Friday, January 30, 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Amazon free MP3s (via kottke.) Spotted Gaslight Anthem, Bob Mould, The Streets, Raveonettes, Dr. Dog, Apples in Stereo, Sloan, Rev Horton Heat, and.... Sepultura!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

the Curious Case of why I'm going to murder the dog

A story I promised my friend D. Also, hi. This is the G. I am too stupid to figure out how to repost this under my account. Oh well.

So! A few Sunday mornings ago, my spouse heads out early in the morning. jonesing to grill (yes, grill, in winter) himself some meat. He buys a massive thing of pork and sets upon his weird little project.

EDIT – wrong. I bought a pork shoulder with the full intention of smoking in the Carolina fashion. The Cook’s Illustrated cookbook we got for Christmas had what appeared to be a great recipe. But I ran out of time so I saved it for a week. [EDIT EDIT: A WEEK? Eww?] While I have used charcoal in the past with much success, Cooks claimed to have developed a way to use a gas grill.

We are out of propane for the grill. All Home Depots in the area are also out of propane, which seems odd, right? Who's doing massive amounts of gas grilling in the winter, besides morons like us?

EDIT – According to customer service, the area's Home Depots receive their propane shipments on Mondays. It seems that Lowes is on the same schedule. And many men prefer grilling in the winter since it involves being outside of the house and away from their Queen of the Harpies wives.

After hours of searching and calling retailers, The N finally, oddly, stumbles upon a gas station selling propane.

EDIT – This was odd. And it was the only fortunate thing that happened all day.

After grilling said roast he then puts it in the oven Sunday evening to finish. BUT HE NEGLECTS TO TURN THE OVEN ON.

EDIT – This is so monstrously wrong it approaches libel. First, I smoked the shoulder for several hours outside. Then I moved it inside to finish in the stove, AS DEMANDED BY THE RECIPE. At some point, the stove turned off on its own. Under no circumstance was this my fault. Secondly, our stove’s functioning has been faulty since day one and is perhaps haunted.

So the roast SHOULD be finished by the time we go to bed Sunday night, but it's still raw. Genius decides that since we get up with our partying child every few hours anyway, he'll just stick the roast in the oven and check on it throughout the night. Basically: sleep-cooking. There's no way that plan could go wrong. But whatever, it gets the semi-raw slab of meat (which I haven't even seen yet because I refuse to cook for my family) out of the fridge.

Upside: our house smells like bacon.

EDIT – Anyone familiar with slow cooking pork knows that it takes several hours. It had already been cooking outdoors and absorbing a delicious smoky flavor for all of the Eagles’ game and part of the Ravens’ before it was moved. It was not raw.

And I don’t see a flaw in my logic. We have not reached REM sleep in 4 months. When was the last time you had an actually dream? Why not use nature’s most enraged biological sleep disruptor as a cooking aid?

The house does smell like bacon. That is not a problem. It adds at least $10,000 in resale value.

The roast is still not done at, let's say, 6 AM, because even though our stove is digital, apparently it's a challenge to set. Spouse puts the stupid 6 pound hunk of pig back in, cranks up the heat, and hog-fluid promptly splatters over the side of whatever vessel he was cooking this thing in and burns onto the oven, filling the entire house with billowing smoke and setting off the smoke alarm.

EDIT - Um. I don’t think the smoke alarm actually went off. The whole system’s been on a hair trigger lately so I pulled the battery before it got tripped and anyone woke up crying. By anyone, I mean you. Also, don’t expect to be woken up by the dog if a goat kicks over a lantern and sets the house on fire. He saw the first puff of smoke and took off for the hills.

(Note - my Jewish boss: "This story is part of the reason we don't eat pork.")

So, we get ready for work and leave for the day, drop spawn off at daycare, etc. As we're driving down Rt 50, miles from our house and a good 45 minutes into our morning commute, the N casually mentions the pork was too hot to put in the fridge. So he left it in a paper bag in the sink.

EDIT – AGAIN, I was following the recipe. I wasn’t going to put a steaming hott pork shoulder into the fridge. I don’t care how good your crisper is, everything is going to wilt. And I left it in the tray, which I put in a paper bag (as directed), put the whole thing on a cutting board and placed it in the sink. I don’t see an issue here, your worshipfulness. As for leaving it exposed to the elements– IT’S A SMOKED HAM – it’s how meat was preserved for thousands of years before Nikola Tesla stole Freon from Prometheus and invented your precious refrigerator. It’s how George Washington Carver did it. It’s how Emily Brontë did it. It’s how the Nabob does it.

. . .

If you will, please imagine the look I gave him at this point. I think you can imagine it since it’s the look he deservedly receives 3 times daily.

A discussion EDIT – lecture follows about his poor judgment, seeing as we have a dog who is brain damaged (probably) and ill-trained (definitely) and yet more cunning then we give him credit for and will obviously consume the entire fucking roast. The N insists there is no way he will get into the sink. I bet him money and tell him, if he you know, has time during the day, maybe he should swing home for a few minutes to make sure I am always right.

EDIT – There is no way the dog can get into the sink. The counter top is too high and the sink is too deep. The only way he could possibly reach it is if pushes a chair over from the dining room and stands on it. That takes dog wits the likes of Ruff or Beethoven or Air Bud. Our dog does not have those wits. There is no reason to go home early. When we arrive tonight, there will be nothing waiting for us other than a sleeping dog and tasty dinner.

I arrive home Monday PM, arms full of my work bag and two diaper bags and a car seat and etc and the dog goes apeshit when I walk in the door. Greasy meat marks all over the floor. Tinfoil flecks and paper bag oddments in every room. ALSO THE DOG WAS ON THE COUCH, which makes me irate. And he was bloated as shit. I have to leave the potato sack locked in his law-abiding car seat (one he is in no way getting too big for already, CPS, and I do not bend his legs to get him into it in the mornings, no m'am) while I search entire house looking for vomit and poo and porcine carcass. The only remnant was a fist-sized chunk of hog in the basement. On the new carpet.

I call the N and tell him the dog ate the roast. He thinks I'm kidding and hangs up because he’s a jerk. Then I get worried about the dog (do dogs die of meat poisoning? I mean, I shouldn't be that worried since he recently consumed an entire bag of trash, including WHOLE PLASTIC PACKETS OF KETCHUP), but still I try to call him back several times and he won't answer the phone. The phone finally rings back, and rather than say hellos I scream "SERIOUSLY HOW BIG IS THIS EFFING PIECE OF MEAT I NEED TO KNOW WHAT I'M DEALNG WITH HERE." Of course, it's my mother calling.

EDIT – I was busy. Also, the dog could not have gotten the pork on his own. Someone gave it to him. Probably ghosts. And since most dogs eat meat FOR A LIVING I don’t even see how this is that big of a deal. And even though he is dumb, he will not eat the whole thing. If you look around the house you will surely find most of it.

I get the kitchen cleaned up, child settled, I change into ripped flannel pants and a teeshirt and I take the dog outside. If I’m reading this right, he’s about to have a bowel movement so violent he’ll be lucky he has any bones left. But he seems semi-fine. Suddenly, the new neighbor’s puppy gets loose in front of our house, causing general havoc and messing with another mean dog on a leash, and almost getting hit by several cars as people return home from work. I wrestle Brown Dog inside as our panicky flamboyant neighbor is screaming LEXXXXXXYYYYYYY SSTOOOPPPP ITTT BADDDD GIIIRRRLLLL and the entire community association is chasing his border collie up and down the street. It’s like a Benny Hill skit except no one’s nurses uniform got ripped off by accident.

Eventually the puppy gets caught but the commotion outside has pushed our dog into meltdown. Anything left unmolested during the day has now been destroyed by teeth and claw. It takes about 20 minutes to calm everyone down. But pig-dinner is ruined. The dog’s stomach is about to come out both ends. And of course, there is crying. Fortunately my mother doesn’t trust me to take care of her grand-potato and brought over some sort of redneck casserole over the night before.


EDIT – I can’t be blamed for any of the above. We had a long conversation about how there was still grease in the stove. You are a sixty year old women. You should know that bringing a flame to grease will cause it smoke. I’ve seen you move your hairdryer out of the sink before you turn the water on hundreds of times. This is the same thing. None of this is my fault.

With smoke billowing from my oven, I start throwing open doors and windows because tiny lungs are being filled with poisonous meat cloud vapors. And then it’s freezing. And then the fire department shows up.

Momentarily, I wonder how they got there so fast and how I'm going to keep my dog from killing the firemen as they break down my front door. I won’t be able to. The dog is so ‘roided out on pork and chaos and fire trucks that he’ll murder someone. Or bite through the hose and attack the fire hydrant. The house is as good as gone. I start gathering photo albums and the dog and the potato and prepare myself for at least a calendar year of homelessness. But the firetrucks fly right by our house - turns out our crazy neighbors thought they smelled a gas leak. It’s like the fifth time the fire department has come to their house, and its only actually been on fire once.

So, I go get the child, who is making small pathetic coughing noises, dress him in a snow suit, pull a sweatshirt over my pajamas, and take him outside to see the lights and commotion while my house de-smokes. Brown Dog howls for the entirety, I can hear him down the block. All this before 7:30 PM.

EDIT - I am the only victim here. The house did not burn down. No one went to the hospital. You had, what, 30 total seconds of excitement? I lost my pork BBQ, nine man hours in cooking and hours of sleep because the dog hap to crap his brains out 4 times that night.

I guess this story would have been whatever and ended there, but two nights later, as we sat in the basement calmly enjoying picking the M&Ms out of trail mix and kind-of "House" reruns on USA and playing with our cooing child's toys, the N looks over and asks the dog what he has in his mouth.

A giant piece of pork the fucktard had buried in the couch to save for later.

Fail. The End.

EDIT – The End. But I’m not a big fan of you picking out the M&Ms from the trail mix, leaving only peanuts and raisins.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

mmmm, incapacitating

In 2005, back when blogs were still called newspaper columns, I was walking around the District and I was approached by a roving band of thugs. There was a parade that day and it seemed that this group of young men was upset because the authorities had denied them entrance to the pageant. They hollered and gnashed their teeth and rattled the fences that separated them from the festivities. But it was to no avail. They gathered their belongings and stormed off.

I too hoped to watch the parade. But I was dressed in a respectable fashion and my behavior toward the authorities was civil. They deemed that I was not a threat to the sanctity of the parade and were willing to allow me access if I merely allowed a physical search of my person. I paused a moment to consider my options.

Suddenly, the ruffians returned. They had retreated to a nearby construction site and collected the various implements of destruction that the builders had left behind. Their intention was to use this paraphernalia to attack the authorities and gain a passage of entry to the parade. They dashed toward the fence, bellowing their frustration. But the authorities were not to be perturbed. They stepped behind the blockade, reached for their belts and unleashed torrents of pepper spray on the crowd. Right into their faces. And mine.

It was terrible. My face and eyes burned. Every breath felt like a firestorm in my chest. It was hours before I could draw a deep breath.

However, that wasn’t the worst thing that has happened to me at an inauguration.

This is:

I’ve started my own terrorist watch list. This guy is currently the only one on it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

My Name is Jonah

As required by my Clown College University, I took a single music appreciation class in an effort round out my Virginian liberal arts clown education. It was a 101, 8am mass of freshmen that was abided only because it wasn’t History 101. It was the professor’s claim that the early morning start time was to maximize our fresh, unmolested morning ears. He maintained while we slept, our ears had reset to a common baseline and our brains were purged of drunken bar revelry and Reel Big Fish concerts. Basically, our heads could hear and process sound better in the morning.

That may be true. It could be monster bullshit. But most of us were suffering at various levels of detoxification so our ears were already operating in the red. The professor also suffered from mild hearing loss and whenever he played music in class, it was at a volume much louder than necessary. And the treble was always too high for some reason. All these ingredients made it physically uncomfortable to sit through the songs that he played in class as genre examples.

One morning, it was a lesson about orchestra music and we were told to listen for some particular movement from the string section. Specifically, the violins. The loud, screechy violins. He put in the CD, pressed play and watched as almost everyone in the class started convulsing. Someone had turned the volume on the mixer to its peak and resulting onslaught was the most violently unpleasant thing I have ever heard.

Until Monday night.

On Monday night, the RB artist who calls himself Usher introduced a pop group calls themselves the Jonah Brothers at the Verizon Center. The resulting response from 10,000 twelve-year-old girls was the most brutal assault ever delivered upon my head. It felt like two master fly-fisherman landed two hooks directly into my ear drums, wrenched their poles back violently and allowed the piercing and unfiltered shrieks land directly on my brain. Five days later, thinking about it still causes winces.

There is clearly a cute Jonas brother since he was on the jumbotron most of the time. And there is clearly a Danny Wood Jonas brother since he wasn't shown at all.

I’m also old and out of touch. My date was trying to remember the name of the Miley Cyrus movie and I jokingly suggested Crossroads. She told me she too young to remember when Britney was doing movies.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mind the gap

So, yes. I was on the Metro train that ran over the 68-year-old woman yesterday. About 2½ of the train’s packed cars had reached the platform when it came to stop that was abrupt enough to cause some inexperienced riders to topple over. We waited quietly for a few minutes before they turned the train and track’s power off. Standing next to the door and without the engines running I could hear people screaming for help. Even though our car was still pretty deep into the tunnel, it was clear something was wrong.

It was probably because I was so close to the door but it seemed that I was the only person in my car that something was amiss. The other passengers’ cheerful spirit resisted any developing concern. Even after the air circulation had been turned off for ten minutes, none of the chatter was about when we were going to start moving or what the problem was or how come no one in charge was talking to us. Everyone was upbeat and very obliging. It wasn’t until a metro official worked his way back to our car and told us to evacuate through the front of the train that a current of unease started to increase.

On the platform, we saw this.

It was clear that someone was or had been under the train. But while the police, uniformed Secret Service and Metro personal were still operating in a hurried manner there was no sense that this was a life or death situation. We were ushered off the platform with little explanation until the system-wide PA system announced (incorrectly, it turns out) that someone had been hit by a train.

The DCist reports on the quick-minded Houston transit cop saved her by sending under the platform’s lip. And Houston doesn’t even have a subway.

This morning, I tried to explain to the G how to drive through a road block if she’s being chased by the police. She had no interest in my lesson. But had I been a Houston transit cop, she would have been all ears.

eleventybillion violins

i'd write more, but functioning on 4 or so (maybe) hours of sleep these days has left me pretty useless in things as basic as putting on my pants correctly, let alone typing. also, i have a cold.

remind me to tell you about the pot roast later.

also, if you're going to spill an entire large burning coffee on yourself, may i suggest doing so while wearing tan/brown corduroy. Absorbtive (absorbative? absorbing-y?) and a coffee-friendly color. Hot mess today folks, literally.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

albums in 08

So, I've tried with both Cut Copy and Hot Chip, but I just can't help but thinking sometimes I'm actually listening to the Ross Gellar Experience.

Monday, January 12, 2009

the tale of the cursed pot roast will be told tomorrow

In other news, I just won a $100 bet with my spouse. That Kaplan University commercial DOES star Uncle Phil from "Fresh Prince."

pain don't hurt; i had four hours of sleep last night; why does my husband sleep cook, etc.

It was super exciting to leave my house for three hours this weekend to go celebrate CatAn's birthday, you know, the blonde skinny internet one resplendent in plastic tiara. I drank someone else's beer! I talked about public transportation! IT WAS AWESOME.

Not as awesome: how shabbily I expressed my excitement at Roadhouse being shown that afternoon on A&E. And also, the blank stares I got from certain ladies as I tried to discuss Roadhouse. I did not do my own emotions justice.

Until Saturday I forgot how much I love Roadhouse. For the five people in the world who have not seen this film:

Roadhouse is a cinematic tour de force from the mid 1980's directed by a guy named Rowdy. This small tidbit of info should tell you a lot right off the bat. It stars Patrick Swayze's pants, which are the craziest high waisted pants I have ever seen, potentially back in fashion now if it weren't for the elaborate system of front-pleats. The movie's tagline: "The dancing's over. Now it gets dirty."

Patrick Swayze and his pants are named Dalton. Dalton's the best bar bouncer in the US of A. His nights are filled with fast action, hot music and beautiful women. It's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it. Also IMDB reports "Dalton lives like a loner, fights like a professional. And loves like there's no tomorrow."


Dalton also lives in a really cool barn he rents from a guy who is the B-version of Uncle Jesse (Dukes not Full House) and does Tai Chi. In one of my favorite scenes, we learn he has a degree in philosophy from NYU. The chick he "loves like there is no tomorrow" is played by Kelly Lynch's stringy hair and whack white lace outfit (no bra.)

Really 92% of the movie is fighting (lots of broken glass and beer bottles, lots of inexplicably angry drunk rednecks, one guy has a shiv stuck in the toe of his cowboy boot), and the other few percentages are split between being shirtless and staring wistfully at the Bad Rich Guy's (named Brad, as all 80's bad guys are named; played by the same guy who was a lawyer on SVU a few times, holla; and who is a small town mobster or something and apparently his big claim to fame other than taking money from the townsfolk is "bringing a JC Penney to town" (?)) house across the river, giving himself stitches, and bro-hugging Sam Elliott.

Also in one scene a monster truck takes out a Ford dealership.

Anyway the end is really sad because the Bad Rich Guy ends up having Sam Elliott killed which is terrible because I love me some Sam Elliott. Sam in Fatal Beauty? Sam in Mask, one-half of the greatest cinematic couple ever, Rusty & Gar? Yes please. Yes please to Sam.

Jeff Healey played the wise blind bar singer. Wikipedia just told me that sadly Healey died this year but that also Healey was CANADIAN which I didn't know and somehow makes Roadhouse even more Roadhousey.

I have spent the past 15 minutes on the IMDB thread "Things I Learned Watching Roadhouse." Which might be the greatest internet forum ever.

So that about sums up my weekend, I just wanted to talk about Roadhouse and Sam Elliott on Saturday night and no one knew what I was talking about. The rest of the Sunday was spent wondering why my spouse woke up at 3 AM to cook a pot roast (true.)

Unrelated to movies from the 1980s and comforting dinner food: baby ape. Q: Who wants to go see that ugly shit? (A: I do.)

Now I will go do work.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Come on feel the 'Nois

There is no condition that turns affection into hatred faster than the casual loss of a glove. This pair of gloves were the best – soft and fleecy, not to puffy, professional looking yet rugged with extra grippy palms that could catch a football and cab equally well. Now I hates them. Or it.

One of them is in a blood-filled gutter or a bird’s nest or wherever lost gloves end up when they disappear in the city. The other one will sit in my drawer for the next two winters while I hope to accidently take a ride in the same taxi that I took on Tuesday. Fuck you lost glove for getting lost. And fuck you other glove for not getting lost and being an asshole loner. No one likes you. Enjoy those mustard packets and dried out Bic pens for the next few years. They’re your new family.

On the plus side, though, that taxi ride ended with a delicious sausage, deep-dish Chicago pizza and this poster.

If I only knew someone with a baby we could put this in their nursery.

Yea! Illinois! You’re in the news all the time now because you’re great and birth corndogs!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009



i used to work in a frame shop, when i left the owner gave me a set of the 1993-issued elvis stamps she had framed in a hideous gold gilt thing and matted in purple velvet. now that i have remembered this, i must find it. let's hope it's still in my parents attic.

Monday, January 05, 2009

guess who's back to work? That's right! You lose, Internet!


this brings me to another story about my mother

Amanda: hit me.

me: mom, staring rapt at the TV watching vince:
"Do you ever really really really think you need to buy one of these? Cause I do. Olympic swimmers use it."


me: "mom, no I don't. You want to know why? Because this guy claims I use 20 dollars in paper toweles a month. WHO USES $20 WORTH OF PAPER TOWELS A MONTH? That's insane."

Amanda: i've never thought about my paper towel consumption rate
i do use a lot of paper towels though
how much does one of those big target size packages cost?
cause those last about a month, maybe a month and a half
in our three-person household
probably not $20

me: hmm, okay. our giant assload from costco lasts a long time
but i bet its not 20 bucks

Amanda: yeah
twenty dollars on PT a month is ludicrous
screw you, shamwow guy

me: i hate him and his stupid headset.
why does he need a headset on TV?
its so fucking aggravating

Amanda: for the record: i do not want to do it with vince the shamwow guy

me: ugh
that accent
worst experience ever?

Amanda: yeah. he is neither dancing and singing like janet jackson to a sold out japanese stadium, nor is he on blogging heads. there are overhead mics, i'm sure of it.

me: i bet he cleans himself afterwards with a shamwow
i said it

Amanda: HAHA

me: you were thinking it but i said it

Amanda: hahahahaha

me: eww

Amanda: yup.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

hangover vs brain freeze

The only thing more pathetic and used up than a Toy’s R Us parking lot on Christmas morning is the scattered remains of an ice luge on New Year's Day. Melt in peace, the District sleeps.

this shit's bananagrams

So hey, new year.

Last night a few of us played bananagrams and ate delicious snack foods and misc. dips and missed the ball drop completely, i was asleep by 12:40 probably. Which, as K noted, is later than I made it last year for New Years, so, way to go me.

In keeping with my grand personal tradition of even years being awesome/odd years being cocksuckers, 2008 was pretty grand. I went to fort reno a few times, the beach a few times, was reasonably successful at work even though I was only around for 3/4 the year, and I had an excuse to go to bed early and watch lame reality tv and be fat with no one thinking too much the worse of me. I saw Dragon Wars (that might have been 07), won my first attempt at a fantasy football league, and met Ronnie Mervis.

Not-as-great things include a miserable trip to Las Vegas (which seems kind of comical now) and owning a cell phone that is the worst piece of technology I've ever encountered (thanks, Motorola!) but if those are the nastiest things that happened to me, well, great.

I'm getting less sleep than i did even back in 02/03 when i went out drinking every single afternoon/night of my life, but this time it's way more okay and even though it's still hard to get out of bed in the morning, it's just sheer exhaustion, not because the room is spinning. Well well, look who's an adult.

In other news, the dog threw up all over the basement this morning, and I go back to work on Monday.

HAPPY 09 INTERNET. Let's break the cycle of odd years being so odd.