Wednesday, May 31, 2006

And foodblogging returns as well...

This past Friday, we resumed our weekly dinner get-togethers. On the menu this time were corned beef Reuben sandwiches (which Max claims are vastly superior to pastrami Reubens), a giant bowl of German potato salad, and lemon-yogurt fritters.

The sandwiches, while tasty, are not all that novel or exciting to write about - we didn't do anything innovative with their design - so I shall refrain. I would love to be able to tell you how the potato salad was made, since it was really good, but Max bought it from the deli (and I don't even know which deli), so I have no idea how they made it.

Ergo, you get the fritters. (Which sounds like some sort of disease or nervous condition, actually, but whatever.)



Tom snagged the recipe from Orangette, which he followed in all but the details of presentation. Rather than dusting the finished fritters with powdered sugar, we sprinkled them with cinnamon and sugar (and, in Demetri's case, a bit of cayenne pepper). They were so light and fluffy and delicious, with a slightly crispy outer shell. We determined that they still could have done with a bit more lemon flavor (it was rather subtle, and they smelled more lemony than they tasted), so next time we will add some lemon zest to the batter. Overall, though, they were most excellent. :)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Return of the Catblogging!


No, Leo, you were actually made in Corvallis...

New Template

Figured it was time to change the look around here (if only a bit). Let me know if this is too difficult to read and/or if the colors are funky. My work monitor doesn't always display colors very accurately, so if something's clashing, I can't tell unless it's reaaaally bad. ;)

Soon there will be some new content to accompany the pretty new template, but I've got to get back to work for now.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

It begins...

I set up a Flickr account and uploaded the first (small) set of wedding photos. You can see them here. I will be adding more over the next few weeks, I'm sure.

Back to work...

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Mawiage...mawiage is what bwings us togevah...today!




Worked like a damned charm, it did!

More to come...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Testing the donut tower...


Tell me this ain't gonna be awesome. ;)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Road-Trippin'

I wish the world was still flat like the old days,
then I could travel just by folding a map.

--Death Cab for Cutie, "New Year"

Today we make the 720-mile trek to beautiful Grants Pass, where we will wed! It will be a long drive (always is...), but we've got plenty of amusements to keep us, well, amused. We've got a Terry Pratchett book and a Christopher Moore book, both unabridged on CD, as well as a few comedy CDs. Hopefully they will make the drive go by quickly.

For travel snackage, I'm making beef jerky tonight (my mom's recipe). It requires delectible, marinated flank steak pieces to be baked at low heat all night long. Our apartment smells...SO...good right now. It's thoroughly ridiculous. In case I haven't mentioned it recently, I'm really enjoying being a carnivore again. ;)

Wish us luck as we finish tying up all the sundry loose ends this week. After the big day, I'll be sure to post photos of our donut cake of awesomeness. I know you can't wait for that! :) Thanks for all your good wishes, and I'll of course have a full report upon our return.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Glancing backward, but only briefly

The last time I kept a "real" journal - you know, the paper kind, whose pages are rife with angst and baaaaaad poetry (oh noetry!) - was for about six months during my junior year of college. That journal's been sitting in a bin under the bed for the past four years, and when I was transferring the contents of that bin into two smaller bins last night, I kept the journal aside and spent some time reading it. Late 2001 through early 2002 was, apparently, an even more turbulent time for me than I remembered. ;) If I were to run into my 20 year-old self on the street, I would blow her mind by informing her that in just 4 years she'd be getting married to a wonderful, brilliant, devastatingly handsome man. (That is, if meeting her 24 y.o. counterpart on the street weren't enough of a mind-blower on its own...)

Inspired by JordanBaker's recent do-over discussions, I thought about what I would change if I had the opportunity to go back to that year and do things differently. And I decided that, while there are a few mistakes I could have avoided, I wouldn't really like to live through that time again, even knowing what I know now. There isn't a whole lot I could have done to change my situation in any meaningful way, so why revisit all that angst and confusion? No, the 20 y.o. me can keep her life and its attendant issues. But if I could step in for a moment and assure her everything would turn out all right in the end, maybe she'd have a little bit of an easier time of it.

If you had the opportunity to impart one bit of wisdom on your 20 y.o. self (or some other younger version of you), what would you say? What would have the most impact? What one thing could you say that he/she would never believe would come to pass someday?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Yuck


I think I just threw up a little in my mouth...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

What? It's not even 2:00 yet?

The extent to which
yesterday was fast is that
to which today's slow

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Friday, May 05, 2006

To sleep, perchance to wake up feeling well-rested...

After sleeping on futons and crappy IKEA foam mattresses for almost 2 years, Tom and I decided that it was time to upgrade to a "real" bed. When I suggested that we buy ourselves one as a wedding present to each other, he went along with the idea. And the search was on.

Anyone who's ever been mattress shopping knows that most mattress salespeople are as bad, if not worse, than car salespeople. I think the outlandishly high prices of even the middling brand sleep surfaces have created a desperate breed of salesfolk. I'm sure they, in the style of Wile E. Coyote, see every potential customer as a walking commission check. And there's a big breeze a-gusting, so they try to pounce violently on that check before it blows away. Unfortunately, all of that pouncing creates more of a draft, and they're left grasping empty air in the end. It's really kind of sad.

Over the course of a couple of weeks, we checked out several different stores. Between the sticker price-induced cardiac arrhythmia and a severe Goldilocks complex (more on my part than Tom's, I freely admit), we had trouble settling on something to purchase. I'll spare you the play-by-play, but we broke many a salesperson's heart by flopping down on a bunch of beds before deciding we just needed to keep on looking.

The place where we eventually bought a bed was Leeds, the mattress store with the annoying commercials - wait, they all have those - and the weird little mascot dude who's wearing pjs and a stocking cap but whom I always mistake for an elf. We first went in there a couple of nights ago to check out their selection. We got there about half an hour before closing time and were surprised to not be greeted by yet another manic bed-seller. We figured, eh, it's a pretty big store; he/she's probably just in the back with another customer. So we wandered through, pressure-free, trying out this bed and that. We made our way through the ground floor showroom, the weird little mezzanine level, and were upstairs in the discontinued beds section before we realized that, no, there was no salesperson in the back with another customer. By all appearances, we were in the store entirely by ourselves.

Then the radio went off and the lights started going out.

We hollered downstairs and a disheveled, middle-aged dude looked up at us, startled. He said we must have slipped by him. From the smell of him, he must have been out back smoking a cigarette. It was still a good 15 minutes before the posted closing time, so he told us to keep looking around as we pleased. He answered any questions we asked, but he wasn't pushy. It was actually kind of refreshing. Yeah, the dude was a wee bit on the creepy side, but I was appreciative enough of the fact that he wasn't trying to convince us to buy a $3000 mattress that I didn't mind so much.

We found a couple of beds that we thought were okay and said we'd think about it and come back another time. He sent us on our way without so much as shoving a business card at us.

I went back by myself yesterday afternoon and ended up finding a bed that I liked up in the back corner of the discontinued section - a bed we hadn't gotten to try the last time we were in since the guy shut off the lights on us. It wasn't marked, so when I inquired about it and found it to be $100 less than the other bed we were considering, I said I'd bring Tom back in later.

Which I did, and he liked it, so we bought it! Tom had a slight spasm as I handed over the debit card, but if you consider the fact that a good bed has an average life span of about 15-20 years, it really wasn't all that unreasonable of a price. It's being delivered tomorrow morning. Goodbye, crappy IKEA mattress. Hello, Simmons Beautyrest. :) Here's hoping we really do get some beautiful rest upon your firm (but not too firm) surface.

Another amusement of the day

There was a car in front of me this afternoon with a license plate frame that said,

JESUS LOVES YOU!

However, the font was kind of wacky, so it looked (to me) like

JESUS LOVES YOGI

Heeeeey Jew-jew....got any fishes or loaves in that pic-a-nic basket?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Awesome misheard word of the day:

shirkumstance

As in, I can't come in to work today; there are special shirkumstances.*

*Not how it was actually used, but that would be awesome. No, I just misheard someone when they were talking about circumstances for which you'd need to call in a HazMat team.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The (Re)turn of the Sue

Well, kind of difficult to get the old blogging chops back after spending some time away, ain't it? I must have rewritten that first sentence 3 or 4 times before deciding I was happy with it. Which is, in an ironic twist, kind of sad. ;)

Last month was quite the experience. Those are about the best terms in which I can put it. Oh, the sacrifices we make for our educations...

Don't get me wrong. My class (Crime Scene Photography) was incredibly interesting. Totally worth it. We used 35mm SLR (single lens reflex) cameras and learned how to do everything (selection of appropriate f-stop, determination of proper shutter speed, etc.) manually. I already had something of a handle on this, conceptually, but I have grown so spoiled by my digital camera and its ability to immediately show me whether or not I've actually set up a proper shot that I was sometimes disappointed by my results in practice.

Dang it! You can hardly see the blood spatter on that table at all. And these car accident photos came out way too dark. There goes another developing fee down the crapper...

I do think I improved (albeit slightly) over the course of the month. It's a pity the class was so short, though. As convenient as I find this format, and as much as I appreciate it for classes that are less interesting to me than photography, I almost wish I had more time to cover the subjects in depth. I feel like I'm learning things but not really learning them, you know? Then again, that almost makes me wonder if it's just the nature of the beast; after all, I didn't always feel that I was fully integrating all the knowledge I crammed down my gullet each term in my undergrad years, juggling five or six classes at once. Maybe we need a third option, although if I were only taking six 2-month-long classes a year, it'd take twice as long to get my degree. I guess I don't really know what the answer is.

Moving on.

Commuting to San Diego every week was not exactly something I'd call fun. As you may imagine, the knowledge that I would have to fill up my car twice a week only increased my horror at the ever-rising gas prices. Last week I paid $3.28/gallon at an Arco, which I'm pretty sure is just a West coast chain, but they're the cheap ones. Across the way at Shell? $3.40/gal. Ouch. This past Saturday I filled up the car before I left Pasadena on my way down to take my final. I was down to 1/4 tank by Sunday afternoon and had to fill it up again. Two. Days. In a row. It almost makes getting up at 3am to take four or five different buses to work look like an attractive option. (Almost, but not quite.)

Work pretty much blew. My being gone literally half the week caused some serious hiccups, and for a couple of days I actually thought my job was in jeopardy as a result of said hiccups. Things are better now, thankfully, and I am warily optimistic that all the wrinkles have been smoothed out such that I won't be right back in the same situation when I start this up again in June. Or when I'm gone for a week ten days from now.

Which brings me to the hitchin. Which is fast approachin. There is still quite a bit to accomplish between now and then - a few big things and several little things - but I'm reasonably confident we'll be able to get everything together. Actually, I'm not sure how much of a lie that last statement is. I think in my gut I'm sure we'll manage to pull everything off, but on the surface I'm working hard to stave off the panic that we won't. Interesting internal drama going on there. ;) Regardless of worries over the details, however, I am looking forward to this event. I ordered new business cards just this morning, in fact, to reflect my upcoming name change. :)

Okay, I think that's enough about me for now. I'll try to scrape up something coherant to say about something in the world a bit later. Also, a return to catblogging is in store (because I know everyone was missing it! right?!), along with the usual rundowns of the weekly attempts at gourmet cooking.

Good to be back, folks.