Sunday, November 24, 2013

It's cold and stinks of pork

This year, Hanukkah and Thanksgiving fall on the same day. It's weird how we can extrapolate holidays to infinity--I could find out the date of Hanukkah for the next 200 years with a nanosecond Google search--but every year there's some temporal coincidence like this and we all have to read lifestyle columns about how to plan an appropriate theme party. Maybe I've watched too much Doctor Who at this point in my life, but do we need to coo and marvel over this sort of thing as if it were genuinely unexpected?

With that cynical attitude, I clearly haven't watched enough Doctor Who. Happy 50th Anniversary, fellow Whovians!
Happy Thanksgivukkah, anyway. No reason we shouldn't take pleasure in the simple things. I'm just a little grumpy because I cooked hot sausage for stuffed mushrooms, and now I have to leave the windows open to let the grease smoke out. I already took the smoke detector off the wall (and this time, I'm going to remember to put it back on, because that is how the Great Bra Fire of 2012 escalated so quickly). It's 30 degrees out and windy as fuck, so my apartment is freezing cold and stinking of pork to boot. Days I'll have to live in this pork-stink. DAYS!

Yes, it's that time of year again, when I make my one fancy dish: stuffed mushrooms. Like that guitar player in the park who only knows "Hotel California," I've got one good thing to offer the world and by god, I'm gonna do it!

One time, for the department Christmas party, I tried to make Spanish rice, and no one ate any of it--rightly so, because it was super-bland haole food that even I didn't want to eat. I'll never embarrass myself like that again. Everyone loves my stuffed mushrooms, and why wouldn't they? You can't go wrong with full-fat cream cheese and spicy sausage. I can already tell I'm going to have some of the stuffing mixture left over, and I'm looking forward to having some on a microwaved potato for dinner tonight. I'll shut the windows, crank the space heater, and stuff my gullet with delicious pork while I anticipate the office Thanksgivukkah party.

UPDATE: I ate too much cream cheese and sausage and now my belly hurts and everything is cold and stinks of pork. I'm going to watch more Doctor Who.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Urban Foraging

Uh-oh. Almost everyone who wished me a happy birthday last week said something about my blog. I think I have to start posting again.

My latest adventure in urban foraging is the best one yet. I've found apples, seashells, vacuum cleaners, dishes, and books on the stoops of Brooklyn, but a couple of weeks ago, my stubborn refusal to make eye contact with other pedestrians paid off big when I found an iPod on the ground.

I never wanted an iPod. On the other hand, I never particularly wanted a tablet, and then I got one for Christmas a while back and now I can't imagine what I'd do without it. How else would I be able to watch cartoons AND scroll through my tumblr feed at the same time? Same for my smart phone: what would I do if I couldn't take upside-down videos of  interesting birds I encounter? (Is there a way to flip videos like you flip regular pictures? Because my phone never warns me that I'm shooting upside down, I just have to find out later when I upload the footage to my computer.)

I got an iPod connector from the dollar store across the street from work, spent two hours downloading iTunes onto my rickety old laptop (and uninstalling all the useless toolbars and crap that came with it), hit "restore factory settings," and "Pete's iPod" became "Rachel's iPod."

Poor Pete--hanging out in Brooklyn, having a good time, and just like that, his brand new iPod pops out of his pocket and into the hands of a stranger who replaces his collection of carefully curated 80s dance music with 13 hours of "Star Talk" with Neil DeGrass Tyson.

But enough about Pete! Rachel's iPod also features every episode of "Welcome to Night Vale," and several hours of local music from Brooklyn's hottest up-and-comers. Two years into hosting a radio show and I've finally gotten around to listening to all of those CDs our guest bands leave in the station. And they're SUPER good! They must be amazing live!

Also, I've discovered this new thing, where you stick your headphones in and listen to music instead of paying attention to other people or traffic on the way to work. Have other people thought of this? It's pretty amazing. I haven't been hit by a single bike yet, either. Let THEM get out of MY way.

I've gone too far. This may be too much power for me.