Monday, February 28, 2005

Busy Busy

It's been hectic. I have a post in the works for tomorrow :) Off to brave the snow.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Everything in it's right place?

Friday night Matt came to my place in a car service to pick me up so we could hang in his neighborhood, which in a month will be my neighborhood too now. It made sense seeing as we needed to stop by the new apt in the morning to drop off the last of our papers before Matt would have to go into work. As we walked down Smith St. looking for a place to grab some dinner we got to talking about how cut throat people can be in our line of work.

"Matt just promise me you won't become THAT guy."
"What do you mean?"
"You know THAT guy...Mr. Cutthroat arrogant- puts other people down- takes his job so seriously he has no room for anything else in his life, like say...a hobby? and only going out to some lame overpriced "be seen” bar or restaurant - where they go with of course their work buddies to get tanked and to talk about how creative and cool they are when they really have no idea at all because they are so out of touch."
"Ha ha Sandy...don't worry I won't become THAT guy I promise.
"Okay."
"Oooooh hey you wanna go to Patois?"

I looked at Matt in mock horror, then totally burst out laughing, as did Matt. Instead we decided to go to the cheap Cuban restaurant across the street. Further cementing my love of empanadas and yucca chips. It was nice to just sit and geek out about the apt. It felt good to just eat, drink and laugh and shut everything else out. After a challenging work week for both of us but mainly him, I think we needed the break bad. We left full and and about a billion times more relaxed.

The next day we were able to sign the lease so now we are just figuring out our actual move-in date. Looking at the apt with fresh eyes was both exciting and nerve racking. There were cool things I never noticed before and of course things that I wasn't quite as excited about. But over-all it's pretty kick-ass and I'm excited to make it ours. It will be the first time I've ever had a dishwasher or disposal since living at home! So I am very very happy about not having to scrub dishes anymore. Having free cable w/ HBO will be pretty good too, as I've gone the last 6 years without cable.

Saturday my friend called me and invited Matt & I to dinner. Her boyfriend makes this roasted red pepper sauce that rocks! We hung out and polished off 3 bottles of wine. I've mentioned before I don't need a lot to feel happy and entertained. Basically good friends, good food and good conversation and I'm really happy. Things just got silly and I felt so wrapped up in the warm fuzzies of the night as we whirled our way home in a cab.

Sunday made me want to start fresh so I cleaned my apt and watched cooking shows all day making the usual mental notes in my head. My friend J called me, back in town from FL. We had lots to catch up on, so I invited her and everyone over for dinner. I decided to experiment with dinner and I think it came out really good. Here's what I came up with.

Sandy's Chipotle Chicken

Take thin slices of chicken breast, squeeze lime juice over them then dip in egg wash and lightly flour on each side.
(Season flour with red pepper, black pepper, salt and cumin)
Fry chicken about 3 mins on each side till almost cooked through, put on paper towel to drain. (Frying is a theme you will see again and again as I truly believe it is a very beautiful thing.)

In separate pan, melt 2-3 pats of butter or margarine.

Chop

2 shallots
2 cloves of garlic
1 yellow onion
2 tablespoons of cilantro
1 whole yellow pepper
1 whole red pepper
1/2 orange pepper
3-5 canned jalapeño peppers with about 1/3 of the can of juices.
1 tablespoon of chipotle pepper paste

Throw into pan and cook until soft.

Slowly add in about 3/4 of a can of chicken stock.
Then add chicken pieces back into pan.
Add slowly a small carton of heavy cream, stir, cook covered on medium for another 10 minutes.
Add more stock to thin sauce out, less if you want it thick, more jalapeño juice makes it hotter.

Add some cumin and red pepper to taste.

Serve over Mexican rice with a little melted grated chedder on top.

It's pretty damn good.

After dinner J and I stayed up for hours talking. J is one of those rare people I can talk to for hours and not know where the time went. I'm lucky I have friends like that. It was a pretty intense conversation actually and made me think a lot about my own shit. I can't help but bring shit back to me when I'm working out someone else's story in my head. It's not meant to be selfish it's just how my brain works. It's how I figure out my response or the advice I want to give, whatever it may be. I try to place myself in their shoes; I draw on my own experiences. I usually just don't want the person to feel alone. Sometimes one person's dilemma can set off a firestorm in my own head unbeknownst to them. I went to bed last night with one in my head or maybe it was the Chipotle chicken.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Gizoogalized

My blog, Gizoogle style.

The Gates 2.13.05


IMG_7427
Originally uploaded by Redheadbrooklyn.

The Gates testing...

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Another reason to hate the phone.

Yesterday I opened up my cell phone bill to discover what I first thought was a horrible mistake. How could I be $78.00 over? Who the hell did I talk to for so long, I don't even like the phone! So I scanned and scanned the numbers till I got to what seemed to be the obvious culprit.

My mom.

My mom had called me a few days ago from Florida on vacation with my Dad to tell me they had bought a house in Naples. (Fuck yeah! Girls you know where we are going!) And then to tell me about the dream she had about me.

Dreams are funny things. Ever notice the minute you have some crazy dream about someone you feel like you just have to tell them. And then the minute you start telling them they completely tune out? I mean you really want to believe they are as interested in it as you are but let’s face it hearing about someone's dream is well... boring. I'm not even sure why that is but somehow whenever someone starts out a sentence with, "OMG I had this dream last night and you were in it..." I almost would rather stick tiny hot forks into my eyes then listen to it. Another thing about dreams is what seemed to make complete sense in your head 5 minutes ago, is now something so abstract it can't really be put into words and yet you will try...or in this case my mother tried.

" Okay so I had this dream last night and you and I were driving...* insert story about how long the drive down to FL was with various substories including where they ate and what relatives they visited* I dunno where we were driving to but it was weird because we actually weren't in a car well it was a car but it didn't look anything like a car and well it was you but you looked totally different but I knew it was you, I dunno why I just did and then we were in our old livingroom *insert discription of new house in Naples. Naples the town, the weather down in Naples and the shell store they went to that day*...um...no....no wait...it was my old house growing up except it was green...Sandy are you listening?"

See, listening to another person's dreams is like listening to a person with ADD talk about their day. Lot's of unimportant details, several substories in addition to quite a few unconnected thoughts that really have nothing to do at all with their day but probably occurred to them while they were talking. I know this because I live this and if there is one thing an ADD person can't handle, it is talking to another person with ADD. Or in this case my mom.

I love my mom but I'm quite surprised that we haven't spontaneously blown up in some freak cosmic event that only occurs when you get too people into the same room who like to tell really overly detailed stories. My mom also is getting to that age when she tells me the same thing like 50 times. Who am I kidding she's always done that. But lately it seems to be getting more noticeable. But since I know I will do this someday too as I tend to already, I generally let her go on. Which is apparently what I did on January 12th 7:26 pm and exactly 34 minutes before my freakin free minutes kicked in. Good job Sandy.

Monday, February 14, 2005

My Valentine's Day Manifesto for Matt

1. I believe you are one of the most creative individuals I've ever met.
2. I believe you are a lot more practical then me, thank god.
3. I believe my hair is in a very awkward stage right now and yet you still love me, which is a beautiful thing.
4. I believe our love is strong enough to overcome your strange taste in art.
5. I believe that art will end up in our bathroom.
6. I believe that Oliver might be just a little jealous of you.
7. I believe it's only accidental when you find his enormous ass on your face at 4am.
8. I believe if you feed him everyday though this all can be overcome quite quickly.
9. I believe you make me laugh harder then anyone I know.
10. I'm sorry that happens when we are fighting sometimes, it's just funny...I dunno why.
11. I believe in FRIENDSTER
12. I believe you are the kindest guy I've ever met and I'm lucky to have you in my life.
13. I believe those green pants you have are kinda short and I've noticed since I told you that you never wear them.
14. I believe you are just as silly as me.
15. I believe brunch never tasted so good until I met you.
16. I believe I love you more then cheese, sweet potato fries and steak with béarnaise sauce, which personally is saying a lot.
17. I believe you are very popular in my family.
18. I believe with TIVO our relationship can only grow stronger.
19. I believe we found the most kick-ass apt ever and I can't wait to move in!
20. Most of all, I believe I love you more then I've ever loved anyone.

Happy Valentine's Day Sweetie

Friday, February 11, 2005

Art Imitating Life.

First let me point of that this is beautiful.

I have been researching a lot of websites lately for a project I'm working on.
Here are few more I recommend checking out if you're bored.

This guy is just insanely talented and he's just 23 years old.
I really like this website's fonts
Another site I'm really into.
And lastly a place to tell your secrets.

I think what I enjoy about all of them is they all have this element of the surreal. They aren't just websites but these little interactive worlds you can't help but get lost in. It's an art piece that is always changing.

Complex.
Beautiful.
Absurd.

Which is really what life is, right?

Tonight Matt and I are going to celebrate. The Apartment people called back and we have been accepted. I'm almost still in shock over the whole thing. I can't believe we are going to be living in such a beautiful apartment. I'm already ripping out decorating ideas from magazines. What can I say? I'm a girl. I love this shit.

Saturday I might have to stop into work for a bit and then Matt and I are going to check out this. Which seems very appropriate after this last week. I'll probably give my sister and Bill a call while we are in Central Park. Hanging out with both of them honestly makes me laugh so freakin' hard sometimes. It's just fun and I'm grateful they are here in NYC for a few more months at least.

There's so much going on lately it's been such a whirlwind but a good one so far.

This is short and sweet today.

Have a good weekend.

.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Cha cha cha changes

For as long as I can remember. I have hated change. Even when I knew it represented something far better then the present. I can pretty much pinpoint in my mind every major turning point in my life.

1980. It's raining. I'm sitting in a Buick station wagon. I'm 5. I'm holding a clear plastic baggie filled with water housing a small goldfish. I am moving away and leaving my best friend in the whole world, Leslie. (Later Leslie would name her guinea pig Sandy, as a tribute to our friendship... *so beautiful, I know.* ) I was sure life as I knew it was over. Or so I thought.

We stayed in CT for 2 years, it wasn't that bad.

1993. It's summer. I'm using a pay phone in the lobby of a large towering dorm over looking Commonwealth Ave. It's Freshman Summer Orientation and I have decided after giving it some careful consideration that I actually don't want to go to BU anymore. It doesn't have any trees.

ME: "Hi"
MOM: " How is everything going?"
ME: "Um...okay...I guess."
MOM: "Are you having fun?"
ME: "Um, not really. Did Adam call?"
MOM: " No. Is everything okay?"
ME" Mom there aren't any trees. I don't think I want to go here anymore."
MOM: " *Insert mocking laugh* Well you're going because your father and I have already paid for your first semester Sandy."
ME: " But mom...there are like...NO trees. None. I've looked. And well... I really don't think I can go somewhere that doesn't have trees."
MOM: "Sandy."
ME: "Mom."
MOM: "Sandy."
ME: "No trees mom."
MOM: "You're going."

And I did and it was great. In fact I loved college so much it brings me to my next major change.

Leaving college.

Then...living on my own and first 'real' jobs.

Finally after 2 years in Boston it was moving to New York and then a year later living on my own in NY, without roommates for the first time ever.

1999. Late summer. I'm in a U-haul truck. Myself, my mom and dad are sitting in a very cramped front seat with a very large, very fluffy, very orange,VERY FAT and very drugged out cat named Oliver. Oliver is sitting on my lap like a person. (He does that a lot with or without drugs) The truck is winding through Brooklyn traffic. I feel hot and nauseous. I'm worried about Oliver; he's not looking so good. If a cat could actually look retarded, Oliver looks retarded. My mom however, looks terrified as we turn off the BQE towards my new humble abode in hipsterville.

ME: "Mom Oliver's drooling, do you think he's okay he looks wasted."
MOM: "What did the vet say?"
ME: "That it's a mild tranquilizer and he'll be groggy."
MOM: " Then he's probably ok. We'll give him some water when we get in. So this is your neighborhood?"
ME: "Yup."
MOM: "huh." (“Huh." for my mom means..." And you've lost your mind right?")
ME: "Mom it's safe."
MOM: " Well with so many bars on the windows it must be. *insert nervous sarcastic laugh*
ME: "Mom this is actually, like a really really coveted location."
DAD: "Susan your daughter is a hippie, you need to deal with it."
ME:" What??? Dad I'm definitely NOT a hippie. And I like this neighborhood"
MOM: "huh."


Charity met me 10 minutes after pulling up to the apartment. I remember that first night we just hung out for hours setting up my apt and talking. I was so happy she was there. But when she left to go home, I felt so alone and the full weight of living alone descended on me. After a while I crawled into bed, turned off the main light and settled in slowly, allowing my eyes to adjust to the darkness. My bed was pushed up against an open window and I could feel a cool summer breeze. I started to drift off... when something woke me.

" Guuuuurrrrrrrllll. I could have licked the bitch up and down! She was FINE!"

I jumped up. Who the hell was in my room?!!! Oh god I knew it, this living alone thing was bad bad bad idea. Now I'm going to die...alone...in a studio...in Brooklyn. Worse yet it will probably be in the NY POST. So I would not only die, but also die a horribly tacky-play-on-words-death. Oh. God.

But I didn't die. Instead I learned to shut my windows when I needed to sleep and open them when I needed to know I wasn't really alone. Even if it was to listen to two lesbians talk about licking someone. It's been an amazing 5 years in that apt. I'll miss it.

And so it looks like another change. I’m moving in with Matt in a little over a month.

Scared? Sure.

Excited? Totally.


Monday, February 07, 2005

What's this about?

While suffering through the stomach flu from hell on Friday I had some time to think about what this blog would most likely be about. Okay I didn't really ponder it too deeply, I watched One Life to Live, Montel and some make-over show on TBS in between puking my guts out but in those quiet moments when I wasn't puking, I sorta figured out what I could see happening with this thing. Thursday night I was talking with a friend of mine about creating a cookbook for people with ADD in which every recipe would be like 3-4 ingredients or the directions could all be in pictures and maybe even a few of the recipes would go off on long tangents with lots of stories and recipes that branch off and include a lot of pointless details. In other words, kinda like having a conversation with me.

Cheese Omelets

Take 2 eggs and whisk together with sour cream, pour into buttered non-stick frying pan -- Whisk...that's kinda cool word. It's totally one of those words that sound like it's spelled. What do they call that again? Oh right, ... yeah....on·o·mat·o·poe·ia Hmm... I wonder if saunter falls in to that category too? I love the word saunter. Saunter always implies that I'm doing some Fred Astaire dance down the road whenever I use it. "Upon hearing the building was about to explode, Sandy, grabbed her cat, yanked the door open and sauntered down the stairs." Fuck...fucking shit burnt the freakin' eggs again! $#@$%^*&%!!!

Take 2 more eggs and whisk...


So until the book comes out most likely I can see this blog having a lot of the everyday as seen from my perspective along with some simple recipes and long tangents that don't really have any real point.

Nice.

Aside from the stomach flu from hell, this weekend was pretty cool. Saturday, Matt and I started our apt search. We saw a few places in Carroll Gardens Brooklyn but nothing that really impressed us. Then we decided to check out this new Luxury building that is still being completed near Brooklyn Heights, just for fun. He had heard from a co-worker the apartments were "sick!" so we figured it would be fun to have a look even if we couldn't remotely afford them. After signing some waiver that stated if they accidentally dropped a large chunk of cement on our heads we wouldn't sue, we were escorted into the building. OMG it was SICK. We saw 2 sample apts, one was a two bedroom the other a one bedroom. Each had a chef's kitchen something I thought was an urban myth in New York. Both were really huge. Suffice to say we fell in love and to our total shock found out it was actually in our price range.

Basically they want everything but our first child so I'm not holding out too much hope we'll get it but we're putting our applications in tomorrow and my fingers are crossed.

Sunday we went to my friend's Superbowl party. Her invite was priceless...

In honor of my favorite fuckin sporting event of the year, duh that would be the superbowl and not curling, (Americans are the champs at it btw) please come watch the game and drink at our place this Sunday. I have no idea who's playing, what channel it's on, or when the damn thing starts so please arrive at your convenience as you do anyhow. All I know is we have a massive TV and should fulfill our duty to host such events. Anyone donning a helmet will win a door prize or whatever is behind door number #3.

~Cheers



Instead of buffalo chicken wings I decided to make Buffalo Chicken wraps.

Sandy's Superbowl, because wings are messy, Buffalo Chicken Wraps

1. Take Chicken strips season with cayenne pepper and salt. Dunk strips into egg and flour twice (use whole wheat flour, you can't tell the difference from the regular kind and they'll come out crispier)

2.Fry in pan with lots of oil (make sure the oil is hot, when it begins to smoke a little it should be perfect, if it starts to smoke a lot you have a problem.) Cook on each side for about 5 mins.

3.Drain on a paper towel if you care about that sort of stuff.

4.In a bowl pour about a half the bottle of Buffalo sauce.
You can make it if you want to but screw that I just buy it.

5.Take cooled fried chicken strips and dunk into sauce then place onto a cookie sheet. Cook for 10-15 minutes in 375˚oven.

6.While they are cooking, shred some iceberg lettuce and warm up some flour tortillas.To make wrap, just stick 2 pieces of chicken, blue cheese dressing and lettuce into the wrap and enjoy something that tastes so good you'd swear it was 3am, you're wasted and in a fast food restaurant.

Yum.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Looking Forward

2 things I am excited about are this and this



Yeah... there....I admit it. I love that show. I love America's Next Top Model! I do. I am quite certain that show was put on this earth for me to consume large amounts of alcohol with my friends while making bets on who will be kicked off and simultaneously shoving homemade guacamole into my mouth (recipe to follow in a later post) in-between smoking ciggies and some serious gossip. Which is why March 2 I will be ready America's Next Top Model Oh yes...I will be ready.


Okay this post has to be short one because I'm meeting a friend of mine for happy hour drinks. Matt just called me too and I'm not exactly sure what happened at work but apparently it wasn't very good and I think his head exploded. All I know is he just puked all this stuff about work on me and being ADD I heard and understood about 43% of it. Mostly it was a lot of..."Oh My God!"...and "What the fuck?" and "You know?" Which of course I said I did know...but I don't. So I need to go have drink and find out.

Good night :)

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Holy Fucking Shit

Last night I had a marathon conversation with my friend Julie that involved an entire bottle of wine and a pack of cigarettes.(at least on my end of the phone) It was such a fantastic conversation though that I found myself actually not wanting to get off the phone at all. I realized it was my second marathon phone conversation in less than a week. Which is sorta a major deal for me in a way actually, as I'm not what you'd call a "phone-person"

I never used to hate the phone till somewhat recently. I'm not really sure what happened to be honest. But some time in the last couple of years I started to develop a general aversion to the phone, which most recently developed into complete contempt for it.

Matt has noticed my problem with the phone and teases me over it by doing impressions of me when my phone rings that generally involve a high-pitched voice that sounds nothing like mine (Matt.) and a lot of overly dramatic sighs and eye rolling. (Okay yes...maybe I do that...sometimes.) Even a few friends have witnessed my phone tantrums and I guess rightly so, have become a little phone-insecure over it. Sometimes asking me if I do that when they call. The answer obviously is...of course not.

(Okay I might, but usually it's because I don't even know it's you calling me yet you see? And I just react, I just I dunno react... but you see once I know it's you, I'm really glad and you're probably just getting my voicemail because I'm in the subway...or...um...away from my desk... or my phone is off or I just missed you, or you've called me like 4 times in less then 5 hours and that's just fucking freaky. Are we good?)


But last night was great and I was happy to continue my conversation with Julie for hours. (Hi Julie!) After my phone and hers were ready to die we finally hung up and I started making myself a late dinner. What I made can only be described as a Brooklyn miracle, I'm calling it Holy Fucking Shit This Is The BEST Chicken Ever! It was so good I feel the need to share this masterpiece. Now I've heard that in some parts of the world people call this Chicken Milanese. Shhhhyeah. What the fuck is that about? Jealous?

So I bring you...

Sandy's Holy Fucking Shit This Is The BEST Chicken Ever! recipe:

Ingredients as follows:

Boneless chicken breasts
Chicken stock
White wine (whatever is left after you drank most of it, any cheap dry kind will do)
Shallots
Butter
Garlic
Mushrooms
Fresh parsley
Italian seasonings
Egg
Flour

Dip the chicken pieces into the egg and then into the flour, do this twice for extra crispy fried goodness. Take a moment, to marvel. Just, marvel.

Fry chicken in a pan with a ridiculous amount of oil. Roughly 2 mins on each side. Take chicken out and drain onto a paper towel.

In a new pan, melt butter; add chopped shallots, garlic and mushrooms and spices until softened. Add a few tablespoons of flour to thicken into a rue. Then slowly add chicken stock and wine.

Stir until it gradually thickens, then add chicken back into the pan with sauce until completely cooked through, like 5-10 mins. At this point you might realize, that in your moment of complete self-adoration over creating something so fucking beautiful, you totally spaced on starting the spaghetti...so start the spaghetti, preferably start the spaghetti some time around 10 fucking minutes ago.

Okay the spaghetti is nearly done, just a tad undercooked that's good, you wanna drain that and then throw that into the pan with the Holy Fucking Shit This Is The BEST Chicken Ever!

Let it sop...seep, sop whatever the hell that word is, the entire flavor up for about 1 minute or 2 off the heat. And Voila!




Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Cookie Dough

So I have come to the sad conclusion that I can’t bake cookies to save myself. I suck. I can't do it. Baking takes precision. Baking is following directions. Baking is measuring things. And let's be honest here, measuring is not one of my strengths and neither is following directions now that you mention it.

I once read this article that said the world could be divided up into 2 types of people. People who read the instructions and people who don't. I my friend, don't. In fact I am reasonably sure that every board game I have ever owned I probably played some bastard form of it.

So what was supposed to be Chocolate Chip cookies came out more as, round flattened soupy discs with melty chocolate bits. I wouldn't feel bad except I had this cookie shit mastered in Elementary school. I had the Toll House Chocolate Chip cookie recipe on the back of the chocolate chips bag burned into my brain by the age of 5. What has happened to me?

The invention of the instant cookie dough log is what happened people. Why bother making cookie dough from scratch when you could just unpeel a log of the stuff and eat it like a banana while watching bad reality TV? Then if you REALLY got bored you could cook it, just to you know, to switch things up a bit. (ha, ha yeah riiiiight like I’d do that) But I digress; I attribute the cookie log to my 'Flowers for Algernon' rapid loss of cookie baking ability.

So I was forced to watch The Bachelorette sans cookie or dough. Why am I watching this show anyway? It's really not that exciting, not like America's Next Top Model. Which was informative. Oh yes... that show made me understand that...hey modeling is hard and stuff. Models have to do a lot of things like, travel and look good like all the time. That even if you’re 5’ 10” and 100 pounds you’re still fat. And how being young, beautiful and in some cases non-photogenic is really freakin' hard. What has the The Bachelorette taught me? That French men are gay? I already knew that.

So I dunno, Bachelorette, I just don't know if I can justify watching you again. Maybe because I don't have cable and it's a Monday night I might end up watching you again, but I will at least be armed with a log of cookie dough this time.
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