Monday, December 9, 2013

All the tea in Hunan Manor

Every time I order takeout from our favorite local Chinese eatery, they throw a couple of tea bags in with the order, along with the usual soy sauce and fortune cookies. 

I never drink the tea, but I can't bear to throw it out. So I put it in a jar with its compatriots where it sits for a while until it turns to dust and in a fit of purging I throw all the tea bags out, and I feel guilty about it. 

I think maybe in a past life I lived through the Depression, or a Siberian winter. But surely I can't be the only person who deals with this tea angst. 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Venomous Creatures - Dallas Premiere Episode 2

Lame-o Christopher is refinishing a crib, Elena shows up. Sure it's not at all weird for Christopher to be prepping a cradle for the babies that he fathered with another woman.

John Ross ruefully watches them. JR comments, "love, hate, jealousy - mix 'em up, they make a mean martini." The Martini and John Rossi?

Thank goodness Dr. Feelgood is on call to sedate hysterical wives like Ann when she needs her "shot."

Why do we care about the Emma Ryland kidnapping case? I'm sure there's more going on here that will be revealed later, but what's driving the timing ...

Sue Ellen lost the election, bummer. So she turns to her old pal, Chardonnay. A good long pour. But before she can imbibe it, John Ross and JR show up. I love seeing JR, John Ross and Sue Ellen together. JR admits that leaving him was the best decision Sue Ellen ever made. JR offers to "work" the state attorney on her behalf. Sue Ellen demurs. Again, nice Windows phone placement.

In another shocking instance of thinking of someone other than himself, JR tells Sue Ellen that Ann could really use a friend right now. Sue Ellen pours all the wine down the drain.

Pamela/FRebecca hijacks Frank's board meeting to announce the company is going away from the casino business and toward clean energy. Frank is clearly pissed off, which makes him a potential ally for the Ewings.

Cue the annulment hearing and a sassy lady judge. With the Real Rebecca's fake testimony, Christopher's hopes are dashed, and the judge rules against annulment. For all his lameness, Christopher has managed to make himself some serious enemies.

At the golf course, JR stares down the state attorney on behalf of Sue Ellen. Not clear yet what dirt he has on him.

Bobby has to defend his woman's womanhood too, so he confronts Ryland Harris Ryland. It's still unclear what the whole Emma story is.

Elena and Christopher are kissing or something. Who knew methane was so sexy and romantic?

Frank tells FRebecca that he knows she has been in touch with John Ross. He warns her not to disrespect him. JR shows up at Barnes Global HQ and lets FRebecca know that she's going into battle against him, and he's one for one in flushing out Pamelas. ha!

Bobby goes in search of this mysterious Emma, he uncovers some sort of London connection. He's got a lead. Maybe her father stole her lo those many years ago and hid her?

Real Rebecca is still insisting on finding her bro, who she doesn't know is dead. This of course will be leverage to be worked against FRebecca later.

God damm if JR wasn't able to dig up dirt on the state's attorney after all, go JR! "The first time in his life that JR was the lesser of two evils." 'Sometimes bad men drive us to be stronger ...'

John Ross has a teensy bit of a chip on his shoulder, of feeling like the outsider. But when Elena wants a bigger share of the company even John Ross offers to pony up - what's his game?

Each now has 25% - does that mean more for Elena to lose? My husband wisely explains to me that it's probably so that Christopher has less, so when his share gets carved up in the divorce settlement, it will be that much easier to get a majority share.

At any rate, Christopher asks his secretary to spy on other secretaries and other executives, because that's not awkward.

John Ross reveals more of the end game - Elena is in debt to his mother. Were Sue Ellen to claim Elena's share of the company and give control to John Ross then he could be in a dominant position.

Will John Ross also screw his daddy over? Almost certainly.

A mysterious package from the (dead) Tommy arrives for Christopher that includes a cell phone and a scrawled note.

Bobby continues to investigate Emma "Brown." He finds out she's been riding a horse for the past eight years that is owned by ... Harris Ryland. Bobby doesn't tell Ann yet that he's found anything out.

Christopher goes to Real Rebecca's hotel and tells her he needs to talk to her about her brother. They suspect that FRebecca has hurt Tommy in some way. Christopher now also has evidence (voice mails) that Real Rebecca was in on the con the whole time.

JR goes to see Sue Ellen, she thanks him for his help with strong arming the state's attorney. He's confident she'll bounce back "real fine." She invites him in for tea. (euphemism?)

John Ross goes to FRebecca's penthouse. He negotiates a kiss and a 70% share deal. As he's leaving, the elevator reverses and carries him back up to the penthouse and into FRebecca's pants. There's nothing sexier than seducing a man with your personal elevator.

Cut to a scene with Frank, in which it's revealed the mysterious package wasn't from Tommy after all, but from him. Go Frank.

And WHOOOOAA Judith Light!!  Could Dallas get any better? (Victoria Principal) But wait, Judith is supposed to be Harris's mom? She's not THAT old. At her house, Bobby sees photographic evidence that Harris had Emma all along ... he and crazy momma kidnapped her themselves and raised her in secret ...presumably with Tony Danza's help. Along the way, they also groomed her to hate Ann.

Can these people really be so rotten? Welcome back, Dallas.

PS are we supposed to believe that FRebecca is actually pregnant? There's not even room for a grape in those pencil skirts.
PPS I miss JR already.


It's back, baby! This past Monday the producers gave us not one but TWO episodes of the much-anticipated new season of Dallas. The first one was titled "Battle Lines." But before the episode even began there was a special message from the cast about the passing of actor Larry Hagman - "the legacy of JR will live on." I miss him already.

Sue Ellen was in the lead in her race for the governor's office. Her slogan, "honesty for a change." She rallies her supporters, probably already tasting her win.

Meanwhile, John Ross crashes a bachelorette party. "Oh you are trouble," says the bachelorette ... who is then promptly deflowered by John Ross. But this is no ordinary hook-up, this is strategic (wow John Ross is efficient in how he mixes business with pleasure) - John Ross then walks downstairs and makes the woman's father an offer he can't refuse ... threatening to blackmail his family with the sex tape he was just making upstairs whilst boffing his offspring. John Ross's line to the dad: "Love is for p*ssies. Now do we have a deal?"

Now that's how you start an episode.

Ewing Energies is sponsoring a methane-powered race car. I just can't help but think how bad that must smell. Christopher takes the car for a spin around the track to show the car's moxie. Even when driving a race car, Christopher just still comes across as kind of a lame-o.

Next scene, we see the fantastically chic offices of Ewing Energies, the really spiffed up the place. it's like a set designer's wet dream. Here's a corporate charge account and a copy of Dwell magazine, go!

JR drops by to say hi and offer John Ross advice on derailing Christopher's methane side of the business in order to pivot the business back to good ol' oil. So even tho John Ross, Christopher, Bobby and Elena are all ostensibly in business together, John Ross is just conspiring to crush them all. it's evident that it's not just about the money, the freakin' birthright, the oil ... it's personal.

Debating the merits of methane versus oil, someone says "This company needs to be vertically integrated." I need to find a way to work this phrase into a meeting at work.

The company breakdown (and this will be important later) is as follows: 60% Christopher/Bobby; 30% John Ross; 10% Elena.

Nice Nokia Windows phone placement with John Ross, who is ominously texting someone.

Will the real Rebecca Sutter please stand up?
We meet the real Rebecca Sutter, Tommy's actual sister, who is claiming to be the victim of identity theft. Could they make her character any more "aw shucks" hick-like? Laying it on thick.

Clearly they have not found Tommy's body yet, and Rebecca the Real is adamant about finding him ...

Cut to Ann in an art gallery looking at an ugly painting of oil derricks or something. She exclaims to the gallery owner/salesperson: "It's even more evocative than I thought it would be!" I need to find a way to work this phrase into a meeting at work.

Ann's slimy ex Ryland Harris or Harris Ryland shows up and reveals that he's found their long lost daughter, and in exchange for revealing her location, Ann has to give up the blackmail tape she has of Sue Ellen being blackmailed and him being blackmailed and blackmailing someone. And laundering money. This is at least triple blackmail, but I'm sure we're nowhere near done yet.

Why would Ann hide the secret of her daughter's disappearance from Bobby - does she blame herself for her daughter's kidnapping?

Ann's wearing a lovely Lucite Tory Burch cuff btw.

Somebody says something about an annulment hearing for Christopher (yawn) and FRebecca (Faux Rebecca). I'm sorry, but Elena and Christopher are lame. And does it bother anyone that he's marrying the help? "I want to be your partner, and not just in bed." Gag.

For a couple that is so fixated on getting an annulment so they can have a church wedding, they are acting pretty darn un-holy and unrepentantly frisky.

Mysterious swarthy man (Frank) is back and strategizing with FRebecca. They are fighting the annulment so that they can force a divorce, which would mean splitting up the marital assets, therefore she'd theoretically get a stake of Ewing Energies in a settlement.

Meanwhile, Elena is negotiating to buy old oil rigs. Christopher is summoned to an address for something related to the annulment, only to realize it's the address of Barnes Global HQ. There, Rebecca reveals her identity to be the daughter of Cliff Barnes and Afton ... duhn duhn duuuhhhn. And she's named after her aunt Pamela, Bobby's former wife.

Speaking of which, where the hell is Victoria Principal?

FRebecca claims money is not the issue, but she wants custody of dem babies. Are we sure she's actually preggers? Christopher basically says "bring it, beeyotch." He's feeling confident because he's got Real Rebecca in his corner.

Nothing brings family together like mutual hatred of their sworn enemy, Cliff Barnes. The fractured family gathers. Christopher opines that the end game is for Cliff to get his hands on the methane business, JR tells him it's personal, and he suggests murder as an option.

Gives me goose bumps to see them all working together.

Oh wait, John Ross is still very clearly in it for himself.

Ann in the meantime is waiting for the results of a DNA test to see if the found girl is actually her daughter. Helpfully, the caller ID on her phone says "DNA LAB." I'm glad I don't have to have that programmed into my phone.

So the results show this Emma is indeed her daughter. Ann goes to Sue Ellen's house to break the news to her that they need to get rid of the blackmail tape; when she arrives Ryland Harris Ryland is already there. They give him the tape.

I dig the Sue Ellen+Ann alliance.

Suddenly the medical examiner comes forward and confesses Sue Ellen bribed him to change the cause of death in the case in which John Ross was unjustly accused of murder ... clearly this is to sabotage the election but what else was is motivation? One day before the election, it effectively tanks her 12 point lead in the polls, causing her to lose, creating a media scandal and launching an inquiry on the part of the state attorney's office.

Ann's kid was apparently kidnapped by Richie Rich, because when they go see her she's practicing dressage on a gorgeous horse in an equestrian ring at a luxurious stable. She looks bitchy. She rejects Ann. Ann crumples.

I should have predicted that John Ross would try to align himself with Pamela/FRebecca, there is a certain villain logic to this. She however is still a little bitter about him having blackmailed her last season. What's a little blackmail between friends?

Real Rebecca shows up, seemingly willing to make a deal for her testimony. I knew her hick act was a little much!

PS- So are we supposed to believe that FRebecca did actually fall in love with Christopher? Yawn.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Vacation Rules

Woke up this morning to the sunrise over the beach and the sound of the surf. Later, a massage at the hotel spa. Don't squander your vacation time, use it wisely or hell use it unwisely, just use it.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Ho Plane & Other Travel Observations

Pros and cons of a 7 a.m. Sunday flight: con- getting up at 4 in the freaking morning. Pros- no one on the road; whole row to myself on the plane, and sunrise at 10,000 feet.

If I ran an airline, all early morning flights would serve complimentary Gatorade. Virgin America could pioneer this.

Straight up, grey sweatpants to travel. Dude, unless you have a medical excuse or are going directly from the airport to a pick-up basketball game, this is a major fashion and life don't. Have a little pride, man.

I don't have a problem sitting next to kids on a flight, as long as you're not the nose picker. Shudder.

If you are ever traveling with me and I'm passed out asleep, head lolling, snoring, you have every right to jostle or nudge me into a different position.

Seen the movie Soul Plane? Me either, but I'm here to tell you about the Ho Plane. It could also be called the Ho & Stripper Plane, but for brevity's sake I call it the former. This is the Burbank-Vegas flight- on a Thursday or Friday afternoon it is chockablock with buxom women in Uggs and velvet jogging suits on their way to Sin City for the weekend to ply their trade as exotic dancers or escorts or perhaps both. On a Sunday, it's the Vegas-Burbank flight, full of slender, tired looking women still wearing last night's make-up. Think of it as a slatternly commute, and it's a phenomenon that fascinates me. Dying to ask one of them how much they make on average, and if they have other jobs during the week. Maybe one day I'll work up the courage, for now I'm content to observe and soak up the Vanillaroma aroma of sex and commerce, from a safe distance.

Ps - I know you want photographic evidence, until I get a proper spy cam (reason #783 to do so), you'll have to make do with the blurry snaps I tried to get on my phone and not get my ass kicked. You'll have to use your imagination to picture the chunky, balding Asian guy wearing an (ironic?) GTL t shirt (Gym-Tan-Laundry)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Trader Joe's Tuesdays

This stuff is so good that I buy it in multiples, so I always have a bottle on hand: TJ's Light Champagne Vinaigrette. Makes any salad better.

I like any of the TJ's bagged salad mixes (only $1.99 and up) but our favorite is the butter lettuce blend. Try it with the dressing and any combination of these toppings (all of which I have found at TJ's with the exception of garbanzos which they probably have):

Pomegranate seeds
Fried onions
Bacon bits
Shaved Parmesan cheese
Heirloom tomatoes
Brown tomatoes
Mini pearl grape tomatoes
Chopped carrots
Shredded Mexican blend cheese
Chopped nuts
Dried cranberries
Orange segments
Fresh English peas
Chopped apple
Crumbled bleu cheese
Crushed tortilla chips
Hard-boiled egg
Garbanzo beans (aka chick peas)
Prosciutto or salami strips
Flaked tuna or salmon

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Trader Joe's Tuesdays

I'm a little obsessed with these Trader Joe's fresh English peas. They're delicious. Crunchy, sweet, good with lots of things. So far I've tried them with:

Spaghetti carbonara
Sprinkled on salads (raw)
Added to canned soup
Right out of the bag as a snack, like snow peas

Maybe I'll even try the recipe on the package.