Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy, happy to all my blog homies!
I hope 2012 brings you nothing but joy and prosperity.

(And I'll save my rant about DWI entrapments,
I mean blitzes, for another day.
Hmm . . . I suppose I could resolve to rant less in 2012 . . . nah.)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

TV Glotzer

Only 21 days, 18 hours, and some odd seconds until the best-looking man, um, show . . . uh . . . sorry . . . what was I saying? Yeah, that's it: the best show on television returns.

Are you watching it?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Haiku Monday: SWEET

* * *

Tongue sucked numb, blood rushed,
tummy tied in candied knots.
Sweet thing’s overdosed.

* * *

Last week's winner, Curmudgeon, is hosting this week's post-Christmas Haiku Monday with the theme of SWEET. Apropos for the season, don't you think. Or is that just me?

Friday, December 23, 2011

I'm Dreaming of. . . Christmas in Acapulco

This was this past Wednesday morning, after a 9-inch dump of snow.

This was taken a few minutes ago, illustrating our total accumulation over the past week, give or take a few inches that may have evaporated during the 2.5 seconds the sun actually came out late Wednesday.

Almost three feet and counting, y'all. I'm about done. Cooked. Sliced and diced. Thankfully, S.B. made it home under the wire yesterday and can take over snow blowing duties, because my biceps are wet noodles and my mind is dark with thoughts of packing an overnight bag and taking the next flight out to somewhere with a beach and an umbrella drink.

To top it all off, every single client of mine—every. single. one.—has decided that the one working day left before the holiday is the exact right time to clear everything off their desk and dump it on mine. Sweet!

So let this stand as my official Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All My Beloved Blog Homies post. Enjoy a wonderful holiday season!

Mucho smooches,

It's a Junco Party.
Who could ask for more?
I'd decorate their birdhouse,
But I can't get out my door.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

For Eggy: Elk Tenderloin

Remember this gent? My beloved spousal unit? Who in 2010 drew, along with a buddy, one of the top spots in the universe to hunt elk and after five days came back empty handed? That's okay. Elk hunting with a bow and arrow is difficult under the best circumstances. Doubly so when you're dealing with New Mexico elk. Hunters who are successful have been doing it for years, decades even. They know all the secrets. Because New Mexico elk are as wily as an animal can get. They know their heads, hides, and meat are in high demand and they pass along evasion skills through their DNA. That call you spent all weekend working on until the dogs dug themselves a permanent hole in a far corner of the property isn't fooling anyone, least of all an elk. These are not stupid animals.

Fortunately, we did not go empty handed this year thanks to a most generous Christmas gift from a friend. Four whole elk tenderloins sent to us courtesy Allen Brothers Meats. You can bet I was on the internet in a flash, looking for a recipe and finally settling on this one.

I was a little worried about all that rosemary . . .

Prepared the marinade about 9:00 that morning, coated the tenderloins (there are two here, stuck together, which we didn't realize until after they were finished cooking—d'oh!), and placed in the fridge.

About an hour before I wanted to serve, I took the elk out of the fridge to come up to room temperature. Twenty minutes later, pre-heated the oven and started the sauce. Popped elk in oven. At the 35-minute mark, checked it with my thermometer, which read a perfect 138 degrees F, pulled it from the oven, covered it, and set it aside to rest for 8-10 minutes while I made the rest of the meal: couscous with garlic and parsley, and collard greens and Swiss chard braised in bacon grease with bits of bacon and toasted almond slices.

Here's the final plating. And, yes, elk should be cooked to rare. Anything more is uncivilized.

I was right about the rosemary. Too over-powering. As was the orange. But once we scraped the marinade off the tenderloin, we could enjoy the most melt-in-your-mouth tender and delicious meat I've ever tasted in my life. Hands down, elk's got it head and shoulder above pork and beef in my book.

So, S.B., start practicing your calls . . .

Monday, December 19, 2011

Haiku Monday: SPIN

My '80s romance:
Sequins, sweat, and Rush. Baby,
you spun me right round.

* * *

Haiku Monday is being hosted this week at
la casa la bonita señorita Fleur.
Drop by and say buenos dias, why don't you?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Be Like the Dog, Girl

We're getting a lot of snow these days. A lot. So much, that I'm beginning to fear for my spring race training. As soon as the sun peeks out for a day or two to de-ice the roads, it snows. And my trails in the mountains and hills are only passable with snowshoes. Which I guess is okay, because I read somewhere that for every mile you run in snowshoes, it's like doing three on dry land. Except I don't really run. I slog. I participated in a 5K snowshoe trail run at the top of the Sandia's last year. It took me an hour. The top runners finished in something like 32 minutes and 3 seconds. The only thing that made me feel better is that half the participants were also slower than I was.

But I need to bust through some kind of wall if I'm going to finish the Cedro Peak Ultra in April. I reach a certain high point—"hey! where did that muscle come from?"—and then I get smacked back down—"No way—huff, puff—am I going to be able—huff, puff—to make it back home—gag, spit, hurl." Somehow, though, I do. Mainly because I live in fear of having the mountain rescue team called out on me. Hyperventilating while sweating buckets at 10,000 feet is not my best look.

So I'm trying to take inspiration from Maddie, who has become my primary motivator to get out regardless of the weather or my slacker ass. She stands 18 inches and some change off the ground. Weighs 35 pounds, and is about my age in dog years. And she never stops. If she's not on the move, she is sitting at my feet and staring at me, waiting until we move. Rarely does she ever relax and just fall asleep. You drop a pin, that dog is UP.

I took her on two long treks last weekend, a straight up the mountain snowshoe slog at 10 percent grade to 10,500 feet on Saturday and another in cleats along the trails in the hills behind our house, and she never flagged. The only thing that happened was the higher we got up the mountain the first day, the deeper the snow and I was afraid I'd lose her altogether (and I was approaching the hurl stage). So I turned us around. Otherwise, she was fine. And the next day, she could easily have done double what we did. As soon as we got home, all I wanted to do was stand under a hot stream of water for the rest of the day while S.B. fed me slices of pizza. Maddie wanted to play ball.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Haiku Monday: SILVER

Sexy on the gents,

dowdy on the gals? Flip that.

Silver’s the new blond.

* * *

Fishy, aided by her partner in life and love, Blowfish, have come up with this week's Haiku Monday theme of SILVER. If you'd like to play, or just see who is (the entries, as usual, are terrific), head on over to The Pond before midnight tonight.

Friday, December 9, 2011

For Chickory

For some reason, we are enjoying an embarrassment of riches when it comes to Northern Flickers this year. Most years, I see one or two, and usually just in passing. Never at the feeders. But these dudes are hanging around in greater numbers than I've ever experienced and they're hungry. Which on the one hand is awesome—the are a beautiful and fascinating bird. On the other, they are little piglets. My Shoe Fund has suddenly become the Sunflower Chip Fund.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What's in a Name

pity this busy monster, manunkind,

not. Progress is a comfortable disease:
your victim (death and life safely beyond)

plays with the bigness of his littleness
--electrons deify one razorblade
into a mountainrange; lenses extend
unwish through curving wherewhen till unwish
returns on its unself.
A world of made
is not a world of born--pity poor flesh

and trees, poor stars and stones, but never this
fine specimen of hypermagical

ultraomnipotence. We doctors know

a hopeless case if--listen: there's a hell
of a good universe next door; let's go

E. E. Cummings

* * *

Seriously, though?
Planet Kepler-22b?
Come on, Party People, we can think up a better name than that.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Haiku Monday: TIME

* * *

Planet's birth record?
No need to time travel. Check
Canyon's grand design.

* * *

This week's Haiku Monday is once again being brought to us by "the most interesting man in the world," with a theme of TIME.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind

I can handle just about any kind of weather: heat, freezing cold, ice, snow, rain, and hail. Anything but wind. Wind makes me crazy. And my life miserable.

I ran into town around noon today to deposit a check and gas the Jeep in prep for the 12" of snow we're supposed to get starting late tomorrow. The winds were so strong, I couldn't open the door at the pump. On the way home along I-40 through Tijeras Canyon, I hit a headwind with the tenacity of a brick wall that nearly stalled the Jeep in its tracks. In front of me an 18-wheeler started to shake, rattle, and roll, and someone's lawn chair (?!?) missed me by feet on its merry skip across four lanes of traffic. I jumped off the nearest exit to finish my journey along the relative safety of Route 66 and stuttered along behind a line of fifty gazillion other high-profile vehicled chumps with V-8s smacked down by Mother Nature.

Right now, I'm watching entire mature pine trees bend themselves like yoga freaks right outside my office window. The birds have all disappeared from my feeders, although the ravens are diggin' the thermal ride high up in the still-blue sky. Ravens are never scared.

If I look outside the window next to my front door (because if I actually go outside, I'll be pelted with flying leaves and small rocks) beyond the frenetically swinging porch swing and across my driveway and down, down, down and out, all the way to where the woods end about three miles from here and the American Short Grass Plains begin their relentless march toward Oklahoma, all I can see is a curtain of dun-colored dust obscuring what is normally a fifty-mile view. And what I think are a few small animals and maybe a toddler or two spinning around in the whirlwind.

And the sound. Like a million freight trains screaming. Like ghosts not yet retired. Like zombies moaning for brains. I suspect this sound must be very similar to what mass murderers hear ringing in their ears for years before they finally snap and take down a post office, school yard, or lunchroom.

If you don't hear back from me in a couple days, it means I was blown away like the rest of my world, Dorothy-ied up into the sky and into some bizarre Oz-ian universe where at least I hope I'll get a pair of ruby slippers for my troubles.

Until then, I think I'll go run a vacuum. It buries the sound.