Thursday, December 20, 2007

Found

There is an awesome website called Found Magazine, where people send in various items they found which might be of interest to those of us who like snippets into strangers' lives. Today, I finally found a good one. Normally, I just find grocery store lists and stuff like that.

Here's the note I found in my parking lot at work (I am keeping the incorrect spelling and missed punctuation):

Johanna,

I don't know what caused the fight -- it doesn't matter. I don't know what you expected from me in 1 day. You have given me absolutely no choice. Production is closed at US Water mattress until Jan 3. I cant controll that. You don't want me driving. Fine. You don't want me sitting at the house. What am I do do? You say you will resent me. For reasons I can't controll. I WILL NOT sit around to have you resent me over things I cannot controll. I am a man and you will not be-little me. You have no patience for me and that is not my fault. We are not intimate at all. You dont love me. Maybe you wont resent me when I have my own car and am working. Ill be in touch. I love you.

Bob

(I hope they work it out)

Frosty the Snowman



I've been watching "Frosty the Snowman" on television since I was a little girl. Every year, when Frosty melts into a puddle in the greenhouse, I cry. This year, I didn't think I would, since I'm 30 now.

It was on last night, and it came to the part where he melts and they do the song montage while they flash pictures of Frosty when he was a snowman, and I cried, again.

I am embarrassed.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Forgot Some

I forgot to add Of Montreal's Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? to my top albums list. Not all the songs are great, but the ones that are rule. I think I forgot to add this one because I like it so much, it seems like I've been listening to it for more than a year.

I also forgot to add Jens Lekman and Panda Bear to albums I haven't yet heard.

Monday, December 17, 2007

My So-Called Life


My So-Called Life came out the other week on DVD, and I can't wait to start watching it (I have to wait until after Christmas). When this show aired on ABC in 1994, it was comforting to know I wasn't alone in my teenage loneliness. If you've never seen the show, and you were part of the crowd who didn't go to drunken field parties, I highly recommend it.

Favorite Albums of 2007 (and some disappointing ones)

I now present to you my favorite albums of 2007:

Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank


After their last album, I didn't have super high hopes for this one, but it surprised me and I couldn't stop listening to it after I first bought it.

M.I.A. - Kala

Yummy dance tunes that are also good for running. "Paper Planes" is one of my favorite songs of the year.

Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

This is a really nice collection of pop tunes.

Les Savy Fav - Let's Stay Friends

Saving Rock and Roll in America

Radiohead - In Rainbows

One of the most beautiful albums I've ever heard.

Albums I liked, but didn't make the top:

Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero

because I heart Trent Reznor. Survivalism is one of the best songs he's written in a long time.

LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver

"North American Scum" is one of my favorite singles of 2007

Wilco - Sky Blue Sky

A pretty summer album, but a kind of boring Wilco record. Still, it's nice.

Albums I've heard and liked, but have yet to buy:

Iron and Wine - The Shepard's Dog
Liars - Mute
Beirut - The Flying Club Cup

Disappointing Albums of 2007:

Arcade Fire - Neon Bible

Sounded like it was produced in a water tank. Some of the songs are good, but the sound is so awfully muffled that it's distracting.

The Shins - Wincing the Night Away

Sounds too blah. I am willing to give this one another shot though.

Bjork - Volta

Loved "Earth Intruders". The rest of the album was only kind of interesting though.

I Do Not Know

if there is a better band than Radiohead playing music right now.

Neat Kitchen Stuff


I was browsing my friend's wishlist this morning and came across the foodloop. It's a silicone string you can use to tie food together when cooking. What a great idea! They also have other products, like a gentle meat tenderizer, a little silcone pod for poaching eggs, and a drizzle stick. Check them out here!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Let's Hope This Is True

Because I am so tired of their past few crappy syrupy records

From the R.E.M. site:

We then joined up with Mike and Peter, along with Jacknife Lee, in London, where they all undertook the final work on mixing the new record, which will be out in the spring if all goes according to plan. Key word for this one: guitars. And if you liked them in Dublin and on YouTube.

My Friends Are Awesome


My friend resides in NYC and I got a message from her this morning saying that she saw me broadcast my cupcake signal in the sky and that cupcake gal is on her way!

(Translation: She read my email about how much I missed Magnolia Bakery and Sugar Sweet Sunshine and is bringing me some on Christmas night)

She rules.

p.s. I made the cupcakes pictured above.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Not Quite a Top Ten of 2007

I am embarassed to say that I did not go to 10 shows this year. Normally, I average about 3 shows per month in a calendar year. This year, I decided to save my money and only go to the shows I really had to see. This meant that all shows I attended were awesome, so they all make the list. They were as follows (in no particular order):

Wilco at Merriweather
Tori Amos at Constitution Hall
Morrissey at Constitution Hall
Magnolia Electric Company at the Black Cat

Sure, there were tons of shows I'd like to have gone to this year, but having a house is more fun.

Scary

Last night, I heard a crash in my kitchen. Actually, I'm 1/2 deaf, so I thought it came from upstairs, but then decided it came from the kitchen. It's pretty scary to hear that and then wonder which of your favorite bowls or baking pieces just broke. Luckily, the shelf that fell didn't do much damage, except to break this pretty little bowl with handpainted flowers I once inherited from a friend who was moving to Florida.

Apparently, our shelves which seem all nice and sturdy are really only held up by these little cheap plastic pieces. So, now I'm freaked that another one will bite the dust.

Looks like our winter project will be securing them with real hardware. Hopefully, in the meantime, they'll stay put!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Finally

One of my first blog posts ever was about my sadness at having an artificial tree for the holiday season. Last night, my husband and I finally bought a real tree for our new house. He is the cutest, scrawniest Charlie Brown tree.

Our living room smells like pine, and it's awesome.

A note to my readers: LED lights will hurt your eyes and burn your retinas in a most unappealing way. Stay away from them.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Pretty


I worked at the National Cathedral a few weeks ago, and took a picture of my favorite stained glass window. I have always remembered this window from a field trip our French class took to the Cathedral in high school. It commemorates space, and there's a moon rock in it.

I think it's pretty.

Daring Bakers



I decided this week to join a blog group called "The Daring Bakers". Each month, one of the members picks a recipe and everyone makes it. Usually, there are some rules, so you can add your own little spin on the recipe, if you'd like. Near the end of the month, there is a big reveal!

My first month of participation will be January, so look for my creation!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Tough One

Monday night, the Ravens played the Patriots in what everyone was predicting would be a game of catch between Tom Brady and Randy Moss. But, the Ravens came out on the field that night to play football, and to show the Patriots who's boss.

Which they did, for 3.75 quarters. Kyle Boller showed up Tom Brady by surpassing his numbers for the night. He played what some will say the best game of his career so far, and endeared himself to the doubting Ravens' fans and sportscasters who hadn't even mentioned him during the pre-game show. The offensive line for the Ravens held strong and allowed McGahee to run all over the Patriots defense. The Ravens even scored some offensive points! Things were looking up for the Ravens. In fact, it looked as if they might actually defeat the unbeaten Patriots.

Towards the end of the fourth quarter, things began to fall apart. Two key plays for me made the difference in the game. The first was the sideline timeout call by Rex Reed. I did not know that only a head coach can call a sideline timeout. How appropriate that the whistle was not blown until the ball had been snapped and the Ravens had stopped the Patriots on fourth and one. The refs said they didn't have time to turn around and see who called the timeout. Isn't this their JOB?

The second play was the "touchdown" at the end of the game by the Patriots. The receiver clearly was not holding onto the ball. The refs wanted the Patriots to score a touchdown and beat the four and seven Ravens, so they did.

Not to mention the ref calling our player "boy". I know Bart Scott shouldn't have reacted the way he did, but there would have been nothing to react to if this hadn't had been taking place.

The Patriots may have beaten the Ravens score, but I think we should be proud of our team. They pressured Tom Brady, sacked him, and made him look like a sissy on the field. He was even throwing little temper tantrums on the sideline. They showed the rest of the NFL teams that the Patriots are vulnerable. They let the sportscasters know that the Ravens can still play football.

Now it's up to you Steelers. You can do it!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Connections

My friend went to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and was kind enough to take some pictures of the balloons for me.





Off the Needles

Here's a rundown of my holiday knits (the recipients don't really look here, so I'm safe):

A shawl I made for my mother-in-law. I made the same one for my Grandma and she loved it. I haven't blocked this piece yet. Blocking will bring out the yarnovers (holes) in the work.


Closeup

This is a shawl I made for my mom. I thought it seemed like a nice idea, but now that it's finished, I'm afraid it looks too much like an afghan. I think I'm going to bill this as a nice thing to wear around the house. It'll be like a miniature blanket you can put around your shoulders! I still need to block this as well and buy a sweater pin for it.



Finally, the wavy scarf I made for my little sister from a knitty.com pattern.



I also have a few others finished. I should get them posted sometime soon.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hello Kitty Balloon


I found this picture of the Hello Kitty balloon this morning! enjoy.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Correction

I was informed that the Jeff Koons "Rabbit" is no longer on display at the Baltimore Museum of Art. This news saddens me.

It's true. I called them to make sure.

On the Needles

Holiday Status Edition:

I finished the bulk of my holiday knitting this weekend. Finished are two shawls and a scarf. I am working on these armwarmers from knitty.com. I don't think I like one of the shawls I finished. It looks like a miniature blanket.

I should have the armwarmers finished by Thanksgiving. They knit up super quick.

After that, only three hats to go!

Very exciting.

(K, I know you want to see pics. I will try to post some after I block them)

Favorite Gifts

It's the holiday season, and that means only one thing. Oprah's Favorite Things! I'm not a really big Oprah fan. I have a theory that she perpetuates this feeling of helplessness among women in America, but this is the one episode every year that I take off work 30 minutes early to go home and watch. I just think it's really fun to see all the stuff she gives away and to see everyone's reactions when she announces they're all getting a big screen tv. (I would not want to see the taxes these people have to pay on this stuff. It would be nice if Oprah paid them)

I thought it would be nice to make a list of my favorite presents I've gotten over the years. Not for any reason other than it's fun.

1. A blue cash register with a drawer that opened
2. A homemade cabbage patch kid
3. Western Barbie
4. An astronaut cabbage patch kid (he came in his own little space capsule)
5. The Led Zeppelin Box Set
6. The Complete Set of the Chronicles of Narnia
7. A flock of chickens from Heifer International
8. A pink ipod nano
9. A camera (for 110 film!)
10. Seasons 1-3 of the Wire
11. A Hello Kitty Blanket
12. A pretty pearl necklace
13. A box of homemade clothes from my Nana (and the avon lip gloss that always came with it)

I really love everything that I am fortunate enough to receive during the holidays. It is my favorite time of year. I also love picking out presents for people and making mental lists of things throughout the year to get for them. If you're at a loss for gifts this year, I highly recommend looking at the Heifer International Site. They are such a wonderful organization. My friend Jen bought me a flock of chickens when we were teenagers, and it continues to be one of my favorite gifts. You can view their website here.

File Under Awesome


Current and former cast members of Saturday Night Live performed in front of a small audience this weekend at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. The proceeds of the show went to benefit members of their crew, who have been laid off because of the writer's strike. That guy from Superbad (Michael Cera) hosted and Yo La Tengo performed. It was probably the best night ever. Too bad I didn't get to go.

They are also performing a live episode of 30 Rock tonight. I think I'd probably rather go to this, but I don't have tickets, and I don't live in New York, so I'm missing out on this one as well.

It's really too bad they aren't filming these for secret release on ebay.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Where'd You Put the Keys?


There is also going to be a balloon this year based on the Jeff Koons sculpture, Rabbit. This is on display at the Baltimore Museum of Art, and is super awesome. I have always wanted to touch it, but I don't because I'm scared of setting off alarms in museums. I am also scared of accidentally falling into paintings at museums.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Every year, I watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I know it's cheesy and I really could do without Matt Lauer and the rest of the Today show crew hosting it, but for some reason, cheesiness rules on Thanksgiving morning. I cannot think of a better way to lead up to a day of eating a bunch of food with friends and family. My mom and sisters call to inform each other about which next broadway show tune will next be performed, or to make sure we don't miss a really good balloon sighting.

This year, I found out there will be a Hello Kitty balloon, and I'm super excited! I love Hello Kitty. She's the best ever.

If you want to see a preview of the new balloons, check out this video. The Shrek balloon scares me. I don't know why, but I think that Shrek is really frightening. Maybe it's because I thought the movie was supposed to be funny and it just made me cry. But that Sesame Street character is super cute (and purple!).

Did I mention that I'm a dork?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Holiday Baking


I don't know about you, but I can't wait to start my holiday baking. It is always such fun to pick out the cookie recipes I am going to make. After a few years in a row of making iced sugar cookies, I think I am going to forgo making them again this year. They take so long to make, that I usually don't get a nice variety of cookies.

This year, I am thinking of making linzer tarts, spritz (my personal favorite), and maybe two or three others.

I feel pretty accomplished at making cakes and pies, but for some reason, my cookies have always come out a little sub par. I read this year that it may have to do with the fact that I bake with unbleached flour instead of bleached flour. This year, I'm using bleached flour for my cookies. I'm also taking all of my recipes from the lovely folks at Cook's Illustrated thanks to the baking cookbook I received for my 30th birthday. Those folks really don't mess around when it comes to cooking and baking.

Anyone have any suggestions for holiday baking?

Friday, November 09, 2007

Update

I am about 1/3 finished with my holiday knitting projects. Hopefully, I will finish my second shawl this week. I am also guessing that the hats will be a breeze. I think I'll be able to safely post some pictures, as there are probably only about 4 of you who read my blog these days.

I went to Little Rock, Arkansas for the third time this week. I visited the Clinton Library and had a much nicer time than the previous visits. What a neat building! I miss the days when we had presidents who only lied about getting blow jobs. Those were simpler times. Sadly, I forgot my camera, so no pictures, but you can check out their website, if you are so inclined.

The food in Little Rock to be just alright, so if any of you have any recommendations, I would welcome them. This time around, I ate at the Sonny Williams steakhouse. It wasn't the best steak I've ever eaten, but it was yummy.

Unfortunately, I also had to go to Outback steakhouse as part of my meeting. It was the first time I'd ever eaten there. I do not understand the appeal of that place. The sweet potato was excellent, but their steak is really sub par.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Boo.

Today, I received an email from California Tortilla about their new bonus program. Instead of the old "buy 7 burritos, get one free" offer, they're giving out some new electronic rewards card.

Now, every time you spend 50 bucks, you get 5 bucks towards your next purchase. This basically means that you have to spend twice as much money there to get a free lunch.

I am tired of companies trading in their awesome rewards system (like the one Borders used to have) for a shittier rewards system and trying to pretend like it's better and more fun.

(I realize it's stupid to complain about things like this.)

Fall Albums

I had intended this list to come to you complete with fancy album cover pictures, but I never have the time to do all of this. So, I present to you a list of fall albums that are currently available for your listening pleasure:

1. Les Savy Fav - Let's Stay Friends - This may be the album of the year for me. Les Savy Fav has stayed an indie rock secret for too long. Their live shows can't be beat and this album was worth waiting a number of years for. Let's hope they make it to the Maryland area soon.

2. Iron and Wine - The Shepard's Dog - Iron and Wine sounds so pretty when you're driving around in the fall. Their new album is another great addition to their catalog. I've been hearing them played alot recently on wtmd. Highly recommended.

3. Liars - selftitled - If you listened to their first album (that I love) and heard this one, you'd swear it was made by a different band. Still, this album is one of the more inventive of the new releases I've heard lately.

4. Enon - Grass Geysers...Carbon Clouds - Another good album from one of my favorite bands. It isn't great, but it's a cute little pop album. They'll be playing the Rock and Roll Hotel in DC on November 15th. I highly recommend attending this show.

5. M.I.A. - Yes, I know this album technically came out in the summer months, but I haven't mentioned it and it's a damn good album. It's super fun and will have you dancing in your car like a silly white girl (if you're me) in no time.

I am also looking forward to hearing the new Beirut album, but haven't listened to it yet. If you've heard it, let me know how it sounds.

Trick-or-Treat

Last night, my husband and I handed out candy to trick-or-treaters for the first time. For my husband, it really was the first time, as he had never before participated in obtaining free candy from strangers. This was because when he was little, he lived in the middle of nowhere and there wasn't a place to go trick-or-treating. It was my first time handing out candy since my parents moved to the country when I was a teenager.

Living in a townhouse in the suburbs, I thought we would have tons of people taking our candy. I forgot that in this suburb, all of the parents take the kids to the mall. The whole point of trick-or-treating is to be outside, listening to the leaves crackle under your feet, while you shine your pumpkin flashlight on the ground. That many kids in my area will never know what it's like to trick-or-treat outside is sad.

Maybe next year, there will be a rebellion.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat

My husband and I are slightly obsessed with candy. A few weeks ago, we noticed a specific candy on Candy Blog that was difficult to find in retail stores. This is a frequent occurance on this blog, that I refer to as the "curse of the candy blogger". My husband wrote to the company and asked if they sold their candy at a nearby retail location. They gave us the name of a store and asked for our address.

About a week later, a large package arrived at our door from the candy company. It was filled with about a pound of the candy we wanted to sample, and a whole bunch of other treats they make.

It was the best day ever.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Colbert for President


Finally, a real candidate in the upcoming election has been announced. Stephen Colbert is running for president in South Carolina as a "favorite son". I think I'll vote for him as a write-in candidate in the Maryland primary.

Some may say that this makes a mockery of our political system. But hasn't our current administration been doing just that for the past million years. (I know they haven't really been in power this long, it just seems that way to me)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Digital Snobbery (in response to Meg's comment)

Are people really going to sue Radiohead because the bitrate on their release (that they could have gotten for free) isn't high enough for their digital snobbery? Can a person in possession of normal speakers really tell the difference? The album seems fine to me. I cannot tell that it isn't the highest quality I've ever heard. Because, frankly, I cannot tell the difference.

Maybe it's because I'm 1/2 deaf, or maybe it's because I just don't care. People who are whining about this are on my nerves. (pitchfork, I'm lookin' at you)

I know some people are going to come back at this and say "well, they should have mentioned the bitrate up front". Maybe. What's funny is that when the last album hit the Internet before it was even finished, no one complained about the quality. It would've been the same if this album leaked. I think the whole "name your own price" was to prevent that from happening again.

Here's a solution. Next year, just buy the cd when it gets released in stores.

I am done talking about this now.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Update: In Rainbows

I downloaded the new Radiohead album this morning. I know there is chatter about it being released as a zip file and that said zip file does not have cd quality sound, but personally, I can't tell the difference. (This may be due to the fact that I can't really hear out of my right ear).

There is something about listening to a Radiohead album for the first time that is different than listening to other bands. Their music makes the world look more beautiful. I know that's sappy, but it's true. There's nothing like driving in your car, listening to a Radiohead album.

So far, I'm five songs in. If you ordered it, you'll know what I'm talking about soon.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Scarf is Finished!

Only about a billion more things to go.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Holiday Knitting

I finally picked out my holiday knitting projects. I think I'm being a bit ambitious, but I should have plenty of free time to finish. On the docket:

1 scarf
2 shawls
3 hats
1 pair of armwarmers

11 weeks to finish. I am almost finished the scarf, and the hats should be simple. I'm a little worried about the shawls though.

I won't be able to post pictures, since they're presents, but look for many project pictures in January!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

My Favorite Popcorn



Popcorn is one of my favorite foods. I could eat massive amounts of it most days. I am not a fan of microwave popcorn, just to be clear. Since it's fall and fall=football, I have been making this almost every Sunday at halftime during the first game.

Kate's Favorite Popcorn (introduced to her by her first awesome roommate, Kel)

1-2 Tbs. olive oil or vegetable oil
1/3 and a little more popcorn kernels
butter or olive oil for topping
Nutritional Yeast (at least a 1/4 cup)

Heat 1-2 Tbs. of oil in a stock pot over high heat (or medium heat if you are lucky enough to have a gas stove). Throw in 3 kernels. When they have popped, throw in the rest of the kernels. Place a lid on the stock pot and hold so that steam can escape (be careful and wear oven mitts). Shake the pot so the kernels are evenly coated with oil. Allow the popcorn to pop, shaking occasionally so the kernels don't burn.

When finished popping, pour melted butter or olive oil over popcorn. Season with salt and nutritional yeast.

I know nutritional yeast sounds strange, but trust me, it will quickly become your most favorite popcorn too. I have also started to mix the butter with just a little bit of vegetable oil so that it coats better.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Rachel Ray

If I cooked the stuff she makes on her show, I'd be divorced. Does she even know how to cook anything other than onions, peppers, and spices sauteed in extra virgin olive oil, then poured over some sort of pan seared meat that has finished baking in the oven? It seems like every recipe she makes is some sort of variation on this theme.

Last night, I saw her take pork chops right out of the package and put them in a pan for searing. She didn't even rinse them off first! Gross. I have also heard tales of her using beans straight out of the can. She also does not wash her hands in this episode...ever.

I have heard that her recipes cannot be made in 30 minutes. I wouldn't know because I would never made this slop for dinner. I actually saw her crumbling up cornbread and then stirring it into a pan with other ingredients. Was this supposed to be a side dish? It was ugly.

I do not have enough time to discuss her overall personality and her crazy voice. I will say that I can only tolerate to see her show in mute while someone else is watching it on their little tv at the gym.

Watching her show at the gym is probably good motivation for eating a really nice salad for dinner.

I have heard that she does not know how to bake. How can someone with about 4 or 5 shows about food not know how to bake? She says it's because she doesn't know how to measure.

My friend said that on her 40 dollar a day show, she would eat dinner and not tip the servers, to keep with her 40 dollar a day budget. Isn't she totally loaded? Why is she teaching people that it's okay to not tip, or to hardly tip (in my world, that would be less than 25%)?

In conclusion, Rachel Ray cannot cook, she is teaching people it's okay to feed your family slop every night for dinner, she does not tip. If this is how pissed off I get after seeing her show on mute while someone else is watching it at the gym, I would not like to see my reaction if someone made me actually watch any of her shows for real.

Fall Music Suprise!



If you go to
this site you should easily be able to find your way to the checkout for a digital download of Radiohead's newest album. This was all a surprise because they were apparently not releasing this album until next year, and you can name your own price for the download. They are releasing it themselves for now, without a record company.

Having read a little commentary on the "name your own price" idea, I'm surprised that so many people actually paid money for it. Yes, I have ordered my copy, and I chose to get it for free. I still like having cd's and records to hold in my hands, so I thought I'd get the cd later.

Is no one else in this boat with me? Am I the only one who was excited to get something for free for once?

I have probably given radiohead about 300-400 dollars of my money in the form of concerts, posters, and other albums bought. So, I'm not feeling particularly guilty about this one.

Friday, September 28, 2007

I Like to Complain

As if hotmail could not get any more annoying. Like most people, I only use hotmail for mailing lists and the like. A few weeks ago, they totally overhauled their system and now, if I want to read any of these stupid emails, I have to click "safe" at the top of the message. Then I have to click "show message" in order to see it.

This is really annoying the crap out of me.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Burnt Caramel Truffles



These are the truffles I mentioned in the previous post. I had purchased them in bar form for our friend for his birthday. After trying a piece, I wanted one for myself, but they only had the truffles left. The caramel in them tastes faintly of creme brulee topping. And the salt really compliments the whole taste of this truffle.

I had been on a gummi/licorice kick for a while, mostly because that's what my husband buys, but these past few weeks have sent me on a chocolate binge. It's fun.

Bacon Bar


This year, it seems I've been on the hunt for one type of candy or another. I blame it on the candy blogger. I was on the hunt for Carnival Skittles for weeks because of her.

For the past few weeks, I've been searching for the Vosges Mo's Bacon Bar. The idea of bacon in chocolate seemed appealing to me and I had to try it.

This week, that search ended at Ma Petite Shoe in Hampden (also known as the most dangerous store in the world). My friends, Erika and Matt, were nice enough to pick one up for me before they all sold out.

I am so happy about this candy bar, it might be my new favorite. The chocolate is super smooth and rich, and there are little bits of salt and bacon in it! For some reason, I pictured a slice of bacon in the middle, but I think the bits are better.

I have also been chowing down on some truffles with salt, and am currently obsessed with chocolate that has salt in it. So, if you have any recommendations, please let me know.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Inland Empire on DVD!

Just a reminder that Inland Empire is now on DVD. It's the newest of the David Lynch films and it's really good. How could it not be when it's about "A Woman in Trouble"?

Also, there's going to be a huge Twin Peaks release in a few weeks. I know I already have the series on VHS and DVD, but I will probably buy the new set for the extras and to have it all together (or at least ask for it for Christmas). The previous sets were minus the pilot, and I only have a crappy version. Plus, it was my favorite tv show EVER.

Where's the Magic?

Could watching the Baltimore Orioles right now be any more depressing?

I don't have much more to say on this, except that I love the Orioles, but they're making it really difficult these days.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I'm Only 10 Years Late on This One



Last week, my friend Jen found out I had never watched the entire series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and promptly sent me the first two seasons. This show came out midway through college, when I didn't have cable at school or home, so I'm pretty sure that's why I didn't watch it.

I did catch the remaining 5 or 6 episodes at the insistence of a co-worker, so I know how it ends. I was sad then that I hadn't seen the whole series, but I never got around to buying or renting it.

I finished the first season yesterday and love it. If you've never seen it, I highly recommend it!

Amazing Chocolate

I got to go to my favorite store, Ma Petite Shoe, this weekend to shop for chocolate for my friend for his birthday. Of course, I couldn't leave without also picking up something for myself. This is one of the best chocolate bars I've ever tasted. It's made in Baltimore! If you feel like a little road trip, I highly recommend either heading over to Ma Petite Shoe, or visiting his store.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Bob Saget

Last night, I watched the new Bob Saget comedy special on HBO. Halfway through watching it, I expected my parents to burst through the front door and yell at me. It's so vulgar and inappropriate. It's also pretty funny. If you don't mind hearing the word "fuck" a hundred times, then this is a comedy special for you.

My only advice is not to watch it if you want to keep your image of Bob Saget to the person who was the dad on Full House or the host of America's Funniest Home Videos. But, who wants to admit they watched that?

Is Anyone Else Watching This Show?



I have been watching the first season of Flight of the Conchords on HBO and have to say that it's refreshing. I hope I'm not the only one out there enjoying this show.

Elly's List

My friend Elly posted this on her blog, and I thought it would be an interesting goal. Especially since I'll be spending alot of time indoors reading this winter. Those in bold, I've already read. Some of these books, I've read halfway through, those are in italics. Sometimes, I start a book, and then find one I'm more interested in at the time. I really need to finish them. I also understand that this is a list generated by Time magazine, but there's some I've been meaning to read for a while on this list.

Time's 100 Best American Novels post-1923

The Adventures of Augie March
Saul Bellow

All the King's Men
Robert Penn Warren

American Pastoral
Philip Roth

An American Tragedy
Theodore Dreiser

Animal Farm
George Orwell


Appointment in Samarra
John O'Hara

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret
Judy Blume


The Assistant
Bernard Malamud

At Swim-Two-Birds
Flann O'Brien

Atonement
Ian McEwan


Beloved
Toni Morrison


The Berlin Stories
Christopher Isherwood

The Big Sleep
Raymond Chandler

The Blind Assassin
Margaret Atwood

Blood Meridian
Cormac McCarthy

Brideshead Revisited
Evelyn Waugh

The Bridge of San Luis Rey
Thornton Wilder

Call It Sleep
Henry Roth

Catch-22
Joseph Heller


The Catcher in the Rye
J.D. Salinger


A Clockwork Orange
Anthony Burgess


The Confessions of Nat Turner
William Styron

The Corrections
Jonathan Franzen (I refuse to read this book. Someone should convince me otherwise)

The Crying of Lot 49
Thomas Pynchon


A Dance to the Music of Time
Anthony Powell

The Day of the Locust
Nathanael West

Death Comes for the Archbishop
Willa Cather

A Death in the Family
James Agee

The Death of the Heart
Elizabeth Bowen

Deliverance
James Dickey

Dog Soldiers
Robert Stone

Falconer
John Cheever

The French Lieutenant's Woman
John Fowles

The Golden Notebook
Doris Lessing

Go Tell it on the Mountain
James Baldwin

Gone With the Wind
Margaret Mitchell

The Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck

Gravity's Rainbow
Thomas Pynchon

The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald


A Handful of Dust
Evelyn Waugh

The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter
Carson McCullers

The Heart of the Matter
Graham Greene

Herzog
Saul Bellow

Housekeeping
Marilynne Robinson

A House for Mr. Biswas
V.S. Naipaul

I, Claudius
Robert Graves

Infinite Jest
David Foster Wallace

Invisible Man
Ralph Ellison

Light in August
William Faulkner

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
C.S. Lewis


Lolita
Vladimir Nabokov


Lord of the Flies
William Golding


The Lord of the Rings
J.R.R. Tolkien


Loving
Henry Green

Lucky Jim
Kingsley Amis

The Man Who Loved Children
Christina Stead

Midnight's Children
Salman Rushdie

Money
Martin Amis

The Moviego
Walker Percy

Mrs. Dalloway
Virginia Woolf

Naked Lunch
William Burroughs

Native Son
Richard Wright

Neuromancer
William Gibson

Never Let Me Go
Kazuo Ishiguro

1984
George Orwell


On the Road
Jack Kerouac


One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Ken Kesey


The Painted Bird
Jerzy Kosinski

Pale Fire
Vladimir Nabokov

A Passage to India
E.M. Forster

Play It As It Lays
Joan Didion

Portnoy's Complaint
Philip Roth

Possession
A.S. Byatt

The Power and the Glory
Graham Greene

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
Muriel Spark

Rabbit, Run
John Updike

Ragtime
E.L. Doctorow


The Recognitions
William Gaddis

Red Harvest
Dashiell Hammett

Revolutionary Road
Richard Yates

The Sheltering Sky
Paul Bowles

Slaughterhouse-Five
Kurt Vonnegut

Snow Crash
Neal Stephenson

The Sot-Weed Factor
John Barth

The Sound and the Fury
William Faulkner

The Sportswriter
Richard Ford

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold
John le Carre

The Sun Also Rises
Ernest Hemingway

Their Eyes Were Watching God
Zora Neale Hurston

Things Fall Apart
Chinua Achebe

To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee


To the Lighthouse
Virginia Woolf

Tropic of Cancer
Henry Miller


Ubik
Philip K. Dick

Under the Net
Iris Murdoch

Under the Volcano
Malcolm Lowry

Watchmen
Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons

White Noise
Don DeLillo

White Teeth
Zadie Smith


Wide Sargasso Sea
Jean Rhys

Monday, August 27, 2007

Move into new house - check.

On one of the hottest days of the year, my family and three awesome friends helped us move into our new home. It's strange living somewhere new for the first time in five years. But, we're adjusting, and trying not to feel so exhausted this week. I hope everyone else out there is doing well. I'll post some pictures in a few weeks when there are less boxes lying around.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Grandma's Caramel Nut Rolls


When I first started dating my husband, he lived in Frederick in an awesome apartment on Market Street. We would visit with my Grandma and Grandpa almost every weekend. Usually, we would go over for brunch on Sunday mornings. My Grandma made these sticky buns all the time. They were also the first thing I made in my new home. They are pretty simple to make, but take time. This recipe makes a double batch.



Caramel nut Rolls (our sticky buns)

2 pkg. dry yeast (4.5 teaspoons)
2 cups warm water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. salt
4 Tbs. soft butter or margarine (I use butter)
2 eggs
7 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large mixing bowl. Stir in sugar, salt and butter. Add eggs one at a time. Add flour - one cup at a time, beating well after second cup. Work remaining flour in until dough is easy to handle. (I throw all of these into a kitchenaid equipped with a dough hook). Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight, or up to 4 days.

Caramel Nut Mix
Combine
1/2 cup sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon
Melt 2/3 cup butter or margarine.

On floured board, roll dough into a 15"x9" oblong. Spread with some of the melted butter (margarine) covering dough well. Sprinkle with cinnamon mixture.

Combine remaining melted butter or margarine, 1 cup packed brown sugar, and place in bottom of 13"x9" oblong pan (I use a lasagna pan). Sprinkle 2 tsp. corn syrup and 2/3 cup chopped pecans over mixture.

Roll dough up tightly, beginning at wide end. (I brush butter on the dough as I'm rolling) Cut into 1" slices and place in prepared pan. Cover and let rise about 1.5 hours.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes on top rack of oven. Do not overbake. Turnout to cool.

Note: When you turn these out, there will likely be some of the topping still in the pan. Take a spatula and gently drizzle the extra evenly over the buns. It is not easily spread.

Monday, August 20, 2007

In Memoriam

One of my most favorite people ever, my Grandma, Margaret Rose, passed away yesterday. I could go on and on about how she was one of the best Grandma's a little (and big) girl could have ever wanted, and maybe I will some other day.

But, for now, I will share one of my favorite recipes of hers. Some of the best times with my family were spent over this vegetable dip in the living room of Elm Street. It is best enjoyed with Gibbles potato chips. If they are hard to come by in your neighborhood, I suggest Grandma Utz.

Margaret Rose's Rainbow Dip (makes a double batch)

2 packages Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1/2 Cup Mayo
1 Tbs. Red Wine Vinegar
2 Tsp. Sugar
1/2 Tsp. Salt (or more to taste)
1 Fairly good size cucumber
1/2 Green Pepper
4-6 Radishes, depending on size

Pulse cucumber in food processor and drain excess water. Pulse green pepper and radishes and place in bowl with cucumber. Pulse together remaining ingredients. Add vegetables to food processor and pulse until smooth. Chill at least 2 hours to allow flavors to meld. Serve with salty chips made with lard.

I have to be honest in saying that sometimes, this dip is served straight away.

I will be back later in the week with her recipe for sticky buns.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Things Are Lookin' Up


The Perry Bible Fellowship is one of my favorite comics. I found out today that there will be a book coming out in a few weeks! How exciting!

Knitting

I know I haven't written many knitting updates. It's because I haven't really been knitting. Soon, I will have successfully moved into a house with my very own room. I promise after that, there will be knitting and sewing updates galore!

Also, I am trying to read Jane Austen for the first time, and I'm finding it tedious. I'm guessing the movie version of Pride and Prejudice is more fun.

Friday, August 03, 2007

The End of Indie Rock

Today, while hopefully scouring the news at pitchfork for an upcoming Les Savy Fav tour outside the realm of NYC, I came across this unsettling picture.

No, this is not photoshopped. This is an actual cd that is being released in the United States by those people who release "Now That's What I Call Music". I know that I should be glad that the release of the first, of what will likely be many, cd's of this nature will bring good music to the ears of those who've been stuck in Dave Matthews Band Land for too long, but I am not.

I know this shouldn't come as a suprise to me. Indie Rock is everywhere in mainstream culture now. Many more indie bands are signing to major labels, and putting out some of their best albums so far (most notably Sleater-Kinney and Modest Mouse). Their songs have been selling everything from minivans, to VW's, to phones.

I think what makes me sad/angry is that now indie rock will just be another buzz word for the music industry, whereas it used to be basically underground and not talked about in Rolling Stone except for in the tiny margin stories.Here's a quote from the marketers of this cd:

"We're partnering with MTV2, and the focus is going to be Wal-Marts, big box stores, red states, and TV advertising-- to really go beyond... We don't really expect indie rock stores to support this record. It's for the casual fan."

This quote is also bothersome. They're not going to release it in indie stores. YOU KNOW WHY? Because people who shop at indie stores already HAVE all of these albums and have been listening to these bands for years.

So, now, we'll be fighting all these assholes at shows who have only heard one song off of this compliation and drunkenly scream for that one song at shows. It will not be good. Maybe it's a good thing that I bought a house this year and can't afford to go to many concerts afterall.

I guess my hope for this compilation is that there's some kid out there, who's stuck listening to all the stupid pop crap his/her friends are listening to, and mistakenly buys this cd at Target only to discover that there really is REAL HONEST music out there worth spending your parents dollars on. That would make it all alright, I suppose.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Update

Sorry I've been MIA these past few weeks. I've been working in a far away place.

Here's the answers to some popular questions I've received lately in order to get you back on track:

1. Yes, I finished Harry Potter the day it officially came out and I loved it.
2. We don't move into our house for a few more weeks.
3. The Elvis Reese Cups are a little too sweet for my taste.
4. I love Costco.

I will try to bring you other news of life and random findings soon. Until then, enjoy the summer my five readers!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Disgusting

I just read this article. Michael Vick deserves to be fired from the NFL. Not only did he sponsor dog fights, but he abused them as well. How awful.

If Atlanta fans were human beings, they would boycott games this year until he is thrown out on the streets. He should have to give all of his money to the humane society and the SPCA.

What a horrible excuse for a human being he is. This is why I like baseball better than football most days.

Monday, July 09, 2007



The photo above pictures where I've been these past few days. My family and I ventured to Cedar Point, also known as the best amusement park in the world. When mentioning my enthusiasm for Cedar Point to people, most think I'm crazy. I think Cedar Point instills an unparalleled excitement for roller coasters in those who've been there. Everything they have built there has been the best, tallest, and fastest at that time. Not one coaster there sucks. Even the really old ones are fun to ride.

The picture above is of my favorite roller coaster there, Millennium Force. It's super tall, fast, and such a smooth ride that you feel like you're flying. I have recurring dreams about this ride. On the way up the hill, you're pulled by an elevator-like system because the first hill is over 300 feet tall.

New to us this year were the Maverick and Top Thrill Dragster. I lucked out and got to ride the front cars for both. These are two coasters where it's worth it to wait for the front.

The Maverick is a cute, zippy little coaster. The first hill is at a 95 degree angle, so it looks like you're going to soar right off the coaster. The twists and turns are groundbreaking and it launches you out twice. Super fun.

I cannot describe to you the intensity of the Top Thrill Dragster. It launches you out at 120 miles an hour. Then, you race up a 420 foot hill and fall straight down. The first time riding it was just insane. If you want an idea of how it feels to ride it, this video comes close.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

First Day of Summer


Tonight is the Wilco concert at Merriweather. What a perfect way to spend the first evening of summer. See you all on the lawn!

My husband proposed to be while Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was playing on our turntable. So, it's always a sentimental time.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Finished


I finished my painting last night. I think I might do a series of scared ladies. We'll see.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Because I Know You're Wondering What I Thought

about the Sopranos ending. I thought it was perfect. I'm a big fan of endings without a clear, discernible conclusion, like Twin Peaks. I really don't understand why everyone is surprised and upset about it.

Thanks David Chase for some of the best television I've ever seen.

Help Send My Friend to Napa!

My friend Meg writes a great food blog and was nominated for a trip to Napa! Please help her be #1! Vote for her here by clicking on the "send me to napa" banner.

Thanks so much my fabulous readers!

Support Independent Publishers!

McSweeney's is in trouble. They are perhaps one of the great publishers of thoughtful and quirky media of our generation. Please support them today by buying some books you're sure to enjoy.


(Reprinted from their website)

NOW WOULD BE
A GOOD TIME.
- - - -

As you may know, it's been tough going for many independent publishers, McSweeney's included, since our distributor filed for bankruptcy last December 29. We lost about $130,000—actual earnings that were simply erased. Due to the intricacies of the settlement, the real hurt didn't hit right away, but it's hitting now. Like most small publishers, our business is basically a break-even proposition in the best of times, so there's really no way to absorb a loss that big.

We are committed to getting through and past this difficult time, and we're hoping you, the readers, who have from the start made McSweeney's possible, will help us.

Over the next week or so, we'll be holding an inventory sell-off and rare-item auction, which we hope will make a dent in the losses we sustained. A few years ago, the indispensable comics publisher Fantagraphics, in similarly dire straits, held a similar sale, and it helped them greatly. We're hoping to do the same.

So if you've had your eye on anything we've produced, now would be a great time to take the plunge. For the next week or so, subscriptions are $5 off, new books are 30 percent off, and the entire backlist is 50 percent off. Please check out the store and enjoy the astounding savings, while knowing every purchase will help dig us out of a big hole.

Many of our contributors have stepped up and given us original artwork and limited editions to auction off. We've got original artwork from Chris Ware, Marcel Dzama, David Byrne, and Tony Millionaire; a limited-edition music mix from Nick Hornby; rare early issues of the quarterly, direct from Sean Wilsey's closet; and more. We're even auctioning off Dave Eggers's painting of George W. Bush as a double amputee, from the cover of Issue 14. More special items will be appearing as we go, so check back often.

This is the bulk of our groundbreaking business-saving plan: to continue to sell the things we've made, albeit at a greatly accelerated pace for a brief period of time. We are not business masterminds, but we are optimistic that this will work. If you've liked what we've done up to now, this is the time to ensure we'll be able to keep on doing more.

Plenty of excellent presses are in similar straits these days; two top-notch peers of ours, Soft Skull and Counterpoint, were just acquired by Winton, Shoemaker & Co. in the last few weeks. It's an unsteady time for everybody, and we know we don't have any special claim to your book-buying budget. We owe all of you a lot for everything you've allowed us to do over the last nine years, for all the time and freedom we've been given.

Once this calamity is averted, we'll get back to our bread and butter—the Believer Music Issue is already creeping into mailboxes everywhere; Issue 24 of our quarterly is in the midst of a really pretty silk-screening process; and in July the fourth issue of Wholphin, our DVD magazine, will slip over the border from Canada, bringing with it some very good footage of Maggie Gyllenhaal and a Moroccan drummer who messes up a wedding in an entertaining way. And then, a couple of months after that, we'll publish a debut novel from a writer named Millard Kaufman. This book is exactly the kind of thing McSweeney's was created to do: it came through the mail, without an agent's imprimatur, and it was written by a first-time novelist. This first-time novelist is 90 years old. His novel was pulled from the submissions pile and it knocked the socks off of everyone who read it. Millard may well be the best extant epic-comedic writer of his generation, and he stands at equal height with the best of several generations since.

Please do whatever you can to help. We thank you a thousand times. We'll keep updating everybody on how this is going over the next few weeks; for now, pick up a few things for yourself, for your friends, for Barack Obama. More news soon—thanks for reading.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Dream Job


This article in the New York Times today chronicles a woman with my dream job. I've always wanted to be a scientific photographer and/or illustrator.

Her pictures are amazing. Check them out!

(The picture above is one I took of an Penicillium species on an agar plate)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Progress Report


So, it isn't finished, but hopefully will be this week. I need to tighten up some of the lights and darks and make her shirt look good again. I'm still practicing painting humans, this one is working out okay, I guess.

A finished picture will follow.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Awesome



I found this image over at this blog of a guy who really hates Hello Kitty. But, his wife doesn't, and apparently has unlimited resources to buy all of this stuff. This has to be the ultimate Hello Kitty product ever made. I wish it were powerful enough so I could justify getting it for work.

Carnival Skittles (again)

Last night, I saw the one pound bags of the Carnival Skittles at a Safeway in Columbia. I think now that I finally found them, I'll start seeing them everywhere.

If you see them, buy a bag and try them. The retro starburst are also good. And how could they not be with a flavor called "optimus lime"?

Only a few more weeks until the Transformers movie!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Longest Week of Our Lives



On Monday, it'll all be over, and office mates everywhere will be talking about the end of the Sopranos. Unless, of course, you work at my office where I'm the only one who has HBO. Yes, this week is indeed the longest week of our lives as we await the conclusion of the amazing series, the Sopranos. I am a spoiler reader, but have managed to avoid googling "Sopranos spoilers" for a few weeks now. Alright, I did peek once, but decided it was worth not knowing anything. For the record, the only thing I read was that Tony would kill Christopher and Bobby would die. That's all I knew!

In a mere three days, we'll know whether or not Tony finally kills Phil (please!), and the fate of our beloved gangsters whom we've watched disfigure, kill, and pummel others for the past 8 or so years. I'm sure we won't be disappointed.

The Today Show Sucks

Every once in a while, I watch the Today show to remind myself that I hate network news. This morning, I wanted to see Bob Barker talk about his last Price is Right taping, and saw yet another piece about how Americans are offended about something that is hilarious. Apparently, this video is offensive to most Americans. I'm sure cool people have been watching this for weeks, but my husband just showed it to me last night. And, it's one of the funniest things I've seen since Louis CK.

Take a chill pill America and network media. This shit is hilarious.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Search is Over!



After a multi-week search for Carnival Skittles, I finally found them! They are at the CVS in Olney, MD (off Route 108). I was almost convinced these were a candy myth. They are tasty (especially the red licorice and cotton candy ones)

For your information, the following locations DO NOT have carnival skittles:

7-11 in Olney, Jarrettsville, Route 40 in Ellicott City
Rite Aid in Ellicott City, Olney
Sheets in Frederick and Burkittsville
Nashville International Airport
Circle K near the airport in Nashville
BWI Airport
Giant in Columbia
Safeway in Ellicott City and Columbia
Wegmans in Hunt Valley
High's in Jarrettsville

I'm sure there are other places I looked for these candies, but I can't remember them all.

I also snagged a pack of the Retro Starburst, but I'm waiting until later tonight to eat those.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Burgers I've eaten - Part 6


It's been a while since I've talked about a burger I've eaten. I have been to many places and tried lots of burgers in the past few months. Most recently, I ventured to Rocket to Venus, in Baltimore, MD.

This is one of the best burgers I've ever eaten. I think this burger rivals the Friends burger, which is my ultimate favorite (especially since Friends no longer puts blue cheese on their burgers). I ordered a medium burger with cheddar and bacon. It arrived juicy, with charred edges, and a perfect flavor. The bacon was extra crispy, and I didn't even have to ask for it!

The kaiser roll was just enough roll without dominating the burger.

The fries were dusted with sea salt and curry, an interesting accompaniment to the tasty burger.

So, if you're in Hampden any day soon, stop by Rocket to Venus for a burger you're sure to remember (and will want to eat again very soon).

Rocket to Venus is located at 3360 Chestnut Street in Baltimore, Maryland.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Bento


I am not super familiar with making Bento boxes, but I do like rice, and this lunchbox.

Favorite Places to Eat

I was watching the Food Network show, "Diners, Drive-in's, and Dives", last night and thought I might start to chronicle some of my favorite places to eat in the United States. Here are some of my favorites. I will update them periodically:

(in no particular order)

In Baltimore:

Friends - Fells Point - best crab cakes in town, blackened catfish sandwich, best crab dip anywhere
Helen's Garden - Canton - good crab dip and overall a bright and sunny place to dine. Staff is super nice and give excellent wine recommendations
Dangerously Delicious Pies - Federal Hill - sweet and savories. The coconut cream pie here rocks.
Birches - Canton - awesome comfort food in a comforting setting
Waterfront - Fells Point - 15 dollar steak nights on Wednesdays
Holy Frijoles - Hampden - cheap Mexican
The Golden West - Hampden - good brunch, better tater tots
Blue Moon - Fells Point - the best cinnamon rolls and hash browns on earth

In DC:

Ben's Chili Bowl - near the 930 club - yummy chili dogs and cheese fries
Fogo De Chao - fancy neighborhood - this is a chain, but it serves up some of the best meat I've ever tasted

Other restaurants of note:

Slice of Pie - Rolla, MO - Sweet and savories. Try a slice of the Tahitian. You won't be disappointed
Dixie Diner - Texarkana, TX - previously reviewed
NOLA - New Orleans, LA - Classic southern. An Emeril's Restaurant
Jestine's Kitchen - Charleston, SC - The best fried chicken and pecan pie I've ever tasted
Magnolia Bakery and Sugar Sweet Sunshine - New York City - My favorite cupcakes.
Katz' Deli - New York City - homemade pickles, hot dogs, and corned beef
Zoe's Garden - Seattle, WA - Awesome place to eat dinner. Inventive and good tasting menu all around. Super nice staff.
That Vietnamese Place That Makes the Hum Bow - Seattle, WA Farmer's Market - These little rolls filled with bbq pork are awesome. I don't know if that's how you spell "hum bow" though.
La Panier - Seattle, WA Farmer's Market - awesome macaroons and lattes
Cafe Du Monde - New Orleans, LA - coffee and beignets
Michael's Pub - Omaha, Nebraska - good flatbread pizzas for lunch
Bangkok Cuisine - Omaha, Nebraska - You wouldn't think this would be a good town for Thai food, but it has some of the best hot soup ever!
Voodoo Donut - Portland, OR - interesting donut flavors like Captain Crunch and Pixie Stick

I'll add more as I remember more places. There was this bbq joint in North Carolina I went to last year that was totally kick ass. And, if any of you are going to Charleston, SC anytime soon, please bring me back some fried chicken and pecan pie. Thanks.

Kitchen Wish List and Tips

I spent most of this holiday weekend either preparing, eating, or thinking about food. May I just say that Wegman's is the best grocery store ever. Quality baked goods and meats at affordable prices. Thank you Wegman's store inventor. Thank you.

I also was reading my new cookbook, "The Best New Recipes". It was written by the people who write Cook's Illustrated Magazine and also produce the show, "America's Test Kitchen" for PBS.

While reading through this book, I realize there are still a few things I would eventually like to have in my kitchen. I also understand that this goes against my previous post about the minimalist kitchen, but not really. They are the following:

- A dutch oven, preferablly 6 quart
- An instant read thermometer
- A roasting pan with a V-rack
- Ramekins
- A large frying pan (not non-stick)

This cookbook is an education. I read through a fair amount of the book this weekend and have already discovered these helpful hints:

- When hulling strawberries or pitting cherries, use a drinking straw. It really worked for the cherries I pitted last night.

- When measuring shortening, line the measuring cup with plastic wrap, and then simply lift the shortening out of it.

- If placing flour into a standing mixer, cover it with a towel to keep the flour from gracing your countertops when you turn on the mixer.

Those were my favorite helpful hints. I'll let you know about more as I think of them.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Through the Looking Glass



The season finale of Lost aired last night. I find that I've been thinking about it all morning. Maybe it's because the makeup department did such a shitty job on Jack's beard, or because I can't figure out for sure who the hell was in the coffin, but they are taking this show in a different direction now. Things noticed/observed on message boards:

-The name of the funeral parlor was an anagram for "flash forward"
-Jack really crumpled up that obituary
-The symbol for the looking glass station is a bunny
-Kate wears alot of makeup in the present. It's like she's making up for not being able to wear it on the island.

My thoughts for the future:

-The boat was sent by Penny's Dad and includes original DHARMA members who are coming back to the island to reclaim it and kill the "natives".
-Kate was with Sawyer in the future. I'm guessing Jack did something to push her away.
-Jack's Dad is still dead, he was just to hopped up on pills to remember.
-Ben or Michael was the person in the coffin.
-Walt was still on the island.
-Locke doesn't leave the island.


I'm hoping that next season (which isn't for nine long months), they'll come back to the Libby story.

While I still think that the first season of Lost was the best, I have to admit to being intrigued by this season. I'm really liking the Alice in Wonderland angle. They won me back a little last night, and definitely did a good job playing the old switcheroo.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Hilarious

I am lucky to have HBO in my life. I didn't for a very long time. One Friday night, my husband and I stumbled upon the Louis CK special, Shameless. It was the funniest thing I've seen in a super long time.

It's coming out on DVD soon. You should watch it if you get the chance.

Read an article about Mr. CK's opinions of Barbara Walters and hear him discuss the cancellation of his awesome tv show, Lucky Louie here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Cute Animals from Down Under




Deep under the ocean, that is...I grabbed these from this article in the New York Times. I don't know what any of them do, but I think it's cool that the one guy looks like he's wearing sneakers.

More images (including those of super scary fish not seen here) can be found in the book, “The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss” by Claire Nouvian/Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Another Fun Show Cancelled



I wouldn't call it brilliant, but the past few seasons of Veronica Mars sure have been a joy to watch. She's witty and smart, like Penny from inspector gadget, only sassy. I found out today that it's been cancelled.

I have been trying to get my friends to watch this show for a while now. Guess they'll have to wait for the DVD.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Homeowners

If you would've told me when I was 21 that I would eventually buy a townhouse in the suburbs, I would've laughed at you.

But, that's exactly what my husband and I did this week. We are the proud almost owners of a kick ass kitchen.

And other rooms too, of course.

Pics to follow shortly.

Friday, May 11, 2007

New Painting



I love to knit and paint (and play the piano when I'm around one). I've been painting since I was old enough to fingerpaint on my little picnic table. When I was in college, I painted alot of nature type subjects. I decided to take painting classes again, but wanted to get away from painting flowers all the time.

Enter my cd collages. I had been in a frenzy of making cd covers for the Christmas mixes for my friends. My husband suggested that I start painting my collages to help me start on a new path. I'm not the most prolific painter in the world, but I have made two pretty successful ones so far. Above will be my next project. I'm going to delete Superman out of it because I think it will look more interesting without him (also, I don't feel like painting him. This one is going to be difficult enough)

Below are my other two endeavors. I'm pretty proud of them. They've encouraged me to paint people more often, which I had never really done before.

"Not something the eye sees"




Untitled



I promise to keep my five readers updated on this latest endeavor. I haven't given up on my cupcake paintings,either. I figure they'll be a nice break from this latest one, when I need it. I finished another cupcake last night, as a matter of fact!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

No-Frills Kitchen

I just read this article from the New York Times.

I'm a big fan of flipping through the Williams-Sonoma catalog each season, but am always asking myself "Who buys a 500 dollar panini maker?" I really like they're 1,000 dollar knife sets, but do you really need to spend that much on a bunch of things to cut your food?

This article made me feel better about using my old pots and pans (with a few new ones mixed in), and not feeling sad about not having an entire set of those fancy French ones. I do own a stand mixer, and I wouldn't give it up for all the counterspace in the world.

Now, if only I could find one of these restaurant supply stores in Baltimore.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

American Girl Posse



I have been listening to the new Tori Amos for a little over a week now. If you are a Tori fan, and have given up on her over the last few studio albums, I encourage you to listen to this record.

But, I realize I'm preaching to the choir, so to speak. Because, if you like Tori Amos, then you forgive her for producing crap these past few years, as I have.

This is definitely her strongest effort in years, and my favorite since "Boys for Pele".

So, if you like her music, I highly recommend this record. And, if you don't like her, well, that's less people I'll have in front of me in line waiting to buy tickets for the concert.

Update

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I've been busy looking for a house without textured ceilings, enjoying the sounds and smells of spring, listening to the new Tori Amos record, and watching the Orioles win and lose baseball games.

I promise I'll have something interesting to say soon.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Terrible

This is why people don't like Americans.

Or (probably) fat, overweight, spoiled, dickhead, bmw driving, asshole judges.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Hidden hand



Down the street from our house, there's this little weed growing up out of the concrete on a pretty major road.

I noticed at Christmas time that someone had decorated it with tinsel and a little glass ball, just like a Charlie Brown tree. Then, at St. Patrick's Day, someone had put shamrock garland around it and placed a leprachaun next to it.

The other week, I noticed someone had decorated it for Spring, and finally grabbed a picture.

Thanks for brightening my day, stranger!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Candy Request



I have fufilled many of my far away candy cravings on my recent travels to the mid-west, having found Valomilks, Twin Bings, Goo Goo Clusters, and Cherry Mash. However, one candy still alludes me. That is the pink grapefruit Mentos. These are only available online or in Canada. So, if anyone is going to Canada, please buy me some. Or, if there's someone else nearby who'd like to split a case of these with me, please let me know. I really want to eat them.