Things I Loved / Hated This Week #39


Oven Roasted Tomatoes:


Roasted tomatoes are a religious experience. Somehow, a few hours in a low oven brings out amazing flavor in those vegetable-like fruits. I don’t know if this works as well with store bought tomatoes, I don’t know if anything can save them. Read Tomatoland if you want to know the entire history of the tomato plant and industry. Might sound dull, but it’s rather fascinating. So much that I never knew! I’ll only buy a tomato in the shop now if I’m desperate. But, at the moment, I have a happy over abundance of fresh garden tomatoes that are bursting with flavor. It’s amazing to eat a garden tomato after being programmed to eat the crap you’re served in restaurants. They don’t taste of anything at all! I have too many tomatoes, though, so desperate to find some use for them, I made vats of soup. Inexplicably fatigued of soup, I found a reference to roasted tomatoes and decided to try it. I thickly sliced a days’s picking and covered them with olive oil, fleur de sel, fresh pepper, and the last of the thyme I’ve been growing. They went into a 250 degree oven for three hours. When I pulled them out, they were shrunken, shriveled, slightly caramelized, and AMAZING. The flavor was deep and rich and unreasonably good. I could eat them just like that! They were like sun-dried tomatoes, only slightly more hydrated. I’ve been putting them in everything. They make an amazing sandwich. I’ve done it so many times this summer that I’ve lost count. Roast your tomatoes.

Having Written A Book:


My novel, Terrible Miss Margo, has not been published, yet, but I believe it’s only a matter of time and perseverance. Getting a book in print is no easy task. Writing the book is actually the easy part. I have been rather overwhelmed with the job of querying and editing and formatting. So much so that I’ve for some time forgotten the joy of actually crafting a story. I’m just getting started with my next book and have loved getting into it again. And even though it will surely be years before I walk into a Barnes & Noble and lovingly caress my printed novel, I still feel a ridiculous amount of pride at the fact that I have written a book that I love. It was incredibly laborious and took ridiculous amounts of time, but it’s done. I’m sure that my future agent, editor, and publisher will want me to change things, but I wouldn’t be ashamed to let somebody read my manuscript as it is. Have you written a novel?

My Tattoo:

2013-09-07 10.17.54

I never thought I would be the kind of person to have a tattoo. I do, though, and I love it.  I like catching a glimpse of it every day and thinking about just what a delightfully rebellious person I am. Not really that rebellious, but I like to think so. I know I will get a few more tattoos eventually. I want a silhouette portrait of Joan Crawford on my upper bicep because she’s a classy bitch like me. I want three small 3D pyramids somewhere on my right wrist after I finally get to Egypt and make it out alive. Lastly, for the moment, I want something to do with Paris on me. I haven’t chosen what that will be, yet. Eiffel Towers are so passé, you know? Anyway, I love tattoos. I love people with tattoos. They’re such a friendly lot of people. Get a tattoo.

Tootsie Rolls:


I rarely, if ever, eat candy. I’ll eat chocolate and pastries until the cows come home, until the moon turns pink. MANDATORY JUDY INTERLUDE:

But candy, not so much. It doesn’t interest me. Smarties do, actually, I’m crazy about those wonderfully sour, sugary disks. But, anything else, no thank you! Imagine my alarm, then, when desperate for a nibble, I enjoyed a Tootsie Roll. I was aghast. I couldn’t understand. I still don’t. They’re good. I’ve eaten a dozen today, I need to stop, but I can’t. I’m like Miley Cyrus. I want to go buy one of those gigantic Tootsie Rolls that you get at the gas station and are crazy for as a child. I’m disgusting.

My Miraculous Body:


As I wrote last week on my AB QUEST blog, I don’t understand how my body works. This confusion has continued throughout the week. This morning, I had, what appeared to be, pecs and two abs. I think I have discovered why, but if my theory is true, the world is in for a revolution. Before we get into that, lets talk about my bod. I’d do me. It’s more than ridiculous how much more self-esteem you have when you look good in clothes and good without them. Why is this happening, though? I’m not counting calories or dieting. Last night I had four black and white cookies and a quarter of a boule (round loaf of bread, peasants!). Not exactly health food. I continue to take about four walks a week, occasionally do yoga, squats, and I’ve started doing crunches and push-ups. These haven’t been hard, the crunches I mean. Push-ups are hellish. I don’t even have baby muscles in my arms, so that’s something of a struggle. I’m not exercising intensely at all, but I am doing it regularly and I think this may be the fitness key, or I could have a miracle body, or I might not have a clue what I’m talking about.


The Amount of Garbage I Produce:


I try to be as green as possible. I’m not militant about it, though, perhaps I should be. I like to think that I do my part by refusing to own a car, being vegetarian, and recycling when I can. I recently discovered, though, that I still produce masses of waste. It’s unreasonable. So many plastic containers of juice and grapefruit and cottage cheese. I was rather appalled when I saw it all bagged up to take out the other day. I wish that we had refillable containers to get our juice in and the same for cottage cheese. We should go to dairies and farm stands. I’m horrified at the pollution I’ve caused. I’m going to try cutting back where I can. My first action is buying juice concentrate instead of actual juice. I don’t know if this is any friendlier to the environment, but it seems less wasteful.

Death of Victorian Fashion:


I’m all for the advancement of the human race, but once in a while, our civilization has reached perfection and eschewed it in favor of less lovely things. I’m talking about capes and top hats. There is nothing more elegant than a cape. Just imagine it swishing behind you dramatically, billowing in the breeze, flapping morosely on a chilly evening. I’d pass out with glee. Top hats, too, are the epitome of good taste. I love a good top hat perched jauntily on a gentleman’s head. Sadly, I’ve never actually seen this out in the wild. Hold up, that was a lie. When I was in London on a Jack the Ripper tour, a guy walked creepily by with a top hat on. He wasn’t part of the tour, so that was certainly intriguing. He rocked a top hat. I would have to get mine specially made — as any gentleman would — since I have a monstrous sized head. I don’t understand it. It doesn’t look extra large, but hats do not fit on me. I saw a top hat in an antique shop a year or so ago, and I could have passed out, but it didn’t begin to fit. Sad. Lets bring these wonderful things back for good of fashion and the sake of the world. AHHAHHAHHAHAHAHAAAHAH DOLCE & GABBANA had a cape in their menswear collection last year!

Dolce&Gabbana Men's Show FW 12-13_1Quick! Fetch the credit cards…and the smelling salts.

Lazy Evenings:


I returned home late from work last evening and felt rather unmotivated. So, I decided to do what all the peasants do — sit on the couch and watch television all night long. I’ve long been meaning to attempt this, curious how a person could enjoy themselves this way, so I settled eagerly on the couch with Identity Thief. That movie was kind of awful. Cheap gags for an hour and then it’s suddenly sentimental? No. Besides, what was that whole nonsense in Saint Louis (Sorry, I refuse to abbreviate.) where they both steal somebody’s identity? It goes completely against Sandy’s earlier convictions and annoyed me. Anyway, after the movie, I watched some television and then read a book. I felt disgusting. I felt like my life had been completely wasted. What is the point of accomplishing nothing? It has made me seriously reevaluate and appreciate my daily list. It motivates me to accomplish something, and even if I only get a few things done — at least I have gotten a few things done. People who go to work and sit on their ass all day long must be so depressed. There’s a better way to be, people!

Birds in my Vineyard:


For years, reader, YEARS, I have slaved away to create a small vineyard. It’s beautiful out there (this picture isn’t it) and I spend about an hour each day tending to the vines and tanning on a gorgeous chaise lounge. I told you all about this, though, last week. Quick refresher: beautiful vines, perfectly relaxing, highlight of my yard, bunches of grapes finally developing after years, concords attacked by birds. Now that you’re up to speed, let us carry on. Though the concord grapes were barely salvaged into jam, I was still eager for the crop of Catawba grapes. They were far from ripe. Must have been ripe enough for the birds, though. Yesterday, when I went to check on their development, the vines had been stripped clean of any fruit. There is not one grape left on any of them. Not even a hard, tiny unripe grape. The only clue that they ever set fruit is the naked cluster and hundreds if grape skins the effing birds left behind. I hope they all get sick and die, I hate them. Next year I’m getting netting and not caring about the moral issue. Dumb birds.



It’s taken me years and years to figure out what I want to do with my life. I have had a hard time discerning what should be a hobby and what should be a career. I love redesigning kitchens, but couldn’t imagine doing it for a living. I love writing, but doubt it will be able to sustain my lifestyle for long, until I’m well-established, of course. I love Egyptology, but the area surrounding the University of Chicago terrified me. I suppose I wouldn’t have to leave the campus, but of course I would. I don’t like being scared. Chicago is the only city in the world I’ve ever been uncomfortable about my safety in and I’ve walked around Los Angeles late at night. Something though, that I’m actually good at, and can picture myself doing, is traveling. I want to write chatty travel guides. I want to be the next Rick Steves, sans the fanny pack. I can think of nothing more wonderful than exploring the world and showing it to people who will never leave their cities or states or countries. I’d like to give those among us who are less inclined to travel experiences they won’t get and perhaps enrich their lives by introducing them to new cultures and places they’ve never heard of. Because of this, I have a dull ache that never leaves me. Constantly, I want to be going or moving to seeing something new and writing about it on my blog, photographing it, discussing it. My top five destinations right now are: New Orleans, Luxor, Berlin, London and Melbourne. The fact that I’m stuck here in Perry until at least Thanksgiving is killing me. I’m not meant to be in one place, and that’s why I worry about ever buying a home. I don’t really intend to stop seeing the world until I’m physically unable, and by then, science will have advanced enough that I’ll continue on my way until I die, likely some kind of military hostage.

6 responses to “Things I Loved / Hated This Week #39

  1. Whenever I catch a glimpse of my cat tattoo I think to myself “Jessica Ann Phillips you are one BAD bitch!” #rebel

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