Thursday, November 29, 2007

Random Funny Things My Kids Say - Part 3


I pulled up to a light with my girls in the car when all of a sudden I hear my oldest yell out:

"Gross, that guy is picking his nose!"

A young man in a small sports car sat picking deep into the recesses of his nose.

As the girls squeel in disgust I hear my middle child shout:

"Oh my gosh! He just ate it!"

As all three girls screamed and laughed in disgust, I rolled down the window so that the nose picker could hear the girls. HE looked at us startled to notice a bunch of kids staring down at him, pointing and laughing. The light turned green and he took off as fast as he could. Unfortunately, there was a lot of traffic so I kept pulling up next to him for a few more lights and the girls would squeal loudly all over again whenever we pulled up next to him. Serves him right. I could never understand people who seem to think that being in a car made them invisible.

Broken English

We have a nanny who is Korean and speaks very little English, but she has been with us for seven years. She used to be fulltime but has gone to parttime to mirror my own parttime status. Although my Korean is not great, I do manage to be able to talk to her somewhat. At least better than my husband who tends to just grunt at her. She communicates with the kids in a mix of broken English and sign language. My girls call her “Halmonee” which is Korean for grandma as a sign of affection and respect.

The other day my middle child comes home and informs me that she was a translator at school for a new child who had just come from Korea and didn’t speak any English.

“But honey, you don’t speak Korean,” I said.

“Yes I do!” she replied indignantly. “Watch!”

Turning to our nanny she says: “HALMONEE, ME (pointing to herself) TALKU KOOOHLEEEAHNNNN ATA SCHOOOOOOL TOOOODAY! BELLLLLY GOOOOOD! (nodding and giving two thumbs up)”

Oh dear Lord, my kid thinks speaking broken English with a Korean accent is speaking Korean. I can only imagine what that poor Korean kid at school was thinking.

Friday, November 23, 2007

God is a DJ

Stupid people handling our most personal data:
From the New York Times - Data Leak in Britain...

The data went astray in October, after two computer disks that contained information on families that receive government financial benefits for children were sent out from a government tax agency unregistered, via a private delivery service (!WTF!). The episode is one of three this year in which the agency improperly handled its vast archive of personal data, according to an account by the chancellor of the Exchequer — including the sending of a second set of disks when the first set did not arrive. (HUH?) In sheer numbers, the breach was smaller than several in the United States over the last few years. Last year, a computer and detachable hard drive with the names, birth dates and Social Security numbers of 26.5 million veterans and military personnel was stolen from the home of an analyst, but recovered apparently without any harm. But the disks lost in Britain contained detailed personal information on 40percent of the population: in addition to the bank account numbers, there were names, addresses and national insurance numbers, the British equivalent of Social Security numbers. They also held data on almost every child under 16 (HOLY S#*T!). “This particular breach would dwarf anything we’ve seen in the United States in terms of percentage of the population impacted,” said Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy for the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group based in California.

There should be a law prohibiting stupid people from handling people's personal information.

Anyway - here's something completely different.

This is the most awesome short film! I've stolen it from The Struggling Writer because I absolutely love it. It's a bit long so make sure you have a few minutes to spare before you start watching. I hope you all like it as much as I do.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Random thoughts before the holiday gorging begins!

So I was checking to see how many people actually have popped by and I was flabbergasted to find that on Monday I had 867 unique visitors to my blog. I did some digging and I found they had all came from this link. The MSN Tech and Gadgets site. So how cool is that? Maybe not so cool that they are all going to this page but, well, ok - I'll take any kind of publicity I can get!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here's to family and friends gathering around a beautiful table filled with delicious food. A table groaning under the weight of a perfectly basted turkey, mashed potatoes with homemade gravy, hot rolls, corn, stuffing, cranberry sauce, glazed sweet potatoes and heavenly pumpkin pie. Luckily for me, I am not cooking or hosting Thanksgiving. WOO HOOOOOOO! Hurray for me!!!

I am the queen of reheating. I haven't made my own turkey since my first year of marriage, where the defrosting of the turkey debacle left me in tears on the kitchen floor. Nevermore! From that moment on, stores that sold a full Thanksgiving feast for me to pick up and reheat were my best friend! Between Balducci's and the local Giant, I have not had to cook anything myself for nearly ten years! And that is how I enjoy my holidays. Although, if truth be known, reheating all that food can be quite an ordeal also, but nothing like the actual cooking of the feast. So this year my sister has decided to host Thanksgiving. Since this is her first time cooking a turkey, I will be feeding my family some sandwiches before heading over. Just kidding. i hope. But I'll bring sides and dessert so that if the turkey comes out inedible, we will not go hungry. Just kidding sis.

I hope all my American readers enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Since this is a crazy week, I will begin the story prompt next week and have already selected the picture for it. This time, I am picking the genre for the story and just so you all can think about it, it will be Humor! We shall see how wacky we all can get!

Meme me again!

Before I go, my pal Precie has tagged me for a "Four things you don't know about me" meme. I always find it fascinating to read little snippets of other people's lives. Here's hoping you will find mine just as interesting:

A) Four jobs I've had:
  • lawyer (boring but good paying job)
  • Adjunct faculty at university (work too much for too little pay job)
  • waitress - (hardest and most thankless job)
  • internship at the NY City Morgue - (smelliest and most disturbing job) Cyn has asked me to blog about this and I will have to dig into the recesses of my mind to remember all the stories that have previously been blocked from my mind.

B) Four movies I would or have watched over and over again:
  • Godfather I and II - From I - Leave the gun, take the cannoli. From II - Fredo, I knew it was you! You broke my heart, you broke my heart!
  • Gladiator - Are you not entertained!
  • The Princess Bride - Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father prepare to die.
  • Forrest Gump - Stupid is as stupid does.

    C) Four TV shows I watch
  • Law and Order SVU - I admit to having a thing for Chris Meloni
  • Top Chef - Chefs cooking good food in a crazy competition forum? Love it!
  • Project Runway - Tim Gunn is hysterical!
  • No Reservations - Anthony Bourdain is a cooking God!

D) Four places I've lived
  • Brooklyn - I lived in the one Jewish block nestled between a fairly Italian neighborhood. At Christmas time, you would drive down all these brightly lit and sparkling Christmassy streets before you turned down my dark one. My parents would buy the brightest lights and Christmas toppers that blazed til your eyes hurt in their quest to light our entire street.
  • Queens - I don't remember much about living there. And that's the way, uh huh, uh huh, I like it, uh huh, uh huh.
  • Manhattan - Technically I never lived there myself since I moved out before my parents moved into the city. But, since I go and stay with them for many weekends over the course of the year, I like to consider it a place of residence. I can only say that I wish my parents had moved into the city way earlier.
  • Washington, DC - I lived in Georgetown and then on Capitol Hill. Georgetown is a nice place to live, but when I lived on Capitol Hill our neighborhood was a bit scary. We lived a block away from a crackhouse and my brother-in-law, who lived seven blocks away, woke up one morning to find his car riddled with bulletholes.

E) Four places I have been
  • St. Peters, Barbados - recently for a wedding. Lovely place.
  • La Manga Club Spain - Two of my best friends and I celebrated our 40th by going away to a tennis resort. We had the best time in southern Spain.
  • Cannes, France - for work to Mipcom, but it was definitely a great experience.
  • Montreal, Quebec - for work twice a year at least regularly for 8 years. I always enjoyed my stay and hope to take my whole family up one day soon.

F) Four people who e-mail me regularly
  • My husband
  • My sister
  • My best friend (who hasn't emailed me since her Barbados wedding, hint, hint!)
  • Publishers lunch and the spammers who keep sending me emails for penile implants

G) Four of my favorite foods
  • Steak
  • Really good Peking duck
  • Osso bucco
  • Kal bi - korean barbecued short rib
  • Notice the lack of vegetables...

H) Four places I would rather be right now
  • some place tropical and warm with a cool drink in my hand
  • back in NYC - enjoying a slice or a Gray's Papaya hotdog
  • enjoying a fabulously delicious meal at a great restaurant with terrific service with my hubby and kids
  • sleeping in my comfy, cozy warm bed
I) Four things I am looking forward to this year and next year
  • I am looking forward to a positive resolution to my quest to getting published
  • I hope to finish my second WIP next year.
  • I am looking forward to our family trip next year because we have discussed doing a big Club Med vacation somewhere tropical and warm with babysitting service.
  • I am looking forward to the new season of Entourage, f**king June 2008!

    Open meme call to all who wish to play! Answer all or none or just a few. What four wouldn't you mind answering? Share - after all, tis the season.

I hope you all have a nice Thanksgiving - and for those who are not celebrating Thanksgiving, I hope you have a nice Thursday! Stay tuned for our regularly scheduled programming beginning hopefully this Friday, if I have not lapsed into a food coma. I shall leave you with one last parting thought.

Ohhhhhhh, the pleasures of Pumpkin Pie! Who cares about the turkey! Give me pie! I shall be bringing two large pumpkin pies to dinner. One to share and one to eat all by myself in my attempt to become a human pumpkin. Last year I was thwarted in my attempt when I entered into a dueling fork battle with my father for the last piece of pie. Only because my dad stuck his fork (unintentionally, so he claims) in my hand. This time, there will be no mercy!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Poo Poo Paper


Wideload copyright by Andrew Pescod

Is your source for hand made poo poo paper stationery. What never heard of poo poo paper? Neither did I! But I recently saw this link on another blog showcased at the Absolute Write Cooler and I have not been able to get the concept out of my mind! OK - I admit it is grossly fascinating and cracks me up everytime I talk about it.

They make their special paper by collecting and processing elephant dung pulp. Apparently ellephant dung is full of fibrous materials due to the elephants diet of grasses, bamboo and fruits they eat. They collect naturally dried poop from elephant conservation parks, prerinse with water to leave only the fibrous materials, place it in a giant pot of boiling water to clean it, they add natural fibers to strengthen the paper then mix it together, they make small separate piles which are then allowed to naturally dry in the sun and that is how they make poo poo paper! Ok, if any of you are grossed out by this concept, consider this, this environmentally friendly paper is a truly creative sustainable cycle. They are using raw materials that no other use to make highly functional societal products, providing economic opportunites for the local community and ulitmately is able to direct back portion of their profits to the welfare and conservation of elephants.

But what is the million dollar question? Well that would be their number one asked question:

Questions#1: Do your products smell?

This is by far the most asked question we receive! Our products do not smell at all...not like poo anyways! Our products smell like normal stationery type products although we have been experiementing with adding some nice aromas to our poo papers. We've had requests from cinnamon, lemon and coffee scented papers......we're working in this!!!!!

Our products don't smell because we allow the fresh elephant poo poo to completely dry up first then we thoroughly rinse and wash the elephant dung and all we're really left with are the fibres from the vegetation that the elephant didn't digest. That stuff doesn't stink!

So if this interests the environmentalist in you, check out the
Pootique where you can buy Poo Poo journals, notebooks and stationary. It's rated "Two bums up!" TM Just don't send it to anyone with kids known to eat paper!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Random Funny Things My Kids Say - Part 2

Speak properly

My middle child met a woman in a store who spoke with a very prim and proper British accent. "You speak sort of funny," she says to the woman. "That's because I speak proper English," the lady replied. As we left the store, my middle child loudly whispers, "How come speaking proper English makes you sound so mad?" I think she meant snooty.

At the pool

During our Barbados trip, my oldest and I were sitting in the pool when we watched a young heavily tattooed and pierced woman in a very skimpy black bikini enter the pool. As she passed us, we couldn't help but notice that her bikini bottom was actually a thong. My daughter then asked if we could leave the pool right away. As we gathered our things and walked away, I asked her why she wanted to leave when she was having such a good time. She said, "Her butt was naked in the water. When I swim, the water goes in my mouth. That's just nasty." Enough said.

A Drummer is Born

I was standing in line at our crowded supermarket with my 3 year old. As I leaned against my shopping cart, my 3 year old, who was standing next to me, got behind me and began to slap me on my behind while singing the following lyrics to the tune of Jingle Bells:
"Bum bum drums, bum, bum drums,
Mommy’s bum bum drums!
Oh what fun it is to drum on mommy’s bum bum drums!"
When I asked her to stop embarrassing me as people laughed their bum bums off around us, she responded with a cheeky "My Bad!"

The true meaning of Veteran's Day

Last week my husband was driving my oldest daughter and her best friend home from a soccer game when he asked them if they had school on Veteran’s day. “Yes” replied our daughter, “we don’t get it off.” “Do you know what Veteran's Day celebrates?” asked my husband. To which our daughter's best friend replied, “It’s a holiday for all the vegetable eaters.”

A Husband's real role

My middle child announced at dinner that when she grew up she would have seven pets. "Two cats, two dogs and two birds." She counts on her fingers, "Oh wait, that's only six! Oh yeah, and a husband!" My husband gives her a look and shakes his head, "I see Mom's got you trained already."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I'm Back!

Ah Barbados!

What a beautiful country! What a pain in the ass to fly to! I was flying to Barbados for my best friend's wedding and my daughter was the flower girl. My day started at 3AM to get to the airport, Dulles International, by 4Am for my 6:30 flight. After standing on a line 5,000 people long, my daughter and I barely made it to our gate on time. It is absolutely crazy how bad getting through security is at DC airports. I don't blame them, I'm glad for all the security. But it is difficult to stand through. Switching in Miami, we sat on the floor of the crowded waiting area for over three hours before finally boarding. I always give my daughter the window seat. She can look out and she doesn't have to sit next to a stranger. A tall broadshouldered well dressed man sat next to me as I was in the monkey seat. After exchanging polite smiles, I completely ignored him even as he kept pushing me off the armrest and his shoulder kept encroaching into my space. Finally, Mr. Nudgey decides to instigate conversation.

"First time in Barbados?"
"So what are you going down for?"
"Really? Me too."
Polite smile. Pause.
He begins again.
"So where are you staying?"
"St. Peter."
"Gee that's far."
"I'm staying in Christchurch. Lot's of fun. There's nothing to do where you are. You're gonna want to come to us to go out."
"So what are you planning to do while you are down there?"
"My daughter and I will do some beach activities."
I point at my daughter curled up in her window seat playing her gameboy.
"She's with you?"
"Uh huh."
"I don't see your husband..."
"Oh I came separately..."
"No! He's home."
Long pause.
"So you okay?
"Any problems with your marriage?"
"No," me annoyed. "He had to stay home with my other daughters."
Finally loses interest.

So how sleazy can you get?!!!

The Wedding was beautiful. the bride was the most beautiful woman on Barbados that day and the groom was so stylish and debonair. I'll have to blog later on aabout the return trip. But in the meantime, something funny to get you in the mood. A funny clip that is a bit old but always so funny:

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tuesday Thoughts - Food Glorious Food!

There are people in this world who eat to live and others who live to eat. I fall in the latter of these two categories and I could never understand the skinny bland white food eaters who only ate because otherwise they would die. I once had a boss whose daughter only ate butter sandwiches on white bread for lunch every day. Apparently there are people in this world who only like to eat white food. And I don’t mean Caucasian food, I mean the color white as in white rice, white bread, potatoes, pasta, butter, etc. Except I don’t think there is an 'etc' after that list, it is literally all they eat. I could not live like that. It would be torture and I would die of gastronomic distress. I love colorful spicy bold food flavors that make your mouth sing and your stomach happy.

But being around lots of friends I consider “bland” eaters, I decided that I would shake them up and introduce them to new foods that they never considered and might actually like. One of my best friends for like twenty years has a very narrow range of food she eats. She has never been interested in Indian food. She has stated that not only is it visually unappealing, but the spices in Indian food would be too foreign for her palette. Actually, like many of my other “bland” eater friends, Indian food is always their number one rejection of places to consider eating out at. Now I love Indian food and I feel that it gets a bad rap for being too spicy and all curry and so on. But there is much to love about it.

Finally convincing my friend that it was in her best interests to try something new, and also threatening to hide something that would leave a funky smell in her car, we took her out to a really good Indian restaurant. Rule number one for trying out a new ethnic cuisine - get alot of recommendations and go to the best restaurant you can. While I love greasy hole in the wall places, as they usually have the best and most authentic food, it is never a good idea to start a novice in a place like this.

We started out with garlic naan, which is grilled Indian bread with rich garlic and butter that is heavenly. It came with a variety of dips and chutneys, one particular favorite of mine was a spicy mango and chili chutney that imparted heat and sweet tanginess. We moved on to Aloo Gobi Gobhi, which is my favorite vegetarian Indian dish made of potatoes, cauliflower and green peas that is so simple and yet is packed with flavor. Then came chicken wings cooked in ginger and cumin and tamarind with enough spice to leave your mouth tingling. Is your mouth watering yet? The waiter then brought a hot clay pot of our lamb biryani, which is meat and rice mixed together and my other favorite dish – chicken vindaloo, a hot and spicy chicken and vegetable dish smothered in rich spicy sauce that is also slighty tangy. Last but not least, a king prawn masala rich with onion, tomato and coriander, all served with a bed of fragrant basmati rice. Notice, there were no true "curries" in our dinner.

We ended our meal with a trio of sorbets in mango, raspberry and lemon which was a perfect icy end to our spice filled meal. I asked my friend if she now liked Indian food and she said yes very enthusiastically. She had no idea what Indian food was really about. It was such a pleasure to introduce her to a whole new eating experience. Now if only I could convince my children to eat Indian food, it could be a great family night out instead of our current standard taco night out.

My Food Hero - Anthony Bourdain

While I am no expert, I am a fairly adventurous eater, although nowhere near the level of Anthony Bourdain, who is my hero. Anthony Bourdain, who was the executive chef of Les Halles in New York, author of Kitchen Confidential (awesome book!) as well as numerous others, and current host of Travel Channels No Reservations, is at this time my favorite celebrity. He used to host a series called A Cook’s Tour on the Food Network but he left them due to creative differences. Apparently the story is that they wanted Tony to stop traveling to Asian countries and stick with countries white America would be more comfortable seeing. Thumbing his nose at them, he took his show and his production team to Travel Channel and there a hit show was born.

No Reservations is an amazing show where you get to watch Tony partake of things both incredible and heinous. He is quoted as saying, "If it walks on four legs, is slower and stupider than I am, and tastes reasonably good; pass the salt." Boy does he take that literally! In my favorite episode, Tony goes to Namibia and has the worst meal of his life. He joins a tribe of bushmen who track and kill a warthog and brings it back to the tribe to be cooked. While enjoying his pre-dinner treat of tree beetles he is caught off guard by what comes next. They buried the head in dirt to cook and pulled out the rectum which is supposedly a treat. Since Tony was the special guest, he got the excrement filled treat. Tony knew he couldn't be rude and ate it to his great dismay. Every viewer shuddered and cringed along with him.

I'm glad Tony let Food Network for a network who isn't afraid to let him be himself. While I still watch Food Network on occasion, I have never been a fan of Rachel Ray or the semi-homemade cook Sandra something or other. Tony really hates them. He is quoted as saying Rachel Ray does to food what Hitler did to Poland. He is harsh because he is a foodie - a gourmand, a true lover of food - and a great chef. Rachel and Sandra on Food Network are not chefs and have never claimed to be such. They are typical at home cooks that most people can relate to, and that seems to be the niche Food Network is pandering to. Not a bad strategy on their part, and while they continue to have Nigella Lawson and The Barefoot Contessa on their schedule, I will continue to watch them.

But as long as Anthony Bourdain is on the air, taking us all over the world for amazing and bizarre cusine, and providing us with his sarcastic, intelligent diatribes, all is good in the food world.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Random Funny Things My Kids Say ...

Cartoon role models:

The other day I caught my middle child jumping up and down while holding and then rubbing her nose furiously. When I asked her what she was doing, she replied “I’m trying to sneeze and fart at the same time.” Ok, I had to ask her why she wanted to do this to which she replied, “Cause in the cartoons if you sneeze you fall back and if you fart it pushes you forward so I want to know what happens if I do it at the same time.” My oldest daughter then replied, “I think all you do is stink up the house real bad cause you will probably poop your pants.”

The best birth control:

My youngest child asked me the other day, “Mommy, when I was in your tummy how did I go to the potty?” My older two girls perked up their ears to listen to this fascinating question. “Well it all came out when Mommy went to the potty.” My middle child immediately cried out “Yuck! You have peepee and poopoo in your stomach!” To which my oldest responded, “I am never having a baby!”

The real monster:

My kids were all acting scared and wanting to sleep with me in my bed when I asked them what was going on. They said they were scared of monsters. I replied, “There are no such things as monsters. The only thing you should be afraid of is if Daddy comes up and finds you out of bed.” My middle child responded, “Huh, and you said there was no such thing as monsters!”

Budding environmentalist:

My youngest was picking her nose and pulled out a big booger and I told her to use a tissue next time and she responded, “Mommy, you always said not to waste tissues and paper cause we're killing all the trees!”

Explosive secret:

My middle child came home and told me she had to tell me a secret. I asked her what was up. She said, “At school today I had to fart but I didn’t want to fart at my station cause I knew it would smell bad so I went to another station and farted and then ran away. But I didn’t know it would be SO stinky. I thought it would just be a little stinky. But it was really bad! It smelled like lots and lots of boiled eggs! Lots of them! I didn’t know my fart could smell like that! And then Grant said Phillip did a stinky fart and Phillip said Nuh, uh and that Grant must have done it and then everyone started going ‘ill, ill, someone farted!’ and teacher got so mad at both of them she gave them both letters (the school gives out letters for bad behavior). And she had to open the window to let some air in. But I didn’t tell anyone that it was me who did the stinky fart and Grant and Phillip got in trouble. I was too scared to admit that it was me that done it. Was that bad? Will God be angry with me? Mommy? Mommy why are you crying?”

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