Dirtbunny.net

No triviality too banal.


Football has begun

….but I can’t watch it on TV.  ESPN bought the rights to Itaoian football, but it is offering the bulk of the matches over a new service called ESPN+, which is available online, for a price, but not on the browser supported by my TV, which isn’t much of a surprise because the browser on my TV isn’t supported by anything.  So.  My options are footie on the small screen, or go out and buy a Roku box, whatever that is, so I can watch footie on TV for an extra 5 clams a month plus whatever Roku costs.  Yay.

 

Oh.  Lucy has cancer.  I don’t know what to do.


11 days to Football

I think I mentioned that I’m broke.  Going to the Booby Hatch cost me 1 1/2 paychecks, and paying for the part my insurance won’t cover is going to cost me another 2 paychecks, so that’s nearly 2 months of lost pay this year before you count all my other sick days, for which I am also not getting paid, so things are pretty desperae.  As in I left work early today so I could get to the bank before it closed so I could deposit an insurance reimbursement check so I can pay my rent.  Speaking of insurance, my insurance company pays 32 cents on the dollar for individual therapy, 34 cents on the dollar for group therapy, and 40 cents on the dollar for trips to the psychiatrist.  Anyhow, when I figured out last week that I wasn’t going to make rent on time, I panicked and did what I always do when I panic about money.  I spent money like I was never going to see another dollar in my life.  The result is this:

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13 Days to Football

It has been a weepy day.   I was watching a retrospective of last season and they reminded me that Davide Astori died.

A beautiful man, a wonderful defender, and a person of great character, gone way too soon for no good reason.  So I cried for him a little, again.

Then I decided to take Lucy to the dog park.  We almost never go because she doesn’t really like to socialize with other dogs, but it had been raining and I figured no one would be there so it would give an opportunity to wander around off-leash and do some hardcore sniffing, which is what she’s built for.  The route to the dog park takes me within 2 blocks of the house.  I really really miss that house.  I haven’t been by there since October 2015, when I took my Christmas ornaments.  I started wondering whether they’d made any improvements and then I started remembering the improvements I wanted to make, and then I started to cry again.

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16 Days to Football

I have finally watched the Juventus–Hellas Verona match from May.  I knew Juve won.  Of course they did.  They’d already secured their seventh consecutive scudetto and Hellas had long since earned relegation and my interwebs embargo aren’t exactly water-tight.  But it was Gigi’s last match and I just couldn’t bear it.

 

Gigi and Andrea just before Gigi got subbed off for the last time.

It turns out, of course, that Gigi decided not to retire.  He just left the Zebes and went to PSG.  I’m not sure how I feel about that.  PSG is home to an awful lot of Certified Douchebags, not least of which is Dani Alves.  But they also have Thiago Silva, who is a Gentleman Defender.  If it were anyone else, he’d be Dead To Me.  But he’s Gigi, and the Juve suits aren’t above getting rid of an icon once he reaches a certain age.  Ask ADP.  We’ll see how this all pans out.

In the meantime, Barzagli has a new one-year contract and so does Chiellini.  Cristian Ronaldo (ugh) is  a new Zebe, which turned Higuain into a want-away overnight.  There’s still almost a month left in the transfer window.  I’m checking the list every now and then but trying to pay no heed to the rumors.   Juve plays its season opener against the Flying Donkeys in Verona on August 18, and it will still have some of its senatori on the squadra.  High hopes.


Part the Second: More Cake and The Chicken

So the cake came out and I let it cool and made the frosting.  Melt butter and blend with “natural” cocoa.  Now there’s cocoa powder (think Hershey’s) and there’s Dutch-process cocoa powder (think Droste) and Dutch-process is better for pretty much all purposes.  This is a recipe that asks me to watch cold chunks of butter swim around in a bowl of flour and add turmeric to cake batter so it looks more artificial, so when it calls for “natural” cocoa powder, I know I could look it up to see which is which, but I don’t trust the recipe to know the difference, so I just use what I have.  That turns out to be easy, because I have two glass jars of cocoa powder and they are both labeled “Dutch-process” and it is unlikely that they are both correctly labeled, so I don’t really know what I have after all and I it doesn’t matter because I end up having to use them both.  I took some photos in my badly-lit kitchen.

 

Not much to see, I know.  Then I added the confectioners’ sugar, and eventually I frosted the damn thing and it came out like this:

Hm.  Bad lighting everywhere, I guess.

 

My verdict–this was pretty heavy for a cake.  There was a lot of oil in the batter and the cake itself ended up not having much flavor.  I’m not sure I see the value of using so much flavorless canola oil when it would seem that replacing some of all of that with melted butter would have made it taste like something. However, if the goal is to approximate a cake-mix cake, then having it be heavy and oily and not tasting like much of anything might have been exactly what she was aiming for.  The frosting was pretty good, and pretty easy.  That one’s a keeper.

 

Before we continue on with something that happened on Sunday, let’s do what has happened recently.

  • Um, I sat on my glasses and I could probably bend them back into shape, but I dare not try, so I’m wearing my old ones until I can get to the optician.
  • I got my first Booby Hatch bill.  I’m afraid to open it.
  • I sent my email and got a response.  He’s upset.  There has been a misunderstanding.  Who has misunderstood whom and what has been misunderstood are questions left unpondered and any efforts to fix things are absent.  So he feels bad that I think he’s a jackass, but he’s otherwise OK with things.  I feel bad that there are jackasses out there in the world that cannot be reached, but I’m otherwise OK with things.
  • I made hushpuppies the other night.  They were bland crappy bits of cornbread, deep-fried to a dark brown husk on the outside and raw on the inside.  Out of a batch of 12, only 3 were edible, and those 3 were not delicious.  Thus, my hankering’ for hushpuppies has not been satisfied.  I will have to try again with a better recipe and a fresh bottle of oil.  The apartment still smells like stale canola oil and I know you probably think that canola oil doesn’t smell like anything but if you have an old bottle of it that’s been sitting in your pantry for you can’t remember how long just waiting to be used to deep-fry something, then it is old enough to have a smell that you do not want in your one bedroom apartment.  Although if you still lived in your wonderful house, a funny smell way off yonder at the other end of the house wouldn’t be much of a problem.

 

Chicken.  So, um I love a stuffed chicken, but not dealing with a chicken carcass and I’ve been trying to come up with a way to rework this so I minimize contact with repulsive chicken guts and end up with moist stuffing that isn’t completely soggy with chicken broth.I know!  I did some more cleaning before I got to this part, although not too much more cleaning as you can tell from the stove instrument plate.  P.S.  Stainless steel appliances are the devil.  Impossible to keep shiny and streak-free.

 

isn’t completely choked with butter or sodden with chicken broth.  My latest attempt involved three bone-in chicken breasts.  I separated the bulk of the breast from the bone and chicken tender.  If you poke at it with your thumbs, it’ll show you where to put your knife, and you just cut it apart in there.

I put two the the breasts in the freezer to be used for saltimbocca, because saltimbocca was a challenge on a Hell’s Kitchen rerun and the contestant didn’t know what that was and neither do I so Ima give it a try but not with veal-ewww-with chicken.  Then I put the three bone frame/chicken tender combos in the bottom of a baking dish lined with foil and a quadruple layer of cheesecloth.  Then I made the stuffing with whatever leftover bread I had, celery, onion, sage, mushrooms, marjoram, thyme, salt, pepper, and butter, with enough vegetable broth (because that’s what I had open in the fridge) to make every bread cube damp.  Then I piled that on top of the chicken bone frames.  Then I put the third chicken breasts on top of that and folded the cheesecloth over the top and put it all in to bake for about an hour.

 




I thought all the wrapping would keep the drippings directed into the stuffing and I would be able to lift off what was edible right and leave what was not edible behind in the pan.  That might have worked, except I put the frames inside the cheesecloth.  In the end, there were essentially no drippings left in the pan after I lifted out the bundle of good stuff, so I did not separate the gross dead bird bits from the recognizable food bits and I did not manage to strain off any extra fat.  I did, however, get to pull unravelling cheesecloth threads out of food and, by turning the whole stuffing/frame package over on to a platter and pulling off the cheesecloth, it was pretty easy to lift the yucky bony parts off the eating parts, wrap the garbage in the cheesecloth, and throw it away without a lot of mess, much to Lucy’s dismay.  I don’t think my elaborate wrapping method accomplished anything that baking unwrapped chicken breasts over bread stuffing in a properly sized casserole dish with a snug-fitting lid might have done.   Turned out yummy, though.

As for other leftovers from Sunday, the laundry is only almost finished, the bathroom is only almost cleaned, the gelato base is made but not frozen, the cardigan ruffle is to finished, the salad greens are untouched, and if I’m f


Part the First: Cake

For some reason, I decided on this cake recipe.  OK.  No bullshit.  There’s a reason.  The photos were lovely.  The premise of the recipe is the allure of the boxed cake mix.  Which is disgusting.  Have you had one lately?  They taste almost entirely of artificial flavoring and the time savings is negligible.  Despite that, those beautiful photos on the boxes, well, those dream cakes look like they’d be amazing.  They aren’t remotely amazing.  Like the idea of doughnuts being so much more than the sad reality, the promise of cake contained in those photos is always way more than the reality can deliver.  Nevertheless, I was seduced.  What if someone could make a cake that really tasted as good as those photos?  I gave it a try.

Step One

Remembering all of the stained shirts from all of the many stupid little food dribbles, change shirt.  Choose sleeveless pirate t-shirt because Mr. Not Really My Friend liked it.  Because it says “The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves.”  Because fuck him.

 

Step Two

Survey Kitchen.  Question:  Is it possible to cook in a kitchen like this?

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It is going to be a good day

So.  As they tend to do when you have depression built in to your DNA, things got rough for me this spring and I went back into the Booby Hatch for 6 weeks.  Big mistake.  When I got out, I had a new friend and I had discovered that I am capable of building meaningful relationships with people in the right sort of environment.  In fact, I did not have a new friend, I did not have evidence that I could build meaningful relationships, I lost three weeks worth of pay, I’ve got a bill coming eventually for about 10-12 weeks more worth of pay, and I developed a sleep pattern that has me sleeping in until noon or 1 pm every day, which makes it hard to go to work.

I’m finally making headway on the sleeping problem, sort of.  I tried the sleep coaching offered by my medical practice, but it turned out not to be coaching.  It turned out to be a 12-week course offered in Richmond.  Classroom work in a location 2 hours away offered on some set schedule is not the equivalent to one-on-one coaching offered on an online-chat basis, as was advertised, and a set curriculum wastes my time whenever it is not addressing exactly what I need.  The problem I needed to address was immediate and acute, so I did what I always end up having to do.  I took care of it myself, because I have to.  Now, I only sleep in until 10, which isn’t great, but which does allow me some semblance of a functioning life.

I’ve been on my own pretty much since college.  I’ve always known this, but now I’m starting to KNOW this.  Example:  getting divorced means having to show up places to get documents notarized.  I show up with my documents, Eric shows up with his, they get notarized, I make copies and send them wherever they need to go.  Only Eric shows up without his documents.  TWICE.  When I told a friend this, she reacted thusly:  That tells me that you did everything and he didn’t do anything.  Just so.  He never did anything so he never had to do anything and a lifetime of just showing up and having everything taken care of for him did not prepare him for the day when he had to do more than just show up.  I did everything.

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Dirtbunny is Fucked

She cannot get up in the morning.  She doesn’t get enough sleep, mostly for reasons  that are completely her fault, but not entirely.  If she doesn’t set the alarm, she will sleep for 12-14 hours, until one or two in the afternoon.  Her ordinary alarm clock doesn’t cut it any more.  She’s gone ahead and tried out this bad boy and it works under normal circumstances, but it appears my sleep deficit has gotten so out of hand that normal rules of engagement do not apply.  She has just spent six weeks in the Booby Hatch, during which she did not get paid so it is imperative that she Go To Work and thus she Must Get Out of Bed even if she has had a mere 6 hours of sleep.  But she can’t.

Yesterday, I worked at home and it got to be about 10 pm and I did some calculations and I realized that I had already missed my bedtime window and I was going to be in big trouble and probably going to miss a day of work tomorrow, by which I mean today.  So I thought and thought and what the hell, let’s try something we haven’t tried already.

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