Saturday, December 20, 2008

Homeward Bound

Here are some tidbits that I have learned in the past couple of days:
1. You can pay $2.99 for an hour of wireless at SFO, and, I presume, most airports. (I am aware that most people already knew this. I am not, however, most people.)
2. UCSF medical center has a walk-in urgent care clinic. You don't have to have a doctor at UCSF to use it.
3. The nurse practitioner at UCSF is not all that helpful when you have an attack of the MRSA. They do give you a prescription that, so far, has not caused your face to swell up.

Here are some things that I have observed so far while waiting for my overbooked flight:
1. Two sisters approximately 8 and 10, dressed in matching pajamas and bathrobes. The younger one's p.j.-bathrobe set is blue. The older one's is pink.
2. A 12-year-old girl staring at me strangely for wearing my neck pillow. Her sister is wearing headgear. Headgear is weirder.
3. The planewear of choice for children taking redeyes seems to be pj's, with the notable exception of one little boy who is wearing cutoff kahkis, an orange Ralph Lauren polo shirt, and a suit jacket.

I cannot imagine raising my children on the opposite side of the country from my family. This West Coast adventure is really great for now, but small children + redeye every holiday? I can't imagine that that's fun. Plus, I want my mom around to help me take care of my babies.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cookies make my life better.

I am sorry for my lack of posting frequency; I am very busy leading my excruciatingly boring life.
I would, however, like to point both of my readers in the direction of these cookies. They are amazing and they will change your life for the happier.
(Thanks, Smitten Kitchen!)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

They Do Have A Point

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Conversation with my roommate while watching this:
Me: It's like We are the World! All over again!
roomie|west: Except it's We are the Gays!
. . .
r|w: That was a really good thing to watch together. It was like family t.v. hour. Except two minutes. And a computer screen. And the gays.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Coming Up for Air

Sorry for not posting.
Too busy hanging out at home, seeing old friends, and reading this.
How did I not find out about it earlier? I guess it made the rounds of the internet awhile back, when people thought it was real. I like it better knowing that it's fiction. It's like those chick-lit books I'm embarrassed to admit I sometimes love.
Okay, more leftovers, then sleep in preparation for my forty-seven thousand hour plane flight back to San Fran tomorrow.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Two Funny Things

1. Yesterday in preschool, a little girl with hair similar to mine asked why I had taken my hair out of a ponytail. I explained that I had done it because I felt like it. "But your mommy will be very mad at you!"
2. I buy Greek-style yogurt from the produce market up the street. Two weeks ago, I bought some, but then promptly got sick and didn't eat any until yesterday, when I noticed that it was especially sour-tasting. Assuming it had gone bad (even though the expiration date is in late December), I bought some more today. When I brought it home and checked the packaging, I realized that last time I had unwittingly bought "old country style" yogurt.
I am not man enough to handle old country style yogurt.

Friday, October 31, 2008

I Feel that the fact that my pumpkin is sleeping says something about me.

This is my pumpkin. His name is Jack.

When I found Jack at the Pumpkin Patch, I knew he needed to be mine.
You see, he was lying on his side, taking a little rest. I like to do that, too.
So, I took him home, where he sat on my kitchen table for a week.
Then, the night before Halloween, when I have always carved my pumpkin always and forever, it was time to give him a face, complete with closed eyes.
Sleepy Jack

He was sleeping, but that wasn't clear to me, so I needed to give him some Zs.

Sleepy Jack's Zs

Happy Halloween, Internet!
Abbie and Sleepy Jack

Sleepy Jack

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

You Know You Wish I Were Your Roommate

You have no idea how much effort went in to making this photo perfect.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I am such a nerd

I have been working on this project lately. It is called "eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day."
I am working on this project because I am living on my own, and I was worried that without the structure of someone else making my food, I would sink into a healthy pattern of eating cheese and butter and ice cream and nothing else, and then I would weigh approximately five thousand pounds and I would never be able to visit my loved ones on the east coast because they wouldn't let me on the plane because my body would make the plane crash. To avoid this unfortunate situation, I decided to focus on eating plenty of produce every day. This seemed like an especially good plan since, in college, I would sometimes go days without a vegetable so much as crossing my lips.
Anyway, I've been pretty good about it, but sometimes it's hard to eat that many fruits and vegetables. It's a lot of food. But I've been slogging along because I feel kind of awesome and also whenever I think about it I get all virtuous-feeling and I kind of like that, too. Today, though, I realized that I didn't actually know how big a serving of vegetables was. I'd been assuming a cup of most veggies and two cups of leafy greens. But then I went to my friend google, where I learned that I've been eating TWICE AS MANY SERVINGS OF FRUITS AND VEGGIES AS I THOUGHT! That means that today, I've eaten TEN servings of produce.
I feel so virtuous and healthy. And also a little excited.
I think I'm sort of a nerd.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fleet Week. And, Bunnies.

Me: This weekend is Fleet Week!
Roommate: And I'm not going to be around! So you have the entire apartment to yourself! And sailors!
Me: You have made my life SO MUCH BETTER!
Roommate: Or more riddled with disease.

In other news, bunnies:

Untitled from Abbiebabble on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Two days ago I had one of those days that required the massive, mindless consumption of concentrated carbohydrates.
I've had a lot of doubts in the past month about my ability to do my job. Two days ago, I started to question that even more, when I proved to struggle with the one part of my job I know that I am good at.
Walking onto the bus, I reached into my bag to pull out my wallet. It wasn't there. I had stupidly left my purse out in a less-than-safe location, and so, not surprisingly, the more valuable contents was gone when I came back to it.
I dealt with all the things that needed to be dealt with (to be fair, my mother dealt with many of the things that needed to be dealt with), and then I went on my way, only to realize when I got home that I wasn't really all that upset. Yes, things could certainly be better, but my coworkers were wonderfully helpful and nice, I could get home (and I had a home to go to! I'm not homeless anymore! I am STILL grateful for that), and well, things were okay.
Do I wish I felt good at my job and that I still had my wallet? Hell, yes.
Do I think I'll figure this all out, and be okay? Hell, yes.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I've been watching Mad Men.
As a result, I find myself wanting to be charming and have long red fingernails and wear pencil skirts and heals all the time.
Somehow, I don't think it's going to happen.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My tummy hurts.

I hate being sick. You hurt and it doesn't go away until you get better, which can take days.
I especially hate being sick so far away from my mother and all my loved ones, who will make my bed and rub my back and tell me what to do to get better.
Right now, I want my mommy.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I realize that I didn't write a follow-up to either of my two last posts, both of which require updates.
First of all, my new roommate has convinced me that sex addiction is, in fact, a real thing. After listening to Loveline with her for a couple of nights, I'm inclined to agree. (P.S. Am I the only American in who managed to go through high school and college in the past fifteen years without ever having listened to Loveline? I mean, I was certainly aware of its existence, since Dr. Drew wrote an advice column in my favorite teen magazine, but I never listened to it before moving into this apartment.)
More seriously, though, I'm starting to find a life for myself in San Francisco. I have a home (complete with bunnies!), I have a grocery store (two, if you count the produce market where I buy the vast majority of my groceries, as well as the standard big-box grocery store, where I buy my cereal and my milk, and my cheez-its when I desire them), I have a place to go for a run and a place to do my laundry. I am exploring a different neighborhood each weekend, and finding at least one lovely sight or delicious taste in each.

My friends are exactly what I'd hoped for when planning a cross-country move. They are fun, and supportive, and have all been just wonderful in helping me learn San Francisco.
I'm still figuring out what my life will be, but all in all, I think that this time in San Francisco will be pretty okay.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Are you serious?

Is this really true?
Is sex addiction even a real thing?
Celebrities are weird weird people.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Here is what I wrote two days ago:
Sometimes I think that moving across the country, breaking up with your boyfriend, and starting a new job are too many things to be doing all at the same time.
Most of the time, though, I think that those things are all okay, though certainly hard, and that the real trouble comes when you don't know where to live.
I've always suspected that I am not the couch-surfing type. I hate feeling like I'm imposing. I hate not knowing where I'll be in a week. I hate depending on my friends, and not knowing exactly how they feel about having me around. Melissa and Sinny are being amazing; both of them have welcomed me into their homes with open arms.

Here is how I feel now:
At least I have a place to live!
This is really great. My new roommate seems really nice, the apartment is really cute, and there's a grocery store only a block away.
Everything else is still kind of scary and overwhelming. How do you meet people in a new city? How do you make new friends?
At least I'm not homeless anymore, though.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I may be homeless, but at least I'm homeless for a reason

Note: I wrote this on the plane from Boston to San Francisco yesterday. Now I'm here, crashing on my amazing friend Sinny's couch, looking for a place to live. Good times all around.

By the time my sizeable* readership lays eyes on this blog post, I will have landed in San Francisco.
Can I just take a moment to realize that this is the first time I have opened Microsoft Word since I graduated from college, since I wrote that unfortunate paper on the mating habits of songbirds in the course of eighteen hours?
Anyway, I guess I’ve talked a little bit about moving to San Francisco here, but I’ve never really gone into why, exactly, I thought it would be a good idea to pack up and move halfway across the country, leaving my family, boyfriend, and all familiar territory behind.
Ooh! There was just a call for a doctor on board and there were THREE! Luckily, all that happened was a flight attendant got a minor puncture wound. I saw it because, even though I’m not a doctor, I was sitting near two of them. I love being in the middle of all the excitement.
But anyway, as scary as moving across the country can be, and trust me, not knowing where I’m going to live or who I’ll be friends with**, I don’t really feel like I have a choice. I need to do this, to prove to myself that I can. I spend a lot of my life thinking about child development, and what is and isn’t appropriate. Learning to take care of myself far away from anything I know feels like a developmentally appropriate step in becoming the grownup I’m supposed to be. I’m terrified, but I’m also really excited. San Francisco is going to be my practice city. It’s completely new to me, and I’m going to get to figure it out on my own.
Postscript: I had In n’ Out as soon as we landed, and DAMN, the fast food is good in California.

* The thesaurus also suggested as synonyms for “large” the following: titanic, elephantine, mountainous, and economy-sized. While my readership (of approximately ten people) might be huge, it is not quite economy-sized.
**To be fair, I DO have friends in San Francisco. Wonderful, amazing friends who are letting me stay with them while I find an apartment.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

I am not a food blogger

Just clarifying. I don't enjoy cooking enough to have a whole blog about it. Also, I kind of don't know anything about cooking. And also, I like the kitchen to be clean. Don't chefs have to be willing to cover their homes in flour or something?
Nonetheless, grilled peaches are delicious.

I really like them, especially with ice cream.

I also like them in my backyard.

Actually, for that matter, I'm rather a fan of my backyard.

I think I will miss it when I move to San Francisco.
But I'm still excited to move to San Francisco.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Would Blog, But Must Find Housing First

Do you know how hard it is to find a reasonably affordable place to live in San Francisco?
The answer is very difficult.
Especially when you're not in San Francisco currently.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I guess it depends on your definition of "washed up."

So, one of the teachers in the preschool where I'm working went to a George Michael concert on Sunday. She's been talking about it ever since.

Parent, to the George Michael Fan: I don't know why you wasted your time going to that concert. George Michael is just a washed-up singer.

Three-Year-Old: No he's not! He's a VERY DIRTY singer!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Stop the Presses

Tonight, I went out to dinner.
I had a beer.
And I liked it.
We went to Charlie's Beer Garden, see, and so it seemed like the only acceptable thing to do, to order a beer to go with my pulled pork. In fact, given that it was a BEER GARDEN, I wasn't even sure that they had delicious girly drinks.
So I ordered a Blue Moon. It came with a slice of lemon (EVEN THOUGH THE WEBSITE SAYS YOU SHOULD SERVE BLUE MOON BELGIAN WHITE WITH A SLICE OF ORANGE), and it was good.
It was definitely made better, of course, by the fact that everything tastes better outside.
Except girly drinks in a beer garden. We witnessed a couple, a man and a woman, both drinking cosmos in said beer garden, and we promptly judged them and decided that the shame of drinking a pink beverage in someplace as manly and tough as a beer garden would make everything taste awful. Even a delicious girly drink.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I am carefully applying the second layer of yellow paint to my house, homing in on the end of this never-ending project. Manoli, my manly hero, is standing behind me, holding the paint bucket and a rag, softly singing "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion. He is not painting because he doesn't want to get his clothes dirty.

I go to see Mamma Mia with my mother. I do not allow her to sing "Mamma Mia," finding it embarrassing. Two days later, I go again with my best friends. Not only do we sing along, we race home to drink pink drinks and have an ABBA dance party, loudly singing "Dancing Queen" late into the night, waking Emily's elderly neighbors.

I am standing by the piano in a preschool classroom in a church basement. It is hot and humid, and I am sticky as I listen to my latest five-year-old charge compose an original song about the Twilight. And also Dewey, who is Abbie's Sister. But mostly about the Twilight. Earlier that day, he chased one of his friends around a fountain, concerned that he was drinking from it. "But you can't dooooo that!!" he cried. "That water is not potaaableeee!" Now though, we're completely focused on the Twilight.

Friday, July 18, 2008


This is Emily.

In addition to being one of my bestest friends in the whole wide world, she is my travel companion. On Tuesday, we went traveling to our friend David's family's house in Edgartown, on Martha's Vineyard.
We had to drive to get there, and Emily has a convertible. The only sensible thing to do was put on a traveling outfit.

(Do you KNOW what a convertible can do to your hair? It's not pretty.)
We had a really lovely time and I wish I could prove it to you with photos, but unfortunately, Emily is my photographer as well as travel companion, so all of the pictures of the beach and David waking up before nine a.m. and me snoring attractively are on her camera somewhere.
Although I did eat a strawberry on the drive down. It was delicious.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Note to Self

It is a good idea to turn off the window fan when the garbage truck drives by.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Prepare to be awed.

I am incredibly attractive these days. The house painting has covered me in a lovely combination of yellow paint, sweat, and dust. Combine that with the eczema that is slowly taking over my entire epidermis, and I am quite a picture.
I wish the internet were here to see it.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

When I was six, my parents hired a nanny to take care of my sister and me. Missy was awesome, aside from the fact that her car used to break down all the time, so we would have to walk home from school instead of getting a ride. (When you are six, this is a very big deal. Walking home is, like, the worst thing ever.) She used to do all sorts of projects with us that never turned out quite right, but, instead of these disasters being disappointments, they always felt like a fun sort of adventure. In addition, Missy was from Texas, and she was a Republican. She taught our little hippy Cambridge hearts about diversity. She also taught us about Buns of Steel.
My sister and I used to love doing Buns of Steel. We used to come home, eat our little hippy snack of apples and organic peanut butter, and pop Buns of Steel into the VCR to start doing leg lifts. We tried Abs of Steel once, but we just didn't like it very much. Nothing quite compared to the satisfaction of knowing that you were building your Bun Muscles with every leg lift. (I don't remember anything but the leg lifts. They made a big impression because I was worried that I would build up the muscles on one leg but not the other by doing different numbers of lifts on each side.) We did Buns of Steel every single day after school for several months, and I'm sure our five- and seven-year-old buns were very toned as a result.
Right before I started third grade, my mother quit work to stay home with my sister and me, and while we stayed in touch with Missy, we totally forgot about our favorite pastime. I haven't done an exercise video in fifteen years. (If you remember that I was seven fifteen years ago, you will be especially impressed by this fact.)
I hadn't done an exercise video in fifteen years until today, that is. I was bored with running and keep reading all these blogs where people lose weight and get all toned doing exercise videos, so I found a twenty-minute kickboxing video for free online and did it. And it kicked my ass.
Way harder than Buns of Steel ever did.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


That's right, we did.
The part of me that loves tradition and poetic-ness and you know, that stuff loves that we didn't just win the championship, but that we beat the Lakers to do it.
I heart the Celtics.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

So I done Gradumatated

It was hot.
Now I'm home, and I'm painting my house.
I head out to San Francisco in mid-August.
My life is boring.
More later.
p.s. The Sex and the City movie wasn't that bad.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Oops! It's been a week.

Isn't it funny how, once finals are over and I have more free time to waste, I don't update as often?
It happens every term, like clockwork.
Guess what the weather is going to be like in Hanover, New Hampshire on Sunday, the day I am supposed to graduate from Dartmouth College?
Well, according to

Rainy AND hot!
My roommate pointed out that it could be snowing. Which would probably be worse.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Holy Shit. It's Finals.

It's finals. I'm not being very productive.
Actually, I'm not being productive at all. I have a fourteen page paper due tomorrow at 8 am. I have just under two pages, and the rest outlined.
I am not nervous about this. At all.
I did, however, just realize that this push to get work done? It's not just a push towards the end of the term. It's a push towards the end of college.
That's some scary shit, right there.

Friday, May 30, 2008

I would write my essay, but I'm too busy trying not to walk over and munch on some baby legs

There is a baby in the cafe where I am working.
I do not know this baby or her mother, but she is maybe the cutest baby EVER.
It is tres difficult to write a paper on mate choice in songbirds when you are exercising restraint in not chomping on the feet of a strange baby.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sometimes this Education thing is fun

It's reading period here, which means that everyone's studying their little hearts out to prepare for finals, unless you only have final papers, in which case you're reading and writing your little heart out to prepare those.
I only have final papers this term.
One of them is in my elementary education class.
I spent the afternoon reading Newbery Medal-winning children's books.

Sometimes, this teacher education thing is pretty sweet.

Monday, May 26, 2008

I'm too old. . .

Five-Year-Old: Abbie, What are you going to be when you grow up?

Me: That's a good question. What do you think I should be when I grow up?

Five-Year-Old: A botanist. [NOTE: Her mother and I were just talking about her aunt, who's a botanist]

Her Three-Year-Old Brother: A teenager.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Presentation due in four and a half hours.
Have not yet created said presentation.
Have done too much research.
Does that count for anything?

Monday, May 19, 2008


I am in Sanborn library, since all my other study spots were already full by the time I got to the library at 11:30. This is fine; I love Sanborn, and it is my favorite place to study. This would have been my first choice for studying today, too, except that I plan to be up late tonight, and Sanborn closes at midnight, a full two hours before the rest of the library.
Also, today, Sanborn smells like dog pee.

Friday, May 16, 2008

This post might come off as really snooty. Or maybe not.

So, several times in the past few weeks, I've had conversations with people where they have discussed, in all seriousness, people who "just aren't very smart."
Every time I hear this, it shocks me. What about the fact that everyone is smart, just in different ways? It's a pretty well-established fact, isn't it? I mean, I know that in some ways, the theory of multiple intelligences seems like a way to make people feel better about themselves, but if you think about it, it makes sense. It really does. I truly believe that everyone has something that they're really, truly good at. For many people, that thing is not school. But that doesn't mean they're not smart. They're just different.
I'm elitist about many many things, but my intelligence or lack thereof, and that of the people around me, is not one of them.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Scientists are Nerds

So, I'm taking this class on Neuroethology, which is basically the combination of neuroscience and animal behavior. It's really interesting, and I'm quite a fan of the course, which is surprising because I haven't really studied neuroscience before.
Anyway, I have to write a paper for this class, and I'm writing about how female songbirds choose their mates. I'm doing a ton of research, and I just read an abstract that says the following:
The songs are constructed from smaller units called syllables, and special syllables with a more complex structure (sexy syllables) are known to induce females to perform copulation solicitation displays (CSD) as an invitation to mate. By using computer-edited experimental songs, we first show that females discriminate between songs by producing significantly more CSD to those containing sexy syllables. We then sectioned the brains and used in situ hybridization to reveal song nuclei containing androgen receptors. We report positive correlations between the size of HVC and both total CSD response and the amount of discrimination between sexy and nonsexy songs.

(Emphasis mine, From Female canaries that respond and discriminate more between male songs of different quality have a larger song control nucleus (HVC) in the brain by Stefan Leitner and Clive K. Catchpole)
Sexy songs? Nonsexy songs? In FINCHES?
These scientists are nerds.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I Need to Get a Life

I just played vulva in Scrabulous.
It was the highlight of my day.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Emma says I haven't blogged in forever.
Perhaps this is because school suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks. (I almost said "real life" but then I remembered that school is not real life. Not even a little bit. As long as my parents pay the bills, it's not real life.)
My life is boring. I sleep, I exercise, I go to class, and when I'm feeling really ambitious, I go to the library. That's the routine, EXCEPT for this weekend.
This weekend, the sororitee had a formal. Manoli came up. We made out and took pictures:

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Important question

How do you eat your string cheese?
Do you peel off little strings?
Do you take big bites out of it?
Do you start in the middle and work your way out?

I am curious.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Psych People Being Irreverent

"Did you know that elephants get PTSD?"
"How is that possible?"
"Well, you know, they have really good memories, so if some poacher killed their mommy when they were a baby, it would stay with them for a really long time! How awful."
"I can see it now: Dumbo II: The Psych Ward."

Monday, April 14, 2008

If my life were interesting, I'd post more

Here is a list of the things I have done since I last posted:
-applied for the late election of a minor.
-talked to the people in charge of p.e. credit about why they suck.
-done a trivial amount of homework.
-spent a day in second grade for my student teaching job.
-stressed about life after college without actually doing anything about it.

Don't you wish you were me?

Monday, April 7, 2008


The following emails were sent out to the entire sorority last night after Manoli and I left to go have dinner with Emma and Drew, unknowingly trailing blackberry cobbler juice all over the basement floor:

Date: 06 Apr 2008 20:28:54 -0400
From: a sister
Subject: blood in house
To: the sorority

who bled on the stairs/ are you ok?!


Date: 06 Apr 2008 20:43:39 -0400
From: the same sister
Subject: update: not blood
To: the sorority

the stuff that is on the stairs and basement floor is not blood. it seems to be some type of berry juice-type thing- can whoever is responsible for spilling this just let me know.


Date: 06 Apr 2008 21:19:35 -0400
From: the new house manager
Subject: *Seriously, the berries
To: the sorority

Seriously Thetas,
Whoever spilled berry juice and gave the first sister a heart attack needs to blitz me and clean it up. Luckily, it should clean up very easily.


(Ed. Note: OH NO!!! The first sister, seeing what she assumed was blood on the stairs, became very concerned for her sisters' health and safety, and called the campus security! All while Manoli, Emma, Drew and I were innocently enjoying fondue and cobbler a mere three miles away!)


Date: 06 Apr 2008 22:51:15 -0400
From: the new houseman
Subject: Re:GOT *Seriously, the berries
To: the sorority

Apparently people have been waiting with baited breath.

The answer is probably the cobbler. So, if you were unhappy that you didn't get to eat it, go lick the floor.*

*That is a joke. Under no circumstances should you lick our basement floor.


Lessons learned: do not make cobbler with frozen berries without defrosting and draining them first, and my sisters really do care about each other. And also, they have active imaginations.
Oh, and boiling water gets blackberry stains out of clothing, and a mop does a really nice job for the stains on the floor.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

I have learned one thing at Dartmouth College.

When I was a freshman in college, I used to consistently misspell the word "professor." I thought it had two Fs and one S.

Now I know how to spell.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Briefest Update Ever

Back at school. Overwhelmed already! Longer post to follow.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Happy Evacuation Day to both of my readers. (Here in Cambridge, we don't celebrate St. Patrick's day. Instead we take the day off of work and drink copious amounts of green beer in honor of the British evacuating from Dorchester Harbor in 1776. It has nothing to do with St. Patrick's day. At all.)
Anyway, today, I don't want to evacuate anything. Instead, I want to come clean to both of you.
Last week, my dear reader, I discovered a rather unsavory tidbit about myself. A tidbit I wanted to hide. A blog is about honesty, though, and so I must be truthful in all of my internet-related endeavors.*
The truth is, my loyal readers, I am a juvenile delinquent.
"That couldn't be!" you must be thinking, "Abbie is a bastion of morality, with her love of children and happy sorority fun times! She can't be a delinquent! No sirree!"
Unfortunately, it's true. Vogue told me.

"But Abbie, what does that say?" Loyal reader, here is the gist of it:

See, two years ago, in an effort to save some money, I decided to stop buying magazines at the newsstand and subscribe to them all instead. Problem was, I could never remember which ones I had subscribed to and which ones I hadn't, so I often ended up buying copies of every magazine I read. Usually on the very day that the magazine came in the mail. Needless to say, this was the most economical of all behaviors, and so this year, I decided not to renew my subscriptions. I figured Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and the others would get the hint when I didn't send in a check.
But they didn't. Instead, the called me names.

*except when detagging ugly pictures from facebook. I firmly believe in letting facebook think that I am a beautiful rose all the time. And also that I never lose my balance at the same time that I coincidentally happen to be drunk. EVEN THOUGH THEY HVE NOTHING TO DO WITH EACH OTHER, MAXWELL LUSCIOUS.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Nerd Convention

Last Saturday I had a romantic date. My boyfriend took me out to dinner.

That's the end of the romantic date. After that, Manoli very patiently tried to coach me through Super Mario Galaxy for Wii while I patiently contemplated the fact that I was staying up until midnight so I could go with him to buy a video game.
What's video game, you ask? Well, apparently, Nintendo Wii is a big deal. And also apparently, Super Smash Brothers is a big deal. Such a big deal that when you combine the two of them, all of the nerds in the universe were forced to wait up until midnight so that they could purchase this game the instant it came out.
So, after our romantic date of Indian food, followed by our not-so-romantic date of Super Mario Galaxy (which I really enjoy saying. Especially with a Mario accent. I think I was deprived as a child, that we didn't have video games), we got into the car and went to Burlington to buy the game.
I think I was the only girl there.
It was incredibly anti-climactic.
For serious, it's just a video game.

Friday, March 7, 2008


I got home today, too hungry to go running, even though that was my plan.
So I ate some ice cream.
Then I wasn't hungry anymore, so I went running.
Then I made some coffee cake to bring into work because, that last one? Well, Berko and I were hungry. And so was my mom. It didn't make it out of the house.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Little Squares of Heaven

It's two in the morning, I can't sleep, and I just uploaded pictures of five different cooking projects onto my little white laptop. I've already spent three years looking at pictures of people I sort of know on facebook, I've looked at jobs on Idealist for long enough to be totally convinced that a) I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up, and b) even if I did, no one would hire me, my precious flower little self, anyway. The next logical step? Coffee cake.

Now, it should be noted that coffee cake is my favorite food in the whole world, not counting chicken marsala, fettucine alfredo, green beans, and bacon. The many varieties of coffee cake served at Dartmouth College are singlehandedly responsible for me putting on seventy gajillion pounds my freshman year. That and the pizza and the fried food. But those are neither here nor there. Alls I'm trying to say is, when I saw the recipe for big crumb coffee cake on Smitten Kitchen, I knew I just had to make it. Really, I had no choice.
And whoo boy, am I glad I made it. My friend Lauren came down from Hanover for the night, and now, well, the cake? It's mostly gone. I'm bringing what remains to work tomorrow so I'm not tempted anymore. I might eat it all on the subway on the way in, though. It's a pretty dangerous situation.

Since I am becoming a pretentious food blogger, though, I needed to make some changes. Minor minor ones, of course. I'm pretentious, but not pretentious enough to think that I should actually try to mess with a recipe plenty of people had already deemed amazing and delicious. But I knew that I needed to leave out the ground ginger, because I hate ginger. Always have, probably always will. And rhubarb? I am sure it is delicious, but what are the chances that I have rhubarb just floating around my house? Also, I like blueberries. A lot. In all there multiple forms. Except jam. I've never really been a fan of blueberry jam.
The most important change that I made to this recipe, though, was an ittle bitty of a substitution. I've made sour cream coffee cakes several times before, and I often end up using fat-free plain yogurt in the place of the sour cream, because in the virtuous Abbiebabble home, that's all we've got. I've found that it actually makes the cakes moister and less tough. I don't know why this is, that an amazingly delicious full-fat ingredient is not as perfect in baked goods as a kind of yucky, runny, watery, fat-free alternative, but I've decided to just accept it and keep going. Because if I try to think about it too much, it hurts my head a little. And that's never good.

"Big Crumb" Coffeecake
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, who adapted it from The New York Times 6/6/07

Butter for greasing pan

For the blueberry filling:
1/2-3/4 cup blueberries
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch

For the crumbs:
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup melted butter
1 3/4 cups flour

For the cake:
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup cake flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons softened butter

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8-inch-square baking pan. Mix filling ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

2. To make crumbs, in a large bowl, whisk together sugars, spices, salt and butter until smooth. Stir in flour with a spatula. It will look like a solid dough.

3. To prepare cake, in a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Using an electric mixer, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add butter and a spoonful of yogurt mixture and mix on medium speed until flour is moistened. Increase speed and beat for 30 seconds. Add remaining yogurt mixture in two batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition, and scraping down the sides of bowl with a spatula. Scoop out about 1/2 cup batter and set aside.

4. Scrape remaining batter into prepared pan. Spoon blueberries over batter. Dollop set-aside batter over blueberries; it does not have to be even.

5. Using your fingers, break topping mixture into big crumbs, about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch in size. They do not have to be uniform, but make sure most are around that size. I found that the crumb dough broke pretty easily into the appropriate-sized crumbs with just a little pressure from my thumb. Sprinkle over cake. Bake cake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean of batter (it might be moist from blueberries), 45 to 55 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Just Call Me Speedy

I just went for a run.
My second run in a week.
I am such an exercising speed demon.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

I could be live blogging the Oscars

except I don't know how to do that.
Instead, my thoughts on the "let's wear slippers outside IN THE SNOW and pretend they are real shoes" trend:

it looks dumb.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

"I have to tell you, there's an event around which we have to plan our spring."
"Mom. Breathe. What is it?"
"The Sex and the City Movie is coming out!"
"When is it?"
"May. You may have to skip exams."

My mother's seen every episode of Sex and the City. My friends all love the show. Hell, my BOYFRIEND loves the show.
Me? It's good and all, but whatevs.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Help me, Internet.


Also, what do I want to be when I grow up?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy valentine's day, dear readers.
As a valentine's present to you, I would give you the recipe for the chocolate truffle tart of love that I made, but that seems cheesy and I don't want to be cheesy.
Alternatively, I could give you the recipe for the granola I made yesterday, but I don't have any pictures of it, and it wasn't a "recipe" so much as a "mix some oats and nuts and coconut with a cup of maple syrup and honey and a couple tablespoons of oil and then bake it all at 300 degrees."
Anyway, here's hoping there's lots of love of all kinds in your lives. I love you, certainly, for reading my blog with any regularity.
Love love love,

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Comforting Return

I am sick as a dog. It came on suddenly, but I have the nastiest cold I've had in quite some time. Stuffy, runny nose, dry, scratchy throat, cough cough cough.
I was supposed to get dinner with my father tonight, but he texted me this afternoon to say that he had to work late and couldn't play.
"Perfect!" I thought, "I can finish up at work and then go home and get cozy in my bed. And stay there for the next three days."
What I didn't take into account, however, would be my need for sustenance upon my return home.
I didn't just need any sustenance, I needed comfort food. And so, despite my stuffy nose and dry scratchy throat and cough cough cough, I found myself making chicken cacciatore at 8:00 on a tuesday night, Ingrid Michaelson playing in the background because I have just discovered her and I think I'm in love.
This recipe is amazing, mostly because of its method of joining our family's recipe lexicon. Standing in line at the supermarket one day, my mother started to make conversation with the woman in front of her. My mom's favorite question (which has become my favorite question, too, by the way) is "what are you making for dinner?" The woman was making chicken cacciatore, and after a brief description and a hasty exchange of email addresses, this recipe has become a favorite comfort food in the Abbiebabble house.

Mom has always complained that it is too time-consuming to make, but I think that's because she is used to cooking for a family of four hungry people who won't give her a break until dinner's ready. If the chicken's thawed when you get home, it can be ready in just over an hour. If you're like me and you can't be bothered to remember such things as putting the chicken in the fridge to thaw, then it'll take just a bit longer.
And so, beloved reader (hi Lisa), I make my return from a week away from the blogosphere with what is perhaps my favorite comfort food.

Chicken Cacciatore
Adapted from the lady at the grocery store.

2.5-3 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs and breasts (we use mostly dark meat, but I bet it would be good with only light meat, too)
3-4 tbsp flour
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Italian tomato paste (this has Italian seasonings in it, but I'm sure it would be fine if you used another kind, instead)
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/2-1 cup mushrooms, diced (Mama Abbiebabble uses canned mushrooms, so that's what I do, too. It turns out fine, but the part of me that wants to be a food snob starts battling with the part of me that wishes she were from the midwest and grew up on casseroles, and I have an uncomfortable internal struggle and it's kind of ugly. Which is only to say that you can use whatever kind of mushrooms you want.)
1/2 bay leaf
1/8 tsp dried marjoram
1/8 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground white pepper (which I forgot this time around. oops.)

Cut the chicken into slightly-larger-than-bite-size pieces, dredge in flour, and saute in garlic and olive oil. (I find it helpful to do this in two batches, and add a little extra olive oil to the pan before the second batch.)
Add all other ingredients, stir stir stir to get all the good, flavorful bits off the bottom of the pan, and let simmer on super low for about an hour. (Mama Abbiebabble, and thus Abbiebabble herself, both use a flame tamer over a medium-low flame for this step.)
Serve over pasta.
Serves two for dinner with enough leftovers to make lunches for almost a week.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I LOVE technology

I just set up a wireless network in my house.
This is an easy task, I know. But I still feel very special.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Goodness Gracious

I saw The Girl yesterday, for the first time in almost six months. In April, she'll be six, and goodness gracious, has she grown up!
The entire time we were together, she was talking away, alternately wanting to ice skate ALL BY MYSELF and wanting both Mommy and Abbie to hold her hands. When we went out to lunch, she declared that she wanted "hot chocolate, and how about some . . . ICE CREAM!" While this may seem like normal five-year-old behavior, have I ever told you guys how hard we had to work to get The Girl to like vanilla ice cream? Have you ever sat with a four-year-old, saying "just take one bite of this ice cream, and then we'll be all done"? Because, let me tell you, I have. And it feels weird.
It was wonderful to see her. I already miss her again.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I have a computer on all day at work, looking at spreadsheets and Word documents (editing! Oh, the editing! I actually love editing.) Sometimes, on my lunch break, I warm up last night's leftovers and go right back to my desk, where I read blogs until it's time to open up the spreadsheets again.
The worst, though, is when I get home. I hang up my coat, put down my bag and take off my shoes. Then I turn on my computer. Until I turn out the light to go to bed, it stays with me. Today, I had to go check on something in the kitchen, and I carried it in with me. I set it down, stirred the pot of mujadara, and came right back to the living room.
If I get more than three feet away from a computer, I'm afraid I might combust.

I think I need to work on that.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Manoli: "No! It's true! Greek mothers want their sons to have lots of fun!"

Abbie: "And they want their daughters to have lots of babies?"

Manoli: "EXACTLY!"

Uppity Middle Schoolers have to eat, too.

The cookies, they were a hit at work. It was pretty fun; I forgot how much I enjoy feeding people. I think I understand that Jewish mother thing. Too bad I'm not Jewish; I'd be pretty good at it, at forcing people to eat when they think they don't want to.

In fact, I'm so not Jewish, when I looked for a recipe for this week, I looked to church. See, when I was in middle school, in Confirmation class, I had this Sunday school teacher named Martha. Martha was great. She was a fantastic Sunday school teacher; she helped us think about the big questions that we liked to talk about in our hippy dippy, oh-so-Cambridge church, and when I got all uppity, and started questioning everything they said (I went through a brief Christian fundamentalist phase in eighth grade. Cambridge churches don't tend towards very literal interpretations of the bible), Martha took it all in stride, and explained what our church believed and why we believed it. Despite all of her wonderful qualities as a teacher of uppity middle school youth, though, the thing that I will always remember the most about Martha was her muffins. She brought us homemade muffins every single week. My favorites, by far, were the lemon chocolate chip ones.

And so, this week, when I was looking for something to impress my coworkers, the first thing that came to mind was Martha's Lemon Chocolate Chip muffins. (Actually, they are not really my coworkers, since I'm just the lowly intern. They're all better than I am. But whatever.)

Unfortunately, it was night time when I got this idea in my head, so I couldn't call Martha (she lives just down the street) and get the recipe. So I had to resort to the internet. This recipe turned out pretty well. I might try to get Martha's recipe, and I'll certainly share it with you if I do get it. For now, though, this will have to suffice. And it will suffice pretty well.
Lemon Chocolate Chip Muffins
Adapted from a recipe on
The zest from 1 medium lemon (I used two small lemons, and I might use even more next time)
1 cup sugar (my mom thought the muffins were a bit too sweet, and I agreed. Next time I might cut down on the sugar a smidge)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup plain buttermilk or yogurt (I used skim milk with white vinegar because, well, that was what we had at my house)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup butter
2 large eggs
2 cups flour
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Finely grate lemon peel, avoiding pith. Beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Stir in baking soda and grated peel. Fold in half the flour, then half the buttermilk. Repeat. Fold in chocolate chips. Scoop 1/4 cup batter into prepared muffin tins. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven. Brush lemon juice over hot muffins until used up. Sprinkle with sugar. Let stand 5 minutes before removing from pans.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

It is time for cookies.

There is nothing like the prospect of searching for a real job to get me off my ass.
Unfortunately for my future career, the only thing a job search motivates me to do is bake. This is lucky for my coworkers and my three blog readers, though. Also lucky? The fact that there is a pile of dirty dishes a mile high in the kitchen sink right now, and, because I am forced to avoid doing those, I must blog.
Seriously, my life is so hard.
I have been craving sweets these days. Specifically, cookies. Oatmeal cookies. Full of raisins and coconut and chocolate chips. What's a poor procrastinating cookie-craver to do? If you happen to own a cookbook all about delicious cookies, the answer is simple. Open it up.

In Rosie's Chocolate-Packed, Jam-Filled, Butter-Rich No-Holds-Barred Cookie Book, I found what I was looking for, in Rosie's Oatmeal Cookie. I made a few tweaks, because I've started reading food blogs and that's what food bloggers do, they make tweaks. Also, I wanted some chocolate chips in my cookies. So I added them.

All in all, they came out pretty well, crispy and chewy and just right to eat with a glass of milk. They were a little dark-tasting, though, so next time, if I remember, I'll use a little less cinnamon, and I might leave out the molasses all together. (Honestly, I am such a badass.) On the whole, though, well worth making again. And eating. Definitely worth eating again.

Rosie's Oatmeal Cookies
Adapted from Rosie's Bakery's Chocolate-Packed Jam-Filled Butter-Rich No-Holds-Barred Cookie Book by Judy Rosenberg.
3/4 c all-purpose flour
3/4 t baking soda
3/4 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t salt
8 1/2 T ( 1 stick plus 1 1/2 t) unsalted butter at room temperature (except I never have unsalted butter, nor is it ever at room temperature. My cookies always turn out fine)
1/3 c plus 2 T (lightly packed) light brown sugar (in the Abbiebabble house, we always buy dark brown sugar. It is fine.)
7 T granulated sugar
1 T plus 1 t molasses (I used slightly less because I don't like molasses, and also, I used dark brown sugar)
2 1/4 t water
1/2 t pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 c plus 1 T rolled oats
1/2 c shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 c plus 2 T golden raisins (except I used regular raisins, because I was not about to go shopping, just so I could make some cookies)
1/2 c chocolate chips (Abbie addition!)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper, or lightly grease them with vegetable oil.
2. Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together into a small bowl and set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter, both sugars, the molasses, water, and vanilla together in a medium-size bowl until light and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Stop the mixer twice during the process to scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula.
4. Add the egg and mix on medium-low speed to incorporate it, about 20 seconds.
5. Add the flour mixture and mix on medium-low speed for 10 seconds. Scrape the bowl, then mix until blended, about 5 seconds more. Scrape the bowl.
6. Add the oats and mix for several seconds on low speed to blend them in. Add the coconut and raisins (and the chocolate chips!) and mix until blended.
7. Drop the dough by heaping tablespoons about 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets.
8. Bake the cookies until they are golden around the edges and lighter in the center, 12 to 14 minutes. Cool them on the baking sheets.
Makes 20 cookies.

My Friends are Thoughtful

In response to my last post, I got this email from Emma:

Date: 16 Jan 2008 17:15:02 -0500
From: Emma
Subject: oh dear
To: Me

what medicine did you take?

And then, about thirty seconds later:

Date: 16 Jan 2008 17:15:22 -0500
From: Emma
Subject: although
To: me

it might be a viable alternative to collagen injections...

NOTE: For those of you who were wondering, my face is all better, and after a lovely doctor's appointment yesterday, I now know that I am allergic to Sulfa drugs. Whatever those are. Thanks to everyone who emailed me!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Oh, My.

You know what happens when you go to bed after taking medicine that you are allergic to?
You wake up the next morning looking like this!

(Except for the frizzy hair part. That's just me. All me.)

Aren't you glad to read the blog of someone so vain? Someone who would only put flattering pictures of themselves up on the internet?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I am slightly boring

EDIT: Manoli says no one cares about my MRSA. This is probably true. If you don't care, just carry on. Don't read this post. Move on to the delightful cookie recipe. Or some other blog. I might just delete this post all together.

I am tired and I need to do laundry, so here is a fascinating list about my life:
1. Last night we had pot roast from costco for dinner. All we needed to do was put it in the microwave for ten minutes. Surprisingly, it was delicious.
2. I have no clean shirts to wear tomorrow, so I am gonna do me some laundry!
3. I have MRSA again! It's very exciting! Aren't you excited for me?

A longer, more exciting post will follow in the next couple of days. I hope.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Goodness Gracious

Did you know that the readership of one's blog increases dramatically when one actually updates one's blog? Shocking, I know.
Anyway, aside from my adventures discovering the beauties of excel in business casual, there isn't much of an update on the me front. My life is pretty boring. I go to work, do my job, and come home. This week I'm freakishly grumpy. I've picked approximately thirty fights with Manoli, several with my father (which is impressive since I only saw him for a couple of hours), and have thus far managed to avoid fighting with my mom only because she is good at ducking my bad moods.
This will go away, right? Grumpiness is not some strange side effect of working in an office, is it? I hope not.

Last night for dinner I had something that rivaled the Cacarero: a chili verde burrito from Anna's Taqueria with extra salsa. It was perfect. The pork in the spicy sauce, the rice, the beans, the aMAZing salsa, the guac. Yum. I want another one right now, please.
p.s. OH NO! Wikipedia just told me that in 2004, Anna's violated labor laws! I'm not sure how I feel about this. Labor laws are important.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

It's been a while, so let me tell you about my sandwich.

Seriously. This sandwich that I had today could make up for months of not blogging, let alone just over a week.
After trying to reach me for weeks, Kim had finally gotten through to me (sometimes I am very difficult to get on the phone. I'm mysterious like that). We made plans to meet at noon today at South Station, and find some place to grab a quick lunch. Kim suggested that we head towards downtown crossing, and so we did that, only to discover that we both had a hankering for chacareros. (Actually, only I had the hankering. Kim had never had a chacarero before, but she had heard about them and was intrigued. And the only place to buy them in Boston is in downtown crossing.) After a lot of walking in circles, we finally found Chacarero. We waited in line for ten minutes, and then they handed us our bundles of sandwichy goodness on styrofoam plates. And oh, were they good. It was all I could do not to wait in line another ten minutes and get another one. I was so full, though, that probably would have been an unwise decision.
What is a chacarero, you ask? WELL. It starts with a homemade roll, flat like focaccia and about the size of my hand. The bread is sliced in half, then on go thin pieces of chicken that have been grilled, followed by muenster cheese and a generous dollop of thick green hot sauce. The quick-handed sandwich makers place steamed green beans and several slices of juicy tomato on top of this tower of delicousness, and then the top of the bread is slathered with avocado before going on top.
And that is a chacarero. If ever I get ambitious, I might try and make it someday. It would be worth it.