Monday, July 18, 2011

There is life outside my apartment

I work ten hour days.  Five of them, every week, at what is at times, a fairly physical job. Once I got over the initial time of just sleeping when I wasn't at work (which was about two months, give or take) I began to emerge and start living life outside my apartment again. When before I couldn't imagine doing anything after my workday, now I can take some time and hang out. (Unless I have to be in the next day at 3am)

This weekend, I was able to do two awesome things: a picnic with my sister and cousin at Druid Hill Park, which was wonderful and relaxing.  We ate, and laid on the grass and talked about lots of things, did a lot of "would you rather" questions, and generally had a good time. 

Then, on Sunday, I made plans to meet Jackie in Fell's Point to get gelato, (note: this is one of my favorite things to do ever)  I left work at three, ran some errands, grabbed dinner at Five Guys, and still had an hour before I was supposed to meet her.  I (miraculously) found parking in Fell's, and walked down to the end of the pier.  The weather was gorgeous, there was a light breeze, and I was just able to sit, and soak in the beautiful day, and the dwindling sunlight.  I could feel any remaining tension seeping from me- I feel like being that close to the a body of water gives me perspective, and I just hung out for awhile, thinking, and watching the families as they strolled up the pier, putting coins into the viewfinders to look at the ships and sailboats floating around.  I felt peace- something that, as unsettled as I've been, has not been easy to come by, lately.  I walked slowly back to the main promenade, and people watched (an always excellent activity) until it was time to meet Jackie. 

We hit Pitango, and I got the Grapefruit Sorbet and Coconut (the grapefruit tastes like you are biting into the most perfect piece of cool, slightly sweetened, tart grapefruit- so good. And the coconut is rich, and has an amazing pure coconut flavor.   We walked down to the edge of the pier, and sat, talking and eating our gelato.  We decided to walk for awhile, and took a large loop around Fell's. 

And now it's my weekend- Harry Potter tonight, dinner at Tim's tomorrow. 

Life is good. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Culinary disasters and successes

I decided to head to my parents' house in New Jersey for my days off this week, and a few days before, I found a recipe online for Peach Chipotle Gummy Candies.  After turning the idea over and over in my head, I decided that I really wanted to make my own, grown-up gummy candies. I had visions of strawberry balsamic, merlot, white grape and basil... chardonnay.... there were lots of ideas.  So I came home, hit the grocery store for ingredients, invited My cousins Kate and Potter over for dinner to taste the spoils, and got to work. 

Because there was no peach jello at the store, I improvised by making a peach juice reduction, and adding the chipotles. I set them up, and left them in the fridge to cool, and when they were done, tasted them. They were.... not good.  all I could taste was the overwhelming flavor of gelatin. (not tasty)  so round 2, was just straight peach juice.  Those didn't taste like anything at all (until you got to the piece of chipotle, and then it just tasted like... chipotle. 

Frustrated, I tried the strawberry balsamic. While they were tastier (I used an actual Jell-o packet) the balsamic did not set in the gelatin as well as I had hoped, which my aunt pointed out, may have something to do with the levels of acid in the vinegar. 


It was a good thing I was making dinner too, because I needed some culinary redemption.  We started out with my latest favorite thing to make: 

 photo credit: Walt Hewitt
It is toasted Tuscan bread, with a Greek feta salad dressing, and topped with thinly sliced Persian cucumbers.  So. good.

 photo credit: Walt Hewitt
Then I made a lot of kabobs. (this is actually about half of the ones I made) They are mushroom, orange and red bell peppers, chicken, red onion, pineapples and squash. I marinated them for a few hours in a jarred marinade from Trader Joe's (the Island Soyaki- it's really good)

This is what they looked like all cooked:

 photo credit: Walt Hewitt

And because I believe that no meal is complete without starch, I made my roasted potato salad.
 photo credit: Walt Hewitt

I drowned my gummy candy sorrows in a few glasses of wine, good dinner, and amusing conversation.  My mom reminded me about how when I was little, we had to have a "no jokes" rule at the dinner table because I would laugh so hard I would feel sick. (this was after I was laughing for a significant amount of time over a "that's what she said" setup that Potter did that was perfection. You just can't pass those opportunities up.)

It was great to be home. 

Friday, July 8, 2011


Before: Oh, the crazy. (sidenote: it is insanely humid today- it does not normally look quite this crazy)

I have a confession to make; unfortunately, it will not surprise many of my friends.  I have not had a haircut in over a year.  Part of the reason is that I have been wanting to grow my hair out, and my hair grows insanely slowly. 

Plus I'm lazy. 

So I've finally been pulling myself out of the funk I've been in lately, and I decided I needed to get a haircut to enhance the awesome upswing in my life. Flaunt has been an awesome supporter of my theater company, and my friend Bradley used to work there before he skipped town to go to Costa Rica (and then to Massachusetts)  So I made an appointment, and went over there today. 

Lindsay set me right at ease, and did not even comment on how insanely terrible my split ends were! (for the record: EPIC TERRIBLE. SEE ABOVE)  I was really relaxed and aside from a few directions (wanted to keep the length, need to be able to put it in a ponytail. nothing that requires a lot of futzing with)  I let her go to town, and I am so, so happy with the result: 

Ta Da! (still with the humidity, and I didn't get to take the picture until a few hours after the cut, and it had been subjected to both a long walk and some rain, so does not look like quite the awesomsauce it did immediately after my haircut)

I love it. It's shorter in the back, which you can't tell from this picture- but it has actual layers in it, and it feels so light and amazing. and I know that this probably is understood, but it is way, way, way better than the ten-dollar Supercuts experience that I usually do (I know! I know! Supercuts is terrible! I deserved all of those bad haircuts I got)

I feel like a whole new person!  Getting haircuts always makes me feel this way- small, but important changes that just make you feel better.

I also got some advice on how to style it, and what I was doing wrong ( putting it in a ponytail when wet, going for a year between haircuts.... you know... the usual)


Do haircuts make everyone happy? Or is it just me? It's an instant mood enhancer.