Wednesday, December 30, 2009


It is that time again: the time to make resolutions for the new year. In the past, I've been a bit curmudgeonly about the process of resolution making, denouncing it as nothing more than the result of overzealous optimism (which is usually depleted by early March, if not sooner). This year, perhaps owing to my cultivation of a brighter outlook, or perhaps due to my setting my sights on more realistic achievements, I have a different take. I'm not as crabby! I've already started working on these projects (or goals, if you'd like)! Here, then, is a list of what I'd like to accomplish in 2010:

1) Run a 10K by late fall
This seems doable, right? I think so - as long as my left knee and/or right foot don't give me any trouble. I'm planning to run two (three?) 5Ks prior to running a 10K, beginning with the Kaiser Permanente 5K in early February.

2) Read 50 books
Reading 50 books was a goal of mine this year and I'm SO CLOSE to finishing. (Note: as of this writing, I've read 48 full books and am working on the 49th. The 50th is going to be short, though the 49th, Tom Perotta's "The Abstinence Teacher," is loooong.) Fifty doesn't sound like a lot, does it? This year, between finishing and defending my thesis, moving x-country a few times, and plunking into the "real world," I decided otherwise. Maybe next year I'll aim for 75.

3) Make my own cheese
A goal inspired in part by a chapter in "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle," in part by my growing fascination with learning to cook everything and using local ingredients. My sister is skeptical about the quality of my yet-to-be-made cheese, but I am so stoked! I just ordered my cheese making manual on Amazon; until its arrival, I will fill the dairy void with Babybel and selections from the Haight St. Market.

Those are my main goals. There will be others, yes, smaller and subtler and less public than the ones just presented, but if I accomplish these three things in the coming year, I will be happy.

Happy upcoming 2010, friends!

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Ah, yes: it has been almost two weeks since I've posted. A busy two weeks, mind you (but aren't most weeks busy?), but that's still no excuse for the ueberdelay in blogging. Maybe it is? I haven't felt super updatey recently, until now. And now, here I am! Things are running smoothly here in the T.C. Yas.

I returned to Minnesota to spend winter break with my mom and sis and the visit (thus far) has been awesome! Hook flew back with me and spent the first five days of vaca here, in Coon Rapids. We accomplished a lot during those first days of break. For example, we:

- Went to the Russian Museum of Art (the existence of which was unknown to me until like, a week ago) and saw the Matrushka Doll exhibit.

- Made four types of truffles (honey lemon, Jack Daniel's, cinnamon, and almond), gingerbread cookies, and sugar cookies, all from scratch

- Reluctantly watched "The Proposal," all the while wondering how Sandra Bullock's career has not altogether perished by this point in time

- Walked to my favorite childhood bakery (Hans'), which is 4.3 miles away from my house and not easily accessible via sidewalk.

- Enjoyed lunchberts and boneless wings at the local BWW, which I'd never previously visited.

My favorite part of Hook's visit was the trip to Hans'. I'm a sucker for long walks (round trip was an estimated eight miles) and for donuts, and I hadn't been back to Hans' in at least three years (but probably longer). The shop was exactly as I remembered: dimly-lit, with raggy carpet, wood-paneled walls and orange Formica booths. Because we'd gotten a later start than initially planned, we arrived at 1:00. The dining room was empty. I ordered my favorite donut (chocolate long john with custard filling) and a coffee, which tasted like watery instant coffee. The donut was trans-fatted perfection.

The house is quiet. I just put some laundry in and am eating a small dish of assorted licorices. Oh, licorice, how delicious you are. Hook's taste in Old Man Candy is rubbing off on me.

I realized that the reason this font never posts correctly when I blog from my mom's computer is that I'm forced to use Safari instead of Firefox. Still, I blog. What a convoluted sentence followed by a fine, declarative sentence!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Breakfast success: Cap'n Crunch pancakes. Well, pancake: I made a regular batch + one CC pancake at the very end, with what remained of the batter - this in case the cerealcake was a total flop - but oh, man! I have to say this was one of my better breakfast innovations.

I was a little shocked to realize that I'll be heading back to MN in just under a week. How did Xmas sneak up on me so? Accomplished: the beginning of Xmas shopping. To-be accomplished: the rest of Xmas shopping, the purchase/writing/sending of Xmas cards, the finding of my stocking somewhere in my piles of stuff. How did I lose my stocking? What is going on?

Last night, Hook and I strolled down to Murio's after dinner, dessert, and book shopping on Haight. As it so happens, yesterday was Murio's 50th anniversary party, complete with decorations, a buffet of fried things, and a DJ whose lineup included only 80s megahits. The bar was a little more crowded than usual (not much), but the relatively sparse crowd did not surprise me: it was, after all, Murio's.

I need to download Skype.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Just an ordinary day.

So here it is, Sunday evening, and I am not even too sad that the week is about to start. True, I am still afflicted by the Cold of Death (though I am recovering), and true, I still have laundry to do. But the weekend was so lovely and relaxing that my typical Monday-induced anxiety has dissipated - temporarily, at least. Weekend highlights:

1) Friday night, Hook and I went to La Trappe, a Belgian restaurant in North Beach. I was super excited about this meal, not only because I dig frites with multiple dipping sauces (wasabi mayo, anyone?), but also because I hella heart Belgian beer. The fries did not disappoint, nor did the Affligem blonde. Bonus: I ordered grilled veggies and polenta that were garnished with blood orange reduction, which was awesome.

2) Yesterday evening, after dinner with Suzy and Turtle, Hook and I completed three New York Times crossword puzzles in good time. One of these puzzles was a Wednesday. My helpfulness in the completion of these puzzles was aided greatly by my consumption of two-buck chuck and ginger candies.

3) This morning, H and I finally made it to Zazie, which is widely considered one of the better brunch locales in the city. Our trip there required some planning; during past weekends, we'd shown up around 10:30 only to be greeted by a redonkulous line. Today, we arrived at 9:50ish and were seated right away(!) The dining room was small but bright (via skylight); each table had homemade preserves and ketchup. As it turns out, Hook and I ordered the exact same breakfast: scrambled eggs, bacon, and one pancake - but not an ordinary pancake! Rather, a gingerbread pancake with lemon curd and a bosc pear wedge. Oh god: this was the most memorable carb-centered experience of my life. Those who know me know that I rarely finish a restaurant portion of anything, but today I ate that whole pancake. (Aside: the eggs were a tad underdone: so noticeably so that I did not eat them, although I did pepper and mash them to make it look like I'd taken some good bites.)

4) I finally started my Christmas shopping! This probably doesn't deserve an exclamation point, but I tossed one in there, anyway, because I'm typically an Xmas slacka. Self-affirmation is good.

The upcoming week will include my hunt for a gingerbread pancake recipe, my wearing of gloves (another weekend accomplishment: the purchase of gloves), and the beginning of the Xmas card writing process, maybe. First, I have to find cards...