Friday, December 24, 2010

The Ginger Swap

The little loaner dog is going to Camp Twin City while I'm gone, so Rvan came to Woodland to pick her up today. It was sort of like one of those shared custody arrangements, except this was on a Friday and didn't take place at McDonalds. Bert and Ernie came along for the ride.

Apparently Christmas Eve day is not the time to find an open restaurant in Woodland. One might think that since it's one of the biggest shopping days of the year the places downtown would at least be open for lunch, but we here in Woodland are beyond that sort of thing. After walking to the Thai place (closed), the Mexican place (in a former bank, also closed), and rejecting the saloon (nothing without meat on the menu), we ended up at the sushi place. The twins were very good natured about all the to-ing and fro-ing as we tried to find a restaurant, even when Rvan almost flipped the stroller getting back on the sidewalk.

The best part was the looks we got from people. Without Christina there, people naturally assume that I'm one of the parents. I get that. I'm still convinced that the "you break it, you bought it" rule might somehow apply to babies, so I carefully maintained a five foot buffer zone. It was still very funny that you could almost feel the positive thoughts beaming from everyone toward Rvan as he mixed formula and fed both babies at the same time. On the other hand, I was getting the tractor beam of condemnation coming from everyone as I sat eating and making faces on the other side of the table.

Anyhow, it's a little odd here without the little dog. I've already let the big dog outside and forgotten to let her back in for an hour because she didn't bark like Ginger does.

The little fluffy dog has her uses...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I should quit my wining...

After an exhausting day of lying around in my pajamas and reading, I showered and ran out of the house to get to my beloved Nugget (number three on my list of reasons to live in Woodland) so I have groceries for the week, and almost tripped over my realtor's latest Christmas offering on the doorstep.

(When I was planning to buy a house, I asked my friend Anna for a realtor recommendation. She gave me a name and number, then added "She sounds like a man on the phone." It's true. She does. That's really all I remember about her since it has been eight years since we last talked.)

Looking in my cupboard, one might think that I really like this wine since I appear to be stocking up on it. Other people I know have wine lockers that are holding expensive wines that are steadily turning into expensive vinegar. Not me. In reality, I just can't figure out what to do with this stuff. I think I opened the bottles the first two years, the first time to try it, the second time because I didn't believe that it could possibly have been that bad. I'm not really a wine person, so maybe that's part of the problem, but I think the bigger problem is that this stuff is just really terrible wine.

So, now my question is... what do I do with it? Any ideas? Would it make me a bad person to donate it to the drunks hanging around outside the Hotel Woodland? (Fun fact: the Hotel Woodland, our local rent-controlled apartment building down the street, has its own special symbol on the Megan's law website, indicating that there are multiple sex offenders living at the same address. Lovely.)

Is there some sort of fruity blended drink that I can make? Would vinegar made from this stuff taste even worse?

My thirty second google search turned up a way to make sangria (with fruit and triple sec), and a suggestion that bad white wine can be used for getting red wine stains out of clothing. Assuming that I (a) drank red wine, (b) spilled it on my clothes, and (c) cared enough to try to get it out, is white zinfandel considered a white wine? I believe this last question shows the true depth of my wine ignorance.

Anyhow, if anyone wants nearly a gallon of terrible wine, let me know.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ho Ho Ho beta

So my pimp showed up at work today like he sometimes does, and it appears that after two years I might have memorized both his face and his name. (He's also one of the few people that wears a tie, and he always immediately launches into incredibly innocuous small talk, so there are a few other clues.) Anyhow, he apologized for not wearing a Santa hat, and I claimed that wouldn't have been very professional anyhow. This from someone wearing jeans and a t-shirt, even if I did avoid the bleach-stained shirt when dressing this morning.

After he left Eric and I were discussing whether, in fact, a Santa hat would be unprofessional attire, since professional attire is determined by the job. I reversed my position and agreed that it might be, since programmers are probably more like mall Santas than CEOs.

Here's my list (which I would check twice if I weren't too damn lazy)...

Programmers are like mall Santas because:
  • Boots are completely acceptable work wear.
  • Our job is to listen to your wish list and nod.
  • We nod while listening because we have absolutely no intention of delivering what you're asking for.
  • On the face of it we appear to be completely unemployable in any other profession.
There are probably more reasons, but we'll leave them for future enhancements. As Useless Eustace always said, it will be done in two weeks.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Let there be bags with candles!

Tonight is our neighborhood luminary night, when everyone is supposed to put out lunch bags with a little tea candle inside. There's also a food and coat drive, so it's a bit of a charity thing, but mostly it's a chance to make the neighborhood look pretty and give everyone an excuse to wander around in the evening.

It's also leaf-drop season here in Woodland, and the combination of candles and dry leaves does worry me a bit, but so far luminary night has not crossed over into Guy Fawkes territory.

One thing I found out this year is that my neighbor is actually worse than I am at organizing things. It's hard to believe, I know. She was in charge of organizing our five house block and I'm the only one she managed to talk to. If you go one street over, the luminaries stretch for almost a mile. They're a little better at organizing things over there apparently.

Anyhow, we wandered around, talked to a lot of people strolling with wine glasses, looked at a lot of Christmas lights, and generally had a good time. My neighbors did spend a significant amount of the time lamenting the fact that they don't have their decorations up yet. I figure the luminaries are a fine decoration by themselves and don't require me to get up on the roof, so it's all good.

Friday, December 10, 2010

If a blog falls on a Thursday and nobody notices, does it still make a sound?

So... I got home last night and did some stuff and then I went to bed and then I woke up this morning and ate breakfast and then thought "Oops". The old type-A me would have been all stressed out over missing a self-imposed blogging deadline, but the new zen me took it in stride. (Right, that's a lie, I've never been type-A in my life. Some days my only goal is to get out of bed and take a shower before dinner, and I still let myself slide on that one.)

But back to the point, if I can find it -- I talked to JoJo the Enforcer over the weekend, and she asked me where I come up with my blog ideas. Now, I thought it was perfectly obvious that nine times out of ten I don't actually have an idea. In fact, I went to the damn fair and ate that godawful fried food just so I wouldn't have to think of something else to talk about. I made myself sick for twenty-four hours because I was too lazy to think. How sad is that?

So this morning, I thought to myself "Hey, I should go install my HD radio that I've had in my trunk for a couple of months. I could even take pictures. That would be special enough to excuse the late post." But then I started working and I forgot about it. And then it was too dark to work in the car.

So there we have it. This is a day late, I still have nothing to talk about, and the radio is still in the trunk. It goes without saying that I still have no vanity in the back bathroom and I have yet to put the plate back on the light switch in the front bathroom.

Procrastination, thy name is Theresa.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

All The News That's Fit To Print Without Editing

I had some extra time today, so I was looking over the online version of my local paper, the Daily Democrat (est. 1857). Known as the Daily Disappointment by some of my friends, it is everything you expect of a small paper these days -- often poorly written, usually poorly edited, and occasionally unintentionally hilarious.

(For family news I just rely on the bush telegraph whose name is Jeff -- his grammar is just as bad, and there is no editing, but he tells everyone about everything whether you want him to or not, so I don't need another source.)

Most of the content in the Daily Democrat these days is not local, which I think is a shame. After all, if I wanted to read non-local news, I wouldn't get it from a four-page thick paper that shows up in the late afternoon. No, the best stories are the ones that are about local events, whether that's the edge-of-hysteria piece about the police arresting a wanted felon (who tried to flee on his bicycle), or the annual article about how wild turkeys were seen running down the road in town (which is usually titled something like "Turkeys Trot Through Town"). If you can get past the "why would anyone think this is news?" reaction, it's a good read. It also helps if you aren't a stickler for proper grammar or spelling.

Anyhow, today I made it to the obituaries. I don't really understand why I ever read them since I don't know these people, but read them I do. Unlike those found in the papers from more populated areas, the obituaries in the Daily Democrat usually have a fair amount of personal information. Sometimes they even make me wish I'd met the person, which I suppose is something. My favorite from today is for a guy named Wayne Henry King who was a ranch manager. It sounds like he did quite a lot of stuff in his 53 years, and it also sounds like he helped quite a few people along the way. But what really made the obituary great was this line buried in the middle of the second paragraph:

"He loved his family and friends, and his cat Munchkin Princess."

So, okay, sure, he had questionable taste in cat names, but still, the fact that this tough ranch manager loved his cat enough that his family felt it necessary to mention her by name in his obituary makes me think that the world is a worse place without him.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cooking Tip of the Day

When using up yams, cranberries, and marshmallows, you might want to put the marshmallows on the bottom, not the top.

Learn from my mistakes...