Interstellar Adventures

November 30, 2005

Best Birthday Ever!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by InterstellarLass @ 8:11 am

And it’s only 8 am! My kids sang Happy Birthday to me in the car on the way to school. Already several friends have sent cards. And Nick. Well, I tell you. That man is amazing. I am the luckiest girl on the planet! Heck, in the whole universe. OK, gag me, I know. He’s soooo wonderful though!

So now I’m actually “in” my 30’s. This last year I was just standing in the doorway. Sitting on 30 and looking in. Seeing what my third decade would hold in store for me. And so far, I’m loving it! This last year has been so amazing! I’ve learned so much about myself and done so much more than I ever thought I would.

HUGS! to you all and I hope your day is just as good as mine. MWAH!

November 29, 2005

Bilingualization

Filed under: Uncategorized — by InterstellarLass @ 10:14 am

Dangit. I had a whole rant going here, and I lost it. Maybe that’s for the best.

I’m trying to figure out if I’m just hyper-sensitive to this, or if I actually have a leg to stand on in this arguement. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is the United States, and we do speak English here, right? I mean, they teach in English in the schools, English is the de facto business language, English is the de facto language of government. The US doesn’t have an ‘official’ language, but many states have adopted English as such.

So why does it irritate me that the menus in my local IHOP are printed in English with Spansih sub-titles. Why does it make me mad that Target has aisle signs in English and Spanish and does announcements in both languages? And the one that really blows me away is the idea that we come up with a mandate that principals speak Spanish. They don’t have to be proficient mind you, just understand those with limited English skills. Teachers of ESL don’t even have to speak Spanish. That makes no sense to me.

I think that if someone comes to this country to live and work, then they should learn the language. Come here to better yourself, learn new skills, build a life, and make progress. But those that come here just to work and send money home and are here illegally? Well, why should we accommodate that?

November 27, 2005

The ‘WOW’ Factor: Redux

Filed under: Uncategorized — by InterstellarLass @ 9:12 pm

Once upon a time, this girl walked into a Starbucks to meet a guy. It was their first date. They’d met online. He’d winked at her. She checked him out. He sounded interesting. But she wasn’t sure. She checked him out a couple more times before she responded. The clencher? His picture.

He’d wanted a recent photo. And the only one he had was one his brother had taken last Thanksgiving. Any guy that was brave enough to use a picture of himself hanging out of a tree was the kind of guy she was interested in talking to. They talked back and forth over email for a good while. Progressed to the phone. And the culmination of their initial communications? An hour-long chat over a couple of lattes. And at the end of that hour? He said “So, uh, would you, uh, like to…I’m never good at this. I’m trying to think of a way to ask you if you’d like to go out with me again. Would you like to?” “Absolutely.” she said. He didn’t hear her though. He was grinning like the cat that ate the canary.

For their second date, she packed a picnic dinner and took him to a play. They enjoyed cheese and wine and pasta salads while watching a work of The Bard. He could quote The Bard. That impressed her.

They continued to date. To get to know each other. She found him exciting, intelligent, romantic, imperfect, caring, handsome, warm-hearted, funny…the list goes on. He was everything she had been looking for. He made her laugh. He made her feel.

One day, over breakfast, he looked up at her. They’d been talking about IT recently. You know, the hypotheticals, the “What if’s”. As they were sitting in front of the fireplace at “their” breakfast spot, he took her hand in his. She looked up at him. He said “Will you marry me?”. She said “Yes.”

They’ve had this secret for a little while now. The holidays were going to be the perfect time to tell their families. On Thanksgiving Day, during dinner, he started to tell a story. “I was the Valedictorian of my High School class. Everyone told me I had to have a speech. And I said ‘There’s a speech?’. So for a week prior to graduation, everyone was asking me ‘Have you finished your speech? What’s your speech about?’. I had no speech. So when I got up on graduation day, I said ‘Um. I’m really glad I graduated. Had some really nice teachers. Um. Thanks.’ It was a horrible speech and my family cringed. Now, like then, I’m wishing I would have come up with a speech, because I have something to say that I knew I was going to say, but I have no idea how to tell you. So I guess what I’m trying to say is, if none of you have any plans on January 26, 2007, we would like you to come to our wedding. I asked her, and obviously she said yes, or we wouldn’t be inviting you. The first time I met her at Starbucks, there was just something about her. I heard the words to every cheesy love song from David Cassidy to Michael Bolton, and in the words of Al Green thought, ‘Let’s Stay Together’.” Then he looked at her and said “I love you.” She looked back at him and said “I love you too.” And then her family erupted in applause and tears and cheers.

Over the weekend, they went to visit his brother. They owed it all to him you know. He’s the one that took the picture of this guy hanging out of a tree. On their way down, they talked about how to tell the rest of their friends. Since that picture from last Thanksgiving had everything to do with them being together, they decided it would be fitting to take another picture under the tree. Together this time.

November 26, 2005

Holiday Recovery

Filed under: Uncategorized — by InterstellarLass @ 7:54 am

Yesterday was a good day. Nick is a wonderful man. Made me breakfast in bed. No one’s ever done that for me before. Then, he let me go back to sleep and recover from a long Thanksgiving Day. With no agenda, we bopped around a bit during the afternoon. One stop was the Video Rental Chain Giant to get a movie or two. Back at home, we warmed up some leftovers and popped in “American Psycho“. Is it wrong of me to say I thought it was hilarious? The message and how it was delivered was just downright funny. At least I thought so. Ahem.

This morning we’re sipping some coffee and packing. Off on a little road trip today to meet Nick’s brother and sister-in-law. Poor Nick met 75% of my family on Thanksgiving Day. He’s sparing me and going slow with his. We’re staying at a little B&B. I liked that option better than the trailer. The rest of the house is full with his sister-in-law’s kids. Tiny Texas town ya know. Should be fun!

November 25, 2005

I’ve never cooked a turkey before

Filed under: Uncategorized — by InterstellarLass @ 2:42 pm

But damn! It was good the first time! My 23.54 pound bird went in the oven at approximately 7:12 am yesterday. Every thirty minutes I would baste it. Natural juices, chicken stock, and a white-wine herb-butter concoction. Toasty golden brown, juicy, flavorful. YUM! My cousins and my uncles were going to be the litmus test for my achievement. And I passed with flying colors!

My youngest cousin Troy was the most complimentary, and that meant a lot to me. “I was so disappointed when my dad told me we were going out to eat for Thanksgiving Day. But when you invited us, I knew I would get a good meal. And that turkey was awesome. I look forward to this meal every year, and you did a great job.” 🙂 *sniff, sniff*

I managed to fit seventeen hungry people around two tables, squeezed into my living room. It was tight, and we sucked in our full bellies as well as we could to manuever to chairs. And then it was quiet, and people were eating, and then there was laughter and good-hearted teasing, and the typical BS that flies around the extended family table, I was happy. People went back for seconds. They wanted turkey sandwiches to go. My mom’s pies were delicious. I made my homemade mincemeat that only my grandmother and I like. But it was tasty. The Cowboys lost, but I picked Denver to win anyway.

I still have one more secret for you. I’m almost ready to spill it. 😉

Hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving!

November 23, 2005

Again with the weather!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by InterstellarLass @ 12:39 pm

Oh my. So some of you are freezing off your toes-ies. Well, not me. I’ll be sweating my way through the kitchen tomorrow. Today’s high is forecast to be 77. Right now it’s 72. Tomorrow is forecast to be 70. No! No! No! Not when I’ve got the oven cranked to 450! This is autumn! Crisp air! Falling leaves! The aroma of burning wood wafting in the breeze! Dammit! Ever heard of sweater weather? Well, we’ve got sweat-weather. That’s it. I’m packing my bags and headed for cooler climes. But probably not for another 11 or 12 years…

November 22, 2005

Pot Luck

Filed under: Uncategorized — by InterstellarLass @ 9:07 am

Welcome to the first annual Interstellar Pot Luck! Below I have shared the recipe for the dish I’ll bring to our virtual Pot Luck.

We all have recipes passed down to us from mothers and grandmothers, or we have recipes that we made up on our own. I love looking through cooking magazines. I have an entire binder full of recipes that were cut from newspapers or slick print. Recipes waiting to be copied onto note cards, then adhered to a page in the binder. I have to carefully remove it from the top of the fridge, balanced and at the appropriate horizontal plane so as not to lose a wisp of paper. I could spend hours or days working on my recipes.

Then I’ve got those that I can make by heart. Not too many mind you. My quick-and-easy Blender Hollandaise is one. I’ll bust that one out for you at Christmas. My jalapeno cranberry sauce is another. Jalapeno cranberry sauce? Yes folks. And my great-grandma loved it. The first restaurant I ever worked at served a turkey dish with jalapeno cranberry sauce. They wouldn’t give me the recipe, so I just made up my own. My own concoction.

1 bag of cranberries, 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar. Combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil. Remove stems and bad cranberries, then rinse cranberries with cold water. Add the cranberries to the pot and continue to boil. Add zest of half an orange. Add 1 diced, fresh jalapeno. Seeds and all. And for those of you that really like the heat, well, add jalapeno till you cry. Reduce heat and simmer, bubbling for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool, then transfer to a container and refrigerate. I like to let it sit for a day or two, really letting the flavors and the heat develop.

What are you bringing to the Pot Luck? And guys, no fair just bringing beer and chips!

November 21, 2005

Know a good maid?

Filed under: Uncategorized — by InterstellarLass @ 8:34 am

Ugh! I hate cleaning house. My family is great though, and my mom, my sister and Nick came over to help. I’m not a neat freak by any means, but I’m also not a slob. Lets just say my house is ‘lived in’. But it needed more than just straightening the picture frames if I’m having 17-20 people over on Thursday.

My mom did my least favorite task. Folding laundry. Ugh! We got the kids summer/winter clothes sorted and put away in the garage/bedrooms. This is OK considering we just last week got in the cold front that made the winter clothes necessary.

My sister, bless her, helped the kids with their rooms. Elle is a torando & a hurricane all rolled into one. Zach is just a boy. Clean to him is the middle of the room doesn’t have anything in it.

Nick cleaned the bathrooms and helped me install a new porch light. It’s sooo pretty! I was so happy to get rid of the old 70’s style thing that was attached there. The new one has clear glass, so I need to get a bulb that’s a little less bright. It almost blinded me to look at it.

We rearranged furniture and vaccumed almost every surface in the house.

I also cooked dinner for everyone. A salad, baked ziti and black-eyed peas. Well, the black-eyed peas were the protein for my vegetarian mom, and Elle ate some too. They totally don’t go with baked ziti though. Elle called it ‘gaziti’.

I also told my mom that thing I’ve been needing to tell her. My dad is getting remarried. His new wife? Well, she’s actually my age. Three months younger than me to be exact. She knew they were dating, but the marriage thing was what my sister has been worried about. We’ve known for a couple of months, and my littlest sister was freaking out over telling my mom. She was very worried about what her reaction would be. She actually took it very well. I was glad. So, two secrets down and one to go. Shhhh…

I also bought the turkey yesterday…it’s 23.54 pounds. The biggest one I could find. I wanted bigger…

November 18, 2005

Blathering

Filed under: Uncategorized — by InterstellarLass @ 9:01 am

Yeah, I haven’t been doing much of it lately. I’m stuck and it sucks. I stare at my screen and my mind is blank. I hate saying I’m going to do something, then not do it. *sigh* Perhaps dramatic inspiration will suddenly hit me and words will pour from my fingers.

Back in October I submitted a piece to an online publication (see item #4). Today I got back my first rejection letter! Yipee! The reasons for rejection? Editor 1: I’m not seeing a story of substance here. Editor 2: Not enough of a story here. Also, tension is diluted because events are heralded or told to us (e.g. “Suddenly, disaster struck.”). Oh well. I didn’t expect it to be uesd on the first go round! I actually think it’s kind of funny. I’ll try again. I’m not deterred.

I’ve told my secret to 5 people now.

November 17, 2005

Thursday Thirteen, VIII

Filed under: Uncategorized — by InterstellarLass @ 9:19 am

Thirteen things on my mind today:

1) I’m starting to feel like a bad Rocky movie or something, with those big Roman numerals in the title.

2) I still haven’t told my mom that thing I have to tell her. She’s coming over on Sunday to help me clean. Maybe I’ll take her to get some coffee and tell her then.

3) I’m wearing pantyhose today for the first time in years. My boss said I should be wearing them to look more professional.

4) I hate pantyhose.

5) My birthday is two weeks from yesterday! Update: Haven’t had it yet…still 13 days from now!

6) I now have eighteen confirmed for Thanksgiving Day.

7) There are seven more unconfirmed, which if they confirm, will bring me back up to my original 25.

8) I’m trying to figure out if I can get everything prepared in time for me to run The Trot on Thanksgiving morning. I did it last year and I would love to improve my time and make it an annual event. Dinner isn’t until two. The run is only 8 miles, but it doesn’t start till 9 am. And I probably couldn’t run it any faster than a 1:35. Meaning I wouldn’t get home until after 11. Probably not going to work. 😦 Last year’s chip time was 1:46:35.10! I so want to beat that. *sigh*

9) I’m not sure if it’s possible, but I think I have met and fallen for the sweetest, most loving, most romantic, funniest, most intelligent, most handsome man on the planet. I can’t describe how it feels to be with him. Safe and good are two words, but they aren’t quite right.

10) Zed got contacts. He was sooo excited. He called everyone in our family on Tuesday night. It was actually kind of funny.

11) I’m 9-0-1 in my fantasy football league. Yeah! Lass’ Kickin’ Ass!

12) I have another secret. Only one other person knows. If you’re really good, maybe I’ll tell you all soon too.

13) I can’t figure out a final thing for my thirteen today, so this will have to do.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. Sallwood
2. Carnealian
3. TexasIvy
4. BSTS
5. Musings from the Edge
6. UziCue
7. JustCara
8. Lisa
9. Marybeth
10. MommaK
11. Running2ks
12. The Toothfairy
13. Bone
14. Colleen
15. Mary @ Elsewhere
16. Leave your link in my comments and I’ll link you here!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

Leanne says: Thirteen things is all I ask for, and what do you get in return? Linkage! If you do it, leave a comment here and link me to your Thursday Thirteen. I will be sure to update my entry with links to yours, and then you can continue the chain if you like! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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