Monday, October 30, 2017

Tumescent was the sausage

I once made the mistake of looking into a sausage. I will never forget that fateful day.

Previously, I had enjoyed sausages in many forms… veal and pork sliced on the bias with peppers and onions, Italian style; Polish kielbasa with noodles; chicken with apple and onion with sweet potato; pepperoni pizza; eggs with chorizo; little breakfast links alongside pancakes, dippable in maple syrup; beef, pork, turkey, and even chicken tube steak nestled within soft buns. I think I even tried a bison sausage once (it was tough, not tender). But this was different.

I had been at a celebratory outdoor meal hosted by my workplace, beautifully served, with a variety of choice foodstuffs available amongst many tables set in a grassy quad. It was fresh off the grate, which had been added to my patiently waiting plate by a cheerful grillmaster. O, tumescent was the sausage; gleaming with heat; thick and tempting; crispy and crackling.

And then, instead of simply spearing it, lifting to my mouth, and biting, I decided to be an adult and cut into it. You know, with a knife and fork, since we were sitting at a table and not strolling our way through a carnival or fair.

Urk! To my stomach-churning dismay there was practically no plain meat inside – but fennel seeds amidst pockets of half-melted fat, and unidentifiable pink and white meat-like bits abounded. I sliced again… maybe I had simply found a super-fatty section. But no. Cross-section after cross-section of sausage littered my plate as I finally gave up slicing. I tried to separate some of the pinkish morsels from the whiter stuff and tasted it, but in my mind’s eye I could see nothing but slippery, opaque fat coating my poor tongue and had to spit it out. I couldn’t even eat the rest of the food on my plate, having been contaminated by the sausage’s innards.

Ever since then I have been incredibly wary of sausages… so much so that I still get the willies when I recall the moment.

So why recall the moment at all?

Well, I had to. An old friend of D’s hosted a Hofftoberfest last night – sausages and beer, in the style of David Hasselhoff. Ain’t no fest like a Hofftoberfest, ‘cuz a Hofftoberfest has the Hoff. *grin* I had been disappointed that D didn’t wear a half-unzipped leather jacket to display his wide and manly chest (mmmmmm)… but the host did wear lederhosen and the lady of the house had styled her hair in braids, so that was a fun surprise.

I had a moment of self-discovery when D, looking adorable as he does, leaned in to kiss me after downing a sausage off a pointy fork and swilling some beer. I felt myself begin to sweat, steeled myself for the taste of sausage, and then blurted out the question of the night. “Wait! Are you going to taste like sausage???” He considered, forehead wrinkling. “Uhhh, probably more like beer.” “Ok then.” And he kissed me and it truly was more beer-y than sausage-y and a lovely kiss as his kisses always are but I could still smell the sausage on the plate. And it made me sad.

“Wow, you really don’t like sausage, do you?” All I could do was shake my head pitifully and reach for a macaron (no, not the right country, but where else can I enjoy those, if not at a party?) Over the course of the evening I had three: one pink with fig, one yellow with vanilla, and a whitish one with sticky smooth coconut. My beer-drinking was limited to the ingestion of a fancy-schmancy doondut coated in a sweet vanilla beer glaze. It was a yummy little pillow of heaven! (And not overly large.)

But I have not renounced all sausage, oh, no! I have discovered a smoked turkey sausage with no “funny” bits in, low in fat, and high in flavor. It’s Eckrich Turkey Smoked Sausage and it’s wonderful. Basically, this sausage and I now have an understanding, and I would have been able to bring them had they been in stock at my local market! Stupid market!!! I also eat vegetarian sausage, and pepperoni crisped up in a pan. I have actually begun to prefer turkey pepperoni to regular because of the chewiness factor.

Anyway, if anyone has a sausage recommendation, send it along! Bye now!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

2016, CC's wonderfully exciting Year of Changes

So things turned around!

The kitchen is amazing, the living room looks great, I got the weight loss surgery, and I'm getting my groove back.

I'm healing like a dream, getting back into Zumba and short hikes, and I plan to get another kitty around my birthday.

I can *comfortably* tuck my pants into my boots because there's tons of room in there now.

Things on the horizon look positive, and I feel great.

As I've said before, a clever cat always lands on her feet. :)

Thursday, June 30, 2016

2016, CC's sad trombone year

'Well,' said Frances, 'things are not very good around here anymore. No clothes to wear. No raisins for the oatmeal. I think maybe I'll run away.'

 This year sucks!

So within the span of a little over three months I left my long-term, so-called “planning for the future” boyfriend (as you know); had a major flood in my kitchen and half my living room from the upstairs neighbor, requiring new everything in those spaces (I hadn’t gotten a chance to write about that tidbit yet, so… surprise!); and last night I had to say goodbye to my old man kitten, Butchiekins. I was doing not so very badly today until freaking Facebook “reminded” me that I gave a last kiss to the original clever cat, Twinkiecakes a year ago today.

I’ll say it again. This year sucks!!!

The high spot in all of this is that I get a new kitchen... but in the meantime I have to live at a hotel. At least I got a suite this time, and I must admit, coming back to a king-sized, pillow-top bed with extremely soft striped white-on-white sheets and mountains of pillows is pleasant to say the least.

I treated myself to Heath Klondike bars last night. What would I do for a Klondike bar? Probably retain and gain, I guess.

Anyway, I’ll be meeting the contractor for a final estimate today and move on to ordering everything to take advantage of this weekend’s sales. I’ll keep you posted, and in the meantime you can imagine me nibbling on a Klondike bar.


Friday, April 29, 2016

Traction attraction

So I’ve been receiving traction at my chiropractic appointments and I love it!!! Even my unlovely baby hump seems to be diminishing! Can one become addicted to chiropractic traction? Heh.

I find it extremely relaxing… now if only the office didn’t insist upon playing country music...

Monday, April 4, 2016

Measuring time in boyfriends

Does anyone else regularly measure time this way?

“Hey, what year did Ace of Base come out with “The Sign”?” “Hmm, let’s see, I was with Ev. M at that time until I wasn’t and *sings ‘and I was happy then, living without him, I’ve left him, oh oh oh!’* so it must have been late 1993 or early 94.”

Or, “Do you know what year the Hometown Buffet in Danvers closed?” Well no, but I can narrow it down –  I wouldn’t have gone there by myself, but I did go there with someone, which meant I went with Ex-H at the time because he liked the place, which means it was definitely after 2001, because that's when we divorced.

It’s like, I can remember who I “was”, or my persona, by remembering who I was dating at the time.

It’s like measuring time in fashion, or living arrangements, or weight. What year did I wear those sexy dark blue jeans that showed off my booty so well? Let’s see… I wore them on dates with M of PGH, so that must have been 2008. Or hey, that terrific sage striped t-shirt dress that fit me like a dream? I was with Pokey at the time, which means I was living in my first apartment (a 4th floor walk-up in Astoria) which means it was 1995.

So I realized something. When we do this, we are performing a disservice to ourselves. We must remember to think of time in terms of us, not in terms of other people, hairstyles, clothing, homes, meds we were taking, or the jobs we held. Instead, let's consider who we are on the inside, our actions, our reactions, and our thoughts, and be able to communicate who we are using those descriptors and facts. 

All that other stuff is just window dressing, and it needs to stay in the freaking window where it belongs.

Wall of Paper

Much like the Wall of Sound, my collection of out-of-date wallpaper books was overwhelming. So in the spirit of de-cluttering (and who am I kidding, to vent a bit) I decided to free the sheets from the books.

rip! RIP! RRIIIIIP! So satisfying! And I made good use of my utility knife too, even having to change the blade. Working out aggression by destroying something was surprisingly fun. I found myself just pulling the books apart, screws and all, with tools and muscles. Huh! Who knew it would be that great? (Not to mention the amount of space I freed up in The Clever Cat’s Closet of Crafts!)

Anyway, halfway through my debauch it turns out I had not been choosy in my pick of the papers. Appealing as they were, I did NOT need all the paper. So by the end of the ripandsortfest, I was left with about eight or nine inches of what I considered beautiful papers… and about six inches of other pretty papers, just not exactly my style.

I posted to see if anyone could use it, and discovered that one friend will be able to use them to create covers for personal books! I’m so glad someone else can use them.

Hmm? What’s that? What will CC use it for, you ask? Well, Barbie backgrounds, for one… one book I had gotten was of large-size pages of gorgeous photographic murals; covering items such as wall switch plates – yes, decoupage; general craft and art projects; and some are even suitable as art pieces on their own. One page was so gorgeous I’m going to frame it. Teehee!

In addition, I also took apart eight or so outdated upholstery sample books, for Barbie rugs and one special hanging art project that I've had in mind ever since I got the books (however many years ago). I can't wait to do that one, but it requires thought, backing strength, and some engineering so I'll need to really figure it out. I'm excited!

Google, you schmaltzy asshole

Google really needs to stop taking pre-breakup pictures and videos and forming them into collages and events. I innocently opened the gallery on my phone to post a fun update on Facebook only to discover new creations featuring items from a month ago!

Auto Awesome, my sweet A. More like Auto Asshole, amirite?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A heat pack helps

So I never know what to expect with this whole Failed Love Affair thing.

Sometimes I’m ok. I apply makeup, go to work, make jokes, cook dinner, hang out with friends, the same regular shit.

Sometimes I’m overcome with sadness (I turned on the radio yesterday I the car and the next thing I knew my cheeks were wet).

Sometimes I’m great! Clarity! Cleaning! And clutter? Adios!

But occasionally I am overwhelmed with a rage so cold that it burns. It burns its way from my heart to my neck and hangs out there for a while. A heat pack helps, sometimes.

‘Scuse me. Gotta go heat one up…

Mad Lib Tuesday

It’s Mad Lib Tuesday!

Well, I missed last week, so I'll try to make it a biweekly feature instead, through Project Labyrinth. Today's is How to De-Clutter, and here's the link. Post your result in the comments!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

You know what's humbling?

Continuing to clean out and throw away stuff, and come across an oooold CD, containing (among other things) your marital (read: divorce) settlement agreement from 2002 and a personal mission statement from 1999, and realize they were both reasonable, and that the mission statement could have been written yesterday.

My Personal Mission Statement,  5/21/99

To find happiness, fulfillment, and value in living –

I, [theclevercat] will –
  • Lead a life centered on the principles of honesty, integrity, fairness, and quality.
  • Remember what's important in life is productivity, generosity, learning, and personal growth. I will also remember the importance of family and my happiness.
  • Respect the admirable characteristics in others, such as being enthusiastic, ethical, and organized; and attempt to implement similar characteristics like being proactive, sensitive, and truthful into my own life.
  • Recognize my strengths and develop my talents as an intelligent person who is resourceful, open-minded, creative, hardworking, and a good writer.
  • Humble myself my acknowledging that I can be sarcastic, impulsive, and often late and by constantly striving to transform my weaknesses into strengths.
Envision myself becoming a person who:
  • [Ex-husband] thinks is fun, truthful and loving.
  • Mom thinks is ethical, creative, and sensitive.
  • [Friend] thinks is self-reliant, loyal, and giving.
  • [Ex-boss, a great boss!] thinks is hardworking and responsible.  

My Personal Goals
Sharpen the Saw: To fight for what is right. To never "settle". To learn something new every day and apply that knowledge to my days. To tell others what I need and want to function as best I can. 
Wife: To love [ex-husband] and be affectionate with him. To keep him happy and satisfied and with a full stomach. To be someone he always wants to come home to. To be supportive and never to push or stifle him. To nurture his growth. To show him that books can be fun. 
Daughter: To keep Mom and Dad proud of me. To be ethical, patient, and strong. 
Sister: To be supportive when asked for direction. To give helpful answers to questions. To guide her through any rough mental or emotional times. 
Friend: To be supportive and helpful. To show my friends that beauty is what you believe it to be. 
Cook: To continuously try new things but to keep old recipes at the front of the cookbook. To get [ex-husband] to accept and enjoy vegetarian protein. To use the items we received as gifts. 
Craftsperson: To not push this aside and to keep items easily accessible. To try a new thing every month. To not go overboard buying new items. 
Assistant: To be organized. To not accept more work than I can complete in a reasonable amount of time.

Ouch. Well, at least I'm consistent.

On a humorous note, the mission statement was written in my (still favorite) font. *smile*

Thursday, March 24, 2016

It's good to have friends

For they:
  • Tell you dirty jokes when you feel low
  • Laugh with you when you aren’t
  • Remind you why you are valuable
  • Don’t “yes” you
  • Let you lean on them when you feel frail
  • Allow you to help them when it’s their turn
  • Support your choices
  • Are non-judgmental
  • Give you another perspective
  • Let you borrow their heat packs
  • Love you wholly, flaws and all