Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I love digging myself into deep holes...


How does one explain to their parents that they were too in denial and depressed about the situation to tell them about losing their job? For me, I'm such a damned emotional person that I don't think I can physically express that before getting to the tears where it would make any sense.

I'm an idiot and went blabbing about losing my job on Facebook before telling family. I just told my mom two days ago. Yes, TWO days ago. But, my aunt who is in Barcelona saw it on Facebook. Her husband, my uncle Raz, comes back to Greensboro for a week or two at a time every month or two. Raz, my aunt Nabila and mom and dad had dinner Sunday night (the day before I told Mom). Raz mentioned it at dinner, before my dad got there, and obviously it was news to my mom.

Well, not only was that hurtful to her, but then I guess yesterday at work, both Raz and Nabila came to the store. My dad told them the news, and, of course, they both said they already knew. That hurt my dad, a lot. And I know I have to talk to him, but now it's a must-do thing, by the end of the day if I want to seem any less heartless than I already do.

Never ever did I not tell people to hurt them. Immaturity? Denial? Sadness? Yes to all of the above.

I woke up late today. Feeling physically sick, before knowing about any of this. Now, not only am I trying to work on Jenna's project – that's not that stressful or difficult while not feeling hot – but now this on top. Phone calls like this not only eat up time but physical energy and I do not look forward to this. I realize this is all part of growing up, learning that acting this way does nothing good. I'm so ready to be completely independent from the parents, but it keeps looking further and further away.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Four weeks later...

And I'm still unemployed. And it still depresses me. So, what's a girl to do when rent is due in about a week and a half? Well, I'm doing some 'brain-numbing' color matching/counting for my buddy Jenna. She's a grad student from the most wonderful school in the world (hehe), NCSU College of Textiles. The colors are car interior vinyls and leathers, and I'm working in more recent years. So wooooo, lots of neutrals. Anyway, I need to dive into that.

But, I also had a small idea tonight on the train home. This is by no means going to pay my rent (at least I don't expect it to). But, it's worth a shot. I created a group on Facebook, so here's the description.

Are you a New Yorker tired of always eating out? Not sure where the paycheck disappears to every week? Craving something homemade, but no time to spare? A friend of mine who has eaten something I've made and wants more? Well, since I now have a bit of time on my hands, I am putting my general knowledge and home experience of cooking and baking for sale.

In New York, especially, no one seems to have time for homemade, delicious food. We pay a premium for (often very good) food from restaurants and markets. Often, we grocery shop and then, before you know it, the vegetables you bought have spoiled before you could do anything with them!

I'm not expecting to "make a living" on this, but I have the time to spare, so I'm here to offer my time and love of cooking and baking. From anything as simple as homemade dressings, spaghetti sauce, roasted chicken to eggplant curry, apricot sriracha chicken, cupcakes, I can do it. (or at least try!)

Prices? I have no idea, but It's all negotiable. Supplies? If you have something in your fridge you want cooked, I'll do it. Otherwise, I'll buy the groceries and factor it in the price. Location? I'm willing to cook either in your apartment, or, more likely in my apartment in Brooklyn. And thus, delivery!

Like I said before, I'm not expecting a booming business from this, but if you're craving something specific or just want a good home cooked meal, shoot me an email or give me a call. Feel free to invite all your fellow NYC friends, who I may know or may not!

So... if you're in New York and are interested in home made food, send me an email! Or if you know of anyone in the city, please pass it on to them.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Just a quick recipe...

After Leena so graciously gave me some ideas on my last post requesting culinary advice, yesterday I had quite a little cooking spree. She recommended a kale pizza with italian sausage. On that idea, and not really in the mood for pizza, I went with a stir-fry.

Two links italian sausage - I used awesome spicy-sweet-fennel from Brooklyn Fare that was in my freezer.
3-4 cloves garlic
Onions - I used a bag of fresh pearl onions that were about to die, cut in half.
1 lb kale, chopped. Separate stems from leafy parts.
1/2 bottle beer - I used Brooklyn Brewery Lager
1 can chickpeas, drained
Salt, pepper, cumin, whatever else you care for.

Brown the italian sausage on medium-high. Take out meat, leave browned bits and a bit of sausage fat in. Add in the onions, and season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of cumin. Let the onions caramelize as long as you're patient. I was patient, it paid off. If you're feeling fibrous, add the kale stems, and the garlic. Saute a minute and then add the beer. I'm not sure if I would add the stems again, because they never got tender. But let it boil, and let the beer reduce. Makes a great sauce because it pulls up all that browned sausage and onion goodness. Throw the sausage back in along with the chickpeas. If you're more patient than I am, let the chickpeas cook a bit. Mine tasted a bit too straight out of the can. Throw in the kale and toss for about a minute or two. I took mine out while the kale was still a bit underdone because the heat of everything helps cook, and I'd much rather have slightly raw than mushy kale.

All in all, my stir fry was a touch underseasoned. I would probably throw in a jalapeno with the garlic, or some red pepper flakes. But as of recent, I've been slightly heavy with the salt so I made sure not to overdo it. I also wasn't sure what direction the italian sausage was going to take it in, but it could probably use more cumin, and you could even throw some more indian spices in it if you wanted to take it in that direction. It would be great tossed with pasta, rice, quinoa, couscous, or any other grain out there.

It's also delicious with socca. David Lebovitz tweeted about Kalyn's Kitchen making socca yesterday. I had never heard of it before, but I had chickpea flour sitting in the pantry and I was intrigued, so I made it. (Who said Twitter was so bad? It's given me some culinary inspiration!) It's yummy and so easy.

I apologize for no pictures, but I'm lazy. Yes. It's been a productive/lazy week and I'm still bummed about the no job thing.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Calling all food gods/goddesses...

I need cooking inspiration! Thursday's CSA load was:

1 Head of Lettuce
1 Napa Cabbage
1 Fennel
2 Onions
1 Large Pac Choi (Chinese cabbage)
1 lb Kale

I have no idea what to do with a lot of this, particularly fennel and something exciting for the pac choi and kale. I also don't really want to buy much of anything since I don't have money. I have shrimp, ground turkey, buffalo burgers in the freezer, and the only fresh items I have otherwise are a few eggs, garlic scape pesto, possibly some older parsley, and lots of fresh basil, rosemary, sage, thai basil and chives.

I'm also looking for things to fix that will survive unrefrigerated for a little while. Since I'm still spending most days out of the house, in a coffee shop or somewhere like that, I need to take food with me that isn't so vulnerable to heat. Ideas anyone?

Friday, July 10, 2009

A good day...

I just wanted to swing the mood of my blog back upwards a bit. The past few days have been pretty awesome, and although I still measure every day's productivity by the number of resumes sent out (thus making yesterday and today a "failure" so far), but life is otherwise good.

I didn't mention it, but the night of my last entry, I had gone to a Tri-State (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut) Wolfpack event at Brother Jimmy's with a friend. Brother Jimmy's is a North Carolina style bbq restaurant with ACC themed decor. You know, kitschy, overpriced, but they were offering free drinks and apps to the NCSU folks. Anyway, even though the rest of the evening's depression seemed to void that out, it was a nice time.

Yesterday, I went to Broadway in Bryant Park and got to see Stomp, Phantom of the Opera, Avenue Q and In the Heights perform a few songs from their respective shows. It was quite fantastic. I picked up my CSA stuff and came home, to then go back out and have dinner with my friend Jenna. It was awesome to hang out with her and we got reaaally spoiled at Centro. (Yes, I drag all my friends there.) It was nice to hang out with her for a little while since she's been up in the city vacationing/'researching'. I miss my College of Textiles friends, so it was a nice evening.

And today, another CoT friend emailed me about happy hour tonight! I haven't seen her in ages, and she's awesome too, so I'm excited to see her and meet some of her friends. And, I got an interview lined up for Monday! Woot! So, yes, technically today has not been productive. But, in the scheme of my mood and other things, it's been a great day.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

i'm a name dropper...

on a side note, garlic scape pesto (see leena and adam's recipes (yes, i like calling food bloggers i regularly read by their first name)) + egg + parmesan + tomatoes = yummy breakfast. when not dropped on your toe. baked eggs are the easiest thing ever, but i don't recommend eating them standing up in the kitchen when you're a klutz like me. otherwise, injuries (and messes) can result.

simple recipe
grease/pam a 2 oz ramekin.
throw a teaspoon of pesto in.
crack egg in (making sure yolk is towards bottom of ramekin.
cover with lots of parmesan (i also did this to make sure yolk wasn't showing at all, so it wouldn't dry out)
bake for more than 5 minutes but not 10 minutes at 350.
top with a spoonful of fresh tomato salad - tomatoes, red onion, garlic, lemon, olive oil. cucumbers too, if your salad happens to be left over from independence day.
multiply x size of your stomach or your crowd.
thank heidi for the baked egg inspiration, and leena and adam for a zingy, delicious condiment. these would be awesome for a group brunch - the flavor is impressive, but the process is easy enough for a complete novice.

thoughts on the c train

i'm scared shitless. i am scared absolutely shitless. i despise this feeling and yet it consumes me currently. i'm doing ok and then all of a sudden, one little thing in my day messes up and *voila*, i'm in the stomach of a monster. the self doubt from a while ago? it looks like a baby in terms of the danger it could do to me. this thing just destroys any sense of confidence i may have ever had.

it's so bad that i'm literally writing this on the subway. i had it's 10:30 at night and i'm writing this on my laptop on the way home. as if it weren't bad enough that i'm the fatty, taking up more than my fair share, i have my computer propped on my bag. i'm sure everyone standing hates me.

i really do hate writing mopey blogs like this. i hate that it's even a part of me. and that i post it on the internet for friends, acquaintances, strangers to read? (haha, i'm flattering myself in thinking that many people read this.) but i don't know. i post it, because, i do. i would love for this to be a blog of random daily thoughts, recipes, observations. but i feel like it's overwhelmed with 'blah blah blah, my life sucks, wtf is wrong with me mentally?"

and now the subway is braking rough, and the dumbasses standing NOT holding a handle, thus losing their balance and falling into everyone else (and possibly my laptop, since i'm being an asshole - but i did move it into my lap so that I wouldn't take up so much space). these people, i can't stand. some days, i really can't stand 99.9% of new york. and thus, tonight, in the midst of this self hatred, self doubt, disdain for the current happening, i wonder "can i handle new york?" i wonder "was this all a big fucking mistake?" i wonder if i really have friends here, and if i really can make new friends. i mean, come the fuck on. meeting people in college was easy. i happened to connect with some amazing people. here? i just. feel like a kindergartner in a sea of pros.

deep, deep int he depths of my brain, i realize i need to shut up. just shut up completely. ok, i lost my internship. life is NOT easy, and at some point, i was going to have to find, ya know, a real job. the depths of my brain know that, yeah, we all have ny hating times. but i also realize that there are a LOT of people here. thus, a lot of people to choose to not like. (and then some that you do like). i know, in reality, that i do have some friends here. i may not be super close with them, but there ARE people here that i like, like me, and we click. it's just we're all so busy, it's hard to just 'hang out.' oh, and i also, guess, think i'm able, strong enough, creative enough, to get a (good) job.

but the intelligent, rational, logical part doesn't stop the part of me that just releases tears like it's a damn broken faucet. in the middle of the upper west side, at 10pm on a tuesday night. most of my friends assure me that, especially in comparison to other people, i'm mentally healthy. but then, the ease that i can (and DO) cry, at small (and larger) events just makes me question it, more than i do on a regular basis. i don't like being so emotionally vulnerable, and really don't feel like it's something i'm trying to do. sometimes, just every once in a while, i feel like i need a xanax... or one of those meds...

oh, and this morning, after diligently making (yummy) garlic pesto baked eggs, i went and dropped one of the ramekins. on my toe. this morning, i was mostly too pissed at the wasted food, mess made, and time lost. it hurt, yes. but now, 14 hrs later, my toe still hurts. or should i say it hurts more? i don't know, but boy am i glad to have something else to add to my list of concerns.

if anyone actually read this whole entry,...thank you? you're probably a very good friend of mine, and i love you for caring enough to follow my rants, raves, and general brain diarrhea.

-one last note. i'm very glad i wrote this on the train home, even if i did look maniacal. i'm far too tired now to think about writing, but i needed the catharsis. also, i dropped a small ramekin on my toe this morning, and i'm preeeeeetty sure it's hurt. now that my brain has finally died down, the toe pain is increasing.

Monday, July 6, 2009

One week

And I feel about as bad as I did a week ago.

Yay unemployment manic depression! (I exaggerate, but it feels slightly like that.)

I had an interview this morning, with a staffing/recruiting/temp fashion company. I was so excited, got all dolled up (in that cute, professional, fashionable line I attempt to ride, at least when trying to impress people). Aaaaaand, then... The interview lasted for twenty minutes.

Okay, that's bad, right? Horrible? I mean, to be honest, it didn't feel "bad", just New Yorker brief. Considering that she was basically getting to know me, saw my resume and portfolio, and told me a bit about the job she contacted me for. It's all good, because basically it's connecting me with her, and she's going to keep her eye out for any print/CAD design jobs. We discussed pay, and doing temp or freelance (just to see if I wanted to. And of course, yes.) She's going to forward my resume and some portfolio images to the company she contacted me about.

But, the problem with that? Well, they're in Long Island. First thing she asked was if I would consider commuting outside of the city. "Of course!" I mean, if it's a job, it's a job, right? And of course, I'm looking too far forward into this (considering I have no idea if the company is even interested). But that's what I do. I didn't get a specific location - she mentioned it, I didn't think to ask again, and write it down - but it Hopstop estimates a two hour commute there. (She mentioned it was 40 min from Penn Station... I sorta call bs.) Like I said, I shouldn't be fretting over something I don't even know if I have, but it just makes me feel blaaaah.

Side note: Still, post-op, if I'm bored or depressed-ish, I tend to eat. Unemployment makes me both. Food costs money. Unemployment removes money. These ideas do not add up to a relationship that works. I personally need removal from my apartment to approach productivity, but being in a coffee shop, well, I can't exactly bring in my own food and coffee. I'm also struggling to find the right place for me, that's friendly, doesn't mind a 'camper' in the shop, that has wifi and outlets, and good (iced) coffee. And that's at least near the subway or a bus near me. Oh the life of a bum.