Thursday, December 29, 2011

My kingdom for a macro!

Disclaimer: This is a semi-rant concerning Rift, an MMORPG, so if you've never played one before, you probably won't know what the hell I'm talking about. It's also fueled by slight insomnia, so making sense is optional anyway.

I made a new character on Rift today and somehow ended up spending about 5 hours on her without even realizing it. I have a level 50 rogue that I usually play but wanted to try something different. So I went mage. I was actually kinda having fun with it, too. Then I got The Bastard involved.

All I wanted to know was how to make the best macros, since I had gotten her leveled to a point where they might be useful. That is when I was informed that mages are the hardest to level and their spells can't really accommodate macros. If I was actually able to play on a daily basis, this wouldn't be such a big deal. However, I don't have the time to really get a feel for this type of levelling, so I basically just wasted 5 hours.

I see only 3 options: stick with this mage out of pride and be annoyed; suck it up and go make a cleric; or say fuck it and buy Skyrim for my Xbox.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A rose by any other name... is still a deadly plant of horrors

On Monday, we went over to the in-laws' house.  They've moved to the other side of the country (thanks, economy!) but have kept their house here.  They'll be home for Christmas so we're trying to spruce up the place a bit.  In the course of decorating the front of the house, The Bastard came upon that annual obstacle.

The rose bushes.

First off, I'm not a big fan of roses anyway.  They're expensive.  They're cliche.  They're the type of flower that my grandmother, who likes both expensive and cliche, tried to talk me into having at my wedding (we went with star-gazer lilies).  The worst part?  With the exception of the pretty little flowers, they look like something out of Wes Craven's House of Flower Arrangements.

I wanted to set it on fire.  The Bastard pointed out that his parents' HOA might get mad.
Why why WHY does anyone plant these death plants??  The only reason my in-laws have them is because the neighborhood put it there and won't let them rip the damn things out.  We saw where Nurse Mommy cut them back last year.  They grew back with even MORE thorns.  It's like they increase their defenses every time they're cut, but the only thing we can do to combat them is to keep cutting them.

We move into this house next month and I'm a little concerned that these plants might try to grow under the house, into the bedroom, and try to kill us in our sleep.  Anyone know where I can get a good flamethrower?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Indecisive Bastard is indecisive

With school and work and holidays and blah blah blah, I haven't had much time for blogging.  However, I had to pop in to share this conversation.  Background info: My husband tries his damnedest to never decide anything.  Ever.  Also?  Never consult me for snappy comebacks.  This is a one-time deal here.

Me: What do you want for dinner?

Dan: I dunno.

Me: Well, we have ground beef thawed.  I also bought taco seasoning and spaghetti sauce.  Which would you rather have?

Dan: Meh.  Whatever.

Me: Alrighty.  I'll be in the living room whenever you make a decision.

Dan (as I'm walking out of the room): Whatever!

Me (walking back in the room): You never make a decision.  Do you even know how decision-making works??

Dan (grinning): No, not really! Why don't you explain it to me in 3 words or less.

Me (pondering for a few seconds): ...Choose... an... option.

Dan (boggling): Oh my god.  You actually did it.

Me: That's right!  I win!

Dan: What the fuck?!  GTFO!!

Me (walking out of the room): I WIN, BITCHES!!!

That's right.  I'm a winner!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I haven't occupied anything recently, but I may have accidentally crushed a bank employee's spirit

So we closed our accounts with Mid-Size Bank (not the actual name... duh) since we decided to transfer over to the company where we have all our insurance policies because hey!  Multi-account discounts!  We've just been lazy about it, but when our old bank sent a letter saying that they were increasing rates and charging to use our check cards, we had all the incentive we needed.

The banker that we spoke to was very nice and very enthusiastic to keep our business.  I felt kinda bad for him because I figured that there had been a lot of customers leaving for other banks and credit unions with the fee hike, so I tried to sympathize with him.  That didn't really go so well...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My solid relationship

This conversation just happened:

Me: Where are you going?

Bastard: None of your business.

Me: Where are you going?

Bastard: Strip club.

Me: Uh huh. Where ya going?

Bastard: I just told you. Strip club.

Me: At quarter to 9 on a Tuesday.  By yourself.

Bastard: Yup. (starts digging quarters out of change dish)

Me: Ummm, I don't think that you're allowed to put coins in a stripper's g-string.

Bastard: That's not where I'm gonna put 'em! (eyebrow wiggle)

Me: Wrong kind of slot, sweetie!  Seriously.  Where are you going?

Bastard: I don't want to have to repeat myself.

Me: Good!  Maybe this time you'll actually tell me where you're going.

Bastard: (heads for door)

Me: You're going on a soda run, aren't you?
Bastard: Nope.

Me: How long are you going to be gone?

Bastard: A couple hours.

Me: Alrighty.  See you in a few minutes.  Have fun on your soda run!

He was back a few minutes later carrying a soda.  We know each other so well!

Working with Frankenteen

I have a coworker that some of us lovingly call Frankenteen.  Ok, by "some" I actually mean "two", but that's beside the point.  He's a funny kid and will just swoop past my department, grab candy out of the candy dish, pop my bubble wrap, then swoop back out again with a "Hi! .... Bye!"  This is an actual conversation that took place during the company's busiest week of the month.  To set the stage, my desk was absolutely buried and I was frantically trying to get as much done as possible when Frankenteen came bounding into my section.


Frankenteen: Are you busy?

Me: Uh... yeah... just a bit!  What do you need?

Frankenteen: Can I use you as a test dummy?

Me: ...for what?

Frankenteen (pointing at my computer): For that!

Me: What do you need to do?

Frankenteen: Don't worry, it won't effect your work! We just need to test something!

Me: What do you need to test?

Frankenteen: I need to check to see if you have admin rights.

Me: I DO have admin rights! I already know that I do so you don't need to check!

Frankenteen: Oh, well we can't use you then. Bye!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Because I'm a friend and I care

To my friend A who had to back out of last week's campout at the last minute: - I'm glad your brain surgery was a success, but sorry that you lost your excuse for your neurotic behavior.

Hallmark, eat your heart out!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Happy birthday, you Scotch-Irish Bastard!

Thursday was The Bastard's birthday, so yesterday I threw him a little get-together.  It was just us, a few friends, some cake, and a whole lot of balloons.

The decorators may have been 12.  And by decorators, I mean me & my friend JB.
I also found this kickass Betty Crocker bar mix that was brownies and chocolate chip cookies mixed together. So fuck yeah, I bought it!  I bought 2 boxes!  And this was the result:


I might have made a joke about calling the fire marshal at this point!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Bastard gets his motorcycle back... then goes to jail

So after sitting in the shop for almost 2 months, The Bastard finally got his bike back.  Of course, the first thing he did was go for a ride.  And when he goes for a ride, he usually ends up somewhere in Bumblefuck.

::snicker:: That sign says "Blowing Rock"
Now, I always worry about him getting a speeding ticket or get into an accident, but I never expected him to get arrested.

Apparently he was fueling up at a gas station where a Bumblefuck town cop was sitting out front.  Said cop decided to run The Bastard's plates.  Why?  No idea.  Apparently his plate came up with no valid license attached to it, probably because he thought he still had another month on it, but it had actually expired 2 weeks prior.  Oblivious to the activity in the police car he pulled out of the gas station, immediately after which the cop pulled out behind him and flipped on the lights.  The cop checked his license and registration, then almost immediately put him in handcuffs.  Instead of having the bike towed or asking if someone could pick it up, the cop left it on the side of the road!

He apparently tried to call me, but it was the one time I didn't have my phone on me (it had died and was charging).  When he got home, he was pissed off and flailing a bit.  I'd left him in jail!  To hear him tell it, you'd think he'd spent the day in a supermax facility with hardened criminals.

Don't drop the soap...
Here's what really happened.

At the station, he sat there for about a half hour before another cop apologized and said that with his clean record and the fact that he'd never been pulled over for this offense before, he shouldn't have been brought in.  They gave him a ticket for the expired license and told him he could GTFO.  That's when he called me, I didn't answer, and then he called one of his riding buddies.  So really, his afternoon looked more like this:

Seriously.  He looks badass in that jacket.
It actually turned out that it was a good thing that I didn't go get him - his buddy was able to ride the bike home, which I wouldn't have been able to do.  Eventually he calmed down and let me know what really happened.  So don't worry, he's not too traumatized from his ordeal!  (I know you were all worried)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Pardon me, madam, your geek is showing

So Dragon*Con is in full swing right now, and I am so fucking jealous of everyone there right now!  So I've decided that I'm going to start planning now for next year's Con.  I've been wanting to make a Mara Jade costume for awhile now and with the current state of our finances combined with my total lack of sewing skills, this could take a full year!

Fuck yeah, Mara Jade looking like Olivia Wilde!
I'm already starting to make my list of priorities for the Con:
  • Complete a kick-ass Mara Jade costume (note to self: research colored contacts...)
  • Convince the bastard to dress up with me - I'm thinking Talon Karrde.  So far, he's thinking "himself".
  • Get Timothy Zahn to sign my old tattered copy of the Thrawn trilogy
  • Get Wil Wheaton to autograph a photo of Wil Wheaton collating papers
  • Drool over the geeky shit being sold at the vendor booths
  • Take tons and tons of pictures while people-watching
But first, the costume...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Win: Weapon of Choice

I have just been informed that there are people in existence that have never seen the greatest music video of all time.  Because of this, I'm posting it now.  YOU'RE WELCOME.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

OMG Look A These Fucking Hot Dogs

I was in Aldi today and was checking out the sale and limited-time stuff because some of it's pretty awesome.  Like what I found today:

On the right, normal sized hot dogs.  On the left, JUMBO-SIZED JUMBO JUMBO DOGS!!!!
Oh yes.  I bought them.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Copernicus may have been a lamp model

The most awesome lamp ever.  EVAR.  And yes, that is a Han Solo bookmark next to it!
So between insomnia, quitting smoking, chronic pain, and general stress, my head's been in a weird place lately.  Last night I took a look at my bedside lamp.  Like, really looked at it.  Now, I got this lamp as a Christmas present, I think in 2003, from my mom with whom I have this recurring joke about monkeys.  For some reason, I have accumulated lots of monkey-themed paraphernalia, and never realized it until about 9 years ago when one of my fellow cast members pointed out that I showed up to many of my Pirates of Penzance rehearsals in monkey shirts and I earned the moniker "Monkeymonkeymonkey".  I told Mom this, since she was the one who bought most of the shirts, and she thought this was hilarious since she hadn't noticed it, either.  IIRC, there was eye-rolling from The Bastard over this.

Anyway, every now and then, my mom will give me a monkey-themed gift or card or whatever, the most epic of these being my prized monkey lamp.  It has been a point of contention between me and The Bastard, such as when we moved into this apartment:

Me: Hey!  I just unpacked the monkey lamp!
Dan: Oh.  Yay.
Me: Where do you think we should put it? Do you think the living room is too big a space for it?  It's not a very big lamp.
Dan: I think the closet could use some more light.
Me: What?!  The monkey lamp needs to be seen!  The monkey lamp is awesome!
Dan: The monkey lamp is creepy.
Me: Whatever! I'm putting it by the bed!

So that's how the monkey lamp ended up on my nightstand.  Anyway, I couldn't sleep so somehow between chapters of "Sphere" and pondering turning off the light again, I took a good look at the lamp.

Holy shit!  He looks like Copernicus!  For those of you who do not know of Copernicus, he's a stuffed monkey that The Bloggess recently purchased from a thrift store.  He likes to give hugs and may be missing part of his face.  Now I'm thinking that he also may have modeled for lamps when he was younger, which means Jenny seriously got a deal on him.

Also, since I'm sharing my decor with everyone, this is my zebra lamp that one of my friends gave me for my 21st birthday.  I loved it because I adore tacky zebra print, and because it goes so well with my monkey lamp.

Consequently, The Bastard has forbidden me from shopping with The Bloggess, even though I've never met her and probably won't unless I begin stalking her or somehow convince Nathan Fillion to take a picture with twine.  I am warming The Bastard up to the idea of getting me a "Knock-knock, motherfucker" t-shirt for Christmas, though.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Why I don't take The Bastard grocery shopping

Recently, I may have temporarily lost my mind.  It all started with a little app called Our Groceries.  It's a great app - you can set up a list, then sync it with your phone and the phones of anyone else you want to be able to access your list.  I instantly fell in love with it because I'm always trying to get The Bastard to tell me what he wanted me to pick up from the grocery store.  Usually his answer was "food".  Bastard.  I figured that with this app, he could just add whatever he wanted to the list whenever he thought of it.

Of course, this would require him actually bothering to download the app, even though I sent the link to him twice.  One day, completely fed up with his lack of participation in the grocery list, I dragged him shopping.

Now, here's how my shopping usually goes, and it usually takes all of 20 minutes to get in and out:

I go in, I get what I need, I get out.  I don't know what I was expecting with The Bastard, but it went more like this:

Forty-five minutes. Forty-five minutes.  In a freakin' Aldi!  That store has, like, 4 aisles!

If he was trying to make a point then he wins, because never again!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

So my friend Foxy and I got together this weekend to bake cookies for our husbands in an uncharacteristic display of Valentine's Day spirit.  Of course if you look at these cookies, how could we resist?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Recipe: Mandarin Chicken (complete!)

I think I may have finally perfected it last night!  This may be due in part to the fact that I sucked it up and asked The Bastard for advice, but overall it didn't need much tweaking.  It may need a little more cornstarch, though... I'm still a little iffy on the consistency.

2-3 chicken boneless skinless breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp (or to taste) crushed red pepper flakes
1 can (11 oz.) of mandarin oranges
1/2 c sugar
2 1/2 tbsp of cornstarch
1 sweet onion, sliced
1 yellow pepper, sliced
2 c broccoli, steamed
1 can water chestnuts
1 c rice, steamed
Olive oil

Combine soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, and juice from mandarin oranges.  Place chicken in a bowl and pour just enough of the mixture over it to cover the chicken.  Marinate in the fridge for about 15 minutes.  Set the rest of the sauce aside.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sautee onion and pepper slices until onions begin to caramelize and peppers are tender.  Drain chicken and add to skillet.  Cook until chicken is no longer pink in the middle.  Add water chestnuts and stir-fry for an additional 2 minutes.

Add sugar and cornstarch to remaining sauce, then pour the sauce and mandarin oranges into the skillet and bring to a boil.  Heat for about 2 minutes or until sauce thickens and oranges fall apart.  Pour over rice and broccoli and serve.

Makes about 4 servings.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Recipe (sort of): Mandarin Chicken - needs improvement!

It was my turn to cook last night. I had fully intended on finding something new and creative to make on my lunch break yesterday, but with last week's "snowpocalypse" I'm completely behind on work stuff and didn't get much of a break at all. Therefore, when I got home at 6:15, I had a bunch of thawed chicken but no plan.

Desperately tearing apart my fridge and pantry, I found the beginnings of a Chinese-style orange chicken dish, so I punched a few ingredients into and found a Mandarin beef stir-fry recipe.  Bingo!  Just needed a little bit of improvising, right?  I'll tell you what I did, then what went wrong.  However, I think I'm actually on the right track with this one for once!
2-3 chicken boneless skinless breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes (it was actually a handful of chicken strips, but that's about what it comes out to in breasts)
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1 can of mandarin oranges (10oz, I think?)
1/2 c sugar
1 sweet onion, sliced
1 yellow pepper, sliced
2 c broccoli, steamed
1 c rice, steamed
Olive oil

Combine soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and juice from mandarin oranges.  Place chicken in a bowl and pour just enough of the mixture over it to cover the chicken.  Marinate in the fridge for about 15 minutes.  (Don't put the oranges in the marinade - trust me on this.  Just set them aside.)  Set the rest of the sauce aside.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sautee onion and pepper until onions begin to caramelize and peppers are tender.  Drain chicken and add to skillet.  Cook until done.

(Here's where it went wrong)  Add sugar to remaining sauce, then pour the sauce and mandarin oranges into the skillet and bring to a boil.  Heat for about 2 minutes or until sauce thickens.  Pour over rice and broccoli and serve.
So what went wrong?  When I read the original recipe that I based this off of, I could have sworn I had corn starch.  However, I got to the part that said, "Combine the cornstarch and reserved marinade until smooth," searched for the cornstarch, and panicked.  I was out and that must be what thickens the sauce!  I tried to think of what thickens sauces, but what the hell do I know about cooking?  And I'll be damned if I ask The Bastard since I was so fucking confident walking into the kitchen that I didn't need help with this meal.  I mean, my pride was on the line here, people!  (Speaking of which, I rest my case about the Taurus thing.)

I finally settled on sugar because I knew that worked; I just didn't know what quantity.  I started with 1/4 c, then bumped it up another 1/4 when that didn't work.  It thickened just slightly, but not nearly to the extent I was going for.  Finally after about 10 minutes of simmering, I said, "Fuck it," turned off the burner, and started scooping the meat, onions, and peppers into the bowl with the rice and broccoli.  I slowly poured the sauce into the bowl so I wouldn't end up with rice soup.  After staring at it for a few seconds, trying to work up my courage, I tasted it.

Hoars, it was actually good!  Slightly sweet, slightly tangy - I actually improvised something that tasted good, and I didn't even set the kitchen on fire!  This is a major kitchen breakthrough for me.  There's just one thing left to sort out:  fucking sauces!  How do they work???  I don't want to ditch the sugar, so would I need to add the whole 2 tbsp of cornstarch?  Or am I off base about that being the thickening agent?  If anyone wants to help me out on this, hit me up in the comments.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Zodiac Killer? Not Hardly.

My sister posted this article on my Facebook wall the other day because she knows that I'm a very proud Taurus and have no regrets whatsoever about the Taurus tattoo that I got for my 20th birthday.

Because, let's face it, this tat rocks!
I read the article, laughed at the hype, and learned a bit more about the stars.  I figured that this would blow over pretty quickly and didn't think anything else of it.

But now it's everywhere - on every news site, on every radio, on tons of new Facebook groups - and I felt the need to say something:  "Calm the fuck down!!"

Seriously, if any of these idiots had taken 5 seconds for a quick Google or to look up a Wikipedia article, there wouldn't be any of this ridiculous "panic" I keep reading about.  The fact that these people are missing is that there's not one single zodiac calendar; many cultures have their own.  The traditional Western zodiac calendar is the Tropical zodiac calendar.  What's really interesting is that Ophiuchus, the sign that's causing all the fuss, is not a new sign at all, but has just been largely ignored in modern astrology.  Ophiuchus is a sign that is recognized in a variation of the Sidereal zodiac calendar, and even that's not unanimously agreed upon; most Sidereal astrologers use a 12-sign calendar.

I'm not sure how this recent hullabaloo got started, but here's where it ends in my world:  I'm a Taurus.  My stubbornness on this issue should be a perfect indicator of that.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Recipe: Crock Pot Chicken Tacos

We made Crock Pot Chicken Tacos for dinner Friday night.  And of course, being us, we improvised a bit.  This was mostly due to the fact that we were out of salsa, Aldi didn't have any, and Kroger was packed because we did our grocery shopping the day before the huge ice storm.  Click the link for the actual recipe; here's what we did:

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can of diced tomatoes
About a dozen slices of jarred jalapeno
1 large sweet onion
1 can of whole kernel corn
1 packet of taco seasoning
1/2 c of water

Mix it all up, set it on low, and go to work.  The Bastard stirred it every couple of hours since it was still too icy for him to get to work on his motorcycle, but this may have been more out of boredom than necessity.  After 8 hours, the chicken pretty much falls apart just while stirring it.  I probably didn't need to add the water as it was a little... drippy.  Also, the jalapenos might have been overkill as our stomachs didn't really appreciate the spicy bombardment the next day.  However, I thought the flavor was awesome, and I'll probably do it again using salsa.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dinner: Pot Roast... Sort Of...

We tried the first of the crock pot recipes last night.  Here's what we did:

2 lbs (approx) stew beef
1 very large baking potato, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 16-oz. bag of baby carrots
1 sweet onion, cut into chunks
3 cups beef broth
1 cup water
Basil and parsley (to taste)

Mix all of these ingredients in a large crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours.

Verdict: It was good, but not great.  Next time, I think I'll cut out the water and add onion soup mix.  I'll let you know how it goes.  The cook time was dead on, though - the beef was done and falling apart, and the veggies weren't mushy.

Friday, January 7, 2011

New Year's Resolution: Food Edition

For the most part, I think New Year's Resolutions are a load of crap.  Most people do what they say they're going to do for about a week and then quit.  Hell, look at me: it took me a week just to make a New Year's resolution!  However, The Bastard, who is a huge LifeHacker fan, sent me links to a bunch of articles.  One of these really got me thinking:  The Bastard and I are both employed now so we're not home much; we have a tiny kitchen and not much time to spend in it; and we have a rice cooker, crock pot, and George Foreman grill.  So why the hell do we eat so much frozen pizza?  (As you can probably tell, we did not stick with P90X, although I would still recommend it to the very determined.)  We really need to start eating better, and lack of time and space is no longer an excuse.

So I'm going to share some of these sites that I found through the link above and, if I actually make myself sit down and do it, also write some reviews as I try these recipes out.  I might even actually take some pictures for once.

Potato chips in the microwave (just on principal)
Five-ingredient crock pot meals
Crock pot chicken tacos (these just look awesome!)
George Foreman recipes

If you guys have any other quick/easy/cheap recipe suggestions, let me know - bonus if they're healthy, too.  Also, feel free to try some of these with me and give your own reviews in the comments sections.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Customer Service Fail: Comcast Edition

Customer service for any business is crucial.  Unfortunately, a lot of companies have forgotten that lately.  I'm not going to say that the customer is always right because, well, they're not.  However, if you're running a business, you should at least do what you can (within reason) to make sure that your customer doesn't hate you.

I was tipped off to this one regarding a Comcast customer.  He's been going around and around lately with their customer service/tech support about several hi-def channels that he's paid for but is not receiving.  However, this last rep takes the proverbial cake.  You can read the whole story here, but I also nabbed the screen shots for you.  Check out this nonsense (click the image to see full-size):

"If I cannot help you, no one will!! MWAH HA HA HA HA!!!"

In other words, "Jose" got pissed when the dude asked him to escalate the issue and basically just "hung up" on him.  Really, Jose?  Really??  If you don't know your shit, and it sounds like you don't, pass it on to someone else.  Escalate it to a manager.  Don't get huffy with the customer when he is simply relaying what he's been told in the past and asks to speak to a supervisor.  Now, according to the website he put up, he's not only escalating this with customer retention, but several people who work at Comcast have seen this site and will be investigating the matter personally.  Congrats, Jose!  You may have not only lost your company a customer, but perhaps your own job as well.