floatingleaf: (snowdrops)
Okay. Let me attempt an update. I still don't know where to start, but I'm going to start anyway. Please bear with me if I'm not making much sense.:)

I feel I have reached a sort of turning point in my life... a deciding phase during which I am ready and willing to make some lasting changes. Now, this is big, because generally I tend to have a rather negative reaction to changes. Something along the lines of a cat's reaction to a hedgehog.:P But every once in a while, there comes a moment where some thoughts/beliefs that had been percolating under the surface come into alignment and prompt me to take action. Whenever that happens, it feels like something that has been long in the making, but is ultimately inevitable. Like the slow shifting of tectonic plates or something. LOL. Well, the last time it happened was in 2008, when I joined WeightWatchers. Read more... )
floatingleaf: (croissant)
Well... looks like I'm not destined to become a fruitarian.;) Which I kind of suspected, anyway. Surprisingly enough, it wasn't about lack of willpower. I was pretty determined to go through with my little experiment - and when I do set my mind on something, I can be "stubborn as a mule" (as my mother likes to put it). However, my body told me in no uncertain terms that I had ventured into dangerous territory. Read more... )
floatingleaf: (cherries)
So... I've been thinking of a way to deal with the pesky weight gain problem. I know I'm most likely never going to be slim again, and that's OK; but I refuse to sit back and wait until all my favorite clothes no longer fit. It's happened before, and I hate the way it makes me feel when it happens. So I've got to do something. I still have my info kit from WeightWatchers - I could look it up and start counting points again. But somehow that feels like too much effort. And don't even get me started on some intensive exercise regime - I'm trying to get back to doing ANY exercise at all, just to avoid muscle atrophy, and I know myself well enough by now to abandon any delusions of ever achieving anything beyond a mild 30-minute workout 2-3 times a week. It never happened when I was younger, and it's not going to happen now. But I've thought of something else. Read more... )
floatingleaf: (red peppers)
It is oppressively hot today, and my brain feels fried. I should be writing emails to several people, but it seems like too much effort right now - so instead I'll just do the next installment of the A-Z meme.:)

E is for Eating... )
floatingleaf: (croissant)
Anyone still remember that? It went around a few months ago. I don't know anyone who actually finished the whole thing... but I totally will. Like, in another year or so.:P Maybe. Anyway... because I am sluggish from TOO MUCH FOOD and have nothing relevant to say otherwise, I offer you the next installment.:)

Day 04 - What you ate today, in great detail )

randomness

May. 25th, 2010 11:20 pm
floatingleaf: (black hat)
1) Thank you, [profile] illuins_lair, for the Glitterati Sunglasses! They are TEH AWESOME!!! The design looks kinda elvish, don't you think?... *tries to imagine various elven royalty in elegant dark sunglasses and starts giggling uncontrollably* ;) <33333

2) My The Road DVD is here already!!! Amazing. It only shipped yesterday, and I didn't expect to see it before the end of the week. Not that I have time to watch all the extras tonight... but there's a long weekend coming up, isn't there? *bounces* With all the overtime I've been doing lately, I almost forgot what a REGULAR weekend feels like - let alone a long one. It shall be greatly cherished.:)

3) I can't seem to make up my mind about the LJ layout these days. I changed it again last week - but I think I'll keep this one for a while.

4) It is HOT. Summer has just descended with a vengeance, and I feel a little disoriented. Don't get me wrong - I LOVE summer. But here in Chicago summers are so short and so far between that you sort of forget what they feel like. You tend to just scratch your head and say, But... really??? Was it THAT hot last year??? LOL. The thing is, it probably was, but the endless months of winter sort of dimmed the memory. Or maybe I'm just getting old.;P

5) My latest culinary invention demands to be commemorated. Read more... )
floatingleaf: (slightly mental)
I didn't mention it yesterday, since I had planned on posting fic first, but there is quite a bit of commotion going on at my workplace this week. One of my team-mates is retiring - and since they're not planning on hiring anyone new in her place, we're all just gonna be pulling a bigger workload from now on. So, instead of being an "occasional helper" on the stuff she used to do, I will now be one of the major contributors. So there is a lot of "last minute" training going on - for everybody, really, since no one comes close to her level of experience (she's been with the company for THIRTY-EIGHT years; can you even imagine that???... working at the same place for so long?...). And there is overtime. And I haven't even touched my "regular" work in days. And the boss is sort of running around like an energizer bunny, tossing new projects this way and that... lol.

On the fun side, we're doing our best to send her off in style. We had a casual lunch out last week, just for our team; and yesterday was a big party at a fancy Italian restaurant, with the company president, the data operations department head, the HR manager etc. The whole thing took at least three hours, and it was sponsored by the company, so there was basically no limit on what we could order (they pay us next to nothing, but at least we get lavishly fed for free every once in a while... lol). We had appetizers (like shrimp and bruschetta and goat cheese and toasted garlic bread and olives), then we had soups or salads (my spinach salad with nuts and tangerines was so poetic I am going to dream about it), and then we had the main course. I ordered roasted salmon with Sardinian couscous (much bigger than regular couscous, as it turned out, but smaller than orzo), spinach and calamari in a spicy tomato sauce. Mmmmm... (lots of garlic too) And then some people had desserts. I wanted to, but my stomach wasn't willing to cooperate anymore.;) Of course we couldn't have wine, since we were coming back to the office afterwards - but it was a joyful experience anyway.:P Tomorrow is the final "goodbye cake" function for the entire company - with cards and gifts and flowers and speeches and group pictures and all that junk. And then most of us have to come in on Saturday to actually get some WORK done.:P

This is just by way of explanation, in case I get a bit behind on comment replies and stuff. I'm trying to keep track of it all, but the next few weeks might be crazy, and it might so happen that the only thing I feel up to in the evenings/weekends will be skimming flist and reading porn.:P I still feel inspired to write, but I have to watch my sleep schedule (7 hours a night, minimum) or things are going to get ugly.:/ At any rate, I'm always here (LJ-land, that is) in spirit.:D
floatingleaf: (black hat)
So... here's the latest RL scoop: work kinda sucks and the weather is lousy as hell, but neither seems to have much effect upon my mood. I am in a good, happy, creative mental place that sort of amazes me with its endless supply of comfort. I seem to be learning a new meaning of the word "inspired". Speaking of which... I wrote a new ficlet today. It was an easy, joyful and extremely pleasant experience of channeling my favorite elf, so to speak.;) I will post it soonish.:)

In other news, the building management is trying to freeze me to death. They don't care how cold it is outside - when the heating season is officially over, it is over, come what may. Last night, I found myself shivering despite a thick fleece pajama top worn OVER my sweater, and my feet were numb inside woolen socks plus big fluffy slippers. I just couldn't take it anymore. So I went out to a nearby pharmacy/convenience store and bought an electric space heater. A little portable one, for about 25 bucks. I will probably only need it for a week or so... but what the hell. It is saving my life at the moment. It's right here by my side, blowing hot air straight at my permanently freezing feet. Heaven.:P

Also, I should probably take note of the fact that after being creative in the fanfic realm today, I proceeded to be creative in the kitchen. Read more... )

I might also mention that I finally saw Fight Club. Read more... )

So ends my fascinating RL update. A/L to follow within the week, hopefully.:D
floatingleaf: (blue viggo)
So... I'll be going to my parents' house for Easter tomorrow. I'm not particularly looking forward to it, since I have to stay overnight (dad's neurologist appointment is on Monday, and it wouldn't make sense to drive back here tomorrow night only to drive back there the next day - it's over 40 miles one way, after all) - but I guess I'll find something to occupy myself. I might actually use the time to go through all the stuff in my old bedroom and decide what should go in the recycling bin - or make a dent in my sister's impressive gothic novel bookshelf.;) They do have a computer, btw, but it's situated in a very "public" area of the house - so I don't expect to be able to do much more than perhaps check my email. And I probably won't be responding to comments and stuff until Monday night or later (depending on what time I get back here etc.).

In other news, we had another company meeting at work this week, and our CEO announced that, financially speaking, we are slowly getting out of the dump and that there will be raises in July. No more than 2%, probably, but we haven't had any since 2008, so we'll take that, thank you very much. *relieved sigh* Oh, and btw: the management of my apartment building did get their act together and send me the lease renewal, only about a month late.:P And they did NOT raise my rent. I think they are very anxious to keep the tenants that they've got at this point, because there are several empty apartments in my building alone. Anyway - there is hope that my bank account will not reach negative balance.;) Unless my car breaks down again, that is - which it hasn't done in a while. *knocks on wood fiercely*

Also, I've added another wonderful recipe to my list of favorites: Mexican Sweet Potato & Black Bean Salad, with chipotle-chili dressing. OMG... yummmm.:D It has a rich taste, with just the right balance between heat and sweetness. It's also pretty quick & easy, as well as equally delicious either warm or cold. Definitely a keeper.:D

Oh, and I've finally seen Michael Moore's Sicko - but I'm not sure if I want to write about it. I would probably end up ranting for hours, and I don't really have the time. Read more... )

And one more thing, just to end on a positive note: I LOVE MY FLIST, and I love LJ in general. There are some absolutely amazing people on it. Some of my most wonderful friendships started here, and I can't think of a better way to CONNECT on a very deep level. Which reminds me of this conversation I had recently with a coworker. We were talking about the internet and various ways of online interaction, as well as being anonymous versus revealing your legal name on a public forum etc. - and I said that I usually prefer to use a nick, unless I have a deeper personal connection with someone. Whereupon my coworker stared at me like I was insane. "Deeper personal connection? Through THIS???", he asked incredulously, pointing at his computer screen. He just couldn't fathom what on earth I was trying to say. Well... I wasn't about to go into any details of fanfic porn and general awesome silliness/mental exhibitionism that goes on in these parts, LOL. So I'll just let him think that I am slightly off my rocker. And I will never tell him that my flist actually includes people who have met their SIGNIFICANT OTHER through LJ and are now LIVING TOGETHER as couples in real life, because they first had a deep personal connection through THIS.;) Just saying.

Oh, and THANK YOU for more postcards, [livejournal.com profile] dissonant_dream! They are gorgeous. Especially the one from Charlecote Park. Oh, how I'd love to live close to such a beautiful spot!... Damn, I miss Europe so much. Not just Poland by itself, but all of Europe - including places I've never been to, LOL. I miss historic areas, cultural atmosphere, my friends... everything. It's just... displacement syndrome, I has it.:(

Have to go do some cooking now. I might be able to respond to some comments later tonight, but if not, then I will hopefully catch up with them sometime next week. The main addressee of this cryptic remark certainly knows who she is.:D <333
floatingleaf: (good-looking by stormatdusk)
I just discovered another very simple and very delicious recipe: Paprika Shrimp & Green Bean Saute. Nothing but shrimp, grean beans, white (canellini) beans, paprika, olive oil, a little red wine vinegar, lots of garlic & fresh parsley. YUM.:D

I have also accidentally discovered a fascinating essay about the English language. It's a review of a dictionary, actually, but it talks about many related topics like descriptive versus prescriptive linguistics, modern American English and its strange, disturbing variations like "corporate speak" (which is ideologically closer to totalitarian "propaganda speak" than most people realize), "political correctness", social/professional dialects and their functions etc. Very thought-provoking - at least for someone who has devoted several years of their life to studying such matters.:) And humbling, too, because it made me realize I still have a lot to learn. And amazingly funny, too. But then, I'm not objective when it comes to language geekery, and I always experience immeasurable glee when someone mocks the "dumbing down" of the English language that is going on in the US these days. So read at your own risk:

http://instruct.westvalley.edu/lafave/DFW_present_tense.html

In completely unrelated news, I had a funny Viggo dream yesterday. In which Viggo was some kind of professor/tutor, and I was his student. As in, the ONLY student in his class. *ahem* I can't tell you what the topic of the class was, because all I know is that he was sort of rambling, staring down at his desk, and I had no idea what he was talking about, because his voice was doing strange things to my insides. Obviously, I had a major crush on him (big surprise, LOL), and he was perfectly aware of it - which made him act a little skittish and avoid eye contact. Sort of like his character in Good - except he looked more like in this icon, courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] stormatdusk (*points to the top of the post*). It was totally endearing. The skittishness, I mean. Poor Viggo. I can only imagine him being a high school/college teacher and having to fend off crowds of enamoured girls (and boys ;). Worse than movie fans, because I you can't really run away from them.:P
floatingleaf: (slightly mental)
I'm FUCKING COLD, dammit. It's 50F/10C outside, and they haven't turned on the heating yet. Why bother, since the weather forecast says it's supposed to warm up again within the next few days. Which might or might not happen, btw. It's OCTOBER, people. Summer is very officially over by now. It may be cool and refreshing during the day, but it is downright FREEZING at night. And there are only so many layers of clothing I can put on and still be able to move, lol. *wiggles toes inside two pairs of socks + furry slippers to encourage the somewhat sluggish bloodflow therein*

In other exciting news, I'm done organizing my Viggo pics. Doing Orlando now.:D I didn't realize I had so many pics of the boy, either. He is a sexy little beast, by the way.;P Maybe I'll post a little Viggorli picspam after I'm finished. I've disovered quite a few nice, rare photos I wasn't aware I had.:)

I also made Moroccan Chicken Thighs with figs and olives. Not to be confused with the date & apricot recipe (see previous post). This one is not quite as delicious, but close.:) It's seasoned with Marsala wine, honey, balsamic vinegar, ground cumin, coriander and cardamom. Which I had found at Dominick's for over ten bucks a jar. And it was ON SALE, too - the original price was about $14. For a tiny little jar of ground cardamom. And I bought it. Yes, I am unbelievable sometimes, I admit. I will pick the 99 cent can of beans instead of the $1.50 one, but then I will pay ten bucks for some exotic spice that I might use perhaps twice a year. I think it's my way of staying in (partial) denial about the shitty economic situation we're all in. I may barely be making ends meet, but I WILL have Moroccan chicken thighs with cardamom and Marsala wine. And if I can have something as seemingly classy and sophisticated as that for dinner, then I'm not really broke, am I?... LOL.

Read more... )

Also, does anyone have any suggestions why my cellphone isn't showing the correct time? It's precisely 39 minutes behind right now, and it's been that way for the past few hours. I'm assuming it's the time on the cellphone that's wrong, since both my computer and my bedside clock are showing the same hour (39 minutes ahead of the cellphone). WTF???
floatingleaf: (crave)
I made that delicious chicken salad again this weekend. You know, my own variation of a recipe that I basically 'stole' from a restaurant. I'll call it Mediterranean Chicken Salad, for lack of a better name. Originally it was just a side salad, but I added sauteed chicken breast slices (seasoned with garlic powder & oregano) to make it a full, balanced meal. Other ingredients include mixed salad greens, thinly sliced red onion & pears, chopped walnuts, crumbled feta cheese, black olives, garlic-flavored croutons and a handful of dried cranberries. For the dressing, I just used olive oil and white balsamic vinegar. It's absolutely YUMMY. Probably on my 'top ten' list.:)

Which makes me realize I could actually compile the 'top ten' list here, for my own reference as well as for the benefit of anyone interested in trying some of these recipes out. They come mostly from various cookbooks - though I do introduce my own modifications every now and then. Anyway, without further ado, here goes:

my idea of YUMMY under the cut )
floatingleaf: (crave)
I just have to boast today. I made The Best Food Ever. Moroccan Chicken, Date & Apricot Tagine. I have always thought that Moroccan cuisine was to die for, but this just tops everything. Imagine juicy chicken thighs & fajitas cooked to utmost tenderness in a mix of diced onion, chicken broth, fresh dates, dried apricots and some shredded lemon rind. Seasoned with crushed garlic, ground cumin, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and a dash of red pepper. Then mixed with couscous, which absorbs any liquid and all the blended flavors. Oh, and once the cooking is done, you throw in some chopped up fresh lemon sections and a handful of fresh parsley (the recipe also mentions cilantro, but I skipped it, because I'm not too crazy about its intense 'perfumy' smell). The resulting combination of flavors will make your tastebuds explode in ecstasy.;) I swear it's the second best thing to marrying a gorgeous Moroccan woman (or man, depending on your preference) and having them cook for you.:P

Also, I've been downloading Cruxshadows since last night, and I'm not even halfway done.:) This will be one looong playlist in my iTunes library. Probably the second longest after Lacrimosa (which is over 60 tracks). Needless to say, I've also been rooting through YouTube for their videos. Which is how I discovered them in the first place. Through YouTube, that is. I was actually searching for another band, called The Dreamside, recommended to me by my sister a long time ago. Here's a good example of how one thing can lead to another. Read more... )
floatingleaf: (hidalgo)
Much warmer today. Light snow, wet and slushy. Never thought I'd call that kind of weather 'nice' - but in comparison to what we had before, it is.:) Went out to check on the car and found I was able to get it out of the parking spot quite easily (must have been the salt I had left under the tires, or perhaps the rise in temperature had softened the snow all by itself). So I decided to do some grocery shopping - just to make sure I have a well-stocked pantry in case it happens again. Went to that cheap farmers' market that sells mostly East European, Italian and Hispanic foods (a rather typical Chicago blend, lol). Quite a bit out of my way, location-wise, but it's sooo worth it. The place is incredibly cheap, really. And they have everything. They had fresh strawberries on sale, two boxes for $3.00!!! In January! *is amazed* They had a frozen seafood mix for $3.50 or something thereabouts. They even had seafood cooking stock, which I'd never seen sold anywhere else. It will go perfectly well with the Moroccan fish tagine I'm making tomorrow (I was planning to use chicken stock instead). I also found all the ingredients for the turkey & hominy chili recipe from my WeightWatchers cookbook. In short, I have enough food for at least another full week, and I didn't spend much more than $50. Including the whole rotisserie chicken I grabbed almost as an afterthought, lol. And a can of German potato salad to go with it. Yum.:D

In other news, I watched a very good movie last night. Read more... )
floatingleaf: (halder)
Snagged from [personal profile] gairid and [personal profile] taelyn_sass:

Your rainbow is shaded violet.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

What is says about you: You are a creative person. You appreciate beauty and craftsmanship. You are patient and will keep trying to understand something until you've mastered it.

Find the colors of your rainbow at spacefem.com.






Mundane RL stuff under the cut. )
floatingleaf: (sacrilege)
It's so eerily quiet on LJ today. I hope all my American friends had a great Thanksgiving - my family didn't really celebrate today, because my sister is celebrating with her husband's family, and our parents didn't want to have any kind of special dinner without her (we were all invited to her husband's parents' house, by the way, but we wouldn't really feel comfortable there; my parents, because they don't speak English very well, and me... I'm just kinda paranoid about attending big family parties where I hardly know anyone, especially if I might turn out to be the only unmarried, childless woman in her late thirties; or the only person who neither identifies as a Christian nor worships the ground Bush walks on :|). So we are meeting on Sunday. Anyway, for my mother Thanksgiving is just another excuse to make a lavish dinner for us, because in her mind family life revolves around food. No occasion is properly honored if the table doesn't groan under the weight.;) My dad couldn't care less (especially since his sensitive stomach can't handle much anymore without unpleasant consequences), but he goes along with it, because he's not the one in charge.:P I couldn't care less either, but since I visit them for a Sunday dinner every few weeks anyway, there is no reason for me not to go. Besides, it will make mother happy, and I don't do much else to make her happy these days... lol. If I ever did - but that's a whole another, and maybe we shouldn't talk about it.;)

But speaking of food... Read more... )
floatingleaf: (indian runner 3)
So I went to work on Saturday. It felt extremely weird to be there, but, fortunately for my sanity, I wasn't the only one, and the three hours passed very quickly. I think I can handle it every once in a while.;)

Also, a quick culinary note to myself: after making a salad dressing that contains yogurt/mayonnaise etc. (AND lemon juice as well), it is REALLY a good idea to store it separately and only mix with the salad right before eating. Otherwise the salad just might get a little bit... less exciting the next day.;)
And while I'm on this topic, let me just say I'm NOT going to try any recipe that involves tofu ever again. Blargh. I might be slightly obsessed with eating healthy at the moment, but I do have my limits... lol. Plus, the mushrooms & the delicious Sichuan sauce (which, unfortunately, didn't impart any flavor to the tasteless, colorless lumps) would go just as well with chicken, I'm sure.:D

And while I'm here, let me recommend a sweet (despite being rather heavy on the angst) Asian/American movie called Ethan Mao. Read more... )

EDIT: I forgot to mention that yesterday my scale showed 134 lbs. That's the lowest since... I don't know, sometime around 2003 or 2004, I suppose. As well as almost 30 lbs down since last summer. Wow. Looks like I really did it. I am, in fact, genuinely impressed with myself - and let me tell you, that doesn't happen very often.:P
floatingleaf: (peace)
Just because I can, here are a few more recent shots of my place (as opposed to the ones I posted sometime last year). No particular reason, other than perhaps documenting the progress of my 'settling in' and making the apartment look more cosy. It's the little things that make a home.:) )

I have also discovered the absolute culinary hit of the summer: seafood salad with citrus vinaigrette. It tastes like pure heaven. Must have been the food of the gods in some ancient Mediterranean culture, or something. I like seafood pretty much any way I can have it, but it is sublime indeed when mixed with fresh greens, white wine vinegar, grapefruit and avocados. So simple... so perfect. The unquestionable number one on my list so far.:) Though the tuna salad with green beans, red potatoes, hard-boiled eggs and olives I made last week is probably a close second.:P A bit heavier, calorie-wise, but well worth it. I could probably alternate between one and the other for a good month or so before I got tired of it... lol. Not that I have to, since there are about 15 other recipes I mean to try out in the near future. I know I've probably said it about a hundred times by now, but I never thought that eating healthy could be so much fun. If I'd had a clue, I would have started YEARS ago. I just never believed it was worth the time and trouble to cook for yourself on a regular basis. But it totally is, in so many ways. Except you won't know until you try it, and I would never have tried it if I'd thought I had a choice (other than letting myself grow heavier and heavier, until it's too late to ever go back to looking & feeling like myself again). Well... better late than never, I suppose.

Speaking of late... I should totally be in bed by now.:/
floatingleaf: (crave)
The trailer for Good is out. Holy rockets. I WANT that movie, and I want it BAD. I can tell it's gonna be one of the top jewels in my Viggo collection.:D Just the kind of heartrending drama that hits all my sniffy buttons.;) Not to mention the fact that Viggo looks unbelievably hot in it, considering both his age and the stereotypically unattractive 'geeky professor' image. I have no idea how he manages to do it every time. I just know that a good percentage of his movie looks wouldn't work for me on anyone else (and yes, I'm talking chiefly about Master Chief here; I am also pretty sure he will be beautiful to me in The Road, where he's supposed to look like a seriously underfed hobo). It must be love.;D

In other news, I can't believe the extent of my cooking obsession of late. I currently own FIVE cookbooks. Yes, five - am I still the same person who used to say that two minutes in the microwave is about as long as I can stand waiting for my dinner to be ready??? )
floatingleaf: (green)
Okay. I think it's time for an update. Or, to put it better, I'm finally ready for one. Because there are a few things that make me feel GOOD, in addition to the few that don't. And this time I choose to focus on the positives. Which are, in brief, as follows:

1) Spring has come. It was actually warm AND sunny today - maybe not for the first time this year, but somehow I really FELT it for the first time, and it was invigorating.

2) I am still losing weight. It fluctuates a lot from day to day, but it's gone below 140 lbs, and looks like it might stay there (actually, yesterday it went below 138, but I'm trying not to get too excited about it yet ;).

3) As a result of point 2, shopping for clothes is becoming an increasingly fun & rewarding activity, again.:) I remember this whiny post I made sometime in 2006, where I complained that out of about 20 pieces of clothing I had tried on, I bought only one. Well... today I tried on five, and walked out of the store with four. Including a really nice pair of gray slacks in size 10 (to replace my favorite ones, in 12, which have become way too loose & baggy) and a gorgeous blue-gray sleeveless top, which brings out my eyes in a most flattering way. Call me shallow, but sometimes little things like that do amazing wonders for my ego.;)

4) I am becoming increasingly fascinated with cooking. )
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