Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bahama Mama

It's gray, cold and wet outside. It's hard not to be completely swallowed by the gloom. Please don't read into that as some sort of cryptic cry for help. I was fortunate enough to be on vacation in the Bahamas last week.

I stayed at a yoga ashram and spent my days meditating, stretching and napping.

Hate me now. I'm just rubbing it in your face and feeling sorry for my cold ass.

It was kinda like Eat, Pray, Love. She and I both ate a shit ton of food and did karma yoga.

Except that she did the former in Italy and the latter in India over a 6 month span. I crammed them both into a week.

I DID fart during a couple of the poses, but it wasn't as loud as this other guy.

But it's good to be home. Even if it has to been in layers (and can't even show off my tan! And by tan I mean "no longer sickly pale.")

Monday, October 24, 2011

Madame President

When I tell people that I was born outside of the United States, about one-third of the people usually point out that I could never be President.

Really? My reckless youth, littered with drugs, alcohol and a short stint in a paegan community, isn't gonna be political fodder? And don't let a little thing, like, void of proper education and experience be a deal breaker. No people. I'm pretty sure my complete LACK of desire to be President is what's gonna keep me from being President of the United States. It's just convenient that I technically can't.

Which leads me to 3 weeks ago. The Orchestra's Board of Directors was up for a vote. 3 of the 6 members had to step down and 3 new members would be voted on. I saw it as my chance to avenge my birth-abroad status. I didn't know at the time when I nominated myself (oh that's right people - I nominated myself. My stand partner, Amber, said she would have herself, but I couldn't contain the excitement) that I was going to be the next President of the Kansas City Kansas Community Orchestra.... but here I am!

Madame President if you please.

President Natasha.

Reverend President Natasha.

Our Fall concert is THIS Thursday (October 27th) @ 7pm. Come and support me and my "dork"estra buddies.

Sabrina snapped this pic at our Spring concert.... and... apparently I play with my mouth open.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Spanish Inquisition

Conversation at the coffee shop on Sunday.

Guy: Great Hair.

Me: Thanks!

Guy: You Spanish?

Me: Nope.

Guy: You Sure.

Me: Yup.

I just walked away. Was he insulting my intelligence? My mother's honor? I'm still not sure.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Geography Fale

Overheard at the QT.

Dumb Girl: "Wait? Where is Australia? By England?"

Holy shit! This girl misplaced an entire CONTINENT!

Dumber Girl: "No. Australia is down."

Holy shit! This girl thinks "down" is a cardinal direction!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Over the Bridge and Through the woods...

This past Saturday I took Sammy to see Grandma. That same day also happened to be my aunt's birthday, so the convoy included me, my mom, Sammy D and my aunt Stephanie.

Upon our arrival, my grandma was tickled pink that her old boy had come for a visit. "Nelson!" she shouted at her husband, "Look who came for a visit." Glazing over her daughter the birthday girl, my grandma Alice reached for Sammy. "There's my boy!" she exclaimed, squeezing him. "Oh look he remembers me" she said as he tried desperately and vainly to escape her grip.

Something akin, I guess, to a maternal instinct washed over me and I went to loosen her choke hold on Sammy. I could tell that he was confused and a little frightened. I convinced grandma that she should let Sammy explore her room and I sat down on her bed and told her all about how we get on together. I left out the part about me blogging about his tongue.
"Did I ever tell you how he got his name?" she asked me.

"Well, you told me that there wasn't anything else TO name a brown-faced cat with one good eye."

"That's right."

"And also because he's Jewish, right grandma?"

I told her about the yarn and skitter critters I have for him, I shared our nightly petting and snuggle ritual. I even went as far as to proudly brag about the time when Sammy D. Jr punched a dog in the face. She laughed and told me about another time he did the same to a BIG dog at the vet. We bonded over that, I guess.

I've never been close with my Grandma Alice. She's not the nicest lady (and is also a *little* racist) and in her younger days was flat out mean. My mom is hesitant to go into much detail, but I've heard stories of my mom and her siblings being beat so bad they required a trip to the hospital. That the four of her children survived and have any sort of desire to keep a relationship with her is amazing.

And what is more amazing is that in that hard, dark, ex-alcoholic heart of hers she has the capacity to love a living thing.

I mean, LOOK at that face.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Can I Get A Witness???

I had a scare Monday when I came through the my front door.

I saw a pamphlet had been slipped under my door. I quickly recognized it as a Jesus Flier and was almost afraid to open it; fearing a badly composed and misspelled hate letter from Mic(razy)hael stuffed inside.

Irrational? Yes. But I quickly remembered that Crazy Mike isn't the only over zealous religious nut bug in the world.

Mind my hummus smudges. New favorite: Cilantro & Jalapeno hummus.

I love the expression.

Talk to the hand.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Happy Natashadan everybody.

WTF? you ask.

Natashadan is the time of year between my birthdays. Spanning 53 days, this time of year potentially could be considered a holy holiday since I am a Reverend. That's right people, it wasn't enough for me to have two birthdays, I went ahead a took a whole section of the calendar. MBirthdayIBTY.

Unlike Ramadan, the tenets of my Birthday Celebration encourage much indulgence and libations. With 43 days left of Natashadan, there is still plenty of time left to celebrate. Here is how I will celebrate, maybe these activities can serve as a springboard of inspiration for your own festivities!

1. Drinking.
Alcohol or caffeinated. Sometimes both at the same time.

2. Gonna eat some good food.
Life is too short to eat crap food.

3. Be Artsy-Craftsy.
It's scarf season, bitches!

4. One last camping trip with Megan, Brooke, Whit & Breko before it gets too cold.
And by camping we mean to stay in a cabin. And drink.

5. Pub Crawl for cancer.
Combining 2 of my favorite things: Drinking and Philanthropy.

6. Have I said drinking?

7. Quality time with loved ones.
Make my parents take me to dinner.


9. AND WINE!!!

10. Drunk.

Merry Natashadon!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Well eff.

I just lost a pretty decent post.


Sorry guys. I'll try to re-write it, but I ain't making no promises.

What a fucking way to break the silence.

ps - Jesus, you're still using floppies?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tuesday Morning

After getting my passport photo taken at the CVS over my lunch hour, I stopped in at Tuesday Morning. And, may I please state how SHOCKED I was to learn that smiling is no longer accepted for a passport pic. It took EVERY mouth muscle I have to keep a neutral lip when I was looking into the camera. I could feel the corners of my mouth quiver and a spasm of panic every time she took a shot.

I didn't have a specific item, but I knew that if I wandered around the aisles something I had been meaning to buy would appear.

Sure enough, when I came to the next to last aisle (after failing to find my bread pan) I came across the wall of pillows. NEW PILLOWS have been on my list for about a year and I FINALLY remembered at the same time I was in a place to buy pillows. On my way to the register I found my pan. Total effing score. New Pillows AND I'm gonna bake shit.

The Cashier was friendly and perky. "I'm just gonna slip your bread pan between your pillows" almost put me over the edge when she was bagging everything. A big smile and chuckle burst forth. After being forced to be kept straight at the "photo shoot" my smile was working over time.

"My fun pillows?" I half whispered-half asked.

"What was that my dear?"

"Oh, nothing! Thank you!" And out I went with both my new AND naughty pillows.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Metamorphosis. Less creepy than Kafka's.

Inner Hippie asked me to walk for her in another fashion show. A total honor, a lot of fun and something I'm just not programmed to say "No" to, I participated in "Fashion on the Fringe." This fashion show is part of the Fringe Festival in Kansas City, an annual venue for local artists "on the fringe."

The show ran this past Friday & Saturday. AND I HAD A BLAST.

The second night the hair dresser was looking for a challenge, I suppose, because she came up to me and said "Let's start straightening your hair."

"All of it?" I asked. Did she know what she was about to start? Last night they had straightened a few sections for 3 Victory Rolls and then smoothed out the top to leave a big, magnanimous POOF of curls at the nape of my neck.

Very Varga, if I do say so myself.

She responded "Yes!" I thought she was crazy and she could see it in my eyes. "Don't worry, I straighten my niece's hair all the time and she's mixed."

So, I gave in.

Besides, I was gonna have to sit in that room for 3 hours regardless if I was in a chair gettin' my hairs did or not.

And it took almost the entire 3 hours. I got up once, maybe 2 hours in to stretch my legs.

But she got it done in time.

And while I really liked the whole look on Friday, it was fun to rock different hair.

Congratulations AGAIN Sharlene! You put on a fabulous show. I love that I am one of your hippies.

Peace, love & Frizz Ease.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Orchestra Melt Down

The Orchestra has a concert this Thursday. You guys, it's an outdoors concert.

I am going to melt. It already doesn't take much movement on my end to sweat. But throw in a 100 plus degree heat index WHILE I play??? Last week I sat outside for 15 minutes and I sweat through my shirt. Granted, I was sitting in direct sunlight and my shirt was thin BUT if that was just SITTING for 15 minutes I'm terrified to see what happens.

My violin seriously runs the risk of being water damaged.

Hopefully I don't make this sound. Again.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Don't eat at Applebee's

I make it a rule to not eat at chain restaurants. It probably started sometime after high school. Back then the coolest thing to do on the weekends and THE place to be seen was our neighborhood Applebee's. During college I frequented Chili's quite often. In no way had I escaped the conformity of my high school years. The two eateries have, in essence, the SAME menu, decor personality and even the same effing apostrophe in their name. The only fundamental difference between the two is the soda. Diet Pepsi or Diet Coke.

The only thing to do was to ban the entire lot of 'em.

Chili's: Applebee's with Coke.

The Olive Garden: Applebee's with a bad Italian accent.

On the Border: Applebee's with a sombrero and a side of Guacamole.

Red Robin: Car Hop Applebee's.

Red Lobster: Applebee's by the Sea.

IHOP: Applebee's for breakfast.

54th Street Bar & Grill: Applebee's Single White Female

Joe's Crab Shack: Applebee's with a VD.

Outback Steakhouse: Applebee's on the barbie!

Now go eat something local, fresh and CREATIVE.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

They Say It's Your Birthday!

Today is the birthday of my sister from a different mister.

Happy Birthday Jennie.

Your 29th Year will be your best venture to date.

Crash & Burn.

Monday, July 18, 2011


About a month ago I went to the City Market for fresh produce. I got delicious fruits and vegetables and one GIANT nut.

Michael was strumming his guitar, working for tips between the vendors displays. I caught his eye and he started chatting with me. He asked if I would be willing to have a cup of coffee with him. Since he was a little artistic, friendly, not fugly and he assured me that he had a "real" job  I agreed.

Spoiler alert: we never went for coffee.

Not too long after that my text box became FULL with messages from him. I told him I kick it old-school and when a gentleman courts me, he should call when he wants to talk. So then my vmail inbox became full with messages. It wasn't long before I knew we weren't going to have the coffee.

Towards the end of what would be our last conversation, I was thinking of ways to break the news that coffee ain't gonna happen. So far in the conversation he had mentioned the scripture and the lord too many times to count and also gave me the run down on his views on abortion. I knew what I had to do.

"Soooooooooooooooooooooooo Michael, what are your thoughts on gay marriage?"

In a NUT-shell, Michael is very much against gay marriage as "those sinners are choosing a life style that is unholy and against God's way."

This didn't surprise me. I broke the news gently "listen, for that and many other reasons, I can tell you that I don't want to go out with you. I'm going with my intuition here." I didn't have the energy or the desire to explain to him that even if he was all for equal human rights I STILL wouldn't want to hang out with him.

Michael lost his shit. First he called me a hypocrite. Then he called me a sinner. Then he called me a racist. He called me some other things too but I stopped paying attention and just wanted to get off the phone.

"Listen, I'm sorry. Good luck with your guitar. Goodbye!"

2 seconds later he called me back. Twice. And then he texts me. ALL of these I ignore. A few days later he left a message that says "we got off on a wrong foot and I'd love to start over again" and offer a casual date to the Sade concert to help heal over any sore spots.

I ignored that too. Most of his calls and his texts (which either berated my character OR asked me to give "us" a second chance) have been treated the same way since our last conversation....... two weeks ago. The time I actually texted back I said "not interested, goodbye."

This morning a co-worker who knows part of the story asked me how my stalker was doing. "Great!" I said. "I haven't heard from him since Friday! (when he called me pre-surgery letting me know that if he died, he was thankful to have met me. Then a post-surgery message to let me know he was OK.)"

I spoke too soon. I checked my phone later in the morning. Fun with Crazy Michael was NOT over. I decided to share instead of deleting them this time. (fun note: I copied the texts verbatim)

i just need some answers if possible? I need to know wht i did to turn u off? Also were u ever interested or did u concock a argument to back out?

I won't text or call u again but this taught me never to compromise my values, wht u do marrying homosexuals is a abomination cause the same sex cant create life, repent from ur wickedness. The same homosexuals u stnad up for are pervented w unnatural sex acts and backbiting literally. Repent and stop or God will curse u for ur actions. Take care and seek wisdom out of the bible.
Part 2 u said u are iranian i know u didnt grow up those values, its a repressed action to get back at ur parents. They taught u better i know not to follow the western wickedness such as anything goes as long as it feels good. You have been corrupted and i know ur patriarchs would turn over in their graves if they knew u did such things. Be a woman and keep integrity and don't let babylon destroy ur soul. Salam.

I was nearly tempted to respond this time.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dad 2.0

My dad threw in the towel earlier this year and bought a personal computer. Not quite convinced of the trustworthiness of a laptop, he decided to purchase a desktop. It seemed more of a solid choice. Whether it was that way because the Desktop is heavier and that in and of itself is, literally, a more solid choice or rather, if it is because the Desktop has been around longer and therefore must have some sort of upstanding reputation and  honored history that the Laptop lacks, hence, it is a more reliable choice.

Either way, my dad was convicted in his belief/decision. I knew not to argue/reason with him and saw the miracle that had occurred: my dad stepped into the 21st century. For years he's had one foot through the door just by virtue of being alive in the developed world right now. It wasn't until recently that he's  been convinced that technology might not be such a fleeting and useless thing after all.

FOR EXAMPLE... About 2 years ago he asks me (and please don't forget to use your "old-Iranian man" accent when reading this) "Have you heard of dis 'google?'" and his eyes got all squinty and consternated when he said the g-word, as if he wasn't sure if he was saying it right and I would have NO idea of what he's talking about. "You just type in the word and it brings EVERYTHING back?!? Be-junah-to (Farsi for "I shit you not")" About 2-3 month later he tells me that he used the Internet to send my sister a floral arrangement. Up until this point any e-commerce my father had ever done had been done by proxy. My dad would ask someone else to book his airline tickets (the end of the travel-agent era was a real hard time for my him) or purchase any of his other online shopping - which was very little.  I was so proud of my father.

I went with him to help pick out his new monitor, keyboard & mouse. The "help" was me just reassuring him that all the equipment he needed was very standard and very basic. He didn't need anything fancy and I would just recommend two basic ones and then he'd pick out which one he wanted. The only thing that boggled his mind was the wireless mouse. "What do you mean dere is no cord?" I told him that wireless was a perfectly good option but if he wanted one with chord, that perfectly fine too.

After check out and loading up the car, I totally wiped which model of mouse my father had bought.

Until last week. "Tasha, honey, my mouse isn't verking!"

"Is there a light on? On the bottom?"

"I don't see any light."

He had called on a random week night, I would need to trouble shoot remotely. "Ok, check if it's plugged in. Follow the chord back to the computer and unplug and replug it."

"DERE IS NO CHORD! I bought de vireless mouse!" (Are you guys still using your old Iranian-man accent???)

"Oh, well in that case, just change the batteries."

That was it. Then he called me his genius daughter and asked if I was coming for dinner on Sunday.

Next I am going to get my mom to use an ATM.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cabbage Fest 2011

On my last trip to the Farmers Market, I bought a big head of cabbage. I didn't know at the time that I getting myself into a week's worth of cabbage, and maybe if I had I would have, scared by the idea, put it back, but since I was ignorant - I bought it.

Yesterday I searched for "cabbage" on my favorite recipe spot and found one that I wanted to try. 


It was super easy and COOL. Perfect for a hot evening's dinner. I didn't add the coconut flakes (allergic unfortunately because I love me some macaroons and almond joys) and I generously doubled the amount of the spices. Afterwards I decided to add chopped almonds and carrots. Good Call if I do say so myself.

But I still had half of the head left.

Second to BBQ, I miss Chinese food since becoming vegetarian. Sure there are a handful of dishes that I can eat, but.. it isn't the same. So, tonight's dinner, was a stir fry. It is definitely my favorite between the two (not to discount the Raw Salad at all!)


I made it exactly as directed (I went with Balsamic Vinegar, for the record). For all my Meaties out there, adding chicken or shrimp would be easy.

And you know what you guys.... I still have about a fourth of that GIGANTIC cabbage left. It didn't seem THAT big when I bought it. And it isn't like I made one serving of each recipe. I've got leftovers for DAYS.

With all this cabbage intake - I'm a little scared for what I'm in store for over the next few days.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

We went to the zoo

My sister and her family came into town last week. It was the Nef's first birthday and it was going to be celebrated Big-Fat-Iranian style. The day after the party, a dozen of us planned to go to the zoo.

I love the zoo.

But I knew the whole fiasco was doomed before it started so I did the only thing I could do: herd.

I knew it was going to be an unorganized cluster fuck of people, with members of the group ranging from 1 year to 69 and from with multiple languages being spoken (and not everyone knows both), I knew my job was to keep the pack of people moving. Maybe not "together" but I just had to make sure that the 11 other members of my family just kept making progress towards the end of the Africa exhibit.

Oh and it was hot. We got an early enough start that it wasn't gross the whole time, but NO ONE was fresh as daisy by the time we ended our 3 hour adventure. Towards the end, I Irealized I could re-produce the "honk" of the geese with a startling accuracy. I began talking back to a really big one and before I knew it a small gaggle began to waddle towards me with a curious-goose expression. Luckily I was able to move the humans on before I found out if I was threatening or flirting with the flock.

But we all made it out alive.

But maybe not in the best health. Later that night I began to get the tell-tale signs of a pretty nasty cold. I'm not positive, but my immediate guilt-dagger was shot at my just turned a YEAR old nephew. I was certain my cold-of-doom was brought on by the runny nose he had been sportin all weekend.

This is my first full day of feeling human again. Thanks to a lot of napping, juice and a z-pak, I can be upright and mobile. Much more dreaded than the bird-flu or the west nile virus, I should have taken precautions not to catch the Derka-Derka flu on my family outing.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cat got your tongue?

Sammy's missing a few teeth. My best guess is the he lost them when he was in his accident. He's able to eat OK, but every now and again I'll catch him with his tongue hanging out. It's my most favorite thing in the whole wide world. And now I will share them with you. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Two Things

1. If the local SunFresh has any sort of rewards program for returning stolen shopping carts, I need to find out. I passed no less than 3 on my bike ride through the neighborhood this evening. Or I guess the next time I walk to the grocery store, I can just try to find one and push it back? I'd be guaranteed a cart this way. Totally avoiding the awkward moment when you've walked thru the automatic doors to find no carts and you try to guesstimate if your weeks worth of groceries could fit in one of those carry-baskets.

2. Ok, I know that I need to drop this Reverend thing like a bad habit (pun intended), but... last Saturday at our "When I dip, You Dip, WE Dip" Dip party, Jennie Rea told me that a friend of hers was at Wes & Laura's wedding! Jenni was clicking through her friend's pictures and couldn't believe her eyes! "What a small world!!!" she exclaimed when she saw me and shared the story.

Then tonight we were practicing and Amber, my stand partner in Orchestra, told me a friend of hers was at the wedding and recognized me!

Either the world is getting smaller or my hair is getting bigger. I'm not sure.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I participated in the "Don't Tripp, it's Fashion" runway/design competition last weekend. I walked for designer Sharlene Henthorne. She is the fabulous lady behind Inner Hipper designs. And if you hear Hippie and automaticlaly think Tye Dye and afros, you'd be spot on. I mean, what else is there? besides hairy lady arm pits and patchouli?

Look how big my hair was you guys.

People would run into it backstage. I swear.

Blue Steel, baby.

The whole experience was exhausting and a whole lotta fun. Sharlene placed second in the design category. WAY TO GO SHARLENE!!!!!

I really like her stuff.

All the other girls got their hair curled, cripmed, teased and a few even got extensions. The stylist just brushed mine out. But then again, my hair is better than theirs.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Won't you be my neighbor?

When Wes & Laura moved last summer I was totally bummed. The three of us got on great. But I knew that no matter what, I would always have a friend in them. It didn't really hit me that they were gone until the new neighbors moved in.

When I moved into my new (current) place last fall I was falling asleep, my first night there, when my phone rang and it was Laura! She said that her and Wes were in the neighborhood and almost stopped by.... which would have been awkward seeing how I had just moved out of the old house.

Anyway, in honor of them I wanted to document my top 5 Wes & Laura moments.
In no particular order

1. Halloween 2009. I, dressed as Slash from Guns and Roses, (s)tumbled out of the back of an Ford Escort Station wagon... sloppy drunk. I couldn't find my keys, let alone my front door. It probably would have helped if I had taken off my aviators, but that would have just taken away from the entire look. My friends were about to get out of the car to help me when Laura comes down from her Porch to help a sister out.

"Alright Slash, .... Here let me unlock your door for you." And the sweet creature that is Laura made sure I got safely inside.

2. Laura and I staying up until 4am once listening to music and just bonding. That was a great night.
3. Not too long after I had moved in, I came home one night and they were on their way out. "MY WATER BROKE!!!" Laura exclaimed!

4. Impromptu Porch Party. Wes, Laura and I - along with another Neighbor, Hot Van, were hanging out on their porch (have you guys noticed a theme here???) and Kristen, a friend who lives a few blocks away saw my hair from her Cab and had them stop.

5. I slide out of the taxi cab, W&L are on their porch. They offer me a drink, but I just want a water. I had left the Bar for a reason - I didn't need ANY more alcohol. Wes hands me a water and about 10 minutes later I make my way to the edge of their front lawn, right off the sidewalk. I straddle the pavement and bend over. They ask if I'm OK and I flash the universal sign of "I'm GREAT!" which is the rock fist while I release about 30 ounces of vodka & tonic into their front lawn.

"Oh man, I'm really sorry about that."

"No worries Rev. That was AWESOME."

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Reverend MHIBTY

Yesterday I had the honor to officiate the wedding of two people very dear to me. I met Wes & Laura a little more than 2 years ago. It was around the time of my first wedding and Wes instantly took to calling me by my Internet-Given title "Reverend."

We were next door neighbors. Many Friday and Saturday nights were spent maxing and relaxing on one another's porch. Before long a genuine affection formed and when they set a date for their wedding, The Good Reverend next door was on the short list of possible officiants.

I won out by default only. My competition for the job was his cousin, who is a Catholic Priest. Wes and Laura knew that they were not having a catholic wedding, and, in fact wanted it outside. The Good Father can only preform ceremonies in his church, while the Good Reverend can go ANYWHERE. Seriously. The second ceremony I performed took place in a bar.

Where? you ask.

Yes. A bar. It was the bar Brooke and Rob had their very first kiss. Brooke wanted a tiny ceremony. And with no fuss. So, after work on a Friday in January of 2010, 5 of us gathered in Whitney & Liz's apartment to do makeup and then walk the 2 blocks to the bar. We sang " We're going to Gilhouly's and we're gonna get married" on the way.

When we got there I had a quick chat with the Bride & Groom, and then we dove right in to the 3 minute ceremony in the back booth, right by the pool tables. I was more nervous than they were, for some reason my voice was shaky and almost cried no less than once. By the end we had caught the attention of most of the other patrons at the bar and the owner sent over a bottle of champagne. And since we were already at the reception hall, as it were, we dove right into the celebrating.

All the weddings I've officiant have been beautiful, meaningful and wonderful. Congratulations to ALL my happy couples, whether your wedding was yesterday... or 16 months ago!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate? Good! Pie? Not so much...

So I grabbed a bag of semi-sweet chocolate morsels and dusted (dumped) them on top of the pies in the hope I could salvage them. I didn't spend close to $15 in ingredients and an hour of woman-power  NOT try to hock them off on some starving soul at. There had to be SOMEONE jonsing for an afternoon dessert.

A majority of the people I offered pie to gobbled it right up and, mostly, said really positive things like "YUM!" "Delicious" and "Not bad."

I couldn't help but feel that I was living the episode of Friends (as Rachel) the time Rachel made English Trifle for Thanksgiving. Y'know - with a layer of sauteed beef with onions sandwiched between her layers of lady fingers with jam? Everyone ate it in front of my face to be nice, but the second they left my cube they were hocking the mess of a pie into the closest trash bin, filing cabinet or recycle receptacle.

But I did end up having a piece. It really was not bad! The chocolate morsels saved it. This fiasco reminded me of the time my older sister was charged to make dessert one Saturday. She was about, eh, 14. Maybe? Company was coming over and she was to make a pudding pie. The crust was store bought and all she had to do was whip together the pudding, dump it into the crust, affix a mound of cool whip on top and stick that bad boy into the fridge  to set.

She set out and the 3rd thing she did was knock the pie crust off the counter, shattering the graham cracker crust into the individual crumbs that it was comprised of. Quick on her feet, she called around and found someone with a recipe for an easy pie crust (and one she had all the ingredients for). Soon she had the pudding and cool whip in there and her pie went into the fridge. Shortly there after, the friend called  with a very important detail. She forgot to tell tell my sister that she had to bake the crust. WHY this instruction never came up during the initial recipe giving, I'm not sure.

So she took the pie, pudding and all, and stuck it in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. I don't think I need to describe to you what that did to the cool whip and pudding. I can tell, however, that my pies were definitely edible while her pie was not not.

Thanks sis for fucking up your pudding pie 18 years ago so that I could feel better about my tofu one today. Can't wait to see you. TWO WEEKS!!!!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

NOT as easy as pie

I made a kick ass pie on Memorial Day. A peanut butter chocolate silken goddess of a pie. It took about 3 minutes to assemble and an hour to set in the fridge. It was glorious and everyone liked it at the BBQ.

High on Pie Success I told myself I'd make a double batch to bring into work. I wanted to share a treat with my team after our noon meeting. Who doesn't like chocolate peanut butter pie?

I can't pinpoint the exact moment, tonight, when it all started to go to shit, but I think one of the first things I did wrong was to add the melted chocolate to the blender first. By the time I finished adding the other ingredients, the chocolate was no longer smooth and a vision of delicious, but rather a bit more re-solid. When the blender failed to blend after a minute on "high" I knew something was terribly terribly wrong.

It also, probably, didn't help that I was making a double batch in a standard size blender. My measurement to check if a double batch would fit in my hand-me-down blender was "I think when I made it last week, it was about half way full.... soooo... yeah, a double should fit."


There is a third, fourth and, if I analyzed the whole catastrophe in depth enough, fifth reason why my pie wasn't easy as pie tonight. I was determined, though. I have two what-look-like-chocolate-peanut-butter pies setting in my fridge ready to share with my team tomorrow around noon time. For reasons I can't get into (because I'm too effing tired after battling the pie... and it's past my bed time) It tastes very little like chocolate and a lot like peanut butter. And tofu.

Oh yeah, it's a tofu pie. That's right a FUCKING SOY BEAN BY PRODUCT kicked my ass tonight. Fuck you tofu.

So my plan is to buy some Hershey's Chocolate syrup and drizzle it over the pie before I serve it. If no one on my teams eats it, I won't and can't blame them.

I'm sure the Developers will eat it.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Congrats Dad!

Little known fact. My parents are pool sharks.

Ok, not really. But they play billiards and from time to time their league does well and they advance to some tournament. This time they've hit the big time. My dad and his pool league will be headed to Las Vegas later this summer for the some National Tournament... thing.

Good Luck Dad! Even if you don't win, the important thing is to try your best and to be a good sport. Maybe after wards we can all go for ice cream?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Excuse me!

Hey you guys. Remember me? I'm the one with really awesome hair?

Do you like my hooter?

Ok, so I think I'm ready to get fully back into this thing I call MHIBTY and it's pretty good timing because I just HAVE to share this with you.

So, my back/neck have been giving me grief for several days now and I made an appointment to see a massage therapist today. We were about, oh - I dunno - 20 minutes in when she went to get more lotion and the lotion container made THAT noise. I immediately giggled like a little school girl and felt a wave of relief that I wasn't the one in the room to "pass air." Or at least not the one to pass gas first. I can not be held accountable for any farting/snoring noises that may or may not have happened. There were 10 minutes where I fell asleep and I wasn't sure what bodily sounds I might have admitted. I was thankful, at least, that I was face down because my drool was pretty impressive/embarrassing.

This next weekend is going to be a busy one. I'm playing the role of Reverend on Saturday, then on Sunday I'm pretending to be a super model and will be walking down the runway for a local designer; Inner Hippie. Hopefully I will NOT trip walking down EITHER aisle.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

More Bad News...

Ok, so I opened my mouth too soon. It turns out that things could be worse than last week. If people keep dying at this rate I will have to invest in bulk tissue you guys. I have to take a slight time out from MHIBTY, which, I kinda started already if you hadn't noticed.

And please, for the love of god, GO HUG ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS. Now.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A better pic...

I snagged a better picture for you guys, well, because it's just so gosh darn cute.

Hey, anyone know if a cat can OD on catnip? I bought some for Sammy (as a bribe to stop eating my plants) and I think I gave him WAAAAY too much. He was acting totally spastic and completely out of character... plus he INSISTED that I go him funyuns and a Gatorade. Weird.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Two North

Last week was a doozy. Every single UN-fun emotion that there is be felt.... I felt it. Twice. Going down and then coming back up again, one could say. The only thing I can do is just hug everyone. Thankfully I haven't yet succumbed to hugging strangers.

But that's all I have to say about that.

Since it was, and still is to a degree, sad panda times, I turned to my handy glue gun to help get me out of the blues. I used to eat my way through all of my emotions. Now I just hot glue something to them.

I don't have an apartment number decal/sign/sticker. Neither do my across-the-hall neighbors. This really confuses the Jimmy John's guy. The same day that I found my old violin song book, I also found a decorative letter N. A wood cut out, colorfully painted in circles and dots. My friend Becky had attached it to a present she gave me last year. My neighbor's number is "2N" and saw this as a happy little convergence of re-use possibilities, buttons and a hot glue gun.

So I made a little plaque to hang on their door and I marched across the hallway, my heart filled with joy and other creative juices. As I knocked I was suddenly seized with the fear that they might not LIKE what I had made them. I had made an arts and craft project for them that ranks slightly above "macaroni art." And it was in primary colors and circles to boot.

My neighbors welcome mat is gray with black silhouettes of leaf-less trees, which suggests the "welcome" you are getting might be a little grim. And Haunted. Also, they have handprint decals on their front windows. They're red. And are "dripping/running."

As she opened her door, I lost faith in my buttons. I had realized, too late, that everyone might not like my buttons hot glued to shit as much as I do. I tried to be all nonchalant about this random home made present, insisting that it was just something I can't help... a sickness. She was concerned that I had spent money on the supplies.

"Oh no, I didn't buy anything. Doesn't everyone have a box of random crafty-items?"

She said that she did as well and thanked me. I checked later that day and it hadn't been hung. I ALMOST knocked and apologized for the silly thing and wanted to explain that I was just REALLY sad and making and then sharing the sign had made me feel better... and to please forgive me and don't tell the landlord that I'm weird.

I came home today...

Thanks N&M!

Friday, April 29, 2011

She's Crafty!

I got this knit top at a clothing swap a few months ago. It's super soft. There was a TEENY tiny hole in it at the time and I told myself that I would mend it

 After going through one wash cycle, 6 LARGE holes appeared (thanks to the attached bejeweled necklace).
In the past I've thrown away clothes that have holes or stains. I decided this time to try my hand at "reusing" the shirt and fix it by creating something new. So I pulled out my craft box.

The shirt is just a plain ivory, a blank pallet. I went with peaches and browns, stuff I already had on hand (double bonus that this project didn't require me to buy anything!).

Oh yeah, and I took of the neck piece. Hole making b@stard.

I then cut out varies size circles of my fabric. I used a coaster, a cup and a container of lotion to trace around. I cut out about 15, but I didn't use all of them.

I then hand stitched them in a pseudo random pattern, first making sure the holes were covered and then going back and balancing the entire look.

OF COURSE I had to add buttons.

The back. Two holes there too.
Completely original new shirt!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Deja Violin

Somehow, someway my parents were able to provide me with a private tutor during most of the years I played the violin. I'm sure bartering or some sort of work-trade was involved to cover tuition, just like it was with ballet classes (mom sewing countless costumes) and karate lessons (dad remodeling the dojo). Regardless, I spent many an hour in Mrs. Nigro's basement studio of her home in Raytown, Missouri. It was a pity I never practiced, I could see it on her face most weeks.

Anyway, I came across one of the last books I did with her in the beginning of 1998 a few days ago. This was the last few months I played before quitting. She was annoyed that I had decided to quit Orchestra at the end of the school year. I lied to her and told her I'd try to play on my own and keep it up.

As I flipped through this book on Sunday I realized that almost all of the songs, pieces I had mastered (and I use the word loosely here) back in freshman year, I have been working on for the past several months. I was repeating my catalog of work and hadn't even realized it.

Mrs. Nigro's scribbles cover the same areas that I have trouble with today. It's kinda like the ghost of Violin Teachers Past reminding me of my trouble areas and to REACH to hit that high B on the E string.

Thanks Mrs. Nigro.

If I know you in real life and you're able to make it to my concert on Thursday... you're coming right???

Monday, April 25, 2011

Grandma ran over the Reindeer

My grandmother Alice (Sammy's mom) had a motorized wheelchair.

Fortunately she is capable of being mobile without the Rascal. For a while she used it as her main mode of transportation, after her drivers license was taken away, mainly to visit her husband in the Nursing Home. My mom asked and pleaded with her not to, but Grandma is stubborn like that. Mom's only choice was to get a couple of brightly colored flags and a sign that read "Wide Load" to attach to the chair.

Now that Grandma is with Nelson in the nursing home, she no longer needs to trek a few miles on back roads to see him. We thought that the Scooter Saga was over.

I learned this weekend that the chair had been taken away from her by the Nursing Home staff and she won't get it back until she's successfully completed an "Appropriate Behavior" course, learning what is and isn't acceptable to do with the Hoover-Round.

I'm just speculating here, but based on what I know about my Grandma this is what I think the course would look like:

Keeping all 4 wheels on the ground: A guide to basic motorized chair etiquette.

Break for the Price is Right

The Hallway is not a Race Track


How to Avoid Crushing Others' Feet and Toes


I'm certain that she'll get her chair back but it will only be a matter of time before it's confiscated again and she has to go through the advanced course OR they remove the standard battery and replace it with a a dozen AA batteries so that her top speed is somewhere between "snail" and "turtle" giving her would-be victims ample time to move or get out of the way.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

a creepy "Secret Garden"

Whitney asked if I would spend an afternoon with her taking pictures. I'm a big fan of her work AND she was going to do my makeup. It was a no brainer. She had a vision; I was instructed to show up at her place with black shoes, black patteren tights and black bra with my foundation, eyebrows and hair done. She was going to do everything else.

I knew the pictures were going to be great. Yet, I was still blown away when I saw them. Whitney is totally bad ass and I'm very lucky to know her. I even more lucky that I get to share some of the pics here.

I discovered this overgrown little garden in the West Plaza area of KC a few years ago and knew it would be perfect for a creepy "Secret Garden" kind of shoot. It was, sadly, cleared out a bit since last summer, but still had a wonderfully weird quality I loved. We also did a few shots in the basement of my vintage building and my favorite shot was actually taken in a claw foot bathtub in my apartment! I just wanted to create some photos that I like to look at: a bit cold, interesting, and maybe a touch haunting. Hopefully, others like to look at them as well!
-Whitney Smith