Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Brugge 8/21/08-8/23/08

Brugge - climbing the belfry

I totally fell in love with Brugge (Bruges) so this is going to be a long post. I got into the city in the early evening. I was absolutely starving, so after dumping my stuff at the hostel I found a cheap place to get a cup of pasta (3 euro, and it was a big cup). I took that over to Market Square and just sat and ate and soaked in the feeling. It is OLD. It looks old and it feels old. I love it! Something about Brugge was different than the other cities I visited. Amsterdam had nicer canals. Brussels had fancier buildings in it's main square (Grand Place). But I loved being in Brugge.
All the Brugge pictures are here.

chocolate! and fries!
I had my first Beligian chocolate here. I stopped at a lot of the little chocolate shops, there are a lot since it is a touristyish town, and got 3-4 pieces at a time. It was great to sit in a park or square and eat my chocolate and people-watch. I did a lot of sitting and just being while eating chocolate. Really good chocolate too!

I also discovered curry fries here. This is the best sauce I've ever had for fries! Soooo good. The fries are in a cone, they put the sauce on them and give you a tiny little fork to eat them with. These were amazing the next morning after a night of drinking!

friends and beer!
I met a brother and sister from Perth, Australia after dinner my first nite and spent the rest of my time in Brugge with them (as well as my first day in Brussels). They were a lot of fun. We did a tour of Brugse Zot brewery. Which, of course, involved sampling both of the beers there, and maybe the lighter one needed a second taste ;)

Brugge - Brugse Zot brewery

Brugge is where my beer drinking for the trip got underway. The first night I had 3 beers (a free one at the hostel, then a wheat beer and a fruit beer at a bar). The second day we did the brewery tour=3 beers. Dinner was another cup of pasta with 2 beers. Then we went to a different hostel to hang out and had at least 3 more beers. Oh, then to De Garre, a pub, where I know I had a big and a small beer, but it might have been 2 small beers after the big one? It was all so good!

Brugge - Empty beer!

the sights!
Of course we climbed the Belfry tower (that's where the first pic was taken from).
Brugge - Belfry

Underneath the fancy Crown Plaza hotel are some old church foundations so we went down to have a looksy at that. There was a full-out dining room set up down there!
Brugge - Crown Plaza Hotel

*warning*don't read this if you are religious or get offended about religious stuff*
We saw Jesus at the Church of the Holy Blood. Sorry, no pictures of the little vial of congealed Jesus (well, okay it was only his blood). That was quite nerve-wracking since none of us are religious and weren't quite sure how to act in front of Jesus. We got in line and watched to learn. You drop some money in the donation box, then go up a couple of stairs. A dude in robes is standing behind Jesus, you put your hands on the glass covering the vial and "pray" then mumble a thanks to the dude in robes (or tell him cheers like the Aussie boy did!) and cross yourself if you know how (I don't). The dude in robes gives you a pamphlet about Jesus and you walk off the other side. It was sooooo hard to not laugh. And Jesus looked gross.

Where Jesus lives!
Brugge - Church of the Holy Blood

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Amsterdam 8/19/08-8/21/08

Amsterdam - canal

I only ended up in Amsterdam because it was the cheapest place to fly into. Immediately I almost got run over by a bicycle...turns out I didn't look both ways before crossing the bike lane (which I didn't even see until I was in it). After that I was much better about watching for bikes and enjoyed seeing them all over the city.

Amsterdam - mini truck!

I wandered the first day. Ate a cone of fries and just took in the city. I went to the Torture Museum which was quite interesting and I saw a floating flower market on one of the canals!

This is the back of it.
Amsterdam - Bloemenmrkt

The next day I did a walking tour and met a few Americans (girl from Iowa and 2 guys from CA) so I spent the evening in the coffeeshops, bars, and Red Light district with them. It was a ton of fun. Quite a different culture than what I'm used to!

Here are all of my Amsterdam photos.

Amsterdam - guys can pee here!

Carved in the paint in a bathroom stall.
Amsterdam - carved in a bathroom stall

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Reykjavik 8/18/08-8/19/08

I have wanted to visit Iceland since at least 9th grade, if not before. I'd been checking flight prices regularly since 9th grade at least! I flew Iceland Air to Europe specifically because they allow a free stop-over of up to 7 days. I only stayed 1 because of costs...I wasn't going to be there long enough to be worth renting a car and I didn't think I wanted to spend more than 1 day in the city.

Reykjavik photos are here!

Reykjavik - huge boat

I met a guy from Colorado on the bus from the airport into the city. At 7am after an overnite flight! We explored the city together. 1 day was enough for Reykjavik. It was an interesting city, but not much to see. Walking along the ocean was beautiful though and we spent a lot of time hanging out on the rocks near it and walking up and down there. The food was good, I found a vegetarian restaurant to eat lunch at and had a really good soup for dinner. Everyone was super nice.

Reykjavik - the shore


I definitely want to go back to Iceland. Maybe spend a few weeks backpacking around. It is still the #1 place I want to visit!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I've been lazy lately. It is kinda hard to get back into a routine after having 4 months off work. I'm still bringing my breakfast and lunch to work. Still mostly cooking dinner. Still not snacking on unhealthy stuff much. I'm definitely not going to be keeping a chart of it here like I thought I would :)

I'm not back in an exercise routine. I did make a deal to go running once a week with Batman's roommate. We both get bored running alone. So that is once a week. Maybe I can work it out with J to go another time a week. That would be twice a week. Then 2 times a week I can do stuff at home...pushups, pullups, crunches, squats, etc. I'm thinking about joining a gym near work for when it gets colder out, I can get it fully reimbursed so it would essetially end up being free. I need to check it out though, it might be overrun by students (they would just think I'm one of them). Or I'll start riding my bike to work, at least until it gets too yucky outside.

I am cooking and knitting and doing more of that stuff. I would like to get back into the swing of blogging. I was doing great with my last blog that I had until a year and a half-ish ago. I never really got into it with this one. I'd like to change that.

So coming up with be a series of posts about my europe vacation. It will motivate me to finish going through my photos mostly and I won't post so much that it is boring for you! This can get me back into blogging, then I'll share all the other stuff that I keep thinking I should blog about.

Friday, September 12, 2008


This week I've had pb&j for lunch every day. Healthy? Sure. Boring? Not at all. Some days were crunchy pb, some smooth. I've had 3 different flavors of jam throughout the week. Who am I kidding, they are boring.

I decided with a new job and all that I would try to eat as healthy as possible. Fairly easy since I'm vegan, but there is a surprising amount of vegan junk food out there.

My hopefully achievable goals:

  1. eat breakfast, preferably something healthy - yogurt, banana, bagel on occassion
  2. pack a lunch, trying to include a fruit and a veggie - just to make sure I get some
  3. make dinner more often than eating out - when I cook it is healthy
  4. one "unheathy" snack a day -- this need restrictions :)

Snack Restrictions:

  • it can be 2 small snacks
  • granola bars count in this unless included as part of a meal, they aren't really that healthy
  • total should remain under what I judge to be equal to a cupcake with a 1/4 cup of soy ice cream (that is a standard dessert for me)
  • I get to decide what counts as a cupcake/s'ice cream serving...1/2 Ritter Sport+2 mini cupcakes counts...a whole candy bar at work and a cupcake at home doesn't count

And since I'm a nerd, I'm going to make a table to track it all weekly, and then maybe a master one with points or something for long-term tracking. I can't help it, keeping track of the details of my life is something I've always done. I'll just keep track of weekdays...I don't really eat meals on the weekends. We'll see if I stick with it for more than one week.

Healthy Eating Wk 1 (9/8/08-9/12/08)

DateBreakfast?Pack Lunch?Lunch Fruit?Lunch Veggie?Cook Dinner?1 Snack?
9/8Yes-cerealYes-pb&jYes-grapesYes-grape tomatoes+carrotsYesYes
9/10Yes-s'yogurtYes-pb&jYes-grapesYes-grape tomatosNoYes
9/12Yes-s'yogurtYes-pb&jYes-grapesNo (I ran out)Prob not??
Grand Total for week23

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Great Outdoors

I mentioned back in April that I was going hiking this summer. I had planned on doing all 2,175 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Since I'm already back, obviously I didn't make it that far!

I do need to add up my total miles, but it is somewhere just under 300 miles hiked on the trail this year. I did it in a few pieces. Here is a summary which might actually tell more than my hiking blog (

5/13/08 - 5/26/08
14 days, 140 miles - Harpers Ferry, WV to just past Duncannon, PA.

I'd only been on 2 overnight backpacking trips before starting. My pack was about 30 pounds and I hadn't used any of my equipment. Amazingly I got into hiking shape really quickly...I did an 18 mile day on the 4th day out, on that day I met Gobbles and Maytag, who I hiked with until I went home. There were a ton of frustrating moments while I figured stuff out. Lighting my stove, pumping water, how much water to carry and how to attach it to my pack, and shopping for food in small towns. Blisters were a huge problem and it rained a ton so I hiked lots with wet feet. I also got lonely which I didn't expect. Even hiking with Gobbles and Maytag I was lonely. After 2 weeks I got a ride to the train station and came home, fully intending to go back out.

stream in MD
A stream in Maryland.

My pack sans rain cover
My pack with my water bladder on top of it. I could live out of that pack for a week as long as there was a stream or somewhere to get water.

6/6/08 - 6/8/08
3 days, ~36 miles, to Wind Gap, PA

J was planning on meeting me this weekend to hike so we decided to go out anyway. Her parents made transportation to and from the trail possible! I had planned on hiking further, but we happened to be out the weekend where there were 4 days straight of 100ish degree heat and I had a headcold and cramps. We did a nice 13 mile day to start. Then a brutal 17 mile day over Lehigh Gap, in the heat, without enough water. I felt like shit at the end of the day. The next day was supposed to be hotter so we hiked 6 miles to Wind Gap where her mom rescued us. I was pissed at myself that I didn't keep going, but I felt like shit and pretty much took a week to recover when I got home. It was a pretty area, we just picked a sucky time to do it.

Part of Lehigh Gap. There was also a rocky part and a part with some stunted growth and brambles.

Camp, although we tore it down and slept in the shelter due to threat of rain. I later learned how to better hang my hammock to keep out the water so the threat of rain isn't as much of a threat now.


7/18/08 - 7/25/08
8 days, 95 miles, Pawling, NY to Lee, MA

This was going to be a 3 week, 300 mile hike. My knee didn't cooperate. I was actually doing pretty good mood-wise on this one. I did a 10 mile day to warm up. Then there were a couple of HOT days, then the rain. My knee started hurting a bit after a few days. Then a bit more. Then really bad if I went downhill. It felt better when I got up, until the last day. I was near Lee so I came home. I didn't want to kill my knee. The hiking was good, I got into a nice zone. It was cool to see the thru-hikers, even if they did all pass me. And there were section hikers and stuff too...I hiked a couple of the days with Yahtzee. I had some very empowering moments during this week and was mentally much stronger. I grew as a hiker this summer and am sooo excited to get back out, hopefully soon!

View from Lion's Head. Elev. 1738 ft.

Dessert! Fresh picked blueberries from the top of Race Mtn. carried to camp in a water bottle. I ate soooo many blueberries that day!

Just in case you miss the raised train tracks...some hikers zone out enough that they might.

Tiny Red Eft. Guitar pick for scale.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I'm baaaack!!

I've had a VERY eventful last 5ish months.  I'll update on all of that later (with pictures!).

I just have to say...

how did I make it 24 years without being told how much better dried beans (post-cooking) are than tinned?  Hmmm?  Cookbook authors?  Every cookbook seems to say that it doesn't matter whether you use dried or tinned beans.  And my mom uses tinned everything so she didn't teach me this secret.  I was going on the assumption that they were pretty much the same and it didn't make a difference which I bought.

It so makes a difference!  I just made my very first batch of beans from a bag.  I sorted out the 1 stone, soaked them all day, and then simmered them on the stove (in new water).  When they were done I added a dash of salt and pepper.  I am now sitting here eating them from the pot.  

Oh, they are black beans.  I was going to freeze half, but I think I'll only have half left by the time I get them out of the pot.  It will be fun to hang out with me later...beans, beans, the magical fruit and all.  :)

I'm a dried bean convert.  I need freezer containers.  And a few more types of beans since I'll eventually get tired of black.  An extra bonus is the bags will produce less waste than all the cans of beans that I eat!  Score one for the environment!

Really, I'll have pictures next time :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Reading Update

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

Very interesting and very good. Gave me lots to think about and echoes some of my own thoughts on the human population. It's got science, p*rn, adventure and love, what more could you want? About a super-species of humans type thing (created by oryx and crake) that snowman looks after.

The Knife Man by Wendy Moore

The material was good and informative, but this book kept putting me to sleep. I realize I don't sleep a lot, but I rarely nap and very seldom does a book take me off to snoozeland. This one is about such an amazing man who led such a great life. The idea behind the set-up of the book is a good one, I like the chapter names and such. I was greatly underwhelmed by the writing or something. Oh, it is about a great anatomist/surgeon in the 1700s...John Hunter, the father of modern surgery.

Blindness by Jose Saramago

Nobody has a name in this book. I like that. It was really well written. The ending sucked. People start to go blind, the govt quarantines them, then everyone goes blind. Except one person. It is actually really good, even if I don't like the ending. I think it is being made into a movie right now.

Carved in Bone by Jefferson Bass

It is a quick read...I read it in two sittings because it was so interesting.  Really just a murder-mystery type book, but I read so few of them.  Jellyfied women is found in a cave and the dude works at the body farm.  Very well written.

Snow Crash by Neal Stephonson

It's weird, but I like it. Totally sci-fi, which I don't usually get into, but this one is more computery which appeals to my math brain. It is a pretty quick read and is attention-grabbing enough that I'll pull it out even if I only have time to read a couple of pages. It's about a hacker that makes friends with a courier and they are trying to find out about snow crash.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Last day at work...

Oh wait, I don't think I announced on here that I'm leaving work.

HmHm, Today is my last day at my job. In 2 weeks I'll be hiking the Appalachian Trail. Go check out my hiking blog if you don't already know about it. This blog may get a few more posts and then will be put on hold until November sometime. I'll make an official "I'm on hold go look at me hike" post when the time is right.

I do actually have interesting things to post here before I leave. And since I won't be working, I should have time to post them!

In sucktacular news, I have cramps and they hurt. I made VwaV chocolate thumbprint cookies last nite and they help, but I have a feeling I should have doubled the recipe!

Monday, April 28, 2008

NYC - the rest of the trip

Since we were only in NYC for a few days, we didn't have time to do a whole lot.

Saturday (4/19) after we got to NYC and had lunch, we walked down by the Hudson River. Batman saw water so we meandered to it and walked along it for a while. That nite we saw Avenue Q on Broadway. It was really good. I was surprised, since it does have puppets in it! It was fun to get all dressed up and go out.

Sunday (4/20) we walked through Central Park to the Musuem of Natural History. We spent most of the day there. Batman wanted to see all the animals (poor things, but it is neat) and I wanted to see the rocks. We walked through pretty much everything, but didn't stop to look at much when it was displays about humans!

And we ate. Really, we didn't do much, but it was nice to get away for a quick weekend! Here are some pictures that I took while we were there, there are more in flickr.

Neat sink picture for C:
Sink at Blue Fin in NYC

taken in Central Park:
View of NYC from Central Park

Central Park

Central Park

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

NYC - food

Batman and I went to New York City last weekend (I had Monday off for the marathon, he had it off for Patriot's Day). I'd only been once before so it was a lot of fun to go back. We took the Greyhound bus there and back. On the way there we had a bus that was falling apart, but had lots of leg room. On the way home the bus was in much nicer condition, but with way less leg room. It doesn't matter so much for me, but Batman is tall!

We were only there for 2 nites, so we didn't actually do a lot. First, the food! Sorry no pictures, we were starving pretty much every time we sat down to eat!

We ate at 'Snice twice, lunch when we got to NYC and lunch before we left. It is soooo good! We had the tempeh rueben and seitan philly-style sandwich the first time, they were okay. I prefered the tempeh and Batman prefered the seitan. The second time I had the vegan panini and Batman had a "meatball" sub. I am in love with the panini...smoked tofu, pesto and sundried tomoatoes...sooooo good. They have a good selection of vegan desserts, but most the ones I tried (apricot bar, cupcake, blondie) were way too sweet. The chocolate cherry cookie and some chocolate chip bundt cake were good and not too sweet.

We had dinner at Blossom on Sunday nite. I don't like seitan or mushrooms so that limited the choices for me! We started with ravioli (it had diced mushrooms in it that I decided I would be okay with, also spinach which I like) in a cashew cream sauce. Yummy! Then I had Feijoadinha...a delicious stew-like tempeh, black bean, sweet potato, and chayote squash dish. Batman had stuffed portobellos (tofu/walnut) with apricot cous cous, asparagus, and a cashew-tahini sauce. Dessert was cheesecake and chocolate ganache w/strawberry ice cream. All very delicious! The service was great and we also had a yummy bottle of organic wine!

We also went to a bagle place and they had tofu cream cheese, so that was nice. And we had lunch at the cafeteria of the Museum of Natural History one day...they had tofu, 3 bean salad, and beet salad that was good! A late nite snack of avacado rolls at Blue Fin with a drink! And a boring yet tasty veggie sandwich at some random deli that came with 2 big pickles and a cel-ray soda which I'd never had! We weren't there too long and that is actually everything that I an order of french fries on the way there and home when the bus stopped!

Hmm, I'll do another post later with everything else!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Did you know?

The nutrients in carrots:
  • Help support your immune system
  • Help maintain healthy skin
  • Help regulate metabolism
  • Help maintain optimal health

Carrots have a high Vitamin A content and are loaded with fiber!

Well, thanks to the bag from my baby carrots, now you do know! I've been on a carrots as a snack kick lately. 1/4 of a pound at a time. It sounds like a lot of carrots, but doesn't actually look like that many when I pour them into individual containers. Batman likes them to snack on too, so that is a bonus.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


I think I've finally found a format that I like for my blog. I got tired of trying out the different templates, but I think I found one that I like. And I colored it to make it prettier.

I will admit that right now I am on a PC and have no clue how it will look on a Mac. I will check it on my Mac tonite and I hope it is okay!

I realize that for those of you reading through Google Reader or Bloglines it doesn't matter what the blog looks like, but for the rest of everybody, hopefully it looks better!

Monday, April 7, 2008

I knit and sometimes finish!

I finished this in, ummm, February. Just in time for the day that indicated 1 year with Batman.

Here are some really bad photos of it on me. Black hat + no sunlight + taking my own picture = bad. And excuse the mess in the background, I'm not sure why I didn't go out to our clean living bedroom is always a bit cluttered!

Batman's hat on me

Batman's hat on me

Maybe I'll try to get a picture of it on him sometime.

Pattern is Reasonably Hip from Magknits. My hat looks like the one in the pattern, but blacker! I used some 100% acrylic yarn. Some nicer Red Heart maybe, or Lion Brand. I should find out which! It felt nice enough for acrylic and I'd use it again.

Friday, April 4, 2008

afternoon snooze


2 cats, one mostly unused futon. Can you tell Winston sleeps there a lot...he has the top of the cushion all dented down! See the chessboard that my dad made me under that pile of stuff. It is really nice...I should actually use it sometime!

Kitty nose!
Kitty nose

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Batman and I went hiking a couple of weekends ago. It was cold and icy, but also a lot of fun. We saw some waterfalls!

Bish Bash Falls - not as impressive as I expected, a VERY quick hike from the car.
Bish Bash Falls

Then we were going to hike up to the Appalachian Trail and camp at the shelter. We didn't make it to the AT the first day, we stayed at a site on the blue blazed trail. The next day we made it to the AT, summited Mt. Everett and then took a service road back to the main road. Except the main road we were on was on the other side of the mountain from our car (we knew it would be, but with the ice I was worried about going back down the mountain). We managed to hitch a ride back to our car after only having to walk a couple of miles!

Here are the waterfalls (all unnamed as far as I know) that we saw hiking up...they are all half frozen!





Thursday, March 27, 2008

Note from the cats

I came home from work one day last week and saw this...

note from the cats

A closer view...

note from the cats

It reads:

Dear smaller human,

*roommate's name* put wet food in our bowls this morning, he's pretty cool for a human.

Also, our butts smell bad and you should punish us arbitrarily. In addition, we make ridiculous noises and smell each others' butts.

*paw prints*

Don't you love their correct use of apostrophes? Turns out that since I had run out of dry food I ran off without filling the autofeeder that I often use. Woops. I'm sure they were very vocal about needing fed when roommate was there though. This is only the 3rd time in the year that I've had the autofeeder that my cats have almost missed a meal...2 of those my roommate fed them.

Here are the purrfaces. They don't look like they are starving! This isn't a great picture of Snickers, but there is something about it that I like.
Of course, an open backpack is a prime cat bed! Usually he is in Batman's bags, I tend to leave mine zipped close so he can't shed in them!
Winston in a bag

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

reading update

I haven't done an update in a long time! Here is the last one. This one is kinda long. It is possible I forgot a book here and there since I do read a lot and it has been months!

Monster Planet by David Wellington.

The third in the series. Very good, but I couldn't remember who everyone was from the 1st two. Once I started figuring it out, there were some interesting twists in the story.

The Dubliners by James Joyce
A collection of Short Stories that I read on the flight home from Dublin. How appropriate. It was a quick and nice read. Kinda cool to read it right after seeing the place. I'm interested in reading some of his other stuff now!

What is the What by Dave Eggers.

About one of the Lost Boys from Sudan. His story of walking and walking across countries, living in refugee camps, and growing up without family and then in an adopted family. This is all intermixed with bits of his life since he came to America.

Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollen.

I learned more about corn than I ever thought I would need to know. Parts of it were slow, parts I already knew, but there were lots of things that I learned about modern food and how it comes to be. Overall an interesting book.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

A very quick and fun read. It is narrated by Death, which I liked. A fairly typical nazi germany story...young girl, hidden Jew, secrets, but with the added bonus of stolen books.

Short Stories by Roald Dahl

I don't remember the exact title, but it was a collection of short stories. It was very interesting. I read a lot of Dahl as a child, but it was in the form of The BFG, Matilda, and The Phantom Tollbooth and maybe some others. The short stories are definitely done for adults and were quite fun to read!

The Keep by Jennifer Egan
A story set in a castle! It starts out kinda slow, picks up in the middle and has a great ending. A guy that isn't really doing anything with his life goes to some castle in Europe to help his cousin turn it into a resort.

Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin

Set way back in the 1100s. A man (detective) and a woman (doctor) are sent to a town to find a killer. One of my favorite books I've read in a while. It combines many things that I like in a book and I could hardly put this one down until I finished it.

The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood

I didn't like this book. I found it boring and sappy. It wasn't bad enough for me to not finish it (very few books are), but I would not recommend anyone else read it. It fits in some category with Little Children, I'm sure there are people who enjoy those books, I'm not one of them.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

This was a great book! A bit slow to start, but once I got into it I was reading anytime I got a chance. I actually finished it during lunch at work and I rarely read at work. It is about 2 boys (cousins) who become comic book authors/illustrators and their lives. One is from Europe and he gets sent to live with the one in NYC about the time WWII starts. It was very well written and a great read!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Dublin Ireland

A couple months late! I'm home today so I finally took the time to go through the rest of my photos.

Batman and I went to Ireland in January.  It was great.  My first time using my passport (I got it a year ago), and his first time to Ireland (he's travelled a lot more than me!).  We stayed in Dublin and were only there for 4 days.  We didn't have time to do everything that I wanted, mostly because nothing opened until 9 and then was closed again by 5!  We saw St. Patrick's Cathedral as well as some other old churches, Dublin Castle, some old bits of walls/arches/doorways from the 1200s, we actually saw most of Dublin I think!  It isn't very large and we did a lot of walking.  We took one day and went to Howth on the DART.  We hiked in the hills by the ocean and got a bit of the feel of being in the Irish countryside.

I was able to take knitting on the flight there but not on the flight coming home.  I didn't knit at all though, I read and slept a lot!  I kept a journal while we were there which is what kept me busy in the hotel when we were taking a break from everything.  It was actually very easy to eat vegan in Dublin.  I found places with soy milk and the skittles there are vegan!  I did have some isn't vegan and I don't drink it at home.  I loooove it so much though and it does taste better in Ireland.  I had to sample all the other beers and the cider.  It is great that you can order a pint or a glass of beer, so often I don't want a whole pint and the option for less isn't available in the US.

Here are a sampling of the pictures that I took.  You can see many more on my flickr!

Ireland - St. Patrick's                       Ireland - Our first pints of Guinness in Ireland at O'Donoghue's
St. Patrick's Cathedral.  Of course Batman and I had to have a Guinness!

The coach house at Dublin Castle.  I think this building was part of the Guinness Brewery

Ireland - Howth, rainbow                     Clouds above the ocean
View over the ocean from the hills by Howth.  The clouds above the ocean on the flight home.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Photo Organizing

I was going to post yesterday, but I wanted to see what pictures I have in Flickr. I have a lot. 884 to be exact. And at least 200 more that I haven't uploaded yet. Needless to say, I got distracted.

I'm organizing my photos now. Making sure that each and every one has the correct tags and is in the correct sets and has something that resembles a title or description if needed. This way when I want a picture I can find it. The problem is that it takes a looong time. I'm over halfway done I think. So as soon as the photos are organized, I'll be back with some more interesting posts.

On a different topic, carrots are so satisfying to eat for the crunch part, but not for the full belly part. I have 2 bags of them so I'll be doing lots of crunching to be followed with a higher fat snack to keep me full. Or I'll get some hummus for dipping. I also have 2 bags of celery, but I looove that with peanut butter or marmite so that makes it more filling. Obviously I didn't check my fridge before I went grocery shopping last nite.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

1 Year (plus 2 days) Ago

So one year ago, Feb 2nd/3rd to be exact, was a bit of a turning point in my life. You get two stories in one here!

Pre-stuff: I'd become single a few months before that and had made a very rushed move into a different apartment with my two kitties and most of my stuff (the rest of it I never did get). There are all sorts of great stories about all of that, maybe some other time for those though.

So a few months after taking control of my life and getting out of a bad situation, I decided to do something that I'd been thinking about for years. Get a tattoo. I knew that I wanted a Pi. I wanted it small, discreetish, but where I could still see it. I was sitting at work, drawing on myself when I figured it out. I drew a wee little Pi on the inside of my wrist. Perfect. This was drawn on at about noon Feb 2nd. I drew it on darker and was ever so careful to not let it wash off. The next day, Feb 3rd, was a Saturday. That morning I was knitting with some friends and looking up tattoo parlors online. I picked 2 based off of reviews and chose the one that I knew how to get to (plus there was a sushi restaurant near it). I packed up my bag and headed that way.

This was pretty big for me. Not so much getting the tat, but the fact that I went to get it within 24 hours of deciding what I wanted. It was finally doing something solely for me. Not to get away from anything, not to prove anything, not because it was expected or I had to, not for anyone else in the slightest. I usually have more of a reason for why I do things, because I want to isn't always enough for myself. But that is why I went to get a tat. Because I wanted to.

So I brave the icy sidewalks to get to the tattoo place. I tell the man what I want and sit down to wait while they get ready. There was a guy there looking at designs, and we started talking while I waited. He plays in a band near where I live, so he gave me his email address and said I should come check them out. We looked at designs in the books and talked while I waited.

Once everything was ready for me, it took no time at all to actually do the tattoo, and was definitely cool to watch. On my way out, the guy said something funny and I told him I'd check out his band sometime. He was wearing a hat and looking cute. I'm a sucker for cute guys!

This is it...the nite that I got it. I should go home and take an updated picture.

Pi 3

So there is the story of how I got my tattoo. And since I said there were two stories here...that guy I was talking to while I waited is my boyfriend. We went on our first date 2 weeks later and have been together since!

I know that all of you who know me IRL have heard all this, but I felt like telling the story again :)

Thursday, January 31, 2008


Browsing through my flickr, it seems that I have a decent number of pictures of cupcakes.

All these are from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

Cookies 'n Cream (candy cane Joe-Joe variety)

Margarita Cupcakes:
Margarita Cupcakes

Margarita and Basic Chocolate Cupcakes:
New Years Cupcakes

Hey look, another batch of Margarita Cupcakes!
margarita cupcake

Last weekend we made another batch of Margarita cupcakes as well as a batch of Chocolate Stout and Rum Raisin. I'm sooooo loving the Rum Raisin ones. I was hungover when I had a chocolate stout, but my roommate assures me that they were good. And obviously I like the Margarita cupcakes!

Here is the Basic Chocolate Cupcake recipe from VCTOTW. I've made this a ton. It is super quick, easy, and always yummy. Plus it is great with peanut butter frosting! Yum!