multipurposegoddess: (Default)
Hi Dreamwidth/livejournal peeps!

It's been months and i haven't read, much less posted.  And I still haven't read, so, apologies but I am not caught up on what's going on with y'all unless I found out in other spaces. So it goes.

Anyway, instead of catching you up with what is going on in my life (I am doing stuff, I guess? Doesn't feel like it sometimes, but I stay busy, too busy to be online like I'd like) I am going to blather about the resolutions I somewhat randomly feel obliged to make.

I think what I need to do for the next little while is focus on getting rid of stuff and getting my house in saleable shape. Not that I necessarily intend to sell anytime soon, but I should be ready. While keeping it a space I enjoy living in, of course, but that's a pretty low threshold. It's more house than I need or can really afford, and even if I don't move my heirs will want to sell it and I should fo them a favor and get it ready for that, if nothing else. To start with, this mostly means getting rid of excess stuff and fixing things like the plumbing issues and the swamp cooler and whatnot. I don't want t fix the crack in the living room ceiling, but I guess I should. It's far down the list.

There's other stuff, but that's what I have the burning desire to share right now So.
multipurposegoddess: (Default)
So, I went for my training run yesterday after work - it was a good one! I felt good, Walter kept up without flagging much, my pace was good, didn't get eaten by zombies though they were on my tail part of the way. Anyway, I brought some cash with me so I could stop and buy coffee at the convenience store on the way home (they carry coffee from the local roaster who no longer sells direct to the public) and when I was checking out, the owner (I think, cashier anyway) recognized me enough to ask if I lived down in the cul-de-sac, which he knows because he also delivers pizza for a place H really liked, and when I said yes, said "your boyfriend is Harry?" and I just said "Henry" and didn't explain the whole thing. He mentioned we hadn't ordered in a long time and gave me a coupon, I said I'd been on a diet (which is true).  Eventually I'll order a pizza that he'll deliver and he'll probably ask where H is and I'll tell him then.

Anyway, the point is, it was okay. Not, like, super sad. So that's a thing that happened.
multipurposegoddess: (Rat)
The Good: went for a run today and it was fine! No mysterious allergic reactions, kept running the whole "free running" parts of the training, even Walter was co-operative and focused, mostly. I think I'll be able to finish the Couch-to-5K training in time for my 5K! My plan is to run on all even numbered days.  I think I can still make it if I don't quite manage every one of those, but that's the goal.

The Bad: I don't think I'm going to put much effort into going to the gym. I like running outside better, I'm going to focus on that now and if I can get that down to a routine and add on the gym, I'll do that. There are only so many hours in a day and I have to spend some of them not doing anything!
multipurposegoddess: (bees)
Hi DW/LJ! I keep mentally composing posts, but it is hard to find the time and energy to actually, you know, post them. This may be a little incoherent, but that's better than nothing, I hope.

Work is going okay. There is a little bit of reorganizing going on - one of the managers in my department is moving sideways into another department and they aren't replacing her, and one of my co-workers is leaving for a job with the county. They are replacing her, but a new person won't be able to pick up all her work, she was kind of specialized. I'm a little worried that I'll get more on my plate and I haven't fully mastered what I already have, but that's the way it goes, I guess. I won't be under the manager that hred me any more, which I am a little bummed about because we worked well together. But I've worked with my new manager on a couple of small projects and those were fine, so I'm sure that will work out.

This Wednesday will be one year since i started at Meyer as a temp. Pretty weird. Good weird, on the whole. Time has slowed down a little - it was zipping by super fast for a while there. I still feel like it was just 2005 not very long ago, but last March being a year ago seems about right. So.

I had a super scary allergic reaction last Monday. I went running, listening to my Zombie training app, of course, and shortly after Maxine told me I'd done two minutes of warm up walking, my arms were itching enough for me to wonder if I'd used the wrong kind of soap, but it wasn't too bad and usually that is irritating but bearable. Well, it just kept getting worse, but I thought there was a water fountain at CIty Hall (about a mile into my run) where I could wash off my hands. I couldn't find it, maybe it wasn't there, and by then my legs started itching, but the fastest way to get home and do something about it was just to continue my run and just head straight home. About halfway home I started feeling like  my tongue was too big for my mouth and my throat felt swollen which is what realy tipped me off that this was an allergic reaction for real. I didn't have trouble swallowing or breathing, but it was worrisome.

Made it home, hopped in the shower which did provide some relief, but could not find any Benadryl. By the time I had looked for it enough to decide that i just needed to go to the store, the soothing effects of the shower were pretty much gone. I really should have gone to Urgent Care or the ER at that point, but I had my whole Take Benadryl plan and wasn't thinking clearly enough to change it, so I put on a dress that wouldn't touch my skin in too many places and drove to Rite Aid where I bought every type of allergy medicine they had and several lotions and a Diet Coke, popped two Benadryl in the parking lot (and noted the time so I could tell if I was just being impatient or if it wasn't doing any good), went home and consulted for advice on What Drugs Interact With Benadryl. After an hour, all my symptoms were better but not gone so I took Claritin.

I kept taking Benadryl and Claritin the rest of the week and saw my doctor this past Monday for a follow up. She advised me to carry Benadryl with me, prescribed me an epipen just in case, and set me up for an allergy test for common allergens plus almonds (because I know I'm allergic to almonds, but I didn't eat any that day and while I am also pretty sure almond pollen makes me congested I've never had the itching and swelling form pollen before, just contact (soaps made with almond oil, for instance) and those incidents were much milder. I've gotten the raw results but not her interpretation - Class II levels (which the internet tells me means Moderate Allergy) for a bunch of tree and grass pollens, and almond, and walnuts (which is a surprise, but is something I ate before running) and potatoes (which I didn't even know was a common allergen but is also something I ate that day). If I have to give up walnutsI will be bummed, as I do rely on a variety of nuts for snacking purposes and have been looking forward to making leek and walnut tarts. If I have to give up potatoes I will be really bummed because potatoes are fucking delicious. I have been hardly eating them at all because low carb but when they show up in my CSA I enjoy them mightily and part of being able to take not eating them very often while dieting is knowing that I will not be on this diet forever and can welcome potatoes back into my life and if that is not true, well, it's not good. But I don't really know that yet, maybe I just have to be careful during Spring and restrict how often/how much I eat the things that the test is positive for. IDK

Meanwhile, I am still all into custards. I decided just yesterday to go ahead and splurge on a whipping siphon so I can explore the wonderful world of foams and airs from a molecular gastronomy standpoint. I love whipped cream, and mousses, and yeasty bread (which is technically a foam) and souffles and meringues and so forth, so I am excitied to see what happens when you make those kinds of textures with different flavors. I've already got a bag of xantham gum and I am not afraid to use it. And I am semi-obsessed with deviled eggs. Between those options, the magical noodles made out of tofu, and good old salad I 've got some decent variety in my diet.

Speaking of diets, down almost 90 pounds. One day this week the Wii told me I was Overweight instead of Obese, which was kind of nice in that odometer showing a lot of zeroes way. I'm oretty much at the weight I was wen I got married, which means a lot of the clothes I had packed away fit me again. Most of those are appropriate for warmer weather, on account of how I bought them in New Orleans, so I haven't been able to bust too many out yet, but soon!

Hm, I feel like I am forgetting to talk about something. Oh well, I can always post again.
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
I kinda want to reinvent myself as a herder of spidersilk producing goats and try my hand at cruelty free fois gras.

I think both of those would take more start up capital than I can reasonably hope to come up with, though.

Oh well.
multipurposegoddess: (Default)
I guess I have been busy. I know I frequently think about things I would like to write about but don't quite come up with the down time to think them through much less actually write something to go here.

Anyway, as much navel-gazing as I have to catch y'all up on, today I am posting about my newly deceased uncle, Vsevolod, or, as I have always known him, Svetik. I guess he went by "Steve" out in the world, but I never heard him called that. He was born in Shanghai during the Japanese occupation and Babushka had a hard time getting enough nutrition, etc., while she was pregnant, which probably didn't do him any favors. And my grandfather had some peculiar ideas about child raising that led him to be too demanding of my dad and barely take an interest in Svetik, so the family dynamics were, to put it bluntly, pretty fucked up. He and my dad never got along, as kids or as adults, though the last time they spent together was mostly talking monster movies and was pretty pleasant.

He was a hard guy to be around - loud and ignorant - but essentially well-meaning and genial.

I can't say I'll miss him, particularly, he was never a big presence in my life, but, y'know, one less Skaredoff in the world, and there were never a lot of us.

The memorial service tomorrow night and the funeral proper on Tuesday will be Russian Orthodox, which will be weird for me. I'm not sure how to dress - I thought I had it nailed with my grey suit, but now I'm thinking maybe pants would be frowned upon. I'm sure I have something suitable.

Edited to add: spoke to my dad and he says pants would be okay at this parish, but I need something to cover my head. I have a knit hat that I hope will do, I can't find any scarves. I think I will go with skirts anyway, I can't find my suit pants (why I have the jacket handy and not the pants I do not know, but I have been doing a lot of moving-clothing-around and may have packed them into the wrong box or something). I'll have to wear my memorial service clothes to work, I'll need to go straight to my parents and then leave immediately from there, and i think I'll stay the night so I'll pack my funeral clothes. Sorry, Walter and cast, but you can manage one night, you've done it before.

Dad spent yesterday clearing out Svetik's apartment, which actually helped him feel better. Less guilty. One of the ladies from the church was helping him - she thinks of Svetik as a Fool of God (my dad's translation) and will miss him. I think that might be an apt description. And I'm glad someone will miss him.
multipurposegoddess: (Aruba)
I did go to Subway after work because one of my co-workers apparently owns Subway franchises on the side and gave everyone coupons for free sandwiches at the grand opening of his latest store, and I thought about having something with avocado because yum, but I went with good old meatball marinara because also yum.

But really I am confessing that I did not go to the gym today.

But you know what? Going once in a week is still an improvement over the last I don't even know how many weeks.  I'll aim for twice next week. I think I can do that, even with the holiday.
multipurposegoddess: (Simpsons)
So, the ads for the Hobbit: the Part that Comes Out This Year are entrancing. I got myself onto Fandango and bought a Superticket, because I am exactly that kind of sucker, for Friday Dec 13 at 7 pm. The earlier showings I am not sure I could get to what with needing to work and all. It'll be bittersweet, a Tolkein movie  on the anniversary of meeting my dearly departed pookie. Bittersweet suits my palate lately, so that's fine. I might go try a Five Guys Burger before hand - I haven't been there and we ate at the Burger Joint in the Mission  on that fateful day . . . it makes sense to me.

Anyway, all emboldened by my ability to commit to the hobbit, I went ahead and bought a ticket to Thor for Saturday. I've been meaning to see more movies on Saturdays, and I certainly like my Avengers. And the advance word is that I don't need to bother with 3-D, which helped make the decision. I need to work in Catching Fire before too long, but I'm not sure how soon I'll be able to do that. For one thing, Alex McMurray is playing Armando's again early in December, that'll probably fill my entertainment quota for that weekend...
multipurposegoddess: (bees)
Accolades, please.


But I am pleased with myself. And I repacked my gym bag when I got home, so as to be ready to go again on Wednesday.
multipurposegoddess: (goats)
...continues. As I slowly erode Mt. Laundry (even with the dryer working properly (and hooray for that!) the flickery fluorescents in the garage (where the washer and dryer are) make doing laundry after sunset a dicey proposition. And I'm mostly home when the sun is down. But, hey, a couple of loads a day will make a huge difference, if I can get one started before I leave for work and another right when I get home while it's still light out.

Anyway, the point is, I'm pulling out the summerweight clothes and size 24 clothes as I come across them and putting them in appropriate boxes (which are in different rooms so I hope I won't get them confused, but I'd best bust out the label-maker before too long).

And my Saints play this Thursday, so I don't have to block out football watching time next weekend. Although I'll also need to do some Thanksgivikkuh prep cooking, but dividing my time between the kitchen and the garage/laundry usually works out okay for both. And after Thanksgiving there's three days in a row of not going to work or social obligations (I think, I shold check that at some point). Who knows what I can do with that kind of time!

Oh, man, do I have enough candles to do the freezer vs room-temp storage experiment? I think I cannot do that on top of everything else this year.

I still have 18 custard-based meals in the fridge, so that's six days, and more than a day's worth of commercially-prepared frozen meals in the freezer, and my produce box and eggs come this Tues night/Wed morning. Feeding myself for the next week or so should not be a problem. I'll  have to go grocery shopping at some point for T-day specific ingredients. And gelt, which I couldn't find at Target today. I know Cost Plus will have chocolate coins, I just need to get over there. I'm planning on bring in jelly donuts and chocolate coins for my department next Wednesday, since that evening will be first candle lighting. I don't think I can manage vegan jelly donuts for my parents, but gelt for them, too. I described the Serious Eats Latke-Crusted Fritters to them when we went to the Sing-a-bration yesterday and they are game to try making them. I'll probably do the cranberry center and stuffing layer ahead of time and just do the latke crust and fry at their house. Exciting!

Oh! I had the crazy idea of packing both my gym bags and a yoga bag and stashing them all in the trunk tonight so I would have no excuse to not go to the gym on my way home from work three times. I think I have enough sport's bras and running shoes to fill them all. I certainly have plenty of sweat pants and T-shirts. Let's see if I can make that happen...

Edited to add: forgot that the problem with the one gym bag is that most of teh zippers are frozen. It's so well-laid out with its pockets and compartments, though! Such a shame. Anyway, one bag packed with the goal of getting to the gym tomorrow. The rest of the week will have to take care of itself.


Nov. 12th, 2013 06:42 am
multipurposegoddess: (Winter)
How is it only Tuesday? That can't be right.

On the other hand, how is it already nearly halfway through November?

None of it makes any sense.
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
I've got a pot of Cock-a-leekie soup on the stove, and I need to remember what else I've got ingredients for so I don't forget to cook them. To wit:
  • Char Siu (to combine with miso custard)
  • Chili (some to eat straight, some to combine with beef custard, and that may leave some ground beef to make something else, I'm not sure how much I actually bought) 1 lb ground beef remaining, but that can go in the freezer
  • Shirred Eggs Benedict a LOT of fail in this attempt, from the sauce separating to me forgetting the water bath, but I'll still eat the results.
  • Lo carb bread smells SO GOOD while baking. Surprisingly bread-like.
  • It wasn't on the list as such so I can't really cross it off, but the Cock-a-leekie soup  is done and made into custard with at least a quart of broth leftover. And what looks like a thick layer of fat on top. Hello Hanukkah schmaltz!
  • That brings my total of custard-based meals on hand up to 22, a full week+. Woohoo! Maybe I'll throw the pork tenderloin in the freezer for a few days.
I'd be really surprised if I get to all that today, but as long as I have the list maybe I will get to it sometime. One of those should probably be dinner. The recipe says the soup simmers for 4 hours, but I like to let my stewing hens go for a day or more, really extract all the flavor and break down the tough old birds, so I'm not planning on that making a meal until at least tomorrow. Chili makes sense for watching the Saints-Cowboys game, but the Eggs Bendict has been on my mind for days already. Making Hollandaise sauce is a little daunting, I've never done it before. Then again, the prospect of bread is pretty exciting. I miss buttered toast.

Anything could happen. Even the dark horse Mac and Cheese, which I'm not including in the To Cook list only because I only have enough noodles for one meal.

Meanwhile, laundry is kicking my ass. Semi-literally - I just dropped a full basket of laundry on my foot and that hurt. Mostly it's just an overwhelming mountain of laundry. Between decisions I've made to not wash some loads on prior days because i didn't need them right then and the large number of recently unpacked clothes that need to be washed before they can be worn, it's a lot. If I can get some of the clothes that are too big for me out of the house, and the things that are too summery to wear for a few months packed up, my wardrobe will be so much more manageable, but it's one of those looks-much-worse-before-it-gets-better processes.

Edited to add: yeah, this is looking more like laundry week than laundry day. I suck.

multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
Quick and Dirty Chawanmushi: can of shrimp divided between 4 jars, teaspoon of soy sauce and a 1/8 t ginger in each jar. Let that marinate while I mix up a cup and half of Easy Miso, and beat 3 eggs into that. Pour egg mixture over the shrimp. Steam for 20 minutes or so, until the custard is pretty much set.

Ate the first jar hot from the steamer. Yum! A llittle on the salty side: I didn't think to rinse of the shrimp. Kind of contrasted nicely with the not so salty custard, though. Could use some water chestnuts or something.

I got a leek in my produce box, I'd better pull a hen out of the freezer so I can make soup. Huh, and I am actually out of chicken stock. Good timing!
multipurposegoddess: (Cozy)
I wish paying the mortgage every month didn't reduce me to tears. It's such a stupid thing. I still haven't gotten my escrow refund from when I refinanced and just thinking about trying to jump through whatever hoops there may be to get it unfailingly makes me cry, and the thought that I am letting them steal ~$3k from me because trying to get it back is so frustrating is even worse. Argh. On top of that, which has been ongoing for months, I recently increased my 401K witholding in the hopes that I will someday actually be able to retire, and that made my take-home for my first paycheck of the month (I get paid semi-monthly) less than my mortgage payment, which is kind of okay short-term, I have savings and I can rationalize that what I am really doing is transferring money from my savings account to my 401K , but it is still anxiety-making. My budget is such a mess and I just don't have the wherewithal to fix it right now. Fortunately, I do have a cushion of savings, still. I would like to have this figured out by 2014, but that's coming up soon and I don't know when I'll be able to focus on this shit. Meanwhile, of course, I am throwing money away on stuff I don't need, which is depressing to contemplate.

Money. Argh.

In happier news, I have gone from a size 24 to a size 14 in the last year, and my stash of Clothes I Would Like to Fit Into Again now fits into one plastic bin. I need to figure out what to do with all those now too big for me outfits - some I would like to take in and keep wearing but probably a lot of them I can see if the new consignment shop down the street will take or donate somewhere. I have at least one suit that's never been worn because job hunting didn't really go like I expected it to.

Also pretty happy news - I have a week's worth of breakfasts in the fridge, and 5 days worth of lunches and dinners. I've got everything I need to make salmon cheesecake, and two small pumpkins to eat up, so that's a few more meals. My produce box & eggs will be delivered Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. All told,  I think I am okay to avoid grocery shopping until next weekend. That's always nice.

Work is fine. October is our busiest month and I'm kind of not looking forward to things slowing down. Like there won't be enough for me to do? I don't know. There's always more analysis I could be doing, I don't think that's really a danger. I do run out of brain, sometimes, and want things to do that I don't really have to think about, and that may be in shorter supply, but that hardly seems like it's worth worrying about.

Anyway, four-day weekend at the end of the month, so there's that to look forward to. One of those days will be taken up with Thanksgivukkah, but that still leaves me an extra day of Getting Stuff That is Not Work Done, hopefully.

Jesus, I need to reset this fucking day and I cannot think of a way to do that. This is so stupid, to be all upset about paying bills when the bills are, in fact, paid, WTF, self?

I mean, sure, my life is meaningless and there's not really anything to look forward to, getting through today just means I get to try to get through tomorrow, but that's true all the time and it doesn't usually ruin my mood.
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
Yesterday I layered roasted beets (and carrots because why not?) and broiled steak into mason jars and covered that in a beef stock based custard to make Borscht Chawanmushi. I haven't actually tasted it yet (although I sampled all the components and they were good) but it sure looks pretty, sort of a ruby red ombre effect.

And this morning I made "muffins" featuring bacon, blue cheese, and bloody mary mix. Yum, although I need to tweak the oven temperature/cooking time a tiny bit. The tops browned up great but the bottoms could be drier which I think a little longer cooking at a little lower temperature might accomplish.

I have a full week's worth of meals in my fridge! Unfortunately, I also have the equivalent amount of pots and pans needing to be washed up. That's mostly a matter of loading the dishwasher several times, though, so still a net win.
multipurposegoddess: (Cozy)
 Quiche muffins? They are only muffin-like in that they are baked in muffin liners and therefore are essentially muffin-shaped. But they are not really quiche-like. 

Well, whatever, made two batches after work. I know I said I'd do ham & cheese first (I decided to go with Cheddar, had a Gruyere omelet for breakfast), but when I said that if had forgotten about my genius plan to chop up leftover KFC, layer with sliced mushrooms, and top with a chicken stock based custard. So one of those was dinner and, whew, it was good. Very pleased with that. The ham and cheese are cooling on the rack, now, I'll try one for breakfast. 

ION, I tried to upgrade my laptop OS to Mavericks. That may have been a mistake. Restoring from Time Capsule (sadly, my last full backup was 10/9 for some reason, what the hell? But I doubt I'll lose much from those two weeks, my docs tend to live in the cloud) now, probably overnight. Tomorrow I can try to figure out if my hard drive actually needs repair. Sigh. 

So, posting from the iPad. Not bad. 
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
Not that I have made more custards, but I bought a bunch of ingredients. I think the next thing up know, that will take more explanation.

I don't think I mentioned that in addition to the chawanmushi, I came across something called "Egg Muffins" in a low carb cookbook which is practically the same ingredients, basically the same assembly, but instead of steaming or baking in a bain-marie as is usual with a custard, it's baked in a hot oven till it puffs up a little and browns a bit and somewhat resembles a muffin. Pretty tasty, and doesn't necessarily require a fork.

So anyway, next up is a batch of those made with ham and cheese. I just need to decide between sharp cheddar and gruyere. It's a tough call. I bought the gruyere because it sounded good with ham, but the cheddar might be calling more to me. Hm.

Well, not gonna make any tonight, so I can sleep on it.

multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
I've been feeling like never grocery shopping again, for whatever reason, so yesterday I scrounged up all the stewed chicken meat off the carcasses that had been turned into stock (about 4 oz) and steeped appropriate spices in a quart of that very stock and assembled four jars of Pho Flavored Chawanmushi. I didn't consult my notes while cooking and I think I got the ratio of stock to egg a little off, but it tasted fine both hot out of the steamer and cold today for lunch. Maybe better cold? The spices seemed more pronounced. Definitely lacking lime and cilantro and bean sprouts, and would only be improved by the addition of noodles, I think, but not bad for what I had lying around. Will make again, probably with more actual ingredients.
multipurposegoddess: (Default)
So, for the past few days, maybe as long as a week but I don't think quite that long, I have been feeling intermittently bad. On a surprisingly regular schedule. Every afternoon around 1 or 2 pm , I feel all prickly and mildly feverish, eyes burning a little, that sort of thing. I thought it was because I had been taking 24-hr Claritin in the morning and maybe it wore off by then, but I didn't take any yesterday or today and still the early afternoon wave of not wellness. It's not bad enough to totally take me out, but it's not pleasant. Mostly, I just don't understand.

And I have two meetings scheduled for tomorrow afternoon, so that'll be fun. Blergh.
multipurposegoddess: (Simpsons)
My allergies are really bothering me, I might just go back to bed for most of today. Or stay on the couch wrapped up in blankets eating soup and drinking tea. Yesterday's headache has moved from the right side of my head to the left, which somehow seems like an improvement? In that it's a change, I guess. I hope I don't have to figure out how to use my sick days, I have projects at work that I hope to wrap up this week and I really want to see them through. Maybe I will drag myself to the store and get some Claritin and Sudafed.

Anyway, yesterday did the Martinez Home Tour with my mom which was really nice. John Muir's house was, of course, closed because it's a National Park, but the regular homes (mostly 1920s era this year) were actually pretty diverse and interesting. The owner of our favorite house, who also did most of the renovations himself, was there when we toured it and we chatted with him about their design decisions which was really interesting. He figures if you have a small space, decorate with big furniture and big art and it will feel bigger - seemed to work in his house!

As the tour was winding up, my dad cut his hand taking down signs so we got to go to Urgent Care. He's fine, just a few stitches.

Drank green tea and coffee in an effort to feel awake enough to go into the city for a wee shindig, but the caffeine was not quite magic enough for that, alas.


multipurposegoddess: (Default)

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