June 24, 2010

My blog and I moved

Yes, it's true. I've left Blogger for WordPress. It's OK, I took all my posts with me! I know you were worried. So come find me, I'm here http://liveeatrock.wordpress.com/

June 20, 2010

Etsy envy

Oh my God, how cute?! Why are my large feet too large for them? If you wear a 7.5, please go buy them and wear them for me!

This started as a shoe envy post. Turns out I envy most everything in Tiger Cult's Etsy shop.

Orange salad spinner. She calls it kitsch. I say pure awesomeness.

Adorable bathing suit. I'm into one pieces this summer.

I love Etsy. End.

Of robes and pastas

I remember one Christmas Ian and I asked my mom what she wanted from us, what was on her wish list. She told us she would love a new robe. A new robe? As a kid I could hardly comprehend wanting that kind of a gift. It sounded so freaking sensible! I always thought of Christmas, Chanukah, and birthday gifts as things you wanted not needed, and a robe sounded suspiciously like something you'd need. You wanted things like a new Barbie, a dress for your American Girl doll, a Breyer horse, a barn for your herd of already 30 Breyer horses to live in, a new dress, or the newest books in the Thoroughbred series. Not a robe.

Tonight I stood in the bathroom putting freshly washed towels into the linen closet (wow, I already sound way older, don't I? Putting laundry away in the linen closet on a Sunday night?) and, as I hung up my faded, pink terry cloth robe, I thought, Wow, I would love nothing more than a new robe. But we all know I'm not about to splurge on buying myself one! And that's when I realized that the things I used to see as necessities have moved over to the "want" column. I'm getting dangerously close to halfway to 27-years-old guys.

The horse and the barn are still in the want column, by the way. They're just a little bigger now.

I have a recipe for you, too! OK, I actually have three. Two of them involve baking as the only way I think of to cheer someone up, so I hold those til tomorrow maybe.

This one is a bright spring pasta dish, pasta with tomatoes, shrimp, and favas. I made it tonight for my parents, who came over for dinner for Father's Day It's not the kind of pasta that you can throw together in 15 minutes. (Those are my favorite kind. Saute some veggies with some spices, boil some pasta, toss 'em together, BAM, a meal.) This one does take a bit more time, but it's not overwhelming by any means. And it's so good! I think you could easily switch out the fava beans for peas. Fava beans are a little time consuming to shell and whatnot, but I like them because they're different. The recipe as it is on Smitten Kitchen where I found it uses sausage instead of shrimp, but I find the sausage makes the whole dish too greasy. I always end up with a stomach ache after. If you want to go vegetarian, maybe substitute some mushrooms for the shrimp. Also, the original recipe says to cook the meat in the sauce. I opted for grilling the shrimp and setting them on top of the pasta. I'll note where you add them to the sauce though.

June 17, 2010

Art for the sake of...teeth?

Trendy, cutting-edge jewelry is one thing. Jewelry adorned with human teeth is something else entirely. 
Exhibit A: a tooth ring

Found this ring on Etsy. Per the description, you can readorn yourself with human teeth, often mistaken for ivory by admirers. This particular ring has already sold, but the artist will make you another with her tooth collection gathered from interested friends, friends of friends, strangers, and tooth fairies. I cannot comprehend. 

It's only on a rare occasion that I find these odd things on Etsy. I'll try to post my kickass finds more often.

June 16, 2010


Julia Blog Overload.

I am in love with this map created by Famille Summerbelle.

I find maps fascinating (as well as 13 inch biceps..ahem). Something about being able to see how far one place is from another, and being able to imagine taking a journey to a faraway place. One of my favorite parts of Lord of the Rings is the maps that Tolkien drew of Middle Earth. Every time the Fellowship travels to a new place, I turn to the maps in the front or back of the book, find the spot, and trace with my finger how they got there.

I like the details on maps too. This particular map (find it here) differentiates each country, and even the oceans, not by color, or by the mountains in the area, but by animals. A fresh focus.

Fruit Loops

It's funny the things people respond to.

I update my Twitter with all sorts of randomness almost daily. Same with my Gchat and Facebook statuses. Only occasionally do I get responses, and even less often do they come pouring in. I think I'm going to start tracking which updates get the most.

Stats for this week.

Fruit Loops
Last night my power went out. That's not the reason I ate Fruit Loops for dinner. I decided on my dinner pre-power loss. That is the reason, however, that I ate three bowls of Fruit Loops, and the reason that my teeth ached with a pain only brought on by too much processed sugar. My admission to eating three bowls, and the hopes that a power loss made up for the over indulgence got quite the response on Facebook. I wonder if that's because people love Fruit Loops or because everyone can secretly relate to doing the same thing. I know I'm relieved to find out someone else has the same secrets and vices as me. It's good to not be alone in my three bowl Fruit Loops eating world.

The Winds They Did Blow

Blah blah blah, weather small talk, blah, blah. But seriously, we've been having some crazy intense storms here in Indiana lately. Seventy mile per hour winds, yellow-gray-green skies, torrential downpours, tornadoes.

As a quick side note, my mother is a lush when it comes to drinking. She has one glass of wine, her face turns red, and she starts giggling like a tween while making dirty jokes. No, wait, she makes dirty jokes without the help of a glass of wine.

Back to these stormy nights. Earlier this week I sat down on the couch with my dinner and flipped on the t.v., hoping to catch Jeopardy. Instead all I got were local news teams standing in front of green, red, and yellow-splotched weather radars, warning me of the aforementioned winds and tornadoes. I then received this text from my dad, "Mom had 1 half glass of wine & is on the couch." I immediately pictured my mom laying on the couch, cracking up at the weather reports as the winds swirled outside the glass sliding doors. Shortly after my dad called me. "Julia did you hear? There's a winter storm advisory out." "I heard!" I replied. "Hail and everything! I predict 5 feet of snow by morning." "I can't get Mom off the couch," he joked. "Oh stay inside! Here comes the snow!"

"Drunk" mothers and winter storm warnings in June are definitely laughing matters.

June 3, 2010

On Second Thought, I May Be Offended

I'm Jewish. That makes me a minority. I realize that there are people in Indiana, especially in some of the smaller towns, that don't know a lot of Jewish people, or maybe any for that matter. In fact, I rode with a girl in college who said I was the first Jewish person she knew and was really friends with. I'm OK with all of this. I actually enjoy that a lot of my non-Jewish friends are interested in my faith. One, a staunch believer in Jesus (she says Jesus is the one reason she could never convert), even came to Friday night services with me once. How cool is that?

What I am not OK with is someone turning my religion into a novelty.

Last night I met (well I suppose re-met technically since we went to the same high school, though never knew each other) a girl. Suddenly, mid-catch-up-on-our-lives conversation, she looked at me and asked, "Are you Jewish?" I know, I know, it's the nose and the dark hair that give it away, right? I replied, "Yes." She then squealed, "Oooh I LOVE Jewish people!!" I laughed. I'd had a few beers. For a split second I thought, Huh, that's a weird thing to say, but I let it pass. She then proceeded to tell a story about a Jewish guy she'd gone on a few dates with. She said some fairly bitchy and rude things about him, which I also let slide. I really regret not getting up and walking away at that point.

I woke up this morning and the more I thought about that comment, the more unsettled and angry I got. This girl was turning my religion, my belief in a higher power, my faith, into a novelty. How can you say that you love Jewish people? That's such a ridiculous thing to say. She loves every Jewish person? Why? We're not all the same. Some of us are giant assholes. It's true. We do share the same beliefs and traditions. You could love those, sure. Nobody walks around saying "I love Catholic people," and not because Catholic people aren't cool. A lot of them are. You just don't say that. It's a broad, sweeping statement that's honestly very ignorant.

It's rare that someone offends me based on my religion. I don't have stories that involve me being harassed because I'm Jewish. I guess I just hang around people who are classier and more open-minded than that. To my friends, I'm Julia, who also happens to be Jewish. To this girl, I felt like I was only Jewish, that's it.  

May 31, 2010

Summer lovin

I love ...

The way cool rain smells when it hits the hot pavement.

Naps on the couch after pancake breakfasts.

Fudgy, chocolatey, buttery brownies that remind me of being little at my grandparents' house.

Summer rain from my porch.

Long weekends and mondays that feel like Sundays.

Homemade iced coffee.

Planning birthday cakes.

Flowers in my new garden.

May 25, 2010

The rest of my family

I've always said that I'm lucky enough to have two homes and two families: my actual blood family and home here in Indiana and my camp family in North Carolina. Both have made me the girl I am today.

In the most recent issue of Outside magazine, Mondamin, Green Cove's brother camp, is named one of five "Camps That Kick Ass" in the country. Hello, I knew this, but I'm so glad my favorite place is getting recognition besides the obviously-biased article I wrote in Jack and Jill. Blue Ridge Now did a write-up of the article in Outside magazine. Here's a short quote from the write-up.

More than 60 percent of the camp's counselors are former campers and many of Mondamin's boys are second- or third-generation campers, [Robert] Danos [activity director] said.
"We can tell parents who are shopping for camps when they ask how do you know these kids so well, it's because we've helped raise them," Danos said.

That literally made me almost cry. (OK, I'm very camp-sick right now considering the time of year, let's keep that in mind...) It's just so true. Camp helped raise me, from the ages of 11 to 23. I cannot wait to send my kids to camp there. It's this amazing tradition and this incredible amount of caring and sense of family. All of that is what makes camp the place it is. A home away from home and a second family.  

May 21, 2010

Pie...uhm Food...Catch Up

I've decided on a new name for my bakery: Piebelly.

I've been baking like a crazy woman lately. It relieves stress, and there's been plenty of stress in my work life lately. Chocolate chip and pecan-cranberry brown sugar cookies, strawberry rhubarb crisp, rum-soaked banana bread, hummingbird cupcakes, sugar cream pie, triple berry pie...

The triple berry pie I'm calling my best pie yet and so I'm sharing it after the jump. It's the perfect summer berry pie: Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, though I'm sure you could easily substitute raspberries in there. I usually use flour to juice up my filling, but my aunt mentioned tapioca, so I thought I'd give it a try. Must've worked well, since the pie was so damn good. I also made some vanilla whipped cream, just softly whipped, to plerp on top. Delicious dessert for a few days.

In a way, this pie was also a 717 pie (the 717 being the magical yellow house that we lived in, with a fourth roommate whom we no longer speak of, in Bloomington for two years). The pie bird, a little guy with a hole in his beak that you settle in the center of your filling and then place your top crust over, was a gift from Samantha. The cheerfully purple-dotted pie dish was a gift from Marnie. Maybe that's why it was so good!

My weekend will be filled with rhubarb thanks to Smitten Kitchen. Moist and sweet rhubarb coffee cake and little rhubarb tarts. This has most definitely been the spring of rhubarb.

Music Catch Up

I've had The National's new but not really new (it's mostly covers, rereleases, and live tracks) album, The Virginia EP, for about a month now, but I just gave it a good listen for the first time today. Maybe it's something about my mood; Matt Berninger's melancholy voice makes me ache a little. Maybe the persistently rainy, gray weather fits the steady rhythm of the album. I don't know why, but I've fallen in love with them again. Check out their MySpace page. Particularly listen to "Slow Show," "Secret Meeting," and "Daughters of the SoHo Riots."

Mumford & Sons has also been making a steady appearance on my Recently Played playlist. They're a delightful folky rock band that sounds a little like the Avett Brothers, and somehow a little like Iron & Wine. The album, Sigh No More, sounds familiar the whole way through. I love the way each song steadily builds and builds, vocals, sweet harmonies, and guitar becoming more powerful and frantic. My two favorites right now are "Winter Winds" and "Timshels." You can find their album on their MySpace.

Sorry, I'm not feeling the YouTube videos directly on my posts today. Just do the extra work for these two bands. It'll be worth it.

Aaaaand festival season is here! What's on my schedule for this year? Well, Lollapalooza is looking somewhat unexciting this year. Their headliners make me a little sad. Lady Gaga? Really guys? I realize she's popular and that she has this wow factor about her, but last year the Yeah Yeah Yeahs headlined. The Killers. Kings of Leon. I saw Death Cab there a few years ago. These bands make real music. Don't get me wrong, I respect Lady Gaga for the fact that she can put on quite a show. She's an entertainer. But not someone to headline Lolla. We also have Green Day, whose new music I don't listen to. Nope. If I liked Soundgarden, I'd be excited for their reunion in Grant Park. Though, OK, now that I'm looking at the whole lineup again, I see lots of bands that I love, so maybe I'll wait until the schedule comes out and buy a one or two day pass. I do love seeing live shows in the middle of downtown Chicago, especially after dark, with the bright skyline as a backdrop. Magical, really. I'd love to go to Forecastle in Louisville though. That one should happen.

Happy music Friday kiddos!

April 19, 2010

Pig in Boots

Hello Spring!

If rainy spring days mean piggies in boots, then I'll take them all with a smile.

Eggs. Have we discussed my love of runny-yolk eggs? There's just something about the buttery texture of an egg yolk. Poached eggs, over easy eggs, soft-boiled eggs. As long as I can cut into the middle, watch the yellow center flow, and dip my toast in it, I'll take it. When we were little, my mom used to make us soft-boiled eggs. She'd put them in these little egg cups (only ours stood on two little feet wearing shoes and striped socks instead of a pedestal), crack off the top like a little hat, and sprinkle a little salt and pepper on the yolk-y inside. We'd eat them with these little plastic reusable spoons. 


I thought this was a normal egg dish until one Sunday morning I asked Adam if he wanted one and he looked at me like I was crazy. We have some different family food traditions (sugar cream pie, potato chip cookies, chocolate sprinkles on toast), and I figured this was just another one. Though I guess I should've been clued in by the fact that all of my family food traditions are different because they're European. 

So today I'm browsing this site I've found called Domestic Sluttery, and I see that they've posted something about egg cups and eggy soldiers (see the egg cups link above). Intrigued, I googled "what is an eggy soldier" and came up with this recipe. So in England (and probably Holland), my thing for soft-boiled eggs wouldn't be weird. 

Eggy Soldiers are super easy to make. Bring a pot of water (enough to cover an egg) to a boil. Gently slide in your egg. Let it cook for about four minutes. Turn off the stove, and, using a spoon, take the egg out of the water. Set it in an egg cup. Now the egg is really hot, so be careful on this next part. Using a butter knife, tap the egg about one inch from the top of the narrow end. When the egg shell cracks, continue to cut through the entire top of the egg. You'll end up cutting off a little hat. Salt and pepper the inside of the egg and enjoy with a slice of buttered toast, maybe toasted in a teapot toaster.


Soon I am going to bake my eggs in tomato sauce.

March 19, 2010

I Lurrrve You

A list of my Right Now Loves

  • Conan O'Brien's tweets, particularly "I just learned that retweets of my Bieber tweet mentioning Bieber actually help Bieber. Bieber, you're a worthy foe. Bieber." I also love Conan's new beard. Oh what the hell, I LOVE CONAN O'BRIEN!
  • Spoon's SXSW show (
  • Lady rocker Rachel Flotard and her band called Visqueen. Please take a moment to enjoy "Hand Me Down." 
  • Spring having sprung! Warm weather is here, though who knows if she'll stay. Windows are open, Mira is sunbathing in any and every sunny spot she can find, long walks are being taken, bike will be fixed up.
  • Six days until our Raleigh visit! I can hardly believe that two and a half years have passed since I moved from Raleigh back to Indy. This visit is long overdue. Hilary, Bette, and I will be reunited. Adam will enjoy North Carolina so much that we will not come home. (At least that's how it goes in my mind...) I don't have a whole lot of places to revisit or things I very much want to do. I just really want to see my friends, eat some Cookout, and go to a few choice bars. The fun I remember having the year I lived there really comes from just having really awesome friends.
  • Molasses chip cookies, which I would like to morph into cherry molasses chip cookies. (recipe to follow after jump.)
  • Plans to run the Race for the Cure this year instead of walking with the girls. 

February 19, 2010

Gotta Get Me Going

I've made it to another Friday! In a short nine hours I will be in Chicago with some of my favorite girls in the world. I cannot wait!! Sushi, Indian food, Olympics, girl time.

I haven't cooked much this week. Last weekend was spent chiefly in the kitchen (much to my happiness I'll add). Instead I've been trying to find the perfect morning pump up music. Driving to work is a chore, despite the cup of coffee I've already downed by then. I need good music to get me going for the day. Something that I can turn up, sing along to, or just listen to and feel motivated. Sometimes I just scream loudly, but that makes my throat hurt. So far, I've found these bands to be successful.

Guster. Always Guster. Playing Lost and Gone Forever makes me feel home. It's hard for me to recommend this band to you for any concrete reason other than they are awesome because they've just been my favorite for so long (10 years to be exact). I love how goofy they are, I love the drums, particularly the bongos of their earlier years, and how they've evolved with each album but not so much that they lose who they are. Here we have Adam and Ryan playing drums (they play guitar and sing. Brian is the drummer and he's AAAAHMAZING in my opinion.)

And here we have "Happier" from Lost and Gone Forever

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have also been good pump me up music. Karen O is their singer. She's awesome. They played at Lollapalooza last summer (a last minute sub for the Beastie Boys) and I fell in love. I might put that show in my top five. Very high energy, and of course being in downtown Chicago on a gorgeous summer night never hurts either :) I love Karen O's voice - powerful without getting out of tune. That girl can scream. Two songs here. 

"Maps" on Fever to Tell

"Zero" on It's Blitz!

So what gets you pumped up when you need a lift? I'm always looking for recommendations to add to my morning playlist.

I'm also going to mention the Broderick, a band from dear Bloomington. Four dudes singing solid rock. Check them out, they're up and coming.

Now onto food! Last Thursday I made a black and white cappuccino cheesecake for our cheesecake competition at work. It was very tasty and made my stomach scream out in protest of too much cream cheese. Cheesecake is a lot of work though, and I think only appropriate for special occasions. So I'm going to give you a better and easier sweets recipe: Meyer lemon bars, which I made Friday night. Meyer lemons are smaller than regular lemons and sweeter, which I like because normal lemon bars can be a bit too tart for me. Between the lemon bars and the leftover cheesecake Adam and I had good Valentine's dessert. We also had magical dinners. Sunday we made au gratin potatoes, the recipe for which I'll have to post sometime, Dover sole two ways, and snow peas (mmm I love snow peas for their crunchy sweetness). Saturday night was the real star though in my opinion. Lasagna. In a Dutch oven no less. I think you should ideally use a large and deep casserole dish of some kind, but I don't have one. The Dutch oven worked just fine. The lasagna was flavorful, filling, and cheeeeesy! 

OK, so what follows, in case you missed it from all that rambling, is Meyer lemon bars and lasagna. 

February 10, 2010

Today's Letter is "M"

I think today's Wednesday. I kind of don't care to keep track anymore because I'll only be reminded how many more days stretch ahead before the weekend. And once the weekend gets here, how few days are left before the inevitable return to work on Monday. Sorry, that's kind of negative, I know, but seriously. We've gotten a bunch of snow in the past five days. Every morning this week I've woken upon hoping for too much snow on the road to go into work, but the damn city has kept our roads snow-free. So I've been spending most of my week daydreaming of North Carolina. Oh and yesterday I spent my day watching the Bonnaroo line-up be slowly and painfully announced on Bonnaroo's MySpace. Who does that? Anyway, it looks pretty good. I usually feel that Bonnaroo's line-up is a pretty good preview of Lollapalooza's. Hopefully will get to at least one festival this summer!

Mira was somewhat suspicious of the tiny snowman we met on one of our walks.

The snow did kick in a serious hibernation switch on in my head over the weekend. I decided that I needed to cook and bake a lot just in case I could never leave my apartment again. Friday night I made these bombtastic baked chicken meatballs. My only problem was that my tomato paste had been in the fridge for awhile, and some nice fuzzy, white stuff was growing on parts. I just went ahead and used the non-fuzzy, white parts. A few hours post-meatball consumption, I felt off. Amazingly enough, still ate leftovers the next night, and even more amazingly enough, felt slightly off again. HAH. Anyway, the meatballs are super tasty for few ingredients (which is my favorite. The less money I have to spend, the better.) I made them bigger (got about ten balls I think), and ate them with spaghetti. I bet they'd be the perfect party appetizer if made smaller.

Then came the muffins. These whole wheat apple muffins have been my go to when I've had extra apples lying around this fall and winter. They are DELICIOUS. Nice and warm spicy (you know, like cinnamon), moist for days after, and partially healthy. This was probably the fourth or fifth batch I've made.

January 29, 2010

I got Tiger'd

A few weeks ago Adam called and left me this voicemail.

Hey. This is Tiger. I need you to do something for me. It's huge. I need you to change your...number....voicemail... (Justin, his roommate cracks up in the background, says something probably along the lines of "you idiot, you messed it up!" Adam laughs as well, breaking his very serious tone and then tries to continue.) Call me back. Please.

Here's the actual voicemail that Tiger left for one of his girlfriends. He says "Hey, it's Tiger. I need you to do me a huge favor. Can you please take your name off your phone? My wife went through my phone and maybe calling you. So if you can, please take your name off that. Just have it as a number on the voicemail. You got to do this for me. Huge. Quickly. Bye."

My boyfriend is such a dork.

Sick Girls Like Corn Bread

First of all, did you know Jewel has made like four or five albums since her first one in the 90s? Pieces of You was one of my first CDs (along with Dave Matthews Band, Crash). I recently heard Foolish Games on the radio and suddenly got a Jewel craving. So now I'm listening to that album on LaLa.com. But the song Pieces of You, kinda disturbing!

You know what I miss? Mixed tapes. Mixes on CDs just aren't quite the same. There's nothing quite like sitting by your boom box, waiting to hear a song on the radio so that you can hit the record button, and inevitably get some of the DJ chatter at the end of the song on the tape too.

The most exciting thing that happened to me this week involved my plumbing and pasta in my bathtub. On Tuesday the kitchen and bathroom sinks started to drain slowly. I then discovered that not only were they draining slowly, but they were draining right into my bathtub! SCORE! I tried Drain-o and plunging but no luck. Pretty soon my bathtub was a log of what I'd eaten in the past week. Good thing I don't care much if I don't get a shower ever day, or for three days.

Well, I've managed to get sick three times in the past month, which is pretty rare for me. Cold, Norovirus (which is the most hilarious and gross stomach bug EVER), cough/fever. (By the way Foolish Games does not sound pretty when sung by someone who is on the verge of losing her voice. Worst sound that has ever come out of my mouth.) I'm hoping for a healthy February. So not much cooking or baking has happened. I did make some black bean soup and corn bread earlier this week though. The soup was so so. The corn bread was fabulous. I want to make it again with chili.
The recipe calls for milk or buttermilk. I don't drink milk and really only use it in baking, substituting soy milk most other times. And usually it works out fine. I've made some damn good gratin potatoes with soy milk. The only thing I've had trouble with is alfredo sauce. My body cannot handle all that heavy cream but oh good Lord I love alfredo sauce. Soy milk, in my experience, when heated up and subbed for heavy cream in this case, gets sweet, and alfredo sauce should not be sweet. Does anyone have any tips on cooking with soy milk or other dairy substitutes? Anyway, back to the corn bread. I didn't have milk and was almost out of soy milk. I did however have heavy cream for some weird reason, so used that instead. No need to do that I'm sure. I'd stick with milk or soy next time.

January 21, 2010


The past week the news has been full of stories of from Haiti. Bodies piling up on the streets, rescue efforts at schools abandoned because survivors at this point were unlikely, no clean water or food, crime, and general hopelessness. This picture, though, defies all that. It literally embodies the word HOPE for me. That little boy was buried for eight days under rubble, and amazing rescue workers pulled him out. Talk about second chances.

I want to do my small part and was thrilled when one of Jack and Jill's fairly regular writers emailed me saying she felt the same way. She suggested writing an article about the children in Haiti, how they are coping with the aftermath of the earthquake, and how kids here in the U.S. can help through various organizations and charities. I hope that we're touching kids and opening their minds with the magazine. Who knows, but I like to dream :)

January 18, 2010

It's All in the Family

Heeiiy! If you read this post, this blog, my word vomit, would you mind commenting on this one? I'd like to know if anyone other than my dear mother and my brother come around. Muchas gracias!

Mira and I have a new neighbor. Well two to be accurate. We have a new neighbor in the apartment across the hall. We also have a new neighbor living somewhere near one of our favorite trees in the yard. At night I let Mira out just quickly in the yard outside our building. She usually walks directly to this one tree, pees near it, and inside we go. About a month ago, out we walked as usual around 11 p.m, right over to that tree. I was hardly paying attention, bracing myself against the frigid night air. Mira had her eyes on the ground as she sniffed for the perfect spot. Somehow both of us managed to miss the GIANT MOTHER EFFING POSSUM sitting by our favorite tree, frozen/"playing dead" (like we were stupid enough to think it was dead, it was standing up on its hind legs!), and staring right at us with its beady little eyes and tiny pink nose. I'm pretty sure I screamed, I dragged Mira in the other direction, and then continued to scream and curse loudly as Mira found a new spot to water. We hurried upstairs and, from the safety of my apartment, I peeked out the kitchen window. The offender was still by the tree, only it'd unfrozen and was starting to waddle around now that the coast was clear. Possums are seriously ugly, seriously gross, and even worse when you suddenly find yourself standing three feet from them. Trust me.
OK, so no more possum sightings until last week. Our confidence in the favorite tree had been renewed, our fears lulled into a stupor. Thankfully this time I happened to be looking up and spotted the possum by the tree about six feet away this time, again frozen and staring at us. I diverted Mira, who had also spotted the beast. Apparently they're known to viciously attack dogs. Come on, how could you attack this sweet face?

Especially when that sweet face does this?!

(Sorry, I couldn't resist...) Anyway, I think the possum has officially taken up residence somewhere near our tree. I'll be on guard from now on.

In kitchen news, I have two family recipes for you. The first is Oma Macaroni. My grandmother (we call her Oma) always made this when we would visit her and Opa in Holland. It's one of those foods that will always have memories attached to it of sitting in their kitchen, which somehow never seemed brightly lit, eating at the long table, my grandfather at the head, Ian, Oma, and I on the long side, and Mom at the other end, two casserole dishes of macaroni on the table. Ian, picky eater that he was, required a small casserole dish all to himself with only the pasta and tomato paste baked up together. I like making this in the winter because it's nice and warm, and really pretty flavorful. The second recipe is for my dad's banana bread with a few additions. Pappy made this always and I could eat slices upon slices in one day. When I was a junior in college and finally figured out that I had a kitchen, I asked him for the recipe. I added the chocolate chips and cranberries two goes ago, and with those additions, I prefer this in muffin form. As just straight banana bread, I like it in a loaf pan. Fair warning: the batter is seriously tasty, and the bread itself can be consumed within hours if you're not paying attention.

January 8, 2010

Bits n Pieces

Today has been relatively unproductive because I've been browsing various food blogs and Etsy is continuously posting awesome things on their Twitter. I discovered this blog that way and spent a good half hour reading past posts. I like this elephant I found there.
He's so full of happy colors that he's blowing them out of his trunk. He can't even contain them!
This item though, I question. There is no joy exploding out of it anywhere, unless you count the possible poop explosion out of the butt. This is a drop crotch jumpsuit. Please please don't get me wrong, I will sacrifice fashion for comfort any day. I wear a boys onesie around my apartment frequently, and trust me, it's not flattering. The jumpsuit, however, has multiple problems. One, the name. Why in the world would you put the word "crotch" in the title of something you are trying to sell? What does the word "crotch" make you think of? High fashion? A piece of clothing you'd wear in public? I think of, well things that are honestly grossing me out a lot. I'm not going to play the what word do you think of next game with the word "crotch." Better to do it with the word "elephant." Anyway, I also wonder why a drop crotch is a good idea on a garment when it makes the butt look like a very full diaper. I don't know, that's just me, and I know very little about what's in as far as clothing goes.

Next is Train Song. I think a lady named Vashti Bunyan originally wrote it in the 60s. Feist and Ben Gibbard do a really nice cover of it on the Dark Was the Night compilation. Today I like songs that are a little sad and a little filled with longing. I like this line
but suddenly now, I know where I belong
It's many hundred miles, but it won't be long

OK, so then NPR posted a free download on Second Stage of John Heart Jackie, a very nice and mellow and folk-y duo. They cover Train Song too, but you'll have to go to their MySpace page to listen to it. (and while you're there, listen to their other songs too!!)

Righto. Have to still post the Oma Macaroni. Also made banana bread last night, but in the form of muffins and with chocolate chips and cranberries. SOOO GOOD I might die. Made an epic fail soup. By Sunday you will have the two epic un-fails.

January 5, 2010

A Sugar Cream Pie New Year

Where were you 10 years ago? What were the decade's top songs/artists/albums? 2009's best music: Vote Now! Not going to lie, I got very tired of seeing these types of polls and articles pop up in my inbox and on my Twtitter feed. So here's mine.

2009: Fine as a Swine
-I traveled to Las Vegas for the first time (!)
-I took over Jack and Jill magazine (!)
-I reached a quarter of a century and have had various small quarter life crises (...!...?)
-I came to terms with the term "broke" and made some lifestyle changes such as canceling cable and cutting shopping (not !)
-I visited camp under the guise of a work trip and got my flight paid for (!!!) hey I did write an article on my fave place in the world for the mag
-My dog was banned from my parents' house (not !)
-I fell into more new music than I could have ever have dreamed of (!!!!!!)
-I decided to one day open a bakery in North Carolina with Bette and have a prostitution business on the side (!!!!) (anyone interested in a "cherry pie" aka a tall blonde with big tatas and a midget on the side?)
-I celebrated the two year anniversary of my return to Indianapolis (not !)

My New Year's resolutions are as follows: put $100 into my savings account every month as car payments have ended, pawn off baked goods on unsuspecting coworkers in an attempt to lose weight, have formulated a move to North Carolina plan by the end of the year.

In 2010, more specifically Jan 12, Vampire Weekend comes out with their second album! You can listen here until then. I've got a couple more listens before I comment on it, but so far, so musically nice on the ears!
In 2009 I also made a sugar cream pie. Here's how that story goes.