Pre-order Bananarama

Monday, December 29, 2008

Introducing Ginsburg

We have a new resident here at Trading Faces. Ladies, gentlemen, gentlemen dressed as ladies, ladies dressed as womyn...please welcome Ginsburg.

"Psst! Ginsburg! Look this way."

"Good boy!"

Yes, you are seeing right. That's a dog. A 7-month old shih tzu to be exact, named for her honor, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (because I am that much of a nerd). We have officially given in to Puppy Fever here at Trading Faces. We're positive the late Franklin would not approve. We know from experience that Truman does not approve as he has hardly come out of hiding since Ginsburg came home yesterday from a family with a toddler who treated him like a rag doll. We also know Sly, the resident HBIC, does not approve as he pimp slapped Ginsburg within 30 seconds of his arrival.

At any rate, Ginsburg is settling in nicely. We didn't get out to buy a crate to begin his crate training (his previous family let him run wild), so he spent today in the bathroom while Craiggers was at work and I did my public service project for school. I'd post a photo of those results (which were entirely my fault because any non-rookie knows you don't leave them home all day in the bathroom), but I seriously doubt any of my tens of readers care to see a mishmash of dirty towels, a door that appears to have been attacked by a rhino, shredded bathroom literature, and poop. Instead I'll leave you with a photo of his reaction to his handiwork.

How is it that I end up with pets that are totally cute and evil bastards?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ina Garten Da Vida

Well, after a semester of few posts, I am just Chatty Cathy today. And I have yet to even get to my bitchery about the loathsome bigot Rev. Rick Warren at the presidential inaugaration!

I am nothing if not a man of obsessions. For example, I am completely obsessed with Fiestaware to the point that I take pieces of it to Home Depot for color matching whenever painting a room in my house.

Thanksgiving dining room in scarlet.

I am obsessed with the cinematic classic "Mommie Dearest" to such an extent that rarely a day goes by that I don't remind someone that this isn't my first time at the rodeo.

"I've fought worse monsters than you for years in law school. I know how to win the hard way."

But for the past year, more than most things (Fiesta aside), I am obsessed with Ina Garten, Food Network's Barefoot Contessa.

Now at first glance, I assumed Ms. Garten might not be my cup of tea, much in the same way I respect the talent and drive of Martha Stewart, but find her to be WAY too much to take. The Hamptons house, zipping around in a BMW finding the perfect ingredients...I mean, who lives like that? Watching her interact on her show with her loved ones, though, convinced me she is a genuine and kind friend to the people in her life, and that she has carved out for herself exactly the life that makes her happy. I also enjoy the fact that she is not a typical television host trying so hard to ooze personality. She just seems relaxed, and the events she throws are casual enough that whether you do them as upscale as she often does or as downscale as I might on my student budget, people are going to enjoy themselves.

Oh yeah, and her food is EFFING AMAZING!

My beloved pretend ex-wife, Katie, first pointed out that the original Barefoot Contessa cookbook is essential to every kitchen. When Katie talks about food, I listen, so I bought it and have yet to go wrong. It is now to the point, though, that if you come to my home for dinner, you are more than likely going to have an Ina meal. I made my own vanilla extract because she taught me how. I dream of her kitchen, stocked with Fiesta. I haven't gotten to the point of wearing smock-ish shirts and referring to Craiggers as "Jeffrey," but I fear I am not far from it. Like I said, I'm a wee bit obsessed.

When I am stressed about school, cooking calms me down. It allows me to focus on something else that needs my concentration. I also love to entertain and show my appreciation of my loved ones with food, so when my friends enjoy my food, it is the ultimate compliment. Ina's books and shows have taken that to a whole new level. And when her hunky pal T.R. makes an appearance on the show, well, that is just the buttercream on the cake.

The Weekly Cheese

The verdict is in for part five of our six part saga known here on Trading Faces as law school, and I have the same problem I always have, a problem that a few of my friends would probably like to beat me down for whining about. I left my Evidence exam thinking I got a C, or maybe even a D. I got a B+. I left my Criminal Procedure exam thinking I had knocked it out of the park. I got a B+. This semester brought two B's, two B+s, and an A in Sexual Orientation and the Law (because if I can't get an A in a seminar course about legal issues of my people, I don't deserve to be in law school). I've only ever dipped below a B once, and I've only ever gotten above it a couple of times. Which is bad in graduate school, and generally quite good in law school (unless you happen to go to one of those law schools that grade-inflate, an ever-increasing phenomenon it seems). At any rate, I will likely graduate with a very good GPA next semester, but without honors. Phooey.

Oh well, at least I am finally near graduation! If you know of job openings in the legal field, please pass them my way!

In honor of my very steady even-keeled performance at the B level, please take time to appreciate the brilliance that is the world's greatest party band, performing their much under-appreciated track "Give Me Back My Man" live in the 80s.

The Passing of a Bitchy Kitty

Thanksgiving eve while I was editing my paper for the gay law seminar I took this semester, my kitty Franklin came into the dining room acting odd. He was breathing from his mouth and drooling, and making a weird cough noise. Earlier he had messed in the floor around his food dish, which is very odd for him. When I picked him up, he yowled, and I could tell he had wet himself as well. We went to the emergency vet clinic, and it turns out he had cardiomyopathy, and likely had an aortic thromboembolism in his rear legs. Basically he had congestive heart failure and blood clots in his legs. The legs were ice cold and his temperature was very low. The vet gave almost no chance of recovery, so I made the very difficult decision to have him put to sleep. It was a pretty terrible evening, but we are getting by. I stayed with him during the event and saw him off, then buried him in a flower bed behind the house Thanksgiving morning.

Franklin was a Persian mix shelter kitty, and has always been a little neurotic over the year and a half I've had him, but the vets never found any health problems before now. His vet estimated that he was around five years old. He hated to be held, and if you insisted on doing it anyway, he would glare as though he wanted nothing more than to stab you in the face. In fact, he always kind of looked that way, in addition to bearing a striking resemblance to Wilford Brimley. He was a cranky little asshole, and I miss him terribly.

Lazy Days of Christmas

I caught a bit of flack from a dear friend because I put my tree up this year a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving. You see, my final exams come immediately after Thanksgiving, so it is impractical to put my tree up after the food orgy. If I wait until after finals, I only have a couple of weeks to enjoy all the sparkle, and y'all know how much I love my sparkle. So the tree has been up for quite some time.

Admit it, you expected something much more Vegas, didn't you? Okay, will this wreath satisfy you?

Granted, this has been the only thing I've been proactive about thus far since I finished exams, unless you count making a lot of delicious fatty food for Craiggers and I prior to our post-New Year push to be gay skinny before we get hitched. And so I'm taking the easy way out yet again by stealing a blog meme from Trading Faces pal/long lost twin sister, Val:

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? It depends on the gift. Somethings are just impossible to wrap, plus the Trading Faces nephews and niece prefer the satisfying feeling of tearing into that paper. Granted, we have started screwing with them by putting their gifts into other boxes. Few things are more entertaining than seeing a 5-year-old girl's dejection when she thinks her favorite uncle has bought her some Fiestaware, only to discover a pretty pink Hannah Montana dress inside. Yeah, I'm a jerk.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial, both because I don't want the cleanup, and because I am engaged to Allergy Boy. I'm sure if we had a real tree, he'd lay around on the sofa like a dying swan complaining about his sinuses. An artificial tree makes us all happier.

3. When do you put up the tree? See above.

4. When do you take the tree down? After my New Year's Eve hangover has passed.

5. Do you like eggnog? Not even if it is 50% booze.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? A boatload of books and a bookshelf to hold them.

7 . Hardest person to buy for? My mother. The woman seriously has NO hobbies!

8. Easiest person to buy for? Craiggers because he keeps his Amazon wishlist up-to-date at all times just in case I magically come into a lot of money. I also always have the option of going to a video store and asking for the latest movie featuring teens getting hacked to pieces. Ick.

9. Do you have a nativity scene?

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? I have never managed to get it together to mail out Christmas cards.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Try smiling when accepting a bottle of $5 cologne. I think I still have the lines in my face.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, except for the happy ending.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I have bought nothing this year. Things are not financially prosperous at the Trading Faces house this year. Here's hoping that this time next year I will be a gainfully employed attorney who can go bananas making up for the past three paltry years.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes, but typically only for White Elephant exchanges at parties and such. Or my sister-in-law.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas ? I love a good holiday brunch. I love breakfast food in general, but I really love a brunch. We used to have one every year that involved me cooking like a maniac for a week. Once I even featured a waffle bar. Yes, I am too much.

16. Lights on the tree? Yes, clear with no twinkle. I'm going to start adding trees next year, my next one being a white tree with blue lights and decorations in hot pink, chartreuse, and turquoise.

17. Favorite Christmas song? I always claim my favorite Christmas song is "I'd Like You For Christmas" by Julie London. In reality, my two favorites are "Last Christmas" by Wham and "Christmas in Hollis" by Run D.M.C.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? We typically drive east to Appalachia to visit my family. One of these days we're going to send out a notice that I-64 runs in both directions, park our butts at home, and have everyone visit us instead.

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Yes, and I can re-name them too.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? I have a ceramic gold star, but I'm looking for something a bit more flashy without a lot of religious overtones. My friend Marc uses an African-American Barbie in a white gown with wings and hair teased out like Diana Ross. I feel so boring by comparison.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Craig and I get so excited that we're lucky to make it to Christmas eve.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? While I enjoy discovering what everyone is doing via Christmas newsletters, I can't help but think you're probably leaving out the best dirt.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Fiesta ornaments, of course!

24. Favorite Christmas dinner? Christmas morning at mom's with biscuits and gravy.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? World peace and an early Bush resignation. Perhaps that will gain me enough good karma to get a KitchenAid artisan stand mixer in tangerine and an iPhone.