Friday, July 28, 2006

tasty morsels

i've become sort of food-centric, which i'm enjoying immensely. however, the two things that one would immediately think would happen in my life as a result of this latest immersion have not happened; i don't actually eat more than i used to (in fact, i'd say lately i eat way less), and it hasn't brought me back to posting at LAist (a fact that makes me feel guilty and kind of lame, but so be it right now.)

what has happened is that i'm kooky for cookbooks, quick to take the scissors to my issues of gourmet mag, likely to invite people over for dinner, just as likely to make something and feed it to my (very willing) roommates, handing out bags of cookies to friends and loved ones, devoted to the words of ruth reichl, and itching to get cable so i can rediscover the joys of the food network.

hey, it's something to do.

i really like how food is both a necessity and an art. i love how it brings sustenance as well as comfort, and has the power to bring people together at any level, from fancy schmanzy soirees to casual summer bar-b-ques. i love making things for friends and knowing they're enjoying the fruits of my labors--and it doesn't hurt that the blueberry pie i made earlier this week was enthusiastically dubbed "the best blueberry pie i've ever had" by its consumers (oh, heck yeah, it was good!). i'm really excited to build my kitchen skills and add to my tools (although curses to the lack of space in my apartment's galley-style kitchen), and doubly excited to start my professional classes next weekend. although i doubt i'll ever work up the nerve or desire to attempt television fame on any one of the many cooking-themed reality shows that i love to watch so much, i do want to know what the pros know. and maybe, just maybe, paired with my recent acquisition of an advanced degree in wordsmithing, i could just find a career for me somewhere.

or i could just keep making everyone cookies.


Saturday, July 22, 2006


so i was commenting to ashley on the phone the other night that i felt it was a travesty that beverly hills, 90210 was not available for purchase on dvd. i've considered this, and the absence of the 90's drama sisters, to be a blight on the tv-to-dvd industry that otherwise brings me great joy. i mean, hello, we're talking classics here. plus you see, i'm in a release-date no man's land, having recently made short work of ER (season 5), with the august 29 release of will & grace (season 5) seeming like it's light years away. i'm even going to take the first season of deadwood for a spin via netflix, but with the caveat that if i like it, i'll thank ashley, and if i hate it, i'll blame the darling boy, each of whom endorse it (and, apparently its use of the word "cocksucker") wholeheartedly. and since i like cocksuckers, too--um, uh...i mean, since i need something new to watch--i thought i'd give it a go. but now my email is delivering me words of hope heralding the advent of an event so holy i came close to dropping to my knees in thanks to the baby jesus and the nice people who put bad shows on dvd: 90210 (season 1) drops november 7th. i'm so there, cocksuckers.

since the arrival of my child (that's my green apple kitchenaid, for those of you who are keeping track) i've been steadily expanding the waistlines of anyone who's fool enough to respond to my inquiry of: "would you like a cookie?" first it was orange and white chocolate chip cookies, then it was peanut butter cookies, and now it's lemon bars. there's also been a blue cheese and apple quiche in there, and tons of fresh whipped cream. i'm gearing up for cupcakes, as well as a trip to l.a.'s cooking supply mecca, surfas. what i can't seem to find: a recipe holder/organizer/file. am i just so old fashioned? can i turn back the hands of time and go on an intergenerational shopping excursion with my nana and buy a file like she has? why must i be forced to cut out recipes from magazines and leave the clippings to flutter about my kitchen like paper butterflies? help!

in other food news... i start professional cooking classes the first sunday in august at the new school of cooking. i can't wait!!!!

my prius arrived this week. her name is lola. i'm in mad crazy love with her. i'm also volunteering to give people rides, or to be the driver for going to dinner, etc. makes me sound like a chump, but, believe me, driving is sheer joy. i have the lovely voice of margaret, the gps lady, to guide me, i have a/c that works, i get killer gas mileage, and my car is fucking cute. so there.

i'm also currently, newly, or continually made happier by/with: anything pink grapefruit scented (dish soap, room spray, wipes, lotion, shower gel), the british documentary "up" series (7 up-42 up, with 49 up arriving at the nuart theatre in october), pink lemonade, old navy flip flops, h2o+'s face oasis hydrating mist, a splash of cream in my coffee, the darling boy, hell's kitchen (for the drama, not the food), the magnolia bakery cookbook, smart playlists on itunes, staying up late, much needed phone chats with dear friends, plans to go to sushi at the famous urasawa soon, lovely emails from readers that i am too lame to answer (sorry everyone!), central air conditioning,, gourmet magazine, and, after a long hiatus from my life...reading.


Friday, July 14, 2006

the material girl

"congratulations!" exclaimed the salesman, shaking my hand. i'd just spent the past couple of hours in the mind-numbing, but blessedly air conditioned, world of my local toyata dealership. i'd made enough small talk with the salesman appointed to me and my paperwork to fill my chit-chat quota for god knows how many months while i patiently waited for my pre-contract documents to be drawn up by the finance guy. and though i drove off the lot in my old jalopy, the groundwork has been laid properly so that the gorgeous new 2006 package #7 prius, in black, that's on its way to the dealership, has my name written all over it.

yes, i'm buying a prius.

there was a time when i was so fond of my spunky jetta that i couldn't imagine the day i had to part with her. then of course, came those hard times, when "the man" (aka the finance company) made me part with her in the middle of the night, and held her hostage for what seemed like an eternity, while i juggled and begged and borrowed and struggled to get my wheels back.

but no more.

i'm finally going to have a reliable mode of transit to my name--one that gets 60 mpg in city traffic, too, to boot!

so my days with brigitta, the old and ne'er so reliable jetta, are numbered--10, to be precise.

i can hardly stand the wait. at least i have my brand new kitchenaid mixer in a sassy shade of green apple--and the magnolia bakery cookbook--to keep me company. funny, the williams-sonoma salesperson also exclaimed "congratulations!" when i grasped hold of the handles on the weighty box and journeyed out.

every now and then i can really get in to being a material girl. with all these affirmations from my material goods brokers, it sure feels like i'm doing right!

stay tuned for breaking news about impending arrivals of a new television, and--GASP! after years without it--cable (maybe of the direct tv variety, we'll see.)!!!

feel free to begin singing the old madonna tune now. you know i am.


Monday, July 10, 2006

making order out of mess

the other evening, when my new shelves were practically begging aloud for me to fill them, i began to sort through the piles of books that had sat patiently in wait on my floor in stacks for longer than i'd wanted them to. you see, i like order, not mess, and the chaos was nagging at me, but lacked a solution. so i sifted the books into categories, then shuffled them into alphabetical order, and began to shelve. it felt a lot like it used to when i was in my late teens and very early twenties, when i worked for a big book superstore chain, and one of the tasks was shelving the new arrivals or the go-backs. only this wasn't tedious, it was pleasurable, because the books were mine, all mine, and it was my own space i was filling.

it had been a long time since i was able to mentally, or physically, make some order out of the mess that i'd fallen into. despite slugging back fizzy cups of elixr's "mind over muddle" tonic, i was still in a blur and a fog caused by absolute overload. i know, you're thinking, "but she just was liberated from her master's program, jetted off to new york, had strings of celebrations, spent a week with her most favorite cousin who came to town for the first time ever...why the blur and fog?"

i can tell you that june 2006, and even parts of july, are going down in the annals of my life as the hardest time ever for me. most of the reasons are wholly unbloggable, and for once in my life i don't feel badly about keeping quiet about my personal life. i don't need everything hanging out there for everyone to see. besides, no one reads this page anymore, so really, if it's an exercise in self-expression, i'm already making good use of my word program to type out the tales that have taken over my life.

but there is order coming out of this mess. things are slowly getting put back into their right places, including the internal messes. not all my choices are meeting with approval from my greek chorus of friends, but now that i'm more clear-headed, i can honestly claim that the choices are nothing but all mine. nothing ever goes as planned, and i know that now more than ever. i've had to learn some big lessons the proverbial hard way, and i'm going to be the wiser for it.

when i look at the books, so beautifully colorful and all spined out and ordered on my gorgeous shelves, i remember that at the center of this mess is me. and i like me. and i have some amazing people in my life who help me remember who i am, and what i can do in life. i think about the person who made the shelves for me, and right now i can't help but want that person in my life--even with the messes that are labeled his, mine, and ours. this thinking, wanting, believing, caring...makes happiness out of the mess for me. most often, and surprisingly, it defies words. a rare thing for a writer with a love of books, yes?

like the books, the shelves, my experiences, my mistakes...the mess is mine. it's up to me alone to make sense of it.


Saturday, July 08, 2006

worth waiting for

bookcase #1
Originally uploaded by sassylittlepunkin.
bookcase 1 of 2 custom made for me...

...among other things that are arriving, developing, and taking place in my life right now.

it's all a little crazy, and far from easy, but eventually things swing back up towards good.


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