Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Tomorrow? Ha!

Did I say that I'd update all of you with details about my adventures "tomorrow"? How naive of me. I've been way too busy to blog in such great detail. Rest assured that I will follow up on that promise. Soon.

I will go ahead and say that you should go see Fahrenheit 9/11, if you haven't already.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Back In Business

The DSL modem works directly with my laptop! While I can't use my laptop anywhere in the house, the purple guest room will do nicely until I can get a wireless router that actually works.

I can't believe it's been two weeks since I've blogged. It's definitely a habit of convenience and lately it's been inconvenient. I'll leave the highlights of the past couple weeks until tomorrow.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Weekend Program Activities

I had a great weekend!

I saw the movie, "Saved!" with JJ, JA and DS. It was one of the best comedies that I've seen in ages. It falls into the "I'd be happy to see it again" category and very few movies do. I heartily recommend it.

Afterwards, we went to Big Bowl and I had the same dish that I always have, the crispy orange peel shrimp. Ordering anything else is difficult even though I'd love to try several things on the menu. I also got the ginger soda and didn't like it nearly as much. I really enjoyed the vegetable potstickers again, though.

My washer and dryer were delivered Sunday morning. I haven't actually used them yet, but I need to do that soon. I'm pleased with how much space is left in the hallway. They don't take up nearly as much room as I thought they would. They are some of the new front loading ones, made by Frigidaire. Unlike most models, they don't have quite as fancy an exterior (the dryer doesn't have a window), but they cost a lot less, too.

Saturday night, my parents and I went to Margaret's Cantina. I had a vegetable plate with squash/corn/cheese things, tomato stuffed with tofu, saffron pickled cucumbers and clear (white grape) jello filled with blackberries, peaches and other fruit.
My mom had the monkfish, which really has the consistency of lobster. My dad had the traditional shrimp quesadillas, which are a delicious bargain. For dessert we shared cherry sorbet and angel food cake with lemon custard and blackberries. Wow! We were celebrating Father's Day, because I'll be busy this weekend. Actually, initially I had decided that it was this weekend.

Perhaps even more exciting was that I cooked a meal for my parents! I cooked butternut squash ravioli with a minced garlic butter sauce. I had to call JA and ask him how to make the sauce. He made this dish for me a while back, as I believe was recorded in an earlier blog post. It was a lot of fun although slightly more challenging than I imagined, since timing is so important. My mom provided verbal guidance, which definitely helped. The best thing is that it turned out very well and felt like a major accomplishment. Yes, folks, I, too, can boil water. I only made one three serving package, so we followed it with watermelon.

I also spent lots of time unpacking more of my grandmother's things. I loaded and ran the dishwasher a couple of times. I am now the proud owner of 39,275 small glass bowls.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Smoke Bombs and Good Food

Thursday was definitely the most interesting day toward the end of the week. I drove into the main gate at work, because I was a few minutes later than usual. I think I had gotten gas or something like that and that's the reason. At any rate, as I drove in, there were cops all over the place near the railroad crossing at Miami Blvd and Cornwallis Rd. At that point there were probably 10 or 12 cop cars and 5 or 6 emergency vehicles and more were arriving. I would have like to have lingered longer, but the light was green and I needed to turn. It turned out that smoke bombs had been left at various points along the railroad and signs had been put on bridges, all protesting the G8 summit. There was even an announcement in our building, not long after I finally got in, saying a suspicious harmless package had been left and since there would be a heightened police presence in the area travel was not recommended.

I had plans to go to the Asian market with PS and we didn't want to cancel, so off we went to Cary at lunchtime. Around the World Market was simply awesome. I bought tons of frozen Indian dinners for only $2 a piece. PS recommended various spice mixes and sauces. We also ate lunch there and it was great! I only got parts of the names of the dishes down, so I'll have to keep working on that. It was a little hotter than I'm used to, but very good. I also tried sugar cane juice for the first time and I liked that. I'm really looking forward to cooking with some of the ingredients I bought. When I'm too tired to cook, I have plenty of things to choose from in my freezer!

Yesterday, I had lunch at Fowler's with JJ again. I had samosas and gazpacho. I'm definitely in a delicious ordering rut when I go there. Their gazpacho is almost as good as Pyewacket's was.

Otherwise, I'm still doing a lot of unpacking. I'm going through box after box of my grandmother's stuff, trying decide what I want to keep. I need to train myself to be more selective.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Microwave Acquisition Accomplished

I'll try to keep this brief, because I need to go home and unpack more.

I ended up buying a 1.0 cubic foot GE microwave from Walmart. It turns out that Walmart has a nice selection of small microwaves.

I started working again on Monday. My vacation is over.

I went to lunch at Dales Indian Cuisine on 9th Street with JJ and EB today. I enjoyed it. It's pretty convenient because it shares a parking lot with One World Market and Bali Hai.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

I am never going to own a microwave.

My dad and I went by Lowe's again yesterday. They still didn't have the GE JES1039WF. I could have ordered one on-line by now! Now that I look at the GE site, they don't have that model anymore, so maybe it's been discontinued. That could explain why it was so cheap.

For lunch on Friday, my parents and I went to the new Maple View Farms ice cream store near the new Walmart on 86, in Hillsborough. It's about 7 or 8 minutes from my house. Ideal. It's a lot closer than the original Maple View Farms dairy. I had a sundae with with honey almond ice cream, hot fudge, walnuts, pineapple, whipped cream and, of course, a marachino cherry.

Friday night, I cooked for the first time! Well, a long time ago, I baked a few things when my grandmother handed me the ingredients, but this was the first time I'd done the whole thing for myself. I made myself scrambled eggs with sharp cheddar cheese mixed in. I also added chives, thyme and parsley. I took photographs of the various stages and maybe I'll put them up here someday if I ever have time to check out hello. The important things were that it was quite edible and I didn't burn myself or burn my house down. The greatest difficulty was getting the canola oil bottle open. The pull top broke off twice, but my needle node pliers from my studio did the trick.

Saturday night, we went to Taverna Nikos for dinner. I had the linguinette with tomato basil sauce, feta and romano cheese. They've finished the renovations of Brightleaf Square, so it's convenient to go there again. The renovations look nice, although it's weird having the place change so much after over 20 years of shopping and dining there. There aren't a lot of open stores there and there weren't many people eating at Nikos, which worries me. We're going to have to eat there more often. Remember to support your local restaurants!

Afterwards, my dad and I went to Circuit City to look for microwaves and check out the televisions. It turns out that they quit selling appliances about four years ago. Obviously, I don't go shopping there or anywhere very often. That meant we were able to devote the entire visit to looking at the various sizes of Sony Grand WEGA HD-Ready Rear-Projection LCD TV, model KF50WE610. Regular readers of my blog may remember that I've been looking at this model for some time.
This was actually the first time I'd seen one in person. They are quite beautiful. Now I just have to get cable or satellite and figure out whether I want the 42" or the 50". Time Warner doesn't want to give me cable, apparently, because I live too far from the nearest cable box. Unfortunately, satellite isn't so easy either, because my house is surrounded by trees and the dish has to be within 100 feet of the house. It sounds as if I may have to look into getting a signal amplifier. I really thought these issues would go away, since I live much closer to the main road than my parents, but apparently not.

I also watched the defeat of Smarty Jones yesterday. It was sad, but that's the way it goes.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Settling In

I've been doing a lot of unpacking, dusting, cleaning and buying. I haven't cooked anything yet, but I will do that as soon as I have something to cook in. Actually, I have some corningware that I inherited from my grandmother, but I need something in which I can cook an omelet, since I have leftover Korean food from the other day.

I bought some patio furniture from CostCo made out of cumaru wood. It's supposedly very comfortable and fairly nice looking. I got six chairs and a table, which will take up most of my deck. Hopefully without the leaves and tucking a couple chairs in a corner, I will still be able to get around find. The wood is kind of pinkish in the sunlight, but the brochure assured me that it will be gray eventually. The pink actually goes pretty well with the brick. Cumaru wood is supposedly farmed so I don't feel as if I am personally responsible for the destruction of the rain forest. ...although only 71% of the wood is supposed to come from responsibly maintained forests, so I should feel 29% guilty. It seemed like a good deal.
The amazing thing is that all seven boxes fit in my van, even though the table is huge.

Lowe's has been out of little GE microwaves since Monday. I like them because that's what we have at my parents' house and at work. The Express Cook feature is so handy. They were supposed to come in yesterday and last night and my dad and I dropped by after dinner at Nantucket. They had one box there under the display model. Unfortunately, it had a large dent. The scary thing is that they probably would have sold it to me anyway, but at least they said they wouldn't put it back out for sale. Hopefully more will come in soon.
Today I brought leftover pizza with me to my parents' house to microwave it there.

I've been having fun with a new AT&T cordless phone/corded phone with answering machine that I got from Sam's Club. So far I'm pretty pleased with it. Most of the phones from Sam's and CostCo were brands I'd never heard of, so I was reluctant to get them. This one has a speaker phone, too, which seems to be very good. My minimum criteria for a cordless phone is that one can adjust the volume. My parents have a Radio Shack one and you can't hear half the conversations on it, in part because you can't adjust it. One important thing here is that I now have a phone line! They haven't buried the cable yet and it's just lying on the ground, but it does work.

One of the acquisitions that I'm most pleased about is a Swiffer duster with a telescoping handle. (It's not hard to make me happy.) It's the coolest thing and I can think of all kinds of other uses for the handle. For example, I think I can just attach a sponge or a damp paper towel with a rubber band. I could attach a paint brush for a large painting. I could whack people with it.

The PSNC Energy crew is back cleaning up the mess from Saturday. I was on a temporary gas line and they switched it to the new main line. They needed to bleed the line at my house a guy with a large dump truck came over to my parents' house to tell us while I was over here. Much to my mom's horror, some of her plants got run over by the truck. I drove back home and watched them bleed the line at my meter and my hot water heater and went back. Apparently, I have a nice new load of gravel on my driveway now.

As I mentioned earlier, I went to Nantucket with my dad last night. They had a delicious special, grilled halibut over herbed rice with lemon butter, served with roasted corn.