Thursday, December 22, 2005

My official last entry of the year

My wallet was stolen from my office today. Someone already used my debit card for $200 worth of shit in North Philly. I am so angry. Not only did someone rob me of my wallet and all its contents but I was also robbed of my Christmas spirit. I spent the afternoon on the phone with banks and credit card companies. The last thing I want to do is bake or listen to Christmas music. The police will be coming to my home this evening so I can file a report.

Merry Christmas. I'll be spending tomorrow at the DMV getting a new license so I can visit family over the break.

This is Criscipline Signing off till 2006

I will be leaving work today shortly and will not return until next year. Therefore, I see no need in checking my e-mail or blogging. When I'm away, I really enjoy being away. I enjoy my no ties relationship with my computers. I will bring my laptop with me strictly for writing purposes.

I wish you all a wonderful Holiday! Eat, drink, laugh and just try and enjoy yourself as much as possible.

I thank my new readers and hope my two week hiatus does not cost me your interest. I really hope you check back on January 3rd. I look forward to having more time then to read what I've missed and check out the archives on your blogs.

I have a good feeling about 2006 and for the first time, I really am excited for a new year's arrival. Big things are going to happen this new year, I can feel it.

I see a move in my future and even some semblance of that memoir in my head actually on paper. I see a good year. 2005 was the best year of my life so far. I'm done waiting for the shoe to drop, or the shoe factory as my friend Fred once said. Bring it on, 2006. I'm not afraid of you. I know you'll be just fine.

This be the place for you to see how '06 goes.

Happy Holidays, everyone!



Correspondence of the Day

E-mail from me to staff:
The South Color printer will be out of service until tomorrow when the cartridge arrives. We will be unable to print color documents until that time.

E-mail back to me:
Aaargghhhh! How will I finish my Santa Claus and the reindeer stained glass look alike window in my office?!

She came around with holiday sirit

This morning I got in line at a cigarette/lottery/newspaper stand to get some matches. I was third in line and the elderly gentleman in the front of the line was purchasing a great deal of lottery tickets. I was in no rush and stood there patiently. I noticed the woman in front of me had a handful of lottery looking papers. Very politley, 'Ma'am, I just need to grab some matches. Do you mind if I grab them real quick after this gentleman is finished?'

She never even turned to look at me but simply smiled to herself and shook her head as if she couldn't believe what she was hearing. I was pissed. Acknowledge that I'm talking to you.

'Ma'am? Ma'am? Do you mind?'

She finally cocked her head in my general direction ever so slightly and without actually ever looking at me replied, 'I have to go to work too.'

'Thank you.' (I paused here pretty pissed. This whole thing is just ridiculous and yes, the man was still getting his tickets.) I couldn't help adding in a very friendly tone, 'Even though it would take about half a second.'

She ignored me and I smiled ignoring her but never put down a very friendly, patient demeanor. I thought to myself, just go to the next stand less than a minute away. No, that means she wins.

I know this is petty but I also know that you know exactly what I'm talking about. Yes, the man really was taking this long.

I decided that no matter what, I would very merrily wish this woman a Very Happy Holiday when she was done and starting to walk away. That'll show her what a bitch she is.

Apparently in that last minute of silence she had already realized she was a bitch. For when the man was done, she turned to me and said, 'go ahead'. I said thank you and got my matches and wished her a Happy Holiday and meant it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I'll show you mine if you show me yours - Part 2

See Part 1 here

I am pleased to announce that the new tats have healed beautifully just in time for the holidays. There will be no showing off this year I'm sure. Last year was my first big one (several others have been in place for some time) and it was just so beautiful I had to show it off. This year, well, lets just say I'm over the showing off of big new beautiful tattoos. I will wear my long sleeved shirts like a respectable woman and save the showing off for punk rock bars and blogging.

I still love the new ones a lot. I miss the old ones they now cover. Please see photos in Part 1. I guess I missed them for the first time last Saturday when Mike and I went out to dinner and bumped into a group of guys we had recently played cards with. There were about 20 guys in all at the restaurant for a bachelor's party. I had recently beaten the groom in a poker tournament. He was seated at the head of the table and started telling the guys that he was still upset over his loss and that I am "a really really good card player." He then began to tell the story of how I walked into the tournament wearing a long sleeved shirt and halfway through rolled up my sleeves and "bam, a heart and a spade. We all new we were screwed. She's a fuckin' shark!"

I just smiled and looked pretty but informed the men that I have since covered the 'ol shark tattoos. At that point another guy I beat in the tourney offered to buy me a margarita. Of course I said his generosity was not necessary but graciously accepted. He bought my drink and whispered in my ear, 'at least let me pretend I'm doing ok next time,' and smiled.

The truth is, I'm no shark. I'm decent. I'm the grand daddy shark to the people I play against is all. I hold my own in Atlantic City but even then, there are no grand players playing at the 2,4 table. I firmly believe playing cards and gambling is in my blood. I've been playing some form of cards since I was a kid and my brother and I were compulsive gamblers at 13 and 16. We bet on everything from dice to fooz ball to seeing who could throw a quarter at the wall and have it land closest to the molding.

Before moving to Philly, my friends and I were in the heart of the Texas Hold 'em trend. We played almost nightly until about three in the morning. (You can do that when you all work at the same restaurant together and don't have to be at work until either 11:00 am or 4:00 pm.) I've taught over a dozen people how to play.

Back to my tattoos, I admit it, I miss the tattoos that led people to believe or assume I was a card player. I guess those tattoos meant something. I admit they brought me least at a card table. They were fun. They needed to be covered, but they were fun. Perhaps something similar is in order just in a new spot and oh yeah, lots more flash. Maybe something that looks like 1955 Vegas vomited on my arm. Flash art, horseshoe, showgirl, royal flush. Ohhhhhh baby!

Change no good this time

In case you didn't notice, this blog's template was different for about eighteen hours. I didn't like it. So I changed it back. Typical case of it wasn't broken so.....

I think it's easier on all my readers' eyes again now. All three of you.

Thanks for reading.

Best in '05

Everywhere you look there is a best in '05 list compiled by someone for something. I can't hardly wait for E's best and worst in '05 shows. Let's see here, Best Dressed in '05, Most outrageous in '05, Most tacky in '05, Worst Dressed in '05, Raunchiest in '05....the list goes on and on. Much like Lays potato chips, once you start, you can't stop. Word of advice, don't tune in to E. When channel surfing, just skip the channel all together by manually going from the number before it to the number after it.

I was happy to see this on Yahoo's Best in '05 list.

WINNER: The Survival Blog of New Orleans
Operating from the offices of Web host DirectNIC in downtown New Orleans, the Interdictor blog kept posting during the worst of Hurricane Katrina, powered by a 750-kilowatt diesel generator and a fiber-optic hookup. Blogger Michael Barnett and his colleagues slept in the air-conditioned room where they kept the servers, and blogged throughout the crisis. The Interdictor's live Webcam offered some of the first images of the city following the disaster, and the blog has continued to cover the region's recovery and rebuilding.

My brother turned me onto this site within a week of the devastating hurricane. I could tell from the information on the blog that many people were reading it. I know I checked for updates every hour or so up until mid November, but considering it made it into the best in '05 list, thousands must have been checking it. Not bad considering the computers were kept up by generators. I have since stopped visiting the site but continue to log on to the original poster's, Michael's, blog The Perfunctory Hero. Very different content. To a new reader, you'd never know this is the same man who ran reconassance (sp) missions and slept in an office building for a month and who carried fifty gallon drums of diesel fuel up someteen flights of stairs. Frankly, he reminds me of a meathead.

2005 was an awesome year and I'll reflect on it a bit more after Christmas. The highlight: I have had the same boyfriend for the entire year! This is a first for me and let me just say how happy I am to be spending my second consecutive Christmas with the same man and the same family. It was getting difficult keeping up for a while there. I don't want to count my eggs before they hatch or anything, but it will be really wonderful to bring in another New Year with my Michael.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Desperate for some links

I completely and utterly exhaust my favorites list daily by 9:15 am these days. I remember the days when I looked forward to lunch at my desk at 12:00 pm to have some time to read my short list of favorites. It was the perfect amount of sites which filled just the perfect amount of time.

I am not very good with the internet. I am so bored of it. I am forced to sit here for eight hours with no work whatsoever going back and forth to the same sites all day checking for updates. I am a big fan of the links' pages, but I don't really know what most of them are and I go to them and feel like I don't belong. Just today Coop linked me over to the Church of Satan. I hope he had this bullshit site linked so we could all go and have a good laugh or maybe so we could see the poster he did for them. I love the poster, Coop.

So I read and I laughed and there's just so much I would love to say to the founders. Like, isn't having a professional corporate sounding website sort of against what you all supposively stand for? I was also amazed by the 'lets get along' and 'with your one time only $200 membership fee, you will receive a crimson membership card!'. It's such a novelty. Republicans actually take this shit seriously. A threat? Oh My God.

So I try to do some research to make myself smarter. Today I learned a bit about Intelligent Design. Reading about the ban in PA was sort of confusing so I went and learned about it and went back and reread the article. I'm sure everyday I wish I knew more about something at least one hundred times a day, but here, at work, I draw blanks. I can't think of anything to look up. I'm desperate for some good reading material.

Any recommendations?

Monday, December 19, 2005

Christmas Exhaustion

I am very tired. I took a wonderful three hour nap yesterday afternoon which was great because it made the drive home to Philly quite enjoyable not falling asleep at the wheel. My roommate was watching tv and Mike suggested we go to my local dive appropriately named 'The Dive' to catch the remainder of Family Guy and watch American Dad (I hate that show) and have a beer. Mike was still mourning the part of him he says died on the way home when he got the call that his band, Sycamore Dreams, is no longer. If anyone quit the band it would have been Mike so he was greatly surprised when he learned that it was his drummer that decided to drop out. Mike was mixed with shock and a twist of relief and ultimately saddened to hear the news.

I sleep beautifully. Sleep has never really been a problem, just nightmares. I was amazed at the fact that I just did not sleep last night. I tried and tried and nothing ever happened. My eyes are burning and my back is killing me and I just want to put my head down. I'm sure last night was just a fluke, but very strange for me.

I have things to do every night this week. This is probably the busiest week of the year and although I am very much on schedule, I stll have to bake and that must wait until the last possible minute and I still have packing to do for twelve days. That stuff I don't mind so much. It's just that just thinking about Christmas is making me tired.

It's all the running around. Christmas Eve is nice and all but we promised Mike's mom we'll go to midnight mass. Last year I was passed out by 11:30. Christmas morning is just go go go. I'm contemplating not going to see my mom's side of the family for the first time in my life. It's just so much. But I really want to go but I know I'll be exhausted. Then back to Mike's for brunch and then to mom's for 3:00 dinner. After that is nothing. I'll really kick back and enjoy myself then. Monday is a lengthy ride to see Dad and his family and you never know how that will turn out so I'm partly dreading it.

I sound like a complainer. I'm just super tired and pretty crabby. It's 2:00. I can make it till 4:30 and go home. Maybe a nap is in order, but by then I may feel awake too. We'll see.

In the Kitchen this week for Christmas we will be making:

Brownie bottomed cheesecake (Special request. It was such a hit on T'Day)
Spiced red sangria (Also special request)
Bananna cream cake (I never made this but I called and asked mom what I could bring and this is what she wants. I'll have to get the recipe from her.)
Coconut Macaroons (A colleague of mine brought these to Friday's potluck and are just de-lic-ious.)

Still have to figure out what to bring to Grandpa's. Perhaps macaroons.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Productivity at zero

Today was our big holiday pot luck luncheon so now that it's over, no one knows what to do with themselves and we all just want to go home and start our weekends. It's 2:46 pm. Mike will be here around 4:30 so I just have to get through the rest of the day as inconspiculously unproductive as possible.

I haven't been to Jersey in three weeks. A record. No, I don't miss it at all. I just miss my mom and Mike. I don't even miss my mom that much though because we talk just about every day and I enjoy her on the phone a lot. Sometimes I get crabby in her house. But I'm taking her to breakfast tomorrow so that should be nice. I've asked Mike if we could just go get a drink tonight, just he and I. It's been a while since we've done that and we've had some really great nights just talking at new bars that we've never been to splurging on good beer and taking turns ordering shots.

Yes, Jersey smells. I never knew it when I lived there but now I can smell it when I drive in and around and I also realize now how much more I dislike the people there. People here know I'm not from Philly but I don't get the impression they think I suck either and that I should go back to Joisy. Generally, I like the people I know and meet here. I also work with some great people and some amazing characters. I don't know if that has anything to do with Philly. But generally, and I don't know if this is because I work for a not for profit, but it seems that Philly really is about brotherhood and helping people in need. Like I said, I am in the not for profit field and I do happen to work in a United Way Building, but everywhere I go, I just see people trying to do their part. I like that. I've done my part this year and not just this holiday season. I'm proud of myself for that.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Rocking around the Office

Cleaning up my favorites list I saw MSN radio. Radio? Like, Music? I clicked. I found Christmas music. Yay! Now I'm rocking around my desk currently listening to Rocking around the Christmas tree, version 1,965.

Today is our holiday party! Tonight I get to bake and cook for the potluck luncheon tomorrow. Tomorrow is Friday which means my Christmas-y weekend with Mike. Holiday Spirit here we go!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Chronicles of Narnia

I have such fond memories of reading the Chronicles of Narnia in grammar school. It's when I think of those books that I can see the Minue School library crystal clearly in my mind. Wow, I can't remember ever writing Minue. It can't have been spelled that way. It just looks so strange. I never thought about it before.

I can see the orange, hard cover bindings around each book and I see Jennifer Burke reading the next installment directly across from me with an expression of concentration and enjoyment on her young pretty face. We were young. We were also reading buddies and we stayed that way until high school but we always kept right on reading and we always shared that bond. I thank Jennifer Burke for my love of reading. She was always one book ahead of me and couldn't wait until I caught up so we could talk about them.

I saw the preview for the movie version of Chronicles and knew within five seconds what the preview was for and shouted out, "The Chronicles of Narnia!" and didn't even feel embarassed because I was just so amazed by the teaser trailer.

I went and reread the series and enjoyed them very much. I don't know if I enjoyed them more, but I do know that I understood all the religion this time and I'm sure I did not then. I planned to see the movie.

Then I read on CNN that C.S. Lewis was very much opposed to his series ever being made into film. A cartoon he was fine with but no movies. I do not know if someone went against his will and sold the rights to Disney or if time was just up and it was a matter of first come, first served. His reasoning for this, supposively, was that he thought Aslan, the Great King Lion, would end up looking like a bafoon in film. For how could an old crabby writer in the '70's really envision what our computers could accomplish in 2005.

(Doesn't Kong look great? Five stars all around.)

I decided I would not see the film out of respect for the author....until I changed my mind a minute later. I think that if C.S. Lewis knew what we could do, he would say it was fine with him. I may be very wrong. But now millions more people will know the story of little Lucy and Edmund and the evil White Witch and I would assume that at least one quarter of them will read the books as a result of having seen a great movie. Or maybe he liked that the books weren't trendy. For now, it is difficult to buy the books without them being the Motion Picture ones without the movie poster on the cover. Just look. The old ones are still the back....or not featured on the display table but back on the shelf in the children's section.

About what I said about 'a great movie'. Ok, it got 3 1/2 stars. It apparently received demerits for 'trying to be Lord of the Rings' or something like that. That's fine with me. I LOVE LTR and watched it again last night as a matter of fact. All three are my favorite background movies. One of them is on almost everyday while I do chores.

So Mike and I saw HP GOF last so I called him and said we'll see King Kong next. He'd like that. It's his turn. And then we'll see Chronicles. My roommates really liked it.

I have a whole week off for the holidays so it will be nice to have a date on the weeknights. I must admit that weeknight dates are terribly lacking in this relationship.

Winters in the City

I walk a whole lot. Well, I live in the city and don't have a car. I walk. I walk everywhere.

Today is the coldest day of the year so far and technically, winter hasn't even started. It's a windy 24 degrees. My family back in the burbs doesn't understand that every street in the city is a wind tunnel and that Philadelphia is a lot colder than central Jersey.

It makes me think of how lazy people in the burbs are. There's a convenience store on almost every corner yet they warm up their cars for five minutes and drive just around a minute and a half to get cigarettes or a cup of coffee. I admit there are many days when I wish I could do that. I would very much welcome a trip to the grocery store by car. My noble steed also known as my push cart basket thingy is great. But no matter what handy dandy tool you have to help you get those groceries home, there's nothing like throwing them in the trunk and driving home.

It is just so cold out. It's painful. Anyhow, over the weekend I was just dying for McDonalds. I think it happens to us all at least once every two months. I've eaten it less than six times in Philadelphia and that was when Mike was here and one of us drove to go get it. But I wanted it. So I walked the mile to go get it Saturday night. I strategically placed my purchase in my shoulder bag and walked the mile home smelling those crisp golden fries the whole way. Once home, it was still nice and hot and delicious.

In Jersey, it's as if there is some unwritten law that states that upon you or any one of your friends obtaining a license, walking any distance further from the back of a parking lot to a mall or from your front door to your car is illegal. Not one person I know would walk to get McDonald's or walk to a grocery store and carry six bags of groceries home as I have done so many times before my noble steed came along. People walking in Jersey, unless they appear to be walking for fitness, are either completely invisible or looked upon as poor or peasantly. I was in the car with someone once who saw someone they knew walking and they said, 'oh, he must have lost his license.' I wondered if maybe he just went for a walk.

It's a shame. I've lost weight and formed some sort of shape in my legs since I've moved here. There's been countless three day weekends in Jersey where I don't think I walked more than just around a house. My legs knew it once I got back to Philly. I could feel it.

Anyway, because it is so unbearably cold, I take a bus and a subway to get to work and the walk is around 1/4 mile from the subway...give or take. Just this morning I thought of how the people I know in Jersey with their cars would pass up going somewhere if they had to walk 1/4 mile in the icy cold to get there from their car. I'm just used to it. I wish my ipod was behaving because it seems to be broken. (not holding a charge) But I love walking just not in this cold. I really hope I don't go back to being a lazy fatso when I move back to NJ.

Ok, almost lunch time. I'm gonna go walk to Amazon Cafe for some soup. Ten minutes in the icy cold and it's still too hot to eat when you get back! Yes!

I like walkers.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

You get what you pay for - In the Kitchen Part 3

So back to the whole chocolate thing, I decided to open my new chocolate and check it out. Wrapped beautifully and what appears to be a mountain goat embossed on the center of the bar. This thing is lethal. It's like a brick. Anyhow, I stand corrected. Inside on beautiful heavy weight paper were clear and concise directions for tempering as well as gourmet recipes. The tempering looks quite tricky and the instructions are quite different than those on However, has a testimonial from Scharffen Berger saying that and all of its content has the trust of Scharffen Berger and blah blah blah.

So I've decided to relax and just try it. Of course, I have to make sure my roommates have eaten first and taken care of their kitchen business. They have a tendency to take over and have no regard for what anyone else is doing in there so I may be up late tonight. I have a plan though, to be organized and have everything I need at my fingertips. I love a baking challenge and if it wasn't for this request, I probably would have never tried it.

Geez, I hope I can find decent pretzels. I'd hate to blow all my hard work on cheap pretzels.

Side note: The time on my posts is not correct and I can no longer select the time like I used to and I don't know how to change it.

Posted at 2:30 pm.

In the Kitchen with Jessica....Again. We don't want to be there

This is a little ridiculous. I am extremly low on cash and really want to get those chocolate dipped pretzels made tonight. It is freezing cold outside and in order for me to get to the store, I need to venture out into the icy cold and pay bus fare twice. A colleague of mine was going over to Whole Foods and asked if I needed anything. Yay! I jumped at the opportunity to have someone else pick up the two measley ingredients I needed. Huge mistake. Bless her soul for offering but I should have known better. She came back with a TEN DOLLAR pure dark chocolate bar for baking. That's not the worst of it though. I went to the mac machine and got her the money and I'm praying the transfer from my savings hits my checking before I bounce something. I haven't been this low on money in months! But behold, 'Tis the season right?

Anyhow, dark chocolate chips are sold commercially and they are tempered. Tempering is a process that is done to commercial chips so it's ready to use so to speak. You melt it any way you want to and use it. Voila.

Now, pure expensive high quality chocolate is not tempered because they assume the people using it know what they're doing and will use it up to a million different ways so they keep it in this 'raw' state so we chocolatiers can do what we must to create our confections. I'm no chocalatier. is an amazing site and I just took chocolate tempering 101 so to speak. I'm hoping my candy thermometer can be considered a mercury gauge chocolate thermometer or whatever they said you MUST use. You must heat and cool and heat and cool the chocolate to all different temperatures and now I'm not sure when to add the cream. Why do this you ask? Well, if you do not, the chocolate will not cool or harden properly and your gift of chocolate will suck and everyone will think you suck for making sucky chocolate and so on and so forth.

I hope my smart ass brother who requested the dark chocolate finds this highly amusing. I have milk chocolate tempered chips in my cupboard at home, but noooo, "dark chocolate tastes better and is better for you too."

hahaha. I love him. I'll be shouting DAMN YOU and banging my hands dramatically against my desk for the next hour as I learn more about tempering chocolate.

'Tis the season. Happy Holidays. :-)

(I really am laughing on the inside.)

Monday, December 12, 2005

Breaking News

Gov. Schwarzaneggar (?) just denied Stanley Tookie Williams clemency from death by lethal injection tonight. I'm very sad. I've been waiting for his decision and I am very disappointed.

What Williams did was wrong but they should have put him to death back in the seventies when he was convicted and everyone hated him, not now after giving the man twenty plus years to make something of himself and send out a positive message and repent. I hate the justice system.

My heart just aches too because he was quoted by his lawyer as saying that he still feels there will be some sort of intervention. They'll strap him down tonight and he'll be praying for a miracle and in those last seconds he will question his faith and he will die. I cry and shake sometimes at night just thinking about dying and I'm in a nice warm bed. I wouldn't wish the death penalty on anyone. Of course, no one has ever murdered or raped my child or someone I love. We could go back and forth on this. But damnit, the man has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize six times! I know he'll never get it, but damn, let the man be a positive role model and set an example. Our justice system is setting a horrible example by murdering a positive example and it's just a big fucked up circle.

Also, I'm no expert here, but aren't there people who have killed a hell of a lot more than four people and who get sentenced to life and even get parole sometimes in their old age. I know every state's laws are different and every situation is different but I can't help thinking there should just be guidelines.
Murder one person = sentence
Two = sentence
Rape one person = sentence
Two = sentence

And so on and so forth. I know that sounds narrow minded but I'm sick of all the extenuating circumstances. The criminals who get away with murder, the murderers out on parole, the sex offenders who offend again and who are at large, the man who murders three or four people (hasn't even been confirmed) and gets sentenced to a sentence that won't be carried out for over TWENTY years. Someone else would be up for parole by then!

I'm just sad. Years ago I read many books on gang life, gang history, memoirs from incarcerated gang members turned Muslim activists. It fascinated me. This isn't the time or the place, but even though Tookie committed awful crimes and he pulled the trigger and no one else, he was still a product of his environment. I could argue that with myself all day too because he could have risen to the occassion and fought all that was around him and went on to be a Scholar, but let's face it, he wasn't given much of a chance. Shouldn't that qualify as an extenuating circumstance?

I'm a horrible writer about this stuff because all I do is go back and forth and rarely can I take a stand on one direction. But I just consider myself open-minded enough to see both sides. However, Tookie should not be put to death tonight. It makes me sick.

Weekend Recap

Due to snow, my weekend was made into a three day weekend. Lonely at times, but overall, wonderful. I just got so much done and feel very much prepared for Christmas. I filed old papers, I cleaned out drawers, I boxed up stuff not in use for the move, I did laundry, I dusted, I wrapped, I watched an entire Lifetime movie in the middle of the day, I did it all!

I ate like crap though. I ran out of bread Friday and had no desire to leave the house at all and I'm kicking myself now because I can't get to the Market any other time than on the weekends. I need my vanilla pod for the spiced red sangria. Hmmmm. I have no clue where to get one other than the Spice store in the Market.

Anyhow, Friday afternoon I actually ordered Domino's. I haven't ordered myself a pizza in the longest time. I ate it in only three meals. Oops. It just seemed like that kind of weekend.

Last night I drank a half a bottle of wine and listened to some old Toad the Wet Sprocket cd's and really enjoyed myself. It was a very nice end to a very nice weekend. I did only what I felt like only when I wanted. (I also only showered once in the three days and only remained out of pajamas long enough to make one trip down to South Street for a special gift.) I was once afraid of being alone on the weekends and now I welcome the alone time without the stress of thinking about work the next day. I think I've finally gotten over thinking that everyone else in the world is out having a blast and I'm the only one home alone doing nothing. If I thought about going out once this weekend, it was only for a second. I didn't even get anxious hearing the groups of people walking up the street. Between ten and eleven at night they walk up my street talking and laughing rather quietly and talking about where to go. Between two and three they walk down my street talking and laughing very loudly and reminiscing about comedic events that have occurred throughout their evening.

I was very content in my bed by ten o'clock each night and up by 8 o'clock each morning. I slept wonderfully.

I'm so happy to have stayed home. I hope Mike chooses to spend a weekend here and there with his friends back home once we move in together. Alone time is necessary for survival. I just hope this long distance relationship hasn't made me too reliant on alone time. We'll find out. I doubt it.

Friday, December 09, 2005

I'll Show you mine if you Show me yours

As promised, below are some pictures of the new ink. Mike's new ink as well. He took the picture of his own new tattoo himself because I refused to bend my arms to do it for him so it's not very good. Good thing he doesn't listen to me because there wouldn't be any pictures yet. I kept asking him to please not take pictures and leave me alone. These photos were taken less than a half hour out of the chair. The pain was pretty awful. I couldn't smoke, eat, hold a cell phone. It just hurt so bad to bend my arms.

First, the before shot. My heart and spade. These are the 'pits' or 'crooks' of my arms opposite my elbows.

Now for the cover up job.

Sorry for the shine. That's the ointment. It's a very good cover up job. Now there's something a bit prettier and feminine to go with the angel. The picture below was taken while still in the chair last December. She took seven hours and worth every second of it.

If you look closely at the picture below, you'll see part of the butterfly on my left arm. On you're right. It's a great butterfly and I will get a better picture of him. Please keep in mind I'm not happy and not feeling well and I'm not in the mood for pictures. This smile was flashed in between giving Mike death stares.
Below is the best picture Mike pulled off taking of his own forearm. Not done of course. Mike had a pin up lady on his rib finished first. She only had one high heel this whole past year and no skin tone. She came out great.

Larry, our tattoo artist, says I take the pain better than Mike. Mike was shaking so bad when Larry was finishing up his lady, he said, "Keep shaking and this girl is gonna have cellulite." I stepped out for a while and Larry was still drawing the piece below when I got back. I hated the 13. All I kept thinking was Offspring's Too Fly for a White Guy. "....he went for a 13 and he got a 31." Yeah, that song.

So those are pistons. Has something to do with a car engine. I really like this tattoo so far. The 13 ends about 2 inches above his wrist. The flames all around will be colored in. They go up to the crook of his arm. It's a full forearm piece. I love the colors. Mike needed some color. It also has such a classic look with a newschool rodder edge to it.

That's all. I hope you've enjoyed this issue of I'll show you mine if you show.....well, nevermind. Come back in the spring for a look at Mike's finished arm. Will it suck? Who knows? Come back next time for the dramatic conclusion.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

In the Kitchen with Jessica

It's no secret that my number one dream is to author a memoir and make a living off it. I can't really talk about it though because I'm not even working on it and I really hate when people say they want to do things and don't even try.

But the other dream that really wanders in pretty often is my dream to make an income, even small, off of baked goods. I believe in signs. The last time this dream really itched and I actually started planning and researching, I made excuses. Of course. They were so dumb though. For example, I didn't know where to get boxes to ship the stuff in. Not just shipping boxes but all those weird sized boxes of baked goods. That very same day, a shipping catalog happen to fall on my desk from my inbox and I opened it to the page for small and customizable boxes. There it was. A fudge box.

I'll be doing lots of baking for the Holiday season. I bought these amazing cookie cutters and started researching sugar cookie recipes and techniques and icing making. Why won't I make sugar cookies this year? Because I don't have a very large marble board or very large cutting board to flower or roll out the dough on. My kitchen sceeves me out at times and I wouldn't dream of using the countertop. So I looked into silpat non stick liners and I won't be able to afford one by baking season. But I'll be an expert by next year when I have my very own kitchen my very own way.

Last Friday I made my first ever homemade brownies. They had a caramel cashew topping and were divine. I made them as a house warming gift. I've decided that I will make more and fill the beautiful tins I've bought as gifts with them instead. A little pretty ribbon and a silver fake holley leaf and ta daa, a beautiful gift for bosses.

So I get to my point. I've decided that for that extra little special gift I will make decorated chocolate dipped pretzel rods. Fun, easy, inexpensive, and everyone likes them. They also keep for up to three weeks so they are perfect for shipping. At first I thought they weren't exactly something people would buy. But then I remembered I spent $22 on miscellaneously decorated chocolate dipped pretzels from Scoop de Ville for my boss this year. People like them and people do spend $20 on them instead of just making them themselves. Use good chocalate and a good brand pretzel and you're golden. (No, you just don't melt chocolate.)

So that wandered into other chocolate dipped items and I thought those little holiday cellophane bags would do the trick. Then the Uline catalog came in the mail today and I opened it up to see what it was before I tossed it and what did I find? Various sized clear polypropylene bags and a nifty crimping hand sealer. How cool is that. Maybe soon.

Little by little I think. I'll keep baking what I can in my not so great kitchen and enjoying what I love to do which is cooking and baking. By next year, I'll hopefully have purchased my dream Kitchenaid mixer. (Yes, I do stop at Williams Sonoma from time to time to admire their beauty and yes their website is on my favorites list. So what.) I have big plans for my new kitchen.

By the way, Williams Sonoma and I have a love/hate relationship. I pop in. I sample something. I wander. I dream. I wish I could afford something. I spend about $5.00 which is not easy. I get the latest catalog. I go home and go through it cover to cover.

If you haven't browsed, I highly recommend it.

To add to the absurdity fo it all, I can't wait to have ribbon made that says something along the lines of Baked by Jessica.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Give and Take

I've just learned that this weekend will be another lonely one for me in Philadelphia. My head just isn't right. The past ten minutes I've gone through all the emotions that an eight year old whose just been abandoned in the woods by his mommy must experience.....only....internally. I am at work afterall. Then I realized, 'Cool, I'll finish up my Christmas shopping, maybe have a nice Christmasy Starbucks beverage, wrap gifts, watch Christmas movies and do some more holiday cleaning.'

I was just alone the weekend before Thanksgiving and it was great. I had reasons to bake though. I don't really have a reason to bake this weekend. Oh well, test baking it is.

The truth is, I don't mind it. I just think I hate it. I love being alone and I love being with people I like. It's just that I am alone all week and I'm not supposed to be home alone on weekends. I've gotten better at not letting the roommates get to me and honestly, I hate missing Mike but I love not seeing him venture out into the icy cold at 6:00 am Monday morning to drive to work. I also love not enduring the weekly depression of packing up and driving home on Sunday evenings. It's hard on us. Very hard. Do it every weekend for over six months and you'll see what I mean. And of course, the winter's worse.

So now I'll start looking forward to the weekend for a whole new set of reasons. And hopefully by next weekend Mike will be rested and ready to do something Christmasy with me. That was the deal. That's some f'n teamwork right there. Hmmm, I wonder what we should do.

knives, bats, new tats

The tat appointments went fine as usual. Mike went into shock again and had to stop. I welcomed the completion of my second tattoo in under five hours. The pain was excruciating at times and these were by far my most painful tattoos thus far. Later on, Mike said, "Are we getting too old for this? That really ****ing hurt." My response. "Must be where we got them done. Or they probably did hurt this bad last time and we just don't remember."

Or maybe we're just old enough to start admitting that yes, getting tattoos does hurt pretty bad.

They look awesome and after about a day or two of much discomfort, we're fine and our new art is fine. Mike's new tat is bad ass and I really like it. This one I'll enjoy looking at for a long time. Thankfully the two I rather not look at for the rest of my life cannot be seen when Mike wears a shirt. The latest is on his left forearm.

I rather just post some pictures. I'll take some this weekend. I had two old tattoos covered up. Not because I didn't like them. I hated the way they clashed with a very feminine beautiful piece. If I could have just moved the two tattoos they would have been fine. So I got them covered with more feminine pretty pieces. Now it fits.

I'll post soon.

Friday, December 02, 2005

The excitement is mounting

Oh my! I never updated about Thanksgiving. It's been a while. Thanksgiving was just lovely. A lot of work, but lovely. I really enjoy Thanksgiving and had lots to be thankful for but I'll just keep that to myself like I did on Thanksgiving. I look forward to having it at mine and Mike's place next year. My mom's food is good and very much traditional but after watching one solid month of the FoodNetwork and seeing how you can actually flavor a turkey or add perhaps rosemary and garlic to mashed potatoes, I think some variation to the old favorites will do us all some good. (I also don't plan to 'doctor' up Stovetop.)

I made my first ever homemade cheesecake on top of box mix brownies. I drizzled it with chocolate. It was a hit. Actually, my three new additions to the table this year received the most praise. The cheesecake, homemade spiced red sangria which was phenomenal and smelled like Holidays, and a variation on the old slab of cranberry sauce. All I did was heat a can of whole berry cranberries with homestyle (chunky and with spices already added) applesauce. It was great!

It was nice being mature enough and actually being able to afford to bring nice additions. It felt real nice and I really truly enjoyed the baking and cooking and wine selecting. It was a nice day.

So last night I was overwelmed by the desire to put on very comfortable pajamas and a Christmas movie, get a cup of cinnamon swirl coffee and wrap Christmas gifts. I love wrapping! I did not do this because something like this should be planned and not done spontaneously. It should also be done with more gifts than I have purchased so far and not on a work night. Unfortunately, I only seldomly have a night to myself when I do not have work the next day so this rule must be altered. But the excitement is mounting and I hope to have a wonderful Christmas and really enjoy all the great little stuff in between.

Eight hour tattoo appointment Sunday in the Poconos. I'll let you know how it goes.