Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Bring the Heat

I'm alive and well in the Valley of the Sun, living the dream with my new AZ driver's license that expires in 2045!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Future Inspiration

Time to buckle down. More on that later, but here are the random thoughts of motivation for the new life plan that will be fully executed in 2009!

Parentals in Town

The end of last month brought a visit from good ole Mom and Dad, who happened to be in Philly for work and made a little stopover in DC on the way home. They hadn't been here since Christmas 2003, and it was the first time they've really seen "my life:" where I work, where I live, what I do, meet my friends, etc.

Friday afternoon they toured work, then we met up with SAM and had dinner at Cylde's in Chinatown. Considering that I NEVER introduce my parents to the latest man in my life, that was kind of a big deal, but it went over just fine. On Saturday the weather was PERFECT, and I took them to Eastern Market for breakfast, assuring them that the long line was worth it. Boy, was it ever! I'm especially glad they got to experience the pancake goodness before the fire tragedy. My dad ordered the Mexican omelette - best one I've ever had. I can't wait til the Market Lunch gets back on its feet and I can smother more eggs in that salsa. Delish! We browsed the goods after eating, and I even guessed the location of a mystery photo from a DC area photographer, winning 50% off a purchase. We spent the afternoon at Mount Vernon, which I have surprisingly never visited in the 8 years I've lived here. I loved it! Much better than I expected, and I'll have to return soon. We took the riverboat tour, checked out the farm, the big house, and the river view was just lovely. After that we hopped on the road to Annapolis, only to find every restaurant totally packed; we didn't want to wait 90 minutes for crabcakes. What's there to do in that situation? Call in the family back-up plan, Carrabbas. Sunday morning we hit church, said goodbye, and then they were off to the airport. Even though my dad hates city traffic and always says he's never coming back, he gave DC a good report and wishes he could come back soon. I hope so, and not just because I got free food all weekend!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Time for Pie

***Update***
Dinner was really, really good, and pretty easy to make. Whip up a ham and tomato pie for your next dinner guests!
***

JO and I saw the darling movie Waitress last night - go see it! But take a napkin cause you'll drool over all the yummy pies. I've been inspired to look up many pie recipes and here is tonight's dinner.

Ham and Tomato Pie
1 (8-oz) pkg diced, cooked ham
1/2 c sliced green onions (about 4 onions)
1 (9-inch) frozen unbaked pie shell
1 T Dijon mustard
1 c (4-oz) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 medium plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 large egg
1/3 c half-and-half
1 T chopped fresh basil
1/8 tsp pepper
Garnishes: fresh basil sprigs, tomato slices
1. Saute ham and green onions in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, five minutes or until ham is brown and any liquid evaporates.
2. Brush bottom of pie shell evenly with mustard; sprinkle with 1/2 c mozzarella cheese. Spoon ham mixture evenly over cheese, and top with single layer of sliced tomatoes.
3. Beat egg and half-and-half with a fork until blended; pour over tomatoes. Sprinkle evenly with basil, pepper, and remaining 1/2 c cheese.
4. Bake on lowest oven rack at 425 for 20 to 23 minutes or until lightly browned and set. Cool on a wire rack 20 minutes. Cut into wedges to serve; garnish, if desired.

Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Pie

36 gingersnaps, finely ground (about 1 1/2 c)
6 tablespoons butter, melted
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (real chocolate please, at room temperature)
3 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 (12 ounce) package frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed
9 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 (1/4 ounce) envelope unflavored gelatin
1/3 cup orange juice
chocolate curls, for decoration (optional)

  1. Mix the butter and the gingersnap crumbs.
  2. Press onto the bottom and sides of a 9" pie pan.
  3. Freeze 15 minutes or until ready to use.
  4. Place the chocolate in a bowl.
  5. Bring 1/2 c of cream to the boiling point.
  6. Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth.
  7. Pour the chocolate mixture evenly over the bottom of the pie crust.
  8. Freeze at least 20 minutes.
  9. Cook the raspberries and sugar over medium heat until the raspberries soften (3-4 minutes).
  10. Strain the raspberry mixture to remove seeds and return to pot.
  11. Set aside.
  12. Sprinkle gelatin over orange juice, let stand 1 minute.
  13. Put pot with raspberry mixture over medium heat and stir in genatin mixture until completely dissolved.
  14. Remove from heat and pour into medium bowl.
  15. Refrigerate until mixture is the consistency of egg whites (approx 20 minutes).
  16. Whip 2 c cream with 1 tbsp sugar until stiff peaks form.
  17. Fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the raspberry mixture.
  18. Add the remaining whipped cream until just combined.
  19. Pour raspberry mixture into crust, mounding towards the center of the pan.
  20. Refrigerate 1-2 hours, until the filling is set but still soft.
  21. Whip the remaining cream and sweeten with the remaining sugar.
  22. Use to decorate the edge of the pie.
  23. Decorate with chocolate curls if desired.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

As Usual

*****Update*****
So it turns out I temporarily got what I thought I wanted. But I don't think I want that anymore. Confused? Yeah, me too.
**********

I got what I've been wanting for a little while. Let's hope this is really what I wanted and I didn't just make a huge mistake.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A Tear for George

I'm finally back from the crazed travel. Lots of stories to tell, which I hopefully get around to in the next few days. But for now, the saddest story ever, from CNN. I shed a tear at work - sniff!


WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- A plucky Jack Russell terrier named George saved five children from two marauding pit bulls, but was so severely mauled in the fight that it had to be put down, its owner said Wednesday.

George was playing with the group of children as they returned home from buying sweets at a neighborhood shop in the small North Island town of Manaia last Sunday when the two pit bulls appeared and lunged toward them, Allan Gay said.

"George was brave -- he took them on and he's not even a foot high," Gay told The Associated Press. "He jumped in on them, he tried to keep them off.

"If it wasn't for George, those kids would have copped it."

One of the children, Richard Rosewarne, 11, was quoted in the Taranaki Daily News on Wednesday as saying George fought with the pit bulls to keep them off his 4-year-old brother, Darryl.

"George tried to protect us by barking and rushing at them, but they started to bite him -- one on the head and the other on the back," Rosewarne said. "We ran off crying and some people saw what was happening and rescued George."

But George was so badly mauled that a veterinarian had to put him down, Gay said.

South Taranaki District Council official Graham Young said the two pit bulls had been impounded, and likely would be put down because of the attack.

In New Zealand, owners of dogs judged to be too aggressive can be required to have them neutered and dogs involved in attacks are destroyed.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Streak Over

I was doing so well, writing semi-regularly. And that's going to waste again for the next couple weeks most likely.

Tomorrow: Parents arrive for the weekend
Monday: Work road trip to PA. The driver already made a rule that we can't bring FunYuns and we can't stop at the outlet mall and we have to share all McDonalds Happy Meal toys. And we can't ask "Are we there yet?"
Tuesday: Fly to Westchester NY in the afternoon.
Wednesday: Spend the day in work meetings in Westchester. At least I get to sleep on a nice Marriott bed that I'm not paying for.
Thursday: Catch a flight outta Baltimore for an awesome California weekend. I know you're jealous.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Eyes Not Wide Shut

It's nearly 2am and I should've been asleep long ago, but just as I put my head on my pillow I started smelling smoke everywhere. Didn't see or hear anything suspicious, so I tried to ignore. Yep, still there..... then I heard sirens all around. I got up, checked the house, looked outside, nothing. Still smells. At least the fire station two blocks away has rather loudly dispatched all their trucks, racing down my street right outside my window. It all seems to be under control, but the fumes are still hovering over my block. I wonder if I'll hear any news in the morning about what's burning. And maybe I should finally get renter's insurance....

Paper or Plastic?

I was quite the reader when I was a child. I couldn't get enough of books. Somehow I was the kid reading aloud to my kindergarten class while my teacher graded our coloring scribbles. I had a book reading contest with Jed and Ryan in 1st grade and managed to read 700+ books in the school year.

Of course as time went on, other things took over my leisure time and by college, forget reading books. Now that I work in magazines, I've counted close to 20 that I read monthly, and my Netflix queue is ever growing. Even if I watch 2 movies each week, it's still going to take me more than 2 years to just get through the present list. I'd say it's probably my favorite medium of media and books have fallen down the list.

For some reason though, I really felt the urge to read The Namesake before seeing it in theaters. I didn't read Jhumpa Lahiri's best-known Interpreter of Maladies, but I sought this one out in a couple bookstores before I actually found it. I rushed through it in a few days, mostly eager to get to the movie before it disappears from theaters (and I was excited for some Kal Penn live action). Last night I finally got to see it, and what do you know? The book version of anything will still always win over a movie adaptation. Why couldn't I just remember this fact? Harry Potter books - movies are good, but books are better. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - classic movie, but I still think the book is better. DaVinci Code - book wins. Jane Austen novels - always better than the 59 movie versions of each book. There are hundreds of examples, but the bottom line is maybe I should have a book queue that's two years long and only watch a movie every month or so.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Hot in Herre

Nelly's a guilty pleasure, especially Hot in Herre (c'mon, you know you dance when you hear it), but this cover by Jenny Owen Youngs takes the cake! Love it!

And Kate Walsh is really amazing, I discovered today. Her homemade album is topping the charts in the UK, and I could really get into her folksy gait.

At Least My Tax Refund is Coming...

Since I really can't keep up on my current musical tastes, I'm taking that out of my side bar. Not that anyone cared, but I kinda liked keeping track of my all-over-the-place tastes. Maybe I'll be inspired next month when I get back from Coachella and I'll link all the latest and greatest bands.

I had a pretty rockin' 3.5 day Easter weekend. I ended up leaving work early on Thursday afternoon due to sudden dizziness. Came on all the sudden and didn't go away after a 4-hour nap. I'm going to blame anemia.... But I'm taking my iron pills now! I was lazy Friday since I still felt dizzy, then SAM and I saw Blades of Glory and ate some yummy Spanish food at Jaleo. Is it bad that I always take over the entire menu and ordering process at tapas places? Blades of Glory didn't rank as high as Talledega Nights, but Will Ferrell is still near the top of my comedy list. The opening scene with teal peacock had me laughing from the beginning, and some rather inappropriate comments that I won't repeat here kept me giggling.

My Saturday was darn near perfect. I actually woke up on time and made it to the gym! Amazing. Now that the weather is supposed to be warmer (supposed to be!), I'm adding Saturdays to my workout schedule. It'll be good for me if I can just get outta bed.... Niki had scheduled a facial at Aveda that she couldn't make, so I took her appointment. Lovely, relaxing, massage, hot towels, wrapped up like a burrito, soft music, so good. Perfect timing to get one - I made it through the rest of the weekend without snapping at anyone. I came home, grabbed a nap, then hit the stores. Bad habit that needs to break, but I'm on a dress-buying kick. Spring better get here so I can actually wear them!

Easter Sunday was good, excellent church, good nap, and quality time at home in the afternoon. Sadly we never got to the grocery store for eggs, so my glitter egg decorating kit still sits unused. It's not wrong to make Easter eggs after Easter, right?

Now to turn sour...I seem to be doing that a lot lately and I don't like it. But as I predicted around New Years, 2007 is going to be a really hard year and that's proving true. Another week started today without a boss. I'm still nervous how the whole situation is going to play out, but for now all I can do is stay on top of things and show that I know what I'm doing. I worked really hard all morning to prep for an early afternoon meeting that got postponed. Grr... I even went in early to get that done! Oh well. At least I got my taxes done today and that'll have some sort of monetary reward. Too bad it's not a big enough to pay off my entire credit card balance, but it'll make a nice dent.

If I can deal with the next 4 months, I will have made it through the worst of 2007. Work/boss situation, roommates married off/replacing them situation and surviving weddings all over the country that cost far too much to get to. Really, should be a breeze....

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Taking the Plunge

Busy weekend, I haven't had one of those in awhile; seemed like it was go, go go. Friday night SAM and I caught the Sk6ers at 930, along with Mattie Wertz - good night of the acoustic guitar rock singer/songwriter stuff that I used to be all over. Then we drove out to good ole Dr. Dremos to say adios to PAE, who's going back into the Army. If he's nice, I'll send Rice Krispy treats to support the troops. VA needs to get on the ball and ban smoking in bars, cause I could only stand to be in that place for about 15 minutes.

Saturday was the long-awaited lovely wedding of Dr. Dre and the Mrs in Baltimore. I thought I left my house in plenty of time, but once I drove down the wrong road about 5 times, I realized I was going to be late, and probably walking down the aisle about the same time the bride did. Thankfully that didn't happen, and all was well. Great ceremony, wonderous food at the reception (did I mention I enjoy prime rib?), and good company at the table. I was a little nervous going on my own, but kudos to the seating arrangements! Even got a new facebook friend out of it!

I raced back from Bmore to catch my HOYAS in the semifinal game at Mark Brad-Grab's place, though sadly we fell to Ohio State. I spent the evening walking from the party near the cathedral, down into Georgetown and over to Foggy Bottom. Long walk, but nice to be out and about on a lovely evening.

Sunday was GenCon, and that meant food at Robins, including some really weird Brazilian lemonade that was way too bitter for me to drink, even after dumping in a cup of sugar into a tiny glass.

I decided to take my gym notch up another level and get more workout gear for home. The gym just isn't cutting it these days; even though I feel I'm going more often, nothing is happening to my body. No inches lost, scale's not going down, and nothing is really toning. And I'm doing it all right! Maybe if I had the super fun workout ball a few times a week that will help. We'll see. I got a good workout just trying to inflate the dang thing.

Tomorrow is the usual Lost party at my house that happens on the first Wed of each month. Too bad I haven't watched in 3 weeks! I'm vigorously trying to catch up, and get through some Netflix queue which has been neglected, and read The Namesake before I see it in theaters. I love me some media consumption.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Just Another Manic Thursday

It's supposed to be a good night of the week, Grey's is on, Betty is on, weekend is starting, etc. But man, the last couple Thursdays have been nothing but crap. I think I'm going to start skipping them altogether; they stress me out. Maybe today I shouldn't have eaten all afternoon at the boss' goodbye party and happy hour, then gone to workout. My stomach feels like it's still churning on the elliptical. Not a good feeling, in case you were wondering.

Perhaps some pictures of Caroline's birthday dinner a couple weekends ago will make me feel better.
Something was really funny; maybe that 7 of us couldn't
even finish the single slice of cake we got.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Hip Hopping and Missing the Beat

Another Monday survived after a crazy weekend. The concerts exhausted me, the ward dinner party that I hosted with people I didn't know seemed awkward at times (am I really going to converse with those guests on a regular basis now? That's the point of the whole thing, but will it work? I hope so...), the Georgetown game gave me a cardio workout, and the long talks with SAM kinda drained me. At least my HOYAS are moving on!

I used to be a good dancer. I took gymnastics and dance classes, and was always the first to learn a new routine. I'd be placed in the front row, center, so everyone could watch if they got lost. I never forgot choreography. Fast forward to now, 8+ years later, yeah, I can't learn a few 8 counts in a hip hop class to save my life. I went with a couple coworkers to a drop-in class tonight, just to try it out. It was crowded; I ended up in the front and center, but it was obvious rather quickly that I've lost my dance mojo! I intended to practice at home tonight, but I've already forgotten the steps. Ah, the things of youth long gone....

Sunday, March 25, 2007

HOYAS!!

WE'RE IN THE FINAL FOUR!!!!

AGHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And A Little Piece of Tonight

I was a little more prepared with the camera tonight, and much, much closer to the stage and Snow Patrol. I'm loving my digital camera upgrade that takes video. I think I liked Silversun Pickups a little more tonight (though they're more scream-o than I thought) and OK Go - eh, not bad, didn't totally love 'em. The drive with Paul was quick and pretty painless, and a McDonald's cheeseburger is the perfect midnight road trip snack.

My favorite section of It's Beginning to Get to Me:



Second fav song - You're All I Have:


And one more, the classic Run:

Saturday, March 24, 2007

A Little Piece of Last Night

I love Snow Patrol! And I get to repeat it again tonight in Philly....woo hoo!

And I love Google, for making this all possible.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Wah!

So stressed right now. I just want to get under the covers and have people leave me alone for a few days. Oh wait, that's what this week was already for.

I want my room to be clean. I want to be able to fit into all the clothes I bought last summer. I want to clean my house and find a great recipe for the dinner party I'm hosting on Sunday. How am I going to do that if I'm spending tomorrow night at Snow Patrol in DC and most of Saturday in Philadelphia (seeing SP yet again)? How am I going to keep work under control since my boss is leaving and we won't have a replacement for awhile? Where are my keys? Haven't seen them since Sunday. Where is my remote control? What am I going to do when my roommate(s) get married and move out? How am I going to travel to all these weddings this summer and get hotels and rental cars and present and airfare without racking up more debt?

If ya gotta any answers, please share. I'll read them in a few days when I come up outta my hole.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Soundtrack to Life

Everyone else is doing it, why not me?

1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button


Opening credits: Where You End - Moby (A little ironic, but very cool song to start. Could definitely see this in a movie)

Waking up: Hard Candy - Counting Crows. (nice wake up song! Never just an ordinary girl...)

First Day at School: Silence - Sarah McLachlan and the Delerium remix (Hmmm. I probably was pretty quiet on the first day of school)

Falling in love: Meet Virginia - Train (does not descibe me at all! I want a do-over)

Fight Song: In the Waiting Line - Zero 7, from Garden State (not enought rage here)

Breaking Up: Just Another Day Without You - Jon Secada (but the Spanish version. One of the first CDs I ever bought! No entiendo come puedes estar, estar sin me....)

Prom: The Band - Mando Diao (very fun rocking song - I could get down to that)

Life's OK: Rooftop - The Hero Factor (little intense. Hmmm)

Mental Breakdown: June - Pete Yorn (I never listen to this song. Appropriate that he's playing at 930 tonight)

Driving: Sowing the Seeds - Tears for Fears (love it!)

Inner Smile: Summer Calling - Tiesto and Andain

Flashback: Have a Nice Day - Stereophonics

Getting Back Together: Happy Endings - All American Rejects (maybe things do work out)

Wedding: Sleep Don't Weep - Damien Rice (possibly the worst wedding song ever)

Birth of a Child: Chocolate - Snow Patrol (this could be the very minute I'm aware I'm alive, with a name I've never chosen, I could make my first steps as a child of 25)

Final Battle: A Little More - Jennifer Knapp (who is Jennifer Knapp?)

Death Scene: Dakota - Stereophonics (nice song to die to, I guess)

Funeral : All Time Low - Getaway Car

HOYAS

March Madness is all-consuming. I thought I was at least partially immune, able to not get fully sucked in. Nope.

I'm watching games online at work. I'm sneaking into the conference room at work to catch the end of close games. I'm thinking of reasons I need to go home from work so I can actually go to a friend's house to watch games. I'm thinking of ditching a concert on Friday that I bought tickets months ago for, just because Georgetown is playing during prime time. I'm stressed beyond belief during some games. I'm in seven pools with nearly as many brackets to keep up with. I'm crouched over during games, I'm biting my nails, I'm jumping up and down, probably making an idiot of myself. I'm talking smack all over the place, and according to Christie Pie, "For a chick you run great smack." (I'm taking that as a compliment.) All for the love of the HOYAS.

Sweet Sixteen! We made it that far last year, we're bound to reach a little farther this year. We're on a roll, let's keep it that way.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Currently Listening to Unkle Bob

Yay for the Grey's Anatomy message boards. Within 4 minutes of the last show ending, I was able to find that heartsick song that played at the end, right when Izzy and Denny had their moment. Yay for February sweeps. And even though Unkle Bob could only be downloaded thru the UK Itunes right then, someone quickly remedied that the next day. Yay for the internet.

I'm going to stop saying Yay right now.

My HOYAS are Big East Champs! If only I could figure out what to do with my bracket. I can do up to 3 different brackets on my account in my office pool. Hmm...so many scenarios.

I made a cake yesterday from scratch. Two pounds of butter in the cake and frosting. Amazing. Tastes oh-so-good. Kudos to Martha S. And I made amazing stuffed salmon and orzo with veggies and lemon juice. I'm the bomb.

FHE the last two weeks hasn't been as painful as I thought. I'm glad I went.

My grandpa from AZ called me yesterday, which he never does, and he's certain that I need to call this optometry student that gave him an eye exam a few weeks ago. He got his number for me, told him his granddaughter would be calling, and maybe we could swap pictures on the internet or "whatever you kids do these days - I don't understand it." Huh. I've done crazier things (like swapping numbers with a guy in the car next to me on the interstate or taking a 12-hour roadtrip to see a band with a girl I'd only met online). I'm considering it, just for fun.

Time for bed. Daylight savings time has really messed me up.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Back to No Imagination for Titles

I just discovered that SAM has Super Mario 3 on his computer. Like 10 minutes ago I found this out. It's 12:45am and it's gonna be a long night - I'm addicted! The music is bringing back my childhood, and I still know all the secrets. Yay for old school Nintendo!

LOST was solid tonight, I took a sick day from work (yes, I actually felt sub-par), and I had a delicious Subway sandwich for dinner after walking through the March snow. And my fridge got fixed today (though I felt really ridiculous when nothing was actually wrong with the fridge - the repair guy pointed out that the electrical socket had gone bad, and I've suffered through 10 days without fresh food, all because I didn't try a different plug. Sucks.)

I smothered lots of frosting on SAM's birthday cookie, and caught up on DVR. Life is good. If only I could manage to put away all the clothes that are hogging 2/3 of my bed....

Is This Thing On?

Alright, finally logged back into the blog account, especially since I haven't seen very many visitors to the blog in awhile; actually I've seen none. I realized today that when I made the switch from the Beta version and messed with my template, my counter code got removed - duh! I was worried. Not like anyone reads this anyway. But still, I feel better even if I see some hits.

I still have to figure out this new template thing - will I even bother to mess around with it or will it remain stagnant? Hmm... still thinking.

I'll have to update from the beginning of 2007, which make take awhile. Can't believe we're two months in already. The year is gonna fly by, I can tell.

Friday, February 16, 2007

I Haven't Forgotten!

My dear neglected blog. I promise to update you sometime over the long weekend. I need to chronicle my life, so I can remember all the fun things I'm doing!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Music Magic

'Bout time somebody did this!

I'm pretty up on the concert scene, but this little trick makes it sooo much easier. Two of my favorite things - Itunes and Pollstar - now married.

http://www.iconcertcal.com/index.php

(thanks, dre!)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

24 Hours to the Hottest Thing Ever

Tomorrow night - me, Jacin and JT.

I spent the evening commute imagining the scene at the Verizon Center: lights, backup dancers, and the hottest one of all, center stage, making us drool with his coolness. The boy can dance.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Falling Down....

I'm off to NYC in a couple hours for a work thing. Should be a good time, though possibly the coldest days I've seen so far this winter, as it currently feels like 14 degrees there. NOT fun.

Technically I HAVE updated the blog, despite someone's lack of faith in the last post. I get to count this post, as well as the sidebar updates to the music and friends' blogs. So there.

This will have to hold me over til warm spring days return.St Barths
Nevis
Anguilla

Skop-meh and the good parts of Macedonia

We arrived back in Skopje after that early bus ride from Prizren, and while we had to check out of our Airbnb apartment that morning, we we...