Friday, May 20, 2011

fill up the juke.

If you aren't listening to this song, YOU are totally nuts.

The Unfazed, Dolorean

Could listen to it 100 times plus 100 more.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

dinner, 5/18/11

Kind of a boring dinner tonight, but it was really quick and very easy to prepare. I had a bunch of champagne mangoes that were just about to turn, so I diced them up with some red and yellow bell pepper, some onion, some cilantro, lime, and some minced jalapeno. Is anyone else mystified by the inconsistent heat of the jalapeno? Half the time, they taste like bell peppers. The other half of the time, my tongue withers off. This one was hot, and I liked it.

Wrapped some tilapia in foil after sprinkling it with some seasoned salt and lime. Grilled it for 10 minutes and topped it with the mango relish (salsa?). The side was a simple arugula salad, which didn't really go, but we ate it anyway. You know, I don't care much for tilapia, but it was cheap and quick and worked fine here.

Monday, May 16, 2011

in the wilderness, or, how we maybe got the hantavirus.

OK, I have been slacking on the blog the past few weeks, but things have been crazy. One of the fun events being that cousin Matt came to see us from California. We had a wonderful time! I took him up to the top of Angel's Rest to catch a nice view of the Columbia River Gorge. We were up at the top, having a snack, and this brave little chipmunk kept practically running over the tops of our shoes. So, what does Matt do? He bends down and puts his hand out, with an almond in the palm of it, to feed the little dude. And what does the little bugger do? Bites him, of course!

Doesn't he look innocent?

I was pretty insistent that we take Matt to the hospital, but he protested and said "No! Nothing happened the last time an animal bit me." I said "you mean you've done this before?" Turns out, he's been bitten two OTHER times by wild rodents. The first time as a kid when a squirrel attacked him, resulting in rabies shots, and the second time in college... doing the EXACT same thing he was doing when this guy bit him.

Anyway, that was a week ago, and he seems to have survived. I wasn't so much worried about rabies as I was about some sort of chipmunk fever or bringing the plague back. He's gone to see his folks and hasn't come down with any strange diseases... yet. I know, there's some kind of joke in here about squirrels and Nutts... just let it go, man.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

new ideas.

I had an idea in my sleep last night that I'm actually going to see if I can bring to life. Continuing with a food theme, of course, I thought it would be fun to try and Tweet two recipes a day. One vegetarian and one non-vegetarian entree. Include a list of the most important ingredients and a link to the recipe, and people could have a shopping list and dinner idea in the palm of their hands or on their computer screen. Voila! Meals on the Fly is born.

Already I can tell that this could get tough with more complicated recipes, but I'm thinking of keeping it to simple, weeknight meals. Something you can put together either in advance or in an hour and have dinner ready. Today I posted our favorite manicotti recipe, which I'm making for dinner since I had a tray of frozen ones, and an oven-baked pork chop recipe. Because, well, I love pork chops.

Tell your friends! Follow me!

Monday, May 2, 2011

pork and politics.

I made chipotle-pork cheeseburgers last night and I forgot to take a picture, and dang they were delicious. I also made a grilled romaine salad. Have to say, grilling lettuce is an awesome technique. If you're already using your grill, it takes about four minutes to slice some heads of romaine in half, brush with olive oil, and grill until charred/softening. I cut ours up first and dressed with a little bit of Caesar dressing, though serving the grilled halves intact would be great presentation for a dinner party.

(An aside here: Look, I try not to make this blog political for a number of reasons. Yoga and dinners are boring, yeah, but at least they don't stress me out. But I would be remiss not commenting on recent events.)

ANYWAY, we were watching some television, flipping through the channels, when I saw the announcement that President Obama would be speaking. I immediately flipped open my laptop and hit Twitter, news feeds, and Facebook at the same time. Soon, Wolf Blitzer was telling me that the presidential address would be regarding the capture of Osama Bin Laden. Nearly 10 years after 9/11, he was dead, killed by U.S. forces. Much like I can recall 9/11 and my parents recall events like the assassinations of JFK and MLK, I think I will probably remember how and when I heard this announcement.

It sent my mind back to where I was, where my friends were, what was going on in our lives that September a decade ago. How after the horrific events, we all wondered when it would be OK to laugh again, how we could ever board an airplane again, what did this mean for the future of our country? I knew people who joined the military in the following months, compelled by the desire to protect and defend the United States. Others of us had just graduated from college and wondered what this meant for our own futures? Not selfishly, but in the sense of our families, our working lives, our years ahead, and the shape of America as a whole.

For a long time, everyone seemed more patriotic, and while the fears we all carried faded, of course no one forgot what happened. I remember sitting in the Millennium Hilton in December 2003, across from Ground Zero, a week after it had reopened. The windows that were blown out had been replaced, rooms refinished, structures tested, and I was staying there on my first-ever business trip and first time in New York City. Every morning, I would wake up and watch the sun rise over the gaping hole in the ground and cry, unable to get the horrible images of destruction, despair, and death out of my head when faced with the ruins where so many had died. Being confronted with the reality of terror, adulthood, beginning a career I wasn't sure about after months of weird job situations, so far away from my family and friends, and alone in the biggest city in the United States, I was so scared. But I also was proud, seeing the backhoes hauling debris in the morning, digging out and starting over. I'd get myself up and put a suit on, hearing guys in hard hats yelling at each other in that only-in-New-York accent. Knowing this city would go on, and the world would go on, and I would be OK myself in adulthood and beyond.

I don't know if I feel that justice has been served by the death of Osama Bin Laden, but I am glad that he is no longer free in the world, especially living in a mansion in Pakistan. Those who lost loved ones and have lived with fear and devastation at his hands certainly deserve to feel vindicated. It doesn't feel right to me to outwardly celebrate someone's death, but as many on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere have posted, Mark Twain's quotation sums it up pretty succinctly: "I've never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure."