Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Home-Improvement Chronicles: The Coffee Station Revisited

the before shot: the original coffee station consisted of one of Mo’s old bookshelves that was repurposed to hold the mugs. it was simple and functional, and i was happy with it. though Mo felt it didn’t match the rest of the kitchen, which was more stylized. he thought the area needed some pizzazz.

Planter Detail
did i just write “pizzazz”? we went to our home away from home, Ikea, to get some ideas. Mo quickly zeroed in on this plant pot, which was super cheap (just $3.99!), so we bought a bunch and Mo got to staining them in the garage.

Bottom Half
paper towel pizzazz: i’m not sure where we found this paper-towel dispenser, but it’s pretty hot and matches the chrome in the rest of the kitchen nicely. plus, it frees up the space that was once occupied by the countertop dispenser we used to have.

Counter Long
hot countertop: Mo built this part of the countertop by fusing together pieces of walnut wood, sanding them down to make them smooth and then staining the whole thing before installing. he even built the backsplash. the result is one gorgeous countertop — but one that was also very expensive, which is why the rest of the countertops are white laminate from Ikea.

The Artist and His Work
the artist and his work: Mo’s next project is building a dining room table that will serve double duty as a kitchen island. it will extend from this countertop, also be made of wood, be portable and fit barstools underneath. and then there is the wine rack, the laundry room shelves — all sorts of fun items from my honey-do list.

Coffee Station Partial View
the vase: we found it in some random pottery studio when we were in San Francisco last year. it has been situated in a few other places around the house before finding its permanent home as part of the coffee station. we try to fill it with fresh flowers once a week.

Coffee Station Wide
the after shot: and yes, we do make coffee here every day. would you like a cup?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

One-Hit Wonders: February 2010

this month’s search terms inexplicably pulling up this blog are all about the sexxxy time. and now that i wrote “sexxy,” i will get a million variations of “sexxxy milla fucking sex tit cock dog.” and now that i wrote that, well, you know...

  • girls with big feet and barking cough

  • heavily pierced tits hanging out of corset

  • i love hating sarah palin

  • skunk smell satanist


  • free pictures of lactating boobs fucking dogs

  • here the longest lowhangers i`ve ever seen

  • girls with flat abs fucking

  • my mother-laws 38ddd's i want to fuck

  • changing my diaper

  • in how do i love thee, what skin disorder did the girl have

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Broken Hearts for Valentine's Day

got two more stories published on Osmosis Online, neither of which is a Dish-Interested piece. i don’t think i’ll be doing too many non-Dish pieces as i don’t have a ton of bandwidth lately, but these two were easy to repurpose and timely for Valentine’s Day.

first up is a modified version of the blog post i wrote recently about my dad’s heart surgery. big thank you to all who reached out and extended me their well wishes and support. the short update is that my pops is doing well after surgery. his three-week checkup confirmed that the stents are doing what they are supposed to do and his wound healed the way it was supposed to heal.

however, there is still an issue with one artery that couldn’t be opened during the angioplasty, which means there is a real possibility he’ll need another surgery in the future, so we’re not out of the woods just yet. the good news is that my pops is holding steady with the profound changes he needed to make to his diet. he even ate the soy-based meat substitute i bought him! small victories, folks. here’s the story that appeared in Osmosis to commemorate the soy-eating occasion:

Heart Strain

“You might want to sit down for this.”

These are words I never care to hear again, especially from my father, who called me the other week to say the above, adding “I went to the cardiologist and he said my heart has a clogged artery. I need to have surgery to open it.”

It’s a situation that’s hardly rare. Only today, President Clinton had a stent procedure. Turns out my father was basically on the verge of a heart attack, and had been for years, with a tightness in his chest that had been misdiagnosed as gas, as anxiety. An angioplasty was scheduled and, if it didn’t work, pops would have to be rushed into a bypass, an open-heart surgery that had risks that made my head spin and hands shake.

This was an impossible situation because my pops is a superhero and heart problems only plague mortals.

“Dad, I love you and...

the next story is the story of my valentine’s day six years ago when i was newly single, freshly heartbroken and attending a singles mixer in Hollywood with a former beauty queen. i do not recommend spending your valentine’s day in the same way.

truth is that i’m mortified i’m still publishing this story — which appeared on MillaTimes four years ago — as it involves an ex-boyfriend i no longer care for and a time in my life i no longer think about. but when i can suppress my gag reflex and fool myself into thinking that the story is not about pathetic me, i do like it as a piece of prose — one that will likely be the opening essay in my hopefully-one-day-but-probably-never-published collection of personal essays titled “Everything Sucks and So Can I.” here it is:

Valentine’s Day. I find myself suddenly single again after four years off the market. It doesn’t bother me much that I’m alone on Valentine’s Day, but it seems to bother other people, who insist I join them for the evening. I tell them I’m too busy unpacking boxes, having just moved into a new place following the sudden split, but Zahra is damn persistent.

“Girl, I got us on the list for the party in Hollywood,” she says in her Jamaican accent.

“Ah, the coveted Los Angeles list,” I remark.

“Yeah, as in we don’t have to pay $25 at the door.”

It’s Saturday. I’ve been single exactly three weeks, and she’s insisting I dive headfirst into what’s sure to be the largest and saddest meat marketing event of the year.

“, that online dating service, is throwing a party in Hollywood on Valentine’s Day? It’ll be full of losers—”

“— And us,” she quips.

So we go. It’s my first foray into L.A.’s treacherous bar scene as a solo artist, and I commemorate the event by wearing high heels, a dangerously low-cut top and a push-up bra that thrusts...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Meatless February

i wish i could say it’s been easy, but the truth is i’ve been fantasizing about all manner of meat since day one. the cravings have been pretty steady, waning only slightly in the past few days as i’ve renewed my dedication to make it to the end of the month with no cheating and, perhaps, even extend it into march. the maddening, constant hunger of the first week has also finally passed, leaving my appetite more or less normal.

Mo and i decided to go meatless for the month partly because of my pops’ heart condition, but moreso to give our bodies a much-needed cleanse. i’ve been a long-standing subscriber to the theory that it’s only a snack unless there is a dead animal on my plate, in which case it becomes a meal. but after reading Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma (highly recommend!), it’s hard for me not to be sympathetic to porky’s plight.

i’m trying to be better. i’m trying to live and eat more ethically, but i’m having trouble escaping an undeniable fact of my life: I LOVE MEAT. there, i said it. i love meat. it may be murder, but it’s tasty murder, and i can’t stop thinking about how amazing chewing on a slaughtered animal would be right about now. and not the bland or lean stuff, like chicken breasts or turkey burgers, which i have not once fantasized about, but the hard stuff, the good stuff, like a prime steak cooked medium rare, sausages stuffed with mouth-watering swine, bacon wrapped around everything. the thought of it drives me wild enough to eat my own arm!

sorry for the digression. one bright side of a meatless month is that i have lost a bit of weight. nothing drastic as it’s only been two weeks, but it’s enough to make my clothes looser and face slimmer. i don’t own a scale, so i’m not sure about the actual amount. another benefit is that i don’t fall into food comas anymore, even after a big meal. my energy levels are mostly high and my digestion is easy.

and the meals have been pretty good. it’s not just steamed veggies and white rice for dinner every night. we’ve made some delicious veggie lasagna, falafel from scratch, potato tacos, meatless pizzas, bean soups galore. plus, we’ve been eating fish a couple times a week so there is plenty of yummy tummy going on. admittedly, it hasn’t been enough to quell my cravings for the flesh, but i don’t feel bored with the food.

if anything, i hope this meatless month will result in fewer meat-centric meals when i return to meat-eating in the future. and i’ll return, oh yes i will, just counting down the days now. this little experiment has taught me that i’m not cut out for vegetarianism, or even pescetarianism, which i had been semi-seriously considering, but in the spirit of wanting a healthy heart and a long life, eating less meat seems like a good place to start.

now if you’ll excuse me, i have to go wash the steak sauce off my arm.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Dish-Interested: I’d Like to Thank the Academy for Justifying My Superiority Complex

Photo courtesy Osmosis Online

It’s Oscar season, superstars — the time of year all A-listers love! It’s a chance for celebrities to pull themselves away from the hard work they do for humanity each day and enjoy a night of endless fawning and accolades, which we all know makes them very uncomfortable.

But they put on a brave, Botoxed face and suffer through a night of dressing up in designer duds, their limbs dripping with jewels, teeth bleached, lips plumped and tanner applied before sitting impatiently among an audience of their frenemies, watching cheesy dance performances while waiting...

p.s. please become a Facebook fan of Dish-Interested and i’ll be your best friend!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

You Might Want to Sit Down for This

these are words i never care to hear again, especially from my father, who called me the other week to say, “you might want to sit down for this. i went to the cardiologist and he said my heart has a clogged artery. i need to have surgery this friday to open it.”

thankfully, i had sat down, though i’m not sure it made the news any easier to hear. it sounded bad, very bad. my father was basically on the verge of a heart attack, had been FOR YEARS with a tightness in his chest that had been misdiagnosed as gas, as anxiety. the arteries sounded mighty blocked, if the doctor’s tests were to be believed. an angioplasty was scheduled and, if it didn’t work, pops would have to be rushed into a bypass, an open-heart surgery that had risks that made my head spin and hands shake.

pops sounded worried, so i was worried. he started telling me some things about taking care of my mother, that he loved me. the tears were already rolling off my cheeks. i sat frozen, stunned, speechless. this was an impossible situation because my pops is a superhero and heart problems only plague mortals.

“dad, i love you and you’ll be fine,” i managed to stutter through a cracked voice.

friday came and we were all nervous as hell. my mom, sister, Mo and sister’s husband sat in the waiting area waiting impatiently while trying to distract each other from the fact that we were waiting impatiently. we played Scrabble and Rummicube while checking the clock wall, which indicated that the surgery was taking longer than expected, first by 10 minutes, then 20 minutes, then by an additional hour. still, no word from the surgeon.

my hands started shaking again while my head was reeling with an imagination that i couldn’t get a handle on. with mom already teetering near meltdown mode, i had to get it together. “G.I.T., girl,” i repeated to myself. Get It Together. stay calm and don’t panic unless there’s a reason to panic.

finally, the surgeon appeared. his white outfit made him look like a butcher. we quickly gathered around him, arms folded across our chests in a mirror image of each other, the dent in our brows creased, eyes searching his face for reassurance.

“the surgery went well,” he finally said. i let out a deep breath, my first in days. the surgery went well. mom was crying. doc was talking, telling us about the three out of five arteries around my pops’ heart that were clogged 99%. i wish that were a typo, but they were clogged 99%. my pops is only 62. we were mortified.

“i imagine your husband has enjoyed a rich russian diet of vodka, caviar and beef tar tar for many years,” doc tells my mom. and he’s absolutely right. i don’t recall seeing my pops order anything but steak at a restaurant. nor do i recall him eating any vegetable beyond a potato, usually a baked one with his steak that’s piled high with butter and chives. family suppers at home always feature cold cuts, cured russian sausages, smoked fish, herring in sour cream, a cheese plate and a variety of barbecued meats. vodka and red caviar also made an appearance.

exercise did not. beyond looking for the remote so he could change the channel (usually to Fox News, just to piss me off), i’ve rarely seen my pops exert himself. he had no hobbies that kept him active. he is not a nature guy or rugged outdoorsman. he is a sports nut with a big-screen TV and leather recliner, which he rarely parts with. why had i not recognized this as a problem before? why do i need this doctor to point out the fundamentally obvious?

mom is thinking the same thing, i can tell. it’s not like pops does much of the cooking at home. doc is saying that pops needs to make major lifestyle changes, his diet among them. we are all nodding. we are sorry it came to this. we will make it better, we promise. pops will also need to take blood-thinning medication for the rest of his life.

one more thing, doc says, before leaving us: the catheter attached to my pops’ heart during the surgery several times sucked out copious amounts of cholesterol and fat that surrounded his heart. this is a rare sight, doc says. we hang our heads in shame. we are all changed people now.

we visit pops in his hospital room, where he’ll be spending the night. he’s awake, cheery, drinking cranberry juice and waving us all in. we huddle around him, like we usually do. he’s says he’s hungry, but only for food that’s good for him. he can live without the steak dinners. and he wants to live. my mom’s not done with him yet, she says. she ordered two rocking chairs for the porch, where they will sit and grow old together. he’s onboard with that plan.

i lean down to kiss him and stroke his graying hair. it’s thinner now. i hold his hand. my superhero. he’s looking up at me, smiling, looking happy, looking different.

“do me a favor, eh?” he says.

“anything, pops.”

“don’t get old.”