Saturday, April 11, 2009

I Brake For Lush

Yesterday was a good day. I went to the Pacific Ocean Marketplace (closest and biggest Asian market in the North Denver Area) and did some grocery shopping.

POM Goodies

(I really need to incorporate my Japanese studying more into my daily life so I can learn it better, so feel free to ignore the hiragana (ひらがな) characters in parentheses. It's possible that they aren't entirely correct, anyway.)

Starting on the far left and then going in a bit of a z-like line: Furikake (ふりかけ), seasoned seaweed paste (which sounds unappetizing but is quite good as an onigiri (おにぎり) filling), aloe drink (tasty enough), sushi (すし) vinegar, almond crunch pocky, mochiko (もちこ) rice flour, bubble gum assortment, enoki (えのき) mushrooms, baby eggplants, tofu (とふ), ginger candy, grape tomatoes, snap peas, bean thread, yakisoba (やきそば), green tea and red bean paste daifuku (だいふく), gyoza (ぎょうざ) wrappers, quail eggs, miso (みそ) soup, pretty spoon, soup flavoring.
Pretty Soup Spoon

Closeup of my pretty soup spoon which should match the new bento bowl set I bought on JList.

I found a blog that posted about how easy it was to make daifuku and really daifuku is incredibly cute so it's perfect for bento (ぼんと) so I bought the mochiko to use for that. I also bought the pre-made daifuku hoping that I would like it more this time. But I didn't. I'm terribly disappointed in that too - should pretty food taste great? I don't know if it's the filling that I don't like from the premade daifuku, so I'm going to try to make the mochi (もち) dough myself and then put raspberries or strawberry filling of some sort inside and hope that I like that better.

I bought some eggs to try to make tamagoyaki (たまごやき) which is a Japanese rolled omelet. It's pretty useful and perfectly suited to bento, so I figured I'd give it a shot. It turned out darker than most tamagoyaki, but I think I like it that way. It was tasty and I think it will go very well in my bentos.
04/10/09 Bento

I was home from work so I didn't have to prepare my bento lunch in a box before eating it. I like arranging food on a plate too - it's very satisfying.

Avocado slices, grape tomatoes, green tea daifuku, tamagoyaki, leftover Hawaiian teriyaki (てりやき) tofu rice bowl from Rumbi Island Grill.

I messed around online, put up some books I found at the thrift store on Swaptree then got ready to meet Kyle. I stopped on the way to get my passport photos taken at Walgreens. Not happy with how they turned out at all. My face has cleared up considerably in the past few weeks and I was thinking it looked great and pretty and so I thought it'd be a great day for the passport photos. Except they just use a stupid digital camera with bright flash and then print them. So the flash made my (shiny, oily skin) super white so all my blemishes, even if they were slowly disappearing, turned out very red. I'm contemplating getting another set taken at the Postnet I have my private mailbox at. They at least have an official sort of passport camera set up. I don't know if I want to spend an extra ten bucks on it though. It's just a passport photo. Like any ID, it's supposed to be crappy, right?

Once I got to Kyle's we gathered up the rest of the materials for The Great Brake Job of '09. It didn't go quite as quickly as planned, but Kyle did a fantastic job and my brakes are grind-less and fantastic. I didn't even want to turn the radio on while driving today just so I could revel in their silence. (Eventually I did turn the music on because as fantastic as it is, it's still just silence.)

By the time I got to his house Thursday it was getting dark and cold already so we decided to just do them Friday afternoon since I didn't have to work and could get to his house earlier than normal. We went and bought new rotors too because really, the driver side one on my car was being shredded to hell.

Brake Job 09

Penny waiting for her check up.

Brake Job 09

The front brake. See how the rotor is not really shiny at all? Bad times.

Brake Job 09

Passenger side rotor - very shiny! This will be replaced too, though, just because it's good to do them both at the same time to prevent uneven wear. (So I am told by a trustworthy fellow.)

Brake Job 09

He changed my oil too, which desperately needed it. So gross, but not too sludgey so that's good.

Brake Job 09

The reason for the wear on the rotor and the grinding - there was no pad left! No idea how it happened, but we suspect a foreign object of some sort to be the initial cause.

When the whole thing was done, it was too late to go up to Boulder and go to Lush and the Cheesecake Factory. We went to Three Margaritas just down the way instead. It wasn't very good food but when you've planned for the Cheesecake Factory, nothing really compares.

Today I slept in. A lot. I didn't intend on sleeping for almost 12 hours, but I did. It was nice, though. I finally woke up because I was hungry and had to pee. I got up, dilly dallied on the 'net, played with my new DS game that I got from Swaptree (Margot's Word Brain - it's not very good) and then Kyle and I made plans to have lunch together. We ate at Little Ollie's which he's had before because it's really close to the gardens and he wanted to take me there because of their tofu presentation.

Little Ollie's Sesame Tofu

I was impressed with that and liked the way the sesame (せさめ) seeds coated each tofu log, but the inside was basic Chinese food tofu. I was reading up on ways to prepare tofu and found a trick of sorts that is supposed to make the tofu insanely good - very crispy and with a great texture that even non-tofu-eaters enjoy. I'll be excited to try that out and hopefully I can get it to the point where I can use little slices of tofu for a brilliant bento idea I have. heh. =)
After lunch I headed up to Lush, intending on buying Jungle Conditioner, Vanishing Cream moisturizer and Coalface Cleanser. I totally got sucked into the allure of the bath bombs and bubble bars, though. Which is kind of silly considering I don't have a bath tub of my own! But I do have access to Kyle's, and will use these there. I guess that's one way to ensure they last for awhile.

Lush Loot (04/11/09)

Middle: Bathos Bubble Bar. Clockwise: Vanishing Cream, Jungle Conditioner, Youki-Hi Bath Bomb, Vanilla Fountain Bath Bomb, Big Blue Bath Bomb, Hot Milk? Bubble Bar, Coalface Cleanser.

The Coalface and Vanishing Cream should hopefully be THE combination that will rid my skin of its oily tendencies. All the reviews I read for both were really good and I'm crossing my fingers that I'll adore them just as much.

The Jungle Conditioner should last awhile. In some of the reviews people mentioned that they crumble the conditioner and mix it with water for a pomade of sorts to use after their hair was dry as well, or a sort of leave-in conditioner and it got rid of their frizz. Since my hair is crazy fizzy, I thought this would be good to try.

I've never tried their bath stuff before and I went a little crazy with it, really. The Youki-Hi has an intoxicating smell of jasmine and ylang-ylang. Gold glitter should be fun in the bath. Vanilla Fountain also smells great with spices and vanilla. Big Blue has an invigorating scent of lavender, lemon, lime and swirls of seaweed. Evidently it will turn the bath water blue so that should be fun as well.

The Hot Milk? Bubble Bar was recommended to combine with a bath bomb (bomb in first, then crumble a portion of the bubble bar). It has very subtle scents and the lady said it would turn the water sort of milky and creamy. I'm not sure if I want to try them together or just use one or the other. One bar is supposed to be good for 5 or 6 baths of bubbly goodness. The lady there said that the bubble bar makes far superior bubbles than conventional bubble bath so I grabbed the Bathos bar too. I thought I had gotten a bath melt (oils which will melt into the water) but I evidently did not. Probably better that way given the amount of money I spent anyway.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Heading to Vegas

Tomorrow evening my boyfriend and I and some friends from work are heading out to Las Vegas. We're all very excited. The last time I went to Las Vegas, I wasn't old enough to enjoy it. We're lucky enough to be able to stay at a timeshare through my Grandpa so we're able to put more money toward whatever entertainment we decide to seek while we're there.

We'd like to go to a show of some sort, of course. We haven't decided yet and will probably end up looking at half price ticket booths for whatever. We'd also like to go to the Fremont Street Experience, but other than that we don't have anything else planned aside from hanging out, swimming a little if the weather cooperates, and just walking around and taking in the sites.

My camera battery is charging up right now and I can't wait to take as many pictures as possible. I've got to find my little camera case. I knit it up a few weeks ago and seem to have lost it the other day. It might be in my car.

I'm packing while listening to the Filmspotting podcast, which I've just recently been introduced to. I like it a lot.

Friday, July 25, 2008

In Any Place You'll Allow

I have quotes come up on my iGoogle page. I like quotes. This one from today is pretty funny:

A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the word you first thought of. - Burt Bacharach

I was trying to figure out why I've been so tired lately and so I asked Dr. Google for some advice on how to counteract whatever it is that might be afflicting me (bad diet, dehydration, etc). Someone had posted a whole essay thing about dehydration and how it leads to fatigue, blah blah blah. Her solution (or one of them) was to drink two glasses of water first thing in the morning. I thought it sounded like BS, but figured I'd try it out because what did I have to lose? If nothing else, I'd start off my day by getting enough water at least.

So all week I've had a 12 oz (10 oz?) glass next to my bathroom sink to remind me to drink two glasses right away. I've done it either before or after my shower each morning. And honestly, there's a huge difference. I haven't felt tired all week except for those few minutes from when I turn off my alarm to when I stumble to the bathroom. Today for instance, I was SUPER tired and even though all week the two-glasses-of-water-in-the-morning trick was working, I thought for sure it was not going to work at all considering how tired I was. But it did. I don't know if it's the water, or some psychological Pavlovian placebo effect. I don't care too much because it works and that's what

The only downside at the moment is that toward the end of the second glass, I feel like I could probably vomit if I put any effort into it. I might want to try drinking them more slowly instead of guzzling them both down so quickly, but the momentary gag reflex is easy enough to quiet. I think it's just a lot of fluid in the morning that my body isn't used to. Maybe it'll go away after awhile when my body gets more used to that.

It's kind of freaky how the two-glasses-of-water-in-the-morning trick works. I'd say it's better than coffee, but I don't drink coffee so I can't compare it. I'll definitely continue with it, though.

The X-Files movie comes out tonight and as I am a total geek, I can't wait to go see it. I'm kind of bummed that I don't have all 9 seasons on DVD so I wasn't able to go through and have a X-Files marathon the past few weeks, but oh well. If it's a good movie, the background will be covered decently enough that a marathon of all 9 seasons won't be necessary. But we'll see how it plays out.

Also, Canada on Tuesday! Woot!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

My Lyrics Are Bottomless

Curb Side Appeal
Currently, I'm renting the second bedroom in a two bedroom condo. This is the front door, which is oh-so-impressive.
Front Door
And from the curb, which has my bedroom window in the middle part of the picture. (The bush is cleverly blocking the torn venetian blinds - they were like that when I moved in, though.)
Curb Side Appeal 2
Junk Drawer
The kitchen isn't mine, so I don't have a proper junk drawer. Half of my desk fits the bill, though.
Junk "Drawer"
Blogging Space
This is where I blog when I'm at home (the other half of my desk, if you didn't piece that one together). But to be honest, most of my blogging happens at work. I don't have a picture of that though.
Blogging Space
Best Feature
I decided to be a smart ass and say that my best feature is my brain. As I cannot take an actual picture of my brain as it is, I altered a basic image of the brain found on the web to more closely resemble my own.
Favorite Jewelry
This was tough. I love the rings my sister got me that have "Sisters by Chance, Friends by Choice" engraved on the inside. And even though I don't wear a lot of jewelry, I actually have a lot of it. (Even more now that all the pieces I made during my jewelry business venture are no longer in my storage unit.) I decided on two pieces. The earrings and necklace my Grandma bought for me at one of those at-home jewelry parties. I love these and wear them probably more often than any other set I have.
Favorite Jewelry 1
And my favorite set that I made. Sometimes I can't believe that I actually made it. I've only worn it once, to my Grandma's funeral, which is another reason it has a special place in my heart.
Favorite Jewelry 2
Close up. The colors are mostly true, here.
Favorite Jewelry 2a
And for more pictures, I present return of the Weekly Bento Pictures (with added Ratatouille Bonus)!
Thursday, 06/26/08
Thursday. Turmeric-laden flower-shaped onigiri, tomatoes, nectarine slices, skewer of blueberries, cubes of colby cheese, kalamata olive filled onigiri. All on a bed of spinach.
Thursday, 06/26/08
Hummus, kalamata olives and olive tapenade. The hummus is in paper baking cups which did not protect it from the oil that sort of oozed out of the tapenade. I was tempted to buy silicone baking cups to prevent such things and then when cleaning out my storage unit discovered a cupcake tin made of silicone, so I just cut out the cups to use.
On the right there are Triscuit crackers, Keebler caramel filled fudge covered graham crackery goodness. And an Andes mint, from a whole box that I had completely forgotten I bought like two months ago.
Friday, 06/27/08
Friday. Both onigiri are filled with mushroom flavored seaweed paste, slices of nectarines, blueberry skewers, tomatoes, two cubes of colby cheese. On a bed of spinach.
Friday, 06/27/08
Hummus with kalamata olive smiley face which turned out a lot more demented-looking than originally intended. Triscuits and Andes mints on the side.
Ratatouille Bonus!
I made this last Sunday. It smelled DELICIOUS while it was cooking and I was pretty impressed with how tasty it looked when it came out of the oven. Note the freshly grated parmesan.
And after dishing it out for dinner. I had another portion when I was finished with this because it was so damn good. It lasted me most of the week for dinners.
Ratatouille Dished Out
And I'll leave you with my New Funny Thing:

Flight of the Conchords, check them out.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Rockies Game

Yesterday we went to the Rockies vs. Mets game at Coors Field. My Grandpa's company has a suite so he reserved it for the family. It was a really fun time.
Gorgeous Day
You can see the mountains in the distance.
There's this really neat area of the field that's set up like a rock garden with fountains and things. I was surprised to see it there, but really liked it. I guess the fountains get turned really high when one of our guys hits a home run. (They did that twice during the game, back to back, but I wasn't watching the fountains when it happened.)
Eating at the Game
Since my Grandma passed away, I've been trying to take more pictures of people, not just scenic landscapes. I realized I have far too few pictures of the people that I love and too many of things, even if they are gorgeous. So, in the above picture we have my cousin Erika (12), niece Denae (15), Aunt Kathy (by marriage) and Uncle Curt (dad's younger brother).
Trying to Get Out
Kendra trying to get out of the suite and see what all the commotion was outside on the balcony. She's 17 months already!
Sitting Inside
My nephew Aaron (15) in the back and my cousins Brittany (10) and Erika sitting at the bar inside watching the game through the window. The suite was, well, sweet. They had food and drinks provided for us, it was air conditioned and there were comfortable chairs and the neat bar overlooking the balcony seats.
Taking a Picture of You Taking a Picture
My older sister Heather taking a picture of me taking a picture of her taking a picture of me...
Enjoying the game
My mom and Grandpa sitting outside before the sun got too intense. Derek, my brother-in-law, is inside, eyeing me and my camera suspiciously. (He hates getting his picture taken, though he has gotten better over the years.) My Uncle Curt is standing behind him, barely visible.
Heather and Kendra clapping for our team.
One of my younger sisters Amanda (20) is in the pink, dancing to something or other. My other younger sister Cory (19) is on the far right sitting with her boyfriend, and their friend Kerry is on the right, dancing.
Making Friends
There was a little girl a few months older than Kendra in the suite next to ours. They played together for a bit.
Actual Baseball Game Action
Matt Holliday up to bat. I guess he's a big deal or something.
Mile High Row
It's kind of hard to see, but if you look toward the top row of seats, you'll see a purple stripe. The purple row of seats goes all the way around the stadium and that row is a mile high.
It didn't take me too long to realize we'd be there to see the sun set behind the mountains. I was excited for it and tried to get various shots of the sun sinking toward the horizon.
My dad and his girlfriend both tried to get Kendra's attention and make her laugh or smile. She was too tired by the time the game was winding down, though.
Sunsets and Sports
Driving around Colorado, you may see bumper stickers that say, "If God isn't a Broncos Fan, why are sunsets orange?" It seems that a similar one for the Rockies could be used considering the violet hue of this sunset.
Dancing Sisters
Denae and Kendra, dancing to the final music.
Her Future's So Bright
Her future's so bright, she's gotta wear shades. (Also, pay no mind to the swollen lip - she busted it earlier during the night on of the seats.)
All Over
The Rockies won and the teams are on the field showing off their good sportsmanlike behavior.
After Game Pictures
Denae, Kendra, Grandpa, Aaron, Mom, Heather.
We stayed kind of late and most of the field had cleared out. We couldn't use the elevators so we went through the stadium and I was able to get a better picture of the field.
Close up of Rock Garden
The Rock Garden thing on our way out - even prettier up close.
Overlooking the Rock Garden
Uncle Curt, Derek, Kendra, Erika, Aaron.

The full set of pictures can be seen here.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Bento and Kittens

So here's what I had for lunch this week:

Monday was yakisoba with soy sauce, broccoli, celery, mushrooms. Spinach bed with fresh mushrooms and grape tomatoes tossed in for fun (and color).

Cucumber slices, carrots, and quail egg resting on bed of spinach. Kiwi, raspberries, blackberries and Hello Panda chocolate creme treats.

Tuesday we have onigiri covered with furikake, spinach, carrots, grape tomatoes, quail egg, filled onigiri (soy sausage, celery, red bell pepper). Lower right has cucumber slices, avocado, raspberries. Lower left has blackberries, granny smith apple slices.

Wednesday was payday and also double reward points day at Qdoba so I had a vegetarian taco salad, which was delicious, of course.

For Thursday there was plain onigiri, spinach carrots, grape tomatoes, plain onigiri with furikake. Lower right hand has yakisoba with baby corn, mushrooms and broccoli. Upper right has blackberries, raspberries and granny smith apple shapes (made with my new cute mini shapers). The yakisoba was inedible. Okay, so it was edible, but not tasty which made it inedible in my book. I think the baby corn made it taste kind of icky. I'll have to rinse that crap off better next time or buy a different brand or something. Or just douse it in sauce, which this yakisoba did not have as I ran out of soy sauce on Tuesday and hadn't bought any by this time.

I didn't go to work today, so I didn't make my lunch in the morning to be packed. When I did make lunch though, I still made it bento-ish. So we've got the same yakisoba from Thursday but with teriyaki sauce and that made a WORLD of difference. Much much better. I ate it all this time. Avocado slices, quail eggs, flower-shaped onigiri rolled in furikake (the shape got messed up in the furikake rolling), grape tomatoes, babybel cheese, kiwi slices shaped with mini cutters.

Also, for gratuitous cuteness, I went over and saw Kyle's kittens last night. I wanted to smuggle them back to my home with me.

Playing with the string to my hoodie. The orange one is QT (Quentin Tarantino) and the dark one is Spielberg. (He's a movie fanatic and named his kittens accordingly.)

All tuckered out from playing. They slept in my lap for quite awhile, it was terribly cute. I had forgotten what it was like to not move even if you're uncomfortable because you've got a pile of furry cuteness on your lap. It's a nice feeling.