Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Turkey Atonement

So, to combat the karmic liability of eating the turkey, I made us a macrobiotic Thanksgiving feast on Saturday. My preparations began Friday night when I whipped up some home-made seitan. Yes, that's pronounced SAY-tan. You can believe it has supplied an endless stream of jokes in our house. I made it the traditional way, with 4 cups whole wheat flour and 4 cups unbleached white flour. You add water and knead all the bran and starch away, leaving only the rubbery gluten. Takes a long time, too much water, and leaves one's wrists rather cramped. Except for the wasting the water (I could've preserved it for bread baking or to pour on the compost pile), I think I upped my score.

So after you've created what looks like a tight ball of yellow elastic bands, you plop it into a broth of water, soy sauce, and kombu. (Macrobiotics is all about sea vegetables, you know, for which I'm game, pretty much, except for hijiki.)

I have to say that the finished product is not so bad! It comes closest to tasting like/having the texture of octopus, which we've eaten in Italy and the states. It's a tad rubbery, but picks up the broth flavor very nicely. If you don't want it to have the soy sauce flavor, you can cook it in another sort of broth, I suppose. And people also add herbs to the ball of gluten itself before cooking.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Turkey Post-Mortem

So I ate some turkey on Thanksgiving. White meat. And it was good. Yes, I'm a vegetarian, or a fishetarian. Or something like that. But it was THANKSGIVING, for God's sake. I'm not made of stone, people.

We went to a restaurant buffet for Tgiving dinner and ate many nice foodses, including deep-fried something-or-other served in cream sauce. It was REALLY good. But I wasn't sure what it was, so I asked the waitress. And she in turn asked the chef, within my hearing. And he answered with what sounded like polkin ravioli.

She was as confused as I. She asked one more time.

He: "Polkin ravioli."

So naturally I had to go over and ask him myself, since although I am a food snob, I am not familiar with polkin. "What is it?"

"Polkin ravioli."

From a few steps away, my husband says, "Pumpkin ravioli." As though the waitress and I were in kindergarten.

And I felt like I was, too, because then I remembered they had it on the buffet last year. And the year before. I plead turkey.

Is "polkin" a Delaware pronunciation? Anybody?

Friday, November 25, 2005

Black Friday Sonnet

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be
A pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreath├Ęd horn.

--William Wordsworth, of course. But you knew that.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Proud Mommy Moment

I have to share with you the picture my 28mo son drew of my 8mo daughter today. It was totally unsuggested, uncoached, unassisted by either my husband or me. As he drew the face, he told us what he was drawing ("eyes," "nose," "mouth"). Is he or is he not a creative genius?

In unison: Of course he is!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

I Think He's a Mariah Man

Gary is a feature writer, not a book reviewer, but he couldn't help himself when someone dropped a bomb into his inbox.


p.s. I never got to the television last night to watch L&O:SVU. I'm hoping to be relaxing in front of the fireplace Thanksgiving night, so I'll look for more cop shows later on in the weekend. Thanks for everyone's sage advice.

Monday, November 21, 2005


So, there's apparently been this HIT SHOW on for a few years now, called Law and Order, and since I am a) philosophically against hour-long dramas, and b) not watching television now at all, I have never seen it. Oh, I've caught a few seconds of big Chris Noth and sassy Jerry Orbach (RIP) through the years, surfing by in search of something fluffier, and I even paused one night to see if Noth could captivate me the way he had on Sex and the City, but, meh, not so much.

And all the mystery community is like--if you want to see good detective work on t.v., watch the first half of L&O. It's tight!

Cut to the chase: two Saturdays ago husband looks up NBC's Law & Order web site to get me the day and time. He tells me, "Sundays, 9/8c." Duly noted. Sunday we get everything out of the way, kids abed, etc. Sit down at the television (guess what room it's in? Yup: "peepee soaked heck-hole" family room--and two bits to the person who can ID the source of that quotation). And instead of promised program we are greeted with some Saturday Night Live Fiascos From The 80s special. Talk about making a special out of NOTHING! But I digress. Where is Law & Order???? D pulls up the same web page for me, and yes, it says Sundays, 9/8c. That just RANKLES me.

So, I go to to see if there are reruns of L&O until the next Sunday (which was two days ago). But no, NO L&O until Sunday the 27th! How can they make me wait on such an apparently popular show!!?? At this point in my story, if you are a sentient American of the twenty-first century, which obviously I am not, you will have been SHOUTING at the bloody monitor, MARY LOUISA, YOU ARE JUST TALKING ABOUT L&O:CI! THERE IS ALSO L&O:SVU AND EVEN L&O:PLAIN OLE-PLAIN OLE. IT IS ON NBC EVERY NIGHT OF THE FRIGGIN WEEK AND EVEN SOME CABLE CHANNELS, YOU PREHISTORIC LUDDITE!! JUST TURN ON THE TV AND IT WILL BE ON SOMEWHERE.

Well, okay, now I know. I'll be sure to tell you what I think.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Did Someone Say Grey Alien?

Jason, just for you, I was able to upload a photo of the elusive alien who landed at our photo shoot.
Look familiar?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Who Let the Dogs Out?

Their little plan of crashing the Christmas photo shoot and not only distracting baby but also forcing the photographer to snap Mama's white legs and sneakers came to fruition last weekend. Must...climb...into...lap.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Sunday Ketchup


In a nutshell, this is what has been going on 'round here.
Gimme Shelter.
Shelter magazines have stolen my heart and mind again, dammit. I haven't subscribed to House Beautiful in at least four years (since moving to DE), but I picked up a few back issues of that and Home at the library and I'm hooked. Again. We are going to redo the family room, and I wanted ideas. Instead, I found crack.

What have you done with my son?
Never admit to anyone that your child's behavior is evening out. Unless you want to awaken the demon within. Yesterday's pea up the nose was small potatoes compared to his concerted attempt today to break his sister's leg. God. Where's that crack?

Anne Frasier Rocks.
She went and done me a Tarot reading. I asked her to look into my future as a writer. Love love LOVE the CHARIOT card over it all. D told me it must represent my Subaru Forester. (Cuz I also love love LOVE me some Forester.) Anne, I knocked off another from the TBR pile tonight, and am starting PLAY DEAD tomorrow!

Smiley When You Say That.
Yeah, okay, I'm gonna stick with the Smiley's 100 Books yahoo group. Please join with me. Or at least tell me I'm not mad.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Dogs for Hire

Years ago, my husband and I joked that we needed to find R & W, our Italian Greyhounds, some occupation that would work off their energy and bring in some extra dough for us. I envisioned R pulling a mail wagon for the postman. W would've been good at running harnessed on a treadmill, recharging fuel cells.

But that was then, and this is now. And now it's no joke. Those dogs owe me big time for what it will cost to refloor the family room. After four years of the occasional "accident" (yeah, sure, W), the carpet is just beyond hope, despite my best attempts to clean up after them with enzymatic deodorizer. The carpet PAD has got to be a rancid, foetid (must be spelled that way to convey the proper degree of horror) mess, that I luckily cannot see. And what of the flooring surface underneath the pad? For all I know, a heretofore unidentified race of fungus is growing there, not unlike the strange sea creatures that thrive in untold depths of oxygen- and sunlight-free water. And when they are uncovered by the men in hazmat suits who will surely have to be called in to re-do our floor, the millions of spores will in unison utter tiny screams of pain at having been exposed to fresh air and daylight. The men will cover their ears and drop to their knees, Capt. Kirk style. It will be hell, and I hope not to be anywhere near to hear it. Or smell it.

Wait, where was I? Oh yes. The cost of new flooring versus my ass-face hounds. R's resume includes such gems as "friendly" and "can destroy stuffed things pretty well." W is kind of spastic, so I thought "enthusiastic" would be a good descriptor on his vita. His skillset includes "three-legged running" (that damn kneecap) and "cleaning up the backyard with mouth." I don't think they'd be insulted to work for minimum wage, and for sure they'd fill your diversity quota. Any takers? Anyone? Hmmm?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

True confessions

Oh, the remorse of a Yahoo groups junkie. I've thought better of my signing up last night for a book club group. It's for Jane Smiley's Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Novel; the group's aim is to read and discuss one book per month from Smiley's reading list of 100. It would take nine years, but I cannot take it at that clip right away. I have so many OTHER books I want and need to read right now besides the ancient ones on the beginning of her list. I fear I must go unsubscribe myself. At least I don't need a lawyer to get out of this one...

Monday, November 07, 2005

Great Holiday Movie!

I think I'll rent this movie over Thanksgiving weekend. Sounds like a great family flick.

Now relive the original trailer, one of the greatest of all time. And that MUSIC? I'm TELLIN' ya.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Hold the Mayo Clinic...for now...

I’m a member of the sandwich generation. Just today, I stood for ten minutes at the Target pharmacy counter, seven month old daughter strapped to my chest, to discuss with the pharmacist the proper dosing of glucosamine with chondroitin for one of my geriatric Italian Greyhounds. Yes, I have two young kids and two old dogs, and it is killing me. My dogs, both approximately ten years old, are equivalent in age to my parents, and in much worse shape. Bad teeth, bad skin, bad kneecaps, brains, and thyroids. Not to mention the $4000 bionic leg.

I would rather have my parents living with me at this point than my dogs. It would be cheaper, and I much prefer my dad's blueberry buttermilk pancakes on Saturday mornings to getting up early to shove pills down the sticky throats of pets who have long since gotten wise to our attempted camouflages of peanut butter, baby food, soft cheese, and balls of bread. I will spare you the details of the toothbrushings; suffice it to say that everything the dogs have eaten chez backyard ends up stuck in the finger cot bristles I use to massage their aged maws. This to prevent further $55/tooth extractions at their twice-yearly $250 dentals.

Is it too late to look into pet health insurance?