Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Summer Salads

The Minimalist (Mark Bittman of the NYT) is my favorite recipe-guru. He just put out a list of 101 summer salads, and it's divine. Some of his recipes are a little too east-coast for me (I'm not a huge fan of canned clams, or tuna packed in heavy oil, and getting some of the finer ingredients can be tricky here in the Rockies), but mostly they are creative and new and easy. I've entertained using his 101 appetizers list, and people thought I was a magician in the kitchen. I haven't tried any of these salads yet, but it being summer, and hot, and produce being what it is right now...I can't wait. So I thought I'd share.

Here are the first three I'm going to try (I've only read the first few dozen, because I can't process 101 recipes at once):

13. A red salad: Combine tomato wedges with halved strawberries, basil leaves, shaved Parmesan and balsamic vinegar.

24. Blanch spinach, then drain and shock in ice water. Squeeze it dry, chop it and toss it with toasted pine nuts, raisins, olive oil and a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar. Capers are good, too. Quite elegant, actually.

44. Make a crisp grilled cheese sandwich, with good bread and not too much good cheese. Let it cool, then cut into croutons. Put them on anything, but especially tomato and basil salad. This you will do forever. (My note: why didn't I think of this? And he's right, I will do this forever).

I'm drooling.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Good news. Seriously.

I got a job interview. I'm trying not to get too excited (ok, I'm really too shocked to even be excited), but given how things have been? With the no-jobs-at-all-ness? I'm pretty excited. This, in large part because it's not just a job interview, it's an interview for a job I would actually like to have. Again, with the shock. I've been considering applying to be a cop (but those shifts really suck), I've applied to be a receptionist at a hair salon, I've applied to work for free, and so on. And I'm a lawyer, for chrissake. So this interview? For a job as a lawyer? But not a sucky firm job?

I'm probably about to wake up, aren't I? Please say I'm already awake. And that it's real. And even more important, please assure me it will go well. It took a year to get this interview. I can't wait another year.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I live in the #1 Best Place to Live in the United States!

Louisville (Colorado, duh) was named the best place to live in the U.S. by Money Magazine. We were #3 a few years ago, but we've moved up the list. I'm surprised it took me two and a half years in Boulder to figure out how awesome this little neighboring town is. I really didn't even know it existed for a while. For shame. Louisville really is the best place to live, and I plan on sticking around. Little traffic, low crime, street fairs every Friday night in summer, fabulous restaurants, affordable rent (affordable to buy, too, I just don't have first-hand knowledge of it!), Colorado weather, and terrific neighbors. What's not to love?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Okay, so I'm lazy

So, as usual, I didn't write it. But Maureen Dowd is just so on top of things, why bother? Here's another good Dowd column. A dig at Sarah Palin. Go forth, and read!

P.S. My favorite line is the one calling Bristol Palin the "ambassadress of abstinence." Which is demonstrated by Bristol holding her son....who was, of course, conceived in abstinence.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A litany of contradictions

Ok, so I didn't actually write anything for this post. But, this column by Maureen Dowd, about Gov. Mark Sanford, is super-duper fantastic. Please to read it?

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I'm not one to suffer from insomnia. Usually. In fact, I can sleep some 20 hours a day if I need (want?) to. Well, that particular rule is out the window. Here is a bulleted list of the potential reasons that I can't (bad word) sleep at night:
  • The job market
  • The fact that after looking for over a year, all I can find are low-paying, short-term jobs
  • My law degree, which cost $100,000 and is worth about $10/hour. I made more before law school.
  • Planning my wedding
  • Paying for my wedding
  • Guilt over the fact that Rex makes money, but absolutely hates his job. I get to stay at home all day.
  • Staying at home all day, feeling like a total loser.
  • Rent, which apparently has to be paid every month. We don't make enough to pay it every month!
  • Medical bills. A few thousand worth.
  • Medical billing companies that have no sympathy for the unemployed.
  • The fact that I'm not actually applying for jobs full time. That's what they tell you to do. What they don't tell you is that (a) there aren't enough jobs to take up that much time applying (b) after a while, it's hard to motivate because it feels so futile.
  • Basically? It all comes down to money. You need it for EVERYTHING, but we really don't have any. I have $76 in my bank account, which is great when you don't have a job and therefore don't have more coming in.
I'm so stressed out!

Friday, June 19, 2009


Rex and I have been spending a fair amount of time in the yard at our (still relatively) new rental house, fixing it up and making it pretty. Which is a lot of work, because it was absolutely trashed when we moved in, and the neighbors all say it's been 20 years since it looked halfway decent. We're determined folks, though, so we've been watering and weeding and planting grass seed and making a vegetable garden. It was all going so well, until our landlord decided she was going to have the south side (the worst of all), landscaped. Actually, she said xeriscaped, and Rex and I were fine with having someone else pay and perform the work to leave us with some attractive, low water landscaping.

Do you know what my landlord meant by "xeriscape?" I found out last Saturday, when I walked out to check out the new yard, only to find a giant mulch field. With a kidney-shaped "dirt pool" in the middle. I always wanted a pool. Just not a dirt pool. And there's nothing planted in the small respite from a sea of mulch, just dirt. The landlord has indicated a desire to wait on planting in the dirt pool, so we just get dirt. Do you know how attractive several hundred square feet of mulch is? NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT ATTRACTIVE. The dirt in the middle? Doesn't help. See?:
Here's a close-up of my lovely pool (of dirt):But it gets better. The landscapers (dare I call them that?) told us they had taken the liberty of installing soaker hoses in our veggie garden, since they were already installing them in the dirt pool. Rex and I thought that was great--we'd been meaning to do that, and now, we didn't have to! Only last night, when I planted a bunch more veggies, and went to water them, do you know what happened? The soaker "hoses" are actually solid tubes, and closed at the end. So no water comes out, anywhere but at the spigot where it sprays like crazy due to the pressure. Pressure that builds at the spigot because the hoses ARE NOT HOSES. They are closed tubes. Running all over our lovely vegetable garden, and all around the dirt pool. The beautiful tubes look like this:
And, we can't even unscrew the tubes to attach our actual soaker hoses, because they affixed them at the spigot in a rather permanent fashion. So. Watering cans for the vegetable garden. And watering with my eyes closed, so I don't have to see the sea of mulch with its kidney shaped dirt pool.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bad math

I was listening to Denver Mayor Hickenlooper on NPR this morning, and he was talking about the recession, and city employment, and the economy, and all that fun stuff. When I tuned in, he was going on about how layoffs are the absolute last thing the City and County of Denver would do to free up extra cash. Which, I think, is a good thing. Isn't it better to have everyone make a little less, than to leave some people high and dry while their colleagues are doing just peachy? In Denver, we're talking 3-4 furlough days. Period. Over a year. This isn't the 3-4 per month that Hawaii has instituted. Looks like we have a good plan.
Only, the details seemed a wee bit murky to me. To avoid layoffs, the government must trim costs in other ways. Naturally. By way of example, Mayor Hickenlooper said that agencies are starting to share services, like IT and fleet maintenance. That way, he said, we can trim about 20% of the workforce needed to perform those operations.
Wait. Isn't cutting the work force tantamount to layoffs? What, are we expecting 20% of the IT staff for the City and County of Denver to spontaneously retire all at once? Can someone explain how eliminating 20% of our IT and fleet maintenance crews, among others, we are avoiding layoffs? Kthx.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The life of leisure I'm leading

Some might call this being an unemployed deadbeat. After spending ALL DAY sitting in the sun at my favorite coffee shop, alternately doing nothing and chatting with friends and acquaintances, I call it a successful life of leisure. Women of leisure usually have money, and are not desperately in need of work so they can pay rent (nay, they own). Today I say FIE! I've chosen this life of leisure (no I haven't) and I won't give it up for anything (except any reasonable offer of employment)! Oh, but it's so nice. Why must I work? Why can't I live this life forever?