Monday, March 29, 2010

Pan's First Hike!

My heart is all full up! It has been over a year since I have been on a hike, but Saturday brought an end to that drought.

My sweet little Two Socks loved to go hiking, but sadly she wasn't up to that in her last few years. As such I just didn't go, I felt terrible taking Pan and leaving her behind, so we all sat it out.

Since it is now just Pan, and the weather is being cooperative, it is time to put my Coleman's back on!

I wasn't sure how the little guy was going to do, he is small of body and sometimes of spirit. He can't help it of course, I'd have some fear and such if I weighed seven pounds too! That said, I had planned on taking him out to Red Rock Canyon, but opted not since that is an hour away and I didn't know how long he would last. So we settled on a lake trail in Arcadia about 20 minutes away.

He did great! He stayed with me the entire time, never going more than fifteen feet away at any given time, always making sure we were in eye sight of each other, and was a pretty great little trail dog. He did bark at and try to run after some mountain bikers, but he came back when I called him and didn't chase after them once they rode past. We walked for about an hour, maybe around four miles, up and down, over rocks and through water. Pan was a trooper!

The walk itself was interesting. Being so close to the city I could hear highway traffic which was distracting, but there were also the sounds of birds! The trees were still bare and brown, but I found some patches of green and even some little wildflowers. It was an odd juxtaposition throughout.

It was so nice being outside. It made me long for the days of my childhood when I knew I had a week at summer camp, and then in high school and college when I had the opportunity to spend my entire summer at camp. As that is no longer an option I'll settle for day trips right now, until I can recruit my buddy into some camping, filling up my insides with the glory and wonder that is the great outdoors.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Thunder Up!

I heart our basketball team. When the Hornets were here I was a fan, I still hang my Hornet Christmas ornament on the tree every year. That said, the fan-dom I exhibited for the Hornets pales in comparison for my obsession with the Thunder.

To be fair, I love the team a lot. Russell and I had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory last month. (okay, he came in by himself and sat at the round top facing our booth) James Harden, Thabo Sefalosha, Jeff Green and of course Kevin Durant are all delightful.

They are super fun to watch (thanks Mother for the tickets) and have had an unbelievably hot season.

But, that is not why I am super stalker-friendly for the Thunder. I have three words for you: Rumble the Bison. His Teenwolf-ness is nostalgia inducing, his dancing is super impressive. His obvious sense of humor and charisma are so charming and winning.

I want Rumble to by my boyfriend.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Nectar of the Gods

This isn't a throw-back bottle, nor is it a bottle found in the back of my grandma's cupboard. No friends, this is a Dublin Dr. Pepper. So named for the town in which it is bottled, Dublin, Texas.

Other than the name, glass bottle and fun graphic design this is a regular Dr. Pepper. Oh, wait, there is one more thing. Dublin Dr. Pepper follows the original recipe. What does that mean? Sugar. Pure cane sugar. There is no high fructose corn syrup in the glass wonderland you see before you; rather the sweet delight that is sugar.

For those of you that have never had one, let me tell you, it is life changing. Dr. Pepper is sweet, out of all of the leading brands I'd wager that it is the sweetest of all. That said, Dublin Dr. Pepper takes that sweet to a heavenly plane.

To put it into standardized test form:
Diet DP:Regular DP as Regular DP:Dublin DP

I'm obsessed with it. I had my first bottle by chance and without any knowledge of the sugar situation in Tuttle, Oklahoma. That is relevant because it illustrates how oddly distributed Dublin Dr. Pepper is. I can't get a bottle in OKC, but Tuttle (super small town) has them in spades. After some research I learned that was because of limited distribution rights.

This little guy came from Pop's in Arcadia (also a really small town), OK. Now that I have found some place relatively close by I can drink them quickly, with carefree and reckless abandon sans fear that it may be my last bottle.

I feel like the world should know about this.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Oh, Gilad!

So I am portly; akin to Anna Nicole, before she started taking TrimSpa, and Al Roker, pre-gastric bypass.

I'm not bragging, far from it. I'm as grossed out at myself as I am of the 1,000 lb man mowing through a 2-liter.

I want to go to the gym, but sleep is oh, so seductive. As of this week I haven't been able to bring myself to get up early enough to get to the gym, or even to work on time. It's fine.

So in order to stave of the self-loathing I have turned to the fitness channel. Yep, I am doing tv aerobics. It is as glorious as it sounds.

I dabble in a variety of shows, thank you DVR, but my mainstay is Total Body Sculpt with Gilad. If you have ever seen the Dana Carvey/Kevin Nealon sketches with Hans and Franz; "I want to pump.... you up!" you have witnessed the glory of Gilad. I swear I think he was the inspiration for those sketches. In yesterday's episode (which included 24 squat jumps that made me cry) he said, and I swear it is true, "I'm here to out!" It was amazing.

Obviously I feel like a complete idiot doing this. I'm in socks in my bedroom doing these semi-ridiculous biometric (his word) exercises that actual take effort on my part with my buddy popping his head in to mock me in facial and verbal expression. Awful in every way.

The only thing more embarrassing than me "working out" with Gilad is my burgeoning girth. So I shall embarrass myself, to myself, for a while longer until my jeans button and I don't fear blowing the ass out when I sit, or walk or even just take a deep breath.

Oh, another horrific-ness that accompanies this situation is the fact that Gilad does his show on Waikiki Beach. The entire time his abs and Diamond Head are just laughing at me from the 80 degree, trade wind cooled, oceanside wonder that is Hawai'i.

Best/worst part of my day.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Potatoes Two Ways

I'm obsessed with potatoes. I like them baked, fried, mashed, smashed, au gratin, diced, sliced, crinkle cut, yellow, purple, and baking. I am to potatoes what Bubba was to shrimp.

So this week we had our snow storm (bracketed by 70 degree days) on the first day of spring which read to me as: make some soup buddy! So I did. Once upon a time I used to make classic potato soup. I used heavy cream, three different types of pork, and it was lovely. In college one of my coworkers introduced me to a super quick, equally bad for you, but in a cheaper way, version of potato soup. This involved a quart of whole milk, a log of velveeta and the addition of broccoli.

This weekend I opted for a combination of the two. In lieu of cream I stuck to the velveeta and whole milk with the glorious salty heaven that is salt pork and bacon. I threw in some broccoli so I could justify eating two bowls and then I proceeded to gorge myself on soup. I have managed to save enough to take to school with me to tomorrow for lunch. I wish I hadn't. I get a little soup drunk when I eat this, I don't want the kids to see me like that...

I also attempted a new way to play with potatoes. My latest Everyday Food came with what at first glance seemed like a little nugget of heaven. Potato Croquettes, which was a reader friendly way to say fried mashed potatoes. I'm in.

I boiled my potato, drained and then began my mashing process. Loads of butter, heaps and mounds of cheese and a splash of milk. Eek. I think the splash of milk was not a good choice-we'll get to that. These were the best mashed potatoes that had entered my mouth. I wanted to go full blown eating disorder and hide in the closet until the bowl was clean. But I didn't. Yay! Restraint!

Time to batter. It was a form, flour, egg wash, and bread crumb situation. Enter the milk trauma. My mashed were runny, and sticky, not a consistency that rendered a forming process gracefully. I did a test run, it didn't go well, fried her up and served her to my buddy. My once delectable mashed potatoes were bland and boring now. Though piping hot and fried... Okay more cheese, a lot more cheese, and a better forming plan. And the addition of some chopped jalapenos to cut the creamy blandness and we were back in business.

They were okay. I think sauteed onions and some sort of herb situation is needed. There needs to be something sharp, almost acidic inside these little bundles of fried starch. Or maybe some bacon...

I'm not thrilled with them, but I'm not giving up on them either. That is how much I love my little carbohydrate laden friends.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Handle With Care

My mother loaned this book to me, as she does with most of the books I read. I kind of want to kick her for that.

Don't get me wrong, I knew, in part at least, what I was getting myself into with this. Jodi Picoult likes to rip out your heart, score it with a cheese grater and sprinkle lemon juice on top. As if that weren't enough, as you are licking your wounds she sucker punches you, every time, leaving you gasping for air like a trout on a stringer.

Note: If you have seen My Sister's Keeper and think you have a clue as to what it means to read one of her stories, you are sadly mistaken. I never bothered to see it, due to my love for the story and my unwillingness to taint my memory of it and the lackluster (at best) reviews it received; however if you did see it please do your best to forget it and read the book.

As for Handle With Care, I was crying on the first page. Weeping silently on the couch as my buddy watched basketball. My mother took weeks to read it because she would get so emotionally overwrought that she had to step away. I took a slightly different approach. I would pour into this book hoping against hope to desensitize myself to the pain coating each page. It didn't work. Not even close.

When something particularly gut wrenching would happen I would invariably make a noise of some sort. A groan or gasp or whimper that would alert my buddy to the impending recitation that he in no way welcomed. It began page one (as did the tears if you'll recall) and he told me not to tell him one more word from or about the book. It was that heavy. Needless to say I couldn't stop. The final words from the book and that I subjected him to prompted him to tell me that I was never allowed, under any circumstances, to read another word by Jodi Picoult to him ever again.

This book is amazing.

Things break all the time. Glass, and dishes, and fingernails. Cars, and contracts and potato chips. You can break a record, a horse, a dollar. You can break the ice. There are coffee breaks and lunch breaks and prison breaks. Day breaks, waves break, voices break. Chains can be broken. So can silence, and fever.
For the last two months of my pregnancy, I made lists of these things, in the hopes that it could make your birth easier.
Promises break.
Hearts break.

Two Socks Like a Little Indian

Two Socks is the best good girl dog ever. I got her in October 2001 and night one she had me calling my mother in tears/laughter. That little red dog had been laying on my leg and blegh, yacked all over me. I was wearing linen pants and had no idea what to do to clean it appropriately.

Thus began my life with that little lady.

We lived in a tiny little apartment (360 sq feet), and then a few years later a tiny little house (900 sq feet) and the last couple of years of her life we were in a palatial home together. No matter what house we were in she was the best companion one could ask for.

She didn't bark very much, but when she did it was tough getting her to settle back down! All or nothing was that little lady. Not much of a barker, but she did have a yodel/dying goat scream that she unleashed when she thought she was being treated unfairly. If her brother got to go on a walk and she didn't (it is hard to walk 2 dogs at once...) this horrendous, unearthly squeal/whine/cry would ring out. Poor miserable, mistreated little girl.

She loved to eat, and had a big palate. Veggies and fruits were her friends, and she loved to get down on a bone. I mean seriously, those compressed rawhides were gone with the quickness in her jaws. Her other great love in life was sleeping. Just like her mom, she was a napper. And we did quite a bit of it in our time together.

She was practically perfect in every way. I miss her every day.

Spring Break Snow

First of all, Oklahoma weather, you are taking it too far. We get it. You are mercurial, unpredictable, and ever-changing, trust me we know. Enough already. It was 70 yesterday, I had the back door open so the four-footed ones could come and go at their leisure, today we have forced Pan into a hoodie and Mali has been holed up in the dog house and refusing to hang out in the climate controlled interior that we are enjoying.

That said I love that we are cool again because I can justify making myself some potato soup! I'm really excited for what is on the menu today. We started with venison breakfast burritos, we are going to have wings and potato skins for lunch and then some shrimp pasta* for dinner. *I'm going to try spaghetti squash instead of pasta with mine. I'm more than a little nervous about that. I'm not too sure when I plan on eating my soup, but I'll figure it out.

The countdown is on! 20+ days until we get to bring Augie home. I'm excited and more than a little nervous. It has been a long time since I have potty trained a puppy, and I'm freaking out about the sleeping situation. Pan, the most spoiled creature to have walked the planet, sleeps under the covers with us. Augie, however, will be way to big for that kind of sleep situation when she grows up, so starting her on the bed seems like a bad idea...