Words….Witticisms…Whimsy…Whatever!

Archive for February, 2013

“They move around a lot.”

The Avett Brothers were in town last week, and as you may or may not recall, I got tickets for Klondike (and me) for Valentine’s Day. (He was totally fake-surprised.) Some might say, “Gee, she got HIM tickets for a concert SHE wanted to see….”  Fortunately, Klondike likes it that I’m selfish. Wait. No. That’s not what I meant. Never mind, that’s not what this post is about. 😛

Anyway, I was right, back in the last post when I was supposing that the concert would be something to see. They put on a spectacular show. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything quite like it.

A friend who has been a long-term fan of the Avetts had said something a few days before the concert that I thought was kind of odd. “You know, they move around a lot.”  Um….ok. It’s not as though I haven’t been to a concert before. I’m familiar with the idea of a live performance compared to….I don’t know, the radio?

Yeah. No. They move around a lot.

I have been to concerts where they put on a good, lively show. I feel like I saw Billy Joel climb partway up the rigging or something many moons ago.  But I have never seen someone gambol about a stage while playing a freaking cello. Not a guitar. Not a banjo. A CELLO. Well, never until last week. There was much bouncing and dancing and wild hair flinging and general music-making mayhem by all. With some low-key, pretty songs interspersed. In short, it rocked.

I will say, there were some other things that set this apart as a unique concert experience for me. I sort of felt that they let us in by mistake. I’m pretty sure everyone else in the sold-out audience was president of the fan club, whereas Klondike and I just enjoy their music and a good show. It seemed that every song they played was everybody’s favorite.  You know how everyone sings along with Billy Joel when he plays “Piano Man”? Every. Song. was a singalong. Almost to the point of being annoying – I didn’t come to hear you sing, I came to hear them sing. EVERY SONG. It was so peculiar. (ps, I tried to come up with an example other than Billy Joel to show some diversity in my concert-going history, but nothing captured it better than “Piano Man” did. Trust me when I say I’ve been to lots of concerts across a wide spectrum of musical genres.)

This also was an evening to be reminded that I am old and out of practice. I haven’t been to a concert in, oh, a while. I forgot that they don’t necessarily start on time. The other things I buy tickets for, like theater and sports, are pretty precise with the timing. Concerts, not so much. I also forgot that there is always an opening act, even if they don’t tell you there will be. And the standing – it never once occurred to me that we would stand the entire time. Old. Out of practice. Sigh….

But all in all, an outstanding (snicker) experience, and I’m quite happy that I didn’t miss the boat.

For your enjoyment.

Please note, they’re quite restrained (and short-haired) in this clip. It’s not to illustrate my points, I just really love this song. 🙂

What’s on tap?

Until yesterday, I had never taken a dance lesson ever my life, unless you count things like when you’re forced to square dance in gym class in grade school.

Oh my god, that is a total lie. Before we were married, my ex-husband (of course, he was my fiancé then – I really get tripped up on terminology talking about someone whose status has changed) and I took ballroom dance lessons for about a year. I can do approximately two steps in each of the following: waltz, fox trot, cha cha, rumba, samba and polka. I can do maybe six swing steps – enough to show off at weddings. I can’t believe I forgot about that.

Let me try this again. I never took dance lessons as a kid. I’m not necessarily what you would call coordinated, or full of rhythm. And it wasn’t anything I had a burning desire to do.  I tried (and quickly abandoned) gymnastics, took lessons and played lots of tennis, went to photography and journalism summer programs, but don’t ever recall asking for dance lessons. (You’re welcome, Mom.)

As an adult, I have developed a fascination with tap. I just think it’s super cool. How can you not love the click click click?  So when Sunshine emailed some of the girls and asked who might be interested in exploring tap lessons, I was STOKED. Me, me, pick me, I’ll do it!!!!! I don’t even know what sparked the idea for her, but I’m so glad it was tap she wanted to try and not….anything else.  A crew of 5 brave souls was assembled. We purchased shoes. (I AM GOING TO WEAR THEM EVERYWHERE!!!!) And last night, we had our first class with Miss Anna.  (I’m not 100% positive her name is Anna. Let’s just say it is….nope, it’s Donna. Sorry Miss Donna!)

I was stupidly excited as I cruised across town to the school where our class is. How often do you get to do something new and goofy and fun, with a gang of cool peeps? Not often enough, in my world.

It was such a hoot; I had a total ball, and I can’t wait till next week’s class. As soon as I got home I put my shoes back on so I could bop around the house practicing what we’d learned. And fucking it up horribly. 😉  I’m really good at pretending I know how to tap, though. Just ask Ruby. I can make a lot of clatter with my tap shoes. I’m pretty sure that’s a sign I’m going to be awesome. Plus, tap dancers often look kind of stiff and awkward in their upper body, and I already have that part down pat. I’m totally a natural. 😛  In fact, I’m so good at holding my upper body still – some might say clenched – that my neck and shoulders were totally stiff and sore. I think it was from concentrating so. dang. hard. on what my feet were doing.

Anyway, this is my new adventure. I’ll keep you posted on when and where we’ll be making our big performance debut – bwahah!

Jon, one of the troupe members (yes, we’re a troupe goddammit!), sent me this video. I’m pretty sure this is where I’m headed. Ruby is a little more dubious.

 

(Can you believe how patient that dog must’ve been to learn that????)

Tap on, my friends!

Let there be soup!

My mom does not cook with a crockpot. There is no commentary in that, it’s just a statement of fact, by way of explaining that I don’t know how to use a crockpot. Most of my cooking foundation comes from what I grew up with, which I assume is true for a lot of us.

When I got married, he wanted to register for a crockpot, so we did, and we got one. I still didn’t know what to do with it. Amazingly, he did. He would throw some things into it before leaving for work, and when we came home at the end of the day, presto, the house would smell amazing and there was a roast with yummy carrots and potatoes. Like magic! During the treaty discussions of The Great War I certainly never made a play for the crockpot; clearly it belonged with him, when he could wrest such deliciousness from it and I had yet to unlock its mysterious charms.

Jump to Thanksgiving night a few years ago. I was chilling on the couch in jammies (duh) flipping through the Black Friday ads just to see what the popular deals were that year. I am not a Black Friday shopper. I don’t get up at four in the morning for anything, certainly not to stand in line at Big Box Nation to get a good deal on something electronic. I used to joke that Black Friday discriminates against night owls – I wouldn’t get up early to shop, but I might stay up late to shop, if there were any reason to. And then lo and behold, I discovered that Walmart (I know, I know – trust me, I only shop there about once every two years) had midnight deals. Nothing too exciting, just something to keep people occupied and in the store till the actual deals kicked in. Including a crockpot for $9.99. Also a coffeepot for $9.99, something else I didn’t have (or have much need for, because coffee is foul, but sometimes I have company).  So I decided what the hell, pulled on clothes (even I don’t wear jammies to Walmart), and ventured out. They were handing out maps showing where in the store to find the deals – crockpots, for example, were on a pallet in the middle of women’s clothing – wha ha? Maybe this is a typical Black Friday tactic to confuse and make people move throughout the store? Whatevs, map in hand, I found the pots, coffee and crock. I picked up a baby crock for another $3.99 – what the hay. I was back in jammies on my couch by 1. Not too shabby.

Fast forward again to 2013. My lovely crockpots are sitting in the basement, still waiting for some action. I have used the big once or twice to warm up things like cocktail meatballs for a party, but that doesn’t count. I want the magic of food that makes itself! Conveniently, one of the recipe enewsletters I subscribe to sent me a recipe for a magical self-making chicken taco soup that sounded like a good first adventure. And guess what – it worked! I threw a bunch of stuff into the crockpot, I left it alone all day, and poof! it made dinner! It was not too shabby, either. A little spicier than I like my food, but I’m a wuss. I don’t eat sour cream (gack!) but I can understand how it would go with this. I froze a large bowl for another day, and took to some over to a friend’s house too. (Finding crockpot recipes for one might be a challenge – any suggestions?) But I like sharing food so I can roll with it.

The recipe comes from allrecipes.com, but here it is for your lazy bastards who can’t do your own internet searches. 😉 In case you want it.
 

Slow-Cooker Chicken Taco Soup

  •     1 onion, chopped
  •     1 (16 ounce) can chili beans
  •     1 (15 ounce) can black beans
  •     1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  •     1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  •     1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer
  •     2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
  •     1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning
  •     3 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  •     shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
  •     sour cream (optional)
  •     crushed tortilla chips (optional)
  1. Place the onion, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, beer, and diced tomatoes in a slow cooker. Add taco seasoning, and stir to blend. Lay chicken breasts on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly until just covered by the other ingredients. Set slow cooker for low heat, cover, and cook for 5 hours.
  2. Remove chicken breasts from the soup, and allow to cool long enough to be handled. Stir the shredded chicken back into the soup, and continue cooking for 2 hours. Serve topped with shredded Cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips, if desired.

chicken taco soup
THAT’S IT! TWO STEPS! Presto, soup!!!! (Yeah, my mind is easily blown.)

Next time I make it I’ll try some modifications. No chili beans. Maybe some additional black beans, or another bean. Maybe tomatoes without the chilies – I like my food flavorful, but unspicy.  🙂

If you have any favorite crockpot recipes, please share!!

Oh, and ps, the $10-coffeepot was shit, at least according to the people who were served its coffee. My coffee-fiend father had a spare which now lives at my house.  I don’t know how to use it, but it’s here if you want coffee. 😀

Things that annoy the crap out of me

  • People who slow down wayyyyyy too much for speed bumps. (As in, almost to a standstill.)
  • The french fries at Steak n’ Shake
  • Nicki Minaj
  • Raspberry seeds. Also, when I get obsessed trying to dislodge a raspberry seed, and I keep trying even when it’s long gone.
  • When I forget that my bra has a teeny, tiny hole in it that allows the underwire to stab me.
  • Anytime someone on a reality TV show references his/her “journey”. Unless it’s The Amazing Race, where they are, in fact, “traveling from one place to another, usually taking a rather long time,” as in the actual definition of the word. Not when they are idiots going on fake dates or quasi-famous people learning to dance.
  • When I don’t throw away the bra with the teeny, tiny hole in it, putting it away to wear again someday.
  • People who treat Facebook like Twitter
  • Twitter
  • When autocorrect changes an ACTUAL WORD to another, no more superior, actual word. (Examples: gave/have, toes/ties, dog/dig)
  • That the laces on that one pair of cute black shoes won’t stay tied. It’s actually just the right shoe. WHY won’t it stay tied??
  • People who talk excessively about gluten.
  • People who are late for yoga on a regular basis.
  • My stupid flipper-shaped size 10.5 feet.
  • The fact that women’s shoes run in half sizes until you get to size 10, at which point they only come in whole sizes.
  • Nicki Minaj. I know. I already said that. But seriously.
  • That some passwords have to be no more than 8 characters long and some have to be at least 13 and some have to have special characters and some canNOT have special characters. How on earth are we supposed to remember which is which is which?
  • When people don’t turn on the turn signal until they’re already turning. It’s so I know you’re going to turn, not that you already are turning – I have eyes.
  • People who invade my space bubble.
  • People who say “wah lah” when they mean “voila”.
  • Couples who share a Facebook profile. Or an email address. Um, hi. Codependent much? THEY’RE FREE. Get your own, you lazy bastard. You’re married, not conjoined.

This list is by no means exhaustive. I’m confident I’ll think of five more things as soon as I hit “publish”. 😀   And I promise I’m not really a cranky bitch; I just needed to share.  (Plus, Nicki Minaj is dreadful and like nails on a chalkboard.)  What’s’ on YOUR list?