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Happy Birthday, Willy Wonka!

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Monday, December 31, 2007

The Durian Doesn't Fall Far From the Refugee Tree

For the gwailo's among us, durian may be a complete mystery. This may even be their first exposure to the fruit. If you are a foodie and watch Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre Foods TV show, you might be familiar with the fruit (since it is one of only three things that Andrew Zimmern could not eat). But, to refugees like Nonny Nu and her sisters, durian is like Heaven, a very stinky but tasty Heaven. It is really very good if you can get past the smell (kinda like refugees).

Anyhow, why am I telling you about durian? Well, because I see durian as somewhat symbolic of Asian refugees. And, what do Asian refugees do? They bring their own snacks to the movie theatre. One of my dreams is to have a Lee's sammich (#5) while watching a good movie in the theatres.

Okay, but back to my story. This weekend, Freelance Midget's Sister is visiting the SF Bay Area. (Welcome, FMS!) The two girls came to the Nu residence on Saturday. We played Monopoly* and it was kinda fun to watch the two sisters go at each other like a couple of Orcs. I owned Baltic and Mediterranean, the two cheapest properties. I built a hotel on each of the properties, and welcomed my guests several times, though (Mr. Nonny Nu stayed twice--once in my Mediterranean hotel and once in my Baltic hotel). I also owned the Yellow properties (Atlantic, Ventnor, and Marvin Gardens). Mr. Nonny Nu owned the pricey ones--Park Avenue and Boardwalk--and also the upper middleclass Red properties (Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois). Freelance Midget owned the Light Blue properties (Oriental, Vermont, and Connecticut) and the Orange properties (St. James, Tennessee, and New York). I was immune in those two areas, though. FMS owned the Green Properties (Pacific, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania). Long story short, Freelance Midget got the Free Parking money several times, FMS did a great job refusing to bargain with anyone (making my slum hotels the only improved properties on the board for a long while), and, while I was feeding the cats, Mr. Nonny Nu got declared the winner. Don't ask how that happened. I couldn't tell you--I wasn't there!

Okay, sorry, that was yet another tangent. Oh, wait! Just one more tangent before I get back to the story. I made a cheese plate with brie, harvarti, and gouda with assorted crackers and it was a hit!

Now, I will go back to the story. Yesterday, I went to see No Country for Old Men with Freelance Midget and FMS. These girls were born in the US, and are one generation from refugee-ness. In fact, their mother, 3-Fish, is the least refugee-like of all of us sisters. Yet, these two durian did not fall far from the refugee tree. Lo and behold, when we were in line for the tickets, Freelance Midgets whispers in my ear and says that she "brought snacks." I couldn't believe my ears. That's my girl! We brought in egg tarts, fruit tarts, and cake rolls (we had coffee and chocolate). We did purchase Icee and a root beer, and some Dibs, though.

* OMG! There's a London version of Monopoly!! I'm going to try to get that one. I LOVE LONDON AND ANYTHING ENGLISH!!

...there's more to this story--click me!

Friday, December 28, 2007

PurpleNiobe's Christmas Photos!

Geez Louise, talk about storybook Christmases. Purple's photos make my silk ficus Christmas tree look like a silk ficus Christmas tree. :o|


Front door:


Christmas tree:


Table setting:


Sideboard:


Turkey:

...there's more to this story--click me!

Kitty Korner (12/28--The Orange Mouse)

Kash looking cute:


Skillet plays with a new toy that Auntie Wah Toh and family sent. She's supposed to share it with Kash, but hasn't gotten around to doing that yet:

...there's more to this story--click me!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Kitty Korner (12/26--The Morning After)

This morning, there was a very nice little gathering in the breakfast nook of all the animals who inhabit the Nu Residence, including Skillet, Kash, Slim, Skitty, Mr. Nonny Nu, and Nonny Nu. Here's another photo of Slim just because. After Slim and Skitty had their breakfast, Skitty set to cleaning and preening (her face looks funny because she was mid-lick). Slim just looked on. By the way, I hope you guys noticed the new metal bowl. We got that one for the Backyard Petting Zoo after the opossum broke the other bowl. No, I did not see them breaking it, but they are the most likely suspects based upon their previously observed rowdy behavior around the bowl.

Anyhow, here's a video from this morning:

...there's more to this story--click me!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas 2007: Hello, my beauties...

Merry Christmas, everybody! Boy, has it been a hectic two days. There was a lot of shopping to get through yesterday. I had to go to eight different stores just for eggnog. I was looking for the Nus' favorite brand: Bud's Famous Egg Nog. Unfortunately, it's only available in the Bay Area.

My dogs sure were barking last night (translation: my feet were hurting when I went to bed from walking around so much yesterday). But, bright and early, I got up and wrapped the presents.* Stillman and Mr. Nonny Nu's brother were our guests today. A few members of The Backyard Petting Zoo showed up for the party, too. Sushi was there in spirit and celebrated with us as well.

There were also a lot of foods to be eaten. Latkes were the crowning glory of the day (more on that later), but we also had chocolates, caramelized walnuts, Spanish peanuts mix, homemade cheese plate (I personally selected and cut the cheese--HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAA!!!), pumpkin and double cream blueberry pies, Beard Papa cream puffs (these are seriously delicious), and steak with asparagus, mashed potatoes and gravy, asparagus, and dinner rolls. Also available were veggies plate for dipping in ranch dressing and chips with salsa and guacamole, but we didn't get to those because the lightweights didn't have room in their stomachs.

Anyhow, the moral of this story is that latkes are fun to make, taste great, and will be a part of the Nus' Christmas tradition from now on! The recipe is simple. This is not my recipe. It is the recipe of my Jewish Mother.** The ingredients are:

1 packet Knorr leek soup mix
1 bag Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns
3 eggs

Scramble the eggs and then add the soup mix into it. Mix well, then mix in the potatoes (mix well again). Then, just heat up some oil (I used canola) and fry them in a skillet (the metal kind, not the grey fuzzy kind). Each portion should be about 2 tablespoons, when they are as brown as you like, just flip them over and brown the other side. Serve with sour cream and apple sauce.

Here are my beauties being crafted. First, their birth (background music provided by Mr. Nonny Nu):


Now, they go through finishing school:


Finally, Stillman sets the stage for their debut:


After the eating was squared away, Skillet hung out at the dinner table for a few more moments. But, Kash decided to stretch out on the couch. I crept up on him and stretched out, too. These two are such little...cutie ...pies. Stillman is allergic to cats, so we are very lucky that, armed with Claritin, she was able to withstand several hours of the kitties!

* Mr. Nonny Nu and I got a Rosetta Stone program to learn German! I'm on vacation until Jan. 7, so I'll be working on that. Can't wait!

** My Jewish Mother is not really my mom (she's not even old enough to be my mom), but she's Jewish and very motherly.

...there's more to this story--click me!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Shamelisted: Stupid Parents

If you were to google "stupid parent," you'll find a lot of people commenting on how stupid parents can be sometimes. Well, I'm joining that group now (the people who comment on how stupid parents can be). You know what I'm talking about. Those "parents" who let their kids walk barefoot on public outdoor surfaces, put their mouths on those "clean" handrails. I especially like the ones who think that their kids are exceedingly cute and, therefore, no stranger (like you and me) should be offended when Johnnie goes up to a stranger and starts hanging all over her. I have even seen a "mother" laugh and coo over her young 2-year-old who was, at that time, sucking on the bottom of the "mother's" shoe.

Some of you may have noticed that I've been pretty quiet for a while. It's because I've been super busy at work. I didn't even have time to go Christmas shopping until yesterday. Today, I went to the mall to finish up. It was SO CROWDED. But, I realized that a large part of the reason the mall was crowded was because stupid parents brought along their children to shop. What the hell is wrong with these people? They know that the mall is going to be crowded, but instead of just bringing themselves, they bring their kids just to hang out with them. GAH!! And, don't tell me that they don't have anyone to leave the kids with. That's really not true, and I'm not going to entertain any of those explanations.

...there's more to this story--click me!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Diving Boston Harbor, pt. 2
by Cl. Panic, G.B.H.W.*

As promised, here's part 2 of my 2 part series on diving in Boston harbor. I really hoped I'd attract some new hoity-toity visitors to TWONN by including Latin in my last post, but it appears that I failed in my endeavor. Either that, or we have silent hoity-toity types that need to be extracted from their shells like abalone in the hands of an otter. (If they had been visiting, they probably would claimed that the species listed in part one are non-native to Boston harbor. And they'd be wrong.)

Take, for example, this poor gentleman. As it turns out, he gave his lady friend the cold shoulder the other night (football was on) and ended up with a serious case of the blue shells. Actually blue lobsters are rare -- only one in a million turn out as freaks of nature. Don't believe me? Ask the New York Times.

During my dive, I came across a very slender fish that I believe to be a cornetfish. I felt a tad sorry for the fellow on the left who took up nearly the entire depth of the tank. Er, ocean. Nearby was his really shy friend that tried to hide in a little crevice under an anemone. Unfortunately I didn't get his name, but I learned that he reads the Economist.


A dizzying assortment of jellyfish were on hand to make everyone fear stepping foot in the water. Jelly fish are, after all, pure evil. These specimens were the most intriguing given their unique style of swimming and they looked like they fell straight out of a Super Mario Brothers game.

video

By far the coolest things to see were the penguins. I'm told that penguins are birds even though they can't fly. Which is sad. Since the whole part about being a bird is that you can fly. It's like being being a professor and then being told you can't date your students. Really, what's the upside? Anyway, the penguins were out in full force, dressed like fat little James Bonds. I didn't get too many pictures or do much research because there was a plethora of poorly behaved children gathering en masse. I left the penguins on their own.



So there you have it: Boston Harbor.

Oh, and NN, you'll see that I've laid the bait for a new hoity-toity visitor. I mentioned the New York Times and the Economist in one post, and even used "en masse." Bring on a new blog war!

* Guest Blogger in Hot Water

...there's more to this story--click me!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Frosting Frosty: Baking Wars of 2007
by Cl. Panic (guest blogger)

Something of utmost importance occurred over the last weekend, but our dear friend Nonny Nu has yet to cover the incident. As I normally do, I checked in with my mental health professional and discovered that Nonny Nu is suffering from a severe case of CCH. Check out the DSM IV if you don't believe me.

Anyhow, Willy Wonka and Green Thumbs McGillicutty threw down over the weekend and engaged in the First Non-Annual TWoNN Bake-Off. Though some allege that they were seeking out other possible career choices (which would explain why Willy Wonka was "helping out" at the local Juffy Lube two weeks ago), they claim it was a purely academic endeavor. Regardless of the real reason, they found themselves in a cookie decorating class hosted by a renowned pastry chef in his San Fransisco loft.*

Armed with sugar, food coloring, little toxic silver balls, and parchment paper pipettes, the students attacked their assigned sugar cookies as would any ordinary reasonable prudent baker. White snowmen, orange and blue butterflies, silver martini glasses . . . they went as crazy as members of the bar can get.

So who's the winner? NN demanded a poll to find out.

Green Thumbs McGillicutty's Submissions:


Willy Wonka's Submission**:


* Said chef officially having the best job ever.


** Willy Wonka attempted to sway the ratings by including a shot of his antler-wielding canine, pictured above. Nice try Mr. Wonka. But ain't that Winston cute?

Cast your votes for the winner of the 2007 Baking Wars!


...there's more to this story--click me!

Diving Boston Harbor (pt. 1)
Cl. Panic, frigid guest blogger

On my latest outing to Boston (in December), I decided that it had been far too long since by last dive. That, and NN has been pestering me about not posting any pictures of fish. I really didn;t believe that Boston Harbor had much in terms of marine life (aside from concrete-shoed former mafiosos and the occasional scrod). Low and behold, I was wrong!

One of my first sightings was the curious cuttlefish, a squid relative. These little bastards are weird and move like space ships--and they aren't even fish. They're mollusks. Really smart mollusks. In fact, they have highly developed eyes that are able to sense the polarization of light, and chromatophores that allow communication and disguise. Like some of the partners at NN&N, LLP, their blood runs blue-green instead of red. No, they don't run on money. Unlike humans, they rely on copper (rather than iron) to carry oxygen. Since a picture doesn't do these guys justice, peep your eyes on the video as well. Of course, they have ink. And for you trivia lovers out there (Shakespeare Teacher?), cuttlefish are the natural sources of sepia dye (hence they belong to the Order Sepiida).
video

I also paid a visit to Mr. Stonefish. I was careful because he has poisonous spines and dead, dead eyes. Not only do these guys have some of the most toxic venom of any fish, they can survive outside of water for over 20 hours. Think about that the next time you order okoze sashimi!


And while I'm on the topic of spines, I came across a friendly little urchin. He was so friendly that he let me look under his tail (how'd you think I knew he was a he?) And no, that's not his anus; it's actually his mouth (his ass is on the other side, which gets confusing). A third grader informed me that an urchin's mouth is also called "Aristotle's lantern." An urchin can move its spines and locomote using little sucker feet and its spines. Oh, and they have no eyes. My sushi fans out there know that uni (or roe) comes from sea urchin gonads.



Stay tuned for part 2... featuring blue lobster, an enemies a shy fish and penguins!

...there's more to this story--click me!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Kitty Korner (Houston, we have a problem.)

Skillet is out of control. I think she is either going through her terrible twos or she's going through her terrible teens. I don't know. She was born on August 4 so, in cat years, she's past her twos, but not quite to her teens, so I don't know what's going on with her. As you all know, Skillet has been going to all sorts of places where she's not supposed to go (e.g., the naughty place). Now, her new thing is to run out the door. Several times now as I was either coming home or going out, she'd sneak past me. She zooms out the door and hides in the bushes where Sushi used to love to hide. She doesn't run any farther than that, though. It's weird. She's doing a lot of stuff that Sushi used to do, like sit in the exact window sills where Sushi used to sit. The times that Skillet runs out the door, we've had to spank her, a couple of times pretty good by Mr. Nonny Nu. She's learning, but you can tell she still wants to go outside.

Now, the thing is, Kash is a pretty good boy except when he's around her. She goads him into doing things. And, although he's older, he seems to follow her lead sometimes. Mr. Nonny Nu informed me that Kash was seen sipping some vanilla milk shake through a straw. Yeah, you read that right. THROUGH A STRAW!! That guy kills me sometimes. He has never been one to jump high, not like Skillet. Kash has been a climber (he snuck into our weight room and climbed to the top of the Yellow Octopus several times, and then cried because he didn't know how to get down)--UNTIL NOW. Just yesterday, I saw Kash jump onto the kitchen counter. Before then, he had never done that (seemed too tall for him). Now, I'm worried that he's going to jump onto the naughty place, and since he's not as cautious in his jumps as Skillet is, I'm worried that he might jump right over the half wall.

But, here's the real problem. Kash has been throwing up for the past week. I don't know what is the cause of it. After he throws up, he seems to feel so much better. We have to put him on a baby food diet for the next four days and feed him Petromalt (lubes up his intestines so he can poop out whatever it is that is not supposed to be in his stomach). Poor guy. He is the sweetest little kitty. Very shy, very gentlemanly. He guards me when I shower the way Sushi used to, except he sits outside the bathroom door. Now, he has taken to sleeping in between us, right up against me, and under the covers! Isn't that a hoot?? I love him.

Anyhow, it's almost Christmas, so I went to Walgreens to get an ornament for our one-ornament-per-year tradition. Since Kash broke the ornament from the first year, I figure we should get two this year. Here's the one representing Kash and the other representing Skillet. (The color and personalities of the ornaments match the kitties.) Here are ones from before representing Sushi and a John Deere tractor (don't know why, but I always wanted one of these because the colors are so pretty).

...there's more to this story--click me!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Congratulations to Freelance Midget!

[slow, resentful clapping]
After a grueling two weeks of polling the citizens of TWoNN (all 11 of them), the final votes have been tallied for TWoNN's (Inaugural) Thanksgiving Photo Contest. I am happy to declare Freelance Midget* winner of both the Best Turkey (or Other Thanksgiving Meat) category as well as the Best Setting in a Supporting Role category! Congratulations! Freelance Midget will receive two extra blog entries for each of the wins, meaning that her current 7 blog posts will now be 11 blog posts. She is still in MAYO status, but she is now much closer to SOY SAUCE status than she was before.
[/slow, resentful clapping]

Coming in second for Best Turkey (or Other Thanksgiving Meat) is Cl. Panic with the caturkey**, Kosmos. [My name does not have the trailing "s," idiot. --Kosmo] Coming in second for Best Setting in a Supporting Role is yours truly. I just don't know what to say. Cat v. Turkey. Cat wins. What a crock!

* Bitch!
** This is a variation of the turducken, except that Kosmos was not yet deboned. Cl. Panic, please update us re: how Kosmos took the deboning.

...there's more to this story--click me!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Don't Forget the Lyrics!

Did you guys watch that show last night? It was really fun, and Wayne Brady always cracks me up! Here's the website. Basically, the contestants choose categories and sing along karaoke style (Man from U.N.C.L.E., here's your chance!). All of a sudden, the music stops. The challenge is to know the next few words. As the stakes get higher, the contestant must know more words to the songs. It's on tonight again!

...there's more to this story--click me!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Music of the Week: Wouldn't It Be Nice (Beach Boys)

This is my favorite Beach Boys song.

Update: Depicted in the video is Diddl and his girlfriend, Diddlina. Find out more than you will ever want to know about them here.



Wouldn't it be nice if we were older
Then we wouldn't have to wait so long
And wouldn't it be nice to live together
In the kind of world where we belong

You know its gonna make it that much better
When we can say goodnight and stay together

Wouldn't it be nice if we could wake up
In the morning when the day is new
And after having spent the day together
Hold each other close the whole night through

Happy times together we've been spending
I wish that every kiss was neverending
Wouldn't it be nice

Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray it might come true
Baby, then there wouldn't be a single thing we couldn't do
We could be married
And then we'd be happy

Wouldn't it be nice

You know it seems the more we talk about it
It only makes it worse to live without it
But let's talk about it
Wouldn't it be nice

...there's more to this story--click me!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The La Cucaracha Song

Dudes! I totally don't know Spanish except for what has been retained from high school, but Stubbie's Godmother told me the real lyrics to La Cucaracha back in January, and I just haven't been able to get them out of my mind! So, I wrote them down as I remembered them in the marquee (that's my own spelling of words up there), but it's quite close to the actual lyrics:

La cucaracha, la cucaracha
Ya no puede caminar
Porque no tiene, porque le falta
Marijuana que fumar.
(Courtesy of The Straight Dope, which has further information about the song.)

Here's the translation:
The cockroach, the cockroach!
He can't walk anymore
Because he doesn't have, because he lacks
Marijuana for smoking!
Isn't that a hoot?? Maybe I should have saved this for Cinco de Mayo, but I couldn't resist.

...there's more to this story--click me!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Who's with me??

Well, it's December, people, and we all know what that means, right? Yes, CHRISTMAS FEASTS!! I decided during Thanksgiving that I am just going to let go and enjoy the holidays. I have been only hanging on tenuously to my running regimen and it's just causing me so much grief. What with work and the holidays coming up, there is just no room for exercise for me. So, I'm just going to give up until next year. It will be my New Year's resolution to run 3 times a week and to eat better. But, between now and then, I'm just going to chill out. Who's with me?? Come on. You know you want to.

...there's more to this story--click me!

To Man from U.N.C.L.E. -- Talking Cats

Hey! You were requesting a translation of the talking cats? Someone translated:

...there's more to this story--click me!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Uh oh.

It has finally happened--I bought my first copy of Cat Fancy magazine. I don't know what happened. I was just going through the check out line at Petsmart. Instead of tabloids, they have dog and cat magazines. There was just a photo of a kitty in there that looked just like Skillet so I had to buy it. Shoot.

...there's more to this story--click me!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

TWoNN's (Inaugural) Thanksgiving Photo Contest

Hello, fair citizens! Here are the contest photos (finally). Remember, there are two categories:
1) Best Turkey (or Other Thanksgiving Meat), and
2) Best Setting in a Supporting Role.

This year, we have three contestants each submitting photos for both categories.

Freelance Midget
We had a wonderful meal yesterday. Freelance Midget's sister cooked a delicious and juicy turkey using Elton Brown's recipe. Freelance Midget was responsible for the green bean casserole and lovely table setting. They were very helpful with the cleanup, too. Nonny Nu is having a contest on the best bird/meat and table setting on her blog site. So Freelance Midget submitted the photos. Win or not, we think we had the best Thanksgiving with the kids home!
(Thanks to 3-Fish for the lovely description.)

Turkey (or Other Thanksgiving Meat)


Setting in a Supporting Role


Cl. Panic
When he heard about the paltry Thanksgiving photo submissions, Cl. Panic rose to the occasion. Below are the photos that he submitted. I have categorized them as best as I know how. I assume that the angled setting is designed especially for the consumption of the Other Thanksgiving Meat.

Turkey (or Other Thanksgiving Meat)


Setting in a Supporting Role


Nonny Nu
Hello! Welcome to my submissions! Here, you will see the Trader Joe's turkey I got for our Thanksgiving feast. According to the turkey's obituary on the back of its packaging, the turkey lived a wonderful life. It was a fresh-never-frozen free range turkey, and had plenty of sunshine, room to run around in, and wore silk pajamas to bed every night. It enjoyed knitting and scrapbooking. I had planned to cook it in the Ronco, but it didn't fit. So, I used the oven. I did about 5 minutes of researching on it, and was tipped off that I should roast it breast side down for the first half and then breast side up for the last half. That boosts the juiciness. It worked! (See the close up photo, but you have to look at it at an angle. I don't know what happened, but it's like my camera took a holographic photo or something.) Afterward, Mr. Nonny Nu and I played Call of Duty 4.

Turkey (or Other Thanksgiving Meat)


Setting in a Supporting Role



Who submitted the best photos for Turkey (or Other Thanksgiving Meat)?


Who submitted the best photos for Setting in a Supporting Role?

...there's more to this story--click me!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Happy Birthday, Stubbie's Godmother!!

Please join me in wishing Stubbie's Godmother a very happy birthday!! She is turning mid-twenties today (I won't tell you exactly how old because I don't know myself!!). What a wonderful little girl, always cheerful, always helpful, and always willing to put in a verbal jab here and there. Some would call her perfect. I am still mulling that one over. (Check back for updates on that one!)

Anyhow, Coach Nelson (who moonlights as workspace decorator) did a wonderful job setting up the birthday location for Stubbie's Godmother.

Happy Birthday, Stubbie's Godmother! Enjoy it while you can!!






P.S. That isn't the birthday cake. That's just some photo I found on the web. But, can you believe some people are so serious and hoity toity as to quote Shakespeare on a birthday cake? No doubt, they will be having wine with it. *eyes*

...there's more to this story--click me!