Archive for October, 2010

31
Oct
10

Halloween Reflections

At expectation, I went to a couple of Halloween parties Saturday night.   I made the following observations:

1.) The Halloween crowd on public transit is less scary and more interesting than the usual crowd.

2.) Despite point one, the solitary, uncostumed elderly gentleman on the bus wanted to be my new BFF and chatted me up.  Halloween or not, I struggle with ignoring people with whom I do not want to be friends.  I generally don’t like strangers, but that seems rude.  I often remember too late to pretend I don’t speak English and just reply in Russian. 

3.) As a child, how my costume would work with appropriate outerwear was a HUGE consideration.  As an adult, how annoying my costume will be in a crowd is my primary consideration.  (This year I went for an easily removeable costume – win! – which I removed after the novelty wore off…and when I went to the bathroom.)

Continue reading ‘Halloween Reflections’

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28
Oct
10

How I Bake

I am one of those freaks who enjoys both cooking and baking; I also enjoy both eating and sharing my results.  I made pumpkin whoopie pies last night, for a pumpkin carving party I attended tonight.   I mostly followed the recipe for the cookie/cake part, but could not find marscopone cheese for the filling.  Instead of stressing, I reminded myself that I have my own baking protocol anyway, so things like ingredients and recipes aren’t really relevant – except for the parts where I try to pretend that they are vital.  While I do sometimes completely wing things (more in cooking) and other times actually follow a recipe like it’s some sort of sacred ritual (again, more in cooking), I generally follow these steps:

1.) Make a plan, which involves finding a recipe (or two) at some point.  The birth of the plan could be from seeing a recipe on a website, a product in a store, or inspiration from a specific ingredient/concept.

2.) Take inventory of the ingredients needed for said recipe.  Potentially reevaluate the aforementioned recipe OR make a trip to the store…possibly stores.

3.) Get my business all set out and ready.  I don’t necessarily get all of my ingredients out at once (although sometimes I do) but I do like to know what’s going to happen before it needs to happen.  For example, if I am going to need softened butter at some point, I’ll put it out early.  I wait on nobutter; butter waits on ME.

4.) Begin the recipe, with fastidious attention to detail and directions.  Measure twice, pour once – etc, etc.

5.) Get bored with measuring.  Doubt the recipe.  Is 1t of cinnamon REALLY enough?  And why were ginger and allspice not invited to the party?  I’m not sure about Ina G, but I don’t snub MY spice cabinet. 

6.) Decide I definitely know better than any “recipe” and go all willy-nilly.  While going willy-nilly, refrain from writing any amendments down for future use.  To really prevent any reproduction and keep each creation “one of a kind,” I also often avoid measuring, instead using the highly scientific method of “dump and taste.”   “Dump and taste” is a bit like “guess and check” except with greater and earlier commitment.

7.) Bake it…or something.  Basically, get it to a state where contamination or food poisoning is unlikely.

8.) Eat and enjoy!

The moral of the story is that while I might not know better than recipes (insufficient data) I definitely know WELL ENOUGH.   And those pumpkin whoopie pies?  GONE.  Gone in a good way.

25
Oct
10

Five Good Things

It’s been a great weekend, with great people.  This is not hard.

1.) Last weekend was a big race weekend for me; it was also a BIG WINNING weekend.  While it’s most important to try hard and show good sportsmanship, my team managed to do those things AND WIN.  Heck yeah!

2.) I am in my favorite city.  I don’t have to leave it until tomorrow.

3.) I got a lot of free stuff over the weekend.  I even like some of it.

4.) The above race was the conclusion of my racing season, so I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want – for a couple of weeks at least.  Then, at the behest of my arteries, I will revert to living a healthy lifestyle.

5.) While on my trip, I have played with two great dogs and one great kid.  High Quality.

19
Oct
10

Five Good Things

This is late as it’s been a busy week – at work, with volunteering, and with my fun life.

1.) I leave for vacation in 36 hours – hooray!

2.) While I am still not a dating champ, I went on an accidate over the weekend.  Unlike my last accidate, this one involved a really good dinner, delicious wine, and a special beer.   While I didn’t mean to go out with the fellow and don’t intend to go out with him again, this is progress.  (He doesn’t know I have a blog and I am not going to detail why, so that makes me feel like it is okay to say this and that.)

3.) I have rediscovered my love for long spandex – applicable only for working out, thanks. 

4.) I am in charge of organizing a number of things (and people) for different and distinct purposes.  They are pretty much all very cooperative.

5.) T-minus four days to delicious food: Mexican, cheese, ice cream, mulled wine, cake, cookies, donuts, bacon, juice, candy, beer, mmm…

13
Oct
10

My Head Shows My Age

I “did” my hair a little differently than usual today, which meant some normally hidden hairs made their way to the top layer.  My normally response to non-conformist hairs is to pull them out.  Today, however, they received a reprieve as I was tired and their numbers were strong.  Instead, I am going to try to remarket them to myself.  Here are some ideas:

1.) Sparkly hairs – sort of like hair glitter for the over-30 crowd.   (Except I had my first sparkly hair in eighth grade.)

2.) SHINY hairs – who doesn’t like shiny things?  Shiny like money or jewelry.

3.) Open-minded hairs – let the top of my head be a symbol of racial equality.

4.) Way to get a bus seat hairs – the sign says to stand for the elderly.

I think I might be onto something.  Interestingly, the chemicals from hair coloring did not inspire any of these ideas.  I am just not ready to go there.

11
Oct
10

Five Good Things

1.) I made a deposit at the bank on Sunday.  My bank recently changed its hours and the teller decided to give me a random quiz on the new hours.  (I was the only person there = likely bored.)  When I got the answers TOTALLY RIGHT, the teller was not only impressed, but convinced by another teller to give me a prize.  Yay for free grocery bags!

2.) My bank is open on Sundays.  

3.) Indian Summer.  Now is the time.

4.) I booked my tickets for Thanksgiving vacation!  AND I get to cut out of town midday on Tuesday.

5.) I got lab work results and I’m all good.  (Maintenance appointment.)

07
Oct
10

Rumors Around the Bottle Warmer…

At work, we sometimes hang around the traditional water cooler, but more often we cluster around the bottle warmer. The word around the warming milk (and the train tracks…and the board books…and the half-eaten crayons…) is that EVERYONE HAS A BELLY BUTTON. Breaking news, I know.

Since the discovery of navels is new and novel, there is some concern that they might not be a permanent. Ergo, the munchkins have appointed themselves Keeper of the Belly Buttons, performing frequent spot checks to insure that no navel absconds. In practical terms, this means that at any place and at any time, a little person might lift my shirt and poke for my belly button. In addition to finding my belly button, there’s also a fair amount of belly (no button) that I hide under my shirt.

Continue reading ‘Rumors Around the Bottle Warmer…’




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