Things I Loved/Hated This Week #32

LOVE:

Coke Points:

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I don’t drink soda pop and would never consider doing so. Gross. The only carbonated beverages that come near my lips are: champagne, gin and tonic, and the occasional mandarin Jarrito. Ever tried a Jarrito? Magnificent with a pupusa. Anyway, though I’m loathe to drink anything remotely like a Coke, I am beyond obsessed with their Coke Rewards program. You sign up and type in the codes that are on the bottom of soda lids. They add up quickly and then all of a sudden you’ve got a free magazine. The magazines are truly ridiculously priced — they’re giving them away. You can also get dumb things like a Coke branded cup or towel or nonsense like that, but they’re way overpriced. Unreasonable and not worth it. So, I get magazines by the barrel. I collect the caps from discarded bottles, put them on the site, and then enjoy my monthly issue of W or Veranda or Town & Country. Cultured and all for free. Winning!

Gâteau Le Week-End:

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This traditional lemon pound cake is my new obsession. I want to eat it all the time. I wish I had a piece in front of me right now. If there were, I’d be gorging on it. I’d be so fat that I’d make Mama June look like a supermodel. No disrespect meant to my beloved Mama June — I want her to be my mother, too, but things didn’t work out that way. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo returns in July and I am counting down the days! So excited for my favorite reality family to share their lives with me again. Anyway, week-end cake is a French cake that we made at Le Cordon Bleu and back then I was not nearly so appreciative of new things and thought that a lemon cake was somehow exotic. It’s not of course, but in those days when I ate nothing but chicken, potatoes, popcorn, and chocolate, lemons were absolutely foreign. Now, they are my favorite flavor in pastries. Obsessed. I make it all the time now and could easily manage to down an entire pan and I have and will happily do so again. I need to go pick up some more lemons so that I can bake another.

Beyoncé’s Grown Woman:

[All the good copies have been removed from the Internet for some reason. How dare they deny us our Bey?]

I don’t even know where to begin with this one. How many ways can a person describe how much they adore something before being looked at like they’re crazy? I’m well beyond that point. I don’t even care. I’m…crazy in love, you could say. I’ve got my love for “Grown Woman” on top, you could say. Somebody will get it. Yesterday, when I first heard that Beyoncé’s song “Grown Woman” had leaked, I wept because I was at work and wouldn’t have to opportunity to listen to it until lunch — four hours later! Do you know the extreme pain and mental anguish I went through? Can you even begin to empathize with my sufferings? You can’t. You don’t know. You don’t understand. Finally, my woe came to a close and I had a chance to listen and dance at my desk while chomping away at my brown rice. It was just as amazing as I knew it would be. The clip from her Paris concert was inspired, but it was nothing in comparison to the actual track — which in all honesty might not be the final version and probably isn’t, but I don’t care. I have since listened to the song way more than you. I’ve listened to it considerably more than most people in the Western Hemisphere. You’re jealous and I know you are and I won’t listen to any of you who claim you aren’t because you’re liars! It’s everything. Tribal drums, infections beat, empowering lyrics, and Beyoncé saying ‘bitch.’ I want nothing more. Listen and rejoice, reader.

Flickr Terabyte:

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Ever since I bought and fell madly in love with my new computer, I’ve been worried about my old picture collection. My files are way too extensive and large to house on the new computer, which frustrates me, and I haven’t been able to find a solution to satisfy me. I had hoped that there would be a flash drive large enough to store my library, but that didn’t prove to exist, yet. Well, there was one available but it was excessively expensive and since I’d already spent ridiculous sums of money on the computer, I  decided to just let them live on my backup disk and hope for the best, but was never really content with this. I was delighted to discover that Flickr started offering a terabyte of data for its users to store their pictures on. A terabyte! That’s a ridiculous amount of space for free. I don’t understand the economics of it, but I’m taking advantage of this option. This is going to be great in the future because I can keep whatever photos I want private and still have access to them from anywhere in the world. I was thinking of my descendants, should I have any, and was happy that they will have decades of images to think back on me fondly with. I love looking through boxes of old pictures and I can only  assume that future generations will feel much the same way. I takes forever to upload the pictures — I’ll surely be doing it for weeks — but this is a solution that I am very happy with.

Tabbouleh: 

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Turn on your Oprah voice and read the following: “I LOVE TAAAAAAAAAABBBBBBBBBBOOOOOOOOOOOULEHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” Fun, wasn’t it? My history with tabbouleh is long and twisting. Not really. I thought it was, but thinking back…I haven’t got much of a history at all with tabbouleh. When I went to France for the first time, they served us a carton of this salad while somewhere over the Atlantic. It was disgusting and was truly one of the worst things I have ever eaten. Absolutely vile. When in Paris, I was alarmed by how many tubs of tabbouleh I saw for sale in the Shopis and Monoprix. Thoroughly appalled, I put tabbouleh from my mind. Cut to years later when I was on the safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (you’ve got to go) and opened up my luncheon tin to find a bowl of tabbouleh. I was horrified! But, since becoming a vegetarian, my palate has broadened exponentially and I was willing to give it a go. It was, dare I say, heavenly? I never thought it could be so good! Ever since that day, my obsession has burnt passionately. So, yesterday, I made a bowl and it was probably the best I’ve had yet. Mine isn’t traditional. I don’t use mint, because I can never find it until summer, and I don’t use cucumber because cucumbers are vile. Does anybody actually like cucumber? I don’t think so. I add feta because its briny taste is perfection in the salad and I toss in a can of chickpeas because they’re amazing. Chickpeas are creamy and dense and heaven. Use this recipe. Serve with some oven-roasted tofu. Gorge. Thank me.

1 1/2 cups water, boiling

1 cup bulgar wheat, any size

1/2  lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 cup minced scallions

3 1/2 cup chopped parsley

2 cups halved cherry tomatoes

1 can chickpeas

1/2 cup feta or more

Greek seasonings to taste such as Cavender’s (optional)

In a bowl, pour boiling water over the bulgar wheat. Add half of the  lemon juice (1/4 cup), olive oil, and half of the salt (about 3/4 of a teaspoon). Stir. Cover and let sit at room temperature for an 1 hour, or until soft.

Add scallions, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, remaining salt, pepper, chickpeas, and feta in another large bowl. Add rest of the lemon juice. Stir and cover with plastic wrap to chill until bulgar is ready.

Once bulgar is softened (there shouldn’t be any liquid left at the bottom), add it to the bowl with parsley and tomatoes. Gently stir together. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. If desired, add Greek seasoning and gorge. I like to serve it with tofu!

HATE:

Eurovision Results:

These all could have won. They did not.

You all read my Eurovision blog, I’m sure. Good, wasn’t it? I thought so. Now that it’s been a few days since the show and I’ve repeatedly listened to the album, I’m deeply upset with Denmark’s triumph. Their song was boring and only mediocre. It was better than a lot of the entires, mind you, but it was not the greatest. Romania should have won or Norway or Finland or even Sweden. That song from the Netherlands about birds falling from the sky was better than Denmark’s song. Ugh, the more I think about it the more lackluster the Danish entry has become. Why did Europe not vote for the operatic vampire, or the punk-pop lesbians or the bird-morning Anouk? I’m so bothered. Every year the best entry loses, that’s a fact of the matter. In 2011, Ireland was robbed. In 2012 Turkey’s deserved victory was taken away by Sweden’s pretty good song. It was nowhere near as good as that crazy sailor, though:

Seriously. I am OBSESSED with this song in the worst way.

Eurovision participants need to embrace the crazy again. The madness. The crap. That’s what makes Eurovision so amazing and so worth watching. It’s high camp and I adore it. VIVE ROMANIA!

Never Learning the “Single Ladies” Dance:

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I’ve never been a dancer, we all know this. But as one of Beyoncé’s closest, dearest, and oldest friends, that’s a real shame. The dance of our generation is easily the “Single Ladies” routine and it’s a crime that I never did learn it. It is my goal this week to correct this wrong. I may not do well, but I will try because I need to find something new for exercise and because I want to someday do the routine with Bey and Blue. I’m sure she’ll know it by the time she’s three. I’d be disappointed if she didn’t. She can probably already walk in heels. She is going to be the fiercest child of all time! Willow Smith is probably already developing a complex at the knowledge of her existence. Anyway, I’m not so sure I’ll be able to master the dance, but I’m going to give it a go. I’ll certainly let you know about the results which are sure to be borderline tragic.

Constant Storms: 

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Oh sweet Krishna, I am sick to death of the ever-constant and lingering storms. It had been so beautiful and hot and wondrous. But now, the spring storms have begun and the ground is constantly wet and squishy and rain won’t stop falling from above. I can’t go tan. I can’t weed the garden. I can’t plant my beets. I can’t go for a walk. I can’t dine al fresco. Life is cruel. It seems that every night another tornado touches down or something bothersome occurs and the rain pours through the one window that inexplicably leaks. Nothing fixes it. It’s bizarre. So when the rains start coming, you have to put bowls in particular places and towels all around. Then, I get super stressed out because my really expensive, really professional oven is sitting next to the windows waiting to be installed. I don’t need to have it get filled up with water. Go home rain, you’re drunk. (What is that from? I hear it all the time. I probably already know.) I’ve got things to do.

Failing at New Sleeping Patterns:

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Every few months or so I will decide to try out a new sleeping pattern and inevitably fail. I don’t like sleeping. I oftentimes can’t, so I seek out alternatives. I don’t have time to sleep for eight hours a day, so I’m lucky if I get five or six. It’s not all that dreadful, but I read about people who sleep for three and nap throughout the day and have loads of energy. That sounds delightful. Another one is where you take twenty-minute long naps evenly spaced  throughout the day and have more energy than most. I don’t think I could manage that one with work and my general laziness, but I might. I dunno. I tried the one where you sleep for three hours, but when I woke up, I said, “screw it,” and promptly went back to bed. I keep meaning to do this and I want to, but it’s just not happening. I hate that. Maybe this summer I can get into it.

Lack Of Wall Space For My Collections:

736652_4202741595058_555795374_o[One of my many massive mirrors waiting for wall space. This one was a gift. I adore it.]

This is a first world problem if ever there was one, but I live in the first world and this is a big problem. In my decently sized home there is not nearly enough room for my vast collection of antique mirrors and framed pieces. I have taken to leaning things against the wall just so that they can still be put on display! My ancestral home was designed by idiots, I’m thoroughly convinced of that, who had no aesthetic sensibilities at all. The lower level is fine, if rather boxy, but the upstairs is where my extreme angst begins. All the walls are sloped. There is but one wall that is not marred by this idiotic design decision. Why did they not make the roof five feet taller and have beautiful straight walls upstairs? This has baffled me for decades. Decades! One or two is charming, but when a good quarter of your living space is an angled wall, I take issue. You can’t put anything on them, and so it has been a great design challenge for me to decorate with them. I think I have been fairly successful, but I’d rather not work so hard to make everything look elegant. I dream daily of having the house lifted up a bit so that we can straighten the walls and make the attic a livable space. It would be amazing to have an office up there with a big stained glass window. Dreams. So, until that happy day or until I finally have a home of my own — I should get around to that, but I have been foiled at every attempt as you read last week — I will just continue to stockpile my pictures and my mirrors and all my decorative things that would look so much better hung up. Le sigh…

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