Monday, October 29, 2007

Cody and I made the most adorable Halloween pumpkins ever this year. And by “we” I mean that Cody got bored after scooping the guts out of his pumpkin and disappeared to drink beer while I got to carve two pumpkins. (Multitasking is one of my strong suits, I can drink beer and carve pumpkins at the same time.)

We were invited to Megan’s BYOP(umpkin) party and left our house ten minutes before the party started to go buy pumpkins and walk to her apartment. Safeway had a meager selection of gourds out in front of the store including some large misshapen orange pumpkins in tall cardboard bins, round pumpkins too small to make anything cool out of, and white pumpkins. We pulled almost every pumpkin out of the bin looking for a handsome one, took turns climbing into the bins trying to retrieve Cody’s cell phone when it fell out of his pocket and plummeted to the bottom of the pumpkin crevasse of hell, and finally decided on one tall orange pumpkin and one smaller white one. I had purposely picked out a tall pumpkin to fulfill my artistic vision; a pumpkin-face Harry Potter. Cody picked the white pumpkin because he was mad at the orange pumpkins for being in a bin that was laborious to fish a lost cell phone out of.

Pumpkin-face Harry Potter turned out exactly as well as I had hoped with the aid of some googly eyes and emergency nails when I cut the pieces too close together. The white pumpkin was carved with a robot with a heart for a chest. Hopefully pictures will be forthcoming. Hopefully I’ll just buy a new digital camera soon, because I’m tired of refreshing Flickr every half hour hoping that someone will have uploaded pictures of me or my craft projects.

We brought our pumpkins home and they looked even more charming when they were lit up in the hallway approaching the front door. For a whole week I lit the votive candles when I got home from work and make excuses to walk outside and admire the pumpkins in their full glory. Friday night tragedy struck when our landlord, Bessie, informed us via note on the door and that open flames were forbidden in the apartment complex, which seemed over the top, but I’d hate to be that girl that started the fire that wasn’t covered by the fire insurance and that consumed the worldly possessions of everyone else in the building (the majority of whom I dislike or have never met; beside the point). Saturday morning I ran into Bessie outside raking leaves and apologized for violating the candle rule, and that woman is the most amazing ever because she seemed genuinely sad when she said that she really liked our pumpkins, but her daughter had insisted that she enforce fire code.

I guess we could get some electric lights or something, but with Halloween two days away now it hardly seems worth it. Alas.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The world is great:
1. Saturday morning brunch at Coastal Kitchen. Crab cakes, over-easy eggs, and way more sourdough toast than I would dare to take out of the plastic bread bag if I were toasting for my own breakfast at home. Excellent company as well, of course.
2. Shopping for books. Sometimes it blows my mind that despite our vastly overlapping libraries, Cody and I have such opposite taste in books. He picks up things that look like they will take concerted laborious effort to read, like a book by Mark Danielewski that you have to flip upside down every three pages or something crazy like that. I suppose he thinks the exact same thing as I buy a volume of Edith Wharton stories.
3. Running into my grandmother on the street, while she is walking down Broadway eating a Dick's burger with a bag full of treasures from the 99cent store. I don't believe I could conjure up a more adorable image of her if I tried.
4. Talking to my mom on the phone, obviously.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Netflix is making a lot of money off me these days. I have the same three dvds at home that were delivered to me before I left for Greece. Last week I finally watched Word Wars, but it remains languishing with Little Children and Radio On on my coffee table. It feels stupid, because I know I would rather be watching a critically lauded or quirkily obscure movie than that same rerun of Scrubs I've seen three times, but I just feel like can't sit still long enough to watch a whole movie anymore.

Cody and I watched Word Wars, a documentary about semi-professional Scrabble players last Thursday night. Spellbound was so excellent, and also Wordplay, that movie about crossword puzzles, that adding a movie about scrabble nerds to my queue was an obvious choice. And it was mostly good, but I think that where Wordplay made the crossword obsessed characters seem endearing and relatable, the scrabble players in Word Wars just came off as bizarre and maladjusted. And obviously, in Spellbound, it's alright to be insane as long as you're simultaneously adorable and also under the age of 18. I'd be hard pressed to argue if there's an intrinsic difference between spelling bees, crosswords and scrabble playing that makes the two former appropriate all-consuming hobbies and the third creepy, or if it's all filmmaking that has left me with that impression. But, dude, there was this character in Word Wars that was in serious gambling debt because he bet large sums of money on long 36 hour scrabble matches, and that was less interesting as much as it was just sad.

Maybe I'll watch Little Children tonight, but between a Costco trip and watching 30 Rock, I probably won't have time. There's always this weekend, I suppose. Until then I'll just be easy money for Netflix, but at least I'm not accruing overdue fines.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Saturday is my boss's birthday, so today I brought in this pile of technicolor cupcakes to create an occassion to eat sweets in the file room and precede the lunch celebration of pizza in the conference room. The cakes were the "Devil's Food Cake Cockaigne" recipe from The Joy of Cooking, a recipe which I began to rue bitterly after the fifth bowl I had to dirty to follow the instructions. After tasting the end result though, I can say with the certainty of a girl that clearly hasn't done any of the dishes yet that the mess is justified. It is absolutely one of the best chocolate cake recipes I've ever tasted. In general, I've yet to encounter a baked good recipe in The Joy of Cooking which produced anything less than stellar results. The frosting is my standard improvised buttercream, colored richly with the fancy food coloring I bought at that cookie store in Ballard. Half the cakes were nestled in plain ice cream cones, a technique I first saw at the 826 benefit earlier this summer but had never tried before. Spooning the batter in the cones and baking them is even easier than one would imagine, except the next time I do it I will fill each cone almost to full (rather than 2/3) hoping that the cakes would rise in fuller domes to approximate a real scoop of ice cream.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I feel like I should make a big introductory post since this is my newest and theoretically most improved blogging venture; but I've been trying to write aforementioned prologue for at least two weeks now and I don't have much to say on the topic. I was talking to Cody and Colt last night about how I don't write much anymore, and I'm not especially happy about that. It's hard to know if it's a symptom of giving so much to other areas of my life, or just not being so self centered and damn interesting all the time. And I'm not deleting my Livejournal, but probably won't post a ton there anymore. So, yeah, um, hi. This isn't a very fortuitous beginning, but will hopefully cure the larger problem of my writer's block.