Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Finish Line

Just keep pushing through is the only thing running through my mind. After years of struggle and hearing "Oh, everyone goes through these rough patches early in their marriage" we might actually be getting to some sort of light at the end of the tunnel.

Six weeks of 12 hour days start doing weird things to humans. My body is programmed to run on no sleep. A foggy mist follows me wherever I go. I don't think about what I'm doing, I just know the beginning and the end.

I don't really sleep. I like to call it more of uncomfortable light meditation. My eyes are permanently red, outlined by the dark black sacks of stress that hang lazily below. Coffee is my blood. Tuna and peanut butter and jelly tell my stomach to hush. "Don't worry friend, you'll eat something else soon."

The paycheck comes in and I get my second wind until I realize that money is already going to pay taxes and for this house. "This glorious house. Just remember that. You will be your own boss in a week."

For a while we'll be living on a shoe string and if some scissor comes by to cut that shoe string, we're done for. Clear some space, I'm coming to live in your basement.

Aren't we coming out of this recession? Shouldn't we see progress? Somehow, again, at the end of the first quarter, rumors of layoffs are everywhere. Some friends have already received their notice. Young professionals glare enviously and frustrated at the older generations that merely keep their jobs because of seniority and because of the severance packages companies don't want to pay them. Its creating an unrepairable rift between the age groups. In thirty years there's going to be an entire generation of retired people in nursing homes that get no visitors because my age group will always remember the recession of 2008-2010 when they greedily kept doing mediocre jobs in their positions and as the hungry and broke college grads struggle to stay in the mail room.

My gut has been burning with nervousness for three years. Can I take care of myself? Can I take care of wife and kittens? I know my parents have similar stories of struggle and self-abuse, but when did our great country turn into this entity where the 40 hours work week feels like a vacation. When other countries in the world consider a 35 hour work week full time.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I love the Fishes Cause they're so Delicious

One of my favorite websites to waste time on is a site called Life Hacker. Life Hacker is essentially a community where people tell you how to do things easier, better, or show you cool tricks.

One of Sallie and my favorite things to do together is eat Goldfish crackers. I think a lot of you can relate.

Recently on Life Hacker there was a link to someone's blog where they show you how to make your favorite snacks at home for cheaper and without the High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Sallie and I made the recipe for home made goldfish crackers and it was awesome. So here's the recipe. Its almost too easy to believe.

Some tips: Roll them thinner to get more of that crispy cracker feel. Also, try other cheeses besides cheddar. I'm guessing pepper-jack would do just fine.

Go check out the blog, its well worth it if you're into cooking.


1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white ground pepper (optional)
4 TBSP cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
8 ounces grated cheddar cheese
3-4 TBSP water

Pulse the flour, salt and pepper, then add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add grated cheese a little at a time until the mixture again resembles coarse meal.

Pulse in 3 to 4 tablespoons of water, one tablespoon at a time, and only enough so that the dough forms a ball and rides the blade.

Remove, wrap in plastic, and chill for 20 minutes or up to 24 hours.

Roll the dough out to 1/8th-inch thickness directly onto a baking sheet.
Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut 1 inch squares, then bake at 350° F for 15-20 minutes or until crackers are golden brown. If the outer edges your pan are done but the crackers in the center still need a few more minutes- remove crackers on the edges and bake the center crackers for a few more minutes.

Remove from oven and recut any squares that may be stuck together. Store in an airtight container for up to one week or freeze.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sleepless Nights in property I don't own.

Its been weeks since my last update, but I have a good reason. My cat ate my blog. :)

Alright, extremely lame start. So here's the deal.I've been working 55-65 hours a week. I basically wake up, go to work, come home, prepare for work the next day, wait for Sallie, and go to bed. I've been running on 5 hours of sleep and caffeine.

Seriously, that's what I look and feel like. Miraculously, not sleeping seems to have cured my baldness, but I've come down with a case of bleeding face scabs.

Sallie and I went to the True/False film festival a few weeks ago and saw some things that will never leave my mind.

The movie that probably affected me the most was one called Restrupo. An embedded journalist shows the life of a soldier in the most dangerous part of Afghanistan. We saw combat, death, laughs, tears, and bureaucracy at its best. It was hard to watch at parts. I started counting off the people I know in active duty. People that are stationed on the other side of the planet defending the little men in the world.

After each film, the festival has a Question and Answer session with the director or subjects. For the most part, 85% of people leave as soon as the credits roll. For Restrupo 95% of everyone stayed for a Q&A with some of the soldiers in the film. I don't think there was a single dry eye in the crowd. As soon as its available on DVD, watch it. It'll change you.

Sallie and I started into week seven of house hunting. It was getting to the point where we were going to find something or give up and try to save a monster down payment toward something. Then BAM! A gorgeous house pops up and is very reasonably priced. We debated all day, not sure if we should pull the trigger on a purchase this grand. We checked crime stats, the neighborhood makeup, house prices in the neighbor, everything was checking out. So we did it, and they accepted.

It feels like one of the last parts of growing up. I'm sort of sad that I don't have the flexibility that comes with renting anymore. But every time a tear comes to my eye, I hear my neighbors having sex, and all of a sudden I remember why I needed to get out.

So thank you Eric, you've given me the right to be loud and crude in the privacy of my own dwelling.

We had to cancel our Europe trip unfortunately. There was no way we were going to be able to take care of all of our house things, save up the necessary cash, and move with that trip sitting right in the midst of everything. Sucks, but hey, gotta do what you've gotta do.

As of right now the closing date is April 9th. So anyone giving away furniture, tools, or money, lets us know. Anyone that wants to help move, feel free. We don't have much, so it should be easy. (Key word is Should)