Monday, April 29, 2013

An Interview with Sandy Nicholson, *Comfort Food* Writer/Executive Producer

Most of the e-mail I receive for this blog is not worth mentioning (“Please turn your post into an advertisement for our products!”), but in early March, I was contacted about a new show called Comfort FoodComfort Food is a British web series about a long-distance romance in which the two lovebirds decide to keep their relationship feisty by making desserts, alone but together, via phone conversations.  (These days I’d say Skype is the way to go if you’re cooking together, but I digress.)  I received the sweetest e-mail from Cressida Ford, the press officer for Comfort Food, and she put me in touch with Sandy Nicholson, the writer/executive producer of the show.  Sandy and I did an interview together in which he talks about the fun of food, romance, and the hijinks that happen along the way.  I loved his answers to my questions and hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did. 

* Tell us a little about the inspiration for Comfort Food.

The most obvious inspiration of all!  An ex-girlfriend of mine called me up and asked me to help her make an apple crumble and I shot up in my chair like a meerkat.  “Yes. I will do this,” I said with my best impression of a Cheshire grin.  I can never remember whether it was because I wanted to impress her, or just because I thought it would be fun, probably a bit of both, but I knew I was excited about it.  At the time I had an approaching fast, and in-between when she hung up the phone and when we’d arranged to do it, I wrote the first draft of what was, at the time, a short play but would eventually become the pilot to the show.  In the end she called me up to say she’d found a recipe book, but I didn’t mind too much.  I’d had an idea.

* Inspiration is priceless!  Do you think desserts are inherently more romantic than savory foods?  Why or why not?

[Of course] because they’re BAD FOR US!  They’re bad for us in every way, but we want them anyway.  I think there’s a thing about romance, which is that there are all these ideas about whirlwind passion that make a lot of people feel left out.  We want to feel a passion so strong that it eclipses any guilt we have about things we know we shouldn’t do.  We know having the extra bit of cake is bad, but we’re with someone we like, and it’s romantic to do things we know we shouldn’t.  I quite like this.  Certainly it can go wrong if we let it, but for the most part, I think a good heap of mischief is a wonderful thing to have in both a relationship and a meal.

* “A good heap of mischief.”  I love that!  What are some of your thoughts on other food-related shows that are available these days?  Do you have a favorite?  Are you interested in food for food’s sake, or are you more interested in the stories that we tell with food?

Oh dear, I’m about to reveal a bit of myself that may be looked down on, but you know what?  I properly love Top Chef.  Sometimes the things they make look delicious, and other times they’re forced to do ludicrous things.  I saw an episode where they could only cook using ingredients found in Beastie Boys songs.  That’s madness!  But it’s so much fun.  I know it’s fake and probably toxic in some way, but I’m not above that stuff.  There’s nothing more fun than betting with my friends about who’s going to win and cheering our throats out.  It’s stupid, and it’s fun, and sometimes that’s just what I need.  I love food for its own sake, but food goes best with fun.

As for recipes, I love the shows Heston Blumenthal makes.  From grand experiments in scientifically creating the perfect Black Forest Gateau, to just an in-depth look at something small, like how to cook eggs perfectly, he’s always got a spark of joy about the way he approaches food.

* Food is fun!  On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the strongest, how would you rank your own sweet tooth?  Are you a homemade dessert-maker?  If so, what’s your favorite thing to make?

I’d say 9, but that’s mainly because I’m afraid to say 10.  My favourite thing to make is a coconut chocolate tart, where you mix the shredded coconut with sugar and egg whites and press it into a base, cook it, and use cream with melted chocolate and egg yolks for the filling.  When it sets it’s a thing of beauty.  Incredibly sweet, but unbelievably delicious.  Set your windscreen wipers to gospel and try it.

* Mmm, I love coconut and chocolate together—that’s heavenly.  What was one of your most romantic food experiences?

An utter failure.  I was in a class at University in London the time, and the girl sitting next to me (who looked like maps to mornings in bed, by the way) asked me what I was drawing.  I’d been challenged to make a cake representation of the scene from Independence Day.  It’s not anywhere like as impressive as it sounds, it was a tall Victoria sponge with chocolate fingers for pillars.  She thought it was a funny idea, so I invited her to come and help me make it, and she did.

We got to know each other a little bit and we assembled this increasingly shit-looking beast of a cake, including a little UFO to fly over the top, when she had an idea.  We got some food colouring and dyed a bunch of cream blue, cut a hole in the UFO, and we were going to pour it through the UFO onto the cake to smash it up.


By the time it was finished and we’d transported it down a busy road to its destination, it was very unstable.  We plopped it down on the table and it collapsed like badly pushed luck.  This crippled mess of a thing in front of us.  Everyone was shocked and sympathetic, “Don’t worry, Sandy, I bet it still tastes great”.

Not her.  She pointed right in my face and laughed.  A proper, bulbous, vulgar laugh that sounded like it was straining her insides.  She stood up on the table and she poured the cream down from as high as she could, splashing it over the cake, and me, and I loved it.

And it wasn’t romantic because we kissed, or said we loved each other, or anything actually romantic.  It was just a day when I realised that there were genuinely exciting people out there, and shit howdy sunshine, it felt amazing on the days she was happy to see me.

* I agree.  I think a lot of romance’s appeal is the sense of possibility and excitement.  On a more serious romantic note, for special occasions, do you prefer to cook a great meal at home or go out for dinner?

I’m a cooking-at-home sort of guy.  I could never cook as well as someone in a real restaurant, but I like that it means we can shout, and laugh loudly, and be stupid, and it seems like those are the things to celebrate on a special day.

* I enjoy the comfort of home too, but I always wonder if it’s possible to pay for someone else to clean up the dirty dishes!  Now that would be super romantic to me!  When can we start watching episodes of Comfort Food?  I see that there aren’t any publicly accessible episodes on YouTube yet…but I trust that they are coming soon!

Yes, they are coming very soon indeed!   [June 10th, in fact!]  Our trailer is online right now, and we’ll be releasing in Spring.  If you’re looking forward to it, visit our Facebook or Twitter pages to keep up-to-date on the release.

Ta much, everyone!

* * *

Thanks, Sandy!  If you’d like to hear Sandy say, “Hurray!” in lots of funny voices, check out the Release Date video.  Hurray!  (They also talk about an upcoming cookbook based on the desserts of Comfort Food.  Bring on the whipped cream!)  And I’ll try to remind everyone when the show starts airing.  I’m looking forward to it!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Austin, with Dancing and Turtles

On the UT Campus

Sunlight Through Trees in Austin

Turtle in The Turtle Pond

Last weekend, Paul and I were in everyone’s favorite Texas destination, Austin.  Legally, because we live in College Station, we are required to hate Austin, but it’s a hard city to hate.  There’s just too much good food and good energy in that place.  I like it a lot.

We were in Austin for the Austin Open, which is a ballroom dance competition hosted by the University of Texas.  Paul was dancing in the Austin Open with his beautiful (and red-headed!) dance partner, Leah, and together they took home two first-place ribbons!  I’m so proud of them.  Having never been to a ballroom dance competition, I had no idea what to expect, but here are a few of the highlights from the competition:

* Ballroom dance competitions are filled with gorgeous people.  I think by the end of the night, I had at least two girl-crushes and one boy crush.  Paul and I share a girl-crush on one particular lady.  I’m okay with this.

* There is a stunning array of dance styles under the ballroom dance umbrella.  I like the sassier dances best; my favorite was the west coast swing.  But the entire Latin round is not to be missed, either…

* It’s really fun to see people of all shapes and sizes out there on the dance floor.  Tall, short, curvy, skinny—they demonstrate that bodies are made to move.

* A ballroom dance competition is not unlike a marathon in that you need snacks to fuel yourself.  While I brought only cookies (of course) and some leftover cashews, Paul brought apples, bananas, and little packets of almond butter.  He let me poach some food off of him, which was nice because…

* …we were at the competition for 13 hours.  13 hours!  If that’s not love, on his part and on mine, then I don’t know what is.  Were I to attend another competition with him, I’d definitely bring granola bars and pretzels too.  More carbs, please!  Dancers need their energy.

We had a lovely, lovely time in Austin.  It was a short trip, with a late arrival on Friday night and an early departure on Sunday morning, but we managed to eat twice at Kerbey Lane (the pancakes are not to be missed!), once at my beloved Noodles and Company, and we snagged some good Tex-Mex food within walking distance of our (borrowed) apartment.  My favorite part of the weekend, though, was just walking around with Paul.  Austin is delightfully hilly; we even saw some exposed rock formations in the neighborhood.  During the dance competition, I snuck out alone to walk around the UT campus, which is where I took all the photos above.  Spectating is not for the faint of heart, you see, and after several hours of it, I just needed to be alone for a while.  UT’s campus is a treat to wander.  It rolls up and down the hills of Austin, carving out lovely spaces that look out onto the scenic campus below.  I even found a turtle pond by accident.  I saw a group of people congregating next to a pool, and gawker that I am, I strolled over to check it out.  I looked down into the pool to see at first one or two turtles swimming slowly, and as I stared more intently, I saw not just a few but dozens of turtles, bobbing gracefully through the shallow waters.  You can see one of them poking his head up to the surface in the third photo above.

In a word, Austin was fun.  It’s easy enough for me to imagine myself living in Austin, but right now, College Station is home.  I sort of enjoy being a minority in College Station.  Living in a conservative town has sharpened my liberal politics, and I love to think of my liberal vote for Obama canceling out someone’s Romney vote.  Closer to my heart is the home I’ve built here—friends, colleagues and acquaintances; favorite biking and running routes; First Fridays in downtown Bryan; my little apartment; and not least of all, a new romance.  College Station is home for now, for the immediate future, and I’m content with that.  But I am quite excited by the prospect of more weekends in Austin, more hill country, more pancakes, more dancing, and more turtles.  Austin is the perfect escape hatch for young liberals in College Station.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

My Whereabouts (or let’s be friends!)

Happy belated Earth Day!  Today I wanted to pop in to tell you about a new development, one that I thought I’d never do.

Friends, I have joined Pinterest.  And I’ve discovered that I’m already inept at it, which is just fabulous, right?

I know that Pinterest is no longer new and shiny; it’s more like standard practice for bloggers.  I resisted for a long time because I just didn’t want another on-line thing to suck up my time and energy.  This week I caved because after a weekend trip to Austin, I realized that Pinterest is kind of perfect for bookmarking road trip ideas and destinations and then being able to share them with your traveling companions.  Even better, if you have a smartphone (which I do not because I am a dinosaur, but Paul does!), then you have easy access to all the information you need to navigate while exploring a new city.

Perhaps more importantly, Pinterest makes me feel excited and motivated to start planning our summer trip out west.  I have a very basic plan in mind right now: 12-hour drive from Texas to New Mexico, hang out in New Mexico for a day or two (or three), then four-hour drive up to Colorado, where we will spend the bulk of our time doing fun, outdoorsy, hippie stuff, like hiking, exploring Denver, and drinking mojitos outside.  Then back through New Mexico (with another day there to break up the drive?) and home to Texas.

What’s great about this trip is that time is on our side.  I think we need to sketch out some general expectations on budget, but from where I sit right now, we have very flexible schedules.  So, for example, if we fall in love with New Mexico and want to stay there for just one more night, it’s totally do-able.  With time on our side, our very definition of “vacation” can expand as we see fit.  I don’t think I’ve ever felt that kind of freedom before, and it’s exciting!

And that, dear readers, is a very brief update.  Before I go, I thought I’d extend you an invitation to be my friend, either on Pinterest or on Facebook.  I am far too lazy to have a separate Facebook account for the blog; honestly, this blog is me.  It’s a journal of my life and my interests.  So why not be friends with me on Facebook rather than a “fan” of the blog?  (Besides, the idea of having fans is too far removed from the reality of writing a personal blog.)  Finally, do you have any suggestions for fun things to see/do/eat/drink in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, or Denver?  I’d love to hear them!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

What He Said

Knife with Potato Peels

I try not to pull any punches on people about how I eat.  Most of my meals are homecooked; most of the food I eat is minimally processed before I buy it.  Some days I think that the way I feed myself is entirely too much work.  Other days I can’t wait to step up to the counter and begin chopping another onion for the soup.

Lately I feel like I’ve been cooking a lot because I’m dating someone who is equally enthusiastic about eating homecooked meals.  We both recognize the value in doing this: moneywise, we get more bang for our buck if we cook at home.  Healthwise, nobody around town is packing as much produce into dinner as I do, at least nobody outside of a home kitchen.  I feel like I’m getting a bit faster and more organized about this cooking thing.  Dinners feel like they are flowing more easily, and the clean-up doesn’t feel quite as overwhelming.  Also, sometimes I give Paul the grocery list, and he shows up at my door with things like goat cheese, asparagus, and tarragon, and it just about melts my heart.  To all the people out there who think that nice guys don’t get the girl, I say, “Think again.”  In my world, the nice guy procures groceries and then sits down to eat dinner with me.

Cooking isn’t just something I do; it is part of who I am.  So it’s with great interest that I learned Michael Pollan has a new book out now, Cooked.  I enjoy Michael Pollan’s work, though I do wonder if he really said that not eating meat is an insult to your mother.  (As of this writing, I have not been able to find a more primary source to verify that he said that.  And the site is loading so slowly tonight that I’m too annoyed to keep looking.)  Even if Pollan can be a bit dismissive of vegetarianism as a solution to factory-farmed meat*, I like the way he has engaged the issues of food, health, and sustainability in deeply thoughtful ways.  And these days, he’s got a buzz going for the art and science of cooking.  I thought I’d share a tiny excerpt from his interview with EatingWell:

Question: Why is home cooking so important?

Michael Pollan: Cooking is key to changing our health and the environment.  People who cook for themselves eat healthier diets.  You could cook Twinkies, but it’s really hard to do and you’re not likely to do it more than once in a lifetime.  You’re not going to reform the way we farm and process food unless you cook.  Local food isn’t going to get big if people aren’t cooking.  If you let corporations cook for you, they’re going to buy food from the biggest monocultures.

(Bold added by me for emphasis.)

If you’d like, you can read the whole interview here.

* To be honest, my vegetarianism was a direct response to learning too much about factory farming and slaughterhouses.  I believe the main reason Pollan toes the line on vegetarianism is that he wants to eat meat.  Period.  His primary motivation is not ethics; it’s pleasure.  I had no reason to continue eating meat because frankly, I just don’t like meat that much.  And let’s face it: it’s not like college students have an easy time sourcing meat from the idyllic small farms that inspire Pollan to wax poetic.  My vegetarianism was born in a time and place when not eating animals was easier than toeing Pollan’s line.  And now, eleven years later, eating meat strikes me as bizarre and cruel, even though I know people do it every day.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Funny Moment

Last night, Paul and I were making dinner while discussing his entrepreneurship.  I have a ton of respect for his work as an independent contractor—he gets to do work he enjoys while (more or less) setting his own hours.  He is his own boss, which I think is awesome.  But Paul doesn’t have warm and fuzzy feelings about capitalism, so when I gush about how cool it is that he has his own business, he mutters self-deprecating things about a lack of ambition and the evils of money.  Which prompted the following exchange:

Me: “Why do I keep dating socialists?”

Paul: “Because they are reasonable men.”

Indeed.  Or maybe it’s because socialists are better lovers!

And really, what socialist would argue with that?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Two for Tuesday, Plus Bonus Otters!

It seems that summer has arrived in Texas, so I’m retreating from the heat of my oven to bring you a few good things from around the interwebs.  I was pretty blue today, perhaps because of the tragedy in Boston yesterday, but like all the Bostonians who have defiantly refused to let fear dictate their actions, we resume our regularly scheduled lives.  Boston, you are on my heart today.

On a much more lighthearted note…

* A fun post about finding the right red lipstick (and blue jeans!).  My version of this story is finding the right jeggings.  I don’t like the stiffness and bunchy knees of regular skinny jeans, but jeggings in a soft, stretchy, denim-like fabric?  Hurray!  I bought two pairs.  Also, they are perfect for biking in cooler weather.

* Shauna and Danny have a new book out!  The announcement post was so fun to read.  I may buy a copy of this one.  I didn’t buy their last cookbook because the food wasn’t quite my style (and Shauna talks about the difference between those two books in her post) but a book about delicious, everyday dinners that are meant to be weeknight-friendly?  I’m sold.  (Plus the photography!  Gah, it’s just so gorgeous.)

* Finally, this site is otterly awesome.  I think this post is my very favorite.  (Hee hee!)

That’s it for links, friends.  I’m still really busy—my social life is on fire this month, and I’m heading to Austin this weekend!—but I like to stop by here to say hello.  Some day I will have more time to write…

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Warning: Academic Unhappiness Ahead

Hi, friends.  I wanted to share something with you today, an essay from Sarah Kendzior on the plight of adjunct faculty in academia.  This issue and a similar issue in academic science are very close to my heart, as I and many of my friends have built their futures on the hope and expectation of long-term careers in university teaching and/or research.  Today I’m not going to rant about the immorality of current working conditions for many academics, but I do want to share the following from Dr. Kendzior’s piece.

“The plight of the adjunct shows how personal success is not an excuse to excuse systemic failure. Success is meaningless when the system that sustained it - the higher education system - is no longer sustainable. When it falls, everyone falls. Success is not a pathway out of social responsibility.

Last week, a corporation proudly announced that it had created a digital textbook that monitors whether students had done the reading. This followed the announcement of the software that grades essays, which followed months of hype over MOOCs - massive online open courses - replacing classroom interaction. Professors who can gauge student engagement through class discussion are unneeded. Professors who can offer thoughtful feedback on student writing are unneeded. Professors who interact with students, who care about students, are unneeded.

We should not be surprised that it has come to this when 76 percent of faculty are treated as dispensable automatons. The contempt for adjuncts reflects a general contempt for learning. The promotion of information has replaced the pursuit of knowledge. But it is not enough to have information - we need insight and understanding, and above all, we need people who can communicate it to others.”

(Bold added by me for emphasis.)

The current system is exploitive, immoral, and unsustainable.  We cannot keep doing this.  I agree with the author.  “Success is solidarity.” 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Coincidence Tuesday

Skeptic that I am, I don’t believe the Universe sends me secret messages of affirmation, but along those lines, today was fun.  I’d been craving green tea for a while, but I was all out of decaf and mornings are now firmly reserved for drinks made from beans, not leaves.  (Note how that statement works for soymilk too!  Oh, how clever…)  Thinking about decaf green tea made me wistful for flavored green tea, but my HEB typically does not stock flavored decaf green tea.  Woe is me until today, when I found this!

New Tea

Exciting.  Also, at HEB, a funny thing happened: earlier in the day, I recalled that song about one headlight, and ta-da!  The song comes on while I’m strolling through produce.  That was weird and delightful because “One Headlight“ is 17 years old and I cannot remember the last time I heard it or even thought about it before today.

In other random news, I just discovered the style blog My Edit, and I’m in love.  I realize this is not news to all of you, but I never claimed to be your #1 news source for all things blog-related.  What I love about discovering new-to-me blogs is that they often have an enormous archive of posts that I can just dive into, enjoying the eye candy and the witty banter.  Seriously, I think My Edit is the funniest style blog I’ve found.  “Ask me instead…how to get cats to stay still while you french braid their tail hair.”  Or “sometimes I am too lazy for the changeroom...Hanging up my purse, taking off my shoes, getting distracted and making duckfaces in the mirror; it's all a lot of work.”  Or how about this lovely scene about spreading the joy of clothes with friends:

“I also share well with others. All my friends know that if they are in a wardrobe pinch, they are always free to come browse the selections in my closet. I usually even pour them an adult beverage. We gossip, sip drinks and try to make something work. My closet is like a library, but for clothes. You know what? I need a tax receipt for this kindness…”

She had me at cats.  (Sampled posts from here and over here.  Got that?)

Finally, I’m delighted to report that Mr. Right Now has consented to be outed on this blog.  Which makes me happy because it would have been awkward to continue to write about him if he felt too shy to be part of the story.  Today I’ll share just a few tidbits with you.  His real name is Paul, he’s a smidge younger than me and a foot taller.  He’s an engineer by education but a teacher by profession.  He is a serious ballroom dancer(!) who nicked my toes several times when we danced at Erin’s wedding.  (My toes have since recovered from the violence.)  He likes my cooking and loathes The Big Bang Theory.  I think he’s the best thing to happen to me in a long time, even if he described himself today as a curmudgeon.  I have a feeling that our mutual affection could be the beginning of a really lovely romance.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Distance to Here

Now Entering South Texas

This post is for the me who never thought she’d get here.

Where exactly is “here”?  Here is the contentment that comes from being released from a year of misery, sadness, and misfortune.  Here is optimism and joy and embracing right now for all it’s worth.  Here is falling in love and feeling like I’ve won the lottery.

Here is loving again after the worst heartbreak of my life.

This post is a nod to an old cliché, that life goes on after being dumped.  But the thing is, when you are in the thick of that murky, mucky discomfort that all of us must wade through after a breakup, you feel like the pain will never end.  That feeling is real, a scalpel that slices your heart into ribbons and turns the nights into dreadful hours that crawl slowly toward daylight.  When you’re grieving, it’s a supernatural act of willpower to remember that you will love again.

To be honest, I didn’t really believe that I would, and by believe, I mean believe it with my whole heart.  I knew in the abstract, intellectual sense that yes, people do survive terrible heartbreak and find love again.  But I kinda felt like with Matt, things were about as good as they get.  I believed that I couldn’t and wouldn’t have anything that made me feel as adored and cherished.  Anything that I experienced after dating Matt would be a consolation prize, a “this will do.”

Now, if my life were a romantic comedy, this would be the part of the story where I tell you that Mr. Right Now saved me from “this will do” by showing me that great love would find me again.  But that’s a cliché that didn’t pan out for me.  The truth is that I convinced myself of something that made me believe, and that’s what I really want to share with you.  Months ago, I found Gabrielle Bernstein’s TED talk, and I just could not stop thinking about a line from that talk, “Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait, and wait without anxiety.”  It resonated with me deep in my soul, and it became the line I turned to when I was feeling really awful about the breakup.  It calmed me.  It was the hug I needed late at night.  It was my lifeboat.

Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait, and wait without anxiety.

The more I thought about that line, the more I started to wonder what, exactly, was I certain about?  That Matt and I would get back together?  No, I was not certain about that.  I knew that he and I would be okay, but to be honest, that was not the outcome that worried me.  Perhaps it was in considering our post-breakup relationship that I started thinking about what made our romance so great.  I realized that as awesome as Matt is (and he is, dear reader, he really is), he was not solely responsible for our greatness.  I was awesome too.  The ability to love someone deeply and honestly for who he is and his role in my life is something that existed within me.  It takes two people to have a great romance, and I was one of those two people.  As long as I didn’t become bitter and angry, I would carry that ability into my next romance.

As a late bloomer who did not date much, I had a lot of anxiety about men and relationships before Matt and I started dating.  Part of that anxiety was a secret fear that I was either unlovable or incapable of loving someone else—that’s why all my relationships were so short-lived.  Dating Matt showed me a different side of myself—it revealed a generous, compassionate person, one who is worthy of being chosen for romance.  Dating the right person—even if the romance didn’t last forever and ever—showed me freedom and joy that I had never experienced in dating.  Now, I can’t imagine not having those feelings in my romantic relationships.

Today I feel incredibly grateful to Matt for what our relationship taught me.  But I’m also grateful to have had enough time and space between relationships to figure out why it is that I will love again.  It’s not that finding the right person isn’t important— dear heavens, it’s really important!—but that when you enter a relationship feeling secure and confident and happy, you give that relationship a chance to bloom.  Mr. Right Now doesn’t have to convince me that I’m worthy of his love.  I already know that I am.  Just as I know that I am capable of loving him for who he is, not because he “fixed” whatever was wrong with me.  I don’t need fixing.  I just need loving.

* Thanks to the band Live this post’s title.  What a great album!

Friday, April 5, 2013


Check Out These Muppet Legs

Tonight I have a short list of recommendations for you.

* Muppet legs!  I bought these red tights a while ago, but today I finally wore them.  They’re bright and soft and feel wonderful.  (From Target, like most of my wardrobe.)  Bright tights are a great addition to a wardrobe with a lot of basics, like mine.

* 12 hours of sleep.  That was my Thursday night.

* Grapefruit!  I’ve had a lifelong aversion to grapefruit because the one time I tried it as a child, it was too sour and I hated it.  But now…now grapefruit seems like an orange’s more sophisticated cousin, with a hint of bitterness and a more complex flavor.  Recommended!

* A key to happiness: knowing how to spend your money wisely means knowing what really makes you happy.  I loved this piece.

* An evening spent at home, alone.  Oh, yes.  After spending last night in bed asleep, it’s nice to be at home and awake.  One of the side effects of dating someone new is that you end up giving up a lot of your alone time to be with that person, but tonight, Mr. Right Now is out dancing.  Without me.  Which means I get the whole evening to myself—bliss!

And with that, I’m off to putter around my apartment and the internet.  I’ll be back soon with another post—I’ve got several in draft form that are just waiting for me to find a sliver of time to finish.  Happy weekend, y’all!