Acquired Taste

Sweet, salty, bitter, and sometimes delicious.

Posted by unbeelievable on February 19, 2009

I was making some carrot soup for dinner. “Don’t cut your finger off!” my boyfriend jokingly warned over the phone as he heard me slice through the carrots with my knife. “Oh, hush” [CHOP!], I said, “I’ll see you” [CHOP] “soon.”

Carrots finished, I add them to the pot with chopped celery, shallot, and herbs. It’s starting to look and smell delicious. But it needs something more.

I decided to be a bit creative and make a cream/celery root/horseradish topping for the soup. I get a tiny bowl and put the mashed celery root (leftover from Valentine’s Day) and added a bit of cream and freshly grated horseradish. Then I get out the immersion blender (stick blender) and put it in the tiny bowl. Hmmm, it wasnt getting very smooth. I kept adding cream and it still wasnt smooth.

So I make the fatal mistake of turning the immersion blender over. Ah-ha–there’s a chunk of celery root inside! I put my finger inside to get it out…

..and accidentally hit the on button with my other hand.

It’s only been a second when I turn it off, but the injury is grave. “Oh God, oh God, oh God….” I repeat as I run around looking for a paper towel.

I will give a summary of what happened next, as the gory details are, well, gory.

I almost…but not quite…cut my finger off above the last joint. I thought I had cut it off because I cut the nerves and couldn’t (still can’t) feel it.

The ER doc was incredible and worked on my hand for over an hour. She was only able to “approximate” where to make the stitches, though.

My boyfriend rushed to the ER and held my hand the whole time. He made me laugh, helped the doctor, and was very, very supportive. I was too scared to look, so he watched the entire process and told me what was going on. That’s love.

My boyfriend’s brother came over with bleach and gloves and cleaned the house before I got home. “Was there an ax murder here?” he joked to us over the phone. I owe him big time for that one.

My dog Coco flipped out when I came home from the ER. She jumped around and whined and licked me over and over and over. I guess she knew something bad had happened and was glad to see me. It was really sweet… love that dog.

Izzy, on the other hand, repeatedly tried to bite at my bandage. Damn dog.

So anyhow, it’s about 36 hours later. I’m going to a hand surgeon later today and am pretty nervous about it.

I’m annoyed because this entire thing was the result of an absolutely boneheaded move.

Fingers are incredible. Be thankful for your fingers today! I know I am thankful for all ten of mine.

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Kitchen Nightmares

Posted by unbeelievable on February 19, 2009

I was making some carrot soup for dinner. “Don’t cut your finger off!” my boyfriend jokingly warned over the phone as he heard me slice through the carrots with my knife. “Oh, hush” [CHOP!], I said, “I’ll see you” [CHOP] “soon.”

Carrots finished, I add them to the pot with chopped celery, shallot, and herbs. It’s starting to look and smell delicious. But it needs something more.

I decided to be a bit creative and make a cream/celery root/horseradish topping for the soup. I get a tiny bowl and put the mashed celery root (leftover from Valentine’s Day) and added a bit of cream and freshly grated horseradish. Then I get out the immersion blender (stick blender) and put it in the tiny bowl. Hmmm, it wasnt getting very smooth. I kept adding cream and it still wasnt smooth.

So I make the fatal mistake of turning the immersion blender over. Ah-ha–there’s a chunk of celery root inside! I put my finger inside to get it out…

..and accidentally hit the on button with my other hand.

It’s only been a second when I turn it off, but the injury is grave. “Oh God, oh God, oh God….” I repeat as I run around looking for a paper towel.

I will give a summary of what happened next, as the gory details are, well, gory.

I almost…but not quite…cut my finger off above the last joint. I thought I had cut it off because I cut the nerves and couldn’t (still can’t) feel it.

The ER doc was incredible and worked on my hand for over an hour. She was only able to “approximate” where to make the stitches, though.

My boyfriend rushed to the ER and held my hand the whole time. He made me laugh, helped the doctor, and was very, very supportive. I was too scared to look, so he watched the entire process and told me what was going on. That’s love.

My boyfriend’s brother came over with bleach and gloves and cleaned the house before I got home. “Was there an ax murder here?” he joked to us over the phone. I owe him big time for that one.

My dog Coco flipped out when I came home from the ER. She jumped around and whined and licked me over and over and over. I guess she knew something bad had happened and was glad to see me. It was really sweet… love that dog.

Izzy, on the other hand, repeatedly tried to bite at my bandage. Damn dog.

So anyhow, it’s about 36 hours later. I’m going to a hand surgeon later today and am pretty nervous about it.

I’m annoyed because this entire thing was the result of an absolutely boneheaded move.

Fingers are incredible. Be thankful for your fingers today! I know I am thankful for all ten of mine.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Posted by unbeelievable on February 14, 2009

We spent all day at the house. Not super romantic but I am so proud of how it’s coming along!!! C’est belle, non?

Last night was very romantic, however. Lobster tails, steak with mushrooms and sauteed spinch, and raspberry souffles with chocolate sauce. Words can’t describe–yum. I picked a good one!!!

Posted in happy thoughts, home | 1 Comment »

25 Things

Posted by unbeelievable on February 6, 2009

This is going around on facebook, so I thought I’d post a list here for y’all.

1. I was born in San Angelo, Texas, and have retained a love for chicken fried steak, devil’s food cake, and West Texas style Mexican food. I also have a West Texas accent that mostly stays in the closet, although I will never stop using the word “drug” as a verb, “fixin’” as an indicator of something I’m about to do, and of course, y’all already know that “y’all” is so much better than saying “you guys.”

2. I always wanted a sister when I was growing up. So much, that in 4th grade, my best friend Arica and I went as far as changing our last names on our homework to match. To explain, I just said my parents were getting a divorce. Seemed reasonable to me at the time, but my parents weren’t too thrilled with the teacher’s phone call that followed.

3. Even though I didn’t have any brothers or sisters, I had dogs…lots of dogs…when I was growing up. My parents are now “down to” having “only” six dogs.

4. My most embarrassing moment involved accidently taking my shirt off in the middle of gym class, with somewhere between 50 and 100 5th graders watching. It was horrible – and memorable enough that someone mentioned it to me in my senior year of high school.

5. I grew up in a community and with a family that is pretty reserved. I still feel awkward giving people hugs if I don’t know them really well, and was completely freaked out when everyone in My boyfriend’s family started saying, “Love you!” every time I saw them/spoke to them on the phone after they first met me. I will die of shock when my parents say “Love you!” to Him.

6. Until some of my friends’ weddings (couple of years ago), the only weddings I had ever attended in my life went like this: 30 minute ceremony –> go to reception room at church –> wait for the bride and groom to finish picture-taking –> eat cake and drink punch –> end of wedding. As a result, I’ve never wanted to have one of my own.

7. I still want to do something ridiculously silly and romantic when I get married. A few days ago, I pitched the idea of walking across northern Spain to Santiago (a very famous pilgrimage that people have been doing since the middle ages). My boyfriend said he would do it if we could ride a motorcycle instead of walking. I don’t think they allow that. 🙂

8. I am disappointed with every episode of “Top Chef” but cannot stop watching it.

9. Everyone at work thinks that I am crazy-organized, and I am, but only at work.

10. I canceled my orthodontist appointment this week because I haven’t been wearing my rubber bands and didn’t want the orthodontist to yell at me.

11. For Christmas, one of the gifts my boyfriend gave me was a popcorn popper (we have no microwave). I use it at least three times a week and mostly make it popped in sesame oil with liquid aminos (kind of like soy sauce) topped with a heavy dose of cayenne pepper.

12. Having a microwave just seems dumb to me now that I’ve lived without one for a few years. Then again, having cable seemed dumb before, too, and now I am addicted to freakin’ Top Chef (oh, and Big Love… but I love that show).

13. I was doing studies in a molecular biology lab about alcoholism while I was living with someone who was alcoholic. Ironical!

14. Yes, I know ironical is not a word. But I just read it in a paper and it cracked me up over and over, so I use it now. I also call the placebo effect the “place-bow” effect for similar reasons. There are many people out there who probably think I’m dumb, but who cares. **actually, apparently ironical *is* a word, just a weird word that nobody ever uses…interesting**

15. My Pandora radio station is so schizophrenic, and I love it.

16. My dad’s favorite joke is this: “No wonder they call it a whale! Look how big it is!” I still don’t know what that means.

17. One of my high school boyfriends made me promise never to “do drugs.” Months later, he made me mad and I told him I smoked pot, even though it wasn’t true. I guess I can be sort of vindictive.

18. “I’m like what? I’m so not redddaaay to do my observations yet!” [student walking by my office just now. Future educators of America, people.]

19. I have met several girls who have told me they “don’t like girls.” I find that very strange. First of all, they are saying it to a girl. Second, what? I could not survive without my girlfriends. They make life so much more fun and interesting.

20. One of my primary roles in the house-building project is being the “Hey, could you go get…?” girl. Only I don’t understand building terminology, so my boyfriend has learned to speak my language. Yesterday he described some sealant as “a little package of squeezy stuff.”

21. If I’m not talking to you and you’re not sure why, you might be crazy. I avoid crazy. Only exception: if you are crazy and funny, I will forgive the crazy part. Funny people are the best.

22. Giggling uncontrollably is what makes life worth living.

23. I ate at a place called “The Stinking Rose” in San Francisco and was vegetarian for 6 months afterward (I had beef stuffed with tons of garlic…the aftermath was not pretty…) I would still be vegetarian if not for my boyfriend and his mad cooking skills. I eat vegetarian at least 50% of the time.

24. I don’t understand people who tell me they “hate” or “can’t stand” Austin. Again, why are they telling me this?? Guess what, I’ve lived here for 11 years, so I probably like it pretty well. Also, Austin has its flaws, but overall, it kicks ass.

25. I am ridiculously, unfairly blessed. I can’t think of anything that I need or want (except for a margarita….is it happy hour yet?)

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Need Bridesmaid Dress, Help!

Posted by unbeelievable on February 5, 2009

I’m going to be in a wedding in June and I desperately need help choosing a dress. The bride doesn’t care what we wear as long as it is from David’s Bridal and in Victorian Lilac. I would prefer to have something I can re-wear, but am not sure if that is impossible or not (I have been in two weddings and have never re-worn the dresses)

Help! There are actually three pages of dresses; here is the first one.

www.davidsbridal.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Category_-49998973?&colorName=Victorian%20Lilac

What do you guys think?  What would you choose?

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Top 10 Great Things About the House

Posted by unbeelievable on February 1, 2009

10. Working outside on beautiful, sunny days

9. Knowing how houses work. I may not be able to actually fix anything, but I might be able to tell you what’s wrong.

8. Sanding and staining wood. It’s methodical and it’s neat to see the finished product.

7. Picking out things like stone, tile, bathtubs, and flooring

6. Knocking down drywall. This part is over 😦 but it sure was fun!!

5. The dogs love running around the new place.

4. Designing the house ourselves. My kitchen is exactly where–and the size–that I want, etc.

3. Getting to be amazed daily by my boyfriend’s building skills.

2. Saving one of the vintage homes in the neighborhood.

1. Building a life with someone is so much more tangible when you’re literally building a home together. We built and placed the threshold today. Feels like a big step. We’re getting there.

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Top 10 Annoyances About the House Right Now!

Posted by unbeelievable on January 31, 2009

Building a house is neat, but it has its annoyances as well. Here are 10 I can think of!

10. Home Depot has over a million items, but always seems to be missing — or out of — the one thing you need.

9. Subcontractors who don’t show up.

8. No heat hooked up yet = Brrrr

7. Paying rent in our apartment — still — this is month 18!

6. Dirt and trash multiplies and is not kept at bay with daily sweepings. One of our subcon’s even left something called a “trucker bomb” outside. I’ll let you google it.

5. Buying the wrong part on e-bay and debating what to do about it.

4. Just wanting to sleep in on Saturday morning

3. Running out of $$

2. Making constant decisions about which type of hinges to pick, or which doorknob, or faucet. They all look pretty much the same to me! 🙂

1. My inability to ignore all of these annoyances and have a positive attitude about this process.

Ahhh that’s better. Thanks for reading. 🙂

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I’ve been AWOL for months, sorry!

Posted by unbeelievable on January 27, 2009

Hello my dear friends!  It has been ages since I have posted, I know.  That’s because I have a new job (woohoo!!) and have been working my butt off to finish up our house.  It is getting there!  I can’t wait to move in.

I will try to check in more often!  Love to all.

house-003

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Everything’s 99 cents?

Posted by unbeelievable on August 30, 2008

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The presidential race is getting verrry interesting…

Posted by unbeelievable on August 29, 2008

So in case the 2 people that read my blog forgot, I am a former academic nerd, trying to break out into the “real world.” It’s not working so well. The corporations that I apply to see the Ph.D. at the end of my name and run. I think they are afraid of nerd-taint. This is perhaps why we Ph.D.’s stay in academia making wages that have a ridiculously low wage:years of schooling ratio.

Anyway, as part of my academic life, I worked on a study of kids’ understanding about the gender and race of the U.S. Presidents. It went something like this: We asked kids how many black/female/latino presidents there had been and recorded their answers (a common answer was “two”, which is adorable to me. Like, there must be at least TWO back there SOMEWHERE…)

Then we burst their bubbles. “No, there has never been a black/woman/latino president. All of the presidents have been white men.” And we show them a picture, like the ones you might remember from school, of all the presidents lined up, as evidence.

Most kids believed us, although one kid told us that Abraham Lincoln looked “sort of Mexican.” Then we asked why. Why have there been no women, black, or latino presidents? And the answers we got were very interesting. Many kids used discrimination as a reason. “White people hate black people,” one elementary student stated matter-of-factly. Others used internal characteristics. “Men are smarter than women,” said one little girl. Very, very sad stuff. A full 25% of kids said that it was against the law for women, African Americans, and Latinos to be president. Yes. In 2008. Against the law.

We collected our data way before Barack Obama had even thought about being president. But, thanks to the slow peer-review process for publishing academic stuff, we were never able to publish it until now. We found out yesterday that the study will be published very soon!

Could we have picked a better time to publish? How exciting is it that Sarah Palin is running for VP? Now, she may make some of my liberal colleagues want to run far, far away due to her views on teaching creationism in schools and her “feminist pro-life” stance, but I couldn’t be more happy. It makes our little study incredibly relevant.

And, our conclusion to the study is that simplest way to fix kids’ attitudes about women and minorities in public office is to PUT MORE WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN PUBLIC OFFICE! So hooray to the Democratic party, and yes, hooray to John McCain, too, for making that happen for at least one group this year. This election truly will be historic.

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