Sunday, January 20, 2008

I am working through some personal problems right now and will not be online for a while until I sort them out. Internet use seems to be contributing to them, so I'm on hiatus for a while.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Proof I'm a Scot

Oh man oh man oh man.

I have to try this. I have to. I mean, just... wow.

Baked onions with vegetarian haggis

-6 medium unpeeled onions, trimmed
-50g sunflower margarine
-50g organic rolled oats
-50g pinhead oatmeal
-50g chopped mixed nuts
-1 onion, finely chopped
-100g mushrooms, finely chopped
-1 carrot, finely chopped
-200g can red kidney beans, drained and chopped
-50g vegetable suet
-1 teaspoon yeast extract
-1 teaspoon ground black pepper
-2 tbs. chopped mixed fresh herbs
-pinch of grated nutmeg
-juice of 1 lime
-1 tbs. whiskey
-chopped fresh chives and parsley, to garnish

Cut a slither from the bottom of each of the onions, so that they stand upright. Cut a cross in the top about three quarters of the way down. Place in a large pan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, drain and refresh under cold water.

Preheat the oven to 190C (375F). To make the haggis, melt the margarine in a pan and add the oats, oatmeal and nuts. Cook over a gentle heat, stirring, for about 3 minutes until toasted and golden. Transfer to a bowl.

Melt remaining margarine, add the onion, mushrooms and carrot and cook gently for 5 minutes until softened. Stir into the toasted oat mixture with the remaining haggis ingredients. Season.

Snip out the center of the onions with kitchen scissors, leaving the skin and 3-4 outer layers intact. Stuff with haggis and bake for 40 minutes.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

I'm on ur teevee, debatin' yer social policieee...

My grandmother is an avid Republican (though she at least doesn't support Huckabee; she prefers Romney) and the Republican Debates are on tonight, so they are watching them.

Shrewd suggested a drinking game: every mention of 9-11, take a drink. Every mention of "jihad" or "islamofascists" take a drink. Every mention of the Bible or how this is a Christian Nation, take a drink. Etc.

Only problem is, we'd be drunk before the first fifteen minutes were up...

Anyway, I was sitting downstairs in another room, on my computer, and I could overhear the debate, so I turned on my music. I have no interest in listening to them talk about how all Muslims want to kill every good, moral Christian they see, or about how we should all be very afraid all the time... However, every time the music would slack off, or quiet a bit, I would hear these snippets...

"We need to investigate terrorist cells..."
"America is the richest nation in history, and the most powerful nation in the world, and we need to stay that way..."
"The islamofascists are plotting, I mean they are plotting every day, to destroy our lives..."
"I think they need to face the fact that we are a Christian nation..."
"Well, I think that they are forgetting that it's a human being, they are killing an American citizen in the womb..."

That's when I went upstairs. I can't deal with idiots who think they know what they are talking about tonight.

Every day, it seems like 90% of our phone calls are from candidates. I mean, don't get me wrong, I kind of like living in a state where we actually get a larger-than-usual say in who is on the ticket. It makes me feel like my vote's a bit more valuable than in the general election. But man, all these phone calls are ANNOYING. Especially since all I do is look up the candidates online anyway.

Oh well. Tuesday I do my civic duty and tell the rest of the country who to vote for. Then I'll only get as many ads as everyone else.

Friday, January 4, 2008

My life is a never-ending parade of cleaning supplies and computers

Grades came in the other day.

Latin, A; obviously. Ecology, Biostats and Orgo Lab, all Bs. And then, the C in Organic-- but you know, I passed, and I can continue. And I won't let it get to me. No matter how irritated my dad is.


My grandmother is still up; this means I am sleeping on the couch downstairs on weekends and cleaning the house pretty much nonstop. Between cleaning, promises to help people move/unpack/pack up their room/etc, and assorted parties, plus the primary next week (I have to go to Durham, that's where I'm registered), I won't have time to sit and breathe for a week. I'm already struggling to find time to see Bisobrina, who had a mental breakdown and was hospitalized and is now at home recovering; I also want to go see Vivacia sometime soon, to give her my Christmas gift to her, give her mother a bag of romance novels that is sitting in my car, and hopefully sit and talk for a while. You know, relax, the thing I'm supposed to be doing on vacation?

I really wish I could spend more time with Vivacia. It bugs me that we don't see each other as much. But the trouble is, Ryter's available online from 9 AM to 10 PM with very few times away from his computer; planning stuff with him is beyond easy, and most of the time when we get together it was his idea. Vivacia, to compare, has a very busy life and spends a small to moderate amount of time on AIM, usually while studying. And I am phenomenally lazy, so the extra effort to track her down and find a common time, or even just keep calling her until I find a time when she's able to pick up the phone, tends not to get done. I guess I'm a bad friend for that. But you know, I've always been an introvert; I've always needed other people to plan things and get me out of my hole.

I should call her tomorrow.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Christmas Week, Part 3

Okay, sorry, I wanted to finish before but between being busy and various parties... oh well.

WEDNESDAY: The family Christmas party, with my grandfather, aunt, uncle, cousins, cousin's boyfriend and this year, my brother's girlfriend. It was good fun, as always; we had hot apple cider by the fire and we mingled for a while before opening presents and then playing a few games-- like "pass the package" where the person who answers a Christmas trivia question takes off one layer of wrapping paper from a gift, and the one that finds the final present gets to keep it (I lost).

Then there was the search for the pickle ornament, with a prize for the winner. My cousin won, after much frantic pawing through the tree.

And the Yankee Swap, where we passed around a box and each person took one wrapped gift, and either unwrapped it or exchanged it for an already unwrapped gift. The little bottles of alcohol were very popular, but alas, my mom's gotten increasingly bad at picking desirable non-alcoholic gifts as time goes on, and I wasn't allowed to trade for the alcohol, obviously. End result, I got tissues, which I afterwards gave to Shrewd, who had a cold. My older cousin got the risque tissues, which said "Jingle My Bells" with crotch shots of elves. My mom swears it was an accident...

Then we mostly sat around and talked again until they left and we started to clean up.

THURSDAY: I went to see Ryter, as I had promised to go down with him to help him unpack his mother's apartment (she apparently moved in three years ago and never unpacked). He's been avoiding seeing her one-on-one lately. So I drove all the way back to Durham, met up with Ryter, we got in the car and started to drive-- and got a phone call from her, saying she had forgotten she had an appointment that day and could we reschedule. Grrrr...

So we drove back, and before I could drive home or anything it started to snow. So I spent the night. Which was okay, but... bah. His mom can be vexing at times.

FRIDAY: I drove back early in the morning because my grandmother was coming up in the evening. My grandmother, while a very nice woman, has a tendency to pick fights without realizing she is doing so... especially with my sister. So I came home, slept on the couch for the weekend and tried not to get entangled in arguments. We also opened presents, and thus ended Christmas.

The weekend was mostly spent hiding in my room, but on Monday I drove to see Ryter for New Year's Eve. WE didn't do much on the Eve, just hung out and kept each other up until midnight, toasted, and went to bed. New Year's Day I was supposed to go down to Mass and see family for a big brunch, but the snow was too heavy, so instead we just got ready for his New Year's Party, which was tiki-themed and had a surprising number of the invites show up despite the weather. The only one who didn't was his former Japanese professor. That was fun.

I wound up spending the night again because it was so late when everyone left. Then today we cleaned up after the party before I headed back here.

On the plus side, I cleaned his shower during our preparations. I burned my lungs on the bleach, but the weird scunge is gone. That made me very happy.