Monday, December 31, 2007

Condemned Cartoon Carnival - New Year's Resolutions

Since today is New Year Eve, I thought it would be timely to inspect the phenomenon of New Year's Resolutions. The only one I made last year was to finish that Gawddamned Neverending Writing Project. It was the only resolution I've ever kept in all my 41 years and was such a hassle that I hesitate to proffer any new resolutions for the coming year. One thing's for sure. I won't be one of those folks who go for multiple PhDs. I'm just not that masochistic. Besides, they don't call you Doctor Doctor if you have more than one. At any rate, on with the show.

Good luck with that:


Gus's Resolutions:


Emo Dave's Resolutions:


Right?


Party on...


Ever had an "Oh Shit" moment?


Happy New Year, Y'all!

Next week: We'll figure it out when we get there.

Calling all demons, poltergeists, minions and wraiths: You are hereby commanded by the fires of hell to submit your favorite videos from You Tube, MySpace, your crazy aunt Hattie's attic or wherever for inclusion in my regular feature "Condemned Cartoon Carnival." Wanna play? The rules are simple:

1) The video has to make me laugh - out loud.
b) Bonus points if it's wrong on so many levels that it leaves me in tears.

Although there are no sacred cows, there is one caveat: I am a tough customer, so your quest will not be an easy one.
The videos will be posted bright and skippy every Monday morning, to give everyone a twisted start to the week.

What do you get? Everlasting life via special shoutout in the blog and a link to your blog (if you have one).

Go ahead, submit. You know you want to. Just send your videos or links with your username and a link to your blog to:
condemnedcartooncarnival@gmail.com

tags technorati :

Monday, December 24, 2007

Condemned Cartoon Carnival - Drunk Santa

Since today's Christmas Eve, we're going to take a look at Santa's little drinking habit:

Why Santa shouldn't drink before filming PSAs:


Santa's DUI:


It's a Merry Fuckin' Christmas:


Be careful whose chimney you try to go down:
Drunk Santa Is Not Welcome At That House

Add to My Profile | More Videos

Who are you again?
a message from santa

Add to My Profile | More Videos


Next week: New Year's Resolutions

Calling all demons, poltergeists, minions and wraiths: You are hereby commanded by the fires of hell to submit your favorite videos from You Tube, MySpace, your crazy aunt Hattie's attic or wherever for inclusion in my regular feature "Condemned Cartoon Carnival." Wanna play? The rules are simple:

1) The video has to make me laugh - out loud.
b) Bonus points if it's wrong on so many levels that it leaves me in tears.

Although there are no sacred cows, there is one caveat: I am a tough customer, so your quest will not be an easy one.
The videos will be posted bright and skippy every Monday morning, to give everyone a twisted start to the week.

What do you get? Everlasting life via special shoutout in the blog and a link to your blog (if you have one).

Go ahead, submit. You know you want to. Just send your videos or links with your username and a link to your blog to:
condemnedcartooncarnival@gmail.com

tags technorati :

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Gingerbread Porn


Apparently I'm to go to jail for this activity, but one of the treats you're likely to find around here this time of year are my -ahem- special gingerbread people. The recipe is most tasty, but it's the creativity with nonpareils and attention to detail in the decorating process that keeps people squealing with perverse delight and begging for more.

Doc's Anatomically Correct Gingerbread People

Cream in mixer:
1 cup butter (room temp)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs (room temp)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift dry ingredients twice and slowly add to creamed mixture but stop mixing as soon as incorporated into the wet stuff so you don't overwork the dough & make it tough:
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
5 cups cake flour (do not substitute!)

Divide into 3 or 4 portions & refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Working with a little bit at a time, roll out the dough with a lightly floured rolling pin onto a lightly floured surface - it's easier with a silicone rolling pin.

Cut out desired shapes & lay out gently on nonstick foil or a silicone baking mat.

Press nonpareils or raisins into the dough. Have fun.

(The more you work the dough the tougher it becomes so be careful!)

Bake in a 375 degree oven until lightly browned around the edges.

If you're using frosting, put it on after the cookies have cooled.


As an added bonus since today is my one year "blogaversary," and I don't know if I want to post 365 random things about me since I do that almost daily, here's a wonderful tweak on the gingerporn recipe.

Doc's Gingerdoodles

If you don't have the time - or patience - to fuck around with all those little nonpareils, try the same recipe with only 4 cups of cake flour instead of 5, again taking great care not to overwork the dough. Bake at 350 degrees instead of 375. Just roll the dough into little balls and roll the top half in some sparkling sugar (like you do with Snickerdoodles, hence the name) and bake until just golden around the edges. These come out more cake-like and are just delicious - especially with a nice mulled wine or warm brandy. Yummmmm.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Why I Don't Mind Sitting in the Corner...

A few weeks ago I redecorated my bedroom and posted before & after pictures. There was a little fan back chair that was given to me 20 years ago by a much beloved great aunt in the room that suddenly didn't "go" anymore. So on the day before Thanksgiving, The Girl & I loaded it up into the back of one of The Man's pickup trucks and hauled it to the same upholsterer who re-covered it ten years ago. Interestingly, the guy remembered the chair and was happy to give it yet another new skin. He also told me that I won't find a chair of that quality today, which made me happy because I've always liked that chair, even when I was a little girl. The Girl & I pored over many fabric books and she found this beautiful fabric in ivory with gold scrollies all over it. The upholsterer's assistant delivered the chair Saturday, just in time for the party. We tossed in a little wooden book case from my childhood and the green cashmere throw came from Overstock.com and I got it for a song. If you didn't know better, you wouldn't know that little corner of my world didn't look like that all along.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sangria for People Who Don't LIke Sangria

A friend of mine just called to thank me for the wonderful time she had at our midwinter gathering Saturday night. While she was at it, she asked me what brand of Sangria I served, because ordinarily she hates the stuff, but whatever it was that I was serving was wonderful and she wanted to pick some up to keep on hand. A lot of people who were here Saturday night echoed her sentiments, to the tune of a rousing chorus of "We hate Sangria, but we love this!" They drank all of it and I think I saw some of them sucking on the marbles from the serving jar late into the evening...

The problem is that most people associate Sangria with that stuff you get at the grocery store for $2.99. Blech. Please don't waste your time or your precious tastebuds with that swill. Take five minutes to do something lovely and make something drinkable. It really is simple. Just dump a bunch of stuff in a bowl and go. There are eleventy jillion recipes out there for Sangria. Here's mine and although it does vary somewhat depending on what I have around, it is consistently good.

Doc's Sangria for People Who Don't Like Sangria

2 bottles of good, dry red wine (preferably of Spanish origin)
2 bottles of sparkling white wine (Asti Spumanti is a good choice)
1 cup sugar
1 cup or so of rum, brandy, cognac or vodka, depending on what you have around
12 oz orange juice
12 oz pineapple juice
12 oz peach nectar
1 whole orange, sliced thin
other thinly sliced fruit - pineapple, lemon, lime, peaches are all good choices but use what you have - probably not bananas though - the fruit sucks up some of the alcohol and makes for a tasty snack.

Dissolve the sugar in the red wine

Combine everything but the sparkling wine & if you have time, let sit &/or chill for a few hours - if not, nobody will die if you don't.

Put everything in your serving bowl & add the sparkling wine. Serve over ice. To keep it chilled without diluting, put some of the original mixture in ice cube trays or a pretty ring mold and freeze, then float it on top of the final product in your punch bowl.

I like to use my infusion jar for serving this sweet elixir of life. The presentation is just lovely with the big-ass glass jar, the marbles in the bottom and the little brass spigot. If you get one, don't forget to buy the stand so that you can get cups under the spigot without having to leave the jar perched precariously on the edge of the table and don't forget the marbles, which keep the fruit from clogging up the spigot, which doesn't sound important until you have to go fishing a big chunk of peach out of there. You can also freeze the marbles to help keep your deliciousness cold.

This recipe easily divides in half or can be multiplied. Have fun and please drink responsibly - this stuff can sneak up on you!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Condemned Cartoon Carnival - More Holiday Hijinx

This week there were just too many holiday parodies yet to share so here we go:

Santa vs. Candy Cane:



Holiday stress gets to everybody, I guess...


The Secret Life of Santa:


Santa's PC Makeover:


Caroling Remix:


Next week: Santa's had too much eggnog!

Calling all demons, poltergeists, minions and wraiths: You are hereby commanded by the fires of hell to submit your favorite videos from You Tube, MySpace, your crazy aunt Hattie's attic or wherever for inclusion in my regular feature "Condemned Cartoon Carnival." Wanna play? The rules are simple:

1) The video has to make me laugh - out loud.
b) Bonus points if it's wrong on so many levels that it leaves me in tears.

Although there are no sacred cows, there is one caveat: I am a tough customer, so your quest will not be an easy one.
The videos will be posted bright and skippy every Monday morning, to give everyone a twisted start to the week.

What do you get? Everlasting life via special shoutout in the blog and a link to your blog (if you have one).

Go ahead, submit. You know you want to. Just send your videos or links with your username and a link to your blog to:
condemnedcartooncarnival@gmail.com

tags technorati :

Friday, December 14, 2007

Yummy Asian Balls

You may have seen something like this on your local Chinese Buffet. These little guys are just the yummiest little appetizer tidbits ever. You can bake, steam or grill them on little bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water and keep them warm on a warming platter or chafer. Your guests will be clamoring for more, and they're better if made a couple of days ahead and re-warmed in a low oven for a few minutes.

Doc's Hot Juicy Balls
2 & 1/2 pounds pork butt (you can use ground pork if you don't own a Cuisinart, but eliminate the sesame oil because of the extra fat in the ground meat)
1 egg
4 Tablespoons soy sauce
4 Tablespoons Nuoc Mam (fish sauce - available in the ethnic section of the grocery - don't freak out that it smells like dirty twat right out of the bottle - once it's mixed with other things and/or cooked it loses that pungency)
4 Tablespoons dry sherry
4 Tablespoons liquid smoke
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves fresh garlic
2 green onions - tops and all

Run all of this through youe Cuisinart until very smooth, or mince it all up very fine and mix it very well by hand. Form little walnut-sized balls (it helps to keep your hands wet to keep the mixture from sticking to your skin).

To cook them you can brown them off in a skillet or on top of your pancake griddle if you're making a whole bunch, then transfer them to a cookie sheet to bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Or you can run them onto bamboo skewers soaked in water for at least 30 minutes and finish cooking them on a low grill. - Makes about 75.

I like to serve these in a chafer with some Asian-flavored chicken or beef broth to keep them moist and serve a traditional dipping sauce with them although some people like to use prepackaged Hoisin or sweet & sour sauce (Although why anyone would want to do that when this is so tasty and easy is beyond me).

Dipping Sauce:
1 Cup Nuoc Mam
3 Tablespoons Dry Sherry
3 Tablespoons Sugar
2 cloves grated garlic
1 good-sized chunk of freshly grated ginger
1/2 cup grated daikon radish or Wasabi to taste
juice of 1 lime
Chili oil or chili garlic paste to taste

1 green onion - tops & all - sliced very finely for garnish

Mix well & chill overnight in 'fridge so all the yumminess of the different ingredients has time to intermingle. You can serve this as is or you can warm it up and add a couple tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with about a half cup of cold water and cook it over medium heat until it thickens. The sauce sticks to the meatballs better this way.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Doc's Butter Cookies

When I was a kid, I loved these cookies, specifically the pretzel-shaped ones with the big fat sugar crystals on top. As I got older and more interested in culinary pursuits, I found several recipes for similar cookies and tried all of them. Inevitably, they turned out too dry, not sweet enough or something else that made the end product not to my liking. I've never met a recipe I couldn't tweak, so here's my take on one of my childhood favorites.

Doc's Butter Cookies

2 cups butter (yes - one full pound of REAL butter - no substitutes)
2 &1/2 cups confectioner's sugar (sifted)
2 hard cooked egg yolks (sieved)
2 raw egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or vanilla infused vodka)
1 teaspoon almond extract (or amaretto)
4 cups cake flour (sifted - do NOT substitute all-purpose)
2 lightly beaten egg yolks
approx 3/4 cup India Tree sparkling sugar

Begin with all ingredients at room temperature. In a mixer beat butter until creamy then add confectioner's sugar and beat until fluffy and light. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla/amaretto, then slowly beat in flour. Separate into 4 roughly equal portions, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.

When the dough is removed from the refrigerator it will be difficult to work with. I recommend cutting it into rough chunks to make the warming up faster, so the dough is easier to work with sooner. It can get a little goopy to work with if your hands are too warm, but be patient. It will be worth it.

Using a walnut-sized or so's worth of dough for each cookie, roll into little ropes then shape them into pretzel or other shapes as you like and place on a cookie sheet (I love my Silpat mats or Release foil) Using a pastry brush, brush cookies with the egg white then LIBERALLY sprinkle the sparkling sugar on top.

Bake these in a 350 degree oven until golden brown around the edges - about 12 minutes or so. -Makes about 60.

It's just not December around here until these are on the table.

Okay I have loads to do today to get ready for the next round of partying on Saturday. Y'all have fun and let me know how yours turn out.

Monday, December 10, 2007

12 Days - Condemned Cartoon Carnival Style

This week I give you Twelve Days - CCC style.
From Straight, No Chaser:


Redneck 12 Days:


12 Days of Crimmus from da' Hood:


Bob & Doug McKenzie:


12 Pains of Christmas:


12 Days After Christmas:


And no Pagan Holiday would be complete without my all-time favorite: Fay McKay's 12 Daze - 3 Ways!:




And from Fay herself:


Next week: Probably more holiday silliness.

Calling all demons, poltergeists, minions and wraiths: You are hereby commanded by the fires of hell to submit your favorite videos from You Tube, MySpace, your crazy aunt Hattie's attic or wherever for inclusion in my regular feature "Condemned Cartoon Carnival." Wanna play? The rules are simple:

1) The video has to make me laugh - out loud.
b) Bonus points if it's wrong on so many levels that it leaves me in tears.

Although there are no sacred cows, there is one caveat: I am a tough customer, so your quest will not be an easy one.
The videos will be posted bright and skippy every Monday morning, to give everyone a twisted start to the week.

What do you get? Everlasting life via special shoutout in the blog and a link to your blog (if you have one).

Go ahead, submit. You know you want to. Just send your videos or links with your username and a link to your blog to:
condemnedcartooncarnival@gmail.com

tags technorati :

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Fireside Afternoon

It's nasty, wet and cold today (okay, maybe not by Kate's standards, but definitely by mine). The Man has gone hunting for a few days, The Girl's at the movies with a friend and I have a few quiet hours all to myself for the first time since last Friday. The house is clean, the laundry's done, the mass shredding's over with. The Girl and a couple of her friends drooled as I made rum balls and bourbon balls for next weekend earlier today. I've got a fire going, a duck marinating in orange juice, 5 spice & ginger, a pot of soap in the crock pot, and am about to light into making a batch of tiny orange/spice/brandy cakes for Saturday's party. Yes, most of my midwinter party foods typically contain booze of some sort. Even the meatballs have a little sherry in 'em, but it's all about keeping a festive glow on the cheeks. ;o) I'm going to try to prepare one or two items a day this week so that I'm not killing myself Saturday and can enjoy my guests.

The old furniture gets hauled away Tuesday & the new arrives Thursday. Yes, The Man escorted me to the giant furniture store on the other side of the galaxy from here. He liked the leather group I picked out but I made him pick out the tables. He picked some that I knew he'd like but that cost more than I really wanted to spend. I was surprised that he went for them, but it made him feel included in the process, which was why I wanted him to go. The last thing I wanted to have happen is for me to pick it all out by myself then him not like it and me have to listen to him bitch for the next 10 years. No thanks. I guess spending all that money left him exhausted because when we got back home he slept for the rest of the day.

You know, after ten years in school, it feels weird not to have academic work hanging over my head, nagging at me like a nosy mother in law. Surely that feeling of needing to be productive all the time will pass eventually. For now I want to just enjoy a few domestic pleasures before diving headfirst back into the deep end of the pool of clinical work. --And you know what? Since I can, that's exactly what I'm going to do.

Friday, December 7, 2007

The First Week of the Rest of My Life, or Funny, You Don't LOOK Like a Doctor


Man, have I been busy! While I was waiting for permissions guy, I remembered that I never did complete "Neuropsychology 101," and thereby complete the neuropsychology concentration certificate program I was taking concurrent with the PhD. The visions in my head showed me, a few years down the road, applying to take the neuropsychology board exams so I can put ABPN behind the PhD and officially be able to call myself a neuropsychologist. The rejection letter read something like this: "Dear Schmuck, We've noticed that you have extensive advanced coursework in neuropsychology in addition to impressive clinical work in practicum, internship, postdoctoral fellowship and specialized clinical training, but you never took Neuro 101. Sorry, but you can't be in our club. Thanks but no thanks, Neurodudes." Considering that boards like that are always looking for reasons to not let people in, I didn't want to take that risk. Besides, I was instrumental in getting the neuropsychology concentration off the ground and was the first president of the neuropsychology student association, so what kind of model was I presenting to those who came after me? Soooo, I asked the much-beloved professor about what to do and he was still willing to allow me to phone in my work. I didn't realize it would take 2 hours, but it's finished. I even got an A.

I got tired of waiting for "permissions guy" (since I was only asking for permission as a professional courtesy as the work is in the public domain), and sent my dissertation to the printer for the final copies. I've done business with these people since The Girl was a baby, back before I had my personal shopping business. When Arlene called to tell me the copies were ready to pick up, I asked her how much I owed, and she told me that she only charged me 7 cents per sheet, as if she had run them on the copier, not on the printing press, using the heavy 25% cotton bond archival quality paper. When I got there, she added the official original signature pages and lovingly shrink-wrapped each copy. She even had a shipping label ready for me. When we taped up the box, she said she had something else she wanted to go over with me so we went inside and she pointed out the shredder - then promptly stuck my invoice into it and refused to allow me to pay because she and her husband are so proud of how far I've come.
(A proud Arlene with the final copies and the UMI forms.)

I went straight to the post office to mail that bad boy off and get it out of my hair fo'evah and couldn't stop smiling while I was in line. Surely I looked like some kind of lunatic, but I didn't care. The clerk asked me how much I wanted to insure it for and I asked her how one places a value on 7 years of your life. It cost $40 to ship via express mail, but it was worth it to know that it would be delivered no later than noon PST Monday December 3, thus marking the officially official final and terminal no shit, for real, honest to GAWD end to my status as a student. I don't know about y'all, but I felt the gravitational pull of the earth shift as the weight of that thing slipped from my shoulders.

Meanwhile, The Man was celebrating his last day in the workforce. His coworkers were having a happy hour for him after work so The Girl and I went to a new restaurant in the town where Suz & I grew up. As soon as I got a taste of that first margarita swirl, I knew she & hubby needed to join us. Then, they made some seriously awesome guacamole at the table and I was hooked. Now that The Girl is fully licensed to drive, I could have two margaritas because I didn't have to worry about driving home.

So Saturday, we traversed to a town about 100 miles away for All-Region Band tryouts - she on the bus, me in my car so I could escape & get lunch. I was recruited to be room monitor for the clarinet room and was thrilled beyond belief that I didn't have to judge flutes this year. I wasn't prepared for the ensuing boredom though. To keep myself entertained, I was making faces, chair dancing, checking email & playing Bejeweled on my iPhone - anything to stay awake. No, the kids couldn't see me - I was sitting behind them. Over in the flute room, it may come as no surprise that The Girl was kicking ass and taking names. She made 5th chair Symphonic band, which means that she gets to advance to All-Area auditions next month. All four girls ahead of her are seniors so look out next year. I am so proud of my Girl. She never ceases to amaze me.

Sunday found me beginning the purging process in my office. I began with the closet from hell, which really looks like an annex of Staples more than anything else. I took everything out

and put it in the middle of the room, which was already pretty crowded.
I've sifted through every piece of paper from 7 years in gradual school, the soap business and every other aspect of my life. In addition to the 3 bins I've already done and the 1 left for me to go, The Man is finally going through all of his mother's papers now that he has time. She was a professional patient so we have boxes of her "sensitive medical information" dating back to 1976 that need to be shredded. It's beginning to sound a lot like Enron around here with all the shredding.

Monday I met with a colleague of mine from school to discuss a business venture that ties her internship, my postdoc and our future private practice all up into one tidy package - with lovely ribbons and bows. More as things develop, but let's just say the prospect is very exciting and that I'll be living one of those, "I made ridiculous amounts money working part time from home doing what I love," infomercials. Later in the day, I found out that the final copies of my dissertation landed at the school about the time we began our meeting. The university officially can't ask me to do Another. Fucking. Thing. Ever.

Tuesday morning found me finishing up the paperwork for the provisional license. I was also doing more sifting and shredding of paper. Tuesday evening we went to The Grandtwins' Xmas pageant at school. The contemporary praise music feel of the thing really didn't do it for me. At. All. The kids were cute though and they were proud of their performance, which was, thankfully, short.

Wednesday Mom & I went furniture shopping - finally. We've only been trying to go since I painted the living room. We When I got home and told The Man what & where I'd found what I want and when we have an appointment to go see the salesperson, he asked, "Do I have to go? Just go get what you want." Which led to a rather heated conversation (on my end) about how it was my understanding that my job was just to go narrow it down to a couple of options then we would decide together and that if I had known he was just going to tell me to get whatever, I could have handled it right then and there instead of having to make 2 trips to a store that's 80 miles away. Needless to say, he will be joining me at 10am tomorrow to select from the finalists.

Yesterday, The Man & I went to the new office of the practice where I served my internship to pick up a little cabinet and the neatest little fold-out table that I used for testing. When it's folded up, it looks like a little cabinet, but it has a secret. It was the perfect table for the micro-space we had in that office. I don't think anyone has dusted either of them since I left, even though it looked as if everyone and their dog were using them. When I tried to slide out the little table though, one of the hinges was bent and the support wouldn't slide out. Pissed me off, but The Man helped me bend it back so that I can slide it out. I'm going to leave it out for awhile & maybe it will stick. If it doesn't I'll just replace the hinge later. Still, what the fuck is wrong with people that they tear stuff up then don't offer to fix or replace what they've damaged?

Today I'll finalize the shredding and sifting in my office, list that Treo on eBay and make some soap. It's nice to have less clutter in my space.

After all that, I have to start preparations for a midwinter party we're having next Saturday. There's plenty of cooking and baking and cleaning and shining of stuff to be done, but I've still not gotten over the feeling that there's no more academic writing to be done. How long does it take for that go to away?

That's all I know right now. Gotta scoot - there's more shredding yet to do.

Love,
Me, Ph.D.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Condemned Cartoon Carnival - Whatever

This week I didn't have clue one what to do, so it's just whatever strikes my fancy. The kids at Vancouver Film School usually have something funny.

Happy:


Sweatpants:


In the Beginning:


Bait and Switch:


Next week: Something holiday oriented.

Calling all demons, poltergeists, minions and wraiths: You are hereby commanded by the fires of hell to submit your favorite videos from You Tube, MySpace, your crazy aunt Hattie's attic or wherever for inclusion in my regular feature "Condemned Cartoon Carnival." Wanna play? The rules are simple:

1) The video has to make me laugh - out loud.
b) Bonus points if it's wrong on so many levels that it leaves me in tears.

Although there are no sacred cows, there is one caveat: I am a tough customer, so your quest will not be an easy one.
The videos will be posted bright and skippy every Monday morning, to give everyone a twisted start to the week.

What do you get? Everlasting life via special shoutout in the blog and a link to your blog (if you have one).

Go ahead, submit. You know you want to. Just send your videos or links with your username and a link to your blog to:
condemnedcartooncarnival@gmail.com

tags technorati :

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Another Redecorating Effort

So decorating project #2 was The Girl's bathroom. She picked out the colors and all the accoutrements with no guidance from me. Good taste must be genetic. Interestingly, the red she chose is the exact same red I painted my office in 2004, which was the last time I had time to think about decor. So without further ado, pictures:
I'm horrible about taking pictures and forgot to take before pictures but the walls were white, the shower curtain was beige and there was this hideous bird print fabric from the early 80's when the house was built on the backsplash and furdown. It was with much delight that she removed it - and she insisted upon removing it herself, by hand no less.

Oh and 4,000 visits since last December? Thanks y'all.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Another Snag

Just when I thought I was done... The proofreader's corrections have been handled and my dissertation is ready to publish except for one huge detail. I needed permissions from 3 people to use graphics and a modified table from their research in order for UMI to publish my dissertation. I sent emails asking for those 2 & 1/2 weeks ago when I found out I needed to get permissions for these (why someone -anyone- didn't clue me in to that little nugget months ago, I have no idea). Two of the people responded within an hour of my initial request and gave me permission not only to use their work now but in the future in the event I go completely insane and decide to do more research based on my results. Nice huh - even though monkeys are more likely to fly out of my ass than I will voluntarily engage in more research. The third guy is seriously pissing me off. After 3 emails and a voicemail from me, plus a voicemail from him Monday morning apologizing for the delay and promising said permission by the end of business Monday, I still don't have it. It's not like it's a difficult process. Because of today's reliance on electronic communication, all he has to do is reply to one of my emails and say, "Yes, you have my permission to use this table in your published dissertation." That's it. It took him longer to dial my phone number and leave me a message than it took to type that sentence. I can't start my postdoc and get on with the rest of my non-academic life until I have that permission, get the thing printed and the final copies land on the dissertation coordinator's desk at the school.

What the hell is it with people? You know, this is America - everyone is so busy they can't find their own asses with both hands - EVERYONE! Sadly, such the nature of our society. Some people adapt and overcome and get things done anyway - especially no-brainer stuff. Others, use their particular level of "busy" as an excuse, when in reality they're no busier than the next person.

All is not lost though. The work is in the public domain. I was just asking permission as a professional courtesy. I'm giving him until tomorrow. If I don't hear from him by then, I'm citing it as such, getting the damn thing printed and moving on.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New Driver

Please don't let The Girl know I'm half in tears this morning. I can hardly believe that as of yesterday, my sweet, precious baby girl is licensed to drive a car - all by herself. You know, of all the "firsts" in a child's life, this one has to be the scariest. I'm about to send her to school alone, driving her own car by herself for the first time. Oh, I'm not worried about her. She's a good driver with a good head on her shoulders - very conscientious and polite, watches her speed (mine, too when I'm driving) and isn't a road-rage event waiting to happen. No, I'm worried about all you other fools out there driving around on "auto pilot" while you're talking on your cell phones, putting on your makeup, reading your mail, et cetera. Take it easy out there and pay attention please - that blonde in the cute little red 4X4 truck is my baby. I'd like her to come home in one piece.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Condemned Cartoon Carnival - Aliens



This week I give you Aliens. Frankly, I think it's arrogant to think we're alone in the cosmos.

Why they leave us alone (mostly):


How to Survive an Alien Attack:


Aliens Schmaliens:


Contact:



Next week: I have no clue.

Calling all demons, poltergeists, minions and wraiths: You are hereby commanded by the fires of hell to submit your favorite videos from You Tube, MySpace, your crazy aunt Hattie's attic or wherever for inclusion in my regular feature "Condemned Cartoon Carnival." Wanna play? The rules are simple:

1) The video has to make me laugh - out loud.
b) Bonus points if it's wrong on so many levels that it leaves me in tears.

Although there are no sacred cows, there is one caveat: I am a tough customer, so your quest will not be an easy one.
The videos will be posted bright and skippy every Monday morning, to give everyone a twisted start to the week.

What do you get? Everlasting life via special shoutout in the blog and a link to your blog (if you have one).

Go ahead, submit. You know you want to. Just send your videos or links with your username and a link to your blog to:
condemnedcartooncarnival@gmail.com

tags technorati :

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving, Y'all!


What? No turkey? Nah - even though I'll buy one or two around this time of year because they're on sale, I just throw them in the freezer for later. We eat turkey at weird times of the year - like for no reason other than I'm craving it. Ever oppositional and not likely to do what we're "supposed" to do, my family is just as likely to have a good lasagne or tamales or jambalaya as anything else on major holidays with pre-scripted menus. This year, I'm taking The Girl to my mom's and The Man & I are headed to some land that we lease for hunting. Three days, just the two of us...with any luck there will be much nekkidness and debauchery out there in the woods. Oh, and this year he's cooking for me. His culinary skills are rather limited so we'll be having steak, baked potato and salad tonight and grilled pork chop, some kind of potatoes and salad tomorrow night. We'll probably stop for a Sonic burger on the way home Saturday night. Life is good.

I don't care about taking a deer. We still haven't eaten all of the one The Girl gook last year. What I want is feral hog. Oh. Mah. Gawd. Becky. That's some good eatin' right thar. All they eat is acorns and bugs and they aren't hammered with the antibiotics, growth hormones or other additives, that make the meat taste weird. The meat doesn't get dried out and the flavor! Man I'm drooling just thinking about it.

Okay, so what am I thankful for? All of my wonderful family and friends, plenty to eat, lots to laugh about and relatively few worries. I'm thankful that I finally finished that neverending writing project and now people are supposed to call me "Doctor," (even though I don't insist upon it). I'm thankful that despite my having spent the last ten years pursuing my education, my teenager is relatively trouble and drama-free, as are my relationships with my spouse and my mom. I'm thankful for my new car, which is just too damn much fun to drive. I'm thankful that my postdoc is about to begin and will be just as I have envisioned it (love me some manifesting, I do!). I'm thankful that we're healthy and happy and all of our needs are more than met, as are most of our wants. Finally though, I am thankful that The Man will work his last day at the crazy-making place next Friday November 30. That's right - just one more work week and he's coming back home to me. He'll be able to work with his cattle and hay and do some consulting on the side. He'll get to set the pay rate and the rules for when, where and with whom he works.

Life is good. I wish the same and so much more for all of you.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Condemned Cartoon Carnival - Turkey Day



In honor of our national holiday, Thanksgiving, where really all we do is gather 'round a huge turkey dinner (after mom has worked her ass off cooking for the previous 3 days) then we're too miserable to do anything else for the rest of the day, this week I give you Turkey Day.

Celebrity Bric-a-Brac Theatre:


Thanksgiving: The Movie


Butterball Test:


Dot's Thanksgiving Play:


Thanksgiving with James Brown & Kenny Rogers:



Next week: Aliens

Calling all demons, poltergeists, minions and wraiths: You are hereby commanded by the fires of hell to submit your favorite videos from You Tube, MySpace, your crazy aunt Hattie's attic or wherever for inclusion in my regular feature "Condemned Cartoon Carnival." Wanna play? The rules are simple:

1) The video has to make me laugh - out loud.
b) Bonus points if it's wrong on so many levels that it leaves me in tears.

Although there are no sacred cows, there is one caveat: I am a tough customer, so your quest will not be an easy one.
The videos will be posted bright and skippy every Monday morning, to give everyone a twisted start to the week.

What do you get? Everlasting life via special shoutout in the blog and a link to your blog (if you have one).

Go ahead, submit. You know you want to. Just send your videos or links with your username and a link to your blog to:
condemnedcartooncarnival@gmail.com

tags technorati :

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Oasis


Really the best way to describe the old look of the master bedroom was "Quilt Overload." Boooooorrrriiiinnngggg!! When I last painted, The Man informed me that I could paint the house any color I wanted as long as it was white. This, from a man who requires assistance in matching his ties to the rest of his work attire every morning. Once I painted The Girl's bedroom yellow, our bathroom a pale green (mental institution green if I'm being honest), and my home office a deep burgundy three years ago, and he actually liked them, that whole idea of white being the only suitable color for walls has gone out the window. Good thing too, because once I turned 40 I do as I damn well please. That wouldn't fly today - in fact I'd paint it baby shit green just to be oppositional if he tried that now.

Deep in the throes of the internship and the neverending writing project I didn't have time to do much in the way of anything, much less redecorating since my last major undertaking. Since I seem to have nothing but time for the next few weeks, it's on. I finished the master bedroom yesterday, despite having to take one can of paint back to Lowe's so they could put color in the paint. Don't get me started on the stupid little twit at the returns desk. Even The Girl noted the level of stupidity.

Granted, The Man & I almost came to blows over the stupid drapery hardware for which it's necessary to have an advanced engineering degree to put them back together, but we figured it out. I hate drapes anyway. They block my beautiful views of the trees, fields, et cetera. Their days may be numbered as I am seriously considering putting big ol' plantation shutters in there, but we'll see.

The little fan back chair in the corner (given to me 20 years ago by a much beloved late great aunt) will be taken to the upholsterer in the next few days to be re-covered in material closer to that of the bedspread. Interestingly enough, the new stuff will be similar to the upholstery it originally sported back in the 1950's when the chair was made through about ten years ago when I began living here.
I may need to learn to watch TV so I have a reason to just "be" in here.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Condemned Cartoon Carnival - Open Season



This week: Open Season

Our first submission this week is once again from ghost hunter Romulus Crowe, noting that it covers "open season," "hunting season," and "in season," all in one shot:


Canned hunts for Everyman:


Someone actually gave The Man one of these last year...


It's safer on the sofa...


Smack-talking hood ornament:


Aaaaand finally, If it's Brown, it's Down:


Next week: Turkey Day

Calling all demons, poltergeists, minions and wraiths: You are hereby commanded by the fires of hell to submit your favorite videos from You Tube, MySpace, your crazy aunt Hattie's attic or wherever for inclusion in my regular feature "Condemned Cartoon Carnival." Wanna play? The rules are simple:

1) The video has to make me laugh - out loud.
b) Bonus points if it's wrong on so many levels that it leaves me in tears.

Although there are no sacred cows, there is one caveat: I am a tough customer, so your quest will not be an easy one.
The videos will be posted bright and skippy every Monday morning, to give everyone a twisted start to the week.

What do you get? Everlasting life via special shoutout in the blog and a link to your blog (if you have one).

Go ahead, submit. You know you want to. Just send your videos or links with your username and a link to your blog to:
condemnedcartooncarnival@gmail.com

tags technorati :

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Overall, It's All Guuuud



Friday, my dissertation arrived from the Proofreader - only about 2 weeks late but whatever. You know, you'd think that as strong as my writing skills are and with as many eyeballs as have viewed that document as it has developed over the last couple of years, that there wouldn't have been THAT FUCKING MUCH RED INK all over the goddamn thing. Honestly, I had a little bit of a come-apart over it Friday afternoon, but finished everything by noon today. I'm still waiting on official permissions from original copyright holders to use a couple of graphics but it should be on its way to the printer in a couple of days. None too soon, either. I'm so way past sick of looking at it...gaaaah.

In other news, The Girl's football team won their game Friday night, thus winning the district championship for the umpteenth year in a row. The good news is that the upcoming playoff game will only about 45 minutes away and will be played on Friday night. This, of course, is good news for the football team because it means that their game won't have to be canceled ;o) and The Girl's party will be celebrated on schedule. Aside from food, all we really have left to pick up are the HotWheels plates, plastic forks & spoons and helium for those badass balloons. The Man even hooked up the trailer for the hayride this afternoon when he came home from hunting.

Speaking of food, any suggestions for good (preferably blacklight-reactive) snack foods that are teen-friendly?

Last night, The Girl had her All-District concert. I had to have her happy ass at school at 6:30 am. Of course I came home and went back to bed instead of working on the proofreader's corrections but I'd been in the concession stand slinging popcorn all by myself from 3:30 until nearly 11:30 Friday night. I did get to work on the corrections for about an hour & 1/2 before it was time to go to the concert 90 miles away. That was enough time to wade through the first chapter. The concert was really nice, as always. The kids that make the bands are the cream of the crop so of course the music is good. The drive back in the new car was awesome, too - even in the dark and I hate driving in the dark. I had another band mom along and we could talk without shouting - even with that huge ass sunroof all the way open. I really dig that car...I might have to keep it.

The coming week will be busy. Monday & Tuesday we're having a new air conditioning/heating system installed. The old one is pushing 30 years old and the AC side of it went tits-up last week. We had the option of just replacing the AC at around 2500 with only the AC guaranteed for the next 5 years or replacing the whole thing for 6K including a 10 year warranty, a $500 rebate from the power company and a tax break, plus about a 35-40% reduction in our power bills year 'round. Needless to say, we don't have to be hit over the head to understand that sometimes you have to spend a dime to make a dollar. While all that's going on, I'll be painting this week - the master bedroom Monday, the living room Tuesday and The Girl's bathroom Wednesday. I'll try to post before & after pictures, but they may not be up until next week due to party-readiness. I knew you'd understand.

That's all I know right now. Y'all have a great week.

Friday, November 9, 2007

The View from Here

So - where have I been since Tuesday? Putting over 400 miles on my new ride, and getting sunburned from its freakishly large sunroof(s). Said ride (2007 Ford Edge) was lovingly delivered by The Man Tuesday evening. Since he's officially given notice that November 30 is his last day working at the crazy-making place (yippee!!) and I'm about to go back to work (any day now, really!), and will be burning up the highways in a manner that will make Texaco proud, I needed to get out of my gas-sucking Tahoe and get into something more economical while we can still get employee pricing.
Of course, although I've been researching them online and seen the commercials, I wasn't counting on the damn thing being so cute in person. Not to mention fun to drive, with great handling & road manners, no engine noise (seriously - my dad didn't think it was running when I showed it to him) and minimal road noise - even with the freakishly huge sunroof all the way open and barreling 80mph down the highway! No shit - and I am not making this up - in addition to holding conversations with The Girl using a normal tone of voice, I have been able to have actual cell phone conversations with the sunroof open - not just vented - but gaping all the way open - and it opens to double or more the size of a normal sunroof. It has the 3 things most important to me in a car-buying decision: leather seats, iPod jack and sunroof - and this one basically has TWO - one really fucking huge one in the front that slides over the smoked glass in the back so the folks in the back seat have a view, too. --Not that anyone ever really rides in my back seat, but if they did - wow would they be able to see stuff!

A few years ago I stepped down from an Eddie Bauer Expedition (I loved that truck!) to an Escape - again for fuel economy. While the little Escape was cute and all, it didn't always have the space I needed for hauling stuff and after the Expedition, it felt a lot like driving a roller skate, so I was wary of the Edge because even though it's waythehell cuter than the Escape, it didn't seem much bigger and I didn't want to be stuck driving a car I didn't really like again. Since The Man brought the Escape home in the dark, just like this car, and one 16-mile round trip in the dark to the little town of Fundietonfieldvilleview and back just isn't enough of a test drive for me to make an adequately informed decision, I told him I wasn't going to decide until I drove it in the daytime for a busy day of errand-running to Lowes, Linens & Things and the grocery store. I figured the best way to decide if I wanted to buy it was to put it through a typical day of hardcore shopping just to see if it could keep up. Groceries were no problem, considering that I used to keep the 3rd row seats folded up in the Tahoe, leaving about the same amount of room as in the back of the Edge. Later that day, the Edge had plenty of room for paint for 3 rooms and assorted supplies, the 2 banquet tables and an entire suite of new bedding - comforter, pillows, and all, with plenty of room to spare. The little button in the back hatch area that flips the back seats down was really cool, too.

Honestly, in driving this car and going down from a huge full-size SUV, this car doesn't feel smaller. Aside from the fact that The Man works in the automobile industry, so we can usually get some really awesome deals on cars, one big reason I've driven SUVs is because I am so impossibly tall (all of 5') that being up higher helps me see what's happening around me on the road. A smaller car typically leaves me feeling as if I'm dragging my ass on the ground and can't really see what's going on. I didn't get that "I wish I were up higher," feeling in the Edge. It felt airy and spacious and "up high enough" for me. Speaking of space, the center console is also freakishly huge - big enough for my 13" MacBook - and has a jack for my iPod and a power port (there are 4 of these total) for the charger with a little cutout on the side lip of the console for the iPod cable to slip through. The Man bought the Tahoe for me when I got my Master's (awwww) but so far the only things I'm going to miss about it are the heated seats (much loved on the dozen or so days when it's actually cold outside) and the temperature gauge on the rearview mirror, but I can buy a new rearview that has that so it's no big deal. I won't miss the parking difficulties I've encountered in the last 3 & 1/2 years or paying $60-75 to fill the beast.

In my travels over the last couple of days, I've had no less than 4 people stop me to ask about and look over the car. Of course I've been happy to show it off, even though it's taken me on a little trip in the Wayback Machine to the days when I sold cars. The Girl even likes it. She said the Tahoe was too much of a "Soccer Mom" car and was not cool enough to be a "Band Mom" car. This car, on the other hand, in her humble and considerate nearly 16 year old opinion, is entirely cool enough to be a Band Mom car - or it will be once we get the front windows tinted ;o) Yep - nothin' quite like having a car that the teenager thinks is "pimpable."

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Sweet 16 Party


The picture is of the cups I got for The Girl's sweet 16 party next weekend. They have two little glass vials inside that you break kind of like the glow sticks (but a lot more difficult) then the cups glow for about 10 hours. I got them in several colors. Is that just too gawddamn cool, or what? The snack table will have a white tablecloth accented with a piece of fluorescent fun fur and little color-changing stars, and the food will be served on vintage vaseline glass and manganese glass serving pieces, which glow under a blacklight. I'll also be grilling burgers and there will be a huge-ass chocolate cake. The Girl doesn't want a cheese tray, but a Chee-To tray. She's not sure if she wants a punch with dry ice in it for effect or to keep it simple with just soft drinks. DrPepper turns a sickly green under a blacklight but it will be fun to see which foods are blacklight reactive...

Suz and her hubby will be in charge of running the garage, which will be converted to a disco. It will be decked out with a strobe light, tropical-scented fog machine, bubble machine and disco ball and there will be white helium balloons with little colored blinking LED lights in them. They are bringing his ginormous stereo and all their music and they can use my Powerpoint projector if they want to show videos or do karaoke.

The kids can play pool in the gameroom, poker or board games in the sunroom, Guitar Hero II and III on the big screen in the living room. Outside, they can play glow-in-the-dark football, basketball and/or frisbee. The popcorn machine will be set up somewhere out of the way of the pool table, either the patio or the sunroom, and there will be a fire in the fire pit so they can toast marshmallows. The Man will also have a bunch of hay bales on a trailer hooked up to his big white farm truck for the hayride.

With all the festivities planned, a slight problem occurred to me this morning. The Girl's high school football team is going to the playoffs, those games are usually held on Saturday nights, and she has invited the entire band. What do do?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Condemned Cartoon Carnival - Old People



This week: Old People

Our first submission this week is once again from ghost hunter Romulus Crowe
The Old Gits:


Never too old to Rock & Roll:


What they're really doing on their Sunday drive:


Don't jack with the little old lady:


A plane, a jeep and a little old lady:


Next week: Open Season - (in honor of the highest holy holiday in Texas - the opening of deer season).

Calling all demons, poltergeists, minions and wraiths: You are hereby commanded by the fires of hell to submit your favorite videos from You Tube, MySpace, your crazy aunt Hattie's attic or wherever for inclusion in my regular feature "Condemned Cartoon Carnival." Wanna play? The rules are simple:

1) The video has to make me laugh - out loud.
b) Bonus points if it's wrong on so many levels that it leaves me in tears.

Although there are no sacred cows, there is one caveat: I am a tough customer, so your quest will not be an easy one.
The videos will be posted bright and skippy every Monday morning, to give everyone a twisted start to the week.

What do you get? Everlasting life via special shoutout in the blog and a link to your blog (if you have one).

Go ahead, submit. You know you want to. Just send your videos or links with your username and a link to your blog to:
condemnedcartooncarnival@gmail.com

tags technorati :

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Audition



The Girl auditioned for the All-District Band yesterday and made 3rd chair out of about 40 high school girls who tried out. The two girls ahead of her were both seniors and everyone below her until the girl in 9th chair (a freshman who is one of my former students, thankyouverymuch), everyone who made the band was either a junior or a senior. All things considered, The Girl made an excellent showing so she can't really complain. The clinic and concert will be next Saturday, then she can work on improving the music for the All-Region Band tryout December 1. The competition will be stiffer then because now that marching season is over, they actually have time to work on the honor band music. At any rate, she was 7th chair All-Region last year with only seniors and 2 juniors ahead of her - yep, you guessed it - the 2 girls who are ahead of her in All-District this year. Taking that into consideration, we expect her to go to Area this year. We'll see. If she doesn't pass Geometry she will be ineligible to compete, and all the work she's done since January will have been in vain. Send her some positive math energy to pull her through.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Yeah - What Susie Said...



Have I mentioned that I simply adore this woman?

More about my favorite sex-positive heroine at Wikipedia.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Condemned Cartoon Carnival - Angry Kid


This week: Angry Kid - a special treat from the UK, submitted by our good blogger friend the famous (or is that infamous?) ghost hunter Romulus Crowe.

Phone Sex


I-Spy


Wanker


Butt Plug


Tourette's


Next week: Old People

Calling all demons, poltergeists, minions and wraiths: You are hereby commanded by the fires of hell to submit your favorite videos from You Tube, MySpace, your crazy aunt Hattie's attic or wherever for inclusion in my regular feature "Condemned Cartoon Carnival." Wanna play? The rules are simple:

1) The video has to make me laugh - out loud.
b) Bonus points if it's wrong on so many levels that it leaves me in tears.

Although there are no sacred cows, there is one caveat: I am a tough customer, so your quest will not be an easy one.
The videos will be posted bright and skippy every Monday morning, to give everyone a twisted start to the week.

What do you get? Everlasting life via special shoutout in the blog and a link to your blog (if you have one).

Go ahead, submit. You know you want to. Just send your videos or links with your username and a link to your blog to:
condemnedcartooncarnival@gmail.com

tags technorati :