Monday, July 14, 2008

Back To My Previously Scheduled Life

I am officially back from vacation (I think one of my nerves just splayed open from typing that). As perfection would have it, I backed out of my driveway this morning to go about my business - except something felt all funny and flappy and weird. So I opened my car door and peered back at my rear tire - sure enough if that blowhole wasn't as flat as a boob-in-a-mammogram. Welcome home. I called Tony's office and asked that he be interrupted from his conference call so I could inquire whether it's possible to drive on the metal rim to the nearest gas station without totally ruining something or other; he says "Um, absolutely not", of course I have to ask 5 times if he's sure - indeed he is, dang him.

This is totally my own fault. I've had a rear tire problem for, oh...let's see, 3 months or so? If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you know my abhorrence for ALL things that involve an appointment of ANY kind. So, instead of making an appointment to just fix this stupid tire - I've been adding a bit of air about once a week when I get gas - because that's SO MUCH MORE convenient than getting it fixed, right? Yeeeeah. But see, I forgot to hire a tire sitter during my vacation - so here I am stuck with a flat tire because the poor thing sat unattended for ten days. I might as well have turned my stove-top burners on high and placed my houseplants on them while we were gone too, right? I know.

Considering the aftermath, maybe I'm not an easy person to travel with - but I do love to travel. Or rather, I love the destination - but I'm not the best at FLYING, per se. Do you know what I mean? Where sometimes your chemistry on the given day is just NOT set up for flying? There are flying-days when I want to crawl right out of my skin, out of my organs, right out of my wretched soul and blast out into orbit and into the arms of the global warming - rather than into the wings of that damn waiting plane of prison. I think for wonky folks like us, planes need anti-gravity rooms so the flight attendants can just throw us lunatics in there and we can literally bounce off the walls until we're at the gate, it'd be perfect.

At the same time, I think the lack of oxygen can add to the mentaltainment - adding to the loopiness and chattiness and silly monotony...

Us, Overheard On The Airplane:

T: I think you've reached the plane's allowed word limit.
A: OH! Ohmahgad, think I'm goin' to guffaw here.
T: I think you should nap.
A: I've been trying to.
T: Try harder.
A: I've had my head on your shoulder for 40 minutes, eyes closed! I can't sleep.
T: You so need to nap before me and our neighbors permanently gang-nap you.
A: Oh. OH.

A: I am so bored, I am out of my skull-mind-brain bored.
A: I hate flying, I'm not a good flyer. I feel crowded inside and out. I need space. I want to sprawl.
A: I'm done with the magazines, don't want to read, this crossword makes me mad. Sudoku can suck it!
A: I'm going to run down the aisle and scream FIRE!
T: [stares blankly]
A: I'm gonna go crazy, I really can't stand flying one more minute.
T: Okay, but you want to travel everywhere in the world?
A: Well yeah. But on my OWN plane.
T: Your own plane?
A: Well, duh! Why do you think I'm putting in my 3-days-a-week at work?
T: [calls flight attendant for new seat]

I just don't do well all packed in tight and taut. On top of that, you have the poor screaming babies and their even more miserable parents and the nearby travelers who look at them accusingly as if they programmed the child to scream during these chosen moments. Tony is always reading calmly and I'm always "Are you reading? Is the book good? Is it really good? What do you want to talk about? Are you thirsty, because I'm thirsty? I think someone is FARTING continuously!" - I mean, it really is an excess of humanity in one place - a recipe for excess irritability and clock watching and someone continuously farting nearby.

I think I have a solution. You see, we take our dogs with us in the cabin and they get a little tranquilizer to help them through the flight. Well, HELLO humans - why are the canines the only species benefiting from this extremely smart coping mechanism? Listen, the airlines are looking for things to charge us for, why not DRUGS that make us better passengers? Let's get this option on the beverage cart! I know, right? Can you see it?

Flight attendant: "A Diet Coke? You betcha. What would you like with that? Quaalude? Valium? Ambien? Xanax? Yes, I'll hold the ice. A pillow? Down or tempurpedic?"

Sleepy, calm passengers who are paying more money to the airlines? Oh, win-win. Sign me up. Until I get that private jet through working 3-days-a-week, I'd be all for this proposed program. Diet Coke, Valium, hold the ice, down pillow - THANKS. [and a nose plug? should we add that too?]

So, since I was stranded at home today with my post-vacation musings and my flat tire - I decided to make us a little treat for tonight. I suppose it's a little last hurrah toward our vacation...

Chocolate Mousse

I must admit, I had major preconceptions about mousse. I just always felt it was chocolate pudding in high heels. Nothing special, nothing to get the least bit excited about, certainly nothing to blow your hair back. Wow, was I WRONG. Chocolate Mousse, my apologies for the pre-judgment. This isn't a classic mousse as it doesn't contain eggs, which may thus make it more amenable for children for those of you who don't like to use raw eggs. It's super chocolaty and rich and incredible - and FAR, far beyond what we were expecting in terms of deliciousness. Super easy to make, elegant, and decadent. LOVED IT. This dessert is totally worthy of heels - you could serve this baby in heels. And nothing else, for that matter.

2 c. heavy whipping cream
8 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt

Bring 1/2 c. of the cream just to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then remove pan from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk in vanilla and salt; transfer to medium bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.

Whip the remaining cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until the beaters begin to leave trails in the cream. Add the chocolate in 3 separate batches, beating on low speed just until well blended; the mixture might look curdled after adding the first batch, but it will become creamy.

Transfer mixture to one large serving bowl or 4 stemmed glasses. Refrigerate and cover for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days. Serve with crumbled meringue, whipped cream, or grated dark chocolate. ENJOY!


Lisa said...

Hi Ann - welcome back, and my condolences on the end of your vacation. I hear you on the flying thing! Love the mousse - mine has egg whites in it, and just a splash of rum, but yours is a masterpiece of simplicity and deliciousness!

NV said...

FINALLY! Welcome home. sorry it got off to such a funky start -- but at least you got to stay home. :-) You HAD to do chocolate mousse. One of my faves. Damn, I wish I really cooked.

dharmamama said...

I thought that's what airport bars were for?

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Welcome back! Finally! I had almost forgotten abou you... No just kidding!
I get very cranky at planes too, but what really gets on my nerves are the cues to get on the plane, as if the seats aren't allready marked! Why oh why do they insist in forming a line 30m before they open the doors? I just had to let this off my chest, thank you. I'll grab a mousee, I think I need it now.

Sugar Jones said...

YAY! She's back! And with Chocolate Mousse, no less!

My husband is a private pilot. Sometimes we borrow little planes for our trips. I have to fly commercial this week to get up to BlogHer. And then I have to go to a public terminal... with no little golf cart guy driving us to our rental... this is going to be hard... but I think I'll manage.

Thanks for the mousse recipes. I'll have to try that so that my muffin top can be extra squishy for BlogHer.

The Cheap Chick said...

Mmmmmmmmmmm.... mousse.

Welcome home! Sorry the plane part of the trip was icky. I recommend strong drink and Benedryl. Knocks me out every time. Could also be killing me, but SACRIFICES MUST BE MADE.

Anonymous said...

I detest planes, hate flying, am always looking at my watch. I can't read on a plane, I can't sleep. So, I completely sympathize. I'm all for the proposed program: give me the drugs. Love the pictures of that mousse, wow!

Anonymous said...

I want that mousse. How sucky to get a flat tire on the very day of your return to reality. How snide is that of the world? I mean I know it's kinda your fault and all, but still. Give a girl a break.

I think you should write the airlines with the new proposal. Most excellent.

Anonymous said...

We've all been waiting for you to get back, Ann, and you have not disappointed us! I think drugs on planes is an absolutely smashing idea! Could be your new career: Airline Pharmacist. Or mousse-maker in the sky (with diamonds, of course), cuz that mousse is lookin' good, too. Well, whatever flies. (Oooo-was that bad or what? Don't answer that. I need to take a Xanex and go to bed.)

Anonymous said...

First of all, what about the phrase, "give me a double vodka" are you not able to pronounce? Or, perhaps, "kind doctor, I don't fly well". Get yourself some help, sweetie. It doesn't have to be that hard!

Jennifer S said...

Welcome back! I missed you!

I think Standing Still is on to something there. Tranquilizers sound like a really good idea, so that you can enjoy traveling, or at least bear it.

That chocolate mousse looks so yummy.

Nic said...

Welcome home!
I get so bored flying too, how long was the flight?

The mousse looks divine, I like mine eggless too!

hungryandfrozen said...

Woohoo, you're back and you brought chocolate! Loved the dialogue transcripts, I always seem to have bizarre conversations on aeroplanes too...I like the idea of a nice quaalude with my hot towel and prepackaged meal.

grace said...

i agree that offering drugs is a brilliant way to may airplane travel more enjoyable. i always get antsy and uncomfortable and annoyed, no matter how long the flight.
i'm sorry about your vehicle woes, but i'm not sorry about that mousse. fantastic. :)

Anonymous said...

Allright, I am always, always seated by the person who is continuously farting throughout the entire plane ride. I am beginning to wonder if they pump that smell through the air system. I'll take a valium, ginger ale, with ice, temperpedic, nose plug.

Ann said...

Lisa - Thanks, I now need a vacation after the vacation, you know?

NV - The mousse really IS DE-lish - and I'm tellin' ya, super easy. Get Carol on the action, girl!

Dharmamama - totally, for most people. But, being such an alcohol pansy, I just don't do well w/ booze - I get a hangover about 2 hours later. So, drugs it is...

Clumbsy Cookie - Exactly! On the flight back - they actually had TWO extra "hallways" to coral us through, both to the tune of about 400 degrees. Nice.

Sugar - Oh, how FUN with the hubby, bonus! Glorious. See? That's what I'm talkin' about people. ALL the way.

Cheap Chick - totally with you. Maybe if I have ONE drink and the Bene, it'll do the trick - or at least it'd shut my piehole.

Sarah B. - if I start a petition, I shall reserve the top spot for your siggie.

Meagan - I know, I mean I *get* that I set myself up for that flat - but still, I just still felt totally put off by it, oddly.

Firefly - Love it. "Mousse Maker In The Sky With Diamonds" - and I could dance in the aisle and sing Beatles songs and everything! Could we ask for more? I think NOT.

Standing Still - Yeah, no double vodka here - unless I want a FOURPLE hangover about 2 hours later - booze does that to me. So, drugs would be my deal. Got any?

Jennifer H - Yeah, I think SS has it right, as usual, damn her.

Nicisme - Get this: the flight was only about 3 hours (hangs head in shame). When I fly to Europe, I nearly lose my mind - as if you hadn't already made that leap of knowledge.

Laura - so glad you can see it - quaalude, warm towel, food - boom, that's all.

Grace - plus, they could charge 5-10 bucks a pill and you can be sure I'd pay it - they'd make scads of money and everyone would be happy!

Marissa - I wonder the same thing. I really do. If not, WHY aren't they HOLDING it? GAWD.

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

OH. Wow. I'm in love with that recipe and those pictures are just as delicious!!!

Momisodes said...

Welcome back! So sorry to hear about the tire. I'd rather get a filling at the dentist than deal with car issues.

LOVE that recipe, and those pics have my mouth watering *drool*

Gigi said...

Welcome back! Ah, I loved your idea of offering drugs on flights! Seriously, 2 xanex are way cheaper then 5 little bottles of Jack right? Great post Ann!

Anonymous said...

my dear ann, welcome back from vacation! although it seems like welcoming u ain't so great what with the busted tire!

i travel a lot between countries and yes i do hate that tight feeling. i mean, geez, what if i was fat as hell? and i don't know why, but by some odd power of sorts, every time i fly, there is surely to be a child, toddler or baby around me. and much as i sound like an uncaring cold bitch, i don't particularly like them. and it makes me very queasy when they start crying. mostly this is about 2 or 3 seats away from me.

i totally understand what you've gone through! but i must say, a very strong gin and ton usually sorts me out. and if it doesn't, bloody have another!

p/s serve this choc mousse on the plane and i swear i'll never complain abt plane rides anymore. the mousses they serve on the planes are downright pathetic! xxx

Anonymous said...

As I face leaving this morning for the airport to fly to L.A. from Atlanta, I simply must tell you that the very same thoughts run through my mind. I am actually a very good flier outwardly -- inwardly a little part of me dies each time I set foot on a plane. After surrendering my belt, keys, purse, luggage, and dignity like a prisoner, I shuffle to my flights as a broken woman. I'm so weak by the time I make it to my seat (that inevitably is occupied by someone else who couldn't figure out that silly seating chart thingy. And then it happens: my seatmate begins to speak and does not shut up for the remainder of the flight. It boggles the mind. Why not just sit there secretly stewing with irrational rage against babies and fat people? The rest of us do.


Antonio Tahhan said...

omg, you're a hoot! i just found your blog and found your post to be hilarious (in a very sympathetic way, of course). my strategy for flying: i pull an all-nighter the day before and my body shuts down from sleep deprivation the second the plane takes off... it's a little intense, but it'll have to do until they implement your great idea : )

Anonymous said...

Oh you have me laughing hysterically!

Anonymous said...

I have the worst tire Karma on the planet.

And I, too, am prone to procrastination when it comes to setting up an appointment for anything.

Earlier this year, I had similar tire problems with my rear driver's side tire. For quite some time I was taken to filling it up with air when it got too low.

Then, not thinking, we went on a little vacation and left the car, at the the middle of winter (we actually have winter where I come from, not sure about you) with a leaky tire.

Two in the morning rolls around, and we finally reach our car after a week of disneyland which was topped off with my son vomiting all over me in the shuttle back to the hotel, and I notice that my car has not one, but two flat tires.

I'm still feeling the rage...

Welcome back.

Ann said...

Mamageek - aw thanks! The mousse really is great, and...easy!

Sandy C. - I'm the same way - I feel like if I go to the car place, they'll take one look at me and be all "yeah, we're gonna have to go ahead and replace the entire CAR" just to take advantage of me.

Gigi - yep, skip the booze and the hangover - gimme the pills and the quick recovery - YES MA'AM!

Diva - god I ADORE your straight-shooting, just love it. We're just meant to fly like sardines in the sky, period - unless drunk or drugged, or skilled Buddhists. I just firmly believe it.

Lacy - Oh Lacy just go ahead and hit the BULLSEYE, why don't you? Exactly!

Antonio - LOVE your profile pic, absolutely love it! Thanks for stopping by. :)

Kristen - Aw thanks for stoppin'!

Morton - Wow, same experience, different season. It's like we shoot ourselves in the foot - brilliant isn't it? But hey, we saved ourselves an APPOINTMENT right? Brilliant.

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Manager Mom said...

Don't wait for the airlines! You need to import your own Xanax. I have a friend who has a very elaborate pre-flight routine which involves sleep deprivation, followed by Restoril and a gin & tonic on the plane. This usually allows her to pass out for up to a 5 hour flight.

But we're glad to have you back.

Anonymous said...

I made this! And we loved it! While making it, like you, I was thinking how it seemed like I was making pudding and I was thinking it might be blah. I let it chill. We had it after dinner and WOW WOW WOW, it's incredible! Rich and thick, yet light and creamy.

So, thanks for not only entertaining me daily, but also for sharing such a great recipe. Wonderful!

Anonymous said...

The conversations you have with your husband are hilarious! hehe. I'm all for sleeping pills on long flights, either that or a bottle of vodka! hmmm. :-)

Your chocolate mousse looks divine. I love your pictures too!