Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Messing with tradition?

I'm contemplating a huge life change. 

This will be my third year hosting Thanksgiving in my home, and probably the tenth year I've been the "head chef." We stick with the basics for the most part – mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, peas, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, turkey, gravy, rolls. Other people inevitably join us and bring their own family favorites, which is wonderful. I, however, don't generally deviate too far from our traditional meal.

This year, however, I'm seriously considering a huge change to our holiday menu.

I contemplating making macaroni and cheese as well. 

Of course I'm not talking about the artificial food-like substance that comes out of the blue box. Pretty much everything that comes out of our kitchen is made from scratch, and my macaroni and cheese is no exception. I just can't wrap my head around whether or not it deserves a place at Thanksgiving dinner. I know it's considered something of a lowly dish by some, but I really, really love its cheesy, melty goodness. (The best part? That area around the top edge of the dish where the cheese gets golden brown and slightly crunchy.)

What do you think? Blasphemy or heaven? I need some outside opinions.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

They had it in red.

So, I splurged. And I couldn't be happier. When picking it out, my husband politely pointed out that all of our major appliances (and most of the small) are black and stainless. But I wanted red. And lucky for me, he loves me enough to indulge me in such matters. Thanks, J!

Oh, and I had a request to share a photo of my monkey chandelier. I found it on a trip to Key West with some girlfriends years ago. Everyone came back from souvenir shopping with tee shirts and hats. I came back with this. What can I say? I really like monkeys.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Buying in Bulk

I have a hot date tonight. My husband is taking me to Sam's Club. Now, I won't set foot in a Walmart to save my life, but there's something about Sam's that makes me giddy. It's a good thing we have lots of closets, because I secretly love to buy things in bulk. What fun is a single-serve Febreeze when you can buy the two pack AND a refill bottle all shrink wrapped together? 12 tiny cans of mushrooms all in one tidy package? Enough Hefty cups to last through three summers of barbecues? So many Ziplocs at one time you will have forgotten how to buy them when you need them again?

Before my tree-hugger friends get on me for buying things like Hefty cups and Ziplocs, I'd like to make a few points:

1) Hefty cups can be recycled. And we do.
2) I've been known to reuse Ziplocs if it's sanitary. 
3) I take my reusable grocery bags to Sam's with me.
4) Buying in bulk saves gas and carbon emissions. 
5) Okay, now I'm just making things up to justify my Sam's addiction.

I appreciate how the thoughful merchandisers put the gigantic, expensive televisions and electronics right by the entrance. Once I've "saved" us $1200 by not buying a large-screen plasma right off the bat, the $300 worth of stuff I walk out of the store with seems like an absolute bargain.

My puppy Roxy likes it when we go, too because we come home with a six-month supply of Beggin' Strips. That means we don't run out of treats nearly as often and end up giving her something lame like a pickle when we leave the house.

And tonight maybe -- just maybe -- I might get the Kitchen Aid stand mixer I've been coveting for almost two years now. I can't decide if this is really the time of year to splurge on an expensive kitchen gadget for myself. But if they have it in red, I just might have to. 

At least they don't come in two packs.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Why buying a car is like trying to have a baby

Have you ever noticed what happens when you buy a new car? You can spend your entire life driving along happily oblivious to all the screaming yellow MINI Coopers sharing the highways and byways of life with you. But the second you start shopping for one, that's all you see. MINIs at the grocery store. At the movie theatre. In your neighbor's garage four doors down, for crying out loud.

That's exactly what happens when you decide to try to get pregnant. First of all, the entire female population of North America is suddenly waddling around with a baby belly, often behind a stroller containing yet another offspring still in diapers. And for good measure, every female cousin, sister-in-law and sorority sister you have who hasn't previously given birth will suddenly get knocked up and send you an invitation to a baby shower. Or – gasp! – ask you to host it for her.

And then there are the symptoms of a possible pregnancy. Phantom symptoms, as they're called. Sore boobs. Nausea. Cramps. Heightened sense of smell. The list goes on and on, and often includes some rather bizarre claims. Fever blisters? Smelly pee? Sneezing? The irony is, all of these symptoms are part and parcel of living in a female body capable of reproduction. Our hormones fluctuate each month, which causes things like sore boobs. Nausea. And cramps. And even men experience fever blisters and sneezing, and they rarely get pregnant. As for the smelly pee, if you ask my friend Sniffer, that can almost always be attributed to eating asparagus for dinner the night before.

See, that's the thing. These symptoms have been there all along, but you only really start noticing them now that you're shopping for the car. 

What it boils down to is there's simply no foolproof way to know you're pregnant until a pregnancy test tells you you are, in fact, knocked up. (Unless you're one of those oddball cases who go into labor in an airplane bathrooms at 35,000 feet with no previous indication that you are with child. Your first sign of pregnancy might be when a full-term baby falls out of your crotch.) 

So, kick the tires. Take your sister's baby for a test drive. I sincerely hope everyone out there shopping for a baby will get the keys to their brand new "mini" very soon. 

Friday, November 14, 2008

My super fancy office

I have a super fancy office. It's even got a water feature! How cool am I?

Okay, not really. I sit in a corner cubicle in the very back of the office and I share a wall with the men's restroom in the lobby of our building. Every time someone flushes I joke about my fancy water feature. Truth is, most days my brain just tunes it out and I don't even hear it.

Today, however, there seems to be a plumbing problem going on in there and I have loud, water-gushing white noise coming through the wall. Constantly. It took a stealthy reconnaissance mission to figure out what the noise was and where it was coming from. (No, I didn't actually go in the men's room. Which is good, because Big Boss was coming out as I went in the women's room.)

I have been told that a plumber's been called. Hopefully my wrench-wielding savior and his low ridin' pants will show up before the noise drives me completely insane.

In the meantime, maybe I'll go visit someone with a window.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I told you not to

There won't be anything worthwhile to read in this blog. I can almost guarantee it. After all, you don't know who I am, so how can anything I write about have any significance in your life? Oh, wait. 

This is 2008. 

Virtual relationships are sometimes stronger than those in real life. 

I guess I better be careful what I say, then. This isn't the journal I kept tucked under my mattress in 8th grade. This isn't the notebook that I used to scrawl all kinds of nonsense in, only to forget about and leave in a random box of stuff after a move. This is a real, live blog.

Who came up with this concept anyway? Putting down your innermost thoughts, feelings and random cranial babble for the entire world to read? Like most things Internet, I assume it was a scientist using it for legitimate research purposes, only to have it taken over by fourteen year olds with unhealthy interests in vampires and housewives spewing the latest in scrapbooking techniques. (Either that, or it was Al Gore. Guess it depends on whom you ask.)

Well, whomever came up with it, here I am. Flojat. (For those of you wondering, that's pronounced "flow hat." I knew you were all wondering.) Feel free to participate in my blog. But if you don't like what you find, don't blame me. 

After all, I told you not to read it.