Monday, September 29, 2003

My jeep failed inspection last week. I thought there was going to be something major wrong as I have not driven it in nearly 6 months and have had trouble starting it recently.

The first determination was that I needed a new battery because there was corrosion all the way from the terminal to the fuse box. Once the battery is replaced, however, all the computer systems reset themselves and show up on the inspection test as unavailable. This in turn makes a vehhicle fail. It is my understanding that this happens on every vehicle that is a '96 or older. It also had a bulb on the front driver's side turn signal out, as well as a cracked tail light which also contributed to the failure.

The technician told me that the tail light cover was a dealer part and he could order it but there would be a surcharge, but that I could just pick it up and he would install it when we brought the car back in
and the bulb replacement on the front is a no-brainer. I got both parts today and we will look at installing them tomorrow afternoon.

The tech also said that if I drive the car about 100 miles, all the computer systems will be reactivated and everything should look fine on the reinspect.

Tonight we went for a drive...a 100 mile drive...we started out with a drive around the 610 loop which is roughly 50 miles and goes around the city. It is interesting to see all the different views of downtown at night. I also love looking at neon signs at night, and seeing everything one misses during the day. E volunteered to drive, so I could really look.

After the loop, we wound here and there on other various highways, hitting at one time or another I-10, 59, 45, and repeating parts of 610. Once we were nearly done, I suggested a stop in Montrose for Vietnamese eggrolls and wonton soup from Hollywood, one of our new faves which is gay owned.

yummx3...mission accomplished...reinspectioned tomorrow...cross everything...

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Coughing just to hear yourself cough is such a pain in the neck...or throat...

I am doing okay for the most part, at least until I get anywhere less than vertical. It doubly sucks because E has the same crud I do. We think it is passing, and tea certainly helps, but I will soon be at a point when sleep might help more. Of course, I think at least half of all the tea I had today was NOT decaf, so I am awake anyway. I have plenty to do too, I just don't feel like doing much of anything.

I really need to make a return to work schedule. I have another week of true freedom followed by a week of vacation in and around NYC. I am *so* looking forward to our return to the big apple. We have a list of to-dos, but no real agenda.

This crud better have left the building by then!!

Friday, September 26, 2003

Being sick sucks. There is no other explanation for my relative lackluster desire to do absolutely nothing. Last weekend we had the 2 year old nephew overnight, and we both cauht whatever it was he carried home from daycare. E is a day ahead of me on the curve, and hopefully I am almost past the worst of this crud.

This morning I went to answer my cell phone which was out in the living room. As I picked it up, I noticed out the window a man, the meter reader for one of our utilities, hopping the fence from our neighbor's yard into ours. I am answering my cell phone, and of course the dogs notice him, too.

The patio door was open, so the dogs go into defensive mode and are immediately out in the back yard barking to wake the dead. Nevermind the fact that their mother, me, is standing there completely naked. I realized this before the boy could get a peek, and walked back to the bedroom to throw on my housedress.

I am trying to talk on the phone, get my housedress on, tell the dogs to get inside and shut the fuck up, and let the meter boy go on his happy way...all simultaneously, and all while trying to not hack up a lung.

That was enough excitement for today.

Monday, September 22, 2003

Not sure why I have not had much to say this week. I suppose it is a combination of a few things, but mainly my mind gearing up to return to work next month. I am on the move trying to get everything in place to make this happen.

The challenge this week will be to get my car inspected and registered. I have to go pick up a one trip temporary registration which will let me drive it to get it inspected. That is $5 cash. After thatit is off to inspection and hoping all the way that it passes with nothing major to hold things up. Inspection itself is $39.

Once that has been accomplished, it is back to transfer the tags and get the real registration. $177. It sucks to have to shell out that much dough right before vacation to NYC. Of course I will return to work the day after I get back, so I have to get it taken care of before.

Already accomplished this past week is getting my hair license renewal in the mail. As long as that comes back before I have to report to work, I am going to be ready.

This past weekend was rather chaotic, though for everything that was going on, things progressed smoothly. Suffice it to say I cooked for two different gatherings, both times well received, and I then decided I was tired.

Today was a slugg day and I did absolutely nothing. Back to the routine tomorrow.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Leftover sauce is a good thing. A few tablespoons mixed with a little brown sugar and some water made a lovely glaze for the chicken breast i grilled for tonight's dinner. about a half cup simmered with some white rice made a nice spanish style rice side dish. I have to repeat the truth of this all. I. am. brilliant!

Saturday, September 13, 2003

I am so awesome!!

Never let it be thought I have a confidence problem. I recently found the farmer's market here in Houston, and after looking for only five years. I have pretty much decided I am going to go each weekend and collect some produce to work with for the next week. There are a lot of specialty ingredients available there, so I am excited to get to experimenting.

Today I spent $15 and this is what I got:

a bucket of plums (about 8-10) $1
a bucket of tomatoes (6 medium) $1
a bucket of red potatoes $1
a cantaloupe $1.5
5 heads of garlic $1
a bucket of green beans $1
a bucket of red onions $1
2 plantains $1
a bunch of cilantro $.5
2 handfuls of dried ancho chiles $.85
a bucket of green peppers $1
2 avocados $2
a 1/2 pound bag banana chips $.85

So really, less than $15. I then stopped at costco and picked up a variety box of imported pasta, 6/6lb bags for $4.79, and I will get a pork tenderloin, some fish, and some chicken breast at whole foods. This brings the weeks grocery budget to less than what we would normally spend on one nice meal out. And if you read me at any frequency, you know we eat out a lot!!

As soon as I got home, I dove right in to preparations for some kind of sauce. I have watched Tyler and Emeril do it often enough, how hard could it be?

I threw some olive oil in the pan, added two chopped onion, one chopped green pepper, three cloves of gatlic, smashed and chopped, two rough chopped ancho chiles, and all the tomatoes. I also tossed in a smidge of ground cardamon because it smelled good. Add a little s & p and it has been simmering away stove top for about 2 is pretty liquid now and the house smells divine. I just tasted it, and it seemed a little acidic. The cure for that with cooking spinach or other greens is a teaspoon of sugar, so in it went, and it is perfectly balanced now. I think I will finish it with a bit of fresh chopped Cilantro and we will be on fire.

I am really pleased with the smoky back flavor and just the suggestion of heat from the ancho chiles, and I think I might be brave next time and add a bunch more.

I am brilliant...

Friday, September 12, 2003

Blogger has given me spell check for my birthday, how sweet. Now I just have to remember to use it.

I got a call from my older son saying happy birthday, but it was soon revealed that it was really about him, and a means to inform me that he was thinking about moving back to Texas. I asked him immediately where he was planning to live, and I think I made it sufficiently clear that he will not be living here with us. He really has no clue about the bridges he has burned. Also, I can appreciate that he is still my baby, and I do love him, but I love my peace and sanity too.

I was discussing this with E and she agrees. I told her that I will do everything to help him, and if he shows up at the door, I will find out where the men's shelter that would be best for him is located and even drive him there. But he will not be living under our roof.

He said he had tried to call one of his friends and that the phone was out of service, and he has sent a letter. I hope he thinks this through better than he did the move to his father's. There is a sense of redemption, much like an I told you so moment.

My birthday was a relaxing day yesterday. E and I went to the Olive Garden with a gift certificate for $20 that she got the last time she gave blood. We normally would go somewhere a little more elegant, but we are going to NYC in 3 weeks and trying to save $$ for the trip. So a virtually free meal ay the OG was a welcome gift. After that we went to the museum and toured some of the art. It was also free as it was Thursday. After that we went to Cafe Artiste for a pot of tea and then to pick up the boy who was rather sullen because his football practice was rained out so to him, we were late picking him up...he then opted to go to his dad's, and we went home for a while to let the dogs out. E went to yoga (I had gone in the morning) and while she was gone one of my best friends called and we talked for nearly an hour catching up and discussing plans for the Vegas wedding of hers in the spring. After that I was finally a little hungry again, so E indulged me and we went to Hollywood for Vietnamese egg rolls and wonton soup.

Yum. Yum. Yum.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Popcorn chicken at KFC is back!!!

And I had it for dinner again tonight. Maybe after a few days of it, I will have gotten it out of my system. Gotta love the crunch.

Tomorrow is to be a busy day. I have more to do than time to do it, which means some of my to-dos will get pushed to Friday, or maybe Thursday if I am lucky. If I am forced to do them Friday, it will have been a week sonce I was able to sleep in. Poor me. I suppose that since I am returning to work next month I had better get used to it.

Surely someone can subsidize my continued unemployment!

Monday, September 08, 2003

8 pm Monday, who could know?

I have been slacking as normal, and dragging my feet on some editing for the September print issue of Emerald Pillows. I have had the files from various contributors for a few weeks, and just kept putting off actually finalizing anything since my worm infestation which necessitated the wiping of my hard drive.

I was able to save most everything, though i did forget a few text files of work in progress which were on my desktop and not filed as they should have been.
This has made me a little more diligent with stuff this time around, and I have made the effort to be more organized with forethought.

Tonight, E is at the movies with her son and the house is silent, still. Why the stillness is any different this evening than it is during the day I have no idea. I have just had the motivation somehow this evening and things are now pretty current as far as the next issue of EP is concerned.

My other efforts of organization in mental process is to have some means of structure mentally in place for my return to work. I will be lunching with my previous and future boss on Wednesday and some decisions will be made. Mainly, what hours I will have to be working. Once I know that, I can then decide when I might have time to work on EP and what time I can allow for other endeavors such as the local lesbian writers' group I have been trying to bring together.

It has been nice to have the work of others' to draw on for this issue of EP. May the contributions keep coming in.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Fourteen bottles of beer on the wall
Fourteen bottles of beer
Drink them all, after lunch you might fall
No more bottles of beer on the wall

Well, I did not fall, exactly...I sort of laid myself down on the ground while walking the dog because I was laughing so hard I could not laugh and walk the dog at the same time. It really was funny.

We had Papu come over in the afternoon, around 2, to look at the stove breaker. We discovered that when we use the oven and the cooktop at the same time, the breaker flips. Likely the only trouble is needing a bigger amp breaker, but Papu's know all that type stuff. I went to the store on a beer run, and I think we had each had a couple of beers when we decided it was time to eat.

We went to Chili's right down the street where we continued our drinking, each having four or so more beers. Lunch was yummy. I had just chicken tenders and fries with ranch dressing for dipping. As we were ready to leave, three to four hours later, Papu mentioned how much he liked it when we had gone out and he and E were singing all the old Irish songs...

I was just a little tired, and almost decided to take the "you can go home if you want" offer, but I like Nikki's Irish Pub, a hole-in-the-wall pub down the street, so I decided to go along. I am not quite sure what makes it Irish, but it seemed a logical place if they were going to be singing Irish songs.

There was an hour or so of singing before someone put some change in the juke box, and while we were there we each had another six beers.

I felt fine on the drive home, but once home, I would not have been able to drive again. As we walked the dogs down the block so they could do their business, we were cracking each other up, and I got to laughing so hard, I just sat and then lay down in the road because I could not do both at the same time. And that, of course, was even funnier to me. Equally funny was the fact that our pain in the ass late night pool party having noisy neighbors were not doing any of the above. We resisted the impulse to knock on the door and ask if we might use the pool and make some noise to keep them awake til three a.m.

Once we got back inside, we rather ravenously tore each other's clothes off, and hit the sack, umm...not necessarily for sleep...

On other weekend news, I finally began mounting photos into my fine Italian photo album, and I also created my new journal/writing diary/calendar from a blank book that I thought would be right for the job. I used the first third to mount some pics that beg to be fictionalized or memoirialized...the middle third is a week at a glace style calendar which i made with the room i felt necessary for jotting down to-dos and stuff...and the final third is left blank for regular journaling sort of spew. It's gonna be a good thing.

A good drunk and productivity, all in the same weekend...

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Just in from seeing a free preview of the movie thirteen. It was intense. Beyond that, I am not sure what I could say. When I was in seventh grade, there was nothing as extreme as this going on. When I was in grade eleven, sure, some of it maybe. But definitely not in grade seven. Of course, I did go to a small town school, 69 kids in my graduating class, and grades six through 12 were all in the same school. Not long before I started there in grade six, k-12 was in the same school.

If I had to wager, I would guess there is still nothing as extreme going on there, but who knows, really.

There really isn't a whole lot else going on this week. It is a new session of yoga, and I was really energized by that thought. Each 6 week session is a sort of new beginning.

I am also nearing the end of my unemployment. I am eligible for 6 weeks more, which means i can stay out of work until right after my vacation. Convenient, yes? I have pretty much opted for the easy route, and staying with what I know. That means going back to the salon at JC Penney. Yes, it is a little more of a commute than I would like, but the idea of working for a manager who wants me back enough to grant me any schedule I suggest, and continued flexability as the winning appeal.

Of course, there are still six weeks more to change my mind. Again. And again.

Monday, September 01, 2003

September is here!

How is it that another year has rolled around so fast? It was just yesterday that my friends all joined me at the campground my family owned in upstate NY in the game room to celebrate my sixteenth birthday. I remember that Colleen, Tina, Eileen, Steven, Michael, Tracy, and Marilyn were there. I remember that i adored a tan corduroy fleece lined jacket that I put on layaway, knowing my mom would pay it off and it would be there that day. I remember sitting there wearing that jacket. We played pool, drank soda, played pinball and bowling, as well as shuffle bowl...all the games we had there. And I remember eating hot dogs from the campfire as well as having cake and ice cream.

In ten days I will be 39. I just do not know how that happens. That means I have just a year to find the stability I want in my life at 40. Mostly financial stability. When I was 16, 40 was so old, so far away.

Would I wish to do it again? I don't think so. Am I nostalgic for that time and those friends? Absolutely.