Archive for January, 2011

This morning I woke up to a foot of fresh snow, with visions of a steaming shower in my very near future. Unfortunately for me, the most crucial ingredient to a steaming shower was missing. Yup, you guess it! No hot water.

I was PISSED. And it still. has. not. been. fixed. despite numerous complaints by me and the others in my building. After my run, the water was still cold. Grrrr.

I got some good news a little bit later when a professor emailed me to say that he had incorrectly entered my grade from last semester. He gave me a B, when I really got an A! Of course, I was ecstatic. So ecstatic that I freaked out and overturned my very, very full bowl of milk and cereal. All over my desk. The spill barely missed my laptop (THANK YOU GOD!)

Still, the grade boost is a mood boost and I’m going to try to be optimistic about the shower situation. But if the water is still cold tomorrow, there WILL be hell to pay.

That’s all for now.


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Tomorrow I’m heading back to school. It’s bittersweet. I’ve enjoyed my time off immensely (reading, writing, blogging, eating home-cooked meals, sitting by the fire and on and on) but I’m itching to start class. Sometimes too much downtime is dull! My brain is craving some intellectual stimulation after lots of trashy reality television, and I need to spend more time talking to actual human beings (and less time musing with my cats). So, all in all, going back to school is a good thing.

I decided to get organized! I’ve always been a compulsive list-maker, but my lists aren’t usually organized or neat. I bought a moleskin planner, some colored pens and post-its in an array of colors! I’m set.

I also went shopping today  and was fortunate to score some great deals on sweaters at Nordstrom’s! I’ll sure need them – the weather channel predicts one of the coldest winters in a long time. The thing about me is, I love winter clothing but I hate hate hate hate being cold. Am I the only one who feels this way?

I also got my nails done. The manicurist was really nice and I’m pleased with how my nails turned out, but I noticed how awkward the session was. Is it just me, or can it be very difficult to make small talk with people while they’re digging a sharp metal rod into your cuticle and rubbing your wrist with moisturizer?

The obligatory cat photo. She crawled into my Nordstrom’s bag -which still contained the brand-new sweaters (oops!)- for a nap.

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Selecting shows for 2011

I’m a big fan of television and I’m not ashamed. I probably watch more TV per day than ‘they’ (who are ‘they,’ anyways? doctors? the government? the PTA?) advise. I’m okay with it, though, because I also live an active lifestyle and read a lot (see adventures with Leo for proof).

However, my winter break is ending and it will soon be time for me to return to the life of a student. This means a lot MORE reading, writing,  learning, researching and a lot LESS time for indulging my TV addiction. I still plan on keeping up with a few shows via Hulu (my savior!) but I need to narrow down the list. I could sure use some help.

Shows I’ve followed:

1. 30 Rock (I’m a sucker for witty dialogue. And Tina Fey. And Alec Baldwin. Heck, that cast rocks!)

2. House (What can I say? Medical mysteries make me drool. The suspense! Unfortunately, it’s a 60 minute show, which is a little long for study-break-viewing.)

3. Teen Mom (The second season is proving to be more entertaining and cringe-worthy than the first. Don’t judge me.)

4. The Office (This used to be one of my favorites, but I think it’s getting worse. Also, it’s not going to be much good when Steve Carell leaves the show.)

5. Modern Family (I am in love with this show! No more words are needed. It stays.)

6. The Good Wife (I’m also a sucker for legal dramas. But, sadly, another 60 minute show.)

7. Cougar Town (I know, I know. It’s a guilty pleasure.)

This is a lot, and it doesn’t end here. I’ll pretty much watch anything that’s on when I’m at home. At school, though, I try to minimize the channel-surfing and be selective. Do you have any thoughts on what should stay and what should go?


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For child abuse.

I’m not joking. Today, while stuck in traffic, I witnessed the woman driving the car in front of me attacking the child sitting in the seat next to her. It was violent. I was actually very disturbed. I even wrote down her license plate number just in case…but there’s really not anything I can do. Right?

I was even more disturbed because the car had a bumper sticker that read: “proud mommy of a someone with autism.” Before I saw her hit her kid, I was actually thinking how strong and courageous she must be! Oh, she was strong alright, but not in a commendable way. Now I just think she has major problems.

And later I saw a man blocking an entire lane of cars, demanding money!

What a day.

Then I came home and this is what my cat looked like:

Who wouldn’t smile at that?

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The Day from Hell

Ok, so the title of the post is a little bit dramatic.

But seriously, I think it’s fair to call a day that include both a trip to the dentist and to get my eyebrows waxed a Hell Day. If having my (very sensitive) gums grated with a mechanical scraper wasn’t bad enough, the sadist dentil hygienist  informed me that I am oral care challenged. Yes. Apparently the excruciating pain that filled my mouth is my fault because I do not brush at the appropriate 45 degree angle.

The waxing, on the other hand, hurt a lot less compared with my tooth-cleaning. I thought my brows were barely irritated at all afterwards, although the esthetician seemed horrified by the redness. She insisted on powdering my face before I went out in public.

I also went to the gym today and worked through my strength-training regimen. It was fine – fun, actually. I like to think of myself as buff. Then I remember that my maximum on free weights is 6 lbs. and that I have the scrawniest arms in the place. Oh well.

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Fresh, homemade fettucine

Yeah, I did it.

It was a lot of work. But let me just say, the flavor and texture were so much better than dried pasta. It was way worth it.

After consulting a few different recipes, I decided to combine techniques and flavors to make fresh herbed spelt egg fettucine. I’ve had homemade spelt pasta before in restaurants and loved it, so that is why I decided to mix up the flour in that way. Also, I think that egg just adds something special to pasta in general (and protein!). I couldn’t resist using some of my homegrown basil in the dough, either.

By the way, sorry my photographs aren’t the best. Perhaps a future project will involve the art of food photography? Might be a good idea.

Ingredients. Isn’t that fresh basil gorgeous?

The spelt and all-purpose flour mixture.

Chopping (mincing, actually) the basil to stir into the dough.

I used 3 eggs in my dough. Here is are the eggs (whisked by fork) in the dough’s well.

The ball of dough and then rolled out onto a board. You can see the flecks of green basil in the dough.

I cut the dough into long strips with a knife and then hung the little individual fettucini on a large bowl to dry.

The finished product. Yeah, I know, it’s difficult to see. I cooked the fresh fettucini and then sauteed it in a pan with oil, garlic and cubed zucchini. I garnished the dish with white beans. The meal also included a beautiful, fresh salad.

I love eating by the fire.

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Spaghetti arms

Pasta making commences tomorrow, I promise.
But first I want to fill you in on another project of mine: to get stronger. Basically, I’ve been a runner for years but due to an injury almost a year ago, I had to stop all physical activity. Now that I am allowed to start exercising again, I want to focus less on running and more on trying new activities! On my list for the future are hiking, biking, pilates and yoga. In the mean time, I’m working on developing a weight training regimen, which I haven’t had since I was involved in varsity athletics.

I have the worst upper body strength. I am barely strong enough to knead dough (which isn’t good, considering I plan to make my own pasta tomorrow). So, I’ve been meeting Karla, a personal trainer at my gym, to learn about some great arm and core exercises to add into my weekly routine (or I may decide that I preferred my sedentary lifestyle and give up altogether on ever being buff).

I’m going to see Karla this afternoon. I’m a little nervous because, although the weight lifting isn’t too difficult, I suck at breathing correctly while I’m lifting. And my form SUCKS. Jeez.

It really is embarrassing, though. I’ll get confused in the middle of an exercise about how I’m supposed to be breathing and I’ll try to inhale instead of exhaling or vice versa. I usually end up belching. Typical.

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