Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Can it be?!

Yes, yes it is I!  It's summer, and I'm back.  You may have lost interest in me over the months, but I wanted to kick things off by sharing this amazing website with you: Pinterest.  It's like an online bulletin board for everything you like that you find online.  Perfect for organizing your findings on Stumbling adventures.  I have Pinterest pages which you can find here!  Only a few of them have pins, but I'm just getting started.  You should make your own pages and we can follow each other.  It'll be great.  Promise.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Rachel and Jenn Eat Philadelphia: Abyssinia

**** So I've been informed that "foul" (pronounced fool) is actually an Ethiopian dish.  I feel culturally insensitive.  But oh well. ****

This is the first installment of "Rachel and Jenn Eat Philadelphia."  In reality, this was a restaurant I went to with Eamonn, but that's ok.

See? Totally fine.
Abyssinia is an Ethiopian restaurant two steps from our place.  (I was going to include a map here, but just in case someone I don't know is reading this (unlikely), it's probably not a good idea to show my exact location.)  I had never had Ethiopian food before, but "what the heck?" said I.  Upon arriving, there was a sign on what looked like the front door instructing us to go to the side door to enter.  A surly looking man (obviously not Ethiopian) was smoking on the steps.  He assured us we were heading in the right direction which was not as reassuring as one might believe.  Anyway, it was totally fine inside.  It had cool tables with woven tops and nice paintings on the walls.  They (the proprietors, that is) did a lot with a space that definitely was not meant for a restaurant dining room.

We were seated and given menus.  Now one of my favorite things is misspellings on menus, street signs, billboards, or any public venue.  Generally I see them in foreign businesses.

**Disclaimer!** I'm in no way suggesting that immigrants/foreigners misspell things because they are not intelligent.  Obviously, if they can come into a country where they are not so familiar with the language and create a thriving business, then they are smarter and savvier than me.  It's just that sometimes misspellings can sometimes be very unfortunate and hilarious.  **End of disclaimer!**

So the first misspelling was of jalapeño as hallapino. Understandable.

Can you see that?  I know it's tiny.
The second one, however was simply unfortunate.  It was not even a misspelling, but a word swap.  In describing their chicken dish, they swapped "fowl" with "foul."  So there it was.  A photo of their food (which looked pretty good) had the caption, "foul." I had to get a picture.
What a pity.
Distracted by the menu (or by my bossy photo shoot directions), Eamonn somehow ordered raw meat! On the plate, it looked like something in a tomato sauce and did not taste that bad.  Then we realized what it was.  It's funny how once something changes mentally, the whole taste changes.  We took a bite or two, then just couldn't bring ourselves to eat more.  I was proud of myself though!  Public meat enthusiast that I am, I thought it would be hypocritical to avoid it.  Though I'm not going to make raw meat a part of my regular diet, I'm glad I tried it.

One fun thing about Ethiopian is that you are supposed to eat with your hands.  The food is served on a spongy pancake bread which you use to pick up the food and eat it.  I did that for a while, to pick up the lentils and veggies, but inevitably, I fell back into my fork habits.
What can I say? I'm a fork person!
Misspellings and raw meat aside, the food was plentiful, spicy, and pretty good!

Friday, July 23, 2010

She’s fiya burning, fiya burning...

I should be awarded a prize from Homeland Security.  I have discovered a "humane" way to torture someone!  I was generous enough to be the guinea pig of this new technique...but let me start from the beginning.

I was cooking a lovely Mexican feast for Eamonn and myself.  Mango chicken flautas and Spanish rice to be exact.  As I was cheerfully dicing jalapeños, my nose began to itch.  Without thinking, I scratched it.  In the process, a seed from the pepper made its way up my nose.  The burning sensation started slowly, but I soon started to feel it in my throat and all through my sinuses.  I ran upstairs to try to flush it out, but somehow the addition of water spread the fiery sensation to my eyes and the skin on every part of my face.
So spicy!

Now it's serious.  I start screaming: EAMONN!!!!! AAAAAAAAH!!!!!!  Obviously, he comes running because he thinks I'm dying - and I'm not about to correct him.  I am dying.  Someone has stolen my face and rubbed it into the sun.  I can't see, my nose is dripping, I'm coughing, I'm crying, my whole face is on fire.  It is the worst pain of my life.

Eamonn to the rescue.  "Pour a shot of milk into each eye!" Fail.  Now I'm on fire and have milk all over myself.  "Let's try putting your whole face in it."  Now I think he's just messing with me, but I'm pretty desperate at this point.  I submerge my face in a bowl of 2%.  The burning finally becomes less unbearable.  I keep an ice pack strapped to my face for the rest of the evening, but eventually I recover and now have a lovely YouTube video as a memento of this adventure.

So the point is that I experienced the worst pain of my life and now I'm fine.  I'm not suggesting that waterboarding or getting fingernails plucked off are less painful experiences than jalapeño up the nose, I'm merely suggesting that we can accomplish similar goals with minimal permanent damage!  I would have told anyone anything if they could have made that pain go away - and jalapeños aren't even the hottest pepper!  Imagine what we could do with ghost chiles!  With clever culinary cruelty, we can get what we need from those terrorists without becoming the monsters we seek to destroy!

This post became a bit of a soap box, which was not my original intention.  But now you get to see what a fool I am, a hilarious video, AND know my opinions about torture (kinda).  You're welcome :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fresh out of batteries, but still making noise.

Until Teaching Bootcamp, I did not know the meaning of the word "tired."  In the past, I've believed that I was tired.  Oh, those were the days.  I have been lethargic.  I have been sleepy.  I have been wiped out, fatigued, weary, and even pooped.  But now...I'm tired.  Not only am I mentally exhausted, my body is fighting back from the abuse.  My face is breaking out, my back hurts, my head aches, and skin is peeling off of my toes (that one I just don't get).  It's rough.
And it doesn't help that I've become an autobot:
wake up
get dressed
get lunch
get on bus
lesson plan
fight with printer
rinse and repeat.
This mundane schedule is punctuated with the occasional mental meltdown, or tearful breakdown, or raging tirade, or delirious laugh-fest, but generally I've been too tired to be a person.

Here is a list of things I've been too tired to do.
  1. catch up on True Blood
  2. move into my apartment
  3. sign important documents
  4. be a friend
  5. watch the Nanny
  6. pick paint colors
  7. scrapbook
  8. get drunk
  9. blow dry my hair
  10. write a blog post
So...I'm sorry.  I'll try to write more as my work load dies down.  Soon I'll be back to my witty hilarious self.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Why Busses Rock!

Can you feel the luxury?
Everyone knows that every time you see a long line for something it must be awesome!  Free cone day at Ben and Jerry's: awesome with an awesomely long line.  Super crazy roller coaster: super long line.  The same goes for riding the school bus! 

I can feel the toxins oozing out of me!
Oh, yes.  You can have the privilege of waiting impatiently to enter this giant yellow pleasuredome.  Not only is the bus free transportation, it's also a day spa! 

As soon as you walk through those doors, you instantly feel the steamy, sauna-like air hit you in the face.  Within seconds all of your impurities will be dripping away! 

Now that you have a nice cleansing sweat going, you can pick any seat you'd like.  If you crave the aromatherapy of early morning smog, then choose a lovely window seat.  Let the carbon monoxide lull you into a sense of calm and well being.

Hello gorgeous ;)
Window seats also have the added benefit of a free blow-out, giving that tousled look to your too-smooth and overly polished hair.  That professional coif you spent 20 minutes perfecting doesn't enhance your natural beauty anyway. 

Speaking of nature! Want more of Mother Nature in your face?  While you gaze out of the window, enjoy as the occasional tree branch actually reaches in and brushes your cheeks, lips, and corneas.  The bark will exfoliate your skin into next Tuesday!

So silky!

If you feel out of alignment and need every bone in your body jostled into place, then the back of the bus is right for you!  Ate too much for breakfast?  Sit anywhere to receive the benefit of the "Quease Cleanse."  A few minutes of continuous swaying will allow you to "evacuate" that excess food in no time! 

Now that your trip is almost over, don't forget your complimentary leg wax!  Feel your legs get smoother as they delicately peel off of the genuine vinyl seating, leaving all your unwanted hair behind.  Feel beautiful? Feel sexy?

I know, you don't want to leave - and that's ok!  You get to spend even more time in this bus spa as you wait in line to re-enter the real and less luxurious world. The best part? You get to do it all again at the end of the day!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

New York vs. Philadelphia: Subways

Hello all!  I know it's been a while, but I'm in teacher boot camp so I hardly have any time to blog it up. This next entry is first in a new series that I'm calling "A tale of two cities: New York vs. Philadelphia."  Enjoy my comparison of the public transportation system.

New York Subway Map 
Philadelphia Subway Map
Super-sized rats vs. Petite "ratettes"
Sweet Swiping!

Too-Cool Tokens!
Arm crushing doors vs. Gradually sliding doors
Hard bench seats
Hard row seats
Inaudible announcements vs. More inaudible announcements

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Kiss of Death

I recently told this story to a friend and I think it's blog-worthy.

My kiss is lethal.
But let me start from the beginning.  In elementary school, my friend Caitlin and I were superior frog catchers (in addition to being professional tree-climbers, bee hunters, film makers, and fort builders).  We caught everything from big bull frogs to little toads.  Once, we caught almost 100 tiny little frogs that we found in my backyard - no joke.  Another time we "saved" tadpoles from the pond in my backyard (a perfectly fine habitat, in retrospect) by moving them to a nearby stream (which led into said pond).

One time, I caught a frog and played with it for a while.  We grew to be friends.  I named him Kermit (creative, no?) and we had the best time.  I made him dance, I poked his eyes, I made him hop around...he had a blast.  After our antics I decided that he should go back to his family, so I walked him to the pond.  (Now, I can't quite remember if Caitlin was with me that day, but if she was I have a sneaking suspicion that she dared me to do this.)  When it was time to say farewell, I decided to double check that Kermit wasn't a prince.  (After all, we had had such a nice time together and wouldn't it be nice to have such a fun-loving guy in my life?) So I kissed him.  Nothing major, just a small peck.  Sadly, he remained a frog.  With a sigh I said "goodbye Kermit!" and tossed him ceremoniously into the water.

I expected to see my little buddy swim away, but instead I saw him float slowly to the top of the water.  "Kermit?" He flipped belly up. "Kermit!" What had I done?  My kiss was the kiss of death!  What had once been a chipper little frog was now the victim on my venomous lips. 

I ran as far as I could from the scene of the crime.  I washed my face and brushed my teeth, trying to scrub away my sin.  Later that night, as I laid in bed, I could hear the familiar sound of bull frogs croaking.  I could have sworn they were chirping "MURDERER!"