photo friday: patience

12 Feb

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The only thing these two agree on is that Ham is Delicious and Yes, We Will Sit Nicely Until The Big Man Hands It Over.

things i’ve been meaning to tell you: february 2016

10 Feb

1) I loathe paying late charges. I really, really do. I see it as an absolute failure at something so simple, and the sign of a completely disorganized life. I’m guessing that no one really enjoys paying late charges, so I take comfort that I’m not the only one out there (though it’s possible that people don’t find them quite as abhorrent as I do, which is fine, to each her own).

There is one exception to this: library overdue charges. It’s rare I can remember to return my books on time or renew them within the proper window. Why? I don’t know. Possible it’s due to (no pun intended) the fact that I go to the library multiple times in one month and check out oodles of books so they all have different due dates, and it’s not like I’m reading said checked-out books in any logical order. Anyway, the point is I have no qualms about paying library fines for overdue books. In fact, I actually feel quite good about it. I consider it my duty as an active reader living in the City of Chicago. I know part of my tax dollars goes toward funding the library, but whatever the amount actually is I’m going to argue it’s not enough. And while I could just donate directly to the Chicago Library Foundation—and I probably should, no really, I must add that to my To Do list, now that I think about it—CPL will have much better luck garnering monies from me through my lack of attention forgetfulness flagrant disregard for missing due dates.

2) HGTV always seems to be showing marathons of Flip or Flop whenever I’m at the gym, which on a scale of 1 to 10 of my HGTV preferred shows rates a Meh. I like the idea on the whole, and if I didn’t like seeing the transformation from crappy to happy, well, that would pretty much go against everything I love about HGTV. I like Tarek and Christina El Moussa, and I root for them each episode, that they’ll make a profit and won’t get totally screwed over with their latest purchase. And I truly appreciate Christina’s commitment to false eyelashes—to wear them on the daily is no joke, you guys.

But for all that is holy and decent, can someone please give these two some acting or some such type of lessons? Because their monologues to the camera are killin’ me, Smalls.

An example for you–about 8:14 seconds in when Christina starts telling–not describing, telling–the camera everything their plan.)

It’s fine when they’re being filmed going into the house. Their reactions are as genuine as possible for something that’s probably filmed three different times from four different angles. But it’s those moments when one or the other is talking directly to the camera and telling us what’s happening that irk the hell out of me. They are scripted within an inch of their lives, and the lack of emotion just, gah. It really distracts from the excitement they’ve just created in showing us the major transformation of the property.

3) I’m making a concerted effort to watch more movies, both at home and in the theatre. Swede and I love going to see movies, we just…don’t…very often. But! That’s changing–since Christmas we’ve seen The Big Short (holy God, a wonderful movie that makes you lose your faith in humanity) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (FOMO) (kidding) (about the FOMO, not seeing the movie. We did actually see it, and it was quite good) in the theaters. And much like I keep track of books I read, I’m keeping track of movies (and documentaries) that I watch. (PS—Thank you, PBS station on Netflix, for your American Experience series helping in my efforts.) What have you seen lately that I should add to my list? (Don’t worry about me having already seen the flick—I’m notorious for having never seen many a hit movie, including, but not limited to: Die Hard [though I’ve seen Die Hard 2, for some reason], The Godfather, Anything Nominated in 2015 for Best Picture, and It’s A Wonderful Life [though I have absolutely no desire to see that one.]) (Surprisingly, I have seen a hefty portion of movies nominated for 2103 Oscars. How that happened I have no idea, but well done, me.) And if they are available on Netflix or Amazon Prime, all the better.

 

 

 

 

photo friday: don’t forget the spice

5 Feb

 

Wall of spice

I went to Morocco and saw a lot of spices. And Life was good. 

Sometimes I forget that I’ve done things that are really damn neat, because I get so caught up in the day-t0-day and then one day I’m looking through photos and I’m all, “Oh yeah, that’s right, I went to Morocco that one time and saw All The Spices In All The Land at the souk and I should really do more fun things like that.”

And then I get re-caught up in the day-to-day, which is not my best habit, but at least there’s a seed of adventure planted, so I’m pretty sure not all hope is lost that I’ll someday have foreign adventures again.

Plus, I’m running out of Moroccan spice mix, so really now would be a great time to go back.

from the file pit: beer bread

3 Feb

It’s February, which means, yup, still winter. Still going to be for awhile now. Which is awesome, because February is full of days that end in Y, and days that end in Y are perfect for eating bread.

Unless you’re gluten intolerant. And then every day that ends in Y is a horrible day for eating bread, but because I am a nice person I will eat your bread for you. You’re welcome.

I’ve long been interested in making bread, but on my few attempts it has turned out less-than-stellar. Usually super dense and not well-risen. Edible, yes, but not boulangerie-worthy.

Then again, sometimes life is not about perfection, but rather about getting shit done. And if that shit is getting bread into my mouth, then I have achieved success.

ANYWAY, I have some very exciting news for you: I have found a bread recipe that even I can’t screw up. It has three ingredients.*

 

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As per usual, my incredibly thorough directions, if they can even be determined through the chicken scratch. God only knows where I copied this recipe from. For all I know it’s off the side of a metro car. 

THREE.

3.

Trois.

That’s it.

Granted, one of the ingredients is quite specific,** but if you can manage that, you’ll find success. I promise you. Perhaps you’ve heard of Tastefully Simple, and their beer bread that I think you just mix together the dry mix and some beer? Sure, that’s only two ingredients, but this three-ingredient beer bread is just as easy. I like to call it Stupidly Simple.

I made two of these loaves in one day, in the span of about two hours, actually. THAT is how simple this recipe is to throw together. One for Swede and me, and one to give to his sister who had just had surgery. Because nothing says recovery like warm beer bread and narcotic-strength pain meds.

I should be a doctor.

This may be one of the greatest File Pit findings yet, you guys. Seriously. Easy peasy and delicious. Would I make this again? Do I even need to answer that? No. No I do not. Instead I will answer you by saying you should drop whatever you’re doing and go home and make this.

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More butter, please. 

(And if you also choose to pick up Kerrygold salted butter to slather on it fresh from the oven, no one will judge you. Nay, they will applaud you.)

*Four, if you count the egg for the egg wash. Five, really, if you count the melted butter you’re supposed to brush on top when it’s done. But now you’re just being nit-picky.

**Self-rising flour is the key here. I think you could pretty much use any light-colored or amber ale you so choose, but I can’t guarantee success if you try and use a different kind of flour. I could go into the science behind the self-rising flour in this recipe, but I won’t. Because I don’t really know it. I just know it’s different and clutch in this bread.

photo friday: twister

29 Jan

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I managed the finish the scarf I started two (yes, TWO) years ago. It’s not perfect, and I like to call it the tornado scarf, as it somewhat resembles a funnel cloud. Proof that I am not lying to you about my finishing it or its shape:

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For a very first knitting effort ever, I’m going to call this a win. 

You can see, toward the bottom, where it’s nice and rectangular and even-ish. And then somewhere along the two years it took me to do this, and as I got closer to the end, I apparently lost all sense of….counting? knitting? life in general?…and it’s like the battle of the g-d bulge that ate Dorothy at the other end.

But it’s done. The scarf is done. I FINISHED SOMETHING. Two points for that plus an extra five for the vibrant hot pink color to me.

on spin-outs and lies

27 Jan

A few weeks ago, I was on my way to a party when I spun out on the Interstate.

Yes, it had been snowing. But no, the salt trucks hadn’t gotten out yet. And yes, it took me thirty minutes to go two miles.* And no, thankfully, I wasn’t going faster than 25 miles per hour. And yes, it is quite startling to find yourself perpendicularly straddling three lanes of a four-lane highway.

Thankfully neither I nor anyone else was injured when my car shimmied its way across multiple lanes. And double-thankfully I didn’t even think to panic about spinning out, though I did exhibit some confusion about taking my foot off the pedal and steering into the skid when I felt the car start to slide.

I’m not perfect.

It wasn’t until I came to a complete stop on the Tri-State—again, perpendicular to traffic—and saw headlights approaching (slowly, but approaching nonetheless) that a pearl of panic lodged in my stomach and in that moment of stress I uttered the ever-eloquent, “Oh, shit.”

I very slooooowly righted myself and continued on my way to the party without further incidence, the danger of the situation sank in the more I distanced myself, literally, from the expressway. And as often happens in moments of potential danger, it makes you think about your life, about the things that are important. You think about the things you’ve said, or haven’t said; if you’ve really been living the life you want; you know…the things that really matter.

And Interwebers, I realized I had to come clean to you. I try and be as honest as possible in my little corner of the Internets, and as I navigated the slick, snowy roads and thought about the peril I’d just endured, I realized that I must tell you the truth:

I don’t actually hate that Justin Bieber song “Sorry.”

I do, in fact, kind of enjoy it, and find it catchy.

I don’t understand the video, and I don’t think I will ever understand Justin Bieber’s hair or how a kid who looks like he should still be on the Disney Channel gets his own roast on Comedy Central, but these need not be my worry. My concern is always being myself with you, Interwebers, and not rolling my eyes and lambasting the Beebs every time my friend HO mentions how much she likes some song by him, and then blatantly sing along with “Sorry” when it comes on the car radio and no one else is around.

I’m not sorry I like “Sorry” but I am sorry I lied.

And I hope you’ll forgive me.

 

 

 

 

photo friday: into the black hole that is his brain

22 Jan

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Things he is not thinking:

  1. Sitting on this laptop–while very warming to my bum–is not conducive to the tall lady getting work done. I should move.
  2. My entire body spreads out much like Jabba the Hut’s when I lay down. Maybe the fact that these tall humans don’t give me ham every day is a good thing.
  3. I would like to create world peace.

Things he is thinking:

  1. Sucka.
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