30 April 2008
1. Every fifth song on the alternative music station is a Nirvana song. Utah is so hardcore!
2. Sunshine, hail, rain, snow. Within the same block of 15 minutes. Utah is so hardcore!
$2.99 buys you a COLOSSAL GOURMET CINNAMON COFFEE CAKE. Clearly the idea is that people who don't drink coffee will make up for it by eating more coffee cake. I'm not really sure what to do with all of this coffee cake because I do drink coffee and therefore won't be able to eat as much. But damn, it's colossal! Excuse me while I bask in its glory... and by that I mean pass out from sugar overload. Utah is so hardcore!
'Unbelievable' moment stuns crowd at softball game
Get yourself a tissue. This is beautiful.
Hat tip to Big Brother for the link. I love you, man.
29 April 2008
Rico: This was actually my second run-in with this venerable catering institution here in town. Both meals have been pretty good-- the enchiladas were tasty the first time, and last Thursday-- whew! I have been dreaming about the avocado salad dressing ever since. And they have this really nice, personable lady working for them who cares really deeply about what she does, and that alone makes the food taste even better. I think the food is called "fresh mex."
Red Butte Cafe': I'll be honest, any restaurant experience is better when you know people that work there. They are owned by the same people as Desert Edge, I hear, so they serve the same tasty beers but without the shitty food. I had a turkey/avocado sandwich (they put a whole avocado on there people! yes, I almost fainted in delight) with the house pasta salad. Yummy times... though their food does need heavy salt supplementation (duh! easy fix!). Their desserts are out of this world-- *adored* the Chocolate Turtle Mousse cake and will undoubtedly be craving it sometime soon... like now.
East-West Connection: My adviser took our whole class here for dinner. Since the food is served family style, everybody just shared everything (is there anything more kum-bay-ya than supping in that fashion? after all of the yelling that went on in that class, certainly not). I ordered the chicken curry and as may be inferred, I was very careful to snag the leftovers. The chicken was (and even after reheating, still is) so perfectly moist. They also have really beautiful paintings on the wall, which I think is nice.
So there you have it. I don't think I'll be going out in the next few days, and since my restaurant-going companion is taking off for the summer, it may be a while until my next decent meal... oh who am I kidding, I'll find somebody to go with. I finally know where all the good places are!
28 April 2008
what are you fucking cooking
do you ever sleep
has five syllables and it
delays my rest
recession means i
should be hoarding cheap food
fuck it buy ice cream
so many papers to write
please pass the gin please
26 April 2008
Worst. stomach. ache. ever.
25 April 2008
With three papers and one translation to go (not to mention four rewrites!), there is little hope that I'll be digging myself out before next Friday. Excuse me while I start my second mini pot of coffee and cobble together an analysis of 1960s French social history's quantitative approach and its influence on an American article from the 80s...
23 April 2008
Other things to celebrate:
The Pope likes kitties, and was kind of a cat lady before he went to the Vatican-- perhaps the best news story of the week, or maybe even ever.
Cute little puddings! Omg I am so making these if I ever have time or ever make it to the store!!! (read: sometime three or four weeks from now)
Hillary won in Pennsylvania! The primaries persist! (j/k... I so wish this biz would end)
Ben Folds is putting on a show tonight in Salt Lake AND I'M GOING!!!! YAY FOR A CULMINATION OF TEN YEARS OF MUSICAL LOVE!!!
Lastly, I leave you with some sage advice I received from an emeritus professor this morning-- keeping up with the superlative tone of this post, it was perhaps the best advice ever:
22 April 2008
"I think being a mercenary would be the best use of my master's degree."
"You hit the ethnic jackpot!!!"
"But I'm talking about the evil, scary side of the coin!"
"Bambi's mom was asking for it!"
"At the end Bambi falls in love with a woman."
"Where does reality mix with fantasy?"
inclined to decorate her home with swords:
"I know the problem! I read Lord of the Rings when I was pregnant."
the mother, the baby and the robot."
I am so going to miss that class. Discussions like that-- I left out the sustained arguing over the impact of Vietnam on culture, Freud, masculinity, and the appeal of naked women with guns-- really make me glad that I'm in grad school.
21 April 2008
“Coming from a different country and having the opportunity to do whatever I wanted to do is pretty amazing,” Lewy Boulet said. “I just tried to grab the opportunities and this is one of them.”
Another woman having it all, headed for Olympic glory. Awesomeness.
(and for some reason, that quote makes me feel guiltyguiltyguilty about the smoke alarm thing...for shame.)
Anyways, there have been a couple of incidences lately that have increased my concern that perhaps we needed to conference over the kitchen-- like running water for a half hour to defrost fish (we live in the desert!) or the many narrowly averted grease fires that might have occurred in unsupervised pans. But I hate to be the stodgy, unpleasanttolivewith American, so I have become resigned to grumbling to myself about how I wish I could afford my own place again. I really wish the kitchen wasn't so sovereign to me, but it is. I recognize that living with other people it would probably drive me just as crazy because I have seen what other people do in their kitchens, and really, maybe I have it good.
Nonetheless, you can imagine my dismay this morning when I awoke to the flashing lights and piercing shriek of our smoke alarm. I had just reset my clock so that I could resume a dream I was having about swimsuit shopping (which is so out of character for me that I had to find out what would happen). You can perhaps imagine the chaos amplified for my roommate as I come blazing out of my room, swearing, yelling, hitting all of my main points-- stove burners, stove fan, living room window, bathroom fans-- as she stands on a chair waving a bright orange felt flower placemat at our smoke detectors to no avail. The ante is of course up-ed when her shouting at me in broken English is replaced with her shouting at the other roommate in Chinese after she emerges belatedly and half asleep from the hall and at the moment when she goes to open the smoke filled microwave-- DON'T DO IT!!!!-- but like watching conservative news pundits, she does it and the apartment again fills with more smoke and burnination. After the detector finally silences, I inspect whatever it was that burned in the microwave-- a black, indistinguishable cube in a bowl. Fish, maybe?
I know I shouldn't complain, but I would give up my dishwasher just for the ability to take the batteries out of my smoke detector now and then.
20 April 2008
*A wine-drinking, recumbent bike-riding cultural history professor who represents everything painfully cliche yet blissfully indulgent about academia.
*Homer inventing grunge.
*All the beauty of a 90's soundtrack (90's nostalgia? Well I never!) .
Watch it and then get back to reading your book about conservative intellectualism. Oh wait, that's how I'm spending my afternoon.
19 April 2008
Faux Chocolate Mountain Cookies
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened (I used butter and wouldn't have it any other way)
- 1-1/2 cups sugar (a touch of brown might be nice)
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- powdered sugar
1. Heat oven to 350°F.
2. Beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in large bowl until light and fluffy. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add to butter mixture, beating until well blended. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet (or a pizza stone!).
*These things include, but are not limited to: nieces, night bike rides, reunions after long absences, international travel and the self-satisfied feeling of getting a good grade.
**unmodified recipe can be found here. I don't see the need for additional chocolate in these because these cookies are so stinking rich and sweet as is. And nuts in cookies are gross.
***true story. So glad it didn't happen to me!
17 April 2008
Trio. Officially my favorite restaurant in Salt Lake City. The food is so up to my inflated Caper's standards of quality and taste that I continue to revel in the memory of that meal a week later. Affordable prices (for what you get) and the Riesling was, omg, so light and perfect. Tacomans: think Europa but way, way better in a much classier setting. Bonus: Seeing former SLC mayor Rocky Anderson and knowing that the magic of America is that lowly grad students can sup with (ok, near) people of power and influence. If we had seen Ralph Becker I might have fainted.
Alta. Ok, so my camera didn't make it up there with me, but I have to say that skiing was some of the most fun I've ever had. There was tons of falling initially, but once I got the hang of it, it was unreal. Loved the glory of the pristine glare-y Alpine setting. And I saw an ermine (so cute!!!)! And tons of children! I never get to see kids at grad school. Bonus: Learned (post skiing) that in a taste test between snow-chilled Natural Ice and Natural Light, Natty Light clearly wins. Not that I usually drink that shit, but useful nonetheless. Oooo! And I got these awesome comfy thermals just in time for summer.
The Red Iguana. Everybody says it's the best Mexican restaurant in town, and I believe it. Cool style and tasty mole'. Yum yum yum. Bonus: Leftovers.
An exceptionally rousing discussion of "what is feminism" in my women and gender class. Completely unlinkable, but oh so enriching. Seriously gave me the warm fuzzies inside-- so affirming in ways that are hard to describe (fighting for our rights! equality in relationships! girl powah!). Bonus: We were discussing this book, which I loved.
Yay for life in Utah! Weeeeee! Soon it will be summer and everybody will go away, leaving me with thermals I can't wear and plenty of restaurants to go to alone!*
*I'm being sarcastic, duh. Summer will rock because I will make new friends, travel and do research...ooo, and enjoy the hothothot sunshine! Fun for different reasons, but fun nonetheless.
14 April 2008
So two days ago I encountered a fish. It was in my kitchen sink. Whole. Mouth open, eyes wide. So real looking that at any moment one would expect it to spontaneously commence violently flapping around. But alas, it was dead. I smiled to myself and moved along because that's standard fare where I live-- it's part of the magic of living with Chinese nationals. They served me a similar fish once, so I know the outcome is good, so I take it in stride. In the past, some of the cuisine thawing out in our kitchen has driven me to photography:
(frog legs-- they smelled really good once cooked but it kind of made me want to wretch. And revert to "The Muppet Movie" state of consciousness.) (funny that that's the second time that movie comes up today) ("motorcycle cop")
but now I am more or less chill about the whole "whole fish dead in my sink" thing.
Thusly (is that a word?) you can imagine but shock and dismay to encounter the same fresh looking fish in a rather cooked state of being when I opened the microwave today. The difference today was the three quarters of his (or her's) body was gone, and really all that remained was his (or her's) skeleton and his head, which was presumably meant to be eaten. I couldn't really handle that, you know? Especially because it stank like re-cooked dead fish and he (or she) looked startlingly familiar. I left a passive-aggressive note on the microwave ("the microwave is not for food store--please use the refrigerator thanks :)") and I believe I exclaimed in an exasperated tone "WHAT THE HELL?!?!" and busted out the Saran Wrap. I swear, some days, it's like I just keep finding fish heads in the microwave. It's like the fucking theme for the day. Like when I went for my Netflix dvd to watch for class. Whatdoyaknow, it was CRACKED!!! And ya, there were seriously other fish heads throughout the day but I'm not going to get into it.
So after getting myself some serious groceries-- a supermegahappy fruit and veggie run, my friends) I came home and determined that there was simply no other option but to watch Empire Records for free on my Netflix internet player, because well fuck, The Longest Day and Seabuscuit (my last two movies to watch for class on Thursday) just weren't on there.
I admit, I own the Empire Records soundtrack, or at least at some point I think I burned my brother's copy onto my computer (it took me like eight times to spell "computer" right-- thank you, Mozilla spellcheck). And so of course the first thing that hits me about the movie is "this song's not on the soundtrack!!!" again and again. The second thing to get me was "Man, Renee Zellwellger used to be healthy looking!!!" and by like, five minutes in I'm completely immersed in like, complete nineties nostalgia. Like I swear, even though ER was made in 1995, me and my best friend J probably tried on outfits akin to Liv Tyler's when her mom used to drop us off at the Tacoma Mall in the old red Saturn (back when the Bon was not Macy's and The Cube occupied the Bon basement, not Menswear-- fuck, back when there was a fountain with stairs down into the Bon basement and NOT a fucking Thomas Kinkaid store-- yah, fellow-Tacomans, you remember dat).
Nineties nostaligia is the new eighties nostalgia, just you wait. But for serious! The music? not on the soundtrack? The Presidents doing "Video Killed The Radio Star". I was fucking moved, it was fucking epic. Like remember "Peaches"?! And "Kitty?!" And "Volcano", that dank tribute to our own magical Mt. Rainer?!?! They just don't make music like that any more? Or what about guys wearing Value Village-esque cardigans? The counter-culture kids today are just to hipster-esque for that shit, and it really causes me grief, because as the standard of living goes up, somehow-- and I don't really understand this-- the recession gains strength. Do not understand. Must stay in school through recession.
Another thing that kills me about this movie is that THEY WORK IN A RECORD STORE. Back when we got our music AT STORES. Pre-iTunes, hell, pre-DSL. This was circa-AOL-dialup! Back when I saved up my allowance to buy a polyester shirt at Rave and the new Bush album (the second one) (and for as shitty as it was, "Swallowed" was and is still a great song, no?). The world has changed so much! There was no 9-11 yet! There was no George W. Bush! There wasn't even an Iraq War! Obama? He was like, twelve years old! Oy. Such simple times were those. Dramatic eyeliner under the eyes, The Cranberries (so fitting!), brown lipstick, being in love with your best friend before there was no stupid Facebook "in a relationship" or whatever. Seriously. I'm pretty sure they just don't make teenage angst like this any more. Mark and his pot brownies (no, not that Mark.), dudes wearing necklaces? Can we please be transplanted back to the magical Clinton nineties? Pleeeease? Mock suicide funerals?! The nineties were so geniune!!! Arggggghhhh!
11 April 2008
I can't tell you how relieved I am. My confidence had been in the toilet for the last week or two, but between a cool summer seminar opportunity I heard about yesterday (if I get accepted, my paper gets published in a book!) and this, I am feeling a lot better about the path I'm on. A lot less "wo to me, I might have to sell my ovaries to pay my student loans" and a lot more of the usual "behold the many innumerable opportunities before me!" (especially with significantly smaller student loans!) Yay!
I also found out that one of my work colleagues got funded at her top choice of the thirteen schools she applied to! It's possible! Dreams can be achieved! Yay!
So many good feelings today. Now I just have to get some work done (I need to milk this enthusiasm for all it's worth!) so I can go skiing tomorrow at Alta on a free pass! Yay for learning new things! For cheap! On the best snow in the world! Yay!
(excuse the absolutely off-the-hook exclamation points. I'm sure the misery laden somber ...'s will be back tomorrow :P )
10 April 2008
''Tina really is the new woman who can have it all,'' says Langley. ''[On TV], she navigates a man's world but maintains her own sense of self, she never has to compromise her ideals to get what she wants — yet she's not manipulative or coquettish. In her personal life, she's married, she has a lovely baby, she was the first woman to be the head writer at SNL — she's crossed all these barriers and milestones as a woman, so it makes her a great role model.''
Yay! New women having at all! Yaaaaay!
It's my way of making up to you for puking links to protesting and polygamy all over you earlier. (What can I say? I couldn't help myself. You know I never can.)
On the left, we have Violent protests during the Olympic torch run and the IOC finally rebuking China for all their dirty tricks; oh and by the way, the torch run is a vestage of Nazism. High five to the lady who references "invented traditions" in that story.
And on the right (waaaayyyy right), we have the fascinating and revealing coverage of the FLDS polygamy compound raid in Texas. It seems like every day something weirder comes out about what was going on their little world. Weirder and sad, anyways. There's also a very interesting story about the rampant fumarase deficiency amongst the inbred fundies.
I am so shamelessly sucked in.
*headline quote brought to you by the amazing Tina Fey on the best show ever... at least since Perfect Strangers went off the air. ;)
**although Elizabeth Edwards did have some nice things to say about Hillary on healthcare, and Sir Elton lurves her too.
So not going was kind of a big deal. There have been significant changes in leadership, I suppose, that increase the distance I feel from the establishment, but I doubt anything was said last weekend would be rendered unrecognizable by the fact that I haven't been to church since, well, the last Conference. I guess what I'm really saying is that I noticed not going because it was so deliberate. Even in my last push of faithfulness, at that point where I was on the verge of being done but didn't want to admit it, I went. I spent eight hours of my weekend sitting on those new (but still hard!) Tabernacle benches. I didn't even question doing it, even as I flew into a whispered rage about the justifications being used to keep women at home. It's just what I did, it was just how I lived.
I knew all last week that I wasn't going to conference, that I wasn't even going to turn on my TV to watch it, and as the weekend ran its course, I forgot about it. I forgot about it until, on Sunday afternoon, through my cracked open window, I heard music. I don't know whether it had wafted through the valley as they piped it into Temple Square, or just out another cracked window, but there it was. Glorious intermission music, my favorite one to sing part way through because we got to stand up and really belt it out-- How Firm a Foundation.
As the music snuck in, I couldn't help but pause. It was like it was just in the back of my head, and not really realizing it, I sang along.
Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.
I can't really describe what that song does to me. It's written in the first person-- it's not so much a song that we sing to God, but one that He sings to us. The imagery of God actually propping you up-- it's amazing, and despite everything, it's still true. It broke my heart, as it always did, that we didn't get to sing all the verses, as the powerful music gave way to words that faded into an inaudible nothing.
I've heard people say that the thing they missed the most was the music, but I'd never understood it. Sunday I did. Over a matter of years, it wove itself into the threads of my soul; it became a part of who I am. I sometimes forget how Mormon I was, instead looking back at those years as colored by a kind of anomalous, unrecognizable force that externally silenced who I was all along. It was so weird the way the music just showed up, like a fleeting scent in the air reminding me that I'm still getting over all of those years of sustained and diligent Mormanity.
Salt Lake is such a funny place to lose your faith.
08 April 2008
06 April 2008
*odd probing chat at Nepalese lunch buffet with stranger from LA about friend, who like her daughter, was admitted to Yale Law School. Creepy.
*homemade cosmos followed up by lovely bottle of buttery California chardonnay
*onset of sore throat; did nothing all day but sleep and watch Birth of a Nation (which is like sleeping)
*biography of Ella Baker inspired self-loathing about lack of involvement in social change, followed by brief tears and trip to Target. Typical.
Because of my complete and total descent into boringtasticness, I present you with some internet goodness to inspire you in ways that I can't. For instance:
Two world leaders dressed as twinsies! (click to enlarge) I think that's so cute! Too bad they were talking about missiles instead of something happy like puppies or Mark Penn resigning. :( Their look totally takes me back to middle school spirit week when it was hot to dress like your BFF.
If that picture doesn't warm your heart, at least the pictures and descriptions on trashyeats.com will make you throw up in your mouth or inspire you to go eat an apple or something. :)
Now if either of those don't make you feel good, take two and wait until Thursday! Yay for The Office and 30 Rock and Scrubs coming back!
How to use Your IRS Rebate check;
As you may have heard, the Bush Administration said each of us would get a rebate check to stimulate the economy.
If we spend that money at Wal-Mart, all the money will go to China. If we spend it on gasoline it will go to the Arabs, if we purchase a computer it will go to India, if we purchase fruit and vegetables it will go to Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala, if we purchase a good car it will go to Japan, if we purchase useless junk it will go to Taiwan and none of it will help the American economy.
We need to keep that money here in America. The only way to keep that money here at home is to spend it at yard sales, since those are the only businesses still in the US.
At six hundred bucks a person, I bet you could get a damn lot of stuff shopping at yard sales.
05 April 2008
Squatter's-- food yuk, service terrible, beer good, nice atmosphere.
So Cupcake-- cupcakes were only so-so, low frosting to cake ratio. Skimpy frosting amazing but cake uninspiring. Very cute store design and the owners seemed nice.
Sawadee-- yummy Thai curries that could be just a bit hotter, great interior decor filled with Thai artwork.
Little World Chinese Restaurant-- when the yearning for fried rice strikes, they deliver-- with the biggest, moistest chunks of chicken you will ever find in fried rice. Inside dirty but hey, that's why you get take away.
The Pie-- nom nom nom. Thick saucy pizza goodness close to campus. It gets no better.
02 April 2008
But at least I'm here, now. My life could be so different.