Monthly Archives: September 2013

Monday Madness: …


I’m feeling extra contemplative right now. It might be all the very contemplative blog posts I read this morning, or the change of scenery this weekend from Boston to lovely, suburb-ly Vermont. Maybe it’s just that I spent significant time with a person this weekend (my mom) instead of a few hours here or there. And as I’ve always said, I love my alone time, but I need to connect with people or life will always feel pointless.

I get these moments, sometimes, when I have lots of poignant thoughts about life, but they all just sort of drift through my mind, like wisps of fog, dissipating to make room for others and the dulling regularities of life. They might come back again, later on, but I can’t summon them myself; I have to be reminded somehow.

The only thing that’s sticking right now is: I have to write. Just sit down and write. NOT when I have the time in between my schedule. Like ALL freaking day. That’s what I feel like I need right now.

This presents a problem I shouldn’t have to explain. I have a full-time job (yay?). I have an hour-long commute to get to that job. I LOVE sleep. And all the fall premieres are starting. This means that I really can’t spend the majority of my time sitting down and writing. Maybe a few hours a day, if I spent ALL available time on it. Which would mean no chores or workouts or cooking.

I know what this sounds like to some people. I don’t care, though. My “soul” (or whatever you want to call it) is scratching to get out, and in my efforts to keep it in so that I can make money and function as an adult, I’m getting beat up. Like anyone, I can only hold out for so long.

If I had programming skills, I would spend my extra time creating websites and phone apps until one of my awesome ideas was bought for some tidy sum and I could live off that, and write all day. I mean, I have had some AWESOME ideas. I’m serious. (Probably none that would really make me a lot of money, but you never know…) But I have no programming knowledge, skills, or training. So first it would require me to learn how…

Any plan I come up with has too many steps before I can actually make any changes to my everyday situation. This is UNACCEPTABLE. I need a now-fix. Not a later-fix.

Mostly I just feel like I’m fucking crazy.

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Follow the Yellow Blog Road


It’s not really yellow. I just didn’t feel like thinking of a pun for it.

Exciting news: I’ve broken 100 followers! It’s very gratifying for me that this has happened, especially considering I have only had this blog a little more than a year. I realize 100 isn’t that many, when you look at how many views you need to have “real” visibility (whatever that means), but the triple digits is a nice place to be.

It’s a little bit bittersweet when I think about the fact that it took me three years of posting on my writing blog to get that many followers. Maybe I just used to be really bad at blogging. Maybe no one likes my creative work (not the case, but I doubt I’ll ever be a popular writer). Most likely, it’s that food posts are bound to be seen because people love food so much, they want to read about it in between meals. (Or during meals.)

My writing blog is feeling jealous, is the point. But I haven’t been posting much there, so I guess it’s only to be expected that I would not be gaining followers very quickly. I’ve been a bit overwhelmed by life, and as such writing has not been taking very much of my time at all (even though I’ve been thinking about writing pretty much nonstop).

But writing with the aim of gaining followers is not the way to go. Of course I want people to be interested in my blogs (and tumblr, and youtube channel…) but I want followers who really like what I have to say, who appreciate ME and my work, rather than those who found me because I jumped on the twerk-writing bandwagon. I want quality followers, more than quantity.

But quantity would be good too.

I am thinking of starting to revamp this blog a little bit. I want to rewrite “My Food Credo” a bit. It was originally written as an explanation of my foodstyle (a word I still want to make catch on) and also a justification for it. I need no justification. I’d rather try to explain how I feel about food a little more eloquently, and readers can find out for themselves what it is I eat and cook.

I might do a Recipes tab–except, it will be a non-recipes tab, because, well, duh. That way, it will be easier for people who want to find certain types of food.

Yesterday, I made a Real Dinner for the first time in a while. Salmon fillet baked in tinfoil with butter and herbs, sauteed asparagus, also in better and herbs, and tomatoes drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. The vinegar made the whole plate a mess, but that’s ok. Overall it was delicious. And I just kind of threw everything together, absolutely no recipes, and I like it better that way. My asparagus (asparagi?) were nice and thick, the salmon leaning a little more toward underdone, and therefore wonderfully moist and flaky. As someone who loves salmon sushi, I was even tempted to just eat it raw (but I don’t think I really would have).

I would have taken a picture to show you, but as always I was much more focused on eating, and by the time the salmon was done I had eaten half the tomatoes and asparagus anyway.

Monday Madness: What even happened this weekend.


Ever have one of those times when you have a four-day weekend and you get so overexcited about not having to do anything that you really just don’t do anything?

That’s pretty much what happened this past weekend.

Then I woke up this morning with a bit of a queasy stomach and still feeling totally exhausted, so I’m working from home.

But I did have some good times last week. I posted on Wednesday or so that I was going to The Fireplace. I did, and I did in fact order the lobster mac and cheese. It was served with spinach and broccoli, and it was made with really decadent, fancy cheese. It was in fact very delicious. I’m hoping to plan another outing there to get the burger, which, as I’ve been mentioning up and down to everyone I talk to, is actually in my real price range (not often, but once, sure).

I ordered dessert as well, the brownie sundae, after filling up pretty thoroughly on my rich dinner and the generous portion of broccoli. It was too much, and I wished afterward that I’d gotten the lemon tart instead, BUT it was very tasty and I’m sure you would enjoy it if you ordered it. Although I wished for more peanut butter sauce.

Saturday I went to Passage to India in Porter Square and there were lots of leftovers for me. I thought their portions were very generous, about what you would hope for for the price, and also very delicious. I got the moongia chicken special, mostly because of the inclusion of cilantro, and I was not disappointed.

Ah, food. I do love it.

Considering that the office is again going to be closed Thursday and Friday, September really is almost over. I’m probably going to have to give my work an extra push on Monday, the last day of the month, but overall I’m not worried about getting all my work finished. The benefit of working like a maniac earlier in the month. I put in lots of extra hours at home the first two weeks, and some the third week, to make sure I would be able to meet deadlines. This is how we do it in the real world. Often, it kind of sucks at the time, but then I feel quite proud of myself for having everything done.

Off to be slightly productive today. I’m not going to push too hard because I don’t feel too great today (as mentioned above), but I have a certain amount of work I want to make sure I get done.

It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad Monday.

Restaurant Anxiety


I have plans to go to The Fireplace for dinner on Friday. I’m very excited. But actually, I’m kind of nervous about it as well.

No, I don’t have any worries about which fork to use–even if they are actually that fancy, I don’t really care if I use the wrong utensil. I have better priorities than THAT. And it’s not as if it will be an awkward social occasion either. Just dinner with my best friend, which is not the least bit stressful–in fact it is most exciting.

So, why am I nervous, you’re wondering at this point, I’m sure, since I tend to overexplain things before I’ve even gotten to the point?

I’m feeling a lot of pressure to order the right thing.

Now, if you’re not familiar with this restaurant (I’m not, really), it’s a pretty expensive place. I’ve never been there, but I pass it just about every day, sitting there on the corner with its “Boston’s Best Burger” sign in the window. It’s not the sort of place I can really afford to go to, and in fact the only reason I’m going there at all is because I was lucky enough to snatch up a livingsocial deal, just after I’d been musing that I’d really like to go to The Fireplace…

It stands to reason, therefore, that I probably won’t be going there again for a long time after. So I have to choose carefully, because I want the best possible experience from this place the one time I might ever go there. Having looked over the menu online, I’d like to try many of the dishes I read about, but I only have this one shot. I’d really like to try that “Best” burger, but logic says that it would be the one thing I could afford if I went back there without the coupon, so I should save it for next time. The lobster mac and cheese does sound… mmmm…

Oh, sorry. I got a bit lost in thought there.

Anyway, can you see why I’m suffering so much? Yeah, this is a first world problem for sure, but our “problems” are relative to our lives as a whole. Technically, all my problems are first world problems. Student loan debt is a first world problem. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck.

Not to compare this to my financial issues… this is a problem that’s almost fun to have.

I am extremely susceptible to  the dreaded FOMO–fear of missing out. It’s why I feel kind of sad when I see comments or pictures on Facebook about things my friends did without inviting me. It explains some of my impulse purchases. I’ve been trying not to let it affect me too much. It’s poking around now in this case, telling me that choosing one of those delicious-sounding entrees means giving up all the others.

In the end, I will get over it. I will order whatever I feel like I want most at the time and not overthink it, because I’m getting too old to waste time on stuff like that. Besides, the T stops running at some point.

Monday Madness: A Little Too Latte


There’s something so luxurious and indulgent about getting a pretty for-here latte in an actual mug, the standard leaf pattern on top, sitting in a cafe and sipping it. Knowing you’ve got time to enjoy yourself. This is one thing I think the Italians definitely have right. It’s wonderfully convenient to be able to get coffees, lattes, and anything else you want to go, in paper cups (which you should throw away in a damn trash can, people, because littering is both rude and gross). No one around here has time to sit with a latte on their way to work. Especially not me…

I unfortunately woke up much too late to try to have an enjoyable, leisurely breakfast. I had to grimly accept the fact, because it meant more sleep, and I figured I would just stop quickly at my favorite cafe on the way to work and get a latte (or regular coffee, I hadn’t decided yet). It was, therefore, unbelievably disappointing to find the huge “Cash Only” signs on the door this morning. As usual, I have no cash, and due to an issue with my debit card it’s a pain to get any. It immediately dropped my mood several points. I’m pretty much over it now, but at the time it was very sad. I’m assuming that they’re having a problem with their card scanning equipment and it will be fixed hopefully by tomorrow, because I want stuff from them, dammit.

Yesterday, I caved and ordered pizza for dinner. I have been craving buffalo chicken pizza like a maniac. The default place I order from doesn’t have that option! Can you believe it? I chose another place, and while the pizza is tasty, they really skimped on the chicken. I freaking HATE when pizzerias (or pizzerie, if you want to be technical about it) do that. I mean, I know you want to save money or whatever, but when I order toppings on a pizza, I expect some toppings. You know what I mean?

I’m not saying I won’t order from them again… just that I’ll be kind of annoyed any time I do.

Today definitely feels like fall, and that’s a wonderful thing. It was a perk to the day that I finally got to wear this lovely blue sweater I bought in July. Am I the only one that buys sweaters, boots, and coats in the spring and summer, then having to wait months before I can actually wear them? But it’s ok–just another reason to be excited when fall arrives!

To continue with the Craziest September Ever, it’s another three-day week for me. Since I did a bunch of work yesterday, it’s more like a four-day week. My plan is to work nonstop-ish until Wednesday evening, then take some work home with me to complete, but take advantage of the four-day weekend to get my own stuff done.

“My own stuff” will comprise, probably, a lot of sleeping and lying around. But at least I’ll get to watch So You Think You Can Dance in full on Thursday morning when I wake up (watching it on hulu sucks, but it’s my only option).

With a heavy sigh, I’m going to hunker down and work now, and will not resist my urge to get a Dunkin Donuts pumpkin latte later.

 

Raspberry Chai Pancakes – Hell Yum!


… it’s what we say now instead of Hell Yeah.

 

Yesterday I decided to make pancakes, because I have pancake mix and felt like it. I forgot to mention… I did this for dinner.

I am an adult.

Pancakes are actually pretty awesome to improvise with. You can add any fruit or spices to any basic mix or batter recipe without changing the consistency, and to some extent wet ingredients as well. It’s pretty easy to experiment with different flavors and, since they aren’t very time-consuming or expensive to make, you don’t have to feel too bad if you completely cock it up.

I used some of my Trader Joe’s pancake mix that’s been sitting in the pantry for months now. It’s gotten a little lumpy, so my batter was a little lumpy, but not too bad. I didn’t notice any horrific dry spots while eating them, so I’m fine with it. I added the last of my frozen raspberries (about 1/2 cup, I’d guess? Maybe slightly less? I have no idea) and some powdered Trader Joe’s chai. “Some” is the exact measurement I used.

Here they are cooking away. This one was the daddy pancake. (Meaning it was the biggest one.)

Here they are cooking away. This one was the daddy pancake. (Meaning it was the biggest one.)

 

It didn’t show in this picture, but the batter color was a little weird. This is inevitable if you’re using frozen berries, unless you take the time to drain them until they’re pretty much too dried out to taste good. I much prefer to have pancakes that somehow ended up a kind of grayish-blue that are delicious than perfectly golden-brown ones that are just ok.

There are instructions on the sides of any pancake mix box for how to make them, so I am not going to try to tell you here. Besides, doesn’t everyone know how to make pancakes?

As I said, they don’t take a lot of time, so only about 15 minutes went by before I’d managed to use all the batter I could actually scrape out of the bowl without overdoing it…

Hell Yum.

Hell Yum.

 

I topped them with strawberries and maple syrup. No, not “pancake syrup,” whatever that means, but actual maple syrup. I had the leftover pancakes for breakfast and used up the last of it, so now I only have Eggo syrup left…

This was SUCH a good dinner. Delicious, and easy, and if you eat something that’s actually healthy for lunch, you don’t even have to feel guilty about lack of nutritional value… unless you’re eating pancakes for dinner every night. That’s definitely not healthy.

Here’s me encouraging experimentation with pancakes! Until next time. 😛

 

Monday Madness: Untitled


It’s a rainy, but not in a pleasant way, already exhausted, just want to curl up in bed kind of day.

If you have an office job in the U.S., chances are you have today off. Lucky you. I don’t. I have lots of days off in September so I’m not complaining about the TIME per se. The problem is something else. For one, I could be hanging out with friends… maybe… since everyone else has today off.

Then, of course, my usual bus isn’t even running today, so I had to make do with one of the other, more sucky routes to work. And of course I didn’t plan ahead for it, because I think it’s stupid that they stop running certain buses on certain days, or rather, because I forgot entirely that they do that.

Everything about life right now seems uncertain and several degrees less awesome than it could be. I don’t know how to change it.

Also, when two-day shipping was supposed to get me my package on Saturday, and instead I’m getting it tomorrow or Wednesday, that’s not two-day shipping. That’s just regular shipping. As always I blame UPS, not the company I ordered from, because UPS’s policies seem designed to keep my packages away from me, instead of just delivering them.

I want to be clear: I had a good weekend. I enjoyed myself and spent time with people, ate some good food (and some ok food), and of course did a little bit of shopping. I had to. There were so many sales! And this morning, as soon as I had to commute to work, any optimism left over from my good weekend got drained away.

I hate the MBTA.

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