December 10, 2006

What a week!

Currently watching:
New Orleans Saints at Dallas Cowboys

Let it snow!  My neighbors across the street built a snowman.
Oh wow! I am so happy to be alive! Last week was insanely crazy and now that it's over, the sky is bluer, the birds sing more beautifully, food tastes better. Okay, I'm being melodramatic as usual, but I am absolutely giddy.

My first semester of grad school is in the books, and I am glad to have made it through unscathed. I haven't gotten my grades yet, so I should probably reserve judgment until that time, but I feel pretty confident at this point. I'm not thinking about next semester until January. My final project for one class involved debating the value of Wikipedia as a viable resource. What do you think?

My piano students performed in a Christmas recital yesterday, Saturday. It was great. I had eleven students play. (Very unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures.) They all played fabulously, and their teacher was very pleased. Events like that make teaching worthwhile. There are a lot of weeks when I'm ready to quit teaching because of the ulcers my disinterested, non-practicing students have given me. I had a ball at the recital, though. It makes me think that teaching piano may be the most worthwhile thing I'm doing these days.

Also, last night I checked out the new Market Street United at 98th & Quaker. There probably aren't a lot of people that get as excited as I do about grocery shopping, but combine my euphoria after a successful piano recital with the excitement of shopping in a sexy new supermarket, and I was absolutely floating through the aisles. Actually, the new Market Street doesn't look very different from the original Lubbock concept store. Although, I did find unsweetened coconut, which I've needed for a few recipes and haven't been able to find around town. They had some produce and a few other sundries that I hadn't seen before either. I'm always hoping to make a love connection while shopping, so the only downside about my shopping experience last night was that the only guys there without wedding rings still had braces on their teeth. The grocery store hasn't been a fruitful place for me to meet my amazing dream guy yet, but I'm holding out hope. I'm sure one day I'll spot a tall, dark, and handsome with his canvas grocery totes checking prices--then the violins will play Tchaikovsky's "Romeo and Juliet Overture" or something.

I keep meaning to edit my blog sidebar and add some new links. Among the links I've been wanting to add is a link to the Freakonomics Blog. Freakonomics was an interesting read, and I enjoy the Levitt/Dubner blog as well. Pair Levitt with the hilarious Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report, and you've got some darn funny television! See below:

Those Saints are really pummeling the Cowboys! Are they for real? Yea for New Orleans. I doubt that I'm the only one surprised by this game. I don't like Dallas, even though it's neat that they've been able to revive what looked like an awful season at the start. I'm in a little online NFL pick 'em pool, and I forgot to submit my picks for the week. That's how crazy my week was. I've gotta get my priorities in check! I can't afford to spot these people 16 points. I'm not in last place, though, so I'm still a threat!

December 4, 2006


Current Netflix rental:
Elizabeth I: Disc 1 & 2

The regular season of 2006 college football is in the books, Minnesota golden gophersand what a dismal season for the Big 12 South! I still can't believe that Texas lost to A&M. Tech's season seems long over, since they played their last game on November 18th. Looks like Tech is headed to the Insight Bowl to play Minnesota. Their mascot is the Golden Gophers. Oh brother. I'm glad there are still some good NFL games to come.

This video cracked me up:

USC Song Girl Cheers At Wrong Time - AGAIN

This blog made me laugh out loud: Dating coupons. The last guy I dated with any regularity was pretty frugal. At first, I thought that was attractive, being a miser myself, but later it really started to bug me. I remember at least two dates to restaurants for which he had won free meals running races. Nothing dishonorable about it, to be sure, but I saw the last of that guy awhile back. Oh well - I'm sure things worked out for him. So what do you think, should you use a coupon/gift certificate on a date? I say no, but my track record ain't so hot on romantical advice.

November 26, 2006

The First Thanksgiving

The First Thanksgiving

We had a fun Thanksgiving on Thursday. I had fun anyway. It was the first time I got to host Thanksgiving at my house. Dad, Mom, Wendy, Scott, Granddad, Uncle Randy, Grammy, and I were there. Grocery shopping beforehand:

Could I turn this into good eats? (Minus the toilet paper, of course.)
Setting the table:

It was all downhill from there...

It pretty much was too crazy for me to take any pictures after that. Hits and misses with the meal. Here's what was on the menu:

Roasted turkey and gravy
Cornbread and sausage dressing
Cranberry salad
Mashed potatoes
White rolls
Pecan Pie
Pumpkin cheesecake
(also a green bean dish that didn't quite make it)

So, here's my analysis. Wendy, feel free to chime in. Constructive criticism is appreciated. Mask your insults with "anonymous" if you must:

First, the turkey. I guess sticking it in the fridge Monday night wasn't early enough. I'm not sure that it thawed long enough before going in the oven Thursday morning. Oops. Still in the oven when the guests arrived. Oops oops. Also, the smoke-filled house didn't do too much for the ambience. I am glad to know that my smoke detectors do work. I didn't put enough broth/water in the roasting pan with the veggies, hence the billowing smoke. It was a pretty turkey, though. So, the turkey drippings didn't go in the gravy either. The gravy was pretty good, but we had to be a little stingy with it. That dry (dry!) dressing needed a lot of gravy. I think my cornbread was too dry. That recipe wasn't really the dressing I'm used to, so I think I'll look for a different recipe for next time. The cranberry salad was great. Thanks to Mom for bringing it. Mashed potatoes were good. The frozen dough rolls didn't rise for me. I'm still not sure why. I really think, and I may be way off, that it's because of the pans I used. I'm using a dark metal pan next time to see if that makes a difference. Also, my landlord is an evil miser and won't turn on the heat, and sometimes it's very cold in this house. I don't think that was the problem Thursday, though, because it was unseasonably hot. It's hard to get in the holiday spirit in 80º weather. I thought the best part of the meal was the pumpkin cheesecake. I really liked it! Oh yeah, those green beans. I waited too long to start cooking those. I fried the shallots and sautéed the mushrooms, but I apparently didn't let the green beans cook long enough (the recipe said 4 minutes - my eye!). I was in a total rush by this point and combined the cream, herbs, and mushrooms with the not tender green beans. Yuck. Soooo, the green beans, still in the skillet, were hidden away in the microwave. Good to learn and good to debut in front of a friendly audience.

So, the leftovers that remain as of Sunday night are a few slices of turkey, some green beans (cooked again post-dinner and now fairly edible), and much too much dressing. I'm not sure how to get rid of that stuff! This overeating is not doing anything for my diet. How am I going to fit into my Las Vegas clubbing clothes this New Year's? I didn't do any Black Friday shopping that I remember. It's all a gluttonous blur though. I did put up the Christmas tree and my Christmas decorations. It's great to have a little house. I can decorate in half an hour. Fluffing the artificial tree takes very little time, too. Martha Stewart it ain't, but I like the kitschy colored lights and silly ornaments. Now I just need to get some presents under that tree!

Dear Santa,

Current Netflix rental:
Elizabeth I: Disc 1 & 2

November 26, 2006

Dear Santa,

This year for Christmas I want a clone. I know there is a lot of debate about cloning and the ethics of it all. Please ignore all that because I have been a very good girl all year long. It would be great to have a clone to help me around the house, do her share of the day job and teaching piano lessons and half the homework. It would be great if she were an improved, better-looking super clone, too, so she could go out on blind dates and scope out the prospects, which are pretty slim these days.

Thing 1Thing 2

KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer, TangerineIf the clone thing doesn't work out for this year, I also want a super duper KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer. And if it could be tangerine, that would be even better, because I don't know anyone that has one like that. While it is true that the only exercise I get right now is using the hand mixer to make cookies, cakes, and sweets, I will promise to hit the gym more often in the future. I'll save so much time with the stand mixer that I'll have time for that extra lap around the park, as opposed to no laps around the park, which is what I've been averaging. And I always share the yummy stuff I bake, and I will leave some yummy cookies for you, Santa.

See you December 24th.


October 30, 2006

Pay the Piper

I feel like this is one of those 'pay the piper' weeks, i.e., I'm going to be very sorry that I didn't get some of my work done earlier. Getting a good night's rest might be a good way to combat the working day ahead, but since when have I followed convention? I feel too anxious to sleep.

Part of it could be that birthday thing today. I think it's pathetic to be 24 and already feel that I've hit my scary age. Twenty-four sounds old enough to give up my Peter Pan lifestyle. However, I don't know what makes twenty-four so different from 23. I would probably wax much less philosophical had this birthday fallen on a weekend instead of a Monday.

Some of the melancholy may be lingering from the Tech and UT game. Unfortunately, I had to tape the game, and I haven't yet watched it. Scott theorizes that every time his football team wins, Tech loses. Now I don't know who to root for! I'm so glad USC finally lost. That team has been overrated since last season.

Photo by Nick Moore.  Oct 28, 2006

I'm glad for Halloween. It's a great holiday. I'm still working on my costume. I will probably post some pictures if I get it done in time to actually wear it. For those staying home to pass out candy: What to Avoid Giving out for Halloween, and The Best and Worst Candy Fillings. I'd hate for you to be on the receiving end of a prank for handing out pennies or walnuts instead of chocolate. My personal opinion: no candy corn either!

Please comment and tell me what your favorite trick-or-treat candy is. My favorite would probably be Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Happy Halloween!

October 26, 2006

Rachael Ray...Burgermeister

Currently listening:
Drag It Up: Old 97s
Drag It Up
by Old 97s

I feel the irrepressible urge to blog. This is despite having stared at the computer for something like 48 straight hours, minus ten or so sleeping hours, and composing a serious pointy-headed-intellectual-type paper for the majority of yesterday. Maybe I just feel the need to write something meaningless that will not be read by anyone.

I read this snippet of a story about Rachael Ray, the self-made empire of a human. She's into so many projects that just thinking about it makes me want to take a three day nap. I don't really have an opinion on her either way; although I do admire her brilliance in marketing herself. My personal favorite Food Network star is Alton Brown, of course.

Any guesses on what will happen next on Grey's Anatomy? I'm dying to know what the next Meredith/McDreamy plot twist will be. Bummer- looks like tonight's episode is a re-run. Same for The Office. Looks like I'll be catching up on my Curb Your Enthusiasm rental while I make the Italian Cream Cake. Thanks for the recipe link, auntie ominous!

Coffee Heath® Bar CrunchWell, it's definitely time for bed, and my mind is definitely fried, but I don't know if I'll be able to sleep since I ate half a carton of Ben & Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar Crunch in a fit of nervous homework avoidance.

Also, extra credit for you overachievers:
In defense of Rachael Ray

October 22, 2006

An American in Taipei

Current Netflix rental:
Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 3, Disc 1

I haven't blogged in a couple of weeks, and my html coding feels kinda rusty tonight. I've been keeping busy lately. I should be working on a midterm paper, but instead I'm calculating my net worth. So far, one financial site I used misspelled principal as principle, and another had judgement. No wonder America is in such financial straits! It's kind of a bummer to see how slowly that home mortgage loan principle principal decreases, isn't it?

I thought I would blog a bit about Katie in Taiwan. She's been over there for - wow! - almost a month now. She got to call me from the airport before she left the States, and I thought her Mandarin sounded great. Although, I thought she picked up a bit of a Utah accent from her time there. I've gotten a couple of e-mails from her since she arrived in Taiwan. I'll try to relate some of her news, and hopefully nothing will be lost in the translation. Here's what she wrote in her first e-mail:
So, let me tell you a little bit about Taiwan. Every night the garbage man comes through the streets to collect the garbage. The interesting thing is that like the ice cream man in America, he plays music. Last night they played Für Elise. Hilarious. The traffic is an experience never to be forgotten. Everyone just does what they need to. There are so many scooters and bikes...but no everyone cars/people/dogs/bikes are all on the street. It is really refreshing, because although there isn't any organization, there isn't any road rage either. Everyone just goes on their way. I did get a new bike...and then I spray painted it, to make it look old, so no one will steal it. It's been an adventure trying to ride a bike in a skirt. The hardest part isn't riding, but staying modest, as the wind tends to blow up a skirt. I am improving. As far as food goes, there are a lot more noodles and less rice than I thought there would be. It is interesting. I haven't tried stinky tofu yet. The best thing has been breakfast. They have steamed rolls and inside they have eggs and stuff. That was really good. They also have really good drinks here...smoothies and such.
Right now she's in Zhongli or Chungli, depending on how you want to butcher it. Katie's missionary companion is from Koahsiung, in southern Taiwan, and so her English skill is probably comparable to Katie's Mandarin. I think Katie is happy to see or hear anything English right now. She met a couple of Filipinos that spoke English and was excited about that. She said she was embarrassed to admit it, but she went to a McDonald's and loved it. The food she describes sounds really yummy. She said:
In Taiwan they had a holiday for [the harvest moon]. I'm not sure what it is called but everyone has BBQ's and eats moon cakes. They're really interesting about the size of a ping pong ball and they're pretty dense... They're filled with some kind of fruit filling. The BBQ's were really good...lots of seafood, vegetables. The ward here had one and invited the missionaries. When we got there the members immediately started offering us food. I didn't (or didn't know how to) ask what everything was, but afterwards I did find out that one skewer was chicken hearts. It was surprisingly good. Speaking of food, I'll give you an update on the week's adventures. Earlier this week we went to this place and I ordered fried rice with chicken. I bit down on the chicken and there was a bone in it. I had forgotten that in Taiwan they don't debone their chicken they just chop it up. From now on, I'm ordering ham or something. I also ate a green bean bingse. They put green bean soup mixture in a bowl and then put shaved ice on top. On top of the ice they put sweet milk. It was really interesting. I never thought green beans could be so good, but they are! So my first holiday in Taiwan was really really good.

Peanut butter from Taipei and wheat bread from Mom!Katie sent me some peanut butter as a birthday gift. For my birthday, I really just want the World Series to end. Maybe Katie can pray for that. Baseball commentary is really cutting into football coverage. Anyway, I couldn't wait and tasted the peanut butter already. It tastes pretty similar to American peanut butter, except the texture is a little thinner and oilier. I'm not completely sure, but from what I can guess from the nutrition info, there are a lot more calories and fat grams in the Chinese peanut butter than American Skippy.

I've wasted too much time blogging. Everyone in my office has an October birthday. I'm going to go make a Big Red Cake for a birthday party tomorrow at work. Last week I made a cheesecake, and it was quite good, if I say so myself. Thursday, I'm going to try my hand at an Italian Cream Cake.

In closing, please indulge me. Wendy sent me two snippets from this week's BYU Police Beat that made me laugh out loud:
Misplaced property
Oct. 13: Officers responded to the report of a suspicious briefcase in the Eyring Science Center. Upon investigation officers found someone had simply misplaced their briefcase.

Oct. 13: A student reported two male students throwing acorns off the bridge near the law building on East Campus Drive, hitting another student. When questioned, the male students said they were throwing acorns into the tops of trees to see the reactions of students who thought animals were making the noises in the trees. The students were asked to stop throwing acorns.

October 8, 2006

Bad Moon Rising

Current Netflix rental:
Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 2, Disc 2

Another weekend of college football in the books, and it wasn't a great weekend for Tech fans. I will say it was an exciting game, and it was winnable, but we mostly looked pretty sloppy. I expected a good game. Too bad it didn't go our way. I expect the Raiders to finish the season 8-4. Thoughts?

Missouri's William Moore steps in front of intended receiver Texas Tech's Robert Johnson for an interception returned for a touchdown, the second consecutive interception returned for a touchdown by Missouri, in the first half of a Big 12 Conference football game at Jones AT&T Stadium, Saturday, October 7, 2006, in Lubbock, Texas. (AP Photo/Joe Don Buckner)

The Aflac trivia question during the Tech/Missouri game was this: What Big 12 team has had a winning record each of the ten years since the inception of the conference?

The Red River shootout ended up being more of a blow out the second half. Arkansas looked really good at Auburn. I'm ready to fast forward to November 18 for the Ohio State v. Michigan game. The only exciting games left in the Big 12 South are probably rivalry games like A&M @ Texas and Oklahoma @ Oklahoma State. Those might not even turn out to be close. And in games that nobody cares about: after 8 missed FGs, North Texas prevails in 7 OTs. We are a liberal arts school, and we don't have time for that football stuff at North Texas.

Eggs Benedict & AsparagusI should probably give up my football watching in favor of more worthy pursuits anyway. Like eating. My foodie lifestyle has taken a dive since rejoining the world of pointy-headed academia. Today for lunch we had eggs benedict and broiled asparagus.

It is unbelievable, but I haven't been grocery shopping in a couple of weeks! As Scott lamented, "You have no dairy products in your house!" I seem to have quit doing two of my favorite things: grocery shopping and cooking!

I still haven't watched last week's episodes of Grey's Anatomy or The Office. I recorded them with the poor-man's TiVo, the VCR, and I think I should watch them now and catch up with the Meredith-McDreamy-McVet plot before someone inadvertently updates me.

Is anyone else loving this gorgeous Harvest Moon?

October 1, 2006


Robert Johnson's last-second touchdown catch floored the Aggies. David J. Phillip/AP PhotoThere seems to have been some debate this week about rivalry: Aggies saying Tech isn't their rival and what not. I don't blame them. I don't think the Tech/A&M game is the biggest game of the season myself. I didn't even realize it was this weekend and made some other plans for Saturday afternoon. As a result, I had to tape the second half, and I'm still trying to watch it. Tech has won 9 of the last 12 games in the series, so if I were an Aggie, I'd want to say that the game isn't a rivalry game, too.

I'll wear red and black every day of the week leading up to the Texas game, but the Aggies only scored a red sweater on Friday. I certainly see UT as a more respectable opponent. I keep finding this idea in print that as far as Texas football goes, it's 1) Texas, 2) Texas A&M, and 3) Texas Tech. These people need to join the 21st century. Am I wrong?

Tech's Robert Johnson scores a touchdown against A&M's Marquis Carpenter in the first half Saturday.Saturday's game was another close one in the series, but this one may hurt Aggies most of all, says A&M sports writer Richard Croome. The game was such a close one, and since we won, I couldn't let it pass without comment. Thank goodness for Robert Johnson, Shannon Woods, and Joe Garcia on the Raiders' side. And we never know what that mad scientist Mike Leach is going to say. This week's post-game commentary included ranting about Spy vs Spy or something. Also one pirate metaphor, "Once in awhile, a pirate can beat a soldier, you know." I like his eccentricity and unprententiousness, but sometimes I wonder if someone less loopy is really running the team. Please see also: Swashbuckling Leach, Red Raiders pillage Aggies.

I know.  I'm being another tacky Tech fan.

Next week's opponent: undefeated Missouri.

September 28, 2006

Trash Talkin'

Current Netflix rental:
Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 2, Disc 2

Well, one of the biggest football games of the season takes place this weekend for Tech. They're playing the Aggies at Kyle Field on Saturday. Let the jokes begin! Please share yours.

An Aggie was down on his luck so he decided to go out and kidnap a child to get the ransom. He went to the park and snuck up on one of the kids. He grabbed him and took him behind a tree. He told the kid that he was kidnapped and pinned a note on the kid's shirt that read:

"I have kidnapped your child. If you want to see him again, put $20,000 in a sack and leave it in front of the tree at the park. --- An Aggie."

He told the child to make sure his parents saw the note and sent the child home.

The next day the Aggie went to the tree to find a sack. He looked inside to find the money he had asked for and a note that read:

"How could one Aggie do this to another Aggie?"

from Aggie Jokes!

An aggie engineering student was so relieved to get a summer internship that he didn't care that he would be painting highway stripes for the DOT. The first day, he painted 10 miles of stripes. The foreman was impressed. His second day on the job, the aggie only painted two miles of stripes. Since he had done so well his first day, the foreman decided to excuse his lackluster performance. The third day, the aggie only painted one mile worth of stripes. The foreman thought this was inexcusable and asked the aggie, "What's the deal? Your first day you did so well. The second day was not so good. Today, you did less work than I did."

The frustrated aggie replied, "I'm sorry boss, but I just keep gettin' farther and farther away from the bucket!"

an oldie but a goodie from Dad!

And look who ended the the longest win streak in NCAA Division 1-A football. The stormin' Mormons of BYU went and whooped up on TCU. That really stinks. Tech lost to a team that lost to BYU. I'm not sure what the implications of this will be. The world might end tomorrow. What will you do with your last hours?

Speaking of the Y, here's an interesting clip from today's police beat:

BYU NewsNet Police Beat: Sept 28, 2006

Only at the nation's #1 Stone Cold Sober school do the kids play hide and seek on the weekend. Same goes for guys serenading girls who don't love them. Be careful up there, Wendy, there are a lot of weirdos.

Guns up, Raiders!

Guns up!

September 23, 2006

A Married Person's Guide to Dealing with Singles

Currently watching:
an amazing football game between Notre Dame and Michigan St.

I usually feel the urge to say something tacky in my entries, hoping that someone will comment or send hate e-mail or something! However, it seems that no one is actually reading this blog except me. So let's kick it up a notch.

I'm not sure why it is that so many marrieds feel superior to singles. Maybe its for the same reason the gainfully employed feel within their rights to insult those at the bottom of the corporate food chain, or why homeowners scoff at renters, or why parents feel quite comfortable asking childless couples when they plan to reproduce. An optimist would theorize that the former are happy in their situation and merely want to share that with others, but I usually just say that misery loves company.

I simply aim to give advice to those married folk who want to maintain good relations with their single friends. You may have already abandoned them in favor of socializing with fun couples. They may have abandoned you after your repeated attempts to set them up with friends and relatives. (Or they may have abandoned you because they're sick of your kids pulling their hair and breaking their jewelry. It's hard to know.)

A few points of advice to those who want to avoid social faux pas by insulting their unwed friends:

Don't call your single friend only when you have someone you want to set her up with. This is a transparent move which will be seen through as soon as your number comes up on the CallerID.

Many single people believe they are leading busy, fulfilling lives. You know this is quite impossible, but you should avoid constantly alluding to your own "real life" as much as possible.

Being single does not equal being desperate.

Don't say:

  • Everything will be okay [when you're married]. (untrue)
  • Why don't you move? (hostile)
  • You don't want kids? (absurd)
  • When you're in your thirties, you'll be sorry that you didn't date. (tacky)
  • You're too picky. (my personal pet peeve)
  • You'll meet the perfect guy and forget about your ex. (heartless)
  • You can't give up and quit dating! (too confrontational)
  • There must be something wrong with you. (obvious)
  • If you find that you've already committed one or more of the above social blunders, it may be too late to repair the damage. My recommendation is that you leave your spouse and/or child(ren) with a sitter and treat the single to a girls' night or boys' night. Watch an action movie or controversial documentary together. Don't talk about the opposite sex. This is one way you can reach out.

    Finally, keep in mind that the above advice comes from a girl who is such the old maid, she decided to become a librarian to seal the deal - a girl who was so surprised and flustered when a guy held her hand that she stepped flip-flop first into a sludgy mud puddle - a girl so repulsive that she has been dumped by a person she was not dating (Can you imagine? Men banging down her door to say, "I don't want to date you!" I will provide the name of said beast upon request.).

    I'm actually a closet romantic, but a girl has to have standards.

    September 17, 2006

    Separation Saturday

    Current Netflix rental:
    The Office: Season 2, Disc 1

    This was certainly one of the more depressing Saturdays I've had in awhile. The Big 12 certainly stunk it up. I thought the Red Raiders could win their game against TCU, but they went and ruined my football season. Mike Leach quoted in a Star-Telegram article: "That was the sorriest offensive effort I have ever seen. I coached the worst offense in America, which would make me the worst offensive coach in America." Dad said that he'd better give Tech a $200,000 refund on his salary.

    TCU coach Gary Patterson said:

    "People have been underselling our kids for years. All everybody wants to talk about is the Big 12," Patterson said. "I get tired of being treated like a stepchild in this state and in this town, and our kids do too. ... I have a lot of respect for Mike Leach and his staff. Don't get me wrong. The bottom line is, I'd like to get a little bit here at TCU."
    I find Coach Patterson's boasting amusing since his team didn't even score a touchdown. And come on, in the Mountain West Conference, they're playing the likes of BYU. They don't know how to play football in Utah! Hi Wendy.

    What kind of world are we living in when Clemson can beat Florida State anyway? Miami dropped out of the Top 25? Michigan scored 47 points against Notre Dame in North Bend? I'm scared to leave the house tomorrow. Just to psyche myself up for the week, I think I may watch my tape of the 2002 Texas v. Texas Tech game where we upset the fourth-ranked Longhorns, 42-38. Ah, the good old days of Kliff Kingsbury, Wes Welker, Nehemiah Glover, and Taurean Henderson.

    Texas Tech's Wes Welker pulls in a five-yard touchdown pass in front of Texas defender Dakarai Pearson during the third quarter. November 16, 2002. AP Photo

    Smiling for the ladies? I'm not really as worked up as you'd think from reading my rant. Football is just good, clean fun. I got to go watch Scott play on Friday night. That was fun. He had some good tackles. He said he was so aggressive on the offensive line that his coaches jokingly told him to quit playing defense on offense. They won 56-24.

    September 9, 2006


    Current Netflix rentals:
    Why We Fight Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 2, Disc 1

    It's that joyous time of year again. Changing of the seasons. Proud, splendid colors everywhere you look. I'm talking about football season! We've had great football weather here in Lubbock. A major cool down made it feel like sweater weather this week. Right now I'm watching Ohio State and Texas duke it out. I always root for a Texas team against any other state, and a Big 12 team over any other conference, even if that means rooting for the Longhorns. I'm hoping they pull out a win, but it looks like this one will go to the Buckeyes. That's a bummer. My own alma mater is playing tonight, but the game isn't on network TV. Sounds like that game will be an offensive battle. Ought oh. I'm worried about my Red Raiders. I see UTEP took the lead. What do you think of the new uniforms? I hear that Coach Leach decided that we needed to actually have a team of RED Raiders this year.

    Texas Tech receiver Joel Filani, left, reached to pull in a long pass during the first quarter after getting behind Texas-El Paso defender Quintin Demps, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2006 in El Paso, Texas. The pass fell incomplete. AP Photo/Victor Calzada

    Tonight for dinner I tried cooking for one. I never do that, but I might pick up the habit. I tried a recipe for Tomato Basil Soup. I reduced the recipe from eight servings. I put too much cream in it. It was still okay with my Grilled Mozzarella Sandwich. I spent more money than I ought on fresh mozzarella. It was good enough to eat by itself, though. Later tonight, or maybe in the morning, I'm going to make a yummy-sounding recipe Aunt Holly recommended. How good does this sound?: Chocolate-Hazelnut Gelato.

    I've had a heckuva week. Probably the most interesting thing that happened was when I mailed my car keys to Utah. I packed a box of things to send to Katie, and I took it to work to mail it, so I could take advantage of some free bubble wrap. I threw my wallet and keys in the open box at one point, and unfortunately, before I mailed it I forgot to take my car keys out of the box. Anyway, I didn't realize what had happened until 5 o'clock when it was time to leave. At first I just thought I had locked my keys in the car or something, but as I started walking out, it suddenly dawned on me that I'd tossed my car keys into Katie's package that morning. Oops! More bad karma?

    9/11 Memorial  Kastman Park  Lubbock, TX

    It's hard to believe that Monday marks the 5th anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001. Where were you when you heard about the hijacked planes? I was at the orthodontist's office.

    I found out something quite interesting yesterday. Wendy's physical science professor, Steven Jones, is now on paid administrative leave as of September 7, 2006. He is the BYU professor who theorizes that it is plausible that bombs, not planes, brought down the World Trade Center towers. The website with the text of the research paper is apparently disabled now (Censorship?), but his ideas are summarized in this Deseret News article. I'm surprised that Mr. Jones hasn't yet been run out of Happy Valley - Provo, Utah - on a rail. Provo was ranked as the most conservative US city last year by the Bay Area Center for Voting Research. Know what the second ranked city was? Lubbock, Texas. View the complete rankings in html or a Word doc. Okay, I'm going to go finish watching Why We Fight now.

    August 29, 2006

    Feasting on Asphalt

    Current Netflix rentals:
    Why We Fight Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 1, Disc 2

    Chicken Cordon BleuI'm back from the Metroplex. What else would I have to report on but the restaurants I hit? Nothing spectacular to report. The best food I ate was at la Madeleine in Fort Worth. I had their famous Tomato Basil soupe, half a Cordon Bleu sandwich, and Pesto Pasta Salade. The company was just as good. I got to visit Michele and James and see their lovely place.

    Saturday night I went to The Cheesecake Factory with Carmen, Melissa, and Brian. My food was okay. I ordered a Kahlua Coffee Cocoa Cheesecake to go. I ate that on Sunday, and my teetotal genes rejected the Kahlua and coffee. I never know what to do when I go to restaurants that I really like. Should I go with tried and true familiar faves or be adventurous? I think it's best to go halvesies with someone on one dish you know will be good and one new untried one, or you can order something daring when you've got a date that's paying, so at least you're not out the cash if your hunch was bad.

    Speaking of the dating world, AOL@Love says, "Nothing says first date more than an evening at a restaurant, but where he takes you says more about the man you're with than you think." Don't worry. I linked to the site from Slashfood; I'm still happily single and checking the foodie sites, not the personals. Anyhow, if anyone is wondering what your guy's restaurant selection says about him, check out What Does His Choice for a First-date Restaurant Say about Him?

    • Tapas - "don't expect a commitment from this professional dabbler anytime soon"

    • Seafood - "it's nice to spend time with somebody who believes money is no object, but if he never lets you forget it..."

    • Pancake house - "a guy who knows what he wants, and exactly where to go to get it"

    • Sushi - "an eclectic lifestyle, so he wants to try everything"

    • Mexican - "hot and spicy guy is the kind that will dance the night away"

    • Chinese - "he needs a little motivation"

    • Steakhouse - "since he won't stray too far from the norm, he could be a huge bore"

    • Italian - "you've got a serious romantic on your hands"

    • Burgers and fries - "likes it straight, so he can save himself for the BMX race he's in"
      Back to my eating adventures, I think I might have gone to an IHOP in Denton or something. Yikes. I went to Chuy's in downtown Dallas, and they were having their 18th Annual Green Chile Festival. They had a special menu for it and everything. I did try the chile relleno and empanada combination, but I passed on the green chile brownie. I really wanted to try it, just to say I did, but I was completely full. Plus, I had already been burned trying one new dessert this week (see above). A green chile festival is something I could really get into. Whole Foods had some extra fun foods for the festival as well. We hit Whole Foods twice. Their Plano store isn't as fun as the Austin flagship, but I still had a grand time there. Their bakery is the most fun department to browse. I also ate some great homemade corn tortillas at "Tortillas del Rancho y Restaurante" in Garland.

      As for Feasting on Asphalt, here's a fun picture of the remnants of the charcoal cookies. In a fit of anger, I tossed my cookies into the street and ran them over with the truck. That's pretty much how it happened. My dad saw the crumbled cookies in the street in front of my house and thought they had been repaving the street.

      Repaved the block with my cookies...

      August 22, 2006

      Hits and Misses

      Current Netflix rentals:
      Why We Fight Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 1, Disc 2

      If I were only half the cook I think I am....

      Fabulous Chocolate Chip Cookies on the left.  Cookies of death on the right.

      Those cookies on the right aren't chocolate! I decided to make a couple of batches of cookies yesterday. I made some of my favorite cookies to take to a party/get-together... (See Wendy's Xanga site for a better explanation than I could offer.) We had fun. I got to see some awesome pictures of Taiwan. Katie will be there in about a month! Anyway, I saved a few cookies to send to Katie. I also decided to try my hand at making Oatmeal Raisin cookies last night. It was so late that it was really this morning. Mmmm...the batter was very tasty. The cookies needed to bake for 22 minutes. When the cookies had only five minutes left to bake, I decided to lay on the couch and watch a bit of The Office I had taped. Very unfortunately, I fell sound asleep and missed the timer. I did awaken a couple of hours to the smoke permeating my house, burning my nose and stinging my eyes, and I opened the oven door to find those little black beauties pictured above. Oatmeal Raisin Cookies - Take 2I was unbelievably angry with myself. I went to the store after 11:00 at night to buy ingredients I didn't have, and then I stayed up mixing, meticulously measuring out just the right amount of batter for each cookie, and then I had to go do something dumb like that! I wish I could say that kind of idiocy is an isolated incident for me. My house still smelled tonight when I got home from work. I did a redo tonight, and the cookies were much better looking.

      Before I describe my next cooking miss, here's a great story about the Glamour 100-metre Stiletto Run. As a feminist, or maybe I'm just a sexist, I just wonder who organized this event? Is this safe? Men or women? I think that I could probably run just as well in stilettos as in a pair of tennis shoes. This Star Phoenix article reports: "A November survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association found 35 per cent of women feel comfort trumps style when buying footwear, up from just 18 per cent in a previous survey." Sick, sick women. I do love high heels. Wearing them may be the only fashion forward thing I even attempt at all. Not that I'm willing to sacrifice sleep to style my hair or put on enough makeup to make a difference, but heels, I'll do.

      Mine pretty much looked like hersSunday for lunch we had breakfast foods: home fries, bacon and eggs, French Toast, and such. I love breakfast foods. They're always appropriate. Then I used some fresh blueberries to try making some blueberry ice cream. I don't know what possessed me to trust an unknown recipe source. I should have been tipped off by the metric measurements, too. I never hear good things about British cuisine. I'm sorry to read that the cook came up with this atrocity after many attempts. I tried a few bites after it came out of the ice cream freezer, and my only reaction was "Wrong wrong wrong." I think it's because while I was cooking, I was watching Grey's Anatomy, and the OCD patient had to say everything three times. "Is the OR clean, clean, clean?" That story was a lot funnier in my head.

      Wendy and I are having tons of fun while she's in town. Perhaps I should speak for myself. I'm really glad for any time I get to spend with Wendy. She's a hoot. We can laugh at anything and always have fun together. If three of us siblings get together, it really gets crazy. What I need to know is what I'm going to do with twenty or so black cow chip cookies!! They're too funny looking to just throw away. I think I'll send one to Katie with the 'good' cookies, just to give her a laugh. I am very tempted to leave the rest of them on neighbors' porches or next to cars in the parking lot at work or something. They are really the most horrible looking things, and they smell like death after an extra two hours' baking time.

      Another cooking hit - bravo to Alton Brown for his fun show Feasting on Asphalt. Dad even likes the show so much that he called and asked me how to set the VCR to record it. That was a fun conversation. We're a family of Luddites.

      August 14, 2006

      Coulda woulda shoulda

      Current read:
      Cary Grant: A Class Apart

      WARNING! Pity party ahead...

      I feel super gloomy tonight, so I don't really want to turn off the TV, music, or computer. Somehow I think the multi-tasking will help?

      I should be cleaning my kitchen and living room. The lady that is sewing my kitchen shades is coming over tomorrow for a fitting. Hopefully everything will work out. I did get some funky tile after I chose the fabric for the shades. My house is already such a hodge podge of textures and colors and fabrics; what the heck can it hurt to throw a few more in the mix?

      Tonight, I was desperate and hungry enough tonight to eat a frozen burrito that has probably been in my freezer since I moved into this house a year ago. It was so gross that I only ate half. Yuck! I am embarrassed that I lowered myself to eat that trash. Life is too short to eat bad food like that.

      I am very excited to be getting out of town next weekend. I'm glad for a change of scenery. The last few days at work have been super quiet. It's pretty much just been Dilbert and me holding down the fort. It makes for a long work day. Luckily I've been busier since I'm trying to cover, more or less, for my absent co-workers. I looked at the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau website, and this totally inappropriate event caught my eye. I haven't laughed so hard in awhile: GayBINGO Dallas.

      It’s not your grandma’s bingo! GayBINGO is hosted by Dallas’ own Patti LePlaeSafe, and features drag queens on skates working the crowd from the floor, a monthly theme to dress for, special guests, surprise entertainment, and of course 15 very special bingo games.

      Someone help me! Carmen and I went walking tonight, and I hope she won't mind if I rat us out. We walked to Barnes & Noble, and we usually like to hit the self-help/relationship section and skim books like Dating for Dummies for a good laugh. Tonight we picked up
      He's Just Not That into You: Your Daily Wake-Up Call
      . Usually I find that stuff funny, but tonight it was just sad. Then we walked to Sonic. On the way, I saw this guy I used to have a thing for walk by with his wife. I didn't even recognize him, and Carmen asked if I had noticed who passed us. It was really funny... uh, I guess you just had to be there. He looked like an old retired fisherman what with the hat, scruffiness, and belly. Then again, maybe it's good they didn't notice me, since I was in an old T-shirt, workout pants, hair sweaty and pulled back loosely in a ponytail... Yeah, I was looking rough. Actually, I always look good, but I felt like being self-deprecating since I just described someone else's appearance so mercilessly.

      Okay, I've gotta go clean the kitchen. I won't have time after work tomorrow. I know there are cobwebs lurking behind those mini-blinds. Well, my little rant hasn't really made me feel better. I guess the coulda woulda shoulda is what I'm moping about. I feel like I've been wasting quite a bit of time lately (like the last few years!) on the wrong things, and I haven't really gotten anywhere on a few fronts. Oh well. Coulda woulda shoulda, and I can start over tomorrow. Dang! I really just want a nap.

      I like movies with "sad" endings. I watched Roman Holiday with my grandmother on Saturday. I hadn't seen that movie in years. In fact, I haven't watched an old movie in a long time. I love the lines in that movie. It's like Casablanca. I guess we're living in a society, and even though I'm not a princess or the wife of the leader of an underground anti-Nazi movement, I sure feel like I frequently have to give up what I want for illogical reasons. Boo hoo. Welcome to the real world. I guess I won't go into specifics tonight.

      Roman Holiday Casablanca

      Thanks for chatting online with me tonight, Wendy. I needed it. Otherwise I would've been reduced to trolling blogspot which has never proven to be fun or fruitful.