On board I'm the captain

Posted by Cory , Tuesday, December 28, 2010 8:47 AM

"This is what we have heard from Jesus Christ,
and the message that we are announcing to you:
God is light; there is no darkness in him at all.
If we say that we are in union with God
while we are living in darkness,
we are lying because we are not living the truth.
But if we live our lives in the light,
as he is in the light,
we are in union with one another,
and the blood of Jesus, his Son,
purifies us from all sin.

"If we say we have no sin in us;
we are deceiving ourselves
and refusing to admit the truth;
but if we acknowledge our sins,
then God who is faithful and just
will forgive our sins and purify us
from everything that is wrong.
To say that we have never sinned
is to call God a liar
and to show that his word is not in us.

"I am writing this, my children,
to stop you sinning;
but if anyone should sin,
we have our advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ, who is just;
he is the sacrifice that takes our sins away,
and not only ours,
but the whole world’s."

1 John 1:5-2:2

Something unpredictable that in the end is right

Posted by Cory , Sunday, December 26, 2010 8:41 AM

All together now: Awwww!

Happy and merry, everyone.

FOODIE ALERT!: Nutella Shortbread Sandwich Cookies

Posted by Cory , Saturday, December 18, 2010 11:45 PM

A few weeks before Thanksgiving, The Pioneer Woman linked to a cookie recipe on her Twitter feed that I immediately had to save. It combines one of my favorite things on earth, Nutella, with the simplicity of shortbread cookies (butter? sugar? flour? yes, please). The only change I made was to sprinkle the cookies with plain old granulated sugar instead of turbinado, mainly because I'm a little lazy like that.



(taken with the Hipstamatic app, because to be perfectly honest, I'm not entirely sure where my camera is at the moment)

Give me back my favorite blue jeans

Posted by Cory , Thursday, December 16, 2010 6:32 PM

It really just does not get old. Jimmy Fallon plus Brian Williams plus the Roots equals so much joy.

I've got a secret life

Posted by Cory , Thursday, December 9, 2010 12:23 PM

If you do one thing today, visit Catalog Living. Then thank me later.

I don't care too much for money

Posted by Cory , Sunday, December 5, 2010 7:30 PM

So, this happened:

As has become my habit over the past few weeks, I was up way, way past my bedtime early last week. Just before midnight, someone started pounding on my front door, effectively scaring me half to death. It turned out to be a police officer, armed with I can only describe as a very large gun. He told me that there was a situation in the complex involving a man holed up in his apartment with a gun, which is conveniently located directly across the parking lot from mine and that I needed to leave the apartment so they could use my living room windows as a vantage point.

Um, holy crap.

I got a lot of mixed stories between that time and the next morning watching the news; some said there was a hostage (not entirely true), others that the man was suicidal. Either way, I eventually wound up sitting in the exercise room in the main office of the complex, watching "Airplane" at 3 am.

Good times.

I know I can keep my head

Posted by Cory , Monday, November 29, 2010 6:41 PM

I was lucky enough to spend a few hours in the company of my dear friend Raldo during my Thanksgiving visit to E-Town. He has, in my opinion, flawless taste in music and so was kind enough to make me a mix of songs that he knew I would like (and I do!). The whole CD is stupendous, but this song is definitely a standout to me.

Pretty as a picture, sweeter than a swisher

Posted by Cory , Saturday, November 27, 2010 10:28 AM


For chats with old friends over really good coffee.

For Pendleton whiskey on a chilly Friday night (and coffee and pancakes the next morning).

For roads clear enough that I was able to spend my favorite holiday with my favorite people (and for the numerous invitations I received from new friends in PDX if my travel plans hadn't worked out).

For snow - real snow, not what would pass for an arctic storm in Oregon.

For my Catholic faith, and all the blessings God has poured on my life.

For my awesomely fantastic family.

Also, for pie.

We're just so high and I'm so tired

Posted by Cory , Wednesday, November 24, 2010 12:01 AM

Ticking clocks running rampant in me

Posted by Cory , Tuesday, November 23, 2010 12:01 AM

Soulpancake strikes again:

"Take out your iPod. Press 'shuffle'. What memory do you associate with the first song that plays and why?"

"Touchdown Turnaround" by Hellogoodbye. This song evokes memories of my two years spent at Baron U. During the final semester of my senior year, my dear friend Inadequate made me a DVD of videos and pictures from our time together, and this was one of the songs she used to accompany the memories. As it happens, I pulled said DVD off the shelf the other night for a little trip down memory lane and found myself getting a little misty-eyed as I relived our trips to Pitt, ethnic parties and general mischief-making at the Steel Cross. Thanks for the memories, Inadequate, Epic Fail, and Needy.

That's just me, thinking of you

Posted by Cory , Monday, November 22, 2010 12:01 AM

I spent a large part of my great pinkeye adventure last winter catching up on previous seasons of "Chuck" and was instantly charmed by Zachary Levi's (apparently) genuinely sweet nerdiness. Since then, I've added the show to my DVR list and Zach (see what I did there? It's like I KNOW HIM) has become one of the people (among Ben Folds and Jimmy Fallon) that brings instantaneous joy to my day.

Speaking Jimmy Fallon, he interviewed Zach earlier this week. Hands down, the best part of this clip comes when the Roots play him onto stage (right around the 12" mark); the look on his face made me laugh out loud.

It's the breeze you make

Posted by Cory , Sunday, November 21, 2010 12:01 AM

Spiritual food for thought:

"For the nine months that He was cloistered within her, all the food, the wheat, the grapes that she consumed served as a kind of natural Eucharist, passing into Him Who later was to declare that He was the Bread and the Wine of Life. After her nine months were over, the fitting place for Him to be born was Bethlehem, which meant 'House of Bread.' Later on He would say:

God's gift of bread comes down from heaven and gives life to the whole world. John 6:23
It is I Who am the Bread of Life; He who comes to Me will never be hungry. John 6:35

"When the Divine Child was conceived, Mary's humanity gave Him hands and feet, eyes and ears, and a body with which to suffer. Just as the petals of a rose after a dew close on the dew as if to absorb its energies, so too, Mary as the Mystical Rose closed upon Him Whom the Old Testament had described as a dew descending upon the earth. When finally she did give Him birth, it was as if a great ciborium had opened, and she was holding in her fingers the Guest Who was also the Host of the world, as if to say, 'Look, this is the Lamb of God; look, this is He Who takes away the sins of the world.'"

-Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
Life of Christ

In a big empty house on a famous old hill

Posted by Cory , Saturday, November 20, 2010 9:58 AM

I don't know about you, but I was definitely rooting for this cat to scratch the hell out of this guy around the two-minute mark.

Not fiction nor fable, I got diction like Sagal

Posted by Cory , Thursday, November 18, 2010 12:01 AM

Look, I know I say this a lot, but this may, in fact, be the GREATEST THING EVER.

Listen, here's the pleasant part

Posted by Cory , Wednesday, November 17, 2010 12:01 AM

"If you were going to make a mix of love songs, what five songs would you have to include?" [via]

I'm the first to admit that I fancy myself a hopeless romantic (whether or not that's actually true is debatable, I suppose, but humor me). Some years ago I created an iTunes playlist of what I consider to be romantic songs (I suppose the Emery tune is pretty subjective, but I threw it in the mix because Toby wrote it for his wife, and things like that make me go "aww"), and it's traveled with me through several iPod upgrades and two new laptops. I don't listen to it much anymore, but every so often I find myself in the mood to daydream a bit, and that's where this particular playlist really shines for me.

In no particular order, these are among my five favorite songs from that list:

"Eight Days A Week" - The Beatles

"Blue Eyes" - Cary Brothers (might be loading slowly, but please be patient! It's a phenomenal song)

"Nothing Like You and I" - The Perishers

"Your Rocky Spine" - Great Lake Swimmers

"With or Without You" - U2 (Ross and Rachel? Anyone? Bueller?)

Jesus on the radio, you took a photograph of me

Posted by Cory , Tuesday, November 16, 2010 12:01 AM

I had to giggle when I saw this, if only because I have vivid memories of playing Nintendo 64 throughout much of my adolescence.

In the Game from Alex Gansert on Vimeo.

Are you drowning in the small talk and the chatter?

Posted by Cory , Monday, November 15, 2010 12:01 AM

In my weekly round of DVR catch-up this weekend, I happened to catch Rainn Wilson plugging his book "Soulpancake: Chew On Life's Big Questions" on Jimmy Fallon. Intrigued, I noodled around the site for a bit and wound up joining, really only so I could access the database of questions (hello, wealth of writing prompts!). Here's my answer to a question that really resonated with me.

"What do you wish you'd accepted about yourself sooner?"

Oddly, I had a discussion with a friend about this concept quite recently. I was introduced to this particular kid not too long after I moved to PDX, and one Sunday we went to Mass at a Benedictine monastery not far away. During the ride back to my neck of the woods, we were chatting and continuing to get to know each other, and at one point, he made a stray observation:

"I'm still trying to figure you out. You're... different." Worried that he might have offended me, he started to backpedal a bit, but I assured him that I took it in stride. I did note, though, that while I can understand where that observation came from, I've never thought of myself as particularly "different"; I'm just me. I quickly realized, though, that this was not always the case. I spent a lot of time growing up trying to figure out what was "wrong" with me: why I didn't look like every other girl, or why other girls seemed to have such an easier time with... with life in general, I guess. What struck me about the question I stumbled across on Soulpancake was that it's taken me 25 years, but I've finally accepted that I am a little different from every other girl, and (opinions of my ex notwithstanding) THAT'S OKAY.

In fact, I rather like myself as I am.

[/moment of cheesy introspection]

I fell in love with you before the second show

Posted by Cory , Sunday, November 14, 2010 5:30 PM

You win this round, Pittsburgh. You win this round.

Anything, except what I'm feeling

Posted by Cory , Saturday, November 13, 2010 11:52 AM

I really f----d it up this time, didn't I, my dear?

Posted by Cory , Thursday, November 11, 2010 12:01 AM

Dinner tomorrow night with my beloved Mo!

Back to E-Town for Thanksgiving in two weeks!

Trying not to fail NaBloPoMo!

Geeky tattoo!

I've got my life in a suitcase and ready to run, run, run away

Posted by Cory , Wednesday, November 10, 2010 12:01 AM

Due to the fact that I've hit a wall and none of the NaBloPoMo prompts are currently interesting or particularly inspiring to me, here's a YouTube video!

Few things in this world make me happier than punk covers of non-punk songs. Please to enjoy Goldfinger's cover of "99 Red Balloons".

It was not your fault but mine

Posted by Cory , Tuesday, November 9, 2010 12:01 AM


Mi casa, en el medio de la calle

Posted by Cory , Monday, November 8, 2010 12:01 AM

Life has been full of introspection lately. Maybe it's just my way of getting used to all the rain, I don't know. Anyway, I do a lot of thinking these days. Through this internal examination, it has occurred to me that I have a tendency to work really, really hard to keep my life compartmentalized (buzzword for this post brought to you by the most recent episode of "Dexter"). The example that immediately springs to mind involves relationships with the people that I work with. Aside from coworkers that have, in time, become close friends, I don't really share personal details at work. That part of my life is separated (compartmentalized, if you will [see what I did there?]) from the rest, though that's not to say that it's a bad thing. In fact, I'd argue that a healthy amount of reservation is fairly necessary to maintain professionalism in the workplace, but I digress.

Returning to the subject at hand, I wonder how to reconcile all the compartments that I've created in my life with one another. It follows logic that, at some point, these separated areas will have to come to some sort of merger, right? I worry sometimes about how things will be explained, how exactly things will come to light. It's not that I have anything to hide, necessarily, but the idea of shifting my method of operation from calculated withholding to full (or at least increased) disclosure is daunting enough to give me more than a little pause.

When autumn leaves start to fall

Posted by Cory , Sunday, November 7, 2010 12:01 AM

Things that are making me happy this week:

*NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast. I know, I've sung this song before, but this podcast has truly become one of the highlights of my week. Please, do yourself a favor and check this out.

*The Walking Dead. I was initially on the fence about even giving this one a shot, but a few well-placed recommendations from friends convinced me to check it out. I'm not typically a horror fan, and sure, I watched much of the premiere through my fingers, but WOW. Bonus points: stars the adorable poster-board guy from "Love Actually".


Saturday Music Special: Copeland

Posted by Cory , Saturday, November 6, 2010 12:01 AM

A tiny piece of my heart died when Copeland broke up.

That piece came back to life just a little when I stumbled across this video on YouTube.

I tried to explain to a friend earlier this week exactly what it was about Copeland that made them so special to me, and I could only stammer and sputter about how amazing they were. Granted, I was watching the above video at the time, and I've always been a sucker for both acoustic songs and Aaron Marsh's voice, but still. Words can't express what a beautiful falsetto will do to my insides (although "turns them to utter mush" is as good a place as any to start, I suppose).

I guess it's kind of cruel to do a Saturday Music Special on a band that's no longer producing new music (although, hell, I did it with Rilo Kiley way back when), but I have such a compulsion to share amazing music with people that I can't help it. When I was up visiting Breener a few weekends ago, we listened to Copeland's last album, "You Are My Sunshine", as we drove around her small town on a rainy Pacific Northwest night, and it occurred to me that their music (particularly "YAMS" and "Eat, Sleep, Repeat") is the ideal soundtrack for a rainy, but not necessarily gloomy, day. I kid you not: the next time you find yourself at home on a rainy Saturday, make a cup of tea, put on some comfy (read: stretchy) pants and play some Copeland on YouTube. It will all make sense, I promise you.

Additionally, this post from the TWLOHA blog about Copeland's last show brought me to tears when I read it back in May. It says all the things I couldn't. Please to enjoy.

On sleepless roads the sleepless go

Posted by Cory , Friday, November 5, 2010 5:30 PM

This may only excite the fans of Arrested Development out there, but...

Reunited, and it feels so good!

NaBloPoMo, prepare to have your ass kicked.

Don't you think you'd want to be just a little more like me?

Posted by Cory , Thursday, November 4, 2010 12:01 AM

I've long declared Thanksgiving to be my favorite holiday. For a girl (and former fattie) that loves food, how could I not? A Steubie friend once referred to it as "Lots-of-Pie Thursday", and I can think of no better descriptor, especially since I discovered the Pioneer Woman's flat apple pie recipe and adopted it as my own.

However, as I was perusing the Almighty Facebook on my lunch break today, I discovered today that February 5th is AKA'd as World Nutella Day. Ah, Nutella, that glorious food. For me, it holds amazing memories of Ireland; Schmoopy and I more or less (okay, less) lived on the stuff during our ten day adventure. Amazon made some delectable dark chocolate-hazelnut-Nutella mini cupcakes for my last day of work in Godforsaken Idaho. In short, I love the stuff. I deliberately don't buy it, because if it's in the house, I'll eat it straight from the jar with a spoon.

Thanksgiving may have to step up its game.

If there's a God, He's laughing at us and our football team

Posted by Cory , Wednesday, November 3, 2010 6:42 AM

NaBloPoMo fail.

But this? Not a fail at all. In fact, it's fantastic.

Just last Friday is when my heart failed again

Posted by Cory , Monday, November 1, 2010 9:33 PM

NaBloPoMo? Sure, I'll give it a shot.

Perhaps the most adorable thing EVAR. [via]

Try to make sense of the things that you think

Posted by Cory , Friday, October 29, 2010 12:01 AM

7 quick takes - Let's Go to the Video Edition (because I'm feeling lazy this week)

1. A Brief History of Pretty Much Everything

2. "Hannah Mantengna" (Handsy, this one is for you)

3. Newscasters making fun of Twitter. I really, really, really hope this aired somewhere.

4. Stop motion wedding video. Gorgeous.

5. Simultaneously awesome and terrifying.

6. Owls: Now with claws, feathers and hatred!


Honorable mention (because it's way too cute to leave off this list)

From what I've seen I believe it

Posted by Cory , Thursday, October 28, 2010 5:26 PM


For the beautiful trees that line my apartment complex; brilliant red and gorgeous and autumnal.

For the friends I've met since moving to PDX, who have welcomed me with such open arms.

For 'Dexter'. Seriously, this show is so kick-ass.

For my favorite flourless chocolate cookie recipe (I made them last night for a little CYA get-together, and found out only after I got there that two of the four other people there have celiac disease. I WAS A HERO).

For a job that I love, even in spite of the fact that I got peed on this morning.

Hope is a liar, a cheat and a tease

Posted by Cory , Sunday, October 24, 2010 6:57 PM

This is going to be my album cover. You know, when I magically develop musical talent.

Tiny apples! So tiny!



In the movies, on the big screen

Posted by Cory , Friday, October 22, 2010 12:01 AM

7 quick takes

1. Few people in this world can produce an instantaneous smile from me at the mere mention of their name. Ben Folds is one such individual. That he was a judge on "The Sing-Off" was the sole reason I even bothered to watch at first (the nerdy boys singing a capella music helped, too). I don't remember where I came across this link (Gawker? Vulture? Hard to say [just kidding! It was Twitter!]), but he's got some beautiful photos on this site. [via]

2. Hipsters. iPhones. Alt-rock music. Subway. LOVE.

3. An interesting little piece on everyone's favorite Catholic Comedy Central daily news show host: Stephen Colbert.

4. Oops. [via]

5. Wait for it...

6. Exciting things on the horizon, including a trip north this weekend to visit Breener!

7. Unmitigated joyful moment of the week: It's no secret that I love Jimmy Fallon on Late Night. As an entertainer, he doesn't shy away from simple, joyful humor for humor's sake. I caught a promo for a rerun this week and decided to record it (see: slow jamming the news, thank you notes, AND Jimmy's Justin Bieber impression), and was even more thrilled when Super Grover 2.0 stopped by.

We've nothing to lose but your wings and my frown

Posted by Cory , Wednesday, October 20, 2010 12:00 AM

As virtues go, patience has never been one that I've possessed in abundance. By the nature of my job, my ability to stay calm in a situation has improved, to be sure, but in a very situation-specific way: I give kids with disabilities a lot of slack, whereas typical kids who are really just brats can push me over the edge with very little provocation.

Recently, I've encountered a lot of "hurry up and wait" roadblocks. Once I decided to move to PDX, it was "hurry up and wait to find a job". Once said job was secured, I had to "hurry up and wait for moving day to roll around". And now? Hurry up and wait for... something I can't quite put my finger on. That may actually be more frustrating than trying to be patient for whatever 'it' is.

Say, say, say it out loud

Posted by Cory , Monday, October 18, 2010 5:03 PM

As promised, photographic proof that I'm not camped out in a hovel somewhere on the streets of PDX:


Living room, part une. Pay no attention the pictures leaning under the window that I have as of yet been too lazy to hang (or just don't have a place for yet).


Living room, part deux. Please to note that ugly green desk fits PERFECTLY in the alcove. Sign from God? I'd like to think so!


The solarium (I KNOW). Sitting room? Sun room? Either way, it sounds awfully pretentious, so I'm just going to go with it, I guess.


This is fact, not fiction

Posted by Cory , Sunday, October 17, 2010 5:20 PM

You can't tell me this isn't one of the most genius things you've ever seen. Do yourself a favor and watch. Provided you have a soul, you will giggle uncontrollably.

IKEA Heights from DaveAOK on Vimeo.


Medicate me again

Posted by Cory , Saturday, October 16, 2010 10:51 PM

As part of my ongoing effort to quit my hermit-like ways, I spent my day hiking with some folks I met at ToT earlier this week. We (meaning they, as I'm completely unfamiliar with the area) decided to hike the Mirror Lake trail at the base of Mount Hood. My trusty Hipstamatic app once again helped me grab what I think is an amazing shot of the mountain from the far side of Mirror Lake.


Move a little closer

Posted by Cory , Friday, October 15, 2010 6:49 PM

7 Quick Takes for Friday, October 15:

1. In an effort to avoid a repeat of the poor judgment I exhibited during my first few months in Godforsaken Idaho, I ventured out of the ol' comfort zone and checked out the PDX Metro area's Theology on Tap, hosted by MCF. Met some pretty spiffy new people and a thoroughly enjoyable time was had by all.

2. Special congrats to my big brother Wavey and my lovely sister-in-law Starbuck for clueing me in earlier this week that when the month of May rolls around, I'll be an aunt! I'm super stoked for them, and the knitting will commence ASAP.

3. Write a Bike: DO WANT. [via]

4. I don't know what I would do without my beloved Schmoopy in my life. Thanks for always having my back, Pinky.

5. A Styx lipdub rife with mullet wigs and a keytar solo. THIS. IS. AWESOME.

Three and a Half Seconds About Life from Eran Hilleli on Vimeo.

7. Jana's Thinkings

Close calls and no one wins

Posted by Cory , Friday, October 8, 2010 7:26 PM

Inspired by Jennifer at Conversion Diary, here are my 7 Quick Takes:

1. The fact that this is a real site makes me both incredibly gleeful and also a little wary of just what people will come up with when they have enough free time on their hands. [Hot Guys on Judge Judy]

2. I've used 3/4 of a tank of gas in two weeks, including driving to the airport last Saturday. Have I mentioned that I love my new job? Back in Godforsaken Idaho, I'd gas up at least once a week.

3. Brand spanking new ottoman/coffee table is being delivered tomorrow morning. Expect pictures once I finally get this place looking presentable.

4. I'm not going to lie to you, I kind of secretly love the new "Hawaii 5-0". CBS has some sort of weird love affair going on with Alex O'Loughlin (and maybe I do, too; I freely admit to watching every single episode of the truly, truly terrible "Moonlight"), and maybe the third time will be a charm for them. Also, Scott Caan is unquestionably HYSTERICAL in this show.

5. Can someone PLEASE make this happen for my next birthday? Or my next Tuesday?

6. NPR's arts & culture blog, Monkey See, never fails to make me giggle. 'Avatar: Extended Collector's Edition' Special Features We'd Like To See.

7. This might be the greatest thing I've seen. Ever. In life.

FOODIE ALERT!: Tostada Pizza

Posted by Cory , Monday, October 4, 2010 8:03 PM

One of my favorite gifts that I've ever received is my food processor. It's so shiny! More than that, though, it's super versatile and handy to have around the kitchen. Once I finally made myself sit down and watch the DVD that came with it (I know), it was a snap to use, and one of my favorite things to make in it is pizza dough.

Flipping through my trusty Better Homes cookbook yesterday, I was looking for something I could make for dinner this week that would A) produce leftovers for a night or two, and B) used what I had on hand so I wouldn't have to buy a whole lot of extra ingredients (massive pay-cuts are a bitch, let me tell you). I figured I'd give this recipe a shot because I love both tacos and pizza, and it was way cheap to make. I adapted the recipe a bit, but not enough to call it my own. Either way, it was damn tasty.

Tostada Pizza

3/4 lb. lean ground beef
3/4 c water
1 4-oz can diced green chile peppers, drained
2 tbsp taco seasoning mix
1 tsp chili powder
1 tablespoon cornmeal
pizza dough (I used my own, but original recipe calls for a 13.8 oz. package of the refrigerated stuff)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
shredded cheddar cheese
spinach, torn
chopped tomato

In a large skillet cook ground beef until brown. Drain off fat. Stir in the water, chile peppers, taco seasoning mix, and chili powder. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes or until most of the liquid is gone.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet and sprinkle with the cornmeal. Unroll pizza dough onto the baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes.

In a small bowl mash pinto beans with a fork. Spread beans over partially baked dough to within 1/2 inch of edges. Spoon meat mixture over beans. Bake, uncovered, 10 minutes more or until crust is just golden. Sprinkle with the cheese. Bake 1 to 2 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Top with lettuce, tomato, and green onions. Cut into 12 pieces. If desired, serve with taco sauce.

Time for the food porn:







I guess we never stood a chance

Posted by Cory , Sunday, October 3, 2010 3:27 PM

First look at my attempts to decorate the new place. More pictures to come once I actually get things looking decent (and once my coffee table finally gets here next Saturday).

(Yes, birds. On plates. I have a sickness, I know. Just go with it.)


Saturday Music Special: The Cab

Posted by Cory , Saturday, October 2, 2010 12:00 AM

My favorite part of this song is, hands down (HA!), the double clap at the 1:09 mark. Go on, try not to smile.

(Big thanks to Raldo for sharing this fantastic song with me. Seriously, buddy, if you ever want to send a mix my way, you are more than welcome.)

Your charm, of course, you use as a weapon

Posted by Cory , Sunday, September 26, 2010 8:56 AM

Hand to God, the following conversation between me and my father is absolutely true.

Friday morning, we're loading last-minute things into my car, Mom's jeep and the moving truck for the big drive to PDX.  As I passed through the kitchen, I asked him to bring up an old TV from the basement (apparently my family never buys new TVs; they just get gifted around from person to person).

"You know," he started. "I bet if you looked at your mom just right, she'd buy you a new TV down in Oregon."

Me: (confused silence)
Dad: (grin)
Me: "Okay. But before I take that up with HER, I'm asking YOU-is that what you want to do?"
Dad: "Sure!"

At this point, I figured he meant a little TV, maybe a 24" flat screen; just something that he wouldn't have to strain to haul up the stairs.

Such was not the case.

Pictures to come once I make sense of the mess that is my new apartment.

Keeping my hopes unbroken

Posted by Cory , Wednesday, September 22, 2010 9:47 AM

A (mostly) pictorial round-up of things that are making me happy this week:

*Finally getting the tattoo that I've wanted for a few months now (happy belated 25th birthday to ME). I e-mailed the shop that a few people recommended to me early Monday morning, the artist called around 10 am, and by 7:30 that evening I had been be-tatted (or something like that).

*The mug that Amazon gave me as a going-away gift.

*The sweet wall decorations I found for my new apartment at a home store in the Lake City. There may be an emerging trend in my life...

*The In Between Sundays podcast. Catholic young adults, take notice.

*The fact that I'm moving to PDX in TWO DAYS.

*Blog comments (AHEM). What's making you happy this week?

FOODIE ALERT!: Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chunk-Bacon Cookies

Posted by Cory , Tuesday, September 14, 2010 8:21 PM

So apparently I'm the bacon girl now? Back in May, I flew to PDX to visit Mo, and before we drove south to her house, we spent some time downtown. We ate pad Thai at the Saturday Market, got Americanos at Stumptown Coffee and stood in line for 45 minutes to get bacon maple bars at VooDoo Donut. SO WORTH THE WAIT, let me tell you. It sounds incredibly disgusting, I know, but it's delicious. The bacon is extra crispy and the maple frosting is just gooey enough... Lordy, I can't even handle it. Anyhow, I texted a picture to pretty much everyone I knew and before I knew it, I had become the bacon girl. Chocolate-covered bacon at the coast over the 4th of July, a home attempt at recreating the bacon maple bar (not quite the same, but tasty nonetheless), and now these cookies that Starbuck shared on my Facebook wall a while back. I've been looking for an excuse to make them since I read about them, and "having most of the morning off" qualified as enough of an excuse for me!

I won't even bother reposting the recipe, because I didn't adapt it at all. I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves.









*I briefly considered making some healthy substitutions when I was shopping for these this morning (pumpkin puree for butter, etc.) but quickly regained my sanity. Chocolate, peanut butter and bacon? If there was ever a go big or go home moment in my life, it was this one.

We have become alien

Posted by Cory , Monday, September 6, 2010 7:21 PM

Things that are making me happy this week:

1. NPR. I honestly don't even know how this one happened, but suddenly I'm obsessed with listening to public radio. I have a feeling it may be a combination of wanting to be a little more informed and the fact that my commute is a bit longer now that I'm crashing at Amazon's house. Last Thursday, I listened to an interview with John Waters (perhaps the creepiest person I've ever heard of) on my drive home. Why? Because it was on! Why not?!

2. Podcasts. I know, I know, I'm so late to the game on this one, but bear with me. Since moving in with Amazon, I've been living without cable and have had to find other ways to entertain myself (which is so not the point of this; I'm a big girl). One of my favorite blogs puts out a weekly podcast called the Pop Culture Happy Hour, which, for a pop culture fiend such as myself, is equal parts intelligent, witty, incisive and sarcastic. I'm a big fan.

3. Moving to PDX. I spent this past weekend down in Oregon with my mom apartment hunting. It was exhausting and frustrating and overwhelming, but in the end I found a place that I'm really excited about. It's got a ton of light, vaulted ceilings, a wood-burning fireplace, and a solarium, for crying out loud! Very stoked for the move. Less stoked about having to leave Amazon and her bitchin' baking/cooking skills, but somehow I'll soldier through.

I need to get back to Tempe

Posted by Cory , Tuesday, August 31, 2010 7:52 PM

Disjointed thoughts from a tired brain:

*Notice has been given at work and families have been notified. The parents I was most worried about both took the news of my leaving really well. Still, though, if I really stop and think about actually having to leave Fish-Man and Drama, I can feel myself starting to second-guess the whole decision.

*Successfully moved out of the apartment last weekend. The majority of my stuff (, books, furniture, etc.) went home with Mom and Dad, and the rest moved up to Amazon's house for the next month or so. It was all kinds of bizarre to see the apartment completely empty when I finally finished cleaning on Sunday. I won't lie, I almost took a picture to post on here. What a loser.

*Flying to PDX with Mom this weekend to apartment-hunt.

*I saw this video posted on at least three blogs in my RSS feed today. I'm a sucker for dance movies; I willingly admit to owning "Center Stage" and to watching the sequel, "Center Stage 2" on more than one occasion. I'm not coordinated enough to be called a good dancer; let's just leave it at that.

I do it for you, Jane

Posted by Cory , Wednesday, August 25, 2010 8:52 AM

I'm under no illusion that I'm not an enormous pack-rat; it's been my reality for as long as I can remember. Throwing things away kills me. As I've been packing up the apartment in preparation for moving in with Amazon and, ultimately, my relocation to PDX, I've been forcing myself to really examine the crap that has wound up shoved into every nook and cranny of my life and deciding if it's really vital to the salvation of my soul to keep it, and I've found that, for the most part, it's not been as difficult as I anticipated. Maybe it's because I'm getting older and thus more mature (ha!), or maybe I just want to get it all in boxes and not have to stress about it anymore. Whatever.

But what do I do with my CD collection? Now, prior to last summer when, in a fit of nostalgia, I bought an old Jimmy Eat World album at Hastings, I can't remember the last time I physically bought and actual CD. Approximately 97% of my music is already stored on my computer. I have a sweet FM transmitter built into my sweet Bluetooth device so I can listen to whatever I might be in the mood for with a few taps of my finger. I got rid of any CD players that I had long, long ago. So why do I continue to hold onto my collection of albums?

As near as I can figure, to get rid of my album collection would be acknowledging the end of an era (so to speak). The advent of iTunes has coincided with my coming-of-age in such a way that I sometimes find myself becoming wistful about the days when I just had to stop in at Sam Goody whenever we made the trip to the mall. When I made up my Christmas list, it was always consisted of a couple of different CDs, and I always had to make a note for my mom as to what section of the music store she'd be able to find them, since I've never been one to commit to a genre. Now, iTunes gift cards are pretty much par for the course for any gift-giving occasion and Mom no longer has to stress about trying to find an album by an obscure band for my stocking.

I've gotten rid of old CDs before, of course, when I've outgrown or gotten bored with them (much to my chagrin, now, because I would love to have that Foo Fighters album back), but I'm not sure if I can clean house of the entire collection. I just don't know if I'm ready to close that chapter.

You'd break your neck to keep your chin up

Posted by Cory , Monday, August 23, 2010 6:15 PM

A few weeks ago, one of my favorite writers, Donald Miller, excerpted a passage from "Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace and Learning the Hard Way" by Shauna Niequist on his blog. The passage he quoted dealt with reconciling the role of femininity in today's world. I recommend clicking over and reading the blog post, because it caught my eye enough that I promptly downloaded "Bittersweet" (I'm a little infatuated with iBooks).

Perhaps it's my emo kid sensibility or perhaps it's that I'm on the precipice of a major life change, but reading just the description of the book had me slack-jawed. I don't know that I'd describe myself as a bittersweet person, but I certainly have my moments of cynicism and I do tend toward a somewhat sardonic and rigid outlook on life and life changes in particular (I like to call those my autistic moments). I'm only a few chapters into the book, but I wanted to share a passage from the prologue that struck me by how beautifully written and moving it was. Also, I'm a sucker for symbolism.

Christians, generally, aren’t great at lament and mourning. Jews are really better at lament, maybe because they’ve had more practice. My favorite part of a Jewish wedding is the breaking of the glass. Like most Jewish traditions, there are a whole bunch of interpretations: some say that all the shards of broken glass suggest loads of future children and future happiness. Some say that the breaking of the glass references the irreversible nature of marriage: in the same way that the glass can never be put back together after it’s been broken, two people can never be separated once they’ve been connected by marriage. But my favorite interpretation is the one where the wine in the glass is a symbol for all of life, and when the bride and groom drink it, they accept both the bitter and the sweet aspects of life. They accept that sometimes they’ll celebrate and sometimes they’ll mourn, in the same way that sometimes they’ll drink wine and sometimes glasses will shatter.

This smoking gun of a mouth of mine

Posted by Cory , Sunday, August 22, 2010 4:33 PM

The contents of my freezer after Handsy moved out and I threw away anything really, really old:


I like to call this photo: "Having my priorities in order."

(Taken with the Hipstamatic app, with which I am utterly obsessed. Have I mentioned lately how much I love my kick-ass iPhone?)

I called you 46 times, and you answered on the 47th

Posted by Cory , Tuesday, August 17, 2010 8:37 PM

I don't know of many things more frustrating than being in the "hurry up and wait" phase. Don't get me wrong, I'm wicked excited to move to PDX and start fresh, but the uncertainty surrounding it all is what kills me.

Here's what I do know: I interviewed for a job, wowed a potential employer, and am looking forward to hearing from her near the end of September about a full-time position.

Here's what I do not know: where I'll live, who (if anyone) I'll be living with, if I can afford to live on my own, if any other potential employers will call me for an interview, how I will find coverage for my clients so I can attend said potential interviews without tipping off coworkers/supervisors as to what I'm doing, how I'm going to tell my families that I'm leaving, how Ms. Antoinette is going to take the news of my resignation, who will take over working with my kiddos once I leave, and so on and so forth.

If I think about it too much, my head starts to spin. And then I eat a cupcake.

FOODIE ALERT!: Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Posted by Cory , Sunday, August 15, 2010 4:02 PM

I don't often get the urge to bake. I love to do it, but I also know that I'm powerless to resist baked goods. Unless whatever I'm putting together has a place to go that is not my kitchen, I generally stay away from baking anything. There was something about today, though, that triggered a craving for carrot cake. Also, it gave me an excuse to wear the wicked cute apron that Handsy gave me for my birthday, so there you go.

I checked out a few recipes for carrot cake and decided that none of them were worth the calories (one was nearly 600 per slice; I DON'T EVEN THINK SO), so I figured I'd head on over to Food Network and see if anything healthier could be found. Lo and behold, my old friend Ellie Krieger has a recipe for carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting that was much more reasonable in the nutrition department. I debated just making the cupcakes and ditching the frosting, but what the hell? Go big or go home, right?

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup natural applesauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups finely shredded carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
4 ounces 1/3 fat cream cheese (recommended: Neufchatel)
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

Sift together the first 6 ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk the oil, brown sugar and eggs until well combined. Whisk in the applesauce, vanilla and carrots. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in 1/4 cup of the chopped walnuts.

Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

With an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and lemon zest until smooth and creamy. Frost the cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts. The cupcakes should be stored in the refrigerator.

*NOTE: These are so. Good. I could eat two or three more right now, but I think there's enough frosting on my trackpad for one afternoon. I might leave out the lemon zest in the frosting next time, and I ditched the walnuts sprinkled on top at the end (ditched, forgot about before horking one down, whatevs), but otherwise, as Shmoopy might say, they are faboosh.



I only hear what I want to

Posted by Cory 12:00 AM

Welcome to Adventures in Packing or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Appreciate My Compulsive Hoarding of Tissue Paper.

Portland is becoming real to me and I almost feel myself buzzing with anticipation; the nerves are definitely still there, but the excitement is starting to nose ahead in the race. I posted a note on Facebook today (carefully hidden from all but two current and two former coworkers) asking if any friends knew people in the PDX area who might be looking for a roommate, and within 30 minutes, a girl I went to high school with commented that she knew a Catholic youth minister down there who might be able to ask around for me. Ball, you may continue to roll.

In my cleaning/throwing away of things/pre-packing whirlwind, I discovered a large storage tote under my bed that I had forgotten I bought. This excited me way, way more than it should have any normal person. Welcome to my brain, where organizational tools get me all hot and bothered.

Saturday Music Special: New Found Glory

Posted by Cory , Saturday, August 14, 2010 12:00 AM

I can vividly remember hearing my first New Found Glory songs. Long before iTunes was the standard, I was one of the multitudes downloading music from Kazaa and other such services. I was introduced to the concept of emo (before it was equated with depressed kids and Myspace pictures with hair swept across the face) by a classmate who reviewed a Jimmy Eat World album for our school paper. I was immediately intrigued by the seemingly nonsensical combination of punk beats and lyrics charged with raw emotion. After a little bit of research, I stumbled upon "Ballad for the Lost Romantics" and was instantly hooked; this was unlike anything I had listened to before.

I remember exactly where I was when I bought my first NFG album. On our annual family trip to Montana to visit my dad's family, my mom and I were out shopping one day when I spotted a Hastings store as we drove through Great Falls. I'm a sucker for any store that combines books, movies and music, so I asked mom to pull over so I could wander through and see if anything caught my eye. I wound up walking out with NFG's self-titled album. I popped it into my discman (Lord, remember those days?) as soon as we got back to Grandma's house and couldn't stop listening for days.

"Sticks and Stones" was released not long after that to much fanfare on the TRL scene. At that point in my life, I was a faithful MTV viewer and was incredibly entertained by the video for "My Friends Over You." It was my first time seeing the band perform (oh, YouTube; how did we survive without it?) and I loved that they showcased their playful spirit while maintaining the witty, sometimes biting lyrics that I had come to love listening to.

Fast-forward to a week ago. In the mood to find some new music to listen to, I opened up the list I keep of bands whose albums I'm interested in downloading. Halfway down the list, I spotted New Found Glory; they had released an album called "Coming Home" in 2006 that I had always meant to buy but had somehow gotten pushed further and further down the list by other bands that I was discovering at the time. Why not now?, I thought. I clicked on the button to buy the album and waited patiently (okay, not so patiently; I was at my parents' house for the weekend and their wireless "connection" is atrocious).

Y'all, I don't even know what took me so long. "Coming Home" is an amazing album, simultaneously entirely familiar to me and unlike any of New Found Glory's previous work. It almost seems like fate that I didn't hear it until now; the lyrics on this album speak to everything that I've been feeling lately, from thoughts on love to reflections on growing up. I truly can't remember the last time I could not stop listening to an album, but it's all I've wanted to listen to the past week.

It takes trying to rip your skin to really know how thick it is

Posted by Cory , Thursday, August 12, 2010 8:37 PM

The Great Job Hunt 2010 culminated in the Great Job Interview yesterday. I flew to Portland Tuesday night for an interview with an agency similar to the one where I'm currently employed. It went really well and there should be a full-time position available for me at the beginning of October. I have mixed feelings about it, and there are several factors to consider before I accept, but hey! I have the Fear! And the sense of being Completely Overwhelmed! And did I mention the Fear!

Pray for me; I may lose my mind.

Saturday Music Special: Rilo Kiley

Posted by Cory , Saturday, August 7, 2010 12:00 AM

Rilo Kiley was never really on my radar much; I knew who they were, but they weren't my thing. While in college, I became friends with Stampinator, a girl who lived down the hall from me who turned out to have an eclectic and fascinating taste in music (as well as being perhaps the single most level-headed person I've ever met). When she ended up rooming with Schmoopy during my senior year, we were thrown together even more and before long, we were trading music and introducing each other to new and obscure artists.

We departed from campus for Christmas break, and a few days later I found an e-mail from Stampinator in my inbox with the subject line "Merry Musical Christmas". The e-mail contained four Rilo Kiley tracks, including "The Frug" (delightful to work out to, by the way) and "More Adventurous", which is the song that, nearly three years later, inspired this post. I added the tracks to my iTunes library and gave them a listen, but didn't give Rilo Kiley much thought beyond that. Occasionally, a song would come up on shuffle and I would fleetingly remember that I had wanted to look into buying an album, but nothing ever came of it.

Two months ago, a relationship that was very important to me came to an end, as they do from time to time. The day after I said goodbye to Buckeye for the last time, I got in my car, set my iPhone to shuffle and started the drive home from work. Of the nearly 3,000 songs loaded on my phone, Rilo Kiley's "More Adventurous" was the first one to play, and for the first time, I really listened to Jenny Lewis' gorgeous voice proclaim the words, "I read with every broken heart we should become/more adventurous". I downloaded the entire album the moment I got home. Over the last two months, it's helped me both grieve and heal. Please to enjoy.

How to be alone

Posted by Cory , Tuesday, August 3, 2010 6:16 PM

Browsing my Twitter feed today, I came across a tweet from To Write Love On Her Arms that intrigued me. The link led to the following YouTube video:

Being comfortable with quiet moments was one of the issues that came up when Buckeye and I broke up a few weeks back. I've long known that I'm essentially a solitary person; I'm perfectly comfortable with silence, and that became a problem for him after a while. Without trying to disparage him, he's a person that needs to be constantly entertained and stimulated, and evidently I couldn't offer that to him. Water under the bridge at this point, but I hope he has the opportunity to see this video. Perhaps it will help him understand where I was coming from.

And I might drive myself insane

Posted by Cory , Monday, August 2, 2010 7:14 PM

As I so often find to be the case in my life, I'm currently reminded of an episode of "Friends". In season 3, Rachel finds herself fed up with working at Central Perk, due in large part to the fact that she's a terrible waitress.

RACHEL: I'm training to be better at a job that I hate, my life officially sucks.

JOEY: Look Rach, wasn't this supposed to a temporary thing? I thought you wanted to do fashion stuff?

RACHEL: Well, yeah! I'm still pursuing that.

CHANDLER: How... exactly are you pursuing that? Y'know other than sending out resumes like what, two years ago?

RACHEL: Well, I'm also sending out.... good thoughts.

JOEY: If you ask me, as long as you got this job, you've got nothing pushing you to get another one. You need the fear.

RACHEL: The fear?

CHANDLER: He's right, if you quit this job, you then have motivation to go after a job you really want.

RACHEL: Well then how come you're still at a job that you hate, I mean why don't you quit and get 'the fear'?

CHANDLER: Because, I'm too afraid.

Now, I'm not one to put myself on a pedestal, but I'm good at what I do, so that part of this scenario doesn't necessarily apply to me. The fed-up-with-your-job part? Absolutely. I've long known that IBI is a job, but it's certainly not a career. Therapist turnover and burn-out are part and parcel of the field. The kids that I work with are tough, and while I love them and ultimately love what I do, I'm tired. I need a break. I am, as we say in the biz, all done.

I've known for some time now that I wanted this summer to be my last with the Agency. In deciding what to do next, I considered moving to Portland, the DC area, northern California, and have since circled back around to land on Portland again. As I see it, it's ideal: close enough to home, city life, seemingly infinite possibilities. Once the move to California was no longer happening (not a chance in effing hell, really) and I had time to adjust to the situation as a whole, I began the job search process for the first time since I graduated from college. I've spent entire evenings scouring Craigslist and the Portland classifieds. I've e-mailed my resume to agencies similar to the one I currently work for and filled out more applications than I can count. Now, I get to play the waiting game.

August is here, and the summer is going to start winding down before we know it. Ms. Antoinette should, in theory, be starting to tool around with the fall schedules now. The longer I stick around, be it of my own doing or because I'm still looking for a job, the more people it's going to affect in the long run once I extricate myself from the pool of therapists. Ms. A will be none too pleased with me once I give my notice, and I don't even want to think about telling some of the parents that I work with that I'm leaving. So the question remains: do I have the Fear?

I was firm in the fact that I wasn't going to move without a job. It's easier to find a job when you have one, as they say, and I'm not one to take risks of that magnitude when it comes to things like, oh, paying my rent on time and being able to afford food. Mentioned this plan to Handsy; she was on board and things were good to go. I was content to -- no, that's not the right word; I'll rephrase. I had accepted that I would be in Godforsaken for perhaps a little while longer than I had originally planned. I made my peace with that, and I moved on with a spirit of optimism. Then, early last week, Handsy dropped a bomb: she needed to move out of our house by mid-August. I certainly can't afford to live here on my own, and what would I need 3 bedrooms for, anyway? A generous friend and coworker offered me a room in her new house for as long as I need a place to stay, and so my new plan became: continue job search, tentatively plan to move to Portland once I find a job (all the while maintaining confidence that I'd be qualified and dazzling for one of the many jobs I've applied for in the last few weeks), stay with coworker if need be.

But maybe I just need to resign, move, and find The Fear?

Pray for me; it's clear that I need them right about now.

FOODIE ALERT!: Artichoke Chicken

Posted by Cory , Sunday, March 28, 2010 8:03 PM

This is another recipe that I took and adapted to my own lazy ways. A few Christmases ago, my mom gave me a cookbook from Pampered Chef called "29 Minutes to Dinner", the premise being that each recipe is ready in under half an hour. As I was flipping through it this afternoon, trying to figure out a few dinners for this week, Roomie was chopping up some artichoke hearts for a dip she was making. At that moment, I happened upon this particular recipe and saw an opportunity to use some of the GIANT jar of artichokes that has been sitting in our fridge forever.

Artichoke Chicken
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (recipe calls for them to be pounded; I just cut them in half)
1 tsp dried rosemary

*Artichoke Topping
1/2 c. chopped artichoke hearts
2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley (used dried because I haven't planted my herbs yet)
2 tbsp. parmesan cheese
2 tsp. mayonnaise

Heat some olive oil in an oven-safe skillet. Mix the rosemary, salt and pepper together and sprinkle on each side of the chicken. Place the chicken in the skillet and cook 3-4 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Preheat the broiler and place the racks as close to the heating element as possible.

Mix together the artichoke hearts, parsley, parmesan cheese and mayonnaise. When chicken is done cooking, spread the mixture evenly over the top of both breasts, top with an additional sprinkle of parmesan cheese, and broil for 4-6 minutes.

*We ate ours with a green salad and baked potatoes (red potato for Handsy, a sweet potato for me). I generally stay away from things with mayonnaise in them, but it added just the right amount of creaminess and tang to this chicken.

While you run around like JFK

Posted by Cory , Tuesday, March 23, 2010 7:03 PM

Bullet-point format, because I'm lazy like that.

*The programming execs over at TLC need to have a more productive brainstorming meeting. The roomie and I just saw a commercial for a new show called "The Little Chocolatiers". As you might guess, the premise of the unscripted show follows the work of a family of chocolate-makers, who are also little people. In case you're not counting, that brings the total number of series (not just hourlong specials) about little people to three. How many do you need, TLC?! This from the same network that has at least three series about families with multiples and/or a jillion kids. It blows my mind.

*Speaking of TLC, two OTHER new shows they've trotted out are "Hoarding: Buried Alive" and "Addicted". Sounds an awful lot like a rip-off of A&E's programming lineup if you ask me (not that you did, but it's my blog, so there).

*Have you heard of Chatroulette? Via the almighty Wikipedia, it's "a website that pairs random strangers for webcam-based conversations. Visitors to the website randomly begin an online chat (video, audio and text) with another visitor. At any point, either user may leave the current chat by initiating another random connection." I've never bothered to try it, because to be honest the concept and the stories I've heard about some of the people and things you come across skeeve me out. However, I read an article the other day about the brilliant Ben Folds' use of the service. Now, my love for Ben Folds runs deep. I listen to my B.F. Pandora station most mornings as I get ready for work. He was a judge on "The Sing-Off". He wears nerdy glasses and plays the piano. Basically, I love this guy. ANYWAY, there's a guy who goes by Merton (who happens to look an awful lot like Ben Folds) who hangs out on Chatroulette and improvs songs about the people he gets connected with. Search for him on YouTube if you're curious. ANYWAY AGAIN, Ben Folds responded to Merton's idea with this little gem. Warning, this does contain some foul language, but on the whole, it's awesome.

Katie, you're a brave girl

Posted by Cory , Tuesday, March 16, 2010 6:44 PM

It's no secret that I love food. It's been a problem in the past (hence, I'm "dieting" [OH, how I HATE that word]), but I'm slowly realizing that the areas I struggle with the most are portion sizes and what I like to refer to as "proximity snacking" (in a nutshell, if I'm hanging out downstairs in the living room, I'm far more likely to wander into the kitchen and start eating than if I'm up in my room, say, reading or what have you). I love food blogs. I buy cookbooks like they're the daily newspaper. It IS possible to be healthy - and lose weight, even - without subsisting on twigs and berries or worse, no food at all. That's why I have a problem with this:

"Cellulite attention leads to celluloid perfection. But not without exacting a hefty dietary price. 'Mamma Mia' star Amanda Seyfried sticks diligently to a raw food diet that she hates.

"'It's intense. And sort of awful,' Seyfried cringes in the new Esquire. 'Yesterday for lunch? Spinach. Just Spinach. Spinach and some seeds.'

"But there is a method to her madness -- meeting the beauty imperatives of Hollywood. "If I didn't run and work out, there's no way I would be this thin," Seyfried told Glamour magazine. "But I have to stay in shape because I'm an actress. It's f****d up and it's twisted, but I wouldn't get the roles otherwise. If I'd been a bit bigger, I don't think they would have cast me for 'Mamma Mia!'"

Of course I understand that size is important in Hollywood (it's somewhat important to me, too; see also: "dieting"), but really? REALLY? Spinach and seeds. I wish I had something more eloquent to say than 'barf', but really? BARF.

FOODIE ALERT!: Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Posted by Cory , Tuesday, March 9, 2010 7:00 PM

Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
by Ellie Krieger

*Note before I begin: as the recipe is written, you make your own simple barbecue sauce. Being both lazy and not wanting to buy liquid smoke, of all things, we just bought a plain bottled barbecue sauce at the store and added some sauteed onions and garlic. Much, much easier, and it gave me an excuse to use my garlic chopper, a la Brian Boitano. And that's just fun right there.

1 tbsp. canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 14-oz. can low-sodium tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup cider vinegar
5 tbsp. unsulfured molasses
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 tsp. liquid smoke
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 whole rotisserie chicken (I just poached some chicken breasts [not nearly as foolproof as some made it sound; I'M LOOKING AT YOU, INTERNET] and shredded them)
6 whole-wheat hamburger buns
6 large green lettuce leaves (we had a lot of spinach left over, so we used that instead)

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Add the tomato sauce, water, vinegar, molasses, tomato paste, liquid smoke and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, take the meat off the chicken, discarding the skin and bones, and shred the meat into thin strips. Add the chicken to the sauce in the pan, return to a simmer, and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Split the buns. Place a leaf of lettuce on each, then pile 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture onto the buns.

*Note, part deux: I had a salad on the side of mine, Rose opted for chips. There was some talk of making parmesan steak fries, but the effort didn't seem worth it. No pictures, because I didn't want Rose to make fun of me, and I also didn't think of it until it was too late.

FOODIE ALERT!: Open-Face Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches

Posted by Cory , Sunday, March 7, 2010 4:17 PM

Cookbooks are like crack to me. It's like food porn; I can't help but be drawn to them, even if I don't ever plan on making half of the recipes in them. So, when a client's parents gave me a Barnes & Noble gift card a few weeks ago, I pretty much knew without a doubt what I would be spending it on. I had some errands to run in Spokompton this weekend, so I made a point to stop at the B&N in the Valley on my way home to see what might strike my fancy. I've been on a healthy eating kick lately, so I was already in the mindset to look for something in that vein, and I came away with Ellie Krieger's So Easy. She's a nutritionist, so hey, who better to write healthy recipes that actually taste good? This book has sections for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desserts, with each meal divided into two sections: quick and easy, and more in-depth recipes. I spent about 40 minutes Sunday afternoon flagging recipes that I want to try.

First up (and second up, because we tried two new recipes this week): Open-Faced Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches and Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches!

Open-Face Chicken Parmesan Sandwich
1 loaf whole-grain Italian bread (about 8 oz.)
2 cups jarred marinara sauce
4 5-oz. cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 cups baby spinach leaves
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 grated parmesan cheese

Preheat the broiler. Slice bread in half lengthwise, then in half again crosswise so you wind up with 4 pieces. Scoop out the bread to remove the soft inner portion and discard. Place the bread scooped side up on a baking tray. Spoon 1/4 cup of sauce into each piece of bread. Lay a piece of chicken on top and cover with 1 cup of spinach leaves. Pour another 1/4 cup of sauce on top of the spinach, then sprinkle each sandwich with 1/4 cup of mozzarella and 1 tbsp. of parmesan. Broil until the spinach is wilted and the cheese is bubbly and browned, 4 to 5 minutes.

*Notes: Actually, we did this one pretty much as the recipe was written, and HOLY MAN was it tasty. It was a pretty simple but filling dinner for two people (even though it's technically in the lunch portion of the book; TAKE THAT, SOCIETY), with a little salad on the side.

You were the fighter, I was the kid against the world

Posted by Cory , Saturday, February 27, 2010 5:12 PM

I guess blogging, at least in its original form, was all about the activities of one's day-to-day life. Right? Okay, it is in my mind. I know that it's evolved into a much broader spectrum and all that, but my blog has no other purpose than for me to write down the stupid stuff that happens to me and hope that anyone might care enough to read it. Inspired in part by Mo's latest post (welcome back to the interhighway, friend!), here's a rundown of a Saturday in the life of a wannabe domestic, self-professed semi-hermit:

6:44 am: Wake up, anxious to weigh in for the day (yes, I am that person). I've been tracking what I eat for about a month and a half now, recording exercise and all that, and I've lost about 12 pounds so far. Weighing in has become part of the daily ritual: wake up, pray for client's parent to call and say he/she is sick, resign myself to the fact that yes, I do, in fact, have to go to work today, stumble downstairs to start coffee, stumble back upstairs (more often that not managing to clip my hip bone on the hall closet door knob at least once during that trip, since I'm too stubborn to TURN ON THE LIGHT, FOR THE LOVE), and step on my shiny red scale (seriously, as scales go, it's pretty damn cute). Of course, half of that daily ritual does not apply to Saturdays, and I was actually more irritated than anything that I woke up at 6:44 on my one day of guaranteed sleeping in.
6:45 am: Discover I'm down a pound and a half. Do a very tired happy dance.
6:46 am: Get back in bed, hoping to fall back to sleep till 9, which was the original plan.
7 am: Begrudgingly accept the fact that I'm pretty much up for the day. Turn on the light and continue reading the book that I'm currently too embarrassed to admit that I'm reading. Try to ignore growling stomach.
7:15 am: Put book aside and go downstairs to get some cereal.
7:20 am: Get back in bed, cereal bowl in hand. Log into Facebook, check e-mail, etc.
7:40 am: Return to book.
8 am: Decide to turn on TV and flip channels.
8:30 am: Learn of earthquake in Chile. Begin Hail Mary-ing as I try to figure out a. where the quake hit, b. how bad it was, and c. where Needy is currently located in Chile. She moved down there several months ago. She's safe and sound!
9 am: Try to motivate myself to get out of bed and get dressed to go to the gym.
9:04 am: Decide to watch just a few minutes of E! News.
10 am: Actually get out of bed and get dressed. Opt to run outside instead of driving to the gym, since the weather is toying with us and actually promises to be somewhat nice today.
10:15-10:40 am Enjoy the sunshine.
11:10 am: After a quick shower and a mini Clif bar, I get in the car and head to Old Navy for a quick trip. All their jeans are on sale, so I figured I'd stop by and get a pair or two, since I'm running low on pants that actually fit me.
11:35-12:15 pm Remember that I don't like the way Old Navy's jeans fit. Do not leave empty-handed, however. 2 t-shirts and a terribly adorable cardigan later, I'm out the door. Consider venturing into the mall, but at this point the fact that I haven't had any coffee yet today (HOW DID I MISS THAT?) is starting to catch up to me. Stop in at Target briefly, then decide to head home as I'm no longer in the mood to shop.
12:30 pm: Arrive back home. Put towels in wash and make lunch. Crack open a Diet Coke and savor the glorious caffeine of it all.
1 pm: Gather things to take to recycling bins around the corner. Man, I am quite the magazine pack-rat.
1:13 pm: Sit down to wait for washer to finish its cycle. Decide to watch E! Investigates: Too Young to Kill (clearly, in this, I take after my grandmother, who never met a true crime novel she didn't like). You know, just for a few minutes.
3 pm: Load items to be recycled into the back seat of my car.
3:15 pm: Make a snack. Being productive is hard work!
3:40 pm: Clear the floor of the living room to vacuum. Sweep entryway and kitchen floors in preparation for the mopping that will commence shortly.
4 pm: Turn off the TV at the end of E! Investigates: Crime on Campus. I think I have a sickness.
4:05-4:45 pm: Vacuum, mop, admire my handiwork. Putz around on the interweb until-
5 pm: Decide to write a blog post about what I accomplished today. Recognize that this does, in fact, make me a loser.

This ship of fools I'm on will sink

Posted by Cory , Saturday, February 20, 2010 8:51 PM

I went on a bit of an iTunes bender this morning, I have to admit. Some time during my senior year of college, I made a playlist of several songs that I was really digging at the moment. Since then, I've periodically updated it, erasing songs that I was getting tired of and adding new ones. It's been a bit skimpy as of late, but over the last week or two I've been padding it out while simultaneously clearing out the songs that I've tagged with Shazaam. ANYWAY, I thought I'd share a few of the songs that are on repeat right now.

"Just Breathe", Pearl Jam
There's something about Eddie Vedder's voice in a stripped-down song like this that just gets me. I've never been a huge PJ fan; they were just a bit too before my time to really hook me. I think, though, that if I was the age I am now, then, I'd have been hooked immediately. Simply put, this song is lovely.

"I and Love and You", The Avett Brothers
I have a confession to make: I watch One Tree Hill. I've lost a bit of interest in the show as of late, but I still consider it a guilty pleasure. For as long as I've watched, I've loved the variety and styles of music used in each episode. Several weeks ago, I noticed this song in an episode. I thought it was beautiful, and then promptly forgot about it. Not long after, I heard it again on the radio (not remembering that I had heard it before), and was so intrigued that I pulled out my iPhone to tag it. I recently got around to downloading it, and I am absolutely smitten.

"Lucky Clover Coin", Rocky Votolato
This is another OTH find. Rocky Votolato sings a gorgeous song called "White Daisy Passing", which I've loved for years, since a dear college friend introduced me. "Lucky Clover Coin" is at once both heartbreaking and heartwarming. I can't say much more than that; you have to hear it for yourself.

"All the Pretty Girls", Fun.
Fun is another recent discovery, though also not quite. The group is fronted by Nate Ruess, the former lead singer of The Format. Fail and I saw them open for Jack's Mannequin a few weeks ago, unaware of the connection. I remember seeing them perform this song at the show, and I even took a brief video clip of it, but the full audio clip is probably better for a first-time listen. It is, indeed, a fun song (no pun intended).