You Can't Fake Kickassitude

Mar 27, 2009

Fiscal Quarter? Done!

Where's my margarita?

Of Hail Storms and Humiliation

Mar 26, 2009

The worst of Wednesday evening's hail storms centered around my office building. There was severe damage, broken windows and headlights, debris everywhere.*

In a review of the damage this morning, some of the guys I work with mentioned that their wives' and/or girlfriend's cars were damaged pretty severely, too. What surprised me was the anger these men felt when their justified warnings to pull the cars under covered parking or overpasses went unheeded. There were lectures and yelling and arguments.

And then they asked for my opinion. I replied that "the correct response is 'It's going to be OK, honey. We'll take care of it.'"

Oh, the outrage!! You would've thought I had started torturing kittens at the office.

So, for the record and since I didn't get a chance to complete my thoughts (because, God bless them, these guys were RIGHT!), here's my reasoning:

Women are not children. And when stuff like this happens, we women are completely capable of accepting that you men were right about moving the car. We are even cognizant of the fact that our hesitation, distraction, or whatever, has cost our family - in both time and money needed to repair the damage.

Furthermore, when this kinda thing happens, we already feel like absolute crap. It's bad enough that we could have prevented it; it's worse when you lecture us. We don't need your criticism or anger to know not to do that again.

But here's the real issue: you want to protect us and fix the things that are broken, and you are frustrated when we unintentionally undermine those efforts. That's why your women came home in tears, guys. Not because the car got beat up, but because she knows that you will be disappointed AND you're going to let her know about it.

So, dear guys, let it go and don't worry that if you don't say something it'll happen again. It probably won't. And ladies, please listen to the man. He knows what he's talking about.

*I made it home before the storm hit, but only just. Our car was parked in the garage and remains undamaged. This story is not about me or Handsome. Just wanted to be clear.

This Is Just To Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

by William Carlos Williams


Mar 25, 2009

This week is the last week of our fiscal quarter. I'd say it's bedlam over here, but I hit my goal (106% on Monday) already. I'm kinda chilling out, while still trying to reach that magical 115%.

Anyway, in the spirit of every sales management team everywhere, they're bringing in food like we're starving children from Africa. Lunch every day, snacks in the afternoons. And of course, there are the new coffee machines. So between the caffeine, meals, and sugar and the panic to close business, everyone in the building is completely strung out.

And it's only Wednesday. Morning.

Should I tell my colleagues that chocolate-covered raisins and York peppermint patties do not a complete breakfast make?

Vocabulary Lesson #16: One Little Victory

Mar 24, 2009



Note to Self

Mar 23, 2009

One cannot expect to hit the snooze button for an hour and still get into the office before 9am. But one can try!

Mushroom Sauce for Steaks

Mar 22, 2009

I found this amazing recipe in one of my French cookbooks, and I use it every time we grill steaks. You might also enjoy it.

1 cup red wine (I use an inexpensive table wine like Beringer Merlot or Barefoot Cabernet)
1 cup beef broth (I use Swanson's low sodium, but the choice is yours)
generous pat of butter
8 ounces sliced mushrooms (go ahead and pick up the "clean and ready" box, you're worth it)
1 minced scallion or 1/4 minced white onion (optional . . . I usually just leave it out)
minced parsley (2 tsp dry or 2 tbsp fresh)
1/4 cup heavy cream
sea salt
fresh, ground pepper

Here's how it works:
Combine the wine and broth in a sauce pan. Cook on high heat until the mixture reduces to a glaze, about 1/4 to 1/3 cup. Don't let it burn!* Set aside.

In a sauté pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions (again, optional) and mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are golden and the onions transparent and all the mushroom juice is evaporated. Add the parsley, salt and pepper to taste, and cook for a minute or so. Add the wine/broth sauce and stir it all together. Just before you're ready to serve, add in the cream and stir till combined. Serve over grilled steak.

* I totally cremated a sauce pan last night, and you can't imagine the smell. Avoid this.

Caffe Mocha

Mar 21, 2009

Cafe Bustelo, dark roast espresso blend
Torani Chocolate Sauce
Espresso Machine

Brew coffee.
Steam milk.
Add Torani.
Add coffee.



terra cotta, bougainvillea, sun-bleached sea shells
salt air, warm breeze, sunset on the bay
coconut oil, toes in the sand, pelicans in flight
blue skies
blue sea
palm trees
sand piper
sand dollar
falling asleep to the sound of the surf
watching the sun rise, clouds on the horizon
lemonade, umbrella shade, turning dog-eared pages
splashing waves
laughing gull
evening star
happy life
ever more


Mar 20, 2009

Hello, and welcome to the First Day of Spring. Although, I must admit, Spring has been here for over a month already. See evidence: bluebonnets, red buds, flowering trees, green grass, etc. See also: Texas.

Spring is my favorite time of year, and it's been surprisingly satisfying to be home for the season. The past several years, when I was traveling extensively, I got to know Spring in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. And you know what, they all have a nice Spring, too. Although, at a much slower pace than what we experience down here.

I don't miss the traveling or the loneliness, but I did enjoy blooming rhododendron, tiny little grape hyacinth, and peonies. Those plants don't grow very well in the south. Instead, we have ever lovely azaleas, daffodils, camellias, gardenias, bluebonnets, and red buds. Seems like a fair trade.

Now, let's all play hooky and go to the lake!

Attention Texas Parents

Mar 19, 2009

Four parents and a pregnant woman sued the state health department Thursday, claiming that its policy of storing infants' blood indefinitely for possible medical research is unconstitutional.
Since 1965, the state health department has been tasked with screening newborns for birth defects and other disorders under a law that does not require parental consent. In 2002, the health department decided to store the blood samples, so they could be used for possible research and other purposes, such as calibrating lab equipment, department spokesman Doug McBride said.

The state has since amassed 4.2 million samples at the A&M School of Rural Public Health in Bryan.

-From Austin American-Statesman

If you have a child born in Texas anytime in the last seven years, the state has a sample of his or her blood - and by default their entire genetic profile - and they never had to inform you or even get your consent. This is outrageous!

Corporate Nirvana

Mar 18, 2009

My fruity employer loves its employees. So much that they installed self-serve Starbucks stations in our break rooms. And not just those pre-measured packets of flavorless black sawdust, but individual cups of fresh-ground, fresh-brewed, delicious java. (Or hot cocoa if you're not into black gold.)

Thanks be to Steve. Or whoever installed these miracles of modern coffee dispensation.

Overheard: "Our break-room is an aromatic wonderland!"

Things Christians Like

Mar 17, 2009

While it's not quite as amusing as Stuff White People Like, this list made me giggle, especially:

#7. Stryper
#23. Tattoos for God
#137. Holding retreats at places that could double for horror movies
#181. Preaching an 87 week long sermon
#233. Reading every word in the bulletin when bored
#277. Crazy Rapture Products
#302. Prosperity or 28 ways Jesus blings
#348. Pastor's Wives - the 3 Types
#491. Saying "let's pray" when you mean "let's make out"

Delicious Words

Mar 16, 2009

mercurial (adj.) - characterized by sudden and unpredictable changes of mood or mind

tempestuous (adj.) - characterized by strong and turbulent or conflicting emotion

Things You Didn't Know You Wanted To Know

Mar 13, 2009

Well . . . things I didn't know I wanted to know.

Facts About Friday the 13th

Accidents that Changed the World

Where the Billionaires Live

(News of the) Weird Universe

Have fun out there on the internets today!

Vocabulary Lesson #15: Closer to the Heart

Mar 12, 2009



So Good I Licked the Plate

Mar 11, 2009

Orange Roughy in cilantro-lime-ginger marinade. With sautéed spinach.

Ok, so here's the marinade:

about 1/4 bunch of fresh cilantro*
juice of one lime*
one or two garlic cloves*
about a 1/2 inch of fresh ginger*
about a tablespoon of olive oil*

Place all ingredients in a food processor and mince to your desired consistency. Add the olive oil and mince till incorporated. Marinade the fish** for 45 minutes or however long you like. Overnight would be good.

Either bake or sauté the fish. However you like and whatever is easiest for you.

Serve atop sautéed spinach. Or some rice pilaf. Or maybe some angel hair pasta. Whatever makes you happy.


*Add as much or as little of these things as you like. It's your marinade, and you can make it how you like it.

**I used about 3/4 of a pound of orange roughy. If you need more for your growing family, you might want to double or triple the marinade recipe. Other white fish like tilapia or cod would probably work just as well, too.

Time Change

Mar 10, 2009

I cannot possibly be the only person whose internal clock has been completely disrupted by Daylight Saving Time. Stupid government programs!


Truly Frightening

Mar 4, 2009

The scariest part of this story isn't the obvious theft. It's the realization that this person is a product of our public education system.

In other news: Where does belly-button lint come from? Mystery solved.

What the . . . ?!?!

Mar 3, 2009

Driving home after work, noticing a rattle in the trunk. Or maybe near the tire? Louder at 20-30 mph. Huh.

Taking it easy the rest of the way. Just in case.

Finally arrive home, pulling into the driveway. Hop out and take a walk around.

Right rear tire. Completely and utterly flat.

Four brand new tires, three weeks old. And this one is the only one missing it's valve stem cap. Odd.

"Honey, I'm home. And we have a problem."

Handsome changes flat. No noticeable punctures in that nice, new tire.

Delicious Words

Mar 2, 2009

In the lush light of sunrise, I walk to the bow of the sailing yacht to scan the Mediterranean. We're gliding through the expanse of water silently, a moving island alone in this world.

-Mary Heebner, Two by Sea, Islands Magazine