Everybody have a GREAT long weekend!!
Tomorrow, I PROMISE, ADVENTURE!!
Day 59: Met J9 and SacB and R and B23 after work, then retired to do about a billion drafts of the upcoming adventure. I'm going to share all of the details starting tomorrow, but will withhold the final until Monday.
Everybody have a GREAT long weekend!!
Tomorrow, I PROMISE, ADVENTURE!!
Day 58: YOUR University of South Carolina Gamecocks beat Vanderbilt!
There's a BIG bout of adventure coming up this weekend, so I'm going to close this here.
Day 57: We had a lovely little lunch at work, with everyone eating healthy food from home. It was pleasant and fun, with smiles around the table. I'm very fortunate to have such wonderful, delightful, charming and pleasant friends in my life.
And then I CRUSHED R at racquetball.
Truly, just completely crushed him. Like a bug. A loveable bug, sure, but a bug nonetheless. I ground his fragile ego beneath my ironshod heel and then I called his momma to brag about it. Women, gathering to witness the event, swooned. THEY SWOONED.
Oh, hang on.
That's the exact opposite of what happened.
I, gentle reader, was the one who was completely crushed. My ego, mine own, was ground beneath his rubbershod heels. I believe he may actually have phoned my momma to brag about it. There were no women. There was no swooning (actually, there WERE women, but by the looks on their faces I think they were mostly impatiently waiting for us to finish. It's like swooning, I guess...).
I am the bug in this story, friend.
A loveable little bug.
Seriously, 'twas all in good fun, and really just an excuse to run around for an hour, and a tip o' the hat to Sir R for joining me on this particular bit of the Sacramento Adventure.
And for crushing me like a bug (15-6, 15-2, 15-4).
Day 56: And so we come at last to the day where Mitt Romney is formally nominated as the Republican Party's presidential candidate in the 2012 race.
I will not be voting for Mr. Romney, but I have friends who might be. I don't hate him, though. The vitriol of the political world is a little chilling these days.
* Note the GOP conventioneer who was ejected after throwing peanuts at an African-American camera woman from CNN, saying, "This is how we feed animals."
* There's the guy who is suggesting that women's bodies can distinguish between different kinds of rape, and can reject illegitimate rape babies.
* A group of American Army soldiers in Georgia were conspiring to amass weapons, detonate bombs, and assassinate the President; when one of them balked, they killed him (in December) and then killed his 17 year old girlfriend to keep the whole plot secret. The murder investigation led to a lot of arrests this week.
These are three distinct levels of insanity, but they're all tied together by the thread of being directed at other Americans. We've successfully, somehow, cultivated the "us versus them" mentality, rather than the "we're all in this together" mentality that drove our country to glory and success during the second World War. I recognize that we had a clear enemy then, and we do not currently. I recognize that it's much easier to demonize the left than to focus on the actual threats to this nation, because the threats are complicated and far away, and the left guys are just right over there in the corner, holding up signs that clearly identify who they are.
People on the left have derided the Republican party as insane (Michelle Bachman didn't help). The people on the right have decried the Democrats as useless.
But at the end of the day, all of us are just Americans, right? And I think we can find it in our hearts not to hate each other, even if we disagree.
Oh, I'm sorry, there was just this soapbox, you see, and it was just sitting there...
Anyway, today, I did strength training with R.
He's a lot stronger than I am.
Day 55: R belongs to a very nice gym. It's got everything you'd expect in a gym, and a few little extras that are nice. They do your laundry, for one thing. There's a jacuzzi, and a steam room. They have all of the excercise machines ever created in the history of mankind, and a few that I think have been created, originally, as torture devices (there's this ladder thingy that is basically a treadmill of climbing a ladder; as you speed up, it speeds up, and soon you're climbing this ladder to nowhere like you're being pursued by a horde of rabid monkeys!).
And, deciding that my physical health is now a priority for me, I now also belong to a very nice gym. Our first workout was a wakeup call (boot camp was quite a while ago for some of us...), but it hurt in just the way that that first workout always hurts.
We're pretty much athletes, is what I'm saying.
We're basically professional football players, at this point.
We're essentially sculpted Greek Gods.
It's a REALLY nice gym!
Day 54: Proscuitto chips. Radish powder.
Dehydrators give a man too much power.
Delicious, delicious power.
R and I enjoyed a great shrimp boil this weekend, highlighted by dehydrated goodies and his magically delicious popcorn (he does a thing with smoked salt and rosemary).
You know, sometimes, I feel a little down. Not often, because I recognize that my life is pretty wonderful, but sometimes I just feel blue.
However, all that gets blown away in a heartbeat whenever I come across this little treasure, which lives in my backpack, courtesy of the cutest little seven-year-old girl in the world.
Day 53: You know, The Postman is really not as bad as people remember. I think it kind of got smacked with the Waterworld bat. Costner was doing some really interesting stuff there for a while. There is one scene where a young postal carrier, named "Ponytail" in the credits, gets all moony over Costner, and shyly asks him to dance, just as he walks over to the woman he loves. She is crestfallen. Then Ford Lincoln Mercury asks her to dance, and she's suddenly fine. Now, this scene may not have stood out in your memory at the time, but it always bothered me, because that very, very, very minor character -- the one named for her hairstyle -- is suddenly and inexplicably the focus of the movie for a few minutes, and then recedes to again largely be a mute in the background for the rest of the movie.
It didn't make any sense, and was always a really jarring moment for me. It was a jarring moment for you, too, but the only thing you remember about the movie was Tom Petty's cameo. Trust me. At the time, you were like, "What's up with that girl?"
WELL. It turns out that that girl never really did much else (she was in a video short called Lazy Teenage Superheroes in 2010, and it was her only role since "Ponytail"). And prior to The Postman, she had appeared in only two other movies: The Baby-Sitters Club, and Dances with Wolves.
You could be forgiven for perhaps thinking that the young actress had impressed Costner on Dances with Wolves, and that he remembered her and invited her for a small role in The Postman.
She's his daughter.
Delightful experiments are happening in the kitchen, and I'll update you as soon as they have come to fruition.
Tomorrow, gentle reader, ADVENTURE!! :)
Day 52: A quick tour of RPM indoor motorsports, a venture to purchase a racquetball racquet, an utterly failed quest to find a power cord for an old external hard drive.. but mostly what I will remember about this Friday night will be a wonderful conversation with R's dad over dinner, as we discovered a shared fascination with Captain Cook, of all things!
Day 51: Good evening, gentle reader! Today was filled with all sorts of adventure, including a trip with the gang to the decidedly Californian "Togo's" Sammitch Shop. It was good stuff.
Tonight for dinner, I engaged in an experiment. I brined a pork chop in the fridge for 24 hours, then browned it in a frying pan, and finished it off in the oven. I also cooked up the trimmed fat into crispy chips (I'm going to trim the fat, but I'm also going to eat it!!), and prepared an onion jam (reducing the onions in the pork fat, and cooling it in the fridge for a day). I topped the whole thing off with a few sprigs of micro-basil from my balcony planters. It was delicious, but I overdid the saltiness, so I'm going to hold back on the recipe until I get it right. But it's pretty, no?
In closing, let me tell you something, and it's kind of a wonderful thing:
I love all of you. I love my Republican, Democrat, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Shinto, Buddhist, Atheist, Straight, Gay, awesome friends. I love my artists, my programmers, my mathematicians, my colleagues, my former colleagues, my family, my old and dear and wonderful friends.
I love all of you.
I focus, sometimes, too much on the news that tells me that we're going to destroy each other. Mostly, I'm pretty sad that I can't conveniently get all of you in one room and give you, each of you, a huge hug.
So, to help me out, I have a plan: all of you should move to Sacramento.
My friends in Aberdeen, Arlington, Asheville, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Burlington, Cayce, Charleston, Charlotte, Chicago, Concord, Columbia, Cordova, Dunwoody, Durham, The District of Columbia, Elgin, Fairfax, Gaston, Greenville, Groton, Knoxville, London, Los Angeles, Manama, Margaret, Miami, Nashville, Newington, Orlando, Palm Coast, Piscataway, Plainfield, Phoenixville, Portland, Providence, Richmond, Roseville, San Francisco, Saratoga Springs, Seattle, South Bend, South Plainfield, Tampa, Warwick, West Columbia, and the many, many, many other cities that people I love live in.
Just, you know, all of you, move to Sacramento. Free hugs to anyone who takes me up on this.
I love you guys.
Also, holy crap, I realize now that there are two true things:
1 - There should exist an app that quickly lists out where all of your friends live.
2 - It's clear that you guys engaged in a collective, massive, hateful conspiracy to spread yourselves out as much as possible. YOU BASTARDS!!
I love you all anyway.
Tomorrow, ADVENTURE!! :)
Day 50: Wow, we got a lot done at work today. But you don't come here for the epic SQL left-join amazingness, do you? No, that would be silly.
No, let us turn our attention instead to the fact that I got to eat real, and really good, food for the first time in DAYS!!
This is so simple and delicious it's stupid.
Just make couscous the way you always do: heat up a cup of chicken broth to a rolling boil, add in a tablespoon of butter, swirling until the butter melts. Take it off of the heat, add one cup of dried couscous, stir vigorously, cover, set aside for five minutes. Fluff with a fork.
- serves four -
2 large andouille sausages, cut in 1/2 inch slices
1 large onion, finely diced
4 stalks celery, sliced fine
4 cloves of garlic, finely diced
a handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves
Throw two tbsp olive oil into a pan, and heat over medium heat.
Add sausage. Cook for 9 minutes (more or less) browning each side (note: this is precooked sausage, so quick browning is sufficient; it will get warmed through as we go. I should try this with fresh andouille, but I've been sick for days, so, you know, cut me some slack.)
Add onion. Cook for three to five minutes, until it just begins to color.
Add garlic and celery. Stir, cooking for five more minutes.
Toss in tomatoes. Let them warm through (about three minutes, more or less).
--- NOTE: I know, I know, you can just toss all the veg in at once. I just like the little caramelization you get if you let the onions cook a little too long. And we're only cooking on medium heat. And it's nummy. ---
Spoon out a bit of couscous to cover a plate, and then spoon on a pile of meat and veggies. Sprinkle with good, peppery olive oil (I get to cheat by using California Happy Valley Olive Oil, which is just amazing), and splash a bit of red wine vinegar. Pinch o' salt, grind o' pepper, and off you go!
Tomorrow, ADVENTURE!! :)
A small-town southern boy heads out west for the first time. Adventure ensues!!