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“I’ve got my spine,
I’ve got my Orange Crush…”

REM
Orange Crush

Went to J Gumbo’s tonight. The new eatery that’s all the rage. It’s cajun food, supposedly, coming straight out of NOLA.

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First off, I went into the place and there was one guy sitting at the bar with two bowls and a beer in front of his pie-hole. What the attraction of sitting in an over-priced bar by yourself on a Saturday night is, I have no idea.

I had been to another branch of this place before. To the one that’s downtown. I thought it was a bit novel, but I wasn’t really concentrating on the food since I was down there for our movie premiere. My thoughts were obviously on other things than the food we stopped to get.

In any event….

The first thing I noticed about the place is that they have one of those thermometer bars that condense the heat of each dish into one easy to look at chart. Not knowing the scale at which they base their findings, I am at a loss to know what they think hot is compared to what I think hot is.

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This, of course, leads to a query on may part. I was then offered a sample of my potential purchase.

It was pretty good. Kinda hot, but not blow your head off hot. I decided to get that bowl. I was gonna tack on a sandwich but it was pricer than I realized. I think there’s some times when one should know when to fold ’em.

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The place was designed with pure NOLA kitsch. Bright instruments and stuff. I looked at these things closely while I waited for my take-out….because I sure wasn’t gonna sit there alone on a Saturday night and drink a Bud while eating it.

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The girl brought my food in a bag. It didn’t feel that heavy. I think I expected to have my hand drop due to the cost that I just paid. It didn’t.

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I made the ride home and, once there, I put the food into my own dish.

It looked rather spartan. It looked like a huge bowl of Minute Rice with a little bit o’ chicken on it.

I haven’t eaten it yet. I’m just bummed out because there was so little chicken in it. Think I might have to cut some sausage into this dish. The fact that I haven’t eaten it yet should bear witness to what I really think of the place.

Anyway….

“Switchboard Susan, can we be friends?
After six and on weekends!…”

Nick Lowe
Switchboard Susan

Few people know that I, scabiesoftherat, am an avid jig-saw puzzle enthusiast. Even fewer people know that my phone officially died today.

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I have to admit, I didn’t see this coming. Once the stark reality of the situation set in, I immediately felt the haunting pangs of withdrawl. I got the sweats and the chills at the same time. I got the cramps real hard-like. My vision kept going out of focus and couldn’t get enough candy into my being fast enough.

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I was officially alone….adrift in this mad world like a cub scout in the woods without a Swiss Army knife. My flashlight and calculator were gone. My camera was gone. My film-editing software was gone. My app that allows me to watch a webcam of Andy Warhol’s grave (24/7) was gone…all gone in an instant! I sat alone at lunch today…shunned by those with phones who sat cackling while playing trivia and listening to the Cavs (led by LeBrad Jones).

I went out to my car and began to read The Catcher In The Rye again….I’m surrounded by a bunch of “phonies”. Well, I’m NOT a “phonie”….at least, not until tomorrow when I get to the AT&T store….then I should be a “phonie” again…

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Anyway….

“Ground rice, sugar, vinegar, seco salt, macaroni too,
Cook of the house, Im the cook of the house.
No matter where I serve my guests,
They seem to like the kitchen best,
cause Im the cook of the house,
Cook of the house…”

Linda McCartney
Cook Of The House

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I know I don’t do many recipe posts but I really like this because it’s pretty easy to make. No fuss and not too big of a muss.

The thing about this salad is that you can put anything in it really. With the food processor, it boils everything down into a rather small form so all the ingredients tend to meld together into one nice, refreshing salad. A veritable melange of vegetable goodness that can be eaten anywhere and with a spoon of all things. Everyone wants to eat salad with a spoon nowadays. It truly is a gilded age when you can eat vegetables with a spoon.

I even take it for lunches sometimes and I’ll throw things in afterward. Tomatoes, olives etc.

It’s very simple and easy to make.

You take some broccoli and put it in the food processor and chop fairly fine. It doesn’t matter how much you add. Whatever you have on hand. I had two trees of it for this.

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Then you take some cauliflower and chop that up with a knife so you can get it INTO the food processor.

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(Let’s face it. Chopping up cauliflower is fun because it looks like brain. Just admit it. Everyone thinks “brain” when dealing with cauliflower. And they don’t call it a head of cauliflower for nothing! I had about a half a head.)

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Then you add some leek.

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(Wait a minute. Don’t add the leek. I don’t know what to tell you to do with it because I don’t know what to with it. The heck with the leek. When I figure out what to do with it, I’ll let you know.)

Then take some red and orange sweet pepper. Get the seeds out and throw that into the food processor.

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(Important note: You don’t have to clean the food processor every time you put something new into it.)

This will add a new dimension to the salad. (At least I think it will. This is the first time adding sweet peppers to this salad so we will soon see…)

Disregard mess.

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Add as much cilantro as you desire into this salad. You can never have enough cilantro. Be forewarned, however. Cilantro doesn’t like to chop in the food processor. It’s really light and tends to want to cling to the roof of processor so as to frantically escape the blades. No matter though. Just do your best with it. It’s all good.

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Then you add some carrots. I used miniature carrots for this. I think they taste better. It’s a better breed of carrot. I think I added about six or so.

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Disregard the mess.

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I then added the juice of two lemons to this salad. It plays nicely with the cilantro and gives it some serious kick.

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Then you add some raisins. They don’t have to be fresh because raisins generally aren’t fresh to begin with. They are, after all, “fruits secs” as the French say…meaning, literally, “dried fruit”.

The raisins give it that measure of sweetness that works great with the lemon and cilantro. I also added some black currants to this. Black currants are always great to add. They’re like a miniature raisin. A baby raisin, you might say.

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(Just when you think a raisin couldn’t get any smaller, you run into the currant!)

I usually put some sunflower seeds into this but I don’t know where they are at the moment. I could’ve swore we had a container of them around here…

The thing is? You can always add them later!

You mix this all up really well and then throw it into a bag. It makes it easier to store and pour.

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And that’s all there is to it! You now have a perfect Detox Salad.

I don’t know why it’s called Detox Salad. It just is.

As far as the mess?

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Just walk away from it, man,…just walk away.

Anyway,…

“I went away a small man,
But I’ll come home a tall man,
Then what a pretty bride you’ll be…

I’ll be a big man in town….”

The Four Seasons
Big Man In Town

The pot-hole situation is getting quite out of hand.

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You might think this is a merely annoyance, but it has ramifications that stretch far and wide,…especially if you own a small or mid-size car like I do.

The fact remains. We pay taxes. Other people pay taxes if they simply work in this city. There is a monetary flow.

…but we just can’t seem to find the resources to fix the common pot-hole, can we? We can consult out phones to help us determine exactly where we are on the face of the planet, but we just can’t find that cure for the common pot-hole.

It’s a big deal too. We only curse them when we try and maneuver between them. After we get out of our vehicles, we forget about them, don’t we?

Well, I’m not forgetting about them! If the city can come around and tell me to fix a crack in my sidewalk, I should be able to tell them to fix the million plus pot-holes that adorn the streets I have to drive on. It’s only fair, ain’t it?…and if they fine me, I should be able to fine them!

I really hate local politics and red tape. It ticks me off. They can micro-manage and nickel and dime a person to death but there is absolutely no accountability when it comes to things of a public nature which are in the best interest of the public at large!

My patience has left me. My hands are trembling like the front end of my car does when I drive down the street. I have nothing left.

This type of blatant malfeasance shall not go un-challenged! I shall protest at city hall!

…someday. Maybe not today, of course. (I plan to sleep in tomorrow…that’s the beauty of second shift. Sleep as long as you want and then watch TV for an hour before you get out of bed. Then get your slippers and sweatshirt on before you go to the bathroom….while you step over the dog,..who sleeps until one pm.)

But they will curse my name when I get some motivation!!

(Just not on a Tuesday, that’s all. Maybe on Thursday…I’ll think about it.)

“Money, I don’t have any,
I’m down to my last penny,…”

Anyway,…

“Send Lawyers, guns and money,
The (expletive deleted) has hit the fan…”

Warren Zevon
Lawyers Guns and Money

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I’ve been giving this a lot of thought lately. Why? No particular reason. Just bored, I guess.

I just don’t think I would thrive in prison should I ever have the opportunity to go there. I don’t think the entire operation is designed well enough so as to cause a person to flourish to their greatest potential. Oh, sure it’s got it’s perks and all. I could get a college degree there, no problem. I could learn to work with wood and other sorts of things…but I just don’t think, on a daily basis, that the atmosphere is conducive to living a full and enriching life.

I began to think about the actual daily grind in the big house. I began to think about all the amenities that I wouldn’t be afforded should I ever be in a position to grace the inside walls of a prison.

As I began to think about it, I realized that prison is a less than desirable place to exist. The reasons are as plain as day if you think about it.

There’s that whole toilet situation that you have to deal with. It’s my understanding that you have to share a toilet with absolutely no buffer between you and your cell-mate. I know this wouldn’t do. I would most assuredly need the buffer that is so blatantly lacking. It’s also my understanding that the toilets are crafted of metal instead of white porcelain. This fact alone makes the act of going to the bathroom less than inviting. (I also heard a rumor that the mirrors are also made of metal. That has yet to be confirmed however.)

I believe that when it comes to the actual daily cuisine, you really don’t get much of a choice in prison. Oh, sure,…you can decline side-dishes. I don’t think there’s a problem there. The problem is that you can’t “substitute” ala carte menu items. If I were to decline watery cabbage and request fresh steamed carrots, I really don’t believe they would be forthcoming with my request. This creates a pickle for me. I simply don’t like cabbage as it tends not to agree with me. I would have no other option at that point. I would simply have to do without…and that’s not really fair, is it?

I can’t play basket ball. I’m very inept when it comes to activities of a physical nature. My free-time would have to be spent alone while the “guys” play “b-ball”. I believe I would be permitted to doodle, but I fear that painting and composing music would be out of the question. I like doing those types of recreational activities however. I find no greater quiet inner solace than when I’m listening to Tchaikovsky while painting a picture called “Yesterday’s Memories” using the Bob Ross technique of painting. That, unfortunately, requires the use of a metal knife. It’s my understanding that no knives are permitted while in prison. (I don’t know why that is. I’m still investigating that.)

From some of the footage that I’ve seen, it appears that (for some unknown reason) people don’t tend to use their “indoor voices” when speaking to each other while in prison. This would not do. I think the time spent asking people to lower the volume of their voice would be a huge waste of my resources, breath and time. I fear I would spend the opening of every conversation by saying,

“Please lower your voice. I can hear you. I’m right here. There’s no need to yell”.

This would make me look like a trouble-maker when I’m anything but!

There’s also the all-male factor when it comes to prison. When you go to prison, they segregate females from the males. They’re not even in the same building as you. For instance, if a female commits the exact same crime as you, she’s relegated to another facility. Why? It doesn’t make any sense. You’ve both committed the same crime but she has to go to another building?! I would think that one would have to do the same bat-time, same bat-place as the other. It’s common sense!

The fact that there are no girls in prison is a big deal-killer for me. I like women. I like the way they smell. I like that they fuss with their hair and nails. I like the fact that they use napkins when they eat.

I would have to do without all of that in prison. In prison, it’s all dudes, man. There’s no women anywhere.

So bogus.

I don’t know.

The cons to prison life far outweigh the pros, methinks.

I’m keeping my options open though. A free college degree is pretty sweet….

Anyway…

(Quick side-note here. The blog was down but now it’s back up. I wanted to clean up the bogus posts and put up the other ones. I forgot what I was doing and I forgot that nothing was up. I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t getting any hits when it occurred to me that I took it down. It’s all good now though. I fixed it. My dad has this awesome set of tools….just press “musingsoftherat” and it will take you to the home page. Sorry about that….)

“Hush, Hush,
Keep it down now,
Voices carry….”

‘Til Tuesday
Voices Carry

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I suffered from rather violent strain of virus earlier in the week. It’s all good now. It’s all gone.

But it also left a rather remarkable side-effect in it’s wake. It appears that my voice has vanished due to it. When I go to speak, nothing comes out. I have been struck dumb by this rogue intruder of my physiological being.

Can’t help it. Nothing comes out. My voice is gone.

I couldn’t help but be initially amused by this. I’ve never been dumb-struck,…but I have been. Can’t speak a freakin’ word here.

In this age of email, texting and self-service, I began to wonder how much I need my voice at all. Do I even need a voice?

I decided, since this is the first time this has happened, that I would use this instance to make a mental note as to how much I actually use my voice during the course of a normal day.

Since I can’t talk, I knew it would be easy.

I let the dogs out. The sound of the back door opening was enough to get them running. I had to say nothing. I went into a bodega and bought something. I didn’t even have to open my mouth. I got gas. Self-serve. No words spoken.

My boss came in and asked about 6. I rasped out, “Pratt”. One word. He understood and went on his merry way.

The guy I worked with asked how I was feeling. I rasped out, “Can’t speak”. He left it at that and then briefed me as to what was going on.

I sent a few texts, I sent a couple of emails.

Aside from those three words, I realized that I don’t need my voice at all….and that was kinda sad. The realization that my spoken words remain inconsequential.

…But, later, in the quietness and stillness of my rat’s nest of an office, I stood up and belted (rasped) it out….

“She’s precocious and she knows just,
What it takes to make a pro blush,
She got Greta Garbo stand off sighs,
She’s got Bette Davis eyes….”

Anyway…

“Sometimes it’s hard to believe,
That you’re never coming back to me.
I’ve had this dream that you’d always be by my side.
Oh, I could have died.

But now I see that you’re so happy.
And ooh, it just sets me free.
And I’d like to see,
Us as good of friends,
As we used to be,….”

Wilson Phillips
You’re In Love

I had to make the move today. It had to be done. I hate starting over but it’s a fact of life. It happens to the best of us, I guess.

I had to change the pass-codes on all of my devices today. I couldn’t bear typing in that same four-digit number again. Today was the day that it had to end.

I might miss 7734 in the future. I don’t know. The number has served me well since it’s been with me. It’s nothing against the number itself, of course. It’s just that the chemistry between us has grown stagnant in recent days. It was always there for me when I needed it….like when I would be standing in a checkout and there would be someone taking their good sweet time in front of me. 7734 was always there to help open up the wonders of electronic connectivity to the world that was just beyond where I currently stood.

It’s not 7734. It’s me and my selfishness that is to blame. I know this. But it’s better to have been served by 7734 than not at all! I would’ve missed so much of the world had it not been for 7734

I loved 7734.

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There were also those great instances in which 7734 would actually let me by-pass itself. It gave me the freedom to soar without choking me with inane legalities. If I ever wanted to use the calculator or the camera on the fly, 7734 was always fine with that. If I had to check under the hood on a rainy night, 7734 was there with the flashlight. That number always knew what was important and what wasn’t.

7734 always knew what was best for me.

If I wanted to access my personal information, it made sure I had it’s proper sequence before I did….and that’s ok. I trusted 7734 to always look out for my best interests all the time. 7734 always made damn sure I had it’s number before it would let me flit Higgledy-Piggledy onto Facebook, YouTube and even this blog you’re now currently reading….providing that you even got this far into this post.

(Which, by now, is pretty much a miracle in and of itself…..T’a’int it?)

I loved 7734….but I had to move on. Our relationship had become somewhat trite and banal. It was time for a change. I’m the bad guy in this scenario. I don’t deny it. I just had to walk away. Some of you may call me a coward,…I suppose I deserve that.

Anyway,…

“Para bailar La Bamba,
Se necessita una poca de gracia,
Una poca de gracia,
Para mi, para ti, ay arriba, ay arriba,
Ay, arriba arriba,
Por ti sere, por ti sere, por ti sere,…”

Ritchie Valens
La Bamba

Ya know, friends? We have this little thing here called “making a run for the border”. It seems to be the cogent thing to do now-a-days. Everyone’s doing it. They’re running for the border. Unfortunately, they’re running for our border and not theirs.

Be that as it may. I decided to run for the border today. I did. I don’t do it often. I don’t do it lightly,….but today, on October 23, 2014, I made a run for the border.

I bought a 12 pack of soft tacos from Taco Bell. I got the mild sauce and Salsa Verde as the compliments to the tacos,…(the soft tacos, I mean. I can’t do the crunchy ones. I simply do not like corn tortillas. They hurt my teeth.)

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I picked them up on the way to work. The box was as heavy as a small turkey.

As I drove to work, I wondered to myself as to the storage of these soft tacos.

I looked at the box. It looked at me. I knew I was going to have to transfer them to a non-descript form of packaging so as to guarantee it wouldn’t be pilfered from. I decided on a plain brown paper bag that was stapled 17 times lest some ne’er’do’well decide they would accost my coveted soft tacos.

I put a skull and cross-bones on the plain brown paper bag. I then wrote the word “poison” on it.

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That seemed to do the trick. The soft tacos were intact at the end of the night when I went to go and get them. The world was as right as rain.

I ate four at work. I’m about to have four right now. That leaves me three for tomorrow morning.

Aces!

(four plus four plus three,….)

WAIT A MINUTE!!! That ain’t right! Four plus four plus three,….equals eleven!

DAMMIT!

Anyway,….

“All Alone, I Sit Home By The Phone,
Waiting For You, Baby.
Through The Years,
How Can You Stand To Hear,
My Pleading For You Dear?
You Know I’m Crying Ooh Ooh Ooh Ooh….”

Paul McCartney/Michael Jackson
Say, Say, Say.

The time is getting late. I have nothing to say because I’m in a panic to get to bed. I can’t get to bed because I feel like I have something to say. Even though I have nothing to say, I feel like I can’t get to bed until I say something. There’s just nothing to say. I want to say something but I don’t feel like it’s the right thing to say. If I said what I wanted to, I’m afraid I would regret it and I would regret the things I say. But words not said are words said in haste.

Like,…ummm,…Paul McCartney actually recorded with Michael Jackson? (You gotta be kidding me!? Really!? Good heavens….where have I been?…just take me out behind the garage and shoot me now!…)

Anyway,…

“The grocery store’s the super mart,
uh huh
Little girls still break their hearts,
uh huh
And men still keep on marching off to war,
Electrically they keep a baseball score,…”


The Beat Goes On
Sonny And Cher

‘Tis the ending of another banal 7 day week. Nothing portends evil like the waking moment of a clammy and cold October Monday morning,…but, alas, that is a mere two days away and I have less on my plate tonight then I did when I started this odyssey in the early afternoon hours of this particular day.

I had to run to the bank and was forced to tarry there (far longer than I wanted to) due to the fact that it took four tellers to attend to the man that was parked outside in the drive-through,….no doubt attending to multiple (and possibly questionable) transactions from the comfort and safety of his own vehicle.

I was patently ignored. The man who actually got out of his vehicle and took the time to walk into said bank,…was, indeed, put on hold in favor of the ne’er-do-well who thought it perfectly ok to not leave his vehicle whilst conducting MULTIPLE transactions.

After my business there was complete, I motored over to my other bank so as to withdraw some farthings that might be needed during the course of this fine autumnal evening.

I withdrew the 20 bucks from the ATM and went on my way.

Has my life really sunk to this? Go to the bank, pay bills, go get a 20 spot that I can’t afford and then get a cheap sandwich to lunch upon while I work my increasingly boring job?

That’s all fine and good. I don’t care. I pay the bills and keep food on the table. I should be grateful for that,…not being in the red and all,…it’s just the dashed balmy-ness of it all.

I will do something crazy here and just take a random picture of something. How’s that?

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My Paul McCartney bass laying on dirty socks and underwear near the dresser in my room. That was pretty exciting, wasn’t it? (I actually left it there because I will be recording a soundtrack for a movie on Sunday during the Steelers/Browns game.)

I did a list of ailments this week. (I bet you’re glad your reading this post, aren’t you?) I have determined that my left forefinger hurts sometimes and that my jaw pops. The jaw has never done that before. The finger comes and goes,…but the jaw has never done that before. It only pops at work. Not when I get home. I have to wonder if it’s stress or something. It kinda hurts when it does that….I don’t know.

I think the root of the problem is that I miss the 1970s. I am not old. I’m just nostalgic. I love nostalgia…but that’s for another post, I suppose.

Nothing like that Farrah Fawcett poster though.

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Beyonce has nothing on her. Beyonce struts her ass all over the stage and then lights up the word “Feminist”.

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Yeah.

Uhhh,…

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

Yeah, right. Really?

Gwenyth Paltrow just cooed to Obama that he was “so handsome that she can’t speak properly”.

(Pause)

Ok. Now how many of you think I’m a boring old fart because I miss the 70’s?

Anyway,….

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