Monthly Archives: August 2007

Not Much of a Post

…but a post.

I’m currently enjoying some brownie and ice cream. The bad thing about making brownies when you live by yourself is that you then have a lot of brownie to eat. And, unfortunately, my sister’s ex-boyfriend, J, didn’t eat enough brownie during his visit.

During J’s visit, I got the feeling that he IS doing much better. He seemed like himself from a couple of years ago. Good for him! In addition to no longer having the something’s-not-quite-right look in his eyes, he also has a pretty sweet job waiting for him after his road trip.

J and I ate at Meskerem last night. I love injera perhaps a bit too much.

Food Tonight
When I’m by myself, I tend to eat simply. Typical dinners include the following: chick’n patty sandwiches, scrambled egg sandwiches, random vegetables cooked in scrambled eggs, and salad consisting of whatever vegetables I have.

But, tonight, I actually cooked a meal that had a main dish and a side dish. Rosemary-garlic chicken with steamed green beans.

Easy, but a nice change from sandwiches and/or eggs.

Food This Weekend
I’m going to Chicago this weekend to visit KT and BD, who are my most favorite people in the world after Porkchop. My assignment is to figure out where I want to eat. We’re definitely going to hit a vegetarian Indian place around the Devon Street area, but other than that, the possibilities are wide open.

This is tough.

So many choices.

That’s It
Told you it wasn’t much of a post. I have to read, call Porkchop, look at restaurants in Chicago, and pet Keetah (who is being super-cute right now. She was also so precious this morning as she slept with one paw on my arm.).

Good night!

P.S.
Porkchop has added some photos to her blog (since I sent her the USB cable for her phone over the weekend). This post is my favorite. Because people are cute in respirators.

An Unexpected Visitor

Hi!

I’m currently calibrating my new laptop battery.

How happy am I to have a new battery? SO HAPPY!!

We had apparently used the previous battery improperly by plugging in the AC charger too much, which caused the battery electrons to stagnate. It became so bad that the battery was pretty much useless as you could use the laptop for MAYBE a half hour unplugged. I will definitely care for this battery properly.

This Morning
I hit the Festival of Nations around 11:00. Of course, the food booths were at the top of my list.

I had such a hard time deciding where to go! But, first….aguas frescas? Sign me up!

I had mango. Unfortunately, these weren’t half as good as the aguas frescas stand at the Albuquerque flea market.

I walked up and down the line of booths, trying to make a decision. Look, the Norwegians are next to the Israelis!

Ethiopian would have been the best bet, but I can have Ethiopian any day of the week. So, after much deliberation, I decided upon the Haitian rice and turkey. It was really good…I only wish the serving had been a bit bigger (or maybe that I had had a piece of turkey with actual meat on it). For dessert, I decided to have a crepe because baklava didn’t sound so appealing today. I was going to go with the Romanian booth because crepes were $2 cheaper than at the French booth. Unfortunately, I had a bad feeling that the chocolate filling was going to be some sort of Hershey’s syrup concoction (because there were giant bottles of Hershey’s but no Nutella in sight). The good thing is that the Frenchies were using Nutella; the bad thing is that the crepes were miniscule (for $5, I would like a regular sized crepe, please).

Ah, well. I will know for next year. Or for tomorrow.

I saw scads of people from my school because the first year MSWs are required to do a day of service before classes begin. This year’s project was the Festival of Nations, so I kept walking by people who I see everyday. Fortunately for me, I had my baseball cap on, which was a surprisingly good disguise. No one recognized me. Not that I would have minded saying hello to these folks….but one of the things I enjoy about weekends is being around non-work people….even if the non-work people are strangers.

Anyway…among the sights I saw this morning were these crazy bikes:

Yeah…those handlebars are a bit ridiculous. The riders had a difficult time managing theses bike through the crowds of people, but the riders tried their darnedest! Gah!

I also saw some of the Highland Games demos…like this stuff:

There was also a woman doing the log throw (or whatever it’s called), and wow! was she impressive! We’re talking major arm and back muscles, folks. Geez.

The Morris dancing group had a good time. Don’t they look like they’re having fun?

I had to leave during the belly dancing…not because I found it boring but because my left leg was hurting so much I felt sick to my stomach.

Tomorrow I’m going to research setting up a doctor’s appointment so that I can see a physical therapist. My old DDR knee injury became agitated at Six Flags nearly 2 months ago. Afterwards, I was walking funny because my knee was hurting, and I think my funny gait messed up my hip. Now I am in constant pain, no matter how much stretching I do.

This Afternoon
I spent my afternoon doing errands – the post office, the grocery store, laundry, etc.

Not much fun.

I did, however, chat with Porkchop for a while. It’s a good thing I didn’t move to Albuquerque because I would be jealous of the litho press…because that’s where Porkchop spends all of her time. She even has to go in tomorrow morning to finish up some printing. Murrr!!!

Tonight
I made brownies because I couldn’t find any treats that I wanted at the grocery store.

Also, I finally listened to a voicemail that my sister left this afternoon. Of all the things that I thought she might have to say, I didn’t expect her to ask if her ex-boyfriend could stay at my house while he road trips it up to Michigan.

Yes, this is the boyfriend who went a bit off his rocker last summer and did things like try to break into someone’s house. Some of you might recall that he was then diagnosed as bipolar. My sister finally had to break up with him last month because of many reasons (as you might imagine).

My sister said that he is doing much better now since the doctors figured out that he was on the wrong meds. Of course, she assured us many times previously that he was doing “much better.”

Anyway, I said that it was fine for him to stay here…and it turns out that he might be here tomorrow night!

Okay, so you might be wondering why I said he could stay with me if he’s my sister’s EX-boyfriend. It’s because…

1. He’s actually a really nice guy.
2. I feel so bad about the agony and trauma he has experienced over the last year. I hope that he really is doing better.
3. There is no way I could let him fend for himself in St. Louis. So maybe he IS doing better, but if something DID happen to him here in St. Louis…I wouldn’t be able to live with myself.

What Century is This?

You might recall a while back a post about me making an eye exam at the behest of the university’s workplace safety guy.

Well, you can rest easy now because my vision is nearly perfect at 20/15.

Of course, when I was talking to some of my corrective-lens wearing co-workers, it became apparent that I had gone to an optometrist office stuck in the previous century…and waaaaayyyyy back in the previous century.

There was none of this for me:

The optometrist – a little old guy in his late 60s/early 70s at least – said that he didn’t like “those big machines” because he likes to be closer to the patient. Or something like that. Anyway, for part of my exam, I wore a heavy set of frames into which he inserted various sorts of lenses. These lenses were retrieved from a big wooden case….from the 1950s, at the minimum.

The case was beautiful and I loved the Danish Modern furniture in the office, but I don’t know. When the depth perception test I took consisted of me looking at a picture of an insect through stereoscopic glasses and trying to grab the wings, I realized that I should just sit back and enjoy the ride through history.

The optometrist also called me “babe” and “honey.” And while I wasn’t offended, I also wasn’t totally comfortable. I really prefer to just be called “you” or maybe even “Carrie” by healthcare professionals. Luckily, when he started to ask me if I had a boyfriend around here, an assistant walked into the exam room with a question.

Whew.

Random Other Things
For all of my life, I have carried my stress in my intestinal system. Last night, I dreamt that I was having an endoscopy. In the dream, I even had that thing inserted in my mouth that they use to prevent you from biting into the cord with all of the optical wires in it. I didn’t like this dream.

Last month, I replaced my keeper with a moon cup. The moon cup is so much easier to insert, more comfortable to wear, and easier to clean than the original natural gum rubber keeper. I’m glad for the moon cup, but I think the name is stupid. Of course, “the keeper” isn’t much better. P.S. I love it when I see people wearing t-shirts emblazoned with “I’m a keeper” because I always think, “you’re a menstrual cup”? And then I laugh in my head.

This weekend is the Festival of Nations. I’m looking forward to some good food and maybe checking out the Ethiopian cotton spinning demo or the Macedonian needlework session. Or something else.

Test Post

Since I can no longer post from work, I'm testing out publishing from email.

*Grumble*

YAYAYAY!!!

Please send happy birthday wishes to Porkchop!

Yay for being 28!

P.S. I would have posted this in the morning, but the new firewall at work apparently prevents me from signing onto my blog. Imagine!

Who has Two Thumbs and Cleaned their Plate?

This guy!

Porkchop polished off her plate of green chile chicken enchiladas at El Patio Saturday night. The enchiladas also came with beans, potatoes (oh, the potatoes! so good!), and a sopaipilla; Porkchop ate nearly everything! The rest of the stuff on the plate is just honey, green chile sauce, and sour cream.

Here I am waiting for our food:

El Patio is just two blocks away from Porkchop’s place and is terrific. I had the vegetarian platter – an avocado burrito, a bean taco (or you could have a chile relleno), more beans, and a sopaipilla. Yum! The only downfall was that it didn’t come with potatoes.

After dinner, we did laundry and hung out at the apartment (there was perhaps crying).

The Last Day
We tried to act normal on Sunday and made a last grocery run for Porkchop.

But it was a sad morning. I felt like I had a load of bricks in my stomach (and it wasn’t the beans from the previous night).

The last hour was the worst. Murrrr!

And, of course, like a loser, I cried on the rental car airport shuttle. Luckily I had sunglasses on, but my chin quivered and my nose became snotty.

Anyway
Things were basically okay after I got on the airplane.

This is what we do now:

As you can see, I can keep up on what Porkchop is cooking for dinner (shells and cheese tonight) and other important things.

It makes me feel like one of us is on a space station. Except neither of us is floating around in zero gravity.

A Morning at the Markets

This morning I was slowly coming out of my slumber when I realized that today is Saturday. The Last Full Day with Porkchop for Nearly 50 Days.

My eyes flew open.

Market Going
We left the house before 9:00 this morning. Our first stop was a small farmer’s market where we purchased local honey (delicious flower honey!!), tomatoes, and plums. So many plums! The plums were grown in Los Lunas and sold to us by a couple of cowboys.

Here’s a picture of our goods:

The honey was $3.75 per bear, the tomatoes were $1 a pound, and all of those plums were only $2. What great prices! I hope the growers are actually making a bit of a profit!

The plums are SO GOOD! The best I’ve ever had. Ever. Look at them:

The farmer’s market was right by Talin Market, so we went inside to look around.

Oh my gosh, Talin puts Jay International Foods to shame! I am so envious that Porkchop is just a short bus ride away from such a great market. Talin is like 10 times bigger than JIF, quite a bit cleaner, and they have a super fantastic deli area. *SIGH* Talin also sells a crazy variety of fruit, including things like durian, which I’ve only read about. Maybe I can purchase one next time.

Anyway, this is my favorite purchase from Talin:

These rice cakes are one of my favorites things ever.

After Talin, we drove down the street to go to the weekly flea market. Besides the plants that we bought for Porkchop’s place, the only thing that caught my eye was the aguas frescas stand. It’s obviously popular…see:

I wanted to try all of the flavors, but I stuck with cantaloupe. SO FREAKING GOOD. The drink was thick with macerated cantaloupe, so it became even better as the ice melted. Yum, yum, yum.

Also, at the farmer’s market and the flea market, people were roasting green chiles. Mmmmm! The smell was wonderful. I wish I had had reason to buy a bag of roasted chiles.

Yesterday
Since we had an exciting trip to Santa Fe and Taos the day before, we slept in a bit and then did things like go to Target, play rummy, draw each other, and cry (okay, I was the only one crying. I cried enough for both of us). OH, we also went to see Superbad, which was amusing. Since it was opening day, the theatre was giving away Superbad hats and t-shirts.

The highlight of my day yesterday was picking up a chicken-rice-bean-green chile-cheese burrito from The Burrito Lady. Fantastic! And spicy! Oh my gosh, the spiciest green chiles I’ve had here. If you’re ever in ABQ, you should definitely put The Burrito Lady on your list.

The little shop proves that looks are deceiving – it’s tucked in a shabby strip mall between an auto parts store and a pet store. But the food is amazing. Also, the owner is totally awesome. She’s great. Read this review for pictures and more info on Consuelo (the owner, who again, is so great).

Tonight
I need to do some research on where we should eat tonight. I want more sopaipillas before I leave!

Random Picture
This is my favorite motel on Central (part of Route 66):

The photo doesn’t capture the craziness of the Aztec Motel. Scroll down this website for more info – turns out the motel is on the National Register of Historic Places!

High Road from Taos

After all of the excitement of our Tuesday, Wednesday started as a bit of a letdown.

We slept late…I didn’t get up and out of bed until after 10:30. And, in Albuquerque, if you haven’t taken care of errands or gone places by early afternoon, you’re screwed because the sun starts to reach out and beat you down.

After a slow start, we went to the Golden Crown Panaderia, where we picked up a loaf of green chile bread (spicy!!), a sweet potato empanada (for me), and a few cappucino biscochitos (also for me). Biscochitos are the official cookies of New Mexico…how many states have official cookies? Here’s a shot of the bakery:

Although the bakery trip was exciting, it wasn’t enough to keep our spirits up. The afternoon kind of sucked. I sat on the futon and finished a baby burp cloth (I’m making a set of 3 for a co-worker). After that, I kind of just walked around the apartment and became depressed as the sun beat down mercilessly outside and the apartment became warmer. Just as I was settling in the hot bedroom alcove, Porkchop suggested that we drive up to Santa Fe and spend the night, instead of just a day trip on Thursday.

It didn’t take much to convince me.

Thanks to Hotwire, we got a room in a little bed and breakfast located just a couple of blocks off the Plaza. Even though the bed would prove problematic later (I learned that I absolutely hate pillowtop mattresses), the place was great.

After putting our things away in our room, we went to eat at the Plaza Cafe. So good! In my opinion, the best meal of the trip so far. I had the cashew mole enchilada, which came with sopaipillas. The sopaipillas….oh my gosh, SO GOOD!!!! After the basket was set down on our table, I tore into mine before Porkchop could take a picture. So here I am chewing on one:

I only wish we had saved room for a Mexican hot chocolate and a sopaipilla sundae. Next time!

After dinner, we walked around the plaza and looked in the windows of expensive touristy places. We also sat on a bench, enjoying the cool breeze and the live music. After a little bit, we retreated to our room and settled in for a night of…CABLE TV! The Daily Show, the Colbert Report, HGTV! Jon Stewart is my favorite, and the only thing I miss about cable TV. Well, I guess I would miss all of the home buying/selling/renovating shows on HGTV, but I’ve never had that station before.

Unfortunately, the night was restless and uncomfortable for both of us and we received little sleep. So, the continental breakfast came mighty early. At breakfast, I picked up what I thought was guava juice, but of course it turned out to be grapefruit juice (ack, the horror!). Porkchop poured a glass of what looked like cranberry juice, but it tasted more like sangria.

Despite our beverage mistakes, we made it to the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum before they opened. The Norval Morrisseau exhibition was pretty neat. Here I am outside of the museum:

Our other touristy stop was the Loretto Chapel to see the crazy staircase.

We enjoyed lunch made by street vendors on the plaza and then decided to head up to Taos. On the road there, we enjoyed scenery like this:

Okay, so we actually decided to skip Taos and head directly to Arroyo Seco, about 4 miles north of Taos. What a great little town! And I do mean little. And not crowded with tourists (we might have been the only ones).

We stopped at Taos Sunflower, a yarn shop with a selection that definitely rivaled, if not outdid, my LYS. I so wanted to buy some of their handspun stuff, shown here:

But it was a little bit too crazy for me. I really couldn’t imagine making anything with it. So, instead, I bought two skeins of Malabrigo lace weight in Stonechat.

The yarn shop was across the street from Taos Cow. You know I can’t pass up locally made ice cream, so we went in for a waffle cone. I thought I might try a scoop of lavender with some chocolate, but the lavender was too flowery for me, so we shared a scoop of Holstein Sunrise instead. Yum! Strawberry ice cream (you know, with big chunks of real berries) with chunks of milk, dark, and white chocolate.

We then tried to stop and poke around Taos some, but it was just too difficult. The traffic, the tourists….ugh. We decided it was time to head back to Albuquerque.

Porkchop humored me and agreed to take the High Road (aka the Mountain Road or the King’s Road) back to Santa Fe. There was a whole section in our guidebook about this road, but the author never specifically states exactly which roads make up this “High Road.” So I had to piece it together using references to road numbers in various sections and our crappy, non-detailed map that came with the book.

It was an adventure!

The road was interesting, but long. We saw lots of pretty pretty scenery like this:

We also drove down lots of little, curvy roads that went through tiny settlements. If we were hoping to stop and buy weavings or pottery or have lunch at a little cafe, it would have been great. Unfortunately, I think Porkchop’s driving patience was wearing thin.

Anyway, we made it back to the bigger road outside of Santa Fe and then onto Albuquerque.

Being a bit burnt out on chiles and cheese and stuff like that, we ate at a little fast food Japanese place. Yay for bento boxes!

I’m not sure what we’re doing tomorrow (besides going to see Superbad), but on Saturday, we’re definitely going to the gay rodeo. Oh, yeah!

Freakout at 10,000 Feet

Today has been jampacked with activities. We arose around 7:30, picked up bagels, and headed out to Petroglyph National Monument. We walked around for about an hour and saw around 200 petroglyphs, just a fraction of the 20,000 carvings in the area. This was one of my favorite guys:

Afterwards we stopped in Old Town and looked at a bunch of tourist crap. We had a pretty good lunch at Church Street Cafe. I had a Navajo Taco, which totally exceeded my expectations. My memories of such tacos were from stopping on the road to Monument Valley and having lunch at one of the little dirt floor huts that line the road. Anyway…the fry bread that I had today was totally delicious, and there were plenty of toppings.

We stayed inside during the afternoon while the hot desert sun went scorching through the sky. Once again, Porkchop trounced me during rummy. We also cried some…well maybe a lot. To pick up our spirits, we decided to go on the Sandia Tramway.

Woo-hoo!

While Porkchop voiced fears about the ride and being on top of the mountain, I played it cool and said everything would be fine.

I really thought it would be, what with my experiences on Jungfraujoch, Mt. Pilatus, and some other mountain type places that required riding an air gondola or super steep railroad.

Well, I was wrong!

I started freaking out soon after our tram car started out. Here is a picture of Porkchop looking cool as a cucumber while I’m silently panicking:

We were REALLY HIGH above the ground. Panic, panic!

Here’s a shot of the pretty scenery that I couldn’t enjoy because I was freaking out so much:

When we FINALLY got to the top (the ride was 15 minutes), my hands had each released at least a pint of sweat.

Porkchop adjusted more quickly than I did and readily did things like lean on the guardrail and stare out from our vantage point of nearly 10,400 feet. See:

Meanwhile, Porkchop had to drag me over for this picture:

I actually said to her, “I really don’t appreciate you pulling me to the edge like this.”

Things got better once we left the area by the tram and went out on some of the trails. Since it was already so late and pretty chilly, we didn’t walk for long. But here’s a nice shot of Porkchop:

It was so nice and quiet on the trails. I forget how easily we get used to the constant noise of everyday life. It was refreshing to just hear the wind blowing through the trees and animals scurrying about.

I was, however, relieved to go down. I enjoyed being on the mountain top, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the return ride, so it was nice to get it over with.

Here are two great shots that give you an idea of the size of the mountain that we were on and how high up we were during the ride. The cable cars are a good size and hold up to 65 people (although they only load a maximum of 50):

After such a harrowing experience, we stopped for gelato on our way home. Ecco Gelato is relatively new and is super delicious. I had the chai and cinnamon flavors. Yum!

However, even though the gelato was terrific, nothing beat being back on ground level and not dangling above a mountain.

Poisoned by Thai Leftovers

Hi!

I am currently holding down the fort while Porkchop goes to get her student ID and her bus pass. Holding down the fort means that I’m waiting for a UPS driver to deliver Porkchop’s stuff. I doubt the driver will actually find the apartment since it’s hidden behind the main house…but we’ll see what happens.

I don’t mind staying in because I feel like shit. I’ve been nothing but dizzy since I first woke up. Even though I continued to sleep and drank a couple of glasses of water before getting up, the blechiness continues.

I blame the Thai leftovers, which made my stomach grumbly right after eating them last night. Or it could be the beer (Farmer’s Tan Red Ale from the NM Tractor Brewing Company) that I had while we watched Follow My Voice: With the Music of Hedwig (PS: I love John Cameron Mitchell so much). Or maybe I had too many snacks during our game of rummy, which we played while sitting out on the patio and enjoying the pleasant night (we had to go in when it became too chilly – imagine that in St. Louis!).

Or maybe I’m just exhausted from all of our shopping trips. I really really think Porkchop is set now. Except we might have to buy Scrabble.

Oh, I nearly forgot to mention lunch yesterday!

We did indeed go to the Flying Star. Here I am waiting for our food:

And here is my Vegacado. When I ordered this tofu casserole, I was under the mistaken impression that it contained avocado, even though the description doesn’t mention it. So…I was a bit pissed off when I found nary an avocado while eating it. My mistake!

Here’s Porkchop with her ginormous chicken potpie:

All in all, I wasn’t very impressed. It seems like a nice place for coffee and a pastry, but I won’t be hankering to go back for a meal.

Today
We’ll see what happens today. As Porkchop writes in her blog, our schedule today will be determined by when (or if) her UPS boxes arrive.

Bye!