27 January, 2009

Cookie Redux

Here they are. The fabulous pink swirled cookies I told you about yesterday:

These are from my slice-n-bake log, which went a bit flat in the fridge, so they look a little bit like slices of mini breads! Still, they are tasty.

And a bonus picture I just found on my camera. This was taken some time recently when it was very very cold. I know that even without a date stamp on the picture because:

a) Scott has a blanket on his lap
b) Scott is wearing a shirt
c) Milo is cuddling with Scott

We learned that all you have to do to get your cats to like you is to keep the temperature in your home somewhere around 50-55. No matter where you go, a cat instantly jumps on your lap. And when you get up, another cat will instantly be in the warm spot! Sadly, it has warmed up again and they are back to their normal feline indifference.

Of course, who needs kitty love when you have cookies?

26 January, 2009

New Favorite Condiment

Cranberry Relish
1 cup of whole fresh (or frozen/thawed) cranberries
1/4 cup of packed brown sugar

Add both ingredients to food processor and process until desired consistency.

Seriously, I didn't even want to post this recipe because it's so embarrassingly easy! The recipe is actually the cranberry portion of a cranberry-orange pinwheel cookie recipe that I got from "Harp Girl" at work. She made the pinwheels and was really frustrated with rolling part of the process, so I got the recipe from her and started experimenting with "lazy man's cranberry orange cookies." The first batch I made like thumbprints. And the dark red filling made them look like gunshot wounds. This time, I put on some rubber gloves and squished the cranberry right into the orange cookie dough. The result was a lovely pink-swirled cookie that I would love to show you, but they have all been eaten. (no worries - there's a whole slice-n-bake log of dough in the fridge that I'm sure I'll be baking up in the next few days. maybe then there will be a photo!)

These are, by the way, my new go-to cookies. They are surprisingly light, and you can eat way too many of them without them laying in your stomach like bricks. Besides, did I mention the fruit? They are practically health food! (let's not discuss the 2 sticks of butter!)

So the cranberry goop: Scott and I both realized pretty quickly that this stuff would be fabulous on turkey. I have already proclaimed that I am bringing it in for any Thanksgiving pot luck I may have to attend in 2009. I made some extra with that last batch of cookies, and Scott got turkey sandwich fixin's from the store. I had one when I got home last night, and I had one for breakfast this morning - turkey, cheddar, cranberry and cole slaw on fresh sourdough.


23 January, 2009

At Last...

In a day filled with fantastic and memorable historical images, this moment is my favorite.
I can't bring myself to talk about the inauguration. I don't have anything to say that is nearly profound enough.

19 January, 2009

Big Week

I have to work today. Normally, I'd be off on Monday, but we won't be seeing any more of those for a while. This week I took off Tues-Thurs because I *had* to be off Tuesday for the inauguration, and because Scott's new days off kick in this week and we have a date planned on Thursday (more on that later). Next week, I'll be off Weds-Fri. The first week of February, I'm finally going back to 8-hour shifts. My new days off will be Thurs-Fri.

But hey - tomorrow is THE DAY THE WORLD CHANGES!!! Perhaps that's overstating, but I really hope it isn't.

It's more than George W. going home that thrills me. I'll be honest - I got all weepy looking at the pictures from Obama's train trip this weekend. People in Wilmington started arriving at the train station at 4 am and waited there for 8 hours while the temperature went from 4 degrees up to the 20's. The pictures I love most of all are the ones of people out in the middle of nowhere, holding signs and waving.

Perhaps I should leave the wordsmithing to the pros. Here's Bob Schieffer from CBS:

Watch CBS Videos Online

Those last 30 seconds give me goose bumps every time I see it.

17 January, 2009

Current Events

I heard about "Out with Bush Day" on the radio on my way home from work last night:

Why? January 20, 2008 marks the day that George W. Bush will finally be out of the White House. So, while that Bush is on his way out why not get your bush out too.

The great people from Matthew Michaels Salon & Spa Experience will be the pro's handling the waxing duties. There will be a screen so the guys don't see your private areas...what do you take them for anyway?

You must be 18 years of age or older and have at least 1/4 inch of hair to be removed.

I think the 20-something guys who run this show are under the impression that girls yelling in pain is going to make good radio. I think they're wrong. Waxing is something that makes people make funny faces, not scream in agony. Still, I think it's a funny idea - not as funny as making their interns roll across a floor covered in mouse traps singing "Happy Birthday" to whomever is celebrating one, but still funny.

And now, for something completely different:

Can anyone suggest a polite way to ask someone to chew with his mouth closed and stop moaning when he eats? If I have to listen to apple sex one more time, my head may explode. I shouldn't say that, because I'm quite certain I'll hear it tonight. Seriously, close your eyes and picture the sound of a crisp apple being chewed with an open mouth. Now add some moaning. Do YOU ever want to eat an apple again? Perhaps I should offer him a cigarette when he's done...

15 January, 2009

Sick Sick Sick

This is the face of a kitten with a very bad tummy ache. Don't worry - she's fine now. This picture was taken yesterday after she projectile vomited in the kitchen among the freshly-purchased-but-not-yet-put-away groceries, and then again a few minutes later by the front door. The second incident was the last, because she managed to get out the hot dog-sized hairball that was apparently irritating her.
I'm not used to hairballs. Puke that looks like food? No problem. Puke that looks like it just came out of the bathtub drain? **gag**
So Elph spent most of the afternoon and evening lap-hopping. Whoever was warm and still generally had the kitten. We also took advantage of her lethargy to flea treat her again. The other cats are fine, but she's still got them. We gave her the last "big cat" dose this time, thinking maybe the last one wasn't effective because she weighs more than 5 pounds. And now she has the punk rocker spiky neck hair again. It's funny, but it makes her unhappy, and now I'm a little sorry we didn't wait until she was feeling better.
She just jumped back up on my lap, so this feels like a good time to stop writing. I'm back to work today, going to have a good time trying to not bite my tongue so hard it bleeds!

13 January, 2009

Blood Pressure Control Tip of the Day

To maintain a steady low blood pressure on the days where you don't have to work, don't check your work e-mail from home. Nothing will set your facial capillaries to the "burst" setting quite like getting an e-mail from your boss, copied to his boss, attempting to throw you under the bus for something that is 100% not your fault.

Never mind that your boss is apparently afraid of his own shadow and has obviously never heard (or possibly just not understood) the phrase, "the buck stops here."

Never mind that you have e-mail documentation that there is no need for anyone to be under a bus, but if someone simply must be thrown under it, that it sure as hell isn't you.

Never mind that the analogy of people of low rank being like mushrooms (kept in the dark and fed shit) is feeling a little too close for comfort right now.

Of course, if you don't check your e-mail from home, you won't know you're angry until you're sitting at your desk on the clock, significantly increasing the odds that you're going to go all Iraqi journalist and throw a damn shoe at his head!

12 January, 2009

Dark Thoughts

I've been having dark thoughts since before Christmas - thoughts of dying. And after the events of the past few days, I decided to finally take action. So this morning I locked myself in the bathroom with a glass of water and a box of toxic chemicals and I dyed my hair!

It's true - I've been planning this since before Christmas. While doing some last-minute holiday shopping in the CVS near my chiropractor (gotta love the about-to-expire FSA funds!), I found the hair dye color that I haven't seen since 2001 - Clairol 112A.

I bought it immediately, but since I had dyed at the beginning of December, I thought it would be best to give my hair a little recovery time.

In the past week or so, my roots had gotten pretty horrible. What's with all that gray?!? Actually, I think it wasn't all gray. I had a lot more light blonde than the dyed color, and the difference between the two was striking.

I really do love this color. I'm curious to see over the next few months whether I keep it dark or go back to some shade of blonde.
For now, I'm thinking dark. And I have 3 days to psyche myself up to deal with the petty wenches at work.
Oh - and that second picture makes it abundantly clear that it's time to clean the bathroom mirror. I'll try to take care of that in the next 3 days, too!


Perhaps you've seen the new Disney commercials, with their "What will you celebrate?" tag line. Well today I'm having my own celebration.

This is my 1,000th post!

Of course, that's just one thousand on this blog. There's still a year's worth of entries on my old blog, and a handful on Xanga. Some day I'll get around to transferring those over, in which case this will no longer be the 1,000th entry.

But that's what I'm celebrating today.

10 January, 2009

Damn It!

This is one of those posts that I shouldn't post. You should hear the alarm bells going off in my head right now. "Stifle it!" "Wait until morning!" "No one cares, princess!"

So what? I'm in a tither, and you're reading. But feel free to not read. I understand. Skip down to Flashback Friday, or come back another time when the world isn't crashing in around me.

I came home tonight to a letter from a collection company. Apparently I owe Penn State $4919.66. I shouldn't say "apparently," because I knew I owed them money... 8 years ago when I was young and poor. But I sort of thought that debt went away.

I really thought that chapter of my life was over - you know, the one with the harsh letters and mean phone calls. Now I'm going to have to have this hanging over my head until Monday when I can call them, and they're going to be mean to me, and I'm going to say, "here's $100...please leave me alone for a month," and that's going to go on for the next 49 months.

Actually, after this month, I only have 3 months left on my student loan payments (10% wage garnishment... the fastest way to pay off a debt!). So then in May I can pay these mean people $300 per month for 15 months. Anyone want to make a wager on whether my car will last long enough for that plan to come through?

I guess there's really nothing to do until Monday. Unless...

Anyone know the winning lottery numbers??

09 January, 2009

Flashback Friday #2

The Blizzard of '96!

I graduated from high school late. Well, not failed a grade late. If you look at it like that, I graduated early, since I was just a few months past 17 on graduation day. 1996 was a banner year for snow, and our school district went through snow days and beyond. In addition to this blizzard (which, if I'm not mistaken, was in March!), we had enough snow that school ended something crazy like 10 days late. I graduated from high school, loaded up the car, and left for college 2 days later.

Anyway, I thought I would post this photo because I talked to one of our repeat diners on the phone today. When I asked how he was, he said "not as good as you," and went on to tell me about the 6" of snow they had on the ground and how more was in the forecast. I tried to point out that, though the weather here is beautiful, I was stuck at work and at least he was at home. He wasn't buying it. I told him that I missed snow, but only because I don't have to drive in it. After all, I learned to drive in ice and slush, and haven't done it since.

I look at the pictures and get nostalgic. But the fact is I don't ever want to drive in snow again. I'm good right here, thanks!

08 January, 2009

The Squirt Bottle is My Friend

I came out of the bedroom this morning and wondered why Elphie wasn't immediately trying to run in the door between my feet. Then I noticed that she was lounging quite comfortably on the counter (where she doesn't belong). I yelled at her to get down and she looked back at me with the "who? me?" look. I ended up having to actually pick her up and put her on the floor.

Since then, I have chased her off:
* The top of the TV
* The stove
* The top of a bookshelf

I need to refill the squirt bottle!

"Super Elphie" isn't always high up. She also gets herself into trouble on the floor.

07 January, 2009


Scott and I went mini golfing yesterday afternoon. (we also went shopping and I picked up a pair of work pants, a button-down shirt, and a pair of pajama bottoms on clearance... but we're not here to talk about the discount racks!)
The weather was lovely, and it was the perfect chance for me to fiddle with Scott's new camera. It's a point and shoot, but gives you a little more control than your average pocket-size camera. I still like mine better, but it sure is nice to not have to lug it around.
As for the game, I got a hole-in-one on hole 5 (the dancing mushrooms) and we learned that Jamie has a hole-in-one dance. Nope...not going to do it again without just cause. And even though I fell apart on the back 9, which is pretty much my style, I still won!
Yay me!

06 January, 2009

The Number You Have Dialed...

Yesterday I woke up feeling better, but still with considerable bright green excretions, so I decided to cancel my chiropractor appointment and stay home in a glorious "day-o-quarantine." I called the CHIRO phone number in my phone, and the girl who answered the phone said, "wah wah Chiropractic wah wah." (it's possible I was distracted by the TV) I gave her my name, explained that I had the flu and would like to cancel my 2:00 appointment. She asked for my name again, asked for my appointment time, and then asked if I would like to reschedule. I tried to reschedule for next Monday at 2, and she said they close for lunch until 3. So I rescheduled for next Monday at 3.

At 2:30, I got a voicemail from my chiropractor's office reminding me that I had a 2:00 appointment and asking if I was planning on coming in. And so, I called them right back and as soon as the woman answered the phone I launched into a monologue: "This is Jamie, and this is going to sound crazy but apparently I still have my old chiropractor's phone number programmed into my phone and I called them and cancelled my appointment because I have the flu and I rescheduled with them for next Monday at 3!" Thank God she laughed! And she asked if I wanted to go ahead and reschedule for next Monday at 3, and I told her I wanted to come in at 2 but the other people were closed until 3 for lunch. And I promised her I'd change the phone number in my phone as soon as I hung up.

...but before I did that, I called the other office and explained that I "re"scheduled an appointment for next Monday but I don't go to their practice anymore and wouldn't be coming in. "Ok." "Don't you need my name?" "No, I talked to you before. This is Jamie, right?" "Yeah." "It's cancelled."

I am still pretty angry that that girl couldn't even be bothered to say "you don't have an appointment today." Had she given me any indication that I was calling the wrong place, I would have realized what was going on and not no-showed at the good office. I don't think I mentioned when I went to that other office that they are extremely religious. "God bless you" when you walk out the door religious. That's not the only reason that I stopped going there, but I won't lie and say it didn't factor in my decision. I respect their right to free speech, but I certainly wasn't comfortable there. At any rate, I really had to stop myself from calling back again and asking that girl if there was a reason she treated me the way she did. Lazy? Mean spirited? Her behavior certainly didn't seem like what Jesus would do!

I have changed the listing in my cell phone. At least I know that won't happen again!

04 January, 2009

Make it a Double

The last time I took a full shot of Nyquil (and by "shot" I mean recommended dosage) was December 13. I'm quite sure of the date because I awoke at 6:00 the next morning after a night of too-sound-for-my-own-good sleep in agony.

So when this current cold/flu/ebola virus (the lab results aren't back yet) kicked in, I was hesitant to take Nyquil at all. I've been doing half shots for the past three nights. That seems to be enough to quiet my cough and let me breathe long enough to get to sleep but not enough to render me unconscious.

Tomorrow I don't have to work, and I have a standing 2:00 appointment at the chiropractor.

Tonight I'm throwing caution to the wind.

Tonight I will sleep the sleep of kings.

For tonight, I have taken the full shot.

Good night, world...

I'll see you at noon!

03 January, 2009

Pirate Kitten

Pirate Kitten says, "Happy New Yearrrrrr"


Pirate Kitten says, "When arrrrre we going to the ship?"

(I especially appreciate that she covered one eye)

02 January, 2009

Flashback Friday #1

I had so much fun with 'Mullet Jamie' last week that I decided to start a new feature: Flashback Friday, with one photo per week from the vast ParkHopper archives. This week, I thought I would stick with the holidays a little longer and present:

Jamie the Narr-e-ator
First Grade Christmas Pageant at Our Lady of Ransom. If you ask my mom, she can probably still rattle off some of my part, complete with nasty Philly pronunciation of the letter "o". I don't remember any of it. What I do remember is that I wanted to be one of the angels. I was crushed that I wasn't one of the angels! Instead, I was the narrator (or one of the narrators, I'm not really sure). Of course, I pronounced it narr-e-ator. After all, what little kid knows what a narrator even is?
And since this was before we owned a video camera (hey - who wants to watch the 5th grade play, Scarecrow Finds a New Post, where I played the Autumn Wind?), and since this is the only photo I have of the show, I will always look back and be able to tell people that I was the omnipotent star of the show, standing center stage in front of (what looks to be) Joseph and Mary, and possibly even Baby Jesus!
Super Star!

Welcome to 2009

It's a good thing I didn't make a New Year's Resolution to do a blog post every day, huh?

I took yesterday off from work so that I could watch Penn State play in the Rose Bowl. And yes, we lost, but the 4th quarter was great. Had our team woken up in perhaps the 3rd quarter, they could have pulled out an upset. Either way, I did have fun watching the game. I also enjoyed watching the Rose Parade in the morning.

About halfway through watching the game, I realized that I wasn't feeling too well. And what started as a stuffy nose had quickly morphed into post-nasal drip and a sore throat.

This morning, after about 10 hours of sleep, I awoke with post-nasal drip and an extremely sore throat. It hurt to swallow. Now that I'm awake and have gargled some hot shower water, I'm feeling slightly more human. I'm not talking, though I'm pretty sure I could if I had to. I haven't decided which combination of drugs I should take to get me through the day, since calling in would cause me to lose my holiday pay.

So that's how I ushered in the new year - 1 1/2 DVDs of West Wing season 1, a parade, some football, and some feeling sorry for myself. Anyone else have a better story?