Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Can one of you geniuses explain iPods to me?

That wasn't a rhetorical question.

Yes, it's late September of the year 2010, and I'm thinking about getting an iPod. I don't really want to, and I still think they're stupid (on principle), but I need something to keep me entertained while I do my (hypothetical) fitness regime. Staring at myself in the mirror for 30 minutes ain't gonna cut it. 

Let's just start with the basics...

My criteria --

1. I want one with those cool screens that you can move around with your finger. Zoom!
2. Storage wise, it has to have enough memory for 1 podcast and 2 songs. 

My questions -- 

1. Do iPods have internet on them? Do I have to pay extra for it? (that'swhathesaid) Can I 'surf the web' on an iPod?
2.Do you get apps on iPods? Do you need the internet to use apps?
3. How do I get my 2 songs off the computer and onto my iPod?
4. Just to reassure me, I don't need a Mac for this, do I?
5. I saw that you can watch videos on some of these bad boys. How does that work? Can I watch videos off of Netflix? Can I only watch videos that I buy from iTunes? Are there any free videos anywhere that I can put on my iPod?

Once again, folks, these questions aren't rhetorical. I am truly am this ignorant, or this awesome, depending on how you look at it.

Monday, September 27, 2010

:::From the Drafts Folder -- The Desires of Our Hearts:::

"What we insistently desire, over time, is what we will eventually become, and what we will receive in eternity." 

- Elder Neal A. Maxwell

Thursday, September 23, 2010

:::Potato and Pepper Frittata:::

Here is the recipe for the first frittata that I ever made. I was a quiche person before this foray, but afterward I became a committed frittata person (I don't like pie crust, I think it's distracting waste of calories and fat in an egg dish). I think I made this four or five times in a row over the next two weeks because I loved it so much.

Even though I discovered this years ago, I'm sharing it with you now because...I don't know. Who cares. It's by Lidia Bastianich. I copied the text below from some random website. You can see an image of the recipe in the cookbook Lidia's Italian-America Kitchen here. I'm unmotivated to type that version out for you, sorry. The only differences are stylistic.

Potato and Pepper Frittata
Frittata di Patate e Peperoni

This simple and satisfying dish, can be made even simpler by using a leftover baked potato instead of boiling a potato as a starting point. A cast iron skillet is perfect for making the frittata, but filled with frittata and right out of the oven it is a hot and heavy handful. Work with two heavy oven mitts or pot holders when lifting the frittata from the oven. And take a tip from restaurant kitchens: leave one of the pot holders or mitts draped over the skillet handle as a sign to all that the handle is very hot.

Makes 6 servings
1 large (about 10 ounces) Idaho potato
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, cut into 1/2-inch strips
1 each, red and green bell pepper, cored seeded and cut into 1/4-inch slices
Freshly ground black pepper
12 eggs
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 1/3 cups cubed (1-inch) day old bread
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Place the potato in a medium saucepan and pour in enough cold water to cover by at least 4 inches. Bring to a boil and boil until the potato is tender, about 25 minutes. Remove and let stand until cool enough to handle. Peel the potato and cut into 1/2-inch slices.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a 10-inch cast-iron or non-stick ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until wilted, about 4 minutes. Add the peppers and cook until and crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat, add the sliced potato to the skillet and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Beat the eggs, heavy cream and salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Add the bread cubes and let soak until softened, about 15 minutes. Fold in the vegetable mixture.

Wipe out the skillet and place it over medium heat. Add the butter and remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet and heat until the butter is foaming. Add the egg mixture to the pan and cook, without stirring, just until the bottom is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. There should be a few bubbles at a time around the edges- any more than that means the frittata is cooking too quickly and the bottom will be too brown. In that case, remove the skillet from the heat, reduce the heat and let the skillet sit a minute or two before returning it to the heat.

Transfer the frittata to the oven and cook just until the center is set – firm to the touch – about 25 minutes. If the edges are set and beginning to brown before the center is set, remove the frittata from the pan and finish the frittata under a preheated broiler.
If you’d like to serve the frittata hot, let it stand at room temperature about 15 minutes; if you prefer it warm or at room temperature, let it stand longer. Shake the pan gently to free the bottom of the frittata.

Either serve the frittata directly from the pan, or invert it onto a serving platter as follows: Hold a plate larger than the width of the skillet upside down over the frittata. Working with oven mitts or a dry cloth, firmly clamp the plate and skillet together and invert them in one quick motion. Slowly lift the skillet from the plate.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

:::from the drafts folder -- goodbye mums (semi-finished):::

While I was messing with my blog today, I realized that I have a lot of drafts in the bullpen that I never posted. Hmm. Let's clear some of these out over the next few weeks.

First up, ':::goodbye mums:::' back from July 3, 2009, when I was still lower-casing. I never fully finished this post, but I think it stands up enough as it is, so, here you go.


my mom and i had a great time during her visit. since we have very similar personalities, our time together is always calm and relaxed and we just sort of do whatever. it's always important for me that the focus is on what she wants to do, since she spent most of our family vacations doing things that would keep us interested.

this trip was the first time that i had the power of the purse during one of her visits. it felt good to finally be at a place where i can viably handle the fun extravagances of a vacation. what a confidence boost it was to show one of my parents that even though i am still dumb with money, i still had enough to treat them to things. that confidence has been a shot in the arm and has led me to greater appreciation for my ability to work and provide for myself.

she now understands why taxis are a necessity on some days. she saw how much i walk and how wearisome commuting by foot, then train or maybe bus can be on a regular basis, especially when i'm dealing with any kind of weather and/or i have to carry things home. while i do have a weakness for cabs, some days i'm at a point mentally or physically where i can not handle trudging myself home.

i took her to work and she was able to see where i sit and meet all of my coworkers. i like it when my friends and family see my living and work situations for themselves. it makes me feel safer that they have a physical reference for the places where i spend all of my time.

since she stayed with me during most of her stay, she was able to spend time in my room and see how i had set things up. i always like showing my mom my domestic situations so that she knows that i do know how to run a household. i guess all daughters want their mothers to know that the womanly arts have been passed down to them, like a legacy of nurturing and home building continues.

{tangent -- when i went down to texas, my mom said one of the reasons she wanted to come was to see me interact with the kids. i thought it was interesting that even though she's seen me interact with a million children throughout her teaching years and my years as a babysitter, she wanted to see me with the kids in our family. i think all mothers want to know that their girls have the nurturing skills to take care of family, and they want to see familial love continue. i thought that was sweet.}

Sunday, September 19, 2010

:::But Where is Hobbiton?:::

Unless you find mildly thunderous music offensive, here's a fun little Sunday video* for you.

*(Damn**, that's two posts in a row that were nothing but videos. Sorry. I spent an hour writing another post, but then erased it because it exhibited a lack of Job-like faith.)

**(My use of the word 'damn', however, was not Sunday appropriate. Sorry.)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

:::Metro Song:::

The guy that did the Arlington Rap just posted a new video about riding our beloved Metro, and it's awesome.

Mom and Auntie, I will post later about the inside jokes so you can laugh as well.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

:::I Am Too Excited About My New Air Filter:::

I beg your pardon, I forgot to introduce you to my newest friend --

My IQAir HealthPro Plus HEPA Air Purifier - HyperHepa Filtration - Air Cleaner with Gas and Odor Filter.

Ha, ha!

My awesomeness grows.

Luckily, I was reimbursed for this nine...



hu-hundred dollar expense by some health care funds.

I do not have that kind of money.

At. all.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

:::Daddy Boy:::

Whilst talking with my parents one night last week, my dear mama informed me that she and papa were eating pasties for dinner. :( = sad face.

Have you ever had a pasty? They are one of my top five favorite foods. Ever.

There is a shop close to my home in California that makes and sells nothing but pasties, and every once in a while my dad would come home with gigantic, delicious pasties for dinner. Mmm. Pasties. Pastiiiiiiiiiiiiiiies.

So, I told my mom that dad should send me one.


Um, he actually did.

And not just one, but two.

My dad bought two pasties, froze them, wrapped them in his signature foil+plastic bag wrapping, boxed them up with freezer packs, and sent them FedEx overnight all the way across America, from one edge of the country to another, all the way to me.

I called my sentimental father and told him that I hadn't smiled so much in months. I think he thought that I was exaggerating, but I was dead serious. I've been in desperate need of smiles lately. I smiled so enthusiastically that my big, fat cheeks (which love big, fat pasties), hurt. And then I cried hot tears of happiness/sadness right there at my office desk.

I miss California. I miss my mom and dad, my Aunt and Uncle and my cousin TyTy. They think I'm funny, and they make me laugh. They think I'm doing well in life, and that makes me feel like a winner.

I miss knowing that the beach is just 10 minutes away and smelling the salt in the air wherever.

I miss the weather, I miss the sky, I miss the citrus, I miss the houses, I miss my old libraries.

I miss jeans and flip flops always.

I miss Ralph's, and then the ethnic markets.

I miss knowing Bolsa Chica and Edinger and Warner and PCH.

I miss the food... chicken and beans at El Pollo Loco, chicken fajita pitas at Jack in the Box, pickled turnips at Zankou, dim sum in Little Saigon, Mexican by real Mexicans, and on and on and on.

And I did miss pasties, but then my dad sent me two.

One less thing to miss. A little piece of delicious, potato-y home.

Thank you, Daddy Boy. :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

:::Glorious Gloriness:::

High: 81 degrees
Humidity: 49%

I stood on my balcony in the morning.

I stood on my balcony in the afternoon.

I stood on my balcony in the evening and the night.

Glory, glory hallelujah.

This has been the worst summer ever in DC. We would shatter heat records one week, then shatter them again the next. We've had days of 100 degree weather with humidity in the very high 90s. During one of our worst weeks in July the overnight low was 85 degrees. The low. With temperatures that bad and all the cement to hold the heat in, things just got hotter and hotter as the days went by.

To add insult to injury, I'm constantly sweating. I wipe my face, but then more sweat comes. HELP ME!!!! I hate it-hate it. So much sweat. It's like when you're staying at someone's house and you get out the shower and have to get dressed in the bathroom but it's all steamy and you keep sweating but you have to put your clothes on and then you start feeling claustrophobic...Oh, please let this end!

I miss the dry heat of desserts where the blazing hot temperature magically drops down into pleasant chilliness of night. A few night I slept with my window open hoping to catch an early morning chill, but, again, 85 degree lows. I would be woken up not by a cool breeze, but by stifling heat.

There were days where I came home and cried as I frantically stripped and went to sit on the air conditioning vent. People have really struggled through this summer and no one is sad to see this one end. Good riddance.

It has been just awful, and I want to say to every man, woman, and child who previously walked an un-air-conditioned earth in suits and petticoats and wool undergarments -- may you find a place amongst the highest of the heavenly host. Amen.

And because you made it all the way through this complaining post about the weather, here are two pictures of my bare-bones apartment.

{The head of my bed is now against the air conditioning unit. I can't believe what a difference this has made to my sanity!)

And something else I love.

I can see the National's Stadium from my balcony, which means that after every Friday night home game, I have one of the best seats possible for the fireworks show.

Ooh, la-la!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

:::I Moved A Month Ago:::

At the end of July I moved into a studio apartment here in SW. The whole process was extremely stressful, and continues to be so. Without a car or family who can help me, I've had the character building (ahem) opportunity (ahem) of doing it all by myself. I now know, more than ever before, that there isn't anything that I can't do. Being single you gain this confidence(not the right word) as life progresses, but after having gone through all of this alone, I feel like I've reached a new level of 'I may not want to do hard things alone, but if I have to, I absolutely can.'

{Last thing you pack, first thing you unpack}

I'm working on my resume right now, as getting a better job is the next step in my 'If I Stay In DC' plan, but as soon as I get the motivation to do another arduous task, I want to document each little step that it took -- the good, bad, and ugly -- to move into this apartment. There have been a lot of tears, fears, heartaches, and stresses involved. A few happy moments too.

But, don't cry for me, Argentina. It's just life, you know? Everybody has stuff going on. And, funny thing, this morning I decided to move my bed, and I feel so much happier in this space. Ha! It's the little things, I guess.