Sunday, July 31, 2011

"I'm good at tolerating pain, I'm bad at math, and I'm stupid."

Today all I want to say that this is the best minute and thirty seconds of television comedy that I've seen in a long long time. (This is from the TV show Parks and Recreation, and the premise is that Amy Poehler's character is giving a false confession in order to protect someone else).

Saturday, July 30, 2011

This is how I know what a slow loris is

1. After picking up our CSA share on Wednesday (which is one of my favorite parts of the week, and I strongly suggest that if you have access and means to be part of a CSA to do it), I made ratatouille for the first time. When I was little, we called it "Rat-gooey." That name, combined with it's appearance to a child (it's all veggies, and some pulpy veggies too), meant that the word "rat-gooey" was always followed by the word "Ewwwwww!"
We all have to grow up sometime, though. Ratatouille is delicious, and really easy to make. It also allows for a lot of your own creativity/resourcefulness. I used this recipe, but made some adjustments. No peppers (not ripe yet), added some mushrooms, and poured in some TVP (textured vegetable protein) for protein. I also added more garlic and come cayenne pepper, as I do to pretty much everything I cook. We had it over whole wheat ziti, but it's also good on rice, as a stew, in crepes, or in any other number of ways.

More like this at Dear Photograph.

3. TED Talks, Julian Treasure: 5 Ways to Listen Better
I expected this to be the usual listening tips that I've heard all the time, but Julian Treasure talks less about interpersonal communication and more about learning how to listen to everything and appreciate all of the sounds happening in the world around us.

4. A great article about trans people in movies.
"“I have such respect for drag queens. But What is troubling about the mainstreaming of drag, and people conflating drag and being transsexual, is that people think this is a joke. My identity is not a joke. Who I am as a woman is not a joke. This is my life.”

A Glittering - Sarah Manguso
One mourner says if I can just get through this year as if salvation comes in January.
Slow dance of suicides into the earth:
I see no proof there is anything else. I keep my obituary current, but believe that good times are right around the corner
Una grande scultura posse rotolare giĆ¹ per una collina senza rompersi, Michelangelo is believed to have said (though he never did): To determine the essential parts of a sculpture, roll it down a hill. The inessential parts will break off.
That hill, graveyard of the inessential, is discovered by the hopeless and mistaken for the world just before they mistake themselves for David's white arms.
They are wrong. But to assume oneself essential is also wrong: a conundrum.
To be neither essential nor inessential—not to exist except as the object of someone's belief, like those good times lying right around the corner—is the only possibility.
Nothing, nobody matters.
And yet the world is full of love . . .

6. This has been a kind of serious blog post! So here's this:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Another excuse to not mow my lawn

1. The placement of the windows in my bedroom means that I can change with the windows open without being concerned about anyone seeing me.

2. Yesterday I pulled up the garlic from our garden. Most of my friends grew up on/near or are currently work on a farm, but for this born and raised in the suburbs of NYC, the harvesting and eating of things that I grew myself is still a pretty novel concept.

But who is Hank?


5. Oh I love Hannah Hart as much as I can love a person that I've never met and only really know anything about from youtube videos of getting drunk and attempting to cook.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


1. Somehow I'd forgotten about Neutral Milk Hotel. How could I do that?

2. I forgot to write about my experience seeing the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 with Jenny. We saw it at the Loews near Lincoln Center, a really beautiful theatre. We got to sit on the balcony, right up at the front, and put our feet on the railing. It also provided a great view of peoples' faces as they watched the movie, which was almost as enjoyable as the movie itself. I also enjoyed people applauding and cheering at exciting moments.
I wasn't expecting to get emotional - of course the Harry Potter series was a major part of my adolescence. When it started, I was the same age as Harry Potter. My dad bought me the second and third book before they came out in soft cover (something he never does) because he could see how into them I was. But for me, the seventh book was the end of the series, and I have little emotional attachment to the movies. BUT. When Dumbledore and Snape did their "After all this time?" "Always" bit, I was gone. What a fantastically well done scene.

3. The smell of rain on hot pavement is my favorite smell. It beats my mom's bread baking, cilantro, tomato plants, garam masala and wild roses. Someone (I can't remember who!) recently told me that there is a word for "the scent of rain on dry earth." I looked it up, and it's "petrichor." Wikipedia says that it combines the Greek petra (stone) and ichor (the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology). Stone gods' blood. I love it.



Sunday, July 24, 2011

One day it will get stuck like that

1. I just spent a good chunk of time cutting up and jarring some herbs I'd dried from my garden, and now my hands smell like dill and oregano.

2. The NY Times feature on same sex marriage in NY. The marriage equality act went into effect this weekend, and the NYT has pictures and stories and is accepting picture submissions from New Yorkers.

3. The above reminded me of this quote from 64 year old Republican New York State Senator Roy McDonald who voted to pass the marriage equality act:
"You get to the point where you evolve in your life where everything isn't black and white, good and bad, and you try to do the right thing. You might not like that. You might be very cynical about that. Well, fuck it, I don't care what you think. I'm trying to do the right thing.  I'm tired of Republican-Democrat politics. They can take the job and shove it. I come from a blue-collar background. I'm trying to do the right thing, and that's where I'm going with this."

 4. Heart warming whale saving.

5.  This artwork is really cool, but it makes me think of centipedes.

6. I'm fairly certain that I make this face most of the time.  When I was in fifth grade my teacher told me that if I kept on making this face then when I got older I would have a permanently furrowed brow due to wrinkles. There are worse fates.
picture by Jill Smith

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Okay friends, once again I apologize for slacking. For the past week I've been at New York Yearly Meeting Summer Sessions, which did not leave any time for blogging. You'll get over it.
Here are some things that I've recently liked:

1) Seeing Jenny! Doing a terrible job of helping her get around NYC!

2) Vegan buffalo wings from Red Bamboo. Those things are no joke, and I'm fairly certain that I prefer them to real chicken wings.

3) Lula's, a vegan ice cream shop in the East Village.

4) Night swimming.

5) The horizontal human hammock.

6) While star gazing on Thursday night I saw the most impressive shooting star that I've ever seen.

7) Here is a really great song about star gazing, kind of.

8) Another adorable inter-species friendship (thanks, Adrienne).

9) I've been away from the Ithaca area for three weeks. Upon returning, exhausted from a long drive after a long week and a long night of not so much sleep, I was reminded almost immediately of what a special place Ithaca is.
In the Ithaca Bakery, there was this couple dressed up super dapper and holding bouquets. The guy's hair was even parted and slicked down. They were just chillin.
At the table next to us, a family was playing Magic.
On the way home, at a red light, the car next to me honked and motioned to my roof. Oh, I thought, I left something on the roof, I'll pull over next chance I get to remove it. I tried to show the guy in the other car that I'd gotten his message, but he was not satisfied. He was very concerned. He kept motioning to my roof and then reached into his back seat and held up a to-go container. I'd left my to go container on my roof. He didn't stop motioning until I'd put my car in park right there, got out, and took the small box with half a sandwich and some left over soup. He then smiled and happily drove away, satisfied that he had saved what could have been a gourmet meal from a cruel fate.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Swiftly Resolved Readjustment of Relationship Schema

1. Hey, folks. It's summer. Make yourself some Vietnamese Summer Rolls. They require basically no cooking (none at all if you buy a ready-made sauce and don't bother with the vermicelli that some recipes call for), and they are one of the most simply delicious things ever.
You should probably google the recipe and choose the one that appeals to you most, as there are many variations. I've never done it with vermicelli, and I still love them. It's also fun to try different vegetables - the most common ones are cucumber, beans sprouts, and carrots, but I also like red pepper, radish, zucchini, and also shaved ginger.

2. The best part about this is the kid's accent and how quickly he settles the matter and moves on to ping pong. Do yourself a favor and don't bother reading the comments.

4. This song helps me get dressed in morning sometimes.

5. This has happened to me twice in the past month, once in New Rochelle, once in Iowa. In Iowa I located and killed the perpetrator, but the New Rochellean is still at large in my childhood bedroom. In my family we call these insects doubtfire bugs (I think the first experience my siblings had with one was while watching Mrs. Doubtfire), and there is a war against them. I once tried to kill one with a meat cleaver, but instead chopped an extension cord and made the power go out. I've learned since then, and only use flat, dull weapons.
source: fyeahragecartoons

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I'm sorry, I'm thinking about cats again

1. On Sunday, I had the following dialogue with my sister:
Anna: Helcat, do you want to see a play?
Me: Maybe...
Anna: It's on a boat.
Me: Really?!?!?! How much does it...
Anna: Free!
If you are in the NYC area, go see Henry V. It starts at Battery Park (England), then there's a scene on a boat on the way to Governor's Island (France), which we invade. Highlights of the experience include:
- safety announcements on the boat made in Shakespearean language
- "charging" from scene to scene (with the kids of the audience leading the way), and a man in the audience who ran past us shouting "Kill the French! Kill the French!"
- marching in unison as an audience with the cast
- seeing the English in between scenes looking at a map of Governor's Island and apparently planning their attack
- eventually charging into battle (which was actually really scary, as there were people with swords running towards us).
- a little girl on the boat on the way back to England after our victory saying "I didn't have a sword for battle. They forgot to give me a sword."
- It was free.
It's part of the River to River Festival, and it is definitely worth seeing. Get to Battery Park around 4:30 to pick up your wristband (you can get two per person, but they do run out), then get dinner in the area and enjoy the park, and come back at 6:45 to see the play. If you don't get a good "seat," it doesn't matter, because in five minutes they'll have you moving to the next scene.

2. Animals Being Dicks. It is what it says it is.

3. I don't know that I actually "like" this, but it is a youtube video that you should probably know about:

Monday, July 4, 2011

Please let apocalypse be this great. Thanks!

I'm in Iowa for a big Quaker gathering this week - I'm pretty busy, so unfortunately I do not think I'll be updated much, or at all. Happy Fourth to those who celebrate it, happy Monday everyone else. See you next week.