Friday, December 11, 2009

Just a little fun.

Tonight's performance signals the halfway mark of this season's production of Home for the Holidays: A Christmas Musical. Oh yes, InterPeople, I am in a show less than three months after giving birth. (I wasn't planning on it; the original actress bailed last minute. I rehearsed three times before we opened. Two of those rehearsals didn't count because half the people couldn't make it.) Only six more shows to go!

It's sort of like Groundhog Day except only for a couple hours. We joke that we like to keep things "fresh" -- this simply means we like to "do things on stage that will hopefully cause the other actors to break character."

I'm winning.

I just knew my sarcastic wit and humor would come in handy! I throw things in all over the place but I am nice about it. I usually throw something at someone who isn't really part of the scene. That way they don't have to really respond... they just can't laugh. (Random things I've said: "My father was a boyscout." And "I find instructional videos quite effective. That's how I learned to polka." Doesn't mean much here, but trust me, it was FUNNY!) I almost broke a girl last weekend. We'll see what I can pull of this weekend! Although, the guy playing the gayest gay Christmas caroler EVER had me just about busting a gut last show.

We might look like innocent professional actors, but you never know what's going on up on that stage.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Show Off

I love Christmas at the office. Each holiday season we receive boxes of unhealthiness in mass quantities from the various firms we work with (along with this one lone fruit basket from a company that hates us, but that's a story for another day). The expensive, name brand, top-of-the-line chocolate goes home with our boss. The generic boxes get set out on the counter in the spirit of goodwill. Today is a cheap chocolate day and we gladly welcomed a box of off-brand bite sized mint chocolate truffles.

Bite sized to me means "shove the whole thing in your mouth because, hey - they're small enough to make that behavior socially acceptable." My co-worker however, defines its size more as "must take teeny tiny bites ever so slowly and methodically in an effort to make this singular piece of chocolate last as long as humanly possible."

To each his own. Let's just say he's had two pieces to my seventeen. Who's the loser now, fancy eater?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Almond Shortbread

Well, since no one was hospitalized after eating my cookie exchange shortbread, I figured I'd share my secret recipe:

ALMOND SHORTBREAD
1 7-ounce can or roll almond paste, chilled and grated (do not use almond pie filling)
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter a 9x13-inch pan; set aside.
Using electric mixer, combine almond paste, sugar and butter.
Beat on low until combined, then beat on high until light and fluffy.
Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating until mixture is light and sugar is dissolved.
Using a wooden spoon, add flour and baking powder, mix just until all ingredients are incorporated.
Spoon batter into prepared pan; even out and score very shallow lones, using the back of a knife, into batter to mark size and shape desired.
Back 22 to 26 minutes at 350 degrees, until shortbread is a very light golden color.
Cool in pan on wire rack.
If adding decoration, do it before cutting on scored lines.
Pack into airtight container and freeze for up to a month. (Or leave them out and eat the entire pan in one evening like I did.)
Thaw, wrap and present as gifts.
Because they are very rich, pieces should be cut quite small, in squares or triangles.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What's so hard about a roast?

I found a delicious recipe for a no-fail pork roast. NO FAIL, people. That's a recipe right up my alley! I must admit I was pretty darn successful with the cookies the other night so this would surely be a walk in the culinary park!

The recipe seemed simple enough. A few spices mixed together and rubbed all over the meat. Sear the meat. (Ok, that one had me wondering but it just means to put it in a frying pan and kind of cook the outside real quick. Something I could surely handle.) Toss the wad of pork into a slow cooker, add a bit of water and, according to the words printed on the recipe, "cook on high 2 hours; reduce to low heat and cook 4 to 6 hours more."

On an on this recipe blabbered about how soft and tender and juicy this thing was guaranteed to be. At 11:30pm I closed the lid on the meat and sat down with Cletus to begin his nightly "let's see how many hours I can cry, fuss and fidget" routine. I set my mental alarm for two hours later when I pictured myself walking into the kitchen, bouncing Cletus along the way, and switching the knob from high to low....

The good news is Cletus slept for an unprecedented seven hours straight!

The bad news is the roast was the size of a hamburger patty and I can't get the scorched stench out of the house.

Can't Make Me

Fine. I'll admit it. I've never seen A Charlie Brown Christmas. I won't do it. I don't want to. The song annoys me and the beginning is so darn depressing it leaves me with no choice but to change the channel. I don't want to watch the gang booing Charlie Brown when they learn he's their new director. I don't want to sit through a half hour of Chuck looking sad and depressed and feeling like a complete social outcast. That doesn't exactly scream "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas!" to me It's more like "help yourself to whatever is under the sink; I'll heat up the oven."

Monday, December 7, 2009

Car-ma

My car died Saturday. Well, not really. It didn't die all the way, but it will soon. Kind of like that scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail:
"I'm not dead..."
"What? He says he's not dead."
"Well, he will be soon."

Like I told the guy at the garage, "The headlight is out, and it spastically jerks about if the needle gets near the number two in that little RPM dial thingy."

As if that's not enough, the steering went out in Big V's new-to-him truck. We were in the driveway getting ready to return a video.
"Wow, that squeak is really loud. What is that? Is that a belt?"
"I think it's the rotars."
"The brake rotars? But we're not moving. Do they make noise if we're not moving? Are you sure that it's not a belt?"
"No, I'm pretty sure it's the brakes."

So, V, who knows absolutely nothing about mechanical things, hops back out of the truck, lifts the hood, and stares at the inside because, really, what else are you going to do when you open the hood of a vehicle and know nothing about what is going on inside there? So he stares. And stares some more. And then the truck stopped. As in, the motor just shut off.

Well, ain't that somethin'?

V hops back in the truck, closes the door and sits.

"Maybe it's a safety thing - like if the brakes don't work right then the engine won't let you drive the truck." He gave me this look as if to say, 'you are not helping.'


So here sits a couple with three children between them and no working vehicles. Not good. V, being a man who takes care of things, gets a ride to the shop and brings home a work truck to use, and promptly backs it into the driveway and into my car.

Take your time. You can re-read that sentence again.

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong.

When I am already at the office and you hear me comment that my pants seem just a tad too short the correct response is, "Not at all - they look great; all the sheek New York moms wear their pants that length." It is most definately not, "Well, once you lose weight they'll fit nicer. The fabric won't have to stretch around your butt as far."

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cookie Exchange Update

I forgot my cookies. You know, the ones I exchanged for. The ones I was supposed to take home to my family and enjoy. Yeah, those ones.