Jan

2

By rach

No Comments

Categories: reading room

Book Review – Interrupt

InterruptInterrupt by Jeff Carlson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is an interesting look at how our ancestors and ancestors’ cousins might have evolved throughout thousands of years, and how some primal “inclinations” might reappear under certain circumstances. The characters were really interesting in this book, and the story is pretty fast paced. It’s an easy read (beach book), and entertaining at the same time. Nothing hugely notable, and some of the theories and suppositions were a bit of a stretch. Sometimes, I feel like most authors just glance over certain aspects of characters, which always leaves me unsatisfied. I got a little bit of that in this book, but not a bad vacation book.

View all my reviews

Oct

24

By rach

No Comments

Categories: reading room

Book Review — The Name of the Wind

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Really struggled to get into it at first as Rothfuss takes his time developing the story. In fact, I can’t believe he ended this book where he did, but it’s effective. I’m really looking forward to reading the next one. It’s not the typical book I’d be interested in, but the story keeps me fully engaged. I feel like I escape a bit when I read it. Quite nice.

View all my reviews

Apr

29

By rach

No Comments

Categories: general

focused

focused by pinkeerach
focused, a photo by pinkeerach on Flickr.

Jan

20

By rach

No Comments

Categories: general

brewing afternoon

brewing afternoon by madEthelFlint
brewing afternoon, a photo by madEthelFlint on Flickr.

a great way to spend a gorgeous afternoon.

Jan

20

By rach

No Comments

Categories: general

my kegs have giant holes in them!

first step in keggle conversion: complete! #homebrew

Jan

13

By rach

No Comments

Categories: general

cleaning my glass carboy

Jan

1

By rach

No Comments

Categories: general

pain perdu

pain perdu by madEthelFlint
pain perdu, a photo by madEthelFlint on Flickr.

happy new year!

Dec

20

By rach

No Comments

Categories: general

a very merry ho (ho ho)

a very merry ho (ho ho) by madEthelFlint
a very merry ho (ho ho), a photo by madEthelFlint on Flickr.

a very merry ho (ho ho)

Dec

18

By rach

No Comments

Categories: general

Xmas at the lake

Xmas at the lake by madEthelFlint
Xmas at the lake, a photo by madEthelFlint on Flickr.

finally put lights on the back porch & deck! #merryxmas

Dec

18

By rach

No Comments

Categories: general

merry and bright

merry and bright by madEthelFlint
merry and bright, a photo by madEthelFlint on Flickr.

Aug

5

By rach

No Comments

Categories: artsy fartsy, cooking

Tags: , , ,

Summer Vegetable Casserole

photo of finished summer vegetable casseroleI recently bought a huge eggplant from my local farmer’s market with the full intention of doing an eggplant parmesan. However, I got a hair up my ass when I found a recipe on Pinterest (which has since been deleted from the webs) for an easy casserole w/eggplant. I had some other summer veggies going to waste on the counter, and I needed to use them or toss. So I decided to spice things up.

Honestly, you can use whatever vegetables and seasoning you want. The idea is you half cook the veggies before you “casserole” them. Some optional additions: tofu, chopped onions, salt & pepper, herbs! Feel free to make it your own. My fiancee was amazed by this dish, and said it needs to be in the regular rotation. Cheap and tasty!

Ingredients

1 large eggplant, cubed
1-2 tbsp olive oil (depending on how much squash)
1 large bell pepper (I used green), diced
2-3 medium-to-large summer squash (I used yellow & zucchini), cubed
6-8oz. of mushrooms, sliced thick (they cook down)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used italian style)

Boil the eggplant for 10 minutes. Make sure you turn it occasionally. After 10 minutes, cool the eggplant, and then cube it.

Meanwhile, cut up the rest of the veggies. Heat the olive oil in a pan (skillet, 4qt pot, saute pan), and add the diced bell pepper. Cook on medium-high for a minute or so. Add the squash, and toss to ensure squash is coated in olive oil. Immediately, add the minced garlic to the squash & peppers, and continue to mix. After 5 minutes, add the mushrooms. Cook until squash is mostly cooked (“meat” is somewhat translucent), & remove from heat.

In a casserole dish, add a layer of eggplant, then a layer of the sauted vegetables, and finally the last of the eggplant. Mix the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Pour the can of tomato sauce evenly over the veggies. Sprinkle (heavily) the breadcrumb mixture on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Serve over rice, polenta, pasta, or enjoy it on its own!

Aug

4

By rach

No Comments

Categories: musings

Tags:

Valuable: day 6

My dog is awesome. When i was growing up, we had pets, but it was difficult to keep them indoors due to allergies throughout the family. Brain has taught me a lot about myself, something that i never expected from a dog. And having her with me anytime i am home feels amazing. Another living being so unlike a human yet completely able to communicate with me…even if it is primitive at times.

Jul

25

By rach

No Comments

Categories: musings

Tags:

Valuable: day 5

I’m grateful for a really good job that not only pays the bills, but is also satisfying in so many other ways.

Jul

24

By rach

No Comments

Categories: musings

Tags:

Valuable: day 4

Graduating from college was one of the proudest moments for me personally. Not because I think graduates are better than anyone else, but because it was a personal goal that was a real challenge for me to complete. Seeing something that long term through to the end was a huge accomplishment for me personally. Now my degree hangs beautifully framed on the wall, and anytime I feel crappy about things I’ve not accomplished yet, I can look up at it and remember I can do anything given enough time.

Jul

23

By rach

No Comments

Categories: musings

Tags:

Valuable: day 3

I’m very proud that I have very little debt (only mortgages). It’s tough to stay disciplined and not go spending money I don’t have on things I think I want/need, but at times like these (when there are lots of bills to pay), it’s nice not to have that extra overhead at such high interest rates.

Jul

22

By rach

No Comments

Categories: musings

Tags:

Valuable: day 2

I know, I know. I missed a few days.

I have to say, I highly value the down time I get, particularly after a busy weekend w/activities and company in town. I love vegging out on a Sunday afternoon, drinking a beer or two, and relaxing to some TV (just finished season 4 of Mad Men) or a movie. Being an introvert, I need time to recharge, and lazy Sunday afternoon is just the thing to regain my energy.

Jul

19

By rach

No Comments

Categories: musings

Tags:

What’s valuable?

I have decided to do an exercise in perspective for myself. I often hold myself to a much higher standard than is possible, and think that despite my successes, i have done nothing and gained nothing for myself over the years. And to top it off, our society promotes the idea of what everyone else thinks you should be doing, eating, buying, etc. Over the next 30 days, I’m going to post something specific…detailed even…to describe something that is valuable to me with the idea that I will have something tangible to remind me everyday that I am valuable, and so are the things I choose to do. Duh!

Jul

19

By rach

No Comments

Categories: musings

Tags:

Valuable: day 1

I love to sit on the screened in back porch during a storm and watch the rain fall. The sound of raining has always been a soothing trigger. But theres something uniquely different and wonderful about a storm on the lake.

Jan

29

By rach

No Comments

Categories: reading room

Book Review – One Hundred Years of Solitude

One Hundred Years of SolitudeOne Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was really surprised to be as engrossed in this book as I was. I am always a little skeptical when “everyone loves this book,” but I was pleasantly surprised. The characters are wild and crazy that I couldn’t look away. In most cases, the story is one giant train wreck of a family who’s generations repeat the same mistakes over and over. I was fascinated to see the variation in each generation, yet also saw how the family traits carried down the line. The writing was a fairly easy read, but the story was so engaging I couldn’t put it down at times. Definitely recommend.

View all my reviews

Jan

10

By rach

No Comments

Categories: gripes, reading room

Book Review — Empire

EmpireEmpire by Orson Scott Card
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was very disappointed in this book. I’m a huge fan of the Ender Series, and was really looking forward to the ideas and creative story telling that Card seems to carry with him. However, I felt this book fell short of that. While his character development was on par, the overall story telling style left me unsatisfied. As other reviewers have noted, Card seemed to leave nothing to the reader’s imagination. Every time I would start creating possibilities in my head, Card would tell me outright what was going on in a very obvious manner. The action portions and some of the twists were exciting and kept me engaged, but in general, I wouldn’t say this is even a good work of his. Not a bad beach book, I suppose. It’s a very easy read, and pretty easy to pick up on the story after a break in reading.

View all my reviews

Oct

10

By rach

No Comments

Categories: glory days, musings

On Worry…

This is a segment of the Asmi Yoga newsletter. Dolly Stavros is one of my favorite yoga teachers, and always has some nuggets. This segment resonates with me (worry wart!), and felt it should be documented if for no other benefit than my own personal record. It’s written in the context of worry and the autumnal equinox (sept).

“Witness the quality of your thoughts. Will the thought-seeds you plant grow weeds or beautiful blossoms? Ritualize this equinox (time of new beginnings), by channeling your energy into that which will manifest your dreams and desires, not your doubts and dreads. Be grateful. Watch with childlike wonder as the wind blows the leaves of your life into whirls of chaos, knowing that you can rake them up later! Refuse to be unfazed by life’s storms. Life fully. Breathe deeply. Celebrate joyously this gift of life, even if it’s not perfect. Because in its imperfection, it is perfect!”

Oct

7

By rach

No Comments

Categories: reading room, supergeek

Book Review – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the GalaxyThe Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one book I’d been meaning to read for a long time, and boy am I sorry I didn’t read it sooner! I knew mostly what it was about, and had seen the movie, so the story wasn’t all that surprising. What was surprising was the engaging way Adams had in his writing. The book is smart and humorous as well as entertaining. Who knew a towel could be so useful! And it’s not a difficult read either. It’s not overly sci-fi/fantasy, yet it touches on some very interesting philosophical concepts that will remain relevant for the foreseeable future.

View all my reviews

Jul

25

By rach

No Comments

Categories: general, reading room

Book Review — Pygmy

PygmyPygmy by Chuck Palahniuk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a tough one to read due to the style in which it was written, and I am not one to shy away from a challenge like that. The story was fairly straight forward, but with subtle twists and turns — typical Palahniuk IMO — that take you on a journey through the mind of a young trained assassin. Really fascinating to see the impact of training (you could even say brainwashing), and that’s the part that really piqued my interest in the book. You really get an interesting look into the mind of this highly intelligent child who’s received a certain level of conditioning. Pretty dark at times, but interesting ending.

View all my reviews

Feb

25

By rach

No Comments

Categories: musings

relationship follow up

sometimes, i just have to get things out of my head. and sometimes, i have the distinct urge to put those thoughts out to the universe in a public forum (as opposed to a journal or even a piece of paper). there’s something very therapeutic knowing that my thoughts are out there for all to read…even if it’s strangers who don’t have context or even give a shit. the simple act of getting it out into the world is reassuring to me, and will calm me down.

things are just fine in my world. and my relationship with the female in the previous blog post is absolutely fine. i simply had too much swirling around in my head, my left brain spinning a giant wheel of unreal (as in fake) insecurity. it’s a bad habit, and one that’s difficult to break out of, but regular yoga and meditation usually keep me out of it. the lack of yoga is obvious lol.

Feb

25

By rach

No Comments

Categories: reading room

My Stroke of Insight – Review

My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal JourneyMy Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey by Jill Bolte Taylor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A close friend gave me a copy of this book, knowing I have a strong interest in the mind, how it works, and how we can change parts of it. Taylor has had the incredible gift of intelligence and awareness to be able not only to recall the events of her stroke and recovery, but also be able to communicate the events and the things she learned throughout the process. I found the information deeply moving, and was encouraged to know that the things I experience (my left brain negative loops) are not only normal, but somewhat controllable. While I know the stroke was a big challenge to Dr. Taylor, her story has SO much value to people who have had a stroke, friends/family of stroke victims, and pretty much anyone interested in how he can change his perspective on life. We all have a left and a right side of our brain, and it’s a matter of how much practice each side gets.

Highly recommend. It’s a pretty easy read, even the neurosciency stuff.

View all my reviews