Monday, June 30, 2008

Blog filler, 80s flashback edition

Every time my mom visits she brings a few trips down memory lane. This time it was some aprons my grandmother sewed, family memoirs... and a big stack of pictures. Of me. They skipped around all the eras of my youth... "Cute, cute, AWKWARD, cute, cute, AWKWARD..."

Yeah. Let's start out with cute, shall we?

Please zoom in for full effect of barrettes.

The sweetest blog

Do you wish you had upwards of 2 gallons of honey sitting on your kitchen counter?

And that when you picked it up in a giant plastic pickle bucket from your honey guy, he was up on a roof in his bee suit surrounded by bees?

I know you especially wish you ate most of the copious amounts of honey you got covered in while decrystalizing and jarring it.

No, these questions are not hypothetical. No, I do not plan on swimming in honey. No, my jam will never want for sweetening. Yes, I appear to have a bright future selling local honey from rescued bees.

4 days til another undeserved vacation!
3 days off in a row.
3 kinds of jam to make. (More backyard loquat, farmers' market bargain peach, and Sue's backyard apricot.)
2 blog posts a day. That's right loyal readers, I plan to treat you right for once. My mom came to town this week and provided me with a big pile o blogfiller, which I promise is way more entertaining than Tarzan jokes.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Snapshots of my life

On Saturday I picked up several pounds of $1/lb overripe tomatoes at the farmer's market. Yesterday morning I turned half of them into a giant bowl of salsa. I then proceeded to eat chips and salsa as my main meal for breakfast, lunch... and dinner. It was either the pinnacle of my career, or the low point. I think the jury's still out on that one.

This morning, our kitchen clock was inexplicably 40 minutes slow. Which meant that I got into the car at (what I thought was) 9:10, didn't pay attention to the car clock, made the (what I thought was) 15-minute drive to work, and turned onto the street that my office is on just as the deejay made a comment about it being "just past the 10 o'clock hour." It was absolutely terrifying... I had no idea where the past 45 minutes had gone. Fortunately, I knew exactly what to do in a situation like this: find the oldest inhabitant of my village, Peter Vanderdonk, and ask him to identify me even though nobody recognized me because I looked so much older than I did when I left home.

Once we got that out of the way, it was back to work as usual.

I'll conclude with some visuals from the crawfish boil that Bill & Quincy hosted on Saturday:

Our lovely hosts

Standard crawfish boil procedure entailed dumping all the food (crawfish, corn on the cob, hush puppies - small balls of deep-fried cornmeal deliciousness, for those of you unlucky enough to never have sampled one - and rolls) onto the newspaper-covered tables and having at it. Good times were had by all. At last, when there were no more crustaceans to be had, we regrouped for some dominoes...

And the moral of this weekend is: after you've been eating crawfish that were boiled in about a pound of cayenne pepper, make SURE you wash your hands BEFORE you go to the bathroom. I witnessed the 15 minutes of anguish suffered by the gentleman who did not heed this rule. It wasn't pretty, my friends.



Friday, June 20, 2008 in the shining city, here in the endless summer...

Inspired by Rebecca, I've been spending the past couple of hours attacking the squalor that is our house. No before & after pictures, sadly, because you wouldn't be able to tell them apart. But I figure if I start now I'll have just about enough time to get the house into a presentable state by the time everyone descends on Austin for the wedding in November.

Among this evening's many accomplishments, I've managed to: a) transfer all the cardboard recycling from a small paper bag into a bigger paper bag; b) gather together a huge pile of R's assorted paperwork (bills, etc.) and put them into a third, larger, paper bag for him to deal with; and c) eat some watermelon. It's been a hell of a night. Now, basking in the sweat of a hard day's work (not to be confused with the sweat of a hard day's karate, which is generally associated with attending karate class in a non-air-conditioned dojo in Central Texas in the middle of the summer), I've decided to add to my list of accomplishments by posting. However, since I clearly have absolutely nothing interesting to say, this'll be a short one.

Of note, I did make my first trip to New Orleans since last we spoke, to attend an excellent conference. Gumbo and white bread abounded. I also attended one brunch, one lunch, one birthday party, one BLT-and-dominoes party, one happy hour, the state Democratic convention, and Pride Fest. All of which have made me crave nothing more than spending Friday night sorting the recycling and eating watermelon. Maybe I'll carry on the grand Katie-and-Rebecca-Friday-night tradition and do a load of laundry. Just for old time's sake.

I now leave you with me and the most excellent PC, from when she visited Austin a few weeks back:

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Why don't you pass the time by playing a little solitaire, Raymond?

Angela Lansbury is creepy. Also, I've hit upon a brilliant, life changing solution to two of my most vexing problems. 1) My sad sad TV that I dragged across the country but haven't watched since 2005. 2) My inability to live in a space not resembling a national disaster area.

The answer... videos + cleaning! I was remarking the other day that my mom used to iron while watching masterpiece theater on PBS. Which, as Inder pointed out, is hard core. I need slightly more mindless entertainment while engaged in domestic activity, so I grabbed some old favorite videos from the store (In addition to books, we offer a bit of used everything and we do a particularly fine trade in VHS and vinyl.) Now I've got my own personal TBS rerun channel. A couple Sundays back I spent the whole day actually unpacking my worldly possessions into my room (and concluding that if I had to be locked in a room with only one movie on repeat, it would be A League of Their Own.) Just about 4.5 months after moving in. This is actually a 100% improvement over my stay in Santa Cruz, where I lived for 9 months without ever getting around to unpacking. I'm working up to interior decorating.


My holdings include this vast tract of freshly cleared floorland.

Clothes live in my dresser instead of anywhere but. (And, behind, in my closet, more clothes and worldly posessions are stored neatly instead of blockading it!)

OK, some still linger on my "window seat", but limiting the clothesprawl to one tiny horizontal space is impressive in my book. (Note the garbage bag hung out of reach of hungry bears. By which I mean Crouton.)

The many drawers, nooks, and crannies in my beautiful roll top desk are finally being put to use. My papers and finances, in order? Yes, there may have been some unpaid parking tickets uncovered in the process. Ouch.

Ok, the books just might have been the first thing I unpacked. But booksprawl is a worse affliction than clothesprawl these days, an occupational hazard. It has been contained for the moment. Further outbreaks imminenent. Quarantine recommended. Am I still talking?

The bed is usually the first victim claimed by clothesprawl, booksprawl, and electronicsprawl. (At least it's the one area of the house rarely under the threat of dogsprawl.) No more!

My proudest achievement? I put together a whole storage rack. It only took me the ENTIRE run of Star Trek IV (Yes, the one with the whales. The best part? How I work in the town Uhuru and Chekov went to steal photons to repair the crappy Klingon dilithium crystal! There's this whole scene where they keep asking "Can you direct us to the naval base in Alameda? It's where they keep the nuclear wessels." Of course, these days the naval base has more wholesome uses. Like a brand new mall. And, as of last week, the world's largest chalk drawing. But I digress.)

Isn't she a beaut? Just what every girl needs, overflow kitchen storage. Especially for her jam and jammaking paraphernalia.

Of course the ensuing week was a little crazy and all horizontal surfaces were lost again. But it just took a couple of hours and The Manchurian Candidate to fix things right up. Breaking Away took care of the laundry. Next week I'll be screening The Sword and the Stone and Sugar and Spice. Mmmm... alliterative cinematic genius.

Monday, June 16, 2008

I'm gonna live forever...

If you missed the comments on the previous post, here's the digest form: I have been reading and goodreadsing and working and coughing and not blogging. Sorry. I promised filler and here it is.

Wait, first I have actual content!

1. Too sick to sing today. Watched Fame with N and C. Chatted with father about fruit and golf and impending travel. Made nachos and loquat jam.
2. MP's parents are returning from deepest suburbia... to live about 3 houses down from my dad! Too bad they can't also go back in time to an era in which MP and I actually lived there or visited, you know, ever.

Now back to your regularly scheduled filler. I've started a collection of jam related picture books. This one features dated British groaners about fruit. Love it.

Who is purple and lives in Monaco?
Princess Grape.

What is purple and lights up?
An electric grape.

How did Tarzan hurt his foot?
Trying to make wine from electric grapes.

Who is Tarzan's favorite folk singer?
Harry Elephante.

What is yellow and lasts for 38 minutes?
A long playing lemon.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Summer vacation

School's out, it's loquat and zucchini season in the backyard, Inder and I made a target run on skirts, and it's been 80+ again this week! I'm still having trouble identifying it as "summer" without any humidity, mosquitoes, or need for AC. But I quite enjoy this magical season, whatever it is.

The real summer news is that I just bought a ticket. OAK-BDL July 4 - 12. I haven't exactly notified my job that I'll be taking a week off or confirmed with anyone I plan to visit, but I thought I'd better bite the bullet before I remembered that I can't really afford it. I'm very excited for lots of singing and catching up with friends and family. This means you if you're in western MA or Boston. Yay!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

School's out for summer, school's out forever

(I promise to never again quote alice cooper on the blog. But that song is impossible to get out of your head. I blame you, KFOX.)

It's over. It's really, really over. I taught my last cooking class on Wednesday, suffered through one more inappropriately rated movie at the tutoring class on Thursday, and today wrapped up the year at the world's most poorly organized after-school program in style, with the world's most poorly organized softball game and cookout.

Just in time to pick up Katie's blogslack. Sweet.

Other items on the agenda for my first week of FREEEEEDOOOOOOOM:
Apply for new 2nd job.
Plan my trip out east!
See Indy.
Send overdue birthday parcels.
Procure bicycle.
Cook and post on recipe blog.
Make more jam.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Come raise the song for Wesley-a-na...

Sadly, that - the first line of our Alma Mater - was the best Wesleyan-themed title I could come up with. Infinitely more sad is the fact that I actually remember even more lyrics than that. In fact, I could probably sing you the alto line of the entire first verse and refrain if you asked me to. Which I know you won't. (Well, Rebecca and Lauren might. But mostly for nostalgia's sake, and only partly to laugh at me.)

The whole point of my Wesleyan-themed title is to rejoice in the weirdness of the fact that in the span of one week, I hung out with two separate people from my college-singing past who surfaced in Austin out of the blue after I hadn't seen either of them in years. First was Kristin from my acapella group, who's in Austin studying for the Texas Bar before moving down near the border where she got a job doing immigration law. Next was PC from Wesleyan Singers (thanks for giving her my email, Lo!), who was in town visiting a high school friend and is just as fabulous as I remembered. In honor of Singers, here's one of Rebecca's old photos that I'm stealing. Alto power alto pride!

In between dates with People From My Past, R&I also drove out to an old dancehall in Uhland (pronounced yoo-lin... if "Don't Mess With Texas" ever goes out of style, I'd like to nominate "Texas: The Place Where You Don't Pronounce Anything The Way It Looks" as a new unofficial state motto) with some friends for a little drinkin, dancin, domino-in, and general good-timin. Fun fact: I'm pretty sure I was the only person in the entire town who had been to a drag king show the night before. I am nothing if not subversive.

Okay, savor this post while ye may since it might be the last you hear from me for a while... I have some busyness coming up, but I'll rely on my charming co-host to entertain you for the next week or so.

Happy Friday!