Current favorite dish: quick and random pasta!

We’ve got some news coming up shortly, but in the interim, I wanted to share my current favorite thrown-together lunch-y meal.

Earlier in the week, Shane and Dan and I went to Fort Reno and had delicious picnicky things, resulting in a fridge full of half-eaten snackity bits like grape tomatoes and peapods and tiny balls of marinated mozzarella. In a rush to put together lunch before leaving for work on Thursday, I concocted the following, which I made again this morning.

Take some zucchini – any variety, whatever you like – and slice it width-wise and about 1/4″ thick. Grill with salt and pepper on a stove-top griddle – or on your regular grill when you’re cooking out, as they’ll keep a couple of days – until marked and soft.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, then add about 1 C dried pasta – shape of your choice, though I wouldn’t go much smaller than penne or fusili – and cook til al dente. Drain, and then toss with a bit of olive oil.

While everything’s still hot, cut up some mozzarella into bite-sized pieces and toss with the pasta and zucchini. Seal it up in your container of choice, and by lunchtime, everything should be nicely melted and marinated. Eat it cold like a pasta salad, or warm it up for a minute or two.

If you have marinated mozzarella, you can substitute the marinade for the olive oil. You could also use asparagus, but that would take a bit longer to cook. I bet this would be fantastic with some roasted or briefly grilled tomatoes – might have to try that next time.


DJ Night at the Hut!

Last night I got to play DJ at our very favorite bar, and I had a very good time doing it.  I put together a couple of hours of music in iTunes ahead of time, so most of what I did during my actual DJing was adjusting levels and moving songs around and drinking free beer and hanging out with my awesome friends.  The best part of the whole thing, though, was that people kept talking about the songs that they loved and their experiences with the music – like that B-52s album they bought in high school and listened to every night.  I love that, and hope that I can have another DJ night at the Hut before we (eventually) leave DC.

Galaxy Hut Playlist 06-24-09:

  1. Tom Jones – What’s New Pussy Cat
  2. James – Laid
  3. Beauty Pill – Cigarette Girl from the Future
  4. Belle & Sebastian – Step Into My Office, Baby
  5. Talking Heads – Girlfriend Is Better
  6. Chairlift – Bruises
  7. The Cure – Friday I’m In Love
  8. Magnetic Fields – Washington D.C.
  9. The House Of Love – I Don’t Know Why I Love You
  10. M.I.A. – One for the Head
  11. CSS – Music Is My Hot, Hot Sex
  12. The B-52’s – Planet Claire
  13. Motorcycle Wars – Emphyzine
  14. Funkadelic – I’m Never Gonna Tell It
  15. Luniz – I Got 5 On It
  16. Metric – Succexy
  17. Belle & Sebastian – Love On The March
  18. M.I.A. – Paper Planes
  19. Talking Heads – Once In A Lifetime
  20. Loquat – There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
  21. Magnetic Fields – I Think I Need a New Heart
  22. Happy Mondays – 24 Hour Party People
  23. New Order – True Faith
  24. 2Pac – California Love (Original Version)
  25. Jamie Lidell – Figured Me Out
  26. Moloko – Party Weirdo
  27. Magnetic Fields – The Night You Can’t Remember
  28. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – Inspiration Information
  29. New Order – Age of Consent
  30. Blur – Girls & Boys
  31. Anoraak – Never Ending Romance Disaster
  32. Feist – One Two Three Four
  33. Pogues – Broad Majestic Shannon
  34. The Knife – Heartbeats
  35. Talking Heads – Houses In Motion
  36. The B-52’s – Mesopotamia
  37. FannyPack – Hey Mami
  38. MGMT – Time to Pretend
  39. Of Montreal – The Party’s Crashing Us
  40. LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends
  41. New Order – Your Silent Face
  42. Talking Heads – Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)
  43. LCD Soundsystem – Someone Great
  44. Luna – 23 Minutes In Brussels
  45. Neko Case – Knock Loud

Bonnaroo by the numbers

Centerroo at night

Number of days of the festival : 4
Number of days inclusive of travel: 6 (Wednesday 10am through Monday 9pm)
Number of hours spent sitting in traffic on Thursday: 5
Number of miles covered in those hours: 8
Number of people in the car: 4

Number of performers (inclusive of bands, comedians, and other kinds of performers): 150+
Number of performers I saw: 17 (David Byrne, Lucinda Williams, Katzenjammer, Dirty Projectors, Phoenix, King Sunny Ade, The Features, Bruce Springsteen, Heartless Bastards, Of Montreal, Chairlift, Phish, Andrew Bird, Neko Case, A.A. Bondy, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Jessica Lea Mayfield)
Number of performers I listened to but didn’t see: 4 (Bela Fleck, Bon Iver, The Decemberists)
Number of performers I heard from the tent while trying to sleep: 3 (Paul Oakenfold, Nine Inch Nails, MGMT)
Number of performers seen multiple times: 2 (David Byrne (special guest spot with Dirty Projectors) and Katzenjammer)
Number of movies watched: 3.5
Number of visits to the Silent Disco: 2
Number of bears playing video games: 2

Number of times I cried: 4
Number of times crying was related to the weather: 2
Number of times crying was related to not feeling well: 2 (simultaneous with the above)
Number of times crying was related to the music: 2
Number of large spiders spotted near the tent, resulting in screams: 3+

Number of times I showered: 0

Number of pop-tarts: 5
Number of coconut fruit bars from the mini Whole Foods: 4
Number of amazing quesadillas from Bearly Edible: 2 (pesto mozzadilla, feta medadilla)
Number of chicken naanwiches: 2
Number of Fruit & Nut derivatives concocted: 2

One of a kind:
– Guy sitting by the side of the road with a bottle of vodka balanced on his head for 2+ hours
– 5am fight between extremely unhappy camping neighbors
– Very mellow hippie dancing in Shane’s face at Phish
– Camping neighbor stumbling into someone else’s tent and passing out – henceforth referred to as “stoneylocks”
– Girl scorning at me for running the water while washing a stain out of Shane’s shirt

Things that sucked: waiting on the road, the constant pouring rain on Thursday, the spiders omg, not enough sleep because we were sleeping in a tent, too many people smoking pot, not enough sleep because of loud neighbors, missing NIN because I couldn’t stay up, crack in the windshield from something on the road driving home, Shane getting sick on the last day.

Things that were great: fantastic music, David Byrne love, good food, Neko Case love, running into friendos, the weather when it was good, being outside, not showering, non-stop hilarity from Mike and Mark and Shane together.

We’re home safe from Bonnaroo, tired, sunburned, and scratchy-throated.  The good mostly outweighed the bad – but I think this probably was our last year.  We’re just too old (well, not old but definitely too much in favor of being comfortable) and don’t love drugs enough to make it work.  Maybe if we rent an RV we can do it again?


– farmer’s market bounty: zucchini, broccoli, radishes, strawberries, cherries, some other stuff I can’t remember, and SOFT SHELL CRABS that looked like giant bugs but tasted delicious
– made amazing strawberry and toasted coconut ice cream, and then had kitchen disaster #3 of the weekend when the ice cream maker overflowed
– brunch with Mel and Ray and Jill and Kevin and Fred, wherein Fred was charmed by a strawberry, and Mel beat everyone at Carcassone
– feeding and playing with the cats at KSC
– crabs and grilled zukes for dinner with Mel and Ray
– Shane goes to Michigan tomorrow!

May Projects!

This year, I resolved to complete one project per month.  I’m not sure how well I’ve done at posting about those projects, but that’s neither here nor there, as this post is about May’s project.  And by ‘project’, I mean ‘projects’!

Project #1: envelopes for the Etsy shop

Drakesboro, KY

Earlier in the year I inherited three boxes of deaccessioned USGS maps from the library.  After asking and then asking again if I *really* got to take them home, they sat in a corner ignored until I finished my last class and could focus on them.  Right now I have 9 sets of envelopes posted, and a possible custom order pending.  Hooray!

Project #2: Handmade items for the Facebook meme

I promised handmade items to Jackie, Jen, Tina, Molly, Rachel, and Greg.  So far I’ve made an apron each for Jackie:

Sparkly Stars for Sipes


Fun prints for Molly


Olivia apron for Rachel

and a special bonus for Jennifer, who was late on the draw.

Fun patterns for Jennifer

Items forthcoming for Jen, Tina, and Greg.  I have plans, but I’m not revealing them yet.

I also canned four pints of strawberry-rhubarb jam (and 7 more half pints tonight!):

Strawberry Rhubarb

And no, I have no idea what June’s project will be.  Hopefully the Etsy custom order – and also more canning (pickling too)!

3 Songs

The other day Mike posted a challenge – Henceforth, of all Beatles songs, you can listen to only three. The rest are lost to you. Which three do you save?

My answer?  Dear Prudence, In My Life, and I’m So Tired.  I then passed on the challenge to my friends via Twitter and Facebook, with the following results.  Out of 18 responses, including mine and the responses of 3 people to Mike’s original Tweet, the top songs – with 3 votes each – are: In My Life and A Day in the Life.

Receiving 2 votes each: Dear Prudence, I’m So Tired, Let It Be, Norwegian Wood, Across the Universe, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Strawberry Fields Forever, and Blackbird.

A total of 29 other songs received 1 vote each.

Amongst the 18 respondents, the White Album appears to be most popular, with 9 songs receiving a total of 12 votes.  Sgt Pepper came in second with 4 songs receiving 7 votes total – however Revolver actually had more songs receiving votes – 6 songs with 1 vote each.

The moral of this story is that amongst my friends, the overwhelming majority believe that The Beatles were better after taking drugs (i.e. post-1965).  Take from that what you will.  I don’t make up the facts – I just report them.