Tornadoes!

Jun. 26th, 2008 12:30 am
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
What's up, midnight twister warning!  Annoying.  And Phoebs clawed the shit out of my shoulder while I was wrestling with her.  Rapture

Of course... there may not have even been any vortical action.  I mean, not that I'm quibbling -- it was a BITCH of a storm cell -- but it's sort of amusing.
yrmencyn: (food)
This weekend is one of the first in a long time that I've been home, instead of gallivanting around the country or recovering from camp (or preparing for camp) or whatever.  As such, I've really been having a good time just relaxing.  Today, I went to Highland Coffees for the first time in a long time, the better to sit around, read, and drink coffee and tea.  I was most excited, since I'd received Middlesex  on Friday (and thus it begins!), and I was looking forward to a nice long session of caffeinated reading, sitting in the warm Louisiana summer air under Highland's bower.  Mmmm.  Anyway, getting to the subject, today I was wearing a shirt that was given to me by Dr. Ancelet.  It has text on it in French.  While I was getting a refill of dark-roast coffee (mmmm), the barista asked me what my shirt said.  I responded "Speak French on purpose!"  It was only as I was walking away that I realized I had answered the pragmatic question, not the actual one (that is to say, I had responded as above, telling her what the shirt meant in our lingua franca, rather than saying "Parle français par exprès!", which is what the shirt literally says).  The amusing fact is that I was, in a way, actually acting directly counter to the instructions of my shirt.  No real point, just recounting.

Middlesex, by the way, is wonderful so far (about a third of the way through).  I should expect no less, of course, since it's been recommended to me not only by national reviewers (and the awarders of the Pulitzer Prize) but also by [livejournal.com profile] rnbowpixy; personal recommendations carry a lot of weight.  It is absolutely nothing like I expected, but in a very good way.  Rather than being a stridently political book about an intersexed person (which I foolishly expected), it's a broad-reaching symphonic study of sexuality, love, immigration, and a myriad other topics that all combine to make up human nature.  Beautiful.

Last night Shane, Rebecca, and I went out to eat at J. Alexander with two of Rebecca's fellow TFAers.  I'd noticed the restaurant over by the Mall of Louisiana earlier, but hadn't really given it a second thought.  225 Magazine, however, recently ranked it as having the second-best salads in the city, and thus was Rebecca's curiosity piqued: as an Orthodox Jew, she eats a lot of salads when she dines out, since they're one of the few safe things.  J. Alexander's turns out to be a somewhat upscale steakhouse/Americana place that I found to be very pleasant.  It's got a very fancy feel without being overly stuffy or pricey, which I appreciate.  The cheeseburger I had was one of the best I've had in a long, long time, juicy and savory and full of beef flavor.  The wine also made me happy; I got a quite reasonably priced Côtes du Rhone, which was quite tasty.  Course, the tastiness was only enhanced by the fact that they serve all their wines in -- wait for it -- Reidel!  I mean, Christ, what restaurant in the 15$ non-steak-entree price-range uses that level of glassware?!  Very fun.  Even if the waiter was a little flaky, but I'm over it :)

My parents had been in earlier in the day to steal away my bed.  See, I had no plans of taking it to Ohio, and my brother's moving to a house off-campus in Austin this year, so he's getting it.  Mom and Dad drove from Nac, took me to lunch, helped me transport a dresser I bought home, packed up the bed, and drove back, because my whole family is crazy; we don't think that much of driving 10 hours in a day.  Did I mention lunch?  Yes.  I hadn't been to Parrain's in a while, and I was very happy to go there.  I hope they enjoyed it like I did -- I had the barbecued drum like last time I went there, because it's so. damn. good.  Our waiter... this is weird.  I got friended by this guy on Facebook a couple weeks ago, but I declined it (because I don't know him) and thought nothing more of it.  So yesterday, our server is greeting us and I'm thinking "he looks really familiar!  why?"  The bill comes with his name and... ah, it's him.  There we go.  So odd.

Also, did I mention a dresser?  Why yes I did.  The parents also took my dresser, which is a primary colored wooden thing that's been in my room since my childhood.  In its place, I now have a faux-pine chest of drawers, straight from your friendly neighborhood Wal-Mart.  About ninety bucks and three hours of assembly later (it took forever because my Phillips head screwdrivers seem to have run away, leaving me with only a multi-tool to work with), I now have a nice looking dresser that doesn't make me feel like a juvenile.  There was also a lot of cleaning involved, as you can see from the pictures below.

Pictures )

Friday night was also a night of fun and food (that seems to have gone on a lot this weekend, wow).  Erin, Katie, Mandi, and I started out by going to Waka House, a new sushi place out at Sherwood Forest & Coursey (give or take).  The sushi was quite good, and the value was wonderful: we ate until we were nearing stomach rupture, but we only spent 15$ plus tip apiece.  That's... shocking.  I mean, really.  Yay!  We continued by going to Hole Experience, where Katie and Mandi intended to get piercings.  Unfortunately, there were some issues, and it didn't end up happening, but still it was good times.  We had planned on going to see Clerks II, but it appears that it's no longer showing in Baton Rouge :(  I do note that it's still showing in New Orleans, but apparently only until Thursday?  So I guess I'll have to wait for it to come out on DVD.  Instead, we wet to see Pulse.  It was't a bad little flick, as dystopian cyber-horror goes.  I do have to say it was the most bizarre depiction of Columbus, OH I've ever seen.  I realize they were probably trying for a representative city of average Middle America, but... well, Columbus just isn't that urban of an urban space.  Sure, it's definitely a city, but that whole tenement-y buildings everywhere, full of urban angst and disquiet shtick?  Not so much.  Very amusing to those of us that know the city.

And now, finally, I think I've come to my conclusion.  Huzzah!
yrmencyn: (food)
I'd just like to take a moment to give a quick shout-out to, of all things, kitty litter.  Tidy Cats just recently reformulated their clumping cat litter with what they call "Tidy Lock,"  and it works so much better.  I know this may not mean much to non-cat owners, but let me just outline this for the cat folk out there: I went away for almost 60 hours, left out food and water for my cat, and obviously left the litter untended.  I didn't get around to it until this morning, a good 72+ hours since it was last scooped.  There was zero smell.  And the little pee clumps, which used to have an appalling tendency to break open like little ammonia-scented stink bombs?  Firm and unyielding.  It's absolutely amazing, and I love it.  I know it seems weird to get so excited about the box my cat shits in, but it's just amazing!
yrmencyn: (food)
Well, the driving experiment was a success.  The drive to work (pretty much no traffic) took me about 8 minutes; the drive back from work (rush hour) took me about 11.  Woohoo!  I think even after stupid bloody Staring is re-opened, I'm not going to drive on it, because it's pretty much wretched.  The only tricky part is that my method has me turning onto Staring off of Menlo, where it will likely be bumper-to-bumper, but I guess we'll figure that out when the situation presents itself.

Also, my cat?  Ew.  I'm sitting here at the kitchen table just reading my email quietly, and suddenly I hear this wet HORRRK from near my feet.  Phoebe hacks up a nasty thing halfway between hairball and vomit, then calmly goes over to the food bowl to eat.  When I gave her a look intended to mean "what the fuck." she countered with one that clearly stated, "well, I'm not full anymore."  Which, fair enough.

I'm off to the store to go buy some sour cream.  I'm in the midst of making a barbecue sauce, and I can already tell that I may have overdone it a bit with the smoked, dried chili puree.  I honestly don't even know what those peppers are ([livejournal.com profile] celticmll brought them back for me from Oaxaca), but I clearly should have been more cautious: this sauce is gonna be a scorcher.
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
Well.  Fuck a lotta this day.

I'm especially annoyed with today, because it snuck up on me, the little bastard.  It started out pretty well: did some work in the morning, applied to some summer jobs, then set off for campus.  Got a surplus ticket for commencement, so now my whole family can see the Dark Prince speak in the Main Ceremony (yes, Cheney's the speaker, ye gods), paid Todd for the departmental crawfish boil on Saturday, annotated some books of Cajun poetry for the paper due on Thursday at Highland with an Earl Grey iced tea.  Going so nicely, right?

Well.  I had been planning on doing some running/walking/bunny hopping/whatever over at the lake during rush hour, the better to avoid the road madness.  I even brought different shorts.  But leaving Highland Coffees, I looked up at the sky and saw the writing on the wall.  And felt the southeasterly wind, which never bodes well.  So I decided to call off the exercising.  Strike one.

Halfway down what I hoped would be a relaxing drive down River Rd., all cool wind and brooding skies, the heavens opened.  River Road is not the best road in dry, sunny conditions, but it becomes a bit nerve-wracking in the pounding rain (I just felt sorry for the cyclists training there; oy).  Strike two.

So what was strike three?  Well.  So I'm driving down Gardere, which I HATE to drive on in the rain, since everyone drives like an idiot on it in the best of conditions, and it gets slick like a motherfucker when it's wet.  So I'm going along, and the guy in front of me brakes.  I come to a stop behind him and look in my rearview, and there's no way in hell that Jeep's stopping in time.  Unfortunately Gardere is closely bordered by ditches, so I did the only thing I could do: sighed.

It's not really that bad.  It was a pretty low-speed accident, so my car's still perfectly driveable (albeit it now has a rope holding the trunk closed).  The other driver has insurance (same company, in fact), and there was no argument about the facts of the matter.  Hell, there even happened to be a sheriff in the parking lot of the carwash we pulled off into.  So really, it's not that bad.  Other than the wreck itself, the most annoying thing has been figuring out how to disconnect my trunk light so I don't run down my battery.

Still, I'm going through some sort of... I don't know.  You know how there's stages of grief?  Well, I'm not aggrieved as such, but I'm moving through some sort of process.  I'm currently moving through the tail end of an anger stage, which amusingly/illogically has been directed more toward my car than toward the guy who hit me.  Mainly I'm already thinking of the all-but-inevitable mold or mildew that will end up in the trunk.  Oop, shit, now I've suddenly veered toward the sadness phase.  I really have grown to like my car!  I don't like it to be hurt!  :( 

Luckily if I go to one of State Farm's Service First places it's all very simple, don't have to drive all over town to get estimates and all that.  There's even a chance I could get a rental car, which would be terribly handy, since by my quite amateur analysis of the damage it might take a bit of time (there's some bending in the outer trunk lip, which may or may not be tricky).  And if I can't, I can maybe get it done in Nacogdoches and steal my sister's car, since she'll be in Montana doing an internship.

So yeah, I'm annoyed, but really ok.  I'm having a Moosehead, eating some Ben & Jerry's (Pistachio Pistachio!).  And Phoebe's being terribly sweet.  I was peeing just now, and Phoebe butted her way through the poorly-closed door to jump on the counter and say hi.  I know this doesn't sound sweet, but Phoebe doesn't much like the bathroom for some reason, so it was a nice gesture.  Anyway, yeah.

ETA: I just realized another reason the wreck is vastly annoying. I had been composing a poem I was really into as I drove down River, which had been completely driven from my mind until just now (1:17am). I'm sitting here trying to reconstruct it in my head, but I think it's pretty much gone. Dammit.
yrmencyn: (Default)
OK, so.  I can't deal with the cat any longer.  The next trip I take with Phoebe, I am sedating her.  She started to freak out today after I stopped in Alexandria for food.  Up until then she'd been sitting contentedly on my lap, but after she started to freak out.  She panted like there was no tomorrow (even though it was nice and cool in the car), and the front half of her body looked like it was drenched in sweat.  Except... cats don't sweat.  All the massive amounts of wetness was from her licking herself all but compulsively.  So I was already kinda worried about her (seriously, saliva dripping from the tongue, looked like she'd been at the dunking booth at a country fair), and then just outside of San Augustine I smelled a truly fowl smell [the misspelling of 'foul' was a typo, but I think it's still kind of accurate -- ever smelled a chicken house?].  I glance over my shoulder and see Phoebe taking a shit on my pillow.  I mean... what?!?!  I couldn't decide whether to be angry or really worried.  I defaulted to worried when I stopped and she didn't run to hide under the seat (like usual), but instead just stood there cowering.  I had to grab a couple of napkins and clean her up; she was all wet and shitty on her backside, and she was significantly hot to the touch all over her body.  I made her sit on my lap on a towel the rest of the way home...  I nearly called the vet, just 'cause she was freaking me out, but she's gotten back to normal.  I've decided it was a stress reaction, but it further cements my decision on sedation.  If nothing else, hopefully it'll keep me from having to throw pillows away.
yrmencyn: (food)
My personal tragedy will not affect my ability to do good food.

I was hungry this afternoon after I had my not-thesis, but it was rush hour, so you know I'm not leaving my house.  So I watched Rachael Ray on 30-Minute Meals.  Now, Rachael Ray drives me a little nuts, I have to admit, but she often makes some very tasty stuff.  She did so today.  Mmmmm.  She made a sausage dressing that looked just delicious, using linguiça (a Portuguese pork sausage).  After I judged the traffic to be manageable, I headed to the store, where I purchased some andouille ('cause it's similar, and trust me - Albertson's doesn't have linguiça, at least not around here) and the other things I would need.

First, you render down some sliced sausage in olive oil, and then add in a diced onion, a diced red pepper, and a few sliced celery ribs (and salt'n'pepper, you know the drill):
DSC00781

It cooks down and gets all nummy nummy:
DSC00783

Once you've gotten there, add in some minced garlic and let it go long enough to take the edge off (don't start out with the garlic in there, you'll just burn it).  Then crumble in three or four corn muffins (I only had three leftover from when I made them a few days ago, so I added in some bread crumbs; you could definitely do the same) and toss in some paprika (um... 2 tablespoons?), some cumin (more like... 2 or 3 teaspoons), and some fresh thyme (gods, uh... about the same as the cumin?  or more?).  Mix to combine, reduce heat to low, and add in just enough stock (I used chicken, she used beef) to fully moisten:
DSC00784

Then you can heat up some butter and oil to fry an egg.  Isn't it dreamy?  I love cookings fats:
Lipid Yin-Yang

Fry up your egg, nice and easy.  Place a bed of sausage dressing on the plate, and top it with the fried egg.  Mmmmmm.
DSC00786

So good.  If you want to have a glass or three of wine with it, that wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.
2004 Twin Fin Pinot Noir

PS: As long as we're making slow connections cry, who's a pretty kitty?
DSC00775
yrmencyn: (Default)
Well, the thesis is [pretty much] out of my hands.  I haven't yet sent it off, though, because I was suddenly gripped this morning by the need to do a last-minute redraft of the translation (fruitfully, as it turns out, since I had come to a new realization about certain aspects of Richard's poetry in writing the introduction, and I wanted to incorporate them into my translations; many of the poems read much more resonantly afterward).  Unfortunately, that meant that I didn't get to Kinko's until after noon, when they were quite busy, so now I have to wait until 6PM to get pick up my print job (and I am not printing 3 copies, double-sided, of a 128-page document on my home computer).  This means that I can't mail the thing to Dr. Cerquiglini in Paris until tomorrow, but I'll just hope that air mail can get it to him before he disappears off to Salamanca (blasted globe-hopping profs), and it means I can't give it to Dr. Stone until tomorrow.  Neither of these are really major problems, it's just annoying, since I had told them I'd do these things by a certain date, and now I'm not.  Oh well, shit happens.

Anyway, I'm happy, since I finally feel relaxed about this for the first time in weeks.  I celebrated by scheduling a veterinary appointment tomorrow for Phoebe (just a yearly checkup/vacc, don't worry, and yes I was joking about celebrating).

In terms of real celebration, I'm very excited about an upcoming show here in Baton Rouge.  National touring groups don't often stop by the Capital City, and when they do it's generally groups that I couldn't care less about.  Now, though, who is playing next Monday at Chelsea's new location (also exciting) as part of GFL Fest?  Ted Leo/Pharmacists!  I am SO there.  Seriously, doors at 9pm, and I'll be there way early for dinner if I have to be to get in.  When they try to kick people out to the non-cover area, I'll just be like "no, that's ok, here's 10 dollars.  Thanks."  Also, 10 dollars for Ted Leo (and some Catalan band that intrigues me to boot) is a fucking steal.  Now the Mountain Goats just need to come through town, and I'll be sitting happy.

And now I'll stop being a post-whore.

ETA: Furthermore, Bluegrass on the Bayou will be this coming Thursday through Saturday near campus at Nicholson and Gourrier, only $5/day for students. I'm certainly not going to be spending hours and hours there, but I figure I'll stop by; despite their eye-gouging site design I'm intrigued. (Also, readers of 225: the festival is NOT on the parade grounds, as the magazine erroneously printed. Just so we're clear.)

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