Friday, August 24, 2007

Sesame oil is good

S and I have kind of gotten into cooking together, mainly because we are becoming cheap (don't want to eat out) and lazy (don't want to go out to find food). Thus, I grab a lot of cookbooks from the library, or we just end up throwing yummy ingredients together and see what happens. This week, while my parents were gone, we made a rice/shrimp concoction with hoisin sauce that was quite good. Then, at the library later in the week, I saw Bruce Cost's "Big Bowl Noodles and Rice" and decided it looked like our kind of thing. I was right!

This is the shrimp fried rice recipe from the book, with some modifications because we had half the called-for bean sprouts (I added mushrooms instead) and no bean pods or shallots (onions and peas instead). It was mighty tasty, and really pretty easy. S manned the stove and I threw in the ingredients. It was a rather quick process, too, once the rice was cooked. We both really want a rice cooker someday, and I can see us getting into the habit of making a few cups of rice each week to have on hand for such impromptu dishes as this.

S enjoying the meal. We had some sauce left over from Leeann Chin (really good, quick Chinese take away with home base operations here in Minnesota) and I put some duck sauce on mine (top photo). Yum! I'm making myself hungry just looking at it again.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Not through listening to 'emo' music

Using at work on break because my iPod's battery is dead. It's pretty slick. I don't really use the radio stations at home because I have my whole iTunes library at my fingertips, but it's great to have access to this wherever I am connected to the internet. Right now, I'm listening to Saves the Day's Similar Artist radio, and it's playing me a track from "Through Being Cool," which was one of my favorite albums in college. Rock on!

I think it may be time to get a new iPod battery for Greenie, my green iPod mini which was a gift from my cousin Simon and his wife. When she ordered a new Apple laptop a couple years ago, she got it for free and they offered it to me. I helped a bit in their engagement/wedding plans, so it wasn't just for being an awesome cousin. Heh. Or maybe I should just buy a new nano or something. S uses my 60GB 4th generation iPod all the time but that means that it's basically his iPod and I don't use an iPod all that much anymore because I'm either a) working, b) driving, or c) at home.

Look at me, becoming all adult. Oh, except for the 'emo' music.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A guessing game

Did you know that a mocha with soy milk is actually good? Well, I didn't, but my boyfriend brought me one this morning and I'm enjoying it immensely. I have this very weird illness right now which S believes will be helped by not having dairy, so I'm giving it a whirl.

Did you also know that I don't have scarlet fever? Or hives? Or shingles? Or even contact dermatitis? Or strep?

But I do have a weird rash on my hands, elbows, knees, and ankles (Not toes! Hah! I fooled you with a children's rhyme!). And I did have a low-grade fever (99.6) and a mild sore/dry throat for a few days. I also had some extreme nausea when I didn't eat regularly (like every 2 hours).

So, what do I have? Nobody really seems to know. Not the nurse help line, not the doctor, and everybody who's seen it has some theory about what it is, but the symptoms never match up once I Google it. Hmm.

Anyway, it doesn't seem to be contagious, or S would have had it by now (symptoms began more than a week ago) so I'm at work, doing my stuff. It's itchy and uncomfortable, but it helps to be distracted.

Edit: after copious Googling, I think I may have Pompholyx, a type of exzema. I may try some of the home remedies they recommend and see if that alleviates the problem. I also still believe it could be some type of virus causing the bumps, because of my other symptoms, or that the other symptoms caused the stress which could have, in turn, caused the Pompholyx. Ugh.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

How introverts socialize

Last night, S and I "entertained."

The plan was to have over a couple of my coworkers and their significant others, but one couple couldn't make it, so we went ahead and had the lovely Manda and Jonathan over anyway. We introduced them to the game Settles of Catan and had snacks and a yummy bottle of Gew├╝rztraminer wine which they brought. It was lovely to hang out with Manda not at work, and good to get to hang out with and talk to Jonathan.

The rest of the weekend was spent either at work (Saturday) or resting (Sunday) because I have not been feeling that well lately. Here's hoping all is well within a week or so.

My parents left this morning to attend the funeral of my uncle John Bahnak in St. Louis, Missouri. He had many long battles with cancer throughout his 60 years of life, so his passing is a huge blessing for my aunt Donna who took care of him for many years. We all know John is with Our Maker.

No plans and never a worry

I'm sitting in my dad's office, typing this for mysterious reasons, listening to Saves the Day, "In Reverie," an album that brings me back about a million years (rather, to 2003). I bought the album and listened to it in my sweet ride, my Saturn SL2, tooling around Lincoln, Nebraska, leaves blowing around in the streets and the weather still warm, cool nights offering free air conditioning in my apartment... the year I graduated from undergrad.

Now, it's about two weeks until I'm back in graduate classes, getting closer to being out in the ever-more-real world. I'm excited about this fall for reasons I can't explain at this point in time, or in this very public blog. I haven't got anything figured out yet, I guess is all I can say. It actually feels surprisingly good instead of terrifying. I can't plan anything right now, and it's great.

I am closer to realizing some of my goals, and further from others. It's all good, though, and all I can do is choose how I react. I feel more at peace than ever before. It's wonderful.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Whatever makes me feel better about the debt is good

This is a really false way of looking at it, but I was shelving a copy of U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges yesterday, and looked up St. Kate's. It's ranked #13 in graduate school in the Midwest. However, none of the schools ranked higher has an ALA accredited program in Library Science.

Therefore, I go to the best graduate school which offers my degree.

Note: This is probably not true, as Madison and Milwaukee (in Wisconsin) have very well established programs, but whatever.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

And I'm earning interest, too

Working some extra hours this summer has been extremely good for my savings account, though I still feel like I'm going to need more of a cushion for when I graduate and have student loans to repay. Hefty student loans, at that, considering that St. Kate's grad students have the highest average amount of debt for a masters program. Ugh.

But, as I like to point out to anyone who asks, it is the only program in the state like it, and I have looked at the cost of school in Wisconsin (the nearest ALA-accredited degrees) and the very small savings would be deleted by the fact of moving and having to job-hunt and et cetera.

Being able to put a few hundred dollars into my savings each month helps me feel better about the mounting debt. Plus, it helps that I like this job and can see myself doing it until after I graduate and find a professional position.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A work in progress

No, I am not knitting a Thneed, but it sure doesn't resemble anything whatsoever wearable. I have to thank the boring and vaguely pointless movie "Wah-Wah" for the progress I made on this item in the last week. I am now six inches closer to being done with my shrug. This means that inevitably by the time the weather necessitates something much warmer than a shrug, I will probably be done, unless I happen upon a string of bad movies from Netflix.

I plan on adding some embellishments once I am done with the majority of the construction work, probably using my very favorite pattern book, The Arco Guide to Knitting Stitches. I have made a few scarves using patterns from that book, and I just love the old photographs and the simple directions. I also really love the book I'm using for the shrug pattern, Speed Knitting, which, as it's taken me months and months to get 40 inches of my project, is not exactly true for me, but probably for your average knitter. I am just particularly slow, and/or distracted by other hobbies.

P.S. Those IKEA tape measures work great for carrying anywhere to measure progress. Plus, they are FREE!