Friday, October 30, 2009

These Paws Were Made For Roaming

Our Life With Ivan

(Captured perfectly by Toyota)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Barking at the Heels of Plenty

Thanks to Gnome for scouting this out. It is terribly funny. And written by a Canadian, no less. Here's one little gem:

The primary reason our womenfolk are at war with the looming spectre of the nanny state is because you can't buy Jimmy Choos in a socialist paradise . . . Basically, the world economy depends on right-wing women buying shoes.


Read the entire article here.

Oh, and BEETS! Don't forget about the Culinary Throw Down featuring BEETS! Due to hit the blobs next Wednesday, November 4th. Here are the particulars.

Come on Party People, if you can't take a right wing joke, then make a left wing dish featuring the root vegetable we're all going to become mighty familiar with under the Brave New Socialist State!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Snow Day

Pretty typical for this time of year. Four inches and counting . . .

Dawgs don't care, though.

Friday, October 23, 2009

American Idiots

How can some people be so desperate to seek meaning that they loose all sense of reason, all sense of self?

Then again, I'm not surprised. About the only thing it seems we humans excel at these days is a mindless ability to happily drink the Kool-Aide in one form or another.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Beet the Band

As judge of the last CULINARY THROW DOWN, Chef Troll bestowed upon Moi the honor of hosting the next bloggie cook-off and deciding its topic.

Ponder, if you will: the beet. Not only is it oh-so-brightly colored a fabulous deep fuchsia pink, it is also tasty, nutritious, and versatile. In fact, I think it's safe to say that there must be a bazillion delicious dishes one can cook up with beets in the starring role.

So, come on, grab your best apron, pick up your sharpest paring knife, and come up with one of those dishes. Cook it up, snap some photos, and post it to your blog on Wednesday, November 4th. Then skedaddle over here to leave a comment saying "I'm up!" We'll all be around to visit and our still-to-be-named judge will take 24 hours to bestow the Golden Chef award on the lucky ducky winner.

Those who think they'd be interested in participating – or judging – just give a shout out here.

There's another post up at the Bitches of Fashion for those of you who want to ponder a festive color of another kind. And I've got a cookie post brewing for Undaunted Baker, so stay tuned . . .

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mute Monday: Author

“Deliver me from Swedish furniture.
Deliver me from clever art . . .
. . . May I never be complete.
May I never be content.
May I never be perfect.”

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Big Fun

Although I ran a snail's pace of 11:55/mi. (2 hrs, 36 minutes total), I met my goal of running comfortably, without getting hurt, and without stopping to walk. Yay! S.B. had an awesome time (1 hour, 55 min.), and I'm over-the-moon proud of him. The day was full on sunny and warm, and the trail ran through one of the city's prettiest residential neighborhoods before heading out to the trail along the river.

Best of all?


No, I don't run exclusively so that I can stuff my face afterward. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Photos courtesy Miz Doris Rose.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Here's the Beef

Well, I must say: THAT was fun. My first time ever judging Chef Troll's latest Culinary Throw Down, and wouldn't you know it, it was right up my alley.

As someone who spent her early years on a cattle ranch, whose father worked for many years after that as a butcher, and whose entire family is comprised of skilled and knowledgeable cooks, there was no way, Jose, I was going to grow up anything but an unabashed carnivore. And a knowledgeable one. You want to argue cuts of meat with an Italian grandmother, a butcher father, and a European farm-raised mother? Good luck with that.

That's not to say I don't understand and respect the many, many folks out there who have chosen not to partake in the eating of animal flesh (some of whom are even my nearest and dearest of friends), but me giving up meat would be like giving up high heels. Not. Gonna. Happen. Although, I do make very deliberate choices about where my beef comes from, which is thankfully easy enough to do in these parts, where you can't kick a cowpie without running across a boutique free range cattle ranching operation.

So naturally, I was thrilled that this Culinary Throw Down round challenged entrants with a Steak and Potatoes theme. The upside is that everyone who participated put out a really great dish. The downside is that I have to choose only one winner. Not. Easy.

Aunty's culinarily expedient entry was a mighty clever, if ultimately stomach-churning (por Moi), bit of fun.

Chef Troll crafted an ambitious, three part entry covering the rare, medium, and well done aspects of cooking beef and also stole a little piece of my heart with steak tartar and a homemade rosemary bread for his steak sandwich. So creative!

Miz Kym accompanied her oh-so-tasty-looking entry with one of my favorite tater sides: crash hot potatoes. Does a more yummy potato concoction exist in the universe? I think not.

Buzz thought outside the box by cooking a HAM steak instead of a beef steak. His simple but satisfying meal earned him extra points for also being family friendly. How many of us are responsible for putting dinner on the table each and every night for our families, regardless of how hectic the day, raise your hands.

La Diva, bless her, has been busy nursing a terrible virus and working her mojo to become the next great television pitch person, so she turned over the reins to her sidekick and personal deejay, DJ Nevah L8 (4 dinnah!), who tempted me with a delicious looking New York strip steak encrusted with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Another point-earner was the inclusion of sauteed shitake mushrooms. Perfection.

Wow. So tough!

However, as wonderful as ALL these dishes are, as mightily as they tempt my taste buds for the Golden Chef Award, the winning entry goes to:

KARL, who won the rest of my heart with his pan-fried (my favorite method for cooking beef) Peppercorn Steak with Garlic and Chive Mashed Potatoes. Not only did he include a medly of festive veggies to go along with the dish, he also included full recipes. But it was the sauce that won me over, a perfect accompaniment to the beef without overwhelming the flavor. So, Karl, come on over and grab your Golden Chef icon and post it with pride.

Thanks to all who participated and happy cooking!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Where's the Beef?

Chef Troll is sponsoring another one of his mighty Culinary Throwdowns and lil' ol' Moi has been tasked with the duty of judging all the entries. Yay! I loves me some food judging. Just call Moi Padma Lakshmi, only without the hellish wardrobe. Seriously. How can such a gorgeous woman have such bad taste in clothing?

1977 called. It wants its 'ho back.

Anyhoo . . . hop on over to the Chef and see who's cooking what and what I have to say about it.

When you're done, skedaddle over to our salon at the Bitches of Fashion and see what the Pirate and I are obsessing on now.

And then go on and have yourself a simply fabulous weekend.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Haven't Been There, Haven't Done That

So why did they give me the tee shirt already?

Seriously, I'm new to this racing stuff. I don't know from race tee shirt protocol. I've been running much of my adult life, and not because someone was chasing me, either (although it's happened), but because I like it. I like the way it makes me feel, I like the solitude it affords and the way the slap slap slap of my feet against asphalt or dirt creates a meditative rhythm that is equally perfect for problem solving or zoning out.

I like running through my neighborhood and stirring up all the dogs, especially the dopey, lope-gaited Belgian Tervuren and his squat-bodied Rottie buddy who, whenever they see me, run the fence bouncing for all the world like I'm about to take them out for ice cream. I guess it doesn't matter how many times a dog sees you, each time is the first time, in dog time.

One of my favorite routes includes about a 3/4 mile stretch of dirt road that leads from our neighborhood to Route 66. There's a beautiful painted pony that grazes the pasture just to the south of the road and if he's out, he always comes to the fence to say howdy. I like the contrast between the brick orange colored dirt at my feet and the shock of turquoise sky above me. Sometimes, I turn off my iPod so I can listen to the world breathe: the whistle of the wind, the screech of scrub jays in the junipers, the grumble of the semi trucks muscling their goods along I-40.

Still, other than the four times I've run La Luz, I've pretty much left myself up to my own devices when it came to running. I could have cared less about personal records or 5k times or carbo loading or whether or not I was running aerobically or anaerobically. I just wanted to get out and move and if some days I did that easier than others, bonus. If not, there was also swimming and biking, hiking and weight lifting.

But for some reason, THIS year? I decided I was going to run my first ever half marathon. That's 13.1 miles for you directionally challenged. And yes, that's also 13.1 miles straight. No breaks for cocktails and chit chat.

So, I have to tell you. I've enjoyed the rigidity of the training schedule. I've enjoyed getting stronger and going longer. I've especially enjoyed this week's tapering which includes some mighty fine excuses to shovel a bunch a carbs down my gullet, more than usual, even.

I'm even enjoying the fear that's been knocking at my stomach all week as race day approaches and the devil on my right shoulder is all, "WTF do you think you're DOING?" while the devil on my left shoulder is all, "DUDE! No pain no gain!"

Thankfully, S.B. is running it with me (although not literally because he's faster than I am). My former boss will also be there, and another friend is walking it. Most excellent friend and professional cheerleader, Doris Rose, will show up for the post-race festivities. Best of all, by the time next Monday comes around I'll most likely have a half marathon under my belt and that tee shirt on my back.

So, if you happen to remember round about, say, 10:00 MST this Sunday morning, send me your good thoughts and help me trot those last few miles in semi dignity across the finish line. And I'll go eat a huge stack of pancakes in your honor.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sink into that Good Oblivion

Dogs and babies. I swear. They can sleep just about anywhere. Used to be, I could too. Historically, sleep is not something that eludes me. Regardless of what was going on in my life – good, bad, indifferent – within five, ten minutes of hitting my pillow, I was dead to the outside world and driving a Plymouth Satellite in my own private Idaho. These past couple years, though, situational insomnia has reared its ugly head on more than a few occasions, like some big ol' wet blankie of a dream policeman with all lights blazing to shut down my nighttime party gone out of bounds.

Sleep? Why won't you dance with me? I'm not no Limburger . . .

Anyhoo. Now I'm doing all kinds of research, which includes informal polling of friends and family. Help a gal out and let me know: what's sleep like for you?

1. I'm out like a light as soon as my head hits the pillow and I sleep until I get up.

2. I fall asleep quickly, but wake up several times during the night.

3. I take forever to fall asleep but once I do, I sleep straight through the night.

4. I sleep just great! Thanks to an arsenal of herbal supplements, illegal drugs, and several fifths of vodka.

5. Sleep? Sleep is for wussies and squares. Nothing beats the hallucinogenic experience of three days straight on your feet.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

What Fresh Hell is This?

Oh for CRYING out loud! Enough, already. The Cybersecurity Act of 2009 is criminal, no matter which way you spin it. It's like federalizing CNN, MSNBC, BBC, New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and every single newspaper, weekly, television, and radio news outlet in the United States and allowing them to operate solely at the discretion of the Gubmint.

Just two of the troubling implications:

1. Under this bill the President can order all non-government U.S. networks to shutdown from the Internet, based soley on some ill-defined notion of a "cybersecurity emergency" (whatever the heck fire that means – the bill doesn't define it) to United States security.

2. Even outside of periods of a White House-declared "emergency," this bill mandates that private-sector networks be managed by government-licensed "cybersecurity professionals.

Free press? Fuggedabout it in the New Obamanation.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I'm a Lexicon Devil with a Battered Brain

Which is perhaps why to this day I retain my unholy attraction to studs.

Head on over to The Bitches of Fashion and see if you, too, are harboring an inner Johnny Rotten. Debbie Harry, even. Just not an inner Barry Manilow, por favor. Because I'm not sure the Bitches have it in us for a post on polyester quite yet.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Don't Stand So Close to Me

Seems the topic of forbidden love is all over the news these days. But if you want to read something a little less prurient, then hop on over to the Bitches of Fashion and feel the earth stand still as we profess our unholy attraction for . . . plastic shoes.