Thursday, July 24, 2008


(From top: Bubble necklace from J.Crew, Anissa earrings from littlepaperplanes, slub tee and brocade skirt from J.Crew)

SO: even though I mos def do not have $$$ to be spending on clothes/stuff right now, how enviable is the brocade and tee look? Oh, man! Oh, man.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The bad news:

1) I went to the health center on Monday after work, and it appears that I have an overuse injury to the ligaments in my right mid-foot.
2) I am the most tired right now.

The good news:

1) My mom and sis are in Wisconsin! And they will arrive here tomorrow evening.

Sunday, July 20, 2008



It's true: I have only one fan - an upright variety by the name of "Hawaiian Breeze" - and I think (legit) that I might sweat to death before the evening is over. I've periodically mulled over the possibility of buying an A/C (especially last summer, aka, Suffer-in-the-Extreme-Heat-o-thon-2007), but have always resisted. Because I'm no wuss, right? Well, right now, I am.

Also: WTF is up with "Hawaiian Breeze" as a title? For starters, this li'l machine barely generates more than a whisper, let alone an actual breeze. Secondly: Hawaiian? I've never been to the islands, but I can't think the air there would be sweeter...

But don't mind me: I'm crotchety from having stayed up too late and BBQed a little too enthusiastically, if you catch my drift. Though the weekend as a whole was unproductive, E. and I did get some fresh local peaches at the farmers' market, and I managed to write one whole letter. Not a total loss, then: just partial.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Tag cloud for my old blog:

(Makes me wish my thesis were done...)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Another week almost gone: six weeks left of summer. I haven't accomplished as much by this point as I'd hoped, in terms of the independent study and assembling/beginning revisions of my thesis. But I've made progress in other areas, namely running. Yes, that's right: I've decided to take up that former pursuit of mine, a decision that surprised even me, as I'd proclaimed (throughout college) that I'd never run again, that only crazy/masochistic people run, and so on, and so forth. I [re]started about two weeks ago, alternating two minutes of running with two of walking, then moving to five of running/two of walking. Now, I'm working on a sequence of ten minutes of running, three of walking. Baby steps, for sure, but a pleasant re-learning.

Saturday, Eric and I spent the day in Brattleboro. Superficially, it seems similar to Northampton: both have a lot of cafes, "quirky," independent shops, pedestrians, strange vagrants lounging on the sidewalks, etc. But, Brattleboro feels decidedly like Vermont: there's a mountain overlooking the town, a cooler breeze in the air, and something else that I couldn't quite identify. Went to a few thrift stores, a bookstore, and a three-story antique center that vaguely reminded me of the Galesburg Antique Mall (but wasn't as good). Attempted to visit the Farmers' Market, which was open as we drove to lunch, but closed as we returned. Walked & bummed, looked at expensive bike gear. Drove home around five and refreshed ourselves with freeze-pops. Farmers' markets always close too early! And freeze-pops have been one of my favorite parts of summer since I was like, six.

Ali arrives in a week! Sooner, possibly - she sets sail on the 22nd. The apartment is mostly organized, the kitchen and living room walls left blank for Ali to decorate. A. shared her recipe for tzatziki with me last night (am planning to make tomorrow evening, to go with falafel):

Ali's Tzatziki
1 lb. Greek yogurt
1 cucumber, grated and drained of liquid
4-5 cloves garlic
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. lemon juice
salt, pepper, and chopped mint to taste.

Combine yogurt and cucumber; mix well. Add garlic, then oil and lemon juice. Season with salt, pepper, mint or dill. Chill before serving.

To the weekend: cheers.

Monday, July 7, 2008


Maybe this is why my foot hurts.
(Or maybe I've just been wearing my flip-flops too often.)
Here it is, a fine Monday almost-noon, and I'm posting from work! (Indeed, there is no work for me to do - I keep asking my boss for assignments, but he has none - so this internet time won't be held against me.) A few tidbits, then:

1) My dad called this weekend to wish me a happy fourth, but also to notify me about this guy, who allegedly killed (among other people) an elderly man behind one of the Galesburg Hy-Vee locations. (Interesting that my dad specified "Hy-Vee," because the grocery store isn't named in the article.)

2) The humidity here has been brutual for the past few weeks, but these resolve the issue of having either 1) to eat out all the time, or 2) to munch on cheese and crackers night after night. Cheers for keeping the kitchen [relatively] cool.

3) Watched Episode One of the HBO John Adams movie last night. Am enjoying it, so far - especially one angry Bostonian's outcry against the British taxation of "the lead in our paint" - but somehow, I can't imagine Abigail Adams as Laura Linney (or vice versa). Maybe I've just seen Linney in too many other, non-historical roles, but I can't wrap my head around the portrayal.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

A belated happy Fourth of July! I thought about posting last night (so that these words of good cheer would not, in fact, be belated), but was exhausted & so put the task off 'til today.

Yesterday was, without doubt, one of the best fourths I've had in a long time. Traditionally, my family didn't celebrate the holiday (or celebrate as much as other people I know): we would sometimes take a bike ride to the local DQ for Blizzards, and would usually see the fireworks show at Sand Creek Park, but that was about it. I never minded having low-key Fourth of Julys, but by the same token, I'm always looking for reasons to do fun stuff out of/on the border of the realm of ordinary activity. So, Eric and I met up with Darren and Sara at Mt. Tom [a state park in Easthampton], claimed a picnic site, and grilled all day long. There are many things to love about Mt. Tom, among them its nearness to where we live, the fact that they don't require reservations for picnic spots/they only charge $2 for parking, and that the park is quiet and secluded feeling. E. and I arrived first and saw two deer crossing the road. No other major wildlife sightings, but the deer were pretty cool. There are also many things to love about grilling, namely, porterhouse steaks with A1, brats with perfectly-toasted buns, and all those cold salads we save for the summer months. (The greek pasta salad, though it got soggy as the afternoon progressed, was nonetheless fab.)

Also cool: I tried a few new foods, including cheddarwurst (delicious) and grilled peaches. The peaches, especially, were tasty morsels; in the future, I might gussy them up with some brown sugar or vanilla ice cream. Let's hear it for grilled fruit!

We didn't see any fireworks, but instead rented "Margot at the Wedding." I was really excited for this when it came out and, in keeping with my movie-disorganization, neglected to see it until now. A convincingly abrasive portrait of family "dysfunction," though some parts (for example, the last twenty minutes) dragged. Jack Black's performance was surprisingly good and un-cheesy. My favorites of the movie were the really menacing bits, which usually took place at night: Margot and her husband coming across a frantic woman and her wounded dog on the side of the road, or Margot looking into the neighbors' window to see a carcass wrapped in plastic - a carcass quickly revealed to be a slaughtered pig, and not the neighbors' child, as Margot believes it might be. Baumbach uses visual ambiguity and small leaps in the story's chronology to reproduce in the viewer Margot's desperate and fragmented way of seeing the world: a state of constant tension and attempted revision. I can see why the movie would have gotten mediocre reviews - by the end, which itself was seemingly anti-climactic, I wondered to where else the narrative would ramble - but those certain scenes of menace were really astute.

Not sure what plans the rest of the weekend hold, except for laundry and continued unpacking/setting up of the apartment. Will post pictures once I get the apartment in some sort of order (!)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Well, I'm almost entirely moved in. [Correction: I am moved in, in the sense that all my stuff is at my new place. I just have a minor buttload of unpacking to do, but I don't think that affects my definition of "moved in" - at least, not in any serious way.] The move went really well, for the most part. I didn't rent a truck (my initial plan), but managed to fit all my furniture in my car - minus my dresser, which Eric and I carried from my old home to my new. Strenuous, to say the least, but it's over.

I am obsessed with my new apartment: it has newish hardwood floors (they were put in two years ago), a roomy kitchen, good ventilation, excellent natural light. I'm saving the larger bedroom for my sis - she's slated to move out toward the end of the month - but mine is the room with better windows(!) (Aside: all the windows have windowsills wide enough to put plants on!) Also, the kitchen sink has a garbage disposal: something I never felt I needed, but which is so convenient. The kitchen and my bedroom are mostly set up, but the living room is still bare; I'm waiting 'til Ali arrives to figure out the coffee table/sofa situation.

Last night, I tried this recipe:


1 14- to 16-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed, drained
1 14- to 16-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained
2/3 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Combine all ingredients in medium bowl. Toss to blend well. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.)(Bon Appetit, April 1996)

It was really easy to prepare, and tasty. A little too oniony for my tastes, though I think the onions might not have been chopped finely enough. Next time, either fewer onions or smaller onion bits. I might add crumbled feta, too.

If any of you have good chickpea recipes, share them! I have a surplus of these beans and need some creative ways to prepare them. Over & out.