Monday, July 30, 2007

And now I present to weekend.
I went shopping on Saturday. It was joyful. I had a PINK coupon for free undies with the purchase of a PINK item from VS, and $5 off any hoodie. Naturally, I bought a green hoodie that says Pink Mustangs on the back, a little nightie with rosebuds on it, and some more sweet lounge pants that have elastic so they sit around the knee sort of like baseball trousers, only without all the complication. My free undies have stripes.
I also went and bought a tee shirt at Forever 21 that is cream-colored and has a bird made out of words on it. I found it on the website on recon, and then had to look at basically every tee shirt in the store before I found it, about ten feet away from where I'd started my search and where a shop girl told me it would probably be in the back. The shirt was three feet away from her, as it turns out, though under a set of different shirts altogether. There were only two left, which suggests they probably had more at one point, which suggests the girl does not know their stock very well.
I also went to Hot Topic, which at this point remains the only place I have been to that has any Harry Potter memorabilia. I know that's hard to believe, but it's true. I bought two tank tops with Gryffindor and Order of the Phoenix pictures, and some new Magic Notebooks for conferencing. I was very excited about this.

I returned home and got some groceries, preparing for an experiment in stirfry. The challenge? Tofu. Cook's had info on this, and I tried it, and let me just say--it didn't work out as well as I'd hoped. The glaze they suggested tasted good, but the prep method was too much mess for me, for a product I was dubious of anyway. Certainly, the chunks were reasonably crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside, that really what I want out of a stirfry? Out of a meat substitute? The answer is no. Tofu will never be one of my favorites, and it will never replace chicken.
I will note that the veggies, which I did with a sweet chili sauce, were very delicious and taste extra nice over couscous, which cooks up a lot faster than rice (I was running late last night).

In other news, shark week started yesterday on The Discovery Channel, and I watched rather a lot of it while I was working on albums, or rather, taking pictures out of albums and putting them in new ones or putting them in piles to figure out where they're going to go. The moral of this story is, if you're planning to stop by, don't expect to find a place to sit. I really wanted to watch Ocean of Fear, but it was on at the same time as Miss Marple, so I'm hoping they play it again.

And that is pretty much it. Good, eh? Now, I have a book about putting poetry collections in order and can't wait to do some real work on this myself.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Beer Happy

Let's talk a little bit about my day yesterday.
First, I was alerted to the fact that I had another poem accepted, this time in Pearl, which is pretty rad.
Now, as I noted in my myspace blog, this means I get a treat, usually a nice dinner and a shopping expedition of some type. So, since I'd finished up some Hamburger Helper yesterday afternoon, last night seemed like the logical time for special dinner. I was a little up in the air; I thought perhaps Poco Piatti carryout, but I'd been meaning to try South Side 6 for a while, because I do love gyros. My laziness won, and so did South Side 6. I checked out their menu online and also noted that they say they have a lot of imported beers. So I thought, why not? Stimmel's hasn't been able to get Blackthorn Dry Cider in yet, despite their regular supply of Lambic. I thought I'd look, and if not, see if they had a bottle of something else delicious to have with dinner.
And would you believe that, as I was scanning the shelves, noting that they also have my Lambic, there it was! Blackthorn, right there on the end.
I scooped up three bottles, bought a gyro and some rice pudding (I was going to get two gyros with the Thursday special, but it turns out those things are massive, so I'm glad I didn't), and couldn't supress my glee at the register as I bounced around at the finding of my London find. See, that's what I had that night I was starving and ate at a pub. It was so refreshing, and I was really hoping I could get it in America. And now I can! Woot!
Dinner was great. I made some feta-tomato-olive salad to eat with some pita chips I had, ate half a gyro and some rice pudding, and saved the rest for my post-run dinner tonight.
I also finished my dupioni skirt, while I was at it. It's pretty :) The hem sucks, but I think if I press it properly you won't be able to tell from outside.
I'm a little conflicted now, because I will need to patronize both Stimmel's and South Side 6 to support local businesses that have alcohol I enjoy. But it was also pretty awesome to just see what I'd been searching for right there on the shelf.

And then it stormed.

In other news, I am still working fo' reals on my poetry manuscript, and I am anxiously awaiting a book of essays all about putting such a thing in order. I see that the library has received the Ohiolink stuff, but I have to wait for an email. I half want to go over there and just make them dig through everything to gimme my book! (Did I mention that I actually said "gimme gimme gimme" to the mailman when he brought me my book? Because I did. Out loud.)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

If you're a channel flipper like me, and you pause frequently in the general arena of the Discovery Channel, then you may be familiar with a little show called How It's Made. I landed there this afternoon, and boy, I was not disappointed, because I enjoyed a five-minute lesson on how sanitary pads are made.
Yes, an even, engaging male voice informed me that they were invented as a result of World War I, and that the cellulose and something else I can't remember are mixed and molded into pads of different shapes, thicknesses, and sizes depending on the rate of menstrual flow. I watched the machines at work in total fascination, and then that blessed man informed me that to put on the pad, one has to remove the adhesive tabs from the back of the pad, and from the sides, which are called "wings."
All humor aside, I was pretty fascinated by the machines that do this essential many parts. It reminded me of Edward Scissorhands' house, or the make-breakfast machine in Pee Wee's Big Adventure. Whoever designed that machine, I hope he or she gets drinks bought for him or her on a regular basis.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I had to laugh as, one by one, each of my heavily reading, fellow Potter fans emerged blurry-eyed and content but exhausted from their days in seclusion. How do I know? Because each of us wrote essentially the exact same thing on our blogs, in different ways. I was the only one who brought up Muggle-Repelling, though.

In other news, I got some more prints of my niece and am enjoying putting together a little brag book! Finding photo pages is proving difficult, so I'm using a cute little album I bought, very simple, for the time being. The kid is cute, believe me.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Finite Incantatum

The Muggle-Repelling charms I cast over myself through the weekend are officially lifted as of 11:30 this morning. I'm still a little far inside my own little world right now, as I usually get when I read nonstop for ages, but it is safe to speak to me again. I might not be able to see you though, my eyes being what they are just now, which is tired.

Friday, July 20, 2007

On Your Mark...Get Set...

It's almost time! The laundry is done and will be folded and put away tonight. Potato salad will be made. Dishes will be washed. Cherries will be washed and chilled in the fridge. Self will be jogged and washed super-clean. House will be tidy...okay, maybe not that last one.
I will be up as early as possible for me and staring out the screen door, watching for Mr. UPS. Come to me, O fateful book!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

HP 5 for the first time

Carrie has given an accurate rundown of our eventful trip to see HP 5, so I won't rehash it here. Suffice it to say that I need to see the movie again in less distracting conditions.
There were specific things that jumped out at me that I either liked or disliked, which is normal, but I couldn't really get an overall impression of how much I liked the adaption. Obviously, I liked it, but I don't know where it stands on the overall schema of HP films. As in, I will buy the DVD, but I am not sure how often I will watch it in comparision to others yet.
Some impressions: They put in my absolute favorite part of dialogue from the book, which is the "emotional range of a teaspoon" part, and there were a few sets that absolutely perfectly lived up to my vision, while others were different but pleasantly surprising.
I'm not sure I enjoyed the representation of Grimmauld Place...does anyone else have that problem? I know that they wanted to make it claustrophobic, but even so I was expecting something more psychological, and still a mansion. The Family Tree rocked, though.
I am unsure about the physical representation of Grawp. Also, I felt that Umbridge's role took over the movie too much. It became too much about her rather than about the power struggle and the tension. I recognize that subtlety isn't always possible in a film, of course, but I would have rather seen it be a bit slicker, particularly in regard to her interaction with the staff. Her character itself, though, was very well represented by Staunton, as was her office and everything that goes on there. She was just in too many scenes by herself, or taking over them too much, even considering her growing influence. Just too blunt.
On a more positive note, how much do I love Ginny's character? I love that she has become this small but fierce, creative and destructive force. I thought her role was nicely balanced. I loved seeing the DA in action, and even though he's mean, Filch and Mrs. Norris always bring a smile to my face. Especially when he's sneaky-walking (which reminds me--I thought of that during the film, and then had a dream about sneaky-walking, which is a Bob Fosse dance thing that I happen to do well).
Regarding the duel: Loved the coordination of it, hated when they were sort of flying around in smoke form. What was that? To me, that spells effects cop-out. I liked it much better when you could see the characters battling it out, which was far more impressive.
Did anyone else notice how much Percy Weasley looks like a gangster? Was that intentional?
Also, did anyone else's heart sort of melt when Fred and George were trying to comfort that kid? I heart them.
I will also note that, having recently been to London, I got an extra big kick out of seeing it in the film. I was IN that Underground station, for goodness sake.
So, that's it. As you can see, I have some things to puzzle over and re-view, literally, but I was able to gather up a number of good impressions as well.
And now, the re-reading of HP 6 continues as I prepare for zero hour. Tomorrow, Meijer for stocking the house, Friday, the preparation of food and mild cleaning. Saturday, it's on.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Has anyone had this happen?: Normal-seeming mosquito bites, but then they turn very dark red, and look exactly like a strawberry birthmark? I can't figure it out...usually I get plain or pink welts in Michigan and small red bumps in Ohio, but these just seem weird.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

It's a beautiful day out, but I am not having a very good day. How can this be?

Friday, July 06, 2007

More Culinary Adventures/Fireworks/Smores/Quilting/HP

So, I have some eggs, and for once I'd like to use all my eggs before the date stamped on the carton. I start looking for recipes that are egg related in a cookbook that my aunt gave me, which has some rather fancy dishes in it. I'm thinking about terrines, but then I find this recipe for leek, chicory, and nut pancakes.
I have no leeks, nor chicory. But I do have some summer squash and zucchini I'd frozen, half a bag of frozen pepper stir fry, and some leek and morel cheese. Doesn't that sound good?
So I made the pancakes, which were actually more like crepes, except they had corn meal in with the flour and chili powder, and I also added a couple shakes of cinnamon just to be a little crazy. I'm a pretty decent crepe maker for a total amateur. I flip when I can, and while they occasionally get overbrowned, they also taste good. While this was going on I sauteed the vegetables and cubed the cheese, as instructed--because even though I'm completely changing a recipe, I still like to do what it says. And when the pancakes have cooled and softened, I put some of the veggies and cheese on each one, folded it, put it in a baking dish, then threw it all in the oven for fifteen minutes at 400.
Result? Awesome. I'm telling you, it was good. I ate a little too much, to be honest, but since I was about to walk to the fireworks, it really didn't matter.
I had four leftover pancakes, and last night I slathered them in butter and cinnamon sugar, chopped up some frozen peaches, and did my best to whip up some cream (it really didn't work), assembled it all, and ate half for dessert. These pancakes, you see, work both as a savory dish and as a "pudding" as the Brits would call it.
It was awesome.

So, this year I went to the fireworks. It's the first time I actually went further than a parking lot a few blocks away since I have been here. In fact, I went all the way to the hill outside the rec center and sat there, in the grass, smiling and laughing like a little kid. They were pretty neat, and it helped that I was far enough away that they weren't right over me, but close enough so I could see everything. Special favorites included the golden fountainy one, the one that looked like pistils shooting out of a flower, and everyone's favorite, the huge one that looked like it was disappearing and then came back as millions of gold dots. There were also a few that weren't splashy to look at, but that were obviously incredibly well timed. There's a lot of artistry to firework creation, and I had plenty of time to reflect on that.

After that, I got a call from Carrie, and headed over to enjoy sparklers, S'mores, and their awesome firepit. How relaxing is that?

Today, I finished the quilt I've been working on and handed it off to the dry cleaner (fingers crossed, as always), so now I'm free....FREE! work on my skirt if I want. My poofy, pretty, blush-colored Dupioni skirt. Or, take a night off. Whatever.

As Carrie notes, the HP countdown continues. I'm now reading HP 6 in preparation for book 7 to arrive on my doorstep (oh my gosh! what if it rains that day! aaaah!) but I can't wait until the movie next week, either. I've been thinking a lot about these two things, and I'm quietly slavering for both. I have purposely avoided almost all articles about movie 5 and book 7. It's a slow start to my temporary drop off the planet.
The preparation begins.