Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Well that was interesting...

Today was weird. In a sort of surreal way. I was hanging out at the beach house, staying in bed way too late, not really wanting to face the day. I finally got out of bed and hadn't been up and about for more than a half an hour when my mom called. I was hesitant to answer because it's usually some annoying thing like "What are you doing with your day?" type question. She wanted to know if I was back at her house yet. I took this as a "get home" request but she wanted to know because the alarm company had called and the alarm was going off. I told her no, I wasn't. I could tell that she was at the dog park with the dogs and my stepdad and thus our house was, as it so rarely is, completely empty.

Ah, this seems familiar...

It's a hangover day because watching the miserable Caps game at 4 p.m. somehow turned into spending way too much money on way too much booze and making an ass out of myself (I think?) in front of a guy I've known since I was 10, because that is what happens in this teeny tiny city. It'd be realllllly nice to stop making the same stupid mistakes over and over again.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


With regular football season wrapped up, and only a collection of meaningless bowl games, important to alums of the school and no one else, of which I can't afford to go to my school's (*sobs uncontrollably*), I'm turning my attention to the crop of new shows that premiered this fall that I've been watching. Because...well, what the hell else is there, really?

I also am not currently full of holiday cheer. This is shaping up to be a miserable Christmas season (though recently partly saved by a card from my dad so my mood is improving). So you don't get your "YAY! Christmas!" post. At least not until I get blind drunk in an Irish bar and listen to Fairytale of New York on constant repeat and get over the fact that I, as a native of the city I live in, can't escape my family at the holidays.

So: TV!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kids (a rant)

I have this constant, reoccurring conversation:

Me, "I don't want kids. I mean, fine, sure they're great for everyone else, but I've thought about it and it's just not really my gig." I try to say this as nonchalantly as possible because I know what's coming next. And it's this:

Other party, "Oh, you'll change your mind!"

(Hiding the rest behind jump for being ranty-rantyness.)

Sunday, December 11, 2011


My family makes this ridiculous Caesar salad. It's family tradition. My dad and I have our own special wooden Caesar salad bowls that are used exclusively to make this divine concoction.

Part of what makes our Caesar better than average is that we make our croutons from scratch. In some cases, the croutons have become more popular than the salad. One time, when starving and impatient, I took the warm out of the oven croutons, put them in a bowl and shredded Parmesan cheese over them. They were divine. I then promised that should I ever open my own bar, that would be an available bar snack. I have had more than one friend sit in my kitchen and eat croutons as a snack as opposed to chips or something else. My favorite is when at 3 a.m. during the house party a few years ago, Chuck and the stepsis stood munching on handfuls of croutons, drunk, going "zooohmygod these are SO good nom nom nom." Croutons sort of make the perfect drunk food.

Since I have yet to open a bar with a crouton snack, I give away plastic jars or ziplock bags filled with croutons as gifts to my friends. And that's why I'm sharing this recipe with you now: if you need something a little different as a hostess gift this busy holiday season, might I recommend some homemade croutons? If you want extra bonus points, do that Martha Stewart thing and handwrite the recipe for the salad dressing on a card. Yeah. That's a bit much. But inventive, no? The recipe, as presented in the cookbook from which we derived it, is available here. That's the pared down version, obviously. The family version is as rambling as this post and I'm not ready to share it. Yet. Or likely ever. (Gotta have SOMETHING that makes me special, ya know?)

As with anything I've offered up a recipe to, these are stupid easy to make. The key is in the ingredients and patience.

What you need:
One loaf of sourdough bread
One head (bulb? I'm never sure on proper garlic terminology) of fresh garlic
One cup (or so) of olive oil

That's it. That's the entirety of making croutons.

Now: a diatribe about the bread. You need sourdough. And you need good quality, unsliced sourdough. For those of you not in the Bay Area, your average off the Walmart shelf sliced "sourdough" is not gonna cut it. Your Louisiana French bread is also not gonna work either, it's too airy. You need a dense, crusty sourdough. Seek out a bakery in your town and see what they have to offer.

I tend to use Acme Bread's sourdough batard. But their baguette is also great, as is the rustic sour. If you're in some remote area of the world where they don't make amazing sourdough, well, that sucks. But it's an environmental thing. Apparently the air in San Francisco, salty and damp and foggy, is what makes us have exceptional sourdough so it's understandable that you wouldn't have it available in other places. Boudin Bakery will deliver it to you direct from San Francisco. (Not to be confused with boudin, the Cajun sausage. Two very different things.) Yes, it's a bit pricey that way but worth it. Trust. This is not the place to skimp on bread since the entirety of this really IS the bread. (The La Madeleine's in Louisiana/elsewhere have decent bread if memory serves.)

Alright, you've got your amazing crusty sourdough. Preheat your oven to 200. Slice bread into about half an inch thick slices. Take the slices and cut them into cubes. (This is where the baguette is great, just cut into quarters and you're done. Everything else, you want bite size pieces. The large batard I cut each slice in half across and then in pieces.)

Put your cut up pieces of bread on a cookie sheet and place them in the oven. You want to lightly toast your bread first so that it doesn't absorb all the olive oil in the world. Leave them alone in the oven until they dry out and are firm to the touch. This can take as long as an hour. If you get impatient, turn up the oven to 225 or 250 but keep an eye out, you don't want to have your bread turn brown and crispy yet.

While the croutons are roasting away: pour your olive oil in the bottom of a large bowl. Ideally it is your wooden salad making bowl but I understand if you don't have one. Any large bowl will work. Now peel your entire head of garlic and mash all the little cloves with a garlic press into the olive oil. Let those two hang out together while the bread toasts. Have a glass of wine. Listen to some Sinatra. Dance around the kitchen.

When your croutons are just firm to the touch, take the cookie sheet out of the oven and dump the bread cubes into the olive oil garlic mixture. Toss them to coat. Make sure they are coated evenly. You might need to add a bit more olive oil, as all my measurements are approximate.

Place your coated bread cubes back in the oven and let them chillax there for awhile. Have more wine. Listen to Dean Martin. Dance around the kitchen. You will know your bread cubes are done when your whole house smells like garlic toast. It's kinda awesome. Check on them. Are they brown and golden and crispy delicious looking? They are done. If they are still pale, close the oven, turn up the temp the tiniest bit, continue drinking wine, but be careful not to burn them. Burnt croutons decidedly suck. They should look like this when done:

Nom nom nom nom. Let them cool a bit, which you will be unable to do and will walk by and noisily crunch on them. I forgive you. Once cool, you can put them in a gift receptacle or keep them yourself and eat them drunk at 3 a.m. Whatevs. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

This and That

Alcohol has this amazing way of at the time making you feel absolutely invincible and witty and fantastic. The next day, as it wends its way out of your system, it will make you feel like a giant ball of failure. I definitely feel the latter today. I somehow got accidentally drunk on a Wednesday night. Yep. Accidentally. Not my fault. 2 beers with the amazing and fantastic Linds, in town on a short jaunt from New Hampshuh, somehow turned into knowing vaguely that I went to a certain bar last night where I'm sure I had a beer but no recollection today of actually being there. I win at life. And I lost my credit card. Again. Geezus H Christ, Lisa, get your shit together.

Which is kind of funny because I HAD been feeling together. Probably the effect of NOT drinking and not going out. I need to go back to that. Thinking of a six month cleansing sabbatical after LSU plays in the National Title Game. I was applying to jobs, focusing on some goals, trying not to panic about not having any money at all. But I backslid into bad behavior and now I'm doing research for my "client" (I can't have a client. It feels weird. So quotes.) and feeling like I am never ever gonna be a good lawyer. That's amazing.

Anyway. I started two very different posts yesterday but could never manage to finish them and found them boring. One was on how no one actually understands the first amendment and how that makes me want to kill them and the other was a reflection on my dogs. You're welcome for not hitting publish. Instead, I have some random thoughts I'll spit out in list form.

1. Unsolicited endorsement: I don't consider myself a music person. I like pop music, I don't think too much about new hip bands, and I can't tell you the last time I saw a live show of any sort. My interest is very passive. But I was watching a TV show the other night and this song by a band called the Lumineers was played at the end and I fell in love. I've listened to it at least 2 dozen times, if not far more. I'll probably hate it at some point and never want to hear it again but for now it's on an endless loop. So listen and I hope you like it too and if/when they play here, I plan on going and being hip and listening to a live band.

2. About that TV show: I was watching Hart of Dixie. It's the sort of ridiculous CW fare that I am knowing for loving (though I was on the Veronica Mars bandwagon long before that was cool). I make no apologies. I even sort of think they are attempting to get a little bit of Southern culture right with the main hang out bar being called the Rammer Jammer, a reference to the University of Alabama. Rachel Bilson is freaking adorable. (Even if my college roommate tainted my view of her by saying that when they were in HS together she was a bitch. I still am a bitch so I won't hold that against her.)

Jaime King is also in this show where she plays the over the top kind of Southern girl that Hollywood gets wrong. She is never not in some floral patterned summer dress with so much mascara on she can't possibly keep her eyes open. Her focus is Junior League and other silly festivals, all of which she treats with the utmost importance. And something about this character just grates on me. That sort of over-simplified sorority girl thing that doesn't actually exist in the South. I also don't really get the characters motivations and why I'm supposed to care about her or why she's with the guy she's with (a major plot issue on the show) other than that's just the way it's always been.

After watching the show on Monday, I off the cuff tweeted how I was annoyed by the stereotypes of the character and wish she'd been more complexly drawn. Don't give it a second though.

Last night, as I'm half in the bag already because I was drinking and hadn't eaten since breakfast, a response tweet shows up. Jaime King has taken exception to my characterization of her character. First of all: my criticism is not of her acting. It's of the way the character has been drawn. I'm smart enough to know that she's not the one that writes the character, just imbues the words with life. Secondly, if I looked like Jaime King, what some bitchy insignificant girl in San Francisco thinks of my character while I get to be, ya know, JAIME KING, wouldn't matter. In the least.  Seriously. I WISH I looked like this, lived in Hollywood, was doing well in my career, made out with Scott Porter for work. (Actually I'd rather make out with Wilson Bethel but that's a different issue.)

But, in the way that I do, I've now been obsessing about what about the character bugs me and been thinking way harder about it, giving it far more creedance than I should because I somehow managed to upset Ms. King. So: the character is frivilous and silly and focuses on all these pageants and causes while absolutely ignoring those around her. I really, as mentioned, don't understand the relationship she's in and would like background on those choices. She is obviously in love with someone else so sticking with this current guy rings false and I don't like the lack of guilt at her cheating. Her hatred of big city living isn't well explored. I get enjoying small town life but the hatred of big city life just because is narrow minded. I do appreciate that she loves this small town and wants to protect. The constant gowns are silly and the hats and the...look, this is 2011. Let's not pretend all small town Southern girls are so stuck in a time warp. The Southern girls, the fierce Southern girls I know, are far more complex than is being portrayed. All that said, I think the character does have true heart and her love for her town and protection her family are admirable and interesting qualities. The mother issues and being conflicted about love even while rushing headlong in one direction are areas that have potential to be really interesting.

Yeah. That's a lot of words on a CW show. That I actually really enjoy. But, ya know, I, silly girl in SF, somehow managed to upset a Hollywood actress so I thought I'd attempt to clarify my stance. The internet is really weird you guys. But since this is apparently how it works: if Chris Evans would like to contact me and hang out, I'd be down. Also: I want to marry Brooks Laich. So. Let's make that happen, mkay, internet?

3. Speaking of shows: That season finale of Sons of Anarchy was total crap. You owe your viewers more respect than that, Kurt. It was such a poorly drawn, easy out on the season long storyline it was insulting. But Justified is back soon and that will make me forgive FX a little bit.

4. I'm putting this here just because I don't want to forget it and I have the worst memory ever, even though it feels braggy to me: Linds and I were having a heart to heart over a pint yesterday, first time we've seen each other since May even though we gchat almost daily and we're just talking about life and all things in general and Linds says, "You seem like you've matured a lot in the last few months." I said something self deprecating like, "Which makes zero sense because I haven't actually DONE anything." And Linds said, "No! You have. You're really takin this time to consider the kind of person you want to be and making changes. That's really important." And I thought, "Huh. There's probably some truth to that." It made me feel really good! I'm on the path to not being a total screw up, apparently. Then I got drunk and acted like a jerk so there is still mad work to be done. And I really suck at this whole "being a lawyer trying to figure out the kabillion things they didn't teach us in law school" thing. So. Yeah. Baby steps?

5. Linds and I were talking about one of our law school classmates who lives near her in New England. Linds said, "I can't hang out with her because she's too optimistic. Does that say something about me as a human being that I only like dark twisty people in my life?" The funny thing is that I knew exactly what she meant. I've known some sickeningly saccharine people in my life and I just want to punch them. I told her I didn't think there was anything wrong with her because it made perfect sense to me. When you're THAT optimistic it feels like a disconnect from reality. Sometimes shit just sucks, yo, and if you can't admit that then that's...weird.

6. Hey! The trailer for that movie that was filming in SF where I met Jason Segel and Emily Blunt is up! That's cool.

And that's all I got for now, kids. I'm gonna go fail at being a lawyer some more while staring at my red sparkly Christmas nails. It's kind of nice to have football wrapped up for a month so my superstitious nature gets put at bay and I can actually do something besides purple. It's the little things...