July 28, 2009

Chicken-flavored Prozac

The cat-lovers' email list at work is usually like a sleepy, two stoplight town. Not much happens.

Within the last few weeks, however, it's really picked up. First, our factory cat had kittens, and then someone brought up the subject of declawing and a very long discussion ensued. As you can imagine, people are pretty passionate about this topic.

Yesterday someone mentioned that as an alternative to declawing, her vet has prescribed chicken-flavored Prozac for her cat. I like the spirit of this approach. And People...there is CHICKEN-FLAVORED PROZAC. What a wonderful world.

Reminds me of the best cat in the world. When she got older and required heart medicine, we had to go to the compounding pharmacy, and they would make us chicken and herb flavored medicine in a cod liver base. Very stinky.

My favorite part of the process involved visiting the pharmacy. I never got tired of reading the article that they proudly displayed at the counter, about how they'd been commissioned to create elephant suppositories. I link to it here because it gives me so much pleasure to share it.

Do you think they make Cheez-it flavored Prozac? I'll take it orally, thanks.

July 26, 2009

A Lovely Day

This weekend has been tremendous.

Yesterday I had a singing lesson, which tested out the acoustics in the dining room. Then I lounged around.

I made a pilgrimage to Ranch 98 (not its name). It's like Ranch 99 but smaller, and shopping there is like visiting many Asian and South Asian countries simultaneously, except for the half aisle of chicharrons, which seems a little incongruous. Anyway, for the international supermarket music alone I'd go there. Yesterday, apropos of nothing, they played a song by Francoise Hardy. I'm sure that even in the 1960's in France you didn't hear Francoise Hardy at the supermarket. Fabulous!

I came home and got to work. Baked a chicken, made winter squash risotto with edamame, and then made a pie.

It started with these:
Then I vamped. I chopped up nectarines, white peaches and plums, then I tossed in some plum jam from ms scandiwaiian, a touch of chayawanprash, some rose hip jam and a little poi to thicken. Learned a little late in the program that all of my pie pans are still in the garage.

But darn if that didn't turn out tasty.

Vegan Wonders

There are a few restaurants around here that prove that vegan food can be enticing. Cafe Affirmation is one of them. The flavors are delicious, and their affirmations are usually innocuous. It was Miss Wartz' birthday this week, so we went to Cafe Affirmation.

This time, things hit a sour note. Our hippie was slow, and dessert was inedible. We kept eating it, though, because it was such a marvel that something made out of chocolate could taste that awful.


Later in the week a colleague and I went out to lunch at the Zen restaurant. I love this place. The super-tall cashier and host rarely moves his face but seems sweet beneath all the granite. It's quiet and respectful. Their sauces are made out of simple ingredients but are so tasty. I think that brown rice is nasty -- except when they make it.

The miso, bean and burdock sauce on the braised kale below, has haunted me all weekend.

Do I need to break out the burdock this weekend?



Last week I (drum roll)...drove over two different bridges by myself (thunderous pounding applause).

There were serious draws on the other sides of those bridges.

This is Fearless Leader, who I visited on Saturday.

We walked up to his favorite perch and talked about serpentinite and WWII prop airplanes flying overhead and then went to breakfast and had jolly time with Mrs Leader. Then they took me in search of the round house that sits, beckoning, from the side of the freeway.

We didn't get there, but the journey is usually the best part of the fun.

Pub Quiz

Our buddies from ukulele class have been telling us about Pub Quiz for some time now.

Mrguy and I went a few weeks ago, and although there were only three of us on our team we came in second!

Nothing like drinking a frosty O'Douls-ish beverage and arguing over the location of Lake Baikal with friends.

July 10, 2009

Webb's Citrus Candies

While at Russodad, we had the chance to try a local treat retrieved from Florida by big sis: Webb's Citrus Candies.

They're delish. Imagine citrus Applets & Cotlets and you get the idea.

One of the ladies, noticing that there was a website listed on the box, suggested that I take a gander. I'm glad that I did. Not only does Webb's sell citrus candy, but they also sell taxidermed gator heads, lotion, fruit wines and goat milk fudge.

If I'm ever in that part of Florida I plan to visit.

You do the same.

July 9, 2009

Balderdash Answers 2009 Game 2

I present the answers to that last set of Balderdash questions:

Expresso Bongo

1) The semi-interesting story of the rise to fame and fortune of a struggling bongo player and his fast-talking agent.

1) Professional Women Photographers


It is possible to catch up on two weeks of blogging in a matter of hours if you have just one afternoon sick in bed.

My popsicle calls me.


Russodad Blitz

Oh glorious Russodad.

We had a party for our newlyweds (pieces from the house Clue game stood in for bride and groom on the tart).

We survived the Sarah Palin resignation without having cross-party discussions about it. We survived the Michael Jackson funeral without talking about it, and I had several people-related reference questions from the family that were quite satisfying.

On the last day we played mini golf:

and on the last evening we played Balderdash again. Halfway through we doubled the points so we could all go to sleep!

Expresso Bongo
1) The semi-interesting story of the rise to fame and fortune of a struggling bongo player and his fast-talking agent.
2) A group of island resort musicians find themselves mixed up in a sting when they mistakenly offer to help unload a coffee shipment and discover smuggled drugs instead.
3) A taxi driver has high times on his first night taking fares when Cheech and Chong catch his cab.
4) Three AWOL marines open a coffee bar with Bongo, a chimp, serving as their waiter.
5) Three Italian beatniks start a music club in Greenwich Village.
6) In this fast and funny film, two bongo-playing chimpanzees steal the show.

1) Professional Women Photographers
2) Parrots Without Partners
3) Pennsylvania Wildlife Protectors
4) Pagan Workers Party
5) Please Wear Protection
6) Posse of Western Persons

Balderdashia 2009. Answers and shopping

4) A new growth of hair on the head

6) Religious foot-washing

The Affairs of Annabelle
6) This movie stars Lucille Ball as an actress who poses as a cleaning woman, gets kidnapped and becomes a star overnight.

The next day we needed to do some shopping for a present for youngest nephew and his new bride. This took us to the antique mall. Darn if they didn't put two racks of aloha shirts priced at $5 apiece outside the front door. This is the haul (not including those that mrguy bought).

I need to go on an aloha shirt strike and only wear aloha shirts for the next month :)

Balderdashia 2009, Game 1

On day two, the full complement of loved ones arrived, Beyond Balderdash was opened, and I stayed up past my bedtime.

I have to say that I miss Laughable Laws. The substitute category, dates, forces people to try to guess or finesse the actual event rather than to make something laughable. Laughing is the most important part of Balderdash.

The people have spoken:

1) A consecrated beezwax used to shine the Pope's shoes
2) Wax derived from the trunks of Asian elephants
3) Another name for royal jelly, renowned for its pacifying virtues
4) A new growth of hair on the head
5) A brand of candles used in churches
6) Slang word for various products used for treating snowboards, so-called because they contained natural waxes derived from the peaceberry plant

1) Cowboy slang for snake
2) A failed precursor to the popular music-sharing website, Napster
3) The hex nut that holds a propeller on a biplane
4) The winning point in a game of jai-alai
5) A quilted robe
6) Religious foot-washing
7) A word coined by poet Wilfid Sasoon to rhyme with "helicopter"

The Affairs of Annabelle
1) Following their maid's untimely death, a family learns that their maid was a wealthy heiress in hiding.
2) A spinster lady hires a young lawyer to write her will, stipulating that her beloved neice will inherit everything if she promises never to marry. When the lawyer and the niece fall in love, turmoil ensues.
3) This charming tale follows the misadventures of a pig named Annabelle and her plucky friend, a red hen.
4) A comedy about a Norwegian grandmother coming clean about a lifetime of love affairs while on a road trip to her new hospice with her family
5) A society matron is reincarnated in a cow named Annabelle, who wins the Kentucky Derby.
6) This movie stars Lucille Ball as an actress who poses as a cleaning woman, gets kidnapped and becomes a star overnight.
7) A kleptomaniac and an Alzheimer's patient discover they are related when they both steal the prize pinto bean collection of a "Mini Me" impersonator named N. Able.

Answers in the next post...

Russodad 2009 Day 1

Let the vacation begin!

This is the room where we spent our sleeping hours. The bed was so high that it took another piece of furniture to reach it. The view from there was lovely, and the wireless was robust.

That night I set the alarm so that I could wake up in time to join the grand mammoo, santa's helper and our cousin in their bedroom for a morning chat.

Ahhhh. The boosom of the family.

The International Food Festival

The day after the rock camp showcase we had our own, and the food festival. Here's the view from the stage.

Then we played at the bar for a few hours and wrapped up the night singing karaoke. Mrguy and I reprised our version of Suspicious Minds, and the other performers rounded it out with several selections from Chicago, much of the Michael Jackson catalog, and we all wrapped it up with Cruel Summer.

A different end to the food festival, but a good one.

Rock Camp Showcase

Young girls playing instruments in public, mostly for the first time.

It's the girls rock camp showcase.

They were putting so much heart into it that I wanted to squeal, and they weren't even my kids.

Here's one band hanging out before the show started:

It made me want that experience for every young girl in my life.

July 7, 2009

A Bone to Pick

I come out of self-imposed vacation blogging exile to say that Berry Gordy has it all wrong.

Michael Jackson was not the greatest entertainer the world has ever known.

That honor goes to Sammy Davis, Jr.

Entertaining was Sammy's passion.

He danced, sang, played drums and trumpet, did impressions and was an actor on stage, in films and on television. He stayed in the public eye doing all of those things from the time he was very young until the year before his death at the age of 65. On occasions when he felt like he hadn't completely won over a crowd he'd continue to perform for hours, if necessary, to do so.

Michael Jackson was a great entertainer, and not on the same level as Sammy. Michael stopped performing quite some time ago and seemed to try to avoid it even when he committed to perform.

A great entertainer? Yes.

The greatest the world has ever known?

Calm down.

July 1, 2009

Selling Stuff

As readers of mrsguy know, I like the occasional auction and there is a local auction house that we frequent. The grand mammoo caught the bug one day when I was telling her about an auction, and she started looking around for things to sell.

Last week mrguy took her to the auction house for a free appraisal of the items she wants to sell. A space at the auction house was set up with appraisers at tables. Sellers took a number and waited their turn to have their items appraised. Most people brought in items that weren't worth a whole lot. The mamoo's weren't tremendously valuable, but valuable enough that they'll sell them for us. Anyhoo...

While their appraiser stepped away, another seller put his items on the next table to show to *his* appraiser. mrguy saw a beautiful pair of Victorian boots, and something in a paper bag. He looked away, and then heard the appraiser gasp loudly. He looked back.

It was a shrunken head.

He has eaten beef stroganoff with the Ramones and has seen a shrunken head without trying.

I think I am jealous.
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