Thursday, October 28, 2010

CSI Home: The Case of the Missing Redhead

Waiting for an important call, I realized I had ignored the state of the house for about 6 weeks.  I decided to get with it.

While swabbing the kitchen floor, I decided to break at the oven and spray it with cleaner.  That should take about 2-3 hours to eat through to enamel. (for more on this see: Accidents in the home).

Climbing the stairs, I noticed: they were disgusting.  All manner of dirt dust and hair remained on the treads.  Wearing my trusty Platex Living Gloves, (I think they actually might call them that although outside of the bubble boy I don't know who would call that living..) I climb one stair at a time rubbing furiously at the back edge and then sides and middle.

The resulting debris resembled a hairy bowling ball.  There was soooo much hair!  Obviously I had been there at least once.

This put me in mind of all those detective shows.  Come on, they find one hair on the victim, and it's crime solved?  I had enough evidence to convict myself a billion times over.  I had hair there from when I was a redhead.

Wait a second.... I've never BEEN a redhead! 

Case open pending further investigation.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Soup's On!

Let me just run this one by you:
Rotisserie chicken soup.thrifty or pathetic?
Discuss amongst yourselves.

One mostly denuded chicken carcass
4-6 cups of water
large carrot cut up
stalk of celery with leaves on
half an onin large hunks
salt, pepper
parsley whole
include that dark jelly stuff on th bottom of the plastic chicken garage thing, that's the flavor package

Boil till it smells like grandma's house,( 2-3 hours) taste.  If it's too weak cook it down some more.  Eventually it should taste good.  Then you can add:
leftover chicken
more smaller carrot and celery and onion pieces, sweated,
lentils (handful)
rice (some)
maybe kale or spinach
maybe little pale meatballs
red bell pepper, if your stomach can take it
cumin, curry or Chinese 5 spice powder
you can take it from here,
I'm just waiting for the broth to cool.
And that's che sera cooking for today. enjoy!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sexy Costumes

I was tooling about the web the other day, when I saw a link for interesting Halloween Costumes.  I am interested in costumes because they allow us, for a limited time only, to wear the stuff that would be ridiculous, outre', or just plain unappropriate most of the time.

I was disgusted to find that most of the costumes for women consist of mainly undergarments.  It used to be that you would go to a party and everyone was a French Maid or wearing a catsuit, but now, everyone who dares, just puts on some underwear. 

Even if it's unusually pretty, I don't want to see you without clothing.  My friend Bob once went as Jesus Christ, but due to his stocky build, we all thought he was baby New Year.  That loincloth looked way too diaper for us. Plus, it was cold.

One year I went as the Bride of Frankenstein.  Too bad, I don't have a photo for you, but Mom was out of film or something.  As I was driving through the turnpike, lightning in my hair, eyebrows severely altered, black lips, and bandages hanging from my arms, the toll guy leaned out of the booth and remarked: you look really hot tonight.  He did not know me, and so he did not know how I looked every other night, and the party was about a week from Halloween.  I'm still not quite sure what that was about, but it's a good story, and it's true.

When I got to the party, there were a load of catsuits, but I had my choice of suitors, and eventually chose a gorilla with an oversized tie.  I thought the tie was an extra effort.  He turned out to be Mr. wrong, inviting me over by saying "why not come over and make me dinner?   I bought some kind of meat."

He was not sure what kind of meat he had bought, and from experience I knew he had not even salt and pepper with which to season said mystery meat.

I told him in no uncertain terms that it was not a good invitation.  "You say, come over I have a mink coat, and some kind of meat, or perhaps; I have roses, champagne and chocolates, and some kind of meat." I suggested.

He did not think I was funny, or even helpful, which I really was, and when, a couple years later, he was to marry a young woman, I wondered how he had managed to convince her.  It certainly was not his manner.
Maybe it was the gorilla suit.

Weather or Not

I was going to go out today, but the threat of near-flood conditions deters me.  In fact, I would probably just spend money, and I'd just as soon make money as spend it.  I should be listing my entire house on different sites, but as of now I only have a hundred or so listings split between Amazon, Etsy (chandeluse), Ebay and Craigslist.

It's kind of boring, listing things online, and yet, when someone buys your stuff, you get such a happy rush, it's instant confirmation either of your good taste and refinement, or of your canny observation of the market.  Either way, it makes you feel good to have a little cash come in when you have not worked yourself to the bone to earn it.

I could spend this time writing, listing, or making things to list.  So far, the making things to list has been the most useless, as my main site sells Vintage items, and evidently Etsiers prefer their home-made to be separated from their vintage.
  To go farther, it seems that they prefer their shops to sell only one item at a time, such as; soaps, party invitations, or portraits of Marie Antoinette.
  I'm not sure why Marie is so popular, other than, we kind of wish we could march around looking like an elegant parade float or custom cake, more than we wish to wear the type of boring, don't pay me any mind couture we generally have around the house.  It's kind of interesting, because most of us would rather be Marie Antoinette than Lady Gaga.  Think on that, for a while, and get back to me about it.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Pumpkin Carving 101

I tend to digress a lot here, so bear with me.  Probably I should have edited more generously, but frankly most of it amuses me, and so you can be the judge.

 Pumpkin Carving 101

The first thing you must do is find a suitable child. You might think that a pumpkin would be the first item on your list but you would be mistaken.

I don’t particularly recommend using children for many activities, but they are the most fun to carve pumpkins with.

My mother used to buy unusual shaped pumpkins and keep them around the house for indefinite periods of time. One year around January, I felt that this had gone far enough and enlisted my 6-year-old sister to help make the Jack-o-lantern. We had the very best time and the next day; no one at school would believe her story of pumpkin carving while there was snow on the ground. I got in trouble for destroying the squash. I still do not know for what purpose it was intended that we had to keep it for so long.

I do not recommend  borrowing a child without parental permission, it is just not done, but let’s say you have a kid, maybe you are related to one of an age that will still be captivated with an activity where knives are wielded at vegetables for no practical purpose, and you can go together to get a pumpkin. I am going to leave you to your own devices at this point, buy, grow, pick, steal, whatever, depending on how fast you can run towing a small child and one or more pumpkins.

Once home in the kitchen, arm everyone involved with smocks or aprons. Count on getting everything sticky and messy.

On another occasion, ( I know, I TOLD you about the digressing) I had baked a large hubbard squash in the oven to use as pie filling. Lifting the pan proved slippery and the entire pan fell to the floor and splashed up to a spectacular height of seven feet. As I was slipping around the kitchen in orange goo, a telemarketer called, and like a fool, I answered the phone, thus applying gunk to one more surface. “I can’t talk now, I told the woman, I have pumpkin up to here.” She failed to believe me.  That's the problem with my life, too many true incidents that just seem like they must not have really happened.

Newspaper is the traditional covering for your table. It is plentiful in most homes and in addition to slime; you can get newsprint all over everything. This is part of the gestalt of the deal. Note: Papers were plentiful before the national newspapers went to hell, and also before the advent of recycling, but I know of a house that is standing mostly because of the newspapers amending the strength of the walls.

The next step, planning the decoration, is a good place to use the child. Give it a large marker, be specific that it can draw only on the pumpkin or the paper, and let it go. Try not to be picky. If you are not happy with their design, you can make your own as the pumpkin has continuous sides. I kind of like making 2 or 3 faces per pumpkin, and they cast more light that way.

Cut the top off of the squash in question. An irregular cut will make you look like less of an idiot trying to make it fit again. Any attempt to make it an even circular cut will result in you spinning it endlessly over the opening and dropping it back inside with some frequency. A zigzag somewhere along the edge will remedy your lid conundrums.  Also, try to cut at an angle with the widest part at the top and the smaller part towards the inside.

The next step is everyone’s favorite, and if it is not, you will thank me for advising you to invite a small person. Put all hands inside the hole in the top and wiggle your fingers and squish the seeds between your fingers, making jokes with your small person or not, as you wish. This part engenders merriment whether or not you have good comic material, and kids have their own ideas as to just what constitutes humor, and will let you know, whether you are interested or not.

You will probably have to scrape out the insides unless your child is particularly adept, as well they might be, knowing it is your child, who is, as we all know, smarter than ours.

All that is left is to cut out your pattern, and the powers that be are not holding us to faces anymore. You can make spooky trees, owls, ghosts or perhaps a replica of Mount Rushmore, as you please.

I would do this part myself, as handing tots cutlery is tantamount to mayhem and that parents frown on getting their child back with missing parts. During this boring (for them) interval, give them a bowl of the seeds to play with, that being the most delightful part of it anyway, and try not to be too hard on yourself if things are not perfect.

Put a candle inside, leave the lid off and turn off the lights and make spooky noises at each other. This should kill at least another one minute until your child lender comes to retrieve their progeny and berate you for overindulgence.

What a happy life! Rid yourself of the messy small persons, or rush them to the tub to clean off the excess squash. Pour yourself a drink and congratulate yourself on a job well done. You are now ready for Halloween. Or perhaps not, but you have made the attempt, and that is what matters.