jackshoegazer: (Quantum/Paradox)
I've already gotten rid of three DVDs through SwapaDVD.com.  Now I just have to find some DVDs I want that are listed.  The nice thing is that you can add things to a wish list and as soon as they're available, they send you an email to alert you.

Work was a bear today.  You can read about one bit of it, my run in with a junkie in pink fleece, in [profile] jackstaxi.

Afterwards, I came home and made dinner; garlic mashed potatoes, honey carrots, and Italian-seasoned, breaded tofu.  Simple, hearty, and good.  Then I got caught up on my flist and comments while Jacquelyn crocheted and Ethan read some George R.R. Martin.

When my grandmother died a few years ago, many of the family members requested copies of all her recipes, since she was an excellent cook and one-time pastry chef.  My uncle Rick was put in charge of this grand task and finally, today, he emails everyone one recipe - her homemade barbecue sauce.  Here it is, for your edification:

Gramma Parker's Barbecue Sauce

Dice the following:
  • 1/2 bushel tomatoes
  • 2 bundles celery
  • 5 green peppers
  • 5 large onions
Mix with:
  • 4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 pint cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp salt
Boil slowly until thick; about 4 hours. 1/2 hour before done, add:
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp cloves
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
Enjoy!

I want her homemade potato chip recipe.  I remember those were amazing.  Even peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and apple juice poured from a carton.  She was an amazing grandmother, so everything she made tasted like magic.
jackshoegazer: (Jack/Tongue)
I've recently started working Saturdays, during the UW Badger football games which, for lack of a better word, or rather, for lack of a more perfect word, are insane.  People come in from all over the state, and out-of-state for these games - not to mention a majority of the 40,000 UW students who all descend upon the area surrounding the stadium and clog the streets and parking lots with red and rowdy drunken antics.

Driving them around is great.  Trying to not run them over when they drunkenly cross the street against the light, yeah, not so fun.  The tips are great (I usually make three times the tips I make on a regular weekday) and the energy of a massive celebration is infectious.  I wish there was a home game every Saturday.  Ok, almost.

Yesterday, after work, Jacquelyn and I went to the Great Dane and quickly devoured some three-alarm buffalo wings and the Bard's Sampler, which consisted of skewers of marinated and grilled jumbo shrimp around homemade chorizo sausage, served with an assortment of fresh mozzarella and vegetables.  We drank quite a bit of their crop-circle wheat beer, which is probably my favorite beer of all time.  We had to hurry because we had to be at  The Bartell to see Art at 8:00.

It is a required performance for my Drama class and tomorrow I have to write a critique of the play.  My teacher was the director for this show and I have to say it was really well done.  The play, from what the interwebz tell me, is widely accepted as excellent, and the actors were intense and genuine.  The theatre was small, only 72 seats, so it was hard to be disconnected and objective, being so close to the actors.  This works to its advantage because the play revolves around three friends, discussing an all-white painting.  The setting is primarily one character's apartment, so there isn't a lot of action or scene changes to grab your attention.  The actors really needed you to be close and involved as an audience member.

Afterwards, we grabbed a piece of cake and a latte at Michaelangelo's just before catching the last bus home.  Almost every person we saw on the way home was arguing or ranting into a cell phone.  We decided there must be something in the air, or in the stars and when we got off the bus, there were something like five or six police cars at the house just down the street from us.  It was hard to tell what was going on because no one seemed to be out.  Odd indeed.

After four months of bicycling at the very least, thirteen miles a day, four days a week, plus whatever I do on my days off, I have finally started to lose weight.  Ten pounds so far.  I haven't really altered my diet at all ( not that my diet is really bad or anything), so this all seems to be stemming purely from an increase in physical activity.  Another advantage is that I've also stopped getting as many headaches and it's a lot easier to get up in the morning.  I actually feel kind of odd, like I'm forgetting something, if I don't get out and bicycle at least once a day.  The best advantage, methinks, is that I now have zero transportation costs.  I get a free bus pass through school and I bike, so I actually spend nothing to get around.  My mobility is a little limited, but I think it's definitely worth it to not know what the gas price is.  Oh yes, I've been car-free for over a year now.

I was feeling good and skinny today and snapped a photo this morning:


Okay, I'm off to bed, dear reader.  Tomorrow is a long day or reading, writing, cleaning, and procrastinating.
jackshoegazer: (#23 Madison Lighting)
Alas, I have finished the much beheld wonderficality that is 1776 by David McCullough.  As you can imagine it was a book about the start of the American Revolutionary War, covering from the summer of 1775 through January of 1777.  This being one of my favorite time periods, (the fifty-ish years surrounding the American and French revolutions) it was not hard to keep me entertained.

Washington was a bad-ass glowing angel who was often a bit indecisive.  He could go from worrying that his entire army had no shoes to explaining how he'd like the fireplace at his new home to be centered along the south wall so fast you'd think the two things were worth equal worry.

The oddest part was seeing my relatives at work.  Literally.  Several times in the book, Dr. Benjamin Rush showed up, either quoted from his journnals or others.  He was one of the few signers of the Declaration of Independence who actually saw the horror of war.  He volunteered his services as a field doctor.  He was also good friends with Thomas Jefferson.  The two wrote many letters back and forth, interpreting eachothers dreams.  He encouraged Thomas Paine to put his thoughts to writing and then to press, and even suggested to him the title of Common Sense for the reulting pamphlet.

And I'm related to him.  One of his daughters married a Parker, and here I am.

Speaking of non-fiction  books, [personal profile] antarcticlust just started the only non-fiction book community on LJ.  If you're interested in books that true or at least attempt to be scholarly, or even perhaps informative, check out [profile] literal_libris.  It should be good times.

I just ate a pumpernickel bagel with nuefshatel.

And if it's something you're interested in, here is my updated list of books read this year:


I'm starting Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood today.  I will catch up!

Seriously, I will!
jackshoegazer: (Scarlette Nose)
For those Star Wars fans in my list, I present the best homemade lightsaber battle ever.  Everyone else, don't worry, this whole post won't be about Star Wars.  I promise.

Last night, I dreamt that I was at a funeral and a few people had brought guns with them.  This terribly white-trash guy had brought a big, ugly shotgun and was so impressed with the uber-futuristic machine gun that my father had brought, he asked to see it.  Once the hick had my dad's gun, he started firing off test shots.  I got up in his face, demanding that he stop that, it's a funeral, goddammit, you're gonna hurt someone.  When he wouldn't stop and kept firing more shots, I grabbed the gun, wrestled with him a bit, finally got it away from him and beat him to the ground.

When [profile] kiwikat and her hubby [profile] shevus were over the other night for enchiladas, we played a friendly and semi-competitive game of Scrabble.  Afterwards, I said, "I should take a picture of the board and post it."  Then followed the idea to start a Scrabble community called [profile] scrabbleshots where people post pictures of their end-of-game Scrabble boards.  You know, so you can see other people's games and see what interesting and unique words were used.  Get new ideas.  Memorize two letter words and q-without-u words.  You know, be kind of geeky.

We also decided that Q Without U would be a good band name.

I also had the idea for the ClogBlog, which would be a blog all about wooden shoes.  You know, the latest in clog technology, new woods and synthetic woods, care procedures, styles.  I suppose the ClogBlog could also be about clogs in your drains, but that's kind of gross and no one wants to see or hear about that.  Except things like rotten.com exist so apparently some people want to hear or see about nasty shit.  And by shit, I mean both literal and figurative.

In further geek news, we're teaching Ethan to play Dungeons&Dragons tomorrow.  I haven't played since I was about fourteen, so it's like re-learning for me.  Jacquelyn is going to run a campaign for Ethan and I.  I'm half-frightened, half-excited.  Good thing I've kept up with the D&D universe through my eternal love for Baldur's Gate II.

Before we play, I'm making egg and cheese biscuits with veggie sausage for breakfast.  Then we're watching Edward Scissorhands because, only God know how such a sacrilege occurs, neither Ethan nor Jacquelyn have seen it.

I said the whole post wasn't going to be about Star Wars.  I never said it was going to be geekiness-free.  Instead the geekiness is free.  I won't charge you a penny.  Though, I will accept gifts of paid account time.  Because that's not geeky at all.

Isn't it weird that the essential hot girl of every movie finds an opportunity to dress in something revealing/flattering/skimpy/sexy, no matter how inappropriate it is for what's going on?  Sorry, I've got Indiana Jones and the Raider's of the Lost Ark on and that girl was wearing an evening dress on a Nazi submarine.  Perhaps the word I'm looking for is 'incongruous'.

"I need some disbelief to suspend."

So, some of the geekiness of my post has been offset because I quoted Bright Eyes just now and I listened to a Decemberists CD today.  See, all that cool music and my unabashed love of all-things-geek and my general aura of irony make me so hipster I can't even deal.

Right.

Or I'm a compulsive liar and I've been making all this up and I'm really going to drink some Budweiser while I watch NASCAR tomorrow.
jackshoegazer: (Reading in the Dark)
I finally finished Jim Morrison's Adventures in the Afterlife by Mick Farren. 

I liked it at first, but it quickly lost focus and felt like it was meandering, trying to fill space.  The metaphysics weren't very clear and the author had a horrible habit of stopping a chapter at a cliff-hanger, like Jim was confronted by bad-bad things!  And then the next chapter starts with the aftermath of the battle where Jim has emerged victorious!  And then he goes on to explain how he managed victory.  So annoying.  The best bit was when God shows up to explain everything, especially how God wants to wipe us out because he knew we were all big trouble since the first Cro-Magnons started slaughtering Neanderthals, but he won't because he likes giraffes and rhinos so much.

I hate to admit it because it seems like I'm tooting my own horn, but seriously, I write better than Mick Farren.  How this book got four and a half stars out of five on Amazon, I have NO idea.

My next book is 1776 by David McCullough.  It won the Pulitzer.  So far it rules.

When George Washington arrived tot ake command of the Continental Army outside of Boston, he asked how many soldier and how much gunpowder they had.  Aftter an eight-day census, he discovered they had about 14,000 troops and enough gunpowder for about nine, yes only nine shots per soldier.  Washington didn't speak for a half hour after that.

Jacquelyn made these amazing enchiladas today with tomatillo sauce.  I made the accompanying cornbread.  I think I'm finally getting the hang of cornbread.  I think the key is lots of butter.

I have to go to sleep now.  I feel like this week has flown by and I somehow missed it.  By the way, if you have to watch The Wicker Man, I suggest you ingest a psychedelic beforehand.  It's feels like a Terry Gilliam musical neo-pagan nightmare.  You kind of giggle, laugh and think what-the-funk?

Here I will leave you with something amusing I found elsewhere:

If you rearrange the letters "BROWN'S BESTSELLER NOVEL "THE DA VINCI CODE," then you get "D.B. BELCHES WORST VILE DRIVEL ON TEN OCEANS".

Conincidence? I think not.
jackshoegazer: (Earth Hat Body)
Today will be a day of caged animals and food purchases.
bread
eggs
tofu
tomatos
lettuce
sausage
oil
sugar
tuna
fruit
Yeah, that's my shopping list.  Now I just have to get up the motivation to shave and shower.  Our new apartment holds in the cold so well that even though it's quite nice outside, I'm still going about my morning in last night's low of 40-something.

I need a new monitor and a wireless network card.  Where's the magic bin of free computer parts?
jackshoegazer: (Bookheads)
I may not support shopping at Wal*Mart, but I have no qualms about accepting free boxes from them. So tomorrow morning I will go to the China-in-America-Cheap-Plastic-Crap-Outpost and collect a large variety of boxes in a multitude of shapes and sizes.

Until then, I'm going to dig my stored bits out of the garage and start going through it all. Ethan has to extricate his toys from Benjamin's (the roommate's son) sometime soon, which I predict will cause much bickering and shouts of "No, that's mine, retard!"

My roommate's cousin is here for the weekend visiting from Chicago. He's brought his kids with him, a boy of six and a girl of eight. They are friendly and well behaved, so it's not been a total terror to have them around. I made scrambled eggs and French toast this morning before they informed me they don't usually eat breakfast. Weird.

According to various meteorologists, it is going to be rain and thunderstorms all afternoon and evening. I had best go close my sunroof.

This place is beautiful. Why aren't I moving there? Oh, I don't even know where it is.

I'm almost finished with The World According to Garp. I think it hit a little too close to home, as Jacqui's on a career track to university teaching and I'm on the path of the writer and stay-at-home dad. IF this book has said anything, it's that lust causes big problems.

This is probably why Crowley placed it on such a high pedestal, under the conditions that you absolutely control and channel it in healthy directions.  Jung even expanded Freud's limited view of libido-as-lust to define libido as the totality of psychic energy.  Garp does his worst work when he's paying attention to his lusts and not his path.  Once this crashes in the most horribly, dramatic way, he begins his best work yet.

I hope I'm over that hump already.  No pun intended.
jackshoegazer: (Squares Face Time)
Jacquelyn took the weekend off and came to Watertown for my weekend off. We've been relaxing as much as possible and making some damned yummy food. Tonight it was homemade pizza, yesterday baked chicken and potatoes, and the night before was a lovely lasagna. Ok, so Jacquelyn has made most of the dinners. I, as usual, am the King of Breakfast.

Add in a touch of brownies and ice cream and we have severe tummy decadence.

Today we went for our first visit to Aztalan for the year. Jacqui took a lot of pictures so I'll probably post some of them as soon as I get them off the camera. I've babbled quite a bit about Aztalan in this journal, so I'll spare you the oh-my-god-I-love-crazy-pyramids-in-Wisconsin rant I usually go on.

Completely to my surprise, I've been watching Jacqui and Ethan take turns playing Half-Life2, and it's an insanely intense game. I'm actually sad we just rented it and didn't buy it. Right now, Jacqui is roasting these zombie-type people with weird creatures on their heads.

We've got to get the games back to the store by midnight, so I'll leave you for now. But always remember, soles, not souls, are made for walking, and that's just what they'll do.
jackshoegazer: (Winter Neu Artsy Twine)
I am about to start making alfredo tortellini, but I am lounging while Ethan designs his Olympics brochure for the country of Moldova. Yea, I didn't know where it was either, tucked between the Ukraine and Romania like that.

Would it surprise you if I told you I want to spill the Secrets of the Universe, but I know I'm not allowed and even if I was, you wouldn't believe me.

My state of mind is much less oppressive when I'm not financially destitute. Though, I have to be careful not to put myself back into that position. I've already bought some things I didn't strictly need, once again affirming my attatchment to the world. How unBuddhist of me. So I will paint on my new canvas and I will watch DVDs I bought for $5.00 each. Come on, Cool World for five bucks. I had to have it.

Okay, I would like to write more - I'm so in the mood, but alas, dinner is calling me and there is a home of people who need to be fed. I bid you all adieu and a fond fairly hairy farewell.

Until we meet again, on the sands of the Ganges, flossing with string theory, dancing with Shiva Nataraja in our BVDs.

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