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Friday, October 9, 2009

Would You Take The Stairs If It Was More Fun?

"Volkswagen produces passenger cars, trucks, crossovers and SUVs, but the German automaker also feels it has a civic responsibility to get our plumping society into shape. Proof of concept is this initiative by VW and ad agency DBB called The Fun Theory, designed to get people in Stockholm, Sweden to take the stairs instead of the escalator.

VW didn't send out a lame piece of PR extolling the virtues of exercise to get some hearts pumping harder. Instead, the automaker turned an ordinary set of subway stairs into a mega-sized piano. When passers-by step on the stairs, each key makes the appropriate piano sound. Make the jump to see the results.

VW says 66% more people used the stairs after music came on the scene, and judging from the video, it looks like they were having fun doing it, too. We still prefer the music made when pushing a well tuned 2.0-liter turbo to its limits, but if jumping on giant pianos is good enough for Tom Hanks, it's good enough for us, too."
Lola's Diner

Thursday, October 8, 2009

It's Like Survivor Around Here...

Ok, kinda. Let me explain. Yesterday's post should have been about the power outage Tuesday night, but a Drummer Boy/aka Metallica-head update trumps just about anything. Am I right? So 10:45pm Tuesday night I've got the laptop on dropping EC and I'm watching Letterman. Then it all goes black. And I just sit there for a minute and think...think...think...ok, there is supposed to be a flashlight in the kitchen drawer, but it's probably not there, but even if it is there, how do I get to it? It's pitch dark in my living room. Eureka! My cell phone! So I open it and navigate to that kitchen drawer. Grrrr! I'm right, no flashlight. Then I navigate back to the living room, Anastasia brought a flashlight in over the weekend, maybe it's by her chair. (Yes, she has a chair...just like Archie Bunker had a chair.) Nope, no flashlight. Ok, now to find the candles. Ok, got em. Now what? Nothing to light them with. Then I think, my car! Anastasia has to have left a lighter in my car! So I navigate to the car by the light of my cell phone and...Eureka! A lighter. I go back and light the candles, make a 911 call to Anastasia to let her know the power is out and that she may need to borrow a flashlight from her Mom and come start the generator if it starts to rain. Thankfully no rain. Then I look for a ComEd bill so I can report the outage. So then I sit, now WTH do I do? Read a magazine by candle light. Umm, no, not enough light. Sudoko? I guess. But now I have to go in search of a pencil...

So yesterday after Anastasia left I had to go to the store and pick up prescriptions. I did a quick run to Jewel and then back home to check on the house. (Anastasia is worried that Drummer Boy/aka Metallica-head is going to do something.) Nothing's changed. Gates still closed. But I see our next door neighbor Sue out mowing the lawn. I'm thinking maybe I should stop and talk to her about the Drummer Boy/aka Metallica-head situation. This is the only neighbor we know, besides Mr. Friendly and Mr. Friendly clearly already has formed an alliance with Drummer Boy/aka Metallica-head, being that he hired him to mow his lawn when he was to sick to do it himself. And we're constantly seeing Drummer Boy/aka Metallica-head over at Mr. Friendly's house when Mr. Friendly is tinkering with stuff in his garage.


Not really sure where Sue and her husband's alliances are.

How do you try to talk to other neighbors about a problem neighbor when you don't know who has an alliance with who? Who is friends with who?

Like I said, it's like Survivor around here.

Lola's Diner

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

File this under...don't ever piss off Anastasia...

I should preface this by saying that Anastasia works nights. Well, it's not really 'work', technically, it's not a job. She cares for her disabled brother while her sister works until 2am several nights a week. This means that Anastasia doesn't get home until after 2am and that she sleeps during the day. We've had issues with Drummer Boy/aka Metallica-head playing music or drumming until as late as past midnight. He also does this during the daytime, just blasting the music. It's so loud that we can hear it very clearly even with our doors and windows closed.

At 2pm today Anastasia comes storming down the stairs. I'm thinking 'yikes', WTH? I asked her what was wrong and she was so angry I was only able to discern a few words, but the gist of it was that Drummer Boy/aka Metallica-head was blasting music again. I couldn't hear it because I had the television on, probably drowning it out. (Yes the doors and windows were closed and she could still hear the music.)

Next thing I know Anastasia is grabbing her keys and going out to her car. She rummages around for a bit and next thing you know Classical music is blasting from her car. This goes on for a few minutes, then the screaming. I was going to videotape it, and post it, but there was a whole lotta swearing. (I was also a bit scared of getting caught video tapping, what with it being daylight.) Drummer Boy/aka Metallica-head turned off his music and took his dog and walked and sat on his driveway, 1/2 way between his house and the street. (Like that goofy mutt is going to protect him? Please!) He kept telling her to come over and talk to him about it and she kept telling him to come over here and step on our property so she could call the cops and have them shoot him. Then she's yelling that she works nights and doesn't he have any consideration for ANY of the other neighbors? Then she started yelling that it wasn't the 80's anymore and he's not a teenager and to turn the bleepyty bleep music down. I thought for she we were going to have an old fashioned donnybrook right on our front lawn! (donnybrook, I love that word! My Dad used to use it all the time when our neighbor got drunk and wanted to fight him.)

It was priceless stuff. I'm telling you!

At least for now...we have quiet. No wait, I spoke too soon, I just heard drums and now Anastasia is calling the Sheriff. Scratch that, they kept transferring her and when you're that angry because some jackass has kept you from sleeping you tend to have no patience.

Lola's Diner

I've Got A Few Questions For You...

If you could be friends with any celebrity, who would you pick and why? What do you see you and your celebrity friend doing?

What celebrity would you NOT want to be friends with, and why?

I always thought I would want to be friends with Rosie O'Donnell, but when I met her at a book signing in Skokie, IL, I changed my mind. She didn't seem as personable as I expected her to be. So my alternate pick would be Ellen DeGeneres. She's intelligent (or so it seems) and she's funny as hell. I imagine Ellen and Portia and Anastasia and myself having margaritas at their place and eating vegetarian pizza (they're vegetarians) in their fabulously decorated home. Maybe we'd play Pictionary after the pizza. I picture all white carpeting, white walls and all white furniture, because isn't that what all celebrities have? You can see I've clearly thought this through.

What celebrity would I not want to be friends with? I have 2 picks. One would be Oprah. I don't find her very intelligent (at least from watching her show) and she doesn't seem to have much of a sense of humor, if at all. And it would drive me crazy, absolutely homicidal, postal crazy if she went around yelling "Loooooooollllllllllllllllllaaaaaaaaaaaaa". (You know how she takes a word and elongates it and screams it, like when she's doing an introduction on her show.) Seriously. My other pick would be Angelina Jolie. She just seems to freaky weird. And besides, she's got like how many kids now?


If you could be friends with any celebrity, who would you pick and why? What do you see you and your celebrity friend doing?

What celebrity would you NOT want to be friends with, and why?

Lola's Diner

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Chicken Enchilada Recipe

Auntie E @ At Home With Auntie E requested my recipe for Chicken Enchiladas that I made on Saturday night. When I make them, I usually do a 13"x9" pan and an 8.5" square pan. Saturday I baked the large pan for 4 people (with leftovers) and tonight I baked the smaller pan for 3 people. I used the Green (Verde) Enchilada Sauce this time, but I've also used the red sauce in the past. The 2 pans of enchiladas use 1 large can of Enchilada Sauce and about 1.5 - 2 bags of Flour Tortillas.

I think I got this recipe from one of Oprah’s cooking segments on fast and easy meals. It called for you to dump the Enchilada Sauce into a pie pan and then dip each Tortilla into the sauce, then put it on a plate or cutting board and begin assembly. That’s too messy because you assemble each enchilada separately and you're constantly getting your fingers full of sauce with each enchilada. This is the way I do it:

Chicken Enchiladas


Cooked Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts cut into strips
Flour Tortillas
Can of Refried Beans
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheddar Cheese (or Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese)
Can of Enchilada Sauce (Either the Red Enchilada Sauce or the Green Enchilada Sauce)

Take your 13x9 baking dish, spray with Non-Stick Spray. Take several spoonfuls of Enchilada Sauce to cover the bottom of the baking dish completely. This step is important so that the bottom of the enchiladas get coated in sauce when you set the rolled enchiladas in the pan.

For each enchilada:
1. Take a Tortilla and put it on a cutting board or plate. Put about 2 tablespoons onto the Tortilla and spread it to cover the top of the Tortilla facing you.

2. Spoon Refried Beans along the center of the Tortilla (on top of the sauce). (Just a like of Refried Beans down the center, about an inch to inch and a half wide. 3-4 heaping spoonfuls spread out usually is enough)

3. Add 1 or 2 strips of Cooked Chicken.

4. Spoon Sour Cream along the top of the Cooked Chicken. (Same method as the Refried Beans.)

5. Sprinkle Shredded Cheese over the top of the Sour Cream.

6. Roll Tortilla up and place seam side down into the baking dish.

Repeat until you have filled the baking dish with enchiladas.

Spoon Enchilada Sauce liberally over the top of the enchiladas, covering them completely in sauce.

Sprinkle Shredded Cheese over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees about 30 minutes, or until cheese is nice and browned.

The photo also shows the rice I made, using a recipe I made up myself:

Lola's Dirty Rice

Cooked White Rice (or you can use brown rice)
Can of Black Beans
Can of Diced Tomatoes
Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning (to taste)

After cooking the rice, dump the can of Black Beans (with the liquid) and can of Diced Tomatoes on with the rice and combine. Sprinkle Creole Seasoning to taste and stir. (We like it spicy.)

(You can use any Creole Seasoning or Louisiana Spice Seasoning.)

Lola's Diner

Monday, October 5, 2009

Weekend Update

The Homecoming Dance was this Saturday. Our son attended with his bff who I not very affectionately call Eddie Haskell. Eddie was bragging at school all week how he was renting a limo. Ah, yeah, no, that didn't happen.

Our daughter didn't attend because her bff had been sick all week and wasn't attending. She really didn't want to hang out with her brother and Eddie. I can completely understand that, so I hung out with her and she helped me make the Chicken Enchiladas we had for dinner.

Da Bears WIN! It was an awesome game! We had our own little Bears party and watched the game, just the 4 of us. I made Taco Dip last night and Anastasia made Veggie Dip and Pinwheels. Our son made brownies last night. Too bad when we woke up 1/2 the plate of Pinwheels was mysteriously missing and the entire pan of brownies, except for 2, and some crumbs, was missing. It seems 'someone' had them for breakfast. Oh well, at least it was only 1/2 the plate of Pinwheels. Lol!

My sister called me Saturday. The mystery is solved. Her husband has a hernia, ulcers and for some reason his esophagus was constricted to the thickness of a pin, and apparently all of the above was causing the heart palpitations/chest pain. And yes, I was the 'good sister' when she called me on Friday, crying before he had his scope done and I took time out of my day to listen to her cry and gave her a pep talk. It's more than she's ever done for me. (She specifically told me not to call when Anastasia was hospitalized, when I needed her to do that for me.) But yes, I am always the 'good sister', and she is always not. Some things will never change, why do we always expect/hope that they will?

Lola's Diner
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