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Lazy Saturday

Well, not actually that lazy. I’ve already made chocolate chip pumpkin pancakes and am in the middle of baking bread. Ok, the bread machine is baking the bread. But that counts, too!

And, yes, I totally missed yesterday, but clearly it was because I was celebrating Veterans Day.  I’m patriotic and service-minded like that.  So here it is Saturday already and I’m still not sure what to post on the blog.  This is the problem with the post-every-day model – it’s just not the way most non-professional-bloggers behave.  Post new content frequently, yes – that’s the key to building both your blogging skills and your audience.  Post everyday?  It just doesn’t make sense.  That’s form over function.

Note to blog readers:  complaining about lack of content and rationalizing non-posting is a Traditional Blogging Exercise.

Today I also fiddled with my budget and transaction-tracker on Mint, scheduled some deadlines on BusyCal, updated a few tasks on 2do, and checked out a couple of new Kindle books on Overdrive.  Technology is my friend – it allows me to simultaneously be productive *and* procrastinate.  Fabulous!

Speaking of technology – I am weighing the pros and cons of the Kindle Fire.  On the pro side: it’s affordable, I already have a growing library of Kindle books (I use the free apps now), Amazon just added limited book borrowing on Kindle devices, and now I hear there’s new video and periodical content.  On the con side: I don’t really want another device, I can already get video and periodical content and Kindle books on my iPad, and I can borrow titles through the library.

Logic says no need for the Kindle Fire (or the Kindle Touch).  The gadget-head in me says Want.  What do you say?

 

Fictional Food

Love love love this.  Obsessive fans with other talents, unite!

The Hunger Games.

Game of Thrones.

The Farmer Boy Cookbook.

See?  Now I’m too hungry to blog…

Top Chef Recapish

Ok, so the never ending quandary of What to Blog About leads me here: a sort-of recap of the most recent Top Chef episode. And by “recap,” I mean “chat about stuff I remember from the episode.”

I watch Top Chef (and have from the beginning) because the people on it have skillz. They’re good at what they do (well, most of them) and it’s interesting to watch them come up with creative ideas and execute them. I don’t watch Hell’s Kitchen because I don’t want to watch people bleed into food and skirt the not-that-thin-line between edible and lethal (weirdly, I have been known to watch Jersey Shore, even though that is also a show about incompetents who frequently handle food).

Anyway, some initial thoughts:

1. Emeril. Really? I’m not saying anything against the man – he’s got cooking cred – but he looks like Chef Droopy Dog and he sounds like he’s on time delay. Someone feed this guy a snappy pill. Also, I pre-cringe at the number of times some idiot will say “Bam!” and think s/he is being funny. Pre-sigh.

2. 29 cheftestants. Why so many, when most of them will be gone by the end of episode 2? Why is Bravo wasting my time with this parade of doomed braisers?

3. Ink. I know that it’s the trend culture-wide for people to have more ink. This trend seems to have hit the chef/cook world particularly hard. Yes, you’re hard-working, restaurant-hours-keeping, burned-fingers-having, I’m-your-private-butcher-butcher-for-money types, but there really is no need to cover every bit of exposed skin with tattoos of pork chops and paring knives. You just have to trust me on this.

Not going to look good in the nursing home...

4. People of Moto. Does Homaru require you to have stupid hair?

Chris Jones and Let's-Get-Physical HeadbandRichie Farina and Facial Silliness

5. People of Chicago. Yay! You come from fine eateries.

6. Weird, inbred personal chef dude – if you can’t butcher and don’t know what a pork tenderloin is, why are you here? Go home and cook brunch for some more “celebrities.” Also, what is up with the teeth? Yeesh.

7. Chef Heather – we are rooting for you solely on the basis of your chicken and waffles at Sable. Seriously – my eyes are going a little out of focus now just thinking about that dish…

Drooling now.

8. Chef Dakota – please put on a shirt during your interview segments. Your tattooed clavicle is creeping me out.

9. Note to Bravo – just because you set this season in Texas (wtf?), please, please, please, do not stage a State-sanctioned mega-prayerful pancake breakfast elimination challenge. I do not want to see Rick Perry on this show unless he is vacuum-packed and prepared sous vide.

10. Note to cheftestants (and all chefs) – enough with the “XYZ prepared two ways.” It’s annoying.

[Duo of Cheerios: crispy and soggy]

Tired

Tired. Going to bed. Blogging postponed. See ya tomorrow.

The Madness of Queen Georgia

As some of you may know, RDC and I recently moved into a new abode together (Hello, RP!).  Not only has this involved the complicated integration of possessions (oh, the books), but it has also involved the even more complicated integration of cats.

Feline Number 1:

Fearless D.

Feline No. 2:

Georgia L. (this is obviously her Cotillion picture)

Feline No. 1 is small and fluffy, but also a fierce street fighter.  Feline No. 2 is the size of a Corgi and deeply lacking in fight skillz.

Add to this power imbalance the fact that Feline No. 2, despite having just come from a home that featured mirrored closet doors (in front of which she used to sleep peacefully), has now developed a fear of all reflective surfaces.  She is menaced everywhere by vicious cats (that look strikingly like herself!) in mirrors, windows, and the shiny, shiny garbage can.

She hisses.  She snorts.  She growls.  Recently, she has taken to catching her reflection in the mirror and just smacking the shit out of herself.  Clearly, she has lost it, and by “it,” I mean the tenuous grasp that she previously had on her sanity.  As RDC says, given poor Georgia’s descent into madness, the introduction of another cat is actually fairly low on her list of concerns, as Fearless (aka The Foofs) is just a particularly vivid hallucination amongst all the other hallucinations.

As of this date, there have been relatively few kerfuffles (at least between actual cats – the reflected cats wage constant war).  Georgia is deranged and eating her emotions (today: Corgi-sized, tomorrow: Bulldog-sized).  The Foofs is relaxed and has proven that she can gunsling with the best of them.  RDC and I are just hoping for a truce (and a prescription for kitty lithium) by the new year.

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*Snick*

Reasons I would like to be a vampire:

  • *snick* – that is the noise my fangs would make when I extend them.  Beware the *snick*!  It precedes the open-mouth-wide-throw-head-back-sink-fangs-into-you maneuver.
  • The power of aging.  As in “I’m twice your age and have double the power you have.  Stand down, baby vamp!”  Seriously – how nice it would be to have aging = gaining more power instead of aging = gaining more wrinkles.
  • Speed.  I would never have to take the CTA again.  Goodbye hour commute, hello super-fast flying (or super high jumping, or whatever it is that vamps can do when they’re old enough).
  • Infinite One-Liners.  Apparently this comes with immortality (cf. Buffy, True Blood, Angel.  Do not cf. Twilight or Lestat.).
  • Never having to decide what to have for dinner again.
  • Glamoring (although depends on which vamp canon you follow).  Useful for getting out of speeding tickets!  Also, murder.
  • The power of dollar cost averaging times immortality = I am the .001%.

Reasons I would not like to be a vampire:

  • Strict bedtime.  No more staying up past dawn.
  • All TV turns into Food TV.
  • Tiresome running into the same vamps over and over, century after century.
  • Stuck forever in the form in which you were turned.  (Note to self: go to gym)
  • Always being messed with by annoying, tiny, blonde people.
  • No need for hot sunglasses.
  • Constantly outliving the servants.
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Things I Saw this Week

I have been informed by RDC that yesterday’s post was unacceptable.  I’m not sure that today’s post will be any more acceptable, but here it is.

Sometimes the internet fills my head up with too much incredible stuff and I am forced to share.  Usually I send out an email to a select group and brain dump all of that information into some unsuspecting friends, but today I shall brain dump onto you.  You’re welcome.

1. Artist Shauna Richardson does crochetdermy and it’s amazing.

2. Feedly is my feed reader of choice.  It takes your Google Reader subscriptions and organizes them in a visually pleasing format that’s still easy to navigate with keyboard commands.  It also syncs up with Google Reader, so you can add subscriptions to new RSS feeds from either application.

3. Beautiful custom motorcycles.

4. Geektasm: Felicia Day (of Buffy S. 7 and The Guild and Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog) is also a gamer.  How geektastic does it get?  Felicia wrote and starred in a Dragon Age II web series (and voices her own character from the web series in new Dragon Age downloadable content).  People, this is like a geek supernova.

5. For the back-up crazed among us (you know who you are): Backupify.

6. NextChildhood.

7. Something even I have no interest eating.

8. Glitch.  Play it.

9. What’s Coming to Get You.

10. Pumpkin on the back porch, I’m coming for you.

Punt

Does it count as a post if I post that I’ll post something more tomorrow? Hmm…

Wait. My blog, my rules. It counts.

Later, peeps!

Slow Cooked Surprise

Tonight for dinner: Slow Cooker Surprise.  Actually, it’s not so much a surprise as to what it is, as it will be a surprise as to how it tastes.  I threw in some frozen short ribs and a whole mess of marinade-y seasonings, BBQ sauce, rice wine vinegar, tomato sauce, molasses, a chopped up onion, and some whole jalapeños (from what is apparently the hardiest jalapeño plant in Chicago).  Maybe later I’ll throw in some bell peppers.

All this to hopefully arrive, 8 hours later, at yummy, tender BBQish short ribs.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.  If it turns out badly, I’ll let you know how the Grub Hub order was.

I love my slow cooker.  As much as I enjoy hanging out in the kitchen with a podcast playing as I sauté and chop and multi-step cook something delicious, I also love just dumping a lot of stuff into the slow cooker, turning it on, and then walking away for 6 to 8 hours.  Magic!  This is the same reason that I love my bread machine – even though it doesn’t make bread that is quite as nice as the human-made kind.

Hmm.  Maybe I should stop being offended that my mother once gave me a “convenience cook book” that features recipes calling for ingredients you don’t have to measure – as in “add 1 can of” and “stir in 1 package of.”  Nah, for some reason, my mother is convinced that I still live on Progresso soup and pretzels, so I’ll hang on to a moderate level of offense at that cookbook.  Plus, as a daughter, I feel it is my duty to always be slightly offended by something that my mother did.

Update:  It was yummy!

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List-ed

So, this morning on the Purple Line, I spent my endless commute creating lists. Two, to start: this week’s grocery list and a Book List. The grocery list is overdue, as I have been trapped in the cycle of thinking “we need more xyz” and then promptly forgetting to order xyz for weeks now, but the book list is totally unnecessary. I don’t need to catalog my books or keep track of books I want to read some day or tally books I have read. Seriously. The whole endeavor is pointless.

Why do it then? For the pure joy of Organization. The result is only tenuously relevant, but the process is alarmingly pleasurable. Sorting, listing, getting granular with the data – it’s like chocolate mousse for the procrastinator’s soul. I can’t tell you how much I like it. Well, actually, I can:

20111102-151922.jpg

Lots of little Post-Its! Romy, Michele, I don’t care who invented them; they bring me joy.

Here’s the thing – all these kinds of organization projects are like so much engine revving in Daytona; a lot of noise but no progress. You can’t tell me that part of the reason those GTD people love GTD so much isn’t because of the endless research you can do on methods and tools to help you GTD.  Especially when “T” stands for “pointless tasks.”

Planning *how* you’re going to do something is exhilarating. It’s almost like being productive, but without all the effor.  I love it.  Loading PDFs into GoodReader so that I can carry hundreds of exhibits on my iPad at a time is awesome.  Reading all of those exhibits and figuring out what to do with them – not quite as awesome.  Tagging and highlighting my hundreds of exhibits in Adobe Acrobat Pro X – super.  Researching the legal issues raised by those highlighted documents – less than super.

Still, the time I spend organizing is time spent passively absorbing the information that I’m not quite ready to absorb actively – and it counts, too.  When I finally force myself to interview the witnesses, develop the theory of the case, and write the brief, I’m ready.  All my tools are sharp and my tool chest is shiny.  I’ve read and handled every document multiple times.  I’m prepared to do the hard part.

Here’s what I have to say about the hard part – it’s hard.  That’s why I procrastinate (that and I need a little pressure in order to concentrate).  But the payoff is worth it.  No matter how much fun I had prepping, it doesn’t compare with actually finishing the project and finishing it well.

I love a list, but I love crossing things off of it even more.

 

P.S.  App used for new lists: Listomni.

P.P.S.  Blog post squeaked in just under the wire!

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