• mallorean
  • stiff"
  • pledged"
  • Buffy"

Saturday, September 30, 2006


The Pumpkin Ice Cream Recipe; I'm Enjoying the Hell out of it Right Now!


Friday, September 29, 2006


Found: Crazy People

When boyfriend and I moved into this apartment some of the appliances were already pretty old and busted. The microwave was cracked and loose around the handle and cracked along the bottom of the door. The refrigerator handle is also cracked, and the long vertical blinds that hang across the balcony door are temperamental at best. So I wasn't suprised two nights ago when the handle broke off the microwave and the chain for the blinds stopped working.

What I didn't expect was that the very next day when I came home from work we had a brand new microwave and brand new blinds! The service in this building is amazing; it's nice to feel that I'm actually getting something for all the money we have to pay to live in this area.

And a less pleasant surprise, last night I got a call from my favorite people, my parents. Their power was out because of a storm, so they thought the next best thing would be to bother the hell out of me. First I got an earfull about how they knew I must be going to the grocery store at night by myself where I could get killed in any number of ways. Then my father asked how my job was going, to which I responded, "ehhh."

Big mistake. This indicated to him that clearly it was time for me to go back to law school. It must not have been that bad after all, and I don't like anything anyway. Right?

I'm just happy it's Friday. I'm having dinner tonight with a friend from college and it will be great to catch up. I'm looking for some serious R & R!

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Ode to the Working Girl

Why can't I just be like other women? When I'm walking to work in DC I see women in business suits, cute cable neck vest type things with collared shirts underneath, pleated skirts, high heels, herringbone pants and Dooney & Bourke bags.

When I'm trying to decide what to wear in the morning I have to look real hard at my clothes and try to determine what I could away with as "business casual." Too bad that most of my wardrobe is old t-shirts, and nothing would please me more than to wear jeans and Birkenstocks (I do tempt the fates and wear the Birks anyway!).

The average business-like shirt at J.Crew or Banana Republic is at least $80, give or take a few clams. Dumping all that money on one article of clothing makes me feel simply queasy. I'm not hurting for money or eating out of the trash can yet (although maybe I should be, looking at how much money left in loans I have to pay back… thanks again, law school), but it just seems like such a waste of money. When I started working, my mother suggested that I put aside some money from my paycheck each month for new clothes and accessories. New clothes and accessories? Does she know who I am? I still sometimes wear clothes from middle school!

And hair… how do these women get the energy to blow dry, straighten, or whatever else before work in the morning? When I put my mind to it, my hair can look pretty decent. Notice that I said, "when I put my mind to it," meaning that most days you'll find me sporting a bun.

These super women are also thin. No, not thin… lean! I must think about weight more now than I ever did in college; there has got to be something wrong with that. Why now? Why not in college when I could have been romping and frolicking free in all my lean splendor?

I know the only thing that will work is if I set my alarm for 30 minutes earlier, get my lazy, tired ass out of bed, throw on some gym clothes, go down to the first floor gym, and burn some calories. But I hate it. I hate everything about it. I'd rather go to the dentist. I'd rather go to the National Postal Museum. I'd rather give a public speech on sexually transmitted diseases! I hate the feeling before going to the gym (that I'd rather be doing anything else, I hate walking into the gym and feeling all eyes on me, I hate the workout (sweating, body parts bouncing, etc), and of course the after (when you have to wait to stop sweating before you can even take a shower).

Maybe there's no hope for me after all!



She's Got [No] Game

I left work early last night. Well, by early I really mean on time. I just got up and kind of snuck out, but it worked! Of course, that was until I got to the metro station and learned that there was a back up. Forty five minutes later I got home, still earlier than boyfriend. Instead of using this time to be productive (like I always plan to), I pretty much just fell asleep hanging halfway off the bed. Go me!

This morning I was thinking about how I can lose a few extra pounds (who doesn't think about that?). I found a website that was very cut and dry about it; I like that. No gimmicks. Check out the SoYouWanna website.

In other news, Facebook is now open to the public. So if you don't have a valid work/college/high school email address, now is your chance to shine.

And I'll leave you with some embarrassing bits of conversation:

Seredne: i don't know about the dc scene, though. it's all single young professionals and bars... 'clubbin'... i don't think i've ever been to a club, nor would i know how to dress or what to do. and i just get so tired of that scene, standing around in a crowded, sweaty place completely unable to hear what anyone is saying.

Peace Corps Friend: yeah i can't picture you in a club at all. haha i'm trying now and it's funny!

Seredne: hey!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


I could always throw things at the t.v....

Okay, so who caught the season premiere of the Gilmore Girls? I did not; I was watching House, which is on at the same time. It's funny, I used to never watch tv shows, then last year I started getting wrapped up in them.

I don't even know why I watch Gilmore Girls. Every time I see it I get irritated. I ask myself, can characters really be that selfish, stupid, or immature? The answer is usually always yes. They'll be a good season where the characters are happy and in healthy relationships, but then it falls to hell. The next season is full of whining and hair pulling and folded arms until it's back into relationship time. Repeat, repeat, repeat. It's caught in a loop.

And two nights ago I had a debate with boyfriend's little sister. She was insisting that Logan, the love interest of Rory, is a great guy. If you don't watch the show, let me just fill you in... saying Logan is a great guy is like saying, "yeah, Stalin was just misunderstood." I thought my argument to her that guys with drinking problems, no respect for you or themselves, no commitment, and who sleep with 9 other girls after you had a small fight which they "misinterpreted" as "breaking up" are not the kind of guy you want to date. This is not a "great guy."

Okay, okay it's just a t.v. show. None of this really happened and these people aren't real. But if a 16 year old girl thinks that the Gilmore Girls is showing them something to look for or settle for in a boyfriend, then I'm going to start raising hell and pointing my finger defiantly in the air.

I think I pissed her off during the discussion, all in all. But I can't help getting all worked up when I see what young girls, and even women, are using as their role models. It becomes so important just to find someone, anyone, that women will accept whoever happens to be around.
Maybe they'd even tell me that it's better just to be with someone than to be alone. Every woman is waiting for her "fairy tale" and every man becomes "the one."

At least I have this website. It reviews t.v. shows in detail, and it usually feels as angry and outraged about them as I do.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Working Girl

Yesterday I knew that boyfriend would be getting home late, so I had hopes of getting some housekeeping stuff done... vacuuming, putting away the clean clothes, and making some pumpkin ice cream. Unfortunately, I wound up working for 11 hours.

This was my first official "late night." It didn't need to be late, my boss put off something a little later than he should have. At least I get paid overtime?

Sunday was also my two month anniversary of working at this job. Really, my two month anniversary of full time work. We'll see how long I last!


Monday, September 25, 2006


'The Virgin Suicides'

Last night we watched The Virgin Suicides, directed by Sofia Coppola. I enjoy watching movies that are a little off the beaten path, not your typical romantic comedy or action film, but I'm not sure I quite got this one.

Has anyone else seen the movie or read the book? While it was visually entertaining, I don't know that I felt a lot of storyline there. Maybe the book has something else in it that the movie doesn't get. One review I read says that the movie is about how men can never understand what it's like to be a thirteen year old girl or a thirty year old woman. But it seemed a little weak to me.

I guess the boys in the movie were supposed to be really obsessed with these girls, but they didn't seem that obsessed to me. Maybe I'm just thinking of movies like The Sandlot, where the message of the kid's obsession with baseball really resonated. Yes, they're two totally different types of movies, but it just seemed like any plot having to do with the boys was an afterthought. I think Sofia Coppola relied on the four blonde sisters, including Kirsten Dunst, to mezmerize the audience so that they didn't notice there was no unifying theme, just dreamy screenshots, a quintessential 70's soundtrack, and artistic play.


Sunday, September 24, 2006


'Round and 'Round the Mulberry Bush

Well, usually I like to take the weekends off Blogger-wise, but I've just been a chatty Cathy during this one.

Today I had an informational meeting with someone who graduated from my alma mater's second degree nursing program. I found her on the alumni database a few weeks ago and e-mailed her; she was eager to meet and discuss her career.

I must say it has been encouraging that all the nurses and nursing students I've spoken with really love it. When I was deciding whether to jump ship with law school and was making contact with many lawyers to discuss the field my conversations were really mixed. Some people told me that they really liked it, some were teaching law because they hated lawyering, and one woman even told me that she realized she hated it after three years but got "stuck" because her parents were sick and she needed to support them.

So far I've spoken with one undergraduate nursing student, one accelerated BSN student, and two nurses. I've received glowing reviews from each. The woman I spoke with today highlighted the flexibility of nursing: being able to move wherever you need to and find a job, the luxury of changing specialties (ie, switching from cardiac ICU to oncology), the opportunity for continued learning and never getting bored, and the work weeks (3 days a week... although it is for 12 hours).

She was extremely supportive and said I could shadow her or any of her friends if I'd like to. She also offered to pull some strings for me in admissions. All in all, I'd say it was a good meeting. I'm glad that I found and contacted this woman. I explained that I wasn't ready to jump into anything just yet, and there are a lot of things standing in my way: GRE's, where the hell am I living next year or the year after, many prerequisite courses, and figuring out where the income will come from. These things aren't deal breakers, it just means it's going to take awhile to get there if that's what I decide that I want.

But, more awesomeness in my favor, I'm going to be getting some free career counseling in the next few weeks. Boyfriend will also be participating in this, and I think it will be some excellent and much needed help in the right direction.

In other news, boyfriend bought us a Lonely Planet: USA travel book. We're working towards planning a vacation next summer and we'd like to see some states that we've never seen. While he's been to California, I have never been west of Tennessee... yeah. We're looking at Colorado right now, but I'd love suggestions, of course.


Saturday, September 23, 2006


Mac & Cheese [Chicken]

I don't know if any of you are lucky enough to have been to RockBottom Restaurant & Brewery, but it's pretty dang awesome. I first found it in Pittsburgh, PA, where the service, food, and beer were always exceptional. Luckily there is one in DC as well.

My favorite dish there is the Mac & Chicken. It sounds ridiculous, it sounds like something on the kid's menu, but I love it. It's an amazing comfort food, as well. I always try look for recipes that are close to it. Today I found one that seems fairly similar, just substitute the ham for chicken. Martha scores again:

Macaroni and Cheese

Serves 8; Prep time: 30 minutes; Total time: 1 hour
If you like, use just one type of cheddar or mix with another melting cheese, such as pepper Jack, Muenster, Swiss, or mozzarella.

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1 pound elbow pasta, cooked and drained
4 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
4 cups milk
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded yellow cheddar cheese
1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded white cheddar cheese
8 ounces ham, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
2 slices white sandwich bread

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Cook pasta, and drain; reserve. Meanwhile, in a 5-quart heavy pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk in flour to coat onion. In a slow steady stream, whisk in milk until there are no lumps.

2. Cook, whisking often, until mixture is thick and bubbly and coats the back of a wooden spoon, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in cayenne, if using, and 1 cup each yellow and white cheddar cheese. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

3. Toss pasta with cheese mixture; fold in ham. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or individual dishes. Set aside.

4. In a food processor, pulse bread until large crumbs form. Toss together with remaining 1/4 cup each white and yellow cheddar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Top pasta with breadcrumb mixture. Bake until top is golden, about 30 minutes.

Note: This recipe makes enough to fill eight 12-to-16-ounce baking dishes. Divide the macaroni and cheese evenly, sprinkle with topping, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden.

And speaking of cooking, on the recipe for Coconut Sticky Rice that I posted a few weeks ago, make sure you are using rice that is ALREADY cooked before adding the sugar and coconut milk. Yes, I was stupid enough to make that mistake my first time making it.


Thursday, September 21, 2006


Damn Straight, Virginia is for Lovers!

I updated to beta.blogger.com. So far it seems to be a lot of snap/crackle/pop for little punch, but I won't give up on it yet.

I wanted to respond to a Comment that was made yesterday, but I had more to say than just a quick response. The comment said:

v said...

I was born in DC and grew up in Fairfax (which is now practically a suburb). I don't see many blogs from that area and yours makes me reminisce about the time I spent there.

Aside from the museums, monuments, and such, DC is in such close proximity to other greats sights. A few hours can get you to the mountains, the beach, or New York city. Besides being rife with history, tidewater Virginia is rife with culture, of all kinds: from the single professional (that you write about) to the mountain dwelling bluegrass folks and everything in between. It is one of the few states where cultures of the north and cultures of the south co-exist and make an interesting mix. Of course, DC is a creature all it’s own. But just beyond the beltway is a microcosm of American life.

The cherry blossom festival was always my favorite event. Thanks for reminding me.

7:02 PM


I love Virginia. I lived in Virginia for most of my life. When my family moved down there from the North, we all snickered about it. I was very young at the time and I thought Virginia was all farm country, nothing else. Then when we actually moved and started new schools, etc. I made a friend very early on whose father told me, "the outcome of the war has yet to be decided."

So in Virginia I learned that the Civil War is not over, that I should have saved my Confederate money, that the Virginia flag features some guy stepping on the body of another guy, and that the south will rise again. But aside from these fairly worrisome statements, I learned to love Virginia.

It's true, within an easy travel distance you can find the ocean. There are better beaches than Virginia Beach, but some ocean is better than none. You can also find many areas with beautiful mountains, great bed & breakfasts, little rivers, warm springs, and wild life abound. Virginia has the Blue Ridge mountains and the Skyline drive. The southern and northern culture do jar there in an interesting way. More and more people are moving from the north to Virginia, and they're staying.

And you can't beat the history. Go to Richmond (the old capital of the Confederacy), Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg, or Appomattox. My brother, so broken up when we first moved to Virginia, now denies he was ever from the north (oh, it's one of his many quirks).

I want to leave myself open to the possibility of raising a family in another state, but when I think about all that Virginia has to offer (everything listed above plus a superb public school system and top universities), I just can't conceive of being anywhere else.

A few weeks ago, boyfriend, a friend, and myself when to the Eastern Market in DC. Boyfriend had been saying how great this place, the Market Deli, was for breakfast. I ordered my sausage and egg sandwich and asked for a side of grits.

"Grits!?" my friend said, "you really are a southern girl now, huh?"

I don't know what it means to be a southern girl. Especially in Virginia, it's such a mixed bag. But if it means a love of Virginia and everything is offers (everything down to the grits, but without the southern love of tobacco ) then I suppose he's correct.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006


With Washington, DC Comes Great Responsibility

First, has anyone updated to the new, fancy Blogger? I'm trying to decide whether or not to take the plunge.

I was able to speak with my friend who is in Africa yesterday. She asked me what the boyfriend and I are doing next year and whether we plan on moving. I can easily answer these questions: no clue!

So many people we know just love it here in DC (of course, I'm willing to bet that's because DC is the land of the single, working professional. The bars are packed with them every night). But if there's at least one thing that I know about myself, it's that I'm not a city girl.

Scrambling around the metro, dodging homeless men sprawled and sleeping in the streets/some yelling strange phrases or cursing/or the occassional insane homeless person who you never know might choose today to get violent, smelling trash/sewer/the piercing burning rubber smell coming from the metro stations/exhaust/and too many kinds of women's perfume or men's cologne, beeping cars late for the office, women my age trying to hold on tight to their sorority days, the impersonal/brusque shuffle and haste of it all. DC and I are not a comfortable fit.

I love the museums. The Smithsonians are incredible and free, the Spy Museum, the National Zoo, the Eastern Market, the Cherry Blosson Festival, and of course the White House, Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial... those are all unique features of this city. I might even say no other city has a setup quite like this one. But all those things also bring a sense of fear. I can't get on the metro without my mind wandering towards the question that always lurks in your mind in DC, "Is it safe?" You never know.

I'm not ready to pull a Baby Boom where I give up my professional, working woman life to move out to the country, buy an apple tree farm, and raise my adopted kid. But I doubt that I will shed many tears when it comes time to leave this area. I'd love to come back for day trips or to bring my hypothetical children up to see some of the wonderful things listed about (not the list with the insane homeless men). But this isn't a place where I'd be comfortable starting a life. You can make fun of and curse the suburbs all you like, Internet, but I think there's something to be said for it.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Halloween is for Everyone

If you haven't noticed yet, I love Halloween. When I was a kid my brother and I would make ghouls out of old clothes, masks, soccer balls, newspaper and safety pins... it worked, seriously. We'd hide them in trees or sit them out in lawn chairs with creepy music playing.

That sort of thing doesn't fly down south (we moved from the north), but maybe it works where you are. Either way, Halloween is for everyone. You don't need tons of money, religious convictions, or any of that pesky getting together with family business. All you need a good 'ol fashioned sense of fun.

If you're up for the adventure, be sure to visit Martha's Halloween page. Don't scoff, it's glorious and full of exciting ideas for the benefit of kids, spouses, and single young adults alike. Happy haunting (oOoOOOhhh, I made a ghosty joke)!



Who Knew?

On September 17th 2006 at 04:31:25 PM, someone in Miami, Florida found this blog by searching
"www.ask.com/blogsearch?q=Rooster mating&t=a&search=Search&qsrc=2101"

That's right, folks, "ROOSTER MATING."



The Girl Has Issues

I'm being a bad friend and a dumbass. Every time someone mentions to me that they plan on going to law school I get super squirrelly. Maybe because I couldn't thrive there I don't want anyone else to; maybe that would make it somehow easier for me. But also from my perspective now, my reasoning for going in the first place seems so clearly ill-advised. Many times I feel that if I could just show people what I came to understand, if I can make them see their true reasoning for going, then they would realize that they're not doing it for the right reasons. But, wake up, Seredne, no one has the same reasons for doing anything.

I'm just being so stupid. I went to a good college, and it's only natural that lots of people from that school would plan on going to law school. They want to be politicians, work for non-profits, or fight for the rights of women/underprivileged/impoverished/hamsters.

It's not my place to say who can thrive and who can't, who will enjoy it and who will find out that it's a big mistake that effects the rest of their life. What do I know about them? What the hell is my problem? And all I'm accomplishing when I'm constantly bombarding my friends with sassy or glib comments and more persistent pleadings is a) pissing them off b) making them not want to discuss the situation further with me and c) perhaps strengthening their resolve to go (even if subconsciously) so that they can 'show me.'

On all three counts I lose. I'd better get my shit together.


Monday, September 18, 2006


Booze and Nudity, the Life of a College Student Does Not Change

This weekend I traveled back to my alma mater for some Homecoming Weekend entertainment. We miserably lost our homecoming game (as we lost our opener, etc.), but it was excellent to catch up with some friends.

Saturday night, I don't know what we were thinking, but someone talked us into going to a college party for an organizat
ion that all of us were in when we were in college. Things really don't change, except you do. And you feel ridiculously creepy and scared that some 18 year olds might decide to run around naked and then you'll feel like you should be arrested.

That party just went from bad to worse. One woman who just recently graduated came up to say hello and smacked me hard across the face. Apparently smacking is her new "thing;" I wish I had been aware of that so I could have stayed away. I'm too old for that shit.

Later that evening we went to sit on the main campus lawn area. It was packed for being 2:15 a.m. Students kept coming up to us and asking, "hey man, are you streaking?" We snorted, to which they responded, "dudes, you should totally go streaking. I've gone EVERY FOUR NIGHTS!! WOOOoooOOooOo!" And then he ran off. Oh, college.

In other excitement, we saw Dave Matthews while we were eating at a restaurant on the downtown mall (a neat area that attracts all sorts of oddity... artisans, musicians, punks, and homeless alike). He was just walking and hanging out. It looked like he was by himself, but of course a few people recognized him. I took a fuzzy/grainy camera phone picture.

While at brunch on Sunday before saying goodbye to everyone, I received a call from a friend asking if I'd seen the news today (never a good way to begin a conversation). He was wondering if I had heard that there was a shooting at my old law school. Five basketball players were shot on campus after a dance in the Student Union building. No, I did not know. And I hope that the people in critical condition will be okay. I find it pretty unbelievable. Thanks to everyone who called me to let me know.

And a special shoutout to my friend who delivered two adorable pumpkin salt and pepper shakers to my apartment on Friday. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Banners are Bitches

It's not perfect, but what is? We all have to try new things... to grow and learn... and here's one I learned:

I will never understand Photoshop.

I could read eight tutorials and take a class and I still think I won't understand it. But that's okay. This was just a first attempt, maybe in another few months when I forget the pain of this experience I'll try again.

Until then, we'll see how this goes.



I'll Trade You a Thursday for a Friday

Well, Blogger crapped all over my attempt to help other people insert banners into their Blogger templates, but here is the link to the website where I found that information. And just to share a little more wealth, here's a great website on the step by step of constructing a banner in photoshop.

Technology is spiting me big time this week. First Facebook, then Blogger, and now Facebook again. Facebook is pissing so many people off... friends are quitting it, newspapers are writing about it on the front page... Facebook pandemonium. The latest obnoxious thing Facebook is doing is preparing to open it to everyone. It would be great for people who didn't go to college, but then is it going to become as open as Myspace? What's with all these Facebook changes? Why can't people leave a good system alone? I think the phrase 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' is apt here.

Other than that, yesterday was pretty tame. Although I did learn that...

MADRID, Spain (Reuters) -- The world's first ban on overly thin models at a top-level fashion show in Madrid has caused outrage among modeling agencies and raised the prospect of restrictions at other venues.


Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I Fought the Blog and the Blog Won?

So... I've discovered that once you upload your banner somewhere, all you have to do is paste it () underneath this little bit of code:

It actually works! My banner isn't ready, but it feels dangerously good knowing that I COULD PUT IT UP IF I WANNA! Yes, we've reverted to kindergarten. Yes, I'm going to bed.


Is it a Gathering, a Shindig, or a Hootinanny?

Ouch... I had a motherload of a headache yesterday, so I apologize for not responding to e-mails yesterday. I will try to do that tonight.

While I was writhing around on my bed with this awful headache, my mother was calling. Did someone die? No. Did a robber come, break into the house, and steal her jewelery? Not this time. She wants me to know that she's sending me Richmond Weddings Magazine. This is in addition to Martha Stewart Weddings, which she also sends me from time to time. Try to keep in mind that, important fact, I'm not engaged.

Sure, some religious parents might be upset that their daughter is living with a man that she is not yet engaged to (no matter how many eons they've been dating). My parents aren't really religious, though. They deal with it by convincing themselves that I am actually engaged. They talk about how hard it's going to be to pay for, what a hassle, and the trouble of finding a dress that will fit my hips. Complaints, yet they want it to happen. Welcome to the contradictory world of my family.

Even my boyfriend's father was talking about weddings this past weekend, and he's not even deranged. He was saying that back in the old days, the bride's parents would pay for the wedding but they also had complete say over everything. Now the bride picks out everything but the parents still get the bill, and he doesn't see why he should have to pay for that. I guess I see his point. But I would rather pay for the entire thing than subject my "big day" to the direction of my parents.

I used to want a small wedding, but now I'm not so sure anymore. I think I'd really like a big celebration. I want everyone to have fun. Too bad we can't go back in time... I think I'd do really well with some crazy Medieval wedding where all the villagers got together with lots of Irish music, dancing, and pigs being rotisseried. Actually now I'm thinking of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in the scene with Bilbo's birthday party. Dang, I wish magic was real.

Well, as long as she doesn't take out an engagement announcement any time soon in the newspaper I think I'll be okay. But, with these people, anything is possible!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


'Tis the Season for a Makeover.... I think

Yes, it was quite a while ago that I said my blog was going to have a massive makeover. It sort of did, as it went from dark blue to white. But it was not exactly the kind of change I'm looking for.

I want a banner. I've looked at other people's banners, read design webpages about how to have a banner that looks good, I've browsed stock photo websites, I've opened up the Adobe Photoshop, and I've vomited all over the screen (not literally, silly Internet).

I can't figure out how to make it look good. And I realize that good does not even need to be or look complicated. But it just doesn't look seamless when I do it. I need borders and blending skills. And I can't figure out what size the banner needs to be in order to fit up where the text is now. Perhaps I'll take another crack at it.

In the meantime, I tweaked the background color, link colors, and just a few other small things. I'm breaking out the fall colors. Hopefully while I'm at work the Blogger gnomes will visit and have it all done by the time I get home... [fingers crossed].

Monday, September 11, 2006


Next Blog, Please

How sad. Blogger has changed a lot even since I first joined. I enjoy browsing blogs. While the most productive searches I've had usually occur when I browse the friends of a friend's blog and so forth, sometimes I do it the old-fashioned way and just hit the "Next Blog" button in the top right corner. Lately, this method just plain sucks.

Usually I get a Spanish blog (I don't speak/read Spanish). Usually I also get advertisement blogs. I don't know how those things happen, but they really piss me off. What a waste of cyberspace! I've also clicked on strange Asian cartoony blogs where I can't really even tell what I'm looking at because there are all kinds of anime characters everywhere. One time I even landed on some creepy fetish site.

It's not save to browse in this day and age. You never know where you'll end up. I'll stick to browsing friends of friends of friends of friends............ [repeat].............


Easing into Monday

It was a pretty nice weekend. I went to my parents' house for a bit and we went fishing (the only thing my dad likes to do). We didn't catch any real fish, but my mom did catch this nasty toad fish thing. I dare you to eat it.

We did see about 50 dolphins around the boat. They were jumping completely out of the water and smacking their tails at the surface. They were so close we could even hear them spitting water around. That made the trip worth it.

My boyfriend and I also found a huge Asian grocery store. We got a bunch of
different supplies for only $8 total. It's ridiculous how expensive the same exact thing is in a regular grocery store. I also won a disagreement for the first time in a long time. He didn't believe that coconut milk is high in fat. Well, check this out.... it's disturbing!

In other news, it's Monday and I couldn't be less excited about going to work. Good luck to you today, Internet!

Friday, September 08, 2006


The Greatest Show On Earth

So, it's been a little insane. But this time it's really not my fault.

Yesterday morning I get a call from my mother. She's sobbing, hysterical, completely inconsolable. I can barely make out what she's saying. I figure that she's going to tell me that one of the cats died.

No, she's a mess because she can't find her best jewelery.

After many "calm down"'s and "I'm sure you just hid them somewhere" she still wouldn't listen. I mean, come on, what's more likely... that my mother hid her things and can't remember where she put them? Or that very sly, neat, and crafty thieves crept completely undetected in my parent's quiet, suburban home? Obviously it's the thieves, right?

Don't worry, after a little lock changing and police report filing she found them. There's a chance I'm not related, right?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Adventures in Thai Cookery

And so last night was the end of my cooking classes that my boyfriend got me for my birthday. I ended with Thai Cooking, and we made

Tom Ka Gai (lemongrass and coconut soup)
Green Papaya Salad
Red Curry with Chicken
Pad Thai
Stir Fried Broccoli and Red Peppers with Peanut Sauce
Mango with Sticky Rice

I loved the way that this instructor ran her class. It was extremely organized and efficient, but it was also very informal and people could ask any questions at any time. She wasn't making jokes all over the place like my Chinese cooking instructor, but she was eccentric and she (and the class) had a lot of fun.

There were two stations at each of the three tables. Everyone had to chip in cutting and measuring their ingredients, so there was a lot of hands-on time. Thai food has such a different and distinct taste compared to anything that I'm used to. The lime and coconut flavors really come out in every dish. It's not that I don't like it, it's just that it's so different that it takes some getting used to.

My favorite entree was the Red Curry Chicken, and luckily for me it's also the easiest to make. Also you can change the curry around if you don't like it quite as hot. I love spicy food, but Thai spice can really be overpowering sometimes. I was cutting some Thai chili peppers and the instructor made me wear gloves because the chilis are so strong.

I also loved the Mango and Sticky Rice. It was so sweet. You take

3 mangoes, peeled and cubed
4 cups cooked sticky rice
1 1/2 - 2 cups lite coconut milk
1/3 cup sugar
and a pinch of salt

Cook the rice in a rice cooker with the coconut milk, then add in all the sugar and salt. Serve warm with mango.

Very simple, and it really takes care of that craving after dinner for something sweet. Well, I have that craving anyway... my boyfriend tells me that not everyone does.

So my romp with classroom cooking is over. Hopefully I'll get my ass out the door and locate an Asian store to purchase some of these hard to find ingredients (wood ears, anyone?). If you want any recipes let me know!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


I Needed My Pumpkin Fix

In honor of my crazed pumpkin fix, I went to Starbucks yesterday. I had heard the Pumpkin Spice Latte was back; the same Pumpkin Spice Latte that got me through law school (alive, I mean... not with flying colors or anything).

If you've been to Starbucks before, then you know that they also have cute little chalkboards with recommendations on them. I was feeling saucy, so I listened to the little board and went with the Pumpkin Spice Latte/Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin combo.

I kicked myself in the ass for it the rest of the day. I don't know why, but Starbucks' pastries always make me feel really sick. I'm sort of okay with the Banana Loaf, but the Crumble Coffee Cake and now the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin really do me in. It was stomach grumbling and pain the rest of the day, but it was so damned delicious that I'd probably do it again in a heartbeat.

And if you'd like to try to make your own (I know I haven't made a great case for them, but they really are amazing!), I found a recipe on this blog:

Almost-Like-Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

As promised, my recipe for pumpkin cream cheese muffins. They are very close to the kind you can buy at Starbucks - special thanks to J and G for being my tasters and suggesting additional ingredients. I took a recipe for pumpkin bread, added lots more spices and the cream cheese, and here you go. They are wonderful hot, but be very careful of the cream cheese - it gets very very hot and you could burn yourself. That would totally ruin your experience.

Almost-Like-Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

3 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Pinch of cardamom (optional)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups cooked or canned pumpkin
1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
8 oz package cream cheese*
Chopped nuts** (walnuts, pecans) (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Mix ingredients together except cream cheese and nuts. Fill muffin tins (greased or paper cups) half full. Put 1-2 tsp cream cheese in the middle, pressing down. Sprinkle with 1 tsp chopped nuts. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the muffin part (do not touch the cream cheese!). Let cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to racks to cool completely. Do not touch the cream cheese until it cools, as it is very very hot. Makes 24 muffins.

*The best cream cheese to use is the cheesecake flavored kind. Put the entire tub or brick on a piece of tin foil, and shape it into a long log. Put it in the freezer while you mix and fill the pans, up to an hour. Unwrap and cut with a sharp knife. If the disks are too big around, cut thick slices and then cut them in half. This keeps the cream cheese in one big lump, and also lets you push it down into the batter.

**Starbucks uses chopped pumpkin seeds, which is very good if you can find them. I like walnuts, but any kind of nuts work good.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Williams-Sonoma and Anything Having to do with Pumpkins... My Great Loves in Life

Some women splurge on shoes or purses, but right now I'm pining after the cutest set of salt and pepper shakers.

I've always collected funny salt and pepper shakers that I've found. They're usually cheap, otherwise I wouldn't buy them. But there is nothing cheap in the store that I went into today. Williams-Sonoma is one of those stores that you really have to wait until you're getting married so that you can get stuff by having a registry there; otherwise it's light-years out of most people's budgets (but it sure is an amazing store... just look at all these wonderful looking fall recipes!).

Until then, I'm sorry adorable green pumpkin salt and pepper shakers, I cannot spend $20 on you. Although, I really want to. And if I happen back by a Williams-Sonoma any time soon I probably won't be able to restrain myself. It's a shame that I don't have a birthday coming up or that I don't get presents on Halloween; it is my favorite holiday after all!

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Oh Oh OOH!

Man, I feel like the old Herbal Essences commercial.

Someone from work told me how to take screen shots, and I can't get enough of it! I had always thought you needed some special program to do it. But apparently, just hit the "PrtScn" button and paste into Microsoft Paint!

Fun Fun Fun!

Maybe It's Another Dying Art

So lately I've been taking a couple of cooking or baking classes. I want to be a good cook. I want family and friends to say, "Oh, Seredne's making her famous [insert totally kickass and amazing food here]?! I wouldn't miss it for the world!"

I had to make cookies for my boyfriend to take to work on Friday (which, by the way, he gave the extras to people at work to take home, he did not bring them home for me!). I was all prepped to make chocolate chip cookies from scratch, but of course I realized there was one ingredient that I didn't have (stupid butter, I only had margarine and it specifically said NO MARGARINE).

I wound up going to the corner market, buying the package of ready made cookie dough, slicing it and assembling it on a tray, and baking for 12 minutes. Sure, it's no muss/no fuss, but I wonder if it actually turned out better than my attempt at homemade would have been.

Where's the shame in buying ready made cookie dough or break-and-bake? It's still made with love. It's still ridiculously tasty (although I much prefer Pillsbury to Tollhouse). If real cooking, buying all the individual ingredients, mixing, and baking, is a dying art, is it necessarily such a bad thing?

Take my bread baking class for example. We made the dough from scratch, but we used giant standing electric mixers because the dough is just so tough. At the end of the class when we were testing what we just made, it actually wasn't that good.

Now I don't know if that's because maybe things didn't have enough time to bake, but I got to bring home some french bread dough which I baked later. THAT dough was extremely tasty. But really, no better than anything you'd get in a bakery.

I could see maybe at Thanksgiving preparing your bread from scratch. But in most instances, I'm not sure I see that it's worth it.

Maybe I won't make such a great cook after all!

Also this summer I bought a sewing machine at a yard sale. I'm pretty excited about the possibility of learning how to make my own purses (the one I have that I made is quite nice... and it's reversible?), skirts, or I was even thinking of making a quilt.

A few weeks ago my boyfriend and I drove by a material store. He was not about to stop the car to go in, and he said that it was another dying art. My argument back was mostly awful (good thing I didn't stay in law school). I tried to say something about what would he do if clothes factories shut down and he had to make his own. Then he said something about that being ridiculous, and he talked for awhile about the Spinning Jenny. Who talks about the Spinning Jenny!?

Maybe cooking is another dying art.

Friday, September 01, 2006


You Know You're Being Stupid When... (an ongoing post, really)

I tried to figure out how to use bloglines this morning - I failed miserably.

If you blog at work, can your co-workers find it?

I'm promising myself that today I won't get stressed out about stupidity. It's just a job (repeat mantra). Because last night I even got stressed out during a dream. I dreamt that my hair stylist kept me waiting for 6 hours. It was 1 a.m. and I knew that I had to go to work the next morning, but she was watching a movie with her friends and eating popcorn. I was just squawking in the corner about how I needed to go home, and my parents kept calling my cell phone every 5 seconds to ask where I was.

These are my dreams? I should be dreaming about Hawaiian beaches, tanning lotion, and hula men and women refilling my pina colada.

I need this three day weekend! Spring (late summer) cleaning, remember?