May 31, 2004
BTU report

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She hasn't told me her name yet, but I've been slowly ramping her up over the last week. She's a little embarrassed that her backsplash shows a little tummy, but we'll get it covered soon. She sure does pack the heat! I've had all 6 burners going at once, but it was cheating - I was cooking actively on 5, and turned on the kettle for some hot water we didn't really need to get to six. I'm still working on a legitimate 6-count, and a concurrent-oven bliss moment.

Since she joined our family, we've cooked together:
-- Salmon fajitas with spring onions and bell peppers (grill!)
-- Dandan mein
-- Wild rice and porcini soup
-- Toast (on the grill! Fun!)
-- Popcorn with black truffle oil, hazlenut oil, and reggiano (the broiler!)
-- Apricot-ginger scones (convection oven!)
-- Flatbread & wheat-free-not-so-flatbread
-- Hummus with lamb
-- Mushroom, sherry & almond soup
-- Paella with sherry and artichoke hearts
-- Grilled asparagus
-- Grilled shrimp
-- Apricot and chocolate tart

She's fantastic. A perfect addition to our household.

Posted by shock at 12:40 PM
May 22, 2004
Save Modern Times

A public service announcement from my friend & Hill-Street-Neighbor Andy. (AKA Andrew Sean Greer, author of The Confessions of Max Tivoli, the object of much recent acclaim and fame.) You should come. I'll be there.

Good old itíll-be-around-forever Modern Times Bookstore has hit hard times.

Bizarrely, the reason seems to be that the sort of progressive truth-telling that used to only exist on their shelves is now being told by former members of the Bush Administration, and can be bought at a heavy discount at CostCo. So the liberal turnaround, strangely, is hurting. Everyoneís in the business. But I promise you these new friends wonít be around come Decemberóand CostCo will never host a poetry slam. Ever. Modern Times has to survive.

So itís at 2:00 and Dave Eggers (!!!) will be reading and so will I and, hey, thereíll be a dj as well so itís surely worth the price.

Posted by shock at 10:55 AM
May 21, 2004
104/2004: may status

I figure it's about time to take stock of my uberlist for 2004 and see how I'm doing. Accountability, and all that. Here's my progress commentary. The original list has been updated so that items that are complete are bold & italicized. I'll keep plugging away...

Home
1. Get your dream stove.
It's down the street. I'm desperately trying to schedule its installation. Soon, my precious...
2. Plant a garden in the spring.
Still working on the garden landscaping. But I planted more herbs on the deck?
5. Found your nest egg. (confidential)
done!
6. All windows have curtains.
done: 5/8/04

Love
14. See Laverne at least once a month. Drop the excuses, already.
Doing ok so far.
15. (confidential)
So far, so good. Room for improvement, though.
17. Send Tammy & Toddís postcards, when itís time.
It's time! In progress
18. Take care of Beca.
I can out this one now!
21. Lend support and love to those getting married in 2004. (So many of you! Congratulations!)
Again, so far, so good.
22. Donít overdo it.
I think I have to revisit this at the end of the year.
24. Remember peopleís birthdays. Recognize them.
Better, but not better enough.
31. Befriend Renť.
I think this one is working...

Body
41. Go dancing.
Done!

Adventure
43. Visit Katie in NYC.
Done: March 2004.
44. And James in Virginia.
Done: March 2004.
46. Visit Mom & Dad in Vegas. Eat at Nobu.
Done: April 2004.
49. Take a getaway with Mike & Mere before thereís a wee one.
I think I'm gonna fail on this one.
52. Go to a burlesque show.
Done! 1/18/04

Entertain
54. Have people over for dinner at least once a month.
On track so far.

Create
64. Post at least 1 recipe a month to gastronome.
On track.
65. Cook at least 1 new thing a month.
On track.
68. Write more often.
On track.
71. Make lunch bags
Made the first prototype. Need to make more, and refine them.
72. Make notecards out of Russellís EtOH drawings.
Done - round 1
74. Make your own damned bath bombs.
Done - round 1

Learn
84. Get better at spending money on only that which truly pleases you.
Doing better

Whimsy
86. Write thank-you notes. Habitually.
They're still often a few weeks late, but I AM writing them.
87. Send someone flowers when they most need it.
Several sent. Still watching out for opportunities.
89. Commission 3 pieces of art.
Two done.
90. Go to the farmersí market at least once a month.
I missed out on April. Oops.
92. Get the ska Mini.
It's on order...
93. Taste 5 new single-malt scotches.
Three down.
94. Clean your office. Thoroughly.
Done: 1/30/04

Posted by shock at 10:58 AM
May 20, 2004
survival kit

I'll be spending 2-3 days in a hotel room near UCLA in a couple of weeks. I'll be helping take care of my mom, who will likely be cranky, sleep a lot, and need me nearby. Lots of hotel-room-time. What to bring to keep myself sane?

1. Reasonably healthy & tasty snacks.
2. A bottle of good wine for my bar fridge.
3. Laptop. Airport. iPod.
4. Lightweight, trashy books.
5. Stephenson's QuicksilveR
6. My journal, and notecards.
7. Jimmy, my teddy bear.
8. Bathbombs. Maybe a travel candle.

Other suggestions?

Posted by shock at 01:37 PM
May 18, 2004
adventures

(You know me, I have to bend everything a little. Meme falls out from Aimee, first.)

Would folks who read this please comment with something you'd like to do with me someday?

Then post this in your journal to find out what I want to do with you.....

Posted by shock at 05:17 PM
May 15, 2004
BTU heaven

I've been struggling with an entry that talks about my headspace over the last few weeks. The writing just isn't coming together appropriately; which turns out to be pretty ironic, given the subject matter. But no matter - I'll titillate you with the shiny things instead!



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Yesterday, I bought my dream stove. It's a Wolf 48" range with 6 burners and an IR charbroiling grill. (I'm particularly excited about the grill. Indoor grill for the fishies and the asparagus and and and....) Two ovens. Massive lovely broiler action. We're putting in a big shiny hood, and a shiny stainless backsplash up the wall. I need to do some footwork booking the various contractors needed for installation of the hood, the stove, and moving my cabinets around, but I'm hoping it will be ready to fire in about two weeks. I am so very excited! Wanna come over and cook with me?

Posted by shock at 09:26 AM
May 02, 2004
full of good

Homemade nachos with avocado, roasted chicken, and cointreau-infused black beans.

Panini with roasted chicken, fig jam, d'affinois cheese.

Large salads, all around.

Happy friends, a gorgeous bride, a charming and fetching groom, and roomfulls of dancing and cheer to help join them. Mazel Tov, Dan & Carmel!

Clothes that fit well, making me feel sexy and fun.

A great walk for a cause that matters to me - and to Mark Leno - and to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence - and all my wonderful friends and family who sponsored me. Here's to Marraige Equality - I'll definitely be walking for them again. Best sight: Tall Sister, in a tiny white wedding dress and 4 inch heels - straggling back with the walkers exiting Speedway Meadow. We arrive at the pavement and she says: "Flat ground, now she can run!" and scooted off, 4 inch heels and all.

A lovely meander home from the park. Running into Patrick. Visiting Mo. Citrus-mint egg noodle salad + beef & shiitakes with jade noodles at The Citrus Club.

Napping.

Fava bean and asparagus risotto. Artichokes. A nice glass of wine.

I just might be ready to face work tomorrow morning. Just maybe.

Posted by shock at 10:28 PM