Monday, January 31, 2005
The other night, for the first time ever, I went to a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop. Have you been to a Krispy Kreme? Of course you have, because I think I was the last person to have never been inside a Krispy Kreme. I had eaten their doughnuts before: at people's houses, from kids selling boxes they got from 100 miles away -- 100 miles away! -- to sell as a fundraising thing, and I think once even at a free hotel breakfast buffet somewhere in Florida. But we got a brand shiny new Krispy Kreme shop here in town just a month ago (it was quite the anticipated event among some people who live around here, let me tell you), and the other night we were shopping and wanted something dessert-like, and there it was across the parking lot, all neon-y and bright. So we went.
Did you know that when the "hot doughnuts" light it on in the window, they give you a free doughnut? Yeah, you probably knew that too. Why didn't I know that? How come no one ever told me? I like free stuff! Anyway, we walked in, and I was a little overwhelmed. There was the plexiglassed-in doughnut-making area, surrounded by a little step-up level so kids can see and I can see. I appreciated this, and to tell you the truth, I really enjoy watching food being made, especially in mass-production form like this. Henry Ford would indeed be proud. It kind of reminded me of when a White Castle opened near where I grew up and inside it was a little window you could look through and see the guy making the sliders.
And then there are all the doughnuts lined up in the case, all shiny and glazed and puffy and oddly sexual looking. On the counter was a stack of paper Krispy Kreme hats, and we took turns trying one on and laughing at each other. It's like the Burger King crowns from the '70s and '80s, only less cool somehow. And just as we were figuring out which shiny and puffy doughnut we wanted, someone came along and started handing out free doughnuts. The "hot doughnuts" light, it turns out, was on! So I got a free doughnut. It was hot and good and really sweet from all of the glaze, and it made the latte I had seem really unsweet by comparison. But it was free, and you can't knock that.
But ultimately, I can't get all that excited about this kind of thing. I like doughnuts, but I don't crave them. If there were, say, a new sushi place in town, and they were giving out free sushi every time some light came on, I'd be outside their door like a starved and beaten orphan waiting for someone to hand out a spicy tuna roll. But doughnuts don't get me that excited. Sure, they're good, and sure, I like them, and sure, mine was free, but it's just a doughnut, and a small plain one at that. After I ate it, it just seemed that the whole world found something amazing in these doughnuts and I was completely missing what it was.
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Is a coconut an open container?
Monday, January 24, 2005
So last week, I realized that I was almost out of checks, and that I needed to reorder some. It takes me a long time to go through a box of checks because I pay so many of my bills online, but I was out and needed some for rent and the one or two bills that I can't pay online. I usually do my check ordering online, but I had moved since the last time I ordered checks, so I had to call.
When I got the customer service rep on the phone, I gave him my new address and said that I wanted simple, plain, solid-colored checks with nothing extra on them. He countered this by asking stuff like, don't you want our brand new Disney checks, and what about our brand new Thomas Kinkade collection? And I said no, plain yellow or blue please. And then he said that they were having a special on Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation checks, and for the same price as a plain check, I could order these and have a portion of my payment donated to the foundation to help breast cancer research. I asked if they were plain, and he said yes, they're just plain pink. I'm not really a pink person, but it did seem like a good cause, and he did say they were plain, and I was afraid that if I didn't get the breast cancer checks, that one day I would be diagnosed with breast cancer, and on that very day the Susan G. Komen foundation would shut down from lack of funds because unfeeling scum like me didn't do something as simple as ordering pink checks to support breast cancer research. So I said okay. Okay, send me the pink checks. The plain pink checks.
Well, I got them today, and they are not plain. Oh, they're pink alright -- a sickly pastel pink the color of chewed bubble gum and cheap underwear. And there's a stupid design and roses on them. Fuck! Now people who get my checks will think I'm some sort of stupid girly girl who likes pink and unicorns and rainbows and wearing lace in my hair. (I do like roses, but not pink ones really, and not on my stupid financial documents!) And I got like 100 of them. Do you have any idea how long it will take me to run through all these? Do you?
Please: if I ever have to write you a check, don't take it as a reflection of my inner self. I was conned. I think I'll see if my landlord will accept PayPal.
Friday, January 21, 2005
Nothing went wrong. Not exactly. But what I thought would be a fun little dinner project turned into over three hours of floury mayhem. I'll tell you all about it. I got all of my ingredients and prepared them like I was supposed to, which was basically roasting. Then I put everything in a bowl and got ready to add flour. The recipe says a cup and a half, but I must have put half a bag of King Arthur in there before I had something that I could come close to rolling out! Did Alton measure something wrong? No! No?
Yes. Most definitely yes.
And as you might imagine (or even if you might not), adding all of this flour gave me an enourmous amount of dough, which I then had to roll into snakes and cut into dumplings. Maybe it's a skill that guys are better at than girls, but I am no damn good at rolling snakes out of clay, dumpling dough, or anything else, probably including snakes. So that took a while, and all the time I had to add more flour to keep it from sticking to the board, and I got flour everywhere: on the counter, on the floor, on my clothes -- everywhere. I'm not the neatest baker in the world, but I do have some experience in bread-making and usually have some control over my dry ingredients. But this was a mess.
Finally -- finally! -- I finished rolling and cutting the dumplings. I had almost 300! And, they were probably bigger than they were supposed to be, since I couldn't roll them out as well as I probably should have. But it took forever. These had better be some fucking fantastic dumplings, I thought as I cut the last one. I froze about 200 and went about cooking the rest. I boiled them in batches, dropped them in ice water when they were done cooking, and then sauteed them in a little butter with sage and thyme. And...they were okay. Not awesome, not good, but okay. They were better once I dumped a ton of parmesan cheese on top, but because they were a little too big, I thought they were a little too heavy, and the squash flavor wasn't as intense as I had hoped it would be. But they're definitely fine for eating, which is a good thing, seeing as how I have over 200 of them in little zip-top bags in my freezer. If I invite you over for dinner in the next few weeks, you're probably getting some.
Next time, I'm just making soup.
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Dear people at VH1,
While we still stand by our position that it's really too soon to rehash a decade that's barely five years in the bag (it's embarrassing!), we reluctantly admit that we're enjoying I Love the '90s Part Deux. There's something about making fun of all the stupid shit we used to like and do that's wildly entertaining. We think that something is brutal honesty. But we digress.
So yes, we're enjoying the jabs at Nelson and stuff, but we think you might have gone a little too far with one of the items on your "'90s things to make fun of" list. In the 1993 episode, you brought up the horrible Midwest floods under the "Newsflash" header. I remember those floods, even though I wasn't living in the Midwest at the time. I was living in Buffalo, and it was the summer, and my insanely nice friend Chris was urging his friends to donate money to the Red Cross to help out the nice people in the Midwest. I had a little crush on Chris. He had a severe receding hairline and is probably bald now. There we go digressing again.
VH1, it's wrong to laugh at and poke fun at tragedy. You know this! You were brought up right! People lost their homes and everything they had due to an act of nature. And act of GOD, some might say. They did what they could, and they pulled through on what some would call a will to survive. 1993 was a crappy year for them, just like 2005 is shaping up to be a pretty nasty year for tsunami victims and 2001 was a crappy year for Americans. You wouldn't make fun of the tsunami, would you? Or the 9/11 attacks? Well? Would you?
VH1, we understand that humor is often the only way to get through a bad situation, but once that situation is gotten through, humor shouldn't be used to make light of it. Maybe we're taking this a little too seriously, but maybe you're not taking it seriously enough. Don't make fun of other people's misfortune, VH1. It might embarrass us to be reminded that we used to sort of like that one Nelson song, but you should be embarrassed by this. Please be nice. Thank you.
P.S. We never ever wore a fanny pack. We always knew they were completely stupid.
Monday, January 17, 2005
So I read it, and at first I couldn't understand where all of these snooty book critic people were coming from. The first 100 pages or so is an amazing exploration of 1970s competitive big-city office culture, with lots of neuroses and power games and odd detail. And of course, the writing is so good and comes across as so effortless that you just want to smack Mr. DeLillo for being so sharp in the first 100 pages of his career.
But then it gets weird and goes from a smarmy New York network office to this disjointed, Kerouac rip off, bad bohemian, counting-the-cars-on-the-New-Jersey-Turnpike-all-come-to-look-for-America mess. Sure, it's punctuated by a few good paragraphs here and there, but mostly it seemed like a night-sea journey that doesn't quite make it out of hell.
So after my initial skepticism, I'd have to agree with the general consensus that Americana is, perhaps, not the best reflection of what Don DeLillo can do, although it is, to reiterate, eerily well written. Yes, White Noise is good, and I thought it was better than Mao II, but Underworld was by far my favorite. And no, it has nothing to do with the movie Underworld, even though I got my hopes up that it might be when the movie came out. Same thing with the movie White Noise. Watch: someone will make a movie called Americana, and it actually will be based on this book, while movies called Underground or White Noise should have been based on DeLillo instead.
Friday, January 14, 2005
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Monday, January 10, 2005
Sunday, January 9, 2005
Speaking of, bat update: nothing, even though I've been sleeping with one eye open. (Though I've been told I sleep with my eyes open no matter what might be flitting around.) Regardless of the lack of bat activity, I'm sure as hell not going into my basement after dark. This has forced me to revise my laundry schedule, but aside from that, as long as there are no bats in my apartment, I'm okay with staying upstairs after the sun goes down.
Thursday, January 6, 2005
Please: if you are my friend, and if you care about my health and well-being and general wellness, or even if you're not my friend, but you're just a passive reader, and are even marginally interested in these things, please do not let me buy fluff again. I have a serious problem with sweets, and since Monday, I have eaten half a pound of fluff. Half a pound! Of fluff! Not half a pound of broccoli, or raisins, or bran flakes, but fluff! Sweetened white goo! And I haven't had it on a sandwich, or ice cream, or even in hot chocolate (well, just once, but I didn't like it so much in there). You know what I've had it on? A spoon. I just eat it out of the container, and I can't stop, even though it gives me a nasty stomach ache. It's not even a stomach ache, because it's too high in my abdomen. It's like an esophagus ache. And, on top of that, I get these crazy sugar highs right after eating it, but they only last maybe 20 minutes or so, and then when the sugar wears off, I can't keep my eyes open, and I nap for like 45 minutes and wake up feeling doughy.
Now I don't know what to do with all of this fluff. I have half a pound left, and I don't want to eat it, but if it's in my house, I will eat it. It's like a curse, I suppose. And I don't want to throw it out, because that would be wasteful, although I've resorted to that in the past with candy that I couldn't stop eating. So, if anyone wants half a pound of fairly fresh fluff, let me know and it's yours. I use a clean spoon every time, and if you've ever seen me do dishes, you know my spoons are very very clean. I admit that I occasionally double-dip the spoons, but I am quite healthy and brush my teeth frequently and even use Listerine. Fluff anyone?
Tuesday, January 4, 2005
You know how on those cable networks that are all stock market, all the time when they say that if January is a good month for the market, then that year will be a good year for the market? I am hoping that a good January for me means a good year for me.
Monday, January 3, 2005
Anyway, I stopped by the local megamart last night to pick up some salad mix, and they were out of organix mixed greens; all they had in the organic bin was arugula. So I reluctantly bought a box and figured as long as it was fresh and green, I was meeting my nutrition requirements, even if celebrity chefs might diagree with me. Today I put some of my arugula in a bowl for lunch with some other stuff, took a bite, and realized that it was arugula that I liked so much. And all this time I just blew past it, not knowing all along that it was what I really wanted.
The lesson in all of this? Mix up the routine. The other lesson? I should really get a fucking life. I'm writing about salad here.
Sunday, January 2, 2005
Happy new year, Amy!
Right. So. How was your new years celebration?
A cigar? You know what they say about girls and cigars...
Sure, sure, sorry. But let's talk about 2004. It was a pretty good year for you, no? You made a film.
Kid? Didn't 2004 mark a personal...ehh...milestone of sorts?
Some say looking young's a good thing.
They certainly do. Anyway, where was I? Oh, right, your 2004. You traveled a lot this past year, didn't you?
That is a lot of running around. Has it affected you at all?
And you lost some weight in 2004?
I'm sure you mean that figuratively. And speaking of kicking ass, you made a fairly sizeable kickass purchase this summer.
So all in all, 2004 sounds like it was good to you. Any down points?
So off all these things, then, was there a high point?
You really can't ask for more than that.
You know, we don't do this enough. This self-interview thing, I mean.
Neither are you.
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