Empanada Mamas!

Tonight: pretended it was Friday. Met two friends after work for empanadas in remembrance of Rincon. Pork + beef + spicy chicken + pint glasses of margaritas heavy on the tequila. All followed by drinks in a NYC bar with Ohio prices ($7 pitchers!)

I’m home now, barely remembering to write but pushing on with a purpose. I know I promised last night that tonight would be better but that was when I thought I was just getting dinner. Who knew what would follow? World, how was your Wednesday? Mine was filled with too much work and way way too much fun.

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Tonight

It’s pouring rain out. My 15 pound cat has claimed my lap in the name of Sam. This is not writing this s typing. I can barely reach the keys over the cat. Can I just promise to do much better tomorrow? Never ever did you see so comfy a pair as we are now. He is asleep and I want to be too. Here’s hoping your night is this sweet.

Halfway!

November, the month most famous for its cold rain has actually been both mild and lovely this year. (I suppose it is also famous for its turkey, but I haven’t yet seen a music video for turkey that really kicks ass.) I’m proud to say that while I’ve spent a fair amount of time squeezing in final fall bike rides and otherwise soaking up the sun, I’ve also managed to stick to my once-a-day blogging regime. So far, it hasn’t been terribly painful either, although not owning one of those fancy mobile phones means I have to do a little bit of planning to ensure I build the time in every day. The ritual of it is nice though, and normally I’m happy not to be squeezing in a blog entry between my appetizer and main course at a restaurant.

Being low on funds the last 15 days has helped a lot too. Fewer nights out=more time on couch=more time to write. Still, I feel this is time I had before and just wasn’t using. It’s nice to see that I can commit to a regular writing schedule, at least for 2 weeks.

Also, remember the other night when I was in charge of band photos? They came out great. Check them out here.

Tradition, Tradition

I’m not one of those people that gets all into photographing every meal I eat, posting it on the internet, and spending the next 12 hours responding to comments about how good it looks. That said, this post is going to be about what I made for dinner tonight. It does not contain any photos because I prefer to eat when it’s hot, and now the food is all in my belly. If you prefer to move on to the more interesting things that the internet has to offer–real porn instead of food porn–I will not be offended. But for those who care…

My family was really in to eating dinner every night. Especially on Sundays. Dad was often in charge of the main course on Sunday, and that involved grilling either steak or salmon. In stereotypical man fashion, dad only grills. When I was a teenage vegetarian, he made me portabella mushrooms, which my parents were convinced was an appropriate substitute for steak. After his second wife passed away, my grandpa started coming over for dinner every Sunday night, a tradition my parents maintain to this day.

When Chuck and I moved in together, the Sunday dinner was a tradition I resurrected. It seemed natural. I like staying in the last night of the weekend and relaxing for as long as I can before I return to work. I’ve always liked to cook, but only when I have someone to eat with. And Sundays in New York City are jam packed with farmer’s market fun, so if you want to be obsessive about it, you can spend the whole day procuring and preparing the perfect meal.

Tonight I made: tilapia with a dijon marinade; orange-ginger braised carrots (from the farmer’s market), cauliflower flavored with lemon, and couscous, served with bread from the market. It was one of the nights my cooking was deemed “restaurant quality.” I owe major thanks to Mark Bittman, who publishes about 90% of the recipes I use. Now I am working to polish off this bottle of red wine and enjoy the remaining hours of my Sunday night. Feeling quite content.

Netflix Magic

I accidentally mailed back Shutter Island before watching it instead of The Office like I was supposed to. It was one of those early morning, half awake things where I knew I needed a movie and grabbed the first thing I saw on the shelf without reading it first. I didn’t realize my mistake until after work yesterday when I came home and found The Office all packaged up and ready to go underneath a pile of paper on the kitchen table.

The magic happened this morning when Shutter Island appeared in my mailbox, like it came back to me straight from midtown. It wasn’t back in the queue, and Netflix gave no indication that they had received it. How did it know?

It’s rare that I get scared watching a movie, but I’m already a little afraid of this one…

In other media news, I just watched the latest episode of Glee, and loved how the show placed an opulent school called Dalton in Westerville, OH. Westerville is a lovely town, folks, but there just isn’t a Dalton there. The closest thing is probably The Wellington School in Upper Arlington. But to get the real private school experience, you have to come to the real Dalton and its kin out on the East Coast. The private school culture is something they just don’t have in my hometown.

My Friend Mac

I was all set to buy myself my first-ever, brand new computer this summer. I was pretty excited about it too, having lived the past decade on hand-me-downs from tech friends and one that I got through work. This time I had the money and my eye on the prize.

And then a bout of fiscal responsibility or common sense got the better of me. Chuck pointed out that the laptop I was prepared to purchase–the oh-so-plain sounding Macbook–had exactly the same specs as the 2-year-old, gently used Macbook Pro he was ready to sell. Would I take the same computer for half the price?

Yes I would.

This was a great solution for the summer, but now the little guy is acting up. The screen sometimes turns funny colors. I once held it at a 45 degree angle and it sounded like a game of plinko was going on inside the motherboard. When I logged in this morning and stared into a screen of pink rectangles instead of my desktop, I knew it was time. We visited the genius bar after work. They found… absolutely nothing. Which, they said, is lucky because from the symptoms I was describing, I’d likely need a brand-new screen. To the tune of over $300.

I will save for another post why that is not an option for me right now. In the meantime, my little guy has been working like a charm ever since we got home from the Mac Dr.

I’m going to treat him well. He’s got to last me through next summer.

Duty Calls II

I can’t believe I used Duty Calls as my title yesterday, when clearly it’s more important for Veteran’s Day. I had the day off today and ran many errands. I met another alumna from Sarah Lawrence and had a wonderful conversation. And while this was all nice,  I truly regret I couldn’t go home last week to see my grandfathers–both WWII Vets–in the Columbus Veteran’s Day Parade.

When you have people around your whole life, it’s easy to take them for granted. Now that I am nearing 30 and my grandpa’s are 89 and 94, I appreciate or relationship in new ways, and feel so blessed to have them both with me still. I look at this picture and remember that the US victory in WWII, so certain all my life, was something that they helped us to earn. I can’t imagine how scary that must have been. Grandpa Baird can still tell stories of circling planes above East Asia. I want to record his memories when I’m home for Christmas this year.

Thank you Grandpa and Grandpa, and all Vets.

Veteran's Day Parade 2010