Monday, June 30, 2008

Now with Added Smoke Flavor

I went out on Saturday night to see Big City Burlesque, one of the retro-burlesque troupes in town (there are three). Not being attentive to the flyer, I showed up about forty-five minutes early, so I got my ticket and walked over to a local cafe to grab a snack.

As I sat, idly perusing the freebie newspaper I'd picked up on the way in, I noticed vaguely that the cafe was awfully smokey. I was on the patio so I assumed someone was smoking at an adjoining table. Or maybe some heavy diesel burner was going by. God, it WAS smokey. What on earth...?

I glanced up to realize, I had set my own newspaper on fire with the candle on the table. Aaargh! Newsprint burns quite fiercely in case you've wondered. I blew on it, but that only made it worse. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to roll the paper up quickly and smother it. And fortunately the tables around me were filled with jaded hipsters who apparently did not notice my attempt at inadvertent self-immolation, because they would have had to stop comparing their eco-chic outfits in ordere to do so.

Still, embarrassing. Thank god the waiter was stoned and I wasn't wearing polyester. I'll be able to go back.

Once again proving I don't have to go far from home to get myself in trouble.....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Weirder and Weirder

And just in case babysitting dormant butterflies isn't enough, I just pushed back from my desk and thought,

"Oh, that reminds me. I have to feed the bees tonight."

When did I become the fucking Bug Whisperer?

(Photo of my bees, above. Not stolen from anybody.)


We are doing a butterfly release for one of our shots on Friday, so I am in charge of babysitting 3 dozen dormant monarch butterflies that have to be kept in a cooler at 62 degrees for the next two days. Then I have to put them in a special box, warm them up, and we poof! let them go.

Seriously, I have the weirdest job in the world.

(Picture cheerfully stolen from

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Unbearable Lateness of Being

Today's my last day on the home schedule - I start a new project tomorrow, and even though it's not one I'm really interested in, I am so glad to be gainfully employed again that I'm sharpening my mechanical pencil and dusting off the adding machine. (There's some irony to the fact that I failed algebra repeatedly as a schoolgirl, and now make my living almost entirely with math).

But the big change is the schedule. When I am working at home, I slowly shift my body clock backwards, closer to my natural circadian (is that the right word?) rhythm, and closer to my boyfriend's, who runs a restaurant and is always up til three in the morning. Within a couple of days I, too, am sleeping until 8.30 AM and thinking vaguely that I should turn in about midnight.

But oh, once production starts again - ouch. I have to be in the office by 8.30, showered and dressed and orally dentifriced, alert and ready. Since I'm a slow waker, and I have to drive half an hour to get there, that means the alarm's going off tomorrow at six. Ugh. I haven't seen a single-digit wake-up call in a month.

This....will be ugly.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Top Five Meals Ever

Ac-cent-u-ate the Pos-i-tive...

That's an old Johnny Mercer tune, for those of you not familiar with it. Jazz N Swing - it's your musical heritage, people. Look into it.

Anyway, enough ranting. In an attempt to do an upbeat post, to take my mind off my painful, bee-induced disfigurement (hopefully mending, as we speak) I am going to do a roundup of the best five meals I have ever eaten. No particular order.

First: Honey Roasted Leg of Lamb at the Santa Clara restaurant in Seville, Spain:

Seriously, probably the best piece of meat I have ever put in my mouth, and I say that as someone who drools as I drive by cows on the highway. Sweet, but not too sweet, rich sauce, and melting, fall apart on the plate lamb. Perfection. I can't even remember what it came with, because my mind was so blown by the lamb. I have to learn to make that one day. And the setting - an outdoor, courtyard restaurant, surrounded by orange trees and jasmine and the walls of a 18th century convent - I felt like I was in a movie. (photo above).

Second: Tapas at Gervais and Vine, in (no, I'm serious) Columbia, South Carolina

I reiterate: Columbia, South Carolina. Not exactly the ass end of nowhere, but certainly the lower back of nowhere. Tiny, packed to the gills tapas place - I was there alone, I was in Columbia for work but my companion stayed in that night - I had perfect grilled scallops, an Ozark Pork Belly with cherry sauce that almost knocked me off my chair, and something else I can't remember except that it was good. Only the potato pancake was boring. And for once I didn't go back to the hotel and pass out, overstuffed.

Third: The first time I ever ate real, pit smoked, southern bar-b-que

He took me to a place called Daddy D'z, in Atlanta. It was our first or second date. I was wearing a white sundress. Was I high? Listen, until then I didn't know from Barbeque. I thought it was what you did on the Weber in the backyard. But that night I fell madly, passionately in love...and now I eat BBQ all the time.

(and He's still hot stuff too)

Fourth: Beef Bourginonne, which I cannot spell, from Julia Child's "The Way to Cook"

A best meal I can make whenever I want too, since I make it at home. MMMMMMMMMmmmmm.

Fifth: Chicken and Chorizo Stew at La Basque in San Francisco

I ate this until my stomach hurt, and then I kept eating it. Oh, the humanity!

Oh, how I suffer for my art....And there are a few things that tie for Honorable Mention, including the meal I had at the original Carrabas' in Houston, Texas, the barbeque at Maurice's in Columbia South Carolina (there's that damn town again), and the coleslaw at both Sam's BBQ in Florence Alabama (seriously, now THAT'S the ass end of nowhere) and at Taqueria del Sol in Atlanta, Ga. Both totally different, but equally hhmmmmnnnnyummy. Puerco pibil in Mexico, in some tiny town near Chichen'Itza....onion soup at the foot of the Eiffel Tower in Paris...

Mother Nature Strikes Back, V2.0

Appaaaaaarently, Bees do not like publicity. Yesterday morning - mere days after I brought them to your attention, and while I was having my morning, "aaaaawwwww" glance at them- a bee flew up from the hive, got tangled in my bangs, and BAM! stung me just under my right eyebrow. My face now looks like the Mets requisitioned it for batting practice - that is, if the Mets could hit anything this year besides the bottom of the standings - and I would be shopping for an eyepatch if I wasn't too embarrassed to leave the house.

I wonder if Topshop sells eyepatches online? Finally, a real excuse for internet shopping.

I should be fine in another day or so, but ow ow ow it hurt. Bees! Love them, but saddened by bang-diminished navigation.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

And While we are on the Updates....

Allow me to introduce my new roommates... all 40,000 of them.

Yes, I now have a beehive in the backyard, not because I'm very touchy-feely earthy mothery - I got them before the current wave of "Save the Bees" mania - but because the idea always seemed sort of romantic and medieval. I'm a Renaissance man! Well, woman. 'Cause really, when you think about it, having a box full of pets that could theoretically kill you if they got mad enough - I mean, that's pretty *%$^#! goth. No? Yeah, my boyfriend thinks I'm an idiot too.

We'll see who's laughing when I make honey and biscuits for breakfast. AND REFUSE TO SHARE.

Actually he's been great about the new beasties, helped to put the hives together (they come in a flat pack, as if it's designed by IKEA) and feeding them when I went to Boston a couple of weeks ago. I'd make a joke here about washing all those tiny little plates, but you people are way to smart for that. Aren't you? Yes, you are. They actually eat out of an upside down bottle, like a hamster feeder - if your hamster consumed 4 pounds of sugar water a week. And wouldn't he be running in that little wheel THEN.

So welcome, bees. The garden was less lovely without you.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Updates...No, Really. I Swear!

Soooo... been a little slacadasical on the blog front, which is interesting because I've been traveling like nobody's business, at least up til 6 weeks ago when work slowed down and now I'm apparently unemployed for the rest of my life. So I've been sitting at home for six weeks, and all I've got to show for it is raging cabin fever.

But! Before that, I was interesting, I was employed, I was I veritable Pepper Potz of coolness, if not with such nice hair, but we can dream. And so in the last year I went to: The Grand Canyon (big), Montana (cold), Spain (hot), San Francisco (hilly), Boston (revolutionary), and Puerto Rico (salsa!).

So there. Now we're all up to date. I feel better.

Kidding. Real stories and updates to come.