25 February 2009

Half Blood Prince Featurette

Something to tide us over until July 17th - which cannot come soon enough!

19 February 2009

Crash Course in Cooking

So, I have been cooking more, lately - in fact we haven't spent any money on food since last Saturday when we went grocery shopping, and even after I used most of our food, I managed to squeeze some veggies and bulk potatoes into a soup!

It's overwhelming to throw down $100+ at the supermarket. It feels like quite a bit of money, and it kind of makes me want to cry sometimes, but we do everything we can to keep the costs low, and while we do treat ourselves every now and again (we don't scrimp on olive oil, for instance, or certain spices), we use coupons, buy store brands, and take advantage of sales.

I made myself kind of sad with the photography. Food photography is tough to begin with, but our apartment has such shitty lighting, and I occasionally get a good shot,

Orange Rosemary Chicken

Superstar Cupcakes

Sea Scallops

But mostly, I get shaky shots, or shots of pork tenderloin looking undercooked.

And then nights like last night, when I had a stressful day and have been eating cheese since 10AM, we make a 1/3 cup of lentils, have some hummus and call it a night. No, it's not gourmet cooking, but it's better than our usual standby of Taco Bell or Aram's Pizza.

So documenting hasn't improved my cooking, but cooking has improved my cooking, if that makes any sense.

The only recipe to emerge from this month was the Rosemary Chicken (first picture of the three shown above). It's delicious, it's baked, and it's got sweet potatoes and leeks, so the vegetables are right in there with everything - a one stop cooking wonder. I just need to get the quantities right, because the recipe calls for a whole chicken, and I'm just not comfortable with that. Next step: mastering the Rosemary Chicken, and finding a new recipe.


The other day I was walking home and I saw some Obama propaganda papered onto a light post. It made my heart skip a beat, and I was happy that I lived in this country, again.

The feeling took me by surprise, especially since the afterglow of Obama's inauguration has passed. I'm proud of us, America.

16 February 2009

Keys: Found!

J found my keys in the unlikeliest of places - the one purse I didn't check because I haven't used it since last February! I guess I put them in there when I considered using the purse on Sunday, but forgot to bring them with me when I decided to use a large tote bag, instead.


Today is a mess

It started this morning, on our way out the door, when I realized that I couldn't find my keys. J was the last person to open the front door, and it's possible I haven't had my keys since before Saturday, when we went to dinner. I called the only two places we have been since then, and nothing.

J lent me his keys for the day, and instead of making a copy, we just figured we'd find mine when I got home and had a chance to look under every cushion, in every coat pocket. So I went to the Target in Dorchester, because I wanted some Orla Kiley canisters which happen to be sold out at every Target near me. I had a gift card from my birthday, and I've been waiting for just the right purchase, and thought I had found it in Orla's Target line.

All the way out in South Boston I find what I'm looking for, barely, because all of the canisters are busted, and besides, I left my gift card at home. I finally decided to buy the smallest canister they're selling, the only one that's not busted, which isn't going to be as useful as the bigger ones, but I figured it's pretty and today sucks, so I'm going to reward myself by spending money I don't really have on things I don't really need.

On the shuttle back to the T station, some random Dorchester dude screamed into his cell phone repeatedly. He must have called the same woman, Colleen, seven times over the course of our fifteen minute shuttle ride, to leave angry messages, or tell her that he couldn't hear her, but he'd call her back (fifteen seconds later), earning himself dozens of dirty looks from the passengers which did nothing to embarrass him or, more importantly, shut up his face. The best part was when he muttered something about "fucking people," to himself, and then apologized to me for his "language."

I finally got home, feeling completely on edge, wishing I had been able to make a Dr's appointment before March (I called in early January), because I've run out of Ativan. I tore the apartment to shreds looking for my keys, and still, nothing.

I already felt like I should crawl into bed and let today be done with, but I decided to spend time doing some data entry (my current paid gig). Nothing could get worse while I was innocently working at my computer, right?

I got an email from Urban Outfitters. Turns out that the two duvet covers I bought for $14, each, which I was going to turn into four curtain panels, have sold out, so they canceled an order I made early last week. I was so happy when I bought them because not only were they thicker fabric than the curtains with the same print, but each curtain panel costs $30! That was a savings of over $90! Not only did today suck, but now U.O. is going back in time, to my happy place, to screw with me!

I bought the last tapestry they had for $36, because fuck. I can only make two curtains out of it, if I'm lucky, so If they email me to tell me that I didn't get that "last one" in stock, I'm going to have to lick the Ativan dust out of my prescription bottle.

I am so done with today. Today can suck it.

05 February 2009

Wait. What?

"When I was in high school, my desire was to be a sportscaster, until I learned that you'd have to move to Bristol, Connecticut. It was far away. So instead, I had a daughter and named her Bristol." -Sarah Palin

01 February 2009

February's Book

This month, my book is 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann. I'm barely 37 pages into this book, and I am loving it. The book addresses issues surrounding the Euro-centric view that is taken, even by many well-established anthropologists, of Native American culture prior to the arrival of Columbus (although Mann uses the non-p.c. term "Indian" to refer to any of the natives, he explains why in the book). Mostly, the book contradicts the belief that pre-Columbian Indians were "sparsely settled in a pristine wilderness; rather, there were huge numbers of Indians who actively molded and influenced the land around them." What drew me to this book, besides the fact that J recently bought it, is the idea that many Americans use pre-Columbian Indians as a model for eco-friendly life, even though our preconceptions about these people are way off. It chalenges many of the ideas we have today about global development, more importantly how to fix the problems we are having right now, and I have to say that it's a pretty fascinating topic.

I just finished reading Devil in the White City, the biographical tale of the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, and how the fair created the perfect setting for serial killer H.H. Holmes. Devil in the White City is written with a kind of narrative that reads almost like fiction, and I thought I'd continue in that vein with 1491. Mann writes as an archeologist, a scholar, and just a regular guy who thinks the topic is pretty awesome, and the latter is how his writing comes off.