Sunday, October 31, 2021

Sunday Stealing -- Halloween

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1. Have you ever played with a Ouija Board?

Not that I can recall.  I’m not a big believer in the “supernatural”.  More a person of science, I guess.  Although, to be fair, I am a nurse, and have been honored and privileged to be at the bedside of many people who have died.  I have witnessed things I can’t explain, even with my own Dad.  But Ouija Boards—nah.

2. Favorite horror monster or villain?

Hmmm.  This one is hard.  I have to say….Morticia Adams.  I mean, you can NOT go wrong with the campy horror of that show.  One of the last nights out with my parents I had before my Dad got so sick was a local playhouse production of The Addams Family.  My Dad was having SUCH a good time, singing along and tapping his feet and snapping his fingers.  It was big fun and a wonderful memory.

3. If you were dared to spend the night in a “haunted house”, would you do it?

Not unless it was a five-star hotel, lol.  I’ve always wanted to take a trip back to Estes Park, Colorado and stay at The Stanley Hotel for Halloween.  I’m told it books years in advance.   The Shining is one of my all time favorite horror movies, although it’s way too long.  The Stanley was the inspiration for The Overlook Hotel in the book and the early movie, but oddly, Kubrick's movie didn't use it, opting instead for another location.  

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4. Are you superstitious?

I can be.  I’ve been more and less superstitious throughout my life.  Here’s a crazy, but true story.  When I worked in ICU back in the day, we still charted on paper.  I would NEVER use a black pen, convinced that if I wrote in black, my patient would crump.  I literally carried a bag full of blue pens to work to ensure I never ran out.  Crazy.  I don’t even know where I got the notion.  But for 8 years, I wrote in blue.

5. Do you ever see figures in your peripheral vision?

Not that I can recall.

6. Ever made a potion of any sort?

Nope, I don’t think so. 

7. Do you get scared easily?

Not really.  I mean “get scared” is really broad.  I “am” scared at times, about a lot of things, but I don’t think that’s the point of the question.  Overthinking, as usual.

8. Have you ever played Bloody Mary?

Is this the one with the mirror?  Hmmmm.  I have no clue on this one.  Maybe?

9. Would you ever go to a graveyard at night?

I have.  Mom and I did one of those “ghost tours” of Savannah, Georgia, years ago.  We went one of the yellow fever graveyards.  It was poignant and sad more than scary—so many little graves.

10. Would you rather go to a Halloween party or go trick or treating?

Neither.  I’m not a fan of parties, and the idea of going around to people’s houses and knocking on doors is pretty scary these days if you think about it.  I’m not anti-Halloween, just not interested much.

11. Whilst watching scary movies, are you the person who yells at the characters, the person with their eyes covered the whole time, or the person who falls asleep?

It depends on the movie.  Horror comedy?  Hubs and I are both yelling at the characters, lol, especially if it’s something we’ve seen a million times.  DON’T OPEN THE DOOR!!!!

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12. Favorite scary book? 

The Shining, by Stephen King.  Although, to be fair, Stanley Kubrick and Jack Nicholson really did that movie justice, even though I've read King hates it.  I don’t know which I like better. Oddly, I have a hard time re-reading older Stephen King works these days--I just keep thinking, "dude, you could have used like 10 less paragraphs and still said what you needed to."

13. How old were you when you saw your first horror movie?

Elementary School, I don’t recall what year.  It was Creature from the Black Lagoon at the Drive-In in Biloxi.

14. What was your first Halloween costume?

A ghost.  With the requisite sheet with cut out eyeholes and black eye shadow around my eyes.  My brother and I were a pair of tiny little ghosts.  There’s a picture in one of my Mom’s albums.

15. If you could have a spooky Halloween pet (black cat, owl, bat, rat, wolf), what would you pick?

Definitely a black cat.  I used to have one that I adopted from the shelter, then I moved and couldn’t have a cat, and he spent the remainder of his long life with my parents.  He was stunning, and his name was Binx (from Hocus Pocus).  My parents loved that cat with all their hearts.  He had a good life.  Thank God my parents were in a position to take him on.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Saturday 9--Werewolves of London

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Saturday 9: Werewolves of London (1978)

Unfamiliar with this week's featured song? Hear it here.

1) In this song, Warren Zevon sees a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand. He wanted beef chow mein. If we Saturday 9ers got together for Chinese, what would you likely order?

Traditional pork steamed dumplings (if they were on the menu) and a bowl of hot and sour soup.  If we were going to a more “Chinese-American” style restaurant, I’d have Kung Pao chicken.

2) He also says the werewolf's hair was perfect. Are you having a good hair day?

Not particularly.  I am way overdue for a cut, which isn’t until 11/13.  My stylist books about a month out, and invariably, I wait until I’m miserable to make an appointment, which means I get to be miserable for another whole month.

3) Linda Ronstadt was a big Warren Zevon fan and recorded several of his songs. Do you have a favorite Linda Ronstadt song?

Not particularly.

4) Warren Zevon admitted being afraid of doctors and avoided check ups. Are you scared when you go to the doctor or dentist for a routine visit?

Doctors not so much.  I have extreme dental anxiety.  I pay out of pocket for nitrous, even for cleanings.  Something about all that scraping and noise inside my head just ….. no.  But since I don’t want my teeth to fall out of my head, I subject myself to it about once a year.  Not the required twice, but it’s what I can do.

5) In 1935, the movie Werewolf of London was released. Do you enjoy being frightened by scary movies?

I like older horror from the ‘70s and '80s.  For example, The Shining was one of the scariest things ever, though overly long.   The Omen was also one of the scariest movies I can ever recall.  Rosemary’s Baby was pretty damn frightening too.   Something with a more psychological bent, I guess.  The whole torture-porn, slasher, jump scare thing doesn’t do it for me. 

6) In your younger days, did you ever trick or treat while dressed as a monster?

I don’t recall ever going as a monster.  The usual ghost, witch, hula girl type things were more my speed.

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7) When you were a kid, what sweet treats were you happiest to receive?

I loved Bit-O-Honey, Butterfingers, and these things that were popular in the South, Chick-O-Stick (a peanut butter candy rolled in coconut).  Believe it or not, Chick-O-Stick, made in Texas by Atkinson Candy Company still exists!  It even comes in a sugar-free version.  Hmmmm.

8) Can you see any Halloween decorations as you answer these 9 questions?

Not a one.  I’m in my office.  If I were in the living room, I’d see this metal tree we have on the wall—we hang various seasonal ornaments from it, and it’s currently decorated in Halloween ones. 

9) Halloween is most popular in the United States and Canada, and isn't really celebrated at all in Japan or South Korea. How would you explain our Halloween customs to a visitor from another land?

Kids go from house to house in silly costumes knocking on doors and asking for candy.  People give it to them. 

The visitor from another land would be….perplexed, I would guess.

Friday, October 29, 2021


I am….

Reading:  Nada.  I am struggling to read again.  It’s more like to find something to read.  None of my “old favorites” are doing it for me for a re-read, and I don’t seem to have enough spoons to read new stuff—it seems like Sci-Fi and Fantasy right now is all about the 800 page book, and I can’t keep up the momentum.  Any and all suggestions for something fast, enjoyable, and fun are welcome.  Not limited to SFF.  

Listening to:  Folks headed off to work.  Cars starting, motors humming, the fans in the bedroom.

Loving:  Not much at the moment.  My OCD/Depression/Anxiety can be very cyclical, and right now, I’m in a low spot.  Depressed, anxious, and lots of intrusive thoughts.  I field like I need a month off to get my head unscrambled, but I’m settling for an appointment with my mental health provider.

Thinking:  I can’t wait for this day to be over.  Nothing bad happening, unless you count the fact that I have to be on camera for work at 1pm.  Guess I’ll have to actually put work clothes on and do something about my hair (which desperately needs a cut).

Feeling:  Tired.  And I just woke up and got a great night’s sleep (for a change).  When I’m battling depression, I’m just fucking exhausted all the time.

Celebrating:  Hmmm.  I can’t think of a thing.

Grateful for:  My permanent answer to this is “everything”.  I should amend that.  I am not thankful for my neurodivergent brain today.  This has been a burden my whole damn life.

Weather:  Another bright sunny New Mexico day, high 68.  It’s 45 right now.

Enjoying:  Not much

A quote I want to share:

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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Thursday Thirteen --This or That the Travel Edition


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To be fair--I don't like traveling in groups, nor by myself.  I wish "as a couple" had been a selection.  

Or in pairs, because I do like traveling and doing things with Mom, and "a couple" always makes me think of just hubs.

Someday, I'm going to travel again.  Really travel.  On a real vacation to a real destination, and stay in a 5 Star Hotel, eat at great restaurants, and see the sights again.  But not soon.  I can wait.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Cooking is Fun and Easy -- Bundt Pan Chicken


This is my variation on Justin Chapple's Series Mad Genius Tips.  This particular "tip" was a recipe for Roast Chicken with Sausage and Peppers from the 2016 issue of Food and Wine Magazine.  Enjoy!  I love food magazines, and HAVE to have the hard copy.  I tear the issues I want to try out, and put them in a plastic sleeve in my recipe binder.  Every couple of paydays, I go through there, and pick out a couple of things we haven't had in a while to put on the menu.

Ingredients and Tools

1 lb of your favorite sausage.  I like Johnsonville sweet mild Italian for this particular dish.  Slice in thirds.

1 large red or white onion, peeled and sliced on the vertical (root down) into eighths
4 or 5 large garlic cloves, whole
7 or 8 sweet mini bell peppers, halved and seeded (love these, they are great for snacking too!)

1 small whole chicken, about 3 lbs, discard innards
2 tbsp Za'Tar (I used Israeli Za'tar from World Spice Merchants).  In case you were wondering, Israeli Za'Tar is "White Sesame, Sumac, Turkish Oregano, Dill, Thyme, and Kosher Salt"
Kosher salt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Bundt Pan
Aluminum Foil


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Fold a piece of aluminum foil into a square large enough to cover hole and post of the bundt pan.  In a large bowl, toss sausages, onion, bell peppers with 1 tablespoon of the Za'Tar, and 1 tablespoon of oil, season with salt, and add to bundt pan.  Trim and pat chicken dry, place in same bowl.  Add 2nd tablespoon of oil and 2nd tbsp. of Za'Tar.  Ensure chicken is coated on all surfaces.   

Highly recommend wearing food grade gloves for this--I hate getting my hands "icky" (soo twee, I know), so both hubs and I keep them around for chores like this.  And mixing meatloaf, and cutting jalepenos, and just about anything really.  Easily had at Harbor Freight, Home Depot, or Lowe's (finally--they were not to be had for love nor money during the first several months of the pandemic).

Perch the chicken on the bundt pan, by inserting the pillar into the cavity.  Push down and make sure your chicken is standing stable.  Redistribute pepper, sausage, onion mixture if necessary to ensure the chicken is well down on the pillar. 

Roast for 1 hour or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the inner thigh reads 155 degrees.  Remove to a cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes.  It will come up to a proper temp of 165 while resting.  Remove sausages, peppers, and onions to serving bowls, reserving pan juices.  Carve chicken and places pieces over rice or couscous in a bowl (I used couscous).  Drizzle pan juices on chicken and couscous. 

Justin's original recipe was done with Italian seasoning and lemon zest and salt as the spice for the chicken.  I'm a big fan of Za'Tar, so that was the way I went.  You can get also find Za'Tar on Amazon, and if you have one, World Market, as well as your local Middle Eastern market, if that's also a thing where you live.  We've got one in Albuquerque, but have yet to go.  I've had the Syrian and Israeli Versions, both are tasty.

Serves 4 to 6 healthy servings.  This never lasts to freeze.  We may have the remaining sausage and pepper mixture later in the week with scrambled eggs for breakfast or lunch, and the chicken carcass and leftover chicken go in the stockpot.  You can also use the carcass to make stock, and make a nice soup with that and the leftover chicken, sausage, and vegs.  Brighten it up with some lemon juice. Yum!