Sunday, December 6, 2009

It's getting colder here in the Deep South, but unfortunately I cannot hibernate, though I am giving it my best shot (sleeping til 1 today with the animals squishing me into a warm furry sandwich). But work awaits. I just finished writing a very real grant proposal for not-quite-real P.A.W. for my nonprofit class. It is long and confusing and would surely not get my organization $25,000. But I AM DONE WITH IT. and that is what really matters here.
let's see...friday night i made an encore of the fudge pie i made two weeks ago. my dad ate it all yesterday, which makes me feel good. i enjoy watching other people enjoy what i've cooked. some really profound thoughts going on here, clearly. i am so unbelieveably read to be finished with school. the idea of grad school and doing this whole thing over again, academics-wise (the non-academics have been pretty varied and fun), makes me want to run my head through a Rothko. (just kidding, i would never destroy a rothko...perhaps a paul mccarthy.) but it does seem a little foolish to say, "no thanks professional career...i'd like to stay home and bake and rescue animals instead." i don't know. QUARTER-LIFE CRISIS (actually, every time i see a roach in my apartment it takes a few years off my life, so if i continue living in midtown 22 is probably half of my life, not a quarter).
fingers crossed for a camera this christmas! but for now, i leave you with this bundle of holiday joy:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

full closet, empty brain

Remember these days? It's okay, I barely do either. I've been thinking and overthinking about how you can do Wardrobe Remix, or even a fashion blog, tastefully. How can it ever be classy to spend a good chunk of time taking photos of yourself, putting them on the internet, and waiting for applause(or boos and hisses, depending on your outfit). The Cherry Blossom Girl does it. So does Ringo. But alas, I neither live in Paris with the world's most magnificent wardrobe nor do I live in New York and possess mad self-timer skillz with the camera. OH WELL. I've just been getting a lot more excited about clothes lately (I think it's the opportunity to conceal these pasty stems in tights! oh, and boots, I forgot about boots), and am hoping to continue it. I sometimes think that if my second post ever on Wardrobe Remix (two years ago, mind you) got selected by Painfully Hip, maybe I should have kept it up. My closet is so full, begging to be worn. It's actually so full I've had to get rid of several things, but it's probably for the best since the black halter my boobs fall out of or a thrift-store dress 13 sizes too big didn't really belong in there anyway.
So I've been thinking about clothes. Not school. Especially since I figured out I really am going to graduate in December. I wanna be through! I'm about to turn in the worst nonprofit paper ever...but hopefully the outfit I send it off in will be great!
Also, I had a stomach bug come visit from 5 a.m. Sunday morning til yesterday afternoon. So I've been thinking about that too. And eating things other than crackers and applesauce.

Friday, October 16, 2009

my little lady and me

Today is Betsy and I's first anniversary. Who knew I'd ever end up with a cat(much less two)? I always hated/feared them as a child, after getting a chunk taken out of my hand by one at about 5 years old. But when I worked at the Humane Society, Betsy's white mittens, pretty face and swinging belly caught my eye. Her name was Samantha, but I had to change that. For one, that is an absurd name for a cat, and two, I just couldn't have both my pets named after Sex and the City characters(I already had Charlotte). In August 2007, she and one of her kittens(SLUT) had been unceremoniously dumped on the Humane Society's doorstep. And on October 16, 2008, I took her home, where she remains the head huntress and frosty bitch of the household. I don't know how her life started, but I do know how it'll end: diabetes. Just kidding. Seriously, though, WHAT a porker. But I love her and her chubby tabby ways (except for peeing in laundry baskets), and I hope she'll be warming my feet in bed for 15 years to come.
Off to bed: tomorrow we venture to Murfreesboro, most likely my final visit ever.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hüsker Dü-dledoo

In my girlfriend-ly duties over the course of the past year and three months, I have learned far more than most other girls about Hüsker Dü (it helps when your boyfriend is writing a book about them). But I've realized that most of my friends are not very familiar with this trio of odd-looking dudes from Minneapolis (my version of their biography). So here is the hilariously bad mish-mash of a video for one of their most famous songs, as a starter. Not really sure I'm doing them justice, but that's all I have right now, I'm afraid!

Also, one of the borderline servile friendly waiters at Indian Palace gave me a free mango lassi! Made my day.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pet Peeve of the Day:

Fat people who take the elevator in 3-story buildings. NO WONDER YOU ARE FAT. This is cringe-inducingly common on the U of M campus. I want to slap them upside the head with some common sense.

On a positive note, my new favorite thing, which there are also a lot of on campus: CHIPMUNKS. BABY chipmunks.

Monday, September 21, 2009

It's already Monday time flies when you're in school and you live for the weekend. Not to say that today's been so bad. Johnny is chasing a gnat and doing pirouettes with his cartoonishly (not a word) long body, I have some chocolate chip muffins (from a cupcake cookbook, but they are clearly muffins) cooling on the kitchen counter, I did not get rained on today (for the first time in a week), and in a few hours Andy and I are going to walk down to the Hi-Tone to see Kylesa. He describes them as "what Tool would sound like if Took didn't suck." A pretty accurate summary. I'm mainly going to eye the merch table and try to get some unsuspecting roadie to squeal about which records are super-limited, but I also have to admit really enjoying being the only female at metal shows. They can be laugh-out-loud funny and there is so much testosterone in the air that you can smell it (a bit like sweat, beer, and an occasional dumbass who applied Axe (there's a reason you're here alone, buddy)). Double parentheses...can I do that? I DID IT.
Fact of the day: listening to NPR on the way to that retail hellhole, Schnucks, I learned that there are more Subways in the world than there are McDonald's. Clearly iceberg lettuce is more popular than I thought.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

In Brief

Thursday: baked vegetarian lasagna (my first attempt, not too shabby), new yellow flats from Target
Friday: Goat Days (not as many goats as expected), funnel cake, perfect lemonade, apple pie ice cream from Baskin Robbins (A+), Mon Oncle
Saturday: sleep, study, pizza with Dad at Ross's restuarant (High Point Pizza, in my childhood 'hood)
Sunday: donuts and New York Times in bed, speech writing (putting that off til the last semester was SO FOOLISH)
I will probably make something soon with the leftover ricotta from the white food I am not afraid of.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Number of the Beast?

Yesterday I took Charlotte to the vet for her yearly vaccinations and checkup and discovered that she now weighs 66.6 pounds. Devil dog!!!
Also, last night I made chocolate thumbprint cookies (an excuse to combine cookies and Nutella) from The Cookie Book to take with us to go see "Extract" (ironically, these cookies involved no extract), and then promptly forgot them. I had a jar of Nutella and a spoon in the movie theater and no cookies. However, Studio on the Square kindly offers free club crackers, so we grabbed nearly all of them and made do.
I enjoyed that movie...which I wasn't really expecting, because I've always that "Office Space" was waaaaay overrated. To reinforce my grandma-ish-ness, it's really surprising and nice to see a really funny R-rated comedy that doesn't have to rely totally on sex and scat jokes. And no nudity...sort of odd. Anyway...3 out of 5, I would say? Not that my opinion matters...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

fo' drizzle

Yesterday was the first day of classes (but my last semester of college!), and to mourn the former and celebrate the latter I made some lemon drizzle bars last night, from an aptly titled cookbook I have called "I Love Sugar". I didn't have the correct size pan, so I used a smaller one, which meant that the lemon-powdered sugar syrup I made to pour on them was a bit too much. So now they are lemon drenched bars. But still pretty tasty.
Although I know its prime season is winter, citrus fruits (especially lemons) seem very appropriate for summer. I found the world's largest lemon at Fresh Market (my new obsession) yesterday, and I decided it deserved to shine on its very own in some sort of baked good in which I could drown my beginning-of-the-school-year woes.
I WISH I COULD TAKE PICTURES. But alas, school books gotta be bought, and unfortunately they get more expensive every year. I sound like a grandpa...("why, I remember when textbooks only cost ya $20!")...but that's fine with me.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

jai ho

Yesterday Katherine and I went to our first India Fest. For some reason (probably because of its size) it was held at the AgriCenter, normally the home of horse shows and gun and knife expos. It was loud and bright and very tasty (not the gun expo). There were a few small exhibits devoted to henna and immigration lawyer services, but this thing was primarily a food fest. There were at least 30 different booths showcasing food from every single region in India (and there are quite a few of those). And the best part was the price! I got a mango lassi, a big fat spicy vegetable samosa, and spinach vidai, each for only $1. HOWEVER, the climax was not almost getting knocked over by a 7-year-old dressed as Shiva but rather a lovely little dessert (also $1) called sandesh. It tasted a bit like cheesecake, those less creamy and without the tang. You're probably thinking that those are the best parts of cheesecake, but hear me out. Not only was it the perfect way to clear my palate of the vidai (TOO SPICY), it was the most beautiful mint green in the world. It could rival the macaroons of Laduree. The only natural way to achieve that color is with pistachios, but I didn't really taste any. Right when I got home I Googled that business and was sadly unsuccessful. The only recipes I can find are image-free and don't involve pistachios. I want the color as much as the taste (which comes from paneer, which I had never realized would work in both sweet and savory items). I could maybe replicate it with ricotta? But maybe the whole point was to savor it while I had it and then wait for next year.
Still waiting to buy a memory card for my camera....soon, though, soon!

Friday, August 28, 2009

One of the best respites from the 100-degree heat we've been experiencing lately has to be bubble tea. Southeast Asians would know, since they have to cope with temperatues far worse than this. My favorite bubble tea in Memphis is what they serve at Pho Saigon (at Poplar and Tillman), particularly the fruity flavors. Though I am less than enthusiastic about Pho Saigon's food (tofu needs to be given a flavor, not left to its own bland devices), they know their bubble tea. I prefer the less tea-like options in weather this intense (heresy, I know), like the strawberry I ordered last night. It is like the perfect combination of a smoothie (usually too chalky at smoothie shops) and a milkshake (a vice I like to only give into rarely); not too light, not too heavy. And while, like a good American, I like my desserts sweeter than most people can handle, Southeast Asian cuisine (most Asian cuisine, for that matter) does not have a tradition of sweet foods. This is where the tapioca comes in. Besides giving the drink texture and visual interest, the pearls (from the starch of the half-toxic cassava root) help to counterbalance a sweetness the Asian palate is not accustomed to. They also make the thing a novelty, which always sells (for a while). Apparently bubble tea wasn't invented until the 1980s in Taiwan. Thanks, Wikipedia.
I promise this is the last food ramble!

Monday, August 24, 2009

About a pie

Last night I made a Key lime pie from scratch for the first time. Being the incredibly novice foodie that I am, I was unaware until recently that a Key lime is an actual fruit, a very different little guy than the common Persian limes you toss in a gin and tonic. I don't really know what I thought before; that Key lime pie was some sort of regional specialty developed in the Florida Keys? Probably popularized at Margaritaville* or some other beachfront horror? Wrong. Key limes are real, folks, and they are really tiny. For three cups of lime juice, an amount which requires about 4 regular limes, I juiced what felt like 400 Key limes. Actually, it was about 20. I even have a battle scar: a tiny cut on my index finger. Luckily I am too wimpy to use very, very sharp knives and I spared myself a trip to the emergency room. In addition, the whole thing had to freeze for 6 hours, which would not be an issue were it not for the fact that my freezer has decided to retire. I had to leave the pie at my parents' house, meaning that my dreams of the breakfast of champions, pie and milk, were tragically unfulfilled. However, it just arrived home (not my stomach--yet) in all its melty glory, ready to vindicate my index finger for its suffering.
If you are planning of making a Key lime pie while summer's still around, I suggest that your lime juice be comprised of half Key limes and half regular Persian limes. Garnish the pie with some Key lime slices and no one will know the difference. Your fingers will thank you.
And oh, DON'T FRET at the lack of photos to accompany this riveting post. I'm saving up for a memory card to go inside the squeak-inducing tiny camera that Andy gave me recently. Soon!
*=A few months ago I saw a bumper sticker that said "W.W.J.B.D.?". You guessed it, "What would Jimmy Buffet do?". I think the problems facing this country would be fewer if these bumper stickers, and a willing market for them, did not exist. This phenomenon is beyond me. "Margaritaville" shatters my nerves in the same way that Rupert Holmes' Pina Colada song takes 5 years off of my mother's life every time she hears it. The same goes for the pathetic late Beach Boys' song "Kokomo." For being such a fun place, the beach sure does inspire some of the world's shittiest music.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Back in the saddle again?

Thanks in part to a fairly steady internet connection (thank you, neighbor who is both too lazy to secure your network or name it--Netgear?), as well as a glut of free time during this hot, jobless summer, I have decided that the time is ripe to give this thing a shot once more. Despite the lack of a working freezer or a fridge that can keep milk good for longer than 2 days, I am cooking, lots. There have been both successes (the chocolate cake with caramel icing I made for Andy's surprise birthday party) and impressively elaborate failures (the dark chocolate cake with chocolate ganache that made Elizabeth gag). At least I learned something from plumbing the depths of culinary failure: I took that cookbook to the Goodwill drop-off straightaway.
Also, since I last updated this sad little abandoned blogette, two new family members have entered my life! The permanent one is a cartoonish tuxedo cat with a huge gut named Johnny that I acquired in April from Mewtopia, a really great cat rescue in East Memphis. The temporary addition to my laughably small apartment is a petite stray cat, wooed by cans of wet food from the shadows of my building's basement, who answers to both "kitten" and "Skinny Minnie." She is my first official rescue (Lil Bitty 4ever) under the umbrella of Purrs and Whiskers (P.A.W.) Pet Rescue, the organization that I founded (and am still the sole member of) a few months ago. Being unemployed gives you lots of time to think. Clearly. Currently, I'm working on getting a vet on board to offer discounted services. My solicitation letter is, I think, pretty convincing.
Also also, I've realized lately how much my life has changed in the past year or so (in the best way possible). Less than two years ago, you were far more likely (read: 99% likely) to find an overturned can of malt liquor under my bed. Today that spot is taken by decapitated cat toys and lots of dog hair. After partying a leeeeeetle too hard for a while there, I am ecstatically happy with the way my life has turned, mainly due to my wonderful boyfriend and my fat dog (mortal enemies, by the way). I thought it might be interesting to chronicle my entrance into the domestic realm, as well as the shockingly complicated world of non-profit animal rescue. Interesting to ME, that is. We'll see if anyone else falls for it.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

spring fever!

i have it. i'm so ready to bare these shockingly pale legs and steal daffodils from my neighbor's yard. in the past few days, i've been trying my damndest to make my life spring-y, even if mother nature doesn't want to cooperate with me (though today, i must say, was an exception). so i'm breaking out the pastel and floral dishware. i know it may look less rococo and more appropriate for a 6-year-old, but it cheers me up nonetheless.

today is my dad's birthday, and i have a german chocolate cake in the oven for him. it still has 10 minutes left to bake, but it smells sooooooo delicious. i'm almost ready to plunge my face into it...although i already did that with the leftover batter. (raw eggs don't scare me!) mmmmmmmmmm.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

independent living

in just a few short weeks, the gritty little narcissus bulbs that a. planted for me have blossomed into these beauties. the blooms burst forth overnight, and their subtle fragrance is now wafting through my entire apartment. some of the clusters of flowers are hanging so heavy on their stems that they swing low and smack betsy in the face while she's eating. being a cat, and by definition nonchalant, she completely ignores them.
however, there are some different apartment inhabitants that she refuses to ignore. my worst nightmare: roaches. i am not a bastion of bravery or anything, but i'm not too bad with most bugs. spiders? no problem. i actually let them live most of the time because the eat roaches. even less common nasties, like earwigs, i can deal with. roaches are another story entirely. i get hit with a wave of nausea just thinking about them. but as i live in an old midtown apartment, they're unfortunately sort of inevitable. i keep my place clean, but that doesn't seem to matter to them. i'm more than willing to wage biological warfare against these pests with raid, but betsy is messing up this option. even when i cover up the defeated carcasses of my evil little enemies (waiting for a. to come dispose of their bodies), she finds a way in. and eats them. whole. at first i thought my kitty executioner was amusing, but now i'm afraid she's going to get poisoned. and i can't crush them, because i am a wimp. short of caulking every single crevice in my apartment, i don't know what to do. i guess i could grow a pair, but i'm just not ready for that kind of personal advancement. help?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

sleeping on the job

today has not been so fun. i'm curled up in bed, eating my third egg sandwich in less than 24 hours (which may well be a personal record), hypothetically positioning myself at the foot of Vesuvius to write a paper for my art of Pompeii class. it's so so cold, and my bedspread is dirty, thanks to charlotte's habit of chewing nasty rawhides right on top of it. however, i have the best foot-warmers in the world to make this boring task a little less awful and a lot more cute. people who don't have animals really just don't know what they're missing. here are my bay-bays, catching up on their 19 hours of sleep a day while i slave away at the computer.

will you please check out charlotte's persecuted look? it is ridiculous. i guess she perfected it during her two years in puppy jail. this is the look i have to endure every single time i leave the apartment/shut the bathroom door/eat without giving her any scraps/let a. enter the apartment. you'd think i have been starving this dog or something. very conniving, she is.

Monday, February 2, 2009

cookies and kitties

the night before last i baked some gingerbread kitties, in honor of the ultimate real-life ginger kitty, the mayor. i've never made from-scratch gingerbread anything before, so these were a bit iffy. they needed some icing, or candy googly eyes, or something. a. suggested using them as cereal...probably the best way to deal with the 15 extra languishing on my counter right now.
the weather today was spectacularly beautiful. however, i spent the majority of my day asleep (i won't lie) or studying. sleeping was probably far more productive than the studying...intimidating tomes about contemporary art have to be the dryest, most humorless, and self-serious books of art scholarship on the market. it's enough to bore anyone to tears (or lull them back to sleep).

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Once Again...

A new year, a new blog. It's a habit I've fallen into over the past several years. But I'm really going to try to give this baby a shot. Let's just hope it lasts longer (and is more inspired than) the sadly forgotten Global-A-Go-Go. Since I'm still partying like it's 1979 in my internet-free apartment, this might be somewhat difficult. But hey, what are neighbors for if not steal wireless from? (Yes, I realize that I just ended this sentence with a preposition. Really living on the edge here.)
I decided that this childhood photo is appropriate, since it externalizes the internal joy I feel every time I make/eat/see/think about cake.