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Re: Your Brains   
01:23am 22/09/2011
Movie Reminder   
01:16pm 29/10/2010
mood: bored
Movies I want:

- Jacob's Ladder
- Secretary
- 1408
- X Files (series)
- Metalocalypse (series)
- Stargate (series)
- Friday the 13th (series)
- Lexx (series)
- Twilight Zone (movie and series)
- Speedgrapher 4 + 6
- Cowboy Bebop (series)
- Outlaw Star (series)
- Addams Family
- Addams Family Values
- Beetlejuice
- Batman
- Batman Returns
- Batman Begins
- House (series)
- Daria (series)
- Ring
- Ring 2
- Reign the Conqueror (series)
- Aeon Flux (series)
- Heavy Metal
- Invader Zim (series)
- Sleepy Hollow
- Vampires Suck (possibly)
- Beavis + Butthead Mike Judge Collection 2 + 3
- Comedy Central Presents Lewis Black
- Fantastic Planet

Anything I missed?
Clothes to get:   
01:01pm 29/10/2010
mood: bored
Reminding myself, since most of my clothes are stained, full of holes, doesn't fit, or has been simply worn to nothing (dyeable clothing doesn't count):

Clothes to get:

- Bras that fit in white and black
- Nice underwear
- Formal tabi socks
- Long or 3/4 sleeve shirts, preferably not synthetic
- Soft black turtleneck
- Black or pinstriped slacks
- Black or grey pencil skirts
- Long floaty skirts
- One or two nice dresses
- Something decadent and sparkly, but not irritatingly rough
- Nice heels of some kind
- Tall flip-flops
- Studded or chain belt
- Sparkly lipstick and eyeliner
- A dark purple or red obi with round crests to match striped Taisho outfit
- Teal obiage/obijime set
- Comfy PJ bottoms for the house
- Lacey-knit lolita armwarmers (optional)
- Black high-waisted flared pants (optional)
- Silk slips or crinolines (optional)
Writer's Block: Fall Fashion   
11:29am 17/09/2010

What's your favorite trick for freshening up your wardrobe?

Sponsored by Sorel.

View 236 Answers

Once a year, everyone's wardrobe needs to be overhauled. Most people buy clothes frequently and rarely let things go as often as they should. Americans in general are known for buying way too much sometimes. As a girl who is somewhat phobic of shopping, I both embrace and detest this portion of the program. Why I am phobic is another conversation entirely, but here's how to "freshen" (read, "overhaul") your wardrobe:

- Pull out everything. Everything. Jewellery, accessories, shirts, dresses, everything. EVERYTHING. YES, all at once. It allows you to see precisely how many drawers you've overstuffed and how much closet space you take up, especially if you have to share a closet with your spouse. When your clothes take up 70% of the closet, something has to go!

- Immediately put all clothing/jewellery that you haven't worn in one year into a pile. Unless it's your wedding dress to the guy you married 50 years ago, it goes into the pile. Expensive jewellery that you LIKE can stay, inexpensive jewellery cannot.

- Anything that does not fit RIGHT NOW. If it does not fit you RIGHT NOW, and you've been hanging onto it for six months pretending that you'll lose/gain weight for it, it has to go. Buying clothing that doesn't fit is a waste of your time, money, and emotions. Buying clothing that fits you well and which is flattering is good for you. If you're not sure, try it on. I've stayed the same weight for six years, but I've changed clothing sizes frequently because of WHERE the weight is. If it doesn't fit you right now, get rid of it. If it doesn't fit, it's quits for that sparkly size 00 dress that you've been hanging onto since you were 15, pretending that you'll lose 40lbs one day to fit into it because it's "the perfect size". 00 is a perfect size for someone, but that someone is likely not you, provided that you do not come from some impoverished third world country. Eat a cheeseburger and get a cute dress that fits later. In the meantime, it's to the pile with this one!

- Destash everything you do not immediately LOVE. If you do not wear it all the time, forget about it. In fact, you probably already had- until you pulled it out just now. If you don't love it enough to wear it, and you just think it's "cute" or "pretty", either find another way to display it, or get rid of it.

If your grandmother gave you a bunch of clothing before she passed away, and it's nothing you personally cherish, give some away and keep pieces that really mean something, or take photos of the clothing before putting them in the stack. Or if you're the crafty sort, take the fabric from those pieces and work them into old-fashioned American Crazy Quilts, or put pieces into a scrapbook. Whatever you do, don't just let them sit in your closet or a "to-do" pile! Appreciate the thought your relative had for you and move on. Your relatives' thoughts are not stuff, and they likely wouldn't want you to be feeling anxiety every time those things came out of the closet.

- Anything damaged is a case-by-case basis. Some stains can be removed with Carbona cleaners, which are tailoured to the type of stain. Some tears can be repaired, often in minutes by hand. But if you had some ornate piece that you loved, and there is no way on a cold day in Hell that the shredded lace can ever be repaired? Get rid of it. Into the pile with thee! If you can REASONABLY expect to fix it, THAT WEEK, keep it. If NOT, GET RID OF IT. Keep the "good stuff" separate- you'll be repairing it this week, or not at all.

- Stuff: do you have ten scarves, and yet almost never wear any of them? Pick two or three favourites and get rid of the rest. Have fifteen belts but only two reasonably fit and look good? Get rid of the rest. I don't care how expensive they were. They're not making you any money sitting in a closet. It's time to go. Do you have forty pairs of nearly identical shoes, and you are also a size commonly found (I'm not talking about us 5s or 8.5W-high arch people, where shoe shopping is a death sentence)? Pick your favourite five, and get rid of all the others. Five pairs of shoes is the most anyone needs at one time. Fancy dress/event shoes, walking shoes, "house" shoes (slippers), boots, and sexy shoes. If you have one of each, that is the most pairs of shoes you need.

If you're like me, this means half your wardrobe is in a pile to head out the door. The other half is going back into the closet. Remember to be reasonable. Learn to let go. It's just stuff. You will get more stuff soon. What to do with the Get Rid Of pile? Read on.

1) Ask your friends a month in advance to go through the same above process on a set week. At the end of that week, everyone will bring their "Get Rid of It!" haul over to one person's house. Then you can trade off clothes IF they FIT PROPERLY, IF you LOVE THEM (not just like or are iffy about), IF you WILL REPAIR THEM IN A WEEK, and IF it won't just be more "stuff" in drawers that you won't actually wear (think back to the 10 scarves). Even if you have radically different body shapes, sometimes you can find clothes that fit both of you. I've done this pretty often. Whatever is left at the end of the night goes into the next step.

2) Decide what you want to do. If you genuinely are going to take time to photo and describe every item you have, Ebay or Craigslist can help make you a little money back off the clothes you bought. Do it the next day, but don't wait more than three days. At the end of one week on Ebay or CL, if it hasn't sold, or if you don't have time, it's time for Step 3.

3) Garage Sale. This is the time to destash the rest of your house. Books you haven't read in years and don't particularly care for, stacks of old magazines, glassware you now have six unmatched sets of, all those clothes, electronic gadgets and food processors you bought on a whim, etc. are going to be put out. Put up signs the day before, and put an ad on CL about the garage sale. Include some of the better photos of the stuff you're selling. 9AM-1PM seems to work best in FL, before the afternoon rains roll in. Price fairly for condition and item, and remember that whatever you price it at, people are going to ask to pay half. Don't sell yourself short by pricing that Bebe skirt at $10 (the minimum you'll take), and then have someone ask for $5 on it. I have happily paid $10-15 apiece for some truly gorgeous things at garage sales. Yes, you want to come in with as little stuff as possible, but don't sell yourself terribly short up front either. Remember that whatever you come in with is now destined for only one place: Goodwill.

4) If you have a consignment shop in the area that takes items leftover from the garage sale, and they want some of your things, excellent. Take them there. There is one consignment shop here that works with a no-kill animal shelter; anything sold there, provided you participate, can be put towards the no-kill fund instead of you receiving the profits. Otherwise, take it to Goodwill. Get a receipt, but remember that unless you donate a specific proportion of your annual household income that year, it is unlikely to be deductible. By all means, save them up throughout the year and see your HR Block guy, but don't feel like the whole process was in vain- you DESTASHED your living quarters! People living with you are probably secretly rejoicing, even if it's just a little bit of stuff gone.

It can feel good to get rid of things. You'll have more visual space, as opposed to the oppressive visual clutter. You'll have fewer things to take care of, to keep track of, to repair, etc. You might have had a fun night with your friends over getting your place cleared out. You may have made someone's day by putting your stuff on consignment or to Goodwill, which helps people get jobs and living quarters of their own.

Getting rid of clothing specifically can change your view of yourself- if you're used to wearing very big, baggy things and you've come to think that you're "overweight" because you're visually stocky, it's time to rectify that by buying things that fit properly. If you're 9 out of 10 women, you'll find that you're wearing the wrong bra size and need to get a new one fitted for you. It's time to free yourself from who you were a year ago and get yourself something new. It doesn't have to be expensive. I'm finding Goodwill and Plato's (a consignment store) to be pickier and pickier about quality of clothing they let in. I've found full-length genuine leather skirts in mint condition for $8! Just TAKE A TAPE MEASURE, note your measurements, and bring the tape measure with you when shopping! Size 5 in Store A, 2005 is different from Size 5 in Store A of 2006, which is also different from Size 5 in Store B, 2006. Tape measures don't lie, but tags will. Don't forget it!
     Read 1 - Post
Kimono on Etsy   
11:15pm 19/08/2010
mood: busy
Wheat prices are going to raise.   
12:42am 19/08/2010
  Expect wheat prices to raise in the near future, folks. It may no longer be the cheapest alternative soon.

Russia has banned all exports of wheat (although they mostly export to Europe and the Mediterranean). Canada's wheat crops are estimated to have dropped by 6 million metric tonnes. Australia's wheat crops desperately need rain in order to produce. So far, the US's crops are good, but we may become export leaders because other countries cannot keep up with their demands.

No word yet on when we can expect to see prices go up, but since flour is often on sale (at least here, it is, especially in Spanish markets) and it lasts for a year or so if stored properly, any time you can pick up extra that you'll actually use is a good time.

There are plenty of sources out there if you hit Google News. I've been tracking the stories for a week or so. Amongst them:


Figured you guys should get the heads up in advance.
Selling kimono goodies!   
11:01pm 03/07/2010
  I'm selling a dozen kimono items. I have:

- Pink maple juban, lined $20
- Brown/orange haori with hexagon pattern, lined $35
- Blue jinken sha hitoe kimono, iromuji $40
- Black and orange art deco kimono, shiny silk $50
- Pink iromuji kimono $40
- Black sha hitoe (no crests) kimono $40
- Pink and yellow pinstriped jinken ro hitoe kimono $35
- Red hanhaba obi, hakata-style $15
- Gold maru obi for child, so it's wide, but short in length $35
- Orange and black nagoya obi $30
- White and yellow flat obijime $15
- Pale blue flat obijime $10
- Handmade koshi himo, washable x2 $10
- Beaded haori himo, each one of a kind $7

LOTS more coming!

If you'd like more info on them, just comment or message me at ( nigatsu_bebe at! yahoo . com ). I'm still looking for work, and it's a really, really tough market here. Selling some of these pieces would help big-time! ^_~ I'm getting measurements tonight and photos in better lighting tomorrow (7/3).

Some photos up at
05:54pm 13/06/2010
  So, I want to get into making kumihimo for various uses. Kumihimo (various weaving patterns for cording) styles are good for using as obijime (cord for kimono), as jewellery, as cute rope belts, and for bondage. Obijime, for me, are excellent for that purpose, since they're usually a little over a metre long and are soft and strong as hell. Unlike traditional twisted rope, which you have to regularly treat, twist, and untwist when it warps or shrinks, you don't have to do these things with kumihimo. They're woven in such a way that they don't require it.

For example, some flat-woven pieces...

And there are hundreds of round-woven pieces.

In the meantime, I would LOVE to find a tutorial for traditional rope-twisting for shibari.
08:09pm 26/05/2010
Buy Handmade
Underneath the Stars   
01:21am 22/05/2010

Floating here like this with you
Underneath the stars, alight for 13 billion years
The view is beautiful, ours alone tonight
Underneath the stars

Spinning round and round with you
Watching shadows melt the light
Soft shining from our eyes
Into another space is ours alone tonight
Watching shadows melt

And the waves break
And the waves break

Whisper in my ear a wish
We could drift away held tight
Your voice inside my head
The kiss is infinite and ours alone tonight
We could drift away

Flying here like this with you
Underneath the stars alight for 13 billion years
The view is beautiful and ours alone tonight
Underneath the stars

And everything gone and all still to come
As nothing to us together as one
In each others arms, so near and so far
Forever as now underneath the stars

As the waves break

Government Food Day 3: The Crash   
08:08pm 02/05/2010
  w00t for Day 3. The reason I hadn't bothered to write much ANYWHERE the past few days is because of that horrible day of sugar levels on Day 2. That kind of thing fucks me up for a week straight sometimes. Lesson learned- way more meat and vegetables, way less starch and carbs. Beans for protein are out, unless it's in VERY small doses. Eating cheaply is not thrifty if I land in the hospital.

That being said. Day 3's log shows me eating the other banana I'd bought, half a falafel sandwich, and some chopped and fried (then re-baked) sweet potatoes with cinnamon butter melted over them. Then I got really sick... and had a little non-diet food. As in, a cheeseburger, light on the bun and heavier on the meat, cheese, and veggies. Started to feel a bit better.

After that, more falafel and some strawberries. I ate the rest of the pound, minus the five or six with holes or odd dry depressions in them. Had a little plain yoghurt. Also had half a mashed potato with some salt and pepper, and a spoonful of butter.

All in all, not that much food, but still heavy on the stuff I shouldn't be eating. It looks like (for me, at least) there is just no real way to sustain this diet. Maybe someone who has no issue with eating carb-heavy, protein-light stuff every day all day and who isn't lactose intolerant could do it. I don't know how on only $35 a week given the guidelines, but I assume if they buy in bulk and it averaged* to $35, maybe. But not like this. No wonder so many people are getting things like diabetes, and the harder to diagnose hypoglycemia (which later turns into diabetes or gets worse). Too many starches, not enough substance.

$35 a week I can do though, if I ate anything I wanted to on $35. Chicken is usually pretty cheap, and I don't eat a pound at a time. For $5 ($1.99/lb) of chicken, I could have about five meals. A box of noodles is about $.80, and they're usually buy one get one free. Half cup of noodles or less, lots of broccoli and mushrooms, and some chopped chicken stir-fried in spices and a light amount of oil or teriyaki sauce with green onions, a little bit of food goes a very long way. Or just do the stir-fry without the noodles, if rice is cheaper. And not piles of the stuff, either. Small amounts of rice, large amounts of vegetables, medium amounts of meat seems to work best for me. Eggs would be even cheaper, at about $1.50 a dozen. One or two eggs are excellent over a small spoonful of rice if I need to feel "full", and when wrapped in super-cheap nori (dried is about $3 for several sheets worth), it becomes fairly healthy. Falafel is a good meal too, just not all the time. I REALLY have to watch how much starch I get in a single meal.

My recipe for the stir-fry, which works with both chicken and beef:

- 1/2c cooked udon noodles (they come fresh and cold or dried)
- 1/3c broccoli
- 1/4c mushrooms (I use shiitake or just plain bellas, whatevers' in the fridge)
- 1/4c onions, chopped or sliced (or less if green onion)
- 1/4lb chopped meat, like chicken or beef (I used flank steak at the asian market; fresher than anywhere else, but less costly than ground beef!)
- Teriyaki sauce
- Sesame seeds
- 1/4c water

In a pan, pour 1/4c water and up to a 1/4c of teriyaki sauce. I use an asian brand that's relatively low on sugar and is HFCS-free. Toss in the chopped meat and let it cook for a few minutes on medium. Turn it so it cooks on both sides. If you need to, add a little more water and toss in everything but the noodles. Stir every minute until the broccoli starts becoming more tender. When the broccoli is nearly done, add the noodles. The noodles should already have been cooked, so if they go in for more than a few minutes, they'll get soggy and overdone.

This is one of the fastest and easiest meals I can think up. It's also one of the cheapest I can think of, mostly consisting of vegetables and meat. One small-looking bowl is very filling!

Also, if you can stand higher amounts of carbs and can do MSG without an issue, if you can get Ramen for less than $.10/pack and add frozen vegetables to it and some shredded chicken, the add-ins make it slightly healthier and still cheap to eat.
New Etsy Stuff Listed!   
10:30pm 01/05/2010
Buy Handmade
Government Food Day 2: A Day of BAD Ideas   
09:02pm 28/04/2010
mood: sick
So I got up late today- by late, I mean at 6:45AM. I had to catch a bus at 7:10 to get to work. Having to be quiet to avoid disturbing the sleeping hunneh too much, it means opening drawers more slowly, using lit spaces more quickly, and finding some things in the dark. For how much he works, it's well-worth it. But I wasn't awake enough to remember to make/bring lunch to work with me. I did* remember to have some OJ before I left. I guess it didn't matter too much- we don't have cold storage at the training site, so we have to bring cold packs as well. Lesson learned: if I don't make something shelf-stable or freeze cold packs overnight, I will have to eat horrible cafe food or sugar crash.

So I didn't quite make it on the diet today. No problem- I'm not giving up. I'll just extend it for an extra full day to get that weeks' worth in.


8oz OJ (I've determined that 12oz frozen concentrate + 36oz water, times .66, which is 2/3 or 8oz concentrate, equals 31.68oz.)


I would have avoided eating, but I was starting to get really tired and shaky. I had to get food. One of the best choices available was a soft taco at the cafe. BAD IDEA. Actually, the taco itself wasn't bad. What I wasn't really prepared for was the sheer amount of garlic they use to make them. I'm allergic to garlic. A little* (VERY little) in some foods is OK. THAT much in one tiny taco is NOT okay. Almost immediately my chest started to seize up from it. The whole heart-racing, clenching, can't breathe thing. Some dairy helped neutralise it a little, I think because it helps slow absorption, but ugh. I paid for it the rest of the day. Fortunately, training requires a lot of sitting. Also tried flushing my system with LOTS of water. And some Sprite. Another really bad idea- too much sugar at once!


By the time I got home, I was sugar crashing again. But because of the allergy issues still happening (garlic can have me on the ground for DAYS if I eat less than a single clove), and no antihistamines on hand, I tried to take it easy. No luck- I got notice that one of my Japanese imports came in. That meant walking to the Post Office before they closed. So I shrugged off the vertigo and nausea and went down there.

Guy hadn't returned with the package yet, and might not until opening the next day. Fine. By that time, I'll have an order to ship out anyways. So I walked back home and got more OJ. Enough natural sugars that I thought it would help, plus, it's in the diet. Another 8oz perked me up, but I think more acidic stuff might have been bad for me because of the mucous response. I didn't think orange juice had anything to do with that. I know dairy products do, but I didn't think OJ did. BAD IDEA. Immediate sugars: good! Reactive hypoglycemia on immediate sugars without fats or something to slow down absorption: bad! Instant sugar high, then the opposite crash.

By this time, I was so tired and sick-feeling, I just went to bed. I couldn't stand long enough to cook anything.



Husband came home. I was awake, but wasn't able to get up. Too out of it. He knows what to do when this happens- sugars and stuff I'm not allergic to, things that are easy to hold and eat. Preferably soft foods. He brought me fries and chicken nuggets that he baked. <3 <3 <3 It's not on the diet, but I don't care. That goes out the window when I need* food. The oil in the fries slows down the carbs a little, and the proteins from the chicken helps immensely. One of the reasons I eat so much meat- it doesn't cause the fluctuations that carbs do. Yet somehow, I'm still NOT FAT, contrary to the assumptions of some readers. Yep, 5'6", 108lbs on average. Totally obese from all that damn cow and chicken. ::insert South Park moment here::

So... yeah. I might*  make something on the diet-friendly list later tonight, but I think I might just recover with whatever I can right now. It can take me a couple days to bounce back from something like this.

All for now.
Government Food Day 1: The Experiment Begins   
05:30pm 27/04/2010
mood: hungry
The guidelines stated on the Thrifty Shopping Guide are different for men and women. The first post regarding this experiment was the guide for men. The guide for women is as follows:

For $34.50 a week, I will (attempt) to eat on these guidelines:

2.75lbs of grain (rice, cereal, bread, etc.), of which only .38 pounds can include "hot cereals" such as oatmeal
2lbs of potatoes (I figured any kind would do, including sweet potatoes)
4.5lbs of vegetables
1lb beans (canned or dry)
5.25lbs fresh fruits
.5lb frozen fruit juice concentrate
11.5lbs of dairy (almost ALL of the allotment, outside of .5lbs, is supposed to be milk, apparently. Who cares if 1/3 of the population is lactose intolerant?)
2/3lb beef or pork
2 2/3lb chicken or turkey
.5lb fish
.5lb nuts
.06lb eggs (so, one egg?)
2lbs "other"- condiments, seasonings, oils, teas, etc. As anyone who bakes knows, butter counts as a fat, not a food.
34lbs/week, approximately
4.86lbs a day (which should be sufficient)

I won't be eating ANYTHING that isn't in these dietary guidelines (to the best of my ability) because I'm assuming that $34.50 is all I have. If I'm hungry, this is what I'm eating. Ice cream is NOT a dairy food (not one that qualifies, at least). 


- Breakfast:

.5lb banana

- Lunch:

.25lbs beef on a bun, approx. .125lbs with about 4tbsp of ketchup on it. Dunno how much the ketchup weighs- I'm gonna have to get a kitchen scale to do this accurately.

- Snack:

Half a falafel sandwich. I didn't really have what the recipe called for in terms of spices, but the pita bread was on hand. In Gov.Diet terms, 14oz=5 slices, .5 slice = 1.4 oz. If 5 slices cost 2.49, that's .50/slice, or .25/half-slice. The recipe I used will be posted after the section on the dinner menu.
About .5c of the falafel mixture I made went onto the pita bread, along with about 1/8c of the yoghurt/cucumber mixture.

I'm still working out what this means in weight for each category though. Vegetables are still my main menu, followed by meats and then grains. Beans fall under the Gov.'s category of vegetables, by the way. I just broke them out because they're a protein source.

- Dinner:

Will update when it's made. ^_^ I need food now though. Getting cold and shaky again.

*EDIT* Made portabello burgers. First try. The recipe I had mentioned nothing about draining the MASSIVE amount of juice out of them after cooking! One mushroom soaked through over six paper towels AND a bun. x.x It wasn't until I sliced down until I got to the meatier parts of the mushroom that it stopped releasing so much juice. Arrgh. Well, I'll know next time, won't it? 

But, after replacing half a bun and several paper towels later, a portabello burger was made. Considering the price per burger, they're more expensive than beef. I think I'll stick with the cow. BUT it didn't taste bad at all once the juices were drained, and it was topped with two slices of provolone (my throat feels tight already. x.x), chopped yellow onions, and a little mustard and ketchup.

.125lb grain (bun)
1/5lb vegetables (mushroom)
.5oz chopped onions (cooked in the same butter the mushrooms were cooked in)
4tbsp ketchup
1tbsp mustard
1tbsp butter
5tbsp oil leftover from frying the potatoes earlier

- Other:

Fruit juice concentrate, 12oz. It's over the 8oz requirement, but I won't drink all of it, just 2/3 of the jug. I was a little surprised- there was one type of juice that IS just juice! Orange juice. No matter what the brand (so I got the cheapest), orange juice was always just orange juice. However, that wasn't the case for the apple, grape, and other juices that were on the shelves. All of those stated that they were one thing and then weren't. For example, "grape juice" was actually some grape juice, some apple juice, some sugars, some high-fructose corn syrup, and some assorted other colourings and flavourings. Mostly NOT juice. Stay away from those! But the orange juice was alright. The only difference in taste was possibly attributed to brand (and thus, variety of oranges used. Yes, there are different kinds of oranges, and yes, they all taste a little different.), not to lack of quality or anything. While freezing food DOES cause it to lose nutrients, the affect isn't nearly as large as cooking a food that doesn't necessarily need to be cooked.

Six strawberries. Dunno how much they weighed, but I DO know that once they were gone, it's approximately a pound.

Also, when cooking falafel, oil was used. However, having a very limited supply of condiments and oils that can be used, I didn't just toss it out when the falafel was done- I used the oil to fry some sweet potatoes! I'm also letting it cool right now so that I can decide what else to do with the oil before tossing it. Every little bit helps. That 1c (.5lb) of oil will go a LONG way! soft, cold sweet potatoes aren't so bad with some extra cinnamon on them.

The Falafel Recipe:

I didn't have all the ingredients for the one posted, so I did this instead:

1) I don't have a food processor. This makes falafel a pain in the ass to make because you will sit there mashing garbanzos for two or three hours with a large wooden spoon. I suggest that if you have a hand mixer, USE IT. Neither will get the beans to a fine paste, which is needed to prevent the fried falafel from falling apart in the oil, but it helps immensely.

2) The package directions on the garbanzos I bought are inaccurate. It said to quick-cook them, boil them on high (after picking through them to cull any foreign materials) for 10 minutes, then let sit for an hour in cool water. OR soak them overnight for 6-8 hours to make them soft. I left mine on the counter for more than 24 hours. No softness to be seen. Although I did get a bit of bubbly residue and a potent smell when close to the bowl. I drained the water, rinsed them, and boiled them on high with the lid on for over an hour to get them FINALLY soft enough to mash well. Even then, they didn't boil entirely evenly; two hours would have been better.

- 16 oz dried chickpeas (garbanzos), pre-cooked
- 1 onion, chopped finely
- 1/4c dried parsley
- 5-6tbsp garlic salt (the recipe calls for SO MUCH MORE garlic, but I have allergies...)
- 2 eggs (I started with one, but a second keeps the paste together better)
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground cloves (didn't have coriander or sage to compensate for smokiness)
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp pepper
- 2 tbsp chili powder (didn't have cayenne)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp baking soda (didn't have powder)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2c ground flax seed (didn't have any bread to make bread crumbs, nor did I have bread crumbs. Used on-hand flax seed.)
- Oil for frying (use smaller pans. The smaller the pan, the less oil it takes to fry the falafel!)

- 6oz plain yoghurt (not the sweet flavoured kind, the nothing-but-milk-and-yoghurt-cultures kind)
- 1/2 cucumber, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 tbsp dill weed
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise

Follow the instructions in the original recipe. It comes out great! 
Government Food Day 0: The Grocery Expedition   
11:51pm 26/04/2010
  *EDITED for more detailed content*

Today begins the shopping for the Gov.Diet, and tomorrow begins the mealplans. I decided to use guidelines tailored to my age and gender, since my husband will not be following me on this diet unless he actually wants something I'm making. :P

Although when you get food stamps or other funding for food you can basically spend it however you like, so long as you don't go over your amount, I am using the Thrifty Shopping Plan-specified guidelines because that's what they're using to determine the amount of money allotted for the weekly budget, using national average prices.

I spent five hours researching all the latest deals across six ads and three other local stores, finding recipes for unfamiliar foods and foods not previously liked, and finding workarounds for foods I don't or can't eat.

The guidelines for women aged 19-50 are a bit different from the guidelines posted for men. When I'm working on more than two or three hours of sleep across two days, I'll post the full writ on the subject.

But today's expedition took me across only two stores, which made me happy. I had three lists: stuff I needed for daily life (soap, my husbands' food, cat food, etc.), stuff for the Gov.Plan, and my meal allotment slots to fill. For example, I filled in the entire potato slot with sweet potatoes- a great deal this week for only $0.29/lb! I also bought two bags of beans: one of pinto, one of garbanzo. Both bags are at or over the 1lb limit, but I'm not going to eat more than a full pound of either this week.

None of these prices have been adjusted yet. Kind of ran out of time since my hunneh had a surprise person coming over. Photos forthcoming.

2 large sliced portabella mushrooms - 1.99 (price comparable with ground beef, which makes it a little expensive. I may cut this in half by only having one and having my husband eat the other.)
.5lb whole baby portabella mushrooms - 2.69 (same price as Wal-mart)
Green onions - .60
1/2 dozen eggs - .75
1lb ground beef - 3.80 (1/2lb = 2.40)
2lbs Greek yoghurt - 3.99
1lb provolone - 5.19 (a splurge, admittedly, but this price may be adjusted for how much actually* gets eaten during the week.)

1 cucumber, 2.12lbs - .33
2lb sweet potatoes - .61
5lb russet potatoes (just in case I don't use both sweet potatoes) - 1.00
1lb linguini - .88
1lb roasted peanuts - 2.18 (.5lb = 1.09)
2lb pinto beans - 1.32
1lb garbanzo beans - 1.42
1lb potato buns - 2.48
1lb butter - 2.22 (I rarely use more than one stick of butter for TWO people every week and a half, so this should last a month or so.)
6oz Greek yoghurt - 1.00 (disregard this one, as I shuffled it out of the Gov.Diet budget and into the realm of "husband food" after the Publix trip).
12oz orange juice concentrate - 1.34 (this one surprised me! No crap fillers in OJ, only in the grape, apple, and mixed fruit kinds!)
.5lb vine tomatoes (cheapest kind available) - .93
1lb bananas - .44
.6lbs onions - 1.00
1lb carrots - .88
1lb strawberries - 1.25
3lb chicken breast - 5.48 (1.83/lb)

All in all, I spent 59.87. This is a scary-looking price, but remember that I bought some things that will break down into smaller prices because of quantity issues- for example, there is no way in hell I'm eating an entire block of butter a week. Ever. Ever. I also won't be eating all 3lbs of that chicken. And all that dairy... I really have NO IDEA how to eat 11lbs of it. Too much dairy makes my throat close up. x.x By "too much" I mean a little cup of yoghurt a day, or one McFlurry, or... pretty much anything more than 4oz of dairy daily. That's 1.75lbs a week. WAY less than 11lbs. But I'll try anyways, just to get it "right".

Ok. Need to sleep. Have to be up in six hours... and I still haven't spent any quality time with DH yet. ::sigh::

All for now.
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Government Food Day: The Premise   
03:59pm 26/04/2010
mood: determined
I wanted to write this yesterday, but I found myself suddenly inundated with stuff. And lots of it.

Basically, I found this online at a food blog:

POSTED BY: Monica Reinagel, M.S., LD/N | April 19, 2010 | 12:08 PM

How much do you spend on groceries?  The USDA tracks the cost of food on a monthly basis, in part, as a way to determine the level of supplemental food assistance (food stamps) it offers to lower income families. In February 2010, for example, the USDA estimated that an adult male, eating all his meals at home, could meet his nutritional needs for about $38 a week if he followed the Thrifty Food Plan developed by the USDA.  

Here's the suggested weekly shopping list for an adult male on the Thrifty plan:
  • 4 1/2 pounds of grains (rice, bread, pasta, cereal)
  • 2 1/2 pounds potatoes
  • 5 pounds other vegetables
  • 2 pounds canned or dry beans
  • 6 1/2 pounds fresh fruit
  • 1 3/4 pounds fruit juice concentrate
  • 11 pounds of dairy products
  • 2 1/2 pounds chicken
  • 1/2 pound beef or pork
  • 1/4 pound nuts
  • 2-3 eggs
  • 2 pounds of oil, salad dressings, spices, condiments, and other miscellaneous stuff

I have to wonder. My husband could never eat or drink 11 POUNDS of dairy products- one out of three people is lactose intolerant. In this case, make it two out of three. And the US Gov. wants us to eat twice as much dairy as vegetables? Where are our daily protein sources- only 2lbs of beans (assuming you buy dry and not canned, which have a lot of weight in soaking water), which a person can only absorb about 3% of out of the protein remaining after the drying, rehydrating, and cooking process... 2.5lbs of chicken I can deal with (if you're wondering, we absorb about 15% of animal proteins vs 3% of plant proteins). There's ways to make it last, but where do beef or chicken broths and stock play in? The 2lbs of approved "other"? Not realistic if you intend to use even a smidgen of butter, spices, or condiments on ANYTHING the rest of the week! And about that chicken- the cheapest I've found it in these parts is $3-3.50 a pound, $2 if it's deeply on sale, which doesn't happen that often. Freezing it works, but it doesn't always work in all meals because of the texture it gets when it defrosts. Also, think of how many nutrients are lost in the process! Taurine alone would be non-existent. Is that $38 and 2lbs of "other" supposed to cover multivitamins too, then?

Also, 7lbs of starches, not to mention how starchy beans can be- we're already a nation facing an obesity crisis, and we need seven pounds of starches in a middle-aged man who presumably already has a slowing metabolism and possibly risk for diabetes genetically already? A lot of Euro-descent people DO have this risk to begin with; we don't need to be eating a half-pound of carbs with every meal. And while there are ways to stretch the grains further, like chopping potatoes into soups (you only get maybe two), or buying cereal (which is often just as sugar-filled as Pepsi- ever read the info on Raisin Bran?), both of those options make the meal plan more expensive as well. Cereal is between $2-5 a bag/box. If that's my main meal plan, I'd be hospital-bound for insulin treatment. No, seriously, lack of healthcare throughout my life in absolute poverty has me with some serious issues, including severe reactive hypoglycemia. Seven pounds of carbs would probably be very, very, very bad for me. And we're asking grown men with potentially declining metabolisms and immune systems to eat this stuff constantly. A pound of rice really isn't all that much, by the way, but a pound of cereal or oatmeal DEFINITELY is. Look at the weight on each bag. The only way I could maybe make the weight/money ratio work is if I bought flour and made my own breads at home. Which is fine for me, but what do working parents do when they don't have time to be sitting home making their own loaves, or money for a bread machine?

On top of that, notice how there is no allotment for fish or other "cultural" foods. Yet as America is a country of many nations, and as food is becoming "culturally diversified". That means us Euro-people are making Spanish bean soup (which includes non-included ham and chorizo), tamagoyaki, and falafel (pita bread is WAY too expensive for this diet). The government still thinks this is some kind of club for Irish eating. It isn't. There's a reason people from the countries of my family have such soaring rates of heart problems, pancreatic problems, vision problems, etc.: our diet doesn't allow for "proper" nutrition based on what was available in our country of origin. That isn't an excuse here- we get bananas from Brazil, carrots from everywhere, potatoes from Idaho, rice from Asia and Arkansas- there is no reason our "meal plan" shouldn't allow for more diversification, either. There's a reason places like Japan has so few problems with weight, yet they eat only an average of 1200 calories a day. There's a reason people in the Middle East have such great-looking hair and skin so often- what's in olive oil, again? There's a reason so many countries have benefits unique to their cultures. We should have the freedom to choose some of the best and least expensive habits from origins outside of a few European countries as is the "American" tradition. That, and what kind of Vogons haven't been to Maine for crab? I mean, COME ON, that should put seafood on the list right there!

I'm not asking, mind you, that they should make exceptions for every freaking religion or culture. That's impossible. But the fact is, humans haven't been eating grains for very long- that's why our teeth are still POINTY. We have evolved to eat more meats, and plenty of it. Meat is what caused us to evolve to walk upright, it's the reason our digestive tracts work the way they do. We're supposed to have tonnes of fiber and vegetables, a good portion of meat, some (a little) dairy up until around age four, and not too many grains. The idea that a person is supposed to consume 11 pounds of dairy alone is mind-boggling- easy enough, I'm sure, if it's a gallon and a half of milk, but when ONE THIRD of the human race is lactose intolerant, it seems ridiculous to make THAT the basis of your calculations and to allow so much room for it! One pound of cheese here costs anywhere between $3-6 A POUND. On $38 a week for a man, that makes it almost impossible to buy ANY dairy. Yoghurt that ISN'T full of sugar and HFCS is also hard to come by in most stores- the ONLY brand out of the several that Wal-mart carried (a nationally-recognised grocer) was the Greek-style Dannon at $1 for 5oz. That's very expensive when considering that a pound would cost around $3.20, and 11lbs would cost $35.20- nearly your entire budget! $5 in cheese would break the whole thing!

Nevertheless, I'm going to try it. I've got a husband to feed, and it can't be any worse for a week than what we're eating now. That means doubling this allotment and eating on $73 a week. One week attempting to live on this diet won't kill either of us. I'll report back with the receipts and recipes.
Don't forget.   
02:37am 16/04/2010
  Don't you dare forget who your real fucking friends are.

The ones who saw you when you were fucked up, and still stuck by you.

The ones who could have brought you to the fucking ground, but helped you up anyways.

The ones who had everything to gain by slandering you and turning their backs on you, but who loved you more.

I see the monsters inside your head.

I see you tossing in your bed.

I was there, and I remember. I can't forget.
HUGE amount of stuff for sale and trade!   
11:14pm 03/04/2010
mood: bouncy
The craft stuff. It overwhelms the living room. My husband and I are trying to raise money, since I have no job yet, but since things aren't selling well enough, I figure if I trade supplies I can bring in things we need and would otherwise spend money on, putting that money instead into our bills and savings accounts.

Anyone want to trade? I can usually ship out within a day or two.

I have STACKS of fabrics, all kinds.
I have an entire garbage bag of yarns, all kinds.
I have some assorted papercrafting items, including vintage books which can be used as ephemera.
I have many beading and jewellery items.
I have some assorted skeins of embroidery threads and a few other miscellaneous things, such as hooks for woodcrafting or mixed-media items.
I also have some non-Etsy items such as sterling silver items, clothing, and computer parts.

I'm looking for all kinds of things, and always respond to e-mails! nigatsu_bebe at! yahoo . com Some of it is here, some on

I also have many, many computer parts for sale. MANY hard drives, RAM, MOBOS, server cases, etc.
Writer's Block: Film therapy   
09:34am 30/03/2010

Are there any movies you watch when you're feeling anxious or depressed? If so, what are they, and what about them calms you down and/or lifts your spirits?

First question listed was submitted by sagittarian. (Follow-up questions, if any, may have been added by LiveJournal.)

View 1736 Answers

I <3 Huckabees. Whenever I feel like Albert, I turn to Catarine Vaughbahn for guidance: "Cruelty. Manipulation. Meaninglessness."
If anyone actually reads this...   
10:12pm 28/03/2010
  post a comment. Even one word.

I may be deleting the journal soon.

That is all.
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