Monthly Archives: August 2006

High Class All the Way

Dude, Porkchop and I really know how to spend a Friday night.

After a tasty meal at Pho Grand (where I had a delightful tofu coconut curry, yum!), we went out to the County and hit TJ Maxx. Every once in a while, I really enjoy a trip to TJ Maxx, mainly for perusing their kitchen and bath items. We did that tonight, but our main mission was finding some designer baby things (for someone else…don’t worry, you haven’t missed anything). And we totally scored by finding a hot hot pink Puma warmup jacket (size 6-12 months). Awesome.

I also found a pair of acceptable Limited pants for cheap. Of course, they are more lightweight summer pants, but at least I’ll have something a bit nicer for my interviews, if I choose to wear them. The waist fabric gap is not so great, totally workable with a belt.

After TJ Maxx fun, we went to the Sonic and kicked back in the parking lot with a cream pie shake and a cream slush. Some guy was acting suspicious in the parking lot, which just proves that such things don’t just happen at the city Sonics.

Next, it was on to Supermarket of Shoes, which is not what I had imagined. I had pictured bins of shoes….kind of like the produce aisle in grocery stores. In reality, it’s just a Famous Footwear with a different alliterated (is that a word?) name.

Now we’re back home.

Who knows what crazy things we’ll do next.

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Another Boring Afternoon

Except I recently spoke to a very unpleasant person.

So unpleasant, I had to resort to snarkiness. When pushed, I can also assume a mean, “you must be stupid” tone.

The executive assistant even apologized that I had to speak to said person.

In a Hole
That’s where I must’ve been living for the past year (oh, wait, I was in Iowa…) because I just now found this blog.

Love love LOVE it!

Definitely worthy of “best thing ever” status.

I’m even putting it in my little sidebar link section (which, you know, obviously means penultimate bestness).

Aforementioned blog has gotten me through the day. I’ve read back to the May 2006 archives.

No, I have nothing else to do here at work. Why do you ask?

Clothes Encounters

That’s the clever name of a laundromat in Madison, and I think it describes this post well.

But before clothing, I should back up to the insurance appointment that Porkchop and I had at 5:00 yesterday evening. What was supposed to take 20 minutes wound up requiring well over an hour because our new insurance agent is Mr. Talky-Talky.

I actually really liked him.

I found his listing in the Pride Pages, but, to my great disappointment, he’s not gay. Of course, I don’t know….just because someone’s married to someone of the opposite sex and has a child….that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

Anyway, he was super nice. Genuinely nice, not that fake, smarmy insurance-agent-nice. And his office is near Lafayette Square in a great old building.

Of course, now I’m all concerned about buying life insurance and starting a Roth IRA. These are such adult things. I feel like I’m pretending.

On to Clothing
Since insurance took so long, we didn’t make it to Pho Grand. Instead, we hit the bread company in the Galleria. How very disappointing.

I ended up only purchasing a little cardigan and a jersey shirt from H&M. This was also very disappointing.

With all of my Target and H&M clothing, I feel so cheap and ragamuffiny when I’m at work. The problem is that I sit on the third floor by all the marketing people, who, you know, make at least twice what I do and can afford Kenneth Cole trousers or whatever.

The other problem is that the pants from Target and H&M actually fit me, while pants from, say, The Limited don’t. I use The Limited as an example because a pair of dashing pants caught my eye there, and I eventually tried them on after rationalizing it out to myself and Porkchop.

The pants fit my butt, but there was at least a five inch gap of fabric at my waist. And no belt can fix this. Cinch a belt around that much fabric and you might as well be wearing a burlap sack with a rope tied around your waist.

This has also happened to me in the past when trying on pants at Express. The sales person went on an on about their Editor pants and how well they fit, so I tried them on. Same thing.

Okay, The Limited and the Express don’t exactly offer tailor-made clothing, but the fabrics are a bit nicer than those offered at Target and H&M. I’m tired of polyester pants and cotton pants that wrinkle right away, but as stated previously, those pants actually fit me.

How do the designers at Target and H&M know the secret of cutting pants to accommodate a certain butt-to-waist ratio, but those at The Limited and Express do not?

I think we all know what’s going on here. What’s the target demographic of these different stores, and what are the assumptions made about those target demographics when deciding the cut of pants?

This Morning
So, this morning, I put on the little cardigan that I purchased last night from H&M, and to my great disgust, I found a little hole in it! It’s at a seam, so you can’t really see it….but when you’re already feeling like a ragamuffin child (with a finger-painted smile, nod to Simon & Garfunkel), a hole in your cardigan makes you feel even more so.

Since I had already spent so much time getting dressed, I had to go ahead and wear it.

So, here I am, sitting in my cheap-ass cardigan with a hole in it while the marketing people parade around in their non-holey clothing.

Gah.

Tailors?
What I need is a tailor who will make pants and shirts for me in quality fabrics.

That way, I can avoid the whole sweatshop-labor-clothing-that-I-can-afford circuit.

This depresses me to no end.

I Knew It…

I knew that someone would hit my blog because of my itching-related posts. Yesterday, someone from Microsoft did a Blogger search for itch-related terms.

I find this endlessly amusing.

What I don’t find amusing, however, is the VP here missing my interview that was scheduled for this morning. This means that I had to open his calendar and send myself an updated meeting request to my own interview.

That just strikes me as odd.

Anyway, I now have 3 interviews lined up for next Tuesday: 2 here and 1 at another place for another position.

Argh.

Right now, I just want a non-temp job so that I can have health/dental insurance.

There are no food- or craft-related items for this post. Or anything of interest, really. Seriously, today has been BORING. Except, I did score a free eggroll, shrimp wontons, and a giant chocolate chip cookie by setting up a lunch meeting for some other people.

Tonight, Porkchop and I might eat at Pho Grand or somewhere else cheap. Then we might go to the Galleria. I know, but we need more Aveda shampoo, and I need a couple more shirts to spice up my work-clothing-rotation.

I hate having 3 different wardrobes: work, leisure, and exercise. It adds up to a lot of laundry. That was one nice thing about the software company in Madison…no dress code (except that we had to wear clothing). Of course, some folks abused that policy. Sweats and REALLY BIG t-shirts are never right.

Why am I Suddenly My Dad?

So, I recently returned from a trip to Walgreen’s. Purpose: purchase something to relieve my itching hell.

I had plans of getting some “natural” product with sandalwood, neem, or tea tree oil, all of which are supposed to relieve itching and fight fungus stuff. But after excercising and making dinner, there wasn’t much time (or energy) left for making the drive to Whole Foods or some such place. So Walgreen’s it was.

The pharmacist suggested just trying some Benadryl cream, but once by myself, I thought, “oh ho, why not get the Benadryl and the hydrocortisone cream?”

I currently have both on. This is something that my dad would do. If one is okay, why not five different products?

Non-Itchy Things
For dinner, I made baked tofu and a carrot-ginger salad. YUMYUMYUM!!! Baked tofu is the best thing ever. Here’s the recipe (courtesy of one of the Moosewood cookbooks):

****
BAKED TOFU

1 cake of tofu (firm or extra-firm)

SAUCE
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon tomato paste (optional according to Moosewood, but mandatory according to me)
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon honey

DIRECTIONS
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and press your tofu.

Mix up your sauce and cut your tofu into 12 triangles. I use the method of cutting the tofu horizontally into 3 slices, stacking the slices, and cutting through the layers on the two diagonals.

Put the tofu triangles in a baking dish and cover them with sauce. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes, turning every 10 minutes. The tofu is done when the top looks taut and seared.

****

I serve the tofu on rice, but if you’re not a big rice fan, some sort of noodle dish would be equally tasty. Also, I like having hoisin sauce on the side.

Here’s the recipe for the carrot-ginger salad, which is also one of the best things ever:

****
CARROT-GINGER SALAD

1 lb carrots, grated (or however much you have)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
Minced ginger (however much you want)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

DIRECTIONS
Grate your carrots, mix it all up, and season with pepper and/or salt.

****

Well, that’s all for now. Porkchop has a friend over, so I should be somewhat social.

Amusements and Irritations

I’m so fascinated and amused by the number of people who hit my blog via the Next Blog button on the Blogger navigation bar.

It’s so incredibly random.

I think I got 5 hits yesterday because of it. Considering the number of Blogger blogs out there, it makes me wonder how many people play the Next Blog game.

Crazy.

Also crazy are some of the searches through which vistors find my blog. My favorites:

  • Feverish and ovulating. That’s right…search on this term through Google, and you’ll find me on page 8. Maybe I’ve been bumped up now since I duplicated the term here.
  • Chouteau pronunciation. I once made fun of how folks around here pronounce Chouteau.
  • Where can I find a good place for dessert and wine after a concert at UMSL. No kidding. Some internet users obviously need a primer on how to maximize efficiency when using search engines. Type that sentence into Google, and I’m on the first page…and I’ve never written about concerts at UMSL.
  • Anarchist bakery. Love it.
  • My most favorite…..colon irrigation! This was a search done through Blogger, and my first post yesterday obviously qualified me.

The most annoying search: vin de set. I’ve never eaten there, people! You won’t find any useful information about the place on my blog! Shoo!

If you’re wondering how I know all these things, let me say that there are wonderful pieces of code that you can insert into your web page (got mine at Stat Counter). Freaked out? You should be. Even I, just a low-tech blogger, can track IP addresses, your approximate location, what sort of web browser you use, and all sorts of other stats.

If I can do all of these things, just imagine what happened recently when AOL “accidentally” released detailed information of over 20 million queries conducted by over a half million people.

The internet is a scary place because we often assume anonymity.

Irritations
The upper right side of my torso and back is super-itchy and has been for the past couple of days.

I don’t know what to do. I’ve moisturized the hell out of the itchy spots, so it’s definitely not dry skin.

I’m so itchy, it hurts. And keeping myself from scratching is driving me nuts.

The center of itchiness moves from my armpit, to my shoulder blade, to my right breast. Gah!

Last night, while walking around outside (see account below), I started to perspire a bit, and my armpit was ON FIRE! It felt like a million needles pricking my skin.

Anyone have any idea what this is about?

Argh, it feels like I rubbed poison ivy on myself, but my skin shows no irritation at all, save from the scratch marks.

I’m imagining the worse….some sort of little skin bug or fungus.

Great, I can’t wait to see what sort of searches bring up my blog now.

Well, for those of you not suffering from the itchies, have a great Wednesday!

Basketball Games and Baby Raccoons

After work today, I went to Schnuck’s to buy a few things for the tomato-basil-chicken dish I mentioned in my first post today. The dish was totally yummy. Instead of cooking two whole chicken breasts, I cut them up into bite-size portions; that way, there was actually a portion left for leftovers. I also served it on orzo with Parmesan cheese and a squeeze of lemon (there’s just something about lemon and basil together…).

Here’s a pic:

Yum!

After dinner, dish washing, and bill paying, Porkchop and I set off to deposit some checks and for treats at Mokabe’s. These are things we encountered:

  • Crazy running man with baby and dog in alley. We were in the alley dropping off some trash and were nearly run over by this group. I should note that the man had a beard….for some reason, I think it’s extremely odd when running men have beards.
  • Kids’ basketball game. Porkchop tried to tell me about this before. I don’t know what sort of group this is, but there’s a basketball hoop off our alley, and there were a bunch of kids (supervised by an adult) playing tonight. It kind of makes me sad that these kids have to play basketball in the alley.
  • A boat-load of gay men at Mokabe’s. Is Tuesday night Gay Man night?
  • A family of raccoons in the storm gutter near our apartment. The family included 3 baby raccoons. Sooooo cute! When they’re not going through your garbage or turning over your potted plants, that is.

That is all for now. Must check laundry. Have a good night!

One Thing I Miss About Iowa

Car insurance rates.

That’s all I have to say.

Need a Good Cleaning Out?

This past Sunday, Soozi and I went to Mokabe’s for brunch (Soozi had their buffet, and I had a chai and scone, since I’d actually already had brunch). Afterwards, the conversation at my apartment took a turn towards colonic hydrotherapy. While I would enjoy a good deep cleansing of my insides, I don’t know how I feel about having a couple of tubes stuck up my bum and warm water pumped inside of me.

Am I being too staid? Too conservative? Am I clinging on to old shit?

A couple of friends recently told me about how they accomplished essentially the same thing with acupuncture. Hmmmmmm….have some needles stuck in me (which I’ve done before) or have a couple of tubes inserted into the first 2 inches of my large intestine. Hmmmm…..

Of course, with acupuncture, you don’t have the joy of watching what’s inside be washed out through a clear tube.

On to Other Things
Maybe I need acupunture anyway…I was awake most of Sunday night worrying about stupid things. So, Monday morning, I called in sick, saying I would make it in around noon.

Half workdays are weird. I stayed on until 5:30, so it was more than half a workday, but it was still weird.

A helicopter landed outside my building at 4:15. Yes, we were expecting this, but I just happened to be in the all-window stairwell when the chopper came down. It was smaller than I expected. Everyone was very excited; the building was abuzz, so to speak.

Soozi saved the evening by dropping off a couple of vegetable lasagne bundles. Even though I had already inhaled nearly half a loaf of olive bread when I got home, I was still very hungry. So was Porkchop when she arrived.

Vegetable lasagne saved us.

Even though Soozi will say it was super-easy to make, it was still super-yummy. And super-appreciated.

Tonight, I plan on making this recipe, using tomatoes from Soozi’s neighbor’s garden and our own basil.

Craft-Related Notes
I didn’t have a chance to buy yarn this weekend, so I can’t start on my handwarmers yet. Guess I should try to do a little something with my (small) stash, but I can’t really get excited about that. Part of the “new project” giddiness for me is going to the yarn store and ogling all the pretty yarn.

Sunday afternoon, I had a fleeting infatuation with this blog. The tagline sucked me in….have to see if it becomes a regular read. I’m also quite amused by this blog.

School Things
I have two school papers with deadline extensions hanging over my head. This weekend, I strategized about how to finish one, and I will hopefully complete it by the end of next weekend.

The other paper will take a bit longer, as I need to order a few books. Murrrr.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Grumbles

The ladies at You Knit What?? have ended their knitted fug commentaries.

Sad times, sad times.

Maybe someone else with equal wit and access to photos of ugly knitted things will pick up the torch.

***

I was just checking the weather forecast for St. Louis this week, and was glad to see cooler temperatures in sight after Monday. Cooler as in high 80s/low 90s.

Then, out of curiosity, I checked the forecast for Madison. Low 80s/high 70s.

I am so envious.