Sunday, May 31, 2009

My Week In Tweets: 5/24 - 5/30

Secret confession? I LOVE the cheesy songs SoapNet plays during their commercials. Darius Rucker remix? Bring it on!
11:46 AM May 24th from web

feeling guilty that I am not working out. Every time I pass my elliptical it gives me the evil eye.
1:01 PM May 24th from web

Just had it out with my elliptical for 30 minutes. I won. To the tune of 391 calories and 3.24 miles? KMs? Who knows. But I won!
2:28 PM May 24th from web

Lovin' me some McLovin!
9:34 PM May 24th from web

Well hello sunshine. I see you finally decided to grace us with your presence. Kinda. Sorta.
11:45 AM May 25th from web

Watching the most RIDICULOUS episode of 90210 ever. Brandon's a lush and Kelly's an almost lesbian. Is it wrong that I am so enjoying this?
1:51 PM May 25th from web

And Donna is a battered woman. The socially relevant morals of this episode are overwhelming.
2:17 PM May 25th from web

So are the bare midriffs. I don't think I have seen one full length shirt on a girl yet.
2:18 PM May 25th from web

Is on the road again...it's like my own personal theme song these days...
8:03 AM May 26th from web

Would someone please explain to me why Stephen Baldwin qualifies as a celebrity? Other than his last name? #celebritieswhoshouldntbecelebrities
8:33 AM May 26th from web

Wettest, rainiest, greyist, sloppiest, most dismal sucktastic drive EVER.
11:15 AM May 26th from Twitterberry

Colleague just looked up a telephone # in the phone book. Maybe we're taking a horse & buggy to lunch? #everhearofgoogle
11:29 AM May 26th from Twitterberry

I need 28 hours in the day, 9 days in the week and 56 weeks in the year to get it all done. Anyone else feel like that?
3:52 PM May 26th from web

SBUX - would it kill to you keep iced, brewed decaf on hand? I don't care what you say - an iced Americano is NOT the same thing.
7:46 AM May 27th from Twitterberry

Grilled cheese and chips for lunch followed by cotton candy. #feelinglikeakid
1:31 PM May 27th from Twitterberry

Counting my blessings that I made it home in 1 piece. Um yeah...helps if you can see while you are driving.
3:03 PM May 27th from Twitterberry

Guess that's why they call it *blinding* rain.
3:06 PM May 27th from Twitterberry

Came home to find cleaning ladies had broken a glass candle holder AND thrown loose shards randomly in w/ recycling. WTF? #nearlylostafinger
3:23 PM May 27th from web

Nothing like a cut & color to lift a girl's soggy spirits....
7:11 PM May 27th from Twitterberry

Requests to see the new 'do have resulted in 7165 failed self portrait attempts. How the Hell does Cindy Sherman do it?
8:37 PM May 27th from web

Cut, color & self portrait #892...
9:16 PM May 27th from web

I don't know how you tweeps in Seattle do it. Eight straight days of rain is KILLING me.
6:36 AM May 28th from Twitterberry

Always lovely swimming through the backyard to my garage... #willthisfuckingraineverstop
9:22 AM May 28th from Twitterberry

My poor little mule. Eye swollen shut. Hotspots on her nose. Serious allergies & she won't take her donkey meds. Can I give her a Benadryl?
4:02 PM May 28th from web

Holy fucking thunderstorm from Hell. Two power surges. I am so about to lose it....
4:53 PM May 28th from web

Just got to watch Dr. Bob squirt something into Dixie's eye and that came out was like a flourescent green river.
8:50 PM May 28th from web

Sweet! Did you know they let you board early if you print out your boarding pass at home?#scoreonefortechsavvy
7:21 AM May 29th from Twitterberry

Contemplating a massage while waiting for @MarshallKarp to pick me up at the airport.
9:31 AM May 29th from Twitterberry

Or a 2nd breakfast b/c the $3.30 "nutrition" bar I ate on the plane at 7:15 didn't do the trick. Plus it was expensive. Which I so resent.
9:32 AM May 29th from Twitterberry

$16+ at 2 separate airport stands and I'm still hungry. Maybe I should have gotten an Egg McMuffin instead. I'd be full. And less poor.
9:54 AM May 29th from Twitterberry

Dad: what's that perfume you are wearing? Me: None. Dad: I smell something sweet. Me: I think that's NJ sewage.
10:04 AM May 29th from Twitterberry

As per @MarshallKarp, I am not allowed to say ANYTHING about Book #4 which I just finished reading.
6:26 PM May 29th from web

But I will say: Laugh out Loud HILARIOUS. Totally BRILLIANT. Un-Put-Downable. Best Lomax & Biggs EVER. #sorryyouhavetowaitawholeyeartoreadit
6:27 PM May 29th from web

Waking up, looking out the window and seeing blue skies. Pinch me. I must be dreaming.
7:30 AM May 30th from Twitterberry

Getting ready to go for my first run in over a month. Hoping my knees hold up....wish me luck Twitterdom.
10:07 AM May 30th from Twitterberry

SMACK! Just killed a pesky fly bare-handed.
2:11 PM May 30th from Twitterberry

Falling asleep early to the sound of crickets chirping.....bliss.....
9:57 PM May 30th from Twitterberry

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I Knew I'd Eventually Have Problems With My Ass

As I was scrolling through my archives on Thursday morning, pulling select older posts to include in yesterday's "I-Don't-Have-Time-To-Write-A-New-Post-So-Take-A-Stroll-Down-Memory-Lane-But-Actually-This-Whole-Scrolling-Through-And-Rereading-And-Linking-Takes-As-Much-Time-As-Writing" post, I thought to myself: "Wow - we have had a lot of goat drama over the years." And: "OMG - thank God we haven't had any Dixie drama." And: "I can't even remember the last time we had any animal drama (other than the fact that I occasionally have to beat the ever loving shit out of Elvis when he gets all Alpha Goat on me and I have to show him who's *really* Alpha). And: "How long do you think this no-animal-drama streak will continue?"

So yeah. I might as well have asked a swarm of locusts to descend on my pasture followed by the Bubonic Plague.

Less then 12 hours later I headed out to feed the animals and I noticed Dixie's right eye was all swollen shut and full of pus. I immediately ran back into the house to grab Marty who calmly told me that he had noticed her eye was messed up yesterday and she probably took a horn to the eye because there were some lacerations and it was basically the donkey equivalent of a black eye. I was like: "Dude. There's no freaking way that's a black eye. Did you see the goo oozing out of her eye? Have you ever seen a human black eye ooze pus like that?"

So I returned to the pasture where it became clear that Dixie's allergies (yes - my donkey has allergies - severe ones in fact) were really bothering her because she was rubbing her face up and down against anything she could - the fence, the ground, the goats, my leg (ewww....). And the lacerations weren't lacerations but hot spots where she had rubbed her face raw trying to stop the itch.

So I called the vet because I am naturally neurotic and after all the drama we've been through, I didn't really want to take any chances. I was hoping they would tell me I could give her some Benadryl (actually she already has special donkey allergy medicine, Tri-Hist, but she doesn't care for it - I thought maybe cherry flavored Benadryl would go down smoother) but then there was concern she might have scratched her eye and gotten an eye ulcer so we all agreed it was best that someone come out and take a look. And although Dr. Mary is our primary vet, she was down in SC and so I was told Dr. Bob would be by around 7ish as soon as he wrapped up his appointments in Concord.

So last time Dr. Bob came to the house, I think he basically thought I was the goat parenting equivalent of a crack whore and that I ought to forfeit my rights as a goat parent immediately and for always. Seriously. So you can imagine the IMMENSE pressure I felt to show him that nearly 3 years later: I had my shit together.

Dr. Bob was a little late (he had to unchoke the choked mare he was treating - whatever that means) but as we headed into the pasture, he commented on how great all the animals looked and how nice the barn was. I was busting with pride.

Examining Dixie took close to an hour and here is what it basically entailed: 10 minutes of coaxing her into her stall, and 50 minutes of her bucking and kicking and freaking out because really: would you want someone to be poking around in your eye? We put her halter on, attached the-nearly-frayed-ready-to-split-totally-knotted-and-generally-worn-out lead rope on, and then tied her to one of the boards on the side of her stall. And despite giving her almost no slack, she was so rambunctious that on several occasions we thought about sedating her (Lord knows I knew I would need a little sedation after the ordeal). And I did my best to hold her and whatnot but she's 250lbs and I am not and there were moments where I thought she was going to seriously injure someone (herself included) but in the end, we managed to get her examined and treated. Sort of.

Good news, she doesn't have an eye ulcer. It just appears that the severe allergies and rubbing have seriously irritated her eye and face.

Bad news, treatment entails twice-a-day administration of meds for at least several days which basically entails a mini-repeat of what I experienced with Dr. Bob.

Here was the To Do List he left me:

1) Bush-Hog pasture. Overgrown fescue causing irritation and could make it worse if a seed gets caught in her eye. Ok. I totally agree but...oh yeah and by the way: IT'S BEEN RAINING FOR 10 DAYS STRAIGHT AND IT'S BEEN TOO MUDDY TO BUSH-HOG.

2) Buy a new lead rope. One that won't split next time she pulls it and one that's not all jacked up with knots.

3) Buy a fly mask to keep her from rubbing her face. Keep it on all day except feeding until she's healed.

4) Special ointment in her eye twice a day for several days (which entails tying her up because there ain't no way she's going to stand still and let you squirt that crap in her eye. And so for the record, I got a lesson on how to tie a halter knot. I felt kind of like a Boy Scout.).

5) Clean the sores on her nose twice a day and then apply another special ointment.

6) Give her an oral dose of Bamamine paste twice a day for at least 2 days to help with the pain and swelling. This is not as easy as it sounds but my other choice was to give her a twice daily injection. I opted for squirting paste into her mouth.

7) Keep trying to give her the Tri-Hist granules at feeding. If she won't eat them on her plain old boring horse maintenance pellets, try bribing her with sweet feed.

By the time Dr. Bob left at 8:45, I was relieved that Dixie was ok, but I was wiped. And severely stressed. Because I had to be up at 5:30am the next morning to board a plane to head to NY to visit family which meant that Marty (who wasn't there for the appointment and who missed the whole "how-to-tie-a-halter-knot" lesson) was going to have to deal with all of this on his own.

And I did my best to explain everything to him when he got home later that evening and he assured me he would handle it and I know he is capable but I felt incredibly guilty to be dumping this epic-level-of-2-people-required-to-make-it-happen care on his solo lap and once again he assured me that he would figure out how to get it done...

So as of yesterday, Marty assured me that Dixie was doing fine, he had been able to give her a course of treatment, and that her eye was already looking almost normal. Which makes me happy.

Almost as happy as showing Dr. Bob that I wasn't the goat parenting equivalent of a crack whore and that in fact, I was a COUNTRY GIRL BAD ASS.

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

PS So the coolest part of the whole thing was when Dr. Bob squirted something in Dixie's eye to flush it and it came oozing out all fluorescent green and Dixie looked like some kind of radiation afflicted zombie donkey but as it turns out they do this to humans too and it's simply something called fluorescine. Oh.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Tales from the Archives

So I totally just now (almost 3 years later) discovered how to schedule a post on Blogger. And it totally happened by accident. See I have been writing 3 or 4 posts at a time and stockpiling them. And I usually set the post date and time to roughly when I think I will actually publish the post, but then the day I am set to publish I go into Blogger and re-read the post and make any last minute edits or tweaks and then I adjust the post time and I then I publish real time. Well, the other day I forgot to adjust the time (which was set for a few hours ahead of what time it actually was), and when I hit publish I had a totally new experience. It didn't say: Successfully published - view Blog in a new window. It went back to my List of Posts where the post in question read: scheduled. Holy shit y'all - I didn't know I could do that! It was like a major light-bulb-over-the-head-come-to-Jesus blogging epiphany.

So I am writing this on Thursday because around this time tomorrow I will be looking for parking marveling at all the idiots standing in the security line happily sipping Starbucks while waiting for my flight to take off for NY. That's right...I am headed home for a long overdue visit with my folks and some much needed picture taking. When I was on Dad's Blog Tour, I was totally going to post a photo and I was horrified to discover that there appears to be no pictures of me with either of my parents since my wedding 6+ years ago. WTF?

Anyways, while I have a short list of things I keep meaning to write about (including some meaty recipes for all you carnivores out there), I don't quite have time and so I decided to scroll back through the archives and pull some of my favorite posts. I hope my new readers enjoy these tales from the past and I hope my old readers enjoy this stroll down memory lane:

In case you are wondering how I actually wound up in Lincolnton in the first place.

Goat Drama 2006.

A little local culture.

An old school morning on the farm.

Goat Drama 2007.

I don't know why I am sharing this because it was totally embarrassing. Totally.

Meet my donkey.

Goat Drama 2008.

So yes - you can see we have had our fair share of Goat Drama over the years. It goes with the territory.

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

PS So I thought I was being all slick and what not by posting links to old posts and not actually writing anything. Hi - just looked at the clock and my supposed insta-post has taken more than 30 minutes to craft.

PPS I am totally going to pre-publish/schedule. Hope this works.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

iPod Overhaul

So remember a few weeks ago when I confessed to my flirtation with pop princesses? Well, I've taken it a step further and I am now having a full-on love affair with pop music. Witness what I have recently downloaded on my iPod:

* More P!nk. Initially could not commit to a full album download but downloaded Sober (because it was popular), Please Don't Leave Me (ditto on the popular thing), U + UR Hand (on the recommendation of @lilsaej) and Trouble (ditto on the @lilsaej recommendation). Liked them all more than a little bit.

* Kate Voegele. Had no idea who she was but she was listed on the Pop home page and I think people who downloaded Kate also like Kelly Clarkson and/or Katy Perry so I tried 2 singles: Angel and 99 Times to get started. Two very user friendly Pop Princess songs.

* Boom Boom Pow by Black Eyed Peas. This was strictly the result of hearing it 800 times on the radio and it being totally addictive.

* Poker Face by Lady GaGa. So yes - clearly I got over her cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs crazy get-up on Idol and am now kind of in love with her. Supposedly the entire album is good but for now I am sticking with Poker Face.

* Womanizer by Britney. Yes - I know I said I could never bring myself to download Britney. And by never apparently I meant a month or so because that's how long it took me to get over my anti-Britney sentiment. And it was only because I heard this song on the radio and it's another utterly addictive song. And so Britney can't really sing. I mean I am pretty sure what I am hearing is not her actual voice. And it's more talking the singing. But I still love the song. And it's great to work out to too.

* I am absolutely obsessed with Kristy, Are You Doing Ok by the Offspring. So technically this is not pop - it's alternative - but they were playing it on the same radio station that plays Britney, Lady GaGa, P!nk and that's how it found its way onto my iPod.

* I downloaded No Surprise by Daughtry on a whim. I think it was his new single and I like some of his other stuff. Ok - so I am glad I did because I love this song. Although for the record - he's got such a great voice, there's not really a need to produce him quite so much. Just sayin'...

* I was not so lucky with The Lovers are Leaving by Keane. I think the problem with Keane is that NOTHING will ever be as good as Hopes and Fears. That album kicked ass.

* I must have been high on a downloading spree when I added Avalanche by Marie Digby (I know - who?). I mean, it's not terrible but it hasn't grabbed me yet either. But maybe that's because it's too far down on my playlist and I keep repeating all of the songs I love so I never quite get to it.

* I finally committed to P!nk and downloaded the rest of Funhouse. And I am so glad I did although you can totally tell she was going through her break-up with Carey Hart when she was making this because 95% of the songs are ridiculously tortured. (So ps I totally just wrote Corey Hart at first and then I'm like wait a minute - I don't think P!nk married the Sunglasses at Night dude and I had to Google "P!nk husband" because clearly my knowledge of pop culture sucks these days. At least I didn't write Corey Haim.)

* I recently added Viva La Vida by Coldplay. I think because it had seeped into my subconscious after hearing it on the radio a lot. And I like it...I do...but I am not sure this is a song I permanently need in my collection. I feel like my love of this song will quickly pass and I'll be ready to move on.

* So going from singles to album was such a success with P!nk, that when Kate Voegele's full album was released last week, I downloaded the whole thing. Um yeah. Jury is still out but so far, have not really liked any of the songs other than the ones that I already had. Sometimes that happens.

* So thank you 95.1 for totally pimping as-yet-unknown Kristiana DeBarge and her awesome single Goodbye. It's much appreciated.

So you can see my iPod has undergone a serious overhaul in the last few weeks. And it's been fun and interesting. And I have some seriously kickass tunes to work-out to. My biggest problem is that I have a 6GB iPod Mini from 2005 and it only holds so many songs so for every song I add, something must come off because I am AT CAPACITY and I think I probably need to suck it up and buy a new iPod that can hold 50 million songs and videos and movies and whatnot. Or just wait til my birthday (hint hint). Which incidentally - I got my Mini when I turned 30 and I will be so sad to retire it because we had it engraved and it says: SRP Thirty & Fabulous. I guess I can be 34 and Fabulous too.

So little lambs: what are you listening to these days?

Oh...and lest you think I have gone completely UNCOUNTRY you...in the midst of all this Pop Madness, I still managed to continue my totally tortured love affair with Toby Keith (so yes...I like Tony Keith. There. I said it. Get over it and let's move on.) and downloaded Lost You Anyway. I might be the only person who's got Toby Keith sandwiched between Daughtry and Katy Perry on her playlist.

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Wrong Shade of Green

So a few weeks ago, I found myself in a bit of what I lovingly refer to as an environmental conundrum.

Remember when I started recycling a few months ago? Well, I have totally stuck with it and I always feel soooooo virtuous when I go to the dump and sort through all my cans and bottles and newspapers and cardboard. Of course, if I were truly green, I wouldn't even be drinking bottled water. I'd buy a Brita. Or at least one of those 5-gallon water coolers. Drinking those individual half liter bottles is probably not totally environmentally conscious. But at least I am recycling - right?

So I leave the dump feeling all virtuous and then I head to the grocery store. And it occurs to me as I am checking out that I am a total heel because OMG: how many plastic bags does it take to pack one cart of groceries? Well, if you're at my local Bi-Lo the answer is ninety trillion because apparently an unopened handsoap can't be in the same bag as an opened pack of English muffins can't be in the same bag as an unopened bag of lettuce. And each bottle of wine gets not one but two bags and God forbid you put two bottles of wine in the same bag or better yet...have one of those handy dandy cardboard carrying wine bottle containers. And I get that a loaf of bread is fragile but it doesn't need its own bag. Just put it on top of other less fragile stuff. Ditto eggs.

To give y'all a real-life example of misguided bagging efforts: Sunday I ran up to Food Lion up the road and purchased: 1 bag of spinach, 1 bag of lettuce, 1 6-pack of Dannon Light yogurt and 1 bottle Yellowtail Shiraz. The bag boy put the lettuce and spinach (both 200% sealed) in 1 plastic bag, the yogurt in a separate plastic bag (I was not aware that green vegetable were lactose intolerant), and double bagged the wine. Four individual items. Four bags. I was horrified. I shoved the yogurt in with the greens and cut it down to three. I would have dealt with the wine too but it had taken me over 10 minutes to check out and I was having a mild anxiety attack and feeling the supreme need to exit Food Lion immediately since not only was the whole checkout situation pretty sucky but the store is dark and dismal and what light there is is fluorescent and there is no cell signal so I can't Tweet about what an awful shopping experience it is and why do I shop there? I have no idea - I guess it's close.

And so seriously, this (i.e. the overbagging and me feeling really guilty) happens EVERY time I go to the grocery store and of course 1) I feel like I need to teach a Better Bagging class to the local baggers in this town because clearly they have been misinformed and 2) I feel like a real heel because Holy Crap: that's a shitload of plastic bags. And why don't I ever remember to bring the one reusable shopping bag I have? And oh wait - the one reusable shopping bag I have is currently serving in a storage capacity. And OMG why don't I just buy 5 @ $0.99 a piece and leave them in my car?

And then I get home and I have ninety trillion plastic bags...which I now save because as the recycling stacks up in the recycling bin in the house, I sort it into the plastic bags and then move them into one of the outside bins until its time for another dump run. Where I guess I wind up recycling the bags anyways. And then the whole cycle starts anew. At least it starts anew if I go to the grocery store that same day. And I get to ride the I-Am-So-Virtuous/I-Am-Such-A-Heel pendulum and go through the entire range of 873 emotions in the span of 3.2 minutes.

And speaking of Not-As-Environmentally-Conscious as I should be...I use an assload of paper towels. I have some OCD issues (not to mention a paralyzing fear of raw chicken) so it's not unusual for me to wash my hands 10+ times while I am in the kitchen (more if there's chicken involved). And I usually grab a paper towel (or 2) to dry them. Although sometimes I do remember to use one of the 6 dish towels neatly and conveniently placed throughout my kitchen. But usually I don't. And so I go through paper towels at an insane rate. And one of my greener friends looked at me sort of funny when I told her about my paper towel consumption and OMG - once again, I felt like I was clearly the wrong shade of green. Like I was maybe Lime or Chartreuse versus a more robust Kelly Green.

So I am oh so curious: What shade of green are you?

Speaking of green...our pasture so needs to be bushhogged. It's times like this I wish we had a tractor.

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What I DON'T Do

Ok, so clearly despite my Manhattan upbringing I have adapted to Life in the Country. I mean, we all know about my love of country music, NASCAR and Bojangles. This stuff is hardly news. And in fact - some folks have commented recently on the fact that If That Ain't Country...well, that it just ain't that country any more. And all I can say is this: After 3 years, I am no longer a fish out of water and trips to the feed store just don't seem quite so blogworthy. So I am trying to go with the flow and stay flexible...

Still - I realized the other day that I am not 100% Country. There are still certain Country Things that I don't do.

For example. Livermush. I don't do livermush. In fact - I don't even think about livermush. Ever. But the other day, my friend Moriarty left the following comment:

i think you should blog about livermush and how magical it is. you know, you can't get livermush just anywhere.


I sent him a message back saying I don't do livermush and then I suggested that he guest post on the subject (the offer still stands dude).

But this got me thinking about what other Country-type-things-banners-of-living-in-the-South I don't do and voila...another post was born! (ps Thanks Moriarty! Blog fodder is hard to come by sometimes...)

Grits. I generally don't do grits. Ok. I do grits occasionally. If it involves cheese. And then I realized I already wrote about How I Do Grits 2 months ago.

Sweet Tea. I don't so sweet tea. And this is mainly because for the most part I don't believe in wasting calories on beverages (unless it's wine). I am strictly a Coke Zero/Diet Dr. Pepper/Crystal Light/Splenda in my coffee kind of gal. If I am going to have something southern and sweet - it's probably gonna be banana puddin'.

Collards. I don't do collards. With the exception of the pork-laden collards at 12 Bones which were insanely good. I'd do those collards all day long. But in general, love me some spinach. Love me some chard. Looooooove me some broccoli rabe. But collards? Nope. And it kind of sucks because when you go to the grocery store down here they have like 10 different hard core, dark, leafy greens (collards, kale, mustard greens, etc.) and no broccoli rabe. And I looooooooooooooove broccoli rabe. Really.

Church. Ok. So I realize I might be opening up a can of worms with this one. And trust me when I say I am so not trying to be controversial with this one or offend anyone because I think every person is entitled to their own religious beliefs, practices and preferences. I have nothing against Christians, Muslims, Agnostics or Atheists. I have friends who are in Bible Study classes and friends who sing in choirs. I have friends who go to church twice a week and friends who go to church twice a year. As I said - to each his own.

The issue for me is that church and religion are a HUGE part of life in the south. Seriously - they didn't name it the Bible Belt for nothing. If you meet someone for the first time, they are just as likely to ask you where you go to Church as they are to ask where you work or where you went to school. And me being Jewish...well I never quite know what to say.

The other week, while I was waiting for my appointment with the physical therapist to tell me that I needed new shoes my knee was fine, the background music in the waiting room was church music. And not Christian rock or gospel like you'd hear on the radio. But hardcore "Jesus is King" hymns. And to say I felt uncomfortable is an understatement. I mean I get it - there are less than a dozen Jews in this town. But still - I would imagine that I am not the only one who would be put off by the presence of God and religion in a physical therapy office. I just don't see what one has to do with the other.

Ditto the lovely check-out girl at Wal-Mart who tells me to have a blessed day. Thank you for not telling me to have a crappy day or to please get run over by a car in the parking lot. But blessed? I'd rather her say: Have nice day. Have a lovely day. Blessed makes me mildly uncomfortable because I believe that she is automatically assuming something about me that is not quite true.

And so actually, this is something I struggle with. And I've talked about it with some friends down here. And they tell me it's a way of life and to get used to it.

And goodness I hope I haven't offended anyone. I really want to emphasize that I believe religion has a place in this world. I guess I just believe in separation of church and state. Or church and Wal-Mart.

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

ps After going off on the whole religion tangent, I totally forgot to ask dear readers: What Don't You Do? And remember - this is a family-friendly blog so please keep it PG. Ok - PG13.

Monday, May 25, 2009

My Daily Dose of Inspiration

So - as awesome as it was going to see the Isaac Mizrahi fashion show and actually getting to meet Isaac in person, I actually TOOK SOMETHING AWAY from the experience- and I am not talking about my cute little strapless seersucker dress and oh-so-pretty sparkly silver skirt. You see, while the whole point of those purchases was to have 30 seconds face-to-face with the man himself (and of course, totally cute clothes for the summer), I also got a FREE copy of Isaac's new book How to Have Style. And, the other day when it was actually sunny and I was actually laying out on my deck relaxing, I actually read the book. Not because I don't know how to have style. But because I had flipped through the book while waiting 2 hours for the show to start and there was this whole thing about "Inspiration Boards" which had caught my eye and I wanted to go back and revisit.

So y'all? Everyone MUST have an Inspiration Board. Seriously. And it's so easy too because an Inspiration Board is simply a collection of images, colors, photos, fabrics, and whatnot that inspires. And you tack it all up to a cork board and every day you are reminded about what you love and what moves you and at least if you're like me, you feel a little better about life in general.

So after reading I promptly headed to Wal-Mart and got to work on MY Inspiration. Board. So far (and in no particular order), here's what's on it:

* A picture of me and Isaac.
* My ticket from my tour of Lowe's Motor Speedway.
* A post card of Ann-Margaret that says "Kitten With A Whip."
* Backstage passes to Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
* A purple lei from Mad-Libs and Martinis.
* A pretty piece of grosgrain ribbon.
* A skull necklace.
* A shiny sticker that says Princess.
* A Rabbit Factory postcard.
* A Bloodthirsty postcard.
* A picture of 2 of my best friends, Dr. Diva and Designer Genius.
* My ticket, chalet pass and wrist band from Quail Hollow.
* My ticket for Yo Yo Ma and the Greenville Symphony Orchestra.
* A piece of orange fabric.
* A grosgrain ribbon and rhinestone bow.
* A picture of me dressed up to meet Isaac.
* A picture of my mom from the 1960s. She's holding a Black-Eyed Susan and her hair is really long. She's beautiful.
* A postcard of a cheetah-print stiletto that says: "Assess Your Weapons."
* My ticket from last year's Van Halen show (and their first EVER reunion).
* The tag from my Gucci purse with the contrallato number indicating it's real and not fake.
* A picture of my darling nephew.
* Rhinestone flowers and shiny hearts around the border.
* My favorite all time photo of me and dad. I am 4 and in my Supergirl bathing suit and denim skirt. He has full-on facial hair and is juggling. I am clearly in awe.
* The Spring 2007 Look Card for Wilbur and Gussie.
* The Asking Prayer.
* The Shoe of Salvation postcard.
* A note from Marty wishing me luck at a big meeting I had the other week.
* A postcard with one of my favorite quotes: "Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
* A beautiful piece of floral fabric ribbon. I've had this ribbon for years and horde it because it is just so gorgeous.
* A self-portrait I took a few weeks ago when I got my hair done. It's actually better than pretty good.
* The tag from my Prada bag indicating that it's real and not fake.

And of course, I couldn't get just any plain old push pins. I got cute plastic flower pushpins in assorted bright colors. And I am still looking for the right images of Audrey and Jackie because Lord knows they inspire me more than anyone else. And Italy. Italy definitely inspires me. But the genius thing about an Inspiration Board is that it's an ever-evolving work-in-progress. I don't think there's ever a definitive end and I will continue to work on mine until I can't see any more cork.

So my loves - WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

Oh. I forgot one more thing on my Inspiration Board. A picture of Dolly Parton. Don't let the squeaky voice, bleached hair, big boobs and long nails fool you. She is one tough cookie who runs a serious empire. And she's smart. Oh so smart.

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My Week In Tweets: 5/17 - 5/23

"Hey Cheesemeister - stay away from my girl." "Who's gonna make me?" Wow - lingo on old 90210 episodes is PRICELESS.
9:42 AM May 17th from web

contemplating bringing this sunday morning 90210 lovefest to an end and going out in the rain b/c I really want some candy.
12:23 PM May 17th from web

Who here cares about Lisa Rinna? Or her sex life w/ Harry Hamlin? Or her lips? Raise your hands. #celebritieswhoshouldntbecelebrities
8:15 AM May 18th from web

Apparently the Rinna/Hamlin clan has a new reality show. Signs of coming apocolypse? #celebritieswhoshouldntbecelebrities
8:18 AM May 18th from web

Wondering just how good pizza cooked in a $50,000 oven tastes....will let you know shortly.....
12:31 PM May 18th from TwitterBerry

So pie at Pietown rocked! I had the salumi special and it was definitely special #cltfood
2:01 PM May 18th from TwitterBerry

Gee - driving a high-profile vehicle in a wind storm is always fun....
10:25 AM May 19th from TwitterBerry

No officer - I am NOT drunk....just can't seem to keep my car from swerving all over the place...
10:26 AM May 19th from TwitterBerry

Getting ready to wrestle cat#2 into sherpa bag for vet visit. Bets on how long it takes and how much blood I lose?
4:06 PM May 19th from web

Listening to my cats pitiful meows and my heart is breaking...not sure I could handle the human variety...
4:35 PM May 19th from TwitterBerry

So the lump in Tony's belly is not cancer. Whoo! Likely the result of a bite from another cat or critter.
5:12 PM May 19th from TwitterBerry

Wondering if it has anything to do with the dead bunny carcass by the back door the other day? (Yeah - my cat is a bunny-killing bad ass!)
5:13 PM May 19th from TwitterBerry

banging my head very slowly against my desk...and then going to pour a glass of wine...crap...when will this day end???
8:13 PM May 19th from web

Tivo-tweeting Idol. "The Guyliner?" Oh Ryan you didn't just say that....
8:52 PM May 19th from TwitterBerry

Is anyone else annoyed by Kara DioGuardi? Anyone?
9:05 PM May 19th from TwitterBerry

So not only is Kara annoying - she's a crappy songwriter. It took 3 peeps to write No Boundaries? Really? Hate to see what they'd do w/ 4...
9:34 PM May 19th from TwitterBerry

Today. Can. Only. Be. Better. Than. Yesterday.
7:31 AM May 20th from TwitterBerry

Another day. Another trip to the mechanic. Today? Front end alignment & oil change.
10:49 AM May 20th from TwitterBerry

Maybe one of these days it will stop raining for more than 48 hours and I can get the fucker washed.
10:50 AM May 20th from TwitterBerry

Return of Norman Gentle has TOTALLY revived Idol! Whoo!
9:23 PM May 20th from TwitterBerry

Not sure how I feel about Anoop's Juan Valdez facial hair stylings. But I still heart Anoop. #eventhohesatarheel
9:31 PM May 20th from TwitterBerry

Bikini Girl just revived Idol in a completely different way.....
9:46 PM May 20th from TwitterBerry

And as much as I dislike Kara she totally SERVED bikini girl like a short order cook handles eggs sunny side up....
9:50 PM May 20th from TwitterBerry

Adam + KISS = all new levels of Idol madness.
10:04 PM May 20th from TwitterBerry

Feeling like Hannibal in the A-Team: I love it when a rock concert comes together! 6/25 in Lincolnton kids..SAVE THE DATE!
10:36 AM May 21st from web

Holy fuck! Crazy old man just almost ran me off the road!
2:52 PM May 21st from TwitterBerry

And you know what he did when I honked to get his attention so he would stop randomly drifting into my lane? The crazy bastard GRINNED. Fool
2:57 PM May 21st from TwitterBerry

Requirements for having a license need to be more stringent. Like - YOU NEED TO HAVE A FUCKING CLUE!!!
2:58 PM May 21st from TwitterBerry

Near death experiences aside, the OHenry Hotel is the happiest hotel ever. Travel-sized Aveda AND a copy of Gift of the Magi to keep. Sweet!
3:08 PM May 21st from TwitterBerry

Just once I'd like to wake up, roll over, look at the clock - and not have it be so damn early...
6:21 AM May 22nd from TwitterBerry

So clearly McDs drive thru in Kernersville is THE place to be this morning....
8:49 AM May 22nd from TwitterBerry

Dude in the truck in front of me looks like he eats breakfast here often....
8:51 AM May 22nd from TwitterBerry

Still working with no end in sight and ergo sooooo depressed.....
6:05 PM May 22nd from TwitterBerry

Bag boy at grocery store just told me I was too young to be buying wine. Way to win me over with charm and flattery. Really.
6:52 PM May 22nd from TwitterBerry

I feel like the freaking Energizer Bunny. Only - I DON'T want to keep going. I want to stop.
8:11 PM May 22nd from TwitterBerry

Transforming Brussels sprouts in ways that would make y'all swoon #involvesbaconandbutterandmorebutter
8:33 PM May 23rd from Twitterberry

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

One Bad Ass Cat

Warning: this post contains pictures of one really sweet cat along with the dead bodies of some mice that he killed. Not for the faint of heart. Or weak of stomach. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!

I think it's been a while since I have posted pictures of Tony. So here:





Do you see his sweet face? His soft, scratchable belly? Do you see his loving eyes which are just begging: "Mama - pet me please. Scratch my ears. Love me Mama because I am the sweetest kitty ever." Do you see ALL OF THIS?

Well - it's all an act. Ok. Not really. Tony is still sweet as all get out. But he is also a carnivorous-ravenous-murderer who stalks prey outside, kills it, eats it, and then leaves a trail of dead bodies in the yard for us to discover. It's like an Easter egg hunt. Only bloodier. And gorier. And there's no candy involved. Ok - so it's like a bloody, gory, candy-free Easter egg hunt.

This was what I saw when I get home from Greensboro yesterday and was unloading the epic amounts of crap out of my car:



And at first I am like: That's totally gross. Then I am like: Where's my camera because I so need to take a picture and post about it. And then I see Tony (looking all cute and innocent) and I am like: Dude. You killed a mouse. And I was kind of proud.

Then as I was continuing to unload my car (despite being in Greensboro for less than 24 hours I had 4 bags and 2 boxes to contend with) I stumbled upon this:



He (or she?) was lying about 3 feet away from the first dead mouse body. And when I saw body #2 I was like: TONY! You are a BAD ASS. And then I was like: Please stop leaving me "presents" in the yard because even though I am a Country Girl, there's only so many dead animal carcasses I can handle in a day.

And y'all - 2 dead mice are nothing compared to what Tony killed last week. Apparently, my sweet little angel killed a bunny rabbit and left the remains by the garden hose. I don't know how I missed it but Marty went to show it to me when we got home last Friday night and all that was left were some tufts of bunny fur. Another animal had already come and dragged off the remains.

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

Friday, May 22, 2009

All Growed Up

So my darling, little Lucky. The one I bottle raised from birth:



The one who I used to cuddle in my lap while she looked at me with adoring eyes:



The one who used to curl up under my desk to take a nap while I worked:



My sweet, precious baby goat who I love more than anything in this world:



Well - she's all growed up. And she's kind of aggressive. And she's got horns. And she knows how to use them. And she's kind of a bitch. Kinda. Sorta. Well not really to me because she still knows I am her mom and all. But she's definitely showing all the other animals in the pasture that: She Is Not To Be Trifled With.

And on the one hand, this makes me ridiculously sad. Because part of me wanted her to stay a sweet, innocent, loving baby goat forever. But part of me is like: You go girl! Rock on with your bad goat self. Because she was rejected by Ann-Margaret. And because we did raise her in the house. And because re-integrating her back into the pasture and back into "real life" took time and didn't always go smoothly. And I was worried that as an "outsider" she would be at the bottom of the food chain. And that she'd get picked on. And butted at. And abused by the other goats. And so the fact that she does stand up for herself, the fact that she shows those other goats just who's in charge - warms my heart just a tad. Ok - more than a just a tad. Because clearly my baby girl is all growed up.

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

PS For the record, I just wish Lucky would stop butting at Dixie. Dixie is the most skittish donkey I know (wait - she's the only donkey I know) and the fact that she's afraid of little old Lucky just kills me and has added a whole new element to the feeding process. But that's another tale. For another post.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

An Ode to Irony

So I was all set to write about the genius and wonder and amazingness of inspiration boards...but honestly...I am a little under-inspired! For serious. And I realized that this month alone I have posted every day except 2 (when I was essentially on vacation) and so I am giving myself a day off. Of course, by writing this little ode to irony I am effectively posting which means the streak continues and it's possible that I will be able to took back on June 1 and say: Holy Shit - I posted EVERY day in May except 2. Damn I'm good. Or not. Because who knows what will happen between now and then.

My lazy-ass post aside, comments are open. I am especially interested in hearing you from you fellow blogging gods and goddesses on how often you post and how you maintain your discipline.

For me personally, 2009 has clearly been some kind of turning point. I posted 64 times in 2006 (although I didn't start blogging until July), 112 times in 2007 and 113 times in 2008. That's basically once every 3 days. This year I have already posted 88 times in 141 days (including this post) - which equals a post every 1.6 days and which is already nearly 77% of my average annual total even though we aren't even halfway through the year. Apparently, I either have a lot more to say, I have a lot more discipline, or I am alot more inspired!

Of course, the toughest thing is that because I have lived here for 3 years and because the things that used to seem odd and bizarre are no longer odd and bizarre and are basically an everyday fact of life, it's getting tougher to end posts the old fashioned way...which means I am either going to make a lot of references to grabbing Bojangles for breakfast (which I have already done twice even though both times I had no intention of getting Bojangles. Wait - is that some kind of blogging blasphemy? Or biscuit blasphemy?). Or I am going to have to rethink the whole tag line thing.

And I guess while I am thinking about it, I might as well get a biscuit for breakfast...

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

UPDATE: Apparently, I just learned that one is NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER supposed to blog about blogging. WHOOPS! So I guess I need to get my Blogging for Dummies manual out and brush up. I just hope my blogging consigliere doesn't disown me...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Where's the Beef?

So the other day, my blogging consigliere wrote about how she, a mother to “two little kids, with a couple of jobs and four bathrooms to clean” does dinner. And she wrote that sometimes it involved a microwave and sometimes and it didn't and how she'd like to do more “cooking than warming.” And while she didn't ask her readers for non-microwaveable recipes that a mother to “two little kids, with a couple of jobs and four bathrooms to clean” could whip up in 10 minutes or less, I was all like: I am going to send Beth Fish 25 recipes that will change her life. And they will not involve a microwave. Or anything frozen. And they will be delicious. And gourmet. And the kids will love them. And she will be able to prepare them while keeping an eye on her son. And entertaining her daughter. And cleaning 4 bathrooms. What can I say – I am ambitious.

So I emailed Beth to get a sense for what she and Chris and the kids actually like to eat and I casually asked if she had a crockpot because while I am not a big user of the crockpot, we do have one and we do use it on occasion (in fact, we were making a kick-ass BBQ beef in it this past winter and that was totally going to be one of the recipes I sent to Beth) and I am smart enough to know that the genius of a crockpot is that you throw 5 – 10 ingredients in, put the lid on, turn a switch and forget about it for like 10 hours. Perfect, I thought, for a busy mom with lots to do and only 2 hands and only 2 eyes and 2 kids to look out for/keep on the ground. Oh yes. I thought I was sooooo clever.

Here was Beth's reply to my email: “Oh, I have mad love for my crock pot. It borders on inappropriate. I'd love some new recipes, if you have some. We like anything except meat - Chris and I are vegetarian.”

Shot down on not one, but TWO counts, because clearly the whole crockpot thing had been discovered and because I am a total and complete CARNIVORE. I was quickly deflated and I did not see how I could ride in on my white chef's coat and toque and change Beth's dinnertime world which for some odd reason, had been my goal.

But as I said, I am nothing if not ambitious. And although I love me some ribeye, I also love me some veggies and I am nothing if not clever in the kitchen and Oh Yeah – this is going to be easy. Why was I even worried?

The first recipe that came to my mind was my awesome veggie-cheese soufflé (which can also just be a cheese soufflé) and which is so simple to make and really doesn't take long and now that they have all those awesome pre-shredded cheeses in the grocery store you don't have to grate your knuckles bloody trying to get a half a cup of shredded Gruyere. Simple to make for me. Because I've made it 100 times. And because I have time to separate eggs. And because I have a Kitchen-Aid to whip the egg whites. And because I can keep an eye on the béchamel and make sure it doesn't burn because I don’t have 2 kids to keep track of. Hmmm. While this dealt with the whole vegetarian thing, it didn't seem well suited to the whole “mother of 2 little kids with 4 bathrooms to clean” thing.

So then I thought about my Brussels Slaw – which if you haven't had it yet, you must try it one day because it will totally change your life and how you feel about Brussels sprouts. And once again, I realized that the painstaking act of peeling and slicing the sprouts was just that – painstaking – and weren't these recipes supposed to be easy, breezy, insta-Gourmet greatness without any hassle or mess? And oh yeah. I totally forgot. My Brussels slaw includes bacon. WHOOPS.

And once again, the wind was totally out of my sails. Every recipe that came to me was either 1) not vegetarian or 2) a total pain in the ass to make or 3) both. And I know you’re probably wondering why the Hell I even cared so much. But the truth is…I LOVE to cook. And I love to share my love of cooking with others. And I love clever cooking. And easy cooking. And I felt like if I could impart some of my knowledge to Beth…and make her life as a busy mom a little easier and/or a little tastier – well, that would be a good thing.

And then, I had one of my genius epiphanies, and knew I had the solution: Laurie Colwin's essays Home Cooking and More Home Cooking. It had been a while since I had read either – but I knew if there was a simple, hassle-free, totally tasty vegetarian recipe to be found, it would be in these books.

And so I started flipping through Home Cooking and here's the thing with Laurie Colwin. She makes everything sound so easy. For example, in the chapter “How to Disguise Vegetables” she writes about making fritters and the way she writes – it really does sound simple.

“Shred the zucchini – use four small ones – and drain it on a towel. Separate two eggs and beat the whites until fairly stiff. Add half a cup of milk to the egg yolk, beat and add about half to three-quarters of a cup of flour – the batter should be a little thicker than pancake batter. Add the zucchini, salt, pepper and some chopped scallion. Fold in the egg whites and fry in clarified butter (or unclarified butter) or olive oil until golden on both sides. Some people like large fritters. I like mine the size of a demitasse saucer.”

It sounds simple right? Except for the egg separating and the frying and just because Laurie writes about it so casually (as if we all have clarified butter on hand for frying) doesn't mean it’s simple.

Here's another one on broccoli:

“First you steam it. Then you sauté it in dark green olive oil with two cloves of garlic until the garlic is soft. Then you toss it all in the blender with pepper, a pinch of salt, the juice of half a lemon, more olive oil and serve it on penne or ziti or fusilli with lots of grated cheese…”

Once again, sounds simple. But then I was picturing the post-broccoli sauce sink: large pot for steaming along with steamer basket, sauté pan, and blender with all of its attachments and I thought: Beth is going to be washing dishes for an eternity instead of doing something more useful like playing with her kids.

A chapter entitled “Easy Cooking for Exhausted People” seemed like it might be better. And sure enough, after a lengthy discussion on boiled beef, Laurie addresses easy cooking for exhausted vegetarians and shares her thoughts on vegetarian chili and apparently, the secret to tasty vegetarian chili is to use 4 types of beans:

“I used small red beans (kidney beans are too coarse for this dish), aduki beans (tiny little red beans from the health food store), black beans and urad dal – tiny black lentils you find at the Indian store.
On the bottom of a kettle put a bay leaf. Then wash one cup of black beans, one cup of little red beans and half a cup each of aduki beans and urad dal. Needless to say, these proportions are flexible. This will feed three or four people. Put the beans in a pot and cover with the cut-up contents and the juice of a large can of Italian plum tomatoes, three cloves of garlic chopped, one chopped onion and one large medium dried chili (available in Mexican or Spanish groceries), washed and seeded. Add chili powder to taste, and water if necessary. Put the pot on the stove at the merest simmer and leave all day, stirring from time to time.”


This seemed like a step in the right direction and I was feeling ok about Laurie Colwin but still, 95% of her recipes involved meat and/or frying and/or blenders so…

I went to Epicurious and I was going to search for easy, vegetarian recipes. So obviously Beth could totally do this to (and maybe she does) but once again, at this point I was feeling compelled to offer one, life-changing, easy-to-make, totally delicious vegetarian recipe and OMG…I clicked on Recipes and Menus and what is the lead story? GO MEATLESS: 19 EXCEPTIONAL VEGETARIAN RECIPES. Destiny? Not quite because these exceptional vegetarian recipes (which all sound quite tasty) all involve an exceptional number of ingredients and who has time for all of this?

So I finally went to Advanced Search and clicked on “Kid-Friendly,” “Quick and Easy,” and Vegetarian. I got 90 hits and started scrolling through. Some did not seem so Quick and Easy (Dumplings? Please Epicurious people. There is nothing easy about dumplings.”) but I came up with a few that seemed to fit the bill:

Orzo with Garbanzo Beans, Goat Cheese, and Oregano
Soft Scrambled Eggs with Fresh Ricotta and Chives
Smashed Carrots
Nacho Macaroni and Cheese
Tiny Pasta Stew

Ok – so I just went back and re-read what I wrote and this post has completely gotten away from me and really, and I have no idea where I am going with this anymore. So yes – there are apparently some easy, vegetarian, kid-friendly recipes in the world. In fact, 90 of them in fact according to Epicurious (although I would disagree with several of them). And hopefully, this news has a positive impact on your life in one way shape or form.

Tell me darling readers: what's your favorite thing to cook – vegetarian, kid-friendly or otherwise?

As for me, I am going to include the BBQ Crockpot Beef recipe (courtesy of Marzee's Daily Recipe) for you non-vegetarians because it really is that good:

RECIPE: CROCKPOT SHREDDED BEEF

INGREDIENTS:
1 (2-1/2 to 3-1/2 lbs.) lean chuck roast
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1 envelope onion soup mix
2 or 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 (10-1/2 oz.) can of tomato soup
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon hot ground pepper mix
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:
Trim fat from beef and cut into 4 or 5 large chunks to fit in crockpot. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over beef. Cook in a crock pot for 8 to 10 (4 to 5 on high) hours on low. Pour juice into a small saucepan and simmer on the stovetop for 15 to 20 minutes to reduce and thicken. In the meantime shred beef with 2 forks or potato masher. Return thickened sauce to the beef in the crockpot. Keep warm and serve with buns and coleslaw. Yield: 6-8 Servings

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your…

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Post With the Most Happy Ending Ever

So I blame this one on Twitter. The first weekend in April, Dr. Diva tweeted that she had gone on an 8-mile run and listened to kick-ass tunes on her iPod. And it was a Saturday. And the first nice weekend we'd had in an eternity. And I wanted to work-out. And going for a run in the sunshine seemed so much more appealing than 30 minutes on the elliptical. And I also had kick-ass tunes on my iPod. And so it was settled.

I went downtown to the rail trail and ran it 3 times (which is probably just short of 5 miles) and I felt great. So great, that the next day, which was also absolutely gorgeous, I went for another run on the rail trail (only 2 rounds this time). Approximate distance – probably just over 3 miles. That Thursday, when I was down in Atlanta for Passover, I jogged the short distance over to Emory University and ran 4.5 miles on their indoor track. Only, somewhere around the start of mile 2 my left knee started throbbing. Now, I had knee pain a few years ago when I got into jogging, and so I always wear a patella strip to keep my knee in place – but it didn't seem to be helping. Still, I was in the zone and got through my 4.5 miles – pain be damned. That Saturday? Another gorgeous day, another near 5-mile run on the rail trail. And a whole lot of pain. Like – come home and start icing my knee pain. And taking Advil pain.

So I texted Dr. Diva (who for the record is a vascular surgeon and NOT an orthopedist but obviously brilliant and totally talented in the medical arena) and was all like: How the Hell do people train for marathons and I go for 4 piddly runs in 8 days and wham – I've blown my left knee out. I mean – really! And she texts me back: What kind of shoes do you have and how old are they? And I got mildly indignant because I do have real shoes (Asics - although they are almost 3 years old) and I could not believe that a poor choice in footwear had contributed to this much pain. And I was mad that I couldn't run any more (I was physically in too much pain plus Dr. Diva suggested laying off the jogging to give myself some time to heal). Still – that didn't stop me from hopping on the elliptical the following morning (it's low-impact after all) and going walking with my friend Karen the following day. At which point, the pain got so bad – I admitted that I probably needed to take a break from exercise period.

So I did. For two weeks. And during those 2 weeks I bitched to told anyone who would listen about my knee pain and sought out their opinion on why I was in so much pain and did they think I had done any permanent damage and would it require surgery and so on and so forth. And after about a week and a half and 100 different answers and still being in pain and being massively paranoid that I was going to require knee replacement surgery, I scheduled an appointment with the orthopedist.
So, Friday April 24th, almost 3 weeks to the day that I went on that first fateful jog, I went to OrthoCarolina where my knee was poked, prodded, and x-rayed. There was nothing visibly wrong and the doctor thought that I likely had ITB Syndrome which is a common injury among runners, but just to be sure there wasn't an actual tear in the tissue, I had to have an MRI. Oh great. Because you know – I can totally lie absolutely still for 30 minutes without moving an inch.

Still, five days later I was back at OrthoCarolina getting my first (and hopefully last) MRI. Then the following week I was back at the doctor's office to discuss the results of said MRI. Here's what I was Twittering about while I waited to see the doctor:

Slightly irritated that it's 9:30am and I am still in the waiting room. Appt. was at 8:55am - granted I was 7 minutes late...but still...
9:29 AM May 5th from TwitterBerry


Did I say slightly irritated? I meant EXTREMELY irritated - esp. since 2 people have gone back & I am still languishing in the waiting room
9:36 AM May 5th from TwitterBerry


Bordering on apoplectic - and if she tells me I need surgery after making me wait I am going to be freaking furious...
9:39 AM May 5th from TwitterBerry


1 more still before me @ 50 mins past my scheduled appt? WTF???
9:46 AM May 5th from TwitterBerry


Just played the NYC bitch card and it worked! Wait - is that wrong of me to gloat about it? And why is my knee throbbing? A sign? Oy...
9:50 AM May 5th from TwitterBerry


Yeah. That was an hour of my life I'll never get back. The good news? Well it seemed that I did in fact have ITB Syndrome and the first course of action was 4 – 6 weeks of physical therapy. And even better – there was a local PT place in Lincolnton (which meant I wasn't hauling my cookies to Charlotte/Gastonia/Hickory any more than I already have to).

So I called the following day to schedule an appointment and given my travel and their availability the first day I could get in was Friday, May 15th. Sort of ridiculous but so is my life sometimes.

Meanwhile, as time goes on, my knee is hurting less and less. I am back to working out on the elliptical. And by the time I rolled into PT last Friday, I was in zero pain and feeling like I could run the NYC Marathon.

So after the physical therapist asks me a bunch of questions, watches me walk and puts me through a bunch of range of motion tests, you want to know what he tells me? My ankles turn in when I walk and I need new shoes with better support. Oh – and my muscles are a little tight so I should stretch more. Oh – and once I start running again, try to take it easy. Start with 1 – 2 miles and build up and don’t try to run 20 miles in 8 days. That's it.

So after 2 trips to the doctor (one of which sent me to levels of apoplexy usually reserved for when I get stuck behind a slow-moving 18-wheeler in the left lane), x-rays, an MRI, a trip to PT and countless dollars spent (although luckily I have already met my deductible and insurance covers 85%), the answer is: NEW FUCKING SHOES. Don’t think Dr. Diva didn't love that when I told her.

So dear readers…tell me about an unexpected happy ending in your life. Or just tell me about a pair of shoes you are currently coveting. Either way.

As for me, I am having a strong craving for a sausage biscuit for breakfast.

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

Monday, May 18, 2009

You Must Read This Book. Now.

There was a time in my life, 100 years ago, when I was a reader. As a small child, I would read for 30 minutes every night before going to bed. In fact, I couldn't fall asleep unless I read. And my Mom is a reader. And so is Dad. And even my brother. And so there were always books lying around the house in giant stacks just waiting to be picked up and read.

And I had time to read at one point in my life. The best thing about NYC commutes? 45 minutes on a train/bus/ferry with nothing to do but READ. The best thing about a 2-week Caribbean vacation? Lying on the beach all day with nothing to do but read. Ok – so maybe that’s not the best thing about a 2-week Caribbean vacation. But it's up there.

Well, these days, I do very little reading. Something about driving on average 350 miles/week and spending 2+ hours in the car almost daily makes it tough. And yes, I am fully aware of books on tape. And no, I am not interested. I like to read, not to listen.

If a book comes out that I am absolutely cuckoo for, I will absolutely drop everything and read it. Like when Harry Potter 7 came out 2 summers ago and Marty and I were up in the mountains for a romantic weekend and that Friday night I dragged him to the local Wal-Mart at 11pm, made him wait in line for an hour until the book went on sale, and then I spent the next 36 hours toting that book with me everywhere and wouldn't put it down unless absolutely necessary. For 2 nights, Marty got to cuddle up to me and Harry. So much for romance.

So my point is, that really, other than Harry Potter during romantic weekend getaways I don't do a lot of reading these days. But when I do find the time to read, and when I do read something amazing, I feel compelled to share it.

So once again, it was a Facebook thing. Kinda-sorta. I was home one night and utterly bored and I resorted to taking some of those totally addictive really stupid quizzes on Facebook. (Yes. I hear you. You are saying – but Country Girl – is this not a PERFECT time for READING A BOOK? And yes. It probably is. Only I'd forgotten all about reading and was still smoking Facebook crack. But don’t worry because this story has a totally happy ending.)

So a bunch of people had recently taken the “What Are your 5 All-Time Favorite Books?” quiz and it seemed like a quasi-intellectual stupid Facebook quiz to take as opposed to the “How Are You Going to Die Quiz?” (Really Facebook – am I going to die trying to be the first person to mail myself around the world. WTF?) or the “Which Deadly Sin is Yours?” quiz (Yes – I took this. No – I don't remember the answer. I think it was Wrath. Which given some recent road rage issues kind of makes sense although it didn't at the time.) or the “What Color Easter Egg Are You” quiz (You have got to be freaking kidding me – right?).

So the first 2 choices were clearly obvious. And by the way, this was BEFORE March 31st so anyone wanting to know why there are only 2 Lomax & Biggs books up there instead of 3 can just kiss my…Oh wait. We're not there yet.

And then I really wanted to put The Faux Gourmet by Juli Huss because it is one of my all time favorite books and I re-read it about once a year and my version is so worn down and battered and utterly loved…Alas, none of the other 8 billion people on Facebook have read this book and so it wasn't one of the choices and I didn't know how to add it manually.

So then I added one of the Harry Potter books. 6 maybe. Or 7. Because I really do love Harry Potter. And because it seemed fair to Marty. I mean, we spent a romantic weekend with a giant 800-page book wedged between us. Seems like it ought to at least make the Top 5.

And then my mind started mentally scanning my bookshelf downstairs (because I was too lazy to get off my duff and go downstairs and actually LOOK) trying to remember books that I absolutely loved. That I could not live without. Books that had been life-changing. Or mind-blowing. Or both. Books that I held onto and re-read over and over, year after year, because they are just that good. That's when I came to #4 – The Sixteen Pleasures by Robert Hellenega. Just look at my copy to know how much I love this book.

I struggled on #5. There was nothing that was jumping out at me and despite the fact that this was a stupid Facebook quiz I was really taking my choices seriously. And then came some moment of weird, divine, Facebook intervention. A book that I had only read once, many years ago, popped into my head. A book which I no longer had a copy of because I had passed it onto a friend and encouraged her to do the same. A book which I had, oddly enough, looked up a few months earlier because a friend of mine loves reading travel books and I had remembered this one to be particularly good.

So after completing my quiz on Facebook, I hopped right over to Barnes & Noble dot com and ordered An Italian Affair by Laura Fraser and as soon as it arrived 2 days later, I devoured it.

There is much to love about this book. The thing I love most about it – and the thing that I always remembered about it – she writes it in the second person. I know – you readers out there are like: But wait. How does she do that? And how does it work? So suddenly it's not “I board a plane for Italy” or “She boarded a plane for Italy.” It's YOU board a plane to Italy and it's all written in the present tense and it's like the story is being narrated in your head and you are living it real-time and it's the coolest thing ever and OMG excuse me while I go write a book in the second person.

Ok. I am back.

So I will tell you. In ways, this is not the happiest book. It's a memoir and Laura Fraser was a young writer living in San Francisco when her husband of only a few years left her for his high school sweetheart. Crushed, she goes to visit friends in Italy, finds herself randomly on the island of Ischia, and begins this rather torrid and extraordinary affair with a French aesthetics professor whom she only calls “M.” The book covers about 2 years of her life and while she writes about many painful subjects, it's also all about her healing and recovery and learning to love and trust again. And because she is a travel writer and because she lives in San Fran and M lives in Paris – they meet at these exotic locations like the Aeolian Islands and Morocco and she writes deftly about the sites and the meals and the hotels and again – it's all second person so you feel like you are having these amazing experiences. And when you are done reading this book you will probably want to book a ticket to Italy pronto! At least I did.

And so I just went back and re-read what I wrote and I am not sure I am fully doing this book justice and I guess this is why I don't review books for a living. But I will tell you that after I was done reading it, I promptly thrust it into the hands of my girlfriend Sarah Marie and about 2 or 3 chapters in she texted me and was like: Best book ever.

So trust me people – if you like a) memoirs b) travel books c) Italy or d) really well-written books by talented writers then go out and buy An Italian Affair by Laura Fraser and read it.

So I am curious lambs. What are you reading now that you absolutely cannot put down and what should I read next?

Because I really don't want to have to resort to taking another stupid Facebook quiz like “What Kind of Farm Animal Would You Be?” or “Which Country Singer Would You Be?” or “What's Your Redneck Name?”

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your…

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My Week in Tweets: 5/10 - 5/16

sending lots of love to all you mommies...esp. mine who showed me today why she's the best mom ever...
8:44 AM May 10th from web

Is it weird that I won't buy tissues if they aren't in a pretty box?
4:01 PM May 10th from TwitterBerry

Watching Baby Boom and eagerly awaiting the scene where Diane Keaton has a total nervous break-down in front of the plumber.
7:43 PM May 10th from TwitterBerry

But then she wakes up on Sam Shephard's veterinary operating table so I guess that makes it ok.
7:45 PM May 10th from TwitterBerry

Diane Keaton losing her shit...GENIUS!
8:09 PM May 10th from TwitterBerry

Flat tire and I need to get on the road soon. Why me? Why me????
7:56 AM May 11th from TwitterBerry

I am so finding an auto 101 class for girls because I hate not being equipped to deal with this crap on my own.
7:57 AM May 11th from TwitterBerry

I am overwhelmed, frazzled and totally busy. But I guess I have 30 seconds to bitch about it to the Twitterverse. Now back to my cave...
6:35 PM May 11th from TwitterBerry

sort of wish I had a lighter because I'd totally hold it up and wave it back and forth because Adam rules my world tonight...
8:27 PM May 12th from web

Clearly I'm tone deaf. I thought Danny sounded pitchy. Simon just said it was a vocal master class. Whoops. Who wants to go sing karaoke?
8:48 PM May 12th from web

Love Adam. Love him. And if Alicia Silverstone appears I will faint. And text in my vote. 4000 times. Swear. I have unlimited txtng.
9:00 PM May 12th from web

So yeah - ribs at 12 Bones TOTALLY rocked! As did the white cheddar mashed potatoes. In-freaking-sane....
1:18 PM May 13th from TwitterBerry

loves having my fabulous divaliciousness acknowledged....so much better than being called a high maintenance bitch.
5:36 PM May 13th from TwitterBerry

Is so proud that my in depth knowledge of random, crappy 80s tv won us 2nd place at trivia tonight....
9:23 PM May 13th from TwitterBerry

Bracing for rush hour out of Charlotte and trying to be zen.
4:15 PM May 14th from TwitterBerry

However - suspect over-caffeination might lead to temporary Tourette's Syndrome on the road.
4:17 PM May 14th from TwitterBerry

Wondering why on EARTH I have NEVER EVER been to Party City before. This place is GENIUS!!!!
6:11 PM May 14th from TwitterBerry

Did you know that you could buy "hickey tatoos" and "instant pimp chest" here? I mean - GENIUS!!!!
6:17 PM May 14th from TwitterBerry

From Party City to Target on one night? AWESOMOSITY!
6:33 PM May 14th from TwitterBerry

is wearing Umbros....wait - is it 1987 and am I at summer camp from hell?
8:25 AM May 15th from TwitterBerry

Oooh - and they are extremely oversized. WTF was I thinking when I bought these when I was a SMALL child? And why do I still have them?
8:27 AM May 15th from TwitterBerry

Really can't abide by idiots in oversized trucks who take up 2 parking spaces. Yeah - I'm talking to you assface....
9:55 AM May 15th from TwitterBerry

In waiting room for first PT appointment listening to "Jesus Christ is King" on the radio. Do they not realize ithere are Jews in town?
9:57 AM May 15th from TwitterBerry

And that maybe this music might be offensive or oppressive or both? Whatever happened to Muzak?
9:57 AM May 15th from TwitterBerry

Oh - and the woman next to me is totally singing along. I don't know why but I am mildly freaked out.
9:58 AM May 15th from TwitterBerry

Dumbass move #1: Bagdley Mischka stilletos aren't a wise footwear choice for an outdoor wedding.
7:48 PM May 15th from TwitterBerry

Dumbass move #2: multiple spritzes of Jo Malone french lime blossom....I am now serving as a tasty main course for 800 insects.
7:49 PM May 15th from TwitterBerry

Wishing Kathy Griffin would flunk out of the D List and just disappear. #celebritieswhoshouldntbecelebrities
11:18 PM May 15th from web

Dear Rain: Did you not get the memo that I had some serious sunning to do today?
8:14 AM May 16th from web

Can't find frozen pigs in a blanket. What's wrong with this world?
11:16 AM May 16th from TwitterBerry

They have frozen turducken and no *#?!/! frozen weenies wrapped in dough? WTF?
11:19 AM May 16th from TwitterBerry

Mexican layered dip Pringles? Pizza Cravers/Ranch Doritos? Just how many damn flavors can they cram into 1 tiny little chip?
11:25 AM May 16th from TwitterBerry

Tucking the piglets into their blankets and really annoyed I couldn't find these pre-made already. UGH.
4:43 PM May 16th from TwitterBerry

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss you...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Jonesing for Bones

Y'all know me. I am always in the market for a) good food b) good 'cue and c) a blogworthy experience. And lunch at 12 Bones in Asheville the other day fully lived up to the hype on all 3 levels.

Ok – so we went to the branch in Arden – which is apparently new and rather shiny and sterile but it doesn't really matter because unlike the debacle known as Uncle Yammy's it might be new and shiny and sterile but it feels worn in and a little rough around the edges and when you are eating finger food such as ribs it is helpful to feel like you are in a clean environment so I really didn't mind. And also – the food was totally awesome and utterly amazing so I could have been in a hospital operating room eating it and wouldn't have minded.

Although 12 Bones has the full 'cue offerings (pork, chicken, brisket, etc.) we were there for ribs. Specifically. And so it was ribs I planned to order. I had been told in advance that the Blueberry-Chipotle ribs were the way to go (apparently the Blueberry-Chipotle sauce won some kind of award on Good Morning America) but that sounded kind of gross and so I wanted to evaluate my options. I have no idea how many “flavors” of ribs 12 Bones offers, but according to the on-line menu they offer 2 – 3 different flavors daily and on the day I was there they had 5 available:

• Nekked (just salt and pepper)
• Blueberry-Chipotle (um…ok…next?)
• Traditional Brown Sugar Dry Rub
• Memphis Dry Rub
• Pineapple-Habanero

So my first choice was – what flavor? Actually, my first choice was half rack or full rack but when my dining companion told me that he was going to order a half rack, that decision got made for me. No way I am going to out-eat my male lunch companion by 6 full ribs. No way. Though for the record – I totally could have. Totally.

Then came the whole “what flavor” thing. I am not big into fruity meat and plain nekked sounded so…plain…and nekked…so I was debating between the 2 dry rubs. But it felt like an epicly important decision. One I couldn't make on my own for fear I might screw it up. So once I got up to the counter and it was my turn to order, I asked the Girl Behind the Register what the difference was between the Traditional Brown Sugar Dry Rub and the Memphis Dry Rub and if she had to choose one, which one would she choose? I don't recall her exact answer – but it wasn't particularly useful and had something to do with one being sweet and one being sweet/spicy. So then I asked about the Blueberry-Chipotle – mainly because my curiosity is insatiable. And she gave it the canned ringing endorsement that any GMA-award winning BBQ sauce gets…and after debating in my head for a full minute while she waited patiently (and the rabid lunchtime mob behind me stamped their feet impatiently) – I opted for the Memphis Dry Rub. One decision down. Finally. Only then the Girl Behind the Register looks at me and says: You know you can split it up between 2 flavors. And I'm like: Even for a half rack? And she's like: Of course. So I completely give in to morbid curiosity and order a half rack with half Memphis Dry Rub and half Blueberry-Chipotle. What the Hell – right?

They also had some sick sounding sides including corn pudding, mac & cheese, mashed potatoes with white cheddar, jalapeno cheese grits, sweet vinegar slaw, apple/sausage/cornbread stuffing, and buttered green beans – just to name some. I mean – it was a good thing I waited in line for 10 minutes before ordering because it took me this long to make up my mind. And I confess – I am a carbophobe. This is what happens when you lose 30 lbs. on Atkins and manage to keep it off for 5-1/2 years. But I was not about to skip out on corn pudding/stuffing/cheesy taters and the like. Only – what to get? They advertised their corn pudding as the best in the world – or some other such superlative – and it was tempting. Only - the meal came with cornbread. And so corn pudding seemed kind of redundant. Ditto the stuffing. I was all about the grits – even though I am not really a grits kind of girl – only my dining companion was going to order the grits and so I couldn't very well replicate a side when there were so many to be tried. He was also going to order the collards – which he tried desperately to push on me as well. Only – as much as I love me my green veggies, I am not a big fan of collards.

So after the Girl Behind the Register helps me sort out what flavor of ribs I want, I ask her about the sides: “Between the mac & cheese and the white cheddar mashed potatoes, which would you order?” Now logic would dictate that since my meal came with 2 sides – I would order BOTH. However, as I said - I am a recovering (?) carbophobe and mentally I was only prepared to go down one carbolicious road. The Girl Behind the Register gave it a minute and then told me to get the potatoes. Which I did. And I got the slaw. Because I love slaw. Assuming it's good.

And for like, 4 and half seconds, I totally flirted with the idea of ordering banana puddin' for dessert (because after all – I did go with the half rack – right?) but in the end I exercised extreme discipline and didn't.

And so clearly I don't need to tell you that when the food came it was INSANELY good. I mean, Blueberry-Chipotle sounds totally nasty to me and I was not expecting to like it…let alone LOVE it. I mean, let alone worship at the shrine of freaking love it. But I did. And the Memphis Dry Rub was incredible too. But not Blueberry-Chipotle incredible. There's a reason why that shit won an award. And the collards – which I tasted courtesy of my dining companion – were so amazingly, fantastically good. They were clearly cooked with some kind of pork product. And the grits were heaven and awesome and I'd eat grits all the time if they were cooked like that. And I won't even attempt to talk about how magically delicious (and delightfully super duper lumpy) the potatoes were. I ate the entire scoop on my plate. The scoop which was as big as my head. I mean – the entire meal simply rocked. And I kept looking at my dining companion (who is also my boss) and just kept thanking him over and over again for even thinking to bring me to 12 Bones because it was like, the most amazing place ever and how lucky was I to have a boss who would bring her here for lunch.

So lovely readers…tell me about a recent memorable lunch you enjoyed.

Oh. And I haven't even mentioned the drinks. Usually – when spritzing from a fountain the choice is Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi. Well at 12 Bones – it’s all about the Diet Cheerwine. I mean…

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your…

Friday, May 15, 2009

Why I Don't Believe in Eating Fish During The Day (and a bunch of other random rules that don't make any sense)

I have some serious seafood issues. So many, that I feel I ought to share them with you in case you ever have me over for dinner one night or in case we ever have lunch and I look at you funny when you place your order for the grilled salmon Caesar (because one of my issues has to do with eating seafood during the day – but more on that later). You know how most languages have more regular verbs than irregular verbs but how in the Portuguese language there are way more irregular verbs and more exceptions than rules? That's like me and fish. For every “rule” I have, there's about 3 exceptions. And none of them make any sense.

For example, for the most part, I like shellfish. I like shrimp. Although not with the heads on. For the love of God people - please remove the shrimp heads - there's simply no need to leave the heads and the tentacle/feeler things and the little beady black eyes on there. I want to eat the sucker - not shake his tentacle/feeler thingy and become friends for life. And lobster. I love lobster. And I'll eat the occasional scallop. However, I don't care for crab. I know – right? It makes absolutely no sense and for the record, it drives Marty crazy.

Now – that all said – I don't like shrimp salad. Or lobster salad. Even though I like (headless) shrimp. And lobster. I think part of it has to do with the whole “I don't really believe in eating seafood during the day” rule. Because shrimp salad and lobster salad are kind of daytimey seafood items. Although I wouldn't eat them at night either. And I can't really explain the whole "I don't eat seafood during the day" thing. But I will never order fish for lunch. Ever. It's a night time thing. Then again, when I was at the beach the other week I ordered fish tacos for lunch so I guess that would qualify as an exception.

And tuna fish. I like tuna – in all forms. Sashimi. Rare grilled steaks. And tuna salad – which is the only “fish salad” I will eat and the only fish I will consider eating during the day. Only – the tuna can't be fishy. It has to have the right amount of mayo and most definitely lemon. In fact, I am very finicky about my tuna fish salad and that's why I will never order tuna fish salad at say, Subway. I don't know why – but their tuna salad scares me.

I don't like salmon. At all. Period. Go ahead and revoke my NYC Jew Girl Card now. I don't like it smoked, poached, baked or grilled. I don't like it wild or farm-raised. I don't like Chinook, Coho or Sockeye. I don't like it on my bagel or on my salad. And I certainly don't like it in a can. Oddly enough, it seems that everyone I go out to lunch with likes salmon and frequently orders it. The double-whammy of SALMON DURING THE DAY makes me cringe. Apologies now to all my salmon loving friends. If I look at you funny when we are having lunch together, at least you'll know why.

In case that wasn't enough to revoke my NYC Jew Girl Card - I am not a huge sushi fan either. But I think that's because I don't like the seaweed. And as a recovering carbophobe I still have a lingering fear of rice.

In general, I don't crave fish. I don’t wake up and say: “Hmm…I feel like a big ol’ piece of flounder tonight.” Not the way I crave steak or burgers or chicken (YES – I crave chicken. I crave it constantly. I could eat chicken for 21 meals in a row and never be bored and never mind it. In fact – I may just take on that challenge because it would potentially be good blog fodder). And the fish that I do enjoy – well, as already stated, it can't be fishy. I mean, I know fish is not supposed to be fishy but certain types of fish are “fishier” than others and I really prefer my fish to not taste fishy. I mean – I know for a fact that there are people who like fish that tastes like the ocean is exploding in their mouth. I am sorry. I have been in the ocean. And I have gotten a mouthful of seawater. And you know what? I think it's gross.

Of course, to further continue with the contradictions, I actually enjoyed oysters when I was at an oyster roast in February - then again I didn't chew them and they were doused in cocktail sauce so it was more about the fact that I love cocktail sauce and less about the fact that I genuinely enjoy oysters.

Where I draw the line is fish camps. My visit last year to Fox's has already been well documented. However, I don't think I ever wrote about our return visit for Nanny's 90th birthday in January which probably had something to do with a giant ass 65 foot tree being uprooted and crashing down into our pasture and crushing our fence on that very same day and me having insurance claims and fence repairs on the brain and not being too terribly interested in blogging.

Anyways, in case you give a crap about what I ate for dinner more than 4 months ago...there are 3 non-fish items at Fox’s Fish Camp: hamburger steak (not really a shocker), fried chicken strips (naturally), and……broiled chicken breast! Along with a side of steamed veggies I was over the moon with happy despite raising a few eyebrows and looking only slightly out of place (nothing fried or fishy on my plate).

So tell my darling readers: What won't you eat and why? Or better yet - what do you love to eat that you think horrifies everybody else? Remember loves - you are in a judgement free zone and after my nonsensical ramblings about fish, nothing could really shock me.

It's kind of not country. I know. But I will still totally kiss your (non-salmon) eating...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Why Do We Care Dawg?

Ok - so I know that even thinking of writing this post is totally the pot calling the kettle black and oh-so hypocritical of me (seeing as I have next Tuesday and Wednesday nights blocked off in my calendar) - but riddle me this campers: Why the Hell do any of us give one flying fig about American Idol?

Eight years ago, when Kelly and Justin went into that final week...we all knew the outcome would be life-changing. ONE of them would walk away THE AMERICAN IDOL while the other...well, the other would just walk away. In theory. Right? Wasn't that the whole point? Give THE best singer THE chance of a lifetime and Give a "Sorry suckas" and "Thanks for playing" to everyone else?

Only, nowadays, you don't need to win to get the recording contract. You don't need to win to become famous. You don't need to win be a star. You don't even need to be good (hello William Huang). And I don't have time (nor do I really care that much) to do a whole bunch of Idol research and show how many actual winners versus non-winners have been successful and what that means in terms of album sales and shit but here are some random thoughts:

* The only 2 Idol winners who have been TRULY successful in my book are Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. I mean - does anyone know where Fantasia is and does anyone give a shit?

* Chris Daughtry (voted off at #4 in Season 5) clearly smokes Taylor Hicks. Clearly. And Kellie Pickler? Why she's doing New Year's Eve with Ryan in Times Square and opening for Taylor Swift. Where the Hell are you Katherine McPhee?

* Shit. Speaking of Season 5. Bucky Covington smokes Taylor Hicks. What's that all about? Damn. Season 5 was fucked up (and that was the one year I actually voted).

* Three words: Jennifer. Hudson. Oscar.

* I was on iTunes the other day and you know who has a new single or maybe even album? Elliott Yamin. Remember that dude? I do. Barely. Well, this will be Danny Gokey in a year...unless Danny Gokey does the whole Christian Rock thing (which I totally think he should) in which case he might actually get elevated to some sort of God-like status.

* You know who else is releasing/has released albums and/or singles recently: Mandisa, Ace Young, Paris Bennett, Josh Gracin and Brooke White. Were any of them Idols? No.

* Can anyone tell me what happened to Jordin Sparks and/or David Cook? Once again, does anyone care? And did it really matter that David Cook beat David Archueleta last year because they both released albums.

* And wasn't Constantine Maroulis on TV or Broadway or BFF with Kelsey Grammar or something?

It's not that I don't love Idol. I do. And I will totally watch next week along with 78 gazillion other people. But I write all this to make the point that this show is no longer about ONE really talented person getting a recording contract. It's about - like half a dozen people (some with talent, some not so much) getting recording contracts. And the chance to tour (at least the Top 10). And I simply think the end result is less interesting, less life-changing and therefore, I am less on the edge of my seat about the whole thing.

What are your thoughts on Idol? Am I smoking-my-shoelaces-Paula Abdul crazy? Or am I so right-like-Simon-ALWAYS-is right? Do you really think it matters the difference between first, second and eighth place?

I mean is Kris Allen really going to fade back into Arkansas obscurity when he loses to Adam next week? Probably not. In fact, they good people of Conway will probably slap his picture on their homepage to replace the photo of that bison.

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...