Thursday, December 29, 2011

Post Ho Ho Ho-sings....

Menu of the Day: 

In my glass: The Guardian. a good red from Walla Walla. I'll explain it after the menu.

Music: I just bought the Black Keys cd called El Camino and it's awesome! I love the video for Lonely Boy and will probably put it up for my first January blog post. It's hilarious. For those of you on Facebook, i already did.

Book: I just finished reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey. I had not read this book since i was 17 years old so re-reading it was like the first time. This book will go on my list of Top Ten favorites books of all time. Maybe in the Top Five even. The book is told through the voice narrative of the big tall Indian guy. Even if you have seen the movie 10 times like i have, you should still read the book. It's amazing. (Brian got it for me as one of my presents.)

What else i got: Bowling lessions...but sssshhhhh, it's a secret from the bowling league! I want to go back there and start bowling a 150 average! ..... I also got  a Kindle Fire (as you can see in the photo).... I think I'm going to like it! ..... I got other stuff, including a Memory Foam topper that i thought i wanted for our bed. But after three days of trying it i feel like i need a chiropractor and i never have back problems. So back it goes. Plus it made us both too hot.

About the photos: The first photo is Brian and his mom Christmas day playing Chinese Checkers while i made Beef Wellington. (for the first time). The second one is my favorite Christmas Moment when Ashley and her boyfriend and Kylee came over to exchange presents Christmas Eve with us before we headed out to the big family affair.

After that are photos of my Beef Wellington. I used Tyler Florence's recipe that uses something like a mushroom pate that i made called a duexe?.... Anyway that's the stuff you see on the proscuitto that goes on top of the beef tenderloin which helps to keep the puff pastry from getting too soggy. The mushroom stuff looks ugly, but it's very good.  It was fun to make and i would do it again.


The Guardian wine:

My nephew Brian (Troy's son) got me the bottle of this good red called The Guardian. It's a Washington blend and very very nice. And kind of pricey. We had this conversation the last time i had seen him as we were watching Brian's band play in mid-December.

(That evening my other brother Scott was so funny going table to table with Brian's recorder interviewing all the folks in the bar about the band. As i'm watching this i say to Brian the nephew something that went kind of like this:

Me: Damn,  I want to be the funny one in the family! I am tired of being the boring one. Scott and Troy are so funny and love to party. I want to be more like them.

Brian (nephew): But you don't like to party.

Me: I know. I know.... But I'm going to change! I'm going to start doing wild things and be bad and funny and do outrageous things.

Brian: But it's not you. We need you to be you! You're  the matriarch in the family. You're the one we go to when we need to get straightened out. You always give it to us straight. We need that.

Me: I know, but now i want to go be bad so that i can come to YOU so YOU can straighten ME out.

Brian: But the Louvraks need you to be the matriarch.

Me: I don't want to be the matriarch anymore! The matriarch NEVER has fun. She just irritates everyone. I don't want that job. I'm sick of being responsible!

So i loved when I opened up this present from him that also included a very poignant note that I didn't read until i got home. That note means a lot to me. (My other Christmas Moment).

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Highlights of the Year 2011

Eleven for 2011:
I am not sure if i will have time to get my 52nd post in for the year 2011, so i'm going to do it today before my mother in law arrives since the computer is in the guest room. Here are highlights. 

1.  In congratulating myself on reaching my goal. Here is #1 pick for my best blog post in 2011.  I think i outdid myself on this one....Click below: 

IMO, the best jojo blog post

2. The end of the Iraq war. And why wasn't this bigger news? Even i forgot to hang out my flag. I should have been more excited since i marched against the war BEFORE it started. How did it end with a whimper? I think it's because we're still in Afghanistan. And who knows what's next? Iran? North Korea?

3. I got to retire! Officially i am done Dec. 31. Though i am working through August 2013. But i finally got to put an end date to my dissatisfaction with working for the union. It's making me do something different.

4. Brian's in a new blues band that he can be proud of and one i love to go listen to. When i first started dating Brian in 1992 he had a dumpy little bachelor house and in his living room in the corner was a set of drums he had since he was in high school. He would play them while i got ready to go out. Now he has two sets of newer drums and living the dream. 

5. I'm still running and nothing hurts. That is an accomplishment. 

6. The best book i read in 2011: Cutting for Stone

7. Best new artist: Jason Isbell

8. Favorite new show i started watching on TV: Property Brothers

9. We almost bought a house.... and then we didn't. 

10. As a direct result of not getting the house we remodeled part of our kitchen AND all of both bathrooms. And now we've also commissioned the cabinet makers to build us a custom computer work station which is ready in about two weeks.

11. Nobody i love died or got sick in 2011. (And i didn't murder anyone i hate.)

What are your highlights for the year? I know i probably have better ones than these but i'm doing these on the fly without much thought. 
I hope all of y'all have a great Christmas and new year! 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Let's be honest....Stuff I don't like about Christmas.

1. I am not a good shopper because i don't like shopping and i worry about the gifts i buy too much. If you don't like cooking you are not likely to be a good cook. And that's what shopping is like for me. So this time of year is hard for me. I want to buy the right gift, meaning the one you really would love but don't even know you want. But I usually fail.

2. I do not like sending Christmas cards. And if i am being honest, i don't like receiving them if i feel like i have to send one back. Some people you know you can get away with not sending one because they know you well. But the obscure cousins in the family, i feel obligated. (And don't get me started on some of the manifesto Christmas letters that get sent out!)

3. Receiving a Christmas card from a long lost relative or friends who doesn't write even the briefest message feels like a hit piece. They are sending you a message and at the same time are withholding information. One of the reasons I don't do cards is because i feel compelled to write a little personalized letter with it and that takes too much time.

4. (Actually, it shouldn't since i only have about two friends in real life.)

5. Christmas parties can be difficult. Especially work ones. Brian and i do not make each other go to Christmas parties where we don't know the folks in the crowd. We go stag.

6. Taking down the tree is depressing. My tree, beautiful as it is, is already losing it's green color and i'm going to have to take it down a couple of days after Christmas. (At the same time i like that it's dying before i throw it out.)

7. I don't like the feeling i get when i miss the people who are not here. And i don't like the feeling i get when i wonder what the others are feeling who are even closer. It seems like as you get older there are more sad feelings than there are of that Christmas spirit feeling we used to get when we were little kids.The good news THIS year is that we did not have to put a loved one's photo in the tree. (Nobody in our family or of our friends died this year.)

8. I like playing Christmas music after Thanksgiving, but by about December 10th i'm sick of it. It's like playing a Greatest Hits album every day of the week after awhile.

9. I have only had one Christmas Moment all year. That's not so many for the season. Probably why i'm thinking about why i don't like instead of what i DO. I guess i better go out and make some Moments. Because that's my fault.

So i only have one more blog post to go for my annual goal!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Because i need 3 more....Here are 30!

i am going to steal a post from another blog. I put this up on Facebook today and many folks from my work started sharing it. It's called:

My disclaimer: i normally HATE affirmations or rules about how to be a better person. I do not like reading self-help books. But these are pretty straight-forward rules that everybody, i mean everybody, can use. 

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

But first. Menu of the Day.....

In my glass: Molly Dooker Two Left Feet. It's amazing. It cost over $25, but it's worth it.

On the stove: jojo's spaghetti sauce.

The Best thing: i am off work for 16 days in a row for the holiday!

What i wish: That i could sleep better without waking up at 2 or 3 am.

What i feel guilty about: That i should be wishing for ending World Hunger instead of sleeping through the night.

Music playing : Dustin Kensrue "Don't you wait for me" i think that's the title. I love this guy.

OK. here is the post that i wish i had come up with. I took out all of the explanations because blogspot won't allow so much text and i don't think they need explaining anyway.

As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Nothing could be closer to the truth. But before you can begin this process of transformation you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Stop spending time with the wrong people.
2. Stop running from your problems.
3. Stop lying to yourself.
4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner.
5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not
6. Stop trying to hold onto the past.
7. Stop being scared to make a mistake.
8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes
9. Stop trying to buy happiness.
10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness.
11. Stop being idle.
12. Stop thinking you’re not ready.
13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons.
14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work.
15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else.
16. Stop being jealous of others.
17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself.
18. Stop holding grudges.
19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level.
20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others.
21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break.
22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments.
23. Stop trying to make things perfect.
24. Stop following the path of least resistance.
25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t.
26. Stop blaming others for your troubles.
27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone.
28. Stop worrying so much.
29. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen.
30. Stop being ungrateful.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Four More.

That's how many blog posts i need to hit my goal of 52 a year....

So here we go, just a random jojo thingie.

Menu of the Day:

Music: Sara Mclaughlin Christmas Wintersong cd ....(Normally she kind of irritates me, but i really like her Christmas cd)

Drinking: OMG, this is a fabulous wine that my favorite wine guy sold me. It's called....oops i forgot...let me go's called The Ball Buster by Tait... Tom told me the guy who makes it calls his wife that. It's a big red and cost about $20....totally worth it.

The Best thing that happened this week: i got all of my shopping done and not only that. As of this evening i have them wrapped!

How I've been a bad girl: I did not do my On Demand exercises as much as i wanted. Only twice. However, i did run 4 days this week.

What i read recently: there was an article (i think in my Group Health magazine) that listed the Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms. I swear to y'all i had every single one of them listed. When i start eating frozen white bread right out of the freezer to get my carbo fix, i know i'm in trouble.

How i'm fixing it: Because i live only 2 miles from work i can run at lunchtime, shower and get back to work within an hour plus 10 minutes. I'm going to run at lunch to get through this instead of what i've been doing lately....running in the pitch dark at night around my condo circle.

What scares me: Newt Gingrich rising to the top of the shit of the Republican candidates. How did THAT happen? He wants to put poor little kids to work because he thinks their parents are such losers who don't teach them work ethics. Let's talk ethics and politics, shall we? OK, let's not.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Rest in Peace

Menu of the Day: 

Blog hits: as of today 22,715. Only 2 views today. :(

Wine: my first glass all week. Kind of rare for me cause i usually start the weekend on Thursday. It's Waterbrook Reserve Chardonnay. Pretty good, but not as good as the index card said.

iTunes: Dustin Kensrue's Christmas album. It's called "The Good Night is Still Everywhere". This is my favorite Christmas album of all that i own, i think cause it's so different from other traditional songs.

Least Favorite Christmas album: James Taylor's Christmas album. I know this will upset some people. But i think his voice is too whiney.

The Best Thing That Happened: Brian went out to to the Christmas Tree farm. I was at work. So using his iPhone he emailed me photos of trees he thought were potential Benedetti trees. It took about 14 emails, but in the end he found THE PERFECT tree. It's more petite and that's what i wanted. A tree that looks different from our past four years.

The Other Best Thing: I got my parents all done and a few things for Brian too. I'll be nearly done very sooon. My Dad  always wants a pair of 501 jeans, button fly. It's all he ever wears (except when he has to go to a funeral). His size is 33 waist, 30 length. He's so little! He gets smaller every year.

OK on with the blog post:



1. Herman Cain's campaign. I watched the Lawrence O'D's interview last night with the mistress. Why, i don't know.... Anyway i think she is credible and i believe HER and not Cain. However, what the hell was she doing? IMO, she's really pretty much prostituted herself  in the whole matter because she didn't even love the guy but accepted the money. And in 13 years you would think she might have been able to find a nice guy to really love. Anyway, i expect that Cain will announce he is out and will make it seem like he is protecting his wife in doing so.

2. Blogging...Rest in Peace. (And Fuck you Facebook for killing it.)  I'll probably keep this up because i like looking back at my own stuff when i'm bored to see what i was doing the year before and so on. It's a nice history and easier to track than if i wrote it out in journals like i used to do....

3. Rescue Me... Last night I finally finished all 7 seasons of this show that was about New York firefighters starring Denis Leary. It was one of the most misogynistic and homophobic and sexist shows on TV. IIn spite of that I loved this show. I think because it shined a light on how absurd it was to be that way, sort of like Archie Bunker in All in the Family. I love Denis Leary. But it was kind of funny to think that he was supposed to be such a magnet for hot chicks. He's not THAT good looking.

4. ....though in Season 5 he seemed to have buffed up quite a bit! In the first few seasons i think i could have beat him arm wresting. Then all of a sudden his arms were great and FX had him showing them off, in various stages of undress,  so much it was like he was Matt McConaughy..... but i digress from the topic...

5. Rest in Peace: My flat abs. I've been doing those stupid workouts on the On Demand. I hate doing them more than i hate running. I'm not sure how long i can keep this up.

6. Rest in Peace: my ability to get a good night's sleep. I haven't had much sleep all week because i've been coughing all night long. (But you didn't see me post about my cold on Facebook now did you?...No i didn't, because i hate when people do that. but  i don't mind posting it on my own blog because it's not exactly public and i am not looking for sympathy.)  However I have caught up on Morning Joe on MSNBC before going to work and i love that show. (Mika is so cool!) And if i get a chance i'll post the really cool commercial they have for their show.

(edited to add, i tried to get it up here, but it's not linked to YouTube so i can't.) I can from Googling that The Huffington Post has it on their website  right now. But i can't get bloggerspot to make it happen if it's not YouTube.

Huffington Post - and the jojo blog have a lot in common. Only they have about 9 million hits a day and i have 2.

7.  Also edited to add: How could i forget? .....My libido. Rest in peace.

8.  and my tolerance level for assholes and passive aggressive people especially. )

9. And my memory for names. I used to be so good at that! Last night when i was semi awake i was trying to think of the good looking congressman who left the U.S. House to run for the Senate and lost. He was on MSNBC.... I knew his first name was Harold. I had to Google his last name. It's Ford.