Monthly Archives: July 2006

So Many Things to Say

Oh my, the past few days have been very, very busy. I’ll start with….

Thursday Evening
After arriving home from work (on a side-note, I had an interview Thursday morning…maybe something will come of it), I was greeted by Porkchop, Soozi, and Keetah, of course. And a birthday card from my parents. And 3 birthday cards addressed to other people! Until she checked the names, Porkchop thought I was so popular.

Soozi stayed while I opened a present from Keetah (our cat, if you don’t know), which turned out to be 3 yummy dark chocolate bars! Yay! After Soozi left, Porkchop decided I should go ahead and open the rest of presents. My goodies included: a nice leather and silk passport wallet; the latest Camera Obscura CD and some additional CO items; Kung Fu Hustle on DVD (love that movie for some reason); some personalized Walt Disney World pins (yeah, you probably know I abhor WDW, but Porkchop loves it, and I recently agreed to go with her this year, so she’s outfitting me); a lot (as in auction lot) of vintage state plates (yay! our kitchen will look stunning with the additional plates); and an unofficial gift certificate for the Little Birds Etsy shop (maybe you’ve read my previous post about how difficult it is to snag an item – we’ll have to be persistent and quick). Oh, I also received a caricature of Dwight from NBC’s The Office, and the greatest little card that Porkchop airbrushed at work.

Yay!

After present-opening, Porkchop and I hurried around to pick up my parents and get to Terrene. I wish I had time to write a full-on review, but I don’t, so here’s the skinny:

Small Plates I highly recommend the tofu on a stick – although the tofu was fried, it was surprisingly light. The accompanying cashew dipping sauce was the best thing ever – I could have drunk it. We also had sauteed shrimp with falafel and something else – it was good, but not as good as the tofu.

Large Plates I can only speak for my dish here, which was the porkchop accompanied by brandied bing cherries, a melting blue cheese (can’t remember the name), and an almond quinoa pilaf. The chop was good, and I liked the combination of cherries and cheese, but the quinoa really stole the show. Plus, after having the tofu on a stick, I wished I had ordered a tofu main dish. Porkchop (the person) and I agreed that the large plates were underwhelming. Good, but not great.

Desserts Terrene has its own pastry chef, and you can tell. Porkchop and I shared the marscapone flan, which was topped with a caramel sauce and served with mango. You know that a dessert must be outstanding if Porkchop talks about it later; since she reminisced about the flan while brushing her teeth that night, you know it was yum, yum, yum. My parents had ice cream for dessert: five assorted scoops of strawberry poppyseed, chocolate walnut, and tahitian vanilla. Also very good. We also had a bonus third dessert: some sort of blueberry crumble or cobbler (but I’m sure the description used neither of those two words). All of our desserts were on the house because we waited 20 minutes for them. This brings us to…

Service Totally blew. I know my dad can be annoying with his constant requests for more coffee, but come on. You can’t ignore a table for a half hour chunk of time. And you should really have someone who checks everyone’s water regularly. Porkchop and I had to ask twice (once a reminder request) for water. Not cool. Also, and now I’m being nitpicky, our server tried to act super pretentious while reciting the specials, but kept on flubbing the lines. If you’re going to put on attitude, make sure you can carry it.

The End Result We’d definitely go back to Terrene for dessert and a drink, but not a full-on dinner.

Friday
Porkchop had to work on Friday, as did I. So, my parents got to rest during the day (they’re older and my mom can get really tired). That evening, we ate at Pestalozzi Place (no website). Yum! I totally prefer Pestalozzi Place to Terrene – super reasonable prices, yummy food, and terrific service.

My parents and I shared a small dish of butternut squash ravioli topped with a mole sauce and pumpkin seeds. The mole sauce used a nice bittersweet cocoa that went perfectly with the ravioli. There were so many things on the menu that I wanted to try, but I wasn’t very hungry, so I went with the open-face egg, tomato, and shrimp sandwich surrounded by a dill sauce. Yum. My mom had a stuffed chicken breast that was wonderfully moist and tender and cheesy.

For dessert, we shared the chocolate volcano cake, which was topped with a red wine sauce and served with espresso ice cream. My dad suggested the dessert, and I was skeptical at first because I’m not a big chocolate cake fan. Fortunately, it was a flourless chocolate cake, so it was like eating partially cooked brownie batter. Yum! And the ice cream had very nice espresso notes in it.

I can’t wait to go back to Pestalozzi Place. I know some reviews have complained about the service, but I found no fault with it.

After dinner, I drove my parents around the city, showing them the arch, Soulard, and all the mansions around Compton Heights.

Saturday
Saturday was a killer day – full of fun activities, but very exhausting. We started with a tour of the Fox Theatre, which my parents enjoyed immensely. The only bad thing was that we didn’t get to hear the Mighty Wurlitzer because of set up for that night’s concert. We only got to hear the lobby organ, but it was fun enough.

After the nearly two hour tour, we stopped at Nadoz Cafe for a light lunch. My dad and I ordered the same crepe – one with turkey, apple chutney, and dried cranberries. We all shared two tarts: one fruit and one dark chocolate. Nadoz is a great place to know about, as there aren’t many restaurants on that part of Grand. Service wasn’t so great, but I don’t expect much from a primarily counter-service place. And, after all, all the food was quite good.

After lunch, we stopped by the Cathedral Basilica to see the 83,000 square feet of mosaics. Unfortunately, a wedding was taking place, so we only got to see a very small portion of the mosaics. We did, however, see the chair that the previous Pope used during his visit to St. Louis in 1999. We also some other random Catholic things in the mosaic museum.

Next, we pushed on to the History Museum to see the traveling Ben Franklin exhibit. I totally hadn’t planned on this stop, but my parents were excited to hear that the exhibit was currently in St. Louis. Porkchop and I had thought about going, but we were put off by the $12 admission to the exhibit. Now, thanks to my parents, I’m a member of the museum. The $55 dollar membership included 4 tickets to the exhibit and a nice looking book about St. Louis sports. Porkchop is excited about the book, and now she has a ticket to the exhibit (I can buy another one for half off).

For Saturday dinner, my parents and I just went to Mangia. My salmon in a coconut curry sauce was delicious, but for some reason, the visit wasn’t as great as when I went before. Maybe because I’d been to a lot of other restaurants in a short amount of time. Also, my dad kept complaining about the silverware because it was so cheap and thin.

Sunday Morning
After our full Saturday, my mom wasn’t feeling too hot. They came over, and Porkchop and I brought back bagels and pastries from St. Louis Bread. After a quick breakfast and some visiting, they had to leave. Even though we didn’t make it to the botanical garden, there’s always next time.

Sunday Afternoon
With our afternoon free, Porkchop and I met her younger brother and his family at the St. Louis Zoo. The zoo here is free and very well done. In addition to the usual monkey, bird, and insect houses, it also has a penguin house! Yay, penguins! Also, yay for freezing temperatures! The zoo was hot and crowded, and we were there for 6 hours. Oh, the exhaustion!

Once we arrived at the zoo, I realized that I should have brought a hat with me – my scalp was burning after just a few minutes! So, I had to be one of those people and buy a hat at the zoo. Porkchop bought one, too, to keep me company. However, while I had to buy a boring, functional hat, Porkchop purchased a little kid hat, which she wore in a dashing manner. See the picture below.

After a brief respite after the zoo, Porkchop and I went to her brother’s hotel room for more visiting, sitting by the pool to watch the kids swim, and things of that nature.

Monday
Came much too quickly. I somehow dragged through the day, which seemed to be the longest ever at the time, but today is proving stiff competition.

Other Things
I found two events that I want to attend later in July: the Ditty Bops and a slow food event, both of which will take place at the Mad Art Gallery. I suspect Porkchop works these nights. Anyone else want to go??

The latest Knitty is out! Yay! I see some classy hard warmers to make! Also, Yarn Boy has a fun little hat pattern for hairless people. If I still shaved my head, I’d definitely make it.

That’s all for now. Have a good day!

Being 28


I open these tonight. After dinner at Terrene and visiting my mom and dad, who arrive tonight for a weekend visit.

I received one present earlier today from Porkchop: a 90-minute massage gift card for Urban Breath.

So far, being 28 seems alright.

My CoMo Visit

Yesterday morning, I excitedly set out for Columbia to visit K&B and J. The visit started off well with an excellent brunch/lunch. K&B made their always-delicious breakfast potatoes and an egg scramble with avocado, red bell pepper, tomatoes, and goat cheese. Additionally, we juiced beets, carrots, oranges, and ginger – my favorite juice combination! Yay!

K&B also gave me a very lovely necklace (from Poppy) that is the perfect length for v- and slit-neck shirts. I’ll have to get my act together and post a picture of it.

The afternoon was full of futon-shopping; admiring K’s new (and first) tat; listening to K’s report of the NWSA conference; visiting BP (who has things posted on Etsy; see the No She Didn’t link of the side bar); enjoying a fudge brownie concrete from Shakey’s, er, Shake’s (K was brilliant enough to ask them for extra fudge brownie, so I was happy); having arts & crafts time, for which J joined us; and talking. Before I left, we had another excellent meal. B loves the potato, and she knows her to make a mean garlic mashed potato….mmmmmm. We also had corn on the cob, grilled seitan, and a lettuce and tomato salad with goat cheese.

Sigh, I didn’t want to leave so soon, but I had to get back to STL. It was a great little visit…the only thing lacking was more cuddle time!

Although K&B move to Chicago soon, I’m glad to be closer to Columbia. I definitely look forward to visiting J again and these other places:

Main Squeeze. Best vegetarian place I’ve ever been to.
Ragtag Cinema. The indie movies, the hipsters, the memories.
Uprise Bakery (no website). Yummy potato knishes, sandwiches, soups, and baked items.

I Hope that was the Third One

Folks say bad things come in threes, right? With me, it’s usually just a slew of bad things with indiscriminate numbering. This time, I hope the three rule, well, rules.

The First One
Between applying to a job and working on one of my school papers (I have two papers with extensions), I decided to finish knitting my hat. Things went smoothly, except for the POORLY WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS!

Argh!

This isn’t the first time I’ve had problems with a pattern in Modular Knits. Ha! I feel justified now – if you follow the link I put in to Amazon, you’ll see that another knitter commented on the errata found in every pattern. That is unacceptable!!

And I thought the author was just on crack.

Errata aside, when a knitter has two stitch holders going, is knitting short rows, and has placeholders coming out her eyes, you can’t write something like, “Knit until there are 10 stitches.” 10 stitches where?? In your ass? Because that’s where I wanted to shove the stupid hat!

I could write better instructions with my pinky toe.

Ah well, I finished said hat, and the top looks alright. I don’t have 6 equilateral triangles, but I do have a nice swirly triangle thing going on.

I did not, however, get to start on finishing my school paper.

The Second One
It’s climbing to nearly 100 degrees, and our central air is on the fritz. I noticed the rising temperature last night, when I couldn’t cool off before going to bed. Porkchop suggested I was just feverish from ovulating. Maybe I ovulated, maybe I didn’t, but I do know it was 85 inside this morning.

Today was the first day I was glad to go to work, where I usually shiver in a sweater.

Our landlord has received a phone call.

The Third One
I got into my car this morning and found the contents of my armrest – some old bags of toll change (now just dirty pennies left), an air pressure gauge, and a travel clock – scattered about on the passenger side seat.

Someone had been in my car.

Nothing was taken. Luckily, they apparently didn’t want the Hawaiian music CD that my mom insisted on burning for me. Nor did they want the grocery bag of trash that was in the back seat.

I always lock my car with my remote so that the security alarm is enabled. Maybe I was in a hurry and didn’t check to make sure that it actually locked.

It still makes me feel a bit creeped out. I’ll definitely park in our garage from now on. The garage just isn’t as convenient as the street because you have to drive through the alley and hope no one is coming from the opposite direction.

At least no one threw up in my car or broke anything. Among other break-ins that our friend S experienced in Madison, a guy once broke in to sleep in her car. He left behind a fair amount of vomit.

Some Good Things
Our landlord will try his best to fix the central air today. He’s at least putting in a window unit in the bedroom.

I’m going to visit K&B and J tomorrow in Columbia (if the air isn’t fixed tonight, I might move my departure time up). J and I caught up in an hour-long phone call Saturday night. Afterwards, I realized that we’ve been friends for nearly 9 years. Crazy!

A woman here at work just gave me an official company-logoed polo shirt. You see, regular employees here get to spend $100/year on logoed gear. When this employee found out that I’m just a temp and don’t get that option, she offered me something from the clothing order that she was placing. I politely refused, saying things like, “Oh no, I couldn’t” (when I was really thinking, “I would rather wear a trash bag than a logoed item”). But she still decided to give me one. I appreciate the gesture. Even though I didn’t really want a logoed shirt, it’s a nice thought.

On that note, I’m trying to maintain a positive outlook on the day. I mean, come one, half of the employees are gone, it’s nice and cool here, and I have a logoed polo shirt that I could slip on. How could things get any better?

Tomatoes: the Good and the Bad

After Porkchop left for the park this morning, I headed out to the Soulard Farmer’s Market, where I picked up tomatoes, peaches, beets, and a cantaloupe. The market was fine, except it wasn’t what I expected, or maybe I should say, wanted. I wanted Madison’s farmer’s market. Instead, I got a cross between Detroit’s farmer’s market (which is pretty cool) and the flea markets outside of Naples, Florida (not so cool). I didn’t expect flip flops, bing cherries, bananas, or shrimp….obviously, none of which is locally produced.

I know, I’m picky about my farmer’s markets. I was also put into a bad mood because a 12-year-old picked out the tomatoes I decided to purchase. He was working at his family’s stand and didn’t realize that I wanted to pick out my own tomatoes, darn it. And I was too passive aggressive to say anything.

After being called “babydoll” by the peach lady, I left and decided, Screw these tomatoes, I’m going to check out the Tower Grove farmer’s market. Amanda and I went a few weeks ago and were a little disappointed in the lack of selection. Well, I’m happy to report it has blossomed a bit more. There is definitely more selection, or maybe I was just glad to see local organic produce.

I ended up buying a box of little Roma tomatoes and a single heirloom. Here’s a picture of all my tomatoes – the ones in the back two rows are the 12-year-old’s selections….I think I’ll use those to make a soup (doesn’t chilled tomato soup sound really good right now?). {Also, I apologize for more poor quality pics. Seriously, I need to go to picture-taking school or something. They look okay small – just don’t enlarge them, okay?}

Oh, and the best thing about the Tower Grove market is the recently added crepe stand! Yay! To celebrate my tomatoes, I had a savory crepe with pesto, mozzarella, and tomatoes. Even though the crepe was a bit burnt in places, it was still super-good. As I ate it, I watched the kids and adults play in the wading/fountain area of the park. Nice.

After dropping my produce at home, I decided to head to an Italian grocery on the Hill to pick up pine nuts, olive oil, and bread. For pine nuts and olive oil, I went to DiGregorio’s. Oh my, I spent $20 on olive oil! I didn’t want a $4 bottle, and there wasn’t much in the $10-$20 range. Wow, they even had a $60 bottle…it was like being in a wine shop. I also spied a $25 bottle of balsamic vinegar that I might have to go back for. Before she moved out of Madison, our pal Val gave us some balsamic vinegar that she picked up in Italy…after having it, I can’t eat the cheap stuff, and we ran out of it a little while ago.

Next, I went to Vitale’s Bakery (sorry, no website to be found) for fresh baked bread. I also picked up a little container of spumoni gelato, which I’ll share with Porkchop tonight. Oh my, I’ll have to make my way back to Vitale’s sometime…so many cookies, biscotti, and good looking treats.

Also, I don’t want to sound like an out-of-towner, but I want to go to Milo’s Bocce Garden. I’ve never played bocce before, and when there’s an Italian-American Bocce Club near you, I think you should.

After doing all of my food things today, I went to Hartford Coffee Company, hoping to catch some knitters, which I did. There were 3 other ladies knitting (summer time is bad for knitting circles, I fear), who were quite pleasant. Oddly enough, a summer-intern-reporter at the Post-Dispatch also stopped by to interview young knitters for some sort of human-interest story she’s doing. So, maybe in a couple of weeks, I’ll be quoted in the Post-Dispatch!

Well, there’s basil to be harvested and pesto to be made. Have a good night!

Craft Horror

I haven’t looked at You Knit What?? since we moved here. So, when I wandered over there this morning, I was elated to be rewarded with a couple of great knitting crimes. You must look at the posts for June 27 and 30, especially the 27.

Sweet Jesus! Who thinks up knitted items like that??

In other knitting news, I’ve reached a stopping point with my scarf. I’ve now moved on to the hat, and if I have yarn leftover from that, I’ll make the scarf a little bit longer.

Also, I’m going to try my best to make it to a knitting circle today. Well, I hope that there’s a knitting circle, anyway. I found some information about a knitting group that was posted last fall. You know how these loosely formed things sometimes disintegrate.

Okay, this isn’t a real post, I just had to write a little something about crafty things.