31 March 2007

apartment hunting sucks

long beach palms @ sunset

i've decided i want to live in bluff heights over in long beach. it's a neighborhood about 1 sq mi in size, and leafy and full of craftsman bungaloes. wen'l and i looked at a place over there this afternoon, and i'm still swooning but trying to tell myself that i'm not going to get it. i think my not working doesn't look real good, and unfortunately i don't have the time to also find a job.

it's hard out there. our choice of neighborhoods is pretty much limited to the southeastern part of town, right along the ocean. the rents on places i've looked at range from $975 to $1500. the low end of that is because i stupidly started my search looking for a 1 bedroom place. i've pretty much come to the conclusion since that we kinda have to have a 2 bedroom. several have greatly exceeded my expectations, but all but 2 were the 1 bedrooms i started with. tiny tiny places with all the period architecture one would expect in this part of town. the floors in a couple of them have just taken my breath away. heart pine makes me swoon.

anyway, it's gonna be a task and ½ to find a place i'm afraid. and then we have to pass muster thru the financial portion of the enterprise. salaries are pretty high around these parts. having 2 in the household would definitely be preferable. neither of us has the best credit in the world (you try being unemployed for a couple years sometimes. it sucks worse than anything short of losing someone close to you.) certain things will become luxuries, and that's alright with me. and, i'm finally gonna quit smoking. no one will allow you to smoke inside the property anymore, and if i were unlazy enough to go outside to smoke now, i'd be doing it.

we all know how badly i need to quit. i need lots of fresh starts, namely a semi-estrangement of indeterminate length with my father. it will be very good for me to not have to deal with him anymore. he's moving to arizona allegedly, and that's more miles than i'd drive to visit him.

the thing i don't quite have figured out yet is if i'd go any more often if my mom was still alive and making this move. i can't quite get over being angry with her. all the crap she allowed to go unchecked with boberto that's currently biting me on the ass. the man has no idea how to pay his bills. checks will be bouncing, things will be late.. i don't think i'm the only person in the world who taught herself to be financially responsible (which is currently also biting me in the ass... my credit problems are not having enough of it. i don't believe in credit cards, but that's another story...). i just figured if i couldn't pay cash for something, i didn't need it.

i live pretty well, but i live well within my means. my grandma and my aunt gripe are the only 2 people i know of on that side of the family that have any sort of grasp on that concept.

fuck... well i feel better having gotten some shit off my chest, but i think it's time to go watch some tivo and have a cocktail. boylan's sugar cane cola (remember what coke was like back in the day? it's like that.) and cruzan estate dark rum. life is too fucking short to drink cheap booze.

29 March 2007

card catalog generator

click on the title of this post to make yer own!

snaps to eden @ http://piggyhawk.wordpress.com for directing me to make my own :)

20 March 2007

more food porn

cookies!! cool disher, no?

the hardest picture i've ever taken.

golden brown and delicious!

18 March 2007

he still has his chops

k i didn't bake this lovely loaf of sesame semolina bread, but it was so purdy that i just had to post a pic.

i won't torture you with the recipe or the procedure... hell, i barely understand how sourdough bread works myself, and i live with the world's bestest amateur baker. suffice it to say, this was the best version of this particular loaf ever.

so, w/o further ado:

sesame semolina loaf, version 2.0

a boy and his bread
can you see why i'll never do the atkins diet? and... can you see why i proposed? i'm gonna cook him a lovely breakfast tomorrow morning, and this is gonna make the best damn toast!

15 March 2007

what i SHOULD be doing

right now is posting the recipe for the penne alla pecoraio i made last night.

hammer and the sickle, the news is at a trickle
the commissars are fickle but the stockpile grows
bombers keep acoming, engines softly humming
the stars and stripes are running for their own big show
another little flare up, storm brewed in a tea cup
imagine any mix up and the lot would go
nothing ever happens, nothing really matters
no one ever tells me so what am I to know

"read about it", midnight oil

what i am doing right now is sitting here sort of ashamed. ashamed that i live in the so-called first world. we keep perpetrating the same bullshit. this time it's the iraqis' turn. i'm sure the cambodians know exactly how they feel.

how many times does this have to happen before we make it stop? and exactly how many of us actually know what's going on in the world? or give a fuck about it? and why is it i haven't given up, seeing that i do? on both counts.

i keep hoping enough of us will say no more. haven't we got enough problems right the fuck here? kids are getting a shittier education than ever, you know. the kids that will be paying for your health care. do you really want to entrust your life to someone who learned nothing more than how to pass some standardized test? that's what will happen you know. there won't be many of them making the big bucks, therefore not kicking up a lot for your premiums. you'll be making do with far less than you should.

the country is falling apart. new orleans is still a wreck. can you believe the dutch, the masters at controlling flooding, offered to come help rebuild and our government turned them down? not enough money, apparently. oh, they can spend half a trillion dollars on their bogus, illegal, immoral war, but they'll be damned if they'll help americans? regular, often not white, hardworking and underpaid americans. who've had to give up their homes and move all over the country to get their lives even halfway back together.

i wish someone could tell me why chimpy and all his cronies are still free to walk amongst the rest of us? fuck being unemployed... how many laws do they get to break?

i heart chris rock

from http://socialitelife.com:

In the latest issue of Life magazine, featuring Chris on the cover, Rock is asked, "Is this country ready for an African American president?" Rock answered, "It's ready for a retarded president, why wouldn't it be ready for an African American president?"

Oh no he didn't!

Rock went on to say that he likes Al Gore, and that he doesn't expect to see a black president in his lifetime.

14 March 2007

talk about labor intensive!

ever watch the sopranos? remember shfweeadell? they're actually called sfogliatelle. they were developed by nuns in napoli... because they had the time to devote to making them. they're certainly tres yummy.

i would recommend not tackling these if you're not very comfortable with pastry, and having some experience laminating dough would definitely be a plus.

so, without further ado:


1 ½ c flour (you may need more tho)
½ c sugar
½ t salt
½ c butter (very cold, cut into small cubes)
1 c ice water
¾ c melted butter or shortening

ricotta filling:

1 lb ricotta cheese
2 t milk
¼ t vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten
¼ c sugar
1 t grated orange zest
1 c mini chocolate chips (optional)

for filling: combine ricotta, milk, egg, sugar and vanilla and run through sieve. add orange peel and chocolate chips, if including. store in refrigerator until ready to use.

for pastry: sift together flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. mix in cold butter with fingers. gradually add enough ice water to hold ingredients together. toss on lightly floured board and knead about 8 minutes or until dough is smooth. cover and set aside in cool place ½ hour.

divide dough into four even parts. roll out each piece with rolling pin on lightly floured board, making rectangular sheets about 20" long. if necessary, pull and stretch dough with hands while rolling, to make tissue thin and almost transparent. brush each sheet and place sheets on top of each other. when four sheets are piled up, brush top with melted butter or shortening. let stand 5 minutes, then roll tightly as for jelly roll. roll in waxed paper. set aside 30 minutes or more in refrigerator.

with sharp knife, cut roll into ½" slices, which will resemble narrow rolls of ribbon. place on board or platter, cover with towel and set aside 15 minutes in cool place. place each slice on palm of left hand. with right thumb on center of roll, gently press through slice so that it forms a ribbed cone; make sure that ribs do not become entirely separated. carefully work around cone with thumb and index finger until it is well shaped, 3-inches across mouth and ½" at tip. press tip together.

fill each cone with 1 heaping T of filling. flatten cones slightly between palms of hands; place on lightly buttered cookie sheet; bake in a preheated 375° oven about 30 minutes or until sfogliatelle are golden color and crisp and filling is firm. remove from oven, cool, dust with confectioners sugar.

04 March 2007

spaghetti with wine and seafood

fyi... the recipe follows the porn.

ready... set... go!

boil, boil, toil and trouble

mise en place.. not much, eh?

about to clamp on the lid!

19,000 BTU's, hard at work

the finished product!

w/o further ado:

1 lb spaghetti
¼ c olive oil
3 shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
¾ c chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1½ c pinot grigio (or any other fairly dry white wine)
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 lb clams, washed
1 t salt (sea salt please!)
1 t freshly ground black pepper
2 c baby arugula

bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. drain pasta.

meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. add the shallots and the garlic and cook for 3 minutes, until tender but not brown. add the sun-dried tomatoes and cook for another minute. add the wine, shrimp, and clams. bring the liquid to a boil. reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the shrimp are pink and the clams have opened, about 5 minutes.

add the spaghetti to the seafood mixture. add the salt and pepper and stir to combine. add the arugula. stir gently and place on a serving platter. serve immediately.

02 March 2007

feeding my addiction

aww... isn't it cute? the coach store is like the nutella of personal accessories to me. i got a catalog from them in the mail the other day and started dreaming up excuses to go to (or past) the south coast plaza. i wanted to snap this bag up while i could.
so when wen'l asked me if i'd like to take him out to dinner between his early shift and his late shift today, i jumped at the chance. i wasn't going to see much of him today if i didn't, and it got me in the vicinity of the mall.
we just walked across the parking lot to el torito. discovered a lovely new margarita though... pomegranate! after i bid wen'l farewell, i hit trader joe's and scored some provisions... pomegranate juice among them.
i will be so glad when daylight savings is in effect. i'll have my husband home during the evenings at long last. you DID know it starts the 2nd weekend in march now, right? apparently, the change would have fucked up any company using a myriad of cisco systems products. thus, my husband and his coworkers will spend the next couple of weeks patching various companies' voip and routing and switching crap.
cisco can toss my salad. how come they couldn't have made these patches easy enough to install that anyone whose knuckles don't drag the ground could have dealt with them? he's not been home most weekday evenings for the better part of a month already. my sex life sucks. his isn't much better *snort*.
i'm pretty sure i speak for both of us when i say self-love in the shower has long since gotten old.
the purse has certainly cheered me up tho :).