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A Hurricane in All Kinds of Weather

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Friday, July 29th, 2011
3:03 pm
Less than 24 hours to go. I have gone from feeling relatively confident to rock bottom. At present, we have no actual grades to go off of to know how we're doing in the class. We won't have one of the four grade components until after the final tomorrow. To say that I am terrified is an understatement. More on all of this later.

current mood: beat

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Sunday, May 1st, 2011
10:40 am
Dear The Sun in Spain,

Stop being so hot.

Gracias por nada,
Dehydrated and Singed in Madrid

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Saturday, April 30th, 2011
4:09 pm - Madrilenos
Hello all. It is I, Heather, reporting live from Madrid. It's my first trip to Europe, and thus I got my first taste of jet lag. I don't mind telling you that jet lag super sucks. It was hard enough yesterday while walking around in the hot sun, being dehydrated and tired and achy. But today? Much worse. For most of the morning, I thought I was going to puke, so I couldn't leave the hotel room. I finally felt better after noon and have been okay since. Hopefully there will be no encore performances tomorrow.

We've enjoyed the Prado and Reina Sofia museums so far, as well as El Buen Retiro. We ate churros y cafe con leche upon our arrival, then had gambas al ajillo, patatas bravas, champinones, y sangria for dinner. The best part followed, when we sat outside at Plaza de Santa Ana and had beer, sherry, and Campari, accompanied by the mild green olives and pickled things that come with all liqour. It was not unlike sitting at the terrace in

We just got back from a lovely dinner at Gloria de Montera. We ate a metric ton of food, including entree-sized salads with warm goat cheese, duck confit with apple compote, veal with Roquefort sauce, chocolate tart, espresso, and a bottle of Tempranillo for 48 euros. It was totally awesome.

More later from our travels to Barcelona y Alicante.

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Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
8:37 am - I'm SOMEBODY now!
This is just the kind of spontaneous publicity I needed!

I am, of course, quoting "The Jerk." But I do have news:

I am one of today's Top 9 posts on Foodbuzz! They say (to make the Top 9 people feel awesome) that the Top 9 are "The best of 2,573 posts from the Foodbuzz Community, as chosen by our editors and users." Wooooot.

The post was my one on Adobo-Flavored Almonds. The picture is real purdy, which is why it got chosen (Top 9 is photo-driven).

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current mood: accomplished

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Thursday, July 15th, 2010
8:16 pm - Monkey Lover's Split
A banana split that I made for a Foodbuzz event. They will donate $50 toward ovarian cancer research for each featured publisher who posts their version of an ideal banana split by tomorrow. So, check out that blog post tomorrow.

In the meantime, I leave you with this--the tastiest of all noms.

Vanilla ice cream (reduced fat, naturally), hot fudge, peanut butter chips, crushed peanuts, light whipped cream, and, of course, bananas.


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Monday, July 12th, 2010
8:32 pm
Poor Mom and Kevin had to put down Escher today. I brought her home after finding her in an alley when I was maybe 12 or 13 years old. She was skinny with ribs showing--that changed quickly. She became a fat and happy cat, always lazing around in the sun and meowing for the milk left in your cereal bowl.

She had an eye removed years ago, and the doctors thought she had cancer that would leave her with only 6-12 months to live. I believe that was 4 years ago. Clearly, she was cancer-free after the eye was removed. But she succumbed to a whole host of other problems, and today it was evident she was in pain. She's been declining for quite awhile.

I am extremely sad to hear this news, though it was expected. I couldn't help but get a little emotional after hanging up with Mom.

I was always happy to see my cat again on visits home. I will miss her.

current mood: sad

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Thursday, June 24th, 2010
8:13 am
I'm officially halfway through my 50 Countries Challenge! Woohoo! I'm right on track. Hopefully I have the wherewithal to continue through the rest of the year. Next year, I'm definitely picking a challenge that doesn't require so much planning. :p

current mood: accomplished

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Tuesday, May 25th, 2010
11:18 am
Gus is coming to visit this weekend--huzzah! We will be taking a brief culinary visit to Uruguay and Costa Rica via Chivitos and Ensalada Palmito. That is going to be real tasty. *pats belly*

current mood: bored

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Monday, April 19th, 2010
1:08 pm
The kittens are 24 weeks old already.

And they're so pretty.

Doesn't it look like they're holding hands? I almost peed myself over the cuteness.

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Tuesday, April 13th, 2010
9:57 am
The Good:
Remember how last summer I went to the dentist and they found two cavities? And how I never had any cavities in my life? And then I found all those reviews on Google saying that that particular dentist has a tendency to find cavities that don't exist? And how I didn't go back to have the cavities filled?

Well, adult responsibility finally took hold, and I went to a new dentist (Greg Recommended!) today. Guess what? No cavities! Everything looks great, the Very Nice Dentist says. The VND did my cleaning, too (though she says in the future, the hygienist will do the cleaning and she'll check the work). That made me happy.

The Not-As-Good:
I came home on Sunday to find a FedEx 'attempted delivery' tag. I won some date syrup on Foodie Blogroll, and am pretty sure that's what the package is. Since I wouldn't be home to receive the package, I signed the "please leave the package, I waive you of liability" box and stuck it on the front door again. There it stayed all of yesterday, because apparently they couldn't be bothered to come back on the next business day(?). It was still on there when I walked out at 8:00 this morning. So, imagine my surprise when I just got an email from FedEx, dated at 9:03am saying that they attempted delivery, but I wasn't home. What the living F, FedEx?! So, I called customer service and explained the problem.

"Hmmm....well....they said they couldn't deliver it? So maybe the tag wasn't on the door?" Waify-sounding, non-committal girl said.

"Yes, but the tag was on the door less than an hour prior to the attempted delivery. I don't think they actually went to the door and tried to deliver it," I said.

"Uh.....well....let me check your address. ...... Yep, that's the address we have. Well....uh.....I'll just send them a message saying...uh...that you uh...said they could leave it...."

Why do I get the feeling I'll never get my date syrup?

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Monday, April 12th, 2010
9:58 am
Ho-kay, but for serious, guys.

I had my brakes done on Monday or Tuesday or something like that, to the tune of $450. I don't drive too much throughout the week usually, so the happy, newly braked car sat until we left for Madison on Thursday night. We drove 250 miles. We then drove around Madison quite a bit. On Saturday evening, I noticed a rattling/knocking noise that seemed to only come about when I was coasting to a stop. It tended to stop when I came to a complete stop. It never happened when the car was sitting still, only when it was in motion. On Sunday morning, as we were about to leave, it happened near-constantly. Because we're smarter as a team, Greg and I decided it would be best to take it to Sears Auto Center to have it checked out before driving another 250 miles on the freeway. As it turns out, one of my wheels was hand tightened. That's right: My freaking wheel was LOOSE. What if it had come off while we were driving on the freeway?! God! It makes me angry and anxious to even think about it. Additionally, when they replaced the rotors, they didn't clean off the corrosive build up around them. Nice. So, not only is that sloppy, but the wheel thing is life threatening. Ugh! Everything turned out fine, Sears was awesome, the check up/tightening was $20....but I'm just livid. Now, I need to call the Honda dealership (that's right--DEALERSHIP! HONDA CERTIFIED!!) and chew them out and demand some sort of refund. I'm not very good at that kind of thing.

Madison was good times. We saw lots of our friends (even ones I feel like I never see, like John and Evan!), ate tons of things that are awful for us (hello, "Coconut Carrot Cake French Toast," made out of actual cake), and watched three crappy movies for crappy movie night. It was fun times. Also, when I got to the massive, selection-filled cheese aisle at Woodman's, I couldn't stop smiling. I was home.

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Tuesday, March 30th, 2010
9:18 am - Yum.
Because I like to tantalize your senses, have a picture of some macaroons, why don't ya?

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Saturday, March 27th, 2010
4:28 pm
I just made some gorgeous brioche rolls. So pretty. I'm amazed with me.

current mood: boastful

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Thursday, March 25th, 2010
9:19 pm - I dun like sam 'n ella....
...Or whatever kind of festering food contaminant just finished poisoning my bowels.

That ranked #2 out of my 3 experiences with food poisoning. Better than my first experience with Himal Chuli's food (where I thought I was going to die), but worse than my experience at Radio Maria which was probably heightened in severity after having four drinks over the course of the evening. I either got this sickness from Noodles & Co (unthinkable! or at least, I'd prefer to keep it that way) or Cocomero, a frozen yogurt/pick-your-own-toppings place here in town. It's probably Cocomero. God knows how well they wash their fruit toppings, or how long they let them sit out.

Either way, I was in very rough shape yesterday and slept for 16 hours on and off. Today I stayed home again, gradually adding fluids and solids back into my body and ensuring they'd stay down. Now I feel mostly human again and can safely go back to work tomorrow without hurling all over the computer monitor.

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Monday, March 22nd, 2010
2:39 pm
Caz did a post about some vacations she's been dreaming about taking. She posted beautiful photos that made me all dreamy about taking a nice long vacay myself. I was inspired by her post to do something similar.

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Thursday, March 18th, 2010
9:03 am
I was just enjoying some of my past Facebook status updates, and found this brief exchange between me and Greg:

My Status Update (a quote from a Mountain Goats song): There's going to be a day when you feel better, you will rise up free and easy on that day and float from branch to branch, lighter than the air, just when that day is coming, who can say? Who can say?

Greg: Thursday?

Me: That's right, honey.

Greg: I guess right! Yea me!

...I like him. :)

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Tuesday, March 16th, 2010
2:49 pm
Everyone who enjoys sassiness and (sometimes inappropriate) humor needs to visit this blog right now: The Sassy Curmudgeon. This is a woman after my own heart. So sassy! So curmudgeonly!

One quote to get you hooked:

"But then I went to put some concealer on (yeah, keepin' the magic alive for Jeff) and the snow outside my window flooded my face with, like, a blinding white light. And that is when I saw my chin hair. It was long enough to wave at me in the breeze like one of those inflatable Gumby-looking things you see at car washes. It was like, "Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii, you finally found meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" I lunged for my Tweezers. I think I even screamed "DON'T LOOK AT ME!" even though Jeff wasn't even home."

I am hooked. And I want to be her BFF-4-EVER. For realsies.

current mood: aggravated

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Monday, March 15th, 2010
1:33 pm
I've put up my Italy and Ireland challenges on the 'ol recipe blog. Successes, both, with the exception of the bad seed focaccia recipe I managed to pick. The question is, friends: What country should I do next?

I've begun to get semi-organized with the 50 Countries Challenge. I listed out the starts of each of the remaining weeks, and set some countries out on it already. For instance, the week of March 28th is reserved for Israel, because it's the beginning of Passover (I just really wanted an excuse to make macaroons--and yes, I realize those are not affiliated with Israel, but I will do something else, too), and obviously, July 4th will be my "U.S. Coast to Coast" challenge of Clam Chowder and Sourdough Bread (god, how I wish the 4th of July was in the winter, when that would be even remotely appealing). I also have the week of September 5th for Eid ul-Fitr, the end of Ramadan (which could be a great many countries, really). Any other good ideas for "theme weeks"?

I hate Daylight Savings Time in the Spring. It's so damn dark at 6am. I am so tired.

current mood: blah

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Thursday, March 11th, 2010
9:35 am - Ugh.
Okay, CNN.com.

You and I have had some good times. You've always been here for me--delivering news in a way that might be a touch on the "liberal-slanted" (as opposed to even-handed) and/or "sensationalist" side, but it was all good. I was never too offended by you one way or the other.

But, CNN, we've had a series of missteps.

1. You changed your layout from pleasantly readable to intolerably busy and ugly.

2. You seem to have shifted your focus from mostly news with a little bit of pappy filling, to all sensationalist garbage with a twee bit of news.

3. The straw that broke this camel's back, CNN? The fact that over half of your news 'articles' are videos. There's not even a reason for that. I don't want to watch a video! I want to read the article! Why is that so difficult? Why can't you even just have your videos transcripted into articles? Eh?

So, CNN, I'm sorry. We have to break up. It's not me--it's you.

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Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010
9:28 am
Holy crap, everybody. The Official Website for the Republic of Korea featured my latest blog post on Japchae.

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current mood: surprised

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