Wednesday, November 30, 2005

What if I were dead right now?

Do you skip past the obituaries really fast like I do so I don't have to think about the big D?

Even though I hate thinking about, you know, it, I was listening to a song the other day, and I thought that if I were to pick the music for my own funeral, I would pick this song, and yet no one would have guessed it.

Then we were re-watching High Fidelity the other day and the topic of top five funeral songs came up.

You know what that means: piglet's top five funeral songs (one rule: it had to currently be in my iTunes library, otherwise I would have spent 5 1/2 hours browsing on Amazon and would have eventually forgotten my original goal and ended up buying myself a used hard-back copy of A Prayer for Owen Meany or something). My list.

  1. Because (Beatles) by the Nylons. This is the song. The Song.
  2. Common Threads by Bobby McFerrin. No words. Lots of time to think about how you've always wanted to tell me I'm the best artist and/or dancer you ever met, but it's too late now, buddy.
  3. Secret O' Life by JT. Because James Taylor should know the secret of life, so I guess we should listen.
  4. Walk on the Ocean by Toad the Wet Sprocket. Because I'd like to walk on the ocean. And they talk about being forgotten soon after they've gone.
  5. My Last Cigarette by k.d. lang. I've never smoked. But this song is so sad. And she sings "there are some things that I promised myself, things that I haven't done yet.." Soo sad. I want everybody to cry.

Now, the top five songs to play at my wake:

  1. All These Things That I've Done by The Killers. First, their name is The Killers. Second, it's a kick-ass song (remember: "I've got soul but I'm not a soldier..").
  2. Newborn Friend by Seal. Because I want everybody to have a good time, but then wonder about what the hell he means ("I wash my faith in dirty water/I wash my face in dirty water....if I chant for happiness, maybe that will make me feel better...") yeah.
  3. The Great Beyond by REM. Just to keep your minds on my recent demise.
  4. Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell by The Flaming Lips. "I was waiting on a moment, but the moment never came. All the billion other moments were just slipping all away..."oh, ow. This is for all the still-living people at my wake who may be waiting on that moment. Plus, it's pretty. And it's got "Gates of Hell" in the title.
  5. Ray of Light by Madonna. Because you should dance.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

A Quote of a Quote of a Quote

This is for you kilo artists and others who are good at something painful.

Here's a quote that I found in a book (The Perfect Mile by Neal Bascomb), who quotes it from Paul O'Neil, who originally quoted it in Sports Illustrated ("A Man Conquers Himself," May 31, 1956):

"A man who sets out to become an artist at the mile is something like a man who sets out to discover the most graceful method of being hanged. No matter how logical his plans, he can not carry them out without physical suffering."

A Thanksgiving Thought

Did you know that when the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, about half of them died right away from not knowing how the hell to survive in a land with no, you know, grocery store, and the other half would have died soon after, except for a native dude named Squanto who happened to know English because he had previously been captured and enslaved by white men, escaped to sail back to his home, and who then turned around to help a bunch of white men keep from dying of their own ignorance by teaching them in their own language? And what did he get in return?

A nice dinner and an eviction notice.

Sorry, Squanto. Dig the name, though.

Today I shall be thankful for collective guilt. Just another way to feel shame without actually having to do anything.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Color of Satisfaction is Chocolate Brown

Oh. My. God.

Bad weekend of monthly woman-pains has culminated today in a kitchen that smells like a chocolate factory blew up. In the process of destroying the kitchen, I have discovered a brownie recipe that doesn't taste like dirt! And, ickily enough, it is a recipe from Emeril Lagasse, the bam guy.

All the recipes I have ever tried for homemade brownies have never come close to the stuff that comes out of the box. They are usually dry, of suspicious texture, and not nearly chocolatey enough.

All those problems are solved in this recipe. So much fat, so much chocolate, so much more chocolate, these babies are moist and chocolatey like nobody's business.

When I tasted them, I began an involuntary humming in what I believe is F above middle C. These are powerful.

The only trouble is the recipe makes a big sheet cake pan sized batch, and there's just me and Drew. I hope they last until the Thanksgiving festivities. I would hate to have them go to waste. Or waist. (Ha! Super funny!)

Lizzie's Chocolate Brownies
by Emeril Lagasse

  • 1 teaspoon plus 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Hershey's Special Dark)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (I hate nuts in my brownies, so I skipped this)
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used choc chips)
  • 1 recipe of Chocolate Icing (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 17 x 12-inch baking pan with 1 teaspoon of the shortening.
  2. In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt the remaining 1 cup shortening. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Add the sugar and blend. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking after each addition. Add the water and vanilla, and whisk to mix well. Add the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt, and stir to blend. Fold in the walnuts (bleagh!) the chopped chocolate, then spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
  3. Bake until the cake springs back when touched, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes. Spread the icing over the cake with a rubber spatula. Let cool completely (right!) before cutting into squares to serve.

Chocolate Icing

  • 1 pound confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  1. Sift together the confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the butter and use an electric mixer to combine.
  3. Add the water and mix until smooth. Let cool, then use.

Then hum.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Why my big-ass tub rocks, and why I am now free to say "big-ass"

Although piglets are not known to crow - that's normally left for roosters - I must now, with a little vanilla flavoring, share the top ten reasons that my new big-ass tub kicks ass. Big ass. More on the blue language later.

  1. It does not multi-task as a shower, thus, no mildewy shower door frame to stare at. This is big.
  2. It is deeeeep.
  3. It is waaaarm.
  4. There is lots of room on the sides to put candles (I guess that's a popular thing to do because I always see it on TV, but you can't read by candle light, so what do you do? Stare at the flame? Maybe this is fun for blondes). I use the space to put my book and drink down within grabbing distance. I don't have to feel around on the floor for my book. Yessss.
  5. Nobody is waiting outside to use the potty.
  6. The poor lighting is kind to one's bodily flaws (if one were to have such flaws).
  7. It has arm rests so that I can read my book without unnecessary muscular usage. If I stayed in there long enough, I would come out like an astronaut who has been in space too long and has lost all muscle tone (if such a thing were to happen, I could always refer to #6).
  8. In the summer, the wisteria vines cover the windows and give you extra privacy and shade.
  9. In the winter, the sun comes in and gives you extra sunniness.
  10. The toilet is way the hell over on the other side of the room, so I can't see if it's dirty or not.

I know that other people's joy isn't particularly interesting, but there you are anyway.

You know an unexpected effect of becoming empty-nested after 20 years? You have no reason left not to swear. It is rather liberating to be able to swear now and then. Although I never was very good at it.

You can ask anyone who went to school with me. Swear words just didn't sound right coming out of my mouth. Like somehow they came out a little scrubbed of their dirtiness, and the dirt had been left in my mouth and soiled it. I suppose it was partly due to the fact that I looked 13 up until the time I turned 40.

But now I'm old and grizzled and I can swear all I want. I'm a little out of practice though. The other day I got mad at some situation and called it f**king f**ked. Yes, it came out with asterisks in place, just like that.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Best Crowd Chant That I've Heard All Week

From the 2000 election brouhaha in Florida. Al Franken claims he got a crowd of Democrats who wanted Katherine Harris to quit trying to "certify" the election as fast as possible while Bush was still "ahead" to chant:

What do we want:
When do we want it:


Thursday, November 10, 2005

A quick thought

Wrap your head around this baby: many people take Pat Robertson seriously. Maybe your neighbor. Makes you think twice about confiding in him that you are a baby killing lesbian atheist Darwinist, now, doesn't it? Well, aren't you? I could have sworn...

A picture for those who don't like words so much. And a word for those who do.

This is a sample of the kind of pictures my husband takes if left unsupervised.

Your word for the day: "anal fissures." That's a very funny sounding medical condition. It sounds like "anal fishers," which would be a much more serious condition, I think.

Monday, November 07, 2005

I Love Lamp.

We are moved. I hated it. It could be because I expected to hate it, or it could be because:

We were locked out of the house by the previous owners who had helpfully locked all the keys in the house and left the garage door opener with our real estate agent. A cunning plan, except that they (I am sure) absent-mindedly locked the door from the garage into the house on the way out. We had to call a locksmith to break into our new home. The locksmith asked us, "Can you show me proof that it is your house?" Yeah, like we've already gone to the DMV, changed our driver's license addresses, replaced our checks, and carry the recorded deed upon our person on moving day. "How about the big-ass moving truck in the driveway?"

The telephone guy had to come twice and the cable guy had to come twice and needs to come back again. That means 5 days of either (1) waiting for service guys who, we are helpfully informed, will be here between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and who invariably show up at 4:45, or (2) trying to help, or alternatively, looking busy while not helping, cable guys who do not seem to, technically, know what a cable is.

Fire fighter dudes who are happy, goofy labrador retriever-types who like to help but don't seem concerned about the collateral damage of said help. For those of you out there who may be considering asking a fire fighter to help you move, a word of warning: the three favorite phrases of fire fighter movers are: "Ramming speed," "Oops," and "Oh well, I can't see that from my house."

The cat is afraid of the laundry room, which is the only logical place to put her litter box. A cat with a fear of the litter box is a loaded weapon. The leather recliner smells funny now.

We planned a house warming party for a week after the move, thinking we would be more or less moved in by then. The day of the party, we were still working at a feverish pace trying to make the place fit for human habitation, while still making the obligatory Costco trip for party food and liquor store trip for party beverages. By party time, we managed a lame attempt at a mediocre taco buffet, and forgot the big party veggie tray in the fridge and the frozen taquitos in the freezer. The house was empty by 10:30. The. Last. House Warming Party. Ever.

The bright side?

There were several opportunities to carry in lamps and say, "I love lamp."

My new big-ass soaking tub is gooooood.

My new kitchen has so many drawers some remain empty. Really.

The floors don't squeak! I had no idea how much the squeaks were making me crrrazy until they were gone. It's like noticing that your head-ache has gone away. Aaaaahhh....