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Sep. 12th, 2007 | 08:55 pm

Did y'all know I can run a 5k in under 40 minutes?! That's slower than most people walk!

My time was 39:23.8.


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And what do I do when it's over?

Jul. 9th, 2007 | 04:13 pm

Oh, my dearest darling. It's been seven years. Seven years of good times and bad. I didn't know when I first picked you up at the Sugar Land Barnes & Noble how large a part you would play in my life. Even when you hurt me, in the immortal words of John Cougar Mellencamp, it hurt so good. Because, you know what? Sometimes love don't feel like it should. You? Make it hurt so good.

Do you remember when I went back to the bookstore two days later just to get more of you? Or when I stood in a giant line in 2000, after spending a day at Six Flags, and I was gross and smelled like pond water, and it took me forever to get to you? But you didn't judge me! I took you in your arms, nuzzled you against my pond-water-smelling, heaving breast, where you could hear the staccato beating of my excited heart, drumming against my chest cavity, and you (in your taciturn way) let me know that it didn't matter what way I came to you, as long as I came at all!

Do you remember the loving scrapbook that Megan and I created, detailing our love for you? Quoting your words without benefit of you? Because I do! I still have that book, dusty and half-hidden in my bookshelf, not forgotten but ignored out of worldly shame of my former innocence!

Do you remember the creepy obsession I had about you? I may have moved on, but only superficially. In dim dark hours of early day, when the sun has not yet curled his fingers around the bountiful Earth's horizon, I still google you, my sweet.

Do you remember how I stood by you when you killed some of the men I admire most? I raged and cried and didn't sleep, just to know how you would end it! I echoed the bittersweet words of Anakin Skywalker at the end of The Revenge of the Sith when he has been reduced to the creamy nougat center of the crunchy plastic outer shell; I yelled "No!" to the heavens, my arms bent at the elbow, my hands lifted to the great and powerful Yahweh of the Old Testament, because of you! You! But I stood by you. I persisted. Because I am, if nothing else, loyal to YOU! To that which plunges a dagger into my heaving breast and does not look away when I weep!

We will have our last meeting soon. As July wanes, I will meet you once more. And you promise more death, and sadness, and destruction. But we will meet it when it comes, together. I am yours. You know this.



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Tripping The 80s Light Fantastic

Dec. 7th, 2006 | 12:07 am

Y'all. I'm not gonna lie.

I LOVE 80s music.

LOOOOOOOOOVE. It's sad. It turns me into a dancing fool. Possible emphasis on the 'fool' part, but I don't give a half a shit. I hear a cheesy synthesizer mix play, and I am the dance floor's bitch. Bitch, y'all. Boy falsetto? I'm there. Poppy beat? My feet can't help themselves. They just... go... do... this thing, and I'm helpless, and it's like The Red Shoes except much, much sillier. And then my arms are flailing, and I've taken down my pony tail and I'm shaking my hair out and wishing I were wearing something--ANYTHING--neon. And maybe leg-warmers.

Anyway, I was having a bad day on Sunday. Very bad. The kind of day when you're all thinking that life is pretty much okay, and then you're all, NO, it's fucking NOT, and then you start drinking wine at noon. Also, you're crying. HOWEVER, Kristina's friend told me about how she was going to an 80s dance party at Elysium that night, and all I could think was: well, how often does a solution to your sadness and self-hatred fucking APPEAR out of NOWHERE this often? Because, I'm for real, and I know (because I've tested it) that this is a for real equation: However shitty you are feeling + dancing + 80s music= equilibrium + FEELING AWESOME. I'm not shitting you. There is NO SUCH THING as a bad 80s dance party. There just... isn't.

So, Courty was awesome and agreed to go with me, and Kristina came, too. We got there, paid our entry fee, and hung out for a while. And then Kristina's friend showed up with two cute boys. And then, it got to a song I wanted to dance to, and I danced. And I drank gin. And then...

Send Me an Angel came on, and the cute boy I liked was just sitting there, so I walked up to him, and we began... a dance. It began so innocently! There was flailing! And big arms! And then... it became an interpretive dance! With sad spirit fingers! And lifts! With him picking me up while I made big arms and swan legs! And kicked people in the shoulders! And then he did flying bird arms! We ended our dance in a beautiful pose, staring meaningfully into the other's eyes! WITH SAD SPIRIT FINGERS! And everyone was looking at us as if we were fucking INSANE, but WE HAD TOLD THE BEAUTIFUL STORY OF SEND ME AN ANGEL WITH OUR GLORIOUS DANCING, AND THAT WAS THE IMPORTANT... MORAL.

Y'all, I'm not gonna lie. If there's such a thing as love at first sight (enhanced by... gin. And 80s music. And... flapping bird dancing arms) I experienced it that night. Because, as the final notes of the music twiddled off into the acoustic distance, and we looked at each other, and giggled, we then--


That's right. Unapologetic face-sucking. With lifts.

Whatever, he lives in Baltimore and he goes back on Friday, and he got my number and told me he'd call me in February, when he's back in town, and if he does call me I'll shit puppies and crown myself Queen of England while I watch Hell freeze over as pigs fly above my head, BUT STILL. Lifts. And spirit fingers. And interpretive dances. And holy shit, he was cute. How many cute guys do interpretive dances with you and then look at you like you invented sour cream or something and start kissing you like... he's going to Baltimore on Friday and even though he KNOWS he won't get laid, he still likes you? Whatever, it was awesome.

So he had to go. BUT THEN! I met another cute guy! And preceded to dance with him! Through Come on Eileen! And Peter Schilling's rip-off of David Bowie's Major Tom song! And I made out with him, too! And now I have a date with him tomorrow, because he got my number, too, and he called me on Monday.

I am AWESOME, and apparently totally hot, but only because 80s music has made me so.

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Several Short Entries, Volume IV

Nov. 28th, 2006 | 09:49 pm

Lemon chicken with croutons.

I had the day off today (because I took a personal day), so I had fun with cooking. This was a totally easy recipe from the Barefoot Contessa that didn't take much preparation or cooking time. I'm recording it here for posterity because I have to return the library cookbook from whence it came soon, PLUS, you should try it. Here's the recipe:

1 (4- to 5-pound) roasting chicken
1 large onion, sliced
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Black pepper
2 lemons, quartered
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
6 cups (3/4-inch) bread cubes (1 baguette or round boule) (Whole Foods has pre-sliced mini-boules that will get the job done; they're 99 cents and cut the bread-cutting time in half. You still have to chop them into smaller pieces, but half the work is already done for you)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Take the giblets out of the chicken (I thought this was going to be a big messy deal, but the chicken I bought at Whole Foods had all the giblets in a bag shoved inside the chicken... so... easy!), and wash it inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers (I only really had to check for pinfeathers around the interior wing/leg area, and around the area where the giblets were removed. They are very easy to remove). Toss the onion with a little olive oil in a small roasting pan (the pan I had, which was only a little bigger than the 4 and 1/2 pound chicken, was perfect. Make sure it's only a little bigger than the chicken you have; large enough to make about a uniform 1 to 1/2 inch bed of onions on the bottom of the pan). Place the chicken on top and sprinkle the inside of the cavity with salt and pepper. Place the lemons inside the chicken. Pat the outside of the chicken dry with paper towels, brush it with melted butter, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken (this will sound silly, but in order to tuck the wing tips under the body, all you have to do is make the chicken look like it's trying to pissed-offedly cross its arms).

Roast for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh. Cover with foil and allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. (The onions may burn, but the flavor is good)

Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil until very hot. Lower the heat to medium-low and saute the bread cubes, tossing frequently, until nicely browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add more olive oil, as needed, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place the croutons on a serving platter. Slice the chicken and place it, plus all the pan juices (and the onions), over the croutons. Sprinkle with salt and serve warm.

Y'all, it's sooooooo good. The chicken is way good, and the croutons soak up all the juices from the onions and lemons and chicken and... good! And easy! Also, you can eat the lemons (well, not the peel), and it's way good as well. Seriously. Delicious. Go make it!

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Several Short Entries, Volume III

Nov. 28th, 2006 | 04:22 pm

Baked Potato Recipe.

The best baked potato in the world? Totally easy. I used to live in fear of baked potatoes, because every single time I tried to make them I'd fuck up SOMEHOW. Anyway, this is the best, and it's a combination of my mom's and Alton Brown's recipes:

Olive Oil
Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 425.

Wash and scrub potatoes. Poke with a fork three times on all four sides. Coat with olive oil (I use extra virgin, and it's perfect), making sure to work it into the skin a little bit. Next, grab some kosher salt and rub it over the potato skin. [Sidebar: Don't be shy about the salt. I generally cup my hand, pour the kosher salt in, and then rub the potato all over. You'll want to shake of the excess, but not too much... keeping it salty makes the skin DELICIOUS, and probably totally bad for you, BUT STILL! Delicious. When I make the filet mignon with goat cheese and balsamic vinagrette recipe, I drizzle some extra vinagrette onto my filet so that I can dip my potato skin into it. SO GOOD.]

Put the potato or potatoes into the oven. Turn the potatoes over after 30 minutes; take out after an hour. If, for baking purposes, you have to have your oven at 350, just extend baking time for 30 minutes, flipping after 45.

I recommend lots of salt, pepper, butter, and sour cream to finish it off.

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Several Short Entries, Volume II

Nov. 28th, 2006 | 04:12 pm

Stuffed Meatloaf

I just made a really good meatloaf that incorporated Thanksgiving leftovers. I got the recipe from Giada De Laurentiis, from her show Everyday Italian on Food Network. It was incredibly easy, and cheap, and delicious. Also, the different variety of meats, plus all the parmesan cheese, PLUS the stuffing, PLUS PLUS the marinara and provolone made me extremely happy that I have enough stuffing (made extra as a special present from my sweet Grandma who knew I was going to try this recipe) to make it again. It works well as leftovers. I have plans to buy some sourdough bread and just slap a slab of the meatloaf between two slices and eat lunch like a king, maybe with a little extra marinara as spread and another slice of provolone (yum).

Anyway, here's the recipe. It's so good that I would recommend, if you don't have leftover stuffing, to get some of that boxed stove top stuff and use that. Also, the grated onion is awesome because you get that great onion flavor without the huge chunks in the loaf. ALSO also, it's much easier to peel and mince the garlic if you just take the whole clove and, positioning your knife over the clove, press down hard with the heel of hand, smushing the clove. It immediately peels itself and chopping goes much faster (thanks to Courty for the cooking tip...). I'm sure y'all already knew this, but, just in case...

1 small onion, grated
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
2 large eggs
1/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2/3 cup dried bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan
8 ounces ground beef
8 ounces ground pork
8 ounces ground veal
2 cups (packed) Ciabatta Stuffing with Chestnuts and Pancetta or your favorite stuffing
1/2 cup marinara sauce
3/4 cup grated provolone

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Whisk the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl to blend. Stir in the Parmesan and bread crumbs. Mix in the beef, pork, and veal. Pack half of the meat mixture into a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan. Spoon the stuffing over the meat in the pan, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges. Top with the remaining meat mixture, enclosing the stuffing completely and pressing firmly. Spoon the marinara sauce over the meatloaf, then sprinkle with the provolone cheese.

Bake, uncovered, until the meat loaf is firm to the touch in the center and has pulled away from the sides of the pan, about 45 minutes. Cut crosswise into slices and serve.

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Several Short Entries, Volume I

Nov. 28th, 2006 | 03:57 pm

Wine Recommendation.

I'm a big fan of wine. I'm always on the look-out for a good Cab or Zin, especially one that is easy on the wallet, since, obviously, wines can be a little... expensive.

I've just found this great table wine by Francis Ford Coppola (yeah, the director... his Cabernet [although he calls it Claret, which I think is a tad pretentious for some reason] is excellent, but a tad over-priced, I think. It's more of a gift wine than something you'd buy regularly for sipping). Anyway, it's called Rosso Classic, and it's very good. It's a combination of Zin, Cab, and Syrah, and at Whole Foods (Whole Foods, mind you), it retails for 7.99. Also, it goes with everything. Check it out.

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Nov. 15th, 2006 | 09:53 pm

This week at work has been hard. Our high school is being redesigned, and in typical public school fashion, it’s being redesigned by people who have been out of the classroom for years, collecting graduate degrees like trading cards, and who like to bludgeon innocent and unsuspecting teachers with “revolutionary” teaching methods. I fear I may die from all this blunt object-enhanced educational advancement. I’ve been trying to teach this new literacy curriculum, but it’s a pain in my ass because my students are used to being spoon-fed information and formulas for writing (1+1+1+1 sentences= PARAGRAPH), and when you have to force them to think on their own, it makes you want to cry and kick puppies and drink the blood of the innocent, and also dream about an alternate universe in which you are a possibly dull but completely content investment banker.

I actually had a literacy “specialist” (who has an M.A. but two years less teaching experience than me... which, granted, I only have three years, but STILL) in my room for the past two days (at my request, because she’s a so-called ‘expert’ on this new curriculum), and I thought my kids were going to re-enact choice scenes from the Los Angeles riots (I’m exaggerating, but go with it). A crew in my fifth period actually produced a maxi pad, colored it with red marker, and stuck it to the floor. And when I asked them to throw it away, and made angry teacher eyes? And said, “I have no frigging clue who did this. So, I’m going to turn around, and a minute later, I want it gone” (this strategy works surprisingly well)? Some jackhole stuck it to a wall! I had a maxi pad, scribbled ineptly upon with a red Crayola washable marker, STUCK to my mother fucking WALL!

But everyone has tough teaching weeks. All I’ve done, after every day, is go home, drink a couple glasses of wine, and watch television.

And miss Garrison. Even if he never seemed all that sympathetic or interested in my teaching stories, other than a sort of dismissive “Oh, kids today,” remark, it gave me something to look forward to. Something annoying would happen, and I could say to myself, “Self, hang in there. You can tell Garrison about it later. And then, maybe there will be sudoku.” And although I know, in no uncertain terms, made painfully clear by the utter lack of communication I requested and then received, unequivocally, from him, that he does not think of, on, or about me, even for a fleeting moment on idle Wednesdays, well. I still miss him.

The boomerang, she bites.

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Oh. My. GOD.

Nov. 2nd, 2006 | 07:25 pm

I can't tell if I'm insane or AWESOME.

First, let me tell you a story about a girl. And a play. A wonderful, amazing play that this girl read once in Modern British and Continental Drama. She fell in deep lurve with this play. She read it in one sitting (not a big deal, people, it's a play), and, afterwards, went into a reading-induced hysterical fit because it was SO AWESOME. She may have gotten the vapors. Someone named Megan may have had to fetch her her smelling salts. Anyway, to be sure, it was a deep, deep lurve. This play was called Equus. She wrote papers about it. She yelled "EK!" obnoxiously to people in the know. She looked on Amadeus with renewed sentimentality because the same dude who wrote Equus wrote that.

Now, let me tell you another story about the same girl. This girl loooooooved Harry Potter. She went to the midnight unveiling of Goblet of Fire. And Order of the Phoenix. And The Half-Blood Prince. And, when she went, she would sometimes (okay, always), wear a Quidditch shirt, plastic Harry Potter glasses, and a lightning bolt drawn on her forehead with eyeliner. And maybe she got a lightning bolt tattoo on her back. And maybe she's twenty-fucking-five, but whatever. And then, the movies! The movies came out! And she loved a boy named Daniel Radcliffe, because he was Harry Potter. Like, for real. And she was a little creeped out because he was eleven. BUT! He got older... old enough to...


And so this girl (okay, it's totally me), who loved Equus and Harry Potter in equal measure, BOUGHT A TICKET TO THE SHOW ON MARCH 31st!



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Oct. 27th, 2006 | 01:02 am

Well, I knew it was going to happen eventually. I bet y'all are starting to love love love my break-up posts.

You heard it here first. Garrison just wants to be "friends."

I don't really have anything else to say about it. As break-ups go, we were only dating, so it won't be that bad. But my goodness, I did like him quite a bit. I wish I had initiated it. Now not only do I suffer the indignity of being The One With Bigger Feelings, I'm also The Dumped. DAMMIT. GODDAMMIT. At least I held it together and didn't cry on the phone. I lasted about one second AFTER I got off the phone, but I consider that to be a very important second.

And I did the whole "I'm deleting you out of my phone/email/instant messenger; please do not contact me for a period of time between one to three months;" which he apparently was not expecting. But I can't do that immediate shift from romantic-type-person to friend. He asked me if we could start talking again on January 1st. But the thing is, I don't know. I don't think he wants to be friends so much as he wants to feel like an okay person even though he dumped me (not that he isn't an okay person, but break-ups sometimes have a guilt-inducing factor), and having me? Immediately there? To still call whenever he feels like it and I'm still friendly on the phone even though it's killing me (and how could he POSSIBLY understand because it's not hard for him because I was The One With Bigger Feelings)? That right there seems like good positive proof that he's not bad bad; I mean, see? He's such a stand-up guy that even the girl whose heart he dinged with a golf club (I didn't say break!) can't help but still be nice and friendly with him. And... no.

I'm not going to lie, though. The part of me that loves kittens hopes he'll call or somehow get in contact with me and be all, "I made a mistaaaaaaaake!" But I know Garrison, not perfectly well but well enough, to know that Israel and Palestine would have a slumber party and paint each other's nails and buy the world a coke (erm... all that metaphorically) before THAT particular scenario would play out. Probably by the time I don't care anymore, I... won't care anymore. And he'll have stopped caring long before that. So that might be the last time I talk to him ever. I just made myself sadder than I was before I wrote that last sentence.

I can't sleep.

I deserve someone who gets excited about seeing me, though. And he couldn't do that after a while.

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