Monthly Archives: April 2007

What a Stupidhead

I am referring to myself!

While I was on vacation, I sold two books on Amazon Marketplace – Northrop’s Veiled Empire: Gender and Power in Stalinist Central Asia and Mahmood’s Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject. Since I didn’t take my books with me to Disney World, I had to email the purchasers and explain that while I couldn’t send the books in the 2-business-days guarantee, I would send the items via priority mail instead of media mail. I heard back from one person, but I decided to send the other person his book anyway.

This morning after exercising, I was rearranging my bookcase to fill in the hole left by these transactions. With a sinking feeling, I realized that Politics of Piety is still here!

Gah!

In my haste and sinus medicine-induced haze, I sent the second person – the non-responder – Badran’s Feminists, Islam, and Nation: Gender and the Making of Modern Egypt.

So, I just sent another email to this guy explaining that I’m a dumbass and I’ll send the right book tomorrow and would he please please please respond to my email.

I don’t know which is worse….realizing your mistake and feeling shitty and embarrassed, or going along happily in ignorance until you’re called out on it.

A Case of the Grumbles

Porkchop and I have returned from the World of Disney to our mundane lives in the City of St. Louis.

Someday, I’m sure the good times we had and the good food consumed will outweigh the giant sinus infection that I’m currently experiencing, but at the moment, I can only think of how Disney World made me sick. The enormous difference in temperature between outside and inside plus all the recirculated air plus riding Test Track on a chilly night finally got to me (and to Porkchop, who seems to have some sort of cold). With all the meds I sampled from our hotel’s gift shop, the multiple trips to Walgreen’s here, and my trip to the urgent care center yesterday, I’ve spent quite a bit of money on this stupid sinus infection.

I’m cranky. And tired.

I wish my sulfa drug would kick in soon and kick this infection in the ass. I’ve decided to drop the stupid decongestant/antihistamine drug(s) and concentrate on cleansing my sinuses with my SinuCleanse stuff. You would be amazed at what you can flush out of your sinuses! I think that if I’d had my neti pot and saline solution at Disney World, I would not be suffering so much right now.

When I was stocking up on more dry saline packets today, the cashier at Walgreen’s asked me if the stuff really worked. When I confirmed the fact that it does, I had to demonstrate how it works. This consisted of me describing the neti pot as like a little watering can and tilting my head to the side and illustrating the flow of the water with my finger. I’m sure the cashier thought I was a bit weird, but she did ask. Maybe I should have directed her to the demo video on the website.

So what makes me most upset about my current state of health is that I had all sorts of grand plans for my final two days of vacation, and now I’m stuck sleeping late and dragging myself around. Murrrr.

This morning I mainly sat around, conserving my strength to go buy tickets for tonight’s showing of aka Nikki S. Lee. The art museum’s website states the film will be introduced by Lee…I’m not sure if this means Nikki S. Lee in-person or a filmed intro. I hope it means in-person.

What About Knitting?
I came thisclose to finishing my first sock before leaving for vacation. Since I didn’t want to attempt learning kitchener stitch at 11:00 the night before I had to get up at 4:30 in the morning, I decided to put the grafting on hold and take my gear with me in the hopes of starting the second sock while traveling.

I caught these two items this morning in their natural state.

First, the nearly finished sock lazing on the sewing table:

Second, the recently started sock with an inch of ribbing:

I would start knitting right now, but I need to maybe nap and save energy for the film tonight!

I hope to feel tons better tomorrow.

Vacation Blog

Our vacation blog is starting to get into full swing.

Visit it here to see Porkchop’s t-shirt handiwork and nifty little vacation book.

I won’t be posting here much until we return next week. If I finish my sock tonight, I will definitely post a photo.

Cheers!

Caught

This is our birdseed-stealing raccoon.


It’s a friendly little critter. When Porkchop took the photo, she had to hurry back inside before we acquired a new house pet.

It’s a bit hard to remain angry at such a cute animal. Yes, I think raccoons are cute! The band around the eyes, the ringed rail, the little pointy noses….what’s not to love? [Besides ransacked trash bags and birdseed feeders.]

Not So Cute
I think it’s my duty to start CAPU – Campaign Against Public Urination.

I’m really freaking tired of seeing guys just whip it out to pee. Maybe, MAYBE, I can understand pulling off in the industrial junkland near the Grand Metro stop to pee, but not really. Especially when it’s two guys and two girls in a car and the guys are standing in plain sight by a building peeing. I think it’s a macho-macho thing. “Hey, pull over here – I gotta piss.” “Yeah [snort] me too.”

So, I REALLY don’t understand the guy who pulled over to take a whiz across the street from our apartment. We live on ARSENAL right across from Tower Grove park. It’s a HEAVILY TRAFFICKED street. And, there are PORTA-POTTIES by the softball/kickball fields. Would it kill you to drive 30 more seconds and use one?

Also, this guy was with another guy. Again, I wonder what happens in these conversations. “Yeah, just pull over here….across the street from these two girls getting out of their car and across from the church. This looks like a good spot to take a piss in the gutter.”

Okay, so from now on, I have had it.

I’m going to start carrying my Wash U safety whistle and start calling attention to these pissballs.

For the love of God, at least carry a cup or bottle in your vehicle that you can use in emergency situations. DO NOT PEE in the street across from our apartment! That is gross!

Smorgasboard

This weekend was an eclectic mix of activities.

Friday afternoon, I received a call from my friend KT from Chicago. She was being picked up at the airport and taken to Columbia for a dissertation defense party and for data collection. I was able to meet her at the tail end of her quick dinner at Lemongrass (not quite on the way to Columbia from the airport, but not too far out of the way). After gulping down a Thai iced tea and doing a quick catch-up, I had to run to my haircut appointment.

Saturday morning, I finished tidying up our apartment for our friend Jill and her friend Carrie, both of whom drove in from Madison to run in the relay portion of the Spirit of St. Louis marathon. Jill, Porkchop, and I had a late lunch/early dinner at the new Ethiopian joint on Grand, Meskerem. The injera was perfectly spongy, the vegetarian platter varied and plentiful, and the hosts friendly and attentive. I recommend it and look forward to going back.

Jill, Carrie (not me), and Porkchop went to the Cards game Saturday night while I stayed nice and toasty by baking brownies, doing laundry, and knitting.

This is where I ended Saturday night:

We got up early Sunday morning to drop Jill and Carrie off at the Grand station. Their relay leg was the last leg (they were on different teams) and began near Forest Park/DeBaliviere and ended downtown. Porkchop and I went home for a while and then took the train downtown to watch them cross the finish line. Yay!

The marathoners were inspiring and made Porkchop tear up. I cringed in all sorts of places when we figured out the guys with the bloodstreaked shirts were bleeding from their nipples. Ow! Ow! Ow!

After the marathon-watching, Porkchop and I proceeded to the Cards game. We were in Big Mac Land, so we had our picture taken, were on the jumbo-tron, and received tote bags. It was weird.

Here we are:

Thankfully Porkchop dressed in four layers, so I was able to trade my sweater for a long-sleeved t-shirt. Porkchop also let me wear her hat so that my scalp wouldn’t burn. Since the Cards won that game, I think I’m locked into wearing that hat for the rest of the season.

Here’s my sock at the game:

I am so nearly done! I have to finish before our vacation.

Anyway, that’s that! I still have yoga to do and phone calls to make tonight. And a sock to finish.

But, P.S., I am so tired of people getting randomly shot, especially at schools. What the hell is wrong people? Also, when are we going to ban guns?

Small Things

I’ve been feeling a bit down today (the day started poorly with the bus PASSING my stop and me arriving 20 minutes later than usual), and I just had an apartment manager try to lecture me about pet dander and how pets have never lived in their buildings.

Really? You claim to have a Victorian apartment, and you can confidently state that no pet has ever lived in the building since it was built? Interesting.

Anyway….

So I went to the Sauce website, as I do when I need a brief distraction. I excitedly noticed the new food quiz (really, I am easily amused). I took it and scored 8 out of 10! This is a new high score for me! Yay!

I feel a bit better.

Multi-Task in Unusual Ways

I hope I don’t end up in this apartment.

Instead of Porkchop brushing her teeth while showering, she could cook us some breakfast.

The Best Tofu Stew

Last night, Porkchop and I went to dinner at one of my co-worker’s. Since the boyfriend of another co-worker is Jewish vegetarian, I volunteered to bring a grainless, meatless dish. This task apparently daunted the hostess and other invitees, which kind of annoyed me. One of my co-workers said to me, “A meatless dish without grains? Good luck.”

What do people think? That if you’re vegetarian, you MUST compensate by gorging on grains?

The uproar made no sense to me.

I made one of my favorite dishes, which I really should make more because I love it so much. Here it is….

Coconut-Curry Tofu Stew
2 bunches scallions
1 14-oz. can light coconut milk
3-4 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp. curry powder
1 tsp. minced fresh ginger (or more, if you love ginger like I do)
1-2 tsp. chile paste with garlic
1 lb. firm or extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
4 ripe plum tomatoes, cut into 6 wedges each
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 lb. mushrooms (such as shiitake), stemmed and thickly sliced
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
4 cups coarsely chopped spinach (bagged spinach makes this easy)

1. Cut scallion whites and about 2 inches of the greens into 2-inch diagonal pieces. Finely chop remaining greens and reserve separately.
2. In a Dutch oven, combine coconut milk, 3 Tbsp. soy sauce, brown sugar, curry powder, ginger, and 1 tsp. chile paste. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
3. Add tofu, tomatoes, bell pepper, mushrooms, basil, and scallion pieces. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
4. Add spinach, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 more minutes or until vegetables are tender.
5. Adjust seasonings with soy sauce, chile paste, and salt. Garnish with reserved chopped scallion greens and serve immediately.

BONUS: This stew is excellent served over rice, especially brown rice.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the stew. The boyfriend had the audacity to ask me if I had used flour to thicken the base. For the love of God! I KNOW it’s Passover, and I went out of my way to avoid flour! I was probably a bit terse when I replied, “It’s coconut milk. It’s naturally thick, and it was boiled.” Duh. This guy annoys me anyway, so to imply that I had used flour, WHEN I HAD NOT, really really got to me.

Also Yesterday
I looked at an apartment at Jamieson and Chippewa. It made me want to cry because it was so not great.

Tomorrow I’ll set up a viewing for a 2 bedroom on Shenandoah. It’s a little bit more than what I want to pay, but it might be worth it.

Today
We slept late, and now we’re cleaning. Fun!

Overcoming Adversity

After watching The Office tonight, Porkchop and I started to make macaroons. We made the filling Tuesday night and were ready to finish using this recipe.

During the mixing, a combination of these things happened: Porkchop was working quickly, and I wasn’t paying 100% attention because I was headachy and also rinsing out a measuring cup.

During this brief moment, Porkchop poured the egg whites directly into the almond-sugar-cocoa mixture. Gasp! As you know, egg white just won’t get nice and stiff once mixed with other things. It messes up their molecular structure…or something like that.

Poor Porkchop….

But as you can see, instead of yielding to an inevitable shame spiral, we dug out our mini muffin pan and made….

MONSTER MACAROONS!

Don’t mess with these babies!

I am proud of Porkchop for not getting frustrated and throwing the macaroon batter across the room. Also, when I accidentally knocked powdered sugar onto her face, shirt, and hoodie, she didn’t huff. Instead, she actually joined me in laughter at the absurdity of having powdered sugar all over the place. Yay!

Earlier this week we had cooking success with these curried cider-braised pork chops. Yum!

Yarn Adversity
I’m still working on my first sock; I’ve finally got some heel action started.

I enjoy knitting these Jaywalkers, so I don’t mind that it’s taking so long. Also, I don’t have money to buy tons of yarn, so this is perfect.

Actually, I usually get in just a few pattern repeats over my lunch break, so it’s surprising that I’m this far along. Maybe I’ll finish this weekend! That’s a big maybe.

Work Adversity
The only adversity on this front is that I’m still SO BUSY! I had my 6-month review this week (really 7-month, but whatever), and it went tremendously well.

I didn’t expect, and I didn’t receive, a raise, but they did want to give me one. I also found out that the university has put a 3% cap on all raises, which sucks, especially since my center doesn’t receive a cent from the university and should be able to spend their funds as they like. Grrrr! Fortunately, my center does do end-of-year bonuses.

Bus Adversity
On Monday morning, an old man told me that he likes the way I dress and that it turns him on.

Then I punched him and threw up on him.

Actually, I didn’t. But I wanted to. Sometimes, however, you have to pick your battles carefully. And I just didn’t want to start my Monday morning by getting into a fight with an old guy on a crowded bus (and when I write crowded, I mean jam-freaking-packed).

I hate the bus.

Apartment Adversity
I have to get serious about finding a new, cheaper apartment.

This makes me sad.

Also tired.

This Weekend
Hopefully no adversity.

Saturday is the Tower Grove farmers market. We also get our AMR device installed, so Laclede can finally start sending us regular readings. Our landlord can be a lackadaisical blowhard. He’s had how many years to get that installed?

We did get a new air conditioning unit installed (not that we need it now), and he checked out our dryer. Even though he deemed it safe to use, I’m a bit leery and check it every few minutes.

Okay, I think that’s it…

Have a great Friday!

A New Blog

Porkchop and I are starting to write about our upcoming vacation here.

I have LOTS of things to write about on THIS blog. Maybe tonight.

Have a great Thursday!