verbicide: (princess and the pea)
I am so sleepy.

Got to bed late, after watching a Tivo'd Battlestar with Jeff. I went to sleep pretty quickly, but I didn't sleep well. I kept waking up with nightmare after nightmare. That was...unpleasant. And then Jeff got up early and while I can normally sleep through anything, I guess my mind just wanted to be awake already. So, got out of bed.

But now I'm so tired. And I wish so much that I could just sleep and idle the day away. But, nope. Too much to do.

Jeff's birthday cake's done. It's a sour cream fudge cake and it smells and looks pretty good. I need to go to the store because with all the baking this weekend, I'm out of powdered sugar again. I really go through baking supplies so fast, I could have sworn I just bought another two pound sack. The frosting is going to be a chocolate orange buttercream that I've made before.

The tangerine cupcakes were a big hit, but I didn't like them as much this time. Not sure why.

Wah. I so don't want to get dressed and trundle out to the store in the cold. But I need to go do that NOW because I'm supposed to hang out with Jeff and N. today at a coffee shop --they both have some work to do and I really need to do my French homework and it'll be so much more pleasant to do it with friends in a cafe than whining about it on Monday night at home.

If I could only just get some sleep first. SO TIRED.

seriously!

Apr. 7th, 2007 07:28 pm
verbicide: (Default)
It's just incredible how much energy the sunlight provides. Today wasn't nearly as nice as yesterday, but it wasn't cold and the sun even came out to play for a bit. I'll take it!

I woke up early and spent the morning working in the office. Then, Pete swung by and we discussed potential options for my old bookshelves, and then realized we were going to be late and hightailed it to Pacific Place. The Hoax was pretty entertaining, although Clifton Irving is obviously completely insane. Great performances, and it's always wonderful to see Alfred Molina. Pete was very patient today as I dragged him to Nordstrom to buy myself eyeliner and lipstick, and then to Swansen's Gardening Center. He's just so damn nice. He seemed pretty content to push the cart around at Swansen's and offer opinions when asked about which plants I should get. Then we grabbed lunch at the Ale House in Ballard and came back to my place, where he helped lug bags of soil and cartons of plants upstairs.

He kept me company and we chatted while I planted my new spring garden. I got more Gerber daisies and a cyclamen and tulips and herbs and it's all very very exciting and pretty out there now!

Tonight, I need to study French for tomorrow's lesson, and also re-do my insane filing cabinet which is just a mess right now. It's all part of the greater office rejuvenation project!

Shoot, I also need to run to Safeway because I wanted to bring the bears some Easter basket goodies tomorrow! Should go do that first!
verbicide: (me and hobbsie)
OMG I so fucking hate hate hate this Verizon V-cast phone ad. The one where the dumb jock starts babbling about the Fall Out Boys. WTF is that ad? What? Why? Who does that appeal to?

IT'S REALLY DUMB!!!!!

Hope everyone's having a great weekend!

Because I really am! Long catch-up dinner with Judy on Friday night. (I'm surprised they didn't toss us out of The Jones.) Pete and I went to go see The Shooter which was hilariously bad and fun to watch (and omg Marky Mark's ass is so beautiful, I want to bite it). Then we grabbed a bite to eat and I've rediscovered my genuine love for The Big Salad. And I went to Arcane Comics, which fucking RULES. Scott, the owner, is the guy who introduced me to Fables and Y: The Last Man, which I love so so so SO much. (Even if I got another lecture on how I need to suck it up and just read Alan Moore!) And I bought Runaways, Batman: The Long Halloween, the first books of DMZ and The Walking Dead. (And zombies are now forever associated with [livejournal.com profile] dtaylor's husband, so that's cracking me up.)

Then this morning Jeff and I went to run around Greenlake, and then I came back (and he escaped my evil clutches) and made a giant taco salad with the best low-cal Ranch ever (that doesn't taste all funky--it's Bernstein's Parmesan and Garlic Ranch), and now I'm going to run down to Tully's with my French homework and eventually get together with Sarah!

When will I assemble the new bookshelves and deal with that craziness? No idea. But whee!!
verbicide: (I love my damn cat)
Every Sunday I am surprised that it is Sunday. If only it weren't for those five pesky days in between my weekends.

However, I can't complain, because it's been a really nice weekend.

Sacked out on Friday night with leftovers and video game. Much needed relief. Though, continue to be retarded, and drink diet pepsi at midnight, resulting in severe inability to actually fall asleep.

Saturday, I took the bus downtown to meet Pete for crumpets at the market. So. GOOD. We walked over the Meridian and watched the delightful Music and Lyrics By, or as we referred to it, Pop! I will leave the cinematic reviews to my betters, but we had a blast. I loved all the cheesy froth when it was the 80s and it continues to be nostalgic joy for me. I love Drew Barrymore, and god help me, I love Hugh Grant. He's funny and totally shameless. It wasn't critically brilliant or anything, but so damn fun. After weeks of watching depressing Oscar contenders, it was much needed fluff. After the movie, we walked back to the market for gumbo at the cajun place on 1st. There was more wandering around and ice cream getting and then it was the end of the day and time to head home.

I'd just made it home when Jeff called. He's been in the middle of a crazy kitchen re-model and his weekends are often confined to peering at tile samples. However, Chris had an evening tennis match, so Jeff called me for an impromptu dinner. And even though I was already in my pajamas and on the couch, I agreed to bestow my company upon him. It is because I am such a good friend that I can do these things for him. Hee. So he came to pick me up and we ran through a list of our usual haunts and decided to branch out. We went to the Bar and Grill at Greenlake and caught up (from the eternity of time that was Friday evening). And then! I was able to pin him to the couch and forced him to watch Aladdin, which is one of the movies on my "OMFG Why Haven't You Seen This Yet?!" list for him. Happily, he enjoyed it. Eventually Jeff left and I went to bed shortly after.

I'd debated canceling my French lesson for this morning, because I'm just so ...out of ....something. Just not into it right now, and I don't know why. All I can think of is that it's been a stressful few weeks at work and I feel behind in everything that I want to do. I bought new glasses last year and I still haven't picked them up. I still need to get a WA driver's license. I need to hand-make 50 cards for my nephew's Welcome, Baby party. And let's not even start on the state of my bookshelves and closets and the trim that is still unpainted. Ack. I feel like a failure as a grown-up.

But, I went to my lesson because she's not here in the states for much longer and I love having our lessons in person. It was great to see her and per my request we went back a few steps to review the material I still haven't properly grasped. She continues to amaze me as an instructor.

After our lesson, I drove out to Whole Foods on 65th and bought a lot of very exciting produce. I stopped by OB's because I got him these mango bars from Whole Foods that I thought he'd really like --he loves mango and these bars taste like ...they just pureed the fruit and stuck it on a stick. I also got to see my nephew, SIL, and give Sammy the Wonder Dog some smooches. And then I made myself come home and face the music of a really messy flat. I've thoroughly cleaned the kitchen as of now, including the fridge and cupboards, and even mopped the floor. I've tidied up the dining room and living room. The next demon lies in the bedroom which is so messy I may have to cry, and an unfortunate pile of laundry. Though I should save my tears for the master bathroom, which I really need to clean.

But! I've promised myself if I do all my chores, I can make a fire, watch Sliding Doors, and have steak frites for dinner. Whee!
verbicide: (Default)
I am awake and it's 2AM. On a worknight. Oops. Tomorrow is going to be HELL.

I'm happy to report that my SIL is out of the ICU! Baby Zach continues to be absurdly adorable and is developing in some ways even better than full-term babies. How's that for good news? My nephews are all prodigies, I'm not just biased!
Sarah and I had planned a pajama day of great sloth today, but first we did a round around Greenlake with Jeff so that we could feel guilt-less about it. The lake had all kinds of sections iced over. It was freaking cold out there, and Sarah read me a news report threatening more snow. Aaargh. Enough -- on with spring! At least it was a pretty blue day. This would all be much harder if it was bleak and grey.

Once home I started working on this crazy soup. Shredded beef with potatoes, served with a chimichurri dollop on the side. But it was taking decades, so we decided to make our dinner option for lunch. It was Matt's dad's flank steak marinade recipe, and it was spectacular. We had that with some asparagus and mashed potatoes. We never did eat the soup, since we did breakfast/lunch at 5PM. We were damn hungry by the time the steak was ready.

I also made fresh baguettes. My shaping's gotten much better, but I need to buy some vitamin C to dump into the flour. Apparently it helps with the differences between our flour and French flour.

And then we played a lot of Final Fantasy 12. Which was glorious. I really am enjoying it!

I called my neighbors and bowed out of tonight's condo board meeting, because it was at the same time that my brother had said I could come visit Emily in the hospital. I bought her four bunches of spring flowers and hauled some vases over to her room. She was so much better than the last time I saw her. She could sit up, eat solid food, and was just so much stronger than before. We're hoping she can head home at the end of the week.

The visit with Em was brief, and I returned to Sarah. We got to talking and pajama day turned into a slumber party, and she is sensibly asleep out there.

I have a French lesson tomorrow and I haven't done any homework or studying. I missed both of my Skype dates this weekend. I have loads of work coming at me this week. It's going to be a crazy week just trying to get on top of things!

So maybe I should sleep, eh?

success!

Jan. 7th, 2007 12:03 am
verbicide: (happy)
Now that was a fun night.

It was really fun geeking out so completely. I even wrote these tiny menus on vellum and parchment paper as part of the table setting.

We started the night off with the gougeres, sitting around the table catching up. We had the same French pinot noir to drink as I cooked with. Next, we started on the salad course. I'd dressed some butter lettuce with a lemon-thyme vinaigrette that I'd sort of winged. I'm not very experienced with salad dressing, so I was really happy that my vinaigrette turned out. Some shaved parmesan and croutons were the only other additions.

While the last few things finished off, we exchanged presents. And Emily has truly listened to my ultimate desire. As I frequently shout, "I want a pony!" and "Is it a pony??" she has finally helped me realize my dream and bought me my very own My Little Pony. You may all refer to me as the Crystal Princess.

Finally, the main course. I'd made a relatively light mashed potato recipe (small amounts of butter and cream, salt, and fresh chives). I roasted asparagus for the first time, and I've only recently learned that I really like 'em. Roasting was pretty damn simple and quick so I'm hoping to add that as a regular part of my cooking repertoire. And of course, the Coq au Vin. I was pretty pleased with it. And I think the credit goes to Alton Brown here, because he really broke down every single part of that recipe.

Also, have I mentioned how much I love all my new kitchen-y things? The Le Creuset pot from my mom and the glorious All-clad pan Sarah got me and the new Shun knife from OB and Em. Not to go on and on about them, but it's really incredible to see what a difference proper tools can make. It was still hard work and was probably the most complicated dish I've ever made, but in the end it was worth the labor. I would totally make that again. (Just not, you know, tomorrow.) Sarah and Emily both had seconds and I about passed out from the shock of seeing them both eat so much. (Sarah actually goes to restaurants and orders a single pancake. As much as she loves food, she generally has the stomach capacity of a tiny mouse.)

I was even satisfied with my baguette! It browned a bit too much on top so I was worried, but it tasted fine--in that it tasted like bread. I think I need to work on my general bread-making skills to improve the texture and color and shape, but overall I was pretty happy!

We nibbled on red grapes, green apples, and brie, cambozola, and gruyere for the cheese course, and finished with the Tarte Tatin with vanilla bean ice cream while watching Cars.

I think pastry is a tough skill to master. I have a few baked dishes I've relied on for a long time now (berry cobbler, fresh fruit hazelnut-tart), but it's been a long time since I've worked on pie dough. So I think it's going to take at least another try before I'm satisfied with this. It was, however, much improved from the first attempt. Another small mistake, I should have let the ice cream churn longer. It seemed done, but really wasn't set properly.

The kitchen is a total mess. I usually clean while my friends are still around, or at the end of the night, but I think I've earned a little break. Tomorrow morning/afternoon is going to be very busy -- talking with Alain for an hour, meeting my French professor at a cafe, then movie with Pete. But it'll be an early night and I can clean to my heart's content tomorrow night. Dishwasher can only do so much at a time!
verbicide: (cooking)
The Coq au Vin is marinating, and I think I'll start cooking around 4 to give me enough time to reduce the sauce properly. The tarte tatin is almost finished and ready to cool. The baguette is on its second rise, and I'll be able to bake that next. The vanilla bean ice cream mix is chilling in the fridge for later.

The only things left are to prep the potatoes for mashing, making the pâte à choux for the gougères, and actually cooking the chicken and baguette. Oh, and to roast the asparagus. I wanted something green on the plate.

And... I just tried the tarte tatin. So much better than my first attempt. I think once my new apple peeler/corer gadget arrives, I would be tempted to try this a third time. I'm still overcooking the apples, for my taste. And I think I might try that sour cream version of pate brisée again because I liked the flavor and it was a little easier to roll out, or since the flavor of this one was so good, I might just add a little ice water to it because mine turned out a little too crumbly.

The one unanticipated problem? I am such an absurd weakling, I couldn't flip the pan. I was able to the first time, but I think I must have squeezed in a lot more apples this time, or I'm just being lame. I thought I was going to sprain my wrist and ultimately had to slowly tip it over onto a cookie sheet and let some of the juices run out. Time to start lifting those weights again, sheesh.

Once again, I would like to comment on my worshipfulness of my Kitchen Aid mixer. I remember wanting one but worrying that I wouldn't use it throughout the year (since my focus was on buying it to make cookies for the holidays). So! Many! Uses! Just today alone it's been used to make two types of dough, I'll use it to mash potatoes, and with my spectacular attachment, I'll be able to use it to make ice cream.

And since I've been wanting an icon for cooking, I can't think of a better image. Voila!

um! um!

Dec. 29th, 2006 12:11 am
verbicide: (Default)
OMG I made a baguette. Two, actually. And while they look a little lumpy and misshapen, it tastes, you know, like crispy French bread.

*runs around shrieking*
verbicide: (Default)
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: (Default)
I've been sleeping rather restlessly lately. Boo.

Woke up, had a great talk with Didier (though my French brain was not working at all today). His English always puts me to shame, regardless. Bustled around cleaning for a bit before Jeff came to pick me up. I made him try the tangerine sorbet, which he happily liked. We talked a bit about a devastating story he heard on NPR (religious persecution of Muslim children in the US--very sad story) and headed over to Capitol Hill to meet up with Brian and Randy --most adorable couple EVER. I've only recently met Randy, but I pretty much love the guy now. He's super affectionate and wonderful. We set out for Cost Plus, the Public Market, and other random shops around downtown. It was a nice day out, despite the packed streets and crazy parking scenarios. Brian drove us everywhere, for which I was immeasurably grateful. Mostly we were lucky and I got a good portion of my list done.

We dropped Brian and Randy off and continued on to look at trees (nothing the right size, sadly) and onward to U Village. More shopping, including my birthday present from my mom --a shiny, exciting Le Creuset 5 and 1/2 quart dutch oven. I'm so excited... I'm sort of speechless. I can't believe it's mine! I got it in French Blue. Um. *dies* I can't wait to make Alton Brown's Coq au Vin in it.

We decided against waiting two hours at The Ram and put our names down at Piatti and went to browse books at B&N for half an hour. Time went by pretty fast and we sat down to a lovely meal, which was much needed at the end of a long day.

Sarah's coming over for a cookie-making extravaganza. I still need to sort through the recipes I've selected and get a list of ingredients ready for tomorrow morning. I really just want to go pass out in my bed, but I'm going to try to suck it up for a little longer.

mowr

Nov. 26th, 2006 08:59 am
verbicide: (hobbsie love)
I am a little sad. The last day of a four-day weekend always goes by at light-speed (or should I say FTL). It may be 8:34AM now, but it will be bedtime before I know it.

Fun while it's lasted, though!

I went to go pet-sit for Odin yesterday. He looks like a small bear-cub. He's simply enormous! Then I met Pete at Cinerama to see Casino Royale. Generally, I don't like Bond movies, but this one was pretty fun. Not something I'd watch again, but that chase/fight scene at the beginning made it worth the price of admission. Also, it was exciting: Pete and I were first in line for the movie. I don't think that's ever happened. And we were only there like 45 minutes in advance! Muahahah! Someone needs to slap Paul Allen, though. Because while the Cinerama is a great theater with a fabulous screen, the seats are total crap. No, I don't like my seats to recline into the lap of the person behind me. I sat stiffly upright the entire time. I don't understand. Did no one try to sit in them when they built the place?

Anyhow. Movie was fun. Then we went to Brad's Swingside in Fremont, where Pete had never been and really needed to go. It was especially exciting, because there was no wait for a table! The Aglio Olio is so good, it makes you weep a little.

Then I came home and made some further progress on Psychonauts. Best. Game. Ever. It's so damn clever and fun.

Things I need to do today besides sit on the couch:

- my French homework
- laundry
- finish cleaning kitchen, including mopping floor and rest of dishes
- make another loaf of crusty bread
- cardio workout
- continue working on current quilting project
verbicide: (Default)
Hee. My SIL is very cute. She wrote me three e-mails last night. A progression of Happy Birthday!!; Wait--am I early?; D'oh! I'm early, but I'm getting you the Kitchen-Aid ice cream maker attachment, so don't buy it!

I am now very, very excited. First step will be making that yogurt gelato.

Also, I made my first loaf of bread with my new cookbook --it's a banana sandwich loaf, perfect for a PB&J sandwich. It really came out excellent. Pete and I found the vital wheat gluten at PCC, but it was the same thing that was available at Ballard Market. They label it as flour, though it appears to be straight vital wheat gluten. Weird. But that means that this weekend I can try my hand at making a baguette! I'm a little annoyed with myself. I bought all these groceries and swore I'd take lunch to work every day, but every day this week has something going on:

Monday: lunch with Judy; Tuesday: Work Potluck; Wednesday: work is taking me out for a birthday lunch; Thursday: Jeff/Pete will be taking me out to lunch. Perhaps on Friday I can take in a sandwich. I'm going to have to give away the lovely deli meats I bought from Ballard Market on Sunday, because I don't want them to spoil! Should have remembered that so much was going on this week before spending $50000 at the store. What a weird thing to complain about. Anyhow.

After some consideration, Jeff and I are going to Marjorie's in Belltown for my birthday. I looked through all the Tom Douglas menus online, and while they all offered a vegetarian entree, they didn't have a dazzling array of them and dammit, I want Jeff to have choices. He really loved Marjorie's and we've been planning to go there for ages, so it worked out nicely!

As a pre-birthday treat--I made an appt at Habitude to get everything waxed. It's all going. I don't care if it's winter and unnecessary, I'm tired of feeling like Chewbacca. I'm skipping out in the middle of the day for an hour to be brutalized by Sonia and then limping back, smooth and hairless, to work. Today is also our work's holiday party, so I've been up making the salad with balsamic onions for my contribution. It's divided up by floors, and our floor got salads this year. It's a mixed blessing. I try to make interesting salads (largely inspired by Jeff's fervent adoration of a really good salad) but they're not something I particularly care to make. But since our floor doesn't have appetizers or desserts, Jeff and I have made a pact to avoid those floors altogether and I'm bringing us each a no-pudge brownie so we can still have something sweet. After the Halloween party feeding frenzy, we've decided that see no evil, eat no evil is the best tact for us.

In other news, I tried talking to this other person via Skype. I was apprehensive because he's in Montreal and the French accent is substantially different, and (Amy: my apologies to Martin) but I prefer Parisian French. I find Canadian French to be harsher and more guttural. But the person seemed nice and we'd agreed to speak at 6PM my time, 9PM theirs. The time difference was one bonus, because the 9-hours difference to France makes it much harder to practice during the week.

I busted out of work early because I didn't want any bus debacles making me late, and I made it on time. The first surprise was that Maxime wasn't a woman, though I don't know why I thought he'd be --his profile lists him as a 24 year old male. I must have gotten him confused with another profile. Secondly, he started by telling me I was late, which I wasn't. Turned out he hadn't read the e-mail properly, because he thought it was 6PM for him. And we really had nothing to talk about. He was definitely a young club-loving guy.

He had that odd, attempting-to-be-flirtatious thing going on which confused me. I Kevorkian'd the call about 30 minutes in. Just didn't seem to be any point in wasting our time. Boys are silly. Also, it made me appreciate Didier so much more.

And i forgot to post this yesterday. D'oh!
verbicide: (danny  - pounce - by quettaser)
Spent the day making a variety of food, doing chores, and playing Final Fantasy Tactics. Jeff called somewhere in the late afternoon because he, too, was going a bit stir-crazy and wanted to know if I wanted to go to a cafe to study our respective languages. And of course I did. It sort of worked out perfectly. I suggested he come by and taste the soup because I wanted some feedback and advice on it and was also making him bread and this way I wouldn't have to lug these things to work tomorrow.

So he stopped by, loved the soup (to my eternal relief, despite endless neurotic questioning), and we went to Diva Espresso to study. I had such a great time, that I don't understand why I don't just go and study French there every night. It's such a great cafe and I think trying to study French at home has been a mistake, because it's just too hard for me to resist the tv or the cat or the couch. Maybe once a week I can get off the bus at Diva and study before coming home. Hard to do in the winter, but surely not impossible.

Me: *muffled shriek*
Jeff: What's wrong?
Me: *staring intently* There's a bug.
Jeff: Where?
Me: Up there *points* Okay, it's like a flying speck. *pause* I tried to kill it.
Jeff: How? By looking at it?
Me: That method hasn't killed you yet, so I don't think it's going to work on the bug. My Medusa powers are yet undeveloped.

It turns out that Chris was going to have dinner with his soccer buddies so I pounced on the opportunity and Jeff was able to stay and have dinner with meeeeee. We went to the Alehouse and had a nice meal and talked a bit about the stresses at work, because neither one of us is ready for Monday to exist. I really need to get there early tomorrow, because it's going to be a long and hectic day (bleargh).

Then we came back to my place, and Jeff came up while I gave the soup its final touches, and it worked out nicely because this way he was able to take the entire soup pot home, and I could just keep the small amount of soup I was interested in.

Laundry's almost dry (would have already been, if I hadn't accidentally hit the setting to air dry or whatever) and I'm determined to put it away and not just leave it in a big, wrinkled pile for once. Also, going to march myself over to the kitchen now and unload the dishwasher.

It's these very small things that keep me from going insane during the week.
verbicide: (Default)
Update on Heroes: I both read the online graphic novel and watched the last episode of Heroes on nbc.com (Leigh D. Butler--you rule for pointing that out) and I loved it! Really looking forward to the next episode now!

I've been home sick this past week, and it's been annoying. But, being at home is very wonderful, so I love it. But then I miss people. The conclusion really here is that I am a crazy person.

I had the dreadful migraine on Tuesday. Seemingly recovered on Wednesday, but felt like crap Wednesday night. Wasn't dying Thursday morning, but felt tired and fog-headed, so took the day off. And when Friday rolled around with a sore throat and body aches, decided to take that off, too.

Except I didn't really take it off, I went into the office for a few hours on Tuesday and worked nearly full days from home on Thursday and Friday. Deadlines to beat. Etc. I ate like six-hundred bowls of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and spent the rest of the day wanting to barf.

Sarah came over with dinner on Thursday night and Jeff came over Friday night (and promptly fell asleep on the couch, *coo*). This has kept me from turning into a gibbering. cabin-fevered loon.

Got up this morning, talked to Didier and even got to see his picture (so cute! so French!) and then went to pick up Jeff for a quick hop around the market and lunch. I am determined to recreate the fabulous Ribollita (Tuscan soup) that Rob made last weekend, and yet forgot my stupid list of vegetables. I called them up and Kelly was my hero because he looked up the recipe and recited it to me.

Jeff and I wandered down to Costas for lunch and then I dropped him off at home, absconding with his glorious soup pot. Just wish I had a damn immersion blender, because it would make life so much easier. But that's a purchase for down the line.

It was the day of errands. After dropping Jeff off, I went over to Ballard Market because they have such wonderful meat and the butcher cut the size of brisket I wanted (going to try Hawk's mom's recipe this weekend). I also bought poundage of sweet potatoes to make the chipotle-smashed version again. It's going to be a Monday surprise for Jeff, because he loved them so much. He may strangle me when I show up with a loaf of bread, a ton of soup, and potatoes. But he may not, as we've both accepted I am the reincarnation of his Nonni.

After Ballard Market, I ran into Bartells (under the malevolently watchful eye of the Bartell's parking-lot geezer). And because of said geezer, didn't run next door into JoAnns. I really want to start buying fabric to do a Log Cabin quilt because I think it's so gorgeous. But I should hold back and perhaps complete (or you know, start) the six-dozen other craft-y projects I have materials for. Then I stopped by Dreamstrands, splurged by buying all three trade paperback books of Ex Machina and the latest issues of Y: The Last Man, Fables, and Jack of the Fables (or whatever it's called). They really need to release the 4th TPB of Ex Machina because I am DYING FOR IT NOW.

Then, I got home, e-mailed Ellie to tell her that I am lame and not coming to her Halloween party. I may be well enough to go to the market, but definitely don't have the energy for a party or to even leave the house again. And really, I would stop by if my costume didn't require hours of makeup-prep. So I will chop some veggies and simmer soup and slow-cook beef, all while working on my technote for work, watching BSG (season 1, thank you Sarah!), and playing Final Fantasy Tactics.

Somewhere in there, I should also study French. Didier and I are going to try to talk on Sunday mornings, too, to get extra practice in!

Oh, Oh *preen* - Jeff introduced me to this fabulous blog. (Warning, not very vegetarian-friendly, and a little gruesome in parts.) And said to me, "It was perfect! Paris, cooking, and this urban, hip woman--I thought, YOU!" It's the life of a female chef in a 3-star Parisian restaurant. I really want to make the yogurt gelato. I so need to buy the ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchen-Aid mixer!

Okay, I need to go hydrate myself and start chopping!
verbicide: (Default)
I'm not sure when I'm going to learn that the weather has changed and I need to wear more layers, but today was not such a day. That said, it's beautiful out! All goth-y and foggy and cold! I spent the morning stuttering in French with my new language-partner (Didier, or as Jeff calls him Dee-dee-AY!). Understanding what the frac people are saying remains my biggest challenge. He was very charming and very French and it went almost perfectly except for the part where I hadn't disconnected my Skype call, and had just taken off my headphones and mumbled (ostensibly to myself) "Well that was scary, but ...nice." And then I heard him through the headset I'd just taken off, and hung up in blind panic. Smooth, n'est-ce pas?

Then I called zee fabulous Jeff and we arranged our weekly trip. I have to say, these Saturday trips to the market are the highlight of my week. We both love the market so much, and it's always this lovely leisurely stroll, picking the perfect apples and such. We usually grab lunch after, and today we decided on El Chupacabra. My first experience there was so-so, in that the food was good, but the service sucked. But we wanted to go someplace new-ish and I felt like Mexican food. It was a better experience, but the food was just okay. Not bad, but something I could toss together at home. I don't think I'd really be excited to go again. At least the service was fine this time. Then we grabbed some coffee and came back to my place to sprawl on the couch and talk. Despite seeing each other almost daily, we never run out of things to talk about.

And you know you are incredibly close when your weekly trip to the market always starts out with your friend familiarly carrying out your garbage--and you feel no shame about it. (The recycling was piling up a bit...)

Jeff eventually escaped my clutches, and is off to swim. I'm going to go get things ready for my own evening plans. It's been a big weekend for cooking. Judy came over last night and we grilled pizza. My SIL is coming over tonight for another dinner/quilting session. I also want to prep some stuff for tomorrow's dinner with Sarah and her darling siblings! Tonight: chipotle-smashed sweet potatoes, green beans with pesto, and some sort of steak (that Emily is bringing). Tomorrow: pot roast and more green beans! I want to make a big pot of marinara and portion it out for easy meals for the next month or so (I've already started that with batches of pesto.) I'm also meeting Pete to go see Man of the Year tomorrow, which I hope is entertaining if not brilliant. In any case, it'll be fun to hang out with Pete.

Life, she is a-good, non?

whooosh

Aug. 13th, 2006 10:46 pm
verbicide: (I love my damn cat)
It's amazing how much more productive I am when not battling a blinding headache.

Today was nice and mellow. I got up, cooked some more, Jeff came over for lunch, we drove to Pacific Place for Lady in the Water with Pete, had coffee with Pete afterward, bought Intern Jim a GC to EB Games, drove back to my place where I loaded Jeff up with a giant sack of food (displaying rather gratuitously my penchant for food=love metaphors), we sacked out on the couch and just babbled randomly about various topics, then Jeff left and I actually did work. I finished all the work on my French instructor's Web site. I finally got through the user manual I've been trying to pick away at (in time for my 10AM meeting about it tomorrow), and the other giant MarComm project I've been blocked on. Whoosh. I just got it all done. It was somewhat startling.

Yay, productivity. How come it all came out in a burst on a Sunday night?

Then I harvested some of my herbs, did dishes, and am now going to go watch the season 4 finale for Six Feet Under. God, I love that show. I can't believe I only have one season left and then it's no more. Wah.

Oh, quick review of Lady in the Water )
verbicide: (AHHH HAIR by breezybee)
The Good: My lovely French teacher is back from France and we have a lesson, chez moi, today.
The Bad: I left my French book at work and would go get it except...
The Ugly: I need to run around here cleaning in 300° heat

Feh!

Maybe if I finish early, I can dart off to work. As an added bonus, the AC'd car ride would be a joy. If not, she'll have her book and life will not end.

Also, must MUST MUST MUST drag sliding-door screen up from the garage and install it maintenant! This would keep the bugs out, and the plant-eating-and-barfing cat inside!

I have two hours! Must go clean!

early TGIF

Jul. 21st, 2006 02:16 am
verbicide: (I love my damn cat)
Yay for unexpected energy. I'm sad that the chili is just OK. If we didn't have a two-fucking-hour long meeting tomorrow, I would be tempted to come home and redo it. The zucchini is soft from overcooking, and I wish I hadn't tried the crockpot for this on a night when I had plans after work (though I figured I'd be safe since I did it in the afternoon and not morning--but still a boneheaded move). The cornbread looks fine, and the raspberry bars are in the oven. Why does food never turn out perfect when you really, really want it to?

The movie this Thursday was Breakfast at Tiffany's which I haven't seen in forever; I'd actually forgotten how it ends. Outside of the appalling Mickey Rooney scenes, it was wonderful. Afterward, I drove Pete home, but we first stopped at Starbucks and chatted. I was startled when we stayed until closing, though. I got home about half an hour ago and hurled myself into cooking.

I forgot that the stupid two-hour meeting was tomorrow, so I can't drive the food over to Lisa's at lunch. But I am determined to swim at 5:30--SO, I think I will scuttle over there after the meeting is over to drop the stuff off. Which means I should probably get into work on time, which won't be easy as I'll probably be getting to bed at 3AM. Ugh.

At least the weekend is around the corner. On Saturday I hope to go to the Farmer's Market with Jeff, then see My Super Ex-Girlfriend with Pete, ending with dinner with Kathleen and Sarah. Sunday I've offered to help my French teacher with her Web site, so she'll come over and we're going to do a lesson + Web site thing. I'm not sure how long that will go, but at the end of it, I need to figure out groceries for the week, etc.

I also need to call the Salvation Army and donate my old loveseat. I don't need it, no one I know needs it, so off it goes to the donation bin. And once that's gone, I can rearrange the furniture a bit, and finish the damn trim!

In other exciting news, I got the next two discs for Six Feet Under, and I can't wait to dive into that tomorrow.
verbicide: (bossa nova - by breezybee)
It's totally all Jeff's fault, but I am now a total slut for the Farmer's Market. We met up by the U district. You should all know that I look adorable today, according to Jeff. I believe the term was "Japanese school girl adorable." I got my hair cut and unfortunately because of the layers I had before and the cut I wanted, it's a tad shorter than I hoped for, so pigtails it is until it grows out a bit.

We shopped and omg there was much produce joy. I came away with tomatoes, zucchini, haricot verts, broccoli, baby red potatoes, salad mix (with edible flowers--so pretty!), brioche, cumin gouda which is the fromage equiv to hot sex, and of course a gorgeous bunch of flowers. We stowed the stuff in my car and walked down to a Vietnamese place for lunch and made some plans to take me out on some baby hikes this summer. I'm going to see if Sarah's up for a little one at Discovery Park tomorrow because it's just gorgeous out.

After lunch, we drove down to U Village to grab a housewarming gift for one of Jeff's friends at Crate & Barrel (I bought a striped pillow I fell oddly and instantly in love with) and then to Storables because he needed a drawer solution and we didn't find anything at IKEA. So that was an inordinate amount of fun, somehow running errands with Jeff is bizarrely exciting. Then I dropped him off at his truck, and drove home. Timing was perfect, really, because Judy called when I was a few miles from home. She came over to hang out and help me with whatever part of the trim-painting process I was in. But first we sat out on the deck and I finished some garden-work and then we moved to the kitchen so I could straighten that out, and after much chatting, we finally got down to finishing taping off the damn French doors. I can't wait for the revolting brown doors to be coated with my lovely white paint. Eventually, she had to take off (funnily enough for a dinner another friend is throwing to thank people who helped HER paint), and I only have a leeeetle bit left to tape and am going to run back and do that and at least get the liquid sandpaper on. I must not run off and do something more fun. I must be good. MUST!

The less annoying and weird of my immediate neighbors asked me over for a bbq, but I passed. After all the slight weirdness with the other immediate neighbors (who are good buddies with the first), I think I'd rather just keep my distance. Which I just realized, I never wrote about, but to sum up: they are new to Seattle, hate it, and are petulant and weird because I am busy with friends that I didn't drop to hang out with them. They seemed so nice, too. Let's file this under How Not to Make Friends and Influence People. Anyhow, I must write a bitchy rant about them some other day, when I am not so bouncy.

Tomorrow is a big thing at Kim's, probably in the afternoon, but I haven't seen Sarah this week, and I would really like to just hang with her. That, and it's not like I'm going to be done painting tonight. Best to get that all over with tomorrow, and get in some studying for French. Looking through the pictures again made me very homesick for Paris.

Okay, MUST TAPE NOW.
verbicide: (me and hobbsie)
Today was funny. I was tired as hell from staying out late on Monday. We went to see David Sedaris, who completely rocks. Much with the funny. He was rather vociferous in his admiration of Who Do You Love by Jean Thompson, so I bought that today.

Got home late, slept late, and was tired all day. Hastily did my French homework after lunch with Jeff. French lessons are going very well. We usually talk for 45 minutes now before tackling homework and new material. I can read more and more of Le Monde, which is exciting. And we're focusing our conversation and questions on likely situations in Paris. I can't believe that trip is so close!

Sarah and I had plans to run around Greenlake, but we were both utterly exhausted and decided to fuck it. We drove to my place (because omfg I bought all kinds of new art and am dying of love over it) and tried to go to Gorditos for dinner but forgot that they are closed on Tuesday. WAH. We drove to El Chupacabra which I'd heard some good things about, but as much as the food was decent, the service was really bad. We were ignored for a long while until our pleasant-enough waiter took our order. Food took too long, and then I had to flag him down, both arms a-wavin' to ask for the check, which he forgot to bring and continued to ignore our existance, until I shouted (over the deafening din of the place) EXCUSE MEEE!! and he remembered and finally brought it over. I wouldn't bother going again until they get more than two people to serve an entire, over-crowded restaurant.

Then back to my place. Sarah was appropriately coo-y over the new art, which I ran around showing her, not entirely unlike a four-year-old. It's so pretty! A couple of classic Steinlen prints, one funny Steinlen, and an André Renoux print of Place Furstenberg that is gorgeous and looks even more gorgeous on my caramel dining room wall. Clearly, I am in a Parisian state of mind.

The house is mostly clean. Just some dishes, collected trash to toss, and annoying spots of Hobbsie regurgitation to SpotBot. I'm going to head into work a bit late tomorrow, finishing those bits off, and then race to the grocery store before picking my mom up after work. I can't wait to show her everything! It's so much more done, now! And since this will be a low-key weekend, I am determined to go through the boxes in the office closet. Most of that stuff is to be tossed or donated, and then I can make better use of the remaining space. Also, she's promised to make my favorite curry!

On a final note, I am hopelessly in love with The Time Traveler's Wife. Just read a part that completely broke my heart, but I'll save a more spoilerific post for when I'm done with it. What a remarkable story. And this, a first novel. Some people are just amazing, and I don't know if Audrey Niffenegger is ever going to write again, but she may not need to. This was the perfect book.

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