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Wed, Jul. 14th, 2010, 01:12 pm

Day 06: Are/Were You A Picky Eater?

Yes and Yes. I'd like to think I'm significantly less of a picky eater than I used to be. I try more and more things all the time but I still have a very big problem with food textures. This is why I can't eat most fruit. I don't know what is wrong with me, but I wish it wasn't.

Sat, Jul. 10th, 2010, 06:08 pm

Day 05: Your Signature Dish?

This is not something I've got an answer for. Most of the time I don't make a dish more than once. As I experiment more and more in the kitchen I've ripped through a ton of recipes and most of the time if I have the opportunity to remake something I've had before and know I like or something new, I'll usually try the new recipe so I don't have a signature dish.

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Today was the first of three weddings I'm attending this month, tomorrow is the second. Woo, busy weekend. I hear Hum is playing downtown tonight. Party.

Wed, Jul. 7th, 2010, 11:09 pm

This might sound really dumb:

Sometimes it's kind of a bummer how easy it is to get so much good music so fast. I consume music so quickly that I feel like it really decreases the amount that I appreciate it. I hear a song I like, I find it, I download it or buy it on iTunes or borrow the CD from the library or pick it up at Exile on Main St. Someway I get that song. I find a new song, repeat. And it doesn't particularly seem exciting anymore. I listen to it a few times and then it's time for something new. I remember getting mixes from friends when I was very young and everything seemed really fresh and really exciting. Who were these bands I'd never heard of before?

Basically, I'm staring at my iTunes library right now. Apparently I've got over 17,000 songs which equals over 45 days worth of music. Jeez louise. I'm trying to make a mix for a friend. I have at least four mixes in limbo for various people whom I've told I'd give a mix to. I feel like with 17,000 songs my collection is almost too schizophrenic to cobble together a mix from. I don't know what I feel like putting together - I can usually get three songs together. Maybe more, up to like 30 minutes and then run out of steam.

It's disheartening. And dumb. I want to make some rocking mixes and receive some rocking mixes and in general be excited about music.

Sun, Jul. 4th, 2010, 02:26 am

Day 04: Your Preferred Degree Of Spiciness

For a long time I told folks that I didn't like spicy food. I've changed my mind. I dig spicy food now, I suppose if I were at Zyggy's and they asked me (as they do) what level of spiciness I want I would tell them six. I suppose that's medium, slightly-above medium? I'm a big fan of red pepper but I've never been a huge hot sauce fan. Aaand I dig curry, garam masala mixes, etc. Though recently (Wednesday) I went with Sara, Matthew, Shad, and his sister to Bombay Grill for dinner. I'm a big fan of that restaurant, one of my favorite in CU. Well, I hadn't ordered anything with the little chili pepper icon next to it before. I probably won't again either. I can handle it but not much at a time, I still have left-overs in my fridge. Alternately I ordered two (out of three) at Siam Terrace and my meal didn't taste spicy to me at all.

I think telling someone how spicy you want your food to be can be pretty arbitrary.

Wed, Jun. 30th, 2010, 04:03 pm

I'm still here.

Day 03?: Your Favorite Savory Dish

OK. So here's the deal, I'm slightly concerned that my answer to this question will be the answer to several other questions. So I'm going to slap it down as an answer here, but I'm going to make a promise to you that while I might mention it in other answers I will not use it as a repeat answer. So here we go: macaroni & cheese (duh). Guys, I have an unhealthy relationship with cheese. If a dish has cheese in it I'm generally willing to try the dish.

And for the record I'm not talking about the cheapo Kraft macaroni & cheese, though I'll eat it. I'm talking about a nice baked macaroni and cheese with several types of real cheese and bread crumbs on top. Or made on the stove by melting cheeses together with dry mustard. Or that same baked macaroni and cheese then fried. I'll eat it with creative things added - veggies, tofu, lots of stuff. And I love creative mac & cheese recipes.

I think this is one of my very favorites that I've made. I'd love to make it again sometime soon: http://foodandspice.blogspot.com/2009/06/macaroni-and-paneer-cheese.html

Tue, Jun. 22nd, 2010, 06:07 pm
Food Meme, Day Dos.

I am already behind in this food meme thing. I'm going to try and be good, but don't be terribly surprised if I'm a little liberal with the term "day".

Day 02: Your Favorite Sweet Dish

I have a pretty big sweet-tooth. I feel like if I have access to any sort of cookie or brownie or ice cream, anything sweet really, I can't stop myself from snacking. Or, frequently, getting dessert. I think Joe Q Average could look at me and make a guess that I have poor willpower when it comes to food. So, yeah, I like desserts. But none spring immediately to mind when I think about what my favorite foods are. When I think favorite foods usually dishes covered in cheese spring to mind (another thing Mr. Average may be able to surmise) rather than sweet things.

So I'm trying to think of a dessert that gets me excited to eat it. And I think I'm going to have to give it up for crème brûlée. Maybe it's the mystique of the dish. I've never made it myself. And I know, I know, it's not difficult to make but in my mind it must be an ordeal. I make plans to go out and get crème brûlée. I will order crème brûlée for dessert when I would otherwise not bother ordering a dessert. Man, crème brûlée gets me excited!

It's been awhile. I could go for some sometime soon. Maybe I'll even tackle making my first, hopefully it won't ruin the dish for me.

Sun, Jun. 20th, 2010, 03:15 am

Oh! I meant to post this too. Livejournal friend themonsterdance is doing a 30-day food meme and this sounds like 30-days of interesting prompts to me. Maybe it'll mean more regular updates from yours truly. I'll post all of the questions in the comment section of this post.

Day 01: Any dietary restrictions?

I have been blessed to be born without any food allergies so the only thing, in theory, limiting what I can eat is whatever obnoxious part of my brain or tastebuds or whatever can't handle a food's taste or (more often than not) texture. But I believe *that* is a discussion for another day. Instead we can talk about my self-imposed dietary restriction. I've been a vegetarian for, wow, about ten years. Isn't that crazy? At twenty-three that's almost half of my life. My vegetarianism is something which I don't bring up very often, unless someone offers me something that I must decline or I've been invited somewhere for dinner. I have a perceived notion of how others perceive notions of how vegetarians are, that is to say preachy. I even tend to give stupid answers like, "I don't know, the usual reasons" when asked why I'm vegetarian, which is a pretty terrible answer.

It's interesting to see how something like one's personal diet in regards to a concept like vegetarianism changes over time. At first, being fairly uneducated, I just didn't eat meat and that was that. I think the day I discovered gelatin broke my heart. And again with rennet. Now I'm pretty mindful of gelatin, and less-so of rennet. Lots of cheeses list their ingredients as "enzymes" which I've decided not to investigate further. A friend pointed out to me that I do much more than most people and shouldn't be too hung up on investigating the rennet issue. I occasionally feel a bit guilty but more often than not would rather enjoy the food I can enjoy.

One of the neat things of vegetarianism for me is how it has forced me to think outside the box and how it has opened my eyes to new options that may not have occurred to me otherwise.

One last word on my diet. It has improved so much recently as I've broadened my culinary horizons but another part of the reason I don't mention my diet is the reactions I'll sometimes get. Folks don't seem to understand that vegetarians can eat just as unhealthily as omnivores. I put some real trash in my body sometime.

Sun, Jun. 20th, 2010, 02:54 am

I'm actually updating my livejournal from the website tonight, this is weird for me. I almost never see this page as long ago I downloaded a program that I use to compose my entries upon.

I'm in Peoria this weekend. I came home for the benefit show I organized. The show went super well. We made about $220, which is about what I expected to make. And several friends from high school (or even before) whom I hadn't seen in a while came out, which was really neat. I suppose if you send out an invitation to everyone on your Facebook friends list you never know what to expect. Some folks even donated extra! So, not that many people read this or that I haven't already done it through Facebook, but a massive THANK YOU to everyone who came out, the bands, John for running sound - to everyone who made the event possible.

On a much less enthusiastic note my stay in Peoria is being prolonged due to an emergency operation performed on my grandma Friday evening. She's currently in the ICU (and any positive thoughts or prayers, if you're so inclined, are appreciated) but she's doing much better today than she was yesterday and CERTAINLY much better than on Friday. She's had 3 operations to take care of some blood clots in her leg and will probably need at least one more, though it will most likely occur later after she's been released from the hospital. So I'm here until she's out and back home so I can visit her and because my mom has been staying at the hospital all day which is rough for her.

She (my mom) has come out when it's not visiting hours, at least she has today since my grandma's condition is improving. We got lunch at Lou's and after all of visiting hours were over for the day dinner at Old Chicago. Besides visiting my grandma today and resting up after last night's show I've had a pretty eventful day. I played Trivial Pursuit at Blue with Sam and then Tim and saw Aaron Miller play a couple of songs downtown before coming home for the night. I got to see Heather (who was on the Peoria Journal Star's front page today!) perform a demo at Steamboat Days with the Peoria Push Derby Dames.

That is what's going on with me. I'll be in Peoria for a few more days. I'll keep y'all posted.

Mon, Jun. 14th, 2010, 02:51 am

Hey Livejournal. I feel like I need to start every entry with an apology about how I'm not a particularly good Livejournaler. I'm still reading though, I appreciate reading all of my friends entries who still keep up with ye olde eljay. Sometimes it just gets left behind in all the other business I feel I need to contribute to the internet. Sometimes I feel like I'm just yelling into cyber-space so I'll eventually have proof that I've lived a worthwhile life as I look back, in my old age, on the life I've lived online through the computer that's been installed somewhere in my gray matter. Or maybe the number of places I'm living online is just indicative of how communication is evolving along with communities. I need to be social every second of everyday. Even if I'm sitting by myself alone in this apartment listening to Lucinda Williams and the washing machine at 1:30 in the morning I need to shout to all of my friends who take the time to read this about what's on my mind.

I dig it.

Wowie zowie! It's been almost a month since I've filled you in on the sordid details of my life. Let's catch up.

1. NEXT FRIDAY! Holy wow! OK! So this is the most important thing. First thing first (maybe it should have come *before* any silly musings on my inability to stop myself from posting every thought that goes through my head all over the internet) - I have booked a benefit show at Peoria Pizza Works on June the 18th. All benefits goto the non-profit I'm working with. Cover is five dolla, the line-up is Hannah Offutt, Oh, Goliath, The York Town Prophet, and my brother's band (in their very last performance) 100% Authentic Cowboys (formerly NJCK Cowboys). So uh, come see me and donate to an awesome cause. And I should be around early to eat pizza with you. How can I pass up Pizza Works while I'm in town. This also means I'll also be around Peoria for a couple days starting Thursday night. Hit me up, yeah?

2. Road trip - part one. Have I told you about my Philadelphia trip? I don't believe I have. I traveled west to Pennsylvania on a Wednesday with Shadrach and this guy Evan whom I had met once or twice before. Most of our time in our one full day in town was spent moving stuff from Shad's apartment down to the rental truck while he hung out in the truck since his leg was (is) still recovering from the break. We did have time for a break (the good kind), however, and Evan, Sara, and I traveled into the city to visit the Mütter Museum, which was really cool. If you're unfamiliar with the museum look it up online. I'd been wanting to visit for years. Basically ever since I heard about it, probably back in high school (or at least freshman year here at UIUC). We tried to hit up this place which was described to me as having "Punk Vegetarian, Vegan, and Meat". Sadly, however, I will never be able to edify myself as to what, precisely, "punk meat" is for when we found the place the grill was supposed to be there was a tiny Thai place instead (It's worth noting we had equally bad luck the next day visiting a local veg place which didn't seem to do lunch. In fact, a lot of places around Shad & Sara's neighborhood seemed to be closed for lunch. What's up with that?). So no vegetarian Philly cheese steak for Ryon. Eventually we made it back did more packing and departed, the next day, after a trip to a pretty neat bookstore (and a DELICIOUS orange blossom milkshake - definitely the best culinary purchase made over the duration of my trip). I had a lot of driving firsts on the trip back. Shad put me on the rental car and I did the following for the first time: drive a rental car, drive out of state, drive 70+ mph (thanks Indiana!), drive at night, drive in the rain. Several of those things happened all at the same time. By the end of the trip I was feeling pretty confident in my increasing ability to drive proficiently. The trip was really fun and I had a great time helping my friends move, but...

3. ...my credit card information got stolen while I was in Philadelphia. Argh! This sucks. My debit card was declined at The Mütter Museum. I thought this was because they saw my card activity out of state as suspicious but after having an afternoon of stressful thoughts nagging at my brain the whole time I was trying to enjoy myself in Philadelphia and over an hour of calling different numbers, getting kicked off of automated lines, and scrambling to find pertinent data to enter to a National City computer before I'm hung up on for taking too long I learned that someone had, in fact, attempted to steal my credit information. As of now I am without a working card (and have been for a few weeks) until I return to Peoria this weekend, due to the switchover from National City coinciding with this theft attempt. Basically I have to go withdraw money from the bank whenever I need cash. This has been a huge pain in the butt. I've had to borrow money a number of times (which I hate). I am greatly anticipating getting my mitts on this new card in order to simplify my life.

4. Road trip - part dos. I went on another road trip with Shad & Sara recently! This time along with our friend Maggie who came along specifically to drive. We went up to Chicago to see Evelyn Evelyn, as well as Jason Webley and Amanda Palmer who played after the twins. Sadly I didn't get any photos since the Park West website claimed they don't allow cameras and I wandered out of the no re-entry door before I could get anything signed by Amanda Palmer. Reading her blog she seems like she would be really cool to meet. It was a really fun show though, I loved all of it and we stopped at Red Robin on our way up which was an awesome meal as well. They departed from O'Hare after the show and I rode with Maggie (and one of her friends) back to CU.

5. Whew. Those have been the major events in my life as of late. Lots of little things. Lots of reading (read the first compendium of The Walking Dead - loved it), lots of fun stuff outside around Urbana (the Farmer's Market, the Taste of Champaign, letterboxing at Dodds Park and Mount Hope Cemetary, and playing around on Foursquare), lots of cooking (obviously), and other various shennanigans (grabbing pizza at One World Pizza and hanging out under Skylight Court while it rains, seeing Get Him to the Greek tonight, spending the whole weekend with Mike & Jessi, starting a new D&D campaign!). I think I spent the entire wash-cycle writing this Livejournal entry. This was fun.

We should really do this more often, but I suppose then you wouldn't get monster entries like this.

OH! I almost forgot. I've got this film meme I got from themonsterdance. It goes a little something like this:

I was given ten actors and ten actressses. I'm going to report my favorite movie of each. If you want a similar list leave me a comment and I'll give YOU ten actors and ten actresses.

10 & 10Collapse )

That was fun! I enjoy those, I don't do many memes very often. This is a nice venue for those. I remember doing them via e-mail with friends long before I even had a livejournal. When I was very young, sending around quizzes, not as cool as this one though - usually just silly questions. I see them on Myspace posted as bulletins sometimes still. I don't know why I'm still on Myspace.

I've officially starting babbling. This post is over. Goodnight friends!

Mon, May. 17th, 2010, 02:11 am
Something Good.

Hey, I don't know how public I've made this. I'm still trying to find a real job (i.e. a way to make money) but right now I'm interning for a non-profit organization called Four Walls And a Roof Project! I'm so excited to be doing this, to be doing something good and worthwhile. Basically I'm helping with fund raising which means all sorts of things. I'm going to be spending most of tomorrow working a speed dating event at Boltini to raise money for this and I'm currently booking a show at Peoria Pizza Works on June 18th where the door money will go toward the non-profit. I'm still looking for bands for that.

Anyway, I'm excited to be doing this! And I haven't updated y'all on my life in a while. So that's that.

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