Thursday, December 31, 2009


People online has a new slideshow up of celebrity weight loss "winners." That's fine I guess (though I think Tyra looked better in the slightly heavier photo) but three of the women in their before picture are pregnant. Pregnant is not fat! Pregnant does not count as a weight loss before picture! Are they kidding?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Self pity

I actually planned my Farmville crops around a job I thought I was going to have tomorrow.  This is sad just on its own because it means I spend far too much time online (not that I'm judging anyone reading this. I love you. Keep coming back).  This is made sadder by the fact that I am no longer working tomorrow, though thankfully still working the next day.  I am feeling a little self pitying at the moment - while I've found work this past year to some extent, I have not worked as much as I would have liked to and things have been financially tight basically this whole year.  Like really tight. I'm tired of being on and off unemployment.  I'd love to land a feature or a tv show (or even a long short!) and get a couple solid months of financial security this coming year. I'd love to actually crack $30,000 - TMI, but I have yet to do that and I'm three years out of school now.

Not that my life sucks or anything. The good thing is I get to spend time with my bf's family tomorrow, maybe, and almost certainly to spend time with bf himself.  The good thing is I'm still working the day after, though I wish I could spend New Year's with my bf instead of with strangers. The good thing is that I have food and shelter and clothing and pretty new bags (shout out to my fashion savvy friend for her awesome gift).

There's a lot of good things this year.  I'm hoping next year my family and friends continue to be safe and happy, but frankly, I'm also hoping for a little bit more money. I'm hoping for health insurance.  I'm hoping for a career I can brag, just a little bit, about.  I'm smart and hardworking (does anyone else do the SNL self help skit voice when praising themselves? Is it just me?) and I deserve it. I'm hoping to one day be able to have enough money that I can have kids and afford them, that I can have a nice apartment and afford it, and that I can take the odd little vacation and (say it with me) afford it.  My grandfather in Italy is 92, for god's sake, and if I don't get over there soon I'm going to really regret it.

Anyway, that's it for the self pity for now. Every now and then I just need to get it out. There's a million people out there worse off and I doubt that I'll end up on the streets, no matter how bad it gets.  That's what a loving family and friend network gets you. Still, any good vibes sent my way wouldn't be taken amiss.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Rolling my way into the New Year

I love Christmas. I love buying gifts (not the financial part so much this year), I love getting gifts (oh yes I do. I am five when it comes to opening gifts), I love the food and the good will and getting to see friends and family.  This year has been wonderful. I spent Christmas Eve cooking.

I made:
Stuffing. Lots of stuffing. I mean I lifted the skin of the chicken and stuffed it there too. There's more stuffing then chicken.
Mashed Potatoes
Wild Rice
Stuffed Mushrooms
2 Key Lime Pies
Cheese and bread and salame to start off with.

This was all for me and my boyfriend.  We did not get to the pie, which was fine because I planned to bring one each to my friend and my boyfriend's family.  I also made baked cucumber, but am not counting that because I thought it was zucchini.  Oops. My boyfriend just about fell off his chair when he realized, and he got an inordinate amount of enjoyment retelling this to family and friends. Just one more little Christmas gift for him, I guess.

I also did not really get around to decorating the tree, since my bf brought it over on the 23rd and I was busy shopping and cooking. It is still really cute though.

There were eventually a few more gifts under it.  The large package, a bread maker for my bf, did not end up going over well so we're going to go exchange it at some point this week. I knew it was a risky gift but he does like to bake his own bread...oh well. Not every gift can be a winner.

Christmas itself was spent with a great friend, a former college room mate, at her mom's house. Which I love because it is just so cozy and comfortable.  They know how to do Christmas right, too. We had a big brunch, with liberal applications of mimosa added in. Then we went for a walk to make more room and continued on to pie and wine. Then more wine. Then beer. Then drinking games (with more beer).  The drinking game, by the way, accompanied what is perhaps the worst movie ever produced, Saving Sara Caine.  Oh god.

In between all this we exchanged gifts (I got a belated birthday gift and more wine).  Then we staggered back to the train to get back to NY after a wholly satisfying day.  The next day we were back on the train to head to my bf's family.  I slept on the train, and also on the armchair after a large dinner at a nearby Chinese restaurant (one of those places where the chef sets the table on fire and flings hot food towards your face.  Fun, but a little daunting if you know yourself to be, say, just slightly klutzy).  There was a good deal of wine on offer here too.

So, basically, I have taken the first steps to a lifelong problem with alcohol this holiday season. Ok, not really, but how do recovering addicts do it? If any more alcohol had been flung down my throat I would have had to swim home instead of taking the train.  Which is just how I like my holiday celebrations.  Lots of food, drink, friends and family.  So Merry belated Christmas (and Hanukah and Kwanzaa and etc.) to everyone and I hope everyone had as good a time as me.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Chocolate and Caramel covered popcorn

I am exhausted. I don't know why, since all I did was clean a bit today and make the aforementioned popcorn (and send out a resume or two), but I could fall asleep now and not wake up until tomorrow.  However!  For your viewing pleasure, here is the finished product:

The picture, as usual, does not do it justice. I need a digital camera.

It was pretty easy to make too, though kind of time consuming.  I made the popcorn first, obviously. I made it on the stove, not microwave, because otherwise it would have already been seasoned and the caramel and chocolate would have tasted funky.

Then I made caramel. This is just melted sugar, with a little water poured on it to make it easier to melt. Once the sugar is melted watch it carefully as it starts to brown, stirring occasionally.  As soon as it is golden take it off the heat - it burns easily and tastes terrible if burned.

Sugar melting in the water. I put too much water, so it took a while to caramelize.

Then I poured that on the popcorn and stirred it all around with a wooden spoon.  WARNING: Melted sugar is HOT.  Do not touch it. Be careful stirring and pouring it and use a spoon or something to mix it into the popcorn.

Then I melted some dark chocolate and drizzled that on.

Viola! A nice Christmas treat. I'm thinking of making a bunch of this and handing it out to friends instead of gifts, along with maybe some cookies.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Remember that turkey broth I made a week or two ago? It's still sitting in the fridge (what's left), in the pot, and it has reached the point that I'm kind of scared to deal with it.  I feel like I could re-discover penicillin all by myself in my kitchen.

Or perhaps penicillin's more sinister cousin.  Either way, I'm hoping I can get someone else (and by that I mean my bf) to deal with it.  Wish me luck.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Santa's little helper

I spent the day doing my Christmas shopping.  I'm pretty pleased with my purchases, though it's hard to shop on such a tight budget and still have gifts I'm really happy with. I got a weird look when I asked a vendor advice about my half sister's gift ("I need something for a Portugese speaking 10 year old I've never met. Do you think she'd like this?").  A couple of gifts I'm a little worried about now, though they seemed fine when I got them.  My mother, primarily, once pitched an enormous, crying fit over the color of a sweater my siblings and I had gotten her. Gift buying for her has been a bit fraught ever since.

I love Christmas shopping in New York though. I was at the little street festival at Union Square today and it's nice knowing that everything I got could only be got in New York, right there. It's not a chain, you can't go online and order it; you have to be in New York, in Union Square, if you want it.  Plus, walking around and being able to browse such a huge variety of home made, craft, or just cool little things was fun, money or no money. I had to resist buying several unneeded items, but I made it and only went over budget (so far) by a few dollars.   I was literally staggering under the weight of everything I was carrying today, and sheer exhaustion (and back pain) finally sent me home.

Tomorrow I'm venturing out again to try to get the last couple gifts I need, for my bf (boyfriend) and my bf (best friend). :-).  They are the hardest, because it is important they like what I get them.  After the holidays are over I'll post pictures of everything I got and gave.  I love Christmas.
I found something great for my bf, but didn't buy it as it was almost twice the budget we set. I'm considering going back for it though, as I think he would like it and I really want to get him something he likes.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Duggar baby born! Early!

  My interest in babies, Duggars and dramatic and unusual medical situations has all come together in a big Duggar baby peak.  Mrs. Duggar had the baby, super early, and she's super tiny.  Like, barely over a pound.  While not religious I am sending good vibes their way (I'm sure they really really care).  But I am also trolling the internet for more info.  I love gossip, and all reality tv is a a chance to get to know more people to gossip about, with no chance of the gossiping back about you.  And dramatic premature birth after airlift evacuation is definitely cause for talk, let me tell you.
  I'm feel like I'm being a little callous about it, but I really think little Josie (a J name I never thought of) will be fine. Girls do better than boys, Mrs. Duggar was in the hospital long enough to get steroid shots, and while three months is very, very early it's amazing how young they can be now and do ok.
  So, basically, I hope she gets quickly better but I also hope there are multiple large information leaks.  Does that make me a terrible person?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Celebrity Updates

Now that I no longer have tv I am sadly behind on certain celebrity/tv show events (like the birth of the Duggar grandkid).  I do however have Perez Hilton and People so I am not entirely out of the loop.

Recent celebrity events that I shouldn't care about but do (ergo: any celebrity events):

-Tiger Woods being apparently the worst, most unfaithful husband possible without actually being Henry VIII.

-Mrs. Duggar getting sick (not that we all shouldn't care about anyone getting sick...but still; it's not like I know her)

-Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal breaking up.  Though the Ryan Phillipe breakup was more shocking.  I'm always hopeful about when celebrities I actually like get married.

Hmmm.  I guess I'm not so out of the loop after all. Unless there's some huge celebrity event I don't even know I don't know.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Jet Lag

Despite not having gone anywhere or done anything to deserve it, I seem to be living in another time zone.  Or rather living as if I'm in another time zone.  Not sure which one, but one that's about six or seven hours behind the one my body is actually inhabiting.  And by this I mean I can't sleep, lay awake every night, play internet games until 6, and then sleep until after noon every night for the past week.  What is WRONG with me?  I've always been a night owl but this is ridiculous.  And though I can probably trace it somewhat (employment stress, money stress, etc.) I really just need to get over it because it is not helpful in the slightest.  Ugh.  In the meantime, behold exhibit A:

No sleep issues here.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Turkey Broth

I've spent the afternoon (among other things) with a big pot of turkey broth stewing.  I LOVE making broth.  It feels so healthy and wintery, and yet is so simple any idiot could make it.

Holiday Broth:

I've already poured out a good bit of the broth from the pot here to boil some rice in. 

Basically, throw in your protein (half a chicken should do, or in this case a big humongous turkey wing)
1 potato, washed, sliced in half
1 piece of celery
1 carrot, washed (optional: peeling)
1 onion, peeled
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
Salt (maybe 2 teaspoons? To taste, basically)
Pepper, just a little less than the salt
1 or 2 Bay Leaves
Healthy dash of Basil (To taste, maybe a tablespoon)
Healthy dash of Thyme (Likewise)
You can put a teaspoon full of tomato sauce if you want (my cousin does) but I usually don't bother.

Let it simmer at a medium - low temperature for 3 or 4 or 5 hours with the lid on, depending on how intense you want the broth flavor. I like it intense. I usually have to add a cup or two of water at some point so that it doesn't all boil away.  Don't do this at the very end or (I find) the flavor will be diluted, but if you add some water at the 2 hour mark or so it shouldn't make any difference really.  And if you're cooking something for four hours, you want enough for leftovers.  Taste it every now and then and if it isn't flavorful enough by the three hour mark add more of the salt/pepper/herbs.

Once the broth is done to your taste, just filter out all the stuff in it and you end up with delicious, rich broth. I then usually cook some rice or ravioli or orzo or something in it and eat it.  It's full of vitamins and very filling.  You can save all the stuff you filtered out (potato, protein, etc.) and just eat that separately.  Or you can leave it all together and have a stew instead of a broth. Whatever; it's still good.  I'm going to go eat some now.