Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Blog Anniversary to Me.

Okay, I couldn't have the last entry of 2010 be something so sad, so here I am writing a desperate update post-holiday. Christmas was a bit chaotic, but really pretty nice overall. Our tree this year is cute and a bit scrappy:
I saw it at Lowe's and felt sorry for it, so it had to come home with us. Aw.

Also, we had a white Christmas this year! Amazing. Even though I'd decided I hated snow after last year's pummeling, it was still really nice to have snow on Christmas. The next day it was still snowing so we did a snow ride:


It's more fun than it sounds like. The snow was still coming down so we were in the woods all snowy and quiet and it was just unlike anything else. Like you're on another planet. (Also, if you fall it doesn't really hurt.)

Finally, this is a blog-anniversary for me! It's my 8th. Eight years ago I was a miserable temp at a miserable bank loan center and I started this blog (on Diaryland) as an Internet cry for help. Here's my first-ever entry: http://amblus.diaryland.com/021231_70.html

It's terrible, but it got really good for a while and now we're back to terrible. So, here's my resolution: I resolve to update my Amblus blog at least once a week for the entire damn year of 2011. If I don't, you can shake your finger up in my face or something.

Thanks for reading! I look forward to annoying you for the year to come. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Farewell to Stripes.


Last week was the normal week-length,  but so much happened that it feels like it was much longer. The previous weekend was all about things ending, about of sadness mixed with relief, of happiness and grief.

At the beginning of December we noticed that Zephyr (aka Stripes) was starting to lose weight rapidly. She eventually stopped eating altogether, though she'd try because she knew we wanted her to. At sixteen she'd done a lot of living and had been on hyperthyroid meds for the past four years, so her health had been a concern.

We took her to the vet and got blood tests done and the results were not surprising, but still devastating: her kidneys were failing and there wasn't much that could be done. We took her home over the weekend and she mostly slept but also spent a lot of time on our laps, still sweet, still purring. 

By last Monday we knew it was time. It was snowing that morning and when I carried her out to the car she looked around with interest, snowflakes sticking to her ears. She sat in my lap all the way to the vet, never protesting once. She was frail and tired and had no fight left. 

So, last Monday, my dear stripey friend left us and we're still at odds and ends. Even though it was time, we're still missing her so much.

Zephyr was a scrappy stray that my sister rescued for me. The first day I brought her home she burrowed under a pile of laundry and stayed there for hours, all a-tremble. But, once she got used to me she became the sweetest, wildest, funniest cat ever. 

She loved me to sing to her and would meow and dance around when I did. She loved tuna, she loved Kenny's lap, she loved being outside. She was an excellent hunter of birds and rodents and, when our downstairs neighbor became pregnant, Zephyr started leaving gifts of (decapitated) mice on the back porch for her. Thoughtful!

But that best thing was that she was the kind of cat you could pick up and hold like a baby and she would purr just because she loved you. A rarity.


Oh, Stripes, we sure do miss you.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday Ennui

I know I promised vacation pictures and stories but you're just going to have to wait another day or too. I'm currently in my yearly state of post-Thanksgiving ennui. Or, "paralyzing holiday-induced state panic" if we're going to go all out and be completely honest. The panic, paired with the mental shutdown I always have on the Monday following a long holiday weekend, means I sat at my desk today in a near-comatose state, flinching when spoken to and praying to be left alone by, well, almost everyone.

Also, wishing we could just have a "no small talk" clause written into days like this. Like, right now my list of people I'd like to talk to is about at three. Three people. Are you one of them? WOULDN'T YOU LIKE TO KNOW. (So yeah, probably not.)

But I ask, is it normal to spend the entire day feeling like I want to cry? And then thinking about Christmas and really, really wanting to cry? Because I like Christmas, I just wish I could hire someone to do it for me so I can just sit back and enjoy it instead of fearing it.

Because, really, I think maybe I'm broken. A good friend emailed me and asked if I wanted to get together and do something "festive" and a cold shiver went down my spine. Festive? WHAT DOES SHE MEAN. It was as if she'd asked me if I wanted to go to a Christmas store in July or something. Only it's not July anymore. Oh, no! This is totally a reasonable request because it's nearly December.

I weep.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Only Me.

Okay, here's the thing. This has not at all been a bad week for me. Decent as weeks go, especially when I had the shining realization that next week was a two-day work week. THAT IS SO GOOD.

In the average day I live moment to moment, occasionally laughing out loud at something in my head or having random dark thoughts out of nowhere, like when I drove back from lunch earlier today, spotted the Annoying Mail Guy's van and briefly contemplated flooring the gas pedal and ramming into it just to scare the crap out of him. (Not to maim or kill, people. No, really.) This thought also made me happy so maybe I'm just dark. (But not dark enough to be able to handle watching that new zombie show. Why did I think I could handle that? I CANNOT handle that.)

So, the week in general has been clomping along just fine and then?  I got locked in the bathroom at work. Unlike the last time I got locked in the bathroom, this wasn't a single stall so much as a single room bathroom with a faulty doorknob that decided to just take the day off. I'm surprised I didn't actually break my face when I unlocked the door and flung my full weight into it only to thump my body uselessly against a plank of solid oak. Ow.

I fiddled with the knob and tried over and over to open the door but it wasn't happening. I was perplexed, then full of denial, then angry that I was stuck without a book or iPod or ANYTHING to keep me occupied.

A few minutes later I heard someone on the other side of the door rustling around in the fridge and I banged on the door and told this person I was locked in. They were all, "Oh, no! Hold on! I'll go find the custodian!"

I was relieved until I heard this person pause,  unwrap their Lean Cuisine, leisurely put it in the microwave and push the buttons before finally bothering to wander off and find someone to free me. Well, thanks, jerk. I'll just be hanging out HERE IN THE BATHROOM WHILE YOU EAT YOUR LUNCH FIRST.

Eventually she came back with the custodian who freed me with a pair of scissors (with which she jimmied the lock.) There was, of course, a whole group of folks gathered around in the hall gleefully waiting to see who the victim was. Well, hi there, assholes. Just me. Of course it's me.

Then, THEN, the custodian said, "You're the second person who's gotten locked in here today!"

Okay, really? Because there shouldn't have been a second person, right? I mean, after the first person has proven the lock to be faulty, perhaps a note? Or a piece of tape over the lock thingy?

Anyway. All of this is just a lead-up to plug my friend Pamela's blog. Because this girl tells embarrassing stories the likes of which you will not believe. But I've met her and it's all true. She really is that awesome.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Forgive me.

I know, dude. I KNOW. This is ridiculous that I'm even admitting I do this but sometimes when I'm bored I go back a few years and read old entries just to find out where my brain was in, say, 2007. And then I read this entry and started snort-laughing at my desk because that shit is FUNNY.

Then I remembered I wrote it and felt like a jerk for being all, I'M SO AWESOMELY FUNNY.

But, sometimes I am.

Reading all my posts from November 2007 (when I did NaBloPoMo) makes me really miss my old Amblus scrawls. While I don't know that I have a daily entry in me, I do promise to try to update in a more timely manner and to more often share the weird crap that happens to me. You guys still out there?

Monday, November 1, 2010

...And, it's November.

I'm such an ass. Sorry, kids. But, I feel like I will have new and exciting things to talk about after this coming weekend, as my husband and I are going on a short trip to celebrate our ten year anniversary. The original plan was to go back to Charleston so I could eat this, but alas, Charleston is freaking expensive. But! Instead we've decided to rent a cabin at Douthat State Park and go mountain biking in the actual, you know, mountains. Sounds fun! And it will be, except for the part where you ride uphill for hours.

Also, the weather forecast right now looks kind of awful, but there will be a cabin and and fireplace and s'mores and we can always do things like "talk to each other" so I think it'll be a fun weekend either way. It's been ages since we took a vacation together, so we're both looking forward to it.

I promise crossmyheart that I will post photos an' shit after we get back because this blog has just been dying a slow death. Maybe I need to botch up a cake recipe again or something. Dang.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Still Alive and Kicking in a Feeble Manner.

Hi, sorry. Apparently I can only handle one blog at a time? And it's way easier to just post a dumb photo of my outfit than actually put words, like, together. In a meaningful manner. Excuses excuses.

Summer is over and I am a little sad about that.  But, I do have something to talk about. My high school reunion is this weekend. My 20th.  I'm surprisingly not only not scared, I'm actually looking forward to it. Apparently 20 years is exactly the amount of time you need to get perspective on what actually matters and what to just let go. I didn't even consider going to my 10th because, oh hell no! I hated high school! Also, at 28 I was not in a great place - unemployed, overweight, set adrift in my own insecurity.

Now, at 38 I am much more sure of myself. I tried to explain to my old best friend from high school that I wanted to go because I felt like I was a more interesting person now, and she laughed at me like that was the dumbest thing she'd ever heard. Or, she just though I was being self-centered. And maybe I was, but hey, I feel good about myself now and that's not the worst thing in the world is it? I refuse to be intimidated by the girls who could barely be bothered to talk to me 20 years ago because who's to say they're still that person? I would hate to be judged solely based on the child I was 20 years ago because, like most kids, I was kind of an asshole sometimes. An asshole with badly hennaed hair.

A bit of background: I went to a very small private school for Dyslexic kids for 7th, 8th and 9th grade, then "mainstreamed" into a middling private Catholic girl's school for 10-12. This was okay because I had a few friends there already, but also not okay because, in missing my freshman year, I missed the sorting process of clique hierarchy. I was automatically sorted into my existing friend's group of friends which worked out, but also prevented me from choosing my own friends upfront. Anyway, we fell somewhere in the middle of the Popularity Ladder. We were not popular, but also not not popular. It's complex.

Anyway, enough of the people I'd want to see again have signed up and a few of the "popular" girls have as well, so it should be interesting. I would like to add that I will look SLAMMIN' at both events I'm going to. I happen to know that one of my high school ex-boyfriends is attending, so I think looking awesome is both necessary and right.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Camp, 2010.

Hi hi hi! I have been busy. First of all, if you care to read me blather on about fitness stuff and/or cycling, I am now blogging at Bodies in Motivation. You can find me here.  If you don't give a shit, that's fine too. (There is a reason I don't post about that stuff much on this blog, don't you know.)

So, I am straight up horrified that summer is nearly over. Straight. Up. Horrified. The students come back next week and oh my God soon I won't be able to find a quiet corner anywhere. I knew it was coming, just not so soon.

So, I haven't told you about Camp this year and it happened weeks ago! Camp was at Marianne's beautiful new house and instead of getting all crazy on the boat we got all crazy on Dollywood.


First stop was Ye Olde Timey Photo Shoppe where we unanimously chose "wild west bar whores." It was a crazy success:


The rest of Dollywood was all about fried food and roller coasters and blazing heat. I think I'm officially Done with roller coasters. I might actually be too old. We rode a wooden coaster that was supposed to be about fun but was actually all about pain and suffering:


I talked Marianne into riding it and immediately regretted it. This regret can best be shown in this photo:



That's me in the back, horrified. Next to me is Marianne, horrified. Shelley and Emily seem to be fine? I have no idea why. We ate fried things:



We gawked at people and rode the shittiest train ride ever. Perhaps a warning about the eye-searing cinders could be made BEFORE we board the train?


It was ridiculous and fun. An experience.

We went to Marianne's grandmother's house and swam in her pool, which was very different than the lake in that it was clean and stuff:


...as long as you didn't mind the snarling, diving Jack Russell:


Deary is not a good boy. Marianne's grandmother, though, was lovely and her house is incredible.

Mostly we just hung out and ate and played games and talked. It was a really good time as always and now I miss everyone terribly. It's generally the highlight of my summer and this year was no exception.

I miss you guys.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday! Stuff!!!1

You're bored, right? For you, I provide entertainment. You're welcome.

Tift Merritt. I know I've talked about her before but I cannot say enough good things about her new album,  See You on the Moon. I bought it back in June, a week or so before we saw her live in Ashland. It was an amazing show, as always. While I think she should be SUPER FAMOUS by now, I do love that I get to see her in really small venues. It's what she does best. Now, this album. It's the kind of thing you listen to a few times and think, "Well, that's nice." Then a few more listens and suddenly you are living and breathing these songs, you hear them in your head, you can't stop thinking about certain lyrics, you just can't get enough. At least, that's been my experience. It's absolutely worth buying, so please do!

Hyperbole and a Half. Why am I just discovering this blog? If you want to know what my average day is like (in my head), read this. And this. Also this. Oh, if you're at work, grab a sock or something to stuff in your mouth to muffle the laughter. If you forget that part and get fired, not my fault.

Pamie is one of my favorite people on the Internet, for serious. If you want to be truly entertained, please go read her account of a day spent at a Korean spa.  I read it three times because I just COULD NOT WRAP MY HEAD AROUND IT. Of course, I really want to go to there even though I know it would be awkward and humiliating. Sadly, it's in LA, so instead I settled for ordering one of those crazy scrubber mitts (weirdly called an "Italy Towel") off the eBay. I WANT TO BE SOFT LIKE WHIPPED CREAM.

Tomatoes
. You know it's summer when you find a tomato rolling around in the back of your car and think, "Oh! That's where that went." I got the first tomatoes of the season this week from my CSA and oh my sweet baby Jesus. I could just eat tomatoes and nothing else until September. Go get you some. If you're making a face it's probably because you've never had a good one. There are tomatoes and there are TOMATOES. Find the latter kind.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I'm Slack

Did I really only have one post in June? That is just slack. Slack slack slack. I've started this entry three times, by the way. But in my own defense, not much is going on right now and I kind of like it. It's been super hot which seems to be a topic everyone likes to yammer on about, but I'm from the school of "It's JULY and We Live In The South, Assholes." I mean, people, remember this? It SUCKED. Give me hot any day. I'll even take the 103 degree days because how hardcore is that? That is what I'm talking about (until the Virginia Power bill arrives.)

And like my sister, I'm a little freaked out by how fast the summer seems to be flying by. It's already July! It seems like things just got going. I have to treasure these empty-campus days. They are precious.

Last weekend was 4th of July and it was very relaxing. We spent the weekend hanging out, eating, biking, the usual. We spent the evening of the 4th at Kate's folks house, where we played in the pool, drank watermelon margaritas and listened to Jean Shepherd's story about Ludlow Kissel and the Dago Bomb. All good.

I have a lull now, but in exactly two weeks I'll be on my way to Knoxville for CAMP!!1 Now, Camp (read about it here and here if you're new)  is going to be a little different this year because the lake cabin has been sold (...pause for a moment of silence...) but our fearless Camp Leader is allowing us to stay at her house, seeming to assume we won't destroy her plumbing. In lieu of boating we will be going to Dollywood. Yes, you read that right. Please go ahead and be jealous, I'll wait.







After my Camp weekend I'll have an entire vacation week to roll around in! I haven't had a week off since December, so I'm really looking forward to it. More about that soon. Now, if you're nice I'll do my college best to put up a "stuff I like" entry tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Worrying Me Lately.

The Huguenot Bridge. Every morning I drive over an elderly bridge on my way to work. It's two lanes with no shoulder and the surface is more patches than pavement but it's got a nice view. At either end of the bridge are small signs that say "3 Ton Weight Limit" which sounds about right to me. But yesterday the city rolled out some gigantic blinky signs that are all, "NO, SERIOUSLY. 3 TON LIMIT FOR REALS. NOT KIDDING."

Whoa. Did...something... happen? Something I need to know about? Because I cannot imagine driving something that weights more than THREE TONS over a bridge like that. Even a single ton might be pushing it. Then I thought, wait, how much does my car weigh? Because I really haven't a clue. Turns out the average car weighs well over a ton, so really, a three ton vehicle could just be a medium-sized industrial truck. What the hell is going on with that bridge? It's being replaced (starting this fall) but for now, I worry.

My Back. I now know what people are complaining about when they say they put their back out and could barely move, so crippling was the pain. Here's a list of things I did last weekend that did not cause my back to go out:

- 1 hour of weight lifting followed by a spinning class
- dancing at a wedding in 4" wedge sandals
- 2 hours of mountain biking on technical trails

Here's what did cause my back to go out:

- Wandering around Marshalls. I was browsing the sleepwear when suddenly I thought, "Ow. My back really hurts." By the time I got to my car I could barely lower myself into the seat. It's feeling better now, but what the hell? Why did a discount retailer cause my back to spasm all to hell?

The Oil Spill. I'm so worried about this I can't really write about it but I will tell you this: When I'm forced to agree with that douchebag James Cameron? It's bad.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Chairs!

Hey look, I'm back again. Thanks for all the back-patting reassurance that you haven't all abandoned me. Now, I am happy to report that my weekend pretty much went according to plan, aside from an emergency Saturday afternoon trip to work to get my riding stuff which had been living under my desk for a month because I was too lazy to cart it home. This involved calling the campus police who were nice enough to let me into the building, but I suspect they didn't have much else going on and was happy to provide some distraction.

Anyway, on Saturday Nina came over and helped with my chairs, and by "helped" I mean she pretty much reupholstered them for me. She is really, really good at this stuff but her husband has banned her from rescuing any more chairs so she was happy to be part of my project. Lucky me!

Here's what they looked like when I bought them:


I only wish there were words to describe how truly and utterly filthy they were. I mean, when we pulled up the old fabric and batting? OH MY GOD. No words.

Are you ready for this? Here's what they look like NOW:



Holy shit, right? Amazing! What an incredible difference. The cost breakdown is something like this:

$10 for the chairs ($5 each)
$15 for various wood stain, cleaning stuff & glue
$15 for new foam and batting
$22 for a yard of fancy fabric

Total: $62 for two pretty damn nice chairs that look great in my living room.  Yay! Now, tell me what you did last weekend.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Long Weekend Plans. Not that you care or anything.

No comments of any kind on my last two entries and you fools wonder why I never update? It's because NOBODY LOVES ME, clearly. Sheesh. I'll admit I've been putting most of my blog energy into my new venture because it's fun and new and stuff but I don't want to entirely abandon my post. I just haven't had much to say. Or much to look forward to... looking forward to.

This weekend is something, though. A long weekend! Three whole days. I don't get any significant vacation time until the end of July which might as well be December, it feels so far, far away. This weekend is tangible, though. I can almost taste it. Plans:

Saturday: Those chairs I posted about a few entries ago? I'm finally going to do something about them. My friend Nina is coming over to help me make them awesome. I spent some time cleaning them up last weekend and hey, guess what? A Magic Eraser is not what you want to use to get rid of chair grunge unless you want to remove the finish too. Oops. So one of them will need to be stained. Yeah. They're both utterly filthy but I hope when we're done they'll be transformed and I'll have something to show you. (Not that you care.)

Sunday: Perhaps a riding lesson? I've slacked off on the horseback riding partially because of cost and partially because my instructor is kind of a flake. We'll make plans and she'll forget. Then we'll make plans and she'll discover she has to work her other job. Then we'll make plans and I have to reschedule and she acts all put out like it's not something she does ALL THE TIME. It kind of takes the fun out of it. Anyway, if not a horse ride then a mountain bike ride followed by a barbecue at a friend's house. Activity followed by relaxing and beer! My kind of Sunday.

Monday: I will probably try to clean my filthy house or something in the morning, or maybe do a bike ride if I don't go on Sunday. Then lunch with Kate. Then piles of laundry. Then whining, weeping and rending of garments.

Thus far this is the plan. Sometimes my mother tries to hijack a long weekend with a LETS DO A BIG FAMILY LUNCH BECAUSE I MIGHT DIE SOON kind of thing but it's Thursday and I haven't gotten so much as a subject-line-only email from her, so I think the coast is clear.  Fingers crossed.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday Stuff I Like

Hi! I haven't done this in a while so here I am, doing this. Here's what I like:

BeneTint. I know! How very 90's of me! I had a big container of it (it lasts forever) and ran out last year. I finally bought another one and damn, I forgot how much I love this stuff. I only use it on my cheeks but it gives a lovely natural rosy flush unlike anything else and it lasts all day. It's a bitch to apply until you get the hang of it, but I adore it anyway. BeneTint 4ever.



The Brightest Star in the Sky. Marian Keyes is just beyond lovely and I look forward to her books with an impatience that's embarrassing. Her latest, The Brightest Star in the Sky was worth waiting for - it's engrossing and fun to read, hilarious and tragic and personal. I love her characters like they are my personal friends. She also writes an online newsletter that I love, but she hasn't done one in a while. Come back, Marian! I miss you.


White Whine. A friend of mine introduced me to this Tumblr page and it's just something you have to see for yourself. Careful, this site will cause snort-laughing.

Pretzel M&M's. YES. Okay, so I haven't actually tried these yet (only because I can't find them) but I know I will love them a lot. The salty/sweet/crunchy/chocolate thing is just so perfect.

Edit: I found them at Target! They are intense but a little dry. I kind of wish they had more chocolate- the ratio is off. But they are crunchy and salty-sweet and I'll happily eat the whole bag.

Alright, that's all I've got for you today. Go and have a good weekend and think good thoughts for me tomorrow around 4pm when I'll be suffering through my first mountain bike race of the season.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Lunchtime Update, real quick-like.

I've completely neglected the original B.L.O.G. mostly because it's way easier to post some dumb photo of myself than it is to talk about the eleventy billion things going on. To recap:

Three craft shows:

1. Awesome show, non-awesome sales
2. Unspeakable.
3. Filthy and windy, but decent sales.

A visit from my friend Ashley which resulted in:

1. Several bottles of wine consumed
2. Weird pedicures
3. Enough intense conversation to get me through until the next time I see her.

One mountain bike race (this coming Saturday):

1. Filled with dread.
2. Sure, I'll do the long course this year.
3. Filled. With. Dread.

Three rescued thrift store chairs that I plan to rehab and recover (fabric swatch in second photo) with help from Nina:



(Potential, yes? I haven't even had time to lay a finger on them, but soon! Soon.)

My first free product!
It's finally happening y'all - people are sending me free stuff to write about. In this case:

1. Four bottles of Cheribundi juice.
2. But not a pony.
3. Also not an Herm├Ęs bag.

I've been working my way through the four varieties they sent and will post an entry about it later this week.

And...that's it for now. I'll probably do a race recap next weekend and now that craft show season is over, I'll try to summon up the brain cells necessary to post Stuff I Like again. Because I still like stuff. And I like you. Mostly.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My own personal cake wreck.

Kenny's birthday is today (happy birthday, Kenny!) so some time in the last week or so I got the brilliant idea to make him a cake. A layer cake. With homemade icing and coconut. It seemed like an average sort of goal because idiots make cake all the time, right? Hell, if idiots can do it, so can I!

I am here to tell you that baking is FOR SUCKERS. Man, I am good at a lot of things but baking is not one of them.

Initially I was very proud of myself for remembering to call and ask Kenny to take the butter out to soften. By the time i got home it was REAL SOFT. Maybe too soft. Whatever. I should also mention I got home after 8pm, having met some friends for an early dinner. So, really, this was panic-baking at it's finest. Nothing like sobbing in a cloud of flour on the sticky kitchen floor at 10:30PM. Okay, that didn't really happen, but I was certainly not calm. I made the following rookie mistakes:

  • Realized halfway through that my flour was of the "better for bread" variety.
  • Didn't read the recipe in advance and was flailingly desperate in my attempts to "completely cool" the cocoa/boiling water mixture. Kenny helped.
  • My attempt to not over-mix the batter (PER DIRECTIONS) resulted in some very obvious butter lumps. Great for biscuits! If I were making biscuits.
  • I made the frosting from a totally different recipe that, um, wasn't a layer cake. Do you know how much frosting you need for a layer cake? A LOT MORE THAN I MADE, that's how much.
  • I set the timer for the time the recipe indicated and when it went off I pulled the cake out to cool. Yes, that's right, I didn't test them for done-ness. LOST was on! I didn't have time for that.
  • LOST was on.

When I pulled the cakes out they looked okay, but ten minutes later they'd all fallen. Oops. I removed them from the pans to cool further and when I started to assemble one of them completely buckled in the middle. I did a quick flip-slap and made it the center layer, filling in the huge dip with frosting (which might explain where it all went.) The final layer had a surprise chocolate-lava center, so yeah, it's probably half raw. Or "not dry" if you want to be all glass-half-full about it. Oy.

Kenny came it to watch me attempt to frost the monstrosity and we both laughed hysterically because, dude:


I ran out of frosting, obviously, so I tried to doctor it up with some shredded coconut:



It's got a nice lean to it and weighs about 80 pounds. That's not worrisome at all, right?

PS. I know I've been a pest about this, but if you haven't already, please vote for my friend's baby Lulu! This is the final day and she's lost her lead:

http://www.babble.com/impossibly-cute/fan-favorite/index.aspx

You don't have to register or anything, just get clicky!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Releasing the Kraken.

I've spent most of this week under a cloud, a dark cloud created by hormones and a specific pre-condition condition that I forget about every month until I'm in it. In it to win it, y'all, with my nameless rage at I don't even know what. Everything, I guess. Rage against my car, the potholes, my fluctuating weight, my inability to not eat things I'm not supposed to eat, at the cat for hocking a hairball on the rug we haven't even owned a week, emails I can't answer fast enough, flaky eBay sellers, flaky riding instructors, beautiful days that I feel like I"m missing, all of it. Rage.

But then this morning I woke up and the cloud had blown over and the day was new and sparkly with weekend-to-come promise. If I were a religious person I'd say today was a gift from God, but I'm not, so lets just say the day felt like a gift in general. As I drove across the bridge to work I enjoyed the view and was grateful to be part of it all, to have woken up and still be in the world no matter how weird and messy it is.

So, there. A mostly non-snarky entry from me. Also, my outfit is cute today if you were wondering.

Have a good weekend!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Not everybody knows your rules Larry!

Last night I had dinner out with friends and we began debating about Joss Whedon shows. (NERDS. I know.) I was all Team Buffy against a bunch of Team Firefly. Now, really. I ask you! I was all, I HAVE RULES ABOUT THESE THINGS. LIKE LARRY DAVID.

Now, if you don't watch Curb Your Enthusiasm and don't know what I'm talking about, first, you need to fix that shit and watch the show. Essentially, Larry lives by his own rules and runs into problems because the rest of the world doesn't know his rules. I feel for him because I have LOTS of rules and it's frustrating that nobody seems to follow them. Here are a few. Please try to keep up.


The Rules.


1. Don't snap gum, wear strong perfume, jangle your jewelry, click your pen, rip up paper, listen to your iPod loud enough for me to hear it, or whisper in an exaggerated manner. You are annoying me.

2. It's none of your business what number is on the bottom of my plastic water bottle.

3. If your shopping cart hits my heels accidentally, my hand might hit your face. Accidentally.

4. Don't bless me and I won't bless you. Deal?

5. If I'm reading, it doesn't mean I am lonely and have no one to talk to. It means I'd rather read than talk to you.

6. Hey you, slow walker? Can't you feel me steaming up your tail? Solution: WALK FASTER.

7. Crocs. No.

8. Adrien. With an E. Not Adrian. Not Adrienne. Not Adriene. Not Adriane. Not Adrianne. NOT.

9. If you do the Rocky thing you are dead to me. If you don't know what I'm talking about, that's great.

10. I don't really answer the phone, especially not my cellphone. You don't pay the bill, so I don't have to answer.

11. Just because I am athletic doesn't mean I run. I don't run. I don't run because I don't want to run. No amount of convincing will make me want to do anything but not run.

12. If I see you in the grocery store and pretend not to see you, it's not an accident. It's just that I don't want to see to you.

13. Yes: The Office, The Daily Show, Community, Glee, 30 Rock, Chuck, Lost, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Rescue Me, Mad Men, Dexter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

14: No: The Bachelor, American Idol, Two and a Half Men, Biggest Loser, Fox News, Anything with Guy Fieri, Jersey Shore.

14. Oh, you want me to smile? Why, is my serious face bringing you down, asshole?

15. If you are all germ-phobic I will probably think you are overreacting. Then I'll tell you about skin mites.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, March 19, 2010

It's Friday. What What.

I don't have much for you this week because all my energy has been over here at the NEW BLOG. But, I really needed to give y'all an update on my car because...only me, y'all. Only me.

So, if you remember from last week, my car needed a state inspection and also a new rack and pinion/power steering pump thingy. Got it fixed and on the way home Kenny noticed the airbag light was on and the horn didn't work. He took it back last Friday morning and that afternoon called me at work to let me know that the garage claimed it wasn't their fault.

Wasn't. Their. Fault.

The broken part is called a spiral cable and it would cost about $300 plus labor.

Oh, really.

So, let's review: During the state inspection the horn worked and the airbag light was off. Two hours later after they pulled apart my steering stuff, the horn doesn't work and the airbag light on. And it's not their fault? OH I BEG TO DIFFER.

After I calmed down, I called the garage and had a little chat with the owner, who protested that my car was OLD and part BREAK magically all by themselves. I finally talked him down and got him to agree to install the part for free. Kenny was sure he could find it cheap on eBay (which we did. Maybe.) Okay, fine, FINE.

But!

Oh, there's always a big but, isn't there? Further research uncovered this little nugget in an article:

Steering gear service precaution. Toyota offers the following advice for doing steering gear service on the 1996 and newer models listed below that are equipped with a driver's-side air bag: When the intermediate shaft is disconnected and the steering wheel is allowed to turn freely, the SRS spiral cable may be broken. To prevent this, pass the seat belt through the steering wheel and latch it to the anchor on the right side of the seat. The affected vehicles are: Tercel, Paseo, Corolla, MR2, Celica, Camry, Avalon, Supra, Previa, Sienna, RAV4, 4Runner, Tacoma, TWO and Land Cruiser.

I knew it. Fuckers. So now we have a part that might work and proof that they did freaking break it. I'll let you know what happens.

PS. If you are feeling stressed out just by reading this, please go here: ZooBorns

Baby animals every day! It will make you happier, I promise.

Have a good weekend!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Stuff. Springtime Edition.

So, it's Friday again and I still like stuff, but there's also stuff I don't like. For instance, taking my car in for state inspection. If you're remember back to last year, my $15 inspection ended up costing, like, a lot more. A lot, lot more. This year we took it to the poor people garage instead, hoping they'd be a little more lenient. Um, well, no. Apparently you aren't supposed to have to put power steering fluid in every single week and I need a new power steering pump RIHNOW.

According to them steering is a "safety issue" or something dumb like that. I'm all, bitch please. Gimme one of those hinky Prius cars and don't even worry about fixing it because I am going to look AWESOME flying down the highway at 100 MPH. I might even go back to the future! I'll wave when I swerve around you because, yo, I CAN'T STOP. Woo!

But no, instead my car gets a loving sponge bath with a handful of one hundred dollar bills. Do not like. Also, it had to go right back today because when Kenny picked it up last night the airbag light was on and the horn didn't work. Hi, please hook it back up correctly? Not to much to ask? Hmph.

But I do like:

Daylight Saving Time. I know, I know, next week is going to hurt what with losing that hour of sleep, but oh! Precious after work daylight, I have missed you so. I am DYING to get back out on the bike trails after work. Cannot wait.


Givenchy Tartine et Chocolat Ptisenbon. That is a mouthful of words, sorry. This is my spring/summer perfume though it can hardly be called perfume because it's so light, so not sweet, not cloying, just smells lemony and clean and maybe a little bit like baking bread and licorice. Not in a weird way, either. It doesn't have much staying power but I don't like to be overly smelly anyway, so that's fine by me. It's been discontinued but is still readily available on eBay and various discount perfume websites.

Lara Bars. Lately we've been trying to eat much better and have sworn off most processed foods. I've cut way back on sugar and alcohol as well. But, I still occasionally want a little treat and Lara Bars seem to be a healthful solution. They're very simple: ground nuts, dates and coconut (or other dried fruit.) No weird ingredients, no wheat, no corn syrup, just real stuff in bar form. I like the Coconut Cream Pie flavor the best. I bought a few yesterday and the gentleman who rang me up started telling me all about his wheat allergy and the horrifying things that corn syrup does in your gut. Um, just want to buy my hippie snacks and leave now, thanks mister. Sheesh.




Looks Good from the Back. Hey! New blog, because that's exactly what I needed. This one is a team effort, though. My friend Marianne and I decided to start a fashion blog (stop laughing) with no twee poses, just straight up outfits, stuff we like, and lots of unfortunate try-on-stuff sessions. Check it out! I think it'll be fun and we're both really excited about it.


Friday, March 5, 2010

It's Friday and I like music.

Today I just like music. I mean, I like other stuff, but I'm just going to ramble about music because nothing else has been rocking my world lately. I've been exchanging emails with a friend who occasionally sends me cool song suggestions, which got me explaining the kind of new bands I really like. They tend to be similar and could be categorized thusly:

- Can fit in my pocket
- British (or would like to be)
- Heroin (or other drug) addiction
- Band members date similarly drug-addicted models and/or actresses
- Punk influenced
- Awesome until third album (or until Josh Homme fucks with it real bad)

For example, I like the Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, The Libertines, that kind of thing. I also dig thinky bands like Modest Mouse and Franz Ferdinand and I'm supposed to like Phoenix, Kings of Leon and Arcade Fire, but I'm not sure I do. I like to sing along and I like angry more than emo, it appears. But! I also have some stuff on my iPod that would probably blow your mind and would definitely make you reconsider reading my blog. Like, I had to prove to my friend Ashley that there really is a Phil Collins song (Against All Odds) on my iPod because she didn't believe me. And when she saw what song, she was all, "Okay, I get that." There also might be an Elton John song (OKAY TWO) as well. What can I say? Sometimes I just need to be all 1984-mainstream-pensive.

And yeah, I can hear you sort of dismissing that as acceptable nostalgia, so how does that explain my obsession with Taylor Swift? No, I'm not kidding. I just have the one song but I'm seriously considering buying the whole album because there's nothing I like more than a really well-constructed pop song and "You Belong With Me" firmly falls into that category. It's simple, it's catchy, it's easy to sing to sing along with (ALONE IN YOUR CAR WITH THE WINDOWS ROLLED UP.) Plus, she's pretty! And seems to be a nice girl. God, I am a sap. Why do I tell you all these things? Happy Friday. Please don't unfriend me.

Friday, February 26, 2010

STUFF. LOVE SO MUCH.

It's Friday and guess what? I still love stuff. Like, a lot.

New Wayfarers. The old Wayfayers are classics, but they look gigantic and blocky on my weird small face. Good in theory, not on me. But holy shit, Ray-Ban now makes an updated version that's smaller and, yay, they look really pretty sweet on me. I don't own them yet, but I might one day soon. (Note to self: find shit to sell on eBay.)

This bike. You know why? Because it's named after my friend Noah. Is that not the coolest thing ever? I keep fluctuating between being really proud of him and being really really really jealous. Like, crazy jealous, because he got a BIKE NAMED AFTER HIM. DANG. I'm hoping to go see it at the Handmade Bicycle show this weekend and maybe weep all over it.


Twin Six. I'm pretty obsessed with Twin Six because they make the coolest non-girly female bike gear out there. They'll be at the bike show! So nerdily excited. I bought this one recently because the dots are actually tiny skulls and sixes:

I can't wait to get it completely filthy.

Never Tell a Lie by Hallie Ephron. I generally hesitate to recommend a book before I've finished it, but this one is (so far) really quite good. A "suburban noir" page-turner with a likeable main character, which is always important. I can usually tell when I have a good one when I think about it throughout the day and can't wait to get back to it. (Oh, and the author is Nora Ephron's sister! Damn overachievers.)

Have a good weekend, nerds.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Heh. Hand Wash.

My car is a disgrace. It's generally a bit down on the heel but since i got a new windshield I've been feeling kind of guilty about how completely and utterly filthy it is. The last time I had it washed was 2007. Seriously! That is just messed up. And by "had it washed" I don't mean a person washed it, I mean I ran it through the car wash and probably paid the extra two dollars for the fancy one with wax and undercarriage whatever. A disgrace. But, I am never going to be one of those people who wakes up on a warm sunny Saturday morning and thinks, "Hey, this would be the perfect opportunity to wash my car!" That is never going to happen.

But, things had gotten bad. All that snow meant that my car was covered with a fine layer of salt crud on top of the thick layer of crud crud and I just couldn't stand it anymore, so Saturday I told Kenny we were going to go find a car wash. We drove down to the busy corridor of car dealerships and gas stations until Kenny pointed out a slightly down-in-the-heel Exxon with a car wash. Perfect! There was a badly lettered sign out front that said "HAND WASH $8" but I wasn't really sure what that was about. I just wanted to run my car through the automated thingy and be done with it. Little did I know.

I drove around the back and down the narrow lane to the car wash, but before I even got to the pay-box a spry man with bucket in hand popped out of nowhere. Kenny got out to talk to him and apparently yes, the hand wash was $8. Sure, whatever, go ahead. Kenny got back in the car and we looked into the empty automated car wash while the man sprayed down my car. I looked over at him and said,

"Okay, I'm confused. Is it $8 for the hand wash PLUS the automated car wash?"

"I guess so. Maybe he's just prepping it."

"That car wash doesn't even look like it works."

"No, it doesn't."

Meanwhile, Mr. Hand Wash was scrubbing my tires and soaping down my whole car.

"I think...I think he IS the car wash."

And he was. He spent 20 minutes on my car and did a thorough job. I mean, my car gleamed afterwards! Kenny chatted with him and found out that he owned the gas station and I guess the car wash broke so he decided to just do it himself. I don't know but it ruled. So low-tech and unexpected! We gave him a nice tip and were shocked when the driver of the car behind us (who pulled out without his hand wash) offered him THREE DOLLARS, apparently appalled that the automated car wash was busted. Cheat loser.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Money Can't Buy The Stuff I Like. This week.

Hey, it's stuff I like:

BEING WELL OMG. I have been sick for the better part of three weeks - first a cold that lingered and then last weekend I got a sinus infection. I'm on the mend but still pretty congested and snotty and you can just close that comment window because the neti pot is NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. I am not going to shoot water out of my nose, no no no. They have a name for that - it's called water boarding. No thanks. But! I am definitely feeling nearly well and it's going to be in the goddamn FIFTIES this weekend and I AM GOING TO RIDE MY BIKE.

Sorry about the caps, I just haven't had this much to look forward to in a while.

Winter Olympics. I am way more into the winter Olympics than I've ever been before, probably because sitting on the couch in front of the TV blowing my nose is about as much as I've been able to do this week. I am fascinated with the men's figure skating costumes. Fascinated. I also seriously adore the snowboarders for being so un-Olympic-ly easy going. They just seem like nice kids and if I was 19 again I would totally want to try that. I've never so much as set foot on a ski slope but it looks like a good time except for the crashing part. That looks bad. Especially the downhill skiing which doesn't appeal at all because fuckin' OUCH.

My Mother's Latest Email. I could have an entire blog based around her emails because they're often so weird and apropos of nothing, though generally well-meaning. However, the day will come when she'll find and read my blog and I'm not willing to get Mom-Dooced. I will, however, share with you her latest because it's pretty cute. (It's based on a comment some friend made on my FaceSpacePlace account when I expressed my horror about downhill skiing.) Mom's email:

Subject: Hope the comment about you riding bikes down mountains at 70 mph was a joke

Message: Very scary. You have a wonderful face; wouldn't want to see it messed up. The snowboarding was awesome, and the skiing and the skating, but oh my god the dangers and the injuries. Stay safe.

Okay, step back a minute Mom and think about this. What the hell would I have to do on a mountain bike to reach 70 mph? I mean, I am pretty sure that Tour de France riders charging down a mountain on a top-of-the-line road bike would be hard pressed to hit those kind of speeds. Does my mother REALLY think I'm doing that? Because that is so awesome.

Fixing my tape deck. Aw, yeah. Remember how I wrote about the horrible buzzing noise coming from my tape deck when I used the iPod adapter? Here's what I did: I shoved the adapter in the other way, wire and all. Hard. And it worked! I'll probably never get it out again, but for now, PROBLEM SOLVED.

Have a good weekend, nerds.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

That buzzing noise is my brain exploding.

I don't like it. Winter can suck it. I am done. DONE. My sister is done too. We do not live in upstate New York here. What the hell?

Last weekend it snowed again:


I used to think it was pretty but that photo just makes me feel like I'm hiding from the White Witch with too much Turkish Delight in my belly. Ugh. (Related: someone who is not me keeps walking through the house in his snow-covered boots even though I created a whole "here's where you take off your boots right by the front door" area. Hmph.) Last weekend got a little ugly, is all I'm saying.

Then it started to get better until yesterday morning when we had a little mini-blizzard. I fought my way into work (took an HOUR) only to be told that work was now closed and we should go home. The sun came out as I was driving back, of course. I am not even going to talk about the MORE SNOW predicted for this weekend.

You know who hates this weather even more than me? My car, that's who. Once upon a time, my car was a luxury vehicle. It was pretty nice if you were someone's grandpa looking for a sweet ride. It's still pretty powerful but it's starting to fall apart in highly irritating ways. Like, the flippy-flap that covers the visor mirror has a broken hinge and I have to rubber-band it in place. That is class.

Also, the small windshield crack on the passenger side had become a large crack encroaching on the drivers side. (The crack came with the car but didn't stop every. single. new passenger to say, "Oh, it looks like you have a crack in your windshield!" OMG REALLY? I HADN'T NOTICED.)

So yeah, the crack was starting to freak me out because every time the temperature dropped, it grew and grew. I had visions of the whole thing shattering in my face as I hit another pothole and WOW, do I not need that experience. So, since I don't have real insurance I had to pay out of pocket for a brand new sheet of glass this week. It looks pretty good, though, or it did until it got covered in salt, ice and chemicals.

But, the most annoying thing the cold does to my car involves the tape deck. Oh man, I want to take that thing out with my bare fists and smash it apart on the fake wood grain dashboard. See, I run a tape adapter through it in order to listen to my iPod in the car. Most of the time this is a great system, but lately on cold mornings it's been making the most god-awful buzzing noise. The full experience is like this:

I am the passenger BRZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ and I ride and I ride
I ride BRZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ through the city's backsides
I see the stars come out BZRZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ of the sky BRZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
Yeah, the BRZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
You know it looks BRZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ BRZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Singing la la la la la..BRZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ lala la BRZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZla, la la la la.. lala BRZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZla la etc AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

That last part is me losing my mind. Thank you and good night.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Long Winter

Driving into work has been challenging this week, mostly because our city seems to think the sun is a great replacement for a snow plow. Not so much, Richmond. I found out this morning how to tell when you hit ice on the road - your tires stop working. Awesome! But, thanks to the extra shot of adrenaline I'm very very alert this morning. Wide awake.

We're set to get slammed with another big weekend-ruining storm tomorrow, so to tame my tantrum and get bit of a reality check I've been re-reading The Long Winter. Wow, hey, sucks for us but at least we're not weathering out a blizzard in a claim shanty with five other people and no heat except a wood stove. Dang.

Anyway, I was a little late to work, though not because of the ice. Just the usual reason: VH1 Classic. Oh, I love it so much. When the news gets too newsy in the morning I switch over and sometimes it's completely horrifying (Quarterflash!), and sometimes good. Today, it was extra good. First they played the video for Blue Jean.

David Bowie is just the greatest. Let's all take a minute.

I'm the greatest.

The original video for this song was 20 minutes long and had him playing two different characters: Jaded Drugged Out Rock Star and Hopeless Loser with a BandAid on his Nose. It's right here on Y0uTube, so if you're in the need of entertainment, I highly recommend.

While I was getting dressed, they played Save It for Later by the English Beat. Always a good time:



I stopped to watch it and then looked at the clock and had to rush. But! As I was walking out the door, this came on:



I literally stopped in my tracks and my bag fell out of my hand because damn, is there anything better than a luxuriously mulleted Robert Plant singing in front of a speedo-wearing xylophone player? I DON'T THINK SO. I have always loved this version of Sea of Love and I couldn't leave without watching the video. Awesome.

Okay, that's all for now. I know I still need to post about my Chicago trip and I will! Probably while snowed in this weekend.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

When it snows it pours

Sorry, I'm so far behind! I still haven't written about my trip to Chicago but that's because I caught a bad cold about two minutes after my plane landed in Richmond. Now it's snowing all crazy and I'm on day three of being trapped in the house feeling like shit. AWESOME. I did use my sweet new KitchenAid mixer to make cookies, though I can't actually confirm their tastiness.

A big snowstorm here is usually cause for excitement but this is the second time we've had a big snow on a weekend. Stop it, weather. If you can't give me a legitimate day off work I don't need you. Man, I am not good at being sick. To amuse myself I've been Twittering with one of the local TV weather guys because this morning he said he'd tarped his car once he got to work and also suggested tarping your yard and maybe your dog too. (They are getting a little punchy over there.) Here's the exchange I had with him:

Amblus @AndrewFreiden Freiden, I've tarped all three cats per your advice. Now what? Starting to panic and cats are REAL MAD.

AndrewFreiden @Amblus Rule #1: don't tarp cats. Dogs are OK with it, though.

Amblus @AndrewFreiden You might have wanted to mention that. It's too late and tarp is shredded. I'm next. Very scared. Pls advise.

AndrewFreiden @Amblus abandon ship. You should now leave town.

Amblus @AndrewFreiden Have abandoned house & am currently hunkered under tarp in the back yard. Cats have slashed tires & phone lines. So scared.

Sorry, I'm such a nerd. But what else do I have to do? I can't go anywhere and I don't feel good enough to do much else. I will leave you with a couple of nice photos that Kenny took in our back yard:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bullet Points.

Yeah, I've been busy but lots has happened! I promise to be better about updating when I get back from my trip. Ah! Bullet:

  • I'm going to Chicago tomorrow to see friends and to eat some good food and generally not be at home and stuff. Whee! My coworkers keep giving me chemical hand warmers which is nice, but it's not actually that cold there right now. I'm not going to the antarctic, y'all.
  • My birthday was last Saturday and it was a lot of fun. My spinning instructor embarrassed me good (but played Bowie at my request), I had a fun lunch with my sister and nieces, and went out to dinner with Kenny, Kate and Justin. Dinner was a bit of a fiasco because who the hell decides to go to Edo's on a Saturday night after they've been closed for two weeks? Only me. It was a mob scene. That's a story in itself, so I'll save it.
  • I took my first TRX class on Tuesday and assumed, stupidly, that because I work out hard and lift heavy that it wouldn't be that hard. Hi, could you put my coat on for me? And buckle my seat belt? And maybe steer my car? My arms DON'T WORK. Damn hell. I can't wait to do it again once I'm able to move and stuff.


That's all! I'll be back Monday with tales to tell.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Iron Chef Amblus

Cooking is something I enjoy and I like to think I'm pretty good at it but it's one of those things that can go either way and so fast. One second you're dreaming up titles for the Cooking Show Starring You and the next you're covered in coconut milk and weeping, while something quietly catches fire in the oven*. It's really all about, uh, timing.

Last weekend I was gifted with (Claudia, close your ears) some really glorious Benton's bacon. It's what bacon should be, for serious. It spawned a whole lot of cooking, including these biscuits and this kale and potato recipe. Delicious! I also, at the suggestion of a friend, tried this Brunswick Chicken recipe and it turned out so well I felt like a cooking genius. The next day I turned the leftovers into Brunswick stew (sans possum or squirrel, lets not go crazy, okay?) and it got even better. I was on a roll of cooking awesomeness.

Then, last night I tried another recommended recipe for Seared Tofu with Green Beans and Coconut Sauce. I really like tofu a lot, but I've never been able to cook it. I just can't make it turn out the way I want. I've frozen it, squeezed it, pressed it, yadda yadda yadda falling apart and soggy. Every. Single. Time. I gave up after finding a local brand of pre-baked and flavored tofu that was really good. Then it disappeared - I guess the company went out of business. Sadness! Back to square one.

But I read the recipe and even though it's a little fussy with the cooking and removing, cooking and removing, I thought it sounded simple enough. I got started with the tofu (pressed, cubed, marinated) and everything was going great until I tried to flip it. Uh, tofu? Ain't meat. If you aren't using a non-stick pan those little cubes are going to stick and break and fall apart and you will realize this when you're in the middle of decanting the coconut milk which has separated with a thick layer of solid crap on top and WHEEEE a spray of liquidy goodness underneath that you will accidentally hit too hard with your spatula and it will go EVERYWHERE. Meanwhile your tofu is not searing so much as committing suicide.

You yank out a nonstick pan and transfer the tofu and use the other pan for the rest and watch in horror as your ginger sticks fast and your garlic starts to burn before it even hits the surface. Glob in the coconut milk solids and whatever is left from the liquid and stirstirstir while coconut milk runs down your face, mingling with your tears.

At this point your husband wanders into the kitchen, takes one look and crab-scrambles right back out before he gets sucked into the vortex of Dinner Preparation Panic.

Take a breath. Take a gulp of wine. Wipe the coconut milk off your feet. Go back in.

Green beans, red bell pepper, other shit, stir stir stir, remove. Boil. Throw stuff back in, oh crap what the hell is that? Whatever its fine. Rice, plates, beer, dinner. *sob*

What? No sweat. It was pretty tasty, though next time I'm just going to sear up the tofu in a separate (NONSTICK) pan while I make the sauce and cook the veggies in the other one. I'm not sure why I didn't do that to begin with, but that's why cooking is so fucking fun. IT'S FUN.

* a few weeks ago I apparently dropped a pot holder in the oven and didn't notice. When I opened the oven again I saw it just as it burst into flames. I calmly closed the oven while I found some baking soda to throw on it. I did not panic! Nothing to see here. Please move along.

Friday, January 8, 2010

It's Friday! Stuff! I! Love!

Mr. Bento lunchbox I got one of these for Christmas and it's been a lot of fun, if a little fussy. I think it'll work better in the summer when I eat things that don't have to be heated up. It's supposed to keep food hot or cold but I don't usually heat my leftovers up in the morning prior to packing. Still, I love the stacking containers and the built-in portion control. I've been using it all week with good results. Plus, it looks really cool and comes with it's own spork!



Sweet Potato Lentil Kale soup. This soup is a godsend. It's what I make after the holidays when I feel all gross from the sugar and butter I've consumed with both hands. It's painfully healthy but seriously delicious and very nice served with grilled cheese sandwiches made with good crusty bread. I've added organic chicken sausage to it but it's just as good without. If you're not a kale fan, spinach would probably work, though Swiss chard or collards would hold up better.

(I got no picture. You'll have to check the link or use your imagination)

Farmer Boy. I was a huge fan of the Little House books when I was a kid and I've read them all many times but the one I always come back to is Farmer Boy. Something about the food descriptions, the animals, the upstate New York farm life appeals to me more than the prairie every did. It really holds up and I enjoy reading it now just as much as I did when I was little. Almanzo's my boy.



Shu Uemura Skin Purifier. I am a sucker for beauty products but most of my skincare stuff runs along the lines of Neutrogena, Cetaphyl and Mario Badescu. However! I splurged on a small bottle of this Shu Uemura cleansing oil because my skin had started to do that winter dry/patchy/blotchy thing which is just awesome. The Cetaphyl wasn't cutting it anymore, let's be honest. I've been using the cleansing oil every evening (I don't wash my face in the morning, just rinse) and my skin looks a lot better. Plus, I don't have that dried-mask feeling right after I wash my face. It's expensive, but you only need a few drops, so it lasts forever. Whee!

Man, what a weird assortment of stuff I picked today. Whatever, have a good weekend!