Asparagus Fries!

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The beauty of having an open schedule is trying new things and dedicating time to learning new things. Yay new things! So here’s what I tried one afternoon. These were so good that I made them twice in one week. Be warned. So.good. This same method would work with green beans and zucchini. I’m going to try those next!

First things first – here’s what goes into them.

Asparagus
Egg
Flour
Panko bread crumbs
Parmesan cheese
Olive Oil

 To make it somewhat easier, I decided to place the flour and veg in a large bag and shake that shiz to cover them.

This is what they looked like after their flour bath.  I then dumped the flour out, and added a couple eggs to the bag, gave these beauties an egg bath in the same way I did the flour, and followed with a panko/parm bath. I didn’t bother with amounts because you can really just play this by ear. Dump this stuff in a bag and use your judgement! After you’ve given them their three coats, you get the following…

Oh.em.gee. so much tastiness in your future! Lastly, I sprayed them with olive oil to bind it together. I baked them at 400 for 20 minutes.  When they’re golden, you’ll know you’re done!

They come out crunchy, hot and salty from the parmesan cheese. I dipped them in a chipotle ranch I had in the fridge, but I think it’d go really well with a lemon aioli…..if I had the desire to go that route. Frankly, I just wanted to eat all of these.

Back in the Nest

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When you’re fresh out of college you have one dream. Independence. You want to get yourself a jobby job, start your professional life, make more money than you ever have and rely as little as possible on your parental units. At 22, I certainly didn’t see myself ever returning to the nest. Oh, wait, life, you’re funny, so very funny.

So here I am, back in the nest. I realize that 1) this is not permanent, and 2) of my own choosing, but still. Being an adult in my parents realm is interesting even though it’s only been two days.

My dad came down to move me out of NYC which was super sweet. Realistically, I could have done this on my own, but it was comforting to have him come down and help me with this task.  I’m sleeping in a twin bed and since my parents are retired for all intents and purposes, they’re always around.

While watching TV with my mother on the first day, I asked what was happening in the movie. Her response was, “they’re about to make hoochie”. Oh maaaan.

I took a phone call from my college roommate and found myself in a chair of the corner of the bedroom, speaking in lower tones with the door mostly closed. I have reverted to being a teenage girl giggling on the phone with her girlfriends. I am 31 going on 13.

Fortunately, there are two coffee shops within a 20 minute walk, and this I am certain, will become my saving grace. The element I haven’t factored in is winter here – the second it starts getting inclement, walking here will become a lot less pleasant. But that’s what I get for moving north and west right before winter hits!!!

It’s amazing to me how much my life has flip flopped in six months. Literally nothing is the same as it was in April – not even my phone number. There’s also a beauty in that though, I love new adventures and the challenge of figuring it all out.

So here I go. I might be back in the nest, but hopefully not for long!!

On To The Next One

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I’m amazed how much my life can change, but not of my own volition or will. Just this year: my godson Greyson was born, my grandfather died, I’ve somehow had three roommates….

It happened in the most cliché manner possible.

“Emily, can I see you in my office?”, she said with her head poking over my cubicle in a very ominous tone.

Shit, I thought. This cannot be good. I walked the few feet to her office and thought it strange when she only cracked open the door a space large enough for our bodies to fit through. In less than two seconds I understood why. The head of HR was sitting in her office as well. Double shit, this REALLY cannot be good. I was naive enough to think that they were going to talk to me about something dumb like my facebook usage. She got right to the point.

“As you know, I’ve made  a lot of changes since I started, and I’ve decided to eliminate your position. HR is here to take you through the paperwork.”

And that was it. Done. Four years of my life ended.

The retelling of that tale sounds pretty abysmal but I need to add that when I walked out of that building, I felt lighter. I felt that a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders and that even though this suuuuucks (clearly), that all would be okay.

So here I am, one week out and I still don’t know quite what to make of this new life.

I honestly never thought I’d have to put myself in the bucket of people who had been laid off. I’ve always played by the rules, done everything I was supposed to. I went to college, got a job, went to grad school, got a job…..I’ve always worked. With the exception of being in grad school, I’ve held a job since I was 16 years old. So to find myself 31 and *not* holding a job is a strange re-definition of who I thought I was.

I do believe that this will be a learning experience for me, it already has been. The number of people that have shown me how much they care is truly humbling. And on the other end of the spectrum, there are people who are showing me that they aren’t truly my friends. I’ve also learned that I feel adrift with no job to define me. And I don’t like this. It’s really made me realize that all I did with my life was work. Sure, I have an active social life, but that’s pretty much it. I’m discovering I need more.

I’m glad I’m learning this lesson now, rather than 10 years from now when I think it would have been much harder lesson to swallow.

I’m ready to take some time and embrace this free time, use it to figure “it” out a little bit. What I’m trying to figure out, I’m not quite sure but I know that I don’t want to jump back into the 9-5. The thought of doing that this juncture makes me want to pluck each of my eyelashes out one at a time.

So what now? Well, for now I’m going to travel a bit. There are some amazing people on this east coast that I never got to see enough to begin with. First DC, then Raleigh, and then beyond that, we’ll see.

Next chapter, here I come.

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How thin can glass be, before it shatters?

The Year in Review 2010

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I have traditions. Traditions that coincide with the passing of time, the passing of the new year.  Every year I take stock of what I did, experienced, learned from, and missed out on in the previous year.  Briefly looking backwards helps me move forward.  I’ve been putting this off. For reasons I will leave to myself, I’ve been dreading writing this particular year in review.

2010 was….a great year by most accounts.  I traveled more that I ever have.  I learned the difference between traveled and travelled and was again reminded of my British compulsions.

I was on the road 97 days this year over the course of 27 different trips.  I accumulated enough frequent flier miles to get me a free flight to Hawaii (to be reviewed in next year’s post).

I turned 30.

My first nephew was born.

I watched as my younger brother and roommate fell in love.

I got a new job!

I hit my 15 year old weight

Я сделал выбор Я не жалеть / Я відмовляюся жаль мій вибір

What I want is not always what I need, but I’m stubborn enough not to care.

I started the summer with a Memorial Day in Connecticut and finished the summer with a Labor Day in Connecticut.

When I think of 2010 there is one overarching theme that comes to my mind and it has to do with working on myself.  I used to think that my patience was a positive part of my personality, but I’ve come to learn that forgiving the flaws in others has its limits.  I realized that I’m more respectful of the boundaries in other people than I am of my own.  I sacrifice my comfort at a high cost of my own; and in this year, I stopped.   As the year wore on, I cut people out.  And I lived.  Instead, I took stock of those in my life that were genuine and genuinely cared about me.

I went to three weddings and was reminded that it’s not about the pomp and circumstance; it’s about love.

When I think of 2010, I think of:

The sunset after Beth and Julie’s wedding and the feeling of the cold ocean water. I think of looking foolish but feeling awesome riding a Segway.  About flirting with those men in San Diego and not caring. I think about the many (many) pints of beer and evenings of careless abandon.  I think of the hours spent talking and getting to know you, but never seeing the truth.  I think about coming back to an empty apartment after my roommate moved out and crying on the barren hardwood floor.  I think about runways, and airports, and the moment that I realized I couldn’t remember what city I was in. I think about buying birthday shoes and wearing them like a princess. I think about carving pumpkins and decorating Christmas cookies.  I think about painting my bedroom and moving furniture in an effort to find some better feng shui.

Painting.  I’ve always loved painting.

2010 was a good year by most accounts.  The wounds that were, were self-inflicted.  But the joy. So much to be joyful for! I saw so much, I experienced so much.  I am truly blessed.  My family.  Their health, and my own.  My friends.  I’ve reached that stage in life where I’m done with the BS.  If you’re in my life, it’s no accident.  Your presence is a conscious decision of mine.  It basically means I think you’re awesome.

And so, here we are in 2011.  It’s already an amazing year.  I’m so happy. So much happiness.  There’s so much to be thankful for.  There’s so much to look forward to.  I’m excited about what lies ahead for me.

Blessed.Thankful.Humbled.Joyous.

Like a sunrise on the horizon, 2011 is promising to be just as beautiful as the sunset of 2010.

It’s simple

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There’s not much to say.

It’s really kind of simple.

It’s black and white.

It’s milk and cookies (mixed with strychnine).

I kinda hate you.

I hate your oversimplification of reality, and how that in the same breath you make everything so completely complicated and dramatic. I hate how you ignored the dust bunny and always swept it under the bed; the one I made and now have to sleep in.

Here’s the irony: I can’t wait for the day that you dont pop into my head for the briefest of seconds, but when that day comes, I’ll only have realized it because I just thought of you – nullifying the moment. Its an irony I welcome and will savor on my tongue like those strawberries we savored in the summer sun.

Basically: I kinda hate you.

Stop.

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She quietly whispered with her legs crossed, left over right, hunched forward and tucking her hair behind her ear, “I wish he were like smoke. I wish he would dissipate. Disappear.”  But even when the smoke is gone, the smell still lingers, it’s still there.

She told me how she walked the halls, reaching out to feel the texture of the light yellow walls. How she let her fingers trail behind her, her nails lightly scrapping along. It made her feel connected to something, she said. The realizations came like a tidal wave: things were never the way she had perceived them, that this person was never who she thought they were; reality carefully hidden by the need to believe the best in everyone. Especially those she let into her life. How could she have been so wrong? So wrong.

She finally did what everyone told her to do. Delete this person from her life. Websites, clicks, click, clicks. Cell phone, scroll, click, confirm. Instant message services, remove from list, click. Then an email search for their address….the result said 1 of hundreds. Hundreds. She scrolled, read, reread their life finally hitting on messages that made her stop and remember. It hurt to remember. Stop.

With that thought she sat up straight and said firmly that you can never actually delete. You move on, you move forward, you tell yourself to Stop, but you never can delete.

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