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  • 2014: Happy! — And to offer a counterpoint to that last post, I want you all to know [...]
  • 2014: I am an Orphan — My anger and indignation has calmed somewhat from yesterday, but I’m still deeply disappointed by [...]
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You Never Can Tell

Watched Pulp Fiction the other night. Still LOVE it.

Been a bit in the dumps lately. The pub thing is stalled and it’s frustrating. The world is ruled by the mighty dollar. It chaps my ass that people in PRISON have more shit handed to them (free plastic surgery? Sure!) than hardworking people do. Ugh.

Still haven’t spoken to my asshole family. Sent the women a Mother’s Day treat, got no thank you, nothing. Fuck those people. I also got rid of the idiot niece from my FL on FB. She is only on there to spy on me, no doubt, and she thinks I’m spying on her, since she keeps all her posts private. So, fuck her. I’m so done with them. I suppose the next call I get will be when one of the parents dies. Fine.

A little more info regarding my vaguebooking earlier – and the title of this post! You never can tell what the Universe has in store for you! Nick has been given the opportunity to work with Joystick Game Bar. They are expanding into adjoining space (they are also building a beer garden across the street!) and they want to double their arcade. They were working with another arcade guy, but he simply could not get what they needed done in a timely fashion and he resigned today. Nick will be stepping into his slot as well as spearheading the expansion. It is exciting!

So what this means is that we are officially getting into the arcade game business. This is not the business we necessarily were wanting to get into, but we feel that working with the Joystick guys will benefit us in the long run. They are really great guys and I can’t wait to collaborate on the new arcade stuff as well as whatever comes up in the future. I think they are good entrepreneurs to hang with. I’ll be involved with this endeavor to help Nick with the admin stuff: procurement, billing, logistics, etc. It’s what I do.

We don’t know where this will lead, but we are taking the open door to find out.

When you’re in a closed room and the Universe gives you a door, you take it.

Let’s hope it will lead us to where we need to be. :)

PS: The Pub concept is not dead (or all dead, just mostly dead SEE CLIP), but it’s going nowhere without more cash. It’s back burner for now. Just a quick rework of the biz card and we’ll have Player One Arcade Services. ;)

Asian BBQ Pork Ribs

I’ve tested this recipe several times and it’s solid! It’s good in the slow cooker or in the oven – but the oven gives you a lovely brown crust that I really enjoy. Pork shoulder chops or ribs or pork loin ribs (country style ribs) are spectacular with this sauce. I serve over grits or polenta. TO. DIE. FOR.

Asian BBQ Pork Ribs
2# Pork loin or shoulder ribs (often labeled “country style”)

1/2 c soy sauce
1 Tbl minced garlic or garlic paste (I prefer paste. Get it at the Indian or Asian store.)
2 Tbl brown sugar
1 Tbl rice wine vinegar
1 Tbl sambal chile garlic sauce
1 tsp ginger paste (Again, from the Indian/Asian store.)
2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbl cornstarch
sesame seeds
1 cup grits cooked in 1.5 cup water, 3 tbl butter and 1/2 cup heavy cream.

Preheat oven to 300-325F. Mix up the sauce and pour about half over the ribs. Make sure the ribs are well coated. Place ribs in single layer in an oven safe dish sprayed with PAM. Pour the rest of the sauce over the ribs and cover the tops of the ribs with sesame seeds. Cover tightly with foil and cook for about an hour and a half. At the 1.5 hr point, uncover the ribs and turn up the heat to 350F. Cook another hour or so until the ribs are nicely browned and the sauce is reduced. Pull the ribs from the oven, tent with foil and prepare the grits (or polenta if you prefer). Serve the ribs over the grits with some of the pan drippings. OMG so good!

Balsamic Citrus Chicken

I had a lemon, a lime, fresh thyme and some chicken thighs so I googled that and found an interesting recipe. Of course I didn’t follow it, but what I made came out fantastic! One hour to marinate and about 45 minutes to cook. I forgot to photograph, sorry! I’ll post them next time I make this.

Balsamic Citrus Chicken

4 chicken thighs, on the bone with skin (trim off excess fat), seasoned with S/P
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (white if you have it)
1/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil

1 large or 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 of the reserved marinade
1/4 cup dry vermouth (Or white wine, but DO try this with vermouth! It’s cheap and really adds a lovely dimension.)
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (or you can sub dried – or use Herbes de Provence)
zest of one lemon

1/4 cup dry vermouth
1/4 cup chicken stock (I needed a bit more liquid in the glaze and the rice – you can sub water.)
remaining half of marinade
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (or whatever you’re using)
1 Tbl agave or honey
1 Tbl butter
juice of half a lemon

1 lime cut into thin disks (4-6 depending on size)
juice of remaining half of lemon
1 pack of spicy saffron rice (Mahatma is what I had, but you can use anything that would be good with citrus, like Israeli couscous.)

Mix the balsamic vinegar, rice wine vinegar and olive oil in a zip bag and place seasoned (S/P) thighs in flesh side down. Put in the fridge and marinate for about an hour. (FYI, never marinate chicken more than a few hours, it gets mealy.)

Pull out the chicken about 15 minutes before you want to cook to let it warm up a little. While that is resting, get out a skillet to sauté the chicken and an oven safe dish to bake it in (9×9 or 9×12). In the baking dish, put in the rice mix with enough water to cover the rice. Don’t worry about what it says on the package. Prep the shallots, garlic and thyme.

Preheat your oven to 350-375F. Pat dry the chicken and sauté skin side down in a very hot pan with a few turns of olive oil. You may have some sticking from the balsamic vinegar, just do your best to keep the skin intact when you turn the thighs. Just sear the chicken, it will finish in the oven. Remove the chicken to a plate, reduce heat to medium (if you have a lot of rendered fat, you can pour that out and add some fresh olive oil but leave the bits in the bottom of the pan). Add the shallots and garlic and cook until they are soft. Don’t let them burn! Add zest and thyme, vermouth and half the marinade. Bring to a simmer. Add back in the chicken, flesh side down and simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and remove the chicken to your baking dish with rice. Put the thighs right on top of the rice, then top it with the shallots and garlic from the sauce. It’s ok if there is still sauce left in the pan. Top each thigh with a lime slice (toss the extras on the rice) and squeeze half a lemon over the whole thing. Cover tightly in foil and bake for about 45 minutes, checking at about 20 minutes to see if you need liquid in the rice.

While the chicken and rice is baking, return to your skillet with the leftover sauce. Turn it on high heat and add all the glaze ingredients except butter and lemon juice. Let this simmer until it has reduced by half. When it has reduced, add the butter and lemon juice. When it’s glossy and fairly thick, check seasoning and let it stand in the pan (off heat) until the chicken is done.

When the chicken and rice is cooked (I generally go by the rice, once it’s done the chicken is surely done!), remove and discard the lime rings (or not, whatever you like) and serve with 1/4 of the glaze drizzled over each serving. A good side veg would be broccoli or carrots.

Combing through the Archives

I am in the process of reading every single post I’ve done since this blog’s inception in 1999. That’s a LOT of posts, folks!

Mainly I’m doing it to clean up any typos, grammar mistakes, etc., but I’m also doing it to clean out posts that are irrelevant and check all the links to see if they are good. I’ve got a link checker, but it sucks.

This chore has needed to be done for a long time, so why not now? After the archives are all cleaned up, I think I’ll do a redesign. I really like a clean, readable layout, but I also like to display my photos, so I’m going to fiddle with that. I’m a three column girl, I admit, so I may just fiddle with the header and some of the colours. Dunno yet.

I think the trouble I’m having with my hands is carpal tunnel. I type A LOT and I think it’s finally caught up with me. Ugh. Nothing to be done about it, really. Take NSAIDs. Think I’ll try using this flat keyboard with a wrist support again.

Anyhoo, that’s all for today. I’ve got editing to do! :)

Fleetwood Mac show Mar 8 2015

We went up to Knoxville for the Fleetwood Mac show on Sunday. More on that in a minute. First, let me tell you about the Hampton Inn in Downtown Knoxville and give you the Critter Count. Also, a list of all the curses Knoxville threw at us.

It’s interesting to me that I NEVER get a feedback survey from a Hampton that has given me shitty service. This Hampton is located across a VERY busy street from a big church with big, real bells. That they ring. A LOT. I suppose they ring the shit out of them on Sunday in particular, since they rang them at 8am and I stopped counting CLANGS after 500. Yes, FIVE HUNDRED. It was about 5-7 minutes straight of discordant clanging. Horrible. So between the street noise all night and the clanging bells, we got very little sleep Saturday night/Sunday morning (don’t forget the fucking time change). We tried to sleep in, but that never works because the loud assholes checking out will start slamming doors at around 9-10am. We finally crawled out of bed around 11 and went downstairs. There was some dark haired girl at the desk (Ashley, I found out) who asked how my stay has been, so I told her. HORRIBLE. She got a pissy look on her face and didn’t offer to do a thing. I asked if we could move and she said no. So we go find lunch and come back to a nice guy at the desk. He, too, asked how our stay has been and I told him, HORRIBLE. Rather than ignore that, he immediately said he could move us to a quieter room, which we did. No further incidents at Hampton, other than the hate email I’m going to write them in a minute. They did 100% NOTHING about my shitty night’s sleep, which is against their policy. I’m sure the regional manager will take care of it. Curse ONE.

Critter Count Mar 7&9 2015 Knoxville-ATL
Critter (can’t ID) 9
Road Pizza 7
Raccoon 3
Cat 1
Groundhog 1 (HA! that’s what he gets!)
Coyote 1
Opossum 1
Skunk 1
Bud Light Box (the choice of litterbugs everywhere!) 3
Hobo 2
The count was better coming back that going up for sure!

On With The Show Tour 2014-15 Fleetwood Mac
We met up with Chrissy and David for preshow noshies and cocktails. It was great fun and we finally managed to get a cab with some other folks and we got to our seats just as the show started. Yay!

This tour is the first with Christine McVie in over a decade. So it is FULL BAND. I’ve seen Fleetwood Mac (w/Stevie), but w/out Lindsey in the 90s. I’ve seen Stevie Nicks a couple of times solo. It was at Thompson Boling Arena in Knoxville, which is not much for music, IMO. Our seats were SHIT. They were farther up than the ones the idiot box office woman talked me out of and they were also NOT on the aisle. The sound quality sucked; it was boomy and my video sound was even worse. And it was hot as HELL. Ugh. Curse TWO.

Our shitty seats at Thompson Boling.

Our shitty seats at Thompson Boling.

The show was awesome and the band sounded really great (we went down a level at the end and got a better listen). Everyone looked great and they were very chatty with the crowd, which was nice. Here’s the playlist:
The Chain
You Make Loving Fun
Second Hand News
I Know I’m Not Wrong
Sister of the Moon
Say You Love Me
Seven Wonders
Big Love
Landslide dedicated to the Great Smoky Mountains
Never Going Back
Over My Head
Tell Me Lies
Gold Dust Woman
I’m So Afraid
Go Your Own Way
World Turning w/ Mick drum solo
Band intros
Don’t Stop
Silver Spring
And a nice ending with Mick telling everyone to love one another.

We even went and got a tour shirt w/out a wait during the last song. Then the show ended and we met up with Chrissy and David to go out and try to find a damn cab. Of course there were NO CABS at the venue. (Curse THREE) I called a couple of cab companies whose cards I had and we waited for about half an hour. Finally our cabbie showed up and we shared with a couple of guys who were also waiting. In all that, somehow Nick dropped the $40 show shirt. Curse FOUR. We just wrote it off to fucking Knoxville and went to bed.

Monday went without issue. We got home unscathed and I found tour shirts online for $20. Note to self: buy on ebay next time!

We did manage to eek out a great time DESPITE the Curse of Knoxville™. But I’m breaking up with that town. My brother and I are on the outs again and there’s really no reason for me to endure the bad energy (for ME) up there. No matter what I do to try to have a good time (I didn’t even speak to the family!), the bad blood between me and Knoxville is just too much. It’s a cute little town and has its good points, sure. It’s just not the place for me. So, no offence to my friends who live there, but I guess you’ll have to come see ME next time you’re in ATL. I won’t be coming up there any time soon – unless one of the parents dies, which could happen any time. It’s better for me to avoid E TN altogether.

That was the trip. If you get a chance to see Fleetwood Mac, take it. Ticket prices suck, but this show is worth it, especially if you’ve not seen them. Nick had not, which is why we went.