Rate the Hate 4 the I Busted Out My Camera edition

What's better than spaghetti on a Saturday night? Chinese spaghetti, that's what. You only need one pot and one small mixing bowl to make the whole thing. It takes about 25 minutes, start to finish. I heart this dinner.

You boil about 1/2 pound soba noodles (I just use spaghetti noodles) in a medium pot. While the noodles are boiling, chop 3 big stalks of fresh broccoli (keep them long; it's easier!).

If you love onion, you could also chop an onion into long, thin pieces, but personally, if my kids see onion in dinner the next thing they want to see is PB&J. In a separate bowl, whisk 2 cups beef broth with 2 tbsp Black Bean sauce and 2 tbsp cornstarch (no cornstarch? Use flour).

You get this stuff at Safeway or whatever regular old store you shop at. It's in the aisle with the teriaki sauce and stuff. It's, like, $2 and keep forever. Anyway, whisk it all and set it aside.

The noodles should be done by now, 6-9 minutes later. You want them almost but not totally chewy. Drain and rinse them fast with a little bit of hot water. Don't rinse them too much or you'll wash all the starch off, and that's what's going to make the sauce stick. Put the pan right back on the burner.

As you can see, there's still a little broccoli in there from rinsing that. It's totally ok; it's all going to end up together in a minute anyway.
Add about 1 tbsp olive oil to the bottom of the pan and throw in between 1/2 and 1 lb. stir fry beef (you buy it that way right next to the ground beef). Cook that on hot heat for a minute, add the onion if you're going that route, and cook it for another minute.

Dump the broccoli right on top of the beef and add 1/2 cup water. Cover and let cook for about 2 minutes, until the broccoli is bright green.

Re-whisk the sauce you'd set aside and then pour that on top. Stir it well and bring it to a boil. Add the noodles to that, stir it up and let it cook for about a minute. You might want to add a little soy sauce, or you could just let everyone add it as they want to.

Spoon the whole thing into your pretty little Asian bowls, brew some green tea, and you, my dears, have dinner.

I got these bowls for my 23rd birthday. I have had them longer than I have had my husband or my children. I LOVE these bowls.

If you're really feeling it (or if your children had arts & crafts day all over your dining room table),

you could do what we did and sit on our knees in front of the coffee table. You know, teppanyaki style. We keep it real.

Notes: You could also use chicken broth and sliced chicken instead of beef. I just like beef. You could also throw in water chestnuts or those little mutant corn things that my kids still think you can't eat the middle of. Or you could put rice on it and have for reals beef and broccoli. That's the beauty of it; it's versatile.

The question is: Do you think they ate it? Or, to make it easier, on a scale of 1-10, how much do you think they hated it? 1 being Best. Dinner. Ever. and 10 being We're Called Child Services and the Food Network to tell on you, you horrible, horrible woman.

Come one, come all

You are hereby cordially invited to a birthday extravaganza on Sunday at 3 pm for the world's cutest baby girl. There will be blue jello in tiny fishbowls with gummy fish in them, there will be pretzel fishing rods with Powerbait gummy worms attached, there will be jellyfish floating above and blue sea at your feet. There will be goldfish. Most importantly, there will be CAKE. Lots of cake.

Please RSVP by Saturday evening at 778-846-1....oh, who am I kidding? There will be pictures on Monday. She's going to be 2. I am totally going to cry.
(I just have to throw in here that I actually bought scrapbooking scissors in order to make those invitations, and I am having a hard time reconciling myself to that fact. I also completely ruined my best little pair of super sharp scissors. But they're totally cute, no? Really, I've lost all hope of being cool.)

Jerry Lewis, Meet Jerry Lee Lewis

When you make a big pot of chili for dinner, and when your husband dices up a serrano pepper to add to his chili for a little extra kick, you would do well to remind him to wash his hands before he goes tinkle after dinner.

"Goodness, gracious! My balls are on fire!"

Another meme I didn't get tagged for

I'm trying to read more mommy blogs. See, I just don't, really. But I should. I found this one and she'd written a lovely little post about boobies and so OF COURSE I had to sign up to be interviewed. She has boobs. To share.

Here goes:

Leave me a comment saying “Interview me.” I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions. If you don’t have a valid email address on your blog, please provide one. You will update your blog with a post containing your answers to the questions. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Interview Questions:
1. What do you do to make yourself comfortable enough to fall asleep at night?
Oh, the possible ways I could go with this....I suppose I'll take the boring old honest route. I am a tummy sleeper. You can always tell when I'm about to fall asleep because I will roll onto my tummy. Before bed, I have to have a cup of tea. I like to have a cookie, too. I have to have something on top of me (*snicker*) like a blanket or a throw. I cannot ever sleep without a blanket. Also, I have to be totally dressed, and not just in a nightgown or something. I have to be in a SHIRT and BOTTOMS and SOCKS if it's chilly enough*.

2. What are 3 nice things you can say about your physical appearance/body (These should be real compliments, not criticism veiled as compliments :))
I have great calves. Really, I do. They are one of the few areas on my body that survived the recent war on my uterus. I also have great eyes. You can't tell as much now that gravity has had 32 glorious years to work it's magic, but they point up, not out or down like normal eyes do. I like it. Oh, I have to best lips in the whole wide world. I could be a lip-model or a blow-job stunt double. Did I just go too far? Yep, sure did.

3. Who would you rather kiss? Bill Maher or any woman in the world of your choosing?
Oh, shit, this is hard. There are a few girls I'd give my left kidney to make out with, but I don't know if I could pass up a chance to kiss Bill Maher. There's something compelling about the cocky, arrogant, famous, small-penis sort of man**. (And, between you & me, he is crude and obnoxious and uncouth, but I think at the heart of it he's really smart and incisive.)

4. Why do you think some guys put truck balls on their trucks? (We're driving through Indiana and are behind a huge orange truck with the balls swinging from the trailer hitch. It's so bizarre.)
I truly, with all of my heart, hope to hell they do it to look at the faces of the people in the car behind them. Because honestly, if I thought that there were a group of people in this world that thought that was cool, I just don't think I could go on.

5. From Scout: Bowling: Is it just an excuse for guys to go drink on Friday nights, or is it a legitimate Olympic Sport?
Don't you be talking smack about the bowling. If you don't think bowling takes muscles and skill and a vast knowledge of geometry, GO BUY A Wii. Your world will never be the same. And your body will never ache so badly.

*This answer, sadly, give you no clue as to how completely neurotic I am about going to sleep. There can be no lights or noise of any kind, my hair cannot touch my neck or face and has to be tucked in behind my ear on the right side ONLY, my pants legs have to be pulled down to an even and equal length, not too far below or above my ankle. My right arm has to be behind my head until I roll on my tummy, at which time BOTH arms getting crossed under my boobs, left arm on top of right arm always, and the blankets have to be above my shoulders but not touching my chin. You're never going to sleep with me now, are you?

**Yes, I have a crush on Bill Maher. I also have a crush on Drew Carey. Don't you judge me.

Since it is Wednesday, and I tried and failed to take pictures of the body parts laid out in question #2, but now can see lots of lovely spots, I will instead give you a picture of my best friend Jessica (who just went back to Costa Rica yesterday and who happens to be 4 months pregnant now) with me, in Durango, CO, at a wedding, sweating our asses off, a bit drunk and truly, madly, deeply in love.

Tales of crazy screaming mullet pirates

First things first: I'll average the reaction to the scampi and give it a solid 8. (I KNOW; I can't believe it, either.) 1of3 vowed to eat not one single bite, but I have that nasty-mom-'take-one-bite'-rule, and it turns out he lurves it. 2of3 liked it, but mostly just liked the pasta. 3of3 ate broccoli and pineapple. She's refined like that. All in all, it was a hit.

And now I will bore you with stories of my retarded family.

Josh took the boys to get haircuts. 2of3 sits down in the chair to get a cut and the lady asked what grade he was in. His reply, in one breath with no pauses at all, was, "I'm in 2 I was in grade 1 so now I'm in 2 I'm seven I hate my older brother it SUCKS to be seven." The lady laughed so hard she had to walk away for a minute. She came back and asked him how he liked his hair cut, and he told her he wanted a mullet.

I have no response to that.

Josh got a haircut, too. He's trying to grow it out after 35 straight years of the exact same cut, and so he has to re-train it. Re-training it means he has to walk around all day with a do-rag on his head. The only thing we have that even comes close to working for this is a Tiger Cub bandanna, and so he has spent two full days with a bright orange rag on his hair. He has decided that this makes him Captain Jack Sparrow. He runs around saying arrrrgh. He calls me matee. It's funny. We were on the deck and he flicked a bee, mid-air, away from us and said, "You know why I can flick a bee while it's flying? 'Cause I'm a pirate." Another bee landed on the floor by his feet and he kicked at it. He missed, and as he jumped into the air to stomp on the bee, he exclaimed, "Argh! I am a PIRATE!"

*splat* Pirate: 1 Bee: 0

While they got haircuts, 3of3 and I were getting groceries and as we walked down the aisles, we passed a man who gave me that look; that look that either means, "Isn't that baby cute? I have a baby, too. Maybe they could be friends" or "Isn't that baby cute? That chic sure does make a good looking kid. Maybe I could procreate with her, too". Those looks are hard to distinguish. Anyway, shortly thereafter tiny little aliens flew their tiny little mothership into my daughters' nose and started eating through her brain with razor sharp tiny teeth (well, that's what it sounded like; maybe she just wanted candy) and the same man passed us again. He stopped, turned to my little banshee and me, and said, "Wow. She sure is cuter when she's not screaming."

I agree, fully.