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Today I took a two-hour lunch with a co-worker to French cuisine heaven. Also known as the 35th Street Bistro (Fremont).

I had some crispy calamari with aioli over a balsamic spritzed dark green salad to start; a really well made cassoulet for the entree (with another green salad, with some more notably delicious balsamic); and to finish: a perfect tiny ramekin (little bigger than a shot glass) of pain perdu with hazelnuts and bourbon caramel and vanilla ice cream.

Fucking kill me now. It was so perfect, I could fall to my knees and melodramatically beat my breasts and weep.

The portions were perfectly sized. The preparation was perfect. The service was leisurely, but not inattentive. (Hence the two hour lunch.) Also we talked about the awesomeness of cats for 45 minutes, which = yay. This is my second time at 35th St. Bistro, and the first time was pretty fantastic, too!

This is my second meal participating in Dine Around Seattle (which offers the fantastic deal of three courses for $20 (lunch)/ $30 (dinner).

Sunday night, my cousin and I went to Barolo (Westlake/7th) and it was a pretty great meal. Delicious focaccia with tapenade on the table. The starter was the best part for me--a grilled shrimp over the most amazing cannellini beans in an with pancetta and salted imported ricotta. I actually called the restaurant when I got home to heap some praise on the chef, because I couldn't stop thinking about it. SO GOOD. Made me realize I need to play more with cannellini beans. I had some ravioli stuffed with artichoke and provolone, which was good. And dessert was a tasty pistachio gelato with a single, perfect blackberry, and some raspberry coulis on the plate.

Dine Around Seattle is going on through the end of this month, and there are many more plans in the works to take advantage. Whee!
verbicide: (danny  - smitten - by quettaser)
So, I saw this post on [ profile] food_porn for this cake, and I am so freaking obsessed about it, I can't stop thinking about it, and omg I must make it RIGHT NOW.

The amazing baker who did this posted a tutorial today for the rose-frosting, so I think I'm going to try to make it tomorrow. Happily, I have somewhere to take it--going to Judy's for dinner. I wasn't planning on bringing anything, or maybe just bringing the brownies I made. But now--I have to do this. And I'm (pessimistically as always) totally convinced my first attempt is going to suck, but I don't care. I really really want to try this out. I'm sad she hasn't been able to do the tutorial on the vertical cake because OMG I WANT TO DO THAT HOW HOW HOW? *shriek*

Anyhow, she has a buttercream recipe she recommends that I'm going to use to try to help me out. I don't normally like buttercreams because they always seem too greasy to me (unlike cream cheese frosting, which is my favorite, but is a total pain in the ass to work with). I did try a swiss buttercream once, and I did like that better. But I can only imagine that for this decoration, a really solid stiff frosting is needed. So.


OMG between this and watching The Social Network last night (a topic on which I have much to say) my own incredible lack of a giant brain or awe-inspiring creativity is so glaringly obvious. Vertical cake! WHO THINKS OF THAT OMG! And I mean, I don't care, it can't be helped, but how are some people so freaking amazing? And is there a well from which I can drink to be more like them?? AHHHHHH!!!!
verbicide: (bossa nova - by breezybee)
That was so awesome.

From Misc

It would be so fantastic to be in Madrid tonight!
verbicide: (bossa nova - by breezybee)
I mean, is this the happiest day or what?

I'm at my desk, computing. Snow is fluffily falling outside onto the gleaming white landscape. Jeff has just settled down for a nap. He's going to make pomegranate jelly later. Brutus is snoozing right behind me. I'm exchanging silly emails with a bevy of cousins--we're all excited to go to Big Bear next week. Which, will probably have less snow than we have here right now.

Love Actually is playing in the living room, to keep me company while I finish making these lemon sandwich cookies from the latest Bon Apetit. It's a recipe from Citizen Cake in San Francisco.

Perhaps later I will finish my Paper Mario game. I also need to ice the applesauce oatmeal cookies and finally bake the chocolate crinkles. And make the chocolate malt sandwich cookies.

I just need to focus long enough to scan some refi documents and the documents for my 401k. Since I am not going back into the office again THIS YEAR MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

If it's safe enough, we're going to go shopping tonight at U Village. And then, except for some homemade things, I'll be done with my Christmas shopping. I wrapped the first present and stuck it under the tree. And I'll write/mail Christmas cards FINALLY tonight! I swear! I will!

It's just such a good day!
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So, we had some major grossness. How about something that is beyond adorable? You like? I like!

Whee! Panserbjørn!

I got this in an e-mail, but figured it would be nice to just put a link instead of a series of photos.


(Jeff: You know they eat humans, right? Me: OMGSHUTUPGOWAY!)
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I now spell 'with' like this: 'witih'

I'm not sure why this has happened. For years and years I've managed to spell that word correctly, but apparently something has crossed over in my brain. It's MADDENING.

It's as maddening as my need to spell 'think' as 'thing'



I am just sitting here twitching and staring at the clock.


I have three more hours to sit here and twitch before FREEDOM BEAUTY TRUTH AND LOOOOVE.


I don't think the extra-caffeinated frozen mocha is helping my mental state any, either.

*boing* *boing* *boing* *boing*
verbicide: (yay!!)

*hearts bursts with love*

It was so utterly awesome. OMG. OMG.

Okay. *calms self*

So, the 411 on Brutus. He is a strikingly beautiful creature with a sweet nature and the most hilarious foghorn of a voice. (Sarah and I refer to it as *brutusmaowr*.) However, he is reserved, doesn't like to be overly-handled and is a little suspicious of You. But not of meeee anymore! Brute and I have bonded a lot in the last few times I've stayed at the house with him.

As Jeff brought him up, I could hear him bellowing downstairs. (To say that he hates being in the carrier is a galactic understatement.) Jeff let him loose and I fawned from a distance, letting him get his bearing. He shot straight under my bed and hissed at Jeff when he tried to talk to him. (Oh. Yeah. He has this warning hiss he does when he's unhappy, but he doesn't hurt you or anything and often it's just letting you know that you're On Notice and can commence petting him, but with extra respect.)

Jeff and I hung out in the living room and very soon after, Brutus started his expedition of sniffing every corner of the house. And soon after that, he would swing by and let us pet him. Victory!!

Jeff eventually left because he wanted to get an early crack at the continued hell that is touch-up painting. It was late, so I went to bed. And! And! BRUTUS CAME WITH ME. He was bellowing a bit, but would hop onto the bed and let me totally fondle him. We have crossed the final barrier. He lets me smooch him and hug him and OMG I AM GOIND TO DIE FROM JOY.

He's only recently let me cuddle him so much and omgomgomg it's just so nice having him here!

verbicide: (Default)
More feel good you-tube-ing!

verbicide: (confidence!)
When I read up on Philadelphia Zoo's big cat exhibit, I knew that they were the reason I was flying to Philly--the STC conference was a distant freaking second.

I know, I know. You get it. I like cats. But they were so close!! And so pretty!! And I really want to hug them SO DESPERATELY. I still feel like I sold out my childhood dream of working with them. And Jeff says that if one approaches me ever, I am not to hug them. Which I think is just sad.

Anyhow. I took a lot of pictures (only a subset is below). I'm a terrible photographer. My camera is very old. And it took me forever to think to turn off the damn flash, which would have made a difference in some of these shots at least. Click on any of them for a bigger, better view.

So I present to you, My Inadequate Gallery of Big Kitty Photos. Please look at them and tell me you love big cats, too. Thank you.

KITTY!!!! )

i <3 NY

May. 29th, 2008 11:36 am
verbicide: (bossa nova - by breezybee)

Chipping away slowly at the absurdity of inequality for same-sex couples. Hurray!!
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It is so nice to finally be able to blog again!

First and foremost, I have spectacular news! My oldest friend gave birth today. That is a cause for genuine celebration.

In fact, this news is so amazing, it deserves its own post. I'll update more on myself later, because right now I am just excited for Judy!!

Her adorable baby boy was born at 8 pounds and 8 ounces. He is perfect. It was almost overwhelming to be there and see her and her husband John and their new amazing baby! Both mom and baby are doing well, and the new dad looks positively giddy, which is very unusual for stoic John. It was exciting to be in the waiting room with Ellie and Jeff, the future aunt and uncle. My job on the phone tree was to call Jeanne, and it was really sweet to hear her excitement on the phone too. This kid already has a lot of love that has been waiting for him.

I can't wait to see them tomorrow.
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Huh. For the past couple of mornings, I bolt upright in bed thinking, "Shit! Am I supposed to be somewhere?" I think as it's getting closer and closer, I can feel the vacation slipping away. After all, tomorrow morning if I ask that question, the answer will be a resounding "YES! Getcher ass out of bed now!"

Since I work best under tight deadlines, I'm hoping today will be hyper-productive for me. I really need to tidy some dresser drawers and the top of the sewing machine in the bedroom, need to dig my desk out of the paper mountain I've buried it under, cycle through a few rounds with the dishwasher, clean out the fridge, and restock with things that are naturally green.

Today is going to be over before I know it. Last days always move at warp speed. Plus, I need to be in bed by 10 in order to get up early for the mechanic tomorrow.

In other news, last night was glorious. I grabbed the bus to Montlake and walked to Jeff's house. (Peeve: I can't find my goddamn bus pass, ack! Hoping to find under desk pile.) Chris introduced me to Buffy's favorite cat toy, and Jeff had to struggle a bit to convince me to leave the house. We drove to Kabul in Wallingford, which has really become one of my favorite restaurants (and has sort of become the place Jeff and I always go to for long, catch-up sessions). And catch-up we did. Much like Monday night with Sarah, it was just fantastic to see him again and talk-talk-talk about everything. Purrrr. As an added bonus, we're going to hang out again tonight. Whee!

Ok. Must go clean something. And then take breaks to play FF12, which I need to comment on later.
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Because I went to bed early, it followed that I woke up early. I talked with Alain and then darted off for a day of errand-running. Cookies were mailed to family. I discovered that I could handle going to a new post office and didn't drive out to Ballard. Then I dropped off presents and cookies at KC and Jen's house. I'd left my cell at home, so it was a day of either leaving things on doorsteps or springing myself onto people unannounced. I drove to U Village and bought gifts for my brother, SIL, and nephew-to-be in all of 15 minutes flat (not kidding). I hastened out of there to get my hair cut, and I rather like it. It's short but swing-y and bouncy. And easy to manage, so hurray. I wrapped gifts in the car and then drove over to OB's house. I continue to marvel at having them so close where such random-stop-bys can actually happen. It is glorious. They seemed really happy with their presents (because I demanded that they open them immediately). And I managed to inherit OB's old dvd player for my bedroom. Bonus.

And then back home to grab Sarah's cookies, and to briefly preen at new haircut, before driving over to her place to help her pack and straighten her place out before going away FOREVER. Well, until the 31st. It is just tragic when half of your social life goes far, far away, dammit!

I borrowed half of her video and book library and we grabbed a quick bite at Gordito's, which is tragically going out of business on the hill. So sad. Then more hanging out and jabbering until I left and she is undoubtedly showering as I type, before her exciting red-eye flight tonight.

And now I am giving up on all pretense of restraint and going to put on Final Fantasy 12, for which I have waited, nay, hungered, lo these past many years. Wannit NOW!

The only thing wrong with today was the lack of Jeff, but as I explained to him in our parking garage on Thursday, we are going to be hanging out, because he has no choice. And then there is lots of Christmas-y fun to be had with throngs of adorable Bears. And more cookie baking for parties. Whee!
verbicide: (bossa nova - by breezybee)
He's back, people! *bounce* I thought I was going to die from withdrawal.

And you know what I really love about him? No matter how shamelessly I hurl myself at him and cling, barnacle-like, he never ever ever seems to notice how pathetic I am. If you're going to worship and adore someone, it should be someone worthy of it.

And I get to spend nearly the whole day with him! And dinner! Yes yes yes!

GOD. I've missed him. It was like, nearly nine whole days. I usually start to pale after 24 hours!

I think I've been very brave through this past week, yup yup yup. Almost no whining and carrying-about!
verbicide: (Default)
Um. It's all done. Well, sorta. The turkey and stuffing need to finish cooking, but um. I don't think there's anything left for me to do. *bemused*

Everything's clean. And I'm clean. And now I have 45 minutes to be neurotic about if things are going to taste good. That's probably the most insane-making facet of a meal like this. You can't taste stuff out in advance. And since I'm trying a new recipe for turkey, and since it's simply the most enormous bird I've ever cooked, I'm quite terralyzed™.

I still haven't figured out what to wear. I tossed out the idea of a skirt, because there's no way I'm wearing hose and there'd be the all-too inevitable reality that I'd end up flashing someone before the day was over. And let's not have that. I've got my dark grey polar fleece pants on, but have no idea what to wear on top. I think Sarah would fall over laughing because it's just friends coming over, not the Pope. But it would be nice to look nice! A long-sleeved black top it is. Done.

Everything's plated. Um. What else to do? I may try to muscle the turkey back onto one rack up. I'm worried everything on the bottom of the pan will scorch.

On a totally non-Thanksgiving topic: All my body moisture has left me. Lips cracked, skin dry and whitish. I need to dip my entire self into a vat of lotion and just sit there for three days. Poor skin, how I abuse thee.

*bounce* *bounce* *bounce*
verbicide: (crazyface)
Impossible to focus on work! Can't stop thinking about Thanksgiving! Only days away!! *bounce*

Next year, I should save up and just take this damn week off!

So much to do! *white rabbits*


- Grocery shop
- Clean (not much needed, happily)
- Make squaw corn, reserve extra bacon for quiches
- Strain yogurt for dip


- Make yogurt dip
- Make cornbread for stuffing
- Make carrot cake cheesecake
- iron table linens


- pre-make rolls for baking on day-of
- make mini quiche mix
- set table (with ironed linens!)
- marinate red grapes in champagne


- chop veggies for crudites
- make stuffing
- make turkey
- bake prepared rolls
- bake prepared mini quiches

I have made zee master grocery list. I'm trying a new turkey and stuffing this year (maple glazed with a cornbread, sage and smoked bacon stuffing --courtesy of Tyler Florence).

God. I can't wait for turkey noodle soup and turkey sandwiches. I love turkey so much, I have no idea why I only make it once a year!

Also, I'm a wee bit out of control on Amazon. Scoop just shipped (Hugh Jackman, purrrr), I bought Psychonauts for $10 for my PS2, and I just bought a pretty bread basket for the aforementioned rolls!

I keep forgetting that it's going to be a bigger group this time and I need to double some recipes since it won't be just me and Sarah and Emily this year! So exciting to have a full, happy table of people!

Ahhhh, must go to meeting and pretend to care!!
verbicide: (danny  - pounce - by quettaser)
OMG that was fun.

What a weekend, and it's only Saturday night!

Um, and apparently I'm feeling quite chatty tonight --just finished typing and this is fucking huge, so under a cut it goes.

The executive summary is: I went to see Howard Jones, it was fun. I went to the farmer's market with Jeff and cooked a lot, and then had a fantastic time at dinner with four charming men. )
verbicide: (Default)
Having a very cheerful day, considering it took me five years to get dressed this morning. Hated everything in my wardrobe and the way the genetic betrayal that is my body (*) looked in everything I owned. Resulted in some painful dry-shaving of my shins so I could put on a skirt. Mrh.

Sometimes feel as though am 8-year old girl who only wants to wear same shirt for 3 weeks, but do not do this, as would smell.

Yesterday was a madhouse at work, and it's temporarily abated while work is pending other people doing other things.

But! IKEA tonight with Jeff! And, get to visit cute kitties when we stop by his house to feed them.

Also, had dinner with Jeff last night at Kabul in Wallingford, which Jeff has talked about forever. It was spectacular. We split some flat fried won-ton looking thing and then I had the chicken kebab and this fantastic rice. Jeff had something eggplant-y, which ew, but he was happy, so yay!

Then we split the tiniest dessert ever, but it was good. Some cardamon flavored custard thing. Quite good, if a bit thin.

Annnnnnnnd work is all about things I don't feel like doing today. Boo.

But tonight, road trip to IKEA! Music! Dancing!

Okay, just IKEA. But it'll still be fun!

* J. Garafalo in Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion
verbicide: (Default)
Best day ever!

Jeff came over around 10:30 while I was finishing breakfast, and then we went to swim. He's introduced me to this cool site that provides a workout regime to swim a mile in 6 weeks. I feel like I needed something extra to motivate my workouts, so I've joined him on this endeavor. So off to Evans pool for a great swim--it felt fantastic, even though I'm still a bit stupidly congested. And I swear to fucking god, I'm going to stick to a routine this week. The plan requires swimming 3x a week, so I definitely need to start going in the mornings. And lifting weights on alternative days. I AM, dammit. I made a weightlifting sheet and everything. I'm tired of having noodle-arms.

Anyhow. Apres le swim, we set off on a course of errands. We went to Sofrito Rico in Ballard, which has sadly changed names to the less charming "La Isla Seattle" but the chef is the same and the food just as amazing. Then to buy some birthday cards, and I bought these cards with cute art that I want to frame, so we walked down to Annie's Affordable Art to buy frames. Then back to the car and off to U-haul for boxes, Petco for cat food and water filters, Fred Meyer for miscellaneous things like shampoo, soap, Airborne, etc., and then finally Safeway for groceries where the strange checkout guy eyed my flowers and said, "Orange roses--the color of PASSION!" Oooooooookay.

Jeff helped me lug everything upstairs (I do nothing but exploit that guy's muscles) and we babbled a bit more before he took off around 5:30 for Brian's birthday party and........


We've been missing each other for the past two goddamn weeks. But as much as I missed her, it's okay, because I'm kidnapping her for next weekend--we're off to our Second Annual Sequim Trip! We've rented a very exciting house on the water and have all kinds of exciting plans with Scrabble, grilled meats, lounging, and watching movies. Whee!

And tonight was awesome. We babbled excitedly, then wandered down to Olive You for dinner (which took a year and a half to serve us, but gave us some comp'd appetizers) and we chattered and made lists about Sequim. And then we ran around Greenlake and now both of us have sore feet, owie. But then we hung out here, and played a little bit of Kingdom Hearts II and just YAY. So nice to catch up.

I love my friends! *bounce*
I love long weekends! *bounce*
I love everything! *bounce*
verbicide: (happy)


The hillllllllllls are aaaaaaaaliiiiiiiiive with the sound of my getting the hell out of here!

Have a great weekend, ya'll!


verbicide: (Default)

August 2011

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