Thursday, November 29, 2007

coat conundrum.

With the first major snowfall expected to arrive this weekend, it's time to face the facts:
  • Winter is here.
  • It was 10 degrees today.
  • I am pretty much always cold.
  • I don't like muttering "fuck" every morning when I head out the door.
  • The last time I spent more than $50 of my own money on a coat was..well, never.
With all of these in mind, I figured now is the time to spend some hard earned money on a coat that is cute and warm. And hell, it's even okay to splurge a bit because coats are important in Minnesota.

Sounds easy, right? No. The problem is simple: cute coats are rarely warm. Coats built for warmth are always lacking just a bit in fashion. They look similar enough, but something is off and you can tell at first glance.

But I was (am?) determined. I started looking at J. Crew, and found some promising coats that I wouldn't want to buy without at least trying a few on. Which is how I ended up at the Mall of America tonight strutting around the store in this:

Yes, it's very cute. It's green and adorable and it feels like it is made out of NOTHING. And so I very sadly put it back on the rack and sighed, and moved on, emboldened to find the perfect coat.

I stopped at Macy's and immediately walked past the grays, browns, blacks, and creams. I needed color and would not settle for anything less at this point. Okay, or maybe patterns, like in this one:

Maybe it was just me acclimating to the mall climate, but somehow this one felt warmer. And it is rather cute as well. But I still can't shake the fact that I would be paying what I used to pay on rent for a coat that just isn't that warm. Perhaps that's the sacrifice we all make: cute and cold, or warm and dowdy.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

in praise of thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday by far. It has everything a good holiday needs, and none of the extraneous stuff that cloud other holidays. The commercialism and crowds of Christmas are already starting to wear on me. New Year's Eve is fraught with the pressure of having the perfect party, the perfect bar, along with the perfect outfit to start the year out right. Valentine's Day...well, the idea is nice, but it tends to make the coupled feel guilty, and the single lonely. But Thanksgiving is only about family or friends and food. That's it. There's no need to worry about presents, or a lack of a significant other, or what shoes to wear. All I need to worry about is what vegetables to include when I roast a giant vat of them, and that's actually fun.

Things to look forward to: mashed potatoes with peas and carrots, stuffing with cranberry sauce, leftover turkey sandwiches, and a brand new niece who will most definitely be mauled by relatives.

Monday, November 19, 2007

a short list of things i used to be more afraid of.

  • Spiders.
  • Making my own salad dressing.
  • Foam soap.
  • Homemade tomato sauce.
  • Riding my bike on heavily trafficked streets.
  • Running outside.
  • High heels.
  • Make-up.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

you laugh too much at dumb jokes.

I was trying to keep an open mind about you, but something was off. My suspicions were confirmed when I made a silly joke of average to below-average hilarity. Now, most people would give a slight chuckle at the pun, and honestly, if they didn't laugh at all I wouldn't be offended. But you didn't stop at the polite chuckle, you laughed just a little too much. I think you may have even snorted in there. And after you finished laughing, you went into an analysis of why this really-not-that-funny-joke was so funny. It was already beyond dead, and you killed it two or three more times. Is this what you always do? A four minute recounting of everything that's only mildly humorous? Sounds exhausting.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

down with plastic bags!

The internet is both wonderful and embarrassing. On another, unnamed (and ahem, unlinked) site not unlike this one, I have maintained a blog type thing for over six years now. Six. Years. Now, most of it is locked and tucked away just in case some old friend stumbles upon it and wants to read my deep thoughts on the world and cute boys at house parties. Sorry, pal. While there is some embarrassment to looking through these old entries, a scant few stick out as being...okay. Such as this rant against plastic bags, written five years ago. I'm posting it unedited.

today the girl at the grocery store did not ask, "paper or plastic?" and before i knew it my $30 worth of groceries were in SIX PLASTIC BAGS. that's six more plastic bags that i can add to my ever growing pile of plastic bags. they invade my closet and even though i reuse them as trash bags, i cannot keep up with the influx of bags. they suck because unlike paper bags, they cannot be easily recycled along with normal paper products, nor can they be used as wrapping paper, or any other useful purpose one could think of. they are so flimsy that baggers often feel the need to DOUBLE BAG, which makes the whole situation worse.

the worst is when you buy something like a tube of toothpaste and the evil earth-hating clerk attempts to throw it in a bag as you dig for change in your wallet and in the midst you notice and say, very frantically, "no, that's ok, i don't need a bag" and they look at you as if you are insane because EVERYONE ON THIS PLANET LOVES FLIMSY, IDIOTICALLY STUPID PLASTIC BAGS THAT SERVE NO PURPOSE OTHER THAN TO TRANSPORT ITEMS TO YOUR NEXT DESTINATION. and although they are sometimes necessary for that, that doesn't mean i won't continue to abhor plastic shopping bags for as long as i both shall live. the end.

Why this trip down memory lane, you wonder? I'm thinking about getting some reusable produce bags. And it got me thinking about plastic bags in general, and how even though I'm using envirosax pretty religiously these days, I still feel a bit weird about it in some places. Although maybe this means I need to stop shopping at stores like Target and only go to the co-op, where my reusable bag sparks a conversation with the cashier. But really? Some things never change. I still hate plastic bags just as much as I used to, only now I have many more options to deal with it.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

diy, for food and craft.


Sew, Mama, Sew (which I only recently discovered) is listing ideas for homemade holiday gifts all month long. Ack, what a fabulous idea! Of course, in order to finish presents by Christmas, I probably should have started them in...oh, I dunno, April?

One of the gift ideas that I would rather make for myself is this lunch bag. While trying to make sense of the directions, I managed to find a video on how to make a messenger bag out of plastic bags. Neat!


Inspired by this question [What cooking do you do diy?], I finally made my own granola using this recipe. It turned out pretty well and was so easy. I also am very intrigued by making my own yogurt, since I like to eat it a lot and I get mad at all the non-recyclable yogurt containers I have. So, that's something to think about.

Monday, November 05, 2007

food for fall.

The downtown farmer's market is officially over, which means I have little place to turn but the co-op (overall good) and the grocery store, where they individually wrap sweet potatoes in plastic for some godforsaken reason. Whatever. Given all of this, fall is prime cooking time. It's dark, it's cold, and what else is there to do? So, my favorite fall recipes.

No Knead Bread
This is all over, here's just one recounting of how to make it. I made it tonight and was sure it was going to fail - it was too wet, it was sticking to everything, but's delicious. I also figured out that it's much better without any wheat flour.

Vegetable Soup
I love this soup cause it's so free and easy. Get out a big pot and throw a bunch of stuff in. It's much better than all the recipes that expect me to know what two pounds of butternut squash looks like.

Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup
Yes, Rachel Ray is annoying, but this recipe is yummy and astoundingly easy.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Everyone loves this, I kid you not. They make great muffins!

I ate too much soup and bread for dinner and feel like I am going to explode.