Monday, November 30, 2009

Little Boys & Gimpy Girls

Oy, peeps. It has been a WEEK-END. First, we had the nephews over to spend the night Friday night and watched Elf ("Smiling's my favorite!") and played Monopoly--a short but nice stay. In between, the boys managed to torture love on the furry children of Casa Bunny:


Here is A., attempting to hold K.K. who really just wanted none of it. If there was a cartoon bubble over her head, it would read, "Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot. kid.? I am making a break for it. How far is that floor?" A. LOVES K.K. and just wants to pet her....all the time. Unfortch, like most cats, K.K. can be finicky about her loving...she wants it when she wants it. Luckily, no one was injured during the 18 hours the boys were at my house. Kid or cat.

 
Here is M., attempting to love on Pepsi. Again, if there was a bubble above her head, it also would read "Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot. Can't this kid leave me ALONE?" See my knee in the lower left of the photo? Yeah. I had to be there so Pep wouldn't bolt. M. LOVES the girls, and wants to follow them around the house...all the time. Which is fine except the girls are not used to children--and their constant "there-ness"--so I am always worried someone will get grumpy and bite someone. Kid or dog.

After the boys left, the hubs and I spent the earlier part of Saturday cleaning off our deck, putting up the furniture and pots and such for winter. And I cleaned out the last of my garden--the pepper plants--but not before making this haul:


ACK! Can you believe this?? In November?? And there were still blooms! It is, however, supposed to reach close to freezing this week, so time was short. I am going to dice these up and freeze them in small bags for casseroles, soups, etc. throughout the winter.

Then, late Saturday the drama started when we had a little scare with Savannah. She acted like she wasn't feeling great, but I thought she was just tuckered from being off routine (read: not sleeping all day) for several days. However, she started acting really weird around dinner, so thinking it was her diabetes, we packed her off for an emergency 9:30 p.m. vet visit Saturday night.

TANGENT: Can I tell you how much we LOVE our vet office? It's all women and they take their own emergency call and will meet you at the office any time of the day or night. Luckily, in 10 years, this service has been only needed twice, one being Saturday.

Anyhoodle, the doc checked her out and pronounced her good, but probably just worn out, and sent us home. Saturday night, I made the hubs switch sides of the bed with me so I could keep an eye on Savannah (of course, she sleeps on the floor beside Daddy's side) and woke up every two hours to make sure she was breathing. Then, Sunday morning, Savannah could hardly walk. She was PIT-EE-FULL. So, off we traisp BACK to the vet. Seems it wasn't her sugar at all but a back issue. One massive steroid injection later, and she was almost back to form. BUT then we get home, and Pepsi is all gimpy. Can't lift her head. Doggy crick in the neck. So, we supply aspirin, heating pad (see photo) and doggy massage and she seems better today.


Because neither could move very far, we sequestered them in an area where no jumping was allowed. Lord, if this is even remotely what it is like having human children, I am SO GLAD I did not procreate. I am tired. I need some steroids now. Oy.

Not much else going on, except after two days of gorging, and two days of leftovers, I did manage to scrape together a good meal last night. One of my favorites--Pumpkin Pasta:


I have mentioned this recipe in the past here at BGR, but am doing a "re-do" for the new folks. Rachel Ray sorta annoys me a little, but she does have some jammin' recipes, and this is one of them. Sausage, sage, pumpkin, heavy cream--what's not to love? Yum.


And I made an awesome side salad of spinach, arugula, golden delicious apples, bacon and blue cheese. MMM. Great meal.

Today is cold and rainy and perfect nap weather. Alas, I have a meeting this afternoon about some work and plenty of work to do. Today is my mom's b-day (HAPPY B-DAY MOMS!) and tomorrow is the hubs b-day (HAPPY B-DAY HUBS!) and there is lots more scheduled this week, as well. Shaping up to be a busy one. Hope your post-holiday transition is smooth! B.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday: The Holiday Catch-Up

I've decided I don't really like holidays. They throw you too far off routine and then it's just a C.F. of madness trying to get your life back on the rails. Anyhoodle, life has been out of the norm this week, even for my already out of the norm life, so I thought I would catch you peeps up in pictures.


Tuesday evening, we all--as in my WHOLE fams--went to see my niece play basketball. That is her--#15. There is something hysterical about watching 5 and 6 YOs play sports. And that little kid on the right? Well, I know it's not nice, but the fact that he looks a little crazy-criminal is sorta appropriate. That's all I'm sayin'.


Here is the whole cast of characters, including my two nephews (right). The little chubby boy with the blond crew cut on the left? Wanted to bring him home. SO cute.

 
Wednesday, I had to run to Walmart to pick up a few things. Yes, I am insane to go to Walmart the day before T-giving. Regardless, it was almost painless and I picked these up on a whim. And they are super yummy. Esp. if you love pistachios. And I do.

 
I enjoyed my crisps with this new-to-me beer: Dead Guy Ale by Rogue. Very nice and very drinkable beer. Rogue also brews a Double Dead Guy Ale which I think it may be my next pick.

 While at Walmart, I bought a special treat for T-giving morn breakfast: Cinnamon Rolls from the bakery. If you haven't checked out your local Walmart's bakery in a while, give it a whirl. They have ALL kinds of yumminess up in there including those Paula Deen pies I've mentioned before, naan (yes, naan!), fresh pizza crusts, and these fabulous cinnamon rolls. Def gave the IKEA c-rolls a run for their money. Yo.

 Here's the hubs and Savannah, enjoying a father-dogter moment after breakfast. My hubs actually rose and EXERCISED yesterday morning (hence his shatty looking hair). I told him the only exercise I was going to be doing yesterday was bicep curls with my fork. Word.


This? Was just SOME of the spread at my in-laws. My MIL is old-school and does it up right and homestyle. If there's not three meats, a dozen sides and a half-dozen desserts, it ain't a meal.


This? Was my FIRST plate of food. Oy. Pass the Zantac please.

 And meet Toby, my in-laws cat. Toby is huge. A whopping 15 pounds. As much as Savannah. He scares me a little. Look at those eyes. I think he can see into my soul.

 Then last night, as we headed home, I made the hubs drive me by the Best Buy so I could snap a photo of the idiots camping out. Like 20 people around 6 p.m. Weather was a windy 43 degrees and dropping. Someone please explain to me how this is fun. There is nothing you could be selling, no deal so great, I would camp out for it. Seriously.

So, now we are caught up to Friday, and later today, my nephews are coming to spend the night. I have all the four food groups ready: Sugar, soda, Pringles and pizza. And Elf on DVD. Should be a fun night.

Hope you and yours had a great Thanksgiving and are spending the rest of the weekend relaxing. Later! B.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Thanks Giving: What I Am Thankful for Today

  • My job loss. Yes, it has totally stressed me out, but it has brought people and opportunities into my life I would have never had otherwise. And it removed some people and situations from my life that really needed to go. And I am confident it was the universe's way of pushing me into the next phase of my life. Like Julia Child, my best years are yet to come.
  • My family. Even though they often irritate the SHIT out of me (like all families do) I do love them. I esp. love the little ones who crack me up and make me glad to be Aunt Bunny. 
  • My "local" friends. I don't have many close friends for many reasons, all too revealing to go into here and requiring many, many years of therapy. But I love them all for what they bring to the table of our friendship and the joy they bring to my life.
  • My "virtual" friends. Those wonderful individuals who I have "met" through this blog, Facebook and other virtual worlds who have provided their own measure of joy, be it a laugh from a funny comment or a kind word. I hope that one day I will meet you all, but know you have a special place in my heart.
  • Facebook. While an annoying time sucker, Facebook has reacquainted me with many special people from my past. This time last year, I reconnected with Bobs, whose friendship has sustained me many times through the past year. Earlier this year, I was able to reconnect with two of my all-time favorite people, one of who I have seen several times this year and another who lives in TX but has been my realistic rock while supplying plenty of laughs. Today I had lunch with one of my very best friends from high school/college years that I found through FB. Distance separated us, as it often does and, even now, he lives on the other side of the continent, but I so loved seeing him again. Funny how you don't realize how much you have missed someone until you are in their presence.
  • My hubs. He's a good man.
  • My girls. Dogs rock. Even though they can be barky little bitches sometimes.
  • Good beer, good wine, and a good cocktail.
  • The ability to create awesome food.
  • Having nothing to worry about tomorrow but stuffing my piehole.  
  • Love, peace and pie. B.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday Thirteen

Dudes, I know the "Thirteen" posts are usually reserved for Thursdays but since we will all be in a food-induced coma come Thursday, I thought I would hit my thirteen two days early.
  1. I have decided frugality is fun. Last night, the hubs and I went to Monday at Moe's and only shelled out $13 for a lovely dinner. I was so, so tired, I couldn't lift a pan so it was a good deal in more ways than one.
  2. This week I have received two "gifts" from "virtual" friends--peeps I have met right here on these Internets through the blogosphere. They weren't big things, but they meant something to me. More than I can say actually. The Internets are a lovely thing, and I have met some lovely people. Yo.
  3. On a related note, I am constantly overwhelmed by little acts of human kindness, and often when I am in one of my darkest hours. I really cannot express how much a small act of kindness can mean--for the recipient and the giver. Remember that. Every day.
  4. One of the best compliments anyone ever gave me was when they told me I was kind. One of the most kind people they knew. People have called me "nice" or "sweet" but really, I am not nice. Or sweet. But I do try to be kind. I don't always succeed, but I do try.
  5. I love meeitng people. All kinds of people. Everyone has some interesting dynamic. Everyone has a story. It's just waiting to be discovered. Uncovered. And I love discovering what that story is. That's what I love about being a writer/journalist.
  6. Tomorrow, I am seeing an old friend I have not seen in years. Like six or seven. And even then it was in passing. We reconnected earlier this year on Facebook. At one time in my life, they were one of my very best friends. I miss them. But time, distance and life sometimes get in the way of friendships. I try not to dwell on the regret of lost friends (though I often, often do), but instead try to remember what we meant to each other during that time when we were together. There is that old saying about being in someone's life for a reason or a season, and I focus on that and hope that somehow my being in their life made it better, even if for a short time.
  7. On the job front, I have had some exciting developments the past few days, but that is all I will say, because I am terribly superstitious and don't want to have to deal with telling everyone "no, it didn't work out." But I feel I am close to where I am supposed to be. Very close.
  8. I have tried to start two books in the last week, and have been unable to get past the first chapter of each. However, I am determined to read THREE MORE BOOKS this year so I can reach my all time best of 40 books read in one year.
  9. I discovered a "new to me" bottle store very near my home tonight. Which is very bad for me. Because they have some awesome wine selections, a very good beer selection (remarkably good, really) and it's clean, isn't sticky and doesn't reek of cig smoke. My new favorite place.
  10. Have a I ever told you how much I love Taco Bell tacos? They rock. Esp. with hot sauce.
  11. My nephews are in town. And we have a date for pizza and Elf.  "Smiling's my favorite."
  12. With Elf, we will kick off our holiday movie watching spectacular. For the past several years, from T-giving to Chmas, we rock the holiday flicks up in Casa Bunny. Thank you, Netflix. You rock.
  13. Sorry to be all reflective and weird and all over the place with this post, but hey, the holidays do that to me. And it IS called "bunnygoround" for a reason. Later taters! B.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Someone Get Me A Job So I Can Stop Working

OY, dudes! I have been working. all. weekend. I have two big projects with immediate, looming deadlines which required me to basically have my arse super-welded to my desk chair for the past 48 hours. I didn't even want to blog because I am SO. SICK. of this room. Seriously. But I am not really complaining....I am tres, tres grateful for the work, but, man, it was NOT a fun weekend, fo' shizzle.

You know, several peeps have been all "you should just really jump start your consulting business, work for yourself" and I have been all like "um, HELL NO." Actually, because of my lack of a job for going on eight months now, I AM in the process of branding my business, building a website, etc. in an effort to start super soliciting freelance gigs at the start of 2010 provided I do not still have FT employment. HOWEVER, I would really rather have a job WITH benefits. Working for yourself sorta sucks, really, because you are working for like 40+ hours a week on projects and then, on top of that, you are doing all the administrative stuff for another 20+ hours a week such as billing, drafting proposals, meetings, soliciting new work, etc. etc. You work ALL. THE. EFFIN. TIME. Trust me. It's not all pajamas 'til noon and bon-bons while petting the dogs.

Anyhoodle, in between the work, I managed to squeeze in a quick run to the Target and the Walmarts the past few days where I proceeded to pick up the following:


Cute snowman melamine plates from Target for $1.99! Just got two for me and the hubs for those soup and sandwich nights. Hey, it's all "green" 'cause it ain't paper or styrofoam AND we can use them AFTER the holidays because they are more wintery than Christmasy. See how smart the Bunny is!?!?


And behold this CUTE mug from Walmart for ONE STINKING DOLLAR! I lurves it. It is all retro, mod-ish, cool and, again, not necessarily holiday. SHHHWEET! Again, I just bought two...one for me and the hubs. The hubs TOTALLY gave me shizz for buying them, but I don't care. It's the little things, peeps, and if a $1 mug brightens my day, then bring it the Hell on, I say.

Today, it was all cold and rainy and yuck here in Casa Bunnyland, so I made a huge pot of vegetable soup and a cast iron skillet of homemade corn bread. Damn, it was good eatin'.


This meal has to be one of my all-time winter faves. I have such fond, fond memories of my Grandmother's vegetable soup. One day I am going to write a post about her, but her vegetable soup was one of my favorite dishes. I gobbled this soup down so quick, I now have third-degree burns on my upper palate. Seriously, knowing I was cooking this soup today was the only thing that motivated me to get out of bed this morning.

This afternoon, the hubs worked on taking Southern Living's his famous apple cake recipe and turning the batter into mini-apple muffins. Damn, he freaking succeeded, much to the dismay of my expanding hips:


This batch was early on, but he was testing for cook time and appearance/size. Later batches, which have mysteriously disappeared, were much more uniform and lovely. So lovely, I had to pop three two one in my mouth every time I went to stir the soup. We are testing these for a holiday party we will be throwing in the near distant future, FYI, for all you invitees out there in cyberland.

Finally, right before I got ready to post, I went across the house to bid the hubs goodnight and what should I find but an early Christmas present beneath my bedroom tree:


I wonder if Santa allows returns? I keed, I keed. This? Was the CUTEST thing ever. Now, however, it is my time to retire since the words are starting to all meld into one another. Maybe because I have been staring at a computer screen all day. Or maybe because of the TALL glass of Smirnoff Tuscon Lemonade I have been sipping on while typing. What?!?!? The fridge needs to be cleaned out and who I am not to step up?!? Oh, the sacrifices I make. I tell you. Have a good night, a great week, and love to you all! B.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Holiday Magic

For the past several years, my mom and I have picked a day in November, before Thanksgiving, to go Christmas shopping for the kids in our family. That would be my sista's two sons and my bro's son and daughter. I guess you could say it has become a tradition now. We leave early, sometimes stop for an indulgent breakfast (Krispy Kreme!) or sometimes, like today, a naughty lunch (Texas Cheese Fries at Chili's!).

Earlier in the a.m., we headed out with coupons and lists in hand. First, Target for Wii stuff, Nintendo stuff and some clothes for the kids. And a few goodies for me:


This little lip kit is from e.l.f. cosmetics and it was only $5!! You know I am Over. The. Moon. because of my sad, sad addiction to lip products. It has 12 lip colors, 2 lip glosses, a liner and a lip brush. And the colors are actually MUCH deeper than the photo. My soul is soothed. What a wonderful T.G.I.F. treat. But then I saw this:


The matching eye kit, also for $5!! I had to grab onto the buggy because the vapors were coming on. 12 powder shadows, 2 cream shadows, 1 eye liner and 1 shadow brush. Lovely, neutral shades. I mean, it ain't Bobbi Brown, but B.B. is a tad outside my budget right now. Run, don't walk, to your nearest Tar-jzay and snap these up pronto-tonto! I also picked up this CD:


I am a FOOL for Jim Brickman. A friend introduced me to him years ago. His Christmas albums--both of them--are ridiculously wonderful. If you are not familar with Jim B., he is a pianist extraordinaire. Lovely, lovely music. I am listening to this CD right now. Makes me want to sip some wine in front of a crackling fire while snuggling with the hubs. Cracktastic.

So, then the moms and I headed over to the mall and to J.C. Penney where, armed with coupon, I scored an $8 pair of jeans! And a $12 pair of dressy pants! And a $13 sweater! Can I tell you how much I now ENJOY bargin shopping? Yes. I am not a frugal mommy blogger (mostly, because I am not a mommy, lack a second fridge and have a hard time with math), but those women have shown me the light and the way. And, hold onto your panties...can I SHOW you the cute shoes I bought at Target:


For $3!! Yes. $3!! Love these for next summer with cute jeans and a t-shirt for going out to dinner. And did I tell you they were only $3?? Yes, I am all about the deal-eo these days. I am a mad coupon clipping, crazy end-cap shopping, 75% off tag scouring fool. Anyhoodle, I am home and worn out. Still need to wrap up a few gifties, but overall, it was a nice day with the moms and a good deal day. As far as the culinary tales of late, last night, I made pasta with sausage and sauce. I used this jar sauce:


Y'all, this sauce is 'da bomb. I have mentioned it here before (I last bought the Cherry Tomato), and I was not disappointed again. (Sorry for the poor quality of the photo, but it does not reflect the quality of the sauce. Word.) This sauce is expensive-y (around $7 a jar regular price), but the Publix has it on sale occasionally for BOGO. Like they did last week. It's all real stuff...fresh...and yummy-yummy. The hubs said it was restaurant quality. And it is. He said it was even worth the full, regular price! Next time it's on sale, B. is stocking up.

Well, I am off like a herd of turtles. Quiet weekend planned....the calm before the storm. See you later, taters! Bun

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hump Day Holla: Catching Up

Yo, peeps! It remains pretty quiet and on the down-lo here at Casa Bunny, but I thought I would do a quick recap of the past several days. Because I KNOW you are just waiting to hear the minutia of my daily life.

On Saturday...hell, I can't remember back what I did on Saturday, except I do remember I made a really good dinner of steak, smashed potatoes and salad:


Mmmm! It was yummers. I rubbed the steak with a little olive oil and seasoned it heavily with pepper and cooked it in my lovely Calphalon grill pan. It came out just right, like I likes it, with a nice, warm pink center. The taters were just Yukon golds, cooked with skins and coarsely mashed with a little butter and cream. Yum. What's not to love here?

Saturday night, we watched The Ugly Truth, which was much better, as in funnier, than I thought it would be. I am not a huge Katherine Heigl fan, but it was def worth the rental. While watching the movie, I sipped on one of these:


Whoa, baby! This one will for sure have you plucking the chest hairs! Oh my. I didn't get a whole lot of chocolate out of it, unless you say it was DARK chocolate. And it was dark. The hubs said it looked like blood. Thanks for the visual, sweetie! But it had low carbonation and a nice clinging head. Very good but DARK.

Sunday, I babysat my nephews while my sis and her hubs went to brunch. We all went to see Astro Boy. Which was very good. I was mortified though when my 8YO nephew asked, in his OUTSIDE voice, at the end of the movie, "Aunt Bunny, are you CRYING?" No, you little shit...I have popcorn in my eye. Shut up. It was very touching. And I'm hormonal this week, 'kay??

Sunday night, I made my famous chicken piccata, (actually Martha's famous chicken piccata) which is so good, it will make you weep. The hubs doesn't really like it, so I don't make it all that often, but I say "anything made with wine is a good meal!"

Monday was a quiet day which I started by going to Wal-Mart, the best place on Earth. Wait, that is Walt Disney World. Whatever. It's all about perspective. Anyhoodle, after insulin and syringes for Savannah, dry and moist food for K.K. and asundry other H&B items we needed, I left with two bags and short $100+ . What is it about Target and Wal-Mart that you can buy so little and it be so much? I mean, aren't they DISCOUNT stores?

Speaking of the furry children, they have been up to all kinds of shenanigans this week. Here, K.K. gets her huntress on (sorry for the gory.....warning: avert eyes if easily grossed out):


Yes, the poor little half-dead chipmunk never had a chance. I think it is all my fault because I had been loving on her a lot and she felt the need to bring a gift. The worst part? It was squeeling its little head off. There was nothing I could do though....ever TRY to get kill away from a cat? Ain't gonna happen. Circle of life, peeps, circle of life. And, Savannah, that princess?


She has a bed (left) and her daddy's pillow (right) to sleep on and she still chooses to sleep on the rug/floor. Crazy little dog. PS, please don't judge my hubs holey, sad slippers. I am trying to get him to get new pair, but he just loves those and cannot quit them.

Monday night, I went into the ATL and met a friend for a work assignment, a review a French-influenced American bistro. The friend went along to take photos since that is what she does in her spare time. The owner of the place was tres charming...he's 70+ and has a ponytail. Quite the character if you get the picture. He treated us to a small wine tasting, as well, and it was an enjoyable time. On the way in, I snapped this photo as the sun was going down over Spaghetti Junction:


And that? Is the perfect way to end this post. Back later, taters! Be good! B.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Man Among Men

I am here today to tell you that I love Jimmy Carter. Yes, I am talking about the 39th President of the U.S. of A. I have been an ardent admirer of J.C. for many years, but after watching the documentary Jimmy Carter: Man from Plains last night, I love him even more.


Several weeks ago, I read about this documentary here and if you bother to link over, you will see my comment there. To start, I live in Georgia, and I remember well when Carter was elected President. I remember feeling proud that someone from my home state was holding such an important position in the world.

But I also remember people making fun of the "peanut farmer from Plains"--mocking his accent, calling him a hillbilly and worse. I remember how people tore him down after him left office, saying what an ineffectual President he had been. And while I am not here to make any political statements per se, I will say that Jimmy Carter deserves much more respect than he received. Respect I didn't even know he deserved until after last night. Respect in retrospect.

First, did you know Carter was studying to be a nuclear physicist? I know. After college, Carter joined the U.S. Navy and planned to make it his career. His ultimate goal was to become Chief of Naval Operations, and he decided to train as an engineering officer with a specialty in nuclear power. Impressive, right?

However, when Carter's father died, he resigned his commission and returned home to take over the family's farming business. You may remember Carter's deep devotion to his mother, Lillian--he is a family man to his core. In fact, during the movie last night, he was recounting a story about his mother to his peers and he welled up with tears. He said even today he still gets emotional talking about her. That? Is a good man.

The movie also showed Carter's deep commitment to Christianity. He has served as a Sunday School teacher throughout his life and a deacon in his church. Carter tells his book editor in the movie that he and Roslyn, his wife of more than 60 years, read the Bible every night before going to bed. If he is traveling, they choose a passage and read, knowing they are reading the same thing, even separated by distance. And, oh yeah, they read the Bible in Spanish. Seriously.

In the years after his presidency, Carter has been more active than probably any other President in history. After leaving office, he founded The Carter Center in Atlanta in 1982, a non-governmental, non-profit organization that works to advance human rights and eradicate disease. He has traveled extensively to conduct peace negotiations, resolve conflicts and monitor elections. He also is a key figure in Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit organization that builds homes for the needy around the world, and he actually helps BUILD the houses.

While I was a student at Emory in the late 80s, I had the great honor of President Carter lecturing in my classes not once, but twice. Those lectures turned my fondness for a former President from Georgia into pure love. A love that has been sustained. I even interviewed for a job at The Carter Center once, several years ago. You can only imagine how disappointed I was when I was not chosen.

In his spare time, Carter has written 21 books, including a book of poetry, paints and fly fishes. And travels to Europe to pick up Nobel Peace prizes. In fact, the number of humanitarian awards Carter has won are astounding, but the most amazing fact (again, learned last night) is he won a GRAMMY. Yes. In 2007. For Best Spoken Word Album (because he also provides the voice for all his books on tape).

Another thing I learned last night is that Carter was warning of the U.S.'s dependency on oil in the late 70s. He established the Department of Energy, and a national energy policy that included conservation and new technology. He encouraged citizens to use less energy. He dropped our oil use in half while he was in office. Now it is almost triple what is was then. It makes me wonder if, instead of creating gas-guzzling SUVs and oil-burning McMansions, we had all been following Carter's lead on energy, where we would be now, almost 35 years later. Much better off, I am thinking.

I could go on for days, I am sure, but all I really wanted to say is "Jimmy Carter rocks." He "walks the walk," using his influence, and under the influence of his deep faith, for good works. He has seen the things that are wrong with this world and he steps forward to try and right them, regardless of the fallout. He has tirelessly worked to make his 85 years on this Earth count. He deserves a tremendous amount of respect, regardless of his politics, for the legacy he will leave behind. Most of all, his example makes me want to be a better person. Check out the movie if you can. It's a wonderful portrait of a man among men.

PS, Any Secret Service folks who come upon this post while monitoring, I promise I am not a "crazy", okay??

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Glee-Full

In case I have not said it enough, I love, Love, LOVE Glee. Yes, my name is Bunny and I am a Glee addict. I don't care that the show is targeted to a group way outside my demographic. I was SO super excited last spring when I saw all the promos. Then I about wet my pants after the premiere. And I have been an avid watcher this fall. And I cannot TELL you how excited I am that the show is doing well. I just hope the writers stay true to the formula and keep it going.

I can't tell you why I love Glee, except 1) it centers around music and I just love music, 2) I think the characters are great and have so much potential, and 3) it's smart and funny and touching and surprising and just wonderful. This past week's episode was my favorite so far because it focused not on Mr. Shuster or Rachel or Finn (I was getting a tad tired of them) but on a few of the show's awesome secondary characters including Kurt (my ABSOLUTE favorite--the actor, Chris Colfer, and the character) and Artie (we finally found out a little about him!). There were so many little insights shared that to miss a minute would have meant to miss a telling glance or a line that helped define someone. It was wonderful writing and acting, all around.

But the BEST moment was the "Diva Off" when Kurt and Rachel compete to see who will sing Defying Gravity from Wicked, the musical. [TANGENT: I read Wicked and really liked it (surprisingly so) and would love to see the musical. This song is a showstopper.] The words in this song are particularly telling of Kurt's situation, being a young gay man already facing discrimination and hatred and knowing he has even more struggles ahead of him because of his sexuality. Because of his situation, he sings the song with feeling that Rachel's character, with her big "Broadway" voice, cannot bring. It's just pure and full of emotion, and almost brings me to tears. It has stuck with me since Wednesday and I have listened to it about 200 times this morning. Take a listen:



As someone who has/had many gay friends over the years, I appreciate Kurt's character and Chris Colfer's acting, giving Kurt sadness, confusion, insight, longing, and fight, all rolled into one. And I thank the writers for not making him a characature. And for making his dad accepting and loving regardless of his son's choices. Good job, Glee writers. Good job.

On another note, I have decided to make this song my personal theme song. So screw you, all those who want to bring me down. Kiss me goodbye, I am defying gravity.

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I'm through with playing by the rules
Of someone else's game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes and leap


It's time to try
Defying gravity
I think I'll try
Defying gravity
And you won't bring me down

I'm through accepting limits
''cause someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I'll never know

As someone told me lately
"Ev'ryone deserves the chance to fly"
And if I'm flying solo
At least I'm flying free
To those who'd ground me
Take a message back from me
Tell them how I am
Defying gravity
I'm flying high
Defying gravity 


PS, To all my readers who are not Glee fans, I'm sorry, both that you may not "get" this post and that you are not watching this show. :) Love, Bunny

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

  1. It is FINALLY sunny today. Quite a beautiful day actually. Ida roared through the GA the past few days and that bitch made a nasty mess knocking all the remaining leaves off the trees. Too wet to rake them though. Oh well.
  2. Since I cannot find a FT job, I think I am going to start actively pursuing freelance work. See, I have been holding back on the freelance, taking what trickled my way, hoping I would find a FT position. I don't necessarily WANT to work for myself, but I think I have to make a commitment and go for it. That's the hard part. Jumping in with both feet.
  3. First, I have to get my website up and running. And make new business cards. And brand my business with a new name. I have one in mind. And I like it.
  4. The hubs is off today. I have him clipping coupons, folding clothes and grocery shopping. He's a good hubs.
  5. I am rewarding the hubs tonight by taking him out to dinner. We have another 50% off coupon for Buca di Beppo. I am all about the coupons these days. Yes, siree.
  6. I am beginning to think I went a little overboard recently buying all these dark beers. Yes, I have gone to the dark side. All stouts and porters and dark ales. And, boy howdy, are they potent. Whew wee.
  7. My hubs wants me to remind all of you that tomorrow marks exactly six weeks to Christmas Day. Yes, I will go slap him now for you.
  8. I have absolutely NO plans for this weekend and I think that makes me happy. Esp. since I feel like I may be coming down with a cold. Or sinus gunk. 
  9. Tomorrow is Friday the 13th. I have to admit I am more than a little superstitious. I wonder what fresh Hell tomorrow will bring.
  10. I LOVE Glee, and last night's episode was great. So much character development. Def my fave show in a long time.
  11. I have really been off listening to music. Except holiday tunes. I think it is going to be all about the holiday tunes and holiday movies and such until, well, after the holidays.
  12. Have I ever told you all what a great moms I have? I, mean, she can totally be a MOM sometimes, but she is so supportive of me. Always has been. Fiercely so. That means a lot. A whole lot.
  13. The rain has me pining for comfort food, so last night I made tuna casserole:

 I punched it up a little with carrots, wheat noodles, about 4 or 5 random spices including tarragon, and panko and cheese on top.

 
It was delicious and filling and really hit that sweet spot that needed to be comforted. Amen.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Me & My Piehole Need An Intervention, Stat

Dudes. Oy. The last few days have been a fest of gluttony here at Casa Bunny. The sad news? It's not even officially the holiday season yet. If this keeps up, the only thing I will need from Santa is a forklift to haul my ass around.

First, there was the Friday roast dinner, followed by Saturday, otherwise known as "Day of Booze & Nosh." First, the lunch at Brick Store. Then, the wine festival. Then, the DFM, where I conveinantly forgot to mention that B. bought these:


Just in case you cannot see, these sinful treats are called Chocolate Overdoes Cookies. I think I audibly moaned with the first bite I took. B. is Satan, did I mention that? Satan tempting me into the culinary wilderness, where the road is strewn with vino, beer and chocolate cookies. My only regret? I wish I had some now.

Then, Saturday night, I came home and, not EVEN hungry, managed to polish off some leftover lemon pepper wings, a soft taco or two, another beer and some of this::


Hot damn, y'all. This ice cream? Is da' bomb. We are on like our fourth carton. It rivals--and may be better than--Bruster's pumpkin ice creams. It's def CHEAPER. And my abusive hubs has been FORCING me eat a bowl every single night. It ain't right I tell you, but I just can't quit him. Or this ice cream. Run, don't walk, to your nearest Publix and buy some today. Then, Sunday, I made my French toast and fried up a whole pound of bacon. Yes. A pound. I say go big or go home.


First, we had bacon with the French toast, then I used the rest of the bacon to make my fourth batch of Pumpkin Butter Dip for the hub's fam, who came for lunch to celebrate my mom-in-law's bday. So I made the dip, a big pot of chili, slaw, cornbread and we had a Paula Deen pie from Wal-mart. And I ate like I was starving. Really. Not like I just had half a pig and a quarter loaf of bread dipped in egg and fried in butter three hours before.

Sunday night, we took it easy with grilled cheese and tomato soup. Whew. Because my stomach was starting to talk and it was saying "Are you kidding me???"  Yesterday, everything was good until I hit dinner time:


In which I made some tasty beef and tater hash from my leftover Friday roast, spiked with red wine and blue cheese. Followed later by more pumpkin ice cream. And a large glass of red wine. Oy. I mean. And, right now, I sit here stuffed to the point of miserable after eating leftover tacos from Saturday night. (PS, look at my BELOVED holiday china by Spode, received when I married, making its debut today at BGR! Isn't it fabulous??)

Peeps? This is pace I cannot, and do not, need to keep up, fo' shizzle. I have fallen off of the exercise/eat right wagon, rolled down the hill, fallen in the well, and am half drowned in a puddle of beer, bacon grease and butter. What I need is a juice fast. Or a REALLY good 24-hour virus. Clean out the system and start fresh.

In other news, while I was off galivanting on Saturday, the hubs finished his transformation of our front bank (you know, the one we toiled over several months ago, cutting out wisteria and climbing rose. Which was A. SERIOUS. BITCH.). Behold my green-thumbed love's handiwork:


Rocked, mulched and planted including some wonderful evergreens, lovely grasses and one of my faves from our Garden Porn expedition--the Limelight Hydrangea. Beautiful work, babe! You rock!

Well, I am off. Trying to stay on task today and knock out some work I need to get done. Love you all! Be good! Bun

Sunday, November 08, 2009

In Which My Liver Attempts to Recover

Dudes! Happy Sunday! I know my blogs of the past weekish have not been very...inspired. Ok, they were for shit. But, I ain't lying when I say it's been slim pickins' around here for anything interesting, dramatic or otherwise newsworthy. I mean, I could make some shizz up, but I am all about keeping it real. However, I am about to embark on an extra long post, so settle in.

First of all, Friday night I finally cooked a decent meal--beef roast and the trimmings--and, let me tell you, it was a roast to make grown men weep. The Publix had some fine looking hunks of meat on sale, so I splurged a little and bought one. I seared it up in my cast iron dutch oven, then whisked up some beef seasoning, red wine, herbs and onion, poured it over the top, and let it cook long and slow. Yep, I like my roast cookin' just like I like my lovin'. It was yummy tender and the broth reduced down to a wonderful gravy texture, perfect over the taters. Behold:


So, "check" for first roast of season. Yes, ma'am, cooler temps means cool weather foods--stews, soups, chilis, roasts...and I am ready, so buckle up and stay tuned for more wonders to come.

Yesterday, my friend B. and I went to a local wine festival and spent the day getting our vino on. But before we hit the wine festival, we journeyed to Hop City. See B. is the friend who introduced me to good beer, so I wanted to be the one to introduce her to Hop City. I wound up buying six types of beer--four that are new to me--but rather than tell you now, I will do a slow reveal as I drink and review them here in the upcoming weeks. I'm such a tease, ain't I? Anyhoodle, back to the wine fest.


Yes, it was the 8th annual Decatur Wine Festival and having never been, we didn't know what to expect, but first, we had to fortify with something to soak up the alcohol some lunch. So, we wound up at my new fave dive bar, Brick Store Pub. You may remember that I have been here once before and RAVED about it, but honestly, I am too lazy to link to that post, so I will just say again that it is quite good and has lots of interesting beers on tap and in bottle. It was where I discovered my beloved Brown Shugga, which, by the way, was one of the beers I picked up at Hop City. Squee! B. and I decided to do appetizer sampler, so here's what we chose:


Fresh, homemade pretzels....perfect for beer.....


Delish roasted red hummus..... 


And a yummy pasta salad with buffalo mozzarella and a super fantastic balsamic dressing. For libations, I chose:


Double Bastard Ale by Stone Brewing. You may remember a few weeks back, I tried their Arrogant Bastard Ale at the local pizza joint, so I decided to go all in with the Double Bastard. And Oh. My. This beer is serious. It will put hair on your chest. Or strip it off. When they brought out that little glass--that had the name of the beer written on in case you got all fuzzy while drinking it and forgot--I was like "Hell no! I need a double. Should be called Cheap Bastard." But then I realized to drink more than the served amount would require assistance walking. The alcohol content is 10.5%. Holy Hell. If you want to drink something special, and you have big ones, try this beer. If you don't have big ones, you will after drinking Double Bastard. Word.

So, reeling slightly from the Double Bastard, B. and I swooned across the street to the wine festival where 2000 of our closest wino friends awaited. And 50 tables of wines from around the world.

 Y'all, this? Was a GOOD festival. B. and I were movin' it and only made it to about 23 tables, sampling approx. one wine at each and sharing sips, and we were just overwhelmed. [PS, for those of you who are all "you're supposed to spit out the wine when tasting," I say, "screw 'dat!" Everyone knows swallowing is better. ;)] After two hours, it all started to blur into a grape-colored fog and our livers were starting to shut down and we decided to call it a day. But not before we ran upon this GEM of an artist:


Can I tell you how much I LOVES this art?

 I LOVES it TOTES.

 The artist is Erin Smith, and she lives in the Decatur area.

 
Delightful. I laughed until I wept.

 Even better, the "heads" are from vintage photos of Erin's relatives. Her art is quirky and campy and fun. And that's how I like it.

 This is the one I bought, but it was terribly hard to decide. I think I need at least two or three more.

After we left Erin's booth, we found the food samples tables including awesome blue cheese, bacon & onion risotto from Feast restaurant in Decatur. I am having the vapors just thinking about it again. It was just ridiculous. I have never been to Feast but have heard great things about it, and now I feel I must have more. Delish.

After leaving the fest, we decided to head over to the DFM (that would be Dekalb Farmer's Market) to see if we could find any of the delish wines we had sampled. Eureka! We were in luck, though B. was much more indulgent than me since I had already been on a budget bender all day long. I did, however, buy some of their fabulous orange cranberry walnut bread which I whipped into French toast this morning on B.'s recommendation. Lawd. It was yummers.

In all, yesterday was great day with a great friend and with lots of new things experienced and discovered. Last night, I fell asleep during the weekly Netflix with the hubs, and this morning my side was sore. I think my liver is bruised. But I think it was worth it. Word. Be back soon, peeps! Love ya! B.