December 2010 Archives

I arrived at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Amazing (aka Pops and Gigi aka Dr. Diva's parents) at 3pm on Christmas Eve.  I came bearing Crack Pie, 3 pints of Jeni's homemade ice cream and a bottle of 2005 Gun Bun Cabernet Sauvignon. Fuck the Three Wise Men. Who needs them? 

The afternoon was spent eating delicious cheese and drinking delicious wine and flipping through bridal magazines chick porn (since Dr. Diva and Shortstop recently got engaged).  Then, after a lovely Christmas Eve church service, we retured home and began the first of about 1000 delicious gourmet meals.  This one centered around Julia Childs' Bouef a la Parisienne and salad. Yes - salad thanks to a bottle of local ramp vinegar that I found in Gigi's fridge. That shit is just awesome, and since she gifted me the bottle I plan to eat nothing but salad from now until it runs out.

I woke up Christmas morning and headed downstairs for coffee.  Pops was working on getting this started:

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(Just as an FYI: the fireplace looks like this ALWAYS Chez Amazings. ALWAYS.)

However before I could get coffee, Gigi appeared and scolded me for crossing the Santa Line:

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In my defense, the Santa Line had not yet been tied when I made my initial trek downstairs. And in Gigi's defense, after I had been admonished and shuffled back upstairs, she delivered me coffee in bed. Still, nothing quite like being 35 and scolded for coming downstairs early on Christmas morning.

Dr. Diva had told me that there would be a stocking for me however she also said that it would mainly have oranges and dental floss so you can imagine my surprise at my stocking swag:

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Seriously: I may have gotten teary.

The plan was to leave after stockings and head back home to celebrate the rest of Christmas with Lilsaej and her family however 2 things happened simultaneously:

Pops got a weather alert on his iPhone that Western NC was being hammered with snow (although we had yet to see any in our neck of the woods) and my mother called from NY to confirm that I would under no circumstances be driving.  As bad as I felt about not making it to see Lilsaej, everyone agreed that my not dying was a good thing. 

So I got to stay around for Christmas breakfast:

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Nothing screams Merry Christmas quite like poached eggs, Hollandaise, bacon and German lager.

Also? Dr. Diva may save lives as a brilliant vascular surgeon but she can also save sauce.  As we went for round 2 of liberally buttered toast smothered in Hollandaise (which is essentially lemon scented butter thickened with egg yolks so really we were eating BUTTER), Dr. Diva discovered that her gorgeous Hollandaise had broken. However, instead of declaring it dead, she preformed the equivalent of culinary CPR and within 6 minutes the sauce had been completely restored to its former glory. It was truly a Christmas miracle.

The rest of Christmas involved the men being all lumberjacky-like and chopping wood for several hours while the girls wrapped presents and looked at wedding dresses.  All of that wrapping and browsing left us spent so we retired to the hot tub with a bottle of Albarino. Christmas dinner was a balsamic-fig roasted pork tenderloin, Brussels slaw, blue cheese butternut squash puree, and more salad with the good-as-crack salad dressing. We eventually got to present opening and then everyone retired to bed while I curled up on the sofa in front of the fire with a glass of wine to watch Scrooged. Of course I promptly fell asleep. 

I woke up on Sunday to this:  

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And since it was still snowing, plans to depart were once again thwarted which was fine by me because given my druthers, I would spend every morning sitting in a hot tub under a snowy canopy of trees, drinking coffee while snow falls gently on my head. 

Breakfast was more liberally buttered toast (Pops butters it first and then toasts it so you get nothing but crunchy, butter soaked goodness) and slow cooked scrambled eggs. And for the record, there is totally a difference between slow cooked and fast cooked scrambled eggs in that slow cooked scrambled eggs kick fast cooked scrambled eggs' ass.  

Eventually the snow stopped and we headed out for football (because the satellite was out) and groceries (because we were out of wine).  Dr. Diva and I whipped up some Spicy Vietnamese Beef and Noodle Soup for dinner:

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And we finished up the evening with some hard core, ultra competitive Cancellation Hearts. Word of warning: I take my card playing VERY seriously and I get uber cranky when I lose.

Although I was invited to stay another day, the roads were driveable and so Monday morning (with a little help from Pops getting out of the woods and to a main thoroughfare) I headed home where I was relieved to discover that my pipes hadn't frozen, my basement hadn't flooded and Psycho Kitty was still alive.  

All in all, it was one of the best Christmases I've had in a really long time. And while normally Mother Nature pisses me off with her menopausal weather histrionics, she actually managed to do something right this time: she left me stranded in paradise.

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So last night Lilsaej and I went to see Black Swan.  All I knew about it was that it had gotten rave reviews and that it starred Natalie Portman as a ballerina fighting off up and comer Mila Kunis. I also knew that it was described as a "Psycho-Sexual Thriller" and that there was a lesbian sex scene (albeit brief) between the 2 ballerinas. My expectations weren't much beyond what little I'd read. 

Here's what you need to know about Black Swan: It's creepy.  Like really motherfucking creepy. And it's gory.  Like I-almost-puked-in-my-popcorn way-too-much-blood-for-a-movie-about-a-ballerina gory.  And it's creepy. Did I mention that? 

On the plus side, if you have ever questioned your mental stability or wondered just how insane you truly were - this movie will put it all into perspective because there is your garden variety OCD and then there is ripping your own skin off OCD.  There is batshit crazy and then there is a full on psychotic break. 

After watching Black Swan, I am pleased to report that I am apparently nowhere near the end of my emotional tether and that despite my occasional rants, I have no intention of actually stabbing anyone. Even those people who really piss me off.

As far as the movie, I am glad I saw it. It was beyond good - well acted, well directed, well edited. The score was fantastic and the juxtaposition of the music with the acting was quite well done.  As awards season starts and everyone goes on and on and about Natalie Portman's and Mila Kunis's performances - I will know what they are talking about and I will probably agree wholeheartedly. 

It was a welcome relief to see Hollywood produce something that wasn't a second third fourth sequel or a remake or a vehicle for some stupid reality TV star.  However...when Black Swan comes out on DVD I doubt that I will purchase it.  It is not exactly the type of movie you watch over and over - unless you enjoy being sucked into a mental breakdown of monumentally epic proportions (See also: Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction slitting her own wrists and/or sitting there flipping the lamp on and off and on and off and on and off and on and off and on and OMFG - MAKE IT STOP!). And while I am at it, I swear on all that is holy in this universe that I never, ever, ever, ever, want to witness a mother undress her grown child and put her to bed. Taking off her kid's earrings? That scarred me more than anything. Dear Lord Barbara Hershey - when did you become so spine-chillingly disturbing? Also? Hello Winona Ryder - I had no idea you were still around.

After the movie ended, Lilsaej and I just turned and looked at one another, not quite sure what to say.  Actually, I think I said something to the effect of: "Wow. Suddenly I am glad to *only* be batshit crazy.  And I think I liked Burlesque better."  And then we hit the local pub for a few pints of Guinness and a sampler platter because holy hell we needed something to take the edge off.

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I have a tendency to bitch and moan. A lot.  It's just so....easy. And the Internet (especially Twitter) enables the bitching and moaning.  However, occasionally I don't feel like kicking the world in the gonads or stabbing someone. Occasionally, I am actually in a good mood. And this post is dedicated to the things that are currently making me happy 

About 2 months ago, I covered up the fading summer highlights in my hair and went back to my natural color which is dark brown. In fact, I went a shade darker than my natural color and suddenly with the richer, darker hair I was all about the darker lips. After weeks of mixing and blending 24 different products to get just the right shade of dark, I discovered Urban Decay's Lip Junkie Lip Gloss in Perversion.

It looks dark and it is.  However because it's a gloss you can really control just how dark you go. It is so pretty and surprisingly neutral and I am just in love!  

I have naturally curly hair and last time I got my hair done, I had The Stylist dry it and style it au natural.  Well - not technically au natural because after years of taming my hair into submission, au natural is basically frizzy.  But it's amazing what you can do with a 1-inch curling iron - see:

Curly Girl.jpg 

My hair looked amazing: big, soft, gorgeous, lush curls. The Stylist described it as Come Fuck Me hair and I have to say, she was right.  However, my ability to wield a 1-inch curling iron leaves something to be desired so until I can sit through Curling Your Hair 101, I have rediscovered my InStyler, and I have to say - I am more than a little in love with the results.

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Either way, I am having a lot of really good hair days.   

I have to give my 5yo nephew credit for the next thing on my list.  Is anyone else having an issue where the heat and dry air are sucking every last ounce of moisture out of your body because OMFG my whole body feels as dry as a tinder box and all I want to do is bathe in a vat of shea butter.  Even worse - I've had some congestion issues and the inside of my nose feels like sandpaper which makes blowing my nose beyond painful. Until I discovered these:

Aside from the ridiculously cute name, these are like a soft, moist, slice of heaven for abused noses.  And I'm sure all of you with kids have known about the benefits of any sort of moistened wipe for quite a while, but I don't have kids and I didn't know.  Now I do. And I am obsessed. 

I love Trader Joe's however I rarely go because it's just not convenient to where I work or any part of my already achingly long commute (45 miles each way in case you care). However, I happened to spend Friday night in the Big City and instead of doing something useful on Saturday like checking out one of the 2 new art museums, I went to Trader Joe's.  I forgot how CHEAP everything is.  And how GOOD it all is. And how CHEAP.  Especially the wine.  I bought 10 bottles...TEN.  Including 4 bottles of things with bubbles for PJs and Pearls: The 2nd Edition.  My total bill was $105.  And that includes groceries too.  The most expensive thing I picked up was a $7.99 bottle of Nerelo del Bastardo.  Obviously I need to start detouring on my way home.

Olivia Newton-John is thrilling me to no end these days.  Yes - you heard me right: Olivia Newton-John.

Don't judge lest ye be judged. And if you don't believe me, download Make a Move On Me. I guarantee that song will put you in a FAB-U-LOUS mood.

Dear Television Network Execs: Please bring back Designing Women.  While I enjoy the 4 episodes I have saved on my Tivo, it's not nearly enough to capture the sheer awesomeness of the Sugarbaker sisters. I mean, Suzanne with her "Big Woos" and total disregard for everyone and everything coupled with Julia's *zesty* approach to life keeps me from stabbing people on a regular basis.   

 

Above and beyond, the thing that's making me uber-happy is that I actually have plans for the holidays. Last year, I spent the night of Christmas Day with Lilsaej and her family but while the rest of the world was relishing in a 4 day holiday weekend, I was going batshit crazy feeling trapped and alone. Emphasis on alone.  It was not pretty and I had no desire to repeat it. 

This year's 4 day weekend is shaping up to be MUCH better - especially because I get to give the newly-engaged Dr. Diva a giant hug when I see her on Christmas Eve. Also? Something about a hot tub.  Either way - both are leaps and bounds above cleaning out my file cabinet, which is what I did last Christmas Eve. 

So yes. I have many reasons to smile these days. And when I am not smiling? Well, at the very least I'm not stabbing anyone. 

What about you? What's jingling your bells these days?

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Old Navy has me seriously, seriously baffled.

For starters: why would the ultra-skinny Flirt jeans be flattering in the dark rinse but make my legs look like 2 overstuffed sausages in the lighter rinse?

Also - given that I wear a size 2* in the ultra-skinny Flirt jeans, one would assume that I would also wear a size 2 in other Old Navy skinny pants. Of course, one would be wrong.  However one wouldn't know that they were wrong until one had grabbed a pair of size 2 black skinny twill pants, paid for them, and brought them home at which point one wouldn't even be able to get their ankle into one of the legs.   Turns out I am size 6 in the skinny twills. Go figure.

Lastly: OLD NAVY IS OUT OF PAJAMAS.   I repeat: OLD NAVY IS OUT OF PAJAMAS.  This wouldn't be such an issue if I weren't hosting PJs & Pearls: The 2nd Edition on New Year's Eve and didn't need cute, new PJs to wear.  Of course the whole point of PJs and Pearls was to make New Year's casual and less stressful i.e. no running around trying to find something to wear and yet here I am running around trying to find something to wear and Old Navy, once known for always having a wide variety of cute PJs, is OUT OF FUCKING PJS AND IT'S PISSING ME OFF.

I think I need to go lie down.      

 

* For anyone who wants to stab me for saying that I wear a size 2 I assure you, it's not true. I mean, the jeans are a size 2 but I don't think they're a real size 2 because there is no way on God's green Earth that I am actually a size 2 (see the part where I couldn't get my ankle into the other size 2s). I think that the Old Navy people are stretching the definition of what size 2 is in order to give people, such as me, a false sense of skinny.  

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I keep meaning to write about my fabulous Hanukkah party the other night.  I made pot roast with horseradish gravy in the slow cooker (with some help via text from AndreAnna), potato latkes with the world's easiest homemade applesauce, and spinach and goat cheese salad with a warm mushroom vinaigrette.  The Redneck Princess brought a pecan pie her nanny made and there was plenty of red wine and candles and dreidel games and dreidel songs and Hanukkah gelt all in all it was a really great time. I mean - REALLY GREAT.

I could probably go into more detail but I am beyond beat from working all day prepping for a massive presentation I must give tomorrow and so I am flopped on my sofa with Psycho Kitty enjoying my gas logs, some red wine and waiting for my nails to dry.  I am also totally distracted by a cadre of handsome leading men including Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday (God that man makes me damp) and Cary Grant in Charade.

*That's* why I am having trouble blogging.  It's all Gregory Peck's fault.

PS I purchased a "Be Nice or I'll Stab You" t-shirt from the Bloggess's Zazzle store. I can't tell you how ridiculously happy this makes me. I might wear it every day.

PPS After 5 years I finally made it to Cat Square and yes - I painted the cat although I missed the actual parade. Baby steps.

PPPS It's Christmas so will someone please tell me why the fuck Love Actually isn't on TV at all? That's like the most Christmasy movie ever, and I don't get why TNT will run 24 hours of A Christmas Story and not 24 hours of Love Actually? Or even an hour. I'd settle for damn hour because Colin Firth, Hugh Grant and Liam Neeson are way hotter than Peter Billingsly. Way.

PPPPS Ok so in order to actually make this a usefulish post - here's how you make applesauce (and fully giving credit to Epicurious for basically giving me the idea).  Peel, core and thinly slice 5 apples. I used 2 Ambrosias, 2 Granny Smiths and 1 Honey Crisp.  Put them in a large bowl with 1/4 cup of water, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for 10 minutes.  Uncover and then microwave for 5 - 10 minutes more (my dinky EZ-Bake microwave has no more than 100 watts of power and so it took a full extra 10 minutes) until soft. Mash with a potato masher and sweeten as needed. My batch took a single packet of Splenda. 

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It's Hanukah and I've been doing my best to celebrate which includes lighting the candles nightly as well as eating my weight in fried potatoes. Daily.  Hey. Don't judge.  The Macabees survived on McDonald's fries. Or something like that.

In the mean time...prepare to laugh your oil-slicked ass off (and sorry for the double-click to YouTube - damn Internet hackers making it difficult for the rest of us...)

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So back in November (because Holy Hell - we're now in DECEMBER), The Reporter threw a little murder-mystery dinner soiree. Actually, she threw a total of three murder-mystery dinner soirees in total but 2 of them were over THE SUMMER and since my schedule over the summer was nothing short of ridiculous, we planned to have the 3rd and final one (which would be attended by The Artist and myself, among others) IN NOVEMBER.  And now November has come and gone, the party is 2+ weeks behind us, and I am just now getting around to posting pictures.  Would you believe I am *that* lazy busy?

The murder-mystery soiree theme was Night at the Waskers and I played the role of Hailey Michaels, bratty spoiled daughter of rockstar Bret Michaels.  Picture Miley Cyrus meets Kelly Osborne with a dash of Kardashian and a sprinkling of Britney.

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That's me as Hailey Michaels signing my autograph on the back of crazed fan Dexter Dexter or Vincent Vincent. Shit - the party was 2+ weeks ago and I can't remember his character's name. All I know was that we each won for best costume. Dontcha just totally dig the mutli-colored hair extensions?

 

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Here I look less like bratty rockstar child and more like heiress - mainly due to the fact that I am sporting my Great Aunt Lily's vintage mink stole AND you can't see the blue and pink hair.

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This was the shot that had me convinced that I'd make a fabulous heiress - excluding the fact that I am apparently flipping off the entire universe.  The combination of mink and bling and giant sunglasses has me truly believing that I would make a very, very good heiress.  And frankly, what heiress doesn't tell the rank and file to fuck off? At the very least, I've got the role of brat child down pat.  

Speaking of mink and bling...I saw Burlesque last night with Lilsaej and OMFG I am NOW BEYOND OBSESSED.  What's bizarre is that I knew nothing about the movie before going to see it. She just asked me if I wanted to go and who am I to say no to 1) a night out with my BFF 2) Recession Buster Tuesdays at the movies where $2 gets you a small popcorn and small Coke Zero (a little *too* small but as Lilsaej pointed out you can buy 3 and still spend less than buying a regular drink).

Anywhoo....the movie was...Fab. Divine. Full of bling. And sparkle. And sass. And sexy. And Xtina. Oh Xtina.

Britney Spears and Mariah Carey may have scared us all off from pop stars who try to act but Christina nailed it.  And GIRL CAN SING. AND SHIMMY. AND SHAKE. And her character was soooooooooooooo.....loveable.  

I now wish that I could:

1) Walk around in 5-inch sparkly heels always.

2) Dance with actual rhythm. Or carry a tune. Or both.

3) Coat myself in head-to-toe-glitter.

4) Wear lace bustiers and garters to work.

5) Get away with Jazz hands.

 

Since none of that is bound to happen, I am going to have to suck it up and settle for:

1) Listening to the soundtrack...obsessively.

2) Getting my toes painted Let Me Entertain You from the Opi Burlesque collection:

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3) Singing obsessively to the soundtrack. Possibly while wearing lace. And heels. And sparkles.

GET UP OFF YOUR ASS SHOW ME HOW YOU BURLESQUE!

*Ahem*

Or something like that.

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