Monday, May 24, 2010

Exciting News

I got a job!

The URL for this little bloggity-blog is true once again.

I work in a bookstore.  A college bookstore.
(OK, I will work in a college bookstore starting June 7th.)

I love it.

It really is who I am.  I can't deny it even if I wanted to.

P.S.  It's here:

P.P.S.  It's close to them:

Life is good.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Nerdy Airplane Fun

These are the events as they occurred yesterday (Saturday, May 22). 

Look, look!  A whole airplane row to myself!  There was much joy in row 27 that day.

One benefit of flying out of Reagan National Airport:  As you are taxing north on the runway preparing for take off you see this

and this

and this

Pretty sweet, right?

Finally you get to the end of the runway and turn so that you take off heading south.

You get the chance to say goodbye to the airport again and wave to the passengers in the other planes waiting to take off.

You fly over Target, of course.  The Target you used to drive by every day on your way to class, the Target you stopped at from time to time.

You fly over Old Town Alexandria, where your grad classes were held.

You crane your neck to see George & Martha's place, but that darn pilot turns a little to the west so you can't. 

All of a sudden you are surrounded by clouds.  This is the east coast we're talking about after all.  That humidity has to be hiding somewhere.

Eventually you break through the clouds and you see the sun and blue sky again.

Then you have to stop taking pictures out the window because motion sickness kicks in.

Thankfully, this arrives shortly thereafter and helps with the motions sickness thing.
It's quite the surprise, actually.  
(This was the third airline I'd flown with in three weeks and the first to even think about handing out some sort of snack.)

Then you get back to reading your book, land in Atlanta shortly, sit around another airport for three hours, get on another packed plane, sit on the plane like a sardine for four hours, and eventually arrive in Phoenix.

Good times.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Overdue post

Thanks to a larger than anticipated tax return this year, I was able to hop on a plane and visit Virginia.  It was the first time I'd been back in since we got married in Oct. 2008.  I've never gone that long without a visit, even during my nine years in Provo.  Thankfully my parents, brother, brother-in-law, and BFF Laura were able to visit Arizona during that year and a half, and we made a quick trip to Utah once to visit friends there.

Otherwise I'd have gone insane.

Have I mentioned that spring is awesome in Northern Virginia?  I went from seeing the hot, brown desert in the morning to this in course of one day:

Of course, I didn't go just to take in the view.  I also had fun with my family, especially those I hadn't seen since I left:

I had fun hanging out with the girls:

Saw a few sights:

Visited a few favorite places that aren't in Arizona:

I finally had a good gyro for the first time since I'd left the east coast:

Had to bring Michael back a souvenir:
Dear Michael,  
This is what you asked for.  In return you are never, ever allowed to badmouth the Skins.  EVER.
Kthanksbye.  -S

All in all it was fun, successful, fantastic trip.  Can't wait to go back!  And I just might next week.  But that's a different story for a different day.  :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Rarely am I sucked in by the magazines in the checkout line at the grocery store.  Three things caught my eye about this cover:

1.  Lose 10.5 lbs a week.  Mmmm, K.  Really?
2.  I never noticed it says God Bless America above the title.
3.  Cupcake Bliss!  specifically the "Best-ever Red Velvet!" line.  (What's with the excessive !!!!!!!!!!s, by the way?)

I love red velvet cupcakes.  Love 'em.  They are my absolute favorite.  But I haven't found the one true recipe.  Red velvets from a cake mix rarely come out right, from scratch mixes are just a pain, and $3.50 a pop from places like Cakelove is just way too pricey.

Anyhoo, I quickly perused the recipe in the mag and decided they were pretty easy and worth a try.  Almost homemade, if you will.  I had to run back for some buttermilk, but otherwise I was good to go.

Fortunately for me, I have a ready and willing treat-loving audience.  Michael has a gaggle of co-workers always willing to scarf down whatever I send with him.

The were super easy.  Here's the final product:

I actually made two batches, one using a red velvet cake mix, one using a devil's food cake mix.  I used canned frosting with the red velvet ones, and made the frosting in the recipe for the devil's food ones.  The homemade frosting was better.  (I can't believe I said that.  Total blasphemy, for I usually prefer cream cheese frosting from a can!)

Michael tried one and said,

"These are the best cupcakes you've ever made."

And I've made a lot of cupcakes.  A LOT.  Especially during football season.  Remember these?

His coworkers feel the same way.

"When is she going to open up a cupcake shop?"
"I've already had two but want more."

I have to admit, they are pretty dang awesome.  I believe my search is over.  Hip, hip HOORAY!

Of course I'll share the recipe.  A few notes first:

1.  I was able to get 24 cupcakes each time.
2.  I didn't feel like wasting one to make "crumbs" for the top.
3.  I didn't have coconut extract.  Tasted just fine without it, but I'm sure it adds an extra zip of flavor.
4.  I only cooked mine for 15 minutes, which was more than enough.  My oven is wonky, though, and I always have to cook things less.