Monday, December 12, 2011

Even my Subconscious Knows

I love my dreams so much. Last night I had one that I found interesting. I won’t write the whole thing out because I’m missing big chunks of it.

At one point I remember sitting in a hotel/restaurant(?) l room which was set up sort of like a classroom with my brother, sister, and  a bunch of other people. There was some kind of contest. I had carved a very small jack-o-lantern. Apparently I won 1st prize for it.
After the judging there were a few girls that walked by. One of them loudly critized me and put me down. I lashed back and gave her a very rational tearing down. Later I saw her alone, curled up on the ground by her locker crying. I went over to her. I told her she was a beautiful person that {she didn’t need to act that way to remain in control}.

Of course I looked up the significance of this.

To carve a Jack O' Lantern in your dream, suggests that you are trying to put on a tough or mean face. It refers to a superficial facade.
To see a hotel in your dream signifies a new state of mind or a shift in personal identity. You are undergoing some sort of transition and need to move away from your old habits and old way of thinking. You need to temporarily escape from your daily life. Alternatively, the dream may imply a loss in your personal identity.
To see someone else crying in your dream may be a projection of your own feelings onto someone else. If you do not cry in your waking life, then seeing someone else cry may be a little easier to deal with then seeing yourself cry.   < ---- I refuse to cry in real life.

Apparently my dreams are trying to tell me I’m having identity issues. Shocking. I’m amused that my subconscious feels I’m doing a prize winning performance of maintaining a superficial façade though. It seems like this is causing a lot of pent of mental stress.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Lost in dreams

So I had an odd dream from last night. I actually remembered enough of it to write it down. I wonder what it all means.

I was supposed to be getting ready for my prom (I never went to prom in high school). I was going with my then best friend Nicole. I was making cupcakes with red frosting. The first batch of frosting wasn’t enough. My mom came over to help and she made some frosting to add to mine but it was disgusting so I had to fix it all. For whatever reason I was layering the cupcakes and pouring all the frosting over them like a cake in a flat pan. A short while later I became very anxious that this was not good enough and wanted to bake all new cupcakes and frost them individually. I only had a couple hours before I had to leave for the prom. I quickly ran to the grocery.  I was also supposed to make some kind of chicken dish which I didn’t think about until I’d already gotten back from the store.

In my travels I was back and forth between the school watching everyone come out in their formalwear. I was dressed in mine at some points, still needing to put on the finishing touches in others. I was in a black dress sleeveless, corseted, with gloves. I was having trouble decided which corset to wear over the dress, one black, one I think red. I was also having trouble lacing them. There were also issues in the school. I recall smoke from the hallways as if part of the building were on fire from within. (I'm missing pieces from this part)
At some point a friend came by. I needed to go with him/her(?) to get some papers signed, as a witness or just to go with. I said I would but I had to be back in 2 hours to get dressed. We went to a place. The interior was some kind of office reception area but it lead through areas that looked as if they belonged in a home, like a dining room. In the main conference Room area there was a bed for a table. There were chairs all around it. We were supposed to get M.E. to sign some kind of contract for an invention he’d created. (Yes, in my dreams M.E. is a guy). We’d never seen him though so didn’t know what he looked like. Some other people were filing in and taking seats. My friend asked if one of them was M.E.? No, it’s that guy over there with the yellow beard, he pointed. Just a guy in his mid to late 30’s, but with a bright yellow beard (not blonde, yellow).  
I saw some girls I knew (Kristin and Kat). We sat on the bed/table together. At one point I ran my fingers along Kristin’s clavicle and she nearly melted as she moaned. The three of us started fooling around on the bed in front of everyone. Eventually someone cleared their throats and we got out of the bed. M.E. gave us kind of a disgusted look and changed the sheets on the bed (also yellow). Then he began to sign the contract.
Soon after he gave a presentation unveiling his invention. It was some kind of fold out table shaped like a compass (like the kind you put a pencil in and draw circles with). People were pretty excited about it. I didn’t get the hype.
I needed to leave after this. It was time to get home so I could get ready for the dance. I couldn’t find my ride so a friend and I decided to walk. Somewhere along the road it seemed like we were being pursued. We ran through a gigantic field of lemons trying to lose them (Yeah, a field of lemon bushes – I know this isn’t how lemons grow). We ran up on some decking and back down into the fields trying to lose whoever was behind us. Finally we cross to the other side of the field where there was another road. I saw a familiar sign and we began walking in the direction we were (hopefully) supposed to be going. The whole time I was trying to calculate in my head just how much time I was losing, how late I would be, if I would have time to get dressed, if it would be ok if we were a little late for the dance.

Weird dream. I know.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Questionable Content

No, that is not a vague disclaimer about my life, though it is a surprisingly accurate description.

Questionable Content is probably my favorite web comic ever. Well, at least in the top 5. Seriously. It's amazing.  Go check it out. The art is a bit simple at first, but it rapidly progresses. The characters are amazing, and you'll fall in love with all the goofiness and wit. Do it!

Once more for good measure:  Questionable Content

If you don't love Hannelore, you don't have a soul. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

True Star Wars Fan

I woke up to this in my e-mail this morning. Heehee, Tech Boy totally knows how to get to a geek girls heart. Le sigh. I've got such a crush.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Maybe I should open a bakery

So I’ve been baking and cooking like a mad woman lately. I love this. In the past week I’ve made:
Cranberry-Orange Scones
Caramelized Shallot Mashed Potatoes
Guinness Beef Stew
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (seriously to die for)
Crumpets ß--- Major pain in the ass but quite yummy
and a Dutch Crumble Apple Pie

This weekend I’ll be making:

Scones & Crumpets again
Fairy cakes (really just mini vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese frosting)
Lemon Tart with Raspberry Sauce
and finally a Strawberry Mascarpone Tart with Port Wine glaze

Guess how much of this is for me? Yep, pretty much none of it, but my friends appreciate it. I know the guys at work certainly do. I’m afraid I may be spoiling them a bit. I can’t help it though. It’s really nice for me to have people to do things for. It makes me feel useful and wanted which is something that I don’t usually feel.
I thought I’d share some recipes over the next few days. These are probably the best scones I’ve ever had if I do say so myself. I know, I know, I’m super modest. I may have a lot of self-doubt, but not when it comes to my baking. Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed.

Cranberry-Orange Scones
3 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chilled buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda into large bowl.
Mix in orange peel.
Add butter and rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal ( just threw all this stuff in the food processor which is much easier).
Mix in dried cranberries.
Gradually add buttermilk, tossing with fork until moist clumps form.
Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead briefly to bind dough, about 4 turns. Form dough into 1-inch-thick round. Cut into 8 wedges. Transfer wedges to prepared baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart.
Bake until tops of scones are golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let stand on baking sheet 10 minutes. Serve scones warm or at room temperature.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

For your next Acid trip

Not that I’ve ever done acid, but I imagine if one were to do acid this would keep the eye occupied for a good long while. 
Kaleidoscope. As a kid, do you remember those paper tubes with the crystals in the bottom, you hold them up to the light and turn the base to get a lovely array of ever changing colors and patterns? My aunt sent this to my mom who in turn sent it to me =) Family sharing! And now I’m sharing it with you. It’s a computer generated kaleidoscope. It’s really just pretty and cute. If you run your cursor across the image (which is already in motion) it changes as well. Enjoy!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Happy Mabon!

I was a bad witch this weekend. I didn’t do a full ritual for the Equinox but that’s ok. I feasted and baked and spent time with those closest to me. And as it’s a holiday of harvest and plenty I feel this was quite an alright way to spend it.
I did feel the need to make a seasonal offering in celebration though so this year I made apple bread. I brought all my ingredients over to Friends house and made a delightful apple bread. Autumn ingredients shared with  close friends is a good ritual in my book. Friends wife was tickled that I included them in my celebration. Friend responded with, well we’re practically family after all. I had mixed feelings about this but for all intents and purposes the sentiment was a warm one.
This recipe made two loafs. It was surprisingly balanced. I was afraid it would be uber sweet, but it wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely had sweetness to it, but it wasn’t a smash in your face sweetness. I also used granny smith apples so there was a really nice balance.  Quite delightful. I love autumn. I love apples. I love baking with apples.

Apple Bread
Prep Time: 35 mins
Total Time: 1 hrs 35 mins
Yield: 2 loafs
-       3 cups flour
-       1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
-       1 teaspoon baking soda
-       1 teaspoon salt
-       1/4 teaspoon baking powder
-       3 eggs
-       2 cups sugar
-       1 cup oil
-       1 tablespoon vanilla
-       2 cups diced apples ( , without skins)
-       1/2 cup chopped walnuts
-       1 teaspoon flour
-       Mix flour, cinnamon, soda, salt and baking powder together.
-       Beat eggs and add sugar and oil.
-       Add vanilla and dry ingredients.
-       Stir in apples.
-       Mix walnuts in a tsp of flour and add to batter.
-       Pour into 2 greased loaf pans.
-       Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Friday, September 23, 2011

French Apple Tart

Mmmmm it’s apple season again! Seriously I love fall. I love autumn weather, autumn holidays, autumn scents, autumn foods. And nothing is more fall-like than apples =) Last Sunday I made a big dinner for me, Roommate and her boyfriend. I made Braised Morroccan Chicken with Apricots, Turkish Almond Soup, and a French Apple Tart. All of which came out fantastically. I was stoked about the tart though. I’ve never made it before and it was simply and utterly delightful. Roommate is kind of a finicky eater, especially with desserts, and she had 3rds. And leftovers. If you like apple pie but want something a little easier to make, and a little lighter, this is the perfect compromise.

French Apple Tart
For the pastry:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
12 tablespoons (11/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup ice water
For the apples:
4 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, small diced
1/2 cup apricot jelly or warm sieved apricot jam
2 tablespoons Calvados, rum, or water
For the pastry, place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the butter is in small bits the size of peas. With the motor running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Roll the dough slightly larger than 10 by 14-inches. Using a ruler and a small knife, trim the edges. Place the dough on the prepared sheet pan and refrigerate while you prepare the apples.
Peel the apples and cut them in half through the stem. Remove the stems and cores with a sharp knife and a melon baler. Slice the apples crosswise in 1/4-inch thick slices. Place overlapping slices of apples diagonally down the middle of the tart and continue making diagonal rows on both sides of the first row until the pastry is covered with apple slices. (I tend not to use the apple ends in order to make the arrangement beautiful.) Sprinkle with the full 1/2 cup of sugar and dot with the butter. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pastry is browned and the edges of the apples start to brown. Rotate the pan once during cooking. If the pastry puffs up in one area, cut a little slit with a knife to let the air out. Don't worry! The apple juices will burn in the pan but the tart will be fine!
When the tart's done, heat the apricot jelly together with the Calvados and brush the apples and the pastry completely with the jelly mixture.
Loosen the tart with a metal spatula so it doesn't stick to the paper. Allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Maker Faire

Why does the weekend always end? I suppose the flip side to that is, the weekend always comes again. So, there’s something to look forward to.

I went to the NYC Maker’s Faire this weekend. I have to say, I was a little disappointed this year. Last year was the first time I went to the Maker’s Faire and it was way more odd and unusual than it was this year, hence my disappointment. Maker Faire is an outside event created to celebrate arts, crafts, engineering, science projects, and the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset. So right up my alley.  Last year it seemed like there was a lot more bizarre, mad-sciencey type things going on. This year was pretty main stream technology. Call me an elitist but that’s just sort of ho-hum in my book. I want things that can take over moon bases and hold the world hostage! Or at least the awesome rocket ponies that they had last year. Have you ever though… Gee, I wonder what it would be like to strap myself onto a rocket and get propelled in insanely quick circles? Well that’s exactly what you get with the rocket ponies. Also, temporary deafness. Unfortunately all that they had this year in the area of suitably unsafe interactiveness was an odd see-saw weldment that spins on its axis and looks like it might fall apart… but that’s probably what the caution tape was for. They did have a giant rusted fire breathing dinosaur on wheels for the kids to play on though. That was pretty neat. One of my favorite things that did not disappoint was ArcAttack! They’re this crazy high tech musical collaborative that uses robotic drums and tesla coils for a really amazing musical stage show. I highly recommend checking them out.
I also did no shopping in there either. Usually there’s a few merchants that I have to beat my impulsive brain into submission from. This time though the vendor area was more like a giant hipster garage sale. That just doesn’t work for me. We left a little early and missed the Diet Coke/Mentos explosion performance which is worth seeing once. Fortunately I saw it last year so I know what I’m missing. Oh well. Next year I’ll find something new to do.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Little of this, little of that

Holy crap that was a long break! I know I didn’t post about my vacation but it was a really off vacation for me so I’m just gonna skip it and we can pretend I had a crazy bizarre time dressing up in medieval/middle eastern garb, drinking mead, and bellydancing by campfire light….. which I did.

Today however, I’ve been cooking again! Sunday I went to Friend’s house and made a Turkish/Egyptian dinner to finish off my ideas for the Mediterranean dinner party.  I made Pistachio Soup, Mahmudiye, and Mujadarra.
Gotta say: I loved the (Turkish) Pistachio Soup. It was very, pistachio-y. And simple to make once I got finished shelling all the freakin’ pistachios. By hand. One at a time. Totally worth it.
I enjoyed the Mujadarra as well but I think I overcooked the lentils a bit. Friend and the wife said that it had a very meaty consistency that made it very hearty. I did this in three parts. The lentils/rice/spices, fried carmelized onions, and a middle eastern tomato sauce. All in all I think it came out rather tasty though next time I’ll add the rice to the lentils sooner so I don’t have even  a little overcookedness.
Mahmudiye is unlike anything so instead of trying to describe what it’s like. Here’s the ingredients:
-         Skinless Chicken Breast, cubed
-         2 Tbsp butter
-         16-18 Pearl onions or 1 medium onion chopped
-         6 dry apricots (quartered)
-         1 bunch seedless grapes, cut, or 3 Tbsp Golden raisins (I used both)
-         1 tsp honey
-         2 Tbsp lemon juice
-         1 c. hot chicken brother
-         ½ tsp. cinnamon
-         4 Tbsp blanched almonds
-         Salt and Pepper to taste
Apparently the apricot really came through in the seasoning. I don’t remember a lot of what they said, but I’m told it was tasty.
Thus concludes the array of dishes I’m torn between. Now I just have to take the 20 or so recipes I’ve made in the past couple  months and knock it down to 4 that I want to serve a dining room of 15 people + 4 cooks (myself included). Aye! That’s going to be the hard part.  

Thursday, August 25, 2011


So who's freaking out about Hurricane Irene coming up the coast? From my position it could potentially be a problem but it'll be reduced as it'll have to travel up the coast to get to us. Still, this could be the worst storm NY has seen in decades.

Here’s the problem with living in NY, on an island, during a hurricane. Evacuation would be a clusterfuck of death. Clusterfuck. Of death. There’s one way off this island and that’s, over a bridge, right through the city. Wanna wager a guess at the odds of a smooth evacuation of MILLIONS of people rushing frantically to get out of the city? Yeeeeaaaahhhh. I’m going with it’d be safer to bunker down in my apartment and wait out the weather.

Though, I’d rather not be alone if the world is ending.

World ending? So far this week we’ve had an earthquake, a very suspicious sonic boom, and now a hurricane. Maybe it’s all coincidence, but I DON’T BELIEVE IN COINCIDENCE!!!! Ok, that’s an outright lie, I totally believe in coincidence, which this most likely is. But if it starts raining toads or flocks of birds start smashing into my windows, I’m gonna be peeved.  Because let's face it, if it IS the apocalpse, there's absolutely nothing to be done for it.

I’ll probably go out this weekend and buy extra cat food for my lovey, and supplies to make dinner for Friend and the wife this weekend but that’s about all I can bring myself to do. OH! And stock up on natural disaster movies! What better way to stave off worrying about dying from a massive natural disaster than to watch other people freaking out about dying from massive natural disasters?!? Hush. My logic is flawless.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Geekery x10

It's done. One of them at least. Ok, maybe it's not totally done. I still need to add some acrylic highlighting to really give it some depth but my first light saber.... is complete. It's fully functional. The blades are 36" poly-carbonate tubing. It's equipped with a red (obviously) LED.  I've never worked with sculpting epoxy before and thus it is a little rough, but you can see what I was going for. A very natural, twisted, almost alive kind of organic saber hilt. The next one will be better: remember I wield dual shoto so I must have another.....

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Smash365: Dreams

Jul 28, 2011 by cara moulds

If you are going to create anyway, if you cannot avoid dreaming, then why not create a beautiful dream?  Why not dream well and really enjoy your dream?  If you can believe in your limitations, then why not believe in the beauty and power of life that’s flowing through you? – Don Miguel Ruiz, The Fifth Agreement

What is a limitation you believe you have?  What would happen if you believed the opposite?

I believe that I’m a bad person. I believe that for all my ability and accomplishment, deep inside, I have rotted and I have nothing of value to offer. That anyone involved with me would be better off without me… and this terrifies me. I believe that my presence is a detriment. I believe that what I want is utterly selfish. That wanting anything is selfish.  I fear that I only want for me and not for other people though I know I give in return.  I believe that wanting anything for myself makes me selfish and therefore bad.

Oddly, I’ve accepted this even as I fight it.

I accept that I want certain things. I question whether I deserve them. Whether I have a right to ask for them, even as I ask for them or reach for them. I don’t just take though. I do give in return, probably much, much more than I take. Still I wonder if it’s enough. I don’t know if I’ll ever internalize a feeling of acceptance. It’s cause for a lot of my internal conflict. Cause for a lot of my inner guilt.

Somewhere in my reading of Eastern philosophy I read that to receive is as virtuous as to give. It allows another to feel the gift of giving when you allow yourself to be open to what they would share.

If I could embrace this, I would be less burdened. Happy.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I Quit - #Studio30Plus

I Quit

This is something I fail at. I’m not good at stopping anything, while I am very good at beginning new things. What this translates to, is to make for a very busy girl.  

Oh I suppose it’s not strictly true. I no longer play any of the sports I did growing up or in high school. But even then it wasn’t throwing down my mit and storming off the field. It was, “Well the season is over…. Oh look I’m too busy to start up again in the fall”.
So let me tell you the story of how I quit sprinkles.
It’s pretty much stuck. I only had to do it once. For Lent. No, I’m not Catholic. Or Christian for that matter. But I quit sprinkles for Lent and never picked them back up again.
You see, my manager was heavily involved in his faith. Each year he would make a big production of renewing his dedication to abstinence from alcohol. He would pull out one frosty brew from the walk in freezer, set it out…. And look at it. Moreso, he left it out for the rest of us to look at as well. It was a testament of his faith that he could see it every day, and not be swayed by temptation. Of course, he also wanted us to do this as well.  I wouldn’t say I’m a militant atheist, but I’m militantly not Christian. However I do have a sense of humor. So after yet another lecture on the virtues of self-deprivation I took a deep breath, threw back my shoulders, and marched right back into the back of the shop. I hauled over the footstool to reach the bin of multi-colored sugar accessories and set it gently down on the counter. I pulled back the lid, smelling the sickly sweet scent that accompanied the release of air and gingerly pulled out five sprinkles. One in each color. After replacing the storage bin to it’s dry dock I palmed my acquisition and shuffled back out to the front of the house where my manager was tending the register. I then informed him that I would be partaking in his yearly ritual and that I too, had something to relinquish for Lent. And I threw those 5 sprinkles right in the garbage. Never to be touched again.

Did you know 5 sprinkles cost ten cents? I do now.

Smash365: Fear

Since it appears that the #Trust30 writing challenge is up ::sigh:: I have decided to try the Smash365 writing prompt instead. Today’s is:

Smash365: Fear
Jul 26, 2011 by cara moulds

“Fearlessness comes from a habit of doing lots of little things that constantly put you out of your comfort zone.” – Marty Wilson

What are you doing today to take you out of your comfort zone?

I feel like I’ve been in a rut for a while. Or like things don’t take me out of my comfort zone. Or that I’m always out of my comfort zone. All at the same time.
Work is my lease comfortable person. She exists in an environment that is not comfortable for her. That does not suit her personality, that makes her want to crawl out of her own skin. Every day here is an attempt to push myself just one more day beyond my boundaries of tolerance. And make others believe that I do, in fact, belong here.
The pretending has an odd effect. I feel split to my core. That this is not some place I belong or should be. On the other, the playing a part for 9 hours a day I occasionally slip fully into the roll, even for just a moment or two I feel like I belong in a meeting, talking to a vendor, performing my analysis. The disconnect comes in the fact that I am very capable of doing all of these things, though they do not feel like my true calling. They are something I am good at, not something I am passionate about…. Which is where this place is both comfortable, because it is not challenging, and not because it takes me away from my identity.
This however, is not what the prompt cues.
Going back to school. Again, both in and out of my comfort zone. I will be embarking on a challenge into a field that is  utterly new. It doesn’t completely feel like it’s pushing me out of my comfort zone because I thrive in an academic environment and clearly I have gone to school before. Also, the psych field I have dabbled in amatuerly. However to do it with the mindset of becoming a professional in the field, now that, is pushing the bounds of what I am accustomed to. It’s a field where I do not know how to go about finding my footing. I have no idea of the field work, interactive processes that accompany preparing you for the working world in this field. Engineering is cut and dry. Do the work, get an internship, do what you’re told, graduate, get a job. It’s all very objective. Psychology is a little less rigid. It seems more subjective. I’m intrigued. It will be a way to use my brain in a field that is utterly foreign in a way that I do not get to normally.
It’s a little scary to take the step outside of my established environment. Scary, but exhilarating.

Side note: I cleared up the hold on my transcripts and hopefully I’ll be able to arrange a meeting with an academic advisor by Friday =)

I also wonder if I even have a comfort zone. I don’t seem to be comfortable anywhere, at any time, save for brief moments of it where my mind is taken to places of fleeting peace. When I feel like I’m floating outside of my Self it’s difficult to settle into my own skin long enough to obtain that sense of comfortable calm. The best I can usually hope for is to occupy my mind so much so that I forget my malaise. This is why I constantly push myself, try new things, explore new avenues of adventure and information. Perhaps this is why I do not often feel outside of my ‘comfort zone’ because every chance I get I push my limits into a new venue. Nothing seems foreign to me, because often everything is. Who I am, what I’m doing, where I’m going, how I go about doing it… every time I try something new, it makes going outside of my comfort zone, a comfort.

x-posted: Borderline

Gorgonzola-Potato Soup

As I had a request for the recipe…. Here it is. Enjoy!

Gorgonzola-Potato Soup

1 onion – I use Vidalia or Sweet Onion
1 Tbsp butter
3 medium potatoes (e.g. Vivaldi or baking potatoes)
3 clove garlic
½ c. sherry – I use Taylor Dry or Golden Sherry (Good for Cooking)
2 ¼ c. vegetable stock
3 oz. gorgonzola or any blue cheese – I measure out about 3 level shotglasses
1-2 Tbsp Lemon Juice OR 1-2 Tbsp Sour Cream (whichever is more convenient)
salt, pepper to taste
Peel and chop the onions, peel and crush the garlic.
In a heavy-based pot, melt the butter, then fry the onion until translucent – about 12 min.
Peel and finely dice the potatoes. Add the garlic and potatoes to the onions and cook for another few minutes.
Deglaze with the sherry (Pour sherry onto potato/onion and continue to sautee making sure to coat thoroughly with sherry), leave to bubble for about 3 minutes, then add the stock.
Cook on medium to low heat until the potatoes are soft. This takes about 15 minutes but if the potatoes are easily crushed with a spoon then they are ready. Turn off heat.
Add the diced gorgonzola and leave to melt. Add lemon juice/sour cream. Puree in a blender or use an immersion blender.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

This soup is absolutely delicious. It seems like a lot of steps but it’s really pretty easy to make and soo worth it. Don’t go too heavy on the gorgonzola/blue cheese unless you are a HUGE fan of it. A little goes a long way.

**As an alternative to the lemon juice you can also use 1-2 Tbsp of sour cream. The last time I didn’t have sour cream, so I used lemon juice and it was devoured in a blink. I’ve done so many iterations of this recipe and they are both very tasty.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Weekend in Review: Trip Upstate

So this weekend the Lady Friend and I went upstate. She’s met the good majority of my NY friends but since she recently just moved back to my area of the state all of her friends are still back where she had gone to college. She really wanted me to meet her friends. As a consequence we had to go to them in order for me to do so.
I’ll admit I was not thrilled about the prospect. Not because I don’t want to meet her friends, but because the timing is really inopportune. I’m going on vacation shortly. I take the same vacation every year. It’s a large costuming event and  I need to finish sewing for it. The weather here has been absolutely unbearable though and since I have no AC it’s been extraordinarily difficult for me to get any sewing down (read: work up the motivation without dissolving into an angry puddle of sweat). I really needed the weekend to get stuff done but it was also the only weekend she’d have free for a long while as well. I should have said no, but I’m incapable of that apparently. Instead we compromised to go for Saturday and return Sunday. Oh, did I mention that I got to drive as well? She recently moved back in with her parents and her father didn’t like the idea of her taking her car upstate in the hot weather, and also refused to loan her one of his multiple other vehicles. Someone has control issues. Fortunately (?) my car works just fine. However, I also drive manual, which means I am the only one I know that can actually drive my car. Is driving stick a lost art? Is automatic just that much more common? Regardless, that’s how the day worked out.
We hit the road early and got into town for a late lunch at a delightful little organic deli. The food was fantastic and really hit the spot. Then we went across the street to do a little window shopping. I spotted an etched copper bracelet that I really loved but didn’t buy right away. I’m the kind of shopper that sees something (expensive) and goes about the rest of my day without purchasing it. If it’s still on my mind a few hours later, than I probably really want it and will go back.

So from there we decided spontaneously to go out to a couple wineries. The second winery wasn’t very good but it had a spectacular view being nestled back in the mountains. The first winery was amusing. We got there, and they were having some kind of event and were clearly understaffed. Eventually we started our tastings while listening to an open mic performer mangle some popular tunes. I will say though, the wine was really wonderful. Now, how this usually works is you take a look at the tasting menu, decide on the flight you want to try and pay accordingly. However, we also decided to purchase a bottle when we were done. When we went to have our flights and purchase rung up there was a problem with the register. The lady that runs the place was very nice and apologetic about the problem saying it would just be a minute. We had no worries at all as we had no place to be and were in very mellow moods (thanks in part to having just finished a flight of wine tastings). Her daughter comes over and is LOUD, abrasive, and condescending to her mother about what needs to be done for the register, the event, the this, the that…. It was like watching a reality tv show about a really obnoxious staten island princess. The mother was mortified and as a result we got our flights and our bottle of wine for free. Lovely! We made sure to tip her well. Lady Friend felt really bad for her. I was just amused at the whole thing.

We eventually get back to town and I am still thinking about the bracelet, which I purchase… along with a relatively expensive necklace that is just so perfect for Lady Friend that I decide on impulse that she has to have it. Lady Friend isn’t used to having people do this sort of thing for her, and probably I shouldn’t be so impulsive but what’s done is done and she loved the necklace. I’m not sure where this falls in terms of the relationship spectrum. What does buying jewelry for your not technically official girlfriend mean?

Then we went out for coffee (read: tea) to meet a friend, then off to dinner at a lovely gourmet teahouse to meet another. Again, fantastic food. Really, really delicious. Aaaaand her friend is Sith. We geeked out over Star Wars through most of dinner which was hysterical as Lady Friend refuses the obsession. From there we went a walk around town to a really old cemetery. I love cemeteries. The older the better. They’re so peaceful and beautiful. Then to a wine bar for more wine and chatting… then to more rowdy bar to play pool, I needed food, and get them more drunk (I was driving and needed to sober <~~~ Check it out being responsible).

It was weird. I felt very out of place the entire time. Maybe that’s just how people feel when they meet people they have no real knowledge of. This is not my element. Probably it was more due to the fact that I really didn’t want to be there. All the individual elements added up to a pleasant time, but the time seemed to drag on forever. I had something of an anxiety in the pit of my stomach just trying to fill up the empty spaces of time with things to do, words to say. It felt very forced. Maybe the timing was just bad, maybe this is just a transitionary relationship… I feel more detached than ever.

We woke up Sunday. I had bad dreams. Very bad dreams. I talk about my Evil-Ex occasionally. These dreams were about The One that affected me worse. It was so long ago I just wasn’t prepared for random dreams, emotions, and thoughts that I had since buried and moved on from. This put me in something of a funk all morning. I just wanted to lose myself in my head and think, ruminating on dreams, situations and scenarios. Iterations of things that have happened, might happen in the future, or may never ever occur but I played them out anyways. The Lady Friend wanted to go for a walk over the Hudson though, so this encroached on my destructive introspection.   She knew why I was so quiet but I felt bad for not being more entertaining while at the same time having absolutely no desire to be entertaining. I think I’m just not a very good girlfriend. I’m so preoccupied sometimes that I can’t always be concerned with what other people need.

Finally we made our trip back home. We did do a lot of talking during the drives. I haven’t yet told her explicitly that I’m BPD, but I’ve touched on almost all of the major aspects of my disorders. She seems to be very receptive. Idk. I’m not ready. So we hung out at my place, watched movies, she wrote/drew, I sewed/crafted and made my favorite Gorgonzola-Potato Soup. Seriously. This soup is phenomenal. I love it.

It was also my dad’s birthday so I gave him a call. I love my father. He says things like, “If it wasn’t for your mother, I’d be a political assassin b/c it’s the only way to get people to listen,” and “Republican “Christians” are destroying America. If Christ were alive today and living in America, he wouldn’t be Christian”. How can you claim to follow the teachings of Christ, and then support government programs that direct money into the pockets of the rich instead of investing in your fellow man? My dad’s an atheist. Talking to him is always fun.  

Oh what a weekend. I need a weekend off from my weekend off. This week I’m starting a cleanse, starting Middle Eastern Dance again, sewing, painting, crafting, more sewing…. Let’s see how much I can cram into a couple days, shall we?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Red Sky Dawns

This was my first submission to the Expressive Arts Carnival. I really love this painting.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Expressive Arts Carnival

Last month I started doing the activities for the Expressive Arts Carnival. The Expressive Arts Carnival was founded to bring survivors of abuse together through expressive arts activities. I love the concept of this entire endeavor. This months activity I don’t really have heroes but   This month I pulled inspiration from a poem I wrote back at University about my father.

Here’s the poem:

My Brown Eyes
Daddy’d rush in after skin scalding days,
Sweat and sunscreen scents clung to sun faded jeans.
Grass stained denim and dirt traded for charcoal, oil paints,
And fine plaster spread on the red living room carpet.
He’d pose me, just so, leaving big charcoal fingerprints
That cover half my shoulders; I’d leave them there all day.
Through throw back ‘70’s specs he’d gauge--
Scritch scratch scratch – gray charcoal smears white
Well past the time my tiny toes start to tingle.
My little neck craned to glimpse the drawn picture,
But with a sharp look I’d stand straight and still,
My jaw clenched so serious not to mess up. Daddy’s
Lips would curl and twitch, charcoal dropped and quick
Tickled to see me smile, laugh and squirm with no

Defense practice sparring; right jab, reverse, hook,
Light contact force fast feet for a challenge
His worn tennis shoe taps my rear foot, pivot.
A slight crooked smile then quick jerk grabs
My lead hand against dropping my guard,
Then steps on my toes to send me down tumbling.
My butt bruised, his grin widens as next time I shift back.
Throwing jabs I can block, my playful yelps cut the

Silence as he waits in the old oak rocking chair.
I ascend the stairs slowly to not make a sound;
Caught -- his half missing finger tap-tapping the arm.
My mom’s eyes are hazel; dad’s eyes are brown,
Unblinking, our eyes reflect, glares bulge,
To burst like the little blue vein above his right eye.
Rising, no one overshadows his 5 foot 10 frame.
A quiet rumble at first, then the ocean roars in his voice.
I shirk for a second then stand squared to face him
From opposite living room corners I scream my defense.
No tears tolerated or shed with tension spread

Thick Jif toast and orange juice made for our breakfast.
His rough, calloused hand raises my chin,
Big bear arms encircle my shoulders
Squeezing me tight, his prickly beard
Rests on my head --
Before he lets go.