Location: Davis, CA

Thursday, November 10, 2005

You are the cake of my endeavour, and my jelly roll forever;
My tapioca tartlet, my lemon custard pie;
You're my candied fruit and spices, my juicy citron slices;
You're the darling, sugar-sprinkled apple dumpling of my eye!

John Bennet

Happy 48-month anniversary*, boo - you are sweeter than apple pie!

*Jishnu and I engaged in much contentious debate concerning the validity of month-anniverseries over these years so I take especial joy in this announcement - you can guess what side of the fight I was on.
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Monday, November 07, 2005


When Jishnu, Crystal, Grant and I set out for the Apple Hills on Saturday, we had a master plan: we were going to zip from farm to farm and acquire freshly-picked-by-ourselves apples at Denver Dan's, fudge at the Honey Bear Ranch, some Sangiovese wine at Jodar Winery, and finally, at the end of our travels, finish with buying vast quantities of apple cider doughnuts. We were in love with the plan - we had made maps and directions all based on our beautiful plan. I had even fantisized about sitting in bed with my cider doughnuts and reading Mr. Strange and Johnathon Norell.

So of course, we came home with $53.22 of jams, vinegar, corn and bumbleberry syrup (Crystal and Grant wents nuts over the bumbleberry and emerged from Denver Dan's with bumbleberry syrup, bumbleberry jam, and a bumbleberry pie) and $28 of apple crisps and pies. No apples, fudge, wine, or cider doughnuts were bought, much to the plan's dismay.

We had a grand time - one of the greatest things about the day was meeting the very tall, very sweet owner of Denver Dan's who gave us about five hundred different types of jams, syrups, apples, and vinegars to sample and to crown it all, a giant piece of apple crisp with ice cream. Tragically, he is a diabetic and is surrounded by mounds of sugar and people moaning orgasmically over the sugar he is dispensing out to them. He is the sugar equivalent of being thirsty while stranded on a raft in the middle of the ocean.

We finished the day with an impromptu dinner party - Crystal and Grant dashed home and picked up Harry Potter, the most adorable labrador puppy alive, and the fixings for oreo milkshakes and Jishnu and I began making herbed goat cheese rounds which we finished with Crystal's help as the puppies romped around. Grant supervised their antics while I laughed uncontrollably and tried to take a million pictures all at once. Dinner was so delightful and simple - we ended up sitting at the table for hours telling stories.

We ended the night with milkshakes and Super Mario Kart as the two monkeys fought for the dominion of the sofa.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Random Thoughts

I haven't been able to think of a complete topic to write about for a while and the longer it's been since I've posted, the more I feel that I should actually say something so instead I think I will do the 101 things meme which will be equivalent to saying a whole lot of nothings all at once.

1. Random was the favorite adjective of choice for my friends in high school - we shoehorned it into every possible place an adjective could go in sentences on all sorts of random (hee!) subjects.
2. We were fairly odd. In our defense, this natural tendency was probably helped along quite a bit by the fact that it was a school so small, I took all my classes from 8-12 grades with the same 14 people.
3. In high school, we all sat in the same damn seats in every single classroom for all four years.
4. Scarily enough, those seating charts are all still implanted firmly (in a way O-Chem never was) in my memory.
5. In a serious blow to my baking pride, I really didn't like the pizza dough that I made from scratch.
6. I liked the frozen-for-who-knows-how-long and then accidently left soaking in a pot of water for hours TJ pizza dough more than my own.
7. I'm going to try a new recipe this weekend and hope for the best.
8. Otherwise, you might want to buy stock in Trader Joes because Jishnu and I are addicted to making pizza. We have all of our movements down perfectly in our pizza dance and are able to swoop around the kitchen completely efficiently.
9. In marked contrast to when we try out new recipes and spend the evening scrambling around the kitchen, muttering the directions and imprecations in equal measure, and occasionally bumping into each other.
10. The chef at the cooking school we attended over the summer told us we should always say "Hot behind" while carrying volataile ingredients.
11. While we shout this out frequently while cooking, we never manage to do say it while actually holding hot things.
12. Our glee in bad puns is long-lived. It lives much beyond rhyme or reason.
13. I feel like I am in grave danger of over-anthropomorphizing Baloo. (Hah! Did you really think I'd manage to get through a post without him?) Halfway through a walk, I stopped in shock because I looked at his feet and my mind freaked out and shrieked "NO, I didn't put his shoes on before we left! Bad mother!)
14. I think the only saving grace is the fact that I recognize the insanity of this.
15. I looked up the spelling of anthropomorphize.
16. Last month Jishnu read Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norell. It's the only book that he's read in all the years we've known each other (four years on Nov 9th!) that I haven't read before him. While he was reading it, I tortured him by calling it Jonathon Norell and Mr. Strange (as he tends to mess up the names/titles of things I am reading and it drives me batty); now that he's done reading it, I'm torturing him by reading it at the pace of melting glaciers.
17. I'm stuck in a boring part of it and it's hard to lug myself out.
18. I should though because he desperately wants to discuss all his theories about the book and has no one to talk about it with.
19. Jishnu is much much much better than me at figuring out plot twists.
20. I am any author's dream reader because I accept all narrators implicitly, never question red herrings (or even identify them as such) and simply coast along plot-wise. I save my neurotic scanning of the text for the way in which the words are written.
21. Since I usually read books I like more than once, I have the second reading to concentrate on the mechanics of the plot.
22. It gives me a thrill every time Jishnu outwits an author.
23. Why can I not finish reading A Breath of Snow and Ashes? Why must Diana Gabaldon torture me so? There are too many BAD things that happen in this book to people I love. I can't even look at the book without wanting to throw pointy things at it.
23. Why can I never think of a graceful way to end a post?
24. Does that sentence count as one?

remaining 101 items to be completed soon....

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Stressed-Out Bear

I was going to begin an entry yesterday afternoon with the sentence "Behold, [our] house is left unto [us] desolate!"* We had just left Baloo at the grooming parlour and wailed all the way home. We've never left him anywhere alone before and we thought we had the worst of the bargain. Baloo has been the light of the house for the last five months and the house truly did seem somehow smaller and darker without him.

We both moped around the house for a while (mostly by staring sadly at his kennel) and Jishnu comforted himself with a bit of cheese and I sat down to begin this entry and then my cell phone rang - it was the groomer saying that Baloo had freaked out after we left and was refusing to let them touch him.

We triumphantly (sad that he behaved badly, though) brought Baloo back home and he installed himself on the couch and heaved a sigh of contentment. We talked to our vet's assistant and she said that the doctor might recommend sedatives for Baloo because he really is in desperate need of some grooming for his crazy hair and toenails.

The poor bear's travails were not over with the afternoon. He had attacks of diahrrea all night long, somehow managing not to soil his kennel, and now he is on a cottage cheese and rice diet for the next five days. I called the vet's office (again, I'm sure they looove me there) and apparently, stress attacks can bring about diahhrea in puppies.

I'm waiting for Jishnu to come home so that he can keep the Boopers under observation while I go get his cottage cheese rations.

Here is a picture of the hungry bear.

*One of the few lines of poetry I can remember; however, I had to look up the author - Tennyson, a line from AYLMER'S FIELD

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Worried Anticipation

We've been ordered by our dog trainer to get Baloo to a groomer post-haste. This was a few weeks ago. We've been dragging our feet on it because we love his ruffly, wavy, generally unkept look and are afraid of him coming out of the salon looking like a pit bull. Sadly, the day of judgement has finally arrived and the poor bear is going to be shorn today at high noon. (Hopefully, he won't follow the fate of Samson.) Here's one last look at him in all his crazy-hair glory.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


The last four days have been brimming over with serendipity (and, as you'll see, excesses of shopping). On Friday, we went to Berkley (which I now adore and want to live in) with Mike and Chante and had an orgy of delectable pastries, excellent pizza, perfect bread, and cheese with which Jishnu wishes to have a torrid affair - and that was only the morning!

We started out at a bakery that Chante went to as a small child and literally bought them out of all their cheese puffs. I am not a great cheese-lover and much less so in the way of desserts so we only bought three of them initially and boggled at Chante when she bought a dozen. We realized that this was a huge mistake after eating one on the way back to the car. We all turned and ran back to the bakery (Chante and Mike also having decided to supplement their dozen) and begged them for whatever they had left. Sadly, the bakery only had six left - which Chante bought and then gave to us, very sweetly, when we realized that was all the bakery had left. Thanks again, Chante - we've been eating them happily!

After our bakery adventures, we went to the Cheeseboard Pizza Collective and collectively devoured one of their beautiful pizzas - it was so good that the car was silent as we all concentrated on the symphony of cheeses melted together on the crust. Our next stop was at the Cheeseboard Cheese Collective where I fell into raptures over all the bread and bought a long sourdough baguette, a hot jalapeno and cilantro X roll, and about five pounds of perfectly made English muffins and Jishnu lusted after all the cheeses and emerged from the shop with four different specimens. I'll leave it to him to give you the dirty (or rather, smelly) details on his blog.

After the food orgy, we had a grand time at Sur la Table and the Crate and Barrel Outlet. We got a ridiculously heavy cast iron skillet (I now understand why people used to use them as murder weapons) and I decided that tarts are going to be the next dessert I conquer and so I bought a tart pan and Jishnu bought a shaver/slicer for his darling cheeses. At the C&B outlet, we indulged in buying lots and lots of glasses that we don't really need but are such pretty receptacles for our drinks of choice: Coke and wine.

In between the two cooking stores, I found the sofa of my dreams, convinced Jishnu that he too longed for it and then had to leave it behind. It is soft and squishy and as deep as a twin bed and the general effect is of sleeping on fluffy leather clouds and I am now pining for it. This is it.

We concluded the day with expeditions to Ikea and Trader Joes. Ikea, of course, is impossible to leave without a random assortment of glassware, candles, hangers, and hampers so we dutifully bought varieties of all those and also a multi-level desk for Jishnu's music work. Once we clean up his studio, I'll post a picture of it. We assembled it on Saturday and since, thankfully, the Ikea instructions as hieroglyphics have improved, we had a lot of fun and came out of it feeling like carpenters.

Ack, I can't believe it has taken this many words to describe Friday - I'll leave the rest of the weekend for another post.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


I am sitting in bed eating a beautiful ice-cream cone, with a new novel next to me and Baloo snuffling at my feet - what more could I ask for? (well, possibly Jishnu, but as he is presently working out and I am not, he is aiding my sense of contentment in his own way)

Jishnu has lured me away from my very infrequently updated livejournal to blogspot with the siren lure of ease-of-posting-pictures feature. If we ever find our camera, I will be able to document Baloo and his odd ways. I'm going to try to write every day in an effort to promote writerly discipline - which after a summer of productivity has fallen prey to too much outside work (but, as it is work that pays, there is a silver lining). As I told Mike on his blog, I will be like a modern-day Samuel Pepys!

Today, we took Baloo to lunch with us at Sam's. Jishnu and I are addicted to their schwarma - it is a work of art in the way it balances textures and colours and flavors; the speckled brown pita holding together layers of creamy white yogurt sauce, espresso colored meat, grass-green cucumbers and the flame coloured splashes of hot sauce. The waitress at Sam's is very sweet and always goes into raptures over Baloo and doesn't bat an eye when he begins to eat mountains of ice. Sadly for my ears, Baloo has inherited Jishnu's love of ice crunching. The lunch and our ramble through the park afterwards was a bright spot between bouts of teaching.
I had meant to talk about Baloo's first meeting with his friend, Harry Potter, the most adorable and happy yellow labrador puppy alive, but I'll wait until I have the pictures from their summit.

One last note of contentment - Jishnu is now lying next to me in bed - eating a French vanilla (which apparently is not a geographical indicator) ice cream cone and reading To Say Nothing of the Dog. A few years ago, he would never have been caught eating french vanilla ice cream or reading for fun - hopefully, I'll learn better habits from him as well and you'll see him bragging on his blog about my regular exercise habits.