Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Brand New Bento!!1!

Hi Everyone,

I finally purchased that new Bento I've had my eye on. Isn't it cute? It doesn't come with a lunch bag, or flatware of any sort, but I'm sure I can locate some to go with it (pink, right? or maybe a nice violet- the more primo set of that same Bento comes with purple clear chopsticks) and sewing isn't all that hard... I'll have to wait til it arrives though, so I can match fabrics to it.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Too honest to woo peaceably.

Charles' post reminded me of this...

Last Thursday one of the customers at the store tried to tell me that I looked *really good* that night.

Confused, because most days I just throw on whatever, with less than five minutes of planning going into a particular outfit and hair combo, I looked down at my clothes. Jeans, green tanktop, new shoes; but he was on the other side of the counter and couldn't see them. I had my hair down, but I don't think thats that rare of an occurance.

I said that I just wore whatever.

The guy stood there silently.

Then, he stormed off, snapping at me that, "Next time, just take the compliment."

The next customer, once guy #1 was out of hearing, snorted and pointed a finger at me and said, "Yeah. He told you. Just take the compliment."

Many things this day

Well, it was a long day today. Some of it wraps over from last night...

First, last night, I broke out the brain wave program I'd found online and set it to the "Lucid Dreaming" mode. And it was working! I was totally psyched as I laid there listening to it planning all the fun stuff I was going to do once I was asleep. All the flying, and sword-fights, and X-men appearances, and just, you know, goofy fun stuff that you can only do in dreams. And then, as it's making it's not quite irritating noise and it's keeping me just this side of conscious, even as I know I'm falling asleep, the laptop overheats (not really, but it's been rather finicky as of late), snarls a beep at me that jolts me awake, and turns off.

A certain lack of Lucid Dreaming happened after that. Very sad.

Next, I got up early so I could pack my bento with all kinds of good things like perogies and ravioli, and the green beans mixed with shelly beans. And I had breakfast sausages and coffee.
Bailey wanted to help with the cooking but I think that had a lot more to do with making something fall on the floor faster than helping me with my lunch box.

Also last night, but a bit this morning, I'm getting closer and closer to the end of The Count of Monte Cristo, which is quickly, quickly climbing the ranks of books to Best Book Ever. Er. It's not inspiring any fanfiction or anything, but it's clearly brilliant at what it's doing. In the abridged version (what you are most likely to have) the plot is something like "first 100 pages = all the bad stuff" like Dantes being sent to Prison. The next 500 pages are him getting back at all the people who ruined his life, stole his woman, and put him in jail.

I especially enjoyed the part yesterday where Count Morcerf just told the committee he knows nothing about what happened to the wife and daughter of the Vizir of Janina and then Haydee (the vizir's daughter) walks in (Count Morcerf sold Haydee and her mother into slavery), and pretty much says, "You killed my father, prepare to die."

Brilliant!

And in other brilliant news, Buck found something really cool on the internet. It's a site that hosts "mashups" which are songs than have been combined together. I already knew about mashups, but he found a really good one. You can find it here. It's by Norwegian Recycling, and it's called "How six songs collide". Somehow, the song makes me think about Prom. Not that I went. But still, pretty.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Ancient Mars

Face on Mars

I hadn't heard about the Mars Face in a while. (Thank you StumbleUpon FireFox extension) And now theres Pyramids and a Fortress! And Mars is really blue!

When can I move there and get a Martian Costume and a sword and a ray gun and a blue Mars palace and a space war and moon boots and cones and alien princes and...

Beignets

They were selling freshly fried beignets in the space between the Student Center and the Library today. I spend most of my time on campus with my IPod blaring so the only reason I noticed the stand where they were cooking them was an aquaintance of mine was flagging me down. We used to work together at the Library and he now works for our Campus Activities Board. He waved, I paused my IPod, and then I heard the glorious, heavenly, mouthwatering word "Beignets".

Two for a dollar. Two-for-a-dollar. I'm scrambling in my purse, wondering if I even have a dollar. I had better have a dollar. I find one.

They give me two beignets, round and white and so thick with powdered sugar that they look like demented kittens.

The first time I had beignets was in New Orleans, at the Cafe du Monde. Due to my goth teenagehood and my deep obsession with Anne Rice's books, I had this deepseated feeling that New Orleans must be some kind of Mecca of Awesome. I dreamed about it, I wrote stories set in it, I looked at pictures of the cemeteries online. And, eventually, I got to go there.

Dad and I had gone to see my Grandmother, and were headed back to Vegas for (probably) the Christmas Holidays. We had a two hour stop over in New Orleans to change planes and Dad did something with the tickets so we could have an even longer layover. We ended up with something like, twelve hours in the city. Dad was always good about things like that. All the stuff my Mom wouldn't let me do, Dad did. If I wanted to stop on the side of the Highway outside of Vegas and look at a dry lakebed, Dad would pull over the car and we'd get out (which we did once. It was neat. There were wild Triops in the lakebed)

So, New Orleans. We went downtown, wandered around, and I got to go in every gothy-vampire-costume-cape store the world has ever seen. We went to the French Market, we went to the Voudoo stores, we went to Jackson Square, we bought beads (even though it wasn't Mardi Gras). And the Cafe du Monde, where sadly, I wasn't a coffee drinker yet, and didn't have the Chicory Coffee. But we did have Beignets. Whole plates of them, hot and damp, and freshly cooked, covered in pounds of powdered sugar.

Later, just as the "People were Murdered Here" tours were starting we had to go back to the airport and get on the plane. Except, there was no plane. Delta gave us room and board, and another day in the city. The second day wasn't nearly so cool as the first. In the bright light of day theres not much to the part of New Orleans I wanted to see, and I'd been in all the stores already...

Sigh. This might be turning into a metaphore. I'll stop now, before I start comparing things.

There's only one place I know where to get them here in Atlanta. And I'm not sure how to get there. ^_^ My sense of direction is useless in the city and the smaller lanes scare me to death, but somewhere, somewhere in that vast, confusing city is a garish place called Huey's, which serves not-quite-good beignets. Last few times I was there they had old oil, and having worked a deep frier before, I know what old oil tastes like. Blarg. Sometimes, if you're really lucky, you can find Beignet mix at the grocers.

What happened was, after I'd eaten the two beignets I had to have more. Another search of my purse turned up a dollar and fifty cents in quarters, and I ran back out to the stand for more, only to find all the beignets gone. Sadly, sadly gone. They'd gotten done cooking and someone had taken the tray away. I rushed in the direction I'd been pointed, only to have my library friend call me back again. The girl with the tray had suddenly reappeared.

My six quarters bought me the last four beignets.

And as I stood there looking at the confections, I thought, well, I can't eat all of these. I shall go locate a friend to share them with.

Except, there were a lack of friends on campus today. Kevin went to work already, Randy goes to school somewhere else, Matt doesn't go to school here anymore, and Jared's not in the writing center today. Hmm. Delema. I walked to the english building, then up three flights of stairs to the Professor's Offices. John Robertson, the guy teaching my World Lit class has his office up there and he's a really cool guy. Except his door was shut and the lights were off. I checked his office hours; gone twenty minutes past.

Being that there's no one else on campus that I want to share beignets with, I slunk back to the stairwell, which has a really great view. And there I ate three of the beignets. There were people milling around outside, in the wind (which would have been bad for the powdered sugar), and from as high up as I was sitting I could almost see the lake thats behind the college in the woods. Durring this time I contemplated my lack of friend-making skills and then took the last Beignet to the writing center and left if for the staff to eat.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Conan

I gave in and went to the bookstore the other day to pick up a sketchbook. And then I drew Conan. It's not a particularly gifted drawing, and theres some parts of it that are certainly nightmarishly bad, but all in all it's almost awesome looking. I wanted a sullen, smug Conan with his sword over his shoulder. And thats pretty much what it looks like. There's even crosshatching.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Birthday Weekend



It was my 23rd birthday this last weekend. Here you can see the chocolate mousse cake (which I keep having for breakfast) and the pink bento I found in my house. I got it somewhere when I was younger, and I think that I thought it was a change purse of some kind. Surprised me when I found it again and realized what it was. It's been holding cake in my bento bag since then.






And, as an after-birthday bento lunch I packed what was left of my steak and garlic mashed potatoes. With some cake.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

An Ode to Charles

Well. Not an Ode really. I'm not so good at the poetry thing, despite what my mother says.

Charles is a pretty cool guy. He likes Conan a lot, and books, and swords, and karate, and even went to Japan once. Some day I'd like to go to Japan, too. Tonight, even though it's not quite my birthday, I got my first birthday present, from (guess who?) Charles. But thats not really why I'm writing this, because that would be really shallow.

Mostly I'm writing because the entire time I've known Charles he's been one of those people that I want to turn into one day. Much like Cliff. Maybe the phrase is 'be more like' though I really like the idea of getting reincarnated as either of them. They're both cool.

Charles can draw, a skill that, despite two art classes a year in High School I never got the hang of; to the point that my teacher did something like an intervention and gave me clay and broken wood instead, telling me that I simply was never going to be an artist with pens and pencils. Kevin, my best friend, can draw. We were in the same art classes, and the funny thing that I've only learned in the last year or so, is that Kevin can't picture a drawing, he can't imagine it from thin air. That I can do, it's the part where the drawing goes down my arm and comes out the pencil that goes all funny. And it's not for lack of trying. I drew on everything in High School. But Charles keeps telling me if I just buy some sketch books and fill them up every month and get a human anatomy book I'll get there; I admire how he doesn't doubt that. He's very sure if I just try, I'll be able to draw too, and whether or not that happens, it's his unflagging faith that inspires me when I pick up a pen.

Still. The funny thing with the arm translation is happening. But if Charles thinks I can do it, maybe I can.

The other thing that Charles makes me think about a lot is what I read, and what I have read. Not all of it is as high-brow as I wish it was, nor can I always steer myself out of the cheesy romance novel isle at the used book store. Charles is always reading cool books, which makes me wish I read lots of cool books too. Er. I mean, I do. Sometimes. Sometimes they're not all that cool, or only a little cool. For instance, I'm still madly in love with my Kokology* Book. It stays where I can regularly flip through it and discover 'secret truths' about myself. But on that same shelf is also a copy of 'The Blue Sword' by Robin McKinley (a fantasy adventure so far, that might turn into a romance in a few chapters), 'Pride and Prejudice' by Jane Austen, 'Slightly Tempted' by Mary Balogh (it's Regency. i can't help myself), 'Yotsuba Vol. 3' by Kiyohiko Azuma, 'Paradise Lost' by John Milton (no, seriously, i'm reading it. for fun. i'm even highlighting the stuff I like with crayon.), 'Conan of Cimmeria' by Robert E. Howard (the spine broke at 'The Frost Giant's Daughter'), and Tad Williams 'The War of the Flowers'. Sorry. That was probably too many books to list, but I'm acctually in different places in all of them, right now. Not to mention the book on Sociopaths I got from the library. And as many books as I'm in the middle of, I wish I read more. I wish I read like I did when I was little and Mom would leave me at the Library for three hours with an empty bookbag and she'd come back and I'd be carrying books out, backpack straining at the seams. I'd lay on there on the floor on a Saturday night after a trip to the Library with a sea of books spread around me wondering in what order to read them. I had insomnia as a kid, too, and I found that if I put a book in the space between my bed and the wall, next to the nightlight I could hang off the side of the bed and read all night. I was the kid getting the notes home about reading under the desk during lessons or missing the bus because I went back to the school library. So, basically, Charles is living my dream life. Somehow everything he reads is awesome, and he has (seemingly) all the time in the world to do it. Which is more than I can say for myself, with College eating all my time. Not that I regret that at all. But still, books, how I long for and miss you.

Thirdly, Charles is a ninja. Yes, really.

I used to take Karate, and I remember liking it no matter how many times I got socked in the face while sparring and my braces tore my lips and it was like some crazy bar fight in the wilderness. Or at least it looked like one, me bleeding from the mouth. Heh. Yes, Karate was awesome. Past tense, so you can tell I'm not taking it anymore. But you see, Charles is a ninja and he has a black belt and unlike me he really looks like he could kick your ass (also, i haven't the black belt). And he's always telling us crazy stories about almost shooting possums or throwing in that little bit of knowledge about how to properly kidnap someone that you know means he must have gone to the best Karate Dojo Ever. I did not go to the best karate dojo ever. I thought so most of the time, at least until one of the instructors punched me in the face when I was done with my kata. I was just standing there, and Ka-Pow, like in a old Batman episode. That was the beginning of the me-not-wanting-to-take-karate-anymore thing. Me not wanting to take karate came to a head the night that we all had to stay after to beat a white-belt who'd been unruly and walked out durring our teacher giving him a lecture. The other kids, the upper belts that I looked up to, were the first in. And the kid just stood there and took it, so the teacher told some more of us to gang up on him. And then more of us. The teacher told me to get in the fight, since a few of us were standing by the side still.

What I did was I went to the back of the dojo, got my bag of stuff, and walked out. And I never went back there again.

Obviously, this is not something that happens at dojos. Or isn't supposed to. But as much as I liked karate I never went back. I quit my lessons, with about two or three belt ranks to go on being a black belt. This close. A few months, and I'd have that sweet black belt and a trophy probably and get to do weapons training.

Charles makes me want to go back to karate lessons, just somewhere else. Somewhere far, far else.

Last time I got myself in a 'I need Karate NOW' situation, after three years of lessons, I froze. Total lock up, blue screen of death kind of froze. Not the sort of thing you're supposed to do when you get to the level of karate I got to, which might be another reason I didn't start lessons somewhere else, since then. Kinda silly, all those lessons, and you can't punch someone right in the throat when you need to. But, Charles is obviously good at what he does, with the punching and the kicking and the screaming, so he makes me want to go back to karate. Which isn't something I've thought about in a long time, so hurray for the military arts and Charles.

And, thats about it for tonight. Basically, Charles is cool, and reads things, and I want to be a lot like him when I grow up. Except for the part where I'm mostly grown up already. But maybe, just maybe, if I try hard enough, I can be more like him.

Thanks Charles, for being totally awesome!



*Kokology is basically a personality quiz, but one that you have to fill in with your imagination. It's kinda goofy, but kind of hairs-on-the-back-of-my-neck-are-standing-up-right-now dead on. They tell you something, then ask you to imagine something, and depending on what you imagine, they explain some (usually) deep rooted personality thing about you.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Valentines

There's not much I can say on the subject. Lucien Lacroix got most of it right.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Ecclexia

This morning, my IPod played some great stuff in random order. That random order got me thinking about how much odd stuff I listen to. Or rather, how ecclectic my tastes are for listening matereal.

1. Sissou- Last Alliance
2. Drop the needle, it's Christmas- Dumbledore
3. Rock me Amadeus- Falco
4. Le Prince D'Orange- Malicorne
5. The Distance- Cake
6. The Air is Fragrant- Lucien Lacroix
7. Eine Kleine Nachtmusik Allegro- Mozart


1. Ending credits song from the anime 'Ouran High School Host Club'.
2. Wizard Rock. Yes, Harry Potter fan music. It's almost a rap song, supposidly sung by Dumbledore himself, about getting dancing socks as a present.
3. How anyone cannot love this song, I'll never understand.
4. French band, sort of a cross between midieval balladry and rock. Um. They sang a song for La Femme Nikita (L’├ęcolier assassin) which is how I know them.
5. It sounds like one of those penultimate rock songs.
6. It's not a song, it's a soundbite from Forever Knight of Lacroix talking about the moonlight and how it's a good night for romance.
7. Makes me want to dance.

And all that in the distance between where I parked my car on the far side of campus to my first class of the day, Anthropology.

Cats x 1500!

A friend of mine at Cambridge sent me a link to an archive of Cat Pictures. Not all clean, not all grammatically correct, but a great deal made me laugh. Especially the cat in the tub catching the catfish.

Now that it's almost my birthday it seems good and well time for the traditional birthday depression to set in. It's starting, I can tell you that. Most of my life, for one reason or another, I haven't had birthday parties. Sometimes I wasn't allowed, sometimes I was certain I couldn't rustle up enough live bodies, sometimes... Plans fell apart. This Friday's plans haven't fallen apart yet, but with what seems like a deliberate ignorance of what an RSVP is, and an apparent lack of live bodies, I'm beginning to wonder if there's much point in it. Besides people who don't have Facebook and aren't RSVPing that way, I've got a grand total of.... Three confirmed guests besides myself. Family makes up the rest of the numbers, at this point I'm ready to start pulling my own hair out.

But, on the upside, I get to eat all the cake myself if no one shows up. ^_^

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

The God Lunch

Pictures later. They're huge, and delicious, and I'm going to need the college's internet connection to post them.



Basically, this last Saturday I got up early enough to stir fry. Why? I found a jar of Black Bean sauce at the store and I had to try it out. Lunch wound up being Chicken with Black Bean sauce and all sorts of other good things, including strawberries and grapes.



Then, once I'm at work I get this phone call. My friend's Dad, who's a culinary mastermind to me for the miracles he calls Macaroni and Cheese. Friend tells me his Dad is on the way to my job with lunch. For me.



What happens next is what really, really good dreams are made of.

First, I see him holding this huge cardboard box.

Inside the cardboard box is a red Solo cup with a can of Coke in it. It made me laugh for some really delighted reason. Then there's a bowl of soup, homemade. And a grilled sandwhich with double balogna and double cheese and it's so gooey and hot and tasty! I had to get some ketchup for that, just to top it off a little. And Rob, Kitchen God that he is, there are two, YES TWO, of those rectangular "keep it or throw it away" tupperwares full of his homemade Mac and Cheese.





Needless to say, I ate a little of everything and any idea of a diet or calorie control or health went right out the window.

In other news, Tokyo Gift, a shop on ebay just got a shipment of the new Bento I've been eyeing. Here is the set with no chopsticks or chopsticks holder, and here is the one with the chopsticks. Granted, there's no bento bag, but it's not like I can't sew one. Come on birthday money, Bento-chan wants a new bento!

Friday, February 2, 2007

Onigiri



Hooray!

Those are stars made out of cheese, and the one with the stuff on it has Chili Powder. Despite the horrified looks I got for this, it's tasty. And burns a little.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

The Happy Face Bento



That looks like a Happy Robot Face to me. Happy happy lunch.



Lunch today features beef ravioli sprinkled with parmesan cheese and italian herbs, and over that halved meatballs. Mmmm. And in the other dish, cooked carrots and green beans mixed with 'shelly beans' (whatever those are).

Now, you might have seen the green bean/shelly combo in my bento before. I'm not a huge fan of veggies; I think there's less than ten I'll willingly eat. But, this green bean and shelly (?) mix is so awesome I'll eat a whole can. Cold, even. I like how they're the large, flat type- millions of times better than French Cut, unless we're talking casserole here.

Now, if you look carefully at the picture of all the food you might see a thin green thing with jagged edges that keeps the food from touching. Food should never touch, you know. This green thing is a thin sheet of plastic, with the vague appearance of grass. If grass, you know, grew in a sheet. I got a whole bunch of them with my bento when I ordered it, don't get to use them as offten as I like.

In Mourning

Sadly, the escape of several peaches into my lunch bag caused me to have to wash it. Having washed it, it's now covered in dark lint. This is a very, very sad thing.

I could easily make another bag (I do have at least that much skill with a sewing machine) but that orange polkadot one came all the way from Japan with the rest of the set. And it's not that hard to pull the lint off the outside of the bag.

The thing is, it's on the inside too. And the inside is what you would vaguely call "insulated". It's made out of something akin to fabric softener sheets. I pull the lint, the lining starts coming with it, I quickly push it back and rub the cloth so maybe it won't look torn up... It's a very frantic process. Mostly it's not working.

I'm wishing we still had/could find our sweater shaver. Even though I'm sure that'll only chew through the bag, but hope springs eternal.

Keep my lunchbag in your thoughts.