Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Call me crazy.
Of course despite my tonsilar woes and the massive deep freeze we've been enduring in Portland- it is that time of year and I have grown quite a bit homesick over the last week. And so I send good thoughts and warm hugs to everyone who's missing anyone beside them right now. There really is nothing like family to make it all better. Well- family and chocolate pudding. I stand corrected.
Happy Holidays to you all!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Once upon a time... from Capucha on Vimeo. (Thanks to Beefy for this tiny treat.)
-More chocolate pudding and Saltines
-Dexter Season Three to be available on Netflix and sent immediately to my house
-A miter saw
-A pair of pajamas that have feet
-For the tonsil fairy to come and take mine out, quickly and painlessly in my sleep (I'll leave a fifty under the pillow for any takers... seriously.)
Saturday, December 20, 2008
I cannot talk and so I write. Just a quick update to say that I am fine now but spent yesterday morning between Urgent Care and the Ear Nose and Throat doctor's office getting pricked, probed, swabbed, and stuck in between rounds of sickness. I do not have strep but my right tonsil was heavily inflamed and the ultimate choice was to use a needle to repeatedly probe the area for infection. This was not fun. It was better than my lancing experience in Korea but only by a bit- mostly being able to understand what the doctor was saying and the lack of a two inch scalpel made a significant difference.
I am on heavy meds- more oxycodone, amoxycillan, dexasomething or other (a steroid to reduce the swelling), and a ton of aspirin. I'm eating lots of pudding, softened saltines, yogurt, and soup and have stopped being sick to my stomach which is a huge relief. Mr.Mr. has been remarkable. He held my hand, rubbed my back, endured my panicky cries of "it's too hot! I'm going to throw up!" and didn't protest when I snapped at him out of exhaustion. I really did pick the best of them. He also has stocked the house with soft foods and is indulging my desire to watch a whole disc of Sex in the City and has agreed to any romantic comedies I want. And we all know that takes a much stronger stomach than watching your wife spit bile into a plastic tub after being stuck with a needle in the roll of flab above her backside.
I should be able to talk in a day or so, should be healed from the infection within two weeks and will see the doctor on New Year's Eve (...celebrate good comes, come on!) to check in on my progress. If I heal fast enough, I may be able to have my tonsils out in the middle or the end of the month of January. I'm hopeful that we can call it done as soon as possible.
In between multiple hour naps, too much Stacey and Clinton, formulaic home decorating shows on A&E, HGTV, and OPB- I'll try and wrap up some long overdue posts and also write about a few other things I've been mulling over for the last week. I hope you're all doing well this crazy holiday season. Through snow or wind, sleet or hail- the New Year is coming and based on this year's cumulative, collective experiences- it can only get better from here. Right?
...I'll cross my fingers just in case.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
The final leg of our SF journey is due, as are some fun updates and a couple of interesting links. Think healthy thoughts for me... I'll need them at this point.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
I started with the "Low Country Cream-Style Grits" recipe in The Joy of Cooking and made adjustments for using coarse cornmeal as opposed to standard slow-cooking (an hour plus!) grits. Somehow I've managed to accumulate at least three different textures of cornmeal (I can't resist the bulk foods section) so I used all of what was left of my coarse meal and a dash of the semi-fine meal to fill in any gaps. Grits are super easy and this version takes little more than twenty minutes on the stove. I started by bringing the water, butter, and salt to a boil. After adding the cornmeal, I reduced the heat to a simmer and stirred occasionally until it became thick and soft. I added some half and half toward the end to cream it up a bit and then a little extra salt. Super easy.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
These cute, squat, 7.5 oz glasses were also hard to resist at The Gardener. I'm not sure what it is, but somewhere in my genetic code- buried deep between my pack-rat codon and and my decorating codon, is one for oggling glassware. Despite having plenty at home, I have to use the force for good and not evil [read: collecting massive quantities of unnecessary housewares] to avoid grabbing any liquid vessel in sight. At $4.00 a piece, a set of six wouldn't have broken the bank but I remained strong. Interestingly, I also heard recently that when drinking from short, wide glasses, our brains are fooled into drinking more. Hmmm...
I love what people are doing with merchandising these days! So clever. Also at The Gardener, the natural woods and cast iron panel make a fantastic backdrop for the softer fabrics and glass baubles on display. Secretly I'd like to imagine a time when I can craft these sorts of interior collages so I can live out my fantasies of a staged home without actually having to live in a shop window. This particular shop transformed a typically cold space, with floors of industrial gray, poured concrete, into a warm and inviting home decor destination.
Glasses! Again! This time from The Kingdom of Herbs. Focusing primarily on buds and blossoms, with a healthy accent of indoor and outdoor gardening accessories, KOH felt like an verdant indoor forest retreat. Several items caught my eye- not the least of which were these glasses in a wire tray or a collection of bark-covered storage boxes stacked by the register.
These simple pots with loose geometric shapes carved into the glaze were... I'll say it... precious. Really. Paired with a small, baby succulent, these would make a great addition to a compact workspace or maybe do time kitchen-side to bring a little nature indoors. Also from The Kingdom of Herbs.
I should be banned from Sur la Table. Despite our massive collection of kitchen, and kitchen-related goods, it's nearly impossible for me to leave the store without some new thing I just can't live without. And during their holiday sale, they were offering 20% off their classy collection of cloches. Just say it with me: cloche. Finally SLT has caught on to the trend that swept across homes, stores, floral shops, and the webernets at large a year ago (or more)... satisfying our dark, inner desires to make the most common of items- a lemon, a cupcake, a pine cone or small potted flower- display-worthy under the delicate bell shape of these glass beauties. Ultimately, I was weak. So weak. To avoid mid-flight glass breakage, I waited until we landed back in Portland to buy the two middle sizes. And my lemons and shallots have never looked so regal.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
We pulled into the parking lot at San Gregorio beach to check our map when we realized we were on empty- and quite possibly miles from the nearest gas station. This cozy couple hid from the drizzle under their umbrella as they walked the path watching the waves roll.
Destination: Harley Farms. American Cheese Society award winners for the last five years, Harley Farms offers a variety of tasty and attractive goat cheeses in their small shop adjacent to the farm. Since we took a while to get there, we missed our opportunity to get a tour of the farm and cheese-making process. But that didn't stop us... okay, me from sampling as much sweet, sweet, goat cheese as humanly possible in the last twenty minutes before the shop closed. I enjoyed their edible flower-adorned, tomato basil, cranberry walnut, and apricot pistachio "tortes." I also tasted their herbes de provence, peppercorn, and dill versions.
Sadly, I missed my opportunity to try their feta and chevre in oil but I did get a few toothpicks of their subtle, dry ricotta salata. We considered buying some to add to the subsequent night's dinner menu of fresh pasta and roasted chicken, but ultimately decided a small tub of their pumpkin spread and a log of their chive chevre would suit us well for pre-dinner noshing. And did it ever! The pumpkin spread was delicious with plain water crackers and would have made an excellent ravioli filling on its own.
Dinner brought us to Ebisu, a favorite sushi joint of Mr.Mr.'s and his brother, conveniently located only a few blocks from the latter's apartment. Sitting away from the bustle of the sushi bar, we enjoyed our meal in the tatami room, sitting cross-legged, shoe-less on small, soft pads. Given that Mr.Mr. and I eat a majority of our meals at the living room coffee table, the casual style of the tatami room feels a bit like home to us. While he and his brother indulged in such oddities as fresh scallop, spider rolls, and things with eels in them- I stuck to a tempura vegetable and california roll. If you look closely, you can read Mr.Mr.'s brother's t-shirt from 826 Valencia. It reads, "Canons don't sink ships. Pirates with canons sink ships." So ridiculously clever.
After dinner we rented a couple of movies from the local video store and sat down together in the glow of an 11" laptop screen (Mr.Mr.'s brother has no tv) to enjoy Mrs. Pettigrew Lives for a Day. Described on the case as a "delightful, champagne of a comedy" or some such nonsense- I worried it might be too fluffy for my male cohorts... and my concerns were confirmed when, forty minutes in, I was voted off the island and we began In the Valley of Elah instead.
The former was, (just as described), a pure sno-cone type treat of a movie with lush interiors, fabulous wardrobes and a perfect portrayal of fictitious movie star of the minute, Delysia Lafosse by Amy Adams. In stark contrast, the latter was a dark, raw, and disturbing perspective on the war in Iraq and the reach of its destructive, malignant wake. What struck me most about In the Valley of Elah was its portrayal of the veterans of war and how the violence experienced, first hand or otherwise, becomes an unshakable memory. Worse, how sometimes that memory becomes ghost-like... completely separate or removed from the actual act and the implication(s) of participation in those acts.
... Part IV to follow shortly.