Friday, December 29, 2006

HOORAY!


Holly from Nothing But Bonfires arrives today (checks clock...okay, I got an hour) from Singapore, so I've been frantically denuding Walter the Christmas Tree, vacuuming, washing dishes and trying to hide my yarn magazine and stash so she doesn't know what a nerd I am. My cleaning efforts are probably useless, but hopefully she'll be too jetlagged to noticed my dirty bathmat.

So I've got to make a proper English comfort feast for when she gets here, because she's bound to be missing her family and a little berserk about finding an apartment and a job and PARKING. Sean gets here sometime soon, but no one has any idea where he is (SEAN, WHERE ARE YOU?), with the two cats. Things are about to get very exciting in our little 600-square foot apartment. I envision Fat Charles and Sadie playing body roulette around the living room, while Beulah dashes joyously around on the perimeter, jaws deliciously agape, hurricane lanterns and monkey skulls ricocheting off the floor, with hissing and clawing and boxing of brown spaniel ears and a great bowing up and delirious bloodletting over all the land. My money's on Fat Charles.

I'll take video if it happens.

Any ideas for British comfort food? Toast, eggs, beans, stuffed tom-ah-toes? Something vile involving peas?

Oh hell, I've just spotted a whole nother pile of pine needles. I loved that tree, but DAMN! Did it have to die so MESSILY?

Gah! My phone is dead! Must call Cingular and kill someone.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

There's just something about extreme dehydration...

...that makes my skin clear up.

Really, I spent all day yesterday vomiting on an airplane and I've never looked better.

Christmas was wonderful, albeit fattening and a little exhausting. I'm sure my family feels the same way, since they did all the work while I played with babies. But Friday, my dad had a great oyster roast for most of our childhood friends in Charleston, with awesome venison chili and homemade oatmeal cookies and my favorite white trash dip (yum). I probably ate a whole box of oysters by myself.

And we ate at his parents and my parents and his brother-in-law's and had drinks with everyone under the sun, so I reckon I spent the whole week drunk and bloated. Nice. So that's why I just figured yesterday I had a hangover from too much rum punch in the country at oyster roast #2, when in actuality, a hangover does not generally cause fever and chills and throbbing kidneys and aching joints and vomiting 14 hours later.

I must say that I pride myself for being a tidy vomiter, always useful for college parties when younger (just kidding, Mom and Daddy). But that trait came in very handy while descending into Dulles airport yesterday afternoon at 4:30, when the urge I had been fighting all damned morning became too great. Fortunately we were at the dead rear of the plane, with no one seated next to us, and since the engines and flaps were so loud, no one heard me, and I found a bag in the nick of time. Simons was asleep next to me and he didn't even notice until he woke to my sobbing and pleading for gum.

So the six-hour flight from DC to San Francisco almost killed me, and I found out this morning that my poor mom, who worked like a slave to make a great holiday for everyone, has been hurling all night and is mewling in the bed too. Happy freaking Christmas!

So, in short, BLECH! And I hope everyone had fun and got lots of loot!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

In the event of an emergency, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling...


...in which case I want them to save my dog first.

Simons and I are heading home to Charleston tomorrow morning for the holidays, and naturally, because we have no children aside from one smallish, mulish, goatish, brownish farting cur, we shall be bring the dog home with us. Christmas Eve is, after all, her birthday. I saw her gigantic brown head enter this world, with much confused screeching on the part of her mother, poor sweet gentle lambdog that she is, and I can't bring myself to kennel Beulah Buckethead for the first time at Christmas AND her birthday. Or, you know, EVER.

The past two months have been spent making her luuuuuurve her crate. Nowadays if one of us says, "go get in your house," she goes skidding down the hallway, thrusts her nose in the door and pries her way into it. So, our work is done. Tomorrow is the final exam though. 10 a.m. PT through 11:30 EST in the crate. That's a long time and I don't like it, not one little bit.

So early tomorrow I'm going to take her to romp her ass off for the third day in a row, in hopes that she will be properly, um, emptied, and worn out for her journey.

But it still feels mean.

Anyway, probably no posting tomorrow, because I'm shutting Eudora down now and putting her in her hard case and piling clothes around her. God, I hope she makes it through too. I'll be knitting furiously on the plane tomorrow, obsessing over the state of things below. Everyone say a little prayer tomorrow, because we can't afford more vet care OR a new computer. So there.

Twenty-four more

Yea gods, I am pure.

Of course, I've had to put my own special touch (read "stupid") on these oh so lovely Christmas card thank you notes. Yesterday I spent two hours walking all over Russian Hill trying to find a place that sells envelopes. We thought ourselves so clever making our own cards this year...Special! Meaningful! Cheap! That was until it turned out that not one frigging store in this whole damned city sells envelopes. And don't even get me started about the mouth breathing moron I spoke to at the Walgreens.

Jemima: Hello, do you sell envelopes?
Moron: Yes, they're right there on Aisle Two.
Jemima: [waves card in his face] Yes, well, I need envelopes for holiday cards, not business or manila envelopes. Do you have those?
Moron: No we don't have any of those.
Jemima: [deflated] Do you know if any other stores do? I need to mail our Christmas cards today.
Moron: We sell holiday cards. Aisle Three.
Jemima: [waves card again] No, no, I don't need cards, just envelopes.
Moron: We have business envelopes. Go to Aisle Two.
Jemima: [bursts with impotent rage]

Finally, ten stores later, I staggered into the UPS store, where they pilfered all the envelopes from their birthday/graduation/Halloween/Get Well Soon cards racks. Which means that our Christmas cards...they are being sent in hot pink, orange, lime and flourescent yellow envelopes. They did give me some white ones, but those had to go to grown ups. So if you get a hideous orange envelope in the mail, know that I love you enough to know you won't care.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Thank You Notes

59 down. Only 300 or so more to go.

Kill me.

I'm living in terror that I will see people over Christmas who will ask me whether I've received their gifts, and then I will wither and perish of humiliation. Heaven forfend. So here I am at 12:33 a.m., writing feverishly when I would have much better have written a few a day for oh, the last six months.

I am a bad, bad bride.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Chocklit

Simons and I just finished making chocolate caramels. They're so good, we're considering not gifting them. Mmmmm...pretty too.

The Agony

I'm writing thank you notes (FINALLY) and I haaaaaaaaaaate it. I really am grateful, and would happily throw dinner parties for each person or make them individual chocolate caramels with sea salt imprinted in their name. But I HATE writing thank you notes. HATE IT! HATE IT! I'm combining some with Christmas cards, and some have the humiliating combination of Christmas card, thank you note for gift AND a thank you note for a party. See, I suck. And Mom, you're not allowed to comment here or in any other forum.

I actually am trying on one write it as a Christmas card/condolence letter/thank you, but I don't think it's working. Damn.

Chinatown

How much do I love Chinatown. I go at least once a week, for lunch or just to snoot around the different stores. There's a place that makes Peking duck, and hangs their strangely shiny and rubbery basted bits in the window. Did you know they use a bicycle pump to blow them up? There are towels embroidered with Madame Wu's face (I thought of you, WSS) and strange cartoon animals and custom coats and wedding dress shops. I love that the streets are hung with lanterns and banners, and even the street signs are on green copper poles with red pagodas. I'm like a crow for shiny objects, and go darting into shops to buy purses for $4 and parasols for my nieces and croon over all the delicious boxes.

My favorite store is the Wok Shop, which was just featured in Saveur Magazine, but I happened on it by accident when Amanda was out here for Thanksgiving. It's the tiniest shop imaginable and has more cooking implements than an entire Williams Sonoma warehouse all jammed in. There are things hung from the ceiling and on every beam and pole and shelf. The owner's name is Tane, and a more nervous and abrupt and completely helpful person I've never met. She's apt to tell customers to come back after Christmas when she's not so busy, and because everything is so packed and muddled, none of her salespeople are of any use. Tane's the only one who knows where anything is.

Since I first went, I've been back once a week for kitchen stuff, American and Chinese. I've bought a tea kettle, which Tane demonstrated by blowing through the spout to show me its whistle (I needed a loud one since I keep burning the butt off of mine), a wok, two wedding presents, a claypot and a dumpling press. I can get there by cablecar if I want to, but mostly just walk down the hill to Grant Street. I love, love, love it there.

I've also discovered the most amazing Vietnamese place right nearby, Golden Star, which is perfect for all of these spectacularly crappy San Francisco winter days. Well, Simons found it, but I claim it as mine because I order better than he does. They're known for their soups, which come out absolutely billowing steam and fragrantly exotic smells. I know for a fact you can order goat eyeballs, but not because I ordered it (shudder). I'm usually the only Caucasian in there, which I figure is likely a mark of its authenticity. Plus, it's always packed. Amanda pronounced it better than Slanted Door, although you wouldn't go there for presentation. Everything I've ever ordered has been so good, I've fallen on it like a starving man.

So I'm seasoning my new wok now, which stinks to high heaven. Tane decreed that i needed a traditional cast iron wok, with no wooden handles (hmph). So does anyone know any good wok recipes? I do have some catfish in the fridge now...

Friday, December 15, 2006

hysteria

Okay, here are the few things that have sent me into foam fit rages in the past few days:

* My Cuisinart safety features/design flaws
* The dog biting me
* Blogger switching between google and its old system and posting comments under my real name. What in the HELL is up with that?
* Blogger not posting my comments at all, equivalent of a blank stare and ignoring me
* The evil woman in New York whom I have to speak to fifty times a day. In retaliation, I have attached a photo of Satan to her name, so that it pops up whenever she calls. My other options were photos of a gigantic inflamed anus, Medusa, and an electron microscope photo of syphilis. I. Hate. Her.
* Expedia refusing all credit cards thanks to my frustrating name change debacle.
* This goddamn hat I'm knitting for my father-in-law. Ahhh, made with love.

So I think I may be losing control of my temper. I have given into the urge to stamp my foot and scream about six times a day, usually followed by tears of frustration. Maybe I need to get out more?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Pyschic

Crazy stuff. Little Miss Nobody sort of memed me with her iPod fortune teller post. You have to set your iPod to shuffle and ask it these questions. I did it twice:

How does the world see me?
First Round: Folsom Prison Blues (nice. thanks very much iPod. I've never shot anyone just to watch them die.)
Second Round: Store Bought Bones from the Raconteurs (grim and depressing. Must work on cheerful disposition)

Will I have a happy life?
First Round: Henry Parsons Died by Widespread (guess not.)
Second Round: I Do, And it’s All Because of You by Edie Brickell (much nicer sentiment.)

What do my friends think of me?
First Round: California by Joni Mitchell
Second Round: Everywhere I Go by Willie Nelson
(evidently my friends just think I'm gone. Harumph!)

How can I make myself happy?
First Round: This one was a track from a book on tape. Is my iPod suggesting I read a book? The next one was Cool for Cats by Squeeze, but I don’t think I’ll get a cat.
Second Round: When you Sleep by Cake ( I could nap)

What should I do with my life?
First Round: OOH! This one was a track from a learn to speak Italian!!! Hmmm…opening it up. Ooh! How to ask for directions. Surely I need to go to Italy.
Second Round: (I'm sticking with the Italy plan)

Will I ever have children?
First Round: Give Me Children by Will Oldham. (Actually, this was further down. The Guords song that was in this place was clearly a mistake. Because what do "Ants on a Melon" have to do with chirren?)
Second Round: Beat on the Brat from the Ramones (mwahaha)

What is some good advice for me?
First Round: Mambo Guajiro (So I should dance more?)
Second Round: Radio Cure by Wilco (more music? Ooh, I should have more parties. That's what my iPod is telling me)

How will I be remembered?
First Round: Take It to the Limit (Cool…I think….wait)
Second Round: Octopus’ Garden by the Beatles

What’s my current theme song?
First Round: Girl from the Greenbriar Shore by Ralph Stanley
Second Round: Tiny Idyll/Lil’ Missy by Jolie Holland (HOLY CRAP! Praying for someone who's gone to California??? PYSCHIC!)

What do others think my current theme song is?
First Round: Dear Prudence by the Beatles (wtf?)
Second Round: No One Else On Earth by Wynonna Judd (WTF?!)

What shall they play at my funeral?
First Round: Crazy from Gnarls Barkley
Second Round: Hold me and Tell Me from Norah Jones

Where should I look for inspiration next?
First Round: Summertime by Miles Davis
Second Round: I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl- Nina Simons
(Sex and warm climates??? HELL YES!)

@#$% BLOGGER

Blogger hasn't let me log in all day, and now only let me because I agreed to try their Beta version. Sneaky, aren't they? They "offer" to let me try it, but somehow I can only use my account if I do?

Bastards.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming...

Sorry about that. Eudora, my little white (well, used to be white anyway) iBook decided to die. Naturally, this while I was in the middle of two deadlines, and there was doom and rending of hair and a great wailing over all the land. Fortunately, I now live in a city that boasts of Apple stores, the kind you can walk into and lick all of the shiny glossy packaging and sniff the screens of new Mac Book Pros. Oh, the longing. However, I resisted the temptation of chucking poor Eudora's steaming corpse out into the street and purchasing a new one, and instead handed her over to someone I like to call Jesus, but his name is really Ben. He works at the Apple Genius Bar and can raise the dead...iBook. Lo, Ben spake, and the iBook rose, and Jemima genuflected, yea verily.

Anyhoo, I have her back now and shall post and post some more.

I guess I could do a whole Thanksgiving recap, but that would be boring, wouldn't it? I'll just do photos later. Suffice it to say I have 26 bags of turkey stock in my freezer, and i've been using the damned stuff as fast as I can. It's like there's no end to it!

Monday was sweet Simons' birthday, and tonight we are having friends over for a crab crack, seafood curry and cake. Three Cs. Unfortunately, I've already scoured the gross house and chopped the vegetables and bought the beer...so now what? Gah! I did the same thing on Thanksgiving! We all prepped so damned early, that I spent the rest of the day wringing my hands and wandering about touching things on the stove. This preparation is for the birds. I'll take a good panic any day! Simons must be rubbing off on me.

Hmph, how can I get even?

Lately, it's been seriously nasty here in San Francisco. Last week I told Simons it was going to start raining on Friday and he said, "and it won't stop till April." WHAT THE HELL? WHY DID NO ONE WARN ME ABOUT THIS! I haven't left the house in days. There is rain and chill and fog and mouldy homeless people lying in every doorway. I don't like it. I thought the Beach Boys were always singing about the "California Sun!" I never heard any Top 40 hits about the "California Pissing with Rain." I want answers!

Anyway, I bide my time by knitting. I'm up to about a hat or two a day now, and have done six of them since Saturday, plus two scarves, a baby sweater and some fingerless gloves. Soon I'll be all clawed and cobwebbed and people will call me Miss Haversham. I even went on a Knit Crawl on Saturday with Sonia and Erin...five knitting stores in one day, with a much needed detour to China Town for lunch to soothe my raging hangover with lemongrass beef. And (shame, SHAME) I even bought a knitting magazine the other day.

BUT IT WAS ONLY FOR ONE PATTERN! It's not like I took out a subscription or anything.

The dog is eyeing me desperately, so i must venture out into the bog. Bleh.