rebecca_in_blue: (trembling hand)
Last night, the director of the closest Jewish summer camp (which I visited back here) was our guest at services, and we used him as an excuse to hold a congregational dinner. I usually bring deviled eggs to these things, but I got tired of being so predictable, so I made nacho casserole instead. There was none leftover, and I even got compliments and requests for more, which has never happened before! This dish might become a regular one for me, so here's the recipe for my own future reference (and if anyone else who reads the blog is interested).
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 can rotel tomatoes and chilies
  • 1 can Campbell's fiesta nacho cheese soup
  • 1 handful chopped onions
  • Tortilla chips
  • Grated cheese
  • Shredded lettuce
Brown the ground beef. Add the seasoning, rotel, cheese soup, and onions. Mix until evenly distributed and let simmer. Layer the tortilla chips in the bottom of a casserole dish (you can use Dorito's or whatever kind of chips you want; this is a good way to use all the broken little pieces at the bottom of the bag) and spread the beef mixture over them. Top with grated cheese and bake until the cheese is melted. Sprinkle with shredded lettuce just before serving. (I found this recipe for taco casserole and made a few changes to it.)

Over dinner, Rabbi W and I threw together a lesson plan for the religious school this morning. I found a copy of Jewish Holiday Crafts for Little Hands (lifesaver!) in a classroom in the back of temple, and we did a craft project where the kids made their own mini Torah scrolls from paper and straws, then we took them into the sanctuary and showed them how to dress and undress a real Torah scroll. It just sucked that the infinitely better teacher was out of town, and Rabbi W and I just are not great at teaching or maintaining control of kids. I hope no one could tell that we threw the lesson together at the last minute.

After religious school, I went to Torah study with some trepidation, but now that the election is over, we actually talked about the Torah parshah instead of yelling at each other! Hallelujah! I'm glad because the Torah parshah for this week happens to be Chayei Sarah (Life of Sarah, a deceptive title because it begins with Sarah's death is more about Rebekah), one of my favorite parshahs.
rebecca_in_blue: (raised eyebrows)
Athena was in town this weekend, and tonight Sara and I took her out to dinner at a new wing restaurant. Buffalo wings  with celery sticks and blue cheese sauce is one of my favorite meals, but unfortunately, I wasn't too impressed with the new place. But afterwards, we drove over to JC & Co's house for some fruit pizza (a sugar cookie crust, sweet cream cheese, topped with blueberries and strawberries). It was so good, I could've eaten the whole thing! We put candles on it and sang Happy Birthday to Athena. The conversation while we were over there was priceless. I almost died when Athena and Aunt Connie sang a duet of "Confrontation" from Les Miserables.

Aunt Connie has been crocheting a big blanket, and while we were over, I tried working on it, and she gave me a spool of yarn, a smaller needle, and some crochet tips. I learned how to make double loops and (most amazingly) straight edges. I was surprised at how much easier it is to crochet with actual yarn instead of plarn, and a smaller hook helped, too. Maybe if I start now, I can have a scarf finished in time for Hanukkah! Who wants it?

Things I did this weekend:
  • Went to Torah study with Rabbi W. He brought his dog with him (the cutest little Tibetan terrier) and he was a big hit with everyone at the temple. Sassy Jewish Grandparents #1 brought their granddaughters -- i.e., their real ones, not me -- to temple on Friday, so our pew got taken over by a Winnie-the-Pooh coloring book!
  • Hung up new curtains in my room. I love how much cooler and darker they make it in there. Before, my windows let in a lot of light that woke me up early. Now, in Rebecca's room, it's night 24/7!
  • Went bike-riding with my uncle. Their neighborhood has more Virgin Mary lawn statues than you've ever seen. I counted about ten of them just in the radius of a few blocks.
  • Watched coverage of Queen Elizabeth's royal flotilla down the River Thames for her Diamond Jubilee.
  • Ate the first fresh, home-grown cucumbers of the summer. This is the first summer in a loooong time that Sara and I won't be getting any tomatoes or cucumbers from Grandma's garden. Fortunately, our aunt is saving a few from her garden for us.
  • Had Sassy Jewish Grandfather #1 tell me he was proud of me. :)
On the art calendar, I'm looking at Flower Garden and Bungalow, Bermuda, an 1899 watercolor painting by Winslow Homer. It's so tropical-looking, I wish I could step right into it.
rebecca_in_blue: (pursed lips)
Rebecca's had a busy few days celebrating Passover and, to a lesser extent, Easter. On Thursday night, I dyed a few eggs with Adam. It's one of those little-kid activities that geeky, grown-up Rebecca still finds fun. These are the eggs I made (ew, look at how gross and veiny my hand is!):



Clockwise from top: the Israeli flag (I drew the Star of David with a marker; it was even more smudged in person!), the French flag, purple with white stripes, purple and gold (LSU colors, as any fellow Louisiana reader will know), and the Italian flag. I'm not sure why I made one of the Italian flag, since that country doesn't have any special meaning to me like France and Israel, but who cares?

Friday night was our congregational Passover seder. It was fun, but so exhausting! I'm not sure why, but Jewish Grandmother #2 made the seating arrangements and put me with the C. family. They're such nice people, but I admit I wasn't too thrilled about sitting next to the 6-year-old. The food was delicious, and there was so much of it! I ate everything on my seder plate, all three courses of the dinner, and an extra bowl of matzah-ball soup. The practicing I did on Who Knows One paid off, and I got all the way up to thirteen this year! Rabbi W looked so impressed.

It was fun, but I was absolutely sedered out by the end of the night. It started at 6:30, and I didn't get home until after 10! Holy Moses! And then I woke up early on Saturday morning to go to Torah study with Rabbi W. We read a little of the parsha, but mostly we discussed the mistaken belief by some Christians that Jesus's Last Supper was a Passover seder (it wasn't), which was interesting.

I was still so tired that I spent the rest of the weekend napping, writing fanfiction, watching The 10 Commandments, and eating slice after slice of matzah-bread pizza. (Sassy Jewish Grandparents #1 gave me a box imported from Israel, and I put Little Caesar's Crazy Sauce and mozzarella cheese on it. Yummy.) I did venture out today to have a lovely, delicious Easter lunch with JC & Company. All in all, it was a great weekend.


Ni Hao Yall
rebecca_in_blue: (raised eyebrows)
Most of October has been warm as summer, but a few days ago, a cool-almost-cold front came in. (The nights are too cold for Sable. You can imagine the fun Rebecca has dragging him outside in the mornings and evenings.) This is one of the problems with living in the south: you never know what the weather will be like on Halloween. Sometimes it's warm, sometimes cool, and few times cold. When I was a kid, this drove me CRAZY! Imagine trying to plan a Halloween costume when you have no idea what the weather will be like. (Then add constantly wheezing and never having anyone understand you, which young Rebecca also had to deal with.) Now, I haven't worn a Halloween costume in years and kinda miss it.

There's a thorny but otherwise beautiful, big lemon tree right outside my temple. (It was planted by a Hebrew class for Tu Bish'vat many years ago.) It's full of big yellow lemons now, but tragically, they taste piney and bitter, as is the case with just about all homegrown lemons except Grandma's. Can you imagine what torture it is for lemon-loving Rebecca to see all those lemons and know they're no good? It was too much work to transplant Grandma's lemon tree when she moved, so over the weekend, I snuck into the backyard of her old house and picked several lemons off the tree. They are so juicy and delicious! Yum! I will be going back when the rest of them are ripe.

We had a loooong, boring meeting at work yesterday evening. That was NO fun, but I did notice that the lady from corporate had a very Hebrew name and a necklace with a hamsa on it. I have to admit, I was a little excited by this.


98% of candy goes to the youngest 2% in America! Occupy Halloween!
rebecca_in_blue: (happy smile)
Congratulate Rebecca! I actually managed to fast for most of Yom Kippur yesterday. I had a few bites here and there (I made the devilled eggs yesterday, and while cracking the eggs, I cracked too) but for the most part, I managed to abstain. The biggest mistake I made was running errands on my bike after I’d barely eaten all day. Very stupid of me.

As it turned out, I wasn’t the only one to bring devilled eggs to the break-the-fast, but I will say — speaking objectively, of course — that my eggs were better. The others had relish in the filling (yuck!) and were topped with paprika; they also looked professionally made. It is a useless fact that devilled eggs are so called because they are meant to be so spicy to make you think of
the flames of hell! You can’t deliver the flames of hell with mild, tasteless paprika. I topped mine with Tony Chachere’s. For any non-Louisiana readers, it’s a very spicy Cajun seasoning that we put on everything down here. (Barbecue! Beans! Popcorn! Crackers! Pizza!) It’s also not the way pronounced the way it’s spelt. I’m not crazy about it, but it was perfect for devilled eggs.

Of course, there was more food besides just devilled eggs — brisket, three kinds of kugel, salads, chopped liver, and various different desserts. I sat with Sarah, a young woman about my age who hasn’t been attending services long. She told me she was nervous being the new person there and not knowing anyone, and boy, do I remember how that feels. I said almost the exact same thing the first time I attended a dinner after services (over a year ago now). I had tried to sneak out early, but as soon as Mr. G and Rebekah saw me walk one step towards the door, they cried, “Rebecca, you’re not leaving yet? Oh no, you have to stay and eat with us!” (I was tempted to ask them if they knew my grandma. She says the same thing every time you try to leave her house. Even if she’s just fed you!) When I mumbled that I didn’t know anyone there, Rebekah grabbed my arm and said, “I’m taking you around the room and introducing you to everyone right now!” And she did. In fact, she introduced me to too many people for me to keep straight. I introduced Sarah to a few folks last night. I really, really hope I was as good at making her feel welcome as others were with me.

“The stranger living among you must be treated as one of your own. Love him as yourself, for you were once strangers in the land of Egypt.” – Leviticus 19:34.
rebecca_in_blue: (raised eyebrows)
For the last few years, I seriously get so depressed on my birthday. I feel old enough already, and when I have to add one year onto that, I feel like I might as well stick one foot in the grave. Today I saw an old lady in a denim dress, with a bow in her long, solid-white hair, and it made me shudder. Ugh. I really, really hope I'll be lucky enough to age like Grandma.

So in an effort to make this birthday a more positive experience, I'm doing another Thankful Thursday. A few things I'm thankful for this week:

~ Hallelujah, my new debit card arrived! Finally!

~ This weather! It's a bit too chilly for me at night, but the days are so nice and cool. Perfect weather for sleeping with your window open and bike-riding! I've biked to work twice this week, and plan to do it again tomorrow. We don't get any fall foliage down here, but lots of my neighbors have Halloween decorations up, and I like biking around and seeing them. One of the things I love about this neighborhood.

~ I'm always grateful that I don't live with my mom anymore, but that goes triple at this time of year. When I biked over the other day, you could hear the high school marching band at practice and the football coach shouting orders through a loudspeaker on her front lawn (and probably inside her house too). Then there's the stadium lights and football traffic to deal with on game nights. I am so, so thankful that I don't have to deal with that anymore.

~ On Tuesday, after NCIS, Sara took me out to dinner for my birthday! We went to a local pizzeria that's been here forever but where we'd never been before. We had a thin-crust with mozzarella, pepperoni, oregano, and parmesan, and it was delicious. Then we went to the frozen yogurt place. Sara is addicted to the original tart flavor. I don't have a favorite flavor, but my favorite topping is marshmallow cream. Then we browsed around in the bookstore. I found greeting cards for Rosh Hashanah and Hanukkah!

~ On Wednesday morning, I dropped some stuff off at the recycling truck in the grocery store parking lot. I happened to be wearing my NCIS shirt (that Sara gave me for my birthday last year), and when the guy loading the truck saw me coming, he said, "Watchya got for me, Abs?" IT MADE MY DAY!

~ Today, I woke up early enough to get breakfast from Wendy's (much more to my own amazement than anyone else's) and went out for dinner with Mom and Sara. I had sweet potato fries and a pulled pork sandwich with pecans, carmelized onions, and carrots. It was a little strange, but very good.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs, February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011

rebecca_in_blue: (pursed lips)

By some miracle, junk-food-loving Rebecca got tired of Little Caesar's greasy pizzas today and got lunch from Subway instead. The sandwich artist behind the counter recognized me as Adam's sister! Actually, he just asked me if I had a brother with really long hair who ate sandwiches with lots of mustard and onions on them. (Adam goes to Subway all time and gets foot-longs with big piles of spinach, onions, cheese, and mustard. Blegh. I almost can't be in the same room when he eats them.)

This means that the guy at Subway, the lady at the sno-cone stand, and one of my coworkers have all pegged us as siblings without ever seeing us together. What the hell? Do I really look that much like Adam? *depressed sigh*

THREE DAYS LEFT until Baton Rouge, interview with the beit din, having a mikvah, and officially becoming Jewish. I'm so nervous, and it doesn't help my nerves that work has been stressful as hell lately. And it doesn't help work that people have been quitting/calling in like crazy during Back-to-School, which is by far our busiest time of the year! I had to work late again today. But I am trying to stay focused and just get through the next two weeks. Then it will be over, and fall, cool weather, and Season 9 of NCIS will be right around the corner.
 
This is a parody of The Empire Strikes Back that I wrote a while ago. I cast Jacob (Sassy Jewish Grandfather #3) as Obi-Wan Kenobi because he has been such a big support to me. Our rabbi is Yoda [although he is not quite as old], and yours truly is Luke Skywalker.

Rabbi W: Why wish you become Jew? Hm?
Rebecca: Mostly because I hear there's money in it, I guess.
Rabbi W: I cannot convert her. The girl has no patience.
Jacob: She will learn patience. Was I any different when you converted me?
Rabbi W: Hm... no, she is not ready.
Rebecca: Jacob! I am ready! I can be a Jew! Jacob! Jacob, tell him I'm r -
Rabbi W: Ready, are you? What know you ready? For eight hundred years have I converted gentiles. My own counsel will I keep on who is to be converted. A Jew must have the deepest committment, the most serious mind. Jew gold. Ha. Bagels and lox. Ha. A Jew craves not these things. You are reckless.
Jacob: So was I, if you remember.
Rabbi W: She is too old. Yes, too old to begin converting.
Rebecca: But I've learned so much.
Rabbi W: Will she finish what she begins?
Rebecca: I won't go off the derech. I'm not afraid.
Rabbi W: You will be. You will be.

George Lucas's Version Under the Cut )



A few final things:
     ~ A few days ago, Sara was playing the song "Most Bamboozling Thing" (from The Sword in the Stone) on the computer and I tweaked the lyrics and sang, "They're wasting time resisting / They'll find the more they do / The more I'll keep insisting / That I have got to be a Jew!" Sara just about died laughing.
     ~ My rabbi called me yesterday to discuss a few more details about what'll happen in Baton Rouge. "Don't be nervous," he said. And later, "And bring a bath towel." Yeah, that helped. My Jewish grandparents are giving me and another lady who's converting a ride there.
     ~ The last time I saw my bad-ass Cajun grandma, I said as I was leaving her house, "Nex time you see me, I'll be Jewish!" Grandma: "That's all right, that's fine."

rebecca_in_blue: (Default)

The last day of 2010 was a busy one for Rebecca. I woke up early to call a car lot and my credit union, but apparently everything in town was closed yesterday. Everything, that is, except where I work, and we were actually pretty busy. From work I went straight to Shabbat services at the temple. The service was held a half-hour earlier than usual, and afterwards, a lot of us went to an interdominational prayer service/dinner at the Methodist church.

The prayer service was a little cheesy, but I enjoyed it. People from different faiths gave speeches about their religious traditions for the new year, and while one lady was talking about customs in Catholic Latin America, she asked if anyone knew the names of the three wise men. Rebecca owned that: Balthasar, Melchior, and Caspar. Somebody from the temple asked me how I knew that, and I told him it was because I went to Catholic high school (and I did) but it's really because I live with my name-obsessed sister. That's also how I know the names of Noah's three sons. In fact, I'd bet any amount of money Sara knows more about Biblical names than 99% of religious people, and she's not religious at all.

The dinner was mostly dessert foods, although there was cabbage and black-eyed peas, of course. Somehow, I wound up seated next to the mayor of our city! I didn't realize who he was until someone introduced me, and after I'd lost the opportunity to talk to him, I found out he speaks Cajun French! I didn't eat too much, but the food was very rich, so I felt sick later.

Today Sara and I went to CJ & Company's house to eat lunch and play games. Aunt Connie had cooked up a ton of food (pot roast, green bean casserole, "funeral potatoes," salad, black-eyed peas) and I ate too much, but I lose all shreds of self-control when I get near green bean casserole. Then I went bike riding with Eva and swinging in the park with Josh. As we were leaving, I found a mirror they were throwing out and brought it home to put on the back of my door. It's leaning against the wall now, and when Sable saw it, he sniffed and growled at his reflection! I was so amazed. I had no idea his eyesight was still that good. He hasn't paid any attention to his reflection since he was a puppy and thought his reflection in our dishwasher was his brother (whom he lived with before we got him).

I got a giftcard to the bookstore for Christmas, and I put it to good use. I got the two things I really wanted: a 2011 calendar and a Tanakh (a Jewish Bible). I went with another Emily Dickinson calendar like the one I had in 2010, and usually I hate repetitive calendars, but what can I say, her poetry is really growing on me. My Tanakh is pocket-sized, with very fine fine print, but now I'm all set to go to Torah study at the temple next week. The young woman who's holding it is named Rebekah and is almost exactly my age. :)

A Cajun blessing for 2011:
Je vous souhaite du bonne aventure, bonne fortune, bonne santé, et une bonne nouvelle année.

rebecca_in_blue: (bemused shrug)
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My favorite childhood meal was easily my grandma's spaghetti and meatballs. (No one else's. Don't even try.) She used to make huge pots of spaghetti sauce and noodles, and I would wake up early and walk over to her house to help. Then everyone would come over to eat, and it was like there was a party at Grandma's house. That's still the case, to a lesser extent, when Grandma makes spaghetti, except I haven't woken up early enough to help her make it in years. Bad, bad Rebecca. Somebody should learn that recipe before Grandma dies, but I doubt anyone will ever really be able to duplicate her spaghetti.

I also loved pickles as a child (and still do). I was about eight the first time I ate an entire jar in one sitting, but I guess that doesn't really count as a meal, does it?

I still love Grandma's spaghetti, but I'm not sure if it still ranks as my number one favorite meal. As a child, I hadn't yet discovered a lot of delicious meals like goat cheese pizza, buffalo chicken, pulled pork sandwiches, or green bean casserole. Mmm...

rebecca_in_blue: (red riding hood)

Any guesses as to what Rebecca has in her kitchen cabinet right now? Eight cans of green beans, three cans of cream of mushroom soup, two jumbo-sized cans of French-fried onions, a small mountain of pecans waiting to be shelled, a make-your-own gingerbread house kit, and... a partridge in a pear tree. Sorry, I couldn't resist. I still crack up when the sarcastic college daughter says that line in Home Alone.

This week feels so packed already, and it's only Wednesday. On Sunday, I went swinging in the park with Josh and Eva. We had a little Thanksgiving dinner at work on Monday – my coworkers brought a lot of delicious stuff, including a ham, macaroni and cheese, rolls, and pecan pie – and there was a loaded episode of NCIS (Enemies Domestic - my notes are at the bottom of this entry) on Tuesday. Tonight I'm going to buckle down and make green bean casserole for dinner at Grandma's tomorrow. Grandma and I both bought enough for me to make two servings, hence the overstuffed cabinets. I guess it's a good thing I love green bean casserole, because I might be eating it for a while. If only I could stop eating all the French-fried onions raw!

All the commercials for Black Friday sales scare me, but none so much as Target's. It's as if that company sincerely wants their employees to be trampled to death by rapid customers at four in the morning. This year they've taken out a banner ad on YouTube that makes me want to run away and hide every time I visit that site. *shudders*

The work schedules for next week were printed today, and I was looking at a copy and said off-handedly, “Oh, good, I'll be able to go to the Hanukkah services.” Then I look up to find one of my coworkers staring at me like I had five heads. This is a girl who had never heard of Nancy Drew, Clark Gable, Gone With the Wind, or a number of other things that have been referenced at work, so I wasn't really surprised. Hanukkah probably sounded like a disease to her. In the course of trying to explain it (which I failed), she said, “But isn't Jewish, like, a race? Or is it like... Catholic?”

Homer: Come on, Apu, it's a Civil War reenactment! We need Indians to shoot!
Apu: I do not know which part of that sentence to correct first.

Oy! Notes on 8x09 "Enemies Domestic" )
rebecca_in_blue: (subtle sigh)

I'm currently reading a collection of Stephen King's short stories that was lying around the house, so for the past few nights I was wide-awake at 2 a.m., jumping at the slightest noises. It didn't help that one night, there was rip-roaring cat fight (and I mean literally, two cats fighting) on the stairwell. I came out just in time to see Graycat and a stranger black-and-white cat running in different directions. There was a lot of ripped-out cat hair on the stairs, and I haven't seen Graycat since. I hope the poor thing is okay, and keeping warm.

I'll be going to three Thanksgiving dinners this year: work, Grandma's, and Mom's. I plan to cook some mashed potato dish (out of a box) for the dinner at work and green bean casserole (yummy!) for Grandma's. Grandma has been endlessly reminding me what ingredients I need and how much I should make; I told her that I've made green bean casserole before, but, well, she's 80 and forgets. My pecans pie muffins will make an appearence later in the later in the year, and I'm thinking about bringing some to temple for the next dinner/oneg.

HOORAY for me being OFF for Black Friday morning! I don't have go to work until that evening, so I'll get to miss most of the insanity. I'll also have to miss temple services that night, but that's a price I'm willing to pay.

rebecca_in_blue: (happy smile)
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I got it narrowed down to two choices, but I can't decide between them. #1) Driving to New Orleans with Aunt Carolyn, Sara, and Athena. We had so much fun back in the day. #2) Driving to Star Island with Dad (which would be an extremely long drive, almost all the way from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border). I keep thinking about our drive to Shreveport. I read him articles out of his latest New Yorker.

I know the prompt specified one person, but that was no fun. Is it just me, or has LJ had some very lame Writer's Block questions lately?

Within two weeks of each other, we got a flat tire on the truck and I let my driver's liscense expire. Of course, said things would happen in the same month that we have to get our truck inspected, too. But today I actually managed to take care of all three things: got a new liscense (my old photo wasn't that good, but this one is horrible!), got new tires, and got the truck inspected. Now if I could just find time to give Sable a bath.

Rebecca is one spoiled bitch. Among the edible things I got for my birthday were a dinner of sloppy joes with Grandma & Co.; lunch at DeAngelo's with Mom and Sara; dinner at Cici's with Sara and Athena; and two packages of goat cheese from Ben. I baked them in the oven before eating them, so the entire apartment was filled with the smell of fresh goat cheese. You can't imagine the bliss Rebecca was swimming in. If Heaven were a smell, that would be it. But if Heaven were a pie, it'd be cherry. If Heaven were a towel...

Gotta go wash dishes now.

rebecca_in_blue: (happy smile)

Mom, Sara, and I went out to luch today to this new resteraunt downtown. Mom was unimpressed with her fried catfish, but I had a barbeque sandwich, onion rings, and fried oreos that were finger-licking good. It also left me feeling so full that I skipped a snack at work and still haven't eaten dinner yet.

When we got home, Sara made me watch Labyrinth. I hadn't seen it in a while and forgotten just how much tripped-out, awesomely '80s cheesiness that movie packs! David Bowie looked like he walked through a waterfall of glitter!

Hooray for tomorrow being Friday and payday. The Runaways was just released on DVD this week, and I'm hoping to rent it, buy some popcorn, and make a night of it. (I just hope it doesn't disappoint me. And that all the copies of it aren't already checked out.) Tatum O'Neal is playing Dakota Fanning's mom! I love it when current and former child actresses work together. Even though Tatum's role in the film looks to be pretty small, I can't think when I've ever been so excited to see two actresses together. When their powers combine...

rebecca_in_blue: (red riding hood)

We got a 15% employee discount at work this weekend (rather than our normal 10%) so today I bought presents for Mom, Ben, Eva, and myself. That's right, myself! It was the Emily Dickinson calendar that I wanted so much last year, but we quit carrying it before I got around to buying it. I resisted taking the shrink-wrap off it because I plan to wrap it, put it under our tree, and label it To Rebecca, from Rebecca. Heh heh.

We had a store meeting this morning, so I had to be there bright and early at 8 a.m. It sucked because I closed last night and we didn't get out until almost 10 (which is really late for our store). Not surprisingly, I was closing with the one manager who has no idea how to budget time and who let a customer in after we'd closed. No other manager would have ever done that. Ever. But tomorrow is Sara's birthday and we're both off to celebrate it! And no human force is dragging me out of my bed tomorrow before I'm good and ready. Tonight we ate spaghetti and brownies and Grandma's and watched Up. "I was hiding under your porch because I love you."

Grandma had a lemon tree planted in her yard some years ago (she insists that it was only two years ago, but I think her memory's going, because it really seems longer that) and for a long time its lemons were so hard and shriveled that I didn't think it would produce edible fruit in Grandma's lifetime. So you can imagine how surprised I was when Grandma gave me and Sara four big, juicy, delicious lemons a few weeks ago. They were so good, as good as store-bought lemons, and usually homegrown ones taste distinctly different. I wish we had asked her for more when we were over there today.

rebecca_in_blue: (subtle sigh)
Rebecca is actually cooking two dishes for Thanksgiving dinner this year (which may not seem like much but is a big step up from her usual zero). We're having a dinner at work tomorrow, and Sally lassoed me into making green bean casserole, which I love but have never made before. But there are only three ingredients, so I shouldn't be able to screw it up too badly, right? We'll see. And for Thanksgiving dinner at Grandma's house, I'll be making my delicious pecan pie muffins. Just as soon as I shell the rest of those pecans... I shelled some yesterday evening while watching The Philadelphia Story -- shelling pecans while watching a good movie is the best way to do it -- but I probably only got about one cup. I'm off both Thanksgiving and the day before, which is nice, but I have to go in early on Black Friday, and that'll probably suck balls.

I love our new couch! (Oh, and it only took nearly every male relative who lives in the state to move it in.) I fell asleep on it last night while watching the commentary track The Goonies. I used to live and breathe that thing while I was in France. Whenever I had any downtime, or whenever I was working on my lessons in my room, I'd always put on that movie with the commentary track, and I fell asleep to it... well, not every night, but pretty close. I could probably recite that whole track from memory.

rebecca_in_blue: (Default)
Sara got me a mockingjay pin just like the one Katniss wears in The Hunger Games. It's awesome, but it's so small that often when I wear it nobody notices. I've worn it to work a few times, and my manager would've told me to take it off, but with everything else I wear at work (my nametag, my dogtag, my lanyard, and my earpiece) the mockingjay got lost.

Yesterday, September 18, was my aunt's five-year deathiversary. We've never really done anything special for the ocassion before, but this year two of my aunts, my cousin, and I went to Casa Ole (a resteraunt she liked) for dinner. I had these things called taquitos, and I actually ate them all, which is a big deal, because I'm a notoriously picky eater. But not as picky as Adam. On Thursday night, he and I went over to CJ & Co.'s house for dinner, but he picked up a sandwich from Subway on the way and ate that instead. But if he had actually eaten the lasagna they'd cooked, I probably would've died of shock. I don't think I'd ever had homemade lasagna before. We still tell the story about when Sara was in home-ec in high school and asked Mom how to cook a lasagna. Mom: "Well, you take it out the freezer and put it in the oven. It's very simple."

I swung on their swingset while I was over there, and I realized, much to my surprise, that I don't enjoy it nearly as much as I once did. You have to understand, when I was a kid, we had a swingset in our backyard, and I spent about 90% of my childhood on it. I could go for hours. But now, I don't think I can even last twenty minutes. It doesn't really feel like I'm moving anymore, but that the world is tilting up and down around me. I still enjoy it while it lasts, but soon I get dizzy, and I always have a headache afterwards. I'm not sure whether swinging without my contacts in would make it better or worse.
rebecca_in_blue: (dozing off)

Well, Adam and I drove to Houston on Wednesday, and I finally found Roger's grave! The cemetery where he's buried is massive: over 45,000 graves! But it's very organized, divided into sections with each plot labeled and numbered, so finding his grave wasn't hard at all. I took some pictures and wanted to stay longer, like I usually do in cemeteries, but this one had almost no shade at all, and it was so hot that we soon left. Afterwards we browsed around some places and had dinner with Mark and Vickie at Prego's in the Village. I had goat cheese pizza, for the first time since I left France! It wasn't as good as what I ate in France, or what I would've eaten if we'd gone to Star Pizza instead, but I can't complain.

I made a super delicious cake as a welcome-home present for Sara. It was a double-layer yellow cake with chocolate icing, decorated with Reese's Pieces candies. It was really quite pretty and not hard to make at all. (I borrowed some excellent cake pans from Grandma. She bought them sometime during the 1950s. I was surprised she couldn't remember the exact year.) Perhaps I'll get into the habit of making cakes.

And now for some bad news. Instead of listening to the radio at work, we now have to listen to elevator muzak. It's awful; I told Tracey yesterday it reminded me of that joke on Family Guy: "You know that mediocre, generic sound you've been looking for? Well, listen to this!" And next week, we're expanding our store hours to ten. Boss Man said when he announced the news, "Corporate is making all the stores do this, but do not tell the customers! Maybe we can keep them from finding out." The back-to-school season is more hectic than ever, and they're saying this week will be even worse!

I would post pictures of the cemetery and my cake, but I'm too tired right now. In fact I've felt tired for days (on reason I haven't posted in a while). There's a sinkful of dirty dishes to wash, but that'll have to wait until tomorrow. This is Rebecca signing off, walking her dog, and going to bed.

rebecca_in_blue: (pursed lips)

I've decided to make rice krispy treats, decorated to look like little American flags. I'm looking up the recipe in another window right now, and this afternoon, I'll be bringing them to a hamburger cook-out with CJ & Company. I hope they turn out well. I haven't had home-made rice krispy treats in forever. I was (I think) in elementary school when they started being sold in stores, and after that, my mom never made another batch. The store-bought ones are good, but they can't compare to home-made, which I remember being a lot more moist and buttery. Mmmm....

Speaking of which, I really, really hate the commercials for rice krispy cereal. You know the ones: they're all shot in black-and-white, with a soft-focus lens, and feature a mom and her kids, and they're so nauseating that I change the channel whenever one comes on. When I told Sara I would be making rice krispy treats, she said, "I'll get the tripod and the black-and-white film." Haha.

I've been hearing the song "Saturday in the Park" a lot on the radio this week. (That, and every song Michael Jackson ever did. I asked Sara yesterday, "How long do you think it'll be before they stop talking about him?") Anyway, it came on the radio at work yesterday, and I started singing along and asking EJ and Sally, "Can you dig it?" They just stared at me.

I put on the CD of Americana songs that I made to take to France. (I thought I could use it in a lesson about something. Never did.) I love the song "My Country, 'Tis of Thee," especially the second verse. I think it should be our national anthem, rather than "The Star-Spangled Banner," which nobody likes or knows the words to, and which there is a strong movement to replace.

rebecca_in_blue: (shocked)
Over the weekend I found a few fleas on Sable and freaked out. He had been on such a good flea-free streak for so long that I thought they were gone for good. Yesterday I gave him a good bath and washed all his beds -- which is saying something because that spolied dog has a lot of beds -- and sprayed them all with flea spray. Sable hates baths and smell of the flea spray, so now he's mad at me. I really don't like the smell of it, either; it makes me wheeze, and I've been wheezing enough as it is. I haven't even been bike-riding in days because I'm so wheezy and it's too hot. But I cannot let Sable get fleas like he did before; that was too awful for everyone involved. I've been putting flea powder on him too, which he doesn't seem to mind, but it does make his skin dry (so does giving him a bath, strangely enough) so I have to give him more fish oil, too.

I don't know how he got fleas, though I'm willing to bed this God-forsaken heat wave probably has something to do with it. The heat index for the past several days has been over 100. We finally got a good rain yesterday, as well as a freaky lightning storm. I was at Grandma's house when it started, and she practically ran to her window, saying, "That's not thunder? Is it? It is! It's gonna rain!"

Oh, and I forgot to mention that a monumental change has happened in my life. I've had a passionate, almost-lifelong hatred for any type of fish. But I hated them more than ever once I went to France. The cantine in the lycee served fish for lunch almost every single Friday, and it was awful. I don't know what sort of fish it was, or how it was prepared, but it was so oily,and tasted like saltwater! It was always served with lemons, so usually I would have to just eat lemon slices and have a bowl of muesli later on. Lately whenever I saw a commercial for Hillshire Farm meats, I would say, "Fuck fish!" instead of "Go meat!" at the end.

Anyway, the monumental change was that on Sunday night, I ate fish and enjoyed it! I had mentioned my hatred of fish to Grandma, and she insisted that if I tried some of her Cajun-fried catfish, I'd like it. The next night she made some for dinner, and it was good. Of course my Grandma is such a cook, she could probably make a meal out of piss and dirt that tasted good. But any fish that isn't catfish and wasn't cooked by Grandma, I'm still staying away from. Far away.
rebecca_in_blue: (worried eyes)

You know how sometimes churches will sell barbeque dinners to raise money for repairs and what-not? Those things are the way to go. They're cheap, delicious, and they give you a ton of food. I'm always meaning to buy one when I see notices for them in the paper, but I never did until yesterday. I got a styrofoam box full of a huge piece of barbecqued chicken, rice dressing, green beans, cole slaw, a roll, and a Little Debbie cake. And best of all, I didn't barf it all up later!

I've been trying to bathe Sable more often because his skin is a lot worse in the summer. (I'm giving him more fish oil too, which helps a lot.) But yesterday I did the most irresponsible thing. I made him walk all the way from Mom's house to our apartment after his bath. It's only a distance of 0.5 miles, according to Google, so I didn't think it'd be that hard on him, but it was. Even after we got back, he panted for a long time. I felt so bad.

Mom called me yesterday, and our conversation ended in me hanging up on her. I don't know when I've ever been so mad at her. First she wants to know, "Is it hot down there?" I mean, she couldn't ask a more pointless, stupid question if she tried. Nobody needs to ask if it's hot in Louisiana in June, especially not someone who's lived here most of her life. And to top it off, she then raves about how cool it is in North Carolia. She either 1) is purposely trying to piss me off; or 2) is delusional enough to think that she can convince to move up there. File that under never. I'd rather live with Sara in a third-world country than live with Mom in the premier arrondisement of Paris. Or maybe 3) she expects me to whine about the heat for ten solid minutes the way she always did. Dad would say things like, "Hot enough to boil my coffee, or hot enough to fry an egg?" Mom would just say, "It's so bloody hot!" once every thirty seconds.

Then, when I give one-worded answers to all her questions ("So what have you been up to?" - "Nothing.") and don't talk enough for her, she huffs, "Well, I'm sorry if I bothered you." That's when I hung up on her. I'm so tempted to add her number to my phone's automatic-rejection list.

I was so mad that I went for a long bike ride to work off my anger. And I found a five-dollar bill on the sidewalk! I was hot and sweaty by that time, so I bought an icee at a gas station. A gas station is an oasis when you're riding a bike. A place offering air-conditioning and ice cream and icees and popsicles. Speaking of posicles, I filled one of my popsicle molds with pickle juice and it's freezing into a pickle-sickle right now. I still find the idea weird and gross, but who knows, I might actually like it.

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