Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ten things

I haven't been blogging much because I've been having a bit of a hard time, and I didn't want to get all sad/depressing on the blog, but some gentle nudging from a friend reminded me that I hadn't posted in a while, so in that spirit, I am going to do ten things!

1) Jackie moved to Baltimore! Yesterday!  And as crazy as she can be, she's also pretty funny.  You know, when she's not demanding that I cook her dinner. Plus, Earl will like having a companion during the day.

2) Good friends who make me laugh, and make me feel better, and commiserate. Also: who create awesome drinks that involve Ribena and Vodka.

3)  Went to a wedding expo with Katie and Lisa,  and it was so fun! I ... ate a lot of cake.

4) The show Covert Affairs.  It is awesome. That is all.

5) It is Wednesday, and there are only two more days of work this week, after this one is done.

5) Other people who create birthday lists!  (sidenote: I am currently in the planning stages for my 29/in the 29th list. Do you have suggestions? Hit the comments!)

6)  Emmy Party this weekend!

7) Earl has been sleeping snuggled up at my feet. The cuteness of that totally makes up for when he's bitey and bad for no reason.  (he is also crazy)

8) Disney Sing it.  It's awesome, on so many levels, but singing "A Whole New World" with Katie on Thursday was my high point of the week last week.

9) Hedwig is opening soon! Everyone go get your tickets!

10) Making positive moves forward.

What is making you happy right now?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Opening an Etsy Store?


So I've been thinking about opening an Etsy store.  And despite my fear of ending up on Regretsy, I think it could be a cool way to earn some extra bucks and get awesome crocheted-ness out into the world.

I have to do some reasearch, regarding price points, and  setup fees, and general advice for on how to get up and running, but the biggest problem I'm having right now is what name to use.  History tells us that I'm not great at naming things (see: my hermit crab named... shelly)  So I'm throwing it out there to my multitude (read: dozens)  of readers.  What do you think would be a good name for an Etsy store?  Would you buy crocheted food on Etsy?  Do you have any advice for starting up an Etsy store?

Inquiring minds want to know! Share with the class!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pasta with a side of sadness

Like everyone, I think, I associate certian foods with certian people (no? Is this just me? ...).  My sister with Chicken Picatta,  My grandmom with navy bean soup, My Auntie Ange with salmon spread (and Ange Dip), Julie with Velveeta dip, Lisa with Spedie Chicken Pizza... the list goes on.  Mostly because these are the signature things that these people make, and that for me, the very best version of them I've had is theirs.  It forms a taste memory for me, and when I try to make the dish that is "theirs"  I always seem to fall short.  It is tasty, but it's not quite the same as when they make it.  (this could possibly be because I am pretty incapable of making a dish, especially a savory one, without monkeying around with it a little).

There are dishes that remind me of people that I haven't been able to make, because it is too hard- the memory makes me too sad, and when I think about it, I get a lump in my throat, and have to think about something else.  Rye bread with butter and a cup of tea. Breaded chicken wings, apple pie. These are all things that remind me of my Nana so much that if I close my eyes, I can almost see her, walking into my parents' house, arms full of chicken wings, ready for the superbowl party.  Or sitting at her dining room table, with a steaming hot cup of tea, wating for it to cool so it doesn't scald my mouth, and eating a piece of rye bread that has an almost obscene amount of butter on it. Someday, maybe, I'll be able to make these things, but not any day soon.

I have been thinking about my Auntie Jack a lot lately. I can't believe so much time has passed since she's been gone. I miss so many things about her, her sense of humor, her kindness, and her strength.  She, like all of the women in my family, was a great cook. She made lots of great things, but most of what sticks in my head is her orzo salad, her caramel brownies, and her breaded tomato pasta.  Her tomato pasta may have in fact come from her Italian husband Ralph, but I always associate it with her. (Just like I associate donuts from a bakery in North Jersey with Ralph)

My friend Lesley came to visit from Frostburg last night, and when I was thinking about what to make, I surveyed my cabinets, and I had all the ingredients for the breaded tomato pasta.  I didn't have a recipe to go from, but I stumbled my way through it, breading the tomatoes with panko breadcrumbs, sauteeing them in the pan, and setting the angel hair pasta to boil.   I mixed the pasta in with the tomatoes, and served it with salad and bread.  It wasn't as good as hers (I didn't think it would be) but it reminded me of her, and it was pretty decent.

Someday I'll try to attempt her caramel brownies.

Auntie Jack's Breaded Tomato Pasta

4 tomatoes, (on the smaller side) Sliced
2 cloves of garlic
A cup and a half of italian style panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup shredded parmesano reggiano
1 egg
1tbsp milk
Olive oil for the pan
1/2 package angel hair pasta

Procedure: Put water for pasta on to boil.

Take sliced tomatoes, and lay out on paper towels to dry Pat dry.  mix egg and milk, put in a bowl.  mix cheese and breadcrumbs and salt and pepper, and put in seperate bowl. dip tomato slices in egg and breadcrumbs.  Dice garlic, heat up skillet with oil.  put garlic in pan, then  slices of tomato in (do not overcrowd pan, do in two batches if not enough room).   when tomatoes are done, set aside on plate.

Drain pasta, and toss with tomatoes and a little olive oil. I put a little extra grated cheese on here too.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I Have a Literary Crush

I had another post that was rarin' to go today, about caffeine addiciton, that I had already started, but when I  was perusing my twitter, saw John Green Tweeted a link to his blog, and said that he was answering questions all day today.  And as I read, I knew I was abandoning my coffee soaked screed about the wonder of what happens when you mix ice and coffee and milk and sugar and apply liberally to your central nervous system, to talk about John Green

Whenever I read things John Green has written, something stops me in my tracks.  The same goes with a lot of his Vlogbrothers videos.  He has such an elegant way of  phrasing things, and putting together ideas, that a lot of the time, I just stop and marvel at the craft and beauty of his writing and ideas.   Not only in his books, which are uniformly great, but even in things like blog posts, and the one linked above today especially.  I was reading, and he was answering a question about symbolism in books, and he said  "Reading critically and nonliterally is a huge part of being a person: It is through metaphor and symbolism that we enter into the life of someone else, and begin to ask their big questions as if they were our own."
YES.   Wholeheartedly yes. The point of reading, and good writing, is that it forces you to think about your life in a new way and to ask the big questions.  This is what I'm thinking when I read the books that have changed my life.  This is what I'm doing when I try to write (and largely fail).

He also writes a lot about imagining people complexly, which is something that I am constantly trying to do. No person is all anything, and interactions that you have with others are also a reflection on who you are as much as who they are.

His writing also makes my heart ache with jealously, because I don't have a tenth of the talent that he does, but I'm going to keep trying, because I'm not going to get any better if I don't write.

He also has one of my favorite pieces of advice given ever to a young girl who asked about if she should play dumb because the boy that she liked thought that she was too smart:

"The venn diagram of boys who don’t like smart girls and boys you don’t wanna date is a circle."

and now some John Green quotes that make me happy:

"What is the point of being alive if you don't at least try to do something remarkable?"
— John Green (An Abundance of Katherines)

"Talking to a drunk person was like talking to an extremely happy, severely brain-damaged three-year-old."
— John Green (Paper Towns)

"I don't like reindeer. They seem like regular deer, only more dangerous."
— John Green

"But I lacked the courage and she had a boyfriend and I was gawky and she was gorgeous and I was hopelessly boring and she was endlessly fascinating. So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane."
— John Green (Looking for Alaska)

"Thomas Edison’s last words were: ‘It’s very beautiful over there.’ I don’t know where there is, but I believe it’s somewhere, and I hope it’s beautiful."
— John Green (Looking for Alaska)

"Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present."
— John Green (Looking for Alaska)

"That's who you really like. The people you can think out loud in front of."
— John Green (An Abundance of Katherines)

"As long as we don't die, this gonna be on hell of a story."
— John Green (Paper Towns)

"You like someone who can't like you back because unrequited love can be survived in a way that once-requited love cannot."
— John Green (Will Grayson, Will Grayson)

"I feel like my life is so scattered right now. Like it's all the small pieces of paper and someone's turned on the fan. But, talking to you makes me feel like the fan's been turned off for a little bit. Like things could actually make sense. You completely unscatter me, and I appreciate that so much."
— John Green (Will Grayson, Will Grayson)

Monday, August 2, 2010


1) Doing 750words  for the month of August (and competing with Julie)

2) Lilith Fair tomorrow!

3) Tim and Val's Day of Fun and Baking on Wednesday!

4) FINALLY beating my sister's ski jump score on wii fit.  (I know this means she will camp out at my apartment until she beats my score, but it was AWESOME.)

5) Seeing my tiny cousin this weekend

6) Picking out restaurant week choices, and drooling over the menus

7) Hanging out with friends on Sunday, and watching them hilariously try to do the wii fit. ("AROUND THE WORLD"  my arms are sore from the flapping though.

8) my Iced coffee solution I re-jiggered at work. (Hitting the Strong  button along with the espresso button. what? are those my eyeballs vibrating?)

9) The Tv Show White Collar. it's funny and interesting, and I may be a little bit obsessed with it.

10) Speaking of obsession, I am now obsessed with origami.  officially.