yrmencyn: (armadillo)
The most recent PHD Comic made me laugh bitterly.  No, grad students aren't being made to take unpaid leave or anything like that, but the economy finally got around to annoying me directly.  Every year at the AWP conference (the biggest creative writing conference), there's a pedagogy forum, wherein folks submit one-page papers outlining a pedagogical point -- an exercise, a bit of philosophy, whatever -- and then, if their paper is accepted, they sit around for a while and discuss pedagogy with other like-minded folks for about an hour.  It's also the easiest way to be an official presenter at the conference, which is the magic bullet that lets you access your travel allowance from the department.

Last year, when AWP was in New York, everyone and their dog suddenly decided to go the conference.  Times was, pretty much anyone who submitted a paper was accepted, but under the flood of submissions the process got MUCH more selective.  So in those plush economic times, our program director negotiated an agreement with our department chair such that anyone attending AWP could use their travel allowance, regardless of presenter status.  That offer was extended to this year, and thus there was very little discussion of pedagogy papers on our listserve, and most people didn't submit.  Hell, I actually wouldn't mind having the extra CV line, and even I didn't submit; I knew I had the money anyway, and I was busy.

Up through last week, the department chair was keeping the funding agreement on the table, but now it's been retracted pursuant to a memo from the College regarding non-presenter funding.  I'm not upset with the chair or with our program director -- they both did what they could, it sounds like -- but it still stands that people have been making decisions based on funding assumptions, and that rug was suddenly yanked out from under us.  I mean, I can swing it, and I think everybody in my hotel room is still going, so at least we don't have to scramble to maintain our per-person cost, but it remains annoying.

On the plus side, we managed to find a sub-100$ one-way flight down to TX for my brother-in-law, thus making it possible for him to work his alloted hours AND for me (and, incidentally, Elisa) to drive down to the grandparents' for early-Christmas (Grammie's doing Christmas the weekend before).  Woohoo!

And now that I've finished complaining mildly, I need to get back to work.  Have to read poetry manuscripts for the Journal prize (due Monday) and grade student portfolios (also due Monday).
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: (food)
Y'all, I'm so terribly pleased with myself.  I really should have made this post last night, when it happened, but I was sort of tired after a long session of Project Runway and Shear Genius (god, that show is bad, but I can't stop).  Anyway, I did the unthinkable last night.

I successfully made a pie.

For those of you who don't know this saga, me and pies... we haven't, historically, been friends.  Pie crusts totally elude me.  The best I've ever managed has been a pressed crust, like a graham cracker, etc.  But that's not really what you're looking for in a classic, American pie: you want something that's light and delicious, but also sturdy enough to be sliced and hold up to the weight of the filling during service.  And that kind of crust?  I can't do it.

Or, I should say, I couldn't do it, because I totally defeated the juggernaut.  BEHOLD: image, etc., beneath cut )
yrmencyn: (Default)
Today for lunch I was making some soup beans, and I realized I had not one single grain of cornmeal in the house, which was a problem, since I wanted to crumble cornbread into my beans.  So I headed out to Wholly Wild Food Oats (Whole Foods recently bought out Wild Oats) to grab some cornmeal and vital wheat gluten flour, maybe some vegetables.  So I get to the store, and I'm poking around in their cheeses when a middle-aged woman comes up to me and says "Excuse me..."

I turn around, sort of apprehensively.  I mean, random people talking to me in the grocery store doesn't generally bode well.  "Is that your VW Jetta outside?" she asks.  I confirmed that it was, thinking 'Oh Jesus, what the hell happened now.'

It turns out that I randomly lost my hubcap at the last stoplight (I don't know, man.  Why'd it fall off, who can say?), and she had been following behind me.  So she followed me to the store and came inside to let me know that it was sitting out in the street a block and a half away, and I could probably go and pick it up if nobody had run over it (nobody had; I did).

But... that's just so kind!  And sweet!  And courteous!  And... totally weird.  It is weird, right?  Or do I just not think enough of people?  Either way, it was very nice of her, and I think that's great.

Happy Easter.  Or Oestra.  Or Purim (not Pesach yet (and yes, I'm a little late for Purim, so sue me)).
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)
Look!  It is salvation!  It is the land of milk, honey, and 70-degree highs!

Apr 22: High of 72, partly cloudy

Of course, by the time next Sunday rolls around the forecast will have been changed to something less exciting (like "High of 72... and T-showers"), but still.  72.  Rock on.
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
So, um... Richard Thompson's playing on the Kent Stage in (natch) Kent, OH this Sunday.  Tickets are still available, only $20.  I really really really want to go.  Does anybody want to go with me?  Show starts at 7pm, so I figure we'd leave C'bus a little after 4pm.  We'd be back somewhat late-ish, I imagine, but I don't have class until 3:30 on Mondays, so I could drive while others sleep.  And if any Clevelanders were desirous, it's a relatively short drive back from the Akron area for you.  Takers?  Anybody?  I want to go ahead and order the tix soon.  Better seats and all that.  So do let me know as soon as you can if you're interested.

Omigod so cool.

Responses

Jan. 15th, 2007 07:28 pm
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
One thing that never ceases to amaze me is how much coming out is less about people's reactions, but about your own reactions.  So far, everything I've gotten from my family has been positive, but it hasn't really elicited any terribly big emotional response.  Now, though, I just got an email back from Uncle Fr. Steve (I have two Steves for uncle so we distinguish Uncle Steve  -- Dad's sister's husband -- from Uncle Fr. Steve -- Dad's eldest brother, a priest).  It includes this snippet:
One thing I am sure of is that God does not create mistakes.  In the Book of Genesis it says that when God created every different thing, he looked at it and “ .  .  . saw that it was good.” And that is even more true about every person he creates – he chooses to make each of us at a certain place and time, with all our talents and opportunities and trials and struggles. [...] And no matter what happens, those who love you will always be there – because you belong to us.
I knew my faith was important to me, and I knew that I had made my own peace with it, but I hadn't realized how much I needed to hear it from somebody else.  I also didn't know how worried I was about Fr. Steve's reaction; I didn't realize how important it was to me.  But I can't stop crying, every time I reread that passage, because I'm so relieved.  And it sounds like the height of ridiculousness, but it's like having possibility flow back from wherever it went.  It feels like praying.  It feels like having somebody answer. 
yrmencyn: (Default)
Greetings.  I just wanted to note two things.  First, we had a lovely party here for New Year's, saw lots of old friends (including some I hadn't seen in, literally, years).  I made some tasty food, a number of people brought snackums and drinks, and all in all a good time was had by all.  The group singing of Auld Lang Syne (led by my copy of Barenaked Ladies' Barenaked for the Holidays) was a special treat, as was having someone to kiss at midnight for, I think, the first time ever.

Second thing is to say that I've just now finished reading Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game for the first time ever in my 24 years.  Yes, I know, I waited more than a decade too long, but you know how these things go: sometimes important books slip through the cracks.  It was really stunning.  It can be read as an insightful treatise on the problems of interaction with an extraterrestrial species, of course, and in the unlikely event that that becomes more relevant I certainly hope the book is required reading at all levels.  That said, I think it's hugely applicable right here, right now as a story about the dangers and consequences of dehumanizing the Other.  It's a sad habit we have as a species, our willingness to paint those with whom we disagree as obvious fools or fanatics, when an interior examination would almost certainly reveal an internal coherency -- and thus an empathizable connection -- to rival our own.

In other news, OSU starts Winter Quarter tomorrow, and I can't access the registrar's site.  Which means I can't view my schedule.  Kevin helped me recreate most of it from other sources (he's a smartie, and I was having a mental block), but I still don't know where my Art seminar is.  Or when.  Or, for that matter, what the damn course number is.  Good times.  Guess I'll be calling the Department of Art tomorrow.  I'd use their website, but it is, unfortunately, pretty much worthless, a monument to form over function.  All pretty, no content. *rolls eyes contemptuously*

I bought a leather coat last night; it is sexy.  I bought Marcus Samuelsson's The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa today; I've been VERY excited about this one since I saw it about a month ago.  Yay Christmas money!  Also had my glasses repaired today, since one of the lens-frames decided to break at the bridge while I was cleaning them a couple days ago.  All-American Eyeglass Repair, 999 Bethel Rd. (just east of Kenny), was wonderful: fast, cheap, and the repair looks to be both neat (you have to know it's there to see it) and sturdy.

Finally managed to get over to the departmental office to check my mailbox, where I knew my portfolio was waiting.  Also there was my commented final paper from Phelan.  For once, I was very happy to receive comments on a paper; he noted a lot of places where my argument was weak or, more frequently, underexplored, and the comments were actually truly constructive, in a way that I don't often feel like I've gotten.  This felt more like I was being approached as a peer by a more experienced colleague, rather than as a peon by a professor just going through the required motions.  Not to say I've had all disaffected, disinterested professors -- far from it -- but it's been a while since a prof and I have both been on board; I've written a lot of papers I could care less about.
yrmencyn: (food)
Greetings, all.  It was a good Christmas here at the Bierschenks.  Of course, the holiday was aided by the presence of Phoebe, the Christmas cat:
DSC00955

Oh, and of course the holiday is always improved by tasty food, as we see in this photo:
DSC00967
Ham, smoked turkey, Italian (ish) green beans, mashed potatoes, ham gravy, monkey bread.  Mmmm.  So terribly happily full.

But of course, for all us of dedicated consumer whores, the gifts are the big locus of sweaty-palmed anticipation.  And gifts?  Whoo boy, did we have a lot.  I mean, there were a lot of presents under the tree:
Xmas gifts 2006: 1
So many presents, in fact, that we had to make an annex in front of the TV:
Xmas gifts 2006: 2
In fact, there were even a couple of really big things hiding in weird places, e.g. behind the armchair:
Xmas gifts 2006: 3
(picture purposefully reduced in size to try and hide the blurriness)

So, it only took us about 2 hours to get through them all (I know, right?).  I was pretty happy with everything that I got, and my gifts were well-received.  What I got, in order of opening:

  • The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems - Mark Eisner, ed.
  • A contribution to "Mike's Major Appliance Fund" (heh)
  • A Transformer (a Decepticon that turns from a hovercraft into a robot)
  • Some more money
  • A case of canned tamales (...it's a long story; this was really funny in context)
  • The traditional loungewear, this year from Jockey (some of my extended-extended family own a lingerie and loungewear factory)
  • An IOU from my sister for a room's worth of curtains
  • A smoker
  • a Target gift card

Moving back slightly, let us reconsider the penultimate item.  Dude.  My parents gave me a smoker (and incidentally a cover therefor).  I am so stoked.  See, in the first place I've been meaning to grill more, but I don't trust the little tiny Weber grill the former tenants left behind.  In the second, I really want to start working on making my own charcuterie.  I've had this amazing book checked out from the public library for a while now, Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn.  Ruhlman is a highly respected food writer (his The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute was a deeply satisfying examination of professional culinary formation) (from Cleveland!), and Brian Polcyn is a head chef and culinary instructor in Michigan, with a specialization in, natch, charcuterie.  Anyway, it's a refreshingly lucid look at a subject that most home cooks (including me) are afraid of.  I should probably say, for further accuracy, that I was afraid of the subject, but the book has really made me decide that I'm more than up to the task.  As many items of charcuterie are smoked, I expect it will be called into service to aid me in my quest.  Plus I have these ideas for making veggie sausages, and I think that many of the techniques in the book can be successfully applied.  I even have odd ideas about a cured, smoked seitan and mushroom sausage... though they may, in the end, prove untenable.
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
Things to do for the new year:
  • Come out to the grandparents
  • Come out to the extended family
  • Finally write that damn translitic
Well.  As Elisa and Francis say, that was a 'pass the ham' moment.  Let me just replay the conversation for you.
ME: So.  Pops, you remember you asked me last week whether I'd met any nice ladies at Ohio State?  [This actually happened.  He just piped up after we'd been sitting there quietly, doing our own things, for 30 minutes.

POPS: *grunts*

ME: Well, I have, but more pertinently I've met a nice man, and I've been dating him for a bit now.  I'm gay.

GRAMMIE: OK.

ME: *beat* *pause* *more different pause* OK?  Well, I just wanted to say... (babbles).

GRAMMIE:  Now, wait just a second, before you go any farther.  I should say, we sort of suspected.

ME: (has no idea what to say)
And then, after a couple of brief questions about Kevin, we talked about airlines and other unrelated things.  So... whoopee?  I managed to get to the liquor store minutes before close, for which: definitely whoopee.
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
I'm not even going to bother apologizing for my absence anymore, since it appears to be my default state nowadays.

-------------

Dentists, catholic stupidity, driving, coming out, grades, and a disclaimer. In that order. )
yrmencyn: (vdub)
Oh, finals week.  Why do you persist in existing, despite my repeated implorations?  I shouldn't complain, it's not really going too badly.  I've finished my portfolio and my box of manuscripts (I was reviewing submissions for the Journal (OSU's literary journal)'s poetry prize).  Remind me sometime to tell you about the manuscript of political limericks.  Of course, I still have two papers to write.  One is due on Wednesday.  The other is due Thursday.  But!  I thought the Wednesday paper was supposed to be around 20 pages, and it turns out it's supposed to be 3000-4000 words (that's 12-16 pages for those of you who don't think in wordcounts).  So go me, I might actually have enough material to do this without... you know... stretching.  Cheers to that.  It's going to be a mite confusing, though, since I'm writing it for crit theory class, but I'm using a primary text and a critical article from comics class.  And I might be drawing in some of my crit theory stuff for my comics paper.  I feel like I'm writing two papers for one hybrid class.  Gah.

And yet, I'm in a good mood.  Kevin's been around pretty much constantly for the past week, which can't help but raise my spirits.  I made an absolutely gorgeous pot of red beans and rice (pics on Flickr, soon), my first since coming back to Ohio.  I was a bit anxious... as if the beans would know they weren't in the right state, and not behave.  Madness.  And then a lovely potato and broccoli soup last night, with cornbread (us Southern boys, we love us some cornbread).  On a less fabulous food note, I somehow seem to have  bought a box of Entemann's donuts today at Giant Eagle.  I can't explain it; their siren call was both undeniable and subtle.

I think I'm going to manage to save myself a good deal of money on my car, since I sat down with my good friend the Interwebs today and rooted through its series of tubes to find out how to change my headlamp and taillight.  Yes, I know as an American male I'm supposed to know these things, but I never picked them up.  Luckily the net will help, since VW basically says "Changing headlights is hard!  Let's go shopping!" (<--- Barbie reference), and tells you to take your vehicle to an authorized dealer.  Plus, I'm lucky because my dead light is on the side where I don't have to remove my battery.  Score!
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
I had a pretty great Turkey Day+aftermath, I have to say.  Baked some 'pumpkin' bread (read: buttercup squash bread) and headed over to Brian's for he and Meg's celebration, which was pretty fabulous.  Brian's family, Meg's dad, coupla friends... can't go wrong.  All the food was absolutely delicious, especially the turkey that Meg+dad smoked on Wednesday (ja, smoked, on a grill -- fabulous).  I stuffed myself rotten just like at a Bierschenk Thanksgiving, called friends and family, re-stuffed myself on the desserts, and then rolled home fat and happy.  With a turkey carcass in hand (more on that later).

Kevin came back over after his family celebration in Dayton, and we... I don't know.  Watched Firefly?  The days have all blurred together.  The great thing about this weekend is that not only did I have a five-day weekend (oh frabjous day), but I started feeling a lot better with the whole mono business on Thursday, and then really felt pretty damn good starting Friday, yet I still had the joyful excuse of recuperation to forgive my incredible laziness throughout the rest of the weekend (well, until today, when I had to read Foucault, Greenblatt, and Lentricchia, but that was only about 20 pages total).

On Friday we did a lot of walking, just because.  From my place to the Target at the Lennox, then over to his place, then on down to the North Market for Jeni's, then over to his friend Mary's place... all told about 4 miles.  I seriously love to walk; I need to start setting aside dedicated time for walking; it would be healthy both mentally and physically.  Also, it helped on Friday that it was a Fucking Gorgeous Day (tm), sunny and 65 degrees.  So strange for November, but I'll take it.

Saturday I went on a secret post-Thanksgiving shopping trip, about which I shall say more tomorrow or Tuesday, then did other things which, for narrative reasons, shall also be postponed in the telling.

All in all, I spent a ridiculous amount of time with Kevin, and in general took a breather.  I will, of course, be well-punished for this in the coming two weeks as I desperately attempt to finish everything I have to finish, but for right now it was totally worth it.
yrmencyn: (food)
It's been a good couple of days, I would say.  Let's rewind to Thursday (and I realize I've been absent a while, but get over it), when I had my weekly poetry workshop.  Now, I'm going to start off by saying that I love all the people in my workshop, because they're smart, creative, and generally both articulate and insightful about what needs to be done to improve a poem.  Still, the first time through on getting my work reviewed was a mixed bag, because while everybody liked a lot of the imagery in it, they pointed out a lot of dead weight that needed to be axed, and then the general consensus was that the poem lacked a certain finish or punch -- i.e., where's it going?  All totally true, and I needed an outsider perspective to see it, since the damn things bounce around in my head so much I really can't step far enough away from my work to really do a good job of auto-critiquing (it's a skill I'm hoping to develop in the next few years).  This week, though, there were glowing reviews of the poem I had submitted, including an implicit comparison to Hopkins, which made me feel warm and fuzzy.  Not that the poem's perfect, not at all, and I got a lot of good ideas about how to tighten up the language in the less strong portions.  Still, ego boost.  I'm not above acknowledging this to myself.  Riding on the wave of that good feeling, I volunteered to be one of the readers at the next Mother Tongue reading, which will be at Barley's Underground (it's on High in front of the North Market) on Oct 26.  Mark your calendars!  I'll be reminding as the date draws closer.

et caetera )
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
Oh, dear sweet Jesus.  Last time my mom's side of the family got together, we had a brisket, done Texas oven-brisket style.  Basically you trim a brisket, slather it with bbq sauce (or, you know, whatever), wrap it tightly in foil, and leave it to braise in the oven for a long time at low heat.  So, since we're having this big combo back to school/bon voyage (to me) party tomorrow (Saturday) in New Roads, I thought that this would be a GREAT time to pull this one out of my ass.  Well... ok, this is the first time I've done this level of butchery, so I don't really have anything to compare to (Beth Lynn made the brisket over Christmas, and I didn't pay a whole lot of attention), but even given that cows are fatty and brisket isn't the leanest cut... I think I just trimmed the fattiest brisket ever in the history of mankind.  Twelve pound brisket, as packaged?  I swear I ended up with... 6 pounds, maybe 8 after it was trimmed.  And trimming beef fat?  Not simple.  I have sharp knives, y'all.  They're good knives.  It took me the better part of an hour, beginning a little after 2am.  And sure, part of this is that I'm totally inexperienced, but still.  Good thing I'm not looking for a job as a butcher.

Still, I'm really excited.  Mandi and Erin brought me back some Vidalia onion bbq sauce from their jaunt in Tennessee, and after one little taste, I knew it was the sauce to use.  So good!  I can't believe a Tennessee-local product has the right characteristics of a Texas sauce: very smoky, dark, a barely hidden spiciness, a good vinegar tang, and just the barest hint of sweetness (yay Vidalias!).  Add a little liquid smoke to simulate a pit bbq and some Worcestershire sauce just because I like it, and I can't wait for tomorrow morning.  And hey, so what if I had to disinfect an entire counter, since it was, uh, covered in cow juice.

In other news, I am now completely free of all academic and work-related entanglements in Baton Rouge!  Wednesday was my last day at LCA, which makes me happy.  I will miss some of the people (those ladies are crazy), but I will in no way miss the damned charts, especially since, uh, they're out of room.  I seriously have no idea where they will put new charts, because there is zero shelf space left.  Good timing on my part.  The ladies of Med Rec were very sweet: they got me a cake (delicious turtle cake from Ambrosia), a card, and a couple of gifts (throw blanket and a tin of cookies).  Hee.  They tried so hard to be sneaky, and they had the worst luck ever!  I kept running into people carrying random things.  A bunch of people also said they sincerely appreciated the work I did and would miss me, which feels good... more than I expected from a job to earn a little money over the summer.

In terms of academic entanglements, I had my last meeting ever with Sylvie today, regarding the Louisiana French Tourism project.  I worked hard yesterday and today to finish up everything, and presented her with a well-documented CD of all my files, a hard copy of the text documents, and the textbook and accompanying CD.  She didn't seem outwardly displeased, and that's about all I can ask for at this point, really.  Plus when I was there I found an envelope full of money in my mailbox (reimbursement from petty cash that I'd totally forgotten about), so that was a nice surprise -- good thing I happened to glance over at the mailboxes and see that there were things in mine!

So tonight, to celebrate -- well, I was celebrating... I think the others were just having a non-specified good time -- the girls and I had a Spanish-themed night.  Erin and I, with Mandi's help (Katie's a slacker) made four dishes: spicy fried potatoes, lemon-parsley shrimp, eggplant dip, and pisto (like a fast version of ratatouille).  All of them came out of my Spanish cookbook, which I haven't used nearly so much as I should.  It's so gratifying to look through, too, since it's basically food porn.  With our meal, we had three Spanish[-by-heritage] wines (in order of my ascending preference): a Trempanillo from Spain, a Malbec from Argentina, and a Carmenere from Chile.  All three were extraordinarily cheap, since they were (a) Origens brand and (b) marked down at Albertson's to $5.99 a bottle.  Score!  To round it out, we watched Almodóvar's Todo sobre mi madre (All About My Mother), which is one of my favorite movies, but also one which I haven't seen since... I think the summer of 2000.  I had forgotten a lot of the plot details, so it was almost like seeing it for the first time again.  Plus I appreciated a lot more of the subtext this time around, since I've now read/seen A Streetcar Named Desire (Streetcar plays a big background role).  We closed out the night with coffee/hot chocolate and beignets at Coffee Call, and then I proceeded home to re-slaughter my cow.  Which brings us back to where we started!

I'm quite tired, so... to bed.

PS: Am I going to hell for my subject?  Or at least to the limbo for culturally insensitive bastards?
yrmencyn: (food)
I've been making tasty edibles recently.  Some of them, of course, have the mark of the Beast on them.  That happens.  Let us begin our Gallery of Delicious Horrors!

Images! And descriptions! )

Tonight was also a good food night.  I was wandering around the internet, reading food blogs, and I came upon some serendipitous things.  First, I saw Elise's Warm Green Bean Salad over at Simply Recipes, then I saw a recipe for panzanella, a sort of Italian bread salad, over on some other site.  The end result was Elise's recipe plus cubes of my bread and some chopped zucchini.  The bacon drippings, honey, and vinegar dressing was so unexpectedly good!

Finally, I had an amazing food moment just now.  For a long, long, long time, I've kept two 'butters' in my fridge.  The first is real, unsalted butter.  I use unsalted because you can always add salt in recipes that require it, but you can't take it out.  Thus unsalted is the better default, IMHO.  The second 'butter' is margarine, which I keep around because it's easier to spread and tastes more like butter than butter.  But tonight I just didn't want to use margarine on my toast, because I'd just bought a different brand of butter than usual, and I hadn't had a chance to taste it yet.  So I did, but compensated for the fact that it's unsalted (which is why it tastes less buttery) by sprinkling some kosher salt over it, then some honey.  It was so amazing.  I can't describe how amazing.  I think I'll go have another piece!  And throw away that margarine!

PS: One more day.

EDIT: Apparently when I was spellchecking, I accidentally kept hitting "replace" instead of "leave". So if you read about me making a mock tsarevich, or nearly having a floodgates, or using a recipe by Giada j Laurentian... my bad.
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
Work today was ridiculously slow.  Work is very bad when it's too busy, you understand, so I'm not really wishing, per se, that it were busier, but it's quite dull when it's slow.  It was slow enough today that Mandi and I actually reorganized and redecorated the pod.  Yikes.

Despite the dullness of work, today was really quite good.  Before I even left for work, I found out that I don't, in fact, have to appear in court!  The cop had said I would (since there was a collision), but he was apparently mistaken; good thing I called.  I mailed in my fine, and I also mailed in a written request to take the next defensive driving course and keep this violation off my record.  Combined with setting up my insurance on the new car and making sure I get a dealer tag from Huffines Chevy-Subaru mailed to me to bridge the gap between the end of the current registration period and whenever I get my new registration (I somehow never got one day of), this means that my car is completely dealt with, insured, covered, registered, etc.  What a relief!

Following work, the day only improved.  Rebecca had called me earlier in the day to tell me she had bought new patio furniture, and needed to have it christened by the friendly consumption of beers.  I also brought Chinese food (Mongolian Chicken!  Who ever heard of that?!), so that was very nice.  But I had forgotten, just plumb forgotten, that Jackie had bought a big wading pool at Target.  Well, the mosquitoes kept biting our ankles, so we waded.  And then it seemed feasible to just sit down in our clothes, and thus there was an impromptu pool party!

Pictures follow )

I felt very summery tonight.  I like pools, even shallow inflatable ones.
yrmencyn: (vdub)
Work today?  Ve-e-e-e-e-ery slo-o-o-o-o-o-o-ow.  On the plus side, none of the charts were running around like madmen with evil evil pernicious brains, so that was nice.  We even successfully matched a lot of random crap that was, well, being randomly crappy.  And homeless.  Unconscionably.

In other news, I have set a new record.  I bought my car on Saturday, here it is Tuesday, T+3 days.  What did I do this afternoon?  Lost the key fob*.  Couldn't find it for love or money.  I was fairly sure I'd set it on the table, but it sure wasn't there.  So I used the valet key to drive over to Erin's and figured it would show up soon enough with some judicious morning looking.  When I got home, what was on the table but the key fob!  All is well, though; I'm not crazy.  I asked Erin-the-roommate about it, and she said she had found it in the backyard while letting Sammy out to do her business**.  Must have fallen out while I was watering the plants; the pockets in my scrubs aren't big fans of keeping items contained.  Oh well, no harm done, lesson learned, must ensure that important items are safely placed inside on the dresser before doing, well, anything.

* A slightly confusing usage.  While many cars with keyless entry have the key proper and a separate fob with lock/unlock/iced-cappuccino buttons, the Jetta (and many [all? most?] other VW models) has what they call a 'switchblade key'; the key folds down into the rectangular fob, and the push of a mechanical (as opposed to electronic) button releases it to pop out, like a switchblade.

** I've always loved this euphemistic idiom.

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yrmencyn

December 2009

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