Tuesday, November 25, 2008

::blink::

::blink blink::

on Friday, i brought two pairs of pants to the cleaner. they are new & needed to be shortened just a bit. i expained that i needed them to be a half inch shorter & that i would need them back by Tuesday.

today is Tuesday. i just went to pick them up. i was just told...

...nothing was done to the pants. because they were already the length i had requested.

ummm...

the pants are already a half inch shorter than they were when i brought them in to be shortened?

really?

i guess i need to find two more pairs of pants to bring to California with me tomorrow. and a pillow to scream into.

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Ten on Tuesday: November 25, 2008



Ten Things You Want for the Holiday

well, gee, i have a whole wishlist of stuff i'd like, right up here at the top playing in that Kaboodle slideshow. if i had to pick ten items to showcase though...? in no particular order:

1. "Deep Drive" by Mike Lowell with Rob Bradford
2. Pampered Chef Food Chopper
3. Vanilla Bean Noel lotion
4. Sex & the City: The Movie
5. any of the Boston Legal season DVDs
6. color-coded cutting boards
7. cupcake carrier
8. Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Get Real Meals
9. iTunes gift card
10. a Jon Lester Road BP Jersey

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stating the obvious

i have been a bad, bad blogger. i don't even have an excuse. i just haven't done it. not even for lack of ideas. i have ideas all the time and i think "oh! great idea for a post." and then? i just don't. i get distracted by things like uploading more music to iTunes or cleaning my ceiling fans (seriously, *how* do things that never ever stop moving collect so.much.dust?!) or flipping through a magazine.

so it's not that i don't have anything to post. or that i don't *want * to post. it's just that i haven't. but i will. i promise.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Sing Along: November 21, 2008

I was waiting
For the day you'd come around.
I was chasing
And nothing was all I found.
From the moment you came into my life
You showed me what's right
("Feels Like Tonight," Daughtry)

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

while my thoughts are marinating...

...i'm going to do this cooking survey that i swiped from Nichole and Rebecca. ha ha. thoughts marinating. cooking survey. get it? lame, i know, but so are my efforts to organize my thoughts into an actual post with meaning. or that, at the very least, makes sense. but the natives are getting restless and i've gotten more than one pointed remark about updating so... here ya go.

1. Favorite milk?
the kind we call ice cream. or cheese. i'm not a big fan of drinking milk, but i do use 2% in my cereal.

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook this season?
this season?? i plan my meals no more than a week in advance. i have *no* clue what i will be specifically cooking. i do know that i tend to cook more "comfort foods" now than in the past season though when it's too hot to cook anything you can't either grill or cook very quickly on the stove top. i have already made stuffed shells and meatloaf patties since the weather has been cooler.

3. Topping of choice for popcorn?
just enough butter for the taste without making the popcorn too soggy or your fingers excessively greasy & a teeny tiny bit of salt.

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
while i know that they have happened, i can't seem to get any to surface. this may have something to do with the fact that i cooked nothing but plain pasta, grilled cheese sandwiches, hot dogs, chicken tenders & cheese quesadillas for five years--and those are tough to mess up. the most recent kitchen oops i've had was when i was making cupcakes & forgot to add the water to the mix before i started mixing (did you know that cupcake mix, eggs and oil make chocolate cement?) but that is hardly what i would call a disaster or a failure. i just dumped it out & started over.

5. Favorite pickled item?
just regular old cucumbers. they can be dill or bread & butter or hearty garlic though. mmm... pickles.

6. How do you organize your recipes?
i am slowly getting them all assembled on my recipe blog.

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?
i have a garbage disposal but i use it cautiously. when i was growing up, though, my grandparents had a compost pile. if i lived in the country, i would.

8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods...what would they be (don't worry about how you'll cook them)?
ice cream. raspberries. tomatoes.

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?
i think about 75% of my childhood memories involve food in some way. my Gram was an incredible cook. we ate like kings. i had fresh produce from the garden & orchard, and their home-canned counterparts all Winter long. there were Sunday dinners and holiday feasts and big family potlucks. i cooked with her in the kitchen as far back as i can go in my memory. if you forced me to pick one, i would have to condense it to time spent in her kitchen with her.

10. Favorite ice cream?
can't have just one! there is mint chocolate chip... and black raspberry... and chocolate mocha silk... and coffee... and Tagalong Cookie...

11. Most loved kitchen appliance?
it's more of a utensil, i think, than an actual appliance but i don't know how i would survive with my mezzaluna chopper.

12. Spice/herb you would die without?
basil.

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?
i'm pretty sure that would be the Betty Crocker cookbook that covers all the basics. it's a handy resource, from time to time, but i can't honestly remember the last time i made a recipe from it...

14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?
raspberry. although my Gram made tons of homemade jams & jellies (blueberry. blackberry. currant. apple. peach. grape. plum. strawberry.) and i have never found a store bought jam or jelly that could compete.

15. Favorite recipe to serve to a friend?
i don't really have a favorite recipe... i think it would depend on who i was cooking for & what they like!

16. Do you eat tofu?
i've had it once--but i have no idea how to actually cook it. i was served it as a guest. the jury is still out. sometimes it takes me a few tries to determine a verdict. in this case, it's the texture i am considering.

17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?
probably dinner. i rarely cook breakfast foods and lunch is typically leftovers or something quick & easy.

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?
a turkey-shaped basket and a cornucopia filled with dried Autumn flowers. ooo, wait right here. i think i have...

yep! photos!


19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.
ice cream. fresh chopped herbs in ice cube form. frozen peas.

20. What's on your grocery list?
at the moment? ummm... just a Sunday paper, granola bars, apples and butter. the week is young though. it will grow between now & Sunday's shopping trip.

21. Favorite grocery store?
Publix. it's the best one we have in my area. i miss Stop & Shop though.

22. Name a recipe you'd love to try, but haven't yet.
there are tons i have tucked away in draft form on my recipe blog. i don't post them til i've tried them & liked them though. however, i can't really link to them since they are only drafts...

23. Food blog you read the most.
i really like the recipes they post on Chop. Stir. Mix.

24. Favorite chocolate?
See's. hands down. it's a food group unto itself. and a miracle food group at that.

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?
you would have to define your terms. i don't buy anything extravagant by my standards.

26. What vegetables do you enjoy most?
mmm... veggies. peas. corn. carrots. zucchini. summer squash. brussel sprouts. broccoli. cauliflower. green beans. asparagus. peppers (raw only though). tomatoes (yes, i know... it's a fruit). potatoes. really, it's much easier to ask me what i *don't* like: winter squash of any variety and onions.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

all the pretty colors

The Ultimate Color Test


When you are at peace, you are:
Deeply stable

When you are moved to act, you are:
Giving and warm

When you are inspired, you are:
Creative and productive

When your life is perfectly balanced, you are:
Philosophical and expressive

Your life's purpose is:
To live a passionate life


The Ultimate Color Test

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

if only my stomach were as endless as the menu options...

i went back to Epcot on Saturday for the final weekend of Food & Wine Festival. (ha! i just realized that i was there for the very first day (September 26) and the next to last day of the Festival.)

on my second circuit around the world...

...i started off at the Mouse Trap...

...with a trio of cheeses. starting at the far left, they are Dorothea (Holland), Manchego (Spain), and Asiago Pressato (Italy). the Asiago was very mild & almost like butter--very yummy! the Manchego was very dry & rather sharp--also yummy. the most interesting was the Dorothea. it was had a slightly sharp taste & was a little on the dry side, but it was made from potato! i tried a very little nibble to start with, unsure of what to expect of potato cheese (??) but it was actually really good! it tasted just like cheese but had a slightly starchy aftertaste.

i moved along to Vienna, Austria...

...where i ordered the beef goulash with a bacon dumpling. (although i admit to being very torn between this and the Tafelspitz--boiled brisket with red potatoes and horseradish cream sauce!) the goulash was very good, like a hearty stew. i had the Leth Riesling with it--by far the driest Riesling i ever remember tasting! it was still slightly sweet, but nowhere near as sweet as the other Rieslings i've had in the past. i'm no afficianado, but i know it tasted good with the goulash! ;-)

i did some wandering around at this point, enjoying the perfect weather and the moderate crowds (there are some photos in the complete album linked at the bottom of this post)...

...until i got to Krakow, Poland...

...and had *this*. this being the Chopin Vodka Raspberry Cocktail. YUM. you could not taste even a hint of the vodka, just the sweet raspberry puree. it was slightly frozen--not a slushie consistency, but not pure liquid either. did i mention YUM?? because YUM. i almost questioned whether there was even any vodka in it at all... but the slight buzz that hit me when i finished it verified it was there. by the way? YUM.

and finally, dessert in San Juan, Puerto Rico...

...Brazo Gitano--a guava jelly roll with shredded coconut. just the right amount of sweet...and the right size to fit in the space i had left in my very happy tummy.

there are always so many possibilities to choose from off the menu each year, but only a limited amount of room in my tummy for tasting. this worked out much better last year when Nichole and Daniel were here, because then you can each try a bite from each plate and have room for more tastes! ;-) consider that my Food & Wine Festival tip for you, if you ever go.

photos from my album:

EPCOT (2008)

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sing Along: November 6, 2008

Look at me
Can't believe
I finally made it here
Feeling like I'm where I belong
Singing my hallelujah song

Hard to find

Took some time
But I think that I might be hittin'
On what's been missing

All along
Singing my hallelujah song

It's a highway sliding through a Sunday afternoon
It's a snapshot smiling like we ain't got nothing to lose...

...Hard to find

Took some time
But I never was by myself
There were angels helping me

All along
Singing my hallelujah song

("My Hallelujah Song," Julianne Hough)

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sound investment

November 14 is my Annual Disney Pass renewal date. i actually purchased my renewed ticket this past Saturday so i would have it when the old one expires. i understand that this could seem like a "frivolous purchase" to make, given the state of the economy. however...

by the numbers:
...number of times i will have used my current Annual Pass when it expires: 19 (they will tell you when you renew your pass at one of the ticket windows--and i actually went fewer times this year than i have in the past)
...cost of a One-Day Pass (keeping in mind that a Park Hopper, which i often do, would be even more expensive): $75 (Park Hopper would have been $125)
...cost of parking per day: $12
...amount i would have spent on admission & parking: $1653
...cost to renew my Annual Pass (i can go 365 days a year, park hop as much as i wish and my parking is included): $340
...savings: $1313 (which is probably even greater when you consider that at least 8 trips to the parks, if not more, would have been at the Park Hopper price!)

so, even after you factor in gas & whatever food or drinks i may purchase while there, i *still* saved money by having my Annual Pass! now *that* is what i call getting my money's worth out of my entertainment budget! hooray for wise investments!

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the readers take the wheel: October 2008 - the answers

yeah... ummm... so...

about those questions. i may have gotten temporarily sidetracked. sorry about that. ::looks sheepish::

Janet asks: "Why is it cute when dogs gently snore, but irritating when humans do it?"
well... i'm suspect that the "cute factor" plays into that a *lot*. animals & babies get away with a lot of things that are irritating in humans (once they pass the age of toddlerhood).

Krystyn spins off of Janet's question with: "Why is it funny/cute when babies fart, but not either when it's an adult? Ewww!!"
heh. because just a fart from a baby means you don't have a diaper to change? ;-)

Bart wants to know: "Did you just steal my faithful few schtick?"
heck, no! i don't steal. hmph. i've been referring to my "faithful few" since way back in the early days.

Gail asked the following:
Does your family read your blog?
i think my brother does, occasionally. or if it's more than occasionally, then he reads more than he comments, which is fine. my dad doesn't like computers. i don't think his wife is aware that i have one. i don't believe my mother is either. if any of my other family members do, they haven't revealed themselves.
Do you read every day?
i read *something* every day. a blog. an article online. part of a book. a magazine. i can't recall the last time i went a day without reading something for pleasure.
How long is your drive to work?
it's just over nine miles between work & home. it should only take me fifteen minutes, but there is always traffic so it ends up taking me almost a half hour.
What is your dream job?
(almost) anything that would allow me to be at every Red Sox game. or a privately hired Disney tour guide. =)

Rebecca poses these questions:
1. What do you do for a living?
i work for a small company that manufactures a lot of custom-made products out of metal, rubber and/or urethane. our most recognizable claim to fame is roller coaster wheels. i work in the office.
2. What do you do for fun?
i have annual passes for both Disney World and SeaWorld--in addition to enjoying the parks, i love that i am able to be outside in the nice weather, have opportunities to play with my camera, people watch. when it's not the Summer, i am usually there at least once a month, sometimes more. i also like to go to baseball games (big surprise huh? LOL), play around with my camera, read, go to movies. (i feel like i'm writing a personal ad...)
3. Do you think you'll ever move back up to the North East?
i don't rule it out, but it's not something i am actively thinking about. i didn't think i would end up living in Florida, after all! i love it up there & lots of my favorite people & places are there, but... i really like not having to deal with Winter. it's something i am asked with a fair anount of regularity though! ;-)
4. What is the one thing about your childhood that makes you smile the most.
how lucky i was to be able to spend so much time with my (paternal) grandparents when i was growing up. i had an awesome childhood.
and also: mind if I copy it at some point?
not at all! i never mind sharing my blog ideas! (and actually, i'm sure this isn't original! i've seen it done in various forms on lots of blogs.)

Mega inquires: "Why are green beans so disgusting?"
for the same reason bananas are!

Ted is wondering: "Who is your favorite Red Sox player of all time? And why?"
i didn't really have a favorite growing up. just rooted for the Sox. (my favorite baseball player as a child was Cal Ripken Jr.) my actual favorite Red Sox player though? i think it would be Trot Nixon. he always personified what i thought playing in Boston should be. to this day, i always "judge" a Red Sock by how he would measure up to Trot, not by the stats but by the way he played.

Bickley asks, along the same theme: "What is your most memorable Red Sox moment?"
Joe Castiglione calling the final out of the 2004 World Series. i have it on my desktop background here at work & every time i read it, i can hear his voice in my head and it *still* gives me chills.

Catie Pearl follows the theme but from a different angle by asking: "Who is your least favorite devil ray ever?"
oh man... this is NOT easy. there's Johnny Gomes who is a thug. there's Dioner whose name (that's not really a name) bugs me. there's Carl Crawford who i am so freaking tired of hearing about how he is the fastest player ever to play the game, maybe even the fastest man to ever live [insert eye roll here]. there's Aki & Carlos Pena who are just irritating players (probably because they're actually pretty good, but they're like Youk & Pedroia--the kind of players you hate unless they play for your team). and then there's Jason-I-Don't-Get-Out-Of-The-Way-At-The-Plate-Barlett. and Matt Garza, does he *ever* stop spitting?? there's BJ Upton... Evan Longoria... Grant Balfour... Andy Sonnanstine... James Shields... Scott Kazmir... it probably would be easier to ask me who i actually *do* like (Eric Hinske). but is *anyone* more annoying than those two asshats they have on tv???

And I had to pick just a few from JMP. ;-)
Does any one miss Julio Lugo?
BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! i hear the White Sox & Tigers are showing some interest in him though, if the Sox will eat some of his contract. i say we pay for the rest of it as long as one of them just *takes* him.
Will Tek be Soxless in 2009?
Tek will *always* wear his socks properly. ;-) ok, ok, i know what you're really asking: i hope not. but that will mean that there would have to be a little give from the Sox because of what Tek means to the organization & what he contributes, and a little bit on Tek's part as well as far maybe taking a little less than what Boras claims he's worth (which, truthfully, i think any team would be out of their minds to pay). if they can come up with a 2-year contract with an option for a third year, maybe with some performance bonuses, i think Tek will be back. in my opinion Tek should retire with Boston, with a little compromise from both sides.
If Disney is the Happiest Place on Earth then why do they charge 2.50 + for a bottled water?
because it's a lot better than the $4/bottle at Busch Gardens and SeaWorld.
If you could adopt a Sox player, who would it be??
since you used the word 'adopt' i have to go with Jon Lester. ;-)
Are the Rays the new Yankees?
as far as dislikability, yes--although, for me, this is NOT new. if you mean *are* they the new Yankees, all around? i would need to see more than one season in which they even break the .500 mark. the Yankees have at least earned their notoriety, whether or not one actually likes them.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Ten on Tuesday: November 4, 2008



10 Things You Love Talking About

1. the Red Sox!
2. baseball, in general.
3. the Disney parks!
4. Grey's Anatomy (with people who watch).
5. Fringe (again, with people who watch).
6. kids! (babies, toddlers, school-age, even before the baby is actually born! -- doesn't matter, child development fascinates me. obviously i am discussing something child-related in general or talking to other people about *their* children though, since i don't have any, but i *never* mind participating in a conversation with someone about their child! my interest is genuine!)
7. cooking and baking.
8. football (just the NFL though).
9. ways to be organized (yep, i'm one of THOSE people).
10. nothing -- and i don't mean being quiet (though i am *quite* accomplished at that!) but literally just having a good conversation about nothing in particular.

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when a statement is not really a statement at all

i've heard so many people say that they are refusing to vote in this election because they don't like either Obama or McCain, and they feel that it is their right to make a statement by not voting at all.

here is where i see this mindset as misguided:

by not going to vote, one is no better than the masses of people who don't vote because they don't take the time to care. not voting is not voting, no matter what your reasons, and by not showing up, there is no way to determine which camp you fall into. i can completely understand looking at the Presidential candidates and thinking "ugh, neither one of these guys represents what i want for my country." but that still doesn't mean you shouldn't go out & vote!

where i live, the ballots are paper and you fill in the bubble by your selection with a pencil, standardized test-style. (hey! all those dumb tests *do* actually have a real-world purpose after all! ha!) anyway, if i didn't like either Obama or McCain for President, when i am handed my ballot, i see there is a long list of other candidates i could have made a point to explore & cast my vote for--some call this a "wasted vote" but that would certainly make a statement--and you're still voting. or! what about this? fine, *don't* vote for the President. that is not the only item on your ballot! there are so many other items to vote on today! state and local elections. amendments on both the state and local level. i just can't believe that a person can find every single candidate for every position on their ballot someone they cannot, in good conscience, vote for. or that they do not have a feeling, for or against, all of the proposed Amendments.

by thinking you make a statement by not showing up to vote for the President, you are robbing yourself of the right to be heard on the other issues. you can still fill in your ballot for all these other items and by leaving the Presidential slot open, *that* makes the statement you say you want to make: i want to vote and i *will* vote but there are no options in this category that suit me. by not going at all, you're not saying what you think you're saying.

i'm not telling you who i voted for. i'm not telling you who *you* should vote for. that's between each of us and our ballots, to make an informed decision based on what *we* believe is the right direction for our country.

what i *am* telling you is to take advantage of our democratic system and go out & vote, at the very least on the items you can weigh in on, in good conscience. even if the President isn't one of them.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

gone wild!

perfect weather for Animal Kingdom on Saturday!


so kind of him to pose for me by his sign huh? ;-)



safari!




these guys are so camouflaged, it's almost hard to see them! there are three!


mamas and babies playing in a mud bath!


my favorites, of course -- the white-cheeked gibbons.



big kitties!







toucan!!




see that? in the bushes? the elusive anteater!! she is almost never awake & moving around, but it was almost time for her to go in for the evening.

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And I Quote: November 3, 2008

"The person that invented the phrase "happily ever after" should have his ass kicked *so* hard."
(Meredith Grey on Grey's Anatomy, Season Five, Episode One, "Dream a Little Dream of Me")

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no tricks, just treats!

got the urge to bake last night... mmmmm...

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Saturday, November 1, 2008

actions speak louder than words.


i don't talk politics. it's a hard & fast personal rule, because people get ugly with each other & i tend to avoid situations where i will be on the receiving end of such abrasiveness. yesterday, after work, i took advantage of early voting, hoping that the lines would be shorter than they had been, considering it was Halloween. i waited about an hour... and then i did all the speaking i needed to:

i made my voice heard by voting.

after all, it is my firm opinion that you have no right to be critical of your government if you don't first use your voice by voting.

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Snapshot From Along the Broken Road: October 2008

photo of me


1) current candle scents: Warm Apple Crisp (another retired favorite that i burn sparingly). Cranberry Chutney.

2) what i am currently reading: still reading "America Alone" by Mark Steyn--it is the kind of book you need to read alowly & digest. in between reading sections of the book, i've been flipping through issues of "Real Simple" and "Everyday with Rachael Ray".

3) newest music i added my playlist: Sugarland - "All I Want to Do" "Love" "Already Gone" "Keep You" "Take Me As I Am" "What I'd Give" "Very Last Country Song" "Fall Into Me" and "Wishing".

4) movies i saw: Bedazzled. Michael Clayton. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

5) something yummy i made this month: meatloaf patties with mashed potatoes and French-cut string beans -- perfect food for the wonderfully chilly weather we had at the end of the month!

6) the last place i ate out: LongHorn Steakhouse

7) something that made me cry: the second episode of this season's "Grey's Anatomy" (Here Comes the Flood): there was a scene with a patient that had been suffering from headaches for seven years. they had finally figured out the source of the pain & were prepping him for surgery. he told Cristina that his wife had died a year ago, that she was his best friend, his favorite person in the whole world, and she had died, and he hadn't been able to feel that pain because all he could feel was the pain in his head. it was such a tender & touching scene. (and ok, fine, i was a little weepy from hormonal issues.)

8) something that made me laugh: the most recent episode of "Boston Legal" (Happy Trails) which has to be one of the funniest episodes i've ever seen. in fact, i'm pretty sure i haven't laughed that hard since the screaming squirrel in the Firestone commercial aired during the Super Bowl!

9) something i looked forward to this month: playoff baseball!

10) something i am thankful for: that the Phillies beat the Rays because now i don't have to move. =P

11) something i want to remember about this month: that i am strong & i am capable & i am lovable just the way i am.

12) a photo i took this month:
how about a two-fer this month!

taken at Epcot at the edge of the Innoventions Fountains, i love the water droplets


Alice! i love when i manage to capture a photo of a Disney character not often seen.

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