Thursday, December 31, 2009

Au Revoir Country Girl

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly." ~ R. Bach

My Darling Readers:

It is with bittersweet sadness that I inform you that today's post will be the final post for If That Ain't Country.

Three and a half years ago I arrived in North Carolina toting a psychotic cat, an assload of luggage and all of the neuroses and quirks that you would expect from a Jewish girl raised on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. I didn't know a Bojangles biscuit from Mr. Bojangles and OMFG haven't you people ever heard of iced coffee?

Life was one giant fish out of water experience for me and I began this blog as a way to communicate those experiences to family and friends en masse. Ooh look - Country Girl is driving a pick up truck. Ooh look - Country Girl is at a biker bar. Ooh look - Country Girl just downloaded Toby Keith onto her iPod (shut up). Ooh look - Country Girl is watching NASCAR (while wearing Dolce & Gabanna heels thank you very much). I was way. Out. Of. My. Element.

But after three and a half years, none of this comes as a big surprise any more. I am no longer a fish out of water and frighteningly, I actually fit in just fine when Lilsaej and I ventured to Bristol over the summer. What does come as a surprise is that my wee little blog has readers who aren't related to me by blood. Seriously y'all? That shit tickles me to no end.

My life has changed dramatically over the last three and a half years and as my friend His Girl Friday pointed out: my life these days? Well - it just ain't that country and frankly, I just don't feel like Country Girl any more. A chapter in the story of my life has come to a close, and so I am bringing this blog to a close as well.

But before you start tearing your hair out and wailing and begin a campaign on Facebook to revive my wee little blog, know that I am not disappearing entirely. Another blog is in the works and I hope that with the help of my amazingly awseometastic and incomparable blogging consigliere, one Miss Beth Fish, I will be live on Monday, Jan 4th. New year. New decade. New blog. Same twisted, neurotic rantings from your favorite sassypants blogger.

Look for me to announce my new blog on Twitter as soon as I go live. If you don't do Twitter, leave your email in the comments section of this post or send me an email at itacillkissyour@yahoo.com and I will send you the new site details as soon as I am up and running.

So thanks to all of you who have been loyal fans and readers and supporters over the last 3 years. It means so much to me that anyone out there would actually take me and my writing seriously. And I hope you stick around for the next chapter. Because my life is just now starting to get interesting.

MWAH SUGARS!

xoxo Country Girl

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Low and Slow

I've never been big on crockpots. I don't know why but sticking meat, veggies and seasoning in a pot and leaving it alone for 8 hours has never been my thing. I like to make souffles. I like to make lasagna. I bake my cookies from scratch (although I do use pre made pie crust because really - what's the point?). I like things that are difficult and complex and challenging...I like things that are, well, kinda like me. And so I'm just not a crockpot kinds of girl.

But if there's one person who can make crockpots (and one day probably Jazzys) sexy, it's my dear friend Modern Matriarch. Seriously - she's got TWO of them and they are frequently featured in her Tweets and her blog and she's always got some amazing sounding recipes or glorious food porn shots or both and well how much of that can one girl take before she finally caves?

It's not like I woke up one day and rushed to the store and said: I'm gonna buy me a crockpot. It was more like I found myself in Wal-Mart (2 days before Christmas) shopping for a Dirty Santa present and I was over in the kitchen section and what to my wondering eyes should appear but a 5-quart portable crockpot for $17. $17 people. I spend more than that on wine. So I was all - what the hell I'll get it and I did and then I immediately Tweeted to Modern Matriarch that I had aged 10 years purchased a crockpot and could she send recipes STAT.

My crockpot lost its virginity on Christmas Eve. I had purchased a whole chicken with the intention of roasting it but instead I threw it in the crockpot with some onion, lemon, carrots, chives, seasoning and a bottle of Stella Artois and voila - Crockpot Beer Chicken.

One slight problem. Ok - two.

The first was that Modern Matriarch had originally told me it would be done in 4 hours so I didn't get it started til mid-afternoon. 3:30 to be exact. But then she said something about 8 hours and I was all like WTF? I'll be having tuna fish and pretzels for Christmas Eve dinner because I can't wait til 11:30pm to eat. And she said No just set it for 8 hours but stop it after 4. And I'm all - why wouldn't I just cook it for 4 hours. And oh yeah by the way: Who's on first?

So as it turns out there's the universe of $17 crockpots (which have 3 options: Keep Warm, Low and High) and then there are the non-$17 crockpots which actually have time settings like 4, 6 and 8. Once this confusion was settled, I felt relieved that I wouldn't be eating canned fish for dinner. But then the second problem set in. Well - the second and a half.

You see - I'm an Instant Gratification kind of girl. I'm also an I Like To Be Involved kind of girl. The notion of just leaving the chicken and the beer to it's own devices for 4 hours was basically anathema to me and I pretty much checked the crockpot every 15 minutes. I don't know why. I don't know what I thought I would accomplish but I just could not. Let. It. Go.

The chicken ultimately came out the delicious as did the OMG so decadent creamed spinach I made to go with it (which involved a microwave, a saute pan, a Cuisinart and an oven - my kind of side dish).

I began Round 2 of my crockpot adventures on Christmas morning when I made a batch of Modern Matriarch's It's-All-Fun-And-Games-Til-You-Lose-An-Eye Chili for an impromptu gathering Chez Rougie on Saturday.

I have never made chili before but it seemed like an easy enough way to start. And I was home all day which meant I could stare at the crockpot all day and will it to cook faster at the assigned times I could stir or add seasoning or stir or add roux. Eight and half hours I let that chili cook. And at the end of that interminable time period, I looked at the picture of the chili in Andrea Anna's recipe and I looked at my crockpot and...WTF? My chili looked like soupy Alpo...not like chili.

I panicked. Mildly. Because OMG - aren't crockpots idiot proof and what kind of girl can whip up a cheese and broccoli souffle with one hand tied behind her back (oh yes I totally can) but can't fucking cook meat in a pot?

Thank God for Twitter (and iPhones) because suggestions on how to remedy my chili came flying at me. Nice to know you people didn't sacrifice technology for Christmas.

Very long blog post short...the chili thickened overnight but thinned out again once I heated it up the next day - despite the addition of some extra roux. I was pretty much ready to dump the chili, stick my head in the crockpot, set it on low and wait for a slow and agonizing death when my first guest arrived.

"Smells great," the Angel said.

"Yeah," I said dejectedly. "Smells great but take a look."

The Angel went into the kitchen and lifted the lid and gave the chili a twirl with the spoon laying on the counter. "What's wrong with it?" she asked entirely too chirpily for my darkening mood (because Oh Yeah - the pie I had made for dessert has not worked out either and while I was sure it wasn't a total loss it was not what I was shooting for. Sigh.).

"Look at it," I moaned. "Just look at how thin it is. It's like water. Isn't chili supposed to be thicker? Heartier?"

The Angel looked at me like I was high an idiot: "No. This is what chili is supposed to look like."

Despite her reassurances I didn't actually believe her (Because you know - I'm such the chili expert.) and so I made her cover the pot and continue its quest to thicken while I plied her with some of Lilsaej's holiday cheeseball.

It took 2 more guests arriving and 2 more reassurances that my chili was *normal* (as much as anything is ever normal in my life) before I would let someone sample it.

The conclusion: BEST CHILI EVER. WOO-HOO.

And no don't ask me how I made it because despite following Modern Matriarch's recipe I made some changes and some adjustments and OMG the seasoning. Who knows how much of what I used to season it. But it was DELICIOUS. And so was the pie. In fact by the end of the day both the crockpot and the pie plate were totally empty (10 hours and no leftovers? WTF?) and my guests were happily stuffed.

As for me, I've got issues. Clearly. Also? I love my crockpot. Really.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Did Charles Bronson Ever Wear Heels?

There are certain, fundamental things every woman should know how to do. A woman should know how to change a tire. Or at least have AAA. A woman should have 1 recipe that she can cook in case people come over for dinner. A woman should know how to fake it. She should also know what needs to be done so that she doesn't have to fake it. And a woman should be able to defend herself.

Maybe she learns how to step on a man's insole and kick him in the short and curlies. Maybe she learns how to aim that pepper spray. Perhaps she buys a taser and learns how many volts of electricity it takes to render an assailant unconscious - or at least immobile. Or in my case, she learns how to shoot a gun.

Up until last week, I have had what I consider to be a healthy fear of firearms. I have been around them before. I have held them. I have even on 2 separate occasions actually fired one. But I didn't really understand how they work and I was the type of girl who thought that a revolver in the bedside table might spontaneously go off. For the record, I also think that most appliances and electrically-powered items can spontaneously combust. Clearly I have issues.

Anyways, I decided it was high time to get over my fear and so last week I set up a private lesson at a shooting range to learn how to fire a gun.

Here was the first issue: I arrived at the shooting range from lunch at Capital Grille in the Big City. I was attired in a a Lily Pulitzer shift, Kate Spade Mary Janes with 3-inch heels, and toting a "Merry Christmas to Me" kick ass gold bag from Coach. Most of the folks at the range were in jeans, camouflage or flannel. I stuck out like a sore Princess.

Sartorial misconceptions aside, I explained to my instructor Paul that I was dead serious about learning how guns work and how to fire one and once we got down to brass tacks the fact that I was in a dress in heels was promptly forgotten.

We started out in the classroom. Paul brought in a .22 revolver and a .22 semi-automatic and first he explained the difference in the two to me: you have to pull back on the hammer to chamber each round of ammo in a revolver whereas in a semi-automatic the bullets automatically load after each shot. He felt like we ought to focus on just the revolver for Lesson #1 and so we put the semi aside. I learned what the different parts of the gun were called, how to hold it when loading ammo, how to load ammo, how to pull the trigger, how to hold the gun when shooting, and how to line up my front and rear sights. After about 15 minutes in the classroom, we headed out to range to actually shoot.

I don't want to say that I was a natural...but OMG...I'm kind of a natural. The first 2 shots I missed the target completely but after that, I rarely missed and in fact, I made some pretty damn good shots. Paul was impressed with my accuracy and my groupings.









We went through 2 boxes of ammo - which for the record - is hard. I mean holding your arms out continuously for the better part of 30 minutes is tough and I swear if I didn't do so much upper body strength training with my trainer, I'd have not been able to make it through the second box.

At one point, I was kicking so much ass with the revolver that Paul brought back out the automatic, gave me a crash course in how to load it, and I moved up in the world of firearms.

Truth be told: I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!

Seriously. While I went for the sheer purposes of education, I actually enjoyed the experience. So much so, that I am going back today for another lesson (where I hope Paul will kick it up a notch or 7 from the .22 - Lilsaej swears I need to fire a .45) and I am contemplating joining the range and working shooting into my already overcrammed life (although now that I am not training for a half marathon any more I do have some extra time on my hands).

I'll close by saying this: Charles Bronson ain't got nothing on me because he didn't ever have to do this shit in heels.

PS I met The Kaiser and Sumo out for a few pints afterwards. Since there was no one to photograph the epicness of my outfit at the shooting range, The Kaiser made me pose for a photo at the bar to give y'all some idea of just how fucking awesome the whole thing was:



(And I'm grinning so stupidly because I felt like a complete and utter asshat posing like one of Charlie's Angels in the middle of a low key Irish pub not to mention the Kaiser had to adjust the aperture and lens and speed settings on his effing Blackberry took for fucking ever to take the damn picture.)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

My Week In Tweets: December 20 - December 26

Reading local paper. Thought I saw an ad "To Live Naughty." Looked closer - it actually says "Live Nativity." WHOOPS.
8:28 AM Dec 20th from web

If this doesn't make you grin, you have a cold heart & no soul (thanks to @MarshallKarp for making me grin!)
10:06 AM Dec 20th from web

So far the biggest section (by far) in my 100 Things: "I'm Not Weird. I'm Just a Little Eccentric."
10:40 AM Dec 20th from web

At some point this weekend I am going to have to get out of my pajamas. I'm not looking forward to it.
12:20 PM Dec 20th from web

I'm at 89. This shit is way harder than I ever imagined. Especially given that I pretty much spill my soul to complete strangers.
12:50 PM Dec 20th from web

Off to @felinefrenzy's Christmas tea and cookie swap. Just realized it's the first time I've left my house in over 48 hours. #imarecluse
1:49 PM Dec 20th from web

Romantic comedies make me stabby because let's face it: that shit doesn't happen in the real world.
6:38 PM Dec 20th from web

The day a man sends me 100 roses b/c he thought of me 100 times the night before, is the day I sprout wings & fly. Or drop dead from shock.
6:39 PM Dec 20th from web

Also: no one looks like Patrick Dempsey in real life. Except Patrick Dempsey.
6:40 PM Dec 20th from web

I'd kill for Chinese food. Sadly - I am not driving on iced over roads and no one in this town delivers. FML.
7:17 PM Dec 20th from web

Dear Universe: Just 1 Sunday night that didn't suck complete and utter ass would be lovely. Thanks. xoxo rougie
7:49 PM Dec 20th from web

Dear Sunday: Thanks for sucker-punching me in the kidneys. AND my lower back. I love you too. xoxo rougie
9:00 PM Dec 20th from web

Dear Sunday: The gloves are off. It's about to get ugly. Really fucking ugly. xoxo rougie
9:06 PM Dec 20th from web

Dear Monday: Please try not to suck so bad because I don't think I can handle 2 really crappy days in a row. xoxo Rougie
9:22 AM Dec 21st from web

Dear Monday: please start cooperating before I have to kick your ass. Xoxo rougie
11:11 AM Dec 21st from UberTwitter

Dear Monday: Thanks for lunch at Capital Grille. That sirloin rocked. It was much needed and much appreciated. Xoxo Rougie
2:35 PM Dec 21st from UberTwitter

Off to the shooting range shortly so I can learn how guns work & how to fire one. Am over-the-moon w/excitement. Like a kid on Xmas morning.
2:37 PM Dec 21st from UberTwitter

Thinking my Lily Pulitzer shift dress and Kate Spade Mary Janes might be a *bit much* for the shooting range.
4:11 PM Dec 21st from UberTwitter

I don't think Charles Bronson ever wore Kate Spade. Or Lily for that matter. Or a dress. Or heels.
4:21 PM Dec 21st from UberTwitter

At the range. I am obscenely excited. Might be an overabundance of testosterone.
4:29 PM Dec 21st from UberTwitter

This is so. Fucking. Cool.
4:40 PM Dec 21st from UberTwitter

Had way too much fun at the shooting range. OMG y'all - I'm on a high right now. Is that wrong?
6:27 PM Dec 21st from UberTwitter

Anyone have a picture of Winston Wolfe's tattoo in Pulp Fiction? Trying to talk The Kaiser into getting inked - this is what he wants.
7:56 PM Dec 21st from UberTwitter

Dear Wednesday: One semi-decent day this week is all I ask. Pretty please? With sugar on top? xoxo rougie
7:45 AM Dec 22nd from web

I am heading to the post office early because I refuse to stand in line behind 18 gajillion people. It's busier there than tax time.
7:59 AM Dec 22nd from web

So I won't spend 10 minutes in line waiting behind someone but I'll get to the post off 10 minutes early and stand around. #irony
8:28 AM Dec 22nd from UberTwitter

Also? There's already someone in front of me. #seriousirony
8:28 AM Dec 22nd from UberTwitter

What? It's only Tuesday. FML.
8:59 AM Dec 22nd from web

Just stepped in a pile of fresh cat puke. Welcome home and oh yeah eff you too Tuesday. xoxo rougie
8:34 PM Dec 22nd from web

I suppose it could have been worse. He could have puked in my bed and not on the wood floor. Still - i was wearing my $9 socks...
8:39 PM Dec 22nd from web

Has anybody had a blog post just DYING to come out but then it doesn't fucking co-operate???
8:55 PM Dec 22nd from web

Move over Charles Bronson - I do this shit in heels and pearls.
9:06 PM Dec 22nd from TwitPic

Thomas Crown Affair is one sexy effing flik. HOLY HELL.
9:26 PM Dec 22nd from web

Dear Wednesday: I'd officially like to marry you and have your babies. MWAH! Xoxo rougie
8:31 AM Dec 23rd from UberTwitter

Dear Wednesday: Stop it already. You're giving me chills. Xoxo Rougie
9:37 AM Dec 23rd from UberTwitter

Raise your hand if you're also sick of Russian Roulette by Rhianna. Cuz I. So. Am.
9:41 AM Dec 23rd from UberTwitter

Would you people leave me and my banana (tree) alone. Thanks a million. xoxo Rougie
2:13 PM Dec 23rd from web

Hey you. Yeah - you: moron driving the Dodge. Rougie's #1 driving tip is LOOK BEFORE YOU PULL OUT you giant asshat. Thanks.
4:06 PM Dec 23rd from UberTwitter

Dear Wednesday You've been awesome. Please don't fuck it up & stab me in the back. I don't like being stabbed or being stabby. xo rougie
6:34 PM Dec 23rd from web

Snow+Open toed heels = totally dumbass move.
7:28 PM Dec 23rd from UberTwitter

Sitting at a sports bar watching Sonny With a Chance on Disney. WTF??
8:35 PM Dec 23rd from UberTwitter

And Funky Cold Medina is playing on the radio. I don't even know what to say.....
8:37 PM Dec 23rd from UberTwitter

So @lilsaej has discovered how to totally mask the taste and smell of Everclear. Get this girl a Nobel Prize STAT!!!
9:37 PM Dec 23rd from UberTwitter

Airing of grievances. #festivus #catharsis
10:21 PM Dec 23rd from UberTwitter

I downloaded UberTwitter for @GrissWarhound. As soon as gets over his Twitterphobia, be afraid. Be very, very afraid.
11:06 PM Dec 23rd from UberTwitter

Ok. I'm getting out of my PJs and putting on *real clothes* But I'm not putting on a bra dammit.
1:12 PM Dec 24th from web

Holy Hell! The entirety of my wee little town is at the grocery store. FML and don't you people plan better???
1:50 PM Dec 24th from UberTwitter

And for the record, I'm here because I'm having an impromptu party on Saturday. It's not like I don't already have my turkey and shit....
1:51 PM Dec 24th from UberTwitter

Holy Hell. I might. Just. Lose. MY EVER LOVING SHIT.
2:12 PM Dec 24th from UberTwitter

Saw signs for party trays from Ann's House of Nuts. More like Rougie's Padded Room of Totally Insane. #FML
2:19 PM Dec 24th from UberTwitter

Trip to the grocery store the day before Christmas has sucked every last ounce of holiday spirit from my body.
2:29 PM Dec 24th from UberTwitter

I'm about to pop my crockpot's cherry with @ModernMatriarch's beer chicken.
3:05 PM Dec 24th from web

As an instant gratification girl, discovering that maybe a crockpot/slow cooker wasn't such a wise idea #atleast2morehourstogo
5:30 PM Dec 24th from web

I'm the only person I know who can't appreciate a slow cooker for what it is. I mean I shouldn't be checking it every 15 minutes should I?
7:08 PM Dec 24th from web

Can I RT myself from November? B/c Holy Hell homemade caramel: Bitch Homemade pudding: Bitch Homemade caramel pudding: bitchbitchbitchbitch
10:04 PM Dec 24th from web

And once again the 1st batch of caramel is a fail. Dear Thanksgiving: I don't need a rerun. xoxo rougie
10:10 PM Dec 24th from web

So what happens to caramel cream pie if you can't get the !*#?!*# sugar to ?*#$?! Caramelize????
10:39 PM Dec 24th from UberTwitter

All right. I've got some kind of cream pie. Santa? Now it's up to you. Merry Christmas...
10:55 PM Dec 24th from web

Something just fell off the roof. Either the snow is still melting or Santa's in traction.
4:29 AM Dec 25th from UberTwitter

My crockpot enjoyed her maiden voyage so much we're already on round 2 w/ @ModernMatriarch's It's-All-Fun-&-Games-Til-You-Lose-An-Eye Chili
7:53 AM Dec 25th from web

Just discovered SBUX Via. Life changing. And yet - at this price per cup, at what point does it just make sense to buy a damn coffee pot?
8:09 AM Dec 25th from web

My basement is flooded. Merry effing Christmas.
11:18 AM Dec 25th from web

Watching inches of stagnant, dirty water pump out of my basement while my cat HOWLS at the top of his lungs for my attention. Seriously?
11:37 AM Dec 25th from web

On the plus side, my house smells heavenly thanks to @ModernMatriarch's chili simmering in my crockpot.
11:41 AM Dec 25th from web

Well - I suppose if I was going to drop and break a bottle of something, at least peppermint extract is holiday appropriate.
1:26 PM Dec 25th from web

In other news, my sinuses are totally clear.
1:26 PM Dec 25th from web

Let's just add a 3rd degree burn on my finger to the list of things I've gotten today. Merry effing Christmas to me.
1:53 PM Dec 25th from web

Dear Insomnia: you're like the gift that keeps on giving. Thanks a million. Xoxo Rougie
5:14 AM Dec 26th from UberTwitter

The nice thing about heading off to the spa is that you really don't have to pull your shit together.
8:12 AM Dec 26th from web

Dear Self Righteous Day After Christmas Exercisers: Bite me. Xoxo Rougie
11:58 AM Dec 26th from UberTwitter

41 days until #twitHER. FTW!
2:13 PM Dec 26th from web

Anyone have any suggestions for a homegrown version of kitty lithium b/c OMFG my cat is in-fucking-sane.
3:55 PM Dec 26th from web

@lilsaej: "But you've got to take care of me." Sumo: "That's a cry for help." Me: Sigh. (Reaches for my beer....)
7:29 PM Dec 26th from UberTwitter

@Lilsaej: "Because it's us. Because I know people and you're hot." OMG I want to marry this girl. (Or just drink a crapload of beer w/ her)
8:21 PM Dec 26th from UberTwitter

OMFG - had no idea red spandex jumpsuits were *still* in style.
9:58 PM Dec 26th from UberTwitter

I want longer pants.
10:40 PM Dec 26th from UberTwitter

Yeah...as always...it was quite a week, wasn't it kids?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

How a Jew Celebrates Christmas

It's hard to be a Jew on Christmas
My friends won't let me join in any games..
And I can't sing Christmas songs
Or decorate a Christmas tree..
Or leave water out for Rudolph
'cause there's something wrong with me..
My people don't believe in Jesus Christ's divinity..
I'm a Jew, a lonely Jew.. on Christmas.


I'd like to begin by thanking Trey Parker and Matt Stone for their genius. Seriously - that song from South Park is one of the funniest things ever and in many ways sums up my situation.

Except that I am a Jew who does celebrate Christmas.

We'll start with my childhood when my 100% Jewish family celebrated Christmas. I don't know how or why this tradition started. We've been able to trace it back to my mom who also celebrated Christmas when she was a child (with her 100% Jewish family). When I asked her why, she gave me this insight-filled answer: I have no idea.

Anywho, when I was a kid Christmas was a BIG DEAL that involved a tree and ornaments and a wreath and jingle bells on the door and Christmas cookies (Snickerdoodles, spice cookies and meringues - oh and also these apricot jam things that were a bitch to make because you'd have to refrigerate the dough overnight) and rolls of wrapping paper and ribbon and Christmas music (hello John Denver and the Muppets! Nice to see you too Nat King Cole) and that most traditional of all Christmas Eve dinners - Tacos! and Christmas morning agita while all the adults stumbled out of bed and fumbled for their coffee while I practically peed myself to open gifts and stockings and Teuscher champagne truffles which we ALWAYS got in our stocking for Christmas and that most traditional of all Christmas morning breakfasts - Bagels and lox and herring and sable and whitefish! and a long afternoon spent exploring and playing with all of my haul and then a big Christmas dinner with turkey and stuffing and sweet potatoes and cranberries and green beans and then the inevitable let down and disappointment when I'd wake up the next morning and realize it was all over until next year. That was Christmas for most of my childhood. As you can see, we celebrated the secular version of Christmas.

Then one day my brother and I outgrew Christmas and the other relatives weren't as into it and so we bailed. And while my heart was momentarily ripped out of my chest, my parents decided that a Caribbean vacation was the perfect replacement for trees and tacos and smoked fish. Somehow 2 weeks in St. Bart's every year lessened the blow that we had temporarily stopped celebrating Christmas.

And then one day I outgrew my parents sending me on a 2 week Caribbean vacation (FML) and I went back to celebrating Christmas. Sort of. You see - I always had a legitimate reason to celebrate i.e. there was someone non-Jewish in my life who celebrated the holiday and therefore I was given a free pass.

Well - this year that wasn't the case and I struggled with what to do. Could I justify Christmas as a Jew? And the answer I ultimately came up with was: Yes. When stores start rolling out Christmas with their Back To School Displays in September and Halloween and Thanksgiving basically get steam-rolled in the holiday department and radio stations play holiday music 24-7 for like, an entire month and essentially the entire concept of Christmas is rammed down your throat like a 16-ton submarine: well then yeah, I'm in too - my religion notwithstanding.

And so it was that I braved Wal-Mart one Saturday and bought my very own 7.5 foot pre-lit Donner fir and that I put it up the Saturday after Thanksgiving and that I hung 500 lights in my house and that I hung some mistletoe and baked almost 20 dozen Christmas cookies and that I've been listening to holiday music (ok - so Run DMC should clearly sing more Christmas carols because It's Christmas Time in Hollis Queens is probably like the best. Song. Evah. Yo.) and that I'm celebrating the secular Christmas of my childhood this year. It's just how I roll yo.




So Merry Christmas to you and yours. Happy Holidays. Seasons Greetings. Whatever floats your boat. Just enjoy the magical spirit this time of year brings - there's no avoiding it no matter what or who you believe in.

PS For the record - I totally also celebrate Hanukkah and light the candles and say the prayers and make latkes although I don't do dreidels. The thing most people don't realize is that Hanukkah is a pretty insignificant holiday in the Jewish religion - but given that it falls within relatively close proximity to Christmas and it involves gift giving it's been pumped full of religious steroids in some weird twisted attempt to compete with Christmas which is ridiculous because if Halloween can't even compete with Christmas, there's no way Hanukkah is even gonna come close.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Today is The Happiest Day of My Life

Today is the happiest day of my life. Ok - that might be a bit of an exaggeration. But it is the happiest day of the year. Why? Because today the days officially start getting longer.

Suck it Daylight Savings Time.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

My Week In Tweets: December 13 - December 19

Spoke to another runner while getting coffee in the lobby. Suddenly thoughts of the Outer Banks Half Marathon are swirling in my head.
7:23 AM Dec 13th from web

Except OMFG I just said I would never run another half marathon again. Or at least not within the next 3 months.
7:24 AM Dec 13th from web

Seriously - would someone come here and beat me repeatedly on the head with a croquet mallet?
7:25 AM Dec 13th from web

So my masseuse also ran the half marathon yesterday. Poor girl - who's going to give her a massage?
9:18 AM Dec 13th from UberTwitter

Is there a cat in my life that ISN'T flipping HOOOOWWWWLING for me right now?? Um....NO.
4:26 PM Dec 13th from web

Off to brave Wal-Mart on a Sunday. Part of me would rather run another half marathon. I think it'd be easier.
5:15 PM Dec 13th from UberTwitter

Reason 1 to have skipped WMT: dumb broad yakking on cell, blocking traffic while waiting for someone to pull out. God forbid she walks 6 ft
5:27 PM Dec 13th from UberTwitter

Reason 2: jar of broken pickles in my parking spot. If I get a flat I'm hunting that bitch down.
5:28 PM Dec 13th from UberTwitter

Reason 3: used handiwipe in my cart.
5:28 PM Dec 13th from UberTwitter

Spotting the bumper sticker "coon hunters do it all night long" has eased some of the sting however.
5:29 PM Dec 13th from UberTwitter

Suck it 10-digit dialing. You make no fucking sense.
10:27 AM Dec 14th from web

Holiday cards completed: 0 Holiday cards to go: 167 Let the carpal tunnel begin!! WHOOT!
11:23 AM Dec 14th from web

Holiday cards completed: Still 0. But the "To Go" number is down to 159. Also? I have a killer spreadsheet to make labels. #OCD
12:21 PM Dec 14th from web

It's Christmas time in Hollis, Queens YO!
1:19 PM Dec 14th from web

Just discovered the envelopes for our holiday cards are SELF ADHESIVE!! Christmas miracles DO exist. Thank you sweetbabyjeebus!!!
2:02 PM Dec 14th from web

Holiday Cards Completed: 30 Holiday Cards To Go: 129 My Sanity Level: waning steadily
3:13 PM Dec 14th from web

Metallic ink pens: oooohh so pretty. But what an effing mess.
4:32 PM Dec 14th from web

'Tis the season to be charitable. Just made 2 donations and feeling GOOD.
8:00 PM Dec 14th from web

Holiday Cards Completed: Not even 60. #giantmothereffingfail
8:51 PM Dec 14th from web

Run-DMC ought to sing more Christmas carols YO!
8:13 AM Dec 15th from web

I just realized "latkes" rhyme with "vodka." Happy Hanukkah!
8:47 AM Dec 15th from web

99 Luftbalons. 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall. 99 holiday card envelopes labeled (2x) and stamped. 99 holiday cards to go...
9:33 AM Dec 15th from web

Meanwhile I've received half a dozen e-cards...am thinking this is a concept to explore next year....
9:33 AM Dec 15th from web

Holiday cards completed: 95 Holiday cards remaining: 64 Likelihood I'll resume my life by lunchtime: better than average
10:44 AM Dec 15th from web

Lady Gaga on iPod means I might tell someone I want their leather studded kiss in the sand instead of wishing them Happy Holidays.
11:51 AM Dec 15th from web

Holiday cards remaining: 0 Holiday cards completed: 159 Drinks in my future: Directly proportional to the # of cards completed
12:11 PM Dec 15th from web

Reminiscing about Prom. My prom sucked balls. Although I looked like a Robert Palmer girl. A fat Robert Palmer girl.
5:39 PM Dec 15th from UberTwitter

What kind of asshat has their rear windshield wiper on when it's not even raining? Seriously.
7:38 AM Dec 16th from UberTwitter

People driving Nissans are pissing me off this morning.
7:47 AM Dec 16th from UberTwitter

Dear Canadian friends: is it worth me hauling my cookies to south Charlotte to eat at Extreme Pita? Xo rougie
10:43 AM Dec 16th from UberTwitter

12:30 doctor's appointment is really fucking up my eating schedule today.
10:43 AM Dec 16th from UberTwitter

Holy Hell the mall is crowded. Don't you people have jobs? Or if you're unemployed, shouldn't you not be shopping??
1:47 PM Dec 16th from UberTwitter

Dear Chik-Fil-A: don't ever change. Xoxo Rougie
1:51 PM Dec 16th from UberTwitter

It seems appropriate somehow that the 2 stores I need are on polar opposite ends of the mall. Also? I suddenly want a cookie cake.
1:56 PM Dec 16th from UberTwitter

Gift Cards, Promotions and Discounts Oh My!
3:10 PM Dec 16th from UberTwitter

Happy day when I unpack 4 bottles of Gun Bun into the cellar. And 2 bottles of 2005 Syrah? SA-WEEEEEEEEET!
9:22 PM Dec 16th from web

I just discovered that a corckscrew is an excellent tool for cleaning a menorah. How appropriate.
6:57 AM Dec 17th from UberTwitter

Longest. Conference Call. EVER.
10:26 AM Dec 17th from web

Trainer put me through Boot Camp today. Because - you know - I didn't run a Half Marathon within the last week or anything.
11:50 AM Dec 17th from UberTwitter

Dear Cat: Why is it that every time I sit down to eat, you decide THAT'S the perfect time to jump in my lap? xoxo Rougie
1:25 PM Dec 17th from web

My plan to make Dulche de Leche Crispies is not looking good since I can't find effing Dulche de Leche in my wee little town.
1:26 PM Dec 17th from web

If you were going to add something to a traditional Rice Krispie Treat to make it more festive and/or over the top YUMS what would you add?
3:24 PM Dec 17th from web

Dear Weather Peeps: If you fuck up my party tomorrow w/ your planned "wintery mix" I'm gonna be pissed. So please don't. Thanks. xoxo Rougie
3:52 PM Dec 17th from web

I've gone through 2.5 pounds of butter tonight. Anyone want a Lipitor chaser with their Christmas cookies???
9:36 PM Dec 17th from web

How does one follow 20 dozen cookies? Why with 4 pounds of maple-soy snack mix. OF COURSE. (And another glass of wine...)
10:54 PM Dec 17th from web

My cat is looking at me like I am insane. I am inclined to agree.
11:04 PM Dec 17th from web

PS Do I tackle the 2 pounds of homemade pimento cheese tonight WITH wine or wait til the morning?
11:04 PM Dec 17th from web

I'd like to kick the shit out of my trainer right now but OMFG I can't move. OOOOWWWWWWWW.
6:39 AM Dec 18th from web

This wintery mix can SUCK IT.
8:15 AM Dec 18th from web

It's wrong to fry latkes in bacon grease - right?
8:39 AM Dec 18th from web

In general - is it wrong to have so much pork at a Hanukkah party? #bacon #salami
8:45 AM Dec 18th from TwitPic

SCORE! @allbacon is my 200th follower. My life is complete!
9:13 AM Dec 18th from web

While the rest of town stocks up on milk, eggs and bread, I'm at the liquor store. #priorities
10:16 AM Dec 18th from UberTwitter

Trying not to be judgy but somehow the combo of walker, checkbook, cheap wrapping paper & the case of Marlboro REDS is leaving me no choice.
10:29 AM Dec 18th from UberTwitter

Also - if this old dude cuts in front of me I'm gonna have to take him down.
10:30 AM Dec 18th from UberTwitter

No comment on the request for the *giant* bottle of laxative from the walker/checkbook/cigarette lady. None whatsoever.
10:33 AM Dec 18th from UberTwitter

Shopping for a white elephant gift is proving to be a challenge. Whose bright idea was this anyways???
10:47 AM Dec 18th from UberTwitter

And why can't you find a naked lady lamp when you really need one?
10:49 AM Dec 18th from UberTwitter

So 2009 Holiday Barbie totally looks like a drag queen. #justsayin
10:54 AM Dec 18th from UberTwitter

Adult Rice Krispie treats: add 1/2 cup Bailey's to the marshmallow & 1/2 cup chopped toffee w/ the cereal. OMFG INSANELY DELICIOUS!!!
11:37 AM Dec 18th from web

Dear Mother Nature: Kiss my ass and Oh Yeah - FUCK YOU TOO. xoxo Rougie
5:42 PM Dec 18th from web

4 intrepid guests and 5 more en route...#thispartyisgonnahappenifiteffingkillsme
7:40 PM Dec 18th from web

So apparently *only* 9 people can create quite a mess. And someone drank all the Coke Zero (but left me Captain so...um...yeah...ok).
8:32 AM Dec 19th from web

I now have a flask. It says: "Thank God I'm Fabulous." Fuck yeah. Bring it BITCHES. #twitHer
8:47 AM Dec 19th from web

Nothing like a sink full of dirty dishes to make a girl want to crawl back into bed.
9:37 AM Dec 19th from web

So far today: flasks, drunk bitches, vodka. The 1 Saturday morning my dad is on Twitter. Sigh. It's all puppy dogs & fairies going forward.
10:07 AM Dec 19th from web

Bare midriffs. Knee socks. Contrived story lines. Hair gel. 40yos playing college students. Oh 90210 - I heart you so.
11:25 AM Dec 19th from UberTwitter

Watching The Holiday. Premise for this movie is so unbelieveable that even my suspension of disbelief is challenged.
3:24 PM Dec 19th from web

Just updated my Daily Dose of Blog. Lots of love to my #twitHER girls! MWAH Sugars!!!
4:59 PM Dec 19th from web

Wow. Working on my 100 Things (to cement my "Real Blogger" status). This shit is hard.
5:43 PM Dec 19th from web

"Coach Carr - step away from the underage girls." #meangirls
6:28 PM Dec 19th from web

Working on my 100 Things. Anything you really want to know?
7:28 PM Dec 19th from web

All I can say is that after reading through these, I'm glad this week is over. My Lord!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Nine

I picked the date specifically. A Friday. The last night of Hanukkah.

I planned well in advance. I sent the original email some time in early November. Because the holidays can be busy.

The RSVPs came in. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 30. In my wee little house. People were either going to be lying in my bed or standing in the basement.

And then Mother Nature decided to fuck me.

Snow. Sleet. Wintery Mix. All effing day without letting up.

Slowly the calls and the texts and the emails came.

"I can't make it."

"Sorry - snowed in."

"My driveway is iced over."

Fuck.

Don't get me wrong. I get it. I didn't want my friends and loved ones out on the road in treacherous conditions. And even if they knew what they were doing, there was a good chance that 99% of the other fucksticks on the road didn't.

Still.

I had planned.

I had prepped.

I had stayed up til 1am baking 20 dozen Christmas cookies.

I had bought a pretty dress.

Fuck you Mother Nature. Fuck You.

In the end - 9 Exceptionally Intrepid Souls braved the elements to help me celebrate:

The Angel: we call her that because OMG she's like my own personal angel here on Earth
The Paper Guy: who drove in from High Point - granted - he started at 1 but still!
Lilsaej: where would I be without T1? Or is it T2?
Bobo: who drove T1 so Thank You!
The Kaiser: who got in a wreck en route and STILL showed!
Sumo: Natch - cuz nothing scares those West Lincoln boys.
Sumo's Brother: More hearty West Lincoln stock.
The Banker: who drove in from CHARLOTTE!!!
The Realtor: who rode with the Banker!

And so 10 of us celebrated. 10 of us ate enough food for 30. We possibly also drank enough for 30 - I wasn't exactly counting because it was my house and I didn't have to go anywhere.

And at the end of the day - it was fun. Because that's how we roll Chez Rougie. And even though Mother Nature decided to kick me in the ass, I kicked her right back. Suck it Mother Nature. Suck it.



PS I love my friends. Fiercely.

Friday, December 18, 2009

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOK

I get it. Not every one has a smart phone. Or sometimes you are driving/walking/talking/chewing gum/styling your hair/tweezing your eyebrows/giving birth while texting and you want to take a short cut:

u for you

r for are

2 for two or to or too (hello homophones!)

I get it. Been there. Done that. Well - the whole tweezing while texting thing because I don't have kids and I certainly don't drive and text (*ahem*).

Anyways - I'm all for digital shorthand. But you know what pisses me off more than anything?

K.

K is not fucking acceptable. K is lazy, uncouth, and to quote The Kaiser, it's weeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaak.

What is it about O that is so difficult to type? Why can't you take the 2 extra seconds to type one extra letter? Are you afraid of O? Do you have Oprah issues? Overstock issues? Orgasm issues? Did I really just have to go there (sorry mom and dad)?

I'll suffer through the "Imas" and the "Prollys" and the "4s" and whatever other digital shorthand you want to serve up my way.

But please - don't ever tell me "K" because it pisses me off.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOK?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Kiawah: In Pictures


The night before my departure, The Kaiser and Sumo took me out for a civilized, celebratory drink.



This was the view of the sunset from my balcony when I checked into the hotel.



This was sunrise the next morning. They look kind of similar.



What idiot gets a pedicure BEFORE she runs a half marathon? Anyways - my virginal, "we've never run more than 10 mile" feet the night before they popped their cherry.



Papardelle Bolognese is one way to carbo load. So is Chianti.



I hate all of the Race morning photos. Given my scarf/sweater situation I look like I have no neck. Also? No hair on my face is not a good look. Sigh. Anyways - me and mom. Neither of us like this photo but I feel compelled to post.



Everything I just wrote above except substitute Dad for Mom. And add "double chin" to the whole "no neck" thing. Ugh.



Coming down the home stretch.



I. Love. This. Photo. It sums up the entire race in 1, determined, Kiss My Ass Kiawah shot.



The Race clock a few seconds before I cross the line. Three to be exact. Not that I was counting.



WINNER! And yes - that's totally an empty beer cup in my hand.



Leave me alone Dad. I have to Tweet/update my Facebook status/text 50 of my nearest and dearest friends.



Dad at the post-Race celebratory dinner. He probably hates this picture too but hey - we'll just call this the Album of Unflattering Photos That Must Be Published Because This Was An Epic Moment For Me and That Means Photos!



Dad and I split a MASSIVE bone-in ribeye. They call it a Tomahawk chop. It was a helluva way to celebrate.



Stormy seas the morning we left.

And that darling readers, concludes this epic journey. Thanks for cheering me on all the way. I couldn't have done it without you!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Kiawah: Go!!!

I don't hear the horn sound - probably because I am so far back - but suddenly a mass of close to 3000 bodies is moving and we are off. It's slow at first - something of a trot - and the first few minutes are awkward as everyone tries to navigate around one another and find their rhythm, find their stride.

I don't know why, but as soon as I leave the Conference Center and start to really run the first mile, I find myself overwhelmed with emotion and I begin to cry. Mom had warned me of this possibility at dinner the night before, but I don't think I truly heard her. My eyes well up, my breathing gets shallow and suddenly everything I've worked so hard for for the last 5 months is right in front of me. In fact, it's more than that. My decision to run to this Race, my commitment to training, doing it alone - it symbolizes So. Much. More. I have 2 hours and 13.1 miles to contemplate and reflect. I take a deep breath, and focus.

The first few miles feel easy. Usually they are the hardest but not today. I worry that all the Shake-A-Tailfeather-Really-Get-My-Ass-Moving songs on my iPod come on too early. These are the songs I need to hear at Mile 8 when I lose my steam, or Mile 12 when I need that final burst. I hope there's a few still left for when the time comes.

At one point I think I have to pee. This despite a prophy pee in my room, another prophy pee in the lobby of the hotel and still another prophy pee at the port-o-potties before the Race. And while there are port-o-potties throughout the course, I'll be damned if I stop.

Around Mile 3 I lose the gloves (prematurely as it turns out). My body is warming up and my hands feel tingly as the blood flows to them. I ball up the gloves and toss them into someone's yard on top of a sweatshirt that's also been shed.

Although the weather is shitty, there are spectators out and about cheering us on. Somewhere between Mile 3 and Mile 4 we turn and there's a reggae band playing. AWESOME.

I feel good about my pace. The crowd has thinned from that first awkward mile and I've got a good rhythm going. I'm not really passing anyone - not trying to - and I don't mind when people pass me.

We hit the turn around just after Mile 6. Not quite halfway and I feel GREAT. It has yet to rain, and I am in the zone. Usually during long runs every mile is an obstacle to get to the finish. Not today. Each mile I complete is an accomplishment. And while I always do the mental math in terms of "how many more to go" today it doesn't overwhelm me. Today I don't say: "Damn girl - why didn't you just do the 10K." Today I say: "Baby girl: You're running a half-marathon and you're going to do awesome. I am So. Proud. Of. You."

Me. This Race, this day - it means so much. This is about a long, hard year that has seen me face some incredible challenges and deal with some monumental pain. It's been a year of loss and change and fear...but it's also been a year of growth, and strength and yes...change. Sometimes, change is good.

I can't help but think about the comments and encouragement I've received in the days leading up to today. So many friends and relatives have wished me well in so many ways. I've received numerous emails and texts, Tweets and comments on Facebook, calls and in person congratulations. Two stand out the most and I play them through my head.

Two days before the Race, The Artist wrote the following in a message to me:

Stop for a moment to reflect on how far you've come since setting your goal! Wow! In my book, you've already won your race. Saturday is just your celebratory run, so enjoy!

I remember reading it the first time and my eyes welling up with tears. She is so right. I've already accomplished so much. Today is about having fun.

And then this morning I got a final message from The Kaiser:

"Life is either a great adventure or nothing at all." I wish you the best of luck in meeting your goal. You've worked hard and kept focused on your goal - now go kick its ass. You know you can - remember that you're the only one you have to impress. Go impress yourself. Be a badass. TODAY IS YOUR DAY.

That hit home. For someone who needs to perpetually be validated by others, I paused and thought that he was actually right: this was really ALL ABOUT ME. And as many congratulations as I hoped to receive when I crossed the finish line, the only pat on the back that mattered was the one I was going to give myself.

Somewhere after the halfway point, the pain sets in. There's that familiar dull ache in my left knee and a tightness running up from my right ankle through my inner right calf. Run. Through. The. Pain. I can. I will. I must.

It helps to have people cheering us on. Also? They have posted inspirational quotes throughout the course. These motivate me as well:

"The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man's determination." - Tommy LaSorda

"Set your goals high, and don't stop till you get there." - Bo Jackson

"Champions keep playing until they get it right." - Billie Jean King

For the next few miles, I continue as is. The only benchmark I have in terms of other runners is M. She was standing next to me when we started and she's been near me for most of the race. She occasionally stops to walk and then I pass her. But then she resumes running and usually passes me. I wonder if there's something to the theory of actually resting at the water stations to gain more energy on the back end. I figure I'll give it a try. Also? I am determined to beat her. (Hey - what can I say - I am ultra competitive!)

My hands are numb. Literally. I can barely feel my fingers. I regret tossing my "throwaway" gloves so early. Lesson learned if I ever race again.

When I hit Mile 10, it feels awesome. This is the longest and farthest I have ever run. I check my time: even at this pace, I can bring it in under 2 hours if I stay focused. The next aid station comes up quickly and I slow to a walk, grab a cup of Gatorade, drink it in full (as opposed to tossing it in my face and hoping some of it makes it in my mouth), and then resume running.

Suddenly we turn left onto the bike path. OMG. I know where I am. This is part of the run I did over the summer when I was at Kiawah. I. Can. Do. This.

I pick up my pace. Significantly.

The path is narrow and there are signs that stay "Stay Right Unless Passing." Just like driving. I am on the Left. Passing. Alot. At times I have to veer off the concrete to get around people. My strides feel long and strong. Suddenly I am grateful for all the time and effort I have put into training. For every session with my trainer. For every Saturday at the gym. For the squats I do 3 - 4 times a week. For the 2-minute planks I endure at the end of every session. I. Can. Do. This.

At Mile 12, I can almost taste success. I can run 1.1 miles in my sleep. And although my body is tired and aching, I feel a surge of energy. And then the tailfeather-shakingest song on my iPod comes on (For Your Entertainment by Adam Lambert) and I get another burst of speed.

And then I get a cramp. An "OMG-I-Want-To-Die-Right-Now-Because-I-Can't-Fucking-Breathe" Cramp. FUCK.

I slow down my pace and begin to exhale rapidly. I know that cramps are nothing more than a build up of carbon dioxide. If can exhale enough, it should release the pressure. I check my watch and gauge my ability to make my Mountaintop goal. It's gonna be close.

Adam Lambert ends and Hotstepper comes on. Another Move-Your-Ass-Girlfriend song. The cramp subsides and I push forward. I have less than a mile to go. This is the point where I know I can push myself. Where I can call on every ounce of reserved strength and then some. This is where it all pays off. Every single thing I have done over the last 5 months - this is what it comes down to. As we round the corner to turn back into the Conference Center, I back-up to For Your Entertainment again. This song will carry me across the finish line.

I start to sprint as much as my body will allow me. My feet pound the pavement. My lungs heave as I literally huff and puff. I am overwhelmed as I see the actual finish line. I am about to accomplish a HUGE MASSIVE goal that I set for myself on something of a whim. I scan the crowds briefly for mom and dad and don't see them but I am not really looking. I am looking at the finish line. I am looking in my own beat-up, banged up body for the last burst of energy to make it across the finish line in under 2 hours. And even though the clock at the top says 2:00:43 I know I had about a minute lag time from when the race clock started and when I actually crossed the starting line. Fuck the official results - I am going off of my Garmin.

I power forward with the last remaining bit of strength I have and cross the finish line. 1:59:48. According to my Garmin, I've run 13.27 miles in 1:59:48.

I've done it. I've achieved my Mountaintop goal. I didn't think I would. I really didn't. And here I am. It's so overwhelming I can't even process it. I want to cry. I want to hug someone. I want to climb into the whirlpool. I want to throw myself on the massage table. Instead, I catch my breath. I let a volunteer wrap me in silver Mylar. I accept a plastic "You Finished" medal from another volunteer. And then I go off in search of the beer truck.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Kiawah: On Your Mark...Get Set...

I wake on Race Day at 4:45am. While that seems early, it's actually about 7.5 hours of sleep and I feel oddly rested. The first thing I do is check the weather. So much for rainy and warm or cold and dry: according to weather.com it's going to be cold (feel like the 30s) and there's an 85 - 100% chance of rain during the Race. FML.

I don't want to pull myself out of my bed. The dreamy mattress, the luxurious Italian linens, the feather comforter and pillows are all singing me a lullaby. So are my flannel PJs and the thermostat on 68. 30 and rainy versus this?

But I do get out of bed (eventually). Despite a heavenly massage the day before (Seriously - 90 minutes of big, strong, soft man hands rubbing citrus oil into my aching, over-tired, under-stretched, sleep-deprived, anxiety-riddled, burning-the-candle-at-both-ends muscles left me a changed woman and contemplating a marriage proposal to the incomparable Andrew) I still stretch, I check a few well wishes from friends, and get my head where it needs to be:

Kiawah: I am getting ready to kick your ass. Weather be damned.

I recall the wet, cold, HILLY run I just completed in the Mountains. I. Can. Do. This.

I have a mild wardrobe dilemma while getting dressed. One shirt or two? Shorts or leggings? Will I be cold? Hot? Which is better? The short sleeve wicking shirt I have is too short and makes it near impossible for me to pin my bib on. I think about wearing shorts under yoga pants and giving the yoga pants to mom last minute but it's going to feel like less than 40 degrees THE ENTIRE TIME. I know I'll warm up but I'd rather be hot then cold (I think). I go for a long sleeve wicking shirt and shiny, black tights - no layers. I also grab the $2 gloves I purchased the day before in a pre-Half Marathon shopping spree. At $2, they are disposable.

I get dressed. I look like a serious runner.

Despite eating my weight in papardelle the night before, my stomach is grumbling. Though I usually don't eat before I race - I eat a chocolate peppermint stick Luna bar: 180 calories and 28 grams of carbs. This can only help keep me fueled for what will be close to 2 hours of running.

I check the weather again: it's still cold but the threat of rain has dropped from 85 - 100% to 45 - 55%. Maybe the weather peeps heard my Tweet?

I meet Mom and Dad at 7:15am and we head towards the Conference Center which is where the Race starts. All I know is that it is 1) kind of a giant free-for-all and 2) once the gun goes off, that's when chips are activated. So that means if you are towards the back, your chip time will not be the same time you actually cross the start line and will add to the time of your overall official results. I want to be towards the front.

I am relieved to discover that it isn't raining when we step outside. Cold as a witch's tit, but dry. I am also glad to have someone with me. Seriously - I can't tell you how many races I've been to where I've had to worry about threading my car key on my shoe and I've had to stand around shivering waiting for the Race to begin because there's been no one to hand my sweatshirt to. Well, with mom and dad by my side, I can wear a few extra layers and just hand them off last minute.

My adrenaline kicks in and I begin to get excited.

Dad asks me what my goal is. I tell him that you always have two: your Happiness Goal and your Mountaintop Goal. My Happiness Goal is simply to finish the Race. My Mountaintop Goal is to finish it in less than 2 hours. I'm not sure that's realistic but I'll give it my best.

As it turns out - it's not a total free for all. They group us according to mile time: 6, 7, 8, 9 and everyone else. At this distance, I am more of a 9-minute miler, but I line up in the front of the 8s. I start talking to some of the runners around me and mom and dad flash a few more pictures. Then I strip off my extra layers, hand them to mom and dad, and get ready to run.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My Week In Tweets: December 6 - December 12

No. That's not my ankle hurting after a night of dancing. Because that would be ironic/wrong/a kick in the effing balls #halfmarathonin6days
10:24 AM Dec 6th from web

Managed to get my work done and have decided to bake. Because nothing says I am a functioning, productive member of society like cookies.
1:31 PM Dec 6th from web

And brownies.
1:39 PM Dec 6th from web

Just checked my air filter and added bleach to the pump on my furnace. I don't know quite what it all means but Holy Hell I feel productive!
1:49 PM Dec 6th from web

Take that Mrs. Fields!
2:29 PM Dec 6th from TwitPic

My house should *always* smell this good. Sigh.
2:59 PM Dec 6th from web

Apparently I'm channeling Betty Crocker today.
3:21 PM Dec 6th from TwitPic

Alright honey - your knowledge of football is impressive. Just not *that* impressive. #giveitup
7:06 PM Dec 6th from UberTwitter

Sumo: cornbread are square. Pi(e) be round.
8:37 PM Dec 6th from UberTwitter

Sumo: A parade that doesn't have lawn mowers or horses isn't worth shit. #suckitmacys
9:17 PM Dec 6th from UberTwitter

Don't "Hi Baby" me you fur-lined-leather-jacket wearing freak.
10:29 PM Dec 6th from UberTwitter

And I think I'm ready for Chicago in February? #holyhellitseffingcold
10:39 PM Dec 6th from UberTwitter

Wondering if the fact that might my toilet *nearly* overflowed and what - me w/out a plunger - is some sort of sign. Really Universe? #FML
8:08 AM Dec 7th from web

I'm too tired to be tested today so thanks for giving me a break.
8:09 AM Dec 7th from web

Dear Magazine Subscription Peeps: Please don't call me at 8:20am on a Monday morning when I am already late and scrambling to get ready. Thx
8:27 AM Dec 7th from web

Who knew that December 7th was National Asshat Driver Day? I didn't.
11:09 AM Dec 7th from UberTwitter

In some states it's also called Can't Drive Worth a Fuckstick Driver Day.
11:11 AM Dec 7th from UberTwitter

Favorite wine of the wine tasting? Nasty Racy. Go figure.
7:15 PM Dec 7th from UberTwitter

Breaking a wine glass sober just feels like the wrong way to start my day.
7:35 AM Dec 8th from web

Shopping with the Compliance Queen. J Crew outlet. Discount shoes. My heart is racing......
11:50 AM Dec 8th from UberTwitter

Meeting @moriartytth for an early afternoon civiled cocktail. It's a good day.
4:31 PM Dec 8th from UberTwitter

You know what else made it a good day? A Sloppy Jai and Masala Fries at Chai Pati in Asheville. That shit was awesome!
4:32 PM Dec 8th from UberTwitter

Can I legitimately justify carbo-loading 5 days before my race?
6:58 PM Dec 8th from UberTwitter

So clearly my delicate gastrointestinal system did something to piss off the Indian food I had for lunch b/c OMG Does. Not. Agree. With. Me.
7:37 PM Dec 8th from web

#twitHER is taking on a life of its own. Welcome @saraashmansmith @sarahlena @aisforaardvark & @pseudostoops to the bar. I mean - the fray.
7:43 PM Dec 8th from web

Just found out that our mid-quarter email update was sent to 800+ people this morning with a typo. FML. Actually - DOUBLE FML.
9:19 AM Dec 9th from web

Can I go back to bed now please???
9:19 AM Dec 9th from web

How the Hell am I almost out of toilet paper? #shoppingfail
10:06 AM Dec 9th from UberTwitter

$9.69 for toilet paper. Damn my ass is high maintenance.
11:08 AM Dec 9th from UberTwitter

Just brought brownies to my neighbors. #ilovesmalltownlife
12:12 PM Dec 9th from web

Forced to watch Judge Pirro while waiting for my car to be serviced. OMFG where do they find *these* people?
2:06 PM Dec 9th from UberTwitter

Over 20 RSVPs to my holiday fete. Awesome b/c OMG - friends! WHEE! But Holy Hell - wee little house. Where will they all go?
2:11 PM Dec 9th from UberTwitter

Who the Hell goes hotrodding in a Lincoln?
2:30 PM Dec 9th from UberTwitter

So relieved Judge Pirro and her merry band of sadsack fuck-ups are off. But The Doctors? Seriously? #sofuckingtortured
3:02 PM Dec 9th from UberTwitter

I just love getting holiday cards and seeing photos of all my friends' insanely adorable and gorgeous kids!
4:24 PM Dec 9th from UberTwitter

Sumo and The Kaiser have me out for a *civilized* farewell cocktail. Oh boys....
4:47 PM Dec 9th from UberTwitter

New dress ordered specifically for holiday party doesn't zip. #fml
8:22 PM Dec 9th from web

Maybe I shouldn't have ordered fries tonight....
8:23 PM Dec 9th from web

Dear Mom & Dad: I know how tired I look. I know b/c I feel this tired too. Please don't feel compelled to point it out. C u soon. xo Rougie
6:42 AM Dec 10th from web

Race anxiety + MASSIVE PMS = Rougie is a slight emotional basketcase.
11:34 AM Dec 10th from UberTwitter

All I've consumed today is 48oz of Coke Zero. This can't be helping my anxiety.
12:18 PM Dec 10th from UberTwitter

Meanwhile, my reward for PMS from Hell is 3 days in heaven...I mean - The Sanctuary. OMG LUXURY SWALLOW ME WHOLE.
5:39 PM Dec 10th from web

Oooohhh! A mini-bar! I didn't know they still existed!
6:04 PM Dec 10th from UberTwitter

Also - I didn't know that you could legally charge $3.75 for a 1.69-oz bag of M&Ms.
6:06 PM Dec 10th from UberTwitter

There's a phone in the water closet, a seat in the shower and a view of the ocean from the tub. #diedandgonetoheaven
6:29 PM Dec 10th from UberTwitter

Carbo loading officially began at breakfast. I'll play this card All. Day. Long.
9:51 AM Dec 11th from web

Half Marathon retail ROCKS!!!
10:41 AM Dec 11th from UberTwitter

Carbo-loading is awesome. Just ate my weight in papardelle. #runrougierun
8:48 PM Dec 11th from UberTwitter

Homemade chocolate chip cookies on my pillow. God I love this place.
9:11 PM Dec 11th from UberTwitter

(In my best Chandler Bing voice): Could this weather BE any suckier? Cold AND raining? Eff you too weather peeps.
5:44 AM Dec 12th from UberTwitter

That said, I am getting ready to KICK KIAWAH'S ASS. Eat my dust. #runrougierun
5:45 AM Dec 12th from UberTwitter

Thanks to all for the Hanukah and Half-Marathon well-wishes. I love y'all too. Xoxo
5:46 AM Dec 12th from UberTwitter

For those who care - @MarshallKarp will be Tweeting my progress with the hashtag #runrougierun
7:27 AM Dec 12th from UberTwitter

Dear Weather Peeps: Thanks for holding off on the rain (so far). I love you too! Xoxo Rougie #runrougierun
7:28 AM Dec 12th from UberTwitter

Since I couldn't race and Tweet, Dad graciously stepped in to pick up the slack:

@rougeneck almost ready for the big kiawah half marathon. Hair & makeup people just doing last minute touchups. #runrougierun
7:29 AM Dec 12th from Tweetie

@rougeneck checking out the other runners. She's the only one wearing Manolo Blahniks. Booyah!!! #runrougierun
7:35 AM Dec 12th from Tweetie

@rougeneck on the start line w/the 8 min milers. I'm on the start line for old guys w/one knee and a walker. #runrougierun
7:41 AM Dec 12th from Tweetie

@rougeneck has been training for 5 months. So how come when the starter's gun went off she screamed WTF was that? #runrougierun
8:00 AM Dec 12th from Tweetie

@rougeneck probably at mile 3 by now. Mom and Dad definitely in hotel dining room scarfing down breakfast. #runrougierun #eatdaddyeat
8:29 AM Dec 12th from Tweetie

Trouble for @rougeneck at Mile 6 -- Tiger Woods jumped out of the bushes and hit on her. #runrougierun
8:57 AM Dec 12th from web

@rougeneck set two goals for herself for this race: finish in under 2 hours and become a trending topic on Twitter #runrougierun
9:00 AM Dec 12th from web

@rougeneck update: Winners about to cross the finish line. Here they come. One man, one woman. Never mind--it's the Salahis. #runrougierun
9:03 AM Dec 12th from web

@rougeneck looking good at Mile 7. Only thing that can slow her down is her knee or if she spots a shoe sale along the way. #runrougierun
9:10 AM Dec 12th from web

@rougeneck looking strong. @marshallkarp hit the wall after that lame shoe sale joke. #runrougierun
9:22 AM Dec 12th from web

@rougeneck just stopped at the water table, ordered a Gatorade Cosmo. #runrougierun
9:23 AM Dec 12th from web

@rougeneck made quick stop to upload new recipe to her blog. back in the race. #runrougierun
9:27 AM Dec 12th from web

@rougeneck in homestretch now. Probably dreaming of that first cold beer. And fame. Oodle and oodles of fame. #runrougierun
9:47 AM Dec 12th from Tweetie

@rougeneck crossed finish line and then -- no joke -- disappeared into the crowd. #runrougierun
10:17 AM Dec 12th from Tweetie


1:59:48 KISS MY ASS KIAWAH #runrougierun
10:17 AM Dec 12th from UberTwitter

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Breathless

I. Can. Not. Breathe.

The pressure in my chest is so great it feels like my heart is being crushed under the weight of a 2-ton steel block.

There's a sharp, stinging pain - like someone is digging a knife into me over and over and over again.

I. Can. Not. Breathe.

I am afraid to open my mouth. To speak. To breathe. Because if I open my mouth the floodgates in my eyes will open too. But it's no use. Despite keeping my jaw clenched firmly, the tears pour over the edge of my eyes and silently stream down my face.

There's no point in fighting it so I don't. I yield to my emotions, to my hormones and suddenly the silent tears are accompanied by giant, racking sobs which threaten to choke me.

I. Can. Not. Breathe.

I did not know it was possible to cry so hard, for so long, but I am relieved to be allowed to privately steep in my own emotional soup. No one telling me to calm down. No one telling me to pull it together. Then again, there's no one there to hold me either.

Sleep is fitful - at best. Even clutching my childhood teddy bear or feeling the warm, purring body of my cat pressed up against my leg doesn't soothe me, doesn't slay the demons. Writing doesn't release the pain and anxiety coursing through my veins.

I. Can. Not. Breathe.

The night feels interminable. But it ends. Somehow it ends and I wake from an unpleasant dream and look in the mirror. Even my $75 concealer is not going to help.

Daylight. Sun. Low-Country bound. I should be excited and overjoyed. I should be smiling. Instead, the tears slip silently down my cheek as I navigate the Interstate.

I. Can. Not. Breathe.

Fuck you PMS. Fuck you.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Winner Is...(And Yet Another Contest...)

Meet the Judge: Sebastian. My psychotic sheds-like-theres-no-tomorrow-and-looks-gorgeous-and-sweet-but-really-is-a-holy-terror-and-possibly-more-neurotic-then-his-mom cat. He drew blood made sure I didn't cheat.





View the hat:

I had this custom made at a local county fair when I was visiting dad a few years ago. Please ignore the GIANT stain on the brim (#lipglossfail or something)


See how many peeps entered? I LOVE YOU DARLING READERS. MWAH SUGARS!!!!

(PS Looking at the photo after the fact it's not that many but OMG for my wee little blog...I'm more than thrilled!)

And see who won??



And OMG it was so NOT rigged. Sebastian made sure of that. But so glad my hasn't blogged in fucking ages girl Harmzie won.

If you're lucky sugar, there will be cookies in with that book.

***********************************

In totally unrelated news...who the fuck is the girl in the plaid dress and the plaid bow in the early Charlie Brown cartoons?



I couldn't find a picture of just her because she's pretty fucking ancillary and-slash-or insignificant. But you can see her head and her bow poking out between Lucy and Linus and you can see the plaid hem of her dress. If she had boobs, Schroder's nose would be buried in her right one.

I call her Butterscotch girl. I don't know why. And by now you should know never to question me.

Anyways, whoever is the first to correctly identify her (WITH PROOF) will win a Charlie Brown DVD gift pack with It's the Great Pumpkin and A Charlie Brown Christmas because OMFG I'M GENEROUS LIKE THAT PEOPLES.

And please don't tell me that's Peppermint Patty because we all know that Peppermint Patty was a lesbian who wore a striped green bowling shirt and called Charlie Brown Chuck. She did not wear pretty plaid dresses with matching bows So. Don't. Even. Try. It.

UPDATE: Thank you Kyooty! Butterscotch Girl has a real name: Patty. Just not Peppermint. I can now go on living. (PS Dear Charles Schulz: I know you're dead and all but for the record, I think it's very confusing that you named 2 characters in your comic strip the same thing. Then again, that's kind of how it is in real life - right? I mean I have 2 close friends who share my name - so on second thought, congrats on being a forward-thinking, intellectual badass. Or something.)

Monday, December 07, 2009

The Breakfast Club

I was a blogging fail this weekend and did not do my usual "write 18 posts for the week and get it out the of the way" thing. Silly me - I was too busy having fun. Sorry kids.

But since I hate to leave you empty handed - especially on a Monday - here are pictures from Pixie's mphphpth Birthday on Saturday night. We spent most of the night dancing our asses off at The Breakfast Club, an 80s theme club in The Big City. And if you can't tell - I take my 80s nights VERY seriously.

PS My ankle and knee were so not hurting the next day. Uh-uh. Because that would just be redonkulous given that I am running a half-marathon in SIX EFFING DAYS. OMFG y'all.







So for the record - we saw Santa at the upstairs bar and I was all: OMG - let's get our picture taken with Santa. And so I approached him and sweetly asked if he would mind posing for a photo and he's all: Not now - I have to go breakdance. Seriously y'all - WTF Santa?

So he went down to the dance floor and shook his moneymaker for a few minutes and I tried to take his picture but my camera was being a beyotch flash didn't work because of all the 80s fabulous disco lights. But eventually Lilsaej and I found him in the stairwell and we practically tackled him asked him AGAIN if he would mind posing for a photo with 2 GORGEOUS GIRLS and he was all begrudging about the whole thing like he had SOMETHING BETTER TO DO and you can tell from the look on his face that someone totally pissed in his Cheerios that morning. Seriously - I've never seen someone more sour looking. You know what else? He was totally holding a beer. You know what else? I was so hopped up about having my photo taken with Santa that I got over-excited and nearly peed myself made that dumb-ass kissy face and now I look like a God damn puffer fish in my Santa shot. Clearly I won't be using *this* as my holiday card. Sigh y'all.

You know what else? According to my friend His Girl Friday guys dressed like Santa get a lot of action. She said it's more effective then walking around with a puppy. I'd say she's right in theory but looking at the above photo you have to fucking wonder.

PS I was totally wearing legwarmers but the legwarmer shot didn't load right. You'll have to trust me. But as stated - I take this shit seriously. Also? I have more jelly bracelets than any living person in this day and age should have.

PPS I just realized I already wrote a PS so I guess that makes my previous PS a PPS and this one a PPPS.

Sigh. I need help y'all. Clearly.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

My Week In Tweets: November 29 - December 5

Should picking out a user name for Google Wave be this stressful??
8:48 AM Nov 29th from web

Old Navy on the Sunday after Thanksgiving looks like its been RANSACKED!
11:32 AM Nov 29th from UberTwitter

Oh Target - you are like a tonic for my ravaged soul. #retailtherapy
11:57 AM Nov 29th from UberTwitter

Can someone explain to me why no one is carrying mistletoe this year????
12:24 PM Nov 29th from UberTwitter

Is a diet of melba toast, pimento cheese, wine & coke zero cherry (with the occasional chicken wing thrown in for good measure) sustainable?
1:04 PM Nov 29th from web

I went to download Bad Romance. Somehow I wound up downloading all of The Fame Monster - Deluxe Version. My iPod is oozing Lady Gaga.
6:21 PM Nov 29th from web

Oh me. It's been a rather surreal day and the night is not looking any less Dali-esque.
8:18 PM Nov 29th from web

Wait - Dali was a surrealist - right? If not - forgive my failed art analogies.....
8:18 PM Nov 29th from web

I'm a mistress at the art of passive-aggressive.....
10:09 PM Nov 29th from web

Dear Monday: Bite me. xoxo Rougie
10:37 AM Nov 30th from web

I don't think I've ever been happier talking to Citibank. #finallyclosingmyaccountfortheloveofgod
10:52 AM Nov 30th from web

19 minutes and I've closed ONE of FIVE accounts. #citibanksucks
11:05 AM Nov 30th from web

I have to call SEPARATE people to close each account. Thanks Citi - for making it so damn easy.
11:06 AM Nov 30th from web

28 minutes and the second account is closed....I feel a little weak-kneed.
11:15 AM Nov 30th from web

Does anybody else not give a giant crap that Chelsea Clinton is engaged?
1:31 PM Nov 30th from web

Once a month you'll hear this from me: OMFG spreadsheets are making me one crabby, stabby ass mothereffer.
1:47 PM Nov 30th from UberTwitter

Need it to rain? Just ask me to wash my car and/or get my haircut. It will rain. I guarantee it.
2:34 PM Nov 30th from UberTwitter

Dear Tivo: What in my previous viewing history makes you think I'd like "Clash of the Choirs?" Seriously? xoxo rougie #WTF
4:26 PM Nov 30th from UberTwitter

Coiffed and curly. Also? Woop Woop.
6:10 PM Nov 30th from UberTwitter

Serving wine at a bakery is wrong because OMFG those cakes and pies look extra scrumptious.
6:14 PM Nov 30th from UberTwitter

Watching the Grinch. #itsofficiallytheholidays
8:04 PM Nov 30th from web

I'd give my left tit for a Diet Coke right now.
11:26 AM Dec 1st from UberTwitter

Ok - maybe not my left tit. Maybe my left pinky. Or left pinky toe.
11:27 AM Dec 1st from UberTwitter

Holy effing Hell I need a drink. Or I'd like to erase the last hour of my life. Either or.
12:30 PM Dec 1st from UberTwitter

Stabby.Stabby.Stabby.Stabby.Stabby. And I have no intention of ever taking my PJs or this fleece robe off. EVER.
4:59 PM Dec 1st from web

I'm generally a nice & understanding person but I'm about to open up a can of WHOOP ASS on someone shortly. Sloppiness is making me MAD.
5:42 PM Dec 1st from web

Also? Please don't lie to me. Ok? I didn't fall of the turnip truck yesterday....
5:43 PM Dec 1st from web

So yeah - it's not a Tuesday night if I don't eat my weight in chicken wings. Crap - it's not a night period.....
9:32 PM Dec 1st from UberTwitter

Fried pickles? GENIUS!!!!!!
9:53 PM Dec 1st from UberTwitter

Too lazy to grab my umbrella so today I'll be playing the role of wet, bedraggled dog. It's a good look I tell ya.
10:44 AM Dec 2nd from UberTwitter

Fire alarm at hotel going off. Seriously universe?
8:06 PM Dec 2nd from UberTwitter

Fire Department (and by extension hot firemen) en route. I'm not wearing any make-up. #bitememurphy
8:12 PM Dec 2nd from UberTwitter

And if we do have to evacuate? I'm so bringing my wine.
8:12 PM Dec 2nd from UberTwitter

False alarm. Relieved. However disappointed that I'm not living Donna Martin's life.
8:31 PM Dec 2nd from UberTwitter

Just looked up from my blog post and Wisc is leading Duke by 7. WTF?
9:26 PM Dec 2nd from UberTwitter

Bob Knight and Brent Musberger on ESPN. Is this college basketball or an adult diaper commercial?
9:31 PM Dec 2nd from UberTwitter

Probably should have not just said: "I'm pretty easy" in front of German tourists at hotel bar.
9:36 PM Dec 2nd from UberTwitter

For the record, it was in reply to the bartender who asked if I minded using the same glass.
9:37 PM Dec 2nd from UberTwitter

After Tweeting about Donna Martin, I dreampt that I was one of the 90210 gang and we all sat around eating pie together.
6:16 AM Dec 3rd from web

Seriously though - who eats that much pie?
6:16 AM Dec 3rd from web

And no - we can't discuss what this says about my subconscious.
6:17 AM Dec 3rd from web

Apparently I totally failed to notice the GIANT stain on the hem of my dress. A wet washcloth did not help.
7:44 AM Dec 3rd from web

No other dress AND I have 4 meetings and a dinner tonight. For work. You know - so I don't want to look like Pigpen from the Peanuts. FML
7:45 AM Dec 3rd from web

Dear Universe: Are you telling me that I *hafta* go shopping? xoxo Rougie
7:46 AM Dec 3rd from web

Good news. Nobody has noticed the stain. Just the fact that I am wearing a pretty and festive red dress.
9:59 AM Dec 3rd from UberTwitter

Dear Universe: OMG THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU for street parking in downtown Greenville. I love you too! Xoxo Rougie
11:54 AM Dec 3rd from UberTwitter

Oh to be in an office again. The flourescent lights. The buzz of the copier. The 4pm trip to the vending machine. Sigh.
4:13 PM Dec 3rd from UberTwitter

Best part of baked potato? The skin. Worst part of rack of lamb? Mint jelly. Makes it all possible? Wine.
8:20 PM Dec 3rd from UberTwitter

I just unsubscribed from about 15 email lists. Utterly liberating. #perksofinsomnia
2:52 AM Dec 4th from UberTwitter

How do *intense marriage counseling* and "Here honey - take $5mm to stay with me" work together exactly?
7:36 AM Dec 4th from web

Or is the payment the counseling?
7:36 AM Dec 4th from web

And for the record, I am so sick of Tiger Woods and the not-so-shocking fact that he couldn't keep it in his pants. Not news people.
7:40 AM Dec 4th from web

Oh Adam Lambert. You are ABSOLUTELY here for my entertainment.
11:11 AM Dec 4th from UberTwitter

Eff you Flint Street and your poorly placed loading dock.
11:38 AM Dec 4th from UberTwitter

Just got kissed under the mistletoe.
12:41 PM Dec 4th from UberTwitter

HALLELUJAH! Free at last. Free at last. Thank you sweetbabyjeebus - I am free from the bondage of @Citibank. SUCK IT CITI!
3:50 PM Dec 4th from web

How can you charge me a service fee on an account I'VE ALREADY CLOSED? Really @Citibank??? REALLY?
9:48 AM Dec 5th from web

Have to go run errands. Do you think people will believe my super cute Old Navy plaid PJs are really flannel madras pants?
9:59 AM Dec 5th from web

My mad phat jump rope skillz drew several unsolicited compliments at the gym. Holla yo! #badassintraining
4:35 PM Dec 5th from UberTwitter

I just bitchslapped the Hell out of 2 inboxes. It's like an email enema. #ocd
6:09 PM Dec 5th from web

I know I'm getting old when the fact that we're not even leaving to go out until 10pm has me wanting to crawl under the covers.
6:13 PM Dec 5th from web

Of course, we're "pre-gaming" at 9 so maybe I'm not *that* old.
6:13 PM Dec 5th from web

New drinking game: how many Coke Zero Cherries can I chug before we leave for the club at 10? #signsimgettingeffingold
7:39 PM Dec 5th from web

My skinny jeans are trying to tell me something. What's that? Stop eating so damn much? Gotcha.
7:50 PM Dec 5th from web

I take my 80s nights way. Too. Seriously.
8:29 PM Dec 5th from web

99 Luftbalons. Legwarmers. Jelly bracelets. #lovethe80s
10:31 PM Dec 5th from UberTwitter

Crap. Went to get my picture taken with 80s Santa but he blew me off to go breakdance. WTF Saint Nick???
11:42 PM Dec 5th from UberTwitter

Ok. Found Santa. Snapped photo except Holy Hell I look like a goddamn pufferfish.
11:48 PM Dec 5th from UberTwitter

PS it's the Red Bull talking. Swear.
11:48 PM Dec 5th from UberTwitter

DJ just called me Material Girl. Sigh.
11:53 PM Dec 5th from UberTwitter

Holy Hell. @lilsaej has NEVER seen St. Elmos Fire or Fast Times @ Ridgemont High. Shall we educate her tweeps?
12:00 AM Dec 6th from UberTwitter

Holy Hell bitch. Get. Off. My. Stage.
12:45 AM Dec 6th from UberTwitter

Oh dear. That last Tweet didn't sound so nice - did it????

Friday, December 04, 2009

Feed Me Fridays: Stuff It

For years, I have relied on a fail safe stuffing recipe that was given to me by a complete, random stranger at the bar at the Four Seasons Hotel in Houston, TX in order to diffuse a very heated argument between me and my companion. It's served me well over the years and seeing as I make stuffing - oh well, once a year, occasionally twice - I've never seen the need to really experiment.

But this year, in an attempt to live out my grand Thanksgiving fantasy I decided that no recipe would be recycled (except for my cranberries because OMG they are perfect and in all the years I've been making them no one but me ever eats them so I felt like they had never really been eaten and therefore previous makings didn't count and in some ways, they were virginal). Which meant I had to rethink the stuffing.

It came to me in a moment of genius. It was like divine intervention. Or an endorphin-induced epiphany. Or the right combination of chicken wings and cheap wine. I'm not really sure. But there it was: Rye Bread Stuffing with Salami, Apples and Leeks.

I know - who comes up with this?

Truth be told - I sort of stuck to the basic stuffing formula (mirepoix, good bread, and something for OOMPH) and just made some tweaks. Here's the ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS result. (Of course, in the interest of full disclosure I should let you know that the actual recipe is sitting in my kitchen and I am sitting in a hotel lobby in a different state so...I may be off...if you're really interested in exact quantities and crap like that - feel free to email me or DM me on Twitter and I'll get you the specifics).

Here's what you'll need:



For the bread - I opted for rye. I believe it was a 1.5 pound loaf. Anywhere from 1 - 1.5 pounds should work. I normally use sourdough and dad kind of bitched moaned a bit because he prefers sourdough to rye but I was determined. To. Be. Different. See the pretty rye bread?



The trick to my fabulous stuffing is copious quantities of butter and pre-buttering and pre-seasoning the bread. You want to butter as much surface area as possible so you want to slice the loaf crosswise into thirds or fourths like so:


Then you want to butter and season the bread. I used about a stick and half of unsalted butter. You want it soft and spreadable. Bung it in the microwave for a few seconds if you have to. Take each slice, liberally butter it, and then season it. I think on half I used Cajun seasoning (like Essence of Emeril or Tony Chachere's) and on half I used Vege-Sal. Trust me when I say this is the secret to stuffing.


It's a messy process. But if you love butter (as I do) then you won't mind. You know what else helps? To have an adorable puppy licking the floor beneath your feet hoping for scraps. Like this:



Cube your buttered and seasoned bread. Toss it all in a giant bowl and then lick your fingers. You've totally earned it:



Time for mirepoix also known as the holy trinity of vegetables: celery, carrots and onion. Only - I don't use carrots, I use garlic so I guess it's not really mirepoix. And for the onions, I used leeks just because you know, I could. Anyways, in a large pot in a mixture of butter and olive oil saute 2 leeks - stems only (not the dark green tops and by the way leeks are dirty and gritty so clean them well), 3 - 4 ribs of celery (diced) and 3 giant spoonfuls of chopped garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes until tender and fragrant (oh I could so be a cookbook writer with shit like that):



Then add the salami. I used 1 12-oz. Hebrew National salami cut into fine dice. See how pretty?


Then add the apples. I cut up 2 Honeycrisps in a rather large dice. Cook it all until - you know - it seems cooked. Then add the bread and stock. I needed 3 cups of stock total. I used 2 cups of veggie stock because it happened to be open and then I added 1 more cup of chicken stock. You can use veggie or chicken or a combo - I'd stay away from beef stock. Just a suggestion.

Let the butter-laden bread absorb the stock and get kind of soft and mushy and stuffingy and then turn off the heat.

Add 1/2 a cup of grated Parmesan and stir it in. Actually - this is optional. I am not sure Parm was the right cheese - or that the stuffing even needed cheese but I love cheese and we had overbought on the Parm and the Pecorino so....

Last step? Season to taste.

Pour the whole mess into a pan and bake at 350 for 15 - 20 minutes until it smells heavenly and OMG you want to eat it right out of the pan and burn your mouth because YUM - sorta like this:


Stuffing is awesome day of but it's even better day after. And for the record, my breakfast of choice the day after Thanksgiving (and frankly the true breakfast of champions) is a giant bowl of stuffing. Seriously - there's nothing better.

So yeah - stuff it kids. MWAH Sugars!!!