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Archive for May, 2005

Oh. My. God. Best. Cookies. Ever.

May 31, 2005 5 comments

Mr. Angst’s job is getting worse (if that’s possible) and we’re trying to find the means of coping. So far, our preferred methods drinking and baking cookies. Tonight, we’re doing both. Since dinner was relatively healthy (sauteed baso [a white fish] with a lemon/garlic vinaigrette, steamed broccoli, and rice), we felt sort of justified having something less healthy to follow up.

Meet the Cookies of Heaven, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. (The oatmeal makes them healthier, and I used Egg Beaters instead of regular eggs. That, ladies and gents, is what’s called justification. Also, we have MANY left.)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups rolled (old-fashioned) oats
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans (we don’t eat cookies with nuts in them)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg (or 1/4 cup Egg Beaters)
1/4 cup maple syrup (or just regular syrup, that’s what I used)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Set 2 racks in the middle and upper thirds of the oven and preheat to 350°F.

In a medium bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, oats, and pecans together with a whisk or fork.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together for 30 seconds until blended. Beat in the egg until smooth and barely fluffy. With mixer running on medium high, drizzle in the maple syrup, and vanilla until incorporated. Turn the mixer down to its lowest setting and gradually add the flour-oatmeal mixture. Blend just to combine, then mix in the chocolate chips.

Drop walnut-sized balls of dough onto a nonstick or parchment-lined cookie sheet at 3-inch intervals. With moistened fingers, flatten and round out the cookies a little. Bake for 9 minutes, turning the pan once for even baking. The cookies are done when they are lightly browned on top. Set the cookie sheets on a rack to cool.

Recipe courtesy of FoodNetwork.com.

Categories: food

ooooh!

May 31, 2005 3 comments

As seen at Volokh and L3, Deep Throat appears to have unmasked himself.

I find this VERY INTERESTING. I’ve always thought Deep Throat must have been a very interesting character, from the first time I saw “All the President’s Men” to the writing class I took where we read a great deal of the Watergate journalism.

More as this unfolds!

Update: And the Washington Post confirms it. (Registration required, unfortunately.) Although Woodward seems still a little uncertain that Felt is competent to change the terms of the secrecy agreement, he’s gone ahead and stated that these reports are true.

By the by, it you want to read the Vanity Fair article that started it all, Wonkette has it. It’s not terribly gripping stuff, but it does the trick.

The thing that really gets me is that Felt did what he did out of tremendous loyalty to the Bureau; the other thing that gets me is that he seems to have been weighed down by tremendous guilt over it for the last three decades. In the end, too, it seems money was the motive for revealing himself—not to make himself rich, but to help his family.

Categories: of note

upgrades!

May 31, 2005 5 comments

My cellphone has been acting up lately; this is annoying and, worse, is affecting my social life. I’ve missed several calls in the last couple of days, at least one because my phone died without its usual warning beeps. I should add that my phone is also pretty gimpy all-around, not just recently. Even my provider recognizes its crappiness, as they informed me not long ago that they’ll be upgrading voice mail systems and that my current phone won’t be compatible with those upgrages. So I have to get a new phone anyway; the question has been, “When?”.

I wanted to wait until a little closer to our apartment-hunting trip because I want to be able to test signal strength in the neighborhoods and buildings we’ll be exploring. (I get a 30-day grace period with a phone upgrade.) Well, the apartment-hunting trip is two-and-a-half weeks away, which means it’s time. So today at lunch I’ll be traipsing down to the T-Mobile store to pick up my new phone. Whee! It’s about time.

Update: Urgh. I got there and their computers were down. The guy helping me was not very helpful. Then I asked about the return period and found it’s really only 14 days, not 30 days. I was mad. I stormed out. Now Mr. Angst wants to look at other providers.

So, request. Do you have a family plan? Do you like it and have good service? Even if you don’t have a family plan, do you like your provider and its customer service? We currently have T-Mobile which I think is fine; I don’t have major problems with them, though they’re not all that eager to bend over backwards to give me free stuff, despite my five years with them.

Categories: tech

People are going to be hackin' into this poor animal that looks like it's bleedin' to death!

May 30, 2005 8 comments

We had dinner last night with a friend for her birthday. This particular friend is a bit of a baker and usually makes birthday cakes for everyone else (or used to; she’s been busy lately).

So her husband ordered her birthday cake, wanting it to be special. He even managed to keep their kids from telling her how the cake was decorated.

How was it decorated? Check it out:
Read more…

Categories: off the beaten path

Books 10-14

May 30, 2005 2 comments

The Harry Potter books, by J.K. Rowling

Yes, these were all re-reads for me, but I’m gearing up for the upcoming release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which I have already ordered and which will be shipped to me, from England, in about three weeks. Yee!

So I think almost everyone knows the basic plot of the Harry Potter books—it’s the basic orphan-makes-good story, with some twistiness. (If you’ve been living in a cave, maybe you don’t know the story, so stop reading now if you don’t want to know anything about the plot.) Harry lives with his dreadful aunt and uncle because his parents have died. He discovers on his 11th birthday that he is a wizard and that his parents were killed by an evil wizard. And that he gets to go to school at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Each book recounts a year at school, and each year at school brings a fresh adventure that features Harry facing down the evil Lord Voldemort, as he returns to power.

I like the Harry Potter books. The stories are good—engaging, lively, humorous at times, and easily relatable. (Did I say that right? Anyone can relate to these books, really.) The writing is pretty good. Rowling isn’t a master of language, but the writing is clean and age-appropriate (these are YA books, after all).

All in all, I recommend these books. I’ll keep re-reading them every time a new release comes out (after Half-Blood Prince, there will only be one more, though) and I’ll keep enjoying them.

Categories: reviews

Day 2, Memorial Day Weekend

May 29, 2005 Comments off

Our tubing trip was not delayed yesterday. By 10:30, the sky was clearing and when we got to the tube-rental place at noon, the sun was shining through the trees. It was really a perfect day to be on the river.

Of course, I ended up with tube rash on the backs of my calves, so my legs were on fire once we got out of the water, four hours after putting in. We stopped at a local barbeque joint on the way home, stuffed ourselves “family style” (all you can eat platters of brisket, pork ribs, and sausage; heaping bowls of slaw and potato salad and beans), finishing off the evening with huge bowls of blackberry cobbler.

I was actually in pain from the amount of food I ate. That, and the burning on my legs, of course. Luckily, we’ve got Solarcaine here at home, so I slathered myself before bed time and passed out shortly after 10 pm.

And the weekend isn’t over for two more days! I’m going to rest off the sun-overexposure today—we may actually also get to unload some of our storage-bound stuff, since we’re calling in a truck favor. Maybe by tomorrow we’ll have some space to clean up around here.

Off to make breakfast, and coffee.

Categories: just me

murphy, go home

May 28, 2005 Comments off

You know, this is so typical. They’ve been warning us of heavy thunderstorms for days now, but we hadn’t seen a drop of rain.

Until this morning. The morning of the day that we are going tubing on a nearby river. Gr.

We’re still going; we’ll see if they let us go in or not.

Happy (Wet) Memorial Day Weekend!

Categories: just me

Friday Spies©

May 27, 2005 6 comments

From Fitz-Hume & Co. (now featuring the triumphant return of Milbarge!)

1. What is the best thing about the city in which you live? What is the worst?

Best? The overwhelming amount of cool stuff to do—music, food, museums, outdoor recreation. There’s just a lot of stuff here that’s really cool.

Worst? The summers are DAMN HOT. And there’s not a graduate program here for Mr. Angst, hence our upcoming move.

2. Describe an idea or invention of yours that you would like to see turned into reality.

Um. Can I get back to you on this one? I have these sorts of thoughts all the time, but they, of course, completely escape my mind when you ASK about them. That’s probably why none of them ever become reality.

But if I could remember any of them, I guarantee they would all have something to do with making my life easier. Like, ways to remind myself of things I need to do, that I invariably remember while I’m in the car and can’t write them down. Even better, I’d love a tool to transcribe whatever I’m babbling aloud into a nice text file. Because I talk to myself in the car. It’s a way for me to hash out ideas. Or some tool that would let me work in bed without having to juggle books and a laptop and a bottle of Diet Coke.

Basically, anything that allows me to be more productive without becoming less lazy.

3. Name an overrated author, musician, and movie. Name an underrated author, musician, and movie.

Overrated Author: James Joyce. I barely made it through A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. To my mind, any novel that is renowned for being difficult not only to understand but just to GET THROUGH (I’m looking at you, Ulysses) is just not worth the hype.

Overrated Musician: Norah Jones. Yes, I love her music, but my eyes are open to the fact that very little of her music is, in fact, HER MUSIC. She is like almost every other pop starlet—her breakout first album was carefully crafted by a team of producers to showcase her vocal talent. She’s a singer, just like all the other beautiful young singers. When she puts out a successful album of music she’s written, then I’ll reconsider her musician-ness.

Overrated Movie: 2001: A Space Odyssey. I just don’t get it.

Underrated Author: Jane Austen. I think there’s still a great feeling that Austen’s novel are just sort of Victorian fluff, nice to read and fun to analyze, but without much social or political merit. I think that’s incorrect. To be fair, this view seems to be waning—more and more serious scholarship is being written on Jane Austen’s works—but there is still a pretty significant stigma associated with, for instance, MEN reading Austen and enjoying it.

Underrated Musician: Neil Diamond. Yeah, he’s cheesy. Yeah, he’s easily mock-able. But the man is a PERFORMER. And his tunes are catchy and fun to sing along with—and he’s attracted a multi-generational following. I won’t apologize for loving the Neil.

Underrated Movie: Out of Sight. Just because it has J. Lo and Clooney in it doesn’t mean it’s not a good movie. I liked this movie a lot, but most people saw the posters and the trailers and thought it would be awful. I thought it would be awful. But it’s not.

4. If your life were a sitcom slated to air in the fall, what would the show be called? Who would you cast in the starring role? And for extra credit, give us a brief treatment of the show.

My life isn’t really sitcom worthy. Seriously. Can I have a cooking show instead? How about “Electric! Cooking Without Gas!” I’ll have guests every now and then—college students and apartment dwellers who try to eat well though equipped with crappy cooktops. We’ll have hijinks involving grease splatter and overcooked chicken, and at the end of every episode, we’ll order Chinese.

5. When is the fun supposed to start?

Would you believe that I didn’t see this movie until about three years ago? Pretty sad. Of course, one of my favorite bars used to show movie clips and the pool scene was one they showed A LOT. Ah well.

Categories: Friday Spies

i need to get OUT OF HERE

May 26, 2005 9 comments

I just felt something on my toe under my desk, so I shook my foot, thinking it was a piece of detritus falling from the underside of my keyboard tray.

And it moved up my toe, under my sandal strap.

I flung my foot out, nearly tossing my sandal off in the process, and pushed back from my desk. Feet hiked up on the central column of my chair, I peered into the dark corner underneath.

And I saw a beetle scuttle away.

I think I might throw up.

Categories: just me

You know what I love?

May 26, 2005 Comments off

Listening to someone’s conversation in a bar, except it’s not really a real conversation, it’s one person talking about her job and the crappy cast of characters she works with.

And I love when, after her friend makes some consoling noises and starts to tell her his own similar experience, she says, “Well that’s easy for you to say, you don’t have a family to support. But, no, no, i’m not one of those women, really. Tell me your story.”

Wow.

Categories: likes and dislikes
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