Monday, February 23, 2009

Parenting Dues Paid

The OG turned nine, everybody!

So, this weekend, we had our very first slumber party, because I'm a cheap bastard and didn't want to take everyone to Main Event or Austin Park and Pizza or whatever else the hell is the going rate of cool for the third-grade set.

It was, I hear, a smashing success. It was loosely "Harry Potter" themed, so I put my extremely creatively challenged mind to the task of making up a few games. Um...let's see...oh, we made "butterbeer" with fizzy water and butterscotch syrup (mine came from a special bottle with a pressurized cork, because, well, I didn't want to drink all THEIR awesomeness). We made "potions" with Kool-Aid, and "cauldron cakes" with cupcakes AND whipped cream AND frosting AND sprinkles, and "magic wands" (pretzels dipped in chocolate).

For some reason, they were hyper after that, and so we had a dance party, in which I was told that the song "Pocketful of Sunshine" is the BEST SONG EVER; I countered that with Brave Combo's version of "Hokey Pokey." HA. Take THAT, nine-year-olds.

We played "Find the Sorcerer's Stone," where they found garden rocks I'd hidden in the living room. (Lee opined that, if we get any poorer, that's what we'll have to do for Easter. "Go on, kids, find all the rocks!") And, we played violent, monstrously competitive games of Twister that went on and ON and ON. Children are very bendy creatures, as it turns out.

Eventually, they chilled and watched a movie. I'd hoped for quiet time after that, but there was a brief interlude in which they all ran outside at 11:00 to jump on the trampoline with their glowsticks. (I had to intervene, but it WAS actually pretty cool.) Eventually, they crashed, and, between, oh, 12:30 and 6:30, there was actual sleeping going on. Very bright and early Sunday morning, we were up again, for the chocolate chip pancakes.

Man, I am really glad she had an awesome time, because I am NOT doing that again. It's two days later, and I am still completely wasted tired. I was barely able to raise my head during the Academy Awards, which is one of the most sacred evenings of the year for me. (So sad this year that all I saw was "Slumdog" and "The Dark Knight," and almost nothing else that wasn't animated. But, I thought the show was great. Hugh Jackman? Consider yourself on my list.)

I hate that the OG looks so pretty and so grown up in the picture (self-portrait, natch) at the top of this post.

That's better.

P.S. OH...and, she won a first place ribbon at the Regional Science Fair! Woohoo! (It's "a" first place ribbon, not "the" first place ribbon - in that there were some with first place ribbons, some with second place ribbons, and some without any. But, nonetheless, there is a damn blue ribbon on her project, and she is BESIDE herself with joy.)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cuteness Factor to Eleven

If one needs a sweet bebeh fix, one should go no further than over to Christie and Eric's new blog,

Sigh. I remember the days when I documented every smile. Now, they're all elbows and bony legs and pants getting to be high-waters after no time at all.

(Admittedly, the fact that they no longer poop in their pants is a plus, but still.)

Monday, February 16, 2009


It's time once again for the Mags Obsession List - Winter! 2009!!! Top Ten Edition!

1. My 12" cast-iron skillet. Laws, I don't know how I ever cooked without one, EVER. I will NEVER go back to crappy scratchy Alzheimers-inducing non-stick ever again for anything except eggs.

I have seasoned it just so, and never even looked at it with a bottle 0f dish soap in my hand, just as the online cast-iron fanatics have instructed me. (And, as it turns out, there are many cast-iron fanatics online. MANY.)

It's funny, though; the cast-iron skillet was always my dad's favorite cooking utensil, but they always sort of grossed me out due the non-soap issue. And, he was a damn good breakfast cook, so I probably should have listened to him. But, no, it took me until I was nearly forty years old to go get one of my own. Foolish rebellion of youth! (shakes fist)

Now, though, I think of my dad almost every day, whilst I'm lovingly scraping and salting and seasoning my beloved pan after the evening meal. (Tonight was tortilla the skillet, diced onions and garlic, and then boneless/skinless chicken breasts in olive oil with sea salt and cumin, all chopped up and thrown into last week's chicken broth with some Chili-Spiced Rotels and leftover tortilla chips. It was a total "freezer-diving" and leftover-salvaging crapshoot, but damn if it didn't turn out super fantastico with a twist of lime and some cheddar cheese.)

2. Robert Sinskey Merlot. I had waay too much of this the other night, because we were at a FREE! Steak dinner! At a schmantsy new steakhouse at The Domain! Because my husband is a total media whore! Whee!

It was goo-ood. Supple, velvety, drinkable to the point of lunacy. The Man got me a bottle for Valentine's Day, too. Good man!

3. Serial dramas. Lost, Big Love, and probably now Dollhouse, I am your bitch.

4. University of Missouri basketball. Number 11? Really? Probably won't last, but it's the cue for a fair-weather fan like me to crawl out of the woodwork waving my battered black-and-gold pom-poms.

5. Nostalgia. Facebook is wrecking my life, because I am now actually missing people that I never thought I'd ever hear from ever again.

I am actually checking - fairly regularly - a group made up of people who used to hang out at the crappy wanna-be punk bar I used to hang out at in college. If you had asked me a year ago if I'd ever want to step back into that shitty, drippy, smelly hole, I would have recoiled in horror.

Now, though? I'd throw down a watery Long Island Iced Tea in a plastic cup, briefly make out with some guy, and then stagger out on the dance floor as soon as I hear the opening strains of "Bela Lugosi's Dead," in a hot second.

6. Wonkette and Daily Beast. These have become my go-to websites at work. The earnest nature of my job requires me to imbibe in at least thrice-daily injections of erudite snark (Wonkette) and just plain entertaining Facts That I Need to Know (Daily Beast).

7. Austin's Single-Stream Recycling. Man, do you know that we, in Austin, just get to throw everything, EVERYTHING, that I want to recycle - glass, aluminum, pressed paperboard, PLASTIC TUBS, what have you - into one big, ginormous trash can? No sorting, no bagging, NOTHING, but tossing it into the can?

I am so in love with this service that I am recycling every freaking thing I can get my hands on. I'm seriously bringing my Lean Cuisine trays and boxes home from work every day.

This is a good town sometimes, you know?

8. Tiki Cat cat food (found at Bark-n-Purr). This is some SERIOUSLY fishy stuff, folks. It's like little chunks of whole sushi for my cats, and they loooove it.

I'd love to give it to them regularly, but it is some hella pricey cat food, you know?

9. Brussels Sprouts. Steamed if I'm dieting; roasted with oil, garlic, and kosher salt if I'm not.

I think that brussels sprouts are the new asparagus.

10. Cinematic Titanic. The original Mystery Science Theater guys - or several of them, anyway - are touring LIVE...and we have tickets to see them in Austin in March! I squealed like a punctured geek girl when I heard they were coming. (We couldn't afford the good seats, but, hey, it's the Paramount, it's not all THAT big.)

Finally, my chance to run away with Joel Hodgson! Don't tell Lee...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

LOLCatz Winner!

And the winner is...Bill Shirley!! Thanks, Bill!

If this does not make it onto that website, it is an effing CRIME.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Airport SUX

Actually, it has worked very well up 'til now, but I cannot keep a GD wireless signal for more than two minutes at a stretch, and it is PISSING ME OFF to the point that I am, at the very least, not capable of posting to my neglected blog, and, at worst, going to THROW THIS laptop through the screen of my crappy old tube TV.

Talk amongst yourselves. Oh, and you should watch these five minutes of Colbert from the other night, which made me laugh far harder than anything else has this week.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

My Quo? Why, it's Status!

Hey, hi! Sorry to leave you staring at my dream reverie posting, as I'm fairly certain that hearing about other people's dreams falls somewhere on the "looking at other people's vacation slides" boring scale.

(And, how old am I, that I even know what "vacation slides" are? Man, we have so many of those damn things back in Kansas City. I should probably have them all transferred to DVD for my mom's birthday.)

Not much to relate here. I recovered from the Evil Virus of 2009, or nearly so; just a little lingering cough/sore throat and a bit of residual goo left. Those of you with kids, beware; I know it is hitting the schools hard.

We had a fun time at the Noxious's Super Bowl party, as always. I made green chile sour cream enchiladas to represent the Arizona team. I generally do these fabulously when I make the enchilada sauce from scratch (or at least from whole canned Hatch chiles,) but the size of the order forced me to rely partially on canned enchilada sauce. So, while very tasty, they weren't quite as perfect as usual.

To represent the Pittsburgh team, Cristen and I combined to create the famous Primanti Brothers sandwich...the hot deli sandwich with the french fries and the cole slaw on top. Being as we've neither one ever had this sandwich, I think we did a pretty good job. Cristen heated up pastrami, cheese, and proscuitto, and layered it all on Italian bread. We topped it with this slaw I made and waffle-cut french fries, and I must say, it is probably a good thing I did not know about this sandwich up until now, because I would otherwise be roughly the size of my house by now.

Oh, my gaw, though, this coleslaw I made? I looked it up on line, 'cause it was supposed to be close to the Primanti Brothers recipe...not a mayonnaise-based slaw, but a vinegar slaw? Was HEAVEN. And I don't particularly like coleslaw of any kind! I just finished the last of it, and it represents, by far, the largest amount of coleslaw that I have ever voluntarily eaten, ever...probably combined. Yum yum yum. Who knew that all it would take to make raw cabbage palatable to me was a full cup of sugar and some organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar?

(Along those lines, I must make a note to myself to put organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar into every recipe I make from now on, ever. NOW I understand why six dollars for a bottle of friggin' vinegar. I kind of wish I didn't know. Gawd, I could go drink it right now.)'s not really my news to share, but I'm so friends Christie and Eric adopted a baby! A baby boy...whose name I shall not reveal here BUT which was my second all-time (unused, obviously) favorite baby boy name of all time AND is that of my most beloved celebrity crush 4-EVAH. I am so delighted for them that I just want to burst. They are going to be - they ARE - the best parents ever. Yah!!!

Spending too much time on Facebook.

Was doing really really well on the exercise until I got sick, and now am slowly getting back on the horse (or the crosstrainer, if you will). I feel stronger, am smaller (according to my clothes and my husband and my measurements,) but still weigh the goddamn same.

Thinking about my kids' upcoming birthdays, and not thinking I want to really do very much for them. Wondering if that makes me the worst mother in the world.

Falling behind on Lost. Seriously looking forward to Dollhouse, the latest Joss Whedon development, which starts next Friday night.

Wishing Bookhart and Badger had never brought up fresh-baked sourdough bread, because that is the LAST thing I need, and yet ALL I can think about lately.

Still haven't seen Slumdog Millionaire, The Wrestler, Benjamin Button, or damn near anything that isn't animated, at the theater. Finally saw (and loved) Tropic Thunder. Am going to watch Hamlet 2 THIS WEEKEND, damn it. Kind of am in love with Steve Coogan.

Currently? Watching the UT/MU basketball game with The Man and a very cuddly Iris. Feeling rather glum regarding all sports involving my team and UT. (In my best Cartman voice, I hate those guys. Seriously.)

Es todo. Y tu?