Saturday, August 27, 2011

If at first you don't succeed, have the good sense to know when to call it quits for hell's sake.

I have this friend.  I call him Napa Paul.  I call him that because he's from Napa, California, his first name is Paul and because I'm clever and witty.  Yes.  My nicknames for people have always sucked.

Napa Paul is actually who first started calling me Ginja Ninja.  I liked it, or rather, it's one of the few names I've been called that I didn't hate.  So I kept it.

He sometimes reads my blog.  He apparently read my posts where I failed miserably at baking cookies and then again with baking a cake.  He decided he would help by sending me a package in the mail.  He thinks he's funny.  He is not.

Containing my enthusiasm.  Can't wait to try them out. 
 After my previous failures in the kitchen, I had decided it just wasn't for me.  I would go ahead and scratch that off my list of things that make me awesome.  But then Napa Paul had to go and send me these cookbooks which basically obligated me to try again.  Damn you Napa Paul.  Damn you to hell. 

Fine.  FINE!  I decided to give it another shot.  I'd picked up a few tips and thought I had a pretty good idea of what I'd done wrong.  Actually I'd picked up A tip.  Singular.

The Real Housewife of H20Ville held a contest with the chance to win an adorable apron.  I didn't win.  But that's when it hit me what I'd been doing wrong.  I was improperly attired.  Well, I wasn't about to make that mistake again.  Only problem.  I don't own an apron.  However, if that's all that's standing between me and phenomenal baking glory, I would improvise.  In the form of lingerie.

I feel I should mention I was slightly inebriated when thinking this was a good idea.
And yeah.  I was wearing the thong.  Over the jeans.  The outfit needed to be complete and I was not taking any chances this time.  I was ready to bake!

I skimmed over the recipes and settled on lemon bars.  Simply because I recognized all the ingredients.  Butter, flour, sugar, eggs, lemon zest.  Whoa.  Wait, what?  What the hell is lemon zest?  Quick google search, uh huh, sure, grate the peel, got it.  Need cheese grater.  I was making these at E2's place while he was out and after much clanging and bashing of pots and pans, I came to the conclusion the boy does not own a cheese grater.  No big deal.  Clearly I'm a pro at improvisation so I grabbed the potato peeler and went to work.  Now.  As I mentioned, I was a little tipsy but even in my less than coherent state I realized this couldn't be right.

Here, have a lemon bar.  Those chunks you're biting into?  Delicious lemon zest.  Duh!

Okay, skip the zest.  How crucial could it be anyway?  Lets see.  Mix sugar, flour and softened butter.  I look down at the sticks of rock hard butter I just pulled out of the freezer.  Calls for 1 cup which is two sticks.  Why would they package them as half sticks of butter?  If they were stuck together 2 of them would make 1 stick so that means I need 4 sticks of butter to equal 1 cup.  Made sense at the time.  But clearly they were not soft and clearly I was not about to wait for them to soften up.  Two minutes in the microwave should do it.  Vino refill, check the butter.  Oh crap!  It's butter soup.  Just extra softened.  I'm sure it will be fine.

Pat the mixture into bottom of pan.  Pat?  That can't be right, I think as I POUR the mixture in.
I eventually get it all in the oven and wait for my lemon bar delights to bake to perfection.  Timer dings.  Out comes...

What's with the tumor?
Ummm...other than the misshapen lump, it looks totally edible.  I let it cool for an hour and try to cut into it.  It doesn't cut.  It crumbles into a soggy heartbreak.  Right about then E2 called and asked how it was going.  I told him.  He suggested putting it back in the oven and asked how long ago I had taken it out. 
Me: "An hour ago".
E2: "Oh.  Never mind.  It's too late".

I suppose this is what's to be expected when you use twice as much microwaved butter as you're meant to.

It really doesn't look as horribly wretched as it was.  E2 got home and actually ate a spoonful.  From the other room, I heard him immediately gag and spit it into the garbage.  The whole pan got dumped.

Then I got pissed.  How can this possibly be SO difficult??  Hundreds, probably thousands of people bake something delicious every day.  How can I be so incredibly inept?

 I was determined to try again.  E2 suggested I give it a couple of days.  He didn't think my ego was ready for another failure so soon.  I called him a mean name.  Then gave it a couple of days.

I tried yet again.  This time sober.  Mostly.  There was no microwaving, there was no pouring when there should have been patting, there was no mention of zest.  But there WAS success.

Booyah Bitches!!!!!
VICTORY IS MINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Only The Coolest Dog Ever, no big deal.

Hooray!!!  FTLOB's picture perfect is all about the pets.  Finally an excuse for posting pictures of the most amazing creature to ever strut his stuff. He's the husky/malamute/wolf that my ex, Steele and I picked out together.  So, if you feel so inclined, I would love if you clicked on the link above and "liked" #32.  Cause I think he's awesome.  Which means you should too.  :)

When choosing a name for him Steele was pretty set on AU.  Have I ever mentioned he works in the gold mining industry?  Think periodic table of elements.  Yeah, AU, as in gold.

I don't think so.

I was willing to compromise and suggested Midas.  He went for it and Midas has been nourishing the neighborhood shrubs and trees with his golden showers for the last two years.

Meet Midas.  I KNOW, right??

After his very first bath.  He did not love it.

I am officially out of control with the pictures but oh, guess what?  It's MY blog!!

I feel it's imperative that I mention this was NOT my room.
Yup.  He got big. 

Did I mention I LOVE this dog?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

We All Have Our Less Than Stellar Moments, Right? umm...hello?

I feel like I'm one of those people who has pretty decent self esteem.  I know my shortcomings, my quirks and my flaws.  I've accepted them and accepted who I am.  I still like myself despite them.  I have a pretty thick skin and under normal circumstances, it takes quite a bit to pierce it.  Unfortunately, I do allow it to happen every so often.

The most recent occasion happened at work.  I was telling my coworker Jack how E2 had just won his last mountain biking race and how National Geographic had just purchased another one of his photo's and something else ridiculously cool he had just done that I can't remember right now because I suck like that and I'm home sick from work and don't feel like thinking about it and don't give a damn that this may be the longest run-on sentence in the history of lame blogs.

After sharing all of the coolness that is E2 with Jack, he just looks at me and says "You know he's too good for you, right?".
My immediate response was "Well of course I do, but HE doesn't know it".

Little did my coworker know, his blithe comment, while initially appearing to bounce harmlessly off my armor of self esteem, in actuality turned out to be a sticky parasite of self doubt and uncertainty that has wormed it's way past my protection and filled my brain with unattractive insecurities.

Why IS E2 dating me?  My rock climbing skills are sub par, it's a given I will tip over every time we go mountain biking, I can't cook, I get lost in underground parking structures, and my womb is a barren wasteland filled with nothing but disappointment and tumbleweeds.

And so, like most girls when feeling insecure and at their most pathetic, I asked him why exactly he was dating me.  I don't remember what he told me but I do remember feeling better and going about my business while silently cursing Jack for making me be the girl who needs to ask for positive affirmations.  Just gross.

But then.  THEN.  I received the following in an e-mail from E2 a couple of days later:

"I don't know if you remember asking me your serious question or not. But on Sat when we were laying in bed you wanted to know why I liked you. At the moment I tried to tell you a number of things about you that I find exciting, a bit mysterious, enviable and I might have mentioned a few of your traits that make me smile and laugh.

But I've had a bit more time to think about your question and what it is that attracts me to you. What causes me to think about you every 10 minutes of every waking hour.  Firstly the thing I think I adore most about you is how easy you are to talk to. You don't judge, you give me shit when I deserve it, you honestly listen and you care about what I'm saying, feeling, and trying to express.

For the tough woman facade you enjoy putting on and the comments you've made about hurting folks in your 20's I think at your core you have a very kind heart. I know you'll scoff at that, probably roll your eyes and make a face but I've no reason to think otherwise!  I've seen your kindness in the way you've treated me, the people behind the counter when we've had coffee, the servers at your bar, your friends at poker, Midas and your expressed concern at others well-being when we've just been shooting the shit about family, neighbors or friends. Those are the traits of someone who cares. I like you because you care, probably more than you let on.

You're smart and although you worry way too much about what comes out of your mouth, I really wish we could spend more time together, so I could listen to the things that matter to you most and how you feel about them. I love your sarcastic sense of humor. Your slight dark side compliments mine in a way that makes me both comfortable and happy to tell you whatever nonsense comes across my addled mind (which takes me back to how you don't judge, thank you!)

I like that you've given me a chance to be close to you, how fearless you were in coming camping and tromping around Zion with me. I love the feel of your hugs whether you're in high heels, bare foot or standing on the curb. When I think of the opportunities we've had to lay in bed spooning I'm really truly left a bit breathless with how well your body fits and feels against mine. The smell of your hair fills me with calm and the sight of your bare shoulders, back and hips always cause me to feel that at that moment, that is the best hour I will ever have!

Those were the things I was thinking about when you asked me that question and maybe it was the hour, or the wine but I don't think I expressed those feelings in the way you deserve. Those are the qualities about you that I adore."

If I were the swooning type of gal, I would have swooned all over my desk, out of my chair and all over the damn office that day.  But I'm not.  So I didn't.  Rather, I read it twice more and smiled to myself the rest of the day while secretly thanking Jack for making me feel insecure enough to ask a boy why he liked me.

So yeah, he may be too good for me but I'm going to do my damned-est to make sure he never finds that out!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I should be sleeping right now and the beach sucks anyway.

I don’t sleep.  Not well, anyway.  I’ve always had issues but it hadn’t been chronic until about three years ago.  Right around the time I started working where I am now.  Which is also about the time I started keeping a steady supply of Prilosec in my bottom desk drawer.  My denial won’t allow me to believe there is any correlation between my hire date and my onset of sleep deprivation and ulcer development.  Nope.  Pure coincidence.  

Unless chemically assisted, I don’t remember the last time I slept through the night.  I do however, recall my one time trial with Ambien.  I slept as if in a coma and dreamt of stuffing my face with calzones while the munchkins of the Lollypop Guild hailed me as their pizza queen…which naturally, was bliss.  That is, until my alarm went off.  I got out of bed and stumbled off to the bathroom feeling like one of those V8 tools who can’t manage to stand upright.  I felt drunk and drugged and worst of all, like I needed to sleep for another eleventy days. 
I called in sick that morning, went back to bed and slept until 4:00pm.  Accomplishing the productivity equivalent of a typical day at the office.  Shhh. 

Needless to say, my levels of functionality are at their lowest first thing in the morning.  Which is why I seriously need to rethink my bathroom counter organization.  Anyone else see a potential problem with this?

This particular morning I felt my mouth had had enough.  All of those embarrassing red bumps along my gum-line and those unsightly ingrown hairs.  Ugh!  Who wants THAT grinning at them?  Sure, it was moderately medicinal in taste but I think it was worth the effort.  My mouth is now free to smile willy nilly at whoever crosses it's path and however maniacally it chooses.  No more shameful cover ups or board shorts over the head.  Those days are over.

Yep.  I mistakenly slathered my toothbrush with bikini zone rather than Crest.  Both tubular in shape.  Both twist off caps.  Both taste like crap.  Sadly, it wasn't the first time it's happened.  As if I'd be one of those people who learn from their mistakes.  Pompous prigs are what THEY are.  But not me.  No sir.  Not me.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I'm Only A Month Late!

Better late than never.  No, I’m not talking about my period.  I’m finally getting around to posting about my 4th of July weekend.  We drove up to Grand Teton National Park just past Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  I had never been to this park before but was pretty excited.  It sounded so dignified, noble and majestic.  The Grand Teton!  I expressed this thought to E2 who was driving. 

He gave me the side eye glance and said “It was named by French trappers”.  

Me: “Oh really?  That’s cool.”

Now he fully turns his head to look at me.

“Dawn, you know some French.  Think about it.”

Me: “I know grand means big but I don’t think I ever learned teton.”

E2: *sigh* “Tit.  It means Big Tit.”

Me: “Seriously?  They named a mountain after a boob?  How long were they in the wilderness for?  They must have been really hard up.  Heh.  Get it?  Hard up?”

E2: …….

By the time we made it to the park, it was late and too dark to see anything.  But the next morning, with the wildflowers and the beaming sun and the blue sky and fresh air, I am happy to report it was the grandest tit I’ve ever seen.

Magnificent, isn't it?

I decided to start the weekend off with a lovely golden tan

Ya know, or not.

E2 spent quite a lot of time playing with his camera, capturing the beauty and wildlife around us.

I loitered around waiting for the opium in the flowers to take effect, knocking E2 unconscious and allowing me all the time I wanted to take advantage of his comatose, sexy self.  I waited quite awhile since those flowers turned out to not be poppies and this wasn't the Wizard of Oz.  Ah well.  The best laid plans and all that.

I was quickly distracted from my plans of gropery by Bullwinkle hanging out in the shrubbery.

"Eff off assholes."
We also saw the makings of my favorite kind of burger.

It looks monumentally more appetizing on a toasted bun with smoked Gouda.

And finally, the highlight of the whole weekend.  This sweet little duo made their way through our campsite a couple of times each day we stayed there.  They were unimpressed with us and did their very best to ignore our existence.

Get off my ass Ma!  I've totally got this.

All together now...AWWWWWWW!

It was a fantastic weekend and I was glad I went, despite the fact it was camping...again.  

One huge 4th of July weekend bonus…no fireworks.  Didn’t have to endure the neighbors setting them off at all hours of the night.  No worrying if the little maggots next door trying to pass themselves off as children were going to toss their still-lit sparkers over the fence into the garden.  No listening to the neighborhood dogs howling their displeasure.  I was happy to have missed all the festivities.   

Does this make me unpatriotic?  Does the fact that had I been there, I would have sat on the front porch in my camping chair and thrown empty bottles of gin while screaming obscenities at the children who ventured too close to the lawn make me a bad American?  Being half Canadian do I even care?

Meh.  I'm too tired for this.  I still have to pack for this weekend.  We're leaving tomorrow morning to head up to the Uintas.  Guess why.  Uh huh.  More camping.

 God Save The Queen!