Sep. 30th, 2008 09:49 pm
yrmencyn: (bananas)
Little bits of info.

I've been spending a lot of time away from my computer, which is unusual for me.  But I think it's also good for me.  One side-effect is that, though I'm reading LJ, I'm not posting.  Sorry.

My Chacos broke at MiRF -- the footbed of the left sandal split almost all the way through -- and I just got a brand spanking new pair in the mail yesterday, 100% free.  They really do mean it about that lifetime warranty.  And hey, even though my color of strap has been discontinued, they must have had some lying around, because the straps are obviously new, but still in my color.  Yay!  I am free of the tyranny of socks (for another couple of weeks, at least, before it gets cold).

Meg, Brian, and I did end up going to the shrimp festival, which was hilariously tiny.  But we had a lot of fun finding it, eating fish and shrimp, listening to over-earnest Christian rock from a little stage, petting a sturgeon, hand-picking shrimp out of the world's largest cooler, and also picking up some frozen trout fillets, which were quite reasonable.  Oh, and smoked salmon spread for them (how was it, anyway?).  And then a couple days later we had a shrimp-beheading party (they freeze better without their heads).  Never fear: the heads are separate in the freezer, and will become stock.

I seem to have developed a huge crush on one of the farmers/boothies (unclear) at the farmers' market.  And while he does ping my gaydar, I'm honestly not sure if that's because I'm actually getting that reading, or because I want to get that reading.  Oh, wish fulfillment.  Hilarious.

Speaking of said guy, he sold me something like 30# of roma tomato seconds for 15$ two weeks ago.  I made a batch of crushed tomatoes so large that it wouldn't fit in my stockpot, and I had to clean out a Rubbermaid tub to use as a container first for quartered tomatoes and then for the strained product.  I now have 13 qt. of crushed tomatoes in the chest freezer.  Ridiculous.

Fall is officially here.  Amanda and I went on a spree Saturday night and used a pie pumpkin to make both pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread, then used a defrosted pack of ground venison (thanks, Ike) and a butternut squash to make a butternut and venison rice bake.  And some toasted pumpkin seeds.  And pie crust cookies.  It was a bit much :)

The quarter started.  I'm doing well.  More on that later.

Other things, too, I'm sure.
yrmencyn: (food)
Watching Bridget Jones' Diary with [livejournal.com profile] talyr.

Bridget: ...my most successful relationship will be with a bottle of wine.
Mike and Tal:  *clink glasses*

Mike, eating a tasty goat gouda and drinking aforementioned wine: I'm afraid I'm going to eat this whole half-pound of cheese.
Tal: *shrugs agreement*
Mike: More cheese?
Tal: Yes, please!


Sep. 3rd, 2008 01:07 am
yrmencyn: (Default)
I teared up when I read [livejournal.com profile] rnbowpixy's "I'm alive and well" post.  I didn't realize how worried I was about all of my Louisiana folks.  I know that my friends are smart and safe, but it's a fucking hurricane, and I can't get out of this weird flashback to frantically searching the internet for one of my coworkers who I knew was still in NOLA when Katrina hit.  I love you all, and you're in my prayers.
yrmencyn: (bananas)
Well.  Jeez.  It's been almost a week since I wrote anything here, has it?  Oy.  Let's see.  I spent a lot of time in the last week watching the Democratic National Convention, which was mostly boring with brief interruption of stirring/exciting (I actually haven't yet watched Obama's speech; it's DVR'd).  I don't know if I'll be watching the RNC.  On the one hand I kind of want to, just to know what's going on (and to see if/how Hurricane Gustav affects their discourse), but on the other hand I think I might try to rip my eyes out and puncture my eardrums.  It's not that the Democrats don't say ridiculous, out-of-context, entirely unfair things about the Republicans, it's just that, uh, I tend to agree more with Democratic rhetoric.  On the third hand, I really do want to see this out-of-nowhere woman that McCain has chosen as his VP.

Anyway.  I didn't see the Obama speech because I went with some members of the New Things Club to Cocktails at the Conservatory.  The Franklin Park Conservatory has started this new thing where they open up the rooftop gardens on Thursday nights.  Wine, beer, cocktails, hors d'oeuvres.  Drinks are pretty reasonable, and there's no cover.  All in all it was a nice change of pace to stand around in the cool evening, watching as the sun set and "Light Raiment" (James Turrell's changing-colors light installation in the Conservatory's glass roofs) powered on.  They're going to keep doing these events through the end of October; I suspect I might end up back there.

There was a whole debacle with post-cocktail noshing, wherein only half of us ended up at Tip Top, but that did lead to a magnificent moment wherein David knocked over a large water glass, and we all watched, immobile, as a good pint of water sluiced across the table and into Lauren's lap.  Because really, what is there to do except accept your watery fate?

I spent Friday with [livejournal.com profile] moomoogal87, who was up from Louisiana visiting a grad program here at OSU.  We did lots of driving around and talking, doing our best to reconnect.  It's so much more convenient to have personal conversations at a coffee shop than in whispers at the end of the hall, trying not to wake up the [young] Session A campers or be overhead by the [teenage] Session B campers.  We also spent some time hacking away at half-frozen ham, andouille, and vegetables the better to make a nice big pot of red beans and rice, which I'm pleased to say was mostly consumed by about 6 people (of course, there were still probably 5 cups of beans left -- a pound of beans makes a BIG pot).

On Saturday I sat around in Mac's ignoring OSU's ritual slaughter of Youngstown State before retiring to Jess and Jen's for a viewing of Divorzio all'italiana an Italian film from the 60s that was... eh?  It was ok?  It had its moments.  The baroness was extremely annoying (and yes, she was supposed to be, but good GOD).

Finally, yesterday I went to Kevin's brother's wedding in Dayton.  It was really good to see John and Erin again -- their wedding was simple and sweet (it reminded me a lot of rosepurr/thunderstd's and purple_phys/tbec's), and I was glad to be able to celebrate their love along with their friends and family.  Erin made me promise to stay in touch, and I hope I manage to.

And now here it is Labor Day, and I need to do laundry.  Unfortunately my washer's been broken for a couple weeks now, so I guess it's time to schlepp my clothes across the alley to Elisa and Francis' place.  They're out of town, but I need to water their plant anyway.  Might as well abuse my laundry access at the same time :)


On a more serious note, I'm worried about all of you down in Louisiana.  I'm glad to see that Gustav has decreased in strength, but it's still a good-sized storm, and it's coming in at a totally bizarre angle.  At least it trended a little more west; at one point the projected path showed the distinct possibility that the eye could go right through New Orleans and manage to clip both BTR and Lafayette (like I said, bizarre angle).  So, I guess, be safe?  It's a little late to be getting to higher ground (and hell, there's a good chance you won't see this until after the storm's gone through, if at all), but I hope you're all well.  You're in my thoughts and prayers.
yrmencyn: (food)
I swear my days are slipping away from me.  I'm sitting here trying to figure out what I've done in the last couple of days, and I feel as if I'm missing chunks of time.  Course, I may have slept late for a while, so there's that.  I do know that I went out for drinks with a number of creative writers on Thursday night, and by drinks I mean 'a drink,' since (a) it was 10% ABV (b) it was $8 (c) I'm old.  The Piraat beer at Surly Girl is tasty, though, I'll say.  And it was really good to see those folks, since many of them I haven't seen since June.

And then Friday morning disappears into the mists.  But on Friday afternoon, I headed down to Thurn's Specialty Meats.  Y'all, I've been meaning to head down to Thurn's for a long damn time.  And it's well past time I did so, since I bought 2.5 pounds of the most beautiful andouille sausage, and it was only $12.40.  Love it.  I'll be telling you about it.  I already used some in a breakfast thing, and it was delicious.  Red beans and rice, here I come.

Anyway, Friday night was a going away party for Nick and Tania, two of my friends from way back when I lived with Kyle sophomore year.  They're headed off to New York, and I feel a little bad.  I fell out of touch with that whole group of people, and right as I'm getting back in touch a couple are leaving!  But hey, at least I made it there.  It was an elaborate ruse: fake reservations at the Columbus Fish Market, flimsy excuse to go drop things off at the party location, etc.  They were very surprised :)  And hey -- potluck! 

More rambling and food photos follow )


On a totally unrelated note, I am officially a HUGE Valentina Hasan fan.  I say this without sarcasm.  She's got moxie.
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
Well, the rest of the vacation went well.  Despite the fact that I definitely left Nacogdoches a whole hour late due to a sudden inability to do travel math (there was, to be fair, a branching decision tree that I accidentally clambered out onto the wrong branch of), I wasn't overly late to dinner with the CBC folk.  It was good to see people, to drink margaritas, to eat grilled oyster tacos (I know!), to play Phase 10.  Well, maybe except for the Phase 10.  I think that game would be better as, like, Phase 8, but that's neither here nor there.

I eventually headed out to BR, did not die on the Basin Bridge (Mike vs. the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge, still undefeated!), and ended up going out for a pitcher of Abita and a big basket of chips and queso with Erin at Zippy's.  Not that it started out that way -- Mellow Mushroom and Chelsea's both proved unreliable for various reasons -- but it was really a good place to end up.  Quiet, chill, well-lit, housemade chips.  Abita pitchers.  Need I say more?

At this point my memory goes off the rails a bit.  I know I did something with the girls involving Highland Coffees, but I suspect we mostly just hung out?  I do know that I had dinner with [livejournal.com profile] groovy2382 at Parrain's, which was predictably wonderful.  I'll have to make some boudin with one of the magical things that came back from the trip with me (all in good time, Eager Beavers), because otherwise I'll have to wait until at least December for boudin balls.  And I should really learn to deal with fish more, because that barbequed black drum (my favorite thing on the menu) is just too good.  And of course it was good to talk with A, see how she's doing, play with her cat.  And then home for more Olympics!

Sunday was yet more hangouts, first with Mandi and Erin at Hello Sushi on Highland for the obligatory sushi gorge, then at the old house with the now-married Shane and Rebecca.  I KNOW.  Madness.  I've really got to be in better touch with them (and with everybody) -- I miss our long conversations around the big dining room table.

And then Monday I got up reasonably early to drive to New Orleans the better to come back home.  Ah, right: funny thing happened.  I needed coffee something fierce, and I was forced to drive through a Starbucks (because there wasn't any way I was going to drive away from my destination, in rush-hour traffic, to go to Highland Coffees, no matter how much I love them).  I've learned from past adventures in road tripping that the proper way to get a caféau lait at Starbucks is, apparently, to order a Misto.  Which... what the fuck, but hélas.  Anyway, I pulled up and placed my order, and when I got the drink the girl in the window said, "Where are you from?"  I told her I was from Ohio at the moment, and she said "I thought so!  I'm from up north, and we say Misto up there, but they say café au lait down here!"  *facepalm*

Anyway, obviously made it home alright, despite delays in DFW.  And I brought things back!
Stuff from down South
6# Camellia red beans
2# Nacogdoches honey
96 family-size Luzianne tea bags
1 antique meat grinder, purchased by my parents at an antique shop for $8
(I just realized I forgot to bring home Café du Monde coffee.  Bollocks.)


On a totally different note, I actually had a good experience at Student Health today.  I've been meaning to schedule an appt with a local glaucoma specialist, since I'm far overdue for my yearly checkup, so I did that.  But for insurance purposes, I have to have a referral from primary, so I scheduled an appt with the Optometry segment of the Student Health Center today.  Yeah, only, it turns out that they have to do a full workup in order to issue a referral, but insurance will only pay for one of those a year, and I had one back in December.  Luckily, it turns out that the attending that did my exam back in December was the attending in the SHC today, and she remembered me!  So she had the file faxed over from the other facility, called in a referral to the specialist after a quick chart consult and pressure check, and then billed the visit as a standard office visit so I wouldn't have to pay out the wazoo.  Yay!
yrmencyn: (Default)
Hi folks!  As some of you know, I've been off on a whirlwind loop through Louisiana and Texas, visiting family and friends.  I flew down to New Orleans last Monday, rented a car, and drove to Baton Rouge.  Let's pause and give that act its due.  I felt like a Real Live Adult what with the whole renting-without-a-surcharge and signing-off-on-hundreds-of-dollars and not-having-anyone-meet-me-at-the-airport.  I've done parts of that before, but not all three at one fell swoop.  Anyway, I ended up with a Saturn Aura, which was larger than I expected, since I requested (and paid for) an economy car, and that's a midsize.  I've actually grown to like it, though, so that's nice, since I've put over 500 miles on it already.

Anyway, I crashed at Mandi's house in BR, where we feasted on chickpea salad, buttermilk curry, and tasty beers (I had Tilburg's Dutch Brown Ale, which is just lovely).  After watching the Olympics for a while (I suspect we may have watched Phelps massacre one of his own WRs, but I've really lost track at this point), I went to sleep so I could head to Nacogdoches the next day (after chatting with Carla for a while at her new place).

And that's where I've been for the last couple of days.  It's been a fun time, busy in a good way.  Hung out with Megan and Kate Tuesday night, which included some tipsy Facebook messaging by committee, saw Therese and Ann-Marie on Wednesday and then hung out at the Kulhavys' for, yes, more Olympics, and drove down to Lufkin today to see Cliff before coming back home for dinner at Clear Springs and (you guessed it) more Olympics.  What can I say?  I'm happy to be part of the Olympic mania.  (I mean, what about Nastia Liukin tonight: she's amazing!)

So tomorrow it's off to Lafayette to meet up with the CBC folk, and then on to BR for the weekend.  I already feel like I've gotten my vacation's worth, and I've barely hit BR at all.  It's been really nice to see people, and I hope it continues on through the weekend.  If you're down in the pertinent areas and haven't talked to me... do so!
yrmencyn: (food)
I'm reading Sarah Vowell's The Partly Cloudy Patriot right now, and one of the essays is an open letter to Bill Clinton, regarding her advice for his (then as-yet-unbuilt) presidential library.  But that's not important.  What *is* important is that she quotes three lines of poetry that I consider to be some of the best ever written, from Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself."  (Specifically, they're from Section 51 of the 1891-92 edition, or just, uh, 'near the end' of the 1855 edition):
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)


I had a really good evening.  Kevin and I were both getting mopey and blah, sitting around the house.  So we figured, well, we have stuff to do, but by God we don't have to do it here.  To the coffee shop!  Unfortunately, there was an unusually large crowd there, perhaps thanks to Mozart's having an open house thing that crowded out some of the folks who usually study there.  Fortunately, we ran into Elizabeth and Amy, two great folks in the MFA program, *and* we managed to poach their neighbors' table when they left.  Score!  So we sat around and gossiped with them for an hour or so, which was really great.  I usually see both in them in the context of much larger, louder gatherings, so it was a welcome change of pace to just sip coffee and chat.

We went pretty much directly from Cup O' Joe to [livejournal.com profile] gothicsquish's opening at MadLab downtown.  There was also good fun to be had there.  All the pieces were interesting, and Squish has an absolutely gorgeous piece there that she hasn't posted online -- it's well worth the trip!  Also, cocktails sausages and do-it-yourself bruschette (ok, not really bruschette, since the bread wasn't toasted, but still delicious).  It was nice to get out and see work in an interesting space, and to get to chat with her and [livejournal.com profile] lucki_dog.  Kevin and I had been considering going to Tip Top for dinner, since it's right around the corner, basically, and we invited Squish, Lucki, and their friends J and M along.

I hadn't ever been to Tip Top before, but I'd heard good things about it.  As I understand it, it's run by the same folks who run Betty's and Surly Girl, both of which I consider to be broadly-appealing crowd pleasers, and Tip Top was no exception to the trend.  Not one but two of our party got a grilled goat cheese salad, which I nearly ordered.  I would have regretted not getting it, too -- it looked and smelled divine -- if my pot roast hadn't been so delicious and tender.  And the Ohio nachos (i.e. made with thick, crunchy kettle chips) and country fried steak looked pretty great, too, as did the corn chowder and the baskets of sweet potato fries.

And then to make it really fun, we ran into a former glee clubber of Lucki's and my acquaintance.  Apparently L runs into him strangely frequently, but I haven't seen him since... what... Europe trip of '02?  That can't be right, but it's what my brain says.  Anyway, it's weird, because I was just thinking about him the other day.  So yes, that was cool.  Hopefully the obligatory exchange of cell phone numbers means we might actually catch back up.

So yes, I would say it was a good night.  Old friends, new friends, medium-aged friends, good food, good art, good talk.  We win at socializing.
yrmencyn: (Default)
Well, this is going to be a little mixed.  Yay!


I shouldn't be allowed to manage money, my own or anyone else's.  I just looked at my bank account, and it's at a level that's more appropriate for, oh, I dunno... the very end of the month?  And this is before I've finished my Christmas shopping, or paid a couple of bills that need paid, or, you know, driven to and from Texas.  Ack.  I think I should be able to hack it (thank God for a savings account), but it's disturbing.  I haven't even been really flagrant, I've just... not been as frugal as I should, I guess?  But I can only really point to one, possibly two expenses on my statement that I can classify as 'extravagant', so... that's upsetting.  Yay. 

I'm thinking about maybe trying to tutor for the Writing Center or for Student Athlete Support Services... I know people who do both, and it apparently pays pretty well.  I had really looked forward to a somewhat lighter quarter in the winter (no lit course, just workshop), but it's only 10 hours a week, and it doesn't go home with you, unlike the teaching (which I will, of course, also be doing).  So I hope this works out.  And I hope I make it to the end of the month without a negative number in my bank account.


Up until I tried to die of money-stress just now (which I'm getting over), I've been having a really nice, relaxed holiday.  Lots of sitting around, reading, watching Sex and the City.  We've had some random snow events, which have been fantastic for nesting.  Nothing better than sitting around drinking tea and reading books you've wanted to read for a long time.

Of course the nesting instinct is enhanced by some curtains that my sister has been making.  Kevin and I went with her and Francis on a big shopping trip, which was... maddening.  Finding the right fabric, especially for the big room, was all but impossible... not only are there budgetary concerns, but also we needed in excess of 14 yards of fabric for that room... dear God.  So we ended up with some waffle block muslin, which actually looks pretty nice.  And some microsuede for the study.  We'll get fabric for the bedroom at some point.


Had some lovely nights of eating and gaming.  Last night Amanda and Meg came over (with Brian joining us later).  We had radish root-and-green and leek risotto, wheat-free cornbread (an experiment that went SO well -- absolutely delicious), and a green salad with cranberry, pecan, and pepita.  It was all fantastic.  Go us.

And then a few nights before Aaron and Heather came over, and we had quinoa-stuffed roasted acorn squash, a pot of chipotle red beans, and some of Kevin's famous snickerdoodles.  The squash and beans came out of an amazing book I think I've mentioned before, Peter Berley's The Flexitarian Table.  It has a beautiful take on food, a whole series of recipes that can be prepared with or without meat -- and the vegetarian options are pretty much guaranteed to knock the socks of meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. 

It's really an inspiration.  I don't tend to like bifurcated preparations (that is to say, recipes where at a certain point you split the dish in two and complete it, separately, in two different ways).  Or to be more accurate, I *used* to be very mistrustful of them.  Basically, I worry that if you add in the meat at the very end, the flavors won't properly meld.  And at that point, why bother?  But Berley has come up with some really interesting techniques, *and* he knows when not to attempt the split.  Hardest thing to know.  Really great book.


And now my drive down to Texas has snuck up on me... it's looking like I need to leave town in a little more than 24 hours.  I'm not ready, not physically and not mentally.  I don't really feel like driving yet, and I don't feel like leaving Kevin yet :(  I know, I'm a sap.


That's it for now.  Maybe more later.
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
I spent a lot of time yesterday saying unpleasant things, either argumentative or just plain down-in-the-dumps.  Today is my day of saying good things.

First: I talked to Kathy yesterday, and as a result I have my summer 2/3 planned out.  See, to keep my fellowship money I have to maintain fulltime, but I'm also trying to not be tied down in Columbus this summer.  I've got Elisa's wedding to go to (did I ever mention that my sister's getting married?  She's getting married), and I'd really like to work at Camp Bon Coeur again (plus I kinda already committed to doing so, *coughcough*).  Together, those two things alone take up the entire month of July, and also include portions of both summer terms (so I can't even do some magical halfy-halfy thing).  So... I'm doing a lot of independent study.  I already had time lined up with Andrew, and now Kathy's on board, too.  I hope to do one in translation with Danielle, but she hasn't gotten back to me.  Worst case scenario, I'll read slush for the Journal all summer, and that will be another five hours of IS with... I dunno.  Michelle?  So that looks like it's on track, thank God.

Second: I had a great game of Settlers last night with Kevin, Liz, and Mollie (one of Liz's friends who I've absorbed, amoeba-like).  It was ridiculously close, and finally came down to luck of the dice, it was so close.  Plus I made gin fizzes but accidentally put in way too much gin, so I had a tasty juniper-scented glass of tipsy lemonade.  Very collegiate.

Third: Some financial wizardry happened, and the trip to Cali's back on!  Thank God for friends.  And as icing on the cake, I got an email this afternoon telling me my refund request for the first (idiot) itinerary had been processed.  Yay!

Off to rehearsal...
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
Holy Jesus.  I just came back from Neil/Dodridge, and the roads are super-shitty.  It's completely ridiculous.  Can we get some fucking salt trucks on the road?  I mean, Jesus, it's like a half-inch of snow; can we not deal with a simple dusting of snow?  The answer is, apparently, 'no', since that light dusting has now turned into a smooth plane of ice in the travel lanes.  Honestly, Columbus, what the hell.

In other news, I've had a pretty good day.  I spent some time tonight at the Hop along with [livejournal.com profile] gothicsquish, [livejournal.com profile] lucki_dog, [livejournal.com profile] piobaireachd, [livejournal.com profile] cmd_bakotl, and Squish's friend Adam.  We drank a good number of tasting pours of wines at Camelot Cellars (25 cents per taste, at least during the Hop; it's a steal!), saw some really wonderful paintings at... um... that gallery that always does member-curated shows just south of Camelot Cellars, wandered in the (at the time) lovely snow, and all in all had a nice time.  Following our time in the Short North, we retired to Neil/Dodridge for a tasting of various scotches that Pio had brought back from her time across the pond.  Sweet Jesus, 16-year Lagavulin is a delightful wallow in peat.

Before that, I did some work on my final project for my art seminar.  I'm planning on doing a multi-layered text piece, using some ivory broadcloth and the magic of iron-on transfers.  I had thought to maybe try and do a simply embroidered illuminated capital for the top sheet, but it turns out that that is too far beyond my skills to even contemplate.  So instead, maybe I'll do some illumination digitally before I print that one onto the transfer paper.  Anyway, I went out to Jo-Ann's to buy some fabric.  I had forgotten how much I hate fabric stores.  I think they're poorly labeled, in general.  So unless you're looking for, say, cottons, you're screwed.  I was in fact looking for cottons, but I also needed some other notions, and they weren't easy to find.  Seriously, just some labels.  A little signage.  That's all you need.  It did snow on me a bit as I was driving home, so I guess tonight's mess isn't a total surprise.

Anyway, I'm just doin'.  Gave a successful presentation on my progress on my final project for Editing/Publishing, so all I lack's finishing up in that realm.  Lots of editing to do on my poetry (and another poem to submit tomorrow, mustn't forget), and a paper to write for Medieval, but I think I'll get it all done without too much ulceration.  Oy!
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
So.  I had the most wonderful experience on Sunday night.  I went with [livejournal.com profile] bustysinclare and our friend Lizzie to go see Richard Thompson up in Kent.  But our story does not start there, no it doesn't.  Our story begins in Columbus, of course, but honestly I-71 is not a fascinating section down near 270.  Although I suppose we should note that, per Lizzie, that when you go driving under the Polaris Place and Gemini Place bridges, it's like flying through a field of astrology.  Anyway, our story begins at exit 186, the Ashland/Wooster exit.  Do you know what's at that exit?  Because we do.  What's at that exit is... Read more... )
yrmencyn: (vdub)
So.  Friday after work, we got in the car and drove to my parents' house in Nacogdoches.  The trip, I must say, goes a lot faster with other people in the car; takes away the monotony.  We got in around 11, at which point I spent another 2 hours searching through listings AGAIN before finally going to bed.  Poor Matthew, the girls all slept in Elisa's room, and I slept in his bed, so he had to sleep on the couch. 

So on Saturday, we headed off to Dallas.  I had intended to let somebody else drive while calling places to check availability/do basic triage, but that only half-worked.  Mandi did indeed take over driving after I had taken them on a brief driving tour of downtown/SFA/Nac HS/etc, but I had forgotten that you just can't use a cell phone in between cities in rural East Texas: there simply isn't reception most places, and when there is the hills cut you off.  So I sat in a Dairy Queen parking lot in Jacksonville and made a bunch of calls, narrowed it down.  Mandi continued driving until there was some trouble with the po-lice outside of Athens, at which point I drove.

For our first stop, we went up to Plano, where we saw the Jetta I referred to before leaving.  It seemed pretty decent, fairly clean, etc.  The sunroof was having some issues, but I was willing to try it out.  I had some trouble getting it in gear, but I assumed that was just a consequence of me not having driven a standard in a while.  So we pulled out onto Preston Rd. (people who know Dallas just went 'oh, shit!') and proceeded to drive.  Sort of.  But not really, because the clutch was not cooperating.  Even Mandi couldn't make it work, and she's been driving manuals the whole time she's been licensed.  And there was this smoking smell.  And then when I tried to just loop back around to the dealership I ended up on the PRESIDENT GEORGE FREAKIN' BUSH TOLLWAY.  I started shaking a bit at some point in there.  When we got back to the dealership, shaking and cringing (and not just the car, us too), we got out to the smell of burning petroleum products.  Why?  The left rear tire was molten and smoking.  Not to mention the clutch was all but completely shot.  As Mandi so aptly put it in a comment to the previous entry, OMG DEATHTRAP.  Needless to say, I did not purchase that vehicle.  Boo, Toyota of Plano.  In fact, we made a sign:
fuck plano

Lunch and a Shiner Bock at La Madeleine helped a lot.  Come to think of it, the fact that I had only consumed coffee, soft drinks, and a tamalito in the 12 hours previous to the DeathTestDrive may have had something to do with my frazzled nerves.  The oddly poofy hair we'll also blame on that.

The second place we looked was so much better.  Since we were in Plano already, I decided to go on up to Lewisville to Huffines Chevy-Subaru, which had been last on my list (Lewisville is past the north side of tomorrow).  Huzzah!  This place felt so much better.  The salesmen were warm and personable, gave me an exact list of what they had done to prepare the car for sale, and even gave me pointers on driving the Jetta (German transmissions are a little odd; I nearly drove into the dealership because getting into R involves movement in 3 dimensions; I hadn't ever had to reverse at the first place).  Once I got the hang of it, the car drove beautifully.  I am not a car person, generally.  I rarely turn my head to follow a nice car.  I just don't care generally; cars are a form of conveyance to me.  This one, though... it's sexy.  It is a sexy beast.  It growls and purrs.  I actually enjoyed the test drive.  So, yeah, I bought it.  Pix, I didn't read your note until after I got home, but I'm feeling pretty good about this one.  It's been well-maintained, has almost no cosmetic damage, runs very smooth, etc etc.  Though you may of course reserve the Right of I-Told-You-So.

The car is also fiscally handy!  I had intended to put $4k down upon purchase and finance the rest, but I got this one for just under $6k through a combination of luck and miscommunication among the pre-owned sales team, so the banks wouldn't finance the resultant small amount.  Instead, I put down $3k, and the TTL fees are rolled into the loan.  This means I still have $1,646 left over from the insurance payout.  I'm going to use the money to get the car looked over/tuned up (even though they had it looked at, always a good idea to have somebody do it whose only allegiance is to you and your money).  The remainder will help me get over the rocky gap between the end of summer and the first fellowship check.  The remainder of that remainder will then be applied to the loan, since there's no early payment penalty.

The drive home was largely uneventful.  Mom is a saint, and thus held lasagna for us (two kinds, meat and veggie, just for Katie's benefit), before shipping us off to an Econolodge for the night, because my aunt, uncle, their three kids, and Hannah's friend who came along had prior reservations at Chez Bierschenk.  We watched an ep of Entourage on the free HBO, and now I must see the whole thing (dammit). 

Sunday we had lunch with the whole big gang at my parents' (where the air conditioning had just crapped out, ugh).  Leftover lasagna, a huge amount of marinated, grilled chicken, squash casserole, salad, cake and ice cream.  Wowsers!  I now have tasty leftovers in my fridge.  Score!

Two pictures to leave you with.  Neither is a clear picture of the car by itself, ridiculously, because we never got around to taking one, and I keep forgetting until it's already closed up in the garage, at which point laziness takes over.  Nevertheless.

pictures )
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
Well, except not.

First we went to George's for supper (supposed to have been Zippy's, because I was craving empanadas, but they were packed: had Natchitoches meat pies at George's instead), and each had a beer.  Then we went by Albertson's and bought a six-pack each of beer of choice (Abita Purple Haze for her, Sierra Nevada Porter for me), the better to sit around and watch TV.  We each had two beers, and called it a night at about 11:10. 

I think I'm turning into a responsible adult, because when I came home I cleaned the bathroom and swept the dining room (after moping about writing, see previous entry).  Why?  Because Erin-the-roommate's moving in this weekend, and I think it's nice to move into a clean place.  I mean, sure there are already people living there, so it's not going to be recently-steam-cleaned-and-surgically-sterile, but at least the tub shouldn't have soap scum, eh?  I'm too nice; I'm not even the landlord!  And this in addition to Friday after work.  I ran errands on the way home!  I stopped by the bank and the pharmacy.  It's like I'm 12, riding around with Mom after school doing errands, except it's just me.

But the clincher?  I went to bed last night at about 2:30, and didn't set an alarm.  I awoke with that time-sense I used to get when I slept until 1pm, so I rolled over and looked at the clock: 10:20 am.  Whoo, crazy times.
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
Blah.  I have stayed up to my bedtime now, eating out at Chelsea's with French Dept. people, drinking beers at same Chelsea's, watching Buffy at Erin's, drinking too much Danish cherry wine stuff at same Erin's.  Mandatory meeting (rescheduled from Wednesday, bah) tomorrow morning at 8am.  Boo.

I'm leaving straight from work sometime midday and driving to Austin for a family reunion.  So... there were a couple of folks I was intending to speak to tonight, and I didn't, and I apologize.  Y'all should know how to get in touch with me, but if not information is in the usual places.  I'll be coming back Sunday; probably back in the evening hours if everything goes right.

'Til then,
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
Work today was extra special.  Mandi was down in HR (lucky girl), and Angel and I were trying to keep her pod in working order as best I could.  By this, of course, I mean that Angel was getting things done while I ran around ineffectually, because I have NO idea what in the hell I am doing.  So, that was frustrating.  But the coup de grâce came toward the end of the day, when Antoinette stopped by to talk to Mandi.  I was just standing there not really paying attention until I heard the phrase "and Mike'll be here tomorrow anyway."  I was forced to stop her and ask just what in the hell, exactly, that meant and why I hadn't heard of it.

"Oh," quoth she, "that's really why I came down here.  What are you doing tomorrow?"  As calmly as I could, I said that I was, apparently, going to be here.  "It's really informal," she assured me.  "You can wear jeans."  Leaving aside the question of pants length (I mean, it's officially summer now, I avoid long pants as much as I can, so saying I'm allowed to wear jeans is darkly amusing): I don't have to wear scrubs?  Ya think?  If you come and tell me 15 minutes before the close of the business day on Friday that I have to come in on Saturday for a mandatory training session, you damn well better let me wear civvies.  Little warning?

Erin's parents are in town, and they took her, Mandi, Katie, and me out tonight to Louisiana Pizza Kitchen.  Everybody seemed to like their pizzas (and Erin's mom liked her lasagna), so that's good.  There was, however, an epidemic of Mike Ear around the table.  I don't believe I've ever explained this phenomenon, so let me just say this here: I can't hear for shit.  I mean, I hear sounds just fine, and by god I can even distinguish stupidly close articulations (dental vs. alveolar D, labial vs. labiodental F, etc), but my brain often restructures them before interpreting.  Instead of just not catching what someone has said, I will hear simply hear something that differs so wildly from the actual enunciation as to defy explanation.  You say "wineglass"?  It's entirely possible I'll hear "baboon."  Back to the matter at hand, I don't know if it's just that we were at a corner table in a room with lots of ambient noise and few sound-absorbent surfaces, or what, but nobody could understand anybody else.  It led to some amusing things.

Anyway, I want to do some reading before going to sleep (in time to be at LCA tomorrow morning, wearing long bloody pants), so I'm to bed now.  Sleep well, my little chickadees.
yrmencyn: (food)
Hello.  Yes, I realize it's been a few days.

First off, the trip down to Metairie was quite successful.  It ended up being just me, Shane, Rebecca, and Vanessa.  We had dinner at the amazing Casablanca, a kosher North African/Middle Eastern restaurant.  Is it an hour away?  Yes.  Was it worth it?  Double yes.  Everything was absolutely amazing.  I stepped way the hell out of my comfort zone and ordered the fish tagine.  I'm not generally a fish eater, so ordering a fish stew... that's weird for me.  I was not disappointed, as it was delicious.  Tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and some sort of whitefish, in a delicately spiced red broth, mmm.  The appetizer platter we started off with was also wonderful, with the first tabouli I've ever had that I didn't dislike, a smoky hummus that I still haven't figured out, and some sort of almost barbeque-y brown stuff that I adored (plus other good stuff like regular hummus, falafel, and spanakopita).  And then came dessert.  First, I had some delicious fresh mint tea, which pleased me.  But I also had what they called "sweet cigars."  Think baklava, but instead of layered phylo it's rolled into a tube, and then deep-fried.  And topped with honey.  SO.  GOOD.

Thanks to Ben, I got my Request for Master's Examination signed, and it's now turned in.  Whew.  Now I just have to, you know, write the rest of the thesis, heh.

Tonight Mandi got me to leave my house and go see a movie.  We ended up seeing Mrs. Henderson Presents, which is both funny and deeply affecting.  Topnotch; you should see this movie.  Coffee Call afterward was in no way a bad thing, either.  So there you go, caught up ish.

Oh, BTW: I've had multiple people tell me in the past few days that I am, in one domain or another, somewhat intimidating.  Er... ok?  I guess I can see it, maybe, but seriously: no need to be intimidated.  I'm all smoke and mirrors.  Presentation, presentation, presentation.
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
Oh, dear.  It's the ep of Law & Order: SVU that makes me feel dirty.  The perp is the legal ward of a guy who's been abusing him since he was 8, so this abusee kills his guardian.  Fine, great, whatever.  Except... Just like last time I saw this ep, the only thing going through my head whenever the perp is onscreen is "Oh, poor baby.  Come here.  I'll make you feel better."  Yeah, lots better.  I'll make you feel good.

He's the victim of a sexual crime.  That's not kosher.  Except, he's got this weird John Mayer-y thing going on.  I dunno, it works for me.  Mm.  Shh, don't cry baby.  Heh.

Anyway.  I've had a good weekend.  Stayed in Friday night, which many people might think of as dull or sad, but ya know?  I was pretty ok with it.  Watched BSG, baked, read, wrote, did comic things, felt the night air waft through the open window.  Quite relaxing.

Saturday I did a lot of translating work.  I translated poetry until my brain didn't work anymore omigod ack.  Luckily I had other things to do that night :)  Logan and Steve hosted a Winter Semi-formal Extravaganza (otherwise known as an excuse to hang out and drink, and maybe dress up pretty simultaneously).  First though, I caught up to Erin, Mandi, Katie, and Katie's man (?) Steve (not the same Steve as above).  The five of us braved the rain to go to Copeland's Cheesecake Bistro, where we split five appetizers, as the appetizers there are both delicious and entree-sized.  Honestly I think we made out like bandits.  Under the split check, even with a whole slice of cheesecake to myself (Dulce de leche & praline over chocolate cheesecake, mmmm), I didn't crack 20 bucks before tip.  If I'd had alcohol, of course, that would have changed things... but I didn't, so it didn't.

There is such a thing as fashionably late.  If the later you are, the more fashionable you are... girl, we were flawless.  We were couture.  We get to fuck the prom queen, because we showed up an hour and a half late at 10PM.  Eh, regardless.  I have to say, all temporal sarcasm aside, we were looking quite good - everybody at the party was, really.  We (that is to say, we French grads)may not usually dress up, but we're a bunch of handsome devils (and... succubi?) when we put out the effort.  The most common statement I heard directed toward me was "Wow, you clean up well."  Thanks?  Mandi and I ended up closing out the party, along with Steve and Michelle.  We played I Never.  Truths were revealed.  Beer was spat and spilled all over me, Thank you Michelle.  Apparently I said some very funny and/or unexpected things.

Today I was awoken at the crack of noon (gimme a break, I went to bed at 5:15) by telephone and asked (told) to go get food with Mandi and Erin.  We had a delightful picnic catered by Brew-bacher's at City Park.  The day was absolutely wonderful, sunny and 75 degrees.  The live oaks have their leaves, and they are wonders to behold, large and sprawling across the landscape, bending down to graze the ground with their twisting limbs.  So beautiful.  Then we retired back to Erin's to watch Buffy, which just gets BETTER AND BETTER.  I shall marry Alyson Hannigan, who is hilarious and awesome.  It will be a plural marriage, of course, with Nicholas Brendan and Daniel Vosovic (ha!  Patrick), but I think we can make it work.  There are polygamists in Utah, of course, but I don't think they'll accept our love.

Since returning home, I have watched an exceptional ep of Grey's Anatomy, downloaded Mike Doughty's Haughty Melodic and Statistics' Leave Your Name, translated some very hard poems (ugh.  bad luck.), and am now watching The Shawshank Redemption, which is one of my favorite movies ever.  Ah, life.


yrmencyn: (Default)

December 2009



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