Saturday, December 4, 2010

Something's Been Bugging Me Lately

I know, it's such a surprise that I get bugged by something. ;)

I've been seeing a lot of, "Christmas isn't About Commercialism" and similar statements out there.  While I agree with that statement: Christmas is, traditionally, a religious holiday, it seems to me to be an oversimplified and somewhat brutish way of saying, "I don't want to buy crap for my friends and family.  I will make this seem noble."

The Meaning of Christmas:
In the Christian religion, Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Christ.  It is commonly recognized that the day is inconsistent with what religious historians believe to be the actual birthday of Christ, however, most agree that the date is irrelevant, it's the celebration that matters.  Since Christ is the central figure in Christianity, (I apologize for the over use of this phrase) Christ is reason for the season.  A child, born low, who would save us all.  Kind of sounds like a holiday made up by Joss Whedon, no?

For Anyone Who Wants to Argue With Me:
Yes, I know that many of the traditions such as the tree, holly and the yule log were adopted by Christianity from pagan religions.  It does not detract from the fact that what we call Christmas is a christian holiday.  If what you are celebrating is not a christian holiday, then call it the solstice or whatever you want, it's not Christmas.

Also, If you're not christian and still celebrate the holiday, that is fine.  But I will not hear any argument about the standard meaning of it.

Now That the Meaning is Established, How Does One Celebrate?:
There are many traditions for celebration of the holiday, like the above mentioned tree, yule log, big dinners, holly, mistletoe, etc.  There's also all the gift giving traditions.  There's Santa Claus, the three Wise Men, and one of my favorites, La Befana.  There's many more as well.

Let's start with the Magi.  They brought the Christ child gifts for his birth.  Many Christians feel that giving gifts to loved ones reflects the gifts brought to Christ; a small reenactment of the original Christmas, if you will.  In many Latin countries the Magi still bring gifts to children. In Puerto Rico, the children cut grass for the the Magi's camels.  The Magi are the devout givers.

Then there's Santa, Saint Nicolas originally.  He's the patron saint of children, among other things, and was known for leaving secret gifts, like coins to good girls and boys.  So basically he's the original gift card giver; lazy SOB.

Then my fav!  La Befana, who distributes gifts to good girls and boys out of guilt or craziness, depending on what version you hear.  Basically the Magi invited her to go with them but she said she was too busy, then changes her mind and wants to go with them but can't find them so she gives gifts to all the kids.  She's the guilt giver.  (I can really identify with her, I always have a back up gift just in case I forgot someone.)

What's the common theme?  GIVING GIFTS!  No that doesn't mean you need to spend a fortune or go into debt or even turn gift giving into some sort of high stakes competition.  But gift giving is a central part of the holiday, it celebrates the first Christmas, it celebrates the children you love, it celebrates everyone who is special to you.  Especially kids.., you should give and give to kids.

Did you notice that all the the mythological gift givers weren't expecting much in return?  Neither should you.  If you're giving gifts with an expectation of reciprocation you need to reevaluate your life; yes, your whole life.

Did you notice that the only expectation of the mythological gift givers was "Good"?

Gifts should represent your esteem for the person to whom you're giving it.  Does that mean you need to go spend a bunch of money?  No, you could just make something, or give the gift of your time (and that's free, your time isn't worth crap and you know it) or talents. 

Gift giving isn't commercialism.  Gift giving is love, kindness, charity.  What's so commercial about that?

Stop being a cheapskate and start giving gifts you smelly hipster.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Learn How to Do It Right or Hire a Professional, Jerk - Friday Freak Out

Hey Home-Do-It-Yourself-er,

Do you think that "enter room name here" needs a new coat of paint?

Or perhaps just a nice new layer of wallpaper?

How about some lovely tile accents?

Hey HDIY'er,

Do you have a rough idea of what needs to be done to accomplish your goal?

Is your motto, "Hey, how hard can it be"?

Do you think edging tape and drop cloths are for pussies?

Well here's the real score Jackwad.  I, the person cleaning up your mess in my house, will hunt you down and cut off your thumbs so you can never pick up a tube of caulk or paint brush ever again.

Hey HDIY'er,  Guess what?  Caulk is not an all purpose adhesive.  It's not meant to adhere tile to anything.  It is not meant to seal the edges of wallpaper.  In fact, it's not meant to put wallpaper up at all, much less in a bathroom where it will allow mold growth behind that wallpaper.  I formally revoke your Home Depot privileges.

Here's another hot tip for you Dillweed:  you should never wallpaper over wallpaper.

Guess where paint shouldn't go Brainiac?  On hinges and over screws or nails.  It makes it impossible to pull the nails out, unscrew screws, and hinges?  Forget it.  Paint doesn't go all over everything that will hold still for you.

Guess what painters tape is for Captain Incompetent?  Taping off things your don't want paint to be on.  And you know what else?  Drop cloth keeps paint from getting all over the floor, genius.

Thanks for making my bathroom a war zone, Jerk who owned this house before us.  Thanks for making what should have been a two day project something that took weeks.

I hope your arms rot off at the shoulder.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wacky Wednesday Wig Out of Ostentatious Overtness

Hee hee.., get it?  WWWOOO!!!!!

So my Mom (Hi Mom) pointed out that I didn't blog last Friday for Friday Freak Out.  You know what I have to say to that?  I was busy!  I didn't feel like it!  You can't tell me what to do!  Pppppbbbbttttt!!!!!!!!

My mother and I have a very mature relationship.

So my planned topic was about Fabric.  But really it's about fabric stores.

I've been shopping this week for some fabrics for baby quilts.  My cousin and his wife are having twins!  Girls!  YAY!  This is momentous as it's been nothing but boys for years.  Don't get me wrong, I adore my nephews and find that the toys I get to buy them are much cooler than the girl toys.  But frilly girly dresses and hair bows and pink!  Finally!

It is so hard to pick out fabric!  There are entirely too many adorable pink baby fabrics to choose from.  I know infinite choices are the American Way but come on!

Not to mention the stores.  They're terrible in so many ways.  There's the true fabric stores, have lots choices.  They're usually well established.  They were opened when that neighborhood was a nice middle class kind of place but now it's not.  So these kinds of stores range from Staff Does a Subtle Double Take When White Girl Walks In to I Need to Keep a Line of Sight on My Car at All Times.  Then there's the mass market fabric-and-crafts stores that only have enough fabric so they can keep it in their description.  They really make their money on all the scrapbookers and people who think they're going to make it big selling bead necklaces on Etsy.

At the established fabric stores I get asked at least once, by every staff member, if I need help.  When I browse for more than ten minutes, they do a lot of "fly-by's" like I'm going to somehow shoplift a bolt of cloth.  And what am I suppose to say to these people when they ask me if I need help?  "Uh yes, can you please decide between the little birdies and the funny monkeys for me?"

At the mass market stores it's the complete opposite.  While I enjoy shopping with no interruption, if I actually make a fabric selection and would like to purchase said fabric it's like I asked them to do my trig homework.  That's if I can find anyone in the first place.  So they roll out the fabric to measure with much eye rolling and obvious sighing.  I'm truly sorry you only make minimum wage and hate your job, but could you please just give me my fabric without the tantrum?

Then there's spoonflower, which I adore because I don't need to deal with people to shop for fabric but Jeebus they're expensive!

It's all pretty much a no-win situation.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I Hate You Decatur Kauffman Tire - Friday Freak Out

The first part of my freak out this week:  I spelled a word right/incorrectly last week.  Yes, you read correctly, I wanted to write about the brakes on my car this week, but I wrote breaks.  That's a correct spelling but not the right word.  I will not be talking about my amazing DJ-ing.  I will not be talking about injuries of my bones.., I've never, in fact, broken a bone.  I will not be talking about a repeated psycological lapse.  I will not be talking about the fifteen minutes the state of Georgia says that I cannot work during for the every 5.75 hours that I do work.

I will be talking about the brakes on my car.

Back in July of this year, July! Stupid Kauffman Tire replaced my front brake pads.  A few days later I'm driving on the highway and my front passanager tire almost fell off.  I mean really almost fell off.  When I got to a safe place to stop I had only two lug nuts left on that side and they were both loose.

Stupid Kauffman Tire should feel really lucky that I didn't just call a lawyer right then and there.  Instead, I called JP (Husband and all around awesome dude) and screamed and wispered and cried (and told people who asked me if I needed help to "go to hell") all while pulling out my tire iron and tightening/redistributing my remaining lug nuts.  Then I figure out that they must have lost two of my other nug nuts and just replaced them with different ones because two of the lug nuts no longer fit my tire iron.

JP took my car back to Stupid Kauffman Tire because he was scared of what might have happened if I took it myself.  They replaced the lug nuts and fixed the plastic-y looking thing that was sticking out of my brake.

Last week we took my car back because the brakes were making a squeally, grindy, thunky noise.  In this interum time, I barely drove my car because I was scared of it.  It took them almost 24 hours to call me.  TWENTY FOUR HOURS.  And they said that they looked it over and couldn't find anything wrong.


When we went to pick up my car the guy re-itterated that they couldn't find a problem, that they had their "expert" look at it and maybe I should come back when someone else was there.  I don't know how this other person could possibly figure out the quantum algorithm of squeally brakes better than their "expert" but ok.

And to top it all off, when I drove my car home the noise was almost non-existant.  So either they fixed the problem with dumb luck by actually doing something right for once or they realized they messed up my car, fixed it, and didn't admit to it.

I swear if anything else goes wrong with my car I'm going to bap the manager of the Decatur Stupid Kauffman Tire on his big stupid balding ugly head.  Can I tell you how ugly this guy is?  He is, as stated earlier, balding and his head is too big.  Also he has a beer gut and a what appears to be permanent ogre-like sneer on his stupid face that is on his over sized male-pattern-baldness head.  In fact I would call him an ogre but he's not tall enough.  He's short, fat, bobble-headed, balding, sneering and he has sub-par intelligence.

And with all this trouble, not once did ugly Shrek manager talk to me.  Maybe he can't.  Maybe he's using his three remaining brain cells to remember how to sneer.

***Next Week:  Fabric!***

Friday, October 15, 2010

OMG, So Much, So Much. - Freak Out Friday

So first, I'd like to apologize about not posting last Friday, I was busy getting ready to get married and all so.., yeah.

Before my freak out, here are some of my favorite photos from the wedding:

*Pic of me with JP (Husband and all around awesome dude) and his family at the rehearsal dinner.

*Pic of me with JP (Husband and all around awesome dude) at the wedding.

*The kiss.

*After cutting the cake.

*After the wedding, at the Drive Invasion.

These are just a few of the hundreds of photos of the wedding.  And we haven't even gotten the official photos yet.

Which brings me to the first freak out.  I never want another photo taken of me ever again!  My face still hurts from having to smile all day on Sunday.  Yes, I understand that I was the bride, that it was a special day and all that crap but seriously. 

Also, I'm done with hugging for the next year.  I got a lot of hugs from the family of course but I was also getting hugs from people I didn't really know.  So many hugs, from everywhere, every time I turned around.  I'm not really a fan of hugging.  In fact, I really don't like to have people touch me at all.  So spending the day getting physically molested buy over a hundred people while grinning like a loon; not my idea of a great time.

Oh, and did I tell you that I woke up at 4:30am for no reason that morning?  Longest. Day. Ever.

Fortunately we have wonderful friends and family who handle much of the wedding stuff so that we had time to be accosted by everyone for photos and inappropriate bodily contact.  Also my bridesmaids are the best people ever who kept me supplied with coffee and make-up touch-ups and also snuck me upstairs when I got overwhelmed by the number or people I was surrounded by.

I also have a wonderful husband who whisked me away to dinner and then Popsicles; exactly what I needed.

***Next week:  my breaks.***

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Friday Freak Out

I'm getting married in nine days.



Friday, September 24, 2010

Moth-magedon - Friday Freak Out

***I have decided to start "Friday Freak Out" as a somewhat illitered, weekly post where I rant about what is freaking me out this week.  It is also an attempt to force myself to post every week.  We'll see how long this lasts.***

There is an infestation of moths on my patio.  Seriously.  They are everywhere. Hundreds of them.  As soon as dusk settles in they start winging about it their non-sensicle mothy way running into the ceiling, the windows, me.  Gross out, am I right? 

Not cool moths! 

The patio is the only quiet space I have to myself where I can think, participate in internet radio shows with my ultra-nerd friends and conduct phone conversations without the sound of my soon to be MIL and JP (Fiance and all around awesome dude) screaming across the house at each other about who's on the phone with who, that America's Next Top Model is on or about that plane that landed on the highwaySoon to be MIL has no concept of "Inside Voice" and JP tends to match whoever he's speaking with.  Here's is an example of a conversation between them:






JP:  OK!!!!!!!!

MIL:  AAAAGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!  A ROACH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JP:  I'LL GET IT IN A MINUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



MIL:  WHERE IS THE FILE, I DON'T SEE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JP:  HOLD ON A SECOND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The quietest time in the house is when they've both gone to sleep because even if they're not speaking about how to open a PDF file at a volume that could raise the dead, there are never any less than two televisions on (sometimes three, which is all of them).  When they are asleep there's still one television on because soon the be MIL leaves her television on twenty four hours a day. 

Why is it so hard to get some quiet you ask?  Check out the lay out of my house that I drew that's not at all to scale and poorly done:
(Sorry if this is hard to read.)

That's right, hardly any doors anywhere and soon to be MIL keeps her door open 24-7.
It's pretty pathetic when you enjoy going to the grocery store because it's quieter than your own home.

But now with the moth-pocalypse underway on my patio the only place I have left to go that is quiet and bug free is my car.

Monday, September 13, 2010

I'm Famous! Or Something Like It Anyway....

So I'm guest blogging over here today. It is apparently for this:


In an attempt to do less work today, I have asked my friends to write an "About the Author" section for me. This is what my friends have to say about me.

Christine: Rikki was born in 1812 in the land before time. On her spare days, she enjoys pretending to be a T-Rex and can occasionally be found roaming Walmart, growling as her hands mimic the tiny forearms of this iconic and beloved dinosaur.
Squid: Some have suggested that Rikki is a reincarnation of Cleopatra's second cat, Aristotle but subsequent scientific testing reveals she is the first manifestation of the Sumerian word "Argu" instead. Born in 1993 in a small cardboard b...ox by the river Seine, she has made a living by go-go dancing, flipping apple pies and -- reportedly -- even engaging in the Luftwaffe historical uniform import/export business. Now fully immersed in the world of modern New Media Journalism(tm)(c)(dvd), she lives in northern Atlanta with a fiancee, blueprints for a nuclear device, and a half-monkey/half-pony monster to please you.

Carolyn: My spidey sense is tingling!

Rikki: (Why can't I be me friend too?) Rikki is a world famous author with more novels published than Stephen King.When she's not summering in New Zealand, Rikki spends her afternoons sewing quilts to the homeless and obsessively double checking her locks. She is convinced a small family of raptors living in her wine cellar.

JP (Fiance and all around awesome dude) In a nearly deserted monastery high up in the Pyrenees, there lies an ancient tome. For the chosen few who have had the privilege to guard this mysterious book, they would gladly lay down their lives to keep it safe.

Why such a devotion to such an old text? Because contained therein is a prophecy foretelling the arrival of one who will blog. One who will entertain with wit and wisdom. One who will make acute observations about the minutiae of day to day life. One who will be known as Erika.
The list of people who have read the prophecy can be counted upon a single hand. Yet you will be witness to what is writ therein. The translated passage reads as follows: "Hey, have you checked out that 'There's Always Room For Pie' blog? I think you'll dig it." And with that, go forth with peace and serenity.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fun at Church

So JP (Fiance and all around awesome dude) and I are going out for Greek food tonight, and it reminded me of a story from school in Hawaii.

So I went to Maranatha Christian Church and Academy * for a year when I lived in Hawaii.  It was a predominately Filipino school.  As in: when I wasn't there it was a Filipino school.  It was a super great school to attend.  Seriously, the students were some for the nicest people I have ever met, the teachers truly cared about the students and the pastor/principal was dedicated like no one ever was to the success of the church, school and everyone in it.

I said that to say this**:  I am about to totally make fun of something that happened there and everyone who attended.

At the end of the year the school had an assembly as most schools do, and they had a special guest speaker; a traveling preacher and his beautiful Samoan wife.  I do not remember there names, it was a long time ago. 

First I need to tell you that I grew up in a Baptist environment; quiet churches and generally reserved people.  Maranatha was a charismatic church were speaking in tongues was common along with holy laughter and general rolling in the aisles.  I had never seen anything like it.  During the weekly chapel for school there was never anything like that, just sharing with everyone what you needed everyone to pray about, blessings, etc.

So the assembly started off with singing and a prayer, pretty average, then the Samoan wife did an interpretive dance about her love for Jesus.  Okay.., weird a little.., but okay.  Then the preacher delivered his message.  People were shouting Amen a lot and Yes! and the like.  Loud, not what I was used, to but okay.

Then the preacher started "speaking in tongues"***.

I will never forget what this guys version of speaking in tongues was.  Let me quote:  "Mousseeka moussaka mousseeka moussaka mousseeka moussaka moussaka..," and so on like that for I'd say about a half hour.  Everyone in the church is getting worked up, humming, then some start laughing hysterically while others start speaking in tongues.  This was completely frightening to my 15 year old self, by the way.

While the preacher is doing his "Mousseeka Moussaka" bit, there's someone "interpreting"*** what he's saying to mean all these different things even though he's saying the same two words over and over.  We need to recruit help people find Jesus, we need to confess our sins, we need to get closer to the Lord, etc.

(Speaking in tongues is suppose to be this event were you get into the spirit and the Holy Spirit speak through you in a "Holy Language"***.)

Apparently the Holy Spirit was super hungry from what I understood because Moussaka is a delicious Greek casserole with potatoes and beef.

I think I'll invite the Holy Spirit to dinner tonight.


*If you look at the map in the link, scroll towards the upper right along Center Street, I lived up there, right next to the Ewa Forest Reserve.

**A nod to a fun conversation with Mr. Eric about another great preacher we know.

***No hate mail for the quote marks please, just because I don't believe a word of it doesn't mean you can't.  Nor should it mean that you need to berate me about it.  Thank you and have a nice day.

Friday, August 6, 2010

An Evening Out

I'm off to the Shady Characters Art Show.  Hope to see you there!

All the artist in the show are great but I really just what to see this guy's work.  His website is here.

He did my muffin baking robot and it makes me happy every time I see it:

What, didn't know I collect robots?  More on that later.


The show was AWESOME!!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Game Show Only JP Would Win

So I'm terrible at names.  Not just people I've met but people I've known for years.  Also people on TV and movies.  Also the names of said movies and TV shows.

I am however very good with faces.  Really good with faces, which is why I haven't pissed off every friend  and acquaintance I have. 

So the following are typical examples of the conversations JP (fiance and all around awesome dude) and I have while watching a show or movie:

Scenario 1

Me:  Hey, it's that guy!  You know.., he's in that movie where he kills himself and he's in college or something.

JP:  Huh?

Me:  And he's on that show with the angry man.

JP:  Robert Sean Leonard?

Me:  Yeah!

Scenario 2

Me:  Hey, it's that guy!  From that show you like with the alien robots?

JP:  James Callis?

Me:  Yeah?

JP:  Battlestar Galactica.

Me:  Yeah, that one!

Scenario 3

Me:  Hey, it's that lady!  You know, she was on that superman show.

JP:  ...

Me:  Uhm.., and that show with the.., ladies?  Uhm.., you know, one looks like an alligator, the other one looks plastic?

JP:  Sex in the City?

Me:  No, she looks like a horse and the other one looks like a drug addict.  I'm talking about the one with apples?  And they don't have jobs or something?

JP:  Desperate Housewives?

Me:  Yeah!

JP:  Teri Hatcher?

Me:  Yeah!

I really don't think anyone else could understand the way my brain remembers things except JP. 

Also, this is a few examples of how I have people listed in my cell phone so I can remember who they are when they call or secret nicknames I've given them to jog my memory:

Chris - Artist, Sally's

Chris - Good cook, Diana's

Chris - Navy

Chris - Stupid

Cliff - Atari  (Atari is my way of abbreviating someone who gets up in my personal space too much.  As in space invader.  Usually a hugger.  Get it?)

Joe - White trash

Joe - Car fixer

Amy - DA DNR (Drug Addict - Do Not Resuscitate as in do not answer the phone.)

Johnny - Stinky Squirrel Pants

Josh - King Tut

John - French Jesus

Julie - MHI DNR (Mental Health Issues)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dear John Letter to a Grocery Store

Dear Dekalb Farmer's Market,

By the time you get this letter, I'll be gone.  I tried really hard to make this relationship work but you just won't let me in.., until I've checked my backpack or reusable shopping bags at your entrance.  I cant help but get the feeling you don't trust me.  I certainly can't miss the giant signs you're throwing up.., about checking my bags.

The crowd that you run with made me very uncomfortable, all those hippies, I always felt like an outsider.  I guess because I bathe, drive a car that isn't practically made of political opinion stickers and brush my teeth.  Not that you'd notice of course, you always smell of rotting fish, everywhere.  Not just in your fish department but all the way across your store.  It just killed the romance.  Forget a nice afternoon of smelling the stem ends of fruit to see if they're ripe; the only ripe thing anyone can smell is you!

And Honey, I hate to break it to you but your proper title is "International Market".  Farmer's markets are places you can go to purchase goods directly from the farmers who grew said goods.  Just drop the whole "farmer's market" thing, you're not fooling anyone.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't all bad.  You have really great deals on spices!  Maybe you can elaborate on that.  And remember, good unspoiled fish smells like nothing; try to be a good fish.

With All My Love,


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Neti Pot and Other Reasons I Hate My Allergies

So for the last few weeks I've been getting sick.  I started to think I was becoming a hypochondriac because the symptoms were vague and went away after a couple of days.  They would come back again and again with just fever, loss of appetite, and general blahs.  After discussing it with my mother, (I don't have any  health insurance right now so Mom is what I can afford) we came to the conclusion that it might be a low grade sinus infection.

With my terrible allergies I really didn't take into account the fact that I couldn't breath through my nose.

So JP (fiance and all around awesome dude) went and got me a Neti Pot so that I could do the "sinus irrigation" thing and hopefully kick the sick.  I read the instructions carefully and used the pot properly.  Which brings me to the reason for this post.

Using the Neti Pot has got to be the most uncomfortable thing I have EVER done to myself on purpose.  Do you know how this thing works?  Basically it kind of looks like Aladdin's magic lamp and a teapot had a baby.  You fill it with lukewarm water and salt, then put your head over the sink and stick the spout into your nostril and pour the saltwater into your nose so it washes up into your sinuses then drains out of the other side.  Crazy right??  But it's suppose to help.

Remember when you were a kid and you'd go to the pool, and at some point get the pool water up your nose?  That's what it feels like.  So you have to fight the urge to stop and blow it all out of your nose immediately.  My sinuses are all clogged if you'll remember so this isn't a quick thing either.  It just dribbles out slowly.  The whole time I just have to keep breathing through my mouth so it doesn't go down my throat which it's constantly threatening to do in which case I'd probably gag and that might not be a good thing in that situation.

When the pot is empty the saline solution is still draining out of the other side of your nose so you have to stay in that awkward position for a while and when the solution is done draining then there's a few minutes of runny snot and snot bubbles that have never made me feel sexier.  So once I've finished making snot tea, then it's nose blowing and coughing for yet a few more minutes.  That's followed by coughing through the night and coughing when I wake up.

If this turns out not to be a sinus infection I'm going to run over that pot with my car.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Best Way to Make Friends With Rikki

Hey all!

Sorry I haven't posted in a while, new job, been busy, blah blah blah.

Guess who's my new best friend?  Nicole.

I got my stiched post card:

And she sent me buttons:

And fancy chocolate:

Which I promptly ate!

She also put in a lovely letter that made me feel special.  I then used that special letter to point out to JP (fiance and all around awesome dude) that I am so awesome that my awesomeness has now reached Australia and he should go get me a soda because getting it myself might somehow diminish my awesome.

I don't think this actually works by the reasoning I'm giving but he seems to like me.

Thanks Nicole and thanks to Beth as well.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hey! Something About Pie!

There seems to be only one school of thought when it comes to pie crust: lard, butter, flour, water.

Well I'm going to shock you.  My pie crust has more ingredients.  Three more.

I'm sure every baker worth his salt would faint when I say this, but I rely on chemical reaction and not temperature.

Whoever wants to know about a pie crust that is easier to work with, flakier and tastier, just let me know and I send you the recipe.

It took me two years to get this right, but you can benefit from my effort.

Thanks Diana!

The great stitched postcard swap!  Do it!  Today!

Monday, May 3, 2010

I Rock a Stove so Hard it Should be Moshing

I made dinner tonight. 

I know most of you will think, "So?"

Seriously though, you should really know that this is a major event worthy of boundless celebration as I am quite accomplished at turning average food stuffs into delightful morsels. 

I roasted a lovely and tender "grass fed" shoulder roast with the obligatory carrots, onion and celery.  I added a bit of salt, paprika, ginger powder (for real, try it), black peppercorn and a dash of pineapple juice.  Pineapple juice helps to tenderize the meat and adds subtle sweetness.  I also wilted some beautiful spinach, with olive and garlic, that I picked up from the Decatur farmer's market.

But the crowd pleaser is always the roasted potatoes.  I roasted them in olive oil and a bit of salt and surrounded them in thick wedges of Vidalia onions.  As the potatoes came out of the oven I tossed them with finely chopped oregano and rosemary from my patio.

This was the pulled together, last minute dinner mind you.  Don't you just want to live with me?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Reasons Why I Love Atlanta #153

Awesomes Signs:

Misspelled Signs:

On the same block, on my way to and from the restaurant J.P. (fiance and all around awesome dude) and I went to tonight with dear and awesome friends.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Layman's Guide to Retail Speak

Have you ever wondered if your salesperson means something different from what's he or she is saying?  Well the answer is most likely yes and here's a quick translation:

"That dress would be too voluminous on your small frame."
We do not have that dress in stock but I'm just going to blame it on your height.

"Those shoes are so cute on you!"
This is the hundredth time I have said that in the past two hours, I just need an in so I can tell you about our discount card program.  Oh, and I actually think those shoes are hideous.

"I understand, this is a big decision, why don't you go and have a coffee and talk about it?"
I am super tired of your indecisiveness and I really need to go pee/take my break/smoke/drink my coffee.

"We sure do have a lot of varieties of x-product, here's a catalog with full descriptions of each.  Why don't you peruse that and I'll be back with you."
There are people waiting behind you while you ply me with redundant questions.  They will spend more money than you and ask less questions.  Step aside.

"Excellent choice."
Thank God you finally made a choice.

"That looks fabulous on you!"
That has a price tag that makes me very happy.

"Oh isn't he/she adorable!"
Your child is tearing up my store.

"Of course he/she's not being any trouble at all.  I wish all the children in here where as well behaved."
Your child is tearing up my store.

"He/she is a real spitfire huh?"
Your child is tearing up my store and now annoying other customers.

"So adorable."
I hate you and your stupid child.

"Well, it's been super great working with you, hope to see you soon!"
Get out, you smell.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I Hate You, New Roll of Toilet Paper

Listen up buddy; when I go to the bathroom I just want to pee and get out of there as quickly as possible. When I am confronted by you, New Roll of Toilet Paper, it messes up all of my plans. I know what you’re thinking, “What could possibly be wrong with a brand new, shiny roll like me?” Well I’ll tell ya.

First of all, there’s that glue. Try as I might to pull on your first sheet evenly it still rips in half vertically and then I try to pull the half that’s still glued down and that rips in half too. I then realize that I have only freed the first ply. I then have to commence picking at the second ply only to end up tearing the plies underneath.

Now that I’ve shredded a large amount of TP into an almost unrecognizable heap, I still have to get past the glue on the underneath layer, because really, I don’t know what that glue is made of and I’m not sure I want to be exposing my nether regions to it.

Now I have an alarming amount of TP in my hands that I feel guilty about throwing away because it is wasteful and bad for the planet because it’s made out of trees and tossing things willy nilly makes Indians cry. I can’t use it because of the glue that I have now convinced myself is full of carcinogenic chemicals that will give me hooha cancer. Not to mention if I did use the shredded TP it would probably get all linty on me and I would need to jump in the shower to get rid of the linty-ness and now I’m wasting water and I fall into an environment waste shame spiral when all I really wanted to do was pee!

Why do you have to have that impossible glue?!? Why not like a rubber band or something? Rubber is a renewable resource and rubber bands are reusable products. I wouldn’t end up questioning my beliefs while on the pot if you just used a rubber band. Isn’t the satisfaction and sanity of your loyal users important to you?

Thank you for listening, I will look for rubber band wrapped toilet paper to be available in my local grocery emporium soon.



Friday, March 26, 2010

In Retrospect

So JP (fiancé and all around awesome dude) and I went to lunch and to the William Breman Jewish Heritage and Holocaust Museum today.

I guess I should back up and say first that I got up this morning got ready and went to work, only to find out that if I had just looked at my cell phone I could have stayed in bed because they called me and told me I didn't need to come in.

So when I got home from thoroughly embarrassing myself in front of my boss and coworkers, JP said, “Hey, since you’re already dressed, let’s go to lunch!” At lunch we decided to go the Breman Museum and check out the Dr. Seuss Goes to War...and More! exhibit since we were so close. I was super excited! “Yay! I love Dr, Seuss! This is going to awesome!” I thought to myself. Having been to the Jim Henson exhibit, the Norman Rockwell exhibit and the like, I felt I had a good idea what this exhibit was going to be like.
I was wrong.

The William Breman Jewish Heritage and Holocaust Museum is locked down tight, like a military base at war time.

We had to get buzzed through the front gate, buzzed into the building, sign in, show two forms of ID, get patted down and have our vehicle searched. (OK, only true up until the two forms of ID.) And that kind of security at a museum just gives you a hinky feeling. We then had to shell out twenty bucks, and listen to an almost ten minute diatribe about the layout and current exhibits of a building roughly half the size of a DSW shoe store. The explanation was murderously long. As the (I’m sure) nice lady went on and on about where stuff was, the dialog in my brain went like this: “Yay Dr. Seuss! There will be Dr. Seuss stuff I’ve never seen! Yay new cool stuff! The fish and chips at lunch were delicious. Is the lady still talking? Why is the lady still talking? When do I get to look at the Dr. Seuss stuff? I really liked One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish when I was a kid. Why is she still talking?!?! Hhmm, JP is wearing a low-top shoe today, that’s unusual. Did the talk-y lady say something about Horton? I like Horton Hears a Who, that was a cool book. Maybe that will be in there too.” And just when I thought I was going to explode with frustration, the talk-y lady finally stopped and we got to go in. Finally!!!

I was so right! The Dr. Seuss exhibit was really great. It included a Seuss-ian play area where JP and I played. No I do not care that it was made for kids and we are both grown adults. There were things to throw and places to climb into and a xylophone and gongs made out of trash can lids and it was an ADHD paradise.

Then we toured the rest of the museum because although JP has been there before, I have not. The last leg of the tour was the holocaust exhibit which is, I suppose, somewhat expected in a Jewish history museum. I really felt that we needed to see it since A) we paid twenty dollars to be there B) it would seem super crass gentile-y of us to just walk out without looking at the holocaust part and C) I was unprepared for how depressing it would be. I know what you’re thinking, “Rikki, it’s the freaking holocaust what were you expecting???” and yes, I realize that. But somewhere around reading about people being forced to pull out the gold teeth of their dead friends so the Nazi’s could have them, I crashed from my dizzying high of Dr. Seuss awesomeness to the dark low of people are awful and there is no hope for humanity.

So the moral of the story is this: Do the holocaust part first, save Dr. Seuss for last or you’ll end going home and curling up in the fetal position on your couch with a bag of popcorn and the bitter taste of defeat and Coke Zero in your mouth.

Do not go from this

To this

Or it will make you