Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Like sunshine

My rosemary plant was growing like a weed, so last week I sought out some rosemary-heavy recipes to put it to good use. One was a penne and chickpea soup from Cook's Illustrated (tomato-based, with bacon and garlic). The other was for these perky little Rosemary Lemon cupcakes from the March 2008 issue of Better Homes and Gardens.

I wouldn't say either recipe was earth-shatteringly good. The major disappointment with the cupcakes was that you couldn't taste the rosemary. As I took the bulk of the cupcakes to the office, I would have been content to simply describe them as lemon cupcakes (because that's essentially what they are), but as they've got flecks of green in them, I had to explain, "They're Rosemary Lemon cupcakes but you can't taste the rosemary." Which got an "ooh!" and then an "aww." My sentiments exactly.

They sure do look pretty though. And who wouldn't enjoy a lemon cupcake? Any idea how one would get the rosemary flavor to come through?

On a completely unrelated note, tonight I painted my toenails with OPI's Boris and Natasha, a deep plummy purple. When I moved, I finally parted with my favorite bright, summery shade of red, a now defunct Gazpacho by Almay. It was, after all, approximately 10 years old. So I've got to hunt down a new summer red before this new coat needs to be replaced. Don't you just love sandal season?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Last quiet Saturday

This'll be my last quiet Saturday for a while, so I'm torn between savoring it or being productive with it. Is there a middle ground? So far it's been mostly ill-used (sleeping in, reading, tinkering with new cell phone, listening to the Fleet Foxes and lawn mowers, blogging). Perhaps there's hope for me yet.

I got these embroidery patterns at a vintage shop last weekend while running around town with friends N and G, who were visiting for the day. They were looking for furniture and I was looking for ways to waste my money. Embroidery is on that list of crafts I'm set to learn "soon", like knitting. So far, though, I'm still consuming all of my crafty time with crochet. In particular on a blanket for N's baby due in June.

But I've got plans for the embroidery, eventually. I even have a how-to book. At least that was a freebie. But aren't these patterns cute? I'll put them aside with Alicia's dishtowel patterns. And someday I will be awash in embroidered dishtowels. Someday.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Exclamations, funfversations

Baby birds! Outside my window! Well only one I can see. Mom is sitting on them still, but I see a little head pop out here and there. I'll try and take a picture of them in the morning when the light's better. But the view is mostly obscured no matter what the light because of the totally leafy fig tree.

Jetta cards! I got these in the mail today. It's some stupid conversation card game, but aren't they cute? This is why I buy Volkswagens. Because they do stupid stuff like send you cards with Jettas printed all over them. I love it. Thanks VW!

Tonight is Muster for Aggies 'round the world, but I'm skipping out because Gossip Girl is back from writers' strike hiatus and I no longer have DVR. No need to make me feel bad, I have the bad-Ag guilt. But oh how I love Gossip Girl. Speaking of, I better run. It's on in 10 minutes.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Spring has sprung

Spring was a pretty serendipitous time to return to Austin. It's a lovely season here. Except for those with allergy problems of course. The landscape is constantly changing right now. The neighborhood I arrived to has already completely transformed. I'd take a photo, and before I could get it on the computer, edited, and online, the image had changed.

Take the photo above, for example. I took it the first week in March, just a day after I arrived. It's the view looking west from my apartment. That view is completely green now. Lush and verdant. The branches are filling up more and more by the day. The horizon is completely obscured.

Meanwhile the temperature continues to fluctuate. The heater keeps needing to be kicked on once a week or so, in the mornings. The waves of storms are moving through, threatening hail and tornadoes. Occasionally they deliver. And birds are setting up nests outside my window.

This white-wing dove has a nest in the fig tree whose upper branches reach very near to my balcony. One day, I noticed a suspicious collection of twigs. Then the next, a lonely, solitary egg. Then the next, another. Before long, mom was ever-present. I use to startle her peeking out the window. But now she's used to seeing me. And sometimes I can sneak out onto the balcony to peek at her. She watches me warily, but usually stays put.

The last of those photos above was taken on the 6th. I am now almost completely unable to spy on her, due to the still-growing, ever-larger, fig leaves on that tree. (No wonder Adam and Eve chose them.) Did I mention when I moved in that the tree was completely bare, save for green buds all over, only about the size of your thumb? I hope the leaves don't get so big that I'm not able to take a picture of the chicks that pop out of those eggs. Because you know I can't wait for that.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

No internets

CJ on the toylet. Via my flickr.

So I noticed last weekend, all of a sudden, that the wireless signal I was picking up got significantly weaker. As in, zero. This was troubling as I had to do taxes on Sunday so I ended up doing them sitting on the corner of my balcony, occasionally stopping to stand and tilt the laptop perilously from side to side in this sad, awkward attempt to re-connect to the signal. Thankfully, the taxes got done. New York City took all my money. Ha! Get it while you can suckers, cos I'm gone now.

So that's why no fun blog entries lately, because then work has been quite busy so I'm not able to do them at work (like I'm doing now, but it's a quiet morning, and I'm going to make this quick). My fun discovery of last weekend, though, was "Videogame Hour Live", a TV show on the local UT student station (also known as TSTV). As an A&M grad, I shouldn't be enjoying this channel, but a TV station run entirely by college students promises fun viewing for those of all ages and collegiate backgrounds. Since I have rabbit ears on my TV and live nearish to campus, I get it 24/7 and it's always fun to see what they're cooking up over there.

"Videogame Hour Live" is my favorite show so far. It consists of three guys sitting around and playing video games. There might be a "news" segment at the beginning of the show too, but this other part is the best. It's as if you were hanging out with some guys and watching them play video games. All you're missing is a half-eaten pizza. What could be better than that? They also answer an occasionally ringing phone, often with the reply, "No, you suck!" Quality programming. I give it two thumbs up.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Today I...

..laughed my ass off at this. I mean, there were tears. My office-mates thought I'd lost my mind, no doubt. (PS - note the date of the story)
..coveted this. The t-shirt, that is. I want one bad.
..learned more than any regular person should know about the Prussian monarchy. (It's for my job, don't ask.)
..talked to my friend N about what being pregnant is like. Convo went a little like this:
Me: So what does it feel like? Does it feel like you've got an alien coming out of your stomach? You know, like that scene in Alien?
Her: ...
Me: You know what I'm talking about? Where the alien pops out? I always thought pregnancy would feel like that.
Her: ..?

Good thing I'm not having a baby anytime soon.