That Time When I Decided to Make Turkey Soup

When I was younger, my Gami took all the innards of the turkey and produced a magical, wonderful turkey soup that we would have for days afterwards. This year, I thought I could put all the giblets in a pot and do the same thing.

Making Turkey Soup

 

I googled “Easy Turkey Soup”. I looked at the bowl of innards, googled some more, looked at the bowl of innards and threw them in the trash. Couldn’t handle it. My broth will be coming in a box for the time being.

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Black Friday: An Investigative Report

“Take that money watch it burn, sink in the river the lessons I’ve learned.”

– One Republic Counting Stars

Today is Thanksgiving. And, chained to our retail jobs, the BF and I stayed in town. When he took off at 2:30 for work I began to wander around the house looking for entertainment. I ate a piece of pie first and then I ate a sandwich. I watched Jimmy Fallon and then half of Kimmel. Fallon is the funnier of the James’. Then, I began to get restless.

The BF is on the management team at the local Wally World so I decided it was high-time I experienced the madness. So, I channeled my pie-eating loneliness into something better, an investigative report (sounds fancy, right?).

I fed the dogs and headed out around 5:42 P.M. Gretta the Jetta and I found safe haven in the Home Depot parking lot, about two football fields away from the manse that is the local Walmart (Observation: No one says Super Walmart anymore because they are all “Super,” a.k.a. with groceries).

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Walmart in the distance.

Our first observation: CAMPERS. Yes, shoppers have moved on from the tent to the heated and semi-plumbed contraptions. I counted 5 (in view).

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One of the campers and some crafty soccer moms that saddled up beside it in their van to get a closer parking spot.

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Observation #2: Cops

Well, dear citizens, if you need a cop tonight you are out of luck.

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Eight here. More elsewhere.

Tired of seeing the parking lot? Me too. I headed inside and was given a map detailing where all the sales would be in the store. The most hilarious had to be the produce section turned toy store. At second five the clock strikes 6 to begin the first sale. Listen for the “Oh, boy!” Dying. 

The toy area was to be avoided as were the areas clogged from lines for the big ticket items like flat screens and video game consoles. I decided to do a loop to see if there were any smaller items worth waiting in the checkout line for (nope) and see what other people watching I could do.

Here are the crazy craft ladies… Turns out they were after bath towels and 700-thread count sheets.

IMG_1506Most items were a free for all, as you can see above. Giant pallets had been rolled out earlier and unceremoniously ripped open by the first customer that could squeeze past an employee at 6. Being a 24 hour Walmart, there was no line up or infamous rushing in of hot bodies.

Next it was time to check out the lines. Certain high demand items required a lime green wrist band, obtained from a Walmart-er wearing a yellow vest (god, bless them). The 32″ TV was a huge hit and people were getting very territorial and accusing each other of cutting like it was the first grade. Below we see John Doe getting his wristband taken in exchange for his TV. The smug man in black in the cop in charge of this line. The guy in orange is the Walmart employee who decided to go casual for the evening.

John Doe getting de-wristbanded and given a TV.
John Doe getting de-wristbanded and given a TV.

Then we have the view from the other side. Those specks are the people above and those are the TV’s waiting for their homes…

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The best part of the extravaganza had to be the prayer circles formed around items not going on sale until 8. There were employees there to make sure they weren’t taken. But, I definitely saw a few contraband items in carts.

This particular prayer circle was for the 50 dollar tablet.
This particular prayer circle was for the 50 dollar tablet.

“Make new friends, and keep the old, one is silver, and the other you meet at Walmart on Black Friday Thanksgiving.”

I’m not sure if the guy in the bottom right was laughing at me but I definitely got a few laughs as I was taking this picture, especially from people hugging TVs and tablets. Maybe they realized how silly they are? Maybe they hugged their tablet a little tighter?

24 things to do before I turn 25.

Albeit a bit late, I was rather inspired by my good friend Claire over at Ordinary Goodness. I always admire her ability to meditate, reflect and set goals. She is a very conscious and conscientious decision maker, something I strive to be.

So, in the spirit of her post, and in light of my recent birthday (which my boyfriend likes to remind me puts me in my “mid” twenties), here are 24 things I would like LOVE to do by the time I turn 25.

1. Lose (at least) 15 pounds. Yes, I know, I know. But, I have gained a significant amount of weight in the past two years (35 pounds). My back hurts, my knees hurt and I feel things that I thought I wouldn’t feel until I reached 40. Read: I don’t want to huff and puff going up the stairs anymore. The BF and I are doing couch to 5k. I will keep you posted.

2. Indulge my passions. Even writing this simple blog post feels amazing. I know what makes me happy, I just have to carve out the time to do it. I think I’ll put a post-it on the TV remote that says “DON’T DO IT!”

3. Be a better friend. My smart phone is wonderful, but it is also a source of great anxiety. I’m the worst at answering phone calls and text messages. I promise message-leavers, I still love you!

4. Spring Fall Cleaning. Ok, so, I dropped the ball this spring, but the BF and I moved in together this June and there are still remnants of our move around the apartment. A box full of books, a hamper used as a temporary storage device and a suitcase full of clothes. My parents are coming to town this weekend. MOTIVATION.

5. (GRADUATE) FIND A JOB. This is possibly most daunting but most necessary thing that has to happen. I really don’t have any energy to expand on it because well, I’m just tired of talking/thinking about it enough in real life.

6. Read good and do other stuff good too. I think this issue will be solved when I’m no longer required to read for school.

7. Spend more time out of the house. Apartment = downward spiral/eating my face off. Coffee shop/Library = People watching, inspiration and lots of writing. It also equals draining of wallet on delicious foods.

8. Work on my sense of urgency. Sometimes anxiety keeps me from gettin’ er done. Go, go Gadget Gracie!

9. Do more writing like this. Prompts don’t always have to be boring.

10. Go to a city. Preferably New York. 

11. Add a few new dishes to my repertoire. I’ve got stovetop quesadillas under control. Now it’s time for bigger and better things.

12. Work on self-fulfillment. Don’t look to others to fill the cup of happiness for me. “The most important relationship in your life is the relationship you have with yourself. Because no matter what happens, you will always be with yourself.” – Diane Von Furstenberg

13. Narrow down the goals of my business (plan). I can’t be a specialist at everything. That’s just not how it works. 

14. Draw. I used to be so consumed by the process to the point of zen. Where is that in my life right now?

15. Clean out my closet. I guess this is an addendum to number 4, but it needs its own line.

16. Walk my dogs.

17. Use what I have. Don’t overbuy. Everything from shampoo to taco shells. Yes, I went a little crazy on taco shells the other week. What?! They were on sale!

18. Have friend reunion(s). College, high school, roommates, coworkers.

19. Be understanding. When I was younger, I would always mark on personality tests that I was a good listener and empathetic. Now I know that this always takes work. It’s a process.

20. Sleep. At the right/normal time.

21. Stop comparing myself to others. Yeah, I’ll let you know how that goes.

22. Drink less Diet Coke

23. Keep a plant, of some kind, alive.

24. Be calm. Take baths, do yoga, drink tea. Whatever it takes!

Again, thanks Claire for giving me the idea for this post. We need to do number 18.

Yes, This is Real…A New Column?

For sometime now/Since birth… I have been making observations about the world around me. Some days, I see something particularly heinous and say to myself “Yes, this is real” in an effort to somehow process the absurdity of what is before me. This happens to me at least several times a week and I have decided that the only way to explain this sensation is to share my “Yes, this is real” findings with you in a column of sorts. Alas, we have our first feature, Chicken Spread.

Mmmm...gag, gag, gag.
Mmmm…gag, gag, gag.

First, let me say that there is a dancing devil man on this package. That doesn’t bode well. Also, the general notion of spreading chicken doesn’t sit well with me. Spreads should come in non-animal forms like mayonnaise or mustard or EVEN Vegemite, but NOT chicken. Underwood, the manufacturer of this delight also makes ham, roast beef and liverwurst versions of the same. Rewind. Did you notice that I said “manufacturer?”

Ok so maybe a lot of the items on our grocery store shelves are manufactured these days, but I much prefer “grown” and “raised” in sentences about my food. Lastly, the whole can is wrapped in a paper wrapping, like a small present. Only, how could this be a present? It is dog food put in human packaging. Even though it’s been 48 hours since I came into contact with Chicken Spread, I’m still laying here on the futon saying “Yes, this is real.”

When “Pet” Names Takes on a New Meaning

In my long list of design/style interests is the art of naming. Often, I want to ask new people I meet what their children’s names are for the sake of adding to my personal study of name trends. Only I am afraid they will think that question will be followed by “what’s your address?” and “would you mind sharing your credit card number?” Alas, I am slightly more covert in my mission.

I know that when I was born, there were two people named Grace, me and my great-grandmother. Then, when I was entering my teenage years, everyone seemed to tell me their dog was named Grace and “how cool was that?” Awesome. Not. I thought “why would you want to give a dog a person name?”

Now, I am totally guilty of the same phenomenon. Our dogs are named Sam and Kelly. We kept the names they were given at the shelter because they just seemed to fit. However, they also have a long list of pet names which rivals any Moxie CrimeFighter or Moon Unit. First, witness my professional doodles of the spotted “sisters.”

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First, we have Sam. The pit bull, basset hound, corgi, something or other that is the most darling dog you will ever meet. Sometimes we call her Sam, sometimes we choose from one of the following…

  • Bouge (Booge or Boo-zhee, Origin: Bourgeois)
  • Original Bouge (Sam is the first born.)
  • Habanero Bouge (Not sure.)
  • Pit Bull Face
  • Samantha
  • Samantha Carmichael Bougewater (When we’re mad at her…)
  • Medium-Size Bouge
  • El Toro (via our very lively animal-crazed vetrinarian)
  • McGwamus or Seamus McGwamus (Every dog has an Irish name, obvi.)

Then, we have little sister Kelly. Kelly has been with us since August, but has quickly earned her own slew of names. She is part beagle, part dachshund, part incontinent or insubordinate, we can’t decide.

  • Little Bouge (Of course.)
  • Poopums Dog (You can guess.)
  • Beagle Face
  • The Regal Beagle
  • Sugar Baby (For the appearance her face takes when you hold her upside down.)
  • Kelly Ann Dagarino (Because every dog should have a full name.)
  • Little Girl
  • Kelly the Belly
  • Smelly Kelly

So as you can see we are very inventive. And, if the boyfriend could come up with some of these crazy names, you will surely be entertained at the names he comes up with for our future children when drunk. I will save that for another day. For now, enjoy these pics of Original Bouge and Little Bouge modeling. They’re naturals.

Sam's good side.
Sam’s good side.
A normal afternoon at Chez Bouge.
A normal afternoon at Chez Bouge.
Blue steel.
Blue steel.