Sunday, September 4, 2011

August Goals: Review.

+ Mark a big item off of my bucket list: participate in the Portland Bridge Pedal.
I did, and I even blogged about it! Whoa!

+ Buy new things (jeans, bras, shoes) that I need to replace old things that are all hole-y, falling apart, stinky, and embarrassing. Basically.
Shockingly, yes to the jeans and bras, no to the shoes. In fact, before we went shopping, Kathy and I spent a while trying to figure out our actual bra size. These are the kinds of things you get to do in a lesbian relationship! Don't be jealous. I still desperately need any kind of sneaker, but it just wasn't in the budget this month.

+ To congratulate myself when my final class is done, I plan to..dun dun dun...BUY MYSELF A BOOKSHELF! YAYYYY NERD
Ellie donated her old one to us since she's moving! I am PUMPED! So, sad about Ellie moving, obviously, but pumped about the free bookshelf. I would post a picture but it's not all set up yet, tragically.

+ WEDDING GOALS: This month, I/we will: make a wedding website, send dress ideas to my mom, actually email that wedding planner chick Marriott provides us with, and order Save the Dates.
What a wedding fail! The only thing I did was email the wedding planner. Which took two seconds. What a wedding loser! I want to make our own funky website instead of using one of the boring stock ones everyone uses, but then I set high expectations for myself and then I never actually have time to accomplish them.

+ Take the Toyota to the shop. I have been dreading this, but it has to happen.
Again, not in the budget, at all. And the car's been working fine, it's just still worrisome, and still has to happen at some point this fall.

The car.
The Toyota, hanging out in Wyoming.

+ AND THEN, once we know the car is a-okay, take Toby on a yurting trip to the coast! Yayyyyy!
Booooo! Didn't happen, obviously.

We'll take you camping one day, buddy!
+ ALSO: take my bike to a bike shop to fix the shifting gears problem it's been having, so I can stop having to grit my teeth and mutter crazily to myself, "Jesus, even my BIKE doesn't work!" 
I took it to the shop and they looked at it quickly without charging me (again, yay free!) and adjusted it ever so slightly and basically said everything looked fine. Kathy also de-greased my chains before the Bridge Pedal for me. And after doing some reading, I think part of the problem probably also has to do with how I shift, so I'm trying to be better with that. Overall, while I think it still shifts kind of funky sometimes, I feel good knowing that any big problem was basically all in my head. Yay for being crazy!

+ Finish The Omnivore's Dilemma. Start Shame of the Nation.
OKAY GOD I AM EMBARRASED OKAY. I feel like I've been reading The Omnivore's Dilemma for my entire life (if my entire life were a month and a half) and I'm still not done, although I am very close to the end. I've decided to wait on Shame of the Nation for a little while because there are so many fiction books I want to partake in for now.

+ Go berry picking at Sauvie Island.
We didn't go berry picking at Sauvie Island, but we DID go blackberry picking along the Springwater Trail with Scott and Kelly. This was free and gave us an abundant amount of blackberries. And we got to hang out with two of my favorite dogs, ever. So, win!

Taylorrrrr!
+ Call some good peeps I haven't called in way too long. This list of peeps could be potentially long, but I'm narrowing it down just for now to: Allie, Zoe, and Sam.
Feel pretty ashamed to say I failed at this one. I talked to Sam the other day on her birthday, which was technically September, and I left Zoe a voicemail on her birthday; never called Allie. Thank goodness we get to hang out with Allie in person soon!

 + Cut down on beer. :\
I didn't make any specific goals or routines for this one, but in general, I think I did. If anything just because we realized it's not really in our budget to always have a six-pack of microbrews in the fridge. Devastatingly.

Uncle Chip at the beer festival last month. Hard to say no to that face.
+ Get our trip to the great Northeast for Greg and Andrea's wedding in September all purchased and finalized.
Yes! Leaving on Tuesday! Have very little time to get stuff done before then! FREAKING OUT! My internal dialogue for the last week: STRESS STRESS EXCITEMENT STRESS.

+ Hopefully, kick ass at my second interview at Campfire.
I knew making this goal would be embarrassing by the end of the month. I was nervous as hell and think I did okay but not necessarily up to "kick ass" type of level, and I didn't get the position. They did offer me a substitute position with them however, so hopefully I may still be able to see some Lane kids once in a while this upcoming school year. Which would be nice, since as we've plunged into the back-to-school season, I've found myself having some serious and unexpected heart-pangs for them and the classroom. I just want to know how they're doing. :\

+ Make FOUR new meals.
Yeah! This was actually a pretty good cooking month.


#1: Kung pao chicken. This recipe was real good, but the prep work was such a pain in the ass for me. This is especially ridiculous because we live near a pretty big Asian population center of PDX, and are surrounded by little Asian markets, but yet it was an adventure trying to find a bottle of sambal. (Embarrassingly ended up finding it at my Target, of all places.) And then when I thought I was all prepared to finally make it, I confused rice wine (which I didn't have) for rice vinegar (which I do have). So then I had to go out and find rice wine, where I was informed by the kind Asian ladies at the market that there are different kinds of rice wine, for cooking and drinking. Dumb white girl, right here! Anyway, so I now have a big ol' bottle of cooking rice wine in my fridge that I may or may not ever use again. I believe this is what one would term a "first world problem."


#2: Summer vegetable tian. I had never heard of a tian before. This month was full of learning experiences! This was an exceedingly simple but delicious recipe: slice up some vegetables, rest them on top of some chopped onions and garlic, sprinkle with herbs and cheese, bake. The best part was that everything except the cheese in this recipe was essentially healthy good for you stuff, but it still tasted REALLY GOOD. Like, sometimes when I make healthy recipes I pretend that they taste better than they actually do. But this actually tasted great, and filled up both Kathy and I, which I also didn't expect. My vegetables didn't fill a whole pan though, and I also felt somewhat guilty because even though this was supposed to utilize in-season "summer vegetables," squash definitely aren't in season in August, at least in the Northwest. So these squash were from Mexico, I think. (Sorry, sustainable food movement!) But seriously, let's talk about how squash is THE BEST.


#3: Dutch potatoes. Okay, I don't know if this actually counts as a "meal," since it's basically just mashed potatoes with carrots. But it made a good lunch. And I'm pretty much just always proud when I make myself something to eat that isn't mac & cheese. True fact.


#4: Skillet lasagna. So Kathy said this was one of the "best things I've ever made," and I'd have to agree--probably because it's one of those Joy-of-Cooking, comfort-food type of meals where almost everything in it is bad for you. Yay! The only redeeming thing in it was the spinach. But this is basically just all the stuff that's in lasagna, mixed up in the skillet and served sloppy. (And I used egg noodles instead of lasagna noodles as she suggested which worked out great.) Reasons why this is better than lasagne: 1) you don't have to do all the annoying layering and then all the time baking, 2) I hate when you try to cut through lasagne and all the filling farts out. Right? This meal, on the other hand, is all gooey and cheesy and meat-y and delicious. And another big factor to the winning meal was the sausage we got from New Seasons, which was SO GOOD.

I also made a fifth meal, pizzadillas, which I made whilst we watched the VMAs, and somehow in the excitement of all the horrible and painful awkwardness that is the VMAs, I forgot to take any pictures. Curses! But they were also relatively easy, and delicious. And the recipe for the pizza dipping sauce made a TON of sauce, which I froze and will hopefully use on an actual home-made pizza. I've never made a home-made pizza before, but I know it won't be as good as all the pizzas Ellie & Matt have made us throughout the past few years. We'll miss you guys (and your pizzas).

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