Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Remembering with food

A sizable little crowd came over on Memorial Day, including four kids and a dog. The following items were grilled: hotdogs, veggie dogs of various flavors, Bratwursts, veggie patties of various flavors, turkey burger sliders and hamburger sliders, corn on the cob, onion slices, sauerkraut (on a piece of tin foil).

I decided to do sliders because the problem at BBQs is often that I want to try different things, but one burger fills me all the way up. My dad advised cooking them over a high flame (not that we are skilled enough in the grilling arts to control the flame or the height thereof), but I attempted to follow his advice.

My mom advised adding to the turkey burgers: mayo, finely chopped onion, and herbs. I added oregano and parsley flakes. She warned me that turkey burgers are bland, but I have to say that with her additions, they were delicious. Cheddar cheese and mustard help, too.

Our guests seemed impressed by the fact that I had made the burgers "by hand," ie, not bought the pre-formed disks. My dad makes the best burgers, hands down, and he makes them by hand, so I feel that is the only way to go if you're serious about burgers. To the hamburgers, he adds Worsestershire (or however you spell it), lemon juice, salt and pepper. I forgot the lemon juice this time, but it is a good thing to add.

We were a wee bit pressed for time before this party, as we often are before our parties, so some things got left by the wayside that we should have done, such as cutting up a pineapple and cutting the grass. I hope no one got any ticks or anything.

Friday, May 23, 2008


things found in my old room
This past weekend we were in Alexandria visiting my parents. I know my mom wants me to go through the junk (I mean, treasures) that fills the dresser in my old bedroom. One whole drawer is mostly photos and most of those are crap. Any of the decent or funny ones I have scanned into flickr already. But what do I do with the originals? They are all stored in the photo store envelopes or boxes. (Ritz was giving out boxes for a while. Do they still do that?)

I can't believe it never occured to me to scan some of my earliest diary pages. According to some people, the old entries are clearly written by me, but I'm pretty sure they sound like the rantings of any annoying kid.

I also found my mother's old Konica. I have no recollection of her giving it to me, but somehow it wound up in that drawer. Sadly, a battery was left in it and it corroded. I picked up a new one, but the meter only jumps a tiny bit. I did read something online about how it takes a 1.4v battery, not a 1.5v, except that 1.4 is not readily available at Radio Shack after all. I was hoping 1.5v would make do. So now I don't know if it's just the wrong battery or if the corrosion affected it.

Both my parents instilled in me a (debatably) great habit of meticulously saving all manuals. Sure enough, the manual on the Konica was in another drawer in the same dresser. Unfortunately, it is totally unhelpful. It goes into great detail on how to use the camera on the automatic setting, but doesn't explain at all how to use the manual settings. And it's kind of hard to mess with it when the light meter isn't working properly.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

What then?

You know it's a low point when you come out of a great, funny movie (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and you immediately are filled with dread.

You know it's a low point when you read most of the 81 comments about regrets and although they are fascinating, you have to stop reading them because they are too damn depressing.

Why have I sat on the couch since the moment I woke up this morning and now it's afternoon?

It's a beautiful day outside and I could/should go for a walk, but it's easier to stay here on the couch.

It's not so much the regrets about the past as about my inability to make a change now. (Or is it unwillingness? Or maybe fear?)

What got this whole meladrama ball rolling was hearing a speaker at work talking about how a successful person has a 5-year plan. And a successful person has a dream job in mind that she strives for in everything she does. And a succesful person is not me.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Pretty pink and black

I failed to mention in my post about packing another essential I took with me to Europe: a reversible cloth bag made by my friend Mim. She has a few on sale right now, too.

I am tempted to buy more, especially because when I go grocery shopping, I am still usually a few cloth bags short of being able to use zero plastic bags. I have the one Mim made me plus two Jeff got for free at work.

The ones sold at A&P are only a dollar, but they are so ugly. I suppose I could use them just for groceries, but to be ugly they need to also be free.

I have noticed lately that a lot more people are bringing their own bags or using the ones sold at the grocery store. I wonder what caused this shift to finally happen? I admit that I am a bit late to the game. Before, I always used sturdy paper bags (the ones with string handles) to carry more than would fit in my purse. But those are no good in the rain. And they are not classy. And they don't hold that much.

Frankly I'm shocked at my former self for not realizing that I could skip getting a bag entirely when shopping if only I had a cloth one with me. It still seems a little strange to be buying clothing, especially, and say I don't need a bag because I have my own. Considering the change at the grocery store, though, I bet it won't take long for more people to start carrying their own sacs where ever they go.

I sure am glad I had my pretty black with pink polka dots one in Europe. (It reverses to black and white check, which is good for when I make Jeff carry it.) No stores offered bags. If I wanted one, I had to ask. And at one grocery store I noticed each plastic bag cost 5 eurocents.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Seems disgusting

I amaze myself multiple times per week by how disgusting my lunch looks. And then I gobble it up, thinking the whole time, Oh my god, this is delicious. One of the more amazing aspects to this salad is the fact that I like it all mixed up. And I was one of those kids who refused to let each food item touch the other food items on my plate.

The contents of my delicious salad from the company cafeteria where I can select my own ingredients and pay by weight, not by some arcane system of number of ingredients:

-no lettuce, seeing as how I'm in the Beth school of lettuce-free salads. It's extraneous. (Note: I will gladly eat lettuce on any occasion and I often have it at home because Jeff is not in this club and I don't dislike it. I just find it to be extraneous.)
-turkey cubes
-tofu cubes
-edamame (a LOT)
-avocado (one quarter, if they have it, which they don't always)
-bulgar wheat
-blue cheese
-sunflower seeds
-green beans
-egg white (just a little)
-one scoop of Italian dressing
-one small scoop of a composed pasta salad, if they have it and it's one I like (tuna and pasta: yes. anything with olives: NO).

Before consumption, the salad has to be thoroughly stirred and all the large pieces (cucumbers, tomotoes) have to be cut into smaller pieces. This is because when I eat it, as many different kinds of things need to be in each bite as possible. This ensures maximum satisfaction.

One thing: I feel a little strange about eating the edamame along with the tofu (although this feeling is not stopping me). It seems as if different types of the same thing are weird to eat together. Like, chicken with egg on it? That just seems creepy.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

#57 Bruce

Because of your warmth we felt confident in choosing to become Unitarian Universalists, despite the broccoli god bit. You married us, forgetting the reading and the song. You sweat an awful lot.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Perfect vs. Pointless (packing)

Perfect: taking 2 pairs of my super comfy Eddie Bauer pants on our trip
Pointless: taking my new pair of black capris, which I was pretty sure it would not be warm enough for, but which I was eager to wear and did not wear once

Perfect: taking my new Privos, despite their only being a week old (they remained super comfy, with or without socks, until the very last day, at which time my right foot got sore underneath one of the straps, but no blisters ever appeared)
Pointless: taking my dressier kitten heels for wearing out at night (I wore them the first night and on those cobblestones I about killed myself)

Perfect: taking my brand new 6 million dollar home Crumpler bag to use as a purse and a camera bag
Pointless: taking a little purse to use when going out at night (well, it was perfect for keeping all of my various cords and chargers in, anyway

Perfect: taking a small notebook for writing what we eat, drink, and see, and also taking a glue stick for pasting in ticket stubs, etc.
Pointless: hauling the dead weight of a 2-year-old and already outdated guidebook on Germany and Austria when we were going to only be in one or two cities in one area of Germany. I'm over guidebooks. From now on, I do internet research, print stuff out, write stuff down. There's so much in those books that I don't need! When is someone going to put out a guidebook version that has no accomodations listed? I don't need this, ever. We always book our hotels before we go. I'm sure we're not the only ones.