The Sweatshop of Love Blog

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May, 2009

Located! The Worst Olive Garden in America

Olive Garden, or: The Worst $15 I've Ever Spent

Olive Garden, or: The Worst $15 I've Ever Spent

Clever bloggers figured out that we were traveling to North Riverside last night to eat at Olive Garden, and were very confused, I’m sure. Long story short, Rachel ate a strange boy’s cake and as a reward we took her to Olive Garden. I remember Olive Garden being completely tolerable! We went there while I was in high school and had totally satisfactory meals! This was some of the worst food I’ve eaten in my life. Whats worse is that it costs PT and I $36. On the way home we tried not to think of all the things we could have bought with that money:

1. Dinner at Handlebar including appetizers and drinks.

2. Three weeks worth of groceries.

3. Nine burritos.

4. Three tickets to a Sox game.

5. Two and a half plates of this:

Germanapalooza!

Germanapalooza!

PT and I recovered today by biking up to Lincoln Square for Maifest! PT at that brat, we shared the potato salad and sauerkraut. That mound of goodness next to it? That is the best pretzle we have ever eaten. We also got a huge piece of very delicious cake and a stein of bier, set to live, costumed, German music. Total cost? $17.

Suck it, Olive Garden.

Beet Off

Loving Frank Cram Session 2009 – I’m up to page 182! Which is halfway. With three reading days left I’m on my 60 pages a day pace to finish by Knitting Book Club Monday. I haven’t forced myself to read this much for a deadline since my Columbia days.

Remember back in 2008 when I had a beet off? I knew I was supposed to like beets but had no idea what to do with them? I put them in a salad and wanted to die. I cooked them up with onions and garlic and also wanted to die. But I just knew that beets and I would someday get along, I just couldn’t think of a way to do it on my own.

Beet Salad

Beet Salad

Behold the Mark Bittman Beet Salad. What is amazing is that in the same picture you can see the fanciest thing PT and I have ever made. And maybe the most delicious.

With no food processor we just used a garlic press and chopped the walnuts. Without orange juice we used lemon juice. We roasted those beets, we mixed them up in the dressing, we did top it with some fresh Parmesan (AMAZING!), and served it over romaine.

Last night beets and I turned a corner. Thank goodness, because I really don’t want to live in a world where I don’t like a vegetable.

List of foods I don’t like:

Olives (including green and black, especially black)

The end.

Summer Sweater

Summer Sweater

Not only have I been making progress on Loving Frank, but I’ve been rocking out this Summer Sweater! Don’t you love the little leaves? I also love a sweater where I don’t have to worry about the sizing. It is supposed to hang! And with tonight’s impromptu car trip to the suburbs for a very special evening, I’ll be able to get even more done.

But more on that later.

Dirty Liar

First of all, I’m on page 79 of Loving Frank! I figured out that if I read 60 pages a day I’ll finish by Monday. Today I need to get to 120, so I’m well on my way. Lots of sex and shirt waist ripping makes for excellent afternoon reading.

Last night I got to thinking about the sweater I’m knitting for Sweater Club. I knew I had a half finished sweater I hated laying around here somewhere that I was planning on ripping out so I could use that yarn for the sweater. While looking for it, though, I struck gold.

Knit Picks ShineSport! Four Skeins!

Knit Picks ShineSport! Four Skeins!

I completely forgot I bought seven skeins of Knit Picks ShineSport like three years ago for a sweater, started it and seriously hated every minute of it. I have four of this Cherry and three Butter. It is the perfect yarn for the sweater! I found the light blue half finished sweater, too, but that yarn would have been a lot harder to work with. The Knit Picks is a cotton blend, which softens it up.

Cant Stop Myself

Can't Stop Myself

So I of course got really excited about the yarn and had to start the pattern. But I figured if I kept up with my reading I could reward myself with a tiny bit of knitting, right?

The lacy leaf pattern is really fun! I love the yarn overs and the three stitch decreases. It makes me want to knit it. (glances lovingly at the 11 rows already on the needle) It is a nice change of pace from the socks. Once you finish turning that heel its over, just ribbing for like 14 inches. (glances lovingly at her two pairs of pretty self stripped socks)

So, my next few days are pretty set. Knit through baseball, read while not knitting. I’m expecting another great series for the Tigers this weekend and it is a good thing since this pattern takes a little concentration. I don’t need to be screaming and throwing things AND trying to lace! No one deserves that.

Rejecting the Urge to Name This Post ‘Status Updateapalooza’

I feel like I might ‘-apalooza’ too much. Not every post I write falls into the ‘an all out amazing party’ definition that ‘-apalooza’ brings to mind. In any case, Lots of Status Updates:

Loving Frank Status Update: Page 7. Vr Bad.

Toe Up Sock Status Update:

Vr Good

Vr Good

Finished them last night! …while I should have been reading but couldn’t pull my eyes/8 year old boy away from a most certain, and ultimately confirmed, Tigers loss. And now I’m not starting another project until tomorrow night’s Sweater Club. I will be starting my summer sweater in class, meaning I will be going the next 29 hours without knitting.

3.1 Pound Michigan Weight Gain Status Update:

Vr Good

Vr Good

PT and I threw together this cold pasta salad without ever having done it before! It turned out great. In fact, I made another one for lunch just now.

We also made some amazing corn, but I made an alarming discovery. I eat corn around, PT eats it type writer style, which I’m pretty sure means we aren’t meant to be. But I’m already down 2 Michigan pounds so I’m not worried about needing to find a non-type writer style corn eater.

High School Classmate Status Update Told Through Emails Between my Friend Susan and I:

Me: Jodi Bosch now Overweg something just friended me on facebook and is preggers with her THIRD child. She looks exactly the same. THREE. How fucked is that?

Susan: shut up. wow.  i feel so empty and unsuccessful now when i think of what might have been…. but seriously, did you think THAT girl was going to grow up to be anything besides a mom?

Me: I didn’t think she would grow up at all! She has to be the same retard we knew in high school, but now she has three kids. I was hoping she would just fall into a hole and wouldn’t be able to find her way out of it.

Susan: being 25 and a mother of three certainly sounds like falling into a hole to me.

Amazingly it is Possible to Eat and Throw a Bocce Ball at the Same Time

Awake and camped out at New Wave.

My first job ever was working at The Advanced Newspapers. I started when I was 15 filing ads and doing layout and typing for editors and helping the photographers. I got paid $6 an hour for like 15 hours a week during the school year and close to full time for two summers before getting a valet parking job at the Gerald R Ford International Airport. There are only two outstanding life experiences I garnered from The Advance: 1) somehow I managed to have two boyfriends without realizing it, meaning that I cheated on First Ever Boyfriend and Second Ever Boyfriend, setting myself up for a lifetime of dating debauchery. And 2) it was always fucking COLD in that office! I had to dress like it was January every day for two summers, looking like an 85 year old woman right up until I stepped into the office, where I fit in.

I’m flash backing big time right now! In my little skirt and wife beater (for the outside world), and long sleeve t shirt and sweater (for the FROZEN New Wave world). I also accidentally have two boyfriends.

1 – PT:

PT and His BF - Pronto Pup

PT and His BF - Pronto Pup

2) Food:

This Face... All Weekend

This Face... All Weekend

Am I drinking tequila with a spoon? Could I be eating some alcohol infused soup? Or a Brandy Alexander?

Regular Old Mint Oreo Blizzard

Regular Old Mint Oreo Blizzard

I love food. I love eating. And I did a lot of it this weekend in Michigan. It had been a few months since I’ve been home so we had to make up for lost time. Grilling, baking cakes and cookies, ice cream. Grilling. More grilling. Smores. You know the drill. It is the most American thing about me, my vegetarian love of grilling every meal in the summer months. My dad, who is about as adventurous as an 87 year old Baptist from Georgia, commented to his coworker, ‘When my daughter comes to town we eat really weird food.’ This time ‘weird’ was fish tacos. Bygones.

Me Beating the Shit Out of My Brother Adam

Me Beating the Shit Out of My Brother Adam

I hung with my bros, we went to the drive in, we played bocce ball and bean bags until our arms were sore. Mine still is, honestly. But now we are back to the daily grind. You know, afternoons spent at New Wave blogging. GRIND.

But this week grind is going to include reading all 356 tiny print pages of Loving Frank, which just came in, before Monday’s Knitting Book Club. Yikes. I finished The Hours this morning and was left feeling appropriotly depressed, which means the book was good, right? Loving Frank better be a page turner or I’m going to be unprepared for my own book club. Talk about embarassing.