Wednesday, December 31, 2008

For Rob, a picture of tonight's lemon meringue pie.

I name thee Rage.

Well, it's that time of the year when you look back and think about what happened. I starting making a list of highlights but the problem with those kind of lists is that if you forget something or someone you can end up with hurt feelings, and I really don't want any hurt feelings the last day of 2008.

End of year self portrait.

I'm making a lemon meringue pie tonight, to celebrate the transition to 2009 with a fucking awesome, awe and rage inspiring meringue. Will I use six egg whites, seven? Stay tuned to my silly blog and find out.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Bathroom progress. The special wall board is up and the cracks are sealed. The brick curb is mortared and sealed (the previous one was wood and had pretty severe termite damage). The duct work for the ceiling fan is in.

Progress- you can see the new glass block window.

Installation of ceiling fan and drywall work is next. The red tiles had to go back because they weren't right, so once the replacement tiles come in, the tile goes on the wall.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The best Holiday present is to spend time with your friends and make some new friends. Yesterday I drove north to Phoenix with Ray and Cobban. Ohmigod, get the three of us in a car together and we are like pretty teenaged girls. Chatty as can be. One of the good things that has happened in the last couple of years is becoming friends with these two men, they are fabulous in every way.

Roger's wild tree.

We arrived at Roger's beautiful house and I admired the beautiful Holiday decorations and I was pleased the lemon-rosemary cookies and the herb shortbread came out nice because Roger is an excellent cook.

The other tree.

Richard and some of the other guys from naked pool volleyball were there (hard to recognize people fully clothed!). I ate a bit too much and my acid reflux kicked in. There were a bunch of people from Phoenix at the party as well, including the sister of my good friend Steve G.

And of course I ended up making a new friend, Kevin, and we spent a lot of time talking and laughing. His sense of humor is as warped and silly as mine.

Homer and Kevin.

One more party to go before 2009 kicks in. Who knows what the new year will bring?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Puff will always be a baby to me.

Puff Daddy.

I didn't bring my camera to work this morning so you won't see a picture of the soggy bobcat that just walked down the fence, about 25 ft from my window. It was huge and its fluffy fur was all wet from the constant rain we have been getting. I really wish I had my camera!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

At Richard and Roger's Christmas Eve Party I almost won the dice game, losing at the very last roll.

The Christmas Tree.

Roger had made a Yule Log cake. The meringue mushrooms were too cute.

The Yule Log.

I had a good time, as always.

Homer and Roger, Scientists!

The highlight of my day today has been cleaning house. I know how to celebrate Holiday!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Drunk post. So I had a lot of gin n tonics at Elliot and Mark's Christmas Party and I had a good time and we sang carols and I had more gin n tonics and I have to sleep in the dining room because the stuff gluing together my new bathroom window smells very chemically and nasty and I had a good time at the party, which I have already told you, but you know, after about six gin n tonics I don't really care and Sandy, Mark, and Zane are going to the airport tomorrow and I'll miss them while they are off exploring the horrors of rural Arkansas, but no one will mess with Mark because he is quite fierce, and Elliot told me I had a good singing voice which is a total mystery and I wonder if Forrest is having a good time in North Carolina and whether Chas is having a good time there too (he's a great guy) and I really need to take some aspirin and go to bed because I have to get up early and go to work and what dessert should I make for Richard's Xmas Eve party and did I ever tell you that story about Richard, I guess I haven't but if I did you would laugh and I had a nice time tonight at Elliot and Mark's house with Larry and Eric and Richard and Lyle et al.

Joey says, "Go to bed!" so I will.

Well Mummy is out of the hospital- it was a blood sugar problem. Too high and they need to re-figure her insulin. This is a relief.

Vintage Big Santa Head.

I lay in bed and listened to the rain. I hope the coyotes I saw earlier last night had a dry place to spend the night.

I am not in much of a Holiday spirit this year, although I've done the things you are supposed to do. What's up with that?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

So my sister Susan woke me up with a phone call to tell me Mummy is in the hospital. Some sort of diabetic problem- the first time she has been in the hospital since January 1965. Apparently she is feeling better already, but I still feel pretty useless. I am not sure whether she will be able to come out to Arizona in January as planned.

Doug came over this morning and we demolished my old shower.


We smashed the old tile and discovered that the wood beneath the drywall had termite damage. Good lord, there were several enormous roaches and a huge gecko living in the wall.

After demo work.

Doug will be treating the remaining wood, replacing the damaged wood, installing drywall, building a new curb, installing a vent and fan, and then doing the tile work in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, I am now using the tub in the cat bathroom for the first time.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It sure doesn't feel like Holiday here in Arizona. It has been unusually warm this month, and last night I lay in bed and listened to the rain. Mummy is usually here for Holiday but she isn't coming until January, so it is lonely without her.

Kitchen wreath with lemons and oranges from the backyard.

I went over to Forrest's and gave him his present, a book that he had mentioned he had wanted for a while. I pay attention when people mention things like that, and it sometimes surprises them that I remember.

I had a surprise myself when Mark and Rodger sent me a box of canned goods in the mail.

Drunken Raspberry Jam, Tomatillo Salsa, Black & Blue Jam, Fandango Dilled Beans, Spicy Dill Pickles.

I told Forrest I would invited him over for the beans. One of my goals for 2009 is to go up to Portland during canning season and help Mark and Rodger out, they are such sweet guys.

As I type this Joey sits next to me. Puff has been wicked to her lately, chasing her around and being naughty. So she clings close to me for safety. Puff is only getting a lump of coal from Santa for Holiday.

Joey and Puff this morning, Puff is on his best behavior.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The right ankle is improving and I can almost walk normally again. I forgot to bring my big pill to work this morning, so it aches just a little.

I keep confusing what day of the week it is, maybe that cinnamon schapps I drank on Sunday night killed a few brain cells?

My new shower tile is 6" by 6" and there are seven or eight colors. It will be colorful, perhaps a little dark. I will be so glad when the white tile and grout go away- impossible to keep clean and the disgusting orange mold that would periodically appear will never bother me again.

Holiday is fast approaching- I wish Santa would bring me a certain present, but that isn't likely to happen.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

So Brian came down and saved the 9th Annual Holiday Party by helping me out, cleaning and cooking and bringing me the frozen (and disgusting) bag of frozen peas and carrots. We went to the tree lot and I wandered around trying to figure out to work the crutches that Jeffrey had borrowed me. This year I got a six ft tree that is really close to seven ft and makes my house smell woodsy.

Crutches, nasty devices.

The tree and extra greenery safely in the car, we went to Mexican Safeway where I also plummeted into the meat section. But I caught myself and we returned home and later I made waffles with carmelized bananas along with fajita flavored scrambled free range eggs. I called Forrest to inform him that I had a waffle saved for him. He likes the bananas.

Forrest ingests his waffle.

Later, after Sandy finished his performance in which the program called Jesus "The Lard" by mistake, he, Mark, and Zane decorated the tree while I sat on the couch and occasionally moaned in pain. Sandy brought me comforting beverages and after enough of them you forget that your ankle hurts and feel all warm and glowing and festive.

Mark, Sandy, and Brian decorate.

I like to look at the Holiday tree with the overhead lights off. So pretty. Especially after a couple of gin and tonics.

Blurry tree, simulated head spins.

It is just as pretty in the daylight.

Holiday tree with my toy trailer house from September 1968.

Brian made Angry Black Bitches' Creamy Corn Casserole and a lemony-yellow cake while I was making the Cranberry Duff and Lemon Curd. The lemony cake with lemony curd was very, very good, I was surprised at how moist and delicious it was. I made mac and cheese using pepperjack and cheddar cheeses, and that disappeared very fast (secret ingredient, a couple of tablespoons of mustard). Also vegetarian dressing in which frozen mangoes made a surprise appearance and I won Brian over on that one.

Forrest and Zane decorate cookies.

Guests arrived for the Holiday Party: Brian, John G., Matt, Shane, Kyle, Mark B., Ahmet, John, Peter, Panchesco, Hiram, David G., Jeffrey, Forrest, Mark M., Sandy, Zane, David B., Richard, Mark A., Jim, Chris, John H., Bob, Steve G., Steve N., Brian B., Cobban, and Ray. Did I miss anybody? Cookies were decorated and a few cards made. Someone made me a lovely Holiday Tree ornament- a big black 666. Every tree needs a big black 666.

David G. and Brian make cards.

I forgot to take pictures and I tried to spend a little time with each guest, but also spent a lot of time sitting down trying not to aggravate the foot. I wish I had taken a picture of each of my handsome friends, but you'll have to trust me or look at Brian's blog when he posts pictures.


Sandy and Brian helped me clean up afterwards. I am thankful for such good friends. Now I am going to go sit on the couch with my friend, frozen peas and carrots.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Poor Puff, I was just very stern with him! He was trying to climb onto my shoulder while I was watching my Spanish bf Daniel Zueras on youtube and I really didn't want the scratch marks.

Cookies baking.

Poor Jeffrey S. He came over to help me make gingerbread and sugar cookies and brought me a pair of crutches and got to see me weeping because my ankle is busy hurting so badly and the doctor won't be looking at it again until Monday. It is swollen and bruised and about twice a day the pain is so extreme that if I touch it I involuntarily scream. Sigh. Luckily, I have friends who are willing to drop everything and do little things for me. Brian is coming down from Phoenix tomorrow to help me get the Holiday tree and mop the floors.

Brady and Jeffrey S.

Poor Brady- I called him and asked him to come over and help make cookies. However, I think he had a good time hanging out with Jeffrey S. and I.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Things not mentioned in the bible that aren't banned. Vanilla, parsnips, Austria, Pepto-Bismol, Lil Kim, movies, Gilligan's Island, keyboards, Ipods, gall bladders, Puff, Joey, Mama Cat, saguaro cacti, Sheryl Crow, Mormon magic underpants, Saturn, post-nasal drip, gorillas, celiac disease, the Jesuit Order, Tucson, flypaper, maple syrup, Patti LaBelle singing Moulin Rouge, armadillos, kangeroo meat, Michelle Obama, Lost, AM radio, testicular cancer, double penetration, ice skating, jumbo jets, the internet, California, pizza, gas stoves, tractors, Orangina, Eastenders, kitty litter, cotton candy, candy thermometers, suspension bridges, scuba gear, Jake Dakota, Daniel Zueras, hematomas, Secret deodorant, plasma tvs, North America, actresses portraying Anne Boleyn, blood type AB+, mohawks, Mike Huckabee, and my blog.

But gay marriage must be banned because it isn't mentioned in the bible.

Makes perfect fucking sense to me.

Times I have experienced extreme physical pain:

- after the hernia surgery in December 2004
- when I had plantar fasciitis in my right foot, a couple of years back, from kicking the shovel too much
- in 1999, when I broke my left little toe on the door frame
- before and after neck surgery in 1991
- the time my cousin Katie accidentally hit my forehead with a mallet while playing croquet in the mid-1970s
- when I sawed off the end of my thumb when I was five
- falling off my bike when I was seven, scraping the skin from much of my scrotum
- right now, what the fuck did I do to my right ankle?

Instead of buying gift cards for family members this year I am doing the following:

- donated cans of food to our company food drive
- bought toys and art kits to take to my neighborhood elementary school so some of the many poor kids who live in my neighborhood will get a present
- sent some cash to the food bank, apparently the shelves are pretty empty there
- sent some cash to the local HIV/AIDS groups

There are a lot of people who need the basics and I have am fortunate to be able to share.

I have bought two presents- one for Mummy from Sean's knitting store and another for a buddy.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

So the doctor said I have a "strained tibial ligament." I'm supposed to alternate soaking my right foot in hot water and icing it. It hurts. I whimper.

So I'm having my little Holiday cookie decorating party on Sunday and I'm thinking about what to serve the guests- I think Mac & Cheese, vegetarian stuffing (Brian liked it last year), Angry Black Bitch's Creamy Corn Casserole, and a couple of desserts- nothing too crazy.

This, of course, means I have to get everything cleaned up and dusted and furniture moved and cookies made and so on. Where's that houseboy when I need him?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

My house is a complete disaster. The kitchen isn't finished- I can't climb up the ladder and paint. What was in the kitchen is stacked up in the dining room and study and what was in the study is on the kitchen table. Doug is finishing the cat bathroom- replacing and adding tile, attaching the faucets. After that he is moving into my bathroom and replacing the window, fan, drywall, and shower tile. We are thinking glass block wall for the shower. You'll definitely want to take a shower with me when it is finished.

Tomorrow I'm calling the doctor about the ankle. It hurts, isn't getting better (at least as far as I can tell), and I'm tired of people pointing at me and screaming, "Ohmigod, it's The Limper!!!" Say atheist prayers that they don't amputate my foot.

The weather continues to be really nice here- highs in the 60s. When I talk with my mother and she uses the word "blizzard" it takes me a moment to think past Dairy Queen and remember that sometimes this frozen water stuff falls from the sky and makes a big old mess. I well remember the Blizzard of 1974 when we had to hold hands while walking to the barn because the snow drifts were so fucking enormous and we took in a family for several days whose car ran off the road. We don't have storms like that in Tucson.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Singled Out? Dons Evans is the spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) Temple in Mesa, Arizona and he was "surprised it is being singled out by protesters. He says the [marriage] amendments were also supported by the Catholic church and various evangelical denominations."

This appears to be the tactic the Mormon Church has decided upon- try to divert attention onto other religious or racial groups while downplaying the role of the LDS Church in the anti-gay marriage amendments.

What Mr. Evans was surprised about was a peaceful protest that was held outside the Temple last Friday during the Mormon's annual Christmas display lighting. Somewhere between 150 and 200 supporters of gay marriage held signs that said "Peace" and "Acceptance."

So what is the truth about the LDS Church's involvement here in Arizona?

The Arizona Secretary of State has placed PDF files of the campaign filings for the pro-Amendment group, "Yes on 102" and the anti-Amendment groups "No on 102" and "Arizona Together." I examined the report filed for August 14, 2008 to September 22, 2008. It is very easy to search each file by keyword, so I searched for the words "Phoenix," "Tucson," and "Mesa." According to Wikipedia, the population of these three largest communities in Arizona in 2007 is as follows:

Phoenix- 1,552,259
Tucson- 525,529
Mesa- 452,933

Mesa is the location of the Mesa Arizona Temple, completed in 1919 and has a very high number Mormon population. It has been reported that LDS Church leaders asked members to contribute money and volunteer time to the anti-gay marriage amendment- although since I am not a member, I cannot confirm this directly.

However, it is relatively easy to examine a community's support for the Yes or No campaigns. Let's examine how many people/families/businesses in these three communities gave to the campaigns, using the filed reports:

Town- Pro Anti
Phoenix 138 125
Tucson 333 289
Mesa 739 4

Mesa has less than one-third the population of Phoenix and yet more than five times as many people contributed to the Yes campaign. And a total of four (four!) gave to the two No campaigns. Note the disparity with the numbers reported for Tucson, the second largest community in the state. The overall ratios of Anti/Pro contributors is close for Phoenix and Tucson (87 and 90) and is very different from Mesa (.05).

I am not a statistician, but there is clearly something different going on in Mesa.

I didn't bother to look at the actual dollar amounts per contribution, but according to the campaign filings, one Mesa family and a Mormon-owned business based in Phoenix gave $100,000 each to the Yes campaign (as did the Crisis Pregnancy Center, although how gay marriage and crisis pregnancies relate to each other is very confusing to me).

And LDS spokesman Don Evans, who was so "surprised" that people would be protesting outside his Temple, he gave $10,000 cash to the Yes campaign.

So should Don Evans be so surprised? I don't think so. It is very clear to me that the LDS Church in Arizona had a major role, if not The Major Role, is fundraising for the anti-gay marriage amendment here in Arizona, despite whatever the leaders of that church claim.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Nobody likes a whiner, but I am officially whining. I sprained my right ankle on the elliptical machine on Saturday or Sunday and holy crap, I am limping around and in horrible pain. Today was particularly bad- I had to go out to the dig site to watch as they pulled up three tree trunks, and walking over the rough dirt made things ache even more. Okay, that's enough whining.

I forgot the Grinch yesterday, but I had had three glasses of red wine while watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and I was just a tad out of it. Rudolph is, of course, my favorite Holiday show, followed closely by the Grinch. I like the Charlie Brown music, but that's about it for that one. Frosty always freaks me out a little. The Little Drummer Boy isn't shown anymore, but I always liked that song when I was a kid.

And in other news, plaster work is done in the kitchen. Yellow paint on Saturday, maybe the cream-colored trim too (depends on whether I can hobble around or not).

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

What is the best Holiday special?

A). Frosty the Snowman.
B) Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.
C). The Little Drummer Boy.
D). Charlie Brown's Christmas.

My favorite? I'll let you know.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

So I've decided to have Homer's Midlife Crisis. So far this has involved:

- growing my hair longer for one last time.
- going to the gym to lose 20 pounds (13 more to go).
- repainting my kitchen the same colors.
- eating healthier
- learning how to cook Indian food. This has been made easier by watching Manjula cook. My favorite part is at the end when she says whatever she makes "smells yummy!"

For a midlife crisis, I guess these are pretty lame things to be doing. No new car- (I may fix my bike's tires instead), no 21-year-old trophy boyfriend (not that I wasn't asked out by a 21-year-old recently). I am just too practical.

Any suggestions for other things I should be doing?

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