Saturday, January 26, 2008

Dan, Dan, Dan...

Thanks to my blogosphere friend Dantallion for tagging me with a meme. If he weren't so handsome and charming, I'd have to think twice. But I like having handsome and charming guys indebted to me. :-)

Here are the rules:

-Link to the person that tagged you.
-Post the rules on your blog.
-Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
-Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
-Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

(I'm not doing the last two. I'm stopping the madness here.)

Okay, so here we go:

1) I am a list-maker. You will find lists all over my house and at my office. I can't seem to get anything done without one. Of course, list-making isn't perfect. If I skip to a new page and start making a new list, I have to remind myself to review the prior pages' lists or otherwise, things fall through the cracks. It took me four days to respond to this meme request because it didn't go on a list.

2) Selfish drivers annoy the hell out of me - to the point that I'd like to design/patent a battering ram device to smack them when they do positively stupid things on the road. They are the ones who pull in front of you on the street or highway and then immediately slam on the brakes and make the next turn or exit, and do so as if their transmissions suddenly filled with molasses. They pull far enough out into roadways from parking lots and sideroads so as to endanger those drivers who HAVE the right-of-way because they apparently need a telescope to see the oncoming traffic. They babble and text on cellphones while endangering all other drivers around them by driving too slowly or not paying attention to things like, oh, say, traffic lights (because they can't think and talk at the same time). They cut across traffic and inconvenience forty other drivers waiting at an intersection because they "need" to make a left turn because they are too lazy and inconsiderate of others to go to the next possible point to turn and do so safely.

3) I hate beer and I am not that fond of wine; I skipped those and went straight to hard liquor. My favorite brands are Ketel One and Chopin vodkas, Patron Silver tequila, and Canadian Club whiskey. You would never go wrong buying one of those brands for me (hint, hint).

4)I have trouble finding time to file things because it is so time-consuming. Hence, my office is often a mess. But I know where to find things and I frequently impress/surprise coworkers when they ask about something and I am able to pull it from the midst of a stack with very little sifting. Consequently, when I do file, it can throw off my "balance" for weeks.

5) I am too detailed in conversation, but I can't seem to help myself. I add too much detail to a conversation explaining the nuances of why I chose a particular action or why a certain thing was done a certain way. It's a good thing I am married to someone who understands this habit and is as bad about it (or worse) than I.

6) I am obsessive about toilet/bathroom cleanliness. When I go to someone else's house, I notice whether or not the base of the toilet is clean...a pretty good standard to judge the rest of their cleanliness standards by.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Okay, Dan, okay...

:) Yes, I promised you follow-up yesterday. I have been swamped at work, and have been going in at 8:00 and getting home at 8:00. I have a couple of more days of that to go, and we have company coming this weekend, so we have been tyring to clean the house a little at a time each night. I get home, I immediately launch into housecleaning for one hour, and then it's time to watch a little television or do some computer work and go to bed. So that's why I missed my intended follow-up.

So we went into the city on Saturday for a little fun. We met up with Byrne and Patrick. We caught the 2:00 p.m. matinee of the Broadway show The Farnsworth Invention, which stars Hank Azaria as media mogul David Sarnoff and chronicles the invention of television (the idea was formed in 1921!) by a young man named Philo Farnsworth. Farnsworth spent a long number of years trying to get his invention to work properly, and the show chronicles his work and the rather dirty work of Sarnoff. Written by Aaron Sorkin, the creator of The West Wing, it moved at a very speedy Sorkin clip, so much so that sometimes it was hard to make out certain pieces of dialogue. It was a very good show, well-cast and well-acted, and the sets were somewhat spartan but what props there were, were nice, and thoughtfully executed. Some of the chandeliers they used, for example, were simply gorgeous 30s and 40s period pieces.

In any event, I was a little disappointed with the ending, but I really enjoyed the overall show, and it made me feel like Broadway still has some good stuff to offer...once in awhile. We don't need another movie made into a Broadway show.

After the show, we decided to have a drink, so we walked over to a bar called The Ritz. It had a crowd of guys mostly our age or older, and a lot of them had a lot more attitude than they should have for their age. Apparently we were sitting in the seats that some regulars to the place usually haunt; they arrived about 20 minutes after we got there. They were in a bit of a snit over it. Too bad.

I drank Canadian Club whiskey sours, Byrne drank dirty martinis, and Patrick was drinking vodka and cranberry juice. Jess drank Diet Coke, since he's my designated driver. The bartender mixed his drinks strong; mine were a lot of whiskey and a little sour mix...and they were terrific. So terrific that I ordered four of them. I never have four drinks, certainly not four strong ones. Holy crap.

After about 90 minutes of fun conversation, we left there a lot more wobbly than we went in, and then we walked to find some food. We wound up at a burger joint called Lucky's, and I don't know whether it was the buzz or just the food, but it was delicious. I had a chicken sandwich and some very tasty onion rings. I don't remember what anyone else had (bombed!), but we enjoyed about another hour's worth of conversation there.

Leaving and going our separate ways, Byrne to Astoria, Patrick to midtown,and us to Long Island, we caught the train and were home by 9:00. It was a nice day.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

On the way

It's late. I will post tomorrow about our weekend jaunt into the city with Byrne and Patrick, where we saw a show, drank ourselves happy, and had a deliciously greasy dinner.


Well, I got the permanent dentistry installed on Friday. The difference is dramatic for me, because I have had unattractive teeth since age 6, when I was given tetracycline to combat an infection. The effect of that medication was grayish stains across the bottom third of most of my teeth, some with mottled enamel that just looked terrible. The worst-looking of all the teeth were those on the top in the front. So those were the ones I had fixed. A number of the others on the top have porcelain fillings or crowns, so they look nice, but they aren't the ones you notice.

At any rate, now my teeth finally look great, and although I had to wait decades for it, what a great feeling it is to have nice-looking teeth!

Before: I posted two pics here; one without pointers and one with, so you can refer to the pointer version to see what the damage was and then to the clean version to see the whole smile more clearly, and see what I have been seeing every day for decades.

After: at last, a smile I can be proud of!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

...or not

The damned temporaries popped off AGAIN tonight. Screw this. I am not making another trip to the dentist for just one day more in the temporaries. I just won't open my mouth tomorrow. Friday, the permanent ones get put in, and they damned well better not fall out! Is it uncomfortable with the teeth exposed to air? A little. That'll make it easier to keep my mouth shut. It's probably good that way anyway.

all's well that ends well

Well, I showed up at the dentist's at 9:00 a.m.; only his primary exam room was lit. Not a soul in the place except him. Wednesdays are his day off, so I felt bad that he had to show up just to take care of my problem.

Anyway, I was all prepared to have to spend another hour or two in the chair, and I really didn't have the luxury of spending that time there instead of work, where a large volume of work is piled high on my desk and I had four different items on deadline for today. But twenty minutes later, he was doing the final sanding/polishing and I was ready to go. He didn't have his assistant there to help him, and he apologized in advance that it would take longer than usual because she knew where to find everything and he didn't.

As I was leaving, I apologized for his having to come in just for me, but he shrugged it off and said not to worry about it.

Then he dropped the bomb.

"No, don't worry about it. After all, we can't have you walking around looking some kind of Frankenstein, can we?"

Gee. Thanks. Doc.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I had about three hours worth of painful dentistry work done on Monday. I had some temporary crowns put on. I was to go back Friday for the real ones, two more hours of pain. In the meantime, I was to eat carefully so as not to disturb them. I did fine all day Monday and all day Tuesday. In the evening, I got home from work, fixed dinner and began to eat, but like a retard, I bit down in the wrong way and pow! the crowns went flying off. What's more, they're on front teeth, and what's underneath is not pretty since it's been ground down. I called the dentist's emergency number, and he is going to put the temporaries back on in the morning, thank God, but for now I look like Emperor Palatine. Aaaaagggggghhhh!

And no, don't you dare ask why I didn't post a picture!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

By request

Okay, so Dantallion requested the recipe for my spicy Tex-Mex chicken casserole. I don't always give out recipes; some I do, some I don't. I am beginning to compile a cookbook, so in order for you to buy it, you'll want to know that there are recipes in there that you don't have already. Who wants to pay for recipes they have?

At any rate, this recipe will be in the book, because it is one of Jess' and my favorites. So it's my freebie to you. :-)

King Ranch Chicken Casserole
1 whole chicken, baked or boiled to internal breast temp of 160F; or 4 chicken breasts prepared the same way
1 dozen corn tortillas (I omit these to make low carb)
1 can (10.75 ozs.) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 can (10.75 ozs.) condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 cans (4.5 ozs ea) chopped green chiles
1 cup milk or half & half
1 tablespoon finely grated white onion
4 Tbsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. ground cumin
1/4 c. fresh cilantro, leaves only
1 lb. shredded sharp cheddar cheese, grated, divided in thirds

A shortcut for baking or boiling the chicken is to use a whole rotisserie chicken and remove the skin. Because of the seasoning and marinades used, you will get a slightly sweeter result, but still delicious. This is best if you assemble it the night before and refrigerate it overnight, baking it the next night, but it can be assembled and baked immediately and it will still be good.

Cut chicken into medium-sized pieces. Cut tortillas into 2-inch-wide strips and set aside. Mix remaining ingredients, except shredded cheese, in a bowl.

Butter a large casserole dish (9x13x2). Place a layer of tortillas, a layer of chicken, one-third of the grated cheese, and half the sauce. Repeat layers again, and sprinkle remaining one-third of cheese over top layer of sauce. Refrigerate 24 hours for best results, or you may bake immediately. Bake at 300F for 1.5 hrs.

If you're not eating low-carb, this is great with a corn, cilantro, tomato and black bean vinaigrette salad served on the side.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

Well, 2007 has passed and we're into a new year - and hopefully 2008 will bring better things than 2007. We started off the year with a productive day, and hopefully there will be more of those than in 2007, too.

After hosting friends for New Year's Eve, we had some cleanup work to do in the morning, and we did that. Then the year got off to a very productive start: I made a spicy Tex-Mex chicken casserole and a 9 x 13 casserole-sized chicken pot pie. From scratch. While I was doing that, Jess gave each of the three doggies a bath, something they hope doesn't happen more often in 2008! Of course, if we were able to, and it was less trouble, they'd get baths more often, but they despise it, so it's just as well, I suppose.

One big resolution for this year is to clean out the garage and the furnace room, both of which have been packed with junk for about three years. I hope we succeed.

As I get older, my New Year's resolutions and wishes become more and more like those of my parents. What's your New Year's resolution?