1.29.2012

go-go-a-go-go

Best compliment of my week: being told that I looked like "a tomboy go-go dancer" by my coworker. It might not be particularly accurate, but I'm going to make it a point to dress more like that from now on.
(The main parts of dressing like a tomboy go-go dancer, from what I can surmise, are: a short skirt, knee-high stompy boots, thick socks, something chambray or leather, and a big knitted scarf.)

For brunch and theatre-going this weekend:

Chambray shirt, J Crew; knit scarf, Gap; tapestry skirt, Target;
tights & knee-high socks, Uniqlo; boots, vintage.

Muffins for today's brunch are in the oven, coffee's hot, and cava is chilling for mimosas. Weekends are a good time.

1.28.2012

ole

For three straight weeks, I ate at least one taco every single day. On good days, multiple tacos were consumed across multiple meals.
Then last weekend, a bunch of lovely people fed me things all day- things that were not tacos- and so my rather enviable Taco-A-Day in 2012 streak came to a... well, not to an end, but to a pause.


Wouldn't you try to eat this every day, too? Yes, yes you would.
(And surprisingly, it's not an unhealthy breakfast! If you don't use cheese, it's v low-fat, and so full of protein.)

Go to the Mexican grocery. Buy some corn tortillas. Mmmm, corn tortillas!

Spread some refried black beans (the low-fat Goya or La Preferida ones are my favorites, but knock yourself out) onto the tortilla. Put this happy tortilla in the oven for a bit to warm it up. If you have cheese around, put some cheese on it before you put it in the oven.

While your happy tortilla is warming, make an egg over-medium. I just learned to do this (thanks, Ruth!) and it changed my goddamn life.

Get a skillet with a lid. Put some oil or cooking spray or whatnot in the pan, heat over medium heat. Crack an egg into the skillet- don't break the yolk!- and don't touch it. Don't move it. Just let it hang out. After a quick bit, the egg will be set up on the bottom, but the top will have that gross liquidy white still. I hate that. It's disgusting. But now is the magic part!

Get about a teaspoon of water and throw it into the skillet and then slam the lid down. The water will steam the top of the egg and set that white into deliciousness, but the yolk won't get hard (this takes, like, less than a minute. If you have a glass lid for the skillet, you can see that it's done when the egg looks opaque on top. If not... uh, guess.), and you won't fuck up the egg by trying to flip it and break the yolk and then all the joy of an egg over-medium is ruined.

Your tortilla is warm and happy now! And your egg is done! Top the tortilla with the egg (it will slide v nicely out of the pan- if not all the water's boiled off, use a spatula to pick it up, unless you want to get your tortilla all damp. Eew.) Put salsa on top. Maybe mole hot sauce, too. Maybe more cheese? I will not judge you.

MORE TACOS IN 2012!

1.16.2012

goals

Just over two years ago, I made a list of Things To Do. Thirty things, and my deadline was January 14, 2012. Did I do all of them? Of course not- but I am actually quite proud of the ones I have accomplished. I mean, who knew I would actually bike to Indiana and back? Or go surfing?

So, what haven't I done?
  • Learn to drive a stick shift (well, I am working on it. Stacey is giving me lessons!)
  • Have a season subscription to the opera and a dance company
  • Travel somewhere completely new, solo (ok, halfway. But I did travel to Peru last year! Not solo, but.)
  • Take a serious wine-tasting class
  • Complete a mini-triathalon (uh. I started swimming again, that counts for something?)
  • Pick up the tab at the grocery store for someone who needs it
  • Be able to ice skate backwards
  • Visit the catacombs
  • Visit my sister in Hong Kong
  • Watch a game in the new Yankee Stadium
  • Actually decorate my apartment, rather than just putting all my stuff in it and hoping that it might not be too terrible-looking (Everything but my kitchen is done to my satisfaction! Which, ok, is only three rooms. Four rooms, if you count my entry hallway.)
  • Learn to snowboard
  • Spend two weeks eating a Raw Foods diet (Stacey is going to facilitate / shame me for not doing this soon.)
  • Attend a yoga retreat or one of those intense weekend-long yoga workshops
  • Learn basic conversational Spanish
  • Read a book in French (and no, rereading Huis Clos/Le Petit Prince/anything I read in high school or college for French class doesn’t count)
Travel: Hong Kong, France, New York.
Learn: wine, Spanish, better reading in French, manual transmission in ways that will neither kill an engine nor pedestrians/other motorists.
Physical skills: ice skating, snowboarding, more yoga stuff, mini-triathlon.
Aesthetics: decorate kitchen (prospective theme: Junk Science!), opera and dance subscriptions.
Other: buy someone's groceries, raw foods.

I don't know when I'll finally check the last of these off, or how exactly I'm going to pay for things like travel to Hong Kong and France, but it seems a worthy endeavor. At the very least, watching me try to ice skate backwards will be a source of amusement, no?

wig out

Those who know me well (or at all, really) know that when I am really excited about something, I swear a blue streak out of sheer joy.
I've been setting new standards of obscenity for the past few days, which means that everything is fucking spectacular.

On Saturday night, I had a Birthday Drag Ball. I have the kind of amazing friends who say "drag ball? in a former funeral home? absolutely, I'll be there!" and who dress up because costume parties are fun and hey, I'm never ever gonna get all gender-expression-prescriptivist on anyone.
(It should be noted that we were having too much fun to take photos that night. Dancing wildly on a glitter-covered floor did not make me pause and grab my camera, which may be the greatest sign of party success.)

I have the kind of amazing friends who, when I said to Kate and Jarod, who have served as the other two participants in the Winter Birthday Party Triumvirate since I've known them, "so this year, drag ball birthday?", their immediate reaction was "oh hell yes!"

I got to celebrate my thirtieth birthday surrounded by people who talk about wigs, LCD Soundsystem, postmodern literature, Doctor Who, bicycles, classical portraiture, "Watch the Throne", theater, and sparkly eye makeup. I celebrated in a wonderland of cava, hip-hop, sparkles, and pure fucking happiness.

I have the kind of amazing friends who had as much fun as I did, even when their interests are absolutely nowhere near wigs and glitter and fucking with conventional gender expression.

And I'm not generally good with big demonstrative Feelings, but: I am the luckiest goddamn person in the world. I made it to thirty and not only did I not die (yet!), I made it to thirty with the most glorious coterie of friends a girl could ever hope for. So thanks, everyone, for making my brain light up like a Lite-Brite.

1.09.2012

manual labor

I learned a thing!

This is me in the driver's seat, I promise. I suppose you can tell by the ring on my right hand? And the fact that my shirt is un-ironed?

Well, sort of. I've only had one afternoon of Manual Transmission Practice behind the wheel thus far with the ever-patient Stacey, but I did manage to sort of go from parked to first to third to stopped. (Stopped on purpose, not "oh goddamn I killed the car again" stopped.)

There is a parking lot not far from us that is perpetually empty, and I drove in circles for an afternoon as I tried to figure out what the hell to do with the clutch. This carousel-like path seemed to amuse all the CTA workers looking down on us from the train platform above the parking lot, and annoy the ever-loving hell out of the homeless man who lives in that parking lot. Highlights of the lesson include the high-pitched noises of triumph we both made when I was able to start the car and shift into first gear without killing the engine (complete with celebratory jazz hands) and the frequent and out-loud apologies made to her car's transmission and clutch.

My god, I never want to have to teach anyone to drive.

1.03.2012

footsie

When at Big Star (go there, eat the Sonoran hot dog, thank me), I like to play a game called Who At This Bar Would I Take Home? Big Star is a fantastic place to play it, too, because if you sit at the bar and angle yourself just right, you can pretty much see the entire room without looking too much like a neck-craning creeper.

Yesterday, while enjoying the luxury of actually getting to sit in one of the booths at Big Star, I played this game with a few friends. I kept pointing out my winners and saying "ooh, look, bonus points for Adventure Boots!". After a few rounds of this, Sophie agreed that yes, most of my choices were take-home worthy, but the whole Adventure Boots thing was a little vague.

These are not Adventure Boots. These are boots you buy for a specific, outdoorsy, sporty purpose. Yes, there may be adventure involved. No, you should not wear them for non-sporty-specific events. No, I will never find you hot in them.

Adventure Boots are boots that you wear with your well-fitting jeans, maybe when you're leaving the house to meet up with friends at the bar, then walk to a dinner party or go to a show or I don't know, go play with a puppy, I don't know what your plans are. But! if while en route to any of these destinations, an Adventure makes itself available, these are the boots that will make participating in said Adventure a no-questions-asked thing to do. Adventure Boots mean you will climb that fucking tree, because running jumping climbing trees (yup I went there) and you will not say "oh, you just go on ahead; I'll stand over here and take photos of you with my phone."
These are Adventure Boots. (For warm-weather times, I also heartily endorse Adventure Chuck Taylors, FWIW.)

I'm not sure what the girly equivalent of this footwear might be, but if that sort of thing is based off my own life, it's something along the lines of I can totally scale that fence in these shoes / fuck it, I'll just throw them over the fence and do that barefoot.