Monthly Archives: May 2007

These ARE Really Good Spring Rolls

So, the neon sign in the Vietnamese restaurant window WASN’T lying!

Banh Mi So #1 – Saigon Gourmet has really good spring rolls. Also, very tasty main dishes. According to the website, the name of the restaurant translates to Number One Sandwich; it originally opened as a sandwich shop. And, geez, I will definitely be going back for a vegetarian sandwich, especially since it’s only $2.25! Last night, I ordered vegetarian spring rolls, Palestrina’s Delight (a tofu dish), and a new dish that was pork and mung bean cakes served with big noodles and a spicy sauce. Porkchop and I both totally enjoyed the tofu dish. I like the pork and mung bean cakes, but I would have preferred the pork to be tofu. Next time I go, I’m going to try the tilapia spring rolls – some other diners were raving about these.

We were able to do some unpacking last night. Porkchop actually did a lot in terms of putting up the loft bed and moving her art boxes into storage underneath the bed and so forth.

I unpacked some kitchen boxes.

The kitchen boxes overwhelm me, especially since we have limited kitchen storage space.

Keetah’s litter box has been moved to the sunporch. She seems okay with this.

After seven months, I was finally able to check out this book. The bad thing about relying on the university library is that professors often put the books that I want on 2-hour reservation.

I think we might do a little bit of grocery shopping after work. Without a list. That’s scary.

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A Bird in the Basement, a Bug in the Bathtub, a Bat in the Bedroom

Hi!

Oh my gosh, this move is exhausting! My calves hate me right now and are refusing to travel up or down any more stairs. Fortunately, my office-mate allowed us to ride the elevator up to the 2nd floor for bagels (our office is a “garden-level” joint…so 2 flights definitely warranted assistance).

One of the things I dislike most about moving is that my eating routine is thrown off completely. Breakfast this morning was a yogurt drink, 1 little chocolate donut (thanks to Porkchop), and a bagel. Compare this to my usual banana and unsweetened soymilk. We’ve also eaten out more over the most few days than we usually do in a month. Crazy!

Anyway, so here are the reasons for the title…

A Bird in the Basement
On Saturday, after moving about a third of our things into the new apartment, Porkchop and I checked out the basement. We were going to investigate the storage area when a bird flew out of one of the rooms! Porkchop yelled and then ran off. Well, I should write “ran” off because we were already tired so she really just shuffled off. It was a shuffling run and highly amusing.

A Bug in the Bathtub
Dude, I had hoped this move was going to be “bye-bye house centipedes,” but there was one in the bathtub last night.

*groan*

I’m beginning to think it’s a St. Louis area thing. Even my office-mate, who lives in Bridgeton, has them. AND she lives a newish subdivision with no suspicious basement.

Maybe St. Louis sits atop a giant house centipede colony! ARGH!

My other thought is that we brought a couple of bugs with us. And this disgusts me more than anything.

P.S. There was also a bug in our bed, but just a tiny one.

A Bat in the Bedroom
So, imagine that it’s 3:30 am and you wake up for some reason, decide to go to the bathroom, and then come back into the bedroom and you see a bat flying around. Yeah! That actually happened!

For the first time ever, I was the one to wake up Porkchop saying that I saw something flying around (Porkchop has regular night terrors involving spiders, bugs, and other things). I was all, “what do we do? what do we do? what’s our plan of action?” while Porkchop hid under the covers.

Anyway, Porkchop came up with the brilliant plan of opening the screenless sunporch windows and corraling the bat through the living room, dining room, and kitchen and then out the windows. It worked!

YAY!

Conveniently enough, Porkchop’s plan appointed me as the key bat wrangler. So, not only did I have to walk around unarmed to open the kitchen door and stuff, I also had to run around the living and dining rooms with the swiffer, encouraging the bat through the dining room door and yelling things like, “here it comes! no! okay! here it comes! no! oh! here it is! SHUT THE DOOR!” Porkchop then shut the dining room door, got the bat into the kitchen, and then closed herself in the bedroom. There, she was able to monitor the sunporch windows AND stay away from the bat. Do you see a theme here?

Keetah was pretty chill during all of the this, but Porkchop walked around with a sheet over her head. I’m worried that we’re going to find batshit all over the place or something.

All of this only took a half hour, but no one slept much afterwards.

We think the bat came in the open bedroom window. We found that this particular window does not have a storm window at the top. Since there’s only a screen on the bottom half, there’s plenty of room for a bat. Is this plausible? I don’t know, but it’s the only thing we can come up with.

I’m kind of excited to finally have a bat story to share. It seems like everyone we know has a similar story. However, no more bats, please.

What Else?
We’re super-tired. I’m glad to be at work and away from boxes. Porkchop dropped me off at work this morning, even though she is also exhausted.

We only have a few things left at the old apartment (prints, framed things, sculptures, some kitchen things) in addition to a huge pile of things to take to the Goodwill.

I miss the old apartment and its lack of bats. Also, its central air…I totally miss that already. Our open bedroom window led to the bat (possibly) and my right nostril starting to close up again (even though I’m still on allegra and nose spray).

Anyway, I plan to clean up the icky kitchen cabinet and unpack a few boxes tonight. Since I’m car-less this evening, I might pick up something in our new neighborhood…maybe something from the kebab take-out place or from the Vietnamese restaurant that advertises “Best Spring Rolls in St. Louis” in neon lighting. If it’s in neon, it must be true.

P.S. Porkchop is letting me use the title of this post for free.

Packing and More Packing with Cleaning Thrown in for Fun

Gah!

If I have to pack one more item, my head will freaking explode.

There are more things to pack.

We get the U-Haul tomorrow morning, then pick up the washer and dryer that my office-mate is giving me (yay!, but she lives a half-hour away), and then start taking things to the new apartment. I readied the new place today with swiffering, mopping, dusting, and laying down grip liner (still need 2-3 more rolls).

While cleaning the one sizable cabinet in the kitchen, I discovered that a smoker lived in the apartment at some point and obviously smoked a lot in the kitchen. While the rest of the kitchen was painted, the inside of the built-in cabinet was not. If I remember, I’ll take a picture of the striations caused by spraying cleaner on the inside wall and letting it run down. While I was able to get rid of a bunch of the nicotine gunk, I’ll have to go back in with a magic eraser.

I don’t question the magic eraser because I love it SO MUCH.

Anyway, if I (still) smoked, seeing and smelling the difference between non-smoker walls and smoker walls would definitely make me quit.

More disjointed thoughts…

I hope to post pictures of the new place tomorrow and hopefully our old place (once free of boxes) at some point. For historical purposes.

Our internet access at home will experience a lapse between this Tuesday and the following Monday. Sometimes I forget that you have to make things like appointments with the cable company. Murrr.

KT and BD were in town late Friday night and Saturday morning. We had drinks at Van Goghz Friday night and then had brunch at La Dolce Via in the morning (minus Porkchop who had to work). As I’ve written before, La Dolce Via is super-fantastic, EXCEPT they need to add a few more vegetarian meal items.

Before KT and BD arrived, Porkchop and I dined at the Pitted Olive. The Olive’s garlic frites are out of this world. Seriously, why are you still reading this? Go get some garlic frites!

The toilet in the new place runs unnecessarily. I hate to start complaining about things already, but I guess I must.

The new place has only 4 sets of blinds that need washing. When we moved to Arsenal Street, I had to wash ALL of the blinds. That’s 12 sets of blinds, most of which are 5 feet tall. And, no, not washing dirty blinds is NOT an option. Just like not cleaning ceiling fans is not an option (2 in the new place versus 5 in the old place). The new place also has less woodwork that, while pretty, requires regular dusting.

I’m tired, but I have to pack more kitchen stuff. Blech.

Uncomfortably Numb

My take on Pink Floyd’s lyrics:

There is much pain, your gums are receding
A distant dentist drill on the horizon
You are coming through with A3 color fillings
Your lips move but you sound funny

Hi! I just had three cavities filled! Three quadrants of my mouth were affected, so the dentist decided we should do the smallest one without any sort of numbing. As painful as that sounds, it was actually the easiest one. For the other two cavities, the dentist had to go up under my gums, which means I will be quite sore once the numbness wears off. Right now, I just have bloody gums…still no feeling.

At work today, I kept having this internal debate: should I exercise tonight, or should I pack? Ha! The answer is neither! I forgot that this cavity-filling business might make me want to just drink an iced chai and eat soup from St. Louis Bread while sitting on the couch.

A Cavity Memory
When I go to the dentist, I like to remember this story…

During the summer when Porkchop and I were living with BD and KT in Columbia, my left foot became quite sore after Porkchop and I had taken a walk on a trail. We’re talking SORE, as opposed to sore.

After tiring of my complaining and hobbling about, Porkchop looked at my foot. Nothing. She concluded that perhaps I had bruised it during our walk (because, you know, Porkchop is also a trained podiatrist). Alas, it became SORER and SORER and people starting making fun of me and accused me of whining.

A few days after our walk, I had to get a cavity filled (yes, you see, it relates). Porkchop kindly chauffered me for my dental visit and helped me inside the house afterwards. It was then, as I was climbing up the stairs with a foot that felt like it was about to fall off and a numb face that I couldn’t take it anymore and maybe started crying.

Porkchop and KT then maybe laughed at me because I could only manage half a frown while crying.

So, Porkchop re-examined my foot with the help of BD and they found, between my littlest toes, a tick the size of a pea!

Yes, a tick had been feeding on my foot for at least three days!! Who was laughing then! No one!

BD pulled out her wallet-sized tick identification card to make sure it wasn’t possibly a Lyme disease-carrying tick. Then Porkchop and BD got to work and extracted the tick. I think KT stayed in another room during this procedure.

Now, when Porkchop sometimes makes fun of my complaints (like my Dance Dance Revolution knee injury which has seriously affected my quality of life), I try to remind her of this tick story. It’s like the boy who cried wolf but only reverse.

Anyway
Who’s going to win American Idol tonight??

Don’t say that you don’t care!

Porkchop and I have our money on Jordin while Keetah is sticking with her beat-boxing bro Blake. Keetah is a mean beat-boxer.

If I’m Dreaming, I must be Worried

Hi!

I just got off from my lovely morning conference call. I only say about 2 minutes worth of dialogue, yet I stay on the phone and listen for 50. *grumble*

Last night, I had a new apartment bad dream….

The apartment had horrible carpeting throughout (instead of just the small bedroom).
The kitchen flooring was peeling, revealing 3 layers of previous flooring.
The previous tenants had left all sorts of junk for us to clean up (in reality, there are no previous tenants).
One of my college roommates and her boyfriend were hanging out in the apartment (in this case, this was bad).
The apartment was in a super-scary part of town with burnt out buildings and creepos lurking on corners.

*sigh*

Curry Paste Face Off

Today was Staff Day at my university. In addition to attending a school breakfast and a university lunch, I left at 2:30 (I skipped out on bingo, volleyball, and other activities). This gave me plenty of time to go to Jay International Food to buy green curry paste and basil.

It also gave me time to think about curry paste and take pictures…

I’m amazed at the difference between Americanized Thai curry paste and the real deal. In my head, the green curry paste says to the red curry paste, “RRRAAAWWWRRRHHHH! Be prepared to be beaten! You stupid Thai Kitchen, much-too-expensive curry paste! I have 10 more ounces and am at least $3.00 cheaper!! RRRAAAWWWRRRHHHH!”

This is what I picked up the curry paste for:

Green chicken curry with green beans and basil. Super-yum! On the left is our latest experiment with Thai iced tea. We’re close, but we still haven’t nailed it.

For dessert, we had a piece of this:

It’s the chocolate-orange-hazelnut poundcake from the Moosewood baking cookbook. Also very, very yum. Don’t worry, we haven’t eaten this much of it – I took half of it to work.

Last night I made spicy tofu burritos. No picture, but also tasty.

[Hey, why is Blogger Preview broken for Safari now?? Grrr! I wish I could write a QA note for it….but that was a different software company and a different time.]

Besides packing and more packing, Porkchop and I are going to see Knocking Thursday night at the history museum. [Thanks to cj for the alert!]

More random thoughts….

Our tomato and basil plants arrived from Burpee. This makes me happy and worried. I hope I don’t destroy these little tomato plants. I’m not so worried about the basil because we were successful last summer.

I have another 7 am conference call in the morning. Terrific. On a related note, I placed calls to the Netherlands and Benin on Friday for the upcoming conference. I feel so international.

Porkchop cleaned the kitchen tonight. YAY!

The Moving Blues

Wow, I CANNOT wait to get all of our books packed! Urgh, books are the worst to pack and there are so many!

I find books to be the worst because I can’t stop opening up random ones and skimming through them for the best parts. Also, I just packed my old journals, which took FOREVER because I had to read certain passages and relive the high and lowlights of a half dozen years. I think it would be worth it to hire someone to pack my books and journals – it would certainly take less time.

On Tuesday night, Porkchop and I packed a few boxes of books, some framed items and other breakable things, and the contents of our little blue cabinet. The blue cabinet is the repository of photos (from childhood on up to maybe 2003 when we stopped taking picture photos), correspondence, stationery, some knitting things, and an assortment of random little things. We got trapped in relationship reconstruction and read nearly every card, note, and handmade book that Porkchop has given me. Luckily, my things to Porkchop are kept somewhere else (supposedly anyway, I’ve never seen this place). It took well over an hour to do this.

We are much too easily distracted to get this packing job done quickly.

Finally…

Do you ever feel bad about feeling good that someone dies?

I don’t feel bad at all while breathing a sigh of finally over Jerry Falwell’s death.

About the death of the guy who founded Moral Majority because of Roe v. Wade…all I can say is good riddance.

Of course, there are thousands of other ickies to take his place.

Setting my Alarm Clock

Guess what I get to do tomorrow morning at 7 am…

Join a conference call regarding the international symposium that I’ve been trying to avoid!

For the next 6 Tuesdays, I will either be on a call at 7 am or 8 pm. In my book, this sucks big time. Luckily, the 8 pm ones will start after our next American Idol is announced (if my calculations are correct, anyway).

Work was totally weird today. I accomplished practically zero things. The weirdness starting by me receiving two emails completely in Chinese, with the exception of my name (a project manager provided translation). After our director hijacked the staff meeting, completely pushing aside the prepared agenda, things just went downhill.

I was in meetings for 3 hours. For the other 4.5 (yes, I usually have a 7.5 hour workday), I can’t tell you what I did. Well, okay, I reserved a U-Haul, but that didn’t take so long.

Knitting
I knit two rows on my sock heel during lunch. Watch out! This sock is moving FAST.

After the season finale of Lost (I seriously don’t watch THAT much TV, okay? I follow 3 shows, and that’s only because we got sucked into American Idol this season. My other show is The Office.), I might start going to Knit Night at Knitorious. It seems like everyone loves it. I feel like I’m missing out on knitting coolness.

Dinner
I’m currently marinating chicken for this mango-chicken recipe. When Porkchop gets home, she’ll fire up the grill. Yum!

I’m hoping that a shaved ice will be had after dinner. However, I don’t know if the stands stay open so late. We shall see.

A Surprise Hit

Currently, I’m watching our friends the raccoons climb up to our deck and check out the bird feeder status. Sometimes it’s creepy to catch them scurrying around our place.

For dinner, I made this stew. It uses butternut squash. tofu, coconut milk, and toasted almonds (plus a few other things). I was pretty sure that I would like it, but I nearly fell off the couch when Porkchop exclaimed how great it tastes.

I made a few modifications to the recipe. Instead of using one or two slices of ginger, I minced a good inch of ginger because it’s one of my favorite things. Second, I don’t have any turmeric or ground coriander seed, so I used curry powder. Third, I used the whole block of tofu. Like a friend of mine once said, keeping leftover tofu is like taking care of a damn goldfish. I love tofu, but I don’t have much patience for changing its water every day. I once kept half a block of tofu in my fridge for at least two months. Porkchop finally flushed it down the toilet…I don’t know if that’s the proper disposal method, but I was just glad that I didn’t have to touch it.

Back to the stew, I went back and forth on whether I should make rice. Since we’re having rice tomorrow night, I decided against it. Next time, though, I will definitely have rice ready.

Last Night
When Porkchop got home last night and saw my empty beer bottle, she decided she wanted a drink too. Since our coffee and oatmeal stouts sounded too heavy, we went to Absolutli Goosed for a drink. I feel like I wasted my drink because I ordered a melon martini that I ended up not liking. I’ll stay away from the melon next time and stick to the chocolate and/or coffee drinks.

Tomorrow
I have a staff meeting that will take up most of my morning. (groan)

Have a great Monday, my friends!