Sunday, July 26

Behold, the much-maligned aubergine!

Thanks to those of you who have expressed condolences or amusement at my last post. The job has actually been quite fun, and I'll be sad to say goodbye to all the friends I've made over the last month. C'est la vie...
Now to the pressing issue.
Nightshades. (women screaming)
No, these are not villains, X-Men characters, or video games. (Though if you happen to find Nightshade for PS2, I've heard it's a disappointing game.) The nightshade is actually a nickname for the name of the plant family Solanaceae, and aubergine and brinjal are common names for this often-not-well-received culinary item.
Ladies and gentlement: the EGGPLANT.

You've gotta admit. This guy's cute.
While searching through coupons the other day (a fully-developed habit over the last few months), Angie found the Sunflower Market ads, on which we found a coupon for $0.55 eggplants. Since I am a devoted fan of Eggplant Parmigiana, we decided to pick up a couple. Then, upon reading the recipes for my beloved Italian dish, we decided to leave the eggplant alone until something a bit more...ahem...healthy.
We found this recipe in the Wok recipe book sold at Ikea. It's called Sweet Garlic Eggplant, and the moment we saw it, we knew it was our recipe. Well, at least I knew it was our recipe. Here's a legal version I found online, basically the same thing (but add 1/2 chopped onion, and it's 6 Tbsp brown sugar, not caster). Actually, who am I kidding? I don't even know the legality of posting copyrighted recipes online.
(I could only find the Pasta cookbook image on the internet. Imagine it's blue. And says Wok.)
So, last night, during Angie's second headache during our entire relationship, I made the eggplant in the wok. And it was DELICIOUS!! Who knew eggplant could be so good?!? And what's all this information about eggplant being gross and all that I was flooded with as a child? Not to any parent's fault - I think it was just society in general. (Except that one video game, remember Ben? With those eggplants that restored health? Yeah, that was a good one...) But I did do a bit of research last night on the vegetable (also known as aubergine or brinjal, and a nightshade like the tomato and potato), and found out a good bit of information.
  • Every 3.5 oz of eggplant contains only 20 calories.
  • The same amount contains 3.4g of dietary fiber (that explains something...)
  • Eggplants block the formation of free radicals.
  • They are richer in nicotine than any other edible plant.
    -Don't worry, it takes 20 lbs of eggplant to equal the nicotine of 1 cigarette.

So those of you who are unfortunately duped by the misinformed and still believe eggplant is gross and inedible and all that, give it a try. There are TONS of recipes online, and it's really good. It mostly absorbs the flavor of whatever it's cooked in, and it's very filling! Angie and I only ate 1/2 of what I made (1/4 each), much less than I thought. Angie said it filled her like chicken does. At a fraction of the cost!! :)
Either way, I'm an eggplant fan. And I'm spreading the word. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 22

My job, for another week

Angie's been dominating the blogosphere as of late, so I thought with my extra time this morning I'd post an entry.

This is about my job, the call center. Now, I know a few of you have worked at a call center before, but for the rest of you, let me explain. I get to work every morning at 8:45am, sit down at my computer in my little cubicle (which yesterday was upgraded with my name taped to the inside!), sign in to the appropriate software, click a button, and receive a call that's been waiting anywhere from 3 minutes to who-knows-how-long.

"Thank you for calling customer support. My name is Anthony. How can I help you?"
I repeat this mantra dozens of times a day. And a few other phrases. In fact, I've been noticing that in my normal speech to friends and family I've begun to include my "phone phrases". It's rather depressing, actually. Phrases like "Have you had the opportunity to..." or if I interrupt someone I automatically stop and say something like "Go ahead..." or "Excuse me", without realizing it. Not that it's bad to not interrupt somebody, but it's like a Pavlovian effect. I feel somehow less of a person... ;)
I wish I could explain the wide range of calls I get, but I don't have the time. And neither do you. But I can tell you of the extremes. For instance, a couple weeks ago I had this freaky, psycho Mormon-hater guy call. I began with the mantra, and he immediately asked "Are you LDS?" I sat there a second, confused at the abnormality of the question. He repeated himself, "Are you LDS??" My mind was saying 'Don't tell him anything!!', but my mouth said "Uhh...yes...", at which point Mr. Mormon-hater asked me (quite nicely, actually) to put him on hold, and tell my supervisor that I wouldn't receive calls concerning one of the companies we do support for. I told him we couldn't do that. He began berating me for compromising my religion by working for them. I asked if I could help him somehow, and he repeated his request, which I refused for a second time. Then he asked if I knew the "big Mormon church by DC," which I have seen (DC Temple). He said "I drive by that church every day going to work, with its big spires and its golden man pointing his golden stick in the air. And evertime I pass it from now on, I'm going to think about how bad of a Mormon you are! Does that make you feel bad?!?" I spoke before I could stop myself, with a slight chuckle, "Actually, I find that quite amusing..."
That didn't make him happy.
I've also had a lady who screamed herself hoarse on the phone. Like, literally, hoarse. She couldn't speak more than a whisper by the time she was done.
But then, I've spoken to a lady who was absolutely kind and wonderful. She was 82 years old, engaged to be married in a couple months, and just talked about how life starts at 80 and how wonderful my life will be with my wife and how I should just love every minute of it. That call was about 20 minutes long, and totally made my month. :)
Either way, I have to get to work, but now you know what I do every day. Well, at least the extremes. Just try to find a midpoint, and that's my job. :) It's not that bad. Besides, I only have another 8 days in it.

Tuesday, July 21


With all of my extra time at home, I've been thinking up more creative ways to make dinner. Nothing expensive, just homemade. :)

So for the first time I tried making homemade ravioli. Not too hard right? I didn't have a pasta presser though so I did have to ask Anthony and his bulging muscles to help out :).

They actually turned out a little on the big side but they tasted great! The filling just consisted of spinach, mozzarella, parmesan, salt and pepper, and 1 egg. Super easy! :)

We ate it with tomato sauce from a jar and the best homemade Rosemary Bread

Side note: If you ever do make past dough from scratch, unused dough doesn't keep very well (actually... not at all!). It must be all the eggs involved or something because when I pulled the leftover dough out the next morning it was green. Definitely not edible.

Monday, July 6

Home Sweet Home

To start off my boring week of unemployment, I decided to figure out the square footage of our teeny tiny apartment. The measurements:

17ft by 24 ft

which equals.... a whopping 408 sq. ft. :(

I think my parent's living room is bigger than that.

Friday, July 3


Just in case all four of you who read our blog are dying from the suspense from the last post, here's the update:

Anthony took the call center job and I'm still trying to hunt one down.

As for the guy we met at Costco:

We did have interviews with his financial services company on Saturday and I felt like it was my last and only option. It's a commission-based salary and even though I've always avoided sales jobs like the plague, this product actually helped people save money rather then scamming them into spending more money.

However, these type of jobs require some upfront investment to become an official representative. It covers a lot of things, like getting licensed and having an online account. It's not a fortune but, remember, we are literally dirt poor. So what I thought would be my saving grace from boredom and laziness, was just a dead end. Back to job searching... (silent sobbing)

Now some of you right now might be thinking that you'd rather be in my place than work at the boring job you have now. But I've learned that being unemployed with your husband is a lot more fun than being unemployed with yourself. Apart from searching craigslist every 5 minutes, I've taken to baking my own sandwich bread and making homemade potato chips to fill up my free time.

It's going to be a long 5 weeks.