Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A few introductions

Las Vegas is a weird town. This is obvious for many reasons. Being born and raised here, most of the stuff that people find strange about Vegas are completely normal to me. I'm a little lost when I don't see slot machines in a convenience store or the airport. When Scott and I moved to Eugene, OR I was completely baffled by this strange term that kept getting thrown around. I heard it about the same time every night we'd go out. It seemed everyone knew what it meant but me. You may have heard it before, "Last Call"? Such a strange concept. Anyhow, one very strange thing about Vegas is our neighborhoods, or lack thereof. I mean, we have 'em, of course, but you don't know your neighbors. You honestly never speak to them. I'm not exactly sure why. I don't really remember it being this way when I was a kid, but I was a kid, know...warped sense of what actually was going on. Although, when I was young we played outside and had yards so you were around your neighbors kids at least.

Let me explain a little about that. Vegas is in a desert. Evidently this wasn't obvious when I was a kid, so everyone had a front yard with grass and trees and such. Since then Vegas folks have chosen/been forced to choose xeric landscaping (drought tolerant), which is great and all, but it's eliminated front yards to play in. Also, as I'm sure you've noticed, Vegas is ground zero for the whole housing fuck-bomb. So there's nobody left in our neighborhoods. There are 3 houses for sale on my street...and that's an improvement. There are also empty houses, forclosed on, that aren't up for sale yet. Seriously, it's no good. Leading up to the whole bubble-burst thing, housing prices were all sorts of nuts and developers were crowding every bit of available land with houses. Some smarty-pants guy was like, "Dude, who needs sidewalks? Not these fools"!


500 BC-2007

Yeah. So, there goes the neighborhood. I'm pretty sure that's how that's how it all went down. Also, it's like a thousand degrees here, so it's not like anyone is out chilling on the porch, chit-chatting with their neighbors. Honestly, if I saw someone hanging out outside I wouldn't want to talk to them, as they would have to be mentally ill. "Get in the house, yo. There's AC! It's the future. Go, go"!

This brings us to introduction number one. Meet "Hoarder Neighbors".

Not only do they hoard stuff, which I only know because you can see that their garage is filled. Not normal filled, but like FILLED to the top. It's an engineering marvel, that garage. But also, ALSO, I think they hoard people. There are always 3 cars there, in the driveway, not in the garage, because, like I said, the garage is full of crap. The reason I know what their garage looks like is because there is an old man who sits in the garage in a folding chair in front of a folding table with a tiny TV on it. Everyday. Winter, Summer, Spring, Fall, Rain, Shine, Nuclear Holocaust, whatever. Did I mention that he's his underwear? Yup. Are you ready to move over here yet? So, yes. Lot's of cars. Lot's of stuff. Lot's of people overflowing into the garage.

There may be more to their story, but like I said, we don't talk to neighbors 'round here. Also, they fall under the "mentally ill" category due to their being outside instead of exhibiting the simple act of self-preservation, which entails...going inside! Climate control folks! It's a freaking desert out there, even in the garage.

One thing they don't hoard: curtains.
One thing they do hoard: sheets on windows.

You probably think that they should be called the White Trash neighbors with that decorating style, but oh no. No no no no no. That title is already taken.

That is an introduction for another day. Ooooh, it's a good one too!

Warning: This may be a little late in the game but I'm judging these people. Judge, judge, judging away. You will find that I'm going to get all petty and snotty 'round here. It's all in good fun though. Fun times in my little Bloggy World where I can judge from my ivory tower and my neighbors are none the wiser.

I wonder if my neighbors have blogs? Who am I in their Bloggy World?

Awesome Neighbor. Duh. I'm more likely to be Has Lots of Wine Bottles In Her Recycling Neighbor. Oh yeah! Wine and Climate Control. It's the good life.

Which neighbor are you?

Oh! The reason I'm introducing my neighbors is because I found soooo much enjoyment reading about Suburban Matron's neighbors. If you haven't read her shiz you need to get on it. She's pretty awesome. She says "betcha" from time to time. It makes be giggle.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Chicken continues to elude me

Perhaps it's because he's crossing the road.


Well, let me update on that crockpot chicken experimentin' I was up to last week. About 6 hours in, I checked the internal temp with my newish super basic meat thermometer that Santa stuffed in my stocking (because my fancy-schmancy-digital-timer-meat-therometer-alarm-glow-in-the-dark-ipod-ready-flying-car contraption NEVER WORKS) and all was good on the chicken doneness scale. It was crazy juicy and looked pretty tasty at this point. Enter Danielle. I managed to dry that sucker out before it got to the table. So, like a good little scientist, I compiled my data and set out to come up with why my results (figure A) didn't match my expected outcome per my hypothesis, which was "if I follow a recipe, i will have moist chicken."

Figure A

Possible explanations for results:
- I poked the chicken with a meat thermometer, thus releasing all the juices.
- I crocked that bird too long
- I left it under the broiler (to crisp the skin, as per the recipe) for too long because i was too busy making gravy out of ALL the dripping is the crockpot.

Okay, here's why this is all messing with my head. Chicken Poking. How am I to know if it needs to stay in the crockpot and continue to cook if I don't check the internal temp? I can't let it rest for 20 minutes or so, then poke, then find it's undercooked, then re-crock, can I? So, there's that. Crocked the bird too long. Well, the recipe said 4-8 hours depending on the size of the bird. That's big range guys. I wasn't really sure, so I stuck with mid-way though at 6 hours. It may have been done at 4 hours, but I didn't check as the chicken poking would have been an issue there too. Broiler. Hmmm. I maybe added insult to dry chicken injury here, but like I said, I was making gravy out of all the drippings in the crock pot. Seriously. It was like over a 1.5 cups of drip. Doesn't that mean that the bird was already dry at this point? Ponder.

Nonetheless, it was still really tasty. It wasn't, like, crazy dry but I was shooting for crazy moist, so it wasn't dead on. The gravy was awesome, so I didn't mind drenching everything in that business. Didn't mind one bit.

I'm still going to give this a go again. The recipe is dead-on. I need to get on with the deadness next time.

The Crock Testin' continues!

In other news, I found some finger limes at the farmers market on Saturday and they are pretty sweet. They have a really weird texture. You don't slice them, you scoop the insides out with a little spoon and then sprinkle the little lime pearls on stuff. Of course we added them to beer because we're classy like that. The lime flavor itself is lime-y. Duh. But it also tastes kind of floral, like lime blossoms. Sort of herbal maybe. Like the lime rind is part of the flavor. Really good. I'm actually pretty obsessed. I like to cut them open and play the little pearly lime parts. Look for 'em. Play with 'em. Report back. You might want to take a lime loan though, since these babies are like 14 bucks a pint! Actually, that's the cheap price. I saw them on GILT taste and they were something like 30 for pint!!?! Limes! I feel like Amy in Little Women when the cool kids trade limes for stuff. Some sexist man teacher needs to smack the back of my hand quick before I spend Carter's college fund on limes.

I posted a pic on my Twitter (@yelladoesstuff) so jump over and look. I should link to something here, but I've got to go play with limes.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Crock testin'...

Testing out a Crock Pot recipe where you stick the whole damn thing in the crock. If this is successful it could be a game changer! What an exciting life I lead, right? Whatever. Im okay with finding joy and meaning in juicy chicken.

Anyhow, here's what it looks like going in.

I'll let you know how this all goes down later. I might also rant for a bit about how the iPad has such a crappy camera. Enticing isn't it? I just can't help myself.

What are you doing that's slow and low today?
He he, that sounded dirty.
I'm a child.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

P is for Particle Man

I'm often pretty impressed by technology. Even the old stuff, where old means anything that happened, like, ten years ago. I know, times are a changin' and old technology is the Nokia phones we all rocked in '99. I had a red one, because evidently I was trying my hand at being all mysterious and sexy with my red phone. It didn't stick. I'm much more of a white or black phone gal. I did, however, go through a very ghetto phone stage, during which I got all crazy and had a guy at the swap-meet (yeah, that just happened) outfit my poor little Nokia is clear, blue-tinted cover with a matching battery that lit up in three colors when the phone rang. I'm going to say that again, slowly. The. Phone. Lit. The. Eff. Up.

I still can't believe it happened, but I assure you, it did.

I'm not sure how I got onto the topic of confessing my dirty phone laundry, but I'm sure it has a lot to do with my tendency toward the idea of "omission is lying". I end up confessing things that no one needs to know, but they eat at me. Yeah. So prepare yourself for some random confessions from time to time. Just nod, assign some Hail Marys and send me on my way.

So, the technology I'm impressed with today is satellite radio on my TV. It's been rocking my world for years now, but I'm continually impressed my it's versatility, especially now that I have a baby who needs to expand his musical interests past Reggae. As much as I want little Carter to get up and then follow that with some standing up for his rights and all, I'd like to keep him from growing dreads and shooting sheriffs (even if it's alleged), so balance must be created in his musical education. We've been listening to the little kids station on the TV. It's called The Playground, for those of you who have DirectTV. I'm sure it's the same on other satellite radio stuffs. Anyhow, can I tell you how awesome baby music is?!? Old stuff, new stuff, very little crappy Disney music (the new Disney music that sounds like it belongs in the club), lots of old Disney music (MARY POPPINS, FOLKS!!!) and a bunch of stuff that is quickly becoming my new jams. Mr. Carter has been asleep for 20 minutes and I'm still sitting down here listening to it. Right now they're playing some They Might Be Giants. Awesome. I didn't know that those crazy, possible giants' musical scope went beyond Particle Man, but let me tell ya, they are all over the kidlet music scene. Someone named Casper Babypants is also rocking my world right now. Sweet, sweet grooves guys.

It's a new life I'm living. These are the happenings 'round here.

Before I go, have you listened to Kimya Dawson's kids album? She's the one you heard a lot of on the Juno soundtrack. C and I are loving it. The song about bears, aptly called I Like Bears, has me liking bears more that I realized. Compelling lyrics guys. Look into it. She has another kid-like song that's sort of an ABC song, but I'm not sure it's actually for kids. Oh well, it's good, Carter jams to it, and I'm ok with him growing up under the impression that M is for "monkey-butt". There will be bigger problems in his life, I'm sure, so I'll file this one under "problems that will make us laugh when he's 30".

Yeah, so Kimya Dawson. Quality lady. Quality mom, although I'm guessing she's one of those "no vaccinating" people, but she's probably home-schooling her little one, so I'm not so concerned about that situation spreading. Ugghh. That was negative of me. I shouldn't be all judge-y, but it slips out. Especially since I'm close to being one of those people, which is probably why so many people asked me if we were vaccinating when I was pregs with Carter. Oh well. I could delete, right? Errr....wrong. Omission is lying. See what I mean about this.

Are you rocking out to baby music lately? What's on your baby playlist?