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May. 20th, 2012 05:58 pm

We have arrived in New Jersey. Our stuff doesn't arrive until tomorrow, and our Internet doesn't get set up until Tuesday, so no long post today. Just saying we are here, and it still feels surreal. Went to Princeton, ate at Tiger Noodles, got some groceries, and now [livejournal.com profile] mthgeek is out running. I'm sitting on a dog bed on the living room floor. It'll be better once the couch and bed are here.

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I made it through HR New hire orientation today, but just barely. It makes me crazy when people read PowerPoint to me. I wore new shoes that are the loudest shoes I have ever owned. I should have tested them somewhere other than my carpeted office before committing to them.

I lugged my laptop home from the office today, so now I can flashcard on my phone, watch Netflix on my iPad and chat with people on the lappy.

I am not usually attracted to the Asians, but this one was irresistible, and I brought him home:

To save me from this sad specimen:

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Food fail!

May. 6th, 2012 06:27 pm

So I tried to very carefully menu plan so that I could make it through these ten days or so without buying too much food, particularly perishables, since I'm not sure how frequently I'll get to the grocery without a vehicle. I somehow talked myself out of staying in town tonight for dinner (I really want to try Ajihei, a sushi place, but I already spent a lot of money on my hair today. it'll wait for another time).

So, I came back to the cottage and went to make pasta with onions, sausage, sun dried tomatoes and walnuts (a pretty standby meal for me). Got water in pot, turned salt shaker over the water, and it was empty. I had assumed there would be salt and pepper in the shakers - silly me. So, no pasta. Went to next meal of interest - pork and sweet potato quesadilla - I managed to forget tortillas at the store. Sigh. Okay, how about beans and rice with onions and garlic? The knife that came with this place is rusty. This is unacceptable. I will have to go and procure a knife because it is dangerous (not to mention kind of gross) for me to try to cook with a knife that's this bad.

So, I ended up with another standby meal: hamburger teriyaki donburi. Sadly, I didn't buy sugar (I usually use sugar and soy sauce over the ground beef), but truvia was fine. No cutting needed. Good thing I brought my rice cooker with me. The rest of the meals I have planned:

Keema beef curry (I think I bought everything I need - doable once I get a knife)
Israeli couscous salad with mango chutney dressing (haven't located Israeli couscous yet)
Spinach quinoa salad with dried cherries and walnuts (will probably do tomorrow)
Ravioli with Brussels sprouts and bacon (need knife)


So, one out of seven meals that I planned was viable. I guess I'll wander out to the Mexican grocery tomorrow during work and grab some tortillas and to the kitchen store for a working knife, and steal some salt packets from the convenience store by me. Or I'll just eat stand by things like fried rice, hamburger donburi and hot dogs every day.

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I'm here in New Jersey, a little more permanently this time. I'm glad that I brought my little Bluetooth speaker - no TV channels here, and it would be way too quiet without my phone playing me music (Follies, concert cast).

The trip here was uneventful. Had a minor attack of panic/sadness leaving my house in Maine. It is mostly packed at this point, and should go on the market while I'm gone. Had a California burrito from Loco Cocos, then set off on bus to Logan to plane to Newark to car service to here.

The cottage is perfectly fine for a short stay. I think it's just one unit, though there are two garages, so maybe someone lives below me in the first floor - if so, they have a separate enhance that I didn't see. In the door is just a stairway, which leads into the living room to the right, and the kitchen to the left. A short hallway to the left dead ends in the bedroom, with a bathroom just to the right. It's compact and straightforward. The bedroom has three closets, a desk, a nightstand, and a dresser. I unpacked all my clothes and am sitting on the bed right now. The living room has two chairs, bookshelf, closet. No couch, so I'll probably spend a lot of time on the bed. Bathroom has a stall shower only, which is fine. Kitchen has gas stove, fridge, microwave, coffee maker, utensils, pots, pans, glasses, dishes. I have a grocery list that's fifty items long, mostly because I have none of the staples that I'll need (like dish soap, toilet paper, garbage bags, coffee beans, spices - I will be conservative with grocery shopping, but I also need to buy enough so that I will cook rather than ordering delivery every day). I do foresee cooking more than eating out, both to save money and to lose some of the weight that i have put on during this crazy month. It's a 15 minute or so walk to my office from here, so at least I'll get a nit of exercise every day.

In terms of (inanimate) things from home I'll miss most in this interim time before all of our stuff arrives and we move to the real house: couch, chef's knife, TiVo, my pillows, my bathrobe.

Things I brought to try to keep myself sane: slippers, rice cooker, wedding picture with mom, Kim, nana and me, favorite sheets, knitting, small stuffed bear that I've had since I was very young (snowball).

I have enough clothes to last about a week, maybe a week and a half, I do have in unit laundry at least. I'm not sure that the clothes I brought make that much sense as outfits, but hopefully along with whatever I've left in my office these last few visits, I'll be able to cobble professional dress together.

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Pdx3

Feb. 25th, 2012 11:34 am

Woke up lazily, Tim brought me stumptown, knitted and drank coffee in bed. Walked to brunchbox food cart and got greasy breakfast sandwiches. Eventually made it out to yarn store and powells, browsed and bought some cards to send and some Madeline Tosh, which is my current yarn of choice. Met John and Cecilia, headed to food carts:

Noodle house - chewy homemade Asian noodles stir fried with chili sauce, curry, veggies and chicken. Classic asian comfort food. Flavors could have been a little more exciting, but good overall.
Nong's Khao Man Gai - the only thing they sell is hainnanese chicken and rice, and they had the longest line of any food truck. This stuff has been featured in a number of magazines. It was as good as I could have imagined it, simple, well proportioned rce to chicken to sauce. I could eat it all the time. Might get more today - seems perfect for this rainy day.

Took a brief detour to hotel, booked travel to Princeton, picked up coat. Took bus to SE. Stopped at Bermongers and admired their well thought out collection of bottles, all of which you could enjoy there or buy to go. Got tim a sour brown and a spike and jeromes collaboration ale, and myself a sweet cider. Walked up to Potato Champion and had really good fries - thin, hand cut, crispy and brown on the outside, moist on the inside, with accompanying sauces - rosemary truffle ketchup, garlic anchovy mayo and satay. So good, especially when my fry consumption has been fairly low this trip. Another bus to Upright Brewing Company, a fairly small craft beer maker in the basement of a random building. Met up with tim and some math people, drank beers, met up with carl, played scrabble.

Last stop of the night was Pok Pok, a super popular Thai place, where winter also joined our group. Its so popular that, after the wait to get in started to get unmanageable, the management established a bar across the street where you could order drinks and appetizers. The restaurant calls the bar when your table is ready and you transition from one to the other. This is brilliant - customers basically pay the restaurant to wait for 2 hours by sitting in the bar eating and drinking. Tims math group split from our scrabble group so we wouldnt have to wait for a table for nine. We had a bunch of appetizers and played fry your brain (a scrabble variation). I won on AAIITV (everyone was stumped when the next letter was an I, though there are four letter steals - I might have gotten some without the time limit for guessing and also without being exhausted from the long day), and EILOVWZ (another E came out of the bag and the only possibilities were words that had been used already). time went pretty fast, and soon we were across the street eating amazing Thai food:

Kai Yaang - rotisserie chicken
Khao Soi - curry noodle soup with freshly pressed coconut milk
Muu Paa Kham Waan - spicy boar collar (too spicy for me to have much, but delicious)
Kung Op Wun Sen - clay pot with prawns, pork belly, bean thread noodles (I couldn't eat this one because of oyster sauce)


Tim and his friends were sitting next to us, so I also got to try their Brussels sprouts and pork belly. Everything was unique and flavorful and just what I was hoping for. My favorite was definitely the noodle soup, with two kinds of noodles, some heat without being overtly spicy, the smooth richness of the coconut. Yum. I admit that I'm now craving pad Thai, though, after having other Thai dishes two nights in a row. May go back to esan tonight and just enjoy my standby food.

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Pdx 2

Feb. 24th, 2012 02:07 am

We started the day at Stumptown, which is practically next to our hotel. Excellent. Took a cold press coffee with cream to Saint Honore bakery, where I found a pastry I had never had before. It was basically a croissant dough with a salted, caramelized top. It was very rich, and the chewy-crunchy-salty top was so amazing. Crossed town to southeast - I don't think I had been there before - and visited Fizz, a modern take on an old fashion soda fountain. they had tons of homemade syrups including salted caramel, lavender, Meyer lemon and salted lime. You chose your syrup and had it made into a soda, phosphate, cream soda or milkshake. I finally decided on a black cherry cream soda - super good, though a little rich. Lost a game of scrabble, then headed to Powells to meet [livejournal.com profile] wisemonkey and [livejournal.com profile] olaugh. Didn't really look around much, so I'll try to head back there today. Walked over to food carts and had an order of penne with vodka sauce and sausage and an order of gnocchi with sun dried tomatoes and other fresh tasting stuff. Nibbled on macarons, Lost a second game of scrabble, did a bit of shopping, and walked across the bridge back into southeast for beers at Hair of the Dog partway into the beerage, I had to step outside and talk about scrabble ... After about 45 minutes, it was too cold to be outside and I put my phone on mute and finished my cider indoors.

Tmi went back to conference, and I hung out in the room, watched Rio on tv, wrote postcards and knitted my sock. When he was released from work, we wandered over to e-San Thai, where I had apps and larb, then ate half of a mango tango donut from voodoo. That brings us up to date.

Tomorrow maybe more powells, more food carts, more time in southeast. Scrabble at a market, dinner at pok pok if it isn't too busy, and more beer and coffee.

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Today: gym, grocery, make pad Thai, start cleaning, watch more Grey's Anatomy, write a letter

Tomorrow: clean, make gumbo, gym, knit, chipotle, beauty and the beast 3d

Sunday: clean, chili, guacamole, people come over and watch football/play games.

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