31 July 2007

If I'm going to be a dog whisperer, he's going to have to stop shouting

I've come to realize that every day that the mailman comes up on our front porch to drop off the mail, Bear views it as a near-miss. A crisis averted. Like the mailman came up, Bear let out his biggest, meanest mean noise, and the mailman hightailed it back to his truck and drove away. That if Bear doesn't make a big huffy scene, the mailman would walk right into our house and do something unthinkable.*

There are two ways to look at this:

One, it's good for the old scruff to have a victory every day (and rest on Sundays). To protect his family, to be useful in his golden years, to be a big tough guy even if he does have a silly haircut this summer. Because Lord knows, he doesn't get the love he used to now that Bird is in the picture.

On the other hand, it seems a little bit cruel that he goes through this non-drama each and every day. I know, I can never understand what Bear is thinking. And most of the time, I'm thankful for that--I believe it would be mostly repetitive and tedious thoughts about food. But I've known this dog for ten years and sometimes he looks at me and I get these quick flashes where our connection is completely crystal clear, like yesterday when he looked back at me, out of breath from barking the mailman back to the curb, and said, wearily, "How many times to I have to tell that asshole to stay the hell off my porch?"

*Something unthinkable like eat up all the dog food.

25 July 2007

Sass, smokes, and bigger questions

Do Not Fuck with Me
This means YOU, Electronics Express. That's right, Tall Guy, Other Tall Guy, Hipster Guy, and Guy Who Wasn't Even Wearing an Electronics Express Outfit. I called your regional manager. And I got that thing-- you remember, the very necessary thing for which you tried to charge me ANOTHER twenty bucks? On top of the sixty I just paid you? Just to make the thing work? The thing that you installed that doesn't work and needs an extra part that you didn't tell me about? Yeah, I got that shit for FREE.

Time to Break Up
I love smoking. I do. I love it just as much now that I only have one or two a night as I did when I was smoking like a damn dragon. There, I said it. I still love it.

I remind myself all the time how horrible it is, how selfish and irresponsible and stupid, how dangerous and destructive, how ugly and tacky, how unacceptable and how lame. Smoking is my really bad boyfriend. And hey, come to think of it, a bad boyfriend is exactly how I started smoking in the first place, so I guess it's fitting.

I Had a Dream
That I walked into school and it had closed down, doors shuttered, one and a half months before my graduation.

And I felt relieved. Off the hook.

So explain that.

23 July 2007

Service Unexcelled

Today I drove. And drove and drove. To visit a woman who could not hear a word I said unless I was screaming. So I screamed over her air conditioner, which is not the best environment for discussing one's end-of-life wishes.

Two things:

1. Passed a semi truck pulling a trailer today that boasted "service unexcelled" as its tagline. I was going to make a joke about how dumb people are, with unexcelled not being a word and all, but hey, what's this? It IS a word? WTF? My English Degree seems to be in need of a refill.

Another reason to buy locally: Mama Snee would not be bullied by as many effing semis on the highways of Middle Tennessee carrying who-knows-what to god-knows-where. Probably bags of hilariously shaped penis pasta to the Spencer's Gifts in a mall near you. Unexcelled service in the Penis Pasta and Gag Gift industry.

2. Again, I got sucked into conservative talk radio on this drive, because I am hopelessly unprepared on the driving entertainment front, and because apparently I like to get hoppin' mad and call my husband with statements that begin with "You're never going to believe what this asshole just said...". Today everyone was on fire about voter fraud, and this is an actual quote from the hillbilly hosting the show:

"There is no event that would put us in greater danger or would mean more damage to this country than a Presidential election that was questionable or fraudulent."

I'm going to let that sink in for a second.

And now I'm going throw things.

Marathon of outdoor eating
It happened this past weekend. I think I placed fifteenth.

We ate in backyards for the majority of the weekend. We ate some truly delicious homemade salsa and sangria and some primo taco salad, and I made tomato gravy (recipe to follow, future post) which was well-received. I wrapped up leftover sausages that now look like plastic-wrapped turds in my refrigerator. Our yard and the yards of others were strewn with weird trash, orphaned dishes, and toys to be dealt with in the morning. Bird splashed in the blow-up pool and played with her buddies and made new buddies and stayed up way past bedtime. And with the weather so gorgeous for the dead middle of July, we took a nice long walk to the coffee shop and our surprisingly well-stocked neighborhood branch of the library. We had drinks with friends, and then we had more drinks with more friends. It was a beautiful little snapshot of summer. More, please.

Two Quotes:
Quote 1:

"I think the only way it could get any worse is if you were making jokes about genocide."

"Or Genesis-ide."

"Like killing large groups of people with the music of Genesis?"

"I think the Ghetto Kroger is committing mass Genesis-ide."

Quote #2:

A: "Wouldn't it be so much better around here if we had a monkey?"

Bird: "Mama, I need a monkey, please."

17 July 2007

I'm going to trick you with photos to make up for the lack of words

Bird has peepeed in the potty at least once a day since Friday. That's five days of pee in the potty, baby. We are on a roll. A peepotty roll.

And while we're celebrating, here's to good friends from far away:
And to good friends just down the street:
And to good friends right here in the house.

10 July 2007


I was tagged for a meme a way-long time ago--in MAY, no kidding, and I have finished it. Finally. It's a pretty open-ended "list eight odd/ interesting/ et cetera things about you" type of meme. There are many things happening in the Land of Snee, but none that I want to discuss right now because the air conditioning has gone out in my office and it is so effing hot in here that I can't communicate well, and the things that are going on deserve to be communicated well. And this post was basically finished and ready to post, so it's a freebie.

I'm not tagging anybody else for it. Do it if you want. Or don't.


1. In high school, I was a member of the National Honor Society, the Thespian Society, the Marching Band, the Swing Choir, the Art Club, the Spanish Club, the Speech Team, the United Methodist Youth Group, the Junior Rotary Club, the Mass Media Class, and the AV Club. I got excellent grades. I never snuck out. I never went to parties. I never drank a drop or even smoked until right before Senior prom. And yet still managed to be a complete slacker in college, lived in a bona fide party house, took a few drugs, had a few brushes with some ugly grades, told some hideous lies to get out of them, and somehow graduated five years and only one change in majors (Fine Art to English) later. I applied and was even accepted into two MFA programs in creative writing, one in New Mexico and one just outside of San Fransisco.

2. I didn't go into either program, because my father had recently suffered a heart attack and I didn't want to be so far from home, also because I would have had to take some bullshit summer algebra class to finish my B.A. on time (which scared me shitless after successfully avoiding math classes for 5 years), and largely because I didn't want to leave my new boyfriend. He is now my husband, and though I wonder sometimes how things would have been different for me, I have never regretted that decision.

3. I've been vegetarian since I was about eleven, when my mother took me to the doctor and explained that I was refusing to eat meat, and the doctor said, "that's okay." The only meat I have eaten since pre-adolescence is the very rare hot dog with sauerkraut and onions outside of a bar in college. Unless you talk to my brother, who swears that I eat chicken enchiladas, which is a big fat lie. I would no sooner eat a chicken enchilada than I would eat my own finger.

4. I keep my deodorant stick on the windowsill above my kitchen sink. And I don't have a reason for that. I just forgot to take the new stick upstairs to our bathroom after a grocery trip, and all subsequent sticks have just lived there on the sill.

5. I fell in gym class in the sixth grade, bonking my knee on the hardwood floor. I was a scrawny kid and I hated gym class. I fell, it hurt, and then everyone started crowding around me, so I made a pretty big deal about it. I went to the emergency room, there were months of physical therapy, et cetera. I will spare you the details, but the whole incident ended in knee surgery, and I'm certain it was all brought about by my exaggeration rather than any actual injury.

6. I have a very, very hard time making change. I mean like nickels, dimes, and quarters.

7. I had my gallbladder removed at the tender age of nineteen. It runs in my family, the gallstones at a young age.

8. I worked with severely mentally ill patients for many years, and one of my all time favorite patients was a schizophrenic woman I met on my first real caseload, who routinely called me "Tina" and peed in every chair she sat in. I used to take her to buy bright green and purple wigs at the costume shop, and she'd stare at herself all the way back to the group home in my passenger-side mirror, thrilled with her appearance. "Oh!" she'd say. "This is what the kids are wearing!" Most of the time she refused to leave the house for fear of Barbara Walters hovering around outside. She once told me that Lucille Ball ate the baby Jesus.

My daughter is named after her.

04 July 2007

I'm going to be a total stick-in-the-mud about the 4th, but I'm going to do it in Red White and Blue so no bitching

Here's this guy:

(oh, I haven't showed you a photo of his haircut yet, have I? It looks so sleek and stylin' in this photo, and now it's growing out a little ... how can I put this lightly to spare his feelings?

and then there's this guy:

And just as in years past, when they hear fireworks happening across the street, they say

"I sense Danger!" and "We must defend our family!"and "I will not let anything harm you, sleeping Mama Snee on the couch and sleeping Bird behind that door!"

Except it comes out sounding like this:

"Barauooooogh! Bragk! BRaouooooogh! BROrk! BroRK! Barrrrrooooogh!"Barauooooogh! Bragk! BRaouooooogh! BROrk! BroRK! Barrrrrooooogh!

And the naps, they are ended, for me as well as for the Bird.

For all I know, they are saying

"Fuck! Did you HEAR that?" and "Oh my fucking shit! Fuck!" and "Dude! Wake her the fuck up! I'm scared shitless!"

02 July 2007

Mama Snee's Recipe Corner: Vegetarian Empanadas

I checked out a nice hefty stack of vegetarian cookbooks from our fabulous downtown public library a couple of weeks ago, and I've tried several recipes, all good, no duds.

Here's one completely worth sharing, with my variations so I'm not just plagiarizing. You can seriously come up with 8 delish empanadas in the time it takes your oven to pre-heat. Unlike the cookbook that swore I could have stuffed tomatoes and white bean salad on the table using only one bowl and it could all be finished in the time it took me to boil pasta. That was bullshit. Delicious, delicious bullshit. This is just delicious. And quick.

Rice and Bean Empanadas:

Buy, Find or Improvise:

>One can black beans (you'll use 1/2 cup)

>One can refried beans (pinto or black, you choose-- you'll use 1/2 cup)

>Some rice (I buy the Uncle Ben's brown rice in the 90-second microwave bag-- you'll use about 1/2 to 3/4 cup cooked)

>About 1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheese, depending on your cheese needs (mine are high)

>Some frozen corn if you have it

>Green Salsa, regular salsa, or guacamole (and don't forget sour cream) to top

>2 refrigerated Pie Crusts-- find in the dairy section next to the biscuits.

>Use or don't use: Carrot shreds or any other vegetable or jalapeno pepper or chiles or what-have-you that sounds good in Empanadas. Be cautioned not to use big chunks of anything, we're making smooshy blobs of filling and the elbows of red pepper slices don't need to be sticking out.

To Make:

and rinse the black beans.

Make the rice.

Mix refried beans, black beans, rice, cheese, and frozen corn and other stuff you may or not be adding. You'll have leftovers of this mix at the end, combine 'em in a keeper container of your choosing and your husband will take the leftovers to work with tortillas and make burritos for his li'l lunch, or you will eat them later in the week, or your toddler will eat them for lunch, or something.

Roll out your pie crusts-- you'll probably use both of them. Cut them into quarters. I bought round ones, but it doesn't matter.

Spoon your mix onto half of each pie crust piece, fold over and crimp the edges.

Cut two little slits on the top of each empanada.

Bake about 20 ish minutes in a 400 degree oven.

This should make 8 empanadas-- we had 2 each for dinner (Bird had one), and the other three for lunch the next day. Hooray for Mileage!