Thursday, September 29, 2005

Now I remember

Last night we met some friends at Our Place this ridiculously smoky bar/restaurant near our house. We had a blast playing really bad pool and decent (if I do say so myself) pinball and drinking beer - maybe too much since I broke my rule, AGAIN.

They have karaoke nights on Thursday and Saturday. This is one of those kinds of bars where people come by themselves to sing/perform. I cannot understand this since well, it's KARAOKE people! Anyhoo, one of our friends did a song so Tommy and I got curious about the selections in the Great Big Book of Karaoke.

Tommy performed Peaches by the Presidents of the United States and then he got hooked. He started looking for more songs but I forced him to abstain since it was already 2 hours later than I should have stayed in the first place.

And I, well, I thought it'd be a good idea to stir things up and throw caution to the wind. I've only sang karaoke twice - the first time was in NY where you rent a room and you're only surrounded by friends, the second was in Dallas at a bar my old roommate owns so I was also surrounded by friends. At the former I performed Bust a Move then discovered it's a very difficult karaoke song since there are SO many words crammed into one glorious song and you really only THINK you know they lyrics til you're up on "stage." So yeah, I should have learned my lesson but I thought I needed to cut the seriousness of some of the ballad-y selections being performed hence my need to stir and thus forget the No Rap Rule. And yet........

Fortunately I have a great husband that will hop on "stage" with me for back-up.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Tomato Pie

I love a good Southern accent. It makes me feel comforted when I hear it. Therefore, I adore Paula Dean and her show on the Food Network. The fact that she's going to be in Elizabethtown makes me want to see it that much more.

Anyhoo, my point is I made her Tomato Pie last night and it is So Good. I used the blessed Pillsbury pie dough and didn't pre-bake and it came out perfect nonetheless. Next time I want to add crab or shrimp to it. My Lord, it was delicious.

Monday, September 19, 2005


Another wonderful weekend has past mainly due to Saturday night.

Our friends, Morgan & Aaron, Tommy and I went to Pioneer Square. Aaron is a big blues fan and initially wanted to go to Highway 99 but the band that was scheduled to play looked pretty lame so I did some research (some call it meddling....) and I saw that Alberta Adams was playing at the New Orleans Creole Restaurant. We got there early to have a bite to eat. I wasn't sure what to order so I asked the table next to me if they've eaten there before - they had and recommended the catfish. Say no more! I love me some catfish. THEN it dawned on me that who I asked WAS Alberta Adams. Fortunately her and her friend were very nice.

NOCR makes a damn fine catfish with damn fine hushpuppies and red beans & rice. And Alberta Adams Rocked The House. Ohmigod, she was so amazing! She had to be helped up on stage and then had to sit through her act but her voice, oh, her voice didn't show an ounce of age. My kingdom to see her back in her Duke Ellington days!!!

Our $10 cover got us into a bunch of other clubs in Pioneer Square. I had heard good things about Fenix Underground but when we got to the front of the club, the music that was coming out of it was way too hard to follow after Alberta's bliss so we headed to Doc Maynard's for a beer and watched The Randy Oxford Band - another good Southern bluesy rock band. You don't see much trombone anymore and Randy knows how to play.

I tend to go out to see a lot of bands and most of the time I figure I'm one of the oldest people in the clubs, I just don't look it (unbiased people assure me). I couldn't get over how many "over 30" people there were out at these places. I was a bit uncomfortable about it. Isn't that weird? I'm not usually uncomfortable being around people my own age - but for the record, the people around my age I am around did not look like these Pioneer Square People. I can't explain it, either way, we went to Temple Billiards to play some pool and I was more comfortable around the mixed-age group.

Temple Billiards was a surprisingly comfortable pool hall. Tommy and I love Belltown Billiards and didn't think anything would compare but on a non-weekend night (or not too late on weekends), this would be a fun place to hang out. They've got a trance-y club going on in the basement and the bass is too loud downstairs to hear the good jukebox upstairs. I love a good jukebox - Tommy played a Scissor Sisters song for me and was still able to get some Creedence for him.

So after we played really long, bad games of pool (it's so nice to play with your equals), we headed home and I listened to the new Horrorpops (good, just not as good as there last one) while the rest of the car slept - which reminds me of my favorite line:

I want to die like my grandfather - peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming in terror like the rest of the people in the car.

Have a lovely week!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

How DOES Google do it?

Go to Google and type in "failure" (without the quotes) and then hit the "I feel lucky" button.

Sad, but true....

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

What I came home to - 9.11.05

What I came home to - 9.11.05
Originally uploaded by kaymaria.
After leaving Amy V, I headed for the other half of my Portland trip. Another friend is going through a rough period. Her and her husband are not doing too well so she's staying at a friend's. I wanted to see if I could help so I headed over. I knew there wasn't much I could do but I figured just plopping myself in front of her would at least give her a sounding board. Considering everything that's going on and to add to that, I drank like I was in high school or perhaps I just had too many cigs so I was puking my guts up most of Sunday morning - nice!, overall, we had a really good time.

But it sure makes a girl (of divorced parents) wonder about her marriage mortality. I already felt bad for leaving Tommy the whole weekend but he was SO supportive of the cause - so much so that I came home to this bouquet.

He is so great. He said he wanted me to come home to them since I did such a good thing for my friend. He didn't even think about it being Sept. 11th or that they were the exact type of flower I wore in my hair when we got married, he's just That Good. I cannot begin to tell you how truly thankful I am that he is in my life and I can only wish this for my friend in Portland then for everyone else. They Are Out There!

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Mississippi Studios

Mississippi Studios
Originally uploaded by kaymaria.

This is a "creatively" blurry picture representing a lovely night. I met my rockin' friend Amy V in Portland Friday night. She works for American Spirit cigs and they were one of the sponsors of Music Fest NW.

It was so, so good seeing her, albeit briefly. We visited for a bit then headed for Mississippi Studios - this crazy-great and comfy bar/recording studio. We went there to see James Hall and since we got there early, we sat outside watching Buster Keaton silent movies - could this place get any better?!? Yes, it could:

While out there we heard people talking about the next act and how they hoped he did "Future's So Bright." Turns out the next act was Pat Macdonald, former singer of Timbuk 3 (TELL ME you remember that overplayed song!). The fest's calendar had him classified as "folk" so Amy and I planned to stay outside watching movies. But upon hearing the first few minutes of his dirty, electric guitar and harmonica, we went in and grabbed seats. This guy was so good!!! Bought a cd and everything. He sounds like dirtier Morphine - I swear!

To make the night better, James Hall went on next. He was just as excellent and entertained us with many, many encores including a Hall and Oates cover Amy V raved about. The night was filled with great and interesting company. Dreamy!

The next day, I picked up some damn fine coffee & a 2 disc cd of Portland bands at Stumptown (look how cool and comfy the place looks!). Then we headed to Nob Hill and ate at Mio - sushi is a tradition for Amy V and me. It was good - not raveable but good. Then we went to Whole Foods and we parted ways. Thanks Amy for a lovely visit! Come up and see me some time!

When necessary, I hope I am a sheepdog

This guy gets a little carried away but overall, this is some brilliant writing.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Help is on the way

To try to help the displaced hurricane victims, I just ordered a care package from I looked over this site and came up with a wide variety of items I thought people would need and picked a place to send them to. If you haven't ordered from before (what?!?), you get free regular shipping with orders over $49 and free 3-day shipping for orders over $100. I hope this helps.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Not-too-much-Labor Day

I got to bed at about 4am Sunday morning after a rather long flight. (Why are pilots so ridiculously honest lately? Do I really need to know that we're sitting on the tarmac FOREVER waiting to fix a faulty fuel valve?!? It's already virtually impossible to sleep in my cramped seat, I don't need visions of fireballs dancing in my head.) For the record, I DID share my cookies with the guy next to me (I told Mac I didn't like to share but I know that's wrong and I figured with the fuel valve issue, I should try to be as nice as I could in what could be my last hours). Turns out he hadn't had a cookie in a year and a half because he'd been living in China (they don't have cookies there?) and he was quite impressed with Mac's scotchies.

Anyhoo, went to bed at 4:00, Tommy got home from duty at 8:30. We watched crap on tv, he went and got Burger King breakfast, then we took a nap. We took one of those "I know I'd sleep a lot better if we weren't spooning but even though I was only gone for 48 hours, damn, I missed my husband" sleeps that's just so dreamy. After, I got up, worked in the garden for a bit (8 ripe tomatoes!!!), then took a much needed shower.

We headed to Tacoma to Sports Authority, dinner and a movie. We were initially going to eat at Chevy's but decided to try Famous Dave's BBQ. Yay! We've discovered good BBQ not too far from home!!!

Afterwards we saw 40 Year Old Virgin. If you haven't seen it yet, go.....NOW! Two thumbs way up. The waxing scene KILLED me and it turns out, it's real!

And now I'm starting to bore myself with all this wonderful weekend reporting so I am going to sign off. Not sure if I made it sound as amazing as it was but my, I am a thankful one.

Encounter Night

Encounter Night
Originally uploaded by kaymaria.
After we macheteed through tourists to get back to the car, we drove to this great spot near the airport to watch the planes take off and land. It's the ultimate date place, my sister pointed out, because it's right next to an In & Out Burger (oh! Jessica and I ate at In & Out Saturday - forgot to mention that). We stayed there for a bit then decided to go to Encounter - the former LAX control tower turned kitschy sci-fi restaurant. We had a drink and some apps at the bar. Oh sure, we should have had something blue and glowy but I opted for a gin & tonic instead. The place is pretty cool looking in a touristy, sticky way and it was great to chat with my sis and Mac for my last few minutes in L.A.

With cookies in hand, they dropped me off at my gate.

Thank you to everyone that made this SUCH a great visit!!!

L.A. Subway

L.A. Subway
Originally uploaded by kaymaria.
After the movie, we took the subway mostly just to say we did. As you can imagine, the L.A. subway is very film-y. Film reels COVER the entire ceiling of this stop. The train itself smelled just like NY subways - which is good (though some can smell quite bad).

We had lovely gelato across from Mann's Chinese Theater, I bought some really rockin' sunglasses (I have an appt to see if I'm cut out for the Accuvue for Astigmatism contacts and if not, these sunglasses are cool enough to get me back into my gas perms), and met up with Jessica's friend Mac who, get this, baked us cookies! Oatmeal Scotchies with plenty of scotchy chips! And, AND he's got The Coolest Scar across the back of his skull that I wish I took a picture of.

Hollywood Farmer's Market

Originally uploaded by kaymaria.
Sunday morning we got up (sleep is so overrated) and made said coffee cake. There is nothing like cooking for appreciative people. Alex actually sang that song, "We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing...." then proceeded to say he spoke to God during each bite (it really is a GOOD recipe). We visited with the casa for a while, and it did rise to it's chaotic potential when a couple arrived with their ridiculously gorgeous daughter (I didn't take a pic but trust me). Once she dawned butterfly wings, the chaos crescendoed in a way that could only make you laugh and shriek with them.

Then I had to say my goodbyes which sucked. I was quickly getting attached to the chaos.

Jessica and I headed to the Hollywood Farmer's Market to meet Michael and his sister (who was unable to go to dinner the night before). His sister (of course) rocks. They had to head for Malibu where he was drumming for some blues band so they left us to sample the market wares. We had delicious tamales, papusas, and lemonade.

We then headed to Amoeba Records then caught Hustle and Flow. LOVED both the record store and the movie.

L.A. Part 3

I'm loopy-tired by the afternoon but I'm such a little kid that I didn't want to take a nap because I didn't want to miss anything. So after I debated and debated with myself, Jessica, Amber and I went and got mani-pedi combos. I got a rockin' platinum on all 20 nails, Jessica got a really cool coral (Chanel, no less), and Amber observed (she had gotten hers done a couple days prior). Amber is supa-cool. She and her rockin' boyfriend Hugo need to come visit me.

Later we went to Ross where I scored a green cord blazer, red top, and disco black sequined scarf.

Went back home and took showers to perk up (Jessica was tired, too). Went to a little party in the Hollywood hills (well, it was up in hills that I am assuming was in Hollywood), met more great people including the afore mentioned Hugo, and then headed to meet the second reason for my trip, our friend Michael at this great sushi place.

Katsu-ya on Ventura Blvd is a tiny place. Our reservation for 8 people made them laugh a slow and painful laugh - much like our wait. Fortunately, it gave me time to visit with Michael. Michael is this amazing guy I met decades ago when I waited tables at this crappy little frat place in Arlington, TX. He then met my sister through an ex of hers. He has since become a rather popular drummer drumming for everyone from Pleasure Club to Blind Boys of Alabama. I finally got to meet his wife who was accompanied by her sister and some other friends makeing for some great company.

After a long wait, we finally got to devour really good sushi - so good in fact, little Rachel Ray's Tasty Travels took her there recently. She (and we) ate their signature dish - Seared Tuna with Japanese Salsa. The picture of it in the first link does not do the avocado tower justice. It rocked but not nearly as much as the baked crab roll. Good Lord, that was almost as good as the company.

We headed home full and happy stopping at Ralph's grocery to pick up stuff for this:

Overnight Coffee Cake (more like Overnight Caramel Rolls)
(from Linda McClellan of Liberty, TX for the HEB Grocery Store Cookbook – Vol. 2)

14 frozen Parker House Rolls, frozen (the kind of rolls that rise)
½ cup sugar
1 ½ tsp. Cinnamon
½ cup chopped nuts
½ cup brown sugar
1 3 5/8-ounce box butterscotch pudding mix (not instant)
1 stick butter or margarine, cut into pieces

Layer ingredients into oiled tube or bundt pan in the order listed. Do not stir. Cover with a clean, cry towel and leave at room temperature overnight.

Preheat oven to 350. Uncover and bake 15 minutes. Cover pan with foil and bake 15 minutes more. Remove from over and invert onto serving plate. Serve hot or cold (it won’t make it to “cold”).

We assembled it, chatted with Alex for a bit, then went to bed and talked til the wee hours. What can I say, that's what we do.

Pensive Superman

Pensive Superman
Originally uploaded by kaymaria.
This is Milo. He's so dreamy. I don't believe he'll wear anything but these superman pajamas which is okay by me because being in super-hero mode 24/7 makes for a powerful 3 year old vocabulary, you fiendish fool!


Oh dear.
Originally uploaded by kaymaria.
I am often awestruck by exactly how great a day can be - put that back to back with two more days and you have one awesome long weekend. That's how the last 3 days were.

It started off with me getting up at 2:30 am to go to the airport. I flew to L.A. to meet my sister. She now lives in Austin but was going to be there to pick up her stuff from her previous residence appropriately nicknamed, Casa de Chaos.

Alex & Milo picked us up and took us back to the casa. While there I was able to cuddle this lovely baby (see pic), Selke (sp?). Note to future mother self: do not wear black around babies - the make their own ricotta and it doesn't just wipe off. So yeah, Jessica held her for a while, passed her to me and BLEAH! But looking at this face, do you think I cared? Not in the slightest.

Casa de Chaos ROCKS. It's in Sherman Oaks, Spanish tile throughout most of the house. 2 dogs, several cats, a baby, a 3 year old, and 4 adults you'd want to be spend your Last Days with.

I am so thankful for the people I come across and these were no exception. I just love to be instantly comfortable in a group. Granted, my sis prepped them about me and me about them but I think even if we weren't prepped, it'd be just as comfortable.

My kingdom to nuzzle this baby's crazy hair once again (the pic does not do the hair volume justice).

Treats for a difference

I'm all about donating to the Red Cross right now and now it's even better because you can get stuff in return. A ridiculous number of crafters have donated their wares and all proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund - buy! buy!

Friday, September 02, 2005