Boneless Cat at Etsy!

Think Weasel!

View a whole Category

On this day...

  • 2008: Anybody use Twitter? — I found an awesome Twitter client for Mac: Twhirl. Since Twitter doesn’t work with, well, [...]
  • 2008: Brick House 2003 — This is a remake done by Rob Zombie for the House of 1000 Corpses soundtrack. [...]
Click for Decatur, Georgia Forecast

Hi! Looking for Drink & Draw Decatur?

If you’ve searched and ended up here for Drink & Draw Decatur, don’t despair! You’re in almost the right place!

This version of Drink & Draw is officially on hiatus until further notice. We intend to start it up again when we get our own place, so please at least follow the Pub to see when we get open. I’m keeping the FB page and Twitter up for D&D.

You can still like the FB page HERE or follow the Twitter feed: @drinkndrawATL .

While you’re at it, you should like our pub page and follow that Twitter, too. @PlayerOneArcade

When we get the pub up and running, we’ll be starting up D&D again. So keep track of one or the other! Thanks!

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.

It’s referral time!

Noticed a big spike in my page views yesterday, so I naturally went to investigate. I went back 100 pings, which goes back a few days. Here are some highlights:

– Got several views from Daniel Davis’ FB post. ? No idea why.
– Got 40 views from the State of Alabama Information Services department in Montgomery, AL. HI LISSA!! Email me, Auntie Social!
– Hello Looney Tunes fan in Pepperell, Massachusetts!
– Hello Beijing, China!
– Hello AGAIN, Beijing, China! Nín hao!
– Hello, Cincinnati, OH! Yep, Chantal customer service does indeed suck.
– Hello, older Mac user who shields the IP! Hope you enjoyed my artwork!
– I saw this in a search ping: Angela Kell date sites OK. ?
– Hi, Morrisville, Vermont! Hope you liked my haiku!
– Hi, Heather! in Vegas!
– Hello Cedar Rapids, Iowa! I’ll bet you’re the one who emailed me about hair colour! Hope you got it sorted!
– And of course the myriad bots!

Cheers, y’all!

Trigger Warning

It’s a trendy phrase and the title of Neil Gaiman’s new collection of short stories. It’s to warn people that their delicate sensibilities might be disturbed by what comes next. [Feel free to skip this entry. It’s just more family bullshit that I am trying to process and writing helps me do that.]

My family needs a trigger warning. Every time the phone rings and it’s my brother I immediately think “who’s dead?” or “what part of the new Mac I gave him is pissing him off now?” If it’s my niece, I assume similar things, but she’s generally quiet now that she has a sickly kid to deal with.

Anyway, my family is a big fat trigger for me. They cause me anxiety and stress me out like nothing else. I’ve tried just not talking to them, but they always end up calling me for something. This latest batch of ill will and name calling came from my brother, who has been calling me to bitch about the new Mac Mini we gave him to replace an old ass eMac that’s over a decade old. Sunday evening, he called to bitch.

“It’s different!” he cries. “This new Mac is a piece of shit” he declares. “The old one was much better” he asserts. To which I say, “YES it is different, NO it is not shit nor inferior, you are just illiterate and you are afraid of change.” He actually agreed with that. Yet, he calls to tell me what a piece of shit it is because “a little icon is missing and I need it to fill out forms”. Of course this is gibberish, so I ask him to explain further so I can determine what it is that he’s looking for. He rants some more and I finally get out of him that he somehow uses photoshop to fill out pdfs. ? I’m shocked he’d be able to figure that out, frankly. And I don’t even know if that’s really what he used or not.

We asked him many times what applications he used regularly. Browser, email, scanner, printer, the usual suspects. NOT ONE TIME did he mention Photoshop, so we did not install Photoshop on this new Mac because he’s so Mac illiterate that we never thought he’d use it.

I apologized for leaving Photoshop off (if that is even what he’s talking about) and he continued to whine and bitch. I snapped. I told him that what he should really be saying to me is THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME A NEW COMPUTER, rather than the constant bitching and whining. I said “You people never appreciate anything I do for you, EVER. All you do is bitch and complain and tell me what an asshole I am for doing things for you!” (Yes I call them YOU PEOPLE.) Then I proceeded to yell at him for being such a fucking asshole and being an unappreciative, self centered asshole at that. My rage button had been pushed, folks and I let him have it. He was yelling back – I’ve no idea what insults he was hurling. Then I hung up with one final “You’re such an ASSHOLE!”

I gathered myself and called him back. I told him to print the forms, fill them in and rescan them until we can do something about the software. He whined about that. I didn’t even bother to try to find out if it was actually READER that he’d been using. I said, “Well, that’s just how it is. Tell you what, I’ll bring that fucking eMac back up there, take back the Mini and you can NOT call me when the eMac dies, because it will. It is not a car, it is way past its lifespan and it could croak any second. Which is why I used MY MONEY to get you a new system that’s less than 12 years old.” He tried to backtrack and say thanks for the new computer, but I was way beyond that happy crappy at this point. I told him to SAVE IT, I know he doesn’t appreciate it at all.

That was all it took to get him started with his usual arsenal of resentment: the parents. It’s ALL MY FAULT that he is stuck there with them. He yells, “Well, if you had to do MY job – you’d NEVER be able to do what I do!” or something to that effect. Which has nothing whatsoever to do with the goddam Mac, but it’s his ultimate reason for calling me. He likes to take out his frustrations on me in an effort to guilt me or something. I was already pissed off, so I let him have it again. It devolved into a screaming match of me calling him a self centered asshole and him accusing me of causing everything that’s wrong with his life and being clueless in general. (They all think I’m the dumbest person on the planet and have told me so repeatedly.)

He likes to insinuate that it is my fault that he literally gave up his life to be at his mama’s beck and call and now he’s got to take care of two sickly old people (and a dumbass daughter who got knocked up and brought a baby into the mix).

That insinuation makes me apoplectic with rage and I blurted out “Well why don’t you sell all that shit up there, put them in a home and MOVE ON with your life?!”

Then he hung up. Of course he did.

I’m not just being mean with that statement. I used it in a mean way, yes, but that statement is truly what needs to happen. All that property, the house, barn and garage with equipment needs to be sold. First it needs to be signed over to my brother (it probably is already, they won’t give me anything when they die, I’m sure), then it needs to be sold. The cash needs to be split with the bulk put into a managed fund of some sort to earn a little interest and some working capital put into an account to pay for the parents’ to live in an assisted living facility. Not a home, but assisted living, with staff to keep them fed, on their meds and exercised. Neither of them gets proper nutrition, medical care or physical therapy. They are literally wasting away up there: my mother weighs about 85# and my 5’10” father weights about 110#. It is serious.

My brother does his best, but he can’t take proper care of them all day while he’s at his shitty county job. They don’t eat all day – and if they do, it’s junk. Both of my parents are underweight and look HORRIBLE. They need more care and my brother simply can’t do it. That is nothing to be ashamed of, either. He is but ONE person! But admitting that you need help is not in my brother’s wheelhouse. No, you just struggle along, wallowing in your misery no matter what. If he would get them handled and get out from under that fucking house and land, he could then build himself a house of his own design somewhere (he can do that!) and bring his dumbass daughter and granddaughter with him and attempt to have a life of his own. But that’s just crazy talk from me, the dumb one who just doesn’t understand. Right.

I’ve brought up getting a maid service because the place is filthy. Nope. I’ve brought up having a day nurse. Nope. They are fine! Just ask them! I asked my mother if she thought that relying on my brother for everything was fair to him and she said, “Well what else can we do?”. PLENTY. But that answer is actually saying: “SURE it’s fair!” They honestly do not see that they’ve ruined my brother’s life. My brother’s daughter is just as bad: having a fucking baby at 17 with nothing to offer it and adding THAT to my brother’s load of SHIT he has to deal with. Awesome.

My brother transfers his anger and resentment for THEM onto ME. I am always to blame and I’m always the asshole. No matter what I do to try to help, it’s never enough. My brother wants me to sacrifice my life like he has sacrificed his. I’ll never, EVER do that. Parents should never, EVER expect that from their children. That is flat out WRONG. My mother is probably the most selfish person I’ve ever met. She is the reason my brother’s life is ruined. And she is not one tiny bit sorry. Not one bit. Ditto for the niece. Selfish, selfish people, all of them.

I’ll tell you something else: if I did, in some alternate reality, move back up there, you can be damned sure I’d have all that shit IN HAND. I’d have power of attorney. Shit would be sold. Parents moved. Brother and niece shoved into the real world to live a real life. This situation would be handled and the trains would run the fuck on time. At least then they’d have a real reason to hate me rather than the bullshit they claim now. If there is one thing in this world I’m good at, it’s making shit happen.

Nick always tells me that he can’t believe I’ve turned out as well as I have. I guess I agree. It took decades to beat back the damage done to me by my family – my mother in particular. But, still I am not a nice person. I have evil thoughts. I wish my family would die in an explosion. That’s the damaged part of me, right there. I try to keep that part buried as deep as I can. I try very, very hard to help others and be a nicer person. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes not. Often my logic and desire to keep the trains on time interferes with the nice. I’m OK with that.

Now I’m rambling. Sorry. I’m sleep deprived. I just had to get that OUT. Done.