Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's Almost Turkey Time...

I'm about to head home to LA LA Land for a few days to eat delicious food and plant myself on the couch. Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that is wonderful because the main purpose is to eat and sit around. Glorious. Ok, you're also supposed to give thanks (which I will be doing don't you worry). Trust me, lately I've been thinking that even though there has been a lot of emotional, stressful, life crap piling up this year, I have it pretty good. There are many, many things I have to be thankful for, and I'll probably write a nice little list and post it up here this weekend. But the thing I love about this holiday is the coziness of just curling up on the couch, watching movies (my parents just bought WALL*E and I cannot wait to watch it again!) and eating comfort food (including my aunt's cranberry pear crumble, which I end up making three or four times at least this time of year), and visiting with family.

I'm getting ready to leave for the airport, and I did something totally uncharacteristic: I emptied my dish drainer and did ALL of the dishes that were in my sink (both sides of the sink were, um, totally full). I pushed away my lazy instincts and just did it. And now I feel good. Even though there are roughly four loads of laundry to do when I get back, my sink is empty and my dishes are clean. And now I feel ok about leaving my little apartment for four whole days. :-)

not my kitchen sink, but it's pretty

also not my sink, but I saw this and had to post it for you, Emily. Like?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hotmail. We're Through.

So here's the story: I opened a hotmail account my freshman year of college. I started phasing it out in February of this year, in favor of my new gmail account. I checked the hotmail account every few months or so, just to make sure there were no stray emails from people who hadn't gotten the message about the new email address. In that hotmail account, I had several old emails saved...sentimental notes, journal entries for classes, etc. Things I planned to someday either email to myself at my new address or copy into Word documents and save for posterity. I signed into my hotmail account to do this last night, only to discover that ALL OF MY EMAILS WERE GONE. ALL OF THEM. Every. Single. One.

I emailed customer support who informed me that, oh yeah, by the way, hotmail is now "windows live" or some crap, and if you don't log in every 60 days, your email gets deleted. WHAT?!?! Nobody ever informed me of this change. Nobody ever told me this. Suddenly, all of my email is just gone??? And apparently, according to a second customer service person, it is irrevocably so. Once email is deleted from your account, it is also deleted from their servers in order to make things run faster. WHAT?!?!? Makes me really appreciate gmail, running on Google's servers that somehow never run out of space. Makes me really pissed off that I never copied all of those old letters and college journal entries into documents.

I am closing my hotmail account for good. I don't understand how they can just delete your messages without warning, and then erase them immediately from their servers. What if someone goes out of town for 2 months and doesn't check email? Everything is just gone? Forever? They should at least wait a year or something before PERMANENTLY deleting everything.

I am so irritated right now, I know I am typing like a crazy person with all caps and !?!?!? and all that, but I don't care. UGH.

On the one hand, it's my own damn fault for not backing up sooner. On the other hand, what are they thinking, deleting MY emails so that the server will run faster for everyone else? I am trying to be zen about it, and tell myself that they're just emails, that they're not a big deal. But there was some seriously sentimental stuff in there...and from now on I am just going to create hard copies of EVERYTHING that is important to me. Guess you can't rely on technology.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ugly Betty: Cardigan Sweater!

I just watched an episode of Ugly Betty, a show I sometimes watch bits and pieces of while waiting for my regular Thursday night shows to start. I like America Ferrera, and I like the tongue-in-cheek soap opera-ness of the show (which is based on a Colombian telenovela). And I like Betty's ridiculous outfits sometimes.

Tonight, at the end of the episode, she was wearing an awesome cardigan. It was brownish/olive greenish with roses on it. One of those sweaters that's kind of ugly paired with a ridiculous outfit, but I think would be totally awesome with jeans and ballet flats and a neutral t-shirt. Aka: I'm really into cardigans with jeans, ballet flats and t-shirts, and I really want it.

I tried to find it online, or at least take a screenshot while watching it online, but the full episode from tonight isn't up yet. Boo. If I can find it, I'll post it. And if you know what I'm talking about or where to find it, let me know.


PS - Has Mark been getting more and more sensitive over the last season or something? In this episode, he was totally humanized - he had a whole backstory revealed about how he has worked so hard to be here, studied in Milan, etc. What's that about? Oh well. I don't really care. Or do I? No.

Plant Update!

Another weekly update about my little plant. The little nubbin that was growing when I last emailed is now quite a sprout! It's cute, I think. And when I wrote last week, that tall plant sticking up was just a little guy itself! Very exciting. I like how the plant just keeps on growing, especially when I see little buds appear and then turn into...actual plant-looking leaf-branch-things. Boy, am I articulate this evening or what?

Also, as promised, here is the "full body" shot of the plant. You can see it is now quite large, compared to what it looked like in July (see pictures in this blog post for both the plant in July, and the plant over the last 2 weeks). It's grown so much just over the last few can imagine how tiny it was when I bought it, which I think was in January?

Pretty soon, I'm going to have to re-plant it into a larger pot!


I made this a few nights ago on a whim, and it was quite tasty! I wasn't all that hungry, and was a great little mini-dinner snack.

      • baguette that is a few days old
      • olive oil
      • basil, cut into little strips (I use the "burrito" method)
      • Trader Joe's sun dried tomato bruschetta
      • grated parmesan cheese (mine was not fresh, which would have been better)

All I did was slice the bread into thin slices, drizzle a little olive oil on top (which I probably could have done better...I didn't actually drizzle. I used a paper towel to "pat it on" which didn't work all that well actually), plop on some of the bruschetta, sprinkle with cheese and basil, and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 min or so. They came out crispy and delicious! Mmmmm! These would make really yummy appetizers if cut into smaller pieces, and I think goat cheese would have been good too - though maybe a little overpowering. The bruschetta has olives in it as well and is pretty fierce on its own. Also, next time I might save some basil to put on at the end so it's fresh and not crispy from the oven. It was a cool texture all crispy-like, but it didn't really taste like anything anymore.

close-up before baking

after baking

Monday, November 17, 2008

Stew, Stew, Marvelous Stew

The Boy got it in his head last night that he wanted to make the stew that his mom and grandma used to make. So we whipped up* a batch of stew, complete with SpƤtzle (or Spatzen), which we made by hand thankyouverymuch!

It was quite delicious - we've eaten it the last two nights, and there's enough for another meal still! Go us!

Stew Ingredients:
diced tomatoes
yellow onion
caraway seeds
bay leaf
salt, pepper, water

*by "whipped up," I mean "spent two hours cooking after spending an hour at both Trader Joe's and Safeway looking for all the ingredients."

stew, night one: spatzen stew

stew, night two: addition of baguette

Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

And yet another blast from the past snack foods...Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars. Remembered I had one of these at my desk, and it was pretty darn exciting.

The Boy is making fun of me right now for writing about this, but come on. They're delicious. I remember eating these as a kid, packing them in my lunch box.

Probably not great to eat every day as a "grown up" or whatever, but it's pretty great to eat once in a while.

Keebler Bug Bites Graham Crackers

In this post-Mother's Cookies-world, one tries to find cookie substitutes that are as satisfying and delicious as those iced and sprinkled pieces of cookie magic. One fails, of course. But one tries.

Today I have discovered a cookie, nay cracker, that while it does not fill the void completely, does a hell of a job in the satisfaction department.

Presenting: Kellog's Keebler Grahams Crackers Bug Bites. Ignore the weird name that has too many plural words and taste one of these suckers. So delicious. Just the right amount of graham and cinnamon, a solid crunch, and a pleasing glosssy finish to the adorable little ladybugs, butterflies and dragonflies. Apparently there are also caterpillars, but alas, my snack-sized bag did not contain any.

Try them today. I'm guessing they're good for the kiddies too.

Wordle. Word.

So, I learned about this new thing called Wordle. Actually, it might not be new. I don't actually know. Whatever, the point is that it is cool. You enter text or the URL of website and it crawls it and makes a nifty word-image-thing where the most frequently used words are bigger and the less-used are smaller...I'm sure you've seen things like this before. Lots of people use them for the labels on their blogs (instead of a boring list like I have).

Anyway, here's the one I made for my blog, just to test it out. It's pretty can change the colors and fonts and layout and all that jazz. Nice way to waste time.
It's interesting (to me anyway) to see what words I use a lot. You'd think I write about little gardens. Just a little basil to the right. Maybe I do.

And just for's one I just threw together from Perez Hilton. Ha.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bad Day

I had a bad day today, of which I will not go into detail, because it is 10:14pm and the day is almost over.

I will say this though: I have a wonderful boyfriend who brought me flowers, and we ate pasta and ice cream, and are now watching a hilarious episode of South Park, and I am feeling a bit better now.

The End.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

LA and Tying the Knot

I was in LA this weekend, and saw this lovely sunset from my high school campus (was there to see my lil sis in Noises Off).

And then I went to Phoenix, where I witnessed the wedding of two good friends from college: my roommate of two years and the friend who set us up.

And somehow, I accidentally tied this knot in my camera cord. Kristen, can you tell me what kind of knot this is?

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Green-Ish Thumb

I am not great at keeping plants alive. My herb garden is mostly dying because I still haven't re-potted the plants...but let's be honest, the main draw to having the garden was to have a place right outside my kitchen window where I could easily reach the basil plant...not to grow a garden. Yes, I had grand ideas and visions of myself becoming a great little gardener, but in my heart of hearts, I always knew that really...I just wanted to be able to reach out my kitchen window to grab fresh basil. And since Trader Joe's sells big basil plants for about 3 bucks, I haven't minded having to replace my plant every few months or so. Anyway, the basil is doing ok, and some day, I swear I will re-plant them IN the actual window box. Maybe.

However, I have somehow managed to keep my odd little IKEA plant alive. I don't even know what kind of plant it is - how the heck is it such a little trooper??? I basically water it when it looks dry, every few days or so, and sometimes the water runs right through and sits in the little drainage dish. Then I just let it soak up/evaporate. Sometimes it just soaks right in perfectly. I have no idea what I'm doing with this plant, I swear to god. But somehow, it perseveres. It has gone from a tiny little thing to a bigger little thing...and I've decided to document its growth right here, with a new label I'm calling "greenish thumb." So enjoy!

This is what it looked like in July.

This is what it looked like on Tuesday, November 4. Election night.

This is what it looks like tonight, November 11. Yeah, that sprouting guy is the tiny bud from last week! And note the tiny new bud already growing! This plant is amazing!

Next week, I'll take a full-body shot so you can see how much it's grown... :-) Maybe I'll update on a weekly basis, but probably I'll just update when I feel like it.

Ok, So...Redacted.

Remember just last week, when I was all "woe is me, holiday commercials are all over my TV and I just don't know how to handle it all!" and basically whining like a wimpy little baby?

Yeah, I am totally redacting that whine-fest. I am SO ready for Christmas and Chanukkah I can't even tell you. I am excited for Thanksgiving, too, but I'm almost feeling ready to compost those pumpkins and hang up the twinkly lights (or just remove the pumpkin and ghost light covers so I don't actually have to unplug and re-hang and all that jazz). Maybe it's because I (um, cough cough, embarrassing embarrassing) still have my rotting jack o lanterns on the front porch. Maybe it's because this morning, it was cold enough to wear a scarf. Maybe I'm just feelin' the holiday cheer, and maybe I'll redact THIS tomorrow, but right now...dang. Bring on those holidays!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Jingle Bells?

Is it just me, or did TV EXPLODE with holiday-themed commercials immediately following the election last night?

I mean, Costco and Walgreens and such have started having a trickle of holiday decor lately (which, small tangent, I swear happens earlier and earlier now, I mean, honestly! Didn't we used to wait until after Halloween at least? One holiday at a time!!!), but it seems like the networks held off because of the election, and now there's an onslaught of holiday advertising hitting the airwaves.

Am I nuts, or is this a Real Live Phenomenon?

politics later...damn prop 8.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Map Gadget

I'm embedding this gadget, with live updating results right here on my blog, for anyone who wants to stay updated but wants to avoid the major news sites. You can get it for yourself or get more information here.


I don't know who this girl is, but she's awesome. Found her through Emily's Shared Items, and am loving her. What a smart kid. Check out the video below, and her blog too if you like.

Untitled from Tavi G on Vimeo.

Election Day!!!

Well, folks, this is it. It is already a ridiculously historic election, and results haven't even come in yet. Well, except for that awesome little (tiny!) town in North East New Hampshire called Dixville Notch - that is all about Obama! The first Democratic landslide since the 1960's! Change We Need!

I don't want to jinx it, but it's looking good so far for the big O. I'm going to be on pins and needles, anxious all day until we know for sure...which honestly, probably won't be until tomorrow morning. I hope it's such an overwhelming landslide that we know for certain tonight though!!! I can't wait anymore!

Observations so far...and it's only 8:00am:
  • Polls in Berkeley opened at 7am. At 7:45am we drove past a building that I didn't even know was a polling place, and the line had already stretched out the door and wrapped around the block! My mom called from the Elementary School in Topanga Canyon, CA where she teaches, and said this is the first time EVER that there has been a line at the school's polling station, and she's worked there for 16 years! It's exciting to me that people are SO motivated, SO excited to get out there and vote, that even in hippie towns like Berkeley and Topanga Canyon - even in an obviously blue California - people are making their voices heard. There has, in the past, been an attitude of "my vote doesn't matter; California is going to vote Democrat anyway," but not this year!!!
  • Obama's volunteers are STILL getting out the vote! The Boy and I were making calls until 9pm last night, first to our Dems in swing states (Colorado last night, having called Florida on Sunday) and then to local volunteers to recruit people to make calls all day today from the Mega Phone Bank in Oakland. And even by 9pm last night, there were around 50 people at the HQ, and more across the street at the Prop FF office who was letting us use their space. Not once have I been there and seen it even close to empty. On Sunday afternoon, I drove by the HQ (don't worry, I phone banked all morning!), and not only was it PACKED with people inside, but folks were spilling out onto the sidewalk, sitting on the ground and making calls. Same goes for the FF office AND the Inner City Services office down the street. It's been unbelievable so far to be a part of this campaign, and I can only imagine what it must be like to be able to devote all of your time to it (like my friend Miranda, who has been working in Ohio for the last few months)!
  • People are PUMPED! Even people who have never voted before, even those in their 70's and 80's (and older!) are voting this time around. There's just this universal sense that this is a uniquely important time in our lives and it's time to step up and exercise our right to vote!

I may not have time to blog throughout the day, but you can bet that I will be sharing things that I'm reading - with commentary! So exciting, I know!

So to everyone out there who's listening: stay tuned, hang in there, and make a last effort to reach out to voters in those battleground states! You can call from home, from the office, from the park - all you need is a phone! Just pick a state and start calling!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Andy and Scott's Halloween Special!!!

I know I shared this already, but I'm not sure how many of you read both...and I really really wanted to share this with you all.

My friends Scott and's pretty hilarious, I must say.