31 March 2009

Time to call in the haz mat team.

I don't understand why or how it happens, but people leave shit in the lockers at the gym fairly often. Nearly six months ago, I wrote about someone leaving a nice, black bra in a locker at the gym. I still do not understand how you could realize you've left your sweet bra somewhere and not go back to get it.

At least that long ago, and I think longer (I really can't remember a time when they weren't there), there was a locker holding a pair of khaki shorts and a purple thong. Almost every. damn. time. I went to put my shit in a locker, I would open that one and see those leftover clothes and feel my urge to kill rising ... rising ... rising!

Fast forward to today, and once I get done working out, the shorts and thong have migrated out of the locker. Quite frankly, I'm surprised it took six months for those nasty, dirty drawers to crawl out to freedom.

Because you know those aren't clean. You probably changed out of your shorts and thong into proper gym shorts and undies that won't give you an accidental episiotomy while you're working out. Then maybe you wear your gym clothes home, because you're not going to bother showering at the gym, as it is fucking nasty.

But how do you not realize that you've forgotten your stuff and look for it the next time you're at the gym? I don't get it. Also, I don't get how the staff will come in and cut a lock off a lock that's been on a locker overnight, but they won't take shit out of lockers that has been there for months. Then again, I wouldn't want to touch anyone's dirty drawers that were left behind.

I probably should have showered in bleach, with a Brillo pad, huh?

30 March 2009

Stereotypes are fun!

Surprisingly, the commercial I've found that I hate most during the NCAA tournament did not show up during the opening days of the tournament. At least, I don't think it did. Maybe I saw it during the Saturday and Sunday games last weekend ... the days kind of blended together. Regardless of when it showed up in the rotation, I've been seeing it a lot lately. Let me give you the summary from the YouTube page featuring the ad:

A outrageously funny commercial by Heineken again showing the fundamental differences between the 2 sexes.


Hahahahahahaha! Oh, Heineken. You're so clever. Women like clothes! Men like beer! And men like beer so much, they'll go crazy over it just like women go crazy over a fancy closet full of ... your own clothes and shoes? Um, yay?



What.ever. If that walk-in refrigerator was full of beer that didn't taste like ass, then maybe I'd be excited. Why not make everyone happy and have a walk-in closet/refrigerator so you can drink beer while enjoying your nicely organized clothes? Make yourself useful, Heineken. Honestly. Why didn't you just make this the script for your commercial?

OH MY GOD, IT IS ON RIGHT NOW. And since I'm watching The Daily Show, it's clearly not confined to basketball. Dammit.

29 March 2009

Reason No. 26 ...

The Boy I Currently Like rocks my world: he gives me the bestest presents.



I haven't colored Easter eggs in many, many years. But I'll be doing it this year. Bonus: eggs are on sale at Rainbow this week!

26 March 2009

Surprise!

Earlier tonight, as I was feverishly trying to extract my box 'o Chaz and my gym bag from the back seat of my car, so I could get into the house and minimize the amount of basketball I was missing, I heard a car start.

I looked around, and there wasn't a car starting up around me. Oh my. All of my dash and instrument lights are on. And I hear Ryan Adams. The car that started? It was mine. Holy shit. MY CAR HAS COME TO LIFE. She's going to start killing those who have wronged me. Awesome!

I mean ... Oh no. How ... awful?

Apparently, I have a remote starter in my car. Or I'm driving Christine II. I didn't actually try to replicate starting the car with no keys in the ignition. Why would I do that? I WAS MISSING BASKETBALL. I've had this car for nearly two months and had no idea there was a remote starter. Called my dad to see if he'd just forgotten to tell me that and he had no idea either. It wasn't indicated anywhere when I bought the car.

So, I have a free remote starter in my car! I mean, I think. This could very well be a demon car. And quite frankly, as long as she runs well and kills people on her own time, I think I'm okay with that.

This is a pretty sweet surprise in an otherwise blah week. The weather has blown goats. Work has been very busy, with much working late. And while the week has flown by, individual days have dragged. Not to mention that I've been seriously ugly this week. My skin took the one or two nice days we had as a cue to go absolutely fucking bitchcakes. Seriously, I looked like Colton Iverson a couple of days ago.

But my skin is clearing, I had an awesome week of yoga (I fucking rocked Monkey Pose last night and Wheel Pose on Monday) tomorrow is Friday, there is much basketball to be watched and this bullshit weather can't last forever. Oh, and I have a remote starter for next winter.

25 March 2009

Uncharacteristic stick-to-it-iveness.

I wrote the first post on I was told there would be bacon on this day, three years ago.

Since I moved away from home to go to college, there have been few things I've stuck with for the amount of time I've been writing this blog. Even fewer things have lasted longer than that, save relationships with friends. Call it a fear of commitment, restlessness, immaturity or boredom. I'm not sure it's any one thing or a combination of them all.

Sure, I've lived in Minneapolis for 14 of the last 16 or so years, but most of my homes were abandoned for one reason or another within a year or two. I called the apartment where I "lived" before moving to Mankato home for four years. That is the longest I've lived anywhere, other than the house in which I grew up.

Of course, I use the term "lived" loosely, as I spent the majority of those years essentially living with The Cheating Asshole Ex (more on that later). However, I've lived in this apartment for a couple of weeks longer than I've been writing this blog. And I intend to stay here for the foreseeable future. Yay, stability!

I moved to Minneapolis to attend the University of Minnesota, but only after I spent my first year of college at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Those three years at the U, I studied Journalism. When I finished college, I'd already decided I wasn't going to be a reporter. So I spent three years in grad school, studying nonprofit management. It would stand to reason that I got into research with my first job after finishing grad school, wouldn't it?

And jobs? Until my last job (I don't really count the mouse-infested office), I'd never worked anywhere for more than two years. I should have left well before I did, but I think I was so happy to be back in Minneapolis, I just didn't care about wasting my days away at a do-nothing job.

Back to The Cheating Asshole Ex ... I was with him for four-and-a-half years. That's by far the longest I've ever dated anyone. Oh, well, there were the three years of the Booty Call Matt era. But does that really count? The Boy I Currently Like has been around for half the time I've had this blog, which is pretty impressive. Actually, if you count the e-mailing before we met, he's been around for two-thirds of the blog. Shit, this blog (and his) is the reason we met.

Why I've been able to stick with blogging is something of a mystery to me. I enjoy writing, but I also do it every day as a part of my job. It's certainly an outlet. Obviously, yoga is not quite enough for me. It lets me update friends I don't talk to as often as I should. Blogging has allowed me to meet incredible people I probably wouldn't have met otherwise.

Every year, more and more of you show up to read my obscenity-laced, narcissistic rantings. I don't get it, but man, do I appreciate it. Now, some sort of celebration is probably in order, yes?

I'm guessing all the copy editors were laid off?

Because how the fuck does a crap sentence like this get into the paper (or the online version of it, anyway) otherwise?

She said he little to say, "same as always," when he returned home from work at the airport hours after allegedly killing Olson and nonchalantly asked her to wash his jacket, saying he had spilled jet fuel on it.

I realize covering a trial is very deadline-sensitive. When I was working at the Daily, I often had a very tight turnaround on my stories. When you're covering an education committee meeting at the Capitol and the meeting ends after deadline, you're going to have to bang out a story in a half-hour, tops. It's probably much the same for Ms. Simons covering the Craigslist murder trial.

However, the extra five minutes it takes any one of the multitude of editors reading the story before it is published would be time well spent, I think. I hope to Christ it gets a good look before ending up in the print edition. As a matter of fact, why don't I go check? We get the print edition here at work.

AWESOME. It made it into the physical paper. Kudos, Strib. Kudos.

This shoddy reporting/writing/editing/copy editing is nothing new at the Strib. I included all of those options, because it is fairly impossible to know who is at fault. As a reporter, you can write a perfect story and then have some editor actually introduce an error along the way. Or maybe a copy editor writes a misleading headline, making the story into something it absolutely is not. Been there, done that. Let me tell you -- it's all kinds of fun.

Ultimately, it is the last person to read the story before giving it the okay, I suppose. But there could be fault at several stops along the way. There are so many more errors slipping through the cracks at the Strib these days. It makes me sad for the state of contemporary journalism (and makes me glad I decided to go into another thankless field). It also makes me sad because several of my former Daily colleagues work at the Strib. I know they're very good writers and really great at their jobs, but when stories get into the paper with errors, it makes them look bad.

There is a silver lining to this cloud, however. In visiting the website of the Minnesota Daily, I see that the headlining story is: Beer pong enthusiasts could be at risk for diseases. Excellent. It reminds me of my very first hard-hitting story for the Daily. It was about a bill put forward at the Legislature that would require kegs to be registered. Sure, I moved on to much bigger stories during my reporting career, but it's important to remember where I started.

23 March 2009

Because something is very, very wrong.

Best search string ever?



In case you're not seeing it, someone wants to know "why does my virginia smell like fart?" I do not have the answer, honey.

Cultivating a reputation.

It didn't take long for me to establish myself as the resident expert on hip hop and The Simpsons during afternoon trivia at work. I've since become one of the few go-to people for sports and music questions in general, not to mention embarrassing pop culture shit (there's so much I wish I didn't know).

However, things might be going a bit too far, as I'm now the one person answering the porn and weed questions. How do I know that the adult film star nicknamed "The Hedgehog" is Ron Jeremy? I have no idea. I swear! I just picked it up somewhere. Same thing with 420. Who knows where I learned that shit. Stoner Commish?

What matters is I KNEW THE ANSWER AND NO ONE ELSE DID. Suckers. I shan't be ashamed.

22 March 2009

Kudos to you, vitaminwater.

You've managed to make a commercial featuring two basketball names I hate with the white-hot intensity of a thousand burning suns -- Christian Laettner and Rick Pitino -- that not only doesn't piss me off, but in fact, makes me giggle.

AND I WASN'T EVEN DRUNK when I saw it the first time. No doubt this is a sign of the end times. However, it should be noted that I enjoy the spot featuring the non-feral Steve Nash considerably more.

I did my big weekend cooking project and my laundry yesterday, which was probably something of a mistake. With tasks or activities to distract me, I can't really remember the last time I had a horribly depressing Sunday. Despite a day full of basketball, I now recall that depressing feeling of impending doom Sundays often bring.

The week ahead will be rainy and cold. I have to work late tomorrow and go in early Tuesday and Wednesday to half-assedly take part in a remote training for half of each of those days. And this half-assedness is the boss's suggestion. He knows we have work to do, but wants us to participate, so we get to do both at the same time. Awesome.

I shouldn't be complaining, though. I have a job and I'm busy. Is anyone else getting so motherfucking tired of saying that? And there is no damn end in sight. Fuck. Thank the sweet baby Jebus there is booze.

Also, my upstairs neighbor's love of Neko Case's "Middle Cyclone," is becoming a bit disconcerting. He's been playing it all weekend.

21 March 2009

My world has gone topsy-turvey.

I've never been a fan of mushrooms. I've always quite hated them in fact. There's something about the texture, I think, that just turns me off. Well, unless they are deep-fried. Then I'll eat the hell out of some mushrooms. But really, what isn't good when it's deep fried?

However, over the last couple of weeks, for whatever strange fucking reason, I've been very intrigued by portobellos. So intrigued that I actually bought some to try out in a recipe. I made the dish tonight while watching Day Three of basketball weekend. As it turns out, the Portobello Penne Pasta Casserole is fan-fucking-tastic (with the changes I made, anyway). Seriously. It's SO. GOOD.

Maybe it's all just a part of growing up. Someday, I will be an adult!

It's nice that I did find something good today, since my brackets are so fucking bad. And the weekend is nearing the end. Work is right around the corner. So is rain. Not much to look forward to that I can see. BOO. Going back to reality kinda totally sucks.

20 March 2009

So much competition.

In years past, there has seemed to be one particular commercial that draws my ire during the NCAA tournament. But so far this year, there are too many from which to choose.

Yesterday, during a commercial break early on in the first game, I asked The Boy I Currently Like which ad he thought might drive us insane. We couldn't really come up with anything then, but as the day wore on and we saw more and more commercials, some trends started cropping up.

There are, of course, the commercials that had been running for a while that I hate. The Bud Light "drinkability" commercials. The Buffalo Wild Wings spots. The Miller Lite triple hops bullshit. They make me fucking crazy. "Drinkability" isn't a thing. Unless you're using it as a euphemism for "tastes like nothing." Those losers at Buffalo Wild Wings don't seem to realize they won't get kicked out of the bar immediately after the game ends. And I don't care how damn many times you add hops during your brewing process, Miller Lite. I can barely tell they're in there at all.

Some newer spots popped up during the day. Over and over and over again. The Lowes commercials are lame. Though, the one with the marching horde of flowers could be cool if the flowers started attacking people. Axe's "double pits to chesty" is exceedingly stupid. And you must be out of your goddamn mind if you think I'm going to visit the website with that dumbass name.

The Domino's "bailout" spot is fairly dumb. The Boy was on the phone the first time we saw that one and started pointing at the TV, trying to tell me, "This one. This one will drive us mad." But then we didn't see it again at all. I was trying to remember which spot it was all morning and I couldn't. Of course, my memory was jogged shortly and I've seen it at least twice in the last couple of hours. Then there is the Direct TV ad with the violent, hallucinating sociopath who takes a cake spatula to a fellow-dinner party attendee's shin, which sounds as if it's made from china.

However, as I've been writing this, I'm coming to the realization that perhaps I do have a least favorite commercial. Or set of commercials, as it were. At this point, the commercials that are making me want to punch someone in the junk are the State Farm commercials. It's always the damn State Farm commercials, it seems. The stickless Popsicles, the unrisnsed cars at the carwash and the bunless hotdogs with watered-down condiments. I just hate them so much.

Since I'm watching at home today, I don't have access to The Boy's excellent channel-surfing, commercial-avoiding skills. I'm just not as good at it as he is. I also sometimes forget I can change the channel or I'm doing something else (like blogging!) and I don't change the channel.

But there is some good news -- CBS's college sports cable channel shows that late-afternoon game that normally we'd have to miss because of that dirty fucking whore, Oprah. Hahahahahahaha! Fuck you, Oprah. You won't thwart me this year. UPDATE: God fucking dammit. That was just yesterday. You win this round, Winfrey, but so help me God, I will get you.

Oh, and surprise! My brackets fucking suck.

18 March 2009

Noooooooooooooo!

I woke up in a panic early this morning. I'd somehow forgotten to fill out my brackets and the tournament had started!

Wait. What day is it? Do I have to go to work tomorrow?

Whew. It was all just a dream. For whatever reason, I tend to put off filling out my brackets until the lastish minute. I was planning on doing it yesterday because I was supposed to go to happy hour tonight and filling out my brackets drunk is not a good idea. Or is it? I usually just whip through it without thinking much, anyway. I go into some sort of trance and five minutes later, I'm done and I don't remember a thing. I'll be absolutely certain I picked that particular 12 seed to upset in the first round, but I'll go back and look later and oops. Not that 12 seed. A different one.

Really, if I spend a lot of time thinking about it and second-guessing myself, it'll make the wrong picks that much more painful. Why do that to myself?

But tonight, I've done my brackets with a clear head and centered self after yoga. And I've not even been home long enough to finish a glass of wine, so my picks won't be booze-addled. I'm sure my brackets (all three of them) will be busted by 3:00 p.m. tomorrow. I only do well once every few years, and my Jesus statue is just two years old. Well, I won it two years ago. I didn't get it until six months later.

The brackets are secondary, really. I'm in for four whole days of pretty much wall-to-wall college basketball. And no work! More annoying commercials than you can shake a stick at. I can stay up late tonight and get tipsy. Life is goooooood.

(Oh my God. ESPN has a countdown on the ticker for how much time is left to fill out your brackets. Just 13 hours and 40 minutes and 19 seconds left! I got in just under the wire.)

17 March 2009

That ain't right.

I had a huge weight lifted from my shoulders tonight when I had to reschedule my happy hour that was to take place tomorrow. Now I can work late and then go to the gym!

Fire up the bus to the old folks' home, y'all. It's only a matter of time before I'm frightening elementary school children. "Paddlin' the school canoe? That's a paddlin'."

I'm fairly sure I didn't sign up for this. Being an adult blows.

Happy St. Patrick's Day.

May you be in heaven a full half hour before the Devil knows you're dead.

15 March 2009

Goin' dancing.

Ski-U-Mah!

I knew the second Greg Gumbel revealed Louisville as the overall number one seed that the Gophers were in the NCAA tournament. I had to wait damn long enough to get the news, though. I suppose it could have been worse and they could have been in the South region.

(Side note: remember a few years ago when the NCAA tried to get everyone to start calling the regions by their location instead of Midwest, West, South and East? Guess that didn't take. Thank God.)

Man, beating Louisville way back in December proved to be uber important. I'm still fairly surprised. I've been under the impression that they were out since they shat the bed against Michigan last week. Which was their ticket in, I see. Looks like Penn State is out. Suckers.

I just couldn't wrap my head around all the talk by the Gopher announcers and all the ESPN talking heads that they were still in; that they weren't even on the bubble. The Boy I Currently Like and I have been talking about this fairly nonstop since at least Thursday. He agreed with me, but then again, he is not a fan of the Gophers. Poor guy -- he probably watched much more Gopher basketball this year than he ever would have wanted.

Yesterday, I told The Boy that I wouldn't be devastated if the Gophers didn't make it. After all, I didn't really think they deserved it after that loss to Michigan. But based on the butterflies in my stomach until their match-up was announced, I probably would have been pretty fucking bummed.

It's a damn shame that they didn't get a Friday/Sunday location. There would have been a good chance they played on Sunday and I would have had an excuse to skip my cousin's wedding shower. Because apparently the fact that wedding showers are my idea of hell, this weekend is my fucking vacation and I've had it planned since ... well, I've been taking the opening Thursday and Friday of the tournament off every year for at least five years (well, last year I was off because I didn't have a job), and I DON'T FUCKING WANT TO GO are not reason enough. God I fucking hate having a family sometimes.

Oh well. M-I-N-N-E-S-O-T-A!

14 March 2009

Classy Saturday night.

Sometimes I like to treat myself to a lovely night at home. Tonight is one of those nights. I'm sipping a dirty martini while a very lovely New York Strip is marinating, just waiting to be cooked for my dinner, along with some oven-roasted potatoes.

Any other Saturday night would probably be cheap wine and whatever I felt like cobbling together from the cupboards and fridge. I've been sick or busy or just wiped out most weekends lately. Today I feel like a freakin' dynamo. Maybe it's the sun and warm (relatively speaking) temperature. Perhaps there's a bit of afterglow coming into play. Could also be knowing I have a short work week and pretty much the Most Wonderful Time of The Year coming up in mere days.

I'm getting started a bit later on the drinking and dinner than I might normally would have on a weekend. I lingered, watching basketball with The Boy I Currently Like before coming home to clean and shower and then go run my errands. So I'll be eating a bit late. Big deal. I have a clean apartment and all of my errands are done. This is terribly, terribly important.

It will be nice to only have to go to the gym tomorrow, and then everything else can be done in the house. Selection Sunday has a great deal of importance to me this year. Well, it has a great deal of importance every year, but the Gophers could get an invitation to the Big Dance this year. Honestly, I just can't see it. However, every damn talking head on ESPN is saying they are in. But Penn State was in earlier today and now Joe Lunardi has them in the first four out. IT'S CONSTANTLY CHANGING.

Man, I don't want to get my hopes up ... but I can't help it. Fuck.

12 March 2009

Do you want to talk?

"Oh! Do you want me to tell you about my day?"

In case you ever find yourself with a 10-year-old boy who refuses to turn the TV back on, the words above will do the trick.

11 March 2009

Do I need to contemplate my choice of insurance again?

Dammit, State Farm. Why must you always have commercials that piss me off so much airing during basketball? I've blogged about this before, for Christ's sake. This damn commercial is on all the time.



Okay, so I'm glad it's not stupid Mike Krzyzewski, but I'm not happy about this commercial with LeBron James and his friend making fun of the kid with the Kid 'n Play CD. Dammit LeBron, it was bad enough that I had to watch that Nike commercial with you throwing the talc/chalk all over the place (wonder where you got that from), but this is far more egregious. Why you gotta hate on Kid 'n Play? That ain't right and you know it. Why the dude with the Kid 'n Play CD is embarrassed is beyond me. House Party fucking rules.

10 March 2009

Recipe: Dark Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes

Ingredients:
6 slices bacon
1 cup flour
1/4 cup + 1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (I used kosher)
1 egg
1/2 cup cold, strong coffee
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Instructions:
Cook the bacon in whatever manner you prefer. I do mine in the oven. You'll want it to be quite done, as when it's cooled you need to crumble it.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Grease or spray a muffin tin (or use the paper/foil muffin cups).

Mix all the dry ingredients together. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Stir until the mixture just comes together. Then, fold in about 3/4 of the bacon, reserving the rest for a garnish.

Drop the mixture into the muffin tins (you should get 12 muffins). Bake 14 to 19 minutes. The cupcakes will be quite shiny on top and you'll know they are done when you press the top lightly and it springs back.

Allow the cupcakes to cool and frost however you'd like. I used a chocolate ganache. Then garnish with the reserved bacon.

Oh the things you can learn from your owner's manual.

I've had Barbie (still not sold on that for a name) now for just more than a month. Yet, I'd not gotten around to pulling out my owner's manual to really get to know her better. It was something I to do, because I could not for the life of me figure out where my parking brake release was.

This may not be a big deal to most, but I do seem to park on hills fairly often. When I go to see The Boy I Currently Like, I park on a hill outside his place. And when I can't get a spot in the ramp at the gym (which is often), I also park on a hill. Sure, I turn my wheels so as to roll into the curb and not do any damage to other cars if my car somehow rolls. But that's a chance you shouldn't even take, right? Does anyone do that anymore? The Boy does, but other than seeing his car and mine parked properly on hills, I never see it.

So I wasn't using my parking brake and the subject of owner's manuals came up while I was talking with the fam on Saturday. And my sister looked at me like I was the biggest idiot on the planet and said, "You just press the pedal down again!" (We have nearly the same car.) Oh, it seems totally intuitive now. Or it would if I'd ever had a car that didn't have some sort of lever or button that released the parking brake. How the hell was I supposed to know?

That's not the only thing my driver's ed instructor managed to ingrain into my head. My sister and I were talking not that long ago about how we think about him nearly every time we go around a curve while driving. He was the shop teacher (also my seventh and eighth grade basketball coach), and I'm fairly certain he had a similar method for teaching someone how to use a saw to make a rounded edge. He taught us to "find the arc of the curve" so you could just get into it and not have to adjust your speed or move your steering wheel much at all. Thanks, Mr. Wiebusch!

Before I tried it out last night at the gym, I decided to look it up in my manual, just in case she was wrong. She was right. However, in the index right under "Parking ... Brake," was "Parking ... Over things that burn." I was really hoping, as I flipped to that page, there would be a picture with a car parked on top of a fire. "Oh, what? I'm not supposed to park on this fire? Are you sure? Really? You're positive?" No dice. It was about parking over things could burn if they were ignited by your hot exhaust system. This is actually something I worry about, so it's good to know it's enough of a danger that they wrote about it in the manual. Ha! I'm not crazy. This time.

Turns out I would have had to bust out the manual anyway, as I have a damn headlight out. I could change the headlights in my Achieva (in fact, I had a brand-new headlight in when Smashy McFuckstick destroyed my car), so I'm sure I can do it in the new car, right? The owner's manual tells me I can. Why, the pictures show a chick doing the work! How do I know she's a chick? Well, I'm guessing, really. The hands are a bit mannish, but there are long, very nicely manicured, obviously fake fingernails on the hands doing the work. How terribly progressive, no?

09 March 2009

It's a Daylight Savings miracle!

Yes, those were my exact words to my yoga instructor when we realized that the tardy douche who teaches the class before us on Monday nights was going to end his class on time. I thought she was going to pee herself or something, she was laughing so hard. It wasn't that funny.

But seriously, this dickbag has been running five to seven minutes late -- and into our class time -- since the schedule changed in September. It doesn't seem like that much time. However, if you factor that in and the time it takes them to put their shit away and the time it takes us to set up ... I routinely get home after 9:00. Tonight, though, I was home by 9:00 and I'd stopped at Trader Joe's on the way.

Oh, but that's not all. I went into the locker room after class and THERE WAS A WOMAN CLEANING. Shit. I was happy I was able to use the bathroom before class without wanting to vomit. To see someone cleaning; I nearly wept. It's been months since there were cleaning people working while the gym was open. Spring is in the air, I guess. Even Bally is freshening up for the season of birth and renewal.

Now, if only my damn back would straighten up and fly right. The day after my birthday, I somehow managed to move oddly while shaving my legs and tweaked my herniated disc. That triggered several days worth of back spasms and I thought by the end of last week I was all better. Not only was I able to do everything in yoga, I was back to doing cardio and lifting weights. Then I sat awkwardly on folding chairs for a large chunk of Saturday watching my nephew's last basketball games of the year and I'm nearly back at square one. Dammit all to hell.

08 March 2009

Cupcakes anyone?


Yes, that's bacon on top of the ganache icing those cupcakes. Many chefs say you should garnish a dish with some of the things that are in it, so people know what they are eating.

There's bacon in them thar cupcakes, y'all.

Honestly, how could I come across a recipe for dark chocolate bacon cupcakes and not try it out? What kind of bacon-loving, baking, hog farmer's daughter would I be? Not a very good one, I know that much.

The cupcake itself, sans bacon, would be delightful. There is coffee in the batter and not too much sugar, so the chocolate flavor is very deep. Add in the bacon, and you get a really good chocolate cupcake with bacon in it. I wish I could describe the flavor better, but that is exactly what it tastes like. You get the sweetness, the deep chocolate flavor and the smokiness from the bacon, with just a touch of saltiness. Quite frankly, I think they could have used a touch more salt.

Despite the fact that I slept late today, I was awfully productive -- much more so than the last couple of Sundays. Last week I was sick and had slept horribly the previous night. The Sunday before that, I was hungover from my birthday celebration. Sundays are often my cooking and baking day, but I'd not had a good one of those in what seemed like forever.

I think I made up for the lack of baking and cooking today, though. In addition to the dark chocolate bacon cupcakes, I made coriander corn muffins and I have a batch of island red beans and brown rice cooking away on the stove right now. Apparently, if you give me a fairly sleepless night, one less hour of sleep and one additional hour of daylight, I can be something of a dynamo.

The extra hour of daylight (it was even sunny, for fuck's sake!) can't be the only explanation for my improved outlook on life that seemed to surface out of nowhere today. An e-mail from Sarah asking if I wanted to go to Neko Case certainly helped. Checking my work e-mail and seeing there should be plenty to keep me busy this week was nice, too. Knowing I'm only working four days this week doesn't hurt. Knowing I'm working only three days next week is a mega bonus.

Oh, and the copious amounts of basketball on TV is making my head spin. This is the best fucking time of the year. Last year during Championship Week I was unemployed, so it was like the NCAA tournament on crack. For more than a week, I watched college basketball all day, every day. It was like a dream come true. Alas, I'll have to settle for watching just parts of the night games this week, but that's a small price to pay for being employed, I guess. And thank Christ I can get excited about the tournament even after the stupid fucking Gophers completely shit the bed yesterday.

Now, what the fuck am I going to do with all these damn cupcakes?

06 March 2009

On the road.

Dear Swervey McWeaverson,

Thanks for the slow driving, random swerving, speeding and cutting me off with that un-signaled, last-minute exit. It is impossible to tell if you were drunk, getting road head or if you are simply a craptastically shitty driver. Whatever the reason, you made my drive home from working late a terribly exciting adventure.

When you inevitably die in a fiery crash, I hope you don't take anyone else with you.

Lick my ass,
Jess

05 March 2009

With the utmost class and grace.

Or perhaps I should say klass.

As I started up on the elliptical machine tonight, I couldn't help but feel a bit ... unsupported. I felt the same last night, but I chalked that up to both bras in my Multi-Bra Boob Control System being a bit too big. Yes, despite the fancy new sport bra, I do still deploy the MBBCS for yoga.

Tonight, however, I was wearing the 11-hook monstrosity and I expected some support, goddammit. So, I took a peek down my shirt and discovered that about half -- HALF -- of the hooks had come undone. HALF? From time to time, usually when I'm doing something where The Girls are pressed up against a piece of machinery, the first few hooks will unhook themselves. But half of them?

So, I just pulled down the neck of my t-shirt and re-hooked my bra while standing on the elliptical machine.

Keep in mind, I'd been vaguely fondling my left tit all night as my iPod is nestled there and I had to skip some songs on my playlist.

I should probably start a finishing school.

04 March 2009

I hope I get some tomacco.

Today, I got an e-mail from Driftless Organics, the farm from which a bunch of us at work purchased Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares. Oh, why can't it be June? I'm so excited for my farm-fresh produce.

My excitement might seem a little odd, what with me being a farm girl and all. But I get totally stoked when my mom starts sending e-mails to me and my siblings, telling us what she has available in the garden for us. With my CSA share (actually, it's half a share ... I could neither afford nor possibly eat an entire fucking box of produce every week, so I'm splitting with a coworker), I'm going to get a lot more variety. I'll also start getting produce in June. Mom's garden doesn't start producing until much later.

Of course, this also means that by fall, I'll have tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, carrots, onions, potatoes, cabbage and lettuce out the fucking ass. Not to mention raspberries and apples, which I haven't seen on the CSA list. So, you know, if you're looking for any of that stuff, I'm your girl.

Driftless Organics even has a blog. Ah, young farmers. My dad barely uses the computer.

While I'm entirely too excited about this thing I'm sharing with my coworkers, work is fucking rough. I didn't even think until this week about what would happen to my CSA share if I lose my job. Sure, last week I had the good news that I not only wasn't losing my job, I was getting a bonus. And I managed to stay awfully busy. This week, though, it's back to the closed doors and a sense of anxiety -- or possibly impending doom -- in the air.

Maybe it's just me. I am a bit of a worrier. Okay, I'm a big-time worrier. I'm not terribly busy this week. Well, I am, but I'm doing a lot of internal work and that doesn't count toward my billable time, which is bad. There is a huge project coming up in a couple of weeks that will be nearly all for me. Tons of billable time and relatively easy work. Bonus! And there are other projects on the horizon, but I NEED WORK NOW. It's so hard to focus when I'm constantly worrying, you know?

At least I have some days off coming up -- next Friday and then the first two days of the NCAA tournament. I can't fucking wait.

"Go forth and kick ass."

A few weeks ago, I was totally freaking out about what I should get The Boy I Currently Like for his birthday. I finally got around to giving him his gift last night and all the worrying was either unnecessary or it totally paid off. Or maybe a little bit of both, because he sure seems to like it. Of course, I would never be writing this post if it had seemed that he didn't like it. I'd just be weeping silently to myself for being such a failure.

The big part of the present was a game called Playing Gods. I actually even got a present from this present, but I didn't realize it. The game creator included a handwritten note to me in the box, which was kinda neat, but I didn't realize until last night that he'd also signed one of the posters that was included. And he signed it to me. Sweet! It says "Jessica -- Go forth and kick ass." Had I known he'd do this, I might have included a note that it was a gift for someone else, but I didn't and there wasn't anywhere to indicate it was a gift anyway. What are you gonna do?

My success didn't end with the game. In fact, I'm far more proud of myself for getting him two CDs he didn't have. That's something of a minor miracle. Buying music for him is like ... well, someone trying to buy music for me. The chances of introducing him to a band he's never heard of and might actually like or managing to find a CD he doesn't have from a band I know he loves are slim to none. BUT I DID IT! And two birthdays in a row, at that.

It was still a dicey proposition. He said every time he read a review of Great Lake Swimmers, he'd think to himself they sounded like a band he'd like. Yet he never got around to buying any of their discs. Whew.

My real coup, though, was with Amy Millan. I'd been thinking about sending him a song of hers for ages -- my favorite song off the album, "Skinny Boy" (only a taste this time -- if you like that go buy her album!). Our e-mail history is liberally peppered with .mp3 and .m4a attachments, as we have been sending each other music since before we even met. He's introduced me to more than I've introduced him, I think. But I bust out something every now and again that he not only never knew existed, but that he also likes.

But I resisted sending the song, because what if he loved the it and went out and got the CD? He would totally do that shit. I wasn't born yesterday, for Christ's sake. As he's pulling the Spider-Man wrapping paper off the CD, he says, "I've never heard of this one." (internal fist-pump) True, dear boy, but you have heard her voice. So have you, if you're a fan of Stars or Broken Social Scene (and if you're not a fan of Stars and Broken Social Scene, what the fuck is wrong with you?). Don't get me wrong -- I love Feist and Emily Haines, but Amy Millan's solo album is my favorite in the category of "Women who sang with Broken Social Scene at some point and also have solo CDs."

All in all, I'm fairly proud of myself. I'd say I'm glad I can relax for a while, but truth be told, I'm already on a bit of an alert for potential awesome Christmas gifts. *sigh* Issues: I have them.

02 March 2009

I'm fairly certain this is my Hell.

So, at least I'll be prepared when my soul is being broken on a wheel for my seething anger. My hell is a disgusting bathroom.

I cannot remember or think of why I didn't write about the foul bathrooms at the gym and work last week. Possibly because it was so fucking depressing, I just wanted to try to forget about it.

The bathroom trolls at work have now flooded the bathroom twice in the last week -- late last week and again today. There had been days where it probably happened before, but it was contained to a stall or so. It was so bad today that the carpet outside the stalls area was wet. I'm sure the smell will be fan-fucking-tastic in no time. It's gotten so bad there some days I'll walk in at the end of the day and turn around and walk out, vowing to wait until I get home. And that is no small feat for me, y'all. We're talking major peegasm by the time I get home.

I had to hold it at the gym last week, too. Another walk in, and walk out because I can't even stand to be in there. Again, no small feat. Especially with all the bending and whatnot in yoga. Needless to say there were no errands afterward.

Look, I'm not some sort of prissy whiner who will only whiz in a pristine bathroom. I have peed under less-than-ideal conditions countless times. I've popped a squat on the sides of a gravel roads, in the woods, the middle of soybean and corn fields and outside numerous house parties -- some of them in Minneapolis. I have peed in hundreds of port-a-potties at busy summer block parties and festivals (the port-a-loos at the Bryant Lake Bowl block party for Pride are always in astonishingly good condition), not to mention bathrooms in busy bars, rest stops and public parks. I peed in The Boy I Currently Like's bathroom at his shithole old apartment (though, I will freely admit I thank the Baby Jebus I never had to shower there). I SQUATTED OVER A HOLE IN THE FLOOR IN MEXICO, FOR FUCK'S SAKE.

And you know what? I would take that hole in the floor in that bar in Zihuatanjeo, or any of the other seatless toilets in that city, over the bathroom at work or at the gym. Why? Because there was no poo, pee or blood smeared on the walls or floor. There were no female catheter packages, no used tampon applicators, no likely-used wads of toilet paper or bloody paper towels on the floor of around the hole. That bathroom was fucking pristine. And beautiful.

There is no end in sight for this. It's probably compounded by the horrible realization that given the amount of time I spend work and the gym during any given week, I spend more time peeing in those god-awful bathrooms than I do peeing in my own bathroom. Please kill me now.