Archive for September, 2008

Lost Island of Cyclists

I just came across this series of entries on one of my favorite cycling blogs– anthropological descriptions of an island of futuristic cyclist-creatures! Awesome!! I wish I could do my fieldwork there…


Comfort Food

I don’t know if it’s the quickly dwindling daylight hours, the back-to-school grind, or my lingering insecurities… but I’ve had the blahs the past couple of days. So I fixed myself some comfort food for dinner.

Who am I kidding? ALL food is comfort food. But this was one of those nostalgic, perfect-for-fall dishes:

Tomato soup and grilled cheese.

I got the idea for the soup from 101 Cookbooks, and stuck pretty closely to the recipe.  I ended up playing off the sweetness of the roasted vegetables by putting in some basil and thyme rather than the paprika H. calls for.

I started planning on the soup yesterday, and grabbed the veggies I’d need at the farmers’ market this morning.  I went completely unplugged this morning, even leaving my cellphone at home. When I do that, I always run the risk of coming home and finding that no one has called me while I was away, and then getting sad. But today I got home and my brother had left me a voicemail, so I felt special.

After stocking up at the market (I bought squash blossoms too! I can’t wait to figure out what to do with them…) I camped out in a coffee shop to get some reading done. I was feeling very productive until the very quiet guy sitting at the table behind me left and was replaced by a very talkative couple (one of whom I recognized as my friend’s housemate… oops). *sigh*  I had just refilled my tea, but really couldn’t stand listening to the girl talk about how much work she had to do. So I headed home.

The craving for grilled cheese actually came later in the day.

I was thinking of how delicious some crackers and cheese would taste, and then realized that perhaps grilled cheese would be even more delicious with the soup. To market, to market.* Again.

I opted for locally-baked bread rather than the organic, sprouted-grain variety– although it was a very tough debate. Also stocked up on white vinegar, some flours, a bottle of wine for the week, ingredients for granola, and one extra topping for Sunday Pizza Night (artichoke hearts).

I was not carded for the bottle of wine at checkout. I feel old.

The soup and sandwich were a total success. Leftover soup for one more meal (I think I’ll add some sauteed kale…), and bread for french toast in the morning! Very exciting.

*No fat pigs were purchased at market.

Moral Dilemma

My former [female] roommate, with whom I had quite a few “issues” while she was living here, moved out in July and neglected to have her mail forwarded. I gathered the mail for her and brought it to campus and gave it to her. I asked her to please register her new address at the post office, her bank, and the University.

Two days later, our mail delivery stopped. We didn’t get mail for four days. We were all expecting textbooks that we had ordered, bills, and paychecks.  I called the post office, and they said that a “hold” had been placed on our address. All of our mail was being held at the main post office. The hold was placed in the name of my old roommate.

Now, had she simply registered her new address, they would have forwarded her first-class mail, and ONLY her mail, to her new address. I have moved several times. I have had to register my new address several times. My roommates’ mail was never held or forwarded. I know how this works. She has had to do the same. You would think that perhaps, by now, she’d understand how it works. INSTEAD, she had a hold placed on all of the mail to this address. Does everyone reading register the difference?

So, now the “hold” period is up, and we’re getting all of her mail again. My moral dilemma: throw it out, or arrange further (possibly never-ending) on-campus meetings?

I should note that I paid her last water bill in the high hopes that I would never, ever again in my life have to deal with this woman again. That is how much I did not want to see her.

Scaredy Cat

My girl-cat, Sofi, was always the one provoking kitten play-fights with Speckle. Not so anymore. Speckle is quite a bit bigger now, and noticeably bigger than Sof. He picks on her like no other– yet when he can’t find her he wanders the house meowing pitifully.

Today I heard a cat-yelp, then silence. A few minutes later, Speckle was wandering around whining.  Neither my roomate nor I could find Sof, however.  After calling for her a few times, she appeared briefly, then darted back into my room.  She was hiding under the bed, and then suddenly disappeared.

As it turns out, she clawed/ gnawed a hole in the cloth bottom of my box spring and crawled up into the frame.

I think Speckle picked on her a little too hard, and she hid up there. She wouldn’t come down for nearly an hour.

While I was eating dinner, she finally emerged and curled up in my lap, purring and biting at my hand.

4-day weekends

It’s what everybody wants, right?

Well guess what! I have a 4-day weekend! WOO HOO!

However, practically speaking, I am finding that there’s not much to differentiate one day’s schedule to the next. Therefore, sometimes I forget what day it is.

Let’s do a quick run-down of an ordinary week:

Monday (or, days with no class):

6 am- alarm goes off for the first time.

6:30 am- alarm goes off for the third time.

7 am- roll out of bed. make coffee. drink coffee. thoughtfully consume breakfast (fruit). read e-newspapers.

8 am- bike ride.

10 am- home, shower, thoughtfully consume second breakfast (eggs… with vegetables, chicken sausage, and cheese, usually).

11 am- 7 pm- reading, interspersed with procrastination along the lines of: making tea, eating lunch, playing with the cats, checking email, reading more news.

5 pm- begin thinking about dinner, while continuing to read.

7 pm- begin making dinner. glass of wine at hand.

8- 9pm- thoughtfully consume dinner.

9 pm- attempt to read some more.

10:30 pm- go to sleep.

Tuesday (or, days with class):

6 am- alarm goes off for the first time.

6:30 am- alarm goes off for the third time.

7 am- roll out of bed. make coffee. drink coffee. thoughtfully consume breakfast (fruit). read e-newspapers.

8 am- bike ride.

10 am- home, shower, thoughtfully prepare and consume second breakfast (eggs… with vegetables, chicken sausage, and cheese, usually).

~11 am- ~5 (7) pm- class. with short breaks here and there that are used for a) printing reading material, b) socializing, or c) eating.

5 pm- begin thinking about dinner, while still in class or on my way home.

7 pm- begin making dinner. glass of wine at hand.

8- 9pm- thoughtfully consume dinner.

9 pm- attempt to read.

10:30 pm- go to sleep.

The only things that differentiate the *real* weekends are that 1) sometimes I don’t shower, and 2) I go to the farmer’s market on Saturday.

I have to say, it’s a pretty darn good deal 🙂

Weird Dream

I had a really weird, detailed, and disturbing dream last night, and it’s bothering me. In the interest of catharsis, I’m going to describe it.

In my dream, I live on a long, skinny lot with a mini-forest of trees in the back yard. It’s a really big back yard.  I have rain barrels on the downspouts, and a compost pile, like in real life. The house is pretty much the same, except the deck is made out of pine, for some reason (even though that’s probably a totally impractical type of wood to use for a deck. I don’t know.)

I get home from work one day and find, first of all, that my books are messed-up.  Now, this actually happened in real life (Someone, who shall remain nameless, rearranged all of my books while I was gone this summer). But to make matters worse, the bookshelves are dismantled and some of the books (ones with bright blue covers, for some reason) are missing.

And yes, I swear I have color dreams, even though just about every psychologist/psychiatrist on earth would deny that.

I get mad at my roommates, and they apologize and help me to put everything back in order. But then– THEN– there is commotion in the back yard.  I go out back, and find that a landscaping company has cut down the entire mini-forest and put gravel and decorative rocks and grass in its place. They are in the process of putting up a fence across my backyard.  They also destroyed the compost pile and disassembled the rain barrels. I notice that it is really dry outside, and dusty. Big clouds of dust rise up out of the backyard.

My mom shows up, wearing sunglasses.  She understands why I am upset, and starts asking questions. As it turns out, the neighbors told the landscaping company, who was hired by the city, that it was okay to cut down all of my trees. She does not think that I should be mad at the neighbors, since it was a “misunderstanding.”

I get very, very angry and start yelling and screaming at the neighbors, who just stand there and watch me. I feel like nothing will ever be fixed, and everything is permanently destroyed, and the earth is totally wasted, and everything is completely hopeless.

We (mom, roommates, and I) go back inside and continue cleaning up the books. It is pouring down rain.  I am still really angry, and am sad that the rain is not getting caught by the barrels, because it was so dry out. So I go outside and start reassembling the rain barrels. The rain barrels are hard to reassemble and I get more frustrated and more angry. I vividly remember the deck, which is unlike my deck in real-life, and water dripping off of the roof and the gutters hanging down.  In the dream, I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to place the barrels under the gutters– ie: on a platform or not?

Then someone tells me that another friend of mine has showed up, and I am suddenly very relieved.  I start to cry (in the dream, not in real life) and he understands why I am upset. He comes outside in the rain and helps me reassemble the rain barrels, and I calm down.  He tells me that we’ll re-plant the trees and re-build the compost pile, and everything will be okay.

The end.

It worries me that the house and yard were totally destroyed. My cats are acting really spastic today, too, and I feel like animals have a 6th sense about these sorts of things. Is something bad going to happen?? I now have an impending sense of doom.