Wednesday, April 29, 2009


So the other day after running errands, I decided to stop at the grocery store in the nearby fancy neighborhood. I was thrilled to death when I saw blue crab meat in the seafood department and so I asked for a pound.

I kept thinking that my bill seemed a little high. Then tonight I pulled out the crab meat to start cooking. That's when I noticed the label. They had charged ten times as much as they should have per pound! I threw the package of crab meat into a bag and grabbed my receipt. The manager decided that I could have it for free since I had had to return to the store.

So yeah, that's a crab cake sandwich. Before I topped it with some cole slaw. And some hot sauce. I called my mom the other day to ask for the recipe. Turns out hers is a slight variation of the one you find on the side of Old Bay seasoning.

Crab Cakes

1 pound crab meat (I used regular blue crab but blue crab lump is the preferred way to go.)
1/4 small bell pepper, finely diced
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup of bread crumbs

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Form into patties. Lightly coat patties in additional bread crumbs. Fry in oil over medium high heat until browned on both sides. Drain on paper towels.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I can't have a pork chop?

You Could Maybe Be a Vegetarian

You may think being vegetarian is a great idea, but you don't have all the tools to get started.

Find a local vegetarian group or buy a few vegetarian books.

Even if you don't go completely veggie, you can introduce more vegetarian foods into your diet!

Don't worry. Today is moving day. I'll be having plenty of fruits and grains at the end of the day.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


In between all the packing and unpacking I have been doing of late, I have also been trying to clear the stuff from my DVR. I don't know about you but I like to save the shows that I really like for last. I kind of do the same thing with food.

And that's how it was that until last night I still had not seen the season finale of Life. There aren't many other shows that I love as much as that one. I love all the twists and turns. But I really like it when Charlie is playing one of his zen tapes in the car or just comes out with something apropos. And so today I leave you with something that I think was supposed to be from the tape in his car.

"What we learned as children -- that one plus one equals two -- we know to be false. One plus one equals one. We even have a word for when you pass another equals one. That word is love."

I don't know about y'all but I'm going to let that one bounce around in my mind for a few days at least.

* Sorry but I was a huge Danny Kaye fan as a kid.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sanity in the midst of chaos

I'm still slogging along here. When did I get all this stuff? I guess if I opened cabinets and closets, I would see that I've made a pretty good dent in it all. You see my goal is to have moved the small stuff -- smaller than a TV -- to my new place myself before Saturday. Oh, and I'm not moving books. The movers can do that. But I do have to box them all. And I think that if I keep at my current pace, I should probably be able to make it happen. Even with the couple of speed bumps this weekend.

You see, my mother is still in town. That means that yesterday she insisted on a tour of the new place. I asked if she could help lining shelves. She declined. Then today I had to go to dinner at her house since she's leaving tomorrow morning. Fortunately I was able to excuse myself after an hour. Oh, and she had the nerve to ask over dinner didn't I have anyone helping me with this stuff. I thought that was hilarious.

But yeah, I'm working away right now so that in some ways the first few days in the new place won't be stressful. For me, this means that the kitchen stuff must all be unpacked in place. My clothes as well. Oh, and the linens. The only thing that might make things stressful is if the cable guy fails to show up on Saturday because that will mean that I will be without TV and internet. But that's not going to happen. If they know what's good for them.

I am happy to say that the correct refrigerator showed up yesterday. As well as the washer and dryer and my piano. It's starting to feel like home.

Oh, and I took the liberty of emptying out the fridge in my apartment this morning and taking the stuff to the new place. Because you can't really appreciate the beauty of this baby unless it's stocked. And I still owe y'all a photo of the freezer because it is truly a thing of beauty. Although I need to read the manual because the thing scared the bejezus out of me when I was stocking it. Apparently there is an alarm that goes off if the door stays open too long.

So yeah. That's my week ahead. But as I was unpacking the ice cream maker, I started dreaming of the flavors I'd be making soon. All while getting ready for that trip to New York.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


You Are Cranberry Juice

You're sassy and even a bit snarky at times. You have an edge to you.

And while you can be brutally honest, you're still quite a charmer.

You are confident, modern, stylish, and dazzling. You have an overpowering personality.

You're a bit of an acquired taste. People often wish you were sweeter.

My favorite juice. But sweeter? What the hell is wrong with folks? I thought I was sweet... In the words of a college roomie, "If they don't like you, then just fuck them and feed them beans."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Summer comes early

I awoke Tuesday morning to the sounds of this. I also meant to post it then but I've been a little behind on anything that is not related to the move.

I think I may have found my getting ready for summer song. Because Justin could make me believe in a lot of things.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Beth asked recently when I was going to let y'all see the new place. Well, here's a preview of the work in progress.

Last Saturday was a busy day of cleaning the fireplace...

potting plants...

and putting together my new computer desk and chair.

My handyman has been busy as well. The first thing he did was to install the new light fixture. This is so pretty that now I don't want to take my old furniture with me and have been shopping for new stuff. Luckily my mom has said that she'll pay for one or two chairs as my housewarming gift. I think I can get my dad to pay for the rest. (Stop calling me Veruca.)

His next major project was the counters. (Please ignore the ugly shade. It no longer exists.) Sorry but I don't do formica. And once the old counter came out, I had to get a new sink. And a new faucet. And a new garbage disposal.

I also decided that it was time to move up as far as TV is concerned. He was kind enough to mount everything for me. Oh, and the shelving unit? I was supposed to be buying it off of one of the guys from work. When he brought it in, he said that his wife told him to tell me it was my housewarming gift -- as long as I invite them to the party.

And look at this beauty. Doesn't it just scream, "Create wonderful things!" I had wanted to share the new fridge with y'all as well but they brought the wrong one last weekend and will redeliver this Saturday.

Hmmm. I may owe y'all some more photos after the weekend since my piano is also being delivered. And a week from Saturday I actually move in.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Friday night I had to stop by my mom's house to pick up some things of mine that I had left there when I moved into my apartment.

"Sunday is Easter. What are we doing for dinner? You could come over here. I have a couple of steaks in the freezer that we could have."

"It's Easter. I want lamb."

"I don't want to go to Outback. Where else can we get lamb?"

"Duh. Hotel Mac."

And so I called to make a reservation.

Walking into the restaurant today, I was asked, "Why is your stomach sticking out?"

"Because I'm getting fat."

"You really need to do some crunches or something."

I should have taken this as a sign that things were not going to be all that pleasant during the meal.

I didn't tell my mother that I intended to pay for our meals until after we ordered. She wouldn't order the lamb for herself because it was the most expensive item. And she didn't want the prime rib because she just had steak last night.

When my lamb arrived, she complained about the red. (I always order medium rare and was pretty sure that it would show up more rare. Fine by me though. I have actually grown to prefer rare to medium rare these days.) So I gave her the end piece because I knew it would be the most done. As it turns out, it was also kind of sinewy. She didn't like the lamb at all. And she wasn't that thrilled with the paella that she ordered. And the bread pudding -- with fresh berries and creme anglaise -- that I ordered for dessert? OK.

But she really enjoyed the escargots. (Once more my choice. She ordered the Caesar because the house salad is made with what she calls "California weeds.") How could one not love them? They are cooked sitting atop mushroom caps in a bunch of buttery goodness. My mother shared with our server at the end of the meal that the only thing she enjoyed were the escargots. And to give you an idea of just how much she disliked the whole thing, the server told me that the dessert was on the house because my mother had been so displeased with her meal. But I really liked my meal.

* I don't know why but one of my friends from high school has started calling me this recently.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Getting all medieval

You Are a Playwright

You are a highly literate wordsmith. You love both reading and writing.

You are also a natural storyteller. You can turn a mediocre anecdote into a riveting tale.

You find people and all aspects of life fascinating. No topic is off limits for you.

In modern times, you would make a good filmmaker or novelist.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Nine four seven something

Now that I am shifting into moving mode, I have decided that the kitchen is closed until I have moved. That's OK though. There's lots of food in Berkeley to which I must say goodbye. Yes, I know that I'm not moving that far away. But all of this yumminess will no longer be within walking distance -- or a quick drive.

I guess you could say that it all started the minute I signed that huge stack of papers. To make up for being out of the office for half a day, I stopped at Love at First Bite Bakery and picked up mini cupcakes for the office. Oh, and a couple of regular-sized red velvet cupcakes for the Commander and LaLa Bean. (And a thank you to Zoomie for pointing out this gem in my neighborhood.)

Then later that evening I headed to Poulet to pick up dinner for the Zombie family as they had been moving that day and were not equipped for dinner preparation. There will be at least one more trip to Poulet before I move. And the folks there, upon learning that I would be moving, asked if I would come back to visit them occasionally. Of course.

Saturday I dined on the short end rib dinner from KC's. Sauce on the side of course. And they still serve it with white bread instead of the wheat that so many places have changed over to.

Sunday afternoon I hit Cesar with Emerald and her little girl. I'm a bit worried about her daughter who is now 14 months. She spent most of her time trying to chat with the other patrons. To the point that she turned her back on us almost the entire time. The only time she turned around was when she heard the bartender shaking some drink at the bar. Emerald and I made jokes about what her daughter's order would be. Emerald decided on, "I will require some whole milk. Slightly warmed. Shaken, not stirred."

Last night I had to make a quick change in dinner plans. I found myself at home and a little hungry. (The free pizza from lunch had disappeared. The pizza was courtesy of the president of the company because he won the March Madness pool. I ended up in 5th or 6th place.) What to have? Gregoire's!

Grilled Ecuadorian shrimp with harissa sauce

Grilled beer and lime marinated beef skirt steak with carmelized onion cream

There are so many other food experiences to say goodbye to. Mayflower. Mint Leaf. Perhaps T-Rex. Fonda. The Cathedral of Coffee. And of course, there will be a stop at Beckett's at some time in the coming weeks.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I'll admit it

I stayed in on a Saturday night. I spent most of yesterday taking care of various things for the new place -- getting a remote for the garage door, meeting with the handyman to finalize the work he will be doing this week, selecting the paint color for the bedroom, selecting the kitchen counter material, buying a light fixture for the dining room. All in all I was out for eight hours. And when I got home, I was plum tired. I also knew that I had a list of stuff to take care of today for the new place and needed to be able to awake clear-eyed. Fortunately before I left out yesterday, I had the foresight to set the DVR to tape one of my fave channels -- VH1. Yep. All five hours of the top 100 One-Hit Wonders of the 80s. And so now I present you with some of my absolute faves from the series.

I think that this one needs no explanation.

It was almost a theme for the years that I lived in the San Diego area. And I have always loved Stan Ridgeway's song for the Rumblefish soundtrack. Oh, and don't get me started on that fabulous score by Stewart Copeland.

If this didn't make you move your butt, then I don't know what will. Just as infectious today as it was back then.

This song summed up my religious feelings in the 80s. Recent events have made me want to start to start belting this one out at the top of my lungs at times. Not there completely yet but pretty damn close. Oh. And I already loved the band before this song came out. "Love on a Farmboy's Wages" still haunts me.

I was going to include this absolute fave of mine by Edie Brickell but apparently embedding is not allowed so if you want to hear it, click through.

I don't know about you but just about every girl I knew in the 80s thought that this was one of the most romantic songs out there. We dreamed of having some guy ask us to dance to this and have him sing along. Instead, I dated the bass player of a cover band. He sang lead on "Great Balls o' Fire" at shows. And in the car we would sing along to "Fly on the Windscreen" together. (Hmmm. I remember thinking yesterday at some point that "Fly on the Windscreen" should be a part of the current soundtrack of my life.)

And today? I did not let the fun end. One of the songs on the list was Quarterflash's "Harden My Heart." I was always a bit more partial to "Find Another Fool" though. So I pulled it up on my iTunes and hit the Genius button. I love how that Genius button knows me so well. I ended up with a mix of Quarterflash with The Fixx, Marshall Crenshaw, Joe Jackson, Simple Minds, The Kinks, Elvis Costello, Rush, The Tubes, and the Divinyls to name a few. Life was feeling pretty good.

Because that's how I've been coping. Keeping busy with the move and listening to some old favorites. And I am now officially done with death. I hope death got that message. If not? There just may be some hell to pay.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Hell nah, beyotch!

You Are a Bad Girl

You are 20% Good and 80% Bad

You're a total bad girl, from your wild hair to tattooed toes.

But you're too badass to even care if you're labeled "bad"!

And this is why I enjoy watching "The Bad Girls Club." Kindred souls and all.

Friday, April 3, 2009


Once more I find myself sitting here trying to find some order in the jumble that is currently my brain. Bear with me. As I walked around Berkeley this morning (I finally remembered to pick up more cat food.), I had so many thoughts of what I might say.

I thought about my upcoming move. I will finally have room for my piano. (Crap! Still need to call the piano movers about picking it up from my mom's house.) My dad bought it for me as a birthday gift when I turned eleven. I campaigned for six months to get it.

It started in Georgia during the previous summer though. My dad's hometown is around 10,000 people or so. The one television in my aunt's house stayed on NBC in the afternoons for soap opera viewing. I was tired of reading. And so I announced that I was bored. My aunt went looking through her piano books until she found the first beginner book. At dinner, I announced that I had finished the book. So she pulled out the next one. It went this way for a couple of weeks until I could read music. I spent the rest of that summer picking my way through all the other books in between reading books.

I loved playing the piano so much that I decided that I really needed my own piano at home. My mother will tell you that my father got the cheap end of the deal. Right after I received the piano, I then began the campaign for lessons. Five years worth.

I haven't played that much since I graduated from college. Even though I was no longer taking lessons, I kept my books with me. And when I was feeling really stressed out, I would find an empty practice room and play until my hands hurt too much.

As I remembered all of this, it dawned on me that today I was starting to say my goodbyes. I have loved these past four years in Berkeley but now it's time for something new.

I had just assumed that my aunt would be around to see the next phase in my life. (My cousins decided to end life support and my aunt passed away this morning.) I've been talking to her on a near daily basis for years. A year ago there were three people to whom I talked on my way to work -- my father, his younger sister and his older sister. Now two of those three are gone and mornings feel so empty.

The last nine months have been hard. And I'm getting tired of saying goodbye.

Sorry for not responding to comments. The last time I logged in to do so, things were wonky.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

But of course

After signing all the paperwork for the condo, one of the first people I called was my dad's older sister. She's one of the folks to whom I talk on a near daily basis. She's the one who stayed with my dad after my stepmother died.

My dad just called. My aunt has had a major stroke. My reaction was, "But I just talked to her earlier today." My dad said he knew because he talked to his sister after I did and she had told him that she had talked to me.

I've been here before. My dad's mother went through a series of strokes. She was sick for ten years and never got better. I was hoping to never have to go to that place again.

Tis the season

This past weekend my friend Marin and her family moved into their new home. Today the Zombie family is moving as well.

Last night I bought a stove and refrigerator. Today I signed the last of the papers. In a couple of weeks I too will be moving. No more Poulet and Gregoire in the neighborhood. But I'll have more space. And it is mine. It seems surreal.