Tuesday, November 29, 2005

A Few Simple Rules

To My Friends and Family:

I know I'm high maintenance, I really do, but please realize that Huz is the one who has to deal with the brunt of my high maintenanceness, not you. Therefore, you should consider yourselves lucky. Lucky, I say. You only have two rules to abide by:

Number one: Don't call me on Wednesday nights.

Wednesdays are Date Night in my house (they used to be on Thursday nights, but I'm so loving that I moved it to accommodate Huz's extra-curricular schedule). This is the night that we set aside specifically to connect with each other. We usually have dinner and then focused conversation (to escape from the mundane "how was your day" garb) that covers several topics in order to make sure we're up-to-date on each other's thoughts and concerns.

Is it a coincidence that date night is on hump day? I don't think so.

Number two: Don't call me on Wednesday nights.

Beeyatch, this is when Lost is on! That's great that you don't watch it or you have TiVo, but we do (religiously) and we don't (have TiVo, that is). We don't particularly like having the tension of Jack grabbing big guns to attack the big black dude interrupted with the loud-ass phone ringing. I'm just saying.


Posted by Bird On A Line @ 6:01 PM

Sunday, November 27, 2005


I realize that my post on Thanksgiving was ├╝ber grumpy, so here's another attempt.

I am thankful for many things in my life - my health, my marriage, my cat, my family and friends, my home, living in very different parts of this country, good food and fine wine, etc.

Mostly? I'm thankful for my husband. He's a brilliant person who attracted me as a teenager with his intellect (and his bad-boy long hair, goatee and earring, I have to admit). He was one of two people to be accepted into Vanderbilt's Theology Ph.D. program, which is freakin' awesome. He also was deemed worthy enough to be given a generous stipend. We often get into thoughtful, even philosophical conversations over a bottle of wine and I am never at a loss for intellectually stimulating conversation with him. If that's not enough, he's kind, sensitive, and giving (and a damn good kisser too).

Yesterday was his 31st birthday and I was so happy to spend the whole day with him just being grateful for who he is and what he means to me. I made him a big breakfast (strawberry cheese stuffed french toast with orange syrup and mexican poblano and cheese scrambled eggs with a red sauce) while he enjoyed some video games I got for him, then we had some good non-sleep activity, and then went out shopping. He was so sweet that he said we should go to a certain modern furniture shop that I've been wanting to visit since we've been in Nashville. He even joined me in sitting on various sofas and chairs at Pottery Barn that I'm coveting big time. We went to shops he likes too, like Williams-Sonoma and a book store. That afternoon we played some XBox together and then we went out to a nice restaurant that I researched and decided was the best in town. It was very good - his stuffed quail appetizer was great, as was my goat cheese and bacon salad. We both ordered fish for the entree - his was grilled salmon in a spicy honey basil emulsion and mine was pan-fried trout stuffed with pinenuts, fresh herbs, and bacon. Our bottle of Cotes du Rhone was wonderful - warm, spicy, and fruity. Finally, the white chocolate coffee mousse that we shared was light and sweet, which was a perfect way to end the meal. Overall, we had a great day together.

I love you Huz. Happy Birthday!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 12:00 PM

Friday, November 25, 2005

Worse Than Being At Work Today...

Is when people show up and come talk to you. Now I have blog on the low down.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:15 AM

Must Read Baby Story


So good. I laughed and cried. Good thing I'm alone in the office.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:28 AM

The Great Pie Fiasco

Hello internet. I bet you won't guess where I am today. Work, that's where, and it sucks too. I'm literally the only one in my entire office here today. It's not a paid holiday and because I just started this job, I haven't accrued much vacation time (I'll have accrued 3 whopping days by Christmas and I'm using all of them to go home to Colorado). So here I am. Ugh.

On the bright side, the traffic was a breeze coming here today and the parking garage was a ghost town, so I flew up to the roof (yes, I'm still abiding by the where-I'm-supposed-to-park rule...I don't want another ticket*). Also, I'm wearing jeans and am blogging. Take that Work!

I hope a happy Thanksgiving was had by all. Mine was so-so. For one, I was pmsing and played on the mood swingset all day. For two, I spent a good two hours making a would be kick-ass pie and it came out of the oven a lovely shade of black. It was a bourbon pecan pie with bourbon cream and it took so long because I made a butter crust which required ample chilling time - both before placed in the pie pan and after. I realized while making this that I don't have the proper pie-making tools. For one, I don't have a deep pie pan as the recipe called for so when I poured the pie filling in it actually went over the edge of the crust and underneath. I also don't have pie weights, nor did I have any dried beans in the house. I could have gone to the grocery store, but that would have been my third time that day, so I looked for an alternative instead. Coffee beans? No, I thought they would burn and impart too much flavor. Rice? Why not? It turned out to be not such a good idea. Rice is really small and when you lift the tin foil filled with hot rice out of the pie plate, some rice grains inevitably fall into the hot, gooey butter crust. These rice grains have to be hand-picked out of the crust one by one with the help of your Huz who senses that the stress level has just gone up a notch (or seven).

Also, I made my own candied orange peel for this pie. I've never done this before and it entailed peeling an orange, meticulously scraping off all of the pith, simmering in water for 30 minutes, and then simmering in a sugar solution for 45 minutes. I cut the peel into 1/4 inch strips and coated them in sugar. I chopped these up and added them to the pie.

Our oven is not a good oven, as I've talked about before. It is way hotter than the dial says and it has definite hot spots (the turkey had to be covered in tin foil right after it went in because of this - it came out fine though). Even cooking the pie at about 5 degrees less than called for resulted in a black, black pie. I was so upset, but when I took a fork to it I realized that it still tasted good. What could I do? It looked awful but tasted good. I decided to scoop out the filling and put it into small dessert dishes covered with the bourbon whipped cream. Deconstructed pie never tasted so good! Phew.

I think we're going to William Sonoma tomorrow - I need some proper pie-making tools for next time. As for the oven? We'll have to live with it or try to talk the landlord into buying a new one (I'm not holding my breath).

*About the ticket: I picked up Huz from the airport Monday night (his plane finally landed at 10:30) and was trying to make my way out of the airport to get on the right highway home. As I've never been to this airport before I wasn't familiar with it and was paying attention to the direction signs, not the damn speed limit signs. As I was on the ramp to the highway, I noticed blue flashing lights in my rearview mirror. Lovely. I've only been pulled over once before when I was in highschool and I got a warning. This time? My first freaking speeding ticket EVER. For going 46 in a 30. Thanks Nashville. Love you too.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:10 AM

Monday, November 21, 2005

Tastes Like Chicken and the Long Parenthetical Sentence

While Huz and I plan to gorge on turkey this week (he's making it again this year - last year was his first time and it blew me away with all of it's turkey-brined-in-apple-cider-awesomeness...kind of pissed me off actually because I had been cooking a turkey for all those years and here he swoops in all "I'm the Freakin' Turkey King" on me. I guess I should be THANKful and all, but come on!), Cambridge is content to snack on rubber bands.

Weird cat.

Tastes Like Chicken

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:01 PM

Ho Hum

I was supposed to pick up Huz from the airport in 15 minutes, but I don't think he's even taken off from Philly yet for some unknown delay. Sigh. It's going to be a long night.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:46 PM

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Best Damn Steak I Ever Made

The Best Damn Steak I Ever Made

Want to impress someone? Then make this steak. It was so good - I felt like a 5 star chef sending Huz off to Philly for the weekend. It's from Bon Appetit (of course) and the recipe follows:

Steak Chinois
(A soy-ginger marinade and sauce gives the seared flank steak an Asian twist)

7 TBS canola oil, divided
1/4 cup plus 1 TBS tamari sauce or soy sauce
3 TBS plus 1 tsp finely grated peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 lb. flank steak
1 1/2 c. whipping cream
4 TBS sliced green onions, divided
Mix 6 TBS oil, 1/4 cup tamari (or soy sauce), 3 TBS ginger, and garlic in 13x9x2 glass dish. Add steak, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove steak from marinade; pat dry (discard marinade). Heat 1 TBS oil in large skillet over high heat. Ad steak; cook until browned, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer steak to platter. Reduced heat to medium-high. Add cream and 2 TBS green onion to skillet; bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Add 1 TBS tamari (or soy sauce) and 1 tsp ginger; boil to sauce consistency, about 3 minutes. Season sauce with pepper.

Cut steak across grain on diagonal into 1/4 inch slices. Divide steak among 4 plates and drizzle with sauce and sprinkle with remaining green onions.

Enjoy it as I know you will!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 4:50 PM

Friday, November 18, 2005

Bush Bashing Game

This is awesome.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:04 AM

Thursday, November 17, 2005


I'm a pretty good kisser, if I do say so myself. I had feeble beginnings - you know, the typical back of the hand and the neighborhood boy in 7th grade. But I definitely perfected the art when I dated Huz in highschool. We had lots of practice back then - whether it be at school on the back steps at lunch or in one of our cars after a date (hee hee). I still have quite the kissing ability and can get down right seductive - just look at me:

I'm Really Not a Bad Kisser

Nice reaction from Huz, huh? What gives? Doesn't he know that I'm about the best kisser there is!? Nevermind that I did this right before the picture. :)

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 2:30 PM

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


I've been struggling ever since I returned to the office environment this past summer. I've worked in office jobs since I was 19 years old and they just get so old, even if they are in different companies or different cities. When I quit my full-time job to go back to college two years ago, it was a hard transition too. I was a married adult and though I did really well academically, I had a bit of an identity crisis when I found myself suddenly immersed in an environment of folks under 25 and single. (Thank God I found Alyx, though.)

Now, I'm transitioning back into the workplace and I'm struggling with who I am again. I keep asking myself, "Is this it? Is this all that life has to offer?" I get up at 6:30a.m., take a shower, get into the boring ol' office attire (per dress code stipulations, mind you- forget wanting a nose ring or visible tattoo!), go to the same office with the same people and do the same thing every day, go home, strip off my work clothes (this is a psychological shedding of my day at work) and veg. Repeat 4 times and take 2 days off. Ad naseam.

I have always wanted a career. I have always wanted a graduate degree. And I will get those things, but Good Lord! it takes more time than I planned. I graduated college in May at age 29. Why so late? Because I got married young, didn't know what I wanted out of life, and I worked full-time to work Huz through his Master's degree. Now? I feel like I have to work so that we don't accrue more debt while Huz is getting his Ph.D. (even though he fully supports me going to grad school anytime - I just can't bear the thought of how much we'd have to get in loans to live without an income). It's not easy putting off grad school and the career because it makes me feel like I'm on pause or on hold and that all that I am right now is my stupid job title, which has no real importance and no big paycheck to boot.

So I ask you, is this really all there is?

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 3:30 PM

Sunday, November 13, 2005


Huz tagged me with this ages ago, but I've just been too lazy to respond. Here's my feeble attempt to pick my top 5 idiosyncrasies.

1. Giving pet names.

Huz has at least 10 names that I've given him over the years and I use them on a rotating basis (no I won't share them with you, but be assured that "Princess Sophia" is not one of them*).

Cambridge has several variations of her name that I made up: Cambie (note: the "b" is silent), Cambie-Wamie, Kee Kee, Cayma-Wayma, Purr Box, Mommy's Girl (pronounced Gurr-ell), Sweet Pea, etc.

Even if you have a cool name, I'll change it. It's done out of affection, don't worry.

Your name is Thunder? I'll call you TJ instead.
Your first and last name start with G? I'll call you GG.
Your last name is striking? I'll call you Dault.
We went Christmas shopping once and saw baby deer at a quaint village? I'll call you Reindeer.

The list is endless...

2. Starting hobbies.

I have a million and most have fallen by the way side because I work, come home, eat, spend time with Huz, watch t.v., and sleep. When do I have time to do hobbies? But I still like them when I do them. Soapmaking, cardmaking, pottery, photography and candlemaking are a few.

3. Being quick to apologize.

I may have a short fuse and react quickly to things, but I'm also quick to realize when I'm wrong and to let you know it.

4. Getting horny at the worst times.

Yes, this is the t.m.i. category, but that's why you're here, right!? It always happens at the most inconvenient of times. Like when my Auntie Flow** is visiting, or when we're staying the night at someone's house and I'm too chicken shit to act on it because they might hear the squeaking of the bed, or when Huz is walking out the door to work or class. He hates being late (it's almost a phobia, really, that dates back to his childhood) so this is a real challenge for him - but in the end, sex usually wins.

5. Being introspective except when I'm trying to post on my idiosyncrasies.

Damn, but this is hard! I can't think of anything else. You tell me - those who know me and those who have picked up on some through this blog!

*Don't know the reference? Watch 'How to Loose a Guy in 10 Days,' which is what I watched last night when Huz was out with fellow Ph.D. students having a good time.

** You all know this term right? I was at work talking to a girlfriend on the phone and for some reason I told her that my Aunt was visiting. She was all, "Oh really? I didn't know you had family visiting!" And I was all, "Dude, it's a metaphor."

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 1:01 PM

Saturday, November 12, 2005

If This Does't Break Your Heart, Then You Don't Have One

Poor Mable

Last I heard, Mable was sleeping a lot at home as she recovers. She will have a biopsy done next week to see if the cancer is gone. Thanks for all your continued well wishes and prayers for her.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 6:18 PM

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Mable Update

Mable came out of surgery well and is currently recovering on a heated blanket. The vet gave her a chest x-ray, which he wants to talk to my father about. Please keep your fingers crossed about this. Thanks.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 2:36 PM

Wednesday, November 9, 2005


I haven't spoken much about church or God on this blog. The reason is because I simply don't consider myself that religious, even though I am married to the Zebra Theologian. Also, I still have a lot of doubts and questions about the whole thing and I want to stay open-minded to what the world has to offer me (this comes out cheesier that I intend it to). I may tell you how I came to the church in the first place another time, but for now I'll tell you about the church we've decided to attend here in Nashville. We both wanted a progressive and (oh the horror!) a liberal church. So, when we visited St. Anne's for the first time, there were three* things that let me know it was definitely the place for me.

1. The rector** is a WOMAN. Yes! Now that's what I'm talking about! Enough of the 1950s bullshit about women not being able to do a "man's" job. Get over it already!

2. I overheard a conversation between two men*** that went something like this:

Man 1 - "Did you go to the Exotic Bird Show last weekend?"
Man 2 - "Of course I did! You?"
Man 1 - "Yes, Teeny was a contestant and she showed very well that day."

3. The first person to talk to me was a man who said, "I like your shoes."

What a way to win me to your congregation! Ahhh...after the fundamentalist, controlling, and manipulative churches I've been to over the past ten years, this is like a breath of fresh air!

* Of course there are more than three reasons that I like this church; social awareness, a sense of community, and a lack of homogeny also top my list.

** pastor, preacher

*** Yes, they were gay. I love it!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 6:00 PM

Tuesday, November 8, 2005


It's 79 degrees today in Nashville. This is some strange November weather is all I'm saying.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 12:19 PM


Here's another picture of my father's gorgeous little girl, Mable.
Her surgery is on Thursday. It's such a shame that she has to loose one of her beautiful green eyes.

Mable's best

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 7:59 AM

Monday, November 7, 2005

Kitty Prayers

Dear internet(s),

I just got word from my biological father that his cat, Mable, is sick. She has cancer of the eye and is going in for surgery this week to get the eye removed. We all hope that this will cure her of the cancer and that is hasn't spread to the rest of her little body. Please pray for her or send good thoughts her way. She's beautiful and is the only companion he has.

Thank you.


Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:17 AM

Sunday, November 6, 2005

Magazine Review

I decided to pick up Chow magazine while I was grocery shopping today. I initially came across it on this cool blog and decided it looked good. It's a fun, edgy little magaine covering food, drink, and fun. I will read it with a scrutinizing eye and report back to all of you on my findings.

The things I do for you.

You're welcome.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 4:44 PM

Friday, November 4, 2005


Sometimes you get magazines in the mail at the perfect time. Not only do they relieve my mid-weeknight boredom, but they sometimes have articles on things that I was just thinking about. Amazing.

For example, last month's Budget Living had an article on buying quality sofas (although the ones shown were expensive, which is ironic considering the magazine's premise). I have been thinking of buying a new sofa for a while now because 1.) I've never had a new one (our first love seat was a hand-me-down from my parents and the second one, our current set, we bought used from a former college professor of ours. I had to save up for slipcovers from Pottery Barn for them because they are an atrocious Sante Fe pattern that is so not me) and 2.) ours do not represent my style or taste At.All (that would be the Sante Fe pattern and I've decided that the red slip covers were a bad idea - I should have gone neutral and painted the walls a wild color instead). The sofa article was good and gave me some tips for when I do get around to buying a new one (couches made with glued kiln-dried wood are the best and ones with hardware, like screws, won't last as long) and it prepared me for how much a quality couch that will last at least a decade will cost (minimum $1k).

This month's Budget Living just arrived and I'm excited because it has an article on knitted wears, just when I feel like picking up my knitting needles again. How did they know?

It also has an article called, "Can't sleep? Rest easy with noise!" when I was just thinking about getting an air cleaner for our bedroom so that I can sleep through the musicians next door and the drunken bonfire parties in our other neighbor's yard. I got so used to sleeping with an air cleaner when I bought one about 8 years ago that it's been difficult for me to sleep without it. The problem? I had to ditch it in Chicago when we moved here because apparently a 17 foot truck is too small for all of our stuff. (We had to ditch so much stuff because of our misjudgment in truck size, including a book shelf, 2 night stands, a folding table, numerous houseplants, our air cleaner, etc.) So, now I'll read about it and finally get around to buying it.

Finally, there's an article on finding an inexpensive sewing machine just when I was thinking about buying one and trying to make my own curtains. We both hate mini-blinds, but have been living with them for years because we rent (and rentals always have them), but we're tired of them and could really use a change. So, I can make curtains (roman shades are what I really want) for a fraction of the cost of buying them. How the heck did they read my mind?

I'm off to read these timely articles!

p.s. What magazines do you enjoy? I'm always looking for fun, new ones to read. I also get Metropolitan Home, Bon Appetit, and Domino.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:05 PM

Wednesday, November 2, 2005


Here are a few things that I have noticed about my new home in the South.

1. On my way to work in the mornings I have to drive through several school zones. This sucks on a number of levels. Now don't get me wrong, I like kids as much as the next person, but there are no kids! It would be cool if there were a bunch of cute little ones to look at, walking down the sidewalk hand in hand with Dad (or Mom), their striped knit scarves blowing in the wind. But the thing is, I never see any kids. Never. It's like they don't really exist and all of the speed limit signs with flashing lights and Nazi crossing guards (to be discussed later) are just for show. People (that I am inevitably stuck behind) drive 5 measly miles per hour in all of these clearly marked 15 mph zones. I am tempted to make a sign that says, "Yo! Slow Driver! It has a ONE before the FIVE!" I guess I'll get to work on that - where's my poster board?

2. I work with some really southern belles and one of them tears apart the English language on a regular basis. Of note is this little gem which she has said more than once:

"He come to the libeary."*

Pity to poor under-used "came" and unacknowledged "R".

3. People around here like to park on their lawns. Why? I don't know. It seems to me that their driveway would be the logical place, but I guess it must have another purpose.

4. As mentioned in #1, we have a lot of Nazi crossing guards around here. They are old and crochety. One in particular is a retiree who has been known to step out into the middle of the intersection the very second that the light turns yellow just so he can yell at the unfortunate driver who may already be halfway through the light (which, I might add, is her** legal right). He shakes his gray head and mumbles visibly about her as she drives away. He seems to be shaking his head and waving his fist in the air a lot more than a nice old grandpa crossing guard ought to.

5. People call McDonald's MacDonald's.

6. Roadside vendors call tomatoes 'maters. As in, "you gotta try these 'maters. They're the best 'maters in tayown (town)."

7. Two and a half hours is pronounced, "two er and a hayaff."

*libAry? libarry?

**The driver was a she, but not me. And I should also point out that there were No.Kids. around when this happened. Was he just criticizing her driving? Last I checked, that wasn't in the crossing guard job description.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 7:10 PM

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Grumble Grumble

Dear Flickr,

I think it's great that you are now offering prints for sale. I was wondering when you'd do that. Now I would like to recommend another change; let us upload more than 6 photos at a time. You see, when I go to North Carolina for the weekend to hike with our newlywed friends and to enjoy the Fall foliage, I take a lot more than 6 photos. I take more in the lines of 126 photos. Excessive you say? Maybe, but I took a photography class and learned that any good photographer takes a shit load of pictures in order to have a few good ones, so deal. I'm tired of uploading pictures 6 at a time. Please work on this.



Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:49 PM

My Food Blog

Quesadillas and Drinks


Nurse Jackie
United States of Tara
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Book Reading



Julie and Julia
Thirteenth Tale
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What To Expect When You're Expecting
Water for Elephants
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Baby Wise
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On Beauty
Cement Garden
Eat, Pray, Love
Cute, Quaint, Hungry and Romantic: The Aesthetics of Consumerism
The History of Love
Pure Style Living
All The Names
Collage Discovery Workshop
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World
Fugitive Pieces
Taking Charge of Your Fertility
A 90 Day Guide...
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Black Dogs
Enduring Love
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I Pretty Much Hate Everything
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Who Knew?
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Work It, Mom
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