Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

That's my girl!!

After picking Luna up from her experience getting spayed at the Clinic instead of our VERY expensive Vet; Izzy and I met a nice young man who was adopting a kitten. Not only was he charming and handsome but his new kitty was adorable. It was the same dark gray color as his fleece jacket and Izzy told him he should name it "Fleece", which he immediately agreed was a great name. In that brief moment Isabel had a little epiphany and decided that her pets were so awesome and lucky that she felt the need to do something helpful for pets who were not so happy. She was inspired by one other little girl who had made blankets for the cats (pink on one side, blue on the other) that the cats could sleep on and take with them to their new home when they got adopted. Izzy immediately got to work not only donating her allowance but collecting change from her teachers and classmates and her visiting aunts & uncles who had gathered at our house last weekend. (Funky Chris & Auntie Gretch even shared their football winnings!) So today, the first day of Thanksgiving break, we drove out to Cherry Hill Rd and donated blankies, and old towels, kitty litter and $46.04 cash.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Twilight to Trueblood--keeping Fantasy "real"

I have always been very interested in the process of adapting books to screenplays. But I confess, I am a fangirl first. I am quoting Pam Pastor of the Phillipine Daily Inquirer when she points out that Meyer herself felt that Melissa Rosenberg had better be very careful...
..."The original script changed the passage, “And so the lion fell in love with the lamb,” but according to Producer Greg Mooradian, Stephanie (Meyer) suggested that they stick to the original because many girls have tattooed that line on their ankles."

yeah..that is my kind of obsession. I need every director, every producer to be as involved with the script as I am infatuated with the charatcers. The bar has been set quite high--Peter Jackson & Fran Walsh with thier work adapting Tolkien's volumes so vastly supercedes my first real experiences with this concept; that would be Peter Benchley for his work on Jaws and of course Lucas w/Star Wars in '77. Those early boys didn't do a bad job mind you, I'm just saying the BOOKS were light years (get it?) of vividness away from the dull mundanity of special effects. Trust me dear ones, the scene may not be "pretty" in my head but imagination is alive and potent in a way that no mechanical shark or "planet basketball" can begin to touch. Now despite my pride in my own imagination and my preference for the appearance of the characters, One of my favorite 36 hours ever was when Petey and I with R&T (of course!!) sat through a marathon of Jackson's series that ended at midnight when Return of the King was released. I was in heaven.

Not so much with the adaptations of the Harry Potter series. My opinion of those films can be easily summed up.

They suck.

These WB generated atrocities do however provide a nice transitional concept from St. Peter & his lovely Fran to Mr. Alan Ball. Who is confusing me no end. It seems that Ball has created another spawn monster--this one nearly as disappointing as the Harry Potty films. HBO's webpage describes the series thusly,

"A sexy, scary new drama from 'Six Feet Under' creator Alan Ball, 'True Blood' delves into the meticulously-crafted world of novelist Charlaine Harris."

Please excuse me while I laugh hysterically!!! *can't breathe* --- I like Harris' novel's very much. They are witty mysteries frosted with black humor. They are about as deep as a mud puddle-- they are primarily a formulaic vehicle for a quickie mystery (or maybe another kind of quickie if you are into Weretigers named Quinn. grrrrowl). A "beach book", fluff and nonsense. delicious! (You should maybe check out her Shakespeare series---it's not what ya think)

What Ball is doing to these books is like comparing eating a handful of fresh grapes to drinking a full bodied red wine. (or dare I say it? for a vamp...hunting vs a bottle of Trueblood (tm?) Not even the same thing!!! I am sure the producers at HBO have a hand in the soap opera like changes but I wonder if Harris is even in the library let alone on the same page!! The numerous and prolific differences between the text of the books would surely bore you; I could fill three pages. (WHERE is Ball gonna put Bubba* I ask?) And yet...I have to admit...

As with it's previous eyecandy-- Rome and The Sopranos, HBO has some tasty cinematography and Jace Evertt's theme song has wrapped around my spine. I'll be back in the summer for Season Two. Even if Jason isn't a werewolf, Tara is the wrong race and there are no interVamp politics.

Elvis' brain dead corpse?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

planning the T-day menu

Certain decisions need to go before the executive board--deep fried turkey or roasted?--rolls or loaf o'carbs? What flavors of pie...but one decision we have managed to keep for three years running is all ME!

Thanksgiving is whole--Local and in Season. No strawberries from chemical whip cream. Right now my turkey is still alive. The bird accessories are all local. I even found Michigan cranberries (which have taken THREE DAYS to dehydrate. Getting local yumminess isn't really hard for me.

I got a great email from the Co-op this morning...I'll just let Corrine's words speak for her--

In fact, Ypsilanti Food Co-op’s inventory exceeds 100 local product lines including pastas from Al Dente Pasta, canned vegetables... from Eden Organic (Clinton), Amish eggs, dairy from Calder Dairy (Lincoln Park) and Guernsey Dairy in Northville, breads, pies, and other baked treats from our own River Street Bakery (Ypsilanti), beer from Arbor Brewing (Ypsilanti), and wine from Sandhill Crane Winery (Jackson). --Corinne Sikorski

Some decisions do not need debate.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

culture clash

Isabel is currently enjoying a cartoon called Phineas & Ferb, one of the characters has a distinct British accent. While she was watching the show she commented to noone in particular that she "thought British accents are "sooo coool". Pete and I smiled knowingly to one another and let her enjoy her newfound Anglophile-y ness (Not a big surprise actually considering her 'rents.) The show itself is less nauseating than most Disney pablum... --dear ones, NOTE: we are NOT going to discuss the Wizards of Waverly Place. No. We are not. Of all the crap Disney has produced I find that even more offensive than their gendered stereotypes of female victimization. We are however going to make a big loop from Harry Potter to cooking--you ready??

Ok, so Carol got us a treat. She brought Zander & Ule-dawg over last Friday and we played and bummed around--watching the dogs romp and trying to convince them to act like old cats instead of rambunctious GSD puppies. They of course wanted to nothing to do with knitting or watching movies--well Luna did (post her recent surgery) but Ule was ready for some tag--thankfully it was soon lunch and we warmed up leftover Chinese fud and started talking cooking. (big surprise) And Carol produced the treat-- a packaged British import from Hillers!! YUM! previously I had asked her (knowing full well she too is an Anglophile of the highest caliber) if she was familiar with "treacle tart" which is supposedly Harry Potter's favorite pudding. She-- in an effort to remove some of my provincial attitudes-- was helping me broaden my horizons--we nuked the dessert. As we tasted it she immediately proclaimed it CRAP! and was not interested in further tasting. I personally wasn't offended and ate mine right up!-- unlike she and Pete I have never BEEN to England so I kinda liked the honey undertones of smoky sticky syrup, happily I didn't have a true experience with which to compare this little cake. She however, was disgusted and we launched into a full scale online search where she told me all about Delia the Brit version of Martha Stewart and we giggled about the hilarious blog we stumbled across here.
Our search led us to the various KINDS of treacle and of course the various brands. Including the famous rotting lion mentioned in the blog we found.
We read about Spotted Dick (Andre...hush) and Golden Syrup vs. Black Treacle, sponge cake vs angel food and generally had a lovely afternoon. While we briefly wandered off to Savory puddings such as Yorkshire et al, we didn't really reach any conclusions but we did enjoy pointing out to one another the whole "pudding" thing as being decidedly separate from American ideas of dessert.

So, upon my most recent restocking of the family pantry I purchased (from Hiller's they do have a great import section) a can of Lyle's Black Treacle. I am not sure why..or what I am going to do with it exactly --but the lion is definitely rotting and has flies buzzing above it and the motto on the tin sez..and this is a direct quote,

"Out of the strong came forth great sweetness."

What the....??? EWWWW!!! If I understand the "adVERTisment" correctly--I am supposed to believe that the sticky goo IN the can is rotted lion slime?? That is supposed to be appealing??? I'm s'posed to eat it??? As dessert??? What about the "treacle mines they taunt their children with???"--Decomposing lion??? ummmm No. I don't care if Harry Potter likes it...I'll stick to my familiar American sweetness--like Disney princesses and dessert w/out flies.

Saturday, November 15, 2008



The Children's High Level Group has permitted to offer 5 children and a parent or guardian the opportunity to attend the tea party at which J.K. Rowling will read an extract from The Tales of Beedle the Bard. To win an invitation to this special event, the parent or guardian of the child aged 8 to 13 can enter The Tales of Beedle the Bard Special Invitation Opportunity Prize Draw. There are 5 prizes to be won. Each prize comprises an invitation for a parent or guardian and their child, aged between 8 and 13, to attend the tea party in Edinburgh, Scotland, at which J.K. Rowling will read an extract from The Tales of Beedle the Bard PLUS an exclusive signed copy of J.K. Rowling's The Tales of Beedle the Bard Collector's Edition.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

Best thing about Winter in Ypsi

gotta support my girls!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Gluttony Day

A small holiday in which those who do not have daily access to Zingerman's come to my house and we cook. My Faillen brought pears and kale from the Kzoo Farmer's market (of which I have fond memories and trust me the few fond memories I have of Kzoo are precious!), then she, Garth & Kassia, Me & Petey shopped in Kerrytown, we mostly followed each other around and juggled bags of deliciousness giggling and fantasizing about food porn.

We hit the spice store first and only spent about $40 in there. (Smoked salt, sweet Spanish Paprika and two new colors of pepper... oh hey by the way??--don't snort freshly ground white pepper--NOT a smart move!)

I am sure our comedy troupe was amusing to the general public as we were trying to translate Rollo's instructions (via phone while he laid new flooring at their crib) and not get distracted from THE LIST. Last year we didn't make a list and while everything was incredible--it was...haphazard. This year we had a plan! An actual menu! The chicken, slab bacon & roast beast (grass fed of course) from Sparrow. I love it when Bob Sparrow smiles at me like I am his best friend. Gorgeous Shrimps from Monahan's, salmon from Tracklments.

When I found the red peppers I yelled back to Kassia & Vicky --I FOUND THE PEPPERS!--I know I startled a poor mortal when she jumped about three feet straight up from the fruit stand! But, she had a great sense of humor and yelled right back-- "I found the mushrooms!" Petey & Garth thought they were going to go to the deli w/out us but we womenfolk redirected their cute little asses right back over there and Faillen affirmed the truffle tradition.

Everybody has a dish--Kassia inspired the pesto shrimp & chicken skewers & Rollo finally achieved the chocolate covered bacon we have all been lusting after, and Faillen made a butternut squash risotto with purple Kale. Zoli made Minestrone soup. Izzy was in charge of the fondue into which we dipped challah, banannas, dehydrated raspberries and Zingerman's marshmallows into luscious dark chocolate. She also made her first pastry crust for the pear and cranberry tart. (we forgot the sugar--but it was very light and flaky and married well with the pears) Garth & Pete roasted a slab of bacon over an open fire and then smeared the unctuous dripping onto crusty bread. I was actually alarmed by that and kind of avoided the whole flammable fat on a stick game.

So we snuck in a game of Scrabble (Kassia won) while the beast roasted--OMG! I didn't tell you what we did to the roast!!
A coffee spice rub! Which was a new thing for all of us! For a four lb roast we mixed four tablespoons of freshly ground dark roast coffee, and then one tablespoon each white & red peppercorns, garlic powder, onion powder, & dried sage. That mix just smelled like BEEF--succulent gorgeous meaty YUM. Cooked that puppy til it was fork tender.

We had cheese and bread and wine and beers. It was awesome.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Damn pleasant

Petey drove by our new polling place at 7 this morning and the traffic was lined up 1/4 of a mile outside of the parking lot. I waited till ten--a slow time at the polls and in an effort to not add to the potential car congestion I rode my bike.

It is such a lovely fall day here in Washtenaw County. Unusually warm and bright, colorful leaves and blue skies. A great day for bike ride. I was filled with HOPE as I peddled past the three McCain signs on my route. I knew there were more Obama mama's a mere 2.9 miles away. I would flaunt my rainbow handle bar streamers and my crazy green ways, maybe set an outrageous example of independent thought for the folks who vote in the way of their grandparents. I took perverse pleasure in the sheer number of Green Party candidates listed on the ballot. I smiled as I filled in my bubbles.

Still... It was beyond weird to not go to Estabrook--I have been voting at Estabrook since 1994. I have even judged and observed voters there. But today at Roberto Clemente Elementary--I simply stood in line between one 20 something goober (I shall call him Bubba) and his mom (they completely epitomized the uneducated rural stereotype) and an 18 year old who was voting for her first time. The pride in her mom's face was evident and tho Matt and I didn't have the added drama of helping someone from our race to make history, I do remember the first time HE voted. It is right of passage. I felt all warm and fuzzy when the new voter slipped her ballot into the machine and the workers applauded. Quickly the whole room joined their applause and we welcomed her into adulthood.

I didn't recognize any of the worker's faces (in contrast I knew everybody by name at Estabrook; and in fact could predict how they voted from their yard signs!) but I was pleased to see that there was huge range of voters, soccer Moms w/toddlers in tow, elderfolk, quite a few ladies wearing hijab. Several leathery farmer types--it was comforting that they weren't all "Bubba" types who thought voting for medical marijuana was gonna let them get high legally. Nope, my new neighbors seem pretty damn diverse, and pleasant. The last time I got to experience a huge group of suburbanites was at the TWP meeting for the park last winter. THEY seemed rather...mmm... homogenous.

within 25 minutes I was sporting a new "I VOTED" sticker and was unlocking my bike for the quick trip home.

I can't wait to watch the results roll in. I have a little worm of worry. We have a lot of McCain signs around here. I KNOW that A2 is gonna be solid--but it will be exciting nonetheless.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


HOLY CRAP what a cluster F@#!

1-75 by 16 mile is NUTS!!! I hate traffic. By the time we got home from a "quick run" to Macy's to get a rug it was three hours later than we expected. We were both like NO MORE CAR!!! So we vetoed going to Kate & Vickie's party in Kzoo. We suck. I was especially sad when I got Tinn's phone message. He made it sound like he was going to go. So no Jay & Silent Bob this year.This sadness was pushing toward cranky despite Harold's being the most awesome rug salesman in the world. We got a great deal on a rug (75% off!!) No lunch (on purpose cuz I was saving calories for party treats that night) But...Then we got lost by Gorman's furniture store and went up and down the same road three times-- but we did finally start designing from this base to create our very own unique special one of a kind settee for the library. It should be here in 3-10 weeks. So good karma for the library bad karma for the social life.