Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ode To My GLI

Your honeycomb grill was the first thing that caught my eye,

your white exterior with crisp black and red lines, 

So fly. 

You have nice sticky tires, 

that make taking corners my favorite sport.

I am sorry that you have ricer tail lights, 

don't worry, 

mommy will fix those, 

taken you to new heights! 

What is under your hood is a turbo, 

for when I need to some get up and go GO!

Oooh baby I love that leather, 

on the road you are as light as a feather. 

You always know the best way, 

to get me back home okay. 

At night you light up, 

twinkle, twinkle, my little 


Six speeds to get us there in a hurry, 

but let's take our time,

and not get there too soon. 

Enjoy the ride, 

life without worries,

GLI is by my side. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hotel Cook Book

   When living in a hotel for long periods of time the excitement of eating out wears off quickly and you begin to crave home cooked meals. When living in a different country, you crave food from your own country and when you don't even have a microwave in own home because you are such a cook-aholic like myself, you begin to go a little crazy and get crafty!
   I love to cook, I love food and I am picky eater. So needless to say, I don't like eating out because I can usually always find something wrong with the preparation of the food I order. Like here, they take mayonnaise and parmesan cheese and call it caesar dressing, I seriously hate mayonnaise... Also I crave bacon like a fiend and can't seem to find it anywhere. What they do have here though is fast food, fast food which includes fried chicken from both KFC and Popeyes, two of my least favorite places to get such sinful chicken but here its like gold, plus its clean so that makes a huge difference.
   In our hotel room we have a mini fridge and a water heater. With some tin foil and the use of the clothes iron in the room, you have everything you need to feast! So here are few tips and trick thats I have found with use of the internet and personal experimentation.
   Steamed Vegetables
Make sure there is water in your water heater, about a cup will do. Add washed vegetables of your choice. My favorite is broccoli. Set it to boil and in just little over two minutes you have perfectly steamed veggies! If all you have is a coffee maker, just place the veggies in the basket were the grounds go, run the water over a couple times until you have the desired tenderness.
  Soups of Varieties.
Boil water and add it to the soup. DONE. Cup of noodles and also soups that you add a can of water to work best, I personally think most soups are too salty so I just add hot water whether or not they call for it.
   Hot dogs.
Again, all you have to is stick the hot dogs in the kettle and boil it.
   Lemon Pepper Chicken.
Add a small piece of chicken to your pot, with water and lemon pepper, boil it for at least eight or more minutes to insure doneness and enjoy.
   Grilled Sandwich.
Wrap your iron in tin foil using whatever you can find to secure it in place. Place a square of tin foil on your ironing board for the sandwich station. If sandwich ingredients are limited, which they often are, just use what you have and never underestimate the beauty of cheese and butter. You will need to butter or use oil on your tin foil iron because the bread WILL stick to it. Try using different meats and cheeses, and spreads. Veggies are always yummy too.
Make a tin foil pouch, add butter and lemon pepper to salmon and slide in pouch. Seal it up best you can, make sure that it has room for the juices. Turn your iron on high heat and grill salmon pouch, turning over on each side until it is finished cooking all the way through. Eat it right out of the pouch.
Use your coffee burner to make bacon, I personally haven't tried this, but I might if I become desperate. It sounds like a mess.
Put the noodles in the water boiler and make sure to stir it. Add your favorite toppings like cheese, jar alfredo, and marinara. I would recommend uses short noodles.

   Well those are the things that I have come up with. I am sure that with more time I will become more crafty with what I make. If anyone wants to send me an easy bake oven or george foreman grill that runs on 220v I will come up with more. Hmmm I wonder about making steamed potatoes....  

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Just curious...

   Since I can remember I have been completely obsessive over jewelry. Whether it be the painted noodle necklace I made when I was in pre-school or the white gold diamond heart necklace my grandparents gave me when I turned thirteen. I love it all, not just necklaces. I love earring but I most of the ones I like don't agree with my ears. Huge costume jewelry from forever 21 and thrift stores. It has always been my favorite accessory. 
   One of the things I used to do when I would stay with my grandma is go through her jewelry boxes. She has an entire dresser full of it. They are all neatly packed away, each in their own box, tin or velvet bag. This made it kind of like unwrapping presents, never knowing what you might find. My cousin and I would do this for hours and wear every single ring we could find, stacking them up high on our short fingers. 
   Playing these games with my cousin and grandma it became very clear as to what kind of style of jewelry I tend to gravitate towards. Shay would always have my grandmas huge crystal necklaces and gold and silvers, anything shinny really. Shay is very girly, pretty and has always been a princess. I would look for the oldest stuff my grandma had. Things from the 60's, hemp, copper and colorful beads. She had this really neat white pendant that was a flower, and in the creases it rubbed off to reveal copper and the middle of it was a pink and gold libra scale, I loved that necklace. 
   My taste today seems to have not changed so much but maybe matured a bit. These days I spend time looking at wedding porn, (pictures of weddings), and fantasizing every detail from the colors, the cake to of course what starts everything, my engagement ring. There are so many options out there and so many things to learn about when looking for a ring. I mean did you know there are not just white diamonds, they come in chocolate, canary, pink, black? And who says it has to be a diamond? You could go with a sapphire like Kate, or rubies, emeralds, moissanite! 
   I was just wondering if given unlimited funds, would you know exactly what you wanted? I personally do not, all I know and that I am glad it comes down to the man in the end. 
   Feel free to respond. I am very interested to see what you come up with. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Not a good way to wake up. :'(

   It was the weekend, Sunday, five days after the accident. I had been tossing in bed all night going over the details, trying to untwindle any kind of clue to why this had happened. I wondered had I been in the wrong place at the wrong time, had I been one who was taken, would the survivors look for me? Would anyone suspect foul play or would they just accept what they were told?
   I had narrowly made my escape but I couldn't say the same for a list of friends that was steadily growing. No official report had been made on the fire that had taken place in school's library. But that was just thing, they were calling it a fire, and there was no fire damage. The school seemed to completely dismiss the fact that half the kids that had attended were now gone.
   When I got to school on Monday I returned to the scene of the crime, the library. It seemed normal, no one was in there. I looked for the section that Ryan, my best friend, had normally sat. The librarian, Pam, helped me get down some books from the top shelf that Ryan had been reading the day he disappeared. A small copy of "Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe," about the size of a match book but really thick, and his journal. There was a little book mark that looked like he had drafted and it read, "I love Tori" and there was a picture on the page that he had left off on, a clue of some short.
   It had been a week since the disappearances and I was sure they had all starved by now.  My wondering mind taunted me with horrific scenarios of what may have happened to them. I was too scared to sleep, all I did was cry. Cry for all the friends I lost, hurt in my heart and the filling of being lost myself...
   This was my dream last night. I was very thankful to wake up to Ryan fast asleep, safe. It was such a terrible thought to have lost him that I actually cried when I woke and saw him. I didn't want him to go to work today, I didn't want to let him go. I have one fucked up mind sometimes. I really need to stop watching television. I am glad to see you are all still alive on facebook and that we aren't in high school anymore. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

When in Abu Dhabi, Do As the Locals Do?

 Before moving to this country I would spend my free time looking up anything I could about my new home and then would return to work to brag to all of my co-workers at the (not so) Fresh Market. I learned that it is the richest city in all the world, Muslim, hot and that I would not be allowed to leave my room in shorts or tank tops. All of these things really worried me.†
 1. I dont have money, I shop at Target.†
 2. I love bacon.†
 3. I think Alabama is hot in November.†
 4. Forget the shorts, what about the naked mermaid on my arm?
 † †Two months later and still feel like I dont know what I am doing and what is right and what is wrong. However, I can say that I do observe and observing what others do is the easiest way for me to learn about my surroundings. I know plenty of you have questions and feel free to leave them in the comments or e-mail me on facebook with them. I figured I would just touch base on some things that I have learned in the time I have been in here in a blog.
    When driving through Abu Dhabi the first thing you will notice are the sky scrappers. They are everywhere and a percentage of them are still under construction. Construction is another thing that seems to be everywhere. There are around eleven or more banks in every block and when asked what they want to be when they grow up, the number one response for teenagers is a banker, here in Abu Dhabi.
    It is easy to see who is Muslim and who is not because of the way they dress. Men in long white robes, (kandorah) and women in black, (burqa). Although this is traditional, its not always  what I see always locals wearing. Some wear slutty clothing under their black robes with them open. Others wear tunics with skinny jeans and a scarf wrapped around their head, almost completely western except for the fact they are wearing long sleeve sweaters in 110 degree weather. Every woman wears heels and make up like they are working the corner regardless of how religious she is. The style here is like a mix of Jersey Shore and Kevin Federline held together with generous amounts of hummus.
    As for food, pork is available and where it is you usually donít see Muslims there. Ryan and I shop at this English grocery store that has a section separated from the store labeled, ìPork Section for Non Muslims.î So yes, we can eat pork and go places where they serve pork items. Also we can drink inside the hotel. As for buying alcohol, you have to get a liquor license. Ryan and I get a little taste of home but its comes in the form of our least favorite fast food restaurants. The McDonaldís has a McArab and my favorite local dish is lemon mint juice.
    I wear pretty much whatever I want. I have seen woman dress in belly shirts and booty shorts, tank tops, mini skirts. I get a complement on my tattoo almost every day and some people like to touch itÖ Really whatever goes as long as you are a tourist. I do all of our laundry in the bathtub. It sucks really bad and I think that I have ruined a lot of our clothes because they donít dry fast enough in our room. Clothing is really cheap quality here but really expensive, also very trashy style. Like a wet cil or a deb would clean up here.
     I miss cooking and my dog the most. I miss cleaning up my house and my washing machines. I often watch youtube videos on how to make gum paste flowers and cheese from scratch. I shop online and already have a list for stuff to buy on black Friday for my kitchen. On days when I get really home sick and think about going home I remind myself that I will get to spend winter in Utah. So until then, I am counting down the days.
    Again, I know that I haven't covered all the questions you might have about what goes on in Abu Dhabi. If you have any questions ask.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The home maker in me

   Before I was even fully potty trained, I started staying summers at my grandma Shirely's home. We would spend our days baking cookies and moon pies, gardening, cleaning and sewing. She taught me hard work and responsibility at a young age, she also taught me how to cook. I can remember standing on top of a stool, (as I could not reach the stove) making my first dish ever, scrambled eggs, I was just four. When she would make supper I would sit on the counter top, watching and mostly had the job of official stirrer and mess maker.
   If you have ever had the delight of tasting one of my grandma's meals you will remember her whipped potatoes. Fluffy, full of air, made of potatoes dug from her garden, butter and evaporated milk. So simple, yet nothing else like it. All that time spent with my grandma in the kitchen naturally made cooking one of my favorite things to do.
   After moving 2,000 miles away from everything that I knew in Idaho to Alabama, I started to become home sick for my grandma. I talk about her all the time, with anyone who will listen. I call her regularly and before she went on her annual trip to California, I ask for her potato soup recipe. Its just so good there had to be some kind of secret, not the case at all. This soup is good anytime of the year, and it freezes well. I hope you enjoy it.

Grandma Shirely's Potato Soup 

  • Left over mash potatoes or 5lbs of potatoes, cubed into 1 inch squares and boiled for 20 to 30 minutes. 
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1/2 lb. of low sodium bacon, cut into 1 inch squares 
  • About 4 cups of skim milk, add enough until you the thickness you want.
  • Salt and pepper to taste. 
Boil your potatoes in a large heavy pot, cover with lid, making sure they don't boil over! Cook bacon in a sauce pan, (so the bacon grease doesn't pop on you) on a medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Next add the onion and celery cook until onion is transparent and the bacon is just barely crisp. Drain your potatoes and mash, add onion, celery and bacon, (you can drain the bacon grease or add it in, your call) Add the milk and salt and pepper, bring up the heat and serve hot.
This recipe can also be made into a clam chowder by replacing the bacon with clams in juice.  ENJOY!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Its the subtle differences.

 I went to the mall today and I just wanted to walk you all through my shopping experience.
   Started off with a $1.50 cab ride to the mall, you cant even get into a cab in the U.S without it costing you $4.00 dollars. I was at the mall shopping for some summer pajama pants for Ryan and I, I started at the Gap, for me to buy us each a pair of pajama pants it would have cost $80 dollars, I could order from their website and have them shipped over 5,000 miles for less.
   I decided to go to the Carefour, gross French Wal-mart type of store under the mall, there I got Ryan two pairs of pajamas for less than $10 dollars, bought a pack of wrigley's watermelon gum and my third bottle of shampoo. I checked out in the "Woman's Express Lane." The pack of gum looked like a regular five stick pack but when I opened it up it had little white chicklet type of gums. The reason for the third shampoo is because apparently, "normal hair" means, "extra dry scalp" and it leaves my hair looking like I haven't washed it in a week.
   Next I go up two flights of stairs to the food court but not before getting stuck behind some boys who really hadn't showered in a week... I get a little excited when I see Burger King, because it's American, but I decide to have Indian food anyway. The food tastes just like the food Kat made at her house, with the exception of a cucumber, tomato, red onion salad that has lime juice, parsley and mint, ohm nom nom nom.
   Made a quick trip to Forever 21 to see if they had any pajama pants for me but ended up trying on everything but and an exceptional amount of cream colored lace. There was a man in the dressing room and there is no mens clothing... While I was there they played Katy Perry, Pussycat Dollz and Drank, all of which were uncensored. Oh and there are two Forever 21's one is just accessories and the other just clothing.
   You know that sound that you make when you are trying to get something out of your throat, like a popcorn kernel or like a hair, thats what Arabic sounds like.
   I finally found a pair of pajama pants at one of Victoria Secrets sister companies. Nothing really eventful happened there except that they didn't carry any bra size larger than a 36D. Also the sales lady followed me around the entire time I was in there, not like I was going to steal anything but more like a friend to shop with? Weird.
   Before I left the mall to get into the taxi cab line I saw a Rolls Royce Phantom painted in 22k gold... This country is soooo new money.

Over seas

  Today I woke up very excited because I was pretty certain that I remembered my pin number. I got dressed and ran down to the ATM in the hotel. After entering five or six different pin numbers I admitted defeat. I have not been able to check my account balance since I got here, two months ago... I have online banking which works for Ryan's account and not mine. So I have tried email, numerous emails. They all respond with the same answer, "call us." I can't call them, it would cost over a $100 just to stay on the phone long enough for them to give me the information that I need. I am just so frustrated I can barely talk.
  It's not just the bank thing that pisses me off, its a little bit of everything. My phone was broken and stolen, my friends are awake when I am sleeping, its hotter than hell here, the food is wrong and I barely get to see Ryan.
  I just want to sleep with my dog and enjoy the fresh air of Alabama. Spend some time at my grandma's garden and host some bbqs. Man I could write a country song right now.... haha.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Beau's Song

when i wake up theres a lump in my bed,
 what could it be its a lazy sleepy head. 
Beau, oh oh oh ohhhhhh, oh oh oh oh, ohhhohhh 
Beau is a dog who thinks hes a cat, 
you might ask what do i mean by that? 
after we wake up its time for a nap, 
then a lick your face! 
And pet your fat , 
oh oh oh ohhhhhh, oh oh oh oh, ohhhohhh 
Beau always eats the expensive shoes, 
he also loves to take a 
snoozewuauuuz snooowuuuauzzzz 
oh snapp not again its beau the “cat “
 (beau speaking) this is my song suckers 
and im sailing whit Galen 
he rolls down the windows 
and my fans are wailinn 
oh oh oh ohhhhhh, oh oh oh oh, ohhhohhh 
you know ill be rocking a&f ! 
Ill be loving up on tori 
just cuzz shes the best

A recent nightmare.

Honestly I don't remember exactly how long ago I had this dream but it was what you some people might consider a modern nightmare.... 
 It starts out like a typical day at my home in Huntsville, AL. Ryan comes home from work and says he has some exciting news for me. He says that he traded my VW GLI, with a guy at work and before I can say anything my car is gone and it's replaced with a maroon mid 90's Ford Taurus automatic with a cloth top that is sun damaged and falling apart. The interior of the car is just disgusting, completely saturated in cigarette smoke, dirt, coffee and food. If thats not bad enough the car comes with an ugly baby that is wearing nothing but a diaper and he is dirty with food and dirt under his finger nails, and bald and he smells bad. Ryan informs me that that the baby has to be dropped off at woman's trailer everyday for daycare. This woman is old, fat and smelly. Her trailer smells like urine, dogs breath and potato flakes. She has more than one kid that she takes care of and what she likes to do is feed them red kool-aid in old water bottles, one of the grossest things I can think of. 
After getting home from my new responsibilities I cried for what seemed like hours before I woke up to find it was all a dream and that my GLI was parked safely in its spot in front of the house. I shared my nightmare with Ryan and now every time we see one of those catfish cars we have ourselves a little giggle. ;)