Siri is a little disrespectful

So, I got into a fight with my phone. I was stuck in traffic, and I was trying to remember–don’t ask–the names of King George VI’s brothers. Even though I wasn’t moving, I didn’t want to look down at my phone to type a query, so I thought I’d try Siri. The conversation went like this:

[lori] Siri, google King George the 6th.

[siri] I don’t have King George the 6th in your address book. Would you like Jeff Short or Ilana Short?

[lori]. No.

[lori]Siri, who was Queen Elizabeth’s father?

[siri] I don’t have Queen Elizabeth in your address book. Would you like Elizabeth Anderson?

[lori] Siri, you are not being helpful.

[siri] You think so, huh?

[lori] I really do.

[siri] I guess you are entitled to your opinion, Lori

So, not only did I have a fight with my phone, I think I may have lost.

It’s the most busiest time of the year

There’s stuff going on here at the Piper-Addis Home for Wayward Travelers. :)

We’ve officially come to the very, very, very busy part of the year. I swear, we go months without so much as a glimmer of activity between January and June…and then, it’s all, you know, *stuff* for the rest of the year.

This weekend, we’re going to a Murder Mystery Dinner in Allentown. The theme is Downton Abbey, and I’m to dress as Lady Rosamund, whoever that is. I watched the first season of DA, and always meant to watch the second, and just never got around to it. Apparently my interest was unable to overcome my inertia. But, I have a dress and a fake fur stole and quite a fancy hat. I also have a dogcare reservation at a VERY posh dog resort for the Jakers. We have been advised to pack his silk pajamas and smoking jacket, lest the other puppies think that we’re, like, poor or something. I’m quite concerned that we’ll pick him up on Sunday and he’ll ask why we don’t have a butler. Continue reading

Because I’m sick, and ultimately lazy

Because I’m sick, and ultimately lazy–too lazy to make a new post, anyway–here’s what I said a couple years ago about my tonsils. Particularly applicable today, as I have been invited to yet another sore throat/bronchitis/laryngitis party.

So, here’s a cautionary tale for all you kids out there.When the doctor tells you to get your tonsils out, just get them out.
Yes, it will be scary and it will suck. But you’re nine. You’ll get
over it. You won’t die, and you’ll get ice cream.

When I was nine, I had not one but TWO doctors tell my parents that my
tonsils needed to come out. That they were–and remain–the size of
Azerbaijan and would just be a blight on my health for the rest of my
days.

Those docs were right. My tonsils–which support an independent
government and house several federal buildings–are nothing but a germ
sponge. It’s like having several kindergarten classes living in my
throat. I am a germ factory.

So, why didn’t I get them out? Because I was a stubborn, spoiled brat.
Because I didn’t want to. Because I stomped my feet and told my mother
that I understood that I was a child and that she could, in fact, MAKE
me do this but that she should keep in mind that if I were to die, it
would be her fault.

How she didn’t kill me before I turned 18 remains a great mystery.

So, here I sit, 35 years later with tonsils that could sway the
American Idol vote if I let them have phones, and I can’t
sleep–again–because I can’t swallow without feeling like the tiny
razors that are embedded in my tonsils will mutiny and slit my throat.

Which would serve me right, I reckon.

Just a quick apology to all the other Lori Pipers out there

for stealing all your Internets.

It occurred to me today that I have loripiper@aol.com, loripiper@hotmail.com, loripiper@outlook.com, and loripiper@gmail.com. I have facebook.com/loripiper, twitter.com/loripiper, about.me/loripiper and loripiper.com.

So, odds seem good that if your name is Lori Piper, I may at some point have busted your buzz.

Sorry about that. :)

Much ado about carrots

I don’t like carrots. I don’t, really, at all.

First, carrots are the betrayer vegetable. When I was little, I was told that if I managed to choke down my carrots, they would make my eyes strong. And yet, I wound up legally blind by about age 8. Betrayer. Vegetable.

Then there’s the fact that they can’t seem to make up their minds about what they want to be.

Why, in faith, methinks she’s too low for a high praise, too brown for a fair praise and too little for a great praise: only this commendation I can afford her, that were she other than she is, she were unhandsome; and being no other but as she is, I do not like her.

They are too sweet for a vegetable, not sweet enough for a fruit, and have the unpleasant texture of a water chestnut. About their only redeeming quality is that they aren’t celery.

Over the last 40 years, I have probably choked down a couple dozen carrots a year, all with an equal amount–by weight–of ranch dressing.

So, you might imagine my shock today when I found myself not only eating carrots, but liking carrots. Loving carrots. Wanting to eat carrots to the exclusion of everything else on my plate. Saving my carrots for last, so that I could properly savor them.

Mother, if you want a DNA test, or a psych evaluation, I’m happy to comply.

I’m a notorious dilettante. My dear, darling, sweet husband calls me “flavor of the month girl”. This month, it’s salads in a jar.

Go ahead. Google it. Aren’t they pretty?

Being me, I bought copious quantities of mason jars, and vegetables, and dressings. Common wisdom is that the salad will stay fresh all day in the mason jars without going the extra step of vacuum sealing the jars. But if you vacuum seal them, there are promises of salads that stay fresh for a week, 10 days…TWO WEEKS. It’s nutty.

Of course,  I bought a jar sealer, and a handheld foodsaver, and commenced to vacuum sealing my salads. Today was the first day of the vacuum-sealed SIAJ lunch, and it was life altering.

Life altering.

I’ve known for years that vacuum sealing a piece of meat in a marinade allows you to marinate faster and more efficiently. Something about the vacuum opening up the cellular structure of the meat. I never thought about it with vegetables, but I’m here to tell you, friends, that it works with vegetables, too.

So, I have my mason jar. And I put some balsamic vinaigrette in the bottom, and load in the carrots, followed by the rest of my salad. And I vacuum seal it, and the cellular structure of those carrots opens up, and they become the vegetable version of a ShamWOW, just sucking all that tasty vinaigrette into their very cells.

And after 12 hours of this, they taste nothing like carrots. They taste like little disks of balsamic heaven. Crunchy balsamic heaven.

No ranch dressing required.

 

Wait. Where’d Christopher Street go?

Just a little housekeeping. :)

For nine years, I kept an online journal called “Christopher Street”. If you care why it was called that, you can read this post.

I started “Christopher Street” on a now-defunct (and tragically so) service called “Diary-X.” All my friends were on LiveJournal, so about six months later, I moved all the Diary-X content to LiveJournal. This caused some formatting issues with those early posts which persist to this day. Someday, I hope to fix those, but today is not that day.

I hung out on LiveJournal for a while. At some point, I registered a domain, tivogoddess.com, and I cross posted content there (mostly for backup). Then poor tivogoddess had to be put down due to a ridiculous distributed denial of service attack, so I registered loripiper.com. Sometime in late 2004, John built me a movable type installation at loripiper.com, and I blogged there–for some definition of ‘blogged’–for the next seven years. At some point, I even registered a separate, and ridiculously complicated, URL for the blog: christopherstreetjournal.com. What was I thinking? :)

In mid-2011, with my actual blogging having largely been supplanted by Facebook, I decided to give micro-blogging a try, and started a posterous feed called “tiny bubbles.” Not surprisingly,  I wasn’t much better at microblogging than I had been at the regular-size blogging, and managed something like 10 posts before I petered out.

And that brings us to Friday. I discovered that posterous.com is shutting down. I have posts in multiple places. I don’t like the blog at christopherstreetjournal very much, and I want to save what little I did at posterous.

Fortunately, I live with a web genius, and he was able to make space for me at loripiper.com. I thought long and hard about the “Christopher Street” brand, and decided to dump it. For the person I grew into, tinybubbles more represents the kinds of things I’m likely to write about. “Christopher Street” was about trying to document a journey. “tinybubbles” will comment on things that I find funny, or absurd. The posts will be–I hope–interesting, but they will also be “fleeting. ephemeral. trivial.” in a very real way.

All the old content is here. That first post back in 2002 all the way through this post, 11 years later. Not that I expect that *anyone* will read it. :)

Also, there’s a new project–a blog about books. That one is now at litopia.loripiper.com.