Thursday, January 26, 2006

Baby humans and baby hogs

Well, we went to the hospital last night and saw our brand new niece, Alexandra! She was gorgeous, I can honestly say. You know how some newborn babies are a little on the fugly side? Not Lexi. Perfectly pink and pretty, with a little round dome full of dark hair, her dad's chin, ten tiny fingers, and ten tiny toes. She weighed 6 lbs., 6 oz. and was 20" long.

Hubby and I are considering ownership of a hedgehog. We'd been tossing around the idea of a hamster or something to keep at his office, and decided a hedgie would be perfect. They're easy to care for, litter-box trainable, affectionate, and durn cute. Now the only trick is to find a place to buy one. Apparently, sellers of hedgehogs must be USDA-licensed, and it's a pain, according to a local pet supply. Wish us luck!

Anyone have experiences with small animals they'd like to share?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Getting down with the sickness

No, not the crappy nu-metal song, but real sickness- the kind involving copious amounts of sleeping, sneezing, snotting, snorting, and spitting.

Been sick with a cold for the past few days. Hubby had it last week, I came down with it Friday night, just in time to ruin my weekend. I had to call in sick to my animal rescue volunteer gig on Saturday, and stayed home from work yesterday. Staying home from work = not that bad. Not getting to play with and love on homeless doggies = real craptacular.

The crappiest thing about the germ sitch is that my new niece is being born today. Hubby thinks we should abstain from the hospital. DAMMIT, I am certifiably baby crazy. You do NOT get between a hormonal, desperate-to-be-pregnant chick and a newborn - you stick your hand in there, you'll pull back a bloody nub. If I have to wear a surgical mask and forego that wonderful baby smell for now, so be it, but I at least wanna hold little Alexandra (Lexi for short) on the day of her entrance into the world!

Ahh, almost forgot...obviously, the blog has a new look. has quite a few templates to choose from, and I thought I'd go with something more colorful. You like?

Oh. I've been thinking lately. I know I have at least one regular reader. Anyone else? No one ever comments, and my ego is suffering for it.

I know there are at least two other blogs that I read/comment on regularly, whose authors spare nary a word of encouragement or dissent on my lowly blog, *ahemdoug* *ahemmatt*.

You want readers, guys, you gotta read others' stuff and post comments. It's the polite thing to do.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Ben Franklin is 300 today

From the Wikipedia article on Benjamin Franklin:

Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 – April 17, 1790) was one of the most prominent of Founders and early political figures and statesmen of the United States. Considered the earliest of the Founders, Franklin was noted for his curiosity, ingenuity and diversity of interests. His wit and wisdom is proverbial to this day. More than anyone else, he shaped the American Revolution despite never holding national elective office. As a leader of the Enlightenment he had the attention of scientists and intellectuals all across Europe. As agent in London before the Revolution, and Minister to France during, he more than anyone defined the new nation in the minds of Europe. His success in securing French military and financial aid was decisive for American victory over Britain. He invented the lightning rod; he invented the notion of colonial unity; he invented the idea of America; historians hail him as the "First American". The city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania will mark Franklin's 300th Birthday in January 2006, with a wide array of exhibitions, and events citing Franklin's extraordinary accomplishments throughout his illustrious career.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, to a tallow-maker, Franklin became a newspaper editor, printer, and merchant in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, becoming very wealthy. He spent many years in England and published the famous Poor Richard's Almanack and Pennsylvania Gazette. He formed both the first public lending library and fire department in America as well as the Junto, a political discussion club.

He became a national hero in America when he convinced Parliament to repeal the hated Stamp Act. A diplomatic genius, Franklin was almost universally admired among the French as American minister to Paris, and was a major figure in the development of positive Franco-American relations. From 1775 to 1776, Franklin was Postmaster General under the Continental Congress and from 1785 to his death in 1790 was President of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania.

Franklin was interested in science and technology, carrying out his famous electricity experiments and invented the Franklin stove, medical catheter, lightning rod, swimfins, glass harmonica, and bifocals. He also played a major role in establishing the higher education institutions that would become the Ivy League's University of Pennsylvania and the Franklin and Marshall College. In addition, Franklin was a noted linguist, fluent in five languages. He also practiced and published on astrology (see Poor Richard's Almanac).

Franklin was also noted for his philanthropy and several extramarital liaisons, including that which produced his illegitimate Loyalist son William Franklin, later the colonial governor of New Jersey. Towards the end of his life, he became one of the most prominent early American abolitionists. Today Franklin is pictured on the U.S. $100 bill.

Friday, January 13, 2006

You must watch this video

I highly recommend this video. I nearly cried laughing.

"The average person attempts to decode the mysterious language of emo."

Google Video Link

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

My Onion Horoscope

The Onion, profferer of all things witty, sarcastic, and hilarious, apparently has daily horoscopes on their website.

My horoscope for today:

A financial windfall means that you're not only able to speak your mind to the world, but also able to hire "Macho Man" Randy Savage to do it for you.

Catlover's horoscope for today:

Your death will be so protracted and violent that investigators will let your mother down easy by telling her you were sodomized in half by a horse.

Uhh, I like mine better...sorry, B.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Update/Recipe Tuesday, vol. 2

Well, let's have the update before the recipe.

I humbly submit that teenagers should not be allowed to drive. Yes, dear readers, my husband and I got in a car accident, caused by some dumbass teenagers fucking around on Saturday night. In our new car, a 2006 Chrysler 300C. That we've only had for a month. Yeah.

We were in the left lane heading northbound on a fairly busy street Saturday night, while taking a drive after a tasty dinner of Mexican food. Three cars of teenage boys were screwing around, as they are known to do on this particular street on the weekends.

Cars A and B pulled in front of us from the right lane, so my husband backed off the gas to add buffer space. The third car took advantage and squeezed in in front of us. All three cars then slammed on their brakes. A and B were unscathed and took off in the left turn lane.

We called the cops, and it took them 20 minutes to show up. My husband told the officer in no uncertain terms that this was NOT our fault. The teenage dipshit we hit claimed he'd been in the left lane for 30 seconds before we hit him. Uh, hello, no. It was pull in front of us, screech to a stop (I heard his tires), and WHAM, SHIT! That quickly. My husband urgently said my name so that I just barely looked up from the radio when we hit.

Anyway, police report is filed, claim is made against his insurance, haven't heard from the adjustor yet, and I have a lovely greenish bruise on my right shoulder from my seatbelt. I happened to be leaning forward to change the radio station when we crashed, so the slack in the belt locked up with me forward, and then when I whipped back into the seat and forward again, it hurted my baby shoulder. :(

As soon as the wreck happened, I felt my blood begin to boil. It was all I could do to stay in the car, and not get out screaming in the street at the stupid ass teenager, "YOU STUPID ASSHOLE, WE'VE ONLY HAD THIS CAR FOR A MONTH! DON'T YOU IDIOTS WATCH WHAT YOU'RE DOING???" I was literally shaking from the adrenaline, freezing my butt off and sweating at the same time.

What made me even more furious was sitting there waiting for the cops. As my husband and I waited, we watched the intersection in front of us have several near-misses, again, stupid ass kids almost hitting people, driving too fast, changing lanes like they're the only ones on the road.

I know for a fact that I did not drive this way when I was 16/17. I couldn't! My parents would've killed me, and I had paid for my own car.

Ok, rant time over. Count back from five. Deep cleansing breaths.

For the second installment of Recipe Tuesday, my very own version of Chicken Chili.

Chicken Chili

Serves 6-8

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.5 lbs.)
Garlic salt and fresh black pepper
Olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
2-4 cups chicken stock or broth, as desired
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes with green chilis, with juice
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans or Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed (I prefer black beans; the white ones can be mushy)
2 tsp. oregano
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
3-4 cloves garlic, minced (I scoff at recipes that call for one clove of garlic)
1 tsp. Chipotle Tabasco sauce, or more to taste*
2 tsp. chili powder**
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
Sour cream and cilantro, optional garnish

Cube the chicken breasts, season with garlic salt and pepper, and saute in olive oil in a large stock pot. (If you are so inclined, you may also grill whole breasts instead and chop them up. This creates a crust on the chicken, and the chicken won't be as tender.)

When the chicken begins to brown, add chopped onion and celery and cook until they begin to soften. Add oregano, Worcestershire, garlic, Tabasco, chili powder, and cumin. Stir well to distribute spices.

Add the undrained Ro-Tel and drained corn. Add between 2 and 4 cups of stock, depending on how watery you like it. More stock, more of a soup texture. My husband prefers less stock, because all he wants is the "guts."

Bring the chili to a simmer and let it go, uncovered, for about 20 minutes.

About 10 minutes before serving, add the drained, rinsed beans and heat through.

Serve with a healthy dollop of sour cream on top and a sprinkling of chopped cilantro leaves. Like most chilis, this is also great the second day.

* Chipotle Tabasco is made from smoked jalapeños, and has a smoky, barbeque-y, almost tomato-ey flavor. If you prefer straight heat, use the hot sauce of your choice.

** I use a combination of store bought chili powder and home-ground dried ancho chiles. Anchos are mild in flavor, and can be found in the Latin food section of large grocery stores.


Friday, January 06, 2006

Which Happy Bunny are you?

kiss my ass2
Congratulations. You are the "Kiss My Ass" Happy Bunny. You don't care about anyone or anything.
You must be so proud.

Which happy bunny are you?
Brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Post Holiday Recovery

Well, we made it through Christmas and NYE just fine. This new year holds a lot of promise and big events.

One side of my family is having a huge reunion in June, and I'm really looking forward to attending with my husband, who has not met most of those people yet and is in for quite a treat. My Pawpaw and his siblings are the base generation for the reunion. He is the second of 8 kids - six boys and two girls - so of course, there are tons of people in our family, and we're scattered all over the country, from South Carolina to Montana to Oklahoma to California to Idaho.

There are some big birthdays in my immediate family this year. I and my husband will both be turning 30! I also have two cousins turning 16, one turning 18, an aunt and uncle both turning 50, another uncle turning 55, and a bratty ass niece turning 5, which hopefully will put an end to her reign of terror. Her two older siblings were also rotten until they turned five.

Last but certainly not least, we are awaiting the birth of another niece in early February! Well, technically she's not related, but her dad is my DH's best friend from high school, and said best friend's parents have practically adopted my husband, so dammit, we're Auntie and Unkie.

Recent development: I started therapy. Yep, good ole counseling with a Licensed Professional Counselor. I've been twice, and it seems like it'll be useful. The guy uses the cognitive approach to therapy, the basic premise of which is that if you can change your thinking, you can change your behavior. I like that idea.

Christmas was cool, as usual. DH and I got a nice Cuisinart coffee maker and toaster from Dear Ole Dad. I got a KitchenAid stand mixer from DH, as well as an assortment of other goodies. It was a very booky Christmas. DH gave me several true story books about dogs- a couple of beagle books and one called Marley and Me, about a newspaper guy and his wife in Florida who get a yellow Lab. The Lab, Marley, is described as being "the worst dog in the world." I highly recommend this book. You will laugh out loud until your sides hurt and cry until you have snail trails on your sleeve from wiping your nose.

I also got a handful of paperbacks, several Dean Koontz and John Grisham's most recent, The Broker.

DH and I took last week off, and were basically lazy. Now that I'm back at work, I'm cranking up some more audiobooks on the iPod. I finished Forever Odd by Dean Koontz, the sequel to his very excellent book Odd Thomas from a couple of years ago. I am half way through Mr. Murder, another Koontz tome.

Koontz rawks. Not only does he blend humor and suspense like no one else, he throws in a lot of big words. I've been listening to these audiobooks with paper and pen at hand, and have written down a page and a half of new words to learn. Some of the better ones are: autodidact, miasma, erudite, cabal, rapacious, mendacity, sanguine, comestible, and elucidation.

I'm an autodidact, a person who is self-taught.

God, I love big words.