Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Lizard? Skink? Salamander...I don't think salamander

As I was playing solitaire or doing some other computer related thing yesterday I noticed movement along the inside window ledge...it was this little guy. Who knows how exactly he got inside and, actually, compared to others of his species he was pretty big. I caught him in a ziploc bag and then released him back out onto the rock. Note his blue tail. Very cool.

Lambert? Lambchop? Lambrib?

On Monday we had lambchops? Ribs? I think they were ribs. Mom seared them then baked them and served them with cornmealed okra and tomatoes. Very good especially with a little current jelly. I'm actually glad we didn't have that mint jelly people usually use with lamb. I've never liked it very much or at all.

Brunch At Pearl's

On Sunday my father suggested we brunch it up at Pearl's. I was all for it because I remembered having a pretty good Bloody (must I capitalize Bloody?) Mary there the last time I did brunch (which was, like, four years ago). So we went. At first we were seated inside. My father wanted to sit outside. We weren't promptly greeted by our server which is just as well since it gave us the time for people to leave an outside table and for us to insist on getting that table. Our meal started with warm mini-biscuits or mini-corn muffins, butter and jam.
We all had ourselves a bloody Mary. Bloody Mary? Last time they had olives in addition to a pickled something-er-other pepper and celery. This time the olive was missing. But still good.
I had the eggs benedict...Eggs Benedict? And I would have taken a better photograph than this but the camera died and though I thought I had another fully charged set of batteries when it got down to it I did not.
The Hollandaise sauce was good. The ham was good. The Potatoes were good. It was a little strange that on both and my father's plate we had one fully/over cooked egg (ie the yolk was entirely solid and not liquidy) and one perfectly cooked poached egg. How this happened, or why, is a mystery. It was, by far, regardless of all my snits and sneepies, the best breakfast I've had in a while. We also ended our meal (well my mother and I did) with a "Cold Buttery Kiss". A drink consisting of butterscotch schnapps, Bailey's and cream. I don't think I'm missing anything. The drink was tasty and rich. My father had an Irish coffee. I don't know how that was because I didn't taste it. He drank it though.

Worst Picture Ever

Yeah. It was really dark. So I tried to make it look better using photoshop. But I just made it look worse. And, really, I'm not in the mood to fix it. So I apologize. This is the impromptu dinner of a few nights back. Spinach, rice, field beans (not a big fan myself) and tomatoes with mozzarella and basil. After which my mother, a friend and I went to the community center and watched Sicko. I think we should have universal health care. I don't think it was such a great movie.

Come Alone...Little Doggie

Whenever I find myself in a Costco (and this goes back to childhood) I try almost all of the samples they offer. When my mother and I were in Costco last week we tried blue cheese/pre-cooked hamburgers, chicken and cheese ravioli, Hershey's chocolate milk, pizza of some kind, hot dogs and carrot juice. Oh and some weird Philly cheese thing that I really did not like. But the hotdogs werre good. My mother and I both thought so. So we purchased (or rather she purchased) a bunch. The lady who provided our sample seemed very pleased and grateful...I wonder if they're paid on a referral basis. Or if it's a big bonus or some other incentive type thing. I don't think I'd like to be a sample hander outer at Costco. No, that's a job I wouldn't like. The other day I had two of the Costco hotdogs...they're a Hebrew brand but I forget which one...not the one you would think of first. Any who. I cut my hot dogs down their middles and put cheddar cheese in them...because that's how I roll. They were very good.

Graveyard Visit

Before I blogged last I took a little stroll through the cemetery. It's very pretty.
This is one of my favorite gravestones. I know for a fact that the lady passed away in the last year...and yet according to this she will continue to live for nearly 100 more years.

This is moss filling in the letters of my grandmother's stone. I think it's neat.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

I Thought Of Another One

Well, I ate some food today worth showing but the library is closed on Sundays. Ah well.

Anyway...I just thought of another job I wouldn't mind:

AAA (triple A) tourbook person...like finding out about hotels and restaurants and whatnot then writing succinct descriptions about them. I think I would enjoy that very much.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Other Jobs I Would Like...Having Thought About It

1. Writing up dogs for petfinder.com

2. Making the behind the scenes/special features footage for DVDs

3. Reading manuscripts for anybody...not so much editing them as reading them and being like...hmmm, I think this is good maybe somebody else should edit and publish it.

4. Owning a restaurant/creating its menu...but not actually making the food

5. Video store!

6. I wouldn't mind reviewing restaurants as long as I didn't have to use bunches of analogies/metaphors/purply prose type comparisons.

7. Personal assistant to some famous not crazy person.

8. Caretaker of an estate...of course I wouldn't be able to do carpentry/plumbing or electric....but I could make sure no one stole any thing and I would clean the furniture regularly.

That's it for now...kinda makes you wonder why I went to college...or grad school.

I've Got Me A New Bag

This is the new bag that I got to carry the computer. Well, I didn't get it, my mother did. There's a writer's conference in town. It's actually its last day. I only went to two readings. The first was the opening reading (I think) and my parents and I went because one of the readers had the same name as a girl I was in girl scouts with. Turns out they're one in the same person. Last night I went to the second reading because I liked the work of the man reading. One John Casey. He read from what I assume is a yet to be published sequel to his book Spartina. It was exciting to have a good idea of who he was talking about since I've read the first book. He has a bit of a stutter. He seems to have pretty good control over it but there were definitely a few moments where he struggled. He didn't seem to mind. I didn't mind. But I wondered what it would be like...to be a writer with a certain prowess with words on the page but then to have less prowess at reading those words aloud.

Not Tim Curry, Chicken Curry

I log a few hours in the library most days. Not every day but most days. I usually spend the first hour blogging and doing things with photographs. Then I do some job searching and application making and cover letter creating. I average about three jobs for every day I do it. Since June I have applied to numerous college and private high school admissions office, one community college, a plethora of editorial assistant positions, a photo research position or two, a copywriter position for Old Navy, many freelance writing jobs and, most recently, a Kraft recipe coordinator position. Thus far I have gotten no positive replies and only one absolute negative. Though I am pretty certain that any of the jobs I applied to in June are gone and done and not ever going to come my way. It's a bit frustrating. I know it's to be expected but it's still a wee tad bit annoying. Two nights back the parents and I were talking and I had a brief moment of clarity. Clarity in the form of the kind of person I am, the sort of job I want and the life I would like to live. What it comes down to is: a large part of me would be really happy being a rural postal worker. I asked my mother if she would be disappointed if I did this and she said no. Though she also said that she would say it was what I was doing while, really, I was a writer.

Notice the difference of these two hypothetical conversations...

Hypothetical conversation #1.
Setting: A cocktail party or dinner hosted by my parents and attended by their various friends.

Lady Friend: So, cc's mom what's your daughter up to these days?
CC's Mom: Well, she recently got her MFA in writing up in Chicago.
Lady Friend: That's great! That's exciting!
CC's Mom: Yes she seemed to enjoy her time there.
Lady Friend: So what's she doing now? Writing the great American novel? Living in some hip artistic community?
CC's Mom: Well, no. Actually, she's a postal worker.
Lady Friend: Oh. I see.

Hypothetical conversation #2.
Setting: The same.

The first five lines are the same.
CC's Mom: Well, she's a writer but you know how it is she's got student loans and she wants to buy a house so until she sells her novel she's working at a post office.
Lady Friend: That's so smart! It's good to be a bit practical while striving for creative perfection.
CC's Mom: Yes, I agree.

Okay those two examples aren't really as different as I meant them to be. But you see what I mean? I am a writer. I do write. But I'm not entirely certain that any novel of mine will ever make it into a bound form. This is just the truth. And I am certain that I am not really made to have some high powered job that is cool and interesting and fun. In the conversation with my parents I began reliving my days at the sheep farm...and missing them. The days were nice. My tasks were, for the most part, soothing. Using my hands, organizing, being almost entirely on my own. But with the occasional surprise when my boss turned up to say that the dogs had escaped, a new lamb was born, the sheep got out, whatever it was. And now I'm applying to these jobs where things won't be simple. I can do them. I may even do them well. But part of me really would like to find a nice small town and be a mail carrier or clerk or sorter (excellent benefits and not too shabby pay). The only problem is that one has to take an exam. Actually that's not the problem. The only problem is that there is often a one to two year wait period before you get a job and this is assuming you are in one of the top spots of aforementioned exam. You see, people in the postal world hold on to their jobs forever. Which means it would be very difficult for me to find a small town to work in. I mean to go to the post office on Monday and ask our local postal guy how the exam was and how it all works. I mean do I have to take the exam in the place I hope to be employed or can I take the exam and shout from the mountain/rooftops that I would move anywhere with open space and a cheap housing market if I could work in a post office?

Oh yes. After the library yesterday I came home to chicken curry. Made from the left over roast chicken...it was really good.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Lunch With Flowers

Yesterday we had some people over for lunch. Four adults and two children to be specific-like. They brought flowers with them and arranged them out on the rock. We offered nuts, olives, herbed goat's cheese and other treats for starters. Mom made a salad and I made two dishes of Eggplant Parmagiana.

The grapes were delicious and, if I do say so myself, the eggplant was pretty good too. Actually, it was all good.

A Day

Last week I was cat-sitting. It was low impact cat-sitting since the cat (Lucy) had both a self service food bowl and water bowl. My main responsibility was to make sure her litter box was behaving properly and to water the plants. On Tuesday I met up with Lucy's owner at The Blue Chair for coffee, conversation and cash...oh and a blueberry muffin. We talked about the new Harry Potter and how to engage students in the act of reading...or something. I had a cafe au lait, with hazelnut flavoring. When I requested whole milk the woman at the register looked at me with a mixture of indifference, contempt and stubborness and said, firmly, that they had two percent. She said it in a way that I did not want to bother arguing with her. But, I mean really, it's a coffee house. They have cream, whole milk and skim milk to put into their regular coffee. Doesn't it seem sort of silly to deny me my extra percentage of milk fat? I do. The coffee was still good, didn't need sugar because of the hazelnut and the muffin was freshy.
After the cat socialization I returned home so that Mom and I could go to Huntsville, Alabama. Our goals were simple: get me a businessy suit so's I can apply to businessy kinds of jobs, go to Costco and stock up on all sorts of things. We first went to TJMaxx and another department store. At TJMaxx my mom found me a really nice bag/purse that I can fit my computer in and look like a grown up. I also got two blousy tops. And at the other department store (whose name I don't remember) we got me a suit my mother doesn't consider proper for job interviews. But it's cute. Our plan, after that, was to go to the Thai restaurant further down the shopping strip. I got excited as we walked by the windows and saw what other patrons were enjoying...they even seemed to have sushi. Unfortunately the excitement quickly became bitter disappointment and hunger pains when we got to the door and looked at the hours. Their lunch service stopped at two. It was two o' five. Bastards. Then we went to a mall to search for suits but with no luck. Then Costco. Then home. Except with a quick stop at a McDonalds. I had McNuggets though I was on the verge of having a chipotle snack wrap doo-dad. Then my mother got a speeding ticket. I considered asking the police officer if I could take a photograph of him...but I don't think my mother would have approved.
We got home around six, maybe seven. My father had made some tomato sauce and started water boiling for pasta. Those two things became our dinner.

Hey Chicky Baby

On Monday or Tuesday I made a roasted chicken for me and the 'rents. Same cilantro butter and turning cooking method and same, moist and delicious results....though I forgot to add a bit of salt and garlic to the butter. Idiot.

Waffle House Send Off

On Monday the cousin shoved off to Ohio. We all went to Waffle House for one last meal. I had the hash browns covered, smothered and diced (I think...cheese, tomato and onions), two eggs over medium and bacon. And sweet tea. Decent but somehow not as good as the last time. Generally speaking Waffle House does breakfast decently but not superbly. Which begs the question of where breakfast is superbly done. I'm not sure I know the answer. Eggs are eggs are eggs. I know that I always think I'll like the potatoes at WH more than I do. And the meat is always dry. I like my bacon crunchy and verging on burnt but I also like it to have a little bit of, shall we say, give. And I like my sausage cooked and browned on the outside but still a bit moist on the inside. Who knows. What is my perfect breakfast? Is it eggs Benedict? Is it two eggs, some sort of meat and potatoes? It's easy to discern sub-par eggs Benedict but it's harder to nail down a superior eggs/meat/potatoes breakfast. Ah me.

You know what I really miss? Dim sum.

Monday, July 23, 2007


Dinner was a lovely soup made with leftover beans from the other day, tomaotes that needed immediate eating due to the fact that they had been very rudely and unceremoniously removed and bitten into by some sort of evil creature...I think squirrel. And pasta. And potatoes. It was quite the thing.

Last night I also finished reading the new Harry Potter book. I will refrain from saying anything about it at this time. Though I will write something once I've read it for a second time. Then I had a strange dream filled with rather peripheral members of my past...a bartender, a high school acquaintance...and ten dollar gallons of organic milk in the strangests, darkest, scariest grocery store ever.

Did I mention I'm still looking for a job? Well, I am. And if you want to give me one, I'll take it if it includes health insurance. Consider it.

Lunch In the Cove

Yesterday the group of us went down to the cousin who had the pig roast's home for lunch.
Tuna...that my father tried to call roast beef in an effort to trick my cousin (who is not a huge fan of seafood especially pink seafood) into eating it...it didn't work.
Lovely salad and beans and a nice kicky salsa.
Dessert was blueberries, peaches (so fresh and deleaches) and sweet biscuits...and a bit of vanilla yogurt (not pictured).

Din Din

Saturday night dinner was beans and potatoes (care of the farmer's market) and thin pork loin and gravy.

Cataclysmic Corn

My father was, unlike me, capable of getting up at an early hour to get to the local farmer's market in time for large amounts of yummy, fresh corn...and other veggies. On Saturday, for lunch, we ate aforementioned corn with butter and salt and a smattering of sliced tomatoes on the side. Lovely.

Dip, Dinner, Dog and God Light

On Friday my parents, my cousin (who had just arrived from OH) and myself went to some friends of my parents for dinner and drinks. Drinks and dinner. There was dip and cheese and other things. The above dip was shrimpy...on purpose.
This was Coltrane the dog...he looks mournful in this picture but he wasn't in the flesh.
God light.
Dinner was rice, tabouleh, avocadoes, shrimp and something else maybe?
Nope just that. It was lovely.

Hot Doggie

Lunch on Thursday or Friday was hotdogs care of the momster. I put some cheese in one of mine but none in the other.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Nashville Sushi...Perhaps Technically Brentwood?

On Wednesday I drove to Nashville to pick up the parents who had arrived in New York City earlier that morning then took a car to the airport...going through, it seems, giant two foot puddles. I went earlier than they were arriving so I could go and buy the aforementioned power cord and, also, to get a small amount of my sushi on. It's been a while. So I google mapped the mall and the airport then searched for 'sushi' nearby. This place was relatively close but, more importantly, it was the only one I could find that had a website. So I went to Hanabi for sushi. This place was in the midst of all terrible kinds of office buildings and sprawl in a little shopping center whose main purpose, it seemed, was to attract workers from everywhere for lunch. There was also a spa, a Curves and three other restaurants. And I had gotten there at lunch hour so there was not a table for one available. So it was the sushi bar sitting for me. I always feel pressure to speak to the sushi chef and I feel like the chef also feels pressure to speak to me and it's all very awkward. I had the Spring combination (one roll and five pieces sushi) and an additional roll...and some eggies! Shrimp, crab, salmon, white tuna and regular tuna. Spicy yellow tail (which was, unlike so many others, very unmayonnaisy) and crunchy shrimp maki. And my beloved wasabi tobbiko and ikura. All was tasty and since I hadn't had breakfast I didn't feel overstuffed as much as entirely satiated.
And now we're, more or less, up to date.

Same But Not Burnt

Well, I grilled pork and potatoes again. This time, however, I didn't char one side of the meat. I also didn't have as fancy cheese to top the potatoes. But the potatoes and meat were quite good. So there.

Press The Receiver, I'll Make You A Believer

LinkThe other day I felt like pizza. So I ordered a pizza from Crust and picked it up. It was okay but not as good as the "quad" I had had before. They told me twenty minutes I was there in twenty minutes but I feel like it had already been sitting. And I asked for pineapple and pepperoni but I found that there was a certain skimpiness in the amount of pepperoni. Waaa, waa, waaah. I ate some then and had more for lunch later.


I've been watering my father's small garden whilst they were away. I picked a cucumber earlier this week...it took me, what, like three weeks to figure out that the cucumber plants were cucumber plants. And then another week to really look around in them. And suddenly there was this wonderfully ready cucumber for me to eat. Cut it up, salted and sesame oiled the sucker. I've also been watering the tomato plant. The tomatoes kept staying green when I wanted them to be red but in the last week they've grudgingly started changing.

These photos are from last week. One was ripe enough to eat on Wednesday and I'm sure if we took another look today another one would be ready for consumption. And even when we eat all the ready ones....we have these little guys who will grow and redden in their own good time to look forward to.