We just found out that our neighbors refer to our house as “Guacamole House”.
¹Bitchface Von Hunchback
We just found out that our neighbors refer to our house as “Guacamole House”.
¹Bitchface Von Hunchback
My moving day, presented as a bullet list:
“… We have every confidence that we’ll find a big, free, wood-floored house in a crime-free part of the city where wild unicorns deliver baskets of ripe figs and avocados to residents every morning.”
That quote? Was me two years ago, being sarcastic about the kind of place I expected to live when we moved to Los Angeles. We settled for a sunless, loud ground floor apartment with no real parking space and no visible plantlife. But then as you know we are now moving into a lovely wood-floored house and I decided to let the unicorns and figs and avocados pass until the next place we live.
And then, as we were out at the new house today so the utilities could be set up, I took a walk through my new backyard. And looked up. And then screamed at the top of my lungs “OH MY GOD!”
“What’s the matter?!” Mike came running in a panic.
“Uh, I don’t…”
“THIS IS A MOTHERFUCKING AVOCADO TREE, MOTHERFUCKEEEEER!”
After I literally and truly had a moment of chest pain after jumping up and down and screaming for who knows how long, I took a long breather and tried to rest my eyes and blood pressure by looking at something else for a minute. “OH MY GOD!”
BANANAS. How did I not notice we signed a lease for the goddamn Garden of Eden? I mean, I liked it before, but now I’m already trying to think of how to most casually mention to the landlords that we really won’t be leaving. Ever.
She really believes she’ll get some cheesesteak. She didn’t. We’re assholes. And she’s allergic to beef.
Meanwhile, The Thing That Lurks, our Boston Terrier, had the most amazing funtime I’ve ever seen her have. The entire backyard is enclosed, and after a sort of lackluster first 20 minutes – I mean, don’t get me wrong, she wagged her tail and stuff – I was like, well, okay, the dog doesn’t hate it. And then all of a sudden, and I’m not kidding both Mike and I were there to watch it, she all of a sudden realized she was outside without a leash on. She jumped straight in the air about four feet and then raced in a 100-mph circle around the whole yard like a jackrabbit on PCP. It was those most exhilarating and genuinely joyous thing I’ve ever seen anything do, ever. Mike and I laughed and ran and clapped our hands like toddlers.
Later, after the utilities were all sorted we went out for cheesesteaks where the bastard that cooked them both did not have Wiz to put on it, but also forgot the onions and peppers. I basically couldn’t eat it. I ate maybe a quarter of it and put it back down, because a cheesesteak without Wiz and onions and peppers is just a fried beef sandwich¹, which is no good at all.
AVOCADOES. Oh my god. I think I might have injured my heart, I’m serious.
¹ A.k.a., a hamburger. Which I normally like and want. But not when I think it’s going to be a cheesesteak.
I have a strange relationship with fancy chocolate bars, and it embarrasses me a little. I want to like them and buy them regularly, but almost never love them. And when I buy them, I wonder: what the fuck am I doing? This is a weird thing to be wasting money on.
Still, it’s chocolate and I’m never sad, exactly, so I keep doing it. And there are exceptions: my all-time favorite chocolate bar is the Lindt Intense Mint – I could truly sit down and eat two of these without batting an eye. The same with Lindt’s Sea Salt bar. No joke: a few pieces on a small slice of good bread and placed in a toaster oven for a few minutes to melt to chocolate – oh, kill me. Too perfect. It’s agony.
This brings me to the prissiest of the fancy chocolate bars, Vosges. I really wanted to love them. I emphasize that because I want to distract you from the fact that I must have purchased nearly $100 worth of these $8 bars of chocolate in the last few years. But it wasn’t until today that I just straight up admitted that I am in love with their descriptions and not the product itself.
This Blood Orange Caramel bar is the perfect example. Doesn’t it just sound unbelievable? Emphasis on unbelievable. Blood orange caramel by itself seems like milk from Hera’s teat, but combined with one of my truly favorite flavors in the world, hibiscus, I couldn’t resist. I even love the color palette of the package.
At no fault of Vosges, my bar didn’t survive the trip to my house intact. I’m not sure when it broke, but the caramel was still fresh and soft so who cares.
The flavor? Lovely blood orange. Really! Beautiful caramel, lightly blood orange scented and with just enough salt in it to keep the whole thing from being a sugar bomb.
And that’s all. Not even an angel’s fart of hibiscus in there. And I didn’t notice it was supposed to have Campari in it until after I ate it, either.
Normally my disappointment with Vosges is that I can just barely almost-not-quite taste the flavors they advertise. One of the bars I had the highest hopes for, the Black Pearl, is supposed to taste like ginger, wasabi and black sesame seeds. I got a little ginger, a microscopically, infinitesimally small molecule of wasabi right at the beginning of the bar and then never again, and the black sesame provided only a surprisingly unpleasant sandy grit. The Mo’s Bacon Bar, arguably their most well-known chocolate bar, was inedible for me not because of the bacon, but because their milk chocolate is so sweet that I vowed to never buy another milk chocolate bar from them again. And on and on through all the flavors.
So this is it, Vosges. This was my last bar. The dumb part is that this blood orange caramel bar is pretty damn good, maybe their best offering, but I’m so tired of getting their chocolate bars and tasting one out of three ingredients that I just can’t do it any more. It’s like buying a ticket for the theatrical biopic of Tesla starring John Cusack, Ewan McGregor and James McAvoy and then only having John Cusack actually appear in the film. Okay, great, I mean, I love him, but what… why even bother advertising the other two if they aren’t in the film? Oh, they walked by in the background out of focus in one of the crowd shots? Huh. That’s weird.
Mike the Viking and I have 100% opposite packing techniques. He genuinely wants to wait until 48 hours before the move, and then wants to pack the house in two days without resting — this is his work ethic across several realms of subject matter. He’s a binge worker. Aside from that, living in boxes and without his creature comforts¹ is the most abhorrent and disruptive thing he can conceive of.
I on the other hand would just as soon be completely packed and done at least a few days before the actual moving date, which means I want about a month of daily packing of a few boxes a day. I like to deep clean as I go, so often times my packing of a few boxes involves doing several loads of dishes with weird mutagenic chemical degreasers.
So, it’s been a source of some mostly light-hearted bickering with the occasional brief tantrum. It doesn’t help that I’ve completed packing the kitchen and we are now eating like college students.
Cereal. Popcorn. Rice cakes. Peanut butter. Cookies. It’s fine for a short road trip. As a meal replacement for nearly a week it wears thin fast and by wears thin I mean that we’re eating handfuls of cold, dry food while staring at each other across rooms packed wall-to-wall with boxes and debris. And by staring I mean he is trying to stab me with his icy blue eyes. Did I mention the landlord is also showing the apartment to prospective tenants every day? He is. Strangely, people aren’t falling all over themselves to rent the place.
¹ Gløgg, warm furs, slave girls who know better than to bite but still have some fight in them, etc.
This is incredibly unrelated and will almost certainly result in the Extreme Eye-Rolling death of several of my readers, but I came across Alicia Paulson’s “Walk in the Woods” felt ornament kit today and was overwhelmed with an infantile need for the holidays. It was the first emotion I’ve felt since this move started other than just undiluted extra-strength worry, so it was a little overwhelming. I want tinsel! And fudge! And frost!
The kit itself is cute, yes, and while I’m a pretty crafty lady and can make something like this myself, sometimes I want someone else to have gone to the store and picked out all the felt for me already, you know what I mean? Because half the time I go to JoAnn’s and discover there’s some kind of crazy sale and there are 1,000 angry crafters and 2 people working the register and the whole store is sold out of everything but a bolt of neon orange hunting fabric and a block of some of that weird floral foam.
Item the first: Someone found this website by Googling “what is guava paste made of”. I suppose my only answer is that I’m pleased they’re allowed to use a computer inside the moron asylum.
Item the second: It appears that most people are leaning toward a right-hand column for ads (though by only two votes) but the between-post folks are putting forth very good arguments. It’s making my decision no clearer. I suspect it will eventually come down to which option is easier to code. Which admittedly makes many of my website aesthetics decisions. Also: thank you to everyone who voiced an opinion, I know that many of you put real thought into your comments, and I’m touched in an embarrassingly sincere way.
Item the third: If you can’t eat a nutritious breakfast, at least make it match:
Lemme ask you a question. Well, first: I’m going to put ads on Anger Burger. I see other bloggers always make a big deal about this, like their credibility is going to be compromised or their principals buttraped. But the rest of us have to pay rent and server space and colonoscopy bills, so whatever. My question is this: where should I put the ads?
The thing is that I love that Anger Burger is a single column. Aesthetically, it is right up my alley. I realize it’s a little unusual and there have been some people (DAD) who are frustrated by the lack of navigation at the top of the page, but so far I’ve just blown it off. On the other hand, I’ve shot myself in the ad-revenue-gathering foot; there’s no where to put ads now.
Unless I put them between posts, which is kind of skeevy.
I won’t do a headline banner ad, so we can all forget that. And I won’t do embedded word ads. (You know the ones — they look like maybe the writer intended for a word to be a link, but you mouse over it or click on it BAM! Adface.) It really is either a narrow right-hand column or a clearly marked ad between posts. I’d genuinely appreciate it if you told me what you prefer, because I’m at a standstill.
Last technical thing: there will be changes to the site, slowly, as my friend and code-wrangler Jason has time to help. Nothing shocking outside of the ads. Mostly I’m going to try and get the contact form to work better and enable nested comments, that kind of thing. Blah bler snore.
In totally unrelated news:
That would be Pokemon HeartGold on the Nintendo DS. Look deep into your heart before judging.
The weather turned chilly here at night (not so chilly I need an actual comforter on the bed yet) and the dog has this habit of snuggling up to, well, my butt. It’s pretty charming. Maybe not for you, but great for me. It’s like having a hot water bottle that snores and occasionally pukes in the bed.
And! I tried apple hand pies with dulce de leche –
Instead of caramel sauce and it worked AWESOME. There was a little bit of a textural thing that happened to the dulce de leche where it very finely curdled a little, but that might be because I tossed the apples with lemon juice before assembly.
The curdling wasn’t detectable to the tongue, only to the eye, and even then only when the pies were still warm, so it’s barely even worth mentioning. BARELY. I might have had a little too much caffeine today.
If you’re wondering how I had time to bake birthday pies the week before moving, I’d like to point out that the ballot for Best Ladyfriend Ever is still open. MIKE.
Dear Mike the Viking,
Well, it’s your birthday. When I said I was going to start dating older men, this isn’t what I meant.
Photo by Mike “Not the Viking” Prevette
Still, despite your many flaws I find I can’t look away from you. In the hour I’ve been near you this morning alone, you’ve already said the following things:
All you asked for today was bacon, so I’d better get into the kitchen and start cooking. In the meantime, I’m going to be live blogging your antics for the day. Because I know that will make you uncomfortable throw my back out right after I make you apple and dolce de leche handpies. HAPPY BIRTHDAY.
Los Angeles’ Koreatown is currently experiencing a crime wave, something I really didn’t think about when I set out to explore it yesterday. I guess I’m of the belief system that bad things happen to good people no matter what, so what’s the difference now? Nothin’. That, and most of the crimes are of the home-invasion type, not the weak-ankled-white-girl-gets-attacked type.
I didn’t mean to go exploring. Mike the Norge had a surprise¹ massage for a screwed-up shoulder and since I didn’t want one² I thought I’d tag along and head over to some obscure Korean bakery instead. We parted ways in deep Koreatown and I walked a few blocks before entering a place and picking something out and chatting with the lady at the counter, all before realizing that I’d left my wallet back at home. Miserably disappointed, I wondered out onto the street, suddenly faced with something that hadn’t happened to me since I lived in Washington State: penniless, lonely and cold, I had an hour to kill. So I walked. And walked. And when I’d walked for 30 minutes, I headed back.
Koreatown is a strange place, and hitting it on foot doesn’t make it any less so. It’s dense, for starters. There’s far more to take in than can be mentally consumed. What makes it worse for me is that over half of the shops are restaurants. Koreans love to eat out, and I lost track of the restaurants with absolutely no English anywhere on their exteriors, which made me want to go into them even more.
But as I mentioned: penniless and cold, and now tired as well. While I waited for Mike to come out of the massage salon, a 30-something Korean man approached me. I’d been trying to avoid eye contact with him since he’d been playing pool in a rather rough-looking parlor in the same strip mall as the massage parlor, but when he approached me I had absolutely no idea what he was going to say. When he neared me, he looked me up and down and then says “I’ll give you twenty dollars if you give me a back massage?”
I probably don’t have to tell you that his tone implied that “back” meant penis and “massage” meant massage.
I burst out laughing and said, “No thank you!”
To my surprise he looked chagrined and said “Well, I thought I’d ask.”
“Sure,” I said, watching as he went back to playing pool.
I need a fucking hamburger.
Luckily we were walking distance from Kalbi Burger, which we’d heard good things about. I ordered the “Saigon Burger” (above), a regular beef patty with a banh mi treatment of pickled radish and carrot, cilantro, cucumber, jalapeno and mayonnaise. It was pretty excellent, though the patty was underwhelming for me. It was mostly just overly processed (there was virtually no texture) though juicy and otherwise benign. I find this is a weird phenomenon of high-end burgers — it almost seems like they’re laden with fillers, when in fact they are 100% organic, humane or otherwise coddled beef. It seems almost like they are beef paste instead of ground beef formed into patties. Still, it was a decent enough burger, and inspiring enough to want to try and do something similar at home.
Mike got the eponymous “Kalbi Burger” which fared much better. The beef is a blend of short rib and chuck and seasoned heavily with teriyaki-like kalbi marinade. The toppings were standard American burger fare made interesting with a light vinaigrette on the romaine lettuce. Vinaigrette! That’s clever, yo.
Mike ordered his burger with salt and vinegar fries, which were a delight. They’d tossed the fries with what tasted like plain white vinegar straight out of the fryer, which for some bizarre reason didn’t make them soggy, just nicely perfumed. My sweet potato fries were more pedestrian, though good enough.
No longer cold but still stinky and tired and now full, I returned to my pit of boxes I call home and passed out while watching Space Cowboys, which made Mike later say with grave disappointment “Just when you think you know someone…” So I told him: I was watching it for the second time. Just when you think you think you know someone.
¹This is how Mike’s friend works: he calls and says, “I’m on my way to the cheap Thai massage parlor and they can fit you in, wanna come? You have to be there in 20 minutes.”
²I do want a massage, but there were two discouraging factors: The first is that I hadn’t showered in two days and had been packing dirty old belongings into dirty old boxes in the hours previous to the appointment. The second is that I’m a fragile little butterfly – alright, moth – and the Thai ladies’ Ultimate Fighting style of massage terrifies me.