Friday, December 21, 2007

Brilliant!

I have been putting off wrapping presents because, well, I hate doing it. All that tape and ribbon and pressure and I just suck at making corners and getting things neat and tidy.

So I had an idea. A brilliant idea, even if I do say so myself.

All the gifts that are being given to adults are going in to re-usable grocery bags, either from Whole Foods (for big gifts) or Stop and Shop (for smaller gifts). I will be green and will save my sanity, all in one swell foop.


Sometimes I am a fucking genius.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Five Things I Know I'm Not Getting For Christmas

Or, No Wonder People Find Me A Bit Odd.


I have long coveted this knife block. It makes me laugh.
Actually, it makes me chortle, which is a whole different kettle of ballgames than laughing.


I also find these doll head candle holders creepily appealing.
I spotted them on Blackbird's blog originally.


This just rocks.



Again with the twisted. I want these. If I had them, the bitten edges of the cookies would be dripping red icing. Preferably red gel icing (if there is such a thing).

And just because I can't resist a good pun....

The Coolest Lights....

Go check out my post at Blogabetes on the dLife website. I made some wicked cool Christmas lights this year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Interchangeable

You know how sometimes you can exchange things in recipes? If you don't have chicken stock, you can use chicken bullion. You can substitute applesauce for oil. No molasses? Try honey instead - it will taste a bit different, but will still be the same dish.

Tonight I made coconut macaroons. Every year, I do cookie plates for Olivia's teachers (and, let's be honest, for us, too) and this year, I decided to branch out and try some new recipes. Coconut macaroons are delicious and very easy to make, so I thought I'd give them a shot.

And hey, presto! They came out looking great. See?



Except for one thing. I didn't have parchment paper, so I used wax paper. You know what happens when you bake coconut macaroons on wax paper?



They fuse.



That's how many I was able to scrape off the paper before I gave up in disgust.

Back to the market for more coconut, I guess.

And parchment paper.

*sigh*

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Boss

I finally got my hands on Magic, Bruce Springsteen's new disc. It's fantastic. It's like the Bruce of old, only grown up. You really should go buy a copy. Even TCBIM, who, for the longest time has barely tolerated my undying affection for Mr. Springsteen, really likes this CD.



But it started me thinking - pretty soon, my musical idols are going to start dying (I know, what a cheery thought for a Friday afternoon, huh?). When Freddy Mercury died, I was sad, but I was, what? 25? It was shocking, but it didn't upset me for long.



(Not really a video, but this song kills me. In a good way.)




It's kind of sick that I dread the thought of some of my favourite singers and actors dying. It's something I've been thinking about recently and I have no idea why. Maybe I'm getting maudlin in my old age.



But this is the only song that consistently brings tears to my eyes and sends shivers and thrills down my spine. I can still remember the first time I heard this song - I was a freshman in high school, working on a photo montage to be shown at graduation and someone thrust a battered copy of Born To Run, on vinyl, into my hands and said "Use something from this for it." And I cued up Thunder Road and was blown away. It's my go-to song when I'm sad or pissed off or in a really great mood. It's what I blast when I'm doing 80 down the Mass Pike. It's what I play on the first warm day, when you can drive thru town with your windows down. The plaintive harmonica opening, then those amazing lyrics (Roy Orbison singing for the lonely, Hey, that's me and I want you only), the piano that sounds like a carnival, each instrument joining in, getting more insistent as the lyrics push for leaving, getting out, and finally, all of it comes together in a crescendo of let's-go-let's-go, get in the car, fuck 'em all.

I wound up stealing the album. I still have it somewhere, mixed in with the Depeche Mode and Cars (OK, OK, and Wham. You wanna make something of it? Huh?) albums. It's warped as hell and I don't have a record player to play it on but I'll never get rid of it. It was the beginning of a long, sometimes painful (Ghost Of Tom Joad, Bruce? Really? I dealt with Nebraska, but that? That was asking a lot.) frequently rekindled love affair.

Now if I could just get my hands on this documentary I saw on VH1Classics called Wings For Wheels, I'd be thrilled. I can't find it anywhere. I'm starting to think I hallucinated it.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Brownie Drop Cookies

I emailed this recipe to Mrs. Chicky and then thought maybe I should share it with the group. So here you go. You can thank me later. Oh, and to all my readers who have diabetes - I'm sorry. It's definitely NOT low carb. Or low calorie.

This is the top secret, Bedhead family recipe
(actually, it was on a package of Baker's Chocolate
back in, probably, 1973, but it *sounds* better the
other way. :D )

2 Packages Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate
1 T butter
2 eggs
3/4 C sugar
1/4 C unsifted all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 t cinnamon
1/8 t salt
3/4 c finely chopped pecans
1/2 t vanilla

Melt chocolate and butter in top of double boiler (or
in a glass bowl) over simmering (NOT boiling) water.
Stir occasionally. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, beat
eggs until foamy. Add sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time
and beat constantly until mixture is very thick (This
takes 5 minutes at high speed of electric mixture -
mixture must be well beaten because eggs, not flour,
thicken this mixture). Blend in chocolate mixture.
Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt, then stir
in pecans and vanilla. Drop from teaspoon onto
greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 10 - 12
minutes or until "set" when lightly touched. Cool.
Store in tightly covered container. Makes 3 dozen.


These are excellent. They're almost like a meringue in
that they just about melt in your mouth, but they are
definitely cookies. I love them.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I'm Memeing Of A White Christmas, Or; Hey, I Stole The Meme, Might As Well Steal The Title, Too

As stolen from Joke.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?

Both, although this year, I'm thinking of giving people those green shopping bags instead of paper gift bags. Whole Foods has nice ones and they're only a dollar a piece. On the down side, they're huge, so the gift shall have to be appropriately large, too.

2. Real tree or artificial?
Fake. I have toddlers. And a cat.

3. When do you put up the tree?
If I had my way, it would go up on the 23rd, but instead, usually around the 15th or so. Comes down after Three Kings Day (Jan. 6th - we're Spanish. Why this is important, I do not know, but it's what my father always said. "It'll come down on Three Kings Day. Because we're Spanish." Ok, dad.)

4. When do you take the tree down?
Whoops. See above.

5. Do you like eggnog?
I always think I like eggnog, but then I have a glass and realize, no, not so much.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
I always got a not-quite-right gift. When I was four, I wanted a Winnie The Pooh bear but got a regular bear whose fur zipped off (I guess for ease of cleaning.) I loved him anyway and called him Winnie, but still. I wanted a powder blue dotted swiss dress that I saw at Jordan Marsh when I was about 8. Oh, how I longed for that dress. It had ruffles and puffy sleeves and a wide, satin sash and a tulle petticoat and it fulfilled all of my Laura Ingalls Wilder/Little Women/Gone With The Wind dreams. Instead, I got material and a pattern that wasn't even close. I can still taste the disappointment over that one. And it's a good thing my mother doesn't know about this blog because I never said anything to her about it.

7. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes. It's Lladro. It hasn't been out since Shriek Sister #1 entered the scene, though.

8. Hardest person to buy for?
Me. For myriad reasons.

9. Easiest person to buy for?
The Shriek Sisters. And my dad and his wife. I get them wine. They get me half a cow.

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
The re-gifted dessert plates and the two diet cook books given to me, in the same gift bag, by my crazy-ass stepmonster.

11. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Neither, recently, because I suck.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
It's A Wonderful Life, followed closely by A Christmas Story. Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra ra ra ra ra

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
End of October, early November.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Yep. Mostly Yankee Candles and booze.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Linzer cookies. Brownie Drop cookies. Mexican Wedding Cakes. Trifle

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?
Clear.

17. Favorite Christmas song?
I Saw Three Ships
A Consort of Choral Christmas Carols - PDQ Bach

18. Travel for Christmas or stay home?
I usually go to my mothers. It's not really traveling, since she's only an hour away. I'd love to just stay home, but all my family is near my mother's, so we go there.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers?
Yes.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
A very sad angel that I've had forever and really should replace.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Christmas morning. It's traditional, dammit.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
The crass commercialism seen in the ads that imply that if you don't buy your wife a diamond or your husband a huge flat-screen tv, you are a failure as a human being.

23. What I love most about Christmas?
The cookies. All of the food, really. Not eating it, so much, although that's nice, too, but the preparation of it.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Two Tickets, Please

I need to stop fast-forwarding thru the commercials because I very nearly missed this.

Tonight I caught a glimpse of Johnny Deppp, so I stopped to see what, exactly was what. I mean, it's Johnny Depp. He is on the illustrious imaginary boyfriend list, along with a short list of other fine, fine specimens.

But look! Look what's coming to a Cinema 1-2-Many near you. Tim Burton directing Johnny Depp and Alan Rickman and Helena Bonham-Carter. In Sweeney Todd, no less!

I guess I know what I'm doing on December 21st.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

This Is Me, Opening A Can Of Worms

I'm spouting political over on the New England Mamas blog.



Anyone have a flak jacket they aren't using?



Edited to fix broken link.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

How About Now?

I missed my monkey.

I can't tell, however, if it's running slowly because it doesn't do that for me. Let me know if it crashes your computer or stalls it or just loads like mole asses. If you can't leave a comment, email me at book _ ish at yahoo dot com.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

My Other Boyfriend

Do you read I Am Bossy? If not, you should because the woman is a fucking riot.

This, however, is just not on. He's been mine for lo, these many years.



He was on Inside The Actor's Studio tonight. I TiFauxed it and will watch it one of these nights when TCBIM is out.

Monday, December 03, 2007

They're Giving It Away!

I contribute to the New England Mamas blog, along with a bunch of other great women. We're officially launching our new site, hosted by Typepad. If you scoot over there today (or any day this week, really, but c'mon, why wait? Go now! I'll wait.) you can put your name in the metaphorical hat and win some fabulous prizes. Go have a look - they really are great. A $25 voucher to Sephora, some Envirosax, $20 in Dunkin Donuts gift certificates - the list goes on. If I wasn't part of the blog and thus ineligible, I'd be throwing my name in too.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Verily, It Doth Sucketh. A Lot-eth.

I honestly don't know what to do with Boo. In the last week, she has:
  • emptied all the drawers in her dresser at each nap time, flinging clothes all over the room,
  • climbed up the drawers to stand on top of her dresser.
  • climbed down the drawers, pulling the dresser down and hitting herself in the head with a drawer (no blood drawn there).
  • emptied the diaper pail - the full diaper pail - all over her bedroom.
  • took all the wipes out of the container and scrubbed the floor with all of them. All 200 of them.
  • scaled the four foot high gate that's on her door - the one with no horizontal bars.
  • figured out how to loosen the straps and undo the top buckle on her car seat, thus allowing herself to very nearly get out of said car seat.
She whines incessantly. When she's not whining, she's yelling. When she's not yelling, she crying. She has about 10 good minutes a day. The rest of the time is spent tormenting her baby sister, getting into things she shouldn't get into or having a temper tantrum because it's time to eat/time to go/or the fucking wind is blowing the wrong way. I loathe this kind of shit. It makes my blood boil, it makes me want to scream at her and it takes away most of my enjoyment of motherhood. In short, it sucks ass.

I have removed everything from her room, 1. because I don't want her to kill herself and 2. because I'm sick of picking up everything two and three times a day. It gets old. Her dresser is on the landing, along with her diapers, wipes and diaper pail. There's nothing in her closet except stuff on a shelf that's 6 feet off the floor. I'm seriously considering just putting the toddler bed up and taking the crib out - she never stays in the crib anyway. I'll put a couple of stuffed animals in there for her, blankets, pillow, that sort of thing, but that's it.

She's in a pre-school program that meets 2 or 3 times a week, depending on the week. She goes to a play group once a week. It's not like she's sitting around the house with nothing to do. She paints, she colours, she does little craft projects, but everything is a huge whine fest. She cannot stand to wait - if I tell her to hold on, she has a meltdown. If I tell her it's time to go/time for lunch/time for bed, she has a meltdown. If I tell her to stop hitting her sister, she has a meltdown.

I honestly am at my wits end with this child. People laugh when I tell them what she does, but it's really got me at the end of my tether. I don't like feeling this way about my kid.