Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I'd Like Some Vodka

With that ice, please. The problem with mostly temperate places that experience the odd snowfall is freezing rain. And lots of it. Sunday, we woke up to a thin layer of ice - sparkly, pretty and fucking slippery. And so the great IceStorm/Arctic Blast/Cabin Fever/Snowbound event of 2008 continues.

There are thousands of mini ice sculptures in my backyard... like these ice leaves.



The obligatory shot of ice-covered branches.



Yes, it's gorgeous here right now. But sometime yesterday morning, I became a bit concerned about our food supplies. Since the boy has been snowed in for the last week and a half, he's been steadily eating everything in sight. And not knowing this would continue for 10+ days, our food stocks dipped dangerously low.

Enter friends with 4 wheel drive and snow tires! Hurrah. The cavalry drove me to the grocery store where I proceeded to spend $200 on food. Hey, know your audience.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I'm Dreaming...

Been overdosing on Christmas schmaltz the last few days. First, the boy and I watched Rudolph on TV last week - that crazy 1964, stop-action animation version. Maybe it's best to leave beloved childhood memories in their box; I had forgotten just how depressing and weird it is.

Last night, however - in between bouts of playing Warcraft - we watched my all time favorite, White Christmas. Mmmm. That one never, ever disappoints. Settled in with some roasted chestnuts, a warm blanket, a sleeping boy, Bing crooning and snow falling outside, it was a ridiculously ideal evening.

Speaking of snow, it's snowing in Portland. Which means we're snowed in. The entire city held hostage by 4 inches (you'd think that 4 inches wouldn't be able to accomplish anything but.. har har). I used to think this was ridiculous...especially coming from Toronto where snow storms were just a part of life from October to April. But then I realized that this city isn't equipped to deal with snow - and why should it be? Not when it happens once every 2 years at the most?

No giant fleet of trucks salting and de-icing the streets because they simply wouldn't be used enough to offset the capital expenditure. And we don't own any snow tires because.. seriously.. why the hell would we? So, I'll gladly stay home for a few days every two years and watch the world slow down.

And make hand-made accordion books with Japanese specialty paper and mini clipboards. Why mini-clipboards? Why mini anything?! Remember the awesome mini clothespins?!



And of course, another tree picture. No lights, just the rare winter sun streaming in.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I Didn't Vote

So, some stuff has been going on here, in this country that I've been squatting. A little thing they call an election.

[ed. As a general rule of thumb, I avoid blogging about politics, religion etc simply because I find such topics extremely polarizing and it's near impossible to take eye-catching or cutesy photographs to illustrate my point... like the amazing Christmas cards I'm hand-crafting this year. Ooh pictures to follow later this week.]

But I'm breaking my own rule with this post. I've watched this process with the same clinical, semi-detached interest as always partly because 1) I'm not allowed to vote (I can pay taxes ... yay!! but not vote) and 2) I'm fairly moderate. But change is good and the one thing I am excited about is that in a few more months, I will never be forced to take "W" seriously again. Fool me once.

And see, no fricking pictures. What did I tell you?

Monday, November 03, 2008

A Forest

My friend Ann was hiking a few weekends ago, one of her 50 mile, extremely steep and all uphill "relaxing" hikes when she came across a bed of mushrooms.

Normally, I'm not a huge fan of fungus photos but this was eerie, beautiful and otherworldly. Amazing photo, Ann.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Business In The Front, Party In The Back

The boy left last night for an informal reunion in Santa Cruz. Lots of old junior/high school friends. He asked me to come with but I wisely passed. I've discovered that reminiscing about past exploits is really only fun when it involves YOU. Like that big water fight back in my junior high school that started with a watergun and ended up almost flooding a hallway - wow, now that was FUN! But I betcha you all don't find it as awesome.

Plus, I already know how geeky and horny my husband was back in his teens. Tell me something I don't know.

So, while he's partying it up with girlfriends of Christmas past, I'm stuck minding the fort. Luckily, I found some distractions. Like these wonderful 80's music videos with brand new lyrics.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Little Drummer Boy

So, we've been having a lot of fun at the expense of my husband recently. Well, okay, I've been having a lot of fun. So, I thought it only fair to see if there were any embarassing photos of me to share with the world.

And while I don't have a PLETHORA of pics to choose from (aka Ren Faire and Prom), I did participate in some traditional Korean folk dancing for a community multicultural festival back in 1985 (I was 14).

When I mean "participate", I mean my mother made me. We did have some pretty white dresses for other dances but for this drum routine, we got to wear these fantastic outfits.

I'm the "little boy" on the far left.


[ed. The caption contest for the boy's picture is still ongoing! Multiple entries welcome!]

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It Just Gets Better

Update: Okay, we GOTTA have a caption contest for that bottom pic. The best caption gets a prize/goodie package. And my goodie packages are awesome!

So, thanks to Facebook madness, we got some old photos of the boy back in his high school days. You know, normal, every-day high school photos of kids having fun, goofing off and generally being young.

Who knew that the boy could pull off hot pink?




But with the good, you get the bad, the oh so very, very, very bad. What is this?

Why?



You're sleeping on the couch tonight, honey.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Facebook

The boy and I were a few minutes into watching a new show called Testees (I'm rather fond of the name) when I realized that I went to highschool with one of the lead characters.

Which led me to google, which led me to his facebook page, which also prompted me to try to see my friend Ann's info ... which led me to finally creating a facebook profile because I can't see anyone's stuff if I'm not a friend ... which led me to spending a good 4 hours on this nonsense.

Crazzzzzy. You can find almost anyone on facebook. Add me to your friends!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

House Ogre Smash!

Hi! Meet my little green friend, the House Ogre hulk!

He's pretty cranky and grouchy and therefore makes a perfect mascot for my pet peeves. You'll see him whenever I'm about to go off on a tremendous rant.

So, you'll see him quite often cause lots of stuff makes me maaad. Right now, MS Office 2007 has me enraged. ENRAGED!

They took the menu bar on all the Office programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc), the tried and true menu bars that worked fine and made perfect sense and converted them into this monstrosity...



WHAT THE FUCK???

That's the new "Home" menu. I have literally spent hours setting up my custom command bars in all the programs. And every single time that I forget and click on the menu bar to do something simple like "track changes" ... poof, that giant, stupid-ass graphic ribbon shows up.

And the best part? There is NO WAY to revert to the classic menu dropdown lists unless you pay for a $30 third party addon program. Which, I gotta tell you, is mighty tempting.

Because this is just stupid. This makes Classic Coke and New Coke seem smart in comparison. The audacity, the sheer in-your-face attitude of Microsoft. Is that what you came up with in order to justify a new version?

Friday, October 03, 2008

WOMG

Less than 12 weeks before Christmas! What the HELL?!! I have to finish repainting the house, start making my hand-made Christmas cards, start baking, plan parties...ack!

Not. Enough. Time.

Begin panic mode.

Monday, September 29, 2008

My Bambino

There was a package in the mail today. My sister had let drop that she had special ordered my present from Japan - that's the motherland of all things cartoony and cute, by the way. I ripped open the bag and there it was... the thing I had coveted for so long.

"Hmm. I didn't know Tokidoki came with so much screaming," the boy said.

"Aaaiiieeeeeeeeeee." I responded.

>

Seriously, Susan. You did good. Love, adore, cherish my new little purse. Thank you so much and now.. just you wait until your birthday!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Back In The Bosom of Home

No more moping! The boy is back safe and sound from the rigors of business travel. Apparently, airport security in Hartford is extremely vigilant - Hartford being a hotbed for terrorist cells? - because short of an actual strip search, he barely made it out of CT unprobed.

He did bring back a little souvenir from his trip so I expect to be sick and coughing in a matter of days. Airplanes and little children = bacterium laden petri dishes.

So, while I just want to stare lovingly into each other's eyes, he's more focused on relaxing and playing computer games. I wonder what we'll end up doing today.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Girl's Night

When I used to travel, the boy would indulge in what he called "boy's night". "What do you do on boy's night?" I'd ask. "Oh, you know...watch movies, eat my favorite foods, play computer games or just veg out" was the response.

Which always puzzled me because that's pretty much EVERY night at our house. But he would just wave it off and say it was somehow different.

I think I understand now.

Instead of moping around the house like a sad sack, I've planned a girl's night for myself. Something silly, frivolous and fun and wholly centered around my enjoyment and pleasure. [ed. again, no different from every other night. I am spoiled.]


Monday, September 22, 2008

So Sad

The boy left for Connecticut this morning and won't be back until Friday night. So, I've been moping. It's funny because in my last job, I traveled quite frequently and though I never enjoyed it, it wasn't awful.

But who wouldn't miss the most wonderful, funniest, sweetest boy in the whole world? I know I do!!

This was the first photo he sent me ooooh, around 10 and half years ago and aside from the paisley shirt (what's up with that?!), I loved it. He looks so pensive (or sleepy) and sweet. And young.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Friends Forever

"And have a great summer and keep in touch!"

Have you tried out this site yet? Yearbook Yourself.



Here I am in 1968, 1986 and alas, the reality of what 1989 looked like. Yes, I know. What's up with that hair? Those eyebrows? That frosted pink lipstick?

I still have my highschool yearbooks. It's a little sad that I can't remember even half of the people who signed some really meaningful things.

"It's been great meeting you, have a great summer. Ted"

"Well, it's been a hoot being in the same math class as you even though you skipped almost half of the year. Sorry I gave you mono. Phil"

"I know you are thrilled out of your tits to have known me. Have a nice life and you're a marvellous and sexy nip. Love Jeremy."

"You're as good in math as me. Steve"

"You're a cool babe and you know how to 'push all the right buttons'...if you ever need a helping hand, I'll only be a phone call away. Jon"

"Well, I was having a great year until about halfway through I met some HO. Oh sorry, this is your yearbook. Well, have a PIECEFUL summer on your back! Love Dave."

"Wow. Dave is really rude! I think you're a great person and you really know how to cheer me up. Have a great summer and stay in touch! Love Amy."

"Thank God you weren't in any of my classes because I think I would have gone crazy. If you want to do anything sexual and you want to do it with a great looking guy, just give me a call. Call me ###-####. Love Richard."

"p.s. I hope to get you in bed one day. Derek"


I know it seems like I was some slutty ho-bag but fear not, gentle friends, I remained chaste until I graduated. But we were teen-agers. What else were we supposed to be thinking about?!

Good times.

p.s. My University years were even better. Luckily, no proof of that time exists in present day.

p.p.s. No-one gave me mono. I never had it.

p.p.p.s. Keep in touch.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Joneses

This is the view into my neighbor's property from my backyard. Pretty pink tree, no?



When we first moved in, we realized right away that we had to plant as many fast-growing, view-obscuring trees as possible. Because of the 5 non-working pick-up trucks scattered throughout their yard, eventually becoming a stand-alone ecosystem. Because of the tons of junk, lumber, and other construction debris piled high into the sky. Because of their motion-sensor, fog-piercing, blinding porch lighting. For a variety of reasons.

Yes, we are snobs.

Anyways, joy of joy, we saw a "For Sale" sign listed a few weeks ago and slowly, the trucks and junk were hauled away. This will definitely mean construction since their lot is very long (perpendicular to our lot, it stretches the length of 10 homes) and no individual buyer would be interested. But I can live with that. As long as the new neighbors don't subscribe to the cinder block method of parking their vehicles.

As an aside. The other day, for some strange reason I decided (for the first time since I was 14) to dry shave my legs. Odd decision. I distinctly remember it stinging like hell the first time I did it. Now I have razor burns all over my legs. The boy was less than impressed.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I'm Back!

Did you miss me?! Come on, you know you did. Kinda. Sorta.

I've been distracted lately: a few new projects on the table, wrestling with paint colors, the Olympics, planning for dinner parties, buying cars and the urge to get the house ready for Christmas (I know, right!?).

But you've enjoyed looking at my brilliant little vase all this time, so it's been worth the lack of blogging. Oh and here's a new cute thing to feast your eyes on. It's a little gadget bag I bought from Etsy. Just big enough to carry my cellphone, credit cards and the shuffle - which is all I really need. But don't tell the boy that because I'd also buy a new purse everyday, if I could.



It's September now. My favorite time of the year. Fall drifting into pseudo-Winter (especially here in Portland). The air becomes crisp and you start wearing big, comfy sweaters, and baking from scratch seems not only natural but necessary. And you want to just curl up on the couch and read.

Speaking of which, finished Jim Butcher's latest book, Small Favor, from his Dresden files. The 10th book in the series, he's done an admirable job of staying the course. I think that's a hard thing to do - keeping the momentum going, character growth, plot development etc... while introducing new and fresh storylines.

Most turn into horrendous car wrecks like Laurell K. Hamilton and her Anita Blake series. Somewhere along the line, those books went from interesting works of horror/fantasy to really cheesy, hardcore smut. It says something when I skip past 20 pages and still find the characters immersed in the same repetitive sex scene. Read the customer reviews. (I almost included some examples but decided against it - my blog would become all gross and cheesy too.)

Now I need more books to read. Hmmm. I think I might pop down to the local library. That seems like a fall-ish thing to do.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Jar Of Randomness

Have you been watching the 2008 Olympics? To be honest, I wasn't particuarly interested one way or the other. Which is odd considering that I used to be transfixed when I was growing up - the agony and the ecstasy. Not so much now.

Perhaps it has something to do with my misplaced sense of national loyalty. Korean by birth, Canadian by citizenship and now a long-time US resident. Who does one cheer for?

Then I sat down, watched some swimming and was hooked.

Does it matter who wins? Not really. Now it's just appreciation for bodies honed to the point of perfection, under the burden of unenviable pressure. You have to admire that regardless of what country you're from.

Heard a cover of an old favorite and loved it. Running up that hill. The video is morbid though - emo much?

Yesterday, some kids made a lemonade stand at the corner of my street. A lemonade stand. It was very well done with a table, chairs and an umbrella to shade the entrepreneurs.

Can you believe that summer is almost over? Where is it all going?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

How To...

Thanks for all the birthday love. My sister in particular has managed to outdo herself. I remember that green-paneled, polyester dress. I remember thinking it was the most beautiful item of clothing in the whole wide world.

So, how to age gracefully and still manage to torture your husband? Make him finish the bear he's been working on since last September!!



This little guy is finally finished - complete with jointed head and limbs. How fancy! And aside from a little assistance here and there from me (aka threading the needle and tying knots), the boy made this all on his own.

Does he enjoy all this crafting goodness? Well, yesterday after we left the pottery studio (after a few solid hours of cursing), we realized that we left his jacket behind. But he didn't want to go back and get it. It's still there...and I'm not even kidding.

[p.s. If you say anything mean about my boy's bear, I'll cut you.]

Saturday, August 02, 2008

I Am Cheese

And/or fine wine.

I think my driver's license is lying to me. It says I'm 37. But I'm certain that I'm not. I mean, I don't feel 37 and I certainly don't act or look like it. Certainly not!

Hmmm. But I did have to pull out 5 white hairs this morning. They didn't bother me yesterday when I was only 36 but this morning, they had to go!

I think it's the boy's fault. He keeps getting older and has decided to drag me with him. What a mean thing to do. Which means, I should take him to paint some pottery this weekend!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Plethora Of Pizza

It's both interesting and intensely boring to cook for the boy. He goes through particular food phases and will become infatuated with a certain dish, requesting it every day, every night for weeks.

He also recently gave up eating cheese because of the animal enzymes (James, don't click on the link) and subsequently, had to forego a lot of his favorite foods. Like cheese. Like pizza. It also makes cooking for him a lot more challenging.

Luckily, I found some vegan-friendly cheese et voilà, we're back in business.

So, the flavor of the month is home-made pizza, slathered with his favorite toppings. I made 4 of these this morning.


They should last the week.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Routines

It's interesting how something so minor, like a tidy bed, can fill me with a sense of peace and calm. It's also interesting that given how much enjoyment I get out of said tidy bed, I so rarely take the time to actually make it in the morning.



The boy thinks it's because I'm so anal about the process. Sheets must be ironed, corners tucked in, everything nice and taut. It becomes a whole lot of effort. But after a few weeks of a helter skelter bedroom, I like this version so much better - and I will endeavor to keep it this way. Every day. Let's see how many consecutive days I can manage.

Oh, and for observant viewers, those are the new nightstands we got to replace the old cherry ones. The last of the bedroom pre-Cindy furniture is gone! Hurrah.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Hawwwt

Yes, it's probably much warmer...ummm... everywhere else. But it doesn't matter. It's simply too hot here. And even in my air-conditioned cocoon, I feel it. Our office is the smallest room in the house, on the second floor and packed full of computers and sweaty humans.

Downstairs - almost too chilly. Office - sauna. Blah. I think we'll temporarily move our computers into the family room until the summer is over.

Meanwhile, I've been slowly covering my fridge with Tokidoki prints. The boy seems confused enough not to do anything. Here's the latest one that's going up...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

That Was Then

We have such a love/hate relationship with all the green space around our house. We love the idea of a lush backyard but we hate the reality of the maintenance. Well, truthfully, we put in very little effort but we'll still mumble about it.

And unlike other families, we spend absolutely no time in our backyard. No BBQ's, no outdoor lunches, no kids playing in the grass. If people didn't see us driving out of our garage, they might doubt we actually live here.

Despite all of our complaints, there are some moments when we both stand back with pleasure and take in what we've (or Mother Nature) created over the years.

In early 2003, we went crazy planting trees, shrubs etc to cover up the weathered grey fence and the overhead wires (the wires weren't on our property - but they were still an eyesore). James did all the heavy lifting while I told him where to plant stuff. Poor boy got tendonitis in his right arm which his doctor originally diagnosed as gout. That tickled us pink. Now, everything is gout unless proven otherwise.

But I digress. Here's the backyard 5 years ago. Picture taken with some crappy digital camera.



July 2008. Green. Lush. Fence hidden, wires hidden.



I guess it's worth the effort. I think.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

What Noise?

Last night, I woke up certain that our house had cracked in half and that I was experiencing a mild cardiac event. Normally, I love thunderstorms... when I'm watching the lightning show with some hot cocoa, curled up on my sofa.

Which is nothing like being jerked awake by a sonic boom directly overhead, while the equivalent of flash bang grenades explode in your bedroom.

The boy woke up to comfort me. He managed to stay awake for approximately 2 more cracks of thunder before his hand went slack and he stopped answering my questions. I have always been amazed at his ability to sleep no matter the situation.

Like in Sequoia National Park. Some animal scratched at our tent flap at 3 am. He woke up momentarily, registered the sound enough to realize "ooh, that could be a problem - pretty scary" right before passing out again. Meanwhile, I'm beside him lying frozen in terror, wondering how to fashion a rudimentary weapon out of my air pillow.

Anyways. I still love storms. Just not when I'm sleeping.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

It's Today!

I'm off to the orthodontist. Good-bye braces!

[Update]

Yup, it's even better than I thought it would be. Look at my naked teeth!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

5 Long Days

Today was my last Ortho visit before the braces come off. So naturally, they made it as annoying and inconvenient as possible.

My mouth is banded shut again - just like it was post-surgery. What this is supposed to accomplish in the next 5 days, I'm not sure. I think it's an inside practical joke. "Sure! What the hell!" I said. After all, when you've suffered through parts of your jaw being cut and re-attached to your skull, this is a walk in the park.

Also, my new computer arrived. The boy put it together last night, periodically asking me to check out how "awesome" the motherboard was and how "sexy" the RAM looked. Ummm.. Okay. I don't think he was pleased with my reactions.

All that's left is to load the operating system (and a million drivers and all the software). He suggested I take a stab at it... and I was game until he said, "If you hear a sharp, high-pitched noise when you turn it on, it's the fan so you might want to---." I cut him off.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Heart Broken

So, no one I know echoes my obsession with Tokidoki but I think my husband understands the rationale behind it - cute, small, cute, colorful, cute and cartoony.

I missed my window a year ago on an amazing collaboration Tokidoki did with Lesportsac. I wanted that L'amore design soooooo sooooo much. *sigh* And while the other designs were cute, they just didn't measure up until...

The Tokidoki for Hello Kitty limited collection. Sold out in a matter of days worldwide. Sold out. And even on eBay, they're just too expensive to consider. I weep.


But James. Umm... I did find something else on eBay.


[ed. And remember, it could always be worse.]

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Portland Chinese Garden

It's been chilly here for the last few weeks (mid to low 50sºF) but I refuse to turn the heat on - come on, it's JUNE! Naturally, I caught a cold.

But the sun was out today and I was feeling a bit better, so off we went to the Portland Chinese Garden. Hidden behind tall white walls, it's hard to believe this place exists right smack in the middle of downtown. The garden meanders over a large pool, connected by bridges and walkways ... you can hear the faint, lilting sounds of traditional chinese music.

This place is a haven for would-be photographers. Everyone had a huge DSLR. I'm still struggling with the concept of light - what's too much, what's too little. The afternoon sun is definitely too much. Oh well. It was still pretty.

Then we got donuts.

Friday, June 06, 2008

National Donut Day?

Did you know such a day existed? I didn't either. Until my husband called me earlier with the "great news".

It's real alright. After wandering the hallways at his work, he finally suckered someone into going to Voodoo... where they had just run out of donuts.

How do you run out of donuts?!



Poor guy.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Can You Smell?

Still on my Thai cooking binge, the other day the boy and I bought a wok. Throughout the store and in the checkout line, I was subjected to horrible "Wok/Rock" puns. "That's wok hard" and "You wok my world". And just as he was running out of steam, I waved the wok, notched an eyebrow and said, "Can you smell what the wok is cooking?"

Ooh snap. Ultimate victory. I out-punned my silly husband - it woked sooooo well on so many levels. The aftermath wasn't pretty. He stewed in a mélange of awe, disbelief and inevitably...supreme bitterness for wasting what was arguably the best setup in the world.

Sometimes, I catch him looking out into the distance with a wistful look on his face. What if. What if. Luckily, I was able to appease him with some Thai red curry. I've tried a bunch of recipes so far and this is the one I like the best. But there's still something missing. Maybe peanuts.



Oh well, it's still pretty good.

~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~

Do you sometimes get the feeling that someone upstairs might be pissed off at you? Dents in the car, impossible bosses, video games that require your husband to buy a new computer and horrific dental surgery?

And then... on a sunny day, there it is. Undeniable proof that you're getting flipped off.




~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~
[Updated: Recipes from the internet]

Thai Red Curry

Ingredients:
1 lb boneless chicken breast
1 can bamboo shoots, sliced
3 tbsp red curry paste (you can make your own but I cheated and bought some in the store)
2 cups coconut milk
2 fresh red chili, sliced diagonally (I put in 5 but we like it spicy)
1/2 cup Thai sweet basil leaves (HAS to be Thai basil)
1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp palm sugar (I substituted brown sugar)
1 cup of green peppers (optional)
1 cup of broccoli (optional)
1 cup of straw mushrooms (optional)
Thai sweet basil leaves for garnish

Preparation:
Wash the chicken, slice diagonally into 1/2 cm thick, 3 cm wide and 3 cm long pieces. Thinly slice the bamboo shoots (if not already sliced).
Pour 1 cup of coconut milk into a wok. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly.
Add the curry paste, stir until red oil comes to the surface. Add the chicken and saute until it turns white and is cooked through.
Add the remaining coconut milk, follow with the bamboo shoots. Season with fish sauce, sugar, chili peppers and salt and bring back to a boil. Add the Thai sweet basil leaves. Turn off the heat. Arrange on a serving dish and garnish with sweet basil leaves before serving.

Serves 5.

Notes: Per my husband's request, I also added in multiple vegetables, such as a cup of sliced peppers, a cup of broccoli and cauliflower. But you can use/omit whatever veggies you like. I'd also suggest putting maybe a handful of whole peanuts in this curry.
For a bit more sauce, I'd add an extra 1/2 cup of coconut milk.


Thai Basil Chicken

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
3-5 chopped Thai chili pepper (5 is spicy)
8 ounces sliced chicken breast
1/2 cup baby corn
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce (I used just 1 tbsp)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon sweet soy sauce (optional)
1/3 cup chicken stock (I skipped this step)
1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper (optional)
1/2 cup Thai sweet basil (or Thai holy basil)

Steamed rice

Preparation:
Heat the oil in a large saucepan or wok at high heat. Stir in the chopped garlic and cook until it is golden brown (at this point, I lowered the heat to prevent the garlic from burning). Add the Thai chili pepper and stir well.
Add the chicken and cook it just halfway done. Reduce the heat to medium and add the baby corn, fish sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, sweet soy sauce, and chicken stock. Mix well. When all the ingredients are cooked, add the red bell pepper and the Thai basil. Mix well and season to taste with salt. Serve over steamed jasmine rice.

Notes: I also mixed in more vegetables to beef up the dish. Also, the fish sauce is really stinky and the whole thing smells somewhat questionable until you add in the Thai sweet basil. And then it's awesome.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I See You

The other night, the boy and I were celebrating our 8th wedding anniversay. We were kidding around, waiting for our meals when I looked out the window and saw a young man. He was sitting down on a bench, one hand holding a cell phone and the other hand deeply involved with his nose.

Fizzienub looked at me, saw the fury race across my face and went "uh oh".

First. There's this amazing invention called "tissue paper". It serves all kinds of different functions, including allowing people the ability to blow one's nose without having to go nose spelunking.

Second. If for some reason, you MUST pick your nose, do it in private. And here's an extra hint, especially avoid restaurants. Oh and you are not invisible in your car. I can see you.

Third. Inspection and flickage is just insult to injury.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Fort Night

I remember making the most convoluted, architecturally dangerous forts when I was child. My siblings and I would grab every chair in the house, throw on blankets anchored down by huge encyclopedias and then hunker down inside. We'd bring in pillows, sammiches, books and games and spend hours and hours in the fort.

Occasionally, I'll feel the urge to regress and so last night, we had another "fort night".



As you can see by our construction, it's not very intricate...more like a giant blanket cave. I think that's because moving in between tight and narrow spaces (like chair legs) was a lot easier when I was 12. But who cares! We spent a few hours in our fort with donuts and other snacks while watching TV.

And yes, we don't have children.

~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~.~~~

I've been obsessed with cooking Thai food lately. I've just learned how to make one of my favorite dishes - spicy Thai chicken basil. It's just amazing. And low fat. And amazing. I love the smell of Thai basil and the chili peppers are gorgeous.



And after a few weeks of cold and rainy weather, we're in the middle of a sun/heatwave. It's about 90ºF outside with clear blue skies. My red Japanese maple looks like it's on fire.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Light

Every month for the past 6 months, I've walked into my orthodontist's office and said, "Okay, you're taking these braces off NOW!" Only to be persuaded to keep them on for another month or two. "After all," he'd say, "You've come this far, what's another few weeks?"

But not today. Today, when I made my familar demand, he only hemmmed and hawwed for a bit. "Okay, we'll take them off next month." Hurrah!! Yay!! Yipeee. June 17th. Almost 2 years from the date this torture all started.

When I started down this path, I was sold a false bill of goods. 12 months, 16 months top, I was promised, including surgery time. What a load of crock.

If you were to ask me if this was all worth it, I'm not sure what the answer would be. The surgery was insane. Ten times more invasive, painful and frustrating than I thought it would be. I don't know how I got through that - just thinking about it now makes me wince.

First thing I'm going to do when the braces come off ... eat a big old spinach salad in public.

~~~. ~~~.~~~. ~~~.~~~. ~~~.~~~. ~~~.~~~. ~~~.~~~. ~~~.~~~. ~~~.~~~. ~~~.~~~. ~~~.~~~

Now for something fluffy and silly. I am SOOOOO all over the upcoming Sex and the City movie. I loved this show when it was on HBO and still miss it. Not enough to go on any New York SATC tours (WTF?) but enough to watch it opening weekend.

Also, I don't care what everyone else says. SJP's hat is weird, theatrical and completely over the top.

In other words... perfect.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Junk In The Trunk

I like big butts and I cannot lie
You other brothers can’t deny
That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist
And a round thing in your face
You get sprung

-- Sir Mixalot

The boy and I were watching some silly entertainment gossip show and I mentioned that Kim Kardashian had the biggest butt I've ever seen (that wasn't on someone who was morbidly obese). I think the camera angles failed at capturing the hugeness of her bum because the boy was less than impressed. "Yeah, it's not that big."

Which prompted me to find the following.


This is classic bubble butt. What do you think? And then we will wait for the boy to respond.

Smell The Roses

Sunday is Mother's day. Even Vadar is getting in the action. Doesn't he look softer, sweeter and more caring with the wand? I think so.



Yesterday, I made some banana nut muffins, ate one and then fell asleep around 8 pm. I'm not sure if the two are related.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Holy Crapola, Batman!

In the last few years, there's been a glut of movies based on comic book heroes. In my opinion, most of them were giant flaming bags of poo.



A few weeks ago, I had the misfortune of watching Crapwoman.. errr... Catwoman. There are no words. The following from Wiki says it so much better than I ever could:

"This film received seven Golden Raspberry nominations in 2005. It won in the categories of Worst Picture, Worst Actress, Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay. Halle Berry accepted the award for Worst Actress personally, apologizing for the film, and speaking frankly in interviews about her views regarding problems with the film."

Wait, I do have stuff to say. A magical cat? Evil face-cream? An unbreakable Sharon Stone? Halle Berry's hip-jarring "cat walk"? Crap CGI (the TV series "Land of the Lost" had better special effects) that looked like black worm goop flying across the screen. I was sooo angry after watching the movie, the boy wisely hid from my sight since he opted NOT to share in the abuse.

Then, there's Ironman. I was all prepared to hate it but whether it was low expectations or something ... it wasn't bad. And actually quite enjoyable. Here are some pointers for a successful superhero movie:

1. One villain. Instead of the 15 that we're used to thanks to Batman and Spiderman.
2. Some character development. Well as much as can be expected in a 90 minute movie.
3. Decent special effects.
4. And most importantly, a quiet and fairly empty theater with no heavy breathing, foot tapping fattie sitting behind me!

You know. I think that's the secret to life. Have low expectations and avoid gross men.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Merge

What do you get when you merge two hobbies together??

Little lego minifigs that craft! Whee.

Friday, May 02, 2008

To Simplify

We're finally joining the world of modern technology and doing away with our home phone. I'm not sure why we kept it for as long as we did. Part inertia, part laziness and part procrastination. I think old habits die hard. It's hard to get used to the idea of NOT having a home phone. But we rarely use it ... other than to hangup on telemarketers.

But with the rising costs of everything, there's no point. Especially when we both have cell phones. Also, I think Comcast has quite the racket going but that's another post.

I've spent the better part of this morning updating our contact information with everyone and everything under the sun. What a pain.

[note: If you haven't received an email from either of us with our contact numbers, drop me a line.]

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Some Don't Like It Hot

For the last week, it's been a little chilly, rainy and grey with sporadic bursts of sun. Your average, typical Spring day in the Pacific Northwest.

Then today. Sun sun and sun... with a high of 78°. I consider this sweltering heat and I was not equipped to deal with the sudden onset of summer. There was no warning - barely enough time to crank on the A/C for the first time. And all you people who said we wouldn't need air conditioning here are just plain stupid. Stupid with a capital IDIOT.

In order of priority, the things I love during summer:

1. Air Conditioning
2. My husband
3. Air Conditioning

Alas, even with the A/C, our office gets plenty hot with all the computers running. We've put off buying a ceiling fan for a few years but I dragged the boy to Home Depot this evening. We debated on whether or not to hire an electrician for the installation. He honestly thought he could do it. In the end, I vetoed that option with an ironclad argument: "I don't want to die."

And so, with the air conditioning purring in the background, I watched the season finale of High School Reunion. All the drama, the hookups between diverse social cliques, and 2nd chances some 20 years later. Interesting. Which got me thinking, "If I were single, is there anyone I would want to hook up with, a fish that got away?"

Richard L, if you're reading this - Hi, fishie.

[e. please note that the fish that I did land, aka Fizzienub, is the bestest fish ever.]

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Size Matters

Years of lazy living, too much on-line gaming and stressful jobs have taken their toll. Coupled with the fact that I'm turning 37 this year ... Oh. My. God.

Time for a change. Like going to the gym 5-6 times a week and in the morning no less! After the first two weeks of the obligatory "ooh my aching muscles" and "just 5 more minutes in bed, please!!", things have finally settled into a routine and I actually like my morning workouts. Will wonders never cease.

Which is the reason why I picked up the iPod Shuffle in the first place. Try strapping this monstrosity onto your arm. I mean, it was small a few years ago when we first bought it but now it's just clunky. And it gets in the way of shoulder raises.


Enter the shuffle. Just clipped it onto my shirt and away I went.


Plus, it's a gorgeous robin's egg blue that I'm currently obssessed with. And no, I wouldn't have bought a black one. I'm branching out in my old age.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Shuffle

After years of avoiding the whole iPod bandwagon, I am now a fanboi. Look at how SMALL and CUTE they are! I mean, honestly. How am I supposed to resist this? Uh huh, right! You know? That's what I'm saying!


La~ Also, you can get them engraved ... with anti-theft messages!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Point Counterpoint

When I picked up the boy from the train station this afternoon, he commented on how hungry he was. "I'm really hungry," he said. Once at home, I thought for sure that inertia and his hunger would prevail but he was insistent on going to the gym. Before he left, he scrounged around the kitchen asking if we had any snacks. We did not.

A while later, he called to say he was done at the gym and picking up some food on the way home. I was upstairs on the computer so he was left to his own devices.

A few hours later, I joined him in the family room. This is an excerpt of our conversation.

Me: "So, what did you eat for dinner?"
Fizzienub: "I had my usual - a jumbo burrito and some jalepeno poppers."
Me: "You ate all of it?"
FN: "Yeah." [Becomes all huffy and defensive.] "What?! I was hungry! I don't have anything to hide. At least I'm being upfront about everything!"

He then feigned indifference and focused on watching TV but I was intrigued.

Me: "How was your workout? Did they have any classes tonight?"
FN: "Well, no. No classes. I ... umm... stretched out for a while and then worked out for 15 minutes."
Me: "You only worked out for 15 minutes?! And then you went and got food?"
FN: "Yeah."
Me: "What did you end up doing for those 15 minutes? Did you at least work up a sweat?"
FN: [Hems and haws for a bit] "I ... uh.... stretched for 5 minutes and ... errr... then did the bike for 5 minutes and... ummm.... did the eliptical for 5 minutes."
Me: "But you said you stretched first and then worked out for 15 minutes."
FN: [Eyes start to flicker back and forth] "Ummm... well, yeah. I worked out for 15 minutes including the stretching."

Unsurprisingly, this type of workout wasn't the sweat producing kind. This was followed by a few more minutes of mockery. Then a change in topic.

Me: "Hey honey, let's go to the store. I need to pick up a few things."
FN: "No way. I already went to the store."

I turned to look directly into his panic stricken eyes.

Me: "Do you see where you made your mistake?"
FN: [Nervous giggling] "What?"
Me: "You already went to the store?"
FN: [More nervous giggling.]
Me: "What did you get at the store?"
FN: "Ummm... I may have gotten some carrot cake."

In the end, he felt completely justified because he hadn't really lied to me and answered all of my point blank questions truthfully. Sometimes, I think I'm married to an alien. A stupid, hungry alien.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Can You Believe

It's April already?

I was thinking of creating an elaborate hoax for the boy but after I got home from the gym, the couch seemed like a better idea.

Do you know who's at the gym between 7:30 and 9 am? Old people. And women.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Weather Gone Wild

It feels a bit like an undecided woman around here. Snowing one moment, hailing the next, followed by hours and hours of sunshine.

This morning, we woke to fluffy snow. I'm sure our plants were thinking "What the hell?!"



Driving by all the blossoming cherry trees, it looked as though they were shedding their flowers... petals flying everywhere.


By mid afternoon, the sun melted everything away and all is green again.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

When Sleep Attacks

I was working in Home Depot, supervising the placement of different pallets when I stopped to think, "Wow, this dream totally sucks". How could it get worse? Anyways, as I was pointing to an upper shelf, I got punched in the boob.

SON OF A BITCH. I mean, I really got punched in the boob. Picture a giant ham hand flailing around and then punching/clawing as it landed.

"OWWWW!!!"

The boy woke up all sleepy and groggy. "Ack, sorry hon, I was dreaming. I'm sorry." Note that his eyes don't even open fully.

"Ow ow ow ow!"

"I'm sorry. I was having a nightmare that I was falling off a waterfall - I needed to grab onto something."

"Ow ow ow ow!"

Don't worry though. I got my revenge when I made him watch Blades of Glory tonight. I had zero expectations for this film and it delivered. A 90 minute romp of silly, jaw-droppingly uncomfortable and ludicrous gags.


We liked it.

p.s. I also accidentally jabbed him the nuts so we're really even now.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Craigslist 101

For people too lazy to organize and man a garage sale, Craigslist is a great tool. Part of our Spring cleaning binge involves selling off furniture and basically anything that's not bolted down. It's been cathartic.

I was a bit leery of using the site at first... I kinda got the impression that it was dumping grounds for crap people didn't need anymore. But then I realized, "Hey, that's what it is - a virtual garage sale!" Extremely convenient and rather profitable, in just a few weeks we have more space in our house and over a $1000 burning in our pockets. And I've just gotten started.

So, you'd think this would be easy - post a picture, set a reasonable price, describe the item accurately and presto! But I was amazed at some of the ads I've encountered. Here's a few helpful hints:

1. Post a picture. Yeah, pretty straightforward.

2. Post a picture of the item that's not covered in crap like this desk. I was amazed at the sheer number of photos with piles of clothes, garbage, wires etc surrounding the object. Also, dusting/cleaning said object is a nice touch.

3. Do some research on comparable items currently being sold. I was surprised at how low some of the items sell for but this is a virtual garage sale. Getting top dollar shouldn't be your number one priority. I look at it as a garbage pickup service that pays me!

4. Include things like "FIRM or OBO" with your asking price. I'm pretty firm on the prices that I've posted but I forgot to include that in the ads. This apparently was an open door for hagglers worldwide. I had one such phone call last night:

"Yes, the desk is $15."
"Would you consider selling it for less?"
"It's $15!!!!! By less, do you mean, FREE?"

One time, someone came to pick up our old 4 poster bed and was $20 short because her ATM ran out of money. This is a common gambit - the last minute, forced-hand haggling. Now I know better. I'll just smile and shut the door next time. "Fine lady, you've probably spent $20 in gas just driving your Chevy Suburban over here from the other side of the river. Sorry it was for naught."

5. Spellcheck/proof your ad. I guess this is a personal pet peeve of mine. What the hell is a "non pet smoking home"?

6. Don't go into the whole personal history of why you are selling said item (put that in the rants/raves section). People have included entire stories of how their spouse cheated on them and they're selling this stuff for cheap to spite them or they're currently in a gambling or shopping support group and they need to pay their bills so that their orphaned children [ed. I thought that was an especially nice touch] can eat.

7. Arranging a time to view/pick up the item. Don't say things like "No, that won't work for me, I won't be home ..." I'm super paranoid so advertising to strangers when my house will or will not be vacant is a bad idea. And if they ask for directions - "GOOGLE IT". You're obviously aware of this thing called the internet. Google it.

8. Lastly, some stuff is just too ugly to sell. Give it up.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Spring Day

I think James has caught some of my Spring fever. For the last few weeks, we've been steadily emptying the bookshelves and selling off our books at Powell's. I didn't realize how difficult this would be. The logical side argued that we'll never read these books again and they're just a waste of space.

But the book-lover in both of us kept saying, "But... but... they're my books!" It also pained me to see the book depreciation - hardcovers in perfect condition originally bought for $35.00 now command a dollar... a whole dollar.

Later, the boy took my slightly grumpy self for a scenic drive. It really does look like this on every corner. This place is disgustingly green and bursting with flowers.




We also dropped by Voodoo donuts but alas, they all got consumed before I was able to take a photo. I turned around for a moment to put my seatbelt on and poof! they vanished.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Another Toy

When my hand cramped up while doing some artwork on the computer, the boy suggested I look into replacing my mouse. I did some research and in the end, I bought a Wacom Intuos.

There is definitely a learning curve since the stylus requires more hand movement than the mouse does. And I found it works much better in front of me, angled ... just like you would draw on paper.

I still use my mouse for every other application but this Wacom stylus is amazing for Photoshop. Here's my first official test drawing which took me about 10 minutes.


The mere thought of attempting this with a mouse gives me carpal tunnel.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Going Green, Not Greed

Now, I'm not Irish but any holiday featuring tiny, prancing men and rainbows is good in my book. Despite my all-black wardrobe, there's to be no pinching here. I'm wearing my green on my blog. It counts!

And while we're speaking of green and pots of gold, hold onto your hats and 401K's. It's going to be a bumpy ride this week if you've been following the investment community. As a general rule, I try not to bring too much serious realism in my posts but this whole Bear Stearns/JPMorgan thing is huge.

HUGE.

I just want to say... whoever thought it was a good idea to give loans to people with no/bad credit, no downpayment, and no source of viable incomes should be shot.

Greed - for lack of a better word - is NOT good.
Greed is wrong.
Greed does not work.
Greed, in all its forms - sucks ass.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Teabag?

Yeah, I know what some of you were thinking and you should be ashamed.



Isn't this the sweetest teabag ever though? Obviously too cute to brew, I think I'll just sniff it from time to time. It's ... very aromatic.

Spring is definitely in the air here. Wonderful sunny, mild days. And I get to spend them indoors hunched away at my computer. I've been doing some work for a friend who represents IndyCar drivers.

Yes. You heard me. IndyCar. Interestingly enough, did you know that the average IndyCar fan is college educated, earns about 80k/year and is between the age of 30-59? I'm not sure what the average weight is but it's been a very eye-opening experience.

Oh yeah, and drivers look like this now... Holy Moses.