty cough. I really appreciate the fact that he and his very game parents made the trek over to see the sisters, who really couldn't wait to meet him. Seriously, for two ladies who are general pretty baby neutral, they were acting like he was the best thing since sliced bread. (okay, maybe he is. but I'm biased)
We had some chocolate and chatted as much as we could in the limited time window, and then they bundled up for the trip home after a picture (see flickr) and we got ready to go back to Dormont for more BABY DAY.
All the sibs beat us there, and there was a great snacky spread all ready on the table. Tristan was still at his dads, but Brady was very entertaining. He's only about a month older than D but almost twice his weight, and he had two teeth and is crawling and walking holding on to tables. The ninth month must be a big one developmentally, boy. Brady was very interested in radishes, and then later his attention was diverted with mardi gras beads. My sister told me that if I have to entertain babies that mardi gras beads are a great bet. There was something vaguely disturbing about a baby crawling around with mardi gras beads in his mouth--but it was cute. We had a great time just chatting and snacking, and then the sisters were presented with a DVD game called Scene It!--the Pirates of The Carribean edition. So we had a family game time around the dining room table/computer. It was a good time. Shannon went to go get Tristan and then it deteriorated into chaos, between the baby and the toddler and the dog and the slightly inebriated grown ups. At the end of the night we made a date to have a family night at Rocky Horror Picture Show next time the sisters are in town. Ha!
So we were planning to have Indian for dinner and follow it with ice cream, but we decided to just jump right to the ice cream. We were not disappointed.
Monday I went to work and the girls just hung around the house due to rain. Bleah. Typical Pittsburgh day, though. They came to get me at the end of my shift and we went for Indian buffet and then hit the ice cream again. Hee hee.
Afterwards we killed some time on Walnut Street. I looked at drapes at Pottery Barn and decided that I REALLY have to make my own. Oh my. While we were bumming around the Shadyside Market rebby called---she was on her way home. So she got to see the sisters one more time and give them decent directions to the airport. They got on the road, and after some weather delays, had a safe albeit bumpy flight home.
Rebby and I ate leftovers in our underpants and watched How I Met Your Mother.
All in all, a good, crazy, weekend. The cool thing about planning a party, even if no one shows up, is suddenly your house is clean. We should plan pretend parties more often!
A Surprise, and then Not a Surprise

According to this, the candidate for me is Bill Richardson. Obama is like fourth or fifth, after John Edwards, Joe Biden and some guys I actually haven't really heard of. Guess I need to do some reading.

This, on the other hand, turned out exactly as I expected.

It's my Tuesday morning off and hopefully I will get some weekend reportage done after cleaning up the kitchen and doing some laundry. Check back for updates!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Yes, I stood in front of THAT all night last night. I don't have time or wherewithall to do a proper review of the evening, but one of my favorite moments was when he invited me to bend down and lick his boots....only he was wearing chuck taylors. ha!
I got a FUCK ART, LET'S KILL t shirt, and when he saw me at the merch table after the show he hugged me and thanked me for workin so hard all night and giving him someone to sing to. No problem, angel. I thanked him for taking 10 years off my life.
All my pictures are blurry beyond repair (no thanks to the camera phone, and the fact that I was really just too INTO IT to take decent pics)
Also, Skeleton Key blew my mind. More later.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Also---I had gotten a heads up about this from the sickthings board, but when I saw it in the City Paper this week I couldn't hold back a shriek. I cut it out and put it up on the wall in the kitchen. You know, so everyone can enjoy. ;)
I totally thought I was "over" Mr Cooper(he certainly seems to be over me!) but between that and the video for "Bed of Nails" I just saw this week (with the intro)
I'm deep into the sickness again.

Hi there!
Yep, I'm rockin the Loverboy look! I found a couple of t shirt sleeves I had cut off for work, and realized that they make perfect headbands of the Loverboy style. So it's my new thing. Mostly an at home look though---I doubt I'll be rockin it anywhere in public.
So, yesterday I suffered a classic cook injury---picked up a pot that had been on the stove for an hour without pot holders. The front handle was cool, so I just grabbed it. Of course, the back handle had been mostly over the flame and sizzled my fingers all the way across. Ugh. It's the kind of injury that is more annoying than anything else, especially to someone who cooks for a living and really should be more careful. But sometimes it just happens, and then you spend the rest of the day meatfisted. It was difficult for me to do much else after that, so I kinda took it easy. I also took a handful of ibuprofen to try to deal with the throb, which started to really kick in when I got home. And had a Nosferatu with dinner.
Whoops. The result of that was passing out on the couch during the Simpsons. I managed to crawl off the couch around 7pm to check my email and crawl into bed. Woke up around 9pm with the Celebrity Expose! of Rose O'Donnell. Huh. Sort of a wasted evening, but maybe sleeping was what my fingers needed? They feel much better today. I think tonight's dish shift is going to suck, but maybe I can find some gloves.
Between the burning and the sleeping, I did an interview with a really nice woman who is writing a master's thesis on gender and queer identity in the Pittsburgh music community. It was interesting for me to think about my experience in the music scene in terms of gender/sexuality. I honestly told her that I had never really felt any lack of acceptance---but I had to qualify that with the fact that I move in pretty progressive circles, and the fact that I had a hand in CREATING the scene I move amongst puts me in a different sort of category than someone who might be newer to the scene. Also, I'm OLD, and I think that makes a difference too. I can't wait to read her paper when it's done!
So, the weekend: it's kind of a blur, but mostly good. Friday night I went to see Murder Party! and it was really awesome! I was sort of concerned that I would not enjoy it since I'm not so much the horror movie type, but it was witty and well filmed, and the gore is sort of silly. And also, I am really good friends with the Key Grip. ;) He sat next to me, and it was nice to see him even though we didn't really get the chance to talk. Hopefully soon.
Afterwards a group of us went to the Squirrel Cage for a beer, only the place was packed. So we downed a quick beer standing up and headed home.
Saturday morning was Turkey Time! I got a 16 pound beauty, and we also picked up some ground beef and a butt roast from a nice rancher dude. Also some mushrooms for my green bean casserole. And some kale, I think? Yeah. I also reloaded on tortillas from Reynas---I'm not sure what all their tortillas contain, but I know they are made on site and that's good for me. Also, they're damn yummy! I picked up some corn tortillas this time too. Haven't tried them yet.
Saturday afternoon while Rebby worked the film fest I did a bunch of laundry and went to town on my room. I came up with the best repurposing ever---I think I'm gonna send it to ReadyMade. I turned my old shower organizer(which doesn't fit over either of the shower heads in the house) into the world's best jewelry organizer! All my earrings, necklaces, and rings have a spot for hanging. It's really great to be able to see them all arrayed like that. I also hung up all my buttons and my hats and scarves and purses. It's coming together...sloooooowly, but I have faith. Also, I have 30 years.....
Saturday night I bailed on the rock show....I was feeling a little ill, and feeling really apprehensive about the smoke in Gooskis. I've turned into a real pussy since quitting smoking. It kinda pisses me off---but I think in the long run it was best that I got a good night's sleep before brunch.
Brunch was super slow due to the Steelers/browns throwdown. That's ok---I got a lot done and sold almost all the bread pudding I made, and all the frittata. Sunday night was a kitchen meeting where we discussed the finer points of salad dressings.
A good time.
I finally found the cord which enables me to transfer pictures from the camera to the computer, so I can finally upload the pics from the Day of the Dead celebration we went to in Boston. It was in the cemetery right near my sister's house, where it turns out Anne Sexton is buried. Who knew?
Here's a heads up for you...this morning I turned on Good Morning America (that's the one with Matt Lauer, right? I get them confused) and managed to catch the Red Hot Chili Pipers doing We Will Rock You. They are my new favorite thing. I'm off to check emusic.....

Thursday, November 08, 2007

God Bless Trader Joe's

Seriously. I just got the holiday flyer in the mail and noticed their product called Gourmet Fried Onion Pieces, with no preservatives, hydrogenated oils, or artificial flavor or colors. I was wondering how I was going to make a green bean casserole for Thanksgiving using my home frozen green beans and home made mushroom soup--and french's fried onions. Thank you TJs for saving me.

Today was a fantastic day off--and it's not over! Still have a delicious dinner to eat (tuna burgers with brown rice and sauteed sweet potatoes and chard) and Growler Hours and recycling and maybe trader joes and staples to get some file boxes. So far today I wrote some copy for our holiday catering flyer, and did some spreadsheets on dinner and lunch sales so far with the new menu, and washed a lot of clothes, and cleaned the bathrooms, and did some dishes. Put away a lot of clothes. Just basically a TCB kind of day. It feels good.
My friend Kirstin stopped by to pick up my toilet paper and paper towel tubes for an art project. I had a lot of them stored up because I thought I was going to shred them for the compost. HA! I'm glad they can go to an arty use. It was great to see her, and nice to show off the house. When I went out on the porch to say goodbye, I was overcome with the massive amount of leaves our big ole maple tree has shedded. I guess it's going to be raking time around here very soon. Probably Saturday.
The next couple of weeks are going to be so jam packed I can't believe it! Tomorrow night I'm going to see Murder Party!, then Saturday is the Apple Festival at the Union Project, AND Handmade Arcade at Construction Junction. Saturday night is an old skool rock show with the Dirty Faces and the Working Poor. Sunday I do brunch, and Sunday night is a kitchen meeting. Whoo! I have to get down to business fixing up the guest room too because the sisters are coming for thanksgiving weekend. I'm so excited!
We finally turned on the furnace last night, after rebby spent some harrowing time crawling around in the crawl space insulating the furnace pipes. We were unsure how it would go, but man oh man---this is a serious furnace! The house is super toasty.
Come visit!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Good morning!
I'm sitting in my kitchen on a chilly november morning, getting ready to blanch+freeze a bunch of vegetables we got yesterday at the farmer's market. While I was gallavanting around Boston rebby installed the chest freezer, so now we have even more room to put food by. I have to say that my whole eating seasonally conversion has taken a very firm root in my consciousness---for example: we went to a fabulous little Italian place in the North End for dinner on Friday, and one of the appetizer choices was bruschetta with basil and tomatoes. Normally, I would have jumped at that, but now I feel all wrong about eating such summery fare in November. (we did actually order it, and I did actually enjoy it, but I also felt weird about it) Yesterday I grabbed some brussels sprout trees,
onions, garlic, apples, sweet potatoes, spinach, leeks, chuck roast, chicken breast, and sausage links, and apple cider. And also, a little basket of tomatoes from the apple guys---I just couldn't resist one more bunch. They're on the windowsill right now. It's going to be salad time around here for a while longer...and BLTs. Yum.
Oh, I've got so much more to tell....the puppet show, and tori, and the waterboys, and boston, and the new saul williams album, and the fact that I am most likely going to vote republican this afternoon. I am not kidding. I've been biting the republican bullet on Arlen Specter for lo these many years, and now it's time to bite it on the mayor too. Wish me luck.