Tag Archives: DD Girl

Sex & the City Guide for the non-fan

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE DD Girl? Like Love. She is my own Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha rolled into one fabulous friend. If I’ve lost you there, then you’ve come to the right blog. 

Image courtesy of Filmofilia.com

 

See, DD Girl took me last night to see the movie. Which isn’t a huge gesture until you realize she is not a fan of the show. She has never seen a single episode or the first movie. 

So, I, being the good friend that I am, put together a cheat sheet, if you will, of  these strange, fashion-obsessed women that she would be spending two hours with on the Big Screen.  I figured there are a lot of non-fans who would be dragged into this movie for various reasons, so I’m sharing my synopsis with you. (You are welcome.) 

I want you to know in doing this, I do not support the second movie as a good film. In fact, I did not care for it much. But, even knowing it was probably going to be an embarrassment to my intelligence, I still had to go see it. Because I’m a fan. And that’s what fans do. We also drag non-fans into our stupidity. It makes us feel better about the thing. 

So, here you go…. 

Carrie Bradshaw is the main character. She writes a column about dating and relationships. She loves shoes. Her BFF’s are Charlotte –a conservative, but sweet loyal friend with very traditional values. Miranda- an uptight lawyer who is always the first Carrie turns to in a crisis  and Samantha – a wild somewhat slutty woman who knows what she wants and has no inhibitions. 

 TV Show: 

The show started when the women were in their 30’s. They all saw different relationships. Carrie dated a lot, but no matter who she dated, she could never shake her attraction to Mr. Big, an older somewhat unavailable man with lots of money. 

 Charlotte tried to get married throughout the show, failed at marriage once but later found the love of her life, Harry, who adored her. She had to become Jewish to marry him, but she did it for love. 

 Miranda had an on and off fling with a guy named Steve –a man who was far less professional and educated than she was. (It bugs her.) She became pregnant, broke up with Steve but kept the baby. She gave a good go at being a single mom. She later realized Steve was the love of her life and married him. 

 I probably can’t write a lot about Samantha on this PG-rated blog, but just know she has fun and hardly commits. At the tail end of the show, she met a younger model named Smith and fell madly in love with him. He supported her through her bought with breast cancer (which she survived.) 

 The TV Show ends with all the women in their early 40’s. Carrie is dating an eccentric Russian artist who wants her to move to Paris with him. Charlotte is suffering from infertility and desperately wants a baby. She has already adopted a little girl from Asia, but then she gets pregnant! It’s a big deal.  Samantha is treating her cancer. Miranda and Steve are married and have decided to move to Brooklyn with their young child. Carrie decides to sell her NY apartment (which she LOVES) and move to Paris for this guy. 

All the girls are sad. But wait. Carrie moves to Paris. And guess who comes chasing after her? Mr. Big! In one giant romantic gesture, Mr. Big shows up in Paris and sweeps Carrie away from crazy Russian artist and we think they are going to live happily ever after with lots of shoes. 

 And then came the first movie: 

 Carrie and Big are looking for a new condo and Mr. Big proposes to Carrie with a pair of expensive shoes. He promises to make her a great big closet for all of her shoes. (Just get that shoes are almost a character in this series.) Mr. Big never thought he’d get married again (Carrie would be his 3rd wife.) So they are planning their wedding which is great, big and ridiculous. 

 But Miranda finds out that Steve had an affair and she’s really bitter. She’s moved out and deciding whether or not to divorce him. At the rehearsal dinner for the wedding, Miranda makes a comment about marriage that puts doubts in Big’s head. 

So there is Carrie in her bigger than life wedding fashion, ready to marry the man of her dreams and….Mr. Big stands her up. There is a dramatic scene where she screams at him in the streets of NY. It involves feathers. It is ugly. I may have cried. 

Then, the girls whisk Carrie away on her honeymoon to Mexico to get her out of the city and help heal her. Charlotte is paranoid that eating or drinking ANYTHING in Mexico will give her the runs, so she sticks with her pudding snacks she brought with her, even though they are at a 5 star resort. 

 But Carrie sleeps for days and the girls are worried. Finally, Carrie comes out from her room. Which is good timing because soon, Charlotte has a poo in her pants because she accidentally drank some of the shower water. This comedic moment breaks the ice and now Carrie is back with the living.  Also, Miranda really needed to shave or wax and Samantha calls her out on it – very funny. 

 They go back to NY. Carrie hires an assistant (Jennifer Hudson) who helps her put her life back together. Miranda is working on her relationship with Steve and is hiding the secret that she never told Carrie – she is the one that put doubts in Mr. Big’s head. 

 Mr. Big keeps sending Carrie e-mails, but she has asked her assistant to delete anything ever from Big, so she never reads them.  Miranda confesses to Carrie. Carrie hates Miranda for a while, but they make up. She and Steve continue to see a marriage counselor who says she needs to make a decision about divorce. So they set a time and date. If they both show up on the Brooklyn Bridge, they are going to give their marriage a second chance. And yes, they both show up. 

 Samantha decides that she needs to break up with Smith and return to her old ways of being Samantha. Charlotte is raising her baby and the Asian little girl she adopted, Lily. (She’s adorable and calls all the other girls her aunts.) 

 On the day Carrie and Big are supposed to close on selling the condo they had already bought, Carrie decides to go to the condo for one last look at it. She walks into her big closet that Big built her and sees the shoes he proposed with. She picks them up and turns around and there he is! She takes him back. They get married at the courthouse and we think NOW they will live happily ever after. 

 But wait…there’s a second movie. And now you are stuck going to it. Good luck with that. 

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Camping: It’s for the dogs

[Editor’s note: Gertie wanted to blog about her first camping trip. Who was I to stop her?]

I knew something was up when the stuff started piling at the bottom of the stairs. Some of the stuff smelled like my friend, Penny, so I was pretty excited. Anything that involves Penny is pretty fun.

Then my mom got my leash out, and I’ll admit, I went a little nuts. It wasn’t the running leash. It was the other leash. The leash that means…

Car.

Daddy rolled down the windows so I could stick my head out. Sometimes it was scary, so I came back in.

We drove for a while. Daddy and Mommy kept looking at these papers. I wondered what they were up to.

We got out of the car and I saw a lot of stuff in the air. It smelled funny. Kind of like sausages. But then I saw there were some people I knew there. Auntie Erika [Roomie] and Christi [DD Girl] were there. I love those girls.

Daddy and Mommy got out chairs and joined them.

They were all talking and drinking the stuff that makes them laugh a lot.

There were so many smells.

I decided to check out the joint. You know, inspect it to make sure it was ok. First I had to poop. I like to poop when I get somewhere new.

Then I discovered there was some tall grass.

I had never played in grass like this before.

I loved it. It seemed like the perfect place to chill out and keep an eye on the people.

Daddy even got a new toy out. It was kind of like a ball, but flat. It was kind of hard to figure out how to pick it up and bring it back, but I got the hang of it quickly.

Then, Mommy and Auntie Erika took me on a walk. There was lots of goose poop on this trail. I was very interested in it.

When we got back, Christi got out this weird thing. At first I thought it was scary, but then I realized what it was. It was a crate for people. They even put small beds in the crates.

I was down with that.

I remember when I had to stay in my crate a lot. It made me feel better about being in a new place. That must be why the people had them there.

I wondered when they would get in their crates. Usually the people told me when to get in my crate. Who would tell them to get in their crates? Maybe that was my job?

I decided to worry about that after dinner.

There was a lot of food to check out.

The food made all the people happy.

I got a few bites here and there.

It was kind of like when my mommy and daddy have people at the house.

Only we were all outside.

And then even my food got put in a bowl. I was kind of surprised to see it there. And I wasn’t all together sure about eating it.

Don’t tell anyone, but after I had fun playing, I started to get a little nervous.

The people were getting louder and loud people scare me.

To make matters worse, mommy put me on a long leash attached to the ground.

She said it was because it was going to get dark and she didn’t want me wandering off.

I thought it was mean.

But she was right. It did get dark.

I really didn’t like the dark part.

The people seemed to have a good time and the warm smelly thing they sat around got big and red.

I stayed away from most of it.

Some of the people looked like they needed to be put in their crates, if you ask me.

Finally, my mommy decided to get in her crate, and guess what?! She invited me in too. I got to sleep right up by her head. She never lets me sleep there. She said I was keeping her warm.

Then daddy got in the crate too. But he made the tent get really stinky and then tried to blame it on me. Mommy didn’t let him. She knew it was him and not me. I love my mommy.

In the morning, I decided I really wanted to stay in the crate, even after mommy and daddy got out.

But then I discovered that Auntie Erika was still in her crate.

If I haven’t told you,  Auntie Erika is one of my favorite people.

She used to live with mommy, and sometimes when mommy wasn’t home, Auntie Erika gave me food and cuddled with me.

It was time to see about getting in Auntie Erika’s crate.

Mission accomplished.

You know, camping was fun and all, but mostly I was just glad to get home.

Until I heard mommy and daddy saying I stink like campfire and I might get a bath.

Maybe next time, I’ll leave the camping to the people.

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Worth-the-wait duck ragu

Two melt downs and several glasses of wine later, I produced this culinary masterpiece. My Italian grandfather would have been so proud. But getting here was not short of sweat and tears.

On Wednesday night, I had stage one of my pre duck ragu melt down.

It was over the parpardelle pasta. In my mind there was no other pasta worthy of  this savory duckatent (sorry) dish. I really, really wanted to make my own. But without a pasta press, the odds of me getting more of a thick, dumpling-like noodle were far more likely than me nailing pasta  on my first run. I owed the duck confit so much more than lumpy starchy noodles, don’t you think? I shopped pasta press attachments for my mixer, but just couldn’t commit didn’t want to spend $100 on my first try at pasta.

Go ahead. Call me a pasta pansy. I deserve it.

Over martinis (Martini Wednesday), DD Girl helped convince me not to have a nervous breakdown over not making the pasta, and it would be okay if I sacrificed cooking pride for quality noodles. (Just this once, I said.) So a call was placed to my favorite Italian market. If you can’t make it yourself, Cupini’s can make it for you. Only parpardelle isn’t a pasta they keep in their fresh supply. It has to be pre-ordered.  And they prefer 48-72 hours warning. Thinking that my duck ragu was to be made on Thursday, I asked if just this once I could pick up my pasta in 24 hours later.

It took a bit of sweet talking (they did my rehearsal dinner and I have a connection to a former store manager) but Cupini’s saved my pasta crisis and promised to have two pounds of fresh parpardelle by 5:10 on Thursday evening.

But personal events (crisis #2) led me to cancel Fire & Wine night on Thursday and reschedule for Friday night. Which was okay because DD Girl and I had already planned for a girls’ night on Friday night. It also gave me more time to confit the duck in advance so that the night of the dinner, I could focus on the ragu.

For a week, I combed recipes for duck ragu. But I couldn’t find one that used duck confit. So I did some combining and came up with….well, I’m not going to hold back – perfection, really.

Here’s how it came together:

1 carrot, 1 celery stalk, and 1 onion (all finely diced) went into my dutch oven along with two tablespoons of duck fat from the night before.

After the veggies were softened, I added four cloves of garlic for about 30 seconds before deglazing with 1/2 cup of red wine (Malbec, because it was what i was drinking.) I let that reduce for a few minutes before adding a large can of whole peeled tomatoes, finely diced, 1 cup of chicken stock and two tablespoons of tomato paste. Also, a pinch of salt and pepper.

Then I turned the heat to low and put the lid on to let the flavors combine.

After about 30 minutes, I added most of the tomato juice from the can of tomatoes, a little more broth (maybe half a cup) and a tablespoon each of dried thyme and oregano.

30 minutes later, I diced up all my duck meat (and maybe gave Gertie a nibble.) Into the dutch oven it went.

Can I pause for a minute and tell you how much I love duck meat? I could eat it every day. Also, did you notice? I finally got a dutch oven! Thank you in-laws!

I waited for as close to 30 minutes as I could, but my house was smelling really good and I couldn’t wait to get the pasta in.

Delicious pasta. You are my friend.

I probably should have withheld a little. Two pounds is quite a bit of pasta, but I used up every ounce of my self-control the night before and so all the pasta went into the salted boiling water.

(And now that I’ve been enjoying leftovers for two days straight, I’m kind of glad I didn’t hold back.)

After a quick 2 minute swim in the boiling water (a little longer because I was frantically trying to locate my tongs, which I had set down absent mindedly) I combined the pasta and a bit of its salty water with my sauce.

I wish this blog had taste-o-net.

Because I’m not sure you truly get how good this was.

I think DD Girl summed it up pretty well…

Sitting outside on the porch, with several bottles of wine, lots of laughter, good friends, fantastic food. I live well.

I may have had a great big bowl of leftovers for breakfast at 9 a.m. Saturday morning. I couldn’t wait for lunch.

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Contextually Awesome

A real text conversation between DD Girl and myself:

QQ: I feel as if my boobs are getting droopy.

DD: LOL.  Happens to us all. I told [my boyfriend]  that the other day & he looked at me like I was crazy.

QQ: We can have our own 30-something and droopy boobies club.

DD:  Haha! Yep! Just wait till after you have kids. You think they are droopy now…

QQ: Crap. I’m adopting.

DD: You just made me spit out my 100 calorie cookie pack.

QQ: Well now you will probably only consume 80 calories. You can thank me later.

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The Bachelor and Fire & Wine Night Combo Post: Jake, just say gno!

Sometimes you just have to say gno.

And, last night, as we devoured our delicious gnocchi (recipe courtesy of the brilliant Elise of Simply Recipes) topped with a brown butter with spinach and pinenuts sauce (recipe courtesy of Cooking Light), we were screaming “GNO!” at our bachelor friend, Jake.

I decided to compile our list of “gnos” in lieu of our usual Cheese Whiz Ratings. Because last night was gno ordinary Fire & Wine night.

Image courtesy of EW.com

Things Jake should have said Gno* to in last night’s episode – with quotes and input from DD Girl and Roomie:

1. Girls in RV’s. – Didn’t Jake watch Road Rules? He should know that nothing good ever comes out of a bunch of girls sharing an RV.

2. Carrying his date (Gia) around the vineyard like a toddler. “She probably weighs as much as a toddler – DD Girl.” Jake, that’s weird and icky.

3. Girls who wear stilletos on a camping trip. Even Roomie who always looks cute and fashionable balked at these girls.

4. Taking your dates to a whore house-looking hotel, with each room you visit getting progressively tackier than the rest. If that is even possible.

5. The “I get lost in your eyes” line as said to Kathryn. Both times. Really?

6. A tie that looks like a tablecloth during the rose elimination ceremony. What was that thing?

7. Seeking wisdom on picking your future wife from Chris – the-network-is-going-to-love-this Harrison. Of course they are going to let you not give out all your roses, silly Jakey.

8. Girls obsessed with Vienna. Ugh. Enough already. All of it.

9. Ashleigh’s post-rose ceremony departure was less than graceful, as Roomie told DD Girl who was out of the room. So this gno is to Ashleigh – say gno to snotty, tearful departure speeches.

10. Girls who freak out over a cute little family of raccoons. (Gia!) Possibly the best part of the entire episode.

*Cheese Whiz Awards will return next week.

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Return of the Nerds Rifftrax Night

A typical Friday night in our house goes one of two ways: 1. Fiance and myself  and a movie/catching up on DVR shows. 2. Our closest friends and a selection of board games/Rock Band.

We mixed it up this past Friday by hosting a viewing of the Rifftrax of Return of the Jedi. Now if I’ve already lost you, don’t worry. I can explain. Rifftrax is the name of the activity where one downloads an audiofile of comedians Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett (formerly of Mystery Science Theatre) making fun of a movie. Then, you play the audiofile on your Ipod while watching the movie.

It’s usually really funny. And the Return of the Jedi riff was no exception. After the movie, more hilarity ensued.

Like when nerds aided by brewsky became rock stars.

Or, tried to demonstrate the size of their abnormally large, smart? heads with my Rawandan basket.

But anyhow, that’s just par for the course in my life. These guys are fantastic. And I’m proud to call them my friends.

They fit into our Quirkyville quite nicely.

So does she.

Look at that hot stuff, right there!

What I love most about this picture is that her boyfriend was begging me to take it because he thought she looked cute. (I agree.)

But unlike DD Girl, I didn’t get my sing on Friday night.

Image courtesy of costumestudy.wordpress.com

Nope. I was too busy wondering how I could get my mom to come and do my hair like this like she did when I was 7…

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F&W: Classic lasagna & classic us for a fine holiday celebration

The last Fire & Wine night of the year. And I wanted to make it special.

I thought about doing a ham or turkey breast, but to me, Christmas is Italian.

I grew up (and still do) eating spaghetti with my family on Christmas. This isn’t your ordinary spaghetti. This is cook-all-day slow-roasted-goodness spaghetti. My Italian grandfather passed the recipe down to my mother who will (I hope) eventually pass it onto me.

In the meantime, I decided to try my hand at lasagna. No, I had never made it before. Odd, I know.  I don’t like ground beef. But it dawned on me that I could substitute ground turkey for beef and then it dawned on me that I could add some Italian sausage to that.

So, I adapted this classic lasagna recipe from Southern Living by using 1/2 lb of ground turkey and 1/2 lb of sweet Italian sausage instead of the ground beef.

  • 2  medium onions, chopped
  • 2  tablespoons  olive oil, divided
  • 4  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2  lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 lb  sweet Italian sausage removed from casing
  • 1  (14.5-oz.) can basil, garlic, and oregano diced tomatoes
  • 2  (6-oz.) cans tomato paste
  • 1  (8-oz.) can basil, garlic, and oregano tomato sauce
  • 1  bay leaf
  • 1  teaspoon  Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/4  teaspoons  salt, divided
  • 3/4  teaspoon  pepper, divided
  • 12  lasagna noodles, uncooked
  • 8  cups  boiling water
  • 1  (16-oz.) container ricotta cheese
  • 2  large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4  cup  grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2  (6-oz.) packages part-skim mozzarella cheese slices
  • Garnish: chopped fresh parsley

1. Sauté onion in 1 Tbsp. hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Add turkey and sausage, and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.  Stir in diced tomatoes, next 4 ingredients, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf; set meat sauce aside.

2. Place lasagna noodles in a 13- x- 9-inch pan. Carefully pour 8 cups boiling water and remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil over noodles. Let stand 15 minutes.

3. Stir together ricotta cheese, eggs, Parmesan cheese, remaining 1/4 tsp. salt, and remaining 1/4 tsp. pepper until blended.

4. Spoon half of the meat sauce mixture in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Shake excess water from noodles, and arrange 6 noodles over meat sauce; top with half of ricotta mixture and 1 package mozzarella cheese slices. Repeat layers once.

5. Bake, covered, at 350° for 55 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 to 15 more minutes or until bubbly. Let lasagna stand 10 minutes before serving. Garnish, if desired.

Perfection is what that is.

The sauce is fantastic. (I ended up adding about 2 tablespoons of sugar to it because I like my sauce a little sweeter)

We enjoyed our meal while we watched Oprah interview the President and First Lady in the White House.

I wondered aloud where you would have Fire & Wine night at the White House. Like how would you eat on stools and wipe your fingers with paper towels?

We decided that Fire & Wine night is one of life’s pleasures that President and Mrs. Obama do not get to experience.

And then we decided (accidentally on purpose, please may I have another glass?)  it was Wire & Fine night.

And that was the funniest thing anyone had ever said.

Meanwhile Gertie entertained by tossing her pheasant around the room.

And the Fiance was up in his man cave rolling around on the office chair and cheering loudly at a University of Kansas basketball game.

DD Girl and I didn’t have to work the next day so we may have continued the celebration out on the Plaza with more friends, and I may have had a little much fun….

But whatever it was, it was just fine with me. Merry Christmas!

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