Monthly Archives: November 2007

Maybe Don’t Say That

A project manager and I had lunch with our visiting Indonesian professor, who leaves today.
 
While eating, he announced that he had just learned a new phrase to take back with him. We asked what it was, and he replied, "Holy shit!"
 
I laughed while the project manager (who is from China) gasped and said, "Oh no, don't say that! That's very bad!"
 
I suggested that he use "oh my goodness!" instead. So, we practiced how to say it a few different ways.
 
I'm pretty sure that the professor will still take back "holy shit" because, you know, it's so much funner to say.

That’s what Happens at 6:15 am

I left my lunch at home today. That’s the sort of day it was.

Porkchop and I left early early early to get her to the airport for a 7:45 flight.

Murrrr. Murrrr because it was so early, but also because Porkchop was leaving.

We had a pretty full Thanksgiving break with hardly a spare moment…

Tuesday
Porkchop flew into St. Louis in the afternoon for a much anticipated haircut. We met up at the CWE metro stop and proceeded home. Porkchop rode the bus with me, and it was appropriately crazy.

After dinner at Stellina’s Pasta Cafe, we made pistachio-chocolate-orange biscotti (see this post for the recipe) to take to my parents.

Wednesday
We left St. Louis around 11:30 and rolled into Jonesboro around 3:30. Straight away, Porkchop and I started preparing for Thanksgiving dinner, which leads to…

Thursday
Here is the menu I planned for Thanksgiving. Porkchop and I made all of these dishes:

  • Herb turkey with apple-raisin stuffing
  • Squash-apple cheddar gratin (see here for the recipe from Beth)
  • Buttermilk mashed potatoes
  • Roasted brussel sprouts with thyme
  • Cranberry-ginger relish (YUM!)
  • Cranberry-apple-almond salad

My family added the following:

  • Fruit salad
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Apple pie
  • Whipped cream

And our neighbors from Kennett contributed these items:

  • traditional green bean-french onion casserole
  • the best pecan-chocolate chip pie ever

It was a lot of work, but good times and food were had. Here are some pictures….

My mom and I working on getting the neck out of the turkey:


Porkchop stuffing herbs under the turkey’s skin:


My dad and I working some more on the turkey:


Fun! Porkchop and I stayed at my parents until late Friday afternoon.

Saturday
We started the weekend with a leisurely breakfast at the Bread Co. Later that morning, we went to Suzi’s for Thanksgiving II.

More food. *so full*

Porkchop and I hung out at our apartment that afternoon, and then it was time to watch the Mizzou-KU football game.

Yay.

Porkchop had been talking nearly non-stop about the game since a couple of weeks ago, and she decided we should go to St. Louis’s #1 sports bar to watch the game.

We arrived at the Sports Zone around 6:30, and my head nearly exploded.

Obviously, people had been drinking and waiting for the game since at least 3:00. The place was PACKED.

I hated every single person as we pushed our way around the bar a few times, looking for a couple of empty inches. The atmosphere was incredibly horrible, and all the guys reminded me of assholes who would verbally harass me during undergrad.

If Porkchop had wanted to stay, I was going to leave and pick her up later. Fortunately, she didn’t like it either. So, we ended up watching the game in comfort at Suzi’s.

Mizzou won, which made Porkchop feel relieved. Maybe she was happy, but she wasn’t showing much excitement.

Sunday
We started with a great brunch at La Dolce Via. Porkchop had the Italian sandwich and beef & barley soup, while I went with the duck and gruyere egg scramble with potatoes. Yum.

After we finished the crossword puzzle, we stopped at the Craft Alliance’s annual sale. Porkchop found a little bowl, but nothing really sparked my interest.

However, our next stop did.

Jilly’s Cupcake Bar! Yum! And, overwhelming with cupcakes!

Here’s Porkchop with her vanilla-vanilla-vanilla cupcake (officially called Missy-licious) (note the Mizzou sweatshirt…one of three Mizzou garments Porkchop rotated over the holiday):


I had a Ja-Love cupcake…vanilla with a ginger key lime curd filling. This is me, all sugared up and ready to go:


After cupcakes, we participated in some post-Thanksgiving consumerism at the mall and a couple of other stores.

And Now
Back to being Porkchop-less and tired.

Time to count down the days until December 14.

Also, I made this banana bread recipe again. This time I added chocolate chips instead of walnuts. Seriously, this is the best banana bread recipe ever.

Sunday Night Blah

I hate Sunday nights. Even though I like my job, I still don’t enjoy re-entering the work week.

*Sigh*

Fortunately, I was pretty productive today, so I don’t feel like Sunday was wasted.

After yoga and talking to Porkchop this morning, I went to La Dolce Via for coffee and a scone. Since it was packed today, I sat with an LDV employee studying for a sommelier exam. Crazy! I can’t imagine being able to identify a wine’s origin and year.

Since my table-mate also works at the Wine Merchant in Clayton, by the time I left, I was convinced that I should take one of their wine classes sometime…maybe one that’s about pairing wine with chocolate or cheese.

I really know nothing about wine. I know a few white wines that I enjoy, but beyond that….nothing. I picked up a Syrah for Thanksgiving based upon the label artwork. Nice. Does Syrah even complement turkey? I have no idea.

So, also today, I knitted on my Interlocking Balloons scarf. Here it is this morning:

I now have about ten more rows done.

I’ve also been working on my Icarus shawl again. Just started the fifth repeat of Chart 1. *sigh* Someday.

After knitting and doing some straightening at home, I started making truffles with apricots, walnuts, and cranberries. Right now the mixture is chilling, and I plan to form the truffles tomorrow night. If I like the end result, I’ll post the directions.

Saturday
This was the day of food shopping.

I had to pick up things like cheese and wine to take to my parents for Thanksgiving. Jonesboro doesn’t have much of a cheese selection. And, it’s in a dry county.

Saturday night was Persepolis, which was shown at the Plaza Frontenac. The movie was pretty great, even if it started to drag a little 2/3 of the way through. I’ll say no more, as you should see it for yourself.

However, I will say that the Plaza Frontenac freaks me out. It’s so white and richy-rich. I was glad to return to Grand and its semi-shabby buildings, Afghan restaurant, and African grocery store that sells bedsheets and Halal meats.

Anyway…blah, blah, blah.

Ravelry is Funner than Work

Hi!

Guess what I’ve been up to?

Yes! Setting up my Ravelry profile. It takes a lot of time, but it’s really fun. I’m about to enter all of my needle and hook information. So much fun! OCD! Fun!

Work has been a bit strange lately…the post-conference week is always a bit strange. Kind of like post-holidays.

Not that I’m not busy at work! We just sent a book out the door to the publishers. I feel a bit bad because, although I’m thanked in the acknowledgements, I didn’t really do anything because I was busy with the conference.

This is the second book in which I’m thanked. The other one is this one, for which I really did work my ass off.

I like being thanked in books.

And, with that, I’m off to Ravelry!

Sometimes I Receive Amusing Work Emails

Like this one…
 
"Can you fix this ppt so I can work on it?  The current version has gigantic disease, cannot see all of text on screen.  Please give it the cure."
 
Of course, I was let down to find that I only needed to change the zoom setting.

Random Things

First of all, this is what I had for dinner tonight:

Masaman curry with potatoes and chicken over brown rice. My friend CJ pointed me in the direction of masaman curry paste (or slurry) for easy meal preparation. Yum yum yum! My next curry will use tofu, potatoes, and apples.

Along the food route, here’s a shot from Friday night of acorn squash bisque and the beginning of my interlocking balloons scarf:


The bisque is super yummy and super easy. Here’s what you do…

  1. Microwave 2 acorn squash for 10-15 minutes each, until you can easily pierce the skin with a knife.
  2. Split the squash, seed them, and scoop out the squash into a bowl.
  3. Saute an onion (diced) in a tablespoon of butter, season with pepper. Saute until the onion is tender.
  4. Add the squash, a 14.5 oz can of chicken or veggie broth, 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1/2 tsp fresh) and boil until the squash is tender (about 15 minutes).
  5. Puree the mixture until smooth.
  6. Add 1/2 cup half-and-half and season with pepper.

The interlocking balloons pattern is another story. I think it will be better once I work through a whole repeat.

Other knitting….I finished an adult-sized Utopia hat last week:


It’s still a little tight and a little short. I don’t know what the deal is.

I also don’t know what’s up with this:


Why is the quad a construction zone?

Fortunately, the south side of the quad is still pristine. Here’s Swallow Hall…where I spent many a long hour doing anthropology stuff:


All for now!

Live from CoMo!

Hi!

I’m in Columbia!

Yesterday, while driving home from work early (3:30 because we had just wrapped up a 2-day conference), I decided to take a trip to Columbia. I’ve been going a bit crazy in St. Louis and needed to take a break from my routines….so here I am.

I’ll have to post pictures later, but here’s a quick summary….

2:00
Arrived in Columbia and went directly to Main Squeeze for lunch. Their Tempeh Ruby (vegetarian reuben) and Ring of Fire (beet, orange, carrot, ginger juice) were as yummy as always.

2:45ish
After eating, I walked around 9th street a bit and stopped into a new-to-me store, Spare Parts Gallery. In addition to browsing goods made by local people, I ran into some familiar faces, Becky and Debbie, who are good friends with my friends Katie and Beth. So, I now have an invitation to Debbie’s birthday dinner tonight at Flat Branch. My social life in Columbia is already busier than that in St. Louis.

I also stopped at Uprise Bakery and was totally overwhelmed by the selection. Since I realized that I needed to pace myself food-wise, I skipped their unbelievably yummy potato knishes and bought two little dark chocolate-black pepper shortbread cookies. Yum! Very happy with the choice.

3:00
Supposedly, Mizzou has been having a fantastic football season this year, which is killing Porkchop because she is so far away. At her request, I walked down to the university bookstore and picked out a MIZ-ZOU shirt for her. During my walk there, I was asked for directions to Harpo’s…gag! Also, I found the quad to be a construction zone…maybe a couple of the buildings caught fire? More research is needed on my part.

In addition to loads of t-shirts, the bookstore also had a table packed full of zines! Yay! The zine table and their first annual zine fest (coming in Spring 2008) is organized by a woman who started working at the bookstore when I worked there. So, I picked up a few zines….not just because I wanted to support a former co-worker, but also because they had some of my favorite zines! Such as…

  • Slave to the Needles. The best and cutest rock n roll knitting zine ever! The writer lives in Madison via Seattle, and I got to meet her at a zine fest in Madison.
  • Doris. My favorite zine – the only one I seek out to buy regularly. I have the anthology…I really should just subscribe to it.
  • The F-Word: A Feminist Handbook for the Revolution. This is the second issue; I never saw the first one.
  • Tenacious: Art and Writing from Women in Prison. The 12th issue; never saw the previous ones.
  • Also, I bought a 2008 Slingshot organizer. My favorite thing about these organizers…the menstrual calendar!

4:00
I went to Hillcreek Yarn Shoppe. It’s a nice shop, but they didn’t have any of the yarn that I was looking for (actually, the employee had never heard of Blue Sky yarn).

On the way to the shop, I drove by my old apartment on North 9th Street – looks the owner is still doing absolutely no maintenance to the house. So, after browsing the shop, I drove in the direction of downtown and then decided to check out another place where I used to live – a duplex at Rock Quarry and Nifong.

For about 10 minutes, I started to believe that the whole development had been torn down and Rock Quarry shortened, but then I remembered the whole “Grindstone Parkway” business. Geez! How does a big 4-lane road pop up out of nowhere complete with big box stores and restaurants on it?? It blew my mind. I had to turn around at the top of Rock Quarry and drive back down it to make sure that my old duplex was still there.

It was.

Fortunately, I love driving on Rock Quarry! It was an explosion of reds and oranges and yellows and greens. So pretty! I wished so much that Porkchop could be in the car with me instead of in New Mexico.

Murr.

5:00
After weighing my selection of coffee shops downtown, I decided on Kaldi’s. Yes – the St. Louis company is now in Columbia. Since Kaldi’s coffee is everywhere in STL, I didn’t want to come here. But, it looks like Lakota is still being jerky (luckily, I rarely paid more than $1 for anything there when I was college thanks to generous discounts given to me by the staff – my roommate worked there for 3 years), and I never feel comfortable at the Artisan. Anyway, so here I am. Reading and writing and knitting.

What about Shakespeare’s?
Yeah, I don’t think I’ll get any pizza on this trip. It’s still slammed because of the football game, and I might have dinner at Flat Branch.

Next time! Also, next time I hope to be able to connect with my friend Jean!

Yay! Columbia!

YAY YAY YAY

I thought I would have to wait until January to see Persepolis, but it will be here on November 17 as part of the St. Louis film festival. YAY!
 
Also, Juno plays on November 14!
 
I should buy my tickets this weekend!
 
There are many other films I want to see, but at $10 a pop….or $8 if people believe my Iowa student ID…still a lot of cash for me.

Bus Number 70 Rules Again

I love seeing the ladies riding the bus and reading about same-sex marriage laws while drinking tallboys hidden in a paper bag from a pharmacy.

Yeah.

Bus number 70.

**********

What made my evening commute more bizarre….accepting a peppermint from a guy on the train wearing a huge gauze bandage on his face and bloody jeans and shirt. He hurt himself 15 minutes before his work shift was up.

I hesitated in accepting the peppermint, but I noticed that it was my favorite kind….those soft peppermints that melt in your mouth.

**********

I have my second physical therapy appointment tomorrow morning before work. I’m excited to announce that the pain in my ass is gone gone gone! Miracles!

Actually, my therapist showed me how to self correct my pelvic rotation. Awesomeness.

Pleasant Dreams

Last night, I dreamt about gay cowboys. Actually, I was one of the gay cowboys.
 
Maybe this will be a good week after all.