Saturday, November 29, 2003

15 minute meditation followed by 25 minutes of yoga and 5 of Savasana...what a difference. I had not realized how much no yoga class this week had affected me.
I was going to post a long rant about my work irritations on Wednesday, my t-day irritations on Thursday, and finish up with my work irritations on Friday. Instead I decided to not give it more of a hold than it already has. Suffice it to say that my involvement in family days will at the very least be tremendously less, and at the most be nonexistant. At work,
I am just going to withdraw a little back away from the toxic people and dig into the reading for my women's group which is rather extensive and diverse.

Something More by Sarah Ban Breathnach
Sacred Contracts by Caroline Myss
Illuminata by Marianne Williamson
People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
Yesterday, I Cried by Iyanla Vanzant
I Don't Want To Talk About It by Terrance Real
Your Body's Many Cries For Water by F. Batmanghelidj

I got the first two books last night at B&N and Sacred Contracts is also a cd we are supposed to pick up. Those were the two suggested we get started on. Today I am off to scour a couple of discount bookstores to see what else I can find. I have found most of them online, so I have a base price comparison to shoot for.

Time to scoot...

Friday, November 28, 2003

The food was all a success, the dishes have been done. I am hauling some leftovers to work today because there is simply not enough room in the fridge. And the family time went off with no major drama. I was so fortunate to witness how judgemental K and J are, and I kept my tongue ied down about it.

The only thing that really plucked my nerves was that i had to cut up the turkey that k brought. It was not on my menu, why did I have to do anything with it at all? I made a mess of it...hah!

Off to work...

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

The yams are peeled, sliced, buttered, brown-sugared and cinamoned and roasting away in the oven, 2 hours down, 2 hours to go. The eggs have been deviled. The quattro fromagi is assempled and awaiting its turn in the oven tomorrow. (Belch...) I've had a pepsi, (thwack) the celophane rim has been removed from my pint of B & J...

After 10 hours at work today, I am wide afuckingwake, and all is otherwise well in my world.

I will get the ham into the oven tomorrow when I get up, and as the ham coms out, the yams go in to reheat and the mac and cheese gets baked off simultaneously. i suppose i can stuff the celery after the ham is in the oven in the morning, because I sure as hell do not feel it happening tonight.

oh...and the beer is achillin in the fridge, and the possum is cornered up the tree...

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Shopping tonight was pretty painless. I was able to get an 11 pound ham, hoping that is big enough. With K bringing a turkey, I am sure we will have enough, but I really like the leftover ham for sandwiches and omelettes. I was to the store and home, groceries put away in less than an hour.

I made an executive decision and dropped the leek tart off the list. I think I will just make it this weekend. Of course, I still might change my mind again and make it for Thanksgiving. I dropped it off because it needs an hour in the oven and I just do not know when I can accomodate it and still have everything else hot and fresh.

Chapin, dinner is at 4 on Thursday!
If you have a few minutes, go on over to moby and read the sidebar column "How EWA got to be EWA". It is interesting, and I have not even gotten t the EWA site yet!
I did not go to sleep last night before 2am, and here I am alert and awake before 7:30am. There is something not quite right with this picture. Of course, it remains to be seen if this is to be an insomnia period or if it is an isolated event. The pattern will emerge as it will.

I have been trying to decide when to go to the store for Thanksgiving groceries, and I think the answer is tonight at 10pm. I do not want to go this morning because I have other running around to do on the way to work. I have to go by the Lawndale to pick up my retablo, and I also have to go by the beauty supply store to pick up some candles they have on clearance. Neither of these errands are on the way to work, but I am making them so. I figure if I leave the house by 9:30 I can get everything done and still make it to work on time.

I could stop at the store on the way home tonight, but I do not want to miss NYPD Blue, so I will have to go afterward, which might actually be the best time anyway, since I have to work tomorrow and would otherwise have to go on the way home. Grocery store on the eve of a holiday...not happening. The eve of the eve will be bad enough.

The tree is up, and I had wanted to have it decorated, but that is not happening any time soon, unless
I get home and it has been done. Not likely because E has a full to-do list of her own. Perhaps I will task Paul with it when he arrives o Thursday. Nah, it is something I really like to do. I might just tackle some of it tonight after the store, and then after work tomorrow as I am cooking. The cooking will commence around 8pm Wednesday night.

The menu includes:

Coca Cola basted ham
fresh butter layered yams
4 cheese macaroni
shrimp dumplings (if I can figure out when the stove top can be used that the oven is not on)
deviled eggs
stuffed celery
goat cheese and leek tart (if I can figure out when it can claim the oven)
mashed potatoes with StAndre cheese

hmmm, what else...K is bringing a turky and stuffing with gravy because her husband was put out that turkey is not on the menu, and Paul is bringing oyster dressing and a corn souffle.

I think there just might be enough food. We have also considered honoring our tradition of egg rolls and jalapeno poppers from Jack In The Box. I think that just depends on if someone remembers to go get them.

Let the merriment begin!!

Friday, November 21, 2003

Money woes answered, now relying on the USPS...I am not sure that I like that much at all.

On another note, I finally picked up the current issue of Poets & Writers magazine and there are a few contests I am considering entering, if, of course, the money woes are resolved before the deadlines. One such thng that was intrigueing was for a 7 month writer's fellowship in Provincetown for winter 2004. I really want to enter this, but I will not because I do not think I am quite ready for it. It has gotten me to thinking though, of how my girlfriend would react to the news (when I win) that I would be spending 7 months in P-town, lesbian capitol of the east coast. I am thinking she might not be thrilled with the news. Anybody had a similar experience? I think it is something I will inquire about at least in a hypothetical sense.

I have had similar conversations with her as I was once hot on the idea of going somewhere where I know not a soul to write for 3 months. I read bananie, linked on the left, and she did this last year in Ireland. Initially, E thought I should do this and really look into making it happen. As time wore on and we discussed it further, she was suddenly saying 6 weeks would be a good time frame...then it was suddenly 3 weeks, leading me to believe she was not fond of the idea at all.

Maybe if I start working on her now, i can apply this time next year for a fellowship for 2005.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

275 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets are simply divine.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

So I think it umm, put the money woes out there to the universe. Not that my dad reads my blog, at least not that I am aware, but I spoke to him over the weekend, just checking in as the good daughter, and he asked me to email him my address again so he did not have to ask my mother for it. Then he sent me a followup email saying the check is in the mail. The benefit of him not asking my mother is that she will likely then put a check in the mail too!!

In addition, there has been a bit of a personal windfall in the household finances which remedy the need for concern on our part to the point where we will have the proverbial nest egg cushion. Amazing that it took me to 39 to be able to have any degree of comfort financially, though admittedly, the degree is pretty small. It's a start.

I have also come to the conclusion that I actually like being back in the salon. I don't like the fact that I am just never busy, but I can actively work to improve that and will post the flyer we come up with once it is done. Currently, I have to work 35 hours a week to become and then maintain benefits eligibility. I am realizing that it might not be worth it in the long run and am going to see what other avenues for health insurance might be available.

Off to do the production for the new issue of Emerald Pillows...all the subscribers waiting on the edge of their seats will have one in the mail asap!

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

I actually did three people in the salon today. While this was a pleasant change in the monotony of the trials to my patience, having to witness my neighboring stylist's utter lack of talent, skill and knowledge was terribly painful.

J got a color client around the time I was woking on my third cut of the afternoon. I have not worked with her very long, just 5 weeks now, but witnessing her efforts today made me lose any semblance of respect toward her professionally I might have had. I will never again book her any appointments that walk or phone in. Yes, it really was that bad, and yes, I will be speaking with my manager about it in the morning.

The thing is, she has been through school and has been a stylist for a period of time which I am unaware of. Even if she is old school, having gone to school before the advent of foil hilighting, (which gives her a modicum of slack) I could teach her the technique, and with a lot of practice she could perhaps (and this is a generous stretch of my imagination) gain some degree of mastery over it to justify charging for the service. She cannot, however, gain an artistic soul to be able to interpret color choice.

Having vented this, I certainly feel better. Perhaps enough that I will remain mute about it in the salon and not mention it to my manager. We shall see how that goes.
It is just plain sucky that I get paid again the day afer Thanksgiving. Not the day before, where I could use funds for umm...I don't know...groceries?

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Here Kitty Kittyyyyyyyyy...

Goat-cheese Leek Tart (as seen in everyday FOOD from the kitchen of Martha Stewart Living)

--1 bunch leeks, white and pale
green parts only, thinly sliced
into half-moons and washed
well (about 2 cups)
--1 tablespoon olive oil
--coarse salt and ground pepper
--6 ounces soft goat cheese,
room temperature
--2 ounces cream cheese,
room temperature
--2 tablespoons milk
--3 large egg yolks
--1 teaspoon chopped fresh
thyme (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
1 store-bought refrigerated
pie crust (for a 9-inch pie)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack on lowest shelf. In a medium bowl, toss leeks with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together goat cheese, cream cheese, milk, and 2 egg yolks, and thyme. Lightly season with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, beat remaining egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash.

3. Place pie crust on a rimmed baking sheet. Spread goat cheese mixture on crust, leaving a 2-inch border. Top with leeks. Fold edge of dough over filling, Pinching folds together to seal. Brush dough with egg wash.

4. Bake until crust is golden brown, about 1 hour. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into wedges; serve.

This recipe calls for store bought pie dough. Usually, this is found in the refrigerator section where the eggs and butter are. Pilsbury makes a 2 pack. Do not use frozen shells. I think it would also be good with puff pastry. "a rimmed baking sheet" refers to a cookie sheet with sides, jelly roll pan, even a sheet cake pan would work. The center is left open.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Well, Paul called me this morning to tell me he did not leave the hospital until 10:30 last night, and that he was indeed feeling like crap. We both decided to pass on the Market.

I went instead to Target with E and we came home to be slugs for a while. We are now just back from The Ambassador where we had sizzling rice soup, pan-fried shrimp dumplings, and shrimp egg foo yong. All tres yumm. Ten we went to Borders to read some magazines, one of which I bought, Everyday Food. There is a recipe I will make for Thanksgiving for a goat cheese and leek tart.

The day began with the sister-in-law and family coming over for haie cuts and the brother-in-law seeming put out when he learned I would not be making a turkey for the holiday family meal. Now, at the last family gathering, I specifically asked if this would upset anyone and specifically asked K if J would mind. Not like it is new news...

So K said she would fix a small turkey and bring it along, to which I just said whatever...

Now I am on the hunt for some fabulous yet non-traditional dishes to fix for Thanksgiving dinner. I suppose equanimity takes a back seat if one;s intent is to fuck with someone.

Friday, November 14, 2003

It is the weekend for The Nutcracker Market...woohoooooooooooo!!

I am supposed to go with PAul tomorrow and hope he is feeling up to it. He was to have his heart shocked today to get it back into the proper rhythm, something he has had done before and insists is no big deal, but he might wake up in the morning feeling like crapola, so we shall see. As much as I look forward to attending each year, I really do not need to be spending the money I will be tempted to while there.

Last year I was very reserved and spent only on a few food items. I think if Paul is not up to it, I will pass, but if he is feeling fine, we will go and have fun sampling our way around the hall.

I am also doing family hair cuts tomorrow morning early, and then need to vacuum out the beach from my car at some point too.

On Sunday I am cutting hair for Beth and Irina, and also it is associate shopping at jcp. I am thinking some 300 count Egyptian cotton sheets, and a nice little purse I have had my eye on, and E is thinking some pants and we always get more socks.

Have to go to Target for a gift card for my youngest for his birthday, and while at the mall I might also pop into Lord & Taylor to see if they have anything good on sale, like the Hilfiger skirt I tried on there a month or so ago that fir me in a smaller size than expected. That would be a major coup.

Plenty else to do, as well, though I ,might be umm...forgetting about it all as I have already listed plenty.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Well we did it! Nola and I went to the beach this morning. It was 85 degrees while we were there and I would guess the water temp was near 70 degrees. It was Nola's first time and she/we had a blast. She is such a chick magnet...

Initially Nola would walk at the edge of the surf and just let her little paws get wet. As the Tide rolled in, she would run away so it would not get her. It really was a comedy. As my feet became accustomed to the temperature, i walked out a little further and as Nola was on leash, she had little choice but to join me. As she realized the water was not going to get her, she began jumping forward into the surf.

There were flocks of seagulls there as well, and a lot of baby gulls. I wanted to have Nola off leash, but she is a mouser and she would have captured her quarry. Yes, she is fast, fast, fast.

The sand was very compact and there was no seaweed at all, which was a pleasant change. Also since beach season is waning, there were plenty of shells to pore over. Some of them were a brilliant reddish brick color, and I even managed to find a complete conch shell that is about 2 inches long.

We were there about an hour or so and I am just a leeeeeeeeetle bit pink. Already pilaged the aloe plant and will again later so as not to be itchy.

Nola is out cold sleeping next to me. I think she will snooze the afternoon away.

Monday, November 10, 2003

I am having such a hard time with my NaNoWriMo entry. Plenty of ideas about it and easily a couple thousand words of notes in my work journal, but when I sit down and am ready to write, I have something more than a blank. I think the block I am having has to do with my ccurrent Buddhist study which is focusing on equanimity and treating every being as if they were once your mother. This is, imo, making it difficult to write the catty and devious salon characters my murder mystery revolves around. I think I might just type in my notes and work from there to see what else I can come up with.

I have otherwise been rather motivated. I have decided on my Thanksgiving menu even if the guest list remains an uncertainty, or rather unconfirmed. I have decded on who will be getting one of my fabulous xmas boxes filled with a variety of home baked goodies, as well as which goodies will be in said boxes. I bought part of a xmas gift yesterday! I am even feeling myself ready to dive into the next issue of Emerald Pillows which will be available on Nov 19th.

Tonight I was interviewed on Queer Voices, a local radio show on KPFT, a Pacifica station. I had already been on Hitaji's show, Earth 101, so it was not a big stage fright issue. I just was spreading the word for our little 'zine and getting out the web address. When I was on Hitaji's show I got a few emails from it, so there was response. I hope that this is more of a target audience and there will in turn be more response.

I also got a hair cut today. My friend Paul is still out with an injured hand, but I am going on six weeks which just was not working for me, so I asked Edie to do it. She rocks!!

Also read half of Venus Envy today at work by Rita Mae Brown. I was recently chatting about her with someone and mentioned how I really thought she was over-rated, so my friend suggested I try this book. I have liked it well enough and I will finish it, likely tomorrow at work, but I am not sure my opinion of her is changing much.

Friday, November 07, 2003's Sarah McLachlan!!

Singing on the today show at about 8:40 am..."you're so beautiful, beautiful messed up man..."

she smiled as she kept on singing and it seemed all she could do to not crack up because obviously, on the today show you just cannot say fucked...hah!!

What a babe...seeing her live, even though not in person, is a tear filled experience, even though i am sitting home watchng her...ethereal...

Thursday, November 06, 2003

So...I have my NaNoWriMo page linked on the left. Please expectations = no disappointments.

I am somewhat less than motivated and procrastination has been the rule so I am not making any promises.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

To the beach or not to the beach...that is the question. I decided last night that I was going, but this morning I just do not feel like driving. So I guess that means I am not going.

I really should take the morning, or what is left of it, to catch up on NaNoWriMo. I started late, am just a thousand words into it, and I am already procrastinating. Not a good sign, but I am still going to go forward.

Maybe I will just take my laptop out into the back yard. That way I will be outside, if not at the beach, and not connected to the internet to be distracted, as well as away from the tv. I think I can face the speakers out that way and listen to some music while I diligently type out my Murderous Intent.

Sounds like a plan, huh?

Monday, November 03, 2003

I decided today that I would do NaNoWriMo and have begun writing a salon murder mystery. My working title is "Murderous Intent: The Receptionist's Revenge" and I will set up a page for it and link it on the left on Wednesday.

It began on November 1st, so I am a few days behind, but I will hopefully be able to get ahead soon enough as I have salon time to write and work out some of it. If I use the entire staff as characters it might actually write itself. There are 30 or so of us, so plenty to draw from. I just have to remember to fictionalize as I go.
Much of my read time at work this past week has been devoted to contemplating and digesting this article from the September issue of Shambhala Sun.

Also in the same issue is a slightly fictionalized accont of a young woman's journey into the priesthood. Annie Mirror Heart has so much potential, but sadly the woman it was based on died before more could be written. It was strangely pleasing to read, and consoling of some deep place I did not know was in need of it.

I am still also reading the July issue, the annual
yoga issue.

I find I refer back to this magazine a lot, so perhaps that is good indication it is time for a subscription. Off to work I go...

Saturday, November 01, 2003

Well I am in the process of removing my roots. I think, actually, they ceased being roots several months ago. I had the closest thing to virgin hair, until about 10 minutes ago, that I have had in my 20 year hair artistry career. I am not sure why, but finally it was making me crazy. In 30 minutes, I will be back among the hair dressing profession with my favorite little 5RC on my hair. That is bright bright red for those of you not in the know. Hopefully my hairdresser will be off medical leave soon and I will be getting it cut also. It has been nearly 5 weeks since my last cut, an eternity when you wear hair as short as is my preference. I might just feel like a hairdresser again when I go in to work tomorrow!

My second run of errands today took me to the nail salon, a new place I thought I might try by the house. My nails look okay, I suppose, I just have to get used to them again. I am not sure, but there is something about them I do not care for, so if I can figure that out, I will either return to the same grrl, or go somewhere new. I will give it some time before I decide for sure.

I made some cabbage for dinner tonight fried up in the pan with Italian sausage and onion. I am not sure why I was craving it, but I was, so I made it. Might just turn out that I am the only one who will eat it.

Once my color is done, I need to go on back out once more to pay my Circuit City bill which is due today. I think I am ready to officially remove all but my debit card from my wallet. Everything will be current, well, except for my cell phone which will be caught up on Monday.

I need to investigate other cell companies as I might soon be leaving Cingular. Still not decided where to go, and today I even had the thought of perhaps giving up my cell phone to have those dollars in my clothing allowance budget. Definitely not a decision to make lightly. I think when I go out to pay Circuit City, I might have to get a pint of B & J to fully appreciate all the pros and cons of no cell phone.

Ideas from anyone who has forgone the evils of a cell after having had it for a while will be appreciated.
November 1st. It still amazes me when the days zip by so quickly. This morning, I have already been somewhat productive. I went to the bank to deposit my check, and then wroote myself a note to arrange for direct deposit so I will not have it to do again as necessity. Direct deposit really is a good thing.

After that I returned videos, on time!! Yea, me!! We even managed to watch two of the three we rented this time.

After videos I went to Armstrong McCall, a beauty supply store for licensed professionals only. They had some of what I wanted, but I thought for sure that they carried the Bed Head line. Nope. Instead I got a few Kiwi products by ARTec, and some candles that have been discontinued. I also made a huge impulse purchase while I was there.

It is impulse as it was not on my day's agenda, but I decided to spend the $50 clothing allowance I had alloted myself, so it is not a budget crushing impulse purchase. Additionally, it is something to benefit both E and myself, and also something we have been talking about buying for some time.

The beauty supply store had a beach cruiser bike, 3-speed, metallic red, for $50!! Actually, it is near identical to one I have been waiting to get at Target which is $99, so rather than consider this a $50 impulse buy, I suppose it is better considered a $49 savings.

Does that mean I can go spent another $50 on clothes? I think I had better go do some budget crunching math before I answer that question.

Now for the afternoon, I was going to go to the grocery store and perhaps stop by the nail salon but maybe the nails are better put off for another day. Or, maybe not. I think I will nap on it.