Friday, February 01, 2008

Shall we try this again?

Not sure how long this will last, but here you go. (If anyone is still reading/RSS-feeding this...)

Friday, June 22, 2007

On the bus.

Crazy old woman (loudly, to no one, really, but directed at me): I'm gonna tell God, if you didn't want to make me happy, why'd you put me here, you cocktease?!

[This diatribe continues for a few stops, until she gets off the bus in front of the Safeway.]

Bus driver (on the microphone): Welcome to Seattle public transportation, everyone! I don't normally let you on the bus, ma'am, because I think you're mean. But I was in a good mood today. I raised 3 children, driving this bus is easy!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Food, swollen feet, and statues of genitalia.

And monkeys!

Thailand pictures.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Happy hour(s).

Thursday is my new Friday: I don't have any classes on Friday this quarter, so every weekend is 3 days long.
It feels like Spring in Seattle today.
I had 2 glasses of wine at the District Lounge with a friend.
The bus home smelled like french fries. It also provided excellent eavesdropping opportunities - this dude next to me was complaining to his girlfriend how he wasn't as good as Thom Hartmann (I guess he has a radio show? She said, "Honey, he's like 60!") and kept reading her choice excerpts from The 48 Laws of Power (something about if you don't have enemies, you should create them).
The cashier at Trader Joe's couldn't scan my box of organic cherry tomatoes for some reason, so he charged me only $0.99.
Puppies. Lots of puppies out on the walk home.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

It's almost yesterday.

Crossing the International Date Line is pretty cool!

Thailand was great. Pictures soon, I promise.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Bon voyage!

Okay, I've been ignoring this thing, and this post is just to say I'll be ignoring it for another week, because... I'll be in Thailand!

We're spending 3 days in Bangkok, where I will try to not get too miserable in the heat, and where I will try to eat at least 3 meals of street food per day. Then we're going to Ko Samui, where I'll drink tropical drinks and try not to get sunburned.

But first, 24 hours of plane rides!

I promise there'll be pictures, although most of them will probably be of the food.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Hell's looking mighty chilly right about now.

Saturday, January 20, 2007


Nate's on another one of his exotic trips, this time to Niger, but it's totally cool (ie, I'm not insanely jealous) because it's non-work related - his sister's getting married. It's a long story, but she was in the Peace Corps and is now doing her doctoral research there, and apparently seeing her get married (to her German fiance, Guenther [again, no umlaut, sorry!]) is a big deal and very important to the people with whom she's working there. Nate says the wedding will take several days and he's probably going to buy a goat for the reception! Cool.

Anyway, so instead of going out or something, tonight I: swept the house, did laundry, and cooked/baked. I made the no-knead bread (my second time, and it came out much better this time - I think because I let the first rise go for almost 20 hours, and last time it was about 10 or so), eggplant parmesan, and chocolate chip cookies.

The best part? Listening to old This American Life episodes as I cooked!

Oh boy, I'm an old lady.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The good.

Today I took a Flexcar out for the first time to buy a bunch of heavy things at Trader Joe's (canned tomatoes, beer, dish soap, soup, wine). (I sold my car, in case I didn't mention that before, in what had to have been one of the easiest car sale transactions in the history of automobiles: the woman barely wanted to test-drive it [we had to convince her], she didn't seem to notice the dings or scratches, and her husband only asked to look under the hood after she had already given me the cashier's check [a check made out in an amount very close to the asking price, I might add].) Anyway, the Flexcar experience was pretty awesome - I got a Scion xA, it was incredibly easy to reserve, and I set KEXP as the #1 radio preset. The awesomeness was a bit reduced on the way back from my house to the Flexcar's parking spot, however, because I got stuck on some ice (yup, snow in Seattle, again!) while trying to drive up a big hill. Thankfully, a very nice couple was walking by, and they helped me safely back up down the street so I could take a different, non-hilly route (the first thing they said when I asked for help was, "That's our Flexcar!").

All 3 of my teams are in the playoffs! This is exciting for me, since I am pretty much the definition of a fair-weather fan, so I get rewarded with a full weekend of football without any of the season of angst real fans have to face.

The Amateur Gourmet took my advice and went to Black Bottle! And he liked it! I have good taste.

This weekend we're having a ketchup tasting (and scotch too, but I'm not really interested in that).

School's started again, and while this quarter is going to be MUCH harder than last, we're actually doing important stuff - evaluating a walk-to-school and breakfast program, creating healthier menus for UW food service (and cooking our own recipes for students!), and learning about all sorts of food/nutrition-related issues (food safety, fish farming, biodiversity, etc).

I read 47 books this year! (I am positive this will decrease now that I'm back in school. And it's not like I remember salient points about most of them, but still.)

There's probably more I'm forgetting - and of course, there's bad stuff too. But no one likes to read about that, right?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Babies in a jar.

Today my parents and I went to the Mutter (sorry, no umlaut) Museum. I don't know what possessed me to think I'd want to go there, but I only lasted about 5 minutes before I started feeling queasy. If you've never heard of the Mutter Museum, it was originally designed as a training museum for medical students, but now it's open to the public, so anyone can see the brain slices, (very realistic-looking!) wax models of syphilis sores and ophthalmalogic diseases, and jars full of actual stillborn conjoined fetuses. Hmm. I know I told some people I wanted to go to the Bodies exhibit in Seattle, but I clearly must have been insane when I said that, so please ignore me.

After the morning of medical oddities, my mom and I braved the after-Christmas shopping crowds, where I got a fantastic jacket from EMS for only $25 (through a combination of sales and returns and a not-entirely-ethically-obtained discount card) and a book to fuel my new crossword puzzle obsession.

You're probably not interested after the talk of jarred conjoined fetus (or maybe you have a stronger stomach than I?), but I made some good food for Christmas. We started with the now-infamous onion tart (I've started cutting the puff pastry into individually-sized tartlets before baking, which leads to more of the all-important crispy edges). I also made cornbread stuffing (my longtime readers should remember this as the turkey/stuffing recipe I made last Christmas) and the amazing chocolate-pecan-caramel tart I made this Thanksgiving. The best part about the food? Lots of leftovers. (Only-childness does have its benefits!)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

4-letter word for "something Kate doesn't update anymore."

I just finished watching Wordplay, and all I can say is that you HAVE to see this movie. It just made me so happy! (Also, it reinforced that whole "I'm a huge dork" thing, but whatever.) Everyone does crosswords! Jon Stewart! Bill Clinton! The former public editor of the New York Times! Mike Mussina! And a 20-year-old due from RPI who competed in the national championship wearing a Trogdor t-shirt!

(I loved the part about how the 1996 election day Times crossword had a clue about the "lead story tomorrow" that could either be solved with "CLINTON" and "elected" or "BOBDOLE" and "elected.")

Anyway, it was great. I clapped several times during the movie (please note, I'm watching this by myself at home). And now, I think I need to start doing crosswords. Perhaps for my bus rides?

Friday, December 01, 2006

If only.

What I'd be doing this weekend if I didn't have a ton of work to do: the Urban Craft Uprising, 826 Seattle's birthday party, seeing Little Miss Sunshine before it leaves the theater, perhaps going to the Winter Beer Fest, and volunteering at Margaret's Diva Dash.

But! I will be baking the now-famous no-knead bread (in my brand new dutch oven! [a gift from Nate! for putting up with his crazy schedule! and because I kept saying, "if you want to get me a present, I want a dutch oven!"]), going to a appetizer-and-dessert-themed dinner party (I'm making the onion tart, except I think I'll cut the puff pastry into small pieces before baking, so everyone gets a tartlet), and staying out late (too late!) to see Iceage Cobra.

Happy weekend.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Most awesomest ever.

We all know that I tend to overuse the superlatives around here, but this is one of the best things I've seen, EVER, really, I'm being serious this time: honesty stamps. (These are via, um, the Scottish Cowgirl, who bought her sister the stamp shown.)

Every single one is fantastically amazing, but I think my favorites are number 4 and number 6 (that one if only because it'd be perfect for Nate, but I'd need an e-stamp version).

These would be great for holiday gifts (for those people in your life with the best sense of humor ever, because it coincides with mine) - TK to the shopping rescue! (And... I also have another thing that I'm totally enamored with, so now's as good a time as any to tell you about it: the Oxo travel mug. This is the best travel mug I have ever had the pleasure of using. Sure, it's expensive, but you can turn it upside down and the liquid stays inside. And stays hot inside, more importantly. A+++!)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Gourmet food, bluegrass, and casinos.

Thanksgiving! My favorite holiday (Halloween was my favorite when I was little because of FREE CANDY and its proximity to my birthday, but the completely food-centric Thanksgiving is now my favorite). Because school prevented me from going home to NJ this year, Nate and I went to some friends'. Everyone was responsible for a different part of the menu - I made my onion-cheese tart, a fennel/gorgonzola/Asian pear/toasted walnut salad, and a chocolate, pecan, and caramel tart. We also had an amazing (brined, of course) turkey, the best mashed potatoes I've ever had (apparently, Stephanie told Matt, "We're making these for other people! You have to use tons of butter. And cream, not milk!"), delicious pork sausage stuffing (Sarah was worried about the pork clashing with the turkey meat, to which I said: added pork is NEVER a bad thing), apple pie AND pumpkin pie (made from a whole pumpkin!) AND my pecan tart, and many many many glasses of sparkling, red, and white wine. The best part was taking a walk to preempt the turkey coma, and standing on the top of the Gasworks Park hill, glass of sparkling wine in hand, looking at the Seattle skyline across Lake Union. Nice.

Then on Friday Nate and I went to the Olympic Peninsula for a short get-away-
from-Seattle trip. Unfortunately, the road to Hurricane Ridge was closed because of snow, and the road to the Hoh Rainforest was closed due to flooding, but we still managed a hike, on which we got within 15 feet of a mama and baby deer. Dinner was at the only place in Sequim that appeared semi-appetizing (the food actually turned out to be quite good). When we walked in, there was 1 other table of 3 in the entire restaurant, and a lone man with a banjo was tuning up. Goody. But it was either that or Applebee's, so we ate. And then the other 3-top got up and sat down with the banjo man. And then they started playing! Bluegrass! (Free food in exchange for music?) It was actually excellent music, and we found out that they were Chairs - and all of the proceeds from their CDs go to animal shelters. (Of course, I told them about KEXP and that they'd be perfect for the Roadhouse or Swingin' Doors.)

So where do you go after a private bluegrass serenade? Why, the local Native
American casino, of course! I lost $5 playing the slots, but I saw a man wearing a t-shirt that said "Happiness is a belt-fed weapon" (along with that yellow smiley face draped with an ammo belt thingy), so it was a good night for me. It was a also good night for Nate, because he won $25 at the $2 blackjack table. High rollers! (Did I mention I was playing $0.05 slot machines?)

On Saturday, we went to Port Townsend, did some work in a coffeeshop, and then saw Casino Royale. And then, since pretty much everything else was closed at 10 PM, we went to the Public House, where I had the worst French onion soup of my life. ("It's hot! Be careful!" the waiter said, but honestly, it wasn't. Did he even feel the bowl? Bad food makes me UPSET.) And then I had an interesting (depressing) music moment. They played Coldplay's "Don't Panic" (I love that song) and then the Shins' "Caring is Creepy." So I thought: first songs on first albums! (Music dork! [But I imagined it was a CD changer just rotating through the songs.]) Next was Zero 7's "In the Waiting Line" (I didn't know this album well enough to say if it was the first song or not), but then when "New Slang" came on, I realized we were listening to the Garden State soundtrack. Ugh. Embarrassing that I knew that, depressing that the disappointing bar I gave props to for at least playing good music was going for the indie rock lowest common denominator. Oh well.

After a rather snowy drive home, I did some homework, and then made Cook's Illustrated's coq au vin recipe (mmm) with homemade mashed potatoes (which were nowhere near as good as the ones at Thanksgiving). And now, there's some of that caramel chocolate pecan tart left, so goodbye.