This Is Going To Be One of “Those” Posts

Steal Your FaceYou know those posts.  Of course you do – they’re the ones you know you probably shouldn’t write, fully aware that it’s probably going to offend or piss someone off, but you do it anyway.  Because you can’t help it.

I got a comment on my waffle recipe last night from A Free Man, an American gentleman living in Australia.  I followed the link over to his blog and read a really wonderful post about the day every week he spends solely in the company of his 20-month-old son (and from the “creepy pregnancy widget” in his sidebar, I gather that he and his wife are expecting a new addition to their family in about 3 months).

At the end of the post, though, he makes note that during college, he joined a fraternity full of Dead Heads and then observed that The Grateful Dead’s American Beauty album is the only one worth owning if you’re not a “stinky hippie.”

I read that and laughed until I choked.  I am SO telling Beloved he’s a stinky hippie tonight when he gets home.

No, telling him he’s a stinky hippie won’t piss him off.  If anything, he will happily agree with that assessment of his character.  You see, despite his clean-cut appearance, I married a Dead Head, and as such he is not overly fond of The Grateful Dead’s studio albums; he prefers their live stuff.  Considering as often as they toured and performed (and yes, he was one of those “Let’s take a week off and follow The Dead around and see every show!” types), there’s a LOT of live recordings.

And we own them all.   Each.  And.  Every.  One.

And they are on his iPod.

On “shuffle.”

Now, Beloved has an 80GB iPod and there is a great deal of other music on it, but more than half of it is The Grateful Dead, or a variation thereof.  While he may prefer their live recordings (as of this writing, I believe there are 36 “Dick’s Picks” – recordings of live performances – most of which are double discs; some are 3 or 4 discs), he has all of their studio recordings.  And all of Jerry Garcia’s solo stuff.  And all of Jerry Garcia’s collaborative stuff.  In fact, I think he has every recorded burp, gurgle, sniffle, moan and fart of Jerry Garcia’s.

My only problem issue with this is that on many of these recordings, since they are live, they’re performing the same songs.  And because his iPod is on “shuffle” we often listen to the same songs.  Over and over.

And over.

And over.

Have I mentioned I’m kind of lukewarm about The Grateful Dead?  Listening to 37 versions of Dire Wolf over a 5 hour period will do that to you…

Disclaimer: While most of the music on my iPod is collections of the “Greatest Hits” variety or single songs purchased off of iTunes (I don’t waste my time or money on music I don’t care to listen to), I do own every single album that Elton John recorded between 1970 and 1977.  So when you listen to my stuff on shuffle, there’s a lot of Elton John in it.  (But at least it’s all different songs.)

Another Disclaimer: You know I like to kid you about your Dead tunes, dear.  I still love you anyway.

Have a lovely weekend, y’all.

Crispy Cornbread Waffles

Cornbread WafflesOkay, this is not diet food.  In fact, this is about the furthest thing from diet food you’re going to find.

Which makes it pretty darn tasty.

The Young One tasted them and went, “They’re okay.  They taste like cornbread.”  I tasted them and went, “Oooo – these are pretty good.”  Beloved tasted them and went, “OMG!” and sucked it all down in about 3.5 seconds.

I have to give The Young One credit – they do taste like cornbread (really, really good cornbread).  When I make them for breakfast again, I do believe I’ll use corn flour as opposed to corn meal; I’d like the texture to be a little more fine-grained.  That being said, they’d make an absolutely dynamite base for a savory dish, such as chicken molé or chili, exactly as written.

And Jen, I promise I’ll have something a little more diet friendly for you very, very soon.  Trust me on this.

Crispy Cornbread Waffles

makes 5

10 strips of bacon, chopped

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 cups cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups milk

2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar

2 large eggs

In a skillet fry bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain, reserving the drippings in a measuring cup. Add oil.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.

In a small bowl, combine milk and vinegar; set aside for 10 minutes.

Beat eggs in another large bowl. Whisk in the reserved bacon fat and milk mixtures. Add the wet ingredients to the cornmeal mixture, then the bacon. Mix well.

Bake in a waffle iron according to the package directions. Serve with maple syrup and butter.

Bachelors #1, Bachelor #2, Bachelor #…Whoops

RomanceThe Spin Cycle this week is about dating.  My dating days are far behind me, thank goodness.  However, I’ve done my share of it, and I’ve written about it.  In fact, I can’t think of anything else to say about the subject top that post, so I hope all of my long-time readers will forgive me if I re-post my little ditty on the trials and tribulations joys of internet dating.

In 1997, after my relationship with The Young One’s father limped to an end and we did the “let’s be friends” thing (which we have, quite successfully) I decided after nearly 16 years of long-term, exclusive relationships it was time for me to play the field a bit.  Unfortunately, it had been so long since I’d actually dated I wasn’t quite sure how to go about it.  Hanging out in bars wasn’t going to cut it – I’d had my fill of that in the year before I married the first time – and there was the fact I had three kids at home and worked full-time.  I was pretty sure I could make time for dates on Friday or Saturday nights, I was just worried about how to meet people to date.

Oddly enough, it was The Young One’s father who came to the rescue.  Just as anxious to get on with his life and a bit more computer savvy (at least when it came to the opposite sex, but then again, he’s a man), he’d already dipped his toes into the waters of internet dating and found them to be just fine.  So, I asked a few questions, which he answered, and before I knew it I was back on the meat market.

Now, you’ve got to understand this was over 10 years ago – Match.com was in it’s infancy (in fact, it was free in those days and yes, I had a profile – I even met a pretty nice guy through the site) and eHarmony hadn’t even been conceived.  Most people put ads on various online bulletin boards, and that’s how I started.  You also have to realize that Google was very, very new (and therefore not the powerhouse it is now), search engines were far more numerous (and far more inaccurate), and you couldn’t just do a search for something like “rules of internet dating” and find 4 million websites dealing with how to safely meet and date people online.  It was pretty much a “learn as you go” process and brother, did I go and learn.  Very quickly.

But all of that is for another post.  For now, I’ll just tell you about My Four Most Memorable Internet Dates.  Because honey, I’ll never EVER forget them.

#1 – Cyrano de Bergerac I think out of all my internet dates, this one was the most disappointing.  I exchanged emails with Cyrano for over two weeks before we decided to meet for dinner. I was so excited to meet him – our email exchanges had been marvelous.  He was intelligent.  He was eloquent.  He was sensitive.  He was charming.  He was very, very witty.

He was a goddamn fraud.

We met for dinner at a restaurant halfway between his place and my apartment; good neutral ground. Okay, so he never told me about his Popeye-esque forearms, but that didn’t bother me in the least – I’m sure I’d downplayed the size of my ass.  But we sat down to order and…he said nothing.  Zip.  Zilch.  Nada.  Bupkis.  I dealt every conversational gambit I had in my hand, and was met with monosyllables followed by eerie silence.  I’ve never sat through a meal that dragged on the way that one did.

And at the end, he paid the check, looked me dead in they eye and said, “So, do you want to go back to my place?”

Uh…no.  I went home.  I never emailed him again, and he never emailed me again.  I don’t know about him, but I wasn’t sorry in the least.

#2 – The Stock Broker He was a little pompous and self-important to begin with, but we really had a lot of common interests.  I enjoyed our correspondence.  And, I have to admit, after 16 years of what couldn’t quite be described as penury (but wasn’t far from it), I was not going to turn down a date with a real, live stock broker.  With whom I apparently had a lot in common.

We decided to meet at an “English pub” not too far from my workplace because I’d recently become enamored with Black Velvets – like a Black and Tan, only with hard pear cider instead of Harp’s lager – and because he wanted to see if their Shepherd’s Pie was “authentic.”  *sigh*  Yeah, I should have realized then, but I’m nothing if not optimistic.

We’d no sooner sat down and ordered dinner when he apparently decided we’d dispensed with enough pleasantries, thank you very much, and began to plan, in great detail, our next date – which included sex.  And more sex.  And nothing but sex.  When I asked him, “Don’t you think we should get to know each other a little better before we discuss that?” he looked me dead in the eye and replied, “We’ve already gotten all of that out of the way.”

I did NOT wait for my beef and Yorkshire pudding.  I don’t care how authentic it was.

#3 – Hair Club for Men This date is memorable for so many reasons.  Our email exchanges had gone pretty well – ten or twelve years older than me (or so I thought), he was suave, sophisticated and experienced.  While we didn’t share the immediate chemistry I’d felt with Cyrano, our correspondence was such that I believed we might be able to develop something more than just friendship, and his maturity intrigued me, especially since I was older than both The Ex and The Young One’s father.

I’m afraid I embarrassed myself a tad when we met for lunch, because although he was waiting for me at the hostess’ station of the restaurant, in plain view, I kept looking around.  You see, he was at least twenty years older and 50 pounds heavier than the picture he’d provided.  And he had something that resembled a dead wombat on his head – it took me a few minutes to realize it was a toupeé.  I must have recovered really well, though, because he was every bit as charming as I’d anticipated as we sat down to lunch and I really enjoyed myself.  I was quite willing to meet him for another date when he suggested it.

Until the check came, at which point he looked me dead in the eye and asked me if I minded going dutch, because his wife controlled their expenses and he didn’t want her to see anything suspicious.

Back to the drawing board.

#4 The Really Creepy Old Perv There’s just no other way to describe this guy.  Nothing he told me about himself was true – not his age, not his looks, not his marital status, not his motive.  Nothing.  I went to the restaurant to meet him – mercifully at lunch, so I had my job as an excuse to flee the premises as quickly as possible – only to find a man in his early seventies rather than his mid-forties.  Nor was he interested in maintaining any sort of pretense once he had me at the table with him.  He was very straight-forward, I have to give him that.

It was the only thing he was getting.

Because he looked me dead in the eye and announced he and a very close friend (who was the same age) were interested in the occasional-yet-regular threesome with a young, attractive woman.  They were prepared to pay handsomely.  I was prepared to run like my life depended upon it.

And I did.

I don’t want you to get me wrong – I had a blast during the 18 months I dated via the internet and met a couple of really great guys.  Most people out there are just who they say they are – perfectly normal individuals with varied interests and lifestyles.  I really believe you can meet the person of your dreams that way.

I also know I’m not the only person out there with blind date horror stories.  What’s yours?

RTT: The Naked Truth

Random Tuesday Thoughts

I’ve been attempting to eat more healthily and reacquaint myself with the treadmill in the basement lately.  I’d gone several days without any sugar or alcohol when, convinced by my friend Elaine that red wine will actually help me lose weight, I pulled out my trusty corkscrew and began cutting the foil off a very nice bottle of petit syrah…only to find more foil underneath.

If one were to believe in omens or other supernatural messages from beyond, one might consider this a slight hint that we should put the glass and aerator away and save the bottle of ruby-red happiness for another day.

Fortunately, we are not superstitious.  It was delicious.

~~~~~~

Yet another instant message dialogue between me and Oldest Son:

Me:  Hang on a sec – I’m on the phone with Beloved.  He’s carrying on over the whole 2012 thing.

Oldest Son:  LOL – oh, God.

Me:  Apparently I need to stock the basement with Spam.

Oldest Son:  You don’t have any left over from the Y2K scare?

Me:  No, no – we were hoarding batteries for that one.

~~~~~~

The Young One was reading over my shoulder, as he is wont to do (and I am wont to remind him how RUDE that is), when he saw my post about bungee jumping.

“YOU’VE been bungee jumping?” he asked, absolutely incredulous.

“Yes, I have,” I answered.

“YOU,” he repeated.

“Yes.”

Bungee jumping.”

“YES.”

“My mother has been bungee jumping.”

“For crying out loud – is it THAT hard to believe?”

“Well, duh,” he said, giving me a look that said I’ve lost my mind.

I guess it’s that hard to believe.

~~~~~~

A couple of Saturdays ago, my inlaws came over to visit and have dinner.  That morning, as I was picking over a pound of Great Northern beans for the baked beans I was making for dinner, The Young One was standing there with me, talking.  He turned to leave when Beloved came striding into the kitchen, naked as the day he was born, to get a cup of coffee.  (In his defense, The Young One is not usually downstairs that early on a Saturday morning.)

The Young One immediately screeched, whirled around and covered his eyes.  Beloved took his time getting his coffee, and I just laughed.

“Young One, you’re overreacting a bit, don’t you think?”

“But he’s NAKED!!” he wailed.

I laughed.  “So are you underneath your clothes.”

“Yeah, but at least I’ve GOT my clothes on!  All he’s wearing is his dignity.”

I looked at him with my eyebrows raised.  Before I could say anything, he said, “Okay, never mind. His pride, then.”

~~~~~~

A little bit later, Beloved had gone to Home Depot (fully clothed), The Young One was vacuuming the floors (one of his Saturday chores) and I was in our bedroom getting ready to take a shower.  Just as I had removed ALL of my clothes, The Young One came barreling through our door with the vacuum cleaner.

Repeat reaction.

“You should have knocked!” I said, laughing.

“I did!” he insisted.

“Well, knock louder next time.”  I went into the bathroom and shut the door.  “Now, you can come in and vacuum – just don’t come into the bathroom.”

Then I heard him muttering, as he plugged the vacuum in, “Swell – now all I need is to see Grandma and Grandpa naked.”

~~~~~~

For more randomness and Tuesdayness, go visit The Un-Mom.  Go ahead.  She won’t bite.  She might get naked, but she won’t bite.

The Bookcases Are Coming! The Bookcases Are Coming!

One if by land.  Two if by sea.  We’re getting four.

They must coming via hot air balloon.

Okay, lame attempt at humor aside, Saturday we were planning out the rest of our extended weekend which was supposed to include lots of gardening, when we got a call asking if someone would be home this Friday to receive delivery of our new bookcases.   Beloved will be out of town, so I’ll have to be at home when they come.

I’m just devastated.

At any rate, that meant our gardening plans had to be postponed (again, I’m just devastated) so we could take the old bookcases down to the basement to make room for the new ones, which are considerably larger and taller than our old, cheap ones.  Which means we had to do something with all of the books on the old bookshelves.  If you’re going, “So?” you simply don’t understand how many books we have.

Allow me to illustrate.  Oh, and I apologize for the poor picture quality; I cannot find the charger for my camera, so these were taken with my phone.

Non-fiction

This is just the non-fiction, folks, stacked along one side of our dining room.  By genre, no less – reference books, books on economics, books on economic theory, books on American history, constitutional history, world history, medieval history.  We have your general science, anatomy, physics, quantum physics, anthropology, paleoanthropology; there is politics, philosophy and a section devoted to fun pastimes – card games, word games and having babies.  (How the hell did that get there?!?)  There is sociology, biology, and geology.  Down at the end of the rows is an anachronistic stack of the classic hardbacks we picked up the last time we were at Half Price Books up in Cleveland.

Fiction 1

This is a little less than half of the fiction.  For some reason Beloved stacked my collection of autobiographies in this section (?) and in the foreground is my small collection of graphic novels, mostly Batman and Wolverine, since they’re my favorite comic book characters (we won’t go into my disappointment about the new Wolverine movie being universally panned right now).

Fiction 2

This is more of the fiction – a lot of this is Robert B. Parker, Stephen King and Anya Seton.  Yes, I’m fully aware of how weird I am.

Fiction 3

This is what is remaining of the fiction, hurled placed on an old shelf in the guest room upstairs by The Young One.  It’s mostly mindless paperbacks – fantasy, science fiction, the few romances I own and duplicates of books collected by both Beloved and myself.  On the left is a pile of clothes waiting to go to Goodwill and on the left is Darling Daughter’s Barbie collection, along with a few Madam Alexander dolls I bought for Miss Jacki when she was much younger.  Yes, the walls are really that hideous shade of purple.  It was that color when we bought the house and I just haven’t gotten around to painting it yet because I don’t go in there very often.  It’s one of those “out of sight, out of mind” things.

Of course, once we got the shelves down in the basement, I saw how filthy the carpet, heating grates and walls were back there, so we spent a good amount of time cleaning.  Now Beloved is pestering me to paint at least that wall of the family room since it’s bare this afternoon, so I guess I’ll head on out to Home Depot and look at paint colors.  While I’m there, I’ll also look at paint for the dining room, since we’ve been wanting to paint below the chair rails ever since we got the new furniture in there.  Oh, the joys of home ownership.

Once we’ve got the bookshelves up and filled again next weekend – although how we’ll fit them all on the new shelves,  as big as they are, I don’t know – I’ll take more pictures and post them.

Hope you’re having a lovely holiday weekend, y’all.