Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Thanksgiving Miracle Complete with Unicorns

Oh brother. It's a dead zone around this office.

Ordinarily, there are 9 people here. Yesterday there were 6. Today, 3. I hate to see what tomorrow will look like.

So what I'm saying is, it's quiet. And boring. Because there is nothing to do. For the most part, my job is to do the research my boss asks me to, make the charts he needs, tweak the charts he needs, invert the axes, no switch them back, but now add footnotes and a trend line and do something about that yellow because you can hardly see it. But he's been out all week. Sooo.... ::shrug:: What am I supposed to do but watch episodes of Planet Unicorn and online shop?

Tomorrow it's Thanksgiving, and my mama and daddy, granny and sister, aunt and uncle, girl cousin and boy cousin, and mom and dad-in law are coming to eat All The Food There Is. We will have a deep fried turkey, a ham, dressing (baked in a casserole dish and cut in squares), homemade mashed potatoes and gravy, fresh green beans, cornbread casserole, baked macaroni and cheese, broccoli casserole, sweet potato... something, cran-apple cobbler, cranberry salad, homemade pumpkin bread, homemade pie, homemade cheesecake, homemade pie and also some pie. And I think my mother-in-law is bringing some pie. We are a hungry hungry people. And guess what's the only part I'll be making. The cranberry salad! Oh people. This stuff is all right. And I'm going to tell you how it's made.

Grandmama mixes up some ingredients and then everyone dies of cranberry perfection.

Just playing. Some of them die from sheer amazement.

In all seriousness. What you do is:

Boil 1 cup of water. While you're waiting, open up a can of jellied cranberry sauce, dump it in a bowl and mash it to smithereens with a fork. Then stir a 3 oz. box of (sugar free!) cherry jello into the boiled water. Pour this over the mashed up cranberry sauce. Mix some more. Then add a drained (small/regular sized) can of crushed pineapple and 8 oz. sour cream and 1/2 cup of chopped pecans. Mix all this together and put it in a (wideish, shallowish) pretty dish and stick that bad boy in the fridge till it sets. Overnight is good, since it takes a while. Then take it out and slather a container of (fat free!) Cool Whip all over the top. And stick it back in the fridge. Or serve it right up. It is sweet and tart and has nuts so you're getting a fine combination of flavors, and it works as a side dish OR a dessert. It's the cranberry dish that keeps on giving.

So. There you go. Make it and watch 'em die. Except no one should really die.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I so picked the right person

Did you ever do these in school? What fun.

Today it is rainy and blah, and I am again freezing cold. Being so cold causes my rings not to fit as snugly, which tricks me into thinking I'm losing weight. And I am okay with that kind of trick.

My husband went out this afternoon to pick up a couple things for the Birthday Weekend, including birthday cards for his dad and his brother-in-law. He called me to ok the birthday purchase (fancy new space heater for his dad's office/shed) and to ask if I needed him to get anything from Wal Mart since he had to go there for cards. Whereupon we agreed that we really hate card shopping. All that rhyming nonsense is just a crock. But you can't not get a card. I also asked him to get some chocolate and a couple zucchinis, and he just sent me a message to say that shopping for two good-looking zucchinis was like deciding which cripples he wanted on his football team. He cracks me up. I mean you just can't buy a sentiment like that in the card section.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Really all I care about is the parade

Right now I am typing whilst wearing one glove, on account of it is freezing here, but only my right hand is affected by the cold. Bionic left hand, perhaps? Odds are low. I can't even open tamper-resistant pill bottles. So you can rest assured, I'll never be falsely accused of waging biological warfare.

I had an extended weekend that lasted until this morning at 6:49. Which is the time I'm most likely to want to wage any kind of warfare. The long weekend was a magical time. My husband is working from home for the time being, so we got to spend a lots of extra time together. We saw Appaloosa, which was actually pretty all right, despite my initial misgivings that it was just going to be a boring old western. A good movie made better by the absence of obnoxious movie patrons, which we can all agree is an exceedingly rare blessing. And we went shopping and out to eat (my choices) and watched all manner of sports coverage (his). And now I only have to make it three more days until another weekend! This one will see us travelling 1.5 hours north for Mike's dad's birthday. We are delighted to be so close to our families, but we know it might not be like this forever. When Mike goes on the job market in a year or two, we'll have to move out of state, so we're soaking up the closeness while we can. Which contributed to the decision to host Thanksgiving at our house this year. I'm not nervous or anything. We don't have crazy families, and everybody's pitching in with cooking. So nothing can go wrong, really. We just have to obtain a dining room table and suitable seating for more than 2 people. Or enough sedatives that nobody cares that they have to eat on the floor. That's probably how the Pilgrims did it anyway.

Closer to Thanksgiving, maybe I'll make a list of All Which I Am So Thankful To Have and it can be a fun way to disguise me just talking more about myself. Or maybe I'll post a cranberry salad recipe that no holiday food arsenal is complete without. Or maybe I'll skip posting for several days in a row, tell a story about my weekend, and then hypothesize about posts to come. Only time will tell.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Last night Mike and I met my parents for dinner at a restaurant where I used to work. It was a good place to work, despite bad management and several unpleasant coworkers. Several of the other employees were in the same boat as me, working while they were in high school or college to earn money for clothes and food and entertainment and Christmas presents. Luxuries. So I made friends, and we had fun. And the money was pretty good. But there were also several employees with kids to feed and bills to pay. So there were two pretty clearly-defined groups. And the manager knew it, and played into the dichotomy. The 'front' manager, the one who interacted with us day-to-day, assigning sections and side work and end-of-the-night work, was especially bad about it. She generally gave the best sections to the people with kids and bills, leaving the less desirable sections for those of us who didn't 'need' the money as badly. She would give them easy work like restocking the beer cooler and wiping down high chairs, while the rest of us got stuck hauling massive trash bags outside to the dumpster or vacuuming the entire floor. It was infuriating and completely unfair. Who is she to decide who 'needs' the money more? Why am I working in a restaurant that rewards bad choices and punishes me for making good ones?

In many ways, I perceive the general principles and beliefs of the Democratic Party to be similar to that manager's. It's my understanding that one of the chief tennants of the party is that people should be equal. And I agree. Nobody should be considered any less valuable than anybody else. But I disagree with some of the ways the party works to equalize people. Progressive taxes. Subsidies. Affirmative action. Certain publicly owned and/or funded entities. Various trade restrictions. So I am anxious about the direction in which Obama will take our country. But it's hard for me to get really worked up about it. Because God is still God, even if the guy I voted for didn't win.

Still. Some people, from both parties, are going to be pretty insufferable for a few days. Or years.