Friday, August 31, 2007

Out Out Damn Chrysanthemum

I bought a mum today from Whole Foods [4/$12!]. I was going to plant it tomorrow in the Valley of the Dead Chili Peppers, but Fate, and Isabella, had different ideas.

She keeps nibbling on it. And I would rather not spend the evening and morning cleaning up Vomit of Joy.

So, I'm going out to plant it now. Photo to follow shortly:

Mums the word


Pretty, no? That's our rosemary bush to the right.
I may buy a maroon one tomorrow so that she will have a friend.

Late night bonus: Photo of my homemade peach-infused vodka and cocktail [2 oz peach vodka, shaken over ice, splash of lemon Italian soda]:

Peach vodka

What a Tangled Web We Weave

It's kind of funny that I should read this article today: Spider Web Engulfs Texas Park Trail.

Yesterday, I started thinking about my current career trajectory [straight into the toilet*]. My contract ends in March [the Best Month of the Year]. More than likely it will be renewed, or the company which wins the new contract will transition our staff.

The thing is I don't want to be renewed or transitioned. I am tired of my job. It is not leading me down a path I like ... or want. As one of my co-workers said the other day, "What kind of career is this? I mean, you have doctors and lawyers and public health workers, but what are we?"

I have been casually looking for other jobs. However, most of the jobs in which I'm interested or feel qualified offer salary ranges $10-12K less than what I'm making now. I can't afford that kind of pay cut. [Note to parents: Talk your socially responsible kids out of a "career" in environmental policy/activism unless they want a life of poverty and group house living].

Anyway, I started thinking about going back to school. When I was younger, I thought about getting my Ph.D. in Entomology, specializing in systematics ... of hemipterans. I *heart* assassin bugs. I got sidetracked (obviously).

Now, I'm thinking of something along the lines of the spread of insect disease vectors and climate change. As traditionally cold climes become warmer, tropical diseases (and the bugs that spread them) will become more prevalent in those areas. Are Northern cities ready and equipped to handle a malarial outbreak?

[One of] The decision[s] I need to make is would I be more interested in studying the actual spread (and thus enter an Entomology or Ecology program) or would I want to study the public health and preparedness issues (which I guess would mean a Public Health Policy program)?

And after that ... how do I research these programs? Who do I talk to? How do I afford it? Do I have the knowledge base to enter an (almost) entirely new field and be successful? What should I be doing to prepare? GAH. All of this uncertainty and confusion makes me want to shut down.

This is something I'll be researching over the weekend. Fun times.

*No, this isn't a Senator Craig joke. OK. Maybe it is. But I didn't intend it.

Is This a Long Weekend I See Before Me?

Happy Friday, kittenes!

Last night, I went over to Y's to cook dinner. I made Pasta with Roasted Provencal Vegetable Sauce from epicurious. I followed the recipe as best I could. I only made a few minor changes. I was able to use some fresh herbs from our little garden plot in front of my building.

Having not used a stove in quite some time, I got a little careless and had to be rushed to the burn unit (aka. the kitchen sink). *sigh* The things I do for the mens I likes.

I forgot to take a photo of the final result. It looked pretty. The taste? It was kinda *meh*. I mean, it wasn't bad, but, after doing all that work roasting those stupid vegetables, I was hoping for something with more impact. Oh, well. Live. Learn.

I kept having nightmares and waking up last night, so I'm a little cranky and disorientated this morning. Sorry.

As for my weekend plans ... I am planning an Afternoon Margarita event as well as hosting Tom Collins and Friends on Monday. What better way to celebrate the Official End of Summer than with VUBOQ's Official Beverage of Summer 2007?

I also hope to plant some chrysanthemums, clean my house, and get my spare bedroom ready to be painted!

If I can accomplish all of that (hell, probably even if I can't accomplish all of that), I will treat myself to these:

New Shoes! Boots for Fall! Gah! I can't stand it!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Let a Thousand Posts Contend

This is it, kittens! P1K! One thousand posts! *woot*

*fireworks*
*confetti*
*marching bands*
*snarky comments about closeted Republicans*

Last night, Isa and I discussed a certain Idaho Senator's ... um ... situation. And by "situation" I mean "penchant for cruising various public restrooms for sexual thrills."

I floated a theory, which is still hanging around in my brain ... Why is it we've been hearing more about GOP gay shenanigans than Democratic gloryhole frolicking? Besides Barney Frank in the 80s and Jim McGreevey a few years ago, what other Democratic gay scandals have there been in recent memory? Are Democrats smarter than Republicans? More discreet?

Probably ... but that's not my theory.

My theory is this: Because Dems tend to skew more socially liberal than Republicans, they are also more comfortable with issues of sexuality, including their own. Out and proud Democrats don't run for public office. Or they run as out and proud Democrats ... and aren't elected. Gay Republicans (or "I'm not gay. I just like having random sex with men in public toilets" Republicans) stay closeted, get married, and get elected.

And get caught with their pants down, toe-tapping the blues in the stall next to yours.

What do you think?

From the Garden of Good and Evil

Happy Thursday morning, kittens!

It's a beautiful day. And guess what? I can practically guarantee that my 1000th post (one-forkin'-thousand, can you believe it?) will be up today! Can you stand the excitement? Remember the first person to leave a comment on that post wins the beautiful fan pictured in my new profile pic! So stay tuned.

Meanwhile, I had a true cooking adventure last night. My Thai Dragon chili peppers are ripening. Here's what the little bushes look like:My camera doesn't take good closeup shots. Sorry.

And here was the result of my harvest:
Cute, no? While on the phone with my college friend, Isa, I tasted one to make sure they weren't yucky. And *whooooo-wheeeeeeeeeee* was that bad boy five-alarm spicy or what? Tiny, but strong!

I decided to make Pesky Mac's cucumber feta salsa with a few variations:

1 cucumber, peeled, deseeded and diced
1/2 red onion, diced
approximately 4 oz. feta, cubed
juice from 1/2 lemon
and the five remaining chilies, chopped fine
Pepper, to taste

Combine and mix in bowl. Eat with corn chips (and, in my case, yummy Whole Foods Olive Bread and cous cous).

OMG! It was so very YUM! Mmmm....

Other than that, I chatted online with some pals, talked to Y for awhile, did laundry, and watched DVDs. Fun. Times.

Oh, and as an added bonus, here's a picture of my Peach-Infused Vodka, Day 2:

More later. *smooches*
PS. This is NOT my 1000th post.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Just Like Ghost

Yesterday, I signed up for a pottery class at the University of Maryland! *woot*
It's a bargain - $150 for 10 2-hour sessions. I am so excited. I'm taking Introduction to Ceramics: Wheel Throwing, which I have learned is not this:


When I lived in Japan (from 1995-98), I took pottery lessons every other Wednesday afternoon. It was great fun. My sensei trained in Hagi, which just so happens to be the place where my favorite style of pottery is made! I never progressed above hand-building though. I tried the wheel once. It was a great success disaster.

When I returned to North Carolina, I signed up for a pottery class at a nearby community college. It was great fun. I learned to use the kick wheel, because I couldn't quite get the hang of controlling my speed on an electric wheel. What can I say? I have a lead foot.

Unfortunately, after making some (nearly) centered and (very) clunky cylinders, bowls and vases, I dropped the class and moved to China.

Now, almost 10 years later, I hear the siren call of the clay again. I can't wait.

PS. This is also not my 1000th post!

Hot Damn

Morning, kittens!

Last night after posing for some lovely pictures with my (and soon to be your?) fan, I ate frozen pizza, knitted on the Afghan, and watched The Constant Gardener.

Fun. Times.

On a sad note, I did not win the $250 million MegaMillions Lottery. Luckily, no one else did either. The jackpot is now $325 million. Almost enough to achieve my dreams. The drawing is Saturday.

After work today, I will be cleaning (!), doing laundry, and various and sundry other chores. *woot*

My chili peppers are ripening, and I'm trying to decide what to do with them. They look small. I thought they were supposed to be 2-3 inches long, but mine are only about 1 inch long. I wonder if this means they will be hotter? Or maybe just yucky?

Here's a recipe I found:
Homemade Tabasco Style Sauce

Because the chiles are not aged in oak barrels for three years, this will be only a rough approximation of the famous McIlhenny product. You will have to grow your own tabascos or substitute dried ones that have been rehydrated. Other small, hot, fresh red chiles can also be substituted for the tabascos.

1 pound fresh red tabasco chiles, chopped
2 cups
distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons salt


Combine the chiles and the vinegar in a saucepan and heat. Stir in the salt and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, cool, and place in a blender. Puree until smooth and place in a glass jar. Allow to steep for 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Remove, strain the sauce, and adjust the consistency by adding more vinegar if necessary.

Yield: 2 cups
Heat Scale: Hot
Note: This recipe
requires advance preparation.


I'm thinking I may just chop up one with some feta and cucumber to make a little salad tonight. That might be yum.

My long-lost co-worker has returned (*woot*). I'll now have some time at work to run errands. YAY!

PS. This is not my 1000th post.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Because I Can't Help Myself

My 1000th post is rapidly approaching. To celebrate this momentous event, I'm having (yet another) contest! WOOT!

The rules are very simple. The first person to comment on my 1000th entry (and don't worry, I'll let you know which one it is), wins a very special prize!

What makes it special?

Nothing really. It's actually a reject. I recently offered it to Marvy Mei and she turned me down. COLD. K-brrr.

I think it's kind of neat, a remnant of my years in Japan - a fan. One of my adult students gave it to me when I left (in 1998). I don't really know what to do with it, so I'm giving it away. Aren't you lucky?

Here are some pictures:

[PsychoKitty not included][VUBOQ not included either]

Good luck, and may the Schwartz be with you.

Fairy Circles

Fairy circle

I passed this on my way to the metro station this morning. The fairies must have been out dancing under the full moon, because I didn't notice it on my way to Y's yesterday. It reminded me of my childhood and the stories we create ...

Read about Fairy Rings on wikipedia.

A mushroom walked into a bar.
"Get out of here," said the bartender. "We don't serve your kind."
"Aw. C'mon," said the mushroom. "I'm a fungi."

Get it? Get it?

UPDATE: I had this totally weird dream last night that I wanted to blog about, but forgot. And, now, I don't want to do a separate entry. So, here are parts of the dream that I remember:

Part 1: Nida, her Husband, Sarah (who I've met maybe 3 times through DUN), one of my friends from high school (Cherri) and I are helping Mike kayak down a river. We are all wearing rollerblades in the water, skating to various points in the river to guide Mike.

Part 2: I am making out with the Cheating Cheater.

In between parts 1 and 2 was something I don't remember about a store. I think that was where I met the Cheating Cheater.

The Man from Atlanta

Back to the grind ... but before I bitch and moan about work, how about a little review of my trip?

I left work (yay!) at around 2PM, metro'ed and bused to BWI airport. Checking in was a breeze. So was security. And my plane took off on time. *woot*

I arrived in Charlotte around 6:30. And my connecting flight was scheduled to take off at 7:55. Just enough time to grab a quick beer and a bite!

Unfortunately, when I landed in Charlotte and checked to see where my gate was, I saw that my flight had been delayed until 9:30. GAH! Just enough time for several leisurely beers and a veggie quesadilla at a NASCAR-themed bar. Ack. Welcome to the South.
Beer und nascar

After eating, I checked the departure board again and learned that my flight was now delayed until 10:40. GAH! I think we finally took off a little after 11, arriving in Atlanta just after midnight. So. very. tired.

The next day, after seeing Christal's Palatial Estate [my apartment could fit in her bedroom] in the daylight and blobbing around for awhile. We drove into Atlanta for brunch and shopping. We went to the Virginia Highlands neighborhood, which is sort of like a less college-y Adams Morgan ... or a slightly less bohemian Takoma Park. It was hot (so very very hot), so we returned to Christal's air-conditioned home and blobbed.

Later, we did a little more shopping, and we pretended we were a couple looking for a new home ... just so we could tour some of the gigantic new construction going on. And. OMG! Houses are so frickin' cheap there. These over 3500 sq. ft. homes are selling for less (or right around) $300K. Fork. I live in the wrong city

We were planning to go out, but thunderstorms dampened our desire to be out and about. Instead we had drinks and then went to a nearby Mexican place for a late dinner.

Sunday, we did more blobbing. I like blobbing. We watched movies. We made cookies. A "friend" of Christal's came by for a quick minute. Then, we headed back to midtown Atlanta for dinner at Dolce in Atlantic Station. It was Restaurant Week, so we had a 3 course meal for $25. Bargain. It was quite yummy.

And that was about it. The next day, we got up and Christal drove me to the airport. My flight back was uneventful. I was home by noonish.

I took a nap. It was lovely.

Then, after spending some quality time with my pussy, I bought the fixings for cornbread and chili and went over to Y's to cook dinner. Mmmm.

Tonight, I'll be taking the 2 GA peaches I smuggled home in my suitcase and making peach-infused vodka. *woot*

Monday, August 27, 2007

Like MacArthur

I have returned.
Many exciting adventures were had.
Here are few video clips:

NASCAR-themed restaurant at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (where I got to spend lots and lots and lots of time on Friday evening):

video

Hello, Sailor (also at CDIA):

video

At Christal's palatial estate:

video

Random photos have been uploaded to flickr.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Georgia on My Mind

Kittens! In just a few short very long hours, I will be winging my way to the Peach State ...



the home of CNN ...



Coca-Cola ...


and my friend, Christal (of whom, for some reason, I don't have a picture on my work computer).

I leave work today at 2:30, metro to BWI Airport, board a 5:15 flight to Charlotte, layover for an hour [or so], and then fly to HOT-lanta, arriving around 9:15. FUN!

Apparently, we have an itinerary. All I know is Saturday morning we are going to the Farmer's Market! Fresh! Veggies! And, then, in the evening, we are headed to Halo, which coincidentally is the name of my fave bar in DC. *heh*

I'll be back on Monday (but not at work) with Tall Tales to tell! *smooches*

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Sometimes Karma is a Bitch

The summer before I started junior high school my family moved to a new town. One of the first friends I made was Will. His family lived on a farm in a refurbished tobacco barn. We hung out quite a bit early in the summer. Then, I started to notice none of the other people I met our age liked Will. I couldn't figure out why. He was smart and funny and lived in a freakin' refurbished tobacco barn. I mean, really, how cool is that?

I noticed that since he was my friend, no one else wanted to be my friend. I have a vague recollection of someone saying to me that no one would ever hang out with me as long as I was friends with Will.

I was 12. And new in town. I made a decision I still regret. I stopped speaking to Will. I stopped hanging out with him. I wouldn't return his calls. Our parents tried to figure out what happened, but I was too ashamed to explain my real reasons. How do you say "I cut him off because he's not popular and I want to have more friends" without sounding like a total prat?

Maybe if I hadn't been at that awkward pre-adolescent, concerned what other people think, desperate for acceptance stage or if my life had been an ABC After School Special, things would have turned out differently.

But I was at that stage and my life wasn't an After School Special. I bowed to peer pressure and ended a friendship. I hurt someone for purely selfish reasons.

Our junior year in high school, we began to be civil to one another, but the friendship was never rebuilt.

Sometimes karma is a bitch.

Things VUBOQ Does Not Like to Read First Thing in the Morning

Ka-BOOM: 'Total Chaos' On Plane In Japan ... especially before leaving on a mini-VayKay.

Va-Va-Va-VOOM: Elderly Staying Sexually Active ... Mom and Dad are still doing it? Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew. Must cleanse brain. *scour*

And, we won't even mention the story about bedbugs on NPR this morning. *itches*

Yesterday was kinda dull. More later, kittens.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Special Note to Sin

Dear Sin,

How are you? I am fine. I tried to read your latest post, but guess what?

Your site is now blocked by my company's Evil Firewall of Doom as ... wait for it ...

PORNOGRAPHY!!!

What was that last post about? Pervy Monkey! *wink wink nudge*

Love,
VUBOQ

Power is given only to those who dare to lower themselves and pick it up.*

I've been mulling over the concept of power for the past few days.

A simple decision became decidedly more complex. And it's all about power. Power that's been handed to me on a plate.

People may think that power makes you happy, but I am refusing to lower myself to pick it up.

Now, my question is: If not power, what will make me happy. Apparently, the answer was not "a Chipotle Vegetarian Fajita Burrito."

*Feodor Dostoyevsky (1821–1881), Russian novelist. Raskolnikov, in Crime and Punishment, pt. 5, ch. 4 (published 1866), trans. by David McDuff (1991).

Sir Robin Ran Away

I woke up a little cranky this morning.

Actually, that's not true. I felt fine when I woke up, but, since leaving Y's home, the crankiness has grown and spread, filling every nook and cranny of my being. The overly cheery co-workers are really grating on my nerves right now.

I'm not sure why I'm cranky.

Actually, that's not true either. I know exactly why I'm cranky. For one, I don't sleep well at Y's. He is a night-owl, studying until 2:30 or 3 every morning. I don't really fall into a restful sleep until he joins me in bed. I have to get up at 6 to make it to work on time. He gets to sleep for another 3.5 to 4 hours. Two, work has been a total pain lately. Summer is supposed to be relaxing, but, with everyone taking off (and some not coming back when they are scheduled), those of us who remain have to pick up the slack. I really need a vacation. My mini-vakay to Atlanta this weekend should be fun. And, I am looking forward to my week off at the end of October ... once I decide where I can afford to go. Three ... well, I'm not quite ready to write about the third reason yet.

Have I bitched and moaned enough? Are you all feeling sorry for poor, poor VUBOQ?

Good.

In other news, tonight is Laundry Night. *woot*

And, that's about it. I'm hoping I will get to see Y before I leave on Friday, but it's not looking very likely. *sigh*

It's getting to be a little scary how much I am liking him.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

And, Now, for Another Exciting Installment of ...

VUBOQ Offers Advice to the Masses College Freshmen

Ah! The beginning of the School Year.

VUBOQ would like to write a post in which he waxes poetic about the joys of teaching and how to be a better teacher (or professor). However, VUBOQ experienced very little joy during his two year teaching stint in rural North Carolina, where most of his students aspired to either a) make socks in the local factory or b) make lots and lots of babies.

Perhaps his most joy-filled moment was the one in which he gave the principal his Letter of Resignation. VUBOQ distinctly remembers the Heavens parting and a snow white dove descending whilst the Heavenly Host sang "Hallelujah!"

Fortunately, VUBOQ has spent loads of time being a student and has learned a few useful things about studenthood.

First, the advice my father gave my older brother when he went off to college:

Remember: A B plus a good time is better than an A minus a good time.

When my brother came home for Christmas, he said, "Dad, how about a C and the time of my life?"

Now, on with the show ...

1. Be engaged.

Do the assigned reading (preferably while sober and earlier than 5 minutes before class). Think about what you read. If you know you are not a morning person, do not register for an early morning class. You will not be engaged. In fact, you will not go. Why set yourself up for failure?

2a. Your professors may look scary and talk tough, but they are all really squishy, squeezable, cheesy poofs who want you to succeed!

If you are confused, ask them questions. If you are still confused, schedule appointments. This isn't to say that you can manipulate them into doing your bidding, but most professors will try their darndest to help you.

2b. Getting to know your professors can sometimes be the difference between an A or a B.

True Story: VUBOQ stayed up drinking the night before his Freshman Biology Final Exam ... which, in retrospect, was not the brightest thing to do. VUBOQ bombed the Final. After checking his grades [B? YIKES!], VUBOQ met with the biology professor, discussed the Final and the course, demonstrated he did actually know the material, and the professor changed his grade back to an A. Yay! Had VUBOQ not cultivated a relationship with this professor by asking questions and being engaged, VUBOQ would not have earned his A.

3. Grades don't matter

... after you get your first job ... or get accepted into the grad school of your choice. Until then, they matter. Study hard. Make good grades. Make your parents proud.

4. Study during the week. Party on weekends.

VUBOQ and his friends called ourselves "Geeks Who Have Fun." It's very simple: An hour or two of studying after classes usually frees up an entire weekend. No need to cram for an exam! You know the material already, because YOU've been studying all along. Aren't you the clever bunny? Yes, you are.

5. STUDY ABROAD ('nuff said)!

6. If possible, take one course per year (or semester), which is outside your major requirements and which you think would be interesting.

Part of the fun of a college education is learning about things you normally wouldn't. VUBOQ took Creative Writing and Introduction to Color and Theater Workshop and Comparative Vertebrate Embryology. OK, CVE was in VUBOQ's major, but it was not required and completely fascinating. VUBOQ still has his drawings from the lab. Somewhere.

7. Be a social animal.

If you are naturally shy (like VUBOQ), force yourself to get out of your room. Join clubs. Participate in events. The great thing about starting at a new school is everyone is out to make new friends. So make new friends! If you see someone sitting alone in the cafeteria/ food court, go sit with them. And don't go home every weekend. In fact, don't go home until at least Fall Break.

Hm. I guess that's it. There's probably more, but I just received an email that is pissing me off (slightly) and I can't think about anything else right now. ugh.

Goals for September

During a lull at work this morning, I decided to jot down a few things I wanted to accomplish by the end of September ...

1. Start running [on a regular basis. in the morning. this will be difficult. I also need to buy new running shoes, so this isn't going to start until the new September budget goes into effect.]

2. Job Hunting [polish up the resume. devote a certain amount of time per evening to perusing job openings.]

3. Plant flowers [possibly chrysanthemums in the part of my yard I now refer to as The Chili Plant Graveyard.]

4. Writing [complete at least 2 new short stories (rough drafts).]

5. Finish the spare bedroom cum office [*heh* "cum" ... this includes painting (hopefully over Labor Day Weekend) and buying some new furniture (desk and futon mattress).]

Stay tuned for exciting updates.
I am having difficulty thinking in complete sentences today. *bleah*

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch

Some tasty tidbits for today:

1. I won two auctions on eBay. I'm the proud owner of 2 Libbey Golden Foliage "vodka bottles" and 7 Libbey Golden Foliage pilsner glasses [photos will be posted upon receipt].

2. The battery on my laptop is very nearly dead. I must go to Y's tonight to get my electric pluggy thing [and, well, maybe some red-hot luvin'].

3. Work is driving me crazy (more on this later, perhaps). I am so looking forward to my trip to Atlanta this weekend.

4. Practically every story I heard on NPR this morning reminded me of someone today. I can't find any of the links though. There was a fascinating bit about bird-watchers using mp3s of birdsongs to make their watching easier (Shout-out to the E.C.). And, a bit about an Etruscan chariot and archaelogical plundering, which I thought the SuperFantastic Cuzin would like (I *did* find that link. Here it is.).

5. I watched The Fountainhead last night. I read the book ages ago, and I don't remember it being quite so ... heavy-handed. I guess condensing a thousand-page book into a two-hour movie, and still getting the message across, didn't leave much room for subtlety. After awhile, I was all "I GET IT! I GET IT!" As a side note, I always imagined Howard Roark to be much hotter.

6. I am pleased with how the afghan is turning out (so far).

7. I increased my 401(k) contributions from 4% to 5%. Now, in approximately 300 years, I'll be able to retire a MILLIONAIRE!!!

*smooches*

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Case of the Creepy Old Man Banging on My Door

Tomokito (aka. my Not-Really-New-Anymore Upstairs Neighbor) sent me an email this morning:

yesterday, maybe late afternoon, i heard someone was banging the door for several minutes on your floor. i looked out from the door and saw an old man with grey hair muttering something. i guess you were not at home....i don't know who he was....creepy.


My next door neighbor, who I don't believe Tomokito has met, could be described as "creepy" and "old," which makes me wonder why in the heck he was pounding on my door for several minutes.

Did I leave my TV or radio on? [I don't think so]
Was the cat caterwauling? [A possibility]
Did my ceiling come crashing down? [Let's hope not. And let's also hope that NRNAUN would have noticed that.]
Is there some sort of problem with the shared wall between our two apartments?
Did he think I was making too much noise? [I left for Y's around 2PM, but, given that DUN says he's a big pothead, maybe he imagined I was making lots of noise.]

Who knows?

And, now, of course, I'm all kind of anxious about it. "It" being the state of my apartment, not the state of my creepy neighbor.

Here's an important public service announcement: If you are banging on my door "for several minutes," either 1) I am not home or 2) your banging on my door "for several minutes" has FREAKED ME THE FUCK OUT and I'm not going to answer.

That is all.

The Suspense. I Can't Stand the Suspense.

I was on eBay all weekend bidding on glassware. I have this set of 8 glasses from my grandmother, and I thought it would be a fun idea to get more of that pattern, which I have come to discover is called Libbey Golden Foliage.

I bid on 4 cocktail glasses ($2, but I lost). I bid on 7 pilsner glasses ($6?, and there's one more day to go on that auction). I also bid on 2 vodka bottles, which I suppose are more like decanters. That auction ended last night around midnight. I haven't been able to check to see if I won. I'll have to wait until I get home. Oh, the agony.

There's an ice bucket with 8 matching cocktail glasses in this neato brass holder I'm considering bidding on, too. It all depends on if I win the other auctions or not.

What I would totally love are some saucer-shaped champagne glasses. I know champagne afficionados do not care for that shape, preferring the tall, slender glass. But I think the saucer-shaped glass is fun and equally as elegant.

As for the rest of my weekend ...

Friday night, I blobbed around the house, feeling achy and blah. I decided to frog the afghan for 2 reasons - 1) I had made several mistakes and B) I didn't particularly like the color combination. In the process of doing this, I discovered what I think to be a mistake in the pattern.

[Boring Knitting Talk. You can skip this if you want.]

I tested my gauge and was close to the 7 rows, 7 stitches = 4" requirement. So, I cast on the 145 stitches and began knitting happily away. When I pulled the afghan off the needles to frog it, it was nearly as long as my 7-foot sofa ...

The final measurements of the afghan should be 54"x 94". I thought maybe the instructions wanted you to knit the long side. However, when looking at the pictures, the contrasting color border seems to be on the short side.

When I started over, I only cast on 90 stitches. That seems to be going a little better.

[/Boring Knitting Talk]

Saturday, I went to Mike's house for brunch. When I got home, my tummy started feeling oogly. And remained feeling oogly for the rest of the day. So, I stayed in, watched movies, and knitted.

Yesterday, I had a very slow and relaxing morning. Then, I headed over to Y's. He seemed to be in better spirits now that his deadline has been extended for up to 2 weeks. [Sex! YAY!]

No big plans tonight. I could use a good night's rest. Work is going to be a mess this week with 2 people out. *urgh*

Happy Monday, Kittens. *smooch*

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Meat-free Sunday

I'm at Y's this evening, and, since I probably won't be cooking tomorrow [I have leftovers to eat], I decided to celebrate Meat-free Monday a day early.

Today's meal (scroll down for photo) will be veggie burgers and Watermelon Cucumber Gazpacho:

WATERMELON AND CUCUMBER GAZPACHO

1 3-pound seedless watermelon, diced (about 5 cups), divided
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced (about 1 cup)
1 medium-size red bell pepper, seeded, diced (about 1 cup)
1 medium-size yellow bell pepper, seeded, diced (about 1 cup)
1 small jalapeño chile, seeded, minced
3 pale green inner celery stalks, diced (about 1/2 cup) [Celery. Ew.]
1/2 small red onion, diced (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint [Whole Foods didn't have mint (what up with that?), so I substituted a 1/4 cup of strongly brewed peppermint tea]
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar [Y didn't have red wine vinegar, so I used regular white vinegar]
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream

Puree 4 cups watermelon in blender until smooth. Transfer puree to large bowl. Add remaining 1 cup diced watermelon and next 10 ingredients; stir to combine. Cover gazpacho and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

Divide gazpacho among bowls; top with dollop of crème fraîche.

The gazpacho is chilling now. We will probably eat around 8.

Watermelon gaz


Don't forget tomorrow is Meat-free Monday. Do your part for the environment by enjoying a delicious meat-free meal!

Sunday Morning in Fourteen Syllables

Not enough coffee in the world
to get me going.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Peer Into the Future

Me (and Isabella), in about 1 hour and 15 minutes:

Happy Weekend, Kittens! *smooch*

OMGWTFBBQPONIES!!!11eleven

Mount St. Helens VolcanoCam is now in HIGH DEFINITION.

Check. It. Out.

So excited I could vomit!
(or is that the exceedingly yucky Whole Foods 365 Brand Cheese Curls which I can't stop eating even though I don't like them all that much?)

The Man Is Not Eating

... and, now, he's not sleeping either.

gah.

Yesterday, Y sent me an IM saying that he was taking a short break. During the course of our conversation, I asked if he had eaten. Y'know, because food is important, and last time I was at his house (Tuesday?) he had none.

His reply: "I had some cheese and crackers. And now I'm eating Nutella."
Me: "I'm coming over tonight to fix dinner."

So, after work, I went home, took care of the kitty, made a grocery list and packed an overnight bag (all while talking to the SuperFantastic Cuz). Yes, I am a multi-tasker! *woot*

I stopped off at the Whole Foods to pick up a few odds and ends and, eventually, arrived at Y's around 8.

I made: Tomato and cucumber salad, on baby spinach, with a lemon/olive oil dressing, topped with shredded goat cheese. And, a summery pasta - DUN's homegrown pattypan squash, onion, bell pepper, tomato, and corn, rotini pasta, and lots of cheese (goat and gouda, I think).

I don't remember exactly what kind of cheese it was, because they were rinds Tomokito left in my apartment before she went to Hawaii. They had gotten kind of hard, but they grated nicely.

I made a lot. It should last for at least 2 more meals.

We ate around 9, chatted for a bit, and he went back to work. I read, falling asleep at 11ish. I woke up at 2:30 (after some very disturbing dreams). He was still working.

He was still working when the alarm went off at 6:30.

I don't sleep all that well at Y's house anyway. With him up, and the lights on, I felt like I hardly slept at all, too. Or, at least, it was that weird shallow sleep where I was still vaguely aware of my surroundings.

I'm supposed to go to a happy hour tonight, but I think I'm going to back out. I feel completely wiped out, the sort of achy tiredness that preludes a cold. I'd rather not get sick ... especially before I head to Atlanta (next weekend *woot*).

Unfortunately, I have no other exciting plans this weekend. I should make some. Maybe I'll go rollerblading. The weather forecast looks like this weekend might be mild (in the 80s!).

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Everybody's Gonna Lunch Today, Lunch Today

Mmmm....

You know you wanna bite.

Last night, I discovered I had a message on Classmates.com. It was from my best friend from high school, the best friend who decided he didn't really want to have anything to do with me for the last semester of school. Uh. OK.

I'm too cheap to pay to read the message, so I googled him. I remembered that he entered the ministry and works in my father's former conference. After that, it was pretty easy to find his church and work email address. Google. It is an amazing tool.

I sent him a quick message this morning. He responded about an hour later. He's all married and with child [She's nearly 5]. Apparently, our 20th high school reunion (ACK!) is coming up next year, and he was getting all reminiscent. Now, I'm working on an update of my life. We haven't spoken in over 18 years (at least), so it's difficult trying to figure out what to tell him ... current events only? I'll probably leave the gay bit 'til later. Besides, "I love teh buttsecks" may not go over too well on a church email address.

Then, again, that could be quite funny.

Other than that, my day has plodded along as usual.

OH. As a public service, here's some information about lead-based paint:



If you have kids under the age of 5 and have not had them screened for lead. I suggest you do it, especially if they are at risk (Do you live in home built before 1978?). Soon. From what I remember, it's recommended that kids get tested for lead on their first and second birthdays and every two years after that (until they are 6).

Craftiness

Last night, DUN -who we all love and adore- hosted a Neighborly Craft Night. There was knitting. There was knot-tying. There was dried bean art. And there was great food. And BOOZE. Lots of booze.

DUN made a delicious pasta with tomatoes and basil from her garden. YUM.

I brought my very special coffee cinnamon infused vodka, and made a cocktail inspired by the wonderfully alcoholic Mush:

2 parts coffee cinnamon infused vodka
1 part creme de cacao
1 part cream

Shake with ice.
Strain.
Drink.

Then, DUN's supercute (and very tan) boyfriend made margaritas with agave juice (?). Boozy goodness!

Unfortunately, I didn't get home until around midnight. Then, I called Y (because he had called during the party and I told him I'd call back). We talked for about half an hour.

I could *not* get out of bed this morning. Once out of bed, I could not motivate to do anything. Getting ready for work was. such. a. chore. Luckily, I managed to catch a bus to get here on time. Yay.

And my brain should be semi-functional after about 2 more cups of Crappy Office Swill coffee. Perhaps a more interesting post later.

Perhaps not.

*smooches*

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

How Many Licks Does It Take

You know it's a slow day at the office when VUBOQ resorts to doing math problems.

As some of you know, I used to work for the National Lead Information Center. Thus, the recent recall of some toys has piqued my interest. The question that I (and I'm sure YOU) have been dying to know is:

How many toy cars does a child need to eat to become lead poisoned?

First, a few fun lead facts:

Lead-based paint is defined as being 0.5% lead by weight. This converts to .... 5000 micrograms/gram (ug/g).

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has since decreed that no paint shall contain more that 0.06% lead by weight, or 600 ug/g.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has set the blood-lead level of concern for children at 10 ug/dL (micrograms/deciliter).

A persistent blood-lead level as low as 10 ug/dL can be associated with subtle learning and behavior problems. There can also be negative impacts on hearing and growth. Children with blood-lead levels under 10 ug/dL are not considered lead poisoned.


According to a fun and fact-filled FDA article, Lead Threat Lessens, But Mugs Pose Problems (April 1993), for every microgram (ug) of lead a child intakes per day, his (or her!) blood-lead level increases by 0.16 ug/dL.

Now, the math portion of our program ...

Since the toy car recall notice only stated that the level of lead in the paint used was "in excess of federal standards," we know that it was above 600 ug/g (0.06%). More than likely (although I'm not entirely sure), it was probably lower than 5000 ug/g (0.5%).

To make the math a little easier, let's make the following assumptions:

1. The level of lead in the paint was 1000 ug/g (0.1%), and
2. The amount of paint used on the cars was 1 g.

Thus, using the fun little crossy-outy math thingy, we can determine that each car contains 1000 ug of lead.

Remember, for every 1 ug of lead ingested, the child's blood-level increases 0.16 ug/dL.

So, if a child swallows one car (and a doctor doesn't remove it, and the child's stomach acids strip off all the paint, and all that paint is absorbed into the bloodstream), the child's blood-lead level will be:

Hm ...

1000 ug x 0.16 ug/dL = 160 ug/dL!

Congratulations, the kid had seizures and died (Severe seizures and sometimes death can occur at blood-lead levels over 70 ug/dL).

OMG! Mass Hysteria!

Of course, more than likely, a child will not swallow an entire 2.5 inch model car. If anything, he (or she!) may ingest a tiny paint chip ... which might constitute, let's say, 1% of the paint used on the car.

So, 1% of 1000 ug = 10 ug.

10 ug x 0.16 ug/dL = 1.6 ug/dL.

Congratulations, the kid probably doesn't even notice his blood-lead level increased. Maybe his (or her!) IQ dropped half a point or something. Say goodbye to your dreams of him (or her!) attending Harvard.

This concludes the math lesson. My head hurts.

First Trimester

La-la-la. Y and I have made it through the tricky First Trimester of our Relationship Baby. Today is the three-month anniversary of our first date. I doubt we will be doing anything special because a) he's still all stressed out and working like a crazyman on his research, and 2) I have plans to attend a Kneighborly Knitting party at DUN's apartment.

However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't send cards and gifts (preferably CASH) my way ... er ... I mean, our way. Who am I kidding? I mean my way.

Last night, I went over to his place. He hadn't eaten dinner, so I whipped together a little pasta dish for him: penne pasta, crushed tomatoes with garlic, basil, oregano, capers and feta. Considering he didn't have hardly any food in his house, I think I did a pretty good job. I told him he should have let me know he didn't have any food, and I could have picked some stuff up from the store.

We ate. He clickyclickclacketyclicked away on the computer. I knitted. I went to bed. It was almost like being at home. Except I didn't sleep as well. There was no secks. I wonder if that's a byproduct of his being all stressed about school? It's one of the direct causes of my uber-crankiness, for sure.

As a side note, my parents' 40-somethingth Wedding Anniversary was yesterday. I can't remember the exact number, but it's somewhere around 44? Maybe 46? I need to find out, because I'm fairly certain if they make it to 50, they will be expecting some sort of celebratory experience. Hell, after putting up with each other for 50 years, they friggin' deserve it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Case of the Crankies

VUBOQ is feeling cranky, so here is a list of Things VUBOQ Currently is Hating:

~the weather
~his job
~the little zit that has suddenly appeared near his nose
~people who talk too much at all
~people who leave the newspaper in the toilet stall
~clickyclicky keyboard noises (which makes typing very annoying)

And, in case you've forgotten, this is what a cranky VUBOQ looks like:

Cranky
[taken at the Atlanta airport last year]

VUBOQ still likes martinis. And he neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeds one. Or seven. NOW!

Would You Shut Up About the Knitting Already?

Lookee! Lookee!

Cable

A cable! My VERY FIRST EVER!!! Am I not the most awesome knitter?!?!

Mourn not the stripey ribbed brown and green scarf, for a new cabled scarf emerges from its ruins.

[and, yes, Tomokito, the peppers will turn red when they are ready for harvesting]

Saying Goodbye

Quoth Dolly Levi, "Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye.Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye."*

The ribbed, striped scarf is no more. I frogged that bad boy last night. And it felt guuuuuuuuud. It's not that there was anything particularly wrong with the scarf, yet it just didn't feel right.

Scarf


I had actually knitted about 10 or so more inches. After ripping it out, I cast on thirty stitches of the dune twist yarn onto #9 needles. The plan was to knit a scarf with a 5 stitch seed-stitch border on each side and a 10 stitch wide cable running up the center. After about 20 rows, I went to bed.

This morning, I ripped all of that out, because I didn't give the bottom of the scarf a seed-stitched border. Oops.

I'm also thinking of ripping out the afghan that I started. I keep making mistakes because the "yarn" is so thin and the stitch is so loose [It's on #19 needles]. I'm not sure I have it in me to cast on those 145 stitches again. I guess I will though.

And, THAT, my friends, was my exciting evening.

In other news, my pants arrived! YAY! At 6:15 (*urgh*). They are cute. Life is good. Yay!

Hoping to see Y tonight, but I'm not sure. More later, kittens. *smooch*

*So Long, Dearie, Hello, Dolly

Monday, August 13, 2007

Ants in My Pants

Last week, I bought two pairs of pants (in honey brown and dark khaki) from J. Crew. On Sale! $19.99 each! *woot*

On Friday, I just missed the UPS delivery guy. He was pulling out of the parking lot when I saw the tag on my door. Gah! I seriously considered running after him. But I was too late.

The pants are supposed to be redelivered today. Sometime between the hours of 10:30-5. Love those narrow delivery windows! I finish work at 4:30 today, so I'm hoping that the pants will not be delivered until 5ish.

I'm getting a little ansy with an hour left in the workday. If I miss the delivery, I'm going to be so peeved.

Odds. Ends.

*Today is Meat-Free Monday. Do your part for the environment by enjoying a meat-free meal! I'll be having leftovers from last night (gazpacho and squash concoction ... possibly with some more squash thrown in).

*While at the coffeehouse yesterday, I uploaded several of my short stories in progress to Google Documents [during which time, I learned that a Y under stress tends to be a little ... snippy]. If anyone would like to read the two stories that are closest to being finished (Hikkikomori and Four Letter Words) let me know and I'll send you a viewer invitation (or whatever they're called).

*[Don't forget] I'm on Facebook now. Find me. Friend me. Make me feel (more) loved.

Weekend Update: Stress, the Ultimate Buzz Kill Edition

Not much to add to my "blogging as life happened this weekend" posts. We did not have as much of teh secks as I would have liked ... but Y is under a lot of stress right now. And that is making him ... hm ... how to put this nicely ... a little cranky.

After leaving the coffeehouse yesterday, we drove over to my place. We had gazpacho* as a delicious first course. Then, I sauteed some baby yellow squash with onion, garlic, and overly toasted (burnt. oops) pine nuts. And tossed it with rotini pasta and feta cheese. It was yummy ... if a bit bland. I added basil (dried), which didn't impart much flavor. Then, I splashed it with a little red wine vinegar, which helped some. Y said it was good.

I went to bed around 10:30. I'm not sure what time Y joined me. And that was my evening.

No real plans for today. I'm considering frogging the scarf and starting over, making it a little narrower, using larger needles ... and perhaps attempting to knit a cable down the length of it ... with, perhaps a seed-stitched border. [linky goodness provided for non-knitters]

*Since so many people** asked, here's how I made the gazpacho:

Ingredients: 3 tomatoes, 1 cucumber (peeled and deseeded), 1/2 onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 jalapeno, 1/2 green pepper, 1 cup(ish) tomato juice [or V-8 like juice], olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper.

Instructions: Coarsely chop all vegetables. Place approximately 2/3 into a blender. Add liquids. BLEND until smooth. Dice the remaining 1/3 of the vegetables. Add to the puree. Stir. Add salt and pepper (and a little hot sauce, if you want). Chill. Serve. Mmmmm.

**and by "so many people" I mean "no one."

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I, Blondius

Blond2Blond

I am newly reblonded. Life is good :-)

So far, there hasn't been as much secks as I would have hoped this weekend. Y is under a lot of stress with school and has been busy clickclickclicketying on his computer. I have been entertaining myself in other interesting ways.

In fact, this is the first time I've seen him since Thursday (well, Friday morning when I left his place ... but I'm not sure that counts). We're hanging out in a coffee shop in College Park.

Last night, I watched The Producers with Mike. Other than that, I've been pretty much blobulous. I'm OK with that.

Updated to note: I signed up for facebook. Find me. Friend me. Make me feel loved.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Lookit Me. Bloggin' from Home

Happy Saturday. I iz movin' a leeeeeeeeetle slow this "morning." Too much fun was had with teh kittehs last night.

Mike picked me up around 7, and we drove to Darryl's new apartment, which, btw*, is v. nice. We ordered pizza, drank lots of champagne and white wine. I got home around 2ish and chatted with Y for a bit before hitting the sack.

I was up at 9:30, but haven't really moved from my sofa except to refill my coffee mug. I have about 2 hours before I need to head out to my hair appointment.

I am craving some homemade gazpacho. I think there's a vegetable stand near the salon. Maybe they have some yummy fresh tomatoes there. If not ... I guess I can pick some up at Whole Foods on the way home.

No plans tonight ... I think a night in will be nice. Gazpacho and knitting. What could be better?

*I met this guy a few weeks ago, that instead of saying "by the way" would actually say "btw." So that's how I say it in my head now when I type it.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Never Too Early to Start Thinking About Christmas!

I've been wondering what to get my family for Christmas. I know, it seems early, but ... I can't think of anything to knit for them ... so I need some ideas for presents.

For my brother, I've been considering buying this book: The Dangerous Book for Boys.

For my parents, I may buy some gift cards from kiva.org. I *heart* the concept of micro-finance. I thought it would be a cool gift that keeps on giving, because, after the loans are repaid, my parents can reinvest it.

Y will be getting something knitted out of pretty blue yarn (his favorite color).

My two best friends from college will also be getting knitted goods. Isa will be getting the afghan (unless it's hideous) and Lori will be getting the bamboo scarf (also unless it's hideous). The more I look at the scarf in progress, the more masculine it seems. That should be OK, because Lori is not exactly the frilly feminine type.

I've knitted three felted belts, which are in various states of completion, for presents as well.

I wonder if I'll have to get the brother's girlfriend something.

The rest of you are getting my eternal love and devotion. Unless I win the lottery. Then, you're getting me as a houseguest. *heh*

Bamboo to You

Remember how, in this post, I said that scarf reminded me of bamboo? Well ... I've figured it out.

Yokan, a Japanese sweet, was traditionally wrapped in bamboo bark. In some cases, modern packaging has replicated the bamboo bark pattern.

Now, compare and contrast:


Behold! Bamboo Bark, babies!

And Now for the Rest of the Story

Also known as "What I Did Last Night"


Which was actually not much.


After work, I washed dishes.
I cleaned the cat box.
I made a martini.
I pan-fried some squash and zucchini.
I ate some of the fried squash/zucchini on a bed of baby spinach with cucumber, grape tomatoes, slices of feta, and a dash of balsamic vinegar.
I washed more dishes.
I showered.
I packed an overnight bag.
I metro'ed to Y's for a night of air-conditioning and buttsecks. *woot*


Of course, as has become a regular event, the aforementioned buttsecks occurred after I had been asleep for a good 4 hours. Still, beggars can't be choosers ... but it would be nice to have secks when I'm awake every now and then;-)


We will be discussing that soon. I do like sleeping with him ...


As for my weekend plans, there's not a whole lot going on. It looks like Mike and I are heading over to Darryl's new apartment tonight at some point. Then, tomorrow, I have a hair appointment! Yay! Re-blonding! I love it!


No plans for Sunday, but I'm hoping that maybe Y and I can have a lazy morning, and then I can make brunch foods. Mmm. Brunch. At home. So lovely.

I Would Have Preferred to Have Been Told in Person

Ricky Martin Says He Wants to Adopt

Ricky Martin wants kids -- perhaps adopting "one from each continent" if possible.

"It's something we want to begin to create this year, a family of many colors," the 35-year-old pop star told reporters Wednesday in Puerto Rico, where he is scheduled to perform this weekend.
Ricky, honey, baby, sweetie-pie, snookums, seriously, you should have talked to me about this first. I mean, really, to have parenthood thrust upon me like this ... it's not good for my complexion.

And telling reporters before telling me, your sweet baboo? So. not. cute.
Have I gone blabbing to the press about your flabby middle (and *cough* liposuction *cough*)? I think not.
I'm not really sure we're ready for parenthood...


Remember the good times, sugar muffin.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Scarfiness

This is what I've been working on today:

Scarf


I can't decide if I like the color combination or not. It reminds me of bamboo. I'm not sure why.

The stripeyness will continue for the remainder of the scarf. What do you think? Yea or nay?

Stay Cool Dude

When the outside thermometer is soaring to 8 GABILLION and 3 degrees, and the bedroom is a soothingly cool 8 GABILLION and 1, this is how VUBOQ stays cool at night ...

Read and learn, kittens:

1. Angle a fan to direct the cooled, conditioned air into the bedroom.
2. Crank fan to high.
3. Make the Y, who doesn't like fans blowing on him (*cough* freak *cough*), sleep on the sofa.
4. Crank A/C to high.
5. Watch A/C *gasp* *sputter* and *wheeeeeeeeeeeeze*
6. Place a wet handtowel in the freezer.
7. After the towel is thoroughly frozen, place in plastic bag and put in your bed. [It's like a hot water botter, only cold.]
8. Take a VERY cold shower.
9. Don't dry off. Stand in front of *gasp*ing A/C
10. Keep a spray bottle full of cold water near your bed. If you get hot during the night, give yourself a refreshing *spritz*.
11. FOOT CRAMP! FOOT CRAMP! OW OW OW!
12. That didn't have anything to do with staying cool, but it happened last night. Not. Fun.
13. Finally, if all this fails and you are still too hot, pack up and go to Y's centrally air-conditioned condo. *aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah*

A Whole Lotta Knittin'

Actually, not. But, last night, between eating leftovers and doing two loads of laundry, VUBOQ cast on the afghan (all 145 stitches) and knit about 6 rows [maybe 7]. It's almost time to change to the MAIN COLOR. Excitement!

VUBOQ is not sure he is liking this afghan all that much. But, it's early. It's hard to tell. Maybe it will get more afghany as it gets longer. Stay tuned for more exciting developments ... and perhaps a photo that doesn't look like a big blob.

VUBOQ will be experimenting today (at work! *heh*) with the other yarn to see what size needles and how many stitches to cast on for a ribbed scarf. Fun. Times.

In other news ...

I'm thinking of pan frying a bunch of the squash I have for dinner tonight. Anyone know much about that? Like, can I use the corn flour I bought to make pupusas for breading? Do I need to dip the squash in egg first?

That's about it. More later. *smooches*

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Yarnly Goodness

Yarn

New Yarn! New Yarn!
Let the knitting fun commence!
The ball on the left is one of 7 to be knit into an afghan. (this afghan).
The ball on the right is one of 4 to be knit into Y's yet-to-be-determined Xmas Hannukah Channukah holiday present. Perhaps a scarf! Or a hat! Or knittens! Or two of the three!
I also have 4 more balls like the ball on the right (but different colors - 2 green, 2 "dune twist") to use for another friend's Xmas/Birthday present.

*woot* Yarn! YAY!

Bitter Like Chocolate

I don't know what made me think of this, but I remember back in elementary school we had to write a recipe for ourselves ... similar to this link: http://www.pocanticohills.org/sbarra/01/recipe.htm (to which I don't want to provide linky goodness, b/c I'd rather not have a bunch of 3rd graders or whatever stumbling upon this blog ... since I'm not always safe for kids, y'know.)


So, here's an updated Recipe for VUBOQ:


Let me know if the images are unreadable/don't embiggen and I will try to enlarge them.

In case you can't read the above ... here it is again:

VUBOQ (vegetarian)

3 oz baking chocolate

1 cup sugary *smooches*

a whole lotta likker (gin is preferred, but vodka will do)

a pinch of salt (more if you like your VUBOQ salty)

a couple of dashes of sarcasm, intelligence, and bad fashion sense

a lot cheese

Mix well. Pour into a well-greased VUBOQ-shaped springform pan [otherwise I might not COME OUT].

Bake for 37 years at 350 degrees.

Cool

To decorate, sprinkle liberally with lots of liberal ideas.

(Don't be surprised if your VUBOQ turns out GREEN!)

Feel free to write a recipe for you.

On a Night of a Thousand Stars

I couldn't fall asleep because it was so. friggin'. hot in my apartment ... even with the a/c AND a fan on. *urgh* I think the place cooled off sufficiently around 2AM. VUBOQ is not a happy camper this morning. Tired und crankified.

So, lessee ... last night, Tomokito came down to get her mail and plant. She brought me some lovely 100% kona coffee from Hawaii. Visit her blog for a few photos of her vayKay.

Y came over around 9. I made Summer Vegetable Stew for dinner. It was delicious. Mmmm. The changes I made to the recipe were minor (I used thyme, instead of oregano, and I didn't top with basil. I topped it with fulvi romano). Oh, and I also replaced one zucchini with some of the UFO squash from DUN. I served it with Whole Foods Kalamata Olive Bread and slices of feta. Yum. Yum. Yum.

After dinner, we ... erm ... "had dessert."

Then, I went to bed and he stayed up to study. He's getting stressed out about school - his research isn't happening like he'd like, he's worried about funding, etc. etc. etc. If anyone has suggestions, I'd appreciate them.

Oh, and we had a good talk about the small appliance moving from the other day. I explained some things about me and how I felt. And he did too. There was comfortable resolution.

More later. *smooches*

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Spot the Difference

Most. Boring. Day. Ever.
And isn't it interesting that all the coffee beans have sunk to the bottom?

I found a recipe for Summer Vegetable Stew, which looks good. I think I'm going to make that. Any suggestions for side dishes?

I already have a big ol' tub of double fudge brownie ice cream for dessert. Mmmm.

It's Not the Heat; It's the Humidity

Bloggin' 'bout da weather! Bloggin' 'bout da weather!

I took the bus to work today for several reasons ... 1) I was running a little late; 2) a #12, which stops right by my office was coming; and 3) it's freakin' hot and had I walked I would have completely evaporated before I even got halfway here.

I am so happy that Ride-On buses now accept the SmarTrip card. No more fishing for change, like the unfortunate young man in front of me, who forced the entire line to wait for HOURS while he dug around for another coupla dimes.

So ... I got home from work yesterday, and guess what greeted me? A big ol' bag of squash from DUN's gard3n!!! I was so excited I immediately called Y and invited him over for dinner tonight. Now I have to decide how to prepare it. If anyone has any fun squash recipes (that don't involve baking), let me know! I'm a man on a mission.

And, to update you on Infused Vodka #2, Coffee/Cinnamon Edition, here's DAY 2:


More later, natch. *smooches*

Monday, August 06, 2007

P.S. Do You Think I Have Posted Too Much Today?

OMG OMG Meat-Free Monday!

I, like, totally, like almost forgot that today is, like, Meat-Free Monday. And you know what that means?

I'm supposed to cook a fabulous meat-free meal and share pictures. Well, guess what, kittens?

The forking Heat Index is 101 Gabillion Degrees.

This Vuboq? He ain't cooking tonight. He will probably be nuking a veggie chicken patty. And having a martini!

MARTINI! I bought 1.5L of gin this afternoon. YAY!

I *heart* gin.

However, feel free to do your part for the environment by enjoying a delicious meat-free meal today!

For the Birds

Mr. Earl Cootie is having a little poll to determine what bird should be the next State Bird for the Great State of Washington,

and I've heard a rumor that the runner-up will be named Official State Possum!

You should fly over there NOW and vote for your favorite bird!


And, not that I'm trying to influence your decision or anything, but I used my MAD MSPaint SKILLZ to make this:




Mmm ... tangerines ...

Oh, and guess what blogfans? Scott-o-Rama is back from Hiatus (which is a small island in the Caribbean). I hope he's well-tanned and rested and brought us all very cool presents!

**This concludes our shout-out blogpost of the day**

There's a Reason Why Almost No One But My Parents Have My Work Phone Number

And, they [the parents] are under strict instructions to only phone me on my work number if it's an absolute emergency - like death and/or dismemberment.

I have a cell phone. It is almost always with me. People can reach me on that. And, then, if the conversation gets a little too personal, I can leave my cubicle and talk outside.

As we say here in Cubiclelandia, the Cubes have Ears, and I really don't want them listening in on my business ... kind of like what I'm doing to my co-worker right now.

Something Smells Minty

Vuboq is very tired, kittens.

Yesterday evening, Mike drove me over to Y's, where we were joined by two of Y's friends, for an evening of conversation and watermelon. Mmm. Watermelon.

Everyone left around 10. I went to bed around 10:30. I didn't sleep well because a) Y was studying [clicketyclicketyclickclack], b) the lights were on, c) I was thirsty but didn't want to get out of bed to get a drink.

Eventually, Y came to bed and woke me up for sex. I have this vague memory of smelling something minty. I wonder if he used a new lube or something? Anyway, after teh secks, we fell asleep ... but I didn't sleep all that well (mostly because of the thirst).

And, that was my Sunday night.

The other thing that has been on my mind is best illustrated by something that happened on Saturday morning.

For those of you unfamiliar with my home, my kitchen is fairly small and doesn't have a lot of counterspace. What it does have is 2 ovens (one of which is newish, but not connected). I have covered the not-connected oven with some cloth and use it for a counter. My microwave and toaster oven are kept in the dining nook.

Inexplicably, this arrangement seems to bother Y. He's been nagging me about moving the microwave and toaster oven into the kitchen, giving me various options (buying an extension cord, putting them *here* or *over there*, hiring an electrician to move the outlets). I told him I'd think about it ... because, well, having them in the dining nook is no big deal to me. And, I don't want to make any changes to the kitchen until I'm ready to completely redo the kitchen (because it needs to be completely redone). Still he nagged.

One of my (very few) personality faults is that the more someone nags me about something, the less likely I will be to do it. Even if I agree with whatever I'm being nagged about, just shut up already. I think it stems from my passive-aggressive teenage rebellious years. Mention it once or twice, and then let me deal with it in my own time, in my own way.

So, Saturday morning, after showering/sex, I'm getting dressed. I come out of the bathroom and Y is moving my microwave and toaster oven into the kitchen. "What are you doing," I asked.

"I wanted to surprise you."
"I'm surprised."

He had brought an extension cord, moved all my stuff off the not-connected stove, and put the small appliances there.

"See?" He beamed proudly. "It looks so much better, right?"
"Um. Well. Um," I said.

And, thus, I was thrust into the sticky situation of having to deal with someone who thought he had done something nice for me, but not being overly pleased he had done it. Not only did it restrict my counterspace in the kitchen, but all of the things that were on the not-connected stove were now piled on my dining nook table.

I told him I'd try it out to see how I liked it. Of course, because I'm lazy, the microwave and toaster oven will more than likely stay put.

Later that day, he IM'ed me saying that he felt like I wasn't too happy about what he did. I said he was right, but we needed to talk about it in person, not over IM. We still haven't.

I guess the biggest thing is not that he nagged me or that he brought in the extension cord, but that he moved my belongings. It felt like an invasion of my space, and that he was trying to control me. Like he was saying the way I live is not good enough and he knows what's better for me. I know his heart is in the right place ... it's just the way it was expressed that bothered me.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Busy Bee Sunday Morning

Behold! Infused vodka #2! 3 tbsp coffee beans, 1 stick cinnamon, 1.5 tbsp sugar and 750 mL vodka. Now, the hardest part ... the waiting.


It's 11AM and I've already cleaned the kitchen, taken out the trash, cleaned the cat box, and walked to the Giant.


*woot*


I plan to do NOTHING for the rest of the day.


Ha. I kid. I will probably continue to work on cleaning and organizing the bedroom. FUN times, kittens.


As a fun little side note, if you remember a week or so ago, I blogged about taking a pottery class at UMD. As you know, I took pottery all three years I lived in Japan ... I never used the wheel there though. Then, when I came back to the states, I signed up for another pottery class to learn the wheel. I had to drop out of that class after about 5 weeks because I got the job in China. Anyway, here's a photo of one of my objects from that class. It's the first vase I've ever thrown. It was made in two parts and then smushed together. I'm sure there's a technical term for that. I can't remember it though.


Saturday, August 04, 2007

How I Have Spent My Saturday (Thus Far)

1. Woke up slightly hungover, and by "slightly" we mean "it felt like my brain was sloshing around in my head every time I moved a millimeter."
2. Had sex.
3. Made coffee.
4. Drank lots of coffee.
5. Drank more coffee.
6. Made toast.
7. Ate toast.
8. Talked to Mike.
9. Washed dishes.
10. Watered plants.
11. Called mother to wish her a happy birthday (a day late, whatever).
12. Made salad.
13. Ate salad.
14. Spent too much time looking at Benjamin Moore Paint samples online.
15. Showered.
16. Had more sex.
17. Said good-bye to Y.
18. Cleaned under my bed.
19. Looked at more paint samples.
20. Have semi-decided on this one:
Whachuthink?



Friday, August 03, 2007

My Lunch from Hell

My lunch today consisted of a Slice of Satanic Cheese Pizza and Fallen Angel French Fries.

How do I know this? See for yourself:

Doomed! We are all doomed!

I really don't have enough to do today.

Spreading the Food Love

The SuperFantastic Cuzin sent me a recipe, which I think I am going to attempt to make this weekend. It's for some strange Aussie concoction called slice. When my cuzin first mentioned it, I wondered if it contained the soft drink.

It doesn't.

Claudia's Mum's Zucchini Slice [Cuzinly comments in italics]

12oz or 3 medium zucchini, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 cup tasty cheese (firm), shredded (this is the exact wording of the recipe C gave me – she says she uses sharp cheddar)
4 rashers bacon or ham, finely chopped (obviously you would leave this out)
1 C self-raising flour (1C flour, 1 ½ t baking powder, ½ t salt)
½ cup milk
5 eggs, beaten

Mix together and pour into buttered slice tin (large casserole dish). And cook in moderate oven for ~40 min.

Mine takes longer to cook – usually at least one hour at about 350. I cook it until it’s set in the middle and a bit browned on top.

Easy! Peasy! Right?
If you try it, let me know how yours is.
I'll have to convince Y to let me use his oven.