Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Answer!?

While I lived in New Zealand, I became convinced of the importance of buying domestic, or even better, buying local. I was convinced that manufacturing was the key to rejuvenating our middle class. I had images in my mind of fuzzy black and white or sepia photographs of hardworking Americans, churning out American goods, bringing home American paychecks, raising happy American families. Oh, the past. What I pictured as the present, however, looked more like hapless Americans wearing blue vests and working the checkout line at Wal-Mart, bringing home paltry paychecks, and living on dog food. OK, I didn't really picture dog food. But it was bleak.

Today, on my local NPR station, there was a discussion of how to rejuvenate American manufacturing and increasing our exports. I learned so much, and I think I have found a way to solidify my dreams, my ideas.

I learned that as % of GDP, manufacturing has not gone down. What has gone down is the % of the population that works in that sector. Productivity and efficiency have increased so much that there just don't need to be that many people working in factories. (Picture someone screwing caps onto tubes of toothpaste - obsolete!)

I also heard a caller talk about Rhode Island, and how its factories, abandoned b/c of the death of the state's textile manufacturing industry, were being reappropriated and retrofitted for high-end textile manufacturing. (I'm picturing imitation sharkskin swimsuits like those worn in the last Olympics. But who knows.) Anyway, YES I shouted to myself! That is the answer. More high-end, technologically sophisticated manufacturing! Medical equipment! Electronics! Whatever else!!! Ack!

There must be more to this.

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Marrow

I have not been able to fight this feeling of embarrassment. Our "prom" was this past weekend, and like at all school events, everyone got completely shit-faced. I thought I did a pretty good job of not being too ridiculous, but I think a few moments escaped me.

1) I think I danced really intimately with someone whom I've always had a wee crush on. I think it was embarrassing.

2) I cockblocked this guy who I had a crush on first year. I talked to him until the girl he was hanging out with all night walked away and then I walked away a few moments later. This is literally the thought that went through my head.

3) I was on stage hanging out with my friend who was DJing. I saw one of my friends dancing with this girl who looked like a vulture. This friend of mine loves his girlfriend very very much. For some reason I took it upon myself to rescue him. In the end, he rejected my efforts to rescue him.

4) I threw the "L" word around again.

5) I was talking to M, and at some point, someone tried to come up to us to talk, too, and walked away b/c I just wouldn't let him/her into the conversation. I have no idea who it was.

The list probably goes on. The only thing I can take solace in is that everyone else was so wasted, no one remembers my antics. And anyways, everyone else was retarded as well.

This weekend, I am going to Virginia to play in the law school softball tournament. M is going to be there, so I will have to behave myself. But more importantly, it's going to be freaking amazing to get out of town.

Then, I turn 30. Reeeeeeeeally soon. ACK!

Delicious Spam

For a long time, I avoided Gmail. I didn't like the way it searched through all your messages to tailor advertisements. But people have taken to sending me enormous attachments, so I've taken to Gmail. Also, Google Chat is the new AIM.


Lately, I've been getting a lot of spam in my gmail account, but the spam filter is great. Out of sheer boredom, however, I go into my spam folder and empty the messages a few times a day. And every time I go in there, what is the advertisement at the top of the page? It's a recipe that uses spam. You know, that pink and white canned meat? Sometimes, they're really disgusting. Last week, there was a recipe for spam turnovers. (VOMIT.) Right now, there is a recipe for spam hashbrown bake. Enjoy!:

Categories: Main dish
Yield: 8 Servings

1.00 pk Frozen hashbrown potatoes,
-thawed slightly (32 oz)
0.50 c Butter or margarine, melted
1.00 t Salt
1.00 t Pepper
0.50 t Garlic powder
2.00 c Shredded Cheddar cheese
1.00 cn SPAM Luncheon Meat, cubed
-(12 oz)
1.00 cn Cream of chicken soup
-(10 3/4 oz)
1.50 c Sour cream
0.50 c Milk
0.50 c Chopped onion
0.25 c CHI-CHI's Diced Green
-Chilies, drained
2.00 c Crushed potato chips

Heat oven to 350'F. In large bowl, combine potatoes, melted butter,
salt, pepper, and garlic powder. In another bowl, combine cheese,
SPAM, soup, sour cream, milk, onion, and green chilies. Add SPAM
mixture to potato mixture; mix well. Pour into 2-quart baking dish.
Sprinkle with potato chips. Bake 45-60 minutes or until thoroughly


Thursday, March 22, 2007


People with issues having frank conversations should consider this article, entitled "Break-Up Made Easier with Colorful Visual Aids." Consider it a crutch of sorts. [But I said in my last post that I wouldn't talk about it anymore, so shame on me.]

I have just discovered the Google Reader. I wonder about it. I think it makes it possible to browse blogs without being tracked. Like by mine. (If you didn't know I have a tracker, you're really not browsing my links on the side enough.) I wonder who's lurking here. No one, probably.

Also, in browsing the interweb, I have just (re)discovered that some old friends have had a baby. He is delicious. See:

Monday, March 19, 2007

Cathartic Soliloquys

This is the last time I am going to talk about any of these topics, both online and offline. I am going to do this because I have been pathetic lately. And angry. I have not been fully aware of how angry I've been. I'm tired of feeling that way, and this all needs to stop. So here goes.

Dear S,
When I think of you, I want to take the heel of my shoe and smush it in your eye. And while it would be easy for me to beat the crap out of you, I would be even more efficient at putting you in your place with words. You are a raging hypocrite. You need to grow a pair and get off your fucking high horse. You are not better than me. You can try and pretend you are, but I know. For example, I know that you forwarded that message I sent you, that message I wrote in confidence, and out of a trust and hope that you were above it all, as you claimed to be. Above all the high school drama. But you are not, as you have proved by forwarding a message I sent you. I thought it was settled, but you just made it worse. Not only that, but as much as you can say you hate being talked about amongst other people, well, you do it too. And I know you do. Because last semester, out of boredom and curiosity, I found your screenname. And in your away profile, I saw you put a conversation you had with P, referring to sexual voodoo. Yeah, I'm not proud that I found it, but I did, and yeah, I'm not 100% sure you're talking about me, but regardless, you are talking about someone hooking up with one of your friends in a forum public enough for people to know. So quit talking out of one side of your mouth about not wanting to be talked about, but doing that exact thing out of the other side of your mouth. Everything you do belies your feelings. Either fucking do something about it, or quit meddling. Because it was oddly coincidental that whenever P and I were ok, you would sit in the corner at social events and give me dirty looks. (Again, hypocritical, because the adult thing to do, as you claimed, would be to talk about it, but no, you shot dirty UGLY looks.) And when P was not talking to me, you would be my new BFF in the hallway. Psychotically coincidental. I am done wanting to tell you off, and wanting to say these things to your face, because I've wasted enough emotional time and energy on you. And anyways, I would hate to have to look at your wretched face in person any more than I have to from simply passing you in the halls.

Dear P,
I keep wanting you to apologize, because you really do owe me an apology for treating me like shit and not being adult enough to have one simple conversation with me. And for that, I pity you. If you were a girl, I would probably be angry (see above), but I'm not, because you're a guy and yeah, I've got that baggage. I am trying my best to let it go, this desire for an apology, and just to be friends with you, but I don't think that will ever happen. And that's ok. But as you'll never talk to me about this, I just need to get it out there - yeah, I used you, too. And I'm sorry, because it's not right. It was what it was, and we will probably never be friends, and I need to be okay with that. I guess that's all, because I have nothing else to say.

Dear M,
I hate running into you. I hate seeing you. I am not looking forward to the upcoming trip. Yet at the same time, I love running into you, I love seeing you, and I can't wait for the upcoming trip. With a simple look, you throw me into a pensive mood. Damn you. But what I have to say to you is ... well, that I'm going to save for later.

All the best,

Sunday, March 11, 2007


The other day, maybe yesterday, I had this epiphany in which I realized that it was not even remotely ok or socially acceptable for me to get moody and teary when I drink. Maybe for a week, when I got to indulge my heart that was put through the wringer, but after that deadline, no more. Well, that deadline passed months and months ago, on both counts, so what the hell am I doing still wallowing? I mean, even when drunk, I am old and mature enough to have self-control so that I stop wandering around depressed and teary-eyed in bars. Seriously, no more retardness. Yeah, that retardness was one of the things that was going to stop when I turned 30, but I think it'd be best for everyone in my life, and my own already sullied good name, if it ended sooner than that.

I'm an idiot. That is all. Move along.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


I love that my parents roll up in a S500 worth that cost over $100K. Yet for a suitcase, they use plastic shopping bags.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

My BFF's 30th Birthday Dinner Party

Here's the menu:

White Bean Dip with Pita Chips

1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil, plus 4 tablespoons
1/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
6 pitas
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the beans, garlic, lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, and parsley in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the bean puree to a small bowl.

Cut each pita in half and then into 8 wedges. Arrange the pita wedges on a large baking sheet. Pour the remaining oil over the pitas. Toss and spread out the wedges evenly. Sprinkle with the oregano, salt, and pepper. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or until toasted and golden in color.

Serve the pita toasts warm or at room temperature alongside the bean puree.

Grilled Lettuce

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 heads Belgian endive, halved lengthwise
1 large head radicchio, cut into 6 to 8 wedges
1 head romaine lettuce, quartered
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Prepare the barbecue (medium-high heat).
Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil over the endive, radicchio and romaine, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the lettuces until they are crisp-tender and browned in spots, turning occasionally, about 6 minutes. Coarsely chop the lettuces, then toss them in a large bowl with the remaining oil and vinegar. Season the salad, to taste, with more salt and pepper. Serve warm.

I used only romaine lettuce and added grilled grape tomatoes and gorgonzola cheese to spice it up a bit.

Salmon with Lemon, Capers and Rosemary

4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
8 lemon slices (about 2 lemons)
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1/2 cup Marsala wine (or white wine)
4 teaspoons capers

4 pieces of aluminum foil

Brush top and bottom of salmon fillets with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and rosemary. Place each piece of seasoned salmon on a piece of foil large enough to fold over and seal. Top the each piece of salmon with 2 lemon slices, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of wine, and 1 teaspoon of capers. Wrap up salmon tightly in the foil packets.

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Place the foil packets on the hot grill and cook for 10 minutes for a 1-inch thick piece of salmon. Serve in the foil packets.

Oven Roasted Green Beans

1 1/2 pounds green beans
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Trim the ends of the green beans and add to a large bowl.

Toss with the extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and spread out evenly on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Roast, stirring once halfway through, until lightly caramelized and crisp tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

Twisted Pasta with Brown Butter and Walnuts

About 1/2 cup walnut halves
1 pound twisted pasta such as campanelle, caserecci, or cavetelle
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 small bunch sage leaves, about 10 or 12 leaves, large stems plucked

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Lay walnuts on a baking sheet and bake 7 to 10 minutes, until toasted and fragrant. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente.

In a skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Continue to heat and stir the butter until it turns light brown, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the sage leaves. Cook until crisped and the butter has turned a dark shade of brown.

Toss the butter and sage gently with the pasta, being careful not to break the sage leaves up too much. Divide pasta among serving bowls and top with the crushed toasted walnuts.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Limoncella Frosting

1 box chocolate cake mix
Orange juice (instead of water in cake mix)
1 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 cup diced candied orange peel (about 8 ounces)

2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons butter, softened (1/2 stick)
2 tablespoons limoncello (you can substitute with 2 tablespoons lemon juice for minors)
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 orange, zested
1/4 cup finely diced candied orange peel, for garnish

Special equipment: cupcake liners, 2 muffin pans

To make the cupcakes: mix the chocolate cake mix according to package instructions, substituting orange juice for the water. Toss the chocolate chips with the flour. Fold the chocolate chips and the candied orange peel into the chocolate mixture. Line the muffin pan with the cupcake liners. Fill and bake the cupcakes according to package instructions. Let the cupcakes cool for 1 hour on a wire rack before frosting.

To make the frosting: combine all the ingredients except the candied orange peel in a medium bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Using a small spatula, place about 1 tablespoon of frosting on top of each cupcake. Top with a small sprinkle of candied orange peel.

I did not use Limoncella. It was delicious, still.

Here are some pictures:

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


A friend alerted me to this new ice cream flavor. It is described as vanilla with chocolate covered waffle cone pieces and a swirl of caramel. Sounds delicious.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

This Is the Best I've Got Right Now

Swiss Accidentally Invade Liechtenstein

Published: March 2, 2007

Filed at 11:13 p.m. ET

ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) -- What began as a routine training exercise almost ended in an embarrassing diplomatic incident after a company of Swiss soldiers got lost at night and marched into neighboring Liechtenstein.

According to Swiss daily Blick, the 170 infantry soldiers wandered just over a mile across an unmarked border into the tiny principality early Thursday before realizing their mistake and turning back.

A spokesman for the Swiss army confirmed the story but said that there were unlikely to be any serious repercussions for the mistaken invasion.

''We've spoken to the authorities in Liechtenstein and it's not a problem,'' Daniel Reist told The Associated Press.

Officials in Liechtenstein also played down the incident.

Interior ministry spokesman Markus Amman said nobody in Liechtenstein had even noticed the soldiers, who were carrying assault rifles but no ammunition. ''It's not like they stormed over here with attack helicopters or something,'' he said.

Liechtenstein, which has about 34,000 inhabitants and is slightly smaller than Washington DC, doesn't have an army.