Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 in review

it's been a heck of a year, and i can't say that i'm sad to say it's over. a lot of people i care about experienced various forms of weirdness, illness and death in their lives. it created an air of negativity for most of the year. i don't want to get into it anymore than that.

but some good things happened too. rollum & i took a much-needed vacation to barbados. the features released their album. obama won! and so did my dad, as secretary treasurer for the nashville musician's union. we checked some things off our house to-do list (painted the bathroom, hired mark to paint the living room). got to spend another week in california. so...not all negative.

it was also the year of weddings. i attended SEVEN in 08. they were all lovely!

favorite albums of the year:
-the walkmen 'you and me'
-the features 'some kind of salvation'

i only remember seeing one movie this year - the batman one. maybe i saw more, i just can't remember...i also can't remember if i read any books? i know i read the new david sedaris one. and 'life of pi'.

i suppose i could share my resolutions for 09, but i haven't quite thought about them yet. yes, the typical eat better/exercise more. get out of that mountain of debt. spend more time doing creative-ish things. i'm also in the process of becoming a 'big sister' for big brothers big sisters, so i am excited about that.

i wish everyone health and happiness. here's to 2009!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

gocco projects

my two readers (hey carolyn & kim!) have both nudged me to make a post, so here i am. perhaps i can resolve to write something at once a week in the coming year.

anyway, i have finally created something(s) with my gocco!

i made this one a few months ago - the text is from a card that my mom wrote me in november 1996. i was living in the dorms at mtsu at the time, and even though i lived just 45 minutes away from her, she constantly sent me cards, notes, pictures, letters, etc. after she died, i sorted through all that stuff and came across a card - it had this fairy-looking thing on it, and inside was the text you see below. i kept that card in my night stand for the past few years. and i decided to turn it into my first gocco project, so i could share those words with my family. i photocopied her message & then sketched what i imagined an 'elf attendant' would look like. (i ran into a problem with the green ink - when i squirted it onto the screen, some clear liquid came out with it and messed it up a little. so the "this" didn't come out well AT ALL. instead of burning a new screen, i just decided to fill in the bare spots with an ink pen afterwards.)

and on to my 2008 christmas card. i finally figured out how to download a bunch of nifty fonts and stuff, and i instantly fell in love with this one. as for the drawing ... just a little sketch.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

the walkmen - 4 members + the privates - keith + luke =

"thinking of a dream i had" live at the basement, nashville, tn. the 13th of october:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


i ran into food lion last night to pick up a few ingredients for chili. the man in front of me at the checkout lane didn't have his food lion card, so he used mine. he thanked me and i made a joke that we could call it even if he paid for my groceries. ha ha ha. based on those few words i spoke, the cashier was like, "are you from canada?"
"you have a REALLY northern accent."
i told him i've lived in tennessee for 20 years.
"where'd you live before that?"
i said california.
"what part?"
"southern california, near los angeles."
"my step brother lives in torrence. do you know where that is?"
"you're only buying ONE jalapeno pepper? that's really funny."

really northern accent?!? i realize little hints of mid-western-ness may sneak in every once in awhile, but really northern?!?

Monday, October 6, 2008

kicking, birthdays, carbs and soccer

i just returned from a 'cardio box' class at the ymca, and my face is as red as a beet. i tried a beginning kickbox class a couple months ago and thought this class would be more punching-oriented (because the description said "just want to punch? this class is for you!"). but that was quite misleading. this class should be called 'advanced kickboxing for coordinated, in shape crazy folk'.  my feeble knees don't do so well with all the side kicks. or forward or back kicks. bad news for katie. i plan to stick with my monday night yoga at the smyrna rec center from now on.

yesterday was rollum's 29th birthday. i didn't get him any gifts, because that scooter should take care of any and all gifts for the next 10 years. i'm only slightly kidding. instead i fixed a cheesecake with cherry compote topping and a vegetable lasagna (filled with eggplant, squash, zucchini, broccoli, carrots and onion. and lots of cheese and sauce). i feel like i spent the entire weekend in the kitchen.  but the meal was good and rollum seemed to enjoy it.  and i broke my semi south-beach-ish diet to enjoy the fruits (or in this case, carbohydrates) of my labor.  

saturday afternoon, i attended elliott's soccer game.  here's a picture of the little dude in his uniform, because he looks so darn cute in it.  he scored the only 2 goals for his team that day. (carrie & jason decided his team's kinda like the bad news bears. the other teams all seem to have a better grasp on the concept of soccer. they set shots up for each other and stuff. elliott's team kinda chokes whenever they have the ball. but i think he's having fun, so that's all that matters, eh?).  go e-moon!  

Saturday, September 20, 2008

china hutch

i spotted this china hutch at an estate sale more than a month ago. i couldn't afford their asking price, so that was that. i left my name/number in case they were willing to let it go for less. over the next few days, i COULD NOT STOP THINKING ABOUT IT. i found the craiglist ad for the estate sale and contacted the lady to see if it was still available. it was! and she'd come down on the price! i told her i'd have to wait for a break in rollum's schedule (and for my neighbor's truck) to pick it up. he's been so busy that finally, her husband offered to drop it off. so i got this bad boy on monday. I LOVE IT. we took our ikea table out, brought the our vintage metal table back in (and covered it with this rad tablecloth my friend liz gave me for my birthday) = kitchen makeover! now i have to fill the hutch with goodies, which will require a big cabinet sort-through - i will display some things that have been hidden and whatnot. we may be looking to get rid of the ikea table, so if you know of anyone...
isn't it funny how much the color changes depending on flash/no flash?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

yard sale treasures

i had good yard sale luck today. woke up around 10:30 and searched for "smyrna garage sales" on craiglist, and here's what i got:

first stop: sam davis road; a woman and her daugher, around my age. lots of cool antique-y stuff. i was just going to buy the bird salt & pepper shakers and the yellow glass thing; i liked the painting but part of me wondered if it was a little too "motel art" or "bob ross." (I was laughing at myself for thinking so hard about whether or not i wanted to spend $2 on it). the daughter ended up selling me the painting and the other goodies for $2.75 (!?). the woman said her aunt painted it in the 1920s; her name was lola and she lived to be almost 100. i told her i'd hang it in my computer room. after i heard the backstory about lola, i grew to love the painting and wish i had paid them more for my goodies.

next i ended up off hazelwood; it was an old lady in an electric wheelchair and her husband. she talked at length about her health and how this would probably be the last garage sale she had. also how her daughter owns a salon and wanted to re-do the colors, so there were some salon hair dryers for sale. she had lots of owls for sale & i picked out the coolest ones - 25 cents each! and a plastic purity milk crate for 50 cents.
(yellow glass was from the first yard sale)

i love all my goodies! but i need to watch this owl collection i seem to have started. reminds me of the sorority girl roommate i had in 1997; she was in chi omega and had an entire bookshelf filled with hundreds of owls (i guess that's their "symbol"?) this was the apartment i also shared with a chinese girl who cooked chicken claws.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


so it's been several weeks since i've written anything. has the allure of this thing finally worn off?

here's what i've been up to:
  • i got a new camera! thanks to birthday money from my dad & courtney, the $100 i got for doing a market research study about beans, and my chase visa.
  • i turned 31!

  • rollum got a scooter (no exclamation point for that one)
  • comcast finally figured out the error of their ways and took away our "free" expanded cable. no more "mad men", "project runway", and work-from-home sessions in front of "clean house." boo. we have 20 channels now, half of which air constant evangelical christian programs (no exclamation point)
  • finally put my gocco to use! it came out of its box to help print some of alexis and dave's awesome wedding invitations, designed by the super talented kelly. i am no longer afraid of it, but i must find a workspace at my house so i can get started on some of my own stuff!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

"that guy likes kid rock so much, he has a shirt for it!"

i've been a baking machine this weekend. i went to a friend's surprise birthday party on friday night, so i spent the afternoon hanging out with lots of butter, chocolate, and sugar. martha stewart and her double-chocolate brownie cookies totally failed me, and i cursed as i was dealing with the gooey batter. i ended up throwing them out. i fared better with the brownies.

i am so very lazy on some saturdays. but not yesterday! i took helen's bedding to the laundromat, gave her a bath, and made the ultimate campfire dinner. beef barbecue in the crockpot (for sandwiches), homemade coleslaw, and baked beans. rollum asked me to pick up from smores ice cream from the store, but instead i made some smores bars for dessert. (then rollum pointed out the campfire-ness of it all). my dad joined us for dinner too, and we listened to randy newman and linda ronstadt records.

then on to the basement for the hotpipes and the nobility. courtney urged us to go to the red door to meet up with her dude crew and i proceeded to act like i was 21 again. waffle house + 4am bedtime = i am getting too old for this but i still had lots of fun. speaking of getting too old, i'll be 31 in 20 days. and the belcourt is showing better off dead for the midnight movie, so if you like that movie and/or me, you should come!

Monday, July 7, 2008

pie time

i spent the better part of sunday afternoon making this bad boy. it's probably a good thing that apricot season doesn't last longer, or else i'd be tempted to make it more often. a good mixture of tart and sweet, and the hazelnut topping adds a little saltiness to it too. i didn't change anything about the recipe, except i shortened the cooking time (even still, the bottom of the crust got a little burnt).
apricot-raspberry pie with hazelnut streusel topping

we watched the diving bell & the butterfly last night...very, very good. earlier in the week i watched persepolis. please share any movie recommendations with me. i've hi-jacked the netflix account for the time being. i think i need something without subtitles next...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

things i've accomplished today

-made improvised lemon/blueberry muffins.  none of the recipes i looked at satisfied me, so i made up my own.  they were okay, although not good enough to transcribe the recipe and encourage you to try them for yourself.  it was the first time i made up a (baking) recipe, and my lack of culinary knowledge reared its ugly head when i put the butter into the cold liquid ingredients (duh.  butter did not incorporate).  they looked pretty though!

-watched "goonies" on tv.

-yelled at a couple neighborhood seven-year-olds who threw a firecracker that detonated about a foot in front of my face.  i said the f-word and "jesus" a few times.  

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

we all scream for...

the ice cream man was in the neighborhood today, and i got a good humor cookie sandwich. 
now i am debating going to the Y.  my mind is telling me no, the ice cream sandwich is telling me yes. 
what kind of ice cream do you get from the ice cream man?  when was the last time you purchased something from the ice cream man?  do you call it "ice cream man" or "ice cream truck" ?  R & I had this conversation the other day.  He'd get one of those baseball mitt popsicle things.  

Saturday, June 7, 2008

forgetting and dreams

last night, a friend and i were talking about r.e.m and he brought up the show at the ryman. i had absolutely no recollection of the concert. i knew i had to have gone, but i remembered nothing of it.  then  i realized it must've been when my mom was first sick.  when i got home, i looked in my bedside drawer and found a journal i had written in around that time.  just a few entries, maybe about 8 pages worth.  i have a really hard time keeping journals.  i write a few pages, and then stop. or i write, and throw it away. what's stopping me?  the embarrassment of someone else possibily reading it one day? i don't know. but as i read through these entries, i realized it was probably the one and only time i was ever really open and honest in a journal (not in the "not lying" sense, but you know, honest with yourself). it was the first time i re-read something and did not want throw it in the trash.  after she passed, i started a list of things i didn't want to forget about her. i wrote 8 things down.  3 years later, and i am afraid i'm forgetting things about her every day.  which brings me back to the r.e.m. show at the ryman. i checked this morning, and the concert was a week after we took my mom to the hospital & received the diagnosis.  i really have blocked a lot of stuff in my mind.  my memory is not what it used to be. and with those thoughts, i fell asleep.

a few nights ago before bed, i looked for mid-century modern furniture on nashville craigslist.   that night, i dreamt i found a vintage glass-and-wood cabinet.  it had a small tv inside.  and  a printer that printed everything in pink ink (?).  i bought it for $40.  the next morning i was suprised at such a quick action-to-dream repsonse.  

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Barbados - Wednesday May 28

We’re back from our Barbados holiday adventure.   What follows is a day-by-day breakdown of what we did.  It’s pretty boring, but I just spent about an hour typing this all out, so you’d better read it. 

Wednesday May 28
Our journey began at 3:30 am. We drove to my dad’s house & he took us to the airport.  We were cutting it really close after getting through security…last ones on the plane.  Phew!   Had a quick changeover in Miami, no time to spare.  Only had time to grab a quick wrap sandwich from an Au Bon Pain cart.  Worst sandwich EVER.  The tortilla disintegrated and I hardly ate the thing, even though I was starving.  We dozed a little on the plane.  Landed in Barbados on schedule & hired a car to take us to the hotel, which was in Holetown in the St James provence. 
We stayed at Settlers Beach Hotel in the only 1-bedroom apartment unit on the property.  There are 23 other villa-type units and mostly (British) families occupied the other villas.  We had a small living room, no tv (fine by me), a full kitchen with stove, oven, fridge, cookware, etc, small bedroom with king size bed, bathroom.  Nothing fancy or frilly, but we didn’t want (or need) {and couldn’t afford} such luxuries!  We were tired and hungry and made our way into the town (a five minute walk) to the supermarket.  We like foreign grocery stores and markets.  This place seemed to cater to the locals and British tourists.  Bought a few necessities, so we could fix breakfast and lunch at the room every day: Cinna Minis (cinnamon toast crunch, with a different name), bread, peanut butter, jelly {bought local jam because smuckers and decent preserves would’ve cost $8-10 US per jar.  Big mistake. Shitty jam!}, spaghetti, sauce, eggs, milk, butter, Hob Nobs, water. Went back and made peanut butter and shitty jam sandwiches and went to the beach for a quick swim.  Rollum saw some mongooses (mongeese?) scurrying about the grounds, kinda like the way you’d see squirrels in America.  My dad told us they brought in a bunch of mongooses to rid the island of snakes.

The beach was really nice – not too much sand, the beach chairs were put away for the day – but the water was really clear and it wasn’t crowded at all. We showered and went down to the hotel restaurant to redeem our free drink coupons, and were surprised that a little welcome reception was taking place (they had given us a little invite to it, but we didn’t notice it in our welcome packet).  As a result, we only got 1 drink each before the reception ended. Damn!  The owner lady and another worker came by to talk to us and they were both really nice.  The reception lady was kinda shy and we asked her about the alleged green monkeys that roam around Barbados.  They had a monkey family on the grounds but they chased them away because they were menacing and bothersome.  We never saw any monkeys. 
We walked back into town for dinner.  There were two small alleyways that contained several restaurants – Indian, Thai, local fare, etc – and we quickly discovered that it was going to be quite expensive to eat in Barbados (kinda figured that,  judging by the prices at the grocery and realizing how much it must cost to import all the food onto the island).  Some of the restaurant proprietors stood outside and tried to get us to come into their restaurants (they post their menus outside).  We tried the Indian place first.  Rollum had his first of many Banks beers of the trip (local brewery).  It’s cheap and good (the beer, not the Indian restaurant).  Retired early and slept long and well.  I was glad to have a sort-of full day there, to get settled and adjusted.

Barbados - Thursday May 29

Thursday May 29
Sunbathed a bit, then snorkeling.
We snorkeled a lot on the trip.  Dubbed it “snorkin’” because it’s easier and more fun to say than “snorkeling.”  The reef areas at our beach were awesome.  I don’t know the names of most fish we encountered.   We saw blue ones, bright electric blue mini ones, some yellow and blue stripy ones, clear ones, grumpy brown ones that blended with the reefs and sand, rainbowy big guys, ones with huge brown and white scales, little ones that did synchronized dances and then kissed, some angel fish, and lastly: EELS.  They slithered around the reefs and totally freaked me out.  I don’t think rollum saw any the first day, but I saw 3 of the snakey bastards.  Hate em.  Cereal for breakfast.  Spaghetti for lunch. Ate dinner at a place called Ragamuffins.  They were playing Elvis Costello when we walked in.  Rollum had the “catch of the day” (which was the same “catch of the day” as the day before.  Yellow tuna, I think?)  I had Caribbean stir fry with chicken and “veg”.  Rollum’s fish came with “chips and veg”  (silly Brits!)   Meal was pretty good!  

Barbados - Friday May 30

Friday May 30
More sunbathing and snorkin. I woke up early and went down to the beach and started reading “Life of Pi”.  Thankfully, I got into it right away and managed to finish the whole thing on the trip.  Isn’t it a bummer when you take a new book along on a trip and you don’t get into it?  Grilled cheese and soup for lunch. 
After showering we went to sit at the beach for a minute.  Rollum put his feet in the water and ended up swimming in his pants because he couldn’t resist it.  He put a bunch of seaweed on his head, too.  I had my camera with me and captured it all. 

We asked the guy at reception about cheaper places to eat and ended up taking the bus into the “St Lawrence Gap” area.  We didn’t have change for a US $10, and one of the guys at reception gave us money for the bus fare.  $3 Barbados, which is $1.50 US.  Oh, I guess I didn’t explain how the currency situation works.  So as you can surmise, ½ US = 1 Barbados.  All the shops and restaurants accept US$, but you get the change back in Barbados dollars. 
The bus system is primarily used by locals.  The trip to St Lawrence Gap was about 45 minutes long.  As we rode through other parts of the island, we realized we were glad to be staying in Holetown.  We got off the bus and decided it was stupid to blindly go into another town without knowing where to go and what to do.   We went to another grocery store for some snacks (and mainly so I could make change for the bus ride home).  Ate pizza that was pretty good, waited a good 30 minutes for a return bus, and stopped at a gas station in Holetown for a 6-pack of Banks and a bottle of wine.  The gas station was really expensive and I grumbled the whole walk back about the $40 US we just spent on alcohol.  We went in the same place for a bottle of water a few days later and spent $8.  

Barbados - Saturday May 31

Saturday May 31
You guessed it: more sunbathing and snorkin. 
I think that’s the day we walked over to Folkestone, a national park that supposedly had some good snorkin’ conditions.  The water was particularly rough and wavy that day.  The water at the Folkstone beach was also pretty shallow, so on top of being tossed around by the waves, we were really close to the rocks and reef areas.  I had seen an eel but continued on further.  Then I saw another slithery thing, screamed through my snorkel, and swam quickly back to a rock-free zone.  Rollum laughed at the whole situation because he had never seen me swim so quickly, and it turned out it was only a little sea slug.  He did more danger snorkin’.  There was an incredible church there too – the St James Parish church, built in 1847.  I wanted to take some pictures but I didn’t have my camera with me & we never went back there. 
Lunch of leftover pizza.  Outdoor beach place for supper – we got burgers and fries and Rollum discovered Barbados hot sauce mixed with ketchup on the fries.  Walked into a mysterious place called “play 2 win” that had a few video poker and slot machines (maybe 10 or 12 in the whole place?  We spent 5 Barbados dollars in a matter of minutes.  Didn’t win anything).  We also went to a bar called JDs for happy hour and talked to the bartender (a lady from Denmark) and the owner (British lady who loves Jack Daniels).  Told them we were from Tennessee and had been to the Jack Daniels distillery.  Back to the hotel for some nighttime beach wandering and snuck onto another hotel’s property to lay in their beach chairs under the pretty trees and almost fell asleep.
I think that was the day rollum was offered drugs on the beach.  We had gone down early that evening after our showers – rollum was wearing khakis and an oxford shirt and smoking a cheap cigar, and this toothless fellow approached us and asked rollum about the cigar.  Rollum went up to the room for the extra cheap cigar and gave it to him.  Then he asked rollum if he wanted to buy some coke and showed him a waterproof container of the stuff and offered him a sample of his wares.  Rollum said he didn’t do that stuff.  So he offered him some “rock.”  Rollum said no.  Then he asked “ganja” and rollum said no to that too.  I think he offered the cocaine first because Rollum was dressed like a yuppie.  (the whole time this was happening, I was busy reading my book).   

Barbados - Sunday June 1

Sunday June 1
More snorkin and sunbathing. 
Aside from drug dealers, a few other people walk the beach to offer boat tours, jet ski rentals, etc.  We thought about doing a snork trip where you allegedly saw sea turtles, but it was just too expensive.  So we opted for a 2-person kayak, for only $20.  I was a little scared but Rollum promised we wouldn’t go too far out.  Once we got “out there” it was really peaceful and relaxing and we just drifted for awhile in the kayak.  I think we were out to sea for about 30-45 minutes? 

(see the boats? we kayaked past them.  also, notice the thing with the people.  it was a big, turf-covered floating square in the sea.  we'd snork out there, climb the ladder, and just chill for a bit). 

Spaghetti for lunch again.  Tried “New York Pizza” in Holetown for dinner.  It was like gas station pizza (St Lawrence pizza place was way better).  We went down to the hotel restaurant for some salads later that night, because we were both craving some real fresh food.  Played “War” (the card game.  We were bored). 

Barbados - Monday June 2

Monday June 2 – Day of departure
Shitty night’s sleep and woke up at 7:30 to catch some more rays and snorkin before our 2:45pm flight.  We avoided sunscreen that morning and I got a little burnt.  Quick lunch at the hotel restaurant and then the $50 US drive back to the airport.  Finished my book on the flight to Miami.  There were tons of people in matching Christian t-shirts on the flight – they were returning from a mission trip to Honduras.  Also, a few Eagle scouts on the flight as well.  I figured we wouldn’t crash because of all the Christians that undoubtedly prayed for a safe return home, but if we did, the eagle scouts would save us.   Back in Nashville at 11:45 pm.   Dad picked us up.  We were happy to see Helen, Schminkey and Baltimore but sad to be home.
A few observations:
-Despite the drug dealer on the beach, we felt relatively safe there. 
-Food was expensive
-Sad we didn’t see monkeys
-We love snorkin
-Me & Rollum are good travel companions.  We don’t get on each other’s nerves and we like to be around each other.  Good qualities to have in a spouse.
-Despite the above statements, Rollum gets really annoyed when I take pictures. 
-Life of Pi was a really good book, and I should really read more (instead of playing my Nintendo game boy)
-I love vacations and the fact that you don’t have to worry about anything. 
-Lots of British people there.  We hardly encountered other Americans.  A little British boy was running around singing “Hit me baby one more time” and later exclaimed, “My trousers are wet!”  
-Rum is sickeningly sweet and I don’t think I like it very much. 
-I love plantain chips, but I hate bananas.  Do plantains taste like bananas?  Never had a real plantain.  
-More pictures on flickr if you care to look (if you become a "contact" of mine on flickr, you'll have access to more shots.  ooh, enticing!)    

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

random impulse buy

i read on slickdeals that the pixar movies were on sale on amazon, so without thinking twice, i bought this:
and it makes no sense. i don't even own the darjeeling limited yet.  but i bought toy story because it was on sale.  i needed something else to fill the cart so i could qualify for free shipping, so i also got the new karl pilkington book.  beware of slickdeals, or you may just buy something that you don't really want!  

*toy story came out in 1995, the year i graduated high school. then i took a trip to columbus, ohio with my dad, courtney, lara, and brandon to see r.e.m.  we borrowed lara's dad's van and the windshield wipers broke.  and brandon insisted we stop at gold star chili in cincinnati. it seems like a really, really, really long time ago.  

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


first, it was laryngitis on saturday. i started to lose my voice at the 5 spot, so i had some whiskey. (i thought it would help. it did not.)  yesterday i got checked out by a fine nurse practitioner at the walgreen's walk-in clinic. sinusitis and bronchitis.  she gave me an antibiotic and some steroids for the bronchitis. they must be working, because i slowly started to feel a bit better today. my voice is kinda back, but i am still hoarse.  i worked from home today & after my shift, i had a random burst of energy (or 'roid rage?) and cleaned up the computer room and organized files and stuff (atypical post-work behavior. i should have been resting!) i am afraid i won't be able to sleep tonight, and tomorrow's a 5:15am wake-up-call day AND i have four meeting to  sorry for the complaints. but at least this is happening before my island adventure.
and speaking of island adventures: courtney's off to japan!  how rad is that?!?!

ps: is it kosher to steal other people's flickr photos? i did a search for "sick bear" and got the above photo. 

Saturday, May 10, 2008

passport problems

back when we first talked about taking a caribbean vacation, i realized that i never got an updated passport with my fancy new last name.  should've taken care of it along with ss card, drivers license, etc. but i never got around to it.  i think i sent everything off last summer and got the new passport 2 or 3 months later.  and that was that.

i was working from home on thursday and saw my passport on my desk, so i decided to look at it. you know that part that says "sex / sexe / sexo" ?  and if you're a boy you get M and if you're a girl you get F?  MINE SAYS M.  according to my united states passport, I AM A MAN.  and of course i noticed this after my plane tickets are booked and i'm set to leave the country in 20 days. 

i frantically looked on the website and it has info about what to do if there's a mistake.  but i couldn't take care of it because i was about to leave for atlanta.  here's the dilemma:  should i pay to get a corrected passport expideted and run the risk that it won't be back in time?  should i pretend that i didn't notice it and run the risk that they won't let me back in to the US of A after the vacation?  what should i do?  HELP!  

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Going to...

...from May 28-June 2.  It all came about spur-of-the-momently, and of course I went through my post-big-purchase panic attack, but the plane tickets have been purchased and I CANNOT WAIT TO GO.  Because of Rollum's flights to-and-fro London, and we actually had enough frequent flyer miles to get 2 tickets.  We only had to pay for taxes.   Now i just need to find a place to stay.  I've been doing lots of research, but i still haven't committed to anything yet.   The fancy hotels and resorts are way out of our price range, and it's been harder than i thought to find something affordable.

Tomorrow afternoon, I'm going to see Radiohead in Atlanta.  Carrie & I decided to stay overnight & do some shopping on Friday.  Woo woo!   I did "name your own price" on priceline and came up with a great deal.  then i got cocky and tried to "name my own price" for a 4-star barbados resort, but i was rejected.  and rejected once again for a 3-star hotel. 

i'm doing overtime at work, so it'll be nice to have this vacation to look forward to.  

Monday, April 28, 2008


rollum made us an incredibly delicious (but highly involved) meal last night: milkballs!  (that's what his dad called it; it's essentially fried, homemade indian cheese balls (paneer) with peas and tomatoes). the whole process took about 2 1/2 hours.  first step: homemade ghee (clarified butter).  you melt butter and skim the inpurities off the top.  in the meantime, bring a gallon of milk to a slow boil. after it boils, add the juice of two lemons.  then curds form.  (i missed the next part - i went to the store to get some cilantro).  for the "sauce" - rollum used a variety of spices (probably about 10 different ones), canned whole tomatoes, and peas.  when i got back from the store, he had the milk curds in a cheesecloth and we formed little balls out of the cheese.  this part's hard because the little buggers don't really want to stay together, but you have to pack the curds in kinda tight.  then he fried the balls in the ghee and transferred them over to the sauce.  i think he also added some of the whey to tomato juice (and maybe some ghee) to make the sauce more liquid-y.

THEN he decided he wanted to try his hand making poories for the first time - ghee solids, water, and whole wheat flour.  we rolled the dough out and then fried it in the ghee. they're supposed to poof out, and while they weren't as good as the indian restaurants, we did a pretty awesome job.  2 1/2 hours later...dinner time.  i literally said "mmmmm!" after every bite.  cheers to my awesome husband for making an awesome, authentic indian meal.  he is quite the cook now...he's been making different thai-ish stir fries with veggies, tofu and rice noodles.


in other news, i did a supported headstand for the first time in yoga tonight!  (shoulders rest on 2 chairs with my head inbetween 'em, go into downward dog and kick up, lay the legs against the wall).  in the past, i was always too afraid to just let myself go for this pose and to be upside down.  i had to close my eyes when i was inverted because it freaked me out. 

with all this talk of paneer, poori and yoga, i hereby declare this to be my hindu post.  

Saturday, April 26, 2008

adventures in yard sales

i went to a yard sale in my 'hood during my break from work yesterday and spotted a 70s canon camera for sale.  i came home and did a little research and decided to buy it this morning, if it was still there.  it was, so i did.  there was a roll of film already in it, so i snapped some pictures in my backyard and took the film to walgreens.  it came back blank. so i thought, 'maybe the film was overexposed' so i bought a fresh roll...took some more pictures in my backyard...went back to walgreens=blank again!   i went back to the lady's house and thankfully she gave me my money back. (she had never even used the camera.  she said a woman had left it at her place of employment & never came back for it, so after a year she took it home, but it sat in the closet for years and years).  phew!  i was kinda concerned that i had paid a bit too much for it to begin with, so i am happy the way this all played out.  even though i feel like i've kinda wasted my saturday - 4 trips to walgreens, 1 visit to the Y, 1 mini sandwich at jersey mike's, and browsing at kohl's while i was waiting for film #2 to be processed.

i went to a few other yard sales this morning.  question:  why do people sell used socks, boxers, and bras at yard sales?  question:  does anyone actually buy used socks, boxers, and bras at yard sales? 

i ended up buying "the very best of talk talk" and xtc's "english settlement" on cd.  apparently we already have the talk talk cd.  and an old reader's digest book on sewing that i may pass along to carolyn if she's interested.  

this whole camera thing gave me a photography bug though.  i need to do a little more research and perhaps i'll find another cool old camera somewhere.  

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

kid pics

via popcandy:  this is a brilliant idea.  you submit a childhood photo & then a new picture re-creating the kid shot as an adult.   my potential candidates for re-creation...sorry for the katie overload:



Monday, April 21, 2008

it's been awhile!  i wish i had something exciting to report, but the past week or two has been relatively uneventful.  no pretty pictures to post, no recipes to share.  i guess i'm just writing this for the sake of writing this.
a few not-really-noteworthy things:  

1-i did a focus group study for 20/20 research last week and made $100.   you should sign up for their mailing list, and you just may qualify to participate.  and make the easiest money of your life!  i think i signed a disclaimer saying i wouldn't write about my specific study.  but it involved face care.  
2-i've figured out what i'm going to do for my first gocco project, but i haven't actually made it yet (or taken the gocco out of the box).  hey, that's one step further than before!  but i can't tell you about it because it's a surprise for my family.  

Thursday, April 10, 2008

my dog helen

rollum found some glasses in the closet last night.  why not put them on the dog?

Monday, April 7, 2008

chocolate chip pie

it's like a cookie cake, but in a pie pan. or, imagine a pie with no crust, but the entire thing is a cookie.  or, imagine smooshing several cookies into the shape of a triangle, and that's what it's like to have a piece of chocolate chip pie. but it's good.  if you like chocolate chip cookies. 

Saturday, March 29, 2008

3thd tooh!

once again, i wish the scanner worked so you could see this in all it's glory, but i'll just have to transcribe it for you. i have no idea how old i was when i wrote this.
without further ado:

Dear toohfairy,
This is my 3thd tooh!
I Wish I can meet you.
Did you ever see the Smerfs wear Baby Smerf gets soom theeh?

maybe this will be a regular feature on this blog - i can unearth treasures from my past and embarrass myself.

3 years ago today

3 years ago today.  i've been sitting here for a few minutes trying to come up with something to say about the anniversary.  i just looked through my "memory boxes" and found some letters and notes she wrote me, and what seems most striking now is that my mom always made me feel like i was important. i was living in the dorms at mtsu - a mere 45 minutes away from the rest of my family - yet the way she expressed missing me in these letters, it was like i lived across the ocean and only got to see her once a year.  and now i can't even put into words what this missing feels like.  

i tried to scan some of these notes onto the computer, but the scanner isn't working.  so you won't get to see all the cute stickers on the letter, but here are the words:

you know that i miss you so much. so does dad, and so does courtney. and so does carrie. i love you when it's sunny and cloudy and when the stars are out. you make my heart. may all of the angels watch over you always, and drop stars and rainbows and love in your lap! 

here's another one: 

under the same sun, under the same stars, under the same moon, under the same curly q's. no matter where we are...i love you xoxo

Thursday, March 27, 2008

things that suck just a little*

*Not in a “this sucks so much it’s gonna make me depressed or totally alter my life,” but in a “ooooohhh man! Suck!” sort of way. Because I realize that there are PLENTY of things going on that really, truly suck. sorry for saying "suck" so much.

-when your husband leaves a pan of cooking oil in a frying pan on medium heat, leaves the room, and returns 5 minutes later to a burning, smoking, smelly mess. And then the smell of burnt oil and smoke penetrates the whole house and the smell won’t go away, even after the windows have been open all day and the ceiling fan’s been blowing. And when he calls you at work to tell you about this & prefaces it by saying “I’m having a bit of an emergency” and then you panic for a second, before realizing he’s just going to tell you about a burning pan of cooking oil.

-when you pay for $13.95 limited basic (15 channel) cable and you have free hbo and showtime FOR YEARS and then they disappear (I think because they’ve made the fully digital upgrade or something-or-other). When you’ve become addicted to “weeds” and “dexter” and “flight of the conchords” and now you won’t be able to watch ‘em anymore. We’re still getting free “expanded” cable (70+ channels) so…Please, Comcast, please please please don’t take away my expanded cable. You’ve scarred me enough.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

images that make me happy

i like how clicking different links on web pages can bring you to exciting places. i started out on
print and pattern which led me to illustrator helen dardik and her blog (i have a soft spot for helens)...and then to helen's post about mary blair. not a household name by any means - mary was a 'color stylist and designer' for walt disney in the 40s and 50s and worked on my favorites: "peter pan" and "cinderella".  AND she designed the 'it's a small world' ride.  right on!  

i am a SUCKER for stuff like this. if i could live in this alternate cartoony universe, with chocolate milk and elephants and magic slippers and eskimos, i would.  there was an exhibition of her work in san francisco that just closed (mar 18).
we used to have this record.  the choir director on this recording was the choir director at my school in california.

Monday, March 24, 2008

cooking mama

i ended up making  a Cherry-Streusel Coffee Cake  for easter brunch.  {this is one instance where the one i made almost looks as good as the picture!  ha!}  it got the krampf family seal of approval, but i'm not sure i'll necessarily make it again. 

today i worked from home and whipped up a very german-ish lunch for myself...leftover bratwurst fried up with some butter and onions, with a side of potatoes (i baked them first in the toaster over, then moved to the frying pan during the last few minutes). yum. *may cause heartburn

Friday, March 21, 2008

perfect weather

what a beautiful day!  i worked a 3-hr shift from home & spent 1 hour of it outside.  then the laptop felt like it was going to catch fire, so i went inside. just ate a grilled cheese sandwich (quality cheese + good (great harvest) bread = delicious sandwich). so it's officially the weekend, and it's already shaping up to be a busy one.  must make some spanish rice for a gathering tonight.  my family's doing a post-church brunch/lunch on easter sunday so i've gotta bake some muffins and/or coffee cake-type thing for that.  i haven't decided on a recipe yet. and an engagement party to attend saturday night.
not much else to report...happy easter, pals & i'll be back if i think of anything worthwhile to say. 

Monday, March 17, 2008

pretty colors

i love this color palette & this may prove to be a good source of inspiration when it comes time to paint the living room. maybe a nice blue-tinted grey for the walls? we already have a yellow painted cabinet (which holds our growing record collection, thanks to R's employment at grimey's)...and the kitchen is grey, so it would flow well.

from mel smith designs, via print & pattern