Friday, December 28, 2007

the haunting, part 2

This disturbing image courtesy of Tony. Thanks, Tony.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

the haunting, part 1

This photo has been haunting our house for weeks now. I can't even remember where I found it. All I know is it saved as "David formal." I innocently emailed it to dh, resulting in many printouts of his face popping up in tote bags, briefcases, and behind cabinet doors. The other day, dh was telling Flash, "I really love you, buddy." To which Flash responded, "yeah, right!", and opened the cabinet to reveal yet another printout of David formal. We're still laughing about that one, and David formal still haunts the house.


The Christmas wrap-up (it's a tired pun, isn't it?)

Best food: these aMAZing truffles with crushed chocolate wafer filling provided by our neighbor. Must locate recipe and eat as many as possible before 2008. Also red chili tamales made by my friend Heather.

Best gift to me: hand-held shower thing installed by dh so I can wash my hair in the bathtub more easily. Now the shower is all his -- to use and clean. Also this funny shirt from my sister.

Best gift given: light-up frisbee (kids loved it!), Ratatouille

Best feeling: watching our kids' excitement, feeling so much love for the Savior

Best song: "Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel", monk chant version, provided by my friend on a 3 year old compilation CD. Not sure who sings it, but it's getting some pretty heavy play around here. Super Q's favorite is some Mannheim Steamroller version of "Carol of the Bells" with lots of old-sounding techno tidbits. We listened to it about 30 times on the way home from my library gig. It kept him happy, but I was about ready for a Prozac Icee when that trip was over.

even gingerbread men need to economise

more f minus comics can be found at

Thanks to Tony, the artist, for letting me use his comic!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

xanadu, how could you?

Last night I sat down with some gifts to wrap, hot cocoa and my new arrival from blockbuster: Xanadu! Do you know it? It was a favorite with me and my sisters in 1980. And now, 27 years later (ok, I am officially OLD), Xanadu has let me down. It's a horrible movie, rife with cliche, including but not limited to: a frustrated artist stuck working for The Man, washed-up but very talented musician ready for a comeback, and otherworldly magical being who doesn't know about "feelings." Throw in some roller disco, big band music, legwarmers with pumps, and Zeus, and you've got a recipe for a fantastic journey only an 8 year-old in 1980 could love. And we did love it. Watching it last night, I surprised myself with my ability to recite parts of it verbatim. Yikes!

For an even more blistering take on Xanadu, click here.

Monday, December 17, 2007

instantly forgettable!

Oooh! Finally my scanner is fixed and I can post this hilarious DVD cover. Sincere apologies to Patty; I couldn't resist. This thoroughly legal and certainly not pirated movie is one of many we bought in China over the summer. First there's the lavish praise supposedly quoted from L.A. Weekly up at the top. Reading on, the text there on the bottom indicates this movie is actually "The 6th Day" starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Yet the proof of purchase up top by the barcode tells us we're buying a copy of "The Ladykillers." One can only imagine what a mash-up of the three films would look like. Wait... Naomi Watts and Arnold Schwarzenegger? King Kong, maybe?

In a similar vein, while in China we saw many, many fine examples of wacky English. You can see what I'm talking about here.

I hasten to add that my written Chinese is on par with that of a 4-year old, so no offense intended here.

Monday, December 10, 2007

early Christmas present

Oh dear! My favorite band singing "Away in a Manger." Thank you, Santa!

girly crafts

After seeing so many super cute dresses and bonnets and aprons and hairbows on flickr and various blogs (mostly angry chicken), I couldn't stop myself; I had to make some girly crafts. I opted for clothespin dolls and spent way too much time on them. Note to self (and anyone who wants to make them): use hot glue, NOT Elmer's glue, which you will have to just sew over anyway with impossibly tiny stitches, the pioneerish phrase "Hide a knot as you would a secret" running through your head the whole time. Also Sharpie ink bleeds into the wood, causing Dollie to look as if she had just watched "Beaches" and forgot the waterproof mascara, so use paint.
Here's hoping my 5 and 2 year-old nieces love bits of fabric and ribbon wrapped around clothespins. (I keep hearing the question,"What happened to their arms?" echo in my head.)

As with any project, there is a victim of my trial and error approach to craftsy stuff:

She's got her abnormally large eye on you!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

... and sprig of rosemary

Waaaaaay down in the older posts, my sister asked for some Thanksgiving recipes. I'm actually a traditional Betty Crocker sort of person (minus the shellacked hair) when it comes to Thanksgiving, but here's the turkey I've made for 2 years now. It's delicious, and makes for delicious leftovers, too. I found the recipe on Also, if your rosemary bush recently died (like mine did), I suggest going to Lowe's about a week after Christmas, when they are clearing out their little rosemary bushes (pruned to look like mini Christmas trees). I think you can grow it almost anywhere, and it's so magically delicious with poultry, in bread, and soups.

Rosemary Garlic Roast Turkey


  • 8 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped fresh rosemary (or 2 tbsp./30 mL dried)
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. (15 mL) coarse salt
  • 1 tsp. (5 mL) black pepper
  • 12 to 15 lb. (5.5 to 7 kg) whole turkey, fully defrosted if frozen

Cooking Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C).
  2. In a small bowl or food processor, mash together garlic, rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper so that it forms a thick paste.
  3. By hand, gently pull the skin away from the turkey breast at the front of the breast (near the neck opening) to form a sort of pocket. Rub some of the rosemary garlic paste onto the breast meat under the skin, reaching in as far as you can without tearing the skin. Rub the remaining rosemary garlic paste all over the skin of the turkey and in the cavity. Add the stuffing, if you're using it, and place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and tie the legs together with kitchen string.
  4. Place the turkey into the preheated oven. Do not cover the pan. Roast, basting every 15 to 20 minutes with the pan juices, until a meat thermometer inserted into the inner thigh reaches 170 degrees F (77 degrees C) and the juices run clear when the thigh is pricked with a skewer. This will take anywhere from 3 to 4-1/4 hours (depending on the size of the turkey and whether it is stuffed or not). The only definite way to know if the turkey is cooked is by using a meat thermometer. Remove roasting pan from the oven and let the turkey rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes before carving.
  5. Serve turkey with pan juices or use the juices to make gravy (recipe follows).

Rosemary garlic gravy:

  1. 1/4 cup (50 mL) fat from the roasting pan
  2. 1/4 cup (50 mL) flour
  3. 2 cups (500 mL) defatted turkey pan juices, turkey broth, water, or a combination
  4. In a saucepan, combine the fat from the roasting pan and flour. Cook, stirring to eliminate any lumps, for just a minute or two. Whisk in turkey juices, broth or whatever liquid you're using and cook, stirring constantly, until the gravy thickens. Let simmer over low heat, whisking occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes. Serve hot.

the secret

I'm keeping a secret from my kids. It's not about Santa or the tooth fairy, unfortunately. We found out this week that another of Super Q's friends (incredibly, it's a friend whose birthday is within a week of his and Hannah's and with whom we have celebrated birthdays) has cancer. It is leukemia, and his prognosis is markedly better than Hannah's, but his family and financial situation are somewhat worse. It is expected that he will have 3 years of chemo and many painful spinal taps and spinal fluid treatment of some kind. It's terribly sad, so sad that I am purposefully keeping it from my boys. It's a departure from my usually frank approach to talking with the boys about life and death, but I don't think they are ready for this news. They are both still worried that they will also "get" cancer. Up to now, I have been able to use statistics to buttress my position, namely, "Oh, this is so rare. It hardly ever happens." Except when it does.

As recently as yesterday, Super Q told me, "I miss Hannah. I still love her. " He is so sweet; he frequently prays, "Thank thee that Hannah can be alive again someday. Thank thee that she can work up to heaven with you, and have fun." His gratitude is an example to me. Today we're going to her grave, armed with silk daisies, a Christmas ornament, and a little bag full of "gems" (polished rocks) from the Grand Canyon and little notes from the boys. I fully plan on being a red-eyed wreck for the rest of the day.