30 November 2011

The Get Off My Lawn Chronicles: Part I

I make no representations about when the next post in this particular series will be, because it really depends on my idiot neighbors.

This morning as I left the house to take the Space Monkey to work, this is what I found.

That blue bin is a recycling bin. There's a reason for that.
Today was recycling day. If you look closely at that picture, you'll notice that one of my neighbors—who put their 'recycling' out last night in a plastic bag rather than a bin or trash can—is under the impression that turkey with lots of meat still on the bone and styrofoam egg cartons are recyclables.

29 November 2011

Outside: the Revenge

So this morning as I took the Space Monkey to work, she said, "I'm so jealous you get to be outside today."

There's that word again.

I looked up at the sky and saw nothing but ominous—nay, portentous!—grey clouds. Sure enough, this was my view by the time I got to the school:

Yes, I get a "reserved" spot; no, it's not actually that close to the building in which I teach.

And I got to drive to Northern Virginia in it at rush hour. I also get to drive back in it after dark.

Envy me all ye and despair!

28 November 2011

We've Had This Discussion Before

Whenever the wife wants to go outside, for some reason she wants me to go with her.

I believe this is a plot to undo me.

Penny Arcade
Because there are bears outside.

26 November 2011


Is a beautiful place.

The trip to and from West Virginia has reminded me of something very important. There are a lot of places in this country (and world) that I'd really love to go see.

But they're way over there.

On a side note, my brothers-in-law and I are all in for this.

25 November 2011

Pernil Asado y Arroz Amarillo con Gandules Verdes

Also known as pernil al horno.

No pictures today because...well...I forgot.

7+ lb pork shoulder on the bone (also called picnic cut)
Goya Adobo seasoning
Goya Sazon seasoning
Goya Mojo Criollo marinade
Rice (brown or white)
Bell peppers
2 cloves garlic
1-2 cans green pigeon peas (gandules verdes)
1-2 packets Goya Sazon seasoning
2-6 cups chicken broth
Oil (olive preferred)

24 November 2011

Chicken Garden Salad Stuffing Casserole

Or as we call it, Chicken Garden Salad. It is neither salad nor stuffing, but a casserole. For some reason, my in-laws struggled with accepting this until I expanded the title.

2 cups onion, chopped
2 cups celery, chopped
2 cups carrots, chopped
2 cups grilled chicken, chopped
2 cups shredded cheese
1/2 stick butter
1 cup condensed chicken broth
1 cup whole milk
1 bag herb seasoned stuffing
1/2 cup flour

23 November 2011

Fun with Fire

Down in WV, which my uncle claims is small. It's 3 times the size of New Jersey.

Anyway, went out stargazing and the fam gathered around the fire to make s'mores.

21 November 2011

The Space Monkey Uses Hissy Cat

It's super effective.

This is Daisy Doomsayer.

Channeling Shub-Niggurath.
She's called Daisy Doomsayer not simply for alliterative purposes, nor for cryptic purposes. No, her situation, as with the other two cats was literal.

Omens and portents.

20 November 2011

Rise of the Catnipvore

This is The Minion Underfoot.

Disdainfully surveying his domain, hate lasers ready to destroy any creature so foolish as to be a dog.
The Minion came to me somewhat by accident.

19 November 2011

A Domestic Cat Appears!

I've been attempting to build towards a single post called Das Katzenhaus all week. Unfortunately, the week has conspired against me, and I've come to realize that it's probably going to be that way until I've completed production of all of my lectures and study aids for next semester.

So mini-blogs.

As such would go coming from me.

This is Diego.

He's very excited to meet you.

18 November 2011

Photodog Friday

Cats try to eat the strangest things.

Like this.
So my grand plan was for a larger post today but I foolishly promised my college students yesterday that I will upload lectures related to the next class by today.

PowerPoints take a long time to make when you want to make them with audio.

So I'm hoping to get you some longer posts Soon™. Until then, understand that The Minion really did want to kill that dog.

17 November 2011

Beware the Ides of March

I know it's a bit early to tell people to beware the Ides of March, but there's a reason it's on my mind. As I mentioned yesterday, I've been working on my syllabi for next semester. Upon completion of my syllabus for my college class, I noticed something that made my day.

My college students will take their mid-term exam on the Ides of March.

I won't lie: I may have danced a little.

In celebration of this portentous omen, I give you Daisy Doomsayer.

Your doom awaits you.

16 November 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I apologize for going lame on you a few days in a row. Unfortunately it was time I submitted my midterm grades at school, and syllabi for next semester are due next week. Since I'm working on revamping the way that I conduct my classes for next semester—which requires research to justify to my superiors the changes I'm making (and to make sure I'm doing this right)—I've had less time this week than expected.

So I leave you in the trusted paws of a cat.

Because it's dangerous to go alone.
I promise this is all leading somewhere (which I hope to unveil on Friday).

14 November 2011

Behold the Meal: Makeshift Chicken Chili

The Space Monkey has endeavered to keep me from the computer until after midnight in an effort to make me miss a post.
Luckily, I have a Droid.
Tonight, I'm going to talk about food. I made chicken chili today. Now, I share the recipe with you.
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 boneless chicken breasts, cubed
2 hot Italian sausages, unsheathed and ground
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
3 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp. Goya Adobo with Pepper
1/2 tsp. sugar
Winging It:
Because we had it available, I mixed in the meat from a leftover KFC chicken thigh from yesterday. I also didn't have any chili powder, so I substituted a mix of cayenne pepper, white pepper, and paprika.
I have a theory that chorizo would make a great substitute for the Italian sausage, but it cost more so I didn't buy it this time.
1. Heat the oil on medium high heat in a heavy pot.
2. Add the chicken, sausage, garlic, and onions to the pot. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, and cumin.
4. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to medium-low heat. Simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.
5. Stir the beans into the mixture along with the sugar and Adobo. Cook for 10 minutes.
I served it in a bowl with brown rice, but you can serve it however you like chili.

13 November 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up

Not much new today, but there has been some enlightenment on items from this week.

Has Anyone Seen My Money?

In sweet racket news, the Space Monkey has posted her account regarding The Diagnosis. In case I left you thinking you might want to get yourself some Assurant Health (part of Key Benefit Administrators, a participant in the PHCS health network), I think she will set you straight.

Also on that front, I have learned by force of relation that the MD-DPR toll hikes have begun phase one: the toll to get to the Eastern Shore of MD-DPR is now $4.00. intolerable.

12 November 2011

Did Someone Say Cookie Monster?

So, I was looking at my stats the other day and I noticed that one of the search phrases for my blog was "Cookie Monster hugging." I have to confess...

That made my day.

My first thought was, "But...Cookie Monster?" And then I remembered that I have referenced Cookie Monster once:
And that's kind of awesome.

11 November 2011

My Veterans

By my own admissions, this is intended to be a humor blog. Today, though, I want to take a break to talk about the men in my family who have served this country. This will not include my extended family because, being Hispanic and having married Irish(ish?), we could start our own brigade. I am, however, thankful for their service as well.

Of the veterans in my family, the most important of them, to me, is this one:

My father, Wilfredo Ortiz. He still has that smile.

10 November 2011

Brain-Eating Toddlers

I confess, I've got nothing today. Greek must take something out of me.

Or perhaps it's something more sinister.

09 November 2011

Five Sweet Rackets I Need In On

Yesterday I posted an image from my GNUCash profile of our shopping trip on Saturday. I chose not to make any explicit commentary on the price of my wife's shampoo outside of the helpful tag I use in the program to remind me what the expense was.

Simple. Easy to remember.
Since BJ's is a wholesale club, you may be inclined to think we needed a handtruck to get it out of there.

You would be wrong.

But that's not what I'm here to talk about. Nor am I allowed to talk about the fact that instead of buying a bottle of shampoo and a bottle of conditioner, the Space Monkey actually bought two bottles of shampoo.

So I won't.

No, what I'm here to talk about today is money, the process whereby people separate it from me, and how I really need to get a piece of that action.

08 November 2011

Talkless Tuesday

I know the tradition is supposed to be for Wordless Wednesday, but Tuesday's my busiest day. So I present to you all a picture that will receive further commentary (and perhaps not the sort you're expecting [hint: look at the labels for this post]) tomorrow.

Anything about this stand out to you?

07 November 2011

The Statue of Liberty is Kaput!

The Space Monkey has been harassing me for "copying her posts" lately. I would point out two things. First, three of my posts were related to my hospital stay. You don't get to claim copyright on my ill health!

Even if you caused it.

The second thing I would point out is that three of her most recent posts were about crushing me for all to see. Complaining about me responding to her allegations is like the prosecution whining that the defense has a case.

So there.

06 November 2011

The First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Space Monkeys

As I previously noted, the wife has been spreading propaganda against my junk good name. Much as I expected, this has resulted in the Sisterhood of Humans being horrified at the crimes I have committed against humanity. And I quote:
  • H.H.B. - "(B)tw, I'm pretty sure I would kick [husband's name omitted to protect the innocent] in the junk if he laughed at me like that" (emphasis added).
  • The Space Monkey - "H.H.B.... it has crossed my mind. But then, there was the whole drugged thing... ;)"
  • Defense Against the Language Arts teacher - "This blog post is an excellent example of why it's a good thing that you're married to him and not me. XD (I would probably have punched him in the nose.)"
  • Mom - "He is his father's He's 66 and just starting to mature."
To think, I compared that woman to Iron Man....

Having, of course, read the posts, I can see where this righteous indignation is coming from. I mean, I laughed at my wife while she was crying! Who does that?!

It gives me no joy to have to answer my wife's post with cold, unfeeling truth. Nevertheless, the junk must be defended.

05 November 2011

Why Toddlers are Terrorists

I shall preface this by saying that I do actually love all my drooly little disease-bearing relations niblings.

Before she began defaming my character, the Space Monkey posted about the day we babysat the niblings.

In general, her account is accurate from what she experienced. Hindsight reminds me that I am still so glad I slept through 6 of those paragraphs. I just thought I would supplement it with my recurring nightmares account.

04 November 2011

More Tales from the Hospital

It occurred to me while discussing my recent hospital visit, that a couple of stories are reasonably relevant to it. Namely some stories surrounding my prior two hospital experiences.

In this case, I'm going to start with the latter story rather than the former on the basis of a comment my friend the Defense Against the Language Arts teacher made on my previous post: "Also, when your wife texts someone who is in a classroom at work with, 'Call as soon as possible, Will is in the hospital,' she needs to clarify that you are NOT DYING."

I'll let the wife explain that if she desires.

As to its significance, it reminded me of the second hospital encounter, the one I said took more than five hours.

03 November 2011

On Caterwauling and CAT Scans

In which our hero receives the best drugs ever....

When last we met, I was caterwauling. Not, you know, literally, because that was like a month ago....

I'm just saying.

Besides being painful this was also a very difficult thing for me as a husband. There are many, many ways I would much rather awaken my wife than by crying in agony.

Most of them licentious.

But I digress.

02 November 2011

On Cats and Caterwauling

So, pain and suffering....

At the beginning of October we got new windows installed in our house. This is proof that my parents could not rock more if their hands were actually made of 1980s Metallica.

Artist's depiction of my mom. Deal with it.

But I digress.

Windows! When you get them installed you have to move furniture around. This is not that bad a deal since furniture can be pushed.

Cats, however, cannot be pushed.

We will not be moved.

We have three of them: Diego de la Sofa (El Gato del Cielo; orange tabby pictured above), The Minion Underfoot (Bad Cat the Bad; tuxedo cat pictured above), and Daisy Doomsayer (coming to a haunted house near you; not pictured because she will shank us if we try). Two of them are dumb and got tossed in the basement without much trouble.

Diego...not so much.

01 November 2011

The Tragic Tale of the Anatidaephobic Space Monkey

So...that happened. Since my wife so expertly gave her account, I figured I would supplement it with my own tale of woe. Initially this was to be one post, but then it got to be a little TL;DR, so I decided to break it up.

Be thankful.

This goes back to July. I had been having a fairly constant problem with back spasms throughout June and July. Then they stopped.

The absence of pain is the prelude to suffering.