Thursday, August 28, 2008

+1 nerd cred

Y'know what? I didn't really get much out of that math class I took last year. I mean, honestly, I tried, but it kind of just sucked, y'know? But I suppose one class out of the eighteen I've taken so far isn't too very bad, all things considered; after all, it was just a distribution requirement, and it's done and over with now, so I'll never have to worry about math again. And anyway, the frustration has finally proven useful in one way, at least: it meant I understood this xkcd comic without having to look it up. ^_^

Thursday, August 21, 2008

culinary adventures

I've had the same package of corn tortillas since I honestly don't know when. I know they sat in the fridge at school for quite some time, because I talked for a long time about doing something with them, but I never did. And then they came home with me and sat in the fridge at Mom's all summer. At any rate, they're old. But they're still okay. No mold or anything. So today, I went to the grocery store with Dad, and he wondered aloud what we ought to have for supper this evening (since I have today off and won't be bringing anything home, it's a nice opportunity for us to have a nice, non-pizza meal), and a sudden flash of inspiration hit, and I exclaimed, "Enchilada bake!"

So we bought a can of enchilada sauce and that's what we had, and by gum, it was delicious. And I'm not just saying that. I mean, usually I like what I make, but this was unusually good; Dad and Michael both agreed. And the coolest part was, I didn't have a recipe or anything; I just made it up off the top of my head, and it was sooo good. Really. I can't describe to you how wonderful it was. So I'm going to put the recipe here, in case I want to make it again, so I remember what all I put in. And in case anybody else wants to try it. Because really, it was heavenly.
Andrea's Excellent Enchilada Bake (a.k.a. Mexican Lasagne)

INGREDIENTS:
1 sm. red bell pepper
1 sm. green bell pepper
1/2 medium white onion
6-8 small corn tortillas
1 10 oz. can red enchilada sauce
1 15 oz. can refried beans
2 c. shredded cheese

PREPARATION:
Finely chop peppers and onion and mix together. Put a layer of tortillas in the bottom of a 9-in. square glass baking dish and cover with enchilada sauce. Cover with a layer of refried beans. Sprinkle 1/3 of peppers and onion mixture evenly over beans. Sprinkle 1/3 of cheese on next. Repeat for two more layers (or more, if you have extra ingredients).

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15 more minutes, or until thoroughly hot in center and cheese is melted.

Optional (I didn't do this, but I might next time): After baking, add a layer of sour cream on top and sprinkle with chopped green onions.

Deee-lish. And to top things off, I made a peach pie, which is due to come out of the oven in about five minutes. It smells delectable.

It's been a good day.

RIP

Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH) passed away yesterday after a brain hemorrhage. While I first found out who she was during her stint as a somewhat dubious celebrity on the Knox campus, she really was a credit to the House, and it's a shame she had to go so soon.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My mommy's growing up!

My mother is maturing, media-wise. I've walked her through the scary parts of CDs, so that now she's even asking for burned mixes and playing them in the car(!), and she's showing signs of being ready to take the next step: she was talking today about how she has all these CDs of all these artists she likes, but she wishes there was some way to play lots of different artists together, instead of a CD full of just one, and I knew immediately the word she was searching for: playlist. I mean, CD mixes can only take you so far, and then you spend all your money on blank discs, and then they wear out after like, two years, and...yeah, I'm way over CDs. So anyway, I told her, "Mom, it's time we got you an mp3 player." She seems hesitant, as she always does at any mention of new technology, but I let her have a go with mine for a few minutes, and with only minimal explanation, she was navigating the library with ease.

I'm so proud.

So I did some glancing around online, and I think I know what we need. Nothing too huge—I think a 2-4GB model will be quite sufficient—and nothing too gimmicky (no iPods or Zunes—egh), just a nice, functional mp3 player. I've found a few that seem to be about right in terms of memory, functions, etc.; I'm thinking particularly about the Creative Zen Stone Plus (with speaker!)—it's the right size and has the right features, and of course, it's adorable. And my player's a Creative as well (Vision:M), and seeing as how I've got no complaints about its performance and only minor quibbles about the user interface,* I'm relatively comfortable with the brand. So all's well and good.

Except. My mom can't use her work computer for music. Apparently the company doesn't like it when you use up all the memory on their puny little laptops with nonessential "personal" things. Pfft. Any company that classifies music as "nonessential" is highly suspect, in my book. But I digress. This leaves her with the "home" computer downstairs, which is still running—wait for it—Windows 2000 (it's actually not been that long since Windows 98 for us...oh, the memories...). And of course, no self-respecting company is going to make a player that's compatible with Windows 2000 this late in the game—they probably wouldn't even be making them for XP anymore, except Vista sucks like one of those fancy vacuum sweepers that can pick up a bowling ball. Hell, my player won't even work on the old computer, and the Vision:M was released in 2005 (that's like, millions of years ago, technologically speaking).

So I'm stuck. I feel like there has to be a way to do this, but short of getting one of those really tiny flash-drive-like players that only hold like, half a GB of data and don't have screens or navigation functions worth crap, I don't know what I can do. Damn obsolescence. Damn it, I say!

For the time being, though, I am going to have to cut off her supply of free mixes until she starts giving me the blanks to fill. I have other things to be spending my money on. Important things. Like Game Cube games.


*Personal preference entirely—I was very used to my old Philips machine before it bit the dust, and, being a creature of habit, I hate change.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

*sniffle*

It started Sunday morning, innocuously enough, with a faint twinge in the back of my throat each time I swallowed. No big deal, I thought—probably just a little irritation from the campfire smoke Saturday night. Monday morning it became more pronounced: a constant, if slight, discomfort in my throat. Tuesday morning, there was congestion: I woke up with my head so full of mucus that it took much longer than usual to stand up, let alone walk straight. By the afternoon, I had a rip-roaring sinus headache and a faint ringing in my ears. But that's nothing compared to tonight, because tonight, the stuffiness turned runny, and then, on top of everything else, the sneezing started.

Seriously. Who gets a cold in August?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

exciting things

I got three exciting new things yesterday. One is a memory card for my recently acquired Game Cube, so that I can quit stealing my brother's, which is nice. I'm sure he'll appreciate it. The other two go together, and, I expect, will come in quite handy next year:



I love getting new things.

Also, that skirt I bought the fabric for back in like, May—it's almost finished! It just needs hemmed yet. Thrills.