I'm not that Kelly

I've gotten a couple of strange comments in the past week or so. This was a few days ago, and I figured it was spam and deleted it (although there was no link):

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Furlough, Day Four: Furloughier Than Ever":

0 comments because you are nowhere as talented. Jealousy will heal over time.

And yesterday, a new comment that seems to explain the previous one:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Coming soon to a mall near you!":

i saw your comment on that girls blog who you called "commonplace" and i just wanted to say that you were 1. not hiding behind an anonymous name and 2. you were so right about everything you said. I don't understand why this girl is worshipped for style that isn't even real style..except all she does is wear cheap forever 21.

So I guess some other Kelly is talking smack about someone on the Internet. Is this person linking to my blog or something, or are people just finding it through a Google search for Kelly Hudson? Because it's not me, anonymous commenters - I promise!

UPDATE. Thanks to those of you in comments who pointed me to the offending post, on a site called fashiontoast. Somebody really did comment as "Kelly Hudson" with a link back to my blog! What person who knows of my blog would even do such a thing?

Anyway, I've written the site admin asking that the comment be taken down. Hopefully she'll have time; her site appears to be a good deal bigger than this one, and according to commenter meso, this sort of thing happens over there all the time. Ah, well - if it's not taken down, people will just come here and learn about what happened through this post.


In which I critique a 50-year-old detective novel

I've been reading The Finishing Stroke by Ellery Queen, and goodness, it's got some lovely, unnerving moments.

Twelve people are invited to a huge old house for two weeks over Christmas. On Christmas Day, someone dressed as Santa pops into the living room to distribute gifts, and they're all so busy unwrapping them that they don't ask at first - if all 12 of them are in the room, then who was Santa?

This is the best part. A glance at the unbroken snow outside tells them that not only is the intruder still in the house, but that he's been there since before the snow stopped falling the night before. They search the house, but it's so big and has so many rooms and stairs that Santa can keep ahead of them if he wants. They find nothing.

So they've been there for three days now, all the time knowing that there's an intruder in the house with them, delivering odd, cryptic messages and gifts to the host every evening and prowling about as they sleep. Brr.

But then the host starts behaving strangely - popping up in what seems to be almost two places at once, not remembering events that took place the previous day. This would be pretty effective, I guess - if not for the fact that we learned IN THE VERY FIRST CHAPTER that the host has a twin brother from whom he was separated at birth. Guess we figured out who the 13th guest is.

Remember A Study in Scarlet, the first Sherlock Holmes novel? Remember how they caught their man, and then a new chapter began explaining the backstory, which took place decades ago on another continent? Maybe Dannay and Lee should have held off on revealing the secret twin until a more dramatically opportune moment.

I'm still looking forward to seeing what the sandalwood ox gift has to do with it, though.

UPDATE. It appears I owe Messrs. Dannay and Lee an apology. The plot has thickened, and the twin doesn't figure. (Or does he?) I'm enjoying this so much more than Calamity Town!

Furlough, Day Four: Furloughier Than Ever

I'm very proud of all I accomplished on Friday - so much so that I suggested via Twitter that someone should make a "Furlough Achievements" application for Facebook. I even did a couple "FINALLY" tasks: things I've been meaning to get around to for weeks or even months.
- Breakfast achievement: omelet
- Gave bathroom a good scrubbing
- Cleaned out linen/storage closet; threw out much expired makeup and medicine
- Target trip: made a return; picked up lovely bridal shower gift and nice 75-percent-off lamp
- FINALLY made my way to Litwin's to get necklace restrung
- FINALLY got oil changed
- Began DS game Puzzle Quest; quickly became addicted; worked my way up to level 9
- Ran four miles
- Dinner with parents, aunt and uncle

Final furlough day: Friday, March 27.


Food Experiment: Baconated Bourbon

It was dumb luck that I saw this recipe for bacon-infused bourbon the same day I planned to cook up a batch of bacon for addition to a soup. Hey, it's not like I was going to use the fat for anything else.

So in the normal mad rush to get home on Monday night before Chuck comes on, I found a few minutes to swing by the liquor store for two bottles (gotta have a control group, doncha know) of this:

I chose Evan Williams because Esquire magazine recently rated it the nation's best deal in cheap liquor. (Mr. W scoffed at this, because clearly Esquire magazine has never heard of Luksosawa.) The recipe calls for "good" bourbon, but I'm not about to commit a bottle of Maker's Mark to a food experiment. That way lies madness.

So, the deal is that you pour rendered bacon fat into the bourbon and let it infuse for a while (I let it sit overnight), then chill the mixture until the fat hardens enough so you can strain it out.

(Is there anything one can do with bourbon-flavored bacon fat? The mother of all gravies, perhaps? Maybe that's the next food experiment.)

I sniffed the bottle of Bacon Williams before sealing it back up, but couldn't discern any particular bacony scent. Then I went back online and read about people letting their bacon liquors marinate "for a few days." Uh-oh.

Anyway, that Friday, Mr. W and I had dinner with our friends James and Katie, which seemed like the perfect opportunity for a taste test. So while the others made hamburgers and set out pickles, I poured the drinks.

The little square glass holds Evan Williams (there was a second glass that doesn't seem to have made its way into the picture); the larger round ones have Bacon Williams.

As I poured, I took the opportunity to sniff the two bottles. Compared to his brother, Bacon Williams smelled ... not like bacon. Kind of metallic, maybe?

I didn't tell the others which drink was in which glass; I didn't have to. Katie took one sip from the round glass, frowned, and said, "This one's the bacon, isn't it." It was clear from her tone that that was not a good thing.

There was a definite taste difference, and it was not pleasant. Everyone agreed that instead of bacon flavor, the bourbon seemed to have absorbed the flavor of fat. (To replicate this experience, try drinking a glass of bourbon on the rocks, except in the place of rocks, use lumps of Crisco.)

After those initial sips, everyone stuck to the plain Evan Williams for the rest of the evening. We tried to think of something to do with the Bacon Williams (play a practical joke on an unsuspecting friend, perhaps?), but in the end, Mr. W disposed of it privately. I can only hope he did so in a manner befitting an $11 bottle of bourbon cut down well before his time.

Rating: frowny tipsy face.

An Occurrence ...

Those of you who read my Wonderful Life series with interest ("both of you," goes the joke, but in this case it's really accurate) might be interested in this alternate reading:

John: So, say Bailey jumped off that bridge and died. Say Clarence was there to guide him to heaven. What would heaven be for such a man? It would be validation. And that's what Clarence the Angel gives him, a tour meant to show him how significant he is. Or how significant, at least, he always secretly believed himself to be.
Chris: Hmm.
John: And then when he repents of his suicide, what does he get? A timeless eternity in his living room surrounded by his loved ones, with everyone he knows in the world coming through the door to tell him how amazing he is. The second half of It's a Wonderful Life makes much more sense if you assume that George Bailey committed suicide, and the rest is Bailey's heaven.
: Is that more or less depressing than the original meaning?
John: I honestly don't know.


Furlough, Day Three: Who Furloughs the Furloughmen?

My accomplishments on Thursday:

- Stayed up quite late the previous night watching an advance screening of Watchmen.

What, you need more? All righty:

- Breakfast achievement: bacon-tomato-cheese omelet
- Did some work to maintain pristine kitchen condition
- Walked to Rookwood to buy frozen yogurt, Wii mic, microwave turntable, possibly shoes; bought nothing but yogurt
- More fruitful trips to Target and Meijer
- Prepared collard greens for cooking the next day. I bought the pre-shredded greens, but if I had to do it again I'd just get the bunch of leaves - my supposedly "ready to cook" bag was filled with the tough stems you're supposed to discard. At least with the big leaves, I could remove the whole vein at once rather than 17 times in various bits of leaf.
- Cooked pork a new way: seared steaks in cast-iron skillet, then dumped sauerkraut on top and popped into the oven to finish. Result: tasty, but a bit tougher than the shreddy pork that comes out of the slow cooker.

Next furlough day: Friday, March 13. Spooky!

The V-Day report (rather belated)

Because Valentine's Day was on a Saturday this year and money is tight, I didn't think Mr. W would send flowers to the office.

I was mistaken.

These came on Friday. (Our office was dark that day because Tabari was off, and he's the one who turns on the lights. Seriously.)

In addition to the roses, the box contained a teddy bear:

And a mini bottle of champagne (wrapped in the gold-colored cellophane behind the bear. It came with a straw!).

Whenever this sort of package is delivered to me at work, for the next 15 minutes you will find me bouncing between happiness and embarrassment that a fuss has been made over me. I might be pacing in the hallway, delivering a tongue-tied voicemail to Mr. W ("Um thank you so much they're so pretty um and you're so sweet and um I guess I'll see you later"), or trying work while stealing glances every five seconds at my bouquet, or possibly providing fodder for my female co-workers' giggles: "Look at you, you almost dove under your desk when that guy brought them in!"

I get flustered is what I'm saying.

(On the actual day, we stayed in, ate Indian food, and watched movies. The perfect Valentine's Day.)


RIP Pigall's

Dozens of bouquets have been laid at the doorway to Cincinnati's only four-star restaurant.

Training, Week Three: The Plague

Ugh, is everyone you know sick as well? At least four people in my office have been knocked out by illness in the past week. Not counting me.

Last Sunday afternoon I came down with a sore throat that lasted through the first part of the week. Figuring that gasping in the 20-degree air was not the best thing for it, I canceled my Tuesday and Wednesday runs.
But by Thursday the inflammation had gone down, leaving me with just a stuffed-up nose as a souvenir. And while running with a head full of mucus is far from ideal, it's not hazardous to your health, so I endeavored to catch up with a short run Thursday and a regular run Friday.

Sundays are our "long" runs; while full marathoners are battling 12- and 15-milers, those of us following Hal's program for the half just bumped up to five miles. And crikey, was it a cold day for a run! The wind cut right through my clothes, and after about four blocks of bitter chills I considered asking my dad how he'd feel about just turning around and calling it a day.

But we kept going, and eventually the run warmed us up. Still, the cold is probably the reason we stopped to walk less often than normal. The only breaks we took? "Snot breaks" to blow our noses.

(You can add "tissues" to my list of essential running gear, by the way - at least when it's cold.)


Furlough, Day Two: The Furloughening

My accomplishments:

- Made nice breakfast sandwich with ham and egg and cheese. (I count breakfast as an accomplishment.)

- Paid bills.

- Gave my wreck of a kitchen a good deep clean - like, the kind where you take everything out of the kitchen and move everything that can move so you can sweep under it. The kind where you stand on a stepladder and organize the top shelves in your cabinets. The kind where you shove the mop into the space between the refrigerator and the stove.

I am inordinately proud of this cleaning. I'd have people over to see it if they wouldn't have to walk through my wreck of a living room.



- Registered for next week's Strides of March 5K.

- Went to Party Source; bought liquor for sister, sodas for me.

- Did two loads laundry.

- Ran 3.5 miles with dad.

Not bad, not bad! Next furlough: this Thursday. I've already got big plans.


Clearing old pix off my phone

I took this to commemorate the occasion of "gift" becoming a verb.