Friday, January 30

Little Jenny Goddammit

In case anyone was wondering, the infamous toothpick incident occurred sometime between the taking of these two photos. It makes it funnier (to me at least) to see how little I was when I first started spewing profanities.

Tuesday, January 27

25 Things

I carried this over from Facebook. I couldn't help it--it amuses me so!

1. I didn't learn how to ride a bike until first or second grade.
2. I detest perfume and cologne so much I'd try to outlaw them if I were a legislator.
3. I don't have any tattoos and I think my desire for them has passed. I am unique because I'm usually the only person in the room without a single tattoo.
4. If I were to get any tattoos, I'd want something referencing the novel The Master and Margarita, but nobody can draw the character of Koroviev the way I imagine him, so that will never happen.
5. I really wish that I could draw and paint the stuff I see in my head.
6. Sometimes I wish for that mind-erasing thing from Men In Black so I could read books or watch films/television shows for the first time over and over again.
7. I hate the way people use the phrase "How are you?" as part of a standardized, empty greeting sequence. Nobody wants to hear any answer other than that you are good, so it is a pointless, robotic exchange.
8. I read as many of other people's 25 Things as I could to figure out what to write here.
9. I'm an only child so I pretty much consider all of my friends and my immediate coworkers as siblings.
10. The song "New Year's Day" by U2 might be my favorite song of all time.
11. The more I do yoga the less I understand why everyone on Earth doesn't do it.
12. I grew up living next to a lake, and I swam in it every day of every summer for 5 years. This has pretty much sated my desire to swim for the rest of my life.
13. I love dogs and sometimes think they are a higher form of being. That is, until I see one do something like eat poop.
14. I can dish it out but I can't usually take it.
15. I've gone to restaurants and ordered nachos 5 times in the past 11 days. I might do it again today. (Pollo Rey nachos: thumbs way down. Casa Mexico nachos: thumbs up! Donnie Mac's: Thumbs way up! Cafe Ole: Holy grease, Batman!)
16. I love looking at embarassing old photos of people on Facebook. Keep 'em coming!
17. I believe veganism to be a form of masochism unless it's done for health reasons.
18. I correct grammar on Wikipedia if I have the time. (FYI: When referring to a person, the correct pronoun to use is WHO not THAT. Don't worry about whether to use "who" or "whom." For instance: "It was Benjamin Franklin WHO invented bifocal glasses;" not "It was Benjamin Franklin THAT invented bifocal glasses." Although this problem could be eliminated if the sentence were simplified to: "Benjamin Franklin invented bifocal glasses." See how much cleaner that is?).
19. I have a really good memory for conversations, even when I am drunk--unless Tyler is involved. (I don't know why Tyler messes up my memory).
20. I refuse to shop at Wal-Mart. Not even for some things. Those low prices come at a high cost.
21. Guacamole never tastes right to me.
22. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, probably because of the long weekend. I just wish its glory weren't sullied by Black Friday hype.
23. I don't like super depressing movies. Why do that to yourself?
24. I swear less than I used to, but I still want to slap this kid:
25. I don't think I've ever said it out loud or in print, but I do want get married and have kids some day.

Monday, January 26

This is for Kelly

I went to a benefit with a silent auction this weekend, and this handsome fella was up for auction with a minimum bid $500. I did not bid on him, but I did bid on and win a purse and framed drawing. Woo-hoo!

Saturday, January 24

A Profane Memory

My mom just told me the story that is my grandma's favorite story about me.

When I was two, my mom and grandma took me to lunch at a restaurant, an activity I've always enjoyed. As we were leaving, I spotted a toothpick dispenser like the one pictured below:

I always thought toothpick dispensers were toys designed to amuse children, and I've always been fascinated by low-tech mechanical devices.

In my zeal to get toothpicks for my mom, my grandma, and myself, I knocked over the toothpick dispenser and toothpicks went all over the floor.

I jumped up and down, screaming "Goddammit! Goddammit!" at the top of my lungs. This continued for a minute or so, which absolutely mortified my mother. My grandma thought it was hilarious. She said it's still the funniest thing she's ever witnessed.

Of course my mother's response was, "she learned this from her dad!"

Correction: My mom said that rather than jumping up and down I was hopping from one foot to the other and pumping my little fists--much like this sculpture, only not a naked boy:

Thursday, January 22

I hate headaches

I woke up with a monster headache this morning. I hate headaches! Eventually it went away, but not before I ate some cereal, a bunch of bacon, and some Cheetos. I also drank three Coke Zeros. I don't know what it is, but whenever I feel cruddy, I just want to eat. For lunch, I heated up some of the cheddar beer soup I made the other day. It was yummy; much mellower than when I originally made it on Monday. Next time I'll use less Worcestershire sauce!

Part of the reason I was eating so much (and the headache) might have been because I had to go to the doctor today to get the results of a biopsy. Everything turned out to be fine, but I didn't realize I was nervous about it until after I left the doctor's office. I was super irritable in the waiting room because it was loud and crowded and there was a woman talking loudly on her cellphone even though there were several signs requesting people TURN OFF their phones. She was talking about how much she loves frozen fried chicken breast strips. Yuck. After I left, I felt so relieved that I got really excited to drop off my Netflix at the post office, I noticed all the different layers of the inversion and how pretty they are, and how interesting the old houses across the street from the post office are. Also, it was snowing this strange mixture of rain and snow that sounded like Alka-Seltzer fizzing as it fell. It was cool.

I decided to make myself something nice and (hopefully) healthy, so I made pasta with butternut squash, sage, and pine nuts (photo courtesy of Faith Durand at It was yummy, and made plenty of leftovers, yay!
While I ate dinner, I watched four episodes of Friends, courtesy of TNT. I used to really kind of hate this show when it was originally on, but now I really kinda like it. I especially like to watch the Thanksgiving episodes during the week of Thanksgiving. I was busy and forgot to watch it this year, so next T-day I'll make sure to program my DVR.
Well, I hope everyone else is having a great week! Tomorrow I'm supposed to have a girls' night with my newly-single friend, and, just like one of the episodes of Friends I saw tonight, I bet we'll be exhausted by midnight. Yay for being 30!

Tuesday, January 20

Inauguration Day shoes

Originally uploaded by Korovieva
Here are my shoes and tights on Inauguration Day!

Monday, January 19

I don't usually post quizzes, but this one is pretty good...

Some of the characteristics listed here are spookily accurate at describing me.

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are an Ingrid!


You are an Ingrid -- "I am unique"

Ingrids have sensitive feelings and are warm and perceptive.

How to Get Along with Me
  • * Give me plenty of compliments. They mean a lot to me.
  • * Be a supportive friend or partner. Help me to learn to love and value myself.
  • * Respect me for my special gifts of intuition and vision.
  • * Though I don't always want to be cheered up when I'm feeling melancholy, I sometimes like to have someone lighten me up a little.
  • * Don't tell me I'm too sensitive or that I'm overreacting!

What I Like About Being an Ingrid
  • * my ability to find meaning in life and to experience feeling at a deep level
  • * my ability to establish warm connections with people
  • * admiring what is noble, truthful, and beautiful in life
  • * my creativity, intuition, and sense of humor
  • * being unique and being seen as unique by others
  • * having aesthetic sensibilities
  • * being able to easily pick up the feelings of people around me

What's Hard About Being an Ingrid
  • * experiencing dark moods of emptiness and despair
  • * feelings of self-hatred and shame; believing I don't deserve to be loved
  • * feeling guilty when I disappoint people
  • * feeling hurt or attacked when someone misundertands me
  • * expecting too much from myself and life
  • * fearing being abandoned
  • * obsessing over resentments
  • * longing for what I don't have

Ingrids as Children Often
  • * have active imaginations: play creatively alone or organize playmates in original games
  • * are very sensitive
  • * feel that they don't fit in
  • * believe they are missing something that other people have
  • * attach themselves to idealized teachers, heroes, artists, etc.
  • * become antiauthoritarian or rebellious when criticized or not understood
  • * feel lonely or abandoned (perhaps as a result of a death or their parents' divorce)

Ingrids as Parents
  • * help their children become who they really are
  • * support their children's creativity and originality
  • * are good at helping their children get in touch with their feelings
  • * are sometimes overly critical or overly protective
  • * are usually very good with children if not too self-absorbed

Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz

Sunday, January 18

Hey girl, wanna make some pizza?

Ever since I read the Orangette post where Molly spoke of her husband's obsession with pizza, I've been itching to make pizza myself. I found a recipe on Epicurious for pizza margherita, with a dough recipe from Pizzeria Bianco, which was mentioned in the Orangette post. I always pay attention to COINCIDENCES, so I knew this would be a good recipe to try for my first pizza-making venture.

I made a pizza date with Tyler so we could incorporate some time playing with his dog-sitting charge, Otto Skinner.

Stir together yeast, 1 tablespoon flour, and 1/4 cup warm water in a large bowl and let stand until surface appears creamy, about 5 minutes.

Add 1 1/4 cups flour, remaining 1/2 cup water, salt, and oil and stir until smooth.

Stir in enough flour (1/4 to 1/3 cup) for dough to begin to pull away from side of bowl. (Dough will be slightly wet.)

Pulse tomatoes with juice in a blender briefly to make a chunky purée.

Cook garlic in oil in a small heavy saucepan over medium-low heat until fragrant and pale golden, about 2 minutes. Add tomato purée, basil, sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 40 minutes. Season with salt and cool.

Knead on a floured surface, lightly reflouring when dough becomes too sticky, until smooth, soft, and elastic, about 8 minutes. Note: This is really fun! I couldn't take any photos of me kneading because the dough was so sticky I didn't dare touch the camera.

Form into a ball, put in a bowl, and dust with flour. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled, about 1 1/4 hours. Dough pre-rise.

Meanwhile, snack on Cheetos and a kalimotxo, then move the whole circus over to Otto Skinner's house.

Marvel at cuteness of Otto. Aww.

It has risen!

Do not punch down. Dust dough with flour, then transfer to a parchment-lined pizza peel or large baking sheet. Pat out dough evenly with your fingers and stretch into a 14-inch round, reflouring fingers if necessary. Thanks Tyler!

Spread sauce over dough, leaving a 1-inch border. Arrange cheese on top, leaving a 2- to 3-inch border. Again, thanks Tyler!

Play with Otto while pizza is baking. Notice that he smells kinda like tortillas. (This guy freaking loves me. He kept climbing into my lap, then wouldn't let me put him down for anything--he fought and fought and broke my necklace when I tried to put him down! I love him, though. He's adorable and sweeter than any other schnauzer I've ever met).

Slide pizza on parchment onto pizza stone. Bake until dough is crisp and browned and cheese is golden and bubbling in spots, 13 to 16 minutes. Using peel or baking sheet, transfer pizza to a cutting board. Cool 5 minutes. Sprinkle with some basil leaves before slicing.

Enjoy pizza with yummy Asian salad provided by Tyler. Continue snacking on pizza as you fart around on the internet looking at things like this, until pizza is completely gone!

Friday, January 16

New shoes

I just got the cutest pair of shoes from Anthropologie:

I want to wear them with everything. I've already worn them with this awesome teal dress (it has pockets! I love dresses and skirts with pockets):

Speaking of how much I love dresses with pockets, look at the classy blue dress January Jones wore to the Golden Globes. I can't post it here because IMDB won't let me, so instead I'll post a photo of the scene that solidified Betty Draper as my favorite character on Mad Men (also one of the coolest scenes in television history):

This woulda been my favorite class...

natalie dee

Friday, January 9


This is part of a community blogging exercise. See details here.

I've been working on this off and on all week, and I wanted it to be more concise and better edited, but I just want it to be done. So here it is, not so perfectly honed as I'd wanted it, but oh well. I have the world's worst headache right now, as well, so just typing this is pain.

I didn't grow up in a religious household. My dad was raised southern Baptist and my mom was raised Catholic, but nobody in my house went to church--maybe because they couldn't agree on a church to go to, maybe because they just couldn't be bothered with going to church. This was mostly fine with me when I was a kid, because I've never been too keen on getting up and dressing for tedious church services on Sunday mornings.

I was a bratty kid, and I got kicked out of numerous preschools for beating up other kids and not minding the adults. My parents put me in a private Christian school for Kindergarten, and I'm not sure if it was because of the behavioral problems or not. Needless to say, the day we went in for our interview with the principal and he told us that they practiced corporal punishment at that school, I knew I was going to experience that corporal punishment sooner or later. Thankfully, first grade found me at a regular public school.

When I was 12, I became friends with Rachel, a super-religious girl in my class who attended an Evangelical church. Her family was so religious that they made their children hum the letter "g" when singing the alphabet because people sometimes substitute the expressions "gee" "gee whiz" or "geez" rather than taking the Lord's name in vain. I started attending church with her family on Sunday mornings and youth group meetings on Wednesday evenings, and went on a campout (one of two times of camping in my life) and to church camp with the youth group. Eventually Rachel persuaded me to accept Jesus into my heart and get baptized with her so that my immortal soul would not burn in Hell for all eternity. And so that we could be smug together about being saved.

Rachel and I eventually had a falling-out and I quit going to that church. I'm sure it was a relief to her, since I was always embarrassing her by asking questions like, "but how do you know God isn't a woman?" The answer to this was always "because the Bible refers to God as 'He.'" I was smart enough not to voice other questions like, "but who wrote the Bible and why should I listen to them?" I would've probably gotten a slap for that.

Sometime in junior high I came to the realization that while I found the stories in the Bible interesting, I doubted whether it was the word of God because I doubted whether there was a God at all. I also realized that Rachel and her family were a bunch of smug a-holes who spent most of their time together discussing how their religion made them superior and making fun of other religions like Christian Science or Mormonism.

I haven't attended church since that time, and I don't plan to at any time in the future. I've never met a convincing argument as to how any book written by humans could possibly be the words of a divine being. And why would a divine being be concerned with the minute details of how humans live our lives? If I were a divine being, I wouldn't care what a bunch of piddly mortals were doing (other than maybe wanting to have sex with some of them). I'm also not convinced that they'd be benign like the God of the New Testament--why wouldn't they be lusty, prideful hedonists like the gods of Greek mythology? Or the cruel and demanding God of the Old Testament? I don't deny that there could exist such things as divine beings, but I just don't know how one could define such a thing.

I think it's more likely that everything that exists is here on this plane where we humans can see it. I don't think there is a Heaven or a Hell, even though I love to explore ideas of the afterlife. I think that when we die, our souls or whatever energy we are made of gets broken down and the pieces are recyled into new souls or new energy or new life like molecules of H2O in the water cycle. How else to explain why we dream about places we've never been? How else to explain the fact that I imagine myself smoking at almost every idle moment and just the thought of it satisfies me, though I have never been a smoker? Perhaps this is what is meant by the collective unconscious.

Monday, January 5


Check out this link to my current favorite song, Electric Feel by MGMT. For copyright reasons or whatever, embedding has been disabled on it. Silly bastards.

Friday, January 2

Come and get your soma

They're remodeling the Albertsons near my house, turning it from the poshest Albies in town to an even posher version of itself. All the signs have been rendered in a subdued light green and the ugly tile floors have been replaced by poured concrete. So basically, they're trying to make it look like a Whole Foods on the inside.

It's fine with me if they want to compete with Whole Foods, because it means their produce section will totally rock come summer and I will hopefully never have the problem I've had a few times in the past where they have no fresh Italian parsley on their shelves and instead have stocked a literal ton of curly parsley. Curly parsley is a garnish, not an ingredient in delicious soups, pasta, French potato salad, etc. (Do you hear that, Broadway and Beacon glorified-convienience-store pseudo-Albertsons?)

However, look at the photo above. Yes, the sign does say $7.59 per pound for those pretty yellow tomatoes. They were practically glowing; my cell phone photo doesn't do them justice. I was tempted to buy some until I saw that price. I'm not the biggest tomato fan, but I love yellow tomatoes--especially the small teardrop-shaped ones. Best caprese salad ever! I did not buy any of those expensive little buggers, and it's probably a good thing, because as my friend Tony said, "They never taste good when they're that pretty." True dat!

The thing I find kind of disturbing about this grocery store is the prolific number of televisions they have. They used to have flat-screen monitors in the produce section with short infomercials about various kinds of produce. It was kind of cool, because I thought maybe it would encourage people to be more adventurous about the fruits and veggies they eat, but the food segments were interspersed with crappy alarmist news stories about the flagging economy. The TVs were removed during the remodel, and I wonder if they'll bring them back at all; I doubt stories about economic decline will help to sell $7.59 / lb tomatoes.

This Albertsons and several others in town have installed TV screens at the checkout stands. They show clips of comedy shows to placate customers who are waiting in line. Wow. I did't realize how poor peoples' attention spans had become, that they can't handle waiting in line for a few minutes without television to entertain them. How very dystopian. Maybe if I'm lucky I can get soma while I wait in line, as well.

On a tangential note, I read on Wikipedia that Ridley Scott and Leonardo DiCaprio are working on a big-screen version of Brave New World. I don't think I like this idea.