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.

Friday, May 31, 2013

A Few Short Hours

A few short hours until I am in this place with these people  XOXO

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sheldon in the House

We have been lucky to have back to back weekends with our little baby girl.  Sheldon and the Brit made the long trek to Phoenix this weekend for Mommy’s Day.  Hooray!!!! It’s about Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! I mean, so wonderful to see the kids.  The added bonus was it was the Big Tuna and my anniversary.   Yup, that’s right, I shoot the whole wad of celebration in a 8 day period time. Nada for me until Christmas.  Feel free to send bottles of wine in order to drown my sorrows.

Last weekend, the Big Tuna and I trekked our way to Palm Springs to meet Sheldon and the Brit at the sort of halfway mark between Phoenix and Orange County for my birthday. The real center meet up is a little more like Blythe, trust me, you don’t want to get to know Blythe.  Picture a truck weigh station, police barracks and a sad Burger King, Facebook check-in marks it as “at Middle of Nowhere AZ”. Believe me there isn’t diddly squat between here and there. 

It had been over a month since we’d last saw the newlyweds, naturally I wanted to have a girls sleepover with me, leaving the men to share a king size bed.  Those meanies weren’t having any of that.  Sniff, likely because they both snore and didn’t want to keep each other awake. I’m sure that’s it. But that’s not to say they didn’t have bromance time. While Sheldon and I went shopping, they caught the 10 AM Ironman 3 movie.  They made a little confession at lunch, they’d eaten Burger King Whopper’s rather than traditional popcorn when watching the movie with all the other 12 year olds.  Here is a special salad my Sistah made for us today.

Spinach-Basil Salad
6 cup spinach leaves washed
1 cup fresh basil washed in ripped in ½ inch pieces
½ cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic minced
½ cup pine nuts
4 ounces prosciutto
Black pepper to taste
¾ cup parmesan cheese

Toss spinach and basil in large bowl. Heat oil in sauté pan, add garlic and nuts until nuts brown. Stir in prosciutto and sauté one minute, add pepper. Add warm dressing to spinach and basil. Sprinkle with cheese and serve immediately.

The four hour drive certainly brings interesting conversations…..and interesting personal hygiene observations. As I sat with my feet propped on the dash with the sun beating down on the windshield I notice a few golden hair patches missed on my legs. Ah well, I scoffed, they’re very blond, I’m sure just easily missed since I can’t wear my reading glasses in the shower. No biggie right? Until I notice that apparently, I haven’t been doing such a swell job on the back of my legs for who knows how long.  Frick, you could braid that shit. I got a god damn mullet on the back of my legs.  Ughhhhhhh.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to....

The Big Tuna and I are meeting up this weekend in Palm Springs with Sheldon and the Brit. Waaaahhh....never want to leave.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

We Got Game

Every spring blossoms the Annual Transportation Conference, where geeky engineers break free of their HP calculators and kiddie soccer coaching duties. They shove their fancy mechanical pencils and titanium pocket scales into their book bags, distanced from their hen pecking wives to drink free flowing booze and stay up past their bedtime. But they are out of shape for wine, women, and song instead, awkwardly palling around with other social misfits, exchanging business cards and snazzy conference apps.

You might even remember I was the Hot Chick last year. Endless Engineering was oozing with jealously when they saw me making out with other attending consultants. It finally brought them to the table with an actual job offer instead of vague promises of permanent employment.   Six months ago it was decided we needed to GET SERIOUS and hire a person to drive the marketing train. It came down to two candidates, in theory so I could get back to doing actual billable work. I would like to point out that this goal has not reached fruition. The first was a shy, soft spoken girl with experience in the industry; the second……was Beer Girl.  Tiny and petite with long blond hair, permanent white tipped nails and big, big, boobs.  Even though her previous background was medical sales and Budweiser advertisements, they were smitten.  Even on my best day I can’t even convince myself I am a measly B cup.  Welcome to the itty bitty titty club. 

Beer Girl came up with a scavenger game for those of us that had to babysit the exhibitor space and entice peeps to our booth.  The theme started off as the “Hunger Games”, great, let’s kill and eat other consultants so we can get ahead. I was supposed to say, “may the odds forever be in your favor”, but I kept fucking it up and saying “may the force be with you.” Thus showing my age and uncoolness. Naturally she couldn’t join us because she was too busy doing origami birds or something.  Boss 1 and 2 think she is amazing, so clever and smart. I Googled the exact same marketing ploy, not exactly unique.  Well played Beer Girl, well played. 

Since we’re focused on beer, here is a recipe to match our theme.

Crock Pot Beer Chicken
2 pounds chicken breasts
1 can or bottle beer
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon pepper

I have one of those fancy ass grill racks but I’m not coordinated enough to figure out how to balance on the grill top.  I’m much more of a throw stuff together and hope for the best. Combine all ingredients in crook pot and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-8 hours.

While at the conference I began receiving frantic text messages from the cleaning woman.  She requires cold hard cash for services rendered.  I’d left it smack in the middle of dining room table, with a paperclip the same as every time.  The Big Tuna bounced to the dunes five minutes after I bolted to the conference, so no emergency backup.  Please, please, please clean my house, I’m good for the dough, I’ve faithfully paid for almost twenty years. I’ve got 12 people coming for dinner this weekend and I can’t let them see the tumbleweeds of blond dog hair.  On my drive home I called the man expressing dismay on the missing money.  In the brief moments left alone in the house, he thoughtfully put the money in a drawer “because he didn’t think we should leave cash lying around”. He’s lucky Kathy the Wonderful came through or there would have been Labrador Retriever hair in the potatoes.  Here’s wishing you a good week Team Tuna.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Real Sheldon of Orange County

Now that the Royal Wedding and mingling with the malcontent students is over, I feel like I have nothing entertaining to spill.  I peruse your blogs wishing I had two or three quips to string together into something that resembles an amusing blog post.  But I have an excuse, my horoscope told me to wait. “There is something satisfying about a good rant, and you might let yourself go on and on, especially in writing. But don’t deliver this in writing to anyone, sit on it awhile. “

See, I have a note to the principal.

Last weekend, I drove from Phoenix to Sheldon and the Brit’s new hood in Orange County. No spotting of Lisa Vanderpump or Adrienne Maloof. Not that I, ummm know about those housewives or anything.   It’s an adorable two bedroom closet for a mere king’s ransom every month.  Rather than sunning and funning, Sheldon and I splurged and purged all their co-mingling crud.  It was a combination of his apartment, her storage unit and all the wedding gifts including an unassembled dinette set.  Sheldon was pretty handy and finished putting together the chairs because as a woman, she knows how to read the directions. The son in law had to conveniently work all weekend to avoid the pitching/organizing fray.  Mostly, it made everybody like cranky overtired toddlers who needed to be put down for naps.

When I arrived Friday night I parked in the designated permit only space, querying Sheldon who assured me I had permission from property management. Let’s just say when I wandered out Saturday morning with several unpacked “borrowed” items to take back to Phoenix, I wasn’t stunned to discover it had been towed away.  A mere $310 buckaroos later, my little Ford Focus was sprung from car jail.  

I love Southern Cali, so beautiful with soothing ocean waves and glorious flora. But it is filled with all those annoying athletic and fit vegans sipping their soy lattes. Fuckers.   It made me feel frumpy and lumpy, like someone who eats sticks of butter for snack time. Thank goodness the ritzy Starbucks has a wine and cheese happy hour to drown my sorrows.   I’m embracing it, so here’s a nice fatty meal.

Fettuccine with Scallops with Lemons
1 pound green
1 pound fettuccine
5 Tablespoons butter (yes five, feel it adhering to your thighs)
¼ cup fresh lemon juice, about 4 lemons
1 pound scallops
2 cloves garlic
Salt to taste

Cook green beans as 1-inch pieces. Cook pasta per directions. Sauté minced garlic in 1 tablespoon butter. Add scallops and cook for two minutes. Add beans and pasta. Simmer until scallops are opaque. Add lemon juice and remaining butter. Serve with parmesan cheese.  

The newlyweds are putting off babies for the time being. Instead, they have their rescue kitty, Awesome to fulfill their parental desires. It’s like a test run, we’ve all done that. “Getting a puppy is great training for kids”. Snort, right. Besides, we all know the second bedroom is for me to visit.  

You are welcome to pet me now. #youaremyslave

 P.S. I might try a new format or two. Perhaps random ridiculous one liners or a monthly What Not to Wear feature.  But always, always a recipe. Let me know what you think peeps. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sheldon Takes the Plunge

Our baby girl, Sheldon, did the deed and wedded the Brit last weekend. Once I raced to the finish line running purely on adrenaline, my body retaliated by giving me a crappy cold to punish me.  Thus the delay in my recounting of this tale. At first I thought I was losing my voice from endless conversation and perhaps a teeny tiny hangover. But no, I have spent the whole week chugging orange juice like a frat boy and grain alcohol gone bad.

The royal event was the culmination to a topsy turvy season. Nerdy Sheldon had been having a sucky time with a particular class that she was taking for the FOURTH time that she needed to graduate.  She would return red eyed and blotchy from advising appointments without resolution.  I called for a parent teacher conference with the ASU counselor for my 23 year old weeper.  I forced the advisor, who was a theater rather math major, to bring in the head of the department.  They shared that they understood they were having an “issue” with this class since 50 percent of the little geeks failed.  The heavily German accented math head said it was because they didn’t do enough proof classes in high school. Well Toto, she had all A’s before this and she ain’t going back in time.  After 15 weeks of tearful tragedy, she passed and we walked together from ASU.  Thankyoubabyjesus, mommycouln’ttakeanymoredrama.

The reason I share this side story is to demonstrate what a crybaby Sheldon is. She cried at the wedding rehearsal, walk down the aisle, during her vows, during communion, hugging me on the way out of the church, daddy-daughter dance. I am a sympathy crier, if you turn on the waterworks; I am snatching tissues out of your hands to blot my own tears. At this point I was immune; I did not shed a single drip.  The Big Tuna was a bit more misty, the next day when the newlyweds packed up for their move to California he had a bit of a breakdown.  He started crying and laughing uncontrollably, I thought he was having some kind of weird stroke, it scared the dogs.  Here is a new recipe I tried this week, not bad or hard.

Easy Chicken Pie
2 cups cooked chicken breast
10 ounce package mixed vegetables-I found one with green beans and corn
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ cup water
½ parmesan cheese
1 package refrigerated biscuits

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In skillet, combine all ingredients except for biscuits and heat until bubbling. Transfer to 2 quart casserole dish. Cut biscuits into quarter and place on top of meat mixture. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

A few young ladies claimed to have gotten a stomach bug, I’m thinking it was the bridesmaid flu.  The cheerful little one shared that they didn’t get to bed until 4 AM and didn’t really drink too too  much. Only one puked in the bushes.   This freaked out my friend Nurse Nancy who works at the CDC.  She spent the entire weekend verifying health stats and picked up preventative anti nausea medicine for the flight home.  She practically curled into the fetal position when she spotted my dad Buzz kissing ladies hands.  Planting one on old ladies wrists at the senior center must be proving advantageous, he could hardly wait to play that move at every vaguely eligible lady at the reception.

I, of course, can hold my liquor. Just me and my drunk girlfriends on the dance floor spinning flower girls like tops. But I know the love call of my man.  Once Love Shack starts thumping, it pricks the Big Tuna’s primal senses and he bounds onto the scene like a love sick moose.  It is his personal mating call, works every time.  Good luck baby girl, we wish you and the Brit the same love and adoration we’ve shared for 30 years. XOXOXO, Mom and Dad