fearlesstemp: (cary kate net)
I am making chocolate chip cookies! Seriously making them, from scratch and everything. It's my contribution to Thanksgiving. I am also housesitting at the Scary Brownstone, and have discovered that although the Professors are culinary giants (they have invited me over for many a delicious meal), they do not appear to have a, whaddyacallit, mixer thingy you hold in your hand to mix ingredients. Maybe it's just called a mixer? A beater? ANYWAY. They don't have one. I've invested about ten minutes in searching, and am now trying to decide if it's worth the effort to keep looking or if the cookies can be made without one. They must have had cookies before electric mixers!

Or did they?

Also, I can't find a big mixing bowl. I have a bowl that I think might be large enough, but I hate it when you think the bowl is large enough and then it really isn't and Disaster Develops.

If I wait any longer, the chocolate chips will be gone due to excessive snacking on my part! They're so YUMMY.

Okay, one last search, and I begin! Any tips for a mixer-less cookie maker? The internet connection is in the kitchen in the Scary Brownstone; I await any and all helpful hints.

ETA: Mixer and mixing bowls found! I seriously think that an LJ entry is better than a Prayer to St. Anthony; the second I post about not being able to find something, I invariably find it and feel like an idiot for wasting ten minutes on an LJ entry on the subject. Off to make cookies happen.

ETA Part II: DAMMIT. I had put the chocolate chips into a bowl after measuring the appropriate amount needed (so as to see how much was snackable), and then made the poor choice of placing the bowl on the stove while the oven was preheating, and well, I just spent a few minutes eating some melted chocolate (yum!) but must now go to the store for more chips. More news as the cookies develop.

random

Jul. 15th, 2006 02:20 am
fearlesstemp: (elaine ugh)
Today eight people came in for a will consultation. Only one person called for an appointment, but she felt the need to bring her entourage of assorted relatives with her. They were so numerous that there weren't enough chairs in the waiting area, which led to a comical few minutes during which I ran to and fro with furniture from other parts of the office. There is no way to look graceful and professional while carrying a chair, there's just not. Once they were seated, I realized one of them had B.O., and I spent the next hour trying to do work while ignoring said stench and being stared at like an exhibit in a museum.

Speaking of! My father's office is on the first floor, and my part of the office is right by the entrance to the building, so whenever people take smoke breaks, they always stand right outside my window. I can hear the murmur of their conversation but not the words, and it's extremely irritating because part of me is always trying to figure out what they're saying (it's just instinct), and also, I feel like I'm on display at the zoo. I should put a title card right next to where they smoke.

Secretaria Bittercus:

This species is known for its excellent typing skills and ability to lie on command. In youth, members of the species begin the day with a sunny outlook and then undergo a daily transformation which leaves them with hunched shoulders, short tempers, and clenched teeth by nightfall. This progression becomes more rapid with age, until finally, a persistent disgruntled temperament is the norm, with occasional pleasant patches. Natural habitat: cubicles with fluorescent lighting.


Ah, I'm just bitter to be so close to people tasting freedom while I wither away, tethered to the dictation machine, with no nicotine addiction to justify regular breaks.

Okay, so some things need to happen tomorrow.

(1) R. NEEDS to cancel our tutoring session, because my current housesitting assignment is about an hour's drive from our tutoring meeting spot, and I really don't want to have to make that drive. I want to sleep and spend the late morning hours reading a romance novel! Is that so much to ask?

(2) I need to work on some additional cover letters, etc., because I feel that my father's office is destroying my spirit a little bit more every day.

(3) The cat needs to not wake me up at 6AM by pawing at my nose, as he did last weekend.

Randomly: Eating wise, I was so good for most of today. I had fruit for breakfast (mostly because I overslept and had to eat portable food), a salad and a handful of Chex Mix for lunch, but then I had to stay over an hour late at work, and found myself at the grocery store, RAVENOUS, getting supplies for the housesitting weekend. I was in such a foul mood from work that I cast aside all of my hard-fought healthy habits of the last few days, and bought brownie mix, Lucky Charms, eight pounds of shredded cheese for quesadillas, and other crap, which was exactly when I ran into one of the professors I housesit for regularly (but not this weekend). I know there's no reason to be embarrassed of my food - it's my life! I can eat what I want! - but when one is (hopefully) at the tail end of a period of expanding waistline brought on by stress, and has been attempting to do better only to suffer a sudden setback, it is frustrating to run into an acquaintance super-devoted to healthy just as one is squatting down to decide which brownie mix to buy. Grr argh frustration.

In other news: My skin has been so heinous lately that I am embarking on experimental treatment. I'm still on oral medication for it (am seeing Dr. on Wed. about this part of the routine), but I am casting aside ProActiv and beginning an Ivory Soap/Neutrogena Moisturizer regimen for the time being. Three days in and my skin feels noticeably better. More details as they develop.

I feel like this post is so vain and superficial. I'll go with it. To wrap it up: I am rapidly going gray (oh, the horror); I keep forgetting to touch up my toenail polish; I have been wearing glasses all the time because I know when I call to reorder contacts, they'll probably make me come in for an eye exam, but I really don't want to; and I have a mustache that resembles Seth Bullock's.

Today I actually went to the store in a gray sweatshirt, blue sweatpants, and black flats from my dressy work outfit of today. The Jess of the Past would have gasped in horror at this. I have also taken to going to work with wet hair, and putting on makeup in the bathroom mirror when I catch a quiet moment in the morning. I ALWAYS SAID I WOULD NEVER BE THIS PERSON. Are all of these symptoms of more generalized self-loathing? Am I just lazy? Why am I not in bed, since I have to get up tomorrow if R. doesn't cancel?

So many questions! So few answers!
fearlesstemp: (cary kate net)
Is it possible that Legally Blonde is even better than I remembered? Totally possible. The fact that it is being accompanied by brownies (they are in the oven now; I just ate a bunch of batter while watching the movie, sheer heaven) could be the reason for its unanticipated extreme awesomeness.

Am reporting live from my aunt's house, where I am again housesitting. Am again convinced I will be axe murdered in my sleep - this time because my aunt was supposed to leave a key under the mat, but there was no key under the mat when I arrived. I snuck in another way and even though I know - KNOW! - that she probably just forgot to leave the key (she is about as on top of small details as I am), still part of me is convinced that some serial killer devoted to offing twenty-something chocoholics with double chins is waiting outside for darkness to fall so that he can sneak in with the extra key and snuff me.

Ooh, brownie timer beeping!

And now they must cool.

Anyway: the key. I actually arrived to housesit yesterday but aforementioned serial killer stress, accentuated by the fact that Frankie the Smelly, Anxiety-Ridden Dog kept barking at unseen foes outside the front windows, caused me to leave here around midnight to sleep at home. I drove back here this morning and stopped at the store on the way to procure important supplies (Diet Pepsi, brownie mix [I tried to make brownies last night but misread the box and put in the wrong amount of vegetable oil so the brownies were totally gross], Tostitos). I meandered out to the car, loaded my supplies, shut the trunk, and went to get in the car. Only the key wasn't in my hand. Or my pocket. Or on the ground. It was totally in the trunk.

So I had to sit on the grassy knoll outside the grocery store for forty-five minutes, waiting for my poor mother to haul ass out here to drop off my key. I swear, I am lucky Mark Burnett is not running my family, because I would totally be voted off the island right quick. My brother is about to kill me because I'm trying to get him to stay out here with me. I'm thisclose to calling his friend's cell phone. That might harsh his coolness rep with his friends, but I DON'T CARE. Some people might have too much pride to own up to their scaredy-cat-ness as openly as I am, but I am not one of those people. I think you all know that already.

I have somehow managed to avoid work altogether this weekend.

Things I Have Done This Weekend Instead of Schoolwork, Which I Should Be Working On So I Can Enjoy Harry Potter Guilt-Free Next Weekend:

-Watched Into the West, which continues to captivate me in spite of its lack of quality. I will admit that it is less enthralling now than it was originally, mostly because they traded out Original Jacob and Original Thunder Heart Woman for older copies. Original Jacob was so totally dreamy. Jacob Junior, played by Nikolas Cassidine of GH, is pretty dreamy, but loses points because he's not involved in a cheesy romance the way Original Jacob was. Jacob Junior is suffering nobly and struggling with his mixed identity. I want romance, dammit!

-Watched the end of ET, which was, like Legally Blonde, even more awesome than I remembered. I cried.

-Watched Frequency, which was pretty good. I cried some more.

-Talked on the phone a lot.

-Stared for twenty minutes at a spoilers link for Half Blood Prince. Ultimately resisted.

-Read People, Entertainment Weekly, and Soap Opera Weekly.

-Watched parts of Into the West again.

-Tutored R., who continues to be unable to recognize the word "parts" - am slowly going insane over this. I even made up a little tune! It went, "p-a-r-t-s parts, p-a-r-t-s parts, p-a-r-t-s parts" (repeat until librarian gives you the evil eye). STILL no luck.

-Watched two episodes of Sex and the City.

-Purchased tweezers to rid self of disturbing chin hair (hair as in singular - have not grown beard, thank God).

-Watched some ridiculous TLC medical dramas, which featured exactly the kind of low-quality dramatizations I love.

And now I'm going to go check my cell phone to see if my brother called. And perhaps call him if he didn't.
fearlesstemp: (cary kate net)
I am happy to report that my stint housesitting did not end in death-by-hatchet as I'd feared. Why am I so insane about things like this? I watched a lot of Rescue 911 as a kid - could that be it? Or all that City Confidential on A&E in the years since? Whatever their cause, my irrational fears led to many a sleepless night out at my aunt's house, and I blame this sleeplessness for some, but not all, events of the week.

kind of lengthy, involving disliking dogs, getting yelled at at work, hunting cats, crashing funerals - basically, all you need to read is this cut tag )
fearlesstemp: (cary kate net)
Happy Festivus! While I, like the Constitution, recognize every individual's right to free expression, I would request that any and all airing of grievances be carried out quietly, or loudly in a place where I will not see/hear it. For I do not have the stomach for such things.

But I still love Festivus! A quick nod to its origins:

Frank Costanza: Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.
Cosmo Kramer: What happened to the doll?
Frank Costanza: It was destroyed. But out of that a new holiday was born . . . a Festivus for the rest of us!
Cosmo Kramer: That must've been some doll.
Frank Costanza: She was!


I know a lot of people don't find Seinfeld funny, but it was central to my late upbringing. My parents were indifferent about the importance of regular church attendance, but Seinfeld was simply never missed.

Anyway. I have been so busy lately! So busy that at one point I went FOUR DAYS without checking one of my e-mail addresses. FOUR DAYS. And, okay, so I did check my other e-mail address – but generally I check all of my addresses at least three times a day. Four days is totally a personal best. I owe people replies to e-mails; I owe replies to comments; I owe phone calls. I owe my job some quality work, and yet here I am. LiveJournalling it up.

That's the type of gal I am.

A list of things I've done and have meant to write LiveJournal entries about, but simply did not have the time:

-Housesitting in a huge, beautiful, three-story brownstowne in the scary part of my home town – the two buildings across the street were boarded up. BOARDED UP. I was positive I was going to be murdered in my sleep almost every night.

-I said almost every night because one of the nights I was positive I was going to freeze to death, because the heat died at about 6PM (after I tried to turn it up from a chilly 60 degrees – little did I know how good I had it! By midnight, when it was dropping into the 40s, I began to realize how foolish I'd been about thinking 60 degrees was cold). I had to wake up the homeowners on vacation to get permission to call the heating company, who came at about 2:30 in the morning to restart the furnace somehow.

"Now, you may smell some smoke," Scary Maintenance Guy said. "When I pressed the reset button, a bunch of oily black smoke came out. But I'm pretty sure you'll be okay."

"Oh my God," I said.

"Yeah," SMG said, with an indifferent shrug. "It should be all right."

"So the house won't explode later tonight, and take out the entire neighborhood?"

"You're funny," SMG said, with no inflection.

"Um, okay," I said. "Bye."

[Note: The house did not explode. My brother (who came down to stay with me when I got freaked out at the idea of SMG coming in the middle of the night with me there alone) and I did leave about twenty minutes later, however, to sleep at home.]

-The next day, I woke up all disoriented and groggy and drove down to feed the cats, only to realize upon reaching the front door that I'd left the keys to the brownstone at home. Oh, the expletives were flying.

-On Monday, I finished up the housesitting and stepped out the front door to discover THE WORLD HAD ENDED IN ICE, like that famous poem, because there was NO WAY THE WORLD COULD GO ON IN SUCH COLD.

And yet it did.

I had packed days and days before, without checking the weather report, and my Designated Monday Outfit was centered around a knee-length skirt and pantyhose, the latter of which tore at the knee while I was wrestling with my car door (it had, naturally, frozen shut, as it would again that evening, after I had run in for milk and beer [my family's fuel] at a convenience store on my way home from tutoring). I have never been so cold in my life.

The miracle of Monday was the fact that my car started with no trouble. The non-miracle of Monday was the fact that my heat continued to be crappy, so I spent the entire commute and walk to work trying to come up a word to describe the weather, because "cold" just didn't cut it.

Finally, it came to me, the phrase that summed it up: Fucking Cold.

I have more to rattle on about, but my workday is over – perhaps more later. If I don't get to post again, Happy Festivus, Merry Christmas, Happy Weekend to you all!
fearlesstemp: (working girl)
How can Groundhog Day only get two and a half stars? I checked the info-on-demand thing on my aunt's digital cable while I was watching the movie, and that's what the info-on-demand Gods had given it. How is that possible? How?

It's one of the greatest movies ever! At least I think so. And does anything matter but what I, personally, think? An emphatic "No!" is the correct answer to that question.

(I say this all in good fun, of course; other things matter too. Can't think of any right now, but that's just the kind of mood I'm in. I'm sure I'll think of something tomorrow.)

It was very necessary that I saw this movie tonight, since I was feeling all torn up inside after finishing The Poisonwood Bible today. Groundhog Day and The Poisonwood Bible both made me cry today, but they were different kinds of crying, and it's good that Groundhog Day came second and at the tail end of the day. I loved The Poisonwood Bible and everything, but I've gotta tell you, and I don't think I'm spoiling those who haven't read it yet – a book about missionaries and postcolonial Africa? Not going to be happy go lucky!

Other notes: House- and pet-sitting continues on. Sprout the kitty woke me up several times before my alarm this morning. It is a testament to my animal-loving nature that I did not maim, kill, or bear any ill-will towards him, since waking up before my designated wake-up time is one of my least favorite things to do. Especially on a Saturday, when having an alarm set at all seems cruel. But I had to be up to let the dog out, and so I had to set an alarm; I've been known to sleep for thirteen hours at a time after a long week, and this week was definitely a long one, what with smelly attorneys and dogs flipping out and my grandfather having surgery (he's doing okay now) and my car being towed (details below). Leaving the dog in the house for thirteen hours could only lead to messes I would have to clean up.

When my cats want to wake me up, they usually sit on my head. I get used to that after a minute and generally go right back to sleep, but Sprout was more determined and also more polite. Sprout sat quietly next to me, and patted me on the cheek with his paw until I woke up, blearily waved my hand in the general direction of his head in an attempt to pet him, and then rolled over. Two minutes later, just as I was drifting off, he'd do it again: Sit there, stare at me, and pat pat pat until I opened up my eyes.

I did this four or five times and then finally just scooped him up in my arms and put him under the covers with me, giving him a big old hug. This freaked him out, as I knew it would (cats only like so much personal attention), and he promptly stalked away to the foot of the bed, where he slept at a dignified distance until I woke up for good two hours later.

Frankie the dog continues to be the height of adorableness, even if he did tear through the contents of my bag tonight. I, being the super-observant dogsitter I am, did not notice until he plopped down three feet in front of me and started chewing on my bottle of ibuprofen. Thank God he didn't get it open or break the bottle. All I ask of this trip is that I don't kill the pets or break a major appliance.


Note: Bringing Up Baby is on now and the info-on-demand people have given it only three and a half stars, which is also sheer madness, because if there ever was a four-star comedy, this would be it. Oh, it's the great phone conversation about the leopard! Everyone should see this movie if only for this scene, and also the part in the jail when Katharine Hepburn pretends to be a gun moll, and also the part where Cary Grant wears a women's robe and jumps up saying, "Because I just went gay all of a sudden!"

Okay, you should just see the whole thing. "There are only two things I have to do today: Finish my brontosaurus and get married at three o'clock."

How can you not love a movie with that line? And this exchange, which I think I've quoted before:

[David discovers the leopard in Susan's bathroom.]
David: Susan, you have to get out of this apartment!
Susan: I can't, I have a lease.

Sheer greatness.

Yesterday I got out of work at 4:15. I was so excited I almost danced out of the office, and then down the street, around the corner and down three blocks more, when I stopped where I'd left my car that morning.

It wasn't there.

and so begins the towing experience )

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