24 June 2014

Oh hai.

So. I'm still here. I've intended to resurrect the blog so many times that I've lost count, but I'm pretty sure that it's going to be mostly dormant between now and when I defend. By the way, my defense is scheduled for August 11th. Please don't tell me how many weeks away that is, because I might have a full blown anxiety attack. I had an over-caffeinated freak out this afternoon, but I talked it out with Kyle. So I'm good, as long as I don't think too long about how much I have to accomplish (and do well!) between now and then. In fact, I'm required to give a draft of my thesis to my committee by July 11th and that is entirely too soon for my tastes.

If you'd like to watch my thesis meltdown much closer, I'm on instagram (again). I'll be taking pictures of pens and lattes and the odd picture of the back of Ramona's head.

It's a very cute head.

06 April 2014

Notes from the underground

screenshot from my talk

There are so many things going on right now, it makes my head spin.

Last last week, my collaborator came into town. We spent a really intense week working on my papers and I had a committee meeting and subsequent talk. It went. Although the collaboration went really well.

I'm going to jinx myself, but I think I finally have a defense date in August. I'm so looking forward to that being over, I can't even tell you. BUT there's so much that I need to do before I finish for real (write an introduction to my thesis, a summary to the thesis, resubmit a paper, and submit another paper) that I'm not quite sure how I'm going to make it. I do know, however, that I will. Because I have to.

Ramona is a trooper. I feel bad because I'm an insane person right now and she's really starting to learn empathy (I don't know how, if you've ever met Colby or me). She sees me going crazy and then says "sorry, mama" since she knows that makes some things better. It warms my heart. It's also part of the reason why I'm not going to really work on weaning her yet because we need that time together when I can just focus on her instead of everything else for a change.

We're selling our house. If you'd like to live in a diversified neighborhood that's not super expensive and like 15 minutes from anything you'd ever want let me know. Last week we secured an apartment next to Ramona's school. We chose that place specifically so she could stay in the same place. So much is changing, and so we wanted to keep that the same for her.

Colby's parents are coming to help us get the house ready and then my dad and step mom are coming too. I'm hoping that we'll have everything ready so that we can officially put the house on the market. I love this house and it's sad that we're selling it, but it's for the best. Ramona needs to be in a better school district for the future, for sure.


There are some other HUGE things on the horizon that I'm not at liberty to specify (no, there will be no siblings for Ramona, unless you know something that I don't, especially considering that I've newly discovered the moscow mule)... yet. But they're good and I'm hopeful for the future. I just wish that it would hurry up and get here so I can stop freaking out.

16 March 2014

Saturday night jams

That feeling when you have so much to do, you can't do anything because you're paralyzed by a combination of fear and stress.

So I'm listening to angsty music I used to listen to in college. Because I was really fucking angsty.


10 March 2014

Slow Cooking

She is way cuter than an ugly slow-cooked meal
To say that things have been tumultuous lately would be a vast understatement. The uncertainty of the future combined with the incredible stress that comes with finishing a thesis would be bad enough, but having to maintain some facade of sanity so as to not terrorize my 2(!) year old, makes it a lot more challenging. One thing that is abundantly clear is that we need to really start saving money because my last guaranteed paycheck comes in May.

We've started using the slow cooker a lot more. We actually have two of these, and they've mostly sat in the pantry neglected, only to come out during the holidays to warm whatever alcoholic beverage we're serving (think spiked hot chocolate or mulled cider). My main issue with the slow cooker is something that I still don't understand. If you have a recipe that cooks in 6 hours, how exactly do you time your slow cooking so that you don't come home to a giant mess of over-cooked food or do you just eat at midnight?

I thought that I'd link to a few recipes that we've tried with some notes, mostly for me.

Chicken Philly Sandwiches
This recipe calls for "Dale's Steak Seasoning", which I gather is basically just Maggi with some other things in it, but we didn't have any and neither did Central Market, so I used ~3T or so of Pecos 83 BBQ Marinade. I also added some Zehnder's Chicken Seasoning (although I have the one with MSG in it because yum) because I somehow have two bottles of this stuff and I have no idea what to do with it. This turned out really well.

Barbecue Pulled Chicken
I'm not even sure that this is the recipe I used, but it's close to what we did. What you should NEVER do is use Sweet Baby Ray's. That shit is a) nasty and b) way too high in sugar to slow cook because it burns. I'd probably use that Pecos 83 BBQ marinade and try to make this again.

Beef and Farro Stew
Admittedly, slow-cooking is the opposite of pressure cooking, but I'd been watching a lot of old school AB lately. We had almost all of the ingredients on hand, minus the beef, so I figured we'd give this a go. I substituted farro for the barley because we have a lot of if and I have no idea what to do with it. I also subbed in sage and thyme because I hate rosemary and we don't have any marjoram and obviously, I used prepared beef stock. At the end, I added a big dash of porcini powder and some frozen corn that we had on hand. The first day I was super disappointed because it was so one-dimensional (i.e., it was like tomato stew with other things in it), but after sitting in the fridge for a couple days, it made for great leftovers.

22 January 2014

Meal planning one day at a time

This has somehow become the week from hell, even though it's a 4-day week. I stupidly made appointments on campus on Tuesday and Wednesday and squeezed in an early morning telecon. And of course, Ramona hasn't been sleeping. Colby is crazy tired too and I feel bad, but I've got to keep pushing to finish things. Can 2014 be over already?

In other news, we've been trying to cook more, and it sort of works until we get super burned out by it and then eat out the entire weekend. While everyone who blogs claims that they strive for balance, I really need to figure out what that is. I don't get home from campus until 9-9:30 every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Ironically, those are the days that we've been best about cooking. We caved and got dinner for 2 from central market. Here's what the rest of the week's meals look like because I needed to take a break from trying to make plots.

Wednesday:
Lunch: Leftover chicken parm (colby), Leftover chicken tikka masala (julie)
Dinner: salmon hash and chile con carne (because no salmon hash is complete without chili?)

And that's where we run out of groceries and leftovers.

We are clearly the best at planning.

And here's a random picture that accidentally got uploaded from my phone. Because what post is complete without a picture?

Yes, those are vacuum sealed gummy bears. No, don't ask.

20 January 2014

flow chart


I think I just wrote the flow chart for finishing my thesis. So this is good.



08 January 2014

captain plan-it



Oh right, I'm supposed to be blogging more.

I got an old school planner the other day. I'm hoping to keep track of things that I'm working on a day-to-day basis in it because I'm super terrible at making lists and then leaving them all over the place. I also, apparently, suck at google calendar because it always deletes my events and moves them around. Mostly, though, I love paper products and writing with a good pen.