My weekend didn’t exactly take a fabulous start. Considering I didn’t get home from the lab until 0:04 Saturday morning, my sleep schedule has been atrocious all weekend. I only garnered about five hours of sleep that night, so between errands early on Saturday combined with working on my presentation for the upcoming department research day, I had to crash for a couple hours for a nap. I wish I could have pushed that a little earlier on, because shortly thereafter I headed over to Clark Dever’s for a good ol’ gathering they were throwing. Unfortunately, I showed up relatively later on in the original schedule for the shindig, and most of the guests had left. I did get to meet a couple folks there, but poor Clark and Susan were just too beat at that point of the week (but I still appreciate the invite and food I got to try). Luckily, I at least did come out of it learning how to open up a crab and get at the goodies all bare-handed.

Saturday was a 50/50 bust for productivity. Got presentation work done, shitty timing on a social event, watched TV into the wee hours of the morning (running on the odd sleep schedule), so thank god Sunday was a little more coherent. I made round two of some delicious lentil and pasta soup (see below, left). The soup was fantastic much like the first time. I had intended to swap out half of the orzo for barley, but I realized too late that I was out of barley. I’ll have to save that for next time.

In addition to this, I also made some (long since craved) Vietnamese imperial rolls (see above, right). They were delicious, but they needed some more kick to the filler material. I think I might have overdone the amount of rice noodles that I was supposed to use, so that might explain the mild flavor. Next time, I’ll probably also try to use the rice wrappers instead of the easy-peasy egg roll wrappers.

I’ve got more to fill in on, but right now I need some more sleep. This week’s going to be a bit crazy, much like last week, but I’ll make it through. I always have so far, and will continue to do so (at least until my brain snaps, or I develop Alzheimer’s)!

After a couple weeks of eating like crap1, I feel an urge to purge the ick from my system. I spent nearly two weeks finishing off a batch of homemade mac’n’cheese (made something like 3-4 quarts worth in the end), beef and mushroom stroganoff, a tray of brownies2, and I still haven’t touched some leftovers from last weekend at Shannon Pub and cheese from the wine’n’cheese night with my friend who was in town. No wonder I feel like crap! All that food, loaded with fats and relatively devoid of any real vegetables.

I picked up two bags of frozen blueberries, one large bag of frozen strawberries, a quart of relatively non-additionally-sweetened yogurt, and have plenty of limeade in my freezer to make fruit smoothies every morning this week to go with the oatmeal I plan to eat virtually every morning. Additionally, I made some more of my apo-meat spaghetti last night3 to tide through the week as lunch leftovers, and some hard-boiled eggs or fruit-laden Aldi-brand yogurt if I’m craving some harder protein at some point. There are some bell peppers and onions in my fridge dying to be used in fried rice for dinner4, and some sweet corn in the freezer that’s been taunting me for a couple weeks now!

I guess it’s not a true purge by any means, but my body does a great job of craving some legitimate vegetables when I’m due. Ever since I got hooked back onto tomatoes in high school, I get cravings for them almost weekly if I don’t get any. I used to despise broccoli, and now it’s the first (hot) green veggie I crave when I want something greenish and not sweet5, followed quickly thereafter by spinach (cold). Onions have always been tasty (even raw), mushrooms I need to experiment more with fresh (used canned ones so often over the years), and I’m actually contemplating *gasp* cauliflower! I saw a delicious bisque recipe for it; sure, it’s not so healthy, but I damn near never eat cauliflower. Perhaps I’ll make a recovery from that much like I did with pork chops and steak from my younger years6. Holly did get a nice start on that food a few years ago by broiling the cauliflower; that was actually fairly tasty!

1Not total crap; just relatively unhealthy. Homemade cooking can taste fantastic, but boy sometimes can it be a little deleterious to my own personal health.
2The brownies were a stupid move. I had a craving for them one night, ate two of them post-baking and my craving was sated.
3I still had a couple quarts left from the last time I made a batch. I’m selling myself a lot easier on it without any meat in it; I don’t have to worry about having/picking up any ground meat for it, and it almost tastes better as long as I have plenty of chunky tomatoes in it!
4Note to self: need to cook up rice tonight so it’s ready to go tomorrow or later this week. I seem to be more of a man of the moment; if I can’t make it right now, I won’t make it. I need to work on my patience and planning with my cooking in those cases.
5Green and snow peas are my automatic go-to food for greenage cravings. They’re sweet to my palate, so I gorge on them on salads…mmmm!
6My mother bastardized some choice food items when I was younger. She would broil pork chops and steak to beyond well done; they were tough and dried out, and I couldn’t stand it. I never enjoyed eating steak until I got to college and finally indulged in eating some medium-well steaks. Ever since, it’s always medium or medium-rare. Similarly, she would boil (and often overcook) broccoli and cauliflower. Broccoli I got over quicker because I liked the taste of it cold, but cauliflower got to the point it made me want to gag. It’s a miracle I’ve gotten to the point that I will even purchase it of my own volition!

During my undergraduate days, I used to entertain a slew of side projects in my head that I wanted to attempt and/or accomplish had I ever found the time. Among that list was making a homemade railgun1, attempting to smith a sword/axe/sharp weapon and/or some plate armor2, and all kinds of random psychologically-related experiments. The psychologically-related experiments are not as menacing as one might expect; they were really more aimed at understanding how some people view things or themselves.

More »

Last couple of weeks have been kind of crazy. Makes me feel like I need a vacation, but I’ve been getting the feeling a lot lately. My de-stressing methods have been non-existent as of late. Need to work on that.

What I’ve been up to lately has included the following:

  • Adrienne came up from Maryland to visit over last weekend. It was great to have an old friend to hang out with for the weekend, even though I was already beat from the work week1.
  • I got to PLAY CRIBBAGE2!!! WHOOO!!!
  • Anything more than an entire bottle of wine for myself still fucks me up. Apparently I’m sick after 1.75L-worth of the stuff. However, you’ve pretty much won me over if you ever try to seduce me with (no more than) a bottle of decent wine and some strong, delicious cheeses3.
  • Passion Pit was pretty awesome to see last weekend. One of their opening acts, Bear Hands, was really good as well; I’ll be tracking down their music now. Got to meet Clark Dever in the process, and see the beautiful music hall that is the Rapids Theatre up in Niagara Falls, NY.
  • I liked Greenberg. It had a really cute ending in my opinion. In addition, I’m really curious to see The Losers and Cyrus when they make it to theater.
  • I totally went to The Tralf for the first time ever just to see The Invisible. I didn’t really care about the main act, Bonobo. I sort of took off after his first song or two. I just really, really, really wanted to see The Invisible!
  • Finally made it down to check out Comfort Zone this weekend. Nice little shop, and quite the tasty tea zings!

Alright, signing off at this point. Just wiped and ready to pass out…

1I hate being a lazy bum when I have company over for a weekend. Usually I like to drag them out to as much as reasonable to see stuff since two days isn’t much to see what Buffalo has to offer. Especially for food venues!
2I grew up playing cribbage with my father. I also (usually) enjoy playing poker, and I loved playing canasta and pinochle in college once I learned how to play those from friends. I even do hearts and spades! I have no buddies out here in Buffalo whom I can play card games with. By the way, I have many decks of cards, and my own cribbage board, too!
3Hint hint, in case anyone out there is really considering it!