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.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Where have I been?

Yeah, I've been MIA. Here's why:

1. Studying for/completing a biostatistics exam and a take-home nutrition and metabolism (essentially, advanced biochem) exam. I spent 20+ hours on the nutrition exam. I have absolutely NO IDEA if I did okay, well, or terribly. (Should I mention that this is 40% of my grade?)

2. Being sad. Something really sad happened last week. I was going to say something to you all, but I didn't know how to write about it and sound sincere at the same time (because sincere isn't exactly my strong suit). My parents had to put our dog, Prancer, to sleep. She was 16 and it wasn't a surprise, but it was still very very sad. (Sorry for all of those people who were over at my house when I got the call and then disappeared into the bedroom...)

3. Volunteering for and attending Seattle Works' Swank. A great organization, a fantastic party.

4. Looking things up on Wikipedia. (Seriously, in 24 hours I looked up both NPY and hipster. The former for the aforementioned take-home exam, the latter for a hipster-themed party I was invited to and was able to attend only at the very end [because of the aforementioned Swank] when most of the hipster-attired people had left, so I didn't get to wear my Wikipedia-researched costume.)

5. Getting drunk and singing karaoke. (Moving on...)

6. Walking around in the apartment in these new jeans I bought that I think are way too tight, but I've been reassured by a fashion expert that they're supposed to be like that.

7. Dogsitting Seamus. (Okay, that was a LONG time ago, but it was still awesome.)

Anyway, you're up-to-date. I'll try to keep in touch.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Go shorty.

Okay, today was MUCH better than yesterday. I got a ton of email and phone birthday wishes (including "if I had time, I'd cook up a pound of bacon and put it in a Tupperware and leave it at your front door" [what could be a better happy birthday wish than bacon?!]). But better than THAT, I got birthday trivia (the company was fantastic, even though the trivia questions totally sucked) and a delicious birthday dinner (pork belly, broccoli, shrimp, and chocolate cake).

Go shorty! Here's to 27.