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I got totally owned at a Northgate Mall kiosk today. Such that I, Jen, a girl who has not once in her life bought an actual "beauty product" more complicated than nail polish or medicated lotion for her eczema, came home today with three jars of Dead Sea stuffs that cost more money than is at all reasonable. Mama claims that in the scale of such things, they aren't that bad in price, but still. Lord knows that I don't know any fucking better. I blame the smokin' hot guy who acosted me. Not only was he hot, but he was silvertongued and savvy enough a salesman to talk me, ME into laying out for... (covering face) I can't say. It's too damn embarrassing. ME. Oh, the ignomity. The laughter and finger pointing can begin, oh, about now.

However, even if two of the three things I bought don't end up amounting to much beyond a moment of weakness and shame, I'm quite happy with the third. It's a "body butter" (*barf*) that is the first really gorgeously nice moisturizer I've found (although if it turns out to work well, I'll order it far far cheaper than the mall price). It seems to go above and beyond all the niggling requirements that were keeping me from using moisturizers regularly as my dermatologist keeps nagging me to do. Hey, if I can get myself to use it and if it actually helps with the eczema, getting completely pwned by a gorgeous salesman would not be totally in vain. And it makes me smell ever so slightly like a girl.


I suppose it's a new year, after all.



I've been cooking for days now, after a hiatus of what felt like months of only cooking when Jeff appeared to cajole me into it. It's both a good and a bad thing; I love doing it, and it seems to me a sign that I'm feeling better than I have been, but it's inevitably for far more food than I can eat, and it's a wee bit depressing to box it all up as leftovers (albeit delicious ones) instead of sharing it with someone. After I started cooking tonight, I called up the Fool to see if he and Jenya wanted to come over and have some, but dinner would be done too late for them and so I ate it alone. Probably for the best: I've been tweaking this recipe every time I make it, and while it always comes out yummy, this time wasn't the best.

Notes to self: red potatoes are good substitutions, this particular type of kielbasa wasn't the right kind, use more cabbage, and consider reducing cooking time (I like it to all melt together, but not everyone necessarily does). Also, definitely grow own carrots again next year.

Ah well, I've got another episode of Veronica Mars to keep me company, even if no one else will.



As I was putting away laundry tonight, I decided there must be a purging of clothes before I pack up to move, just like last time. I still won't be able to get rid of some nostalgic pieces (a good box's worth), but there are several un-nostalgic bits that I haven't worn, or worn only under duress, since I last moved. They're GONE! I still won't buy new warm clothes for a while yet, but hey, wearing the same small set of somewhat mix-and-matchable tops because they're the only ones in the closet is better to my mind than wearing the same small set of somewhat mix-and-matchable tops because I hate the other ten or so things in my closet. If only I could go through the same annihilation of some of my school papers... but I went through a thinning process with those last spring, so I'll call it acceptable. Plus nuking clothing is easier because I can donate it; donating papers to the recycle bin just doesn't wean things away in the same fashion.



(giggling) Creamed corn has been a long-standing Apples to Apples joke with Jen; for some reason, I've always found that card hifuckinglarious... because I find creamed corn itself inexplicably but incredibly humorous. Jenya and Bryce stuffed a can into my stocking last Christmas, and I giggle every. single. time. that I open the pantry. But last night, while making a curry out of the book o' curries, the pages happened to flop open to a section I've never poked through: vegetables and side dishes. Specifically, to a recipe for curried creamed corn with serrano chili, green peppers and cilantro. How could I resist? Humor and spice, all in one super fucking easy recipe.

Yowzer. Yummy yummy yummy yummy. Will make again. And will also try blendering it into a soup sometime (with the immersion blender Bryce got me for Christmas, yahoo!).

(happy tastebud dance)



You know what doesn't help the sleep patterns? Taking a three hour nap starting at 9 pm. You know who doesn't really care that much? The girl not going back to work until the 2nd. Awwww jyah.

I am Legend proved to be just the edge of startling jumpy movies that I can see in the theater. I cut off the circulation in my arm at one point, but at least didn't have to close my eyes outright. The complete wuss line apparently sits right between I am Legend and 28 Weeks Later.



I love Christmas. Let's be entirely uncool for a moment, and just declare it outright: I fucking love getting presents (I'm also fond of giving them, but that's not the point of this post). Presents rock at all times, but birthdays and Christmas, being outright dedicated gifting days, are particularly beloved. Today was an excellent one for the loots, at least in the stuff-for-impending-house department. Also in the utterly endearing department. As Jeff pointed out, I'm ridiculously easy to get presents for, but that doesn't mean I appreciate it any less when someone goes to the trouble to find me something they know I'll love. Awwwww.

Also, I am extremely pleased that the carrots I pulled up this morning to supplement the lack at home were unanimously voted to be much more delicious than the spare bag of store-bought ones were. There's very little as satisfying as eating food that I put in the ground.

Also also, my sleep schedule is going entirely around the bend. WHEEEEEEE.

Damnit. I stayed up too long and lost it.

I got through yesterday with only a few knots in my stomach, but tonight it cuts and cuts. All I can do is hope that I'll clear this year long hurdle in February and finally figure out how to properly go forward again.



Merry Crimbo Eve! Now it can be bed times plz?



Going from being convinced Christmas was an extra week away to having all the shopping and wrapping done that I can have done (Dad will just have to wait) has worn me out. It doesn't seem like quite enough that I'll be goofing off all week; the days seem to get filled up like mad.

Also, I want my damn house!



Wooooooooo! Rocked the fuck out at the Red Elvises show tonight. I ended up very glad I'd gone with high silly pigtails: perfect for MAD SWISHING ACTION. Particularly when one is twisting one's heart out.

In my opinion, all concerts should involve a conga line and belly dancers. Ginger agrees. This should be implemented immediately.

Think   2 Thoughts


This week feels as if it melted directly away. And in a semi-frantic stressed sort of way to boot. BLEAH. There were many good parts, don't get me wrong... but I will be very glad to be chilling on vacation all next week. I will sleep past 1pm every day but Christmas day if I have any say in the matter. And last I checked, mine is the only say. HAH.



The weekend was almost entirely spent sleeping. Not surprising given that last week was almost entirely spent being sleep-deprived and still being late to meetings. Sigh. The insomnia beast is back with a vengeance, but I'm hoping that it was mostly related to house stuff and that by now it will have processed that I should be less stressed about it than I was.

Not so lucky, perhaps.

We went by the house today to talk about what we want to do to the kitchen, try to think about paint colors, and such. I'm both more excited than ever and more freaked out than before after this little jaunt. My bathroom is even more awesome than I'd thought the first time (although it needs a painting along with the rest of the house), but The slant in my ceilings starts so low that I'm going to have to keep my bed a good foot or two out from the wall, and put something behind it so that it doesn't slide. See-saw things like that have been chasing themselves around my head all evening, and even being generally entertained by The Golden Compass, or meeting Jeff's new girlie (thumbs up) didn't particularly distract me from it. It's starting to drive me nuts that we can't go in there unattended by a realtor until January (I'd fork over money right now if I could, but noooooooo, there's a "closing process"); I've talked The Fool out of wanting to do any serious kitchen work right away, but that means living with the Ugliest Kitchen Evar for quite some time, so we're starting to think about what we want to do in the end. So of course, I started looking at prices for full kitchen remodels... ook.

Man, I know this house is awesome and all, but couldn't it have been awesome including the kitchen?



Bacon cookies were a smash hit at work. And I'm not even kidding that much; there's actual demand for us to make them again and for me to bring them back in. Soren made my day, though, standing in my doorway, munching on a bacon chocolate chip cookie:

"This cookie is delicious... it just needs more bacon."

Life is complete when that sentence is uttered with absolute sincerity.

I spent my entire evening conked out on my couch; four days in a row of not nearly enough sleep caught up with me. And then... I was wide awake. So, um, I finally kicked the LJ-as-RSS-reader habit (thanks to a clever LJ proxy fetcher, I can still access the friend-only posts that drove me to that damn thing in the first place) and have moved over to Google Reader. It's... neat. I think. It's been a good just-over-3-years run using LJ for RSS aggregation, though, so the new goodness will take some getting used to (I miss my pretty skinning). But dizamn, it's already nice to be freed from what's already been syndicated to LJ, even if it was only a handful of times that feeds I wanted weren't covered.

As long as my mind was on RSS, I figured I'd finally, after almost exactly 4 years, visibly expose /tht/'s feed. Of course, I had to tweak the icon to have a good laeren feel. Images and links in header content? GOODNESS! That's the first update to the master CSS for the site in, oh... a year or so? Progress just flies by here.



Jeff and I decided, earlier this week, that we'd make cookies as our cooking project tonight. This morning, he emailed me with many exclamation points and the link to the cookies that we should... nay... MUST make. It was a moral imperative.

Bacon chocolate chip cookies

There is a lot of bacon involved in this. But the dough was promising, and initial dough taste tests confirmed that we were on a good track.

IM interlude! (Don't ask why Marc is spoofing my IM name, not to mention IM display picture... or rather, ask him, not me, because he won't tell me.)

I'm Laeren 09:34
so we're well into bacon cookie generation
so far so AWESOME.
initial check of small amount of cookie dough paired with bacon: DELICIOUS
secondary check of bacon all stirred into dough with chocolate chips: DELICIOUS
we think this will be golden.

I'm Laeren, mmkay? 09:35
see if you can deep fry them as well.
maybe dip them in lard and top them with fried cheese curds?

I'm Laeren 09:36
this is no time for sarcasm.
bacon cookies r serious business

I'm Laeren, mmkay? 09:36
you're making bacon chocolate chip cookies.
I'm pretty sure this is a *perfect* time for sarcasm.

I'm Laeren 09:38
you have no sense of the important things in life.

I'm Laeren, mmkay? 09:39
I can honestly say there has never been a time where I've been eating baked goods and thought, "You know what this needs? Pork. Cured, salted, pork. If only someone made such a pastry..."

I'm Laeren 09:40
we've said such things, at least in the vein that "bacon makes EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING better." pure serendipity for jeff to run across the RECIPE TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.

I'm Laeren, mmkay? 09:41
what do they smell like?
like cookies?
or breakfast?

I'm Laeren 09:46
not cooking them yet, so don't know.
cookie dough results taste like ... well ...
bacon cookie dough.

I'm Laeren, mmkay? 09:46
that hurts my brain.

I'm Laeren 09:48

Quoth Jeff as we turned the dough onto paper to chill before baking: "There is nothing about this that is not awesome."

And then we pulled them out.

Sweet mother of Jesus.

People on the internet are GENIUSES.



This is where I start doing the I love my landlord dance.

(doing the I-Love-My-Landlord dance)

I'm clear to move out in January with no penalty on my lease if I want to, and I can extend into February on a weekly basis if I need to to complete my move.

(hands in the air)

(wave 'em like you just don't care)



Perhaps I should get some sleep.



My fingers are stiff and cold. They're also slightly yellow. I was asked last week if I'd suddenly become a chain smoker, or if I'd taken to running highlighters over my fingertips.

Pomegranate season does have some slight drawbacks.

This one has been spectacular, starting early and still going strong... as long as I go to the UVillage QFC, where there are apparently no competitors for fantastic fruit for the discerning obsessive compulsive. It's a good thing. I needed it to be a strong season. For all of the comfort it brings me, however, it's still hard to sculpt out a flawless garnet pyramid, perfect for handing to someone... and have only oneself to hand it to.



I've often heard that buying a house is one of the most stressful things that a person can do. I'm here to affirm that. I had a mini-meltdown over the inspection results yesterday, and got myself under control only to later freak out and blow up at Jeff over something ridiculous and completely unrelated. I'm lucky my best friend is an incredibly sweet boy who will drive to my house past midnight to give me a hug, reassure me that he doesn't think it's a case of me resenting his girlfriend, and watch The Sopranos with me until I'm calmed down; yesterday would have been a much worse day if I'd been allowed to stew in my freaking-the-fuck out juices. Bleh. I'm going to be a nightmare until after this is all over, I can tell.

Jenya referred to me as her sister in law today. I'm pleased as punch.



Holy cow and zomg. After a week of dickering (emphasis on the dick) around, our offer on the house has been accepted. Crizap, if we get it, that giant upper bedroom with the skylights would be mine. I really can't conceive of how I'll use that much space; it seems almost bigger all by itself than my entire current house!

Something will drag on, I'm sure, but if it didn't? We'd close the first week of January.

Holy crap, my bro and I are buying a damn house. o_O So yeah. If I'm distracted lately? That's why.



Two nights of music in a row! It's so nice to have a friend in a band. Or, more specifically, to have a friend who is in three different bands. I could nearly be kept amused by Brandon alone, and not go wanting.

However, being out at a show until midnight on a school night means tired Jen. Tired Jen go to bed.



MySpace has always made me throw up a little bit in my mouth. This year has done nothing at all to change that. BLEH.

Think   1 Thought


Internet, I require an opinion. I've been doing the pigtails thing for a couple years now, but I dawdled on getting my hair cut and now it's really just a bit too long for them. I've promised John no ponytails, and regardless, ponytails were the menu for years and years before the pigtails, seeing as I never learned how to do proper "girly things" with my hair. But! Jenya, oh wonderful dear Jenya, has taught me SEKRITS. Chopsticky sekrits, to be exact! I'm going to give it a try tomorrow (at work, in public, oh gasp), but for a preview and to solicit "OMG DON'T"s ahead of time if need be... what may anyone think?

Think   7 Thoughts


Holy bejeezus, we're putting an offer in on a place in the morning. It may yet all come crashing down in the next indefinite time period, but even putting an offer down is significantly more progress than I'm mentally comfortable with. The amount of money involved in buying a house breaks my poor brain... I want to crawl into a hole, cover my head, and just cringe. Good thing the bro won't let me get away with that, or we'd never get anywhere on this business.



The week and the weekend passed strangely in a haze of cold meds. Ugh. Just in general, the week was terrible in all sorts of ways. Fucking shenanigans, I tell you. There were some high points this weekend, but damn.