Tuesday, September 28, 2010
It was delicious. I love having an amazing cook for a boyfriend!
I expected to totally burn the sugar but it didn't! I kept calling "Nick! Come see it now! This is awesome!" as it started melting by itself in the saucepan.
Going to slice three trillion Honeycrisp apples. Will roll my way out tomorrow. Kisses!
OM NOM NOM NOM NOM.
Caramel sauce. Perfect for apples, ice cream, and drizzling.
Cocoa caramel sauce (not fully incorporated) for little bursts of bitter. Delicious.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Every year for Nick's dad's birthday we go out to a delicious restaurant. This year we went to Rudy's Hideaway in Sacramento.
THE BEST. LOBSTER RAVIOLI. IN THE WORLD.
We started off with escargot and some crab-stuffed mushrooms. Oh, and of course our bread. Then our soup's arrived: a lobster bisque for me and clam chowder for Nick. Mine was mildly spicy and full of lobster, soooo good! Nick's clam chowder was amazing as well. Then there was the noodle course: a delicious red/cinnamon/cocoa? meat sauce spooned over hollow noodles. Then our entrees arrived: I had the lobset ravioli which had huge pieces of lobster stuffed inside with the richest cream sauce imaginable. Nick had crab-stuffed salmon, as did his mom, Clair had the children's prime rib and french fries, and his dad had a 1.5 pound lobster tail. It was all AMAZING. For dessert there was creme brulee and mudpies and chocolate mousse.
I am so stuffed I cannot move, so stuffed I debated the relief of unbuttoning my pants at the table versus the embarrassment it would cause.
So delicious, so yummy, thank you Nick's dad! Happy birthday!
Friday, September 24, 2010
Yesterday I gave my classmate my contact information so she could pass it along to her boss who is looking for after-school workers to help teach and corral students. I felt so lucky just that the opportunity presented itself, and really appreciated her offer even if it didn't work out.
Today the principal called and invited me to an interview this Monday! If all goes well I will start right after the meeting. It is not a big job, just two to three hours daily for four to five days a week, but I'm so excited to start working again, especially since I will be in a teaching environment! It's even a private school!
Happy happy happy day!
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Time: Approximately 4:30pm
Location: Driving from Bed Bath & Beyond, en route to Target
Driver: Katie, wearing sunglasses, a frown, and shoes that started out comfy but are now painful
Passenger: Nick, general direction-giver, human GPS, and patient boyfriend
Background: Nick has a cold. A bad, bad cold. Being the lovely thoughtful person that I am, I dragged him out to buy a knife block set and spend hours wandering stores. This is us driving out of the parking lot by the mall.
* * *
Katie, peering around to make sure all stupid squishable pedestrians have vacated the vicinity, finally turns attention to sick boyfriend who has been quieter and quieter.
"How are you feeling?" I ask, glancing over.
"Crappy," sick boyfriend starts, turning towards me. "I'm pretty sure I have a fever, my throat hurts, I keep sneezing, and my nose is a faucet."
"You poor thing!" I nod sympathetically, patting his knee.
He continues, "I'm pretty sure my leg fell off back in the cutlery section of Bed Bath & Beyond, I'm seeing quadruple, and --"
"CRAP! NICK, DO I TURN RIGHT? Shit! I'm turning right. Was that right? Should I have gone straight?"
Nick gives me a calm, patient stare. The way you would look at someone who has traumatically lost their sanity and you feel pity and compassion for them, and no matter what they do you will never lose your temper because that would be like shouting at a dumb dog.
"Katie, open your eyes." He waits while I comply. "Turn left here. Now go straight. Move into the left lane. Good. Go straight again. Now left, straight, then turn right here and now you should know where we are."
I wipe the sweat off my forehead dramatically. "Phew! Good thing I have you!"
You can practically hear his eyes rolling.
I glance hopefully towards sick boyfriend. "So, sweetie, what were you saying about how you were feeling?"
"Nope. Forget it. I'm not gonna talk to you anymore. You don't listen anyways."
* * *
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Common Misspellings that make me roll my eyes so hard they are stuck staring at my brain:
by vs. buy
weather vs. whether
. . . I have to stop. I was looking on facebook for ideas and I became waaaaay too frustrated with some people's ideas on proper spelling.
Here. Go read this blog post on a way to turn murderous feelings into happy ones by picturing the Alot, courtesy of Hyperbole and a Half, who sums this situation up much more eloquently than I am able.
I need some chocolate.
Monday, September 20, 2010
I had completely forgotten about the window of time--10 to 12-- during which I was going to be called. If I missed the call I would have to reschedule which could take a long time. At a quarter to 10 I was heading out to grab my bike so I could meet Nick at the end of his class and bike home with him, and if I had I would have missed the call.
Luckily I had forgotten I had a flat tire! I headed back in, intent on walking as far as I could to meet him, and heard my phone ringing. By the time I bolted into the bedroom and grabbed my phone I thought I had missed whoever it was, but fortunately made it just in the nickel dime! When the person said they were from the EDD you could have knocked me over with a feather. I could not believe I had forgotten what I had been talking about all weekend! (That just goes to show how slow I am in the mornings.)
Even better is that my paycheck is reinstated! After finding out that I had only ever worked part-time, that my school schedule is only four hours a week, and that I was indeed looking for work--a conversation that took all of four minutes and contained no scary questions--she said there were no problems and that they would continue my unemployment! Yay!
What's so scary is how darn close I came to missing that phone call. I am so happy to have a flat tire right now--even if it means spending five bucks for a new tube. After all that I still had time to get a few hundred yards before Nick ran me over with his bike. Happy happy day!
Sunday, September 19, 2010
A few hours of obsessive clicking later and I dragged Nick away from his videogames, proclaiming, "We have to go spend lots of money! I need this food to ensure my happiness!" He was smart enough to go along.
I wanted to make Onigiri (rice balls with a center of your choosing, we had chicken teriyaki), Miso soup, and Char Siu Bao (steamed pork buns). If any of those sound amazing, click on the one you want and it will take you to that recipe on the JustHungry website.
We needed wakame, kombu, and nori seaweeds, and some shaved bonito flakes, and then some miso and sushi rice. At the online asian market which would ship what we needed that added up to maybe fifteen bucks. At Whole Foods it was fifty.
Needless to say we didn't end up with the things I wanted. I just could not justify spending that much money on things that could be found for so much less. We did purchase enough to make a non-traditional miso soup and seaweedless onigiri, and started to drive home without all we wanted. But then Nick had a brilliant idea! He searched "Asian markets" on his GPS and found one! We quickly made our way there.
Once we arrived at our destination, courtesy of "Shut UP, Woman" (our affectionate nickname for our chatty GPS, our jaws hit the floor. We had found a huge Asian center! Florists and restaurants, and in the middle of it all a HUGE supermarket!
This supermarket was unlike our traditional American ones. As you enter you practically trip over a large glass display case full of dust-catches and knick-knacks, "ON SALE!!!", kind of like what you would expect to find in Chinatown. To the right was the vegetables, but it was full of bok choy and all kinds of mushrooms and weird fruits! We were fascinated and didn't have enough eyeballs to see all we wanted. We walked around the entire store. Most of it was in Japanese characters with English printed on the side. We passed chicken hearts, tripe, testicles, ducks, quail eggs, oysters, every type of noodle imaginable, and so many more different things!
We purchased chilled steamed buns with a lotus center and frozen pork buns, one of which we shared tonight. It was delicious. I didn't take a picture because we ate it too quickly. We got pocky (chocolate dipped biscuit sticks) and peanut mochi and noodles and all the types of seaweed that we needed plus some instant dachi (integral part of miso soup; made from seaweed, sardines, and fish flakes).
Exhausted, we ate some pocky on the way back home and quickly started our dinner.
The Miso was very good. After simmering the dachi in some water (it was stinky!) I added the miso, tofu, scallions, and wakame seaweed. We enjoyed it but it was a little fishier than we like so next time I will simmer the dachi for half the amount of time.
We steamed the pork bun in our makeshift steamer (saucepan and a sieve covered in tinfoil) that worked surprisingly well! We did steam it about seven minutes longer than it said because some of the steam was escaping. It tasted so good, even though the pork was really more of a pork sausage than the char siu (seasoned pulled pork) I wanted. Keep in mind that it was a frozen bun and not the amazing looking one on the website. Someday when I have a lot of free time and the necessary ingredients I will make them.
The Onigiri was deeelicious! Nick made the rice (short-grained sushi rice but not made in the sushi style where you add rice vinegar) because I am a total fail at making it edible. I had made chicken teriyaki and chopped it up and put that in the center before squishing it and then wrapping it in nori (seaweed typically found around sushi). We decided it needed more salt. We have two left for snacks, yummy!
Here are my onigiri wrapped with sliced nori. You can make them look really cute with faces and shapes but since it was my first time I decided to stick with what was easiest. Each onigiri had about 1/2-1 tablespoon of chicken teriyaki.
Nick is taking the first bite. We were both nervous--me if it came out well and him if it tasted good!
It was good! Here you can see the chicken teriyaki. Sorry it's blurry--I had to take the picture quickly because Nick was trying to eat it!
We still have our peanut mochi to have for dessert but we are so full now I don't know if we will taste it tonight!
Everything was very good and it was so much fun to go to the Asian supermarket and find things for much less than we would have paid elsewhere. We have a new favorite place to shop! Also, I suspect we will be asking Santa Claus for a steamer and a rice cooker this year! At least we will if this fascination with Japanese cuisine continues. And with how delicious everything is so far, how can it not?
Friday, September 17, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
So! 10 Secret to a Fabulous Night Out is really a series of secrets that probably are not that secret! Yet here they are in a list form, for your enjoyment. You're welcome.
1) Only go out with the girlfriends that want to dance. If one of your friends is feeling tired, or sick, or has a history of going to a club just to sit down and making you feel obliged to sit with her. . . she should stay home. A group of three is perfect for keeping creeps away: You evaluate the guy, pull your friend away if necessary, and wink if he's hot so she knows to keep dancing.
2) Check the clubs website to see if they have a special going on that night. Chances are that if they advertise for College Greek's in free, or mini-dresses in free, there will be more people which means much more fun!
3) For the love of God, get on the guest list. Snag one of the club recruiters and get his number, call around, or go to the website and find it. If you can get in free there is no reason to hand over any money!
4) Wear the tiny dress you aren't sure about but DO NOT wear high heels unless you KNOW you can dance for hours without orthopedic surgery. (Or have amazingly sweet friends who let you borrow their flats.) I recommend wedges.
5) Do not wear thin fabric. You will sweat through it and then be too grossed out to feel sexy.
6) Do wear boy cut underwear, and not a thong. Just trust me.
7) If a guy offers you a free drink, say yes. If he is cute, feel free to stay with him while drinking and possibly dance with him when he asks. If he isn't cute, feel free to go find your friends. You said yes to a drink, not a date.
8) Kick ass whenever necessary. If a guy is getting too handsy and won't take a hint (or even a warning) you are totally within your rights to tell him off. And don't be afraid to say "No, thanks" if you just aren't interested in dancing with a guy right then. Sometimes it is just way easier to dance with your friends.
9) Use the bathroom excuse often and do not be ashamed. You don't want to dance anymore? You need the bathroom. You're too hot? You need the bathroom. You want to squeal over the hot guy that was dancing with you? Better go to the bathroom. You're dripping sweat and need to stick paper towels under your armpits? You know where to go.
10) The best secret to a fabulous night out is simply going out with the intent to have a fabulous time! Loosen up, have a drink or two if it helps, and enjoy being with your girlfriends. The guys will notice and if you look happy you are way more approachable so you will be dancing with them so much more!
(I'm totally going out this Saturday with my best dancing girlfriends and the club is having a Greek night so all the fraternity guys will be there! Wheee!)
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
After being unceremoniously laid off a few months back I began collecting unemployment (your tax dollars hard at work!) until the EDD got wind (okay, I told them) that I had started school, so now my income is on hold until an interview occurs (it happens this Monday.)
Damn EDD. They're giving me like 80 bucks a week and they need to be sure I'm not cheating them. Considering that they give up to 800 bucks to some people it seems like they could concentrate on them and not me, right?
Now Nick and I are living in Sacramento, our bank accounts dwindling away as we spend money on rent, utilities, and food necessities, and I am coming to the realization for the first time in my life that if I run out of money it won't be okay.
My nest egg from working part-time at the veterinary clinic was a happy size until I got laid off and started spending money on living expenses. It's still pretty happy, and I could get along for . . . (runs off in search of a calculator . . . can't find calculator so sits still and stares very hard at wall while running numbers in head . . . ) . . . eight months or so without an income. And since Nick is paying half of everything I could really get along for more than a year. But then we would have nothing.
Which is why I dragged myself off the couch and away from twitter and addicting blogs this morning and went out in search of a job. A few hours later and I'm back on the couch, but with a few resumes in circulation and a few applications filled. A lot of places are hiring for seasonal retail work (I kind of want to work at Sephora. They all had bright red lipstick on. I want to be part of the red lipstick club!) and the manager said she'd start interviewing soon for seasonal and that she usually keeps most of them after the season ends as well, so I'm crossing my fingers that A) I get a job and B) I don't have to wake up at 4am for a job and C) I like my job. Oh, and D) It pays money.
But when I was tramping through the mall trying valiantly to ignore the sweaty stains under my armpits, I realized this would all be made so much easier if I won the lottery. So that's my plan. Win a million bucks.
. . . do you think I need to get off the couch to buy a lottery ticket or can I phone it in?
Don't get too excited. We didn't run off to Vegas. This is from his aunt's wedding on a nearby air base a few months ago.
Anybody else think Nick looks like I'm murdering him? Or at least forcing him to do something he doesn't want to? I can't remember exactly (there was wine!) but I suspect his "I'm-in-pain!" face is either because I'm stepping on his foot, I'm kissing him in front of his grandparents, or because he's grumpy that I'm forcing him to dance. I suspect the latter.
But really, the boy had already had a few drinks, you'd think dancing wasn't such a big deal!
. . . maybe I am stepping on his foot.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Some of the very best songs in my universe at this exact second are:
"Teenage Dreams" by Katy Perry (You! Make! Me! Feel like I'm living a Teen! Age! Dream!)
"Mine" by Taylor Swift (Okay, so I adore her songs but think she can't sing worth a damn live. Am I alone?)
"If I die young" by the Band Perry (So gorgeous, sweet, and very heartbreaking.)
"I like it" by Enrique Iglesias (I dare you to watch this video without cracking up at his weird dance moves. Double dog dare!)
I can't resist singing along with these songs whenever they come on. I crank up the radio until I can hear my eardrum rattling and belt it out. I wonder how many times I've gotten weird looks in the car but didn't notice. I'll bet it's more than I'm comfortable with.
I sing a lot. (Christ. Just saw what I typed and it made me think of Hyperbole and a Half's "Alot" which is too funny to not read. Shoo. I'll wait.)
Anyways. Where was I? Oh yes. I sing all the time. When I'm cooking, when I'm driving, when I'm sitting, in the shower, getting ready, when I'm nervous, when I'm happy. I have gotten compliments on my voice before but most of the time now it goes like this:
A song I love pops into my head completely without reason. I stop paying attention to whatever conversation I'm having with Nick and start singing.
Nick reaches over and without a word turns on the radio to one of his stations that is playing a song I don't know.
I stop singing, give him a sheepish grin as an apology for interrupting, and we continue talking.
However, if the song that pops into my head is one of the Most Awesome Songs Ever in Katie's World at This Particular Time I get to sing and he has to wait until I'm done for my undivided attention.
Monday, September 13, 2010
. . . that the Internet is weird.
Forget suspecting. I KNOW the internet is weird; I think everybody does. But today I was checking out my StatCounter for like the first time in a year (I forgot I had it and tried to make a new one, oops) and I started clicking on how people find my blog.
Aaaaaand enter the weird. Did you know that people actually search "Put poo in perfume"?!? From my post about spilling perfume when a foster kitten had diarrhea? (Ew, BTW). But seriously. Put poop in perfume? WHO WOULD DO THAT?!
Apparently, a few readers.
I've been thinking about this "poo in perfume" person. (I had ample time to do so while biking with Nick to school and then again on the way home.) I suppose there might actually be REASONS for googling such a thing. A few I have thought of include:
1) This person (oh! they live in London, by the way, so let's call them Queenie) received some perfume as a present and it smells awful. They googled "poo in perfume" to see if it is an actual type, (in which case their friend doesn't want them dead) or if the poo smell is from their friend actually mixing poo and perfume together in which case the friend probably wants them to come down with E. Coli. Either way Queenie needs to dump this friend; they're toxic.
2) Queenie is a fervent vegan soul working for PETA (or the UK equivalent) who is trying to find ways of suing perfume companies by accusing them of mixing the poop of unwilling animals into their bottles.
3) Queenie is actually a thirteen-year-old boy trying to piss off his sister.
OH MY GOD THERE IS NO REASON TO GOOGLE "PUT POO IN PERFUME". THIS IS GOING TO HAUNT ME ALL NIGHT LONG.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Sigh. So cute.
Nick and Ryan, acting adorable together. I had finished eating and was about to sit in the living room when I glanced back. And saw them.
What else could I do? I needed evidence. It was too cute for words!
Er . . .
Yep. Simply adorable. Also a delicious breakfast.
PS That painting is by my dad. He has a blog for his paintings: Gary Symington.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Never having been one for watching the news, it took me a few minutes to realize what was on the screen. That's really my main memory of 9/11. I remember not knowing what was going on. I remember the teachers abject horror, the students talking, the confusion of not quite understanding what had happened.
It wasn't at all like the movies, where when something evil happened you knew it was going to because the music turned ominous, and how in a book you knew because of foreshadowing. It was an ordinary day, and then it wasn't. There were two tall buildings, and then there weren't. People were alive, and then gone; families were together, then forever ripped apart. And suddenly there were a lot of words that everyone was familiar with: Terrorism. Osama bin Laden. Death. War.
Nine years later, and it still confuses me.
(Take a moment to scratch. I don't mind.)
They seem to be concentrating on me, mostly. Nick has a few bumps on his ankles, but he never finds them. I've sat on the floor and immediately found three jumping on my legs. I sat on the couch and found one on my foot. I left to go to school and found one on my arm. I range from thinking it's not that big a deal--they aren't the kind that has diseases, so all they are is pests--but as soon as I find one on me I go through a period of shakehairshakeshairSCRATCHITCOULDBEAFLEA! and paranoia. Right now my calf feels like there might be a flea on it. Now my foot. Now my toe. Now my thigh. Now my ear. And I go from trying to ignore it because I'm probably making myself itch to MUST LOOK AT ITCHY SPOT TO TRY TO FIND THE FLEA. And then Nick asks for my help cleaning the kitchen because he knows I'm compulsively googling "How to kill all fleas" and "declaring war on fleas in your home" which just makes me itch more, because I'm reading about fleas jumping around other people's houses, EW.
We have flea bombed the apartment, and that worked for about a day. Then the pest control guy came out with his chemicals and sprayed our whole carpet and patio. We thought they were gone, I told mom they were gone, and fine damn minutes later there is a fucking flea on my ankle, and now I am paranoid again, and trying to figure out how long after spraying it is normal to have fleas. Does it take a while for the chemicals to kill them? Mr. Pest Control Guy said to call him if we still had fleas in 3 weeks. Does that mean today is okay? Oh God my knee is itchy and now my chin stopitkatie.
So! I hope you're all good and itchy now and looking suspiciously at your animals. You're welcome. Thanks for reading. Kisses!