31 January 2009
Then it was off to the Book Exchange, where I turned in some books, and got a few back in return, and I still have nine dollars in credit for a future book-emergency. In other book related news, I love finding strange old books in our musty, airless library here on campus, and over the break I picked up Echoes of Puget Sound which was incredibly charming and kind of a cross between Anne of Green Gables and The Good Rain. My new goal is to make my parents read this book.
Final stop was a Joanie's House of Crap, as it is lovingly known amongst the costumer's in the drama department, more formally called Joanne's. I bought batting to finish off my quilt and was disappointed to find out that they have no mosquito netting of any kind, so I can't finish off my bivy sack with the rest of my outdoor fabrics. I will have to wait or buy it online.
I'm listening to Wait Wait! now, Carrie Fisher is the guest star.
30 January 2009
27 January 2009
Bought the rest of my books. Rehearsal to-night, as always. Thinking of being lame and eating frozen chicken nuggets for dinner. With some leftover pasta. Oh, and some carrots. So it would be healthy.
24 January 2009
23 January 2009
22 January 2009
21 January 2009
19 January 2009
15 January 2009
14 January 2009
I made this recipe on Saturday and it was delicious, even though I didn't thicken the sauce enough, and it didn't keep well in the fridge like real Chinese takeout is supposed to. This is quite an accomplishment, as I am terrified of popping, sizzling boiling oil.
For the marinade and sauce:
1 ½ lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1 ½” pieces
¾ cup low sodium chicken broth
¾ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 ½ tsp. grated orange zest
8 thin strips orange peel (optional)
6 tbsp. distilled white vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
½ cup dark brown sugar
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. fresh grated ginger
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. cold water
For coating and frying:
3 large egg whites
1 cup cornstarch
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
3 cups peanut oil (or canola oil)
For the marinade and sauce, place the chicken in a Ziploc bag; set aside. In a large saucepan, combine the chicken broth, orange juice, zest, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and cayenne pepper; whisk until the sugar is fully dissolved. Measure out ¾ cup of the mixture and pour it into the bag with the chicken; press out as much air as possible and seal the bag, making sure that all pieces are coated with the marinade. Refrigerate 30-60 minutes, but no longer. Bring the remaining mixture in the saucepan to a boil over high heat. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and cold water; whisk the cornstarch mixture into the sauce. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and translucent, about 1 minute. Off the heat, stir in the orange peel (if using); set the sauce aside.
For the coating, place the egg whites in a pie plate and beat with a fork until frothy. In a second pie plate, whisk together the cornstarch, baking soda and cayenne until combined. Drain the chicken in a colander or large mesh strainer; thoroughly pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Place half of the chicken pieces in the egg whites and turn to coat. Transfer the pieces to cornstarch mixture and coat thoroughly. Place the dredged chicken pieces on another plate or a baking sheet.
To fry the chicken, heat the oil in an 11- to 12-inch dutch oven or straight sided sauté pan with at least 3 qt. capacity over high heat until the oil reaches 350° on an instant read or deep fry thermometer. Carefully place half of the chicken in the oil; fry to golden brown, about 5 minutes, turning each piece with tongs halfway through cooking. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Return the oil to 350° and repeat with the remaining chicken.
To serve, reheat the sauce over medium heat until simmering, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken and gently toss until evenly coated and heated through. Serve immediately.
10 January 2009
The feeling that you yourself were an experiment for another person is also a bad feeling. It suggests that you are temporary and unimportant in the long term, as the other person attempts to consciously choose to exhibit different behaviors than they are comfortable with, simply to see what a "normal" college male is like.
The statement that the community in the place where I work and live and play considers me a "lost cause in the social realm," stings quite a bit. The idea that I was befriended specially because I was considered a social outcast is also an idea that is not pleasing. This goes back partially into being an experiment.
I do not enter into relationships lightly, and when I do, I try to leave things like uncertainty and doubt at the door, especially at the beginning. This becomes harder as time goes on and I get the feeling that the other person does not care to make such a commitment. I tend to ask myself some pretty simple questions, but for me, they are very important. Does this person make me happy? Do I like myself and how I act when I am around this person? Can I sit down and really talk with this person without too much awkwardness? Do I think that this person likes me?
I don't necessarily want to know that someone tried to act as respectfully as possible throughout our time together. This suggests that it was a conscious effort that needed to be made. Generally, people respect and like their friends freely and simply, without forethought or discomfort. Friends also generally don't view each other as onerous tasks that they are require to see too, and do not see compliments, small gifts, or other signs of affection as signs of commintment or serious deeper feelings, but rather of friendship.
Okay, I'm done.
07 January 2009
PORT ANGELES, Wash. — A few days into the new year, I stood outside the house and stared into the darkness of a deep winter night at this far western edge of America – defiant on a bone-chilling eve.
It felt lonely and hypnotic here on the Olympic Peninsula, where a jut of land the size of Massachusetts holds an immensity of snow, surrounded on three sides by unknowable depths of gunmetal-gray salt water.
At this northern location, at a latitude equal to Newfoundland, it’s hard not to feel the seasonal blues in all their smothering inevitability. Because there were no big-city lights on the horizon, and clouds veiled a thin moon, the darkness had a particularly strong grip.
I wanted to get inside by the fire, to drink something strong, to eat something sweet, to find a bear’s den of deep sleep. If you live in the north, in places where the sun is an unreliable companion for many months, you can’t escape the urge to hide and hoard in winter.
But this year, I’ve decided to fight lethargy with logic, to welcome the new president, the babies just born, to see something other than closure, dormancy and loss in the annual dark season.
It’s tough, and perhaps absurd, to battle biological imperative. I crave light, pruning high up in the trees around my house to open more patches of sky, keeping the strings of Christmas luminescence hanging into January’s bleakness, checking the daily sunset tables for those few jumps of the clock that will hold back the curtain of night until 4:35 p.m., instead of 4:33.
06 January 2009
Mmm. Hungry. I feel like cooking, something kind of impressive, which I would then like to share with friends. The state of my kitchen is a slight problem. I could also clean up after last night, read some homework, something to keep me busy and not thinking about selling myself to strangers.
04 January 2009
I cannot quite tell how things are going. Mostly good. But then there are weird moments of disconnect, and I being to doubt that things are sincere. I guess this is just paranoid Allie talking. My roommate should come home today, and I will do a quick sweep for last minute messy things, and give him his silly little alcoholic gift, and then I will show him the energy bill. Growl.
Maybe I will go back to bed. Checks to deposit and books to pick up and senior project papers to write and a future to worry about, and right now the only thing that sounds really appealing is curling up in the last spot of residual warmth and day dreaming for a few hours.