Jet Packs!

Before we go any further, I might as well address what you’re all here for:

Yo Danger – how’s that mangy feral cat doing? You know, the one your wife was determined to turn from a scabrous, ill tempered beast into a Cuddle Muffin? Did she have any luck?

I dunno. Let’s wake him up and ask him.

Midnight and Toy

Yup. He sleeps with his favorite toy. Just like me. (Mine’s purple, though.)

So I guess we have a cat.

BTW, falling asleep in classic Renaissance erotic poses is not his only talent. He’s also adept at making it impossible for us to sit comfortably:

Midnight Lap 2

And at keeping me from copping a feel whenever I want:

Midnight Lap 3

Now that that’s out of the way: why haven’t I posted more often? I mean, didn’t my last entry proudly and loudly proclaim I was going to be posting practically daily, if not hourly?

Ok, no it didn’t. But I think I did intimate I’d be tossing up gems here at least more than once every few fortnights. Waddup, dawg?

Simple. I lied.

No wait. I didn’t lie. That’s a lie.

Basically, I just got staggered by a succession of body blows followed by a quick right cross and a bite to the ear. Oh, and I was drunk.

So, in quick succession:

1: My boss was fired, a welcome but unexpected event. I saw him wandering the halls when I arrived for my shift one day last month and we exchanged a few pleasantries. He asked if I was gonna take advantage of the company flu shot plan and I said “yes”. He said he’d add me to the list. Two hours later the company regional director called us all out to the producer’s bullpen and announced that the guy had just been let go, and if he showed up at the door we were not to let him in. I went to the window and saw him, 9 floors down, walking slowly across the parking lot to his car, carrying the requisite “And Don’t Come Back!” cardboard box of personal effects. I felt bad for the guy, but in all honesty he was the single worst boss it was ever my displeasure to brown nose.

But this has now meant that for the past several weeks the BIG Corporate Bosses have been prowling the studios, making sure everyone toes the line until they install a new Head Banana. That not only amps up the stress among us peons, but it also means I can’t dick around on outside websites in between my mic breaks. So…no updating this site from work, which is what I normally do.

2: Remember that retaining wall NewWifey(tm) was gonna go all Bob the Builder on? It’s still not done. Why? No, she didn’t see another snake. It turns out the sinkhole is actually being caused by an underground river that’s washing away the underpinnings of our yard, the retaining wall, and the driveway. When you thump on the drive with a shovel it echoes. There aren’t many construction jobs NewWifey(tm) won’t tackle, but excavating the Mariana Trench is one of them. We gotta call a contractor.

3: We had a massive, drenching, wind whipped Ark Alert of a storm blow through here just a couple of days ago. The remnants of some tropical storm that cranked up the coast and decided to have one last blast right over our house before retreating back to sea. It was really something, with downed trees and flying cows and the whole bit. NewWifey(tm) and I hunkered down over a bottle of Captain Morgan’s and some Mario Cart til it was over (I kicked her ass). The next morning I got up for work and went to my closet to grab my clothes.

They were all soaked. And stinky.

Upshot: there’s a hole in our roof. A big one. The storm dropped bucket loads directly into our attic, soaking the ceiling over my closet to the point of saturation. Then beyond saturation. When it broke through, a rich slurry of water, sawdust, insulation, mouse droppings, rat droppings, squirrel droppings, squirrels, old Playboys, pine cones, and a Frisbee rained down on  my clothes and the rug beneath them. I spent the next three days mopping, Fabrezing, de-squirreling, reading Playboys, and washing clothes. (The Frisbee’s cool, though.)

4: The “Check Engine” light in both our 2001 Ford Escape with 280,000 miles on it, and our 2006 Subaru Forester with 230,000 miles, flipped on. I was driving the Ford to work when the orange beacon lit. But I was only at the top of the hill outside our house so I put it in neutral and glided backwards down to our driveway, where I got out and hopped in the Subaru. The Subaru made it to the halfway point – about 25 miles – before it alerted me that it was about to strand me in the middle of the woods at 3am. Fortunately it didn’t, but the light did not – has not – gone out. Of course, NewWifey(tm) was away for the week in the one car that has not threatened (so far) to kill me. So for that week I was driving to work each night with a full survival pack (ie: food and a pillow) and a set of rosary beads.

5: The cat bit me in the ear. I made the mistake of buying a bag of catnip, see, and rubbed some of it on Midnight’s boa toy up there. But then I scratched my ear, and when I squatted down on the rug to play with him, guess which catnip scented toy he attacked?

*sigh*

You know the saying “money can’t buy  happiness”? The person who came up with that obviously never needed, really needed, money.

I really need money to be happy right now. I don’t care how otherwise content you are, the song in one’s heart quickly dies when one is stranded by the side of the road at 3am in 40 degree weather while wearing clothes soaked in rat urine, and realizing that the Corporate Wonks who just staged a coup at your workplace don’t know you well enough to buy your excuse when you show up late for your own radio show. And your driveway is about to collapse.

I would be happy if that didn’t happen.

Trouble is, I don’t have enough money to make all that not happen. I’ve mentioned before that we lost everything in the Great Bush Collapse of ’08, including the American Dream (also including jet packs. We were promised jet packs!). Nearly a decade on, things are only marginally less frightening. They didn’t take our house (didn’t want a leaky roof I guess) and we’re not reduced to robbing the neighbor’s college kids for their ramen noodle packs any more. I’m not spray painting my ankles black any more because I can’t afford socks. But our credit is still so bad that a lot of places still won’t even take my cash. The wolf may not be right at our door any more, but he texts us every morning to let us know he’s still ready to drop by for lunch.

Anyway, the upshot is that we have just enough saved up to fix one, but only one, of the problems. No more.

So.

Do I fix the driveway, so I have a safe place to park our two inoperative cars?

Do I fix the cars, so I can drive them to safety when the driveway collapses underneath them?

Do I fix the roof, so when my cars strand me on the side of the road at 3am I’ll at least be wearing dry clothes?

Do I hire a cat trainer?

Personally I’m leaning towards “blow it all on lottery tickets and a bottle of single malt”, but unfortunately I’m married, and want to stay that way. So my choices are limited to the above options. And I have to decide on one soon. Like before winter. All the dire scenarios are even direr when under 4 feet of snow.

Oh well. At least I’m still eating as well as any wealthy jer…er, person. I haven’t posted many food tales lately, but that doesn’t mean I’m not maniacally wielding my spatula any more. Take these two:

#1: NewWifey(tm) loves those bagged salad things (blurghhh) and manages to rip through one or two a week. But she went away last week, and when she got home the bag she had in the fridge (unopened) was distinctly unappealing looking. It still smelled good though, so…Cream of Salad-In-A-Bag Soup! Sweated the whole bagful with some butter and a little added onion, reduced some vermouth over it to almost sec, built a roux on it, then added some fresh chicken stock and let it simmer. Then, into the Mighty Mighty 1970’s Vitamix for a ride, then through a chinois, and finally a splash of sriracha to finish. It was surprisingly good.

#2: We were cruelly interrupted by a person from Porlock in the middle of Port ‘n Pear night earlier this week, and had to therefore put up several sliced pears and a good block of Buttermilk Blue cheese before they could be consumed (we drank the port, though). So I had these now brownish fruit slices that NewWifey(tm) would have none of, but were still good. So: diced up the pear and cooked the cubes in butter til they caramelized a bit, then lit ’em up good with a splash of brandy. Added some onion, then chicken veloute. After simmering, in went the cheese to melt. Hit it with a nob of butter, then the stick blender. Viola! Pear and Blue Cheese Soup. It was terrific.

#2a: There was rather more pear soup than I intended, so after gorging on it yet again the other night I started looking for ways to use the remainder so I wouldn’t get sick of it. So…crepes! I made a batter of the soup by adding an egg, flour, and lots and lots and lots of sugar (good tip if you’re trying to make a dessert dish out of something that’s 50% chicken stock). I did kind of a Crêpes Suzette thing, but instead of orange I used fig jam since I didn’t want citrus flavor on top of pear and port. “Good call, Danger!” “Thanks, Mom.

Of course, because I don’t often take pictures I didn’t think to take pictures of the finished dish until after the finished eating. There were still two crepes left on the plate though, and although they looked rather sad I grabbed the Nintendo DSi and snapped one off for posterity anyway:

Pear Cheese Crepes

Um, you’ll have to trust me here. They looked better folded into triangles and cooked down with the fig jam and set in the caramel butter sauce with the flames going and the powdered sugar on top. Really. Next time I’ll try to hold myself back from scarfing all of them down in a hammerhead feeding frenzy until I snap a pic, promise.

Alright, time to wrap this up. The store’s about to open, and I gotta go buy a lottery ticket.

If my car makes it that far….

Ciao!

.

.

Advertisements

18 thoughts on “Jet Packs!

  1. Still puzzled about the reason why The Worst Boss to Ever Walk the Planet was let go in such a drastic way…. yeah, I understand he was bad, but wow… one moment there, one moment gone.

    My pickup truck had this sign of engine hot, stop before explosion or something – I was driving and sweating, but made it to the dealer – damage was “just” 340 bucks, so all in all, I should not complain…. it could have been much much worse!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “…one moment there, one moment gone.” Welcome to radio, Toots. That’s how it always happens. Seriously. (I think it also didn’t help that in the two years since he took over we lost two of our largest clients. Cumulatively they accounted for about 40% of our revenue. But that’s just a guess…)

      I’m glad your pickup truck lives to ride again – and for less than 400 clams! You’re right, it could have been worse: you might have had food in the bed when it went up in flames. The horror!!

      🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel your financial pain. 😦 That crash in 2008 really changed my life, too. Otherwise, I’d still be in California in a stone house in the mountains. I can’t say this isn’t a wonderful place to be instead (I love it) but it wasn’t what I’d planned. BUT it’s a house and a nice house and though repairs this summer about bankrupted me, they didn’t. But the term “fixed income” is inscrutable. My income NEEDS fixing. Hang in there. I’d fix the roof if I were you, BTW.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cool beans. You have inspired me to not throw away the remains of the lemon drizzle cake I made on Tuesday (Great British Bake Off final – needs home-made cake) but to transform it somehow… Will report back

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Mary Berry has gone! Big outrage – the production company wanted more money than the BBC could pay so they went to Channel 4 – also has public service brief but funded by advertising – Mel and Sue and M Berry all jumped ship – now has Prue Leith with P Hollywood, hosted by Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding. They changed nothing else so it’s still the most comforting thing on TV and all the new peeps eased their way in nicely. Mary Berry looks like my granny used to. I’m thinking trifle … some lemon curd, raspberries … will see how we go.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Yay Midnight! But boo to the financial woes. Perhaps a Nigerian prince who needs to offload some of his fortune will contact you soon. Regardless, good luck in making your rock and a hard place decision.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was about to say that I have similar financial worries at the moment, but that would be a lie. I have no hole in my roof, I need no cat trainer, I don’t have a car for it to break down and I certainly don’t have the grand canyon opening up in my driveway. Partly because I don’t have a driveway.

    So here’s the solution. Lose the cars (then you won’t need the driveway), and just fix the hole in the roof! As far as the cat is concerned, just don’t touch the catnip.

    “BUT HOW WILL I GET TO WORK??”

    I hear ya, I hear ya…

    You will ride a horse. Which will live on the nearest grassy patch. Don’t protest that it’s not possible, I see travellers do it all the time. You’re welcome. And your wife will swoon as evident from the classic I’ve attached below.

    Quinn: life coach! Always glad to help!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Y’know, I was gonna dismiss your suggestion right off…and then I watched the video.

      The video from MY NEW FAVORITE BAND.

      I’m getting a horse.

      NewWifey(tm) will be happy too. Finally.

      Thanks, coach!

      (And can I say what a relief it was to see you’d left a comment here? I thought after my last, rather drunken, comment at your place, I was to be stricken from the rolls. I know how volatile you Spanish chicks can be….)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was worried you wouldn’t be able to understand the accent, but thankfully the true classics cross all linguistic barriers….

        I’m at Amanda’s weddin’, in a church on Thomas Street
        I’m lookin’ at a bridesmaid, and she’s lookin’ back at me
        And when the service ends, I ask her if she wants a lift
        Back to the hotel, and if it goes well, a finger and a shift.
        She says ‘Fitzy drives a Mitzy, and he offered me a spin,
        Enda has a Honda, so I might just go with him
        And Darragh Gibney said he’ll bring me in his Subaru
        So what the fuck would make you think I’d wanna go with you?’

        I say fuck your Honda Civic, I’ve a horse outside
        Fuck your Subaru, I have a horse outside
        And fuck your Mitsubishi, I’ve a horse outside
        If you’re lookin’ for a ride I’ve got a horse outside

        She said ‘I don’t believe ya’
        I said it’s fuckin’ true!
        I swapped him for a bag of yokes in 1992.
        And I don’t need insurance, I don’t need no parkin’ space,
        And if you try to clamp my horse he’ll kick you in the face.
        I don’t pay no tax, fuck NCT,
        You’ll arrive in style if you ride with me
        And the boys are walkin’ over, jinglin’ their keys,
        I look the fuckers up and down and give them one of these

        I say fuck your Honda Civic, I’ve a horse outside
        Fuck your Subaru, I have a horse outside
        And fuck your Mitsubishi, I’ve a horse outside
        If you’re lookin’ for a ride… I’ve a horse outside

        Giddy up now baby, bless my soul,
        I rode the fucker round a field back since he was a foal,
        He runs a bit like Shergar, and he jumps like Tír na nÓg,
        He looks like Billie Piper after half an ounce of coke.
        And the boys are lookin’ jealous, as I lead yer one away,
        And just before I close the door I look at her and say
        Would you be my girl? and she says ‘I will of course…
        If ya grab me by the ponytail and ride me like a horse’
        Ya!

        Fuck your Honda Civic, I’ve a horse outside
        Fuck your Subaru, I have a horse outside
        And fuck your Mitsubishi, I’ve a horse outside
        If you’re lookin’ for a ride I’ve a horse outside…

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Accent? You mean that was English??

    It was only the first couple of lines where I thought my headphones had starting broadcasting in random quantum signals instead of the actual recording. But once my brain settled down my years of BBC World Service – and Goon Show – addiction kicked in and I was able to decipher the rest. So good of you to provide the annotated guide though! Without that, I might still be agonizing over “Tír na nÓg”.

    🙂

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s