Tuesday, January 30, 2007

target audience = me

Pedigree, the dog food brand, has been running an ad campaign to promote their dog-adoption drive. There are several that focus on individual dogs in shelters (all have since been adopted, I learned on the website). One ad, however, gets me every time. It shows several dogs in shelter pens, most with that typical kind of confused look that dogs tend to have, with a voice-over of the dogs' shared internal monologue.

I can't remember it verbatim, but it ends, "I don't know how I got here. I just know I'm a good dog, and I want to go home."

AUGH! Heart...knotting...need...doggy...

(The pup above, by the way, is a Scotch terrier mix named Oatmeal, also now happily ensconced in a loving home.)

Look, I'm not a psychotic activist with an all-consuming passion for the fauna of our world; Lord knows I've yet to meet a spider I don't wish dead several times over. However, I've lived for too long in pet-prohibited buildings, and I feel, very strongly, that lacking something that comes from having a furry little face to greet me at the door. I always had a dog growing up, and as soon as I'm allowed, I will always have pets from this point forward. For a little food and shelter, we get unconditional love, and I can think of few things more wonderfully solid in our increasingly disconnected electronic age.

If you feel so inclined, you can donate to the adoption campaign at Pedigree's site. Or spread the word to friends who are looking for pets, or just give your own furry companion an extra scratch behind the ears or belly rub. They should know just how lucky they are, and I think you should too.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

how my husband shops for groceries

Jim: "So I was leaving the beer, and I was looking at the list as I prepared to go up to food storage, over to the cheese and back down through frozen, when I realized I had forgotten the chocolates. I would have to backtrack! But then, see, I noticed the seasonal aisle right on my way, with all the Valentine's chocolate. And I thought, "Ah-hah! I know I can find something here." Isn't that great?"

And I used to wonder why he still talks about the day in Paris when we forgot the good map at a café.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

yip yip

These things scared the bejeepers out of me when I was a child.

My husband had never seen them until tonight.


PETA is coming for my soul

Tonight I made mussels again. I have done this only twice in my lifetime -- prepared mussels at home, that is -- a fact which shocked (shocked!) the Freeds a couple of weeks ago. Alisa and I, you know, both adore mussels, and I think our husbands are on the positive side of "liking more than normal," so it's odd I never took the plunge (...hee!) and made them at home.

However, making mussels does take a fair amount of planning. They are not the kind of protein you can bring home and keep in the fridge for a day or two before you get around to cooking them, so it's really one of those things where you have to be shopping with "What am I going to make tonight?" firmly in the forefront of the mind.

They were delicious a couple of weeks ago, though, thanks to Jim doing the hard work of debearding, and I decided to make them again tonight, so I went to Wild Oats to procure some good Prince Edward Island specimens.

I had a coupon to use, so while I was there I also splurged on some lamb rib chops.

This got me to thinking about when my parents or my aunt and uncle would send solicited, or unsolicited, packages of meat (hi, Mom!). The meat in all its forms was uniformly fantastic, but I was particularly entranced by the gorgeous frenched rack of lamb, which really did not seem to be beyond the realm of reasonable price, even compared to that available in this here neck of the woods.

I started surfing around Lobel's tonight, then, to see what I could find.

Frankly? Their rack of lamb is obscenely affordable, unless I've been going to the wrong butchers up here, and I'm not implicating the marked-up grocery stores in that comment (I'm looking at you, butcher-on-Brackett-whom-I-won't-name-here-for-liability-reasons). So forget the financial implications -- it's tax time, after all, and we're due a big refund -- I'm thinking it's time to order* something delicious from The Powers That Be.

Dinner's at 7, if you're interested.

*Ordering postponed until we determine definitively if, and what, our tax refund will be. IRS, are you reading? Good.

Friday, January 19, 2007

why i love laura soto

On her primary artistic choices in decorating her apartment:

Laura: "I like a whole lot of crap going on...and a donkey."

Me: "Well, there ya go, then."

procrast in motion

What I need to do:

Prep 1000 pages (give or take) of new SAT teaching materials.

Watch the DVD of Broadway Junior's "Disney's Aladdin" to learn the choreography I'll be teaching.

Copy-edit a 215-page manuscript in my new job as a freelance book editor.

What I am actually doing:

Looking up recipes for bourbon-pecan pie, blackberry trifle, chocolate bread pudding, and the best method of making my own breadcrumbs.

Wondering if Rachel's and my in-laws' recent adherence to the first phase of South Beach has triggered a previously-unknown inherent sadistic urge to cook carbohydrates.

It's not that I can't focus. I'm supremely able to fixate on a single concept, such as "Bread! Yum!" It would seem, rather, that I am singularly incapable of focusing on what actually needs my attention.

Pecan pie, anyone?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

cute for the common cold

I definitely default to needing extra cuteness in my life when I'm sick:

The January kitten on my kitten-a-month calendar;

More kittens, on a birthday card from EB;

The flowers Jim got me to cheer me up;

My first subscription issue of Food & Wine, which came with an offer of two free issues of Real Simple.

"Wait a second," you're thinking to yourself. "One of these things is not like the others." Well, I take my cues from Mr. Carroll:

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."

Sounds good to me. Kittens and gourmet ingredients both fit the "cute" bill on days like today, when I need to escape the bonds of sinus congestion.

Unless I stumble on a recipe for marinated tabby with edible flowers. Then I'll know I've got to cut back on the pseudoephedrine.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

what did i ever do to you, el niño?

It's sixty-three degrees out. An azure sky filled with cotton-candy clouds lightly caresses southern Maine.

I'm wrapped in a blanket, drinking tea, trying to pronounce my sibilants and liquids* clearly, and attempting to keep the contents of my sinus cavity and lungs firmly where they belong. Worst of all? I'm going to have to miss out on the Freeds' glorious hasenpfeffer.

I've clearly pissed of the weather anomalies in charge. Great. That bodes well for the year.

*To the linguistics experts among my reading cohort (of which there are several): Apologies for messing up my articulation nomenclature. I did the best I could in the germ-induced haze.

Friday, January 05, 2007

happy birthday to sneeze

My birthday present to myself was to wait until after January 2 to contract the Head Cold from Hell that everyone else in my immediate vicinity has had.

However, now that I've done so, I have to seek out entertainment that I can enjoy while bundled on the couch, clutching a mug of tea.

Thank heavens for the internet.

I, too, dislike the piece of music in question with a fair amount of fervor. But whether due to this guy's hilarity or the Dayquil (or both), I could listen to the version(s) of it in this clip over and over and over again.

Welcome to twenty-eight.

Monday, January 01, 2007

young enough to get (gift) carded

Functional and cute outfits I should buy with my Banana Republic gift cards:

Adorable but entirely unneeded bag I want to buy with my Banana Republic gift cards:

I should not be allowed to shop on the eve of my birthday. It makes the irresponsible choice far too tempting.