Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Literally! This is my Mom's family, circa 1945 or so, on a tree trunk at the family summer camp in Harlansburg, PA. My Mom is the youngest - second in from the left next to Grandma.
I met up with my cousin this weekend to plan the family reunion here in Baltimore that he and I are co-hosting at his house up in Bel Air this summer, and my Mom scanned in this old photo so I could use it in the e-Vite and website we're setting up for the event.
My day was just chock full of Bawlmore goodness. Before and after the Poodle Man and the carpet cleaners left, I did actually work a good bit and accomplished a lot. While the workmen were here, I made up a shopping list and later this afternoon, headed out with the intention of cooking Thai food for dinner.
Have you ever gone to the store with a recipe or list in hand, with one ingredient you really need to make the whole list work, an item they ALWAYS have - and they're suddenly out of it? So it was today at the 41st St. Superfresh and a much needed bunch of cilantro. The mere thought of going to another store just made me tired, and then I spotted an elderly black man, age indeterminable, with a slight stoop, wearing the Superfresh apron and a jacket coming out of the produce fridge with a load of stuff to restock the salad bar.
I stopped him and asked him about the cilantro, and he apologetically said he wasn't "supposed to" be working produce that day - just salad bar. I must have looked as dejected as I sounded when I said, "oh, thanks anyway", thinking that not only did they not have what I wanted, but I was getting lousy customer service in the process.
"Wait a minute miss, I'll go look for you - but I don't usually do this". Profuse thanks and brown nosing ensued on my end, and he shuffled off.
He returned with a full box of fresh cilantro and I thanked him again profusely for going out of his way for me, and now he was warming up. "Oh, miss, I'm just doin' what I hope people would do for me!", and I finally got a big, twinkly smile. "I've worked here over 30 years, and retired, but now I just work part time because I missed the customers."
He was wearing a thermal hoodie because it was cold in the fridge, and I could only make out a "BI" in block letters on his name tag beneath it, so I took a chance and said - "Thanks Bill!".
"Whadju call me?" he asked.
OOOOPS!! I thought, thinking I just made a huge faux pas.
Nothing could have prepared me for what was actually on his name tag:
With a big grin, he pulled back his jacket, flashed me a big gold tooth, and said:
"Mah name is BUNNY, Miss!"
I just cracked up, and thanked him again. A few minutes later, I saw him helping someone else in the Spice Aisle trying to find cloves, and teased him about not doing his "assigned" job, and he just flashed me the smile again.
I'm "working from home today" because I had the upstairs carpets cleaned (the first floor is all hardwood), and had scheduled an electrician to finish the job of installing a new ceiling fan after multiple attempts by jwer and myself to do so last weekend had failed.
The electrician was a really amiable guy in his fifties. Dundalk's finest, and I mean that with a great deal of respect and sincerity. He had the light fixture in and working in no time - all for an ass raping $180. It's still not as tight to the ceiling as I would like, but I completely believe it's the drywall's fault at this point - not his, and there is absolutely no wobble to the fan whatsoever.
Anyway, as he's finishing the cup of coffee I gave him, and I'm writing the check, he's playing with the cats, and when he tears the invoice off the clipboard, he says - "these are MY babies - I'm a poodle guy!", and proceeds to show me his clipboard which is simply COVERED in thumbnails of little white toy poodles in various stages of cuteness - some wearing outfits. Trying to suppress a squeak of amusement and amazement, I asked "how many do you have?"
"Oh, there's just the three of them, but I take them everywhere!" - as proud as any Dad could be. Now understand, this is coming from a Dundalk electrician. Union grade, blue collar, Bawlmore at it's best and most honest. I loved him. He was just great.
Next up were the carpet cleaners, and for about the same amount of money, the carpets look amazing, and they were prompt and friendly. They used a special procedure since I have all wool Berber carpets, and although they look great, and there is a fresh lemony scent happening, there is also a decidedly wet dog component to the smell from the wool.
And by senile, I mean the BBC article documenting the latest death of the "world's oldest person", which I believe should now be a weekly feature since they drop like flies when they hit 114.
The caption to the picture showing the poor old girl comatose, in a wheel chair, and with her head held up by a cushion so it doesn't flop over, says: "Mrs Tillman held the title for less than a week."
That's because some old geezer in Puerto Rico kicked the bucket last week.
Next in line for the Grim Reaper? A Japanese woman who the article claims was born in 1883. That would make her 124 years old - not 114, and then she would have them all beat. I think they meant to say 1893.
Nice to know that even at that age, people still can't get your birthday right.
This is Peanut. He's watching me blog, perched on the ladder that goes to the loft in my den. Both cats scamper up and down the ladder easily, and I often find them sleeping on the futon up in the loft. Oh, the mask is from a trip to Mexico, and my Dad actually made the ladder for me out of teak.
In what is just the latest nail in the coffin of traditional dead tree media, the oldest news publication in the world is now ONLY available on line.
Founded in 1645 by Queen Christina, the Post och Inrikes Tidningar (PoIT) -- or Post and Domestic Newspapers -- was a staple for readers in Sweden throughout the late 17th and 18th century.
But its readership dwindled as rival newspapers appeared, confining PoIT primarily to the publication of announcements from publicly listed companies, and financial and legal institutions by the 1900s.
While the paper has not covered news stories for more than 100 years, the World Association of Newspapers recognises PoIT as the world's oldest still in publication.
Since this "newspaper" has become a posting of legal proceedings and financial transactions, this makes sense. But who knew the oldest newspaper was Swedish? I would have guessed Germany first.
So, the woman I hired as a new receptionist in one of our clinics started on Monday. During our interviews, she was warm, professional, had great experience, etc.... She interviewed with three managers and they all liked her.
She spent Monday and Tuesday in orientation and started the actual job on Wednesday.
Her shift starts at 7:30 AM. This morning, she asked me if it was allright if she came in at 10:00 on Monday. ???!!! On her THIRD day!
I said no.
She ran to HR and had a temper trantrum with the recruiter in HR saying I wasn't being fair. She actually cried.
Now reshooting scenes in LA, she was slightly injured when the car she was in, which was being towed by a camera car, took a corner a little too tightly and hit a pole. The article describes the scene as one in which she's trying to shake zombies off the hood of the car while she's driving. There is no mention as to whether any zombies were injured in the making of the film.
They are saying that the film is now on track for a summer 2007 release, which doesn't sound promising given the fact that her costar, Daniel Craig, was named the new James Bond while they were filming here in Baltimore, and Casino Royale has already gone to DVD.
OK, by now you guys have figured out that I like to cook. I've often wondered about making this a food and wine blog, but it just seems a little one dimensional, and I don't have the chops to compete / compare with the folks that are actually DOING good food and wine blogs. Same thing goes for politics, culture, media..... you get my drift. I'd rather talk about stuff that interests me, and since I tend to be interested in a lot of things - you get a mongrel blog.
But back to the cooking.... I'll post plenty of recipes, events, and dinners that have been tremendous successes or achievements, recipes that are to die for, and restaurant reviews for places you should run out and try, but for every ten or so successes? There is a total and complete disaster of recipe, technique, ingredient, etc...
So I'm owning up to the craptacular dinner I made this evening:
Korean Seafood Pancakes
I first had these at a Korean restaurant here in Baltimore and LOVED them. They are very simple: Very thin, eggy, pancake batter with lots of scallions, bean sprouts and seafood tossed in. Kind of a thick, savory crepe crossed with an omelet after it slept with a frittata. They're fried in oil to make 'em fluffy, and served with an awesome sesame / soy dipping sauce.
The Korean market on the corner sells the pancake flour mix already done up, and all you need to do (so the Korean guy at the checkout counter tells me), is add two "reggs", and "WAH-tah", to the mix. The instructions on the package are all in Korean, so I take his word for it. The picture on the package displays the final product in all it's pancakey goodness. He even tells me to make sure to add enough oil to the pan in between pancakes, but I have really good, non-stick Calphalon stuff just so I don't HAVE to use all that extra oil, and I plunge on ahead.
Not so good. I had leftover crab meat I needed to use up, and some shrimp. I didn't add enough WAH-tah, didn't use the oil to make them crisp, the batter got doughy, and I ended up with Korean Seafood Glop.
It went down the garbage disposal.
Live and learn.
BUT - I will learn, and next time? I'll post pictures of beautifully prepared Korean Seafood Pancakes., cause they ARE worth doing right.
The WSJ has a great look back at the previous SOTU's of the POTUS, and asks - "what has he done lately?" From the disastrous "Leave no Child Behind Act" of 2002, to the "Patriot Act", to the war in Iraq. The question you have to ask yourself is - is the US better or worse off than it was in say, 2000?
For Bush - it's clearly worse off - look through the photos and see how he's aged in six years!
Wouldn't it be great if we had a socially liberal, fiscally conservative, environmentally responsible president, who was truly tough on terrorism and had a "mind your own damn business" attitude towards people's affairs?
Oh wait, David Palmer died at the end of season five....
I've been VERY productive this weekend from a personal / household perspective: exercise, lots of little chores and errands accomplished, cleaning, litterboxes are fresh, recycling gathered, some correspondence completed, started my taxes (still need some paperwork), the fifth load of laundry is in the washer as I type, things put away, cleaned up, etc.... Very satisfying.
However, the ONE thing I really wanted to accomplish this weekend has resulted in nothing but a lot of frustration and a strained shoulder.
I tried to replace the ceiling light fan in the kitchen. Jwer was sweet enough to stop over yesterday morning (with a bribe of good coffee and brunch), and managed to get the old fixture down for me, but got stymied after a lot of effort on his part, when we realized that the new ceiling mount kit wouldn't allow a flush fit with the electrical box in the ceiling because it was too high and it was crushing the dry wall. Trips to Lowe's and Home Depot ensued, and today I took a stab at getting the outlet box extender installed and tried to rehang the fixture. Got it wired without killing myself, but I still can't get a flush mount, and I am not tall enough (unlike Jwer) to easily reach the assembly from the little step stool I have without really exerting myself and risking bodily harm.
So....tomorrow we call Spencer the handyman and let him use a real step ladder and take a stab at it.
Talk about Odd Couples. Aside from being Democrats (including the number 2 and #3 ranking senators), these guys live frat house style during the work week. Actually, finding any housing a few blocks from the Capitol for $750 a month is a bargain!
And yes, I could do without visualizing Chuck Schumer in boxers thank you...
In the process of cleaning out my basement a few weekends ago, I also decided to get rid of some things that were left from the previous home owners, and which I have no intention of ever using.
Most of those things are going out with a bulk trash pickup next Friday, but there are one or two things that while I won't use them, are in good shape, were expensive, and seem a shame to throw away if someone else can use them.
So internet, if you need a pair of expensive, custom made, navy blue, Levelor mini blinds - size 50 inches wide and 66 inches long. Contact me.
I'm feeling much better, but now I'm anxious for no apparent reason. I'm pacing, worrying, thinking I should be somewhere or do something that I've somehow forgotten to do, or that something is about to happen and I can't do anything about it. It's really driving me nuts.
There is no rational reason for this and I know it, but that does nothing to soothe the anxiousness, which is like an itch I need to scratch somehow.
Perhaps some of my favorite herbal tea, and perusing the spa treatments for a mid winter spa vacation I'm taking with a friend next month will help. The confirmation package arrived in the mail today with a gorgeous glossy brochure, and I have three whole days at a luxury resort to fill with nothing but massages, wraps, facials, yoga, swimming, and other indulgences.
The last time I checked, the womb was not a vital organ or appendage, and unlike a face transplant, getting a new womb will not propel you from living life as a freak to having a normal quality of life like a new face would.
In the case of womb transplants, surgeons are only planning to keep the donor organ in place for one or two pregnancies before removing it again.
With all the options of surrogates and adoption out there, why would any woman be so self centered and selfish as to insist that she be the one to give birth to a child? It's not the pregnancy that makes someone a mother - it's the nuturing and raising of a child that does.
The risk of rejection, danger to the fetus, and the effects of anti-rejection drugs seem far too high a price to pay to undergo such a serious surgery - not to mention the risk to the baby.
And because this would be elective surgery at best, I sure hope insurance companies don't cover it!
I modified a simple lentil soup recipe to spice it up - the heat will make you feel better, and clear out some of those sinuses! This takes but a few minutes to make and is ready in half an hour.
1 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil One onion - chopped 2 large cloves of garlic finely chopped 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger 2 teaspoons smoked paprika (regular is fine, but the smokiness is nice) 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth 1 cup red lentils 1 can (14.5 oz) dice tomatoes in juice 1 can (10 oz) chickpeas - drained and rinsed juice from 1/2 lemon 2 teaspoons Harissa paste (available in most grocery stores nowadays)
Sautee the onions, garlic and ginger in the olive oil for about 6 minutes
Add the spices and stir for another minute
Add broth, lentils, chickpeas and tomatoes
Cover and simmer for 30 minutes
Add the lemon juice and Harissa
Garnish with fresh cilantro and a dollop of yogurt or sour cream
Stir well and enjoy
The Harissa paste is essential for making this different. If you don't have any - add another chili paste like sambal olek, or add chili flakes to your liking.
This is where I've spent the vast majority of the last two days, and probably tomorrow as well, if today is any indication. Thai Chicken Soup (the chilies were too hot to eat by themselves), multiple coffee/tea mugs, soda water and juice, vast quantities of Kleenex, my favorite candle (not that I can smell a damn thing), the NY Times, a stack of magazines strewn on the floor, and DVDs piled at the end of the coffee table. I sound awful, look worse, and can't even wear my contact lenses because my eyes are so red and watery. I was FINE on Friday. Chipper even. Then at about 1:00 a wave of fatigue hit me so hard and so suddenly, it nearly knocked me off my chair, and by 5:00 I was wondering if I could drive home. I was in bed, shivering and achy, by 9:00 PM. And so it goes.
In other news, now that the Ravens have lost (get over it), let's pull together and root for New Orleans. Having them come back and win the Super Bowl in the wake of Katrina would be a huge boost to the city and a monument to perseverance and recovery in the face of such abject destruction and misery. Go Saints!
A 58-year-old man was referred from Dr. X for the evaluation of 719.46 The patient underwent an out-of-network 99244 on Monday. A 20610 of J7320 x2 were authorized and performed. Blood tests, 83001, 83002, 84146, and 84403 were in the normal range. Multiple 89310s revealed 606.0. 76870 and 76872 were performed and were normal. A 99213 was then undertaken with the patient and Dr. Y and the patient was counseled by Dr. Y to undergo a 73560, 73564, 73565 and a 73580 with 29880, of course, all under 27570.
I do wonder how well the touch screen will work from a durability perspective. Whether or not you'll have to lock and unlock it every time you want to use it to avoid auto dialing or auto surfing, and the screen looks a bit delicate in terms of scratch resistance, which was/is a big problem with the iPod Nano.
Nevertheless, at $500 for 4G and $600 for 8G respectively (a mere $100 for twice the Gigabytes!), the two year contract on my Razr is up in July, and it's going to be mighty tempting. Funny thing is, I bought the Razr when it had been on the market just a month or two....two years later - it's yesterday's news.
In this age of global technology and the internet, when calling my friend in Beijing is a matter of remembering the time difference and dialing a few extra digits, and when email is now the favored mode of communication, it's important to remember just how fragile and tenuous those connections actually are.
When a major earthquake near Tawain cut off most phone and internet services in Asia just before Christmas, it effectively cut that part of the world off from everyone else. I could not reach Beijing by phone or computer, and she could not call out or access the internet for a week or more.
Repairing that connection, even today, is not a matter of rebooting a computer or resetting a switch. It requires a major marine expedition to locate and repair the actual cables that run along the sea floor, connecting all of us, all over the world.
The malfunctioning cable section can be fixed on board the ship. A skilled technician or "jointer" splices the glass fibers and uses powerful adhesives to attach the new section of cable to each cut end of the original—a process that can take up to 16 hours. The repaired cable is then lowered back to the seabed on ropes.
In advance of the work week, I decided to roast a chicken last night so that I would have plenty of meat to make some Thai Soup, salad, and one or two other meals from the leftovers. Yeah, I could have bought a roast chicken, but what fun is that?
One of my New Year's kicks has been to actually crack open all the wonderful cookbooks I have and make better use of them. One of them is Patricia Well's French cookbook that I made a few classic recipes from when I got it as a gift from a good friend a while back, but decided to revisit. Her version of classic, roast lemon chicken is to DIE for. It's the cooking method that makes it great. You need a sturdy, adjustable, V-shaped cooking rack to do this properly.
Parisian Lemon Chicken
1 good, preferably organic, free range chicken - about 5 pounds 2 lemons, well scrubbed and cut into quarters vertically 1 bunch of fresh poultry herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme, marjoram) 3-4 Tablespoons softened unsalted butter or herb butter (I used garlic herb butter from Whole Foods)
Preheat the oven to 425' Rinse the chicken thoroughly, pat dry, and season the cavity with kosher salt and pepper. Place the giblets in the cavity Tie the poultry herbs into a bouquet garni and place in the cavity. Place the lemon quarters in the bird as well (it's a tight fit!) Generously rub the entire bird with the herb butter and truss.
Lay the bird on its SIDE in the roasting rack and roast for 20 minutes Turn the bird on its other side and roast for 20 minutes more Turn the bird breast side up and roast for 20 minutes
Turn the heat down to 375, and roast the bird on its back back side UP with its head pointing down and the butt in the air so all the juices run under the breast for another 15 minutes.
Take the bird out of the oven and place on an oven proof platter with the rear end resting against the edge of a plate to keep it at an angle, cover with foil and let it rest in the oven with the heat off and the door ajar for at LEAST 10 minutes and up to 30.
Remove everything from the bird and squeeze every last drop of juice from the lemons and save. Discard everything else.
Pour off the grease from the pan drippings and deglaze the pan on the stove with 1/4 cup of COLD water. Hot water will turn it cloudy. Pour in the juices from the serving platter and add the lemon juice. Stir at low heat (simmer) until it thickens a bit - about 5 minutes. It makes kind of a truc or au juis as opposed to a true gravy. If you wanted to make a gravy, I suppose you could add a little flour, but I liked it the way it was.
Carve the bird into pieces and drizzle with the lemon juice sauce. Juiciest chicken ever.
I cut up some fingerling potatoes and tossed them into the roasting pan about halfway through the process so they got all crispy and brown, and served this with some braised red cabbage with goat cheese, hazlenuts and balsamic vinegar.
UPDATE: The next time I make this, instead of putting the giblets in the cavity with the lemons and herbs, I think I'll cut a head of garlic in half and toss it in there instead. Then, when the chicken is finished, you can squeeze out all the roasted garlic paste goodness into the lemon juice and thicken the sauce with it.
The folks at Duda Farms have genetically engineered celery to be hollow, so that it can be used as a straw or swizzle stick in drinks. Not exactly the cure for cancer, nor will it end world hunger, but cool nonetheless. Expect to see all kinds of things stuffed into celery as appetizers and snacks from now on.
...and better than most, for not doing housework or minor repairs around the house.
Usually, the first weekend of the new year is a quiet one. Safe from all the Holiday parties, shopping, and social events. A weekend to put away the Christmas decorations, clean up the den, get loads of laundry done, make a pot of stew, and work on the year end finances. Maybe crack open a book you got for Christmas and light a fire, or watch an afternoon movie on cable and have a nap.
Not so today! It's SEVENTY friggin degrees outside. Warm, sunny, and lovely, even the birds are singing. I've flung the windows wide open, and I think I'm going to take myself out to an outdoor cafe for lunch and go for a long walk along the Inner Harbor (it's time like these I wish I had a dog!). It's too rare to waste on housework and chores!
There's been a lot of press this week about a controversial decision made by the parents of a severely disabled child known simply as The Ashley Treatment
Basically, with the mental capacity of a three month old, and no hope of a functional, adult life, the parents decided that it would be physically easier to care for Ashley and integrate her into family activities if she were to remain physically stunted. After careful review by an ethics panel, they removed her uterus, and started giving her hormones to stunt her growth.
Obviously, a lot of people are outraged at this, but I'm not sure why. I think allowing Ashley to grow older in the care and comfort of her family that loves her, is better than allowing her to grow to adulthood, where her older parents may not be physically able to care for her and would move her to a nursing facility, where, let's face it, she would vegetate.
Besides, I don't see this as any different than the patients that come to our institute who are much smaller than "normal", and face a life of inconvenience and outright disability in a world of taller people. With human growth hormones, and limb lengthening technology, we can give them up to a foot or more of additional height.
It's not without risk, and all our patients are carefully screened for psychological issues, and it's not done blithely or routinely, but it is done, and it's done in increasing numbers with excellent results.
I happen to think that under the circumstances, Ashley's parents are trying to provide the best quality of life for their daughter within the limits of her devastating illness.
My first response to this article, is a resounding, cynical, "Duh"! And simply nails another coffin into the religion I left years ago.
A survey by researchers at Villanova University has found that 85 percent of Roman Catholic dioceses that responded had discovered embezzlement of church money in the last five years, with 11 percent reporting that more than $500,000 had been stolen.
But then, it is the first study to look at embezzlement in the context of a religious group. I wonder how the fundamentalist Christian groups in their crystal cathedrals would fare? Is it hypocrisy on all levels?
Or is it, as the article suggests, simply a lack of financial oversight and fiscal accountability because these are faith based organizations and people place too much trust in basic human nature? The article reports that the Catholic Church actually has some of the strictest financial policies and controls written directly into Canon law, but that these are routinely not enforced or followed.
Regardless, the whole thing leaves me with a not so fresh feeling.
Dear Lord, have we not gotten past this YET? Newt Gingrich's wardrobe was never an issue, why should hers be?
At the Women's Tea yesterday, Pelosi wore her signature multi-colored, South Sea Tahitian pearls, with a gray suit and black shirt, adding instant life to the traditional outfit. Those pearls, according to a Los Angeles Times article, garnered so much attention after Pelosi first appeared in them on television, dozens of women called a pearl wholesaler demanding necklaces just like it for themselves. Indeed, she seems to have already started a bit of a fashion trend: Many of the invitees at the tea - young and old - wore similar strands of large baubles.
Tea Parties? When was this written? 2006 or 1906?
To borrow a phrase: I have a dream that all women will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their suit but by the content of their character.
It would seem that I am actually capable of keeping a New Year's Resolution, because it occurs to me that this blog is TWO YEARS OLD today! Things may have slowed down, and I haven't been able to focus my attention on certain topics in as much depth or detail as I might have done early on, especially since I took the new(ish) job, but all in all, it's still great fun, and I get something out of it, so I hope you do too.
I've learned a tremendous amount in doing this. Aside from the social aspect entirely, I've learned a lot about media; certainly a lot about the internet and HTML / Java Script programming (if I can do it - anyone can!); photography; politics; and the list goes on and on.
This forum makes me stay current with media, culture, political events, news, scientific discoveries, economics, Brittany Spear's love life, and JWER's car repairs to name but a few. To skim the surface of the Internet everyday in search of things that I find interesting and hope that others do too, is a lot of fun. Since no one has time to do that every day, I've also learned how to filter my aggregators and feeds to pick out the things I'm most likely to find interesting and "push" them to me, instead of hunting around aimlessly in the Internet jungle.
I would especially like to thank all the "real world" friends I've met on, or as a result of, this blog. All of you are as different as the day is long, but you're all a lovely bunch of coconuts to say the least, and my life is better for having met you. I've been privileged to attend your engagements, weddings, and house parties, and to see you through break-ups, blog dramas, job changes, illnesses and even death. It's a privilege to share in your lives - no matter how dysfunctional they may be at times :-)
OK, since I made New Year's Principles, as opposed to specific Resolutions, that doesn't mean I don't have a check list of things I hope to take care of this year.
So far, I've made arrangements to get the windshield replaced ($$$), cleaned out the basement (labor), and today I scheduled an appointment to get the upstairs carpets cleaned ($). AND, I brought a week's worth of soup to work to have for lunch (-$). So even if I don't become a kinder, gentler person, I'll be healthier, clean and organized!
Instead of listing all the obvious and pedestrian self improvement goals like exercising more, and losing weight, I think I need to get back to basics and set some overarching principles as resolutions for 2007 (and every year, in fact).
1. Be kind and gracious. 2. Respect people, their ideas, and their right to have them, no matter how different or offensive. 3. Be responsible. 4. Do your best work. 5. Give back. 6. Don't assume people know you care about them. Tell them. Often. 6. Achieve these daily.
Happy New Year everyone!! Hope you all had a great time last night, and start the first day of 2007 doing something you enjoy.
I know I did. I went to my old neighbors' new apartment for a party last night, and we enjoyed a terrific view of the fireworks at midnight from their hip, high rise perch. Luckily, the fireworks took place before the worst of the fog and drizzle descended, but we got good and damp walking home at 1:30 in the morning.
Since it stormed all night and was miserable this morning, since I got to bed late, and since the Tournament of Roses parade didn't start until 11:00, I saw no good reason to get out of bed until then. I read one of my Christmas books, surfed the internet on the laptop, and dozed.
New Year's Day seemed like a good excuse to make a nice brunch, and I had an odd assortment of leftovers from previous food related projects, so I made a goat cheese gouda souffle with tomato confit. In doing so, I managed to use up a few tablespoons of cream and sour cream, fresh thyme, eggs, goat cheese gouda, and the tomato confit left over from Holiday Gifts. Turned out REALLY well. Light, puffy and browned. That, good coffee, some bacon and the Parade = nice brunch for sure.
Now it's off to a long shower, watch the Wisconsin game, and completing my very first New Year's resolution: Cleaning and organizing the storage area in the basement. I made serious progress on Saturday by removing EVERYTHING, and throwing out a lot of old boxes, zip lock baggies with long forgotten nuts and bolts from old IKEA projects, organizing all the Christmas lights and decorations, and sorting through a lot of old electrical things like old phones (pitch), printer cables (pitch), etc. Gone are old cans of paint that had dried into lumps, or had separated so badly that there was no hope of remixing them. Today, I just have to put some things back neatly, and arrange for a bulk trash pickup for the stuff I'm throwing out before I can call it officially clean - but it feels GREAT to be organized!! After living here seven and a half years, it's amazing the crap you accumulate!
This evening, it's off across the street for a neighborhood dinner of pork and sauerkraut to celebrate the New Year.