Thursday, September 30, 2010

Got time to kill?

If you've got nothing better to do with your life, try this site:

I'm pimping it out just like Jessica Saggio INC.


My friends and I really put our college educations to good use with it today.

See how fast you can type!

(I've only made it to a pathetic 80 wpm, but one of my sisters has made it to 106)

Shoo lizard, don't bother me.

Ever see The Parent Trap (LiLo version)?

Remember this scene?



I was rather forcibly reminded of it about an hour ago, when, as I inserted my key into the front door, I felt something solid plonk onto my head.

I bent over and shook my head upside down. Nothing.  I hopped from one foot to the other while bent over.  Nothing-- although that I'm sure any neighbors who saw me enjoyed the spectacle I made of myself.

I felt my head tentatively.  Something was there.  SOMETHING WAS THERE.

I took my hair out of its ponytail and redouble my efforts-- shaking my head a la rockstar.

A lizard fell onto the ground.

Excuse me.  I need to go quietly freak out.

(Is there any way I can blame this on the neighbors?)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

HATEFUL

Remember my neighbors?

They're ba-aaaaack.

For a while, things were fine with them.  Sure, they screamed at our houseguest when her parents arrived with a U-Haul to move her things in, but that was the past! Let bygones be bygones, right?  They'd apparently apologized to one of my roommates, saying that his wife likes to put on a strong impression and that can sometimes come across as rude.

Uh.  Ya think?

Anyway, we thought that was behind us.  But unfortunately, I didn't know that my driveway, while being large enough to hold 4 cars, cannot do it legally, as 2 of them will block the sidewalk.  I found this out the hard way: a $10 ticket.

Boo.

But, I paid it, and all but 2 of us have resigned ourselves to parking in the street.

We avoid the area in front of their house as much as possible. But sorry.  When one of us arrives home late at night and the only available parking is around the corner in our less-than well-lit neighborhood, we're going to take the spot in front of their house.

Except there was a nasty note on the car this time.  Something to the effect of "We have repeatedly attempted to ask you not to park here.  Please be good neighbors and don't do it."

The thing is, after speaking with the HOA and the sheriff's office, we are legally allowed to park there.  They can't have us towed or anything crazy.   Our landlord is going to talk to theirs to try to get them to loosen up a little.

Oh, and after the car's been moved? We receive another lovely letter at our front door.  This one effectively reads (in summary):

"You've really left your mark on a single-family neighborhood.  I didn't plant flowers in my front yard to look out my window and see your car.  If you don't stop parking there, there will be consequences."

Oh, why hello borderline harassment/threatening and possible leg to stand on with a lawyer.  I think they thought that would be enough to scare us.  Too bad we all grew up in the generation of Judge Judy and the idea that if someone wrongs you, you can sue them and get your way.  Our landlord talked to his lawyer and if they bug us any more...

How about back the fuck off or there will be consequences?

Like we'll sue your ass.

We'll lay off during mail hours so they can get their letters, etc.

But after 5?

Oh, it's on.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Future Freak-out

You may have noticed that I generally keep this blog free of any of my emotional crises.

But here's a freak-out for you.

I can not figure out what I want out of life and I'm so frustrated by it at the moment that I could literally cry.  I'm serious. That's how ridiculous I am as a person. I'm about to cry and am somewhat wallowing because I don't know what to do with my life.

This is the part where I admit all of my shortcomings and insecurities.

You may remember that I said I took a job at a hostess a couple of months ago.  I'm still there. And you know... I enjoy it. I really do.  But I regard the whole thing as temporary.  I mean... of course I do. It's hardly a career.

I like writing. I'm good at it, I think. It's what my degree is in. But I've never finished a larger work and I have this crippling self-doubt that inhibits me to the point that I feel like I can't. 

It's a word that was taboo growing up for me.  There is no "can't." We can do whatever we want. Losers are the ones who have excuses.  But that's all I have. A lot of excuses before I start anything or why (insert proposition here) won't work or why I'm not qualified for (blah blah blah).

Here's what I like:

Blogging about nothing in particular
Hanging out with my friends
Playing with little kids
Reading popular fiction
Watching primetime dramas
Dressing up
Social Media

I thought a while ago about a career as an editor. But I'm a paranoid person.  Also, I hate New York. Nix that one.

Considered getting qualified to teach.  But I don't know if I've got the personality to handle the high school/middle school kids and I didn't go for the Elementary Ed major when I had the chance.

Law school? Don't have the personality for that.  Grad school? Consider it to be somewhat pointless with my area of concentration.

I don't have any particular expertise to pitch freelance articles and ridiculously, I would love to have my own business.  Doing what?  Oh, no idea (something with books? maybe a chick-lit friendly boutique?).  But I don't want to have a boss forever (Another couple gems from my childhood: "Boss is Double S.O.B. backwards" and "JOB stands for Just Over Broke).  Regardless, there aren't any JOBs that appeal to me.  Not even in a sort of "Oh, I wouldn't be totally miserable doing that" kind of way.  

And my resume? Nothing special:

UCF grad majoring in English without any minor
Less than stellar GPA
Education chair of my sorority
Marketing chair of Trick or Treat on Greek Street
Marketing intern for 1 semester at an insurance brokerage
Currently a restaurant hostess


Any suggestions on a career or at least semi-professional part-time job? I think my freak-out's over. But I do need a job. And I do need to get over my irrational fear of writing my own stuff (seriously, I embody the phrase "own worst critic") and actually write a novel and get all the other tough stuff that comes afterward.

Oh.  And Mom?  Dad?

I would love to pretend I didn't write this, so let's not talk about it.  K thanks, byeeeee!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Paranoia Problems

I'm a paranoid person with an overactive imagination.

This is a terrible combination.

What it means in translation is that if one little random thing strikes me as odd, or out of the ordinary, I blow it entirely out of proportion in my mind and have an internal (and sometimes external) freak-out.

To be honest, I could probably do a regular feature on this blog involving my paranoid moments. And you know... if I have nothing else to write about, that very well might happen.  But for today, I'll stick to the more recent of my freak-outs

The other day, for instance, my mom came to visit me and we decided that it was necessary to go grocery shopping in order to stock my bare shelves.  We're happily browsing the aisles of Publix, grabbing all kinds of Lean Cuisines, when I see him.  There's a man in the same aisle as us with large sunglasses and a nurse's mask on, a la swine flu.  He's dressed like a modern day Blues Brother: suit, hat, and all, with headphones in.



And in an instant, I've decided that this man is going to rob the store and possibly kill us all.  The sunglasses and cap are to hide his face. The headphones? Well they block out any chatter so that he doesn't "humanize" us-- his would-be victims. And the costume is probably so that he can carve out a niche: an identity for himself in crime.

The Blues Brother Bandit... I mean hey, it worked for the Barefoot Bandit, right?

I tried to chill and move onto another aisle, but then I noticed the man in line to pay. I cast him a curious look as I passed by.  And then, horror of horrors...

He made eye contact with me.


Of course, to me this meant I'd be among the first to go.  So, I made my mother go with me into a back corner of the grocery store where I had preemptively dialed out 9-1-1 on my cell phone. I figured any screams at the front of the store would give me time to hit "Talk" and blurt out my location and a plea to hurry.

I begged and pleaded for my mom to abandon our cart. She told me I could wait outside for her.

Right. Like I was really going to leave my mother in here with a killer.

As you may have guessed, this story is rather anti-climactic. The weirdo paid for his groceries. We paid for ours. Everyone left unharmed.

It's just a normal day in the life.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Turkey Meatballs

I'm not much of an instinctual cook.

It's a gene that has apparently escaped me.  My mom swears that my grandmother and great-grandmother have this apparent ability to throw together random leftovers guided purely by their gut feelings and have the dish come out of the oven mind-blowingly delicious.

I'm not sure if this is a skill my mother would have had that simply faded into the background due to disuse. My brother and I were (and are) notoriously picky eaters.  So, as a family we tended to go out to eat a lot in order to avoid the "you'll eat what I cooked" debacle.  Because, of course, I wouldn't eat it and would then go to bed in a stubborn huff.

I'm not totally helpless. I can, fortunately, follow a basic recipe, I don't "burn water" or anything ridiculous like that, but most nights, you're not likely to find me in the kitchen. Or, if you do, it'll be for a grand total of 3-5 minutes as my Lean Cuisine cooks in the microwave.

Recipe searching was usually a fruitless endeavor because of my aforementioned eating habits. A startling number of recipes involved carrots. And lettuce. Ew.

But a couple of weeks ago I embarked upon a cooking adventure, armed with a recipe from Oprah that I, with all of the internet at my eager little fingertips, had Googled.  And to my surprise and pleasure, they turned out delicious!

If you like meatballs and peppers, I highly recommend these.


Ingredients
Turkey Meatballs
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion , chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper , chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper , chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic , chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • Olive oil or vegetable oil
Directions
Heat oil in large skillet (use enough oil to cover just the bottom of skillet). Add onion and stir briefly, until it's almost yellow. Add red pepper, green pepper and fry for 2 minutes. Add garlic and stir for 2 minutes, then remove from stove to cool. Let cool for 10 minutes.

Place flour on a large plate (for ease in creating the balls). With a wooden spoon, mix together turkey, eggs, parsley, salt, pepper, sautéed onions and peppers, and bread crumbs. Form a tablespoon size of the turkey mixture in the shape of ball. Place each meatball in skillet and fry until slightly brown. Slightly press the center of each meatball to make sure the center cooks.

Arrange on serving platter. Sprinkle ground pepper over top of each.

Bon appetit!
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