Wednesday, December 31, 2008

what i thought i knew i now have to learn

so, as i might have mentioned, i'm broke. it's totally my own fault for choosing to stay in grad school after leaving a job that reimbursed tuition and then staying in grad school even after a i got a job that negated my need for grad school and then staying in grad school when i got laid off from that job and then fired from a different job at the same company that only offered partial reimbursement anyway. oh yeah, and for having a bleeding heart and giving my mom thousands and thousands of dollars to keep a roof over her head and her electricity on. even though heather disapproves, you may click the button below to show me any amount of affection in the only way i was raised to understand it.

if it makes you feel better, i have sought and acquired a second job to help pay my bills or at least allow me to continue my modestly extravagant lifestyle of shopping at trader joes, eating out somewhat frequently, and enjoying mexican beers with my friends. Here's that button again, in case you missed it the first time:

it's a sushi restaurant four blox from my apartment on the prospect heights side of atlantic avenue. the staff is really friendly and the food looks delicious although i haven't actually eaten there before. after my shift last night, the chef made me a salmon fillet that i scarfed in the car while my friend phoebe who is here visiting from charlottesville/pittsburg drove us to union pool to see this guy who used to work at this tea place i went to all the time and called himself el douche (pronounced doo-shay).

do all the donate buttons kinda make me seem a little like president-elect obama?

i've had sushi a lot in my life, and i thought i knew what everything is by sight, especially due to my own asian american heritage.

edamame=check. i know that they are soybeans and i know how they are prepared and i know how to eat them. no problem.

hijiki=...checkish. i know what seaweed is, but i thought it was called nori in japanese. in korean, it is called kim, and what you would call a sushi roll at a japanese restaurant, you should call kim bop at a korean eatery. bop is of course rice, which also has a prominent placement in the popular dish bi bim bop.

kinpira=awooga. this is on the menu as burdock root, although the word actually refers to the cooking style of sauteeing. i didn't know what burdock root is, so maybe you don't either. it's white and looks like french fries but i'm guessing it's close in flavor to a radish.

ohitashi=spinach with bonito flake. i had no idea what bonito flake was, i guessed it was fish.

hiyayakko=tofu with those damn bonito flakes. i saw this dish come out of the kitchen and didn't really understand why someone would order it. it's pretty boring.

goma ae=boiled spinach and served cold. one of my favorite side dishes in the universe. i love the sesame dressing.

those are the apps. hijiki and goma your remember the diff? seaweed vs. spinach! ohitashi and goma ae? both are boiled spinach...but ohitashi comes with bonito flakes!! oh hit my tooshie for flaking. hiyayakko? hi you yak oh tofu? goma ae gomer pyle gonna serve spinach cold? kinpira can peer at a burdock root and think it's a french fry? gimme a break here i'm trying to memorize this shit.

back later with more pneumonics.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

so then

in my yelp essay, i mentioned that anna and i went to the ballet trock and then had tea at a shitty thai place before heading to harlem for an awesome episcopal church service (complete with choir, amazing violin solo, song duet that rocked my world, kewt little kiddies, and a french family sitting in front of us who were even more out of place than we were). afterward, anna was feeling barbeque so i suggested we go to dinosaur which ryan had told me a long long time ago was the best bbq in ny. unfortunately, we walked all the way over there in the rain only to discover that it was closed. we met a friendly homeless man who gave us some other recommendations for dinner nearby and sang carols poorly (bad pun) with us under the freeway. we decided to head back to williamsburg and see what was up on bedford because a phone call revealed that fette sau was also closed. we ended up at mugs, which is always a lovely option. i'm never disappointed there. danica texted while we were there that she'd had quite the nightmare at the airport all day and so we coordinated a meet up at pete's candy store which was also closed and then union pool which never seems to be closed. when we all got there with drink in hand having a pleasant enough convo, this twerp approached our table and started chatting us up, with a keen eye on anna (i can't take that girl ANYWHERE. he was a 23 year old jew who lives in murray hill and makes probably three times as much as me "consulting." he was just trying to be nice, of course, but i'm too old to have patience for lame attempts at being the next master pick up artist shit. he told us he and his roommate have a bad idea box and the last one he drew out of the box was smashing his neighbors pumpkin. he also said that he really wanted to bunk in the same room as his roommate and leave the other room to be a Party Room whatever that means. i finally broke up the politeness and asked danica if i could bum a cig and anna said she'd better go so we went outside to smoke together which is when this guy dave whom anna went on one crazy bizarre date with a couple of years ago showed up and called us both vanessa. he was with this guy i met at that catered party i told you about in a previous post and this one about
a friend who called to "invite me to this big catered party he plans to throw on friday. he was like, there will be lobster and steak and a cheese platter. i was like, what's the occasion? and he said, oh no reason. just for the hell of it. well, a friend of mine just got out of the state pen, so it's kind of a welcome back party, too."

so anna told danica the hilarious story of the bizarre date which i cannot divulge here because it is her sordid story and not mine (but you can contact me directly for the deets--no just kidding don't ask) and then we all laughed and laughed at the memory and then we parted ways. when i got home i had an empty voicemail from a strange number so i called it back and it was dave. he apologized for calling me vanessa and said he was kidding and we discussed his "sense of humor" and how we know all of these people in common while i attempted many times to end the call politely by saying things like "welp, have a happy christmas" and "okay, it was nice talking to you." but then, like the kid at union pool, he kept finding new topics to address. this, friends, is why i don't answer the phone after midnight most of the time. they're usually time gremlins.

but the point of me excerpting my previous post was for the big finale here. turns out the guy he was with at union pool that i had met at the catered party wad the guy who had gotten out of state pen. hahha classy.

so then on christmas day anna and i went to spa castle from 3:00 to about 10:00 p.m. woah. seven hours! i didn't realize until i just wrote it down. anyway, it's heaven, and you should go with me next time. it's 4 floors of saunas, pools, and resting stations. plus an enormous food court with mostly korean treats that were really really hard to resist. in fact, i broke down and bought a red bean bun at one point but only because those little boogers are like my kryptonite. friday, i did some work at the office that needed to be done (that my boss called "very good") and then picked up a couple tacos at yola's (which is about the only thing i miss about williamsburg) before heading over to danica's to hang out with her most friendliest cat in the universe. me and pinky watched i am legend, a ricky gervais stand up show, mall rats, and several episodes of sex and the city season 3, my favorite, the one where carrie cheats on aiden with big. that's a lot of tv folks. i think maybe i'm just catching up on all those years of not watching tv at all. maybe? it's gotta stop circa 2009, though. i'm starting to grow an ass where i used to have miles of flatland.

yesterday, i beebopped around until anna came over and we checked out this bar in bed stuy called sweet revenge (not to be confused with sweet paradise, home sweet home, or sweet ups) where we also tried my new signature drink that danica turned me onto the tequila gimlet. they weren't very good but they were $5 and the bartender was super cute and nice and the dj lorenzo was playing just about the best party mix your feeble mind could dream up. we befriended him and he invited us to madame x where "all of his friends drink for free" and we said maybe we'd come back at 2 a.m. when he was heading there (read: no) but we would definitely be back two saturdays from now when he was spinning again. we also declined noam's invitation to go to some place called scratcher in the east village and instead walked over to rope where we enjoyed a much better tequila gimlet, this time up instead of on the rocks and proceeded to get so drunk that we got into some stupid chatter with an ex stripper who said that she was from new york, that she danced for ten years, that she was from texas, that she danced from 1995 to 2002, that she was from rhode island, and that she danced for 12 years. it was pretty hilarious until she tried to molest me.

then we danced to some bruce springsteen and then hightailed it out of there. oh but i didn't have a chance to mention that we stopped at a white castle between sweet revenge and rope where anna ordered fries because i told her that at white castle the fries only come in one size and i had the clam strips which were mind blowing.

today i sort of cleaned if that's what you call taking things that are all bunched up in one place and distributing them throughout your house and then i went to the trader joes on atlantic and court which was heaven. i had a lot of trouble not buying more than i could carry home. it's probably best for my wallet that i don't have a better means of transport than the bus.

signing off,
omf fattractive

Friday, December 26, 2008

athena s. sent you a review on Yelp

Hi, athena thought you would like to see this.


athena would like to share this review with you:

Royal Siam Thai Cuisine

240 8th Ave, New York, NY 10011

Reviewed by athena s.

On Christmas Eve, a friend and I went to see a matinee of Les Ballets trocadero de monte carlo that ended at 5 p.m. The church service we were attending in Harlem didn't begin until 7 p.m., so we decided to have tea somewhere nearby where i could get a small bite to eat because she was hungry for dinner, yet. We thought that Royal Siam looked cute and comfy, and totally empty, so we came in. After ordering tea and one serving of steamed thai dumplings (which were tasty but very meaty) the waiter came back to our table and asked us if we were ready to order anything else. we said no. then he came back with the manager! a woman in a gray suit, and asked if we were sure we didn't want to order anything else. I said no, again, and the woman said, "One tea and one appetizer is not dinner! This is a restaurant!" while the waiter put the check on our table. I asked if I could finish what I was eating and they abruptly walked away from our table. Then, the entire staff pretty much just stared at us from the back of the room the rest of the time we were there. I decided to finish my dumplings v...e...r.....y........s........l...........o...........w.........l......y. OK: (1.) Yes, you're a restaurant. that's why i came in to get something to eat. (2.) There was no one else in the place and if anything, me and my friend were making you look less like losers. (3.) I've been using yelp forever but only signed up for a profile today just so I could bash this place.


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Monday, December 22, 2008

Split, p

I made split pea soup!

Here's how:
Rinse a pound of split peas (about two cups or one of those goya bags you never buy) then throw them into about 8 cups of water. Add some variety of pork like ham bone (I used pieces of bacon strips). Let the pot boil on low heat for a couple of hours while you assemble that thing you got from ikea that's been sitting in its cardboard box against the wall in the bathroom since you bought it 6 months ago. 7, actually. Then add a half cup of chopped onions and a cup of celery slices. You can also add carrot if you have any on hand which I wish I did but decided against st the grocery store for bo good reason. Keep stirring it for the next 30 minutes and then turn off the stove. In a separate pan, melt 2 tblsp butter and mix in the same amount of flour. Jess asked me if I was making a roo but I don't know what that is. I don't know how to spell it either but now I'm really curious. Apparently Julia child was all over the roo shiznet. Anyway slowly add a little bit of the soup to the roo and churn baby churn. Keep adding a little more at a time (I did this by using my measuring scoop ) and then add that thicker got mess into the rest of the soup. Joy says you should strain the soup before thickening it but I wanted mine to be chunky. I wonder if it was the vom scented soap I used at outpost cafe that inspired tonights dinner?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Beet it

Last night, I made beets!

Last winter, I met this really beautiful Keanu looking dude who asked me for my "math" (hip hop terminology for phone number, apparently) after I overheard him tell someone that his job was making beats. I totally thought he meant he was a farmer or a chef or something, but he meant that he was a musician. (Actually, he also served tables at a restaurant in Chelsea.)

You know how in my last post I wrote about Dumont with Alison, Michael, and Lisa? Well, I found this recipe for beets in my ex Boyfriend cookboook and thought that it sounded really easy. The recipe basically said you boil the beats for like 30 minutes, skin them under cold running water, and then soak them in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and pepper. They're totally fucking delicious without that last part, btw. Skip the seasoning all together. They turn your fingers and mouth into a red wine massacre, though, eater beware.

I sliced them and arranged them in a pretty circle and in the center I put a generous helping of cabbage that I stir fryed with onions and rosemary. Anna passive aggressively forbade me from adding chunks of bacon. (me: "oh i bet bacon would make this even more awesome." a: "i don't feel like bacon." me: "that's too bad. bacon makes everything better." a: "whatever. you're going to do what you want to do anyway.") speaking of bacon, look at this.

Me and Anna also made a shit ton of snowflake cutter cookies and glazed them with this powdered sugar soy milk mix that took all night to dry. the icing superglued the cookies to the plates so i broke 50% of them this morning when moving them to a separate container. fail. (i gotta stop using that nerd meme.)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

K Dead-erline

I've got Britney Spears on the brain. You've probably watched her "For the Record" popumentary on MTV by now.

Or maybe you don't watch as much television as I have for the past three months that I've lived in this new apartment with Jessica and the DVR that has almost completely annihilated the intense social life I had painstakingly constructed in New York over the past four point five years I've lived here. Seriously, take the remote control away from me. I'll keep my fat pants, though, thank you. Anyway, Alison and I explained to Michael how Britney's tell-all was a brilliant marketing move for her brand while we were having beers at Union Pool (which doesn't suck at all on Thursday nights especially when you're catching up with your fave high school homies you haven't seen since 1998). Suddenly I understand that she's not drunk and invincible from fame but actually an emotionally stunted woman-child whose life has been built around her like a cage. or an aquarium. or an elaborate stage set for a music video. I, on the other hand, have had ample opportunity to make many many many mistakes of my own design and am the opposite of emotionally-stunted. i am emotionally overgrown. i'm an emotional weed garden. and i don't even smoke pot!

what this has to do with food, i don't know. other than how her father feeds her bowls of grits with Kraft singles for cheese or how a rock journalist once told me she eats mashed potatoes with her bare hands. after alison, michael, and I finished our beers, we bounced over to dumont because alison had a craving for a burger and neither of them had been to dumont. michael hadn't even been to williamsburg before, and if you follow my twitter stream you will see that i thought his impression of the neighborhood ("there are a lot of young people here") was remarkable. when we walked in, i said to the hostess "three for dinner" after she said that she could just stare at my earrings forever in a very admiring tone. she then gestured to this booth that's closest to the door when alison piped up and said, "four." because her friend lisa (who contributes to this other blog that i'm always peanut butter and jealous of) was going to meet us for dinner. so then the hostess hydra (there were two of them, which really baffled michael as to why more than one would be necessary for the size of the room) said that we couldn't be seated until our party was complete. i am at this point totally used to this new york restaurant lexicon, but alison was visiting from l.a. and michael has just moved to the city from like albany or something a few months ago so they both kind of started arguing with the dual-headed beast. like, basically, alison didn't want to wait for lisa to start eating because she didn't know how long it would take lisa to get there and whether she was even going to be eating or whatever. anyway, they lost the battle and we showed ourselves out the door to the backyard garden (which one of the heads said was "awesome") but i made a pitstop at the w.c. and when i exited and walked out into the garden, michael and alison were being scolded and escorted away from a table that they had taken the liberty of seating themselves at. classic tourist fail. so we then claimed some stools at the bar and ordered some beers and decided what we were going to eat and that we'd just go ahead and order at the bar. but then all of a sudden lisa showed up and i told the bartender never mind and got up to tell one of the outdoor waitresses that we were all ready to sit. the woman said that she couldn't help me and that i had to go back into the indoor part of the restaurant to get seated. so i went in there and told the hydra that we were now complete (like tom c and rene z 4ev) and GET THIS. the hostess indicated that we could now sit at the VERY SAME BOOTH that she was about to seat us at when there were only three of us.

now all of this riggamarole was somewhat irritating for me, it seemed to smack ridiculous for alison and michael who after we finished enjoying a big boat of dumac and cheese (with BACON the way it's meant to be enjoyed),

a burger split two ways, and the beets with goat cheese (which i should learn how to make) wrote a novel on the comment card that i don't think i ever noticed that they give you at dumont. i feel like if i worked there i would probably just take a dissatisfaction card and say "ho hum sux for them" and then continue about my day at a popular restaurant in a gentri-saturated hood.

okay the end of that story.

the title of this post refers to the fact that today was ramona's deadline to return my security deposit to me within the 30 days from our court date. i have not received it so now i must alert the city officials. to be continued...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

i hate it when people ask my advice and don't take it.

but i'm still going to try these.

On 12/10/08 2:40 PM, "Ryan" wrote:

You guys know stuff about stuff – can you recommend any good Korean
restaurants? Any borough is fine. Thanks.

On 12/10/08 3:40 PM, "Athena" wrote:

Bon Chon is on the second floor and plays loud electronic music in the dark.

There's a mandoo bar around the corner on 32nd that is more casual and
serves only dumplings.

I also like Gahm Mi Oak.

On 12/10/08 4:22 PM, "Ryan" wrote:


On 12/10/08 4:24 PM, "Athena" wrote:

Where do you think you'll end up going?

On 12/10/08 4:27 PM, "Ryan" wrote:

Not sure. There's talk of being near the EV, so I might try this place
Dok Suni on first ave.

There's a good place in Prospect Heights called Noo Na, and that place
Moim in Park Slope is okay, but kinda overpriced.

and here's Max's three cents:
This is what my friend said. Both of these are on 32nd.

Seoul garden (it's on the 2nd floor, next to the parking place, south side of the street, closer to broadway) or BCD (middle of the block, north side of the street)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

all i know about euthanasia

is that there's a lot of them and they're a whole lot smarter than we are!

which is to say that i finally succumbed to the scary gross looking chinese restaurant on the corner of washington and fulton in clinton hill that is basically made of bullet proof glass sheathed in a veil of fried chicken grease because every night when i come home my roommate is feasting on a bowlful of rice slathered in garlic sauce and it always looks way too appealing compared to my pbj or brussel sprout surprise (the surprise being that all i have leftover from thanksgiving are the brussel sprouts that are now starting to turn black in the fridge). the beef and mixed veg i ordered was not disgusting, nor was the eggroll appetizer, although the eggroll was curiously tinged red on the inside. not spicy red or sweet/sour sauce red. needless to say, my experiment is now complete and i will not be picking up from there again (unless i'm drunk and desperate which seems to be how i make most of my decisions especially when it comes to love.) (seriously, someone take this keyboard away from me.)

the other thing i came here to complain about is all the fucking chocolate at the office. doesn't anyone send cookies for christmas anymore? what the fuck? cookies are not going to help me fit in a tube top attractively any time soon, i know, but chocolate candy is like speeding up the process by taking fat pills. i got a huge pail of hershey kisses and mini-bars like krackel and pb cups today. of course, everyone that walks by my desk thinks that just because the pail is open that they are welcome to take a handful. WELL THEY'RE NOT. okay just kidding yes they are. take them away from me or i will do major damage to my arteries and thighs. what i actually want more of, though, is the multi flavor popcorn bins. caramel and cheese and pepper yum.

speaking of yum, dorothy's birthday cake on saturday night. i was in the bathroom when it was brought out and the song was sung but i do know it was made of ice cream and that it was my main companion for the rest of the evening.

well okay i'm not being entirely fair. i did chat with that girl meredith who is max's girlfriend and who used to live with mariah in one of those bizarre meeting of the worlds type occurences where she is like me and is friends with these two completely separate groups of people that otherwise wouldn't be connected. i linked to the cake wrecks blog above because i forgot to share it when nikki's neighbor paul and his boyfriend daniel told me about it when we were in chinatown in l.a. and walking past a bakery that was putting the finishing touches on a nightmare of an orangeish brown pile of sugar and flour. i wonder if the photo they took (while telling the baker how lovely the cake was) ever made it on to the blog... i am too lazy to look for it.

what else? dinner at Il Passatore friday night after happy hour with coworkers was so so. i had the butternut squash filled tortellini. brunch with tony at cowgirl on saturday was lovely. i miss that man. our friendship is one of those things i hope always stays the way it was on saturday and doesn't dip again the way it always does. i brought all of the salad i'd made for the week over to anna's house on saturday night to share with her because she was going to make me dinner thinking i'd have plenty left over to take home but then she devoured it. sunday i met long lost michael cohen for expensive and unsatisfying hot cocoa on the upper east side before we grabbed a cheap slice just like old times and then parted ways so i could go look fat on ice with carla and johnny at bryant park pond.

you can't tell in this blurry photo, but in all the rest i have more chins than the euthanasia phonebook. and that's full circle!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

i'm swamped just took on a whole new meaning

Liz just invited me to dinner at monkeytown.

while you watch awesome animations, you and your fellow food adventurers will be dining on this our delicious and delicate Swamp Menu with cocktail and wine pairings:

crispy herbed snails
goat cheese broth, red onion fondue
(paired with the green iguana cocktail)

frog leg terrine
frisee, walnuts, truffle, sherry vinaigrette
(paired with leaping lizard chardonnay)

achiote roasted rattlesnake
green chile risotto, sweet corn b├ęchamel

warm turtle salad
swamp cabbage, poached egg, lardon
(paired with thirsty lizard shiraz)

alligator a l’indienne
vindaloo smoked potatoes, mango relish, natural jus

chocolate turtle cake
mint gelato, lavender caramel
(paired with sex with an alligator)

uh, yes. of course I said yes.