Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'm The IT Girl, AGAIN!

I was tagged (I'm "it") by the fabulicious Diva, from The Sugar Bar, ages ago and it is high time I volleyed a return. If you have not visited her food blog, I suggest you high-tail it over there and get busy. This sasstastic talentress is not yet 21, but I swear someday I will say "I knew her when". She may be the next Vivienne Westwood or the next food-rock-star or she'll run a chocolate hotel or I just don't KNOW what, but it will BE something glorious, that I do know. J'adore her. Anywho, she tagged me with a marathon "meme", so I best get going....

1) Last movie you saw in a theater?
The Dark Knight. Loved it.

2) What book are you reading?
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert; this book was a gift from my sister and I'm actually really surprised at how much I'm getting out of it, on a personal level. The book is triggering ALL sorts of food for thought, pray for thought...and well, I haven't gotten to the love for thought yet.

3) Favorite board game?
Does a cutting board count? How 'bout cutting board with my Global knife?

4) Favorite magazine?
They are all boring me to SNOT right now. ALL of them.

5) Favorite smells?
My hubby during a hug. My dogs' heads and necks. Cooking. Baking. Fresh rain.

6) Favorite sounds?
"The Sultan of Brunei decided to give you 1/2 of his fortune"

7) Worst feeling in the world?
Helplessness. Depression. Apathy. Inertia.

8) What is the first thing you think of when you wake?
I could LIVE in this bed, it's so comforting here.

9) Favorite fast food place?
I don't eat fast food. Unless Chipotle is fast food? Then THAT, times a bajillion.

10) Future child's name?
Wait, do you know something I don't? Are you pregnant with MY CHILD?

11) Finish this statement - "If I had a lot of money I'd..."
Live well, give generously, do what makes me happy. Eliminate the words "coach class" from my vocabulary immediately.

12) Do you drive fast?
Does my dog pee in the house? Does a bear shit in the woods?

13) Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?
Nope - two real ones (see "does my dog pee in the house" above), plus my husband - so I guess that makes 3 real ones.

14) Storms - cool or scary?
Cool, mang, cool. Unless your roof gets ripped off during the storm, then not.

15) What was your first car?
Toyota Corolla - which I totaled by flipping 4 times while trying to miss a possum who was crossing the road while I was driving 80mph, without a seatbelt. This was 10 days after my Mom died, which was not good timing to end up in the ICU, from my family's perspective. Good times.

16) Favorite drink?
Diet coke or sugar free kool-aid. Yesssssss, I know about the sweeteners. It was aspartame or crack and I chose the former.

17) Finish this statement - if I had the time, I would...
...figure out what I do with all of the time I already do have and do nothing with...

18) Do you eat the stems on broccoli?
I do - and then I say 10 Hail Marys.

19) If you could dye your hair any other color, what would be your choice?
Wow. I dunno - maybe reddish? Or, what about lime? Can I go right back to my original color? Is this a trick question?

20) Name all of the different cities/towns you've lived.
Madison, Eau Claire, Janesville, Minneapolis, Denver, Boulder, Eldorado Springs, Phoenix

21) Favorite sports to watch.
None. Gawd, easiest one. Wait! I do like watching the Tour de France! There, found one!

22) One nice thing about the person who sent this to you?
Just ONE? She is incredibly beguiling.

23) What's under your bed?
Besides the floor and the hidden dead bodies? There better be NUTHIN', folks.

24) Would you like to be born as yourself again?
Hell to the NO. I've been here, DONE me. I want to try someone else on.

25) Morning person or night owl?
Used to be a night owl, now a morning person.

26) Over easy or sunny side up?
Um, scrambled? Otherwise, not too runny or I get the willies.

27) Favorite place to relax?
By some water. Or, on my sofa - cuddled up with sleepy doggies.

28) Favorite pie?
Blueberry - by a landslide. PLEASE. There is no other.

29) Favorite ice cream flavor?
Moose Tracks. Evil, addictive, should-be-illegal, I-secretly-HATE-you, go-F-yourself, to-die-for Moose Tracks.

30) Of all the people you have tagged, who is the most likely to respond first?
Well, that's the thing - I'm not going to tag anyone directly. After my last tag, so many people said "oh THANK you for not tagging me" - that I'd feel like an asswipe if I tagged ANYONE. So, I'm not going to tag anyone. However, if anyone wants to use this meme - please do consider yourself tagged and I'd love to see your answers!

So, since I once again stripped before you and bared my fragile, shaking soul - maybe you could answer ONE question? One teensy widdle question? Come on, MAN! I'm all ALONE in here!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Carpet Art, A Dog Psychic, & A Throwdown

It's been a dog day. I had a few things rolling around my brainage about which I might write, maybe relating to those napping cookies. Perhaps I'd wax poetic about specialty flours and my vast, exhaustive knowledge about them. But, first of all - I remembered I lacked said knowledge; and secondly, the day was just refusing to allow for luxurious moments of research and digging into food pornage. Fine, here's this instead.

I was on the phone with my dear mother-in-law (MIL) and we were discussing her dog, Cody, who is having issues. As we're talking, one of my dogs, Wylie, drops his chew - this should have been my first clue of BADNESS COMING since Wylie is extremely possessive of his chew. Then, he suddenly leaps down from the couch. I'm all, whatever dawg, and keep talking. Suddenly I hear a sickening and unmistakable noise coming from Wylie - a rather squirtening sound, if you will. Oh shit. Figuratively. Literally. And he's traveling to complete his carpet art. Here, there, over there - all over every possible carpet fiber.

And, yeah - I'm still talking on the phone, it's important (more on this later). Mind you, Wylie is ALL heart - and now that he's finished, the poor emptied fella lays down and looks at me - and he's all do you want me to go in the other room and cut off a paw because I will totally do it, I will - I just couldn't hold it. I get up, go over and kiss his little face, pick him up - and with phone stuffed in my shoulder area, proceed to clean him up while STILL talking. I get him cleaned up, he keeps his paw. I then proceed to clean the carpet with that enzyme crap that is supposed to clean crap and it's not working for crap, but what am I going to do - rip the carpet up while I'm ON the PHONE? I have my limits. Anyway, got 'er done. Or so I THOUGHT. Clearly, I am the daughter-in-law of the YEAR.

So, I was finally back to sitting on my couch - comfy at last - still talking about my MIL's dog, Cody. We were discussing his latest session with a pet communicator. What? Yes, that's right. Now, before you go thinking we're a nutball family 'round here who calls every 1-900 Tom, Dick, & Harry Pet Psychic when one of our dogs whines, please - don't go all LaToya Jackson Psychic Network on me, okay? She just got this little dude and I met him on my recent vacation. We are dog people through and through - and we have never in our lives seen anything like this little guy - just a shut down little dude, but he came from a completely wonderful home. After a bunch of vet visits (perfect health), my MIL remembered a Pet Communicator's name she had and *boom*, without boring you with a bunch of details - this woman pegged Cody completely, from just a picture - and he is depressed and misses his sister, Olivia, who he was with for a year. So, we're discussing a very depressed little doggy - and even crap will not keep me from this discussion.

But as I'm sitting there on my lovely sofa, I keep getting little whiffs of that bad smell - I know what it is, but I CANNOT find where it's coming from - I really can't, but I know it's somewhere on my lovely sofa. And now I'm thinking I might have a job for that damn pet psychic.

So, that was my dog day - and why this wasn't ALL ABOUT THE NY TIMES CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES. Moving on to those cookies, finally.....

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Well, a couple weeks ago, the NY Times caused quite a stir with their article about the ultimate chocolate chip cookie, which included a recipe originally by Jacques Torres and then adapted by David Leite. I tried the recipe and was kind of ho-hum about it - and it left me wondering if the two specialty flours really made much of a difference. So, I had a throw down with myself - I made the same recipe the next day, but with all-purpose flour - because I really didn't want to recommend the specialty flours if I didn't find them necessary. The result? Use all-purpose flour, period. Yep. There is almost no difference between the finished product, except cost. The big takeaway from this recipe is: go ahead and sprinkle some sea salt on the tops of your chocolate chip cookies before baking them - that was a WOW, brings out the flavor, and leaves a wonderful lingering finish (and of course add salt to the batter). Are they the consummate chocolate chip cookie? Not really; they're pretty darn great. Honestly, I like my cookies softer, more giving - so, I'm just not feelin' the ultimateness. So, there ya have it, folks. Wait...the OTHER problem: the fact that you have to let the dough rest in the fridge overnight - okay...HOW MANY times do you think I was IN that bowl eating dough? Yeah. PROBLEM.

2 c. minus 2 T. (8 1/2 oz) cake flour (or AP flour*)
1 2/3 c. (8 1/2 oz.) bread flour (or AP flour*)
1 1/4 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 c.) unsalted butter
1 1/4 c. (10 oz.) light brown sugar
1 c. + 2 T. (8 oz.) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 1/4 lb. semisweet chocolate chips/chunks/discs, at least 60% cacao
sea salt

In a bowl, sift together flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Using a mixer, cream butter and sugars until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time - mixing well after each addition; add vanilla and mix. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Add chocolate and stir with wooden spoon to distribute throughout dough. Press plastic wrap against dough and place in fridge for 24-36 hours (up to 72 hrs. max).

To bake, preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheet with parchment or baking mat. Scoop golf-ball size pieces of dough onto baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between cookies. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, about 16-20 minutes. Transfer pan to cooling rack for about 10 minutes, then remove cookies from pan and place directly on rack for further cooling. Repeat with remaining dough. Eat warm or store in airtight container. ENJOY!

*Count yourself lucky whenever flour measurements are given in weight, because with "cups" (volume) - you can end up with huge variances depending upon how you get that flour into those cups. So, if possible - use your scale to measure 17 oz. worth of AP flour; if you don't have a scale, use 4 c. of AP flour.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hype - Cookies vs. Batman

Over the weekend, I encountered two things tied to extreme media hype:

1) The New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe - and -

2) The Dark Knight

It reminded me of the period leading up to when Eyes Wide Shut was released - I saw the movie and found it anticlimactic. Remember that HYPE? Unreal. Being a Stanley Kubrick fan, however, I had to buy the DVD and watch it again - and then I found the movie brilliant. We saw The Dark Knight over the weekend - and wow - I must say, the hype is well founded. It was fantastic. Heath Ledger's acting, along with the entire cast, was truly incredible and his role will probably be a character study for years to come. It was poignant seeing Heath act, knowing what followed. Bittersweet.

As for the cookies? Well, I'll write more about them later in a specific post - but, kinda ho hum. I was expecting to be blown off of my rocker, had I a rocker. This was supposed to be the end-all, be-all chocolate chip cookie recipe. It required 2 specialty flours. It required 36 hours of the dough "resting" in the fridge. I guess I expected it to set my hair on fire or make me bark at the moon or run naked down the street with glee. None of that happened. I feel beige about these cookies. I want to paint a wall beige. Just beige. Not even nutmeg or toast, just beige. So, now - just to rub salt in my OWN WOUND, I made another batch of the same dough - using all-purpose flour, because crap if I'm going to recommend that you go out and buy 2 specialty flours if I don't think it's necessary. So, the frickin' dough is once again napping in my fridge while I'm hard at work. I'll bake this batch and let you know what I think. I'm just not feeling the hype on these babies.

It's like buying a Mercedes, but you found out it was fitted with an engine from a Yugo or a Chevette, ya know?

So: Cookies - 0 / Batman - 1

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Summer Of My Content...

...Rather than The Winter Of My Discontent. I'm so stink-happy with the title of this post. I don't have a ton to say about it - and it doesn't really need a load of verbosity anyway; it would end up being a bullseye on exactly that which I've spent years struggling to veer away from. What I'm trying to say is, following a long period which was the Winter Of My Discontent -- where I dove headlong, once and for ALL, into the bunghole of my past -- I think I may be experiencing, oh lord and behold, the Summer Of My Content. Proof:

- My use of F-bombs has been more towards expletives of joy, rather than lack of it

- My recent flat tire was met with acceptance, glee even - because I didn't have to run errands and could then stay home and make Chocolate Mousse - if this is bad karma, BRING IT, RAIN IT

- I had a totally calorific vacation and did not completely lose my mind and make my usually Draconian ass run a marathon every day because of it; if this goddess-wannabe gains a pound or 2 on vacation, it shall be a pound of sass, goddessness, mensa-ness, or reclaimed brain cells

- There is a Chipotle opening 1/4 mile from my house. Here is a pause _____ for you to fully absorb this information. That's right. If a worthy sushi place opens nearby, I will NEVER leave my neighborhood AGAIN (okay, except for Ethiopian/Eritrean food)

- I'm sleeping. AT NIGHT. Like real people do...

- I've been tolerant, of mySELF - I mean, who IS this person already? Oh, that's right - she's the one with a rich therapist!

- And lastly? Brace your damn selves, it's a shocker. The other day a vendor came in the office and we chatted, then he left. He came back 5 minutes later with a fancy looking certificate and presented me with a "Nicest Person Of The Day Award" - I kid you NOT, dearests! Either I have been overtaken by the Body Snatchers, have been secretly injected with botox and have freeze-face, or I really AM having the Summer Of My Content. Of course, his face kind of fell when I screamed out "Fuckin'-A!!" after being presented with the award, but I am who I am, poor fella...

So, is it just me or is the Age of Aquarius ushering in a rather splendid summer for everyone? [Right now I'm picturing the very end of "40 Year Old Virgin" where Age of Aquarius is playing and all the men are dancing around like little fairy sprites, wearing flowing, skimpy pixie outfits while sporting profuse chest hair]


Some folks have given me some awards and I wanted to say THANK YOU so very much. The fact that you like me should definitely make you question yourselves, deeply. And seek therapy, quickly. Nonetheless, I thank you. I love writing this website, so the fact that others like it? Slays me. And I mean that, to no end. And I'm grateful, to no end, that you come here.

Shaye from Smarter Than Pancakes gave me the Blogging With A Purpose award, thanks Shaye!

Nicole from This Damn House gave me the Arte y Pico award, thanks Nicole!

Clumbsy Cookie gave me the Yum Yum Blog Award, thanks CC!

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!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Four Naps And Two White Russians

Things just don't always go as planned. See, I've been on vacation - and I thought that I'd write a post every few days or so - sure - why not? Well - I just don't have the time. Why not? Well that's because, apparently, I need to maintain and SCHEDULE FOUR NAPS a day, at present. I've gone pre-natal during this vacation. What the ___, you ask? Well, believe me, I'm asking the same thing. If my wretched soul is truly THIS tired - how the motherload am I even OPERATING on a day-to-day basis, right? I know, right!? For the love of godesses, I'm realizing it's a miracle I'm not a crack addict with my apparent lack of consciousness. And, what a riot I must be to take a vacation with "Oh, could you just hold this riveting conversation for a few 30-odd minutes or so, because I need to indulge my narcolepsy for just a smidge. See y'all in a bit!" Face plant.

On top of this sudden narcoleptic business (which is rather suspicious on the heels of that 5-month bout with insomnia - I wasn't born yesterday, sleeplessness!), I had a nasty run in with some Russians. You see, I hardly drink anymore at all - my body doesn't deal with it well. Well, the other night - I had a White Russian and damn if that thing didn't slither down my throat like the sweetest ambrosia ever. And then I overserved myself. I had another - I made it myself, pouring with glee and abandonment and without measurement. By midnight, I was in bed giggling to the point of not being able to breathe, I was writing in my journal - none of which is now legible - and I was tapping my forefinger on my head, giggling and saying to Tony "Ahmahgawd, I so wish you could be inside here, in my head right now, because there is such a party goin' on!" He was so proud of it all. It was a Mensa moment. Two drinks people, two. Pansy. The pain the next day? Beyond description here.

So, when I thought about posting a recipe or something this week - I fearfully visualized something like: Fill a medium saucepan with 2-3 inches of water and bring to a simmer. Fully submerge both hands in water and wait until the alkd aioguopel ZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz............

Yeah, don't think instructionals would be good right now. So, I'll reimerge into civilization on Monday - hopefully intact and all napped out. I wonder though...is this what vacation is for - your brain just kind of goes mushy, your "I'm Not Tired" button finally blows a fuse, and 2 drinks can blow your hair back?

I will say though: I'm sleepin' in, I sit all day by a lake, it's 80 degrees, it's green and lush and humid, I go for a walk or a run, I nap (duh), go for boat rides, eat, read, and am surrounded by people and doggies whom I love...DIVINE. Except for the Russians.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Tag, I'm It!

gI've been tagged by the lovely Nicole at This Damn House, whom I once described (in one of my comments on her blog) as "a Ninja Warrior, but with cute shoes and at Home Depot with a credit card". Most times when catching up on her blog, I find drool on my key board - not because she's a fellow food blogger - but because while reading: my jaw is slack, I'm wide-eyed, and my head is shaking from side-to-side due to WHAT this woman accomplishes at her damn house. It slays me. I wish she lived near me so I could invite her over for small and large home repairs cocktails. Plus, she's funny - and you know how I like that like flies on shit. Anywho!

What was I doing 10 years ago? Working as an implantable-pacemaker-defibrillator field rep - covering a 3-hour radius territory. I was on call ALL the time for hospitals, ERs, clinics, surgeries, pacer/defib checks - you name it - anytime, anywhere. I carried 2 pagers, 1 cell phone, and 1 hard-wired car phone. During the defib surgeries, part of my job (via my special computer) was to force a patient's heart into V-fib (so, basically, I killed people) so we could shock them out of it, via their newly implanted device - to make sure it worked appropriately, in a nutshell. So the stress level of my life at that time? Let's see...a 9.5/10.

Five snacks I enjoy. So easy, this is a gift! Red Velvet Cake. Chocolate Lava Cake. ["Velvet Lava Cafe" get it?]. Molten Brownies. Dulce de Leche Meringue. Straight up chocolaty things (little handful of bittersweet chocolate chips, a few finger-dips of Nutella, truffles).

Five things on my to do list. Oh shit (that's not part of the list). Get my hair cut by a professional (I've been whacking away at it myself for almost 2 years, just can't be bothered by an appointment, please!). Schedule routine mammogram and bloodwork that was supposed to be done in January (again, hate appointments and WHO wants to get boob squished to size of CREPE?; may as well just wait until next year at this point, solved!). Buy silpat (does it GET it any better folks?). "Brain Surgery" - this is on my list as a reminder to sew the ripped-open-head of my dog Wylie's stuffed-lover-dog (yes, he has a lover and we stay out of it; they're very happy together). "Let It Be" - this is something I always keep on my list as a reminder to try to be all que-sera-sera - and you know what? It works for crap.

Five things I would do if I was a billionaire. Make sure our families were taken care of for life. Do some crazy kind of something for our dearest friends. Give to my favorite animal charities so they could expand beyond belief and/or open my own animal sanctuary. Travel, travel, travel, travel - and during those travels - learn where my money would be best spent in leaving this world in a better place. Do what I love doing, in whatever form that takes.

Five jobs I've had. A counselor at a group home for schizophrenic adults. A roadie for a band (trivia: I once dated a dude who was a sound-guy for Nirvana). Program Marketing Manager. Global Education Manager. Physician Relations Manager. Bleh.

Five of my bad habits. I can't make appointments (duh!); if I do make them, I just call and reschedule, over and over. I get wild hairs up my ass (as in, OMG I THINK I SHOULD LEARN SPANISH IN 2 DAYS! And then, totally obsess - order the tapes, and then - nothing). I refresh my hotmail a ridiculous number of times a day, it's stupid; I'm just online TOO much. I despise shopping - and feel like I'm letting all womankind down because of it (though I do like kitchen-y stores). I talk baby-talk to my dogs - seriously, I can't help it - and there are no pills for it.

Five places I've lived. Denver, Colorado. Boulder, Colorado. Madison, Wisconsin. Minneapolis, Minnesota. Phoenix, Arizona.

Five people I'd like to get to know better. Okay, I wanted to put about 40 people on this list! This was the toughest part of the whole tag (and, btw, Diva - the only reason you were spared is because I still have another post where I was tagged by you!). Anyway - you're under no obligation to play, of course. Play if you like and tag 5 folks of your own, or save it for a writer's block day.

Gigi at Gigi Cakes (get ready to drool, her baking is gorgeous)
Lisa at Chocolate And (a lovely baker, check OUT her LAVA cake)
Jennifer at Thursday Drive (FANTASTIC writer, my dears, just go there and be swept away)
Laura at Hungry and Frozen (food blogger, entertaining writer, Nigella-worshiper)
Jennifer at Manager Mom (seriously, I'm addicted - she makes me spew my soda)

Also, be warned - I was tagged (as mentioned above) again - so those of you who weren't tagged this go-round, watch your backsides because I'm comin' for you!

Plus, since I bared my poor naked bleeding little soul before your greedy eyes, I'd love it if you'd share a little nugget from one of the above soul-baring-thingys...got anything from the vault?