Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Some Drawings

So a couple of weekends ago I went to one of my favorite places in the city: Dick Blick. For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of visiting a Blick store or website, it's awesome. It's a huge art supply store, and they have all kinds of stuff. The physical locations are a little light on actual craft supplies, but that's what Michael's is for anyway.

The Blick in Noho is two stories, and it has recently been rearranged. The top floor has all the canvases, paint, brushes, other painting supplies, chalk, pastels, pencils, and markers. The bottom floor has printmaking supplies, framing supplies, portfolios, crafts, and all the paper, rulers, and drafting tools. In short, for someone like me, the whole store is like a deliciously jam-packed candy store. I could really be in there for hours. But of course, most of the "candy" in this store would be incredibly toxic if ingested.

I went in there two weeks ago, though, to pick up some new Chartpak Ad markers, because as you may know, I use mine a lot. I have a tendancy to run out of buff, beige, and pale flesh the fastest, soon followed by pale lime and ice blue. But of course I needed to have a stroll around the store. And on my stroll, I found neon colored pencils. And they were four dollars, so of course i bought them. and also the markers for which I'd come.

So what does a spinster do on a Monday night? Watch TV and draw, of course! Last night was the first night I tried out any of the new non-replacement colors I bought, and so I thought for today's post I'd just share my little doodle sketches. Unfortunately, my scanner does not like neon colors, and I'm not good enough at photo shop to figure out how I can make neons apper when they're pretty much grey in the original scan. But oh well. You can still see them. Just imagine that the bags are grey with neon pop colors.


Monday, April 29, 2013

The Pop Tart Tower

So, when my mom was in town she noticed my fridge was a bit less cold than maybe it should have been. I didn't think much of it until I made a pitcher of sweet tea, and the next morning it wasn't ice cold when I went to have some at breakfast. Not a good sign.

So, I've called my landlady, and a new fridge is on its way to me, but until it comes, I can't have any refrigerated items. What's a spinster to do? I can't even get a lot of takeout because I'd just have to throw the leftovers away.

Well, it was 8pm on a sunday night, and I hadn't eaten dinner. So, of course, I decided it was time for a trip to the ol' Rite Aid where I buy all of my real necessities. I was fairly sure I was going to buy some peanut butter M&Ms, but when I got there, I suddenly needed some store brand chocolate chip cookies in the worst way possible. So I got those.

But then, I realized I'd just watched Jeff Who Lives at Home, and in one of the last scenes, he's eating a Pop tart. I needed some Pop tarts. But I couldn't decide which kind I should buy, so I just bought all three. And the cookies. And some Andes Mints for good measure. Really, it'll be a miracle if I don't have diabetes by the end of the week.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Kitten Love

Do you love kittens? I don't think I have to tell you that I do. And I also love mass production. So, today I did a little work on something that combines the two: A kitten tee.

Check out the image of the tee  here, a kitten made of hearts. Because, really, aren't all kittens made of love anyway? I've ordered mine, and now I'm pretty pumped.

Anyway, just thought I'd share! Want to check it out? You can see all the Spinsterhood Diaries stuff here: http://www.zazzle.com/spinsterstore. So ch-check it out!

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Whaaaaat!? I cleaned my desk.

So, the true test came when I went to work yesterday and saw what you see above. The before photo. That's right. That's what my desk looked like when I left it on Wednesday afternoon. This should serve as proof that people were actually stopping by and commenting.

Well, when I woke up yesterday morning, I immediately cleaned off my bedside table, which was covered in tissues. Then I went around my apartment and picked up all the colored pencils that were strewn about, and threw away some random trash lying about. It felt good.

Then, I came to work. I have to admit that on my train ride, I was a little afraid I would immediately be overwhelmed by the amount of garbage I needed to organize on my desk. But when I got in, I blew my nose, threw away the tissue, checked my emails, and got to organizing. I moved a bunch of stuff to the basement, threw a lot of things away, and reorganized my desk. There's still a lot to be done, but as you can see below, I feel like I did quite well.

Sorry for the weird blurring. I felt I needed to protect my identity as well as the confidentiality of my work. So don't look too closely at anything.

But, all of this is to say that I really think the hypnosis worked. But, you know, I think it worked quite differently than I thought it would. I think they key to successful hypnosis might be wanting it to work. If you want it to work, and you go in believing it will work, then it will work. At least, that's what it sounded like coming from the Hypnotherapist yesterday.

Anyway, I'm pretty proud. I promise I'll be back to silly posts again soon, but today I had to show what I did. Especially to my mom, who has been dealing with the mess for more than a quarter of a century.

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Hypnosis

Yesterday I unfortunately had to take a sick day. It would have been a much better day had I not been blowing my nose the entire time, in and out of sleep state, and unable to taste anything. In short, it was a legitimate sick day, which is always sad.

At 5:30 PM, my phone rang, and I answered drowsily, simultaneously realizing I had not just received a baby kitten like I had in the dream I was having, and that I needed to leave my apartment within five minutes to make my appointment with the hypnotist. Needless to say, the conversation was short, and I dashed out the door.

The Hypnotist's office was in a residential building on East 61st street between 2nd and 3rd avenues. It's a building that's set back from the street with giant flower arrangements on gilt tables in the lobby. And, of course, there were gold elevators.

The office was on the 31st floor, and a strawberry blonde woman in her early sixties welcomed me into an apartment I assumed must have been originally decorated in the mid-to-late eighties. All the walls were mirrored from floor to ceiling, and there was a giant flat screen on a chunky entertainment cneter on the longest wall. All around were the little doodads you see in random gift shops, like giant mounted raw crystals, long troughs of zen grass, mystical-looking orbs, and one of those globes whose latitudes and longitudes are gold and whose continents are inlaid semi-precious stone. You know what I'm talking about.

There were two overstuffed off white sofas whose seats and back cushions were covered in a tapestry fabric, and a box of tissues on a table next to the chair the Hypnotist asked me to take. I was glad because I desperately needed to blow my nose.

The whole meeting started like any meeting with a therapist. We talked about the issue at hand - namely, my lack of organization - and why I thought that was a problem. All of it was pretty standard until she started telling me that all of this was a choice, and I just had to choose to become a tidy person. Of course, that sounds pretty obvious, but for anyone who's ever had a problem with any behavior, that's sometimes easier said than done.

After we'd talked for about an hour, the phone rang, and her next client was in the lobby. So, we got down to business. The Hypontist told me to stare at the ceiling while she counted back from ten. On three I was to close my eyes, and ever number from ten until one was a progression of deeper relaxation. It was a lot like the beginning and end of a yoga class, really.

I don't remember exactly what she said after that, but I know that just before she told me I would forget everything she said before that, she told me to put all the thing that I wanted to fix (messiness, disorganization, etc) on a cloud and watch it float off into the horizon. And then she counted from ten again, and I woke up.

I expected to come out of it saying "was I hypnotized?" or "when are you going to hypnotize me?" but really, I knew what was happening the whole time. I just don't really remember what she said. It was nice, though. Really relaxing. It felt like it was five minutes, but in reality it was almost fifteen.

Afterward I went to the container store and bought something to organize my mail, and when I came home, I organized my mail. And then I picked up all of the things off my bathroom floor. And then I picked up all my colored pencils. The true test, though, will be what happens at work tomorrow. If I can get my desk together, it will be a real miracle.

I'll go back for a follow up session next week. Until then, she's sending me a recording of what she said while I was under hypnosis, so I can listen to it and "go deeper," as she put it. I am hopeful that this is going to solve the problem. I'm tired of being embarrassed of my desk.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Today's the Day! I'm getting Hypnotized

As I've mentioned before, I'm a bit messy. I've been neatness-challenged for as long as I can remember. I just hate that no matter how well you clean something, it never stays clean. It's never done, which is frustrating.

But other people seem fine with - some even enjoy - cleaning. And the fact that I get so many comments about my desk at work really makes me quite a bit self-conscious. I just get overwhelmed with the amount of stuff I need to file, fold, or put away.

So, here I am, nearing thirty, and I still can't pick up after myself. I mean, I could, but I never do. And it seems a little faux pa to get a maid for my desk. I mean, everyone else seems to be able to manage it.

The girl who sits next to me at work, though, saw a hypnotist to stop smoking. She had a cigarette ready to go for when she left, she says, but she threw it away as soon as she stepped out of the hypnotist's office and never looked back. She didn't want to smoke anymore.

So, after much careful consideration and a visit from my mother for the express purpose of re organizing and cleaning my apartment, I have decided to see a hypnotist about my tidiness issue. And today's the day! I really hope it works, but I will be sure to share the details with you tomorrow morning!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I was in "Meet a Glipher!"

Yesterday was very exciting for me. Not only did I tell Ryan Gosling it wasn't going to work out via blog post, but I was also featured in Glipho's "Meet a Glipher" Series. I'm pretty excited.

Glipho is a new social publishing site with a really fun way to interact with content. I was going to try to explain it, but just check out their brand new infographic here: http://glipho.com/team/infographic-glipho-social-blogging

Now, The "Meet a Glipher" series introduces the Glipho community to individual bloggers, or "Gliphers," by way of an emailed interview and a photo. However, since most of my posts are illustrated, they asked me to do a little illustration of my self as well. I sent them two options, and to the left you'll find the one they didn't choose. But since I had already done it, I decided I should use it today anyway. Ok, so it's a bit romanticized. Isn't that a good reason to illustrate yourself, though?

Anyway, check out the #Meetaglipher post here: http://glipho.com/team/meetaglipher-myrna-minx-spnstrhddiaries


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Why I'm not dating Ryan Gosling

This weekend, my friend Alexandra and I went to see The Place Beyond the Pines, or as we called it, "The New Ryan Gosling Movie." More aptly, though, I think the movie should have been named "Ryan Gosling Holds a baby and makes me wonder if marrying a carnie would actually be such a bad life..." But he doesn't just hold the baby. He makes the baby stop crying. So...even more of my heart crumbled at the thought that I'll never hold hands with Mr. Gosling. He'll never say, "hey girl," to me.

But you know what? The more I thought about it, the more I realized it would never work between us. So, when Ryan Gosling and I meet, which we obviously will, I'm afraid I'm going to have to tell him that for the following reasons, we will never marry:

1. He's too good looking. The reasons this is a problem should be obvious, but in case you aren't sure, I'll go ahead and spell it out for you.
     A. He's better looking than I am, and I want to be the pretty one, thank you very much.
     B. That's a lot of pressure. I mean, I can't be having women who look like Eva Mendez flirting with your man. I can't compete with that. She was a billboard for Calvin Klein lingerie, for crying out loud.
     C. If we ever had children, and they turned out to be less than stunning, we'd both know it was my genes that muddied the gene pool. What a shame.

2. The way he looks at people is too good. I know that sentence doesn't make sense, but I think we can all agree that one of the reasons we love the Gosling so much is less about his voice and more about the way he just stands there and stares at you, making you think things like "sure, I'll help you rob a bank, no problem!" I just think that'd be a dicey business. I'd rather be paid to be hypnotized, thank you very much.

3. He's too physically fit. You know, Ryan, I have a desk job, ok? I don't have as much time to work out as you do. And can't you write your gym membership off as a business expense? I thought so. So, geez. Stop judging me for eating falafel chips for breakfast. They're high in protein and fiber.

4. There are Tumblrs about him. Yes, of course, when you look at the "Hey girl" meme, you fall in love with the Ryan Gosling over and over and over again, but let's be real, here. That means some other girl has dedicated a lot of time to thinking up what she wishes Ryan Gosling would say to her. Can I even compete with that much attentiveness?

5. I hear he's a total weirdo. Let's be honest, though. That's not a deal breaker.

6. I can't make it all the way through The Notebook without bawling my eyes out, and I'm afraid he'd find out and be upset.

Ok, so I can only think of six reasons, but Ryan, if you're reading this, I'm really sorry. I just...I just don't think it's a match. But I'd like to be friends, ok? Can we be friends?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Spinster Shopping: New Moccasins

Friday at work, Danielle, the girl who sits behind me, and I drooled over the new shoes Coach had posted on their website. Danielle wanted the blue and white woven-heeled ankle-strap sandals, and I loved the little moccasins in fun spring colors. But of course, we were just doing "research."

Saturday morning, I just really needed to spend some time at the Queens Center Mall. Sometimes I need to get a little bit of suburbia going on to feel a sense of peace and calm. I wandered through the makeup counters at Macy's, and I had a chair massage in the middle of the mall like the spinster I am. then, of course, I ate chinese food in the food court, surrounded by screaming children. How does make me feel calm, you ask. Well, I can't exactly say, but it does.

I was on my way to Urban Outfitters with some black tees in mind in case I needed to refresh my stock when I came upon the Coach store. That store gets me every time. It looks so clean, and it has such a nice, limited color story. It's white on the inside, and there are so man solid-colored bags displayed in well-lit compartments, I just feel like I need to be in there.

So, I stepped inside, and on the right wall about halfway into the store, I realized they had the shoes. The spring-colored moccasins were sitting there, asking me to put them on my feet. So, of course I had to oblige. And when I did, I knew there was no turning back. They felt like clouds on my feet. With soft soles that house little rubber nubs at the heel and pad of your foot, my little tootsies felt like they were having a massage.

"I'll take them," I said, and so I did. And I wore them for the rest of the weekend, and I'll be wearing them today. I bought a salmon-colored pair for no explainable reason other than that I liked it. Every spinster needs a fun-yet-extremely-comfortable pair of shoes. So, today, you should figure out how and where you can try on a pair. But be forewarned. One you put them on your feet, you won't want to take them off.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Spinster Party Food: Ginger Jones's Park Avenue Bars

Parties are my best excuse to bake things that aren't dinner. Otherwise, I'll just eat the whole thing. So, the fact that there was a housewarming last night meant I got to try out another one of my favorite recipes.

By now, you should be familiar with the famous Sumterite, Ginger Jones. Since Mrs. Jones is a friend of my mother's, and her daughter Virginia is a friend of mine, I have had the benefit of trying many of her delicious party foods. And today we will talk about one of my very favorites: her Park Avenue Bars:

For the Crust:

What you'll need:

1 Box Duncan Hines Butter Cake Mix
1 Stick of butter (real, softened)
1 egg
1 6 ounce package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup of chopped peacans

What to do:
- Mix first two ingredients with a beater
- Add egg and beat
- add chips and nuts
- Press into greased 13x9 (or close to) brownie pan

For the Topping:

What you'll need:
1 eight ounce cream cheese
2 eggs
1 stick of butter
1 box powdered sugar

What to do:
- Soften cream cheese and butter.
- cream together with a beater
- Add eggs, beat.
- Add powdered sugar a little at a time and beat till smooth and a little fluffy.
- spread topping over crust.
- Put in preheated 300degree oven for one hour.
- Let cool for a while and take a spatula and press down the edges. The middle tends to sink, and this keeps the top even.

So, I hope you enjoy these as much as I do! They are one of my very favorite Ginger Jones creations.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Currently in my queue: The IT Crowd

As a spinster, I spend quite a bit of time with my boyfriend, Netflix. Usually I watch bunches and bunches of Law and Order, but since this past weekend, I've been watching something a little different. A friend turned me on to this show called The IT Crowd, and I can't get enough. So, now we're going to talk about why I love it.

1. It's from the UK. That's right. Like a lot of Americans, I love the English. They're funny, and I like the way they talk. 

2. It's about nerds. Somehow I don't think it's a stretch at all to imagine that I'd be friends with these guys. They're wierdos, and I like them. They're lovable.

3. It's got Chris O'Dowd. You may be asking yourself, "who is this Chris O'Dowd?" Well, you may remember him as the adorable police officer from Bridesmaids. Offbeat and super cute. Also, we're married. I feel like I should disclose that. But I'm also still a spinster. 

4. Jen. The "relationships manager" character on the show is an hilariously real - if farcical - woman. I just watched an episode where she has a terribly uncomfortable bra. I'm pretty sure we all know thats a real and terrible thing. Don't we all hate to be poked in the armpit with a wandering underwire?

5. It's so true. The best thing about ridiculous tv shows is sometimes how hilariously true they are. I know I just said this in #4, but give me a little break, ok? What I'm talking about here is that the IT guys  answer the phone and give really obvious answers to whatever the caller is asking. "Have you tried turning it on and off," is the first question they ask anyone who has a problem. Anyone who's ever worked with an IT department knows they'll ask you if you've tried to restart your computer or if you've tried logging on and off. Most of the time, though, you're calling because you'll lose all your work if you sign out or shut down. But really, they don't care. And it's hilarious because it's true.

Ok...so now you need to watch this show on Netflix. It's sort of funny in a less-dark kind of Office Space way, which makes it perfect for your sunday night ritual in preparation for Monday morning. Or, if you're recovering from your work week today, you could just watch it all day.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Oh Man, Speculoos

Yesterday morning I woke up and put my bread in the toaster, ready for some crunchy peanut butter toast. But, when I opened the jar, I saw that I only had one piece of toast's worth of peanut butter left, and I had neglected to pre-butter my toast for jelly. "What's a spinster to do," I thought. And then I realized: I had an unopened jar of Speculoos just waiting to be consumed.

Every morning when I get to work, I look at about 16 blogs to get myself going. The list contains a bunch of different design-related sites, and more than one of them has recently mentioned cookie butter or speculoos. Some even had recipes. I had no idea, though, that this would be available pre-jarred.

Then, I was at Au Bon Pain one saturday for a chocolate croissant (why else?), and I saw they had a jar of - was that - yes, I think it was- Speculoos!? Oh, it was, and I tried it. And I told the cashier, "I'll take some of that, too."

For those of you who have yet to try the deliciousness that is cookie butter, the jar I bought, when applied to toast tastes something like spreadable teddy grahams. In other words: delicious. For me, this discovery amounts to the greatness of the first time I had Nutella. 

In case you're not jonesing for some speculoos, and you're worried you might not be able to find some, not to worry! Trader Joe's has their own kind, and a search on Amazon turns up quite a few results. I would imagine Whole Foods also carries something of the sort. And if you're across the pond, well, I suppose you won't have any trouble finding it at all!

So get yourself some speculoos, and have a happy friday!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Banana Pudding: Get on that.

About a month or so ago, there was an office birthday party for which I forgot to bring a treat. Everyone else had brought cupcakes or fruit or something from home, but I had forgotten all together. So, I googled where I could get guacamole near my office, but I knew Chipotle was going to be super crowded. And then it hit me: there is a Magnolia Bakery in Grand Central Station, and they have banana pudding.

For those of you who aren't southerners or haven't otherwise encountered banana pudding, you need to get on that. Well made banana pudding can taste like banana-flavored clouds. Well, clouds with delicious lumps of banana and cookie nestled inside. (You can see what is supposedly the recipe here). 

So, I scampered up to Grand Central, past an installation of weird raffia horses, and down into the food concourse to the place of wonder. And alas! At lunchtime, there was no line! Because apparently eating  cupcakes for lunch isn't good? Who ARE these people?

Upon my return to the office I interred my two large puddings into the refrigerator in their paper bag, stapled shut. You never can be too careful in an office full of women with a bakery bag. But I had my treat, and I was sure it would do.

Come party time, the banana pudding was the first to go. People hardly touched the cupcakes, and they were all but licking the banana pudding cartons. I felt like I had won a victory for having had such a lack of planning. A large majority of people had never eaten banana pudding before and were exclaiming things like, "oh my gosh this is good," and, "what IS this?" 

I brought banana pudding to the next party, and everyone loved it again. But I didn't eat any that time, and I couldn't get the banana pudding out of my mind. On tuesday of this week, it all became too much. I got off the train a stop earlier than usual, and took myself down into the virtual ant hill of activity that is Grand Central Station at 8:30 AM. I had to have the banana pudding, and have the banana pudding I did.

I shared about half the small carton with my desk neighbor that morning, in a shockingly uncharacteristic move. Then, I put the rest in the freezer as highly suggested by the cashier. The difference in texture she assured me was worth the freezing. And i can't say I disagree. I won't say the frozen texture is superior to the regular banana pudding texture, but I will say that it comes out a bit like banana pudding ice cream which, let's be honest, is incredible.

So, if you haven' thad any banana pudding, try it the original way first. And if you have had it, try freezing it. You will not be disappointed. This spinster surely was not.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Where have these been all my life?

In an office full of women, there are always snacks to be found. I like to hoard my snacks, but other (crazy) people like to share. This is how I actually ate my first delicious clementine. Fresh Direct had mistakenly delivered a giant bunch of clementines to one of the production girls, and she knew she'd never be able to eat them all. So, because there was such an abundance, and it wasn't dwindling. I had one. And then another, and I'm pretty sure I had another after that, too.

My production partner at work often leaves snacks out and about at her desk. I try not to eat hers, though, because I know she'll be around my desk at some point, and I can't be sure I'll be willing to share my snacks with her. But I'm sure we've already covered all of this. 

Last week, my production partner had a bag of some earthy-looking snack chip at her desk, and I didn't pay it any mind. "You have to try these," she said. So, of course I did. They were lentil chips, and oh, my goodness. I don't know if I'm ever going back. Since that fateful day last week, I've already eaten two full sized bags of Lentil chips in addition to a bag of Humbles Hummus chips, which are also delicious. In fact, Monday night I ate Hummus chips for dinner, and that was all. But then the bag was finished.

On my way home last night, I knew I needed to refresh my supply. When I got to Health and Wellness, though, they only had Parmesian Garlic flavored Lentil Chips, and I had my heart set on Sea Salt. But I bought them anyway, and I also bought my very first bag of something that blew my mind: Falafel Chips. I only wish I had had the foresight to have some kind of tzatziki-tomato-feta mixture to dip them in. Can you imagine?

Anyway, I can see this being a huge spinster food for me from now on: chips from the health food store. This way I can pretend I'm being healthy, but we all know I'm not. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Spinster Strategy: Foot Fan

My feet get hot at night. We're talking real hot. Like, no matter how cold my feet are when I get in the bed, they are all but aflame by ten minutes into my first sleep cycle. I try to move my feet around under the covers to find a cool spot, but pretty soon they've all become lukewarm at best, and my feet are angry.

My dad has the same problem. His head is cold, and his feet are hot. He says if he could cut two holes for his feet in the bedspread, he would. But I have a better plan.

I don't use a top sheet on my bed. I know. You think it's weird, but in my quest for room temperature feet, this seemed like the first step (pun sort of intended) was to remove all impediments.

But even removing the top sheet didn't completely solve the problem. When I lived in the village, I would sleep with my feet against he window in the winter and against the air conditioner in the summer. But then in the summer the rest of my body would be hot.

So I took to the Kmart and bought myself a mini box fan. The Ikea platform bed I had in the village had a little ledge that was prefect for balancing my little 18"x18" square of wonder. But when I moved to Astoria, I left that bed on sixth avenue and got a new one without the ledge. And then air conditioner wasn't near the bed. This problem had to be solved.

It took a bit of doing, but I found an assortment of boxes that, alone were nothing. Together, though, they were the perfect platform for my foot fan. I've placed the foot fan just at the end of my bed at the perfect height to give my feet the sensation of a beach at night time. With any luck, the temperature on that beach will drop dramatically, and they'll need to take refuge with the rest of me under the duvet. Otherwise, I'll have to moisturize them so they'll be cold enough to survive.

When I picture myself lotioning my feet to maximize the chill factor of my box fan (clearly the ruler of all the other boxes upon which it sits), I really do not wonder at the fact that I'm a spinster. If anyone were to actually see this business, they would doubtless run in fear. But you know, you gotta do what you gotta do. And what I gotta do is crank up that foot fan.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Room Makeover

I think my mom should have her own room makeover tv show. While I was at work on Thursday and Friday, she completely cleaned and re-organized my apartment, and it is glorious. I feel so much better now. But I'm still waiting for the hypnotist to return my phone call.

Here you'll find a photo of the sitting room half of my kitchen/living room room, if that makes sense. It's a new York Apartment. So, you know. The layout's a little wierd.

We actually ended up rearranging it a  little more after I took this photo, but this gives you an idea. I think it looks so much better. My mom and I made a little trip to the West Elm on West 63rd street friday night, and I go that awesome rug as well as the pillows on the sofa.  I also got some spring/summer bedding since we all know that's where I spend most of my time, and my apartment tends to get really warm. Or maybe it's just my spinsterly feet that seem to be a good ten degrees hotter than the rest of my body at all times. What is that about?

Anyway, my mom and I had a great time, and she got so much work done, and I am so thankful. If any of you work for HGTV, I think I have a lady for you!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Spinster Spring Break: My mom is coming!

Yesterday at work, someone told me my desk could be on an episode of "Hoarders." I can't say I disagree. I have a hard time figuring out what should be thrown away and what should be kept. Most of the problem has to do with the face that every time I get rid of something, someone needs to see that specific thing.

It should come as no surprise to you that my apartment is much the same way. It's been clean at times, but it's gotten really out of hand of late, and sometimes it makes me feel a little panic rising from between my shoulders, up and around my neck. I mean, when there's so much Netflix to watch, how how can I get any cleaning done at all?

But alas! My mom is coming to the rescue! She's coming tonight to help me take care of the situation, after which I will be hypnotized so that I can maintain the new found organization. No, really. I'm getting hypnotized. Don't worry. I'll tell you all about it.

So, I'm very excited. My mom and I will get to hang out, but while I'm at work, she's doing me the giant, giant service of cleaning and organizing and getting rid of all kinds of things I've been keeping for absolutely no reason. I know. She is saintly. I resisted for a very long time because it seems like much too large of a gift. I can't just answer by saying "you shouldn't have!"

I tell you all this to say I'm going to take a little break from "The Spinsterhood Diaries" for the rest of the week so I can get in some quality Mom-time. I'll be back next week!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Canned Corn

One of the best things about spinstering out hard core every day of the week is the freedom to indulge in your whimsical eating habits. Ain't no man around to say your dinner of Fritos, cereal,  and a handful of Andes Mints is weird.

When I was interning at Li and Fung, I would regularly come home from work around 11pm and dine on about half a jar of chunky applesauce. For some reason that's what I wanted for dinner, so that's what I had. When I would talk about it at work, people would act like it was weird or sad. But you know, I just really needed to get some of that chunky applesauce in my belly. And then, of course, I needed to pass out face down in my bed.

Last night I arrived home around 9pm, and I knew what I would eat: a can of corn with black pepper and Tapatio followed by 1/4 of a chocolate bunny. I washed it all down with a lukewarm glass of water because apparently I haven't eaten ice in so long that my ice is growing tumors. And it was just what I wanted. Nacho Libre would have said, "get that corn out of my face," but I wanted that corn in my face and subsequently in my belly.

So, next time you're eating a can of peas mixed with black beans and a side of hummus chips, know you're a member of a league of free-thinking spinsters. Free-thinking about dinner, that is. I can't speak for any of your other thoughts.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Morning Chocolate

Liz Lemon eats night cheese, and so do I. However, on a monday morning, sometimes it's really important to eat yourself some morning chocolate. It can be the best way to kick start your week.

Make sure you keep some chocolate by your bed, so you can just sit up and eat it as soon as you wake up. Get some caffein, too. I won't judge you if it's diet coke or cheery coke or sweet tea instead of coffee or hot tea. Sometimes I have a regular coke in the morning when I get to work. And a lot of times I have some sweet tea.

Once you've eaten your morning chocolate in bed, you should go ahead and go to work. If you haven't got your chocolate stock in your desk already, pick up some of that on the way. Most of the time I like Dove milk chocolate, but sometimes I need Andes mints or Reese's pieces or Snickers Peanut Butter. I'll let you decide what's best for you.
Then, once you're at your desk, staring down the barrel of yet another week, turning on your computer, and checking those emails, just eat some more chocolate. It'll make you feel better.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

I read Infinite Jest (spoiler alert)

One of my all time favorite books is A Confederacy of Dunces. Somehow when I tell people this, one of the questions that most often follows is "have you read any David Foster Wallace?" After several such suggestions, I decided to give the ol' DFW a chance.

Before I embarked on this adventure, I did a little research. It seamed that DFW's most famous and touted book was Infinite Jest. So of course, I thought this would be the archetypical example of his work. In fact, Infinite Jest had been specifically mentioned to me several times, one time even being called "a brick of a book." Constantly overconfident in my intelligence, I decided the length of this book was nothing to be afraid of. Little did I know.

Reading Infinite Jest took me over 6 months of to-and-from commutes to work, and maybe half the time, I would fall asleep while reading it. This book has been called "reader-hostile," and I can verify that the crippling amounts of details within its pages left me feeling like I was awash in a sea of useless information that I still had to pick through in case it held a clue to what in the world was actually happening. As I neared the ending, though, I struggled to see any sort of culmination at all.

When I finally finished the last page, I felt panicked. The book ends in the middle of a pain-induced flashback. There is no resolution to any of the book's plot lines or main themes. I felt like I had been broken up with and didn't know why. In other words: a lonely, unsatisfied feeling.

So, I took to googling. Apparently this is a common reader-reaction. So common, in fact, that DFW himself was asked in an interview why the book has no ending. Of course he gave a smug "maybe-you-just-aren't-smart-enough-to-get-it" answer, but I have to say, that from all the discourse I've read, this book is supposed to be about nothing more than the experience of reading it. And, as I said before, it's a hostile, abusive experience. Well, maybe abusive is a bit strong. There are some funny parts.

I had to wait over two weeks before I could even write about having finished the book. But now, at least, if it ever comes up at a party, I can discuss it (semi-) intelligently. More likely, though, I'll discuss it with the emotionality of an ex-girlfriend.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

It's the weekend!

This past week at work, I had what I like to call a "meetings week." Basically, this is just a week full of meetings where I always have to be ready to go into another meeting. And the meetings last, like, five hundred hours each. So, I'm pretty excited it's the weekend. Additionally, it's finally getting warm here in the city, and that's pretty amazing, too.

In celebration, today's post is really just a drawing of how I feel about all of this. The phrase that keeps running through my mind is the first line from Madonna's "Like a Virgin." I can't stop thinking, "I made it through the wilderness. Somehow I made it through." Because, really, this weekend marks the end of what seemed like 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, only to find the promised land of springtime and watching Netflix.

So, as you can see, I am one happy spinster.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Jelly Toast

Yesterday we talked about peanut butter toast, so it stands to reason that today we'd talk about jelly toast. Though they are  close relatives and can indeed be put together to make a delicious toasted peanut butter and jelly, there are some fundamental and extremely important differences in their preparation. But, if you play your cards (and spread your butter) right, you're in for a super treat!

First, you're going to want to start with some fairly substantial bread. The method I'm proposing can sometimes leave your toast a little less than crisp, so I suggest you just hedge your bets with some sturdy and potentially slightly stale bread. Stale bread makes the best toast anyway. It's pretty much already toast before you toast it.

Next, to the butter! I know it's shocking, but I like to butter my toast before it's toasted. This way the butter can sort of permeate the surface of the bread and the flavor is really pronounced without being shockingly buttery. As we've discussed before, I do like to keep my butter out so it's easier to spread and doesn't rip a hole in my bread.

Now the toasting. I have to admit that the little Pylones toaster doesn't quite toast the bread enough to make it crispy. Sometimes you need to toast something in the oven. Usually making toast in the oven will dry it out, but that's kind of what you want here. So, put the oven to about 325 or so, and put your buttered bread right on the rack. You'll need to watch it, though, because the buttered side wont' necessarily show signs of toasting at first. You may want to turn it over halfway through so it's thoroughly crisp.

Jelly time! Once your toast has become toast, you'll take it out of the oven, ready for that jelly. Now, "jelly toast" may be a misnomer, because what we're rally talking about here are preserves. Don't give me none of that grape jelly business. That is for suckers. I'm going to need strawberry preserves or better. I need those little fruit lumps on my toast. Currently my favorite are strawberry blackberry preserves, but I always jump at the chance to get my home made jam or preserves on. My friend Natalie's mother's raspberry jam is amazing. The key to this part of the process, though, is to make sure you don't spread that jelly/jam/preserves too thin. The fruit-and-butter combo is delicious, and you're going to want as much as you can get. So, live it up, why don't you? Get some fruit on that toast.

The last step here, of course, is for you to get back in bed and enjoy your toast. Just make sure you have a napkin. Sometimes the fruit lumps like to escape down your face. And we all know how sticky jelly can be.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Peanut Butter Toast

I'm a firm believer that there's no wrong or right way to do a lot of things. There is often, however, a best way. And today, that's what we're talking about. The best way to make peanut butter toast. I've put a lot of thought into this over the years, and I think you can only benefit from my experience.

Firstly, I like to get a bread that's going to provide maximum crunch once toasted. I find multi-grain and wheat breads do this best. My favorite is Arnold Healthy Multi-Grain. It's delicious and hearty. That is all.

Second, choose your peanut butter. I've always been a Jif girl, and anything else tastes weird to me. Though I usually buy creamy peanut butter, today's photo is of a bit of crunchy, as I just needed something a little extra special today. You know, extra protein and all.

Now to the toasting. You need to figure out your toaster and its settings, which i'm sure you have. I have a cute Pylones toaster, and you must make your toast on the highest setting to get the appropriate golden-brown shade and texture. While your bread is toasting, though, you should prepare yourself as the next steps are key. Take the lid off your peanut butter, and ready your knife and plate for the moment that toast pops up.

When your toaster dings, take one piece out, and leave the other in so it can stay warm. It's important to spread the peanut butter while the toast is still warm as the melty texture of the peanut butter delivers the maximum satisfaction. Once you've sufficiently coated one piece, then take the other out of the toaster and repeat. 

Now, get back in bed, and eat that toast while the peanut butter is still melted. That's delicious, right?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Spinster Strategy: Weekend Pizza

As a spinster, sometimes cooking can seem a little pointless. If you actually go to the trouble of making anything from a recipe, you'd better like it because you'll be eating it for the next two weeks. And, your kitchen probably isn't super large and cooking-friendly, either. At least mine isn't. So, I've developed this Spinster Strategy I like to call "weekend pizza."
On sunday night, I like to maximize my last few hours of weekend by doing absolutely nothing productive. Getting in my pajamas around 7pm is a joy unlike many others. There's Netflix to keep me company until "Revenge" starts at 9pm, and a little nap doesn't do any harm, either. After all, I'll need to stay up past my bedtime to finish watching "Revenge!"

But what to do for dinner? Cooking is really out of the question, though sometimes a reheating is acceptable. Sometimes, though, it's time for weekend pizza. To optimize the benefits of weekend pizza, you should really order it sunday night. I know I'll be judged for this, but I'm just going to go ahead and say it: I live in New York, and I still order from Dominos. There. I said it.

Dominos always has some kind of deal on their website, and I usually go with whatever that is. This weekend it was one large three-topping pizza for $12.99. Sometimes it's two two-topping pizzas for 5.99 each. Either way, I just do whatever it is. Once I've placed my order, it's time to watch their special status bar that tells me Mandeep has begun making my custom pizza, or Kamal has left for delivery. 

When the pizza arrives, I scurry down in my pajamas and bathrobe to the delivery guy who probably knows all too well that I am unabashedly spinstering out hard core at 7pm on a sunday night. He doesn't judge. He just wants that tip. In fact, he probably wishes he was watching "Law and Order" in his bathrobe. 

Once I get the pizza, I only eat a couple of pieces, but then I've got dinner for at least three days! Or breakfast and dinner for a couple or just breakfast. There are so many possibilities! And for the next few days, you don't have to think about what you'll have for dinner. You know you've got an excellent slice of cold pizza just waiting to be devoured in your bed. Because, let's be honest. That's where you're going to eat it.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Treasury of Kittens

Yesterday I had a five-hour meeting at work that required a beak for me to get a coke around hour three. When I stopped by my desk for a dollar, I saw I had an unexpected package! My dear friend Ellen had included a "happy spring" note, saying that the enclosed book was from a real spinster in her family, and she'd also included a little flower-shaped tea bag holder. If you're a tea-drinking spinster like I am, you know how important that is to your life.

I ripped open the package to find something that left me speechless with glee. A vintage book entitled The Treasury of Kittens is now in my possession. The girl who sits behind me asked what I'd gotten, saying, "you look so excited right now."And excited I was. And Am. So this morning, I wanted to share some photos from the book with you. Because I think it's only fair.

Now that you're potentially kitten-logged, I'll remind you of one of the greatest gems Youtube has ever brought into my life. Ladies and Gentlemen, "Kittens Inspired by Kittens." You're welcome.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Where have all the muffins gone?

As you know, yesterday was Easter. So, on a facetime call to my sister and my niece to see my niece's indescribably cute outfit, complete with bunny ears, Rachel and I discussed a breakfast that was common to any birthday or holiday morning in our childhood: the old Duncan Hines Blueberry Streusel Muffin Mix.

The rest of the muffin may just be a regular muffin, but that little extra topping makes me feel like these are luxury, special occasion muffins. So, you can understand why we've been so upset that, in recent years, Rachel, my mom, and I have had some difficulty finding this special kind of breakfast treat deliciousness. That crunchy, crumbly topping was always Rachel's birthday breakfast request, and I'm pretty sure my mom had to make two boxes' worth because they go so fast. 

But (and I want you to sing this in your mind in the voice of Paula cole), where have all the muffins gone? Well, if you haven't tried making them yet, here you go: Duncan Hines Blueberry Streusel muffin mix.  Now, I'm hoping this is it, but I have to admit, the Blueberry Streusel muffins didn't use to be part of this "simple mornings" collection. Here's hoping they're still crunchy, crumbly, goodness.

If you haven't ever made these, you should. They're a special kind of delicious.