Thursday, May 31, 2007
The first time I heard it I got really excited. Wow, I thought, this was way less than three minutes. They have truly satisfied me as a customer. However, after the voice told me that someone was ready to assist me, nothing changed. The annoying hold music continued to play and no one was ready to assist me. I decided it was some kind of error and calmed down. The three minutes hadn’t passed so all was well. The second time I again allowed myself to get a bit excited. Hooray, I thought, they were just getting me prepared before. They wanted me to make sure I had my account number ready and complaint all well thought out. They were now ready to help me. They weren’t.
This continued for five minutes. Me telling myself not to get excited, that they weren’t really ready to assist me, and then being fooled over and over. This is not funny. This is torture. This is psychological manipulation. Why oh why, would this be the thing to do to people as they are waiting to talk about some errors made with their money? Don’t you think they would have wanted to have the clearest and nicest hold process possible? Something like, “You are the 12th caller in line and your wait time is two and a half minutes,” I want serious approximations when I am waiting and already tense.
The truly sad thing is that I have to go through all this mess for $15. I wish I didn’t care so much about $15, but I do. That’s like two dinners at least. See this store by Tony’s work said that he swiped the card through three times on Monday. Not only was he not at work on Monday but we didn’t even leave the house. The thing is how did the card get swiped then? I guess they can tell the difference between a swipe and a entering on a keypad? Either way someone ate $15 of food and it wasn’t either of us. I have to fill out forms and fax them in and then they have to decide if I am telling the truth and then they may give me back my $15. It seems like a lot of action. Whatever, a bitch is broke.
Que Sera, Sera, Sly and the Family Stone- This is pretty fitting for the above post. I guess being annoyed at the hold recording is just one of those whatever will be will be things. Apparently, I will be pissed.
Breaking The Girl, Red Hot Chili Peppers- This makes me want to drive a minivan. Nuf said.
Too Cute, Devin The Dude- If I were to be a musician, I would want a name as cool as Devin The Dude. Once I looked up dude in the dictionary and it said an ingrown hair in an elephants butt. I swear it did. I looked it up the other day and it said nothing like that.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
After work yesterday Monica took me to Standard Indian Restaurant for dinner. She rules for that. One thing I will say about that restaurant is that it is real standard. The dishes are all tasty but none are particularly exceptional (although they make a mean cauliflower). I always know exactly what I am going to get when I go there and I am never disappointed because it always tastes the same. It’s standard and sometimes that is good. I really need to hit up some of the Indian buffets on the Devon strip. I found the ever divine Hema’s and now tend not to go further down to where the buffets are. I bet I’m missing out on some good buffeting.
I’ve kind of gotten ahead of my story. On the way to the restaurant we had to ride a train that was full of people going to a Cubs game. I know I have said it time and time again but riding the train with Cubs fans is one of the many things that make me hate them. The other was living in Wrigleyville for two years. I realize there are some great Cubs fans out there, some that read this blog, and I am not talking about them. I’m talking about the jerks who don’t realize that stepping all the way in is an option on the train. I’m talking about the ones that flip their hair all around on crowded trains and slap your friend in the face with it. This includes the ones who press their entire bodies on a railing so you can’t get a grasp on anything. I can’t leave out those who are so drunk before the game that your commute smells like a keg. These are the ones I hate. They weren’t actually all on the train yesterday but, whatever, they suck.
The bad thing about getting off at Belmont before a Cubs game is that you don’t get to enjoy the serene peace of post Addison ridership. Then again, you get to eat Indian Food and that is always a plus. When we got to the restaurant we had a hard time getting in because some “band” type folks were just standing in front of the door. They decided to enter shortly after we did, this later became a problem.
We were debating if we should go and get food or wait for the waiter so that we could order Mango Lassis. We opted to get food. This was a mistake as we didn’t get to order our Lassis until midway through our second, and final, plates. As we were eating we noticed that the “band” was French. I don’t know if this is at all a relevant fact but it is a fact all the same. Because I tend to watch people, I noticed that as they went up to the buffet for their second plates, they took their first plates along. This is something I am NOT ok with, how incredibly unsanitary and gross. I kept looking at the owners expecting them to say something and being sad when nothing happened. Eventually the owner mentioned it to one person and he got a new plate but there were five others just piling it on.
Although Monica and I were utterly full, we would have liked the option to go back for one more spoonful of something incredibly delicious. Unfortunately, that was just not an option. The possibility of “band” germs was simply too great. We also noticed that there were a few other people who seemed to have adopted the “band” rule and were also not getting new plates. Did something happen where that became the norm? What is this world coming to?
Ashwanganda, Metal Fingers- This would be the most awesome video game music ever. Why did I not know that it existed on my iPod until now? I apparently have a good deal of Metal Fingers on my iPod. Who knew?
Bombs, The Impossible Shapes- I really like this band but I also really like actual impossible shapes. They are so fun to look at and seem utterly possible in some cases. Then you look closer, impossible.
Foxy Lady, Jimi Hendrix- Wayne’s World made it utterly impossible for me to even conceive of taking this song seriously. That is kind of too bad because it tends to rock.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
I have known for some time our Volunteer Services director was on the way out but it was kept very quiet and no one really knew when her last day was going to be or what all the logistics surrounding her leaving were. This was difficult because I knew I would have to start doing that job again, but I didn’t know when. Apparently, when is now.
Her last day was Friday. She didn’t tell anyone. Luckily I have access to her email account because as I was her back-up for so long that she gave me her passwords. This morning, after I verified that Friday was actually her last day, I logged into her account to see what she told the volunteers. She didn’t tell them anything. Unfortunately, I haven’t had time this morning to get a blast email out to the volunteers describing the little I know about the situation because I was teaching volunteer sessions and making sure that all the addresses of volunteers in her personal address book matched those in the companywide distribution list. Joy.
I then needed to eat some food and blog about how annoyed I am by the whole situation. I wish she would have told me what was going on. I thought we were cool? I guess not. First thing to do when my lunch is over is to get this email out. I can just see the replies I’ll be getting. When did she know she would be leaving? Why didn’t she tell anyone? What is she doing now? The only question I can technically answer is the first one. It has been easily over a month even though it was a secret and no one was supposed to know. However, I don’t want to give out that information because they will then be wondering even more about the second question and I have nothing to say about that. As to the third, your guess is as good as mine.
Wish me luck.
The only unguessed song from last week was
4. Wish you gave me your number/ Wish I could call you today/ Just to hear a voice/ I got a long way to go/ I'm getting further away. Better Be Quiet Now, Elliot Smith.
Because I can't help myself from joining in crazy long memes, here is a random list of movies I took from Mrs. L. Apparently if you have seen more than 85 films on this list you have no life. If you read this blog you already know I have no life. This only serves to prove my point.
(x ) Rocky Horror Picture Show
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest
( ) Boondock Saints
(x) Fight Club
( x) Starsky and Hutch
(x) Neverending Story
( x) Blazing Saddles
( x) Airplane
(x) The Princess Bride
(x) Napoleon Dynamite
(x ) Saw
(x ) Saw II
() White Noise
(x ) White Oleander
(x) Anger Management
(x) 50 First Dates
(x) The Princess Diaries
(x) The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
Total so far: 20
(x) Scream 2
() Scream 3
(x) Scary Movie
(x) Scary Movie 2
( ) Scary Movie 3
( ) Scary Movie 4
(x) American Pie
(x) American Pie 2
(x) American Wedding
( ) American Pie Band Camp
(x) Harry Potter 1
(x ) Harry Potter 2
(x ) Harry Potter 3
(x ) Harry Potter 4
( ) Resident Evil 1
( ) Resident Evil 2
(x) The Wedding Singer
( ) Little Black Book
( ) The Village
() Lilo & Stitch
Total so far: 32
(x) Finding Nemo
(x ) Finding Neverland
( ) Signs
( x) The Grinch
(x ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre
( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
(x ) White Chicks
(x ) Butterfly Effect
(x ) 13 Going on 30
(x ) I, Robot
(x ) Robots
( x) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
(x ) Universal Soldier
( ) Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
(x ) Along Came Polly
( ) Deep Impact
( x) KingPin
() Never Been Kissed
(x) Meet The Parents
(x) Meet the Fockers
( ) Eight Crazy Nights
(x ) Joe Dirt
(x ) KING KONG
Total so far: 49
( ) A Cinderella Story
( x) The Terminal
( ) The Lizzie McGuire Movie
( ) Passport to Paris
(x) Dumb & Dumber
( ) Dumber & Dumberer
( ) Final Destination
( ) Final Destination 2
( ) Final Destination 3
(x ) Halloween
(x ) The Ring
(x ) The Ring 2
( ) Surviving X-MAS
(x) Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
( ) Practical Magic
(x ) Chicago
( ) Ghost Ship
( x) From Hell
( ) Hellboy
(x ) Secret Window
() I Am Sam
( ) The Whole Nine Yards
( ) The Whole Ten Yards
Total so far: 57
(x ) The Day After Tomorrow
(x ) Child's Play
( x) Seed of Chucky
( ) Bride of Chucky
(x) Ten Things I Hate About You
( ) Just Married
( x) Gothika
(x ) Nightmare on Elm Street
(x ) Sixteen Candles
(x) Remember the Titans
( ) Coach Carter
(x ) The Grudge
( ) The Grudge 2
(x) The Mask
( ) Son Of The Mask
( x) Bad Boys
( ) Bad Boys 2
( ) Joy Ride
() Lucky Number Sleven
(x) Ocean's Eleven
() Ocean's Twelve
(x) Bourne Identity
() Bourne Supremecy
( ) Lone Star
( ) Bedazzled
( x) Predator I
( ) Predator II
( ) The Fog
(x ) Ice Age
( ) Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
( ) Curious George
Total so far: 73
(x) Independence Day
(x ) Cujo
( x) A Bronx Tale
( ) Darkness Falls
( x) Christine
( ) Children of the Corn
( ) My Bosses Daughter
(x ) Maid in Manhattan
( ) War of the Worlds
(x) Rush Hour
() Rush Hour 2
( ) Best Bet
() How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
(x) She's All That
( x) Calendar Girls
(x ) Sideways
(x ) Mars Attacks
( ) Event Horizon
(x) Ever After
(x) Wizard of Oz
(x) Forrest Gump
( ) Big Trouble in Little China
(x) The Terminator
( x) The Terminator 2
(x ) The Terminator 3
Total so far: 90
(x) Spider-Man 2
( ) Sky High
( ) Jeepers Creepers
( ) Jeepers Creepers 2
( x) Catch Me If You Can
(x) The Little Mermaid
(x) Freaky Friday
( ) Reign of Fire
( x) The Skulls
(x) Cruel Intentions
( ) Cruel Intentions 2
( ) The Hot Chick
(x) Shrek 2
( ) Swimfan
( x) Miracle on 34th street
( x) Old School
() The Notebook
( ) K-Pax
( ) Krippendorf's Tribe
() A Walk to Remember
( x) Ice Castles
( x) Boogeyman
(x) The 40-year-old Virgin
Total so far: 107
(x) Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring
(x) Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
(x) Lord of the Rings Return Of the King
(x) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(x) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
(x) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
( ) Baseketball
( ) Hostel
(x ) Waiting for Guffman
() House of 1000 Corpses
() Devils Rejects
(x ) Elf
( ) Highlander
( ) Mothman Prophecies
( x) American History X
( ) Three
( ) The Jacket
( x) Kung Fu Hustle
(x ) Shaolin Soccer
( ) Night Watch
( x) Monsters Inc.
(x) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
(x ) Shaun Of the Dead
( ) Willard
Total so far: 122
( ) High Tension
( ) Club Dread
( ) Dawn Of the Dead
(x) Chronicles Of Narnia The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
(x ) 28 days later
(x ) Orgazmo
( ) Phantasm
( ) Waterworld
( x) Kill Bill vol 1
(x ) Kill Bill vol 2
( x) Mortal Kombat
( ) Wolf Creek
( ) Kingdom of Heaven
(x ) the Hills Have Eyes
( ) I Spit on Your Grave aka the Day of the Woman
( ) The Last House on the Left
( ) Re-Animator
( ) Army of Darkness
Total so far: 130
(x) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
(x) Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
(x ) Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
(x) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
(x) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
(x) Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
( ) Ewoks Caravan Of Courage
( x) Ewoks The Battle For Endor
(x) The Matrix
(x) The Matrix Reloaded
(x) The Matrix Revolutions
( ) Animatrix
( ) Evil Dead
( ) Evil Dead 2
(x) Team America: World Police
( ) Red Dragon
(x ) Silence of the Lambs
( ) Hannibal
Grand Total: 142
Friday, May 25, 2007
When reading Danielle’s Meatless Monday post, I was reminded of this salad that sustained me for many many many meals that year. Maybe I had it for too many meals because I haven’t had it in ages but it is so incredibly delicious that I wonder why. Maybe the reason is that somewhere along the way I lost my recipe notebook. Jaclyn’s favorite lentil rosemary and potato soup is lost forever. I bet I could recreate it though, any maybe I should.
Anyway, here is lentil salad with mint, red pepper, and feta. It is yet another very garlicky recipe so those of you who don’t like garlic can leave any or all of it out but it does taste good in there. If you are going to leave some out I would suggest the pressed garlic in the dressing because the cloves that get cooked with the lentils will become very subtle and mild. This would be a great dish to bring to all those BBQs you are planning on going to this weekend.
-1 cup dry lentils
-3 bay leaves
-4 whole garlic cloves, peeled and bruised
-1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
-4 tbsp red wine vinegar
-Juice of 1/2 lemon
-2 garlic cloves, pressed
-1tsp ground cumin
-salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
-1 small red onion, diced
-1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
-3 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
-½ cup feta cheese crumbled
-¼ cup Kalamata olives pitted and diced
-Pick over the lentils so you don’t eat any rocks. Wash the lentils and place in a large saucepan with the bay leaves, bruised garlic, and oregano.
-Cover with water by a few inches. Bring to boil, turn down the heat and simmer, uncovered for about 30 minutes, or until tender. The garlic should be mushy at this point so when you toss the salad it will mush in nicely and leave a mild garlic flavorMix
-Drain, remove bay leaves, and cool for about 30 minutes.
-While cooling, place olive oil, vinegar, pressed garlic, lmon juice, and cumin in a small bowl.
-Toss the vinaigrette with the lentils, onions, red pepper
-Let sit for 20 minutes.
-Taste and season as needed with additional spices if needed
-Add mint, feta, and olives. Stir together.
-Serve as is or over a bed of baby spinach or your favorite greens.
This salad keeps very well. I would usually make a double serving and eat it for an entire week.
1. They call me the wild rose/ But my name was Eliza Day/ Why they call me it I do not know/ For my name was Eliza Day. Where The Wild Roses Grow, Nick Cave. Identified by Jamie.
2. Cecelia/ You’re breaking my heart/ You’re shaking my confidence daily. Cecilia, Simon and Garfunkel. Identified by Mom.
3. Do you feel like a chain store/ practically floored/ One of many zeros/ Kicked around bored. Coffee and TV, Blur. Identified by Jamie.
4. Wish you gave me your number/ Wish I could call you today/ Just to hear a voice/ I got a long way to go/ I'm getting further away
5. Long Long Long Long time ago/ Before the wind before the snow/ lived a man lived a man I know/ Lived a freak of nature named Sir Psycho. Sir Psycho Sexy, Red Hot CHili Peppers. Identified by Danielle
Thursday, May 24, 2007
1) A thing that makes me happy
As you can see from the last post, Bob makes me happy. Look at how happy I am.
This picture, by the way, was taken during the trip of least tolls.
2) A funny thing that happened yesterday
Yesterday was not particularly funny. I am really trying to think of something. Funny things happen to me all the time. Yesterday just wasn’t a funny day. I had fun yesterday, just not particularly funny fun. How lame.
3) A thing I like to eat
I love to eat cheese. Everyone knows this. I love to eat salty delicious snacks. I love to eat just about everything that isn’t meat. I even love “gross” vegetables like lima beans and brussel sprouts. I love spicy things. I love beans. I love breads. Sauces are the best. I love to eat and I can't choose just one thing.
4) A thing that bugs me a lot
People who think they are smart but aren’t and people who think other people are smart who aren’t. Basically, I hate stupids. As we were discussing at lunch today, having a lot of degrees doesn’t necessarily make you smart, at all. They have these superior attitudes and you can’t tell them a thing even when they are obviously wrong. Of course there are plenty people with a lot of degrees who are incredibly smart but I don’t have a problem with them.
5) A thing I have on right now
I have on that one skirt with all the colors and the pleats that is really cool because, depending on what color shirt you wear, it looks like a different skirt. Not really. I am just telling myself that so I have an excuse to wear it as often as I do. I love my skirt, my skirt is so comfotably lovely.
6) A thing you once did that was technically dumb but actually fine
I do a lot of technically dumb things. Many are lost to me right now. I think the thing that I did most often that was technically dumb was wear my cow shoes as my everyday shoes. I have mentioned the cow shoes before. Those things are six-inch platform sling-backs. They rule. I wore them day in and day out and walked up many hills and across uneven terrain. This was stupid because I technically should have broken my ankles many times over but it was actually fine because I didn’t.
7) A thing you plan to do today
I have absolutely no plans for the rest of the day. There is nothing on my plate. I suppose I plan on going home and hoping that the dishes are done so I don’t have to do them. Then I plan to sit on my butt and maybe watch a movie or something. I then plan to read some more War and Peace and go to sleep. Oh, I also plan on working on my budget.
After reading this post I think it has been revealed that I am the most boring person ever. How sad. I tag anyone who feels like doing this post.
Five new lyrics today!
1. No one dared to show for that shower/ When nobody turned out to be clean/ Was not even touched by the water/ Just another Nazi scheme. The Big Takeover, Bad Brains. Identified by Monica
2. Who knows how long I’ve loved you/ You know I love you still. I Will, The Beatles. Identified by Mom.
3. I said upside down you’re turning me/ You’re giving love instinctively. Upside Down, Diana Ross. Identified by Monica
4. I’m not you woman. I’m not your man. I’m something that you’ll never understand. I Would Die 4U, Prince. Identified by Monica
5. They call me the wild rose/ But my name was Eliza Day/ Why they call me it I do not know/ For my name was Eliza Day
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
On of the places that I was reminded of over and over again was Bob. Bob was my car. He wasn’t my first car; that was The Little Red Mobile which deserves its own post. However, Bob was all mine. I paid my very own $200 for Bob and held the deed. Granted, the many hundreds and quite possibly thousands of dollars that went into keeping Bob running was primarily from my parents. They also paid for Bob’s insurance because they are good people. Nonetheless, Bob was mine.
I learned to drive stick on Bob. Dad had tried to teach me before but I crashed the car within 10 seconds (it jumped the curb into a tree, totally not my fault) and I was a little hesitant to learn after that. Since Bob was a stick, I had no choice but to learn. It was fun. To this day I prefer to drive stick. I think I owe that to Bob.
Bob was an old car, a 1981 two-door Volvo DL (not the 240 DLs you see all over the place just a regular old DL). I don’t know how many of you have seen a two-door Volvo but they are pretty funny, they have the biggest doors you can imagine. Bob was the best color, forest green with rust and Grateful Dead stickers. I could have cared less about the Dead and I removed the dancing bears from the back window. The skull in the front stayed, it simply belonged. Bob had a sun roof that was operated by crank and sometimes got stuck a little bit even though it appeared closed, you kind of had to push up on it to get it to close fully. If it wasn't perfectly closed and it rained little pools of water would form around the sunroof and as soon as you drove it would land in your hair, down your back, or in your lap. The seal around the stick shift was a little loose and you could pull it back to see the road zooming past under you. Bob had four gears and overdrive, I can still hear that hum when you hit the button and dropped him in. By the time I graduated, Bob had a tape player installed. For much of my time with him he had a tape deck wedged between the dash and the windshield. In case you can’t tell, this car was perfect.
I could fill post upon post with stories about Bob. "Bob and the Trip with Fewest Tolls," will have to be written at some point. That was a trip for the ages. This post isn’t about trips though, it’s just about Bob. It’s about who he was, and he was a good friend. He took me where I needed to go, when he would start, and I was glad that I never actually had to see him die. I left him when I moved to Chicago. I knew he was on his last legs and that I couldn’t afford $100 monthly to park him. Mom took care of him; it was the right thing to do.
As I listened to Brooke's tape, some of the songs really made me want to get Bob and drive. I didn’t care where I had to go as long as the weather stayed nice and it would take a minimum of three hours. Bob was at his best when journeying. As “If You Want To Be A Bird,” by the Holy Modal Rounders came on I had no choice but to put down War and Peace lean my head back and go OOOHHHHUUUAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUGGGGAAWWWWW, just like we used to do riding around in Bob, or Jules, or Thurman (his closest firends). It was a little strange that I was doing it by myself because singing the bird song was always a group activity. I let Brooke know what I was doing and she laughed at me appropriately. The thing is, if I was alone but driving in Bob I wouldn’t have felt silly singing it. I would have felt free, adventurous, unlimited. The bed just doesn’t do it like Bob could. As the tape drew to a close Lou Reed sang about a “Perfect Day”. Bob, I’m glad I spent so many with you.
1. Andy/ Would bicycle across town/ In the rain to bring you candy/ And John would buy the gown/ For you to wear to the prom/ With Tom/ The astronomer who’d name a star for you. The Luckiest Guy On The Lower East Side, Magnetic Fields. Identified by Sisterhead (on the last post as this one was going up so I’ll put it here to recognize how awesome she is)
2. I read the NEWS today oh boy/ About a lucky man who made the grade/ And thought the NEWS was rather sad/ well I just had to laugh. A Day In The Life, The Beatles. Identified by Brooke.
3. Nothing to here to fear/ I’m just sitting around being foolish when there is work to be done. Wednesday, Tori Amos. Identified by Brooke.
4. Life is hard/ And so am I/ You’d better give me something/ So I don’t die. Novocaine, The Eels. Identified by Monica
5. I pulled into Nazareth/ Was feeling bout half past dead/ I just need someplace/ Where I can rest my head/ Hey Mr. Can you tell me/ Where a man might find a bed. The Weight, The Band. Identified by Brooke (and yes, of course it was on the mix tape)
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
They are huge (1-2 inches) and loud (up to 106db) and super scary and gross looking. They burrow out from the ground and strive to climb as high as possible. In a city environment, that may only mean to the tops of blades of grass so be careful where you walk. The lucky ones that climb threes will have nice cozy spots to transition from the nymph to adult phase leaving gross molted cicada cases all over the place.
I am terrified. I realize that these creatures do not bite or sting or do anything particularly bad except make a loud noise and exist in large amounts. Many people I have talked to think I am overreacting. Last night, my Mom told me that they have to lie undisturbed in the ground for 17 years and that in my rapidly developing community it didn’t seem likely that much area would have been disturbed for that long. I told her they go deep and there are plenty of places that probably haven’t been disturbed. Lakeiya told me that she isn’t scared, just annoyed. She is always so gosh darned rational. She said if one landed on her she would be freaked out for about 15 seconds and get over it.
If one lands on me I will lose my mind. I will be afraid to go out for days after it happens. In fact, once I saw on the news this morning that they could appear any second I was afraid to go out. On my walk to work I looked down and looked up and listened carefully (to the Eagles of Death Metal because these things are so loud it doesn’t matter that I have headphones on) hoping and fearing catching sight of mounds of dirt resembling large ant hills or gross creatures clinging to plant surfaces. I didn’t see any but it doesn’t mean they weren’t there.
I am seriously thinking of walking around with an umbrella open on warm and sunny days to avoid a cicada or the molted skin of a cicada landing in my hair. Am I being extreme? Maybe, but look at these things.
1. Andy/ Would bicycle across town/ In the rain to bring you candy/ And John would buy the gown/ For you to wear to the prom/ With Tom/ The astronomer who’d name a star for you.
2. No words to say/ No words to convey/ This feeling inside/ I have for you. For You, Tracy Chapman. Identified by CSMC
3. Desmond has a barrel in the marketplace/ Molly is the singer in a band. Ob-la-di Ob-la-da, The Beatles. Identified by Jeff
4. Lime green lime green and tangerine/ The sickly sweet colors of the snakes I’ve seen. Wrong Number, The Cure. Identified by Brooke.
5. Girl close your eyes/ Let that rhythm get into you/ Don’t try to fight it/ There ain’t nothing that you can do. Rock With You, Michael Jackson. Identified by Brooke.
Monday, May 21, 2007
I have never been one to talk about how the graphic nature of our TV, music, and video games contributes negatively to our society. I have always maintained that we are intelligent enough to know right from wrong and entertainment from recommended ways of life. However, after watching The Sopranos and playing Grand Theft Auto (two of the more graphic means of entertainment available today), I had a very graphic and disturbing dream.
I was, apparently, Meadow Soprano. While out for a walk I came across a large tuck full of something and was suddenly surrounded by my father’s brutes sporting seriously heavy artillery. I’m talking rocket launchers, automatic weapons of all shapes and sizes, and maybe even a chainsaw or two. They commenced to jack up said large truck and blew it to smithereens. The rocket launcher was very useful in that endeavor. The explosions and resulting fires summoned the police and poor Meadow (me) had to run because simply being there and being a Soprano would have been bad.
I ran and hid in tall grasses, more graphic violence was going on all around me as police and mafia tried desperately to take each other out. Blood and guts abounded. Then came the dogs, I like dogs but they are never good when it comes to my dreams. They chased me all over the high grasses until I was eventually taken in by a lady cop, who happened to be Sarah Silverman, talk about a graphic comic.
We became friends but it didn’t stop her from taking me to the slammer. I had to call Tony (my Tony not Tony Soprano) and tell him I wouldn’t be home for dinner because I was being taken to jail. I don’t think he believed me. He was pissed. All kinds of graphic language spewed from his mouth.
After being let out of jail my parents, sister, and Monica’s friend Angel who I have met half a time came to pick me up. I didn’t want to talk. We drove through the hills of Minneapolis by lake of the isles and saw Bernie (often known as Rastamanern) fixing up a condo for his blushing bride. Why Monica wasn’t there was beyond me.
The point is that I may have to reassess my opinion on the graphic content of media influencing our subconscious. Mine certainly was tampered with. However, it was an incredibly entertaining dream, graphic or not, and I certainly don’t plan to change my viewing habits.
It’s now time to guess that song.
1. Well I wake up in the morning there’s frogs inside my socks/ Your mama she’s hiding inside the ice box/ Your daddy walks in wearing a Napoleon Bonaparte mask. On The Road Again, Bob Dylan. Identified by Brooke.
2. Suzanne/ You’re all that I wanted of a girl/ You’re all that I need in the world. Suzanne, Weezer. Identified by Monica
3. Andy/ Would bicycle across town/ In the rain to bring you candy/ And John would buy the gown/ For you to wear to the prom/ With Tom/ The astronomer who’d name a star for you.
4. All the world over so easy to see/ People everywhere just want to be free/ Listen please listen that’s the way it should be. People Got To Be Free, The Rascals. Identified by Monica
5. Do you have a shirt that you really love/ One that you feel so groovy in/ You don’t even mind if it starts to fade/ That only makes it nicer still. I Love My Shirt, Donovan. Identified by Monica
Friday, May 18, 2007
Happy Birthday Mom-
I love you so much and am so glad to have you as my Mommy. You're the best.
Now back to the task at hand. I know that a ramen recipe is bogu as far as true foodieness goes. However, this was the most delicious bowl of ramen I have ever had and I wanted to share it with you all. It may be able to be improved upon as Monica has discovered that cooking ramen in V-8 is delicious. I didn’t have any V-8 so I couldn’t find out.
Sapporo Ichiban Ramen is essential to this recipe. Mainly because it is one of the only vegetarian ramens out there but also because everyone (that I have asked) agrees that as far as ramen goes, this one is the most delicious.
1 package Sapporo Ichiban original flavor Ramen
Juice of ½ lemon
2tbsp scallion diced
4 oyster mushrooms sliced
1tbsp chili powder
3 dashes cayenne
1 dash garlic powder
1-2tsp Sriracha hot sauce
Put all the stuff in the pot while the water boils. Cook ramen 3 minutes. Add seasoning packet. Enjoy.
As an added bonus, I saw this bit about a ramen noodle shop on my cousin’s myspace page. It just fit so well with Foodie Friday that how could I not include it.
Oh and the Ugly Betty season finale was awesome. Monica is right, depending on what angle you look at her from she looks just like both of us. Super scary. One of my clients told me the other day that I looked just like Ugly Betty. I told him, “thanks seeing how she is all ugly and stuff,” he replied that he didn’t mean it that way and thought we both were cute. I told him it was ok. I think she is cute too, it’s just that no one likes to be told they look like someone whose name is Ugly.
The Egg, Quasi- This reminds me of this movie I saw in Imax called The Egg when I was young. It was very basic computer animation but nothing I have ever seen worked so well with the Imax effect as that movie did. I followed that egg hither and yon through trains tracks and the ocean. I wish I could do it again.
Marriage, Divorce, and Motels, Lenny Bruce- When you listen to this stuff and realize all the mess Lenny Bruce was in for his comedy, you really get an appreciation for how much more we will put up with from comedians these days.
A Peak You Reach, Badly Drawn Boy- Listening to Badly Drawn Boy makes me miss Monica. Good thing I am off to meet her for lunch. Cheerio.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Of the three finalists; Jaslene, Natasha, and Renee I was relatively certain Jaslene would win. I really hated Renee and was hoping to see Jaslene and Natasha duke it out on the runway. I wasn’t disappointed.
The first part of the show had the three finalists filming a “Cover Girl” spot and taking their Cover Girl photo. I put the spot in quotes because the whole “my life as a cover girl” thing they get to do only airs during ANTM and is utterly awful. The models very rarely get any other work with Cover Girl cosmetics. Renee stole this part of the competition. All three of the girls shot horrible commercials but hers was the least horrible. Her picture was also the least horrible although it looked seriously airbrushed. When Tyra didn’t call her name she had the most hilarious look of confusion on her face. You could literally see her saying “Huh?” then taking a deep breath and accepting it. They basically told her she was too old and was starting to get wrinkles from being in sunny Hawaii, harsh. As she left she said “Win this for the Mamas,” to Natasha, which was super bogus because she had been way more friendly with Jaslene from what I could see on the show.
So it was down to the Russian “mail order bride” and the “cha-cha diva” from Chicago. Both of them had horrible commercial as neither can speak properly. Natasha just isn’t all that familiar with the language and Jaslene, well she sounds like a cha-cha diva from around the block in Chicago and when she speaks she opens her mouth in a very unattractive fashion and kind of curls back her lips to show nothing but teeth. However, it was far better than Natasha’s. Jaslene’s Cover Girl photo shoot was also far better. Unless she fell flat on her face during the runway show it was pretty much all her.
Despite my not liking the clothes, the runway show was very entertaining. They had to start out walking as Neanderthal type women, which was utterly hilarious. Natasha was great and Jaslene looked a hot mess. On the next pass Natasha’s skirt fell off. Luckily, she was wearing a bodysuit as well. She handled it with grace. Jaslene just got better and better throughout the show, on her last pass I knew she had sealed the deal.
In the judging room Tyra was the only one who thought Natasha was better on the runway. Many of the judges seemed to like Natasha better as a model but others really favored Jaslene. They all said that Natasha was a quick study and has great potential to improve while Jaslene came in strong and has stayed about the same. This is all true. They picked Jaslene. Yeah. Now I can be done watching that mess until next cycle.
Airbag, Radiohead- How much of a tool am I for listening to Radiohead like it was 1999 on a regular basis? I would venture to say not too much of a tool because good music is always good music .Unless you grow up and realize it sucks.
Jet Song, West Side Story- Am I the only one who thinks the Jets are a bunch of punks and that in a real honest rumble the sharks would have seriously kicked their asses? I hope not because it is true.
God Only Knows, The Beach Boys- This reminds me that Big Love is scheduled to start again soon. Man do I ever enjoy that show. It is utterly ridiculous. I love how they try really hard to make a polygamist family look normal. It is impossible for a family to look normal with like 20 kids.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Fast forward to today and the Akon scandal. Verizon is no longer using him as a sponsor because he pulled an underage girl onstage with him and danced provocatively with her. From what I understood there were not supposed to be people under 18 at the show. Not to mention you aren’t going to stop your show to check someone’s ID. That would certainly ruin the mood. I have also read some articles saying that he is blaming the security guards and not taking full responsibility but isn't that kind of what happened? He apologized but is he supposed to take the blame for bad security and put the onus on himself? That would be idiotic. I am by no means a supporter of Akon’s music because it sounds like ass. The point remains that I don’t exactly see how this was his fault. Am I advocating his crappy sexually explicit music, no, I’m just saying the consequences seem a little excessive. How about the 15yr old girls parents who let her out of the house dressed like a hot ass overage mess in order to go to an 18+ show? I’m just saying.
Maybe it is because no one stopped BBD that things have gotten so out of control. Maybe it is because people just can’t wait to sue someone. It seems everyone is looking to capitalize on the mistakes celebrities make. I’m not saying that celebs don’t make some big mistakes that should be handled, because of course they do. I guess I am saying that what someone says in their lyrics or does in their stage show is generally nothing more than something to get your attention, sell some product, and get some publicity. Even bad publicity is publicity and the way our society works some people want bad press because it helps their image. Does it make for good art? Not necessarily. Does it make for bad art? Not necessarily.
We need some insubordination in order to progress. Granted, I think some genres have gone a little too far and they could probably stand to be a little less offensive and just by doing that they might become more subversive. The question is where do we draw the line? If someone who was convicted for a sex crime subscribes to myspace do the myspace folks have the right to turn their information over to “authorities”? Does it matter if they are already legally registered? What if they want to get in touch with their best friends from grade school and have no interest in talking to young folk? Does it matter, or is their profile information open because they put themselves in the public domain? I don’t quite know how I got here from BBD but I did. And there it goes.
On a different note, the season finale of the best season of America’s Next Top Model since, let’s say season 5 is on tonight. I am a little excited and am hoping that Jaslene wins. Renee is a mean lady who looks old and, as much as I like Natasha, she is a hot ass mess. Then again, I just looked at all their pictures and all three of the girls kind of blow. At least it was a fun season to watch. I miss Jael.
Open Book, Cake- This has to be one of the worst cake songs ever. There was a time when I really liked listening to cake. I don’t generally get the urge to listen to them anymore.
I Don’t Need You, My Bloody Valentine- This is a group that Tony listened to and I thought that they were going to sound completely different than they do sound. They actually sound pretty freaking awesome. I love music that makes me smile and bounce. Not all their songs do, but this one does.
Work It, Lil’ Wayne- When it comes to horrible pop rap Lil’ Wayne is pretty much as good as they come lately. He has been on every single rap album in the past few years (maybe not literally but close to). I have always been one who doesn’t mind mindless music with mixes that work in the clubs. This easily fits that mold. Plus I totally prefer him to Lil’ Flip and Lil’ Keke.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
This event promised to suck royally from the get go. It did suck. While it sounded like a good idea in theory, I didn’t believe the hype. I particularly didn’t believe it when I saw the list of events. However, I was intrigued and already downtown so I decided that I should go. I don’t take enough advantage of the free things that go on in our fine city and didn’t want to miss yet another free event. Even though I knew I might have more fun in my house. As things ended up, despite the suckage, had enough fun that it was worth not going home. However, I easily could have had as much fun at my house.
I started the night with Monica’s sister Chanda and Lakeiya. Dave was supposed to meet up with us but his arrival was postponed because he was bringing us sandwiches and had to make the bread. Dave is adorable. The three of us ladies started the night at “Miss Looptopia” a reported drag show where at least half of the competitors were not in drag. A group of hugely tall people planted themselves directly in front of the stage and refused to move an inch. Apparently there were tons of people trying to get in but weren’t allowed because there was no room. The show started about 15 minutes late, showed three performers, and took a 20 minute break. Huh?? The then had three more performers, took a fifteen minute break, had three more, and closed the show. Mind you, the acts were between 1 and 3 minutes long. The waiting was insane. They were also pretty crappy drag performers. One was of awesome quality, one of the ladies sang a fabulous song about how she wasted to be “Misses Alyssa Milano,” and the trashiest mess of them all was crowned Miss Looptopia. Huh??
We then went to Harold Washington College to create tiles for a mondo mosaic that will go up “somewhere at some point,” and my tile will be in position K-10 when that happens. The idea was that you had to use four lines that continued up from the time before yours and other than that you could do whatever you wanted. You weren’t supposed to write anything but the person giving me my tile said nothing about that. I made a cracked out looking person out of squiggles with the caption “it was a hard day,” beside her face. I want to see it in action. I wonder if I ever will.
By this point Dave and Krista Lee had arrived so we met up with them to see a guy play and we saw the last 30 seconds of his act. We then sat down to have sandwiches. I am quite glad Dave made them MMMMM. As we weren’t going to use the port-o-potties we popped over to the office for a regular bathroom and, as Dave brought some wine and there were cops all over outside, we sat down and had a drink. There were some snacks left over because the Alternative School Prom was that night and they had provided the students with some snacks so that was also nice.
We then headed over to the Art Institute to meet Monica, Morgan, Cheryl, and Fernando. We lost Krista Lee on the way because she met someone and they wanted to play chess. There was a wicked hardcore pillow fight in front of the steps. Loved it. The place was so incredibly crowded that we were simply overwhelmed. The group split up again after wandering the museum for a while looking for “Dreams and Nightmares” which was on the program for 10:30. It sounded cool but some people wanted to see fire and puppets. Dave, Lakeiya, Chanda, and I finally figured out where to stand and when the man waved his hand for Dreams and Nightmares the insanity began. He began speeding through the throngs and Chanda grabbed my hand and pulled me after him. I kept getting wedged between the pushing stream of people and the other people standing in line to get drinks. It’s lucky that I am not averse to bumping into people. We lost Dave and Lakeiya but hoped to find them eventually. We finally get to a gallery, when the group was united, and were given a very informative lecture on surrealist painting. I enjoyed it very much. Our tour guide felt like a superstar.
We then went to meet up with the rest of the group and check out the “knitting” at the Cultural Center. On the way Chanda and I played a game where we would walk in a straight line and not move and see if we could get people to move out of our way. It was fun. I was pretty good at it. Chanda almost got hit by a car and let out the most blood curdling scream I have ever heard directly in my ear, Ouch. The cultural center was incredibly busy, we couldn’t find knitting. We met up with the rest of our friends and said good-night.
You are probably thinking that it sounds like a wonderful time, and it was. However, the Looptopia events had relatively little to do with the fun time. It just goes to show that good people can have a blast with anything despite poor event planning, low staff, utter chaos, and too many people. The bottle of wine probably didn’t hurt either. Looptopia planners, better luck next time.
Lola, The Kinks- I have been listening to this song all morning. I wanted to listen to it on repeat because it just fit my mood perfectly (don’t ask what that means because I can’t explain it and it isn’t what it sounds like) but the biggest drawback to an iPod is the lack of a repeat function. I had to keep pressing buttons, I was annoyed.
Even Though I am in the Closet, David Cross- This is a bit about the importance of going to the Moon. David Cross is really funny. Every time I see his face I just want to laugh because he is the greatest. I don’t think this has anything to do with being in closets.
The Acid Queen, The Who- These titles, along with the Lola and Miss Looptopia, is a pretty perfect fit. Nice work random.
Monday, May 14, 2007
While all my recipes are pretty lax on exact measurements, this one is going to be even more so. It’s all about doing things to taste and these greens taste delicious.
Monica’s Greens Recipe #1 (with modifications a la Natalie)
-1 sweet (Vidalia) onion chopped
-6 cloves garlic (whole)
-2-3 bunches of collard greens rinsed and torn
-2-3 cups spinach rinsed
-2 red tomatoes cut in wedges
-2 green tomatoes cut in wedges
-1 red bell pepper diced
-1 yellow bell pepper diced
-A bunch of vegetable sock like 4 cups or so
-Cumin- a whole lot
-Curry powder- a lot
-Cayenne Pepper- a good amount
-Garlic powder- a little (because the cloves will be very mild when done)
-Salt & Pepper- to taste
-Chili Powder- a little
-Mustard powder- a dash
-1tbsp olive oil
-Hot sauce- to your liking (a good amount)
-Put olive oil in a large pot and heat over medium
-Add onion and about half of the spices and sauté for 4 minutes
-Add peppers and sauté for 3 minutes
-Stir in tomatoes, greens, and spinach stir well
-Add vegetable stock and garlic cloves stir well
-Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer (this should make the garlic cloves nice and mushy so they break apart during stirring and give the whole dish a very mild garlic flavor)
-Give a taste and add the rest of the seasonings until delicious
-Let cook 20 minutes or so stirring occasionally
-Taste again and adjust seasonings if needed
Apparently, Joe Rogan is a funny stand up comic. I never would have guessed but Tony is watching him and is laughing. I almost always laugh at the same things as Tony. Like Joe Rogan calling Bin Laden a comic book villain because he is a billionaire and lives in a cave and every time he almost gets caught he mysteriously disappears. This is hilarious to me. I would not have expected it from Joe Rogan.
Time to out the unguessed songs of last week.
1. Love/ Used to be a stranger to me/ Love/ was so disappointing/ I was waiting for a sign/ I was looking for some company/ So I took a walk outside/ MMMM what a lucky day. There is no Greater Gold, Isobel Campbell.
4. I seen the end of the day come too soon/ Not a lot to say/ Not a lot to do. End of the Day, Beck.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Instead I want to talk about something other than food which I believe is also essential to leading a healthy life. I'm talking about laughter. Without laughter, we are doomed to wallow in the treacherous wasteland that is monotony. We risk falling prey to “matters of consequence,” those of you in the know understand what follows form that. We lose the ability to imagine, to dream, and to achieve relative greatness. Without laughter, we can’t understand what it truly means to be human.
Laughter is caused by many things. Typically, it should be a spontaneous reaction. If you have to think about making yourself laugh, you probably have no business laughing in the first place. Sometimes, even the finniest things don’t make you laugh. Instead they make you smile or chuckle. That is okay too. Sometimes people think a smile or a chuckle isn’t as good or as honest reaction as a laugh. Those people are wrong.
What makes someone laugh is individual. There are even some people out there who don’t laugh when someone gets hit in the balls. Hasn’t American’s Funniest Home Videos taught us anything? A person getting hit in the balls is hilarious. It always has been and it always will be. Most other things are subjective. Humor depends on your frame of reference. Your upbringing, life experience, friends and family, sociopolitical views, and job are only some of the endless things that will contribute to your sense of humor.
People tend to like to share things that make them laugh. They hope that the sense of enjoyment they got from the experience will transfer to the people around them. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. My sister sent me and the rest of the family a video about a lady talking about saluting the vagina and government cheese. She thought it was hilarious, so did my father. I don’t know what my mother thought. I wanted to punch the woman in the face she was so annoying. My sister and I have relatively similar frames of reference and typically laugh at the same things. Not in this case. I thought that bird of paradise video was hilarious and wonderful, Monica (who has a great sense of humor and we often laugh together) thought it was disgusting. In her defense I watched it without sound and the noises people were making during the video were kind of gross.
Anyone who knows me knows that I find Stephen Colbert incredibly funny. In fact, I also find him incredibly hot. Mostly because of how funny he is but also because I have strange taste in men. Last night, in his continuing battle with South Korean superstar, Rain, he made me fall even deeper in love by singing in Korean. You won’t be disappointed.
Stephen, if you stumble upon this post, know that should anything go wrong in your marriage (and I hope it doesn’t) that I will always be there for you. Tony understands, he knows you are wicked awesome. It’s ok. Without further ado, I give you Stephen “Singing in Korean”
1. Love/ Used to be a stranger to me/ Love/ was so disappointing/ I was waiting for a sign/ I was looking for some company/ So I took a walk outside/ MMMM what a lucky day
2. Through the warmest cord of care/ Your love was sent to me/ I’m not sure/ What to do with it/ or where to put it. Hidden Place, Bjork. Identified by Janna
3. From the depths of the Pacific/ To the height of Everest/ Still the world is smoother/ Then a shiny ball bearing. Everest, Ani DiFranco. Identified by Brooke.
4. I seen the end of the day come too soon/ Not a lot to say/ Not a lot to do
5. Your butt is wide/ Well mine is too/ Just watch your mouth/ Or I‘ll sit on you. Fat, Weird Al. Identified by Brooke.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Today, however, I found an awesome exception to the rule. Sr. year of high school, I had English with a crazy cat named Tollef. He was a lot of fun to make jokes about Hamlet with and to carry on generally insane conversations. I was planning to ask him to prom because he was a fun person to be around and we would have had a crazy time. My best friend Emily ended up asking him instead. Emily got her second prom and I got my second no prom. It caused some problems between us because I told her about my idea and then a few days later she said she had the same idea and I conceded because I thought the friendship was more important. Today I really don’t care. Tollef later said if he had known he would have stayed his butt at home. I thought that was a good answer.
Anyway, in the almost ten years since high school, Tollef has moved to Alaska. Not only is he a salmon fisherman, which is pretty freaking awesome, but he is also an Iditarod racer. To top that off he finished in 10th place in the 2007 race and won an award for the most improved musher from 44th place in 2006. How freaking awesome is that?
What is even funnier is that this makes the second person I know who has gone to Alaska to mush dogs. Tony and I have an impossible to reach friend Will who tends to pop up suddenly for great times and then never returns a call or email for months also took some time away in Alaska. I think he was training and maintaining a pack of mushing dogs rather than racing them but it is still a coincidence. I wonder if they know each other. I would ask Will but I can’t get in touch with him.
The point is that it got me thinking of what kind of crazy man vs. nature thing I would chose to do if I were going to do some crazy man vs. nature type of thing, which I am not. That is certainly not my cup of tea. However, if it were, what would I do.? Alaska is certainly out of the question, far too cold. Therefore, any pole exploration also follows plus since that 79yr old woman became the first African- American to reach the North Pole all the glory is gone. Kidding of course but, damn, what a woman. Climbing mountains is certainly out, it’s also cold and the air is thin so my asthma would be a big detractor. I think I will go with exploring the upper canopy of the redwood forests. I saw this guy on The Colbert Report talking about it the other day and it seemed pretty cool. Not too cold, friendly squirrels and other wildlife that doesn’t know they should be afraid of humans, and lots and lots of ropes.
What would you do?
1. Love/ Used to be a stranger to me/ Love/ was so disappointing/ I was waiting for a sign/ I was looking for some company/ So I took a walk outside/ MMMM what a lucky day
2. Through the warmest cord of care/ Your love was sent to me/ I’m not sure/ What to do with it/ or where to put it
3. I’ve been living to see you/ Dying to see you but it shouldn’t be like this/ This was unexpected/ What do I do now/ Could we start again please. Could We Start Again, Jesus Christ Superstar Soundtrack. Identified by Brooke.
4. Tears on the sleeve of a man/ Don’t wanna be a boy today/ Heard the eternal footman/ Bought himself a bike to race. Pretty Good Year, Tori Amos. Identified by Brooke.
5. I am the voice inside your head/ And I control you/ I am the lover in your bed/ And I control you/ I am the sex that you provide/ And I control you/ I am the hate you try to hide/ And I control you. Mr. Self Destruct, Nine Inch Nails. Identified by Brooke.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
1. You have a wonderful youthful energy that radiates from your person. Even when upset, you swing your arms around and smile as you throw tantrums. What makes you so gosh darned jolly and adorable?
The thing is, I have a pretty low tolerance for pain, both emotional and physical. I just can't bring myself to be unhappy for long periods of time. I think that's why I get so frustrated and indignant sometimes; I need all the emotions to come to the surface and just be able to get them out so I can be done with them. The weird thing is that I spent a lot of time as a kid unhappy. I didn't really have an unhappy childhood but for some reason, I just wasn't happy. I used to believe that no one in life could be truly happy; you just had good moments, and the memories of the good moments sustained you through the long and unpleasant unhappy times. But I've earned that being unhappy is tiring and draining and that I don't particularly care for it. I've found that, for me, it's easier to be happy. I'm naturally sort of easy going and strange and optimistic. So put together my low threshold for pain and my refusal to expend the energy to be anything other than what I am and you get someone who skips down the hall at work and performs mini dance routines in the middle of the office when she thinks no one is looking. ::shrugs::
2. What, other than me, will you miss about Jobs For Youth when you leave. I realize this may be a really hard question as I have taken away the greatest thing about working at this place (me in case you forgot) for an answer.
While I'll definitely, definitely miss my coworkers, I think what I'll miss most is the place I've kind of made for myself here. I feel like I've sort of found my place here and it took be a while to do that. I've learned what I'm good at and how I can contribute and I like that. I like being helpful and being good at what I'm good at. I think I'll miss that the most: being able to contribute to a place and feeling like what I do makes a little bit of a difference. I enjoy working w/ my clients (most of the time, anyway) and I love the feeling of being able to help them and knowing that I'm something positive in their lives. I also work in a department that works really well together and I enjoy contributing to a team that creates that type of synergy.
3. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be and how would you maintain variety in your diet?
That's a hard question because I'm torn between choosing potatoes or bread. And though the discovery of sourdough bread changed my life, I think I'm going to have to choose potatoes. They're yummy and easy to cook and versatile; you can have them mashed or cut up into strips and made into French fries or however you cut them to make them into hashed browns. And I'm counting sweet potatoes as potatoes also because they have the word potato in their name, so that opens up a whole 'nother world of possibilities: baked sweet potatoes, sweet potato fries . . . .
4. If you were magically transformed into an animal what animal would you be and where would you want to live?
This is probably completely unoriginal but I've always had a fascination with dolphins. I would want to be a dolphin and live off of the southern coast of Africa. I got to see dolphins swimming near the coast in South Africa and there was something almost magical about it. I also love that they live in groups and that they're highly intelligent. They're seen as friendly and playful but people often underestimated their dangerousness. That friendliness mixed with fierceness appeals to me.
5. If you were to get fired tomorrow would you secretly be smug and happy or would you be out in the open with it.
I'd be secretly smug and happy. I'll admit that I have a bit of a vindictive streak but I always end up feeling guilty about being mean so for my own sake, I try to curb it. Plus, I think there's something to the idea of leaving graciously. Despite some of the craziness, I've had a fairly good experience here and, at this point, I'm content to leave quietly with that thought and leave all the craziness behind.
1. I wanna reach out/ And touch the sky/ I wanna touch it/ But I don’t need to fly. Supernaut, Black Sabbath. Kind of sort of identified by Kiyotoe
2. Love/ Used to be a stranger to me/ Love/ was so disappointing/ I was waiting for a sign/ I was looking for some company/ So I took a walk outside/ MMMM what a lucky day
3. Through the warmest cord of care/ Your love was sent to me/ I’m not sure/ What to do with it/ or where to put it
4. I’ve been living to see you/ Dying to see you but it shouldn’t be like this/ This was unexpected/ What do I do now/ Could we start again please
5. It was a cold and wet December day/ When we touched the ground at JFK/ Snow was melting on the ground/ On the BLS I heard the sound. Angel of Harlem, U2. Identified by Johnny Yen
Monday, May 07, 2007
This post is full of twists and turns, I hope you can survive its non-linear incongruity.
Whenever I think of the word Survivor, I think of the episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm with “the survivors”. For those of you who have not seen it, here is a quick synopsis. Larry’s dad has a friend who is a Holocaust survivor. Larry is talking to a friend about how he has to have this survivor over for dinner. Larry’s friend mentions that he also knows a survivor so Larry suggests that he also come to dinner. Unfortunately, the friend’s “survivor” was not a Holocaust survivor. He was a cast member of the reality show Survivor. The two survivors get in an argument about who had the hardest time surviving. It was a hilarious episode.
Anyway my point is that survival is relative and that pain is also relative. That no matter how bad something may seem, from another perspective it could be looked at as an opportunity to learn something or to grow as a person. I’m not saying that the Holocaust falls into that category; that would be crazy talk. I’m just saying that anything is debatable. Every experience has two sides.
It seems like everyone I know is in the middle of something new. People are leaving jobs, moving, getting jobs, doing all kinds of fun and exciting things. I’m not doing anything. They are on one side of survival, the side that moves and changes. I am on the other side, the one that just trudges on aimlessly doing nothing but simply surviving. I almost would welcome a tragedy, something where I could dig in and get my hands dirty and make sure that I am alive, not just surviving.
Then again, what is so wrong with simple survival? Maybe there is nothing wrong with it. I am a happy person. I make people happy and ease their general survival. I have admitted to myself that I’m probably not going to make some enormous impact on our society as a whole. Why shouldn’t I just survive? What harm would it do? None, and it makes good blog ponderings. I suppose just by dealing with the ups and down of daily trails I am a survivor. Not a Survivor, but a survivor, and that might be okay with me.
1. I wanna reach out/ And touch the sky/ I wanna touch it/ But I don’t need to fly
2. Love/ Used to be a stranger to me/ Love/ was so disappointing/ I was waiting for a sign/ I was looking for some company/ So I took a walk outside/ MMMM what a lucky day
3. Through the warmest cord of care/ Your love was sent to me/ I’m not sure/ What to do with it/ or where to put it
4. Hey bra/ How ya doing man/ It’s been a while man life is so rad/ this band’s my favorite man don’t you love em/ Oh man you want a beer/ Oh man hell bra this is the best man I’m so glad we’re all back together and stuff/ this is great man/ Hey do you know about the party after the show/ Aw man it’s gonna be the best/ I’m so stoned/ take it easy bro. The Sweater Song, Weezer. Identified by Monica and Phil
5. I want to tell you/ My head is filled with things to say/ When you’re here/ All those words they seem to/ slip away. I Want To Tell You, The Beatles. Identified by Mom and Johnny Yen
Friday, May 04, 2007
Things in Natalie’s Fridge: half a red pepper, mushrooms, spinach, scallions, cheddar, dressings and condiments
Things in Natalie’s Freezer: corn, lima beans, grouper fillets (that Tony has decided are nasty and will probably remain there forever), a lone veggie burger, pita
Things in Natalie’s Cupboard: Flour, vegetable shortening, old mashed potato flakes, half a serving of Honey Bunches of Oats, vanilla protein powder
What would you have done?
I made vegetable tacos
Tortillas- The recipe goes like this-
-¼ cup vegetable shortening (I use less because they came out a little oily the first time I suggest around 1/6 cup)
-¾ cup hot water.
Mix together until doughy. Knead for 4-6 min, roll into 8 wee balls and let rise for 20 min. Roll wee balls out into flat rounds (I have been using cups does anyone have a spare rolling pin). Heat skillet over medium-high heat and carefully place tortilla in the pan. When it starts to get a little puffy (5-10 sec) flip it and cook another 5 secs on the other side. MMMM fresh tortillas.
Filling- Heat 1tbsp vegetable oil with cayenne pepper and chili powder. Throw in 1 clove garlic diced, add mushrooms, spinach, and frozen corn. Cook till spinach is wilted and corn is done. Dice red pepper, slice some scallion rounds (now that I think about it, they would have been really good inside the tortilla dough) grate some cheddar. Sprinkle on some El Tapito.
I don’t know if everyone out there has been watching Planet Earth or not but everyone should. That show is brilliant. I have also found a video that will make me eternally happy. It is a snipped from the Jungles episode. The episode began with various Birds of Paradise doing their mating things. This bird is my new best friend. Enjoy.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
1. Green Zebra
I wanted to do something special for New Years, 2006 and I searched high and low for a restaurant where I could go and enjoy a fabulous meal. Most of the fancy gourmet type restaurants in Chicago have prix fixe menus for New Years. As a vegetarian, I can’t eat most prix fixe menus. However, Green Zebra is a vegetarian dream. The décor is minimalist and very modern. There are clean lines and dim lights that really set the mood well. The menu changes seasonally and, although I have only been once, every time I look at the menu I want to rush over and eat as much as possible. The wine pairing with dinner was also excellent. If only I could spend $30 a person on a regular basis this would be my most frequent spot.
2. Alice and Friends which doesn't have it's own website so metromix has to do
I have never had “meat” as delicious as that at Alice and Friends. They really do something special with that soy protein. Meat eaters always agree too it isn’t just a veggie opinion. Their specialty is Korean food and everything I ate was delicious. The prices are very reasonable I think about $20 per person. The only drawback is that the place is absolutely tiny and it can be hard to get table at peak hours. You also can end up eating relatively close to someone. If you go during the week it shouldn’t be a problem. The atmosphere is really quaint and adorable and, if not full, can be very comfortable.
3. La Fonda Metromix has done it again
This place is simply delicious. While it does register high on the price scale $30 a person I think it is well worth it. Plus they give you chips and salsa and portions are huge so an appetizer isn’t necessary (although totally delicious). While they have only one vegetarian entrée it is easily one of the more delicious entrees I have ever had. They also have many a vegetarian appetizer so a veggie could have one or two of those and make a delicious meal thus not having to order the same thing over and over. The service was wonderful and the setting very modern without being sterile. You may need a reservation during peak hours but you may not.
4. Frontera Grill/Topolobampo
Do I need to say anything other than Rick Bayless? I think not. This duo of restaurants is a veritable dining experience. The sauces and flavors are fantastic. However, I do prefer my guacamole. Frontera is the cheaper of the two $35 while Topolobampo (where I haven’t actually eaten) is about $45. This is another one that is a little sparse on the vegetarian side. It depends on the menu they are sporting at the time. They usually have one thing at one of the two restaurants, sometimes more. However, I would check what they will be serving before going if you are not a meat eater. You’re going to plop down some cash so you better plan to enjoy your meal selections. Reservations are highly suggested if not required.
5. Geja’s Café
Geja’s is a veritable dining experience. It is widely recognized as one of the most romantic restaurants in Chicago and I would have to agree. You’re going to be treated to a four course meal so go hungry. This is a fondue restaurant so if communal cooking isn’t your thing, skip it. The meal will average about $35 a person (unless you take a veggie when it will be $20) but, as wine flights are a must, plan for around $70 each. Getting a booth is an extra special treat. You can’t reserve them so the best way to manage is to make a 5pm reservation (when they open) and be the first ones there. There are only two two-seater booths so arriving as early as four may not be a bad idea. Sitting at a table isn’t at all bad either though, so don’t feel pressed to go the extra mile. You will first get a salad, then a cheese fondue (MMMMM cheese) with fruit and breads for dipping, the third course is an oil fondue where you are served a tray of your selected meats and vegetables (or just vegetables if you are me), eight delectable dipping sauces, and instructions on how long various things take to cook. The final course is a flaming chocolate fondue with sweeter fruits, cakes, and marshmallows for dipping. I’ve went here once for a romantic Christmas dinner and the second time made my parents take me cause I knew it would be fun and they paid. Oh, an extra perk is that no kids under 10 are allowed.
So there are my top five “special” dining places in Chicago. Anyone who wants to participate in this meme can feel free.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Minneapolis is the smallest place I have ever lived, other than the Sarah Lawrence campus and that was nestled in lovely Yonkers, not your typical small town. I had spent four hours in Cedarburg before but the few days trip was something I was really looking forward to. I wanted to get a glimpse of small town life. I know there are many towns out there with far less than 11,000 people but the size was definitely enough to give me a small town feel.
We drove up with Tony’s friend Ryan. We stopped at the Mars Cheese Castle for a quick drink and Ryan got some jam at the other cheese place down the road. It was actually my second visit to the cheese castle. Surprisingly, I didn’t buy any cheese. I just didn’t feel like it and I was being cheap. The Morel & Leak Jack Cheese at the place next door looked relatively delicious though. I kind of wish I had purchased some. Oh well. We also stopped on the South Side of Milwaukee to eat a little food with Tony and Ryan’s childhood friend Greg. He was a good guy.
Cedarburg is about 20 minutes outside Milwaukee (with no traffic) and we met up with Tony’s mom at a wonderful little spot called Ernie’s Wine Bar. Apparently this place was the “Triple L Tap” when Tony was growing up and he and Ryan planned to go there as soon as they turned 21. It was not the triple L tap they remembered. Other than Tony’s mom there was one man and the owner/bartender in the establishment. I think there had been some other people in but they left as soon as we walked in the door. The place was quaint epitomized. It was absolutely beautiful as far as decoration went but had a quiet rustic charm. The walls were a nice muted green, kind of the color of my parent’s dining room (this information helps very few people) and had a wonderful dark wood bar and mirror. The outside patio was incredibly comfortable. The other patron was thinking about leaving to catch Desperate Housewives but instead they just put it on the bar TV.
Cedarburg calmed me. I couldn’t explain it at that point in the trip but there was something about the atmosphere that really made me feel comfortable. The next day I went to my very first real and true Piggly Wiggly. In all honesty I can’t remember seeing those anywhere other than in the movies. Then again, I just had a sinking suspicion that there may have been one in Tarrytown. Maybe I am just dreaming though. The funny think about Piggly Wiggly was that I was expecting it to be this hilarious back woods place with off brands and a limited selection of food. Workers were supposed to be wearing red and white striped shirts and aprons. It wasn’t like that. I was very impressed with their selection. They had a nice vegetarian meats case and we got some burgers to tide us over. We tried desperately to find some Americone Dream but it was sold out and I could just see the sticker under one for Mint Chocolate Chip or something like that. The employees had navy shirts. It was a very nice looking grocery. We also went to the other grocery store in town; the more upscale one, to try to find Americone Dream. They too were sold out but hadn’t put anything over the price sticker for the flavor. Tony has yet to taste any. We may have to write to Stephen.
Before leaving Tony and I were standing in the yard of his mother’s house and I was looking at the surrounding town. There was something about the place that I just couldn’t put my finger on. I wasn’t sure why I liked it so much or what made me feel so good. Eventually I noticed it was the air. The actual air of the town was something I had never experienced. It had a smell, a crispness if you will, that I had never really encountered before. It was so incredibly fresh. Then I looked around and noticed how clean everything was. The grass (even with dandelions) around the neighborhood was lush and green. I realized I hadn’t seen a really dirty car while I was there, everyone kept things washed. The houses all looked to be painted well and were in good repair. Even the sidewalks themselves were clean. They were literally a few shades lighter than the concrete I am used to looking at. The sky was a blue I had only seen on the rarest occasions. A car past with audible music and I realized it was the first time I had heard noise other than birds chirping, the rain, and cars driving by the whole time I had been there. It was like living in a different world.
Unfortunately, do to weather and time I didn’t have much of a chance to walk around town. I was pretty confined to the small section that the house was in. I am looking forward to another visit when we can really take in the town in full. I want to see the area where Tony grew up and go playing in the woods of his childhood. He suggested maybe TPing a house because “that’s what you do in Cedarburg,” although I am pretty sure he was joking.
It isn’t a place I would want to live at this point in my life. The owner of Ernie’s mentioned to us that it isn’t a place someone under 40 would want to live. He is probably right. There just isn’t enough excitement around. However, as a place to just be and a place where you can easily relax it was absolutely wonderful. I look forward to being able to seem more of this quaint little town.