Monday, October 27, 2008

please don't stop the music...

People I have seen perform live:

Rascal Flatts
Little Big Town
The Moody Blues (first concert, 5th grade, went with mom and Tante San)
Leann Womack
Kenny Chesney
Ben Folds (most recent concert this past Saturday, piano-playing bad-ass, a must-see)
Carrie Underwood
Dierks Bentley
Blake Shelton
Randy Travis
The Toadies
Lady Antebellum
Missy Higgins (girls, you would really like her)
Vince Gill
Alan Jackson
Rhett Akins

Concerts are fun, and the venue we went to last was Stubbs BBQ. I liked it there, MUCH better than the Austin Music Hall. This was an out-door venue, and the weather was perfect. And it is fairly small, so the artists really like to engage the audience. Ben Folds was a riot. And he did two encores. I had heard of him before and some of his music, but Ryan really likes him and has seen him before live and said I had to see him. It really was a fun show and it is INSANE to watch him on the piano. I didn't know anyone's hands could move so fast. And he has this super cool altoid trick (he puts altoid cans on the piano strings of the keys he wants to distort, and when he plays them it sounds like a synthesizer. I'm glad Ryan took me....and I'll be keeping an eye out for other shows at Stubbs! The advantage of living in a big music town is there is always something going on, someone playing, and tickets aren't gonna cost you and arm and leg.

Now save it....

This weekend I finished the little baby sweater I was making. It's so cute. I'm proud of first knitting project. It is by no means perfect, but I think it turned out pretty good. I finished it yesterday and tucked it away in my dresser. I decided I am going to save this one for my own little one one day. (wow, "one" three time in the same sentence...eeek) Enjoy the pics!

This little cardigan is made with an acrylic/cotton blend yarn, so it is pretty soft and will be pretty durable and easy to clean. It's also gender-neutral, so it can work for either boy or girl. It consists of three panels....the back panel and then each of the two front panels. This was a pretty simple is all done in the basic garter stitch, and you have to learn how to do increases to cast on the sleeves. Once I had all the panels, I stitched them together as seamlessly as possible (this took a while since the first time I did it according to the book, I hated how it looked and the garment was floppy. So, I took apart the seams [not fun] and restitched them all my way....which looks MUCH better and it also has more shape to it) Then I added the little pocket and cuffs in the red accent color. After that, I stitched the borders with the red yarn to add a little more color. Right now, there are no closures on the sweater, so it just stays open. I am not really sure if I like this....I'll have to see how it fits on the little one, or add some sort of tie or buttons later.

But it is just a cute little sweater to wear on a breezy, crisp fall day like today when they are out running and playing around outside. From the back....

And then just for an idea on the size of it....I put it on Bear. This really shouldn't have taken me as long as it did since it is so little, but I just haven't been working on until lately and knitting a little bit in between dinner and bed time.

Looking forward to starting something else!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Meesah make Miso

Ok, so that was a bad impression of Jar Jar Binks. Does anyone even remember that guy? I am not sure why I did...I am not even a big Star Wars fan. Anywho, I made miso soup last night. Let me tell ya, it was DELISH!! It tasted just like the soup at the sushi restaurant, and it was pennies, PENNIES! to make. certainly not the $2.00 for each small but very savory cup they give you. Miso soup is so stinking good. I wish my mom, dad and sisters were here to have some. I know they'd love it. I think I could live off of it (or at least variations of it). It's the perfect sitting-on-the-couch-with-a-cup-in-your-hand-and-cat-in-your-lap-
with-fire-in-the-fireplace-and-favorite-movie-on-a-cold-rainy-day soup. do those exist in Austin? but seriously. I am glad I know how to make it, and now I can play around with the recipe. You could totally throw in shiitake mushrooms, or shrimp, or bok choy....anything! The broth is so flavorful too...I am thinking it would be a great base for other types of soups. Maybe I can get a good wonton soup added to my cooking resume. =)
I found the basic recipe online and ran off to MT supermarket to get supplies. I needed dashi, a bouillion made from bonito (fish) and kelp for the broth. Miso paste for the flavoring, tofu and green onions (I just got them there since I was currently out). Then, you boil a certain amount of water with the dashi. Whisk in the miso paste once it is boiling (this REALLY is where the flavor kicks in) and add the tofu and green onions to simmer. enjoy! I have alot of extras...actually enough to last me through half the week. And the whole pot was probably...hmmm, I'd say, six bucks to make. if that.

Also some other things I found at the asian market....krupuk. These are shrimp chips that you can get "pre-puffed." You fry them in oil and they poof up. It is quite fun to watch. They also come small, so that when they are puffed, they are the size of a normal chip, or big, where they can get to be the size of your hand. I know shrimp chips may sound a bit gross to my american audience, but its the Indonesian in me. I just have really fond memories of when I was about 4, and Oma ("grandmother" in Dutch, my mom's mom) cooking me some of these chips when I came over to visit her. I have only seen the white chips now, but back then there were colored ones. And she would ask me what color I wanted and I would say "pink" and she would fry me up a pink one. And while I was eating it, she'd ask me which one I wanted next, and then fry up a purple or blue one. It was fun, I got a kick out of it, and it is something I will always remember. Maybe that is another reason I think those things taste so good. Anyways, I found some at the market, so mom doesn't have to send them to me anymore. Thanks mom!
Also, mochi ice cream. yummy. Mochi ice cream is a little ball of ice cream surrounded by a flour pastry ( I think its tapioca) so it is kinda gooey on the outside. And since they are a small little ball...portion control. haha. they are the perfect little treat. So I got some in mango (my fave) and strawberry.
I'm hungry.
Back to work so I can go home and eat dinner!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Be jealous Bella

Thunderstorms. I love them. I think there is nothing quite like a hot, muggy (pretty much nasty day) when all of a sudden a breeze kicks up, clouds roll in, and a downpour of cool rain comes to wash it all away. While at the same time, thunder and lightning are cheering on for an encore. I can watch the lightning, "oooo-ing and aaah-ing" the whole time. I love storms. This is one of the main reasons I came to Texas....they get thunderstorms. Southern California, 75 and sunny, is not the place to be if you want to see some crazy weather. I was even hoping I might get to see a tornado while I was here. You can't even imagine how disappointed I was when I found out my mom and sisters saw a tornado from our house (during that crazy weather outbreak this past spring). Suffice it to say, I am a weather freak.
So, last night when I saw lightning in the distance I got excited because I new a storm was coming. A few hours later, I was woken up by thunder and lightning flashes. It was great. And then the "rain" smell this morning.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Picky Baby

That's Tesia. Tell me this is not the face of a cat that knows how to work it.

She really does not like her special non-allergen food. She always cries for me to give her some tuna or wet food....she is pretty much relentless. The other day, I got home from work and she was crying over by her food bowl. Her food was gone. So I gave her some more of her dry food. She took a sniff and kept on crying. Then she following me around everywhere crying and meowing, especially when I was in the kitchen...looking at me with those big pleading, golden eyes. Well, I wasn't going to give her any tuna or wet food. That was just that. It's like what my mom used to say to use kids, when we would tell her we were STARVING and she would give us something to eat, but it wasn't something we wanted and so we wouldn't eat it, and she would just say, "well, I guess you weren't really hungry then." It's just like that. So, I proceeded to tidy things up. She had dumped all her toys out of her basket and I put them back in and away. Well, her basket is over by the entertainment center, which my birthday flowers had been on top of. Of course, as I am cleaning them up she is right by my rubbing against me and talking, etc. Well, there were some dry old petals on the ground that were hidden by her toys. What does she do? She starts to eat the old petals that were on the ground. She ate old dead flower petals instead of her food. what the heck? That dry food must really be that bad.

But do you think I went along with her little trick and gave her the tuna anyways? You bet I didn't. People can say that cats aren't smart all they want to, but I know first hand from Tesia just how smart they are. She is the most manipulative, tactical little thing. Nice try Tesie. I'll give you wet food when I want to. mwuahahaha

Friday, October 3, 2008

Another snapshot....

into my life as a grad student. Try this 5-6 times a day.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

This one's for the girls

Whenever I go home, my cell phone banner is always changed by one of the girls. First it was Ashley. She made it read "I love Atchy!!!" Then last year at Christmas, Meryl swiped it to read "I love Memmy!!!" Now, I just noticed that Chanelle tagged it with "I love Bella!!!" I never change it because I do love them! It is a nice reminder for me how much all my family loves me. Plus I think its cute how they all like to take my phone and do that. So, since my phone has enough space for only one name I just wanted to dedicate this post to all the girls: Ash, Bella, Ingrid, Memmy, Alyss, Alison, Banana, Audge, Nattie, Whitney, Danielle and Christine. I love you!!