Gexx in Knoxville

This blog is about Gexx, in Knoxville

Archive for the ‘i do have a life’ Category

Dinner Party

Posted by Gexx on August 24, 2009

About once a month or so, the Historical Archaeologists in my department like to have our own little dinner party.  It allows us to connect in a more homey environment than our MondayNightMargaritas did.  And, as few of us own an actual dining room table, we have much more freedom for mixing and gathering within the party.  I like to do mine when the weather is still warm.  Some people are allergic to cats, and this way I can leave my doors open in the front and back (cats are stuck in the bedroom), have the fan and AC bring in fresh air, and we can go outside if we want.

So I’m hosting the one for August.  I’m having it on Sunday, as the grad student picnic (aka: party for people to bring their kids – therefor, I’m not going) is Saturday.  My theme, I think, will be Brunch for Dinner.  I was originally thinking of going for the Breakfast for Dinner thing but….

I’ll be in the field all day Sunday.

That’s right.  I am going to come home at 6PM covered in dirt and have guests over at 7PM.  So I need lots of “make ahead” foods.  I was doing some research today and I think I will make:

– Bruschetta, goat cheese, and avacado spread to top toasted rounds

Savory Egg Pudding

Roasted Sausages with Grape/Mint dressing (fresh grapes are hitting the farmer’s market)

– Roasted Potatoes

Zucchini Carpaccio

Peach Pudding

And then the guests bring the fixings for Bellinis, Mimosas, and Bloody Mary’s.

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Belle Chere and a busy Monday

Posted by Gexx on July 27, 2009

Saturday M and I trecked the two hours over to Asheville to go to Belle Chere, a “it’s a street-fair, not a music-fair” music festival. I’ve been wanting to go for years, but it always seemed to happen either when I was backcountry (aka: camping for work) or when I was broken up with and feeling like I didn’t want to do anything, stupid world!

We got to the shuttle at the mall about 1130, so we made it to the fair just after noon. I really wanted to see Christobel and the Jons, so we hustled past the delicious food smells, the cool vendors, and the crazy preachers to her stage. We caught the tale end of her act and promptly set about looking for some beer wristbands. Once they were secured I purchased a 22oz Magic Hat No9, an apricot flavored IPA, M wanted to try whatever was being sold for $1 so he ended up with some horrible something or other. With beers in hand, we wandered through lots of local vendors and stores.

M had never been to Asheville, so I wanted to show him lots of its downtown. We got truffles at the Chocolate Fetish (basil-pistachio, chai moon, and chocolate) with our beer, wandered through the Woolworth’s Walk where I discovered Sarah Faulkner’s works with our beer, answered questions for 2010 census swag with our beer, and were part of a pick-up drumming circle (we put the beer down for that).

There were four official stages, the drumming circle, a Karaoke set-up, and innumerable buskers, so music was always around us.

There were also some street preachers who were annoying. See, Asheville is a very liberal city for this area. It is very supportive of environmental groups, its LGBTQ community, non-christian religions, and hippy-love in general. So when the central park of Belle Chere which used to be used for drumming circles when I lived in Asheville for a bit, was being used by people with huge Fundy signs, I got upset. One sign said:

Fornicators, Drunkards, Homosexuals, Atheists, Monosexuals, Liars, Hypocrites, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Thieves, Porn Watchers, Mormons, Murderers, Jehovah Witnesses

Another person had a 10 foot tall sign listing more people going to hell. They were standing in the middle of the ampitheater where people sat just to get off their feet. They were yelling at the people, telling them that beer and masturbation and sex would send them to hell. They were saying that everyone there would go to hell and they were to save the participants.

Thankfully, the participants of Belle Chere weren’t cool with that (pic), standing up and shouting over the preachers and making their own signs.

Ashevlle accepts (LGBT)
Drunks Liars Fornicators (Butt Sex) God Haters, Homosexuals, Drugs, Porn! & YOU

Now, one thing that confused me is that one of the catagories of people needing saved were Monosexuals… o.O

After recieving my daily dose of other people’s clean laundry, we went and did lunch (with beer) as Salsa’s, my fave Asheville eatery. We go so stuffed there on the 3 salsa sampler (avacado tomatillo, banana curry, and fire-roasted tomato peanut) and the meal with it that we didn’t get to try any of the other awesome street food. Like the bengeits!

We wandered more, and between the thunderstorm, M got to try out some new Nintendo Wii games at a stand. I beat him, but his batteries were dieing.

The last stop of the day was to see Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band! They were really exciting and I was having fun, but we left about half way through because we still had a shuttle ride and a two hour drive home. As we hiked back to the shuttle, I stopped in at a vendor I was admiring at lunch. She had awesome skirts, and I ended up buying a green cotton one with leaves painted on it. She has an Etsy store with more cool stuff on it!

– get Ammo boxes from surplus store
– get wood, parts for shaker screens
– make 2 shaker screens
– talk to E about sending me paperwork, if I can borrow equipment for when I have volunteers
– send email to local pres association about state of work
– update 101 in 1001
– M’s meeting with real-estate people at 8PM (shower and look nice for that)
– update template or something (I *hate* the look of this blog and I don’t know CSS. please be patient)
– figure out what I’m doing with gexxcooksknoxville

Things I need to look for / buy for winter
-cold weather coat: my cordoroy and shearling one went missing suspiciously after a break-up, and my purple one is looking its 8 years old
-brown, dark green, purple, red sweater: mine are looking ragged

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Two movies I want to see this summer

Posted by Gexx on July 10, 2009

Food, Inc – a documentary on corporate agriculture and the many products that we have come to call “food”

Ponyo – a Studio Ghibli release about a goldfish named Ponyo who wants to be human

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Posted by Gexx on July 6, 2009

I’ll get to the break-in story later. (have court AGAIN this week for it)

warning: this reads like a gradeschool assignment. i just got back from a 6 hour drive to find that my housesitter FAILED. more on that in here.

This weekend M and I went to his family’s place out in West TN for the FourthOfJuly. We had a pile of fun. When we got there on Friday, first thing we did was stop by the side of the road and got some fireworks. M thought that I was silly, being excited over some gigantic sparklers. I also got some little rocket things and some tanks for the kids (who, come to find out, were a lot older than I remembered from Thanksgiving). Then we hung out on his aunt’s patio looking over the Kentucky Lake (the lake w the freshwater pearl farms that I teach about sometimes) before his parents took us out for catfish at the marina. Then we went back to his aunt’s because that’s where we were staying – they have a guest apartment over their garage. On the Fourth his mom and dad took us around the countryside to a Mennonite community and we bought some veggies and such for the party. I got a watermelon!

During the party, we went out on his uncle’s boat, and he took us all along the lake. We went up by the TVA and DuPont plants and ended up seeing a big Ospray nest. We needed to dodge railway pylons and keep in some narrow marked areas, which made me a little worried considering his uncle’s Maker’s Mark consumption at that point. Then it was time to go back for food! It was like Thanksgiving in that vegetables were simply garnish. It was not like Thanksgiving as not *everything* had cheese AND bacon. It was also like Thanksgiving that there was lots of food left over even though everyone was stuffed.

Most everyone left before dark, but there were supposed to be fireworks across the lake, so M and I stayed put (not that there was really anywhere else to go). There was a little rain, but it stopped so we (me, M, aunt, uncle, other uncle) went down to the dock (down – like – 4 stories down!) to light them. Half way through:


So we all ducked out of the rain by jumping in the boat (no, not smart, but whatever) and when the storm would break some we would run out and light more of our own. Eventually, the power in the neighborhood went out, and the rain didn’t seem to be tapering much, so we made our way back up the side of the property, grabbed some beer and a flashlight and retired to our dry abodes.

We get up to our apartment and light some candles, and I find my phone. My neighbor (didn’t listen to my instructions about my keys) and broke a key off in a lock (that wasn’t even locked). She says she got it out (her dad came over) and is getting a replacement the next day (today). I text her back to not worry about it, that I have extras that I’ll just get copied, and that she has the rear door key so please go check that my cats have food/water in the morning.

We go to M’s grandparent’s place and pick up some stuff, so about 1PM we’re about to get on the road and I call. “I just got the key replaced, but I’m scared to go try it. Your cats should be fine until you get home tonight.”

At that point, my jaw dropped. We get on the road and I go a steady 10MPH over the speed limit the whole way back.

The cat’s were fine, but hungry. They still had plenty of water and the litter box was a little – full. But they’re so very happy to see me. At least that’s how I’m interpreting their spastic chase scenes.

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ToDo again

Posted by Gexx on July 2, 2009

Another pile of things to do before we leave tomorrow to join M’s family on Kentucky Lake for the 4th of July.

-finish telling break-in/insurance nightmare story
-get GexxCooksKnoxvilleStyle going
-take pix of garden
-research chickencoop plans
-install screen
-install hook/eye on shed
-install hook/eye on laundry room door
-make banner for Gexxcooksknoxville
-help H get WoW pet
-Ask neighbor to watch cats
-call Greg of Gregory’s Greenhouse
-finish installing door
-mow lawn
-weed garden
-pay IRS
-fridgepickles w RebeccaClaire‘s cukes
-finish leftover pasta
-pack for 4th (sunscreen, bugspray!!)
-read bee book
-compost/water garden
-water containers

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The next drama

Posted by Gexx on June 3, 2009

Saturday I had to take NewKitty, now named Jefe (pronounced heh-FAY – It’s short for Hefenweisen which is M’s fave beer and it’s Spanish for “chief”) to the vet as per Humane Society rules. We get there for our 9.30AM appointment and find that there has been a rash of Decon-eating (Decon, the rat poison) in the Knoxville pet community. One woman there was utterly taken aback that her 6 week kitten found it behind the curtain under the kitchen sink. And to think she also has a 6 month old. We’ll see how long those two last. Another was an old man with an old Beagle. The old mad had apparently set it outside, in the rat hole, “but I put a rock over it.” The vets all looked to be at the end of their stupid quota, but these animals all had emergency priority. The whole time, the vet kept telling each of them “Decon is PEANUT BUTTER FLAVORED! Of course the animals are ALL going after it!!!!” Finally, about 10.30, Jefe and I get seen. They were a little surprised at my suddenly getting a new kitty, but they weren’t *too* surprised and everyone says that he is gorgeous. We discover that he has earmites, so I get a twice daily eardrop medicine. We get up to date on all of our shots, and we go on our way at 11 as a happy, but frustrated, and a slightly miffed kitty (he had shots, earcleaning, nail trimming, and buttworm testing… he felt somewhat violated). I get home and find that M has packed up our overnight bag and my dress for the wedding we’re attending in Nashville. The wedding doesn’t start till 3.30, but I still needed to get my friend H in NKnox and we were meeting one of M’s friends in Nashville for lunch before the wedding.

We get to Nashville and see M’s friend for a bit, we go to the wedding, we finally find our way to the reception, we drive back, aftermidnight we drop off H, and just after 1 M and I walk into my house.

I find Jefe sitting on the couch, but I don’t see Orion. I figure it’s late and she must be sleeping. I’m surprised at how cool it is even though the house had been closed up all day. I grab Jefe and his meds, drop them in his ears, and then go into the kitchen. I notice the back door is open. I look a little longer. I realize that the door is broken, the deadbolt has been kicked out, and the chain is hanging. M comes up behind me.

“Call 911” I tell him. “We’ve been broken into.” I grab Jefe and run into the bedroom, looking for Orion and damage and who knows what. I don’t see Orion. I don’t see our computers. I do see a big open space on my dresser where my jewelry box once sat. M’s on the phone “They took the computers and my jewelry and I can’t find Orion!” I realized that she wasn’t there, that I may have lost both of the kitties in two weeks, and I feel like I’m going to cry but I’m so shocked and terrified that I don’t.

M tells me that the police are on their way. While waiting, we inspect the door and look to see if anything else was taken. Nothing was ransacked, no drawers were opened. The basement is still secure. My bike was sitting in the living room, as was my guitar, viola, and saxophone. None of my papers seen to have been taken. But Orion is missing and my thesis is on my computer! We step on the back stoop, calling for Orion. I could call her any name, but I was hoping that she would come to me because she heard my voice.

Soon an officer comes. He inspects the house, takes our statement, and shines his light in the backyard. I ask him to keep an eye out for a pudgy little gray cat who like cuddling. Then, I remember that my neighbors aren’t home. Infact, I’m watching their house for them. So I ask the officer to go over with me to see if they were broken into also. He does and we go in through the front door. We inspect all the windows, and the backdoor is still locked, so she’s ok.

I go back to my house with M and I call my mother to tell her this. She tells me to calm down, to put Jefe in another room, and to make myself a cup of tea. I tell her I will after I secure the back door, and I keep saying that I don’t know where Orion is. She finally tells me to give the phone to M, so I do. He talks to her a bit and then gets off. We put some food out for Orion, like my mother suggested. Then he says “your mom said to push the drier in front of the door to secure it for the night. They won’t come back now that the police have been here.” That sounds like a good idea so I go about taking the drier off of its hose. The clasp requires a Phillips head screwdriver, but I don’t want to go to the basement. So instead I take my poultry shears and cut through the aluminum ductwork. We start to muscle the drier in place when I hear a cat meow out the door. I throw open the door and see ORION! I grab her and hug her and tell her how much she scared me and pick out the brambles in her fur and tell her she needs to stay inside and put her in the closed off part of the house.

Then M and I finish shoving the drier in front of the door, get stuff for the next morning, and go to his place.

to be continued…

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Sick cat and Savannah

Posted by Gexx on May 19, 2009

Morgan and I brought Neci to the vets on Saturday morning. She was only 6 lbs (she was 11 before she got sick the first time in March and lost weight for that, I think she was down to 8 pounds then). She is extremely anemic, lethargic and wasn’t eating. So the vet kept her for the weekend, ran some tests, and kept her on an IV. She’s still there, on an IV. Based on current blood tests, the vet thinks that this is either
1) GI cancer – mast cell tumor in the small intestine, spreading big time
2) autoimmune disease
3) parasites on the red blood cells
Today he is extracting cells to send to the lab to decide wether or not it is cancer.
On Thursday we’ll sit down with him to determine “what we’ll do next.”
I really don’t like the sound of that.
Through this whole issue, I’ve needed to remind the vet that I won’t be in town this weekend.

::sigh:: my poor kitty.

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Happy Easter

Posted by Gexx on April 12, 2009


M and I decided to get some Easter Brunch, so we got dressed up and headed out to the Copper Cellar in Bearden. We got there early to avoid the rush and find that all the seats are reserved. The hostess then, with no one around who is taking her attention, tells us “if you want you can try to find space in our lounge.” Another waitress comes up and says “you can go find a place to eat in our lounge.”

We left, not because it was full. I don’t mind eating in a designated bar area now that there’s no smoking there. Instead, both staff members were standing around and didn’t even offer to serve us. They did not say “let’s try to find room” or “there is room.” Instead they really didn’t give a shit.

So we headed down to Big Fatty’s. M had never been!! It was a pretty cool brunch. We were greeted when we walked in the door, given an option of where we wanted to sit (all reserved seats were well marked), and had a server at our table every 2 minutes to make sure everything was going well.

The food was awesome, too. Bacon, eggs, omelets, mac and cheese, spinach maria, sweet taters, shrimp’n’grits, banana pudding. You know, the normal.

We were quite satisfied with where we went.

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today’s plans

Posted by Gexx on March 5, 2009

I have all afternoon free:
1- Walmart for Rx (need to transfer to someplace NOT Walmart)
2- load of stuff to Goodwill
3- put away laundry
4- re-arrange dining room
5- refill dresser

6- dinner

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On to the weekend

Posted by Gexx on March 5, 2009

Ok, I MUST meet w Dr. A before the weekend. Other than that, I'm pretty much free, so here's the plan:
1- hang out w J and H at some point
2- plant those damn seedlings
3- finish the damn seed starter
4- read for class
5- clean up porch
6- clean up basement
7- re-arrange dining room
8- look at lawn mowers

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