How to Make Good Money

This morning I am working from home so that I can go to a handful of apartment showings throughout the day.


At my first showing, the guy was doing his whole spiel and was like, “You have to make two and a half times what rent is monthly.”


And I was like, “That’ll be fine.”


And since I am a young person that had already divulged the basic details of my life (a year out of school, basically), he was like, “How much do you make?”


So I told him, and he was like, “DO YOU WANT TO BUY THE PLACE?”


Meaning the whole building.  As a joke.  But like, seriously man, just cuz I’m young doesn’t mean I’m broke.  I know ’bout computers.  People who know ’bout computers are paid what looks like ridiculous sums of money in some lights, but then when you think about it, you realize that unlike with sports, nobody else is willing to do the computer thing while everybody wants it, so I feel pretty justified.


Anyway, I finished that showing and went back home.  To work.  Where the VPN into work is down, and has been since I got up at 6 and tried to start working in my bed.  Every half an hour or so, I call the hotline that tells me that yep, it’s still down.  Forced personal day?  I think so.




How to Save the World

Yesterday I helped put out a fire.

Now before you all raise your eyebrows at me, recalling the sorts of mishaps my trek out into the world has already brought my way, I would just like to say that I did not start the fire.  Just like that song.

Rather, I was waiting for the bus when some guy walked up to the garbage can and started lighting matches and throwing them in.  Man, city life – I tell ya.

Anyway, so now me and a whole bunch of other people that just got out of work and really were anticipating going home not smelling like burning trash were standing there wondering why the hell that guy just lit the garbage can (well, its contents) on fire.  I don’t know about everybody else, but my head was like, “THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT BYSTANDER EFFECT IS!”

Luckily before too long, somebody knew what to do and lacked the social pressure that would have kept him from doing anything (you could tell this from his appearance, which was more disheveled than that of the asshole who lit the fire – but hey, his mind was working.  Better than mine.)  Anyway, this guy remembered that this is Minnesota, so there’s basically always snow around, and snow is basically water.

So he started scooping up the really nasty black snow that accumulates next to roads (remember: bus stop) and dumping in the trash, on top of the nicely smoldering fire.

A little old lady and I helped him, so now I have fulfilled my heroic action tall for this quarter.

How to Make the Best Food in the World

At my college of choice, a magical little place in rural Minnesota with a striking resemblance to Hogwarts, I learned what my favorite food in the world is.  Our caf service (consistently ranked in the top five college cafs yearly, by the way) dubbed it “Gado gado” but if you google “gado gado” it looks like that generally refers to a cold sliced up vegetables style salad with a peanut sauce.  Gado Gado in our Grains line meant curried vegetables with a peanut sauce and then some other cold things on top.

After much research and experimentation, I have figured out how to recreate this experience.  Here we go…

How to Make the Food of Your Dreams

Curried vegetables:
Roughly follow this recipe.
Except very roughly, because the correct vegetables for Gado Gado are carrots, cauliflower, green beans, and potatoes.  And the recipe will still totally work if you buy everything frozen.  And don’t have lime juice.  And there’s no cilantro in Gado Gado.  Really, the key to this is getting a good curry powder.  And not forgetting the tomato paste.


Also, that particular kitchen utensil is superior to all others. Perhaps I will write about that sometime.

Peanut sauce:

Go with this recipe, which, you will note, tells you to experiment anyway, so do that.

Gado Gado is served with the curried vegetables warm, topped with the peanut sauce warm, topped with the following things cold:
– Chopped cucumbers
– Chopped tomatoes
– Fried onions like it’s a green bean casserole
– Crumbled hard boiled egg




Unfortunately, when made at home, one still has to do the dishes.

How Finally Going to IKEA Has Changed My Life

So my friend Kelsey, who is living a pretty charmed life right now in which she gets to hang out with her new kitten and experiment with new recipes and produce fodder for her craft blog, has a craft blog.  I guess I just said that twice.

Kelsey’s pretty awesome.  She’s very nice, a smart cookie, has that whole Scandinavian beauty thing going on (I don’t actually know her nationality, so like, grain of salt there, okay?).  She has the best name ever and the grace to be born after me, thus allowing me to call dibs on being the first Kelsey whenever I want.  On top of all that, Kelsey’s a perfectionist.  If you want to know how to do something right, ask her.

If, on the other hand, you want to be told, in a somewhat confusing manner, how to quickly recreate something you saw on the wall at IKEA, I’m your girl.

How to make a hanging photo thingy:


  • Half a dozen cheap ass photo frames.  I recommend the actual IKEA ones, as I dare you to find appropriately sized, matching frames that you are will to drill holes in for cheaper.
$10 worth of frames

$10 worth of frames

  • Some hook and eye things.  Go to the hardware store.  Complain loudly that you don’t know why some are blue and you just want matching ones goshdangit in a whiny voice until some kind gentleman who doesn’t even work there tells you the blue ones are for masonry applications.  Make a mental note to google “masonry applications.”
The ones with the little screws are eyes.  The S's are hooks.  Mine are not blue.

The ones with the little screws are eyes. The S’s are hooks. Mine are not blue.

  • A hammer and a nail (yes, just one of each)
  • Half a dozen photos or postcards or something.  If you are really lazy, you can just buy a pack at IKEA like I did.
  • A roommate

Time:  However long it takes you to get out of IKEA plus however long it takes to you telepathically get somebody to help you at the hardware store plus 30-45 minutes.

You ready?

Take your frames.  Mark little x’s on them where you want to put the little screw things  — the eyes.  Remember that for the bottom frame, you only want hook thingies on the top.

Ask to borrow your roommate’s drill.  Give up on your roommate’s drill.  Instead, start all the holes (through the x’s, of course — come on, a little effort!) with the nail.  Manually twist in the eye thingies.  Get your roommate to help you when your thumbs start bruising but you don’t want to go find your pliers.

Deliberate for a long time about exactly how to arrange your pictures in the frames.  Then, actually put the pictures in the frames.

Here’s the fun part:  Hammer that nail into your ceiling twice to start two more holes for two final eyes.  Ignore your roommate when she warns you about plaster and studs and stuff; this will make for another fun project in the future.

Hang everything together.  Stand back and admire your work.



How Squirrels Are Taking Over My (The?) World

I moved into my first apartment in June with a friend of mine from school.  The apartment is a pretty solid first place — close to a lot of stuff, actually a townhouse and quite spacious, and in a pretty cute ivy-covered building.

The first squirrel tried to move in about a month later.  It chewed its way in next to my roommate’s window air conditioning unit and started to build a nest in the window sill.

This happened on a Friday, so nothing could be done about it until Monday.  Accordingly, we boarded the squirrel into the window (and thus out of our apartment) with cookie sheets and duct tape.


Makeshift squirrel barricade

Once we finally got the squirrel out of the window (the battle stretched over several weeks), the squirrels were mostly harmless for a long stretch going into the fall.  Once, I thought I saw a dead squirrel in the grass, because it was lying very awkwardly and very still, but when I came back later, it was gone.

Two weeks before Halloween, however, the squirrels resurfaced with a vengeance.  Not that they had ever really disappeared, but we had at least coexisted peacefully for some time.

The squirrels ate all of our pumpkins.  Now we have several abnormally fat squirrels scurrying about.  Also, our neighbors fancy themselves funny:


Ok, they are a little bit funny.

Now that the leaves have fallen, I’ve found the squirrel nest.  Turns out they are right outside my window.  Taunting me.