Carpe Diem

Rambling snobbery - books, music, food, knitting and sewing

Thursday, September 01, 2011

My own Southern Self

I am - by birth & therefore consequence - a transplanted Northerner to the SOUTH, and sadly will never ever be really truly 100% Southern. I cannot comprehend on any level little girl "beauty pagents" (seriously? - WTF!!! - IMHO they are nothing more than little whoremakers) nor some of the funky pig parts that appear out of nowhere - all deep fried, pickled or briney - BUT I sincerely adore the people I've met and their sincerity and unique look on life. They have such a unusual perspective that is so different to the northern way of thinking. The south does things so very very diametrically opposed to the north that actually challenges me - and I love that. BUT there is a down side.

I'm white. I'm not Korean and only speak enough Spanish to know I should be offended when called a white bitch. The South here is a hard conflicted very bipolar South. It's filled with bigots - haters and bitches. But also a Shit ton of great people and therefore worth exploring. Maybe this is true everywhere in my America - but I am not a hater - I love those who should be loved and don't put evil back into the world as best I can.

I love Virginia for so many personal reasons and not just because this is where my family has landed and started to put down roots but because this place - State - "state of mind" - Historical Juggernaut - has such presence it's almost otherworldly. Don't get me wrong. People here cannot fucking drive to save their lives. To say they are bad drivers is like saying Andrew Zimmern likes to eat assholes. REALLY? who freaking teaches drivers ed here? Mr. Paulson is pissing himself as I share some of these horror stories. But as a Midwestern girl I can a) drive stick and actually would prefer it to automatic transmission. b) sail through a snow storm with my car still on the road. and c) change my own oil but that's another blog post. But the south has that strange allure for me since the very first time I saw a magnolia in full bloom. It was a transplanted variety to the north - but it was gorgeous and I was 9. I knew there was a world outside of the complete hibernation that I knew was Wisconsin. I felt there was more to what I knew to be the 5 months we knew as warmth and the rest relegated to construction and snow. My quest for all things warm and not the north began. I began to loathe the cold. No actually it was started as loathe and ended at full on I FUCKING HATE BEING COLD!!!!!!!!!!!!! It took a few years to ramp into that particular sentatment - but there it is. I remember one particular winter - no kidding - 80 below fucking zero with the wind chill factor. Driving to work - at night - having to plug in my car so that my engine would not freeze. Those of you truly southern will have no idea what I am talking about - google "block heater" yes I own one. I hate winter. Sooooooooooo I love Virginia. But straight up - I'm not far enough south. This state is gorgeous - yes yes yes - it is for lovers - but for all the talk - it's still cold. A lot.

As much as there are differences there are Burger Kings and Applebees and if I wanted to just live "in the north" "in the south" I so so so
could. But that is so not who I am and I PERSONALLY live and bloom where planted so I live - truly LIVE Auntie Mame style - and embrace what I live in - so this is a nirvana of sorts for me. Fresh produce in cheap places. Korean markets - Live seafood for crazy prices - yes please. Why is it always about food for me? well, we need it to live. And more than exist. LIVE! I always come back to this - Food is fuel at it's most basic but it's life at it's most glorious. We have to eat. WE HAVE TO EAT!!!!!! We have to feed ourselves and our children. If you are a feeder you get this - man or woman - you get it. I love it here for the wider - nay, epic expanse of possibilities open here. Lemon grass. check. Cassava. yeah. Ginger. duh? good Garlic - ya think? OMG yes please! So much to pick from if brave enough to tough it out. I have my sights set on farther south some day but for now Virginia is sweet home enough that I am a happy Yankee Rose!!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

This one's for me

They say that you can boil a frog to death if you turn the heat up slowly enough. This really doesn't make me either happy or sad since I really fucking hate frogs, but it serves to make it's point quite eloquently. A frog in it's right little amphibious mind would jump the hell straight out of hot water if given the chance. But you know sitting all happy in the hot tub that is all the while slowly marinating his froggy ass- just hits so close to home for me. I hate frogs. Maybe I'll share that stupid phobia with you - it's kind of like clowns for some only more Wisconsin on a rainy April day and less plagues of Pharoah. But the fact of the matter is that I have lived every single one of the "judgments" I've placed on someone in my life and I really pray that God let's up his really heavy - really powerful omnipotent hand sometime soon so I can breathe again. I've been boiled.

I sat long enough on my own self righteous "oh my God - who does she think she is doing XYZ!" laurels. Really ? God is being kind to me not to just zap me and make it done. But instead - here I sit all reflective and penitent realizing I suck. But I suck in the middle of the story. The end has not been written yet. Isn't that exciting?

How about I let you tell me what you think and we go on from here? What if this really were real and you got to dictate someone's life from afar? What if this were really happening in real time and you had a say?

Would you offer your opinion? Or let me boil to death in my own choices? I am listening.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

just like heaven

So it really wasn't the nuns she was thinking of - though Sister Mercy sat in her psyche like her Grandma on religious steroids - it was Michael. Standing in front of her - shirt half open to a chest she had never seen but had wanted to touch a dozen or so times at really inappropriate moments. Meetings that dragged on where she was taking notes for things she really knew would go no where and amount to nothing and surprisingly - that was the case - but here - alone he was too real. Too exposed and she for the first time in her life felt very very vulnerable. He was the man that she knew she would be able to give herself to fully but that meant dynamiting everything. This was too full - too heavy - she was on the verge of fainting from it's weight. But his smell - that smell - the smell that she recognized but couldn't place - drew her back to his face. And it was his hand - behind her head drawing her lips in that snapped her back to reality. He tasted like she knew he would - sweet but not unearthly - his tongue just tasting hers and inviting more. It was the kiss she knew she had been born for but had waited until now to taste. And yet it was forbidden. So very wrong so adulterous but it was Michael and he was who she wanted. He was the one she would let go of everything for - not knowing the outcome. She would take the leap from the lion's head - if only for the moment and if only for the taste of his mouth. And it was worth every second. His body was hard against hers but supple and inviting and the invitation was there. He broke the kiss and looked into her eyes. Asking. Further? Do we? She looked back. Open to his embrace but knowing the outcome.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Moving day

Since I want to link books and music to this blog I have since moved to

come find me

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sweet/Sour Chicken for the Gluten & Lactose Intolerant

I am a hungry girl. AND I am gluten intolerant AND lactose intolerant. Yeah yeah, sucks to be me!!!! I can still drink booze so shut up! (atleast today that is! GAHHHHH! - that would really suck! - Ummm I mean dear Murphy - whatever I don't care!)

So I made this for dinner and it's pretty good if I do say so myself!

Kind of like Gen. Tso Chicken - only without MSG or Wheat!
Enjoy folks!

Sweet and Sour Chicken without Gluten or Lactose
Chicken Chunks:
* 2 pounds semi frozen chicken breast (chopped into 1" chunks - I use a scissors)
* 1 cup corn starch
* A little fresh ground black pepper & garlic powder & red pepper flakes
* 2 eggs
* Vegetables:
* 1 green bell pepper, washed, seeded and cut into chunks
* 1 red bell pepper, washed, seeded and cut into chunks
* 2 medium carrots, peeled and trimed, slice (yeah into chunks!)
* 1 20-ounce can pineapple chunks in juice

* Sweet and Sour Sauce:
* Drained pineapple juice
* 1 cup water
* 1/4 cup granulated sugar
* 1/4 cup vinegar
* 3 tablespoons lemon juice
* Strawberry water (2 strawberries cut up into water about 1/2 cup - this makes that creepy red color without adding creepy red color LOL!
* 2 rounded tablespoons corn starch mixed in enough cold water to make a loose mix (about 1/2 cup or a bit more)


Directions for Making Chicken

When cutting the chicken into bite-sized pieces, remove any tough stuff.
In small frying pan, add some evoo and heat to sizzling. In a bowl mix eggs and milk. Beat until well combined.
Place corn starch and seasonings in a shallow bowl and mix.
Dunk pieces of chicken in the egg mixture. Allow excess to drain.
Dredge the chicken pieces in the coating thoroughly. Here is your chance to practice with your chop sticks and keep the crud off from your fingers.
Drop pieces into the hot oil and fry until deep golden brown. Turn as necessary to cook evenly on all sides. When golden brown, turn down heat and cover and cook for 5 min. Watching to make sure not burning. Then remove to paper towel covered plate to drain.

Directions for Making Sweet and Sour Sauce
Place pineapple juice and water in sauce pan. Heat over low flame. Slowly add sugar while stirring.
When sugar has dissolved, slowly add the vinegar and the lemon juice while stirring.
Add corn starch and stir while heating. Bring to a boil.
Stir constantly until thickened. Add strawberry water (not the strawberries) and stir well to mix. Continue to heat and stir until almost a syrup. Remove from heat and set aside. It will thicken fast - wisking will help this. Turn off heat and let sit.

Directions for Assembling Completed Dish
Add a little oil in the chicken pan over medium heat. Add vegetables (but not the pineapple) and cook, stirring frequently, until onions begin to caramelize, reduce heat and cover - check in 3 minutes.

Add sweet and sour sauce and continue cooking and stirring until vegetable are bite tender and sauce has re-thickened and clings to the vegetables.
Add pineapple and chicken into the vegetables and sauce. Simmer until heated through. Serve over rice.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Yes, that is the word of the day according to Tim. I, however have chosen insouciant as mine. That just seems the funniest turn of affairs I could ever think. Anyone who knows me or my ex knows that Obsequious was pretty much tattooed on my ass from birth and that laissez-faire whatever whatever characterizes him to a tee! So today as I'm driving home from shoe shopping with the kiddies - he sends me this random word text and as the stuck in traffic driver that I am I respond in kind.

I do really miss having intelligent conversations about things that matter and things that don't but do to a certain extent just because they are fun to talk about. I miss sitting around a fire with wine and beer and such and being smarmy and funny and kind and sassy. I even miss the company of outlaws as they were some of the most interesting men I have ever met. Truly a rare 1% breed if there ever was one. Time wounds all heels and does heal all wounds. It's a fact - palpable indeed!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Dirty little secrets
We really all have them in one way or another - but what do you do with that evil little thought if it's not so very little and is so so very evil? Yes as a Christian I KNOW what to do with it. And it's NOT rolling the thought slooooooooowly over and ooooover in your head like a big piece of rock candy over your salivating tongue. No it's definitely not that. Though really that's what I want it to be.

Nor is it to just banish it to the deep dank murky recesses of your swampy brain to ferment and stagnate into a pungent stank you can always smell but never really place it's origin.

Nope, the answer is face up to it. Mirror like. And know that no one, NOBODY besides a certain Winemaker (John 2: 1 - 11), gets out of this place clean. You learn a lot about yourself when you face the honest to goodness filth that is inside the cleanest looking reflection!

I'm so glad I don't have to be God and read everyone's messy dirty thoughts all day long - reading mine is bad enough. Though some are really really goooooooood!