Wednesday, April 30, 2008


For the past several mornings, I have come into work to find a message on my voicemail. It’s the same guy, calling to tell Charlotte that she is either needed or not needed to work today and for her to call in. I feel bad that Charlotte is missing out on possible work. I tried to return his call to let him know he has a wrong number and if he hasn’t heard back from Charlotte, then it’s his own fault. But the return number is wonky. Poor Charlotte.

Years ago I had a similar situation. I kept getting phone calls for some dude. After the fifth or six call I started to worry. What if someone was trying to tell him that his mother was sick? Or that his bank account had been compromised. So I called back to let the caller know, hey, wrong number. Turned out, the dude they were trying to connect owed someone a lot of money. They started asking me things like “When was the last time you saw him?” and “Are you related?” Uh…no. Just trying to do the right thing, man. You had a wrong number and I wanted to let you know. It got a little scary for a minute there but I convinced them that I was in no way involved. So much for being nice.

Possibly the best (read: worst) unsolicited call I have ever received was a resumé check on an ex. Who gives their ex-girlfriend as a reference on a resumé? Well, if I dated you and you did, you’d actually be in luck as I am a nice person. But seriously, it was hard to answer questions without being cruel. And when the interviewer realized what was going on, that I had never “worked” with the guy but that I was more of a “character” reference he started asking questions that were fraught with complications. But to be fair to him, he needed some sort of confirmation on this guy before hiring him. I was a good person though and did not trash my ex. I did fess up to the fact that he was an ex and I was honest but I didn’t answer any questions about our breakup or our relationship only what I knew about his work ethic and skills. At the end of the interview the interviewer thanked me and said that he wouldn’t have been as nice if someone had asked him about his ex.

I hope I earned some extra credit for my karma that day. (Yes, yes, I know, that’s not how karma actually works, don’t lecture me!)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


OK, I admit it, I am a dork, but you already knew that. I got a comment on an older post that made me all squee because someone who created something cool stopped by to say hi!

Jeremiah Jones is the guy who does the recordings for Lisztonian. He stopped by here and that is most excellent. If you haven’t checked it out, Lisztonian is an excellent collection of free downloadable mp3s of classical piano music . I have my itunes set as a subscription and I listen to them when I need some soothing. Thanks Jeremiah, you done good!

And since I often forget to answer anything in comments, here are a few answers to recent questions: yes, no, maybe and OMG WTF?


Sassy Priscilla: Yes that his Col. Brandon from Sense and Sensibility that will be appearing on Doctor Who at chistmas time. And yes, DO watch Doctor Who because if you think David Morrissey is a cutie, I am betting you will love our darling doctor too (And I know that there are a few fans here who will chime in…)

And Ambitious Hamster: I do agree with you, the Voyage of the Damned episode was a bit “soulless” but I think you will get a kick out of the Doctor’s newest assistant. She’s not the shiny young things that Rose and Martha were, she’s a little bit older and a little bit wiser and a lot more sarcastic. I was surprised at how much I like Donna since I didn’t love her as the bride.

Anonymous (who I know is Donovan’s Mama): Yesh, you did make mushroom soup once, it was…earthy. Also, a “tag” is that little thing at the end of a post that will take you to other posts with the same themes, or mentions. Snarkydork has a tag because…well, she does.

Fond of Snape: "...chocolate filled with strawberry balsamic caramel"

Captain Blogger: I don’t know where you have gone, I hope all is well, but I wanted you to know, Midnight’s Children showed up today and I started reading it over lunch…interesting.

And finally, Cakespy: my impromptu icing consisted of whipped cream, a little sour cream, powdered sugar, cocoa, chocolate and vanilla extracts and a tiny dab of butter, which I had hoped would provide a little extra structure. It was actually very good and a nice, less sweet icing. And I think I will tinker with it and make it a staple!

Any other questions? Because now I am in an answer-y mood!

Monday, April 28, 2008


Did I mention the talking trash can? I didn’t did I?

I had heard about the remote control trashcans at Disney parks before and I saw one in Florida, but it didn’t appear to be talking, just chasing some kids around. But while we were in California Adventure we got a little turned around, so my friend pulled out her map (she is obsessed with Disney maps, by the way, I just feel the need to say that). I saw the trash can out of the corner of my eye, it came charging down a back alley way and started calling to her “Hello! Are you lost? Can I help you find something?” She didn’t notice it at first and I said “Um, I think that trashcan is talking to you.”

It was really cute and really nicely done. The trashcan was friendly and a little sarcastic and told us that it would lead the way to “Soarin’” We had a nice little chat along the way. Kids were absolutely perplexed by it, running up and shoving their hands in the trashcan to see who was inside (no one, just trash). The trash can informed us that his name was PUSH and chatted with us for about ten minutes as he guided us most of the way to our destination. He asked where we were from and upon hearing about our Jersey roots questioned us about Bon Jovi and the Boss.

I gotta say, I was impressed with how smooth the trashcan was, both in his motions and in his patter. I scanned the crowd to find the operator and it took me several minutes to pick him out. Youngish guy, blue jeans, white shirt and a black bag slung across his chest. He kept his hand up to his mouth as if he was thinking or rubbing his chin and as soon as he saw me identify him, he totally disappeared into the crowd.

Later I called my husband to let him know that my friend had been hit on by a talking trashcan. He said “I thought you went to Disney, not to Hollywood.” Ha.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Well, my husband was out of town for a week and I still got nothing done.

That’s not entirely true. I had a guest, I went to Disneyland, I saw the renovated Griffith Observatory, I made chickpea cutlets with mushroom garlic gravy, I went shopping, I…I didn’t clean the bedroom. Or put away all those winter clothes. I did wash the dishes. I did pick up the cat’s meds from the vet. I did do a lot of things, but not the things I thought I would do. Ah well.

The chickpea cutlets, by the way, were very nice. I made them on a whim, a whim that kept me from having to go shopping right away and when I first tasted one I thought, “Eh, it’s ok. Whatever.” By the time I finished the first, I wanted more. Now, I will say, I had one without the mushroom/garlic gravy and it wasn’t as exciting. But it was still good. And I have decided that I love gravy and it’s easy to make and it’s easy to make pretty much fat free. So there is a fair amount of gravy around here. Actually, when I cleaned out the fridge the other day I found three containers, one of chicken gravy, one of pork gravy and one of mushroom gravy. I have gotten weird about it I guess but it’s so good.

I’ve been doing a lot of half-assed cooking, I guess but…well, I don’t know that “half-assed” is a fair assessment of what I’ve been doing. I’ve been using up the cans in my cabinets. Chickpeas, obviously, and a can of mushroom broth that I had big plans for and then forgot about. Does it make me a bad person that I don’t make my own mushroom broth? Does ANYONE make their own? (I don’t want to hear about it if you do.)

Then, this past weekend there was some baking. Some chocolate cupcakes and some lemon cupcakes and a super fast made up sour cream/whipped cream frosting because there was no confectioner’s sugar and I am too lazy to bother making my own. Some brownies as gifts, some…no, that’s all. Lots of little bits and bobs and no real directed cooking.

No real directed anything really. I guess I need to find my direction in life because I appear to be wandering all over the place.

Oh, I did make some new cards though, and they will be up in the store shortly. If you’ve got something to say and you don’t know how to say it, try this…


A few things I feel the need to say:

I have, through magic, seen the first two episodes of the newest series of Doctor Who and I am pleased.

Also, I was informed today that David Morrissey will be in the Christmas Episode this year. Thank you TV gods, you have done a good thing.

Pretty, pretty.

I have a headache but this chocolate filled with strawberry balsamic caramel seems to be helping. Please send more.

I have written several blog entries lately that remain unposted. I am getting to it.

I was advised last night to view Rules of Engagement, I show I am largely uninterested in despite the presence of Megyn Price and Patrick Warburton. This particular episode however, was written by Savage Steve Holland. It made me laugh out loud. Sometimes you just don’t expect the funny and then there it is

It is apparently impossible for me NOT to buy books. Intrigued by Janet’s mentions of Martin Millar and a cool looking cover, I sought out two of his books. Then Captain Blogger goes and mentions his favorite books and since we have several in common, I demand that he reads The Death of Vishnu and he says only if I read Midnight’s Children, which sounds like a comic book and…now I have three more books to add to the pile. And I had been reading a lot, but then I read that crappy, crappy book my mom sent me and I kind of fell out of the reading habit. Which is weird because all I ever want to do is read! But one bad book will do that to me, I guess. Annnnnyway…new books on their way. Many other books await reading. So much for cleaning! And for the record, I got them all cheap on I am totally interested in using bookins or the like but they never have the books I am looking for.

There are cupcakes at home, calling my name…can you hear them?

Oh! Oh! Kind of awesome if you are a geek like me!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


A while ago Snarkydork posted some of her “Top Ten Most Excellent Blogs (as of today)” and lo and behold, there I was. Dude, it’s an honor, since this barely qualifies as a blog. Now, part of being recognized is recognizing in turn. Since many of my favorite blogs have already been recognized, I didn’t name them here, so please don’t be offended if you don’t see yourself listed, it only means that you’ve been listed elsewhere. So, without further ado, ten more excellent blogs and why I love them:

Glass Incarnate
I think Brenda found me first but then I found her and it all worked out somehow. Brenda blogs about glass, something I know nothing about (save what I’ve learned from her) and in fact, it’s something that I never had much interest in, but you know what? She makes it interesting and fun. Go figure. I like the little window into an artist’s life that she provides…and she’s a big ol’ geek who reads and watches the same things that I do, so that’s cool too. Brenda is pretty freakin’ awesome.

Life of Donovan
Donovan posts sporatically but can you blame him? He’s like three years old. But what a three year old! We were best friends when he lived in California so I am glad to be able to keep track of him now that he is so very far away. And I gotta be honest with you, even though I know his mama helps him out with his posts, Donovan is one of the funniest, smartest kids I have ever met. I just wish he could post more often but you know a three year old has a pretty busy life…

Bootleg Sketch
I work with this guy and yet I still visit his blog regularly. That should tell you something. Excellent artist and all around nice guy. Well…more or less.

Fond of Snape
Janet and I have something in common that got me to her blog in the first place…a fondness for Professor Snape. For me, it’s all about the Rickman, but Janet certainly makes good points for being fond of fictional characters. We are going to have to throw down over who gets non-fictional cutie LL Cool J though. He’s totally mine.

I have been a fan of Craig’s artwork for a long time so I was thrilled when he started blogging. And then I was sad when he stopped. But then he started again, so all is well in the world. Currently he is wandering the earth and taking lots of pictures. I don’t actually KNOW Craig, but you know, I think we might get along…but then again, I could be wrong. Which would make me sad. But…whatever. Lately he’s been doing some podcasts too and I find his voice quite soothing.

Captain Blogger
I will confess, I discovered Captain Blogger when he was a PopCandy reader of the day. I read Pop Candy and I have for a long time, but it’s one of those things that I love to hate. I couldn’t tell you why I clicked on Tim’s link that day but now I stop by his place daily. I like how honest and open he appears. That’s tougher to do than it sounds. He also likes the Jayhawks and I like pretty much anyone who likes the Jayhawks…unless, you know Kim Jong Il is a fan…I might not like him so much.

Cupcake Show
Miss Cupcake herself! SHE DOES NOT BLOG ENOUGH…but when she does, I find it very entertaining. I am particularly fond of her daylong blogs. Come back, Cupcake, I miss you!

Eric Nixon
Hrrmmm….he’s related to CupcakeShow….and he too does not blog enough for my tastes, but I guess some things are worth waiting for. He's also a very interesting poet. Interesting enough that I bought a book of his poetry. And read it at red lights on my drive home. I like how he notes where he was (figuratively and literally) when he wrote a poem. That's a great way to get inside a poet's head. Also, he and the cupcake have the cutest doxies in the world. I keep asking when those dogs are going to come live with me and they keep ignoring me. I don’t know why.

I’ve only recently started reading Cakespy and I don’t know where I have been all this time. Even if you don’t bake, this is one heck of a site. And Jessie makes good art. I bought some. It had a cupcake on it. And a unicorn. God bless you, Cakespy, you know what I love.

Bread, whine and cheez
I started reading felicia’a blog before that header, but man I love that header. Who wouldn’t love a girl who loves Xanadu and wine…and whine. And she makes cupcakes. I love cupcakes. In short, funny girl, funny blog, go see her.

Those are only TEN of the excellent blogs I read. There are many, many more great things out there. I think blogs are a great way to see the world outside of your own comfort zone. I like to read the blogs of people who do things that I would never, or could never do. Sometimes it's a vegan blog, a style of cooking that fascinates me, but a manner of living that I haven't made my own yet. Sometimes it's about making the kind of art that I could never make, or reading the political opinions from an opposing party. Even reading the adventures of someone way more adventurous than I could ever be. In a way, it's a bit of armchair quarterbacking, or maybe a bit of fantasy, but it's a nice way to see the rest of the world while I eat my lunch.

So, what kind of blogs do you read?

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Things I learned at 4:45 this morning:

Lights stay red longer at the crack of freakin’ dawn.
The people that ARE out, are crazy.
Doughnut places don’t open until 6.
The doughnuts you do find in the grocery store are probably from yesterday.
The loud guy in the grocery store buying soda and chocolate milk is probably also crazy.
There is not enough caffeine.
Traffic at the airport still sucks, even this early in the morning.
My office parking lot is scary in the dark.
I am not a morning person.

OK fine, I already knew that I am not a morning person but waking up at 3:30 confirmed it. One of the guys I work with does it every day. He is not right in the head. I’ve now been in the office so long that I didn’t even notice that the sun had actually come up.

Friday, April 04, 2008


I wrote a whole post about what I am doing now. What I am reading, what I am watching all that stuff that I usually fall back on when I am stumped for a post. And then…I misplaced it. I know it’s around here somewhere because I read it recently but…eh. Whatever. I can do it again since it’s probably all changed from the time I wrote it anyway.

What I am reading: BAH! I know this has not changed because I am really struggling to read this book. It’s annoying me and I could just put it aside and not finish it but I started it and I have a really hard time just abandoning a book. I was rolling along with my “read more books in 2008” campaign until I hit this one. I WILL FINISH IT. In fact, I could finish it if I just sat down for an hour and read. But I can’t bring myself to enjoy it.

What is this tome of dread, you ask? Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, a New York Times best seller. And not my cup of tea at all. In fact, it’s making me want to punch someone so I will just leave it at that and maybe come back to discuss it some other time when I am less annoyed.

UPDATE: Finished it. Threw it in a box to mail back to my mother. Contemplated attaching a note to it, a note with a face like this:

So now I have started the most recent Jasper Fforde Thursday Next novel (First Among Sequels) and I am feeling better about reading again.

What I am watching: Jose: Made in Spain, Sense and Sensibitlty, Eli Stone

Have you seen Jose: Made in Spain? Am I the only person obsessing over this dude and his food? He’s just so damn happy! I love when people are happy with what they do. And every time he’s on screen he’s got a glass of wine. How could I not love that?

And thank you, Masterpiece Theater. I didn’t love all your Jane Austen, but you did the best Northinger Abbey, a very nice Mansfield Park and an excellent Sense and Sensibility (part 1, part 2 remains to be seen). Your Persuasion, however, sucked it. Hard. Go back and do it again. (But thanks for the David Morrissey in S&S…that made me happy).

And as for Eli Stone, well, I am sure it will be cancelled because I enjoy it. I would say, for the most part,it’s not been the stories that made it appealing, it’s been Jonny Lee Miller's amazingly expressive face (and when did he go from “hottie” to “boyishly adorable”? doesn’t it usually go the other way around?). But then the television knows that I will try to watch anything with Victor Garber or Tom Amandes in it, so yay! The best way to describe it is…charming. But there are a lot of potential layers there, layers to do with faith, trust, morality and George Michael In general, I doubt you will like it, but me, I am loving it. So yeah, sorry Eli Stone, I think I just rang your death knell.

Oh and The Riches is back! The Riches is back! I am a happy, happy girl.

What I am listening to: not a lot, but I have this list that I carry around in my pocket. (Actually, it’s a “Pocket Mod”) and on one of the pages I keep a running tally of the cds I want to pick up next time I am out cd shopping. It currently looks like this:

m. ward
she & him
bob mould
nada surf
the weepies
kate nash
vampire weekend
gary louris
except it’s in my scratchy handwriting.

I have managed to get hold of a smattering of all of these and there will have to be a large amount of money spent on actual cds soon.

What I am cooking: After the whole Easter shebang, I have not had much urge to do big cooking. I have made dinner, but nothing special. But I do have a carton of cream in my fridge that was intended to top some chocolate soufflés, which I never did make, and my husband is going out of town soon, so I guess I’d better get on that. I THINK I made lemon soufflés once, I am not sure, so I am a little worried about how this will work, but…chocolate is pretty much always good, so…

What I am drawing:
Fruits and vegetables and cupcakes. There will be new stuff in the shop from me…soon. I SWEAR!

Currently crushing on: Ah, Jose, you are so cute when you get all excited about cheese and say things like “Somehow this makes something good.” And the Riches is back! Which means Eddie Izzard is back! Sadly, he never dresses in drag on that show but I will take what I can get. Oh and David Morrissey is Col. Brandon in Sense and Sensibilty and I just couldn’t be happier. If The Rickman isn’t going to play it, at least Morrissey is. I also may have a small crush on Jasper Fforde, but I only just learned that he was cute, my actual crush seems to be on his vocabulary and narrative bending skills.


I really debated with myself wheter to post this or not. I typed it out to get it down and out of my brain but then I wasn’t sure I wanted to share since you didn’t know the guy so you don’t care but…in the end…he was worthy of some memory time, so here are some of my memories of a long ago friend:

I just found out today that one of my former history teachers has passed away. I hate that phrase, “passed away” but the alternative seems disrespectful and despite what may appear, I have never had anything but respect for Dr. Griffith.

At my alma mater, all freshmen were required to take the “freshman program.” There may have been a more formal name for it, I can’t remember, but it was a required set of classes and something called “Master Learner” which was basically a babysitting and mentoring class. One prof with maybe 15 students to keep on track. Make sure they were doing their work, understanding things, teaching them how to study, how to deal with college life and how to highlight texts (no kidding, that was part of the class, you’d be amazed at how helpful it was). My Master Learner was Dr. Griffith and I was part of his “honors” class. Go figure.

I immediately took to Dr. Griffith. I can remember that on one of the first days of class he finished by asking “Any questions?” and one student (not me) said “Yeah, can we call you Bruce?” He looked at the student and said ” …No.” I raised my hand. “Can we call you Griff?” He paused and blinked at me for a minute. And Dr. Griffith was the kind of guy who just looked like a nerdy history professor, rumpled, messy hair, general air of bewilderment, the kind of guy who said volumes with just one blink. “Griff? Yeah, ok. You can call me that.”

And so he was Griff, for my next four years. I don’t think I ever once called him “Doctor” or “Professor” after that. And despite not being a history major, he was always one of my favorite teachers. Before a student declared a major and received an advisor in that department, their Master Learner served as a temporary councilor. I would drop by his office and sit in a chair across from his desk to check on certain classes and while he answered endless phone calls, I would marvel at the bookshelves lining his walls. They were packed. Books crammed every which way and the whole shebang looking like it would topple at the slightly provocation. Had the area been earthquake prone, I would have feared for his life. And yet, when he wanted to show you some particular reference, he could pull a book from the bottom of the pile without anything else even wobbling.

I should have known I was in his good graces by his acceptance of my nickname. And he was always in mine. It started as a joke, me leaving him little gifts on his desk before class. One day as I walked past him on my way to my desk, I placed a particularly red and shiny apple in front of him. He laughed and never being one to pass up an easy laugh, I continued and it became something of a tradition, I would bring him a flower or more apples. And lest you mistake fun for a crush, that’s not what it was. It was fondness and friendship, which was proven equivocal when I introduced Griff to my parents at my graduation. He actually teared up and told them that he would miss me. (Dude, no teacher has ever claimed that they would miss me before. Most of them were shoving me out the door before I even graduated!) And sadly, I never saw him again.

Look, I am not a nostalgic person. I don’t visit my alma maters and I rarely stop by the college homepage for updates. I only happened upon Griff’s obituary when searching for something else. And while I am sad that other people won’t get to know Griff, I am very happy that I did know him.

So, I guess I could have made this eulogy a bit shorter. One story pretty much sums up our relationship as teacher and student and friends. One day I was standing on the landing in the main campus building, talking to a professor with whom I did not get along particularly well. I have no idea what we were discussing but somehow we needed the opinions of several other professors. We had flagged a few down but really wanted Dr, Griffith’s opinion and I saw him at the end of the hall. The professor that I didn’t particularly like called to him, “Dr. Griffith! Dr. Griffith,” but Dr. Griffith didn’t respond. A second prof. joined in, “Oh Dr. Griffith…yoooo-hoooo!’ (ok, well, maybe not like that but you get the picture). Bah. No response. “I can get his attention,” I said, “Yo Griff!” I called, softer than they had.

The unliked prof. gasped and chided me. How rude I was to talk to my professors that way! Good heavens! How dare I? Dr. Griffith had earned that title and I damn well better use it! And the like.

Griff turned around and dashed down the hall. “Hey, Ren. What’s up?”

The unliked professor looked at him, baffled. “I was calling you to ask your opinion on something, Dr. Griffith. But I am sorry Ren was so rude to you.”

“Oh”, he said, “She’s not rude at all. SHE’S allowed to call me that.” And he gave me a hug and carried on his way. I’m not sure we even got to ask him our question.

He was a good guy. I wish him well in any future endeavors.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


The proof of the pudding is in the…cupcake. Displayed above is the proof that refutes my husband’s mini-cupcake theory once and for all. HA! I WIN!!

He’s still arguing though.

In the background you can just see my beloved PG Tips canister. Actually it's a WG (Wallace and Grommit) Tips canister, gifted to me by my good friend who shall only be known as the Princess of Wails. He brings me tea back every time he goes to England and I love him for it.

And below, the lovely cupcakes iced and topped with shiny red currants. They were good. And if I ever remember, I will post the recipe. But don’t get your hopes up, because I won’t remember.

And one more…my sweet kitty. The one that likes to bite Jodi (well really, who WOULDN’T?). The beautiful rug beneath the cat was a Christmas gift from my mother. When it arrived, my husband laid it out on the floor and the cat took up residence. I had to physically remove her from it in order to put the rug to use. My cat firmly believes that all rugs belong to her and, I am pretty sure that she thinks she is invisible when she is on the rug. She’s wrong. But if it makes her happy, who am I to argue?

(Please no comments on her size. She has a "condition" and she's very sensitive about it.)