Friday, October 29, 2010

A break

Some news from the present: I got my official acceptance letter from Portland State today (the news last week was that I was "recommended for admission" by the department; PSU still had to check that I was who I said I was and that my degrees were real and also verify my claim of Oregon residency.) The part of this that is "news" is that I am admitted as an Oregon resident. That means I don't have to pay out-of-state tuition. Even though I've lived in Oregon and paid taxes in Oregon for over a year, I was still thinking, "What if?" So this is a relief.

The next item in my series of things I first noticed here in Portland is about the roads, driving, and parking that I observed when I got here. But I think I'd like to take a break, a detour, and write about the road trip that brought me here instead. Now that I've got a good program to sort my photos and upload them to Flickr, I can include pictures from the trip.

Expect an update, sometime soon, about my trip to the Midwest. I'd also like to note that Monday begins NaBloPoMo, and I plan to participate again as I did last year. Since I'm spending most of Monday on a plane to New Jersey, whatever I write might not appear until the second. If I fall behind, I'll make up for it in December, just like last year.

Things I First Noticed About Portland, Part 1

Or perhaps this would be more appropriately called, "Part 0," as this post is dedicated to impressions formed before I'd moved, when I was looking online for a place to live.

In New Jersey, I looked for housing on campus Roommates Classified ads, a school-sponsored Off-Campus Housing website, and Craigslist. Housing ads in New Jersey, even roommate want ads, were very simple.

For example:

$740 Roommate Needed (Morristown)
Roommate wanted for house in Morristown with young professionals (male and female). Large bedroom with 1 window and a skylight. House has large driveway, large yard, ample parking, washer/dryer.
Available Now

This was taken from an actual ad. Note that the monthly rent for a housing share with two other people is $740. This exceeds the norm for Portland rent (excluding expensive fancy downtown areas) by about $300/month.

Shortly after exploring the rental listings in Portland, I knew the city was different. To compare, when I started writing this post, I did a search in both the Portland, Oregon, and the Northern NJ Craigslist listings for "chickens."

Here's what came up when I entered the same search in the North Jersey listings.

Another difference is the way roommates describe themselves. In Jersey, all of the roommates wanted ads I answered were pretty brief. It wasn't until we started e-mailing back and forth or even meeting in person that we began to discuss our interests. Note that in the Morristown ad, the roommates describe themselves as "male" and "female" and "professionals." This is pretty normal. A little more detail wouldn't out of line, such as the existing housemates' ages and perhaps what their respective professions are. Also note that the only requirements they list for their prospective housemate is that he or she exist.

In Portland, on the other hand, it's much more likely that you will get the life story of the current residents laid out for all of Craigslist to see, along with a suggestion for your life story. Consider the following, copied and pasted from an actual Portland Craigslist ad.

Do you like to garden? Interested in permaculture? Are you involved in the healing arts? Interested in co-creating a sacred arts space? Want to stay for a while? Our intention here is to create a supportive and nurturing home in which we can be inspired and inspire others to live their dream. We seek to create balance between our individual lives, that of our household community, and of our surrounding community. We are interested in learning how to be an 'urban homestead', i.e. growing our own food, keeping chickens, canning, buying local... We enjoy such things as hiking, biking, herbalism, heirloom tomatoes, poetry, eating meals together, and birds.

I did not make up a single word of that.

I responded to several ads resembling this while still in New Jersey, packing up my life and possessions for my westward journey. I was surprised to receive such cold responses from those who had written such warm (yet in some cases, demanding) classified ads. No one would agree to even consider a roommate whom they could not meet in person first. Even on a month-to-month lease. (I wanted to say, "But you can kick me out!") Even if we could e-mail, talk on the phone, "meet" on Skype, and even when I could provide references dating back to 2003.

But eventually I did find a place, and when I set out on I-80 on June 28, 2009, there was a home waiting for me on the other side of the country.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Economics Lesson

A man who is drinking "wine juice" just tried to explain some economics vocabulary to me. He says:

"Externalities are like farts."

Perhaps some of my readers who understand economics can agree or disagree with that.

Holiday Cards from Shutterfly

Hey family and friends back East who read this blog? Remember the Christmas cards you got from me last year? How about the hand-embroidered cards I sent out in college? Oh that's right, you never got them, because those cards existed only in my head and never made it into existence, let alone into the mail.

In truth, I did manage to give out a few of the Portland-specific Mount Hood/Trillium Lake in winter cards (with the PC message, "Season's Greetings!") last year. But I still have more than half of them in my "misc card" drawer, along with the postcards from vacations I took years ago and forgot to write or send. The embroidered Christmas cards made it as far as a test Christmas tree on some scrap fabric. Maybe one card got finished and mailed (months late) to my best friend in Germany.

The Internet is much more convenient than hand-embroidery. Shutterfly makes it easy to send holiday cards. This year, friends and family, expect to get cards from me. Because my housemates and I will be taking a photo in front of the fireplace with Christmas sweaters. This includes the cat and dog; they too will be wearing sweaters. There's even an option to have Shutterfly stamp and mail cards for you. That's so easy, I could have done it in college, even though the holiday season so conveniently coincides with finals, because in college I had some pretty awesome Christmas card photos.

That's me with my roommates in 2005. Two of those ladies were the valedictorian of their graduating class.

That is very nearly my ideal Christmas card photo. The campus apartment
blue furniture, cluttered kitchen counters, and liquor outlet on top of the fridge isn't my ideal background. We did take a picture in similar outfits outside of our apartment building, with an accordion (because we were singing carols to our neighbors) and flakes of the winter's first snow falling around us. But my eyes are closed in that picture.

So part of my standard for a great holiday card design would be its suitability for usage with that particular photo.

My three favorite choices from Shutterfly's Christmas photo cards are as follows.

* Holly Frame Christmas I might be partial to this because the kid in the photo looks kind of like I did at that age (or at least how I imagine myself &mdash cute!), but I really like the simplicity of this design. The red, green, and white color scheme with a simple cluster of holly (you know how I love all things botanical) says, "Christmas" without being too busy or interfering with the subject of your photo. The 5x7" landscape is the perfect layout for my four-person photo of choice. Not everyone can pose just in line with the written greeting, with a twinkly out-of-focus background, like this adorable child, but I think the simple border would do my Apartment 46 Christmas Card Photo justice. As you can see, it works for a single photo, so if your housemates won't pose with you and you are left with this:

you can still use this design. This one is probably my favorite.

* Mod Snowflakes From the title alone, I'm sure it comes as no shock to those who know me that this is my second favorite holiday card design. Check it out! There's a simple reason that I like this card design. The colors. It may not be red and green, but it's so cool! It's festive, without being tied to any specific winter holiday, and the different colors and sizes of the snowflakes just make me happy! It will really stand out on the recipients' mantle, piano, table, whatever. Also, no two of those snowflakes are alike. As a scientist, I approve.

* Sweet and Retro Christmas Card Last but not least, I like this flat card design. The olive green, cream, and berry red set it apart from more common crimson and pine tree green, but it's still Christmassy. The photo size wouldn't work for my four-person Apartment 46 Christmas Card photo, but had we posed differently, with two in the front and two in the back, it would have worked. It's great for a family photo or couples photo, too. Or even a single photo like my 2008 Christmas Tree Hat solo Christmas card photo. That hat just says, "Wonderful Time" to me! I like this design because it is simple, but the colors and big fancy script stand out. I think I just like all things "retro" too.

And it's not too late for Thanksgiving cards! I like the third design in, Fall Fun. If you are procrastinator like me, or if you are too busy with finals to think about Christmas cards, there are these New Year’s cards, too. And then when you get lots of sweet presents, you can send out personalized thank you cards.

I'm excited to send these out this year! Now that I live 3,000 miles from most of my friends and family and 6,000 miles from my best friend Marie, I have a new appreciation for snail mail, and it's a great way to share with my faraway family the experiences and new people in my life here in Oregon.

Do you want 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly? Click here to go to Shutterfly for information on how you can get 50 free cards this holiday season, and make sure to select Clever 1000 as the referral source.

This post is part of a series sponsored by Shutterfly. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Things I First Notice About Portland: Preface

I began forming impressions of the city before I'd even left New Jersey. It would be worth writing, at some point, a prequel to this story explaining how things were in New Jersey before I left and what the events were that led to me moving to Portland. That would take ages and pages.

I accepted a job in Oregon on April 7, 2009*. The position wouldn't start until July 6, so that I would have a week to move to Oregon after a wedding on June 27th in which I was a bridesmaid. I would work as long as I could to save money, but I left myself two weeks to pack, move out of my apartment, find someone to take over my lease, and tie up loose ends. All while doing whatever it is bridesmaids have to do in the two weeks preceding a wedding. This made Friday, June 12** my last day of work.

After having the imprudence of giving two months' notice to a job drilled into my head***, I waited to give notice until May 11th. I can't remember when I gave notice to my landlord and landlady, but I know I tried to time it so that word wouldn't get to them or my employers from anyone other than me. This left a little more than a month for me to try to keep the secret, and I felt guilty and dishonest keeping that information secret. (Despite having the reasons not to feel guilty drilled into my head.****) This guilt made the stress of preparing to pack up my life and move it across a continent (while trying to leave things in order in case I returned in the fall) even greater. One category of preparations was searching, from a remote location, for a place to live in Portland. For that, I turned to Craigslist.

The original purpose of this post was to outline the differences between Oregon and New Jersey that I picked up before I'd even crossed the Delaware, the differences made apparent by housing ads. But it seems appropriate to save that for my next post and end here.

* As I'm writing this, I realized that this is exactly one year before my first date with my current boyfriend. Interesting.
** This was exactly one year after the day I first arrived in Portland, just for two days, on a road trip.
*** In short, it gives your employers two months to build resentment, to mistreat you because you're leaving anyway, and to dump tons of work on you in order to get as much as they can out of an employee before they're gone. One would like to be able to give maximum notice, so that the position can be filled while you're still around and you can help train your successor, but unfortunately, most situations don't allow that.
**** In short, that what I planned to do in June of 2009 was no one's business but my own. I was legally obligated to give two weeks' notice and prior to that two weeks, my private life and life decisions was none of my employers' business. Since I wasn't actually breaking my lease, either, my private life was none of my landlord's business.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Graduate School News

Now that I've told my friends and family, this news can go on my blog. A few days ago, I got my acceptance letter in the mail to the graduate program I applied to at the end of the summer. Starting in January, I will be going to the Hatfield School of Government at Portland Statue in the MPA program. My planned specialization is non-profit management, but I have a little bit of time to decide. There's also a natural resources option.

I'm working on some substantial posts, but since those take some time, I wanted to write this quick update. Now I have a reason to commit to Portland for a little longer. I love Portland and I always have, but as many (if not all) of my readers know, things were a little shaky for awhile. They were working for the time being, but there was no long term plan. Then I got a job. Now I have school and I can say I'll be here for the two or three years it will take to complete the minimum. I can settle down. I can buy kitchen items that I want (without having to worry about moving them to the East Coast.) I can finally move the rest of my cookbooks and dinner party dishes out here, because I know I won't have to move them back to the East Coast anytime soon!

And I can explore a new part of the city! (The university is downtown, which is on the west side, and I joke...except it's almost not a joke...that I leave the east side as little as possible.) I'm excited about the next two years and whatever they bring.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dinner for One

It is very rare these days that I eat dinner alone. (And that sentence right there should tell you, or me, something about my improved quality of life in the past two years.) When such occasions arise, I think, with a bit of dismay, "What am I going to do with all this extra time? And what am I going to have for dinner?" And then I think, with a bit of glee, "What am I going to do with all this extra time? What am I going to make for dinner? Will I create something with what's in the fridge? Will I go to New Seasons and buy something special? Will I work on a sewing project, finally? Will I catch up on my "Letters" category of e-mails? Will I read a good book?"

Earlier today I went to Mt. St. Helens, finally, and that was something I planned to do last October (which was much rainier.) Once I get the pictures developed, I'll write more about that. Of course, that's what I always say. Anyway, I came home as the sun was setting to an empty house. I'd already eaten a third of a bag of Trader Joe's trail mix (Macadamias mix Gingerly with Cranberries and Almonds, if you are interested). I remembered that I had half a package of whole wheat penne and half a can of chopped tomatoes. So I started making a half batch of my own recipe for tomato sauce.

Now that there's some kind of weird Jersey Mania, I bet my non-NJ readers are noting this little similarity I have with Guidettes. Oh, so that part of the stereotype is true. Except I don't call it "gravy." I know plenty of people (Italian-Jerseyans) who do. So that's true, too. I'm only 25% Italian.

And now I am settling down to catch up on blogs. I've recently re-discovered Svensto, the blog of the grandmother of Shreve Stockton, whose Daily Coyote I also sometimes follow. I recommend checking out both; they are really interesting. I'm not very far into "Svensto"'s blog, but so far, it's account of her life after coming to America as a Swedish immigrant. I've only just gotten to her engagement.

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Suggested Addition to the Kama Sutra

My experiences in dating my current boyfriend and in time spent with the couple with whom we have double dates on the couch has encouraged me to create this suggested addition to the Kama Sutra. No, not what you're thinking.

I'm not quite sure why or how, but I stumbled across this Kama Sutra Free website sometime in late high school or early college. I do remember specifically looking for their defined categories of kisses, as I'd heard there was a kiss whose performance was forbidden men with mustaches, portrayed here by the free Kama Sutra as follows:

[Ed: the picture doesn't appear to work anymore, but it was a Kermit the frog standing next to a guy. I'm not sure if Kermit was even kissing the guy.]

I wonder why. I wonder what the rules are for women with mustaches.

The free Kama Sutra also describes the Kiss That Awakens Love — "When a woman looks at the face of her lover while he is asleep and kisses it to show her intention or desire it is called the kiss that kindles love" — and The Kiss That Turns Away — "When one lover kisses the other while that lover is engaged in business or while he is looking at something else so that his or her mind may be turned away." Like when one lover just wants to wash some dishes.

It is to this section of the Kama Sutra that I propose an addition. The Kiss That Shuts Up Yapping Love. (Because The Kiss That Silences Love, though perhaps more poetic, also sounds more sinister.)

When the Blabbermouth Half of a couple ceaselessly blabs...

Especially at a party or some other embarrassing, public place, He Who Loves a Blabbermouth can remedy the situation in a kind, caring way.

Lest you think the Kiss That Shuts Up yapping Love is sexist, I have visual evidence that it works the other way, too.

The first couple is in Portland, where The Rainy Season and The Spider Season sometimes overlap! For my East Coast and other non-Northwestern readers, I'll explain the Spider Season when I finally get around to the next adventure...Things I First Noticed About Portland.

My Brief Gymnastics Career

I took up gymnastics at a young age. For two and a half of my preteen years, I was enrolled in a school called Janine's Gymnastics. Prior to that, I took ballet.

You may infer from the above that I was talented and graceful. However, I will provide you with information that completes the picture.

In third grade, my gym teacher invented a remedial gym class that took place during recess just for me. That's right, remedial gym. And when I replaced my ballet lessons with Janine's Gymnastics, it was not because I only had time to fervently pursue one physical activity. It was because my mother let me quit ballet classes as a gift for my seventh birthday.

As you may have inferred from previous stories about my family, my parents were in favor of monetary rewards. In addition to the Dollar Word rule, my parents and I had a Cartwheel Agreement.

Some of you may be puzzled right now, and I bet you are all Someones Who Can Do A Cartwheel. Someone Who Can Do A Cartwheel believes that everyone can do a cartwheel. Guess what, you Someones? Not everyone can do a cartwheel. All of the Someones Who Can't Do A Cartwheel seem to know this, and be alone in that knowledge, and it's slightly thrilling when we meet one of our own. We exchange a knowing sigh of relief and small smile. It's the same as meeting someone who shares your birthday or affinity for something unusual, like liverwurst or Brussels sprouts. Thank heavens, I'm not alone.

I could not do a cartwheel. I could never do a cartwheel. To this day, I don't think I've ever done a cartwheel. And if I could have, I would have. Because my parents offered me $20 to do a cartwheel. It was a long-standing offer, like The Dollar Word Rule. The Cartwheel Agreement stated that if my parents or a reliable witness saw me do a cartwheel, my parents would give me $20. That's twenty Dollar Words.

Gymnastics class did nothing to remedy the situation. This was not the fault of Janine. My classmates &mdash a group of petite, slim girls whose shiny hair would stay confined to ponytails no matter what &mdash improved over the years. Their tumbles turned to somersaults and cartwheels. Somersaults became backward rolls. Cartwheels became one-handed cartwheels and then aerials. Whereas I:

was a chubby kid, tall for my age, with huge hair. I was clumsy, graceless, and could do nothing that technically qualified as "gymnastics."

Despite this, Janine, a sweet, kind instructor, never made me feel like less of a gymnast than the other girls. Perhaps it would have been kinder if she did. In any case, I was always included in the Saturday morning monthly recitals, a collection of thin, shiny-haired girls with bows in their hair and pretty leotards prancing across the mats, galloping through the air, and performing two-handed, one-handed, and no-handed cartwheels...over something which resembled a slug with an Afro rolling around on the mats. Just rolling around.

Every month, our parents would come a little early to pick us up and stand against one wall of the studio to witness the display. My parents would stand against the wall, stifling giggles and snickers as they watched their daughter flailing, flopping, and rolling on the mats, occasionally springing up with a big smile and arms in the air, like a "V" for victory, which is what Janine told us to do when we'd successfully completed a routine. Other parents would glance sidelong at them, and then turn their heads, and then start to whisper. "How cruel!" "That child is obviously special; what kind of people laugh at someone else's handicapped child?" This only made my parents laugh more.

Can you really blame them?

Catching up

NaBloPoMo is nearly upon us. That means I will be updating this blog once a day, even if it's with just a collection of links, a photo, or something short and boring.

I'll begin NaBloPoMo in New Jersey. I will be visiting for about ten days. While working on my presentation for work from my laptop and arranging trips to other public gardens as research. I hope to set up some meetings with garden staff to swap information and ideas; however, after working for three different public gardens, I know that sometimes one's schedule is booked up six months ahead of time.

I've spent a lot of time organizing my desk space, filing, and color coding my files. This is pretty boring. Aren't you glad I haven't been filling you in on my everyday life during my Month of Filing?

My job got extended from six months to a year, and as long as there's funding, it will get extended again.

I will also hear soon if I've been accepted to graduate school or not.

In the meantime, there's a lot of organizing happening, and food shopping, and gift shopping.

I'm working on some long posts, which may or may not be illustrated. Here are some draft titles, to give you a preview:

My Brief Gymnastics Career
A Suggested Addition to the Kama Sutra
Things I First Noticed About Portland

Friday, October 08, 2010

Local news

On my long list of Things to Eventually Write About is the Portland Metro Area daily news, from my perspective. My third apartment in Portland was also my first that had cable. The combination of that and my unemployment yielded some daytime TV watching, and I will never forget the first time I left the TV on long enough to catch the news. I was awestruck.

It took me several weeks after moving into a place with cable to actually watch the local news, because the habit I developed to cope with the doom and gloom I've come to expect from local news is to run into the living room as soon as Oprah/All My Days of Our One Life to Live/Family Feud is over, lunge at the TV, and turn it off no later than the first line of the opening credits of the news show.

Where I come from, local news shows theoretically cover the New York tri-state area, but in reality, they cover New York City. The New York City news that does get broadcast is arguably unimportant and depressing. Not only do the shows devote an unwholesome percentage of their time to covering news not relevant to the general public, but approximately 99% of that news is bad news. New Jersey, Connecticut, and parts of New York not included in the domain of Mayor Bloomberg appear only when they've hosted a significantly ridiculous and horrific piece of news.

In short, it's news that I feel I'd be better off not knowing. Such as the following:

A fire in the Bronx this morning killed three people and a kitten. Sources believe the fire was intentionally started by a five-month-old baby.


Bad news from medical experts in New Jersey today. A new study shows that rates of a new strain of flu caused by exposure to air pollution have gone up among schoolchildren in Essex County. The New Jersey Department of Transportation is investigating adding a thirteenth &mdash Wow! Lucky thirteen! &mdash lane to the GSP, plus twelve more toll plazas between Clifton and East Orange, as an effort to reduce traffic and encourage carpooling.

One day, I didn't make it to the TV in time. The credits had completed, the smiling anchormen and anchorwomen had introduced themselves, and the first news story had been announced. And it was so pleasant. Transfixed, I was unable to leave the couch, my eyes glued to the TV and a peaceful smile pasted on my face.

A neighborhood in Southeast Portland mourns the loss of a longtime friend. A fifty-year-old oak tree fell victim to last night's storm. Neighbors gathered where the oak had stood to have a moment of silence for Otto, as the oak was known.


The cause of today's power outage that left the Sellwood and Brooklyn neighborhoods and parts of Milwaukie in darkness has been identified. The blackout was caused by a racoon, and &mdash oh look! There he is now! PGE officials captured the cute little critter and brought him to the Oregon Zoo, where they've named him Bandit!

Last night, my roommates, our guests, and I saw a dozen cop cars zooming, sirens blaring, eastbound on the main road closest to our house. This morning, I searched the local news websites trying to figure out if anything interesting had happened. I never did learn what those dozen cop cars were after, but I found more proof that what's news here is far different from what is news in the New York Metro Area. For example:

1. A photo montage of cows fighting off a bear
2. Portland man finds strangers in his bathtub coated with mud, wearing his Ducks jersey. My favorite part? "Portland police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson, when asked to verify the type of Oregon football jersey, didn't hide his allegiance to the Beavers* by replying: 'Ducks jersey...Dirty ducks!'"
3. Although not in Oregon at all, this was a top story in national news. Woman mistakenly uses glue instead of eye drops. (Don't worry, she's okay!)

* For my non-Northwestern readers, the Ducks are the sports team of the University of Oregon; Oregon State University's sports team is the Beavers.

I believe I've already covered the locals news coverage of the weather.

* For my non-Northwestern readers, the Ducks are the sports team of the University of Oregon, and the Beavers are the sports team of Oregon State University.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Brown Butter Italian Prune Cake

I haven't written much of substance in a long time. I started a post on Sunday that went something like, "I've been really busy, but I'm going to quickly write about ten of the things that have been going on, and write more of substance later." The next paragraph was, "1) Being busy! As evidence of this, I wrote that last paragraph this morning and didn't come back to it until tonight!" And that was all.

I'm drafting some posts with illustrations, some more recipe recounting (even if that gets boring, at least I'll remember later what worked and what didn't), and a few silly (and true) stories.

In the meantime, I made up my first baked good recipe last night, so I'd like to record it before I forget.

Italian prunes are in season. The first time I ever had one or knew of its existence was at the People's Co-op Farmers' Market in Portland last October. You may have seen them featured in this blog last October when I made a very nearly ill-fated clafoutis.

The original inspiration for this dessert was brown butter. In the cookbook Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce, from which I got to bake absolutely nothing before I had to return it to the library, I read about using brown butter, or caramelized butter, in baking. It became a fixation. For weeks, I pondered which dessert would best suit this, which in-season fruits. I decided on apples.

And then, two weeks ago at the King Farmers' Market, the prunes caught my eye yet again. Prunes were fated to be paired with brown butter. But how?

You don't need to know all of the different ideas I considered and rejected before I decided on something faintly resembling my mom shortbread+strawberries+whipped cream dessert. Here's the recipe.

Brown Butter Italian Prune Cake
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup teff flour (substitute cornmeal or a different low-to-no gluten flour)
1 1/2 sticks of butter (10 tbsp)
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp raw cane sugar
1/4 buttermilk (or whole milk with lemon juice added)
1/4 tsp baking powder
8 Italian prunes
3/4 cup heavy cream


At least an hour in advance. Brown the butter by heating it in a skillet until it melts and turns brown. Pour it into a freezer-safe container. Put it in the freezer until it is frozen.

Sift together the flours, baking powder, and 1/3 cup of sugar. Cut the chilled brown butter into cubes. Mix the butter into the flour, preferably with clean hands, until it looks like shortbread dough. So, chunks of butter are okay. It doesn't have to be smooth. Next, mix in the buttermilk.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Pour the batter into the baking dish, greased or parchment-papered if necessary. (I used an ovensafe skillet.) While you are waiting for the oven to preheat, cut the prunes in half. Make indentations in the dough with your thumb and press the prune halves gently into the thumbprints, folding the remaining dough around them so that the cake surrounds the fruit. Sprinkle the raw sugar liberally over the fruit halves, less liberally over the rest of the cake.

Bake the cake at 350F for 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, whip the heavy cream (with a pinch of sugar, if you'd like) until it forms peaks. Chill until ready to serve.

Theoretically served 8, but 5 of us polished it off last night. Picture coming soon!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Reasons to be in a good mood

I got an unexpected headache that lasted all day, and so the grand plans I had for my day off dissolved into spending my day off in bed. On the bright side, the weather was bad anyway, I didn't have this bad headache while at work, and it gave me time, in between sleeping, to get through a significant chunk of a book I'm reading for a book club meeting that is only two days away.

Also, BUST magazine has just released their first ever science issue. Finally. FINALLY. A women's magazine with a science issue! I've wished, ever since I started regularly reading BUST and Bitch, that a women's magazine (one that's not devoted to making women feel bad about themselves so they buy more cosmetics/clothes/diet pills, bookended by articles on how to please men) would include some science. Like maybe a regular science column. A science issue is the next best thing.

I'm a little peeved that BUST comes out in newstands before it arrives at the door of subscribers like me. Where's your loyalty, BUST!? On the other hand, I'm a digital subscriber, too, and I just got an e-mail that the online edition is available. Hooray!

And my headache finally went away. Now that I can stand to look at a computer screen, I can read my online science-themed BUST.