Thursday, August 31, 2006

Cheese Heads

And, no, I'm not referring to Packers fans.

I'm referring to how much freakin' cheese I've eaten lately. So much!

Monday Night
Porkchop and I went grocery shopping at Whole Foods. As much as I sometimes make fun of Whole Foods...I really really enjoyed it. After grocery shopping most of the time at Shop 'n Save or the not-so-great Schnucks, going to WF was like entering a magical land of pretty produce, cheese, tapenade, bulk foods, organic frozen items, and gelato.

We bought a lot of good things for our $78, but we were most excited about the Saint André cheese. I went to sleep that night thinking of the triple cream goodness to come.

Oh, but before going to bed, I enjoyed a spicy cheese roll from the WF bakery. It took me back to Madison's farmers market and Stella's spicy cheese empenadas. Stella!!

Parts of my interview Tuesday evening were fabulous, while other parts were awkward. I only hope that they don't get turned off by my writing samples. Because, apparently, I can only write 20-page papers about feminist anthropology and female genital cutting. Or male circumcision. Or trans erotica. Actually, I only gave them the paper about FGC. And maybe they'll dig it because I discuss "development" programs in Africa and the political and economic aegis behind FGC "eradication" programs. Along with some stuff about the false dichotomy of universalism and cultural relativism. Anyway...

After the interview, I went home and made tomato-basil bisque, which I've posted about a couple times before, but I must re-iterate how absolutely wonderful it is. And, the meal was made even better by the accompanying Saint André on crackers.

This is where I must tell you how I nearly ate the whole block of cheese. It's so creamy (maybe because it's triple cream?) and tasty....the whole thing can disappear quite quickly because I HAVE NO RESTRAINT with cheese.

After the cheese and soup course, Porkchop and I rented Capote. Very good. Much different than I expected.

Knitting night.

Also, maybe...bail out on plans and go to a Cardinals game night. I won't name names here.

Soozi came over and made the most delicious 7-layer dip ever! All the ingredients were very fresh and organic. Yum yum yum...I wanted to eat more of it, but we also had....

Cheese! And more cheese!

Havarti with dill and a hard sheep's milk cheese from France's Pyrenees. I like to imagine the French mountain sheep being rounded up and milked and baa-ing in little French accents. Also maybe wearing berets. And eating crêpes and drinking red wine.

Soozi also brought over another TRIPLE CREAM CHEESE: Délice de Bourgogne (P.S., don't you love the description on the website I've linked to? I want to be a food writer!). For a few minutes, I had Soozi convinced that triple cream cheese is dessert cheese. It kind of is, in a way.

We also had chicken satay and my favorite salad of baby greens, edamame, red bell peppers, mandarin oranges and sesame-ginger dressing. I embarrassed myself by claiming that I could drink Newman's Own sesame-ginger dressing from the bottle. In reality, I wouldn't, but I really really like it.

Next knitting night, we're going to make easier food so that we have more time for knitting. I made more progress on my second gift bag, and I convinced Soozi to start a scarf using some Bernat Boa yarn that someone thoughtfully gave me for Christmas. I write thoughtfully sarcastically because I'm a bit of a yarn snob. Don't worry, it was no one here who gifted that yarn to me.

Soozi is a bit accurate when she describes the scarf as looking like purple kelp.

But don't fear, Soozi has big plans for a yarn shopping excursion after receiving her first huge paycheck in September.

I'm making rosemary-citrus cookies. I'm quite excited.

Other Things
I am finally ready to transfer my car's title to Missouri and obtain a new license plate. Porkchop (who is technically co-owner of the car) said that she would do the paper work tomorrow. After living in Wisconsin and Iowa, where transferring a title and getting plates takes 2 seconds, it's rough to come back here. So many things to do: obtain a personal property tax waiver, get an emissions test done, have a safety inspection, and of course have car insurance.

I'm actually glad for the safety inspection, which I had done yesterday (you can't just walk-in around here - you have to make an appointment), because I had a cracked serpentine belt! That's no good! So, I feel safer traveling to Arkansas this weekend. Of course, I didn't feel unsafe before because I had no idea.

Someday, I'll get a Missouri driver's license, too. But I'll put it off as long as I can because I hate taking the vision test. My vision is fine, but something about my head doesn't fit the vision machines. In order to take the test, I have to shut one eye for one side of the grid, and then shut my other eye for the other side. And then I have to focus really carefully because the lights in the machine and the colors used for the grid hurt my eyes.

It's rough times. Porkchop actually got to witness this routine in Iowa. I think I kind of embarrassed her because I took so long.

But seriously, my vision is fine!

The Compton Street bridge re-opened yesterday!! 3 months early!! This shaves like 10 minutes off my commute. Seriously.

For the no-picture posts lately.

Here's something for you:

Triple Cream Goodness

Have a great Thursday!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Round 3

Job update: My off-site job prospect has asked me back for an interview with another project director and for a writing sample. Like I said to Porkchop and Soozi, if this doesn't pan out, I'm going to be super-pissed about all the time I've invested. Geez.

In other news, yesterday was nearly perfect in terms of my balance of activities. In the morning, I did yoga, 3 loads of laundry, and put dinner in the crock pot. Around 1:00, Soozi and I went out for lunch (at Sqwires), and then I returned home to work on one of my papers. Later, Soozi joined Porkchop and me for tortellini soup (see recipe below), and then they went to the ball game (yay Cardinals!...and some say I don't care) while I worked on my paper some more. I stopped at the bottom of page I need to reassess things, and I could really use some references to Bruno Latour's Pandora's Hope: Essays on the Reality of Science Studies. So I might be purchasing some books soon. And then re-selling them as soon as possible!

After accomplishing so much on my paper, I sat on the couch and read most of the current Bitch. Yay! What a great Sunday! Except for knitting, of which I did none.

That doesn't mean I wasn't thinking about knitting, however. I can't wait to purchase Mason-Dixon Knitting. I didn't believe the hype at first, but after skimming through it with Porkchop at Borders last week and laughing aloud, I can't wait! I'm already planning all of the band washcloths that I'll make. And rugs. And felted boxes.


I think that's it, y'all. Porkchop and I are working on getting our cars registered and licensed, but that's boring stuff. Not exciting like reading about my Sunday.

Upcoming Things
Maybe you will find some of this exciting:
  • Wednesday: Knitting night with Soozi. I'm thinking we should also make some fun small dishes and maybe have wine or other libations.

  • Labor Day isn't as fun when you don't get paid for the holiday, but maybe seeing V will make up for that. Porkchop and I are going to my parents' in northeast Arkansas, and V might drive over from Memphis for a visit.

  • Renegade Craft Fair. I've been counting the days, and it's soooo close! Yay! We will be staying with K&B...that Sunday is K's birthday, so extra fun!

Note about Luna Bars
So, the Luna bar people have a new line out: Sunrise, morning nutrition for women. Does anyone else think this is kind of ridiculous? I love Luna bars, but I hate the "for women" thing. And now, morning nutrition for women?? Is that really necessary?

I had the Vanilla Almond bar, and I didn't really like it. It was a weird consistency.

The Recipe
I nearly forgot! But here it is! This recipe is for a crock pot, but if you don't have one, just simmer the soup for a half hour or so before adding the tortellini.


1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 14.5 oz cans vegetable broth
1 cup sliced green onions
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp fresh basil (or 1-2 tsp dried)
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 lb cheese tortellini (or extra if you like)

Mix all the ingredients except the tortellini in a crock pot. Fire it up on HIGH for 4-5 hours or LOW 6-8 hours. During the last hour of cooking, add the tortellini.

That's it! Simple! I even wrote this recipe from memory!

Have a great Monday!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Busy Busy Busy

Oh my, the latter part of this past week was BUSY. So busy with the work at work and not enough time for writing or knitting. Murrrr.

On Wednesday, I had my second-round interview at my off-site job prospect. The interviewers were nice enough, and everything seemed to go well...even though two interviewers were looking at someone else's information for a while. After we got that straightened up, those interviewers' questions and comments made so much more sense.

Since I had to take skills tests and have an interview this week, I had to work longer hours to make up my time. So, I was at the workplace until 5:00-5:30 every day. Except for Friday, because I went in early. Work kind of sucked this week because some of the audiovisual equipment in the learning center auditorium is flipping out. This meant that I had to do a lot of equipment troubleshooting and think of crazy workarounds for some presentations and webcasts. Luckily, a service person made it out on Friday. Even though he couldn't fix the most troublesome problem, we at least know what's wrong and what needs to be ordered.

The executive assistant annoyed me as per usual with stupid comments and other crap, which makes me not so excited about the offer put forward by my current workplace. The money would be great - it's much more than I expected - but the EA annoys the hell out of me. Also, my current workplace doesn't offer domestic partner benefits. So stupid!

I will accept the offer unless my other job prospect extends an offer, too. Even though the other place could not match my current offer (not according to the posted maximum starting salary, anyway), it has better benefits. And, the EA doesn't work there.

Oh, here's an interesting story.... Wednesday around 5:00, the emergency alarm went off at work. It sounds like ERRRRRRRRNH! ERRRRRRRRRRNH! And, it's really loud! Speaker! Right! Above! My! Desk! After the alarm sounded, the security guard made this announcement: All non-involved parties, stay in your area. Your attention please, your attention please! There is an emergency situation on the central stairwell. Stay in your area.

Of course, my cube mate and I immediately left our area to scope out the central stairwell, which is in the middle of the 3-story atrium. We couldn't really discern what happened, but there were a lot of people on the stairs, running up and down and stuff. So, I left a few minutes later, and found out that a woman (someone who is really nice and answers a lot of my questions) had taken a tumble down the first half-flight of stairs. Her shoe heel got caught in her pant leg cuff, and down she went. That explained the thunk-a-thunk-a-thunk that I heard before the emergency alarm. Now the woman is all bruised up, but no broken bones or anything. She's lucky because those stairs aren't very forgiving: slate, metal, and glass. Ow.

Here are some other things that happened this week:
  • Had dinner on Wednesday at Hartford Community Café. Yummy falafel, and their sundae list looks promising. I accidentally flicked cucumber-yogurt sauce on Porkchop's forehead, an action that was met with some huffiness. After dinner, we took a walk in Tower Grove Park. I ended up flipping off some assholes who were drive-by harrassing women. The harrasser yelled at me, "Lesbian!" Is that the best insult he could think of? Because, while I don't identify as lesbian and feel misidentified by it, I'm not embarrassed. I mean, duh, I'm not straight - I'll shout that out myself. Anyway, what was supposed to be a relaxing walk ended with me wanting to beat the crap out of a couple of jerks who felt entitled to ruin everyone's evening. Sometimes, I really really hate people.

  • On Thursday, we bought life insurance. How crazy is that?! Next up, Roth IRA! Our insurance agent told us that we should stop by more often because we're really fun. He's so great....if you're in the area and need insurance, look him up (BTW, his photo must be a bit dated...he looks more mature now).

  • Friday night, we went to see Invincible. Porkchop wanted to see it, and I didn't mind, so off we went to a fancy schmancy theatre. After settling into our seats with popcorn and a soda, Porkchop somehow knocked the soda so that it landed lid-side-down on my thigh. Cold! So! Cold! But, I exhibited role model behavior and handled the situation with grace. Of course, I lorded this over her the rest of the evening and compared it to the cucumber-yogurt-sauce-on-Porkchop's-forehead incident. In my book, sitting in cold, wet soda-pants for a couple of hours is much worse than getting a bit of yogurt on one's forehead.

This morning, after Porkchop left for the park, I exercised and then set out to mop the entire apartment. Oh my gosh! I totally underestimated the time/labor required for this chore! We have a lot of floor space! It took me well over an hour to move things, sweep, mop, and put things back. I'm pleased with the results, though. The place just feels cleaner.

After mopping and cleaning myself up, I went to Soozi's to keep her company while she waited for her parents' new refrigerator to be delivered. The delivery people barely made the 4:00 mark in the noon-4:00 delivery estimate. While waiting, we knitted and talked and knitted. I started a new gift pouch and made considerable progress.

After the delivery people left, Soozi and I set out to put things into the new fridge. That's when Soozi noticed that cold air wasn't really entering the refrigerator part (freezer was okay). We determined that the air vents were blocked with styrofoam. So, Soozi started hacking it out....because what sort of refrigerator uses styrofoam as an integral component? After a while, we removed the central console and found more styrofoam and some wiring instructions. we took out the rest of the styrofoam that was blocking the vents, but we left some of the other styrofoam. Because, hey, we're not refrigerator experts, maybe styrofoam is used these days?? We do, however, know a blocked air vent when we see it.

Hopefully the refrigerator doesn't fall apart because of missing styrofoam.

Tomorrow, Soozi and I are to have brunch together to make up for not having time for dinner tonight..

Right now, I'm waiting for Porkchop to get home. Maybe I'll knit a bit more and listen to a This American Life.


Have a good night!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Ten Dollars of Fun

Actually, only $9.13 of fun. After a nice walk in Tower Grove Park, Porkchop and I hit Jay International Foods for treats. Here's what we came away with:


Not pictured is the second Thai Tea bottle. The pumpkin chips are super yum! I thought so anyway; Porkchop spit hers out. Whatever.

I enjoyed my ginger beer and Porkchop her Jarritos while sitting out on the deck this evening. This is the sort of weather I like! Low humidity!

If you ever see these little chocolate cream wafers, buy them! They are the best! Here's a closer picture for reference:

Super Yum!

At JIF, Porkchop and I noticed that Nutella now makes a little snack pack: nutella with dipping sticks and what appears to be peach tea! The peach tea thing seems weird....that's just what I'm piecing together from the picture of a peach above the words something-the.

Before our trip to JIF and before our walk, we made garlic-rosemary marinated grilled chicken. I've written about this dish before, but I feel the need to mention it again. So good!

Porkchop did most of the labor. I mainly minced the garlic.


Have a great night!

Drinks, Giant Pretzels, and Knitting

So, after my fringe debacle Saturday evening, Porkchop and I met Soozi and her manfriend at MoMos. Good hummus and yummy drinks. I felt a bit tipsy because...pick one:
  1. I'm a lightweight.

  2. The guy bartender at MoMos makes them strong.

  3. I am maybe a lightweight.

Seeing how I was all a bit fuzzy when I went to bed, it was especially difficult to get up and go to Gus' Pretzels at 8:00 am. But it was worth it. I brought back these for a certain someone:

Pretzels! So Big!

Those pretzel numbers are 15 inches high. We're talking big pretzels here, folks!

I had decided to finish the flower washcloth on Sunday, even though I did not have a set of size 6 double pointed needles. That's right....I decided to finally try the Magic Loop method!

So crazy!

It's actually not that bad, but I highly suggest watching the instructional video on this website. Magic Loop is a lot like using 3 dpns...if you imagine the cable on the circular needle as one dpn. However, Magic Loop requires shifting your yarn around A LOT; and, like using dpns, you have to be careful to avoid those gutter seams that sometimes form where the dpns meet (know what I mean?).

I'm not totally happy with the can definitely see where I switched from in-the-round-with-a-circular to the Magic Loop. The stitches aren't quite as tight and pretty. See what I mean:


Maybe you can't see it so much in the picture, but you can in person. I will definitely be purchasing a set of size 6 dpns.

Also, here is a pic of my first finished gift pouch. Note the fancy fringe work:


After Knitting
To take a break, I walked down to Hartford Coffee Company for a decaf latté. When I was across the street from the coffee shop, a kid yelled out to me: Hey! Do you know how to fix a bike chain?

To those of you who think I'm only a Knitter or Someone Who Cooks, you should know that I am also a Fixer of Bike Chains. Of course, it was an easy fix, but I still enjoyed assisting a 10-year-old-ish girl with her bike.

Unfortunately, the chain was more than a bit rusty, so my hands became quite dirty. Since the coffee shop's bathroom was occupied, I had to order with dirty hands. I felt so embarrassed when the barista handed me my change because I couldn't hide my dirtiness! And then I had to explain that I just fixed a kid's bike. But I don't think the barista knew what I was talking about because she just looked at me like I was crazy.

Oh, also, on my way to Hartford, I realized that I left my cell phone in my car, which was then parked at Six Flags. Murrrr.

Since I couldn't make a few intended calls after my coffee break, I did things like: laundry, make orange-almond shortbread, do yoga, and wash dishes. What I did not do: work on my school paper.

All in all, a very good Sunday.

Until that Night
Sunday night, I couldn't sleep at all! I was so wound up thinking about work things and the skill tests that I was scheduled to take for my off-site job prospect. My current workplace is supposedly making me an offer sometime this week, but I'm also continuing to pursue my other job prospect.

So, the skill tests went fine. I don't know why I was nervous. Actually, I do know why: I get nervous about things. That's just who I am. has been busy. For a change.

So that is all for now.

Have a great day/afternoon/night!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Making Fringe is Tiring

I just spent nearly an hour making the fringe for my first gift pouch's I-cord.

I hate making fringe.

Whenever fringe is involved, I find it the most tedious and often most challenging part of the project. This evening, I had to redo my work twice because I messed it up. I nearly gave up when my I-cord started unraveling. Apparently, when I was cutting (yes, cutting!) one of my mess-ups away, I inadvertently snipped part of the I-cord.

But it's okay, I recovered things and fixed it right up.

I will post a picture tomorrow of my gift pouch in all its glory. Possibly a pic of my first flower washcloth, too.

Anyway, making fringe is tiring. Keetah thinks so, too:

Fringe is Hard

Since I've started with the cat photos, here's another one:

Yay! Knitting!

It's not easy to knit with so much cat on your lap, but I somehow manage.

Have a great night!

Friday, August 18, 2006


I love the word ennui because it's pretty and fun to say. But also because it's useful to describe the feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction that I feel here at my workplace.

But not just at work, sometimes at home, too.

I can't wait until Porkchop is no longer working weekends all the time because there are lots of places around here that I want to check out with her. At the moment, number one in my mind is a fun-looking antiques mall in Illinois. I don't remember where exactly in Illinois, but I saw it not too long after we crossed over into Illinois on our way to Chicago last month.

The building is quite recognizable because there's a giant statue out front - a statue obviously from the 1950s. Of course, I will do more research on this before we go. And, since that will probably be in November, I have plenty of time.

I also want to host a dinner party in a bad way, but we don't know enough people here yet to do that. I want to make fun small dishes and desserts and stuff like that.

I know...I shouldn't just sit here and complain about not knowing people. I should go out and meet them. But I hate that process.

Last Night
Porkchop's parents had dinner with us - shrimp, tomato, and basil with pasta. Pretty good. No pictures.

Her parents also brought along a small desk that Porkchop's mom picked up at Office Depot on sale - she thought it would be useful as a sewing table.

I appreciate this, but I am also very tired of furniture that comes out of a box. In fact, Porkchop and I pledged not to buy any more of that stuff. It's cheap, poorly made, and often ugly. I had imagined finding a little old wooden desk to use as a sewing table....but it's okay. Screw-together furniture is better than the sewing machine sitting in its box on the floor.

Now we just need to devise some sewing projects.

I'm a very inexperienced sewer and have a hard time sewing things in a straight line....much less doing anything fancy.

This might be because sewing machines scare me. The needle moving so fast and so close to my hands gives me bad images of my hand getting caught and sewn up.

Also, the needle hypnotizes me, so an accident could quite likely happen.

Mainly, however, I don't know what threads and what needles should be used with what fabric.

I really want to sew things. I'm just frozen by fear and ignorance.

Number one priority is exercising. I'm in a bad mood because I haven't done anything since Sunday. I took Monday off, then there was Porkchop's work pool party, company the next two nights (not that I don't like company), and now today.


Good Things
I've been called back for the second round of interviews at the place that is not my current workplace. That's exciting! But I hate group interviews! I'm currently waiting for the call back to schedule the time. I also hate waiting!

Last night, I had time to make another petal on the flower washcloth. Yay! Should be finished this weekend, when I actually have time to make multiple petals.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Group Knitting Fun

Yesterday evening, Soozi came over for dinner. With the aid of her iced tea maker, we made lots of sweet iced tea. Because that's the only kind of iced tea to have.

We also made chicken with lemon-basil sauce. Yum! It was very lemony and garlicky and quite good over orzo with a bit of Parmesan cheese.

Here's a pic of the final product:

Yummers! hands still smell of garlic.

After Dinner
After eating, Soozi said the words that every knitter loves to hear: Can you show me...


Soozi knew how to do the knit stitch, but needed a refresher regarding casting on. And, most importantly, she needed to know how to bind off. Because Soozi knit yards and yards of scarves during undergrad, only to rip it all out and start over because she didn't know the bind off secret.

It makes me sad to think of all those frogged knitted stitches.

Here is me supervising Soozi's double cast-on work:

Cast-On Supervision

I also showed Soozi how to purl. So, after a few practice rows of 2x2 ribbing, Soozi started her own 2x2 ribbed scarf! Yay! The scarf, which is off to an excellent start, is staying at our apartment, and Soozi is supposed to stop by maybe once a week to work on it. She's using some black and red Princess Classic Elite yarn (which I love) left over from a previous project.

Porkchop joined the knitting fun by pulling out her baby blanket project. This was a project started over a year ago but abandoned when Porkchop realized that she couldn't finish it in time for the birth of a friend's baby. The pattern is from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

Here's a pic of Porkchop having so much fun:

Porkchop's Big Project

I think the project is taking a bit longer because Porkchop is a yarn thrower (aka English knitter) (BTW, so is Soozi). I blame this all on Mark Newport. You see, I was shaping Porkchop into a fine continental knitter. Then, she took a summer class with Mark Newport at the UW and he said that right handers should knit using the English method.

Baloney! What outdated knitting theory!

Continental is so much faster and efficient because you don't have to throw your yarn around the needle. Instead, you just pick up the yarn. Easy! Fast! Efficient! Not just for left handers!!

This is a fun little article about the two knitting styles.

My Knitting
Instead of doing the fringe on my gift pouch's I-cord, I decided to start the flower petal washcloth. I have the tip of the first petal done - just 4 more and then I join them together in the round and finish it up. Easy! And fast!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Update from Job Land

So, this morning, I was asking the executive assistant about something when the director of sales stopped by the EA's desk. The DoS travels A LOT, so she was kind of grumbling about some of the new air travel regulations, especially about not getting to take lotion on board.

We had some productive conversation, like about how women with babies shouldn't necessarily be construed as non-terrorist material. As much as I empathize with women who have been made to drink their own breastmilk (if that's even a true story), I don't think we should automatically assume warm fuzzies when we see a woman toting around a baby. That's such gendered malarkey.

We also talked about how horrible it must be for the president of our division. You see, he's Pakistani with a British accent. Right.

So, then the DoS mentioned a colleague of hers who is a male African American. With a once-shattered leg now held together by metal rods. We commiserated over the hell that he always has to endure in security lines.

Then...then the EA said: "Well, you know, stereotypes exist for a reason."

I managed to blurt out: "Stereotypesexistbecauseofsocialinjustices. Andsocialinequalities."

I don't remember what happened next because my head had popped off and rolled away.

Seriously, y'all, my Intro to Women's Studies students from last fall could teach this EA a thing or two.

My opinion of the EA has sunk to a new low.

On that Note
My interview with the VP and DoS went well, I think. The interviews didn't consist of those stupid HR-behavioral-based questions because I've already been here for a while.

Of course, they still have to meet and compare me to some other interviewee. So, we'll see.

I am constantly amazed at how I can say things like, "Oh, I'm looking for a stable position in which I can operate for a least a couple of years," when I'm really thinking, "I'm totally jumping ship if (hopefully, when) something better comes along."

I don't know about my interview off-site. I feel so awkward sometimes. Like when someone asks a question like: "How do you solve problems?"

What sort of non-specific, BS question is that?! There are so many types of problems, and so many different ways to solve them. I can't remember what I said.

I hate interviews.

Knitting Update
I have one gift pouch done - I just have to make fringe for the I-cord. Yay!

Next up...flower petal washcloth!


A Random Thought
Blogger has a new beta version available. I'm thinking of switching over because it allows you to do drag-and-drop template design and lock down posts. The post lock-down is by e-mail I'm wondering if readers would need a Gmail address to access posts (since Google runs Blogger). Because I don't know how else Blogger could validate e-mail passwords.

Not that I have a big readership or anything, but maybe I don't want some posts available to everyone.

For example, if you run a Google search on "pot smoking at Mizzou," I'm on the second page of results.

Awesome. Because that's exactly how I want people to find my blog.

Anyway, just a thought.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

My Weekend: Nearly Too Much Excitement

My weekend started in the usual manner with Porkchop leaving for work and me exercising and cleaning. Other plans for the day included: yarn shopping, knitting, working on a paper, more knitting, maybe cooking something, and generally being a recluse. But during cleaning, I received a call from B, who was in Chicago for a sucky job interview and was wondering if I wanted to have dinner with her when she came through St. Louis! Yay! Also, B mentioned that this burlesque group would be performing that night in Belleville, IL (of all places), and that her friends, DD and BS, were coming over from Columbia to see the performance and maybe we could too.

Suddenly, lots of plans!

So, I upped my cleaning a little bit and got on the ball with yarn and food shopping. Working on my paper suddenly became not-so-important.

Yarn Euphoria
Friday night, I pulled a few knitting books off the bookshelf and suddenly had so many ideas of what I wanted to do. Previous ideas of handwarmers and other things left my mind. I am now committed to GIFT POUCHES and WASHCLOTHS.

Sure I want to move away from simple no-brainer projects, but right now, my heart is with gift pouches (see Last Minute Knitted Gifts) and washcloths (see Weekend Knitting and various websites). I think I'm looking forward to near-instant-gratification with my projects at the moment. Also, these items are quite functional and make good gifts.

Anyway, off I went to my local yarn shop. As mentioned previously, I've never been there before and didn't really know what to expect. The yarn displays aren't very impressive (mainly wire cube shelving), but they've got the goods! Lots of selection. Very nice. I'm happy.

Here's what I came away with:


As you can see, I'm already nearly done with one gift pouch. The cotton stuff on the left is for washcloths (I usually would never buy the chenille stuff because it kind of weirds me out, but it looks good knitted up in the flower washcloth found in Weekend Knitting). The alpaca/silk stuff on the right is for gift pouches.

I'm really into those lovely greens and blues right now. In case you couldn't tell.

I was also glad to find a large selection of Cascade yarns at the lys. For the holidays, I intend on making felted bags for my mom and sister, and I really like the Cascade 220 stuff for the bags, which will look something like this (only different colors because the pink and green is mine, darn it):

Stripey Felted Bag

After yarn shopping, I went food shopping. With my current knitting enthusiasm, I am now much less interested in food. It's like I can only handle a couple of modes of thought at once. Since I always have to be in Work Mode (because I wouldn't go to work otherwise, and then we'd be out on the street, or at least without electricity), and I'm also slightly still in School Mode (until I finish those darn papers), and can only handle Food Mode or Knitting Mode. I mean, Saturday morning was Tomato Festival at one of the local farmers markets, and I didn't bat an eye at going yarn shopping instead of tomato shopping. What the hell? And suddenly, I'm like "dinner? lunch? that's what sandwiches are for." Scary.

Saturday Night
After B arrived and whatnot, we went to the Shangri-La Diner for dinner. It's a fun little vegetarian place with lots of meatless things to choose from and vegan desserts (and non-vegan ones, too). Fun!

Once I had finished up my peach pie, B and I were off to Belleville to see the Benchpress Burlesque show.


B and I just wanted to see some fun queer feminist performance....but other things were in store for us!!!

After crossing over the river into Illinois on the 64/55/70 bridge (aka the Poplar Street Bridge aka PSB), I asked B 30 seconds too late what the next step was according to our Google directions.

We had just missed the Illinois 3 exit. Turning around and catching the exit on the other side wouldn't have been a problem, except for the BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION which has HALF of the westbound bridge shut down! [as noted in a previous post]

B and I don't know our way around in Illinois....we couldn't just pull out an alternate route from our asses. So we turned around and suffered through bridge traffic for at least 20 minutes. The IL-3 exit was still a half mile away (maybe another 20 minutes?), when I said to B: Hey, here's an exit for 15th Street/Tudor Ave, which are part of our Google directions. Why don't we just take this exit instead of sitting in traffic for who knows how much longer?

So that's what we did.

The exit ramp was THE LONGEST EXIT RAMP EVER. Which was appropriate, because we were beginning our DESCENT INTO HELL....I mean EAST ST. LOUIS.

{insert dramatic music here}

Usually, when people say that an area is bad news or should be avoided, I pooh-pooh them and am skeptical. I'm not one to believe the hype about supposedly bad things.

But, y'all, B and I were quite uncomfortable in East St. Louis, even scared. Not because of the people, but because of the environment. Here are things that B and I think would make East St. Louis a better place, in no particular order:

  • Street signs

  • Street lights

  • Roads that aren't shitty

  • Houses that aren't falling down

  • Public housing that doesn't look like something from a bad 1960s social experiment

In our case, street signs would have been the most helpful. Because we drove up and down 15th street for 20 minutes looking for some sort of informational sign that matched our directions/maps.

We did not feel comfortable going into the package liquor store or the corner bar for directions, nor did we want to just stop a random person on the street.

We were freaked out.

The chorus that we kept repeating in the car was: What the fu...???? They make people LIVE here???!!! Wha???

Y'all, East St. Louis is messed up.

We eventually saw some sort of police/security car down a driveway near who-knows-what kind of building. So we drove up to the guys, I rolled down the window and was like: WHERE IS THE NEAREST MAJOR HIGHWAY?!

The guys were like: Yeah, what's going on here. What are you doing? [With an implied tone of: stupid white girls from St. Louis coming to East St. Louis trying to buy drugs and getting lost. Dumbasses.]

Okay, here's the kicker, folks: we were ONE BLOCK AWAY from the highway entrance ramp!!! We only had to make a right turn! Let me note here that there were NO STREET SIGNS or HIGHWAY SIGNS or ANY sort of sign with any helpful information on it.


I had already been breaking into maniacal laughter during our little excursion, but that drove me over the edge. ONE BLOCK!

Needless to say, we did not make the show.

Twist of Fate?
Quite coincidentally, DD and BS did not make the show either. First, being from Columbia, they didn't know that the city shuts down the Eads Bridge nearly every freaking weekend in the summer for Live on the Levee. They also didn't know that the eastbound 64/55/70 exit to the PSB is shut down.

That's right folks, of the 3 bridges downtown, only 1 is sort of totally accessible. Sort of.

So, DD and BS got disgusted and went to Novak's, but not before encountering other road construction/detours.

Because it's a good idea to shut down everything all at once.

Meanwhile, B and I needed a stiff drink, so we parked the car by my apartment and walked down to Absolutli Goosed. What a contrast! Street signs! Street lights! Buildings not falling down! After our first drink, DD and BS met up with us there, and we had another round. Yummy drinks.

This morning, Porkchop, B, and I went to Mangia for brunch. It was alright, but I felt a bit let down after reading glowing reviews. I mean, their oven roasted potatoes were just that. No spices or anything interesting. Maybe I should have ordered an omelet or frittata or something like that because the eggs benedict were just okay.

After B left, I found her cell phone charger, so we met halfway at the Whole Foods in Brentwood for the hand-off. Then, I went somewhere and bought something for someone (details cannot be revealed yet).

And then, it was back to knitting. And working on my paper....2 more pages down! Awesome! This isn't taking long at all!

And Now
Trying not to think about the work week. Stupid work.

I have so many more important things to be doing. Like knitting washcloths.

Monday Afternoon Update
B has added some factoids about East St. Louis in her comments to this post. This is a website with more information. And here is a disturbing account of the East St. Louis massacre of 1917.

I'll add more links when I find them.

Friday, August 11, 2006

High Class All the Way

Dude, Porkchop and I really know how to spend a Friday night.

After a tasty meal at Pho Grand (where I had a delightful tofu coconut curry, yum!), we went out to the County and hit TJ Maxx. Every once in a while, I really enjoy a trip to TJ Maxx, mainly for perusing their kitchen and bath items. We did that tonight, but our main mission was finding some designer baby things (for someone else...don't worry, you haven't missed anything). And we totally scored by finding a hot hot pink Puma warmup jacket (size 6-12 months). Awesome.

I also found a pair of acceptable Limited pants for cheap. Of course, they are more lightweight summer pants, but at least I'll have something a bit nicer for my interviews, if I choose to wear them. The waist fabric gap is not so great, totally workable with a belt.

After TJ Maxx fun, we went to the Sonic and kicked back in the parking lot with a cream pie shake and a cream slush. Some guy was acting suspicious in the parking lot, which just proves that such things don't just happen at the city Sonics.

Next, it was on to Supermarket of Shoes, which is not what I had imagined. I had pictured bins of shoes....kind of like the produce aisle in grocery stores. In reality, it's just a Famous Footwear with a different alliterated (is that a word?) name.

Now we're back home.

Who knows what crazy things we'll do next.

Another Boring Afternoon

Except I recently spoke to a very unpleasant person.

So unpleasant, I had to resort to snarkiness. When pushed, I can also assume a mean, "you must be stupid" tone.

The executive assistant even apologized that I had to speak to said person.

In a Hole
That's where I must've been living for the past year (oh, wait, I was in Iowa...) because I just now found this blog.

Love love LOVE it!

Definitely worthy of "best thing ever" status.

I'm even putting it in my little sidebar link section (which, you know, obviously means penultimate bestness).

Aforementioned blog has gotten me through the day. I've read back to the May 2006 archives.

No, I have nothing else to do here at work. Why do you ask?

Clothes Encounters

That's the clever name of a laundromat in Madison, and I think it describes this post well.

But before clothing, I should back up to the insurance appointment that Porkchop and I had at 5:00 yesterday evening. What was supposed to take 20 minutes wound up requiring well over an hour because our new insurance agent is Mr. Talky-Talky.

I actually really liked him.

I found his listing in the Pride Pages, but, to my great disappointment, he's not gay. Of course, I don't know....just because someone's married to someone of the opposite sex and has a child....that doesn't necessarily mean anything.

Anyway, he was super nice. Genuinely nice, not that fake, smarmy insurance-agent-nice. And his office is near Lafayette Square in a great old building.

Of course, now I'm all concerned about buying life insurance and starting a Roth IRA. These are such adult things. I feel like I'm pretending.

On to Clothing
Since insurance took so long, we didn't make it to Pho Grand. Instead, we hit the bread company in the Galleria. How very disappointing.

I ended up only purchasing a little cardigan and a jersey shirt from H&M. This was also very disappointing.

With all of my Target and H&M clothing, I feel so cheap and ragamuffiny when I'm at work. The problem is that I sit on the third floor by all the marketing people, who, you know, make at least twice what I do and can afford Kenneth Cole trousers or whatever.

The other problem is that the pants from Target and H&M actually fit me, while pants from, say, The Limited don't. I use The Limited as an example because a pair of dashing pants caught my eye there, and I eventually tried them on after rationalizing it out to myself and Porkchop.

The pants fit my butt, but there was at least a five inch gap of fabric at my waist. And no belt can fix this. Cinch a belt around that much fabric and you might as well be wearing a burlap sack with a rope tied around your waist.

This has also happened to me in the past when trying on pants at Express. The sales person went on an on about their Editor pants and how well they fit, so I tried them on. Same thing.

Okay, The Limited and the Express don't exactly offer tailor-made clothing, but the fabrics are a bit nicer than those offered at Target and H&M. I'm tired of polyester pants and cotton pants that wrinkle right away, but as stated previously, those pants actually fit me.

How do the designers at Target and H&M know the secret of cutting pants to accommodate a certain butt-to-waist ratio, but those at The Limited and Express do not?

I think we all know what's going on here. What's the target demographic of these different stores, and what are the assumptions made about those target demographics when deciding the cut of pants?

This Morning
So, this morning, I put on the little cardigan that I purchased last night from H&M, and to my great disgust, I found a little hole in it! It's at a seam, so you can't really see it....but when you're already feeling like a ragamuffin child (with a finger-painted smile, nod to Simon & Garfunkel), a hole in your cardigan makes you feel even more so.

Since I had already spent so much time getting dressed, I had to go ahead and wear it.

So, here I am, sitting in my cheap-ass cardigan with a hole in it while the marketing people parade around in their non-holey clothing.


What I need is a tailor who will make pants and shirts for me in quality fabrics.

That way, I can avoid the whole sweatshop-labor-clothing-that-I-can-afford circuit.

This depresses me to no end.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

I Knew It...

I knew that someone would hit my blog because of my itching-related posts. Yesterday, someone from Microsoft did a Blogger search for itch-related terms.

I find this endlessly amusing.

What I don't find amusing, however, is the VP here missing my interview that was scheduled for this morning. This means that I had to open his calendar and send myself an updated meeting request to my own interview.

That just strikes me as odd.

Anyway, I now have 3 interviews lined up for next Tuesday: 2 here and 1 at another place for another position.


Right now, I just want a non-temp job so that I can have health/dental insurance.

There are no food- or craft-related items for this post. Or anything of interest, really. Seriously, today has been BORING. Except, I did score a free eggroll, shrimp wontons, and a giant chocolate chip cookie by setting up a lunch meeting for some other people.

Tonight, Porkchop and I might eat at Pho Grand or somewhere else cheap. Then we might go to the Galleria. I know, but we need more Aveda shampoo, and I need a couple more shirts to spice up my work-clothing-rotation.

I hate having 3 different wardrobes: work, leisure, and exercise. It adds up to a lot of laundry. That was one nice thing about the software company in dress code (except that we had to wear clothing). Of course, some folks abused that policy. Sweats and REALLY BIG t-shirts are never right.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Why am I Suddenly My Dad?

So, I recently returned from a trip to Walgreen's. Purpose: purchase something to relieve my itching hell.

I had plans of getting some "natural" product with sandalwood, neem, or tea tree oil, all of which are supposed to relieve itching and fight fungus stuff. But after excercising and making dinner, there wasn't much time (or energy) left for making the drive to Whole Foods or some such place. So Walgreen's it was.

The pharmacist suggested just trying some Benadryl cream, but once by myself, I thought, "oh ho, why not get the Benadryl and the hydrocortisone cream?"

I currently have both on. This is something that my dad would do. If one is okay, why not five different products?

Non-Itchy Things
For dinner, I made baked tofu and a carrot-ginger salad. YUMYUMYUM!!! Baked tofu is the best thing ever. Here's the recipe (courtesy of one of the Moosewood cookbooks):


1 cake of tofu (firm or extra-firm)

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon tomato paste (optional according to Moosewood, but mandatory according to me)
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon honey

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and press your tofu.

Mix up your sauce and cut your tofu into 12 triangles. I use the method of cutting the tofu horizontally into 3 slices, stacking the slices, and cutting through the layers on the two diagonals.

Put the tofu triangles in a baking dish and cover them with sauce. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes, turning every 10 minutes. The tofu is done when the top looks taut and seared.


I serve the tofu on rice, but if you're not a big rice fan, some sort of noodle dish would be equally tasty. Also, I like having hoisin sauce on the side.

Here's the recipe for the carrot-ginger salad, which is also one of the best things ever:


1 lb carrots, grated (or however much you have)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
Minced ginger (however much you want)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Grate your carrots, mix it all up, and season with pepper and/or salt.


Well, that's all for now. Porkchop has a friend over, so I should be somewhat social.

Amusements and Irritations

I'm so fascinated and amused by the number of people who hit my blog via the Next Blog button on the Blogger navigation bar.

It's so incredibly random.

I think I got 5 hits yesterday because of it. Considering the number of Blogger blogs out there, it makes me wonder how many people play the Next Blog game.


Also crazy are some of the searches through which vistors find my blog. My favorites:

  • Feverish and ovulating. That's on this term through Google, and you'll find me on page 8. Maybe I've been bumped up now since I duplicated the term here.

  • Chouteau pronunciation. I once made fun of how folks around here pronounce Chouteau.

  • Where can I find a good place for dessert and wine after a concert at UMSL. No kidding. Some internet users obviously need a primer on how to maximize efficiency when using search engines. Type that sentence into Google, and I'm on the first page...and I've never written about concerts at UMSL.

  • Anarchist bakery. Love it.

  • My most favorite.....colon irrigation! This was a search done through Blogger, and my first post yesterday obviously qualified me.

The most annoying search: vin de set. I've never eaten there, people! You won't find any useful information about the place on my blog! Shoo!

If you're wondering how I know all these things, let me say that there are wonderful pieces of code that you can insert into your web page (got mine at Stat Counter). Freaked out? You should be. Even I, just a low-tech blogger, can track IP addresses, your approximate location, what sort of web browser you use, and all sorts of other stats.

If I can do all of these things, just imagine what happened recently when AOL "accidentally" released detailed information of over 20 million queries conducted by over a half million people.

The internet is a scary place because we often assume anonymity.

The upper right side of my torso and back is super-itchy and has been for the past couple of days.

I don't know what to do. I've moisturized the hell out of the itchy spots, so it's definitely not dry skin.

I'm so itchy, it hurts. And keeping myself from scratching is driving me nuts.

The center of itchiness moves from my armpit, to my shoulder blade, to my right breast. Gah!

Last night, while walking around outside (see account below), I started to perspire a bit, and my armpit was ON FIRE! It felt like a million needles pricking my skin.

Anyone have any idea what this is about?

Argh, it feels like I rubbed poison ivy on myself, but my skin shows no irritation at all, save from the scratch marks.

I'm imagining the worse....some sort of little skin bug or fungus.

Great, I can't wait to see what sort of searches bring up my blog now.

Well, for those of you not suffering from the itchies, have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Basketball Games and Baby Raccoons

After work today, I went to Schnuck's to buy a few things for the tomato-basil-chicken dish I mentioned in my first post today. The dish was totally yummy. Instead of cooking two whole chicken breasts, I cut them up into bite-size portions; that way, there was actually a portion left for leftovers. I also served it on orzo with Parmesan cheese and a squeeze of lemon (there's just something about lemon and basil together...).

Here's a pic:


After dinner, dish washing, and bill paying, Porkchop and I set off to deposit some checks and for treats at Mokabe's. These are things we encountered:

  • Crazy running man with baby and dog in alley. We were in the alley dropping off some trash and were nearly run over by this group. I should note that the man had a beard....for some reason, I think it's extremely odd when running men have beards.

  • Kids' basketball game. Porkchop tried to tell me about this before. I don't know what sort of group this is, but there's a basketball hoop off our alley, and there were a bunch of kids (supervised by an adult) playing tonight. It kind of makes me sad that these kids have to play basketball in the alley.

  • A boat-load of gay men at Mokabe's. Is Tuesday night Gay Man night?

  • A family of raccoons in the storm gutter near our apartment. The family included 3 baby raccoons. Sooooo cute! When they're not going through your garbage or turning over your potted plants, that is.

That is all for now. Must check laundry. Have a good night!

One Thing I Miss About Iowa

Car insurance rates.

That's all I have to say.

Need a Good Cleaning Out?

This past Sunday, Soozi and I went to Mokabe's for brunch (Soozi had their buffet, and I had a chai and scone, since I'd actually already had brunch). Afterwards, the conversation at my apartment took a turn towards colonic hydrotherapy. While I would enjoy a good deep cleansing of my insides, I don't know how I feel about having a couple of tubes stuck up my bum and warm water pumped inside of me.

Am I being too staid? Too conservative? Am I clinging on to old shit?

A couple of friends recently told me about how they accomplished essentially the same thing with acupuncture. Hmmmmmm....have some needles stuck in me (which I've done before) or have a couple of tubes inserted into the first 2 inches of my large intestine. Hmmmm.....

Of course, with acupuncture, you don't have the joy of watching what's inside be washed out through a clear tube.

On to Other Things
Maybe I need acupunture anyway...I was awake most of Sunday night worrying about stupid things. So, Monday morning, I called in sick, saying I would make it in around noon.

Half workdays are weird. I stayed on until 5:30, so it was more than half a workday, but it was still weird.

A helicopter landed outside my building at 4:15. Yes, we were expecting this, but I just happened to be in the all-window stairwell when the chopper came down. It was smaller than I expected. Everyone was very excited; the building was abuzz, so to speak.

Soozi saved the evening by dropping off a couple of vegetable lasagne bundles. Even though I had already inhaled nearly half a loaf of olive bread when I got home, I was still very hungry. So was Porkchop when she arrived.

Vegetable lasagne saved us.

Even though Soozi will say it was super-easy to make, it was still super-yummy. And super-appreciated.

Tonight, I plan on making this recipe, using tomatoes from Soozi's neighbor's garden and our own basil.

Craft-Related Notes
I didn't have a chance to buy yarn this weekend, so I can't start on my handwarmers yet. Guess I should try to do a little something with my (small) stash, but I can't really get excited about that. Part of the "new project" giddiness for me is going to the yarn store and ogling all the pretty yarn.

Sunday afternoon, I had a fleeting infatuation with this blog. The tagline sucked me in....have to see if it becomes a regular read. I'm also quite amused by this blog.

School Things
I have two school papers with deadline extensions hanging over my head. This weekend, I strategized about how to finish one, and I will hopefully complete it by the end of next weekend.

The other paper will take a bit longer, as I need to order a few books. Murrrr.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Sunday, August 06, 2006


The ladies at You Knit What?? have ended their knitted fug commentaries.

Sad times, sad times.

Maybe someone else with equal wit and access to photos of ugly knitted things will pick up the torch.


I was just checking the weather forecast for St. Louis this week, and was glad to see cooler temperatures in sight after Monday. Cooler as in high 80s/low 90s.

Then, out of curiosity, I checked the forecast for Madison. Low 80s/high 70s.

I am so envious.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Midnight Funnel Cake

Okay, more like 11:00 pm funnel cake.

Friday evening, Porkchop, her niece, and I went to the art museum, hung out by the Grand Basin, and went backpack-shopping at Target (said niece has her heart set on a backpack that she saw in a Target circular). After traveling to Wood River to drop off the niece, Porkchop and I decided to take the MLK bridge and go through downtown instead of staying on 64. [For those outside of St. Louis, the 64 bridge connecting Missouri and Illinois is a major thoroughfare that is currently undergoing extensive construction.]

Bad idea.

Like naive outsiders, we didn't factor in Live on the Levee, the Cardinals game, or the German fest (which is right smack on Market Street). Once we reached the German fest, we decided to screw the traffic and get a funnel cake. So that's what we did.

Unexpected Surprises
Yes, that is redundant.

When thinking about Saturday morning, I had originally wanted to try a different farmers market (preferably Clayton because the local anarchist bakery - Black Bear Bakery - sells stuff there), but with a late night behind us and a massage appointment at 11:00 am, we stuck with the Tower Grove market.

Originally, I had also wanted to get a load of tomatoes, but the $3.50/pound price for the organic heirlooms seemed a bit frivolous, especially when we might be a single paycheck household if Porkchop's kidney donation proceeds. So I just picked up a few slicers for $2.25/pound.

After enjoying a savory crepe, Porkchop took me to the yoga/massage studio. I definitely recommend Urban Breath for massage stuff, and the yoga schedule and facilities seem pretty nice. This was my first time with a male masseuse, and it was fine.

Afterwards, Porkchop whisked us off to a Chinese buffet, where we joined Soozi, her mom, and one of Soozi's long-time friends, and the friend's child. It was a pleasant group, and conversation was quite easy. Soozi and her mom (who was very nice, as expected) surprised us with goodies from a neighbor's garden that they've been tending.

So, my tomato dilemma worked itself out! I now have quite enough to enjoy tomato sandwiches and make a cooked tomato dish! Yay!!! I also now have a pretty little eggplant (might make a roasted eggplant dip), 2 hot peppers, and more basil. Super yay!!!

After doing a bit of shopping, we dropped of Soozi's mom. Porkchop and I then switched to Soozi's car and accompanied her to Viviano's. What a great little Italian grocery! The smell alone is worth the trip. Yum.

Unfortunately, Vitale's was already closed. Next time, we'll have to go earlier and pick up some more spumoni.

Enjoying the Day's Fruits
After napping some when we returned home, I had a little dish of things purchased/received today: olive bread (from the Companion Baking stand at the TG market), sliced tomatoes, basil, and goat cheese. So tasty!

Soozi recently left our apartment after a round of Trivial Pursuit and popcorn. I think Porkchop has finally broken our bad-popcorn streak. For quite some time, we could both make some excellent popcorn. But then I burned a batch, and Porkchop made fun of me. Karma extracted its toll by giving Porkchop and bad popcorn streak that has lasted for more than a year.

But tonight, the popcorn was perfect, as was the company.

Porkchop takes her niece to the Cardinals game because it's Build-a-Bear Workshop Day. I think the first so many thousands of kids receive some sort of stuffed item.

For me, it should be a day to start tackling one of my school papers. I just have to stay focused and not get distracted by my tomatoes or eggplant.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Just a Regular Workday....

...except, at 9:30, I witnessed one of the scientists here eat a 9x13 cake in 10 minutes.

How this event came about, I'm not certain. But I think idle chatter turned into a challenge.

I feel like I should be impressed, but I'm really just sickened. Food should be enjoyed slowly, even if it is a cake made from cake mix with store bought icing. Also, I don't want to think about the amount of sugar and other refined goodies that the guy consumed.


Another Gross Thing
I'm experiencing some sinus problems today. When I develop sinus pressure, my right eye squeaks. This usually happens when I touch the area around my eye, but lately, it has been squeaking on its own, like when I look out of the corner of my eye. And it's not a little squeak; it's quite audible to others in my vicinity.

When this condition develops, I like to get really close to Porkchop and rub my eye on her.

Non-Gross Things
After work today, I'm going to the art museum with Porkchop and her niece. The museum is always free, save for the special exhibits; but on Fridays, those are free as well. Awesome. We're looking forward to seeing the Remote Viewing exhibition.

At some point this weekend, I hope to make it to my local yarn shop. It will be my first yarn-buying trip in St. Louis (actually, I tried to go to the same store once when visiting, but it was closed). Of course, nothing will ever measure up to Lakeside Fibers, not in my mind anyway.

Have a good Friday and a great weekend!

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Of course, I won't be breaking out this duo for, oh, 5 more months. Maybe longer. I can't remember when scarf-and-hat-wearing weather starts in Missouri.


I must again state that my photographs don't do justice to this yarn. It looks a lot better in person. Oh yes, I should again state that it's Manos del Uruguay's Bramble colorway.

The best part about to pursue other knitting activities!

Like tagging sign posts. Who's with me?

Too Early for This

Gah! The executive assistant here at my workplace has already succeeded in getting under my skin today....and it's not yet 9 am. I'm opposed to using the word bitch to describe women because it perpetuates all sorts of stereotypes, but I'm nearly at the end of my string here. However, I think I've made it clear that I don't appreciate getting lip from anyone, especially her. We'll see how things play out.

Speaking of ends of strings, I'm nearly finished with my scarf and hat set. Just have to do the finishing section on the scarf and weave in the loose ends. YAY! Then it's on to this and then this and then maybe this (perhaps for a certain friend who has a huge wrist tattoo that needs to be covered at times).

I had a very good knitting evening Tuesday night. Instead of exercising or cleaning, I downloaded a couple of This American Life episodes and knitted. And talked to my friend J for a bit.

Last night, Porkchop came home a bit early, so we hung out at home and at Mokabe's. Sometimes, I just really need a decaf latté. Coffee used to be such a big part of my life....I really miss it. But not the caffeine shakes, stomach pains, or the low-blood-sugar-crazies. Now, a decaf latté is one of my supreme treats. The one I had last night was good - with caramel and butterscotch flavored syrups - but not hot enough.

In other coffee news, August's Sauce magazine is out on the stands, and there's a whole article devoted to iced coffee. FINALLY, someone is telling people what I've been saying to my peers for the past 8 years or so: iced coffee is best made using the cold press method! Don't use whatever conventional coffee brewing method you usually use - that equals nastiness! You have to get a big glass decanter and let gravity steep the coffee for 12-24 hours. The result is extra-strong, extra-tasty iced coffee goodness. Yum!

I grew up, so to speak, on iced coffee made using the cold press method (at Lakota Coffee in Columbia, MO - Lakota is snotty and a bit racist with their Native American themes, but I used to know the staff and could therefore get free drinks and snacks - I like to think that I helped bring their profits down). When I moved to Madison, WI, I was shocked that I could not find this sort of iced coffee anywhere! When I first ordered an iced coffee in Madison, I think I was so surprised that I spit it out. I remember thinking, "What the hell?....this isn't iced coffee!"

Porkchop soon became embarrassed by me walking into coffee shops and demanding to know what sort of brewing method they used for iced coffee. I thought I had hit pay dirt when a progressive-appearing coffee shop opened in my neighborhood because the owner seemed really friendly and with-it. When I spoke to him about his brewing methods, he professed ignorance about the cold press method; although he promised to look into it, I don't think he ever did.

Imagine my delight when, visiting my sister in Atlanta in 2003, I came across San Francisco Coffee Roasting Company's (no website?) iced toddy. So awesome. There was a location near my hotel in the Virginia Highlands, so I went there everyday during my visit. I re-visited the place while hanging out with Porkchop at CAA in 2005.

Enough Coffee Talk
I plan to hit a different farmer's market this weekend. Perhaps venturing to Kirkwood or Clayton.

It's tomato-time, and I need to load up. Although I hate the heat, it makes for good tomatoes. Looking forward to grilled tomato and cheese sandwiches.

Porkchop has started documenting her kidney donation stuff here. We've talked about this possibility for so long, it doesn't seem real that it might actually happen. It makes me worried about lots of things. Not about the operation itself, that seems pretty cut and dry, but about events leading up to and after the procedure. Like getting power of attorney forms and taking care of my little Porkchop.

That makes me want to cry, so I have to stop writing about it.

Strangers with Candy is playing....maybe we'll go see it sometime soon.

I overslept by 20 minutes this morning because our power went out yesterday, and when I set our clock, I reversed the AM/PM thing. My alarm was set correctly, but not the current time.

Isn't it sad when you wake up thinking, "Wow, I feel too refreshed...I must have overslept!"

This week has been too long. Why can't today be Friday? You know, I used to not understand the whole "TGIF" hype, but then I started working in the 8-5, 5 days-a-week world.

Afternoon Update
I think it's that time of the month for food cravings. Here's what I'm currently obsessing about:

  • Sweet potatoes. In any form.

  • Macaroni and cheese. Exactly.

  • Cheddar peppers with ranch dressing. Apparently, I want to clog my arteries.

  • Roasted beets. Finally, something that's healthy. Except I want them served with a load of goat cheese.

Beet side-note: I once ate so many beets, I thought I had colon cancer. You see, I had a huge bunch to use up, so I was cranking out the beet-orange-carrot-ginger juice, roasting beets, etc. At the time, I was unaware of what happens when you consume so much beet matter. Now, I am very aware.