Sunday, March 31, 2013

By the Sea, By the Sea, By the Beautiful Sea...

Back from Easter vacation at Edisto Beach, SC, and am very sad to be back, I must say.  I love the beach.  The relaxation, the wind, the waves, the smells, the food...oh, yes the food...

There is no more appropriate place than the beach to enjoy a uniquely southern dish known as "Shrimp and Grits".  And oh my God, if you've never had it, then you are missing out:

I decided to indulge this weekend, and had a taste test between two local restaurants (not that there are a lot to choose from on this humble island) and tried out the shrimp and grits at the Sea Cow and the Waterfront...which doesn't have a website, which is so stupid, because they are awesome.  And they won this taste test.

Though both were amazeballs.  You know what else is amazeballs?  Pimento Cheese burgers.  Those were enjoyed courtesy of McConkey's Jungle Shack.

So, tomorrow, the diet and the dreaded workweek start again, but in the meantime, I will share with you the best recipes I have ever found for Pimento Cheese and Shrimp and Grits and just a few pics of my lovely holiday weekend.

Pimento Cheese:

6 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup Vermont extra sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup Monterrey jack cheese, grated
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
4 ounces pimientos (in a jar), chopped
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 dash hot sauce (or more!)
fresh ground black pepper, to taste


1 Using a hand held mixer, beat cream cheese until soft.
2 Add the remaining ingredients and beat until creamy and combined.
3 Cover and refrigerate for about an hour.

Ta-da! Then smother it on everything: burgers, fries, celery, crackers, your face, the possibilities are endless!


  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced


Bring chicken broth to a boil over medium-high heat; stir in grits. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in salt and next 3 ingredients. Set aside, and keep warm.
Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 3 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon from pan.
Cook shrimp in same pan over medium-high heat 3 minutes or until almost pink, stirring occasionally. Add lemon juice and next 4 ingredients, and cook 3 minutes. Stir in bacon.
Spoon grits onto individual plates or into shallow bowls; top with shrimp mixture. Serve immediately.

Trust me, you'll love them both. And if you ever happen to find yourself at Edisto Beach, if you find a shark's tooth while walking the shore at low tide, I hope you'll think of me...because I didn't find one this time around, dammit.  I'm usually a pro at that sort of thing.

Happy Easter everyone! And despite whatever anyone else says, it IS all about the bunny...

And the Godiva truffles...thank you,Rottenator!

Meanwhile, the Nooge survived his first overnight alone. Although he did greet us like this at the door...

Obviously, he has very short term memory and forgot who we were for a few minutes.  Oh, he was not happy with us being gone, and greeted us with fluffy tail and mohawk.  The Rottenator says it's because it was he was prepared to protect the house against strangers.  My thoughts are that he was so fucking pissed that he'd been abandoned he was ready to rip our throats out.

Nevertheless,all was forgiven. Never...leave...again...

They both had a hard weekend
I like this pic because it's kinda abstract

This let's you know that you've really arrived; famous decorated Edisto "tree"

This pic does not accurately show how fucking cold it was

 2nd place winner in the Scrimp & Grits contest

Awesome pimento cheese burgers

Oak trees, wisteria and spanish moss...telltale signs you're hitting the low country

Improved service and awesome food...preview of my Tripadvisor review...

One way way out..."THE" bridge onto the island

My Mood(ring) Tone of the Day:

Just to add, the main purpose of the trip was to put together furniture for my mom's beach house.  Whilst the Rottenator excelled at this task...

He put together two of these bad boys, plus two other chairs lickety-split, whilst I was not so fortunate.  My mother ordered a microwave cabinet that was supposed to look like this...
And I gave her an end product that looked like this....

Needless to say, JC may have been a carpenter, but Kathleen definitely is not.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spring Break, Woo Hoo!

So, this upcoming weekend, the Rottenator, the Mominator and I are going to spend Easter at the beach and I am SO looking forward to it.

Not only does this mean I have a four day work week, but I also get to be at the beach! 

Incidentally, the family beach house is at Edisto Beach,SC which is approximately here:

And it looks like this:

And this is the oak tree in the yard that I absolutely adore:

I have been craving fresh seafood for a few weeks, so this trip is a long time coming.  I'm kind of a snob when it comes to seafood; it has to be fresh from the dock to my plate for me to enjoy it.

Needless to say, I've never been a fan of Red Lobster. And rightfully so. Except for their god damn cheese biscuits.  They are amazeballs; more than enough to pull you over to the dark side.

This will also mark the first weekend that the Nooge is going to be left alone overnight.  This cat can barely stand a second by himself without going mental so I don't know what we're going to return to.

Side note: I accidentally locked him in the bathroom for a few hours while I was running errands this afternoon.  And after he wrecked the entire room, I've had to deal with this:

"Never leave again...never leave again!"  He's been passed out ever since his unfortunate incarceration.

I fully expect a demolished house upon our return.

Nevertheless, upcoming mini vacation, yay! I hope to find many shark's teeth and also am praying for no rain.

And an Easter basket on Sunday morning.  If not a basket, then at least some perfume.  I'm just sayin'...time to make up for Valentine's Day, Rottenator.

My Mood Ring(tone) of the Day:

Saturday, March 23, 2013

I'm Southern And I Know It...

Don't get me wrong, I do love living in the south, and I love all the pretty little flowers of spring. The tulip trees, the azaleas, the daffodils and whatnot but OH MY GOD:

Everything is covered with this yellow crap down here.  We had an incredibly mild winter so everything is blooming full force and although it is going to be spectacular and beautiful, I will not be here to enjoy it because I will have suffocated underneath all of this pollen.

Incidentally, have you ever seen pollen underneath a microscope?

This is the nasty stuff that attaches itself to your lungs and mucus membranes and everything else and causes you not to breathe for a good four months out of the year.

However, I guess I shouldn't complain because I know that even though we are officially into the Spring season, Mother Nature is not recognizing this fact in many areas of the US of A.

Meanwhile, in Chicago...

Meanwhile, in Colorado...

Meanwhile in Indy:
Meanwhile in Florida (Florida, are you serious?!?!)
So I guess I should keep my mouth (and nose) shut and just be thankful that it's not bitterly cold and snowy and icy down here because in general, Southerners do not handle any adverse weather conditions very well when it comes to operating moving vehicles.

In fact, this pretty much sums up Southerners reaction to any inclement weather:
Roll Tide.

Anyhoo, I have spent my day doing absolutely nothing; it is gray and damp here which is preventing me from my normal spring cleaning OCD fit, so I will just sit and enjoy my marathon of Buffy courtesy of Netflix.

Incidentally, I am also watching Curtis Stone on Food Network, so that affects my Mood Ring(tone) Of The Day:

Which leads me to this:

I'm beginning to think that there is not one aspect of my life that cannot be appropriately captured in an episode of "Scrubs" or "Buffy" or in the movie "Office Space".

Friday, March 22, 2013

Born In The Wrong Country...

I am British at heart.  Always have been. I don't know where I get it from, really, probably from my dad, but I have always been drawn to the culture across the pond, as it were.

My Dad was an Anglophile as well.  I was first introduced to Dr. Who via PBS when I was a mere babe.

Tom Baker was my first Doctor.

Though David Tennant is my favorite.

Benny Hill was my first introduction to British comedy (although I still don't get the appeal; too slapstick for me, but so are the Three Stooges, which my Dad also loved, so there you go.  Male humor at it's worst).
But then came MTV...and the Young Ones...

And Billy Idol...
And Sting and the Police...

And then...Oasis and Britpop happened...
Oh my God did I love Liam Gallagher.  I mean, yes, Sting was my celebrity crush for many years, but Liam was the shiz-zit.

By the time I happened upon Liam, I was a professional celebrity stalker and one of the proudest moments of my life was tracking him down in NYC at his favorite hangout, the Irish Pub, and approaching him whilst he was singing along with his own music on the jukebox.  I told him how awesome he was and gave him an uncrumpled American dollar so he could play more of his own songs just to watch him enjoy himself.

He was very sweet and Mancunian mumbly. I was very Southern and nervous so unfortunately, it did not work out for us. Such is life.

I think Britpop is the music that will always define my life.  I think we all have those moments in time that we hold onto; probably when we were in our "prime"; for me, it was the early to mid 20s.  When I still had hopes and dreams and thought I was going to be something special.

Not a middle-aged woman working in payroll.

Whatever.  Life is full of twists and turns and I wonder how many of us turn out the way we think we would.  I guess I will never be the celebrated writer-slash-amazeballs-chef living in New York City married to a British rockstar, but still...maybe in the next life time.

Meanwhile, I shall leave you with my four most favorite British Ring(tones) Of the only regret is that I never saw all four out of four live in concert.

Jarvis Cocker, you owe me one.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Don't know why, but was just thinking about the movie "Slum Dog Millionaire" tonight and how much I really loved it.

And this always puts me in a good mood...

And this is one of my all time favorite songs...

I personally love MIA though she tends to be a divisive figure.  But she had me the moment she sported this awesome outfit:

Off to bed.  This Tuesday wasn't as bad as last Tuesday, but still and all...this is not the most favorite job I've ever had.

I think my Mood Ring(tone) Of the Day speaks for itself...

Sunday, March 17, 2013


This is my daddy...

This is my niece...

We always debated over where Victoria got her spectacular blue eyes from, and that unique impish expression, and finally have photographic proof.

Genetics are a hell of a thing.  I miss my dad; it's been nearly 20  years since he passed away of "the cancer" (always said in a whisper) and I still think about him constantly.  How things would be different.  And how he would love his grandchildren, especially that little supastah up there.

My nephew turned 11 years old yesterday, and my mom and I travelled to my sister's house to celebrate this momentous occasion.

This is the birthday boy:

Yet I remember him when he was like this:

And even younger.  Man, I'm old.

This kid is awesome, btw. All of my sister's kids are.  Thank God she had some to carry on the family line because I sure as hell wasn't going to.

I can barely handle a Nooge and a Rottenator.

Such is life.

My sister, btw, is a cupcake genius.  Check out these badboys:

And they were delish. The Rottenator and I are on a budget to save up for a second car so currently I am no longer concocting delicious dishes (unless you count Hamburger Helper or Beans and Rice as delish, and why would you) so I am living vicariously through the sis's creativity.

And am massively impressed.

Meanwhile, it's St. Paddy's (not Patty's) Day and to honor my forefathers, here are my Mood Ring(tones) Of The Day:  (and oh yes, there are more than a few...)

And who could forget...

Friday, March 15, 2013

Hilarious Ironical...

This is my Aunt (pronounced "Ant") Bettie:

She consistently cracks me the fuck up.

Mostly because she is a born again Christian, and she consistently "likes" most of the inappropriate posts I ever post on Facebook ever.  She even comments on them.

Cases in point:

This is just a small sampling; now here is a sampling of Aunt B's daily posts:

It just kills me that she can be so religious, yet so accepting of her family, no matter what.  I think it must come with age, and quite frankly, facing your own mortality.  See, Aunt Bettie has the "C", the "cancer", and she's currently going through chemo, and, I'm sure, looking at her past and thinking: "Life's too short, man."

I flirt with that philosophy myself.  I had my own near-death experience about two years ago (even though I didn't realize it at the time), and find that I am more accepting of other people, much less judgemental than I used to be (although I still have my moments, believe me).  You just appreciate people who you find are loyal and loving, and you start to see more of the good in them more than their flaws.  Even though you may not have the same beliefs, agree with their life decisions, share their interests, you still love them.  Because they love you.

And if they recognize your greatness, they can't be all bad, can they?

And check out this accent; this is the true south, I love it!

Which brings me to my Mood Ring(tone) of the Day (because the Rottenator has been extra sweet since my recent mental meltdown about work)...and believe it or not, he is one of the most accepting and least judgemental people I have ever met...if he loves you, that is...

I dearly hope we make it to a game this year...

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Time Off

So I took a weekend off wherein I did not do a god-damn thing.

And it has been awesome.  The only thing I regret is that stupid Daylights Saving Time stole one hour of my free time.

I have spent my time watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Netflix and making videos of my cat

I did manage to make a low-maintenance meal in the mean time, and I highly recommend it: served with a side of mac and cheese.

BBQ Meatballs.  Who woulda thunk it, but it is so easy and delicious and even I, who has an aversion to sweet meat, find these to be amaze-balls.

1 (32 ounce) bag frozen meatballs
1 (9 ounce) jar grape jelly
1 (18 ounce) bottle spicy barbecue sauce

1. Combine the barbecue sauce and grape jelly into the slow cooker and then add the meatballs. 
2. Cook the mixture on high for 2 – 2 ½ hours until completely cooked through.

Ta-dah! This way, you can still appear to be productive and provide a hot meal for your family whilst sitting on your gluteus maximus and crying over the fact that you will never be as hot as Buffy and regretting the misspent years of your youth.

My Mood Ring(tone) Of The Day:

PS: I am going to the beach in a few weeks, and I cannot wait.

Monday, March 4, 2013

This Bitch is Bitching Again

So, I still haven't gotten my nails did, but I did manage to clean my bathroom somewhat, so minor success on the not-being-lazy front.

So work, yes, well, today wasn't a bad day, but still I feel like it's killing my soul a little bit more every day.  I really wasn't meant for this line of work.  Sensitive people with low self confidence who take everything personally have no business being in a call center environment where they are trying to help people with a subject that they know little to nothing about.

Oh, and the politics.  As my friend Meryl likes to say, "I've never been good at drinking the company kool-aid" and I am right there with her.  My department is currently going through a restructuring that is not to my liking, full of more responsibilities with the same pay, and I find that it is not in line with my "do the bare minimum" philosophy of just picking up my paycheck every other Friday and sliding beneath the radar.

Here is the scary part of this job: even though I manage to do well on a daily basis, there is that fucking test they make you take which they use to decide whether you are worthy to continue to be employed at this corporation.

The girl who sits in the cube next to me: well she just failed it.  And she's been in payroll for two years.  And she has her CPA. And she finished the test early and actually felt pretty confident about it. Oh, and works part time at H&R Block preparing people's taxes.

My turn is probably coming up in May.  It's funny in a way; I still am not overly worried about it.  I have a feeling I may do fairly well, but you never can tell.  I just think it's bullshit that it doesn't matter whether or not you are good at your job on a daily basis, this company judges you on your score of a single test comprising of 50 questions on a single day of whether or not you'd be a good "fit".

On the plus side, they give you three fucking chances to pass.  And, even though this girl has more experience and probably better training than I have had, I have heard her ask questions that I know the answer to off the top of my head.  So that makes me more confident.

I just wish that part of this thing was over already.  Even though I bitch and moan about this job, don't get me wrong: I am eternally grateful for being gainfully employed in today's economy and I feel very blessed to have been given a second chance.

So here's to passing tests...and a bit of self-confidence...and realizing that you may actually be good at something you never thought you'd excel at.

And once again, I am inspired to present to you my two (!!!) Mood Ring(tones) of the Day:

And this one, a personal fave.  This actually reminds me of my Dad,who loved this musical which is kind of amusing when you actually pay attention to what they're saying and the fact that he was a devout Catholic.


Sunday, March 3, 2013 lazy...

So, I have stuffis to do but I am not feeling up to it.

I have to get my nails did, these claws are out of control; I have to clean my bathroom, I have to make dinner, but fuck it...I don't feel like it.

Sad, old ass hand

What I feel like doing is watching old (old meaning 80s and 90s) movies on Netflix and sitting here like a blob.  So I shall.

Even God rested on the 7th day, right?

The Rottenator and the Nooge are both asleep, so I am going to sit on my ass and enjoy the relative peace and quiet...until work tomorrow.  *sigh*

I just want to say that although I an grateful for the opportunity and the paycheck, I am just about over this job.

I was not meant for payroll and they have just restructured my department so now instead of just reporting to one manager, I have to answer to five.  Seriously, five.  No more hiding under the radar for me.  It's fine, I'm going to put in my time and maybe move onto something more rewarding.

First world problems, right? I know. I get it.  But still, I can't help wondering if I was meant for something better in this world.

I need to find my purpose.

My Mood Ring(tone) of the Day: