Recipe! II

I just made some smashing pork chops, with ingredients found around the house. (I'd defrosted then forgotten about them, and they needed to be prepared, just like in that Raymond Carver story "Auction" where the fridge breaks and she has to prepare all the meats in the dead appliance before she heads to an auction to buy a new-used one...but I digress.) Judicious use of prepared ingredients is fine; however, in no way should you compare me to that braless dipsomaniac whore, Sandra Lee, another hateful hussy in the Food Network's stable and the 'star' of Semi-Homemade cooking, adding booze to Cool Whip and calling it magic. Bitch. Anyway....

Pork Chops That Are Wicked Fancy And Smell Great!

4 Boneless Pork Chops (Fresh Direct)
Honey Dijon Salad Dressing (or some other vinaigrette - not creamy - dressing)
Fine Bread Crumbs mixed with a sprinkling of dried oregano (whomp stale French bread in your blender or food processor and save in a container in your fridge, or use the canned kind - plain - if you must. Panko is too gritty for this recipe, as much as I love being snooty and all).
2 zipper-type plastic bags, gallon size. (Oh, generic branding)
About 1 cup (yes) medium-grade balsamic vinegar
About 1 cup red wine
1 red onion, sliced into half and then into thin strips
Olive Oil

Pour about 1/2 bottle salad dressing into bag (If you're too snooty for purchased dressing, mix up about 1 cup of 3:1 olive oil/white wine vinegar plus 1 TB dijon mustard) and add chops. Marinate in fridge from 15 minutes to 1 hour.

In your big Calphalon or nonstick skillet, heat about 2 tsp olive oil on high heat till it swirls about.

Pour about 2 cups crumbs into another bag and add 1 TB oregano, salt and pepper. Toss wet chops in their to coat. Slip each chop into oil, using a fork. Brown on each side, about 2-3 minutes, swirling oil around in pan.

Now, pour the vinegar on. This is very aromatic. Reduce heat slightly and cook down the vinegar; watch this, it tends to caramelize in roughly 5 minutes or so. Turn the chops around and over to coat. Watch to see that the vinegar has almost evaporated and is thick in the bottom of the pan.

Add the wine (carefully, it will splatter), scraping up the vinegar and stirring it into the wine. Add the onions and mix into the wine sauce. (If you are feeling naughty it would be appropriate to swirl 2 TB of butter in at this point, but it is completely optional. I did not do this.)

Let the onions soften and the sauce reduce slightly, until it is as thick as you like it; this should take just a few minutes. Check the chops - they will be white inside but still juicy.

It's really easy - you can be pretty imprecise with the liquid measurements and still be happy. The key is to come up about halfway to the sides of the chops. And don't overcook them!

Subject Change! More on the batting cages!

Manly Thing To Do #1: Batting Cages and Why they are Cool (Or, Don't just be the chick who holds the guy's wallet! Get in there and hit the damn ball!)

1. You will sweat, seriously. Great for upper arms and twisting at the waist. And to be effective, you've got to get your legs involved. Otherwise you will have a pussy-ass swing, kind of like bowling by standing and shoving the ball down the lane or shooting baskets underhand. I myself have never, ever shot a basketball underhand. That is for total pussies. Word to the wise - even if you think you're macho, you probably kind of suck. Even if you are a master of the slow pitch, medium pitch is TWICE as fast, and the mat at the backstop makes it scary loud. So, know when to be a pussy. OK?? OK!

2. You will look dorky but cute in a batting helmet. Stride over to the drink machines and get the low-cal black cherry Powerade. Yummers!

3. Need I say that whacking a ball is a total rush and a great stress release? Or is that just me and my super-wound-up-ness?

4. It's pricey but not a bad activity-fee, if you know what I mean. Chelsea Piers is stingy on the balls ($2 for 10) but if you're not used to it, you'll work hard. You will also take more time than you think, especially if you chat, whine or marvel at your friends/s.o./object of desire between swings.

5. A Peroni and a justifiable (and finely prepared) plate of fried calamari on the deck at the Frying Pan afterwards is highly recommended after a quick touch-up in the ladies room. (It's also near the spot where you can do free kayaking and such. Hooray! But that's another topic for another time, as is my secret desire to be able to figure-skate again, and to swim around Manhattan.)

what it's about and why it makes me sad

Make it go away or make it better
Isn’t that what love is supposed to do?
Make it go away or make it better
Cause I would do either one for you

This is not the way you should see me
This is not the face I recognize
Could I lay my head down here for a moment?
Would you sing to me like I’m your child?

Cause I’m not angry I’m not crying
I’m just in over my head
You could be the angel that stayed on my shoulder
When all of the other angels left

Make it go away
Cause I am weakened
This is more than one should have to take
If you do this for me then I will promise
I’ll make it go away for you someday

There are reasons with silver linings
There are lessons but I don’t care
Cause I just need a hand that I can hold onto
When it’s darker than death out there

- Holly Cole, "Make it Go Away"

I cannot begin to say how many people I've tried to do this for. And I'm so sorry when I've tried and failed.

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is to love and be loved in return."
- Moulin Rouge (and other places)

Terribly, terribly sad. There's quotes about loving and losing, and never loving at all. But can you love wrongly? Does love stop? Is real love ever misguided?

I wish I knew.

I'm never philosophical, and this worries me greatly. I'd rather just hold on to something concrete, like a song. The song is beautiful, really.

I heard it on "Homicide."


A small scrap (or square) of wisdom...and other miscellaney

Life's too short to buy cheap toilet paper. Seriously. Splurge on the good stuff.

I got about a quart of blood removed from my veins, one tube at time. I'm tired.

I need to throw a party, and soon. The question is not why, but when and where. A dinner party? Happy hour? The dreaded karaoke bash?


First Idiotic Thing Heard Today

"And it's a good, delicious dinner of breast...cause that's the healthiest part of the chicken right?"

- Rachel Ray, 30 Minute Meals (stuffing chicken breasts with some kinds of nuts and drizzling them with some space age compound called EVOO. Yes, I know what that is. I guess when you have 30 minutes, you can't say "oil" but you can say "screaming hot" in reference to pan temperature.)


A poll for the gentlemen and perhaps a portion of the ladies

Please to tell me, what is hot? (And then please to tell me why I am typing in a bad fakey-Slavo-American accent? Okay, that bit's over.)

a) Woman hitting a baseball
b) Woman playing a saxophone
c) Woman smoking a good cigar
d) Woman firing a gun (presumably not at you; let's presume a nonhuman target)

Curiousity abounds?! At one point, I'd post a poll on the jolly old improv boards, but I'm trying to diversify my internet options and sample population at the current time. I've also done three of the four things above as an adult.



In the spirit of two culinary gems of blogs, Put it In your Mouth (mysteriously un-updated lately, come back!) and Good American Wife, whose author I will be greenmarketing with this weekend, I am posting a simple yet tasty dinner recipe that cooks and kitchen amateurs alike will certainly enjoy!

Shredded "Barbecue" Chicken for the Apartment-Dweller

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts. (I'm sure thighs would work well too)
2 cups chicken broth (I used the Fancy Organic kind in a cardboard box. You can use whatever brand you'd like)
1 bottle (12 oz) barbecue sauce (I used a Fancy Organic maple-smoked Annie's brand. Again...use your favorite).

Whisk together the sauce and the broth in a saucepan or large deep skillet. This takes some doing, because they are texturally dissimilar; don't worry if they're not completely together! Heat to a boil, stirring (the sauce will melt a little, and they will mix).

When bubbly, slip in the chicken breasts. Cover the pan, turn down to simmer (gentle bubbles) and cook at least 1/2 hour; flip them over every 15 minutes or so. Check in 1/2 hour; chicken should be super-tender when pulled with a fork and not pink.

When done, turn off heat and let cool a little. Shred chicken in the sauce with 2 forks, pulling the meat apart. Toss in the sauce to coat. Pile up on some soft rolls, like hamburger or hotdog rolls (my personal choice). A side of coleslaw is nice.

Coleslaw made with Dole bagged coleslaw mix and fatfree blue cheese dressing is great with this. Make it while the chicken is cooking, and it gets slightly squishy, slightly crunchy. If you are alone or in really close company, put some on top of the sandwich.

HINT: If they still have this, get the Calphalon 'starter' pan at the otherwise annoying Bed Bath & Beyond. Get the 10 or 12 inch. It comes with a lid and will cook nearly everything in the world you need to cook. Just don't scratch the bottom with your forks. It is incredible, and for Calphalon is pretty cheap (probably 39.99. It is completely worth it. It cleans up with a napkin. It is completely worth it. Don't buy any other Calphalon, if you love it go to the outlet, for cripes sake. No one needs a nonstick spaghetti pot, by the way.)

HINT: If you think it may look done earlier, check it. If it's slightly overdone, don't sweat it, that's what sauce is for. But underdone chicken breasts or thighs are just nasty, seriously.

Sure, one may say that Season 7 of Homicide may suck

But for my money you can't get a piece of dead-on amazing legal drama than the last five minutes of "The Twenty-Percent Solution."

Holy crap, that's well-written, dramatic, smart and just really neat.

Danvers smoking is also adorable. Hee hee.


Forgive me Lord...or ohmygawd

Help me.

First off, I actually used the words "cute outfit" tonight in a sentence.

Second of all, I actually crave a pair of shoes. Well, boots, actually, and they're still pretty bad-ass.

I blame the hormones. I do. But damn, those are some sweet boots.

(I could also be going through my 'it's fall, and I think I like tall boots, but I don't" phase. Perhaps, like men, I just haven't found the right pair. Did that sound wrong? Hmmm.)


More Balto-crime fiction trivia

Are the stock footage-shots of the housing projects being blown up in the first episode of the Wire Season 3* (being commented on by Bodie and Malik) the same ones being lamented by Det. Meldrick Lewis in Homicide**?

*HBO On Demand.
***I continue to be ridiculous.


insomnia time theater

In this world there's a kind of painful progress, longing for what's left behind and dreaming ahead.

- Angels in America

Headache Dreams

1. In a dreamy battered new-old apartment. It had levels (Levels, jerry!), white plaster walls and wonderful architectural details, beat up wood floors, a dreamy-dusty quality to it as light streamed in the painted-white-wood frame windows. The rooms had high ceilings. The kitchen had tin cabinets, some with glass panels, and was spacious, with a great big wooden table like Mark's in Brooklyn or ours in Baltimore, with an abundance of groceries. There was a side door leading outside into a nebulous neighborhood that was so lovely. One of my roommates was ethereal, and resembled vaguely someone I know named Becky or someone I went to college with named Patty, I don't recall exactly. My room was in disarray but I had a feather bed and an iron bedframe.

2. I was at a job in a courthouse, the lighting was dim and the elevators terrible; I was heading to or from a large auditorium, running into colleagues, and I was so confused. Did I have theater tickets or not? Was I due at a lecture? The elevators were small and shaky and the stairwells barely lit, with heavy doors behind them.

3. I was with friends, new and strange girls younger than me. I had a broken large handbag with a too-short strap that kept slipping off my shoulder; we were in a McDonald's and were running to a house party in a strange city; I was juggling my bag, work clothes because I had partially changed, and a soda. I spilled the soda, and they laughed; I got another one as they headed to the car. The counter girl, their friend, gave me another. I dropped that one too, and was embarrassed to ask for another; I was a mess, covered in spilled drink, but I needed to get another; I was frozen. I couldn't put my stuff down because there was soda everywhere.


One giant post instead of three stupid little ones

1. Pair o'Docs, or why the eff am I on jDate?

For someone who doesn't want involvement, I spend too much time on cheesy personal ad sites. Kind of like eBay for humans; I like to ponder how accurate they are in their descriptions, see how long it would take for them to be snapped up and the like. I'd come up with a better analogy, but the Diet Coke is fogging my brain pan.

Fun Facts:

- There are non-jews on jDate, didya know that? Oy!
- Nerve personals is incompatible with Firefox. Ouch!
- Once, my friend M- and I played email tag with a plushie (or is it furry?) on alt.com. The photos received were legendary. (Considering there were costumes AND stuffed animals, our friend may have been both.) Grrrr!

This is how not interested I am:
- There is a Star Trek-related paperback in my bathroom.
- My sheets are barely attached to my bed...because the cat clawed them.
- I haven't cleared the laptop browser of embarrasing web browsing acts nor cleared my coffee table of an embarrasing quantity of takeout menus.

I am slightly disturbed to find out that I am out of Nair, however. I'm nothing if not slightly prepared. I'm still slightly vain about that.


I've got a bunch of shows coming up.

I've got one Tuesday at the Laugh Lounge that I'd really like to invite you to. Whomever you are.

Check it out here.

3. My feelings at this moment can best be expressed by Courtney Love.

I missed a party the other night because I was dead dog tired.

I missed a workshop today because I am stone cold stupid.

I showed up at the dentist Friday and had no appointment.

Just a peek into my aforementioned damaged brain.

"I'm Miss World. Somebody kill me."
- Hole


Fontana, Simon, and the Venn Diagram of crime shows


If I haven't mentioned it before, I'm obsessively plowing through all seven seasons of Homicide: Life on the Streets. And lucky for me, On Demand has re-upped The Wire and Oz. There are a ridiculous number of connections between these three shows, as well as Fontana-generated (cameos as far back as St. Elsewhere and a short-lived show called "The Beat" which, having just discovered it, I must locate.. Mark Ruffalo and Lea DeLaria? Jeez), Dick Wolf (L&O and its incarnations) and David Simon (The Corner) connections. You see the cast of one, you've got a third of the cast of the other. Even a pre-Carmela Edie Falco appears on two Fontana shows (Oz and Homicide). Dean Winters is pervasive, Lee Tergesen has a self-effacing cameo flair to him, and the Belz is everywhere.

The record-holders are, of course the Belz - appearing in the SAME character in seven or eight shows (You can look it up in Wikipedia!) - two different L&O (regular & SVU), Homicide, the aforementioned The Beat, X-Files and Arrested Development. I can't locate the others, but damn.

Who appears to beat all in different incarnations is the omnipresent and odd-looking Reg E. Cathey. He's been on Oz (Don't Fuck with Querns), Homicide (drug dealer Bernard Weeks), L&O (hell, who hasn't?) and the Corner (fuck, no one watched that except me).

I need to get back to work. Or hop down to Bawlmer for a weekend. Or stalk Tom Fontana just so I can check out his Oz tattoo.


Who amongst you doesn't think that Gov. James Devlin isn't an embittered ASA Ed Danvers (Homicide)? (Ahh, Zeljko Ivanek!)

And who doesn't believe that the creepiest crossover wasn't Christopher Meloni - while he was Christopher Keller (Oz) he was Det. Elliot Stabler on SVU. Couldn't watch SVU without thinking of Keller's murderous, rapin' but hot arse.

What's on now? From "The Wire: Season 2":

ASA Rhonda Perlman: I'm not your girlfriend, I'm not your wife, I'm not your soulmate....what the fuck am I?
Det. Jimmy McNulty: We're good together.
RP: Answer the question.
JM: No.

I'm a fucking lunatic. Any way to profit from this?

What a character! Or, guess who bought a new scanner.

I'm adorable! (age 3?) and I do look like my dad. Awwww!

I caught this! (Age 7) Unafraid of the slimy (I'd already dissected my first fetal pig, thank you) and displaying my characteristing and amazing joint flexibility (Look at that wrist! weird!)

I hit this! (Age 21) Check out the killer form on that swing. Nobody flings a bat better on the "jenkins jets" Biophysics department softball team! (catcher, warm-up pitcher, occasional third baseman if I recall). I miss my glove.


What am I doing RIGHT NOW?

1. Listening to Prince: The Hits 1.
2. Drowning out my colleagues banter about rent stabilization.
3. Working.
4. Having anxiety.
5. Turning up Prince louder.
6. Drinking my second cup of coffee.
7. Watching a colleague toss my bag of pretzels across the room. The bag is open.
8. Inhaling "Chipotle" fumes at 11:49 AM.
9. Preparing to go to pharmacy to fill anxiety meds prescription.
10. Turning up Prince.


Shameless plug.

Miss me?

Check out www.superegocomedy.com - Shameless Plug of Epic Beauty!

More later. I'm beyond literate.