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Archive for July, 2008

Crabwalking.

Um, okay. Don’t ask me why I looked this up. It’s totally lame and inconsequential.* However, the Wikipedia page is pure brilliance.

Friends, I know you have been searching desperately for the next new form of car-free transportation. My word! Gas prices are skyrocketing these days! And walking on two feet can get so boring after a while! Be honest: you’ve probably tried crabwalking yourself out of sheer desperation, haven’t you?

Haven’t you?

Yes, I thought so. Now, tell me: were you disappointed? Did you maybe get a wee bit tired? And were you not completely confused when you couldn’t even make it to the drugstore before it closed? Fear not, friends! Wikipedia is here to clear it all up for you!

Due to its inefficiency, [crabwalking] is more commonly used as a form of exercise than actual transportation.

I know, I know. At least we tried. Time to go back to the drawing board, I suppose. Is skipping the new driving? Or perhaps galloping? I can only hope that Hammer Dancing will win out — perhaps in my next lifetime.


* Okay, I lie. Rob was forced to play crab soccer as a child, and he was severely scarred by crabwalking. Now why did we start talking about this? Let that remain the mystery! Just know that it had nothing to do with STDs.
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Wacky Sunday Adventure Time: Laura and Rob go to the beach!

Today was the last day of the annual sand sculpting competition at Revere Beach — an important international affair with a $15,000 prize for the winner. As $15,000 should buy a pretty damn good sand castle, I suggested that we go check it out.

Yes, the events I am about to describe were 100% my fault.

We set off at around 2:00pm with glorious visions of Kelly’s Roast Beef and masterpieces made of sand. The sun is shining through a light haze — rather pleasant, if a bit muggy, with no ominous clouds on the horizon. Aside from a bit of traffic, the ride to the beach is unremarkable — until I realize I have no idea how to find Kelly’s.

“I guess I don’t know how to find Kelly’s,” I tell Rob, who accepts the news incredibly gracefully, considering how we’re both already starving. We find a parking lot attendant and ask him for help. “See that pink building,” he says.

Yes, we see it.

“Kelly’s is about 5 minutes past it,” he tells us. We rejoice and drive off, pink building-bound — and are promptly thwarted by a “Do Not Enter” sign. The diversion leads us away from Kelly’s and into the back roads of Revere, which are rife with unbelievably slow jaywalkers and loooooong-ass traffic lights.

Rob accepts this new development a little less gracefully.

“Do you want to just go home,” I ask. Oh, if only we knew! We could have enjoyed a pleasant lunch on the couch in front of CSI Miami! But instead, we soldier on. Eventually we stumble upon Kelly’s, and even manage to score a sweet parking spot. Things are looking up! Then, as soon as I open the door — seriously at the exact same second — we hear the first clap of thunder.

With roast beef so tantalizingly close at hand, we laugh it off, get in line, and place our order.

That’s when the rain starts … immediately followed by the lightning.

Being on a beach and all, it is instantly clear that the storm is right on top of us. Under different circumstances, it would’ve been kinda cool, with the earsplitting thunderclaps and lightning snaking across the sky over the ocean — but not now, with the threat of soggy roast beef and destroyed sand castles looming in our future. At this point, of course, we assume we will actually obtain the roast beef in order to render it soggy. At this point, Kelly’s still has electricity … oh, wait, no. There it goes.

The good news: Every Kelly’s roast beef sandwich is freshly sliced to order! The bad news: The slicer requires electricity. We are told we can wait a few minutes to see if the power comes back on, or cut our losses and get a refund. In retrospect, we are idiots. We decide to wait it out underneath a covered pavilion across the street.

By now, the rain is so torrential that we are instantly soaked from our 10-second dash to safety. We sit, miserable and starving, and watch the lucky patrons who were just ahead of us in line enjoy their roast beef and fried delicacies. In recent weeks, these storms have passed fairly quickly — but not this one. We wait for about a half hour before the rain finally lets up enough to allow us back across the street. Still without power, Kelly’s is serving cold food only. With our roast beef dreams officially dashed, we opt for seafood salads doused in mayo and head back across the street to eat, standing over a garbage can because all of the benches are completely soaked. (I’m wearing a white skirt, by the way. Fucking brilliant.)

With our hunger problems finally solved, we figure we might as well go laugh at what’s left of the sand castles, so we set off in search of a closer parking spot. Naturally, Revere is now a giant lake. Some dude passes us a bit too quickly in an SUV and I am soaked anew through my open window. We park, and, employing gazelle-like flying leaps to avoid the deep puddles that are everywhere, walk to the beach.

I have to give credit where credit is due: The sculptures have held up better than my hairstyle. They’re a bit battered, but we still get a pretty good idea of what a $15,000 sand castle looks like. We’re on the beach for about half the time we spent waiting out the downpour across from Kelly’s. Rob wets his feet in the ocean. Then we head back to the car.

As we pick our way down the sidewalk barefoot, dirtying our feet further with slimy Revere mud, the raindrops begin again — slowly at first, but with increasing intensity — to bid us a proper farewell.

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HOLY CRAP DUDES I’M FAMOUS!

Oh, nevermind that the story is really about Motherboar. I have been featured in the Weekly Dig! Check it:

mu_motherboarlg.jpg

Yes, that sexy shark is ME, motherfuckers! (And had it been a full-sized dude, they totally would’ve still pulled that pose off. No, really! They’re TOUGH.)

The autograph line forms here, please. Single file.

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Giving new meaning to “spare tires”: English Retreads

A friend of mine just started working for these guys, and I think their stuff is really cool. English Retreads uses recycled truck innertubes to create kick-ass handbags, belts, and even doggie collars (for actual dogs; not for you).

They’re really trying to get the word out, so if you sign up for their email list (they promise not to spam), they’ll send you a coupon for 40% off any order in the month of July. Overall, their products are pretty affordable, so this is a super sweet deal.

I know the badassery of tire-chic isn’t necessarily for everyone, but if you know someone who’d be psyched about this stuff, spread the word!

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The best salad I’ve ever made. (And I make a lot of salad.)

Prosciutto and cantaloupe, please move to the back of the line. You have been usurped by awesomeness!

Watermelon, prosciutto, and feta salad

First, a confession: Until recently, I shunned the idea of fruit in salad — not on principle, but because the mix of sweet and savory just didn’t suit my taste buds. However, I do have an open mind. And so, knowing that I’ve been missing out on something that many people enjoy, I decided to do myself a favor by attempting to expand my palate.

It’s been going well so far. And while I’m not going to go ordering a chicken-apple salad at a restaurant anytime soon, I’ve become much bolder in my own kitchen with Fruits-That-Aren’t-Lemon. Case in point: my new favorite salad.

I got the idea from Not Your Average Joe’s a few weeks ago; as soon as I tasted their version, which was absolutely swimming in dressing, I was tempted to do it better. I daresay I’ve soundly drubbed them:

Watermelon, Prosciutto, and Feta Salad
Serves 4 as appetizer; 2 as dinner

Salad:
4 cups mild greens (I used mache)
1 bunch watercress
2 cups watermelon, cubed (about 1/2-inch)
1/4 pound prosciutto (although we used a bit less ’cause we snacked), torn or sliced thin
1 cup feta (I used goat — the best!), crumbled
1 tomato, sliced
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

Dressing:
Juice of one lemon
1 clove of garlic, mashed into a paste (these days I use a press)
White wine vinegar to taste (I like acidity, so I generally use a couple tablespoons)
1 tbsp dry white wine
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp dijon mustard
2-3 tbsp olive oil

Lay the greens at the bottom of a wide, shallow serving platter. Layer on the prosciutto, onion, feta, tomato, and watermelon. Pour the dressing on and toss — gently — to coat.

And that’s it. Seriously, this was so good. It was sweet (melon), salty (prosciutto), sour (lemon), creamy (feta), and sharp (watercress). It’s also not too unhealthy, since a little bit of prosciutto goes a long way, and goat’s milk feta is lower in fat than sheep’s or cow’s (and tastier, in my opinion). As for the dressing, I learned from Weight Watchers that a splash or two of wine can cut vinegar’s acidity without requiring too much oil — one of my favorite tricks ever.

Enjoy!!

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Unfortunate Developments in my Life: #2 in a series

You know how horrible it feels when you defend someone time and time again, yet they ultimately let you down and make you look like a fool? Some may remember my impassioned defense of the humble pigeons who finally ended up in my feeder. I found their stupidity charming! I complimented their pretty pink feets! I stuck up for them to my neighbors, my boyfriend, and even my coworkers. Even when they blocked the feeder with their big fat bodies! And even when they pooped in it!

Well, no more, people. That was all before Unfortunate Development #2:

I am mad at the pigeons.

I know. I can’t believe it either. It all started when they took to using my feeder as their own personal boxing ring. The first pigeon fight was rather amusing, I’ll admit, but then they started getting violent — which wouldn’t be a huge deal except for this: They fight with great force. Far more force than any of the other birds could ever exert. And when Rob walked into the living room yesterday, he saw them nearly push the lid of the feeder wide open with their stupid, thrashing heads.

I can’t imagine what might have happened had he not been there to see it (and promptly put a brick on top of the lid). The finches and sparrows could totally fit through that hole. If one of them were to fly into the house, there would be, according to Rob, only one way to get him out. And it sure as hell wouldn’t involve gently grabbing the bird in my hand and releasing him from whence he came.

Yep. The only way a bird gets out of a house is DEAD. Either by tennis racket, frying pan, or (in this house) dog. Otherwise they don’t stop flying.

This, as you can understand, simply will not do. I bought that feeder to bring joy to all the dudes — not to compromise their tiny little lives!

So yes, I am mad at the pigeons. So mad, in fact, that we are considering blocking parts of the entrance so they can no longer fit inside. It’s a drastic measure, but at this point I think they deserve it. Goddamn you, pigeons!! I hope you’re not too stupid to realize that you brought this on yourselves!

Hopefully this is the end of my series, but unfortunate events tend to happen in threes. Maybe my ill-advised home fragrance purchase counts? Or my depressing inability to work Sephora into my schedule? Am I done with disappointments, life? At least for the time being? Yeah, I think I might be.

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Unfortunate Developments in my Life: #1 in a series

Oh, it has been a time for unfortunate developments lo these past couple of days. Please try to contain your tears when I tell you this, Unfortunate Development #1:

I have accidentally plucked my gray eyebrow hair!

I know. How could I be so careless? I’ve been diligently plucking around it for weeks, but when I went for that one pesky hair behind it, my dexterity failed me. Dashed are my hopes of braid-worthy Rooneybrows! I will never get the respect I deserve! (Unless, of course, a certain someone was right, and 12 more sprout up in its wake. Here’s to hoping.)

You’ll be pleased to hear that I have not saved it in a heart-shaped box, or reattached it with eyelash glue. It is lost and gone forever. And I am sad.

Stay tuned for Unfortunate Developments in my Life #2, or “I am Mad at the Pigeons.” Oh, the trials and tribulations of being me …

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Happy belated b-day, America: Here’s some Brit bashing!

Okay. Until today, I really had nothing against the Brits — except for the fact that their culinary offerings are suspect enough to discourage me from ever vacationing there. I suppose this egregious case of chip discrimination is of the same vein.

I’ll warn you, the article is a bit dry — so, even though the tone is entirely appropriate considering the subject matter, I’ll sum it up for you:

Crime #1: They don’t tax many foodstuffs in the U.K., but they DO tax potato chips (or “crisps,” as they’re called across the pond). Is it like the cigarette tax? Do they know that we chip people are absolute addicts who will pay anything for a fix? What the fuck is that all about?!

Crime #2: Pringles, by virtue of their very suckiness, are exempt from this tax. Because, as we all know, they are not real chips (or crisps or food or whatever you call them). In the words of Some Supremely Stuffy British Business Dude:

“It has none of the irregularity and variety of shape that is always present in crisps. It has a shape not found in nature, being designed and manufactured for stacking, and giving a pleasing and regular undulating appearance which permits comfortable eating. In this respect, it is unlike a potato crisp and, I would add, a potato stick or puff.”

And because of this, you see, Proctor & Gamble totally deserves a tax break that’ll save ‘em a few million dollars a year.

England, I know you guys don’t really have a history of respecting food, but this is a little extreme. I’ll take some solace in the fact that your Department of Revenue is considering an appeal … but for now, you’re totally on my shit list. Crappy place to be, isn’t it? Tell Robin Williams and Jerry O’Connell I said to suck it.

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Horatio Caine: Where’s the Emmy? For Serious!

Holy crap! Please to enjoy!

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New belt!

I have entered the world of belts with removable buckles — because the rooster buckle I bought from Max and Zane is pretty useless otherwise. (I can’t link straight to the buckle ’cause it’s one of a kind and it disappeared when I bought it! It has a rooster.)

My new belt shall be cool. It’s not a huge deal, I know, but I’m always amused when I make purchases that necessitate other purchases. This isn’t quite as great as buying pants because you have nothing to go with your new shoes — THAT is the best! — but it was fun nonetheless.

So if anyone comes across a kick-ass wolf belt buckle, you must let me know. In fact, I could probably find one online right now … but I’m going to behave. For now.

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