THINGS I LOVED / HATED THIS WEEK #74

LOVE:

Remodeling:

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I am a terrible procrastinator. As my comedy goddess, Jennifer Saunders, once said about herself, “I am the worst procrastinator in the world. I wish it was actually a named disease so I could go to a clinic.” I relate to this 1000%. I will find any excuse to not accomplish a task. I didn’t wash the dishes for an entire week because I kept finding thoroughly valid reasons not to do them — these involved catching up on television, going on long walks, napping, writing, cleaning everything else, mowing the lawn, and preparing a sunflower garden. There were a multitude of other tasks I achieved instead of the dishes. When it comes to remodeling, though, my procrastination reaches levels that really merit attention. I can honestly work on a project for months and only achieve the barest of accomplishments. Take my gym, for example. I’ve had it painted for months now. All I have to do is finish cleaning up the floor, which is a time consuming task, but one that I could get done in a week or so with a bit of dedication. Reader, I haven’t touched that floor for a month! I have had it on my to-do list every single day, but I always manage to avoid it. Last night, I forced myself into there to clean a bit of the floor and reinstall the closet door. It nearly did me in. I dragged myself. I thought about taking a nap instead. I thought of retiring to my bed early. I did it, though. It only took forty-five minutes and wasn’t even unpleasant, but being forced to do it was awful. When I had finished what I wanted to accomplish for the evening, though, I was terribly pleased. It looked so nice. I love getting remodeling done, even if I absolutely hate doing it. I could spend my life remodeling and then remodeling the remodels.

Basil:

BASIL

I was out in the garden today, not working like I should be to eradicate the weeds, but just wandering around looking at the plants. The basil was beginning to send up a shoot of flowers, so I hurried over there and pinched those off. I don’t have time for my basil plant to be done producing monstrously large basil leaves, yet. I haven’t even made pesto! Oh, that sounds amazing right now. Maybe I should make some for dinner? Oh I think I shall! Oh no I won’t, I don’t have any nuts. Well, I have nuts, but not the kind you put in food. HAHAHAHAHA! Le sigh. I was so excited there for a minute. Anyway, my hands were smelling of basil and it made me happy and I just love basil so much. Of all the herbs, it is my absolute favorite and I can’t think of a dish that wouldn’t be improved by a bit of that wonderful plant. I remember a basil macron that I had at a wonderful bakery in Sarasota, Florida. It totally changed my world and I’ve been dying to recreate it ever since. My experiments haven’t been all that successful, yet, I’m sad to report. There is always a distinct vanilla flavor from the buttercream or white chocolate if I’m doing a ganache. Someday I’ll get it right. Oh, I should make some basil ice cream, too. I need to plant more basil.

Going to REYKJAVIK:

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I am very excited to go to Iceland for the first time in two weeks. I wish that we had some more time there now that I’ve seen all the lovely things that a person can get up to in Reykjavik, but this day trip will be a nice primer. The capital of Iceland is not that big, which is great for a quick tour. I spent all morning looking at attractions and shops and restaurants and there is a bakery that sells something called “Love Scrotum” and I’m already so confused and delighted by this. Speculation is that these are donut balls, and if so, that is the single greatest name in the history of food history! I can’t wait to climb up the very modern looking church and gaze down upon the colorful city spreading out toward the water. It’ll be such fun to go to the oldest bakery in Iceland and to walk by the water and to freeze our asses off since the high in June is barely 55. It’s going to be such a good time. Jessica and I will eat all the pastries and take many selfies and want to come back again. From what I’ve read, people fall immediately in love with the country and the people. I wonder if it’ll be the same for us?

Herb Mills:

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I always thought the idea of an herb mill was stupid. Why not just tear or chop the herbs yourself with a nice sharp chef’s knife? It’s not a terrible amount of work and you can make them as big or small as you like. I had no intention of ever using one, but then my father brought one home from a garage sale. Immediately, I threw it into one of my many cupboards and forgot about it. Whenever I got my Kitchenaid out, I would give it a dirty look and shove it further back. Yesterday, though, for whatever reason, I decided to do a bit of rearranging, so I sat it on the table to finally throw  out. I thought I had better give it a try first, so I shoved a bunch of basil from the garden into it and watched in amazement as beautiful shreds of basil fell onto my pasta. It was kind of like magic. It’s a bitch to clean, but I’m not going to throw it away. Unnecessary tools are the best.

Iggy Azalea:

When Iggy first came on the scene, I had no interest. As she became ever more popular, I was even less interested. She irritated me. I don’t remember why. I love celebrity, so I can’t understand why I had such disdain for Miss Iggy. Her song “Fancy” was catchy enough, but I don’t follow trends — I make them — so I wasn’t terribly familiar with it. I would listen to it on occasion because the other woman on the track sounds exactly like Gwen Stefani and Gwen can do no wrong. As I was driving to Wisconsin — being driven, I don’t drive — I read an article about her that completely changed my mind. All this time I thought she was just some rapper. I had no idea that she was a complete creation with little authenticity! That’s the kind of fame I like — creating a new persona is a divine Hollywood tradition. She’s really an Australian model who moved to Miami and learned how to rap while there. Isn’t that flawless? I wish that I had such a silly life. Because she is far from who she really is — in the Lady Gaga fashion — I hold her dear to my heart now and I want to follow in her phony footsteps. I’ve already researched my stage name: Nicky Grey. Don’t steal it, reader, that took me ages to perfect. I haven’t quite decided what my new persona is all about, yet, though. I think he’s a very classic gentleman who can be kind of a slut. You know the type, a rogue I believe they were called in England and a cad in the South. My character is slick and elegant and devious and speaks with an old fashioned Hollywood accent. Do you know that accent? It’s a blending of British cadences with American slang. I love it. Anyway, I like Iggy Azalea. I regret being so mean to her. Her album is lovely.

Ionic Hair Dryer:

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I’ve never given much thought to hair dryers. I’ve always had one and I can’t do my hair without one. My hair gets frizzy and wild and I look like I’ve never cared about my hair and play hockey if I let it air dry. I ain’t got time for that. The one I’ve used for years finally died, so I decided to research the most popular models on Amazon. I ended up buying one that was about $20 and very highly rated. It is supposed to shoot ions out at your head, which I thought was a bunch of nonsense, but I didn’t care too much, as long as it dried my hair I was good. So, with great enthusiasm but little expectations, I got ready to go to Minneapolis the other morning and I was rather flabbergasted by what happened. My hair became silky and shiny and so utterly soft. I don’t fully understand the science behind this. It was like conditioning my hair without conditioning. It also made my hair dry in no time at all. The old one I used just made my hair dry and voluminous after many minutes. I’m completely sold on this product and will now recommend it to all my friends and readers.

HATE:

Microwaves That Can’t Fit Bags of Popcorn:

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This is a struggle that has long infuriated me. What point is there in a microwave if it can’t properly hold a bag of popcorn? There is none. NONE. I know that there are people who use microwaves to cook, to whom I give my fiercest eye roll, but there are others like me that use them literally only for popcorn. I would never cook a meal in there! That is absolute madness. The only thing I regularly use my awful microwave for besides burning popcorn in its too small container is to steam rice, which actually works rather well. But the popcorn is a major issue with me. Do manufacturers not know what microwaves are for? THEY ARE FOR POPCORN! Nearly every one of the blasted machines has a dedicated popcorn button in a prevalent place. It is a great irritation to me. I sometimes use microwave sizes in my review of hotels. The fancier a room you stay at, the less likely you are to have a microwave. Same with wifi. I can understand not having a microwave, but no wifi? What is this, the Dark Ages?

Seed Tape:

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When I was at the Home Depot shopping for my salad green seeds, I saw seed tape and thought it was the single most genius thing ever invented. Happily, I bought a few and put them in my garden with aplomb. Then I waited and I waited and I waited. Slowly a few plants began to pop up. The weeds were coming, too, so I decided to wait until the arugula and spinach and chard and whatnot was a little bigger before I start getting rid of all the invasive weeds. Annoyingly, I don’t think many of the salad greens are coming up, though. The arugula is doing just fine, but that wasn’t seed tape, just a seed. There are a few spinach plants, but there is not nearly the amount that I planted. I am terribly annoyed. Don’t buy seed tape.

iTunes Match:

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I rarely have anything bad to say about an Apple product. I think that almost everything they do is flawless and a technological triumph. Well, I am now very annoyed at one of their services. iTunes Match is a genius idea in theory — all of your music is stored in the cloud and upgraded to higher fidelity and is available to you whenever you need it. I signed myself right up and for some time it worked very well, but as time goes on, it has started to sincerely piss me off. The music plays just fine on my laptop. But, when I use my iPhone or my iPad and download my music, it messes it up so badly! I can stream the tracks just fine, but when the physical track is downloaded it chops off the last thirty-seconds and then begins playing the next song as part of the song that is currently playing. At first, it was just a few songs, but now it happens every single time. I have lost my mind about it. I’ve turned iTunes Match on and off. I have uploaded music multiple times. I have written whiny letters, but nothing has solved the problem. Right now I’m running some program that is supposed to find the faulty tracks, but it’s not working. I’m pissed again. So very pissed. Give me my music. I need my Édith Piaf NOW.

Not Having A Bakery:

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I went to school to be a baker. I’m now a French trained pastry chef. But, I work in a middle school and I don’t really do all that much baking. I miss it. I always thought that I would have a bakery, but I never allowed myself to attempt it — I thought it would fail, I thought I would lose money, I thought it would be a waste of my time. I regret this old mentality of mine. If it does fail, what does that matter? It doesn’t. I may lose some money, but I’m not going to be any worse off than I am now. As I age, I start to see the world with broader eyes — that’s not the best way to explain what I mean, but I am better able to see the bigger picture. I should have opened a bakery years ago, but I’m kind of glad that I didn’t. I would have created too elite of a place. I would have made it far too fancy. That would have been a mistake, I think. People love fancy pastries, but they also like donuts and cookies. I didn’t consider this at all in the past. I thought that everything in my cases would have to look like jewels and there would have to be no fewer than ten varieties of exotic macarons. I’m going to really start reconsidering my bakery dreams, I might as well give it a try. What’s the worst that could happen? I could get fat, I guess, and that would be a true disaster. Who knows, you might see my bakery someday soon.

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