Friday, February 29, 2008


A few weeks back a cousin of mine mentioned that this fellowship was about to created and offered to MFA students everywhere. I want it. But now that they've actually put up the requirements, well, I'm not qualified. One large reason I wanted it was because I want literary journal experience...and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to get it...except that I have to already have it. I've found that this is a problem with a number of jobs I have applied for: they're basically entry-level except you need to have already entered.

Then there are the jobs I am qualified for that, still, I don't seem to be getting. I know it's a process and you have to keep keeping on but as time goes by I start applying to jobs that have nothing to do with writing which, by that very characteristic, will never lead to jobs that have something to do with writing. I've applied to be an alumni publications associate editor for Vassar College, a school I did not attend but spent a whole heck of time visiting....and I am totally qualified for the position and would actually enjoy the work and love the location but have little hope of actually being picked. I've applied to be entry-level editorial assistants at publishing houses in New York but I know that, even with my saying I already live in NYC, you need to know somebody to get into the final rounds. I have begun to look at admissions jobs at colleges in rural areas. My thinking goes like this: spend two years in the middle of nowhere with no friends (at least to start with she says hopefully?) and then have the qualifications to go to a more prominent school in a more interesting area. My logic is flawed somehow.

Amazing Things Do Happen

Yesterday Casper the dog and I went on a good long walk since, for the first time in weeks, it wasn't raining, snowing or freeeeezing cold. Right before we left for this walk a package arrived via UPS. It was addressed to T. I assumed it was another package from his mother with blazers or tuxedos in it, or something. I put it on the kitchen table and didn't think about it again. When T. came home for work he was taken aback from this package and opened it. I was in the other room so all I heard was a series of excited and high pitched-esque 'what the fucks!?'. I went into the kitchen to see what the fuss was all about as T. continued, understandably, having his mind entirely blown by the contents of the package. It was a Playstation 3. A game console of epically cool proportions that he did not, in any way, expect to find inside a box, addressed to him, in his own house.
Who could have sent such a thing? Not C. I suggested his father perhaps? Or maybe his mother and step-father? The sensible thing was done: T. called Best Buy and explained his situation and after a few moments of holding and transferring the answer was known. The last name of a college friend of T's was responsible for this gift's arrival. In actuality it is an early wedding present to T. A pretty cool one. I am glad that I was there for the great reveal. I believe T.'s hands shook at one point with such pure excitement. Don't quote me on it though.


On Tuesday I made pork shoulder again. This time its marinade/cooking flavors were a combination of: jalepeno peppers, cider vinegar, brown sugar, cumin, basil, salt, pepper and (well this wasn't a matter of flavor as much as thickness) flour. Even with a few technical problems (the oven kept shutting off) it turned out far more like I wanted it to than the first time I made the pork here in Bloomington: fall the fuck off the bone tender, sweet but with a savory component. I'm telling you it's really good. If you would like me to make it for you all you need to do is invite me to live in your house for a while. It's worth it. I swear.
Served with left over rice and steamed cauliflower.

Moist Chicken

A few nights back C. made delicious chicken. Moist and marinated in ginger, sugar and (I think) a little soy sauce. Served alongside basil rice and spinach. It succeeded where my own chicken failed. It seems the secret was lightly searing the chicken in a pan before baking it. I will definitely try this at some point.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Dry Chicken

Some time earlier this week or late last week I made chicken. It was thin chicken rolled up with fresh basil and some Manchego cheese then breaded and baked. With a side of fresh salad. It looked fine but, well, it was dry. Dry chicken is the bane of my existence. I hate it with a fiery wet passion. Just goes to show you that one cannot make a perfect meal every time they try.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Juicy Beans

T. literally just sent me this link. It is amazing. I highly suggest you check it out.

The Best Thing Since...

On Sunday T., C. and I went to Waffle House. But! It wasn't the Waffle House you might expect. This was an independent restaurant without hash browns covered, smothered, diced or otherwise dressed up with stuff. None of us had waffles.
I had two poached eggs, sausage links and hash browns with accompanying biscuits. The sausage links weren't as bad as they looked. They obviously have some egg poaching device so that the shape of my eggs weren't as organic as I might like...but they were medium so no complaints.
I'm not overly amazed by sliced bread. And I'm going to tell you right now that I actually think the best thing since sliced bread might just be the best thing including sliced bread:

Today I borrowed T. or C.'s (I don't know whose it is) ipod connector cord and, lo and behold! It's charging like a champ....after more than a month of truculent non-chargingness it looks (cross your fingers, knock on wood or your head) like this sucker's going to sing again. Some things come out right in the end, I guess.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Still Rather Freakin' Cold

I took these photographs on Sunday. It was snowing again. And cold.

Meat & Cheese For The Masses

The masses being a small group of three. Cheese and salami care of the cheese package.

I Help Myself, Thank You

On Saturday I added some ground beef, sauteed with onions, tomato sauce and spices, to the left over macaroni and cheese for a home made version of Hamburger Helper...a product I have never actually tried, myself.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Good Essay

I just read an essay I liked:

You can to if you go here.

It's "I'm Just Getting to the Disturbing part"

Saturday, February 23, 2008


It has been very cold and icy the last few days. Moreso since I broke T. and C.'s furnace.
Actually I had nothing to do with the breaking of the furnace. Today men came and put a new one in so all moments of extreme cold under a roof are over...we hope.


After quite the delay, my second cheese payment for writing a recipe for Fromartharie's Rosey Goat Cheese finally arrived yesterday. I was very excited. I still am. Though the package was a bit smaller than the last and didn't have any Van Gogh cheese which I was particularly looking forward to ingesting.
I was, at last, able to make T., C. and their friend S. (who supplied the deep baking dish necessary) my award winning (at least among my friends) macaroni and cheese.

Guitar Heroics

I have had to come to terms that no matter how accomplished I might get at the 'medium' setting of Guitar Hero, I will never be able to get more than 24% through one of the easiest songs on 'hard'. It's my cross to bear. T. on the other hand is making slow but steady progress through 'expert'. Whatever.

Lunar Eclipse of the Heart

The camera is a bit iffy in terms of the concept of taking photographs of the moon. This was the best one I got of the last lunar eclipse until 2010. Smacker's didn't really care one way or the other.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Pseudo Bake-Off

At some point in the last week C. mentioned the possibility of her making brownies (that is grammatically incorrect isn't it?). I very much liked this idea. Then two days ago there were no brownies and all I wanted was brownies. Well, not all I wanted but you know, all I wanted to eat. Then we got into a discussion about what kind of brownies she was going to make. She suggested brownies from a box and I, snob that I am, frowned at this idea. Somehow this evolved into a plan: she would make brownies from a box, I would make brownies from scratch and then T. would judge them for quality and goodness. Last night this kind of happened minus ultimate judgment. My brownies used semi-sweet chocolate and were chock full o' butter, hazelnuts, sugar and flour. C. used, well shoot I don't know what she used. C. you'll have to fill us in on the brand. T. tried both then guessed that my brownies were the box ones and C.'s were the homemade ones.

Mine were: cakey and nutty. Hers were: fudgey and sweeter. I proclaimed my love of the more fudgey texture of C.'s but admitted a preference, in terms of actual taste, for my own. Basically we never really made it a real brownie-off. The two specimens were pretty much on opposite sides of the brownie spectrum. I also got some cream cheese frosting, added shredded coconut to it and will, as long as the brownies last, smear a little on top of each bite. Am I getting fat? Yes.

What kind of brownies do you like? Mark Bittman says, in How to Cook Everything, that his kids have convinced him that brownies without nuts are superior. Here I am, just getting into the addition of nuts. Different strokes for different folks, dontchaknow.

Enchilada Soup

Last night C. made a tasty Chicken Enchilada soup. T. provided Pico de Gallo. I provided nothing except a mouth to feed.
Tasty goodness. Chickeny, cheesy, pico de gallooey goodness.

Beef Stew

On Monday I made beef stew. The photograph, I admit, makes it look pretty unappealing but I swear it tasted pretty good. The beef chunks nice and tender, the broth a nice mix of beefy and wine-y ness. With carrots, mushrooms, green peppers and Lima beans.

To The Dogs

Casper rarely hangs out in my bed. This is a rare occasion since, for the most part, we keep the door to the room I sleep in closed due to Casper's occasional habit of eating shoes. The infrequency of the dog in the bed is worth a photo shoot, I think. It's a wonderful bed. Technically an air mattress, it's a double and holds air like no air mattress I've ever met. For example the two (if not three?) air mattresses i slept on when I first arrived in Chicago before the ebf brought all our furniture into town. Seriously. I've been here what? Almost three weeks. And I've only brought out the air pumper pusher inner thing once for a mattress touch up. I cannot express my gratitude to T. and C. for their hospitality, friendship and choice of sleeping surfaces.

He does sometimes hold a pose.
So far I have applied to jobs in:
New York City
Morgantown, West Virginia
Block Island, Rhode Island
McAllen, Texas
Dunn, Georgia
Bethesda, Maryland
Ithaca, New York
Lakes Region, New Hampshire
Schnectady, New York
Brookline, Massachusetts (a assistant editor position with Cook's Illustrate/America's Test Kitchen....dream job!)
Somewhere near Atlanta, Georgia

And a number of other places that I can't quite recall because I applied more than a week or two ago. I am hoping, partially, to go southward to warmer climes. But as I told L. (my NYC hostess) my absolute inability to fathom living in NYC softened a bit after this last visit. I enjoyed seeing so many people I liked and I do get a little scared about moving to a small town where I know no one. The chances of finding a circle of friends or, gasp, a new relationship in these more rural settings is unlikely (but then, according to Sex & the City, it seems it's pretty hard to find someone in a city too).

So far not even a nibble. I know it takes time. I know I should have someone read my cover letter. I have not, as of yet, started to apply to jobs that I a) do not really want (well I did today but felt so defeated that I'm not going to do it again for another couple of days) or b) don't think I could actually get. This state of being picky can only go on so long. Anybody have any secret job data-bank sources to share with me? Now would totally be the time to share.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Eggplant Parmagiana

On Sunday I made eggplant parmagiana. It was not the most successful of my career. The mozzarella cheese decided, all of it, not to melt properly and I had to bread the eggplant in wheat flour.

Party in Triplicate...or Qadruplicate

Some friends of C. and T. all of whom live in the same neighborhood decided to have a wandering party. There was chocolate fondue, peach flavored champagne, sex on the beaches (doom!) and beer.
This was the party going from destination #1 to destination#2, it grew. Along with my idiocy.

I do like umbrellas in drinks. So does C.
This dude like umbrellas so much he had to arc his back.

And this is before the trail of despair and grouchiness.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Breakfast c/o C.

Yesterday there was breakfast made by C. Hashbrowns and tasty eggies.

Mushroom Risotto With Shramp

On Friday I made risotto for the first time. Well, I've made risotto in the microwave before but never the correct, tedious and attention keeping way. I sauteed olives and shrimp, separately from one another and the risotto then, after many a stir and a long time....
I added the mushrooms back.
Then plated the dish with shrimp and chives.
I could probably have stopped cooking the risotto about five minutes earlier for a slightly creamier consistency. But still pretty good.