Monday, March 31, 2008

Shimmy Shimmy Pop!

I took a belly dancing class this evening. It was fun! I've signed up for more classes. It's just once a week, but I'm hoping to find some more classes (belly or no) to take.
Aren't you glad you know this now?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Great Quest.

I am on a quest. A quest to find...
...wait for it...

The Right Pair of Shoes.

That's right. I've got a wedding to attend in a little over a month. So the search has begun. Because there are Requirements. First and foremost, the wedding is outside. So, that means no heels. My dress is a lovely springy color, so ideally I'd like to have the shoes in white. And finally, they have to fit my feet, which are in terrible shape thanks to six years of ballet during prime feet-forming years (aged 5 through 12). So, that narrows the field down to practically nothing. What worse it that the dress I bought (at H&M when I was in NYC in Feb) pretty much needs a heel. Which on good days (and lots of advil) I can actually wear. 

I'd also like a purse too, but at this point I'll take what I can get. I can't really get the purse until I know what I've got for shoes. If I manage to find white shoes I'll need a purse. But if I can't find white (or hell, bone) shoes, then I'm going to have to go with black. I've already got black shoes and a purse I can use, so I'll save some money there. I'm working on knitting a shrug right now, but it's slow going. Because apparently I can't knit anything unless there's a deadline breathing down my neck.

Off to search for cute shoes online...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sad thoughts.

My best friend's father in law died last week, and they had the memorial service yesterday. I wasn't able to attend, but I was thinking of everyone yesterday.
Today, as I was emailing her over the course of the day, I was thinking about what it was like for me in the weeks that followed my father's death. I went back to work after a week, mainly because I couldn't stand to not go back to work. My brain needed something else to focus on at that point.

About two weeks after the funeral, I had this dream where I was at my grandmother's house. I was walking out the door off their sunroom, when I felt my dad's presence behind me. I never actually saw him, but I felt him give me this huge hug, literally felt it in my sleep, then felt him fly off into the bright blue sky. I kept trying to get him to come back, but the sky was too high and I didn't have wings. I woke up with tears streaming down my face. I wasn't sobbing or really even crying. By the faucet wouldn't turn off, so to speak.

I never got the opportunity to say good-bye to my father. Well, none of us did, really. But at the time I was living in Waterbury and hadn't seen him in over two weeks. My mom and brother (who was living at home at the time) at least had seen him that day. The worst of it is that I was planning to drive up for a visit the very next day. 

Anyway. This is all really sad and depressing. I never told my mom that I had that dream. In fact, up until today I think I've only ever told one person. I wish I'd been able to say good-bye in person. I wish I'd been able to see him that one last time alive. I wish I'd gone home one day earlier. Just a few hours earlier. I'd have seen him. I'd have had that memory. 

Mostly, I just wish he was still here. I just miss him so much.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

It's Spring!

Somewhere, at any rate. Not here. Although, there was lots of sun today and yesterday. I'll take that! Temperatures are averaging about 10 to 15 degrees lower than what they should be. While our snow is slowly melting here in Burlington, in the northern part of the state they've still got a LOT. I visited my mum over the weekend. She lives in the Northeast Kingdom (top third of the state, essentially). She's got at least two feet of snow. Yeah, it stinks. I did have a gorgeous drive home today, however. Here's a look:

No commenting on the taking pictures while driving. Two hours on secondary roads. You gotta do something to stay awake!

Oh yeah. Happy Easter, if you're into that sort of thing. My family never much was. We were into the candy. Happy Ostara for those of you who are in to that sort of thing. Either way, the whole chocolate bunny/egg thing works!
Anyway, was going through one of mom's trunks and found some pictures I thought I'd share. These are pictures of pictures, as I don't have a scanner at home anymore and this was quicker than waiting to scan them at work tomorrow.

This is my second grade picture. How goofy am I?

Mom and I found this picture of my dad tucked into his boot camp "year book" from... Fort Nix, was it? The actual picture is kind of blurry, but we think that's some sort of card indicating that he was, in fact, in the army now. This picture was probably taken in the mid-1960's. My math could be off there, though. Let's see... if he was born in 1948.... ouch. Math... too painful... head going to explode...

Snort. Prom, 1990. Snort. I did actually have a date. I cut him out of the picture because I haven't asked his permission to post his mug on my blog. You gotta be careful posting high school pictures. Sure, you thought you looked cool back then but... I mean, look at my hair. It's in a banana clip, on the side. Again, snort. But, if I can bring laughter to just one person, my humiliation will be worth it. 

And SL: if you're reading this and you're okay with personal humiliation, lemme know and I'll put the whole pic up. 

No bad food porn this week, sorry. I'm still eating off the soup I made last week, plus leftovers for dinner. By the time I got home today, I didn't feel much like cooking. Was able to take a walk and get some sun though. Worth. It.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


It's Wednesday evening. Nothing much to post. Been feeling a little down lately, but I don't think there is any particular reason for it. Although, I do think my mood would improve if it would stop raining and snowing. Tomorrow is the first day of spring, and we're supposed to have snow showers all day. Forgive the language, but that friggin' sucks ass. 

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Baking: Better than doing your taxes.

I've been doing my best to avoid doing them all day long. I need to suck it up and just do them. Usually they're done and I've got my refund by now. D'oh!
So, it's Sunday so it must be food day. Breakfast this week will be scones again. Because, well, why not? Lunches this week will be the Yellow Lentil and Vegetable Soup from the Zen Monastery Cookbook. Looks a little like this:

This recipe made enough to feed a small army. I'll be eating off it for a couple weeks. Good bang for the buck, I suppose. When one buys organic veggies, one wants to get as much mileage out of them as possible, because damn they're expensive. 

For dinners this week I'll be eating the Tempeh Shepherdess Pie from Veganomicon. I had some doubts, because I've never liked shepherd's pie, even when I ate meat. It was never a comfort food. So what possessed me to make it is beyond me. But it's really quite yummy. Here's a not-so-good picture of it:

I've also made some cupcakes for dessert this week. No picture because, well, it's just vanilla cake. You can only do so much to make a vanilla cake picture exciting. Maybe if I stood on my head in a chicken outfit and took a picture of me eating it...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Deep Thought for the Day

Genuine compassion is unbiased. -His Holiness the Dalai Lama

So simple, and yet so true. How many of us practice genuine compassion? How many of us are really able to to put aside our personal feelings and beliefs to actually think about what may be going on in someone else's life? And not just the lives of those to whom we are close - after all, that is biased, isn't it? We know them, we accept them, they meet to our "standards" on some level.

But what of that random stranger? How many of us show compassion to the irate driver that flips you off as he or she speeds by? Of the person who's cussing out the checkout girl in the grocery store? Sure, we have compassion for the poor checkout girl, but what of the other person? What has brought them to the point where they feel the need to publicly humiliate another?

So much of the time, we (myself included, make no mistake) go about our lives so wrapped up in ourselves that we have no inkling of what is happening to others. Our own pain and suffering leads us to be biased towards others, and what they may be going through. We don't see past our own selfishness to see the pain they may be in. When we give to one with exception to another (no matter how generous we may be) we are being biased with our compassion.

I know this is something I need to work on in my own personal life. I know I need to show greater compassion for those whom I normally wouldn't. Really, I think sometimes it's as simple as acknowledging there is a bigger picture and the world does not, in fact, revolve around me.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Back in college, my room mate and I had this game called Yay/Boo. It was really stupid, and usually played in the wee hours of the morning when we were both a tad punchy. So... let's play!
It's sunny outside today... YAY!
It's also only 23 degrees... BOO!

It's light out until nearly 7pm now... YAY!
It's too cold to get out and enjoy it... BOO!

It's light enough in the evenings to go on my walks again... YAY!
The sidewalks are all frozen over... BOO!

I get to hang out with Robin and Marie soon... YAY!
But not until next Friday... BOO!

I'm having a really good hair day... YAY!
No hot dude around to use it on... BOO!

As you can see... this can go on for a very long time...

Sunday, March 9, 2008 arms!

Today I needed to clean my car off so I could, y'know, use it tomorrow. It rained/sleeted/iced all day yesterday. All. Day. It took me an hour to clean the ice off my car. And I didn't even clean it all off! I can see through all the windows at this point, which is as good as it's going to get. The ice and sleet was three inches deep in a couple places. I was literally stabbing it with my scraper in an attempt to break it up. With all my (admittedly pathetic) strength. My scraper is DOA, and I'm still going to clean my roof off tomorrow before I head out on the road. Here is a picture of one of the trees in my complex:

I haven't gone out on the main roads, but apparently it's still kinda slippery. I'm so looking forward to the commute in tomorrow. 

In an attempt to delay spending and hour freezing my appendages off, I did a lot of cooking and baking today. I made some oatmeal bread for breakfast this week, Italian Pasta and Bean soup for lunch, a dal for dinner, and some carrot cupcakes for dessert. Here are pictures (non of the dal... I forgot, sorry!):

The bread and carrot cupcakes I got from the cookbook How it All Vegan, the dal came from The Zen Monastery Cookbook, and the soup from the creatively named Vegetarian Cookbook. I also made some roasted chickpeas, which didn't have a recipe. Basically, you drain and rinse a can of beans, dump them on a baking sheet with some olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for a half hour or so. I'm bringing them as a snack for work this week. They look like little yellow bee bees... see?

Saturday, March 8, 2008


The big storm system that dumped tons of snow on Cincinnati and points West is currently moving across our State. I'm far enough north so I'm seeing mostly a mix of sleet and freezing rain. There's not much in the way of accumulation, but it's nasty enough that you don't really want to go anywhere. It's the perfect kind of day to either sit around in your pj's watching the food network or tackle projects you've been avoiding.
Today I'm doing both! I've had a productive morning so far. I've reorganized my personal space (ie, bedroom). I keep a lot of crap in here, and it was getting to the point where I just couldn't do anything with it anymore. Specifically, crafty stuff and office stuff. When we moved into this apartment a few years ago, the size of my bedroom shrank considerably and I lost space for a dedicated desk and storage space for my crafty crap (I share a 2-bedroom apartment with a room mate, by the way). 

So, what to do when you can't get out to buy new organizational stuff, but this has to be done now? You work with what you have, of course! I had a cheap, small cabinet in the closet I was using for shoe storage. That came out, and I cleaned it up a bit. It's just big enough to hold all of my crafting stuff (I've gotten rid of a lot in the past 18 months), plus all my woo-woo stuff that I had been storing in an antique desk I inherited from one of my grandmothers. She was a devout baptist, and if she knew what I'd been using it for, she'd have flipped. I got a certain sense of satisfaction out of that for some reason.

Anyway, with all of that safely stored in a new spot, I could actually use my antique desk as a *gasp* desk! Crazy, I know.  There are spots for bills, checks... my laptop even fits! Of course, I have to be kinda careful how much weight I put on the fold-down desk, as it was never meant for laptops or anything quite so heavy. But for my purposes (updating blog, bill-paying), this is the perfect solution. I kind of have to feed the computer's cord out the side of the desk when the top folds up, but it's not really obtrusive or anything. 

Oh yeah! My shoes, lol. I had a disassembled coffee table that I reassembled and stuck in the closet. It keeps my shoes organized and I didn't have to go out and buy anything. Yankee ingenuity at work, people!

And now that I've been so good about working this morning, I'm going to watch movies and nap all afternoon. Ah.... doesn't that sound like a perfect way to spend Saturday afternoon?

Friday, March 7, 2008

*This* is winter!

A lot of people complain about winter. Winter pretty much sucks for everyone, let's face it. It gets colder, grayer, sloppier... most people would prefer to skip it all together and go straight to spring.
I complain a lot, but it could be worse. I could be at my friend Angie's house. Angie lives about 45 minutes away from me. It's been pretty mild in VT the last few days (ie 40 - yes, 40 is mild when winter averages hover in the low 20s), so most of us have only a few inches (6 or less). She estimates that her front yard has about 5 feet. That's pretty much as tall as I am. I'm short, but that's a LOT of snow. Her wrap-around porch is about 12 feet off the ground. You'll notice the pile of snow in front of it - that comes from her almost-daily cleanings of snow off the porch. I thought she was kidding when she said she thought she'd still have snow in July. Now, I'm not so sure.

Now, granted, her elevation is higher than me - she lives at the base of a mountain. But still... no wonder she and her husband feel the need to retreat to a Caribbean island every year!

Angie's standing in the far side of her road here. The base of the porch is 12 feet up.

A side view of the porch.

This is a picture of their shed. That plow is attached to their full-sized, 4-wheel truck. Those things are big. Look how small it looks next to that snow bank.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Weekend.

Friday night - met up with good friend Susan for drinks and a chat. Saturday night - met up with good friend Alex for Drunk Star Wars. Although, considering the amount we drank, we didn't get drunk. Too many carbs eaten before-hand (read chips). Oy. I was so full I didn't eat anything until noon today.
Today, all I did was read, cook and nap. Luckily I am a single gal so I can get away with spending a day in my pjs napping and reading. Not even reading anything of substance, either. The latest JD Robb (ie, Nora Roberts) concoction. While I was at Barnes and Nobles purchasing said fluff, I also purchased a book of some substance (Doing Work You Love), but I haven't cracked it open yet.   

For food this week, I'm having hardboiled eggs for breakfast (really not worth taking a picture of), tofu burgers for dinners and for lunches, Chickpea Romesco with Saffron-garlic rice. Mmmmm. The tofu burgers are courtesy of the Zen Monastery Cookbook, and the other two of the Veganomicon. Delish, all of them. Well, I haven't tried the eggs. But I figure they taste like hardboiled eggs.

So.... You Want to be an Artist.

For the last several weeks, I have been working through The Artist's Way . This book has been out since the 1990's and I've been...