sarea: (mulan)
The pets and I did not have a good night last night. I had a rare night where I had trouble falling asleep, so I don't think I fell asleep until about 2am. At some point, Talis woke me up, whining to go outside. Then he woke me up again at some point, because he wanted to get under the covers (when I woke up this morning just his head was outside the covers, like a furry human being, so cute). I could not believe it when my alarm went off at 6:30 ... and then at 7:30 ... >.> It was so dark outside!!

Sooooo I was too late to catch the bus, which actually turned out to be a good thing because I have my annual physical this afternoon that I totally spaced on, so I needed my car. Driving into work, my XM Weather thingy kept saying "Extreme weather detected nearby" while I was trying to groove to Glee's Rocky Horror album, and I was like "OMG shut up!" but didn't know how to make it stop. I guess right now Seattle is beset on all sides by snowstorms and lightning strikes and monsoons and locust swarms and God knows what else.

While I would never try to claim the title of Biggest Merlin Fan Ever, I think this at least qualifies me for contention: I've purchased the region 2 DVD sets from Amazon UK, and have also gotten myself a multi-region DVD player in order to play them. Before doing that, however, I wasted a bunch of time trying to hack my current DVD player to be region free (nothing I found online actually WORKED, thanks for nothing, Internets), because I thought multi-region players were like $750 or something. Turns out, not so much.

Also? The Amazon UK site is adorable. It's all, "shopping basket" this and "dispatch to this address" that. And then there are like, different prices (all in pounds, so it's not a conversion thing) listed for the Merlin sets on different pages of the site, and then when you check out, the prices are entirely different again! LOL.

I think partly why I was having trouble sleeping last night was because my ears were cold. I somehow don't have any hoodies in my possession anymore. Looks like I'm going to have to get one for sleepy time.
sarea: (lucille pissed)
I love Tippr/Groupon. Today I bought a voucher for an hour-long massage for $35. I haven't had a proper Swedish massage in like 7 months. Plus because it reached its maximum value we all get a free neck pillow.

===

It turns out that I'm likely not going on the Portland trip over July 4 after all. K. isn't sure she wants to go anymore, and to be honest I wasn't super keen on it either. Maybe that's why I was so blase about booking Talis into his usual kennel, which apparently has a one-week cancelation policy during peak periods (May-Sept). It's actually probably a good thing that I didn't, given the uncertainty K.'s experienced now, otherwise I'd be out a deposit. I could still try to get him in, if they decide they want to go at the last minute, but there's no guarantee. I also wasn't looking forward to leaving Jaime home alone for ~4 days. I was going to travel by train, though, which would have been fun. Anyway, it's looking unlikely at this point, which I think is all for the best. I think I'm still going to take tomorrow off, because, why not? I have like 8 weeks' worth of vacation to use this year. O.o

===

More Jaime weirdness. Actually, I don't know if it's really weirdness, as I've never had a cat before. But it's weird to me because of things I've read and been told about cats!

A litterbox story. )

===

My dad's not a foodie like me. Mostly he just likes certain things and a certain way of preparing those things. While he was here we went to a number of places, but only two really stood out: Fatburger and Chandler's Crabhouse.

On burgers and overpriced seafood. )

===

TV Show Meme: Day 07 - Least favorite episode of your favorite TV show

Since I used Glee as my favorite TV show for the last question, I'll stick with it for the sake of consistency. My least favorite episode by FAR was the finale. It sucked. It was rushed and incohesive, and a glaring wart on an otherwise blemish-free season (mostly). It was not worthy of such a brilliant and fun show.

===

Next Friday is K.'s eldest's 5th birthday party, and they're celebrating by renting Molly Moon's ice cream truck to serve ice cream to all of C.'s little friends. Now, this may sound like she's super spoiled, but that's not the case. K. and D. just seem to be able to find fun and original activities to make things special, rather than just going with the tried and true like everyone else in their parenting group does. The cost of the ice cream truck isn't actually that much, and they're not serving anything else at the party or renting bouncy houses, and they've asked that no gifts be brought. The kids are just going to play at the park and have ice cream. But not a lot of people would have investigated the option to do anything but the usual -- the parties all seem alike, with hot dogs/burgers, kids' fruit juice, and the ubiquitous mountain of Safeway cupcakes that is supposed to resemble one big cake, but is easier because you don't have to slice it, you can just pull cupcakes out (and they taste like crap, btw).
sarea: (lady gaga)
The subject line says it all.

Someone's slowing down the Internet. Whoever you are, stop it. Last night I was having issues at home, and now I'm having issues at work! Grr!

Toy Story 3: Loved it. Saw it at the Pacific Science Center IMAX with my dad. It was in 3D, but I have weird eyes and I rarely can actually see 3D shapes. Mostly it just looks "normal" or the slight feeling that I'm going cross eyed. But if I take the glasses off then the screen's blurry.

I haven't had Jaime that long, obviously, so I'm still learning about him. In some ways, he's really turned my assumptions about cats upside down. For instance, he's a really friendly cat who really likes people, as far as I can tell, and is bolder than most cats I've heard about. I mean, he was mingling with me and Talis from like day one, instead of hiding under things to scope out the sitch. I thought he might make himself scarce when my dad was here, but he didn't hide at all, even at the beginning, though my dad was a total stranger. I wouldn't have blamed Jaime for being alarmed at the intruder and cautiously hid until he felt more safe... but he didn't. He started sitting on my dad's lap the very first day, and showed no extra alarm at being confronted by another strange human being.

I made my poor man's version of Kom Tang again. It's just so easy and delicious! It's gotten chilly again here, so hot soup is actually quite fitting. I also made Marion Cunningham's raised waffles. It takes more effort than normal waffles because you have to prepare the batter the night before (and let it rise overnight), but it makes for the lightest, fluffiest, most delicious waffles! They've got a slightly yeasty scent, and when they're cooking it actually smells like bread baking. But they're waffles through and through.

TV Show Meme: Day 06 - Favorite episode of your favorite TV show

It doesn't specify which "favorite" TV show (I mean, the whole list practically is listing your "favorites"), so I'll speak to favorite show of the moment, Glee. My favorite episode so far has been the Lady Gaga episode. Not only was the Gaga homage/number super fun, but there were other great scenes... the one between Kurt/Burt/Finn, Puck singing "Beth," Finn dressed in the red shower curtain, lolol. This ep made me laugh AND cry!
sarea: (tomato)
Strawberries! So many strawberries are suddenly developing nice color in my tiny little patch, it's awesome. And today I saw, for the first time, A TINY LITTLE TOMATO!!!! Eee! Here's hoping this decent weather holds out. It's not super warm today but at least the sun is out. I haven't been able to take pictures recently but I'm going to soon. Right now I'm still trying to decide if I should just cut my garlic scapes now or not. Most of them have one loop, and I wanted to wait for them to develop two loops, but it's slow going.

Got my car back from the body shop today with its repainted door. Looks good. But then, it looked good the first time too, and the darkening of the color didn't happen until after a few months. Hopefully I'll get a good deal on another car this weekend and then I can just turn this one in.

On the pet front, things are going better. They're definitely at least tolerating each other at this point, even if they don't play or anything. I am getting a bit stressed about Jaime's eating habits, however. In that, HE WON'T STOP EATING. He constantly wants food. He's a cat food fiend. I really wanted to free feed him, but I can't because he just eats everything I give him in a short amount of time. At first I was feeding him 1/2 cup dry cat food (with 1-2 tbsps of wet cat food) twice a day. The vet thought that 1 cup of food was a lot for him (he's 10 lb, 10 oz, which she says I want to keep him at). I was just going off of what it says on the package, which is 1/2-1 cup of food for cats between 10-14 lbs. But the package also recommends free feeding, to put that much food in the dish once a day. If I did that, Jamie would be done with it in a few hours and then be starving the rest of the time! I've cut his food down to 1/3 cup, twice a day (for a total of 2/3 cup per day), but he polishes it off very quickly, even when I don't put any wet food in the dish. So I don't know what to do. I don't want to put him on a path to become obese, which leads to other health problems, but neither do I want him to go hungry (he's always meowing for food). The other stressful thing is that if he eats like this, I don't know if I can go out of town for a couple of days and just leave him a pile of food. He'll probably just eat it all on the first day and then starve the rest of the time! Have any of you cat owners ever experienced this with your kitties? What did you do?

Since my dad arrived the day before, we have so far had Chinese food and Fatburger, lol. Their cajun chicken sandwich is actually quite delicious, and my dad really enjoyed his mushroom swiss burger.

TV Meme, Day 03 - Your favorite new show (aired this TV season)

I think it's pretty obvious that I'm going to say Glee. I just love it. Okay, the season finale was bad, but in general, this show makes me Smile with a capital S. The storylines are pretty trite and many of the characters are annoying, but for all that, it's almost always fun and frequently brilliant. I generally like the music they feature and I love that they're getting super talented guest stars. My favorite character is, of course, Sue Sylvester, because no one can touch Jane Lynch. I'm glad the show's already been picked up for two more seasons; it's so rare that a show I like doesn't need mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to get it renewed that I am a little afraid Glee is going to start becoming a show I won't like (aka, if they do more episodes like the season finale).
sarea: (trio)
Glee finale spoilers. )

Things have improved a bit on the doggie/kitty front, though I fear it's one of those things where NO ONE is really happy and everyone's getting a bit of the shaft. Talis still isn't happy about Jaime being around and probably feels like I am transferring my affection; Jaime is in a totally new environment with a housemate who threatens him at intervals; I'm stressing out about how to make them both feel loved and happy. Still, we had a good night last night so I'm hoping that will continue. A few cute/funny photos of Jaime sleeping. )

I have now used my Actifry twice. Once to make French fries, and last night to make these Korean-style crispy, sweet, and spicy chicken wings. Verdict: the Actifry does NOT duplicate the texture of deep-fried foods, as much as I wish it did. It more... emulates it. It does crisp things up, however it's more like oven crisp (but more evenly done). Still, for the little effort it takes to make something and with only 1 tbsp of oil, it's worth it. YMMV.

Finally, I was super productive yesterday. I made trellises for my square-foot garden with the nylon netting I bought online! I am pretty proud of myself. Now all I need is for the sun to come out and have some plants grow big enough to use them. I am going to try to transplant my indoor seedlings this weekend. Pictures of the trellises! )
sarea: (betty draper)
So... things have deteriorated on the doggie/kitty front. The neverending Talis/Jaime saga. )

I totally ordered a webcam yesterday so that I can install it and spy on Talis and Jaime while I'm away.

I guess tonight is supposed to be the Glee finale? Seems odd. It seems like barely any build up for what is supposed to be a big showdown. I mean, VA was shown as 'the impossible team to beat' from the very first episode.

Has anyone else heard of the Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson? The first book is called The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I'm thinking about buying the trilogy because I'm like #489 on the holds list at the library, and something equally ridiculous on Paperback Swap.

OMG and I have overdue books at the library. This is the first time it's happened and I don't even know HOW. I'm usually very good about that kind of thing. I feel like such a bad member of society.

Stuff

Jun. 3rd, 2010 12:31 pm
sarea: (quinn/puck)
I haven't ventured out to look at the garden in a couple of days due to the rainy weather, and yesterday when I visited again I was devastated to see that the zucchini -- which had sprouted beautifully and had been doing so well -- was wilted and pretty much gone. The stem looked like it'd been eaten away or rotted away or I don't even know what. The last time I saw it, it'd been fine, and you would think that if it was due to bugs they would have eaten it long before now. So I just don't know what happened. But it was like, one of the most promising things in the bed and now it's gone. Cry. I planted another seed, but who knows if that will really come to anything given that it's already JUNE. I have little baby strawberries as I've decided not to do what everyone recommends and am not cutting back the fruit/blossoms in this, the plants' first year. I'm just not hardcore enough. All I want to do is to be able to grow some stuff and see some results THIS season, not next year.

Tonight am going to a sports bar with J. I was totally perplexed when she called and asked if I wanted to see "the game" with her. "What game?" She seemed totally shocked that I didn't know. "Lakers/Celtics!!" I know I should be all about the Lakers, being from LA and all, but honestly don't give a hoot about any pro sports at all. Still, I love sports bars (though they're more fun when a collegiate game is on).

For ages I've been wanting to make coconut ice cream and mango sorbet and marble them together, as David Lebovitz does in The Perfect Scoop. I finally got around to making the bases last night, and let me tell you, you'd think that making 2 ice creams to go together would be twice the trouble of making 1 ice cream, but it's not. It's like 10x the trouble.

Thanks to Tippr I now have $25 worth of vouchers to What the Pho! for $10. I have to admit that I've always been curious about it.

According to UPS my Actifry is supposed to arrive tomorrow. I CAN'T WAIT. I don't know whether I will first make fries or this.

Caught up on Glee. :D 'Funk' spoilers. )
sarea: (lady gaga)
TONIGHT'S GLEE OMG (THEATRICALITY) )

Also, did you know that Heather Morris, aka Brittany, is a professional dancer, and went on tour with Beyonce as one of her two backup dancers? She was originally hired for Glee to teach the Single Ladies dance to the actors (for the episode Preggers). They just so happened to need a 3rd cheerleader, and that's how she got the role even though she'd never acted professionally before. It does explain why she's in like every dance number (same with Harry Shum Jr., aka Mike Chang, who was in those iPod commercials with the dancing silhouettes). Check out 'Brittany' dancing with Beyonce! )
sarea: (quinn/puck hands)
I woke up this morning at 7:33. My bus leaves at 7:55. I scooped Talis off the bed -- he was barely waking himself -- and took him to the yard myself, as I didn't have time for his usual shenanigans. Then I did everything in record speed, considering it also takes me like 10 minutes to drive to the pick-up area. Somehow I made it, but let's just say, I've looked better. Also in the rush I forgot to turn on the Grow light for the seedlings, oops.

Last night I finished reading Jinx by Meg Cabot. It suffers from what a lot of Meg's later works suffer from, which is that it's based too much on a gimmick. It was entertaining enough, but the guy and gal were pretty much the same as all of her protagonists, stuff was glossed over, etc. It would actually have been a really interesting premise if it could have been fleshed out a bit, maybe made into a trilogy or something, rather than rushed through in one novel, but that just doesn't seem to be Meg's thing.

If you haven't been following along, all the stories and artwork for the [community profile] dgficexchange have been posted! Lots of great stuff to enjoy, so if you haven't already, go check it out! You can nominate your favorites for awards here until May 31.

OMG Lady Gaga episode of Glee tonight. This is one of those rare occasions where I regret not having cable in my room. I just had to look up the time it airs. I don't even know what channel Fox is here, lol. I think my downstairs TV has extremely basic cable though, I might be able to watch it there, if I remember. Otherwise I'll just have to hope that Hulu gets it up quickly.

What's happening in North Korea is seriously scaring me. I'm normally a live and let live sort of person, but in this case I feel like exercising that sort of mentality would just be asking to be nuked in our sleep. Crazy, evil effing people are running that country. It'd make me super uneasy to live in South Korea right now...
sarea: (quinn/puck)
This weekend I Gleeked out and rewatched the first 13 episodes, plus the newest 6 that I hadn't seen. It's like the best show ever. Spoilers. )

So I saw Robin Hood. I can't in good conscience recommend it. It was just too all over the place and nonsensical. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is still all the Robin Hood I need, though if I could I would totally switch the actors playing Robin and Marian. Morgan Freeman and Alan Rickman made PoT great.

For K.'s birthday dinner D. made linguine with clams. It was so good and so easy I made it again, with a few tweaks. Posted about it on my food blog.

I'm halfway through Black Powder War and started Jinx by Meg Cabot. It's one of the 527901354102 books she's written in the last few years that I haven't yet read. She's too prolific; I can't keep up with her. She writes as many books as I read. It's kind of ridiculous.

The handyman came on Saturday and fixed the toilet and two tubs, installed a peep hole (though unfortunately he went a bit higher than we agreed and it's a bit too high for me), and sprinkled moss killer over the roof. He got everything done in under 2 hours. I'm pretty pleased. That was really a $45 well spent (plus $15 for materials) -- not only did I get all that stuff I've been wanting fixed, fixed, but now I know a decent go-to handyman!

It's gotten so cold here that it's almost like we've been in fall and now it's approaching winter. People on [community profile] gardening are showing pictures of their first tomato HARVESTS and here in the Pacific NW most people don't even have their tomato plants in the ground yet. It's pathetic.
sarea: (Default)
I hate Facebook. I don't know how it got to be as ubiquitous as it is, with everyone using it, but it has a long, long, LONG way to go in terms of reliability. I constantly have problems with weird connections, randomly ordered posts, errors on pages, etc. I don't even know why I play stupid games like Farmville, but I do. Damn my eyes!

I thought it was going to be all difficult this year to watch all the best picture nominees, as I try to do every year, because they expanded the field to 10, but I just checked the list and it turns out, I've seen 9/10 of them. O.o Only one I'm missing is The Hurt Locker, but I'm very interested in that one and will see it before the Oscars for sure. Some possibly spoilery commentary on the ones I've seen. )

I'm also vaguely interested in seeing Crazy Heart, since Jeff Bridges is the favorite to win best actor for that role.

I've rewatched the first 13 eps of Glee. I just love that show.

Knock on wood, but it's been the mildest winter for Seattle on record -- well, you know, my unofficial record. I don't know if it actually is. But since I moved here 10 years ago, I'm pretty sure it is. I mean, 50°F in February? Crazy! I think other parts of the country have taken all our bad winter weather this year. I've barely had to turn on my heater, when usually during the winter it's on constantly.

I actually did my taxes early this year. Usually I put it off and put it off until April rolls around, and then I do it all last minute, hunting feverishly for various tax documents I've tossed in random places, usually still unopened. One year I put it off so much I had to file for an extension. Not this year, though! I'm so on top of things! I don't know if it's time for me to get someone to do my taxes or not. I always wonder if I'm stupidly paying way more than I should, just to save a bit of money on tax preparation. This year I am peeved, because I'm getting about the same amount back on my return as I did last year, but paid $2,000 more in taxes. Grrrr. I don't think I did anything wrong, but who the hell knows.

Anyway, I am thinking of using part of my refund to buy a little notebook/netbook, so I can write and do little online things in bed. I'm trying not to be dazzled by all the powerful laptops out there at reasonable prices, because I do not want something heavy (if I did, I wouldn't need to buy one, I have a existing laptop that would serve). Key features are weight, price, then all the other specs. So far, I've narrowed it down to two possibilities: this laptop, or this netbook. I guess the biggest question is whether I want to pay the price difference for the additional features the laptop has.

Wish me luck! I bought 5 pounds of veal bones and am in the process of making a real demi glace (using this method). It takes like 2 days from start to finish, but hopefully the result will be well worth it.
sarea: (Default)
Making little improvements every day. Still have the sniffles and a cough, but I have to do less of each now. Yay. My sense of smell/taste is mostly all back though, so big cheer for that.

I think today I am going to attempt to make cream of broccoli soup for the first time (that wasn't from a can). When done well it's one of my all-time favorite soups, so I hope the recipe I'm planning to use is a winner. The best broccoli soup I've ever had was one they served at Kerckhoff Hall in the coffee shop while I was at UCLA. It came in a bread bowl, which is always a plus, but the soup itself was so. freaking. good. I don't know what supplier they bought it from or what was in it, but I've never had broccoli soup that good before or since.

I have some obvious TV show recommendations to make. Sorry they're so obvious but it's all I've got.

1) Mad Men - Mentioned this in my last post but now I've watched all 3 available seasons and I've solidified my opinion that it's a must-watch show. It's authentic, it's interesting, the characters are rich, etc. The bulk of S3 wasn't as good as the first two seasons, but by the end I was sold and am excited for what's coming next.

2) Glee - I've always had a soft spot for amateur singing groups/show choir type things, possibly because I can't carry a tune and have forever wished that if I could have any talent, it would be to sing. The show is so super fun, even if I find a lot of the characters annoying and/or useless (with the exception of Jane Lynch, who is a comedic goddess). I know that sounds weird. As a whole though, it just works. I've watched all 13 available eps now and miss being able to watch it; I looked forward to every episode.

I also just finished S5 of Lost, which... I enjoyed, but thought was the weakest season. I don't care what they say, some of the stuff that's happened in the past was so not part of some overarching plan. When you have characters going, "Oh yeah, I did that but it was fake/I lied," it's like, okay, yeah, that's them going, we didn't know what we were doing then and this is how we're going to retrofix it. I've also started, at long last, Battlestar Galactica. I'm totally years behind the bandwagon on this one. I avoided it at first because I've just never been into Star Wars/Star Trek-type things, and BSG seemed to be of that ilk. I'm enjoying it so far, so either I've grown more tolerant or it's different somehow. It helps that it's more science fiction than fantasy (more robots, less creatures with prosthetics and purple skin).

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