Monthly Archives: September 2007

Elephant Feet

This weekend has been a mixed bag…Saturday seemed like a waste of a day while today has been pretty great.

I got up kind of late Saturday morning (9:30) and leisurely gathered myself for the farmers market. The market is now pretty small with just a handful of vendors, but my favorites were still there. I picked up some tomatoes (still tasty!), apples, a sweet potato, whole wheat flour, an apple-oat scone, and a rosemary-goat cheese quiche.

Originally, I intended to go to another free yoga class after the market, but that fell through because I thought the class started at noon instead of the correct time of 11:00. Luckily, I checked the time before going to the studio and embarrassing myself. So, it was just me and my DVD instructor on Saturday. Murrrr.

The rest of the day was filled with household tidying, grocery shopping, and picking up a print that I got framed for my workplace. Even though I was able to do some knitting Saturday night, the day just felt blah and wasted.

Luckily, today has been different. I got out of bed a little after 8:30 and started making cookies around 9:00. The cookie dough looked nice and fall-like (now if only the stupid weather here would cooperate and stop being in the 80s):

The cookies use whole wheat flour, dried apricots, cranberries, walnuts, and dark chocolate chips (along with things like sugar, orange juice, vanilla, and so forth). The finished product is quite tasty:

Yum!

My Trip to the County
After video chatting with Porkchop (we both had bedhead and pajamas on), cleaning up, and having a bit of lunch, I drove out to the South County mall.

You might be asking why?

Because Porkchop saw some polka dotted slip-on Vans in Albquerque that she liked, and they had them on sale at a shoe store in the South County mall. That’s why.

I picked up these little shoes for myself (also on sale):

I wish I could buy all of the designs that Eleanor Grosch has done for Keds. My favorites are the owls and swallows. I had a hard time deciding between the elephants and the parrots today; the elephants won because they fit better.

After talking to Porkchop some more, I made a tuna noodle casserole for dinner. The casserole is a bit of an upscale take on tuna with red bell peppers and artichokes. I also had a super-terrific salad of mixed baby greens, chopped apple, cranberries, walnuts, goat cheese, and raspberry vinaigrette.

Now I’m going to listen to some internet radio shows and knit. Also maybe call some people.

This Week
Even though I know work this week will suck AGAIN with its crazy busy-ness, it will be a great week because I leave for Albuquerque early Thursday morning.

YAYAYAYAYAYYAYAY!

Have a great Monday!

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Salvage for Victory

I’ve been half-watching Ken Burns’s documentary about World War II. Right now, people are talking about the recycling and conservation efforts during WWII. Wouldn’t it be nice if the government still sponsored messages like, “Buy only what you need,” “Salvage what you can,” and “Recycle what you have”?

On a different note…

I just returned from a terrific yoga class at South Town Yoga. The 90 minutes flew by and the instructor was totally great. Since the studio is offering free classes during its first month, I will be returning this weekend. I would buy a month membership, but I don’t think it would be worth it monetarily, so I’ll do a drop-in class every couple of weeks instead.

This is proving to be quite a busy week! Work is crazy, I went to yoga tonight, and tomorrow is my knitting class.

Oh, yes, I never mentioned this knitting class.

A couple of weeks ago, I went out for a decaf coffee drink and some knitting, and I stumbled upon a knitting group! Of people my age who are really nice! I quickly agreed to take a knitting class with them at the Nottingham continuing education center. While I haven’t had a burning question to ask the instructor yet, I like having scheduled knitting time during the week.

Also, one of the women in the group was one of my classmates during the Missouri Scholars Academy. So, I already knew someone in the group. Kind of, that is…if you count someone you knew for 3 weeks when you were 15.

So, anyway, that’s it! Have a great Wednesday!

A Pocket Full of Mumbles

Today has been an incredibly irritating day, but I shall not talk about that. Instead, I’ll talk about knitting and cotton.

The Knitting
I made a trip down to Jonesboro this weekend to see my parents, and I did quite a bit of knitting.

First, I finished the second repeat of chart 1 for the Icarus shawl. It doesn’t look like I have much done yet, eh?

It’s no where near the widest point yet, but each row takes a good bit of time already. I look forward to the more interesting parts…I have to plug along through 3 more chart 1 repeats first. *sigh*

Also, remember this guy?

It’s the second sock from the pair of Jaywalkers I started in March! I stopped knitting the second sock during my knitting slump this summer. I didn’t *want* to pick up stitches for the heel gusset and it was so hot out!

So, I picked up those stitches down in Jonesboro and made a good amount of progress. I also snapped one of the needles while doing a double decrease.

I am so strong, eh?

If I knit another pair of socks, I’ll definitely switch to metal needles.

The Cotton
My trip back to St. Louis yesterday was BORING, so BORING. I listened to the greatest hits of Simon & Garfunkle about 3 times until I finally picked up the St. Louis NPR station in time for most of This American Life.

Anyway, part of the leg between Jonesboro and Kennett was full of picture taking (thanks to Porkchop who reminded me that my phone has a really decent camera in it).

It’s cotton-picking time in the Bootheel! I took these photos for Porkchop, who has never seen this process (maybe you haven’t either).

Here’s what a cotton field looks like before it’s picked:

Pretty!

I couldn’t get a good picture of the combines (pronounced COM-bine), but look here for a good picture (fun fact: combines cost nearly a quarter of a million dollars!).

Then, machines like this are used:

I don’t know what the implement on the left is for, but the one on the right is the baler. It makes bales like these:

Actually, I like to call these things loaves because they remind me of giant loaves of bread. Later, a giant truck will come along and pick up the bales.

When I was growing up, cotton was transported to gins in big iron mesh trailers. The cotton was loose instead of packed down, so cotton flew everywhere. Also, a friend’s dad inevitably was a cotton farmer, so you usually got to play in a trailer half full of cotton. Fun!

The End
That’s my trip report.

Now I’m irritated from work, suffering from sinus drainage and a sore throat, and bleeding.

Things could be better.

A Too Short Weekend

Today has been a weird day.

I got up super early to take Porkchop, her friend, and her friend’s boyfriend to the airport for an 8:00 flight. Murrrr.

Murrrrr for Porkchop leaving and for getting up so early and not having much sleep anyway because my stomach was angry. I felt so not-so-hot, I ended up calling in sick to work, returning to bed after I got home, and sleeping for a few more hours.

Why my Stomach Hurts
Sunday was a really weird food day.

At my insistence, Porkchop and I had brunch at La Dolce Via.

Here’s Porkchop looking very cute with her biscuits and gravy:

Here’s my golden beet and white cheddar scramble and potatoes:

We also shared a raspberry scone. While we were finishing up, Porkchop’s printing partner came in with a group of friends. When Porkchop started yelling at this group of early-20-somethings wearing skinny jeans, I couldn’t fathom how she knew any of them. Then I realized what was going on.

A few hours after brunch, Porkchop’s parents picked us up and we went for a late lunch. For some reason, Porkchop’s mom LOVES the Old Spaghetti Factory in Laclede’s Landing, so that’s where we went. To date, I have been to OSF with Porkchop’s parents 3 or 4 times.

After eating, Porkchop’s dad took us on an unexpected tour of construction projects that he has worked on. We were all over…North St. Louis, Central West End, and the Loop. At the Loop, we went to Ben & Jerry’s and had an enormous amount of ice cream.

Oh, my stomach.

After finally returning home, not much time passed until Porkchop’s printing partner called and asked if we wanted to meet up at Bailey’s Chocolate Bar. Not being able to have any more dessert, I stuck to a glass of Reisling.

After returning home again, Porkchop had to finish printing an image from my laptop. I finally had to turn in at 11:00; Porkchop had to stay up much later. Of course, I couldn’t get to sleep forever and I kept waking up with stomach uneasiness. 5:30 came awfully early.

I’m glad Porkchop doesn’t hate me for getting to sleep more.

Saturday was a Good Day
Saturday morning, I rushed around the house cleaning and baking almond-orange shortbread in preparation of Porkchop’s visit.

Picking up Porkchop was strange. I had gotten used to Porkchop being just a voice and a video on my computer, so seeing her in the flesh was weird for the first 15 minutes.

After the airport, we went to ArtMart for paper, St. Louis Bread Co. for a quick bite to eat, and then we went to the salon for Porkchop’s hair cut. That night, we had a leisure dinner at Bahn Mi So 1.

Even though Saturday was a short day, I enjoyed hanging out and doing regular things with Porkchop.

Knitting Note
I just finished the first Chart 1 repeat on the Icarus shawl.

I have much more to knit, but I’m quite happy with it so far. I’ve only had one major mess-up from not paying attention, but even it is not so bad.

Food Note
After not eating much today (a banana, half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and an orange), I had a good dinner, even though everything was store-bought. At Local Harvest, I picked up Amy’s tomato soup, Goatsbeard Farm cheese, and olive tortilla chips…a great combination.

Anyway…all from me. Have a great night!

Hating my Night

After riding the train to the Grand stop and preparing to board the bus, I realized that I had left my wallet in my office.

No wallet = no Metro pass = no bus ride

While people crowded past me to board the bus, I relived the moment during which I hurriedly tossed my wallet in my top desk drawer as I dashed upstairs on a bagel run with my office-mate.

Crap, crap, crap.

I had to take the train back to school, sweating bullets at the thought of being accosted and kicked off the train during a random pass check. Fortunately, I made it to the Skinker stop without a problem. Then I just had to trek to my office and back (a 15-minute roundtrip walk) and wait 15 minutes for a train.

Then I had to wait for a bus. I finally got home after stopping for take out at Bahn Mi So #1.

Dinner was good; the talipia spring rolls were especially tasty.

Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse when, while collecting dirty laundry to wash, I realized that there were no less than a dozen mosquitoes in the bedroom.

What the fuck?!

Why can’t I catch a break tonight? Jesus.

I don’t know where the hell mosquitoes are coming from. All the windows are closed now (even though I never had a bedroom one open to being with), and I’m sitting guard, ready to smash more mosquitoes.

The good news…I haven’t seen a roach since Tuesday morning. Of course, I imagine that this will the night when a whole herd invades my kitchen.

Wonderful

*sigh*

It’s Not Unusual..

I had a strange and amusing (to me, anyway) dream last night, which I will now share with you. Because I know you're interested in what fills my head at night.
 
The gist of my dream was that Barry White's fan club headquarters was up for sale. Barry's HQ was a sweet brick bungalow with a huge patio and backyard area. My brother (who was nothing at all like my real brother) put in a call about the place because he was shopping around for a house.
 
To show your true interest in the house, you had to sing some Barry White songs to the fan club manager. I joined my brother in this audition, and the product wasn't so great. The fan club manager was not impressed, so my brother didn't have much of a chance to buy the house.
 
While lamenting this fact to my brother and saying how much we sucked while singing, my brother had a different take on it. He said, "It wasn't the singing so much, it's more of a personal difference. The fan club manager just doesn't understand people who wouldn't blow a lotto jackpot on eclairs." In my dream, I thought to myself, "That's a really good line. I've gotta use that on my blog."
 
So there you have it.
 
Later, I woke up and had Tom Jones's "It's Not Unusual" playing in my head.
 
P.S. In the dream, the HQ was being sold along with the fan club website URL, which was www.someprettygood.com. This address doesn't exist in real life.

Blech and More Blech

Just a few minutes ago, a professor had to talk to me about some accounting forms that need to be submitted.
 
The prof was chomping on some leftover pizza, so I maintained a distance that would allow me to breathe non-pizza air.
 
The prof stepped closer, eating and talking with a mouth full of fragrant (in a bad way) pizza.
 
I stepped back, the prof stepped closer, and so the dance continued.
 
The worse part…the prof's jaw or teeth kept clicking while she chewed.
 
I am so grossed out.

Things for You to Consider

1. I’ve never knit lace stuff.

2. I don’t wear shawls.

3. I don’t have any lace needles.

4. I don’t have a blocking boad or wires or pins. Heck, I rarely ever block things (shhhhh.).

5. I rarely knit from a chart.

6. I have 3 easy projects that I can’t seem to finish.

7. I just bought the Icarus pattern.

8. I’m leaving to buy Addi lace needles.

9. I’m hungry.

What I’ve Been Doing

Hello!

I’m currently sitting at La Dolce Via and enjoying a decaf latte and a nectarine scone. I’m wishing I wasn’t being so budget conscious this week and felt fine splurging on one of their scrambles (salmon/spinach/mozzarella or beet/lump crab/parmegiano) or their omelette (asparagus/roasted portabello/gruyere). Next Sunday, I will suggest (nay, insist!), that Porkchop and I come here for brunch.

YES! You read that correctly!

Porkchop will be here next weekend for a 42-hour visit (arriving Saturday afternoon and leaving early Monday morning).

Porkchop decided to come next weekend – even though I will be there the first weekend in October – because she doesn’t know when else she’ll be able to make it. Even though she is busy printing now, she will be even busier later in the fall. Additionally, her printing partner is coming to St. Louis next weekend to visit a friend. Since Porkchop can’t print without her partner, she might as well come here too!

Last Week
Work is busy busy busy. We have a big meeting in October and a conference in November. I’m starting to feel a bit overwhelmed.

However, I’m learning new things. Like how to use one of our school’s .asp scripts to create an on-line conference registration database for participants.

In addition to the meeting and conference, our school is also rolling out a new CRM system and a new publications database. This will mean a lot of data scrubbing, training, dealing with bugginess, and getting people used to the new systems.

Blah, blah, blah.

In conclusion, I find myself rarely checking my personal email at work, looking at other people’s blogs, or doing other web trolling. I realize this is probably a good thing, but I usually don’t feel like getting on the computer when I’m at home….so I find myself dreadfully behind on things. Anyway, it’s my same old song.

Some Good Things
After work on Friday, I stopped at Wei Hong for take-out. I left with a huge serving of ma-po tofu (spicy!), a BBQ pork bun, a red bean cake, and a lotus cake. While waiting for my tofu, I studied the roasted ducks hanging in the meat case.

The tofu was yummy – very fresh and not heavy at all. I’ve had it twice so far, and there’s enough left for two more servings. The red bean and lotus cakes were also tasty – I definitely prefer the red bean, but that is no surprise. The cakes are a bargain for less than a dollar each. Wei Hong also has home made moon cakes, but I’m not a big fan of moon cakes. I didn’t enjoy the pork bun so much, but I’d never had one before so I have nothing for comparison.

Saturday morning, I went to the Tower Grove farmers market. There were fewer booths than usual; I don’t know if fewer vendors show up once September hits, or if it was the drizzly weather. There was still a decent selection available. Here’s what I bought:

Mocha macaroon, tomato-basil quiche, apples, a red pepper, tomatoes, a butternut squash.

The tomatoes were quite tasty. However, I have to accept that the end of good tomatoes is drawing near. Murrrr!!!

But, the quiche…..the quiche is out of this world! Definitely the best quiche I’ve ever had, and one of the best things I’ve eaten in a while. The quiche is by the same people who make the mocha macaroons. AND, I finally looked up who these people are…. 4 Seasons Baked Goods and Catering! Yum!

Eating the quiche and a tomato was the highlight of my Saturday. I pretty much worked, worked, worked the rest of the time. I did things like clear out my dead tomato and basil plants, laundry, roach eradication (every so often, I find a gigantic roach in the kitchen….I can no longer tolerate this, so I’m taking action to prevent this), cleaning a mini-blind (the dirtiest mini-blind in the apartment – I didn’t clean it with the others over the summer because I wasn’t up to the challenge – it took my around 45 minutes! gross!), grocery shopping, and exercise.

I also read a book, What You Have Left. It was a good book, but not one I wanted to read over multiple days. So, I plowed through it in a few hours.

Friday night, I finished reading Nights in the Asylum by Carol Lefevre. I thought this book was so much better than what many of the reviewers think. I loved reading it and was sad to come to the end.

Speaking of reading, on the way to Chicago, I finished Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood by Jennifer Traig. The whole time I read the book, I kept wishing it was better. I guess I had higher hopes for a book dealing with adolescent OCD and anorexia.

But, the suckiest book I’ve read recently is Bad Monkeys by Matt Ruff. The author takes a cheap, easy way out at the end, which made me want to throw the book across the room.

A Food Meme
Before going to Chicago, I was tagged for a food meme by Deborah of Ephemeral Chaos. I drafted mine earlier in the week, but never posted it…so here it is! Finally!

Favorite Gourmet Item: Triple cream cheese

Favorite Snack at Home: Morningstar Breakfast Strips

Favorite Fastfood item: Sonic’s cheddar peppers with buttermilk ranch dressing. Can you beat peppers stuffed with cheddar cheese that are then fried and dipped in dressing? I think not.

Favorite Food When Driving: Jerquee

Favorite Food With a Beer (or other libation – please specify): Brownies with a stout beer

Favorite Food for Invoking Romantic Intentions: For me, dark chocolate truffles (of the artisan variety, not something from a grocery store). For someone else, perhaps chewy Sprees.

Least Favorite Food: Beef…anything with beef.

Food that Conjures a Childhood Memory: Spaghetti. My mom used to work magic with tomato sauce. Everyone was happy on spaghetti nights.

Food that Conjures a Sad Memory: Sweet potatoes and honey-nut Cheerios. In high school, I once became terribly sick and discovered that my breakfast (honey-nut Cheerios) and lunch (baked sweet potatoes) were a disgusting combination when going in reverse. It took me a good 5 years to eat another sweet potato.

Food that Conjures a Happy Memory: This could be an impossibly long list! I’m going to perhaps shock some people and say Velveeta shells and cheese because we usually make that when we go camping, and I love camping (even if we haven’t gone out in ages).

Who am I tagging?? You! If you are reading this and want to do a food meme, do it! Let this blogger know if you do.

In closing, I’ll leave you with this picture of my favorite candy from Mitsuwa:

You Know It’s a Good Day…

…when you step in dog poop on your way to work.
 
*Grumble, grumble, grumble*