Friday, March 30, 2012


Though honestly, I think this best describes my mood for the past few weeks on any given day.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hot Tottie

So, I like to think I'm pretty handy in the kitchen.  I've been known to whip together a gourmet holiday meal or two in my day (individual beef wellingtons with Gorgonzola and Madeira mushrooms?  Why, yes, I'll have those for you momentarily).

However, due to current budgetary restraints and the fact that I'm living with someone whose tastebuds have not developed past a 8 year old's level, I find myself struggling, awash in very simplistic, cheap easy meals.

And I'm not knocking it whatsoever.  In fact, I'm finding these meals quite comforting and gratifying.  Even delicious, if I do say so myself.

Thanks to Pinterest, I have recreated such instant classics as "pizza casserole", "copycat Outback Alice Springs Chicken" and "Chicken Pepperoni" and I declare them all "the bomb" as the kids like to say.  And since they've all been given two thumbs up by tasters with discriminating palates, I've decided to volunteer my own cheap, easy and quick (that's what she said) dish prepared just last night, and cultivated from a variety of recipes found across the world wide web.

Behold: the Chili Cheese Tater Tot Casserole:


1 lb. ground beef
1 med sweet white onion, chopped
1 15 oz can ranch beans, undrained
1 14.5 oz can chili style diced tomatoes*, undrained
1 packet chili seasoning (your choice, I used McCormick's regular, because we don't like it too hot, but do like a bit of spice)
4 cups Mexican-spiced shredded cheese* (16 oz pkg)
1 2 lb bag tater-tots (you will have some left over)

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease a 9x11" casserole dish with non-stick spray, or butter, margarine, oil, whatever.

Brown ground beef and onions together in a skillet until beef is no longer pink and onions are soft.  Drain.  While meat is draining, add tomatoes, beans and seasoning packet to skillet and stir together.  Add beef/onion mixture & give a couple more stirs til all is blended. At this point, the chili may appear very thick and you may feel the urge to add water to loosen it up, but resist that urge!  It's going to loosen up quite nicely in the oven.

Pour chili into greased casserole dish.  Add 2 cups (half the package) of cheese on top.  Layer frozen tots on top of cheese (like I did in the pic up there; isn't it cute and all neat and pretty)?

Cook uncovered in oven for 30 minutes.  After 30 min, sprinkle remaining cheese on top of tots and continue baking for 5 min more, or until cheese gets nice and melty.

Let stand 5 min at room temp before serving, then voila!  

(after, not as neat & pretty but damn tasty)

A hearty, tasty, and not necessarily healthy but generously portioned meal for four.  You could serve with a nice salad as a side if you want to appear to be fancy and healthy, or you could just enjoy a big bowlful of this and finish it with Ben & Jerry's Karamel Sutra for dessert if you want to throw caution to the wind and really wreck your diet.  Your choice.

*Note: I used the store brand version of these ingredients (what up, Kroger!) and they worked great for this...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Pondzi Scheme

So, my new obsession is with water gardens/koi ponds, however you want to call them.  I've always wanted one, but never had the yard to really do it, or the financial resources to start one from scratch.

However, since moving into Bella Cucina*, and finding a ready made already dug cement pond in the front yard, I have been on a mission to turn this:

into this:

or something like that.  You get the idea.

Well, right now, we are a bit strapped for cash, so all I can do when I'm sitting outside smoking my soon-to- be-last-I-swear cigarette, is stare wistfully at that barren, stagnant pool of water and dream.

And get eaten alive by mosquitoes. Oh yes.  Fucking mosquitoes love stagnant water, and they love me because I'm sweet and juicy and desirable in Bugland.  So, instead of my luxurious water garden, I have a gross stagnant Skeeter Pond which is sure to become more unbearable as the temperatures get even warmer, and more depressing to me because not only do I NOT have my luxurious and relaxing tranquil pool of beauty, I will be miserable and covered with huge itchy welts.

Sidebar: Did you know that mosquito hawks do NOT, in fact, eat mosquitoes? I don't think any recent knowledge has pissed me off more than learning that quaint fact.  In fact, I'm in such disbelief over this betrayal that I keep forgetting that they don't, and I get all excited when I sit outside and see one flying around and think "Yay!  Take THAT you blood suckers!"  But then I remember that they don't...and so I get mad and smush them for their uselessness while yelling "Take THAT, vile deceptive creature!"**

So what was the point of this post again?  Oh, yeah, so I'm slowly but surely getting my pond garden ready.  First, a trip to Lowe's to purchase a product called Mosquito Dunk, which is supposedly safe for animals and plants while killing mosquito larva, thusly preventing them from maturing and biting me in the ass.

Next, cleaning out the pond, which once done, I have been promised that I can then purchase water lilies and associated accoutrement.  Someone obviously knows me well enough to know that I have the habit of purchasing things which may or may not sit in my kitchen and wilt and die because I'm too lazy to take care of the less fun parts of the project, which in this case, includes scooping wet, rotting garbage out of a cement hole.  Whatever.

Hopefully, I'll soon have "after" pics to post of my water garden, which I feel is the only thing which may save my sanity at this point.  In the meantime, I have satisfied my green thumb by planting daisies:

(which, actually, after reviewing the picture, do not look very good.  God, I hope they're not dying.  Maybe they're just going through the adolescent growth spurt phase before they settle into beautiful adulthood).

I've also planted a tray of seeds which, according to the packages, should bloom into gorgeous snapdragons and canterbury bells:

(before, obviously)

(projected outcome)

We shall see.

*Bella Cucina = beautiful kitchen
**No mosquito hawks were actually harmed during the writing of this post; comment added for comedic value only.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Smokin' Hot

Okay, so yeah, I'm a smoker, and have been for going on like...20 years.  It seriously is a hard ass thing to quit, lemme tell you, especially when you have no desire to quit whatsoever.  Whew, then it's really rough!

However, I've recently moved into a residence where there's no smoking inside.  I know.  One part of me was like, "there's no way in hell, screw this place!" but then I saw the kitchen, and was all in awe and in love with it and stuff, so the other part of me was like, "dammit!"  At least there's a chair on the porch.

Yes...I have a porch...with a rocking chair.  It's awesome.

So, while I haven't been successful in completely giving up the cancer sticks (there's been stress lately accompanied with thoughts of murder and mayhem) having to go outside has definitely cut down on my formerly one pack a day habit.

Plus, other than the bonus of it being cheaper (are you kidding me with how expensive those things are?  As JJ* would say, "it's riDICulous!) I have to tell you, I really do love living in a house that doesn't smell like smoke.  I love that my clothes don't smell like smoke, I love not opening the door and being accosted by the fumes of tobacco and tar.

Basically, I love not living in a cancer house.  I've always been like that, though.  I smoke, but I don't like smelling like it.  I'm the asshole who reserves a non-smoking room in a hotel and smokes in it because yeah, I'm gonna smoke, mother fucker, I just don't want to stay in a room that smells like someone else's smoke.  Mmmhmm, yep, I think I'm entitled and shit.  Okay, but before you yell at me about that, I'd just like to clarify that I actually do not do that anymore, so don't even start.  Number one, I don't have the bank to stay in any hotels, and number 2, I got busted and thrown out of a hotel once for doing just that, so I learned my lesson.

Which brings me to the point of this post which is, essentially, a simple two step guide on giving up smoking written by a smoker who has not yet given it up, but certainly appears to be heading in that direction, so who better to give unsolicited advice?

Kathleen's Awesome Guide to Awesomely Quit Smoking Those Awesome Cigarettes.

1.  Move into a residence where it is against the rules and is written into your lease that no one is allowed to smoke inside of the house at any time for any reason.

2.  Don't be a rule breaker.

Ta dah!  That's all it takes, and you too will one day be an almost former smoker like me.  Good luck!

Lesson of the day: Being a sloppy smoking drunk may seem cool in your 20s but go ahead and plan on giving that shit up on your 29th birthday because after that, it ain't pretty.  And on that note, I would still like the following song to be played at my funeral (I just don't want that funeral to be like, you know, next week or anything) :

*JJ is Judge Judy, natch, for those of you not in the know or familiar with her awesomeness.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Germans Ruin Everything

Okay, so I was perusing the internet recently as I am wont to do on occasion, and came across the following article from Gawker which had me going all John McEnroe "you can NOT be serious!" all over the place.  Like, I thought it was a mocked up Onion piece at first but alas, no.  This shit was real.

Tiny Til...the world's cutest, and uh, ONLY, apparently, earless bunny was trod upon by a German cameraman on the day of his world debut, thereby crushing his (vertebrae) and Germany's dreams of fame for this fantastically adorable mutant of nature.

A month before Easter.  I mean...seriously? So this got me thinking...are Germans just inherently evil?  History backs up this theory obviously.  Or, is this actually an act of a vengeful God who is so pissed off by the modern day commercialism of such a Holy day that he takes it out on a harmless little auditorily impaired rodent and blames it on the one race that is already known as being kinda sinister and shit.  "Don't blame me, blame those Hitler loving Nazi freaks!  Peace out."

Personally, I've got my own theory about God being a particularly diabolical prankster with a pension for torturing pathetic 40 year old women who are just trying to rebuild their lives and become normal productive citizens and are trying really fucking hard to do the right god damn thing and he's just giving them false hope and then yanking it away and can't I just catch a break, you evil overlord, what the fuck more do you want from me, I'm doing everything I'm supposed to do already...

But I digress.  Moral of the story:  don't count your chickens before they hatch.  Or prematurely plan the fame of your squee-inducing mini earless bunnies before instructing German cameramen on where and where not to walk.  Or quit your lousy retail job based on a preliminary offer from a better one before your background check clears.  Hey, what was that last part?  Um...nothing.  Move along now.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pinterest Fail

I believe my undying love for Pinterest has been well documented on these pages, but I have to say that all is not perfect in Pinterest world.

Thus, I have decided to create a Pinterest Fail "board" if you will, but to keep from embarrassing my fellow pinners (and avoid potentially awkward and confrontational emails and un-followings) I'm going to post them here on my blog so I can feel free to criticize and ridicule at will.  I've also removed the hapless pinners to protect the innocent, and just added the images to this post, but rumor has it if you save the pic and drop it into google images, you can find the link to the original source, but I'll leave that to you if you so feel the need to investigate further...and in some cases, like below, the URL is listed on the image, so if the original creator is that proud of their project...good for them.

The first entry was the first fail I discovered, which is "DIY Flip Flops":

Okay, seriously?  Just pay the $1.00 at the retail store of your choice and buy some damn flip flops already instead of spending the time and additional $ to create your own.  In fact, don't you have to buy flip flop bottoms already in order to make new ones?  And if you don't like them and they're uncomfortable...THEY WERE A FREAKIN' DOLLAR and you're just going to lose them or they're going to break, or get funky, so you'll end up buying a new pair anyway without wasting your time and effort.

**(Side note, I was also going to comment on the fact that you should get your damn toes done and find a model without cankles to show off your new creation but my sister informed me that these were baby feet so I'll take that criticism back.  However, my point is still valid.)**

Next up, lemons injected with food coloring, which hapless pinners enthusiastically claim they "Must DO THIS, OMG IT'S SO PRETTY, BEST THING EVER, WAY COOL!!!!"

I must admit, I was momentarily sucked in for a minute...if that were indeed the ending result, that would be cool as shit.  But my BS meter went off soon after, and I was all like, "Hmm...Photoshop much?  How would one really go about doing this and having the lemons turn out so flawlessly and evenly colored?"

Luckily, while looking for a step by step tutorial on the above, I happened upon (see google image tip in previous paragraph) another like-minded individual who, indeed, decided to embark on this experiment herself.  I believe her post says it all:

An art blog gets a lemon. She makes lemon art… badly

Incidentally, I love the way this chick writes.  She's hilarious.

Those are this week's Pinterest fails.  Stay tuned for what I'm sure will be new and exciting entries.

Hair Barometer

Probably the only good thing I can say about having curly hair is that I know what the weather is going to be like for the day within moments of stumbling from my bed in the morning and peering at my reflection in the bathroom mirror.

For example, when I awoke today, and was greeted by an image scowling back at me which looked much like this:

I knew it was going to be humid and rainy all day.  Which means that my hair will be beaten and tortured into submission until it resembles something like this:

**I'll also be sporting the Kristin Stewart pout**

Moral of the story: much as you should never trust a thin chef, you should never believe a bald weatherman.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Don't even think about calling it Hotlanta, poser!

It's not often I miss living in Atlanta, but every once in a while on nights like tonight, when I'm tired and pensive, which as of late, I seem to be quite frequently, I do feel a pang of regret that I'm not out, driving down 75/85, looking at the amazing skyline...

on my way to a fantastically glamorous and delicious new restaurant...

with my fabulous GBFs....

 I definitely need to plan a visit sometime soon.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bunnies...Bunnies, It Must Be Bunnies!!

I've been sitting here trying to formulate my thoughts into words to express how I'm feeling at this moment in life and I'm coming up with f-all.  It's just so difficult because I don't even know how I'm feeling myself.  I'm not sad or depressed, far from it, in fact, everything seems to be going really well, actually.  But I'm not...happy or content.  I'm more like: "So this is my life...okay...I can live with this, I guess."  But I'm not excited about it.  Because what does it all matter, really?  The end result is still the same...nothingness.

Well, (you say to yourself imaginary reader), that certainly sounds like depression.  But it really isn't.  I'm okay, I really am.  I just feel like I'm sleepwalking through my life.

But then I realized...why struggle with putting all of this onto paper (so to speak) when Buffy and Joss Whedon have already expressed so eloquently EXACTLY how I'm feeling at this moment in my life.  God bless BTVS, man.  There is an episode, a scene, or a quote for everything, isn't there?  Kind of like the television version of Pinterest. And yeah, I know that the credits are backwards, but this was the clearest video clip I could find, so deal.


Ooh!  I just figured out how to express my feelings in one succinct little sentence: I feel like I'm in purgatory (non-catholic readers feel free to go here to find out what that is).  It's like God's little waiting room.  That's where I am...except I'm still alive...or AM I?  I could trip out on that thought for days...