Saturday, November 25, 2006

Time is tapping on my forehead

After two and a half days of lazing around at home and overeating, it is now the weekend. Thanksgiving Day, my favorite of all the holidays has come and gone. I think Thanksgiving is my favorite because there are no pressures, expectations, dogmas, or huge expenses; it is simply about thinking about your life and being thankful. And at its most commercial, Thanksgiving is about good food and family; both things I can support celebrating.
(my meal. my delicious delicious meal).
This year though, Thanksgiving felt a little different. Maybe I’m not thankful, maybe I don’t like thinking about life, maybe the food wasn’t good enough! (Hah…. Unlikely). But, nonetheless, it felt different. I gave up Thanksgiving with family in order to be able to spend Christmas with them (honestly, living over a thousand miles away from “home” isn’t all it is cracked up to be)! But, the food was good, a friend of mine from Texas came up to visit, the turkey was moist, the leftovers are extensive, and now I don’t have to be irritable when I hear Christmas music.

(me and Jessica. I'm all red from cooking and we're both hungry. We don't look as thin anymore as we do here!)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Sea-worthy Swankitude

Getting prepared for a big Thanksgiving.

I am too tired to cook. I am supposed to be making a pumpkin pie, an apple cranberry pie, and a cheeseball appetizer.

Instead, my friend Jessica and I went to the zoo. I love the zoo…. I just can’t help it. We’re zoo members! In fact, Jessica and I didn’t see another adult there that hadn’t come with a child. Oh well. We DID feed some very greedy giraffes,

saw a spectacled bear being inappropriate with himself, hiked up quite a ways to see a condor in his captive splendor, realized that bald eagles are some of the fluffiest eagles around, and had a pretty good time with an orangutan (I had to look up that word to spell it properly).

Since the zoo, we have meandered around the downtown area, eaten way too much for the tiny little people we are (okay…. I speak for just myself here), and are now thinking about taking the puppy to the pet store for some fun, and going to see a movie.

When AM I going to cook?! (however..... those grasshopper squares are FABULOUS!)

Gilmore Girls Season 7, Episode 9

Okay. I think this weeks episode of Gilmore Girls was weird.

  1. Logan and Rory are weird together. They didn’t behave at all as if they were excited to see eachother. And suddenly he is getting an apartment in Manhattan?
  2. Telgrams are no longer a possible method of communication.
  3. It is crazy that one man can change one woman’s life so much. Instead of fitting into eachother’s lives, they are changing. I don’t know how I feel about that. Weird.
  4. Logan putting his hand on Lorelei’s arm as he walked out the door was WEIRD.
  5. What else is upstairs that Rory’s room is downstairs and off the kitchen?!

Was the word awkward in the title of this episode??

Sunday, November 19, 2006

I wimped out ¾ of the way through.

I thought I could make it the whole way. I was prepared. I had everything I needed; the time, the materials, the inspiration; even I thought – the energy.

The plan was this: my husband away for the night I was going to make Linzer cookies, Mini-Black and White Cookies, Grasshopper Squares, Ants Climbing a Tree (a deliciously spicy Chinese dish), and polish off the remaining 2/3 of a bottle of wine. I was going to spend a wonderful evening chatting online with friends and go to bed quiet, satiated, and with a clean kitchen.

HAH! Fooled me! I think it was the black and white cookies that really did me in. They were WAY too much work for what they are worth. (And they are MUCH prettier in the Gourmet magazine picture).

This is me, moments before I wadded up the linzer dough and threw it in the fridge in a huff. I was cookie crabby by this point. What a fool I was to think a girl who isn’t particularly fond of sweets could make it through a cookie making marathon like this. But my….. I did do some serious sampling of the best chocolate ganache I’ve ever tasted!

Which brings me to my next point…. My dinner. I was rather painfully in need of something NOT SWEET, and so made enough counter room, poured myself a glass of wine and started chopping chili peppers. The food was FABULOUS. (Not very appetizing pictured here, but I was in no mood for presentation). However, I became a glutton for both the food and the wine. I ate and drank myself silly, felt a little ill (could it be the wine after a full day of sampling cookie dough and icing?!) and put myself to bed.

Now I sit in the far corner of my kitchen looking over the disaster. I want to pack up my black and white cookies, cut the grasshopper squares, make myself some soup and possibly finish the linzers, but I fear wading into the mess of flour, measuring spoons, whisks, dishtowels and angled spatulas perfect for spreading icing.

I might just take a walk and hope the mess is less daunting when I return.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

that'll teach you to smile...

I did not jot down any notes as I was watching this episode. My pizza was too good this week (pepperoni, broccoli, mushrooms, and jalapenos, covered in more pizza sauce, red pepper flakes, and parmesan cheese.... YEAH!) and I just plum forgot! So, this blog of thoughts will only be more random and inane.

1. Paris is so Ayn Randish. I love it.

2. I too am SO RELIEVED that Lane’s twins aren’t going to be joined at the head! Phew! But why does everyone always want everyone ELSE to have babies?!

3. Rory’s hair looked the least cool of the three girls.

4. This morning, as I am trying to focus my thoughts on important things like what I thought of last nights episode of Gilmore Girls, I am distracted by wondering how the cheeseburgers in Paris actually ARE. Probably topped with a really rich sauce somehow (bearnaise? bordelaise? hollandaise? sauce provencale? sauce veronique? yeah. who knows). Do they even HAVE buns in France? Or would cheeseburgers be served on a croissant? I’m betting they have mustard, but would they have ketchup? Pickles? I bet it would be mayonnaise instead. I’m hungry.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Bound to be a better ride than what you've got planned....

Now that I'm home......

I have found the following to be a great remedy for sore throats, low spirits, and even hunger:

Bring to a boil 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth, 1 Tbsp minced onion, 2 cloves of garlic (pressed), half a carrot (grated), a couple of mushrooms (thinly sliced), 1 1/2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger root. Simmer on low for 15 minutes and add a tsp of lemon juice and a bit of fresh torn parsley.

You can't be popular AND smart!

I am back in Colorado Springs. I took a vacation last week to rejuvenate my drooping spirits. Instead, I have returned anxious, headachy, and exhausted.

Some highpoints though were lunch in Chinatown, spending lazy moments with friends, getting up in the morning and getting on the train to go somewhere and to do something, sitting in a wonderful window while watching it rain (the rain!), and surprising my Dad for his birthday.

The weather was bracing on this walk pictured here, but regardless, I was enjoying myself immensely.

I visited the Lincoln Park Conservatory which smells delicious and brings back happy memories. With a pocket full of change, I made fountain wishes for myself for the first time. We shall see how that goes or if I should go back to my vague and useless wishes for an end to starvation and cruelty and morons having babies.

To sum up my high school reunion, I would have to say that it was ……..

Yes. I have no word in which to sum it up, or even a handful of words to describe it.

There were people I would have liked to have seen that I missed, and people that I honestly think I had never talked to before that night. I really did enjoy some lovely conversation with some surprising people. Everybody drank too much. We didn’t even make up the sleep (I haven’t YET!). A bunch of us got together for a dinner before the reunion which made arriving a lot easier (was it the dinner or the wine?) and the evening, though exhausting (I’m not sure if the smile was real or pasted on) went by SO quickly.

Bill O'Brien, Jessica Griffiths, Monte Carpenter, Michelle Brinckerhoff, Hillary Walla, me (I am not that short, I'm trying to make sure I don't block anyone's head!), Trina Smith, Monica Elmer. We are all proudly wearing name tags with our high school pictures on them.

It is now time, however, for a quiet cup of tea and a slice of banana bread before I pick up my puppy from the vet. I hope she isn’t mad at me when she sees me!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Uh oh GOOD? or uh oh BAD?

I am very glad to have watched this weeks episode of Gilmore Girls, and let me just say that repeating the non-repeating portions of language tapes is a fabulous way to learn accents. I’m doing that with my Japanese CDs right now! Repeating the woman’s English I have found is perfect for learning a British accent!

But on to our beloved characters….. It is cute that he is dating now, but Luke should have seen right away how scary the swim coach was going to be when she said about the swim lessons, “This is not something I would wait on.” Whoa. I wonder if Luke got himself roped into this out of an honest attraction for the woman, or if he is a little too much of a wuss to walk away.

And does anyone remember the really chipper girl at the parent check-in that Christopher and Lorelei encountered? I used to BE that girl when I worked at the bagel shop at five in the morning in high school. Chipper little girls like me are excellent propaganda for parent weekends. Along with croissants and cloth napkins. (thank goodness that I have grown out of that though).

My last real comment (if any of these can be called real): Christopher is a DORK. I didn’t know this about him coming into this episode…. Did any of you? I mean, I am not used to thinking of dorks as the kind of guys that get girls pregnant when they’re only sixteen! But he certainly outed himself with that goody-goody question about dark matter (or something) in this episode! And the superman emblem comment? Dork. Luckily for him, Lorelei seems to like dorks. (I hope I’m not offending anyone with my incessant use of the word dork). Which makes me wonder how it was that she was really with Luke.

Overall though, Kirk doing Top Gun, the acapella Bon Jovi, and the fact that Christopher and Lorelei thought they won parents weekend (ah – but a fancy little twist left someone else winning entirely!)…. made for a perfect hour accompaniment to my pizza and custard fruit tart.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A Reason to Leave your House

Happy Buxtehude Pizza Tuesday to all of you!

Some of you already know about my tradition and SOME of you may think that Buxtehude is the name of a German organist with the first name of Dietrich who was an influence on Bach. And in some ways you would be correct. However, the meaning of buxtehude that is sweeping the nation is:

Bux*te*hu*de ..buks-te-hu-de.. n. : a casual gathering among friends usually involving good food, the occasional alcoholic beverage, and scintillating conversation. (a weekly television program may be substituted for the conversation portion of the buxtehude).

This Buxtehude Tuesday also happens to be Election Day. I didn’t vote. I am still registered in Wyoming and to my husband’s chagrin when he tried to register us in Colorado……. We had missed the deadline. We could vote absentee…… but why? So the voters in Cheyenne could laugh at the two votes the Democratic party received in their state?

Interestingly (living in a military town; two airforce bases, the airforce academy, an army base, and NORAD), the Army Times published an editorial titled “Time for Rumsfeld to Go.” Also interestingly…. Dick Cheney is gracing my town with his presence today. Maybe if I go for a drive I can run him over! Ahem. I mean maybe I can catch sight of him!

WHY people live in Colorado Springs:
HOW people live in Colorado Springs:
But back to the election….. correspondents of BBC news say that Democratic control of even one house of Congress would mean legislative gridlock. In 36 states today, people are voting for new governors. Colorado is one of them. I hate election days. They simply remind me of the last one. And I was living in Wyoming then!

Luckily for me though, any discouragement I tend to feel can always be ameliorated with a delicious meal. Tonight, of course, it is pizza.

In other news: Kevin Federline just as pathetic as you imagined, minute rice is no where NEAR as good as long grain, Eva Longoria wishes she were made of bronze, and Paris Hilton bruises easily.

Monday, November 06, 2006

My 10 year High School Reunion

Saturday, November 11th is my 10 year high school reunion. And I am going.

The only reason I am going is because my husband was the school MASCOT and all his friends are going. They still keep in touch every week and when they get together, they BEHAVE like high schoolers.

I however, did not belong to a specific group of friends. I had friends from many separate groups and liked it that way. Our class was one of almost 500 students. I didn't care about any of them in high school.... I doubt I will even remember them this weekend! Thankfully I will be staying with a friend who is sure to have her high school yearbook so I can study. (I keep in touch regularly with four people from high school which includes my husband. I guess that isn’t so bad).

Besides spending four hours in a bar surrounded by people I don't know or care to know, I get to wear a nametag that has a picture of me on it from high school! I looked like a homeschooler in high school. So, I'm thrilled.

At the best, my reunion could turn out to be a very nice night out with my husband's friends. I might reconnect with people I once knew and have forgotten about and find old friendships rekindled. (I should bring some business cards).

And what I expect of the reunion is to find myself exhausted at the end of the evening. Smelling like smoke, a little dehydrated. And with a smile as wide as a kick-ball field twitching on my face and threatening to dissolve into an interminably vague stare.

However, the next day, before getting onto a plane back to the dregs of cultured civilization, my husband and I are going to have a surprise birthday dinner for my Dad. He will be receiving from me a gift card to Borders (there is nothing he loves better than to browse the long and tantalizing shelves of a bookstore….. I get that from him), and a copy of The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. [more on this book soon]

This post sounds a bit discouraging, but this weekend will be better than most, I assure you. I will be back in my beloved Chicago and will get to see people I sometimes miss quite dreadfully.

I'm out of Basil

I'm out of basil. Even the dried kind. This leads me to believe that either a) I cook too much with basil, or b) I'm a terrible shopper and give little thought to the food in my house.

Regardless, I discovered this halfway through making a tantalizing pot of Thai Green Curry Chicken. I was very hungry this evening, and when I'm hungry, I tend to add more ingredients to what I'm cooking instead of fewer. This is problematic because my food then takes longer to cook, I am even more tempted by the savory smells in my kitchen, and I run out of basil faster.

I find Colorado Springs to be a bit of a frosty town, and so I spend a lot of time in my kitchen. I painted the wall I am facing a pumpkin color (I need to do another coat behind the fridge one of these days) and I keep my favorite things in the kitchen too. My books, my computer, my puppy, my glass of wine, and my food.

And so I return now to my favorite things.... I hope everyone has had a terrific weekend! (I can use the word terrific now since I have finally, at the ripe old age of 28, learned how to spell it).

Welcome to My Blog

I am branching out. I find that the server I'm on makes a blogging difference. And so since MySpace tends to bring out the juvenile in me, I'm growing up. I don't know if I can keep it up. But, let me introduce myself..... my name is Aubrey. I am a pianist living in Colorado Springs and currently going through what might be called a quarter-life crisis. I'm three years late for the whole "quarter-life" thing, but I was always slow to develop anyway. Welcome to my blog.