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Word Associations- Catholic Style

March 13, 2013

We have a new pope! I use the term “we” very loosely, in the most “Western-centric worldview” way, as I am definitely not Catholic. Furthermore, I definitely don’t love 93.7% of what the Catholic church stands for, socially/politically, but I am unexpectedly excited about this. Hooray Argentinean pope! Knowing absolutely nothing about him, I can’t speak to actually liking the new papal face himself, but I do like that he is from my hemisphere. West-hemi represent!

And OK. This tweet. Read it really fast and tell me what it says:

Because I first read this as “Pope Francis I Love Oprah.” And I freaked out for about 20 seconds and was super ecstatic that YES. THIS IS THE FIRST THING I KNOW ABOUT THIS POPE. And he must be a good pope because seriously, what 76 year old cardinal admits to loving Oprah? But nay…that was not his intention. Surely, he must LIKE Oprah, but like and love are two very different feels.

I also thoroughly enjoyed seeing the updates on the seagull that was sitting on the smoke chimney, and reading all the black “smoke monster” Lost jokes on twitter. Because….

We’re about to finish Season 6 of Lost (the final season). It has been almost 2 years of on-again-off-again flirtation with that canonical television show, but at last, we will consummate out love (which I can only imagine means I’ll finish the final episode? I don’t know.). Anyway, we are very close! Don’t tell me who the man in the black shirt/Locke is! I don’t want to know how they get off the Island/if! And we just watched the episode that might as well have been titled “Ben’s Redemption Story” and then the submarine is coming and guys! I don’t want Ben to die! They just made me really like him! As a person and not just as a character! And when Jin and Sun are finally reunited (cross fingers for soon!), I am going to lose my shit. Every. Single. Time. Jin and Sun get their own episode I cry sweet tears of empathy/sympathy and love for all things Korean. Except when Jin is a cray-cray ganster for the first part…that made me feel not so many feels. But this moment- Heart out of chest:

Seriously. I do not believe that the helicopter was not capable of going back for Jin. Heart now in a million pieces.

That was a lot of exclamation points in one paragraph, but LOST! It makes all the points become exclaimed.

In conclusion- apropos nothing (other than the thought of other things that make me exclaim all the points)- I’m obsessed with this song these days:


The Ground Beneath Her Feet – Salman Rushdie

March 6, 2013

This book is not a book. It is a glorious, gigantic rock opera epic poem disguised as a book. You think I kid, but I kid not. It’s like WOAH


And it is entirely beyond my comprehension to even attempt to break down all the layers upon layers of meaning. Because it has layers like an onion parfait (and doesn’t THAT sound delicious). SIDE NOTE:

END SIDE NOTE: I wish I had read this book for a magical realism course, or just a general lit course, since I feel like I would’ve gotten a lot more Oomph out of it. But, even absent that helpful element of lecture about Indian history and discussion about the staircases of reality Rushdie builds, GBHF was incredibly enjoyable.

It was an education not only of the individual experience (Rushdie’s presumably) of mid 20th century India, but also of the birth of rock and roll. Which is where you need a lecture. Because the GBHF universe is ours, but it is simultaneously most definitely not. In passing remarks, we learn throughout the novel that one of these things is not like the other…JFK narrowly escapes a Dallas assassination attempt, Nixon is never president, The Beatles are a phase. And I am positive there other historical differences, and I just don’t know enough to spot them. But, it did the job of establishing the distrust of the narrative present, and by extension, our own reality. One of the main characters, Ormus Cama- the mythical rock good, is in a constant state of dissonance between reality and an “other”, which is like his, but different. (You see what I mean about layers? They do not stop!)

This distrust of what is real is the highlight of the work. The close to final image we are left with, of mirror reflections of the narrator in another mirror in a picture (photography! Yet another instance of questioning the reality of the eyes versus the true real.) resonates and express back into every fiber of the novel. Spanning three continents and most of a century, Rushdie takes the reader on a journey worthy of Odysseus, meeting with the rock gods and telling it all from the point of view of a lowly narrator who mirrors and exemplifies human beings’ unique anxieties and insecurities in our relationships. And I tell ya what, the mythic, intensely greek god, legendary, Olympus warrior saga that is woven around those little bitty teeny tiny humans, simultaneously expanded my brain, and made me think my brain was very small indeed, compared to Rushdie and his throne of multiple realities upon which he sits.

Wedding STDs

March 5, 2013

So I just wrote this entire post, and then all of a sudden, it disappeared on me. No idea why. Le sigh…



Screen Shot 2013-03-05 at 1.32.44 PM

I always giggle like a 13 year old boy when I write “Send ___ a STD.” Because we keep forgetting people to put on the invite list (like S’s friend who send US a STD last week), and have to send them all STDs one by one. Slowly but surely, I think the guest list is getting solidified, which has actually been one of the hardest parts of the whole planning process (and actually, I would argue the only hard part).

For our Save the Dates, I originally had imaginings of hand-crafted book marks for each invitee, carefully cut out from vintage book pages and pasted with the appropriate information in beautifully calligraphy…and then I woke up from that one dream where I am crafty and not lazy and live inside Pinterest (how fun would that be?!). The postcards we ended up with are perfect. People can do what they like with them – mark a book, stick on their fridge, stick in the trash – and I didn’t lose 42 hours of my life making a bookmark that no one really cares about after June 9th anyways.

My friend Jessie is doing the designs for our invites and menus and the like, and she does beautiful work! Our Save the Dates turned out beautifully, as you can see:


The quote was S’s idea, actually from about day one of our engagement. “yes I said yes I will Yes.” It is the last line of Ulysses, James Joyce’s behemoth: the narrator’s wife, Molly, has just decided to stop cheating on her husband and stay with him. (But SHH don’t tell anyone else it’s not as romantic as it sounds!).  The general passage is referred to as “Molly Bloom’s soliloquy” :

Molly Bloom

Sounds romantic out of context, all mountain flowers and heaving breasts. And it’s the end, which means all that comes after will be romantic as well, like our wedding. So we’re using the last page of Ulysses, which the Doctor would probably not approve of:

(Full disclosure- I have not seen this episode. But I know what happens because INTERNET and so I feel ALL the feels!)

Lucky for you Doctor, this wedding is just the beginning. More on invites soon! And more on all the crafty projects I will not be doing!

The Most Delicious Chicken

March 1, 2013

I know, I know. Bold claim. But one that can be backed up by this recipe I found on Pinterest (yay Pinterest!). The sauce takes a while to cook/requires a bit of close watching, and is incredibly caloric, but that is also what makes it excellent. I highly recommend you make this chicken post-haste.


In addition to the chicken, we also made our usual stir fry, which we make about once every two weeks, and it never fails to satisfy.

Stir Fry Vegetables
You don’t necessarily need to cook this in a wok, but it definitely helps things cook evenly and keeps everything from spilling over the edges.


Go-Tos: Garlic, Onion, Broccoli, Bell Pepper, Carrots, Spinach, Ginger, Lime, Zucchini.
Other Potential Ingredients: Green Beans (it helps to precook these), Asparagus, Basil Leaves, Bok Choy, Green Onions (at the end), Mini Corn, Water Chestnuts, Yellow Squash. Also, Tofu: see # 7.

1) On medium/medium-low, heat Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or Peanut Oil) in the wok.
2) Add minced garlic (2-3 cloves) and 1/2 an onion (red, white, yellow, whatever you like); grate ginger on top (if you have dried ginger, add later with the sauces) — stir occasionally until onions are translucent.
3) Add Carrots, Broccoli, Zucchini (and any other veggies that may need to cook longer, like the beans or asparagus). Stir and turn up to medium/medium-high. Cook for a few minutes.
4) Add bell pepper, lime juice, and sauce — we usually use a little bit of soy sauce, 2 Tablespoons of Hoison sauce, a couple squirts of Rooster hotsauce, and red pepper flakes. Stir and let cook until almost done.
5) Last, tear up as much spinach as you like and add to the wok (spinach cooks way down). Turn the heat down to medium-low.
6) Stir, serve over rice, and enjoy! The stirfry is delicious with sweet chili sauce, too.
7) We also add tofu. Buy the “Extra Firm” kind, cut the tofu loaf in half and let it drain in the sink for like 15-30 mins (use a strainer, put the 1st 1/2 in the bottom of the strainer, cover it with 1/2 a paper towel, 2nd 1/2 of tofu on top of that also covered with 1/2 a paper towel, and then put a bowl on top of all of it to drive out the liquid). Then, cut the tofu into small cubes. Preheat a small pan with EVOO on medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the tofu with a little soy sauce and some lime, stir frequently, and cover with a lid, if possible. The tofu will cook fast–when it’s done add it to the big wok to blend with the Stirfry.

“Sale” Soup

February 28, 2013

Once we finally returned from the great road trip that was Simon’s winter break, I got down to cooking again. And sometimes, the produce I want to buy is just TOO expensive, so I have to make do and make things like this dinner:

“Everything that was on sale at the grocery store soup in a bread bowl which was also on sale”

OnionsOnions and garlic and olive oil were not on sale, I just happened to have them. But that was just the beginning….

In crock pot

I made it in the Crockpot simply because I am too lazy to do things like hang out in the kitchen while there is soup on the stove.


Celery was $.99 a bunch!

And zucchini was unseasonably cheap.


Oh, and I also had some broccoli stalks left over from when we made stir fry the night before. (The stalks don’t exactly cook long enough and are still too crunchy for my taste in stir fry.)


And then I was all, “Woah. That is green.”


So I added $.59 worth of canned corn.

TomatoesAnd also some un-photogenic tomatoes.


I got this soup base from a little spice store in Minneapolis, and so far it’s been great in everything I put it in (but especially veggie pot pie!).


As far as other spices go, I put these things in. I clearly do not have brand loyalty to my spices (besides my general inclination to buy things in glass jars).


And wah-lah! 3 hours ish on high later, we ate some soup. And it was cheap!

**This post certifiably Snape approved. There was no wand waving or silly incantations in this recipe.


CrockPot Soup:

2 bread bowls

2 cloves of garlic

1 small yellow onion

1 small zucchini

3 stalks celery

3 broccoli stalks

1 can corn (*not creamed)

1 can diced tomatoes

1 T veggie soup base

1/2 t each: thyme, red pepper flakes, oregano

1 t cumin

1 bay leaf (remove before serving)


Put it all together and what do you get? Vegetable soup! I would probably add a potato or two next time, if I will fit in the crockpot. Cook on high for 3 hours then low/warm until you want to eat it.

It’s Almost March? And other thoughts.

February 28, 2013

Hello Internet! I have been reading you a lot lately, but not contributing to the conversation! Because…all of these things happened:

Christmas in Iowa City

Christmas in Iowa City

Christmas in Yankton

Christmas in Yankton

Christmas in Rapid City (no, Santa did not bring us a baby for Christmas)

Christmas in Rapid City (no, Santa did not bring us a baby for Christmas, but he did bring us a new computer to take pictures of babies with!)

MORE Christmas in Yankton

MORE Christmas in Yankton

New Years in Yankton (with a Walking Dead board game!)

New Years in Yankton (with a Walking Dead board game!)

We became Olympians (JK- We went to Whistler, Canada)

We became Olympians (JK- We went to Whistler, Canada)

And then THIS happened (which was the highlight of the rest of January)

I went to Durango for a while and spent Valentine's Day morning making pink milk and heart toast breakfasts.

I went to Durango for a while and spent Valentine’s Day morning making pink milk and heart toast breakfasts.

And…that basically brings you all up to speed.

Hooray for 2013!

The Tooth Fairy

October 29, 2012

I was crafty. Alert the press, because despite my horrendous fine motor skills, I made a thing and saw that it was good. And then I rested for a real long time, but that’s beside the point…

Halloween parties arrived this weekend! And I scrounged up a costume from a gold dress and glittery shoes I already owned, and some select accessories made for about a total of 8 dolla dolla bills yo.


The “creative workspace”

So, I ended up making a tooth “crown” headband, some wings that looked suspiciously like pantyhose (hint- they were!), and a “wand” that I never once took out of my pocket at the party, but which made me giggle a lot whilst making it, so it was worth it.


Headband + notecards in the shape of teeth + staples= crown

Wire hangers + needlenose pliers + hite electrical tape + pantyhose + elastic + safety pins + ribbon + gold glitter glue= wings

Toothbrush + gold nail polish + tulle scraps + floss= wand

Other tooth fairy tips:
-Don’t offer strangers at parties money for their teeth- that convo gets cray cray quick.
-Wear tights. Tooth fairies work in all conditions, regardless of the 25 degree weather.
-Wear pearls. Get it?
-Remember- it’s all about the accessories! Otherwise, your counterpart will just start telling people you’re dressed as a wedding guest.

And here we are: Clark Kent and the weird lady who takes kids gross, bloody teeth for petty cash.


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