Monthly Archives: June 2010

Mad Taco Salad Skills

For this recipe adventure I will begin with the taco seasoning I found on the internet somewhere and have now lost the link to:

1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

For ours I used about half of the yield.  The rest can be stored in a container in the cupboard.

Other ingredients:

1 lb of hamburger
1 can of black beans
lettuce (we used romaine)
sour cream
salsa
cheese (you don’t need very much.)
water

Brown the hamburger, put in half the taco seasoning, 1/2 cup of water, and the black beans.  Let that simmer and reduce.  Once that’s ready.  Put some lettuce in a bowl, meat, salsa, sour cream, and cheese on top.  The only real pointer I have for it is that you should probably rinse the beans a few times to get rid of their weird can liquid.  That’s really about it.  It’s tasty, filling, has some fiber, not many carbs and tastes delightful.  We plan to add this into our rotation of the good recipes.  This includes the enchiladas and the chicken salad.

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Holiday (1938)

The Holiday was a cute little movie that I thoroughly enjoyed.  It even won the academy award for art direction in 1939.  It is based around the Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, George Cukor trio, that was made famous by the Philadelphia Story later on.

The premise of this film is that Grant playing a man named Johnny Case falls in love with Hepburn’s younger sister, Julia.  Johnny comes from a working class family, but on his first vacation ever he meets Julia Seton, played by Doris Nolan.  She comes from an incredibly wealthy family and when she takes him home to meet the family, he meets Linda Seton, her oddball older sister.  Even though Julia and Johnny have only known one another for a short time frame, they plan an engagement and wedding.

In a plot twist, Johnny is on the verge of a major business success that will allow him to take the extended holiday that he has always wanted.  He believes that if he is going to vacation and play he should do it when he is young, instead of when he is too old to appreciate it.  There is much tumult over the engagement and several high society people are very snooty to both Linda and Johnny in this process.  After a fight, Johnny and Linda dance alone together.  At this point it becomes clear that they are meant for one another and are madly madly in love.

Julia and Dad try to pressure Johnny into joining the family business after his success and while he initially revolts, they get him to acquiesce.  Johnny’s revolt is then reinforced by their younger brother, Ned who has given up trying to do anything with his life, and been driven to drink by the intense business demands of his father.  There are a few plot points along that way that I have skipped, but both Johnny and Linda are able to extricate themselves from the intense demands of Linda’s family and escape.  He leaves to go to France with his parental figures who have met Linda and love her dearly.  From there, Linda asks Julia if she ever really loved him.  When Julia says that she didn’t and she’s relieved, Linda flies out of the house and manages to get on the boat to France.

Happy Endings for all!

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Dear God, It Hurts!

H and I are not particularly fit people.  We are closer to the opposite, in fact.  I have a better track record for working out, but that isn’t necessarily reflected in our appearances.  Anyway, we have started going to the gym together instead of having old gym memberships separate from one another.  We got the new membership.  It’s 24 hour and should all be great.  This new fitness oriented gusto has been dampened somewhat by the death cold of summer that has me in its grasp and will not let me go.  EVER.  It’s difficult to want to work out and really get a good sweat going when I am this guy.  That’s right.  The summer cold is so bad that I have turned into a red headed child with a green face.  It is THAT bad.

In reality it is more like a constant cough, body aches, ear pain, sinus pressure, post-nasal drip and all of that kind of stuff, but for illustration purposes, I should be cowering under my blue plaid blanket in my undersized bed right now.

There have been a few occasions where I persevered and went to the gym anyway, but had to stop my cardiovascular improvement after about ten minutes because I was about to die from my lungs imploding in upon themselves.  My cilia are not happy and wiggly.  They are mad, mad little cilia trapped in phlegm and when I freed them from their phlegm prisons, they tried to exact their revenge by making me gag to death.

This led me to some more extensive weight lifting than I would normally do.  After all, if I’m only doing ten minutes of cardio, then I should probably make up for it elsewhere.  Well, that was also a bad plan.  I did my triceps, did my deltoids and then I did a bicep machine.  I had to take the bicep machine down to the second wimpiest setting it had. I did 2 sets of 15 and two days later my arms still hurt every time I fully extend them.  My forearm muscles are screaming at me for being cruel to them. 

At this rate, I will never achieve my goal of looking like one of the super awesome women body builders.  I will never get to have deltoids bigger than my hands.  It just doesn’t seem fair.  I’m off to work to wimper in pain for my poor forearms and stare at this woman’s thighs because they are ridiculous.

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Crafting Snowflakes

I had a roommate in college who was very into knitting.  She did it a lot of the time in all of the different seasons.  She started with scarves and moved onto a blanket, socks, hats and mittens.  I was never as ambitious as she was, but she inspired me to branch out into my own crafts.  This has led me to making lots of scarves, particularly for friends and family.  From there I branched out into crochet, because I needed a change.  I crocheted a blanket with lots of yarn and lots of time that I don’t really use, but it’s pretty.  This blanket led me to the discovery that I detest blankets with holes.  Oh well.

As I have previously mentioned I like Christmas things.  Due to my increase in free time, I have started thinking about how H and I will need our very own Christmas stockings, along with an ornament to represent our first married Christmas.  In my search for stockings I came upon these beauties by Martha Stewart.  I don’t necessarily love the doily things around the top, but I will tell you what I do love.  I love the snowflakes on the stockings.  They are incredibly charming and really quite adorable.  On the very same post I found a garland made out of the snowflakes.  I don’t know if it is because I love snowflakes in general or if these particular snowflakes make me want Christmas right here and now.  I am also sure the 90 degree heat has nothing to do with my snowflake desires.

Because these snowflakes are so stinking cute, I am going to try and make these snowflakes myself.  The direction’s are all on Martha’s website, but the short version is that you crochet the snowflakes, then pin them, starch them, and hang them for all to admire.  I think I might use elmer’s glue and water instead of starch so they’re more permanently stiff, but we’ll see when the time comes.

I have had a fiber craft respite in grad school for lack of time and burn out from my blanket, but I think these snowflakes may get me back into the swing of things.  I got my crochet hooks out and some random yarn I have to give one a go tonight.  I messed it up, but the project still seems manageable.  This is good because I should probably start the snowflakes now if I am going to have any hope of having a decent number of them by Christmas, as I am sure the first batch will turn out incredibly wonky.  Tomorrow the craft store better watch out because I am going to be snowflaking my summer away.  At least I think I am.

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Chicago Pictures

Out with Friends in the evening

Aquarium Turtle

Sting Ray

Penguins!

Rock Lobster!

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Scary Things

My sister and I generally have very similar taste in television.  We both love lots of the same shows, so I trusted her judgment when she recommended Supernatural.  Late two nights ago when I was up feeling like warmed over death, I started watching the first episode.  What she didn’t tell me about this series, is that it is horror and suspense based.  You can see from the photograph that the series is terribly terribly serious.  This becomes obvious from the wispy clouds and the incredibly stern expressions on the faces of the two lead actors.  I should have known to look up some screen savers/advertisements before watching the show so I would be better prepared to cope with the potential for fright.

My sister claimed that Supernatural was a lot like Buffy the Vampire certainly has some suspenseful components, but they’re not the majority of the series.  My sister then proposed that Hush, an episode of Buffy, is the scariest thing she’s ever watched and I just don’t agree.

For the non Buffy geeks: There was one episode of Buffy in the fourth season where these super creepy floating men came to Sunnydale, stole everyone’s voices.  They need at least seven hearts to survive before they go back into demon anonymity.  This episode was significant for a few reasons.  1. It was almost completely non-vocal, which is unusual in a television show.  2. It was supposed to be a musical episode, but Xena: Warrior Princess had just done a musical episode and Joss Wheadon didn’t want to seem like a copycat.  (This episode was moved to season six and titled: Once More with Feeling.)  3. Buffy and Riley find out that they are both nighttime super secret demon fighters. 4. Willow and Tara support each other to fight off the Hush demons.  From this, their true love begins to sprout.

Now that I have established a bit of background for Hush and my extreme nerd credentials, I honestly have to say that I don’t find Hush all that scary.  There are certainly some suspenseful parts, like when Tara is running from the Hush demons, but I was not ever frightened that they would not save the day.  Perhaps by that time, I was firmly entrenched in my faith in Buffy’s slayer skills, knowing she would be able to handle whatever they happened to dish out and I lack the same faith in Dean and Sam.  We’ll see if I can develop the faith in them I had in Buffy.  At this point, I’m not optimistic.

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Big Head Problems

I am having big head issues.  I come from a long line of Vikings.  I don’t know if it is a Scandinavian thing or something specific to my family, but I have a big head.  This causes me problems.  For instance, I can’t buy cheap hats from silly accessory stores.  No cute little fedoras for me.  I also can’t wear lots of head bands because they dig in behind my ears and hurt me.  Most of the time, my head size does not adversely affect me, but I’m having issues lately.

I have been going to the gym off and on since the wedding and having serious issues with the size of my cranium.  I got a haircut so my hair does not go up in a ponytail any longer.  It’s layered, so pigtails don’t work.  As a result, my fine, thick hair is all up in my business every time I work out and get sweaty.  As a result, I’ve been annoyed with my hair and exercise in general, which is not a good outlook in this little life.  Upon the recommendation of a friend, I got some bondi bands.  They are supposed to wick sweat, hold hair back and basically be a miracle.  They aren’t.  They aren’t miraculous at all.  They don’t stay on my head any more effectively than anything else.  This is not good.  Even grippy headbands with the rubber showing don’t grab my hair because it’s so straight and apparently my head is very slopey.  I have therefore resorted to the skinny plastic headbands that can be purchased in six packs for cheap from walmart/target/other generic stores.

H also has a big head.  His is notably big, so much so, that he had to get glasses that come in a bigger size than normal, and they still eat into the sides of his head a bit. Being as we are married and will theoretically reproduce with my husband someday, we may have children with ENORMOUS heads.  I hope they don’t look like unfortunate bobble heads as they age.  I feel that would be a source of mockery that I just don’t want them to have to deal with.

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