Saturday, April 28, 2012

283. Kentucky Derby Party People

20 minutes ago I was sitting in my basement with my downstairs neighbor, waiting out a storm with tornado tendencies. I hadn't met her until just then. I actually described the circumstances for our meeting as "awesome". How embarrassing. I think a better word choice would have been "memorable", or perhaps, "amusing". "Anecdotal", even.
She has a masters in linguistics, and is but a few days away from her phd in cognitive neuro-science. Clever girl...

I sat down at my laptop with the intention of getting started on my last paper of the semester for my Cornerstone class. It's a 2-3 page review of David Mamet's play, Race, which we saw at The Rep back in February. It really shouldn't be that difficult, but I always have trouble getting started. I was hoping that a little blogging to warm up might be a good idea. Or a good way to procrastinate. You pick.

This weekend is flying by much too quickly. I feel like it only just started, and already, Saturday is practically gone. I made the usual tasty Saturday breakfast, after which a lot of furniture rearranging and unpacking occurred. We finally figured out the best possible setup for the conservatory, with my tanker desk facing the window, and a big open wall for "At Your Service", my favorite painting.

I spent the afternoon shopping for ridiculous hats to wear to the Kentucky Derby party at The Royale, with Laurel. A couple of days ago, I was out walking Frank around the neighborhood, when he decided to take a poo at the corner of Spring and Connecticut. As I dropped the scented green bag into the trash and turned to walk back around the corner, this bright blue Honda Fit pulled around the corner, and out of the window popped Laurel's face. Turns out she lives just a few blocks from us, and I happened to be dropping my doggie's business in her dumpster. The planet is truly a small place.
So anyway, that prompted a mutual agreement that we needed to hang out and get drinks or something soon, which led to the invitation to the derby party. As I rather enjoy horses, silly hats, and cocktails, this seems perfect. 

On the recommendation of two different people, she decided we needed to try ABC Trading Co. on Olive. The place turned out to be a goldmine of ridiculous. This is a costume jewelry and accessories store, full of gigantic necklaces that look like they should be worn in an Indian wedding ceremony, and the sort of hats that Baptist ladies wear to church on Easter Sunday in order to outdo all of the other church ladies. Except that everything there is fake, and therefore, cheap.

Laurel procured a gigantic and very much atrocious orange and white number, which is oh-so-derby-perfect, and which she intends to embellish further with bees. My suggestion.
I went a little more understated, and opted for this fantastic fuchsia Fascinator hat that perches on your melon with the aid of a headband. It's adorned with feathers and flowers, and pink netting in front. I hope to improve upon the design by adding some horse figurines or maybe a tiny lawn jockey, but we'll see. The color is less equestrian and more desiring of an elephant bathing itself in bubbles. In fact, I tried to figure out how I might attach a bubble gun, but my options seemed unrealistic for actual wear.

So yes. Homework. I suppose I should get to that...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

282. In the End, Everyone Gets What He Wants

Finally getting around to watching The Brothers Bloom. Hence the title. Really no idea what's taken me so long, but tonight will be perfect. Paired with an organic Carmenere, Natura, from Chile, and the company of two fabulous four-leggers...Yeah. Yeahyeahyeah.
Adrian. Fucking. Brody.
His photo should accompany every favorable adjective in the dictionary used to describe the male species. Aspire, gents.

*Sidenote - The opening sequence in which Bloom is jogging after his brother Stephen lugging a suitcase nearly larger than his own body...All I could think of was Bill Murray chasing the train in The Darjeeling Limited. It has a pretty Wes Anderson feel overall, really.

So yeah, things are starting to wind down, I suppose.
The semester has only about 2 more weeks to go. A nearly unfathomable two weeks, in how short that comes out to be. Monday I took a four question math quiz that I had stressed over a truly exorbitant amount, considering it was only worth 10 points. But I got it back today, with a perfect score. Score! Also started training for my new job today. It's going to be a ton more work and much more mentally taxing. I'm not sure how that's going to pair with school yet, but I hope it'll be ok.

I had a lot more rambling to do, but the Wizard called from Jeff City, and I had to wander off and talk to him while I crammed cheese and pretzels in my face.
To summarize, I look forward to a few weeks off school, because I hope to do something with myself that has everything to do with what I like and not someone else's nonsense. I want to write, and make music even if it's awful. And draw, and paint, and use my time how I want. MY time.

I'd like that.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

281. Boom.

The Wizard and I have a new apartment, as of Tuesday. That would be....our fourth? Yeah. Fourth abode together. I wish I were comfortable with that thought, but things never feel permanent to me.  I like stability, I guess.

Disclaimer: I'm on my second Cosmo. It's delicious, have one.

I've been ferrying things over all in week in the hopes that Saturday, when we rent the truck, will be easier. It probably won't be, but I tried. The new place is strange and different, but at the same time, exactly the same. Both apartments are located in the top right (if facing) of a four-unit building. They're both shotgun style, but the new place has more walls. It also lacks the exposed brick of the current place, and the giant deck, and the ice maker. But what it loses in those things, it makes up in location. 8 blocks from Tower Grove Park, a neighborhood safe enough and pretty enough to walk Mr. Frank in, and TONS of closet space.

While the walls sort of confine the space, the square footage is the same, and the additional storage makes up for it. I also like that the building faces South. No more setting sun blaring in my eyes while I try to do homework in the living room.

I wanted this to be a more interesting post, but it isn't. I feel distracted. Thoughts about moving, the math I should be studying, classes I want to take...
I feel like all I think about is my degree, and what classes I should be taking, and where I'm going to apply, much less live. I'm starting a new job next week, sort of. I start training, anyway. I'm just scattered and frustrated and excited for new things, and sick of them too. I want everything to settle into place, and I wish I had time to focus on what I care about. I.e. art...I.e.

Tonight I had a fight with my dog.
Lately, he's developed a habit of climbing on my dining table when I'm gone, and stealing whatever looks like food. Usually, that's a tupperware container left from my day at work. So he grabs it, destroys it, eats whatever is inside. Sometimes he eats the recycling, too.
It's my fault.
He isn't getting the sort of exercise a terrier needs, and he's frustrated.
Plus, I leave out food.

I came home tonight from Yoga, to find he'd destroyed my hummus and pita lunch for tomorrow. It should have been in the fridge, but I neglected it because I'm more concerned with moving. I was Jello from moving and not that upset, but I thought I should discipline him because he shouldn't have destroyed it. To be honest, I really didn't mind. But I chased him, and smacked him a little with the hummus container, which he'd eaten.

Hummus went everywhere, which means...
I made a bigger mess than he did, and he was really terrified of my half-hearted attempt.

I walked away and began cleaning up, only to walk past my bathroom, where he'd been standing moments before. He was gone, and I couldn't figure out where he'd went to, until I looked up and realized....he was in my bathtub. The adorable thing had been so freaked out at my wicked behavior, he'd leapt into the bathtub and was peering around the shower curtain at me.

It was, by far, the cutest thing I've ever seen.
Lately, anyway.
I couldn't stop laughing. He was so adorable, I had to sit down on the ground and laugh.
He looked utterly confused, but hopped out of the bathtub and came over to nuzzle me.
Then he ate all of the hummus mess I'd made, and we agreed the whole thing was utterly ridiculous.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

280. Sunday in the Kitchen

Did you know that Jell-o doesn't have to taste like gelatinous Kool-Aid? I had no idea!
I bought Knox brand gelatin today (found in the baking aisle) on a whim. My dear pal, Mr. Elkins, advised me it's good for joints, and since I've been doing so much yoga-poppy-joint-bending lately, I've felt a bit creaky.

Once we got home, I really had no idea how to take it, in regards to dosage. The internet was unhelpful...completely atypical. I decided maybe we should just follow the directions on the packaging, but that quickly turned to thoughts of Jell-o shots.

The compromise was a scaled down version of the packaged recipe, with liquor additions to make it extra tasty. I'm in awe. It came out so much more delicious than any brand name preconceived package of the stuff ever could. The recipe for Cosmopolitan Jello goodness looked something like this:

1 cup of cranberry juice, heated to boiling
1/2 cup of vodka
1 packet gelatin
1 oz triple sec
1 oz lime juice (we used from concentrate)
Frozen mixed berries

Dissolve gelatin into the vodka in a bowl. Pour in the heated cranberry juice, triple sec, and lime juice.
Stir, add enough frozen berries to coat the top (they floated), and refrigerate. It takes about 3 hours for the goo to solidify, but when it does! OOOOOOooooooooooooo. It tastes incredible. Make it and serve it to your college pals. Or with your bestest friends over an episode of Mad Men. It's perfect.

We also made risotto this evening, which I highly recommend. Our version was modified from this one found on Epicurious. We followed the rice portion exactly, but included baby bella mushrooms sliced and added to the cooking rice, and instead of leaks, we oven roasted broccoli and cauliflower, stirred in at the end along with fresh tarragon. Thanks to Ms. Anna B. for the idea, because I don't know when I would have tried to make the stuff. It took about an hour, but it was entirely worth the trouble. I'd proclaim that it was easily the best rice dish we've ever made, and we had our Jell-o concoction to munch on all the while we worked on it.

Next time... I think maybe we'll try a curry version of the risotto, perhaps paired with some sort of mango gelatin topped with marshmallows or coconut... So many possibilities! NOM!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

279. I Should Be Reading History Right Now

Oh hai.
I am having the most slack-ass week. In fact, Lexi! I am so sorry! As soon as I post this, I will reply to your email, because I am a bad person and have not taken the time to respond yet, and your spring break is probably over and I am a bad friend.

Ok, so it's 9:30. On a Thursday.
I'm still waiting to get a call from my new landlord saying the dishwasher is in, and I can have my keys now. I expect to hear from him by tomorrow. If he doesn't call, I'm going to call him, which might be tricky considering I'll have to sift through all the random numbers in my recent calls list and probably call a bunch of wrong numbers before I reach the right one. Whatever.

Today is Cosmonaut Day. My Wizard just informed me of this; I didn't know. Now I'm drinking another Cosmo in honor of the whole thing, and I think a second is on the way.

I should be reading about the Old South and slavery, 1830-1860. I'm not.
But I will.
Right after this, and an email to Lex.
I will do that, and I will take this test.
But test tomorrow.

This has been a super slacker week...I'm recovering from amazing and I haven't really had the energy to devote to school. I feel bad about that and burnt out at the same time. Mostly, I want to bake things and eat those things, and I am pent up from sitting at a desk all the time. I hate my cubicle.

Last night I was a vegetable who drank two Cosmos, played Civ and passed out to Civ's ocean sounds until 3:18am. It's kind of sad when the Wizard isn't around. Normally, we'd pass out on each other watching PBS, wake up by 2, then go to bed, but I was alone. Until 3:18, when I finally dragged my carcass to bed.

I heard this band on KDHX on my way home from yoga today. They remind me of Belle and Sebastian, also Camera Obscura. I'm intrigued.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

278. Very Cosmopolitan

This past weekend was incredible. It was long, and exhausting, and I definitely needed another day off from work afterward, which I didn't get. I entertained like mad, and I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it. I remembered that I love people. And those people remembered they love people too, and we all gathered together in a giant room, spread the love around, and drank premium cocktails in fancy outfits. It was GREAT.

Besides all the hugs and catching up, I killed myself in power yoga, saw a movie I never saw the first time around, with an awesome girl who had also never seen it (Titanic in 3d, with Anna B). Drank a Singapore Sling at one of my favorite bars, with a fantastic man from Texas (Joe!). Baked Anna-Banana Walnut Muffins in her honor for breakfast. Played with balloons! Took hilaaaarious cover photos with the girls in my non-band (Anna and Laurel). Danced my tooshie off to Outkast, thanks to a shot I named Dancing Juice, created by a super nice bartender named Dick. Talked music with a drummer (Scott!) and had a really genuine conversation with another Scott for the first time since I've known him. Tried a great new diner I've been curious about forever (Courtesy on Kingshighway). Broke into a boys' dorm called Ayres, my (and my pals') former home (not all of us were living there "legally"). Climbed down the fire escapes and explored the third floor. Went up in the Arch for the second time. Ate choco-pie in a shifty bar while my windshield was replaced...


Now it's back to real life. I start my new job on the 30th.
We're hoping to sign the lease on our new apartment this week, and get started moving our stuff.
I'm debating my course load for fall semester...

In all of this flurried activity, I have not run in a week. I crave musical expression in the form of my viola. I'd really like to go to a bookstore and shop for poetry books. I'd also love to read a novel I picked, instead of a textbook. But all in due time. For now, I'm going to drink this Cosmo and geek out to Sid Meier's Civilization.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

277. Today is Not Cool.

Left work two hours early to study for my math test.
I have studied every day this week, for hours, for my math test.
I don't know my score yet, but I know I didn't do well.

Not sure when the exact moment occurred, but at some point in the last week or two, things stopped making sense. Nothing is sticking anymore and everything looks the same. New concepts are being completely confused with old ones, so that looking at any given equation, I'm overwhelmed and have no idea how to solve it.
I'm officially struggling.
I expected an A from myself, but I'm pretty sure that isn't possible anymore. At this point, I'll be relieved if I make it out alive with a B, and am scared it's quickly turning into a C.  

Oh, and I shredded and thoroughly greased my pant leg on my bike ride home.
I really like these pants.

The past three weeks, have been increasingly frustrating. I'm reaching the point that I just want to quit. The easy math class is suddenly impossible. I'm beginning to have a sense of what I might want to major in, but my work schedule is making it really difficult to plan my fall semester. I feel burnt out. I miss having free time that isn't accompanied by the guilt of sacrificing time I should be studying.

But no.
I won't quit.
I couldn't.

Not on Rex Manning day.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

276. Movin' On Up

Yes, that was seriously a Jeffersons reference.

We've found a new apartment! So exciting!
We actually went to look at it on Saturday, but I wanted to wait until the application had been approved before making any announcements.

I have to qualify this by saying that I am in love with my current apartment, except that it has some very unpleasant features. Those amenities are as follows:

  • It is located in the ghetto.
  • There is a crack dealer who routinely sells drugs on the side of my house, sometimes as many as 6 times in a single day.
  • My downstairs neighbor is a slob whose belongings are strewn everywhere in the basement, so that we have almost no where to keep our stuff. 
  • My downstairs neighbor owns the two most asshole little dogs I have ever met. They rarely stop barking. 
  • The street which intersects mine (I live on a corner) looks to be residential, but is actually a major thoroughfare. People with crazy loud stereos like to drive 60 miles an hour down it. Also, large numbers of semi trucks pass my house during the wee hours of the morning, when I am trying to sleep.
  • The building next to mine is empty and boarded up. Stray cats and homeless people occasionally sleep there.
The new apartment is virtually the same shotgun-style layout as our current place, with the same amenities, only in a better neighborhood, and in walking distance to the best park in town, coffee shops, restaurants, bars, and the library. I will miss the exposed brick, but I am in love with the exceptional quantities of closet space we're gaining. It has a big deck overlooking what I find to be a prettier backyard, too. Plus, the basement is massive, and virtually empty. So much space for bicycles to live in!

So we're super pleased. The apartment is getting a dishwasher installed next week, and I think we get to sign the lease right after.

Cannot. Wait.

    Monday, April 2, 2012

    275. So Ashamed.

    In a post-math class freak out, after realizing that I missed ANOTHER homework assignment, I decided I better go shopping. I need accessories for my reunion dress, even though I'm still not sure I'm actually going to wear it. But I probably will.

    Target has failed me again. Don't get me wrong, it's full of lovely things. Just none of the lovely things that I happen to be looking for. Unfortunately, it's the only department store besides JC Penney anywhere near my home, and I loathe JCP.

    I left the Target, and as I was walking back to my car, the grocery store caught my eye. Suddenly, I realized I was ravenously hungry, and before I knew it, I was sitting in my car, shoving cold grocery store fried jumbo chicken drumsticks in my face. Because of me, some chicken out there has no LEGS!

    It felt so dirty. After the first few bites, I was so ashamed, I pulled out of my parking space and began driving home.
    But I kept stuffing my face.
    All I could think of was what everyone must be thinking as they passed me. I tried to negotiate my speed so that I was never directly next to anyone. I felt like Delta Burke on a bad day, and yet I loved every horrifying second of it. I was simultaneously delighted and disgusted with myself. There were crumbs everywhere. The grease settling into my clothes as little bits fell onto my lap...


    I need to admit this just happened for a few reasons. A, I don't want to do that ever again. B, I don't even eat MEAT most of the time. I'm not a vegetarian by any means, but I would guess I consume a meat product perhaps once every 2 weeks. I had meat on Friday, and this is much too soon.
    MUCH TOO SOON. C, All I want is to look fantastic on Saturday, and I seem to be subconsciously sabotaging that. What gives?


    Sunday, April 1, 2012

    274. T-minus 5

    Rough day.
    I'm stressing about my math class...I've plummeted from an A, and I'm really worried I won't be able to pull it up again. I sort of freaked out earlier. I have a test Wednesday, and I feel very behind. But I spent the better part of the day studying, and I'm beginning to feel a little better.

    I took Frank for a run to blow off some stress, and it turned into an epic run. I never needed a second wind; the more I ran, the more energy I had. I was literally sprinting up hills.
    I ran a full three miles, and for the first time ever, I ran the entire way around the park.
    My shins are sore, but I'm delighted.

    Surreal moment of the day:
    Frank and I were just getting out of the car after our run, when we were passed by three grown men driving go-karts, with flags mounted on the back. Paired with the constant circling of the ice cream truck lately, I have to wonder if my neighbor is being converted into an amusement park...

    Great Expectations is on Masterpiece Theater right now. I read it in high school English class, and I absolutely hated it. But the Masterpiece version is so delicious, I've been sucked in. I may have to give Mr. Dickens a second chance..
    Miss Havisham isn't nearly as old as I pictured her, either. I really like what they did with her character. It's just too bad that they aren't showing it all in one piece. Pip's about to leave for London, and they cut it off.
    Speaking of PBS, if you haven't seen

    I made cinnamon rolls for the first time this morning. The recipe is awesome, but I only had Fleischmann's pizza crust yeast. Pizza crust is really the only yeast bread I ever make. I figured it would be ok...but I learned about an hour in, waiting for the dough to rise, that pizza yeast doesn't actually rise. At all.
    So we had extremely chewy, dense, cinnamon rolls. Even fully baked, they had the consistency of raw dough. 

    One more week until reunion times. I'm alternating between wanting this week to go by quickly, and desperately needing more time. Anna is staying with us all weekend, and arrives Thursday night. This means I need to have all of my homework finished beforehand, and that's going to be tricky. In fact, I should really get back to studying.