Monday, December 24, 2007


Hello! This is not your usual hostess of the Trapped Realm - she is "away from her desk", at this time; on her way home to her family for Christmas. I, the Tapdancer, have shimmied my way over here to get these pictures up for you viewing pleasure. The first part of these pictures can be seen over at Tapdancing on the Edge of Reason.
This first picture is of the fun we have with Christmas crackers- its awfully hard to be grumpy with a silly paper crown on your head (although none of these dopes are wearing crowns - hmmmm).

Bea, aka Chanda made an incredible Baked Ziti for dinner, accompanied by a lovely green salad, dressed with gorgonzola, olive oil and balsalmic vinegar. The equally astounding homemade bread was made by Dave-man, who is renowned for not only his kick-ass BBQ, but his KA bread as well. Are you hungry yet?

We open the Christmas crackers at the table before dinner, to keep the "kids" busy. Look how well its working! Here Grandma translates one of the jokes that are written in French - I thought she might have been deigning to read fortunes, but alas, she was not that drunk at this point.

Here I am, the Tapdancer, with my sister-in-love, mugging for the Trapped One. I am a bit glassy-eyed here, but happy! That has to count for something in times like these.

This is my beloved niece, Nickel (I'm not telling you her real name - she's a celebrity in actuality, so we try to keep it low-key, so the fans will give her a break) - isn't she lovely? And she is as sweet on the inside as she looks on the outside, which a rarer and more wonderful gift than a pretty exterior. Sniff - i just love that girl!

Once we had demolished the appetizers, and the dinner feast, we brought out the big guns - dessert! Here you see the cookie tier and a beautiful old dish full of Bea's incredible biscotti. she made her grandmother's traditional anise-flavored ones, but then she created her own recipe for Cranberry Orange Biscotti, which we dredged in Scharffenberger's Semi-sweet chocolate. OMFG, they are orgasmic - I think they should be her signature recipe, they are just perfection!

The Piece de Resistance of the evening was my mother's Buche de Noel - a chocolate roll cake filled with coffee ganache and frosted with her famous chocolate chip frosting. Its an awesome cake; one that I am always trying to get her to make (I had a version of it for a wedding cake), and what makes it truly an artform, is the little meringue/chocolate mushrooms that decorate it. They look real enough to fool your more "groovy" friends, but they melt in your mouth, and you can't get arrested for possesion of them...I don't think. She made extra mushrooms to garnish with, which was greatly appreciated by everyone - it can turn ugly with a limited supply of 'shrooms.

so there you have it - the Solstice Party, in two parts. (Don't forget, the other half is over here, at Tapdancing on the Edge of Reason). Bon appetit, and Happy Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ok, so maybe just a picture.

I know I said I wasn't posting this week, but I was getting some pictures printed as Christmas presents, and this one came out particularly well (at least I think it did), so I thought I'd post it. I took it with an ancient 35 mm camera and then played with it in Photoshop a little(gotta love Photoshop). It's a view of the top half of the Currituck Beach Light House that was taken this summer on our annual trip to the Outer Banks.

We now return to our regularly scheduled pre-holiday panic.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


The last week before Christmas has sent me running around like the proverbial chicken sans head, and writing everyday just has not been possible. I've been feeling somewhat guilty about that in an I-haven't-done-my-homework- sort of way, and what's the fun in that!? So, in order to preserve my Joi de blog and finish my holiday shopping, baking, wrapping, packing, freaking out, I am taking a break until after Christmas (unless inspiration or the insanity that is my family strikes). Until then my friends....

Merry Christmas, Happy Solstice, Peace.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Starting Small

I have been called out on the mat by She who Tap Dances to post some of my poetry out here in blog land. Well, I went digging through old journals with the best intentions of pulling out my 20 year old angst ridden- unrequited love filled poetry to subject you to. I read it all and Oh the Horrors it was AWFUL! Bad beyond bad. Bad like Debbie Gibson and Stevie Nicks got together and had a love child,and that child wrote poetry bad! I'm telling you people, it was stinkaroo.

So I wrote a couple of new ones. Little ones. Haiku(s)specifically. I figured I would start small, and maybe revisit those stinky poems later. While these bits of poetic sushi are far from being good , at least they don't sound like a bad country western song.

Here they are

friend revisited
charming and recalcitrant
can never return

Burger of my dreams
clings to my thighs looming large
awaken to fruit

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Squirrely Girl - The Anatomy of a Binge(averted).

8:30PM - Saturday Night. Returned from a wonderful dinner over at Casa de Toy, feeling comfortably full, ready for a quiet evening at home. Curled up with Harry Potter book.

8:50PM - It's quiet in here, too quiet.

9:00PM - Made a cup of tea, placed last three peppermint patty cookies(no sin greater) on a pretty plate and consciously enjoyed my dessert.

9:14PM - Returned to Harry Potter feeling smug and superior for my planned eating and control. Yay me.

9:25PM - No longer feeling smug and superior, feeling restless and agitated. In the back of my mind I know whats coming. Mixed feelings of dread, anticipation, anger, and acquiescence.

9:30PM - Close book, wander into kitchen to peruse contents of cabinets - Pretzels, oatmeal, canned tomatoes, black beans, Kashi bars? No. Staring blankly into the fridge, hmmmm cheese, cold cuts, olives, bread? Cheese toast! Pull half the items out. Stop, throw them all back in, take a deep breath, close the door and give myself a firm but kind pep talk about not being hungry, emotional eating, blah blah blah. Sent myself outside to get some air.

9:44PM - Back inside. Freaked myself out listening to random feral kitties make axe murderer noises in my backyard.

9:45PM - Walk past fridge, open it, close it, open it again. Close it again. Shit.

9:50PM - Sit down at the computer to write a blog entry. Perhaps of version of this very blog entry. Blank blog page gives me the finger. Play a game of online scrabble (OK 3 games).

10:50PM - Ass is asleep. Get up and wander around the house. Well, what do you know? I'm back in the freekin' kitchen again, standing in font of the cabinet. All still there. Open fridge. Nope, no changes in there either. *sigh* Give myself a stern "what the hell are you doing?" talking to and head back into the den.

11:00PM - Turn on the TV. Surf through all 77 channels of crap (4 or 5 times).

11:30PM - Ah! SNL. All is well.... until the damned fast food commercial. Are you f*#!ing kidding me!???

11:45PM - Standing in the kitchen again (there's a shock). Open and close both the cabinet and the fridge again (You have to keep an eye on those suckers, don't ya know).

11:50PM - Pick up my knitting in a last ditch effort to keep my hands and my head busy. SNL in the background. *Knit 1 Purl 2 Knit 1 Purl 2 just keep knitting, just keep knitting, knitting knitting...*

1:00AM - Sleep comes at last. This battle won. Countless more to fight.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

A Christmas Ditty

Twas the fortnight before Christmas and all through Home Depot
Not a white light was twinkling,they'd been bought by the people.

I stood there, face hung, in disbelief and despair,
surely just one, one little set was left there.

I'd gotten there early, pulled myself out of bed,
as visions of Christmas lights danced in my head.

So I in my sweat pants and teeth barely brushed,
Just popped down the road to run errands and such.
Now standing in front of displays oh so bare,
"You'll have to drive further", the clerk said with no care.

Away to the suburbs I flew like a flash.
Parked in the nose bleeds, and inside at a dash.
And what to my bloodshot eyes should appear,
No white lights up front. Nay! None in the rear.

As I threw up my hands, ready to leave in a huff
Down the isle a sales rep came shuffling , no rush.
His eyes they were blank and is jaw hung a' slack,
His beer gut jiggled when I asked. "Are there some in the back?"

He spoke not a word, just pointed his finger
at the carnival colors of lights left there to linger.
Then scratching his ass and cocking his head
He left me there, standing alone, seeing red.

I sighed as I purchased what little was left,
Then hiked back to my car,drove home sad and bereft.

But as I strung all those lights I saw something wonderous and new.
Merry Christmas to all-
My tree's balls have turned blue!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

It's called a list, Dear.

The encroaching holiday season is kicking into high gear, and so are my ADD tendencies. Evidently I‘m not the only one who’s feeling the burn either; my father said these exact words to me last night on the phone.
“I think I have a mental illness – I have all this shit piling up on my desk at the office, and I can’t focus on any of it. All I can think about is that Pink Floyd line ‘there’s someone in my head, but it’s not me.’”

You just gotta love Ol’ Bill.

I know how he feels though, I’m scattered to the four winds these days and it’s wrecking havoc on my diet skilz (and for the record, they aren't that great to begin with). So, I took a moment today during my lunch hour to calm my ass down, breathe a deep breath and (what else) make a list. I was inspired, of course, by She Who Tap Dances, who made a couple of lists of her own last night. Here's what I came up with to help keep the sanity.
2007 Holiday Season Survival Guide
• Sleep – in bed dearie, every school night by 11. I'm far less likely to eat Satan’s breakfast (a bacon egg and cheese biscuit) if I haven’t overslept.

• Water – 6-8 glasses a day, minimum. Gonna flush my worries down the drain.

• Portion Control – What? You mean ½ bag of Oreos isn’t a serving size? WTF?

• Exercise 3 to 4 times a week – Shit. (Yea, yeah, I know – but I HATE it.)

• No late night snackage – No no no no! Bad Bea! Bad!

• In case of emergency break glass. – Or pop cork. Either way, I know it’s not the most well adjusted way to deal with family/holiday stress, but a girl’s gotta have a secret weapon stashed away somewhere.

As for all the other holiday lists? I will write them, post them on the fridge, and ultimately ignore them. Let's hope this first one sticks.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Whine and Cheese

I read an interesting article over at (working real hard!) about venting and/or complaining continually about things you find unacceptable. Whether it be work, a troublesome friend or spouse, or *cough* weight, this article has some thought provoking ideas.

Basically it said that contrary to popular belief, venting about a situation is not as healthy as one might think. It basically allows you to release just enough emotional pressure to keep you in whatever situation is causing you stress, but does not actually effect change.

Wow. Kind of a simplistic concept, but it makes some sense, and I’ve honestly never thought about it that way. I feel like I do nothing these days except complain about what’s not right in my life, particularly my weight. Is this constant release of “steam” keeping me just comfortable enough to keep things status quo? Not that I would call my weight comfortable, but it’s safe.

This article challenges the reader to go on a “venting fast” for a predetermined amount of time, and see if that energy can be channeled and used the impetus for personal growth and change. There are rules, of course, and evidently a step not to be taken lightly. The article warns of the possibility for all that unreleased steam to expand and eventually explode. Who knows who could get wiped out in the storm? The rules involve a lot of journaling (hmmm, would blog entries count?), and finding at least one productive way to overcome whatever that day’s frustration was.

This all got me thinking about what I’ve been doing about my weight and my life for the past, oh I don’t know, DECADE or so, and the sad answer to that is – nothing. But man do I complain about it. A lot. It’s almost embarrassing. I’ve been whining about my job, my weight, my status as a singleton, my house, my parents, and my oh my how I do go on. And nothing has changed, in fact, in a few areas, things have gotten alarmingly worse.

Serious food for thought, and not a moment too soon, as today’s blog was going to be yet another spectacular whine about this weekend’s binges and the feelings of guilt and self loathing it produced. Perhaps it’s time for a paradigm shift.

If you want to read the entire article you can, here.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Golden Road to Unlimited Devotion

Saturday morning, at the butt crack of dawn, my two best friends and I took a mini road trip to mecca. Well, our personal mecca, anyway. Moore County. Home to some of the most talented, time honored potters on the planet. I've been collecting pottery from that area, for about 10 years, I caught the bug from my father, who can take collecting things (anythings) to a compulsive level that is truly impressive, if not a little frightening.

Anyhow, She Who Tap dances, ever the historian, gives a really good overview of the history of the area in her post today, so you should go check it out(along with some illustrative tid bits for flava). Me, I'm just there for the pretty pots. Though, to be honest, in order to make informed choices, you have to know your stuff, and should have done at least a little research. Regardless, it's a wonderful way to spend a day, and I even managed to get a little Santa business out of the way.

Our first stop of the day was here. Jugtown. It was kiln opening day, so even though we got there a mere 13 minutes after the place opened (Ms Q needed a biscuit some kine'a awful),it was packed, and people were staking their claims with a ferocity that would shock you. There was literally a man standing in the corner of the shop with about half a dozen items behind him, and he would NOT let anyone near that corner shelf. This is serious stuff people!

The beauty of Jugtown is that you are free to wander around and take in your surroundings, to really get up close and personal to the workings of the place. Below are a few shots I took while wandering around.(Don't ya'll just want to hop in a car and go!?).

Wood Fired Kiln

Unfinished Bisque

Another Jugtown view

And then it was time to move on. Cold, and ready to depart, my two compadres suffer one more picture.

Carpe Pottery!

We spent the rest of the day puttering around Seagrove, and the surrounding area. We got lost a couple of times (as all good road trippers should), but still managed to find our way to one or two other places.

And these? Well these I just thought were funny.