Friday, December 31, 2004

No, not up late...not really...

I went to bed about 11 and was up at 137 this morning.


I am awake and raring to go, but not much to do that won't wake E. I know if I go sit and read I might fall back to sleep, just in time for the alarm to go off. I also know that when I am awake like this it is better to just stay up.

I think this afternoon, E is coming to meet me out at work at 3 and we will get a few things ala JCP. Then we are going to Slick Willie's to shoot some New Year's Eve pool. Not sure that we will be there til the witching hour, but we will have some fun for sure.

Ithe decision is pretty firm to get an iBook, and if all goes as anticipated, I might actually have it by this time next week. As soon as I am supposed to have it, I will.

I finished my final holday project at work last night. It is a meditation wrap for my yogi and I just need to add a little fringe, which I will do at work today. Getting that done means I can tackle some of the books on my 'to read' shelf.


Tuesday, December 28, 2004

New schedule weirdness

I switched position from stylist to receptionist in the salon, and already there is a pay increase, so it is definitely a good thing. I think the challenge is going to be getting used to a flexible schedule. As a stylist, my schedule was always the same week to week.

Last week I worked 21 hours, this weel 25, next week 36, then 3 weeks of 17 hours. 17 will be my minimum and once the receptionist I am replacing gets married, I will settle in to a solid 25 or so hours a week. I think that will be the end of February. The 17 hour weeks might pick up hours as she needs to do wedding stuff as well.

In general, rather than 9 or 10 hour days, it is 5-7 hour days, with most days being just 5 or 6 hours. My boss has been very considerate in letting me work a schedule around the yoga classes, so that is definitely a plus. This next 6 week session of yoga which starts Jan 3, I will be able to go to 4-5 classes a week. It's gonna kick my ass a little after a three week break, but I am committed to getting to every class I can.

I just went through and extended out my calendar for the next 6 weeks. In ink.

I also hope the next few weeks brings a new laptop so i can get writing appointments on my calendar again too. Outlook good.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

iBook G4

My neice got one of these for xmas and is loving it. I am really missing my laptop lately and will soon be able to replace it. Any one wanting to weigh in on the mac/pc debate with advice, please comment.

Last night was the first annual WTXB. There were 7 of us in all and we had a pretty nice time. I am thinking that this should be an annual event. Next year we have been invited to Dallas for xmas, so perhaps it will be come a Solstice or New Year's buffet. Lots to consider in making the decision.

My wings were falling off the bone. I finally realized that the stock produced from the roasting process is liquid gold and should not be poured down the drain. There are 4 cups of it sitting in the fridge and I am not sure if I will make a soup with it, or if I will use it for a chicken and rice pot.

Everything else was damn good, too, and there are plenty of leftovers to nibble on today. The Edward's chocolate sundae pie remains in the freezer forgotten, though I might go get a slice for breakfast. Or maybe that is for a late dessert.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Chicken is in the oven

I am glad I listened to my body and got up early as the chicken was frozen solid. I got it at Costco on Wednesday and did not notice the package was frozen. I got a mega pack of wings and a mega pack of legs. They are all crammed into a turkey roaster with lots-o-seasoning and covered to roast a few hours as stage one of the process.

The cooking meditation continues as soon as I stop procrastinating online this morning.

I need to make:
Onion Dip (not lipton's)
Yams (not canned)
Beanie Weanies
Mac n Cheese
Pigs in Blankets
Pork Tenderloin
Mashed Potatoes

I think that is the tentative order of things yet to be done, and the invasion for the WTXB is set for tonight around 7:30. A houseful of lesbians, oh my.

Oh. Happy Holidays.

Friday, December 24, 2004

productive morning already...

So the choice is to hit the grocery store in the morning before work, or after work around 5. Hmmm....the grocery store at 5 pm on xmas eve. You know my practical ass fought my slugg ass (a little bit of virgo kicked in) and i went to the store this morning at 6:45. I was home by 730 and Alonzo the yard man is here, so the groceries are sitting out in the car. It is certainly cold enough that it's no problem.

As I was walking out the door, I realized I had not crated the dogs. They went out to pee at 5:30 and then went back to bed. None of them budged when I took my shower. Wrecks and Nola usually head to their crates when I am drying my hair or brushing my teeth, and on occasion as early as when I put my deoderant on. No one had moved and I was on my way out the door. I decided to leave them out and see what happens since I knew I would be home pretty quickly.

Then I get home and see Alonzo unloading his truck. Shit. Fuck.

The dogs were good and they earned another time left out when we do a quickie trip away, but only if they are peaceful upon exit. Time will tell.

Nola has been through this process once already and had freedom for a while, but proved herself something less than worthy. She is getting a little older so maybe it is time to give her another shot. Sawyer has earned life as an uncrated dog. He only goes into the crate if he snaps at a guest. The only one he really snaps at is Bobby, our nephew who is three. We crate him now when Bobby is here so there is no drama, and mostly so Bobby is not traumatized or maybe so Sawyer is not traumatized.

Time to put up groceries. Then, off to work 11-4. Then E will be home!! Yea!!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

where you girlfriend?

I went tonight to the Ambassador for sizzling rice soup and shrimp dumplings. As I walked in, the owner, Wendy asked, "Where you girlfriend? She not sick?"

Then three of the waitresses proceeded to stop by the table and ask, "Why you eat alone?"

E is missed by more than just me.

The brother vibe

Surely the brother vibe is still working. I am not quite sure exactly how to describe it. I no longer flirt with men, but black men in particular, certainly still flirt with me. Perhaps Papu has sent out a general memo that I have been promiscuous with negroes.

When E asks me what it's all about, I can only tell her that in my experience, black men like thick grrls. ANd having great legs is a plus. Oh, and let's not forget the tits. Or the fact that I can be sorta cute. But the key, in my experience, is that I am a thick grrl.

E called me at work on Tuesday to tell me the appraiser was coming on Wednesday and gave me his number to call him to arrange a time. She said that the brother vibe could be an asset. I told her I would be sure to give him good phone.

I set up the time for 8-10 Wednesday morning as that was his first choice, and I would then not have to change any of my other plans for my only day off before xmas. I gave Davis my best sultry phone voice, and even though it was just a phone call, I had a sense of strictly business from him, very matter-of-fact. Either that, or my brother vibe was seriously rusty. I just don't intentionally use it anymore.

Davis arrived by 9, and immediately, I saw that there was nothing wrong with the brother vibe. Davis was in his 50s. That in itself would not be a factor. He had his daughter with him. Either she is teen years and on school holiday, or maybe early 20s andlearning the business from dad. In short, he is a respectable family man. Just not the type of negro one can be promiscuous with I guess.

The rest of my day yesterday was totally on goddess time. three days before xmas and I was expecting my day to be shadowed by chaos.

I went to lunch with Beth at Pappasito's and Megan came along. I haven't seen her in a while, so that was nice. After lunch I had foour stops in mind. Sloan/Hall, Whole Foods, Body, Bath & More, and Costco.

SLoan/Hall carries a lot of designer jewelry, and I can always find something I like there. They also have a lot of high end luxury candles, fragrances and bath products. Their selection of books is quirky at best, and they have some eclectic cds available that I definitely want, but they are mostly imports, so pricey. It's safe to say it is in general, a pricey foofy store. But, I love it.

Sloan/Hall also has an interesting assortment of greeting cards. One line in particular is clitter accented, and I usually choose one of them for E's xmas card. Any time I need a special occasion card, I get it at Sloan'Hall.
Three days before xmas, their selection sucks. I did get one. I don't like it.

On the way to S/H, I realized I passed Whole Foods. Cross that right off the list. I am going there tonight. I just need to pick up some pork tenderloin for our cozy little intimate xmas eve dinner. I am going to preset the table tomorrow morning so that even if E makes it home before I get home from work, she is surprised. I might even pick her up a bottle of wine. Good plan. I guess the surprise is compromised if she reads the blog while in Dallas, but too bad.

My next stop was Body, Bath & More. They are a small candle boutique in Rice Village shops. Another foofy store that I adore. I needed to pick up some Circle E candles. I knew thay have a website, but I just googled them for the first time. I am surprised to see they are a little cheaper where I shop. Support local merchants!! I got a few new fragrances and a few I know we like. I really could do some damage in that store.

My final stop was at Costco. I really wanted a tin of their chocolate dipped cookies for the holiday. I was going to get one when I was there over the weekend, but I did not want them to be dogged before xmas. Sold out. Oh well. I guess I just need to bake some more cookies tonight.

Maybe I will go bake now before work. Perfect.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


For those not in the know, that was the sound of a pin dropping. It is very quiet in the house tonight. So far. E and the boy went to Big D for a few nights to visit some family pre-holiday. They are returning on Friday, but it seems very far away at the moment.

I went tonight to see Beth and Irina for haircuts. Beth got a nice outdoor fire pit for her 15 year anniversary at work, so the inaugural fire was tonight and we sat out on the porch to enjoy that. It was rather comical to see Beth stacking sawed off 2x4 remnants from the recent closet remodel they did. All the while, she was crumbling up torn off yellow pages from an old phone book. I had to take my chuckles back because Beth actually managed to produce a nice little blazing fire.

After leaving there, I went be Barnes and Noble for some little gifties I had coupons for there, and then I came on back home.

I thought tomorrow was going to be a productive yet sluggish day at home cleaning and what not, but that is not the case. There is an appraiser coming by between 8 and 10 in the morning. I am meeting Beth for lunch at Pappasito's at 11:30. I then have to go to Rice Village for some candles. And finally, I have a visiting client in town who is coming for a haircut at 530ish. Of the entire day, Rice Village will be the challenge.zoo does not begin to describe how it will be driving and parking down there. If it goes at all close to smoothly, I might hit the grocery store on the way home in prepration for the WTXB.

So much for slugging.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Frank ROCKS!!

We have heat! We still have to make a $300 repair in January, but Frank wired the fan direct so that it runs all the time. That way as we need heat, it can be given. The caveat is that we cannot run the a/c until the repair is made. 70 degree days forecast next week, but we can be naked if necessary, or rather I can be as E will be out of town a few days up in Dallas. Where it is cold.

Franks did not need to help us out as he did. I told him yes, we reeeeeeeally appreciate it. Then I asked him if he was a cookie man or a cake man. Lucky for him there is a baked goods surplus in the freezer. He is a cookie man. As his van is still parked out front, I'd wager he is a snacking at this moment cookie man.


It's 60 fucking degrees. Inside.

I can be such a whiner. Last night, we discovered there is something wrong with the heat and a/c. There is a tech on the way, and the entire system is just 2 years old, but the $72 service call is all that can be paid for before January. Layers. And more layers. Hopefully it will be something under warrannnty, but I think there is stil a labor charge involved.


Can you use me more hours at work? I really just want to be somewhere warm. Of course, that is not at work because it is always fucking cold in there.

I called my mom to feel out her charge card situation. If her card was anything less than maxxed, she would have volunteered it. She didn't. If it is something minor, I might call and ask my aunt. If it is really minor, I should have a xmas check from my folks in the next day or so which is for $100.


Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Po-ou-ound-cake...(Listen to the song a la Van Halen in the first Sammy Hagar incarnation, really loundly, after a few beers)

When my ex-mother-in-law makes this, she is very particular about how the ingredients are mixed. Being a next generation chef, I don't really give a shit, and E says the cake kicks ass.

2 sticks butter, softened
3 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
6 eggs
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla

Add flour and baking soda after all wet ingredients to avoid over mixing the batter. This produces a batter that does not get tough when baked.

Fold in the vanilla last. Just because I said so.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Grease and flour tube pan.

Batter is very thick and will need to be spread evenish on top. Do not bang the cake pan on the counter to level it.

Bake 1 hour 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cake rest in pan about 10 mins before removing.

Glaze with confectioner's suger glaze after cooling completely.

Mmmm, mmmm good...

Monday, December 13, 2004

Experimenting in the kitchen

I made some cinnamon cookies. If you have ever traveled by air, it is likely you have had my inspiration cookie, the Biscoff. They are crunchy and loaded with cinnamon.

My chocolate chip cookies are pretty crunchy. I use the basic Toll House recipe with a few minor tweaks to make it my own. They are decadent and one is usually enough to satisfy anyone's sweet tooth.

For the first cinnamon experiment, I used the dough part of the Toll House recipe without adding any chips or nuts. I then added two tablespoons of cinnamon. Drop by teaspoonful onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 375 til seemingly done. I rarely time anything.

They were very good. I also took a few and sandwiched some fat free Cool Whip in between them and stuck them on the freezer shelf. Woo.

I think tomorrow will be another baking day. I will decide before yoga what to bake so I can pick up any needed ingredients on the way home.

In other news, tonight I spoke to the wasband. I managed to be very matter of fact without raising my voice once. I was interested in telling him about Aunt Patty's plan and nothing more. He seemed rather receptive and then had the nerve to ask me if I sent xmas gifts for our son yet. Even though that really pissed me off, I remained quite calm.

He said: Did you send his presents?
I said: I have not gotten anything to send yet and will not get paid again until 12/24.
H: Oh, so it will be late.
I: (unimaginably calm and cool) Well, I am still not sure. You know, the last time I spoke to him was 3 days before his birthday (October when he turned 14), and I do not even know if he got that gift. Then my dad said he still has not cashed the check that he sent either. So neither of us is sure if we send something that he gets it or if it is still a good address since it is no longer a good phone number.
H: Why would the address not be good?
I: Well, when he was here visiting this summer, he was on the phone with your "ladyfriend" (yes, I said it with the sarcasm the quotes imply, but only because when my son called her that, he put finger quotes around it in the air, so I suppose I was less than calm for a brief moment) and he asked her if she had his room at her place ready yet.
H: Oh. No the address is still good.
H: He said he called you recently.
I: Well, yes. He called on Thanksgiving but I was out of the service area of my cell phone. So when he said call me back at this number, the number was not captured leaving me with no way to contact my son for the past two months now.
H: No cell service?
I: Yeah, I was on vacation in California. (Silence.) With Elizabeth. (More silence.) It was great, thanks for asking.
H: I'll have him call you.
I: Thanks. Click.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

The holiday baking has begun

E has an ambitious list of peeps to send cookies to, so the baking has begun. Tonight I made chocolate chip with pecan. Tomorrow I think I will make chocolate chip sans pecans, and maybe a cinnamon pecan cookie. I am also considering doing some sort of spiced nuts and some fudge, though I might let the fudge wait til next week.

In addition to the cookies, I need to make some pound cakes. I still need to figure out how many of those I need to make. One I need for the work xmas party which is next Friday. I also need one for Alonzo the yard man. Maybe just one more to have some here in the freezer.

I think I might look at the big cookie cookbook tomorrow and try to find a new cookie recipe to try. I know there is a recipe in Sarah McLachlan's cookbook for Writer's Block Cookies, so I might look that up too.

And tonight, the words noodle kugel came up in conversation. That means looking through The Jewish Cookbook again.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Sometimes I just love my family

I just had a chat conversation with my Aunt Patty. The cool aunt. You know the one, you know she must be your real birth mother because she is just so way cooler than you think your mom is, likely just because she is younger. And way cool. Never mind that she might have been really too young to have you herself. But oh, the potential for family scandal.

Aunt Patty is just great. No reaction when I had my first child (at 20) unmarried. No reaction when I married a black man (at 24). No reaction when I divorced (at 32). No reaction when I announced I was a lesbian (at34, though I knew at 29). No reaction when a month later, I moved to TX to be with Dear Sweet Elizabeth who I had only known online a few months. She really is that great.

Tonight in our chat she was asking what my youngest son's plans were for the holiday. I told her as far as I knew, he was staying in VA. She wants to go pick him up and take him to NY to see my folks and his brother. They need to see each other, she said. She also said they could even squeeze in a visit to his other grandmother.

Aunt Patty is the greatest...

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Yes I still want to keep him...

Wrecks (official name change going into effect) was extremely restless last night. He just wanted on the bed, but I am determined (at least not ready to give up) to keep him off the bed at night because he is just...too...big. He has a lovely old couch cushion which is acceptable to Sawyer, but for Wrecks it is either too lumpy, or just not big enough.

At about 330 in the morning, I decided E needed to get *some* sleep, so Wrecks and I went out to the living room. I was reasonably settled in and half asleep before Wrecks decided to get on the couch with me. I was mostly on my back, and Wrecks was eyeing a spot between my legs and the back of the couch.

In the process of vaulting his slightly less than coordinated 60 pound puppy self over my legs, he actually stepped on my knee directly with all his weight. Let's just call him Graceless. I sat up straight with my knee still hyper-extended, and for a moment thought something might need medical attention. The knee was not moving.

Slowly but surely, I got some bend back into my knee, only to be met by a killer charlie horse in my calf. I have some shapely rock hard calves going on, and when a charlie horse decides to visit, it is usually staying for a while.

Today, all seems well enough. There is a little bit of sensation in my knee if I move a certain way, but otherwise, business as usual.

Wrecks will be getting a lovely new bed, maybe as early as Wednesday night, definitely by Friday. Costco has a nice big one that is a tapestry fabric on one side and a faux lambswool on the other for around $20.

Now to refine the rest of the Costco list.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

New Sunday breakfast run

We have for some time done a breakfat run on Sunday morning which consisted of a stop at Olde Town Kolache Factory for a ranchera kolache and then a stop at Starbucks for chai. Not too long ago we tried Bagel World rather than the kolache place.

Bagel World is close to home, but the energy of the place really sucks. The selection at noonish on Sunday really sucks, too, since they close at 1. There is a place for bagels inside the loop called Hot Bagel Shop and they really do have the best bagels I have had since moving to Houston. It is just a 20 minute ride, but when I think about it, that seems excessive just for a bagel. After Bagel World, I decided that when I am feeling like a bagel on Sunday morning, I just won't think about it and I will go to Hot Bagel Shop.

Yesterday I decided the new regular Sunday morning breakfast run would be to Starbucks and then La Madeleine for a pastry. Both close to the house and very convenient, but more importantly, both very tasty.

I used to take Nola on the breakfast run with me and we would hit a Starbucks with a drive through. They would pass me a lid filled with whipped cream for her and she would happily lap it up. If E goes with me, Nola stays home. E does not get the lid of cream though. How sad.

On Friday night we went to the lesbian social event of the season. There is a woman who sends out a weekly lesbian social calendar and organizes a lesbian happy hour twice a month. She then throws a Xmas party for 300 of her 'close and personal friends', the women on the email list. There is a $20 entry fee and proceeds go to a local charity. The entry fee gets you an open bar and heavy hors d'oeuvres. An open bar tends to make the lesbian community here in Houston something less than appealing. Or maybe they are just like this on a regular basis. Either way, it is rather disappointing. E said, "Is this our audience for EP?"

Unfortunately, the answer is sort of yes.