News

Enough, enough, but bear with me for two more links:

Sad about a proposed koala cull. I know they’re pests and disease-ridden and maybe the Aussie equivalent of raccoons, but still sad.

Big ups to the Ninth Letter on their splash debut. It looks really, really good. I’m looking forward to the special Rick Powers section this summer.

What I could or should be doing:

  • Vacuuming my apartment
  • Taking a shower
  • Putting the spare couch cushion away
  • Working on my GSLIS application
  • Anything productive

    What I am doing: sitting on the couch in my underwear, surfing the Interweb. That’s what the Interweb is for, right? No, seriously. Actually I’m kind of killing time. sMother is on her way but won’t arrive for another half hour at least – when she gets in we’ll probably have to head right to dinner. No point in trying to connect with the boy cos it would only be for a few minutes. Instead I’m connecting with the whole world while in my underwear. How great is that?

  • I always feel weird when I haven’t blogged in a few days – like so much should’ve happened, even though that’s rarely the case.

    I started at Aroma on Wednesday – I think I’m going to like it a lot, time commitment notwithstanding. Free coffee and food while I’m working, and a discount when I’m not – a good deal to me! The people I worked with seemed pretty cool, and all the stuff from the days at Barnes & Noble are coming back (except the knock box is sooo much better than the one at the bookstore which ate Augie’s wedding ring). I did have to “steam” water, but that’s to be expected.

    Yesterday was fine. Weird tension at work all day – people being really bitchy, but I managed to tune most of that out. I went to the dermatologist on my lunch break and got some stuff to help with my skin – let’s hope it works, it certainly cost enough. Ran home after work and took a quick shower, then met Shawn at Moonstruck for a while. Dinner with the kids at Cafe Luna, which was freaking great. If you’re looking for a place to take a date you’d like to impress, go to Cafe Luna. The food was wonderful and looked amazing – “a perfect blend of form and function,” according to Hannah. You’re definitely paying for quality rather than quantity, though, so next time I think we’ll try a bunch of things from the tapas menu rather than getting entrees. Either way, tasty. Back to my place for a while – it was freaking hot, and I blame the cats – then I crashed early.

    sMother and Coo are coming tonight – I think we’re having dinner at Biaggi’s with Mark and maybe Melissa. Tomorrow I’m hoping the weather will hold so we can have lunch downtown – maybe at Cowboy Monkey. I’m half looking forward to Coo’s inane questions about why young people live in old houses and wondering if he’ll talk Shawn’s ear off about Legos. My parents really hoped that things would work out with my marriage, and I’m wondering if me being with Shawn is weird for them. I know they’ll love him, but it’s just a weird first step. I love him and want my family to know how important he is to me – but I don’t want to make them (or him) uncomfortable either. I’m still feeling out how much to include him in family things – fortunately it’s not as much of an issue with my family a couple of hours away – it’s just one of those things, you know?

    Anyway, I’m off to lunch. Time to enjoy a few minutes of fresh air. I think I’ll have a sandwich with fresh mozzarella and tomato – yum.

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    What a freaking gorgeous day! Let’s set aside the fact that having a day off mid-week is a total waste of vacation time unless you’re doing something special – which I’m not – but beyond that, what could be wrong with this day? It’s sunny and breezy and just the right temperature, halfway between warm and cool. It feels like the perfect day to play hooky, to sit in the park with a cup of coffee and a book (which I intend to do later) or a friend. The only things that would improve this day would be someone to sit with and not having to work tonight. Unfortunately I do have to work tonight, but only for a few hours, and I do not have anyone to sit with today, as my friends are all in school.

    So what am I doing with my day of leisure? I spent the night at Shawn’s after 24 watching and a Chinese buffet dinner. We were both a lot tired and a little delirious, and I was definitely bleary-eyed when I woke up this morning and drove him to school before coming home. Returned a few phone calls, made a doctor’s appointment (NO, Jen, it’s not what you think), then ran to the post office and over to Mark’s to pick up my Easter present from sMother – kitty charms for my bracelet, and more purloined hotel toiletries from L’Occitane. Yay for that.

    And the rest of the day? It’s almost 1 – I think I’ll probably putter around here for a little bit in preparation for sMother’s visit this weekend – now that David doesn’t need to show my place, I haven’t been stressing things like putting away laundry or picking up dishes – then grab coffee and/or food somewhere and find a place to sit outside and read – the park, the quad, etc. I’m almost done with Balthazar and am trying to decide if I want to start Mountolive directly or take a break with Tropic of Cancer, which has been on the to-read list for quite some time. I’m already thinking longingly of the many weekends past when the boy and I would wake up together and read in bed (or on the couch or on the porch or in a coffeeshop) for half the day. I know I make it sound like I’m going to be working every waking minute of my weekends and that’s not the case – but exaggeration is fun, and I’m going to miss the extended leisure that has characterized the last six months.

    Chicken with Potatoes, Peas & Coconut-Curry Sauce

    1 lb chicken breast halves
    Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
    2 T vegetable oil + more as needed
    1/2 medium onion, finely diced
    1 T minced fresh ginger
    2 T seeded, minced fresh jalapeno (I left this out)
    1 T sweet curry powder
    1 C low-salt chicken broth
    1 medium potato, peeled and cut into 1/4″ dice
    5 1/2 oz can coconut milk, well shaken
    1/2 C frozen peas
    2 T roughly chopped fresh cilantro

    Trim the chicken into 3/4″ thick pieces and season generously with salt and pepper. In a 10″ straight sided saute pan (or skillet), heat the oil over medium-high heat until it’s hot enough to shimmer. Add half the chicken and cook, flipping once, until lightly browned and just barely cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate, and repeat with the remaining chicken. Cover with foil to keep warm.

    Return the pan to medium heat and, if it looks dry, add another T oil. Add the onion, ginger, and jalapeno and saute, stirring almost constantly with a wooden spoon, until the vegetables soften, about 2 minutes. Add the curry powder and saute for 30 seconds. Pour in the chicken broth and scrape the pan with the spoon to loosen any browned bits. Add the potato and 1/2 t salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, partially covered (I do this with an inverted skillet), until the potato is barely tender, 7-8 minutes. Add the coconut milk and peas; simmer uncovered until the peas are thawed, the potato is fully tender, and the sauce is somewhat thickened, 4-5 minutes. Taste the sauce; add salt and pepper as needed. Add the chicken along with any accumulated juices to the sauce and turn to coat. Serve immediately, garnished with the cilantro.

    When I made this for Meat Night it was really tasty, though a little salty. I would recommend getting a low-salt broth, and maybe cutting the salt added to the recipe. A different curry might also help. Either way, this was really good with Parmesan couscous, a green salad, and some fresh melon.

    Recipe from Fine Cooking

    Apparently Shawn’s computer thought it would be a good idea to restart, so I lost my blog post. Arr.

    A nice quiet couple of days. Thursday night Shawn called me after his long day, and we went to Perkins for late-night randomness, including a salad-in-bread (Elijah’s dream) for me and pancakes AND a burger for Shawn (wow). It was what I needed, though – just to get out of the house and be with someone I love and spend time doing nothing.

    Yesterday I just couldn’t wake up, even though I had stuff to do before work. Oh well. My interview at Health Alliance went well, I think. They’re supposed to get back to me in the next 7-10 days about a second interview – not sure which department, but it’ll be back-office financial stuff, or customer service. The position would start at $2 more per hour than I’m making now – a good, good thing. I’ll be sad to leave my friends and cool customers, but I just can’t do this job much longer. My friend Penny loves it – but I feel like each day there sucks out a little bit more of my soul. My only real concern is that I still owe $250 or so on my clothing purchase account – but I’ll figure it out.

    Shawn stopped in to see me in the afternoon, which was really nice and left me with a warm smile on my face for the duration of my work day. Lots of randomness as is par for the course – Diana accused Binh of not being Asian, then was offended by what she said, then was offended because he wasn’t offended. I don’t know how these convos start, but there you go. Binh’s Asian, Diana felt chastised, and I got to go home at 4:30, which rocked. Took a long hot shower, then wandered over to Shawn’s and sat on the porch with him for a while. We made dinner and watched Spirited Away, which was crazy and really pretty. I passed out around 10:30, and Shawn stayed up later, playing with the book club page, which is now v. pretty and redesigned.

    Slept in this morning, still fighting off a wicked bad headache from Friday afternoon, then had coffee and rearranged Shawn’s massive CD collection, which took 2+ hours and left me with very stiff joints from sitting cross-legged and half-dressed on the floor. I’ve done the rearranging for so many people – it’s one of the few organizational tasks that I really enjoy. Made me think of putting away all of Sarah and Hannah‘s CDs the weekend they moved, listening to Tea Party VERY loudly while Sarah and Lucky packed in the other room. I was such an emotional mess, but the routine of matching discs to their cases helped me keep straight for a bit. I finished Shopgirl, which was wonderful. I highly recommend it – you should also check out Shawn’s review on the book club page. I had this super great blog entry all done, and then the computer decided to say no. Oh well. Not sure the plans for the rest of the weekend – probably nice and quiet, then breakfast with Hannah in the morning.

    Oh, and Aroma called and offered me the job, which I took. I start on Wednesday. Not sure how that will work out with a full time job too, but I’ll figure it out. I have a history of getting really stressed working two jobs, but I think I can tell when it’s getting to be too much. And yes, I did call Friar Tuck. I was v polite and thanked them for having me in, and the manager said it was a pleasure. So if you’re looking for a part time job and can lift 50 pounds over your head, you should apply there. Talk to Sam – he was v. nice.

    Shawn is now sitting on my back, which I think means he needs his computer, so I will turn it over to him. Have a nice weekend!

    It’s cold and grey, and I’m tired and lonely. I’ve spent the day, on and off, putting the rest of the archives online, trolling through a year-or-so worth of highs and lows, enough for a lifetime. Odd to read my guarded prose now – and to wonder if things would’ve been easier if I’d just said what I was feeling, what I desperately needed and wanted to say. Would the story be different? Odd to think that a year ago I was stressing over a job decision and praying for a house. So much has changed. And I think the weight of those two years, plus a generally blah day, have really gotten me down. I don’t want to be in this apartment alone right now – but there’s no one home at the kids’ or Shawn’s, and I don’t feel like eating alone either, or I’d just go somewhere. So I think I’m going to take a bath and wait by my phone and hope I snap out of it.

    The latest:
    Shawn’s taking my apartment, which will mean our moving is ridiculous but somewhat easier as the deadlines won’t be as firm and we can leave things behind.
    The interview at Aroma was last night. No word back, but they said they would call today or tomorrow.
    Meat night dinner was tasty, if sparsely attended. Sarah and Hannah were at a show, and Mark was busy. Shawn and Melissa and I had chicken with potatoes and peas in a coconut-curry sauce – a little salty, but damned tasty.
    I have an interview at Health Alliance tomorrow.
    This review of Kill Bill V2 almost makes me want to go see it again.