January 2011 Archives

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Awesome fact #1 about the Internet: you can totally make up fake internet holidays and get away with it.  Witness National Delurker Day.

Awesome fact #2: sometimes you can harness the power of the Internet for good instead of evil.  Witness National Delurker Day 2010 when your delurking helped raise several hundred dollars for the residents of Haiti who had just suffered a most devastating earthquake.

As I sit here and I write this post, there is, at least not to my knowledge, not any massive devastation that is garnering worldwide attention - unless you count Sarah Palin's inapprorpriate use of the term "blood libel."  That doesn't mean there aren't those who need help and that doesn't mean we still can't harness the power of the Internet for good. 

So here's the deal: The first 75 comments on today's post will earn $2 per comment towards a to-be-determined charity (or charities). Additional comments will each earn $1. I'd make them all $2 but it's been cold (like really cold) and my monthly gas bill is approaching something close to stratospheric.

Comments can be as simple as "Hi" or as lengthy as your predicitions for who will win the Golden Globes on Sunday.  Feel free to also weigh in on worthy charities and/or how the Jets will fare against the Pats on Sunday.  For the record: I am a sucker for animals and I have to believe that TOM BRADY IS GOING DOWN. Ahem. Also? The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is its own special entity and Sunday's Globe winners should not be taken too seriously.

So go ahead. You show me yours, and I'll show you mine.

PS If the Jets actually do win, I'll tack an extra $50 onto the pot.

PPS If anyone does offer predictions on the Globes and gets at least 5 right, I'll send you some cookies. And add an extra $20 to the pot.

Comments ( 28 )

For the first time in I don't know how long, I was actually prepared for the snow i.e. I had plenty of de-icer and a shovel. Although actually, the shovel is on loan. But still, I had one. Also? For the record? I totally tried to buy a shovel at Wal-Mart after the last snow and they didn't have one. Not a single fucking shovel. At Wal-Mart. Which sells everything. Except, apparently, shovels.

Point is, when I woke up to ~ 6 inches of snow on Monday morning, I didn't panic. Instead, I waited for it to get light outside and then I went out to shovel my driveway. And when I say shovel, I mean shovel. I didn't just cut tracks or clear a portion. I cleared the entire fucking thing. And my driveway? She is wide. And long.

Two plus hours of shoveling that had me stripping off clothes and sweating through my wool hat. Two plus hours that left me with a wet head and fear of catching cold and screwing up my first trip home in over 6 months.  On the plus side: do you know how easy and delightful it is to shovel fresh, powdery snow? It is easy and delightful. Trust me. And after the shoveling I sprinkled ~ 60lbs. of Blizzard Wizard aka de-icer just to be safe.

Of course, my efforts were basically all for naught because while my driveway was clear, nothing else was. I live in on a fairly busy stretch of road and by 3pm it had only been partially plowed. Given my driving skills, there was no point in my venturing out despite a severe shortage of Coke Zero Cherry.

Additionally, although it had stopped snowing yesterday morning, the freezing rain began late afternoon and continued for most of the night.  So I woke up this morning to...ice. Everywhere. My driveway.  The main road I am on. All of it. To make matters worse, today's weather forecast was for clouds, the possibility of more freezing rain, and temperatures topping out at a whopping 33 degrees i.e. none of this shit was melting and I wasn't going anywhere.

And yet, in some unexplained moment of batshit crazy, I decided to shovel and de-ice my driveway. Again. Despite my back and shoulders aching already from yesterday. Despite my inability to go anywhere even if I did get my driveway clear.

And so I endured another 2+ hours of back-breaking, manual labor. And let me tell you something: slush and ice is not remotely the same thing as fresh, powdery snow. There was nothing easy and delightful about this morning. Nothing.

I sweat so much that the outside of my ski parka was damp. Snot was dripping helplessly from my nose as I chipped and hacked and kicked at the ice.  A blister the size of a quarter formed on my right palm.  Another, the size of a dime, on my left.  Another 20 lbs. of de-icer got sprinkled everywhere. Not that I was going anywhere. But I did it. I made my driveway my bitch. And then I came inside and died.

Seriously. I could barely hold myself upright. My hands were so sore and so cramped I could hardly open the bottle of extra strength Naproxen to take 6, let alone type emails for work. The early morning aches in my back and shoulders were exponentially more painful.  Exhausted doesn't even BEGIN to describe how I felt and I eventually gave up on trying to get anything else done and flung myself on the sofa and prayed for sweet mercy.

Clearly, I don't need a man when it snows. I do, however, need a driver. And a masseuse. Obviously.

PS As it turns out, my shoveling wasn't totally for naught as The Kaiser showed up to prevent me from going stark raving mad rescue me, right after lunch. Of course, he was en route to the gym so I got to go to .....THE GYM. Yes. After expending every, single ounce of energy I had and subsequently dying a slow, painful death, I donned my Lulus and went to work out. For 2 hours.

PPS I trained my trainer today. We did legs. I might have made him cry. 

PPPS Between the leg workout and the insane shoveling, I am fairly certain that I won't be able to move tomorrow. At all. Thursday is looking questionable too.

PPPPS Most importantly, I now have a full supply of Coke Zero Cherry, so all true emergencies have been avoided.     

Comments ( 5 )

I've never been big on New Year's resolutions and I finally figured out why.  It seems like we deem the first day of the first month of the new year THE TIME to start fresh. To set new goals. To change behavior.  But why that one day? Why not the first of every month? Or every week? Or even every day?

Isn't every day a chance to start over? A chance to say: I am going to make better choices than I did the day before. I am going to live my life differently. I am going to be healthier. Wiser. Saner. 

Isn't every, single day a chance to start over?

So I am not making any New Year's resolutions.  Instead, I am trying to wake up each day and make better choices than I did the day before. And if I made great choices the day before, then my goal is to make even better ones the day after. 

Do I want to get my ass in shape so that I don't get it handed to me when I compete in The Midwest Warrior Dash with ModernMatriarch and Pseudostoops? Absolutely. But it's a day in, day out decision.  And if I skip the gym to come home and have some wine and gorge myself silly on Melba toast? That's ok. Tomorrow is a brand new day. (Also? How fucked up is it that I am addicted to Melba toast. Seriously fucked up if you ask me.)

Would I like to be more comfortable with my alone time? Most definitely. And I've done a pretty good job over the last 2 weekends, but I am sure a Sunday will come when I have nothing to do and no one to do it with and I will wind up feeling woefully sorry myself.  It's expected and it's ok.  Because tomorrow is a brand new day. 

Most importantly: I want 2011 to be about forward motion. I took some major steps back in 2009 and then I paused to catch my breath.  Well - I've had enough time to rest and it's time to keep pushing onwards. There's no finish line. No ultimate goal (although figuring out where I am going to live is kind of key).  Just the chance to keep making progress. Bit by bit. Step by step.  One day at a time. And if I take a break or fall back a step or two? I'm not concerned. Tomorrow is a brand new day.  

Comments ( 4 )

If you're looking for an inspirational New Year's post, go someplace else.  We're not selling inspiration Chez Rougie today.  Nope.  Today we're selling "Rougie's Top Five Tips on How Not To Throw a Party."

1. You can't count on Old Navy.  When I decided to host last year's New Year's Eve party in PJs and Pearls, it was because I had cute new PJs to show off, I wanted to be comfy and I needed the pearls to make it classy.  Well, this year Old Navy fucked me in the cute new PJs department so I spent way too much time yesterday stressing out about what to wear which totally defeated the purpose.    

2. If you're going to be drinking heavily, you're probably not going to be cooking.  As much as I love to cook, I couldn't commit to any sort of menu so with less than 24 hours to go I decided on serving White Castle sliders, pigs in the blanket, and McDonald's fries.  I didn't realize until I was setting up that none of that food could really be cooked and left sitting out. It's food that is best served piping hot from the oven (or in the case of the White Castle burgers, the microwave).  Not totally a problem unless you drink your weight in Baby Guinness and forget that you're supposed to be cooking.

3. If you go ghetto, stay ghetto.  I spent yesterday morning running around looking for pre-made pigs in the blanket because the only thing I wanted to make during the party was a cocktail.  After bitching about it on Twitter, I finally found them in my local Harris Teeter. 32 little piggies for $9.99 - AND THAT WAS ON SALE. Clearly they are made from expensive pigs. However, I decided to cook some spanikopita and an assortment of puff pastry hors d'oeuvres that have been sitting in my freezer for months first.  You know what got eaten? The 9 upscale pigs in the blanket from the puff pastry collection. You know what got chucked? A bunch of shit with spinach and sun dried tomatoes. Also? I still have 32 pigs in the blanket sitting in my freezer.

4. Fries don't reheat well.  About a hundred years ago I read an interview with Cynthia Rowley where she talked about serving McDonald's fries at a dinner party because let's face it, they make the best fries.  I've always wanted to copy the idea and yesterday seemed like the perfect opportunity.  I figured reheated McDonald's fries would still be leaps and bounds better than frozen Ore-Idas cooked fresh.  Besides: I knew we'd be eating them late at night and I wasn't going to be making McDonald's runs in the middle of my party.  So at 11:45am while I was out running errands, I stopped by McDonald's and ordered 7 large fries to go. I got home, plunked them in 2 roasting trays, and left them sitting out.  At 6:45, I cranked my oven to 450 and stuck a batch in.  They came out hot - but not crispy.  Then I tried to heat them in a pan on the stovetop to absorb the moisture (a trick that works well for soggy pizza crust). They came out hard and dry.  Nothing I did worked. And you know what really pisses me off?  First - I totally did not have one single solitary fry when I bought them i.e. when they were fresh and hot and crispy and delicious.  Second - I ate way too many gross fries in my reheating attempts.  Three - I threw most of them fries out this morning ($12.75 wasted). Four - my car still fucking smells like McDonald's more than 24 hours later.  PS. I totally have to give credit to Donna who had pointed out earlier in the day on Twitter that fries don't reheat well. Lesson learned.   

5. Feed your guests. Although I did pick up a bag of Funyons, the Girl Scout came bearing chips and sausage balls, and Lilsaej brought some chicken tenders from Hardees (which saved us in the biggest way) there was not nearly enough food because as I illustrated in #2, when you're drinking you're not cooking and last night, I was drinking. As a result, I don't think any of us had nearly enough food to absorb the quantities of alcohol consumed. Also? I now have a freezer full of White Castle and pigs in the blanket.     

Despite a few bumps, PJs and Pearls: The 2nd Edition was a lot of fun - can't you tell?

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I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful New Year's Eve. 

May 2011 be full of The Awesome for all of you. At the very least may it not be full of pestilence, plague and/or stabbing.

Comments ( 4 )

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