Monday, April 9, 2012

kroger therapy

I’m like, super mondo depressed right now, and there are carpenter ants frolicking on my VERY BLACK desktop, which makes it seem like my desk is alive and undulating and then of course my heart jumps in my throat and makes me stab the desk with an incredibly angry fist.

Anyway, I'm like, super mondo depressed, with a conflation of reasons, none of which has to do with my single status right now, but all of which serves to bring that to the forefront because we’re socially trained gerbils that think being “sad” equals being lonely. 
So the reason's kind of inconsequential.

But you know what makes me feel better?  Buying lots and lots of groceries for very little money! Makes my dessicated asian heart proud. 

List for today:
Big bag of Twix minis (35% off post easter) - 1.09
meatloaf - 1.25
corn flakes cereal - 0.99
I can't Believe it's Not Butter Tub, coupon (-1.25) - 1.44
Frozen Fries - 1.28
2 liters of Diet Soda- 1.96
2 loaves of 20oz Manager's Special Bread (1/3 original price) - 0.98
Dinner Rolls, manager's special - 0.49
Silk Coconut milk (coupon -1.00) - 2.28
2 ramen packages (coupon -0.4) - 0.34
Cabbage - 1.99
Carrots - 0.93
Seaweed (coupon -0.20) - 1.29 
72 oz bigass bulk Cereal (coupon -0.20) - 3.19
Ice Cream (half gallon) - 1.50
Lettuce - 0.99
Donuts (manager's special, 1/2 off) - .89
Fiber One Cereal - 4.11
Frozen Pizza Rolls (coupon -1.00) - 0.79

Total - $29.29 !

It was a fucking cartful of food for under 30$.  I usually clock out under 20$, but the Fiber One jacked up my price, plus I wanted to try coconut milk for the first time.  And I hadn't made a trip to the grocery store in a while, so I needed to restock a lot of items.  Hopefully this will last me awhile. 
But yay, use of more coupons!  I clip coupons like crazy.  I am a shriveled old woman in a 27 year old's body.  Which I'm thankful for, because riding all that shit home on my little yellow bike was A RECIPE FOR DOOM.  But one that I survived!  I had all the soda, milk, heavy ass cabbages and produce in my backpack, two bags on each handlebar, and my basket all filled.  I was like an inflated 300 lb body builder on top of a little tricycle.  Or a donkey kong kremlin on itty-bitty chicken legs.   

And I just typed up this list in my very boring opera class because that's just how much pleasure I get from thrifty grocery shopping.  And the teacher's glorious ass isn't enough distraction for my ridiculous need to be entertained. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

pistachio ice cream cone

At the alphabetized sub-gate at the behemoth that is Houston Airport.  A man descends the escalator with alarmingly angry face while holding a pistachio ice cream cone.  He stares us all down, severely glowering, except the top of his lip is BRIGHT GREEN. 
true story. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Like podcasts, I am going to endorse like the proper consumer gnome that I am, stretching out my ten dollar skinny jeans while I prop my mac on my body fluff.
Because today I am loving Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride Celestial Seasonings tea and Anderson Cooper.
(Good endorsements aren't good until they sound like abominable run-on sentences).
Remember the Sarah Silverman sketch about babybel cheese?
Replace cheese with SUGAR COOKIE SLEIGH RIDE CELESTIAL SEASONINGS TEA and you have me right now.
I mean, it's tea that tastes LIKE COOKIES.  Cookies and Milk and hot liquid comfort ALL IN ONE.
I wish I could get paid for this entry.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Homemade Breakfast Cereal, Clam Macaroni, Egg Yolk Cookies

Sunday is the day I frazzle away in the kitchen.  I'm like, speedy attention deficit cooker, boiling water for pasta while shaping cookies/smashing garlic/hacking veggies while the oven preheats.  Because I'm impatient and over ambitious and I hate waiting around.  But then again, I end up spending a ridiculous amount of time cooking and NOT practicing

Anyway, I'm right now munching on my very own MADE FROM SCRATCH cold breakfast cereal!
That was fun, mostly because I HATE spending money on shit I can easily make at home.  I adapted mine from this recipe:  Healthy Cereal

(preheat oven to 300)
1 cup flour (I put in 1/3 cup of oat bran)
3 packets splenda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
COPIOUS amts of cinnamon
splash of vanilla
1/2 cup almond milk 
Mix dry ingredients together.  Then add wet.  Stir til combined.  spread onto a greased baking sheet as thinly as possible  (I used the back of a fork).  Bake 20 minutes.  Take it out, tear it up (it'll be soft.  Don't burn your fingers).  Return to oven for another 10.  Check often.  It might take longer.

I was really happy with the results!  (as evidenced as it more than being half gone right now).  And I liked how this recipes didn't need those unwieldy and annoying rolling pin thingamingies.

Anyway, the next thing I made was a pasta concoction.   It was sort of a hodge podge very quick lazy experiment.  I sauteed some garlic in soy sauce, dumped in a can of clams.  (Give me clam recipes!  I have too many clams thanks to an asian mother and costco).  Then some spaghetti sauce.  Then a bunch of macaroni.  Yay.  It was pretty good, but a little bland.  I liked it better after a splash of balsamic vinegar.

I guess the hardest thing I made today were these egg yolk cookies, because I always have yolks left over and am somehow intimidated by making mayo.
I found this recipe:  365 days of baking
I made it with margarine, and without the butterfingers.  And put some splenda in, because I didn't have enough sugar.  As you can see, I didn't flatten mine enough and it's REALLY bulbous and ugly.  But whatever - I'm no food stylist and I don't give a crap on lazy sundays.
Anyway, this cookie was okay.  Not great.  I just don't like that strong egg yolk flavor.  It's just too overwhelming, and I don't associate it with sweetness.  Is there a way to mask it more?  I'm guessing it gives a nice density to the cookie, whose crumb I really liked, but I kept getting a little grossed out by that yolkiness.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Nytimes Magazine did a cute write up of Murakami.
One part struck me:
"When Murakami sat down to write his first novel, he struggled until he came up with an unorthodox solution: he wrote the book’s opening in English, then translated it back into Japanese. This, he says, is how he found his voice. "
Which is interesting and...clarifying?   I've never written anything substantive in another language, but I would imagine doing so would be so straightforward yet innocent.  Things can't be fussy or have excessive connotation.  Which I think is in his writing - a practical directness that relies on specific images to explore the vague and unknown.  A narrator slightly uncomfortable with words, (as one would be with another language), yet one who sees each one for what they are, instead of seeing language as tainted by cultural background. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sexism and Law and Order: Criminal Intent

(Notice how the male partner is front and center, while Eames poses behind him, the steady support system of feminine reason.)

Well, I had to get something out of my ridiculous amount of netflix wastery.
It pains me to say it, but as I soak in the glut of my Law and Order Criminal Intent binge, (notice the possessive and how motherly I am with my escapes), I can’t help but notice how antiquated its images of gender are.   I guess I should be bothered by it more?  (Should, because all us of this generation feel guilty for how apathetic we are).
Even in the guise of spunky no-nonsense patter, detectives Eames and Wheeler are very much the typical female figures, as stereotyped by years of television screen writing.  While the male characters exemplified in Detective Goren, and later, Nichols, are portrayed with psychological depth and the wits to solve every single case, their female partners are relegated to making amused faces at the “crazy” antics of their brilliant male counterparts.

An age-old pairing.  Men are the brain, and the women, the skeptics and sounding boards.   The men are free to break the rules, (See Goren’s refusals to cooperate, his frequent altercations with Captain Ross, his break in of the prison psychiatric ward (season 7, ep 9- “Untethered”), or Nichols, who is unable to work with others or report to his superiors), while the women are the perfect cops with moral integrity, respectful of the rules and extremely hardworking in the more dogged, normative fashion.
Their storylines are the most offensive crimes, being that their life events are both typical and clumsily unimaginative ploys for audience sympathy, extremely expected of a female supportive character.  Eames is a grieving widow, her husband a cop shot and explored in episode 1 of season 7.  Wheeler is the abandoned child of a criminal father, which is explored in season 6.   BOTH Eames and Wheeler end up pregnant, Eames as a surrogate, and Wheeler in season 8.  Wheeler is the typical duped woman, engaged in a whirlwind romance while she was overseas to a man who turns out had lied to her and used her.  It’s later revealed that she’s pregnant.  Even her character, restrained and admirably dignified, acts with the self-discipline that is expected of the idealized woman, never lashing out, (unless you count her interrogation of the similar victim in episode 6 of season 8, “Astoria Helen”, and even then one could argue that it was because of the feminine affinity she had to the victim, that the anger was directed more towards herself).   That self-internalization and elegance is the male’s idealized vision of how a woman should act.  A woman keeps her sorrow to herself, it is unbecoming for her to lose control, and she is admired for how she does not inflict her pain on others. 
(A side note – both Kathryn Erbe and Julianne Nicholsan took maternity leaves, which is probably why pregnancy was written into their storylines.  However, my point still stands; there could have been plenty of ways to not make a big deal out of the pregnancies.  In fact, Nicholsan’s first maternity leave was left out of the storyline, and her absence was just explained as her going overseas to teach American police procedural to European law officers.)

Eames is strong, but confused.  Episode 11 of season 8 focuses on her, and she showcases punchy outbursts and the willingness to quarrel with Goren.  But again, it is Goren who solves the case, and she’s left with a puzzled and pained face for most of the episode.  
Thankfully, there are two aberrations to the chauvinistic screen writing.  One is the serial killer Nicole Wallace, Detective Goren’s arch nemesis, who is not only brilliant and able to evade his quick mind, but also is transgressively bi-sexual (more lesbian?).  She is also psychologically layered, not just the stock psychopath.  Her rage comes out during intense interrogation scenes, yet she seems to always stay one step ahead of him.  Admirably manipulative, and dazzling in her intricately planned murders (hardly any bloodshed-her MO is syringes, research into her victim’s weaknesses), she is a beautifully drawn predator.

Another departure from the mold is Detective Logan’s short lived partner,  Detective Falacci, substituted in Season 7.  She talks back to Captain Ross, is often out of line, and taunts Logan for his subservience with “where’s the hot-head I thought I was working with?”.  However, her portrayal is not shown in the sympathetic light that colors the antics of Goren and Nichols, or even Logan for that matter.  She is annoying and shrill, like a child trying too hard to impress her elders. 

I love watching this show, which is why I’m surprised I'm not more bothered by how antiquated the portrayal of women are for the most part.  I remember when I first started watching how bothered I was by Eames’ uselessness, and how much I wanted her to make the big breaks.  Perhaps that’s why SVU is the more popular Law and Order spin-off, because Mariska Hargitay’s character DOES solve crimes, doesn’t get knocked up or knocked off-course by romance, and does seem to hold more power than her counterpart, Detective Stabler.  However, I get annoyed by SVU.  It tends to veer off into silliness and manufactured drama.  Too many weepy victims.   Too many clumsy ploys for audience emotion.   I like the brilliance of the protagonists of Criminal Intent, and its emphasis on psychology and analysis. 
I think what bothers me most is that the women aren't allowed to be quirky.  They don't ponder with strange ticks that try the patience of their superiors, they aren't allowed flashes of brilliance and entertaining AHA moments.  They are bland, attractive, likable, but uncharismatic.  But they do have perfect hair.  (Especially Eames!  Her hair is always AMAZING.  How does she do it?)
Season 9 did try to give more female prominence, with a female captain and the very intelligent Serena Stevens.  But her portrayal is still painted by the dull brush of male idealism.  She's not funny, she's not weird, and she's not brilliant, like Jeff Goldblum's character.  She still doesn't solve the crimes with the same strangely discerning eye like Nichols, and all she is really is very skilled eye candy.  Even her backstory can't make her character compelling.
Anyway, Criminal Intent shouldn't go off the air.  They should just make the Sherlock a female this time.  Stupid poopyhead networks.    

Man, this was poorly written.  I’ll work it out later.  

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sad Oreos

So I was reading this rather redundant article and I was taken aback by this:
"On the subject of satisfying appetite, I consulted Raylene Reimer, a registered dietitian and associate professor of nutrition and metabolism at the University of Calgary. "Protein has the highest satiety factor of the three macronutrients, carbohydrates come second, and fat is hardly satiating at all," she said."

Every nutritionist I've seen, (which is 4), has told me that fat and protein BOTH satisfy hunger more than carbs.  Fat being of the same power as protein TO ABOLISH THE STOMACH GROWLS.  
But I tend to agree, only because if I eat something fatty, I want more of it.  I'm certainly not "satiated".  Yet...4 nutritionists.  Versus this soundbite.  WHAT TO BELIEVE?