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bananas - tuesday, july 08, 2014 - 10:09

Alice: lunch today?

me: sure!

Alice: whenever.
I am going to have a banana snack now.
I hope you didn't want to go to a bananas only restaurant

me: It's called This Place is Bananas

Alice: HA!
that got a legitimate lol

me: did it get a B-A-N-A-N-A-S?

it's amazing - sunday, april 12, 2009 - 23:33

Sometimes a few hours is enough to make me feel like I am once again in charge of my life. We got some important moving things done this afternoon so that we're finally out of the last apartment (thanks for the help, Ross!) and I planned hells of lessons for my students, and I am not only prepared for school tomorrow but actually seriously excited about it again.

You know, I really love my job. Not every day, or even for every part of any day, but pretty dang often. Thank you, universe.

Meanwhile, Rowdy is kicking up a storm in the region where my lower intestines used to be, and Mitch and the cats are sleeping in our new little cottage where we are so comfortable and happy, and I have just finished a frostbitten but still delicious tub of ice cream and am about to join them.

Universe, thank you again.

here is what needs to happen - monday, april 06, 2009 - 15:10

  1. I need to post my old dining table, chairs, and a free chest of drawers on craiglist because they are the only things still tying us to our old house and crap-junk landlord.
  2. Before I can post these ads, I need to upload photos to my computer so that people will actually pay attention and contact me and take my stuff away.
  3. Before I can upload the photos, I need to unpack the box labeled PRINTER AND DESK EPHEMERA because that is where (I hope) the little upload cable is languishing.
  4. Before I can unpack the PRINTER AND DESK EPHEMERA box, I need to have a spot to put said items, which means I need to move my desk into my new bedroom.
  5. Before moving the desk, I need to move my old nightstand to a new home and make some freaking space for a desk.
  6. I think this takes me to right now, where I am sitting with my shirt rolled up watching my stomach nudge itself in uncanny directions and eating applesauce from the jar with a cold spoon. I guess I'm about ready to get moving.

giant pillow - sunday, march 22, 2009 - 09:50

First off, in case word hasn't traveled, I'm hella pregnant. We're expecting our daughter to show up in late July, right around Mitch and my sisters' birthdays. Yes, we are so excited.

We've been trying to avoid most of the pregs stuff--like with any life condition, there are a heap of things you can/should/must buy, but I think lots of it is hooey. However, Mitch just got me one thing which I would have totally scorned a month ago, but which is revitalizing my sleep: an enormous, wraparound body pillow.

Suddenly, my sleep has ceased to be fitful and achy, and I wake up feeling seriously rested. At the same time, this pillow is taking over the better part of our bed. We both cuddle with it now instead of each other. It's almost a third person in the sack with us, but one who offers greater softness, generosity, and flexibility than either of us ever will.

I just hope that once the baby's here, we'll have the strength to boot the pillow and return to each other's bony arms.

careers to avoid - friday, october 10, 2008 - 18:55

Every time I'm in the bathroom, I notice that my current box of tampons advertises the product's "Pro Comfort."

This leads me to wonder: Are there professional menstruators?

stood up - wednesday, july 30, 2008 - 15:52

So, my friend stood me up for lunch today, but that just meant I got to read this awesome article about Magdalena Lewy Boulet from last week's East Bay Express while I enjoyed my solitary repast. I am so hotted up for the Olympics now!

Also, my friend called a few minutes ago. He was asleep. I say if you sleep till 3:50, you should not make lunch dates with people.

oh god - tuesday, october 24, 2006 - 14:19

Anything but this homework. I feel ridiculous--I have crossed a terrible boundary and spent the last hour on myspace, which I hate for many reasons including (but certainly not limited to) because it always makes my Firefox crash. So there you have it.

Class this morning went well. I feel better and better about being the teacher. At first standing in front of the class and bossing everyone felt like pretending, and then like I didn't know what to do, but now I'm starting to feel authentic, like I belong up there. Exciting.

hello again - saturday, october 21, 2006 - 14:33

So, I know I haven't written since before I started to learn to be a teacher, but it seems like time to pick back up.

This morning, I met with one of the other student teachers in my program at the Temescal Cafe to plan out some lessons. It went well, and I conquered the art of connecting to wireless outside of my own home, so I am proud of that.

I left heavily laden with good ideas, my computer bag, and a ton of books. As I maneuvered my way down the street, an old man who was sitting on a bench drinking coffee smiled up at me.

"Hello," I said.

"Hello," he said, grinning widely. His pronunciation was clear and crisp. "You got nice tits."

At that point, I elected to continue on my way.

"Did you hear me?" he called at my retreating back, sounding deeply concerned.

The weather is delightful today. Though my afternoon plans consist entirely of sitting in the house planning lessons, at least I get to have the doors and windows wide open while I do it.

Rose went to Chicago - wednesday, may 31, 2006 - 14:20

[14:15] rose: it was fun to go, we sampled some Olde Style beer
[14:15] rose: i almost wrote "bear"
[14:15] lara: sweet sweet Old Style
[14:15] rose: in the olde style, bear is pit roasts and then eaten with the fur still on

half baked - friday, march 31, 2006 - 16:08

I was in the video store approximately 10 minutes ago, renting some movies and paying a dreadful $8 late fee for the worst movie I've seen this year. As the counter-guy handed me my DVDs, he hesitated and looked lovingly at Half Baked in his hand.

"You know," he said, "I was watching Dave Chappelle on Actor's Studio the other night, and he said he was, like, actually inspired to write this movie. Like, he was just hanging out getting stoned, and then got this total inspiration."

open letter to 151 schoolgirls - tuesday, february 28, 2006 - 15:17

Dear female students of the school where I work,

It is an almost non-stop pleasure working around and with you. You are, for the most part, charming, sparkly, and intelligent. I admire your artworks on the walls and gymnastics in the playground, and only barely mind the generous spattering of urine that waits on the toilet seat every single time I go to the bathroom.

I do, however, take exception when the urine is accompanied by the obvious remnants of a big load of feces. While I am a little appalled at the thickly-caked streaking which I encountered on the toilet seat some minutes ago, I am in equal measure puzzled about its location at very nearly the front end of the seat.

I understand that your legs are short and may not allow you the advantage of sitting fully atop the crapper, but this alone does not explain how the hell you managed to not even get yourself clearly over the hole. In fact, the only way I can explain it to myself is that you must have been straddling the pot backward like it was a hobby horse.

Is this the case?


and another reason - wednesday, august 24, 2005 - 13:55

Despite being well-bandaged, my knee injury from this weekend has connivingly figured out how to leak pus all over my pants, leaving them crusty and puckered in the affected region.

Intriguingly, when I mentioned this to my co-worker--the same co-worker who a few weeks ago showed me every single square inch of her sunburned, blistered back and chest--she looked appalled that I would bring up something so repulsive and non-professional in our place of business.

why I shouldn't have nice things - wednesday, august 24, 2005 - 12:36

In yet another revelatory example of why having pretty work clothes may be an unreasonable goal for me, I just picked up the farmers' market peach I bought yesterday, inspected it briefly for cleanliness, and then gave it a little polishing up on my brand-new black black slacks. The side of my leg is striped with white fuzz that refuses to rub away.

Well-dressed people, I think, go to the kitchen and rinse their fruit in the sink. I am too lazy for that, and clearly my lack of concern for fruit cleanliness correlates to my lack of concern for clothing tidiness. If my shirts are spotty, I just toss them in the laundry a dozen times or so till the stains either wash out or the dryer bakes them in; in the latter case, I then bleach, but then wash the bleached garment with something non-white so that tiny bleach markings fleck my blue buttondowns like robin poop. I wash my black clothes warm and they fade to a sooty dullness that obviously doesn't match my shiny shoes. I try scuffing my shoes up, but though they then match, the overall effect is unappealingly hobolike. Also, I really like shining shoes. It's the one piece of maintenance I can actually handle.

well, it is a country of tiny women - wednesday, june 29, 2005 - 08:09

I was feeling crappy the other night because while I was taking my morning-and-afternoon nap (some might call it a "long sleep," but I prefer to think that our new nocturnal schedule means we're actually almost always awake) I got bitten no fewer than eight times by a venemous spider or something along similarly vicious lines. Seven of the bites were on the face. My head felt bleary, drugged, and very very itchy. I moped around for a while, and then decided I'd take my destiny in my own hands and go get some Benadryl.

"I'm off to get some Benadryl," I told Mitch, who was hard at work on the computer. "Do you want anything from the drugstore?" He said no.

I bundled up against the chilly night air and headed out into the dark, lively streets of our neighborhood. Since it was almost 11:00, I figured I ought to go to the 24-hour Farmacity down at Corrientes and Callao. After midnight, I think, they pull down their metal security door, but there's a one-foot square opening in the middle where they'll sell you drugs all night long. However, I got there well before they battened down the hatches, so I was able to stride right in to the store, wander its aisles dazedly for a while, and then discover that you actually have to go to the pharmacy counter to buy any drugs except standard OTC painkillers. So I got a ton of Benadryl, paid, and left.

After my nap and walk and extended visit to the drugstore, I was starting to get a little peckish. I assumed Mitch was too, back in the apartment. And Farmacity just happens to be about 50 meters away from our local branch of the excellent La Continental pizza chain. By the time I pieced all this together in my head, I was already pulling open the heavy glass door and breathing in the sweet yeasty smell of hot dough.

I ordered a Fugazza al Gratin (sweet onions with just a little sharp cheese), watched soccer highlights on the TV while I waited, and took off with a string-wrapped box warming my cold hands.

Outside, I waited for the light to change to cross Callao. A man in a blue hat stopped next to me. He looked at me and at my pizza box. He wrinkled his nose.

"Che, que gorda," he said to me conversationally. I wondered if maybe it was pizza slang--hey, what a fatty! bet that's a tasty pile of cheese! He went on, and I decided he wasn't talking about the pizza. "Que gorda." He shook his head and eyed my legs.

"Tenés que tomar jugo de pomelo. Jugo de pomelo y agua. Nada más." He looked like he had probably consumed something other than grapefruit juice and water that evening. I chuckled and crossed the street as soon as the traffic cleared. "Nada más, gordita!" he called after me.

Our pizza was delicious as ever. We had it with broccoli, and Mitch even stopped working for a few minutes to eat with me. Then I took some Benadryl and slept till the next afternoon. I itch less now.

PS: Hot new winter pics up at argentino.saur.us. Stop on by!

plátanos caramelizados con helado - tuesday, june 21, 2005 - 01:43

2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. granulated white sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 shot rum (optional)
1 firm, ripe banana
2 servings of really good ice cream--I recommend chocolate with almonds

Cooking Directions:
This recipe is based on one Aneesa taught me a long time ago that I never completely remembered. I think it was while we were managing our college's literary journal. We'd have weekly staff meetings at my squalid Isla Vista apartment where we'd all drink cheap pink wine and I'd usually make cookies, but one week Aneesa said she'd be in charge of dessert for that meeting. She brought over a tub of ice cream and a handful of bananas, and asked if she could use the stove for a minute. It was quick and delicious, and I've experimented with various versions of it ever since. These bananas can also make for a really delicious peanut butter sandwich.

To start, melt butter in a shallow frying pan over medium-low heat. Tilt pan to coat, then add sugar and cinnamon. Continue to cook while stirring well--make sure to scrape the bottom regularly--until sugar dissolves, about two minutes. Tilt pan again to coat with sauce, adding rum, if desired, to deglaze.

Slice banana into 1/4" rounds and immediately place them in the pan. Cook until golden on the undersides, about 30 seconds, then use a fork to delicately flip them. Cook for 30 more seconds. Remove from heat.

Scoop two bowls of ice cream. Spoon bananas over ice cream. Enjoy with a glass of Santa Barbara Winery's subtle and engaging White Zinfandel.

empanadas de pollo con perejil - friday, june 10, 2005 - 04:44

Having recently read Laura Esquivel's Como Agua Para Chocolate, I feel like writing in her recipe/story style, so I might be doing it a lot for a while.

Stewed Chicken
1 pound chicken thighs and/or drumsticks, with bones and skin
1 big carrot, washed but not peeled, cut into quarters
1 big onion, washed but not peeled, cut into quarters
6 parsley stems, washed with leaves pulled off (save leaves for later)
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
8 peppercorns
1 tsp salt
6 cups water

Stewed chicken (above)
1 smallish onion
1 handful of parsley leaves, washed
1 egg
2 tbsp. flour
salt and pepper

1 package of 12 purchased empanada wrappers
1 recipe of a basic pastry dough with an egg replacing half of the butter--I've made something like this Epicurious recipe in the past--rolled and cut into 12 4" rounds

Cooking Directions:
First off, you need to stew the chicken. It's best to have really fresh, flavorful chicken for this, but take what you can get--it'll still taste good. In the stores here in Buenos Aires, chicken pieces often come with a few remaining quills sticking out here and there for character. Yesterday, I bought a half kilo from our local grocery store and was almost disappointed not to see the little spikes sticking out.

Once you get home from the poulterers, combine all of the stewing ingredients in a big pot and bring to a boil, uncovered. Simmer for about two hours, stirring occasionally. I feel that stewing time is the ideal time to address all those odd jobs you keep putting off. Yesterday afternoon, I took the opportunity to finally hem the green cords I bought while Rose and Mike were here. They're almost exactly like the pants I wore pretty much every day of my freshman year of college, and I love them. However, note to self: next time you're hemming pants because they drag through the mud when you walk, wash them first.

Back in the kitchen, after a few hours, the chicken should be literally falling from the bones, and if you rake it gently with a fork you get tasty little shredded chunks. Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken and vegetables to a baking sheet or large pan to cool. Then taste the broth. If it's flavorful and delicious, remove from heat and allow to cool. If it's still too watery, simmer till it's captivatingly rich before removing from the stove. Once the broth is cool, strain it through a sieve (for really clear broth, line the sieve with cheesecloth or other clean cotton fabric and strain a couple of times). Refrigerate the broth in a sealed container and reserve it for the next time you make soup or risotto or pretty much anything.

Since I currently live in South America and even the corner kiosks sell empanada wrappers along with the requisite candy and sodas, I'm usually lazy and buy wrappers. However, when I make my own, this is the stage in the game where I do that. (I also have no fixed schedule here, though, so if you prefer to dine before midnight, you might want to make the dough while the chicken cooks.) As I used the aforementioned wrappers yesterday, I spent an hour knitting sleevecaps for Mitch's top-secret surprise sweater (since given, and the sleeves are way too long, like ridiculously so, so I'll be knitting those sleevecaps again soon) and chatting about the exciting future of .oaklog with Mitch.

Once the chicken's cool enough to handle, you should get out a nice mid-sized mixing bowl, a plastic bag for garbage, and wash your hands well. Then pick through the chicken and vegetables for every last scrap of chicken meat. The meat goes in the bowl, and the bones, skin, and vegetables get tossed. Big chunks of meat should be pulled apart into smaller chunks.

When you're all done with the chicken, wash up well (I hate having chicken-greasy fingers, even just writing about it!), then peel your onion and chop it and the parsley pretty finely. Add both to the chicken bowl. Mix well, and add salt and pepper to taste. In a separate small bowl, whisk the egg and flour together, then mix these into the chicken mixture. This will help keep the filling cohesive, making for a more satisfyingly integral empanada experience, and less of an all-over-your-shirt empanada experience.

Here's where I weep over my lack of an oven. It's way easier to make all your empanadas up, toss them into a 400 degree oven and let them manage themselves for the next half hour. Since I have no oven, I put my multipurpose little nonstick frying pan onto the stove, pour in a half-cup of oil (soy, which came with our apartment), and let it start heating. If you're using an oven, which I recommend as healthier and easier, start it heating now.

I love forming empanadas, especially with storebought dough. With homemade dough, it's usually important to brush the wrapper's edges with an egg wash before sealing, but with the guilty bought wrappers, you just squeeze really well and then crimp decoratively. Either way, take a wrapper in your palm, spoon in about 3 tbsp. of filling, brush the edges with water or egg if you want, and then pinch the edges shut to make a bulgy semicircle. Crimp the edges with your fingers or a fork. Repeat for all twelve wrappers. Place completed empanadas at least 1" apart on a baking sheet, brush with a little more egg if you like an extra-crispy outside, and bake for 20 - 30 minutes, till golden and firm. Cool briefly on rack.

Home on the stovetop, I fry the empanadas in batches over medium-low heat till they're golden, replenishing oil as needed and turning regularly. This is a hazard to my shirts and also my occasionally exposed lower abdomen. Since I don't have any aprons here, I've taken to tucking dishtowels into my collar while I fry things. Once they're done, remove them to a rack plate lined with paper towels to cool slightly.

As soon as they won't burn you, they're ready. Accompany with healthy greens.

two again - wednesday, april 27, 2005 - 17:56

6:00 went fine. I gave Mitch a haircut first, and to thank me, he showered! It was a very pleasant-smelling nap.

We've started taking private language lessons, and so during this waking period, we did homework. The assignment is to write about the eating habits of the colonists in New England. My essay is as factual as I know, and kind of boring. Mitch's is fantastical and involves Iron Chef-style broccoli-offs between the colonists and some pirate gourmands. Also I made some vegetable broth for soup for dinner (to be eaten around midnight, probably), and we watched more of TAR, Season One.

back to one - wednesday, april 27, 2005 - 11:50

We fucked up on the 10:00 a.m. nap. We never fuck up that one! It wasn't too bad--just an extra hour or so--but enough to restart the counter.

The 2:00 p.m. nap went fine.

four on the floor - wednesday, april 27, 2005 - 02:52

Six a.m. went as well as could be hoped. Mitch is having a love affair with the new space heater.

hat trick - tuesday, april 26, 2005 - 22:53

It's toughest in the ones you sleep, but yes, three in a row.

Mitch says this one was hard on him, but that a little time spent in front of the brand new space heater was all he needed.

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