Monday, March 31, 2008

My dog has learned to clean up after himself

A few days ago, Ryan made a tart:It was delicious. We had eaten all but one slice as of this morning, which I noticed was sitting on the counter this morning when I woke up. I thought to myself:

"I must not forget to put that away before I leave Jeeves here alone with it."

Then I promptly forgot to put it away before I left Jeeves alone with it. As soon as I got to work, I remembered. On my way home I started seeing images of shattered pyrex and pie all over the kitchen and sure enough, as soon as I opened the front door, he tried to dart out with his tail between his legs. I thwarted this attempt and he then shot into the bedroom and curled up on his bed. I walked into the kitchen and nothing. No shattered pie plate. No bits of apple smeared across the linoleum. Not even an uneaten pie sitting calmly in it's dish where I'd left it. Nothing. I checked the fridge to see if I had actually put it away before I'd left and just forgotten.

Then I looked in the sink, where, sure enough the dish was sitting, empty.

So Jeeves had eaten the pie and then put the dish in the sink.

Now if only I could get him to clean up his toys.

Making soup out of things I find in the fridge that have been labeled: Need To Be Eaten

Last night:

Lentils (2 cups? 1.5 cups?)
Chopped up 1/2 bulb of fennel, browned in olive oil, garlic, salt & fresh cracked black pepper
Chopped up potato, browned in the same
All tossed into water with
a chopped up tomato
Lemon juice


Sunday, March 30, 2008

I guess I'll stick to tea, then.

According to this article, if you're looking for a stimulant, caffeine is a greener choice than cocaine. Of course there are more gruesome reasons not to do coke, that I have learned about from a former Navy Seal.

For a number of reasons, this reminded me of something Ryan told me when we were first seeing each other:

"You're not like any of the other girls I've dated."

"Why do you say that?"

"The other girls were all squares."

I responded in kind. All the other guys I've dated were photographers, painters or musicians, certainly not rocket scientists or anything close to it. They were gregarious, super creative emotional wrecks that usually did not make green choices (see above).

I'm so happy I broke that trend. (Honestly, the guy draws his own paycheck and doesn't ever ask me to buy him cigarettes!)


On the knitting front: I have almost completed a bag, knitted in the round, out of chocolate brown 100% worsted weight wool. I just have to finish the flap to close it and seam the bottom. Oh and knit a strap for it and felt the whole project. And then I want to decorate it with green leaves. But I've got to find a felting needle for that.

Okay. So not almost completed. But almost, almost completed. Pictures soon!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I was in a terrible mood last night and I apologize for the use of the word "troglodyte." It was unfair and unnecessary, I just really like the word. And (clearly) tend to overuse it.
I was bitter and my brother's ex-girlfriend most certainly did not deserve that epithet.

I have since mastered knitting in the round on double pointed needles. Sweaters and hats for everyone to follow.


We are building the guest list for the wedding and getting ready to send out the invitations. Mainly gathering everyone's mailing address.

We received a wedding invitation recently that featured an engagement photo where the groom had eyebrows that would have looked more appropriate on a Puerto Rican drag queen. They were waxed and filled in with a dark pencil. They weren't actually on a Puerto Rican drag queen, they were on a very happy, smiling, clean cut guy in a brand new sweater and button down shirt, clearly bought for the occasion.

Anyway. Back to our list. It's a little confusing. Do you invite people you used to be close to and at one point would most assuredly have been on the list and yet you don't really talk to them much anymore? Do you invite people you've only known for a few months, but are quite close to and would most certainly invite to any other party that was not a wedding? Do you invite people you really don't want to see but propriety indicates that they should be invited? Do you invite your fiance's ridiculous ex girlfriend that a) insisted that she did not ever want to meet you unless he was "serious" about you and b)when he contacted her, via email, to tell her he was going to get married she responded inappropriately and outrageously with jealous, rude, angry and intrusive emails finally demanding that he cease contact with her, despite her desire to remain close to his family? Do you invite close friends of your close friends that you end up hanging out with all the time?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

brain hurts

I am not known for my patience and patience with myself is probably the shortest.

Years ago, while at a horse show in AZ:

I was bored and miserable for a number of reasons, so I started to knit. I hadn't really done any since I was little, but some trips to a local Jo-Ann Fabrics to pick up braiding equipment (for some reason there were no braiders at this show, so I braided everyone's horses in addition to my own. This may have been part of the reason I was miserable) I walked through the knitting section and thought that it might be fun to start again.

I knit a bag - basically just a rectangle in garter stitch that had two longer rectangles coming out of one side of the corners that I then joined to the other corners. I then bought the Stitch & Bitch book. I knitted a hat and a few scarves and another bag.

Soon after this I moved to SF where I was much busier and much more depressed and thus much more easily discouraged. My main discouragement, besides my own impatience and lack of funds was my brother's awful girlfriend sitting on my couch every day knitting. She even knit at parties - she would sit on the couch, barking at people occasionally, rudely interrupting my conversations, all while knitting a delicate, beautiful powder blue sweater that would fit her beautifully. She started AFTER me. She bought the same book as me. She refused to discuss knitting with me AT ALL despite several rebuffed attempts on my part. I had thought that this was something to bond over, a positive thing because she was such a difficult person, rather than another way for her to feel like she had to compete with me (my brother says she was terrified of me). She also got a lot better than me a lot faster, which made it worse. She was a nerdy engineer, so I'm sure that reading knitting patterns was like reading code and came easily to her, as opposed to me who tends to skim and look at entire pictures - details just get in the way. Something about reading knitting patterns just irks the hell out of me. Of course I realize that looking at knitted stuff, admiring it, wanting to knit it and then knitting it means you have to follow a pattern. But me being miserable, discouraged and impatient with myself in addition to my couch (read: knitting) space being taken up by a rude troglodyte just made me give up.

I have started again, thanks to various inspirations. One of them being La Nina's fabulous scarf/shawl that I saw first hand at Christmas time among other projects of hers, another inspiration being Margo's scarf making and a third being the realization that I will be alone and cold in Ithaca and it seems like a very apt thing to do.

So I started with a ribbed rectangle that was way too wide for a scarf. I frogged that despite a very pleasurable few hours spent knitting it. Then I decided I would learn to use double pointed needles to knit a bag. More on this later when I have stopped scaring the dog with my profanity.

I really want to master this but it incorporates literally All The Things I Am Terrible At. Paying attention, little details, patience and practice among a few other things.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Dinner last night

One of my favourite people came over for dinner last night. This was the menu:

Sprouted Mung Bean Chaat
Potato-Fennel Soup
Cranberry Juice
Lemon Meringue Pie

I started sprouting the mung beans last week when I was really craving the mung bean chaat salad that Junnoon serves. Junnoon is, I'm convinced, the only good restaurant in Palo Alto. I like Vino Locale as well but the service is so appalling, in addition to the fact that the food they serve are things we make at home plus the fact that the owner, Randy, insists that it is a wine bar and not a restaurant, bring it in under Junnoon.

So. Not actually wanting to walk to Junnoon, and realizing that I had mung beans left over from an adequate but not fantastic casserole, I realized that I, myself, could sprout the mung beans and make my own chaat.

Of course it takes days for this, so we ate something else for dinner that night.

To sprout the mung beans, I went to the Sprout People website and vaguely followed their directions. I basically put the mung beans in a bowl, left them to soak for 12 hours, rinsed them and put them in a flatter dish and then continued adding water as the beans drank it up or changing it as I deemed necessary.

I then looked up a few recipes for chaat, but found them all to sound not quite right (Why does everyone want to put cilantro in things? It's like this giant secret plan to make all our food taste like soap), so I combined the ingredients that I liked based on the recipes I found and my own memory of Junnoon's fantastic dish and came up with (please bear with me, I don't remember any of the amounts):

Diced cucumber
Diced tomato
Sprouted mung beans (duh)
Dried mint
Lemon juice from 2 ridiculously tiny lemons (damn you Improved Midtown Safeway! I should have gone to the Milk Pail!)
Cinnamon (Ryan thought I added to much at first, but after chilling, I feel that all the flavours complemented each other)

Yum! As I said, it chilled in the fridge for 2 hours and I meant to take pictures and next time I 'speriment, I will.

The potato-fennel soup recipe straight from the New Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen (strangely not available on the Moosewood Restaurant website) coincidentally given to us by Ryan's aunt Marcia for Christmas. We didn't know we were moving to Ithaca then. Here is what we made, it's different from the book mainly because we didn't have the right amounts of anything. But that's one of the best things about the Moosewood Cookbook - that sort of stuff does not matter.

some oil/butter
2 cups thinly sliced onions
some salt
3 strangely shaped, quite large potatoes
1/2 a fennel bulb, minced (in retrospect, we wished we had used the whole bulb)
toasted caraway seeds
4 cups of water
white pepper (Ween!)

Added oil to soup pot, then onions and a little salt. Cooked over a low heat, so they are soft and brown. Added potatoes, some salt, fennel, caraway. Sauteed for a few minutes and then added water.

Bring to a boil and then simmer until potatoes are soft. Blend resulting soup so it is nice and creamy (that wasn't in the recipe book). Serve with minced fennel feathers on top (that was).

So we had a yummy, "rib sticking" soup with a crunchy fresh salad. Entirely vegan! Well. Until dessert.

Ryan made a yummy, yummy lemon meringue pie which I was mostly involved in via beating eggs whites or stirring egg yolks or mixing things and which I will be eating for breakfast.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Judge denies firing-squad bid

I am, alas, unwell.


In August I wrote about The Amplification of the Con, the con being a homeless guy from the Tenderloin who makes bids on and attempts takeovers of multi billion dollar corporations.

Well. It seems he's going to have to pay a fine of $900,000.

The judge denied his request for death by firing squad.

Friday, March 14, 2008

I am -alas- forgettable.

It seems, once again, that people do read this blog after all. In September, I wrote about not liking doughnuts and in it, I mentioned a frustrating conversation with a then friend of mine, Jared Raskind. He, apparently, found my blog and didn't remember me, leaving the following comment:

"UHHHHH....who are you? This is "photographer Jared Raskind"
I don't remember this conversation. Please refresh my memory."

Oh well. People may read my blog, but it turns out I am forgettable. We were quite good friends for a few months, going to get dinner here and there. We went sea kayaking once. Then he casually mentioned that he was thinking of moving to LA. I never heard from him again. I met him through an ex boyfriend and then summarily started casually dating his other friend, who became his roommate and who is now his business partner (the "Smallz" in Smallz and Raskind).

I hope that he didn't take offense to my entry about our conversation regarding Steven Spielberg, I was merely trying to point out my frustration with having opinions associated with a certain "kind of person" but not necessarily feeling like I am that particular person and feeling punished for having opinions. I really enjoyed his friendship as brief as it may have been, I enjoyed that he argued with me.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

more pictures

Icicles and beer

For those of you that want to be eco-friendly alcoholics, the Green Lantern suggests drinking from the tap.

In other news:

Monday, March 10, 2008


I have so many things to unlearn! :

Ryan called this evening on his way to super hero practice and I was sure that it was because he had wrecked the truck. Until I answered and he had actually called to tell me that there was an interesting Terry Gross interview on the radio. This is not the first time he's called and I have been sure that it was something dreadful like that. I learned this line of thinking or rather my brain wired itself that way after several phone calls (clearly not from Ryan...) which that was the case .

"Alice. I need you to come and pick me up. I ran out of gas on the highway."

"Alice. Alice. Wake up. I crashed your car."

"God dammit! Some fucking bitch was on the wrong side of the road. I need you to come get me. The bike's trashed and my knees fucked up."

"Alice. Hey. Yeah. So I just got back from the hospital. I rear ended some Asian guy on my bike. The bike's totaled."

"So. I crashed the truck."

"So. I crashed the bike. Again. I have to have surgery. No, I don't know what happened. No, I don't remember. No! I don't know how it happened! They're putting pins in my foot."

In other news:

We went to Ithaca!

It was like Narnia!

Pictures soon!

Quick Story.

Last night, for some reason I can't remember, I was reminded of an incident that occurred in the 7th grade although it took me several years afterwards to realize how weird it was.

After school, almost everyday for several months, a boy named Sean would call me to chat. I didn't think about it at the time, but he probably had a crush on me. One day I stated a desire to have my navel pierced. He said,

"EWWW. What??! That's gross."

I asked why.

"Girls don't have navels."

I think I tried to explain to him that yes, they do because everyone does. But the realization of the oddness of his statment years later begs a much stranger question.

What on earth did he think a navel was?

Monday, March 3, 2008

Paul Simon

I always wondered if Paul Simon wrote the song "Allergies" in anticipation of needing some quick cash, later on in life.

"Well. I might be doing all right now, but you never know what sort of substance addiction I might develop or serious lawsuit might come up against me. I'd better write a song I can sell to Proctor & Gamble now rather than later."

Speaking of allergies, I have them. BADLY. I think the worst I've had since I woke up next to Lake Tahoe, literally covered in that awful yellow pollen that blankets that whole region during the midsummer months.

I fled my house: I believe I am allergic to something in it. I woke up this morning, after 12 hours of sleep, disturbed once by my alarm clock that I had forgotten to turn off and once by Jeeves, who required his usual morning micturation at 5:45. Other than that, I was out like the proverbial log and barely able to lift the blankets off of myself at 11:30am.

I felt like I was walking through pea soup as I made my way to the living room and collapsed again next to the pile of clean laundry. I folded 2 shirts and then decided I should take a shower. Back through the soup again to the bathroom.

Finally at about 1:00 after a loratadine, a shower and a cup of tea, I thought I should take Jeeves out. I felt considerably better outside, but no completely. I came home again, piled him and myself in the car and fled to my parents house, laundry still uncompleted.

This is disheartening.

I promised myself I would clean the house today. I made a deal with myself that I would. There are people coming over tonight! One of them is someone I went to high school with and haven't seen since!

This is disastrous. Because instead of returning home, I am writing a blog entry, trying to inspire myself by looking up knitting patterns, writing emails and watching the clock.

3 hours until they're supposed to arrive: I must remember to pick up a bottle of wine. At least the glasses are clean.

2.75 hours. I guess I could move the laundry into the bedroom. As long as I fold it before I go to bed. As long as I fold it before I go to bed.

2.5 hours. It's so uncomfortable being there. What on earth am I going to do?

2.25 hours. I have no idea where Kresge auditorium is. I'd better look that up.

2 hours. Crap! 2 Hours!

And so on.