Thursday, September 28, 2006

Confession is Good For the Soul

My good friend (and tampon thief) Karyn has this little meme up at her place, and I am all about hijacking it and running away, shouting, "Mine! Mine! Mine!"

The idea is that you are supposed to confess five secrets from your life. I doubt that I have any really good secrets left, but I'll give it a whirl.

1.) My husband dated a friend of mine in high school. (He and I did not meet until after college.) He's told me*intimate* details about her, and now it's hard to look her in the face.

2.) I once had a fling with a "bad boy" in college, and it was very disappointing. He was supposed to be this really wonderful guy, and it was very much nothing to write home about.

3.) After the fling (see Confession #2), he said some awful stuff about me to mutual friends, and I got back at him by telling everyone that my new nickname for him was "Sal." When people asked me why I called him that, I said it was because he was like a third-world nation: sadly underdeveloped. "Sal" was supposed to be short for San Salvador. (I felt badly for stooping to his level afterward, but hey -- I was 18 or 19.)

4.) I once shoplifted a candy bar from a little 7/11 store by my grandmother's house when I was visiting. My grandmother discovered that I'd stolen, made me take it back, apologize to the owner of the store, AND write a letter of apology. And then she told my dad, and I got spanked AND got restriction. (I was about seven years old.)

5.) To the jerk who used to torture me every day at lunch in high school - I was the one who told the principal that you had marijuana hidden in your wheel well of your car. Just because I'm fat doesn't mean my ears don't work. And when you constantly bully people, don't be surprised when they lash back out at you. (I should feel more sorrow that he got in a lot of hot water over that, but I really don't. Does that make me a horrible person?)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Where Did My Blogroll Go?!?!

I know some of you have recently debated the killing off of the blogroll. Imagine my surprise today when I logged on to see that my blogroll has run off to Andrea's in order to lend emotional aid to *her* blogroll.

When I tried to log in to Blogrolling, I get a download error. So, it's obviously a blogrolling thing, not on my end. It seems that Phantom has lost her link list, too. Oh, well -- when it comes back up, there's some new links I need to add as well: About Miche, Eclectic Tales, Passion of the Dale, and Post Secret. These are some folks I've been reading lately who are new to me, and Post Secret is an obsession of mine.

Otherwise, what's happening to you fine people? I spent today playing with my new stamps! As soon as I get a quick minute, I will blog some crafts I've made lately with the new stamps.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Feel the Love

You all know of our struggle to free ourselves from the clutches of the allmighty El Diablo WalMarto. Know that we generally lose this struggle every week, because in our town, it's simply the cheapest place to buy groceries, their politics aside. Unfortunately, we are not so well-off that I can justify buying our groceries elsewhere and the loss of money that *would have* remained in our bank account should we shop elsewhere entails. (Did that last sentence make any sense?)

At any rate, my babbling aside, we headed to the Evil One this afternoon for groceries. My daughter has recently discovered that she can use a full quarter of a bottle of my body wash during a shower or bath, so I had to stop in the aisle where the body wash and soap reside until being purchased by other similarly cowed consumers. Now, I've mentioned before that I'm a creature of habit, and I'm unhappy to report that I have gone through several types of body wash recently that I had grown to love, and which were then summarily yanked from store shelves. Once they're no longer available, I have to search through all the other possible choices to find something that I can come to appreciate like my now-defunct products. It's truly a pain, and some of the things that are marketed -- yuck! They stink to high heaven. So, I look for something that's not overpowering with scent, and that will get me clean and not leave me smelling like a locker room after an intense game.

I am flitting from bottle to bottle, smelling each one, when suddenly I squeeze a bottle a little too tightly, and get a nose full of shower gel. Instead of being all sympathetic, Juggling Freak laughs his behind off at his loving wife who now has a snootful of dripping soap. So, now I have a soapy nose, a laughing husband and a burning sinus. But, at least I smell nice.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Our Boring Menu

We here at the KLee/JF household have a very boring menu. Unfortunately. JF is allergic to pork (it makes him nauseous), and I am allergic to seafood. Plus, I'm rather a picky eater, and have been since birth, so that means we eat a lot of beef and chicken. This means that I am constanly looking for new and inventive ways of cooking hamburger and chicken. I tend to go to Sam's and buy the meats in bulk and split it up, this way, I don't have to (theoretically, anyway -- it hasn't worked out like this so far this week) go to the local grocery store every day.

Not long ago, I bought a cookbook that extolled numerous ways to cook ground beef. This was just what I needed! Inside, I found a recipe that has quickly become a family staple. I give you -- The Easy Egg Rolls! Now, as a picky eater, I have certain things that I just don't eat. Thankfully, Offspring and JF are much more flexible. (Offspring's only verboten foods are corn, applesauce and bananas. I figure that's a pretty short list. At least it's MUCH shorter than my own.) We don't eat them very often, but they're always tasty when we do!

Easy Egg Rolls (From the Ground Beef Cookbook)
1 lb of cooked, drained ground beef
1 package (16 ounces) of tri-color coleslaw mix (with carrots and purple cabbage)
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
onion powder to taste (I use dried minced onion instead, so they're not SO oniony)
1 package of egg roll wrappers (square)
1 table spoon all-purpose flour
vegetable oil for frying (I use House of Tsang's Wok oil -- it has garlic, cilantro and other spices in the oil -- yum!)

In small bowl, mix flour and small amount of water together to make a paste -- you will use this to seal the wrappers together.

In large bowl, mix together first six ingredients. Place heaping teaspoon in of mixture into the center of an egg roll wrapper. Fold up wrapper, rolling tightly, and moisten edge with paste to seal. Heat 1 inch of oil to 375 degrees. Fry egg rolls 3 - 5 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Makes approximately 20 egg rolls.

A couple of helpful hints -- I wrap all the egg rolls first, before trying to fry any. It's a constant "watch and flip" operation -- you have to keep turning them pretty fast, or they'll burn. So, don't try to watch, flip, AND assemble egg rolls at the same time. Too much happening at once. I also like to make peanut or teriyaki noodles to go with these as a side dish. Don't try to use the rectangular wrappers -- the filling always spills out and burns. Also, be careful with the wrappers. They are kind of delicate.

If anyone makes them, let me know how they go over! I know we love them, and they're fairly easy to make. Enjoy!

Monday, September 18, 2006

A Hail of Bullets

Since I'm low on blog fodder, I decided to let you know what's going on here at Chez KLee via the ever-popular bullets.

* My darling daughter just recieved an award for being the second child in her whole school this year to win a medal for reading. I'm so proud of her! She also got her first middle-of-term grade report, and all her grades were good. She's been doing so well.

* My right foot has been bothering me lately -- well, since last spring, really. I started walking a mile back in April or May, trying to get ready for all the major walking we do at Disney World. While walking, I started getting a sore right foot. It wouldn't bother me so much while I walked, but afterward: oh, the pain! Flash forward to the present: the foot still hurts, but only every now and then, and usually after a long day on my feet, or right upon getting up. Dr. Google (even though Karyn thinks he's an asshat) diagnoses me with plantar fasciitis. The kicker about it is that it's common in overweight people, but you can't walk for exercise because it exacerbates the condition. I broke down and had to buy orthopedic shoes. Fun, no?

* I'm anticipating cooler weather so much! I'm tired of being sweaty, and I'm tired of washing funky laundry. If I didn't sweat so much, the laundry wouldn't be so funky.

* I bought a bunch of new rubber stamps, and I am looking forward to their arrival so I can create some new cards and scrapbook pages. Those projects will probably feature heavily in my box/gift for Andrea's Winter Holiday Gift Exchange. I'll be stampin' like a madwoman! If I have your address, watch out -- you may be getting a card from me!

* JF is really excited -- he's potentially found a juggling buddy! Said friend will be teaching him to pass clubs, so he's really into the whole idea of having a partner, since I am hopelessly inept at juggling. (I'm lucky that I can walk a straight line most days.) He also found this video of the juggling guy that he's so in awe of, and has been torturing me with it for the last couple of days.

* School is going fairly well, but it's hard to believe that we've been in class a whole month now. We're on the start of week five, and already they've learned a lot. We have some challenges ahead, but it's nothing we can't overcome with hard work.

Well, that's pretty much all that's happening here. Excitement abounds, right? Oh, well. We can't all have cute kids who charm the pants off people everywhere and utter bloggable posts every time they blink! I'd never get anything done!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

A Meme, A Meme! My Kingdom for A Meme!

A while ago, I mentioned that the wonderful Karyn had tagged me for a meme. I have slacked off long enough now, so I give you the Fours Meme:

A) Four jobs I have had in my life:
1 - Movie Theater Concessionaire/Ticket Seller
2 - Yearbook/Newspaper Photographer
3 - Day Care Preschool Teacher
4 - My Current Job

B) Four movies I would watch over and over
1- Yellowbeard
2- Monty Python and the Meaning of Life
3- Better Off Dead
4- The Princess Bride

C) Four places I have lived in my life
1- The City of My Birth (I left there when I was one year old.)
2- Teeny Apartment here in my current city (from ages 1-4.)
3- The house I live in currently. (ages 4-16 and 20-present.)
4- Big Rambling House in another area of town (ages 16-20.)

D) Four TV shows I love to watch:
1- Black Adder
2- Homicide: Life on the Street
3- Eureka (I'm really liking this right now!)
4- The 4400

E) Four places I have been on vacation:
1- Disney World
2- Munich, Germany
3- St. Augustine, Florida
4- Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

F) Websites I visit daily
3- my school's website

G) Four of my favorite foods
1- Fried Chicken
2- ice cream
3- oven roasted carrots with butter
4- chocolate

H) Four places I would rather be right now
1- London
2- Disney World
3- someplace temperate with crystal clear water and NO sharks
4- Munich

I) Four friends I think will respond
1- anyone
2- who
3- wants
4- to!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Hello, Cleveland!

This promises to be an excellent evening! :) Won't you all join me for an evening of magic?

Thanks to Dale for the heads-up for this cool site! You'll waste a lot of time there, I assure you!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Louis S. Inghilterra - A Life Remembered

As the 5th year since the September 11th attacks begins to pass us by, it is important that we stop and take the time to remember those people who lost their lives that day. This is my tribute.

On the morning of September 11th, 2001, Louis Inghilterra, 45, woke up in an apartment in Ossining, NY. He and his family; wife Diane and son, Louis Sam, aged two; had been renovating their Chappaqua home, and were finally scheduled to move back in that day. His wife, Diane, said that Louis' eye for detail stayed with him throughout the renovations, leading him to examine all possible combinations of door knobs and floor trimmings. Louis loved carpentry, and had made bookshelves for their home, and had even fixed up the armoires that he and Diane had picked up at garage sales in anticipation of moving back into the Chappaqua house.

Louis was a Senior Vice President and Treasurer of the Fiduciary Trust International, which was located on the 95th floor of Tower Two of the World Trade Center. Louis called Diane from work that morning to find out if the movers had arrived yet, and was on the phone with her when Tower One was struck. He told his wife that he had just seen a jetliner strike Tower One, and then said, “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have told you. Don’t be upset.” Diane said that she heard a lot of noise in the background, and then the phone went out.

“Louis was a wonderful father,” Diane said in interviews. She said that he played guitar, and listened to jazz and old rock music, and approached life with a sense of wonder.

Louis was originally from the town of New Castle, NY. A friend of his, Michael Wolfensohn, proposed a memorial to be installed at a local city park in remembrance of his friend. His conceptual design for the memorial featured using steel pieces from the World Trade Center wreckage. Michael led a petition drive to get the memorial before the city council, and was even given $26,000 by the Steel Beams Foundation to incorporate the steel into the memorial. The design he favored used the steel as part of the memorial, but would not be visible from the road. The city council shot down the plan with the steel as part of the memorial back in December 2005, igniting a storm of controversy in the town of New Castle. Most residents supported the proposed design, but the board pulled the idea because a few residents objected to the inclusion of the steel, citing that it would be “inappropriate in a residential setting.” The scheduled opening of the memorial is slated for today – the fifth anniversary of September 11th.

Here is a photograph of Sam, placing flowers at the steel fragments that were supposed to be placed into the memorial.

I never met Louis, or any of his family, but his story has touched my life. I hope his memorial is built, and I hope I have done his story justice. If any of his family of friends happens to read this tribute, I want you to know that I’m so sorry for your loss, and I hope that by celebrating Louis’ life, I have honored him. He deserves no less.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Party Update, Now With More Mostly Naked Indian!

Before I took my self-imposed hiatus, I had mentioned my Mom's birthday party last week. Remember that it was a theme party? Mom had chosen a Cowboys and Indians theme, and had instructed us to come in costume, or face her wrath. Offspring and JF decided to cobble costumes together with items we already had here at the house, and went as Cowboys. Well, sort of. JF went as a federale, complete with huge Mickey Mouse sombrero. It was very easy to spot him from any place in the building. That hat has its own weather system.

Offspring was a cowgirl, and was over the moon because we had purchased her a denim skirt at El Diablo WalMarto that she pronounced as "swirly." She spent darn near every second of the evening twirling around the dance floor to watch the skirt flare out. That is, when my aunt wasn't teaching her how to shag.

The whole costume thing was problematic -- I decided to go as an Indian, since the other two members of my family were going as the cowboy contingent. I bought some dollar-table brown fabric and made myself a quick outfit, and beaded the hem. Not hard, but sort of time consuming. A lot of the partygoers chose not to wear costumes at all. Some of them that DID wear costumes went to extremes. My aunt (the one that was teaching Offspring to shag) decided that she didn't fit the mold as either a cowboy OR an Indian. She refused to let my mother pigeon-hole her that way. She told my cousin (we'll call my cousin Daisy Mae and my aunt, Auntie B) that she was going to go as one of those "saloon girls." Daisy Mae's pithy reply: "You mean a whore?" Auntie B's face brightened, "Yeah!" So, Auntie B arrives at the party in a screaming purple satin getup, complete with fishnet stockings. For a woman of about 65, she looked good. Odd, but good.

Another adventuresome soul out on the Fashion Edge was a young guy who came in a loincloth. I don't even KNOW this person, but my mother apparently does, as he was grinding his scantily-clad loins all over her on the dance floor. If nothing else about him, we can tell that Mostly Naked Indian Guy has a healthy self-image to parade himself around in nothing but a wide strip of cloth. But, I am only able to tell this because I am a discerning observer of people and all their quirks. The average layman can't do that. It takes a finely honed eye.

Many drinks were consumed, and my mother, self-named Princess Prairie Wind, had a great time dancing and reminscing with all of her friends and family. Three of her sisters and her one brother attended, and five nieces and their significant others (and in some cases, their children as well). My brother and my quasi-sister in law (he REALLY needs to propose!) made the party, and spent most of the time in the bar, swigging drinks and watching football. He even missed the embarrassing-but-necessary "family moment" to "We Are Family" where we all had a spotlight dance with Mom. Kodak moments, I tell ya.

And I have the blackmail photos to prove it!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Reports of My Demise Were Grossly Exaggerated

Sorry for the very dramatic exit stage right the other day -- I can only say that I'm a drama queen, and I was just hatin' life at that particular moment. I didn't mean to spook anyone, I just needed a few days away to calm down and try and get my crap together. It turns out that Karyn was right on the money: I did *not* get my life totally sorted, but at least I didn't go completely postal, either.

I had several bad things happening all at once: major fight with child, another bodily injury that all the websites claim is widely known to happen more often to "fatties" (a comment which did NOT make the idea any more palatable); annoying stuff at school; and yet more Girl Scout troop woes. I won't subject you all to the gory details, however. I like you all too much.

I did, however, get a telephone call from my lovely twin, CCW, which brightened my day considerably. She had worried that I was so distraught that I'd thrown myself off of a cliff or something. She was calling to make sure I was okay. I assured her that I was, mainly because while my city is by the sea, we're flat-landers, and we have no cliffs.

I do want to say a big Thank you! to all my wonderful readers for their supportive comments. It really did help to see all of your well-wishes and good thoughts heading my way. I will promise in the future to act like a big girl and not a petulant three-year-old. I may not succeed, but I'll try.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I Have to Go For a While

I'm going to be out of touch for a few days, as I mull over some things. It's been a bad week already, and it's only Tuesday. I'll be back when I've straightened out my life.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

I'm Here, I Swear

You know, Phantom warned us about switching over to the new Blogger Beta, but I didn't listen. I switched, and while I like the new features, there are several things I'm having trouble with. First of all, one of the features I really liked about beta was that I could set tags (only they call them "labels.") I started using my labels, only to discover a few days ago that my capitalized labels had migrated to lowercase only. So, I've notified Blogger about it, and they're working hard on it, but I stopped labelling until it's worked out.

The one that's really causing me stress is that I can now no longer sign in to non-beta blogs to leave comments. I'm here, and I'm reading, but for the time being -- I can't comment to you all. Oy.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Sorry I'm Late

Both Medieval Woman and Karyn tagged me for memes quite a long time ago, and being a total shlumpo, I told Karyn I'd do her meme, and then promptly forgot about it. Medieval Woman's meme, I read at her place, but completely missed the fact that she'd tagged me. So, to recap: I'm slow, a terrible friend, *and* not terribly observant.

I have yet to finish Karyn's meme, simply because I have to at least attempt to be witty. So, I'm still working on that one. As you are all aware, it takes wit to be witty, and that's something that I have to work at. Unlike the venerable Dr. Dog, I do not possess that skill inherently, and must sweat bullets to approximate the appearance of ease. I *have* worked on Medieval Woman's Quote Meme, because it was much shorter. So, I have quickly slapped gathered some quotes together for your perusal.

The Quote Meme

(Oh, and the idea behind this was to find 5 quotes at this location that you felt encompassed who you were, and really spoke to people about you. Knowing that I am completely incapable of following directions, I have chosen 8 quotes because I loved them all. )

Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster. Your life will never be the same again.

Og Mandino (1923 - 1996), The Greatest Miracle in the World

You know that children are growing up when they start asking questions that have answers.

John J. Plomp

Everyone is born with genius, but most people only keep it a few minutes.

Edgard Varese (1883 - 1965)

I would rather not know how to write and have something to say than know how to write and have nothing to say.

Enrique Tessieri

For animals, the entire universe has been neatly divided into things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks.

Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites

For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.

Virginia Woolf (1882 - 1941)

I don't want to be a passenger in my own life.

Diane Ackerman

People are always asking me what my lyrics mean. Well I say what any decent poet would say if you dared ask him to analyse his work: if you see it, darling, then it's there.

Freddie Mercury (1946 - 1991)