Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

Posts Tagged ‘Domestication FAIL’

Double Fail

Posted by Lissa on July 28, 2009

Mike and I are HUGE fans of Amazon.com.  We share a Prime membership with his parents so it’s a natural first stop when we’re looking to buy something online — two-day shipping is “free.”  Throw in our Kindle shopping and we should probably buy stock in the company.  (Hey Mike — do we own Amazon.com stock?  Just curious.)

All that being said, sometimes online shopping is just a pain in the butt.

Case in point — the 3-quart casserole pan.

One of the gifts my folks gave us for our birthday was a Pampered Chef 29-minute cookbook.  I’m all about quick recipes — I try to get dinner on the table by seven every night, and I don’t get home before six — so I was really excited by some of the recipes and the shortcuts.  (More on this later.)  I eagerly paged through and selected a delicious-yet-simple-looking recipe for our first trial run.

Only problem — we didn’t have the requisite cookware.  So we went poking around and settled on a Calphalon cabernet-colored dish, noting in relief that it would arrive in time for our planned cookbook trial run.

But there’s a risk inherent in ordering breakables online.  Can anyone guess what it is?

Lid 1

Yep, shattered lid.  The packing was kind of terrible — a single cardboard sheet separated the inverted lid from the dish, not nearly enough to keep it from breaking.

Happily, Amazon.com does quick work for returns.  Mike popped online and triggered the send-us-another-0ne widget, I used a plate to cover the dish for my cookery, and Amazon told us not to bother sending it back.

Two days later the replacement arrived.  I joyfully picked up the box to carry it inside . . . . and heard a tinkle.

(No, not the peeing kind, the broken-ceramic kind.  Silly readers.)

I didn’t bother really opening this one, just peeled back the brown paper enough to confirm . . .

Lid 2

Yep, broken lid #2.

You have to admire a system that efficiently sent us two casserole dishes, both with broken lids, within four days.

We were rather bummed at this point, figuring for-sure we’d have to send back Dish #2 and just receive a refund.  Happily, Mike hit the Call-Me-Please button Saturday morning and worked his sweet, sweet magic on the call rep.

Coming soon — the Happily Ever After!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Hey, you know what sucks?

Posted by Lissa on July 2, 2009

Soaking chicken breasts in buttermilk . . .

coating them with a mixture of Panko, breadcrumbs, toasted sesame seeds, Italian herb seasoning, salt, and pepper . . .

baking them at 350° for precisely 25 minutes . . .

storing leftovers-for-tomorrow in the toaster oven to shield them from your cat’s gluttonous depredations . . .

and, of course, forgetting them.

Until your husband goes to toast his English Muffins and finds them, sad and forlorn and abandoned, the next morning.


Sigh.  Guess we’re going to the Lissaville (Home of the Evil Conservatives) Mexican Restaurant tonight!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Lissa’s Recipe File: Berry Brie Bites

Posted by Lissa on June 16, 2009


–         2 boxes (30) mini-phyllo shells
–         1 package Brie
–         10 large strawberries
–         assorted berries (I used half a package of raspberries)
–         apple jelly

Heat the oven to 350.  Remove the mini-shells from their packaging and place on a cookie sheet.  Place a slice of Brie in the bottom of each shell and bake according to directions, until shells are crisp and Brie is bubbly.  (Usually about 12-15 minutes.)

While the shells are baking – or before you start, as is my preference – wash and finely chop the strawberries, then place in small bowl.  I sliced the raspberries in half or kept them whole; try to slice them smaller and they might collapse into mush!  Add them to the bowl, then spoon in two large dollops of apple jelly.  Using your fingers, mix the jelly and the berry bits until all the large jelly blobs are gone and the mixture is spoonable.

Remove the shells from the oven and add as much berry mixture as each one will hold.  Top with a larger piece of strawberry or raspberry for garnish, if you like, and a sprinkle of cinnamon if that is to your taste.  Serve immediately.

And now – a few helpful tips!

1)      Do NOT, repeat NOT, use Brie Light.  The taste isn’t bad but the texture is TOTALLY wrong; instead of being all soft and creamy it’s sort of rubbery. 

2)      Please, for the love of god, use a cookie sheet with a lip.  Otherwise you might run into a situation where you tilt the cookie sheet as you place it in the oven and half the shells make a break for it, skidding off the sheet to die a filthy undignified death in the depths of your oven while you shriek “sh*t sh*t SH*T DAMMIT NO!!!”

Um, hypothetically speaking.


(Note: Recipe adapted from this book.)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Wardrobe FAIL

Posted by Lissa on June 5, 2009

Meh.  I’m having one of those days.

In a futile attempt to combat the nasty murky cloudy weather outside, I chose a rather cheery outfit today – a bright turquoise sleeveless dress, topped with a black corduroy blazer to make it business appropriate, and of course finished with black leather stilettos.  In my usual morning rush, getting dressed is actually the last thing I do before leaving the apartment.  (Getting dressed and THEN doing hair/makeup is a surefire guarantee that you’ll drop something messy down your front.  You know it’s true.)

I made it all the way to the parking lot before I noticed/remembered that this dress shrank in the wash.

Bloody hell.

Instead of falling decorously to my knees, the hem is a good two inches above.  Instead of looking bright and cheery yet businesslike, I look like I’m dressing for a picnic.  Or maybe lunch on a cruise ship.

Relax, relax, I chanted to myself.  No one will notice.  You’re not as important as you think.  No one will make you kneel down to prove that your dress is knee-length like some obnoxious high school dress code enforcer.  Relax.

Then I remembered I have a meeting today with my boss’s boss, Big Boss Lawyer.  And a Vice President from our Communications department.

Oh, sh*t.

A few days ago I warned Mike I was going shopping this weekend.  When he asked if there was any special reason, I explained that I’d spent ten minutes wishing I could go to work naked because there was nothing in my wardrobe.

Today I almost wish I had.

If you need me, I’ll be hiding in my cube, studiously keeping my legs underneath the desk and wishing for a blanket.

Bloody hell.


P.S.  No doubt Mike would like to point out that my closet – twice as big as his – is stuffed with clothes and roughly 4,392 pairs of shoes.  Silly men and their counting games!

P.P.S. Rajah went to the vet last night and was judged to be “the perfect size, a good ten-pound cat.”  Of course, we gave him about fourteen treats when we got home last night so that might not be true anymore.  The vet also called him “thick,” which made me giggle.  I was just waiting for her to call him “festively plump.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Lessons learned the hard way

Posted by Lissa on April 1, 2009

Naturally, as soon as I had hit “Publish” on the post yesterday I felt guilty.

What if some of my readers have serious math problems? Will they think I’m calling them dumb? Maybe I should have titled it “Mad Math Skillz” instead. But it WAS kinda dumb. Well, really dumb.  But is that offensive? Is “dumb” too harsh a word?

Believe it or not, in person I try to be very courteous and careful about not offending anyone. (I try; I’m not saying I always succeed, mind you.) It’s a refreshing change to be more direct, with less prevarication, on this blog. However, the Interwebz live FOREVER; it worries me sometimes that an off-the-cuff remark could be taken as offensive, or mean-spirited, or cruel.

And then I think — the hell with it. I write this blog for fun. If someone is offended by a “So dumb it HURTS” post title, well, I can’t imagine they would possibly be interested in reading anything else I write. I hope they would shrug it off, decide my blog is OBVIOUSLY not worth reading, and go find another blog that is vastly superior to mine. (There are lots.)

So, I’m not going to fret about it. But on the off chance that I do have a reader or two who thought that was mean-spirited, yet still plans to visit from time-to-time — well, consider this my humble pie.

Lessons Learned the Hard Way: Making Spaghetti

I have mentioned a few times that there are people in this world who are amazingly logical, practical, and commonsensical (my sister is the Master). I have mentioned at least that often that I am not one of those people. This occasionally gets me into trouble.

Such as the fine Saturday afternoon, some nine years ago, when I decided to make spaghetti.

Now, I *had* made spaghetti quite often, thank-you-very-much. I didn’t cook for the family or anything growing up — my mom is a FANTASTIC cook — but I did know my way around a kitchen. I knew to boil the water, add a bit of oil before adding the noodles, and stir every once in a while as it boiled.

What I did not know was that the Pyrex warning — well, they really MEANT it.

You know the Pyrex warning, don’t you? The one that comes with every Pyrex container sold anywhere, ever?

“DO NOT Use On or Under a Flame or Other Direct Heat Source, including on a stovetop, under a broiler, on a grill or in a toaster oven.”

Ummmmmmm yeah.

Well, it’s not like I had lots of pots and pans lying about in my tiny dorm room. And I did NOT want to use the communal cookware in the dorm kitchen — some of those pots had clearly been used by Eve when she first set up house with Adam.  And just as clearly had not been cleaned since.

All I can say is, God (or Buddha or Shiva or The Great Pumpkin) really DOES look out for fools, drunks and small children.  (You could just substitute “college students” for “fools,” “drunks” or both, BTW.)  

I say this because I was across the room, reading at the table, when I learned why Pyrex includes that warning on their glassware.


If you case you were wondering . . . cleaning up a two-quart Pyrex bowl (busted into tiny coin-size shards), mixed with a pound of spaghetti and two quarts of boiling water, with a four-foot spray-radius — why, yes, it IS a rather unpleasant experience, thank you for asking.

(This post is dedicated to my old friend who had a spaghetti incident recently. You know who you are.)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Hoping I still have the intestinal fortitude of a college student

Posted by Lissa on January 26, 2009

Jenny and I went up to visit Dad last night, as a belated-Christmas early-birthday joint celebration.  There was much laughter, snarkiness, verbal flaying of thine enemies and tormenting playing with the completely stoned  catnip-mellowed tabby. 

Dinner was both easy and fun, in that we brought up Boboli mini-shells and made our own pizzas.  Jenny’s a sucker for Hawaiian pizza; she covered hers with chunk pineapple and diced ham.  I stuck with relatively simple bell peppers and pepperoni.  Dad’s pizza closely resembled mine, except his was also decorated with fiery green bits of hell jalapenos.  (Parents — this is a great way to do a casual Friday night dinner, have fun with the kids, and avoid the “But I want mushrooms on the pizza!”  “Well, I hate mushrooms!” argument.)

By the time we’d baked and eaten our pizzas, opened all the presents, eaten fruit-topped cheesecake, packed up everything and driven home, I was pretty sleepy and contented.  Which is why I forgot to put my leftover pizza in the fridge last night.

And if you think I intend to throw out pizza that I personally designed and produced myself, you are severely mistaken.

So WHAT if it sat out without refrigeration for, oh, twelve hours or so?  Once pizza is cooked, it’s good for that long, right?  Back in the college days I distinctly remember eating leftover pizza for breakfast; not only had it sat out all night but it was probably topped with stale beer, to boot.

In other words — here’s to hoping I still have the gastrointestinal fortitude of a college student.  If I’m wrong . . . well, that’s why they invented this lovely thing called Pepto Bismo.

UPDATE: Fixed the typo in the title — thanks Brad!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Of mice and women

Posted by Lissa on December 16, 2008

Many of you have read Breda’s inspirational post on will-to-live and self-defense.  If you haven’t, go read it now.  (But please come back!)

This, alas, is not so grand nor noble a story.  In fact, it’s kind of embarrassing.  But those are the stories you like best, aren’t they?

Many years ago, when I was young and innocent (snort), I lived in an apartment that we now call The Hobbit Hole.  The Hobbit Hole was a basement apartment in a house chopped up into several units; the washer-and-dryer were in a common room, accessed through a door in my bedroom; it was always kick in the butt when loud, chatty people decided to do laundry early on Saturday mornings (hiss).  The ceilings were just over six feet; I’m 5′ 3″ and I could easily reach the ceiling standing flat-footed.  Worst of all, as The Hobbit Hole was a basement apartment it was prone to house centipedes.  I’ve posted pix of those before.  (Nasty, skittering, creepy-crawly leggy disgusting little beasts . . . Excuse me while I go off and cry for a bit . . .)

To top off the many charms of my very first apartment, it was owned by a guy named Slumlord Jim.  This charming piece of work had that unmistakable distilled flavor of a used car dealer; every time I talked to him I had a feverish urge to scrub my hands with bleach and hot water.  Nothing EVER got done on time; he was incredibly disorganized and, also, didn’t give a sh*t about his tenants.  He would assure me greasily that he’d get my plumbing fixed, oh, absolutely, I’ll call the guy tomorrow, of course . . . and we’d repeat that cycle every week for a month or so before I saw a plumber.  He once asked me to send him a replacement check for a month’s rent that he hadn’t received; when I did, he then tried to cash BOTH checks.  (Luckily, I’d stopped the first check before sending the second.  His excuse was that he’d intended to cash both checks and then tell me not to send a check for the NEXT month’s rent.  Dude, my first apartment and my first job; do you think I had an extra month’s-worth of rent just sitting around in my checking account?  Not freaking likely!)

So, these were the circumstances under which I lived.  And you know what?  It was really okay.  I lived two blocks from a police station, so it was a safe neighborhood; I had my own garage, so I didn’t have to shovel out my car during the winter; and the rent was $620 a month, including utilities.  It was a very good deal and a wise choice for my first apartment.  I’m not complaining; I’m just laying out the atmosphere. 

Because without knowing the background, you might assume that, if my apartment had a family of mice move in, that it would be the landlord’s problem to deal with.  You might assume that he would quickly exterminate the little pests, since it was in his interests at least as much as mine.  Of course, we all know what happens when you assume.

You might also assume that, being a devoted cat-lover and shameless cat-blogger, that my cat would take care of the problem for me.  Sadly, that was not the case; I did indeed have a cat, but poor little Jolie was just getting sick.  (She died about two weeks later, of FIP.  She was five months old.  She was a good kitty.)

So it fell to me to rid myself of the little buggers.   A disclaimer: I am not at all fond of mice or rats.  I’ve seen people that keep rats as pets; I’ve got no problem with that.  But I volunteered for two years at the Carolina Raptor Center; any initial fondness I may have had for rodents (and that’s iffy, y’all) was drummed out of me RIGHT quick.  (“Let’s see . . . 24 red-tailed hawks . . . each hawk needs 1/3 of a rat, to be chopped apart with dull scissors and the innards dosed with meds . . . “) 

To get right to the point . . . I set out glue traps, and I caught a mouse.  A fat little brown-furred mouse. 

I stared at the mouse.  The mouse stared back.

“Oh, sh*t.  NOW what?”

Now, I’m not COMPLETELY without compassion when it comes to nasty rodent-things.  I have a friend who, when he caught mice in glue traps, used to just toss the trap, with its live mouse, into the garbage.  I didn’t want the mouse to suffer like that, but I was so NOT going to bonk it on the head.  (My hand-to-eye coordination is BEYOND terrible; without a doubt, I would have broken a finger, cut myself open and just grazed the mouse.  I’m not kidding.) 

As I muttered feeble euthanasia plans to myself, I tried to make the mouse more comfortable.  I gingerly picked up the trap and placed it in a Ziploc disposable plastic container.  I then cut a large slab of cheddar cheese and placed it close to the mouse so that it could have a last meal.  Stupidly, I even tried to pet it a little.

And that mouse reared up and bit the ever-living SH*T out of my thumb.

Sorry, mouse-lovers, but no happily-ever-after was in store for the mouse.  After discarding a number of hare-brained plans, I put the cover on the container and suffocated the little creature.  I like to think that she passed away full of cheddar and righteousness; she took a bit of my blood with her, after all.  As Breda pointed out, that’s more than some human victims manage.


JENNY:  “So, you called the doctor, right?”
ME: “No, why?”
JENNY: “Lissa . . . you got bit by a MOUSE.  That eats GARBAGE and probably lives in a SEWER.  You need a tetanus shot.”
ME: “Dude, I washed it out with soap and water.  Isn’t that good enough?”
JENNY:  “Um . . . . NO.  Why, NO, it’s not.  GO TO THE F*CKING DOCTOR ARE YOU CRAZY?!?!?!?”
ME:  “Oh.  Okay.”

And a note for the ladies below, in white; highlight to read.  (But ONLY if you’re a girl.)

I had a physical last week and was able to tell the doc the exact month in which I last had a tetanus shot, thanks to the story above.  The physical also included a pap smear.  The next time I hear a guy complain about the “turn-your-head-and-cough” routine, I’m going to kick him squarely in the crotch.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

Today’s embarrassing factoid

Posted by Lissa on September 25, 2008

I meant to bring a fork in my lunch bag.  I also meant to grab some spare plastic forks from Ye Olde Financial Company’s cafeteria.  I forgot on both counts and am both irritated at myself and lazy.

So I am in the midst of eating salad with a plastic spoon.  With reduced-fat Feta sprinkles and Caesar Italian dressing.

Pride?  Ain’t got none!

You may now return to your regularly scheduled lunchtime.  And may you have better utensils than I.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | 4 Comments »