are we still in preschool?

Mr. Fizz got sick on Thursday. I got sick on Monday. Most of my lab has also gotten a bug over the past week – though there seem to be two strains going around, the barfy strain (not mine, thankfully!) and the crappy-sore-throat-with-cough strain (*ahem!* – thanks for that, Mr. Fizz).

Clearly my co-workers and I, working in a biology lab as we do, should NOT be spreading this little gem around. Clean hands! We should have clean freakin’ hands!

gobble gobble!

This long weekend included four trips to the grocery store, two twenty pound turkeys, more stuffing than you can shake a stick at and a lot of a family. And it was fun. We had a traditional thanksgiving dinner at my parents’ house – this year was a record breaker, with 14 people in attendance. That included my parents’ friends’ daughter’s boyfriend’s parents, who were visiting from Scotland (Glasgow, to be precise) and had very nice accents. And, despite the fact that the youngest of the younger generation is now 24, we resorted to having a kids’ table alongside the grown up table. As one of the guests said, “It’s strange to hear my parents talk about me as if I’m not in the room…but I kind of like hearing what they have to say!” So we ate and drank and evesdropped on our parents.

That night Mr. Fizz and I hauled our full asses down to the movie theater to see Walk the Line, which was a pretty darn good movie. I’m totally impressed that Witherspoon and Phoenix could handle the vocals themselves.

Friday: Uhm…food coma! Did nothing! Yes!

Saturday: Cooked a turkey! My first time! Mr. Fizz cleverly used the meat probe that came with our oven to cook the turkey to the perfect internal temperature…and it only took three hours! Also made stuffing, pecan pie, baked apricot almond brie, and spinach artichoke dip. All the food was, for once, ready in plenty of time for the start of Turkey II – mostly because three of our friends got the start time wrong, showed up an hour early, and were put to work. People ate more and drank more and left just in time for me to go dance at an empty restaurant. Empty except for a table of four gay men, assorted couples, and a party of 12, who flew into fits of giggles when I first took my veil off. Which means 1) undies are showing 2) skirt is tucked into undies 3) holy fuck, what are you morons laughing at? Quit it! No costume faux pas seemed to have occurred, so I have no idea what they were giggling about. Maybe my four year old costume? Why waste an $800 costume on an empty restaurant and a bunch of morons? And besides, I love my four year old costume…it’s jingly and slimming and fun, dammit!

Sunday: More food coma, a quick trip to work to set up experiments for today, and lots of crocheting while watching James Bond films.

Side note: I found my next crochet project: this sweater (the second pattern down on the page. Super cute!

My old nemesis…the pastry cutter

I have wanted to get a pastry cutter for years. My husband and I do not have a sparse kitchen, nor do we want for the $5 necessary to buy a pastry cutter from the Crate and Barrel down the street. Yet somehow we never managed to get one.

That all changed when we got married last year. In the glee of registering for everything we could possibly want in our kitchen I put a pastry cutter on the list. I will admit that it IS a nice cutter, with a rubber handle, non stick blades, ergonomically designed, etc. And I HATE it.

It turns out that this pastry cutter is evil incarnate, in that it is almost impossible to clean. Yes, the non stick blades are nice, but invariably some crisco will get stuck between them, and my sponge is a bit too thick, and if I stick a finger in it grates on my nail in a very annoying way.

But the pastry cutter wouldn’t be all that evil if I could just stop usingit – it makes addictively nice pie crusts, and now I am unable to make crusts without it.

And so we meet, the pastry cutter and I, again and again when pie season comes around.

I think it’s time I started pining for the pastry cutter cleaning gadget.

Speaking of which….

I wore a brand new skirt today.

It was WAAAAY too big, and I can only spend so much of the day peeling off latex gloves to hike up my skirt before I resort to changing into the spare pair of jeans I keep in lab.

I explained all this to Mr. Fizz over IM, and his response was:

“Eat more, gain weight, grow boobies.”

First, let me say that many women would kill to have a husband who routinely asks her to gain weight. Thank you, Mr. Fizz! Second, let me say that I am, by no means, underweight. Oh, no! I have enough junk in my trunk to shake it like a polaroid picture AND drop it like it’s hot at the same time. Third, although Mr. Fizz’s plan is good in theory, it means that 99% of my clothes would then be too small. And while I do love shopping, replacing 99% of my clothes is a bit much…. And, lastly, any weight I DO gain will invariably end up on my butt, not my boobies.

So: sorry, Mr. Fizz – I’ll just have to buy a new skirt instead.

Weekend recap

So. The wedding in Toronto was fabulous. It was an invigorating mix of formal and casual, traditional and funky. The ceremony was held on the 32nd floor of the Four Seasons hotel (posh!), and was old school jewish. Just to spice things up a little, the bride wore red. This made my mom flip out when I told her, but I thought it was fabulous – the bride clearly loved her gown, and it made her look mad pretty, like a movie star. The food was excellent, the drinks were also excellent (lychee martinis! yay!), and the view was even more excellent! Also in the excellent category was getting the chance to see all my high school friends in the same place, and not having to worry about MY wedding day!

But let me back up just a minute here. Mr. Fizz and I flew in to Toronto on Thursday in order to explore the city for a couple days before the wedding. Well, we explored on Thursday by walking down the main shopping drag looking for a clutch for me to take to the wedding (the one I’d bought for $16.50 was still hanging on my closet door at home). Unfortunately, clutches started at about $200, so I dragged Mr. Fizz down a side street and bought a perfectly serviceable clutch for $20 at some back alley shoe and bag store. Score!

Then we spent an hour browsing a Canadian book store, which is much like an American book store, except the prices are higher and the books are better. This particular Borders knockoff had a Starbucks in it, so we got our first eggnog lattes of the season and went back to browsing. After complaining that my feet hurt (curse the four inch high heels!) we went back to the hotel room and got ready for dinner.

Dinner was a two hour, extremely expensive affair at the steak house near our hotel. The steak was excellent. The wine, also, was excellent (and so expensive that Mr. Fizz told me I had to compliment it every time I took a sip). Dinner, in general, was fabulous (thanks, Mr. Fizz!).

Then back to the hotel room where we watched Season One of Scrubs on Mr. Fizz’s computer until the wee hours of the morning.

We got up early to meet our rental car outside the hotel (score! Budget delivered the rental car to our hotel and picked it up when we were done with it!) and Mr. Fizz deftly navigated the streets of Toronto to deposit us safely on the Queen Elizabeth Way. Our plan was to take in the grandeur and tackiness of Niagara falls, and then sample some nice ice wines on our way back to Toronto. Niagara was indeed tacky, and also full of tourists and expensive and not all that grand. Yeah, the falls were big – and I probably would’ve been more impressed if I could’ve taken the boat to the bottom of the falls (it wasn’t running this late in the season) or walked down to the base of the falls ($30/per person? no way!). So we gazed at the falls for a bit, and then I dragged Mr. Fizz back to the Hershey’s store we’d passed on the way in. Mr. Fizz heroically said no to all my offers to buy him chocolate, so we departed Niagara.

Our next stop along the scenic Niagara Parkway was Inniskillin Winery. There, we took a self guided tour and learned all about ice wines. For example, the grapes used in ice wines are kept on the vine longer than usual and allowed to undergo a series of freeze-thaws. The grapes are then picked while frozen, sometimes in the middle of the night, and squeezed. Ice wine grapes give you about 5% of the juice you get out of regular wine grapes, so the flavor is concentrated and the price tag is large. Mr. Fizz and I sampled a series of four different ice wine varieties, bought bottles of two, and headed out to find some lunch at Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Niagara-on-the-Lake reminded me very much of some of the little towns in the Cotswolds – a teeny little main street lined by boutiques, cool victorian-era buildings, tons of tourists who apparently can’t use a cross-walk even when it’s within 10 feet of them. We searched and searched for a cafe for lunch, and kept turning away from places offering $10 sandwiches. We finally settled on the one chinese place in town, which served excellent wonton soup and lemon chicken for a reasonable price.

At this point I took over the driving and got us back (through crappy traffic, and one HUGE detour to find a gas station) to the hotel. We changed and went to the rehearsal dinner, which involved some excellent food and also a LOT of wine. Also, I need to remember not to talk when I’m tipsy.

Mr. Fizz and I hung out with our high school friends until late, and then watched Scrubs until later, and then went to bed!

Saturday dawned bright and mild, and we rendezvoused with some friends to see the Bodyworlds 2 exhibit at the Toronto Science Center. Let me just say first that the Science Center is amazing in general, and definitely worth a trip to check out its normal exhibits. Bodyworlds itself was very cool, but WAY overcrowded. The premise behind Bodyworlds involves corpses that have been plastinated and covered in a waxy coating. These have had the skin removed to expose the muscle or nerves or whatever else the doctor/artist wants to show. It was an informative exhibit (there were examples of each major organ showing a healthy sample and a diseased sample, as well as a good section on fetal development. Far and away the coolest part of the exhibit, though, was the plastinated camel. Camels are huge! Their organs are huge! It was way, way cool.

After the Science Center we got ready for the wedding. No, I lie. Mr. Fizz and I watched Scrubs until we were way late for getting ready for the wedding. Then I scrambled to do my hair and makeup while Mr. Fizz fell asleep. And then Mr. Fizz scrambled to get dressed while I told him we were going to miss the CEREMONY!

Turns out, we got there in plenty of time, because there was a cocktail hour before the ceremony. Except it was more of a cocktail hour and a half, because no-one (at the four seasons!) announced that we had to move up 29 flights to the ceremony, so there was a general last minute rush when we noticed that the families of the people getting married were no longer in the room. Would it have killed the Four Seasons to announce a movement? Eh? As a result of that disorganization, a bunch of our friends didn’t get to sit with their spouses/SOs – which is too bad, because weddings are (at least for me) a time to think back to my wedding and reflect on married life.

The ceremony itself was well done, and afterwards we were all shepherded back to the tables for dinner. The first part of dinner was excellent – mushroom stuffed ravioli and a pear and walnut salad. The main dishes (a veggie and a fish) were ho-hum…the fish was a bit dry and the vegetarian entree was super spicy! Not my cup of tea. Toasts were done (tastefully and well) and the evening dissolved into dancing and chatting.

Oh, and I learned two new things about my husband. Never mind that we’ve been dating for more than 10 years. First, he has little bumps in the cartiledge on the outer rims of his ears. Even weirder, they’re at different heights on each ear. Freak. Second, he cannot let go of my hand when dancing, even if we’re not partner dancing. He claims he will degenerate into doing the white boy shuffle if he lets go. Apparently some of my bellydancer-fabulous dancing works its way over to him if he holds on.

And that’s it! Sunday we had brunch at the Four Seasons and then packed it in and headed home. And watched more Scrubs on the plane. We’re totally addicted….

Conquering the great white north

8am. In the midst of packing for a long weekend in Toronto for a friend’s wedding.

Mr. Fizz: You’re taking up more than half the carry-on!
Fizz: We’re NOT taking one carry-on for the weekend!!
Mr. Fizz: Why not?
Fizz: Because it’s a FORMAL WEDDING requiring many pairs of shoes so go find your own damn carry-on!
Mr. Fizz: We can definitely take just one!
Fizz: No. We. Can. NOT.
**pause while Fizz adds extra shoes to make sure that there will be no sharing of carry-ons**
Mr. Fizz: Where’s my carry-on?
Fizz: ARGH! Basement! Where else?
Mr. Fizz: Why is mine in the basement when yours is up here?
Fizz: Because I use mine every week when I go to my gigs. You can keep yours in your study if you want it upstairs.
Mr. Fizz: Oh.

Half an hour later we were finally ready to negotiate that tricksey Silver Line to the airport. And we totally scored at the airport – one of the women in my bellydance class was working the check in counter. And we? Totally got upgrades. Score!

Also, I’ve never been to Canada before. It’s kind of like a twilight zone version of america, where everything is clean and pretty and victorian, but modern too. And cold. And snowy. And I will be wearing open toed shoes on Saturday night! Hah!

I want to see you belly dance


I was hired to dance at a film festival tonight, after a screening of the film “Only Human.” I was one of four dancers to perform, and knew only that one of the characters in the film was a belly dancer.

It became clear about 10 minutes into the film that the belly dancing character was primarily a prostitute. Ooookay. And then, half way through the film, she “belly dances” by stripping down to her undies while bellydance music plays in order to seduce her sister’s fiance.

I…uhm…wait – I have to DANCE after that? Ew.

happy late halloweenie!

I love halloween.

I have the same wig I wear to work every year – black and short and in both ways not at all like my real hair – and despite the fact that I’ve worn it three years in a row now, nearly everyone asks if I’ve cut and dyed my hair. Haaaaa. Mr. Fizz says that it is written in our ketubah that I cannot cut my hair or have it any color other than brownish blonde. Unless I make it more blonde. Longer and blonder is the order of the marriage with Mr. Fizz.

Anyway. Once my labmates got over the shock of the short black hair, halloween was fine. I even got to skip out early (six pm! look! early!) and hand out candy to the little tots. Mr. Fizz and I got some pizza, some good red wine, and D, and sat on the steps with our pumpkin creations (mine was a big pumpkin eating a little one, and Mr. Fizz made a pumpkin with teeth all around). Somehow the combination of scary pumpkins and a robotic dog freaked out all the little kids. We had a bear who wouldn’t have made it past the second step if his dad hadn’t pushed him. Ditto on a bunch of the two and three year old set. The 8+ set loved D and told Mr. Fizz and I that they wanted one just like him for Christmas. I didn’t have the heart to tell the kiddies that they’d be better off asking for a few ipods.

The prize for best costume went to a two month old baby dressed as a chili pepper (“he’s part peruvian,” said his mom), who was un-freakin-believably adorable.

After all the trick or treating fun I hosted a video party showcasing truly bad belly dance videos…but I’ll save that for my next post, as it’s late and I’m uber tired.