Tuesday, June 30, 2009
.journals/notebooks/sketch pads. anywhere you can put your thoughts on paper.
.cookbooks. i read them like novels.
.babies. especially fat ones.
.stories from or about my grandparents.
.having friends I've known for 20 years.
.full circle bookstore.
.cheese. pretty much all of it.
.peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
.reading for hours without interruption.
.baking/cooking/creating in the kitchen.
.noise and chaos.
.having my eyes opened to something new.
.fresh anything...food, flowers, music, love.
.my dogs. past and present.
.the color green.
.dates with myself.
.my big family.
.the perfect song at the perfect moment.
.homemade ice cream.
.fall, winter and spring.
.anything I can eat. except black olives. yuck.
1. 2 Buck Chuck, aka. Charles Shaw wine.
2. The New Pornographers.
3. Having to stop short on a list of loves because there are too many to list.
4. Seeing things from a different point of view.
Monday, June 29, 2009
So I've decided to cure myself of my selective amnesia. I'm self-medicating, but without the medications. I'll be an experiment of sorts. Nothing too scientific, just some little tricks I've got up my sleeve. I've always heard that the best way to remember your dreams is to write them down right when you wake up. I tried it for a while (a long time ago) and it seemed to work. Week by week, I'd remember a little more about my dreams, without needing to write it down. So that's where I'm starting with reading. For as much as I read, you'd think I'd know more about literature, or at least be able to finish a Thursday crossword puzzle, but alas, they stump me every time.
I'm hoping my experiment, or whatever it turns into, will also help me cure the ridiculous guilt trips I give myself over books. Yes, I have major, anxiety ridden guilt trips over books. I spent the first part of 2009 reading the first three books of a six book series, and loved it. I dreamt nightly about the stories and sometimes talk about the characters as if they're my friends (and they live in 1700's Scotland!), but after the third book, I cut myself off. I just couldn't take the guilt anymore. I have all these other books just waiting, begging to be read, so why am I spending so much time on one series? I realize that I have my whole life to read all the books I want to read, but I still can't shake the guilt I feel when I pick up a book that wasn't already sitting on my shelf just waiting to fulfill it's life's purpose. Isn't it unfair to Denny and Enzo that while they're speeding down the racetrack in the rain, I'm thinking about Claire and Jamie out running Pirates on their way to Jamaica? I certainly wouldn't appreciate it.
So I bought myself a Moleskin notebook. And I've been making a list of books. Books I've read. Books I started but didn't finish (another guilt inducing habit of mine). Books I completely hated but read anyway. Books I want to read. Books I think my family and friends would like. Anything to do with books, I've got a list for it.
But really, it's just a place for me to remember why it is that I love reading so much in the first place. To remind me that when everything else in my world seems out of whack, a book is always there to take me somewhere else.
So what does all this have to do with cupcakes? Absolutely nothing. Except that I got a new Cupcake book. And there's one thing I've found out about cook books; they don't come with a guilty conscience.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
I had big plans of baking yesterday. I was going to use up the fresh blueberries I've been hoarding all week with a blueberry coffee cake. I was going to experiment with Martha and make applesauce cupcakes with brown sugar cream cheese icing. I was even going to make some snicker doodles. But then something happened. Something called an allergy attack. Do you have allergies? I do. And if you happen to know me well enough to know what allergies do to me, then you're probably surprised I even made it through the day, because I have the kind of allergies that seriously make me worthless to the human race. I sneezed no less than 200 times, and went through 1 box of Kleenex and three rolls of toilet paper. But I survived, barely. So I decided that baking in my condition didn't make for the most sanitary of baking environments. Instead, I spent the day with my mom. We dined, we shopped, we came home and read magazines and books together and then I passed out in a big leather chair for two hours. And I had a wad of Kleenex stuck up my nose the entire time. It wasn't awesome, but it wasn't too bad for a Friday either.
1. New K Cup coffee flavor. Butter toffee. Can't go wrong with that combination, can you?
2. A delicious (and healthy) breakfast of fat-free vanilla yogurt topped with fresh strawberries and blueberries and a sprinkling of Splenda.
3. Having a pool to jump in when it's insanely hot, like it is today. And has been for the past two weeks.
4. Shopping with mom.
5. Homemade spaghetti and meatballs on a Friday night. Yum.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I've never really been sure why Rory and I never worked at the dating thing. We were crazy about each other, but we were also the best of friends. And at 16, 17, and 18, being the best of friends is hard to segue into a relationship. But we gave it our shot, and every time it ended we'd go back to our old routine of being best friends and dating whoever it was that drove us the craziest. It was almost as if nothing ever changed.
My favorite memory about Rory is from one hot summer between my junior and senior year in high school. I think I was at my friend Megan's house, probably up in her room with all our girlfriends, drinking wine coolers and getting ready for a night out. When we all made our way outside, I looked into my car, and sitting there on the driver's seat was the most gigantic sunflower I have ever seen. Seriously, this thing was the size of my head. My window had been down, and Rory had left it for me. He later told me that he'd been driving around with his guy friends, mind you, and saw the flower on the side of the road and just knew I had to have it. It is still, to this day nearly 10 years later, the sweetest thing that's ever happened to me. And every time I see sunflowers, I think of my dear friend Rory, and hope that he's looking down on me from whatever heaven he's in.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
The moon was shining sulkily,
The sea was wet as wet could be
"If seven maids with seven mops
"O Oysters, come and walk with us!"
The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But four young Oysters hurried up,
Four other Oysters followed them,
The Walrus and the Carpenter
"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried,
"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said,
"But not on us!" the Oysters cried,
"It was so kind of you to come!
"It seems a shame," the Walrus said,
"I weep for you," the Walrus said:
"O Oysters," said the Carpenter,
Monday, June 22, 2009
So what do I talk about in my first post of this daily post challenge? I baked a boat load of cupcakes last week, but we've all seen cupcakes before. I also attended two parties this past weekend, which means that I went out two nights in a row, which also means that I will be spending this Monday evening on the couch, in my PJ's, and will go to bed at 10:00 but secretly wish it was 8:30. What is it about going out two nights in a row that is SO hard? I mean, I'm not 21 anymore, but it's not like I'm 100 either. I'm 26! These are the days of my life! I should be able to party til dawn for at least 4 nights a week. But in reality, I don't want to party til dawn. Ever. I'm over it. If I'm up past midnight it's a miracle, which is strange considering that I used to stay up until all hours of the night doing absolutely nothing just because I liked to stay up late. That and my mild case of insomnia that has miraculously cured itself. But now when the clock strikes 12, my eyes immediately start sagging, and I can feel the narcolepsy settling in. From insomniac to narcoleptic? There's one for the medical books.
I really didn't want to post a random rant about nothing, but it looks like that's what just happened. I apologize for my scatterbrained-ness, but didn't I say I was going to do what makes me happy? Well rambling on about nothing in particular makes me happy. It probably has something to do with the fact that I'm a child of the two most talkative parents in the world and I'm fairly quiet in "real life" so this is where I let myself talk incessantly. Maybe one of these days I'll have something productive to say, but until then, here's some....GRACE!
1. Cable network season premieres! True Blood, Weeds, Dexter....I love TV.
2. Father's Day. I love Father's Day. And Mother's Day. They really make me want babies. (Shhh...don't tell anyone.)
3. Having working AC in my car. Because I don't right now. And it's 101 degrees outside.
4. Animal Collective....and my little bro leaving awesome Cd's in my car.
5. La Baguette. It is so choice.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
This is Colonel Mustard, my fish. I once had a little mishap with a label maker and labeled his bowl as "Colonel Nustarded" so that's what we call him.
Colonel Nustarded died this week. Boyfriend gave him a sailor's funeral, which is fitting since he's a Colonel and all. I swear, he was the oldest Beta Fish alive. He was just around the corner from his 1st birthday, which is like 97 in fish years. True story.
My mom pulled out all her old photo albums this past weekend and I found this picture of my parents celebrating their first week of marriage with their friends up at Grand Lake.
I love their clothes. I love their hair. I love that they look ridiculously happy and that despite their marriage not lasting, they are still friends with all their old friends and with each other.
Here's some delicious pizza boyfriend and I made for dinner last night.
Prosciutto, portabella mushrooms, toasted pine nuts, thinly sliced red onions, cheese, arugula....
The view from a cracked windshield.
My dogs snuggled in their chair...
Friday, June 12, 2009
Not many people understand the wonderfulness that is OKC. Outsiders tend to think that we still drive on dirt roads and ride horses to school. True story. I left OKC for a short time to go to school in Kansas, and even people there thought we rode horses everywhere. I was like "You're from Kansas! It's the same freakin' thing." Anyway, needless to say, I don't appreciate any trash talking OKC. It's clean and pretty and the people are ridiculously nice. Not to mention the low cost of living, not-to-terrible traffic, and change in the seasons. It's a great place. A place that I may leave at some point, but will surely return to and will forever call home.
If you're needing another reason to think that OKC is super cool, then check out the deadCENTER Film Festival.
Yes, that's right, OKC has it's own independent film festival. The festival started in 2001 and has grown year after year. I happen to know from experience just how fun this festival is. Last year I watched a movie in a tent behind some silos during a torrential downpour in a pool of red mud. And I loved every second of it.
This year's fest has already started, and unfortunately I missed the opening night. It was a screening of "Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo" on Historic Film Row, which means they blocked off a small street in downtown OKC and showed the movie right there in the street. I was at a play a few blocks away, so I missed it, but lucky for me they are showing it again tonight at the art museum. Saturday night will feature "Peace, Love, and Wavy Gravy" followed by the festival awards ceremony and "Saint Misbehavin': The Wavy Gravy Movie." All will be happening on a field right outside of Bricktown. There will be beer tents, and free yoga, and general "hippiness" going on and I can't wait.
If you're in the OKC area this weekend, please make an effort to make it to the deadCENTER. With 100+ films to watch, and 8 different venues to watch them in, there's really no reason to not make it. Support your local festivals, artists, movie makers, entertainers and all the people who have worked so hard to make this happen. Like my dad, for instance. He's known as the "rock star" of the deadCNETER Advisory Committee and Staff.
See you all on Saturday night at 3rd and E.K. Gaylord!
1. Lunch with my girlfriends.
2. Dot Wo, the best Chinese restaurant in OKC.
3. Getting so into a book that you fall asleep dreaming about it.
4. LOST season 3. It's getting weird, but I love it.
5. The Drowsy Chaperone
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
But somebody had to do it.
I was "hired" this week for the first time ever as a baker. Who cares if it was my grandma who hired me? Or that I was just making cupcakes for her book club? A job's a job, and you've got to start somewhere. Besides, her book club is huge. It's been around for 40+ years and has like 100 members, but only 30 or so meet at a time. They even have a rule book. These book clubbers don't mess around.
Anyway, my grandma "hired" me to bake cupcakes for her to bring to the next meeting. So I baked for two nights straight, and iced on the third. It was half-way through my icing job that I got a sudden wave of self-consciousness and thought about calling grandma and telling her I quit. It's one thing to bake for my family all the time, but baking for strangers is a whole new thing for me. Besides, my icing wasn't looking right, the cupcakes were all different sizes, and some of them had gotten kind of wonky during their stay in the freezer. I was just sure that these book clubbers were going to judge me and my cupcakes and talk about me behind my back. Book clubbers can be vicious, you know. Then my mom told me to get over it, and she reassured me that book clubbers are nice people, and they will love me and my cupcakes because everyone likes grand-daughters and cupcakes. And that "homemade" look is much more charming than store bought any day.
So I decided to keep going.
I made three different cupcakes: vanilla with vanilla buttercream, chocolate with vanilla butter cream, and red velvet with cream cheese icing. (Oh my!) All were easy to make, but each required a few ingredients I didn't have on hand, which means that after all was said and done, I only made about $10 profit. But that's okay. I had a happy grandma, and now I can pretty much call myself a professional baker, right?
Vanilla with vanilla.....
Chocolate with vanilla....
And red velvet with cream cheese. My favorite.
. In a small bowl, combine the flours and set aside. (I measured them, dumped them in a bowl, and stirred together with a whisk. A fork would work too.)
Whew. I know that was a lot at once, but I've got lots of awesome things to tell you all about all week, so I thought I'd get the sweet stuff knocked out all at once. Stay tuned!
Monday, June 8, 2009
Well, boyfriend took the not-so-slight hint and went all out. He not only wined and dined me, but he cooked for me. He didn't even ask me what I wanted, or how small to chop the mushrooms, or which pan was a 13x9. He did it all by his lonesome, and it was fantastic.
I don't know what the official name of the dish was, but he simply called it "chicken and mushrooms." With a side of fettucini noodles that were perfectly buttered and seasoned with I don't know what. And bread. All my meals include bread; toasty, crusty, delightful, bread.
Friday, June 5, 2009
5. LBC on her 26th birthday!!!! Happy Birthday, Gingersnap! You make me very happy =)
Thursday, June 4, 2009
And one very awesome brother......
I was there for a mere (or Muir? hehe) 45 minutes, but I took about 847 pictures in that time. And I've decided that my next vacation to California will be based completely around these woods. I can't wait to hike up the trails on the side of mountains that lead you up to the canopy where you can walk among the tops of the trees. How cool would that be???
The climate alone is reason enough to come. It was cool and misty, and the air was so fresh and crisp, it made me totally forget that I have asthma. It was nothing like the smoggy air of L.A., or even the humid and stuffy air around Oklahoma. Certain types of salmon and trout come through these waters just because of the amount of oxygen it contains. If I were a fish, or really any animal, this is where I would call home.
The cool thing is that because it's a national park, it's all protected. And when a natural disaster happens, like a fire (which is good; it clears away the brush), or lightening strikes a tree down, the fallen trees are left there to remain apart of their surroundings.
Some of the trees in these woods are over 2000 years old.
And some of the visitors in these woods are tiny, like me for instance. Whatever you do, next time you find yourself in California, or anywhere on the West Coast for that matter, please make your way over to Muir Woods. I know I will. And don't forget your camera!
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
1. Spending a few days in L.A. with my brother.
2. Spotting not one, but two celebrities at my hotel.
3. Secret Service giving us directions to Rodeo Drive.
4. Seeing giant Redwood trees up close. Magical.
5. Staying in the same hotel, at the same time, as President Obama. True story.