You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2008.

(Sorry for the delay. I’m distracted by McCain/Palin, which I will weigh in on after this post…)

QUASI-MEANINGLESS CALENDRICAL OCCURRENCES!

  • Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival and Fair in Morgan City, LA.  Come and celebrate the shrimping and petroleum industries of Louisiana. And eat petroleum soaked shramp cocktail.
  • More Herbs, Less Salt Day.  “Healthier Zestier and Lustier!” To celebrate, Stephen and I are seeing Pineapple Express.
  • Oatmeal Festival in Oatmeal, Texas. I wonder if they have oatmeal wrestling versus that Quaker Oat.

And a very Happy Birthday to…

  • Sir Richard Attenborough (85) Brother to my very favorite, Sir David Attenborough. Otherwise I have little use for Richard. I mean, Gandhi, yadda, yadda, yadda, but bring on Sir David!
  • Richard Gere (59) “So I had this friend, whose cousin’s sister-in-law’s uncle worked at this hospital…”
  • Michael Jackson (50) This morning Stephen and I were laying in bed listening to NPR when they announced this birthday and we both, almost simultaneously said “Michael Jackson is FIFTY?” Gross.
  • John Sidney McCain (72)  (Cue Alec Baldwin voice) “John McCain made the massively stupid political blunder in the Summer of his 72nd year…”
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I found this book at my desk called “CHASE’S Calendar of Events 2008.” in which each day of the year is presented with various celebrations, holidays and celebrity birthdays.

Being that I obviously lack the motivation to write something substantial every day, but completely posses the motivation to stay un-productive at work… I bring you “QUASI-MEANINGLESS CALENDRICAL OCCURRENCES

Today is:

  • The National Sweetcorn Festival begins today in Hoopeston, Illinois. Includes 29 tons of free corn on the cob, nationally sanctioned beauty pageant, carnival, flea market, horse show, demolition derby, bands and talent show.

    Yum!

    Yum!

  • Today is the anniversary of the beginning of Radio Commercials.  WEAF in New York ran a commercial “spot”  sponsored by Queensboro Realty Corp. So let’s take our time today to sing our most loathed radio jingle… “SPORT CHALET (Sport Chaleeeeeet!!!!!!)”
  • We take you to the limit!

    "We take you to the limit!"

  • Race Your Mouse Around the Icons Day is celebrated today. The description in the book reads, and I quote “While you’re waiting for any number of endless items to finally come up on your screen, don’t just sit there. Race your mouse in and around the icons. You’ll feel peppy doing it.” Then proceed to try and ingest your mouse. Ugh. Pay me to make up this crap.
  • Squeak!

    Squeak!

  • Today is also the 45th Anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech. And the night that Barry O’Bama makes his acceptance speech at the DNC. Life is g-o-o-d. But would be better if I were with my PEOPLE.
  • Barack pointing directly in the direction of 1417 Greenup Street in Covington, Kentucky Yo, Girl!

Happy Birthday to…

  • Jason Priestly (39) And still unreasonably goofy looking.
  • LeAnn Rimes (26) Awkward prom songstress extraordinaire.
  • Daniel Stern (51) The Wettest Bandit of them all.
  • Shania Twain (43) “Shania HATES mayo.”

Autumn is now within sight on the calendar. Pretty soon it’s going to be too cold to step outside without a sweatshirt and just the perfect temperature for extra blankets and splurges of hot chocolate.

Last Autumn I had the massive pleasure of visiting Mrs. Tracy Kay and her Husband, Cameron, in their beautiful new home just outside of Washington DC. While I was there Tracy and I splurged on our love of all things pumpkin, including pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin beer (accompanied by AMAZING seafood) and pumpkin pie pudding.

And as I sit at my desk and start to plan my storytime activities for the fall I can’t help but develop autumn-time cravings for these treats.

In fact, tonight I am going to walk to Kroger, buy one can of pumpkin, some snack packs of pudding and make the Pumpkin Pie Pudding that got me through last Autumn. Delicious.

Here’s how it shakes down:

1/2 cup canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)

1 snack pack of vanilla pudding (I tend to go for fat-free or sugar-free)

Nutmeg, Cinnamon and All Spice to taste

Mix those bad boys up in a bowl and if you’re feeling especially brave, you’ll toss on some whipped topping (if you want to be “good” about it, go with some FF or SF Cool Whip)

This has come to define Autumn for me right along side pumpkin seeds, blustery days and apple cider. Sing it from the mountain tops. Pumpkin Pudding is Back in Town.

 

UPDATE: Last night Phen and I shared a bowl. Yum-E.

I really wish I were in Denver.

If I only had a brain.

If I only had a brain.

Whenever you relocate to a region, one of the most exciting things to try is the local flavors and specialties. You tend to ask your first friends what the area is holds culinary fame for and they will give you a list. When I first moved to Cincinnati, the three things that were really stressed towards my palette were Graeter’s Ice Cream, Montgomery Inn BBQ and Cincinnati Chili (which can be purchased at Skyline Chili, Dixie Chili, Gold Star Chili, or a random sprinkling of other small-scale eateries.)

Yum.

Yum.

Graeter’s Ice Cream was one of the first things that I tried in moving to the area. And I loved it. Not only because I love ice cream, but because I feel like it’s quality and also an experience. Of course I’ve heard that there is “better” out there, and I am sure there is. I mean this is coming from the girl who prefers Rite Aid ice cream to Cold Stone any day of the week back in good old Calabasas, California, U.S.A. But Graeter’s is good. I’m not crazy about this Raspberry Chip thing that you all seem to love, but it’s not anything personal. I’d just rather the chocolate or the raspberry on its own. No big. I’ve always been a classic vanilla girl anyways. And something being better than Dreyer’s/Edy’s? Get real.

My good friend George and I grab some ribs to go.

My good friend George and I grab some ribs to go.

Montgomery Inn was a food that I looked forward to a taste test of, but being as I don’t eat out too much and when I do it’s not to anywhere too swank or expensive because, well, I’m poor, it didn’t happen too quickly. But, a few weeks ago when Stephen’s good friend Louis was in town, in an extremely sweet gesture, he took me and Stephen there for dinner. It was quite delicious and I get why it’s such a big deal. Well done, Cincinnati. Well done, Montgomery Inn.

But… Here’s the one that we’re just not going to reconcile.

Nope.

Nope.

My introduction to Cincinnati Chili was in June 2007 when my brother Iain and I were visiting the area and looking for a place to eat. Skyline was recommended by a local, and though I am generally opposed to any kind of fast food, I took into consideration Iain’s affinity for chili and my hunger pangs and we booked it to a Skyline in Newport. As I said previously, I really don’t like fast food and the photos and presence of how they were making this food didn’t make it any more appetizing, so I ordered a side salad while Iain ate the 5-way. I tried a bite and didn’t know what to make of what was in my mouth. Sweet? Cinnamon? Spaghetti? It certainly wasn’t any representative of the chili I had grown up eating, but in any case, I didn’t like it. Iain wasn’t crazy about it either, but he ate his plate and we moved on. There. I had tried Cincinnati Chili and wasn’t crazy about it. Didn’t have a desire to try it again. Moving on.

And so it went. I had gotten along just fine without digesting it, and every time someone found out I wasn’t from the area and needed to know if I had tried Cincinnati Chili I’d explain that I had but wasn’t crazy about it. “BLASPHEMOUS!!! How could you NOT LIKE CINCINNATI CHILI!? Well, maybe you’ll like Gold Star.” Nope. “Just don’t think of it as Chili.” Well, it’s still gross… soo…

Aside from the fact that it’s fast food, which I hate, and a pretty low form of it at that, it just doesn’t taste that good to me. And I’m not going to subject myself to it just because it’s something that everyone else likes and is convinced I will one day like. Sorry. No can do. Moving along. There’s just no need to eat that.

So, go ahead. Eat your Cincinnati Chili and enjoy it. I hope you do. But in the meantime, let’s just make peace over the fact that some of us just don’t dig it as much, capiche?

"Munkee!"

“Munnkee!”

8/15/2008

8/15/2008

Okay, so this is simply pathetic. 
Great Warrior Princess, Fran LaVilla

 
Great Warrior Princess, Fran LaVilla

I would first and foremost like to extend an olive branch to my good friend and comrade, Fran LaVilla who has been doing a fRantastic job of representing the young and fabulous females of Northern Kentucky on her blog, Being Fran(k). Warrior woman, she is.

But this business of blogging thing has gotten tragically away from me. I have hope that I can still turn it around into something slightly more consistent and interesting than it has been, but promises cannot be made via such a presently feeble medium of communication.

Haunted House

But for an update, because one might be apparently necessary: The World has been kind to me recently and it has not gone unnoticed.  I have recently moved into a fantastic Covington apartment with Stephen. It’s the first floor of a giant renovated historic mansion home on tree-lined Greenup Street and is more space than either of us know what to do with. Everyday when we come home from work we both comment on how much we love our present locale and all the fun things we hope to do with our new space. There’s a porch perfect for conversation and consumption and the weather has been absolutely beautiful for such treats.

I know I’ve mentioned it before, either here or on other blogging endeavors, but I am in the process of making much more of an effort to be trendy like everyone else and Go Green. I’m kidding. Well, kidding about the trendy thing, but I truly feel that there is something to be said for doing this Green Thing and doing it Right. I am in the process of reading Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. It’s phenomenal. I adore it and you MUST read it (go to your local Library!). It will end your dietary existence as your know it.  The realization for me comes on strong as in the past few years I have become very aware of my dietary trends and leaning towards what I thought was healthier. But healthier mainly translated to “fewer calories.” So I am drawn like a moth to a flame in the supermarket to anything marketed as “low fat” or “100 calorie pack” or “Sugar Free.” It’s worked out well for how I wanted to work, but at what cost? In reading so many of these labels I couldn’t even begin to describe what some of those ingredients may or may not be. Why would I want to eat that? Why would I want to subject my digestive system to something that it has no idea how to digest? I am convinced that these chemicals and substances that are in almost everything we eat, put there to preserve shelf life to turn a better profit, are what is leading to so many of the health crises we experience in this country. Not to mention, how much of our food (produce especially) is shipped from all over the world. This book pushes pretty hardcore the idea of Locavore and I love it. The idea of sitting down at your dinner plate and being able to say “I know where my food came from.”  Surely when we shop at Kroger and bring our veggies and meats home for dinner and sit down to eat, we aren’t aware that the majority of our produce is from California or Florida and our meat is from animals that are eating what they’re not meant to be eating on some big factory farm far, far away.  Aside from all the processing and chemical additives that are put into this food to make it last longer and reach our table before spoil, the massive amounts of gasoline and oil that is put into getting the food to us is staggering. And with the rising cost of fuel and energy, this is reflected in the price tag. At the beginning of A,V,M,(which is also written by Kingsolver’s daughter Camille and husband Stephen), it is pointed out that if every family in America at one meal a week that was grown locally, we would save around 1.1 million barrels of oil a week.

So why can’t we shop local? Why can’t we attend Farmer’s Markets or find a local bakery or better yet, bake our own bread? There is no reason. None. The arguments that I have heard against shopping at a Farmer’s Market make no sense to me at all.  In my experience, it’s cheaper, it’s easier, it tastes infinitely better and you get to meet your neighbors and engage in conversations with the people who have known the tomato you put on your plate from seedling to a big, beautiful, bustling red beauty. You appreciate the specialized art of farming as opposed to the speed of cross country produce travel.

I’m not really counting my calories these days and I feel better. Sure, I still have to venture to Kroger just like the rest of us, but it has been a while since I have bought stickered produce stacked in fluorescent light and armed with automatic misters that keep it looking brighter, greener and more attractive. I’ve been reading labels more and if I can’t derive the origin of the ingredients into something I am familiar with, back on the shelf it goes and onward to something natural and possibly organic. It might cost more, but don’t you think that some things, like the avoidance of childhood obesity, diabetes and heart disease are worth the pricetag it takes. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. As I said before, utilize your local resources and play in the kitchen. You never know what might surprise you most.

Okay, so that ended up carrying on way longer than expected, but I think it’s necessary. I apologize for the rant tone, but it’s my blog and I will bitch if I want to. I apologize for cursing.

In addition to the food project, I am making a serious effort to utilize public transportation. Again, this is another excellent resource that I find little excuse acceptable for ignoring its presence. If it goes near or around your place of employment and/or residence, “I don’t want to wake up that early” isn’t good enough.  This morning Stephen and I had to catch the bus at around the same time to get to work and it truly was a fantastic morning. We woke up, got dressed and I made our lunches while he cooked us breakfast. We sat and ate, had a cup of coffee and then walked the near mile to the Covington Transit Center to catch our respective charters to work. It was nice. I loved this morning. Walking in the cool morning and admiring our new neighborhood and taking mental notes of local haunts that we should soon explore. He calms me yet leaves me terribly excited and energetic all the time. It’s an addicting combination and a phenomenal way to start the weekend.

Tonight we are having our beautiful friend Taylor over for eggplant parmesan and perhaps a game of Scrabble or even a movie. I’m not quite sure.

This is an adventure, Kids. Go with the flow, but hold on tight. And don’t forget to write.

8/2008

8/2008

8/2008

8/2008