RIP Steve Jobs

October 6, 2011 at 10:41 am (RIP) (, , )

I love my Ipod. My kids love their Ipods.

These wonderful, magical, amazing, tiny, technological machines took 30,000 of my favorite songs and fit them into a player the size of a cassette tape. IRun. IListen. ISmile.

I Thank You. 

Rest in Peace Mr. Jobs. (1955-2011)

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Bummer. RIP Arch West.

September 26, 2011 at 12:07 pm (For Amanda, News, RIP, Tips to Live) (, , , , , )

The man who created the delicious snack chip near and dear to our collective family hearts has passed away, last week, in Dallas, Texas. Arch West was 97 years old. He came up with the idea for the Dorito, on a family holiday to San Diego, in 1961,  when he visited a food truck selling fried tortilla chips. Genius is recognized! He took his idea back to Frito-Lay where he was a marketing executive, and said, hey….big idea here! They said, hmmm…not sure. But thankfully, in 1964 when they rolled out those cheesy chips, the world said, HELL YEAH!! And a legend was born.

My family personally loves the Dorito. My sister in particular, has been known to snack on a bag or two from time to time…it’s the never-ending story from our past…Amanda eats Doritos! Sorry sis, it’s just too good to pass up and I know you’d feel a bit sad to hear the news and maybe want to pay your respects by having some and NOT feeling guilty! Or care what OTHER people think about your Dorito loving habit!! Be proud! Besides you are an adult now and you can eat as many as you like! Haters are always gonna hate!

My son loves them too. He switches back and forth from Nacho Cheese to Cool Ranch, so we get them both in the Frito-Lay Lunch Pack. My personal fav is the Taco flavor. (Coincidentally, also the very first flavor of Dorito to be introduced) Seriously, they just rolled them back out over the summer. Before, if you wanted them you really had to search them out. They’re even in their original packaging. I don’t know why. All I know is they are THE essential component of this Taco Dip that I make and without them, the dip just tastes like taco-flavored cream cheese with nacho chips.

Here’s the recipe to try for next weekend if you like, or tonight! Monday Night Football! That works. Super easy, NO cooking required! In fact once you make the core dip you can basically do whatever you want to it. It’s low maintenance. This is one batch. Just double the amounts for more. One bag of chips is good for one batch of dip.

8 oz. Cream Cheese (Does not matter what kind, unless you like a particular brand. I’d use full fat though for this and the sour cream and just suck it up. The dip hold better with the extra fat. Much like everything right??)

8 oz. Sour Cream (Again, whatever brand you like. Stick to full fat.)

1 packet of Taco Seasoning Mix (Any kind. Your choice.)

That’s it! Blend them together in a bowl. Use a hand mixer if you have one because sometimes the cream cheese can be hard to smooth out. It should be thick enough to hold a shape, but not solid.

Now you can let it sit in the fridge, melding flavors (cover it up), while you chop up the toppings to add to it. Remember this is a Taco Dip, so add stuff that you would put on a taco. There is no limit to how much of any one ingredient or what kind/flavor of cheese. These are my suggestions:

Shredded Cheese. I started off with just plain cheddar or colby, but they make so many different kinds now, you can really get creative. My kids like more flavors now too, so things like the cheese blends with taco spices adds extra oomph. Queso’s are good too. Get a crumbly kind. My only real advice is to stick with the taco flavor theme, or it’s gonna get confusing.

Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Black Olives. These are my main tops. Lettuce even comes in a bag shredded for you and olives come pre-sliced. Onions are hit and miss, as are tomatoes, and I guess black olives too, but they’re easier to pick off. It’s all up to you and what your particular audience likes and won’t whine about.

Additional add-ons can include: Avocado, Sour Cream (as an extra topping), Salsa, Hot Sauce, Jalepenos; anything you can serve up on a taco. I would also offer the advice to stick to COLD items. Things that taste good cold. Hot toppings or meats aren’t all that great with this and it makes the whole thing way harder than it has to be.

Now get a disposable pizza pan or a big plate or serving platter if you aren’t concerned about losing any dishes in a traveling party situation. I started using disposable cooking pans or roasting pans because they have sides and the dip doesn’t get lost to the edges. Keeps it in nice and tight.

Take your dip from the fridge and scrape it out onto the platter, in the center, into as tight of a ball as you can manage. Basically just try to keep it in one big lump. Then add the other stuff to the top. I start with cheese. I use enough to cover the whole dip ball. I like to put everything in smaller containers or sandwich baggies to take with if I am making it somewhere else or leave it on plates until I am ready to assemble. You can make the core dip ball ahead but I wouldn’t add the “taco” stuff until just before serving, otherwise it gets kind of runny, and that’s no good. Then I dump on the other stuff. Kind of layering it and adhering it to all sides of the dip. Eventually you will have a core lump of dip covered in many different ingredients. It should be colorful and look pretty impressive. Don’t worry about any of the toppings falling to the edges of the pan. Here’s where the “Greatest Dorito Chip Of All Time!” comes in!

(We really took the long way today) Break out your bag of Taco Flavored Doritos. I have to stress the Dorito kind here because they do have this very specific flavor that cannot be matched. Now just put them all around the edges of the dip like a life preserver. This is where the pan with sides comes in handy. I used to use a flat platter, but the chips would always end up falling off or getting shoved off trying to scoop up dip. The pan keeps it all in and gives you something to brace against when scooping. And it’s super-easy to move around if you are trying to steal it away from the crowd and keep it all to yourself.

That’s it. It’s really simple even if the instructions have taken up 10,000 words. And it’s really good. People seem to love it wherever I bring it and it usually gets eaten first and to the last cheese shred. I may have a picture of it somewhere on this site already. If I do, I’ll post it later. If not, next time I make it, I will for sure.

This ends my tribute to the man who invented Doritos. I have done my best to research the details of Mr. West’s awesome creation to the world, but if I have missed anything or gotten something wrong just drop me a line and let me know. His funeral will be held on October 1 in Dallas.

One more fun fact: His family, daughter and sons, will be tossing Dorito chips over his urn, into the ground, where he will be buried. As of my posting, the flavor is still undetermined. Taco was first, but Nacho Cheese was most successful. They say he would have loved it!

Arch West (1914-2011)

Rest In Supreme Nacho Cheese Peace.

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Patrick Swayze. Rest in Peace.

September 16, 2009 at 6:26 pm (Celebrity, RIP) (, , , )

I can’t let the day go without a small note about Patrick Swayze. This makes me so sad, even though I never knew him. I liked his movies, thought he was great. Super nice man, so the world says. And married to his wife for 30 plus years.

It’s really unfair that he gets one of the worst diseases known to man and then fights it for almost two years, but in the end it still gets you. I know pancreatic cancer is one of the baddies because I watched my dad die from it for a year and a half and it was not fun. It’s extra sad when Patrick started looking like my dad. It’s like the famous version of someone I already lost.

This is the best link to a nice story and memories of Patrick that I found. And it adds a little happy to a really sad thing. Keep dancing forever…RIP.

He’s Like the Wind…

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Sad news from our aqua-world.

July 29, 2009 at 4:06 pm (Big Fish, Pictures, RIP, Things The Kids Like) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Something was wrong with Mason’s puffy-eye goldfish for quite some time now, but we didn’t know what. We could tell though, that it didn’t look good. And survival of whatever ailed it was not hopeful. After a hard fought battle, he struggled desperately this week to live,  I am sorry to say, that he is gone. As of last night, I found it necessary to put him out of his misery.

And without even one bit of exaggeration or sarcasm, I really felt sorry for that poor fish. And I am not ashamed to say that I cried. In fact, I am crying  right now typing about him. Watching him try to eat and breathe and swim was just awful. If you could imagine yourself ever wondering if fish have feelings or if they suffer at all, you would know that it could be true looking at this particular goldfish.

I watched him a few nights ago searching the water for food. I could tell he was having a hard time finding it. He used to have very big bags around his eyes when we first got him, that’s the type he was. Just recently, the puffs were beginning to grow again. Sometimes they do. Unfortunately his life was rough from the start. We didn’t know at the time that those kind of goldfish are susceptible to getting those baggy eyes punctured. Which happened almost immediately. The internet said he may die from it. But he didn’t. In fact, he recovered and looked better than ever.

Then a few of the other goldfish Mason had in his tank started to attack him. They eventually ended up nipping off one of his three, long, tail fins. Then just as abruptly, they stopped. The puffy-eye seemed fine even after that. He swam a little weirdly and not always straight, but he was very tough and endearing and had personality, if a fish can, and we really fell in love with him.

Let me just say here, that we have had A LOT of fish come through this house. I mean, A LOT, a lot. And we have dealt with many dead fish so it’s not like we are over prone to fish affection but, this one really did seem special. It’s weird until you own a really good one and then you see. At any rate these last few weeks we watched him suddenly grow bigger and bigger. His body started to get fatter and fatter as if he was going to burst. We managed to get one picture of him, looking pretty good for all his trouble. You can kind of see where he was becoming so fat. In the last 2 days his scales seemed to be lifting off of him and I knew we were close to the end.

Then last night when I went in to feed him, puffy-eye was laying at the bottom, kind of half-in and half-out of Mason’s decoration Colosseum. He was gasping but not moving. It didn’t look like he would be able to get himself out of there. So, I nudged him free and he floated helplessly to the top, just staring at me, gasping for air (?).  I couldn’t stand it. He LOOKED miserable. I don’t care what anyone says, that fish was not without some kind of pain. So I ended it for him. And I cried.

I feel kind of silly for being overly emotional about a fish, but he was part of the Aqua-World that we have been creating all the years of my children’s lives. And I cried, because Mason and Stevie really loved that fish too, and they weren’t here to see him go. They knew when they left that there was a good chance he would be gone by the time they get home next week, but I was kind of hoping that little guy could have made it, or suddenly got better and been perfectly normal again. But it was not to be.

So this is my little eulogy to another fish that has swam in and swam out of our lives yet again. He was a funny, puffy, silly, lopsided little fish that we adored.

Rest in Peace.

P7260125

And if you would like to read more about the love these little fish seem to invoke, please click here.

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Here’s what I am actually doing…

July 7, 2009 at 1:18 pm (Day to Day, RIP) (, , , )

On the web obviously, with a billion, jillion other people, while watching the Memorial to Michael Jackson that I said I wasn’t going to watch.

I guess I didn’t realize that they were going to have his casket there. It seemed from the coverage leading up to it, like it was going to be an outrageous tribute more than an actual service. Everyone looks very somber and subdued, singing and speaking above the flower-covered, golden casket.

It’s a thousand times more heartfelt and serious than I imagined it would be. The family is there and the arena falls back to complete silence after the applause for the performers. I hate to admit that I might cry, but my throat feels tight. The speakers are quite eloquent and moving.

As strange as it seems, it actually feels like being in church sitting in my living room.

Nice job Los Angeles and America, (the world?), I think we might have done something good here.

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We own many Billy Mays pitched products, but this is the one the kids REALLY want

July 6, 2009 at 5:06 pm (Pictures, RIP, Video) (, , , )

Let’s all laugh and cry at the same time.

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July 6, 2009 at 5:02 pm (Pictures, RIP) (, , , , )

FILE - In this April 13, 2009 file photo, Michael Jackson's ...

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I hate getting older.

July 6, 2009 at 4:32 pm (Day to Day, Pictures, RIP, Video) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

I know this is jumping on the wagon really late but I want it out of my head and I haven’t had the time to purge. So here it is just a few weeks late.

It totally sucks when people you grew up watching on TV (console, with wood trim, pretty 70’s) and listening to on the radio (extremely generic, but totally gigantic, “boom box”), get sick and pass away, either after a long illness, Farrah, or suddenly, Michael. Or even MORE suddenly, Billy Mays! What a sad day!

Not that anyone cares about my opinion or thoughts, there are about a kazillion people writing about this at any moment, but I still thought I’d throw out some memories, if not for myself, maybe for my kids or sisters, who share some of them with me.

Ladies first. When I was little, like 8 or 9, obviously, I had a bedtime and TV restrictions. I was not allowed to watch racy shows like Soap, and I had to go to bed early on school nights.  My very favorite show wasCharlie’s Angels.” Pretty much like every girl my age at the time. It was the original of course, Sabrina, Kelly and Jill (and then with super-cool Kris! My fav). But it came on after my bedtime! So I worked out a deal with my parents to stay up, just that one night per week, to watch that show. I am sure I had to swear on a stack of Bibles that I would get up the next day with no complaints and I probably had to do extra chores and help with my sisters and brother, but it was worth it! Lord help me, it was totally worth it! I would think of all kinds of crazy ways I could get that white Cobra Mustang with blue stripes. We used to pretend to be Charlie’s Angels at school, running all over the place pretending to be sexy, gun-wielding, private detectives, solving crazy, ridiculous crimes. We probably looked very silly, but everyone did that, I came to find out years later from my friend Mary F., who is a totally cool chick that has colorful hair, super-style clothes, rides motorcycles and loved Charlie’s Angels too! I followed it all the way to the Tanya Roberts (Sheena, Queen of the Jungle”) period, and then…the teens hit, and I dropped all my sitcom love for… music!

Now, I have to admit that I remember where I was when the Thriller video premiered. It was quite a momentous occasion in the life of us suburban teenagers discovering all the cool new stuff in life. We, my family, actually didn’t have cable at the time, so we were at the neighbors house in their very beautiful, finished basement with leather couches and a big TV and a stereo system…it was very swank! It was dark and cool and we waited and waited. MTV at the time was very different than what it is today. This was a big deal. Videos, were a big deal. No internet. And when it came on, we were just amazed and blown away! What an event! And I got to see it. It was long and exciting. And when it was over…seriously…I can’t remember what I did! I’m sure we talked about it and tried to remember the words. Maybe we recorded it on these new, fancy, VCR things. Giant boxes with giant tapes that could take stuff off the tv and keep it forever. Or until the tape melted into a static-y, grey blur! Ha!

At any rate, Michael was BIG! I wasn’t even his biggest fan. My sister Noelle was. I mean, crazy, big, fan. Each summer we got to go shopping with my mom and get summer clothes, shorts and t-shirts, new gym shoes, etc. Nothing fancy. It was a K-Mart trip so we aren’t talking high fashion here. But this particular year, and I’m sure I have a picture somewhere that I will scan and post, my sister bought every stitch of her summer “wardrobe” with Michael Jackson designs. Shirts with sparkles and glitter and shine with his face, his hand, his body dancing, his GLOVE! Hand to God, I swear I can’t believe my mother let her, she bought the Michael Jackson GLOVE It was white and sparkly and it was just ONE! She LOVED  that glove and those clothes. Wore them EVERY SINGLE DAY without fail. And once, when we were goofing around, I spilled chocolate milk on one of her Michael Jackson shirts and I thought she would kill me. There was screaming and tears and hysterics over this. I ruined the shirt and the stain would never come out!!! I do feel bad now. She really did love those clothes. I think the shirt was fine in the end though.

Besides that doesn’t even compare to the really mean thing I did later in the summer to my OTHER sister, Amanda (also I big fan, but younger and more gullible). I told her that Quincy Jones called the house to find kids to be in Michael Jackson’s next video. I even explained, that since school was out, he had to call parents at home, to try and recruit…you know in case she got suspicious. I said that Quincy needed alot of kids and that they would not only meet Michael Jackson but he would be coming to OUR house to have the tryouts in person! So after I convinced HER…she went on to tell all her friends. And of course they all wanted to be in the video too. It was quite the hilarious joke until the friends parents started calling my mom to find out if this was true, and when and where, etc., etc. Everyone was all excited, but my mom was confused. Sucks to be me. Now I had to tell that I made it all up, AND I had to tell all her friends too. Many more tears and heartache…I think I even got grounded for that one. But all these years later, we do laugh. Even though I keep forgetting which sister I did it too. Amanda is always more than happy to let me think it was NOT her.

Updated. Last story. I can’t believe I left it off. My children. They are 10 and 11. They just “discovered” Michael Jackson in the last year or so. I will admit to any and all that it was via Weird “Al” Yankovic, but still. It counts. His parodies led them to the originals, plus more, which they instantly added to their favs. Once I turned them on to the videos…forget it. Played over and over and over…The music has been here waiting for them, which is awesome but it drags on the adults who have grown up listening to it. It is an amazing thing about kids, one of my favorite things about having them actually, is how all the old stuff is BRAND NEW to them, and they are so excited to have found this and they want to share and share with everyone and it makes you really listen to it all again with new ears. And it’s even better when you realize that it really was pretty good.

Their favorite song and video, both agreed,  is Black & White.”

The Billy Mays thing just throws me all off. Seriously. I don’t know why this particular death made me feel worse.

Do you ever notice sometimes how a certain “celebrity” death feels like a personal loss? Complete strangers die every second of every day…someone you loved maybe died at the same moment as one of these “famous” people and you may feel bad, but you just can’t spare the time in your more urgent grief. Maybe you didn’t even  know. Why would you? Ugh, this kind of thinking can lead to all sorts of sad roads that we try not to think about because how can you without wanting to run out and try to save the whole world or just crawl in a cave somewhere and hide?

I felt genuinely sad for Mr. Mays and his family. I didn’t know him or his people at all, but I liked him. And my kids liked him. The very last thing we watched on TV right before they left for Kentucky was Pitchmen. His inventor/promotion show. It was the one with the cereal bowl that keeps your cereal crunchy forever (the prototype looked like a giant dog bowl) and the Gator Wipers that take off every bug in the world from your vehicle windshield. They were doing a commercial for it with a custom made bug-gun and Billy’s son was upset about the giant bucket of bugs being sacrificed for technology and he took the bucket and ran off with it and all the bugs inside! Then they showed Billy shooting his next commercial, in his own house no less, wearing a suit of armor, and being silly. And it just seems so sad, and such a reminder, that every day is a good day, and no one gets promised anything more.

And that’s pretty much it for the super-fan anecdotes.

I know there are memorials being planned and magazines devoting entire issues to their life and times, but I’m not going to read or see any of that. I don’t want to mourn collectively, it never seems serious enough. It’s not a party to go to, and the people who are truly there to offer support always get crowded out by the people who just want to be on TV.

OxiClean.com really did it the best. Rest in Peace.

I’ll shut up now.

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Rest In Peace Old Friend

April 27, 2009 at 1:02 am (RIP) (, , )

Just heard from my sissy that one of my old friends, Dean, was shot and killed on Friday evening after some kind of disturbance going on in his life. I really haven’t talked to him lately, but the internet does connect you to everyone now and you always know what someone is doing somewhere.

We spent alot of time together when we were younger and none as we got older. He always had the coolest car of the group, even though we told him he didn’t. I guess he had a few problems like we all do. I hope he’s ok now.

RIP Dean.

Now you can drive that Trans-Am forever.

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