Thursday, March 31, 2005

What...what ...speak up

I have a head cold. I stayed home yesterday and I was sooo good - no blogging, no working in the yard (it was over 60 out there)...ok, so I did a little laundry. My thoughtful wife loaded me up with chick-flicks -- yup, gotta watch chick-flicks when you're sick.

Today I am back at work. The problem... is that I can't hear anything. There's gonna be alot of nodding and smiling today. Wish I knew how to read lips.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

People please,

Get up off the couch, walk out your front door. Take 10 big steps away from your house and turn around.

If you see any decaying pine boughs, red ribbons, snowmen, Santa faces, elves, imitation holly or mistletoe, baubles or garland, would you JUST take it down already

Friday, March 25, 2005

Please keep an eye out

For my wife...and this dog.

She just loves boxers... and perhaps feeling the pangs of emptyness...

and the FREE dog is not helping at all.
oy
So, generally, we are not letting her leave the house alone for awhile.

'Sweetie...you still at the office?'

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

For David

When my Blogfather stopped in to see us during a recent blizzard, we offered him some warm tea, or perhaps a port. We offered the port unknowingly of course - since our port was not kosher.
Being Italian - it was important for us to serve something to 'take the chill off', especially since he would be driving home in all that snow, with those treacherous white out conditions, and slipperiness and all... must have a little 'something'.
My Italian wife suggested some Limoncello, which we make ourselves (as Italians we are required to either make wine or limoncello – we are also required to have at least one lawn statue). We reviewed the ingredient list and found nothing un-kosher about it.

The recipe below is for David, from my wife. But please, give it a go if you are so inclined.
We keep a bottle in the freezer at all times, so stop in anytime for a taste.

Limoncello (pronounced lee-mohn-CHEL-loh) Recipe

Ingredients
15 large, thick, skinned lemons
Two 750 ml bottles of 100-proof vodka
4 cups sugar
5 cups water

Tools
1 large glass jar (at least 4 quarts) with lid
Vegetable peeler
Glass pitcher
Funnel
Cheese cloth


Phase 1: The Zest
Wash lemons well with hot water to remove any residue of pesticides, wax or stickers. Pat lemons dry.

Fill the jar with one bottle of 100-proof vodka. Be sure to use 100-proof, which has less flavor than a lower proof vodka (Limoncello should taste like fresh lemons, not poor-quality vodka.). Also, higher proof vodkas won’t turn to ice in the freezer.

Start peeling the zest from all the lemons with a vegetable peeler. If you get some of the bitter white pith with the zest, carefully scrape the pith away with the tip of a knife. As you peel and de-pith the zest, add it to the jar.

After combining the vodka and lemon zest, cover the jar and store it at room temperature in a dark place (We store ours on a shelf in our cellar.). Let it sit for 40-45 days. As the limoncello sits, the vodka slowly takes on the flavor and rich yellow hue of the lemon zest.

Phase 2: The Syrup
After 40-45 days, retrieve the jar from its hiding place. You are now ready to add the remaining ingredients.

Combine 4 cups of sugar with 5 cups of water in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes until slightly thickened. Let the syrup cool.

Add the second bottle of 100-proof vodka to the jar of limoncello. Add the cooled syrup.

Cover the jar and return it to the cellar to sit for another 40-45 days.

Phase 3: The Finale
After the second 40-45 days, retrieve the jar from its hiding place. You are now ready to strain and bottle your limoncello. Cut a layered section of the cheese cloth big enough to generously fit over the mouth of a funnel. Place the funnel on a glass pitcher or other glass container that’s big enough to hold the entire batch of limoncello. Pour the liquid from the jar through the cheesecloth-funnel into the pitcher. The cheese cloth will trap all the tiny chunks of zest.

Now remove the zest from the jar and discard it. Repeat the straining technique with the cheese cloth-funnel, this time from the pitcher back to the jar. Replace the soaked cheese cloth with a new fresh layered section of cheese cloth. Strain one more time from the jar to the pitcher.

Pour the limoncello into decorative serving bottles (Pier One has a fabulous collection of tinted green bottles!) with cork tops. Immediately put one bottle in your freezer. Serve the limoncello in cordial glasses (or drizzle over ice cream or fresh berries) as soon as it’s frosty.

Store the remaining bottles in your cellar until you’re ready to serve or give away to your friends.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Julia
10.28.1994 - 03.19.2005

Jules
Julia was a muse. She was perky and loving, her intelligence… questionable.
She never finished growing, and visitors would always marvel at how small she was.
She was the only dog I ever knew who would sniff around the yard and not even lift her head if guests arrived. Not a typical dog.
She was not good with children. She did not like being picked up. She made it very clear on the things she did not like. If you sat – she was in your lap. If you were under a blanket, she was under with you. If you opened the fridge, she was in the kitchen. If you called her name, she completely ignored you.

She loved to be warm and would seek out any source of heat. She would follow the sun around the house on lazy weekend days. She loved to crawl into the daughters big sweatshirts while they lay around watching TV all afternoon. When we had occasion to work around the house using our portable halogen lamp – she would stand right in front of it, soaking up the warmth. On really, really hot summer days, she would stretch out on the asphalt driveway. A couple of times I actually carried her into the house before she started to cook. Her legs were so thin and her coat so short that when it would get to be below 0, her legs would freeze up and she would tip over, I would need to run out and scoop her up.

She could care less about other dogs. We have always had a big dog in the house, and so she had no fear of them. It was this courageous ignorance that kept finding her in the neighbor’s yard…. the neighbors with electric fence….electric fence to contain their 100lb. Shepard. He never caught her, tho he tried.

She was certainly not like any other dog. Let’s call her special. For reasons I cannot truly explain, I was rather attached to this little pup.

We'll miss our little Joosie.
Julia

Friday, March 18, 2005

Exercise Regimen

After having come to the conclusion recently that I needed to exercise as well as diet to take off those last 5 pounds – I immediately put on 3. This is a good thing tho – it’s all part of the dieting process. I call them Panic Pounds. It’s a reflex really. As soon as you say you’re going to diet, your body goes into panic mode -- to protect itself.

Regarding the exercise portion of my program – I can say this, I am not a quitter.
Are you familiar with the saying “You can‘t win if you don’t play”?
Well you can’t quit if you don’t start.
Works for me.

The dieting part (now that I am past the panic pounds) is actually working quite nicely, albeit slowly. But this is to be expected. I cannot lose 5 pounds in 3 weeks.
I can lose 1 pound in three weeks. It’s good to know your limitations.

My diet of choice is tried and true – starvation. Weeellll, perhaps not starvation like 3rd World starvation – this is more Americanized. It basically means eating a hell of a lot less. It’s a very convenient diet. No special foods to prepare, no planning, no counting points and you save money at the grocery store.

My downfall is weekend cocktails. I do so like my evening cocktails on the weekends. They really rack up the calories.
The first weekend I decided that rather than drinking beer, which is so high in calories it’s practically a food group – I would have vodka. That way I would drink less, as it’s so much more potent.
Yeah well. Tell a beer drinker to drink less. Ha.
Ok, Vodka is off the list.

This weekend I will stick with beer. I am planning to compensate for the calories during the day – by eating much less food I will get tipsy faster, and therefore drink less – less calories all around– it’s a win-win situation.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

It's Madness I say

Last night was family Wednesday Wings night.
We brought our March Madness brackets to fill out over wings and a pitcher.
There was a pile of Ferris’ buddies there and bracket advice was flying from table to table. I would just call out a team and a debate would erupt.
Ferris plays two brackets – one from the heart, and one from the head. Mine is a melding of the two. Which, of course, means Uconn gets knocked out in the final four.
I have entered my selections into our workplace pool for $5.00. I am so excited…I never entered one for myself before.
No one is doing the Women’s bracket – so I am going to fill one out all by myself, because I am so swept up in the Madness now.
Gotta go…time for tip off.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Good Morning

I was going to blog this morning about being irritated by the continuing cold weather.
I had compiled a long list of synonyms in my head; grating, harsh, annoying, maddening, frustrating, wearisome, exasperating…

BUT – I woke up this morning next to love of my life…, and the birds were singing and the sun was out, and the temperature…well, ok the temp was still 25…
I can sense the spring under all that snow. It refreshed me. I think I can make it.
Life is good.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Gaaaayyyy BING-GOOo

Tonight we will play Gay Bingo. I am not yet sure how this differs from ‘Straight’ Bingo– except the caller will be a drag queen. A bunch of us are going – because lesbians are known to travel in tribes of course. And, as is customary it will be held in a church basement (not a catholic church mind you), which means no cocktails. I have suggested we all leave work early for a pre-bingo cocktail hour.

I have been practicing all morning. A…4 ; I…6 ; E ...7
My analytical wife loves to gamble so this is right up her alley; she says if she wins she will call out 'Gay Bingo'.
When I win I will call out ‘You sunk my battleship’.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Compulsion

I am home today, waiting for the dryer repairman to come. There are loads of laundry in waiting.
My plan for the day, other than laundry, was to finish up some trim painting in the living room.

However, I went outside for just a moment to sprinkle some of that de-ice stuff on the walk -- in hopes the dryer repair man would not slip fall and break something, thereby not able to fix my dryer and did I mention there is quite a bit of laundry queued up.

See, we had this weird snow the other day, which left about an inch of ice underneath, that we were not able to clear with the snow thrower or shovels.
We generally keep the driveway cleared, clean and dry all winter. It’s civilized. Ice or snow on the driveway or walkways is not acceptable. But warmer weather is promised for just next week, so ‘waiting’ was the best option we came up with.

However, while sprinkling the ice stuff, I notice a loose piece, so I chipped at it, and it started to come up. More and more ice started to break up as I went. So I continued, on and on, gathering different shovels and other tools to lift and break up the ice. Chopping and scooping it out of the driveway, added more de-ice pellets, shoveling away the broken ice…. basically, I can't stop now.
I have to keep picking and chipping at it until its gone. It's driving me mad.
I simply can…not…stop chipping and picking and chipping and picking...
I am obsessed.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Unionized?

As you may have read, the State Judiciary Committee here in Connecticut has approved legislation to allow civil unions. This controversial topic will now go to the Senate or the House or the Hood… to get voted on again and again and finally end up in the lap of our new and improved, non-cheatin’ governor Jodi Rell, while all we gay folk wait with bated breath to be allowed to share in a small percentage of rights enjoyed by heterosexuals… well as long as we stay in Connecticut that is.

The GLBT activists here (Love Makes a Family specifically) are not all that enthused as they feel civil unions makes gays “separate and unequal”.

But in all this political rhetoric, I beg to say we are missing a very important point.
Quite simply it boils down to conjugation…the schematic arrangement of the inflectional forms of a verb… basically what the HELL am I going to say?

Ok – you’re at a party, you’re a heterosexual, you have a stunning example of the opposite sex on your arm, you are wearing a ring on ‘the’ finger. What might you hear…”Say there Pat, when did you get married?”

Now… you’re me. I am at a party, I am a homosexual, I have my stunning wife on my arm and am wearing a ring on ‘the’ finger. Say there Weese, when did you get…..aahh
…get…. um… civil unioned?... uuh unionized?…no no..that’s Hoffa… um… civilized? Ah, when did you crazy kids go to town hall and sign those papers to give you rights to visit each other in the hosptial...well in the state, and get health insurance..well also in the state - but really congratulations.“

C’mon people… a little help here. How can I explain in a word to the world that I have willfully, joyously, romantically with all of my heart and mind, for the rest of my life …signed some papers and entered into a civil union.
If for no other reason than the adjective – it think we should fight for FULL marriage rights, and on a federal level--so I don’t have to make up other words when I travel out of state.

Monday, March 07, 2005

My Quest

It seems that the list of repairs on the van have finally exceeded its worth.
As I have blogged before – I love my Quest... but I am ready to accept that it’s over… its time to let go, its time to move on, its time... for a change
…but not a good time as far as our fiscal planning is concerned.
The plan was to replace the van in two more years. That was our plan, it’s a good plan, it’s a financially sound plan.
This was not in the plan.
I am all about planning.

So I would need to be frugal, wise and conservative in my car selection.
I called my trusted mechanic for some sage advice.
He suggested the LeSabre.

Ok now, I have nothing against mid-size American family sedans…really, I don’t.
But look at me…trendy (stop laughing), middle-aged, lesbian… in a LeSabre.
Ooo, I shudder at the thought.
I know, I know – I am not in a position to be picky.

My trusted mechanic also recommended a car dealer right down the street from where I work, he said they may have a used Altima or Accord.
Ok, I can do an Altima, I can do an Accord – I could even do a Sentra – affordable, good on gas, sensible – yeah, I can do that. I am so centered and self confident – I can drive a Sentra and make it look cool.

That very day I took my lunch hour and went to the dealer.
I pull in the lot and what is the first car I see?
While test driving it I sold it to myself.
My wife is so supportive.
I called her from the dealer and told her I basically just bought the first car I laid eyes on.
She laughed.
She loves me.

Mid-life crises ?

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Batteries not included

My rechargeable batteries for my digital camera are... de-charged.
:o(
so no snow pics today.

Let me try to describe it for you.

Perhaps in Haiku...

cold yet dry to touch
deep enough for sore muscles
soon to be flowers


ok.. how about a simple rhyme...
White and fluffy and dry to touch
The snow is not melting fast enough

The months accumulation is very deep
So much in fact we may buy a jeep

I tire of its brightness, soon to be brown muck
Ready to throw in the shovel and say " Who gives a f*** "



Or perhaps the more unusual … Cinquain

Snowstorm
Cold, white
Blowing, drifting mounds
We are its prey, stranded and warm
Blizzardry

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

MORE shoveling

Actually - we DO have a snowthrower. I was ...well... exaggerating a bit yesterday.
I am in love with my snowthrower, will never live without one again.

However, as I type my herculean wife is out there shoveling the driveway. We had a 'dusting' of three more inches last night. It's rather puffy and fluffy...so she decided to do it the old fashioned way.
If I make it home before dark tonight I will post a pic of all this crazy late season snow.
And yes...I promised a story and a pic yesterday - I have not forgotten, but work keeps getting in the way.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Shoveling

There is ALOT of snow out there. I can barely type... my arms are so sore.
There is still more - so posting will have to wait. But I promise a picture and a story tomorrow.
In the mean time the wife and I had a FABuLous visit from my blogfather last evening.
Cleary, real men do not fear snow.