just for fun

Wednesday, January 31, 2007


i'm completely pining after a new kitty.

for the first couple of weeks after the move, i could not get andrew into petsmart. he was way to smart for that trick. once you see the kitties and pet the kitties, it breaks your heart to not take one home...

our favorite stripmall has a walmart, lowe's, michael's crafts, and petsmart. really, that's about every store that anyone could possibly want to shop. every sunday we'd go to the early service and then do some shopping. we would go to the other three, but not petsmart. finally we went in and met zoe. she was the first kitty in a cage we came to and we both thought the tag said 20E not zoe. i guess we were thinking that the adoption center didn't want to give them names for later when they have to off em? kind of like ranchers shouldn't name the cows? anyway, it really said zoe and we made sure the adoption center doesn't off the kitties. she's a two year old, wide eyed feline. she's black and white and half the size of my former companion. and at that first visit, we did not take her home.

a week passed.

we were in michaels. i said, gosh, i bet zoe isn't there anymore. andrew was appalled at the suggestion she might still be at petsmart. she's clearly the best kitty up for adoption. and its just so horrid to think about the cats living in little cages. i managed to get andrew to go look, just in case. and...zoe was still there.

i want to adopt her so much! i've just got to work him down on it. see, he has this thing about lint and cat hair on his clothes. and on his stuff. and in his food. and well, you know, everywhere.

maybe this weekend...

Monday, January 29, 2007

strawberries make me happy

if you are playing along with the home game, you might know that i get depressed in the winter. for the most part, its like those five extra pounds i can't seem to shake: i carry it well. but back in ky it was always so cold and the sky so blah and there are no good fruits and veggies at the store. so i love living out here in vegas. its warmer; lows of 30s at night, highs in the 60s. and its always perfect blue skies. i look out the window and can't help but smile. strawberries also make me very happy.

i don't follow the almanac. i think there are two sure and true signs of spring. first, walmart blocks off half the parking lot and fills it up with patio/gardening stuff. second, strawberries are less than a billion dollars at the grocery. right now they are about $3.50 and the container is 1/4 white strawberries. rough weeks in ky, i'd buy them anyway.

this recipe doesn't have actual strawberries but its strawberry flavored. its rich and sweet and i've made it several years for my birthday (which is coming up in a couple of months). i think this is the first dessert i've shared, so here we go...

strawberry banana cake

1 box super moist yellowcake
1 box strawberry jello
1 cup boiling water
1 cup strawberry soda
4-5 bananas
1 box sm vanilla pudding
1 cool whip

bake the cake according to the box. in a bowl, dissolve the boiling water in the jello. add the soda to the jello. punch holes all over the cake and pour the jello mix over the cake. slice the bananas and layer over the cake. make the pudding according to box. mix with cool whip. spread over the cake. this is a very moist messy sort of cake, so its odd that i like it because i have soggy food issues. but somehow someway i love it. keep this one in the fridge. its not the sort of cake that lives on the counter, unless of course you eat it all at one setting. enjoy!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

local theater

vegas is famous for shows. big huge productions, household names, hundred dollar tickets at strip casinos...you know, vegas shows. that doesn't mean vegas doesn't have the same sort of local performing arts like any other town, its just harder to track down. yesterday andrew and i went to see a local theatre production called parables. it was just two guys who told the story and sang some, and while the set looked like it had been around a while we both love theatre and tried our hardest to support the local guys. we just didn't really follow the plot too well.

this is similar to our reaction last night:

buffy season 2, Reptile Boy
Xander: Is she dying?
Buffy: I think she's singing.
Xander: To a telephone in Hindi. Now that's entertainment!
The Hindi woman on TV dances around the room while singing into the phone.
Xander: Why is she singing?
Willow: She's sad because her lover gave her twelve gold coins, but then the wizard cut open the bag of salt, and now the dancing minions have nowhere to put their big maypole... fish thing.
Xander: Uh-huh. Why is she singing?
Buffy: Her lover? I thought that was her chiropractor.
Willow: Because of that thing he did with her feet? No, that was personal.

our theatre experience was supposed to tell the story of the prodigal son. this particular version of the story also included talking trees, a spanish sword fight, and a cardboard cut out puppet of a french marquis/landowner/indentured servant slave driver. we left at intermission. it was that or behave like the friends episode where they watch the soap opera in spanish; we'd just have to sit there and make up our own storyline and possibly shout at the stage. 'throw her down the stairs!'

one month down

we've been in las vegas exactly one month today! seems like a bit longer for some reason...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

playing dress up

slowly but surely the new apartment is getting snazzed up though the place is still clearly a work in progress.

andrew is a master at framing things, and last week we found a frame shop running a huge sale. he's been working like mad to frame thises and thatses. he brought home several new medals, ribbons, and certificates from this tour. he also had several items from the first tour, time in germany, and his original army training which needed redoing.

here he is:

here's an example of the millions of things now on the walls

today i put on the finishing touches to the dining room window and took the next steps on my plantstand. last weekend i put the glass mosiac on the top of the table. today i painted two coats of stain. tomorrow i will smush the green grout onto the mosiac top. this is the warm up project. i want to build a bigger, more real table for the patio. we have a park bench made of dark wood and wrought iron verdigris. so a bigger table, dark wood, mosiac top filled in with green grout seemed like a lovely idea. but also a big idea. so i started with a plant stand. it can live outside in the summer and inside in the winter. and now i know i can do the real table because i've made a mini one.

dining room:

glamorous new plant stand:

Thursday, January 18, 2007

repetition is the key to memorization

thirteen movies i can watch over and over and over and over again and probably quote most of the lines so that you are annoyed to watch the movie with me. as a side note, andrew chimed in that he doesn't quote movies, he's one of those people who say oh oh oh, this is the good part, oh oh oh. but still, he agrees with most everything on the list.

(week #19)

In no particular order:
1. Love Actually
2. Lord of the Rings
3. Star Wars (IV-VI)
4. Steel Magnolias
5. the Rock
6. The Breakfast Club
7. Joe vs the Volcano
8. Groundhog Day
9. Braveheart
10. certain Buffy episodes
11. Christmas Vacation
12. Indiana Jones
13. ConAir

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

its cold outside

i'm a little disappointed by how not warm and balmy it is here. all fall, when it was so terribly cold out in the mornings, i would turn to andrew and say, lets move somewhere warm. he would agree and then we would chuckle on account of how we were planning to move to vegas and it should be warm here. now, i'm not going to sit around and do any serious complaining about it being cold, having been in places that are legitimately cold (and i've been here in the summer when it becomes ludicriously hot like the sun so please do not leave a comment saying, just you wait, missy, until its summer and then you'll wish it were cold) but i did think it was going to be warmer, or at least above freezing when i headed out to work in the mornings.

Monday, January 15, 2007

an intimate feast

i have never cooked a whole chicken. i just don't really like all the parts of a chicken. i will occationally buy a rotisserie chicken, but mostly for the most the best chicken salad ever. i have cooked a whole turkey, but only once. it was stuffed with some weird rice concoction and i wasn't overly satisfied with the experience. i have, however, cooked a whole duck on several occations, and i think i really rather liked it. ducks are a bit fatty; they are mostly all dark meat. this recipe really only serves two, but i think that is really just right. this one is easy to make, smells up the whole house in just the right ways, and then seems impressive (roast duck, bottle of red wine, some candles...). andrew and i enjoyed this on new years eve this year and other special occations in years past.

roast duck stuffed with apples and sausage

3 1/2 - 4 1/2 lb duck
1 lb maple flavored sausage
4-5 apples, sliced
1 T sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1/4 t sage
2T cognac
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup beef stock

thaw out the duck. remove all the insides (they usually have the insides all cleaned out and then come with a seasoning packet and some leftover parts stuck back in; its really disturbing to pick them all back out, but hey, if you are ok with eating something that used to have a face, then you should be ok with violating it by picking outs it insides). set the duck aside in a big casserole dish in which you want to cook the duck. in a skillet, cook and mash up the sausage (sort of like you would ground beef). remove and set aside in a big mixing bowl. in the same skillet, saute the apples until they are somewhat tender. toss into the mixing bowl. add the sugar, cinnamon, salt, sage, and congac. mix thoroughly. in the skillet, bring port and stock to a boil. reduce to 2-3 T. pour into apple sausage mixture. stuff the duck with desired amount of mixture. set the rest of the stuffing aside for later. smear some butter on the duck skin. salt and pepper to taste. bake at 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes. place the rest of stuffing around the duck and continuing baking for 20 more minutes. this dish is good with some sort of buttery potatoes, maybe sauted or mashed. it goes well with both hard cider and dry wines. enjoy!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

big girl coke

first off, working on saturday bites. the movers have finally brought the office stuff to us. they picked it all up last friday in lexington and are moving it in to the las vegas office today. it only took me three days to drive here with my stuff on a truck, not sure why it took them so long. but here they are, big men moving all the filing cabinets for me.

the new office is a strange environment. the big boss has some quirks. noise issues. clutter issues. a particular sense of asthetics. we are too noisy. our filing cabinets don't match. we've got too many frames made of macaroni on our desks. but, i'm terribly excited about all the different scented soaps and lotions in the bathroom and the vast selection of sodas in the fridge. in lexington, we only got diet cokes. here, we can have anything we want, so long as we tell the admin before she goes to the store. currently there are no diet cokes in the fridge. so this morning, after dragging my sleepy self in on a saturday, i'm having my first big girl really coke in years. i'd forgotten just how tasty the real deal is. i'm about to have a diabetic fit though. hee.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

we are alive, just without internet

viva! las vegas! we pulled out tired weary selves into town last thursday just before the new year.

interesting things along the way? naturally.

in arkansas, i think just outside little rock, we saw 'toad suck park.'

in oklahoma we saw billboards encouraging us to visit Robertson's Store. the signs told us about how Robertson's sells Ham Sandwiches!! and yes, i like ham sandwiches, but i never thought about that being your best selling tactic and slapping it on a billboard. later billboards advertised blue stuff!! we really just didn't have a clue what that meant.

texas and new mexico didn't really offer much. a few tumbleweeds.

arizona was exciting. just as we passed flagstaff it started to snow. a hour later, twenty miles down the road, and four inches of snow on the ground, we stopped for the night at a silly route 66 town. it was fun in the hooky sort of way and would have been much better had we wanted to stay there rather than been snowed in.

getting into vegas was tricky. the best road crosses hoover damn and you cannot under any circumstances take a moving truck packed to the gills across the damn. what if we were terrorists? so the alternate route was scary. it went practically straight up the mountain and then straight back down. i was nervous driving the altima. i don't think andrew felt much better in the 16 ft truck. yikes.

the apartment wasn't quite ready so we stayed at a casino for the night. won some money, drank some wine, and moved in on friday. whew.

someday when i have decent internet in my very own home, i'll post more.