Nestor will be mine.

Over AIM:

  • tobyjoe: we have a half day today
  • mihow: oh yea?
  • mihow: that’s awesome
  • mihow: when you heading home?
  • tobyjoe: well, 3 hours off
  • tobyjoe: i’ll probably be home around 8ish
  • tobyjoe: i have to shop
  • tobyjoe: i just don’t know where to buy a pet long eared donkey

I would love a miniature, long-eared pet donkey.


I had a not so original idea this morning: Take a picture of what you see out back every day for one month. I’m not sure if I’ll follow through with this for two reasons. One, I’m lazy. And two, it’s been done before (and flawlessly) by so many other (more interesting) people. I think it was even done in a movie or two. One of those movies was either Blue in the Face or Smoke. I can’t remember which one. Anyway, here are some pictures taken this morning (and one from last night).

Cold and gray here in Brooklyn.

Upper Manhattan. I call this “The Antenna King.”

I made low-cal peach pie last night. This one was a bit higher in calories than the raspberry pie and the blueberry pie because of the top crust. (The crust is the bulk of its calories. Each crust holds 400 calories worth of wheat flour. Are you annoyed with my calorie talk yet? Imagine how Toby must feel. (Note to family members who read this: I think I might need some pie pans. Look at that sad bastard, barely keeping up.)

The peach pie is the best one yet. We nearly consumed the entire thing in one sitting. Toby is inhaling it.

And here is our still very naked Christmas tree. I think we need more ornaments and some tinsel for Tucker to destroy come Saturday.

And the whole house, it shakes

We live near the BQE (Brooklyn, Queens Expressway.) It’s literally about three or four houses down—houses that are butted up right next to one another. I can see it from the front of the apartment as well as the back. During the day and often times at night, the house shakes with the passing of heavier trucks. And that’s not all we’ve noticed. It seems that some nights are louder than others. For example, Thursday late-nights, the trucks sound emptier and are therefore louder. While the house may shake less because they weigh less, they make more noise – a hollow almost guttural sound.

It’s kinda spooky.

Comment spam.

Yesterday, while moving through my usual Internet reading routine, I visited Blurbomat and read this post. Later that evening, during dinner, Toby and I had a two hour discussion about comment spam and blogging.

As many of you already know, Toby Joe is a big geek. He wrote this Web site for me using PHP. Each time he updates he takes something from before and expands upon it, making it better, or he fixes something he now sees as “incorrect”. (He finally conquered three years of my using links and their fondness for using ampersands, which consequently, used to break this site). I appreciate Toby’s work and his maintaining this Web site more than you can possibly imagine.

One of the best things about having a one-of-a-kind Web site (by “one-of-a-kind” I mean the software it uses) is I haven’t gone through the perils of comment spam. Not only have I not experienced it, but up until recently, after speaking with Missy at Listen Missy and watching Essl foam at the mouth over his plethora of gambling spam, I hadn’t realized how absolutely huge and annoying it’d become. And I’m still not sure I really understand the intensity of the problem since I haven’t experience it firsthand.

Toby seems to think that the community as a whole needs to change and the software behind it and the way it’s designed needs to be reevaluated and reworked. Basically, (and hopefully he will correct me if I’m wrong) the foundation needs to be rebuilt. On the flip-side, I wanted to look at the problem and come up with ways to destroy it.

Last night, as I was trying to fall asleep, I began to think about everything he said. And, like many times after I have a discussion with Toby Joe, I have to chew on his words for a while before the ideas begin to fall into place. (He’s a smart one, that hubby of mine.) And I think I summed it up in my head; If he were a healthcare professional, he’d take preventative measures against future health problems. Not that humans generally practice this, but I think it’s safe to say that many times it’s better to put a lot of money, thought and time into something up front to avoid a frustrating battle down the line.

Perhaps the community does need to be rebuilt from the ground up. Perhaps building plug-in after plug-in, barely keeping up with these spam-bots (which are growing more and more intelligent by the hour), isn’t the right way to go about it.

Another post proving my need for head assistance.

I am trying to imagine a world without the Internet. And when I do, the inner workings of my head scream the shrillest most disturbing screech. Without the Internet, there would and COULD actually be MORE human beings actually OUT farting and shopping.

I just returned from a four hour shopping extravaganza. And I’m about damn ready to puke. But I can’t puke because I don’t have ONE drop of solid food in my stomach. I haven’t eaten anything since last night’s tuna.

I visited all of the following stores (for reasons I can not go into until after Christmas):

Filene’s Basment, DSW, The Goth Store on Third Avenue, the OTHER Goth store on Third Avenue (you know, the one right next to the mother ship), Forbidden Planet, Canal Jeans, FCUK, The outside shopping thing on Union Square, A shoe store (I don’t know the name), PC Richards (or whatever his name is), some card shop, and, lastly, but so not leastly, MACY’s on 34th street.

AND HOLY SWEET NESTOR THE LONG EARED XMAS DONKEY, Macy’s sucks during the holidays. What a nightmare. What an absolute conscious nightmare. It was even worse than the one I had just before I woke up this morning. That was the one where my parents were trying to force me into marrying someone like [if not the actual] Arnold Schwarzenegger. And when I kept saying, “I don’t like that man. He’s not my type! I like this other man named TobyJoe!” they insisted. And it became horrible when I realized that I might have to spend my life with something other than TobyJoe, thereby giving him to someone else, luckier. And as funny as the alternative may seem to you, I woke up in a cold sweat, whimpering.

Macy’s sucked. Macy was almost worse than marrying Arnold Schwarzenegger and giving up TobyJoe.

And here I am, home again, with only THREE presents.


But, alas, NOW I must eat.

Myself, a can of tuna, and three kitty cats.

Last night I was opening a can of tuna when I realized it was filled with oil. Annoyed with myself, I thought, “You ALWAYS check this kind of thing, Michele. What the hell?” I turned to check on the other can of tuna I purchased at the same time. That tuna was submerged in water. Tuna is supposed to be in water. Duh.

Damn grocery people, mixing it up.

I had already opened the can of tuna submerged in murky oil, so I decided to turn to the three kitties who live out back behind the neighbor’s house. I have fed them tuna from our third floor window before and know for a fact that they are usually outside. I find this to be torturous, actually. I think about them all the time and have wanted to bring them inside several times. And it’s worse when it’s as cold as it was last night.

Poor babies. I’ll feed them some oily tuna. That will warm them up.

I reached for the window in the kitchen, the only window without a screen. This is the window one uses the hang the laundry out to dry when it’s not 40 below zero and there isn’t white shit blowing off of every rooftop in Brooklyn. It’s been too cold to do laundry lately. And besides, our machine broke last week, we’re getting a new one installed today, as a matter of fact.

The sill was covered in water. Along with water surrounding the base of the window, there is a layer of ice which had built up along the sides and glass. ICE! Thick ice. I called on Toby.

Toby, can you come look at this?

I stood in the kitchen, a can of oily tuna in one hand, and a paper towel in the other trying to explain to him why and how I was trying to get out the window open at 10 p.m.

You can’t get out there right now. It’s frozen shut. You’ll end up breaking it.

But I need to feed the kitties.

Well, I don’t know what to tell you. You can’t feed the kitties. The window is frozen shut. It will have to wait till tomorrow.

In my head, these cats were going to die without the oily tuna. They would freeze to death like the Nestor, the Long Eared Christmas Donkey’s mother had, a death which would have been the Long Eared Christmas Donkey’s had his mother not have loved him so much and he wasn’t destined to carry Mary and the unborn Baby Jesus to Jerusalem on a night in the future.

I really have to feed those kitties.

It will have to wait till tomorrow when the sun comes out and the window thaws.

I wrapped the can up in a layer of tinfoil and put it on the window sill till morning. (Only not really. I used the fridge. But we could use the windowsill considering it’s a bloody freezer.)

This morning, before proceeding outdoors to buy presents, I must check on the welfare of these furry future life savers and give them some oily tuna. They are, after all, the only creatures I know of who might like this weird species of tuna who would rather swim through oil over perfectly wholesome all-natural spring water.

Tuna will give these kitties fuel and keep them alive. I will thereby be helping Jesus.

You might need to see the inside of my head to understand this nonsense.

Toby Joe Boudreaux aka The Beaner.

My amazing husband’s PHP5 book is finally on Amazon. How totally friggin cool is that?

He’s in the thick of it now, and stressing pretty hard. But once it’s all over, I hope he looks back on all of this and thinks to himself, “I have a tech book for sale on Amazon.”


The pie I made tonight looked uglier, yet it tasted better. The chocolate (even though it looked like human crap) was an added bonus. If I can make it look pretty, all will be good.

However, tomorrow, I think I’ll make a peach pie.

Fun with Splenda: Healthy baking, take 2

Today, I will be making a chocolate, mixed berry pie. I am going to wing the chocolate. And I worry a bit about how it will end up. I’m using baker’s chocolate and I’m going to add my own sweetener. You can witness the birth of yesterday’s blueberry pie by clicking here.

For dinner, it’s stuffed mushrooms and miso tofu.

Pictures of today’s mess to come.


Today, I tried an mixed-berry pie. I purchased fresh blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. I also purchased Baker’s Chocolate and some Splenda (again).

At first everything was going just fine. I made the crust just the same way I did yesterday. I put that in the oven and let it bake for a while. In the meantime, I put 3/4 of each tub of berries into a saucepan and began to mash them (with a masher, duh.) Here they are slightly mashed and just now on the stove.

And here they are after about 15 minutes. I added about 1/4 cup Splenda to this as well. (No, I do not work for Splenda. No, they are not paying me.)

I took the reduced fruit and placed it into my pie crust. This is what it looked like before I put it back into the oven. I used the remainder of the berries (the 1/4 left of each) and decorated the top.

This is where I start to fuck up. I took a bar of Baker’s Chocolate and put it into the saucepan. I added some more sugar and then began to stir. I added some soy milk in desperation and then some water and then (after desperately hitting up the internets) some butter. And this happen:

And it looked fine. So I began to pour it onto the pie. And then it turned into something one might find in the trash can at a nursery. Since it looked like baby poop, I tasted it. It tasted fine.

But it was too late. I had already dripped baby poop all over it.

I just had a piece. It tastes perfectly good but it looks special. Maybe tomorrow I’ll find out a little more about Baker’s chocolate first.