Monday, March 3, 2014

Party Favorites and Unrelated Angst

I could probably just title this post "Fry Up Some Grapes" and call it a day.

But the truth is, we don't get ABC, which means I'm not currently watching The Bachelor Women Tell All special, so *you* get my undivided attention tonight.

I'm so angsty about ABC. I mean, help a sister.
It's not enough that I missed the Oscars.

Pop culture happens to be my thing. Yes, I feel it's something to be proud of. I've invested so much! I perfected this talent years ago.  And I use the word "perfected" somewhat loosely, as I'm prone to confusing similar popsters. Or so they say. I get things almost right. I know just enough to look like a real fool when I'm wrong. So what if I confused Neil Diamond and Neil Young? I'm sure it's happened to all of you! (Though hopefully not when you were in the presence of a bunch of agitated music snobs.)

I wish I could ruminate about whose dress I liked most or who should gently send their hairstylist on an extended vacation or why FOR THE LOVE Bradley Cooper should get an honorary win for every category. Best Animated Feature Film: Bradley Cooper!!!! But I can't. And that's why nothing on the whole planet is fair. Ruby told me that yesterday, and now I believe her.

Do you ever feel like Winter makes me whiny and incorigible?

Cory thinks so, too.
So does Silas.

FYI, Silas told me a few days ago that Charles is allowed to boss him. Not missing a beat, I said, "Oh, no. He can't boss you. You're his daddy!" He responded just as quickly, "In my family, the boy gets to be the boss and can boss the daddy. And the mommy."

Bless him. He has officially tried every angle. He's spun that thread until it's knotted ten times over. The kid wants to boss someone so dang bad. He'd straight-up put Jillian Michaels out of a job. Are you in need of certain motivation? Could you use a good kick in the rear? He's available by the hour, payable in strands of Christmas lights or empty containers. 

But back to the grapes. In a roundabout way.

I made Sarah a much-overdue birthday dinner last week.

I planned a fancy menu of froufrou drinks, butternut squash risotto, complicated salad, and homemade chocolate tarts with raspberries.

Then I remembered I had food here I needed to use (aka "free") and I remembered Sarah's easily pleased.

So, we rolled high with the best-ever tomato soup, grilled muenster on English Muffin bread, ice water, and chocolate croissants from the bakery.

I didn't wear make-up or do my hair and wore the jeans that are "roomy" in the rear.

It was perfect.

An hour before she came, I cut up a bunch of my ribbons and taped them to my dining room lights. Naturally.

Because maybe dinner wasn't what she may have expected, and maybe I personally looked like I had just cheated death, and maybe her birthday gift didn't turn out quite as smashingly as I had hoped, but at least we had a decoration.

This was our appetizer, and I have daydreamed about it no less than 53 times since that night.

Halve a bunch of red grapes. Sautee them in olive oil until they soften a bit. Sprinkle with coarse salt, black pepper, and fresh thyme leaves. Spoon grapes over goat cheese. Spread on water crackers until you come painfully close to turning a purplish hue and rolling out the door, a'la Violet Beauregard.

Fancy. I even busted out the paper napkins.

I didn't even clean my kitchen.
As if she cared.

Kim and Budgie joined us for the festivities.

And now, a quick story:
Sometime last year Cory and I watched Identity Thief. We lost steam and didn't watch the very end. I must have facebooked about it or something, because I got a text from my friend Tina late that night saying, "Dawn Budgie! That's a terrible name!"

It was one of those times where I woke up in the middle of the night to pee, read the text, then went back to sleep. Very discombobulating. All I can tell you is, I thought for sure it meant Princess Kate had the Royal baby and named her Dawn Budgie. And yes, it's a terrible name. But, as much as I love all things British, I mean, they have their quirks (hence, my love for them). PK was defying the Queen! Standing her ground! She would not bow to tradition and she was no one's fool! If she wanted to name her darling Dawn Budgie, by jolly, she would!

The next morning the kids and I met up with my friend Kim and her little guy Leo at the park to play. (She was expecting at the time.) We got on the topic of Royalty, just like all moms do at all park play dates ever, and I blurted out, "Can you believe she named the baby Dawn Budgie???"


Literal crickets, but even more crickets. Extra crickets.

Kim was so confused. She couldn't begin to find her way out of my Wonderland.

She broke it to me gently that the Royal Bebe was still in utero and what the heck was I talking about?

This is sort of what I was talking about earlier with my pop culture shame, but in my defense, I was half asleep when I read the text.

In a strange twist, Kim named her baby Kate.

But she'll always be Budgie to me.

Someone has to be.

I left the party streamers up for 9 extra days. They cheered me up in a weird sort of way.

When it's March and your kids haven't had a full week of school since early December, you hitch your wagon to any sort of Cheer that breezes past you. It's called Parasitic Polar Cheer Syndrome. PPCS. It's a real thing, just like "Polar Vortex" and "Children Who Get Along" and "Moms Who Love Snow Days".

I'm sorry I'm so long-winded when I'm TV deprived.
I have nothing left to say for myself.


  1. You crack me up. And then I laugh some more. And then I cackle. And then I wipe tears from my eyes. Mostly, cause I agree with everything you say. I heart you.

  2. It is a lonnnng winter here, too. Preschool has been cancelled except on our snack days. The Hubs always works the weekends when we get the yucky weather, so I am double stuck inside with my children. I was feeling a bit cranky today to wake up to snow AGAIN. I actually told my 4 year old that "Mommy is depressed by this weather." His response, "Does that make you mean?" I knew I had to do something - so I made real hot chocolate after lunch and even real whipped cream (I have never whipped cream before, but I am never going back to the other stuff). I am sick, but my kids somehow played independently all day with pretend food and legos and books - and there appears to be preschool tomorrow for my oldest. Things are looking up.

    1. "Preschool has been cancelled except on our snack days." hahaha
      I mean....
      It's funny when I hear my life from someone else's perspective!

  3. Thank you. I needed this little bit of PPCS in my world. Today I was seriously convinced that my twins may never ever ever learn how to eat by themselves and that my little girls would never ever ever stop singing Let It Go. And everything is canceled again tomorrow. So, thanks for sharing about random pop trivia and the beautiful ribbons. I've been thinking thoughts too deep all day (when I wasn't bemoaning the tragedies already mentioned), and this helped bring my spirits up!

  4. hilarious.
    budgie = parakeet.
    i love your streamers. i really need your easy, breezy decor style to help me jazz up my new studio space! come visit. i have ABC and maybe warm weather.

  5. I love when someone else gets discombobulated - happens to me often..

  6. Sorry, but all I seem to care about are the grapes and goat cheese! Will definitely be trying that recipe!

  7. I just cry-laughed about Royal Baby Dawn Budgie.

  8. And how do I explain waking up my husband with laughter over Dawn Budgie, fried grapes, and PPCS?! Hoo girl, you started my morning right, even if I do have to go teach while it's 'teen degrees.

  9. Per FPFG ive had salsa for lunch and dinner. I bought lemon hand soap. Sun has got to shine again someday.

  10. "Moms who love snow days..." hahahaa...There are some who SAY they do, but I think they're lying. I actually screamed at the recorded message that called me at 4:00 am the other day: "What FOR? It's just snow!" I'm glad I'm not the only one who has PPCS. Now can I please be your friend so you can cook me tomato soup, grilled cheese and fried grapes for dinner? I live in Ohio! I hear you visit often! :)

  11. Love your hospitality. Everything looks so inviting and yummy. Fried grapes? Now I've got to try 'em.
    The Dawn Budgie thing? I had to read it twice as I was totally lost the first time. ;) I want Silas.

  12. You. Sleigh. Me. I love so many things about this post!! I have LOLed so many times--and it's 6 am!
    PS. I'm making Violet Beauregard. Soon. Yum.
    PPS. I love how my Jesus told me to stop reading People magazine years ago to the point where if I picked up one now, princess Kate would be the only person I know in that whole magazine. Yet you are a pop culture queen! HE knows what's best for each of us :). Although....why we still still stuck in 10 degree weather I will never know.

    Go buy some green ribbon and get ready for st. Patricks day:)

  13. Thank you for making me laugh...still giggling over Dawn Budgie....laughing is necessary as I'm looking out my window at more white and the thermometer says 17 degrees and I live in North Carolina for crying out loud! It was 70 on Sunday...yes 70 and now there's all this frozen white stuff all over everything. UGH!

  14. oh. my. goodness! Thank you for the laugh! The day started out so serious and stress-prone (I 'm just south of you in Indy, and sooo ready for spring to show up!) And then I clicked over to read ....and laughed so much my husband came to check to see if I was okay :) Seriously, thank you. Dawn Budgie!!!
    <3 <3 <3
    p.s. totally going to steal the grapes and ribbons ideas at some point :)

  15. Oh my gosh, you crack me up! I have a feeling I may have been one of those agitated music snobs you speak's only to cover up where I lack stars in pop culture knowlege. Sorry you missed the Oscars. Here's how much I cared--I forgot it was on and watched HGTV instead while "vacationing" at my parents' house. What can I say, dish TV is a luxury with us no matter what is on network.

  16. Woman, get yourself to :-) I think that's where I watch all my ABC shows. lol (Now to read the rest of the post). :-)

    1. Lady, you can only watch if you "verify" through your satellite/cable provider. It's a new thing and it's ruining my life! They unlock them after 8 days. But still, that's a long time for reality TV. haha

    2. Yep. January 6th was that wretched day they required the verification mess. I don't have cable at all, but got Hulu, which is awesome because the shows are usually available the day after they air. I watched the firsr half of the Oscars last nite. Ellen was talking about ordering pizza.

    3. Yep. January 6th was that wretched day they required the verification mess. I don't have cable at all, but got Hulu, which is awesome because the shows are usually available the day after they air. I watched the firsr half of the Oscars last nite. Ellen was talking about ordering pizza.

    4. Hmm, I honestly never even realized that I now had to log into the app. Sorry :-(

  17. PPCS.. Definitely have that over here! Siley Pants cracks me up. My daughter has taken to bossing her own hands when they are disobedient, and, of course- the dog gets bossed on the regular. You are hilarious and I think we should all start calling the royal babe Budgie.

  18. Best dress, hand's down: Guiliana Rancic. Close seconds: Charlize Theron and Cate Blanchett. Surely you can see the best and worst lists online! You NEED to go see them!

  19. What beautiful decorations and yummy food! I say that was a good birthday...I love the idea of the ribbons, and I'd probably leave it up a long time, too.

  20. Can you get an antenna? We have one and get so many channels! I am so sad for your lack of ABC.

  21. Love the Dawn Budgie story - I was laughing out loud. Spring cannot come soon enough!

  22. i am tired of bossing my teenagers. i am T I R E D of them bossing each other. i might drive up to your house and take that bossy kid of yours and keep him until my 2 get with the program. you think i'm kidding. I AM MOST CERTAINLY NOT.
    B A N A N A S that is what these 2 are. 13 1/2 and 15 3/4. HOLY COW. i love them and i want to sell them all at the same time. goodbye. the end. grrr.

  23. Wait, are those grapes or grape tomatoes??? I may very well need glasses, but i swear they look like tomatoes in that picture!

  24. I wish I would have read this Prior to making dinner. I have grape tomatoes AND goat cheese in fridge. Maybe I should whip it up and take it to work tomorrow for lunch and look all fancy.

  25. You are so funny. I love your posts like these that are more, ahem, stream of conscious. I made my husband read the part about Dawn Budgie. Or rather, he asked what I was reading since I was laughing. The grapes and goat cheese sound delish!

  26. Okay, also, I forgot to say that I watched the Oscars this year for the first time ever - not trying to rub it in - and then all the next day I thought about those actors and actresses and wondered what Julia Roberts would be like if she came over to my house for potato soup and whether or not Tom Hanks was there because I never saw him and if Jennifer Lawrence likes her hair short or if it's just a trend and on and on and on...and I thought to myself...

    I am finally understanding why FPFG has a thing for celebrities. I totally could too.

  27. ribbon makes everything better! unfortunately or maybe not, my hubs and i are currently hooked on 'one tree hill' and 'hart of dixie'. i stress over who's going to break up; and get angry at the villainous characters. the thing about watching these shows on netflix is we can watch more than 1 or 4 a night and barely get any sleep. glad you have a pudgie in your life we all need a good laugh every now and again.

  28. Go to your local best buy or order a digital antenna off amazon. We have one TV with a digital antenna and one TV with a very, very basic cable box (it came with the internet package) and the digital antenna has better reception than the cable box. It'll cost you 30 or 40 bucks, but you will have your ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and quite a few other channels (mostly Jesus channels and old movies). It will change your life, and will cost less than one month of your not-smartphone service plan!

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