Let it be released from the mind

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


It is unacceptable to be singing Phil Collins songs first thing in the morning. Or is it Genesis?

"There's too many men, too many people, making too many problems.
And not much love to go round."

Welcome to my world. I guess it's better than Fall Out Boy, which was in the morning head for a good few days.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

When will you take it personally and take a stand?

I'm so glad there's finally word about the release of the film "An Inconvenient Truth". I had the pleasure of seeing Al Gore (surprisingly comedic and charasmatic in person, honest!) give his Global Warming presentation a few months ago, and anxiously awaited what he referred to as "something big" regarding the presentation. That something big was praised at the Sundance Film Festival. Please pledge online to go see this movie. It will change the way you think about your world and your children's world.

Here are some openings I know some might care about:
Washington D.C.
E Street

Washington D.C.


Bethesda Row

Rio 18

Salt Lake City
Broadway 6


Vinegar Hill

Danke Shein

Thank you, grass, for making me feel like a beaten sack of poo for the last 2 weeks.

I'm taking Friday off since I worked last weekend, so I wish you all a happy long weekend full of grilled foods and summer drinks. I look forward to continuing spring cleaning, which has basically turned into "warm-weather cleaning" rather than holding it to just one season.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Hyssop in the Hissouse

So at the CSA yesterday I got Anise Hyssop, an herb new to my world. I have also never used fresh oregano and got a bunch of that as well. They also allow you to hand-pick mint, lavendar, and oregano too. I partook in the mint-picking in hopes of making some fine Cuban drinks over the Memorial Day weekend.

Veggies included 1/4 lb. spinach, 1 1/4 lb. mix of collard greens, kale, and Russian kale. They gave us a free Anise Hyssop plant and I read online that it has beautiful and aromatic purple flowers that work well in a variety of uses like dried for potpourri, in teas, to flavor vodka and honey, to add to cookies and quickbreads, etc. I have no idea what classifies as a quick bread, but I like the idea of it. Other goals include planting the free pot of Anise Hyssop that they gave us and using the subsequent flowers to make decorative ice cubes for the Southern women parties I have so often in the lazy days of summer. Sometimes I wish I was a true Southern woman when I see movies about the South. Nah, I would hate that.

A few recipes I might try:

Anise Hyssop Pound Cake
Source: Midwest Living

Makes 12 servingsPrep: 20 minutesBake: 40 minutesCool: 2 hoursStand: 2 hours

3 cups sifted cake flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1-1/2 tablespoons snipped fresh anise hyssop blossoms, licorice basil, lemon thyme, or nasturtium blossoms
Sifted powdered sugar

1. Grease and flour the bottom and side of a 10-inch tube pan or a 10-inch fluted tube pan. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Add the 3 eggs; beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
4. With mixer at low speed, add flour mixture alternately with milk, beating after each addition. Fold in anise hyssop blossoms. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
5. Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
6. Cool the cake on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen side of cake from pan. Remove cake from pan and cool completely. Sift powdered sugar over cake. Makes 12 servings.

Either mint or the lemon herbs mix well with the leaves of anise hyssop to make a light and refreshing iced tea with lots of flavor. Like mint plants, these herbs do well with some afternoon shade.

Anise Hyssop with Poached Peaches! must find a recipe for this. Some DC restaurant has Anise Hyssop ice cream, which also sounds intriguing.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Will this one work?

What? "The city that reads" hasn't been working as a slogan for Baltimore? And the unofficial "City with the most herpes" doesn't have BWI flooded with tourists?

You're right. This fits much better.

Monday, May 22, 2006

I want pancakes very badly.

Nassawango this!

Spent the weekend on the Eastern Shore with a group of donors for work. We drove out in the Chevy Cavalier rental car with no power locks--only the best. It is seriously hard to remember to lock and unlock every damn door all the time! At least it wasn't like the Celica where you had to hold up the handle too.

Our weekend included a very slow paddle on Nassawango Creek with ideal weather and plentiful birds and plants. Amy and I struggled to work as a team in the canoe, especially in the tight spots at the beginning of the paddle. Then we went with the donors on a short nature hike, and I once again struggled to dispense botany knowledge and dodge 3 ft. snakes.

We finished yesterday afternoon after a long morning of birding. Btw, I'm the bird-watching bomb. And that will be the last time you will ever hear me gloat about that. Species I saw, as if you cared:
prothonotary warbler
prairie warbler
black and white warbler
yellow-throated vireo
scarlet tanager and kentucky warbler(just for an instant though as it flew above us)

More importantly, I did not get shat upon or get any ticks (that I currently know of).

Friday, May 19, 2006

Nails, Nails, Nails (sung to "Girls, Girls, Girls")

So as I pulled up to the left turn lane at at 547 & Beach Drive the woman next to me at the light tapped her fingernails against her window. The movement caught me eye, and then I came to a realization that I've always thought inwardly but never ranted about. I hate fingernails. I hate nails that are too long, and by too long I mean past the tip of your finger. A little nail is fine to cover up the stubbiness of fingertips.

Even more than just hating long nails I despise long painted fingernails. I hate the thought of middle-aged women and teenagers going to bacteria-ridden nail parlors to have tips put on their nails. It's only a matter of time before those things start looking crucial. I don't like to see painted fingernails because it's such a stark contract to the skin. It's like --yo, you. look at my bright freaking fingernails--

In opposition to this whole rant, I don't mind painted toes much. I even like to see mine painted. I don't have to explain myself so don't ask me too. This is my blog and I'll hate on whomever I want.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I need man food

I'm really happy that Burger King has moved away from the giant-headed, unnerving King character that was displayed predominantly through football season ads. And, although I'm not a man (swear it!), I am compelled by their new ad campaign "I am Man". As I suffer through night after night of TNT ads for "The Closer" and the NBA playoffs, a small flicker of joy arrives when the man commercials come on. Strangely enough, although my stomach grimaces at the thought of fast food, I want that man burger. I want that Texas Whopper.

I don't even care that this entire commercial mocks the feminist movement and encourages gender-based roles in society (although I'm not sure where that mime comes into the equation). That's a damn fine hunka hunka flame-broiled partial meat product.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

a sign that US is in educational decline

On the Bank of America website, in the Frequently Asked Questions section, one question begins: How come...

Monday, May 15, 2006

Lovely weekend

Luckily the rain didn't come until last night so we had an extremely productive weekend.

On Friday evening, Daniel met me on Rt. 29 at the Northwest Branch Trail. We did about a six-mile hike, finishing right as it turned dark. I think it made Laika nervous to be in the dark because she kept stopping to listen to things in the woods and she was always about 30 feet in front of us urging us to catch up. She also had an excellent dive into the river, going fully under water, which she didn't like much. But she loves to just doggie paddle along. We rounded out the evening with late-night Chipotle...always appropriate right before you go to bed.

Saturday Daniel used a roto-tiller meant only for midgets or Mexicans to till up a 30x13 vegetable garden in his parent's backyard. So we played with poo a lot and got the soil all good and pooish, and then planted about 40 plants including 3 kinds of tomatoes, squash, zucchini, millions of cucumbers, watermelon, cauliflower, bell peppers and cayenne peppers, and collards. Now we just have to figure out how to keep the deer away from it. Is anyone at that point in their life where they're losing clumps of hair and care to donate? Supposedly human hair is a great deterrent.

We finished Saturday night drinking ridiculous amounts of beer and liquor to celebrate Meg's thesis presentation being over. Yea Meg! And boy is she smart. I hope that she didn't kill too many brain cells that she can get through her last final on Tuesday! I also ate the hottest chicken wings of my life, and hope to basically never eat chicken wings again.

Mother's Day was excellent on Sunday, with excessive amounts of tomato and cheese. My wonderful hubby helped me prepare eggplant parmigiana and fresh cheese manicotti for our parents.

dream a little dream

I wish I knew someone named Mordecai.

Friday, May 12, 2006

hehehe...dry hopping

Double Your Pleasure. Some beers are released…..this one ESCAPED!!! Serum takes the style, “IPA” to a whole different level! This Double IPA (XXIPA) is aggressively hopped at several different stages in the brewing process, including a dry hopping lasting over 2 weeks. Yet, even though it is "hopped up," this beer is well balanced with a strong malty sweetness, making it the perfect antidote to awaken lifeless taste buds.

--DuClaw brewing company e-mail

Thursday, May 11, 2006

"treat it like a mullet"

--the advice I received from Amy today on how to rearrange a letter I was working on

angry fern

I have this fern that was my mom's that was so opulent that she handed it over to me because it couldn't fit anymore in the bird room. In the last year I completely killed it. It came to me dead in the center, meaning that the ends of the fronds had lovely green leaves, and the center was completely brown. I just thought that was the way it grew but I think it was really funneling it's anger from the inside out. It must be a girl fern...holding it all in until it explodes, and thus dies. So it did. It died. And I felt really crappy for destroying my mom's plant.

Then 2 months ago it started to grow green again on one side. So I turned the vent off in the spare bedroom it was in and it seems to have green on maybe 1/8 of the plant. It's in probably a 20 gallon bucket, so I have to figure out a way to replant this mofo without killing it again. I, unlike the plant, have the green inside, but obviously my thumb is just white white white.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Yesterday Daniel picked up our first week of CSA shares...Now let me sell you.

What better way to support local farmers and sustainable and organic living than participate in a CSA program? It's the freshest produce you can find, it doesn't have all the chemicals. You should try to leave a smaller ecological footprint on the world in any way you can. This seemed like an ideal way to me--I cut down on those oil-guzzling big trucks (and emissions) driving all over the country to bring produce to the grocery store, hopefully lessen my meat intake (requires most energy of all food groups to produce). Plus, it will encourage me to eat new kinds of vegetables I wouldn't normally buy.

Check it out--it's good to learn about new things!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Full(filling) weekend

Friday was enjoyable as I got to spend the day outside on a donor trip. It was not enjoyable however to find another 3 ticks on my body when I got home. Season tick count: 6

Started it off with a Mexican bang, celebrating the Mexican victory over the French on Friday night. Any excuse to eat and drink in excess is fine by me. My mock Chipotle burrito bar turned out fairly well, although the low quality tortillas really bit my butt. To make a tremendous roll of a burrito and then have your tortilla break can truly ruin a girl's night. Mango margaritas were plentiful.

Saturday morning came faster than I had hoped for, and we found the afternoon shortly thereafter. We splurged and had tickets to the Baltimore opera to see La Boheme, so we had dinner in Baltimore before the show. The opera was excellent, although the 2 intermissions was rather excessive. We sat behind a group of nuns, which made me chuckle for some reason. What do you think will happen when all the old nuns depart our dear world? You notice how there are never young nuns (I think they like to be called young bucks). I wonder what the percentage decline of nunery members are since, say, the 1960's...

Sunday was Mom's birthday. As usual, she thought little about what she wanted to do. So we decided to have a picnic at the tidal basin. It proved to be a cool and nice evening, and I hope she enjoyed relaxing a bit. And now it's Monday, and raining. I'm tired.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Babies babies everywhere

Congratulations to everyone who had babies yesterday!!

Jenna Blinn had a lovely baby girl named Sheridan Louise Blinn. She was 7 lb. 1 oz. and 19 inches long. She actually had Sheridan on Tuesday I believe.

In addition, Denise Smith had 3 beautiful baby boys...all at once. Well, actually a minute apart. I don't know the exact stats, but weighing in at about 3 lb. 15oz., 4.5 lb. and 6-something-lbs., her giant babies seem to be doing well!

I wish them both all the happiness in the world!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

always a bride, never a bridesmaid

I know, I know. Don't hate me. I'm sure all those single people out there are bitter at me for saying that. But it's not something I am gloating over. It's so the reverse of that.

I've never been in a wedding, except for my own. I mentioned this to hubby and he laughs like it's the most absurd worry ever. Perhaps it is, but still it is something I do think about. I've never been the friend that gets the first call when someone has good news or bad news or just plain old news. It does kinda make me sad that I am not a "go to" kind of friend. Is that because of me? Do I do something to distance myself? Am I not good enough of a friend? In my complex brain, these are the things I think about it.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

veggies galore, hopefully

So the spring growing season has begun. This weekend and yesterday Daniel and I worked on cultivating our soil, beautifying our backyard, and making room for more veggies and herbs for my culinary experiments. We bought tomatoes (yellow, red, and grape), green and red bell peppers, habaneros, jalapenos, and zucchini. New herbs to the garden include cilantro, dill, mint and lavender. I will work on the basil and chives in small pots for now since basil seems to die every damn year in my backyard.

I have fears that the big bad peppers will grow too high and take the sun away from the tomatoes. We'll have to see how it goes in the next few weeks. Hopefully we didn't plant too early.

I also stripped the paint off this ragged old bench that used to be at my grandmother's house. It was one of this acquisitions where no one wanted it, and I didn't want to throw it out, so now it's in my backyard. It was looking quite crucial, but hopefully after I spraypaint it I will enjoy sitting in it and acting like an old person.

your resident Chipotle expert