Friday, September 28, 2007


In a few minutes I'm off on a whirlwind trip to Ohio. My parents are throwing a pig roast for everyone who helped with their move last year. As a vegetarian, I'm not terribly excited about the upcoming abundance of pork, but my fellow travelers (Andrew, a friend, and the cat) are already salivating.

I'll try to post some pictures of the carnage... er, feasting.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Small homes mean less to clean

Because someone commented on the size of our new apartment, I decided to calculate our square footage. This turned out to be more complicated than I thought, because no agreed-upon standard exists. But I borrowed the guidelines used by New York City Realtors and measured the size of the entire area, including exterior walls but excluding stairs, which are not considered habitable space (although closets apparently are habitable). The grand total is 425 square feet, although apparently 75 square feet should be subtracted off, because when the ceiling slopes lower than 6'6" it's not considered habitable anymore. (Andrew would agree, since he still hits his head almost daily.)

This is pretty small - the size of an average mobile home is now over 1000 square feet. We can be grateful, though, that we don't live in London or New York or Tokyo, where our apartment would be even tinier, but even more costly.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A parting gift

The day that my mother left, while I was away at school teaching, she cleaned the entire apartment. As a result, two different couples have already offered to house her next time she is in town.

What a styling mom.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The scales have fallen from my eyes

Last night we took my mother to a tapas restaurant which I remembered as being really good as well as reasonably priced, but which turned out to be neither. Few things get my goat more than paying a lot of money for food that I could have cooked, and cooked better. I can only explain my memory of the great food with the fact that Andrew and I went there on what was probably our second or third date, and so at that point in my life all food tasted heavenly.

My mother has certainly earned her keep this week, helping me purchase curtains and then hemming them by hand. We also picked up an awesome hanging lamp for over the kitchen table, but I'm not posting pictures of anything until all the decorating is done, so that all socks in the immediate vicinity will be knocked off.

I think I'm falling out of love with IKEA. I still appreciate their insanely cheap, reasonably attractive products. But when I want something more than a wastebasket, I look for furnishings that are different than what everybody else has, and in than respect the thrift stores beat IKEA hands down.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Let me entertain you

Whew. Teaching is really knocking me out. The grading, so far, isn't unbearable, but I spend all my time talking about floating and sinking. I am immersed in it. (Which leads to bad puns.)

To distract you from my lack of words, a photographic study of my niece and Logan the Cat. And since the current exchange rate is 1 picture = 1000 words, I'm all set, right?

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The new digs

The planets aligned and I managed to find new batteries and the computer cord for the camera. The result of this is apartment pictures for you. I'm sure you didn't want to see quite this many photos, but I'm treating these as the "before" pictures - I need to fully document what it looks like now so that when there are finally "after" pics you will be sufficiently impressed.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

IKEA Hacker

New York Times wrote an article (free subscription required) featuring a blog that I've been reading for a while - IKEA Hacker. The site collects different projects that repurpose Ikea goods. It's a lot of fun if you are either into decorating your house so that it doesn't look just like everybody else's, or if you just like to recycle. I've added a link to the list of blogs an the right, as well.

Bits and bobs

All I can say on the issue of okra is that I'm highly suspicious of a vegetable for which people have developed so many techniques to disguise the texture. If it is so wonderful, why do we have to work so hard to hide parts of it? That said, if someone cooked me some and put it on my plate, I'd eat it. I just don't like it enough to prepare it myself.

I keep meaning to put up some pictures of the new apartment. However, while I swear that I've unpacked everything, I can't find the cord that connects the camera to the computer...

My mother is coming next week, at my invitation, to give me decorating advice. I'll be sure to report on the details, especially on my attempts to turn my wood-paneled living room into a groovy 60's den. Shag carpet has already been purchased, but the rest of this masterpiece remains a vision in my head.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Sweet corn, the taste of summer

Happy Labor Day! I am doing my best to avoid laboring this weekend.

We went to the farmer's market yesterday and I may have went a little crazy. I blame this on our farm share: while they provide us with a wide variety of veg, they tend to go a little heavier on the squash and eggplant (And don't even get me started on the quantity of okra they keep trying to foist on us, for goodness' sake, I'm a Midwesterner and my yearly maximum of okra is just under two bites.) and a bit too light on the tomatoes and corn. So we bought twelve ears of corn, about two dozen tomatoes, watermelon, and plums. I invited a foodie friend over for dinner and we had an orgy of summer food: tomato, sweet corn, and bread salad with basil, pasta with homemade pesto and tomatoes, fresh baked bread with a trio of gooey cheeses, and Italian plum custard tart. We had to waddle to bed, but I felt like we made an praiseworthy attempt to completely enjoy summer (and of course, for me that is synonymous with eating).