Monday, April 30, 2012


Last week, I had the same thing for breakfast and lunch every day. This is actually pretty typical for me. I very much enjoy food, especially those which are full of flavor. I love trying new foods and dishes. I love the smells, the colors, and the variety. However, most of the time I eat more for satiation than for pleasure.

I've been eating steel-cut oats with some variation of toppings every morning for a little over a year now. (Unless we run out or I've put off making it.) These last two weeks, the topping was a tablespoon of cocoa and a teaspoon of sugar. A few days, I stole some of Max's "treats" and threw in some dried banana chips. It was like a dark chocolate version of no-bake cookies without the peanut butter and felt like having dessert for breakfast. Excellent!

Dessert for breakfast!

For lunch last week, I had frozen mixed vegetables and shrimp, tossed in Franks Red Hot Sauce. After that was finished, I'd eat 4-5 sticks of raw jicama. Today I got adventurous and threw chunked up jicama into the shrimp concoction. The sweetness of the jicama kind of got lost in the spice. When I finished, I wished I hadn't done it because I wanted that refreshingly cool and sweet crunch to clear my palette.

Shrimp w/ veggies & raw jicama chunks - doused in Franks Red Hot Sauce

We had friends over for game night on Friday and Sweetie made some snacks & treats for the group. As always, her creations were delicious!

Bruschetta "Southwest Chicken Puffs"  Pastry puff filled with pudding & whipped cream

The toast points for the bruschetta were from a loaf of french bread she had made the day prior. She felt it had too much yeast to be eaten soft & warm but it worked excellent as toast points for the tomato-basil & herb goat cheese.

The chicken was a mixture of pieces from the chickens she'd roasted, cream cheese, and salsa.

The pastry puffs were made from scratch as well but I have no idea where the recipe came from. Maybe she'll read this and comment ;-)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Korean Food and a 97 Degree April Day!

Sweetie and I are part of a Supper Club that meets once a month. Each person in the group gets a month to pick and this week, the pick was Kokoro Maki House. They had both Japanese and Korean cuisine to choose from and a very large variety of sushi. I still didn't get brave enough to buy the sushi but after seeing everyone's samples around me, I'll definitely be trying some next time!

I ordered the Bul Go Gi with steamed rice, which was served with a side of Kimchi, Eomuk (fish cake), and Potato BokkEum. I'm including some pictures below that I found online - I did not whip out my camera during dinner but these all look like what I was eating.

Kimchi  Bul Go Gi
Eomuk (closest link I could find - no soup though) Potato BokkEum

Oh, and Sweetie shared some tempura calamari with me. Everything was delicious and I definitely want to try more! The couple sitting next to me had a sushi roll that was beef & asparagus, and a friend next to them had a cucumber roll. There was also a roll on the menu that had smoked salmon, cream cheese, and apple - that sounded decadent! So I think next time I'll spring for the sushi.

In other news, the weather has turned again. It was a blasting 97 degrees here today. In APRIL!? I am terrified at what August will bring. Yesterday, I planted a second round of snow peas, a second round of radish, and tried another direct planting of tomato & basil. I also planted various lettuces and a cucumber. One of the lettuces was actually the stem of a romaine head we'd finished from the store. I thought I'd try burying it and seeing if it takes root again. The same concept supposedly works with celery so I figured it was worth a shot. We'll see in a few weeks how those all turned out. Last night, I drew up the flower-scape intended to fill in around the veggies. I had planned to plant those today but it was just too hot. I also still need to widen the rock trench bordering the fence line landscaping in the backyard. It's supposed to be cool again by Saturday and we don't have any plans so I might just get it done!

We're having a group of friends over for a game night this Friday, which I'm very much looking forward to. I'm sure I'll have some fun quips to share about that on Sunday. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Good Stuff!

This was an abnormally horrible week. Things aren't bad anymore though, and it's not going to do me any good to gripe about it now anyway. Instead, I think I'll share the good stuff that happened!

Missie B's celebrated its 18 year anniversary this weekend and the special anniversary show was excellent! I was also invited to a dinner for performers, which made me feel wonderful to be included. Here are pics I found on FB of some of my favorites:

Daisy Buck√ęt as Carol Channing Austin as Ellen Degeneres and Seto as Michael Jackson Loretta Martin as Adele

Sweetie and I watched The Hunger Games at Screenland Armour. They had 2 vinyl club chairs with a little table in between that we all but squealed over and snatched up right away. It wasn't really much of a race since we were the only ones there for the next 10 minutes, LOL

Swivel club chairs!

Next time though, we'll pick the normal seats. We were too close to the screen and we couldn't hold hands or talk during the movie - two things I never realized we did so often until today.

And finally, I have some conversations & observations to share!


The scene: I'm driving behind some loaded trucks on a highway in the middle of nowhere. "Single Ladies" is on the radio and I'm demonstrating the dance motions to Sweetie when the trucks in front of us start braking to turn.

Sweetie: Slow down!
Me: I am. I'm braking. I'm braking while I'm dancing. I'm brake dancing!


The scene: Giving a bouquet of peonies to a drag queen in celebration of her birthday.

Bernadette: They're beautiful! Are they from your yard?
Me: Yup!
Bernadette: They smell so good.
Me: Yeah, (Sweetie) said it smelled like old-lady and I said, "Then she'll LOVE it!"
Bernadette: *stink eye*


Facebook observation: If you change your middle name to "DramaFreeZone", chances are you're anything but.
Posting one of these every minute for an hour aren't helping matters either:


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Frustration and Mormons (Not Correlated!)

We found out on Sunday night that our dog Max believes wind storms to be almost as scary as thunderstorms. Sweetie and I had enjoyed a great evening and finally laid down for sleep around 2am. Max decided at 2:30 that he needed consoling and jumped his gate. So I stayed on the couch and slept intermittently between his pacing fits every time a wind gust hit the house.

Monday morning I headed to my car bleary eyed and beaten, only to see that the recycle bin contents had been blown across 3 neighboring lawns.

And yes, it had occurred to me to put the heavy trash bags on top of the bin ...

... at about 2:00am. So there's that.

After picking up the recycling and wedging the bin against the house, it occurred to me that I still hadn't pulled cash for the office lunch. I specifically only wanted to pull $15 and had previously been able to do so at a few bank ATMs.

They apparently chose Monday as the day to thwart me. I went to 3 banks before giving up and heading across town to my last ditch effort which resulted in success!

Have I mentioned yet that I'm already running 20 minutes late to work by this point?

So I got the cash. Our office had lunch and I handed over my contribution to the boss's birthday lunch. How much was left over in my pocket? $7. Seriously. I could have just stopped at the first ATM and pulled $10 to begin with. I was so irritated. I'd love to say I was excited to have extra cash to spend but I didn't - I needed to buy stamps. Oh well, at least I had the money to buy stamps I guess :-)

All day long I looked forward to going home, picking up Sweetie, and heading out to watch Hunger Games at a theater 30 minutes away. When we got to the door, the manager came up and apologized because they had just cancelled the evening showing 10 minutes prior. I wanted to cry. Two days of sleep deprivation were catching up with me.

One of the awesome things about being an adult:

Consolation prize for two cruddy days in a row.

I can make a freaking root beer float whenever I damn well please and for whatever reason I deem appropriate! Consolation prize acquired. Then Sweetie and I watched a Netflix that's been sitting in our living room for almost 3 weeks. We watched The Tourist which was just good enough to give my attitude a much needed adjustment.

Yesterday I got frustrated again while trying to slog through the various prepay phone service options. When I got home, we took Max for a walk which helped alleviate the tension. I noticed the Peonies were blooming so I cut a few and brought them inside. They smell so beautiful!
Peonies from the yard

This morning, I went to my obgyn for then annual checkup. He asked again about my cholesterol. It's odd that he's concerned about that but I like that he takes an interest in my heatlth ouside the girly parts. At least I've got one doctor looking out for me!
He had a nurse practitioner (a woman, ugh) learning with him so I got everything twice. Woo! I'm pretty sure all women reading this understand that this is not a form of special treatment.
All that talk of cholesterol concerns had me craving crap food something fierce! I dug out enough change in my car to buy a double chocolate donut from Lamar's and ate it with satisfaction.

Tonight, Sweetie and I went with friends to the open house tour for the Kansas City Missouri Temple.

The tour consisted of a short video explaining why Mormons build temples and a little about their beliefs, followed by an hour guided tour explaining the purpose of each room. We were requested to not take pictures inside or I would show you my favorite parts, which consisted of paintings and architecture. I didn't think it was as architecturally beautiful as Catholic temples but was beautiful.

When we got home, Sweetie set right to work getting chickens in the oven to roast. They were on a good sale so she's roasting them, I'm carving them, then we'll freeze the chicken pieces in portions we can pull out for dinners. She just posted this image on Facebook so I guess it's time for me to get carving!

Winner winner chicken dinner!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Book Thief, A Job Well Done, and Pruitt-Igoe

There was was a severe weather warning that covered most of the Midwest this weekend. We cancelled plans to go out of town and waited for weather that never came. We barely got a sprinkle, which for my plants is sad news indeed (since I don't water from the house until summer). Having seen photos from areas that were in the path of the storm though, we are very fortunate that it passed us over.

Since we weren't going out of town, I was able to catch up on some reading. I finally finished The Book Thief on Saturday morning. This was another book from the Phenomenally Indecisive Book Club hosted on the Pancakes & French Fries blog. I found it difficult to want to pick it up and read, and so it took a long time (18 days!) to get through it. I would put it off every day, but once I finally did start reading I would enjoy what I read. The story definitely picked up once Max was introduced. I would venture to say I enjoyed his separate stories more so than the story they were introduced within. I also liked that it was telling the story of Nazi Germany from the point of view of the average/poor German family. It’s easy (for me anyway) to forget that war leaves its marks on both sides – and often times, even the side that “started it” isn’t unanimous in believing it necessary.
I didn’t care for the way most of the side stories were told though. It seemed like the author was trying to force emotion into the story. I also didn’t care for some of the descriptions given by Death (the narrator) – but that’s merely a personal preference. The lyrical-styled descriptions just fell flat for me.
In then end, I enjoyed the overall story and the characters. I gave it 3/5 stars on Goodreads.

Sunday, I woke up at 7am from the fitful night of non-sleep that I've come to expect on Saturday nights. Every Sunday as I get ready to go to church, I look into the dark bags under my eyes and wonder if I'll be able to stay focused on my job. I operate the light and sound boards for the two services and rehearsals. I was trained in March and then started out April on my own. I have forgotten to do something in every service since I started. It's never been anything huge - more than likely some of the things I forgot aren't even noticeable to the congregation - but I notice and leave feeling dejected for a bit.
This Sunday, however, went excellent! I received "good job" type comments from four congregants (one of which plays bass sometimes and knows what to listen for). I also got acknowledged by three of the musicians and the minister. It felt great to have done a good job and that feeling was topped off with all the gratitude given!

I ended the weekend watching a movie with Sweetie. We had purchased discount gift certs to a movie theater in town for the anniversary of my brother & his wife. They ended up not being able to come before the gift certs expired so Sweetie and I are using them. We will see Hunger Games sometime before Thursday and watched The Pruitt-Igoe Myth tonight. (Trailer below followed by my thoughts on the movie) It sparked some good conversation with Sweetie while we wandered Crown Center and window shopped the closed stores.

The Pruitt-Igoe Myth is a documentary about the housing projects (specifically Pruitt-Igoe) that sprung up post-WWII in St. Louis, MO. It illustrated the ideas, successes and failures of the times through interviews of tenants from that time, as well as narration voice-over with footage from that era. A few things I took from the interviews:

  • The tenants who moved in when it was new had fond memories of living there - even though they were still there as it dissolved into crime, drugs, and ill-repair. They had already created a sense of community, of togetherness, and I feel it was because of this that they were able to see the good in it outweighing the bad.
  • The tenants who remembered thinking along the lines of "Why did we have to live this way/here?" tended to resonate with the bad of Pruitt-Igoe. On the flip side, the tenants who remembered thinking things like, "I just thought that's they way all black people lived" or "I just thought that was the way it was for everyone" tended to resonate with the good of Pruitt-Igoe. I found that very interesting, and I would love to know if these recollections correlate with having moved into Pruitt-Igoe when it was newly constructed versus after it had already begun to decay.
  • People value nice things - even if they don't own them. Had St. Louis planned more effectively for how to maintain the building in the event rent income wasn't sufficient, they may have been able to keep it in nice shape. I'm not saying I think the blame of Pruitt-Igoe's fall lands on the city of St. Louis, but definitely a portion of it. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

And Now For Something Different

I'm thinking of trying a more varied format on here. I tend to focus very heavily on workouts when in reality, that's only 1-2% of my day!

My plan is two-fold. I want something to keep me in the habit of blogging and I want to create an outlet for other things going on in my life.

I will start blogging twice a week, on Wednesdays and Sundays (and maybe Thursday if I contribute to The William Morris Project over at the Pancakes & French Fries blog).

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Time To Move On

I think I'm doomed to not finish schedules longer than a month. I even felt like I'd mixed this schedule up enough that I could hang on to it without getting bored. I was wrong. I only had 6 days left and I punked out on all of them.

So I'm moving on to the next schedule, which I found on Pinterest and was linked from Tumbler - so I really have no idea who came up with it. It seems like a good enough variety, and I don't think it will take too much time.

As with every schedule, I'll start on Monday to get back into the routine. With the nicer weather, Sweetie & I have been walking Max about a mile & a half as soon as I get home before we lose light. So I'll plan to do these as soon as I return from the walk. It will be a nice warmth!

I really liked that I wasn't doing a workout on the weekends during the revised Lifehacker workout. I think I'll stick to that and copy these workout slates onto index cards and just flip through them in order. That way  I still get the variety given from all of the days but I don't have to mock up an entire calendar to keep track.