Saturday, August 30, 2008

Lemon Law

I went out on the town tonight all by my lonesome and had a wonderful time! I'll blog more about it later because I'm beat (I walked over 9000 steps today!) but I wanted to share with you my favorite picture of the night. It's in the North End. I love symmetry and I love lemon and wine, so this store front really drew me in.

But...can you see what bothers me about it? I bet you only a few people (who know me in person) are going to be able to figure it out. And maybe Frigga.


Friday, August 29, 2008

These Feet Were Made 4 Walkin' Maybe?

I have seriously been thinking about getting rid of my car. It's expensive with the payment, the gas and insurance and the parking. I only really use it to get to and from work, and I can take the T and a shuttle to the office for about $40 a month. If I find myself needing a car (like if I need to pick up some patio furniture covers) I can rent a zip car. This will be extremely easy to do, considering there are 3 parked in the very same lot I park in every night. In the event that I move, there are zip cars all over the city.

When I want to go home or visit friends in CT, I can take the bus or the train. Yes it's expensive, but it's not much more than a full tank of gas. The only thing I wouldn't like is the time it takes to get there, and also having to rely on people to pick me up at the station.

Living in Boston has gotten me thinking a little more environmentally and of course living without a car is a step in the right direction. I can because I live in the city, so I'm thinking why not?

I like my freedom. It's scary to think that I'll be reliant on things other than myself. I'm also afraid that because of my bad credit I won't be able to get another car if and when I need one. As long as I pay for this one, they can't take it away from me. There's also the fact that even after getting rid of the car, I'll still have payments-the car isn't worth what I owe. (It's a Saturn) That's a downside, but it'll be a smaller payment and I won't have the other fees associated with the car. That's at least $180 a month in my savings and into hands of people I owe money to.

What do you think? Should I take a leap and try to live without a car?

Long Week Babble

I deserve a nice juicy burger with fries, which is exactly what I just ordered for myself for dinner. Why do I deserve it? Because I did a damn good job this week supporting all of the people I supported! It was a long week, but a very good one because I was busy almost every minute of each day. Today was extra busy because we were allowed to leave at 3pm to start our long weekend early so I had to cram everything in.

Of course, I did. The mean lady was such a bitch today. Not to me, but to everyone she called. She was on the phone most of the day "compiling" a list of car services for one of the partners. I couldn't believe how rude and demeaning she was. Well, I guess I could believe it, considering that's how she was with me on my phone interview. In any case, she asked what kind of cars they had and when they said Towncar she said, "Is it a newer model Towncar-NOT TO BE DEROGATORY, but..."

What?!! First of all, how is that derogatory? She is such a dope. Then I guess someone said the wrong date or something by accident and she said, "NO. (pause) That is NOT what I said. I SAID...." I also heard her reaming someone out for not calling her back and she kept saying, "I want to know why you told me that if you already knew xyz." Man, she's evil. I'm finding out that no one really likes her and that they all think she's a bitch. She's been there for way too long though, so I'm just going to keep my mouth shut.

I think I did a really good job supporting the partner I had-he's very intense and demanding but was very kind and even smiled a bit with me today. In the end, I really like him. He came over to me at 3pm and made sure I was leaving soon (I left at 3:20) and to tell me to have a good weekend. Which was nice.

As I was walking out one of the girls I work with a lot waited for me and we chatted all the way to our cars. That was also nice, because it's the first time she's talked to me about non-work and non-food related things. And she waited to do that, so it made me smile.

Have I mentioned that I love this place? If not, let me say it again: I love my new job.

Oh! And another cool thing-we're having a contest to see who walks the most in the month of September. They bought all of us pedometers and starting the 7th we will log our daily steps and we'll get various prizes. The only thing that sucks is that I'll be on vacation for a week, so I think I'll lose automatically, unless I can do it then too-in which case, I'll probably rock it, especially on our cape cod, block island and casino days!

I have another topic to talk about regarding city life, but at this moment I'd like to step away from my computer, go get my burger and then do some laundry. I know, I'm a wild woman. :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Banana Seats & Saddles

The house I grew up in was set pretty far off the road and was set back in the woods. To this day even though 2 large houses were built in said woods, it still feels like a secret haven for my family to swim, cookout or have bonfires. As a kid with a vivid imagination, it was fantastic.

In the neighbors yard there was an old rustic barn. I tried several times to convince my father that we needed a horse and that our neighbors would let us house the horse in the barn. I could use the large field we had to run the horse, and all would be right with the (my) world.

He wouldn't hear it.

So, I did what any elementary school aged kid would do in that situation-I made one up.

Part of living so far off of the road was having a very long dirt driveway that was covered with tall, leafy trees that let the sunlight shine through it's green leaves. On sunny days, I would ride my horse-which was actually my yellow banana seated bike-down the horse trail (the driveway) to visit the cows.

Yes, we had imaginary cows too. You didn't expect the horse to be the only mammal I invented, did you?

The property is fairly old and has been in my family for a very long time. Some of the original land markers and stone walls still exist and back then, there were two trees with old rusty metal "string" tied between them. Beyond this old barrier lay more woods and this is where my cows lived.

I would gather the cattle supplies and set off to work a long day at the farm. Once done, I would haul everything back to the (make believe) barn (not the real one in our neighbors yard-that would be weird.) and wash up in the well. Then I'd untied my horse (bike) and gallop triumphantly up the hill back home where Ma would have some fresh pie ready for me.

OK. I'm creative, but that part's stretching it a bit-"Ma" never did bake!!

It's true what they say that you don't know what you've got until it's gone-though my parents still live in that house and I visit frequently, it's not the same. I think my niece would object to me hijacking her bike and disappearing down the driveway for a while.

Oh well, those were the days...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Success for Supper

It was a smashing success. Only one person couldn't make it as she had surprise out of town guests. I had 2 helpers in the kitchen and a few that came in every now and then. The food was amazing and I heard one girl say that she liked it better than the food she had the previous night at a fancy Boston restaurant. Go me.


Cutting Shallots

Knife Skills

Starting the Risotto

Plating and Presentation
They wait...

Food and Wine
Waiting for Dessert (I didn't get a picture)
Happy Campers
Leftover Wine Glass


We had a really great time and it felt nice to be a part of a new group of people. There was lots of wine (6 bottles) and lots of laughs and in the end, we were all super happy and super full. The one person who helped me the entire time was very excited about being able to make the food on his own and said he will soon.

Next month's dinner is already planned, and it's not at my house! Yay! Overall, I would have to say, I'm pretty smart for thinking of this idea. :)

Randomivity


When you want to remember to use the word "Kerfuffle" in a sentence it's not advised that you email yourself as a reminder. Why? Because you might just email a friend instead and to them:

Subject: Kerfuffle

Email Body: Use It

...doesn't make sense.

It's cool when people take their blogs back.

It's weird when you miss being picked on.

Sometimes the people you think are the scariest are really nice. Even when they are bald. (I blushed talking to him-I was nervous.)

I am supporting 7 people at work until 9/4. (Instead of just 2) So I might be busy during the day and can't read your blogs. :(

Coffee CAN smell like a convenience store. Which is unfortunate, especially when given to someone like me with a freakishly good sense of smell.

You might think it's a cool party trick, but really, it's mostly a curse.

Red Daisies look pretty with a wedding dress.

My hair is too long. I like it the way it is in my profile picture. Which means I have to cut off over an inch.

Beer is good. Especially with baseball.

If you need your bowels loosened, call me. I've got some tea for you!

I officially hate Facebook.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Socks for Supper

Tomorrow, finally, is my supper club! I'm so excited, but also perplexed at how I'm going to fit all of those people in my apartment-specifically my kitchen. When I tell you it's the size of a walk in closet, I mean it. And not a huge walk-in but a narrow one.

And this is really a learn to cook party. Interesting.

What I think I'm going to do is mise en place everything tonight-portion out the rice for the risotto, puree the peas, grate the cheese...that way when everyone gets there, it's all done and all I have to do is pick an assistant and tell them what to do. But really, it's going to be interesting having them all in there watching. 10 people. I might have to take a picture. (But they don't know about this blog, so maybe not.)

Tonight I'm making our dessert-cheesecake of the margarita kind. :) It would have been nice to be able to show them all how to make it, but cheesecake really needs time in the fridge to hang out and set up. Besides, I'm sure they won't *really* mind that it's made already.

I also have a lot more cleaning to do. I did all of my dishes, folded all of my laundry and (gasp) put it away. Now I have to scrub my kitchen floor, clean the bathroom, vacuum and dust, as well as find creative places to hide stuff that is in my hallway. I think after this is all said and done, I'm going to need some Triclear.

Oh, and before I do all this, I have to go grocery shopping for the goods. It might be a good thing I haven't been sleeping-I might need all of that extra time!

Toosdae ?'s


Today's the day you all anxiously wait for all-Toosdae! C'mon, it's a good way to kill stress, waste time and make me smile. No excuses-answer away! Youu did so well last week, let's try to beat the record!

1. Which types of driver are you less tolerant of? Old people or Young people?

2. Have you ever gotten detention? If so, for what.

3. What do you think is the most selfish thing you do on a regular basis?

1. I don't think I'm less tolerant of either-I'm just not tolerant of bad drivers. However, I suppose if I see an old person at the wheel, I feel bad for them and stop being as mad.

2. Indeed I have. I know it's surprising to you because I'm *such* a nice girl (ha ha ha) but it has happened. I believe I've had detention 3 or 4 times, mostly for talking in class but also for not doing my homework. I hated taking the late bus so I learned to stop talking at the very moment before I would get yelled at.

3. I think it's probably keeping to myself. I don't call my parents much and when they call I tend to be short with them in details-I keep my life to myself and rarely give them the details they want.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Yum

I just had dinner.

Yes. Dinner. Like, food.

I'm weak. What can I say? As Trav said, "I'll keep my toxins, thanks." I'm really disappointed that I couldn't hack it, but not for nothing, eating is NOT overrated. I would have loved to reap the benefits (I hear this cleanse is better than most acne cures).

The hardest part I think was that by the middle of the day, I was gagging when I was trying to get the lemon concoction down. It didn't taste bad, it was just a lot of the same thing. It had cayenne in it, and after a while, it just gets to be too much.

So, to those of you who were hoping that I'd be the gateway to your own cleanse, I'm sorry. I just couldn't do it. Perhaps one day I'll be strong enough (and dumb enough) to try this again, but for now...I'm done.

Manic Monday: Club

Be sure to visit Morgen for more Manic Monday stories...and also, b/c he's wicked cool.

I've never really liked to dance. I love music and love singing and playing music on my flute and piccolo-but never enjoyed the act of dancing. (Well, except for a nice slow dance. I miss slow dancing.) I also never really liked loud pounding music that repeats its beat over and over again.

This is why I've never been a fan of clubs. But, like most college girls, I did like the prospect of new boys and going to clubs with a group of friends was something I always got dragged into. We'd get all dressed up and do our hair and make up and pile into one room to pound beer and Zimas. After we had a little bit of a buzz, our designated driver would round us up and off we'd go.

Usually these outings ended up with us in a big circle dancing with each other or some of the guys we hung out with. On one occasion though, I was targeted by a very sexy man. He had the smoothest, silkiest chocolate brown skin and deep brown eyes. Believe it or not, he was very closely shave and almost looked bald! In any case, he sauntered up behind me and started dirty dancing with me.

I didn't know what to do-remember, I don't do well with the direct "hey baby, wanna fuck" kind of flirting, so it's a good think I had some Zima in me. The long of the short of it is, we danced. And danced. And danced. Our sweaty beautiful bodies (I was tall and skinny back then) meshed together in beautiful harmony until the wee hours of the night. Or...at least until 1am. The only thing he said to me the whole time was, "Hey sexy, you're a good dancer."

I don't care what they say, every girl likes to have a man tell them they are sexy. Even girls like me, who don't like to be directly flirted with. It's part of the reason why I still remember what I was wearing (a green button down silk shirt, jeans and black suede boots-it was 1995) and why it still brings a smile to my face even today.

It was one trip to a dance club that I didn't mind at all...especially because my friends were very jealous. :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ready, Willing & Hopefully Able...


This is my life for the next 10 days. Or...5...or maybe even just 1, depending on how I do. I'm trying the Master Cleanse. I'm going to preface this by saying that I don't think I'm going to last 10 days. I'll be really proud of myself if I last until Wednesday-heck, even if I last overnight. But I really want to try. I've been interested in body detox programs for a while now but just never really explored them. I'm fascinated with cleaning out all of the toxins and I'm truly curious about whether or not I'll feel better after it's done.

I'm hoping it'll help with headaches.

I'm hoping it'll help me sleep.

I'm hoping it helps the dark circles that have formed under my eyes (due to lack of sleep).

I'm hoping I'll last 10 days!

The program involves drinking a fresh lemonade concoction during the day and flushing your system out with a laxative tea (Smooth Move-ha ha ha) at night. There's also a saline concoction you should drink in the morning, but I'm not sure I'll do that yet-I'm trying all 3 today to see reaction time and such before I go out into the real world. The bathroom's pretty far away from where I sit at work!

I'm writing this at 3pm. I haven't eaten anything since around 11pm last night (at the dip party). I've been drinking my lemonade and it's really not bad! I do think I put a little too much cayenne in this time and I'll decrease that tomorrow. I'm hungry, but not starving. I think once my brain realizes that in 3 hours I won't be making and eating dinner (boo!) it'll be ok.

I met a friend for "brunch" today but I didn't eat. She isn't a big eater either, so luckily we went without food too. (What a gal!) We walked around the shops a little bit and after a while I told her I had to go b/c there were too many food venues around and I didn't want to cheat. I didn't. I'm a bit sleepy now, and since it's Sunday and I have until Wednesday to clean my apartment (the supper club-that's going to be interesting) I'm going to take a little nappie poo, if possible. When I wake up-Smooth Move and I have a little date.

I'm actually really excited to see if the testimonials are accurate. I've weighed myself (about 5 #'s lower than I thought it would be!) and looked at my skin. I've stocked up on toilet paper and moist towelettes. I'm ready. I hope it turns out well...

I Done Dipped

I think there's some sort of hex on my apartment. Saturday morning when I woke up I began making the rest of the dips and dippers for the party. I started by putting on my double boiler so I could melt the chocolate for the strawberries, pound cake and marshmallows. The weirdest thing happened-instead of melting smoothly, the chips became grainy and fudge-like. (Which is ironic, because remember, I can't make fudge!) After about 45 minutes I added a little milk to the mix and it loosened up and melted, but it kept solidifying before I could dip everything. The only thing I can think of is that it was a weird batch of chocolate-but it was 2 different bags!

Even though it's risky, I used all new recipes (minus the marshmallows) for this party-this included the soft pretzels. Now, I have a very good soft pretzel recipe from school and have successfully made them outside of school. However, I could not locate the recipe earlier so I search for a new one. This turned out to be a fatal error.

I figured that I would proof the dough here at home, divide it out and boil it. All I'd have to do at Danielle's would be to put the in the egg wash and bake them. Well...about 5 minutes into my drive to her house, I noticed that the boiled pretzel bites were growing. About 1/2 to her house they had doubled in size and by the time I arrived they were at least 3 X's the size as they were when I left Boston. They looked puffy and disfigured and also a little bubbly-not smooth like the other recipe. Deep down I knew it wasn't going to work, but I still went ahead and baked them off-with no success. Thanks to Danielle's husband Steve who ran out to get me French Bread to use as a dipper because I threw the pretzels away. Never again will I stray from my old pretzel recipe.

The other weird thing was the cheddar beer fondue. It wouldn't set. We kept whisking it and whisking it but it just kept being a big lump of cheese swimming in beer. I asked Steve to also pick me up some shredded cheddar cheese so I could seed the base fondue mixture with it, in hopes that it would all come together. I did, finally, but not as smoothly as I would have liked. I don't think the recipe had enough flour in it (to bind it better) and the cheese may have had too little fat. I'll try the recipe again buy I'll play with it next time. The flavor was yummy though.

I also tried an infused oil dipping sauce for fried green plantains. It was OK. The recipe called for too much oil-next time I will reduce that to about 1/2, add more lime juice, salt and pepper and keep the cilantro the same. It'll be thicker and more flavorful instead of just an oily flavorless bowl of grossness. Kimberly did eat it, which made me happy, but everyone else stayed away.

My favorite dip was a roasted red pepper dip. I could have eaten the entire thing, but I got way too full. It's creme cheese, roasted reds, parsley, loads of garlic and lime juice with salt and pepper. Delicious. I'm going to make this again on Wednesday for my supper club.

I also made a buffalo chicken dip which was ok. I got compliments on it, but I think it could have been better. I will add cheese on top of it next time to make it one level better, and I think that'll cut the blue cheese taste a bit.

Served with French Fries I had Rosemary Mayo, Wasabi Horseradish Mustard and Curry Ketchup-which was the favorite. All of the fries were gone and all of those dips were tried, so that was good.

Overall, I'm rather disappointed in the dips. I was so excited about the party and thought these recipes would be fantastic, but really they were not. The hard part was that I was not at my house-Danielle graciously allowed me into her home to use her kitchen and to host the party there (since my apartment is so tiny). Had I been home, I think I could have tweeked them a bit more (because I had leftover ingredients and stuff here) and had a more successful party. But I think that for the most part, everyone liked most of the food and no one (except maybe Nina) went hungry.

And now, I pray I can sleep. I'm working off of 4 hours in the last 2 days. My head hurts. Maybe that's a good sign...