Thursday, January 29, 2009

What remains...

I am busy cleaning and just generally preparing to go away for the weekend (I like to return to a clean house when I go away -- I find it makes it easier to get back to real life). I was dusting the bookcase by the window and some icicles caught the light and and I couldn't help but look at them. I can't believe I went through almost the entire day without seeing the beauty right outside my window! I opened up the window and the screen and leaned out the window to take some pictures with both my cameras (I still need to buy a macro lens for my D80, so I took the macros with my Canon PowerShot). It was hard to capture these pictures because Winston kept trying to get up in the window to escape and generally get in my way.

Ice Storm

On Tuesday it snowed a bit, but what really caused a problem was the ice that followed the snow. We woke up on Wednesday and found an icy wonderland outside, if you define wonderland as a death trap and an invitation to fall on your ass or your face.

The city of Baltimore has one of the highest city tax rates in the country, but what services do you get for your money? Answer: not much. Our street is never plowed or salted, nor are the sidewalks. The street became passable in the afternoon, but the sidewalk remained perilous through the evening.

The first photo is of the killer sidewalk...

2nd photo: A close-up of the corner of 32nd St. and Guilford Ave...

3rd picture: looking up 32nd St...

Last photo: intersection of Guilford Ave. and 32nd St. (our apartment, not pictured, is right on the corner)...

Dinner inspired by Erin...

Erin & Matt have been eating miso soup and rice all week for dinner as some sort of purge diet. Erin has been documenting those meals on her blog and they have been looking super tasty. I was inspired and decided to make miso soup and rice for our dinner on Tuesday night. Mmm, it was super delicious. Of course, I don't have cute miso and rice bowls like Erin does so my presentation is somewhat lacking. Still, it was a warm and restorative meal.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lazy Snow Day

It snowed a bit today, probably about two inches this morning. It's snowing again now, so who knows how much will accumulate by the end of the day. I stayed in the apartment all day, napped, drank coffee, read the NY Times, played Animal Crossing on my Nintendo DS, snuggled with the kitties, and just generally enjoyed myself. Winston was sleepy too -- I was lucky enough to capture him mid yawn.


As you can clearly see, these daffodils were on their way out by the time I photographed them. I still think they look neat though. Daffodils are my favorite flowers -- they remind me so much of being a kid and spending time at my grandparents' house. My grandparents have a large piece of land and have lived in their home for over 30 years. Every year they plant hundreds of daffodils in all sorts of interesting varieties. So 30+ years, hundreds of daffodils -- you do the math. Come Spring, their property is like a gorgeous sea of daffodils. Lately I've been seeing daffodils at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, and I've been buying them to put in the apartment. It's nice to have a reminder of Spring while in the midst of Winter.

New shower curtain

We got a new shower curtain a few weeks ago from Target. I know, our lives are SO exciting, right?!?! Actually, and perhaps sadly, we are pretty enthused by this purchase. We had a 100% cotton shower curtain that was just white, but the water in the apartment has a lot of rust in it and it stained the shower curtain, which looked pretty disgusting. In less than a year we had gone through two 100% cotton shower curtains. I wanted to buy a vinyl curtain, but PVC shower curtains off-gas a lot of toxic chemicals (which accounts for that nasty new shower curtain smell). One day, as I was clicking through my Google Reader, I read about a new shower curtain from Target that uses EVA vinyl. EVA doesn't have all the nasty chemicals that PVC does. So we went to Target and picked out the shower curtain you see here -- no nasty new shower curtain smell and we're happy with the way it looks as well.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tasty Gruel

I am kind of on a farina kick right now. I have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or sometimes as a snack. It is just so warm and satisfying in the winter and it fills me up. You have to make it with milk though, otherwise it tastes kind of gritty. I like to put a bit of honey on mine and sometimes berries.

New Camera

Behold my Nikon D80! Steph got it for me as a Christmas present. I have wanted a DSLR for a long time and now I finally have one. It takes amazing pictures -- the detail is incredible. So far I haven't taken any interesting photos with it -- it's more for trips and stuff like that, since it is rather large and difficult to carry around on a regular basis. Also, I confess that I haven't even finished reading the user manual. Eek. I am excited to use it this weekend when we go to Philadelphia to visit Chad & Andrew for my birthday. I am hoping the witch hazel will be in bloom at the Morris Arboretum and I can take lots of nifty pictures there.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


This is a photo of the cover of last week's New Yorker. I really like it -- I am thinking I may get it framed and put it up on the wall. I once saw a photo in a design magazine of a powder room wallpapered in old New Yorker covers -- mmm, I would love to do that one day. Of course, I'd have to collect a lot of covers, and I don't tend to keep back issues around for too long because I despise clutter.

So, we have a new President. It's so exciting. I'm glad we ditched our plans to go to the inauguration. 2 million people all huddled together in the cold, no matter how historic the event they came for may be, is not my idea of a good time. I can just see myself having a massive panic attack. I was quite content to watch it online. Plus, I am still sick and I think Steph may be getting sick AGAIN. Last night she had a low-grade fever. *SIGH* It's going to be a fun winter of passing illnesses back and forth, let me tell you.

But I digress -- back to President Obama. Something that I like about him is his relationship with his wife. Sure, I really have no idea what they are like together when they are alone, but they seem to have a lot of admiration for each other and a sense of camaraderie. I can picture them sitting in the White House and making up silly little songs and singing them together, the way that Steph and I do. When they look at each other, I see a lot of love between them. This has little to do with his abilities as a leader, I'm sure, except that I think making a marriage truly work takes a lot of effort, compromise, and skill. That's right, I said skill -- finding someone with whom you are compatible is not enough -- it takes actual work and learning, in my opinion, to have a successful marriage. I liked Clinton all right, but don't respect him so much because of his philandering, and I never saw any chemistry between George W. and Laura Bush. I trust someone more to lead me who is able to have a solid partnership with another person. Don't know why -- I just do.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

First snow of 2009

Today was the first snow of the season and of the year. It was rather lovely to behold. I did not leave the house today, as I have come down with Tuberculosis (or something less severe, who knows?). Haha. The point is that I felt like crap and have for the past three days.

The city of Baltimore, in all its glory, did not bother to salt the streets, so Charles Village is basically like an ice skating course. Tax dollars wasted...on what, who knows? I can't say I see them being put to use anywhere.

Warning: Kind of gross

Today I had the absolute joy of prying a mouse out of Louis' mouth. The poor thing was still warm and soft, so I assume it died not long before I discovered him with the pitiful creature. I heard growling, which is never good. The only time Louis growls is when I give him meat or when we lived in Nashville and he would chase wild turkeys and bring back feathers from his kill (he is like a serial killer-- he kept the feathers as souvenirs). I saw him huddled in a corner, throwing up some small gray object and catching it in his paws. He looked to be having a grand old time. His tail was HUGE-- all puffed up and territorial. The first time I tried to take it from his, his growled at me, hissed at me, and ran away. I then managed to corner him and get the mouse out of his mouth. He was none too please. He sulked and did not come anywhere near me for hours. He was so proud of himself and I ruined his joy. I kind of felt a bit guilty about it, but it was just too gross. I threw the deceased beast away and proceeded to go on a crazed cleaning spree, vacuuming and disinfecting every surface, even under furniture. The apartment is now probably neater than it has ever been and that is saying something, considering that I am a very organized and neat person in general. So at least something good came out of the whole debacle.


Oh Louis, my little bear. He is always so sleepy and cute. I consider us very lucky to have such great cats. I hear a lot of horror stories about young cats who tear up furniture, rip toilet paper to shreds, and have all sorts of nasty habits. Our cats basically just look cute, snuggle, and sleep. Oh sure, every once in a while they do something naughty, but nothing habitual.

Also in this photo, you can see one of Steph's beloved "fuzzy Crocs". They are Crocs, but they are also slippers. I'm exactly not sure if they are meant to be worn as slippers, but that's what Steph uses them for. Not exactly fashionable, but she just wears them around the house, so I think it's ok.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

I am obsessed with lighted ceramic Christmas trees. I looked everywhere for the little buggers, but they don't make them any more. So, of course, I turned to Ebay, where you can pretty much buy every little thing your heart desires.

Now we have two of these ceramic trees for ourselves! The first one is larger and is pictured here. The other one is smaller, green, and it has colored lights. Both are awesome and I will not be told otherwise! They came after Christmas, but no matter-- I've decided to keep them up until February 1st because they are festive and bring me joy.