Monday, February 20, 2006

Kooky Cooking & Puppy Fever: An Assortment of Thoughts

I realize that I still haven’t written about my previous misadventure in cooking---and I’m sure you are tingling with anticipation for it---but I thought I’d mention my singular ability to muddle a grilled cheese sandwich. I made one for lunch, and I managed to undercook one side, burn the other, and drip cheese all over the pan because I’m too lame to flip a sandwich. Perhaps I should stick to cereal.

We finally got the rainy weekend that I’ve been craving for months. I wanted an excuse to light a fire, snuggle under a blanket, and not do much of anything for a couple days. Rowen, as you can imagine, was less than thrilled by the lack of activity, although she did seem to enjoy the fire. She repeatedly and intently examined the fireplace because she could see the smoke rising but she couldn’t figure out where it went. Such a curious and intelligent girl!

I so want to give her a baby brother. I have some serious puppy fever. I’ve always known that I would have more than one dog---I think three would be a nice number---and throughout Rowen’s puppy years, I’ve thought that it would be nice for her to have a playmate because she’s so social and so energetic. But I told myself that I needed to wait until she was at least 2 years old and I had a backyard. A one-bedroom apartment is just too small for two energetic dogs. Right? And dogs are expensive and I’m about to be a very indebted graduate student. Right? And I often don’t have time to give Rowen the attention she needs, let alone another dog. Right? And I’ve finally gotten Rowen past the worst behaviors; I don’t want to start all over again with another dog. Right?

Except, no matter how many arguments I use to talk myself out of another dog, I still want one. Badly. I’ve been visiting some of the Austin rescue Web sites. Fortunately, I have some specifics---male, less than 6 months, mid-size, energetic and affable breed---which keep my options limited. And, so far, I haven’t fallen in love at first sight with any---like I did with Rowen. So far.

Back to the weekend: I did pull myself out into the cold for a couple lunches---one with a former coworker, one with some Austin bloggers. The latter was at Z Tejas, which I thought was a very Austin location but it turns out that it’s a chain. It, however, did originate in Austin. We each had a different type of enchilada; the waiter put in a special request for me: a catfish enchilda. They have that on their usual lunch menu, but not on the Sunday brunch menu. Phooey. But I got it and it was delicious, although I think I prefer the mushroom enchiladas. That, a glass of wine, and a big slice of warm fudge pie a la mode---plus the wonderful company---I could have stayed there all afternoon.

I also made myself go to the gym on Sunday morning, even though it was about 20 degrees out and I almost fell on the icy sidewalk and I had to chip the ice off my car windows and I had to turn around and go back to my apartment and take another route because the road I wanted to take was closed for a marathon. So I really think I ought to get double calorie points or something for that.

The rest of the weekend was spent in front of the fire, watching DVDs---including Nobody Knows, which is perfect for a rainy afternoon because it’s long and in Japanese and there isn’t much action but it’s very sweet and captivating, and Walmart: The High Cost of Low Prices, which was very eye-opening. I knew some of the complaints about Walmart---that it doesn’t pay a living wage to its employees, that it discriminates against women, that it kills local business---but I had no idea how bad it really is. I will never go to Walmart again. And I may have to stop going to Target just because it’s a box store, too.

And I read The Penelopiad. Very fast read---I easily could have read it in a day, but I stretched it over two. Also very good. I’ll let you know when I get my review up.

Back to the grind. Perhaps I’ll see if I can prop Strapped on my editing desk and sneak a read.


At 3:50 PM , Blogger Liz said...

I really wanted another dog, too. :) My last two dogs were mother and son and they were so cute together. She would even clean his face for him.

The main reason we decided not to was the money factor. So about a year ago we decided to stop looking. But ooooh, it's still so tempting sometimes! Esp when I look at the site for the rescue league where Alex came from... there are so many sweet pups looking for homes.

At 4:00 PM , Blogger Bearette24 said...

definitely get another dog!! i am always looking for more doggy pictures.

what is strapped about? it sounds vaguely pornographic.

At 4:26 PM , Blogger Lisa said...


My angel and my devil. I won't say which is which. ;-)

B-Strapped is subtitled: Why America's 20- and 30-Somethings Can't Get Ahead. In a nutshell, it's about the huge financial barriers that our generation faces (increased cost of education paired with a decrease in government aid; cost of housing far outpacing earnings and inflation; child care costs; debt; etc.). I'm only about 20 pages in, and so far it isn't anything earth-shattering, although it's somewhat comforting to know that I'm not alone and I'm not imaging that it's harder and harder every year to stretch that paycheck. I'm interested to see what the author proposes as solutions.

At 6:50 PM , Blogger Lora said...

I know it's a catch-22 with big box stores. You want to be able to take advantage of the good prices, but feel immoral doing so. I try to use local business as often as I can, but I save a lot of money on things at Costco and Target.

At 8:05 PM , Blogger Bearette24 said...

fortunately there's no walmart or target near me! :)

i'm an old navy/gap kind of girl.

every once in a while a "floating" target comes to manhattan, on a boat. how weird is that!?!?

i'm listening to crystal's cd. woo!

At 5:59 AM , Blogger Liz said...

A floating Target store? That's beyond weird. It's kind of disturbing to know that they're mobile now. Hopefully I won't see a Wal-Mart traveling down 395 anytime soon. ;)

I'll have to ask my brother and sis if they've ever been...

At 6:00 AM , Blogger Frema said...

You can say whatever you want about Wal-Mart, but I will defend Target to the death. Never met a Target I didn't like.

At 8:19 AM , Blogger LostInTX said...

I'm with Frema! I love target. I would be soooo dissapointed to learn that they function like Wal-mart, although I have a suspicious feeling that they have some likeness.

I won't go into WalMart. I also heard they used to lock the illegal immigrants in at night when they were doing the cleaning. what if there was a fire? I had a co-worker, who is a white anglo male, tell me that they treated HIM bad too. He worked briefly to earn some extra money and he said they wont give you breaks. He quit b/c he couldn't take it. I hate that there are people that have to stay there b/c it's all they have and they endure that day after day.

Lisa- had a great time at lunch! We need to make it a regular event. Like once a month or something... :)

At 8:36 AM , Blogger Bearette24 said...

Hehe - Liz, I think that would be a great basis for a freaky movie.

Walmart driving down the road, with "Jaws" music in the background...


At 8:53 AM , Blogger Lisa said...

The doc addressed the illegal immigrant issue. It also talked about the scary stuff they do to bust up any union activity.

And if how they treat their workers isn't enough to convince you not to shop there, the doc had some interesting stats about crime at Walmart. Even though 80% of crimes at Walmart occur in the parking lot against patrons, most stores don't have any outside cameras or security patrols. Any outside cameras a store may have are usually part of their union-busting package and aren't actually manned in real time.

I, too, love Target and will be sad not to go there, but I have a feeling that they probably have many of the same problems.

At 10:23 AM , Anonymous crystal said...

I'm sorry I missed the lunch on Sunday. :( And I'm just trying to picture a Target on a boat. Weird.

At 11:51 AM , Blogger Bearette24 said...

hee...i've never actually seen it, just heard of it, but i guess it's a big draw for some manhattanites ;) maybe i'll go next time just to take pictures. i think it comes in the summer, though i'm not sure.


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