Unprecedented – shocking, even

February 28th, 2008

My roommate C-t-P is making her world-famous* chocolate chip cookies downstairs. These cookies deserve a more sensual-sounding name than “cookies,” because they are bliss.

And I don’t want any.

An overwhelming diet of birthday cakes (note the plural), Swedish fish, AMAZING white-chocolate-covered mini-cake-balls (I MUST find out what these are), chocolate eggs, Toblerone, Caramel deLites, and Fazer chocolate with berries (maitosuklaata ja marjoja) has me so sugared out that all I want to eat now is lettuce.

And iceberg lettuce at that.

(Have no fear. I’m sure I’ll want some by tomorrow morning. I’d hate to eat any real breakfast food this week.)


*They really are world-famous. So famous, in fact, that the box she shipped to me while I was in Germany never arrived, the Deutsche Post obviously having had advance notice that the cookies were en route.

Joyeux anniversaire

February 25th, 2008

So far as a 32-year-old I have:

  • Awakened early (something I don’t hope to repeat)
  • Not fallen down the stairs (something I do hope to repeat)
  • Read a New York Times article about secret service protection for Barack Obama
  • Received birthday wishes from a veritable plethora of wonderful people (thanks, yous!)
  • Listened to freaking awesome songs like “More” (Bobby Darin) and “Ring Ring” (in Swedish, Spanish, and German) (ABBA) during an invigorating 3-mile run
  • Stretched luxuriously (oh, bliss) after aforementioned 3-mile run
  • Donned the crown that tjaroo gave me yesterday (YEAH!)
  • Temporarily traded the crown for the supercool new wannabe-Eurotrash hat that SDY persuaded me to buy on Saturday night (I didn’t want to actually, like, do my hair)
  • Driven 74 MPH down Route 2 with the sunroof open (all the better to enjoy this miraculously gorgeous and warm day) in an ultimately unsuccessful search for a bundt pan (T.J. Maxx and Shaw’s both failed me) while listening to Austrian yodeling music and wearing the new wannabe-Eurotrash hat
  • Received a thank-you note and picture from a wedding I attended a little while ago and the “An Evening with Ira Glass and the New Kings of Nonfiction” CD I ordered in support of This American Life podcasts (these aren’t birthday-related mail items, but they did arrive today, which makes them feel at least somewhat celebratory)
  • Been serenaded by my little baby sister
  • Acquired three flavors of ice cream in anticipation of tonight
  • Wondered which presidential candidate my grandmother currently supports

I still need to:

  • Make an almond/orange glaze cake (in a silicone bright-red heart-shaped pan, since the bundt pan quest was unsuccessful)
  • Fold laundry (sigh)
  • Like, work, or something

Today’s dilemma

February 22nd, 2008

So, the next time I have a little inkling that I should procure some more ice melt before a big snowstorm hits, I should heed that little inkling, instead of assuming that we must still have some of the 120 pounds we bought in November – or thinking that stores will still have some, since past experience has shown that New England shops stock ice melt only when no snowstorm is forecast.

On the bright side, I did manage to get the car into the driveway, and as far as I know nobody has any reason to go anywhere… Which means, of course, that the real question for today revolves around hot chocolate, and pleasant indeed are days where the real question revolves around chocolate, hot or otherwise.

So: Ghirardelli or Godiva?

Borrowing jacks, etc.

February 19th, 2008

When I was a teenager, someone in church told the story of a man who, in the middle of nowhere and the night, found that his car suddenly had only three functional tires. Finding himself also without a functional jack (his must have come from a dealership), he began the long walk back to a farmhouse a couple of miles down the road. On the way he started imagining the conversation he was likely to have with the inhabitants of the farmhouse, whose sleep he would presumably be interrupting. The man assumed that the farmhouse inhabitants would be annoyed at being awakened and would then proceed to upbraid him for his unreasonable request and his idiocy in not being adequately prepared for such a misfortune. By the time he arrived at the farmhouse and knocked on the door, this imaginary conversation had him fully incensed. When the farmer answered the door, the man angrily shouted “You can keep your stupid jack!”

So today there was the possibility of a tense conversation. Both the possibility and potential tension were quite small, but that didn’t stop me from having the conversation in my head, several times over, each time using a different brilliant tactic to prove my point. I even had a few opposition-crushing and stinging retorts at the ready, just in case.

The conversation happened.

No tension. No accusations. No protesting self-defenses.

Just a conversation.

So all that time I was playing the scene out in my head, I could have been coloring. Or reading Cannery Row. Or playing the piano. Or practicing the two 8-counts that I remember from the one clogging class I took at BYU. Or making paper airplanes. Or writing about Heidi, a book that reminded me, again, that God really is paying attention, that He loves me, and that He has a plan for me.

Note to self for next time.

Pretty much perfect

February 18th, 2008

Saturday: No obligations (!). Late awakening, leftover Valentine’s Day chocolates, yoga, reading and writing time.

Saturday night: Three awesome multilingual friends, take-out saag paneer and chicken tikka masala, discussion of politics including TTJ’s upcoming takeover of Switzerland, semi-gruesome Finnish Christmas pig-slaughtering theme song, oatmeal cookies (“family” recipe slightly modified to compensate for typical guys’ apartment lack of brown sugar), Salmer fra kjøkkenet (Kitchen Stories) (quirky Norwegian film) (“quirky” = “delightful”).

Sunday night: Two awesome friends, leftover no-bake and oatmeal cookies, icanhascheezburger introduction to new converts, discussion of theoretical physics as applied to the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price interspersed with discussion of Finnish and English idiosyncrasies and Big Mac Index, 198-minute letter-writing party (two participants; 1.5 letters composed).

Some things are just wonderful.

Confession

February 15th, 2008

A friend of mine is currently posting one confession per day for Lent, which has given my life purpose and meaning at least until Easter. Her confessions got me thinking of a couple of secrets of my own. Here’s one for today:

I don’t like dark chocolate.

I know that that makes me generally unsophisticated, uncosmopolitan, uncultured, and philistine to the point of near-savagery, and that after this confession no self-respecting European will ever love me.

But I like milk chocolate – the lighter and sweeter the better.

Since you asked…

February 13th, 2008

4 jobs I have had:

1. Waitress at a small-town catfish buffet (my first job – never again)
2. Lingerie salesperson/professional brassiere fitter
3. Bookbinder
4. Construction company sub-peon

4+ places I have lived:

1. Little Rock, Arkansas
2. Mission Viejo, California
3. Redfield, Arkansas (population 745!)
4. White Hall, Arkansas (population 3,226!)
5. Provo, Utah
6. Seattle, Washington
7. New York, New York (Hell’s Kitchen!)
8. Boston, Massachusetts
9. London, England
10. Augsburg, Germany

4 places I have vacationed:

1. Paris
2. Finland
3. Zimbabwe
4. Prince Edward Island

4 favorite foods:

1. Lentil soup
2. Salmiakki
3. My roommate’s taco soup and cornbread
4. Butternut squash muffins with chocolate chips

4 places I would rather be:

1. Germany
2. The Loire valley
3. Peru
4. In bed asleep

Roommate report cards

February 12th, 2008

My roommates and I had an almost perfect family home evening last night–I think the only thing lacking was a sugar-laden treat, and that was OK because none of us really wanted one. For the lesson we had a wonderfully serious and thoughtful discussion of the nature of God the Eternal Father; I LOVE having discussions with people I love about things that are important, not just to me, but to all of us. The near-perfect FHE came on the heels of a near-perfect retail experience with one of my roommates, J_H, who has begun an illustrious and hopefully long-lasting career as my personal shopper. (She’s a genius, that one. I normally loathe shopping.) Spending time with my roommates yesterday made me think of some of the many, many reasons I love them. Lots of people have terrible roommates; lots of people have tolerable roommates; some people have good roommates; I have the best roommates in the universe.

So here are just a few of the things I would write on their report cards (roommates listed in alphabetical order [by first name]):

C-t-P: Genuine, generous, loving, astonishingly patient (especially with difficult people). Makes fantastic taco soup and cornbread and other deliciousnesses. Listens with real thoughtfulness to different points of view. Seeks to understand and help others. Frequently shows friends she cares (high friendship maintenance skills).

J?H: Sweet, considerate, nocturnal (a superplus), talented. Sensitive to the needs of others. Strives to make others happy through service. Quiet and quirky. Owns scarves (not just the outerwear kind) and knows how to use them. Looks forward with breathless anticipation to nineteen nearly simultaneous rock (as in geology) shows in Arizona.

J_H: Fun, witty, ultra-handy, naturally fashionable. Loves sharing expertise with roommates. Quick to laugh. Makes potentially traumatic experiences (i.e., shopping) delightful through mad bargain-scoring skillz. Owns (and knows how to operate) apartment tool set and drill. Mad eructation skills nearly as impressive as bargain-scoring skillz (to dismay of C-t-P and delight of SRP/FF).

Amen.

February 8th, 2008

Thanks to the A.Word.A.Day e-mail list for these two fantastic quotes (though I would have said the Laub one a little differently to avoid the somewhat jarring repetition of “head”):

If a man would register all his opinions upon love, politics, religion, learning, etc., beginning from his youth and so go on to old age, what a bundle of inconsistencies and contradictions would appear at last! – Jonathan Swift, satirist (1667-1745)

Crown: A headgear that makes the head superfluous. – Gabriel Laub, author (1928-1998)

It’s not the taste; it’s the texture

February 7th, 2008

So my roommate C-t-P is making dinner downstairs, and the dinner includes little chunks of chicken in sauce, and normally when she’s cooking meaty stuff I fish out little chunks of meat and eat them, because meat is delicious. (Dead animals. YEAH.)

But next time I should first make sure that the chicken is, in fact, already cooked.