Thursday, December 10, 2009

The "d" word

I've been thinking.

I know, I know...the holidays are over and, hey, I'm staring at my Christmas tree feeling guilty about procrastinating and not cleaning that mess up.

When I racked my brain for gift ideas this holiday season...when I wentout to shop...when I finally made the purchasse...I thought that I should stop and do something else.

I figure, why not buy some food and donate to a food pantry? Why not buy a toy and donate it to a cause I find worthy? Why not give some money to whom I wish?

I mean, come on. Plenty of days I spend money on frivolous things. Well, let me take that back. I buy things, perhaps, capriciously, but I do so with a muted sense of adventure and indulgence and I truly appreciate the experience whether it ends up good or bad. Sounds like addiction :) Look, I am talking about trying a new smoothie flavor here, or buying a fancy cupcake, not anything big. But, I can get those "good" feelings doing the "d" word...you know, donating.

Sometimes the capriciousness can find itself in donating but sometimes you want to do enough research to make sure you are all-around content with your donation.

Anyways, instead of the [insert whatever here] that I was going to get today or may get tomorrow, I'll think of others who may not be so close to me that I will drive and spend gas to find the perfect ribbon for a personalized ornament.

But, I can donate some canned goods.

Give time, give stuff, give money. Whatever. It's not that hard. But don't just do it because "it's not that hard." Do it from the heart...and the head.

Mmmmm...well, that's what I was thinking just now.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

There's no such thing as "two cannolis". *Sigh*


Today, Danielle and I scurried on down to the Festivale Italiano in downtown GSO. "Festivale"? Anyways, I was pretty puzzled that there was an Italian festival in the works since I never really felt an Italian cultural presence in the area. Sure, I know of the people and the places and the groups that are or are all about things Italian, but it just hasn't seemed like the same organized effort as I have seen with other groups.

Anyhow, I accidentally matched the folks wearing the Italia jerseys and t-shirts with my brand spankin' new blue Hanes sweatshirt ($5 at Walmart, get you some). I can't believe I just used the word folks, but it made me feel all warm and fuzzy and Americana using it.

We missed the bike race but we came in at the last minute to grab some cannoli. Oh my gosh, I almost added an "s" to the end of "cannoli". That's crazy because the reason behind this post is my current pet peeve of people misusing Italian plural nouns in English. I even scoured message boards and forums and other websites to get some insight on this. I am often a sucker for blog commentary and forums. Come on, I get most of my news from Jezebel.

Well, my passion for the immediate education of the American masses on the use of foreign words in English has died down. I mean, if we are going to do that, we can't stop at Italian. And, like the melting pot/salad bowl of the States we have here, English is famous/notorius for adopting (or bastardizing, if you chose to be so, you know, negative) foreign words. Hey, it's what we do.

Eh, basically all languages do it.

Well, I agree with many commentators on the subject that, no, it won't help to try to directly or indirectly correct people on the pronunciation of certain words. However, in the food industry, for example, restaurateurs and the like should take it upon themselves to correctly present the terms for their menu items, especially if they are selling themselves as Italian or Italian-inspired. Well, it may be too much to ask for.

There are so many other things to nitpick about. Obsessed with punctuation? Please take some time with this very post and see how I probably misused hyphens, dashes, commas, etc.

Oh, the passion. Well, I did eat a cannolo (!) and a half. In honor of Chris' absence this weekend. I have taken a break from the tiramisu trials due to my current avoidance of dairy. I have a tiramisu-inspired dessert in the works and a tub of marscapone cheese waiting in the refrigerator...waiting to be discovered.

I also have some motivation to whip up my own cannoli, as well. Pre-made shells of course. I don't need to do all that. :)

Am I slowly but surely making my way to feta??? I surely hope not! This cheese train has GOT TO STOP!

Pass me the broccoli.

I think I'll stick with the nebulous-ness for now.

I just don't know what to do with this blog.

I don't know if I want to actively promote it.
I don't know if I can actively maintain it.
I don't know what I want it to be about.

Ok, it could just be my random musings. That's true.

I do know that I love the title. I supposed that I would dedicate the re-birth of my blogging to the blog title, a remnant of a post or two on my last blog. Did I just misuse a comma? Ugh, I hate when I think I do that.

Anyhow, I often do things and think, Hey, I should write about that in my blog! But, then, who is going to read it? Do I care if anyone reads it? I could just...just be there. But if I think that each post is special in and of itself, would I feel bad that someone starting to read my posts may not take the initiative to start reading from the very first post?

Oh, I know what I am doing.

I am over-thinking this.

On to the blogging.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I apparently love ferries

Well, looky here...an update!

I know, I haven't been updating this (same old song) and I have been scolded...which only feels great because that means that someone other than me is reading this!

These past few months have been a relative whirlwind and now I am blindly entering the next stage of my life which is now more representative than realized.

I finished all of my classes for my grad degree this summer and when I submitted my last assignment it felt GOOD. It was something like...euphoria. Now, I love learning, and I tend to make learning moments out of most situations, but I was glad to divorce myself from life being measured in semesters.

At the end of August, Chris left to Macau to work and I spontaneously decided to visit him with the support/insistence of him and others. I didn't know what I was getting into when I bought that ticket and I just decided to make no assumptions and enjoy the ride and I am glad I went. It was a life experience and I am glad that I could share it with Chris.

Lucky me that I faced procrastination and beat it with the ugly stick and finally got my passport this summer. Chris made fun of me for buying the passport card, too, but it sure made me feel safe at times that I didn't bring my passport around with me because I just didn't feel safe carrying it around.

Anyhow, I have summed up the stay in Macau in a few sentences. (1) I spent a lot of time getting lost, but I like to call it "exploring" instead. (2) What made things different (giving me that 'Aha!' cultural moment) was that things were similar but not the same. (3)...well, I have forgotten my third summary, but it may come to mind later.

Since Chris was working many hours in the week, I mostly saw him at night. I felt like a welcome distraction but I made sure not to be to imposing since he did need to be well-rested for the next days work. I spent the days alone and some independent spirit awoke soon after I arrived and I decided to go down to the bus stop and take a bus to wherever it may take me, knowing that it wouldn't go farther than Macau proper (and I always kept enough money to take a cab if I got lost enough). Well, I must have stayed on the bus too long because after crossing the bridge from Taipa to Macau, the bus driver started yelling at me in Cantonese, I suppose, and pointing to me to get off of the bus. I attempted to communicate that...that...I had no idea what was going on...but, for better or worse, the buses are on a tight schedule and so I scurried off of the bus and stared walking up the sidewalk in who-knows-where.

I started panicking pretty quickly but ended up flagging down a cab to go back to Taipa. Unfortunately, the cab driver couldn't understand my desired destination even though I showed him the business card that includes the address of the apartment I was living in. i mean, come on, you're a taxi driver...this is an address and a pretty small island!

Transportation issues seemed prominent for me. I swore off buses after that first ride and I got pretty frustrated with cab drivers for a while after that. Look, this is my line of thought: you are a cab driver and I would think, then that you know your way around town pretty well; this is also a tourist destination where most places are known by a Cantonese and/or Portuguese and/or English name so I would think that you know somewhere in English (or even Portuguese) if I say it (especially if that destination is plastered as an ad all over your car). I was pretty surprised that when I said "Ocean Gardens", cab drivers most often didn't know what I was talking about even though it is a very prominent residential area. And, I am just saying this about cab drivers because, well, you make your living off of driving people around!

And that could include acting like you don't know where something is and then just drive around as much as possible to jack up the cost of the ride. But, hey, that is just being cynical. On my cab ride from getting lost in Macau, I had NO idea where I was directing the cab driver and so I ended up on Taipa Pequena, the smaller hill on the island (though I didn't know that at the time) and was more lost than ever. The ride was costing a pretty pataca and so I just told him to drop me off there and I'd, you know, find my way...

But, things really just went uphill (haha, get it?) from then. I then swore off both cabs and buses on my own and decided to walk everywhere in Taipa. I was also on a mission to buy a few items and so I had a goal for my journey, too, then. Though I got lost most often in the beginning, at least it really didn't cost anything but time and I had plenty of that. Also, getting lost just involved me, not a driver or anyone else.

I got to know the island relatively well and I began to use the buses again with a renewed spirit and feet tired from walking so much :) I think the best thing of all that exploring was that I had new places to show Chris and felt more confident about where we were going. He didn't relly have time to do that on his own, so I became his tour guide! And I was only visiting! I loved it.

And, so, there wasn't really an overwhelming [cultural] differences in Taipa. When I first got there, I was so excited that I would constantly say to Chris (with accompanying dramatic hand gestures) that "I can't believe I'm in China!" I got over that soon enough and I realized that, yeah, I am far from home. Looking out on the river and the mountains I knew that, nope, no ferry, bus, cab, or walk was going to get me back to Greensboro, but at the moment there was no desire to do so. The language barrier was not so much of a barrier. Yes, you mostly heard Cantonese everywhere but it was hardly a problem, though when it was, it an annoying situation. A lot of people spoke English enough and aside from the funny/outrageous Engrish, there was enough English to direct me well.

Now, I'm not trying to say that I was totally pissed that there was no English around for my ease of tourist-ing, it's just that I have NO idea about Cantonese. As a couple of my friends and I have agreed on, it's not like a language with at least Latin letters where you could TRY to figure out what it says. Ich kann kein Deutsch much anymore but I could surely figure it out. I attempted another alphabet by diving into Russian, which was a humbling but profound experience, but I just haven't touch an East Asian Language. Now, I am capriciously promising Chris that I'll learn Cantonese and be his interpreter when needed!

In about the third week, I started feeling a slump, not wanting to go out of the apartment. I completed the few shopping goals I had and I knew my way around town well enough and saw as much as anyone. it was a slightly awkward feeling to be there for a month--longer than a tourist stay, I suppose, but shorter than a more permanent stay. I began to feel like more of a local even though I knew there was a lot more to learn if I were to stay there longer. I began reading one book that I was assigned for a summer class and that was nice...to sit on the couch in silence facing the Pearl River, reading. We spent many nights eating out on the town but I started to feel the cost/feel others feel the cost, even in patacas, and I started eating in more often. My menu was a basic one: rice, black beans, pasta and Sara Lee pound cake, but it would do. Then, I decided that there had to be more to see and do in al of the time that I was in the apartment during the day.

There was a road that was pretty mysterious to me in taht I just wanted to know where the heck it went! It was around the corner from Ocean Gardens and it went uphill; it became too tempting and so I made me a little adventure. What I found--after hours of a lot of figuring out and getting lost--was the Taipa Pequena hill. For the last week, I spent quality time hiking the trail on the hill and I loved it. Everyday I went a bit farther and loved finding new things. I found a perfect spot--a bench on a little rest stop on the top of the hill--where the breeze came in PERFECTLY. I would sit there and read a least a chapter of my book, working through the bad part of the breeze--fluttering pages. I always took the backpack with me that stored my purse and a bottle of water at the least. It left me preeeetty sweaty and I often thought I looked foolish since most other people who were using the trail to work out had the least bit on their bodies, but I was having a blast anyways.

My favorite part was my last day in Taipa, the morning before I left to the airport that night. I finally took Chris up there for a hike (after having a blast at Casa Museu da Taipa) and we had so much fun.

Ahhh...back in Greensboro. Now that's a whole other story. Life is a-changing, but I suppose that if there is enough tiramisu, it should all be OK...

A few other things:
-I never went to the Taipa Grande hill, but I don't regret that.
-Fashion was a whole situation there, for me of course.
-I guess that the McDonald's in Hong Kong doesn't have a fire code? I don't think anymore people could have fit int there!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Bean Dip

It's been a while since I have posted here, at least relative to my previous frequency of posts. I sort of changed ideas of how I wanted this blog to be, but I won't try to stick to a specific theme...at least not for now. Things are so busy now (like they always are, I know). I really need to prioritize life now, for the next two to three months, and after that, in September, who knows what I'll be doing!

Well, I guess I should have some sort of idea. Right now, I am juggling many things that span the duration of the summer, basically. I am well into my first summer class, and next session's summer class will start soon enough. I have plenty of school work to keep me occupied, but no worries, for I have plenty more to squeeze into the joke that is the 24-hour day. Along with school work this summer, I am wrapping up my second--and final--year in AmeriCorps. I have liked working with the CNNC for the past two years; everything wasn't perfect or even close to it, but I gained a lot of experience and inspiration these past two years or so. So, in addition to winding down my program year with AmeriCorps, I have to find a job for that day after my last day with IAP--August 31, 2009.

So, where will I be on September 1, 2009?

Should I take a break? I don't know. I assume that, with school done, that will be break enough and a (being hopeful) 9 to 5 workweek will be a better schedule. Maybe then I can take a class for fun, like that Italian class at GTCC I've been eyeing...

Speaking of that, I have signed up for a course at GTCC for the summer, too. What the heck am I thinking?! Well, it'll be a squeeze, but I do have a reason compelling enough for me to take the class--Chris is in it! The class is serious business, but with both of our schedules being busy enough that it sometimes feels like we hardly see each other, this will hopefully be a way that we can spend time together. Class time + homework and studying? Now, that's what I call romance!

Ok, ok, I am happy to take the class, but again, it'll be all about prioritizing.

So, I ma just be updating this thing once a month or so. There were some highlights these past few weeks worth noting, I think. Man, I kind of got tired of everything that I thought was interesting being a possible blog entry--that was exhausting! It was kind of like how you thought that every funny thing that your friends said was a "Facebook quote!". Now, I'll just live my life for the sake of it and not to document for, you know, my millions of readers.

Well, May came and went quickly, sort of like last year. Graduation festivities filled the month (as they will the beginning of June) and the AmeriCorps Spring Summit was fun (yay for "fluffing the chi!"). I learned how to make Power Balls (here's a variation on the recipe I use). Chris and I got new couches (used-new) so as soon as we get cable, maybe our friends will come over even more often! Wait, we still need to get that box-thingy; wait, again!--we have no time to watch TV! But, I did add many, many more hours of DVDs to my Netflix queue of some of my all-time favorite, old-school TV shows...that I will never have time to watch. =)

Anyhow, that's enough of an entry for now. Ciao!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Practice makes better than you did before

English
Aden

Tigrinya
http://depts.washington.edu/llc/olr/tigrinya/v_TIG_001/mov/v_TIG_001_113_ref.mov
http://depts.washington.edu/llc/olr/tigrinya/v_TIG_001/mov/v_TIG_001_169_ref.mov
http://depts.washington.edu/llc/olr/tigrinya/v_TIG_001/mov/v_TIG_001_104_ref.mov

That should be right...haha

Friday, May 8, 2009

Peoples Drug

TGIF. *Sigh*

Tomorrow, Chris and I are going down to Wilmington for my sister's graduation. I've only been there once and it was more of a drive through with a pitstop at UNC-W. And of course you all know how much I love the beach, so being that close will just make me tingle. Like a jelly-fish hug.

So, tonight should be tame. The spring semester has come to a close and I had the rude awakening that in less than two weeks, I am going to start summer classes. If at all possible, I hope to take a...a...um...oh, yea, a break.

Ooooh, i have some Pinecroft in the fridge.


My parents just told Chris about how I would pronounce the Arabic word for refrigerator like "apologize" when I was a kid. I was such a trip.


Elizabeth's Pizza for lunch today. We might see Tom! I already perused the menu, as usual, and picked out some options. The only other time I went there was with MM a whiiiiile ago. Today's task: tiramisu.

I just had a sudden, weird feeling about prioritizing that task above all others.

Last Sunday, Chris and I went to Natty Greene's to have lunch with my parents. I basically forced them to go there because it's so Greensboroish. I was utterly confused by the menu; I apparenly had the old menu imprinted in my brain because I couldn't get around the new menu without stretching first. It was a sad afternoon, finding out that my favorite T&A was off the menu (replaced by the Turkey Razz), but I ordered it with avocado and my usual cheddar cheese and continued to love Natty Greene's soon after.

We continued our spending spree of non-existent money at Sticks and Stones for dinner. We met up with some old friends and went back in time to when that corner was all about some Wild Magnolia. It was one flashback after another! I guess when you have a sanitation score lower than the legal drinking age, you have a problem.

I didn't like any of the pizza. *Sad face*. But, I am totally willing to try something other than what I had. The rosemary garlic fries were too...powdery...but the fried mozzarella with pesto was great. The restaurant looks great inside, which I enjoyed even though I was shivering like I was in an ice hotel.

Hmmm. Let me look at that Elizabeth's menu again so I don't take an hour and a half to order.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

More than Enuf

Man, Harris Teeter has some real Unreal Deals this week.

This is going to be an entry mainly about food.

Well, this morning, I was around N. Church way before my shift started, so I drove around trying to find somewhere to go for lunch(hmmm...wonder how much gas I've been buying lately). I squeezed through State Street and cruised around State Street Station and Cornwallis Court. Then, I saw it...well, I forget what the place is called, but it was a smoothie shop! I thought about it for hours.

And all for naught. I walked up the stairs in the Court (about 30 seconds of exercise) and stood in front of the shop's windows and the closed blinds. I tried to open the door...and tried a bit harder, just in case. No luck. Man, I was genuinely sad. Like a kid that let go of her balloon.

I zoomed down Cornwallis with no real destination in mind. I was hoping that I would just come up on something interesting. I did stop to stare through the windows of Carolina Coffee & Tea, but for some reason I was too anxious to go in there. I almost sneaked into the Golden Gate HT. But, I resisted.

And ended up at the Gucci Teeter instead.

I didn't mean to, though. I was still looking for a smoothie (and no, I never go in the Golden Gate Starbucks...or any Starbucks). I knew that there was something on Lawndale, but I found out that it was just another Juice Shop. Boo on sherbert*.

I swung around to Green Valley, blew a kiss to the IHOP, and dashed down to the MegaMonsterTeeter. Ah, sweet relief. Oh, Friendly Teeter, you and your indulgent selection. I almost got the turkey meatloaf (no blue cheese, yay!) with some black bean corn salsa (try it!) but I was also eyeing the sushi counter. I patted myself on the back for the two bananas, two kiwis, and container of raspberries* I got to round out whatever else I got. But as soon as I got that $3 cutie-pie plastic container of raspberries, I knew I'd spend more than I should. I have been spending way too much money on "lunch" these past few (many) weeks. I ended up getting the veggie spring roll wrap thing and was proud of my avoidance of staring into the eyes of Little Debbie the devil.

My teeth hurt now. The luscious avocado tricked me into fighting with every other crunchy vegetable so cutely sliced in there. My mouth hurts. =(


*Wow, I didn't know there were two ways to spell sherbert/sherbet. Gross either way.
**After my initial jubilee that I could finally get a bottle of Enuf at the Friendly Teeter, I was shocked at the 47 grams of sugar. I wish I didn't look. =( Got fruit instead...mmm sugar AND fiber. Now that's what I'm talkin' about.

Carrot Town



We may not have celebrated poblano-style, but we had a nice night out for Cinco de Mayo. Oh, besides the thunderous storm.

After class, I caught up with peoples at El Carretón/Carrot Town/The Wheel Barrow. I was entirely anxious because of (1) the rain, (2) the thought of trying to find parking because (3) I knew it'd be super crowded.

It was a nice, short night. Chris and I left pretty early and I got way more sleep last night than the night before but I thought it was odd that I didn't crash at all yesterday after only three hours of sleep the night before. I think I had the most energy yesterday than in recent history. I hope it went to good use.

I tell you what, I used some of that energy to ravenously inhale 640 calories of innocent peanut butter cups of a brand that I will not name for it is the name of the devil. *Sigh* I tried to make up for it but buying a bunch of those SoyJoy bars on sale at one of my lovely CVS-es. I don't even like those, I don't know why I continue to wait for them to be on sale. I mean, look, I get the whole whole food soy bar thing, but what is the purpose of Parmesan cheese in this thing? Tacky.



I guess what's tackier is that I ate them all at once. Or, within a couple of hours. That was way healthier than my dinner choice, which I am actually way too ashamed to describe here. So, in place, I will describe what the guy in line in front of me at the Harris Teeter was buying: a 12-pack of Busch Light, 2 24oz. cans of Icehouse, and a Marie Calendar's chicken pot pie.

Whew. I feel better already.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Low On Ink



Let's calculate how Aden will run on three hours of sleep between now and well past 9PM tonight.

Math can be ugly.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Cute Food

I can't believe I thought that I had a power train in my mouth. I just realized that it's a power chain. Either way, it sounds cool. And, either way, it's been hurting like craaaaaazy. Ibuprofen for dinner, yum.

Do you know why I love Karen? Because we have both, apparently, been visiting food blogs. And not just any food, but cute food.

http://epicute.com/
http://www.cakespy.com/
http://veganyumyum.com/

And so on.

El mundo es un pañuelo...(you know the rest)



HealthServe on Cone has exceptional reading material in its waiting room. Bravo. I can do without the Better Homes and Garden*, but I can't complain.

I rushed from my shift there to the orthodontist for my monthly metalworks and to explain in shame that I busted my wires. I couldn't wait to get out of there--don't get me wrong, the ortho's office is quite nice--but I was looking forward to all of the food I could inhale that had a texture harder than water.

I think that this odd taste on my lips now is...orthodontic assistant blue glove powder. It's making my smoothie taste terrible. Oh, so I did actually get a smoothie. Despite my dreams of mild crunchiness and prudish chewiness, I actually got a smoothie since I had been craving one since the weekend.

I was on my way to my normal smoothie-ing hole, The Fruit Bar, but in my dilemma to get either the 16oz. or a craving-satisfying/hunger-teasing pastry and/or brownie at Spring Garden Bakery, I made a quick right and tried something new. More or less.

I still got the pastry and the smoothie, but I finally stopped by The Coffee Break to check it out, hoping for the best, and I got pretty good! I eyed the decent assortment of sodas (including throwbacks** like Nehi in glass bottles)and cakes, pastries, cookies, brownies, and, well everything else I have been trying to avoid. Wondering whether they took debit or not, I decided to either buy whatever would amount to at least $4 or walk out. Tate St. Coffee has trained me well. I saw the smoothies on the menu, made sure that there was no moo in them, and then ordered a Guava-something-something-Blast, small. I decided to also get something to gnaw on, tempted by the other sweets selection, outside of the refrigerated case. I was surprised to see some mmm mini-cinnamon rolls...but they, and the mini-brownies, looked suspiciously (read: exactly) like the minis at Earth Fare. Not that I don't love them, but suspicious. Since I knew I loved those, I tested a cheese danish instead, against the ones I got at Deep Roots and Spring Garden Bakery. This is how I get my kicks, people. Sad.

Anyhow, all in all, it was a good experience. The smoothie was watery and no-real-fruit-sadness, but for one made from a mix, it was OK. Less sweet that Tate St. Coffee's but less thick than the one from Manny's. Maybe I should find the parts to my fake Magic Bullet so I can make these things homemade again. With real fruit.

*Thanks for the tip, BH&G. Get a $5 chair, it's a steal! Looks great, but get that $90 chair cover to complete the look! Right.
**I felt awkward using the word throwback. It just didn't feel right. Whew.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Fresh Breath Drops

I hate the feeling that compels me to ask myself, "Where did the weekend go?"

But, what an adventure-filled weekend. I may define "adventure" loosely, but:



More details to come!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Kum Ba Yah

Whew! Everything's OK. No one got hurt. But, it smells like tuna now.

I flipped out when I saw Grace attempting to open a can of tuna with a huge knife but, hey, she did it. She could have had my capellini pomodoro leftovers. Mmmmm. That was good.

Wow. Google "Capellini Pomodoro" and you get a southernfood.about.com site and way too many references to Olive Garden.

Anyhow, Chris and I had lunch together today at our old "our place", Vito's. We went there only two times last year and never again...I hope it wasn't because I took my father there and ruined the "our place"-ness of it all. *Sigh* haha

I wanted something that wasn't too heavy, meaning at least no chicken or shrimp and no highly desirable and delectable fried cheese sticks...mmm...so I ordered the Capellini Pomodoro--pasta with basil, garlic and tomatoes--and it was great. Molta pasta for less than $7. I was impressed. The weirdest thing is that the bread tasted just like fresh hambasha it was so weird. I will have to call my mother about that. Man, Vito's and India Palace, confusing me on my mother's cooking with their highly-similar-bread-products. yay, globalization.

Of course, I squeezed in the tiramisu. Or, the "Tiramisu Su" dessert. That must be some super uplifting marscapone. But, wait. It wasn't. Well, the tiramisu wasn't bad, exactly. It was just...frozen. After the firs bite, I got anxious because I thought that it was some kind of tiramisu-ice cream hybrid, but after some daring testing, I realized that it was just frozen. I picked at the ladyfingers while I waited for any melting action, but I ultimately handed it all over to Chris. He probably needed that after all of that feta he just ate. Gross.

Well, time's moving fast, people. It's already May. I got my graduation regalia this week and I am looking forward to a break before summer classes. Anyone have a crystal ball handy? I'm just curious to see what'll happen next...

Thirty white horses on a red hill...

It's 8AM, so my health insurance's office should be open so I can hustle them out of hustling me out of finding an oral surgeon. Why is it so hard?

I called the Member Services line about 30 minutes ago and was talking to a machine that was really odd because I didn't have to give formulaic answers to continue the conversation so I know there was someone listening on the other line...so why did I have to wait until 8AM to get some one-on-one time with you? I just want to get six teeth pulled, noooo biggie.

I just ate the last three Raffaello (or, "Raffaelli"?) from last night's junk-food-love-fest in class. Jess looked at me funny and I know I was being wasteful when I devoured the "Pure Pleasure Without Chocolate" and spit out the almond in the middle. Sorry! I can't break these frenillos any more than I have. =(

My braces have been killing me since I probably got them all out of whack eating some chips or something. I take the blame. I didn't know cheeks were so tough, though. I called my orthodontist yesterday in desperation so that I could come in for just a second or two so someone could fix my hardware but our schedules for yesterday just didn't match up. And the office is closed on Fridays. And Saturdays. And Sundays. And I have an appointment on Monday, so I guess I better stock up on the dental wax.

Just 20 more months of this, right? Right.

I regret eating that Zebra Cake a couple of minutes ago for breakfast but at least I didn't eat the other in the package. Little Debbie, you and your snackey cakes!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Blackberries and brownies

Well here I am. Taking a breather...*sigh*.

I'm here early at GURP waiting for my 6PM class. I just ate my blackberries in shame after indulging in two Rafaellos and half a Little Debbie brownie. I got them for Tricia! Anyhow, waiting for my Amy's burrito to cool down, (remember to never pay more than $2 for one of those) I'm reflecting on the past semester and trying to get ready to think about all that is coming up.

Ugh, I don't really want to think about that right now, though. But, I'll need to coordinate summer classes and the last months of my AmeriCorps year plus all the "life" stuff that comes with it...a job, a new place to live, etc.

I had my last HDF class meeting this afternoon and didn't go back to the office except to pick up my car. I chatted for a while with Tricia while I was debating whether or not it was too hot in my car and then I headed out to Wally World for some snacks. No, not snackey cakes, Chris, but I did get Little Debbie brownies, which don't count.

I've been to the Pyramid Village Wal-Mart a couple of times recently which takes me back to last year when I lived in Aycock. Sometimes I get confused at the Wal-Marts because of their slightly different layouts of aisles and aisles of lots of stuff that we shouldn't buy but at least I get a workout when I'm looking at shampoo and then have to trek over to the other end of the world to get a banana.

Or a bunch of bananas, rather. Oh, and I am so over that banana thing I had going last month. For now.

Let me upload the millions of pics on my camera so I can let you know what I did this weekend because I know you just can't wait!

It's that time again...

I like how the day that I traditionally check my bank account to see the gorgeous deposit that UNCG has made for my hard-earned hours in the past month, I also get my student loan statement bright and early in the morning.

Oh, Citibank, you little tease, you.

I haven't posted in a while, but for good reason. I'm trying to wrap up the semester and I'll be super-happy when that happens. This is my last week of classes more or less. I am only going to a class meeting next week to finish up presentations. I should be finishing up my GLP entries so I get credit before I graduate! I have a backlog of entries for my blog with a million photos, again, with my phone's awesome camera-ing capabilities. I'm off now--it's already 6:30AM and I must begin the day!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Non-dairy frozen dessert

Chris, don't worry, I know that this is how you feel about my blog.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Out of Touch

Can I just say, I love Hall & Oates, my goodness.

I have only recently discovered them. I knew the songs, just not that they sang them. Have we idolized the 80s enough yet, you think?

And I thought Nelly Furtado was the only Maneater out there.

Please Don't Go...Gravitron

Ok, ok, I am doing work...I'm printing out a handbook to look over for my paper.

After listening to some Hall & Oates, YouTube destiny linked me to the reincarnation of "Please Don't Go Girl". Then, I saw it...the Starship 2000, or the Gravitron. I loved this ride. It makes me want to eat centrifugal force.

Oh, here is the original. C-l-a-s-s-i-c.

Матрёшка

I just burned a carrot that I cut up into little, cute pieces. That's what I get for trying to eat carrots for breakfast, *sigh*. I want some Pure Decadence right now...what's up with the Food Lion here jacking up the prices on it, like, every week?! They know I'm addicted. I just may make a trip out there...ice cream for breakfast!

Oh, I just checked the website and it's actually "Purely Decadent" not "Pure Decadence". Either way, it's true. Should I really be buying ice cream (and maybe some white Zin...maybe?) before noon on a Sunday? Can I even buy wine before noon on a Sunday?

Oh, goodness, I'm getting off track. Back to birthing my paper. Sorry, Erika, for stealing that. It just sounds so good.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Snacky Cakes

What ever happened to the Oreo?

I went to Harris Teeter yesterday to pick up lunch (HT chicken salad on crossaint, $3.99, a bit much but good) and of course a make-up box of Oreo Cakesters to take to Grace. I swear, I stood in front of the cookies in the cookie aisle forever trying to find these Cakesters. There are officially way too many Oreo products on the shelves. Not only are there a million types of the main cookie--from regular to Double Stuff to those mommy-fied cereal straws. Then there's the cereal and mini-cookies and ice cream and blah blah blah. I really thought there weren't any Cakesters, but I did find them and they were on sale! 2/$4 but I only got one box...yay for some good decisions!



There it is. The last in the package. I better not eat them.

So, I picked up lunch at Barnes & Noble today while I was returning a medical Spanish-language reference and buying some others from a somewhat rude cashier. Those Terra chips have the oddest texture but they are so good. Too bad I've bent the hell out of my frenillos eating them. I got a turkey sandwich and by the time I had a few bites left, I wondered if I was eat ham and i freaked out and threw out the rest of the meat. But, here is what it was before I started thinking too much:



When I pulled into the parking lot at Barnes & Noble I saw this and busted out laughing. Oh, childhood.



To quote Erika, I will be birthing a paper soon.

Oooooh, I get it now...


Click for a bigger image.

I just received an email this morning:

"Membership downgrade successful".

That's right, Netflix, no scheming on us. Chris and I just downgraded our 3-DVD-a-month to just two but we didn't want to have three DVDs at the house juuust in case that meant we could be charged for them for the whole next month. We beat the man!

Sure. Well, hopefully we finish the end of Amelie before too long. The Hellboy movies we saw this week seem like the most romantic thing Chris and I have accomplished recently since I actually stayed awake through both of the movies! Plus, Red and Liz are just TOO cute, right? Right, people? You know you want to see what that baby looks like.

Ok, so back to reality and the 20-page paper due soon. No, wait, it's too early for hysteria, so I'll wait until later to mull over this.

I love to read comics every morning. I don't feel childish about it because it is just one of my regular sources for entertainment. I don't regularly watch television and,until I got Netflix, hardly watched movies aside from my small collection (including the classic, Muppet Treasure Island) and the cinema feature once in a while.

Everyday, I read comics.com. I used to keep a list of my favorite strips in my Mozilla bookmarks and save the ones I loved on my laptop, but all of that has been halted due to the site's recent makeover that allows me to be way more interactive with the strips. But, I haven't gone to deep into the account I created. I have my homepage with all of the strips that I know I want to read and when I think one is funny I usually use the e-mail option to send it to Chris. The comics currently on my homepage, in no order of laughability, are:

Arlo and Janis (favorite)
B.C.
Ben
Betty (favorite)
Brevity
Cow & Boy
Drabble
F Minus
Family Tree (favorite)
Flight Deck
Jump Start
Luann
On A Claire Day (favorite)
One Big Happy
Pearls Before Swine
Pickles
Speed Bump
The Born Loser
The Buckets (favorite)
The Meaning of Lila
The Other Coast
Working Daze
Soup to Nutz (favorite)

Oh, ok I see, they're in alphabetical order on the page.

As you see, I have some favorites out of these favorites. I used to think that I wanted to read a strip about someone like me, like when I first started visiting comics.com to read Ellington Way back in the day. Like On A Claire Day, it was about a young woman and...life! I used to feel that way about Lila and her bar-hopping and man-wanting, but she is just too much of a {enter word here}. She needs some goals in life.

I used to love Diesel Sweeties but ever since they stopped showing on comics.com, I can't handle their storyline on their own website for some reason. I thought that strip was hilarious on comics.com. At the same time, before I had so many that I looked at in one sitting, I also read Cow & Boy like it was the comic version of The Daily Show. That cow and boy were just too hip. I thought it was so cool but for some reason in November I stopped reading it and haven't been since. So, one day when I have nothing to do, it'll be a Cow & Boy marathon.

I used to read Red Meat, but ever since that one strip about the mucus, I had to stop. That was TOO gross. Even for Red Meat.

And, you know, I learn, too. So here is what "soup to nuts" means. Now, that is what I call a real-world education.

Oh, it's getting close to 7AM. I should be off, peoples. TGIF. =)

Don't forget about something happening tomorrow:

DEEP ROOTS MARKET 14th ANNUAL TASTE FAIR
Sat. Apr. 25 -- 12 noon - 4 pm @ Deep Roots Market (parking lot)
Come enjoy an afternoon of delicious natural food sampling, music, community and fun! Local food vendors, area farmers, face painting, free stuff, recycling tips, sunshine (!) and a free dog wash for your friendly family pooch will all contribute to activities for the whole family -- and best of all, it's FREE!

Yum!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Naked Link

Ok, here's a naked link to Manny's Universal Cafe which was way down the search results on Google.

http://www.mannysuniversalcafe.com/home

Time to get ready for work!

Fact



FACT: I have a 20-page paper due by noon on Sunday, April 26, 2009.

FACT: I am officially freaking out.

I have left out what stage I am in, writing this paper, but let me just assure that I have at least started the process. A couple of weeks ago, that meant reading over the assignment in the syllabus, but I am a bit further along than that now.

So, today I'm at the clinic in the morning, then class and then another class. I've got some pockets of time between all of that, so I'll probably stop by the office at some point. I am feeling out of the loop in the office but it is also kind of freeing.

I didn't come into the office yesterday after my training in Raleigh. I was thinking about leaving the training before lunch, but then I thought it would be kind of silly as I would have then driven more hours than the length of time I was at the training. So, I stayed through lunch at the legislative cafeteria that makes the Caf look like a country club dining hall. I got a decent meal there, gave myself some indigestion, but was happy to find a seat there since it was super-crowded.

We then went over to the front of the building to get our group pic and I wanted to be a part of that so I was glad I stayed. We stampeded our way back into the legislative building and heard mutterings about why we couldn't walked up the stairs on the red carpet. I thought, been there, heard that story. But I can't find a decent link on it...sorry. =( haha


{A random cross in the fountain. Those lobbyists!}

Well, as I was waiting around for the tour of the legislative building for a second time, wondering if we were going to share the tour again with a group of third graders, I was told that I could leave since this was my second year of the Citizenship training, but it was the second half of the training that was new and I should have stayed...but I didn't.

And as much as I got lost getting into downtown Raleigh, I sure had some time hustling around trying to get out of the area. I did get back home in two hours, but I spent a good amount of time demonizing my GPS for tricking me into going into every single side street possible. Then I figured, OK, it may be my fault since I was trying to go down 64 instead of 40; I got to Raleigh on 64, pretty nice, and I was going to find one way or another to get back down that way. So, I ended up setting my GPS to take me to the "center city" of Siler City which made me feel like a genius. Genius.

There are roads with some funny names off of Highway 64. The one I remember the most is Crazy Horse something which I only remember because that's when 88.5 started to get static-y.

Luckily, 101.1 was still on clear as day. I was getting hot in my green long-sleeves and red windbreaker that together reminded me of Christmas which really confused me and made me want to turn the heat on. Then I remembered that the windbreaker was making me sweat so I nixed that idea.

Anyhow, I got home in time to watch Hellboy and Hellboy II with Chris. So random, but it was kind of nice. But, still weird to be watching movies when its super-bright outside...it made us feel, how do you say?, super-lazy.

Well, what's for lunch today? Where can I go that's new? On Tuesday, I finally decided to stop my Manny's Universal Cafe down at Southside. Again, I'm not a cafe-ing type of person and I wasn't sure if he'd have anything lunch-able, but I figured I could see what it was about and grab a cookie or pastry to go. I did get to talk to Manny himself who welcomed me as a new visitor and made me awesome turkey on wheat (and it didn't even have cheese on it and I still loved it!). I also got a mango smoothie (which he, like the guy at Tate St. Coffee, openly admitted was made from a premixed goop) and he assurred me that the only dairy in it would be a itt-bitty, teensy-weensy smidgen of vanilla creme (not cream?) powder to give it some body. I succumbed to my love for thick, liquid fruit and he rang it up. Here is what I ended up with:



I ate the bag of Lay's chips in the car so you're missing out on that, but you get the idea. I thought, wow, I could have made this sandwich at home. But, all in all, it was pretty good--a repeat buy!--and I'm in the Smoothie Club!



Oh, marketing. I'm not sure how often I'll have these, but juuuust in case.

Well, I am 2/3 of the way through my oatmeal this morning. It's just staring at me now, getting all crusty. *Sigh* I love you, too, rolled oats. I really do. I can't believe it's already Thursday. What a tease.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Done and done!

Hello! I'm a bit happier today. This morning was a bit stressful but that didn't include any of my interpretations today...they were great! Tomorrow, I am off to Raleigh for our Citizenship training. I'm skipping the carpool to drive down myself. Yay for mileage reimbursement! =)Anyhow, I'm off to bed. G'night!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Abracadabra

Here's that post I promised. The end.








The dreaded final weeks of the semester. Perfect.

TImes triplicate!

No te preocupes, friend. There should be a new post today. This weekend was jam-packed. Not too busy, though it should have been. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. 10 days until it's all over! Then 20 until summer classes start! That's a nice break, I think. Oh, Monday, Monday, Monday.

Time for breakfast.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

End of the Universe

Well, here I am. Thursday night. TGIF tomorrow, I suppose, but only because the next day is Saturday!

Surprisingly, I am not so much pooped right now. I just came back from class and I have a lot of projects to sift through before I go to bed and have my all-over-the-place Friday. I think it's hilarious that right after we rearranged the office and I got this new huge, wonderful desk, I haven't really used it! My days have been so choppy this week since I've started my shift at the clinic in the mornings but it's kind of nice. I have been getting to the office at around 9AM before leaving to get to the clinic before 10AM but I'm more comfortable just leaving the house to get to the clinic at 10AM. I haven't been sleeping in, though. I get up even earlier than I did when I was leaving to be at the office at 9AM! Weird. But, it is nice to have that extra time in the morning to dilly-dally or even get some work done. My productive self doesn't have to start when I leave to go to the office!

I have been going to the office, the clinic, to class, running errands...all over the place this week! Driving to, walking to, waiting for, etc. So...yay for fast food!

That's bad, I know. This week has been filled with me NOT preparing my own feed. Monday was Cafe Carolina, Tuesday was a fantasy of Jimmy John's since I hadn't eaten the entire day since before 9AM until I came home at around 6PM but I ended up with ol' Subway. I accidentally ordered the $5 footlooooooooong that lasted me for two days. Wednesday, I cruised around the Guilford College area as I was waiting to attend the last part of the Border Stories series. I wanted to explore that area more since the only spots around there in my memory were the Red Oak that we went to to show Nils that we know a little something about beer over here and the Great Clips where Vidal gave me the honor to tell the hairdresser what to do to his 'do (though even I was hesitant to change it!).

Anyhow, so this is how I arrived to what felt like the end of the universe. I loved driving down W. Friendly away from downtown because the houses just got cuter and cuter. I saw that I had an hour before the event started to I thought, what the heck?, let's see where this sucker ends. So, I continued on, past New Garden Rd. (omg! Is that another Harris Teeter!?). I was shocked at how many developments there were. Townhomes, apartments, I mean where are these people coming from to move into these places? Is "If you build it, they will come" really true??? Goodness gracious. I find it shocking enough to think that along all of these pretty roads--Hobbs, Friendly, N. Elm--or whatever roads for this matter, there are lots of pretty houses, or just houses, whatever, I am talking about any major road, anyways, there are all of these side roads, neighborhoods within where there are even more residences!

Ok, that last sentence was horribly constructed but I think you can handle it.

To the point, I went all the way down W. Friendly until it ended...on W. Market St. I was speechless. I didn't know what to think. These behemoths of Greensboro travelocity came to a T. I seriously felt like I was at the end of the universe, it was so odd. But, then I got really hungry, so I turned around.

And that's also why I was cruising around. I had to etwas essen fast. My plan was to try out Jam's Deli but I got a tip from someone to avoid it like the plague. Oh, wait, now, my tipster tried to save me from Jam's but pleaded that I don't go to some other place out there in Quaker Village...what's the name?...hmmm...she couldn't figure out the name...but through her trials to remember this terrible establishment, I realized, oh! yes, of course, you are probably talking about Carolina's Diner! And she was. And I got all nostalgic. She got nauseated. Then I said, to her chagrin, "Nothin's finer than Carolina's Diner!" Oh, to hear that said with so much love and pride in a British accent once again.

It's almost 10PM! Time to...not be on here anymore! TGI...this!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Done, and done!

Whew! It's 7AM and I feel like the day is passing me by, but I just submitted my taxes so bring on the day!

Now, don't judge. I started filing my 2008 return a million years ago, but I was confused about one tiny aspect about TaxAct's whole Republic Bank thing that I just figured out this morning.

SO, time to celebrate! I'll whip out that other half of my $5 footlooooooooooooong that I ordered by accident last night and have a couple of strawberries before they rot. What a celebration.

Ok! Time to seize the day. Ooooh, I'll check on my TB skin test results today. Scandalous. hahaha

I LOVE my comics.com. But more on that later. It's sub-time.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Baby Bumps and Something Blue

No, no life-changing events for me! Just cupcakes!



Yesterday, I finally got my TB skin test that I need for work (I mean, service!). It took no time sooooo I should have done it earlier but, hey, there ya go. Other than the receptionist yelling my PHI all over the place, I had a great time in the UNCG Immunization Clinic with its high volume of gossips mags (which Chris calls my secret addiction...well, thank goodness for Jezebel!). I read about all the bump-watch in Hollywood though I somehow knew that all those babies were already nacidos (beat that Spanglish, Latina Magazine!). Better late than never Hollywoodlicious gossip, right? Riiiiight.

Anyhow, after my skin test I decided to do something craaaaazy and get lunch somewhere that I wasn't familiar with, causing all kinds of lunch-time anxieties and potential for eater's remorse. I really wanted to coffee-shop-hop yesterday; I planned to try out The Coffee Break (or The Coffee Break, or The Coffee Break, or, OK that's enough) and Dolce Aroma Coffee Bar. I don't even drink coffee. And I dislike paying for a cup of tea. I do like pastries, though! That I do know.

I didn't make it to either establishment. First, I was worried that my driving time would be for nought going to The Coffee Break since I wanted something savory and wasn't sure if the place would have anything more than bags of chips or the Saran-wrapped Hogan's Groovy Gourmet and such that Tate St. Coffee (wow, new site to me!) has. Second, I didn't want to deal with parking (i.e., paying for or parallel parking) downtown, so I defaulted to cruising down to Friendly Center.

I always intend to check my PO Box down there but usually pass by when I see the jam-packed post-office parking lot on most weekdays. Good thing no one ever sends me mail (*whimper* except for bills from UNCG) or I'd miss something. I arbitrarily decided to pick up lunch at Cafe Carolina & Bakery. Well, the place does use the word cafe, so that satisfied my cafe-ing goal for the day. I usually scorn that place but I can't even remember why. I know I had been there just one time before yesterday, years ago. I think tht I thought it was too frou-frou and it has sort of a small-scale Mimi's-ish/Bravo!-ish/every other stamped restaurant-ish feeling to it. But, since my neon cupcake success this weekend, I had to see what these Cafe Blue cupcakes were all about.

I didn't know if I was getting breakfast, lunch or brunch.I was stunned by the many items on the menu once I got there, feeling pressured to order by the oh-so-attentive cashier though I admitted my ignorance and capriciously ordered, of course, a dairy-fied flatbread (hold the feta cheese(!) or as the cash register read, "no feta chz", whew!). Tsk, tsk, Aden, no cheese, remember?! Well, at $8 for just the flatbread, I was thinking that it better...better be worth it. I was actually given one of those buzzer things to let me know when my order would be ready; I thought, wait, this isn't going to take like 5 minutes??? I wasn't ready to wait! I awkwardly hung around the "bakery" (I put quotes around that word, if you didn't notice) and snooped around the somewhat limited selection of items for a marquee bakery. Almost right away I order a vanilla Cafe Blue cupcake. Professionally, as I am now a professional designer of neon-frosted cupcakes, I had to taste the competition. Personally, I felt like I was indulging in an ACC/NCAA/I don't even know about basketball Carolina Blue Carolina madness cupcake, which made me quite uncomfortable. But, Chris would have been proud.

I got my food seven years later after waiting in the pleasant dining set-up they have there at CC&B, watching people actually studying, chitchatting, and laptop-ing away. My buzzer thing (someone please help me name this device) scared the green tea out of me and I hurriedly snatched up my flatbread and shuffled out the restaurant to the safety of the dining room set-up in my car.

Can we say excessive packaging. Man, I felt like I had just come out of a Macy's or something.





The flatbread was surprisingly positively impressing. Boo on Olive Garden's flatbread, by the way. I had a slice while being confused by the dollop of sour cream in the middle, then decided to save room for the cupcake.

At least the packaging was recycled/recyclable. I don't mind your Cafe Blue if you let me think I'm being green.

And, yes, I did start this post at around 3:30AM. It's just before 4:30AM now and I'm getting sleepy again. I woke up at around 3 after falling asleep at, what, like 9PM, haha, and have I got a long day today. Well, at least I have written this post, updated my timesheet for April, and printed out my article for class this week. Now time to read it! Or not...


P.S. Rain, rain, go away!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Walmart Workout and Woody Mill

Oh, Sunday evening. You sneak up so fast.

Or, I work too slowly (yay for using an adverb!). Chris and I just got back from Easter dinner with his mother. Well, it was really just dinner on Easter, but I think that our neon/Spring/Easter cupcakes got everyone pumped for Easter-ing (more onthat later). Sadly for Chris, no Cadbury eggs made an appearance even though I did buy six of them to last the season back in March but they got gobbled up in a few hours.

We got back in home tonight for Chris to catch up on the end of Celebrity Apprentice. I was just glad to get back so I wasn't sitting next to Chris' lighting-flash flashing Jabra as he was talking to his grandmother, explaining that we did not go to church today but that we did drive by a huge church and it's parking lot was overflowing.

And that was in Pleasant Garden. Today, I continued my local travels down Hagan-Stone Park Road and into Pleasant Garden for the first time before we turned back around to get to the park. It was the first time I had been to the park and let me say that it was the opposite of my ten-minute stroll through the bog gardens near Friendly. I liked it! We should B-B-Q there for sure. Yay for carcinogens!

Side note: That Brandy on Celebrity Apprentice has be-a-u-ti-ful hair. Gosh, and Ivanka is pretty, too. Ok, back to this.


Anyhow, Chris and I creeped by on Woody Mill Rd. to catch the website of the new development coming up near Forest Oaks. My goodness, what happened to my old Cyburbian self?!?!? I would have never gone for this kind of parcel-itis. I have been stopping by the new Food Lion more often for groceries, keeping me more sane than I would be at Wal-mart and cutting out the social factor of the Friendly Harris Teeter. Yesterday, I did visit my phantom Wal-mart off of South Elm-Eugene (phantom when I lived in Aycock and couldn't find W. Elmsley in this universe). I went off of the beaten path (or, my beaten path) and went all the way down mysterious Elmsley to find...civilization! --> the sprawling Treybrooke Village, a CVS and, look!, Randleman Rd. I gotta see that new Aldi one of these days. I guess it's not so new anymore.

Ohhhh, it's getting late. Lots of things to get done, to do, that I need to do. Tomorrow is my first day on a shift at HealthServe. All kinds of projects are due this month for school. I better find an oral surgeon soon and get these six teeth taken out soon to advance the future of my metal mouth. Well, at least I am getting this post done...at the very least.

I was in and out today at the Food Lion, that's a first, I guess. Thank goooodness they had the neon food coloring I was looking for. Mmmm, aaaaaall-natural. Thank goodness we had fruit at dinner, otherwise, I would have felt really bad at dessert. Below is my Easter deliciousness. They aren't hard-boiled, but I think they're still fun!



Oh, and when did Wal-mart decide on this?!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Mad Scientists

It's 3 o'clock. Where did the day go?

I'm stuffed. Chris and I just ate a late lunch and seriously talked about how much we love broccoli and don't understand how some people hate it. Now, what I do hate are chicken-style taquitos. Ok, I don't hate them, but they won't be a repeat purchase.

Last night, Karen came over to hang out between dropping Brandon off at work and picking him up. That was just about the entire night and of course I narcolepsed out before she even left. We planned on watching Pi but decided to raid the Food Lion for snacks. I noted that it seemed like most strip malls/shopping centers had a nail salon and a cleaners, just like the new one on Woody Mill Rd., but bump that because apparently there will be all kinds of new development across the street where the Lowe's is destined to be. We'll see...

So, we decided to get some snacks. I think that we ended up with more salty/savory things because we sugared ourselves out after playing mad scientists with some old margarita/martini mixers (or as the typo said, martarita mixer) that smelled like what I assume formaldehyde smells like plus plastic and grossness. This is what we came up with:



Note the snazzy martini glasses I got as a gift a whiiiiile ago as a housewarming gift for my old apartment. Chris and I used for the first time last week with Karen and Brandon but I didn't dare take a sip of whatever it was that was in them since Chris failed to remember to clean the glasses out after taking them out of the box. Whatever was swimming in those drinks was not for me. Anywho, I felt like Professor Julius Kelp as we proceeded:



We got Chris to take a sip of the concoction without him knowing what it was and he was unamused.

Well, I am still feeling odd about my finding today:



A piece of rigatoni in my box of orzo. Odd. But, I love me some orzo so I had to let it go. Do better next time, Harris Teeter.

Now time to do some schoolwork!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Does vinegar expire?

Happy "Spring holiday" everyone! Thank you, UNCG.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Tsk, tsk, tsk...

Haven't written in a couple of days! I had a lot of fun last weekend with a couple of stress-ness here and there during the week. I'm not feeling well this morning and I feel like such a slacker still in my pjs at 9AM. Well, I'll return to post like it's my job (and it's not) after I try to be semi-productive today.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

It takes time, but time is money that we don't have. Right?

I think that the right word is fuming. I was fuming yesterday morning. I just couldn't get a break yesterday!

I usually listen to Brad & Britt in the morning while I'm getting ready if I have the radio on. Yesterday's topic was about LEP persons (though they weren't called that in all that I heard) getting driver's licenses--or not--in Georgia. I have so much to say but don't even want to say it.

Look, I almost don't care what people really think or personally believe or whatever. I think it's valid to back something up with facts or with faith. But please, please, please, please, make a decent argument when sharing your thoughts, for goodness sake.

Ok, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. I know it's a radio show and you have a few minutes at the most to say what you want to say, to give, I guess, your most important point. This world is too interconnected, there are a million factors in everything and all we do, so please refrain from using blanket statements that are a penny a piece and aren't worth your two cents.

Plus, I was quite disappointed with Brad and Britt's comments. Ok, maybe the first thing was that I thought that the two had the professions/services of interpretation and translation mixed up, but one of them made a slight attempt at pointing out that a translator (did he mean interpreter?) would be a such-and-such issue if he/she were at the actual appointment with an LEP person taking the driver's test. Anyhow, so these people call in the show who state that they are immigrants or born in another country, whatever, and they think that these non-English speaking people should learn English and that these tests shouldn't be offered translated in so many languages. So, whoopty-do, that was the hosts' big omgoodness, these people, immigrants themselves, are saying this!!! So either Brad or Britt was requesting a call from an immigrant that thought the opposite, that the tests should be available to LEP persons. I turned the radio off at that point.

Anyhow, before I turned the radio off, they brought up points about the LEP persons not being able to read road signs and such. So, along these lines, they also brought up illiterate persons driving...they can't read road signs, right? No, people, a sign is a sign for a reason. You see and arrow and "Raleigh" on a sign, not a sonnet about how sweet it is to merge left amongst the sparrows and the trees. So, illiteracy has gone down in NC but the immigrant and LEP population sure seems to be going up! So, hey, there are all of these new people here? Hmmm, so what do people do, these people, specifically? Ok, so they want to work, many raise families, buy groceries, oh, everything else that everyone else does, just about. {Sorry for my mega-use of commas, I'm sure}. Well, not only is this a country where everyone speaks English (not the official language, please don't distort the constitution) but be proud of the fact that it is a country of roads, highways, and all the signs pointing to everywhere we need to go. If you are going to insist on language as a way of life, why not the other addiction of ours, driving? I am not going to be naive, I would not be surprised if there were LEP persons out there who have no desire or are scared of speaking English; perhaps they think they can get by because of the neighborhood they live in or because they assume they'll always have the help of family and friends who do have more English-language capabilities. But other than that, learning English is not the issue here, right here right now. English is a life issue. Survival English is not enough, I think. But I love learning. I love languages. It's a hobby for me. I read elmundo.es for fun, get e-mail bulletins from MiGente, watched every episode of Julia--Wege zum Glueck and have a sanakirja in my Firefox bookmarks. But this is for fun, I guess, to exercise my brain and know a little more about something that I won't be a big part of. This is not survival. It takes time to learn a language no matter how you do it. Bringing your proof of Enlgish-language skills to the DMV before getting your license is not the same thing as bringing in your proof of residency.

If not driving was a real option not just in Georgia but in the U.S. as a whole--just look at Greensboro--than the story would be different. How would you go to work, or even find work, transport your children, go to the grocery store, anything without a car most of the time? I remember when I was the self-righteous urban planning student, living off of Cyburbia and refusing to get my driver's license, looking at downtown condos and relishing European high-density. Then I graduated from undergrad, started taking classes in Brown Summit, working downtown and living in an apartment...I got that license quick and put aside my holier-than-thou criticisms for reality.

Whew! What a rant. Tsk, tsk, Aden. Here's something to relieve the tension:

Arrabbiata



Pasta for breakfast? Why not?! I'm doing it up italiano today, I guess. We've planned to finally go to Dioli's in Winston-Salem today. Someone first recommended it to me as I confessed my tiramisu obsession (thanks for perpetuating the addiction!). Maybe we can meet up with Marshall and Patricia there cuz that'd be two weeks in a row! Last week I met up at the Bog Gardens with them and Karen and Erika to get our walk on.



It was my suggestion although I was kind of embarrassed when I realized how short of a walk it is through there...it seemed longer when Chris and I went. Well, last week we walked the path a couple of times and Karen and Erika were melting over everyone's dogs, especially (as Karen puts it) the 'hotdogs'.

Yesterday, Chris and I had a short (and sunny) evening out. We basically skipped First Friday and left after dropping by the City View social, snagging up a couple of the Zen sushi rolls and then on a whim taking a tour of a one bedroom and two bedroom in the complex. I remember when they were still building that complex back in the day when I would stare at the construction while I was waiting for my train. I thought, who would live that close to the train tracks? Oh, wait, I did last year, when after I already signed the lease I realized that that wasn't a river like two feet from my back door.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Oh.

Today sucks. But it did clear up outside so yay for nature.

Naners

It's not even 6:45AM and I already feel behind today. TGIF sure came up fast this week! But I still hear it pouring outside so I am sort of being a Debbie Downer right now projecting a wet First Friday, but I still plan on making the best of it. This weekend seems packed but hopefully it will be the send off I need before getting down to business and tying up loose ends for the semester.

Last night was a rainy mess outside but Chris and I decided to venture out and make the most of it by heading downtown to continue bulldozing through what seems like a million dollars in gift certificates to Solaris that we have. We got a few of the regulars and tried a few dishes but most are just O.K. I get the faint, I mean strong, feeling that most of the got tapas were frozen when I ordered them. But, the black bean cakes keep me coming back (well, until we run out of gift money) and I am a sucker for mozzarella so the Milano takes the edge off of my current battle against cheese (*whimper*). But, my goodness, Solaris, don't fret because you do have a winner and that is your--I don't even know the name of the dish--but that hot, pastry-wrapped cheesecake with the raspberry(?)-sauce drizzle drops us to our knees! For the first time last night, Chris and I each got our own. How unromantic but necessary.

But, it was nice to go out even though it wasn't nice out. It was good to hang out with Chris one on one since this week I seemed to be all over the place. My 9 to 5 plus one night of class has been offset by all the this-and-that I've been going to after work. Tuesday night, though, I caught up with him and a few others at Bar 40--wait, no we are actually going to College Hill Sundries--wait, wait, wait, forget that, we're headed to Old Town. Joel was here that night so it was good to see him!



Anyway, yesterday afternoon I decided to not go home for lunch; the concept wasn't as solid as I thought, going home to save money for lunch since all I had to do was drive up there and eat what I already had. I could totally jsut bring my lunch to work. There's also the cost for gas/time for driving to and from for a total of 30 minutes, leaving me only 30 minutes to indulge in, for example, Wednesday afternoon's delight of a handful of Doritos, oatmeal, really, really old chicken, and blackberry jelly on toast. The toast was the best part. Really, though, I just like to see Chris at lunch and take a little brain-break from officeness on the drive to and from the house, though I am usually stressing to make it there in 15 minutes or less.

Yesterday, I decided to hit up Friendly Center instead for two extremely pressing issues. First, I had to pay my late PO BOX dues (oh how lovely are grace periods)and get a bunch of bananas, stat! That's my new, or revised, addiction: banana in left hand and Skippy Natural (Creamy, of course) in the right, goodness in the mouth. My only revision was cutting out the bread, not to save calories, though, because the loaf is right next to the toaster to sop up the 40 ( or, three) jars of jelly I bought.



Well, it was kind of nice to go to the Harris Teeter for lunch. That used to be my lunch hang out spot, like a lot of people's it seems, but then I realized it was cutting into my not-really-a-budget-budget (even though it is way cheaper than going out to eat). You always see someone you know there at the Gucci Teeter, as Karen refers to it. It's the hot spot, right? Well, I remember when it really was when it first opened, and Kat and I would go and hang out at the couches in the back of the store. What happened to those?! It may have been getting too loiterishy but whenever we were there, well, after midnight usually, it was pretty quiet. Until we got there. But now, after all this time, I still get confused whenever I go towards the freezer section and realize that all the chips have been moved to my former living room space (sad face). Aaaaaanyways, the strawberries are on sale, the neon-petaled flowers are fresh and I know that a hungry Aden can curb mid-day hunger with some HT samples.

Time for work!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Ramen for breakfast

I didn't post yesterday! Shame, shame.

Well, yesterday was quite busy. I spent most of the evening at La Iglesia Cristiana at another 287(g) forum, with Kathy as a great moderator.

Here's a pic from last night before I make up for not posting for the past couple of days:

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

No cigars, no pipes, no clove cigarettes

Tricia and I got together for lunch today and tried out somewhere new for the both of us. We skipped heading to Jack's Corner and went to Grey's Tavern.

Whenever some of us are foot-cruising on Elm, we usually pass by Grey's though I often stop and stare until Chris says 'no'. Then we pop into The Green Bean or get our favs at Natty Greene's (mine being the T&A with cheddar instead of Havarti, chips, and a pint of Wildflower mmmmm).

Anyhow, I decided to try something other than a pita sandwich, the first thing to grab my attention on the menu, and tried something, well, to compare to the incomparable T&A, maybe? Well, I got the "Day After", a turkey and cheddar on white bread with cranberry relish and pecans...Thanksgiving-ish? I'd say so. It sounded like it'd be interesting but it just wasn't me. Now, I don't give stars or thumbs up or anything ike that; my grading scale is whether I'd buy the thing again or not. And, no Day After again for me. But, what did stay interesting were the really "freshly cut fries". I huffed and puffed when I first read that on the menu, but it was no joke!

So, Tricia and I firmly decided on ordering the pie: the Reese's pie. Goodness.

I got a water to make up for the pie, not that I even ate my whole sandwich anyways. I told Tricia that I'd pay for the pie ($3.95) because she paid for the parking meter, which was under a dollar, but I figured I'd eat the whole slice of pie.

And remember, no cigars, no pipes, no clove cigarettes at Grey's Tavern.

Monday, March 30, 2009

GottaWannaNeedaGettaHava



Well, I am here in the office doing some proofreading and waiting to head out with some others to the BCC forum tonight on 287(g) in Guilford County.

Anyhow, someone just shared a biscuit with me, a Bojangles' biscuit nonetheless. I am a sucker for biscuits, but I almost never eat them. Today is maybe the second time in my life that I have had something from Bojangles'. The first time was years and years ago when I was on a class trip or something, and even then I think I only got the fries. When I moved to NC from Alexandria and saw a Bojangles' for the first time, I was kind of in shock. I thought it was only on TV or something. I don't know why but it always reminds me of Pee-Wee's Big Adventure.

And, yes, I have that on my Netflix queue.

Oh, how I miss you Popeyes. And, Popeye.

adentakeson

Recently, I attempted to join a yahoo(!) group and remembered that I already had a Yahoo(!) ID--adentakeson.

So funny, because I remember loving that Yahoo(!) ID, which is originally my AOL screenname, because I created in in an attempt to capture my undying love (at the time) for HBO's Tracey Takes On...

Aaaaaand, just Netflix-ed it.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Decrease for the crown

Oh, Sunday. Too early on Sundays do I come to the realization that the next day is Monday...

For the past three weeks I had a little something new to do on Sunday afternoons. I was taking a beginning knitting class at Gate City Yarns. I signed up for the class during First Friday last month (when I intended to spend my money for that night on some new, locally-made earrings).

There were 5 of us in the class plus the instructor and we all ended the class at various levels of completion of our hats--from finished to, well, my hat I suppose, as you can see below:



At the end, I wasn't dissapointed that I didn't finish my hat. I enjoyed the diversion of going somewhere new, doing something new, meeting new people, and working with, of course, that awesome sunshine-y yarn!

One day, one day, I may finish that hat. Just in time for summer! Well, I'd still need some more supplies to finish off the hat. I paid $45 for the class plus just under $20 for the yarn and book (I found out I had to buy that after I came in for the first class). Actually, before starting the hat in the second class, apparently we would have needed to buy new needles just the right size for the hat but I decided to not do that and found that I could actually work on the hat fine, just differently, with the needles that came with the class. I survived without any stitch markers though I did have some dropped stitches and the like here and there. All in all it was fun. The first First Friday I went to was fun--it was nice outside, we walked around downtown all over, from Lyndon Street Artworks to the Cultural Center and up and down Elm. Can't wait for the next one!

Now, time for a Sunday paper.

More than a Woman



I missed a day of posting! Terrible.

Saturday morning I went to an ACCESS training until about 1PM (so, I did stay for lunch haha). The topic I went to was...conflict resolution! Tom was doing the training again though I apparently was excused from yesterday since I went to Galtung's seminars last semester. Oh, well, it was kind of nice to see everyone at the training since I haven't been to one in a while.

Driving to and from the training center I blasted 99.5 WMAG, my weekend replacement for 101.1 weekend jazz (sorry!). I'm a sucker for "the best of the 70s, 80s, 90s and today" though thank goodness 99.5 focuses on as much surrounding the Bee Gees as possible.

Speaking of that, it seems like at any time that I turn on WMAG, three songs always make it on air:

Lou Rawls, You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine

Soft Cell, Tainted Love

Bee Gees, More Than A Woman

My goodness, I love the Bee Gees. Surprisingly, I haven't bought any of their songs on iTunes. I bought a lot of other stuff and you would think that I'd buy something I loooooooooooooove...I remember having the record in my family's house in McLean. We also had a Dolly Parton record I loved but I have her on CD so I'm good for now. I decided to also just make a YouTube playlist of At Worst...The Best of Boy George and Culture Club, a CD that I actually bought twice and lost twice in middle school. Sad.

Anyhow, later that night, we all tried a new spot, The Brass Taps on Battleground. I think that's the farthest bar that we have been to is Cooper's. Brass Taps was smaller than I thought it would be; I always see the sign for the place on my way to Earth Fare (which is usually my business that far up Battleground) but on our way up there last night we passed it due to the facade of a Subway in front of the bar. Confusing. Chris, Patricia and I got food there and we all liked it. The bar wasn't smoky at all, which was very nice, though odd, too, because there were a few people smoking in the small space. The only overpowering smell was Chris' baconator burger. I got the Fat Tire beer that Graham had introduced us to but I gave it a nay. Karen loved it though, she said it tasted like a "real beer". For a while there I was eye-ing one of the Coors in Chris' domestic bucket (it's like family-style drinking!), but I was trying to stay classy. With my southwestern black bean roll-ups and all.

P.S. Those taquitos were goooood.