Wednesday, December 31, 2008

meet the pets

Because the pets are such an important part of my life, I thought they deserved their own post.

Meet Steve:



I adopted Steve in 2003 from the Atlanta Humane Society. He enjoys sleeping, eating, and meowing at the door, regardless of whether he is in or out.

This is Charlie-Pickles Sanchez:



Charlie-Pickles Sanchez wandered into my mom's house one day about two years ago and stayed. Stayed, that is, until my mom called me and said she'd gotten the stray her shots and spayed, and when can I come pick it up? She enjoys stealing your food and digging holes outside.

This is Apollo:



Ryan adopted Apollo as a puppy from Pet Land about 8 years ago. In an unattended moment in the Pet Land shopping basket, Baby Apollo leapt from the cart and landed on his head, and he's been a very special boy ever since. Apollo enjoys staring, wagging, and wrestling with Bitty Kitty.

This is Bitty Kitty:



Oops, that's not right. That's just a picture of Bitty Kitty's soul. This is what Bitty Kitty looks like to the naked eye:



Bitty Kitty refused to wear the Obama/Biden sticker. That coupled with the snapshot of her soul make me suspect that she is a . . . Republican.

This is what Bitty Kitty did to the blinds:



Bitty Kitty enjoys biting you, hating you, and destruction of property.

She also enjoys wrestling with Apollo:


(video inadvertently narrated by Carson Kressley)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

at the deep fryer

Last night I got to see my beloved JPo who had I had been missing for so many days! Our reunion was wonderful and all hugs and smiles and LOVEFUL, and she even hugged me while sober and didn't seem to hate it too much. We'll be mailing out save-the-dates any day now.

Then we went to Trappeze and ran into Dan! Hi, Dan!

Then we went to The Grill, which was really not on my no-food-for-2009 plan, but after 3 vodka 'n orange juices it seemed like a good idea. As I ordered, I wondered why they call it The Grill when everything there has clearly been The Deep Fried, so I decided to change its name accordingly.

Then I made my awesome duck face which everyone is always very jealous of:


(That's my nose ring glinting in the flash, not an unlaunched snot rocket.)

And nobody can do the duck face even almost as awesomely as me, but I still love to encourage everyone to try because the results are always excellent:





And even though I always say I hate my new camera because it takes shitty pictures, I actually love it because it's easy to surreptitiously take videos like this:


(JPo: "What's wrong with it?" me: "Nothing, I'm just taking a video!" JPo: "NOOO!!!!")

Monday, December 29, 2008

veggie burger recipe: an update/warning

Farts. Lots of them. And loud.

That is all.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

deeeelicious recipes

As I'm not sure how I'd go about making cookies and veggie burgers funny, I'll just provide you with the following recipes I've discovered recently. They are so magically delicious that I felt the need to share.

First, the cookies I distributed for Christmas -

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
(I think these are actually the tastiest cookies I've ever had.)

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a mixer beat together the butter with the sugars until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until smooth after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add in the vanilla. On a low speed beat in the flour mixture a little at a time. Gently mix in chocolate chips.

On an ungreased cookie sheet, drop teaspoons of the batter about 2 inches apart. Bake until just cracked on top, about 8 to10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking time. Cool completely.

The recipe calls for topping the cookies with a peppermint glaze, but I omitted it for two reasons: 1) I think icing on a cookie is a bit much, and 2) they'd get all stuck together and not be as easily packagable for gift givery. Instead, I added about a teaspoon of peppermint extract to the batter and called it a day. (In another batch, I used 1 c. chocolate chips, and 1 c. chopped Andes mints, but I think it's cheaper, easier, and every bit as tasty to just use the extract.)

I baked them for 7 minutes which made them verra, verra soft and fabulous, because who wants a crunchy cookie? Gross. Just make sure to let them cool almost completely if you soft-bake them because they will completely disintegrate if you pick them up too early.

I also gave peanut butter fudge, and I am hesitant to share the recipe with you because I prefer everyone thinks of me as slaving over the stove with a candy thermometer and praying for just the right humidity. Actually, I just nuke it and stir it up.

Peanut Butter Fudge, courtesy of Alton Brown

Microwave 1lb (2 sticks) of butter with 1 cup of peanut butter for 2 minutes in a BIG plastic mixing bowl. After 2 minutes, take it out and give it a stir. Nuke it for 2 more minutes, then remove it and immediately stir in 1lb of powdered sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Spread it in a pan lined with wax paper and chill.

I like to cut it with a pizza cutter before it's completely chilled so I can get a nice clean line. I find that when I cut it after it's chilled, it kind of splinters and doesn't look as pretty.

Having eating entirely too many chocolate peppermint cookies and peanut butter fudge, I decided to give up food for 2009. I really only made it for a couple of hours, so I decided instead to start eating a buttload of fruits and vegetables and give up meat and dairy products almost entirely. I found the following recipe in a cookbook called 1000 Vegetarian Recipes from Around the World, which contains mostly just recipes instructing you on how to cook the hell out of once-nutritious vegetables and smother them in cheese.

This one for veggie burgers, however, it not half bad, especially after I made it better.

Black Bean/Soy/Veggie Burgers

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. sunflower oil (Who the heck has that? I used canola.)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped (I used a whole head of roasted garlic instead)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
5 oz white mushrooms, finely chopped (Because I think mushrooms smell and taste like ball sweat, I substituted the recommended 4 oz. of finely chopped carrots and zucchini)
1 1/2 canned red pinto or red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (I used black beans instead.)
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley (I didn't have any.)
a handful or so of all purpose flour
salt & pepper

I also added a couple tablespoons of wing sauce and two pounds of ground soy, a delish and convincing substitute for ground beef. I also used white pepper instead of black. I added one beaten egg to the whole mix at the end to bind it.

Preheat the broiler.

Mash the beans together with the meatless ground (or just the beans alone if you're not using it) with a fork or a potato masher in a big bowl.

Saute the onions for about 5 minutes. Throw in the spices, and then the carrots and zucchini (or mushrooms, barf) for another 5 minutes. Add the veggies to the mix. Season with salt & pepper. Add the beaten egg, and stir it all together. Add a little bit of flour here and there til it seems dry enough to hold together. Form it into patties and put them on a cookie sheet lined with foil.

This next part works better if you have two identical cookie sheets.

Cook them on the middle rack under the preheated broiler for 7 minutes. If they seem too gooey to pick up and flip (which they probably will), put the other cookie sheet on top (also lined with foil) and flip it over QUICKLY. Remove the cookie sheet that is now on top and gently peel back the top layer of foil to avoid tearing the patties. Broil for another 5 minutes, or until it looks dry on the outside. Let them cool a bit before you handle them.

I ate mine topped with sliced avocado, and it was deeeelicious.

Here's hoping the moon/cheese wheel/piggy teakettle face is on its way out.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

a medical emergency and a post-Christmas retail safari

Some of you know that my poor sweet hubby suffers from sciatica. He's been a LOT better for the past year or so, but this morning it flared up and he was in terrible pain. It being a Saturday and all, I had to take him to the urgent care clinic, Athens Regional First Care. Let me say, we've been there a couple times before (for his back and the time Bitty Kitty bit me and almost gave me the hydrophoby) and they are always super nice and able to get us in and out pretty quickly.

But today, the Saturday after Christmas, we did not get in and out so quickly. In fact, we were there for over two hours. For the first hour or so until they called him back, we sat in the main waiting room which was cram packed with sick people. I fucking hate doctor's office waiting rooms. The air thrums with germs and filth and disease, and it makes my skin tingle. But this place was extra-special-toxic. Looking around, I was certain that we were going to catch something awful like the flu or the cancer or the teenage pregnancy or the inbreeding.

Anne assured me that we were not at risk for catching the teenage pregnancy because once you turn twenty, you're immune. Good thing because, as she pointed out, that shit lasts like 18 years. Disgusting.

I tried to read my new David Sedaris book, When you are Engulfed in Flames, but I had to stop because it was making me laugh too hard to survive on the tiny, shallow breaths I was convinced would prevent me from inhaling lethal doses of the inbreeding or the gonorrhea.

Even worse than all the pathogens in the air was this petri dish whose mother was letting her sit on the fucking floor and steep in disease and filth. I longed for the peppermint-flavored (scented?) bottle of hand sanitizer I'd received from the elder Quesos for Christmas so I could pluck the girl gingerly off the floor and douse her in it, saving her life and the lives of all who might come into contact with her before her impending demise. But then she did the unthinkable and sealed her fate - she wriggled across the carpet on her belly toward the bathroom, stretched across the threshold, and rubbed her chubby little hands all over the bathroom floor.

Dead kid walking, I thought and wished I could possibly cover my face with my scarf without alerting everyone to the fact that I am a colossal asshole.

Over an hour after we'd arrived, they called Ryan's name, and he hobbled to the exam room. Gasping for air, I bolted outside to spend the remainder of the wait in the car.

Another hour later, my honey emerged from the clinic, shot full of cortisone and armed with prescriptions for sundry medicinal delights medically necessary pain relievers to be used only as directed, without exception.

I took him home and headed out to fill his prescriptions and run some errands, including picking up a book he really wanted.

I dropped the prescriptions off at Walgreen's and stopped by the Jittery Joe's at Alps before going to Kroger. Can I just say that I love that Jittery Joe's? I like Jittery Joe's in general, but sometimes at the one at Five Points I don't feel cool enough. The staff at the Alps Jittery Joe's however, are always sooooooooo friggin' nice.

(PLEASE HIRE ME, JITTERY JOE'S AT ALPS! I NEED A JOB SO DAMN BAD, AND I AM SUCH A GOOD COFFEE LADY!)

Plus, they have the bestest ever mochas and hot chocolates. They put all other chocolatey beverages to shame. Mmm.

So I went to Kroger, and whenever I have to grocery shop by myself it is such a fucking project. This is because I no longer know how to grocery shop. Here's what grocery shopping means for me now - Ryan makes a shopping list, we go to Kroger together, he does all the shopping and cart-pushing, and I walk beside him and talk.

Sometimes, actually, he steps away from the cart, and I start pushing it by accident. This usually lasts only a few seconds though, just until I realize what's happening and say, "Ugh, why am I doing this?" And then he takes over, and all is right once more.

What all this means is that I have no flippin' clue where anything in the grocery store is located, and I've even forgotten the standard grocery-aisle groupings. Would the peanut butter be with the jelly? Or the bread? Or the nuts? I really have no idea.

One hour and forty million circuits around the grocery store later, I finally left with a small basket of vegetables, nothing more. If Ryan doesn't get back on his feet soon, we may starve (which is fine for my part, because I've given up food for New Year's anyway; c.f. full moon/cheese wheel/piggy teakettle face).

Next, I went to Borders in search of a Batman graphic novel for Ryan, The Killing Joke.




I located the graphic novel section easily, but then I was stumped. There were rows and rows of books labeled "Manga," and the manga section seemed to have eaten the graphic novel section entirely, as all the shelves under the "Graphic Novels" sign contained brightly colored paperbacks with what looked like cartoon toddler porn stars on the covers. That, based on my inspection of the books actually shelved under the "Manga" sign, was manga.

Gross.

Upon inquiry to one of Borders' finest, I was informed that they "have that book somewhere, but nobody could find a copy last time a customer asked." As I walked back to my car, I caught sight of my reflection in the storefront glass and thought, "Why, I haven't gotten fat at all. My ass looks like J. Lo's! I'm not fat; I'm shapely." I was pleased.

I decided I would not return home to my poor sweetie empty-handed, so I set out for Barnes and Noble, just a short trip up Atlanta Highway.

See?



Note that Google offers walking directions. It is Not Far.

First, I popped across the street to Walgreen's and picked up Ryan's goodies medicine, and then headed toward Barnes & Noble. En route, I decided to stop at Target. I had a gift card, and I really needed some new shoes because last week my cat barfed INSIDE the flats I wear every day. I've been freezing my arse off (my toes, actually) in flip flops ever since. As I headed to the shoe department, I tried to remain oblivious to all the cute goodies demanding that I purchase them.

And would you believe, no you won't, and I was SO MAD that I didn't have my camera in my purse when I saw this shit because these photos from Target's website do not do this footwear travesty justice:



AGH!! This. Shoe. Is. VELOUR. And. BEDAZZLED. AND, I'm not sure exactly why this makes me throw up, but the freaking peep-toe-hole is triangular, and can I just say itisfuckingawful?!

Now imagine several rows of those purple bedazzled nightmares mixed in with numerous pairs of these monsters:



I was totally like



Ugh. Shudder. Cringe. I know you want me to stop so badly, that you're in pain, that you're just dying from all the ugly, but there's more, and. You. Need. To. Know.



You might think this isn't so bad. If you are, you're thinking wrong. The "jewels" on the toe are fucking HUUUUUUUUGE, and.......



It comes in colors. I'm sorry to do this to you, I really am, but it's for your own good, like in V for Vendetta when V shaved Natalie Portman's hair and tortured her and then she learned to be free and was grateful all that crap. I am setting you free.

Brace yourself.



IIIIEEEEE!!!!!!!!!

Okay, here's the last one, and I won't blame you if you squinch your eyes up a little bit to mitigate the impact.



Anyone fancy a trip to Neverland Ranch?


Now let us never speak of this again.

Because they were comfy and seemed versatile, I settled on these



which I had previously flirted with purchasing but didn't because I found them too pricey at $25. Today, however, with cold damp toes and a gift card in my wallet, $25 seemed just right. They are cuter in real life than they are in the photo, too. This is not their best side.

I purchased my new shoes, put them on immediately, and headed Barnes and Nobleward. Recall that from my original starting point of Borders, the total distance to Barnes and Noble was only 1.3 miles. Target is roughly halfway between the two stores, so I really had just over half a mile to drive til I arrived at B&N.

I arrived at my destination about forty minutes later. Love that post-holiday-sale traffic.

Oh. And as if those shoes weren't nauseating enough, while I was in the car I heard a commercial for Macy's after-holiday sales, advertising "...the hottest new trends blah blah blah blah blah ACID WASH JEANS blah blah blah blah blah..."

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There simply are not words.

I entered Barnes and Noble and located the Graphic Novel section, which has as yet only been slightly overrun by manga. As I perused the titles, a teenage boy approached me and asked, "Ma'am,-do-you-know-who-you-look-like?"

I might have been clued in by his oddly stilted speech or the fact that he was holding a crumpled script, or I might instead have let my absurd vanity get carried away in inexplicable anticipation of hearing, "Anne Hathaway" or "Emmy Rossum" or some such other dazzling brunette. I was especially flattered that I was about to receive a stunning compliment while greasy-haired and sporting the rather unusual and only partially clean assortment of clothing I'd thrown on in my haste to get Ryan to the doctor this morning.

I smiled warmly and replied with what I believed was convincingly humble innocence, "No, who?"

"You-look-like-uhhhhh......." came his hesitant reply.

"Who?" I prompted.

"You-look-like-the-lady-who's-gonna-gimme-some-money-to-sponsor-my-trip-to-Disney-World!" he recited triumphantly.

I stood blinking for a moment and then returned to reality.

"Oh, right," I said as I recalled that I have gained a thousand pounds and now have a cheese-wheel face as well as a donkey butt. Never mind the fact that teenage boys do not walk up to poorly-dressed tired-looking married ladies and compare them to movie stars.

"Well," I lied, "I don't actually have any cash, but good luck." I only had a hundred dollar bill, and my Christmas spirit had reached it zenith and begun to wane days ago.

He pouted theatrically and asked if I was sure I didn't have any cash.

"Yes, I'm sure. But, seriously, that was a great line," I assured him. "It'll definitely work for you at some point."

He thanked me, smiled pleasantly, and left to seek out his next victim.

Happily, B&N had Ryan's book, which I purchased. As I exited the building, I again noticed my reflection in the windows, but apparently B&N has fat windows. What had been a fabulous, curvy J. Lo booty just an hour previous was now a fucking sofa. I did not look like J Lo, I looked like Rachael fucking Ray.

:(

(By the way, I tried to find a good photo of Rachael Ray's be-mom-jeaned booty, and all I could find were fake ones of her head pasted on pictures of chicks with gigantic asses. I ask you, what was the point of this? Didn't Nature photoshop her well enough already? I also found lots of pictures from her FHM photoshoot that were retouched to svelte hilarity.)

To punish myself further, I headed next door to Old Navy. Yesterday as Anne and I discussed the post-holiday shopping madness, she commented, "I don't get going shopping the day after Christmas. Like, didn't I get enough shit yesterday? Why do I need to go out and get more?"

Excellent, excellent question, Anne, and I pondered it myself as I succumbed to the siren's song of SIXTY PERCENT OFF STOREWIDE!!!!

At Old Navy, I was disgruntled to encounter a wall o' casual flats for $10 a pair. Looking down, I realized I was wearing bowling shoes. Twenty-five dollar, shiny, silver, now sweated in and unreturnable bowling shoes that can't even actually be worn bowling.

Well, shit.

As I browsed, I recalled why I never shop at Old Navy. All they have there are like sweats and pajamas. They used to have cute stuff, dresses, nice(ish) wool skirts, etc. Now they have hoodies. Even sweaters that look decent at first glance have a fucking hood. Why? Wouldn't it just be cheaper to leave the hood off and charge the same price? Or does everyone actually want all of their clothing to double as gymwear?

Whatever.

I got a sweater for Ryan, and a nice blouse (one of the two in the store without a hood) and a silver puffy coat for me.

On the drive home, I heard an ad for Q100's New Year's celebration. In collaboration with Jezebel magazine, they are throwing a party called.....

Jez-olution?????

Seriously?

Somebody better get fired over that. And then they better hire me because I can come up with way better body-fluid inspired puns than that crap.

When I got home, I looked over my purchases and discovered that I have been harboring a unconscious desire to be an astronaut:






Or a robot, or the Tin Man, or a garbage can.

Oh well. At least I've got a jump on a Halloween costume for next year.

______________________________

Since many of you are nice and wondering how Ryan is, he's doing okay. He's loaded up on happy pills pain relievers, and I just sent him to bed. His primary health problem right now, albeit unbeknownst to him, is that there is an excellent chance I may smother him tonight because he is snoring so loudly that I can hear him across the house. Seriously, I thought it was bass from a car stereo because it's rumbling the walls, but no - it's just my husband.

Ahh, marriage. The honeymoon never really ends, does it?

“We plunged into the cornucopia quivering with desire and the ecstasy of unbridled avarice.”*

A Chrismakkah Story

Well, we had just a wonderful holiday, and I hope you did too. After Ryan got off work on Christmas Eve, we headed to his dad's house in Buford to have dinner and spend the night. They have an adorable new puppy dog named Rocko:



Rocko was feeling a little porn-ish, so I had to crop the photo for propriety's sake, but you get the idea. He is purse-sized, and I just LOVE him.

Ryan's dad and stepmom always give us nice goodie bags that are very thoughtful and personal. For example, I received chocolate-covered cherries (my faves), peppermint-flavored (scented?) hand sanitizer, and a rape whistle.

I always enjoy dinner there because we have real food instead of mashy holiday food. This year we had sandwiches and my father-in-law's fabulously delicious Cuban black beans. Sandwiches may not sound terribly exciting, but I more or less loathe traditional holiday foods. Please understand this is usually no fault of the cook's - I just dislike pureed vegetables and generally anything called "casserole." (I also do not understand how condensed soup can ever be considered an "ingredient" - ugh.) As a friend who celebrated Thanksgiving or Chrismakkah or something with my family one year succintly whispered, "There's nothing here you have to chew." So I am pleased as punch to have ham & cheese sandwiches and black beans for Christmas dinner.

Ryan's stepmother's parents were there, and they are just adorable. Her father (actually stepfather, but "my husband's stepmother's stepfather" is too complicated) suffers from some kind of dementia that seems like Alzheimer's but it's not as nasty. On Christmas Eve, he was downright loopy, and forgive me if it's insensitive, but he was hilarious. When Rocko the chihuahua pawed at his lap during dinner, he demanded to know (several times) "if that dog is a queer!"

Later on, when opening his gifts, he pulled a box from Chico's out of the gift bag, and without opening it announced, "Ohhh, Chico's, I know what theeese aaaaaarrre!!" Gesturing slyly at his 70-year-old wife, he grinned and said, "These are so you don't get pregnant!"

I thought maybe I should ask him to pass those Chico's my way, since my husband and I clearly need all the help we can get.

Next we played Raving Rabbids, the video game that Ryan got for his 11-year-old brother:




I freaking loved this game. I am not by any stretch of the imagination a video game person, but this one managed to satisfy all of my stringent requirements: it contained lots of toilet humor and required little to no skill. I even won one of the games. Go me!

Next we went to my grandmother's house in Canton, where I got to hang out with (among others)

my mommy


my auntie & uncle (who both accidentally looked happy at the same time - yay!)


and my ickle brotherkins


who is ten feet tall and not so ickle anymore


and who does an uncanny impression of the creepy old man from Family Guy: (you'll be wanting to turn up your volume a bit)





I also discovered that I have gained fifty billion pounds and my face resembles the moon, or a large white cheese wheel with eyes and hair. Observe:


Now, I have to say, with a mixture of delight and guilt, I made out like a freaking bandit. Here are a few highlights from my gifts:

An adorable piggy teakettle, and yes, I know I am an old lady. Screw you.


EDIT: (AGH AGH AGH, forget the moon or a cheese wheel! I look like this effing tea kettle! OH MY GOD.)

A fluffy pink one-of-a-kind scarf handmade by my aunt Sandi, knitter extraordinaire. Apollo was kind enough to model it for you, as I am looking beyond wretched today.


Isn't it silly? I love it.

And this awesome goldfishy umbreller from my Go-ma.


From my mom I got When you are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris, which concerned me at first because I really haven't enjoyed anything he's written since Me Talk Pretty One Day, which is heeeeelarious. I know Naked and Barrel Fever were all popular and shit, but I just didn't get them. Much to my delight, however, this book is fucking funny, like Me Talk Pretty One Day funny, and I love-love-love it. I'm halfway through it already, and I'm only taking time out from reading it to kindly write this post for my adoring fans, so you'd better appreciate it. All three of you.

No need to thank me, though. Your heartfelt gratitude is presumed.

I also received a pink suede Kate Spade wallet that is sooooo cuters, a multitude of gift cardery, and a veritable treasure trove of UGA apparel.

Oh, and I almost forgot. I got this McDonald's Happy Meal My Little Pony from my dad:

As ev'rybodee knows, I luff teh poniez.


My 6-year-old cousin got this, um, snorkel:



and when we all couldn't stop laughing because of, you know, the sheer existence of this



and this



she got a little pissed.



And I may be a bit (or a lot) to blame owing to my uncontrollable laughter and my comment that I couldn't wait to laugh at it some more next summer when she actually uses it, but come on, is that photo not worth a little childhood torment? Think naked bathtime pictures are bad? Wait til I threaten to show this little jewel of blackmail to her dates some day.

Next we went to Ryan's mom's, which I guess is actually her fiance's, but she lives there now and they allegedly plan to get married one of these days, so I reckon it's hers now too.

We had a scrumptious dinner of more mashy food, followed by a store-bought pie.

"What kind of pie is that?" my MIL's ostensible future hubby inquired.

"Uhh," my MIL replied, glancing at the label, "Gourmet. It's a gourmet pie."

Sigh. The sad part is that I was utterly unsurprised by her reply. And in case you're wondering, it was apple. Gourmet apple.

After dinner we exchanged gifts, and finally Ryan and I headed home, bloated with food and the guilt-tinged satisfaction that only the abject materialistic gluttony of the holiday season can provide.

Oh, and it was nice to see our families too. :)
_________________________________________
* from that holiday staple and my all-time favorite movie, A Christmas Story

(Dear Go-ma,
I am sure it troubles you greatly that I split infinitives on here like it's my job, so I wanted to let you know that I am well aware it's a grammatical no-no. I happen to think it's a stupid and pretentious grammatical no-no, although, so I don't care. That is all.)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Chateau Elan - The Most Overrated Place Ever* (an illustrated guide)

WELL........here it is. What you've all been waiting for.

Okay!!

So.

There's just so much.

First, I would like to provide an illustrated guide to why Chateau Elan is the most overrated place ever. We begin at The Spa.

Exhibit A - The Pool:






The Pool is approximately twenty feet long and is scented delicately of mildew. The doors you see lead to a lovely patio outside that overlooks a bunch of dead grass and a "fountain" that sprays a single jet of water into the air.



To maintain the utmost security for their patrons, the spa's patio doors are also locked from the inside. Although this may seem terribly inconvenient at first, while completely locked out of the building after unsuspectingly venturing outside, guests have ample opportunity to explore the grounds in the rain and cold as they search for a door, any door, or an unlocked window, or even a relatively spacious chimney to slide down before they freeze to death or are eaten by wild animals or are kidnapped and murdered by the many native tribes of white men in plaid pants who inhabit the adjacent golf courses.

Exhibit B: a placard on the wall at the whirlpool or jacuzzi or hot tub of whateverthefuck they're called now.



The hot tub boasts "Soft, Silky Smooth Water," brought to you by ChlorKing, and promises not to cause you any health problems. Um, cool.

At tea time, all those at the spa are free to help themselves to a delightful assortment of snacks.



Unfortunately, they came in only two flavors - Refrigerator and Freezer Burn.

I did learn something interesting at the spa. I learned that spending a day at a spa is basically going from one hot place to another all day. You can be in the dry sauna, the steam sauna, the whirlpool bathtub (which I thought was GROSS), or the hot tub. So basically you just sit in one place til you get too hot and then go to a different kind of hot place. It's also really fucking boring, and coming from someone like me who really loves to just sit and do nothing, that's saying something. At the end of the day I felt swollen up and bloated like a Vienna Sausage, and not at all relaxed. After I showered, I ran outside for some fresh air so I wouldn't have a fucking heart attack.

When I returned to the shower area, I discovered that the spa has thoughtfully provided hair dryers, etc, for the convenience of their patrons. For example, if you've forgotten your hairbrush or comb, you can help yourself to one of theirs:



Or not. (BTW, I realize that's probably some fungicide or something, but it's fucking GROSS, and I don't want it anywhere near my head. And does that ooze in the jar remind anyone else of the goo under New York in the Ghostbusters movie?)

Should you choose to have lunch at the spa, they have made it most convenient. Rather than having to clean up and get dressed, you may eat your lunch in your spa robe and slippers. At first this sounded like a great idea to me because although I tend to overdress and get fancy, I actually prefer to go most places and do most things wearing flip-flops and stretchy pants if I can get away with it. I envisioned a cozy room with couches and a coffee table laden with plates of snacky foods where you could lounge and munch at your leisure. Instead, you eat here:



That's right. You sit at a fancy-ass table in a fancy-ass dining room and are served by a guy in a suit while you wear a fucking bathrobe. I have never been so uncomfortable in my life. Never mind the fact that I am sort of prissy and would never go anywhere nice without my hair and makeup did. Oh, and I'd ordinarily wear panties to a restaurant as well (unless it's our anniversary or Ryan's birthday or something). Plus, the spa robs are like a one-size-fits-all deal, so my robe could have easily accommodated four or five of me. What this meant was that basically I had to constantly police my boobies because the stupid gigantic robe kept drooping open and providing everyone with a free but disappointing show.

Also, there was a dude eating with his legs spread!! (He was wearing booty shorts under his robe, but still.) And another dude had his robe open, showing his bare chest to the world.

Gag. Check, please!

Oh, and the cost of a eating a turkey sandwich and a cup of chili whilst guarding my breasts in the company of greasy naked strangers? A mere twenty-five dollars. Can't wait to do it again.

And finally, the anorexic Christmas tree:



'Nuff said.

As the wedding was to be held in the Cask Room, we headed there next for the rehearsal. It was kind of cool.

There were some barrels:



and some bottles:



and a knight:



and a door leading to something called the:



I really wanted to open it, but thus far I had managed to convince everyone I was an adult, so I refrained.

There were also some cool murals painted on the outside of the building, underneath a weird carport, where basically nobody would ever see them, except for me and MOH who were late for the rehearsal and got lead through some supersecret catacombs by a helpful (and rather tasty looking) bartender (sadly, not pictured).







Now we'll move to the Clubhouse Grille for the rehearsal dinner, located at the Chateau Elan Golf Villas, where somehow

one


plus one


equals $14.

If you live in ATL, you're probably surprised. If you live in ATH, you probably just fell out of your chair.

Suffice it to say, I did not get drunk that night, which basically made the whole affair a wash.

Now let's talk about the room.

'Zilla, MOH, and I stayed in the "Bridal Suite" the night before the wedding.

There is a huuuuuuuge bed for Sexy Time:



And a couch (in the corner of the photo) for 'Zilla Gets Pissed and Kicks Groom out of the Bed Time.

And a desk, for Boss & Secretary Roleplaying Sexy Time:



And a humungous TV for Porny Time?

Not pictured are the tiny sink and mirror that are useful for neither On the Counter Looking at Yourselves Sexy Time nor Three Girls Get Pretty for the Wedding and do Their Makeup & Hair Time.

When I commented to 'Zilla that the bathroom area wasn't terribly conducive to wedding preparation, she informed me that Chateau Elan doesn't actually have bridal suites. They have ten presidential suites, and normally couples use those. This one was a presidential suite, meaning only that it has a fucking ton of unused square footage.

I have to wonder why the hell a resort that hosts gazillions of weddings doesn't have bridal suites, or at least suites with a little more mirrors and counter space, but whatevs. We made do.

For $225 per night, we made do.

Okay, sooo.......I know I am being a little mean, and this is not actually what you've been waiting for, but I have to get the rest of the photos from MOH before I can do this fucking farce justice. Have patience. I expect to be finished by tomorrow night at the latest.

Stay tuned!

__________________________________

* Apologies to Daniela and my mom, who both love Chateau Elan. I just wasn't feeling it, but it may not have been the resort's fault ;)