29 May 2007

Grant Hell Goes Greek

Right, so a few months back, you'll recall that Grant Hell went digital, which didn't really help much and quite possibly made things much worse (at least, for me).

Naturally, I should have been really happy with that, because you know what happens when you wish for stuff and you're not careful? Yeah. You end up with Coeus.

What the bloody, freaking hell is Coeus? Well, well, well, funny you should ask. Do let me explain.

Coeus, in Greek mythology, was the Titan of Intelligence. Some witty individual (at MIT, which might explain a few things) thought it would be a cute name for a database. No joke. Consequently, Coeus, in grant-hell-ology, is the Titan of database-based grant submissions.

Now, I love databases. I do. I really, really do. But not when they're smarter than I am and not when they're so complicated that 3 days of training barely gets you off the ground.

I mean, it's really great, it is, and it's going to be really, really cool in about 6 months when all the people in my department (including me) finally figure out what the FUCK we're supposed to be doing with it to get a grant submitted in one piece.

Until then, I shall complain, and loudly.

28 May 2007

BRANDED!

OK, honest to god, I am not trying to be sexy (I'm way past that, and I know it), but I can't even believe I did this.

You see the red spot on my leg? The perfectly round one with the strangely familiar lines in the middle?




Yeah, that one. Believe it or not, that was caused by a penny left on the seat of my car. My car that was sitting in the sun on a very hot-ass day almost a week ago.

I actually saw the penny on the car seat just before I sat down, but the pain was so sudden and so acute that I thought I had been stung by a bee. It just didn't register what was causing the pain because, seriously -- who expects pain from a penny?

Un. Real. I mean, if you look closely enough, you can actually make out the fucking Lincoln memorial and the words "ONE CENT" below it.

And you thought this kind of body art was just for 20-somethings. Actually, so did I. I mean, sure, I could claim to have done it on purpose, but really, can you think of a single cool reason to brand yourself with the backside of a penny?

And now I'm wondering if it's going to be a permanent thing...

27 May 2007

Cardamom Kebabs

So. You'll recall the Roadkill Turkey Breast. (How could you forget, right?)

Well, that night we only ate half the meat from the Unfortunate Beastie. Tonight, we ate the rest. On sticks. With cardamom!

No, really, it was great. So great, I must share the recipe (and record it for next time -- next time I have turkey, sheesh...).

Here 'tiz:

INGREDIENTS

  • a bunch of cardamom seeds (how many is up to you - how many do you feel like unpeeling? yes, you have to use the real stuff that comes in a pod. that pre-ground junk is worse than useless)
  • a sprinkling of fenugreek (i'm not really sure if these are seeds or what)
  • a smaller sprinkling of mustard seeds
  • a couple of bay leaves, crumpled
  • a few good splooshes of olive oil
  • a splash or three of some kind of vinegar
  • a wee bit o' soy sauce
  • Meat, tofu or other marinade-friendly munchie (no, it doesn't have to be roadkill)


WHAT TO DO WITH THE INGREDIENTS
  • Take the first three ingredients and grind them into powder with a mortar and pestle. Yes, really. OK, OK, use a spice grinder if are so lucky as to own one (and you're, um, kinda lazy).
  • Put the powder into a medium-sized bowl, add the crumpled bay leaves (yes, you have to crumple them yourself, they don't come this way).
  • Dump in everything else and give it a good stir.
  • Chop up the meat, tofu or other into kebab-able chunks, toss chunks into the bowl with the other stuff and, um, toss (heh... OK, stir well, mix until covered, something like that - you get the picture).
  • Let sit for however long you've got - several hours, a day, at least 20 minutes, I would say.
  • Skewer the chunks o' whatever (preferably without skewering yourself like I did - it bled and everything, quite traumatic), alternating with chunks of your favorite veg (I used zucchini, onions and roma tomatoes).
  • Give the skewered chunks to the grill person in your household (I'm not allowed near the grill in our household as things tend to ignite rather frequently when I'm in charge) and sweetly request that the grill person grill the skewers.
  • Set the table, pour the wine and enjoy!

18 May 2007

Spotted

On the back of a tow truck:

Hooked on Harry


Not a bumpah stickah, really, but amusing enough to share.

07 May 2007

Library Thang, Explained

OK, I've been wanting to catalog my books for a while. And I did something on the old blog like what you'll see on the right side of the screen if you scroll down - a book, an author and some comments about the book (no fancy pictures, though).

So the other day I was happily surfing along, dropped by 101 Reasons to Stop Writing (to see if there were any more reasons - there weren't), and BOOM! There it was: a link to Library Thing.

"Interesting," thought I, and surfed along to check it out.

Turned out to be interesting enough that I actually signed up even though I was pretty sure that I didn't need one more thing to do and would probably NEVER have time to actually put any books in.

'Course, me being me, I immediately grabbed a stack of books because I had to put SOMETHING in (can't have a naked library, how embarassing) and started firing off ISBN numbers. Next thing I knew - and it wasn't but 30 minutes later or so - I had over 80 books added. It was that easy!

OK, I may not add another stinkin' thing for a year, but whatever. It's easy, it's cool - no, it's WICKED cool - and it's free! Check it out.

06 May 2007

Library Thang

No time to explain how I got here, but this is just.... well, totally, wicked cool.

My Library

05 May 2007

Brilliance Lost

So I sat down at ye ol' keyboard last night to write a brilliant blog post that had something to do with the safety of the food supply.

This isn't it.

No, that post has gone the way of so many others in this sleep-deprived state I call my life. Here's what happened:

It was a wonderful, thundery evening. Just the occasional flash, the occasional far-off rumble, and a soft, relaxing rain.

Perfect! thought I, I shall write!

After we put the kids to bed.

Ms. Baby was tired. Too tired. When Ms. Baby is too tired, she refuses to sleep. I don't know why but she just fights it and fights it and wants to sit in my lap in the rocking chair and look out the window, occasionally looking back up over her shoulder to make sure I'm still there (which, of course, I am, because where the hell else am I going to go).

And before anyone starts in with the sleep advice, don't bother. We've tried everything, nothing works, and that isn't the point of this post anyway.

No, the point of the post is this: The Husband put Ms. Four-soon-to-be-Five to bed and came in to relieve me of Ms. Baby.

So far, so good.

Finally free of the baby appendage, I sat down at ye ol' keyboard. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and relaxed to the gentle pattering of rain, the less-far-off rumbling of thunder and the occasional brilliant flash-behind-the-blinds. Lovely.

Not five minutes later, I heard a voice.

No, it was not it my head. How I wish it had been.

No, no, it was Ms. Four-soon-to-be-Five calling, softly at first. "Mama... Mama..." then louder and louder, not in rising panic, but so she could be heard above a not-far-off-at-all bang of thunder, "MAMA...MAMA!!!"

I rushed down the hallway, dove into her bed and we snuggled and talked for 10 minutes or so about how thunder is just clumsy clouds bumping into each other. She relaxed and asked if I would stay for a while so she would feel safe. I said I would.

Then she started to ramble on about something else, in order to keep herself awake, so I used my Serious Voice, "It's not time for talking right now, it's time for sleeping."

I decided to demonstrate.

Eyes closed, slow breathing, relax the body.... I woke up 2 hours later.

And that's where the brilliant blog post about the safety of the food supply went. Perhaps it will come back sometime later today... or perhaps not...

01 May 2007

You might be a redneck if...

...you ate roadkill for dinner. And I just did.

Go ahead, make gross retching sounds.

OK, gat that outta yer system? Good job. Now you wanna hear the story? 'Course you do.

First, wipe your brain clean of the images of possums and raccoons and whatever-the-fuck-that-was's that you automatically assumed I ate (you know you did, admit it). T'weren't no possums nor raccoons on my table. Nosirree, sir - we're talkin' turkey.

No, really, it was turkey. Turkey as in wild turkey. Turkey as in big, frikkin' bird native to North American woodlands. Turkey as in what The Husband was out hunting last weekend and didn't get.

No, no, instead, he found one flapping helplessly and in obvious distress on the side of some road (he claims he didn't actually hit it himself). Broken leg, broken wing - obvious coyote fodder. Unable to watch it suffer he and his buddies - and I quote - "put it out of its misery". Then they "dressed" it and brought the meat home.

And we ate it.

And damn, if it weren't tasty.