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We seem to be doing pretty well here! Sam is wonderful and adorable, and eating like a champ! We're only partly sleep-deprived, and we've been eating real food (thanks in part to friends bringing stuff). However, the eeee! goes back to work tomorrow, so we'll see what happens then.

  1. Not that I had any doubt, but the eeee! is such an awesome, affectionate, and patient dad. Plus, he's been changing all the diapers when he's home.

  2. Breastfeeding is going very well. Hooray!

  3. We had our first real family outing yesterday, to the farmer's market. That was lots of fun, because it got us out of the house, and we ran into several friends there, but it wasn't overstimulating for Sam.

  4. Doc seems to be handling things pretty well, considering.

  5. There are still one or two feedings a day that are tough, because Sam is super-fussy, but I have a surprising amount of time to read while I feed him. The caveat is that I can only really read on my iPhone while nursing. I finally installed Stanza, which has a really nice interface, and easily plugs into the entire Project Gutenberg database. I've already read Anne of the Island -- my favorite of the Anne books -- and I've picked up Howard's End again.

  6. That said, any blog recommendations would be welcome.

  7. I will not be reading Parenting magazine. I got a free issue of it in the mail, and made it about ten pages in before chucking it into the recycling bin. I'm not sure if I'm more annoyed that they asked if a vegetarian diet was cruel to kids, or that 65% of the respondents said yes. WTF, people? And in the print edition they had a few responses from people, and they were along the lines of, "Preschoolers need nutrients and protein!" Look, just because no one on Top Chef knows about vegetarian protein sources doesn't mean they don't exist! Aaaargh.

  8. I've been making sure to have a cup of tea every morning, and a glass of wine or a beer every evening (right after a feeding), as a way of keeping my sanity. Maybe sanity isn't the right word, but normalcy. Or just making sure that I take care of myself, in addition to taking care of Sam.

Has it really only been three weeks? We really seem to have settled into a cozy unit -- right now all four of us are on the couch, watching football and enjoying a lazy Sunday morning.
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I am at 35 weeks now, so it's a good time to start thinking about having some food prepped and frozen before [untitled] gets here, so we are ready for those first few weeks. The problem is that the eeee! and I are stuck on ideas. So far all we can think of is pesto, lentil soup, and homemade black bean burgers.

Any suggestions? We cook mostly Italian, Indian, Thai, and Mexican food, but we're flexible on that. However, we do cook mostly vegetarian food. At most, once a month we get one chicken from the farmer's market to roast or grill (and make stock with). Anything with lentils, chickpeas, black beans, or tofu, though, we can totally handle.


Posted via LiveJournal.app.

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I'm never going to write up a full travelogue -- I spend enough time working on the pictures for Flickr -- but here are some random thoughts about my trip.

  1. Denmark is expensive. We thought we were prepared for it -- we've been to Europe before, and based on the hotel rates we thought we had a feel for how expensive it would be. We were wrong. The food was insanely expensive, as was getting around by bus or train. (In Copenhagen we walked everywhere, but in Esbjerg we had to takes buses and trains to Ribe and Legoland.)

  2. Denmark is cold. Esbjerg is especially cold and damp, and the nicest it gets there is approximately the worst it gets in Santa Barbara.

  3. Danish food, with the fish and the mayo and the herring and the pork, is so not our thing. I did have some tasty fishcakes at one point, but we ended up eating lots of shwarma and falafel. You know you're in trouble when you're looking forward to London for the better prices, weather, and food.

  4. Legoland was awesome, though.

  5. We went to the British Museum, and wandered into their Africa galleries. We were sorely disappointed by the curation of it, though -- organized by type of object (masks, ceramics, textiles), with little to no discussion of culture or history. Boo.

  6. I sampled the eeee!'s beer in Denmark, and didn't particularly like any of it -- lagers are just not my thing. But I love English ales, and at a random pub he had a pint of Sharp's Doombar, which was the best beer I have ever tasted. Maybe it's just because I haven't really had any beer for the past five months, but it was amazing.

All in all, it was a great trip, and seeing my brother was wonderful. But I do not see myself going back to Scandinavia any time soon.
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Things here have been pretty good! I will enumerate, because transitional sentences are too complicated for me today.

  1. Friends threw me a small graduation party/baby shower this weekend at the beach! It's been overcast, but the sun did come out for a few hours, and it was lovely. Lots of tasty food -- the eeee! wowed everyone with his spicy grilled corn -- and lots of fun. One person got us this navy blue hoodie that has a SHARK embroidered across the front of it, which is totally awesome.

  2. The eeee! and I are incompetent when it comes to grilled chicken -- we burn it, or undercook it, or both. Blah! But we tried the Italian Grilled Chicken in a recent article of Cook's Illustrated, and it was amazing. We might blog about it at some point, but highlights include butterflying the chicken, pressing it on the grill with a hot cast-iron pot (or bricks), and eight cloves of garlic. It came out perfectly, and as we were eating it, we were exclaiming, "We could actually make this for a guest!"

  3. I will actually need to buy maternity clothes soon, because while my low-rise jeans still fit (especially the sexiest ones, which is kind of hilarious), my skirts are getting tighter and tighter. This means I have to buy stuff before I leave for Europe, ack. But! I have a gift card for the Gap (graduation present from my brother), and a 25% off coupon. So I am about to go crazy online.

  4. When I go to Italy in July, I get into the Venice airport at 9 a.m., but my shuttle to the middle of nowhere isn't until 6 p.m. or so. I started doing some research on the Venice airport (awesomely named Marco Polo), and I think I might actually be able to get into Venice for the day. Yay! If any of you have been to Venice, I would deeply appreciate any and all advice about transport to and from the airport, and about Venice itself.

  5. We finally watched the pilot of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency last night, and loved it. We have the whole season recorded, and so far I cannot recommend it enough. It's shot in Botswana, and is so beautiful and funny and interesting. Now I need to read the books -- which will require going to the library, which will require paying my library fine, egad.

Okay, I guess that wasn't all strictly about my weekend. Anyway. Happy Monday! The sun is shining, our new chairs are coming today, and life is good.
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Things here are mostly okay!

  1. Doc is sick. Boo! Poor Doc. We're taking him to the vet this afternoon. At least he lets us know when he needs to throw up, by standing by the front door.

  2. Work is okay, and I will say no more lest I jinx anything.

  3. Working constantly means that I did not partake in any St. Patrick's Day celebrations yesterday. Woe! But considering that there were lines to get into bars, suddenly my evening of staying home and work work working (and, okay, watching an episode of Gilmore Girls) doesn't seem so bad.

  4. Do any of you have a recipe for a sweet cornbread? We usually make the buttermilk cornbread recipe in The Joy of Cooking, and it's quite tasty, especially when we make it in the cast-iron pan. But a diner near us has cornbread that's sweeter, and it's excellent with some butter. Any suggestions? (Also, theirs seems . . . cakier? Like, ours we just mix quickly with a whisk, and we're done, but I wonder if theirs has more of a cake base, where the sugar and butter are creamed together, etc. Is cornbread ever made this way?)

  5. Maybe I only have four quick things! Huh. Well, I'm sparing you all the gory thesis details, at least.

At least it's a beautiful spring day here!
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Friends of ours here are about to have a baby (although, even though it's a sooner due date, probably after friends of ours in Ann Arbor), and the eeee! and I were thinking of taking over some food for them after the baby's born. The mother is a vegetarian, so our killer cheese enchiladas are the obvious choice. However, we're not quite sure what cooking instructions to give them.

Normally, we assemble* enchiladas from a tortilla that's been quickly fried and then dipped in chili gravy; sauteed onions, and shredded cheese. Then the dish goes in the oven at 400F (er, 204 C) for 10-12 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling.

Can we assemble the dish, and then refrigerate it? Or freeze it for some amount of time? And how long would they then cook it for? Should we cook it and then refrigerate it?

Four physics and astronomy degrees between the two of us, and we can't make a freaking casserole.

Meanwhile, we spent some time tonight pondering when and why Mike Myers went from being funny (the first Wayne's World and Austin Powers movies are very funny) to being horribly unfunny, and we ended up reciting some of the beat poetry from So I Married an Axe Murderer. Perhaps it's good for the rest of society that the only two people who can do that, fifteen years after the fact, are married to each other? Sparing the rest of you?

* Dude, we totally have this down. Eli fries the tortilla (15 seconds), and dips it in the chili gravy. I add onions with the right hand, cheese with the left hand, roll it up and slide it into place with the right hand, and sip my beer with the left hand. No club hand for me!
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Yesterday had all the ingredients of a bad day:

  1. My students had a midterm, which isn't so much bad as nerve-wracking.
  2. Due to the nearby wildfire and the direction of the wind, it was raining ash on me while I waited for the bus on campus.
  3. Said bus was too crowded, and refused to let passengers on, and once I can talk about the Santa Barbara MTD without using the word "cocksuckers" they will get a nasty letter from me.
  4. If I ever finish the goddamn thesis and reward myself with the XSi camera, it looks like I might have to upgrade to Leopard. Boo! Unless they add that in a Tiger update . . . hmmmm.
  5. Our power was out for about four hours last night, due to the fire.

And yet, we had a lovely evening. We made roasted red pepper sauce -- hooray for a grill and a gas stove -- opened a nice bottle of wine, and had a candlelit dinner. There was no pressure to do work, so we then played Scrabble by candlelight and generally had a nice, relaxing evening. (Our power came on a bit before midnight, quickly enough that we didn't lose anything in the fridge. Hooray!)

Last night we saw the smoke in Santa Barbara, but the winds have shifted and it's fairly clear here right now. The eeee! tells me that on campus you can see lots of smoke, and there's ash everywhere. And the fire grew quite a bit last night, due to high winds, so this could be a while.
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We had an excellent weekend! Some Peace Corps friends of the eeee! were in town, and meeting them was lots of fun. Luckily the weather was nice, so that the ten adults and five tykes could spread out outside -- we have a pretty small place.

We made lots of tasty food, and much of it involved fried potatoes. There was chipsi mayai, which is basically an omelet with french fries in it. And then, somehow, we let J convince us to make samosas. We found a recipe for the filling in one of our Madhur Jaffrey cookbooks, and used wonton wrappers for the wrappers. The filling was pretty easy to make, and I wasn't involved in the folding or the frying, but wontons are awesome. They harden up as soon as they hit the oil, so they're pretty forgiving of bad samosa-folding technique. Not the most authentic samosas ever, but they were awesome. And now I'm not afraid to make anything that involves deep-frying a wonton.

(On a vaguely related note, The Sartorialist is in India, and some of the portraits so far are really interesting.)

It's a good thing I got my fried potato fix this weekend, as I am spending tonight proctoring my students' final exam. Blah. And while the eeee! got me lots of Harp at the grocery store this weekend, I will really only be able to have one tonight, as I have to be in early tomorrow morning to administer a make-up exam for one of my students.

Oh no!

Feb. 16th, 2008 08:06 pm
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Just as I'm back to feeling like a normal human being again, the eeee! is sick! Alas. No surprise that he caught my bug from hell, although these things never strike him as hard as they strike me.

So we're not up to much this weekend. Other than corralling dogs, since on top of Doc we have his parents' dog this weekend while they're in San Francisco.

I did make hummus today, and it was awesome. (That is an excellent recipe, by the way -- all the proportions are just right.) It might be the only thing I've accomplished today, but it was definitely tasty!

Alright, now to curl up and watch some Arrested Development. Some three-day weekend we're having.
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[personal profile] lsugaralmond started a lovely meme of listing ten things that have made you happy recently. So, my ten things:

1. I made tasty, fresh salsa with my dinner tonight.

2. Hockey season has started! And we have awesome seats again this year. Yay!

3. I got a puck at the game tonight. Hooray! Granted, it's because it flew into the stands and hit my arm, but I now have an official Michigan puck!

4. I bought a pair of shoes today with a minimum of angst.

5. The eeee! and I are trying to avoid unneccessary chemicals, and use more environmentally-friendly cleansers. So when he had to deal with a slow-draining tub, instead of buying Drano, he bought a snake (which at $7.50 is cheaper than the Drano) and got rid of the clog that way. It works better than Drano, and no nasty chemicals. This makes me happy on several levels.

6. I'm reading Heat, by Bill Buford, and it's a lot of fun. I love nearly anything that gives me a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes, and adding Italian food into the mix is even better.

7. A bunch of us went out on Friday night to celebrate a grad student's recent wedding, and it was a really great time.

8. Seriously, the eeee! is awesome. I start talking about eliminating high-fructose corn syrup from our diet, and the next thing I know he's snaking drains.

9. I have recently decided that I quite like my nose. It's kind of big for my face, and is kind of bulbous at the tip (this picture best shows how darn big it gets at the tip. Or maybe this one is better. anyway), but it's unique, and if I think that my brother's nose suits him well, then why can't mine suit me?

I'm sorry. That's probably more than you ever wanted to know about my nose.

10. On Thursday, I leave for a trip to Santa Barbara. Okay, so that's in the future and maybe doesn't count, but hooray!

I tag everyone, because I like reading happy things. Yay!
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I've had quite a lovely day!

  1. I made yet a bit more progress on my paper today. Oh boy, I hate writing. And at one point I shouted out "I don't know what it means!", which startled my officemate. But progress is progress.

  2. I talked to a good college friend tonight, and I'm excited that I'll be seeing her soon at a wedding! (Er. I'm excited about the wedding, too. Hi, [profile] trygve and [profile] evil_fizz!)

  3. Ugly Betty was great tonight. And The Office had an offhand mention of "the flea market at the drive in", and when the eeee! and I went to Scranton to visit family last year, we stayed at a hotel across the street from it! I get way too happy about getting the Scranton references. The eeee!, oddly, is not quite as thrilled that he has had the chance to see these places up close and personal.

  4. I made something new for dinner tonight, and didn't totally screw it up. Yay!

  5. The Rage Diaries is reminiscing about the plates all our parents had in the 70's.

  6. I am about to have some cake and go to bed. Cake!
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Here is the statistical summary of our weekend in New York:

  • 3.5: Number of hours in our layover in Dulles. Our Detroit-LaGuardia flight was cancelled, and at least we got a rebooking for the same day, I guess.
  • 2: "I'm Not a Plastic Bag" sightings.
  • Countless: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows sightings.
  • 6: Number of hours of torrential downpour on Sunday, causing us to cancel our planned outing to the Cloisters.
  • 24: Number of hours it took my shoes to dry.
  • 3/3: Fraction of dishes at the Chinese place we went to in the Village that were awesome.
  • 9-12: Our places in the VIP line for the Daily Show. We were in the front row!
  • 1.5/5: Fraction of mezzes at the Turkish place that I liked. This was disappointing -- I love Greek food and Middle Eastern food, so I should like Turkish food, right? Wrong.

We had a great weekend, despite the travel annoyances and the weather. I finally made it to MoMA, which was awesome -- the Serra sculptures were great. Unfortunately, much of the photography section was closed, due to installation of a new exhibit, but we got to see the Barry Frydlender and JoAnn Verburg exhibits. Oh, I love photography and sculpture and modern art -- I need to make more of an effort to see modern art exhibitions.


Jul. 2nd, 2007 07:55 pm
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Things that have frustrated me lately:

1. I broke the carafe to my 4-cup coffeemaker last week, and haven't found a replacement yet. Mr. Coffee carries the replacement online, but shipping is $10. For $20 I could buy a new 4-cup coffeemaker! I can't find a replacement in the stores (mine is apparently an older model), and it's not much cheaper on eBay. Do I pay the $20 for the new carafe? Do I get a new coffeemaker (if I can find a 4-cup coffeemaker, because apparently nowadays you can only buy a coffeemaker the size of your house)? Do I spend the $20 on a stovetop espresso maker? Or do I just drink tea for the next six months? I'm just so annoyed by this stupid disposable culture. Argh!

2. I was taking some pictures today outside, and got home to discover that they were ruined by a few strands of my hair in the picture. They're blurred across the entire frame, so I can't exactly crop or clone them out. I guess now I know to always wear my hair back when taking pictures. (Hopefully the sign I was taking the pictures of will still be there tomorrow!)

2.5 Oh man, do I need a haircut.

3. Bush commuted Libby's sentence. DAMMIT.

Life is otherwise good; these three things are just really driving me mad.
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1. It is really hot here, so hot that I have no appetite. (I ate a small dinner at 11 p.m. last night, for crissake.) But today for lunch I had a veggie wrap with hummus -- filling and healthy, but I don't feel gross from the heat. Yay! (I will not eat frozen yogurt for dinner. I will not eat frozen yogurt for dinner. I will not eat frozen yogurt for dinner.)

2. We've settled into the apartment, and now that's it's clean and organized I think we'll manage to not kill each other. It helps that the bedroom is big enough for a desk, so that one of us can be working or watching TV in the living room, and the other can be working in the bedroom.

3. The wedding I went to this weekend was beautiful! And since the groom was from India, there was lots of Indian pop music at the reception. Yay! Now I'm trying to find some good Indian pop and/or bhangra CDs (seriously, I'm listening to a bhangra podcast right now). Any suggestions?

4. We also went golfing this weekend, and I did pretty well! I was inconsistent with my irons (which is weird for me), but I was otherwise happy with how I did, considering that I'd only been to the driving range once this summer. And I out-drove* my dad on a hole! That was really exciting, because since the course was a converted par-3 (all the holes were par 3 or 4, so longer than a par-3 but shorter than a normal course) there weren't separate tee boxes for men and women. And my dad is a very good golfer. Anyway, if I make to the driving range and/or out this weekend on a round, I should be in good shape for the family outing.

5. Since we're not spending every free second doing house-related things, I actually have free time again! Oh my god. I finished my reread of Half-Blood Prince, and now I'm reading The Great Gatsby. I hated Gatsby in high school, but I recently realized that was probably because I really hated my classmates' reactions to it. So a few friends and I are rereading Gatsby together, although more as an excuse to get together and drink wine than anything else. Anyway, I'm enjoying it so far this go-round.

6. I can't get over how my life is only moderately insane until we leave for Santa Barbara in late August. We only have two weekend trips! We can do things like go to movies and baseball games and hang out with people and all sorts of stuff! Too bad we can't have people over to grill.

* I proceeded to waste my drive by sending two consecutive shots into the woods. I spent most of the day unable to hit my irons straight and in the air, and on that hole they were going into the air. Sigh.


Jun. 16th, 2007 09:16 pm
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I have had the longest day -- we've spent the entire day sorting through stuff, determining what goes to the apartment and what goes to Santa Barbara, packing stuff for moving to the apartment, picking up a few kitchen supplies, etc. And on top of all that, the eeee! decided to make a strawberry-rhubarb pie tonight, as it's his last chance to bake here. So when I wasn't packing, I was in a very hot kitchen washing up canisters and the like.

Blah. But we have people helping us tomorrow, so moving to the apartment should go quickly.

On the bright side! I just finished Family Romance: A Love Story, by John Lanchester, and it was awesome. If I wasn't so tired, I'd have a whole entry about it.

Also, last night we got to play with a Wii for the first time with some friends. Wheee! That was lots of fun. And I have finally found a video game I'm good at -- I kicked everyone's ASS at boxing. I think it's because it's a game where exaggerated movements are a good thing, not a bad thing.

Now, as much as I'd like to enjoy some wine and The Riches (which we are about 5 episodes behind on), there's more packing ahead of me this evening.
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It's not all doom and gloom here!

  1. The latest Cook's Illustrated was rating teas, and they ranked Tazo Awake as the best supermarket-bought tea with milk! You heard it here first! (Yum.)

  2. We finally went to Pilar's Cafe for lunch. Oh my, it was tasty! I've heard they have a food cart near campus sometimes, so I'll have to track that down. Yum!

  3. We're driving the eeee!'s car across the country in August, and it's a stick. I cannot drive a stick -- every two years I decide I want to learn, and then I get frustrated and don't practice. But I went around our neighborhood today and did quite well! So if I actually stick with it and practice once a week, I'll be comfortable with it by August.

I'd say we're enjoying our last full weekend in this house (next weekend we're in Columbus for my brother's graduation, and the weekend after that we start moving into the apartment), but instead we're both working this weekend. We're both writing papers right now, and I'm deciding whether or not to work in my office at work tomorrow. On one hand, it'll be freaking hot in there (they turn off the a/c on the weekends, and my office is on the 10th floor), but on the other hand, the eeee! will then keep asking me what I think about the notations he's using in his paper. Argh.


Apr. 14th, 2007 02:30 pm
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I just finished watching West Bank Story ($2 on iTunes!), and it was awesome. Singing! Dancing! Dueling falafel stands! What more do you need?

And meanwhile, the comments on Slacktivist's latest Left Behind Friday post have diverged into a yummy discussion of vegetarian Middle Eastern food. This is because someone mentioned a passage in one of the books where Buck, apparently a vegetarian, goes into an Israeli restaurant and can't figure out what to eat besides bread, butter, and apples. Have LaHaye and Jenkins never heard of falafel?

Mmmm, falafel.


Mar. 4th, 2007 05:42 pm
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The very awesome [personal profile] starfishchick asked me a few questions, so here we go:

What is your favorite meal to prepare?

Right now it might be our killer cheese enchiladas, with Mexican rice and refried beans on the side. We've done it enough times that we've gotten fairly efficient, and it's fun to spend time together in the kitchen drinking beer and sauteing onions and frying tortillas and making chile gravy. I've even gotten quite good at assembling the enchiladas -- the right hand puts on the onion, the left hand the cheese, and then the right hand rolls it up and slides it into place on the pyrex dish, while the eeee! is frying the next tortilla. Yum yum yum. (I confess that the refried beans come from a can when we make this, because we're not completely insane.)

What's the best book you've read lately?

Oooh, this is hard because I haven't read much yet this year. Does it have to be something I read for the first time? Because I recently re-read Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis, and goddamn, that book is fantastic. It's cold and bleak and hopeful and warm all at the same time.

Describe your favourite tea!

My favorite tea right now is the Tazo Awake tea, which is filling and strong, but not bitter, and is fabulous with milk. I love curling up with a cup of it in the morning and reading LJ or Chicklit.

If you're looking for an excuse to babble about yourself, comment and get three questions from me of your very own!
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I have finally recovered from my first AAS meeting. Whew! I got to see [profile] drspiff and [profile] aakepley again, along with other CWRU alums, and I also met [personal profile] astra_nomer and [profile] astrogeek. My talk went well, but I had no interviews or anything. It's early, though, and there's a conference next month that I'm looking towards -- I should have some real results by then, and maybe some interviews or something.

Other than that, things are good. We have bread baking in the oven, and it smells so good. And work is progressing for me (after months and months of writing analysis code, I actually got to do science yesterday!) and Michigan hockey is playing well and the eeee! has interviews and Doc is snuggling up with us and we're home on a weekend for the first time in forever and it's just nice and cozy here right now.


Jul. 17th, 2006 12:01 pm
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I have shoes for the wedding now! They're ivory and sparkly and the heel is wide and relatively low. And I found them in town, so I don't have to drive an hour to an upscale mall to search for them. Yay!

(Now I just have to get rid of my insane sandal tan.)

This glee over the shoes might be why I managed to set popcorn on fire at work this morning. It was only in the microwave for three minutes! Who knew? But there was a giant charred mass in the bag, and people could smell it down on the first floor -- I'm on the tenth floor.

About half the bag was salvageable, though, and hey, free entertainment for everyone!

Meanwhile, it's really damn hot here. I'm sure the rest of you in North America can sympathize.

March 2013



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