Monday, November 19, 2007

Personalized Love Bird Mugs


Exactly the sort of item I would sell at my store.

Lamb Shepherd's Pie

1 lb ground lamb
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp worshtescher (sp?)
1/2 cup onions
2 chopped garlic cloves
1 can stewed tomatoes partially drained.
2-4 cups green beans
cheese for topping
1 box instant au gratin potatoes

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook lamb with thyme and worshtescher, plus onions and garlic. Cook until meat is no longer pink. Boil water to blanch the green beans. Blanch beans and drain. Start potatoes according to box directions. Remove lamb and onions with slotted spoon and place in casserole dish. Top with can of stewed tomatoes, and then green beans. Mix together. Pour potatoes over the top. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Mushroom Turkey Burgers

I made turkey burgers last Tuesday. I put some mushrooms, and a shallot in the food processor, and mixed it into the turkey meat. It made the burgers meatier. I really like it, and would definitely do it again.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Spanish Rice


I discovered the greatness of making your own spanish rice after I read something about MSG. I freaked out for a little while, and tried to avoid it whereever I could. I eventually calmed down about it realzing that if I didn't eat MSG, I would never eat another Cool Ranch Dorito.

I made some of the boxed versions in the past. I used to use the Mahatma brand (which does have MSG), and then after my MSG freakout, I tried the Near East Brand that also makes couscous, and rice pilaf. I think I may have even tried the Uncle Ben's version, but I don't really remember.

I looked up how to make it on the internet, and tried a few different recipes. After a little trial and error, and a few modifications, this is the rice that I make.


Spanish Rice

This recipe can easily be doubled if you double the onion, chili powder, salt, water, and broth (and rice of course :)

1 tblsp olive oil
1/2 an onion chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup rice (brown or white)
1 can stewed tomatoes
1/2 tsp chili powder
pinch of oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water (2 cups if you are using brown rice)
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
*optional 1/2 cup of frozen corn/peas/carrots for color

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium/high heat and add the rice. Add the onion and garlic. Cook onion/rice mixture, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes until the onions are softened and translucent. The rice will start to brown a little.

Add all of the other ingredients and stir. Bring to a simmer, and lower the heat. Cook 25 minutes or until the liquid has burned off (it may take longer for brown rice) to your desired moisture level. My sister likes the rice to get burned on the bottom, but the rice can be really good too when it's a little more moist and squishy too, depending on your mood.

Enjoy with sour cream and guacamole.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

My Modified Chicken Adobo



Chicken Adobo Ingredients:

2 lb. chicken thighs, skins removed, cut off the bone into pieces

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup light or dark soy sauce
3 1/4" slices of fresh ginger
3 cloves of garlic, crushed and skins removed
1/4 cup rice vinegar
32 oz chicken stock to cover
1 bay leaf

Serves 2 to 3 people

Method:

Don't forget to start the rice! Put all ingredients into a large pot, bring to the boil and then reduce heat to simmer until chicken is tender (approx. 1 hour)

Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon, and put it in a saute pan with a little olive oil. Saute on high heat until chicken is crispy. About 5 minutes. I like the "burny flavor." Serve chicken with white rice, and pour the sauce over both.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

food i made plus a musical note


polenta and vegetable bake. tasted like lasagna. a lot of eggplant.

never got around to making a salad with the fuyu persimmons. they sure are pretty though.

i baked a batch of cookies. i made two pots of coffee.

salmon salad with white beans last sunday.

plus, shankar jaikikshan's title music from merchant ivory's film bombay talkie caught my attention from the darjeeling limited.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Asparagus

18th century poet Charles Lamb thought that the vegetable inspired gentle thoughts, while Aristotle thought that it caused erections.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Locked Out

I locked myself out of the house on Saturday. A little turn of the old doorknob on our front door exiled me outside of the house with dog in tow. I sat with friends and waited for our locksmith to arrive. When the locksmith arrived, I couldn't believe the plumber butt that he displayed. It was like it was out of a movie or a sitcom that our handyman should have such a preference for low waisted pants, and not wearing underwear.

Sunday morning I awoke, and I felt like I had to make up for my $150 mistake. I scrubbed the sink, the toilet, vacumned the carpets, swept the floor, emptied the catbox, and did a load of laundry. I paid $150 to get in the house; I was going to make sure I stayed in it for awhile and took some measure to make it the best house possible.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Oyster Shooter


my first oyster shooter. spicy, salty, and slimy as it slipped down my throat. a little burn and then it was gone. in the shotglass: jalapeno infused vodka, cocktail sauce, a dash of Tabasco and of course a raw oyster.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

bubble bubble pearl milk tea


i enjoyed a most delicious coconut green milk tea with pearls today. bubble tea is so refreshing on a hot day. It's always oh so satisfying to punch the oversized straw through the cellophane and hear the subtle "pop", so much so that I don't really want the bubble tea unless they have the machine that seals the plastic cup closed.

Wikipedia has this to say about it:

"The original bubble tea consisted of a hot Taiwanese black tea, tapioca pearls, condensed milk, and honey.

These tapioca pearls are made mostly of tapioca starch, which comes from the tapioca, or bitter-cassava plant. In other parts of the world, the bitter-cassava plant may be called manioca or yuca. Cassava is native to South America, and was introduced to Asia in the 1800s. The balls are prepared by boiling for 25 minutes, until they are cooked thoroughly but have not lost pliancy, then cooled for 25 minutes. After cooking they last about 7 hours. The pearls have little taste, and are usually soaked in sugar or honey solutions.

There are two shops that claim to be the first creator of Bubble Tea. One is Liu Han Chie who worked in Chun Shui Tang teahouse Taichung City, Taiwan in the early 1980s, and experimented with cold milk tea by adding fruit, syrup, candied yams, and tapioca balls. Although the drink was not popular at first, a Japanese television show generated interest among businessmen. The drink became well-known in most parts of East and Southeast Asia during the 1990s.

An alternative origin is the Hanlin Teahouse in Tainan City, Taiwan, owned by Tu Tsong He Hanlin Bubble tea is made by adding traditional white fenyuan which have an appearance of pearls, supposedly resulting in the so-called "pearl tea." Shortly after, Hanlin changed the white fenyuan to the black, as it is today.

"Bubble Tea" in Chinese actually refers to a modern method of beverage preparation: to efficiently and homogenously mix various ingredients in these drinks (e.g., sugar, powdered milk, tea, and ice), drink makers often shake the tea up as bartenders do with cocktails. Thusly prepared, a layer of foam forms on the surface, and any tea so prepared can be called bubble tea.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

existential loneliness at the dryer

most of the time i am okay with my single status. I definitely have those moments where i feel this melancolic haze about what things could be like, but i've been maturing and realizing that my life is as good as it will ever be, so dwelling on how things could be better is a waste of time.

but then i have these ridiculous moments where i don't want to feel so alone. pulling my laundry out of the dryer today, it hit. what do i expect? someone to clean the lint out of the lint trap with me, each of us holding a plastic edge, while my other hand reaches out to wipe away the sheet of linty fibers.

i realize fully that this is ridiculous.

most classicly, it's the waking up each morning that i find the toughest. i have no problem coming home to an empty bed, but waking up inside of one is more frightening. i roll over each morning to a vacant slot with an unused pillow next to it. the delight and/or regularity of having someone there is something i have never really been able to get used to.

so much so that I have much difficulty in the past sleeping next to someone. i get insomnia, that usually fuels my love sickness, and makes me loopy as can be.

George oppen talks about the moment of awakening quite extensively in his poetry. it is the moment that light hits our eyes that we realized that we exist. we see something that proves that we are expereincing, that we are alive. maybe what i long for is to see a mirror image, a male image that reminds me that I exist. that i am not just a floating entity. Is this what true love is able to prove to us? That we exist, quite simply, alongside of each other. Proximity becomes comforting, even though we experience alone. Why is romantic love different?

I don't mean this in a way that being with a man would as the cliche goes "fill the void" inside of me, but I do desire to feel presence of a certain masculine variety. Presence, being present . . . engagement.

I watched a man on the bus yesterday methodically change his text message to someone that I presume was a girlfriend. He slowly made the message he was sending to her less and less engaged. It went from something like "let's meet here at this time" to "lemme know" (let me was spelled just like that) . . . text messaging is the best thing that ever happened to boys.

the desire for presence is such a female desire, and the desire for casual freedom such a masculine one. i resent feeling like such a cliche.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

motion

i'm in one of those places again where everything seems up in the air. i have no idea what will happen next. i don't know what I want out of my life. i don't know what i want to be. I believe this is commonly referred to these days as "the quarter life crisis." i am excited by the thought of the opportunities ahead of me for self improvement.

on a similar note, my opinions are more clear cut these days. i assume i am on the path to a higher level of self assurance.

going with the flow is simultaneously not acceptable, and my only option. i guess what i mean is that i am open to whatever fate has to offer me, but i am aware of the fact that I am in control when i believe that it is taking me somewhere i don't want to go.

Monday, September 03, 2007

These names only mean something to you

Vocabulary.
my vocabulary against your vocabulary. everytime i have to communicate with someone, (and sometimes even with myself), I run up against this conflict.

Each person seems to have their own set of meaning that they are woking within.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I've been trying to clean and minimize these days. It feels wonderful. A few weeks ago I recycled some old cassette tapes, this week I have a bag full of books that I'm going to donate. I put stray paperwork in it's filed home, and spare blankets in their place in the basement. Less weight, more clarity, I hope. The comic books are on the agenda, and there's a bag of old shoes sitting at home to go out too.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Like the roasted body of an animal, you and I, we consumed each delicate bite. We picked off all the meaty morsels, and chewed them over. We revisited the flavors of the passion we shared. I picked, you picked, we both chewed on the fat, fed ourselves on the meat.

The carcass is left, the flavor is still in my mouth, and sadly darling, there is no more to eat.

I still want to chew off your shoulder. I want to give you my arms and my calves.

The fading sets in even further, but I remember fondly . . .

Friday, July 20, 2007

Your Catfish Friend
by Richard Brautigan

If I were to live my life
in catfish forms
in scaffolds of skin and whiskers
at the bottom of a pond
and you were to come by
one evening
when the moon was shining
down into my dark home
and stand there at the edge
of my affection
and think, "It's beautiful
here by this pond. I wish
somebody loved me,"
I'd love you and be your catfish
friend and drive such lonely
thoughts from your mind
and suddenly you would be
at peace,
and ask yourself, "I wonder
if there are any catfish
in this pond? It seems like
a perfect place for them."

Monday, July 16, 2007

Dear Anonymous Commenter to My Blog

Hello,

I have turned my comments back on. I trust that you will not abuse the feature. I understand your good intentions, but I was displeased that you used my real name in my blog. I do not want it posted.

I was unsettled by the nature of your comments, especially after the second poem you left for me (both poems I have removed from the blog). Your sentiments were of an overly reverant nature. Your fascination with me is largely constructed. You do not know me as a person.

I have no idea who you are. I have read the posts you made to your blog, the blog that you linked to in one of your posts, and have now deleted.

If you would like to commment on my blog, please be transparent about your identity.

Best,

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Thursday in the ER . . .

I saw my doctor last thursday morning. I had to drink tons of water and wait forty minutes to give him a sample. He wrote me a prescription, and sent me to the ER.

By the time my sister drove me to the emergency room, I was in serious pain. My bladder was visibly distended. The previous two days, urination had required ample time, the sound of a faucet running, and some reading material, usually the back of a hairspray bottle to distract me and relax me enough to let it flow. It was hard to walk into the ER.

They gave me my robe, and showed me the hospital room where I would be waiting for my doctor. It was more like an operating room with a huge light over my head. I had peed once on my way in, and the pain returned. It was excruciating.

I talked to at least 3 doctors reviewing my story, my theories of what was causing my affliction. They told me it wasn't a normal bladder infection, that I should be going a lot, not retaining.

They did a bladder scan: 967 ml. It was obvious I needed to be drained.

They took my blood, and I waited. It was cold and I was feeling overwhelmed. The nurse returned, and put in a foley catheter. I didn't notice an immediate release in pressure, but within 5 minutes, my only discomfort was the presence of the catheter. I drained steadily for quite awhile. I hade 1500 ml inside me, more than a liter!! That's more than a carafe of wine.

They sent me home with a leg bag, and instructions to see a uroligist. Thank goodness my sister was there with me. Not the way I expected things to be. I thought I was going to get prescribed antibiotics at the first doctor's office, and go to work, go to yoga in the evening, but I was at home with a catheter.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Lucky Breaks

So I won a television from Lucky Magazine. It's a 20" LCD screen. At first I thought it was spam, but curiosity got the better of me. I did remember entering for it. . . and it was real. Arrived on my doorstep last week. A pretty nice tv too.

I had no idea what to do with it. I have a small room, and it would require me to buy a dvd player. I also already have a tv/dvd set up, one of those all in one combo units. I decided to give it to my parents. They can use as a big computer monitor. My dad will be proud of my gold bar syndrome . . . runs in the family.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

busride from hell


oh my god, what a day.

i hightailed it to south station to get on an earlier bus, and they put me on a bus leaving in 15 minutes. I rolled my luggage over and quickly bought some water and gum.

On the way, I had to get out off the t train a stop early because my transfer station didn't have an elevator down to the platform. I went above ground and walked.

Back to the fung wah bus. I get on at 1:30. We begin the ride to New York.

The cell phone reception in connecticutt is awful. The bus is cold, and I curl up to sleep. While I sleep, the sun comes out and melts the cookie I put in my pocket. The bus stopped at a mcdonald's to let us pee, and i look down to see what looks like a poop stain on my hand. i looked down further to see the chocolate from my melted cookie overflowing out of my hoodie. ewww.

back on the bus. we are in traffic for nearly 3 hours getting into manhattan.

got off on the lower east side at 8:30. Missed my chance to reprint my e-ticket, and missed the connecting bus that i was supposed to get onto philly at 8pm. I walk the wrong way down canal st.

i've got a lot on my mind.

the chinatown bus station is crazy. things are poorly labeled, people are yelling at me to get on their bus.

i accidentally almost got on a bus to dc.

thank god i asked. i hit my head putting my luggage into the cargo on the right bus.

Once i'm on my philly bus, there was a beeping up front, so i moved to the back, and when the bus was moving, it sounded like clattering floorboards. I feared for my life. i had visions of the frame shifting while we were on the highway.

the people in front of me have their ipods on loud. i can hear their music "it's raining men, halleleujah"

whoa. close to midnight i arrived in philly. . .

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

There are always more rocks to smoke on


I smoked a cigarette naked on a rock 8700 ft above sea level. In light of this, everything is okay . . .

California was in front of me, and Nevada behind me.

The high-altitude winds blew through my crotch when I took off my pants, cooling the sweat from the hike up to the peak.

A raised column of rock made the perfect seat for my tush. I had a hard time getting my cigarette lit, but once it was I sucked in the smoke as if it was the air my life depended upon.

I stretched my arms up, and the sun crawled towards late afternoon.

This was a non-sexual moment, pure in its intentions. Just a moment to be in tune with my mind, with the scene before me.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Cigarettes



I have this sort of odd obsession with pictures of people smoking. The photos are always so meditative, so ethereal, so lovely. I don't care about it perpetuating a negative habit. I have a flickr feed on my browser homepage that shows me different photos each morning. This is my favorite from today.




Thursday, May 24, 2007

Candles flickered on every round table throughout the bar. The man at the piano swung his long hair backward, and emphatically played John Lennon's "Imagine," in an almost ragtime fashion. He began to sing. Cars passed regularly in the background, subtle white noise. Dusk settled.

Friday, March 30, 2007

hidden photo

i dropped my library book the other day, and a hidden photo fell out onto the corner of stanyan and frederick. It's a photo of an older dark haired man with a pot belly in a pair of carharts. He's sitting in a truck against a southwest seat cover. The photo is taken by the person in the driver's seat. He is looking at the photographer in the corner of his eye.

I will scan it later.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Green Paper Package




I received a long awaited package today, but when I saw how it had been packaged, the wait was entirely worth it.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Sartorial Joy / Object Appreciation

"No ideas but in things" -- William Carlos Williams

There are those sartorial moments, when something clicks.

In viewing the object, I can see how someone has strived to make a very small moment of my life more involved, more elaborated upon.

It is the perfect mustard yellow handbag, the thrift store scarf that warms your body, and completes your reflection.

One could argue that there is more poetry in a bucket than a high heeled shoe, but that need not diminish the joy one receives from a proper item of clothing--something that fits so well, that enhances one's presence without overwhelming the viewer.

This is the poetry of design.

The message conveyed may be about status, but an item whose poetry rings truer will convey a message of utility, beauty and possibility. The craftsman understands this.

And of course this appreciation expands outside of sartorial items, a warm ceramic mug that fits into the palm, a new camera arriving in the mail packaged in green paper and tied up with string, or a new song that one hears offering displacement and pleasure (the idea as an object).

We appreciate these items, and they enhance our lives. Unfortunately, the object can only provide so much. Objects cannot love us back.

Although sometimes, we love an object so much that the love we pour into it bounces back onto us. The pursuit of interests is never to be discontinued. Objects are indelibly tied to our efforts, our emotions, and our lives.

Objects are carriers.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

My horoscope today

Optimism and buoyancy
This influence assures a day of good feelings, peace and harmony with others. But you should try to use its energy to accomplish something good and useful for yourself. The temptation is to enjoy the good feelings and let the day slip by without paying any special attention. The enthusiasm, optimism and buoyancy associated with this influence will enable you to project energies into the environment that will help your affairs work out as you want. This may appear to be luck, but it is not really. Consciously or unconsciously, in your daily routine you operate with great understanding of the overall patterns, and you act with more foresight and consideration than usual. If you do benefit from "dumb luck," it is a consequence of something you have done in the recent past.

The interpretation above is for your transit selected for today:Sun Trine Jupiter

activity period from 19 February 2007 to 21 February 2007.

Monday, February 12, 2007

We hadn't spoken in weeks. I ran into Jon at a coffee shop concert; he looked disheveled, untucked mismatched shirt and unshaven stubble. I thought maybe he'd been distraught. We chatted awkwardly. He invited me to his friends house in rural Oregon for the weekend--people were coming out for something of a two day party in the woods.

Secretly, I was thrilled. He'd kiss me in the woods. I was hopeful from the moment that I received the invite.

Lisa, an aquaintance, drove me and her boyfriend in her black suv through the oregon woods to the lakeside house. We arrived early, before Jon. There was a giant trampoline set out in the front yard. We all took turns jumping. Lisa's boyfriend, well sauced, got on the trampoline, jumped around for awhile and fell on his arm, spraining it. Lisa left and took him to the hospital.

I knew the host, Blane, only vaguely. Blane was a wiry looking kid with messy hair and a lazy eye. He was constantly unshaven. Lisa was gone, and it was awkward out in the forest with Blane's friends, a bunch of mal-adjusted townies. Dusk settled, and Jon arrived with some of my classmates. The car rumbled close to the house, and I felt eager to start enjoying myself. They filtered in and Jon walked in, dressed tightly in black, with a giggling happy girl looming near him. I knew immediately. Why did he invite me out to the forest to be presented with this new and unhappy fact? My heart sunk--I couldn't leave.

Lisa returned with her boyfriend, his arm in a sling. The group sat around on the porch drinking Pabst and laughing for a few hours. My classmates teased Jon about his new girlfriend. "Jonny's got a girrrllfriend." Jon sat next to her, and I pretended to look happy. Blane told everyone to come out front.

Blane had constructed a huge pyre, largely composed out of his old paintings, along with pieces of broken furniture, and 2 x 4's. He doused the pyre in gasoline and lit it on fire. He rolled a wheelbarrel out in front of the growing fire. With a shovel, he launched large scoops of sawdust onto the pyre. The flames mushroom clouded into the sky.

What was I watching?

After the sawdust was gone, the crowd filtered back towards the house. I confronted Jon. He stood on the porch facing out from the house. His tall, thin frame illuminated. "Why did you invite me out here to see you and your new girlfriend?"

"I just thought it would be okay."

I don't remember the rest of our conversation. Time passed slowly that night.

I hid out in Blane's guest room, a room separated from the house, with windows on all four sides. I crawled up in Blane's sleeping bag, and cried. I wept in the little one room for quite awhile. Blane came in and tried to console me. He put his arms around me and leaned in for a kiss. I would learn later that Blaine had a history of "kissing crying girls."

I left the tiny room and rejoined the party. The lights inside the house were bright. Alcohol had settled in on the guests. 2 girls and a boy were standing with their arms around each other, taking turns kissing in the triangle.

Blane burst out of the house, throwing his blankets onto the ground. Yelling, screaming, he picked up a guitar and smashed it on the ground. A girl that he wanted was in his bed with someone else. We all just watched as he destroyd the guitar.

I walked along the perimeter of the estate along the wooden fence, and ran into Gunther, one of Jon's old friends. I pretended to be french. My act was shoddy, and he quickly got bored, but he was drunk enough to believe me for a moment.

I went out near the firepit, and listened to people talk. The scene was more innocuous. Jon and his girlfriend were gone. It was very late and I had to try to sleep.

I went into the house and found a place on the floor. There was a loft bedroom in the middle of the huge living room. My place on the floor was right underneath the loft. I knew that Jon and his girlfriend were sleeping there. I tried to sleep. Occasionally, I would hear little kissing and sucking noises come down from the loft. Dawn was lifting.

I got up again, and went to the firepit. Joe was still awake. We talked about books. He was a good conversation in contrast to the insanity of the evening.

The morning dawned, and the group went about making breakfast for the 15 or so people that were there. It took forever. I wanted to leave soo badly. No one could confirm for me when they were leaving.

The sun was high in the sky. Blane turned on music. I remember the Strokes "This Is It" and Elliott Smith drifting through the large living room and onto the deck. Jon used to tell me that he hated pop music like that. I resented the music in that moment.

Finally Lisa said she was leaving. We all got in the Black SUV and we started to head out the driveway. The car lurched--flat tire--unbelievable. We all got of the car. It took a while for Lisa to figure out how to unscrew the spare from the bottom of the car. While Lisa and her boyfriend were fiddlling with getting the wheel out from under the car, I stood and watched. I brushed my hand against the back of my head and felt a sting--a bee sting. I went back inside the house for a bandaid.

The car was ready to go. The drive seemed very long, and I remember walking slowly back into my house. I went upstairs and lay down on the bed without taking the covers off.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Breakfast

I love breakfast. It's a wonderful beginning to any great day. It's a time for communication, contemplation, and appreciation. I love eggs. I love toast. I love coffee. These are all inspiring objects to me. I dream about breakfast all day.
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