Monday, September 26, 2011

Lemme holler at you for a minute.

After all the (um, irregular, cursory) blathering the past few months about my monthly projects, I have been silent on the current one because it's going to stretch through to November. It's the previously-mentioned THESIS, the progress of which was impeded by a whole pantload of red tape. I promise you the details are not worth enumerating, unless you're also trying to finish a doctorate at a large public university and want to commiserate about how often you're thwarted by some dumb fucking petition that you need to fill out in triplicate, in which case email me and we'll kvetch. The upshot is that it didn't look like I was going to be admitted, then I got admitted late after all, and now I can finish my thang. But it took until this week. Note to graduate institutions: get a mechanism in place so that doctoral candidates who only need to do the defense can do so easily. Yeesh.

So now! I have a self-imposed deadline of October 3 for finishing my paper. Are you surprised to know that I am procrastinating even now? I have been re-watching episodes of NewsRadio and playing a stupid game on my phone in the evenings, in between plugging away at the paper and lamenting the darkness that is already encroaching way too early in the day. The Brit just left the country for a couple of weeks, so the idea is that the solitude will force me to work. Or will it force me to pet cats? I'll let you know how it all shakes down.

Speaking of cats, Ace has been acting all weird, so I took him to the vet this afternoon. We're not good on routine medical care, either for ourselves or our beasties, so I felt guilty about waiting until Ace was kind of hiding out and ignoring his food and acting strange around his water dish and being confusing about whether or not he wants affection (normally he's all love all the time) to get him to the vet. We'll know tomorrow whether there's anything on his blood panel or urinalysis to be concerned about, but at least the vet didn't palpate Ace and go "yeah it's chronic renal failure," which is what Dr Google, DVM was leading me to believe over the weekend. Happily, I liked the vet a lot and he's in the neighborhood, and even though Ace didn't enjoy the outing, at least he did't completely tweak out in the office. However, he did unleash a fresh piss in his carrier on the way home, which meant I had to dunk him in the tub, which meant he hated me for a short time and cleaned himself for a long time. Now he's been crashed out for about 4 hours. I hope the health news is good.

Here's what I just ate for dinner at 9 PM (very euro):

Meals these days.

I often eat the same thing, or some variation of it, for breakfast. That's a Trader Joe's veggie masala burger, which is basically like a delicious spicy hashbrown thing that has no business on a bun, plus some collards, carrots, and chickpeas that I quick saute-braised with curry powder and lemon juice. And that's a little raita on the side that I made with yogurt, tomatoes (from our pathetic yet fruitful plants), cilantro, and green onions.

I also tried making pizza with a chickpea flour crust last week. It was kind of a disaster because my pan was all wrong; I used this recipe, which has you cook the thing on the stovetop and finish it in the oven in the same pan. Still, it tasted great--it had roasted tomatoes, sauteed zucchini and onions, kalamata olives, and feta on it--but it never really crisped up. I'll definitely try again, maybe treating the batter more like a pancake or crepe (socca, which I guess is what this recipe technically is). It's a pretty slick way to eat a pizza-like THING that's more nutritionally dense than your standard wheat crust, and also incidentally gluten-free if you're into that. It would make a great breakfast. Probably tomorrow.

Do you know Laura Marling, and if so, what do you think? I'm listening on Spotify right now. Some of the album skews a little bit Starbucksy but there's this one song they've been playing on the Current lately that is so cool and interesting and I am astonished that she is 21, though I don't know why. Maybe because of the genre? Whatever, her singing is fabulous and the songwriting is inventive. There's bad lip-synching here and I wish she wouldn't clench her teeth, but that's just the voice teacher talking. Here's the song.

Officially, this is enough procrastination.

Monday, September 12, 2011

You say it's my birthday.

I recently got back from birthday dinner with the Brit at Saffron, which was beautiful and highly recommended. Middle Eastern fusion fine dining with great service and good ambiance and a very vegetarian-friendly (not super vegan-friendly, but at least vegan possible) menu. It's really surprising to me how many of the "good" or high-end restaurants in town basically have one pasta dish on their menu for vegetarians, rather than several small plates (which can be shared as starters or combined as an entree) or two or three really good entrees that are not pasta. I just think pasta is lazy. And I almost never want to eat it when I go out. Also, this is a big metro area. It's not like vegetarians are some exotic fringe group. Anyway! At Saffron I ate fried cauliflower with North African spices and feta fondue, grilled haloumi with watermelon and mint, an incredible corn soup with poached figs, yogurt, and smoked paprika oil, and arugula salad with medjool dates, orange, almonds, pickled (I think) red onions, and lemon tahini dressing. Also: an ice cream flight of spiced chocolate, strawberry balsamic, and salted caramel. And a mocktail called Blood and Fire, which was spicy watermelon and cucumber with a watermelon pickle garnish. And the Brit got to eat lots of meats. I meant to take pictures of everything and failed because I ate it all first.

It's been a nice day. The weather is still beautiful and summery--87 today--though the temperature is dropping now and there's supposed to be patchy frost on Wednesday night whaaaatttt. My bossfriend took us all out to lunch for my birthday at Camdi, a standby for our work lunches. The food's always good, though the place feels a little, I don't know, sticky. I had to renew my license and obviously forgot to do it until today, so I had to go to the DMV after work. It was pretty smooth and I had good parking karma, essential because I had only one quarter for the meter. The woman who processed my application and took my picture loved my hair, which tickled me enough that I think I had a totally genuine smile in my photo. We'll see in about two weeks. I really liked my current DL photo, though my sister Molly said I looked like I was in a tampon commercial.

When I got home, the Brit had red roses and beautiful turquoise stud earrings waiting for me, both total lovely surprises.

Also, I ate coconut cream pie for breakfast, thanks to Molly, who made it for my family birthday celebration yesterday. Emily's birthday pie was lemon meringue. And we each got a Sodastream, a thermal carafe, a sweet steam iron, a vintage apron, embroidered dishtowels, and a cat lady tote bag.

The only thing I didn't do today that would have been nice, especially in the last throes of summer, is go for a bike ride. I drove in to work because of the whole driver's license thing, and there was no time to work a ride in. Instead I wore my stupidest/coolest shoes (in black) in celebration and got a proto-blister from walking around in them. Similar to exercise.

I might make a list of 38 things to do in my 38th year, but so far all I've thought of is "make kombucha at home." I'll let you know how that goes.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Friday Etsy faves.

I have another post in my drafts folder about last weekend's Pittsburgh trip, but I can't get any pics off my g-d phone right now, so these pretty things will have to suffice. Is anyone even on the internet on Friday afternoons, anyway? It seems like a terrible time to post stuff but I end up doing it often.

Bicycle Handlebar Purse in Red Bloom by MercyandRuthHandbags

Felted "Wings of Fire" shawl by doseth.

hot tramp, i love you so card by MichelleBrusegaard

"In Groveland" elephant print by valentinadesign

Aerofauna III print by ValeroDoval

Ferris Wheel photo on metallic sheen paper by OldQuixoticShop

70's Vintage Beautiful Green Floral Maxi Dress by nicolasvintage

Patent leather clog in silver by berlin27clogs

Cobalt Blue-Purple Drusy Earrings by JanishJewels

Happy weekending, everyone.