Wednesday, July 28, 2010
i went crazy. yes, seriously. i had a bit of a nervy b (nervous breakdown to many of you) and lost my rag last thursday. today is the first day i've done anything on the computer aside from rock some new found glory on itunes or fuck around with my farmville. damn it.
i've spent quite a bit of time in bed, cooking, and sewing. as such, i have quite a few new bags and cases to post on my site. what's my site, you ask? http://rule42custom.com. go there and buy things, since that may well be my only form of income starting soon.
i can't imagine my job driving me nuttier than i already was. i work at home, in my home office, with my cats and my itunes library and my diet coke and my own bathroom (which is nice). i type - basically, just like i'm typing now. i am subcontracted to a large consumer electronics company and i chat live with their customers. so it's mostly a sales position, with some service thrown in for good measure. basically, what i've been doing most of my teen and adult life. i am all about customer service.
and i'm good at what i do. i routinely am one of the top performing agents. but the last couple of months, i've been feeling a bit less enamoured with the job. they keep telling us we're not doing good enough, but not giving us the tools to help. not even just 'not giving us the tools' but actually TAKING AWAY tools that we have had for some time. and it's a lot of catering to the lowest common denominator - which i am not - and i really don't appreciate being spoken to or treated like a fucking idiot or a kindergartner.
on top of that, i have been out of therapy and off medication for over four years, and i think that may be long enough. it's been becoming harder and harder to cope and function on a daily basis, and my job is the first thing to suffer. i won't go into details, but it's not pretty.
so what you have, in essence, is me sitting at my desk, 'working', talking to people about consumer electronics, and crying while i type. all. the. time. like every day. i made it 19 minutes into my last shift. so then i start having panic attacks and shit like that. and then i start dwelling on why i can't be a 'normal' adult, how i'm 30 years old and i cannot hold a job, why i can't work and take care of my family and be an active participant in my life.
i believe it's called a 'downward spiral'. it's definitely downward. the end result is me lying in bed with my cats crying for almost four hours until awesome husband comes home and forces me to take a shower. then i need days to recuperate - it is so emotionally draining that it becomes physically draining. so it turns into a pressing medical issue, or time off work.
i was starting to feel a bit better on saturday, but took this week to try to find a doctor and get some meds moving and shit like that. of course, that would be easier if any doctors would call me back. i spent friday morning calling my insurance company and 4 different mental health professionals. and left four messages. and didn't hear back from one, even up to today.
my rational, grown up mind knows that doctors are busy/assholes/on vacation, etc. my batshit crazy mind tells me that even the fucking doctors are rejecting me and don't think i deserve to get help. that has in the past turned into another two days in bed, but i have my family and my cats to take care of, so i girded my loins and called a therapeutic center that has therapists, psychiatrists, group therapy, everything under one roof. they said they'd call me back within three hours to do an intake assessment over the phone. 'super', i think to myself, 'i'll have meds within a couple of days'.
they called me back, did the 'assessment' (name, ss#, address, are you planning on hurting yourself or someone else, what is your current issue - that's ALL they asked) and told me that they'd have someone call me back WITHIN A WEEK to tell me WHEN they could see me.
at this point, my batshit crazy mind is actually contemplating suicide. i'm thinking of changing my answer to question #4. my rational, grown up mind knows that means a trip to the fun hospital and decides to continue with the loin girding and go cuddle a cat.
finally, doctor 7 called me back last night and scheduled an appointment for today. it's a therapist - not a psychiatrist - so no meds for me, but they referred me to a psych that can prescribe meds (oh, joy unbounded - another round of waiting for callbacks). i could break my therapist in two, and she says 'mhmm' a bit much for my liking, but i think we may be able to work with this. i call the psych, re-gird my loins, and hope to be on medication within a few days.
then i realize that my copay is $50. i have to go once a week. if i don't work the job i can no longer emotionally stand, then i won't have money to go to the doctors and get help.
luckily, i was not alone when i came to this realization - awesome husband was with me - otherwise i may have started foaming at the mouth and blathering a bit. i believe this is what we call a 'conundrum'. i also find it 'ironic' that we pay over $100 a week for insurance that covers about 30% of my office visits. so it would be 'cheaper' for me to pay cash out of pocket than to pay for insurance.
oh, hello again downward spiral.
at least i still have my sense of humor.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
of course, that means i now have a bunch of completed bags sitting in plastic, waiting for someone to buy them. and a fuckload of material that i can't WAIT to make into things. and i will. soon. i hope.
anyway, i slept late today and decided to make a cheesy delicious omelet when i finally did drag my ass out of bed. and then i got down to sewing. that went on for a couple of hours, while i listened to all my new found glory albums and drank a liter of diet crack... ergh, coke. then i was off to the farmer's market at cagan crossings, the apartment complex i used to live at.
well. 'farmer's market' is a very, very generous term. there were maybe six stalls set up, and only two of them were selling any fruits or veg. there was a soy candle booth (good idea, setting up your candle booth OUTSIDE in FLORIDA in JULY), a shave ice booth (which means all i could think about for hours was the sealab 2021 episode where marcos comes back and tells his story about selling shave ice), something about jams and preserves, someone who made something that had to do with shells? and i think that was it. i don't remember if there was another stall. oh, wait. glass things. like glass tiles and bead things and whatnot. ah hah.
and there weren't even any red peppers to be had. damn it.
but i did get four HUGE tomatoes, two green peppers, and a beautiful eggplant for $5. i really wanted red peppers since we're all so into roasted red peppers recently, but i'll live. so i decided with my new found veg that i should make a new recipe tonight. i went to allrecipes.com, which is my go-to recipe site, and entered 'chicken', 'tomatoes', and 'green bell peppers' into their ingredient search.
and a bunch of fucking ridiculousness came up. stuffed peppers. arroz con pollo. mexican rice.. really? chili soup (wtf?). and finally, chicken cacciatore. which i've never made, but had everything on hand to complete for dinner. and ended up rocking. i changed the recipe, mais ouis, because that is how i roll. it is. seriously, that is just how i roll.
everyone was pleased. i have now added it to my rotation of delicious food i can make and make well, that i will serve regularly.
or, as regularly as the ingredients go on sale. i do not appreciate paying $5 a pound for fucking chicken breasts.
and then, we were going to put the veg in the car, when we noticed the recently opened jewish deli. like kosher. glatt kosher. so we decided to stop in.
i don't appreciate paying $18 a pound for pastrami, but we did pick up some very delicious black and white cookies, and a potato knish that i really can't wait to eat. they had some beautiful meat in there, make matzo ball soup daily, and apparently supply kosher meals to one of our local dinner show, arabian nights. which seems to be like medieval times, but with... arabian times? there's a pirate one too.
you have no idea what it's like where we live.
the moral of this blog? someone tell me when red peppers are in season.
Monday, July 19, 2010
but it made me think about taylor, aka papacat, genghis cat, or hot rod depending on who you ask. he's 15 now, which is like 76 years old in human years. older for him, since he was an outdoor cat and his life expectancy was about 11 years. so he's a senior. like a super senior by cat standards.
he does what he likes. he is in early stages of kidney failure (well, he was this time last year. he may be further along now) and has apparently gone deaf. he tends to pee where he wants: the kitchen floor, the patio outside (which at least the daily rains wash into the gutter), and in the pot where i was trying to grow basil.
there is nothing growing there now.
aside from his free-form urination, the suspected deafness causes issues. he yowls. i have read some stuff online where other cat owners with deaf or senile cats say their cats yowl or yell a lot. but i don't think he's senile - he seems very aware and remembers where we put the cat food, things like that. but he fucking yowls.
like he stands in front of our patio doors and YOWLS. loud enough and often enough in a short period of time to wake you from a sound sleep at midnight. and 2am. and 4am. and 5:15am. and again around 6am when mom finally pops out of bed and agrees to let him out since the sun is *just* starting to come up.
last night for instance. mom got up and grabbed him around 2am because he was all shouty. she brought him to bed with her and settled him in for a cuddle.
within 15 minutes, he was off and running again. and i finally woke up around 4am, and grabbed him for a cuddle in bed. he refused to sit with me, and ran away. i grabbed him again, and he sort of settled down...
... until piglet decided to get jealous and jump up on the bed, too, and give taylor nasty looks and sniff at his stumpy tail (which he really hates). so they both jumped off the bed. about 30 minutes later, he started yowling AGAIN and awesome husband got up this time to grab him and cuddle. taylor seems to prefer cuddling with awesome husband. he settled down for a nap, but then samantha AND piglet decided it was time for early morning cat olympics and were all over the bed and scrambling around and i had to get shouty. :/
AND THEN awesome husband threw taylor out of the bed, claiming he couldn't get back to sleep with taylor cuddled there.
so after almost 4 hours of waking up, shouting at one cat or another, catching and cuddling cats, and being angry, we were back where we started.
and with the suspected deafness, no matter HOW loud or HOW much you tell him nicely but firmly to shut the fuck up, he just DOESN'T HEAR YOU.
around 5:45am he started up again. mom wandered out and shoved his cat ass outside. and finally, we all sank into a sound sleep.
for an hour, at least.
and people wonder why i don't have children. this is why: i have three special cats. i mean, special NEEDS cats. hahaha. it's all i can do sometimes to take care of them. don't get me wrong - i love all my kittehs and can't imagine how empty my life would be without them, and taylor especially - we've had him since i was 15, he's like a second brother to me (albeit quite a bit furrier than my actual brother).
Thursday, July 15, 2010
- wonder how long awesome husband and i have been married?
- wonder what happens when i googlebate?
- wonder why i can't come up with any cute, witty, or inspiring word to coin?
for those of you who don't know, that's samantha, my youngest kitteh and most recent rescue. of course, we've had her four years now. she's all grown up, has little to no sense of smell, and had to have a tooth pulled a couple of years ago. strange, i know. sammy's an oriental shorthair mix, so she's talkative. not as vocal as a siamese, but she talks more than any other non-siamese cat i've met.
she also appears to have either thread or a bogey on her nose. honestly, it could be either. i sew at that table. if you look closely at the chair in front of her face, there's some hot pink thread.
anyway. you should googlebate, and share that word. remember, the only safe google is self google.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
saute those bitches until they are getting 'translucent'. which is not really possible, but that's generally the term one would use. they get less white. more pearly. browny bits on the edges. what have you.
step two: dump in some ground beef. 1/2 to 3/4 of a pound should do it. i use ground chuck - 80/20 - because that's how i roll. well, that's what was on sale this week at publix. and honestly, that IS how i roll. brown that shit up. see how it starts swimming in it's own ground beefy fat? drain it. that's nasty. gah - add more kosher salt/black pepper.
now it's been drained and it's nice and cooked. add in some garlic. i recommend at least 2 good sized cloves, chopped fine. i usually use 3 huge ass cloves, or 4 'good sized' cloves of garlic cause i fucking love garlic. yummmmmm.
step three: add a big potato, i usually get one around 3/4 of a pound. cut it into bite sized cubes, about a half an inch. oh, peel it please. i never really peel potatoes unless i'm making empanadas. also, i use basic russet potatoes. yukons would work well too, but i don't know how red or new potatoes would hang.
step forty two: add other shit to the beefy potatoey goodness. like at least 2 cups of water (you want to cover just about everything). if you desire, 4-10 shakes of tabasco sauce (we're on the 10 shakes side in this household. even mom likes it). 1.5-2tbsp of adobo. i love me some adobo seasoning. also add a half of a packet of sazon con azafran. i love my shit with azafran. (ergh... saffron.)
bring it to a boil. it should take just a few minutes, and may thicken up a bit. turn to low and simmer covered for 15-20 minutes. check after 15 to see if the potatoes are cooked through.
see how everything melds together? the potatoes are done now - if you still have a lot of extra liquid, simmer it uncovered for a few more minutes. stir occasionally.
step five... i think: i trust you have already thawed your discos... goya discos. i use the smaller ones, so i get a fuckload of itsy empanadas and can spread the deliciousness further. i also do not FULLY thaw them - i like them to still be super cold when i assemble. you'll want to roll them out a bit with a rolling pin, too - just to thin the discos out a bit. then plop a spoonful in the middle. like, two tablespoons? maybe a bit less? just go with it.
now, you don't want any of the meat & potato mixture to get close to the edges, where you will crimp and seal with a fork. keep it all in the middle or the empanadas will not seal right :/ and you will cry. so will i. also, now is a good time to preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
step six: fill and fold discos until you have no more discos or filling, which ever comes first. if you have filling left over, eat it with a spoon while the empanadas are cooking.
step seven: melt some butter. like two tablespoonsish? and mix in the remaining half packet of sazon CON AZAFRAN. it will make an orangey buttery.... butter that you will brush on things. i like to use my fancy silicone pastry brush because it makes me feel important.
now, brush it on all your empanadas. the more butter you use, the fattier... ergh, better they will crisp up. now put them in the oven for about 20 minutes (check them after 17 to see if they are browning on the edges yet - that's when you'll want to take them out).
step by step: take them out of the oven and LEAVE THEM ALONE because they are fucking hot as all hell right now. turn off your oven and go like set the table or check for new stuff at http://rule42custom.com/.
final step: put on a plate, shake some tabasco on, and enjoy the fuck out of them. they reheat well too - i pop them in the microwave for about 20 seconds, just to warm them through, then i put them in the toaster until the very edges are a bit bubbly.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
well. guess what? two of my absolute FAVE topics are politics and religion!
with the election of president obama, the nation seems to have become even more divided than it was years ago (i didn't know this was possible). and if any of you know me, listen to me, or have read my status updates on facebook, you'll know which side of that fence i'm on.
i'm not doing politics. srsly. i promise.
i was catching up on some blogs i read regularly, and got sidetracked by comments from other readers who also whore themselves out in comments. so i click on their blog links and read. and i got sucked into a whirling vortex of atheist and open spirituality blogs.
firstly, i found out that some - NOT ALL - but some atheists are just as pushy, assholish, and annoying as fundamentalist christians. they are very rude about your belief in ANYTHING and think anyone who could possibly be stupid enough to believe in a god is basically worthless.
secondly, i found out that many atheists don't seem to be able to articulate their thoughts very well. or in an organized manner.
thirdly, i found that people who claim to be spiritually open are actually pretty set in their ways. i'd think that would mean that one is open to all spiritual ways or religions. like, you may not practice one or any of them, but you know a bit about the major ones and are pretty cool with people who worship that way.
and finally, i found out that i am way too trusting and have too much faith in my fellow wo/man. many atheists seem to have the same kind of agenda as fundamentalist christians: they want to convert me to not believing in anything. like they need to convince a christian that their soul doesn't need to be saved. um.... hmm. kind of silly. it's like they're just lashing out against being brought up in one of the big three religions (judaism/christianity/islam). so, basically just like fundies, many atheists think THEIR way is the ONLY way.
religion is a personal, private thing to most people (not so much to me any more. love me or hate me, but if you're going to base your love/hate of me on MY BELIEFS?!? then good riddance) until they have the opportunity to teach someone something. maybe it's to teach them that not all christians are fundamentalist nutjobs. maybe it's to teach them that not all muslims hate everyone else. or maybe it's to teach them that witches do not eat babies, sacrifice cats or roosters, or worship satan.
because, honestly, i haven't eaten a baby in years now. they're terrifically fatty.
also, in my defense, i did eat a painkiller earlier tonight and may or may not be rambling.
i think the best part about religion is how it makes you feel. you know what? i don't believe that jesus died for my sins. but i think it's rad that he died for yours. and i bet many of you reading this right now don't think that rocks have spirits, but i totally do.
jesus is right for you, rocks are right for me. i don't shove my rocks down your throat (ha) so don't shove your god/s down mine. this is just a loose example, of course. i would never do something like waste my rocks by shoving them down your throat.
i think the best and worst part of the interwebs is that we can all have our say, and share it with other people. that's great. where it gets fucking sucky is how we use the internet to spread hate and belittle other people's beliefs and ideas. like i'm a fan of the white house page on facebook. EVERY FUCKING COMMENT that is left is super anti-obama. and like, great, that's your prerogative and your RIGHT as an american. but seriously? i joined because i dig all the sort of behind-the-scenes photos. that's it. i don't want to get sucked into reading your fundie bullshit. but i do. you know how that is - you swear you're just going to look at ONE PICTURE of a hedgehog in an ice cream cone (http://icanhascheezburger.com/2009/02/01/funny-pictures-licks-me-i-dare-ya/ - thanks chelsea) and then three and a half hours later, you've been through i can has cheezeburger, fail blog, there i fixed it, and most of engrish.
it's the same thing with those comments. i get sucked in and feel the need to tell people that i just want to look at the fucking pictures, if you want to argue and hate on gays and spout your biblical knowledge, find an appropriate venue to do such, and let me look at a photo of bo.
cause he's super cute.
but not as cute as that fucking hedgehog.
Monday, July 12, 2010
not that i'm the best cook in the world. or some kind of food connoisseur, but i know what i like. and if i can't find it, i try to make it. like colombian empanadas. we used to get these killer empanadas when we lived in new york. there was a shitty colombian restaurant that served lunch for $5 that was a plate of beans, rice, and chicken - enough to fill awesome husband for the day. and they had these empanadas that he used to buy and bring home for me. delicious. but they don't have empanadas like that here in the FLA. i guess there's too much of a cuban influence in florida? maybe. but i had to take matters into my own hands and MAKE my own recipe by searching online, remembering what i ate, and trial/error. and it took some time, but i finally got a decent colombian-inspired empanada that i'm super happy with.
and my arroz con pollo... that was harder. back in the days that i worked at boston market, i worked with a bunch of puerto rican guys and gals who taught me some super rudimentary spanish and shared some good food with me. i remember one day, one of the girls took some pulled chicken in a bowl, and topped it with the rice pilaf and marinara sauce that we had. i was like, really? that's an interesting combination. (mind you, at this point the closest i'd gotten to any latin food was taco bell.) she told me it was kind of like a quick arroz con pollo, and my interest was piqued. yummy chicken? starchy rice? red sauce? i love these things: tell me more! she did one better: she brought in her mom's arroz con pollo one day, and i was smitten.
i was also a kid and not paying attention. life went on, and ten years later i realized i had never had arroz con pollo like that. so i set off to create my own version. the problems mounted quickly: i am not spanish, puerto rican, colombian, mexican, or any other latinish that would make someone in my family have a great hand me down recipe for arroz con pollo (or even rice and beans.. grr). we have things like 'stay in bed stew' that my drunk irish great aunt concocted, and boiled meats and potatoes, since we're mostly irish. so i set off to the interwebs. i found lots of recipes, none of which were right. so i tried, and tried, and tried again.
and finally i was able to figure out something close to what i was fed all those years ago. is it authentic? i would say 'no fucking way'. are my empanadas authentic? probably not. but they remind me of these delicous things i was fed all those years ago that make my mouth water and my tummy happy. and i really think that ultimately, that's what matters. now if only i could master souvlaki. no matter what recipe i've tried, or what combination i've come up with, it's never as good as from a decent greek place. i'm going to try avgolemono soup next. i am determined but not confident that i will be successful. but at least i'll always have my empanadas and arroz con pollo. and real steak from pace's when i visit new york.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
anyway. since i have all this unintentional down time, i was thinking there was some stuff i could get done around the house... like, i could caulk something. or spackle. or, um... you know, do other things. or i could sew.
guess what i chose. i will get around to the caulking/spackling/whatever. but until then, i'm sewing. i finished a macbook case for a friend in one day - how productive! of course, that's all i did all day. but whatever. (by the way, it was quite awesome and very well made, if i do say so myself.) i'm very comfortable with the design, and excited about making more since i think notebook cases will sell well on my website (http://rule42custom.com). so i was in the sewing mood and decided to get started on a new hobo bag design.
it looks so cute! dia de los muertos body for the bag, hot pink contrast (yes, like that other hand bag i did, but a completely different design) and... three kinds of interfacing? well. it can't be that bad. so i started altering my pattern and cutting fabric out. and cutting interfacing out. and cutting more fabric out.
almost three hours later, i was just finishing cutting the fabric when awesome husband came home. i was shocked that it had taken me that long! i'm seriously hoping that this bag goes together faster than it took to just fucking prep the thing, otherwise it may not be worth it to make and sell them. ultimately, i'd like this whole 'making-awesome-things-and-selling-them-to-the-public' thing my actual job.
was the afternoon a total waste? no, it wasn't. but i was hoping to actually have something done. it's really frustrating when shit like that happens. so i decided that i wasn't going to cook dinner. we had to run to the store to pick up soda, i came home and put my comfy pants on, and ordered the bestest pizza in florida... dominos. i lie - there are better places, just not around me. and dominos delivers.
and then i was thinking... i used canvas for that notebook case. i wonder how cheap i can get half yards of canvas online. my local joann's has a good selection, but not GREAT as far as canvas and duck cloth are considered. so i went to etsy to see what people were selling...
oh. my. god. i don't know what is going on in japan, but i think i want what they are smoking. the fabric that is imported from japan that is being sold on etsy makes me want to do NOTHING but make computer cases with hedgehogs and piggies and hippos and strange little japanese dolls all over it. the only problem? many of the sellers are overseas. $8 for a half yard of canvas is a bit much on it's own, then when you add $6 for shipping, well... it becomes much too much. what's a girl to do?
start searching manically for canvas from other sellers and suppliers. and i did just that. for like three hours. and i came away with two half-yard choices that hopefully will be here in a week or so. that way i can make more computer cases. and hopefully people will buy them and love them.
and maybe, just maybe, i won't mind paying $16 a yard for RIDICULOUS canvas from japan.
Friday, July 2, 2010
hummmm.... sorry. i am.
or more accurately, i have a few random thoughts that i feel the need to share immediately. and what is the internet for, if not for immediate gratification?
1) i used to sell partylite candles. i have a fuckload of candles - a literal fuckload. i moved them with me from new york to florida and i rarely burn them. and they are old. i've had to throw some out since they don't smell anymore. so i'm trying to burn some every night. tonight i am burning cafe latte candles and i think they smell more like cocoa than coffee.
2) piglet has herpes. she is a special needs cat. i cannot get her to take the less expensive l-lysine supplement and now have to fork out double for the yummy crap. and the 'pricier' shit will still only cost me $7 a week. i'm that cheap. but i love my kittehs. i am ordering a month's supply this weekend.
3) we live in the lightening capital of the world - right outside orlando, fl. when you hear thunder, you know lightening isn't far behind. i hear thunder. i have already seen lightening. our vacationing neighbors visiting from england are IN THE POOL. this happens every week or so: new neighbors arrive (the house next door is a vacation rental) and these brits just chill in the pool (yes, even at 11pm). and they have NO IDEA that they should be no where near a pool during lightening. awesome husband and i alternately giggle about it and wonder whether we should say something. we never do.
4) i'm batshit crazy. you may have heard me say this before. i had a huge crash from my current manic phase today and had a strong desire to gouge my eyes out. instead, i went on yahoo answers and schooled people on proper cat and rodent care. did i waste over an hour that i'll never get back? yes. but both of my eyes are still intact.
5) the iphone is better then the droid. learn it, live it, love it. and get me an iphone.
6) i love to cook. really, i do. i have created great recipes for colombian inspired empanadas, a vegetarian pasta dish, chicken curry, scones, zucchini pizza, shepherd's pie, and arroz con pollo to name a few. sometimes i want to share them with everyone, and sometimes i don't want to give away my super secret special recipes because even more people will be better cooks than i am. i am next going to try and work on a recipe for avgolemono soup - or greek dishwater soup, as my father once so affectionately called it. it's effing delicious. maybe i'll share the recipe with you when i create it. maybe.
7) it is still thundering. the british vacationing neighbors (or 'neighbours' i suppose) are still jumping in the pool.
8) and while we're on the subject of vacationers down here: please shower before you go food shopping. i'd rather not smell your noxious body odors after you've traipsed around disney for 11 hours in the middle of the summer while i'm doing the weekly shopping. and please stay the fuck out of my way. all 8 of you do not need to jumble up in a group blocking the whole aisle to decide whether to get chips ahoy or oreos.
9) i was seriously going to post only about my neighbo(u)rs. i got carried away. awesome husband gave me a dirty look and went into the bedroom. after he finished sweeping all the bits of hair and cat litter that is on the bed (thanks, taylor), he left the light on, which is his way of saying 'hey, bitch - it's fucking bedtime. get the hell in here so you can turn out the light and go to sleep.'
part of me wants to tell him to turn the damn light off himself. but most of me thinks it's cute that he wants to wait for me to come to bed. so i'm going to go and turn off the light.