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Archive for September, 2010

Not so breaking news in the world of BOR: we are moving!

Yes, the time has come to break free of our 1st floor duplex and move on up.  I am exceedingly happy about this development for a few reasons.

1. Our new apartment is on the 5th (count it, 5th) floor.  That means that I will no longer stay up at night convincing myself that the noise I just heard was clearly someone breaking open our window to climb in and murder me.

2. In the same vein as #1, we will no longer have a 2nd floor to worry about.  The downstairs was great for guests (especially those of the extended variety…) but now that it’s empty it is simply another thing for me to lay awake and listen to.

3.  There is a dishwasher.   I weep with joy.

4.  The kitchen!  THE KITCHEN IN THIS PLACE.  It is. To die. For.   It’s all sleek and fancy and stainless steel appliance-filled.  It has a REAL sized fridge.  No more cubby-hole for me!  No more singular drawer! No more negative counter space!  If you think I’m impressive in the kitchen now, just you wait until I have enough space to really get going.

5. Due to the smaller size, we have to do some major purging.  I, for one, take great pleasure in throwing things in garbage bags and donating it all to charity.  H, no so much.  He’s a borderline hoarder.  I am steeling myself against the brawls that this move is going to create between us (“no, H, you don’t need your old golf bag/smelly cleats/sweater that does not fit/holey underpants”).  But really, he’ll have to see the light.  There simply isn’t enough room.

With that being said, I have spent the last 2 weeks all-out obsessing over how we are going to decorate our new home, what kind of new fancy things we can put in it, and how I can convince our landlords that painting the walls grey will up the re-sale value.  Yes, I am excited to get rid of all our old stuff and break free of the shackles of consumerism and materialism and all that jazz.  But more importantly, I am ready to do it all over again, from scratch, except in a way more sophisticated and interior-designy manner.

I never said I was sane.  Deal.

But what could you possibly be obsessing about, you crazy old bat? You might be asking yourselves.  Well, as an example:  yesterday afternoon I spent a solid 2 hours researching flat screen TV wall-mounts and shelves, but only the kind that hide away the cables from probing eyes.  Dangling, twisted wires annoy me.  Add that to the pet peeve list.

That probably isn’t even a good example, because a wall-mount for our yet-to-be-purchased flat screen is something we really do need.  It’s practical.  But my obsessing doesn’t stop at necessities, oh no.  No no no.

See, I go to other people’s apartments, and I am always flabbergasted at how freaking cute and well decorated everything is.  And instead of saying to myself okay brain, see that couch? You should get something like that. I’ll fixate on some tiny detail and that is all I’ll take away from my visit.  Self, do you see those incredibly ADORABLE giant upholstered letters sitting on her shelf?  THEY ARE HER INITIALS.  And OMGSPARKLYBOOKENDS!! MUST. COPY.

Clearly my decorating priorities are in the right place.  Clearly.

It also doesn’t help that every design website I visit (and that is a lot these days, trust me) has an insanely awesome thing that I must buy immediately.  Never mind that we aren’t moving until November and we need to get some basics (i.e a couch, a tv).  I want some whimsy, damn it.

Example A:

Completely Necessary

Just what the hell is that, you might inquire?  That, my friends, is a glass candle holder type thing that you tie to some twine/fishing-wire/what have you and hang from the ceiling.  I mean come on…what else could it be?

So I find these gems yesterday and immediately email H about it (because I am that kind of girlfriend) extolling how romantic and awesome looking a bunch of these would look hanging down from our soon-to-be-ceiling.  And how does my beloved respond?

“Uh, those look like major fire hazards.”

No imagination.  No vision.  How am I supposed to create a space with this galoot crushing my dreams of dangly glass candle-holders?!

You think I’m over-exaggerating, don’t you?  I can tell from here, you think I am.  Well non-believer, here are a couple more snazzy items  and images that I’ve bookmarked in my constant search for new apartment glory.  You call them crazy, I call them inspirational:

This is wallpaper. WALLPAPER.

This is a wall tile. I would like a whole wall of them.

I would sit down and never get back up.

It's impossible to be sad when you look at this guy.

Lantern!

LOVE LETTERS. On a CURTAIN. Sigh!

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Hell on Heels

I consider myself a grown-up, for the most part.  I pay bills and dutifully save money and buy healthy food even though what I really want to eat is Sausage, Egg, and Cheese on an onion bagel all day, every day.

There is one thing, though, that I have a hard time accepting.  And that is the notion that sophisticated grown-up city gals wear high heels.  And not just for special occasions.  All. The freaking. Time.

Just your typical everday footwear

Sex and the City was not lying when it depicted NYC as the land of the platform stiletto monster heel.  Women here march around in the most ridiculous shoes I have ever seen.  And I’m not sure it’s a case of “look at my heels, I’m so fashionable,” or just because they truly enjoy mangling their feet.  Who knows.  This place is full of weirdo masochists.

I just can’t wrap my head around it.  You would think in this city, where walking is generally the standard for getting around, people would wear shoes which facilitate actual walking. But no.  Instead they (and by ‘they’ I mean women) teeter around in shoes that defy all reason, logic, and physics.

Alexander McQueen heels...the pinacle of insanity.

Don’t get me wrong: I admire these ladies.  I am downright jealous of them.  Because I am physically incapable of wearing high heels.  Wait, correction.  I am physically incapable of functioning in high heels.  Putting them on my feet: fine.  Attempting to then move around and live life after they have been put on: not so fine.  I struggle with high heels.  To say the least.

It’s not because I’m one of those silly girls who ‘can’t walk in heels.’  I know how to walk in heels.  I know you have to revise the way you move and work it.  Which, let’s be honest, is kind of awesome and fun and all I am woman hear me roar, biatch.  The problem is my feet.   H calls them my ‘clubbies.’  As in they are club-shaped.  Small and squared-off and really really inappropriate for any sort of shoe other than maybe a ballet flat, which is what I live in.  I put on heels, admire how nice they make my legs look and how adorable they are, and the minute I start walking around my feet and toes begin to protest.  Hang on a minute girlfriend.  You really think we’re going to stand being shoved in this shoe and forced into a different shape?  Hells to the no.  We’re going to blister and bleed and ache until you come to your senses and realize this is NOT working.  It’s science.

Thanks, oddly shaped feet and toes…Thanks a ton for working with me here.  Really making my life easier.

However, regardless of this genetic predisposition, I still try.  You know how there’s that saying that goes: the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?

That is my relationship with heels, in a nut shell.

It still hasn’t occurred to me that I should probably stop buying heels.  My closet is a virtual graveyard of shoes I loved in the store, bought, wore for a night, and then swore off because it took two weeks for my feet to heal afterwards. That’s probably part of the problem: I get so incensed at the pain these stupid shoes put me though that I swear I will banish them forever after a single wear.  Thus effectively stopping the ever important ‘breaking-in’ process cold.  Really, before it even began.

I am a huge baby.  Have I mentioned that?  High heels have made me cry.  Sure, it might have been after a martini or 4, but still.  Tears.

I do try to make them comfortable.  I try to buy higher-end heels with the notion that if they are better made they will hurt less (they don’t).  I buy tons of little accessories to try to protect my precious tootsies: heel pads and gel inserts and moleskin…you name it, I’ve bought it.  But nothing, and I mean nothing, saves me from feet covered in band aids, begging to be put out of their misery.  It probably goes without saying that I am also that girl who will give up on wearing heels at the end of the night and wanders barefoot through questionable terrain just to be free of those damn shoes.  How I do not have tetanus or rabies is beyond me.

If I was smart I would carry around a secondary pair of non-heels for the days when I brave the stiletto.  Of course I don’t do that.  Because it defeats the whole purpose of wearing a high heel. And anyway, I am stubborn.

I will continue to gape at purdy heels in store windows.  I will continue to spend pointless dollars on them.  I will continue to force H to carry me around at the end of evenings when my be-heeled feet have had too much.  I will continue this all, damn it, until my feet get the memo and submit.  So help me god.

A girl can dream, right?

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Oh soup.  You are so easy to eat.  Open a can, dump in a bowl, microwave.  That’s it!  No wonder people like you.

That is, until, they read your ingredients list.  Which I bet a lot of you haven’t done.  Because you aren’t slowly (or not so slowly) turning into a crazy person who does things like study the ingredients in a can of soup.  Which I am.

Anyway, I was sick on Sunday, and the only thing that I could even contemplate eating was soup.  In the state I was in, making my own was not exactly an option.  So I grabbed a can and threw it on the stove and five minutes later I was staring at some good ole Progresso Penne with Chicken broth.  Or something.  I was delirious with illness, I don’t really remember

*Note: I would kindly appreciate it if the few of you who DO read this blog did NOT comment on the irony of me getting actually sick mere days after posting about my hypcondriacism (is that a word?).  kaythanks.

Even being sick, even with my taste buds basically dead, this soup was yucky to me.  The broth tasted weird, the penne was mushy, and it was so salty that I found myself with legit dry mouth after a measly 6 spoonfuls.  Who cares if I’m exsagerating…it was not good.  Let’s leave it at that.

So once i regained my health, I decided to make my own soup.  Because why not.  I had never done it, and  I had a bunch of tomatoes that were starting to go in the wrong direction, and figured, well, how hard can it be to smoosh those up and make one of my favorites: Tomato Soup?

Turns out, it’s not so hard.  OKAY FINE…it is harder than opening up a can and dumping the contents into a bowl and zapping it with weird radiation waves.  But seriously, this is great for a rainy Sunday (or Monday, in my case) when you’ve got an hour or two with nothing on the agenda.  Trust me.  Once you taste it you’ll realize what a hollow sham your life has been up until this moment: Soup. Epiphany.

*Another Note: the foundation for this recipe is Tyler Florence’s Roasted Tomato Soup, but I changed some things and added a bunch of stuff, so if you want the basic version, go visit Tyler here.

Roasted Tomato Soup (With Surprises!)

*Final note, I swear:  This is a 2 person serving.  Double/Triple/whatever accordingly.

You’ll Need:

3-4 tomatoes, diced with seeds removed

2 small red onions, quartered

3 cloves of garlic

1 beet, quartered

1 banana pepper, seeds removed

2 bay leaves

1 small handful of basil, ripped up

2-3 cups of chicken stock

Approx 1/2 a cup of Sour Cream (or half & half)

Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

A Splash of Port or Red Wine (optional)

To Do:

  • preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • Toss tomatoes, onions, peppers, beet and garlic with olive oil, salt & pepper
  • Spread veggies on pan and roast until caramelized, 25-35 mins
  • Dump veggies into a sauce pan, adding bay leaves, ripped up basil, and enough stock to cover everything. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until liquid is reduced of a third-ish.
  • If using, add splash of Port or Red Wine, you Alcoholic you. Let it simmer a couple minutes more.
  • Pour contents (minus the bay leaves) of sauce pan into a food processor.
  • Blend until smooth, adding sour cream gradually (if you have one of those fancy immersion blenders, you can use that instead!)
  • Return soup to pot, thinning out if necessary with more chicken stock.
  • Douse with Parmesan Cheese and more Sour Cream.  You’re regaining your strength!  (at least that’s what I told myself)

There are so many layers of flavor in this seemingly simple soup, thanks to all my little add-ons (the pepper, the beet, the booze, etc). I didn’t take pictures of this BUT don’t be alarmed if your soup turns out to be a little pink.  It’s the beet.  And that beet is important because it makes this soup just the teeniest bit sweet, which in turn balances out the acid and the heat that the tomato and the pepper brings. I’ll say it again: layers, people.  Layers:

A quality that you sure aren’t finding in that stupid can.

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To no one’s surprise, I’m sure, I am a bit of a hypochondriac.  I think it goes hand-in-hand with my obsessive/anxious/psychotic thing I’ve got going on.  Because what is more fun and energy-consuming than convincing yourself that you’re dying of various diseases!

It doesn’t help that I have a delicate constitution to begin with.  You know those pale, frail looking Victorian ladies that look like they’d fall over if you sneezed near them?  That should’ve been me.  I was definitely born in the wrong era.  Give me a parasol and a tea set and I’m set for life.  Or at least I would’ve been, had the universe not played this cruel joke on me and placed me squarely in a post-millennial world.  Shoot.

If I was better at Photoshop I would've stuck my face on here

So because of my delicate-ness I often struggle with my health.  This is not new.  Every organized sport I ever attempted ended in me injured and most likely bleeding.  I missed almost all of 1st grade due to chronic tonsillitis and the subsequent tonsillectomy that was supposed to fix it.  Which is why I now can’t really tell time on an analog clock.  Or do math in general.  But that’s neither here nor there.

The point is that these days its way to dangerously easy for me to self-diagnosis every pain and weird feeling and suspicious looking freckle (skin cancer runs in the family OKAY).  And trust me, I am very observant.  There is a lot to diagnose.

Usually it goes something along these lines:

1. Feel something weird.  Sit quietly for a moment to ensure this is not a figment of my imagination.  Nope. That tender, kind of hurting spot on your tongue is real. PANIC!  WHAT COULD IT BE?

2. Poke/prod suspicious area until you’ve endured enough pain to decide that maybe sticking it with a sewing needle isn’t the best course of action.  Even if you did ‘sterilize’ it with a match first.

3. Whip out the computer.  Google the issue.  Because googling solves everything.  For example: “Weird white spot on tongue that hurts” (this was a real google search of mine).  UPON PAIN OF DEATH do NOT click on ‘images.’  You’ll have nightmares for weeks.  Seriously.

4. After an exhaustive Google search that turns up a bunch of quacks advising you to either SEEK A DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY or ‘just pull that sucker off yourself with a nail-clipper!’ (real advice on aforementioned tongue ouchie), turn to your dear, trusted friend, Web M.D

*A quick note about WebM.D.  I don’t know who invented it, but thank you.  Thank you for giving me one singular place that has literally every known medical malady just waiting for me to find it and convince myself I am dying.  Because Web M.D is legit.  It’s has a medical degree. Duh.

5. After an in-depth perusal of WebM.D  it is now clear that you have Oral Cancer of the tongual variety.  Find closest mirror and stare at spot on tongue for the next 45 minutes, wondering how long you have left to live, and who you should will your wardrobe too.

6. Ambush innocent bystander (boyfriend) and force him to examine you.  Tell him he’s stupid when he suggests maybe you are just dehydrated or tired.  These two reasons are his answer to literally every medical issue that you have.  Amateur.

7. Take some Excedrine Migraine.  Because that cures everything (okay, not really maybe, but that doesn’t stop me from taking it on an almost daily basis.  I get headaches!).

8. Call dear sweet Auntie K. who happens to be an RN.  Send a text-photo of your tongue to her to review.  Discuss how long it’s been there and what it feel like.

9. Stare at ouchie thing the mirror a little while longer.  Has it gotten bigger? I think it’s gotten bigger.

10. Swish with warm salt water.  Go to bed.  Wake up in the morning perfectly healthy.  Rejoice.  Until the next thing pops up, and the cycle continues…

Do you see what I’m dealing with here?  This isn’t even something I can control.  It just happens.  It doesn’t help that literally everything is out to kill you and give you cancer these days.  Your food, your water, the sun, everything. It’s terrifying.  TERRIFYING.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a suspect red dot on my knee that needs addressing.  Probably leprosy.

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