friday link love

Looking out the window. Waiting for appliances to be delivered. #kitchenreno

Happy friday, folks. At this time, by next week, everything in our apartment will be packed up. We
will like be getting ready for our movers to arrive, and I’ll be fretting about how to transport our 15-pound cat safely to the new apartment. Lucky for us, our good friend Tina has agreed to drive me and Forrest, who will be given a sedative (let’s hope he takes it) and wrapped in a blanket for security to our new apartment. Andrew will stay behind to supervise the move and I’ll bring Forrest to his (and our) new home which already has his food station and litter box set up. I’ll bring a few toys as well and hopefully he won’t be too traumatized. [For those unfamiliar with the history of all this, Forrest is extremely scared of leaving the apartment, busts out of carrying cases (as in busts down the door with his mighty strength), and generally suffers from fear of abandonment. Poor cat.]

Meanwhile, this week, we met with our Ikea kitchen planner. We had our fridge and stove delivered. At the moment, the fridge is sitting in the living room while the stove is in the middle of the kitchen. And today, though thankfully we don’t have to be there ourselves, we are having closets installed in the hallway and bedroom. That’s going to be a post soon.

Also, I have a whole post I need to write to you on what it takes to get all the pieces moving in terms of kitchen renovation. While you’re trying to move and finish testing recipes for a cookbook, 30 of which you received the week before. These are all good problems to worry about, but financially it has been incredibly stressful. You get one estimate from the contractor and then you get the actual cost and it’s almost twice as high as the estimate with just one lump sum at the bottom, no itemization or anything, just zeros next to itemized items. Now, I’m no Einstein, but even I know that a bunch of zeroes don’t add up to several thousand dollars. Looking at an invoice like this is enough to make even the calmest of people feel their blood pressure rise.

As I write this, I’m testing a yeasted waffle recipe for a book. The batter is fermenting, rising in the kitchen. I’m hoping everything will go according to plan.* I have a full day of work and recipe testing ahead, a weekend full of packing, a trip to Ikea to pick up (and lug) a kitchen sink, hours of recipe testing ahead, and writing headnotes and such. I sincerely hope your weekend looks a lot more relaxing and lazy.

*WAFFLE UPDATE: Moving onto Round 2 of testing.


Now that Hannukah is over, how to get wax off your menorah.

Who says math has to be boring? Tip of the hat to my dad for sending me the article. As a decidedly non-math person, I can honestly say I loved math. It wasn’t my best subject, or the one that came to me most easily, but it was challenging, rigorous, and enjoyable.

Gay rights and Putin’s Olympics. An excellent piece by the always brilliant David Remnick.

Well done, Pantene.

How Instagram alters your memory. Curious argument, because, for me, when I take a picture of something it’s to capture a particular detail or a moment, so in my mind I have already snapped the shot even before I take a picture.

Between pigs and anchovies – where humans fit on the food chain.

This 90-year old Lithuanian film-maker has the best website. He really does.

Attention milk-fat lovers: new study says organic, particularly whole organic milk, is actually healthier for you. Skim milk, please step aside.

Philadelphia food blogger asks restaurants for a free Christmas dinner in exchange for good publicity.

Scientists are turning to crowdsourcing in search of more antibiotics. Some could even be in your backyard.

I might alienate a few (okay, a lot) of folks when I say that “Love, Actually” is one of my least favorite movies. I get so upset talking about it, I can’t even properly verbalize why I dislike it so much, but mainly I think the movie is cloying, disingenuous, unromantic, wastes a stellar cast, and has a fake-ness about it that really grates on me. Christopher Orr, who reviewed the film ten years ago revisits his review and his sentiments on the movie and why he thinks it’s one of the least romantic films out there. Like me, over time, he’s grown more annoyed with the film and in this piece, he captures perfectly everything I found wrong with it. [Lest you think I have no feelings, I have deep love for Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, and many other romantic comedies.]

If you eat meat, you need to read this piece. If you buy your meat at a supermarket, you need to be aware of what goes into your food. Yes, pastured meat is expensive, shouldn’t be eaten every day, and can put a strain on the budget (hence not every day eating), but here is the alternative. Knowing where your food comes from is just as important as what’s on your plate.

I’m determined to end these links on a happy note, so here’s a sink full of kittens. Have a great weekend!


  • Brian

    The picture of the kittens is great! Now I have two questions for you.
    1) How are you going to explain to Forrest that in the new house he is going to have a whole lot of brothers and sisters?
    2) How are you going to explain to Andrew that he is going to have share the bathroom sink with a whole pride of cats?

  • olga

    Brian – ha! I wish we had a sinkful of kittens! Andrew, first and foremost, will have to share the bathroom w/me, since we only have 1 full bathroom (sob!) available. I’ve dreamt of my own pristine girl bathroom for so many years, and no cigar. One day, I’ll have that and a washer/dryer that are ALL mine.

  • Lesley

    Hi – understand your predicament re your cat. We had no major problems in transporting our two (mainly) housecats to a cattery in a basket but they did like to go in the garden and we found that the best way to do this for our peace of mind was to use a double harness – ie. a collar around the neck which links to another collar around the stomach. Attached to the one around the stomach was a lead (think you call it a leash in the US). We tried the single collar just around the neck and found that the cat that was easily spooked managed to shrink her head and escape the dratted collar, so switched to the double harness and never had that problem again! So as well as sedatives, blankets and a double harness with the leash wrapped round your hand fairly close to the cats back you may find it a less stressful way of transporting your cat. Good luck with the move and love your blog.

  • Lu H.

    When you get to your new home with Forrest, take the dirty sheets from your old home and put them in a nice pile in the bathroom and put the litter box in there too. Then lock the cat in the bathroom until all the moving is complete. He will be a wreck, but he will have your scent with him and that should give him some comfort.
    As far as the sedative goes, good luck with that. Try and get it into an oral suspension. It’s easier to get into the cat than a pill.
    Good luck!

  • olga

    Lu – thanks so much, but what do you mean oral suspension? We’ve actually set up his litterbox and everything. I am going to stay with him through everything.

  • Whitney

    I hilarious watched Love Actually last night. I see it as more of a holiday movie ran a romantic movie but I won’t try to convince you to like it. It just curious to me because I’ve never heard of anyone that has such a strong negative reaction to it!

    Good luck with your movie. My husband and I closed on our condo on 12/31/12 so 2013 was the year of change, big purchases and mortgages! Can’t wait to watch your ride.

  • olga

    Whitney – I could go for hours about how much I dislike it. And lest you think I’m some kind of an auteur, I actually LOVE “The Holiday” with Cameron Diaz and Kate Blanchett. I’ve watched it many a time – and it’s excellent (though has zero highbrow merit). I rarely loathe things, but for some odd reason, this film gets me really mad. :) PS I’m going through a horrible Pitch Perfect obsession. :)

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