Friday, July 29, 2005

Worm and Strawberry Compote

Well saints be praised, sing ye damn chorus of heavenly host and break out the bourbon, Gwendolyn (pictured to the left) finally ate. All the grotesque red wiggler earthworms I so carefully picked out of their dirt and rinsed off in the pasta colander last night for her were gone this morning. I couldn't find them anywhere, so I know that they just didn't wriggle out of their little realistic rock-like dish and vanish under the repti-carpet.

For three freaking weeks, this little shit has given me ulcers by refusing to eat even those foods that turtle experts swore were "completely irresistable and sure to please even the pickiest eater!" Fuckers. I had to pick through half dead, stinky waxworms, mix strawberries and dog food and buy the most expensive lean ground beef in the store (that was covered in tiny white bugs after being in her cage for a half hour) and she still wouldn't eat a damn bit of it (not that I blame her about the raw beef). I soaked her in warm (not hot) water, took her into the sun, gave her dirt (the recommended mixture of Repti-Bark and sterile, organic potting soil) in which to bury herself, took a heat lamp from the snakes (poor babies), broke flowerpots to make a hide....everything the INTERNET and my book from the good people at The Herpetological Library told me to do .

So, after all this and still no mangiare, I took her to the vet. Supposedly, even though I fastidiously followed bit of advice on how to basically create South Carolina in a box, it turns out that our meticulously constructed Rubbermaid Bin of Happiness was a festering death trap, or so the vet told me. And then I paid her $50. I was a little indignant, however. I mean, we rescued this little poop from a third grade classroom, where she had lived her life in a TEN GALLON AQUARIUM! That's the tenth level of hell if ever there was one. We took her in to have her beak and claws trimmed as they were horrifically overgrown and gave her a heater AND EVERYTHING, and still, we were obviously evil hacks trying to give our little crunchy racoon snack a hearty case of shell rot. Sigh. So, we did everything the vet said and she finally ate the vilest food we could give her. As long as I don't have to raise maggots, though, I'm grateful. That was next on the list. What a girl who can't have mammals will do.

We had another momentous pet occasion this week when we acquired Constanze (a name of my thinking), a nine-month-old Pacific Parrotlet, and a cuter little wielder of beak-related injuries you could never find. Now, I'm a total sucker for exotics and will probably end up being eaten by a reticulated python I rescued from someones basement, but I can't stand the idea of a little thing like 'Stanze in the hands of some hack who will feed her only seed and cause her to pluck out all of her feathers. I'm now, of course, going to spend several hundred of our hard earned dollars on a new cage, new toys, etc. because anything that's in my house has to look like either furniture or other pleasing objet d'art. I don't want some crappy wire cage ruining my aesthetic. This is the cage of my dreams:

$900 is a bit steep, however.

'Stanze is a bit of a snot at this point, but I will train this little green ball of fury if it kills me. She bites and is terrified senseless if I try to pick her up, but once in my hand she'll roll her head over to allow me to scratch her neck. It just about gave me a stroke for the cuteness the first time I saw it. I want a pet that has a higher brain function than a grape, dammit, so she will learn to hop on my pink finger when I put it in her cage. I mean, I love me my herps, but God, are they stupid; sweet, but dumb, like so many people I've known. This bird carries all of my hopes for pet-given companionship. Poor little thing. I shall shop tonight and she shall be speaking by Monday, so help me.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Would you like a pastry with that?

Very rarely do I want to meet anyone whom I particularly admire. I usually ascribe superhuman virtue and wit to these individuals and I NEED their lives to be prettier and shinier than mine, otherwise, what's the point in loving them? I don't want to know that they occasionally have really horrific fights with their spouses, miss the toilet when they pee (for the men, obviously) or shop at Walmart. There have been a couple of exceptions, namely Jeff Goldblum, for whom I have set aside my standard of worshipful but strictly distant adoration because I was just so damn lustful (and my God, Jeff Goldblum was worth it). But, when I saw that Jasper Fforde, the author of some of the funniest books EVER written, namely The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots and Something Rotten,

had a new book out based on a previously unpublishable novel of his very own and he was launching his book tour IN SEATTLE at the UW Bookstore, I HAD to go see if anyone could be as perfectly and hysterically bibliophilic and UKish as his books are. I mean, my God, a cheese tax? Grammasites? And what a fabulous goofwad he is-an obvious Oxbridge product with the poshest accent next to the Queen who is alarmingly familiar with the murder rate at Oxford.

As his new novel (like the Thursday Next series) is a crime comedy, he had a grand time abusing other crime writers for their crusty conventions (such as the tendency to make the villian an albino, which I had NEVER HEARD of before, but my friend Molly who happened to be there, too, has the albinism gene (!) and she thanked him for sticking up for her peeps) and shared, at length, his efforts to first be published with the book he was promoting. He admitted, however, that the book in its rejected form was not the same book now available for purchase and that, when he revisited the novel after being asked by his publisher to produce something else, anything else as he was now the most fabulous thing since Salman Rushdie, he found it was not the "shining literary masterpiece" he had thought it to be ten years ago when he wrote it, and it had to be pretty much completely rewritten.

When the topic wasn't his new book, he talked a great deal about his favorite pasttimes, including making up new words, a la Shakespeare. He lives in Wales and describes the winters in his home town as "being a bit like living in shadows." So, he spends most of his time "scribernating". His teenage son talks in "mumblegrunt". His kids, and I imagine especially his teenage son, have no idea how lucky they are to have him as a father. He invented the best game EVER to play with them, "Find the superfluous (or absent) apostrophe." When out walking with his family, he'll stop when he sees a word with an unnecessary, misplaced or missing apostrophe, and then his kids have to FIND THE WORD! So cool.

He also described a game to us that I shall now play every time I get coffee. He calls it the Starbucks Challenge. The game doesn't have to be played only at Starbucks, of course, he said, but due to the ubiquitous nature of their stores, it makes sense to use their name. So, here's how the game is played:

When ordering your beverage , you have to place the order in such a way that the clerk cannot ask you any questions back. I shall now always order my drink this way:

"I would like a tall, non-fat, no foam caramel latte with no whipped cream, a cardboard sleeve, double-cupped and no pastry, sandwich or sale item."

The main problem with this game is that Mr. Fforde is convinced that the Starbucks folks are on to it, and will start asking completely unforseeable questions, such as, "Would you like your sandwich pressed in our new panini machine we just got today." They're tricky, those Starbucks bastards.

He also believes that we should ban Shakespeare. It would be the only way, he said, of getting teenagers to read it.

I can now worship from close up.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Curdled Cream

I invest way too much of myself personally when I cook. I can't make a pie crust and it makes me feel like a failure as a woman. My sister makes a perfect pie crust, and she doesn't even have a pastry blender. She uses two knives to cut in her butter. I mean, my God, I have a pastry blender, a Cuisinart and a KitchenAid mixer and my pie crusts STILL are terrible-oily and heavy and not flaky AT ALL. My mom can't make a pie crust either. It's very traumatic for the two of us and we have spent many hours discussing our pie crust incompetency. Should we use vinegar? Does cold water really keep the crust together better than warm? It's a bit pathetic.

I usually make a killer custard. I made myself cry with the fabulousness of the coconut custard I made for Christian's birthday cake, which is why I was so devasted yesterday when I ruined the vanilla custard I was making for a raspberry trifle. The little fucker separated and I had to run to the store and buy a dozen more eggs and a whole quart of heavy cream. I can't blame myself too much, though, as I think the cream I used for the first custard had curdled, at least slightly. But then I managed to poorly whip the cream for the top of the trifle and it separated. Why? Are my utensils not clean enough? Should I have not used a metal bowl? Did the alcohol in the vanilla damage the protein in the cream? Was there water in the bowl? WHY OH WHY!!!!

It kept me up all night.


My husband works with our neighbor, who is his best friend and college roommate. They commute together and sit at desks in the same room. Now, they have access to Instant Messenger, because turning around to speak is just too much work.


Chris Mowrer says:Hi Christian!
Chris Mowrer says:Are you there?
Chris Mowrer says:Why won't you answer me?
Chris Mowrer says:Are you mad at me?
Chris Mowrer says:What have I done to incur your wrath?
Chris Mowrer says:I'll go kill myself immediately
Chris Mowrer says:unless of course you respond
Chris Mowrer says:soon
Christian says:dude! Calm down!
Chris Mowrer says:Oh thank god...I thought you were dead
Chris Mowrer says:but you aren't
Chris Mowrer says:and I'm happy
Christian says: dude!
Chris Mowrer says:later
Chris Mowrer says:flooby
Chris Mowrer says:geewhaaa
Christian says:you are insane
Chris Mowrer says:Yep...
Christian says:Just turn around and talk to me for god's sake.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Too many damn things

My right pinkie is so flarking itchy. My eczema has taken it over like a guerilla army and now my poor pinkie has no pinkie shape left. It’s thick and scary and un-pinkie like. And it’s very scaly.

I’m actually itchy all over. My face is itchy and if I scratch it looks as though I have a scary red moustache. My scalp itches, but if I scratch then I won’t be able to dye my trailer park roots this weekend. You know how the box of hair color says to not use their product on a broken scalp? They’re so not kidding. The resultant scabbing and ick are indescribable if you do not heed their warning.

I fucking hate the bus. I want to be rich and be able to drive to work and park in the good lot every day. I hate the students who don’t take off their backpacks and who hit you in the head, leaving a textbook-corner shaped mark on your forehead. I hate people who are sitting between me and the aisle and who don’t get up but only turn to the side when I need to get up, thus forcing me to shove my ass in their face and practically give them a lap dace to get off. I hate teenage girls who talk SO LOUDLY about the most imbecilic things on earth as if they were the most important things that will ever happen to them. I was never like that, no I wasn’t. I hate the skeezy bus driver who uses his job to check out the coeds and keeps the heat on so the coeds have to take off their sweaters/jackets and expose their pitifully underfed bodies partially covered by their equally pitifully ineffective clothing. I hate sweating, and I especially hate other people sweating as their thigh is pressed to mine in a very, very bad way. Oh God, I hate the bus.

My famous husband

My husband is a graphic designer. I am a singer. A company I was singing with needed a new artist to create their posters and advertisements after their usual poster-creator decided to depart to spend more time painting. Yay for the husband, they gave him the job. Because he's insane and enjoys performing the most tedious and repetitive tasks known to man or artist, he decided to do a poster based on Mucha's "Desdemona" created for Sarah Bernhardt. The show I was in was "The Gondoliers," so he also decided to do it, additionally, in the style of an Italian mosaic. For three months, all that I heard was as he drew 15,000 individual little tiles in PhotoShop. All night. I still hear the sound in my sleep.

When the poster was finished, it was freakishy beautiful. He needed a picture of a Gondolier so he took one of himself wearing a pimp hat left over from our Pimp and Ho bachelor/bachelorette party and added huge biceps. His face was all over town. His poster was even reviewed in Seattle Weekly.

Anyway, he started a new job at Microsoft last week. He walked by a co-worker's office yesterday and saw his Gondoliers poster mounted on foam hanging on her wall next to an autographed picture of Michael Vartan. Just where it should be.