The Lord of The Rings

passport renewal part 2 / blueberry bliss smoothie

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Last night I picked up our mail and was pleasantly surprised to see an envelope from the Department of State. Must be my new passport, right? After an evil post office woman, four hours, a $110 check, and yelling obscenities in the privacy of my car about the inefficiency of government run businesses, I was actually receiving my passport in a timely fashion. I nearly felt guilty for my previous post (see Passport Renewal), but then I opened the thick, manila envelope. New passport? Nope. It was my old passport, all of my filled out paperwork, and a fresh white letter telling me that my passport renewal had been denied. I looked in the envelope for the returned check. No luck; the bastards took my money anyway…and, on top of it all, they had the audacity to tell me in that my check amount was incorrect. I was supposed to send $135 dollars instead of $110 dollars. Super. So why had it been denied? Apparently I had already applied for a passport in 2003.
#$%*@#?! (translation: I am a little frustrated) because I sent them my old passport, marriage license, social security number, soul, and a unicorn friend to vouch for me…and they still turned me down (not to mention my unicorn had to be overnighted which was expensive).
Luckily, my husband’s passport is up to date, so he just needs to renew his green card (he’s from outer space!!!). Isn’t it strange how they call non-citizens aliens? Every time I see his “legal alien” card I envision a purple, bug-eyed creature with antennae and sticky fingers like E.T., not a cute englishman.
And speaking of aliens…Dragon (samwise gamgee) has been mewing all morning and staring at the ceiling as though a demon has infiltrated our apartment. I think it may have something to do with the fact that we removed the AC unit from our bedroom window. This is rather catastrophic (no pun intended) for a cat like Dragon. She lives in our apartment, every second of every day, and isn’t allowed outside (for reasons I think you may be able to guess…she gets lost in open spaces, remember?). There was a large, grey object that made loud noises and now there isn’t (translation: demons are in the apartment and she must alarm everyone to their presence). I also made the mistake of leaving the closet under the stairs (mordor) slightly ajar. Frodo went inside (naturally, because he’s got to throw that ring into the fires of mount doom already!) and when Dragon approached the dark, menacingly entrance…she panicked. She could hear the crinkling of bags (translation: roar of mount doom’s inferno), and feared for Frodo’s life, so she pooped outside the litter box and has been running around the apartment like a maniac for the last ten minutes.
Needless to say, I’ve been slightly distracted and unable to edit my novel very much this morning. Solution? A raw smoothie to energize my spirits (and an excuse to turn on the blender and further confuse Dragon). Raw food used to scare me because I love cooked, hot, cozy food, and whenever I thought of the word raw I envisioned cold, gazpacho soup, goosebumps, a food dehydrator, and an unsatisfied stomach. But you know what? Raw food is pretty r-awesome. Yup, I just said rawesome…deal with it, haters.

Blueberry bliss smoothie

1 large banana, peel removed
1/2 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
1 cup soy milk (I use Edensoy Extra Original) or non-dairy milk of your choice
A few pinches of ground cinnamon
3-4 ice cubes
**For a protein boost, I add a small scoop of hemp protein powder (I use Living Harvest Organic Hemp Protein…nothing but cold milled hemp!)

In a high speed blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Serve to two sluggish unicorns without passports.

I hate ticketmaster.com / miso hungry salad

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DSC_0238I woke up this morning filled with hope, a bluebird on my shoulder, and a perfect cup of black tea. Then I tried to purchase Radiohead tickets at 10am on ticketmaster.com…Sold out…but mysteriously available on Stubhub and other sites for the reasonable price of $600+. Are you kidding me Radiohead? I love you, but your whole “download our music for free” thing doesn’t jive well with this “given to the highest bidder” ticket nonsense. Now I feel cheated, and my bluebird has turned into an obnoxious bluejay, and my hope has morphed into the Obama variety. My tea however, was still perfect: a 5 minute steep of black assam, splash of soymilk, a touch of raw honey, and a cat hair or two (for protein obviously). So what if I can’t go see my favorite band this week? There are an infinite amount of activities I can partake in on a Wednesday night in Greenwich. Perhaps I’ll spend $100 on a plate of steamed veggies and a glass of wine at an overpriced restaurant or stay at home with my beasts and watch the Lord of The Rings trilogy literally play out in my own apartment. Speaking of which, at the present moment, Dragon (Samwise Gamgee) is lost in Mordor (closet under the stairs). I always know when she’s lost because of her particular mew. Dragon has many mews. The “I’m lost” mew sounds like a question, as if she’s saying “Hello? Is anybody out there?” or in cat language “Purrr-raaoooww?” I usually reply with “Dragon, I’m over here.” Since I’ve rescued her, she has managed to get lost in room corners, paper bags, closets, and sadly…open spaces. Frodo (ring-bearer and savior of Middle Earth) never gets lost and is generally quiet and introverted…with one exception: silverware. For some unknown reason, the sound of silverware clanking against itself turns Frodo into a bizarre creature who makes cackling noises and twitches his tail as though he’s developed a neurotic tic. It’s gotten so bad lately that when he even sees me opening the dishwasher, he begins to cackle; a pathetic “reh, eh, eh” sound that attempts to convey his great suffering. Toast (Sauron) makes all of the typical dog sounds, including the three syllabled whine “hymph, hymph, hymmm” and the “I hear something”, bug-eyed, ears glued back muffled half-bark “boooufff!”.

My point in all of this? Proving that I have a fulfilling life with or without Radiohead tickets.

It’s lunchtime and I still feel defeated so I don’t feel like cooking. Solution? Miso Hungry Salad! This masterpiece of a dish is so easy to make, and will impress all of your friends because you can use health term zingers like “probiotics”, “apple cider vinegar”, and “vegan”. They will think you are a goddess in the kitchen even if you’re planning a coup on ticketmaster.com and haven’t made up your bed yet.

Miso Hungry Salad

for the salad:
1 large head of romaine lettuce or lettuce of choice, washed, spun & chopped (tip: chopping lettuce is so much easier when you slice once or twice from the root to the tip of the lettuce head, then turn horizontally and chop until you reach the root)
1 cup cooked or 1/2 can garbanzo or black beans, washed and drained (I use Eden organic brand when using canned beans because Eden doesn’t line their cans with Bisphenol-A, a known carcinogen)
1/4 cup red onion, minced
Optional additions: 1 small cucumber, deseeded and diced, 1 avocado, pitted and diced & a handful of sprouts

for the dressing:
1 heaping tablespoon of the following:
Brown rice miso (I use South River Miso = so freaking delicious you could eat it out of the jar & it contains probiotics that will fill your body with healthy bacteria)
Apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg’s organic apple cider vinegar)
Tahini (I use Once Again organic tahini)
2 tsp Penzey’s Fox Point seasoning (or you can use a blend of sea salt, shallots, chives, garlic, onion & green peppercorns)
splash of water
3 T extra virgin olive oil

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except oil. Using a whisk, slowly stream in oil and mix until emulsified. Dressing should be thick, like a caesar or blue cheese dressing, but without any of the nasty dead fish or moldy cheese. Pour dressing over salad ingredients, toss, and serve to one or two ticketless unicorns.

for the shiitake bacon:
***this is an optional topping, but it will blow your mind and the minds of others.  It tastes like bacon, but it’s actually just a healthy mushroom.***
3 cups or 1 package shiitake mushrooms, finely sliced
1 T refined coconut oil
sea salt to taste
In a large saute pan, heat the oil over a high flame. Add mushrooms, but do not crowd (depending on the size of your pan, you might have to make this in two batches), and allow to cook, untouched (put down the wooden spoon!), for a few minutes until brown and crispy (your pan should be hot, smoking & sizzling…don’t get nervous). Flip the mushrooms over with a cock of your wrist or the use of your spoon, sprinkle with sea salt, and continue to cook until shrooms are crispy and dark brown. Remove from pan and allow to cool on a few pieces of paper towel to absorb excess oil. Serve as a topping for the Miso Hungry Salad (or just eat them off the towel and tell the unicorn that you overcooked them…)DSC_0247

mrs. crab legs

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So I have this cat named Dragon…
Her brother is Frodo Baggins. Frodo (ring-bearer and savior of Middle Earth) is very busy from sunrise onwards, protecting the ring (hair elastic) from Sauron (our dog Toast), and trying to find his way to Mordor (dark closet under stairs) with his sweet, but slightly dumb companion Samwise Gamgee (Dragon). Dragon does her very best, but she has long hair. You have no idea how difficult it is to poop in a litter box, and neither do I, but after much observation I have come to learn that you cannot poop in a litter box with long hair. Frodo? No problem: short hair (plus, he’s the ring-bearer). But despite her best efforts (which is essentially no effort), Dragon cannot poop in the litter box. There are only two possible outcomes for Dragon: 1) Poops in litter box, exits box, and runs around the apartment as though possessed by demons of the underworld upon realizing that poop is still attached to her butt. This is followed by the infamous butt drag, because what is the best solution when a turd is attached to your butt? Run around the apartment and drag your butt across the floor, which not only leaves brown skid marks but will successfully flatten the poop onto your butt so that the only method of removal is a very unpleasant twenty minutes in the bathroom with scissors. Frodo (ring-bearer) will then scratch the outside of the bathroom door and mew for Dragon while she is tortured (shaved) by Orcs (me or my husband). 2) Dragon gets in litter box, turns around several times, and poops just outside of box. This is followed by an intense “sweeping” session, which is when Dragon uses one of her front paws to sweep litter in several directions while the poop lay undisturbed and uncovered. Frodo (ring-bearer), as you might have guessed, poops in litter box, covers entire turd with litter, and leaves box, ring in paw and ready to roll.

But back to Dragon…
Sometimes, when you leave the litter box, the world looks different. For Dragon, this is nearly always the case. Upon these occasions of confusion, she reverts to her alter-ego: “Mrs. Crab Legs”. Mrs. Crab Legs is a flighty woman who spooks at the slightest rustle of wind, the tiniest creak of the floor, and the most ordinary movements of the Orcs and ring-bearer. She might look at you with an expression of terror, as if she’s never seen you before this very moment, as if her time in the litter box erased her memory entirely. She begins to scuttle her way across the room, but as she’s never seen you before, she must remain focused, and can’t risk taking her eyes off of you (you’re an Orc after all). Her eyes bore into your soul, but her legs continue across the floor, crossing in front of each other like a ghost crab upon the sand. This is about the time when I like to have an unannounced foot spasm. Mrs. Crab Legs, flighty as she is, leaps into the air with a supernatural movement that seems to begin from her tail and end at her head, as though being pulled up by an invisible string (the Orcs always have a good laugh when this phenomenon occurs).