Tuesday, September 30, 2008

personal, sappy, bitchy post ahead.

The whole long distance thing sucks. Lots. When you've come accustomed to a person's presence it's hard to adapt to anything else.
I hate coming home and not having someone to call right away and talk about my day
I miss having someone that will go for a beer under any circumstance. It could be one beer, it could be many. Just to sit and talk without anything else to do.
I miss just sitting and listening to cjsr.
My workout and concert buddy is gone. I don't have someone to go swimming (then breakfast!) with, and I don't have someone who will accompany me to any concert because I know they trust (or are at least willing to try) my musical taste.
I hate feeling single again. Although I am not AT ALL, I go to parties alone, I meet my coupled friends and I often feel like the odd one.
I hate not being able to drive over as fast as I can when you have a shitty day. I hate that there's no one here to drive over and make me feel better when I have a shitty day.
I miss how you would bury your face in the pillows on weekend mornings. And how we'd stay in bed for an hour before getting up, and my cat would come purring and kneading, and curl up between us ready for pets.
I miss the sound your truck makes when you stomp on the gas.
I miss your friends! The ones that I would feel a little weird about contacting to hang out but I still find cool.
I miss getting drunk then doing something stupid, then waking up and going for breakfast, eating something cheesey, then me wanting to hang out for the entire day and drink coffee while you need to go do something important.
I miss hearing your keys jingle in the hallway before you open my door. I would try to quickly decide whether I wanted to open the door for you or wait till you came in and called "hello?" in such a questioning tone that seemed like you weren't sure if I was home or if you were calling into an empty apartment.

We had such an incredible "last date" night. Culina, then getting drunk at Passetempo, walking home. I can't wait to have another date night in Holland.

This next week will either pass by so. slow. or quick.

I hope for quick. Obviously.

dear gummi frogs

Where do you get off? Creating the perfect symphony of taste and texture.


I love you.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Mr Treats

On the street level of the building I work in there is a coffee shop by the name of Treats. A man of Italian origin (although he has no accent, I know this through conversations with a fellow employee during World Cup soccer season) and indeterminable age (he's greying but doesn't seem old) works there and probably owns the franchise. I once bought something with debit and since he has always called me by name. This seems friendly yet slightly uncomfortable since I don't know his name. He always makes a point of waving to me and is always, ALWAYS, been in a 'happy' mood.

There used to be another employee, an older woman also of European origin sporting a beehive with the same hair clip attached every day, but I haven't seen her for a while and her absence has caused shorter shop hours and high employee turnover. I always assumed that she was the mother of the main guy there, their interactions seemed more than co-worker but not romantic. Both I find to be mysterious and hard to read in age, sexuality, relationship, etc.

The man drives a large burgundy van, similar to this, but more plush with curtains and some strange spoiler. It is parked outside the building all the time. At any hour. Occasionally it will not be there, and during those times I'm assuming he's at home, wherever that is. But I have walked by there at all hours of the night, and seen the van. Walking home from drinking on a weekend, it's there. One night I was working late on a project and had to print something off at 3am so I went to the office... it was there. On Tuesday around 12:30 I was walking home from having a beer with a friend, I saw him come out of the van and into the store.

Why does he need to be there at 12:30? 3:00? He has such a strange demeanor. And why the large van?
Recently I've started making up fantastical stories about him, like in some David Lynch movie where Treats is a cover for an underground network of people doing shady things that we will never understand. People who cause midgets to dance in the radiators and time to loop back on itself. The basement of the 13 story building in which I work in houses some sort of steamy workshop in which many workers are constructing something sinister that even they cannot comprehend.

Maybe each Treats store is a portal to another dimension. Maybe each store has a guy like the aforementioned who is really a guardian of the portal. This would explain why he is so difficult to figure out.

Maybe Treats is part of a giant social experiment, or government testing of a certain substance baked into their 'famous' carrot cake (which I have never eaten). 25 years into the future we will be astounded to find out that we have been unwillingly tested upon for many years without our consent without any ability to retaliate. It will explain the social decline of individuals into opinion-less drones, carrying out their daily tasks, meeting their daily consumer junk quotas, obeying commands to allow those in control to take full advantage of the community to meet their economic desires and suppress dissidents. There will be an inevitable war between those in control and those who resist (and didn't partake in the consumption of spiked baked goods).

Maybe him and Beehive are aliens.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

not a good idea

I've been trying to kick my coffee habit. I commend those who have quit hard drugs because I'm finding that this is HARD to do, and it's just fucking coffee. I endured several days of headaches and poor moods (being sick then having two long days of yoga helped, however). Today, I joined Chris for a trip to Starbucks and indulged in a tall dark roast.

I feel like I am on speed. I expect to crash and burn in 1.5 hours (give or take).

On the plus side, I've been quite productive. Or at least I think so. It could be like getting real drunk then coming home and drawing. You may think it kicks ass at the moment, but when you wake up dry-mouthed and nauseous, last night's masterpiece looks like it was completed by an 8 year old's non-dominant hand.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Media and other Excitement

Hot Damn! Today I was interviewed by Global TV, City TV, CBC, CBC Radio, CBC French, the Edmonton Journal, and U of A publicity to talk about the mask project that I've worked the past two years on. Wow, what a day. I've never spoken so much so constantly about the same thing, but it was fun. I wish I had TV so I could see it (even though I'm a little scared that I'll look like an idiot/fat). It was so exciting. The University of Alberta article is already up, so take a look if you like...

Tonight I start a three day Anusara Yoga clinic. I have been looking forward to it for a while. This also means a booze-free weekend and taking it pretty easy, which I'm sure will be good for me. Then Sunday it's picture time with Bryna, and I'm giving her creative control of the setting etc, the only thing I told her is that it should reflect me/how you see me/how others perceive me. I can't wait to see what she comes up with!

And if all that wasn't exciting enough, I would like to congratulate Pete and Ruth on combining their collective awesomeness into one single being now in the oven. Way to go, guys!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The National Parcs

This is a similar idea to what I would like to get into: using unconventional sounds as instruments.

I love these guys. They're fun.

a lil' sample of everything..


some actual videos...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sweet Potato Sesame Pizza with Green Tea Miso Gravy

This is taken from Brendan Brazier's Thrive Diet book. For those of you who do not know, Brendan Brazier is a professional Ironman triathlete, vegan, and developer of Vega foods, a line of whole food supplements. His whole premise is whole foods, soy and dairy free, everything as unprocessed as possible. Sounds delicious? Well, most of his recipes are. Some of the most interesting are his pizzas, as they are very far from a traditional, bready thin crust pizza. These are often cripsier crusts made from a variety of veggies and seeds and often contain a lot of protein.
This is my favorite pizza I've tried of his. The miso gravy is unreal and can be used in other dishes besides pizza. For extra protein and vit B I sprinkled on some nutritional yeast over the crust after the gravy.

Sweet Potato Sesame Pizza
Crust

1 cup ground sesame seeds (grind in coffee grinder until a fine powder, but not until a paste)
1 cup grated sweet potato
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/4 hemp or coconut oil
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tsp dried basil
sea salt to taste

Preheat oven to 300F
Put everything into a food processor until mashed up nicely. Spread on a pizza pan (that has been previously lightly coated with oil, preferably coconut) till desired thickness.

Topping
1 tomato, sliced
1/2 onion, diced
1 cup chopped red pepper
1/2 cup grated beet
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 tsp oregano (or 1 tbsp fresh)
1 tsp thyme (or 1 tbsp fresh)

After spreading as much gravy as you see necessary onto the crust, throw the veggies on and put in the oven for about 45 minutes, longer if you want, but try not to overcook the veggies.

Green Tea Miso Gravy
As quoted in the book, "This flavorful gravy delivers probiotics for digestive health". How nice.

2 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, diced
3 tbsp ground sesame seeds
1 tsp finely ground green tea leaves (do the same way as the sesame seeds)
1 cup brewed green tea
1 1/2 tbsp brown rice miso pastes

Heat coconut oil in frying pan over medium high heat. Add onion and ground sesame seeds, lightly fry. Add the ground tea leaves, brewed tea, and miso paste; stir well. Keep stirring until desired consistency reached.

Makes 2 cups and can be refrigerated up to one week.

I found that I needed to turn up the heat to get it boiling a bit more to reduce it quicker, and it turned out fine. Don't be afraid to do this.

work

A new day, a new annoyance. Such is my life.

23 days and I'll be in a much better mood.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

distance

is sucky.

apartment stuff

This was a very productive weekend. My mom came up from Calgary to help me buy a new couch and other house stuff to update my steeeez. There's still more to do (replace drywall and repaint the bathroom, for starters), but I must say that I'm very pleased with the results.
We had tried to avoid buying an ikea couch, but with not finding an EQ3 in Edmonton and the couch I liked Urban Barn being a little more than we wanted to spend, we ended up at Ikea buying this couch in a dark grey flannel. It's perfect and I love it and I hope it gets shipped before I leave for Europe.
I have this rug now in my bedroom, half underneath my bed. The colours work perfectly and it's nice and soft on the feets.

We spent a small fortune on towels for both myself and my mom. I have some cute green towels and large white bath sheets, and a new bath mat. I'm glad to get rid of the hot pink, I'm not 18 anymore. I also got a white shower curtain with a black tree silhouette. And this soap dispenser and matching cup.
I'd like to extend the mirror across to behind the toilet, but I won't do that until I fix the wall/repaint.
I also got this and a double sided basting brush of the same brand, and I think they're pretty cool. I found a 2-in-1 Cuisinart blender/food processor for $109 (!!) since my food processor is quite small and my blender has been sparking, but couldn't find any in a box, so I'll continue my search for one.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I love politics


The Canadian Progressive Conservative Party is so mature.

woah!

When did I start dressing like a female politician?! What was I thinking? Why didn't anyone stop me? I was trying to take a picture of a mask box I made with the computer web cam and caught a glimpse of myself... and yowza. I didn't think my hair was that nutso when I left the house.

The blazer and giant fake pearls aren't helping me any (isn't it fun to make fun of yourself?).
Also, check this out. It seems useful, and remniscent of des470.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Today's lunchtime topics of conversation

Alberta's tar sands and its relation to violence

Work

Anime

Marriage

Donkey fucking

Monday, September 8, 2008

Saag Panir (Indian spinach curry with homemade cheese)

Like I said before, I love paneer. Its bouncy texture and delicate, slightly sweet taste compliments the heat in most Indian dishes. The following recipe is from Steven Raichlen's "High Flavor, Low Fat Vegetarian Cooking" and it has quite a few good dishes in there. It's similar to the Palak Paneer that Dana and I are in love with at Remedy Cafe, only this one has tomatoes and sour cream in it.
Here we go.

Paneer
First off, you have to make the paneer. You will need a cheesecloth. If you don't know what that is, it's a loose woven cotton cloth used for straining and it can be found at most grocery stores.

6 cups 2% milk
3 tbsp lemon juice

1. Bring milk just to boil in a large heavy saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. The milk will curdle in about 10 seconds.
2. Pour the mixture through a strainer lined with cheesecloth. Let drain for 10 minutes. Rinse the curds under cold water to remove the lemon taste and let drain.
3. Gather the corners of the cheesecloth together and tie the curds into a tight bundle. Place the bundle on a sloping cutting board in the sink. Place a heavy weight, like a cast-iron skillet (or a few textbooks on a plate), on top.
4. Press curds for 2 to 3 hours, or until firm. Unwrap the cheese and cut it into 1/2" cubes.

Saag Paneer (or "Panir", as spelled in the book)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 cinnamon stick
salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a pinch of cayenne pepper to taste

2 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
3 10oz packages of frozen spinach, thawed
1/4 cup vegetable stock or water
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 cups diced paneer
1/4 cup chopped cilantro or green onion for garnish

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Lightly brown the onions over medium heat (4 to 5 minutes), adding the ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon stick, salt, black pepper, and cayenne after 2 minutes.
2. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the spinach and vegetable stock or water and gently simmer for 10 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
3. Stir in the sour cream and lemon juice and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in the paneer and cook until warmed but not melted.
4. Correct the seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste.
5. Garnish with cliantro or green onion and serve with basmati rice.

Enjoy!


(I hope musicpb from flickr doesn't mind me using their picture, it was the best looking one there! If you ever find out and want it removed I will most definitly do so. I just didn't have any pictures of it myself but in the future I will!)

Demons are my best friends

I had a lovely dinner with my not-really-ma-in-law Joan down south on 34th ave at Maurya Palace and it was deeeeeelish. We had channa masala, saffron rice, naan bread, and MUTTER PANEER yumyumyumyumyum. Those that know me well know that paneer is one of my favorite culinary delights of all time, and one of the reasons why I could never be vegan (right up there with my weakness for breakfast burritos and huuuuuuevos rancheros). So paneer with peas and two other of my favorite things, curry and coconut, leave a recipe for disaster, or should I say... DELICIOUSNESS. I could orgasm from the goodness.

I decided that I am going to start a recipe tag, so I can share my favorite recipes (and for Dana to gather all the recipes while he's away from my fab cooking skills). So coming up soon, saag paneer....

well it's been a while

So China was alright. I worked a lot. Everyone seems so excited to ask me how it was, and really, I didn't do much aside from hang out in an office, get driven to the house and back to the office, got sick, and got drunk once. The real highlight of my last two weeks was going here with my mom. We packed all our clothes and some food on our backs and made it up a 14k hike (and got a little lost) up to the cabin. It was beautiful and quiet, and the food was excellent.

I'm back at home now and getting used to not having Dana around all the time. It's weird but I've had time to keep my apartment impeccably clean for more than a day.

I went to a company golf tournament on Friday, and even though it was my second time golfing in my life, I won "Ladies' Longest Putt"! The prize was a $150 travel voucher for our travel agent! Hello New York!