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I swear I'm not just all LJ Idol, all the time these days.  I've started a new (odious...and, no, I don't want to talk about it after that last shift) job.  Suffice to say, I have doubled down on applications.  They say it's always easier to find a job when you have a job, so let's see if the omnipotent They are right.  Bleh.  But money coming in is better than no money

Quite happy to be off today and have the day to myself.  Yeah, I had a lot of days to myself when I was unemployed, but it feels different when you know it's your last taste of freedom before going back to the daily grind.  Or maybe that's just me.

Spent a good chunk of today puttering around the kitchen.  Since the weather finally dipped beneath 70F, the spousebeast and I have been doing a lot of cooking, which means a lot of dishes.  He did most of them while I was doing the shift from hell on Satuday...then we both proceeded to spend a good chunk of Sunday Making All the Things (tm).  The man hauled home *30+ heads of garlic* from the dump cart at work, so there has been much roasting and pickling and various other processes.  I made lobster stock (checked in on Santa Pete, who is still under the weather, but has reached the "fluff my pillows and grocery shop for me and listen to me whine...then roll a joint for me and put on some Animaniacs" stage of recovery.  But he had a HUGE bag of lobster shells he takes from all the fancy dinners he goes to so...yay!).  He did stuff I don't care to know about with the mushrooms he got from work.  So, yeah..today was kitchen cleanup and other random stuff.  I think I committed a major culinary crime for watching Julia Child reruns while making boxed brownies.

And I totally lost my thought of train, so...have great week, everyone!

LJI, week 3: Tsundoku

"You.  Don't  Touch.  My.  Books!"

I am crazed and bitchy in the way only a 12 year old girl  who is having her life uprooted and moving cross-country for the third time in three years can be.  And now--NOW!--those horrible people I am supposed to call parents (they get called Mr. & Mrs. Asshole in my journal.  Mom and dad is too good for them) have hired movers for the first time.  And I am supposed to let these strangers in my room?  The dolls I still cling to like the last shreds of what little childhood I had are here.  My first three notebooks where I write my hopes and dreams are in here.  And my books--my beloved escape--are here.

I whisper a quiet apology to Juliette--the twin of Juliet, one of the porcelain dolls Grandpa would bring back from yard sales and flea markets.  I loved them, but one had to go--and she crashes to the floor.  Cue the tears, and running for Mrs. Asshole (who is suddenly, conveniently, now "Mommy").  "They broke my Juliette!  I want them out of my room!  I can pack by myself!"

I sweep a few bits of porcelain into my hand and put them in a small satin bag Mr. Asshole brought me back from Okinawa.  They fit in neatly next to the shards of the china tea set he bought me and then broke for...some reason.  I've given up searching for reasons why grownups do what they do.

I put them both in the small box that hold my secret, my journals.  They sacrificed to keep my words safe.

And to keep my books safe.  I may never read them all...but they guard the words for me.  They dream the words for me.

With these precious shards and my words and these books, I find comfort.  And I might just survive.


LJI: My Mount Rushmore

The shades of black, white, and grey on the screen looks weird to this kid raised on Hanna-Barbara's and Sid and Marty Kroft's psychadelic Saturday morning color palatte, but I can't look away.  I'm tall "for a girl" (a phrase I hate), but she is simply TALL.  A giantess in the kitchen.  I want her pearls.  More importantly, I want to mess something up and be able to shrug it off and keep going.

Julia Child.  I sit, transfixed, by reruns of The French Chef when I can convince the grownups that it is my turn to pick out the Saturday morning shows my sister and I watch.  The foods are so familiar--potatoes, onions, carrots, chicken--but prepared in such a different way than I see when I am standing on a stool in the kitchen  next to Grandma.  But I insist on talking in a funny accent while I scrub carrots and potatoes, learn to cut onions under her watchful eye...and happily let her deal with the chicken, because it grosses me out a little.

One day, I promise myself, I will be brave like Julia and touch that icky, cold, pink thing.  But i'm little yet, and can flee the kitchen any time I want.

Years come and go.  I graduate from vegetables to making fruit salad all by myself ("be careful with the can opener, kitten, and just drain all of the juice in the glass so you can drink it with your snack.  Let me know when you need the marshmellows") to rolls to, yes, finally touching that icky, cold, pink thing.  Look at me, Julia!

While I'm graduating to making meals for the family all by myself, the Saturday reruns have moved and the debate between Scooby snacks and coq au vin has vanished.  I'm a little affronted by the fact that my giantess in the kitchen is in color now.  It seems weird.  In black and white, it was just the two of us, laughing over potato disasters and chicken that seems to have a mind of its own.  I'm not happy, but I dutifully jot down recipes in a 3 section, 5 by 8 spiral notebook, just like Great Grandma and Granma do.

I learn how to make French onion soup, but I'm not happy about it.  And you can just forget about me learning how to debone a duck, Julia.  Chicken is one thing, but that looks PURPLE and has webbed feet.  Nope.  Not gonna happen.

At some point, I'm going to learn to quit drawing that line in the culinary sand with Julia.  It's just pointless.

Being 30 and having an existential crisis that eventually ends in a wildly popular blog, a book deal, and a film is one thing.  Being 30, in the middle of a nasty divorce, moving in with your grandparents, and having what little contents of your kitchen that you were allowed to take is quite another.  However, the wise librarian who has known me since I was spending the summers in the free air conditioning, copying recipes out of cookbooks right next to Grandma, suggests a book.  "We just got this in.  I think it would be a fun read for you."

Holy fuck!  There is someone as neurotic and Julia obsessed as I am!  And she survived her dark night of the soul by the power of Julia. (And got a book contract out of it, damnit)  Seester!  Time to unpack the tiny box of kitchen supplies, cook the pain out, and convince grandma that shallots aren't evil.  Julie, Julia, and me...we got this.

Of all the things I need in life, a terra cotta vegetable roaster is probably not one.  Nor is the cute owl print bag or the tiny purple dragon who shall be named Puff.  Might as well swing by the dvds and see how much more damage I can do.  That's what thrift stores are for, right?

The French Chef Collection 1.  The French Chef Collection 2.

Forty years.  I am in the best place I have ever been.  And here she is, waiting for me.  Again.  Like always.

busy, busy, busy

Had a nice break between filling out applications, going on job interviews, and attempting to (still!) put the kitchen back together...only to have the kitchen sink go kerflooey.

The great thing about FB memories:  apparently, I spend one week this time of year waiting for maintenance to fix my sink about every three years.  Yippee.  I want to cook all the things, and I'm washing dishes in the bathroom sink..:(

At least it went tits up AFTER I went all gonzo and spent a day making turkey pot pie, a weird mash up between Danish apple pie and a crumble, devilled eggs for the spousebeast, and spicy Sriacha coleslaw (I know it seems random, but I am cleaning out the fridge and HATE waste.  With Kent bringing home produce from the dump cart nearly every day, I am processing veggies nigh constantly).  Thank the gods I was able to get THAT round of dishes done!

Monday's non-interview was a total wash.  An hour round trip on the bus, only to be told the manager (whom I did not meet)  was on a conference call and he would reschedule?  Not if I would wait, no apology for my time, zip.  I emailed to let him know I would be out of town, but available Thursday and Friday and looking forward to the interview.

I have not heard a peep back.  Call me paranoid, but I suspect this might have something to do with the fact that, despite my *years* of experience in front and back of the house, Mr. I'm So Hip Dude took one look, snuck in the back, and said "Pssst!  She's old!"  Given the location of the restaurant, Kent agreed with me, and speculated that that might have actually BEEN the manager and he was pre-screening.

Maybe he's humoring me, but it IS NOT easy getting a front of house job in towns like this unless you look like a UNC student.  I wouldn't be surprised if I was pre-screened that way.  Ah, well...fuck 'em.  I don't want to work in an environment like that.  I probably wouldn't make it through the first week without punching someone.

Tuesday and Wednesday were a much needed break from reality.  We did a speed run to and from Charlotte to see Kent's BFF, Chirp and go to see Alice Cooper.  We took the train to and from, and those hours were pure gold.  I love travelling by train.  I'm still goofy enough that it seems romantic.

The Alice concert was AMAZING.  Almost 2 hours, no intermission...and he still has the voice AND the moves.  I *did* have to explain to Chirp that I was actually enjoying myself;  I just don't headbang all that much.  Kent explained on the way home:  Alicia *absorbs* experiences like this.  If she is sitting very still and you're worried that she's stopped breathing, she's having the time of her life."

He's not wrong.  It used to freak him out, too.

It was a wonderful night.  I also got to see Chirp's HS scrapbooks, which had many a picture that Kent wishes I had never seen (he used to be blonde.  I knew he was as a kid, but apparently that lasted well into his 20s.  It's...weird).

Went on two interviews today and got soaked.  The other two asked if phone was okay, thank the gods.  Two more tomorrow, and two walk-ins, weather permitting.  And a grocery run.

Needless to say, I am not doing SQUAT over the weekend.
Pete is 29.  Well, he is in his head.  I'm his girlfriend, even though I'm young enough to be his daughter.  Again, in his head.  I call him my platonic geriatric boyfriend.

I help him go grocery shopping.  Help him move when the landlord can't ignore the pervasive smell of weed coming from an old hippie's apartment.  I make suppers for his Friday supper club because his idea of a meal is opening a jar of pickled herring and washing it down with a bottle of Coke (always the small ones, and always glass).

He plays Santa Claus during December.  Private parties, stores, the children's hospital.  He's the original Jewish Santa...and I am frequently his sidekick as the world's tallest elf.  He is the first person I call when I have done something stupid (like quit my job) or have some joy to share.

And sometimes we go on dates.

Last Saturday, we went to see Joan Baez's farewell tour.  He called to ask me what I was wearing.  I reminded him he needed to bring his cane, because there is still a lot of walking.  He showed up very dapper with his eagle-headed cane and vintage Stetson.  We were quite the stunning couple.

We held hands and cried through most of the show.  She was my first concert at 13.  He roadied for her back in the day.

The there was the finale.  And, as the audience stood, Jimi Hendrix's "Star Spangled Banner" started to wash over the crowd.

Joan took a knee.  Her ensemble followed.  And, one by one, the people I'd seen in the lobby--many using canes and walkers--took a knee.  I'd watched Pete struggle to stand and sit through various ovations and whispered," I've got this for us."

He said no.

The man who can barely walk any more.  Whose legs have been shattered by war and youthful stupidity and age...took a knee.  Right next to me.

I had to help him up.  I have never been so honored.

Of course, he kissed me on the lips when we said goodnight.

The man never gives up.  About anything.
So...my modem decided to die Saturday.  That was fun.  It was brought to my attention (by Scott from Ohio who I SWEAR I could tell was wearing khakis and a light blue button down oxford shirt just by his voice) that ten years is a pretty good run, all told.

That doesn't change that we were without net access until this afternoon.  Need I tell you how charming that made the spousebeast?  Yeah...no.   I can function without the 'net (I made myself a shawl!  I've been wanting to do that forever.  I took some of the random yarn I have around and the vague memory of a tutorial I watched and--boom!--a shawl in a day.  And it looks very Molly Weasley, so I am happy).  He gets...cranky.  Blergh.

Thankfully, I had my hot date with Santa Pete Saturday afternoon.  But first, I promised the spousebeast I'd make the beer run.  Cue our heroine trudging along the gravel, eyes cast down, because I ALWAYS trip over something.

Oooh!  Money!  I pocketed it.  There was no one in the lot.  No one in the store.  I asked the owner about it, and he looked at me like I'd lost my mind.

I thought it was a fiver.  Turns out it was FIFTY!

I figured the Universe had gifted me with a Joan Baez concert tshirt.  Which it would have, had she had a merch table.  *grumble*

So, I don't have a tshirt.  :(  But it dawned on me that this would pay for something I wouldn't get to go to otherwise.

Guess who is going to see Peter Yarrow in November?  I have the ticket sitting in front of me, and I still get a little breathless looking at it.  The venue is TINY and the artists almost always come out to meet the audience.  This is where I met Dar Wiliams, Tret Fure, Dianne Davidson, Dierdre McCalla, Jamie Anderson...you get the picture.

I may get to meet the man.  And even if I don't....holy fuck, y'all.

And speaking of holy fuck...JOAN!!!!!!!  She was my first concert.  And her voice is still as amazing as it was in San Diego 33 years ago.  She can still hit THOSE NOTES and drag your soul right straiight the fuck out of you.

When the audience sang the chorus to "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" I'm surprised that the White House didn't implode.  There was so much power.  It was so raw.  It was strength and pain and anger and lifted up in  a single voice.

Her son plays percussion for her (and he plays ALL THE THINGS).  He's a consummate professional, but every time she sings a song that references him, you can FEEL him thinking "Mom, would you NOT?"  I'm gueessing that's why she didn't do the one I wanted to hear so bad.  Sorry, Gabriel.  Mothers are embarrassing.

The most amazing moment in a million amazing moments was the curtain call (before TWO encores).  Jimi Hendrix's version of The Str Spangled Banner played...and Joan and all of her ensemble took a knee.

And so did much of the audience.  Which is impressive, considering how many were relying on canes, walkers, or wheelchairs.  (I had to help Santa Pete and the lady on the other side of me down and up, but they insisted.  My time at Happy Acres was good for something.)

The funny thing:  while waiting in line for drinks they played "The Boxer."  I told Santa Pete that a line from the song had been a prompt once and that I'd signed up for the new round.  He winced and said "Tell Kent I'll be bringing weed and hoagies when yu approach a deadline."  I thought hearing that line was a good luck sign.

Know what else is a good luck sign?  Joan FUCKING Baez sang that song!

Oh, and I have to shout out to the DPAC concessions.  Beer still comes in an open cup.  Wine comes in a cup with a lid.  Hard plastic, dishwasher safe, and a lid.

It's a fucking adult sippy cup.  I hope whoever came up with this gets a Nobel Prize.

Standing on line to get to the bathroom after the show the entire conversation was "Oh, I am taking mine home."  "I should have gotten another wine so I would have a pair"   "I can drink a screwdriver while walking the dogs and everyone will think I'm just drinking orange juice and being healthy."

Once you get to a certain age, there is no shame in your game.  I think I am at that age.
Okay, it's with my geritric, platonic boyfriend Santa Pete (that's him in the icon.  And, yes, that's me dressed as an elf.  We do several gigs a year: stores, private parties, the children's hospital, shelters), but when I rang him up, he sounded like the prettiest girl in school asked him to prom.  <3

We're going to see Joan Baez tomorrow night!  *boingboingboing*  The spousebeast was going to go, but got the dates screwed up and is working a double.  I tried to sell the ticket, then had a "well, DUH!" moment.  Pete roadied for here a billion years ago (he roadied for everyone, and has the pics and backstage passes to prove it), and was beyond thrilled.  Since I won't let him pay for the ticket, he's taking me to dinner beforehand.  And, honestly, it just wouldn't be a concert at the DPAC without garlic fries (and the two subsequent days of garlic sweats) at Tyler's first.

I really need this after this week.  I am, like many survivors, one long, raw nerve, alternately chained to the television and turning it off, consumed with guilt that there is only so much I can take.  No nightmares reliving the assaults (yes, that's plural), strangely enough, but have one doozy that Kent was leaving me that had me crying in my sleep.

Abandonment issues much, Al?

I can honestly say this is the only healthy romantic relationship I've ever had with a man (okay, the only one with a man who wasn't gay).  I know I'm deserving of love, and all the wonders of our life together...but my subconscious clearly thinks I'm damaged goods and it's only a matter of time before he wises up and leaves.

Phooey.  Fie on you, brain weasels!

I gave myself the afternoon off and turned off the television.  The political world will continue turning without me for a few hours (of course it will.  I'm a queer, working class woman, after all).  So, I'm cranking up the Joan (it's pre-gaming!) and slowly putting my poor, beleagured kitchen back together after round 2 with the exterminator.  Olivia and I agree that the guy upstairs has GOT to go, because that has GOT to be where they're coming from.  (Plus, he's creepy as fuck)

I've decided just to take a deep breath and consider it an opportunity to get the kitchen organized for all of the cooking I inevitably do in the fall/winter.

Here we go again...

I  signed up for LJ Idol.  AND I had to make an effing DW account to do it.  The things I do for my craft...

another funfilled day in Hormoneville

Pick a lane and stay in it, Body!  Either cramps or hotflashes, and what the FUCK is up with the zit on the end of the nose?  I got through puberty with perfectly clear skin.  I call bullshit!

I told the spousebeast this morning that I was staying in bed because I couldn't get anything on my to-do list done before 9am and I hurt like hell.  He brought me water and ibuphrofen and was just his usual loving self.

He left for work, fretting about leaving me alone (trust me, when I'm unwell, just let me stay in bed and pray for death)  Cue the hot flashes, and not even being able to hold down water until fucking noon.  I didn't get put of bed until 2:30pm, which is NOT like me.  Needless to say, I didn't get shit accomplished like I'd planned.

Kent came home with good news and bad news.  One of the people he rides to work with is the GM at a taco joint, and is looking for morning prep people who can also work the front of the house in a pinch.  Back in the kitchen?  Yes, please!  He told he that I am disgustinglu punctual, don't take smoke breaks, and don't dick around on a cell phone all day (hell, I still haven't figured out how to make mine work half the time).  She almost fell over.

The bad news is he has to work a double tomorrow.  Phooey.  At least his boss is giving him a ride home, so he doesn't have to take cabs coming and going.

On the upside, I can make tuna noodle glop (kinda like tuna cassarole, only made on the op the stove) without hearing commentary about having to smell it.  This coming from the dude who does unspeakable things to ramen that have been so funky smelling it has woken me up from a sound sleep with the door closed.

I can also catch up on AHS: Apocalypse.  One episode, and I'm already hopelessly hooked.

Okay, I'm going to try to find something appealing but bland and attempt actual solid food.  With me luck!

Aunt Flo is in town

Sorry, couldn't resist.  We're fairly far inland AND on high ground, so my biggest worry are the trees on the hill behind the house.  Our genius property manager had ALL of the undergrowth ripped out earlier this summer, so we have lots of very tall trees with exposed root systems.

I'll keep y'all posted.  Now, I am going to enjoy the fact that the spousebeast is home, and the guy who brought him here needed to run by the liquor store first.  Cheers!

Sep. 8th, 2018

Okay, playing single girl has been fun.  Can I have the spousebeast back now?

I am such a wimp. (Also, I'm horny)  We're doing emails twice a day, so I know what shenanigans are going on.  He found the lizard I put in his swim shorts first thing and, unfortunately, yelled "Damnit, Alicia!"  Which meant everyone came to see what I'd done to him this year.

Achievement unlocked.  Even better, his roommate informed him that, while he is the former standup comic, I have his ass beat at prop comedy.


Yesterday was fabulous.  I braved  the obscenely hot weather and went to Carrboro.  Treated myself to a Cap'n Crunch donut at Rise (needless to say, I don't need any extra sugar in my life for the next week.  It was SO GOOD, but I also felt a little like the time that Grandpa let me have all the cotton candy I wanted at the county fair).  Had some serious thrifting wins (FINALLY found the terra cotta chicken roaster that I have missed from my childhood.  I can't wait to use it).  Got called into Krave by my favorite kava bartender for "product testing" and discovered that kratom doesn't taste like it has been strained through a dirty sweat sock if mixed with chocolate almond milk.  That led to a couple of hours listening to Cat Stevens and idly chatting with him and a UNC philosophy prof.  I had a magical encounter on the bus

Copying and pasting because I am lazy:

It's still ridiculously hot here, and the buses are like meat lockers, so I wear a fabulous sun hat and carry a cardigan. I was having a "me" day, which means thrifting, volunteering, and flirting with a guy who is young enough to be my kid over a cup of kava. On my way home, I had the aforementioned hat AND sweater on when I was on the bus.

Cue cute little kid. Mommy, she looks like grandma if grandma was a witch!

Cue mommy wanting to crawl under the seat.

I simply said "I'm not a grandma yet, but I am a witch. You're very perceptive."

Kid: I'm in the special classes at school. Some people think I'm stupid, but I have MAGIC in my brain! I know things other people don't.

Me: I believe that. Hey...between us...do you want this feather from my hat? I have too many. Maybe you could put it in your bookbag for when you need a little extra magic.

Kid: Cool! I'll use it when the kids get mean!

We got to the stop, and his mom grabbed my shoulder. She was weepy. He's been having a rough time at school She's scared that, when he gets older, he might harm himself due to bullying.

He's bouncing around, singing "I've got a magic feather!"

We exchanged info, and I suggested getting together to do crafts or something. She looked relieved. I think she needs a break.

They walked off. He was waving the feather. "Bye, new friend!"

Thankfully, I was standing in front of Weaver St. Market an could get a strong cider and go sit on the patio and cry a little bit

My new friend's name is Adam.  :)

I also did a volunteer shift at the St. Joe's food mission for the first time in forever.  It was so great to see everyone.  I need to quit letting inertia (and the weather) get the best of me.  I am not a church go-er, but there is something so...comforting?....about getting hugs and being called Sister Alicia.  Maybe I am missing community?

Since it was Friday, after everyone was served, the volunteers got to take the perishables.  Woo-hoo!  My grocery list for next week has been whittled down to coffee, sugar, and barley.  Last night, I got to have lemon pepper cod, roasted baby Yukon gold potatoes, and spinach salad.  Dined like a queen and it didn't cost me a dime.  <3

Today is household-y type things: laundry so no one goes to work naked this week, cleaning out the fridge, maaaaaaybe doing the floors, and changing the sheets on the bed.  After that, it's books, Food Network, and working on my shawl.  Maybe seeing Santa Pete at suppertime (he's shameless.  I mentioned tuna noodle casserole and he said "When?")

Happy Saturday, y'all!

Sep. 5th, 2018

Back in the day, when the Sperm Donor used to go on deployment, my mother would put a few pranks in his footlocker.

I had a moment today that--DAMNIT!!!---I realized I'm pranking the spousebeast's luggage for the annual Fantasy Football Draft Weekend That Is Actually Four Days.

I.  Am.  Not.  Amused.  With.  Myself.  I am *not* my mother.

On the upside, the spousebeast finds this stuff hilarious.  He seems to almost look forward to what inappropriate shenanigans I have figured out this year.

Never marry a former standup comic.  It makes you up your game.  And buy plastic lizards.  *shudder*
Best moment of the day.
The spousebeast and I had agreed at 6am that we didn't really need anything grocery-wise, so I could just skip the post-work Timberlyne run in this wretched heat.

I came by on my break and he handed me a bunch of wadded up bills.  "I'm bringing home hot dogs.  Could you bring home buns?"

Cue my looking around and thinking "Dude...did you forget that you work in a GROCERY STORE?"  (Albeit much pricier than where I usually go)

"I also need...I don't care.  Vodka, whiskey, tequila...just please have it in the freezer when I get home."

I'm guessing someone is having A Day.  And I'm having a cocktail, so life is good.

I'm not a soda person, but I am heartily sick of water.  This summer has been so rough with trying to keep hydrated, I think you could give me pot brownie infused water and all you'd get out of me would be "oh...er...thanks."   However, I was wandering the store and found a peach and black pepper soda.  I took a risk for a buck.

It is good on its own.  And better with a healthy shot of cheap vodka.

I'll have to remember that for next weekend, because it is *drumroll* The 13th Brokeback Fantasy Foot Ball Extravaganza Weekend (now with Tiki Bar!).  Yup, Imma be a single girl while Kent is off with his "how can I escape my life?" friends.  *shakes head*  I feel bad for the other guys, because many of them feel so trapped.  What pisses me off is the way they bully Kent.  Yeah...he's openly queer.  He pisses the guys off because he calls me to say goodnight.  Fuck all y'all.

ANYWAY, I have a weekend to myself.  I'm aimin' to misbehave.  Choices, choices.

Aug. 17th, 2018

Oh, Sean.

He made the Barista Girl avatar for me.  I got to meet him twice, at Amber diceless cons, and we were absolute brats.  A GMs worst nightmare.

And now he's gone.

Too young.  Too soon.  Fucking unfair.

My condolences to his recent bride, his family, and his friends who all loved him.

Rest in peace, my friend.

"Are the tin soldiers made of rubber?  What about the trees?"

Oh, great good gods...I am going to quit watching the news.  Maybe I'm burying my head in the sand, but I cannot hear tRump, Guliani, AND Omorosa on a 24 hour loop.  Hell, in my desire to escape, the spousebeast woke up yesterday to me watching The Great British Baking Show...and did not object.

His first wife is a pastry chef (and ex-Army--she made a gingerbread replica of Rammstein for the kids' Christmas party when she was stationed there.  And an EMT.  This woman is HARD CORE.  And I adore her...aside from the part where she threw the madeline pan at him.  He still has the scar.  I have the pan with the dent.  However, that WAS the start of the long journey of his getting off coke, soo..).  He gets twitchy around baking, but he loved the show.  It's endearing in a way that US baking shows just seem to miss.

Of course, now I'm getting puppy dog eyes from the guy who claims he doesn't like sweets.  And is scared of bakers.

But never fear..as my frenemie once said "Alicia can make anything out of a box.  I can only make cakes from scratch"  (Evil person.  Yeah, my homemade cake for my then husband's birthday was a total fail after you had done a 5 layer cocoa-mocha  two weeks earlier...that was the BEST way to console me).  But, a friend elsenet talked about making boxed brownies, adding some cinnamon to the mix, and topping with finely minced Hatch chiles.  Spicy brownies!  I'll report back.

Speaking of foodie things, I found out that Carla Hall is coming to the Terra Vita food festival in October.  *bounce*  A ticket gets her talk, the new cookbook, and a meet and greet where you can get your book signed.  I am buying my ticket next payday.  And praying I don't fangirl flail too much.  I've loved her since she lost it when she got to make chicken pot pie on Top Chef.

Kent says I need to bring her some of my 3 can, $5 chicken pot pie.  I made it again this weekend (we're trying to clear out the pantry for the big fall grocery buy.  I also think we are both hoping if we invoke enough cozy comfort foods, this damnable heat and humidity will go away).  I've been tinkering with it, and I think the addition of Penzey's Mural of Flavor made it.

It didn't last long, I'll tell y'all that.  It's simple:  a can of chicken, drained (or shredded rotisserie or leftover chicken would work, too), a can of mixed veggies, drained and rinsed, a can of cream of chicken soup (I guess you could use cream of mushroom if you're weird that way.  I've also used cream of celery and no one has died or required psychiatric treatment).  Mix the whole mess together and pour into a pie plate lined with a refrigerated pie crust (I reccommend Pillsbury, but the Harris Teeter brand isn't bad.  And, of course, you can make your own.  But this is an inelegant and quick recipe).  I've generally sprinkled it with dried rosemary, thyme, and cracked black pepper.  With the cream soup, it is plenty salty on its own.  I'm not sure what is in Penzey's MoF, but it is quite the wow factor.)  Pop the top crust on, crimp the edges, and remember to vent the top  (and, if you're a bit weird like me and having a rough week, your can always use swears as your vents).  Cook at 375F until brown on top.  Wrap aluminium foil or use pie sheilds around the edges unless you like to dip the over browned bits in the gravy.  Which I do.

Before I get too down on myself, I did somethig yesterday. reposted from FB:

Okay, so I just did A Thing.

I was picking up a couple of things from the grocery store (Hatch pepper time comes but once a year! And I think my inner pirate is fearing scurvy, because I need orange juice in the house at all times now).

I hopped the NS home and sat up front, because it was just me and the driver is one who always wants to know what Kent and I are cooking (he and his GF have set a challenge to go a month without ordering in or using pre-made frozen dinners, Hot Pockets, etc).

Cue the next stop. This skinny punk gets on, makes an ugly face and all but spits on the driver. Shaved head. Nazi tats. And we won't even begin to discuss the patches on his backpack. The whole pre-made White Pride wanna be kit.

He sat across from me, tipped his ballcap, and said "Ma'am."

I wanted to throw up.

Something inside me said "No." So I smiled sweetly and leaned forward and said, "So what about that protest in DC this weekend?"

"Yeah. That was cool."

"Certainly for *my* side. Two dozen to HOW many?"

I will not repeat the names he called me (while I'm thinking if he lays a hand on me, he is gonna end up on the wrong end of a can of Raid like the bug he is). He stomps to the back, and I holler "Yep! Go to the back of the bus where you belong, Nazi scum!"

He got off at the next stop. Coward.

After my bus driver friend and I stopped the half-hysterical adrenaline-fueled giggling, he said "You didn't have to do that. That could have gone down really bad."

Yeah, well...if I don't then who is? I'm just disappointed that he's probably too ignorant to get my brilliant back of the bus reference.

so much for THAT plan

Kent woke up early this morning and shut off the alarm so I could sleep in.  He did a good job, too, because I just assumed he was going to the bathroom, rolled over, and went back to sleep.

Then opened my eyes, noticed the quality of light in the room and -boom!  Cue shit panic!  It's 6:08!  FUUUUUCK!  I could have *sworn* I turned on that *&^%&* ....

Kent's sitting in front of the computer, doing his fantasy football stuff.  I'm all "Ack!  It's late!  This is bad!"

He calmed my ass down with a minimum of eyerolling and sent me back to bed (I have been *so tired* lately!  This heat just sucks the energy out of me)  I actually managed to fall back to sleep when the phone rang.

Kent's mom.  Again.  (Long story that I don't have the energy to go into, but she's been placed in an assisted living facility)  Three times in the space of an hour.

When I *finally* got back to sleep, the lawn guys started.

I swear, broken sleep is worse than no sleep at all.

so, this is how it went down

Well, that was fast.

Applied for the housekeeping gig Sunday.  Had interview scheduled within 2 hours of hitting send.  Interview yesterday at 2.  Got the job before 9:30 this morning.  I was literally getting ready to walk out the door to catch the bus, but I had to turn around and use the bathroom one more time.  Thank the gods for my tiny bladder!  I was home to get the call.

Okay, those were words I never thought I'd say.  At least in public.

Yesterday at Old Toxic Job was a shitstorm.  If you can't be bothered to actually train someone, you can't get mad (and berate them in front of customers) if they make a mistake.  And I'm sorry that corporate is crawling all over the place because scads of money is missing on a regular basis.  It's not my fault that night crew doesn't do shit and regional called you on the carpet for a filthy dining room.  But we "need to have a little sit down" when I come in today?

Yeah.  Ain't gonna happen.  Normally, I would give two weeks' notice, but....yeeeeah, no.

If that place is still open by the end of the year, I'll be stunned.

So, now I am making $1.25/hr more, have a full benefits package, am full time, and there are regular bonuses, productivity rewards, and tips.  Oh, and an employee appreciation dinner every month.

Did I mention paid sick leave and paid vacation?  And reduced/free hotel stays?

And I will get to work mostly by myself and listen to music/audiobooks/podcasts on my headphones while I do it.

I think I'm gonna like this.  And, oh!  Can you imagine the story fodder cleaning hotel rooms is gonna give me?
Apparently, since my brain has (at least temporarily) shut down the part that churned out dreams about Happy Acres, I am now going to spend every night dealing with my rolodex o'  traumatic themes that are not quite nightmares.


Although I did have one fun "visit" from Granma.  I dreamed we were in the living of the old house, and she was going through scads of cheap candy (she was a total chocoholic) that my ex-SiL had sent her.  She sniffed "You know, for a doctor, you'd think she'd spring for a couple pieces of the good stuff.  Not a ton of the cheap stuff.  But that's her.  No class show off."

I woke myself up, giggling.

That was pure Granma.  Sweet as pie to W's face.  But behind closed doors....!!!  She'd "bless your heart" into oblivion in public.  But when it was the two of us at the kitchen table, cups of instant coffee and a sleeve of off-brand saltines waiting to be devoured with margarine and strawberry jam, the woman LET LOOSE.

I might just be a leeetle bit like her.  Because, ya know, I'm so sweet.  Such a nice girl.  Then you're stupid enough to read my private paper journal.  ;)

Work continues apace.  I'm catching on fairly quickly, which was my biggest worry.

But something is hinky.  I can't quite put my finger on what.  There is a lot of whispering in corners.  Apparently, money AND product are going missing and have been for a while.  We have a manager who doesn't lead.  I'm not getting the hours I was promised and I got hired in at the base pay rate, which I was DEFINITELY told would not be the case (and got blamed on corporate).  And they're talking about cutting store hours.

Er, yeah.  Good thing I haven't been there long enough to build up any sort of blind loyalty...which I tend to do, and has bitten me in the ass more than once.  Like, every single time.

I was going over this with Kent at the bus stop yesterday, expressing my concerns and telling him that, obviously, I'm staying on, but I plan on putting out feelers.  Cue one of the housekeepers from the luxury hotel around the corner.  She loves Kent's garlic parm wings and had been looking forward to meeting me.  Then she hit me with "You know, if you ever get tired of sandwiches, we hire in at [what I was making at HA], plus tips. Not to mention you get to keep any booze left behind after people check out.  We're always looking for good workers.  Just a thought."

Er...I'm thinking.  I'm thinking.  I could work by myself.  Peopling would be kept to a minimum.  It would be a job that doesn't follow me home (not that the current one does, but that is a requirement for me now).  And I could work 7:30 to 3:30 which, let's face it, is my preferred schedule, anyway.

Also, potential for tips and free booze.  And I'd still get to work close to Kent and take the bus there and back together most days.

And speaking of work, time to get moving.  I've been taking the early bus in and hanging out at UNC's Student Union in the AC for about 40 minutes.  It gives me time to write, get to work with time to pop into The Fresh Market for a free coffee sample and kiss from the spousebeast, and still clock in five minutes early.
I bought a bottle of Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap for the first time in *years* today.  My work shirts need it.  I like where I work;  I just don't want my shirts (or my one "work" bra.  After working at Starbucks, lo, so many years ago, I've gotten in the habit of reconciling having one bra that is always going to smell like where I work) smeeling like it.

Especially not in this heat.  Ick.  Bad upon worse.

Kent walked in while I was starting my work laundry and may or may not have been inhaling with my eyes closed in bliss.  He asked me what I was doing, and I cheerfully informed him huffing peppermint castile soap.

His response?  "Well, at least you're not eating Tide pods."

He fled when I said "Funny you should say that, because you can also use that to brush your teeth.  Or wash your hair. Or...or...wait, where are you going?"

I think I scared him.

Back in the saddle

Ah, Foodserviceland!  How I have missed thee!  I had forgotten what a wonderful feeling it is to finally catch your breath at the end of a particularly brutal lunch rush and know you not only survived, you only fucked up and hit the wrong button on the register *once* (on your first day, no less!)  The way it feels to be cleaning the dining room and look over and see an overflowing tip jar.  And how good free food that you made yourself tastes.

Yeah.  I think I'm gonna like it here.

And, let's face it, working just a few doors down from the spousebeast is a *serious* perk.  On the days I work first shift, we can go in together.  It gets me there about 45 minutes early, but there is outdoor seating at his work, so while the weather is still nice, I can sit outside and eat my breakfast.  It's also a good chance to read or write in my notebook.

Speaking on notebooks, I am currently going through the ones from my 19 months at Happy Acres.  I had to Google them to get the status of my check...and found out that they--and the parent company--are being slapped with a $60 million lawsuit for understaffing memory care units and filing fraulent insurance claims that they were fully staffed.

*cue maniacal laughter*

The nice lawyer is verrrry interested in my extensive documentation (read: bitching about) re: understaffing.  So, I am going through my notebooks and flagging relevant entries, then will photocopy them and redact any sensitive, personal stuff.  They also want to talk to the spousebeast about what he witnessed during his time there.

So, yeah.  The idea that my writing habit, which ultimately led me to quit (when that [redacted] tore three pages out of my journal)  may be used to take down a corrupt system?  Priceless.

In other HA news....MAN, that place is falling apart.  I went up yesterday to get my FINAL final paycheck.  In the time it took me to walk to the payroll office door from the bus stop, I was asked SEVEN TIMES if I was coming back (twice being asked "Are coming back to this hellhole?").  Apparently, they are letting everyone come back, even ones who were fired or walked out.

Except the two med techs who were fired last week for a full on fistfight in the common area.

Yeah....resident on employee violence I'm used to.  Employee on employee violence?  I'll take a pass, thanks.

And speaking of work, New Boss just called and asked if I can come in early.  Her boss is coming in and she needs coverage.  Time to shower and check the bus schedule.

Heh.  And the alarm I set when I was planning on sleeping in (yeah, didn't happen) just went off.

Damn.  I'm missing Pierce Brosnan on Today for this.  That's dedication, baby!