Thursday, June 17, 2010

I Saw a Bear

Got back from Oregon on Tuesday night (was supposed to be back Monday night, but thanks to a delay in Medford, the whole trip collapsed like a house of noodles, so I got to stay one more night with the Sugar). The trip was a delight as always, with JUST enough time spent lacking indoor plumbing that I was ready to come home, and JUST enough time hearing the wind blow through the trees and the Oregon frogs do their odd little concerts that I felt refreshed and a little sad to leave the country.

After a 14-hour roadtrip up the 5 with S and his pops, we rolled into the canyon to be greeted by S's cousin and his wife, who were rafting along the Wild & Scenic. It was a fun and improptu slumber party, where we all pitched in vacuuming the cabin, cleaning mouse poop off things (sorry, gotta keep it real...gross), and cooking dinner.

My first full day up there began with a delightful massage from J, a happy hippy pal who lives on 8 acres along a stream, has a house, but sleeps in a yurt, and gave me a tour in which I checked out her claw-footed tub among the trees, her Oracle mask, her May Pole, her TeePee, her Dancing Circle, and all sorts of other fun stuff. The massage took place in the "Care Cabin" and was so wonderful after 14 hours in the narrow back seat of a Diesel truck.

On the drive out there, I passed beautiful farms with herds of sheep, people riding their horses along the side of the road, purple wildflowers, a lake, oh, and a bear. A mid-sized black bear was in the road as I rounded a corner, to my absolute delight. I gasped "A Bear!" and he then hightailed it into the woods. According to J, he is a troublesome teen bear who enjoys digging in the garbage of the residents that live in that area.

I know people see bears in the wild all the time, but when I go to Oregon, all I want to see is one lousy deer in the meadow by the house, but they all hide from me. The deer know I'm coming, and avoid me like the plague. So, in your face, stupid Oregon deer, I saw a bear.

Speaking of stupid deers, I want to go to everyone one of these book stores:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My Life in Quarters

My mom is hosting a gigantor garage sale this Saturday, one that I have contributed pounds and pounds of stuff to. Tough break for Mom: I won't be there. Of all the Saturdays to pick from, the sale falls on the day S and I leave for Colorado. Luckily, Mama O will be helping Mama W.

I've spent the last few days helping my mom organize stuff, and more specifically, pricing a ton of my junk. I made a HUGE box of stuff that is basically 25 cents for anything in there. I figure I can make some laundry money from old snowglobes and magnets and Smokey Bear pins. It is oddly depressing (or liberating? or a lesson in the free market?) when you really don't think most of the things you have owned could fetch more than two bits from the average stranger. I just hope my nose flute goes to a good home.

Kidding! I would never sell my nose flute!

Also, what is it about this commercial that is so grating? And why is it when it comes on I can't look away? I want to climb inside of it and turn the radio off and tell those girls to knock it off.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Get Out Ghostrider!

We are totally watching Top Gun right now...I'm not sure why. Well, I mean, I know why, it's on AMC, which stands for "American Movie Classics", which Top Gun is. AMC has to show it because there aren't any channels called "Super Rad Awesomeness With Homo-Erotic Overtones."

Cougar is losing it...he's on vapors, Merlin is concerned...and Mav and Goose are headed back to save the day!

I concocted a little recipe for dinner tonight, nothing fancy or complicated or particularly original, but it was a crowd pleaser. I browned up some sweet Italian sausage (which was removed from its casing--one of my favorite cooking things to do--you can make fun farting noises when you remove the meat from the casing). Then, I took the browned sausage out of the pan, and sizzled up some onion and garlic in the drippings.

(Pull up, Cougar!!! We're too loose!!)

Then, I poured in a giant can of diced tomatoes, some tomato paste, some S&P, a bay leaf, and the rind of some old Parmiggiano Reggiano. Mmmmmm!

(By the way, Cougar just declared that he's "holding on too tight". And he's "lost the edge." Mmkay? Colonel Baldy is NOT happy with Mav because his ego is sooooo writing checks his body can't cash.

Aaaaannnyhoo. Add some capers at the end, which you'll leave out next time because the husband didn't like, then mix the whole thing with pasta and more Parm. Scrumptious.

By the way, Colonel Baldy informed Maverick (just before informing Goose and him they are bound for Miramar) that he's a good pilot..."maybe TOO good." Is it really a liability to be TOO good a fighter pilot? I mean, I would think that would be an asset to being a fighter pilot. Now, if you THINK you're too good, but you're not, that's one thing, but if you're ACTUALLY too good...what does this say about the rest of the fighter pilot community? Should Maverick lower his standards and NOT participate in any sort of inverted photo shoots with enemy bogeys? Are we Communists?


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What a Weekend

I love four day weekends. I know, it's a bold proclamation, and I should be commended for the brave issues I take stances on. I also love pizza and Michael Phelps and kittens.

The weather was fall-down perfect this weekend. No marine layer, no haze, just bright blue sky, clean, post-rain air, even 80 degree temps on Monday! In February! S and I decided to cruise down to the beach on Sunday...along with half of San Diego County. We drove around and around before we found some street parking near the Stone Steps. It was a zoo at Beacons and Carlsbad and all the best beach haunts. Seriously, you would think it had been sleeting for two straight months the way we all frantically scrambled to the ocean like desperate prisoners. But there is something to be said about freshly-washed beach air. Soooo good for you.

I cooked S some migas on Valentine's morning, he liked them a lot, I thought they were just OK, but they were hearty and a good excuse to eat sour cream. We watched a bit of the Daytona 500, but eventually got too distracted by the sunshine so that's when we wandered over to the beach. S continues to play with our fancy new camera, taking ugly pictures of me sitting on driftwood, and seagulls staring at him. I swear they have brains like humans, they have something going on behind their eyes like they are plotting an attack. If they had weapons other than their own doo-doo, they would destroy us all.

We continued our weekend 101 cruising by heading down to the Cardiff Seaside Market, the greatest grocery store ever. It's so expensive, but they have so many beautiful things. Their produce is gorgeous, the meat, seafood, and deli is amazing, the beer section is huge and local and crafty, and their flower section at the front makes me cluelessly stop and block the entrance to the store every time because I'm freaking out and yelling at S to "smell this!!! look at this rose!! I can't stand it!!!" This is the market at which we always buy beer and exotic cheeses when we're camping across the street. It's a tradition, and it felt odd to be there during a non-camping time.

After procuring our Entenmanns (I had a powerful hankering for an afternoon donut), Heineken, and two kinds of cheeses (Italian Pepperjack and Idiazabal), we headed back to the homestead. We set our chairs into the sunshine and drank beer shandys (thank you Dr. M for introducing us to that particular joy), a mix of Heineken and ginger ale, ate olives, cheese, and crackers. S took more pictures, mostly of a bee collecting pollen from the flowers in our iceplant, and I said, for the fourteenth time since we got the camera "I need to learn how to use that thing..."

Then we got all gussied up like grownups and went out to dinner at a relatively new restaurant in E-town called Barracuda. They had a lot of seafood on the menu, but also lamb, beef, duck, and various nice-restauranty foods. S had the most perfect roast duck ever. It was so tender, not fatty at all, just rich and perfect. I had underwhelming but good halibut. It was a really nice meal, great service, good ambiance, I would definitely go back!

The rest of the weekend was filled with other delights: a fun but fruitless shopping excursion with my mom, watching S paint my beautiful bookcase, Olympic celebrations, and hours going through boxes of stuff in my parents' garage. I found some hilarious mementos from high school and college that were absolute gems. I don't know how to decide what to keep and what to toss!

Hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day wherever you are!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Artsy Fartsy

Usually the two thoughts most occupying my brain are "what's for dinner?" and "can I just read my book now?" But as a new wife and nester, I really want to spend all my free time decorating our little home, or at least thinking about decorating our new home. I am super excited because S has built me a new bookcase, and it is simple and just fantastic. I've already informed him that this does NOT count towards the dream library he will someday build me, said dream library limiting me in terms of how many books I'm allowed to have at one time. (I keep telling him I want the library from Beauty & The Beast, and he keeps telling me we won't ever be living in a castle with a multi-story tower. He's so negative.)

Anyway, the bookcase is built and primed, and is waiting for the rain to stop, and me to pick the exact perfect shade of peacock blue so it can be painted and finally moved into our place in The Leuc. (Not to be confused with The Fee.)

I already have most of the artwork picked out for above the bookcase, including a mirror hanger/door knob thingee with a picture of a squirrel on it. It's from Anthropologie, therefore, it is cute and funky, whereas if I had found it at a garage sale, it would be declared random and scary. How about random and funky?

I bought some decopauge stuff the other day, but I've never used it before. I'm looking forward to joining the decopauge party that has swept our nation for years. I plan on finding some sort of decorative and overpriced paper, and then covering one of those multi-drawer thingees from IKEA in it.

Knitting is still trudging along, although the other night I experimented with some stitches and things went haywire. But at least I haven't forgotten how to knit and purl, so that's good.

Ah! To make "The Bookcase", a delicious new cocktail invented by S and Dr.M, combine Tanqueray Ten (or any gin you like), St. Germain, club soda, and optional blueberry juice. Then read a book. Then pass out from the cocktail.

Friday, January 29, 2010


S had to go to LA early this morning for some family stuff, so we were up and awake by 4am. I got into work super early, was a little disappointed to have a "sorry we're rejecting your grant inquiry" e-mail from Qualcomm in my Inbox. I think a cup of coffee and some lemon cake will make it all better. Hope E arrives soon with the lemon cake.

We've been in The Fee all week long while S works on the house, painting moulding mostly, which is his own personal form of hell. That's why it's been on the to-do list for about 3 years now. But it's almost done, so hopefully we'll be able to get the place rented soon!

I do believe I'm going to make homemade gnocchi tomorrow night, and I'm pondering doing a red sauce and a gorgonzola cream sauce. I've made gnocchi from scratch twice before, and it is so much easier than you think it will be. It's really just a simple dough that you moosh together, roll into snakes, and then cut into knee-yokes. I made a very simple version from Giada de Laurentiis one time, which was good, but needed tweaking, and I'm no tweaker. Then I made THIS one off of Epicurious, and it was the real winner. Ignore the mushroom sauce part. Unless you want mushroom sauce. Then go bananas. Or mushrooms.

My other little domestic skill I'm working on is knitting. This has been a minor goal of mine for awhile now. I bought a book last year and attempted to teach myself from the book, but failed miserably. Last weekend I finally took a class, taught by the lovely Glenda of The Black Sheep in Encinitas. Delightful! Now I know how to knit! I'm slowly working on my first piece, a scarf of course. I was very tempted to make a face beard, but maybe that's the next class...

Sorry for the boringness of the this post. This has been a laundry list of random things in my life, and I feel no ounce of humor or clever language coming from my fingertips. But at least words are being spilled, no?

And since I haven't had a picture in a post for awhile...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Food and Books

In an effort to write for the sake of writing, I like to mull what my most interesting thoughts are before I get started. Sadly, there is nothing interesting going on in my head. I have been working on a big project at work that is almost done, which is very satisfying. But, it's reached the mindless labeling/paper clipping/envelope stuffing process. And so, I blog.

But all I can think about is when I can sit and read my book, and what I'm cooking for dinner tonight. I'm also hoping the felonious co-workers of El Capitan are behaving themselves.

I'm making turkey chili. Onion, turkey, white beans, cumin, chili powder, lime juice, chicken stock, sour cream. Eat.

I also need to get a grant for our Education programs.