Archive for the ‘Random Tuesday Thoughts’ Category

Random Tuesday Thoughts with Dorie #26: Perfect Party Cake

June 30, 2009


Is it possible that bananas now taste less banana-y?   The last three times I’ve made banana bread (with three different recipes) I’ve used overly ripe bananas, yet my banana bread has lacked a strong banana flavor.  

Is it weird that I don’t really like bananas but I like bananas in baked goods?   I think it’s a textural thing.  Raw bananas make me gag.

I have been watching “True Blood” on DVD.   I think my favorite part is the song at the beginning.   Same with the “Sopranos.”  I love the opening as much as the show.

Did you know “rhubarb” is not just a disgusting stalk that pollutes one’s strawberry pie?  It also means “a heated dispute; brawl.”   I’m dying to use it in a sentence.

Because I’m a big dork. 

Congrats to my friends C. and J.   They announced their engagement at a party Saturday night.   I’m so excited for both of them and wish them a joyful union.  (Hmm.. that sounds kind of dirty.)  RR is thrilled because after their first date she called “guest book!” for their wedding.  I wish I had called dibs on some cool nuptial duty.  (Hmmm… nuptial duty also sounds dirty.) 

And, finally, this week’s TWD recipe,  the Perfect Party Cake was chosen by Carol of mix, mix… stir, stir.   I made the cake last night.   It went well, other than a fundamental error in which the baker (me) did not fully read the recipe, got to the part where it said “add the extract,” glanced to see the amount, and realized, OOOOPPPS, lemon extract, NOT vanilla.   Unfortunately, I didn’t have any lemon extract on hand.    So my cake will be less lemon-y than desired.  I wish I would have been a little less flustered by this and thought to quickly zest another lemon.  

Oh, well, I’m sure it’ll still be delicious.  But I won’t know until next weekend.   I made the executive decision to freeze the cake layers after they cooled and I will defrost them on Friday to decorate for our Fourth of July dessert.  My plan is to coat the layers in some type of red preserves (strawberry or raspberry, most likely), then fill with sweetened whipped cream and frost the outside with the recipe’s buttercream frosting and cover the top with red and blue berries for a patriotic theme.  Sort of an upscale version of the Kraft recipe that’s featured in magazines this time of year:



 The additional benefit of waiting to assemble and frost this cake is that I can read all the other TWD posts and get great tips/ideas to make my Perfect Party Cake even more perfect!  (Yes, I know, “perfect” is an absolute, much like “unique” that really shouldn’t have a qualifier, but I couldn’t help it.)


Random Tuesday Thoughts

May 12, 2009


Serving breakfast to Reagan and her friends, one said “I love donuts.”  I responded, “I love college.”

But I loathe the song “Hate my Life;”  it begins:

“So sick of the hobos always begging for change
I don’t like how I gotta work and
And they just sit around and get paid”

Yes, because homeless people are living the high life.

Someone found my blog by googling “fetish fish crush.”  Which is putting all sorts of unsavory images in my head.

My husband ATE my Mother’s Day cake.  ON SATURDAY NIGHT.   We sampled it Friday and gave some to the neighbors, but I had set aside three pieces for the holiday, one for him, one for me, and one for my mom.  (Since the kids only like chocolaty desserts.)

I was understandably upset and he offered to make a replacement.  I think he thought I would say “No, thanks.”  But I said “Yes!”  Thus he was up at 7 am on Sunday making this cake.  My husband can cook, but he’s not a baker.  Not really fond of recipes, (because, you know, he’s a man, and recipes are dangerously close to DIRECTIONS) but he did a great job and his cake was perfect.

Joking about a local destination for gay trysts (which my friend’s husband stumbled upon by accident) I found “the line.” 

That shouldn’t be crossed in humor.  Is joking about your teen son getting a part-time summer  job as an under-aged gay hooker really worse than a dead baby joke?

Speaking of my son, he made me a Mother’s Day card.  Sweet or cheap?   Definitely cheap and not really sweet, as it said:

Front cover:   “You’re the best mom…”

Inside:  “…I’ve ever had….”

Back:  “…So far.”

Then Reagan made me a card that said that I am her “third favorite parent.”   Chris thought that meant he was both her first and second fave, but I would hazard a guess that he’s fourth and numbers one and two might be the computer and the TV.

My daughter was really grumpy this morning then called me after school and acted totally normal.   When I mentioned her earlier behavior, she responded, “Well, I was tired.  I had stayed up really late last night reading.”    I think that’s a little like saying, “Sorry I forgot the lemons, but I was busy bangin’ a hooker.”

For more *hooker talk (underage or otherwise), you should visit Keely at the Un-mom

*Okay, I’m lying, I have no idea what Keely wrote about this week, but it’s bound to be entertaining, so check her out!

Random Tuesday Thoughts

May 5, 2009


Driving behind a group of 8th graders riding in the short bus,  I noticed there was a spot on the front of my shirt.  I really hope the desperate attempt to spit wash the front of my shirt didn’t appear in a totally other light to the scholasthletes.

Scholastic bowl questions cover a wide variety of topics: math, science, English, spelling, geography and popular culture.  I think some of the questions are easier for the middle schoolers, like math questions (since they are currently taking algebra) but some are easier for the parents.   For example, “What is the correct way  to roll a doobie? Please list all four steps.”   Or, “Name the standard mores involved in attending a key party.”

It freaks me out is that in every photo that I have in which I look like crap, I probably thought I looked okay at the time.   So, I’m looking at myself right now, thinking “hmm,  I look okay,” but how can  I be sure?

Sunday I babysat my two nieces,  J. is nine and A. is four.    We drove by a cemetery and they had the following conversation:

J:   “There are flowers and dead people there (pointing).”

A:   “Dead people?”

J:   “Yeah, Dead People are the BEST people!  But you are too young to be dead.”


J:  “Oh, yah, no, you’re not.”

Kids, they both creep me out and crack me up.

Saturday night I drove Taylor and some of his friends to see the new Wolverine movie.  Taylor’s good friend B. will soon be getting his driver’s license.  In Taylor’s words “Mom, in two weeks, we won’t need you anymore.” 

So I guess he thinks B. is not only going to be driving him around, but also making him dinner?  Buying his poptarts, and cleaning up after him when he upchucks?    It’s not sounding like such a bad deal for me.

BTW, they said the movie was not very good.   Surprising, since pleasing teenage boys usually just requires shit being blown up, it doesn’t seem like that exacting of a movie making science.

Is it good or bad that I’ve stopped caring about my butt being big?

Yesterday I was listening to the last episode of “The Celebrity Apprentice” while doing some filing.   I just about dropped the travel file when Donald Trump mentioned that “Chicken of the Sea” tuna is one of his favorite products.   Yes, because Donald Trump is totally sitting around and eating tuna from a CAN.

Thanks to Keely at the Un-Mom for hosting “Random Tuesday Thoughts.”  It’s becoming my favorite day of the week!

Random Tuesday Thoughts

April 28, 2009


I wonder if my work, a small office between two halves of one restaurant, should be concerned that yesterday our landlady was locked out of all three entrances to her business.   Doesn’t that seem odd?

Have you ever disliked someone on sight?  And then he/she spoke and confirmed your instant enmity?   Obviously, I have, and her name wasn’t even Cindy.   I attended a work training last weekend and another attendee looked at me and said “Do you even speak Spanish?” in a very snotty tone.  (I work for an agency that provides services to migrant families that tend to be Hispanic, but my role is paperwork, not client services)   I really wanted to say “Just because I’m a blond haired, blue-eyed gringo doesn’t mean that I don’t speak Spanish!”  But, alas, she was right.  However, as my co-worker Mari said “Jennifer does really well!   She reads it and understands a lot.”  (Enough to be silently swearing in Spanish during this whole interaction!)  

I’m training to run (and by “run” I mean, “maintain the motion of running” because my “running” isn’t at a speed that ANYONE else would consider a “run” much less a jog!) a four mile race.  Unfortunately, my bladder is not enjoying the exercise and it seems, no matter what the distance, I have to pee horribly the last 1/2 a mile. 

Taylor and I went on a hike yesterday.  We had fun, other than, you know, the walking, the heat, the hills, and the COMPLAINING by a certain someone about the walking, heat and hills.

I joined another blogging recipe group, called “Sweet Melissa Sundays” and have yet to post.  I actually made the recipe this time, then my husband gave the cookies away before I could photograph them.   (Plus I’m lazy, especially on Sundays.)

Let’s say you have a drunk off her ass family member and she leaves a (negative) comment on your blog that she thinks makes sense but that actually brings the crazy, do you follow your normal rule of posting all comments (that aren’t spam) or do you remove it?

My bff IM’d me about having PMS and being sad about her (teenage) son’s upcoming band trip; she wishes they could afford for the whole family to go.   My sage wisdom “Well, he probably wouldn’t want you to go anyway.”   Yep, I’m sensitive like that.

Of course, if you are interested in more (better quality) random thoughts please visit Keely at the Un-mom.

Random Tuesday Thoughts

April 21, 2009


My husband walked into our bedroom this morning and said “Good morning!”   (I hate morning people!) and I muttered “hi.”   He responded, “did you just say ‘hi’ or did you ignore me?”   I huffily replied,  “Um, I said ‘Hi’ why would you just assume I’d be grumpy and ignore you!?”   

Yes, I’m easy to live with.

Yesterday I went hiking with friends.  Who’s more annoying, do you think, the (nottoo) fast walker or the “OMG, you would never have survived the Great Molasses Flood of 1919!” slow walker?  I won’t bias your response by letting you know which group I fall into.

Did you know that all the BEST conversations start with “My husband would KILL ME if he knew I was telling you this….”   And end with “So you can’t tell anyone.”  

Have no fear, my lips are zipped.

Monday my son didn’t arrive home from school at his normal time, very uncommon for him, so I called the school and they tracked him down.  He was at a driver’s ed lesson (his last two had been cancelled,  so he was at a make-up session.)   A bit later I ran to pick him up and also gave his driver’s ed partner a ride home.   Taylor was a bit embarrassed and said “I can’t believe you called the school!”   I responded that I was worried that he “might have been kidnapped” and Taylor turned to his friend and said “See!  I knew she thought I was kidnapped!”  Then he turned to me and said “Mom, I’m a 15 year old boy.  How would anyone kidnap me?”

He’s a little over confident, I fear.

I pointed out it would be quite easy for:

a man with a gun

a midget with a spork

a kitten with toenail clippers

a toddler with a toothpick

a quadraplegic with looks that could kill

or a mongoose with a stale muffin

to kidnap him.

He really didn’t find me funny.  Who knew a fifteen year old boy with a burgeoning mustache would be so sensitive about his manliness?

My daughter, on the otherhand, is looking quite womanly and now has officially outgrown her mother, boob-wise.  Not that it was a difficult feat to accomplish. 

Playing charades, how does one pantomime “My Funny Valentine?”   Seriously?!  My teamates guessed “Cougar stuffing a ballot box.”

Last year, when my son graduated from middle school my husband took him to TJ Maxx.  He got a pair of dress pants, a shirt, tie and dress shoes.  I think it took them about half an hour.   This Sunday I took my daughter shopping for a graudation dress.   It took five hours.   We had six arguments AND it’s not over yet.   We still have to shop for undergarments and jewelry and she needs to get her hair and nails done.   

Tip:  NEVER take your teenage daughter shopping while hungover.  

Does anyone know if it’s “The Un Mom,”  “The UnMom,” or The Un-Mom?”  I guess I should ask Keely, who, BTW, would love a visit to her Random Tuesday Thoughts.      

Random Tuesday Thoughts

April 14, 2009

You know how every office has an office dipshit?   In my office it’s me.

First, I forgot to replace the toilet paper roll after using the last of it, and my co-worker had to wipe with a paper towel.   She said “At least we have nice ones.  Not scratchy.”

Friday I committed this IM snafu:

Jennifer: I spent literally over 20 min online earlier with R+E 

Jennifer: trying to convince her that 11:30 til 4:00 really is 4 1/2 hours not 5  1/2 like she thought
R+E: ok

Then I realized,Holy Shit!  I meant to bitch to my friend MarySue, not to R+E herself, so now comes the wiley backtracking:    

Jennifer:  But it worked out!
Jennifer: Wasn’t it N. (R+E’s co-worker) who thought so?
Jennifer: really?

Jennifer:  M. said you agreed with her right away! (I had my co-worker M. call her and tell her that  “Jennifer está correcta”)  So I figured you must have agreed with me!
R+E: ok
Jennifer: No big deal!

Jennifer:  I’m glad it is correct now
Jennifer: I think we have the most confusing time sheets ever!

R+E: ok

All day I worried that I offended R+E.   Shit.   Because I really, really like her.   She’s super sweet and funny, just not so good at the maths.    And, maybe, the English.   Because no matter what I asked her, for example, ‘What time will you send H.’s time sheet?” she responded “ok.”  

One of our administrators in Chicago, L., called me the other day and said, “Now that you have been a full time employee for two years, you qaulify for our 304b retirement plan.”       

Me: “Um, wait a minute!  I have been employed here for four years not two!”

L.: “But only full time for two?”


(I was maybe getting a bit testy.)

L.  “Oh, well, you can enroll in the plan now; I’m sending you the paperwork.”

Me:  “Wait,  no one has ever mentioned to me that a retirement plan even exists.   It’s not mentioned in our manual and wasn’t mentioned as a possible future benefit when I was hired.   No one informed me about it TWO YEARS AGO WHEN I REACHED THE 2 YEAR POINT!!!”

L:  “Well, we don’t really have a personnel department.”

I don’t know if my anger is justified, if I’m overreacting or what. I love, love, love my job, but have  seriously considered looking for a new one specifically because this one (I thought) lacked a retirement plan and I’m getting too damn old to not have one.  (And, yes, I could open a ROTH IRA, etc.. but, honestly, I am LAZY and UNDISCIPLINED, plus I want matching contributions, LOL.)

Doesn’t the fact that L. is calling me about this now (2 YEARS LATE!) kind of indicate that this is a part of her job?  

I guess I should concentrate on the glass half full aspect, that we actually do have a retirement plan.  Now I just have to hope we continue to receive federal funding, because no funding equals no job for moi. 

My daughter had a friend, Taylor, over this weekend.  Taylor walked in and said “Hi, Mrs. Wood.  If you weren’t married to Mr. Wood, would you date a black guy?”   “Yes, Taylor, I would date anyone that was nice and respectful and a good person.”  (Yah, I left off that fact that he’d have to also bring the hotness and be visually impaired so he wouldn’t notice my cellulite.)  “Why do you ask?”  “Well, I was dating this black guy and he was normal, not a thug or anything, but some of the AC (Apostolic Christian) women found out and they told my mom that they would ‘pray for me,’ since I’m ‘dating a black guy,’ so my parents made me break up with him.”

Oy.   This is one of those tricky situations, as I don’t believe in criticizing other people’s parenting decisions, couldn’t be sure how accurate the story was (did her parents make her break up with him because the boy is black, or because she lied about dating him or wasn’t supposed to be dating at all? etc..) but I also wouldn’t be totally surprised if it was a matter of racism, either, which I find abhorrent.

I kept my comments general and spoke to Taylor and my daugther and said something like, “Well, I believe that parents make the rules about dating and,  as a child you have to respect those rules, even if you disagree.   In our family the dating rules are based on age appropriateness and safety, not upon race. ”

And while that was an acceptable answer, part of me, the rebellious teenager part, felt like giving her tips on dating on the down low.   Another part of me wanted to totally lambaste her parent’s narrow mindedness.

I bought some of that YoPlus digestive yogurt because I had a dollar off coupon.   I don’t suffer from any, um, digestive issues (to be discreet, because, yah, that’s my strong point, subtlety)  so now I’m worried that if it’s supposed to prevent constipation what will it do to someone that doesn’t suffer from it?   I’m a little afraid.  (But it was cheap.)  

My thirteen year old nephew frequently asks questions on Yahoo! Answers,  usually about his psychic abilities or video games.   Today I noticed he had asked this:

“How do you draw Furries?
I can’t draw well, and i like to draw Furies NOT PORNOGRAPGHY do you know any good sites/books i could look at?”
I’m a little afraid about the answers he will get, despite his insistence about “NOT PORNOGRAPGHY” (sic).
How does a thirteen year old know about Furries, btw?   (I’m feeling so old!)
While I ponder that, for more Random Tuesday action, please visit Keely at the Un Mom.    

Random Tuesday Thoughts

April 7, 2009


Has anyone else noticed that baby carrots keep getting bigger and bigger?  They really should be renamed big-ass toddler carrots. 

I am beginning to think I hate Cindys.  “Cindy’s what?” you might be thinking, but I am referring to anyone/everyone named Cindy.   That might sound harsh, and an odd prejudice, but think, honestly, when was the last time you met a Cindy that you liked?    (Of course, Cindy, if you are reading this I don’t mean you!)

Taylor, my fifteen-year-old boy, was talking about his love of  Rubik’s cubes (he can solve one in about a minute, no matter how much you mix it up) and Halo 3 and chess and how it’s, oh, “not dorky at all.”   I told him that I think he’ll be like our good friend Coyote, a late bloomer, and go to college, get a good job (I didn’t mention that Coyote is currently unemployed, LOL), work hard and, once he’s a catch and all the girls want him, he’ll marry a nice girl like Lemur.  

Taylor’s response:  “Lemur’s NOT a nice girl.”

(How does he know about her anal sex fetish?)

(Just joking Lemur!)

Me:  “Taylor?!”

Taylor:  “She’s a GROWN-UP!”

Apparently he misunderstood and thought I was advocating him dating a thirty-year old?  Dude, only if she’s really hot! 

Speaking of Lemur, we ran a race on Saturday.  And by “run” I mean, “got beat by a 70-year-old man wearing khaki’s and a dress shirt, who was walking with his five year old granddaughter.”

Lemur and I are also doing the moonwalk.  Not that moonwalk. moonwalk  But an actual walk to and from the moon.  Wait, not “actual” as in “really walking to the moon” but as in an event in which you walk the distance to the moon and back.   Not having read the details, I asked Reagan “How many miles do you think it is to the moon?”   She said “maybe 100?  Hmm… I think it’s farther than that.  “Maybe 300 miles?”

Chris googled it and said it’s about 240,000 miles one way.  Rea and I were WAYYY off.  Panic set in.  That’s a lot of miles over a ten week period. Luckily, it turns out that our whole team combines mileage to equal the distance.  Whew.  Thank goodness I don’t have to walk  6,857.14 miles per day!   

The other day Rea and her friends were talking about religion.  One is Catholic, one is atheist, another Methodist and so on.  Til they got to Jessie, who said “I’m Mexican.”   Rea said, “um, that’s not a religion.”  He insisted that he is Mexican AND that is his religion.    Rea told me this whole tale, how she insisted it was NOT his religion, but then asked me “It’s not really a religion, is it?”

Hope that was random enough for you’all, and please take the time to visit Keely at The Un Mom for more Random Tuesday Thoughts.

Random Tuesday Thoughts

March 31, 2009


My coworker, Hottie Scottie, just called me and said “B. and I were talking and we decided to extend an invitation to you…”

Great start.  Unfortunately it wasn’t to a fabulous soiree, but to a work training. 

Being held on a Saturday.  Maybe “extend an invitation to you” should have been rephrased “Demand your presence…”  or “Ruin your weekend?”

I hate, hate, hate those stupid “” commercials.  They begin with the scenario of a woman calling and interviewing a babysitter;  she’s on the phone with one candidate and says, horrified, “Is that contagious?” 

Is it really appropriate to ask someone about a medical condition?  And is it kind to be freaked out by it? 

I volunteered at my daughter’s Scholastic Bowl tournament on Saturday;  wow, those kids are smart!  But one answer cracked me up; our team was asked to name the currency of five foreign countries, for the two that were Latin American they guessed “Pedros.”  (Honestly, I do give them credit for at least knowing the countries were likely to be Spanish-speaking.) 

However, I couldn’t help but laugh, picturing  poor Pedro being traded for goods and services.  

(Okay, now that I re-read that scenario it sounds, um, not so funny!)

The Aldi’s that I shop at has a printed out sign that says something like:

“No hoods, hats, or face masks allowed within the store.  Please remove upon entry.”

So I guess they are anti-Zorro-ites.   I really, really want to add “capes” to the list.

Tonight I have high school orientation for my daughter.   I’m freaking out, just a little.  My kids are only a year apart, and when Reagan was a baby we didn’t know we wouldn’t have anymore.   I think I’m starting to suffer from anticipatory empty nest syndrome.  I guess I’ll  just keep on hoping my kids are big losers and end up delivering pizzas and living in my basement.  

Reagan came in my room the other day and said “I think Old Guy Phil called me a ‘Ho’!  I was running with my headphones on and he passed me on his bike and he said, I think, ‘Ho!'”  

Maybe he yelled “wayward ho!?”

Or maybe, like me, he has names for everybody in town, but his are all antipodean, like calling the one armed man, ‘Lefty,’  Reagan is ‘Ho,’  Taylor is ‘Chatty,’  Chris is ‘Sir Hairy Head Shornback’ and I’m “Smallbutt McNoBackFat.”

Updated to add:  I  was quoted onblogtations, woot!  Woot!

I’m outtie, but please take time to visit Keely, aka The Un-Mom, for more RTT fun.

Random Tuesday Thoughts

March 24, 2009


My  daughter is grounded, and it’s way worse on me then on her, I do believe.  Why do I feel so bad that she feels bad when I know she should feel bad for screwing up?  Anyway, grounded from TV, the phone and video games, she is pretty bored and is spending all her time baking.   And making marshmallow fondant, which I find inexplicably irresistible.   I may have to unground her just to save my waistline.

Is my asthma inhaler supposed to have similar affects to those good old fashioned whip-its! my friends (you know who you are!) and I used to purchase and huff?   Because it does.   But maybe I’m doing it wrong? 

Sunday I went hiking with my friends Lemur, Coyote and MarySue.  Coyote and MarySue were rock/fossil/Native American artifact-hunting while Lemur and I huffed and puffed our way up and down a couple of hills.  After rejoining the searchers we were chatting about blood pressure and Lemur said “I hate having my blood pressure taken, almost worse than anything.”

My response:  “Worse than anal sex?”

I am sure Lemur’s husband, the aforementioned Coyote, thinks I’m a big fat weirdo.

Plus, thinking about this later in the evening I got really paranoid.   What if Lemur and Coyote had recently had an anal sex escapade and enjoyed it?   And now Coyote is worried that Lemur lied about her level of satisfaction?   Or what if they had and then sworn each other to secrecy and now Coyote thinks she broke their vow of silence?   Or what if they haven’t and now he thinks she cheated on him?

Mind you, this was right after I had told them all this story. 

On our hike we also discussed my irrational fear of serial killers/rapists in the woods.  I don’t worry about getting mugged/raped/killed on dark city streets, but there’s something about being surrounded by nature that makes me fretful.  MarySue and Lemur conceded that it freaked them out, too, making me feel slightly less like an anxiety-ridden crackpot.  Shortly later we overtook and attempted to pass a lone woman walking on the trail.  MarySue was in the lead, said “excuse me” and went to pass, accidentally bumping into the woman, who fell over.  She was wearing headphones!  Is that not crazy?  I really wanted to tell her, “You know, with headphones on you really have no chance of escaping the hiking serial killer rapist.”         

In this whole “going back to school” process I’ve found out that there are some weird scholarship opportunities out there.   One requires that you write an essay in the form of a letter to your state representative expounding upon the merits of Zero Population Growth.   Another requires a 7,500 word paper on the history of cartography.     (The ZPG one I’m applying for, the cartography one, I think not, that’s a longass paper!)   I’m also applying for a scholarship through the Chicago Urban League.   Interestingly that one requires a photo ID but doesn’t require that I live in either Chicago or an urban area.     Another requires proof of anal copulation.   (Okay, not really.)

If you have a chance, please drop by and visit Keely of  “The Un Mom.”  While you’re there, please beg her not to kick me out of Random Tuesday Thoughts for my depravity.