Friday, May 29, 2009

You only need four strings

The ukulele is badass. Who knew?

an oddlot

So, the upstairs neighbors gave us the grand send-off. I could actually follow the bed's migration across the room, traveling what I can only imagine are well-worn, er, ruts. After an impressive bout, they took a pausa - smoked a few cigarettes, used their bedside crotchfire extinguishers, popped their hip joints back in place, whatever. Not five minutes later, they were at it again. I suppose it's more efficient to f*ck the bed back into place than to drag it across the room.

Anyway, I just packed a box that contained a bundt pan, a pair of swim goggles, and a kappa delta shot glass. The end is nigh.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Dullest of Dullards Explains Why

We've packed the easily packable. We've packed the awkward to pack. I keep finding single shoes and how-can-I-have-another-f*cking-book books. But we're so nearly there.

And once we are, summer will be really, truly almost here. Stupidly, I thought that I would be free when classes ended. That is so not the case; work does not officially die until the ninth (!) of June. It feels like the short story about Christmas happening daily for an entire year. I taught my last class on Tuesday, and I rejoiced. Then I still had to go to work on Wednesday - not terrible, I thought. I'll clean my desk, read the Times, la-la-la. Then came Thursday. Still not so awful, except for the wireless being out so I could not even spend quality time blogging. But, then tomorrow is Friday and another week and a half of trapped-in-my-cubicle boredom follows. Tedium is the enemy of happiness. And wit. Obviously.

This is my cube. For those of you who need a visual to suffer in solidarity.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Royal Pain

I have moved all of my possessions no fewer than 10 times since 1998. I loathe moving.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Hard Core

Yesterday, we took a walk down to our new apartment to ogle it lasciviously and check out the parking scene. Little did we know that the venue two buildings down was playing host to Death Fest 2009, which is touted as the most fabulous extreme metal festival on the continent.

Since our plans for the weekend included playing croquet at a Victorian lawn party, a raucous game of scrabble, and plenty of Elton John, I have no doubt that we'll fit seamlessly into the cultural fabric of our new neighborhood. That, and I f*cking love Pantera.

Friday, May 22, 2009

On second thought

I'm currently an unimaginative *sshole with laminate and bottom-of-the-line appliances. So I might as well have a nice-*ss kitchen.

My fear

is that I'll just be another unimaginative *sshole with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.

Your two cents.

Should we move from this kitchen:

To this kitchen?

We love our little kitchen, but the siren song of the big kitchen with an island may be more than I can bear. All that space! Glass tiles! Thirty-some cabinets! I've been going on like this for days.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


If you're obsessed with something inanimate, say, for instance, a space (and I mean really obsessed - dreaming about it, staring at pictures of it, brooding over it), is that obsession is a sign of ultimate rightness? Or, rather, is it indicative of an unhealthy fixation from which one should probably abstain?


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Yummy, y'all!

I love living in the South(ish). Just had a deviled egg and four sausage-cheese balls at a brunch put on by the math department. Any day that starts with Bisquick, Jimmy Dean and mayonnaise is bound to be good.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Thank goodness I don't hold myself accountable for the stupidity of others

The Inquisition - This was a church court that dealt with any mishaps in the church. This resolved alot (sic) of issues that were built up.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Who's the sh*t?

Thursday, we had Our Favorite Baltimorians to dinner. They brought roses, because they're the sh*t.
I made rhubarb cobbler, because I'm the sh*t.

(Unfortunately, Frog was too small. Not everybody can be the sh*t.)

Friday morning, we found our car covered in what looked like petals, even though we hadn't parked beneath a flowering tree.

Oddly, the car was covered, not in petals, but in confetti hearts. What can I say? n.o.c. and I are the sh*t. The universe f*cking loves us.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

We met on the internet, like perverts.

Four years ago today, I sent a *wink* across the internets to n.o.c. He replied with The Lamest Line Ever, so it's remarkable that there's more to this story. He redeemed himself by composing the most wonderful bits of correspondence I've ever received, and then I met him, and he was just like his emails, except taller and cuter and possessed of snakeskin cowboy boots.

Soapbox: Meeting someone on the internet has a skeezy reputation, but it's actually the perfect medium for courting if you appreciate a witty turn of phrase and good grammar. I highly recommend.

I like this anniversary because it's not as schmaltzy as a wedding anniversary; it's a little bit seedy, just like us. It reminds me of the hours I spent translating Sanskrit and Tibetan and Pali, hating my program and wishing that I had a different life. It reminds me of trips to the farmer's market when I could only afford seven Barhi dates. It reminds me of how I used to be nervous and brittle and prone to lapses in judgment. It reminds me of the decision I made to leave all of that, and how, just when I was trying to gather myself up to do something terrifying and depressing, I unexpectedly found something fantastic. It reminds me of the summer that n.o.c. and I spent being so improbably but wholly in love (and drinking gallons of mango margaritas).

Anyhoo, I have hit my maudlin threshold, and I'm sure that you have too. I'm also sure that n.o.c. is mortified. This is what comes of being around a school-full of graduating senior girls. This dithering, blubbering, nonsensical emoting has cracked my iron facade and exposed me for what I really am - a Rufus Wainwright-listening, life-affirming, tree-hugging, starry-eyed, soft-hearted p*ssy.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

beans, beans, good for your... nothing.

Last night, n.o.c. made delicious re-fried beans from scratch. Do you want to know how much butter is required for delicious re-fried beans? No, no you do not.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Today is one of those dreadful days when I feel as though I have nothing to offer you (other than the poor decision of some dipsh*t with vanity plates). Nothing funny. Nothing clever. Nothing crotchety. This is what fine weather and 18 remaining classes will do to you - render you happy and boring. Shook, I'm in such a benevolent mood that I'm considering chaperoning the prom, which is on a boat, motherf*cker. Anyway.

We even cooked a tasty dinner last night and played a barn-burning game of scrabble. n.o.c. won by two points, but he cheated, so his victory is hollow and benign. The apartment is still spotless. The bills are paid. The sun is shining. F*ck.

Last night's repast included steaks. I say this up front, since it makes people like my brother Keb'm very happy. I was a vegetarian for fifteen years, so the men in my life are inordinately pleased by the sight of me with a steak knife in hand - never mind that I can only make it though a silver-dollar sized portion before I start getting a little green around the gills. Now, if we're talking hamburgers, that's another case entirely. Hamburgers made me fall off the veggie wagon. I can always finish and seldom refuse a good hamburger. Particularly if it's topped with blue cheese. And bacon. But now I digress. My favorite parts of last night's dinner were the garlicky red baby kale (which was delicious but ugly) and the trumpet mushrooms with vermouth, caramelized onions and local blue goat cheese, but the grass-fed dead cow was good, too.

Now, I don't want you to worry that the the crotchety old b*tch within has been defeated. I think she's on vacation - which naturally begs the question, where would she go? Myrtle beach? Panama city? Definitely somewhere with lots of locals to ridicule and stairwells that smell of beer, urine, and Hawaiian Tropic. The better to be p*ssed, my dear.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Hot damn, children. I'm in one of my rare ebullient moods, so I'm going with it - this weekend has been bang-up. Friday night, we danced until my feet were so tired that n.o.c. had to carry me home. The scene wasn't too shabby, either. Nigh on flossy. (Note the curved door in the last shot. Faaaaaancy.)

Saturday, the team (that would be n.o.c. and me) put forth some A+ effort. With recent travels, the I-can't-bear-to-see-these-wretched-children-again blues, and the unfortunate introduction of a terrible but eminently readable sci-fi trilogy, we haven't been our most productive of late. But I'm thrilled to say that we've officially unf*ckulated our lives; all is bright and beautiful. We ran errands (death to Fed-Ex!), we scrubbed floors, we went to appointments, we bought groceries, we restocked the Lindt balls, we decanted the brandy, we made iced tea, we called the city about the f*cknosed bistro around the corner, we thoroughly impressed ourselves.

Then, as if all that weren't enough, we got today off right with an early trip to the farmers' market. We had curry pockets, Zeke's coffee, and I now have all the fixins for a rhubarb crumble. The day is gorgeous and life is swell.

And then we saw this guy, a harbinger of good things if ever there was one.

UPDATE: n.o.c. just fixed our running toilet, which has required handle jiggling for months. The man is on fire!

Friday, May 8, 2009


I really do have happy. It's Friday. I'm about to be rid of these exhausting and smelly children. We're going to a fancy dress party tonight. AND (are you ready?) I just discovered Garden and Gun magazine. Gardens AND Guns, people. Now, I have neither a garden nor a gun, but it's like the Pawn and Doughnut in Unadilla, GA - an unexpected combination, but surprisingly perfect in many circles. I have so far unearthed articles on Eudora Welty, fried chicken, coca-cola, and bourbon nut balls. Our Harpers and Atlantics are about to have some company.

best vanity tag i've seen in a while



Thursday, May 7, 2009

A new turn of phrase

Yesterday, n.o.c. saw an email requesting a computer, email, phone, badge, etc. for a new employee. Instead of saying all of that, however, it simply said, "Kindly do the needful."

Love it.

Though it sounds a bit like an overly polite euphemism for requesting nookie, I can imagine employing it in all sorts of scenarios. At the mechanic's. At the salon. In the classroom - my students would have a bear of a time working out what I meant. Add a chill to your voice and raise a supercilious eyebrow, and you could employ it to great success in any unsavory situation where you'd like the upper hand. And at home! No need to enumerate a tedious list of to dos - yell again at bistro f*cktards for their f*cking garbage, find the stinky thing in the fridge, figure out why radio starts playing of own accord, brace ceiling to protect us from amorous neighbors - "Kindly do the needful" will suffice. And who knows? With all the time you'll save, maybe you'll have a spare minute or two to, you know, kindly do the needful.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

bake yourself happy

Friends, times are hard. Promising signs abound, and I'm so very hopeful, but for now there seems to be an awful lot of sh*tty to contend with. So I'm going to make a suggestion: cheese and macaroni.

When I was young, one of my favorite foods was my mema's cheese and macaroni - cheddar, elbow macaroni, and saltines, all saturated with milk and egg and baked until bubbling. Her cheese to noodle ratio is audacious, and, if you know me, that probably explains a lot. I still love hers, but it loses something when I make it myself, so I make my own flossy version.

Now what I'm about to share is practically a four-pound strata of holy f*ck, so watch yourself. It's also one of the most comforting foods I can imagine, so this goes out to all of you whose mellow has been harshed. If you can handle this much cheese, the only thing you have to fear is high cholesterol and a bigger waistline.

I'm more of an eyeball-it-and-do-what-feels-right sort of cook, so nothing is too specific.

Ingredients - Buy the good stuff. Organic and local when possible.
Big bag wide egg noodles
1 lb Gruyere, grated
1/2 lb Fontina, grated
1 quart half and half
Salt and Pepper

Boil noodles until almost done. Rinse in cold water, drain, and spread into an unbuttered casserole dish. In a sauce pan, melt, say, half a stick of butter over medium-high heat. When it's good and melty, add a few tablespoons of flour. Cook for a bit, stirring constantly, until it smells toasty. Whisk in half and half. All of it. Add a few grates of fresh nutmeg. Reduce heat to medium and heat until hot, but do not boil. Add cheese. All of it. Stir constantly until melted. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour cheese sauce over noodles until they're comfortable but not overwhelmed. Sprinkle breadcrumbs or panko over the top. Dot with butter. Cook at 375 until bubbling and browned. Eat. Feel better.

Fabulous for taking to barbeques, ailing friends, thin enemies, etc. The cheese sauce will also keep for a few days in the fridge and is fabulous on broccoli. Trust me.