June 25, 2006


Current Netflix rental:
The Cosby Show: Season 2

I think I ate more tofu this weekend than I have eaten in my life thus far. I bought some tofu a couple of weeks ago, and it was about to pass its prime. I pan fried a package worth of medium firm tofu last night in some olive oil. It was a little funky, but it tasted pretty good at about lunch time today. Tonight I breaded and fried some tofu. I think I liked the non-breaded stuff better. I cannot bread and fry things properly. That's okay, because I honestly don't like a lot of fried food anyway. If you don't attack your heart, your heart won't attack you.

Here's the other stuff that was on today's menu:

Chinese Noodles with Sesame Dressing - a recipe from Everyday Food, but I found it subpar to the food I'd like to eat every day. Cilantro in Asian? Can that be that kosher?

Stir-Fried Chicken with Green Beans in Spicy Orange Sauce - quite yummy, and I don't even really like green beans.

Coconut Macaroons - yuck! I thought this would be a good dessert with the Asian dishes. I certainly see enough of those dumb things at Asian buffets. They tasted like Corn Pops. Much too sweet!

And here's a line from a great Reuters story to explain why I'm going to live to be 100 years old - besides the fact that I eat tofu. Drs. Leonid Gavrilov and Natalia Gavrilova of the University of Chicago's Center on Aging report that their research shows that a child's chances of living to 100 years of age double for a child born to a woman before her 25th birthday. Check out the entire story:

"They found that while being born to a young mother was an important predictor of reaching 100, other factors seem to help someone live an exceptionally long life. These include growing up in the Western part of the U.S., spending part of one's childhood on a farm, and being born first."

Well, I'd better go check my IRA portfolio, since I'm going to live so long... Clean livin', baby.

June 23, 2006

Bad Karma

Current Netflix rental:
The Cosby Show: Season 2

Oh man. I feel like I haven't used my brain in days. I am ready to go back to work--don't tell. I feel melancholic and increasingly brain dead. I think it's my bad Karma. Or maybe I'm shirking responsibility for my latest doltish exploit. Read on.

This week while I haven't gone to work, I've been watching TV or listening to talk radio several hours a day. I have to say, it caused me to applaud my own brilliance and superiority. "People spend their time watching this junk!" I think to myself as I channel surf and watch the drivel I condemned. All the morning shows are awful! How did these people get to be on television?: Kelly Ripa, Tony Danza, and I could go on into primetime TV with David Hasselhoff and Howie Mandel. The more aggravating thing is the ridiculous "drive-by media". I know without turning on the TV that daily news stories will include one or more segments on high gas prices and overweight/obese Americans. My IQ is dropping by the second. Then I hear poll after poll cited regarding the war in Iraq or the Dixie Chicks' latest album, and I think, "Why would I have any desire to hear the opinion of the average American? Have you been to Wal-Mart? It's a leper colony down there." The opinions of a bunch of uninformed, hysterical people do not constitute news.

Every dumb show I saw just made me feel empowered as a human being. I guess it was in this aura of self-righteousness that I went to the post office and dropped my latest Netflix rental into the post office box with no return envelope. I just cavalierly plopped the DVD in its little sleeve into the box, only noting that I had already missed the day's latest mail pickup time. I don't even know what excuses to make. The worst part is that I didn't realize what I had done until a few hours later, when I saw the little Netflix postage-paid return envelope next to my television. (Does my story make sense?) This is the kind of dumbness that thrusts me into a mid-life crisis. Inspired to examine my life, I'll commit to give up watching TV, get more sleep, read books, do yoga, etc. I did the same thing a few weeks ago when I lost my keys. It will probably last until the charge for the lost DVD comes through on my credit card, when having paid my debt, and hopefully redeemed myself into good Karma, I'll return to my slacker ways.

I love this news story about a three- or four-year-old Indian boy (News stories differ on his age.) who can run marathons. The news story is about a month old, but it's still hilarious.

India's marathon boy, aged three - BBC News

You've gotta check out the story. This kid will be in the Guinness Book.

June 21, 2006

Stretchy Pants

Yay for Katie for allowing me to post these. It must be really late.

Nacho Libre

Nacho Libre Movie - Official Site

I didn't have a Netflix rental today, but I went with my entire family to see Nacho Libre tonight. That show is really crazy. It was my second time to see it. I was told that my laughter was the loudest in the theater. Oops. The first time I saw the movie, I was in Austin at the extremely cool Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Highly recommend it!! (By the way, siblings, The Invisible Child was a real movie - TV movie, anyway.)

We got out of the movie at about 12:30am. I was really really craving nachos. Luckily, the drive-thru windows at both Taco Bueno and Taco Bell were still open, even if it was time to scrape the bottom of the bean pot. Katie and I decided to go for a nacho run...except we drove instead. I wanted to go to Taco Bueno, and Katie wanted Taco Bell, so we had this brilliant idea to do a taste test on their nachos. Read on for the results.

Taco Bueno® Mucho Nachos™
Cost: $3.49 + .29 tax = $3.78 total
(pictured left)


Taco Bell® Nachos BellGrande®
Cost: $2.59 + .20 tax = $2.79 total
(pictured right)

Katie preferred Taco Bell's nachos because "I don't know. What do you think?... Taco Bell wins 'cuz they have the better website.... Better coverage. More sour cream. Taco Bueno had better beans."

I thought Taco Malo had a slight edge because their cheese was better, and they had more beans. The beef from Taco Hell had a little more seasoning, and yet the meat was a little funky. For me, Taco Bueno wins by a chive. Wait! Taco Bell had the chives. Okay, Taco Bueno wins by a refried bean.

Well, I have some really funny pictures of my roomie in Stretchy Pants. You've gotta see the movie to get the joke. However, Blogger is being incredibly annoying tonight, so I've not been able to post the pictures. I'll try again. Meanwhile, go see the movie! (Go see it with friends or low expectations.)

June 19, 2006

Baby Steps

Current Netflix rental:

Good Night, and Good Luck

One of the great scenes from What about Bob? is when Bill Murray does his Baby Steps skit. "Baby steps get on the elevator. Baby steps get on the elevator..." He motivates himself to do small and simple things with that farcical mantra.

Today, I'm back in Lubbock and not working. I mostly slept at my mom's house all day. I hate doing that. I feel so lazy after wasting the daylight. So when I got home, I tried to motivate myself to get a little overdue housework done. "Baby steps unload the dishwasher. Baby steps take out the trash." That's about all I got accomplished.

I did catch some Oprah and Dr. Phil, though. Daytime TV is the worst! All that self-help crud and soundbite advice is worthless. Then tonight I caught an episode of The New Adventures of Old Christine. That show is funny in parts, but some of the jokes are lame. I like Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The episode was about Christine revisiting the dating world and set-ups and blind dates. I think they're called blind dates because they represent a dark other world, and one into which most people are afraid to delve. Apparently unable to baby step myself off the couch, I also watched How to Get the Guy. The good and bad thing about both shows is that they were able to capture so well the awkwardness and torture that usually composes the first date. Good reality television--not always good entertainment - too uncomfortable. My brother called the latter show "40 Guys a Day" (refer to one of Rachael Ray's twenty or so currently airing shows, $40 a Day). Barring protests, I hope to revisit the topic of dating horrors again soon.

The trip to Austin and San Antonio was fun. I love Austin. It's my favorite vacation spot in Texas. It's close enough geographically for a quick jaunt pretty frequently, too. Here's a silly picture of my siblings and me outside The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. We did a lot of shopping, which I enjoyed. I bought a skirt at Foley's that was 75% off.

I think I'm about to baby step it to the washing machine. Maybe.

June 12, 2006

Hell in a handbasket

Current Netflix rentals:
Good Night and Good Luck & The Ringer

I'm tired! I have a lot of things I need to do before my vacation - both at work and at home - but I just want to fall asleep. So why am I blogging?

I couldn't pass up the chance to post a few pictures of Katie's birthday party. We had fondue and cheesecake and drank this red vampire punch. My mom also brought some crazy devilish decorations. There was even a horsehead in Katie's bed. How old was Katie in this picture?

Wild and crazy fun?!?

There's the crazy cheesecake from heck. It really looked pretty bad, but I liked it anyway.

I heard from two faraway friends tonight. Both of them were women that I worked with and with whom I became good friends. It's kind of bittersweet, because it is so wonderful to talk to them, but then I'm sad that they now live so far away.

Have I mentioned how excited I am about going to Austin? We're going to jaunt down to San Antonio, too. Maybe we'll even check out downtown San Antonio.

June 11, 2006

Music to my ears...

Current Netflix rentals:
Good Night and Good Luck
The Ringer

I am at my parents' house right now, and my sisters Wendy and Katie are playing the piano and the recorder, respectively. The thing is, Katie doesn't play the recorder, so the music is monotonous and painful, at that. Abby is here, too. She's my three year-old cousin. Those three girls are having a wild and crazy time. I'll have to post a picture of the three of them when I'm at my own computer. I'm really really bummed because the family pc we've been using for a couple of years crashed, and all the pictures I've taken for a few years, and all the songs I downloaded from Napster during its heyday are gone. I'm really upset about all those pictures we lost. I'm going to become the poster child for maintaining backup data storage.

We had a family reunion for my maternal grandmother's side of the family this weekend. The reunion was here in my hometown. It was really fun to see everyone. I'm even glad that many of my relatives have reproduced and there were some darn cute kids to play with. Yikes! There goes Abby with the recorder again. That music is so harsh! Make me promise that I will post a few pictures from Katie's birthday party last week. At least I need to share pictures of the cheesecake from hell. 'Tis okay, the theme was a little devilish since the party was on 6/6/06.

I'm excited because my three siblings and I are going to go down to Austin this week. I think it will be a fun road trip. I have always thought that I am a spontaneous, leave the options open person; more likely, I'm just an indecisive person. However, in revisiting that opinion, I realized that I'm actually a pretty meticulous planner sometimes. Take this little road trip. I feel like I have to prepare an exact schedule of times and places and meals.

Well, I've been blogging for a bit now, and I still can't think of any way to make this a fun post, or a _____ (whatever) post. This one's just random, and I can't think of a fun way to close it either. Here are a couple of links to the places that we want to visit in Austin:

Whole Foods
Wild about Music
Mandola's Italian Market
Zilker Botanical Gardens

June 6, 2006

¡Feliz cumpleaños!

Current Netflix rental:
Good Night and Good Luck

I am soooo tired. I feel like I'm about to fall over. You know me and my cooking. Right now I'm sitting up waiting to rotate the cheesecake I have in the oven. Those goofy things have to cook forever! Have you ever seen a marbled pink cheesecake? I sure as heck haven't, and I didn't intend to create one tonight, but I used as much red food coloring as I wanted to. The birthday girl is getting a pink cake.

That's right. It's my little sister Katie's birthday today. She is 21 years old. She is leaving for a church mission to Taiwan soon. We're planning a birthday party for her tonight, but I can't tell what the theme is yet. Hopefully the party will be fun. We had theme parties for other family birthdays this year. We had a Monk party and a Napoleon Dynamite party, too. Katie is the creative one who always has the cute ideas and makes awesome things to go with the themes. Understandably, she expects something equally great for her birthday. In fact, she said if the party we throw is a bust, she's having a redo the next day. I can understand, because I doubt that we'll do as well on our own without the originality she contributes.

Tomorrow, I'll post some pictures from the party. Here are the Chinese characters for Happy Birthday:

From what I've found on google, it looks as though that's pronounced "sheng ri kuai le." Ought oh. I just checked the cheesecake, and it looks like a total mess. The marbled chocolate that was on top now looks like a burned mess. Oh boy! I still need to stay up 45 minutes and then take it out of the oven. Blah blah. Then the recipe said to run a knife around the edge of the pan every hour so the cheesecake doesn't crack. I think that would be the least of this cheesecake's problems. I will definitely have to post pictures tomorrow.

Let's hope things look better in the morning. Happy birthday, Katie! I love you a lot, and I will miss you when you leave.

June 4, 2006

The Music of Goodbye

Current Netflix rental:
Good Night and Good Luck
Here is a before and after shot of my kitchen.
The before is not really a before, thank goodness!, because I haven't been living in a house with a bare cement floor for nine months. However, I did have--within the small area of my kitchen and entryway--linoleum, carpet, and tile. I was never crazy about having carpet under my table. I spill enough food on the living room carpet, without having to pull out the Resolve® every time I serve a meal in the kitchen. So the before picture on the left, is before the tile was laid, but after the carpet and linoleum were pulled up. How about all those colors? It was a little scary looking at the samples at Sutherland's. Blues? Pinks? Browns? I'm just hoping all the fabric I bought for my kitchen shades doesn't clash with the tile that I ended up with. That's a great camera angle on the left hiding the dinner dishes lined up at the sink. For dinner, we ate smothered pork chops. It's another recipe from my favorite cookbook. Dinner was yummy, if I say so myself, and then I ate Bluebell Dos Amigos ice cream with pureed strawberries. Yeah, I fell off the diet wagon with an extra large thud.
I'm tired of saying goodbye to everyone. Yesterday even my neighbors moved out. Is it me? And I've been psyching up to say the hardest goodbyes yet. My sisters are leaving the homestead for bigger and better. It seems like a clichéd love song, but what's the best way to say goodbye?
Okay, siblings. I think you should be able to post comments now. I'm tired of talking to myself. I want comments, people!