The Sweatshop of Love Blog

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July, 2009

Y’all Gonna Feel The Pain

I’ve been sitting here for 20 minutes trying not to be excited. Last time I was on the verge of being this excited was last spring when the Tigers got Miguel Cabrera and I was texting everyone about how the Tigers are the best team in baseball and dancing in front of everyone singing, ‘y’all gonna SUCK!’ Then the season started very badly and people were comparing Cabrera to Jar Jar Binks (fat, worthless, and overpaid being the key points), and I couldn’t go a game that first month without getting a text like, ‘hey bitch, what you want?’

So, I was staring at my computer screen blankly, alternating thoughts between, ‘WASHBURN WASHBURN WASHBURN WASHBURN WASHBURN WASHBURN WASHBURN’, and ‘Find a problem, find a problem, find a problem, find a problem’, when I got an email update from the Tigers with this picture in it.

This is Jarrod Washburn, a very good pitcher who will now be playing for the Tigers, which is a big deal.

But really? You are going to send this picture out to all your fans like, hey! look what we just bought! Look at his face. And I wish my boobs looked like that in a jersey; I would never take it off. And there is something seriously wrong with his elbow.

So, he is just a dude. A very talented dude who I want to kiss a lot because the thought of a series against any team with a Verlander, Jackson, WASHBURN lineup makes me want to cry tears of joy.

JOY! SUCK IT BITCHES!

But he isn’t very photogenic. And that is a problem. He has to work on that.

Lots of Sammys

Don’t you hate when you run out of bread? I make my own bread so you would think this would happen to me rarely, but last night I found myself with a mad cheese craving and no bread.

So I threw some ingredients in the bread maker, and 3 hours and 20 minutes later I knew I would have some delicious honey grain bread. Until then, I needed cheese in meal form, which is hard to come by with no bread.

Cheese and crackers really isn’t a meal; I could have cooked up some cheesy pasta but I wasn’t really feeling that, either. What I wanted was a fatty grilled cheese sandwich with some fancy Dubliner cheese.

Mini Sammies

Mini Sammys

Then I remembered the bag of frozen English muffins in the fridge that PT and I made ages ago that I always forget about. I dug out four plain ones (cheese and cinnamon raisin English muffins didn’t sound appealing), defrosted them, covered them in butter and threw them in a hot pan. I made an only Dubliner cheese one, a Dubliner cheese and zucchini one, a Swiss, zucchini, and mushroom one, and a cheddar and mushroom one. I just kept them on there until the cheese melted, which was hard because I was really excited.

Yummy

Yummy

To say these turned out well is an understatement. The mushroom and cheddar one was out of this world and I should have made another one of those. The one I was most looking forward to, the just Dubliner cheese one, was my least favorite. STILL amazing, but, after eating the rest of them with the veggies cooked perfectly in the melty cheese! It just didn’t have enough going on.

Seriously.

Seriously.

I was thinking about how much work making those English muffins was, and it was a lot of work. An entire afternoon’s worth of rising and kneading and cutting and rising and babysitting and frying and cooling and dusting. But I would make them again just so I could have these sandwiches at my disposal always. It just wouldn’t be the same, I don’t think, cutting up regular bread into little squares and making them that way.

Sammy

Sammy

Then I went to Margie’s with Sam, who’s place of employment just went under. Confused about the future? Feeling like no one will ever love you? Go to Margie’s Candies!

I tried to convince Sam to start a blog about all the internet dating he does, but separated into two identities: Douche Sam, who takes out Wrigley sluts, and Regular Sam, who takes out the nice, literary types. It would be hilarious! For me. It would totally be optioned into a movie or an HBO series.

(If you are looking for a nice boyfriend with a nice dog, also named Sammy, and you don’t have a peg leg, email me and Sam will be your boyfriend)

I got the turtle sundae that I ate too fast to take a picture of. It came, I inhaled it, I gave the rest of my hot fudge to Sam so he could mix it in his cookies and cream shake.

‘This is going to hurt later,’ Sam said.

‘I’m counting on it.’

And it did.

Goodbye, Newleaf

Last Bounty

Last Bounty

Since PT and I broke up and I can’t afford to keep getting the produce boxes from Newleaf by myself, this is the last box. Just to torture me further this had to be the best box yet:

Blueberries, oranges, apples, broccoli, zucchini, and bananas are some of my favorite things in life. I have no idea what those green pointy things are on the right there. Ideas? Help? Please! And more kale and a head of lettuce, I think. Sigh. I’ll miss it. And Pudge Rodriguez will miss it, too.

So, I can cook, right? I throw things together and it normally turns out.

Omelet? Kinda?

Omelet? Kinda?

... Maybe?

... Maybe?

Not the case with omelets. I love omelets and make them pretty often. 9 times out of 10 they look like this. My problem is that I want to put too many things in them and then they fall apart because there isn’t enough egg. This ‘omelet’ had broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, tomato, and corn in it, with some cheddar sprinkled on top. It’s just too much stuff for 3 eggs.

Despite how it looked, though, it was really good. I had completely forgotten I had eggs. That is the one complaint I will make about the produce box; I felt like I never knew what I had in my fridge. I opened my crisper drawer last night and had to do a clean sweep (never got to the cilantro from a few weeks back – that was ugly). When you forget you have entire pineapple in your fridge, you have lost control. Three produce boxes a month, instead of four, would have set me up for life. If I cared enough about money to actually make it.

Sock #1 Done

Sock #1 Done

So Pretty!

So Pretty!

Something I do care about making? Socks. I finished one of these cute socks yesterday. It was kind of bitter sweet, actually. When I started it PT and I were still kinda together. It was my comfort sock, my no brainer pattern I was sadly knitting in the quiet.

Does that happen to you? You remember what you were doing or going through when you were knitting a project much much later when you pull that project out? I’ve always done that. I have a piece of pottery I made in high school the week George Harrison died, and I remember that when I see it. I have a shawl I was working on when I moved to college that I remember working on in the room I grew up in that doesn’t exist anymore.

Two-Texture Mittens

Two-Texture Mittens

So, I started these last night. I’ve had these mittens in my head for a while; I am almost done with the outline for my pattern/recipe book and these are in there. I just need a pattern for them! I always forget how much time you have on your hands after a break up. Time to be ultra productive. Half a two-texture-mitten-in-one-night productive.

I left out the thumb, changing from knitting in the round on the double pointed needles to back and forth for the size of my thumb. I’m going to go back and pick those stitches up later with the cream yarn. I know, I know. Genius!

… and I’ll probably have it done tonight.

Blitz Restaurant and Bar, or: The New Logan Square Drug Cover Storefront

I walk around a lot. When I’m not walking around I’m biking around. Both modes of transportation allow me to see things that I wouldn’t normally see, like baby birds learning to fly, and flowers blowing in the breeze, and storefronts that can’t possibly do what they say they are doing. A famous example is the Honey Bear Ham Company on Grand that has boxes stacked in it’s windows, is never open, and never smells like ham. And could their website be any creepier? Drug cover!

Blitz Restaurant & Bar

Blitz Restaurant & Bar

About a month ago PT and I noticed this gem at the end of Mozart at Armitage. Sure, they hired the worst graphic designer in all of Chicago, but it is always nice to have new restaurants around. Upon googling, all we could find is a notification of business license, food license, and liquor license. No website, no information. Not even a myspace!

I’ve been watching it closely. The inside appears finished; bar stools and tables. There are always 1 or 2 dudes sitting around watching euro-trash music videos on TV.

My theory is that some Czech drug lords decided to set up shop in Logan Square under the cover of their perception of what an American Sports Bar is. They google image searched ‘American sport’, printed off some pictures, taped them together, and with the help of Microsoft Paint worked out a lighting bolt logo and the font used on a 3rd grade boy’s birthday party invitations.

In The Window...

In The Window...

Last week they had a big sign over their doors that said, “Grand Opening: DATE”, like they bought a Grand Opening sign that had a removable slot where you put the date of your grand opening in, but they didn’t, they just left it saying DATE. It is gone now.

Today I noticed that they had new signage taped to the doors. After catching my breath from my sprint down the street to get a closer look, I was not disappointed.

Sure, those darn kids tried to peel the sign down, but you can still read: “Casual Atmosphere, American Food, DJ’s, Big Screen TVs, Lounge, Private Parties.”

Then the pictures of the bar that isn’t opened yet? Separated by their lightning bolt logo.

So, you are European. What do Americans like? Wearing jeans and backwards caps (casual atmosphere- check), American food (check), big TVs (check), and to not hang out with outsiders and minorities (private parties – check). But you are still European so you are going to need DJs and techno party lights (see picture).

Menu

Menu

'American' Food

'American' Food

And they had their menu up! So, stick with me here, you are still a European. What do Americans like to eat? Put bacon on everything! And they love bagels, so make a bagel sandwich for sure.

Crab cakes and spaghetti? Those are normal American bar food appetizers, right?

I love the combo platter: wings, skins, rings, tenders, and carrot Stick’s. Make sure Stick is capitalized and ‘s-ed! They really had me sold on that before the carrot Stick’s.

You know what I’m getting at. If this place ever opens I’m holding a huge Sweatshop party there where we will watch sports while having a euro-trash dance party to Kylie. With wings. And carrot Stick’s.

Allymelie

I remember watching Amelie for the first time. I was a freshmen at Adrian College and it was like, foreign film week maybe? Adrian has less than 1,000 students total, it’s in the middle of nowhere south eastern Michigan, so foreign film week consisted of the hot, long haired foreign language teacher setting up a projector in a normal sized class room and showing movies to the 5 – 10 interested students.

We went because Amelie got a very good recommendation from Chelsea, who grew up in Royal Oak, where they get foreign films in their movie theaters. We all psychotically loved it, of course, but I remember thinking how weird it was that she made these elaborate meals for herself. She lived alone and would always be cooking or baking away. At the time I was eating cookies for lunch and fries for dinner and living in a dorm room, so the idea of cooking anything was pretty foreign to me.

Dinner for One

Dinner for One

Saturday night I found myself sauteing fresh zucchini, broccoli, and mushrooms in olive oil and garlic, adding half a can of diced tomatoes and a tablespoon of tomato paste. I cooked and drained the whole wheat pasta and threw it in with the vegetables. I finished it with red pepper flakes and fresh cracked pepper. After I plated it I grated some parmesan on top. I walked back to my bed, unpaused Felicity, and ate it alone. It was amazing. The zucchini was perfectly cooked, the mushrooms were super meaty and the broccoli tops soaked up the tomato sauce and garlic.

I care about myself, so I cook for myself. I love cooking, so I cook for myself. I don’t need an audience.

In one of the last scenes, though, Amelie is baking herself a plum cake, I think, and she is out of baking soda, maybe? So she imagines that cute boy from the train stations stopping on his way home to pick some up for her. And she imagines him sneaking into her house to surprise her with it, and he makes a little noise to let her know he is there, but it turns out to be the cat making the noise, and she is all alone, with no baking soda.

That happens, too.

Or you make yourself an entire pan of brownies and eat them all with your hands while watching Amelie, saying over and over, ‘Without you, today’s emotions would be the scurf of yesterday’s’, and ‘these are tough times for dreamers’, until you wake up the next morning covered in brownie drool.

People tell me I look like her sometimes.

Audrey

Audrey

Me

Me

It is easily my favorite compliment, and maybe we have similar eyes and eyebrows? Cheeks? Dimple, sure, but I’m pretty sure that is where the similarity ends.

That, and cooking. Because, obviously, Audrey is like Amelie pre-cute boy. Also, pre-The DaVinci Code. I’m sure she pretends, like I do, that that never happened.