Saturday, January 31, 2009

The wheels on the house go round and round

Here goes another round of randomocity for y’all, mmmkay? It’s just been that kind of week and I just I’ve got lots to say…or spray.

Ryder…Goode:
This morning I hosted (or hoisted) my, whatcha callit? Ex-wife…BFF…Fly…Tia Kay’s and her hubby-to-be-as-soon-as-she-can-fit-in-an-off-the-rack-dress-again baby shower to welcome in my nephew, Ryder. Kay’s been in my life as a major supporting character for the last 21 years. In an effort to not make CNN Headlines, “World’s oldest living woman gives birth”, she got herself knocked up a half-year or more ago and is figgin’ to pop this thing out of her jay jay in the next three weeks. (Actually, so she doesn’t have to have vaginal reconstruction surgery to snap that shit back in place when it’s over, they’re doing that whole C-Section thing.)

I’ve always wanted to host a baby shower. I don’t know why. It’s one of those “always a brides maid” things, I guess. I had always been invited to them and, more importantly, asked for money to help host one/buy gifts for one, and never dreamed that I’d have one myself. When we got the oldest hellion, our very tight friends hosted us the shower of all showers. We got so much schwag at that shower that some four years later we’re still opening stuff. Jed and I are truly blessed with some amazing friends. Kay was one of the hosts for that shower, so I wanted to return the favor.

I started with a menu of fried chicken strips (and a variety of dippin’ sauces); meaty/cheesy wraps; a pizza fondue with garlic bagel crisps; a foul baby blue party punch thing; and a lovely round chocolate cake surrounded by a sampling of white cupcakes. For games we played “guess what’s in the diaper” (where I melted various mini-chocolates in a diaper and smeared it around); “guess how many diapers are in this generic plastic bin”; and gift bingo (where we numbered all the pressies and then called the numbers out as Tia Kay opened the gifts until someone called “BINGO”). For party gifts I found some AWESOME bottles of wine called, “Son of a Beach”. See, Kay is a beach, and she’s having a boy. Get it??? I feel like the party was a great success. There was lots of friends, lots of fun, lots of laughter…but most importantly, lots of love for this family we’ve created.

Am I dreaming?:
When I got home from the shower, I was exhausted. It’s a lot of work carrying this baby around! I took a nap with my bug for a bit. When I woke up I was a bit dazed. I walked out in the living room and Jed had the television on CMT watching a show called “Trailer Park Disasters”. If you haven’t seen it or heard of it, let me summarize. It’s basically the “Extreme Home Make-Over” for a house with axels and a tongue. The participants are trashy; the homes are trashy; the host is funny (and not nearly as annoying as Ty Pennington). The work they do on these mobile homes, amazing. I honestly am shameful of my “stick built” home after seeing the amazing make-over they did on this 2/2. (Technically, after the make-over it was a 3/2…but!) It gave me hope for my shit-hole (and I’m talking about my house there, folks). I could only HOPE to have the kitchen this trailer had after the make-over. It’s worth the look if you’re looking for a new show.

Friday, January 30, 2009

My mother is...

My mother is a crackwhore who is in prison for violating the "3-strikes you're out" rule.

My mother died while she was giving birth to my brother.

My mother sold me to these guys for heroin.

My mother left my dad for a much younger guy and didn't take me with her.

What the fuck difference is it to you who my mother is?

I've found myself having to watch what I say more and more recently. These kids, damn them. They're like parrots, except for you can understand them and they're not quite as colorful. There was a time when I took great joy in fucking with people's heads when they would see me with the boys by myself and ask me questions about their mother. The questions seem a bit innocuous at first, but if you peel back the layers, the questions are really about being a Ms. Kravitz.

When I took Adrian to get his fourth or fifth hair cut the Asian woman (I ain't stereotyping asshole, she was Asian. Get over it.) cutting his hair said, "Your wife must be vewy (okay, I am stereotyping now) bwave for to let you come get his haircut by yourself". I replied, "I'm not married". She said, "Oh"? I said, "Well, I was married, but my wife died". She gasped, audibly, and then started yickity yakking to some other Asian chick cutting hair next to her. She asked me how she died and I replied, "She died giving birth to our son". PC? No, absolutely not. Funny as hell? You betcha.

I say these things as shock value, because it's none of your fucking business where my child's mother is. How very presumptuous of you to even assume there is one. I FUCKING HATE when we go out to eat as a family and the hostess, waitress, beer wench, whomever, comes up to the table with the flare on his/her pocket and says, "Hi hunnnnn. Is it dads night out tonight"? NO! IT'S FAMILY NIGHT you dork.

Over the last four years I've made up various things about the boys mother depending on what type of mood I am. I rarely would say, "Oh, the little bastards are adopted" and just leave it at that. I always liked to shatter the notion that mother's are inherently infallible and required for the rasing of healthy, well-adjusted children.

On the bus one afternoon a woman said to me, "Your wife must be very lucky. I see you picking up the kids every day. I think you're going to have a VERY good father's day". Well, to most of you, that may seem complimentary. But to me it says this woman thinks most father's are disconnected douche nozzles who don't do anything more than fuck their wives while they're asleep as to further perpetuate their seed…oh, and drink beer. IF I was a "traditional" dad, I'd be offended by this "niceness". How very dare you assume that I go above and beyond the call of my "fatherly obligations". I told this well meaning woman, AGAIN, that I didn't have a wife. She looked at my finger to confirm. She got all giddy and happy. And I said, "Yeah, that darned 3-strikes law. She was a little too close to the school during her last sale and we're not expecting her to get out for a while". Adrian looked at me, confused.

I've decided it's probably time I stop fucking with people's heads while my children are around. The last thing I need is for him to repeat his "origin story" to his teacher at school while the class is discussing "family".

So for the record people, here's the story on my children's mother. Don't ask me again. M'kay? There ain't one.

The end.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Blue Bonnet Cafe

We decided to put another check mark in our Texas Landmark Cafes book this weekend. Saturday evening for dinner we headed out about an hour and fifteen minutes southwest of Austin to a little place called Marble Falls to eat at The Bluebonnet Café.

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The Bluebonnet has been in business since the 1930's and they offer up some really tasty southern home-cooking treats. And the pies! DID I MENTION THE PIES???

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Jed and I really MUST drop the "you can't order that, I'M ordering that" crazy rule we have. Cuz what I REALLY wanted was the chicken fried steak! But that's what Jed wanted. I ASS U MED that since he ordered the 8 oz. (over the 4 oz.!) chicken fried steak that he intended to share. But, once again, I just made an ass out of myself!

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Instead, I settled on Mom's Famous Pot Roast with buttered carrots, mashed potatoes, and fried okra.

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Now, OBVIOUSLY I didn't hate my dinner:

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However, I did have some things I didn't like. FOR STARTERS, when our waitress brought out our dinner, she brought mine and Jed's. Apparently the boys cheeseburger they were going to split wasn't ready yet. And it wasn't ready for a good ten minutes after she brought our food. Listen, when there are toddlers at the table, it's a good idea to maybe bring their food FIRST! Secondly, as good as everything else was, I was really shocked at how shitty their dinner rolls were. For reals, I've had better dinner rolls out of a can. BUT, fortunately, all the rest of the food made up for the shitty dinner rolls. Even Nate forgave the waitress by REALLY getting into his burger!

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He's such a well-mannered kid…sometimes!

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Bluebonnet Café, my love, I give you:

4-stars.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Teaches of Peaches

I'm going to warn you in advance, this bligity blogity boo is going to be ALL OVER THE MAP. I've had WAY too much coffee this morning, and lots of random stuff to spew.

SUCKING ON MY TITTIES
"Huh? Right? What?"

Last night, while eating dinner, Adrian started rubbing his chest ala Anna Nicole meets Ron Jeremy. I asked him what he was doing. He said he was "playin' with my boobies". Now, I'm not a prude, but there's just something wrong with watching my 4 year old son playing with his "boobies". AND, since, clearly, there are no "boobies" in our house (except the two boobs raising him!) we asked him why he was doing it and where he learned it. He said a girl in his class, let's call her "Kay" (cuz all girls named Kay wind up pregnant and unmarried!), "taught him about boobies" and "put his hands on her boobies and squeezed". He also said another girl, let's call her…"Marge" (just so I can alienate only ONE of my IRL friends!), was "teaching him about kissing and trying to get him to kiss her".

Straight sex doesn't repulse me as much as one might think, but I'm not about to let Adrian "fuck the pain away" at four years old. He's going to have to wait until he's 12 to make that decision, like I did. However, for those who have read my blog for a while (or explored the archives), you may know that Adrian has already gotten the "Chester" label from his teacher. So I don't take this Teaches of Peaches thing lightly. This morning I wrote out a letter, dated, with the facts, so that she can't come back in a week saying she caught Adrian in the back of the class kissing Kay's privates. And I asked her to "address" it. And by "address it" I mean I want her to send a letter home to this little whore's parents about the lessons she's giving my son…just like the letters I got when Adrian was "flexing his muscle".

HIGHWAY TO HELL
Nathan has been doing amazingly well riding the bus to school. He LOVES riding the bus. So much, in fact, that 9 times out of 10 he just waves me away like I'm a fly. He usually ambles up the bus steps as fast as he can and gives his bus driver a great big hug. He loves that woman. Or, should I say, loved? This whole week there has been a different bus driver every day. I'm not sure if his regular bus driver is on vacation, or if she's found a higher paying job??? This morning's bus driver was THE WORST. Adrian, as usual, bound out of the house first when the bus pulled up. He likes saying goodbye to his brother on the bus. As he ran up the stairs of the bus the salty old bitch behind the wheel barked at him to "get off". She told him he "wasn't allowed on the bus". And so he stood on the sidewalk and waited while I strapped Nathan in his seat. And as I was getting off the bus he started to sob. I turned to the nasty old cunt and said, "Thanks for making my four year old cry. That takes a special kind of skill". Adrian was so sad he didn't get to say goodbye to his brother.

RELEVANT?
WHAT THE HELL is "College Mathematics"? No, seriously. WHAT THE HELL IS IT? Where's my 1 + 1 = X? And are all Math professors A) GAY; and B) so effing nerdy that it's obvious they never dated in high school (or pre-K for that matter)? I tested out of my intermediate Algebra class on the first day this semester, and couldn't have been more thrilled. This meant that I was able to sign up for YET ANOTHER math class, College Mathematics. Already having missed two classes, I tried to catch up this weekend, but when I opened the book it was talking about the election of James Madison, or some crap like that, and the "Borda count method" and other nonsensical shit. OR, as JED said, "PRACTICAL MATH"? What the hell is practical about learning polling techniques??? UNLESS I'm planning on being an election judge when I get done with this?

DT'S
I sent my beloved computra off to a HP repair facility in Houston via FedEx on Monday. Last night, while watching the news about the freak ice/winter storm annihilating Texas right now, they had a lovely picture of a crashed FedEx plane, completely destroyed by fire. I had a minor anxiety attack. See, the way my life works, my computer SHOULD have been on that plane. Alas, it wasn't. The FedEx plane that crashed was in Lubbock, or some other dreadful place like that, and my tracking number confirmed that my computer arrived safe and sound in Houston.

It's kind of strange being without a computer. I don't have access to my MS Money (which I obsessively look at 15 times an hour); I don't have access to my contacts (which are SUPPOSED to be uploaded to Gmail contacts, but A) only part of the information is there; and B) there ARE some phone numbers that, for whatever reason, didn't make it to my Gmail contacts); I can only access my email, blogs that I read, Twitter, and many other of my social networking sites via my brand spankin' new G1 (which works fine for reading, but is a pain in the butt for typing anything substantive in response); I don't have access to my iTunes (I can listen to my iPod but I can't download additional podcasts…which means I'm going to have a HUGE back-load when I finally am able to re-synch it). BUT, I'm actually amazed at how much more I'm able to accomplish not being strapped (wirelessly, of course) to the computer. Don't get me wrong. I can't wait until I get it back…but it's been a little nice not having it!

80,000 + 2
I've now known two of my close, personal friends who have lost their jobs this year. My oldest (both historically and chronologically) friend, Kay's baby daddy lost his job yesterday. In my opinion it couldn't have come at a worse time. They JUST bought a house…they're having my nephew delivered in three weeks. I suppose any time you lose a job is a bad time to lose a job. But this just seems like a particularly bad time. I hope this whole economy thing gets turned around soon. Honestly, I'm worried myself, but…I worry more for my Kay and my Eddie right now.

BIZARRE FLAVOR IN MY MOUTH
That old woman I keep talking about, Kay, turned me onto a blog the other day called Mommy's Kitchen. This chick is a Texas woman who has this fantastic website of fast family favorite foods. Now, they ain't healthy eats by ANY stretch of the imagination. Additionally, the snobs on this season's "Top Chef" would be horrified at the "ingredients" in these dishes. BUT, if you have kids, a full-time job, are enrolled in 12 hours of classes, and have a full social calendar, these recipes are SO UNBELIEVABLY easy that you still have time to cook for you and your family AND enjoy their company (and learn about boobies to boot!). Last night I made Mommy's Kitchen's "frozen burrito casserole". It sounds vile and disgusting (not only the title, but the actual ingredient list), but it was really, really tasty. Give her a looksie if you're looking for zomething zifferent.

That's all I got for today folks. I actually had another restaurant review all typed up and ready to post…but I wanted to purge my head before it exploded.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Red Robin

Over the weekend we met our friends, Joey & Eddie, for lunch at Red Robin. I've never been to a Red Robin, but having heard the kids of We're Mean Because You're Stupid talking about their "bottomless fries" last summer, I've been a little more than intrigued. I haven't exactly busted any speed records to get over there, cuz it goes against my whole "chain" thing, but I haven't crossed it off my list of possibilities.

I had ass u med that Red Robin was on the same level as a What-A-Burger…a burger chain type place. It's more along the lines of a Chili's or a T.G.I. Fridays. Chili's and T.G.I. Fridays, by the way…my LEAST favorite types of chains! The one nice thing I can say about them is that regardless if I'm in Austin or Kalamazoo, I can order my "favorite thing" and it'll taste exactly the same in both places.

Since Red Robin didn't have "counter service", it was an HONEST TO GOD restaurant, I had to get some help from the ladies. I got on le' cell phone and sent an urgent 411 to Twitter asking what I should order. My lovely Walt responded that the Royal Red Robin burger often brought him "tears of joy". In an effort to make him cry, without punching him in the throat, I closed my menu and ordered just that when the waiter came back to the table.

As a group we started off with the tower of onion rings.

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These things were tasty, but they weren't any better than the rings you get at Hut's, and I CERTAINLY didn't think they were worth the NINE DOLLAR price tag. At thirteen rings, that's about 69 cents a ring. For real? You can buy a whole onion and some beer batter for a helluva lot cheaper than that.

So the waiter brought our food to the table. Walt, SOLID suggestion. The burger was delicious.

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I didn't even worry about the slim quantity of fries on my plate. Honestly, I was so full after everything I didn't care if they were bottomless or not. AND, I was pleasantly surprised with the bill:

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Until I found out that their "kids eat free" promotion ends at the end of the month. You'd expect to add another $10 to this total for the kids meals/drinks…which, at that point, it becomes a little more expensive than I care to spend on LUNCH.

The ONLY complaint I had about this particular Red Robin was the bathroom was the most disgusting bathroom I had ever been in in my entire life…okay, that’s a stretch. But, seriously, there was a busted water something or other somewhere in the bathroom and I was literally splashing at the urinal…NOT something I want to be doing, splashing in someone else's urine (that I DON'T know!). I brought it to the waiter's attention, just in case they didn't know their bathroom was flooded. I said, "I'm not sure if y'all are aware of it or not, but the floor in the restroom is flooded". Do you know what the twink asked me? For real? "Uhhhhhh, the womens or the mens restroom?" You just can't buy stupid like that.

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But I realize this isn't a reflection of the quality of the FOOD at Red Robin.

I've decided to start ranking my restaurant reviews on a 5-Star system. That said, Red Robin gets:

2.5 Stars

Monday, January 26, 2009

Torn between two lovers

Over the weekend I got a new cell phone. Not one that I necessarily needed. But one that I've been juicing over ever since I started reading reviews about it on the interwebs. I'm having a slight bit of buyers remorse, and MAY take it back. Let me outline the dilemma, the pros/cons, and everything else below. I may even post a poll about it and have you, my lovely readers, help me decide if I should keep it, or send it packin'.

I'm quite certain I haven't had my "old" cell phone all that long. IN FACT, I'm almost positive I've had it less than six months. OR, perhaps right around six months. The phone is a T-Mobile Shadow.

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While talking to the T-Mobile rep yesterday about WHY I wanted a new phone, I shit talked the Shadow as a "fragile piece of shit". True, there's a screw in the upper left hand corner on the back side of the screen that keeps working it's way loose that I have to tighten about once a week so I don't lose it. True it's "tight" slide has loosened about as much as that Duggar chick's vajayjay. And it's true that the 5 and 8 keys had popped off this weekend in such a manner that they cannot be put back on. HOWEVER, in the Shadow's defense, as Jed points out, the Shadow managed to stay on the top of Jed's car from the fourth floor of the parking garage at Seton Medical Center; all the way down North Lamar; up a portion of HWY 183, before FINALLY falling off the top of Jed's car AS I was turning the corner into Discount Tires. Had I not forgotten to put my Shadow in it's case (AND in my pocket), it probably would have done a better job resisting scratches and nicks in the casing. That said, it survived the fall rather well. Particularly since I rounded the corner at APPROXIMATELY 30 mph. This weekend, while walking out of the bathroom, I tripped over a fat Bassett and sent my phone HURLING through the living room, slamming it against a bookcase (which caused the 5 & 8 keys to break loose). In other words, as hard as I am on my phones, it's held up a lot better than it should or could have. Jed's, for example, still looks like it came out of the box.

One of the things that I LOVE about the Shadow is the operating system. OH, did I mention, the Shadow is a "smartphone"? The Shadow runs off of a Windows Mobile platform. And shit talk it all you want, it's a system that I've used for at least the last 6 years and one that I'm very familiar with. I love that it syncs, wirelessly, to my laptop when the two objects are near each other, keeping my contacts and my calendars up to date on both devices. I love that I can open word documents, pdfs, and powerpoint presentations on my phone. I love the ease and simplicity of getting and reading my email on my phone. I was quite familiar with the navigation of the internet functions. I could live-blog ON THE SPOT in no time at all. The "windows live" feature was fantastic for quickly finding movie times/locations AND the cheapest gas wherever I happened to be at that particular moment. The craziest, most raddest function (which I actually used more than a few times) was that I could connect my phone via bluetooth to my computer (while I was, say, camping in the woods) and use my cell phone as a wireless modem for my computer for full-sized por…web browsing.

BUT, as I said, the 5 & 8 keys fell off this weekend, which left me in a bit of a tizzy, and I found myself, once again, standing in the middle of my local T-Mobile retailer lusting after the G1.

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The G1 is apparently the "Looser's iPhone". It's got the cool touch screen, rotat-a-screen features. It's not based off a windows platform. It's Google's brain child. And it does have some really great APPLICATIONS. It's also got some limitations that I've found in the 16 hours that I've had it.

Shall we start with the limitations? Cuz I always like to start with the bad, so you have something nice to remember at the end.

You can't touch-tap the screen for SMS messages (*YET). You have to slide open the keyboard to peck out your message on a full keyboard. It makes it difficult to drive, eat, change the radio station, and message friends all at the same time. You can, however, dial on the touch screen (which is a HUGE improvement over the original Sidekick). I don't THINK there is a video camera feature (unlike the Shadow!)…UNLESS I just haven't found it yet, which is entirely possible…because there's just too much stuff on it to check out! The battery seems to drain itself every 4-6 hours, depending on which applications you have installed. For example, I've installed the "Weatherbug" application, and it appears to constantly be sending a GPS location to wherever and constantly updating the weather every 5 minutes (as IF it changes that often?). I'm sure there's some other "drains" I've added too, but can't think of them off the top of my head. The keys on the keyboard are flush mount, which makes it a little difficult to type. I don't suppose it's really any more difficult than a virtual "iPhone" type keyboard though. You CANNOT sync it with Outlook (*YET). DO NOT believe the hype that there has been an application (funamobl) that has corrected this. I've installed it and followed the directions and you STILL CANNOT SYNC WITH OUTLOOK (*). This is a pain in the ass. Because, while you can "import" your Outlook contacts into Gmail, it ONLY imports the names, email addys, and phone numbers of your contacts. You have to MANNUALLY add everything else to your Gmail address books. This is time consuming for people as popular as me.

I can't explain the simplicity in setting the phone up. You turn it on. Sign in with your gmail account name/password, and everything is immediately synced with Google. (Contacts, calendar, RSS feeds, anything else you've set Google up with). The applications store has LOTS of cool add ons, and since it's an android format, all the applications are free. The COOLEST application I've found, so far, is a price grabber program. You use the phones camera to scan the bar code of any item (and I tested it with SEVERAL items) and it instantaneously (I believe through nextag???) pulls all the local prices and internet prices of the item scanned and shows you in price order (low-to-high) where the item is cheapest. If the source happens to be an internet store, it will take you to that website as well. I think that's pretty amazing. The sound quality of the phone features is great. The 3G connectivity is phenomenal. Seriously, it's like the difference between dial-up and broadband.

I'm slowly but surely figuring things out on this phone. It's like when I went from a Windows based phone to the Sidekick several years ago. It took me months to get fully used to the Sidekick. I never grew to LOVE the Sidekick, whereas I felt really comfortable around my Shadow in the short time I had it. I'm getting the same feeling, initially, from the G1. It's got some really cool things, but I'm trying to figure out if they're things that are going to make me fall in love with it.

And so here's my true dilemma. I've always had insurance on all of my phones. So technically I could have gotten my Shadow replaced after paying the (I THINK) $100 deductible. I paid (after taxes) about $80 more than the deductible of the Shadow. I sort of feel like it was a bit silly to get the G1? Like I was having an affair on my Shadow? I have 13 more days to decide if I'm going to keep it. I'll see how this thing revolutionizes my life in the next 5 days (and I'll open up a poll for that length of time too!). If in 5 days y'all tell me to get rid of it, and it hasn't changed my life, I'll make my decision.

Any other G1 users that have applications I MUST have???

(* with the G1 being an Android format, applications are open to developers to make any type of application they want. New stuff is constantly being introduced, daily, so there's a very real chance that someone will come up with an application to sync Outlook, properly, very soon.)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

When did Bert & Ernie become clay-mated?

And better yet, when did Bert become the bottom?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My "Issues"

EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU had better add me to your chat program of choice and start taking advantage of my mug. It's not every day you get to see my face with gravy all over it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Leap of faith...or more like dumb blonde luck.

Yesterday at the office I noticed my dear sweet Kevin in Danbury on the gchat and noticed he had a cutesy little icon next to his name…a webcam icon. I hadn’t realized gchat HAD audio/video chat now and thought it would be cool to video chat with Kevin, since I hadn’t seen him since our last trip to NYC.

I downloaded the program for the gchat chat chat and installed it. When it started up and did the configuration I was bummed to notice the little blue light on my webcam hadn’t come on. No worries. You typically have to restart your computra after an install, right? I closed everything up and clicky clickied on the start button and restarted my baby. But…then…something…dreadful…happened! My computra didn’t restart. It never shut down. It kept spinning and spinning like Pete Burns (PRE-sex change). I ended up having to do a hard close on my machine to get it to shut down. No worries.

When the computer started whirling again, it went through the standard, “you were an idiot and didn’t shut down properly…I’m going to take 20 minutes to scan your drives to be sure nothing is fucked up”. It never finished. It shut itself down, midway, and restarted again…the second time, it DID finish the disc scan. I IMMEDIATELY went to my add/remove programs button to undo what I had just did. Unistalled the WHOLE enchilada, beans, AND rice. I restarted my computer again, and even though it shut down properly, when it booted back up again it went through the whole disc scan again. I thought it was odd, but honestly didn’t think much of it.

After everything was set right in the world again I opened up my cybercam program to verify my camera was working again. No blue light. Nothing…except a message saying “no camera detected, plug that thing in and let me look again”. (My computer is even sassier than me sometimes!) I went through my entire device manager thing and noticed that the “video devices” were no longer an option for me. I knew I had JUST used the camera, because I had used it to post that totally awesome picture of my new wallet on January 7th. So I did what any rational thinking queer would do.

I did a system restore to the last restore point right before the 7th. I KNEW my camera worked on the 7th (MUST do more video conferencing!!!), therefore restoring my system to right before that point would solve everything. The restore took about 6 minutes and the computer shut itself down to reboot.

When it came back on…IT WENT THROUGH THE DISC SCAN AGAIN! Jesus H. Christ. I went back to the device manager, still no video devices. Went back to the cybercam program JUST TO VERIFY what I already knew, no blue light and same message about no camera found…yadda yadda yadda, plug it in, I’ll give it a tug, we can video conference” message. I tried to do an “add hardware” command, “no new hardware found”. I felt a little defeated.

I knew I had to get my camera fixed pronto. If not for my legions of adoring fans who love pictures of my super hot, humble, self, then so I can have video conference with Jed for the next 9 weeks while I’m back in school so he doesn’t forget what I look like.

I logged on to the HP Help Desk “instachat” thingymabob. After a GRUELING hour and 40 minutes text chat with my technician, he informed me, “Mr. (F)reddy, your computer sir, is, how we say, FUBAR. You know FUBAR? It mean FUCKT UP BEYOND REPAIRS we can do on the intrawebs”. He went on to say, “HOWEVER, I have good news for you Mr. (F)reddy. I have looked at your purchase history and your computer we are try to fix today sir is covered under HP’s warranty sir. And what I am going to do is send you a box and a FedEx label. You, sir, will send us your computer and we will have it fixed and back to you within three days”.

PHENOMENAL.

EXCEPT.

WHY COULDN’T THIS HAVE HAPPENED IN THE LAST SEVEN WEEKS?

WHY did it have to happen THE NIGHT BEFORE I GO BACK TO SCHOOL?

WHAT THE HELL am I supposed to use for school until…

Oh wait! It should be back before Monday, right?!?

Today I spent the better part of the day doing a back up of my files and programs. I’m trusting I did it correctly. Cuz I got about 40 gb of videos from using a bulb syringe to pull bloody mucous plugs from Nathan’s nose and other awesome events from my children’s first 4 years. I’ve got about 37 gb of pictures that I will die if I never get to see again. I have 83 gb of music. I’ve got EVERY SINGLE document I’ve ever created since my umbilical cord dropped off saved in my documents. (Not quite sure how much space that takes up).

I’m mostly bummed because I have programs that I purchased and use frequently that won’t come with a factory reimaged machine. I’m worried about my contacts. I’m worried about my OCD calendars. (Seriously people, you have NO idea how bad my calendar addiction is. I have menus and grocery lists already made out through 2017.) I’m worried about the programs that I bought online that I didn’t save passwords for “unlocking”. Mostly, though, I’m worried about my memories. I ain’t shit without my computer. I can’t even remember my sweet precious boyfriend, Robert’s, name without my computer.

I suppose CHECKING the “backup” would be the most obvious thing to do to VERIFY everything copied over. And I did look…but all the files in the back up are zipped, or otherwise compressed. It’s not like I can just click on the “My Pictures” link and see all of my photos (arranged alphabetically by persons in the picture, location taken, year taken, approximate time of day taken, and what I was thinking when I took the picture). Same thing with the music. I’m basically taking a leap of faith that technology is saving the $32 MILLION dollars I’ve spent on music over the last three decades (I itemize for the IRS, that’s how I’m able to give you exact figures).

I’ll be sending my life-line to the world to some anonymous stranger in Malaysia to blow the pubic hair out from under the key board and fix my stupid, STUPID camera (and other system failures). If you don’t hear from me ever again it’s because I didn’t save my contacts, favorites, or RSS feeds correctly…I haven’t died, nor have you angered me.

MOSTLY, however, I want to say, KEVIN YOU’RE A FUCKING DOUCHEBAG FOR HAVING GOOGLE AUDIO/VISUAL ON YOUR COMPUTER AND MAKING ME WANT TO TALK TO YOU YESTERDAY. YOU’RE DEAD IN MY EYES. YOU HEAR ME? DEAD.

Hope you’re well...AND enjoying your new president. Oh, and in case you missed it! CLASSES started back up tonight…so there’s a chance, if you don’t hear from me for a while, THAT has something to do with it too!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hickory Street

There’s a little place down on Congress, here in Austin, that I used to enjoy. It’s along the lines of a “Souper Salads” or a “Fresh Choice” kind of place, but in addition to the all-you-can-stand salmonella bar; the soups; baked potatoes; and blueberry sheet cake, they’ve also got a full-menu you can order from. The menu is chock full of deep fried (or grilled) goodness. Back in the day it used to be a heck of a value too. Usetacould (I GUARANTEE “usetacould” is going to make the dictionary one day, humor me) order a big as my forearm breakfast taco for under 2 bones. They would cook up your eggs on the grill with whatever toppings your heart desired. I always got the sausage, egg, n cheese taco. It had just a hint of faux butter goodness to it, and their salsa was the bomb. Their Sunday “New Orleans brunch” was something to write blogs about. It was better than ANY brunch I’d ever had in the real New Orleans.

The owner was also socially conscious as well. Hickory Street was constantly being written about in the local paper about how the owner had a scholarship fund set up for his employees and that he would pay the tuition of any of his employees who wanted to go to college if they worked full time. You can’t argue that that is good business. Well, actually, I guess you could.

I guess it was probably about a year to a year and a half ago that something changed. Their menus changed. Their “truck stop chili” recipe change. Their service changed. It went from teenage/pre-20’s college student angst “will do ANYTHING for a buck” to 30-something/40-has been “I don’t give a shit IF the customer is always mostly right, I’m a god/goddess and you will thank me regardless of how shitty my service was by giving me a great big tip”. I never thought shitty service could get worse, but we had lunch there today and it went from shitty to ABSOLUTELY shitty since the last time we went there. AND, today may have been the very last time I go there.

We got there at 1035 following the MLK events at the capitol. The host-boy asked us if we wanted breakfast or lunch menus. I said I’d rather have lunch, at which point he replied lunch wasn’t served until 11. IF LUNCH ISN’T SERVED UNTIL ELEVEN, WHY THE FUCK ASK ME IF I WANT A FUCKING LUNCH MENU? Waitress came up to get our drink order. SINCE I was JUST presented a menu from the host boy I ASSUMED it was a BREAKFAST MENU since that’s all they had to offer at that point, but the disaffected VERY LATE 40-something year old woman snapped at me in her best Brenda Vaccaro, “WE DON’T SERVE LUNCH UNTIL 11, THE ONLY THING YOU CAN ORDER IS ON T HE BACK PAGE.” Charming. By the time she made it back with our drinks it was 1045. I told Jed I wasn’t particularly hungry for breakfast and would rather just wait for lunch. He agreed. The waitress came back and asked if we were ready to order. I told her that I wasn’t feeling breakfast right now and would rather wait and watch the rest of the staff (which were all gathered around the butt-hut some 10 feet from our table chain smoking, lighting cigarette after cigarette after cigarette after cigarette off their own cigarettes!) eating THEIR cheeseburgers while we waited until we could order one. Jed got a little pissed at me for shit talking Brenda V., cuz he didn’t want her to wipe her nasty regions with our buns before bringing them out to us. She came back SECONDS later and asked if we wanted to order the boys some blueberry pancakes or something while we waited to order. I replied that they had already had breakfast and we’d wait for lunch. About five minutes later, some NINE minutes to 11, she came back once again and said, “I’ll go ahead and take your order now and turn it in. There’s a chance the kitchen will go ahead and make your order since it’s not very busy back there”. I was having my doubts THAT was going to happen since there were 11 people 10 feet away from us working on their 3rd pack of Camels. Surely one of them had to be the cook? SINCE THERE WASN’T ANYONE ELSE IN THE RESTAURANT?

1050: Order given.

1055: Smile from Brenda V.

1100: According to the posted hours, the menu, Brenda, and the host boy, the kitchen SHOULD be officially open for lunch service.

1105: Stomach growls smelling the cooking meat product coming from the chimney.

1110: Wondering what the fuck can be taking so long cooking one cheeseburger, one grilled cheese sandwich, and one chicken fried chicken sandwich.

1115: Getting seriously pissed. Tea glass has now been sitting empty for 10 minutes and food STILL not out.

1120: Wondering if the four of us should just get up and walk across the street to Chipotle.

1125: Seriously bitch. EVEN IF WE ORDERED AT ELEVEN, DOES IT TAKE 25 FUCKING MINUTES TO GRILL A FUCKING QUARTER POUND HAMBURGER AND A GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH? DID YOU GO TO FUCKING PLUTO FOR THE GRILLED CHEESE?

1129: Brenda emerges from the bowels of Hickory Street with the food. Nathan yells “HOORAY”.

1131: I have been so starving for so long that I’m just about done with my lunch. NOT TO MENTION, I typically don’t have TWO HOURS for lunch.

1135: Brenda comes back to the table. Do you know what she has the audacity to say???

Anyone?

Anyone?

She says, “How is it folks? WAS IT WORTH THE WAIT”? Are you fucking kidding me? Christopher Meloni's cock isn't worth a 39 minute wait...okay, yes it is. BUT, there isn’t a burger around town worth a 39 minute wait.

I’m all about supporting local businesses, cuz most of them are worth supporting. But it’ll be a cold day in hell before I go back to Hickory Street again. UNLESS someone gets me a gift certificate…and then I’d be obligated to!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Snowing in Austin!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

See no evil, hear no evil, TASTE NO EVIL

I’m developing a fondness for “restaurants” that aren’t traditional brick n’ mortar type places. Some of my most favorite places to eat lately have had axels and tires, and I’m actually okay with it, cuz the food is turning out to be pretty damn tasty. I think I may have written a post about Flip Happy Crepes last summer, but I couldn’t find it to link to this post. Perhaps I didn’t have my camera or phone with me when we went and it just wasn’t a photoblog? I KNOW I recently turned y’all on to Hat Creek Burgers. I used to love Torchy’s Tacos, but one of the dangers of loving a restaurant on wheels is they tend to move. Fuck you Torchy’s for hooking me on your crack filled breakfast tacos and then moving away from my office.

This morning I had to run down south to finish part 2 of what’s turning out to be a 3 part root canal. “My (F)reddy…what big teeth you have…”. On my way back to the office I was going to run into Maria’s Taco Express (as featured on the HIT television show DINERS, DRIVE-INS, and DIVES!!!) which, coincidentally, BEGAN as a restaurant on wheels. As I pulled into the parking lot I noticed a little painted up trolley car. My very first thought was it was homage to the original Maria’s (cuz (F)reddy never went there before today…despite being very popular!)…but then I noticed it was all lit up. And a very cute little woman leaned her head out the window and yelled at me “WE GOT MUFFINS”!

trolly

I’ll be honest. I first stopped and did the awkward “Uh, sorry if I parked in your lot…but I’m just running in and will be out in a second” dance move. But then I started feeling a bit Catholic for parking in this business woman’s parking lot with no intention of buying her goods. But then I started thinking, “Hmmmm, a muffin sure would make a good afternoon snack with a hot cup of coffee”. So I started walking closer to check out her menu to see what Taste No Evil Muffin Company had to offer. And, frankly, it didn’t even matter after I saw THIS:

friendly

I said, “Hon. You had me at ‘gay friendly’”. She said, “Yaaaaay…but, it should really say ‘constitution friendly’”.

So without even browsing too long at her choices, I just ordered my favorite type of muffin knowing that any muffin company worth its salt would have it.

And how was my BLUEBERRY MUFFIN? Let’s just say, the boy who doesn’t go south of the river except for root canals will be heading back south very soon for some more muffins.

muffin

Thanks Karisa…for leaning your head out the trolly and guilting me in to buying your merch. That’s just, well, evil.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

So...I'm just a little late

I mentioned several weeks ago that I had FINALLY figured out what was wrong with my video editing thingamabob and that I had several videos to get out. They seem kind of silly and pointless now; Christmas, New Years...events long since past? Nah! I beat that 30-day self-imposed deadline! I guess I should have done them in order too? But this is MY blog and I'll confuse you with randomocity if I want to.

Lady and Gents, I give you our 2009 NYE!


Monday, January 12, 2009

Monument(al)

I’m a sucker for old timey nostalgia. I enjoy getting off the major arteries in town and getting out a bit into the country and seeing things in the country. To that end, I had a couple of items on my Amazon wish list to help me find some points of interest along the way in Texas. Two years ago Jed’s mom bought me “Texas Landmark Cafes”.

Photobucket

Over the last two years I’ve kept it near me, either in the car or in my backpack, so that if we happened to be out and about I could see if there were any places in the book we could scratch of the list. We have actually been to quite a few over the last couple of years.

This past year Jed’s mom got me Volume 7 of the Texas “Off the beaten path” series. It not only lists restaurants to try in out of the way places, but offers suggestions of places to stay, shop, play, and see. When I woke up this Sunday morning I had a hankering to get out of life for a few hours and asked Jed if he wanted to take a stab at finding a place in either of the books and going for lunch. We had a limited amount of time, as we had a birthday party to attend at 3 Sunday afternoon. So I limited my choices to the section(s) of the book centered around the Texas Hill-country. Generally speaking, these would include areas we could get to within an hour-to-two hour time frame.

In the Texas Landmark Café book, I noticed several places that made my mouth water. I flipped through the OTBP book to see if there was anything else that sounded good and noticed they had a place that I had just flipped through in my TLC book. (It wasn’t until this morning I noticed both books were written by the same author!) I asked Jed if he wanted to try the Monument Café in Georgetown, a mere 20 miles from our house. Not quite as “off” the path as I would have hoped, but off enough! He said, “Isn’t that the place that Kevin & Leslie keep raving about and asking us to go with them”? I sent Les a text message asking her if it was and asking if her husband wanted to join Jed, the boys, and I for lunch. She replied that it was the place and to eat some fried pies for her…but Kevie had other plans (that didn’t include hanging out with homos that worship him).

Jed and I loaded up the boys, programmed in the address in the GPS and headed up the road to Georgetown, Texas. When we got to the location identified in the book I was disappointed in seeing an empty parking lot and, what appeared to be, a vacant building. I thought, surely, the GPS was wrong…so I circled around some blocks and tried to find it. We were navigated back to the vacant building. I pulled into the parking lot and there was a tiny little handwritten note on the front door that said they had moved to their new location. YAAAAY…not a wasted trip. Having reprogrammed the GPS, we headed a bit further north to the brand new location.

Photobucket

There were some really, really good things about this place, and some things that were really, really bad. Let’s start with the bad???

#1: For starters, there were 350,000 people waiting to get in. Is that good, or bad? Depends on how you look at it. 350,000 people trying to get into a place means the food either is good, or is covered in crack. It also means a wait. Though, seriously, I don’t think we had to wait more than 10 minutes…and so I guess, now that I’ve added this to the bad column, it really wasn’t all that bad. BUT…#2: We arrived at 1115 am on a Sunday. They cut their breakfast service off at 11. Who the fuck cuts their breakfast off at 11 on a WEEKEND? ESPECIALLY on a Sunday? Don’t they know this is prime breakfast eating time? This is when, as evidenced by the 349,996 other people wearing their Sunday suits waiting to get in, PEOPLE ARE HUNGRY FOR BREAKFAST. Now that I’ve mentioned #3: the 349,996 people in their Sunday suits, I suppose it’s time to mention another uncomfortable fact. It was clear that Sunday, January 11, 2009 was the first time 349,996 people in Georgetown, Texas ever saw two gay men with children in their lives. Talk about awkward stares. JESUS H. MARY-CHRIST. Adrian asked, at one point, “Daddy, what’s everyone looking at”? #4: They had a menu board FULL of delicious “vegetables”. Seriously savory, mouth-watering vegetables…like Mac n’ Cheese, fried zucchini, fried squash, French fries, cabbage…with fried bacon. They had ONE healthy vegetable, steamed broccoli, on the menu. We ordered our dinner(s). Adrian got the fried chicken strips with macaroni. Nathan got the fried steak fingers with macaroni. I got the chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes, mac n’ cheese, and fried zucchini. Jed got the chicken fried chicken with the STEAMED BROCCOLI, onion rings and French fries. The waitress came back ten minutes later and said, “Sir, I’m sorry, but we DON’T have broccoli today”. He ended up getting fried zucchini instead. YES, everything on Jed’s plate was fried! #5: The bill, JESUS CHRIST, was it expensive for a lunch. $62 for the four of us.

Photobucket

So now the good. HOLY SHIT THAT FOOD WAS GOOD! Was it worth $62? HELL NO. Was it worth writing a blog about? Hell yeah. Is it worth going back? Maybe. The chicken fried steak was done right. It wasn’t a leathery, gristly piece of meat. It was prepared the right way…prepared in such a way that it could be cut with a plastic spork. It DID need some seasoning (IE: salt), but otherwise, was great. The mashed potatoes were REAL potatoes…though, curiously, they didn’t have gravy on them. Weird. The mac n’ cheese was HEAVENLY. OH-MY-GOD, was the mac n’ cheese good. And the fried zucchini was both interesting and delicious. It was the first time I’d ever had fried zucchini that was sliced the length of the zucchini, rather than “medallions” of zucchini. They were properly coated and brilliantly fried…not limp and disgusting. Jed’s onion rings were delicious…and the fried chicken (strips) were tasty too. All of the food we had was delicious. When the waitress came and asked us if we wanted desert the Presbyterians were starting to replace the seats vacated by the Lutherans...and the stares were starting up again. We told her no thanks (besides, there wasn’t any room in our bellies!).

If you’re in the area and looking to try some delicious southern comfort food, DO check out the Monument Café in Georgetown. Though, it’s not at 1953 South Austin, you’ll find it just up the road a spell at 500 S. Austin!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Tonight I died and went to Fuego's.

Y’all, I have, very seriously, eaten the very best dinner I have ever had in my entire life tonight.

Several months ago I started eating around at different hamburger places that had recently opened in town. Anyone who knows Austin knows Hut’s is the place to eat burgers. Recently 5-Guys came to town, they’re a chain. A big effin’ chain with links all over the country. Next came Mooyah’s. They’re a chain also, but they’re a Texas chain, so I forgive them. Then there was Mighty Fine. Mighty Fine isn’t a chain, yet…but it screams chain potential and everything about the place tells me you’ll be seeing one on a corner near you…soon.

Now before I get to tonight’s dinner, let me recap the three I’ve just mentioned.

Five Guys sucks balls, and not in a good way. The burger was mediocre at best. The bun couldn’t hold up to the moisture from the meat/condiments and fell apart in my hands the second I picked it up. They also forgot to put the bacon on my BACON CHEESEBURGER, which is a bit unforgiveable in my book. Even when I went up (with my receipt) to tell them they forgot to put the bacon on my BACON CHEESEBURGER the woman turned around to the prep counter, grabbed two cold limp pieces of bacon, wrapped them up in a napkin and handed them to me. FUCKING UNACCEPTABLE. Unfortunately, their fries were the bomb-digity-bomb-bomb. Why did their fries have to be so delicious?

Mighty Fine sucks donkey cock…which is a step up from balls. Their burgers are MUCH better than Five Guys, but their French fries are limper than an 87 year-old cock. And I hate limp cock…er, uh, fries. They also have a LEMONADE MILKSHAKE that is not slap your momma good…it’s give your momma an Italian necktie good.

Mooyah WAS my favorite (until…wait for it, wait for it…). Their burgers were just as good, if not better than Mighty Fine. Their fries were better than Five Guys. Mooyah is the entire package…and I WILL be eating there, still…but tonight I’ve found my 2009 every-date night-date night place. Fuego’s!

So I had been sharing with my fellow fatty (WHOOPS! I mean foodie) Kay the joys and sorrows of the burger places we had been to. A few weeks ago she told me about this place that was “somewhere near” my house. The Austin Foodies network had been RAVING about the “burgers” at this place. Purportedly, Fuego’s “Fat Burger” was the NEWEST BESTEST MOST FANTASTIC burger in Austin. I read the description of the burger which included “thick cut peppered bacon” (YUM) and …well, other burger toppings. They said the fries were the bomb. While Jed’s mom was here over the Christmas holiday I thought we could try the place out. I drove up and down Lamar by my house looking for the place. I finally spotted it at an awkward intersection on a very busy section of Lamar. At first glance I noticed A) it was in a crappy strip mall, and B) the sign actually said, “Fuego’s Mexican Restaurant”.

I wasn’t in the mood for a new Mexican find. I have my “place”. I don’t need another. I live in northern Mexico. I’m surrounded by awesome Mexican food. So we drove by, passed it. I told Kay that I wasn’t impressed with what I saw, but also admitted we hadn’t gone in.

This morning Kay forwarded me an email from her Foodie group. It was basically a plea from one of the Foodies to URGENTL get to Fuego’s before it was too late. This person had gone in last week and had a “fantastic” dinner experience but was concerned about the lack of people in the place. This person said when she paid her bill she asked the owner how business was going and she replied that it wasn’t going well because she was having problems getting people to come in the door. She had recently applied for a liquor license and was hoping she could get that before she had to close her doors for good.

It’s really not the outer appearance of the building that turns people off. Like I said, it’s on a very awkward corner. It’s at the intersection of Morrow and Lamar. Going north on Lamar there’s no left turn onto Morrow. So you have to exit Lamar onto the feeder road, go under 183, loop around the highway and u-turn back onto Lamar southbound to get to it. It’s HORRIBLE to get to. (FORTUNATELY, from my neighborhood I only have to go North to Morrow and head east to Lamar and BAM! I’m there!!!)

The thread following the plea was AMAZING. Every single person raved about how delicious everything there was and how sad they were they weren’t doing a bang up business. They encouraged everyone to pass the word to save this place.

So tonight Jed and I took the boys to Fuego’s for dinner. We decided to do a sampler menu so we could try a little bit of everything. We were, literally, the only four people in the restaurant the entire time we were there (except for the staff), so we obviously got stellar service. (Ironically as we were paying our bill and getting ready to leave a lesbian couple with a baby came in!) The food was…

HOLY

SHIT

DELICIOUS.

For the boys we ordered cheese quesadillas. Their tastes aren’t refined, therefore we stuck with the basics for them.

For Jed and myself we ordered the Carne Asada French Fries. These fries were perfectly cut and fried to a crispy crunch. They were topped with a heaping helping of carne asada (basically a crumbly roast beefy type mean) with guacamole, sour cream, and pico. We ordered a fat burger to split between us (which also came with fries) and it was every bit as good, if not better, than ANY of the previously mentioned 3. But the best part of the meal was the BBQ Salad with blackened shrimp. I seriously almost got into a fist fight with Jed for the rest of the salad. The plate was piled high with mixed greens, apples, walnuts, bleu cheese, tortilla chips, blackened grilled jumbo shrimps, and BBQ sauce. I have never eaten anything I’ve enjoyed as much as I enjoyed that salad. It is hands down my new favorite meal.

For those of you fortunate enough to live in Austin, get to Fuego’s now, today before it’s too late. It was be a crying shame for this place to go out of business just because they picked a shitty location. For those of you not in Austin, plan a trip. Not only will you get to visit me, but you’ll also get to watch me have a Meg Ryan moment with a salad that you’ll never forget.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Waiting.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Wallet

So I was chatting with my dear sweet Kevin in Danbury this morning and shared with him an all true tragic story. Yesterday afternoon while at the market, my wallet, made of bacon, that I purchased during our summer vacation to NYC, literally fell apart at the seams. Every single thread on the wallet came apart. I was sad.



When I got home I took a look around to see what I could use as a new wallet. The empty Altoids tin had been used previously, but it's a bit uncomfortable to sit on. I couldn't find any binder clips, so that was out of the question. An envelope wouldn't last quite as long as the bacon wallet. I remembered that ADRIAN has THREE wallets. So I went to find one of his. The only one I could find was his "Tow Mater" wallet...and so I made it mine.

How many times has this happened to me?

video

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Rachel Ray is the spawn of Santa

One of the things I hate about Rachel Ray, besides everything, is the amount of dishes her recipes take to make. I’ve blogged in the past about what a crock of pooh her “30-minute recipes” are. While they might be tasty, they certainly take more than 30 minutes to make…unless you happen to have a staff of sous chefs waiting at your beckon call with all your chopped up veggies and meats and stuff.

Jed’s mom bought me Rachel’s “Big Orange Book” for Christmas and I’ve made a couple of the recipes this weekend. Tasty, yes. But the clean-up has taken a better part of the weekend for each meal. I didn’t get a photo of the first dinner, but I did catch the aftermath.

Saturday night’s dinner was Shepherd’s pie with a grilled shrimp tomato salad with a horseradish yogurt dressing. The dinner was delicious. The dishes were a pain in the ass.

Shep

Tonight I made a Philly Cheesesteak macaroni and cheese with a Romaine/pepper/artichoke salad drizzled with a balsamic vinegarette dressing. Again, the food was the bomb digity bomb bomb, but seriously, can’t Rachel cook anything without using every pot/dish/utensil in my house?

mac dish

Was it worth it?

Mac

You betcha.

Another thing I’ve noticed is her book is full of errors. Both recipes I’ve made from her book had errors. For example, in the Shepherd’s pie I was supposed to start by crisping 5 pieces of bacon and then set aside. Done. But nowhere in the rest of the recipe did it say where it was supposed to be added back in. I ended up crumbling it up and sticking it in the meat mixture…but in hindsight, I wish I would have crumbled it up and mixed it in with the bleu cheese mashed potatoes before putting it all up under the broiler. Next time, the bacon is going in the mashed potatoes. Tonight’s dinner called for 2 cups of shredded Provolone cheese. In the Bechamel it called to mix 1 ½ cups of the shredded cheese with the sauce. Then for the grand finale it called to “spread the remaining 1 ½ cups of shredded provolone” over the top of the mac before putting it under the broiler. My 4.0 tells me that 1 ½ and 1 ½ equals THREE cups, not two. You’d think the devil would have better editors.