better than champagne

Originally uploaded by l@in.

Here’s to a cancer free, drama free, boring, average, normal, yawn-worthy, surgery-free 2008.


plated seafood enchiladas

Originally uploaded by l@in.

For the past few months I’ve been fooling around with different enchilada fillings. After a dinner at a decent mexican place on U street, I decided to experiment with my own version of seafood enchiladas. I wanted to make something yummy with lots of protein using ingredients that I could easily have on hand. This resulted in using canned crab meat and tiny shrimp. They turned out pretty well. I’d definitely make them again.


1 can crab meat
1 can baby shirmp
1 can black beans
1/2 medium onion
3 large mushrooms
6-8 oz. grated cheese of choice (i used a mix of colby jack and sharp cheddar. i think next time i might try a soft, white mexican cheese)
approx. 1 1/2 C. cooked brown rice
8 6-inch tortilla shells (i used whole wheat)
1 can enchilada sauce of choice
1 container salsa of choice (i used a sweet black bean and corn salsa)
tabasco sauce
vegetable oil for frying
avocado (optional, yummy garnish)

Roughly chop the mushrooms and onions and fry with tabasco, salt, and cumin to taste until the onions are translucent. Mix crab meat and shrimp. Pour 1/4 can of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking pan. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Place a small amount of oil in a wide flat frying pan and heat each tortilla one by one approx. 20 seconds on each side. Once the tortilla is heated transfer to a plate for assembly. Place a small amount of brown rice, black beans, seafood mix, onions and mushrooms, in a line on one end of the tortilla. Top with cheese and then salsa. Fold up the sides and roll the enchilada. (You’re on your own with this one. It’s kind of a pain in the ass. Practice makes perfect. This is why you should make them a lot. Why the hell do you think I’ve been experimenting with different fillings?) Place the enchilada seam side down in the pan until all of the tortillas are used. Top pan full of enchiladas with the remainder of the enchilada sauce and cheese.

Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Serve with chips and salsa and some nice avocado slices. And dos equis or tecate even. Corona is nasty.

When I met Kara Jesella, co-author of How Sassy Changed My Life: A Love Letter to the Greatest Teen Magazine of All Time, at Pete‘s monthly party Chuffed! held during the ALA conference and she said she was doing a piece on librarians for the NY Times, I was intrigued. Fluff piece for the style section? Probably. Fun? The odds certainly looked good. And really if I had a dollar for every time someone quipped that I don’t look like a Librarian, I’d be on vacation right now. So while the “hip librarian” thing might be a new cliche, maybe with a true glut of these articles I can stop trying to come up with a reasonably amusing response every time someone comments on my appearance when I tell them my profession.

I am a little surprised by the twitter over the article (pun intended), although I suppose I shouldn’t be. While I will try to maintain, as my friend Carrie (who is also quoted in the article) put it, some emotional distance from the content of a story that I didn’t write, I will say, that as I stated, it’s true that I finally decided on library school after listening to a zine curator at a public library speak. She was passionate and articulate, and worked in Salt Lake City, for the love of God. I saw her at what was once the Underground Publishing Conference which has since morphed into the Allied Media Conference. The conference that year was full of people who were focused on getting information “out there” to people. Among them, naturally, were librarians, library students, and a great many people who recognized the powerful role that librarians can and do play within society. For me it was less, the job sounding “pretty awesome“, but more opening up the possibility of what the job could be. That it could be more than a job, really but perhaps a personal philosophy, of a dedication to putting information in hands where it was necessary, and useful, and in some, albeit extreme, cases life-changing. To supply an abused woman with the information she needs to get help, to give an elderly world-traveler who can no longer fly on a plane an book that will make them forget that they’re in their own living room, to show a student how to get the information they need to write a good paper. That’s cool. That’s hip. And maybe when I’m done I’ll celebrate with a $10 cocktail, because I’m in DC and that’s just how much a cocktail costs when you miss happy hour.

At the end of the day as Kendra notes, the article wasn’t for us, us being library types. Jessamyn points out that,

“As someone who talked to the author of this article at length about politics, I think the problem was that the publishable article was about hipness but the article the author *wanted* to write about was about progressive politics… I agree, fluffy article, but if it can get a little more attention to the leftist aims of some librarians, I’m all for it.

I couldn’t agree more.


Originally uploaded by p373.
Pete’s monthly party, Chuffed, held on the fourth Saturday of each month, has gotten some well deserved love from Fritz Hahn at the Washington Post in an article which talks about the unlikely new-ish DJ scene at Selam:

Selam Restaurant sits on a heavily trafficked stretch of U Street NW, midway between Adams Morgan and the 14th Street corridor, but unless you’re a fan of Eritrean food, you’ve probably buzzed by the place without a second thought.In the past year, though, Selam has been growing under the radar, luring DJs from some of the city’s better-known clubs and dance parties to spin in the intimate basement space, whether for one night or for a monthly residency.

Sam “The Man” Burns, dean of Washington’s deep house scene after long runs at Red and Dragonfly, worked the decks in March. DJ Meistro, known for dropping hip-hop bombs at the acclaimed Oh Snap! parties at Wonderland, took a regular turn at a night called Solid Gold. Neil Payne, formerly of the house-rocking PartyDC crew, joined Pete Welsch, once a resident at Baltimore’s Sonar nightclub, and Eighteenth Street Lounge alumna Christine Moritz for Chuffed, which melds funk and down-tempo with Deee-Lite and old-school rap…

frozen food

Originally uploaded by l@in.
So tomorrow is my surgery. Quite honestly I was freaking out until this morning and had the realization that I’ve been living with the knowledge that there’s extractable cancer in my body that’s just sitting there since the end of December. Especially with my mercifully brief mets scare, it’s time for this chapter of my cancer experience to be over.

I go in at 6:30 in the morning and have a sentinel node biopsy, with the surgery immediately following. Surgery should take 4-5 hours. Then sweet, sweet morphine.

This picture is of the food I’ve made ahead and stashed in the freezer – split pea soup, chili, and baked ziti along with an amazing bye bye boobie carrot cake made by a friend (the cake is sliced and on top).

Allright kids, I have 2 hours left to eat and drink and a bottle of wine to kill. weeeeeeeeeee!

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