Tag Archives: nerd

time stamp

10 Jan

I love a New Year for its no-time-like-the-present attitude toward trying new things. My new thing is pie.

I also love a New Year for its no-time-like-the-present attitude toward ditching old things. (No, I don’t mean half the crap that’s sitting in our basement.) (Well, I do mean that, but that’s a different kind of ditching old things.) It’s a time to reflect and think about all those things in your life you really don’t like, and decide you’re not going to waste time on them anymore.*


Things I don’t have time for anymore:

  1. Negativity. There’s enough of it in the world already. I don’t need to be adding to it, and neither do you.
  2. Smoothies. I don’t understand their point for adults. Is it to get more fruits and vegetables in your diet? Because I get quite a lot already. A friend suggested I use it as a way to get more vegetables in my toddler, which I can support, but turns out he wanted nothing to do with it and asked for his sixteenth granola bar of the morning instead. Milkshakes I understand (delicious). Smoothies? Not so much. They just make me hungrier.
  3. One-sided political arguments. I don’t care which side you’re on. If you can’t articulate the pros and cons of both sides of a political debate, then stop talking.
  4. (Sadly) Wine after 9:30 pm. It’s like the clock strikes 9:30 and all of a sudden any glass of wine I may start has the makings of a wholly blergh feeling the next morning. And there are much better ways to spend my morning, like bleary-eyed and confused, and full of longing for breakfast tacos.


I figure by cutting these things out of my life, I will gain back at least three hours every year. And you know what I can do with those three hours? Things I enjoy doing. Like reading a book. Or making pie.** Or having a glass of wine before it’s dark out.

The possibilities are endless.


*Though honestly, any time is a good time to start things or end things. It doesn’t have to be the New Year. It can be a Tuesday in July if that’s when the spirit moves you. Who am I to say when you should feel reflective or will be ready to make a change?

**Possibly. Seeing as how I haven’t yet made pie, I might hate it. You just never know.


1 Nov

In January we decided that we would remodel the kitchen and bathroom of the house we purchased after we sold our bootbox of a condo. 

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

It both was and was not.

Was because we now have a shower, instead of just a tub, in the bathroom. (I am not a bath person. Baths freak me out.)

Was not because it took 10 months, when it was only supposed to take two.

Was because now we have a dishwasher in our kitchen.

Was not because we had to fire our contractor and piecemeal the remaining work.

I could go on for pages and pages until the end of the Interwebs with this back and forth. But I won’t, because the important thing right now is that what no one ever tells you about remodeling your house, even just a couple of rooms, requires two of the most awful tasks ever: 1. Packing up all the shit in the rooms being renovated and storing it in other rooms of your house, and 2. Unpacking and reorganizing that same shit when the remodel is done.

Now, you might be thinking the same thing Swede and I have been thinking, which is that unpacking all of this shit is a prime opportunity to get rid of half this shit. We’ve been living without it for the past 10 months, right? Clearly we don’t need most of this shit, then. Or even any of it! Get rid of it all! Toss out every single box and bag and precariously packed hanging basket! Burn them to the ground!

Except that some of those boxes contain my Waterford crystal wine glasses, and I’ll be damned if I get rid of those.

And some of the other boxes contain my Le Creuset baking dishes and I will slap you into next Tuesday if you even suggest I part with those.

Thus, Swede and I are now tasked with going through each and every box to determine what to keep and what to ditch. And we have to do this while two small humans demand such things as attention and food and diapers that have not exploded up the back of their shirts like the impervious monarchs that they are.

Nevertheless, we persist. We’re trying to be thoughtful about what we put back in the house and what we donate or toss outright. We don’t want a lot of crap in our house. Because frankly, that’s just more crap that needs to be cleaned. And more time spent cleaning means less time spent drinking Diet Pepsi and watching Hulu while the impervious monarchs nap.

In sorting through the few* boxes and bags I’ve managed to tackle, I’ve tried to take a Konmari** approach to the task, determining whether or not various items spark joy. Yes, obviously the Le Creuset sparks joy. But does my plastic mixing bowl? Not particularly, but at this point, it’s the only mixing bowl I can find, and it works perfectly well, and I use it frequently so there’s no point in tossing it because then I’d just have to buy a new one and that’s a waste of money so the plastic mixing bowl stays. Until I maybe find one of my other mixing bowls at which point I’ll have to reevaluate my feelings on this current mixing bowl.

This is all to say that after a few hours of this process, the Konmari method can suck it. What is a much more appealing method?


Bum to us, though, our town has laws against open bonfires.


*And by few I mean, as of this typing, one.

**I have never actually read any of Marie Kondo’s books, and my understanding of her methods is based solely on what I’ve heard from friends and random strangers and on television talk shows.











from the file pit: avocado ranch dressing

6 Jan

We are six days into the new year and it has been WEEKS since I have had a vegetable. Well, no, actually last week I had some artichokes, but they were covered in dill and lemon and some mayo and spread on top of a piece of sourdough French bread, so I’m not exactly sure that counts. I mean, it kind of counts, because at least I was vaguely in the vicinity of something from the earth’s bounty, but it’s not really a slam-dunk in the whole food pyramid thing.

That said, I figured this was a perfect time to pull out a file pit recipe that’s been in the making since June 13, 2007. Yes, that’s right, almost nine years.


I printed this recipe out nine (9) years ago, from the Washington Post website. And then never made it. Until now.

I’m going to blame my lack of making this recipe on the fact that until recently I didn’t have a blender. I’m going to blatantly disregard the fact that I did, however, have both an immersion blender and a food processor. So, right: No blender = unable to make this dressing.

But lo! Swede’s parents gifted us a big, beautiful Vitamix for our wedding, and people, let me tell you something about a Vitamix you don’t know: It really is as f-ing amazing as people say. The motor on this thing could puree a sledgehammer. Both the wood handle and the metal mallet. All of it, ground down into a thick, smooth, former piece of destructive construction equipment.


Hello, beautiful. 

And hence, I could now make the dressing with aplomb, and rectify the lack of vegetables in my diet. Not that there are any vegetables in this dressing (avocado is a fruit, after all), but I could pour it on a salad. And salads are often made of vegetables.  

Stay with me here, people.

So with the food-stars aligned, I finally made this file pit recipe.

And it was okay.

Which was strange, because looking at the few ingredients, they are all things that I love very much: buttermilk, avocado, a ranch dressing packet, and lime zest. What’s not to love? I love all of these things! Mix them up and shove it in my mouth, it should be amazong.  


Buttermilk is amazong, you guys. 

Except it was only sort of amazong. You know what I think it was? The lime zest. It didn’t really belong, in my opinion, and gave the dressing a funny taste, like when you eat something and then make that annoying noise with your lips and your tongue, smacking them together uncontrollably because you’re trying to figure out what it is you’re tasting, but you can’t quite put your finger on it.


Damn you, lime zest. 

That taste? It’s lime zest. And this dressing would be better without it.

I think I would make this again, if for no other reason than it’s a reason to bust out the Vitamix. But I’d leave the lime zest out.

And then I’d dump a crap ton over some vegetables and call it a day.







photo friday: the great (garlic) e(scape)

10 Jul
Behold! The garlic scape can cause you great alarm and consternation in your meal planning!

Behold! The garlic scape can cause you great alarm and consternation in your meal planning!

Gad, isn’t summer produce just magnificent? And panic inducing?

The other week I was at the farmer’s market and stopped by a stall that had these absolutely lovely boxes of garlic scapes sitting there. Just sitting right there, their curly, Medusa’s-hair-like selves beckoning me to buy them. So I did, because A) if produce is talking to you, you should probably listen, and 2) garlic scapes are notorious for being here one minute and gone the next, not dissimilar to most of the guys you dated in your 20s. So in a panic, before I could think twice about what to do with them but fearing of missing out on garlic scape season, I grabbed a box and handed over my $4 to the vendor, and went about my merry way.

I thought and thought, and then decided to incorporate these scapes into a dinner I had for friends later that same week, but, well, wine. There was wine. A lot of wine. So the scapes got pushed to the side, because when there is wine there is also talking–so much talking–and really, we’re all just lucky dinner got on the table at all. Trying to also get a mess of garlic scapes into an edible format was not even remotely going to happen.

On the plus side, so the elusive scapes wouldn’t go to waste, I whirred them into a pesto last weekend, which is now taking up space in my freezer until I decide to use it. Which I’m pretty sure just means I have to have another dinner party. And maybe handle the garlic scapes before we open the wine.

photo friday: remember when

6 Feb

Bill Bryson

Remember that time last summer when I casually tossed a Bill Bryson book on my Summer 2014 McPolish Reading List?

Yeah. I finally finished it.

And only five months after summer officially ended!

I think that may be a record.

It’s not, mind you, that I didn’t like the book. In fact, I enjoyed it quite a lot. But if you’ve ever read Bill Bryson, then you know his is not writing you can just zip through reading, or you’ll miss half of what makes it such a delight to read. Couple that with my reading it on the bus to and from work, a process which at most takes twenty minutes, and you’ll understand why it took me a solid seven months and eight library renewals to finish this book.

That said, I do recommend it for myriad reasons—the writing, of course, but also since it was published in the 90s, it’s a fantastic throwback reminiscence of how travel used to be, before cell phones, before the Internet, a time when traveler’s checks were the norm.

Pick it up, I tell you, and don’t rush the ride.