Things I Loved / Hated This Week #38

LOVE:

Pesto:

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I have a shocking confession to make to you. I’ve never made basil pesto. Well may you gasp! I made pesto out of arugula last year and it was pretty phenomenal. I never got around to that this year, which I sincerely regret. I had every intention of making veritable pools of basil pesto this summer, but my basil plants were lame. I don’t know what their issue was, but the stalks were short and spindly and the leaves were small. Tasted alright, but there wasn’t enough at one time to do anything with other than garnish soup or flavor caprese salads. Oh, caprese salads…one of my favorite things. I need to make another one before the tomato season is over. Back to pesto. I love it. I want it on everything. I want to pour pesto over fresh pasta and dollop it into soup and spread it over a pizza and dip bread into it and put it in sandwiches and swim in it. I love pesto, guys.

Caps Lock:

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I used to have a real issue when people WROTE OUT SENTENCES LIKE THIS. I don’t know why, but I’ve had a serious change of heart. I live for the Caps Lock key these days. I find that it’s a great way to show emphasis. Much more so than bold or italics. They both have their purposes, still. Italics is subtle, bold is bold, but a capitalized word is the veritable Everest of loud declarations. People read it as a SCREAM! I love to use it in my blog posts especially, and I find that I perhaps use it too often, but I’m not going to stop.

Hummingbird Bugs:

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I’m outside all the time when it’s warm. Once winter comes around, I’m crying inside, of course, but when the sun is out and loading me up with vitamin D, I’m happy. Nobody else seems to be, I go for long walks almost every day — anywhere from four to eight miles — and in all that time, I rarely, if ever, see another living person! Where did they all go? Do they all really sit inside on their couches all day? I couldn’t bear it! That’s what the winter is for. When I’m outside, I get to see lots of interesting things: a potential alien, gorgeous weeds, abandoned cemeteries, walking alongside deer, running alongside horses, and once in a while, if I’m quite lucky, I see a hummingbird bug. Nobody seems to have heard of these gorgeous insects and I have a mild obsession with them. I saw one for the first time years ago in the Ozarks with my grandparents and I thought it was just the most marvelous thing in the world. I looked up its range of habitation and saw that it didn’t extend to Iowa, but something must have changed because I’ve seen them twice. It’s rather rare, I guess, they must not be common. I saw one on Monday night and was delighted by it. I hope they become better established because I want to catch one and pin it.

Oeufs en Cocotte:

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I don’t know why, but one afternoon, this phrase just popped up in my mind. This happens all the time, but saying oeufs en cocotte is loads of fun, so I looked up a recipe and made it and passed out. Good god! Basically this is a baked egg dish with some kind of savory delight beneath the eggs. The variations are endless. My favorite creation so far: roasted tomatoes, ricotta, pesto, and cream. I died. I literally passed out and died. It’s a miracle they were able to revive me. I want to eat this dish for every meal of my life. I’m obsessed. I need to make so many more versions. I want a cheese version! I want a spinach version. I want artichokes! I want all the eggs! Make yourself some tonight. So simple and so delicious and people will love you — or your taste buds will love you.

Wine Grape-Dark Chocolate Macarons:

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I enjoy wine, I won’t deny that, but I’ll always take a cocktail *giggle* over wine. The only time I tend to drink wine is on international air travel. I don’t know how much red wine I’ve consumed over the Atlantic Ocean. Years ago, I can’t recall the exact time…I was probably eighteen or nineteen…I established a small vineyard on my farm. Though it never produces many grapes, it is my favorite spot outside. It’s secluded from everything and surrounded by waving grasses. I have a nice chaise lounge out there with a palm tree print fabric that recalls fancy hotels where I get my tan on. I tend to sit out there for an hour each day, and so I’m quite conscious of the developing grapes. This year, to my surprise, several of the vines were laden with fruit. I might even have enough for a bottle or two! Not much, but it would serve the original purpose of the vineyard. Sadly, the birds got to the grapes. Where there had been buckets of grapes, there were now a few handfuls. Depressed, but determined to make them into something, I turned them into jam. I’d never made jam before. Though terrified by the amount of sugar in it, I couldn’t help having a delightful time and found the flavor unique and delicious. I don’t eat jam normally, the only time it’s of any use to me is when it’s put into a macaron. So, that’s what I did. At first the flavor combination of grape and chocolate seemed a bit repulsive, but my curiosity got the best of me, and I whipped up a batch, admired how nice they looked, and stuck them in the refrigerator to maturate. The next morning, I sat one out to come to room temperature, took a bite, and had an orgasm. Seriously. The grape flavor is very subtle and somehow manages to transform the chocolate into something totally new. I can’t exactly describe the flavor, but I’m terribly impressed. I’m also depressed that I can only make this jam once a year!

HATE:

People Judging My Queens GAGA & MILEY:

Okay, I admit, even I was wondering what Miley was doing last night on the VMAs. For some reason, she was “masturbating” with a foam finger, grinding on Robin Thicke, twerking all over the stage, sticking her tongue out, popping gum bubbles, and causing general confusion in her wake. She can’t be tamed, guys, what else would we expect from our Miley? People were so mean to her on the Internet, which was rather rude. Sure, they raised valid points, but I don’t believe in limiting artistic expression, no matter how seeming ridiculous it is. On the other hand, anybody who criticized my Gaga is dead to me.

Her performance was absolutely stunning! She had four costume changes within one song — that’s not including the wig changes! She sang exquisitely and her dancing was fine. I was enthralled and seriously considered wearing a cardboard box as an avant-garde hat to work today. I didn’t, but that’s simply because I didn’t have time to make one. Critics don’t seem to understand the song. It’s not a metaphor for anything, Gaga lives for the applause. Applause comes when a spectator is appreciative or enthused by a performance. So Gaga lives to entertain us and is expressing that in a 1960s circus-esque way, which makes perfect sense to me. It was divine and her costume changes were representative of her already historic career. I rose to my feet and applauded at home. BRAVA, GAGA! Critics are fools.

Fruit Flies:

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I was going to research where fruit flies come from, because it seriously confuses me, but then I decided not to as the answer would surely disturb me. Where do they come from, though? How is it that my lovely garden tomatoes and fresh peaches have a swarm of little flies over them? It’s grossing me out and I can’t get rid of them. There’s like a colony that now lives in four square inches of my kitchen. They make me ill. I can’t eat the peaches now, because I imagine I’d be eating fly poop and the tomatoes are much the same. Thankfully, I peel those before I turn them into soup or whatever, so I’m less bothered. Not really. Still awfully bothered. I just recalled this post on Facebook where people were making fly traps. I wonder if this will work? I need to do something since they’re driving me out of my mind!

Earlier Sunset:

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It’s still a hundred degrees every day, but it’s becoming evident that summer is drawing to a finale. I hate that it has to be this way. Why can’t we just have an endless summer of tanning and relaxation and gardening and leisurely picnics and late nights and naps and swimming? It isn’t fair that I have to suffer through another endless winter, but that’s still months from now. Sunset is changing, though, and coming earlier each evening which is awfully inconvenient. I don’t have enough time each day to garden and walk and tan. It’s a tragedy, I have to pick one or two tasks each day instead of everything I need to do. It gets dark around eight now and I can’t bear it. One of my fondest memories from my first trip to Paris was the endless evenings. It was twilight until past ten and I can’t think of anything more marvelous. Maybe I’ll work on illuminating my massive lawn somehow so that it never has to be dark.

Evening Energy:

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I can’t understand why it happens, and I’m sure it’s some kind of biological reaction, but I can’t be bothered to do anything when the sun is up. As soon as the sun sets, though, and evening descends, I’m wide awake and ready to begin my day. I wish it weren’t this way. I’d like to be one of those people that eagerly gets out of bed in the morning and goes for a run, heads to work with a grin, and then gets things done at home before heading to bed at ten. Not me. I sleep in as long as possible, I barely manage to take a shower, I miraculously stay conscious through work, I go for a nap when I get home, and then am ready to start doing things, even though it only gives me a few hours before I force myself back into bed. It’s awful living in a daytime society. Why can’t it be like Hong Kong where the city never stops? I’d be so happy! I’ve always been this way, but it’s worse than ever and I would love to change it, but I don’t know how. Last night I started making macarons at eleven and pulled bread out of the oven at one o’clock in the morning. I’m far from awake right now.

No Tab Key in Pages for iPad:

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The only thing I love more than my iPad is kittens. I can’t get enough kittens. Back to the iPad, though. I use it all the time, I almost use it more than my MacBook, which is a bit ridiculous seeing how much I paid for that gorgeous and wonderful machine. I’m not ready to transition to an iPad-only-world, yet, for a few reasons. The major reason is that there is NO EFFING TAB KEY on the iPad keyboard and in the Pages app (my word processor of choice), you have to go through an annoying menu to insert a tab. This is unreasonable. When you are creating something, you don’t want to be pulled out of whatever thought process you’re in to format the page, you just want the content to pour out of you before the fount dries up. Each day, I type out at least two pages of manuscript for my next novel and it drives me out of my mind when I go to type. Don’t get me wrong, I love typing on my iPad. I can speed type on it. I can type almost as well with it as I can my MacBook, but this tab fiasco is driving me insane. It must change. Though I worship at the church of Steve Jobs and admire almost every design decision he’s ever given us, this tab nonsense doesn’t seem like him and needs to be fixed. Is there a letter I can write, a petition I can add my name to, or a person I can complain to? I need this to change. When the tab key joins the iPad keyboard, I’ll pass out. That day can’t come soon enough.

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