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