Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas List

So, at the last family get-together we talked about putting what we wanted for Christmas online. Which makes sense because It has been my experience that as we grow older, more often than not, we get harder and harder to shop for. My dad is a prime example - he is always the hardest person on my list to shop for.

Now I imagine that I am fairly hard (unless you really, really know me) to shop for. But there are always two things that will always cause my eyes to light up: iTunes gift cards and anything with a NY Giants logo on it.

If that isn't enough guidance, here is a more detailed list.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Brine your bird

Turkey has been brined! (And there was much rejoicing!)

This year's Coburn Brine Recipe
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 tbsp dried crushed rosemary
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 1 orange, quartered
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
Remove neck & gizzards, set aside. Place all ingredients in large pot (we have a big, mongo pot and this just about all we ever use it for); place turkey in pot; cover with cold water and refrigerate overnight.

If you've never placed your bird in a brine before roasting it you do not know what you are missing. The meat comes out so moist and succulent. It's awesome.

A dream I just had

I just awoke from the most amazing dream and I had to, upon waking, rush to the computer and try and capture it:

I am a writer for a large newspaper, New York Times, Washington Post, etc and my job is to write articles for a weekend type column that usually enumerates things: Top 10 places to get your pet neutered and be pampered - just really bizarre stuff that no one reads. Since no one, i was thinking in my dream, read them I felt emboldened to fill the lists with poetry or insanely minutely detailed information about myself and/or my surroundings.

What was odd was that the poetry/prose had a three dimensional feel to it. It felt like I was in a giant zip-lock baggie and the words were being poured into the bag (as they appeared on the pages of the column) and I could move through that space. Like I could swim through the minutiae of missed English assignments in Mr. Burke's 7th grade class at New London Junior High. The more detailed and dazzlingly higher the infomation being categorized the closer it was to the outside of the bag it was: the hairs of my left leg enumerated and categorized by length, hue and curliness. As I moved through the data-filled bag of myself and emotions I was also outside of the bag watching how it would meander through the paper's section taking over like an invading fungus on the page, formless and random.

In my dream none of my superiors noticed what was happening but eventually Esquire magazine took notice and named one their Best & Brightest for the 2013 Genius issue.

Dudes at Esquire: If for some unglodly reason anything even remotely like this happens, I want to be on the cover, ok?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Tightening the belt

Yesterday we downgraded from our digital 200+ channel cable package down to the most basic (26 channels) package. So I am in a state of semi-mourning: no more CNN, MSNBC, MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, History, Food Network, etc... At least a lot of these channels have shows that are available online or via podcast, but it's not the same.

It's just one step among many that we're taking to try and cut costs where we can. I buy my gas at Stop & Shop with my savings card. I've stopped paying into my 403B retirement account every week (new tax laws now make it that I can no longer pay into the plan via payroll deduction anyway). I turned my cell phone off years ago. I stopped playing FFXI online. We're emptying our storage and putting our stuff in a friend's basement (Thank you, Kryston!)

I've been forced to take these steps not just because it's tougher to make ends meet here at home but my job is feeling the squeeze too. I am no longer able to accumulate overtime without prior approval from my supervisor with the goal of all non-clinical employees having zero overtime per week. Less than a year ago I was averaging 8 hours a week of overtime.

Not that I'm complaining though... Don't get me wrong. I can still run to grab some fast food when we don't feel like cooking and we still splurge on Chinese food once in a while. We are not suffering by any means even if we have had to make sacrifices here and there. Make no mistake though, I am not happy that I cannot gleefully laugh along with John Stewart and Stephen Colbert every night.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

1st post

So, new blog... not my first turn at blogging but I haven't done this in a long time. So why start again?

I have no idea... but it helpful to have an outlet of some kind.

First and foremost in my mind is the upcoming election. America is standing at a fork in the road. We've been following the same road for 8 years now. We can look past those 8 years to the time when we decided to hang a right onto this road... it seemed like a good idea to a whole of people at the time, but not me. We could have voted for the guy we wanted to have a beer with or the guy who was probably a geek in school, was picked on and doesn't really seem to have much of a sense of humor. America went with the guy with whom they wanted to have a beer. I was not among them...

Within a year of being elected, W was tested. He faced the biggest challenge of perhaps any president in our history. A direct attack against us on our own soil. Not since the founding of our country has any other power brought the fight to our home turf. Someone knocked on our door and punched us in the nose when we opened the door.

The whole world's collective heart went out to us. Even countries that do not exactly like us spoke out against the attacks. We found out who did and we took the fight to them. And then, all of a sudden we were attacking Iraq. Iraq had no connection to the terrorists who attacked us; Iraq had no WMD's; Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11. Yet there we were and there we still are. Years later with thousands of Americans dead because of a war that we did not need to fight. Over 88,000 dead Iraqis; the Geneva Convention pissed on; Habeus Corpus thrown out the window; unlawful detention; torture; unprecedented sacrifice of our liberties and privacy; the Constitution trampled upon as power is dangerously concentrated into the executive branch... what the hell happened to us? How did we allow this to happen?

At the end of this year Mr. Bush goes back to his cushy life in Crawford, TX and leaves the country to his successor in considerably worse shape than he found it. In three days we have a chance to choose who gets to pick up the pieces and tries to patch things back together. I've made up my mind who I want to take over but I am shocked to see the polls still so close because the choice is so clear to me.

Who do you think is the guy for the job? The thoughtful, well-educated guy with the funny name or the one who jokingly sang "Bomb Iran" to the tune of Barbara Ann by the Beach Boys?