Friday, 28 April 2006


It's been kind of a sad couple of days for me... my childhood dog died last week.  Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of her on the computer that I can upload, since I haven't seen her since the age of the blog began around here, so you'll just have to imagine a cream-colored sharpei/lab mix with a big tail that curled up and around and the purple tongue of the sharpei.  And a smile that could melt your heart.

We got her at the Humane Society, where she had been a staff favorite.  My mom took my brother to pick her out - he had his heart set on a little terrier, but when he saw Shanghai (called Lady at the time) he immediately knew she was the one.

Almost every time I walked her, people stopped me to compliment Shang.  She was a beautiful dog, with a lovely temperament - though she was a bit of a scaredy-cat, afraid of loud noises and people with deep voices.  Whenever the vicissitudes of teenager-hood left me upset, she'd always lay down next to me and smile, as if to say - "it's all going to be just fine."

She lived almost 14 years, most of them healthy.  A good run, especially for a large dog.  Still, saying goodbye is never easy.


Wednesday, 26 April 2006

A Little Older, A Little Finer...

Mme. Pants Looking Good

A very Happy Birthday to the indomitable Mme. Pants!  With the grace of a hundred swans and the sublimity of a fine Bordeaux, this sly vixen once again surpasses her peers as she rides through life like a jockey at the top of her game.

"With what will she be rewarded for displaying such majesty," you ask?

"What baubles and finery will I ply her with to hold her fleeting attentions?"

Alas dear friends, for this persona nonpareil, this flower of the flock, mere worldly goods hold little charm. 

In a moment of serendipity, I was however, able to convince her to accompany me later this year on an outing to Heston Blumenthal's little place, the Fat Duck.  I eagerly await the day.

So here's to many more years of your good fortune Mme. and to many more of my good luck.

With Love - L. Pants

Tuesday, 18 April 2006


So, we're not dead.


We had a great Easter weekend, in which we ate a lot  (no, a LOT) of crawfish, played with a bebe who was unfortunately sickened by the very sight of us (how we gave him a 102 degree fever, I sure don't know), and did a lot of driving and killing of large bugs with our windshield of doom - now crack-free, thanks to Grindhouse!

Then, we came back, and Husbear worked all day yesterday while I did copious laundry and went to Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic to get some training on the recording machines.  Everyone has to work as a "director" (really just a glorified name for the guy who pushes "record" and makes sure a notation is made when each page is started) for a while before they can approach the glory that is reading textbooks into the microphone.

The book we were recording yesterday was an american history textbook - and we were doing the table of contents.  Talk about tiring work!  Two hours of reading page numbers and sentence fragments, basically.

At least I learned that it isn't all glamour, the world of textbook recording.

Then, we went out with some friends to Asti - and this time, unlike when we went a few weeks ago for Husbear's birthday dinner, we actually brought the camera and took many pictures.

What I'm trying to say here is that we have a bit of a backlog of lovely portraits of crawfish and family and friends and bottles of wine, which will begin appearing here over the next couple of days, if we're lucky.

So, for now - check out my Italian as I say unto you, "Buon pomeriggio!" -or, good afternoon!


Sunday, 02 April 2006

Girlie took a walk!

I know - try not to faint.

I've always hated gymshoes, which is probably the reason the only real gymshoes I owned (up until Friday!) were my Reebok hi-tops from seventh grade gym class.  They're still in good shape, too, which also shows you about how often I go a'walkin.

So, on Friday, I decided to use my morale-boosting day off to go buy myself some shoes.

Peep my new kicks, yo.

Peep these!  They're like slippers.  And I don't have to keep them tied, so there's nothing to trip over!  (As a girl who often trips over her laces, I can't tell you how excited this makes me.)

I had to take my new shoes on a walk - you know, show them off to the neighborhood.

Our neighborhood sucks for walking.  I live across the street from a strip mall that's a half-mile long, and the neighborhood behind me has no sidewalks.  And the one place you'd want to walk?

The one place in the neighborhood where you'd want to walk

Well, the man won't let you.

So, first through the strip mall I go!

This is the strip mall in my neighborhood...

At least when you're walking through a strip mall, nobody can run you down, because they've all left their cars running and in park in the giant parking lot.

Portion of huge strip mall

But, after a mile up and back, I thought it was time to take my life in my hands and walk along the gutter of the thoroughfare behind our house.

SUVs sped by me at 40 miles an hour, but it certainly was prettier than the urban sprawl I'd just left.

Things were blooming!  (I wish I knew their names.  I think at least one of these is a crepe myrtle - and a dogwood, maybe?)

Some blooming somethings

(Note the lack of sidewalk - but lots of gutter!)

I successfully avoided the fire ants.  I hate those things - when they bite you, it HURTS and the welt lasts a long time.

Fire ants!

I did get to see some really neat live oaks.  They're all over the place down here, and they grow in the most interesting ways.  There's one down by Central Market that's held up by chains, but it's still growing!

Cool tree

For some reason, this one's full of concrete.

Tree with concrete

This wasn't the only tree on their property filled with non-tree material - there's another one that appeared to be full of bricks.

Apparently, there's a guy running for state rep in our neighborhood that I'm going to have to check out a little more closely...

I'm going to have to research this guy.

Maybe if I vote for him, he'll let me dump things in the creek?

Well, there go my Friday night plans.

My walk was long.  Really long.  Finally, I made it home, where I collapsed onto the couch.

All that walking?  My pedometer quantified it thusly (and blurrily):

Quantifying accomplishment: Blurry style.

I don't really like having a number put on how far I walked... that just doesn't seem like many steps to me, sadly.

(UPDATE 4/9/06 - Husbear confirms that this pedometer appears to be off by at least a third - meaning I walked closer to 11,000 steps that day.  Thank god - it seemed like a lot of effort to not move my legs that much.)

However many steps I had taken, I felt I deserved some sloppy dinner.  So, polenta with shirred eggs it is!

My reward: Eggs with polenta.

There's nothing better than the feeling of coming home after exercise, having a glass of wine, and feeling all of your muscles relax.  Mmmmmmm....

And, I've gone on two more mile-long or more walks in the last two days!  I know that's not much, but it is a start.  Is this how I turn something into a habit?


Thursday, 30 March 2006

Whoza birfday boy? Whoizee? Who?

Happy birfday, Mr. Pants!

I know just which picture of you I'm going to put in here later on.  It's the one of you sitting on the bed in Florence, in your purple stripey shirt, accidentally (sure) flipping me off.

Husbear in Florence

You're in your late 20s now - how does it feel?  I'm following you in about a month, so please take notes on whether there's anything I need to know about turning 27.

There are a bunch of kids who walked about 12 miles into town from Del Valle to rally at the capitol building today.  They're either celebrating Mr. Pants' birthday (unlikely, I guess) or protesting the immigration bill that has everyone (THANK YOU, Molly Ivins!) in a bit of a tizzy.

Several groups have walked by our office on their way up to the Capitol grounds.  Some are definitely moving faster than others - a larger girl almost collapsed in front of our building earlier, but her friends helped her up and gave her some water before I could get outside, and she seemed to recover quickly.

I think this is great!  It's about time people, especially young people, really started trying to take a more active role in government.  So many of us are so apathetic too much of the time - we should learn from these kids and make our voices heard!

And that's the end of today's cheesetastic entry.

back to work!

One last thing - I'm trying out a notify list!  You'll see the messed up box on the right side of your screen - it's the thing that says "Try Our Notify List!"  If you would like to help me in this experiment, please stick your email address in the box... but, since I'm not sure how this works, please don't rely on it to tell you when we've actually updated, at least for the time being.  I'm workin' on it!

Happy Thursday Birthday!

Wednesday, 29 March 2006

Happy birthday, mamabear!

OK, a quick (and late) note wishing Husbear's mama (Mamabear?) a happy birthday.  Yesterday.

I am not one to be pinned down by these things called "calendars" and "timelines."  This is evident if you realize that I planned to blog the entire honeymoon trip before we left to go to Florence for Thanksgiving.  And, last I checked, thanksgiving was... well... (busts out calculator) a few months ago.

In other news, Husbear got an email last night confirming his acceptance to Apicius next year!  Oh my.  (Yes, Auntie, we will be checking on my visa requirements this week - I promise!)

Hey, Husbear, if you see this post you wanna put up a picture of your mama?  For her birthday?  You know you do!

Happy Birthday Mom!

a disjointed girlie

Sunday, 26 March 2006

The Little Explorer That Couldn't

Recently, my car went head to head, or should I say ass to head, with a large generator/ worklight and it lost.   Badly. 

The Aftermath

I was wrapping up things in Georgetown from a night of eventful filming.  Teamsters were hooking up various towable pieces of equipment and hauling them away.  Somehow, there was one item left over and mine was the only ball hitch left in sight. 

"It'll be fine," they assured me.

"Perfect fit.  Your truck was designed to pull," they mumbled knowledgably.

"Of course you have a 2" ball, no one has a 1 7/8" anymore," they decreed with what would prove to be a considerable amount of erroneousness.

The Culprit

Luckily, I was still a couple hundred yards from entering the freeway when the appearently attention starved light unit jumped off the hitch and rushed forward for a little more intimate contact.

As I was picking the last of the privacy-tinted glass from my hair, I couldn't help but think that the company has sweet, sweet insurance and that I should never trust a Teamster who's trying to do less work.

-L. Pants

Thursday, 23 March 2006

Polar Bear!

First of all, my car, in almost exclusively city driving, got 26.42 miles to the gallon in the last week!  With gas at $2.39 (where I filled up today), this means my cost-per-mile is about 9 cents.  Yessssssss.


I went to Einstein Brothers yesterday for a quick lunchtime bagel.  I know it's not a "real bagel", you elitists, but they do have lox and capers, and if it's toasted, it's an ok approximation.

At the counter, I gave my order (lox on an onion bagel, please).  As usual.  Then, in a deviation from normal procedure, the ordertaker asks me:

"If you were something commonly found in a glove box, what would you be?"

First thing that pops into my head?

Polar bear.

What, you don't have a polar bear in your glove box?  Communist.

I have a good reason for going polar bear - I have a little toy polar bear in my glove box, that Husbear got as a wrap gift on a movie he worked on several years ago.

But, obviously, I couldn't say "polar bear," for this would lead to Questions.  And I just wanted my bagel, I didn't want to spend precious lunchbreak minutes explaining myself.  Seriously - too much human interaction.

So I thought.  I dismissed "map," thinking it sounded a little too self-congratulatory.  Then I blanked, completely, and could only think of words like "dirt" and "polkadot."

Finally, I settled on flashlight, thinking that was closest to the image I wanted to present of myself.

"All right - that's what it will say on your order ticket."

Ah - I really should have gone polar bear.

I went to wait on my food.  The first name called out, "Elizabeth," seemed normal enough - but then, "Elephant handler."  A college kid walked up, grabbed his bagel, and said, "Actually, juggler, but I guess this is still mine."

Elephant juggler?  Or just juggler?  Hmm.

Then, "Katharine," then "Sapphire Necklace," then finally....


I took my bagel and left.


Wednesday, 22 March 2006

My Airplane Turned into a Pumpkin

Hi Folks.  Meet our friendly set garbage truck “affectionately” dubbed the Pumpkin.  Since part of my job is keeping all of the natives happy and since they don’t like it too much when we leave all of our gak strewn about their property, I get to use this big boy on a regular basis.

The Pumpkin Rides Again

Am I licensed to drive it?  Absolutely officer.  Just look over there for a second while I get out my CDL class-A and (insert mental image of me bolting into woods).

There’s nothing quite as handy for keeping an ego in check as flinging trash into this beast at 4am in the pouring rain.  It really is a great equalizer.

The film industry has an applicable saying though:  “Movie making is all about sunglasses and blowjobs, and we’re all out of sunglasses.”

Me Looking Extra Fly Plural Style

Until next time…

-L. Pants

Saturday, 18 March 2006

A (Pictureless) Pictorial Essay, by Girlie (Pants)

What I Did on My Saturday Night, by Girlie.

(Insert picture of Girlie looking frusturated, but understanding.)

I planned to do a picture essay of what I'm up to this evening, but then I found out that Husbear took our little camera in to work with him, since his big ol' professional Canon has decided to stop working.  So, he has the little camera, and I am left with the cats and a bubbling cauldron of energy.

That last is a lie.  Actually, I'm left with a bubbling cauldron of not-really-feeling-well, which I think I can fairly attribute to my St. Patrick's Day celebrating last night - I went out with work-friends to see a band whose guitarist is married to a workmate.  We had a great time, but several beers, a lemon drop, and a red snapper (which tasted great at the time, but looking at the ingredients, I don't know how soon I'll be having another) later, washed down with country griddle cakes now at IHOP, left me feeling not-so-hot this morning.

(Insert picture of what I got at the grocery store.  No, not that.)

I did make it to and from the grocery store and Hollywood Video, though - where I purchased chicken legs (which I could only find in packs of 5 or 15? -I got one with 5), rosemary, chianti, dried mushrooms, and asparagus for dinner tonight, along with a carb-frenzy of chips, mac & cheese, sandwich bread, and cereal for later this week.  At Hollywood, I picked up this documentary, by the son of Louis Kahn, which I thought looked interesting last week when we rented corpse bride and project grizzly.  I'll have to watch it closely to see if I can wholeheartedly recommend it to Brandog and sisinlaw, our resident architectos.

The eats I'm using to make Giambonetti di Pollo al Vino Rosso (Chicken Legs Stewed in Red Wine), out of our trusty awesome Silver Spoon.  I'm going to serve it over polenta with roasted asparagus on the side.

(Insert picture of Girlie desperately wrapping pancetta around half-cooked chicken legs, while the pancetta falls apart and the polenta burns and sticks to the pan and the oven takes forty-five minutes to preheat, thus ensuring the asparagus is ready hours after the rest of the meal.)

(Insert new picture of the look on Girlie's face when she realizes the wine she just licked off her finger is actually chicken blood.)

Good thing I got that bottle of wine, eh?

Well, hours later, it turned out pretty O.K., at least.  The chicken probably could/should have been cooked a little longer - but this is something I'm having to relearn, since I haven't really cooked meat at all (with this one notably gross exception) for years.

I'm having a little trouble really getting into this movie, though - to be fair, of course, I'm "watching" it while blogging, so I should probably put the computer down and actually pay attention.


Friday, 17 March 2006

Go Truck Go

My awesomely awesome badass Explorer which will run for all time and in perpetuity (please don't die), turned 200,000 today! 

Explorer Turns 200000

In other news: Explorer seen drunk in joint birthday, St. Patrick's day celebration.

Happy St. Patrick's Day too peoples!

-L. Pants

Tuesday, 14 March 2006

Congratulations - and Thievery

Firstly, congratulations are due to GQ - husbear's dad - on his new jobby job in New Orleans!  I know what you're thinking, but he and Mama Beth went to check the area out last week, and apparently it's in good enough shape that they feel comfortable making the move.  And he's getting a company car!  (And the seafood in NO is GREAT.  I think we'll be visiting a lot after we get back from Italy!)

Congratulations also due to sisinlaw for her acceptance to UT!  Brandog and sisinlaw don't know if/where they'll be moving until all of the acceptances come pouring in - of course, if'n they move to Austin, they'll surely be here mere hours before we leave town to head to Florence.

In case you were wondering:


So, looks like 2006 is going to be a year of crazy-ass transitions for the family - everyone's moving hundreds, if not thousands, of miles by the end of the summer.  Well, this should be interesting...

Grindhouse starts filming on Thursday, so this was the Husbear's last weekend at home for a while.  We took the opportunity to go run a bunch of errands - for some reason, this meant that we ended up at Wal-Mart.  I try to avoid that place whenever possible; it's usually easy to do here in Austin, but when we go a'visitin, it's sometimes the only place in town where you can buy fresh produce.

We should have known the trip was going to be a problem when Husbear missed the turn to head towards the store.  Not once, but twice.  His subconscious was trying to tell him something, but would we listen?  (In case you were wondering - no.)

After arriving, things progressed smoothly for a good ten or fifteen minutes, at which point we left our cart, with all of our shopping lists for every stop we were making that day and several kitchen items we'd already picked up, in the kid's clothing section while we went to grab shirts.  We came back a few minutes later (got lost in the store - please don't ask) to find the cart missing.  Gone.  Nowhere to be found.

Husbear went and grabbed a helpful Walmart lady (I know!  We found her!  She works in the North Austin Wal-Mart - come visit!) who took off through the aisles pointing at people's carts and saying "is that it?  How about that one?"  After examining and rejecting five or six carts, we were getting ready to give up.  Husbear began reconstructing the grocery lists from memory.

Helpful lady wanted to try one last guy - a father standing with a cart over in the shoe area.  She asks me - "Is this it?"  I said "No," but then took a closer look at the cart - and there were all of our grocery lists!  One was buried under a pile of children's clothes, and all of our other stuff was gone, but all of the lists were there!  Lady asked him in Spanish what he had done with our things, and he basically responded "what things" and sidled away quickly.

Yay!  Got our cart back.  Not our stuff, but our lists.  Ah well.  We should have left then, but we had to spend another thirty minutes blindly wandering the store and a good twenty minutes standing in line to pay, which would have been faster except we used the self-checkout and broke the machine... which kept saying over and over, in this mechanical voice, "Please see cashier for assistance.  Please see cashier for assistance.  Please see cashier for assistance.  Please see cashier for assistance." until I wanted to rip my own arm off and beat the machine with it.

The rest of the day was uneventful, thank god, so you don't have to hear about it.

Oh - we rented Project Grizzly and Corpse Bride, since we haven't seen any movies in months.  Eh.  (= my reaction to the movies, not my impression of the eleventy thousand Canadians in Project Grizzly.)


Friday, 10 March 2006

Partying Cessna Style

Downtown Austin Aerial View

As I climbed into the tiny box, with the tiny wings, I was reassured slightly by the fact that the pilot had to be in there too.  His shirt was a little baggy, but he didn’t appear to be wearing a parachute, so at least he’d be going down with me.

It was a fairly non-descript day, cool and overcast, and I was off on my first aerial scouting excursion.  My boss, let’s call him Sally, got it into his head that we needed a bird’s eye view of all of our filming locations.  We priced out various satellite, blimp and plane photo options and all of them proved either sadly inadequate or hilariously overpriced.

Me in a tiny plane

The solution?  The two of us would hire some half-crazed WWII Air Force vet to fly us around in what I can only assume was his homemade version of the Wright Brothers’ Model B.  Then, once we had gained the proper altitude, we would throw open the window and hang outside the plane with our cameras while Mad Dog barrel rolled the plane sideways.  Sally was thrilled.  I was guardedly optimistic about surviving.

Ultimately, it all worked out.  After about 3 hours, airsickness had us eyeing each others camera bags as possible receptacles, so we stared plaintively at Mad Dog until he took pity on us and returned us to solid ground with only minimal showboating and hardly any bleeding.

Austin Palmer Events Center Aerial View

We did get some great shots.  Austin looks real spiffy-like from the air and Luling, Georgetown, and Lockhart aren’t that bad either.  The shots posted here are of downtown Austin.  I was going to post the photos of all of our highly confidential sets, but I figured that might undercut the bidding prices on EBay.  Check back tomorrow for details about my firing and pending arraignment.

-L. Pants

Wednesday, 08 March 2006

Happy International Women's Day!

And a very happy birthday to Jod-why, too... Husbear's already working on your celebratory birthday dinner.  (It involves weird radicchio and very tasty green-lip mussels... but not in the same dish.  Now you're intrigued!)

I was walking to lunch today down Congress Avenue when I spotted a group of three ladies dressed in pink and black, with feather boas and big hats and sunglasses.  Being skittish (and distrustful) I gave them a wide berth, but one spied me and approached.  She handed me a carnation and wished me a happy international women's day.  Cynically, I first had to ascertain whether she was selling anything before returning her good wishes.  She wasn't... so now I have a lovely pink carnation of my very own!

The carnation actually has an ad for a celebration later tonight of international women's day (the holiday that's begging for a freakin' acronym) tied around the stem.  Unfortunately, the gathering, sponsored by CodePink Austin, is taking place at the Bar We Do Not Patronize Because of Past Bad Experiences Surrounding the 21st Birthday Party of a Good Friend (BWDNPBoPBESt21BPoaGF aww, screw it).  Since I was told to never f*ing come in to their bar again, I'm not going to tonight's celebration!  Sorry, codepink... if you do not stand for something, such as not letting barmaids get all up in your face, you'll fall for anything!

(It's easy to stand on principle when you have other plans anyway and there are lots of other bars in Austin.)

Have a happy IWD!


Wednesday, 01 March 2006

Where I've been the last few days

Where I've been the last couple of days

In case you cared, this is what I've been up to:  taking lots of pictures, most of which ended up either extra-blurry or filled with unidentifiable subjects.  I've literally got a thousand of these, of which maybe 50 are good enough to look at twice.

Husbear's been extra busy... he's unfortunately had to quit his job at Enoteca Vespaio.  Though he hated to quit, he just couldn't figure out a way to make the schedule work.  He's on a movie right now which will be filming nights for the next four weeks (give or take a few days) which would have made it completely impossible to work nights at Enoteca as well.

I know he was sad to leave... he learned an awful lot there, and (not to speak for him) it really seems to have cemented the direction he wants to go from here.


He's ready to send in the application to Apicius!  My goodness... this means it's probably time for me to see if there's an Italian program I can take, so I can qualify for a student visa as well.  Off to research...


Friday, 24 February 2006

I'm a travelin' man

As I was driving home yesterday up I-35, a green Ford Escort station wagon passed me.  There were sheets of notebook paper stuck to the inside of every window, and on one sheet was typed neatly:

"Jesus is your ticket to heaven.  But you can't buy him on Priceline."


You can buy a ticket to Corpus Christi, though, if you want.  And you never know - with all the crazy stuff for sale on eBay, you might actually be able to buy a Jesus relic or two.


Thursday, 23 February 2006

Learning from the Florentines while still in Austin

I was out today for lunch, with this invaluable book propped up against my water glass, when the waitress came up to me.

"Are you planning a move to Italy?" 

"Yes, my husband is supposed to be starting culinary school there this fall."

"Really?  Where in Italy?


She paused and looked at me, balancing a pitcher of iced tea, a pitcher of water, and two empty plates, and said, "I guess Florence is nice, if you like that sort of thing.  It completely lacks modern amenities, though."

And I could not for the life of me figure out what she was talking about.  I mean, they have hot AND cold running water, our prospective apartment contains a full refrigerator, a dishwasher, a washing machine,  and an air conditioner (which I plan to NEVER turn on, lest we get socked with 300 euro energy bills), Italians are famous for their cell-phone consumption... I was drawing a complete blank.

I guess my confusion showed on my face, since she said, "Well, they don't have supermarkets."

Ohh-kay.  I've always thought it would take some getting used to, going to like six different stores to put together a meal - you know, the pasta stand, the root vegetable guy, the lady who sells the best peppers, the awesome bakery down the street, the wine shop, and the butcher's - but I don't view this as being backwards.  I think it's a much better way to look at food, and though I might get testy popping into one place for my butter and another for my bread, I believe I'm going to come out of it with a better appreciation of the people behind the food.  (Speaking of appreciating the people behind the food, we finally opened the fig preserves we bought from the lady I described in this post - and they are delicious.  Not too sweet, just nice and figgy.  Back to you, girlie.)

When I go to our local HEB, I see so many people with their carts full of boxed foods, or meats wrapped in styrofoam and plastic.  We're so out of touch with our food here, and I'm so excited to learn from the Italians about what makes a good ball of mozzarella, or how to grow the best basil, or what you feed a cow to make the steak taste that good.



Thursday, 16 February 2006

I'm really not good at writing about my feelings, so let me just say...

Carol, we're really going to miss you.  If anyone could have beaten this, it was you. 

ee cummings said that the most wasted of days is one without laughter, and you knew this better than anyone.

New Years Hot Springs-18


Thursday, 09 February 2006

Yo, G to the G to the willy-willy Q!

So, I'm just too sleepy to do a real post tonight - though we are starting to get a backlog on Flickr of photos we need to post.  I've got another honeymoon post in the pipeline (though you can refresh your memory here, if you'd like), and we went to this completely fun new meat pie (!) restaurant last weekend that we're totally going to post about, seriously, just hang with us for a minute here. 

Gawd, you people.  So demanding.  :-)  (Or maybe that's just my delusions of grandeur, telling me that there are people besides myself who care how long it takes me to get up another post about a trip we took almost two years ago.  Yeah, that's it.)

(By the way, is everyone rejoicing that Barbie and Ken are back together?  Thought so.)

I actually wanted to post tonight because the father-of-Husbear, GQ, is in Malaysia for a business trip right now - I just wanted him to know we're thinking of him, and hope he's having a grand ol' time!  And, if I were a lesser person, I might add that we're awfully jealous and sure would like to have been allowed to stow away in his luggage, if he hadn't been all "no, that's illegal" and "you really can't travel in the cargo hold - that's very dangerous" and blah blippity blah.  Wouldn't even meet us halfway.

'Course, the last time GQ went to Malaysia, he brought back the most fun cookbook EVER, which Husbear used to make this.  (He's actually made a similar dish before, which he blogged here.)

Tempeh and Asian Greens in a Tamarindy Stir-Fry

That's a tasty tamarind-based tempeh stir fry, if memory serves me correctly.  This is why we shouldn't be allowed to build up a photo backlog - I look at this picture and think "yeah, that sure was tasty... but what the hell is it?  Eh."

The bookbook (or cookbook, whatever floats your boat) is called A Cook's Guide to Asian Vegetables, and it is awesome and quite comprehensive and thorough.

Anyhoo, Husbear's working brunch prep for at least a half day (= 8 hours) on Saturday - so maybe I'll just go ahead and use that time for posting about our arrival in Santorini.  That is, unless I write 750 words about how much Bob Costas sucks for not EVER, EVER shutting up during the Olympic opening ceremonies.  Yeah, I'm still mad at him for talking all the way through the Athens opening ceremonies.  Gah.

Or maybe there will be no post at all this weekend - mayhaps I enjoy keeping everyone guessing, including myself.

Have a happy Friday!


Wednesday, 08 February 2006

Gather 'round quietly...

So, I hope our four readers can keep a secret, 'cause I'm pretty excited about this and have to put it on the internet....

We bought our tickets for Italy yesterday!  

Phew, glad I got that out.

Of course, now it's time to commence the freakout about just how much has to happen between now and when our flight takes off on the 16th of August...

We have our flight and a place to live so far, and that's it.  Now we need to figure out student loans and applications and visas and banking/credit cards and insurance and cell-phones (should we or shouldn't we?) and internet access and jobs? and how I'm going to break the news to my boss.

Yeah, there's a little bit to do.

And this much time to do it in!

hoo boy.  We've got some work to do...


Sunday, 05 February 2006

Happy Superbowl!

Superbowl Guacamole - Grilled Avocado and Lime

Well, since there's guacamole made, Corona and chips purchased, and limes wedged, it must be almost time for the Superbowl!

Husbear's been cooking for several hours already.  He's made bean dip (don't groan, this one is actually from scratch and looks/tastes awesome), the aforementioned guacamole, and a mexican-style tempeh/green bean/onion/pipian stirfry we're meant to eat in lettuce wraps.

Superbowl Eats Triptic

We do have friends coming over to help us out with all the food, though.  And the beer.  Thank Gd.

This year Mr. Pants took the guacamole for a little twist...

Grilled Avocados for Guacamole

He showed the avocados and limes who's boss by grilling them first, and then adding the usual cilantro, chopped red onion, bit of serrano, and his garlic/salt paste.

While he's been doing this, I've been cleaning the house.  Since if I tried to make guacamole it would taste like the death of an avocado, this division of labor suited me fine.

Gotta finish getting everything ready... go Seahawks!  (we've decided at the last minute.  Though, as we all know, it's the advertisers with their $83,333 per second ads that are the real winners.)

Have a great superbowl!


Monday, 09 January 2006

Who knew?

Well, I learned something today.  Apparently, I'm a socialist?


You are a
Social Liberal
(70% permissive)

and an...
Economic Liberal
(11% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Who knew?  It's pretty simplistic, but fun nonetheless...


Thursday, 05 January 2006

Feel the Burn!

Last spring, spurred by the traditional post-wedding weight gain, I bought a couple of Pilates DVDs. You know, I was beginning to think that it was getting close to the time for me to maybe start thinking about working in the direction of possibly getting in shape.  Ish. 

I'm sure most people know where this is going.

For a week, I was into it.  I was already starting to feel more flexible.  Then, I decided that it really is a lot more fun to a) sleep in in the mornings and b) flop down in front of the TV after work.

Then, we went to Florence, and lo, there were many pictures taken of my giant neck, and lo, we were surrounded by tiny Italian women and beautiful Italian clothes made for these tiny Italian women, and the girlie, she did decide to actually do this Pilates thing.

I'm actually proud of myself, because with the exception of the holidays, I've been doing this almost every afternoon when I get back from work, for at least 30 minutes.  I thought I was kicking a buncha ass.

Today, however, I tried to move up to the intermediate workout on this dvd.  (I highly recommend that DVD - in my completely uninformed opinion, it's better than the Ana Caban one I also bought.)  Now, I feel like my legs are about to fall off, my abs are going to spring directly off of me, my arms are going to melt, and my lower back is going to start seizing.

I think I'm going to toddle off to the bath.  Ow ow ow ow.  But also, yay!  I did it!  And shared it with the Internet!

(Oh, and then, I'm going to edit the pictures we took on Capri when we were on our honeymoon, because I'm going to finish blogging that trip if it freaking KILLS me.  Which it won't.)

Sunday, 01 January 2006

And a Happy Hanukkah, too!

Hanukkah was late this year, so tonight was the last night.

Every year, I end up with a few leftover odds-and-ends candles laying around from my Hanukkah box, since they usually include extras for sausage-fingered folks like myself.  This year, I actually managed to use them all up, though we did have to throw in a birthday candle tonight, to fill up the menorah.  I like the effect.

Hanukkah 8th night Jan 2, 2006

So, until next December 15th - happy Hanukkah!


Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year's Eve last night!

We've been lounging around all day in our pajamas, pretty much, after getting to sleep waaaay too late last night.  Husbear has to go to work tomorrow (he thinks) and then I'm back on Tuesday, so this is the last day for us to just enjoy each other's company before heading back to the grindstone.

For the last 6 yearsish, we've had sushi every new year's eve - which we unoriginally call "Sushi New Year".  (Other name ideas are appreciated.)  Last night we went to Korea Garden (across from the yellow rose!  um, that link's probably not work-safe) with friends...

Girlie and the Husbear ready to go out

This is us, just before leaving.  The feathers in my hair are from my parents for Hanukkah - man, do I like that hairpiece!  It's a lot of fun to wear, too.

We had some champagne over at Mike and Susie's house, and then went out to eat.

friends at dinner at korea garden, new years 2006

It was an awesome time!  (At least, it seemed like everyone had a good time - I think everyone's sure I'm a lush now, since I spent the whole meal pushing sake at them and yelling "It's New Year's Eve!  Woooo!".)

Though we did order a lot of food, we didn't take nearly as many pictures as usual... but that's just on account of we were having fun, see?

Sushi at Korea Garden

This restaurant is actually the same place we went for Brandon's 30th birthday back in October - during that meal, we actually did take some good pictures.  Maybe some day I'll post them?

I hope everyone is recovering nicely from their New Year!  Happy 2006 - next year in Florence!


Thursday, 29 December 2005

Christmas, en el stilo de famiglia Husbear

Ah, Christmas.  I know everyone has their different traditions (it's really the same way for Thanksgiving), and each family does things their own way.  Since I'm Jewish, and my family didn't do Christmas (apparently that suprises a lot of people, that Jews don't do Christmas?), I don't really have a lot of expectation built up.

That being said, I really, really love spending Christmas with the Husbear's family!

There's lots of food:

Ribollita and toppins

(Ribollita, traditional Tuscan stew, with all the toppins);

Christmas tryptich o' eats

Various tasty casseroles, including the best broccoli-rice EVER, and rolls;

Turkey, panade and casseroles

Cornbread dressing, giblet gravy, sweet potatoes with gingersnap topping, fried turkey, roast turkey (gotta have two kinds!) and panade (bread, onions, cheese, salt water);

Turdilli and Blueberry biscuits

Turdilli, Italian fried cookies, and blueberry biscuits;

And of course, lots of other wonderful food that we don't have pictures of.

There's also lots of family!

Triangle of Family

Hi, everyone!

And a cute little nephlet (already 17 and a half months!) named Rayne!

Rayne Pyramid

(If you click on any of these pictures, it will take you to the Flickr photo page - then click on "all sizes" right above the picture to see it larger.)

Rayne really wanted in on all of the action!  This is my favorite picture:


They say he's got the Husbear's ears!  Woo!

And then, of course - the traditional Christmas nap.

Christmas napping

He stole back the bear we gave Rayne for Christmas!

And now, back to the napping...


Ever-helpful felines

We're back from Christmas in Louisiana, and working on editing and uploading all of the pictures we took while there.  Unfortunately, we accidentally left one of our two cameras (the big'un) in Natchitoches, so we're missing a good chunk of Christmas Day photos.

In the days before we left to visit family, there was a frenzy of giftwrapping and cooking.  We couldn't have gotten it done without the cats.

Fatty in a box

Do cats know how fat they look when they do this?

Cats helping us wrap gifts

I really appreciated their help.  They really gave the paper a certain crumpled "lived-in" look, which is really what you want in wrapping paper, n'est ce pas?

Back later with more actual pictures...


Thursday, 22 December 2005

On the road again...

I'm at work this morning, unfortunately, along with most of my office.  Nobody is really able to focus, though - everybody's thoughts are on the break.

Husbear got left with the short end of the stick today; he's at home frantically cooking and cleaning and packing, with a little last-minute shopping thrown in.  We're all set on gifts, we're just a little low on those other essentials, like wrapping paper and gift bags.  He only has a few hours to take care of all this, since I should be home by 1:30 and we're leaving directly after that.  (don't rob my house, please!)

For once, I feel good about this year, since I sent out all my mailing Christmas and Hanukkah gifts earlier this week.  Now I owe the office like $50 in UPS postage, which will be fun to pay when we get back in January.  (At least by then I'll have made some progress towards paying off this giant gift/Italy/car credit card bill!)

We're bringing the cats this year - they're going to have their own Hanukkah, visiting their cousin-cats, Fritz and Feo.  I've got high hopes for the car ride.  Luckily, these cats have only gotten carsick once, and that was on a really curvy country road.  Stupidly, that bout of carsickness ended with them both vomiting on my coat.  Now, we put down sheets over everything before we leave.

This disjointed entry is done - time to wrap up all I need to before heading out for the year.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, 19 December 2005


My car broke down over the weekend.

It's getting up there in years, my little red jelly bean, the car that got me through most of college and those first awkward years really on my own.

This car's been through a lot with me, fun and not so fun.  Road trips from Columbia to DC, Florida, Philadelphia, Chicago, then finally to Austin.  Driving me back and forth to a succession of temp jobs, and then to my first real job.  Getting hit by that drunk girl in West Campus while innocently parked; that lovely highspeed spinning accident last May, backing into that Volvo in the Walgreens parking lot...

Whenever something goes seriously (or not-so-seriously) wrong with the car, I start to wonder - is this the beginning of that war of attrition that marks the end of a solid vehicle?  I remember when the first family car bit it, the brown '79 Chevy Malibu (I believe)... bought right about the time I was born.  My mother was driving, we were at 53rd and Woodlawn, right by Mr. G's before they became part of the co-op...  I just remember sitting in the back of the car as we approached the four-way stop, then all of a sudden drifting slowly through the intersection while my mom hit the brakes harder and harder.  There was an awful lot of honking, as I recall.

After that, we traded the Malibu for the Dodge Aries (looked a lot like this, except maroon.  Otherwise known as the shitbox - thanks, Dad!)

Luckily, this doesn't seem to be the death knell for the SL2 - apparently, the water pump is leaking coolant like crazy, throwing it onto the belts, which were squeaking (that's not a fun sound, by the way).  Oh, and also, the spark plugs and wires are really old, it has the original radiator (which could seriously use a flush) and the gasket on top of the engine appears to have a slow leak.  No biggie right now, but if you leave it... (dun dun DUNNNN).  Yeah, that added up real fast.

But really, $700 twice a year is a lot better than making a monthly car payment, yes?

Today, I'm in a cutey-pie rental car, a Chevy Aveo - I like it a lot!  It might be a different story, if I had to put anyone or anything besides myself into the car, but it would be a great little vehicle just for scooting around town.  Nice little trunk.  Plus, starts at under $10,000 (well, JUST under.) 

But I will be really glad to get my car back.  It's been good to me over the years.


Saturday, 17 December 2005


So, the plan today was to get up and get out early, so we could hit the shops right when they open.  We still have some shopping to do (and no, I'm not going to tell you what we're buying today)!

But, husbear's been getting in to  work this week at 6, so it seemed like it could be a good idea to let him get a little more sleep.

I'm just concerned because of this article on Snopes... the Saturday before Christmas has been the busiest shopping day for the last 8 years. 

This is going to be awesome... I'm putting on my brass knuckes before we leave the house.


Monday, 05 December 2005

A Clarification

If you're ever making a hundred crepes or so and you're cooking them off in clarified butter and you think it might be a good idea to grab one of the pans real fast like and slosh some of the butter down your finger and hand, that's a great idea.  You should try it.  You'll probably get a fun little happy mark possibly similar to my own.  Yeah.

Burns are Fun

-L. Pants

Tuesday, 29 November 2005



I got a call yesterday from my friend meg passing on some great news - she and paul got engaged over Thanksgiving weekend!

I'm so happy for you guys!  I know you'll be great together, and I wish you all the happiness in the world.

I'm so excited about your wedding!

May you always have walls for the winds, a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire, laughter to cheer you, those you love near you, and all your heart may desire.


Thursday, 17 November 2005

Yeah, I'm gonna rock down to electric avenue

So, I haven't been able to put up another honeymoon post because *someone* keeps taking his laptop to work.  Waah, I need my computer to type things with!  Waah!  (Oh, hi, husbear!  Didn't see you there.)

So, we leave for Florence the day after tomorrow.  I'm not nearly as freaked out as I usually get before big long-distance travel of this sort... but I'm not sure if that's because it's my fourth time overseas (but who's counting?) or if it's because the trip is so short.  We've pretty much got everything ready - I finally got my boots situation taken care of, though I wasn't able to get the red boots I've been lusting after.  Apparently, I have little stick calves on which I precariously balance my giant butt.  (yes, I went shopping for pants yesterday, so I'm a little fragile.)

I've gotten out all of the luggage and packing cubes and envelopes and tickets and passports and moneybelts and books and coats that we'll be needing, so that's good, but we still need to get our clothes all sorted and packed.  I'm leaving work early tomorrow, just in case anything comes up. 

I hope to have one last picture-filled post up before we go, since I'm sure we'll come back from Florence full of pictures.  If this doesn't happen, my bad.

I think the trip will be pretty productive; we have an appointment set up with the school and with one housing agency, and we have inquiries in to two more that we'll hopefully hear back from before we go.  Also, the husbear's mama plays bridge with a guy who has a sister who lives just outside of Florence with her family, so we'll be meeting her, her son, and her son's girlfriend for dinner on Sunday.  It will be nice to maybe meet a few people who live there. 

The plan, right now, is that we'll get in on Sunday, drop our bags at the hotel, and go to the Accademia to see David.  When we go on trips like this, we like to immediately go do something that really highlights the fact that we're in a new place, so this should be great.

Now, I just hope the hotel has our reservations....

Wednesday, 09 November 2005



Now that I have your attention, let me tell you to tune in tonight to watch my cousin, TamTam, (here's her fan club, which you should all totally join) on Freddie (checkyourlocallistings).  I haven't seen the show before, but I'm going to put that behind me and watch tonight.


Thursday, 27 October 2005


As you may remember from this post, I have really fond memories of growing up with the White Sox.  South Side!  I remember them losing more often then not when we'd go to games, though - but what a year this year was!

Anyway, congrats and all to them!  I can hardly believe it... 88 years? 

Looking around online, I found this fight song... bless me if I have any idea how it goes, but maybe some of the old-time Sox fans can help me out!



(ahem... this song sounds like it's not very good.  But, anyway, WOOOOO!)


Tuesday, 11 October 2005

Brilliance in Action

Seen this morning on IH-35 southbound, 7:25 AM:

GMC Yukon towing Jeep towing Toyota pickup.

Does the fact that the pickup had "In Tow" written in scotch tape on the back window make that any more legal?

Please discuss.


Monday, 10 October 2005

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

Finally, it's a great day outside.

I took advantage of our 70 degree weather to walk down Congress avenue for lunch at Silhouette.  One of these days, I'll take the little camera down there so everyone can see pictures of my lunch, which is totally fascinating.  I'm kind of a regular there; their lunch specials are really well priced.

The Husbear's working late tonight (what else is new) so I'm considering going for a long walk while it's still light outside.  I'd love to get two of these for the kitties, because they could use the excercise as much as me, but I don't know if they'd submit to the indignity. 

Who am I kidding.

Sad Kitty: A Haiku

As long as there's food at the end, I think they'd be cool with it.

We went to see Serenity on Saturday.  I know it's sacreligious to go, since I haven't seen a single episode of Firefly, but we went anyway. 

It's rated PG-13, so I was totally taken off guard by the level of violence... it was good, but the violence wasn't cartoony at all, it was pretty explicit, which isn't really what I expect in a PG-13 movie.  Great story, though!  I think it did make me want to rent the firefly series.

It for now... I think Husbear's planning to put up a post about Korea House in the next couple of days, so look out for that.


Monday, 03 October 2005

L'Shanah Tovah Tikatevu!

Happy 5766, everyone!

It's that time of year when we get to eat apples and honey and honeycake and all sorts of good stuff... but also time to start reflecting on the many ways we screwed up in the last year.

I hope everyone has a very happy Rosh HaShanah!

Wednesday, 07 September 2005


Lest anyone think me heartless, please realize that the reason I haven't written about the devastation on the Gulf is because others, as always, have been able to say it better than me.

It's heartbreakingly awful.

Go Fug Yourself, that paragon of wonderfulness, has put together a great (and it seems, pretty comprehensive) resource list for donations.

Jason Mulgrew has a link to this interesting post, by a guy named Ace Cowboy.  (I heard Fats Domino was located, by the way).

Television Without Pity, another of my favorite sites, is doing a fundraiser for students displaced by Katrina.

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by this disaster.


Tuesday, 23 August 2005

People Aren’t Crazy

Wait. What did I say? No, no. I meant people are totally batshit crazy. 

Mme. Pants has the prime privilege of working in a downtown office at street level that always has unlocked doors. This offers the unique opportunity for her and her co-workers to interact with and be educated by any person who just happens to stroll in. Without this exceptional location she would have missed several beneficial lessons instructing her on how the world actually works.

A few weeks ago a man delivered an educational essay that has been one of my favorite. I re-post it here in the hopes that you too will find it insightful and enlightening:

Child kid-knapping per subsonic radio frequencies. It is the real threat children face now. It is conducted by law enforcement and their operatives against the families of people they have chosen for extortion. The campaign staffs of the GOP have sold an idea to police and federal agents that they can enhance their salaries if people are denied police protection. In short, they have opened the streets for confidence games. The most common of which is to demand money as ransom. I this scam, the children are not actually abducted, but rather harassed continuously so that they cannot perform. Many school districts teachers have adopted this tactic. It is known. CIA has the players identified, and most of that was to provide lawyers with information to sue the operators of this scam.

This is done in conjunction with a pyramid life insurance scam that brokers policies on people involved with this nation wide for leading a “high risk lifestyle.” The purpose of that seems to be to enhance commissions and dividends to pay off the blossoming national debt as well as to provide funds for arms procurement. It’s an ugly world now if you or your staff have been duped because it’s all in the hands of U.S. Attorneys who can hand off the cases to private lawyers like Baker and Botts. Covenants really suck these days so beware… the primary operatives in this are the Neo-Nazis of America per George Bush targeting apartment renters and mortgage holders who’ve nearly paid their mortgages off.

See. Now that that’s cleared up don’t you feel better? Remember, the more you read, the more you know.

L. Pants

Thursday, 18 August 2005

Oh, the restaurant life is the life for (him)

So, Husbear's been working at Enoteca Vespaio for several weeks now, doing such glam things as hanging pictures and throwing around trash.  (Into proper receptacles, of course!)
The restaurant opened for business yesterday, 8/17; the opening had to be delayed a couple of days so that they could get everything ready to go.  They programmed scales, cleaned frantically, and finished getting the decor up.
I gather there were a couple of minor blips yesterday (i.e. forgetting to get any bread from the back with which to make sandwiches), but the Husbear reports that feedback is overwhelmingly positive.  The polpetti (pork meatballs with housemade breadcrumbs and fontina cheese) have been getting an enthusiastic response, probably because they break the pig down into its constituent parts right there in the back.  They also are making all of their charcuterie in-house, a very tall order, but one that is in my mind probably going to be well worth the extra time.
I'm sure Enoteca is going to do really well... since I work downtown, I'm well aware of the lack of local places to eat a really good lunch around here, especially on South Congress.  (I know, I know, but even Guero's gets old after a while, and while Zen's pretty good, the one on SoCo can be kinda spotty.)  It's a little expensive, with sandwiches in the $7-9 range, but the quality's really good, and Husbear says the sandwiches are ginormous.
I'm going to try to get him to bring the teeny camera into work with him so that we can get some pics up.  They don't have a website yet, which explains the people that have been visiting here after searching for "Enoteca Vespaio" on google.  (Hello, people!  Feel free to leave a comment!  welcome, etc.)
I'm totally going to have to go down there for lunch to see if it's actually any good.  Husbear's got good taste, so I bet it is - still have to see for myself, though.


Monday, 08 August 2005

Congratulations to the Husbear!

I just wanted to fire off a quick post to congratulate the Husbear (also known as Mr. Pants -- yes, we'll settle on a nickname one of these days, I promise) on his new job working at Vespaio/ Enoteca Vespaio!

Vespaio is a great restaurant here in Austin -- consistently one of the top 10.  They're opening up a new wine/snack bar, a more casual place, which is where the Husbear will be working.

He actually went and "worked the line" in the kitchens at Vespaio on Wednesday and Thursday of last week; according to him, this was an awesome experience, and he's truly excited.  He's already amassing a lovely complement of scars and burns on both of his hands.

Anyway, more updates as events warrant (tm - Calvin and Hobbes).  We're both just thrilled to pieces.

Tuesday, 21 June 2005

Buy me Some Peanuts, or Maybe a Beer


Some of my fonder memories growing up are of the times my dad took me and li’l bro to see a baseball game, first at Comiskey and then at new Comiskey, otherwise known as “YourNameHereStadium”.  I remember how my dad actually used to keep score in those little boxes on page 73 of the program, and no matter how many times he’d explain what he was doing, I could never understand the little symbols.

I had my first taste of beer at a baseball game... a White Sox game, circa 1987 (?).  I asked my dad for a sip of whatever it was he was drinking, and he said “sure, but only a taste.”  I tasted, and oh, BITTERBITTERBITTER UGH.  I still remember how he laughed and said “Doesn’t taste like pop, eh?”  (Yeah, we’re Midwesterners.  Wanna fight about it?)  Then, he turned to my friend Ari’s dad and said “Brewed through a horse.”  It was several days before I got that one.

Our tickets at these games, and other major league games I’ve been to, were for the most part up in the nosebleed area, where you didn’t want to lean too far forward for fear you’d go tumbling down, down, down, and land right in the nachos of some drunk shirtless guy in section 117.

That’s what made where we went on Saturday night so darn cool.  There’s a perk that comes with my job... and that perk is free tickets to see the Round Rock Express minor league baseball team once a year.  It’s through a company with whom we do a lot of business.

So, on Saturday, we packed up our hats and our sunscreen and braved the 96 degree heat to go see the Express take on the Omaha Royals.   We had great seats, right on the third base line, in the shade the whole time.  We were 15 rows back from the dugout.

This is a really nice stadium, built in 2000 with Dell money, before the dotcom bubble went splat.  It’s a really nice place to get a beer and see a game.  And, if we wanted to buy the tickets, they’d only be $10.  Beat that, Cubbies!

We had a great time.  Had two $6 beers apiece, and stayed through the end.  Saw some truly horrendous pitching, which meant like 5 home runs (it seemed), and watched the Express get their patooties handed to them, 12-5.  What a great time.


Monday, 30 May 2005

Happy Anniversary!!!

It's the awsomerific one year anniversary for the gorgeous Mme. Pants and me. Yea!


You know you want it.

L. Pants