Sunday, November 30, 2008

Last pie post, I swear

I'm on the mend now, but I'm afraid I've wasted this long weekend and four-day break of Josh's. This cold sucks - it kept me confined to the house during some of the best weather we've had in ages. The only beneficiaries are our bellies - this is my third and final pie variety for some time.

Pizza pie this time - I made roasted garlic pizza for dinner and it was, surprisingly, not that good. I thought I was going for something minimalistic, a Mediterranean delight with no cheese and minimal toppings. Turns out? It was boring as CRAP.

The vegetable we had, on the other hand, was amazing. I have orders for you, Internet:

NEVER STEAM BROCCOLI AGAIN.

I mean it.

Don't make me come over there.

What you do is, you heat your oven to 450. Then you take your fresh broccoli florets and toss them with a little olive oil (garlic oil if possible, see below). Then you spread them out on a baking sheet and let 'em roast for 20 minutes in the middle of the oven. Then take them out and toss with a little salt and pepper, and maybe some Parmesan or low-fat mozzarella if you like. Presto - delicious.

Garlic oil is a new favorite in our house. Last week I went on a field trip with Mary Poppins and the wee bebe; they took me up to Costco for shopping and lunch. We both got quite a few things, but I was unimpressed with the prices - until we got to the produce section. We each got two mesh tubes of garlic - maybe fifteen heads per tube? - for less than three dollars. There has been a lot of garlic consumed in this house lately.

Garlic Oil:
1-3 heads of garlic
1-3 cups olive oil (1c per head)
Fresh rosemary sprigs, if desired.

Preheat the oven to 400. Remove the papery outer layers of garlic skin (but not the individual clove skins), cut the top 1/3 of the garlic heads off and discard. Place the garlic, cut side down, in a small ovenproof dish with the rosemary, if desired, and cover with the oil. Cover with tin foil and roast until the mixture is very fragrant and the garlic cloves are quite soft.

Remove the garlic with tongs and set aside to cool - delicious on toast points, pizza, or bruschetta. Strain the oil and, once it has cooled, store it in an airtight container at room temperature.

I can't wait to try popcorn made with this stuff.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Wait, more pie?!!


Yep! The day after Thanksgiving is the only one of the whole year when I have mashed potatoes in the house, and I like to take advantage by making vegan shepherd's pie. It's a great recipe - a lentil and carrot base with a sun-dried tomato gravy, topped with the potatoes and some paprika. YUM!
Anybody know how to stencil a heart using a cookie cutter? Cause I ended up with that.

On the side we had another winner - leftover broccoli stalk kinpira, recipe from www.justbento.com. That one was so good that we ate it too quickly for a picture.

Alas, we also polished off the rest of the Thanksgiving pies tonight, and are now in the depths of despair that come with knowing it's 362 days until the next pies. We are both feeling better physically though, so that's something.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Sniff

I habba code ahd I cad't talk right.

Although Thanksgiving dinner as delicious, it couldn't stave off this yucky cold that has taken over. I spent the day on the sofa today, and Josh (who is also a little under the weather) went to the commissary for tissues, ice cream, and some basics. Now we're watching our enormous teevee, and I intend to stay here a while.

Oh, but did I mention the leftovers?! Stuffing and pie for breakfast, veggies for lunch, sandwiches for dinner: whole wheat bread, real mayo, turkey, stuffing, and spicy green beans.

Mm!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

There's something about this true American holiday that I love, something about a holiday celebrating gratitude that gets to me in a true-blue, Bruce Springsteen kind of way. It really moves me, gathering with family and friends in gratitude.

Or maybe it's the food. This year we had a real feast. Traditional herb stuffing, plus stuffing with roasted red peppers, pine nuts, Kalamata olives and dried cranberries. Spicy green beans, vinegar Brussels sprouts, and roasted garlic mashed potatoes. Organic cranberry jelly. Sonoma valley pinot noir. And the Poppinses brought a delicious turkey - Nadine says it was her first time making turkey, but I don't believe her. It was too good.

Quite a spread, isn't it? The five of us made quite a dent in the food. That's five: Nadine, John, our neighbor Chikako, Josh, and me. Here's the parade of photos, with baby:



Justine was a delight, as usual - she smiled and cooed and babbled through dinner, and I think I detected some frustration from her about being too young to eat any of the food. We were lucky to have Chikako visiting, and she was a trooper - she ate the big Thanksgiving meal and then went to teach English all afternoon! It was sad to see her go.

So now we've had our meal and our pie, our friends have gone home, and I am POOPED. Josh cleaned up and we've got food for a week - I love Thanksgiving. Best wishes to you and yours.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pie Day!

Happy Pie Day, everybody!

You DO know that the day before Thanksgiving is Pie Day, don't you? That national holiday characterized by rushing home from work early to bake the pies for the next day? I LOVE pie day.

So this year, sans work, I got started early and made two crusts at 9:00 this morning. They chilled in the fridge while I zipped out to grab a few last-minute ingredients, most of which are sold out. It's six pm now, there's one pie in the oven and all the ingredients are on hand. I'll post pictures later.

What are you baking?

UPDATE: As promised, the pics.

First of all, here's one of the crusts in its adolescence. This one is for the pumpkin pie - it baked with weights (i.e. beans) for a half hour before I added the custard.Another half hour later, here's what came out!
Mmmm...right?! I can't WAIT for tomorrow. Let's just say that spiced bourbon whipped cream will be involved.

Oh, but can I say how frustrated I am about the fluting? Look at the unbaked crust - gorgeous fluted edge, right?! But once it's baked, it goes all floofy. Tips would be appreciated.

For our second act, we present the best pie of all time: sour cream apple. Have you ever tried it? Oh my god, it's so good. It's like apple pie with candy custard in between the apple slices, and a streusel topping. I love it.

See the little one in a Pyrex bowl, next to the biggie?

We call that one dinner.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

U-S-A!! U-S...oh.

Tokyo took Emily again last weekend, when I took the train to Chichibu rugby stadium for the USA vs. Japan matchup. The band was playing before the game, and they got a few extra tickets for family members - me and the parents of one of the sax players. Since the guys all went up in a fancy charter bus, I met said parents at the train station and we co navigated ourselves up to the game. We had fun chatting, and even more fun checking out the ads on the train - I caught one in Engrish:
Because the privacy of your home is so passe.

One of the guys in the band is Japanese-American, and he had not only printed us train directions, he wrote down some Japanese on the paper that must have said something like "Please excuse me, I am an American idiot who cannot find a GIANT SPORTS STADIUM that is FIVE MINUTES' WALK from the train. So sorry. Would you please interrupt your more important task to walk my dumb ass to the entrance?"*

It worked! We showed it to a Lexus dealer (yep) and found the stadium.

Two hours before the game started.

Yeah. We had to be there early to meet the guys at the gate, since they didn't get our tickets until they arrived. They snagged us a couple box lunches, gave us our tickets, and left to get changed and play. And look how well we could see them!
I'm lying, of course. That's a crop of a zoom of a jumbotron. Here's the original picture:
And here's what it really looked like from our seats:
It was so disappointing. The band was super far away with no lights on them, and the PA system had a 1s delay, so the really fun upbeat songs were all garbled. But I finally got to see the brass band perform - Josh on the Jumbotron!! - and they managed to get the crowd clapping and cheering, despite the technical issues. They played a great set and then got to go change into people clothes for the game.

While they were changing, a Japanese jazz vocal quartet sang the American and Japanese national anthems, and I actually got a little misty during The Star Spangled Banner. Not so misty that I couldn't document it, though - good blogger, right? The team in white is the Americans, red is the Japanese.

I thought it was really beautiful. So were the rugby players I MEAN BAND. SO WAS THE BAND. That's what I said, right? Right.

So about the game...the Japanese fans were really polite and quiet during the game. They cheered really loudly when Japan scored (often) and when the officials called a penalty against the U.S. team (also often) but otherwise were nearly silent. This was useful, as it allowed every rugby player and fan to hear each American fan screaming WOOH WOOH WOOH! KILL HIM. KILL HIM!! USA WOOOOOOH! during, say, a scrum or running play or, you know, time out. Yikes.

Also we got spanked. The Japanese team was faster and better organized than the US of A, and I learned after the game that the US team hadn't won since 2006, save a match against Uruguay last week. A match from which all the Uruguayans' European players were absent. Go Amurricuh!

It was a really fun game, despite the loss and the fact that it took Josh and me two nauseous, standing hours to get home on the train. We'll figure this out, I swear.

And now for your viewing pleasure, rugby players doing funny warmups. If you squint, you can see individual players, I swear. Kisses!


*Okay, Shin probably didn't write it exactly like that. But it would've been accurate.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The goods

Remember that back pain? Yeah, that's gone now, hallelujah. AND I babysat Baby Poppins again this week, and she smiled THREE TIMES and refrained from crying for TWENTY MINUTES. We are making PROGRESS, people! How is it possible that that baby is a joy, even when she's screaming?

Oh wait, I remember:
She likes sushi. And there's teh Qte.

ANYWAY. That back pain kept me home in bed all day last Saturday, when Josh and the band were doing another concert at Mikasa Park. Oh, I was so bummed to miss it. But the park has no parking, so I would've either had to park and walk for 20 minutes (which is hard enough for me, even without back pain) or ride my bike there, 20 minutes away. Not happening. While I was laid up, Josh was KICKING ASS for the Japanese!

Josh is unit leader of the Brass Band, a Dixieland ensemble. The group is so much fun! They get a lot of leeway to play the music they want, and to play around for the audience. Without further ado, I give you...the goods.


Isn't that GREAT?! I love Josh's slide - that's physical, not musical - at 2:25, and of course his opening solo (with the boss fanning him; my husband the hot trumpet player!). I wish I could embed the video Nadine took of the song "Funky Liza," which features the clarinet player, who is Japanese-American, singing "Ain't nobody funky like me."

The brass band is hilarious, they sound and look fantastic, and that's Mr. Takes Tokyo running the show. Is there a color for proud? Like green for envy, or blue for sad? Cause I'm it.

I'm mauve with pride.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Things I love about Japan, which I will not be able to ship home with me when I return

1. Excellent sushi
2. Excellent cheap sushi
3. Ramen.
4. Oh my God, ramen.
5. Courtesy
6. Customer service
7. Being the tallest
8. The Daibutsu
9. My house
10. My neighbors
12. Not speaking the language.

That last one won't last another couple months, if all goes well - I'm really working on Japanese now. And while it's incredibly frustrating to be functionally illiterate in this culture, there is something free and pleasant about not understanding. I don't stress about street signs or menus, or what the people next to me on the bus are saying. I'll miss that a little bit.

Things I miss about the U.S., which cannot be shipped to Japan, excluding friends and family

1. A job market
2. Universities
3. Wide lanes on the highway
4. More than one radio station in English
5. Being able to read signs, menus, pamphlets, junk mail, coupons, utility bills, food packaging, love letters and hate mail, newspapers, web sites.
6. International Pocket Cafe in Middletown, RI
7. Having a choice of goddamned freaking grocery stores, all of which actually stock their shelves and don't run out of things like CORNMEAL and LEMON JUICE
8. My friends and family (sorry. couldn't help it.)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Reach out and touch

I've been so out of touch! I just found these great photos from November SECOND, which I never posted - the election threw me. How did the world keep turning, without access to the minutiae of my life?

Josh and the rest of the band have played two gigs at Mikasa park this month, one of which I attended. Nov. 2 was some festival or another, and the big band played a couple sets. This park is right next to base and features the century-old Japanese battleship Mikasa, now preserved as a museum. The park also has gorgeous fountains like the one above, and it's just a really pretty, picturesque spot.

The guys played in a halfshell, for a standing-room outdoor audience. Nadine, the baby and I watched from stage right, near the sound booth. I rode my bike there that day - this autumn weather is incredible.

Once the set was over, Josh had to wait around for a couple hours before they could drive the equipment back to base, so we explored the park and the vendors. There was free sashimi for the band (and the spouses!) plus yummy festival food which, here, means grilled salty chicken on a stick. Look out, or you'll get an extra special one - all skin.

Moving on to the pretty:

Josh liked the fountains.

Aaand for some reason, there was a green and white cow.

The second gig at Mikasa Park was this weekend when, as you'll recall, my back was being a total douchebag. I had to miss it - and I am mad, because the brass band played. Josh is the unit leader of that group, which plays Dixieland music, and they are a ton of fun. RATS.

In food news, I made a hybrid of Kenneth and Nika's popcorn recipes from yesterday's comments tonight, and YUM. I heated olive oil with cumin, granulated garlic, and crushed red pepper, popped the kernels in it, and then added shaved Parmesan and salt to the popped corn, which was delicious. I think tomorrow I'll try a sweet variety, with vanilla sugar and honey.

We've had homemade pizza for dinner two nights in a row - homemade whole wheat crust and garlic oil last night, spicy tomato sauce tonight. Life is good.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fanatical snacking

Popcorn. Who knew?

See, I have kind of a mixed history with popcorn. I practically lived on it in college - not being fond of the ramen packet, I was drawn to microwave popcorn for its ease. Then I learned that the fake butter was causing fucking LUNG CANCER in factory workers, so I swore off the stuff. The movie theater variety is good, but I don't go to the theater much and it's ridiculously bad for you. Plus, the fake butter again - tastes good, yet causes limbs to fall off at random.

I thought I'd found the answer when Josh and I got married: we registered for and received a hot air popper from a coworker of mine. Unfortunately, it turns out that air-popped popcorn tastes like somehow less appetizing corrugated cardboard. Even if you put real butter on it, the stuff is entirely unappetizing. So for the last 2 1/2 years, I thought I had to live without popcorn.

Then there was Kendall. Back in September, she sent me a care package that included chocolate and vanilla kettle corn from Lesser Evil. Oh, it was so good - and let me say that I had until then been a salt, butter and/or cheese purist. No sweet popcorn - I didn't know how wrong I had been.

ANYWAY. Two nights ago I decided to bite the bullet and try making popcorn at home, the old fashioned way: put oil in pot, add kernels, heat until popped.

Sweet mother of taste buds, that stuff is good.

So good that I referred to it on Facebook, and got TWO comments from people I don't usually chat with - fellow popcorn aficionados, it turns out. It got me to wondering:

What is your favorite way to have popcorn? Popping method, toppings, circumstances? Do you prefer to buy it ready-made, or homebrew? Just writing this is making me hungry - I think I'll make some more right now.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ouch

Ever had boring old intermittent lower back pain? I have. It's cool when it coincides with the purchase of a giant teevee, but the pain part still sucks.

I've had this for a couple years - every few months I'll get some major aches in my lower back, which cause me to walk like Frankenstein and complain a lot. I usually notice it when I wake up one morning, at which point I start doing cat/cow next to the bed for a few minutes.

Okay, that is not what it sounds like. Click here.

It usually doesn't help though, unlike regular, intense yoga classes. I was attending in Newport but I haven't started here, which is, as they say, my own damn fault. Think I'll learn someday? Stay tuned for next week, folks.

So now is one of those outbreaks, which unfortunately appeared the very morning of a momentous day: Baby Poppinses first ever babysitter! Can you guess who it was? Canya?
It was ME! I met Nadine on base and loaded zee babee into my car, hugged a tearful Mama goodbye with assurances that we'd have a great time, and headed back to Casa de Sullins.

Yeah, the baby cried.

And cried and cried and cried. She wasn't hurting or anything, just scared and confused by the strange surroundings and no Mama anywhere! Nowhere! Just that lady who makes funny faces but has no sweet songs in French to soothe her. Let me tell you, I felt like crying too, especially when walking around and bouncing the baby (through the back pain) didn't do any good to comfort that sweet girl. Naturally, ten minutes before Nadine arrived, Justine fell fast asleep on my chest and was the picture of grace and calm when her mother walked in. Good girl!

We'll try again soon, perhaps at Casa de Poppins, where the baby will be more comfortable. For now I'm on the couch with a heating pad (which belongs to Nadine, incidentally) and some Advil, waiting for Josh to get home. I am a party ANIMAL.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Behemoth

Wait, I haven't mentioned our new 40" HD flatpanel and 5-speaker Bose surround system?! How is that possible! You should've reminded me.

Josh and I are kind of not big spenders, as I've mentioned in the past. We both tend toward the frugal, with me being a bargain hunter and Josh a non-purchaser. Seriously. He's still wearing pants that fit 60lbs ago.

We're also not big TV people, or, I should say, we have tried VALIANTLY and ultimately unsuccessfully to not be big TV watchers. We both hate commercials, hate them, and truly dislike background noise - so if we watch something, we WATCH it, and interruptions or disinterest are rare.* In Newport we survived on Netflix and library movies, and before that we had cable and often got sucked into watching horrible crap. Here in Japan our options are limited - Netflix takes too long from the States, and we haven't hooked up our satellite to receive the Armed Forces Network. We've been watching library movies still, and our own small DVD collection. I could probably make A Few Good Men a one-woman show by now.

All that watching was being done on a TV we got for free when we bought secondhand furniture in Massachusetts. The picture was fine but the sound was terrible, especially given the Mabori Speedway and Noisemaking Boulevard (MSNB) that is our front yard. A typical scene went like this:

Jack Nicholson: "You want an EXPLANATION?!"
Tom Cruise: "I want the TRUTH!"
Jack Nicholson: "YOU CAN'T HAN-"
MSNB:neeeAAAAAARRRNNNNNNNGGGHHH

We'd been contemplating a nicer TV and decent speakers for a couple years, and the street noise put us over the edge. After a couple months of Internet research, cost comparison, gnashing of teeth and rending of garments, we bought the whole shebang from the utterly unhelpful NEX here and set it up.

So now we have surround sound, PC connectivity, high definition, and good old-fashioned rumbly bass from the subwoofer. It's pretty fantastic, I have to say.



Does this mean I have to admit that we're big spenders?


*In case you're wondering, I'm sure having children some day will not in any way change the number of TV interruptions we'll have. Not at all. We'll just tape the kids' mouths shut and tie them to the remote control for safekeeping.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Farewells

I had to say goodbye to Irish and Steve tonight. This SUCKS! It's a necessary part of Navy life though; someone is always coming or going. We've known them for a couple months now and we are lucky that they're moving to a place where we'll be sure to visit soon.

Here's Irish with her latest project - a cabled wool scarf made of beautiful variegated handspun yarn. She's a natural.

We'd been planning to have them over for dinner last weekend, but Josh got the flu and was laid up the whole time. Luckily, Josh got better after a few days laid up on the couch. Steve and Irish found time to come tonight, despite their busy packout and moving schedule, so I made it worth their while with shrimp and grits, roasted green beans, and six minute chocolate cake. The latter is a recipe from Moosewood Restaurant, and in lieu of frosting it has a dark chocolate candy glaze. The meal was delicious, and the company can't be beat.

Seriously, we love these guys. They are great company, funny, smart, and we talked about everything from politics and the recent election to fiber arts, all with good humor all around.

Meeting and then saying goodbye to new friends here in Japan is wonderful, and of course it reminds me just how much I miss everyone back in the states. COME VISIT - I promise the food will be delicious.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Felicidades

So you know that friend*? The one who you remember how you met, and when you fought, and who, if there was any justice in the world, you'd be freaking related to already?

In my case, her name's Melanie.

Mel and I met in junior year of high school, my second semester in Florida. We worked on a project in history class together, schemed about boys, and had more G-rated fun than should be really allowed in high school. For real - the stories. Driving in her mom's mail truck with the hole in the floor and no passenger seatbelt, or, erm, seat. Staying up late doing Calculus homework and hallucinating sigmas. Trying to drop hints to the boy I liked, or parsing her latest conversation with her boyfriend. (What up, Tony?) As for the fights, we had a couple during college, but thankfully they weren't terminal.

Well, Melanie is having a baby next spring, and I am over the moon. By a cruel twist of fate, we've both married Navy men yet we can't seem to get stationed together, so she and her tiny belly are thousands of miles away, growing together COMPLETELY REGARDLESS of the fact that I can't be there. Since I couldn't manage to send myself there for a hug, I had to make a hug to send in my place. Ladies and gentlemen, the secret project - my first handmade sweater.

Wait, that's kind of a bland picture of an inert object. Let's see how it looks in action.

Isn't she lovely, folks? And Melanie too? :)

Remember back in September, when I got all that yarn? Here it is, at long last. I bought the blue for Mel, the orange for me. More on the latter, later.

Seven hours later, it looked like this. Note the beautiful Navy Lodge bed covering.

and I wanted it to look, someday, like this, the Oblique sweater from Knitty. There were times when I thought it would never get there, but after about two months of work, it looked like this!



This was a labor of love, a five-piece raglan sweater with short-rows, W&T, reverse cuffs, three different lace patterns, and about a MILLION ends to weave in. The pattern is flawless, and I LOVE the way it turned out. It was even fun to make - notice in those pictures the beautiful stitch markers?! Those come courtesy of my amazing mom, and they are made of real gemstones. I love it! (Email redearthdesign AT mac DOT com for more info or ordering.)

When I told Mom about this project, she offered to help - we wanted the sweater to grow with Mel's belly, so I didn't add any buttons. Instead, Mom found some really cool kilt pins and decorated them herself. Check this out.




Mel can move the pins outward as that teensy belly grows! It was so cool to do this, to make something that would keep Mel warm in the cold Monterey wind, and to do this with help from Mom from afar.

So my girl is having a baby, in about five months. She and Tony (what up, Tony?) are going to be incredible parents, and I hope I'll get to be there occasionally, along the way. Congratulations Mel - I love you.

*(Some of us are lucky beyond belief and have more than one of these friends. I love you guys.)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

VICTORY playlist!

1. Shed A Little Light - James Taylor
2. Song for the Dumped - Ben Folds Five
3. Long Time Gone - The Dixie Chicks
4. Everyday - Dave Matthews Band
5. The Pusher - Blind Melon
6. Cool, Clear Water - Bonnie Raitt
7. Lie in Our Graves - Dave Matthews Band
8. The Boy in the Bubble - Paul Simon
9. All American Girl - Melissa Etheridge
10. Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours - Stevie Wonder

BONUS: The Star Spangled Banner - Princeton Nassoons

I can't stop listening to these songs! The bonus track is on a promo CD called "A Capella Party: The Best of the Ivy League A Capella Choirs. I bought it secondhand in Homestead, FL in high school and that song in particular is amazing. It's four or five men singing, and there are snippets of "America, the Beautiful" in a couple places.

I am so happy for our country now. Maybe happy enough that I'll delete "Song for the Dumped" and "The Pusher," which are only in there to remind me that BUCK FUSH.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes, We Did!

That's a quote from Mel - I am over the moon.

It's time to be proud of our government again. PARTY AT MY PLACE on January 20!

UPDATE: And my very own aunt, Debbie Atwood, has been elected to the town council of Brunswick, Maine!! GO DEBBIE!

Election Day Breakfast: Huevos Rancheros


It's 9:30am and I've been up since 6, drinking espresso and listening to NPR's 24 hour program stream. Poor Josh has a cold and has to work today anyway, and I needed to do something about those idle hands. I want to bake - but superstition prevents me from making anything that could be perceived as a victory treat.

So instead I spent an hour making myself a fancy breakfast. It's a quick homemade salsa with chipotle in adobo, tomato sauce, and Mexican seasonings on top of panfried corn tortillas, eggs, and some shredded cheese. The fruit on the little plate is fresh persimmon, a delicious in-season treat from my neighbor.

I'm going to eat now, biting the food instead of my beleaguered fingernails. GOBAMA.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Idle hands

aren't really that common around here - idle brain is another story. But while I don't have a whole heck of a lot to occupy the old cerebral cortex, my hands are usually busy knitting something or other.

Today is a different story. I am SO. NERVOUS. about the election which starts in about twelve hours, that I can't bring myself to knit for fear of knitting OHSHITGOBAMAOMIGODOMIGODOMIGOD into my Moderne Log Cabin Blanket. Irish is coming over for a lesson in an hour, so I've got to beat this impulse before then.

SO. What do you do the day before a major election? I was in college and therefore 100% self-absorbed in 2000, and in 2004, or the Dark Days of Democratic Demolition as I like to call it, I spent Super Monday working hard to elect Inez Tenenbaum to the U.S. Senate.

Yeah, that didn't work out.

But today I've already cast my ballot, made my last donations, and talked to all my friends and family about voting. It's 7:20pm on the East Coast now, and 9:20am here - I have a whole day of worrying and pacing before the polls even open! ARGH!

The flip side of all this is that, if I can go to sleep tonight, I'll wake up around 6pm on the East Coast and the final results should come in during daylight hours over here, so I can glue myself to cnn.com, npr.org, and www.atwoodatlarge.com for the results in real time (GO DEBBIE!). But until then, I'm at a loss. Leave me some suggestions in comments, would you?

And GO VOTE FOR BARACK OBAMA. It's time.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Bad blogger, good table

I know! I have been a bad, bad blogger, going days without updates and posting highly charged, heavy and serious videos at midnight. I'll flagellate myself with a mouse cable just after I finish telling you about our NEW TABLE!
I love this table. It's made of mango tree wood, solid throughout, seats six and came with six matching chairs. Josh and I headed to the middle school on base on Saturday to check out a mini-bazaar, and we found a bunch of pieces, but this set was a real find. It was less than our $500 target, even!
We got it delivered and assembled today, after initially trying to put it together using only the little interior hexagonal screw-tightener-doomerbobbers and then realizing that we needed SCREWS. Oh. Right. Luckily the dealer was still on base, so I fetched them. Arf!

And now, in penance for being such a bad blogger, I present you:

CUPCAKE PORN.
(imagine the opening bars of "Let's Get it On")
Beow beow beow BEOW
I been really tryin', baby
Tryin' to hold back this feeling, for so long
But if YOU feel like I feel, SUGA!
Come on, HEY, come on...
LET'S GET IT ON
For real, those are some gorgeous cupcakes, no?! I'm going to frost them in the morning - Nadine, if you're checking this before 2pm, we're having these for dessert tomorrow at the Josh and Emily's inaugural New Table Dinner. Yum!

Couple of notes: I love orchids - they were our wedding flowers, and orchid blossoms have made me smile ever since. And that pretty sea glass-looking vase in the background? Gift from my college roomie, Carrie the Burninator. YOU RULE. Oh, and I got the cupcake recipe from a free video on America's Test Kitchen's website. Hope they taste as good as they look.