Monday, March 31, 2014

A - Z Challenge

So as some of y'all may have noticed, there's a new pic over there on the side. --->

Beginning tomorrow, I'll be participating in the A - Z Blog Challenge...

...with the theme, as you can see, being "I'm Going to Complain Now." 

I never thought I'd actually finish this challenge because I'm pretty much the worst blogger ever, but I am in fact almost done with all of the posts. Go me. 

My schedule will be slightly different than we're supposed to be doing, but the reasons will show up at Letter C, and also Easter weekend is going to be a bit too insane for proper blogging. Lil Bro#2 and I are both chaperons for the NY district youth convention, which could be potentially hilarious because on our own, Lil Bro#2 and I are inappropriate and generally offensive. When together, the offensiveness and inappropriateness tends to triple. If the weekend ends without something burning down, I shall be truly amazed. 

Enjoy the start of your week y'all!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What? First you smash it, then you cut the head off.

This past week, the mice have made an appearance in my apartment. I knew they lived in the walls and the vents, but before now they always stayed out of the actual living space. I presumed this was because they have common sense enough to realize that 2 cats probably = death.

Saturday morning, Ivy began her usual ritual of playing fetch while I tried to do my makeup. I had gotten into a rhythm of pick up the toy, throw it, continue with makeup, hear Ivy making weird noises, pick up the toy, throw it, etc. etc., and so I almost picked up the dead mouse and threw it. Thankfully, I was paying just enough attention to realize that instead of the piece of plastic from the milk carton, Ivy had brought me a dead animal.

She sat there looking very proud of herself, as if I would actually believe for a second that she was the one who killed it and not Harleyquinn.

I disposed of the mouse, figuring it just got unlucky and wandered out of its usual route from one end of the house to the other, accidentally running into my cat instead.

Then last night, there was another mouse.

I heard Harley and Ivy stampeding into the bedroom while I was booting up the computer to watch TV.

Then I heard something squeak.

Harleyquinn was in full murder mode, in hot pursuit of a mouse. Ivy was trying to imitate her, but kept getting distracted by the cat toys on the floor. Harley chased the mouse into the closet and lost it.

I keep a lot of crap in the closet, and I really didn't want a mouse getting lost and possibly dying in it, so I decided to intervene. Harley attempted to stay involved, staking out the closet and waiting to pounce. Ivy was just confused. 

I removed stuff from the closet one thing at a time until

The mouse ran straight past BOTH cats.

The cats continued to stake out the closet. For hours. When I shut the door, Harley tried to beat it down, so I had to open it again.

They are still convinced that the mouse is in the closet.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day! And now a lesson in being Irish.

....It always seemed a little odd to me that there is a holiday that celebrates being Irish. I mean yeah we are actually that awesome that I can understand wanting to be Irish, but other people are awesome, too. Like Norwegians (Vikings ruled), or Australians

or Brazilians

but we don't have holidays where everyone pretends to be Brazilian. 

Whatevs, that is not the reason for this post. 

The real reason is the massive misconception that Americans have regarding soda bread.

Every year on St. Patrick's Day (or maybe St. Paddy's, but it is NEVER EVER EVER "St. Patty's." Patty is a woman's name. Patrick is shortened to Paddy), I see people making this thing that they call "Irish soda bread."

I understand how corned beef became known as an Irish thing*, but not this. Mainly because

1. Irish people are the pickiest eaters I have ever met. They do like strange things in their food, such as weird seeds that do not belong in bread, or raisins that also do not belong in bread. I am considered a freak in my family because I eat "weird" food and enjoy it, and because I put veggies like peas and carrots in my shepherds pie (this is a huge no-no in my family, shepherds pie should contain meat and potatoes only).


2. Irish people are poor. Raisins are expensive. Perhaps not here and now, but way back when in Ireland, they were expensive.

If you went to Éire and asked for soda bread, you would receive this:

Plain brown bread. 

But just because it's plain, doesn't mean it isn't delicious. Especially slathered in butter, or dipped in soup. So here is great-granny's recipe.

You will need:
- 4 cups flour
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. baking soda (where the name "soda bread" comes from)
- 2 cups buttermilk

To make it:
Mix the flour, salt, and baking soda together. Make a well in the middle of the mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Mix it all together until well blended. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface, and then press into rounds that are about 1 - 2 inches thick. Use a butter knife to cut crosses into the top. 

Traditionally, the bread was baked in cast iron pots over a stove. You can do that if you like--put a little flour in the pot or pan and bake the bread over medium-low heat, 10 - 15 minutes on each side. I've never had success with that, and neither did Granny. You can bake the bread in the oven at 375 degrees F for about 20 minutes.

It tastes even better the next day. I made those two massive loaves and they're already gone....

Enjoy your St. Paddy's days, kids! Try not to get too drunk. 

*We do not eat corned beef in Ireland. No one in my family even knew what it was until I explained it to them. It was something Irish immigrants  in the US made because the meat was cheap and Irish people are poor.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

I've got more guts than I've had guidance; I search for sense, but I find silence

I think my newer cat, Poison Ivy might be slightly *challenged*.

I tried finding an interactive cat intelligence test like that one Hyperbole and a Half used on her dog, but have not found one that will assist in proving my theory.

I love my cat. The fact that she's a little slow makes me love her even more because it makes her more adorable. Like when she gives me that blank stare.

she cannot grasp that counters and tables are not for sitting or sleeping
Or when she displays her total lack of grace and balance.

It always begins with up to 20 seconds of this, complete with strange noises. Ivy makes lots of strange noises.

and miscalculations
and skidding across various surfaces
and lots of flailing

I'll just say that it's a good thing she seems to have a rock-hard skull. 

She likes sleeping in the dryer.

She really likes sleeping in sinks, too. Not sure why.

(She used to fit in the sink, before she got really fat.)

and steal my breakfast
Now, not so much.

This one time, Poison Ivy set herself on fire.

Ivy, despite her size, is still basically a child. She wants to play, so she while I'm doing my makeup, she does everything in her power to get my attention. Usually this means playing fetch.

Not kidding--she'll bring me her fav toy (twistie-ties from the bin bags) and I'll throw it into the other room, and then she'll run and chase it and bring it back so I can throw it again.

And again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again.

If she gets bored doing that or if I take too long throwing the twistie-tie, she'll jump up on the counter to knock all my makeup onto the floor.

Sometimes I leave scented candles on the lid of the toilet while I'm doing my makeup, so my bathroom can smell like a pine forest.

I have tried demonstrating to Ivy that flames = burning, but she has failed to grasp this. Instead of going floor-->toilet seat-->counter, this one Saturday she decided to stay on the toilet seat and sit there.

And she sat on the candle.

I heard a sizzling, crackling sound and looked down

and Ivy's tail was on fire.

And Ivy was just standing there while I shrieked and panicked, like she had no idea why I was flipping out.

Thankfully, she has thick enough fur that the fire was extinguished with no injuries. Burning cat hair is a truly horrific stench.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

stood close hell fire barbed wire

....a sequel...

I have acquired a second plant.

I put this one in the office, behind my desk so I can smell hyacinths all day. Also, Plant the First has perked up some. My apartment smells heavenly.

Wasn't kidding when I said I sometimes pursue these notions to the point of absurdity. All I can think about now is that I want more hyacinths. 

My Granny loved hyacinths as well. She used to grow them in a bucket in the cupboard under the stairs. In the dark. They bloomed every spring and I was convinced Granny had magic powers.  

Sunday, March 2, 2014

I'm gonna dance this town to ruins

Obsessive compulsion is not strictly limited to things like washing your hands until they bleed or having to flush a toilet a certain number of times per day (a roommate in college had a father with severe OCD, who had to flush a toilet a certain number of times per day and would thus stay up late flushing the toilet over and over and over again to meet his quota, and the bathroom was on the other side of the wall to roommate's bedroom).

I get random ideas in my head and I must follow them. Weird little fixations that can border on the absurd, but once I get that idea in my head, I MUST follow it to its conclusion.

For example, yesterday I came to the realization that I would like a potted plant in my apartment.

I feel like for normal people, the desire to obtain a house plant would not turn into an epic tale of driving 50 miles in one day and having panic attacks over the possibility of going home without a plant.

For me, it began with a deafening thought of I MUST ACQUIRE A PLANT.

I tried incorporating this into my actual, reasonable errands. Went to Home Depot to get some stuffs to re-insulate the front door and some of the windows, and I got some foamy gap filler stuff for the bathroom.

Home Depot had no plants that struck my fancy. Neither did Wal-Mart's garden section. Or Shop Rite.

During this time, while I had not yet succeeded in the realm of plants, I did acquire the following:
- cat food
- a catnip toy for the kiikiiiiiis (my Kindle autocorrects "kiikiiiiis" to "mountainous" someone please explain that to me)
- insulation stuffs (foam and tape), and some chemical gap sealer thing in a can
- Hair spray
- Tupperware (idk it made sense at the time)
- a case of beer

My last stop was Stop & Shop, where I GOT A PLANT.

It's dying already.

And I have discovered that there is a very nice florist and plant shop literally a 2-minute walk from my house.

You know how sometimes you find a song you can't stop playing over and over and over and over and over and over??

also that show is really really good, and the opening titles are a work of art