Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009, A Year Of...

Facebook tonight is full of people commenting on 2009 being a great year, or a bad year, a healthy year, or a year of struggles. Happiness in early spring, only to meet year's end with a big bang of woe. A year of pride, a year of shame. I dunno, I never remember things by "year" like that. The shit I'm experiencing now is going to continue into...tomorrow, right. 2010, right. Every year is a year of moderate health and reasonable poverty, right. 2009 was just the same I guess, I don't really remember.


I DO remember our annual NYE pre-Wally Leaves For Work buffet. Why, I even have photos!

Tomato and Olive Aspic

Aspic with Kickass-Kugel, Panettone, Nuts

Holiday Lutefisk!


Stuffed and geared up for a new year of...idunno. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Virginia Woolfin' It Down

One thing Wally and I will always have in common is that we are both movie lovers. We watch them, analyze them, internalize them, discuss them, and digest them the way most people do with books, and we know that you're supposed to do all that with books but...we're just movie people.

The lamb pie we served at our Christmas party was inspired by the movie The Hours (which is also a book, but) from how when back in the day we'd repeatedly and randomly quote the way that Virginia Woolf's maid says "I chose a lamb pie..." I hadn't watched the movie since before Jimmy was born, I stuck it in yesterday and while watching it I remembered that several years ago I baked Wally a birthday cake also inspired by the movie--it was a chocolate cake decorated with this crazy blue-color frosting:

Blue Birthday Cake Sorta-Seen Here

As I was watched the movie yesterday I couldn't help gain some interest in "The Crab Thing"--a dish that the Meryl Streep character makes in hopes to cheer up the Ed Harris character who was known to like it. The dish is pretty vague in the movie so I looked it up and was happy to discover the Chicago Sun Times was similarly inspired:

The crab thing

March 19, 2003

(Inspired by "The Hours")


3 tablespoons shallots

1 tablespoon butter

3/4 cup fish stock, preferably homemade

1 tablespoon orange juice

1/4 cup white wine

1 tablespoon Armagnac or Cognac

1/2 cup whipping cream

Salt (French sea salt such as sel

marin) and white pepper to taste

1/4 teaspoon mace

1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley,

finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh tarragon,

finely chopped

3/4 pound Dungeness crabmeat (cooked)

1 (1-1/2-pound) Dungeness crab, cleaned, cooked and cracked by fishmonger

Saute shallots in butter for 3 minutes. Do not brown. Add stock. Bring to medium boil; reduce by half.

Add orange juice, wine and Armagnac or Cognac. Reduce again by half. Add cream; thicken until sauce coats back of a spoon. Turn off fire. Add salt, pepper, mace and herbs.

Place crabmeat in serving dish. Pour hot sauce over crabmeat. Garnish with cracked crab. Serve with pasta.

...but a little more complicated than I was bargaining for.

A regoogle brought me to another recipe, this one inspired by the book version of The Hours where the recipe's creator specified "The Crab Thing" as a crab casserole. Interesting... The recipe can be found in The Book Club Cookbook by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp.

The Ed Harris character never gets to taste The Crab Thing, I wonder will Wally and I ever get around to having some? Kickasserole time? Only time will tell... In the meantime, I thoroughly recommend renting The Hours, it is a MASTERPIECE!!! And that's even forgetting all the eatin' parts! Though, it helps to watch Mrs. Dalloway first. Or...if you prefer, you could actually read Virginia Woolf's version if you haven't already. <=]

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Lederhosen vs. The Lederhosed

It stands to reason, I get a lot of comments on Jimmy's Christmas Lederhosen...maybe because it looks like he was made for them.

If I may ask, take a moment to compare and contrast Jimmy's photos against those of the leder-models:

Is there any question who wears it best?

Ich denke nicht.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

High On The Hill Was A Lonely Goat Herd...

Happy are they lay dee olay dee lee o
. . .
. . . yodeling . . .
Soon the duet will become a trio
Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo

Oh ja, may I once again praise the superiority of ABC programming, we are presently watching The Sound of Music with millions of others around the country. I discovered this movie last year, previously I'd only had bumpy run-ins with it (Why is this considered a holiday movie??? Why is this so blech nauseating??? Wtf, intermission?? Other bratty etc. comments, blech!) but it clicked for me last year, about a family that stuck together, about boys who were a-ok with wearing lederhosen, the singing, the dancing, the beautiful scenery, the longsleeve wedding gown, the Edelweiss, the dark Nazi üntercürrent, the Family Guy version, the CS callers who mistake my name for "Liesl," the smokin' Captain Von Trapp, the stuck with me, up through our 2009 Christmas events, and for many more I hope. Many more thanks to ABC for allowing the holiday season to linger past noontime December 25, hope you are still enjoying yours.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

'Twis the Night After Christmas

It was a Magical Christmas for 2009. A brief relay:

After opening Christmas morning pressies with Uncle Mark and Aunt M, we had a relaxing baba with, you guessed it, the FUTURE PRESIDENT.

After that I opened an email from, you guessed it, the CURRENT PRESIDENT. "A Historic Vote" it was titled, and evidently was part of a group email as the Boston Globe reports on how Obama calls the Senate vote "historic", but for me the Christmas Magic is that I have a president who doesn't put the word "an" in front of a noun that starts with consonant, and that Anne Heche might be completing her civic and patriotic duties, like I insisted she must. Thanks, Anne! Merry Christmas!

Then, food.

Hickory Smoked Duck, Lamb Pie (a la The Hours), and My Good Cranberry Jello (it's not Christmas without my good cranberry jello--but I'm the only one who seems to think so!)

Figgy Pudding


Salmon Mousse

Timpano, a la Big Night

Bûche de Noël with Meringue Mushrooms

The Bottom of the Glögg

And visitors, and gifts!

Jimmy's Grampy made him this stool

...they also brought the singing snowfamily that Jimmy's been playing with all day. "DONG! Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Treee......


Possibly the biggest piece of Christmas Magic:

My father got them to remove the extra A from this kickasserole dish! Amazing! And quite the crowd pleezer, even for those (many) at the party who don't read this blog. I can't wait to fill it with bonafide kickasseroles though I must admit, it puts on the pressure! :practice:practice:practice:

Today, the 26th I'd like to wish my Aunt Betty a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

We spent the day chillaxing and I asked the Magic 8 Ball "Could there be anything cuter than this?"

And it said:

I rechecked, and got a little spooked when it said:

Why, yes that was Figgy Pudding that Jimmy was eating on his new Thomas stool, how did Magic 8 Ball know that? Another shake:

Ok, that was enough. Magic ball gone now (and without any figgy pudding.) I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. Now it's on to New Year's and then: months and months of winter! Yaaaaay.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


People places and things I love but don't keep tabs on:

Leonard Cohen
kd lang
Religious lyrics not written by conservative republicans
Songs from Shrek soundtracks
Barefoot performances

This is a shortlist, and I don't know if I kneeded a knittingbreak or what but life has stopped since I stumbled upon this clip yesterday:


Tuesday, December 22, 2009


As I knurse this knifty knitter injury to my shoulder (it can happen!), some photos of Wally's lamb stew...I think it was shoulder meat?

And it all got all stewed-up and will be made as a pie for Christmas. Knittingknittingknitting...ugh, brain is loomed!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Knitting Knitting Knitting...

...knitting knitting knitting knitting making mistakes knitting knitting knitting knitting starting over knitting knitting knitting kno time for knattering, kristmas is koming lots of knitting...knitting...knitting fingers burning from knifty knittering knittering knit'ring...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Photo Finished

I've been mocked by every photo kiosk in town. It started with trying to order prints online and all at once's photo uploader worked. I finally got some through on ugh, :ducking: then once I was picking them up I was told I had to have proof that I had rights to them. I had no proof, and no idea what they were going to do with my gorgeous son's gorgeous photos, it makes me sick to think of it. Another store's cashier stood there and proudly told me that nope, I didn't order photos, I mean obviously since they weren't there. 8 blood pressure pills later I was bringing cd's and memory cards to the photo stops themselves ("It's so much easiah," they say) but still had issues. At one point I had to revert to ordering online and Walmart again I told me couldn't have my photos, this time because the employees were "too unorganized", that they printed them but that they just didn't know where they were. I'm not sure why weren't they just filed under "GODDAMMIT how hard is it to file under the last name like they're supposed to beeee!" Dis.appointment. Dis.neveragain.

On December 17th I became super-engrossed in a order once I discovered they were participating in free shipping day. I found out the hard way the deadline ended at 8pm, my emotional skin is still singed by that one.

Today, after losing it at one RiteAid I strapped 40 pounds of scissorfighting arms and legs back into the carseat and drove to another sketchy RiteAid, knowing it was the only location that had once given me moderate (not total) success. I took a deep breath in hopes to not burst out into profanity like at the previous store ("Yah, you know you've been standing there a while but that machine doesn't print photos." [this is where I swore aloud,and then said] "The sign says it doesn't print 8x10s, I was looking for 5x7s" "Yah, it doesn't print anything with an 8." "Where is there an 8 in 5x7??" "There's not," he said, and let the conversation end.) At this 2nd RiteAid, the one where Jimmy had previously been yelled at by a worker who was a bit light in the dental region ("Yu dohn't kick dat!"as I was working at the kiosk trying to solve WHYYYYYYY I couldn't just PRINT ALL the effing PHOTOS I wanted) I had a glimmers of hopes even though technology is an awful, awful thing that I need so much.

Today, I walked into the store, asked straight up if their machine was working, and Ta-dah!!! It worked!!! Today, what a relief!!! I grinned and beared it through the checkout...I had to get out of the first line we were in because I didn't want the cashier near my son. The second line, I sorta-felt I should have been fast-passed seeing as I was obviously the one with just one item and the impatient toddler, nudge-nudge, but no, a guy with a case of Bud cut in front of me, I think he justified it because his line wasn't moving fast enough. On to the third line, I stood behind a guy with his winter coat on inside-out. How does this happen?? I would expect never to see such a thing except for at that RiteAid. I hoped it wasn't because he was hiding the splashmarks of some victim's squirting arteries.

Home now, happy that Jimmy seems to be happy with The Santa Clause 2 on Channel 8. I'm relying on this stupid movie (and a tall shiraz) to replace the jollies back into my holiday spirit. Back to Santa's knifty knittering sweatshop.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Exponential Factor of 31 Months

When you've got your toddler it takes 45 minutes to do what toddlerless folks do in 15. Today I attempted a zillion tasks and got pretty much none of them done and I'm exhausted! Start again tomorrow, I guess. Merry Stressmas!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Clue...

...found on my camera as I came home from my LAST WORK DAY of 2009 and LAST WEEKDAY WORKDAY of forever (or, for-now-ver.)

The Clue I gathered is:

Colonel Jimmy Mustard...

...Eats Mustard...

...With His Mouth...

...In the Living Room.

I hadn't realized he enjoys yellow mustard. Thanks for the hints, JimmyDaddy!

Monday, December 14, 2009

My Son, the Sophisticate

I'm learning that my child has rather cultured tastes. For example:

Lately the juice he's been drinking doesn't feature images of Elmo or heaps of high fructose corn syrup. No, he's been preferring the piquant, antioxidant flavors of Northland cranberry juice sippy'd from his cup. I mean, they market this stuff to grownups, I'm so proud!

He also has excellent comedic timing, or at least he understands dry wit when he hears it. Most kids prefer their jokes saturated and overexplained, and Jimmy does too, but he also busts a gut over the nuanced humor of Woody Allen, Bob Newhart, Ellen DeGeneres, and Oscar Wilde. I can't even get him near the PBS Mark Russell Comedy Special without going through 3 diaper changes, he laughs and laughs and laughs. Awww, my wry little guy.

For dessert, Jimmy loves pears.

Ok, well maybe he's never actually eaten a poached pear, but no doubt about it, this kid loves pears! And the way I figure, this love is just one step short of the inevitable indulgence of his first elegant poached pear flambé. And that's just dang classy.

(Add'l note: see how his wearing a Wall-E top. As in Wall-E, the poster bot for the eco-conscious ways of the liberal elite. Oh, yeah. That's my son rocking those jammies.)

And finally, my cultured son loves to parade in the traditional folk wears of his heritage: lederhosen. Kannst you say "Zeltfest!"

Alas, I am sure you agree, I am the mother of one very cultivated toddler!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Little Diddy 'Bout Raytch and Diane

During a historic week at American Broadcast Company I couldn't help but notice how many parallels my life shares with, you guessed it, Diane Sawyer. Certain contrasts and comparisons may be observed below:

As ABC celebrated Diane Sawyer's fond adieu to Good Morning America, so begat similar plans for me and my job...but hark, if you look closely at the final row in the chart above, you will notice that as Diane heads for the evening news that I myself am not fully hanging up the headset. I'm finding it hard to completely break up the dysfunctional relationship I have with my job, and we have decided that there are aspects we can still use and abuse about one another. Such as, my job likes that my pulse and breathing capacity and warm body continue to work in a cubicle throughout the weekend, and I like the fact that it writes me checks. SO, I'm staying on for weekends. I'll work two 10-hour days on low-key Sat and Sun and keep many of the benefits. Yaaaay! Sort of the best of both worlds for Diane and Me, as we chart courses for bold new adventures in bold new capacities. Diane Sawyer and I, we are the new frontier, we are so much alike!!! Hiccup!