Friday, November 7, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
2. about 1 minute from getting home, i fell asleep at the wheel for a brief moment & ran into one of the little islands with brush & trees dividing the road. although a little startled, i'm ok. my car also made it w/out any damage w/the exception (there's always an exception) of they driver side tire having been gashed open & completely obliterated....& the tire itself has a dent in it.
3. i caught my friend chuckling at me. when i asked him what was so funny he replied, "sometimes i forget that you're a cute girl under all those layers".
Thursday, October 23, 2008
every tuesday & thursday after our sanitation class for the last few weeks, a fellow student & i have been visiting the dean with a list of grievances regarding the teacher...we'll call her CL (crazy lady) for short.
CL is hands down the worst instructor i have ever had. the worst. here are my reasons why:
- she touts opinion/ideas as fact. ex: stated that medical information (particularly info such as recent std check-ups) could be accessed via credit reports on request.
- seems to have no real knowledge of the info she's supposed to be teaching. ex: told the class that a HACCP is required for establishments that serve sprouts (it's only required for places that are literally sprouting plants) & that no food can be served on ice (it can -oysters, for instance- as long as the melting water is draining away properly, etc..).
- kicks students out of class for no reason.
- is highly unapproachable & extremely defensive when asked to clarify information.
- completely unprofessional.
i had the last of it last thursday when we had our 25 question quiz/review. she mentioned that it would not be graded & that we would not be going over the answers in class.
are you wondering how a pop quiz w/out going over the answers is a review? well, so were my classmates and i. the class then erupted into a cacophony if questions & concerns. trying to establish some order, i decided to talk on behalf of my class.
me: "ms CL, i would like to, on behalf of the students, discuss with you options regarding the review. the class understands that this quiz is not graded & that it is only a review. however, we would just like to ensure that the answers we've chosen are correct so that we can review what we know or will need to prepare for by tuesday's exam."
cl: "no, i can't go over the answers. And i can't tell you why. it's personal."
seriously, what sort of answer is this? not satisfied, i prod further...
me: "we're not questioning having to turn it in. if you'd like, we can turn them in first or even have the students switch papers and grade them in class" (although it wouldn't matter since the fucking things aren't supposed to be graded anyway, according to her).
cl: "no, you'll get them back on tuesday."
i pointedly state that it makes no sense for her to give us these papers back on tuesday when we're starting the exam that same day. her response, in a shrill & defensive tone (like she's scolding me) is "if you don't want to do the review, then pack your stuff up & go home. ALL OF YOU, GO HOME!!"
a moment after this eruption, she screams at me "FINE, you've forced it out of me. I made special arrangements with a few students that this could be their final exam. This was a personal matter & you've forced me out of it!!"
see why we call her CL?
i have 3 issues with this: 1. if it's a final test for a handful of students, it wouldn't matter if we went over the answers AFTER she had us turn the papers in. 2. her syllabus states that there is absolutely no way to make-up any assignments/exams or do extra credit. so this "special arrangement with a few students" is completely bogus & fucked up. & personally as a person who is paying her salary, i deserve to know that information. 3. i was livid that she talked SO disrespectfully to me. i was nothing but calm, articulate, & professional.
anyhow, long story stopping before it gets any longer, everyone in that class should thank another classmate & me for the 3.5 (or above) they'll be receiving after our pow-wows with the dean.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
but then as i slowly drove by, i could see it wasn't an accident.
it was a woman with arms crossed over the back of her head slowly walking backwards towards the cops -several of them with their guns pointed at her.
i checked the fire/9-11 reports log & it was an assault w/weapon situation. the voyeur in me wants more details.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
i don't have a proper desk & office chair, so i sit on the edge of my bed & perch over one book on my lap, another on a chair that's too hard to sit on comfortably for a long period of time, & maintain to fail sitting up while i type up my notes.
in addition to the copper pot & standing mixer on my christmas list, i'm adding masseur/massage therapist. preferably tall, lean, muscular, & named sven.
based on the above, the best current investment advice is to drink beer and recycle. it's called the 401-keg.
a recent study found the average american walks about 900 miles a year. another study found americans drink, on average, 22 gallons of alcohol a year. that means, on an average, americans get about 41 miles to the gallon.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
::raises hand:: umm, yes please.
"room & board is taken care of. you just need a current passport, some spending money, & to purchase the plane ticket...which is around $1400 since it's last minute."
::lowers hand:: i thought this was a rhetorical question.
our program was invited by the spanish consulate to partake in the tapas & wine festivities going on next weekend. so sad that i have neither a current passport or $1400. free housing, food, & wine!?!
oooh, chef harris, why did you tell us about this amazing opportunity? it's like you've poked me in the gut with a stick, repeatedly, for your amusement.
chances to cross the ocean are not yet dead. the baking/pastry program is working out the details for a study abroad/exchange program with a school in florence, italy. once they finalize the details (mainly regarding how credits would transfer/classes correlate to what quarter), i'm signing up. the cost would be the sscc tuition + room/board + spending money....an amazing deal since tuition would normally be around $2200/month + $1300 for housing.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
a trio of lavender-walnut tarts.
gateau aux noix (walnut tarts/cakes) originate from grenoble, france (located at the foot of the alps) -known for their walnuts. this particular variation of gateau aux noix was often taken on longer trips & up the alps because it does not require refrigeration.
simple & lovely
i wouldn't have thought to combine the two flavors. the lavender is very subtle & doesn't leave that "i have perfume in my mouth" taste on your tongue.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
project education tea begins friday. over the next few weeks/months i will be tasting and learning about the 150+ teas the teacup carries.
you know how your heart does that power-beating thing in your chest & you get really warm when you're really anxious about something? that was me when i looked at my phone & saw there was a voicemail from a missed a call from the teacup.
friday had gone REALLY well -at least, i thought it did. at the close of the interview, the owner & manager said they had narrowed their choices down to 4 people (including me!) for the two positions available & were pretty sure they could make their decision by that evening & would be making calls during the weekend, or at least notifying the potentials of their status by tuesday (which, by the way, i appreciate. i hate it when you have really awesome (1st, 2nd, 3rd) interviews, then never hear from the company again).
when i didn't hear from them friday evening, i began to (over)analyze the interview like it was a first date, wondering why he hasn't called yet. did i have something in my teeth? was i not the definition & perfect balance of wit & intelligence? was my enthusiasm read as desperation?
did i say something wrong? maybe i came across a little cocky & not humorously confident ["since i know you're going to hire me, what is the process of getting to know all these teas?"] or, perhaps more or less bribing them wasn't a good idea ["tea+me= cakes/goodies i'm working on...::wink,wink::"].
so. back to the voicemail. once i heard "we'd like to offer..." i was elated. i did a hop, skip, & a jump & rode that through sanitation class (which is taught by, in my opinion, a fear-mongering, intense bigot).
(if you're looking for a grater/zester, i highly suggest buying microplane. it's a little more expensive, but a great kitchen investment.)
after cleaning & wrapping the wound, i had to put a cover over my thumb so i could continue working (i was in the middle of working chef berger's recipe of pear pudding. it smells like christmas.). the cover looks exactly like a condom & is rolled onto the finger like one as well, except it's 1/2" in diameter. i felt like i was in health class, practicing correct condom use on a banana.
my first try at frosting & piping.
it took me a while to smooth the sides out & i'm fairly happy with the rosettes. i'm annoyed that the person who boxed it for me smudged two of the rosettes (as you can see).
it's a white velvet butter cake & chocolate italian buttercream.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
it's not all bad though.
the people: i get to work with interesting people with various backgrounds & experiences.
there's *L, who spent the last 5 years working in chile for a non-profit group. *J, who puts in 110% has an alcoholic housemate who often goes into a violent rage before blacking out. *LW moved here with promises of a job & place to stay, only to find it was all a lie & is now couch-surfing while determining whether to stay or to go. there's the guy who is taking his chances & moving to maui to tend bar & surf after quitting his much hated banking job.
the food: the staff eats whatever the guests are served for the evening. i'm not a fan of banquet food; it's not bad, but it's not all that great...but what can one expect when feeding/serving upwards of several 100+ people at one time? however, there are a few gigs in which the food is pretty awesome. for instance, the wedding anniversary had an antipasti (cured olives & meats, fresh mozzarella, artichokes, thin, grilled asparagus stalks), a duet of steak & halibut, & custard fruit tarts. & because the owner of a local brewery is a member of the country club & is kind enough to donate...there were free beers for the staff (consumed after the guests left during break-down, not service. we're responsible.).
the guests/clients/event: while working benaroya hall, i got to see graham kerr, of 'the galloping gourmet' fame -he helped shaped my interest in food as a kid. i had the opportunity to listen to steve ballmer give an inspiring speech on the importance of investing in the community one lives in (emphasis on schools/education) & his response to a question regarding immigration (i wanted to hug him).
i saw an elegant celebration of a marriage for my first gig -bride fresh-faced & glowing. yesterday, i witnessed the lasting love of a couple celebrating 50 years of life together -arms entwined, eyes locked on the dance floor.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
my daily schedule:
1:20pm-1:40: demonstration (when working w/chef berger)
2:00pm-4:30 (tues/thurs): safety & sanitation
theory varies throughout the quarter & reviews things like equipment, history of various pastries/breads, & basic food chemistry. lab is spent in the kitchen (♥♥♥) & is broken down into groups (cakes, pies, cookies, breads, etc..) of 3-4 people. we spend 2-3 weeks in each group & rotate through all sessions. the chef roams the kitchen guiding everyone's work & answers any concerns. during demonstration, chef berger will lecture briefly on a particular skill or food item. for instance, today he discussed pluots/plums/prunes & we sampled a fantastic plum cake/galette (shaped like a free-form tart, but on some amazing brioche) he made.
there are two instructors: chef berger & chef harris. chef harris teaches theory, but i haven't had much interaction with him yet. in lab, i report to chef berget (burr-jhay); he has an intimidating stance & stern look, but when he is joking around (which he often does...he made jokes about being regular during his prune speech) his facial features soften & you can't help but smile to yourself with his lilting accent. i haven't personally seen this side yet, but three girls in my class have already been berated a few times (supposedly, he yelled at the girls about their eclairs -"these need more filling, they are too light!"- & threw one on the table.) & i am anxious for the day when he gets chef ramsey on my ass.
at the end of the day, i am red from running around the kitchen, my hands feel dry from so many washings, & my feet hurt from standing all day; overall, i am exhausted, but i couldn't be any happier.
Friday, September 19, 2008
i haven't been as aggressive in finding a new job as i probably should be for a few reasons:
- i want to gauge what i can handle while starting the baking/pastry program which will be consuming most of my life for the next two years.
- i'd like something that will compliment my career goals, or pay more/hour (i'd rather not have to slave several hours for minimum wage unless i know it will get my foot in the door somewhere).
- i've found a temp wait-staff agency that is extremely flexible to my schedule. they call in the mornings & fill me in on any opening for the next few days/weeks & i pick & choose to my needs.
although i don't mind playing wait-staff & love variety at work, i can see the gigs with the temp agency wearing on my sanity pretty quickly. i prefer that my job be outlined to a degree. a general example of an event: i show up at the specified time & location, desperately search for the evening's contact or other team members, then scramble around & try to be useful while the head honcho figures out what he'd like us to do. as much as i like free/easy money, i feel guilty if i've been hired for something & i'm not doing anything -i'd rather be at home not being paid than sitting around feeling useless.
also, i'm tired of being snapped at by the permanent wait-staff. no, i don't know where the extra linens are kept. no, i don't know where the bar-jacks are supposed to be set. no, i didn't know that this is how you guys normally do it because i'm just doing what your boss-man has shown me. i don't expect kindness, but i do expect some respect & loath condescension.
anyhow, the thought that i may get the opportunity to learn more about tea (history, culture, variety) is pretty thrilling.
also, i'm applying to become a reporter/editor for the campus newspaper -there is some compensation, but i am hoping it provides some experience writing as a professional (plugging ideas, researching, deadlines, quotas).
the picture of the knit ♥s has nothing to do with looking for employment. i just wanted to share. the one on the left has dead eyes (x_X) & looks a little rough because i don't know how to mattress stitch yet. the right heart was knit in the round.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
i am baffled.
you are flaky. you are passive-aggressive. you are all talk & no action. you are smarmy. you get defensive. you like to pity yourself. & after initial contact, you're no fun at all.
the last conversation we had, i put you off after going off on your pathetic ass. we haven't had a conversation in over 6 months.
so why do you call & text to hang out as though everything is okay?
it's varigated white, bright cobalt blue, & sienna brown (think thai iced coffee). see how it pools in the scarf he's made?
i want to move to brooklyn just to be friends with him.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
i also ♥ katamari damacy. although the concept is simple enough, i am not so good at it -which sucks when the person you're playing with is getting 2-3x the needed growth of the katamari.
i'm anxious to try wii fit & play warioware: smooth moves while slightly inebriated.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
i'm hoping the next time i try this, it will be at one of those really tacky courses with animated obstacles & brightly flashing lights.
side note: while watching air force one, i was pondering on the presidential election...i wish we had (or there was a candidate) as bad-ass as the president portrayed by Harrison Ford. don't you want a leader who can pack a punch, fly an aircraft, & gets to the point ("get off my plane!")?
or, i'd more than happily settle for an upstanding man like president David Palmer, care of Jack Bauer.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
after the new york times printed commentary/recipes/archived articles on the humble cookie back in july, there were several weeks of debate on the best chocolate chip cookie recipe all over the food blogosphere.
at the time, i thought about joining in & testing batch after batch to find the ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe. melted butter vs creamed. 12, 24, 36, or 0 hour chill in the fridge? chewy, crispy, soft....oh, the variations!
but it sounded like too much effort. & who would eat all those cookies? so, i decided to let everyone else do the work & i've been keeping tips aside for when i actually needed to make them.
from my research on others' bake tests, the jacque torres' chocolate chip cookie recipe (posted in the NY times) is a bit too sweet & too much waiting for results that are, essentially, equal to waiting 1/2 or less that time.
i've always baked the standard, almost instantly gratifying, mix-drop-voila version. since i needed to bake 2 batches anyway, i decided to try two variations:
1. melted butter & a chill in the fridge. (for a crisper cookie)
2. standard creaming method & straight into the oven (for a softer cookie).
result: although a bit more work & time, i think i'm going to do the melt & chill from now on. it produced a delicately crisp outside while maintaining a soft chewy inside (these are pictured above). the creaming method was delicious, but came out with a denser crumb...almost like cake, wich my mother preferred.
Monday, September 1, 2008
there's nothing better than lazily waking up & getting together with a group of friends for brunch at home or a local spot to sip on some coffee & delight in fluffy eggs or cinnamon-y french toast.
although i have a few favorite breakfast nooks, none compares to Pamela's on walnut street in pittsburgh, pa. (i specify this shadyside location because i've been to the other locations in pittsburgh & they don't compare).
out of standard breakfast fare, pancakes aren't usually my first pick; however, my mouth waters at the mere thought of hotcakes served here. a little heartier than a crepe, these babies have a crisp edge which compliment wonderfully with the rest of the buttery, melt-in-your-mouth center.
if you're not a pancake person or don't mind carbo-loading it & hitting the ultimate food coma, order a side of the home fries. they are perfect. that is all i have to say about them.
although this place serves straightforward classics, they are done incredibly well....so if you're looking for something fancier/updated/different it's best to head elsewhere.
Friday, August 29, 2008
i should be eco-freindly by unraveling & recycling the yarn, but i just don't feel like it because i know i won't use them. it's crap acrylic. not crap because it's acrylic, but because it's the itchy weird stuff that i picked up not knowing better many years ago from a large craft store (too inexperienced to realize that there were such things as lys's espcially since there wasn't one in the city i lived in) that doesn't carry many options.
starting this knitting habit & with several lys's at my disposal, i've been (re-)introduced to the yarn game. a few of my favorites from my slowly growing stash:
pagewood farm sock yarn
blue sky alpa
cacolorway: mango & ruby
noro silk garden lite
colorway: 2037 & 2017
project (maybe?): noro scarf
i think this is currently my favorite of the stash. i've been told the color gets better. i love it so much, i don't even want to use it.
it's 15 minutes past check-in.
heather suggests we head inside as there's a back room, & the party might be held there. once we step in, it is obvious that there is nothing going on. there is the guy on the couch, 5 guys spread across the bar, and a co-ed group of 6 in a corner near the front. there are no signs of revelry, no obvious organizers of any sort of event.
she & i stand awkwardly in the middle of the club, when the guy on the couch speaks up. his voice surprises me; it's much higher than i was anticipating.
"are you two here for the lock & key? it's usually pretty crowded....& i spoke with the bartender...the event sponsor never showed up or made contact. maybe the venue changed? but there wasn't an email sent out or a notice on the website."
"man, i could be knitting right now!", i exclaim. "i even put on make-up for the first time in weeks for this thing!"
this answers our questions. we both decide to have a drink at the very least. we order our orange vodkas & sodas. we briefly chit-chat with the two guys sitting next to us, joe & jeff, also there for the lock & key. we are snarky in our usual way.
the man on the couch comes over to us at the bar & continues the small talk.
"there's supposed to be another lock & key next month."
"oh yeah...isn't that supposed to be for the 30s-40s set though?" questions heather.
"are you showing your age, sir?" i ask jokingly.
he looked slightly perturbed with this question & promptly left the club a few moments after.
30 minutes later, as we're finishing our drinks & getting ready to leave, couch guy is back & at our sides again.
"i went to get some food", he states factually with bit of surprise, as though he had informed us of his actions before leaving & that there was some sort of agreement made that we were going to wait for his return.
we ended the evening with a drink & some food, no numbers, & some new inside jokes at matador in ballard.
note: prior to the non-existent lock & key, i was at a knitting group happy hour & had extended the invitation to one of the girls i met there since she was new to the area & looking to meet new people. i'm really glad she had other plans set for the evening.
*lock & key party: 1/2 the attendees get a lock, the other 1/2 a key. you then spend the evening trying to find your corresponding lock or key. once your match is found, your names get thrown into a raffle for prizes & you receive a new lock or key & repeat.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
now that i have knitting, purling, & a few basics down (& the amazing reference tool that is the internet), i understand why so many knitters have multiple wips (work in progress -i'm getting the lingo down as well!). working on one project can get repetitive or frustrating....as i've learned with the above scarves. i've been alternating between these two scarf patterns the past few days & they are now both complete. finally.
branching out (scarf a): my first go at a lace pattern. you can't tell by my crappy picture, but it's turned out quiet well -for which i am glad since it's going to my grandmother. this was much easier than i (as a beginner) thought it was going to be. there were a few fumbles along the way…99% which are invisible. the mistake that is the 1% is kind of a 'where's waldo' & only seen if you search for it, so….pat on the back for me.
silk evening scarf (scarf b): fate had me destined to knit this cute, easy, elegantly fun scarf…a day after finding the pattern, the lys had the yarn at 1/2 price!!
trying to manipulate 5 needles is much harder than 2. i heard the transition from crocheting to knitting was awkward due to the concept of two needles vs, one hook, but i quickly adapted & had no issues handling an extra stick. adding 3 more needles just seems ridiculous to me right now. but no, i haven't yet given up on learning to knit in the round. i am determined to knit a pair of eff*ing socks. however, for the time being, after monkey-ing around with toothpick-thin needles & de-tangling equally thin yarn for about 3 hours, i've decided to put the socks aside until i'm feeling a little more optomistic. or, masochistic.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
this movie played frequently on the disney channel or nickelodeon (i don't remember which, but as kids, we only watched those two channels), & i'm fairly certain that my brother & i watched every showing. evidence of our enthusasim is captured in footage somewhere in my parents' home-video collection: an embarrassing/cute clip of my brother & me doing the wo-wo twins' song-&-dance number.
it being 19-20 years since last viewed, i couldn't recall the storyline, only fuzzy images of characters & scenes. as i watched it though, i realized that the makers of toy story seemed to have borrowed quite a bit from the rag-doll twins...a new doll on the owner-child's birthday; toys escaping to the outside world via window; the despair of being a toy w/out an owner to love him/her...and catchy tunes.
i was worried that, being older, i wouldn't enjoy the movie as much as i did as a child. thankfully, unlike the adventures of milo & otis (have you tried watching this again!?! the animals are absolutely adorable, but you can only take about 5 minutes 'til you're done ooo-ing & aww-ing over the animals), the escapades of ann & andy didn't bore me now that i'm all "growed up".
the entertainment is due to richard williams (who framed roger rabbit) & joe raposo (sesame street, electric company). animation, directed & overseen by williams, is well done. the music & lyrics, by raposo, are smart, catchy, and appropriately adorable (no ear bleeding).
there are several scenes which the audio-visual combination creates a creepy, trippy vibe that the stoner set would enjoy in their own way. for instance, when the twins meet the greedy:
if you'd like to watch the movie in it's entirety, you can view it here.
who would have thought this much amusement would come from a hand-made rag doll?
i started the sweater multiple times because the count was off, but then i realized it wasn't me. after scouring the web a while, i found another version of the exact sweater and realized the the pattern i was using was inaccurate.
i'll toot my own horn and say that for someone who recently taught herself how to knit, my first "major" knitting project came out pretty damn well.
the 5hr baby sweater pattern.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
rob fleming-it & create a mix-tape (er, mp3s). fuck up as much as you want, you can perfect it as often as you'd like.
create musical crimes...
these brightly colored, liquid jewels, lined behind a refrigerated case at a corner store, caught my eye. sadly, they were missing the yellow, green, & blue, creating an incomplete rainbow of flavors.
at $0.35 each or 3/$1, i decided to go for the deal (what a steal!) and pick up one of each color they had.
all 3 had the unaturally sweet & artifical taste (no surprise) that clings to the tongue. despite not being refreshing or delicious (i would even say gross), i couldn't help slightly enjoying them. they reminded me of being 5, sitting out on the porch a hot summer's day, hands & face dyed & sticky from drink.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
but i saw these crocheted lovelies almost a year ago in a mag (not available to the public at time of publication) & have been scanning for them since. & i finally own them. thanks to nordstrom's annual sale, i saved $40.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.
If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.
if each day,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
if this game indicates anything about real life, my cousin will:
1. rob from the bank/steal from others.
2. make no attempt to pay back his loans.
3. drive in the wrong direction.
4. argue with authorities/blatantly disregard the rules.
good thing he still has a few years left to learn how to be a productive member of society.