yrmencyn: (food)
Not a bad day, overall!  Yesterday I tried to break my foot off while helping with the Actors' Theatre strike.  I slipped on a stair, fell, caught my left toe, and basically super-duper-mega-hyperextended my ankle.  I was totally not ok yesterday, but this morning I was feeling better (if still pretty gimpy), and this evening I'm feeling almost whole (even if my ankle still looks more like a cankle).

I spent about 2.5 hours fixing a friend's computer today... it had Unprotected Computer Syndrome (i.e. lots of random crap), but the straw that broke the camel's back was the Windows Police PRO virus/fake anti-spyware program.  Annoying, but I felt accomplished when I was done (even though it definitely took longer than a professional would have).

J and I went out to the Dublin Farmers' Market this evening to grab some tomatoes and fruit.  There was something weird going on, and there was no market to be found, just a couple producers packing up in not-the-usual-place.  I mourn the lack of tomatoes, but not much.  Why?

Banana Leaf.

You know, the amazing vegetarian South Indian restaurant on Bethel?  Yeah, we went there en route on a whim.  But here was the thing: though they had the usual lassis, chaats, and dosai, their buffet?  Gujarati.  GUJARATI!  I have never eaten western Indian cuisine, and it was absolutely amazing.  They're keeping the Gujarati menu through the 13th, and you should go.  Hell, I should go again.  Banana Leaf.  816 Bethel Rd., in the back-left of the shopping center at the northwest corner of Bethel and Olentangy River Rd.  http://www.bananaleafofcolumbus.com

And I made a fritatta out of the braised pork this midday.  I was pretty pleased at the time, though now it pales in comparison to the dinner :)
Pork frittata with salsa
Frittata of salsa-braised pork, peppers, onions, Blue Jacket Creamery Ludlow cheese.  With salsa amarilla adapted from Lisa Fain's recipe.
yrmencyn: (food)
Been a while since I posted any foodporn, eh?  Here goes. 

A while back, I made some salsa de chile morita -- well, actually I made it with chipotles per the described substitution, but who's counting?  Problem was, I used some heirloom tomatillos that were bred for sweetness.  That's great and all, but it meant that instead of being a nice, bright, acid salsa, I ended up with a salsa that was WAY too sweet to eat on chips (at least for my taste). 

Rather than throw it out, I made some braised pork with it.

recipe, and then a recipe for what to do with it )
yrmencyn: (Default)
I had meant to do this one, but then I didn't have power for the better part of a week, and that was distracting.

Take a picture of yourself right now.
don't change your clothes, don't fix your hair...just take a picture.
post that picture with NO editing.
post these instructions with your picture.


DSC02384

Arguably I cheated, since I rotated the picture 90 degrees.  And that's editing, albeit of a rather rudimentary sort.  Anyway, this is what I look like when I haven't shaved for five days, haven't showered, and have just cleaned out my deep freeze and folded some clothes.  Yay.
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: (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: (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 CĂ´tes 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: (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)
Alright, I said I'd post about the reunion, and here we go.  This is actually going to be quite brief, but c'est la vie.  I had a good time.  I was reminded, as always, that our family has a couple of ideological camps floating around, but it's fun to be in our camp.  Our camp is the bad camp, and we get to be funny.  Also, turns out the bad camp's bigger than we thought, so cool!  Regardless of leanings, I love all of my gigantic family, and it was great to be around them again.  I haven't been to a big gathering (where most everybody comes and there are 60+ people) in a while now, so I was feeling a little out of touch.  In addition, I finally have a decent group of people who fall in my vague peer group, as more and more of the cousins hit high school and college (I'm the second-oldest, and it's been kinda *cricket noises* for a while here in the old-youngsters crowd).  I'm also finally feeling some sort of connection with more of my cousins.  It's ironic, I'm one of 34 grandkids, yet until a few years ago I didn't really feel like I had 'cousins' in the same sense as other people: peers you hang out with at family gatherings.  Only just recently am I really connecting to any of them; it's nice.

Anyway, pictures.  The best way to view the pictures is just to go through the ordered, commented set on Flickr, here.  For those who don't want to, though, a selection:
photojournalism! )
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
So, last Friday I was pretty stressed.  And now I'm doing better, and thought I'd just give an update.

The poor sad car
This morning the other guy's insurance finally got a real contact with him (they've been playing phone tag), so I was able to start the repair process.  Estimate went very smoothly at Adams Collision, who I'm already feeling very good about.  $2711 of damage, but I don't have to pay one red cent.  My advice: if you must get rear-ended, let it be by an insured driver.  There was some very frustrating miscommunication on rental cars, but it needn't really be recounted.  Suffice it to say I had my engine diagnosed, and the engine trouble isn't related to the wreck, but is rather an odd coincidence -- the engine trouble is from my spark plugs marinating in ditch water for over a week after I forded the street in my Corolla in Lafayette a couple weekends ago.  So I have to pay for it, but at least it's just plugs and wires, not transmission or something truly wallet-breaking like that.  And once they drained the spark plug sockets of water, it runs SO much better, enough that I wasn't afraid to drive it around on errands today.  I'll get the plugs/wires replaced tomorrow, and then after Adams gets the parts in, I'll get a rental for the 8 days it'll take to fix my poor sad car.  Good as new!

The job situation
But before I can get my car fixed, I have to go to an orientation tomorrow at Louisiana Cardiology Associates.  Barring something completely crazy and unforeseeable, I'll start as a file clerk the Monday after graduation.  Will it be soul-crushing, suicide-inducing work?  Possibly.  But it pays, and they don't mind me disappearing for three weeks to go work at a heart camp (as well they shouldn't, CARDIOLOGY people!).  In addition, I have a strange enjoyment of clerical work.  I actually really like sorting things.  I like putting things in other things (stuffing folders, gift cups, whatever).  I can just put my brain on idle and use most of my brain for other things.  The trick is not to fall so far into the Zone that it turns into a fugue state.

Schoolwork
I've still not even started writing my paper for Dr. Stone.  However, I used a lot of my time today productively, reading and annotating articles instead of just reading TIME or a pleasure book.  As soon as I can sharpen my thesis statement (it's still a bit nebulous at the moment, I'm looking for the little bit of thought that suddenly snaps it into sharp focus), it should pretty much write itself, well in time for me to finish it by Friday (my deadline, in advance of the actual Monday deadline).  Still haven't met with Sylvie about the research assistantship stuff, but I think I'll try to do that next week.  I'm slowly working around to a 'fuck it' position.  I still fully plan to fulfill my obligations and complete a great pair of syllabi long before I leave , but it just ain't gonna happen by graduation, so I'm not really worried about it.  Fire me.

Yesterday was moderately unproductive in schoolwork terms, but I don't regret it at all, and I did get some annotation done.  More importantly, I saw Thank you for Smoking with Mandi.  I'm feeling that this entry is currently too long already, so let me just saw: hilarious.  I haven't laughed so hard in a long time -- it skewered everybody, without regard to politics or stances.  There were. no. heroes.  It also provoked thought, but without detracting from the pure enjoyment factor, which I think is important.  Following that, we went to pĂ©tanque.  Being forty minutes late, we didn't play, but I did take a great picture of this butterfly that was flying around alighting on anyone that would stand still more than two seconds.
Papillon de pétanque!

Post-pĂ©tanque beers at Chimes, congratulatory dinner for Tanja at Chelsea's (yay ABD!), Gilmore Girls and Scrubs at Erin's.  A good day.
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
I'm trying to figure out where I'm living next year, or more accurately with whom.  It's full of drama, and I hate it.  So rather than talk about that, I'll give you lots of pictures from various things.

PICTURES! )
yrmencyn: (Default)
I just added 81 photos to my Flickr account, notably the photos from the ACA HOS conference trip and the ones from Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parade, etc.  I was, as always, reliably verborrheic in many of the descriptions, so I think they could be a pretty good read.  Plus the floats in this year's parade were all but uniformly hilarious, so it's worth checking out the pictures for that alone.  Nothing is sacred.

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