Archive for April, 2012

WOOHOO! We did it! We made the cumbersome trek from A through some tricky patches in the middle all the way to Zed!

So what wonderful things in my life begin with Z?

Zard! When the incomparable Izzybella was younger, she was off on some sort of school thing with some theatre friends, and awoke one morning with one of the guys swinging from the rafters yelling “Zard! Wake up!” or something like that, so she got called Zard by a lot of people. Me, I still preferred to call her Lizardbreath.

And I could hardly close out the alphabet without a shout-out to my favourite bilingual muppet, could I?

And, for the record, Zoe is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay cuter than Elmo.

Za. I don’t know what the heck it means, but if you play it on a triple word or triple letter square, it can net you up to 33 points in Words With Friends.

Zero, a very useful number. I like it a lot, at times, like if I want something and I ask how much it is, and they say “zero dollars and zero cents,” then it’s free! Squee! Of course, that never happens. It’s just an illustration. Then there are times I hate zero, like when I hop onto the scale to see how much I lost and it says “zero pounds and zero ounces.” Of course, that doesn’t happen either. It’s either up or down with me.

Zeus, the old lecher.  Izzybella and I once dreamed up a chick lit novel featuring Zeus and his escapades, only we decided not to write it because we’re not huge fans of chick lit.

This artist actually painted Zeus with Hera. But that’s more the exception than the rule.  He only had 6 children with Hera (Ares, Eileithyia, Eris, Hebe, Hephaestus, and Angelos). And trust me, he had a heckuva lot more than just 6 kids. No wonder Hera was always cranky. I’d have been cranky, too. Dirty old man!

And one of my favourite Z things of all: Catching Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz’s. Which I’m hoping to do nicely tonight. I talked to my doctor’s office, and they decided to put me on a Z-pack (Hey! Another Z!) because apparently the first round of antibiotics didn’t entirely knock out my strep throat. So I’m shortly (as soon as I catch up on Words With Friends) going to take all my medicines and try to hit the sack early because tomorrow will be a busy, busy day.

I love you all! Thanks for sharing this journey with me, and I hope you decide to keep visiting.

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I Said What?????

Every now and again, like most people, my mouth opens and I trip over some of the most gosh-awful phrases you can imagine. And other times I’m wandering along talking to myself (hush, you know you do it too!), and then freeze, almost paralyzed, when I realize what just came out of my mouth. And I guess my mind must be in the gutter, because these episodes just cracked me up once I made sure no one was within earshot.

Last night I was at Barnes & Nobles looking for a crossword puzzle book. I’m addicted to the New York Times Sunday puzzles. They’re extremely difficult and I love them. I don’t like easy crossword puzzles. They annoy me. But I have all of the current NYT Sunday puzzles, so I picked up a different one to check it out. “This is short and little. I like ’em big, and long, and hard.”

That just embarrassed the crap right out of me. But it gets worse.

I stopped for a malt at Sonic, because the ice cream soothes my currently perpetually sore throat. The straw they gave me was a little narrow, and I sucked and sucked and sucked, and finally some of the malt started to come through the straw. As I parked my car at the apartment, I heard myself say, “Man, I really had to suck a long time to get it up.”


And now I’m sharing it, for the sole purpose of comforting those of you who’ve ever completely unintentionally said something that could be taken in a really filthy manner. (And also because I need you to share something you’ve said, so I know I’m not alone!!!!)

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Y Not?

Yellow.  My youngest sister, A., looked like an angel whenever she wore yellow. She had beautiful red hair, the sweeetest smile you could ever hope to see, and yellow just set her colouring off perfectly. One of my favourite photos of her was when she was maybe 6 or 7, her red hair cut into a bob; she wore a yellow dress and a timid smile whilst holding an easter basket.

Yacht. The word, not the boat.  I used to mentally pronounce it “yatchitt” and the only way I found out was, amusingly enough, by reading a book where the author shared her experiences as a child playing “yatchitt” only to learn later on that it was not pronounced that way at all. I won’t spoil any of you who still pronounce it “yatchitt,” because personally I like it better that way anyway.

Yoga. My lovely bff sister-friend Jehara provided my first experiences with yoga. She used it as warmups before rehearsals and before the shows. I totally suck at it, for the most part, but I find that it somehow releases something within me. I leak tears when I’m doing yoga. I confess I am a little dismayed at how much yoga passes cost, because it’s enough out of my budget that I can’t go. And the DVD’s I have at home are good, but they are no substitute for having someone help me get into the right poses.

Savasana–I’m good at this pose. 🙂

Yams. I love baked yams, mashed yams, yam biscuits, yams any way you can think of to prepare them. They have such a rich flavour. Not just for autumn and winter!

Yawning. Why is it so contagious????? Enquiring minds want to know! When I was in 8th grade, I think, I had math class after lunch. Our teacher informed us on the very first day that he could not abide trying to teach a bunch of students who were all yawning incessantly. Therefore, he said, anyone who yawned in his class got sent out. Well, I was quite the shy kid, and I certainly didn’t want to get sent out of class for yawning. But, well, it was math class. And it was after lunch. I HAD to yawn.  Therefore, and although some experts say it is not possible, I mastered the art of yawning with my mouth closed. It’s hard, no question, and it doesn’t solve the problem of tears streaming down your face or your ears popping, but it can be done.  I will confess that now, many years later, if that teacher didn’t get some amusement out of the expressions those of us who larned how to yawn with our mouths closed.  And I will also confess that I have been yawning the entire time I wrote this paragraph. I bet you did, too. C’mon, fess up!

Yeast. I made my first loaf of bread when I was, what, 12, I think. Oh, it was dreadful. The hardest little densest loaf of bread you’ve ever seen. I didn’t realize that I had to let it rise again after the first rising and after you shaped it into a loaf. But I was so proud of myself. As I continued my forays into bread-baking, I did learn about that critical second rising. I used to make 6 loaves of bread at a time, and remember being furious with my motherr when I returned once to the kitchen to check on my cooling bread, only to find that she had sliced the ends off every damn loaf and eaten them! She said she couldn’t resist, because the end slices were her favourite. Anyway, back to yeast. When you’re using yeast, it’s easy to either kill it by using too hot water, or your yeast may have lost its ability to rise. If you don’t want to find out the hard way that you messed up your yeast, you just need to proof it.  To proof it you need to mix the yeast with the warm–but not too hot–water and a little sugar. Stir the mixture together in a little cup or bowl, and if it gets all lovely and bubbly, then it’s live and you mixed it just right. Then you go ahead and mix it in with your dough and all should be well.

So wow! We’re almost through the A to Z challenge! Tune in on Monday if you’re interested to see what I can find to say about zed!

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There can only be one option for X. Ready? Warning–this is a graphic heavy post.


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Wow. Wowly-wow-wow.

Is it time already for the W’s? It seems like only a few days ago we started with the A’s.  Of course, the incomparable Izzybella did fill in for me more than a few times while I was computerless/netless/witless.

Okay. The first W is the most important: The Webb Sisters. Izzy and I, in other words. When I was dating my husband, he always referred to us as the Webb Sisters, and it kinda stuck, even though I have a different last name. We’ll always be the Webb Sisters, no matter what, and I love that about us.

Um, trying to think here, watermelon. I like watermelon, rather a lot. And the spitting the seeds across the yard is the best part! Of course, with me being how I am about food textures, the watermelon has to be perfectly crisp and juicy. If it’s even the least bit mushy, I just can’t eat it. And I like watermelon flavoured candy, too. Watermelon jelly bellies, f’rinstance, are second only to juicy pear. And i’ve talked before about the watermelon Jolly Ranchers and the massive amounts of drool they produce.

My Aunt W., who lovingly lets me trounce her on a regular basis at….

Words With Friends! I’m so addicted. I run to the computers in the cafe during my break to get a round in, and then I play it when I get home. It was worse—I would read books on my kindle and play words with friends on my nook. But somehow it quit working on my nook. So I don’t play into the wee small hours, and when I wake up at 2 or 3, I just go back to sleep instead of playing a round or two. Geesh. I sound like an addict, don’t I?

Writing. I love writing. Izzy and I absolutely MUST finish our books because I would love to not have to get up every morning at disgustingly early hours and go to work. I’d rather sleep until 10 a.m., putter around, and then write from 10 pm until 2 or 3 a.m. And get paid for it, I should probably add. I’m fond of money.

Weirdness.  I personally could never be called weird (ahem), but I have lots of friends and family who are weird beyond measure. (And the fact that I finally got down how to spell the word correctly from an episode of 21 Jump Street, where Johnny Depp, playing a very weird character, creepily told some chick that he always remembered that “we” are “weird.” That’s not weird at all. Nope.)

Whistling. I love to whistle, and do it frequently, to the not infrequent annoyance of those around me. Fortunately, my boss Mel whistles a lot, so we get along.  I also love watching Emmylou race around the place when I start whistling. It often leads to a good rousing game of “I’m gonna getcha,” which is both entertaining and exercising. Ish.

Waggy tails. Emmylou has a deliciously waggy tail. And a wiggly butt. It’s fun when we’re near the end of a game of I’m gonna getcha, and she’s on the bed halfway under the sheet, and as I slowly and menacingly draw nearer and nearer, her tail thumps faster and faster, and the sheet’s moving back and forth–awesome.

Wondering. I’m wondering what the heck I’m gonna do tomorrow for X day.

Over and out!

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Yes, it is I, the inimitable Chauceriangirl, able at last to post from my own lovely new laptop. We have had the dickens of a time with our computers at home–I managed to break the screen of my last laptop. My husband improvised and purchased a monitor that we hooked up and all seemed well, until Monday when my computer decided to give us the fatal error of death screen and figuratively rolled over and breathed its last.  Okay, I’m exaggerating a wee bit, but we did decide to buy a new computer and then we’ll get the other one working again and then Joe and I will each have our own laptop. That’s important, because sometimes he wants to check the weather whilst I want to play Words With Friends, or he wants to record music whilst I want to write a book. And so it goes.

Anyway, I said all that to say this: I’d like to thank the incomparable Izzybella for getting my posts up when my computer wasn’t cooperating. Let’s give her a big huzzah, shall we? Huzzah! Huzzah!

V things to like. Well, let’s start with….

Vagina. I’m a woman. Women tend to have vaginas, and we don’t always appreciate them like we should. And some people whisper the word, like it’s dirty or something. It’s not.  It’s a very important part of a woman’s body. Here’s to vaginas!

Vegetarian/Vegan. Ideally, I’d like to be vegan. I was, for a while, and enjoying it, but got off kilter and somehow never got back on. My husband finds my being veg*n unexplicable and for some reason thinks it’s unhealthy. He gets as upset about the word “vegan” as some people do about the word “vagina” (see above). But I have lots of lovely veg*n cookbooks, and enjoy cooking and eating a healthy veg*n diet, and if I were smart I’d get off my fat butt and do it.

Virginia. That used to be my first name, and I absolutely HATED it. Seriously? You do not want to be named Virginia when you’re in elementary and/or middle school, and possibly into high school. The elementary school stuff was mild–Virginia ham, etc. Then in jr high it was “Hiya, Virgin!” and then I’d say, “It’s not Virgin, it’s Virginia!” and then they’d say “Oh, so you’re NOT a virgin!” and it was all rather childish and immature and embarrassing because I was a teenage girl, after all.  I like the name well enough now, since it’s officially my first middle name. See, when I was born I was given a first name, a middle name, and then a last name. Then my brother comes along and gets a first name, a first middle name, a second middle name, and a last name. Then when the incomparable Izzybella made her arrival, she, too, got a first name, a first middle name, a second middle name, and a last name. I felt left out. Different. But it’s all good now. I have a first name, a first middle name, a second middle name, a maiden name, and a married last name. So there! Booyah!

Vinegar. You can do all kinds of interesting things with vinegar. Like if you have a sunburn, you can pour vinegar on the burn and it will take out the sting. If you make a mixture of hot water, honey, and apple cider vinegar, and drink it at night, it will help your allergies. Of course, if you do like I did and use Bragg’s organic apple cider vinegar, the mixture will, as Izzy so eloquently put it, smell like foot. And if you need buttermilk and don’t have any or if you need soured milk, just stir a little vinegar into your cow’s/soy/almond/rice milk, and let it set for a few minutes and voila! Soured milk! (Don’t look so disgusted–it makes all the difference in certain baked goods.)

Victoria. Queen. As in the episode of Doctor Who where the 10th Doctor and Rose get whisked away and have an encounter with Queen Victoria and a certain alien lifeform that could explain a LOT about Queen Victoria’s descendants. And for the record? She was not amused.

Victoria Rose Barrett. She’s a character in the book Izzy and I are currently writing, and I adore her. She is short and plump and says damn and hell a lot, and can’t cook worth a hill of beans, but she’s absolutely awesome!!!!

Is that a good batch of V words? Have I missed any of your favourites? Let me know!

And don’t forget to leave a comment if you want to win a True Blue CD by the awesome Pat Autrey!

I’m off to bed, so ta to you all, and tune in on Thursday for the wily wonderful world of W!

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Unique & Unusual – it drives me absolutely bonkers when people mix these two words up.  Something can be extremely unusual, or highly unusual, or mildly unusual. But something is either unique, or it is not. It is highly unusual for Chauceriangirl to misuse the unique word, unique.  (It’s actually unheard of, but we won’t go there.)

Ugli fruit. May be ugly, but it’s dang good!

Umbrellas. I used to have a love-hate relationship with umbrellas. I loved them until the strongTexaswinds blew them inside out. But then I got smart and purchased a huge golf umbrella. It has room enough for two, and in the, what, 6 or 7 years I’ve had it has never once blown inside out. Yay for golf umbrellas!

Uninterested & Disinterested. Another set of words that people frequently mix up. If you’re uninterested in something, that means you have no interest in it. If you are disinterested, it means you have no personal bias or interest in a matter. So you want a judge to be disinterested, but you definitely do NOT want him to be uninterested. Unless you’re the perp, I suppose, in which case having the judge (and jury) be uninterested could possibly work in your behalf. Of course, the attorneys aren’t going to let that happen.

Un-.  A very helpful little prefix that can take many words and turn them into their reverse. Not all words, though. I mean, one isn’t unhungry or unsleepy.  But one can be unlicked, or unliked (two very different things—if you’re suffering from the former, may I suggest Urban Decay flavoured body dust; whilst if you’re suffering from the latter, you need to learn that not everyone will like you, and you need to move on to the next person. And make sure you’re doing your best to be likable. I’d probably like you—I like most people I meet.)

Undulating. I like the way that word sounds.

Upside-down cake. Mmmmm.  You make it in a cast iron skillet, with pineapple rings and cherries on the bottom layer, nummy cake, and you bake it, and it smells so dang good, and then when it’s done you turn it upside down, remove the skillet, and eat a piece, while it’s still nice and hot, with either ice cream or whipped cream.

Tune in tomorrow for V—which I hope to be able to type up on my brand new laptop I haven’t bought yet but shall after work. ❤

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Izzybella again, guest-posting. Chauceriangirl’s computer is toaster-caked.  That’s a “t” word.  🙂  It’s meeting a repair-man shortly, but in the mean-time, here’s some less sad “t” words for you.  Please note, I’m trying very hard to find “t” words Chauceriangirl personally grooves on.

Let’s start with True Blue, a fantastic band featuring the talents of one fantastic dude named Pat. They’re giving away a free CD via this very blog.  Would you like to win?  Of course, you would.  All you have to do is comment on this post.  You can get a second entry by posting a link to this blog on your own blog.  Just come back and leave the link and you can be entered twice.

Tea, especially sweet tea, but really just tea in general.  Chauceriangirl especially likes a store called Teavana, which is like tea and nirvana all in one sweet package.  She bought a really cool kettle there along with some super yummy teas and let me try them.  They were delish.  Like seriously top par stuff.

T.S. Eliot.  For a while there, she was really into his poetry.

Totally tubular.  When I was a kid she got into Valley Girl speak-only in an ironic way, though.

Target.  Target is the big-box store of choice.  You can keep your Wal Marts and your K Marts.  CG’ll take Target, thank you very much.  She’s capable of spending a lot of money there.  It’s a little scary.

Tales.  As in Canterbury.  She is named Chauceriangirl, after all.  Her love for Chaucer is deep, abiding and true.

Tails. As in wagging puppy dog tails.  She currently has one Emmy Lou Who dog, but there’s always room at the inn for more.  So don’t be surprised at her eventual “I have a new family member post!!”  I’m telling you, it’s coming soon…

Texas.  As in Deep in the heart of…where we live.  As in Don’t mess with.  Texas is great.  How many states offer such topographical variety without ever once leaving it’s borders?  The major downside is Rick Perry, but he won’t be governor forever.

Theatre.  I had to make one of these all about me.  I love theatre so much I got my degree in it.  That doesn’t make me a fantastic actor or anything-mostly it makes me a nerd.  But I do love the theatre…

Thunderstorms.  Another thing Texas does well.  They can scare the crap out of you out here, but there is something kind of magnificent about it.

Traveling. Yes, please.

Any favorite “t” words I missed?  Leave them in comments…


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Not really. I just couldn’t think of a clever S title. 🙂

Okay. Some may take the fact that I’m not doing this post until 10:09 PM on Saturday as an indication that I’m lazy. Well, I am. But that’s not why this post is so tardy. I have had an extremely busy day that involved taking my NEW CAR (squee!) to the dealership for some finishing touches; meeting the contractor at the house to give him the retainer and discuss the next steps (they’re starting the demolition on Tuesday–squee!), and drive home and hang with Joe and Emmylou for a while. Then go grocery shopping. In my NEW CAR (squee!). And right when I got home I got an invite from my bff Clover to go visit so I drove to Keller in my NEW CAR (squee!) and Clover and her family and Joe and I all went to El Rancho Grande for dinner. Then I drove him, yes, still in my NEW CAR (squee!) and now I’m putting this post up.  See, while we did get a brand new new vehicle back in 2003, Joe bought it. But in order to get all my GMAC family bonuses and stuff for this car, I had to be the buyer. Yes, I’m [redacted] years old, and this is the first car I personally have ever bought. It’s gorgeous–a 2012 Malibu LT, mocha, and it drives like a dream.

Okay. Sorry for the sidetrack. Now, here, with no further ado, is Chauceriangirl’s own personally selected list of awesome things that start with S:

I’ve been very excited to bring you this first person.

Supergrover! Here to save the day!

Look at that cheerful face, the big smile, the cape billowing in the wind. Doesn’t he inspire all kinds of confidence?

Sarah-bear. We met when I started working on a temp assignment that ended up turning permanent. It seems like we first really began to be friends when I was going through all the difficulties surrounding the death of my youngest sister, A. She had lost a sister to violence as well, even though it was on the other end of the spectrum, and she was there for me. And we’ve formed a firm friendship, and I feel really privileged to have her in my life. She’s currently off work with a broken foot. I have instructed her in no uncertain terms that the next time she feels the urge to break something, to hurl a dish or an ugly vase or something, because it’s boring at work without having lunch with her. I miss her.

Sesame Street!!!  I watched it when I was a kid, back in the dark–strike that–golden age of Sesame Street. The days when there was no sickeningly cute Elmo. I watched it long beyond when I probably should have quit, but I babysat a lot. Besides, I have a weakness for Muppets and infectious songs about counting.

I always loved when the baker spilled everything all over the place.

Yip yip yip yip yip yip yip!

The Seasons, starring Prairie Dawn and other assorted Muppets.

Sodalite. One of my favourites. I usually wear two sodalite nugget bracelets every day.

Isn’t it beautiful? Of course, my bracelets are made from tumbled sodalites, although I do have a nice sized sodalite chunk.

Tune in Monday when we talk about T’s, and I give away a CD of music by True Blue. You’ll definitely want to enter into the giveaway.  Peace out!

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Not so coincidentally, “Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, it’s drivin’ me nuts” is the punchline to my favourite pirate joke. 

With no further ado:

Radner, and Roseanne Roseannadanna. I remember watching SNL back in its early days, and Gilda Radner was my favourite. Who could forget her ad for Jewess Jeans? Her interviews as Baba Wawa? She combined being unconventionally pretty with being abso-frickin-lutely hilarious. And Roseanne Roseannadanna was the best.

Raspberries—and every other kind of edible berry. Unlike my sister, the incomparable Izzybella, who refuses to eat any red fruit except watermelon, I adore pretty much every fruit. Except kiwi. Ugh. Don’t like that stuff. But raspberries? Fresh juicy raspberries? Love ‘em!

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Man, I loved those things. Especially when they came out with the small unwrapped ones. I could mindlessly eat one after another after another until the bag was gone. Fortunately for my waistline, however, the last time I had a Reese’s, I got violently ill for 2 days. Haven’t been able to even think about having one since that time. Just the thought of eating a Reese’s makes my stomach hurt.

Regina Spektor. Ever heard any of her music? She is just amazing. Everything she does is so inventive, I love it. Fidelity was the first song of hers that I ever heard, and I immediately went out and bought the CD. I was supposed to go see her several years ago, but was diagnosed with strep throat the day of the concert, and forbidden to do anything but go home because I was contagious. So Joe went alone, and gave my ticket to a group of 3 people—2 of them had tickets, and the 3rd was hoping to buy a ticket, not knowing the show was sold out. So I don’t mind so much. It’s nice when you can perform a mitzvah for someone, even something as small as that.

Rock Barrell. I know the word “Barrel” is spelled with one L, but the shop spells it with two. So who am I to argue? Anyway, if you like crystals, stones, jewelry making supplies, etc., you can’t go wrong by visiting Rock Barrell in—tada!—Richardson Texas. Their prices on crystals and stones are much more reasonable than the metaphysical shops. Izzy and I got some lovely pieces, and I’m looking forward to our next trip.

Reading. Well, der. I’m one of the Quirky Girls who Read, and I am obsessive about reading. I’ll try most anything except romance (for some reason, I HATE romance novels) or big long complicated math or science stuff. I will confess, however, to having decided that I no longer have to finish a book if I decide I don’t like it. In my younger days, if I started a book, I finished it, with the notable exceptions of Helter Skelter (too horrifying) and Vanity Fair (too stultifying). One may laugh at the juxtaposition of those two worlds apart books, but there you have it. Helter Skelter I took outside and put in the trash bin because I didn’t even want it in the house. And the last time I attempted to read Vanity Fair I hurled it across the room and vowed never to try again. Now I’m older and wiser, and realize there’s absolutely no point in finishing a book if I don’t like it. In fact, there’s a section on my kindle labeled “Books I Did Not Like.”

Red. As in the colour. Purple used to be my favourite colour until fairly recently, when I realized with some surprise that it’s now red. Red is also the colour associated with the root chakra, which I was doing a lot of work on. The last time I had my chakras balanced, I was told that my crown and throat chakras were seriously messed up. Coincidentally (or not?), the day of the balancing was also the day I began the latest bout of strep throat. So I’ve been wearing a lot of blue and have my blue crystals out (blue is the colour for the throat chakra). Anyway, back to red. I am using red as the primary colour (along with black, white, and grey) in the living area when we move back home. I’ve found some fantastic accessories, and am really looking forward to putting everything together.

And that’s it for the R’s. Tune in tomorrow for our very special S guest! (if you want, you can put a picture of Super Grover here).

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