Thursday, August 27, 2009

UUUUUUUUnnnnnnnnnggggghhhh. (Fade to soft weeping sounds in background.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Captivity Log: Day One

I thought I might tell you about how I spent my first working hour of the year listening to drug-addled, lily pulitzer-clad crones demand that I wear a gold cardboard crown on the first day of school, but I decided that was just too pathetic. I considered whining about how I endured an hour-long presentation on Outlook calendars, but, really, who needs to relive that inanity? I almost wrote about how we were forced to make lists of words that described our motivations for teaching, but my chosen words - ignorance, privilege and revenge - don't really show me in my best light.

So, I'll just tell you this: vodka and pomegranate juice. It's all you really need to know.

Note: I have other things in the works, but I'm not yet blogging about them. Hubris will bite you in the ass. Every time.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Last Ding-Dong of Doom


I cannot sleep. Maybe I'll fall asleep at the beginning of the night, or maybe I'll fall asleep at its rosy-fingered end, but there will be vast stretches of wakefulness. I like to use these extra hours of consciousness to re-examine embarrassing things that I've done. I also like to think of all the ways that next year could potentially go to pot. Either way, it's time well spent.


We just bought another car. This means that we are a two-car household. This shames me deeply. Although there is a tiny part of me that emits small squeals of delight, since I will now be able to leave work any old time I want. The car serves at the pleasure of the me.


Work. Starts. Tomorrow. If I weren't so tired, I'd cry.

Friday, August 21, 2009

To blog

I never kept a journal. Oh, I started many, but I always felt foolish after a page or so. I didn't know what to say or how to get things started, and I felt like I was ripping off Anne Frank, but, you know, without horrific life events to lend poignancy to my daily musings. I've come across a few of these abandoned logs, and I'm often nauseated by the overwhelming banality of my entries:

Dear Diary,

J is totally not into me; I think he likes C. God, I hate them. He probably doesn't like me because I'm fat. I need a pair of Gap jeans. I've gotta go, but more later, for sure.



Then I cringe over those entries where I tried to be all deep and shit.

Dear Diary,

Today I knew how the trees feel when they lose their leaves - suddenly naked, but unashamed.

Peace and Light,


Fuuuuuuuck. Terrible shit, fo shizzle.

But after blogging a bit, I've realized the real reason I never succeeded in keeping a journal - you're just f*cking talking to yourself. No one's going to compliment you on being witty or funny. No one's going to tell you that they feel the same way. No one's going to yell at you to get the f*ck over yourself. I don't need to hear any more from me about me; I talk to myself all the f*cking time, and I clearly don't know shit from shine-ola. I need to hear from you, and I love hearing from you. And that, dear readers, is what keeps me coming back to I Have Happy. Thanks.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

addendum to Singing Opera

6) And sometimes I just enjoy a good fit of the sullens. Back the f*ck off.

Singing Opera *

Sometimes life is staggeringly depressing. It seems so swift and pitiful, and I wonder whether the only things I'll remember at its end are those times when I was truly mean. I reflect on how I probably peaked at 25 and how pathetic it is that I'm relieved to see people older than I am doing impressive things - writing novels, finishing PhDs, publishing cookbooks - because then it seems like I'm still young enough to do something surprising, which, of course, most folks thought I'd do back when I was 25.

Thinking this way makes me a tool. Seriously, sometimes I'm so overcome by my own fruitlessness, I cry in the shower. What a loser. I'm blaming this particular bout of boring, self-indulgent, ridiculous ennui on a few things:

1) My second year of teaching. I generally stop doing dissatisfying things after one year. Something about motion feeling like progress.

2) n.o.c.'s heinous work life. When he's really exhausted and downtrodden, he starts thinking about could haves and should haves. This kind of talk generally makes me insane, but it is contagious.

3) Hormones. Bastards.

4) The end of the summer. This is somehow different from the beginning of the school year - it's melancholy and overextended and worn out by its own energy. I'm ready for a bit of crispness in the air, if you don't mind.

5) Various and sundry projects and aspirations that make me fear potential goods will be thwarted by lack of ambition. (See that? I'm even depressed by all the good things I have going on in my life! Could I be more pathetic?)

Anyway, I'm putting on my big girl panties and getting the f*ck on with it. Just wanted to hug it out, and I'm the only one here.

*When one participates in boring, self-indulgent, ridiculous ennui, The Rog says that they're "Singing Opera." You know, "Me, me, me, me, me!"

When you go to Georgia

There are things you should do. First, start out with a beer at the airport. Prime the pump, if you will.

Then arrange to be greeted at the airport with a cooler-full of homemade buttermilk-and-tabasco fried chicken. I shit you not.

Since most things you consume while in Georgia tend toward the fatty, start your mornings with fresh figs - nothing gets you going better!

Sloth (it's a verb now) by the pool with your bellyfull of figs and drink gin and tonics. Instead of fretting about the inevitable ill effects of your sun exposure, end the day at the best seafood shack in Georgia - Jim Shaw's.

There are some dishes you must try:

Hushpuppies. This is a hushpuppie (Technically, I suppose it's about half a hushpuppie. Delayed gratification is not among my strong suits.):

These are what grits look like... Or is it, "This is what grits looks like"? I believe public opinion is divided. Nonetheless:

Fried pickles, odd but good:

Blackend oysters - soooo delicious:

Fried crab claws:

The next day, get yourself some peaches. Procure them here, since this, um, enthusiastic stand is conveniently adjacent to the gas station:

Eat peaches and drink gin and tonics. Inexplicably, your hunger will return. Eat ribs (cooked for 18 hours) and mac and cheese.

When you return home, step on the scale with trepidation. Be pleasantly surprised to discover that you gained nary a pound. Know that it's from all the limes in the gin and tonics - cuts the fat, you know.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I'm bringing the cuteness. Motherf*ckers.

I'm back but not yet recovered. Many promises for an excellent(ish) post tomorrow. In the meantime, here's a little visit from Snorri the Badass Viking Maurader.

Don't let his mushmushpootukissnookums quality fool you. This cat can bring it.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hey Y'all

We're on a mini-break. We've eaten buttermilk-tabasco-soaked fried chicken, blackened oysters, stuffed crabclaws, and steak. Tonight, we'll have slow-cooked ribs and my mac and cheese. On a healthier note, the figs are sweet and heavy, so every morning I take a cup of coffee to the fig tree and pick my breakfast. The tomatoes are exquisite - ugly, fragrant and dripping with juice. I have not yet pickled myself, so things look good.

My little brother Keb'm arrives this evening, and high debauchery generally ensues. Since n.o.c. committed a slight breach of etiquette yesterday by requiring a nap after two stiffish gin and tonics, I feel certain that there will be a reckoning.

Vacationing can be demanding.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It'll get you.

n.o.c. always makes the coffee. He readies the pot every evening, and the coffee is brewed and delicious by the time we straggle out of bed.

n.o.c. also makes the bed, folds the socks, and does any task that gives me the icks; I pack his lunch, buy the groceries, and keep track of our collective memory. We split the other boring f*cking minutia that becomes necessary when you're poor and anal retentive. This summer, however, the division of labor has been a little different, since n.o.c.'s been working a bizillion hours and I've been discovering the joys of internet television and growing my ass in preparation for the lean times ahead. (It's part of a plan, see?) Early on, I thought I might be able to say things like, "But it's my summer vacation! Why should I spend my time working?" Unfortunately, n.o.c. was busy losing fifteen pounds from stress and didn't have time to listen to my well-reasoned whines. So, I've been doing most of the house-holdy chores, and, though this may surprise you, I've done them with little complaint.

But because I am fundamentally a crotchety old bitch, I still expect n.o.c. to do his necessary. If he's dejectedly slumped in a corner typing away at a TPS report at 2am, then I might put down my most recent Dumas novel, haul my ass to the kitchen (thank goodness it still requires just one trip), and make the coffee, but generally he's still the brewmaster.

But last night, per my usual, I made the dinner, cleaned the kitchen, and crawled into bed to spend quality time with my kindle. n.o.c. made the coffee. This morning, per my usual, I somnambulated to the kitchen to have my cuppa and make n.o.c.'s lunch. Unfortunately, n.o.c. had forgotten to return the carafe to its proper place, so coffee and grounds had overflowed everyf*ckingwhere - in drawers, in cabinets, all over the floor, etc. I may have let loose an expletive or two. But then I cleaned up without complaint, because not only am I f*cking saint, but I am also someone who was gearing up for a day in which the most strenuous activity might be a gym visit, and I do have at least an ounce of perspective. n.o.c. felt pretty shitty about the whole thing, in fact, he mumbled something about feeling like a child who has messed his pants, but I still managed to send him off to earn that dollar in reasonably good spirits.

I tell you this rather mundane story becuase I think it has a moral: You can stick to your guns and require things of people who may be, for one reason or another, less able than you to perform them, but you must be prepared to accept imperfection. If we ever decide to breed, for example, I will have no compunction about little Pierce fixing mummy her martini, no matter how many glasses I might lose or how many times I'll have to remind him to simply wave the vermouth in my general direction. I will stick to my guns because I'm magnanimous, and I enjoy helping people feel needed. I'm also lazy, and at the end of the day, a bad martini is better than one you had to make for yourself.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Goodish Stuff

1. My "notes" from the stink tank:

I am a deeply dedicated professional, clearly.

2. Last Saturday, we drove to Philly to pick up a friend at the airport and have an authentic cheese steak experience. After careful research, we chose our purveyor:

We'd been told that locals order their cheese steaks by saying "whiz wit," but we weren't entirely sure what that meant and suspected it may be a ploy to mark us as non-natives, the same way a northerner is immediately identified at any southern gathering by a loud and unmistakable, "Hello, YA-ALL!" I ordered mine with mushrooms and onions; n.o.c.'s was more elaborate, and, I believe, laden with pepperoni. I didn't know such a thing existed. The Cosmi's guy then sent us to Grumpy's, a bar down the street, where we purchased two-dollar beers, listened to fantastic accents, and marveled as people smoked - inside!

Here's mine:

Here's n.o.c's (note the No Smoking sign) :

3. We have one and a half bathrooms. It's been years since we've had more than one commode, and, since I am simple, I am endlessly delighted by the half-bath. Technically, we had two bathrooms when we lived in Las Vegas, one blue and one pink, but our roommate Porno Pete used the pink one, and, since a major reason that I enjoy my bathrooms is that they're nearly sterile, my trips to the pink bath were rare. Incidentally, there was also a small velvet painting in the pink bathroom that depicted Satan dealing with a mad bout of hemorrhoids.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Nothing much in particular

One of My Favorite Baltimorians finally returned from his absurdly lengthy colloquium, so we spent yesterday doing what we do best - mixing beverages unwisely and getting on our high horses about the ways the world pisses us off. It's great fun.

One of our more extensive rants involved Eat, Pray, Love, which he spotted on one of my bookshelves. My mother gave me the book ages ago, and since my mother and everyone else and their mothers recommended it, I finally read it last month. And you know what I think? It's bullshit.

If you're unfamiliar with this condescending turd of a memoir, I'll give you a quick recap. A rich white lady leaves her husband, has a passionate affair, then takes a year to traipse across Italy, India, and Indonesia. By eating mounds of pasta, praying in an isolated ashram, and f*cking a hot Brazilian, the rich white lady achieves greater insight into the loving workings of the universe.

While I don't begrudge anyone the opportunity to spend a worry-free year indulging in all sorts of fabulousness, I do take umbrage at the suggestion that such rarefied experience has shit to do with anything. Hell, the most crotchety among us could probably muster a beatific smile after a year of not worrying about others, money, or work. Seriously, don't piss on my shoes and tell me it's raining.

Rants aside, we got the first fresh beans at the farmers' market last week, so I made spicy black beans and cornbread for dinner. I didn't have any milk or buttermilk for the bread, so I used two cups of half and half and a squeeze of lemon instead. Heart healthy and derlicious. Rumor has it that the first crop of butter beans should be in by next week. Times is good.

Monday, August 3, 2009

A whiz in the kitchen

Remember the beginning of the summer? Back when I swore I'd do things like reupholster chairs and bake the day away? Well, unfortunately, my lazy-piece-of-shititude has prevented many of the more high-impact activities like upholstery. I have, however, done a bit of baking - summer veggie galettes, whole-wheat pizza crusts, the occasional cookie or crumble (and two bricks of wheat bread that I think we should all forget about). I fancy myself a decent cook - I'm not afraid of the kitchen and I enjoy the time I spend there.

But I am a kitchen neophyte and a domestic sloth compared to someone like Ashley. She cans things. With her own little hands. She keeps chickens. And bees. I'm wigged over the prospect of one little kitty. I know my limits.

If you go visit Ashley's blog, Small Measure, you can actually win some of her delicious canned goods - this week it's a jar of Cherry, Lemon & Lemon Thyme Marmalade. And if you win, I'll even send you a frozen six-pound loaf of wheat bread for the spreading. Though, really, her marmalade deserves much better.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A sniglet for your morning

Fartle - v. t. 1 To give someone a start by passing gas loudly and without warning. Particularly appropriate for occasions when flatulence is inappropriate and unwonted - while snoozing during the very restful time just after sunrise on a lazy Saturday morning, perhaps.

As in, "This morning, n.o.c. fartled me."