Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Simple Days

Ah, the simple days....

Sunday, May 18, 2014


It suffices to say that Endless Engineering was sucking the life out of me.  For the first time in my career, I felt like I could not engineer my way out of a paper bag.  What was there to blog about, Beer Girl using boobs and hair setting women’s rights back about 50 years?  And when she giggled and used her pageant pose when shit didn’t get done they giggled too and thought she was adorable?  It was more like Toddlers and Tampons then Tiaras. I.Was.Over.It.  

I began to realize that the favorite marketing word was “Fantastic”. The blond bimbo sat right outside my office, every other sentence included this gem. “You got the message I left you, fantastic!” “I have a fantastic marketing idea that includes Vegas showgirls on the sponsored golf hole!” “You had the admin person pick up my dry-cleaning? Fantastic!”  I made it a little mental drinking game. Every time she uttered her favorite word I took a mental tequila shot. The only problem was that I was punch drunk by 9 AM.  

But……I have escaped and we will never speak of it again. Except in snarky and amusing ways. Boss 1 couldn’t be bothered to set up time for an exit interview. He wants to know if we can have lunch in a few weeks and do it then. Ummm…..Pass.

My new project manager job starts tomorrow. Company name to be decided upon suitable reflection time and personalities are developed. Since I don’t want to be sued for slander by Endless Engineering, I will move on….for now.

Instead I will share the joys of home improvements in the form of bathroom remodeling.   The Big Tuna and I only have about a 90 minute shopping tolerance.  Making it very difficult to compare color swatches and textures when so overwhelmed but the choices. But the Man has a fatal shopping flaw. HE CAN’T STAY WITH THE CART!!!!  A prime example was once when I had my gallbladder out, I invited him to come help me with the heavy lifting.  He would drift off to miscellaneous aisles to return with armloads of snacks and treats. I could hardly push those $268 in groceries to the checkout stand.

In the tile store I was trying to work with their in store consultant only to spot the Big Tuna wandering in the wood floor aisle.  “This is why after 30 years, I shop alone, come here, come here, come here”, I shriek across the warehouse of wholesale tile using the front office megaphone.  Price check on marital sanity.  This week I tried a new casserole. Yum.

Sausage-Green Bean Casserole
2 Tablespoons olive oil
12 ounces frozen green beans defrosted in microwave
1 small onion chopped
1 pound ground Italian sausage
½ cup roasted red peppers chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1-16 ounce tube cooked polenta (found at Trader Joe’s) cut in ¼ inch rounds
½ cup chicken broth
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil and brown onion and garlic until translucent. Add ground sausage and brown. Stir in red peppers and green beans and cook 2 minutes. Layer polenta, sausage mixture, polenta, sausage mixture. Top with chicken broth and parm cheese. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.

But I figured out what many women before have used to tether their escaped convicts/husbands.  Hey baby, will you hold my purse, I’ll only be a minute.  Have Fantastic Week! Now drink up. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

My Big Fat Secret Blog

Soooooo........someone had potentially ratted me out to Endless Engineering about not being as kind as I could on evil Facebook. It scared the bejesus out of me so I made all my rantings secret and private here and there.

But yesterday I gave my notice to Boss 1 and Boss 2 that next Friday will be my last day. I feel like I need to keep it on the down low until after next week. At that time, I will regale you tales of hilarity, including how the Big Tuna can't STAY WITH THE CART, even after 30 years.  Stay tuned, same time, same place, same Tuna Channel.

Monday, February 3, 2014


In looking back, I can’t believe it’s been 3 months since I last posted.  What a lazy bitch I am. Perhaps this is a guilt post since Meg from Member’s Lounge dropped me a plea.  Well while the rest of you are enjoying day 57 off from work due to inclement snow, some of us are curled up on the couch with the flu.  Oh you might say I deserve it living in 75 degree weather every day, but I am currently stuck watching Teen Mom 2 since it seems like too much effort to get the remote.  Okay, maybe I like it.  A little bit.  

But I can tell you whose fault it is for the Polar Vortex, Sheldon and the Brit. Oh they were so hoity toitey about their perfect weather in southern California.  Because………the day after Thanksgiving they moved to FREAKING PENNSYLVANIA for some amazing job offer.  They poo poo’d the change in climate saying the most snow they ever got in York was a mere 20-inches a year. Except they got all of that in the first 20 minutes they were there.  By angering the weather channel gods, they have brought the wrath of an Armageddon winter to the I-95 corridor. 

Christmas via Skype 

But it is sooooooooooooooooooooooooo far. Waaahhhh,  our first Christmas apart.  My baby girl’s distant from the bosom of Tunaville.  But at least she is near to our extended family, frankly closer than she was to us living in the land of milk and honey. Sniff, sniff, I’m sure she’s fine, learning to drive on black ice, and chip ice off of her windshield with the edge of her credit card. In her first snow call home she shrilly announced that snow wasn’t soft and delicate, it positively melted when it landed on her. The major reason I fled New Jersey 30 years ago was because I knew I’d melt like the Wicked Witch of the West.

This week is a deep fried something, something to take away my pain.

Crunchy Honey Garlic Pork Chops
1 pound pork chops
2 eggs
4 tablespoons water
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon each salt, pepper, garlic powder
Oil for frying

2 tablespoons butter
1 ½ cups honey
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
½ cup soy sauce

Whisk eggs and water together in shallow dish, mix flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder in separate bowl.  Dip chops in flour first, then egg mixture and again in flour mixture.  Heat oil on medium high heat and cook chops for 6 minutes each side. Don’t turn or it will lose its coating.  Next melt butter in small sauce pan and add minced garlic for a minute or so. Add honey, soy sauce, brown sugar and fresh ginger.  Heat glaze ingredients for about 5 minutes.  Pour half of glaze into a 9” x 13” glass baking dish. Place pork chops on top and coat with remaining glaze. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Frankly, I couldn’t get over how moist the chops were, I was convinced they’d get all dried out and nasty from frying. 

The newlyweds were all hot to purchase a house before they even arrived on the scene.  Not the most practical approach to Sheldon’s overly practical parents.  Why not wait until you are actually on the scene since you have no idea where anything is relative to anything else. They were falling in love with pictures of adorable cottages, ignoring homes in the floodplain or missing roof tiles.  Fortunately, they finally opted to rent for a year and didn’t end up in a bad neighborhood of Amish Crypts and Bloods.  Ouch, I just felt a snot bubble pop in my brain, must rest my weary head. Good week Team Tuna.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Girl Interrupted

I remember when I use to have a blog, you remember when I had it too don’t cha? Oh the casual rants of a middle aged woman seeking to show the world that she was the biggest, baddest, smarty pants of them all. Balancing job layoffs, full time work, full time school, marrying off her beloved daughter, what the shit happened?

After birthing my graduation and Sheldon’s royal wedding, I somehow ran out of words, hard to believe.  I see dead people, okay not really you fraidy cats. Stop it. The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs. See, all the letters of the alphabet at least are at my fingertips.   But I’m going to just throw up on paper what swirls in my head.  

I had the opportunity to revisit ASU last week under the guise of promoting the Engineering Career Fair. Sweaty palmed males wearing suits purchased for their sister's wedding clumped together like geeky future colleagues.  The wafts of Axe Body Spray alternated with overwhelming body odor that could kill a pyramid of cheerleaders.   Every moist and limp handshake made me feel compelled to gargle with hand sanitizer.

Apparently I am not considered booth babe enough for the raging male hormones and Beer Girl was assigned to “help”.  Her long flowing tresses and fake boobs certainly enticed the shy awkward boys in but instead of asking questions about their career goals and GPA, she quizzed them about the best spots for 2 for 1 shot night.  They gobbled her up like trick or treat candy.  This week's (or frankly this season’s) recipe is a simple avocado salsa that Sheldon fed me on one of my trips to see my beloved baby girl.

Avocado Salsa
1-Jalepeno seeded and chopped
3 tablespoons cilantro chopped
4 tablespoons red onion minced
3 to 4 avocados cubed
Juice from 2 limes

Throw it all in a bowl and stir. Done. Easy as pie people.  We ate it on top of grilled fish and then the leftovers with a spoon.  That way we could convince ourselves we were all noble and diet like because we didn’t use tortilla chips to scoop it up.  

How I’ve missed the campus life. It seems like a hundred years ago since I graduated but in truth, just a mere 10 months ago that I had fodder for this pathetic blog.  Seeing girls wearing shorts with their lady parts hanging down and Ugg boots have invigorated me.  Let’s hope the inspiration continues, next week maybe I’ll tell how I didn’t key that guy’s BMW and instead resisting the daily urge not to swing my car door into his for a well-deserved door ding.  Go Team Tuna.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

King of His Castle

Bah, Endless Engineering and Beer Girl have been using up all my fictitious spare time. You would have thought once I completed college I’d been rolling in time. Basking by the pool and the swim up bar. But no, that would have been simply way too silly to consider. Instead I am resisting the urge to mainline No-Doze at 9 PM when trapped at the office working. Yes working after getting in at 6 AM. I am reading some of Beer Girl’s best work.  A recent write up she is submitting for a potential award.

"Placement of the channel was also critical. In order to preserve the natural beauty of the area, the channel was placed behind the trees along Rabbit Road, so no trees were harmed during this process. The squirrels were very pleased to have their trees." 

I.Am.Not.Kidding. Needless to say it hasn’t left me anytime to post fabulous updates on my life. Because basically, I no longer have one.  

Instead I will go back to my lovely vacation a month ago to California. The last time I had any fun at all. We stayed at our time share in Avila Beach, right on the ocean and simply fab.  We had a neat ocean view if we carefully leaned out over the balcony and looked to the right.  But they waited on us hand and foot. Our fridge was crapping out, no worries, they just wheeled in another.  Heaven forbid I couldn’t chill my wine and freeze ice cubes. Everything else is incidental.  Sheldon used her new job sales skills and scored us lots of extra free wine tasting tickets. Sniff, so proud I raised her with her priorities in the right place.

We decided one day to make a field trip up to Hearst Castle. In retrospect, taking the Brit with us emphasized the how uncouth and uncool Americans really are.  Earlier in the year we did the Birthday Cake Castle in Phoenix.  He was a bit horrified that he had to wear shoe booties inside so as not to mar the floors. He pointed out that he’d spent his youth climbing all over the strongholds of Europe without so much as a guide. Yeah, well, we have only a teeny tiny history here Bucko so we have to add hoopla.

Hearst Castle was pretty darn cool but a bit of a racket. After reserving your tickets, you are limited to see only certain rooms and for the love of God,  STAY ON THE CARPET PATHWAYS! Practically armed guards to make sure you don’t wander off willy nilly.   But they had cool wild zebras on the property. We practically crashed the rental car in our attempt to stop and take pictures.

Now my baby girl has started her own blog, the New Mrs. G, to discuss all things Pinterest. The same as crack for crafters. I sneeze at glitter and glue sticks make me dizzy. Please go over and leave her a little comment love and encouragement.  In her honor I’m posting one of her favorite recipes.

1 cup four
½ teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon melted butter

Sift flour and salt into bowl. Beat eggs and add milk and butter.  Pour into flour mixture. Beat until smooth for 2 minutes with electric mixer. Important that it is smooth and not lumpy. Pour batter into shortening greased muffin tins. (Cast iron, THE BEST!) Bake at 375 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes. No peeking or it will cause them to fall. Serve with butter and jam.

My Sistah, husband and the Girl met us there as well. An interesting twist was the Girl changed her Facebook status to “In a Relationship” while there.  But I am obviously blocked since only Sheldon could verify. Not to worry, we tortured her appropriately.  That’s my job right?

The Girl, Day 5 of Captivity

As you put yourselves to bed, please think of those of us chained to our desks at midnight. Good week (or month at this rate) Team Tuna.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Home Is Where the Heart Is

This past week I spent with my Sistah’s family and the newlyweds. As always when I go to San Luis Obispo, I have pangs of nostalgia. It was my mom’s favorite place, where we scattered her ashes overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

When you are young, your parents document your life’s achievements and moments to create your personal history. Given all of the technology available, they snap digital cameras and movie clips which they assemble in impressive scrapbooks and Facebook posts. It reminds them of your accomplishments and how proud they are of you.  Their children are, in fact, their shining star, illuminated, and center stage in their lives.  I confess that I am somewhat guilty of recording much of my daughter’s life in a similar manner.  My own mother, with whom my daughter and were very close, passed away after a long battle with cancer three years ago.   I know we were the shining light of her life as she was of ours.

In going through her things, we were surprised at what she kept as mementos. It was difficult to decide what to save and what to donate as my daughter didn’t want to depart with a single thing. Many of the items had no real dollar value and were only for my mom’s sense of wanting to mark a distinctive moment in time.   There was a beautiful aquamarine ring that her father had brought back from India. He told her the blue green color reminded him of her eyes. My grandfather was a single parent for most of her life who passed away when I was in kindergarten. She wore it only on special occasions and always told us funny stories about him when she did. 

There was also a colored pencil sketch that someone did of her in her early thirties on lined notebook paper. It was stuck in a folder to keep the edges from curling yet never framed. It was lovely, but we don’t know why she didn’t display it. Buried amongst the scraps of paper were letters that my sister and I had written to the Tooth Fairy. They carefully outlined that our mother could vouch for a lost tooth and could we please have an increase in pay as well. I’m not sure why she picked these communications over notes or love letters from her youth. There are still notes stuffed in a drawer I can't bring myself to read.  I think it was another demonstration of how she chose us over herself.  

Every Christmas Eve, my mother organized a Jack Corner prize where each child pulled an early gift with a string to occupy them for the evening. It was highly anticipated that we would receive a much coveted book or game to keep us upstairs while my parents helped Santa wrap and assemble. It is a lasting memory and tradition we continue even today as adults.  Christmas remains our closest family tie to her and each other.

My mom was, and still remains, the guiding light on what it means to be a family.  Her life is our framework on remembering what is important to reminisce over. But our lives remain an open book, which we continue to add to the back pages as an ever expanding story.  A photo can capture the inner soul of a person and above is a picture of her on my christening day. I didn’t notice until months after her death, the necklace she wearing is one of my favorite things I kept rather than give away. While we miss her every day, we can find the love and humor in our lives because she made us who we are now.