Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Up late having made romesco sauce for Thursday Night Dinner and some really great chickpea dip for "food day."

Are there other offices that have such a thing as "food day?" It has to be sanctioned by management and has to be for a reason and everyone brings in food for lunch. We're having a lunch-time tailgate party for the super bowl. Really, I don't eat food made by other people. I don't know what's in it and I can't possibly know whose idea of "no meat" includes chicken broth or lard. Plus, it's on Friday, the day after TND, and I'll have leftovers.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Let's Cause Some Trouble

There are just some things I should never do because it reminds me of how angry I am, how angry I've always been and it brings back all the hate and it makes me want to break things, don't worry, my own things, like dishes and glasses and things that will make lots of breaking noises when the shatter.

But enough of that.

'Cause it's one thing to start it with a positive jam, it's another thing to see it all through.

We'll soon go on to meet the sweetest boy ever, and check out new pics of the cats, and somehow I'll figure out how to link to the OTHER blog - the Thursday Night Dinner blog. You wanna know what we've (we??? who is we???) been cooking up at the 542, right? I'm sure you wanna know where those fancy knives came from and how'd all those pots and pans get here? And, hey, you kill plants on a regular basis, so how's that bay tree so big???


Monday, January 14, 2008

I’m not saying we could save you, but we could put in a place where you could save yourself.

Last Tuesday evening, I went to 63B girls’ night. It has long been a second-Tuesday-of-the-month tradition. It began for many reasons. One reason was so that we could finish conversations that we had started on the bus. There were a handful of us who rode the same express bus in to work and back home every day and we naturally just started having conversations. Of course, since we were on the bus, the conversations were limited to 20-25 minutes and frequently we’d have liked them to be longer. The group became very fluid, including some guys, people who no longer rode the bus, people who live in the neighborhood, friends of bus riders, etc. Throughout the years of this group, we’ve gone to each others’ parties, gone on vacation together, watched each other’s kids, networked, and all the things friends generally do with each other.

Back in March, on the working-day after I got laid off, another woman from the bus was laid off as well. We each sent our resume to all of our friends, including the friends from the bus. While sharing job-search strategies, I found out that a few of the bus people had been going out of their way to help her out. Her situation is very different so I can understand how they might be more inclined to help her.

However, these people have done absolutely nothing to help me. And, on more than one occasion, they had been in a position where they could help. At one point I asked one of them for specific help and the help he provided was the bare minimum of what he could have done. Even after the other woman has a new job, even after they know my unemployment has run out, even after they know that I’m temping and this job sort of doesn’t even pay the bills, they still can’t be bothered to help at all.

This is especially bothersome because a handful of other people have been going out of their way to help me out. Some with job finding, some just by paying for drinks/food when they can or not charging me for sharing a hotel room, and some just by keeping my music library up to date. And by other people I mean old friends, new friends who I've known for less than a year, ex-boyfriends (or whatever) and people from the Hold Steady message boards. I mean really, some of these people don't even know me and they are doing extraordinary things for me. Seriously, the necklace guy has done more for me.

So, on Tuesday when I met the bus girls I had to ask how much a Yuengling draft was because I only had $4. They all saw/heard this. Then, they sat around and talked about their promotions and raises and successful businesses. And when it was time to pay, they took my $4.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The 80’s almost killed me.

Thank you THS. Back in March, when I met Galen, Tad and Franz for the first time, all I wanted to do was thank them for saving music for me. On that first night, when they invited me to drink with them, there was no way to know just how much they were to change my life, or how much they already had.

For a very long time, I was pretty down on new music and tired of the old music. Nothing was catching my attention, nothing was making me want to listen, actively listen. I’ve heard a bunch of people say that THS has inspired them to pick up their guitar/drums/band again. Since I’ve never been a music playing kind of person, THS inspired me to like music again. And with that, two THS related people have sent me mixes in the last month or so. Mr. Howard Roberts of Leeds is one of the most amazing and sweetest people I’ve never met. Mr. Franz Nicolay is, of course, keyboards for THS. Bonus: I’m expecting yet another CD from another THS US member (who can, if he wants, just give me the CD when I see him in Tampa).

1. Mr. Howard Roberts’ mix cd. The first track is Cherry Lips by the Archie Bronson Outfit. I have no idea what’s on the rest of it because every time I hear this song, I listen over and over and over. Songs shouldn’t be this good. Okay, I DO know what’s on the rest of it and it’s pretty darn good. If you’re lucky, I’ll play it for you some time.

2. Mr. Franz Nicolay’s mix cd. Well, it’s not really a cd. It’s his 50 favorite songs of last year, sent via sendspace or whatever that thing is. (Disclaimer: I skipped the Churchill speech and one song wouldn’t load so I only have 48.) With few exceptions, these songs are completely knocking me out. Exceptions equal good songs instead of amazing songs. I’m listening at work and am completely distracted. Shhh, don't tell anyone.

Highlights from Franz' mix:

  • Give the Anarchist a Cigarette, Chumbawamba (nothing ever burns all by itself, every fire needs a little bit of help);
  • I Love Louisa, The Band Wagon (beer goes very good with beer);
  • Me and My Gin, Dinah Washington (I got juiced last night and took my man to his wife's front door)
  • Tickle My Spine, Looker (Reminds me of the Prissteens, who I love(d));
  • These Windows on the World, The Gena Rowlands Band (This is really beautiful and sweet and just a bit strange);
  • Direct Hit, Art Brut (I adore Art Brut - top of the pops!);
  • My Shit’s Fucked Up, Warren Zevon (hysterical - I think that only Warren Zevon can pull this off);
  • Famous Virgins, Kate Ferencz (I can’t love this song more, I have to listen to it at least twice every time and strangely, it mentions Immanuel Kant and asks Lewis Carroll, “when it’s raining in wonderland, what do you do?”);
  • Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole, Martha Wainwright (I think this was my theme song about a month ago);
  • To Hell with Good Intentions, McLusky (Reminds me of LCD Soundsystem, but angrier and more rockin');
  • Used to Call Me Baby, Split Lip Rayfield (Used to call me baby, now she don’t call at all . . . we played Donkey Kong all the day long);
  • All Men are Liars, Nick Lowe (Every so often, I stumble upon a song I'd heard forever ago and never thought I'd hear again, this is one of those);
  • Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps Please, Splodgenessabounds (this reminds me of something else, another band and another song, something about buying things in a convenience store);
  • I Drink, Charles Aznavour (I give you a toast to the wine and the roses, to the deadly cirrhosis)

P.S. Thanks, MC, for solving the dilemma of my last post without even knowing you were doing it.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Separation Sunday

I fucking hate Sundays. Can someone please come up with a way to make them NOT suck?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Girl You Gotta Cover That

One of my random, under-the-table jobs was packing gift baskets for a shop in the strip. I had done it before, during the evenings right before Christmas. It’s all standing and walking and bending and carrying. About two weeks before I started, while perusing the Goodwill in Monroeville, I happened upon a pair of black shoes that looked like they might be good for the job. They were $3 + they fit = they were mine.

Since I wasn’t sure how the “new” shoes would hold up for an entire day, I brought an extra pair with me. Standing for 8+ hours in uncomfortable shoes would suck. I arrived in the strip and found a nearby parking spot on a side street where the meter had been, um, removed. It was a beautiful, clear, cool morning. The Hold Steady had been playing on my IPod when I pulled up, so I figured I could listen to the rest of the song during the 3-block walk. I exited my car, hit play and proceeded up the sidewalk.

At the end of the block, sort of at an alley, a construction pick-up truck with air compressor in-tow was parked. Nobody was around. A wooden horse was next to the truck at a slight angle. I ignored it. Until started sinking. I took two giant, slow-motioned, panicked steps before the first foot was out of the wet cement. On solid ground I looked around, embarrassed but laughing and completely surprised that still, nobody was around. I sort of stomped a couple of times, like you do to get the snow off your shoes, but it didn’t really work. Back in my car, I tried to wipe off as much wet cement as possible and changed my shoes. (Ha! Knew there was a reason I brought the spare ones!) Thinking that the cement people would probably be back I hid my cement-covered shoes so they wouldn’t know it was me. (Would I find am angry note on my car? Or maybe a smashed window? Or would they just point and laugh when I came back?)

Around 5-ish when I came back to my car, all the sidewalk corners had been re-cemented, the one by my car twice, and completely covered, wooden horses surrounding and tarp over those, tied in place and held down by bricks.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

They met as kids he was angry and angsty. She was a damned good dancer. (see #6)

Recent good things:

1. Two Fridays before Christmas I came home from a second interview at Pitt (don’t get excited, I didn’t get the job) around 4:30 and it was already starting to get dark. When I opened my front door, one of those spiral light trees was glowing in my “dining room.” It hadn’t been there when I left.

2. One of the baristas where I get coffee on Saturday mornings gave me a giant free latte.

3. The hott boy at one of my favorite cafes charged me $2 for a pizza and some coffee. Should have been about $10.

4. A co-worker from my basket packing temp job bought my yogurt and grape leaves two Saturdays ago and then brought me Greek pastries at work one night.

5. I have a new comforter and it is wonderful - 100% cotton cover, wool/silk fill.

6. Dinner last Friday. That was good. Depending on how you look at it, it took one year or 16 years.

Recent not so good things:

1. UPMC temping. I’m in a cubicle and not answering phones, but there really isn’t much to do and I’m bored. Your healthcare dollars at work.

2. I’m having a moral dilemma. Should I tell that girl what she’s getting in to? I mean forewarned is forearmed, no? The women have got to stick together, no? But considering that she KNEW we were still together when they started seeing each other, does she deserve a heads up? And will she even belive me?

3. We’re looking at spring for another THS tour. So far away.

4. My oven bakes so unevenly that about ¼ of my chocolate chip cookies are slightly burnt, but still delicious.

5. I really don’t have anything to put here, I just wanted both #6’s to correspond.

6. Okra. And being hopeful, but terrified, but unable to stop thinking and making up all kinds of crazy scenarios in my head that make no sense and gearing myself up for a big let-down, mainly because if I prepare for the worst, it won’t suck so badly if/when it happens and if it doesn’t, it will be even better, sort of a surprise.