Colony Collapse Disorder

SOUP N00BS
Let's face it, LJ sucks. I'm out of here. The only place online that you can find me with any regularity is facebook. I imagine I'm already FB friends with most people reading this, but if you don't want to lose contact with me, please drop me a line via a comment here and I'll add you on there!

All comments are screened. If you don't feel safe releasing your real name on lj (which I'd understand, see first sentence), just give me an e-mail address, and we'll take it from there.

So long and thanks for everything.

One of those midnight epiphanies

IOU One Treasure
If my life stalled right where it was for the next few years, I'd have a lot to be thankful for.

Another recipe

IOU One Treasure
I was looking for a way to do flourless chocolate torte yesterday, and I hated all the recipes I found. They either called for like more than one stick of butter and more than one pound of chocolate, or they sounded kind of like ultra-fatty brownies. In the interest of making something different, I wanted something dense but fluffy, almost souffle like, that wasn't too sweet. Then I looked around for another interesting flavor to put in, and settled on rose. Rose: not just for Turkish Delight!

And so: Flourless Chocolate-Rose TorteCollapse )

A recipe

racoons
I want to put this somewhere. Might as well put it here. The following is a recipe for Cherry Cardamom Corn Muffins. Substitutions can be made, and are included in the recipe. Under the cut: Cherry Cardamom Corn MuffinsCollapse )
no seagulls ever
I bought a new computer with good, current midmarket specs and plenty of room for customization in the future. For the first time in my life, I have a computer that is actually fast and capable of doing heavy lifting. No more will my computer struggle to play games from 2001.

Now that I have a computer that actually, you know, works, and has an internet connection and stuff, I hope to be around more. I don't think very many people on my f-list really use lj any more, but for those of you that still do, I just wanted to give you a heads up. I'm sorry I went away for so long. I'll try to stick around.

Robot amputees waving hello

Wait no stop


We are in Las Vegas! Technically, we arrived yesterday, but I was tired and Camelia was exhausted, so not much really came of it. Not that much has came of it today, either. Camelia is still tired, not that I blame her, and it's hot out there and just blargh.

So there hasn't been much exploration of Las Vegas today. I have seen much more of Sam's Town, the place where we currently reside. I have found out that there is a Walmart nearby, at least as the crow flies. In practice, it took about ten minutes to walk there, because this is not a city where you walk anywhere, as far as I can tell. Not that I blame them. Being outside was an experience that I can only describe as "monumentally unpleasant." Las Vegas is always too hot.

The air conditioning is always on here. That's because it is only a habitable temperature from December to March. From April on, Las Vegas comes in limited flavors: too hot, scorching, and fucking unbearable. I think the locals get used to it? I'm not sure. The people I see outside look miserable all the time, but they might be miserable because they live in Las Vegas.

The people I've seen in the casinos don't look like they're having very much fun. This place is terrifying. I'm having a blast, though. And tomorrow, we're going to the Strip with the intent to squeeze as much free fun off of the still bustling hospitality industry as possible! I hear one casino has tigers.

PS: The TGI Friday's here is my best friend because they have exceptionally strong daily $5 drinks. And I have yet to feed a robot amputee a little bribe, but I am going to. Las Vegas: pretty fun.

Boring Note: I'm writing about my time here so far and backdating it so it makes chronological sense. So there are entries for the first two days so far, with more to come.
SOUP N00BS
The beginning of the day's events that were of any consequence was going to a spa to get some wax done. I am a great fan of waxing one's eyebrows. I am more of a fan when you go to a place and they offer you complimentary tea, coffee, wine, beer, or champagne with your appointment. My time came up quickly and was done in minutes, and will now reap the benefits of this for over a month. Waxing doesn't hurt.

Any pain I felt would have ended as soon as I saw some of the spa's clientele. I feel so validated when I see people who have obviously had too much work done. It's like "ha ha, your vanity and shortsightedness has earned you two conical bricks that are going to perch at odd angles on your chest. Forever." Don't get plastic surgery, kids! Especially if you like hugging.

Once we were freshly waxed, it was time to go shopping at Macy's! While there, we discovered a type of bra. A special bra, one so special that it was advertised to "add two cup sizes instantly!" I made Camelia put it on in return for my silence and good will for the rest of the lingerie shopping. The biggest size it came in was a D, which was technically close enough. Despite my best attempts to endorse the result, she did not buy it.

I do not have boobs, so maybe I just don't know. Maybe it's not fun to be able to point your boobs at stuff? Maybe it's not fun to be able to use them as a shelf. It was like looking at a Bond girl. This was a super bra.

In less interesting news, there is a bra that is apparently designed to minimize unsightly backrolls! Is this really a problem? Are there common circumstances under which you will be wearing a bra where people will be looking at your back, scrutinizing its shape? The world of lingerie is a confusing one.

After that, there was hanging out with friends and a wonderful chicken dinner, all of which was designed to give us courage. In a way, my entire life has been leading up to this event. I was taken to Bruce's Bar. The purpose of this was so that we could eat some bull balls, but not too many, which is why we had real dinner first. The restaurant's website does not include a sample of the live band, who played country music. Of the people we were with, three liked or at least grew up with country music, and they all confirmed independently that it was terrible. I am also sad that the website does not include the murals that decorate the wall, which includes proto-furry porn.

If furry porn is currently in its renaissance, which a cursory look would suggest, then these would have been cave paintings. These crude depictions of muscular bulls with ridged abdominal muscles were painted fuzzily with halting brushwork, as though the artist was still struggling to find his muse. I felt honored to witness the beginning of such an internet institution.

Bull balls taste more or less like. Um. They taste kind of like chewy clams? Thankfully, they're sliced thin, so it's easy to divorce what you're eating from where it comes from. It is de rigeur to eat them with cocktail sauce, I guess because they're classy over in Bruce's Bar. The best accessory to Rocky Mountain oysters, though, is a very tall long island iced tea and copious castration jokes.

It was a good day. Fort Collins in general reminds me of Penn State, but like. Nicer, more car friendly, with more trees, and much, much hotter. I am drinking so much water here; it's insane. It's beautiful here; the sky seems so large and big when it's not full of clouds. There are plants everywhere, flowers are blooming... it almost makes me wish San Francisco had seasons.
IOU One Treasure
I am posting to say that I am on another road trip. This one is not as long or dramatic. I am traveling from Fort Collins, CO to San Francisco, CA, with stopovers in Las Vegas, NV, and San Diego, CA. I flew out of San Francisco at 9 AM.

I had finished packing by one o'clock in the morning. I woke up every hour, as I do before a trip because I am worried about missing my flight. To my fevered mind the day before a trip, nothing is worse than the prospect of not getting to the airport not just on time, but early, plenty early for whatever is going to transpire. I did not do so much traveling between September 11th, you see, so I have really internalized the fact that some kind of security problem can completely paralyze an airport. I will be prepared, you see, for when someone uses a paper clip and a very small bottle of moisturizer to menace an entire terminal. I will do so by arriving so early that it won't happen until after my plane has left.

I understand that this doesn't make any sense, but whatever, it's my defense mechanism against the stresses of travel and I'm sticking to it. So anyway, I slept poorly. I got there with plenty of time to spare, which guarantees that my trip is going to be great. Bizarrely, it actually did this time! My plane left early and arrived early. There were no screaming children. I sat next to a fellow nerd person who was also playing DS, and didn't have to do any more conversation than give and receive the Man Nod. It was the best flight I ever had.

My first impressions of Colorado, in no particular order: It's hot here. Everyone here is white. That is a lot of sweat pants. How can you wear sweat pants when the airport is so hot. Where do these people shop. I have never seen so many jorts. Ugh. Jorts.

I am so thankful things looked up from there. I was met by the lovely Camelia. She drove me away from Denver via its bowels, or maybe its armpit. There is a Purina puppy chow factory right off the highway there, across from some tract housing. I think living there, inhaling the dog food fumes might be my personal hell.

But it was all worth it, because I got to go to Casa effin Bonita! Yes, that Casa Bonita. This is what Casa Bonita looks like:



Their promotional material states that their restaurant employs over 300 people. I can see why. What follows when you enter the palatial pink chapel is less restaurant and more theme park. To both patrons and staff, the food is almost incidental. You get it out of the way when you enter. You state what you're going to order, then wait in line for it cafeteria style.

There are no good options. They are all terrible. I went with some kind of Beef Lovers Special, on the grounds that no ingredient would kill me if improperly cooked. I also ordered a Margarita/Sangria swirl, on the grounds that some things are so creatively terrible that the only response can be to try them. When confronted with things like jaeger bombs or double fried chicken, the only thing I can do is try them.

The food was awful, as expected. The best thing I can say is that it was over quickly. Ordering the sangriarita was actually a good idea, though. Casa Bonita is normally just for eight year olds, but with the combination of sleep deprivation, the stresses of traveling, and a surprisingly strong drink, you too can regress to a childlike state where tandem cliff diving, a piñata, and a haunted cave the blasts you with compressed air becomes as awesome as it should be!

It was fucking worth it. Due to the aforementioned factors, I really enjoyed the man wandering around in the gorilla suit, and the cliff divers, and the arcade full of games old enough to be from my childhood. And the skiball! And the waterfall inside the building! The only response to CaBo is to vent the excitement of its existence through exclamations.

The waiters don't bother you unless you put up a flag, signalling that you need something. I wish every restaurant had flags like that; it prevents unnecessary communication that only serves to frustrate both of us. Also, the sopapaillas were fresh and smelled amazing. I don't understand how one restaurant can be responsible for cheez whiz nachos, then turn around and give me something so beautiful. Casa Bonita will remain in the seedy part of Denver's suburbs, ever a mystery.

The rest of the afternoon was spent in a post-CaBo coma. Thankfully, I was able to recover in time to go out to Elliot's, an excellent martini bar in Fort Collins. It is a fancy place for fancy people, which made me glad I was not paying for drinks.

I was introduced to Camelia's wonderful friends, got a bit inappropriate on fanciful drinks with matching names, and went home to Camelia's bizarrely comfortable bed, where I got to watch episodes of 30 Rock until I was too tired to think. That was the end of Fort Collins!

Tomorrow: Fort Collins and stuff. I was too tired to form much of an impression of it, so yeah.

for laughing at your jokes

no seagulls ever
I can no longer see Russia from my house, because we have moved! Now I can see Brazil from my house, which isn't as fun. The house itself is so much better, though. I have a bedroom on the second floor, and it feels almost normal. There's an embarrassing amount of space, and after the last place, the options feel unlimited. I am hoping that this will be a place for me to put down roots here in San Francisco, or at least a place to stay for a good long while; the last place had a distinct transitional quality to it. Something about this place just feels more solid and permanent.

I am being interviewed for promotion (again) tomorrow. Even if they offer this job to me, I am not sure I want it, because I am pretty sure that the only schedules available are awful, but I don't know. We'll see. I am also working with a local friend of mine on maybe getting a job at a start up where I'd get to analyze data and crunch numbers all day. I would have potted plants on my desk. It would be awesome.

I have been sick for, uh, a really long time now. It got worse while I was moving, and as a result, I took the week off. I'm not going back until Saturday, and my workload in general is pretty light for the next two weeks. I am going to try and balance my work life and personal life a little bit better now, because I realize that I've been working a lot since December, and it is now May, and that is a long time. As much as I love overtime pay and a hefty savings account, I also like things like: talking to people who aren't mentally ill, relaxing at home, going out to parties, going on day trips, etc. I have not been doing much of any of that for the last long, long stretch of time, and it's gotten kind of sad.

The other day, I bought a book called Ratio, which I've wanted for about a year now. It was a worthy purchase. It is teaching me things, things like how to make shortbread and stock and popovers. It is also increasing my desire to own ramekins. I don't know where that lands on the Shame-O-Meter.

Once I deal with the whole "I'm living out of boxes and my mattress is on the floor" problem, I'm hoping to get back to taking advantage of the city.

Oh, and I dropped another size, as anyone who has talked to me recently probably knows. And it is awesome. With any luck, this trend will continue.
no seagulls ever
A friend from the east coast is flying in today! I'm excited to see him (college friends: it is Blake I can say hi to Blake for you if you want!) but between my job, his job interviews, and my job interview, I'm not sure we're going to get as much time as I'd like. I am tiding myself over with the thought that when he gets a job out here, which is basically a given in my estimation, that I can see him as much as will be possible given his busy schedule of working too much.

Yes, I have a job interview. Well, sort of. It's a better position in the same agency, so it's more like being interviewed for promotion. Probably, I will not get the job because they want someone who is truly bilingual instead of my "I can understand everything but stammer if I have to explain anything longer than two sentences," style of language mastery. You never know, though; I didn't think I'd hear back because they wanted someone who's more experienced, and here we are. If nothing else, it's good practice, because I anticipate going on more job interviews for this style of thing in the near future ♥

For the record, though? I'd rock the shit out of this job and they'd be lucky to have me. I pull my weight and then some, and that's the kind of person they need, I believe. I have a lot of ideas for what I'd want to do in the job, suggestions, improvements to make, etc.

Either way, though, I am hoping to wrap up today celebrating seeing someone I haven't seen in three years, hopefully with cocktails, at a nice bar! Catching up with awesome people is the best thing.

... It's funny how far a year can take you.

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