Thursday, April 30, 2009

culinary adventures

Today's blog post is brought to you by pickled grapes. Yeah, you heard me! Grapes. Pickled!!!

I'm in love with Smitten Kitchen and have been drooling over the photos there... and I'm *thisclose* to hopping on a plane and begging them to let me live there. I would be SO FAT but so, so incredibly happy. Seriously. My heart would never ache again if only I could set up house in the Smitten Kitchen. (First, however, I need to practice saying Smitten Kitchen because every time it comes out my mouth it's the Smitten KITTEN).

So, I'm paging down and there's a recipe for Pickled Grapes. Interesting. Do-able? Totally. Edible? We'll see tomorrow. I'm giving these babies extra sousing time -- although truth be told, I did sample the pickling solution and it's really yummy. I was too cheap to get the nice White Wine Vinegar so I subbed White Balsalmic... and it tasted really nice.

We also got fun mail! Tracy sent Ernie some treats... he loves them and told me he now wants to move to Maine. Can you blame him? It's beautiful there... and the lobster! Ho boy.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

r.i.p. bea arthur

I KNOW! So sad... Maude is gone.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

blood, sweat and tears

Day 2 at yoga saw a big improvement -- both in stamina and style. I had a complete reversal; I think I sat out as many asanas as I actually managed to DO in yesterday's class. My only complaint? The class was really, really crowded. I wonder if it has something to do with the economy -- more people laid off... more time to work on the self... I don't know. I just don't remember the class being three deep late-afternoon when I was going to this studio in the past. It could also be that they've cut the number of classes they offer per day, but man, I don't like having feet in my face and it was THAT packed today.

Tomorrow, however, is another day.

Tonight I met Lindsey and her hubby and friends for spaghetti dinner at LaCheugas... I rode my bike. I actually pumped the tires up and rode (downhill) to dinner knowing full well that getting home on a slight incline was really going to suck -- especially on a full stomach of full carbs, but here I type on the couch. Home. On the way, though, there was a gang of kids. Yes, a gang. They had weapons (water balloons) and one particuarly bratty boy threw one at me at the urging of his gangmates. Little punk. I know they figured I'd just ride on away, but I didn't. I was still all wound-up from yoga so I found the adult responsible for the little turds and turned them in. Their balloons were confiscated. I don't feel badly about this. I really don't.

I got caught with Shelley (of the ruffle panties and baby grand piano and canopy bed) throwing rocks -- ROCKS -- at cars when we were 4 or 5. We were bored and thought it would be good fun to throw rocks at cars. Well, Shelley's dad came home, saw us and washed our mouths out with soap as punishment. Yeah, the soap thing made no sense but I guess he figured he couldn't smack me without asking permission first. He should've just sent me home to let my parents deal with me (i.e. put me on a guilt trip) but he took punishment into his hands and then my mother gave him an earful. I did get the guilt trip later that night and learned about respecting other people's property but I imagine the kids today will just shrug it off and on the next warm day, they'll be outside with water bombs chucking them at passing strangers. Hopefully they won't get the wrong person on the right day.

on dying... or wanting to

We had Day 1 of our 30-day yoga challenge yesterday. Well, Anne and Lindsey did and I mostly just laid on my back, out flat, for the bulk of the class. Honestly, I don't remember hot yoga being so hard the last time I started (about 2... maybe 3 years ago?) I'm hurting in places I shouldn't (hello, chin?) and am really NOT looking forward to class today even though I know I'm doing something really good for myself. I will go, I will not quit -- even if I want to.

I just had no idea I was so out of shape.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

on being schooled

Or rather, on making bread. Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie featured an artisan bread maker in NY who explained that all you really need to make a loaf is some flour and water -- that there's yeast floating around in the air around us. Interesting. I don't think I'll test this... I'm sticking with the recipe Susanna posted (already toasted off one loaf... the 2nd one is rising as I type).

I'm really so excited about this! It doesn't mean that I'll never buy a loaf of pre-sliced bread again, but I'm going to make an effort to make things from scratch -- things that scare me like bread and cheese (I had a bad experiment with paneer once... just thinking about it makes me want to gag).

Friday, April 17, 2009

look at what i can do

Mme Cheap posted a really great recipe on her blog recently and I've been itchy to try it. Bread? No-knead, no fail bread? I was intrigued... I actually went out and bought my first dutch oven to bake this in (I love you Costco), mixed up the ingredients and stuck it in my fridge and waited. I really had doubts... how could you make bread from just four ingredients: water, yeast, flour and salt? Seriously? That's all you need?? But look:
And it's edible!!!

Wednesday I adopted "Boots" and now we officially belong to each other. He's awfully cute... and while it probably wasn't the most responsible decision, I'm actually happy I did it.

I finished another cotton shopping bag and the Dude approves... or cowers. That's beside the point. I'm renaming him "Ernie" after Ernest Hemingway who, apparently, had an affinity for polydactyl cats (something I didn't learn when I went to his house in Key West...) but will most likely just call him "Dude." He's not partial to any of his names, so we'll go with Dude. Poor guy still gnaws on his tail stub -- what's left of it -- I hope that some Rescue Remedy will alleviate that problem. Poor guy is a ball of stress. Two neurotics; we're perfect for each other.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

bumper sticker logic

On my drive home from S'n'B last night, I was stopped behind a massive SUV. What caught my eye was the bumper sticker on the rear window:

Besides, when was the last time you heard someone
say, "Check out that piece of elephant?"

I must remember to carry a camera with me at all times.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

signs, signs, everywhere is signs

Really. Today as I was driving to Petsmart, a Lincoln Continental filled with Buddhist Monks drove by. It was so surreal -- all these men with shaved heads in orange robes in a very new tan Lincoln? They had the requisite "stuff" on the back shelf under the window (in this case, it was two orange Asian-style pillows... those horrible round ones in silk with embroidered panels on top). Anyhow on Sunday the Asian siblings, Tammy & Victor on The Amazing Race, went under a bridge and cat-called to a bunch of monks walking overhead...

It's just got me thinking lately that I have no religion. My mother is Buddhist -- she became very devout while my parents were divorcing. She'd drag me to the temple twice weekly and would spend lots of time in front of her mini home-shrine, chanting and burning incense... it was such an embarassment to me at the time. I now know that she really needed it, that she might've shut down otherwise and she couldn't do that when she had a kid to take care of. The only thing I got out of her return to her religion was participation in the marching band (she briefly joined an Nichiren sect and this was their kind of "Sunday School" for kids). Whatever, I was happy I finally got to play the piccolo -- a sad substitution for the flute, but close enough... it wasn't as unwieldy as my cello.

Are these signs pointing me in a certain direction? Are they? I've been going through a minor crisis of self image, would meditating help me here? It's just really weird. I tend to read into things a bit much, but this seems so obvious.

Anyhow, check out this pillow wig. Sorry to get so tangential, but I was looking for an image of one of those round pillows and found this instead.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

editing mishap

I had embedded this really cool video by Michel Gondry (famous director... very recently for the Flight of the Conchords "Too Many Dicks" video -- ok, it has a different name, but that was my take-away from watching it). Anyhoodle, the embedding went awry so here's a link. It's a time-lapse cross-country roadtrip video... erm, just watch. It's nice.

feeling gloomy

Maybe it's the weather... maybe it's other stuff. I found a blog that was both upsetting and gave me some hope. I spent this morning being obsessive, not productive, and now I'm going to turn off the computer and DO something.

I also need to take The Dude back to the DDFL for, if nothing else, a follow-up visit with a vet. I really, really want to adopt this guy and I'm putting off taking him back for fear that that they won't let me bring him home with me again.

It's all contributing to this gloomy feeling... but it'll pass. In good news, Anne and I are going to do a 30-day challenge. Maybe we can drag Lindsey into these shenanigans...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

i love you, man

Awkward man meets best friend, marries.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

bloody kids these days

You could definitely say that some of the people I work with are kids... here's proof?


It's gorgeous outside and I'm inside. I've taken to this really weird sleep schedule; in bed by 11, asleep by 2am, awake anywhere between 11 - noon. By the time I get out of bed it feels like half my day has been wasted... I don't know what's going on. My alarm goes off at 8 and I sleep through it. Weird.

I took a picture of aemcdraw with my most recent FO and it looks great... on her. I don't know why, but I feel it minimizes my head. I'm still holding back on frogging... I LIKE the hat, I just need to get used to seeing it on my head.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

is it easter yet?

I'm confused. I woke up late today, spent the day knitting and realized it must be Easter soon, no?

So I finished a hat... out of boredom. Out of avoidance. Out of a need to bust some stash. I'm undecided as to whether or not I actually LIKE this hat -- it doesn't sit well over my glasses, so it might have to wait for post-Lasik days (if I ever get around to doing that). Or it could end up in the frog pond... I'll sit on it for a while before I do anything rash like rip it apart.
Here's another photo of Boots in his brand-new 12cm collar. Poor guy. I know he's miserable, but his tail isn't full healed... the one stitch he didn't rip out is tenuously thread through the right side of the tail stub... I want to make sure it stays until stitch-removing day (the 10th).Tomorrow is a busy day. I actually have plans on a Monday! What the? I'm taking a crochet class at the library; if it looks pants, tomorrow will be my first and last day. I'm also doing a cheese focus group thing -- should be great. Yesterday I went to the art museum for free 1st Saturday... I was standing on the 3rd floor in front of an exhibit -- now I've forgotten what it was... maybe the lipstick latrines? At any rate, this man was standing to my side with three friends -- I couldn't stop staring at him because I was certain he was someone I had known in a previous life (i.e. high school or some horrible short-term job somewhere). His friends pulled him to the side since I was being terribly rude... trying to get my brain to wrap itself around itself, and then I realized "BY GEORGE!!!" it was "George" from Grey's Anatomy. What the hell is he doing in Denver on a miserable Saturday... and at the Art Museum on the free day as well? Weird. I did see the foxes. That's why I was there.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

not very spring-like

We have Thundersnow in the forecast! Hooray!