Saturday, May 19, 2012

Made Some Crack The Other Night...

Crack pretzels, that is.

Lorraine Eaton of The Virginian-Pilot had this recipe in one of her columns way back in September 2011 and I saved it all this time. I had a crocheting class that I taught a few nights ago (almost a total flop, not going to talk about it) and I made these the night before because I wanted them.

Most of the commenters on her page didn't approve of the recipe name or title of her column, because of the drug implications. I thought it was funny and witty, because truthfully, these little suckers are hard to keep your hands off of. We kept passing the bowl around the table last night, saying. "Get these things away from me! I don't need anymore." But when the bowl made itself back around to each of us, we were dipping into it for more.

Crack Pretzels 
  • 2 pounds Rold Gold pretzels -- I just bought 1 lb
  • 1 bottle Orville Redenbacher popcorn oil --   I couldn't find any popcorn oil at my store that wasn't butter flavored, and I hate, hate, HATE the way artificial butter flavoring smells. I substituted this with 1 1/2 sticks of melted unsalted butter.
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1 pack dry ranch dressing mix
Mix the oil (butter), garlic salt, dressing mix and dill weed together. Put it all in a 2-gallon Ziploc bag; add the pretzels shake and let sit for a few hours. I hate buying plastic bags, so I mixed the seasoning ingredients together in a sauce pan, put some pretzels into a large bowl, poured some of the seasoning over the top of the pretzels, and then mixed them together to coat. Then I just kept repeating this until everything was mixed together.

I thought these were pretty damn good. I heard a good variation on this recipe from someone taking the class: oyster crackers with the same kind of seasonings and then baked. Wow, that sounds too good to not try one of these days!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Product I'd Love to Be Able to Buy

Why oh why doesn't a stuffing or poly fiber fill company make some colored stuffing to use for stuffed toys? Something like that would work for crochet or knit, hand made toys, and I'm sure there'd be other crafters that would want that.

Right now, I'm working on a crocheted Jack Skellington doll and I'm getting irritated as I stuff his little arms and legs because the white fiber fill is visible through the single crochets. I am planning on running some grey embroidery thread or yarn through the black (to mimic his pinstriped suit) and that will probably cover up some of the open spots where you can see white fiber fill. But, I'd rather not have it show and I think the only way that will happen is if I switch from my I sized hook to one much smaller. I don't want to do that because I need to be able to see the opening in the stitches because I'm working with black yarn.

The Death of One Dream and the Birth of Another

I know I shouldn't complain about my job, because it means I have one and there are people in worse shape than I am. But I can't help it.

I was only unemployed for four months when I was laid off in 2009, but since then, I have pretty much been looking for a job non-stop, and I'm on my second post-lay off job. I can't really find a job where I KNOW I'm supposed to be, or jobs with any kind of a future, and that bothers me.

I hate being in a place where there's not a chance for any kind of growth, or where I'm looked upon as more administrative help than the actual manager I was hired to be. I've been insulted by some of the co-workers here and I feel like my soul is dying here. Other than trying to help dying people and their families have a little peace, there's not a lot that's redeeming about this place.

I thought I had a job in the bag three weeks ago. I felt so optimistic about it. It was only going to be another attempt at a dream job of mine. There where and what isn't important. It's enough to say that it's the same job I'm doing now, but on a much bigger and better scale (but then again, isn't the grass always greener on the other side?). 

It was a group interview: me being interviewed simultaneously by five existing staff members. I rocked it. I brought work samples. I was gracious, thanked them, and even sent a thank you card the next day. I knew this time, it would be mine. I mean, I've only been trying for 3 1/2 years now to get into my dream job, which, by the way, could take place at wide variety of places here. It didn't have to be this location.

At the end of the interview, I thanked the woman in charge of the interview and the facility. She told me they would decide who would make it back for round 2 interviews in less than a week. And in about a week after round 2, they'd have their decision made. She said she'd let me know either way.

I believed her. I don't know why. I usually don't believe them.

After 1 1/2 weeks, I still had hope, so I emailed her to touch base, thanking her again and wondering how the interviews were going. All she replied back was that they were still working on them and she'd let me know.

The day after Mother's Day was supposed to be the last day that the facility would be accepting resumes, and it's also almost three weeks since I had my interview. I didn't advance and of course, no one told me anything. No mail, no email, no phone call, not even to say, "Kiss our ass," "Thanks but no thanks," "Get lost." Nothing.

Why do employers lie to us during the interviews? "We'll call and let you know." No, no you won't. Granted, I did apply there and made the first attempt at contact, but they invited me to come and speak to them. You thought I was worthy for at least one interview but I'm not worthy of being told that's as far as I'm going? Even though this would have been my dream job, you don't deserve my respect for lying to me about letting me know.

It was like a kick in the stomach about 1 1/2 weeks ago when I was walking my dog one night, thinking about this. I realized I'm just not good enough for my dream job. Like I said, I've been trying for 3 1/2 years for my dream job, somewhere, anywhere, and I've been turned down each time. Something I've been striving for, working for, for so long and I'm just not good enough. Seriously, as I'm walking along in the dark with my dog, (thank God it was dark outside), I wanted to cry. I damn near did. I'm 37 years old and was almost crying over a job I didn't get. In a weird way, it's like ending a relationship that you realized you never had because the other person had all the power.

I never did spill my sappy guts to my husband about it all. He knows I had the interview, how it went, and that nothing else came of it. I don't want to hear how there's another chance out there for me. I don't want to be made to feel any better, because I don't know that he'd really understand it.

Maybe it's time to let that dream die.

I'm trying to find some solace in another dream that is actually coming to fruition. I'm teaching a beginner's crochet class on Friday night. There's been a little amount of interest from one of the women that's going to attend it, into turning it into a two part class. Whether or not it's a one part or two part class, this will be another goal of mine that I was able to achieve. I just wish it felt like a bigger goal.
 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Couple Thoughts on "The Avengers"

We finally got the chance to see "The Avengers" today. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but it was a damn good movie. I haven't been to a movie where the audience cheered and applauded like that since maybe "Star Wars Episode 3" or maybe it was "Rocky III." Either way, it's been a long time.

I actually saw a couple of errors that I saw that were not confirmed on the IMDB page for "The Avengers" and I think I can share them here without spoiling anything.

--The blood on Black Widow's forehead changes shape and amount in the final battle.

--At one point, Steve Rogers is shown riding a motorcycle. It appears to have one mirror on it, on the left side. If you look carefully at the backside of that mirror, you can see the motorcycle is actually on a platform and is not moving under it's own power.

--There seems to be a couple times when Tony Stark's arc reactor/chest light is not showing through his shirt. It's not the shirt, because he wears that shirt for a while in the movie. I think the light is just off.

Ooooh, look at this...I was right!!!!

One fun thing that I thought of during the movie...listen during the battle scene and tell me if you think the aircraft in it sound like the pod racers from "Star Wars: Episode 1." I kept expecting to see Jake Lloyd ride across the screen screaming, "YAHOOOOOOO!"

And just a little prediction for the Avengers sequel: why do I think the one main-ish character that dies in this movie will be brought back for the second one?  How does the saying go? "Only Bucky stays dead," and Marvel didn't bring him out on the big screen, but I think this character will be back.