All posts in Food


In an effort to narrow down what causes the horrible phlegm build-up I sometimes experience, I’m going to try eliminating dairy products entirely. From my diet, not from the planet (“We gotta nuke this cow pasture from orbit. Only way to be sure.”) I’m already lactose intolerant, but it seems like after I have a bowl of cereal, even with lactose-free milk, I get all congested.

So I picked up some soy milk and almond milk. I really dreaded this day as I figured soy milk would taste terrible. But it was okay. Or perhaps the Cookie Crisp covered the taste.

I still want to see an allergist to see if there is anything else I should be avoiding. I will also be looking into surgery to correct my deviated septum. Being able to breathe clearly through both nostrils would be nice.

How to Make a Smoothie

1. Find all of the fruit in your house.
2. Put it in a blender with some ice.
3. Press ANY of the buttons.

Poor Man’s Shepherd’s Pie

Okay, this is technically not shepherd’s pie as it uses chicken instead of beef or lamb. But still.

Here’s what you need:
1 can of Amy’s Organic Southwestern Vegetable Soup
1 pre-cooked rotisserie chicken
1 package of pre-made mashed potatoes

1. Cut up some of the chicken and mix it into the soup.
2. Heat up the soup.
3. Heat up enough mashed potatoes to cover the surface area of your soup bowl.
4. Dollop the potatoes over the soup.
5. Enjoy!
6. Thank Drey for inventing such a quick and delicious meal.


One of the first things I did when I got to Austin was to sign up for interesting groups at I get to meet people with similar interests and check out cool new places in Austin.

Right now I’m part of Discovering Austin, a couple wine/coffee/singles Meetup groups, a sushi group, two Landmark groups, and two movie groups. One of the movie groups is the Alamo Drafthouse Fans, which I am an assistant organizer for. That means I get to pick movies, schedule events and get people to come to the Alamo to have a good time!

For Monica

For the voyeuristically inclined, I present a thorough investigation of my day, in all of its tedious detail.

Sleep was punctuated by coughing fits every hour or so, as I am in the end stages of defeating a cold. I had survived all of the minibosses and was now facing off against Master Phlem. It is a protracted battle, spread across various arenas, including my sinuses. When I did manage to sleep, I had sexual mini-dreams of someone awesome. I didn’t have much time to sleep in the first place as I had gone out to see my friend’s band perform at Joker’s. She kicked much ass and sang tunes both resonant and prescient. I also witnessed much male posturing by a dude at our table. I’m above such peacockery, but it amuses me to see them dance before her. There was also this other guy that kind of made me want to be gay. Like if she had suggested a threesome, I’d have said “cool.”

So the alarm finally goes off at 6AM. I have it tuned to a radio station I hate, so I will be eager to get up and turn it off. The wacky morning DJs are actually calling a listener and getting her out of bed, which actually seems like a useful service. It reminded me of the alarm in the movie I watched last night, American Astronaut. The astronaut’s alarm blares “What did your father teach you?” over and over until the astronaut answered, “My father taught me to kill the sunflower.” The alarm would then say, “Congratulations, you are now awake.” This was very much like my interactions with Dave when we were roomates in college. He was the astronaut and I was the alarm.

I peed and coughed and herded the cats around. I wrote a provocative email. I fed the cats. Alucard is on a special diet, so I have to sequester him in the bedroom while the other cats eat normal food. He is then free to eat his special bunny and green pea nuggets. They all started out eating it, but it makes Neeka puke. $30 a bag. It’s a real drag.

I may or may not have had some tea. I’ve been drinking Gypsy Cold Care all the time. I think I looked at a few web sites. Gabe’s late on getting the comic up and Tycho’s early for a change.

I get in the shower. I need to think about ordering more conditioner. Is this stuff really working? There’s still a wad of hair in the drain. Getting out of the shower, I decide to postpone putting the waffles in the toaster until right before I have to brush my teeth. Defeats the purpose otherwise. Then I use The Device. I bought The Device a few weeks ago when I was ready to shoot myself rather than suffer another morning of hacking up snot due to the cold weather and how it interacts with my throat. The Device helps. Its pulsating jets of salt water ream out my sinuses. This morning I was able to smell the carpet. It’s that good.

The pimple by my nose is almost gone.

Even though my hair is fairly short, it is still not short enough. I tie up a little 1″ ponytail so I can see what it would look like with the back cut off. I will wear this the rest of the day so I can get a feel for it.

I make sure my iPod is all loaded up and then I head out for work. I’m maybe 20 minutes late. It’s okay because I’ve been going in 15 minutes early all week. I’m almost to the freeway when the coughing fit hits me. I pull into a parking lot and cough and choke and vomit. I head back home and cough and vomit some more. I think about eating breakfast again, but decide instead to take some of Amy’s Organic Ravioli with me for lunch. I head back towards work, listening to GeeksOn. They are having a rather heated discussion about copyright and deep linking on web sites. I haven’t heard them so wound up. Peter and Matt are especially intense.

At work there are now too many things for me to do. In addition to ongoing web site redesigns, I am learning CSS, writing articles for the new newsletter, running a batch of find & replace tasks on the site code, making icons, taking over some sites from the other designer, and thinking of new ways to revamp the company’s business model. I have some tea and answer emails. I finish another site. I never noticed how often I have to use the restroom until I started being someplace other than my apartment for extended periods of time.

I find myself thinking of someone awesome and smiling a lot, thinking I might just go for it.

Eventually, 1PM rolls around and I get out of there. I stop at Style America and have the hairdresser cut it even shorter. Sitting in the chair, I am painfully aware of how I am talking about nothing at all with the hairdresser and I am doing it vigorously. I used phrases I didn’t really need to in order to describe the simplest of things. So now I have a wedge cut, like Starbuck.

I listen to GeeksOn on the way home. There is traffic on I-40 as they have decided to do construction on the left lane. There is so much road construction going on around the city that the detours actually lead you into more construction. The Washington overpass is simply gone. There’s some kind of archeological dig happening on the eastbound side of I-40. Central is a nightmare of orange barrels. During one such meandering detour, I drove past the new Uptown, a dazzling array of new stores that once only existed in California.

At home there is no good email or regular mail. I file my taxes. I’m getting a refund for the first time in like forever. I already spent it on a new movie screen. For lunch I reheat the gnocchi I made last night, but it tastes like ass. Nothing like Saggio’s. I decide to rejoin the GeeksOn forums. I was gone for about a week, nursing a bruised ego. I had made a valentine for Lisa Lassek, building it from bits of Wonderfalls and Firefly footage she had edited. They called me a stalker and that hurt. It was a cool valentine. I get caught up on the forums and then write a few emails.

Then I started writing this blog entry.


After three attempts, I think I have perfected the recipe.

Banana Bread

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup + 1 tbs softened butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
3 large overripe bananas
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1. Combine sugar, butter and vanilla
2. Beat eggs into sugar mixture
3. Mash bananas, leaving some small chunks, and combine with sugar mixture
4. Mix dry ingredients together
5. Combine ingredients and pour into greased 9×9″ glass baking dish
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes

Let’s Get a Taco

Maybe the reason I have been lacking in energy and feeling so down is *because* I haven’t been eating meat. So maybe I haven’t felt the same since I stopped, I’m actually worse off. I think I’m going to head over to the Frontier and get a taco. I have a feeling it will be the best taco I’ve ever had.

Vegetables are your friends

A couple weeks ago, a conversation put it into my head to see what it would be like to go without meat for a while. I wanted to 1. See if it affected the way I felt (some of you know of my digestive peculiarities) and 2. Just see if I could do it.

Surprisingly, I found that I could go without meat cold turkey (I swear I did not intend that) and had no cravings or anything of the kind. In fact, when preparing some chicken soup for a friend, I felt simultaneously drawn and repelled by the meat.

It’s been over two weeks now, and I don’t feel anything other than inconvenience when I have to eat out somewhere. I don’t feel better or worse, so it seems like a zero net change. I’m going to give it a few more weeks.

By the way, Amy’s American-style soy burgers are fantastic.

A busy kingdom

It seems like there’s a flurry of activity in every facet of my life. If I were ruler of some mystical kingdom just beyond the Scintillating Sea, I might take a survey of my domain. I would discover the palace architects busy with a strange House that kept changing appearance and dimensions. The money counters are wringing their hands, suggesting we tax the peasants more, raid several neighboring kingdoms for gold, or at least beseech those that tread in heavenly realms for a boon. The royal chef is preparing strange foreign meals for the king’s whimsical diet. The High Dreamers awake daily to record detailed accounts of their journeys through the sliding seafoam beaches of silver worlds. New orders arrive regularly for the court artists, requests for portraits and windows that burn with cryptic sigils. The ambassador entertains queens visiting from faraway realms while the jester dances with the cats. The king stands in his empty bedchamber and stares out across the landscape, imagining a quiet cottage on a hill where none of the clocks work.


The Rodeo went into the shop yet again today, this time to replace the starter. People keep telling me to sell it and get a new vehicle. But I love my car. It was the first thing I purchased in my new life, a transport from one world to the next. I can’t just give up on it. Besides, after this year I will be done paying it off. Then I can use the extra money for maintenance and bringing it back up to top form. If it were a computer, I might think differently, but I think there is a value in getting the most use out of everything you own instead of always upgrading to the next best thing.

If only I could upgrade my insides. Tomorrow I will make an appointment with the doctor to perhaps confirm my greatest fear: My body is rejecting wheat gluten, an ingredient present in the bulk of the foods I eat. I’ve been reading up on it and the consequences of not dealing with this aren’t merely physical discomforts but serious health risks. I eat bread as a snack item and just about every meal I enjoy includes something gluten-based. And I already have lactose intolerance. It’s like the major food groups are slowly closing their doors to me. Years from now I will have to subsist on injections of genetically engineered nutrients. Anyhow, my next shopping trip will be gluten free, as an experiment. Wish me luck.