Saturday, October 24, 2009

You Can't Go Back

Who was it, do you think, that came up with the idea of selling old TV shows on DVD? I mean, is that a brilliant idea, or what? Pure profit by tapping into nostalgia. I had never watched any old TV shows this way until I saw the first season of "MacGyver" at the library. I remember loving "MacGyver." I didn't remember a lot of the specifics of the show, but I remember liking it. So did A. So I checked it out and we watched a couple of episodes last night.


It was both better and worse than I remembered. The nifty little MacGyver tricks were better, as I thought I was exaggerating in my memory the kind of shit they had this guy come up with on the spur of the moment (stopping a bomb with a paper clip---FOR REAL). The acting? SO MUCH WORSE. The cheese factor was about +200. The guy that played MacGyver wasn't so bad, although I don't know how he could have uttered some of those awful lines with a straight face, but the supporting actors were not so good. Some of them were so bad they were funny. Many were just bad. I don't know if the actors got better as the show progressed and got more well-known, and that's why I don't remember it being so bad, or if I just wasn't much of a drama critic at the age of seven, but in any case, the first two episodes had some horrifically bad acting.

This makes me wonder if I would have the same reaction to other shows I remember loving as a kid. I've watched a few re-runs of "M*A*S*H," and those were just about as good as I remember. But I'm afraid now to try anything else. Specifically, "The Cosby Show." I don't think I could handle it if the Cosbys made me cringe. Maybe it's better to be left with my golden memories of old TV. Because you know what they say: "You can't go back."

Friday, October 23, 2009


I failed to mention the fact that my car's exhaust system pretty much gave up and died from rust a couple weeks back. You know what happens when your car's exhaust system resembles swiss cheese from rust? It sounds like a dirt bike. For real. I couldn't hear the radio over the sound of the car. It was pretty bad. I drove it a couple of times like that, but it was kind of embarrassing. And annoying. So, to the mechanic with the car.

We went to pick it up yesterday, after yet ANOTHER patch job by the mechanic, who informed us that he had performed his last patching miracle on my piece of shit car (not his actual words), and that next time, we would actually have to replace pipe, instead of gluing pieces together with baling twine and chewing gum. Or whatever.

Anyway. We got in Big Red the pick-up to go to the mechanic, and A. discovered that Big Red had little to no brakes. One of the brake lines was giving out. He drove it to the mechanic anyway (it's mostly uphill on rural roads with few cars and no stops, and with a standard, you can kind of shift down to slow the car), where we traded out one shitty vehicle for another.

And that, my friends, is the story of my life.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

All About My Dinner. Again.

I know, right? What's with the talking about last night's dinner? Couldn't I come up with anything better than that? Howsabout a dog photo or a fun story about jabbing a needle into my finger while mending some jeans? (I did do that yesterday--I HATE SEWING.) Anything other than another story about my dinner.

Sorry. I have to do this. Because, you see, I did it again.

I swear on my mother's big toe that I did not set out to once again decorate my plate in a pleasing palette of pinks and reds. It was completely inadvertent, and, as such, infinitely more amusing.

Here's what happened.

I got home from working at the library at 5:45 p.m. I was starving, of course. A. was on his way to court, the MiL was at a meeting, and I had to feed myself. Sitting on the counter were four potatoes A. and I found when we dug up one of the former potato beds while planting garlic a couple of days ago. I started peeling and chopping the potatoes, in preparation for making mashed potatoes. Three of the four potatoes were Adirondack Reds, which meant pink mashed potatoes. I do love pink mashed potatoes. I was just going to mix some cheese in with the potatoes and call it dinner (the joys of cooking for only myself . . .), but then I saw the ground lamb in the refrigerator. And the leftover quart jar of tomatoes with about a quarter left. And the leftover beets.

So I ended up making lamb patties with a tomato sauce and heating up the beets to eat with my pink potatoes. A purple French shallot went into the tomato sauce, and I used zataar (a Middle Eastern spice mixture of sumac berries, thyme, and sesame seeds) to season both the meat and the sauce. Zataar is bright red from the sumac berries.

Halfway through the cooking process, I realized what I had done again. And this time, I took a photo.

Yeah. You won't be seeing THIS in "Gourmet" anytime soon*.

I'm finding the thought of having so many pink, red, and purple foods about to be a little disturbing. However, I was eating within 30 minutes of walking through the door, so no complaints from me.

* Oh wait. You won't be seeing ANYTHING in "Gourmet," because those assholes at Conde Nast SHUT IT DOWN. BOOOOO.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

That Is One Big Circle

Remember a long, long time ago--more than a whole year ago, in fact--when we cured the lamb hides? If you don't remember that, or weren't around for it, go here to see what I'm talking about.

You back? Okay, carrying on.

Now, curing is not tanning. Curing is just basically drying the hides out with salt. For tanning, the MiL sent the hides away to a place in Pennsylvania. Except it, uh, took awhile to get them sent. And then it took awhile to get them tanned. But FINALLY, look what arrived on our doorstep yesterday. We have come full circle.

Align CenterAnd look! They also attached legs and arms! FUN!

This thing is cool. Really. The wool on it is at least four inches long and just so soft. It still smells like the chemicals they use to tan it, so I wouldn't want to snuggle up with it right now, but it IS washable and I have to think that the smell will dissipate. A. immediately asked if we could wrap the baby in it. Which of course we could, and I think we can all agree that that would be unbearably cute, but then the baby would no doubt soil itself and the nice, soft hide, so maybe we won't be wrapping the baby up in it very much.

Still though. Pretty cool. And two more to come.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oh, How I Love To Clean

Yeah, not really. Not at all. Not anything, actually. Although, cleaning up the garden, which is what I did yesterday, is much less painful than cleaning something like, say, a toilet that will just have to be cleaned again in a week. If you're diligent. Or longer, if you're not (hi!).


Yes. Fall garden cleanup. I have been avoiding it, because honestly? The garden is kind of a mess. The weeds, people. They will destroy us all. I was so good about weeding in the early part of the summer, and then . . . I don't know. It rained a lot? I was really tired? I was really lazy? Whatever the reason, the weeds have had their way with the garden, and it is ugly out there. It's kind of embarrassing, actually. That's why there are no photos.

So, you'll just have to trust me when I tell you that I did actually clean up out there. Even if it doesn't look much like it. I pulled out all the half-frozen green bean plants; the bell peppers; the jalapeƱos*; the blackened and sad-looking basil bushes; the dead and dried corn plants; the withered zucchini vines . . . so much pulling and flinging into the gully. I even yanked all the pumpkin vines out of the blackberry patch and cut down the old blackberry canes**. And believe me, blackberry canes and pumpkin vines are an unholy and evil combination. There was much swearing at thorns and cursing of twining vines.

I also pulled out the kick-ass bamboo tomato supports that really did not get to support much except for blighted tomatoes this year. Sad. However! I am pleased to tell you that the supports came out mostly intact and I just leaned them up against the garden fence all ready for next year. This should save me hours and hours of cutting and trimming of bamboo stakes, and then the tying of said stakes. Assuming they don't all rot over the winter, or get smashed to pieces by wind or something. I remain optimistic.

Lastly, I spread some of the big tarps in the weediest areas in an attempt to smother as many weeds as possible before the spring. I suspect this may be a futile effort, but it's all I got.

There are still things out there--leeks, beets, collards, chard, radishes, parsnips--but this is pretty much the end of another gardening season. And I think this one is ending with a whimper instead of a bang. Oh well, better luck next year.

* Lookit! I learned how to do it! Thanks, Lennie. I used the "alt 0241" method you recommended. And now Blogger is marking it as a misspelled word. Stupid, monolinguistic Blogger.

** Blackberry canes bear every other year, so the canes that bore this year are cut to the ground and the new canes that started growing this summer are left over the winter to flower in the spring. Assuming those irritating rabbits don't strip all the bark off the canes over the winter and kill them.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I call this collection "Images of Autumn."

Coming soon to a fine art gallery near you . . .

Sunday, October 18, 2009

There Goes My Girlish Figure*

I woke up this morning with a definite urge for pancakes. But that posed a problem. See, A. has been the designated pancake-maker in our house for many years, but lately, he's been gravitating more toward crepes. Crepes are okay smothered in lots of sour cream and strawberry jam, but crepes are . . . eggy. And . . . thin. Definitely not pancakes. Thick, puffy pancakes, soaking in obscene quantities of butter and maple syrup. YUM. I knew what I wanted, and I knew also that A. would not want them and I would have to make them myself. And then eat them myself.

I made the basic recipe in the "Better Homes and Gardens" cookbook. It's supposed to serve four. I meant to just cook some of the batter and leave the rest in the refrigerator for another day. Instead, I cooked and ate all of it. By myself.

Excuse me now while I collapse on the couch in a carbohydrate-induced coma.

* Okay, in truth my girlish figure has already been compromised by this whole gestating thing. But I can't think gluttonous quantities of pancakes help.