Thursday, February 28, 2008

Everything's finally coming up Rebecca

I've been saying for over a month that I was holding out for the right thing to come along, and it turns out this wasn't just a lame excuse for my unemployment! Phew. For the record, on Monday I landed Job #1. On Wednesday I landed Job #2. This one's with my new favorite bookstore, at that! I start tomorrow, so my deadbeat days are REALLY numbered. Now, I think I've earned that vacation, hmm?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A few more "File Under..."s

Three: Days I have left to early vote before leaving Texas.

Better than average: Chance that I will completely forget to vote before leaving Texas.

124 ("Lover of the Lord"): Song that's been inexplicably stuck in my head since last weekend's convention, even though we didn't actually sing it.

Eighteen: Total number of Irish Car Bombs consumed by our party during this year's annual College Station Saturday Night After the Texas State Convention Getting Inebriated Extravaganza (archived footage of last year's Irish Car Bombs can be found here).

College student: Demographic I am consistently relieved not to be a part of anymore.

Garden: What R&I are going to try to plant this year.

Maybe three: Percentage of our yard that gets any sunlight.

Not much: What we will actually be able to grow. However...

Surviving against all odds: What our trooper of a six-foot-tall hot pepper plant has done despite months of coldhearted neglect and intermittant frosts. Is there anything hot peppers CAN'T do?

Hubcap: The approximate shape and texture of my latest loaf of experimental spelt bread.

The jar of maple syrup and the biggest spoon we have: What R demanded I fetch him from the kitchen the other day.

Lots of you: Who I will get to see next week! Hooray!

The end.

Love,

K

Monday, February 25, 2008

but labor is sweet

Despite barely waking up in time for my 1:30 job interview, this has not been a totally unproductive day.

After a few chilly days it was gorgeously sunny again, so I pulled out my brand new Walk Oakland! map and found a park nearby. Wow, something in my neighborhood besides churches and corner stores! I walked over, passing some lovely old victorians in what is apparently a historic neighborhood. Found a bench not being slept on, watched a little futbol, and read a few more chapters in Bound For Glory.

Good energy at the singing tonight, or maybe it was just me being excited at finally singing some tenor. There's generally a distinct lack of altos and a distinct abundance of tenors, but thanks to a visit from Jessica, who as we all know is an alto part unto herself, I got to indulge my recent itching to learn tenor. Looking forward to singing with J next at WMSHC!

Oh, and I got a job. Look at me not being a deadbeat anymore. Well, that's kind of a lie, because the background check will take a week, and I ever so conveniently have a vacation scheduled for the next week. But in two weeks I'll be all job having again! At a great after-school program at a local middle school. I'll be doing some academic mentoring and maybe teaching some cooking classes! It's regular work (afternoons, 20 hrs a week) and good pay, very close to home, interesting school. REALLY looking forward to working with kids again. Also I have my resume out all over town (the library, myriad bookstores, select other retail establishments) so someday I hope to have a second job for fun and profit. And once I'm back on some kind of regular schedule, maybe I can use my free time in a vaguely productive manner? Such as advancing my jam industry? We shall see.

Random file food photo for Jenna :) Actually, it's even casserole related. Nancy's recipe for squash stuffed shells circa 2004.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Casseroles... the new jam?

I know, I know, 2 food posts in a row. I promise a higher ratio of smarchiness™ from now on. (Not a guarantee.)

But check this baby out! I dare your leftovers to cut such a fine figure.


As convention season approaches, I turn my kitchen puttering toward the the fine art of casserole construction. This first attempt is a classic that handily cleaned out the fridge. (This is particularly important on Friday nights, as I can then hit the farmer's market on Saturdays with last week's haul in my stomach rather than on my conscious.) Inder's leftover pilaf (wild rice and brown rice)+ a couple heads of Romanesco broccoli + homemade cream of mushroom soup + a nice block of Colby = Ridiculously Wholesome Broccoli Cheese Casserole = yummmmmmm.

Further efforts shall include actual recipelike recipes and hence live over at the recipe blog. I'm particularly excited about trying out Veganomicon's vegan casseroles. Southwest corn pudding with coconut milk? Yes please.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Crossover chard

I haven't been updating on my doings lately as there's not much to report. A simple life of hermitage, job applications, singing, friends, and jam squares. Fortunately Inder (treble/landlandy/crafter/doglover) has picked up the slack, filling her blog with pretty things and occasional adventures that involve yours truly. And pit bulls. Lots of pit bulls.

In case there was any doubt that we might be compatible housemates, her latest installment reports on the overgrowth of chard in the garden and the resulting culinary experiment. Recipes anyone? In the interest of crossover blogging, please enjoy my chard related pictures.

See backyard chard.


See backyard Meyer lemons.


See Omie and lemons.


See Inder cook. Accessories include my "guest" apron, Inder's homemade bread, coordinated leash, and naughty dog Crouton.
<

See chard soup. (See chard soup recipe.)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

But all the best dictators are taken...

We all know that ranking is the most constructive way to instigate change. Since there aren't enough presidential candidates left in the running to scrape together a top 10 list, let us turn to world affairs.



It's a proud day for Kim Jong-il, who moved up to the #1 spot this year. Take that Omar Al-Bashir... genocide is so last year.

Seriously folks, it's really important that we get involved in ending these egregious humans rights violations. Your ranking is just as meaningful as the expert journalists'. Please take the time to vote in their poll: Who Do You Think Is the Worst? Remember, "You can vote for as many dictators as you like, but you can cast only one vote per dictator."

Or for the truly advanced activist, nominate your own infamous leader. "Tell us who we missed! In your opinion, what dictators deserve to be called the world’s worst?"
(So far our very own George W Bush is riding the write-in vote to victory, though it is suspected that he was the only world leader voters could name.)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Fashionably late photos

Some of my more observant readers may have noticed that I posted this album a ridiculously long time ago, but I haven't linked to it here yet. Behold: Special Marathon Fall Season of Travel and Quality Time, part 2. This in honor of the upcoming Slightly Less Marathon Spring Season of Travel and Quality Time: New England edition. 19 days til WMSHC!!!

Here's my personal favorite by the way....

Katie during Martin!

(Full disclosure... she HAD been called to lead the next song.)

Last month in pictures (because once again, I am too lazy to write a real post)


Posing at the summit of Mt. Bonnell with our fair city in the background. [Editor's note: And people make fun of NEW ENGLAND mountains??? Seriously, there were old ladies in dress shoes who scaled this puppy in less than three minutes. You essentially drive your car up the first half of this hill and take a short sidewalk up the rest. Needless to say, this was not the afternoon's hike we had hoped to take our visiting friend Dara on.]



R & Dara overlooking Town Lake and lots of giant waterfront houses owned by people who are richer than we'll ever be.



Super Tuesday party! R graciously permitted Alexa to hang up Arizona's winning Republican.


And while we're on the subject: Did any of you read that goofy New York Times article talking about how Obama needed to figure out how to touch Latino voters in order to win over Texas, which closed with a quote from one of his aides talking about how he was going on a speaking tour of small Texas towns where he would be close enough to voters to literally reach out and touch them? Well, R managed to unearth this stock photo of Mr. Obama reaching out and touching a Texas voter:


Seriously, if I could be high-fived in the face by any Democratic candidate, I would want it to be Obama.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Reconsidering

Now, I know this blog came out early in the campaign with a key endorsement of Obama, but I've decided to withdraw my support after reading this important editorial:

Do We Really Want Another Black President After The Events Of Deep Impact?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

run come see what this river has done / carved the walls of Grand Canyon with the colors of the rising sun

Let's pretend I got around to posting this yesterday, when our nation honored the 199th birthday of Abraham Lincoln and a much more youthful birthday milestone for that mother of mine. I also hear it was a pretty good day for Mr Obama.

In celebration, I present the long awaited pictures from the trip I took with my mom to Arizona back in September. You remember, the ones of all the rocks I kept threatening to post?

Like this one.


Well I know Nancy will appreciate all the landscape photos, and the rest of you can hopefully find something to enjoy among the other highlights. Which include a tarantula crossing the road, gorgeous raw food, and Thorne miniatures (imagine my shock to discover they exist outside of the Art Institute!) Of course, there's my personal favorite... our Phoenix hotel who were bragging about their multi-million dollar remodel, which turned out to involve a frightening hybrid of Southwest color schemes and vaguely Japanese minimalistic style. And a diabolical plan to renovate all the towel racks and hooks right out of the bathroom. Not even a doorknob to hang your wet towel on. I'm still kind of agog.



In conclusion, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Life Lesson #5834

SCENE:
Katie's friend sits at her desk conversing with the boy who does odd jobs around the office to fulfill his court-mandated community service. Boy examines photo of Friend completing a triathalon two summers ago, which she keeps framed on her desk.

BOY: Dude, you were SKINNY then.

FRIEND: Ouch! (Stops. Thinks about it.) Hey wait a second, why am I getting so upset? I look great fat OR thin.

BOY (nodding earnestly): It's true, dude. If I were straight I'd be all over you.

FRIEND: Now empty my trash can.

FILE UNDER:
Body Image, Maintaining A Healthy
Lines You Wish You'd Thought Of, Examples Of
Stoners, Putting Them In Their Place

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Eating books

Everyone needs two online sites to track their reading. In addition to updating my collection on librarything, I have followed Inder into goodreads. (This is happy news for KT because it means I have an outlet for my literary ranting besides her ear/inbox.) All the titles below link to my reviews on that site.

With all that archiving accomplished, I present without further ado:

Rebecita's 2007 in Books


The Absolutely Best Read Of A Part-Time Bookseller
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

The Best Sleeper
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

The Best Listens or The Audiobooks That Made Me Wish For A Longer Commute
1. Gilbert and Sullivan Set Me Free by Kathleen Karr
2. Framed by Frank Cottrell Boyce
3. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

The Books That Were Totally Worth Jumping On The Bandwagon
1. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
2. The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan

The Books That Make Me Foam At The Mouth And Not In A Good Way
1. The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
2. The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
3. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

The Best Read That Was Years In The Making
Outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books by Aaron Lansky

The Best Re-Read That Ate My Visit To Texas
Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone?: The Carter Family & Their Legacy in American Music by Mark Zwonitzer

The Book I Sold the Most Copies Of Yet Somehow Never Read Despite My Best Intentions
Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows

The Best Author Event
Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally by Alisa Smith and J. B. MacKinnon

The Best Blog of Literary Distraction
BSC Headquarters

Monday, February 04, 2008

Mmmm, candidately delicious...

Tomorrow night we're having a Super Tuesday party with hors d'ouevres named after candidates utilizing a myriad of awful puns including, but not limited to, chips & Barackamole, roasted green Huckabeans, and mushRoomney risotto. But really the point of this post is share with you the piece de resistance - Ron Paul Prawn Balls. Invented by R, obviously. (K: "What the hell's a prawn ball?" R: "Like a meatball. Only with prawns." Oh of COURSE. Like a MEATball, only with PRAWNS. I repeat - What the hell's a prawn ball?)

That's all I've got for the moment. Party reviews and political commentary forthcoming, I'm sure. Though I'm not really much of a political commentary kind of gal. I'm just in it for the prawn balls.

[Editor's note: R is currently cooking said balls and they smell unbelievably tasty. I guess we know who's going to get the last laugh this time around...]

[Editor's second note: A quick Google search reveals no less than 8,000 hits for "prawn balls." Okay okay, I stand corrected twice over. Clearly I'm living with a culinary genius. I should have figured it out long before now...]

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Last week in packaging

Thanks to my mom and Rebecca, I got two of the most awesomely packaged presents ever. I'm pretty excited over the contents, but seriously, check these out.


Through the post office window, I had a view of just a tiny sliver of the packages lining the the backroom shelves. My eye was caught by a repurposed Easy Mac box, and as I stood admiring it I had the following deep thought bubble: "Ah, the US, where freedom of expression extends to our packaging choices. Over in Europe and South America it's strictly regulation brown. God bless the USPS." Just then the postal guy reappeared, went straight for the Easy Mac box, and brought it my way! It was amazing.


Last weekend I had a highly delicious Thai brunch with Rebecca, and she brought me this beauty straight from her holidays in Ecuador. The key to completing my OC marathon, complete with her own chimbo packaging and DVD commentary?? I will clearly treasure it always.