Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Comfort Food

Pies filled with meat and memories

I like to cook. Its fun to be in the kitchen and have everyone around laughing, sampling things, fighting, then drinking wine. Its kinda how my family works. Its a lot of hanging out, mixed with a dash of tears, and then smothered with compliments and talk of how cool our family is especially in comparison to others.

Yesterday was kinda a hard day. It was the last day spent in my family's old house. 21 years of laughing, crying, blowing out birthday candles all packed up and put in the back of my father's truck, or worse, the trash. It was so spooky to do the final walk through and see every room so hollow. I remember sharing one room with my sister, the first time I got my own room, the first time Nan's got her own room, the first Christmas with my niece, the day my grandma died. It was all there under that one roof. And there was my father, winded from packing, his gray hair damp with sweat, looking old for the first time.

I've never liked changed. It always bothers me. I'm not someone who adjusts quickly. As I helped my dad get the last bits into the back of his '74 Chevy pickup (primer gray for the last 12 years) I couldn't help feeling nostalgic and melancholy. I know our family will continue to celebrate, tease each other, and make new memories, but I just can't associate a home with it yet. I guess a home can be anywhere you gather with your family and eat yummy food. Reminds me of the first Christmas we spent in Carpinteria.

We moved to Carpinteria because of my fathers new job. His work put our family up in an apartment until we found a house to live in. It was small and cramped especially with seven people. That year I was sick with bronchitis and didn't get to perform in the school Christmas Pageant. We were supposed to sing "Its a Small World" and dress in different traditional outfits from around the world. My mom made me the best traditional Russian dress complete with a flower and ribbon wreath for my hair. I was beyond upset that I missed it. And to make matters worse, we didn't get a Christmas tree that year. I remember crying on the couch wrapped up in a blanket and complaining to my mom. She literally got a bare tree branch from outside, put it in a vase and hung Christmas ornaments on it for me. She also made me a huge bowl of Galushki soup. I had a good Christmas that year.

Before I left my family's house for the last time, I invited my father over for a meal before he hit the road. In effort to supply that same kind of feeling of family and home, I decided to make empanadas. I made everything from scratch. The dough was my mom's recipe and the filling was what my family calls T Gina chicken after my "Tia Gina" on my dad's side. It took close to four hours to make. The empanadas didn't taste like my moms but they were still good. I was sad that my dad wasn't able to come by and try them but I know he would have thought they were great. I will make them again and bring them to him. I will also make a plate for my brother, his wife, and their three children. His kids need to know what empanadas are. Its practically in our DNA.

Home is where your family is. Family is a compilation of traditions. Traditions are food. Enjoy them all while you're able.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Back to Food

I'm gonna eat you.

So I'm kinda in the mood to cook tonight! Hopefully I don't get out to late from work and have to eat
ramen again...or worse, Taco Bell. Ya, I'm classy like that.

My idea stemmed from the yummy pasta at Trader Joes. Its a lemon and black pepper paparadelle. Its sooo yummy just on its own with butter! So I want to cook that and then make a butter and chardonnay sauce with seafood. I have a pack of the Trader Joes frozen seafood mix which is scallops, shrimp and calamari rings. I will saute the seafood in butter and olive oil with a bit of garlic and shallots. I'll de-glaze the pan with Summerland Winery Chardonnay and then add fresh parsley and lemon. Should be simple and really good. I'll take a pic of it later on today and post it. Of course I'll have a glass of the chardonnay and yell at the tv all night. I can't wait.

Speaking of tv, what should I be watching? My usual's are 30 Rock, Sex and the City, Always Sunny, Real Housewives of anywhere, and sadly, The Bachelor. I'm thinking I'm really going to love Downtown Abbey so that is in the que. Also, I need recommendations for movies too! How should I rot my brain? Leave a comment with a suggestion.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Honest Truth

Man: I just want to be friends.
Woman: Me too. I don't care about you at all. Don't leave me. I love you.

So lately (as in three days) I decided to not go out so much. Clearly I have been meeting freaks and a little bit of a break wont hurt. So maybe I'll give up drinking and talking to boys for lent?
Doubt it.

Due to me being home more, I started watching re-runs of Sex and the City. Its been cracking me up because I feel TOTALLY different about the show now. I first watched the show at the end of high school/beginning of college. I thought Carrie was so cool and that Mr.Big was so smooth and awesome and that it was such a romantic and tortured relationship. Now that I live on my own, am months away from having a 3 in front of my age as opposed to a one or a two, I feel so different.

Carrie is a fucking nut job. Seriously. A total weirdo. She has a normal relationship with Big until her desperation/neediness makes him hate her. Perfect example: when she goes bananas at Big for not wanting to introduce her to his mom after 3 months of dating!!! Its like WHOA there Carrie, slow it down. Big is super nice to her about it, offers to take her on vacation and talk about it as much as she likes, and she freaks out and stands him up only to stalk him for the next 10 episodes. This is why men think women are crazy. This is why I think women are crazy! It's not normal to act that way. Communication is kinda a big deal in relationships and I'm starting to believe that women are the biggest liars. We try to act all cool and nonchalant and like "I'm totally ok with this going nowhere" only to freak out and stalk the guy. People end up with all this drama and heart break because they are not straight forward in the beginning. We think the way to winning someone over is with mind trickery and games. I am so honest it is shameful. I am so honest that I have NO game. Whatever is on my mind, I blurt out. But I rather be like that then have all this run around.

Example: There was a cute FedEx guy that delivered my hair extensions to the salon. About 6 months ago, he asked me out. I had a bf at the time and had to turn him down. A couple weeks ago, he made a delivery and we starting talking. He was fun and kinda interesting. A few days later I emailed him to tell him I was single and that he could ask me out again. He turned me down since now he has a gf. Was it embarrassing? YES. Did I seem smooth? NO way. Did my girl friends make fun of me for being that forthright? Absolutely. But see, now I know where we stand and I don't have to go out of my way trying to flirt with him and wondering about him and all sorts of stupid shit that would waste my time. Its still embarrassing every time he walks in the salon, but whatever, at least I know.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Vampire

I'm so dangerous. I'm a vampire. Blah blah blah.

Have you ever met someone who was effortlessly smooth? Its almost a turn off. It makes me wonder how many ladies one had to lure to learn that much. Enter the vampire.

I call him the vampire because the kid must have read every Twilight novel front to back and took notes. We literally had 4 conversations regarding the beauty of sunsets. To me, he is ridiculously good looking, pretty funny, and also very smooth. I met him one night at a bar, and he asked for my phone number and then kissed me on the forehead and left. Too smooth. Makes a girl wonder.

I then randomly ran into him three days later at a line dancing lesson which I would never go to! It felt fateful. It was weird and exciting.

He asked me out and we made plans for a date. Our date was great! We went to a food truck festival, a walk on the beach with his dog, dinner and then hung out talking for a couple of hours. It was a full day of being together and it was fun and super comfortable. But that's the problem with vampires, they're smooth and pretty and are use to lots of attention. He told me multiple times how he "wasn't ready for a relationship" or my personal fav, "I don't want a relationship, but when I'm with you, I kinda do." RED FLAGS. I'm not a very trusting person by nature, so these are the types of things I never want to hear. I'm not necessarily looking for a boyfriend right now, but no one likes to hear the "I'm not ready," saga. When someone says those things to you, its best to just believe them.

He called me today to make further plans and I had to just blow him off and tell him I'm not interested. Already deleted him from the facebook too. Funny thing is he was genuinely surprised. Vampires are used to getting what they want, I presume.

Makes me happy to know that I'm not the kinda girl that can be easily won with a cheesy pick up line and some good looks. I'm chalking this experience to a really fun date night with someone cool. I ain't no booty call!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Whoa Nelly

This guy sucks at his job.

Ok, so its only been days since the last post and I have wanted to say SO many things. Problem is, when you have a blog that isn't so private, and you actually post pics of yourself and your real name, you kinda limit yourself as to what you can write. But I have zero qualms about embarrassing myself (part of my charm) so I'm gonna take a risk here:

Single life is exhausting. It really is. I feel the need to go to EVERYTHING I am invited to. I don't work out anymore, I don't even eat dinner. I go to work and then find something to do in the PM leaving me very little time to do anything like eat or sleep or clean. I have somehow become my male 20 yr old counterpart. I eat like shit and drink too much beer while the dishes are piling up. Hot right?

Instead of reading a book and eating a sensible meal, I now stand under heat lamps, smoking cigarettes (weird) and actually have my leather jacket melt while deep in mindless conversation. I don't even know this girl anymore...but she's having a lot of fun.

Out of the countless bizarre things that have happened in two weeks, I will retell one great story. I meet and go out with a firefighter, and in the events of ONE night the following happens:

It was a blind date. I was told he was 5'10" and he was more like 5'6". Not like it matters, but come on! What a weird lie. Easily debunked. Within seconds he says, "Are you sure you're 5'2?" Ummmm, yes. Yes I am. I so wanted to punk him on his obvious height lie, but whatever, too easy of a jab.

We went to have beers at a local pub. Conversation was going well and I excused myself to the restroom. I fixed my makeup a bit and blotted my nose. When I returned, dude says the following:

Did you just put on more lip gloss?

Umm, ya. Why?

Cause it's distracting.


Well, you're mouth isn't really your best feature. Your eyes are. So you should wipe off your lipstick and maybe put on more eye makeup next time.

Ill take that into consideration.

WEIRD!!!! Why would you ever say that to someone?? I may not know a lot of things, but I do know that this is an instant way to piss off ANY girl. Our next gem of a conversation goes something like this:

Ive been single for 2 years now. My last girl friend and I were together for over 3 years.

Oh. What happened?

Well we went out one night, and I saw her give her number to another guy. I went up to her and broke it off right then and there and never talked to her again.

Wow! Just like that? After 3 years?? Well, maybe it was a misunderstanding??

Well maaaaaaaaybe you're an idiot.

So let me get this straight.... Homeboy broke off a 3yr relationship like a crazy person, lies about his height, disgraces my makeup skills, and I'M the idiot??? Projection much?

To cause further confusion, he sends a very nice bouquet the next day to me at work thanking me for such a great date. WAS I ON THE SAME DATE??! I have no clue.

Ok. Game over. Do not pass go....do not collect $200. I want none of this.

On food related stuff: I enjoyed two pints of Anchor Steam Ale. Nice amber color, deliciously frothy, very hoppy and well balanced.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The NON Dieter

Just eat a damn sandwich!

Today's blog will be about food. I have great dating stories to tell you, but I'll save it for another post. It involves, FedEx, hair extensions, and tattoos. Intrigued?

So, is anyone else sick to death of hearing about diets? It ridiculous. The newest one I've heard, and literally know people who are doing it, is insane. You eat 500 calories a day and get a weekly shot of human growth hormone. Say what?! Yup. This is the diet. When are people going to learn that everything in moderation works? "Don't be a freak," is a life long lesson. You like to eat?Great. Don't be a freak about it. You like to work out? Great. Don't be a freak about it. You like to drink ? GREAT. Don't be a freak about it. See where I'm going here?

That 500 calorie a day while shooting up diet is bizzarre. It has made me go on an anti-diet in protest. I decided that I'm going to eat like a European for the next two months and moderatly exercise. I'm not gonna do anything crazy. I'm still gonna drink and I'm still gonna eat. I'm just going to eat non-processed foods. Pretty much eat anything you would find at a farmers market or little deli. Today I made an awesome sandwhich: french bread, artichoke hearts, proscuitto, spiniach and mahon cheese. I brought some fresh fruit too. I know I will lose weight on this "diet." I can't wait for someone to ask me what my secret is, in which I will reply, "NOT BEING A FREAK."

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Feelin feisty. It could be the red wine, or maybe its the prosciutto. Either way, I'll tell you about the dating pool in SB. I promise this weekends blog will have food related stuff. I'll be in Salt Lake City, UT and am bound to eat something tasty.

Anyway, this last weekend I went on a man hunt with my gal pal M. M is recently single too so we had similar objectives. I am weirdly fearless when it comes to men. I will go up to anyone, talk to anyone, call anyone over. This proved to be a negative. Let me break down who I met:

Bald Ego:

Spotted a cute guy at Joe's. I motioned for him to come over. He did. We talked and he seemed cool. I gave him my number. However, he was wearing a beanie. M asked him to reveal his hair, and he was totally bald. NOT A GOOD LOOK. Two days later he texts me. I text him back short answers cause hey, its a text. He proceeds to send me this:

"You are quite loquacious with your texts. Whats with all your short answers? I'm beginning to think I'm talking with a child."

Ok wow. Game over.

Scooby Doo and Desperation Too:
M saw a guy she thought was cute. As a good friend, I offered to be a wing man and start a convo with said guy. My job then was to chat up the friend who looked like Shaggy from Scooby Doo while M did her thang. I asked cute guy for a cigarette (I dont smoke), choked on one for awhile to get the convo going and then talked to Shaggy to keep him busy. Shaggy was cool except the opposite of my type. He was about 6'4" with shaggy hair and super skinny. I gave him my # because I was bored. Since Saturday, he has texted me 4 times and called 3. Desperation is a stinky cologne.

Antique Creeps:
Last guy of the night was odd. He came up to me while I was waiting in line to get into The Savoy. He was ok looking in the face, problem was, he was wearing the following:
1. Sparkly Ed Hardy baseball cap
2. Tight jeans
3. Cowboy boots

He looked like he was pushing 40 too. He was super complimentary and asked for my number. I started to give it to him because at this point I had 4 beers. Immediately, I asked him what my name was. He couldn't remember. Normally I don't care, but this guy was gross. He kept calling me "cutie." I refused to tell him my name or give him the rest of my number. He finished with, "I see you're playing hard to get. Ok cutie, I'll call you later."

Major gross. And asshole, you can't call me. You don't know my name or number.

So if this is whats left out there for us single (approaching 30) women, ummm I give up. Santa Barbara is clearly a mess. Next weekend, I guess Ventura?

And So it Begins!

If only we were all this lucky in love!

Oh my god. So its been almost EXACTLY two years from my last post and sad to say, but not much has changed. Still single, still love food and drink...which leads me to my first rant of the year.

One of the gals I work with suggested I make a fake People Magazine article outlining the reasons why Sam and I broke up after 2 years and insert it into all the magazines at the salon. I'm starting to believe this is a good idea. I didn't realise how invested some people were in my relationship. Apparantly some people are distraught over this breakup. More so, people are distraught over me being single. Here is a DAILY conversation of mine:

Person: So hows your boyfriend?
Me: I'm sure he's fine, but we broke up.
Person: WHA??? Seriously? WHY?
Me: We grew apart. We weren't a great match.
Person: How OLD are you?
Me: 29
Person: Well you better get out there and find someone!
Me: ok
Person: Have you EVER been married?
Me: No.
Person: Have you been close?? I mean, you have HAD to been close to it at some point! Right? Right????
Me: Ummm....what?

I have literally had this conversation at least 3 times this month. Let me ask you, what is "coming close" to marriage? Why are people asking me this? I'm not sure why someone would think that "coming close" to being married is good at all! What would be the benefit of "coming close?" It can only imply that I'm insane. If one were to come close to marriage there could be only one of three options:

Option 1: You bailed on your wedding. Or worse, you were the one who was stood up.
Option 2: You proposed and your beau said no.
Option 3: Your beau was going to propose and then realized you were a scag, so he didn't.

Right. So, no. I have not come close.

I now believe that single people scare the shit out of coupled people. Happy Early Valentine's Day.