Thursday, June 30, 2011


I have a friend who's husband runs an ad agency.  When they shoot commercials, they use local actors for extras.  And when all of the local actors are too smart to take the job busy, she calls me.  Yeah, I'm an A-lister.... A for Available....

So she roped me in called last week and said that depending on the weather, they would shoot the commercial on Wednesday or Thursday evening. "You know the drill" she said.  "Heavier than normal make up, oh, and wear black, we'll be shooting in a graveyard - it's for a local funeral home."  Based on the forecast, they decided to shoot on Wednesday - yesterday. Weather-wise, we were expecting overcast and cool, perfect for the client.  What we got was blazing sun, heat in the high 90s, and hot gusty winds.  Difficult at best, then add in a cameraman shooting from a boom crane 30 feet in the air, that swayed and pitched in the blustery breeze.

The 30 minute shoot, turned into an hour and a half of 15 of us, all in heavier than normal makeup, wearing black, staring somberly at a casket, facing the sun, with the added reflectors and lights to minimize shadows, sweltering.

They finally got the footage they wanted.  Of course we never get to see the finished product until it runs unexpectedly while you're watching reruns of Two and a Half Men.  The best I can hope for is that the sweat that was streaking my makeup might somehow look like tears.  Glam-tastic.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


For the past couple of days I've been craving something...

Its kind of like lemon bars, except with rhubarb, but with a crumbly oatmeal topping. Nummy?  I hoped so, but I couldn't find a recipe.  Not that I had a bunch of leisure time to surf the web looking for recipes.  No! We have that stupid garden tour coming up next week and though he says he isn't overly worried about it, Downtown Dad does have a lot of ideas and plans and projects in the back yard to complete before then, which of course include me... hence this post:

I'm not sure he's taking me seriously - notice that he "liked" it.

Anyway, back to the craving, so this morning D D was off doing his daily social good deed, so I knew I had a couple of hours off for good behavior to myself. 

First I made a shortbread crust with 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of powdered sugar and 1 cup of butter 

(Aside to my local FM peeps:  No offense to American Crystal Sugar, but I do prefer C & H powdered sugar, not because I grew up in C, but because it is made with Cane Sugar, not Beet Sugar, and yes, there is a difference)

Press the dough into a 9 X 11 pan and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees

Thaw, or cut up fresh about 3 cups of rhubarb (or Root Parp, as my son used to call it).

Next, mix the custard using 1 cup of granulated sugar (for granulated it doesn't seem to make a difference if you use Crystal, or C & H), 1/2 cup flour, 1 cup sour cream, 4 beaten eggs, vanilla and salt.  Then fold in the rhubarb.

Then make the topping, which is 1/2 cup brown sugar (OK, really, the brand doesn't matter) 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup butter, and 1/2 cup oatmeal with salt and cinnamon.

Pour the rhubarb custard mixture over the crust which has cooled a bit, then crumble the topping over that.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

What you get is this...

.... and yes, it is NUMMY!

Friday, June 17, 2011

I Want My Boba Tea!

In case you don’t know, Boba Tea, also known as bubble tea or pearl milk, is a drink made with tea, mixed with milk, fresh fruits and ice.  What makes it special is the addition of small chewy balls made of tapioca called pearls or boba.  You suck the round tapioca balls from the bottom of the cup through an oversized straw, and then chew them while swallowing the drink.   It seems very weird at first, but I have to believe it is healthy with all its’ natural ingredients … much better than say, Diet Coke for instance.  But that’s where they get you – it is specialized, rare, not readily available… In my small town, they are only sold in one small oriental shop….. at an exorbitant price.

This may not be the perfect time or place to bring this up, but confession is absolutely crucial for my recovery, and I can’t be afraid to take the next step…. I’m counting on you, my bloggy friends to get me through this.

Hi I’m Lala and I’m a Boba Tea addict.  It's been two weeks since I had my last Boba Tea. 

It’s hard to hear my own voice saying that, that I’m an addict.  The first time, I didn’t really want to try it but I guess I felt I had to prove something, prove that I wasn’t just a small town hick, that I wasn’t too old to try something new.  Where I’m from though, and at my age, people don’t drink Boba tea.

It all started when I followed some teenagers into this exotic shop.   I was feeling down, and thirsty, and I thought these kids were cool and hip… all the stuff I wasn’t.  After standing in the shadows watching what they did, I ordered what they ordered, an avocado banana Boba, not knowing what to expect.  It was beautiful.   A greenish smoothie of sorts, with a layer of black balls on the bottom of the clear cup.  One suck.  That’s all it took.
I was afraid to ask other people my own age to join me, since when I’d tried; their reactions were always the same.  It was just too weird.  Eventually it just seemed easier and better to go alone.  At first, I felt great, my mind was sharp, I could lift heavy things, and leap tall buildings.  As long as I was getting my fix.  But at just short of 5 bucks a hit, my habit started to take its toll on my checkbook.  Even with my punch card, it was getting hard to hide just how many times I found myself back at the Boba counter begging for more.  I pretty much knew then, that I was hooked.  Nothing else tasted good.  Nothing else mattered.  I found myself fantasizing about how I could knock over the joint, or kidnap the kid behind the counter, forcing him to make me Bobas for free.  I cased the Asian food market looking for the gooey tapioca balls that held so much allure for me.  But I couldn’t make a Boba for myself at home.  My friends were right, it was just too weird. 

So I decided to quit cold turkey.  It was easy to stay clean at first.  But recently, I’ve lost the superpowers those tantalizing chewy balls brought me.  I’ve started to notice Bobas more often.  Kids were sucking them up on the street, there were pictures of them on the Internet.  I guess I’ll have to get used to the fact that Bobas will always be there. I just have to remember that for me, it’s always going to be one day at a time. 

I just have to get through today without having one…     

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Taking the High Road... for now...

Spent the better part of the day crafting a compassionate, yet passive-agressive, venomous, honest post  exploring my feelings about all that was wrong with my mother-in-law's approach in her semi-recent attack letter to us...

Then, I read my horoscope...
"You’ll definitely have an urge to shake things up a bit today. But just remember that it’s really not in your best interest to be getting into unnecessary conflicts and arguments with others right now. If you insist on showing other people what’s wrong with their approach, it's only bound to lead to trouble and get you a lot of grief today."

Monday, June 13, 2011

What Is It With Irons?

When and why people decided they needed to press cloth smooth is a mystery.  We do know that the Chinese used hot metal for ironing before anyone else - probably soon after they used it to light fireworks... 

Unfortunately for women, this cloth smoothing chore/talent fell to them.  Some dark glass objects thought to be linen smoothers were found in many Viking women's graves... yes, even in the hereafter, wearing horns and fur thongs, men will still need to have their clothes ironed, and of course the women will have to do it.  

Beyond that stereotypical connotation ... I have to admit I actually like to iron. Somehow, it is a task that calms my soul and gives me a sense of accomplishment. It is Zen-like. It appeals to the mulititasker in me, allowing me to watch a movie and still "accomplish" something. Sandra Bullock admits to enjoying it as well, but obviously we are a minority.  A Facebook group called I Like To Iron has only 8 members.

But as my grandmother used to say, with every favor there is a forfeit.  I have found over the 30 odd years that I have been applying steam heat to fabric, that the very item that makes this practice possible is horribly flawed. Maybe its just me.   

Seriously, how many irons have most people owned?  2?  Maybe 3?  I have owned more than 20 irons.  And that is a conservative estimate.  Everything from the high priced stainless steel models, to the compact specials made of plastic.  The first few irons I purchased were bought with little aforethought.  When they crapped out, as they invariably did, I just figured it was unfiltered water, or fluctuating current that brought about their demise.  Not until the early eighties, when a particularly feisty iron actually tried to kill me, did I start to think there may be a connection between my particular molecular make up and the entire product line of irons.

I am not sure why - maybe it's my ions interacting with the iron.  Maybe it is some sort of cosmic irony that affects those who iron.  Maybe its because I actually use the damn thing every week.  But I seriously have never owned an iron for more than a couple of years without having it either blow up on me, or just silently give up the ghost.  This is not a rhetorical question. I seriously want to know... 

What is it with irons? 

Friday, June 10, 2011

A to Z of Me ... or, as I like to call it, TMI

OK its Friday, I don't have any great ideas to expound, or crazy stories to tell, so I'll do this!  Thanks to my friend Small Town Mom for the idea.

  • Age – 53, but really you'd think I was 73, at least my kids do, and my knees.  Not that there is anything wrong with being 73, it's just that I would like to have had the benefit of those 20 years of hard living before feeling the effects of it thank you very much.
  • Bed size - 1/2 of a Queen - sometimes all of it if I snore too much.
  • Chore you hate – Pulling weeds.  See Age explanation above.
  • Dogs – Fur machines? The reason we own stock in lint rollers?  The reason we can't wear black?  Two. 
  • Essential start of your day – Listening to Mika Brzezinski on MSNBS's Morning Joe.  She is one smart cookie.
  • Favorite color – My first response is pink, but then I wonder, are you referring to clothes? Because I always gravitate to blue when I'm clothes shopping.  But then I look in my closet and notice I don't really have all that much blue.  I should get more blue clothes.
  • Gold or silver – Silver. And do you know why? First of all, because it's prettier than gold, and secondly, because you can buy silver costume jewelry and no one will know it's not real.  Try that with gold, you will be found out in a heartbeat, and judged.  Why set yourself up for that?  
  • Height – 5'4" 
  • Instruments I play (or have played) – I own a piano.  I took lessons from a toothless bearded hag (I kid you not) for 11 long years.  I work for our local symphony. I even bought a Takamine guitar autographed by the Eagles.  You'd think I would have a list as long as your arm of instruments I play or have played... but nope.
  • Job title – I have two. One is Administrative Assistant.  The other is kind of nebulous.  It might be Digital Marketing Website Proofreader Social Media Dude.  Yeah, thats it.
  • Kids – No thanks, I have three already that are almost out of the house.
  • Live – in the thriving metropolis of Fargo-Moorhead.  Ya shure yooo betcha. 
  • Mom’s name – Helen
  • Nickname – Lala (duh), or since I work in an office that is 65% Lindas - A. I'm also known as Mom, or Chop, or, if as I do, you prefer the Cajun version: Le Morseau de Corchant.
  • Overnight hospital stays – The one where I had amnesia after hitting a car with my head, and the three where my take home prize was a tiny naked human.
  • Pet peeve – Ignorance, Arrogance, and lack of curiosity.
  • Quote from a movie – "Excuse me, excuse me, what does God need with a starship?" From admittedly the WORST Star Trek movie - The Final Frontier.
  • Right or left-handed – Right handed.
  • Siblings – Three.  The-two-who-came-before, and then, my younger sister and I who make up The-two-younger-ones.
  • Time you wake up – 3 a.m. Not by choice mind you.  Its these damn hot flashes. Oh, you mean for the day?  6.
  • Underwear – on anyone and everyone, at all times.
  • Vegetable you dislike – Beets.
  • What makes you run late – Waiting for other people. I am NEVER late accidentally.  If I'm late, whatever I'm showing up for isn't important to me, and I will assume the same of you if I have to wait for you.
  • X-rays you have had done – X-rays?  Really?  That's the best X word you could come up with?  What about Xmen, Xfiles, Xbox, Xrated? Whatever. 
  • Yummy food you make – Chicken enchiladas with green sauce.  
  • Zoo animal – Monkeys.  Any kind of monkey.  I could have been Jane Goodall, but then I would not be in a zoo socializin' with my primate peeps, I'd be in the wilds of Africa, where they probably don't have a zoo.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dave Days

Give 'em an inch, they'll take a mile.  Give 'em a week, they'll take a month.

Back in the dark ages, when Downtown Dad was just Dave, he and I got married.  It didn't occur to me at the time that I'd fallen for his evil plan was amusing that his birthday was two days before our wedding, and that Father's Day fell on the same week. As the years dragged on flew by, I began to realize I'd set myself up for a week-long, almost daily occurrence of paying homage coming up with an appropriate gift for the celebration of each facet of his life. Not that he doesn't deserve that kind of treatment - honestly, satire aside (for the moment) he's a great dad, a wonderful husband, and an all around great guy. In fact, I personally think Daves in general are the bomb-diggity.

A few years ago, as the Fathersdaybirthdayanniversary week of gift giving approached, I jokingly referred to it as "Dave Days."  

Katie bar the door.

We convened all the local Daves and Dave fans, at local Daveries for a week of celebrating Daveness with spontaneous events such as Thirsty ThirstDave, and cookouts on FryDave.  It was a hit.  Who knew these normally mild mannered representatives of the name could be so self appreciative?

Partially it's my fault.  I didn't take into consideration that there are 3.4 million Daves in the US.  Maybe inviting other Daves to celebrate with us was overindulgent.  Maybe I shouldn't have passed out stickers with sayings like "What a difference a Dave makes" or "Catch a Dave and your sittin' on top of the world" or "These are the good ol' Daves" at the bar, ironically called Dave's Southside Tap.

Maybe creating a Facebook Group was a step too far.

This year though, I lost all control.  One of our Dave friends also has a birthday in June. June 1st.  In light of this, in his all-inclusive way, Downtown Dad took it upon himself to expand Dave Days from a one week celebration, to one that is a whole month long!  This then, spawned the need for a tee-shirt which, by the way got 70 orders in its first day and continues to sell briskly.  

So, if you are a Dave, or know and love a Dave (and who doesn't?) or, I guess if you'd like to be one of the cool kids, then you should start celebrating now what is sure to soon become a full-fledged Hallmark occasion - if the Daves have anything to do with it!