Saturday, November 29, 2008

I Forgot to Buy Jellybeans: TGiving '08

Tuesday, November 25
1) Find out I'm cooking for six people day after tomorrow.
2) Fret briefly, then start making lists.
3) Suddenly realize that there are little stacks of papers everywhere.
4) Start cleaning.
5) Stop cleaning and start making little tableaux of dinosaurs.6) Start cleaning.
7) Stop cleaning and decide to make arrangement on mantel.
8) Start cleaning.
9) Stop cleaning because dog is looking especially adorable as she maintains a Turkey Vigil--gazing out window, waiting for turkeys to show up.* Try to take dog's picture. Wags tail but will not look towards camera. Also seems to exude some kind of dense puppy fog that makes all pictures very hazy.
10) Start cleaning.
11) Stop cleaning due to sudden fear that people will get bored--despite fact that people are all family of one kind or another and unlikely to get bored. Assemble games and activities, including concertina (third shelf down), on which it is immediately possible to play a very effective soulful tune.
12) Night falls across the land (with an audible thud). Decide to light fire. Flue somehow remains partially closed. House fills with smoke. Smoke alarm keeps blurting, "Warn-ing. Fi-re. Fi-re. Car-bon Mo-no-xide." Close fire doors. Open all windows. Take down smoke alarm, which is not helping situation, and remove batteries. Open back door. Dog--deathly afraid of smoke alarms and smoke (possibly from something that happened in Old Country)--remains in back yard in semi-fetal position, staring reproachfully up at me. Open fire doors. Poke flue open. Close fire doors. Close some windows. Re-open some windows. Spray air freshener. Coax dog inside by frolicking playfully at the bottom of the deck stairs, hands full of treats and toys. Frolic awkwardly into pile of puppy poo lurking amidst leaves overlooked during earlier yard clean-up. Dog saunters up the deck stairs and into house in relaxed fashion. I remain in semi-fetal position in yard trying to clean shoes off.
13) Call it a night.

Wednesday, November 26
1) Watch Deep-Fried Turkey Snuff Film--recommended by Clinky--several times with increasing degrees of alarm.
2) Make final menu and shopping list:
Chex Party Mix, Parmesan Cheese 'n Herb Twists, Tiny Carrots, Giant Olives
Exploding Fireball Deep-Fried Turkey
Mashed potatoes w/cheddar 'n chives
Stuffing w/walnuts for vegetarians
Stuffing w/sausage for non-vegetarians
Roasted butternut squash 'n sweet potatoes w/arugula & herbs
Marinated green beans w/red onion, garlic, & mint
Spinach salad w/green apples, feta cheese, and caramelized pecans
Cranberry sauce w/fresh pineapple & orange; Jellied cranberry sauce for traditionalists
Primavera sauce w/spaghetti squash for vegetarians
Pumpkin cheesecake
3) Go grocery shopping. Am captivated by happy, happy peppers. "Yaay! We're Tasty!"
4) Keep poking turkey in refrigerator to determine whether it is becoming a breeding ground for lethal bacteria OR is dangerously undefrosted and will become a fireball when slowly immersed in a vast quantity of boiling oil. Jot down list of things to save when fire breaks out. Find that Chex Party Mix tops list.
5) Start prepping and cooking and do not stop until 10:00 p.m. Would have taken 15 minutes, had I not paused to take meaningless pictures. Thursday, November 27
1) During cleaning process, turkey fryer proves to have an immense leak NOT conducive to safely boiling vast quantities of oil.
2) After consulting the Google, Plan B is swiftly hatched to follow the current vogue for "High Heat Roasting." Make sure oven is clean, salt and pepper the turkey inside and out, cook the turkey at 450 or 500 degrees for 2 hours or until proper temperature is reached, and that's it. Is supposed to result in most delectable turkey ever. Casting aside grave doubts that this sounds like a cockamamie scheme I could easily come up with entirely on my own--"There's no time! I'll jack the heat up!"--I decide to go for it.
3) Harebrained--yet apparently extremely popular--turkey scheme works just fine.
4) Food eaten in approximately 5 minutes. Any leftovers go home with guests.
Friday, November 28
1) Turkeys show up for breakfast and dinner, as usual. However, a head count reveals four less turkeys than before. Hmm.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tgiving Prep Part II!

I spent all yesterday tidying: (1) Dusting and rearranging little tableaux of small, confused plastic dinosaurs; (2) Sitting and staring at mysterious piles of documents and then carefully moving them around the house in an elaborate game of musicial papers. (3) Putting out stuff for people to play with--photos to follow.

Okay. Full Menu:

Chex Party Mix

Puff Pastry Cheese Twists



Turkey (the one that is going to catch on fire and/or poison us all)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Shopping List

I just found out that I'm cooking Thanksgiving dinner for 6 people.

Yep. That's actually something you can "just find out" two days before.

So: I have the turkey. No. It is not one of the ones below. It is frozen. It is eighteen pounds. It will be fried. I'm kinda hoping the turkeys don't drop by while that's happening. It could be awkward.

Now, I need to go shopping for everything else. Lemme make my list.

Stuff to make Chex Party Mix

Do I need other stuff, too?


Thursday, November 20, 2008


Send help! Send stuffing! Send cranberries! And Pie!

My Favorite Super Hero

In YouTube years, this is way old (from January)--but, I really like it. And, come to think of it, I could use some pancakes this morning.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Trip to the Mechanic!

I was at the auto mechanic for two and a half hours today!
Part I: Back in the Day
Very Young Female Employee: "Are you looking at a music book over there?"
(Note: I was sitting there reading an accordion song and working out the fingering.)
Sparkle: "Heh. Yes."
Very Young Woman: "What do you play?"
Sparkle: "I'm teaching myself the accordion again. I put it down for awhile and am trying to pick it up again. I was really bad at music at school, but I wanted to try to learn more now."
Very Young Woman: "Cool! I play the bass and the guitar."
Sparkle: "Wow! That's great! Do you have a band?"
Very Young Woman: "Way back in the day, I wanted to start one. I never did."
(Note: The very young woman is 19 years old.)
Sparkle: "But, it is still 'back in the day' for you."
Very Young Woman: "Yeah. I guess that's true."
Sparkle: "You should start one!"
Very Young Woman: "Yeah."
Sparkle: "It's still back in the day--it's just some days it doesn't feel like it."
Very Young Woman: "Yeah."
(To sum up: It is still back in the day for that very young woman. Do you know what I mean by that? And, when she refers to the day that is back I am not sure which day she means. Might be kindergarten, might be first grade. Either way, I hope she starts a band. It is still "back in the day.")

Part II: The Tyertoya
Sparkle: "Can you practice golf inside during the winter somehow?"
Cacciarone: 10 minute monologue re: golf, indoor golf, golf courses, buddies who take golfing road trips and make scrapbooks about their trips, work, $500 boots of son who plays Dungeons and Dragons and dresses up, the U.S. Marine Corps, the very rich and the very poor, foreign cars, and..."Remember that hail storm this summer?"
Sparkle: "I wuh--"
Cacciarone: "Exactly! My car got hit by these big hunks of hail. Fortunately, they didn't do too much damage. Now, my wife's Tyertoya REALLY got hit by those things."
Sparkle: "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. Your poor wife. Her...She..." (not sure what part of his wife was injured)
Cacciarone: "Yeah, her Tyertoya really got dented."
Sparkle: "OH! Her TYERTOYA!"
Cacciarone: "Yeah. What do you have?"
Sparkle: "A miterbooshi!"
Cacciarone: "Ah, yeah. How do you like it?"
(Note: I'm not making fun of the way he said Toyota--it was actually pretty cool. In any event, I'm in no position to make fun. Everyone--including my own sister, who knows better--now says that I sound like I'm from Minnesota. I don't even know what sounds are coming out of my mouth anymore.)

Part III: The Newfoundland
Sparkle: "Can I pet him?"
Lady in waiting room with 500 pound Newfoundland dog: "Oh, sure. He'd love that."
Sparkle: "I have a little black dog who's..."
Lady: "The size of his head?"
Sparkle: "No, but a whole lot smaller than him--except her feet are about his size."
Lady: "What is she?"
Sparkle: "Ah, a mix of some stuff. I guess a spaniellabriever."
Lady: "Ha! I like that."
Sparkle: "Very sweet dog."
Lady: "He only gets mad when we're driving around and the people in other cars point at him and laugh. He doesn't like being laughed at."
Sparkle: "I don't blame him a bit. Who does?"
Lady: "Yeah. He starts barking."
Sparkle: "Good for him. It's very bad manners."
Lady: "Yeah!"
Sparkle: "Bet they wouldn't laugh if they were standing right next to him."
Lady: "Yeah!"

To sum up: I was at the auto mechanic for two and a half hours today!

P.S. Stay tuned for further nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat adventures! When I got home, I noticed that they'd typed a suggestion that I get something else done on my bill--but they didn't tell me about it. I mean, it's my bad for not noticing they were suggesting additional repairs, but why didn't they just TELL me then and there that my sway bar links in front have some play? I mean, I'm assuming that means they're not just frisky but actively hazardous in some way and must be fixed? Schmur.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's Officially Raccoon Week!

Raccoon Week is a Subsidiary of Stuck With A Comb Catering, Gallery, and Gift Shoppe! (Note: I could happily gaze at the picture in the banner all day. It is kinda restful.)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Good Night

Good Night!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Science, Nudists, Soup, and Hair!

At long last! Science studies the nudists! It is so easy to overlook them...Shhh...don't startle them--here they are relaxed and completely unposed in their natural environment. Note the nudist seated on the ground. Okay, Science: Please tell me why this nudist is wearing shoes. Shy feet? The Soup You Must Eat, When You Must Eat It...Tragically, the side and bottom of this ad were nipped off by someone's scanner, so I'll never know what to put in my sandwiches in the "Lunch for the Boys" menu. What goes best with Scotch Broth? Underwood Devil Spread? (I love this ad.)
The Scary World of Hair Part I: Rasputin Gets Nowhere Near My Head I don't care if he IS world-famous hairdresser John Garrison. Note that the woman whose hair he's washing is keeping her eyes open--gals don't do that, they just don't keep their eyes open while their hair is being washed unless they feel like they'll need to leap up off the sudsing throne, spray beard-o in the face with Aqua-Net, and beat a hasty retreat.
Aw, C'mon. Men Never Had or Have Bad Hair Days Like This*...*I've had plenty of bad hair days myself, but the only day that my hair looked like this was when I was helping my friend put up some fly paper and the fly paper got stuck in my hair.

Happy New Comix Day/Wednesday!

Monday, November 3, 2008