Thursday, July 31, 2008

List O' Questions

Whoops, yesterday was Wordless Wednesday. While I technically was wordless, I didn't participate with a photo and follow up. So today, I have a meme from MrsMillerTime:

WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? My first name is the same as my mother's younger sister. My middle name is the same as my Dad's youngest sister's middle name. I go by a nickname that comes from my middle name.

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Hmmm. Yesterday morning, I think. Something about the Olympics on the Today Show. The Olympics always make me cry!



DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Not yet. Just a kitty.


DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? I wouldn't say "a lot" but yes.

DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Nope, had them taken out in elementary school.

WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? NO! I'm afraid of heights.



DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Yes. But I also think I'm kindof a trash-talker.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Mmmm. Anything but coffee-flavored ice cream. I also don't really like nuts in my ice cream. Otherwise, yes please!

WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? This is a tough one. Depends on the situation. I often notice heights, since I am on the tall side.


WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? I have a tendency to be controlling. I prefer to think of myself as particular and decisive. ha!

WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Living? Suzi. Dead? Memaw.

DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? I just want to read this on other blogs!


WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Toast w/ peanut butter (breakfast).

WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? I'm at the office, so. . .coworkers talking in the hall outside my office.


FAVORITE SMELLS? Clean laundry. Baked goods.


DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? I like MrsMillerTime, whose blog I stole this from.




DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Not anymore; I had LASIK surgery in 2007.

FAVORITE FOOD? Too hard to pick just one! Maybe gelato. Or cheese. Dark chocolate?

SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? I am a sucker for happy endings, although I don't usually enjoy "chick flicks."




FAVORITE DESSERT? I think I've covered this in a couple of other responses.

MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Who knows! I don't have a lot of blog readers.

LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? People who are as busy as I should be today.

WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? Mountains Beyond Mountains.

WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? I'm at work, so it's a D3ll mousepad. (Note: I do not work at that company.)





DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? I have several. Most unusual: figuring out the best name for a pet.

WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Hunstville, Alabama. We moved away when I was 2.


Monday, July 28, 2008

#9: Weeknight Dinner

I am behind on reporting progress here!

Last week was Bacon Week, so I made an old standby favorite, Breakfast for Dinner. We had scrambled cheese eggs and bacon. . .lots of protein is good for you, right?

This weekend, I intended to use the remaining half pound of bacon in a delicious quiche, but time got away from me on Sunday evening and we had BLTs instead. Mmmm, sometimes the simplest dinners are the best.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thoughts for Thursday

We're going on vacation! K and I have been talking about planning an August vacation for weeks, but this past weekend we finally settled on Boston. (Pictured below. . .some historic building on the Freedom Trail.) I'm really excited about our trip--I haven't been there in 5+ years, and he's never been.

I may love planning vacation as much as actually going. Lately all my spare time has been spent chasing travel deals to find inexpensive but nice hotels in good locations. I like to compare all the prices I can find from every discount travel site out there, plus the hotel website rates, and then search for online coupons. Last night I booked our hotel for $20 cheaper/night than the lowest discount travel site price, thanks to a random coupon code I found. Whooo! Next I'll be figuring out options for what to do, where to go and what's going on in the evenings.

Possibly best of all? Right now, the high temperature in Boston is about 82 degrees. I bet it's even cooler in two weeks.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Movie List

Once again, Joyco has provided me with some down-time entertainment!

Here’s Entertainment Weekly’s list of the top movies of the last 25 years. Go through their list and BOLD the ones you have seen, ITALICIZE those you love/would watch over and over again, STRIKE OUT those you dislike strongly or really would rather never see again. (Um, except I don't know how to strike out, so I'll put a * next to the ones I hate.)

1. Pulp Fiction (1994)

2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-03)

3. Titanic (1997)

4. Blue Velvet (1986)

5. Toy Story (1995)

6. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

7. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)

8. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

9. Die Hard (1988)

10. Moulin Rouge (2001)

11. This Is Spinal Tap (1984) <--one of K's favorite all-time movies

12. The Matrix (1999)

13. GoodFellas (1990)

14. Crumb (1995)

15. Edward Scissorhands (1990)

16. Boogie Nights (1997)

17. Jerry Maguire (1996)

18. Do the Right Thing (1989)

19. Casino Royale (2006)

20. The Lion King (1994)

21. Schindler's List (1993)

22. Rushmore (1998)

23. Memento (2001)

24. A Room With a View (1986)

25. Shrek (2001)

26. Hoop Dreams (1994)

27. Aliens (1986)

28. Wings of Desire (1988)

29. The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

30. When Harry Met Sally... (1989)

31. Brokeback Mountain (2005)

32. Fight Club (1999)

33. The Breakfast Club (1985)

34. Fargo (1996)

35. The Incredibles (2004)

36. Spider-Man 2 (2004) * my least favorite Spider-Man movie

37. Pretty Woman (1990)

38. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

39. The Sixth Sense (1999)

40. Speed (1994)

41. Dazed and Confused (1993)

42. Clueless (1995)

43. Gladiator (2000)

44. The Player (1992)

45. Rain Man (1988)

46. Children of Men (2006)

47. Men in Black (1997)

48. Scarface (1983)

49. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

50. The Piano (1993)

51. There Will Be Blood (2007)

52. The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad (1988)

53. The Truman Show (1998)

54. Fatal Attraction (1987)

55. Risky Business (1983)

56. The Lives of Others (2006)

57. There’s Something About Mary (1998)

58. Ghostbusters (1984)

59. L.A. Confidential (1997)

60. Scream (1996)

61. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

62. sex, lies and videotape (1989)

67. Donnie Brasco (1997)

68. Witness (1985)

69. All About My Mother (1999)

70. Broadcast News (1987)

71. Unforgiven (1992)

72. Thelma & Louise (1991)

73. Office Space (1999)

74. Drugstore Cowboy (1989)

75. Out of Africa (1985)

76. The Departed (2006)

77. Sid and Nancy (1986)

78. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

79. Waiting for Guffman (1996)

80. Michael Clayton (2007)

81. Moonstruck (1987)

82. Lost in Translation (2003)

83. Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)

84. Sideways (2004)

85. The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005)

86. Y Tu Mamá También (2002)

87. Swingers (1996)

88. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)

89. Breaking the Waves (1996)

90. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)* possibly my least favorite movie.

91. Back to the Future (1985)

92. Menace II Society (1993)

93. Ed Wood (1994)

94. Full Metal Jacket (1987)

95. In the Mood for Love (2001)

96. Far From Heaven (2002)

97. Glory (1989)

98. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

99. The Blair Witch Project (1999)* not scary!

100. South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999)

Well, if I count the Lord of the Rings Trilogy as one movie, I've seen 59 of the choices on this list. Perhaps my least favorite movie (Napoleon Dynamite) is included, but some of my favorite movies aren't even on the list. Hello EW, Princess Bride? Many of the movies I've seen, I've actually seen more than once--I enjoy watching a good movie for a second (or third) time, but I still wouldn't say they're favorites (Gladiator & Saving Private Ryan would all into this group for me. I've seen portions of several of the movies I didn't mark as "seen" but I do think I'll add a few to my Netflix list that I always forget about. There are several movies on this list (Schindler's List, for example) that I never saw because I think it would make me weep, and I generally try to avoid movies that cause sobbing. But, movies like that I still feel like I should see, ya know?

#31: Reading

I've already posted a little review on Goodreads, but I wanted to track my reading progress here, too.

I recently finished Twilight, and it turns out I'm going to be unable to resist reading the rest of the series. Luckily, the last book comes out in early August, so I won't have to wait for the exciting conclusion too long.

Instead of going over how much I enjoyed the book again, I've been thinking more about the movie, scheduled to premier in December. Last week's Entertainment Weekly had the two main characters on their cover, and I made myself wait until I finished the book to read the article. (Yes, I have a subscription to EW. It was a gift!) Based on the article, the author of the books was allowed involvement in the movie. But, I'm not sure if I like the actors/actresses they selected. I almost wish I hadn't seen the magazine while I was reading the book, because I like to get my own picture in my head of the characters. Instead, I kept remembering Cedric Diggory with his shirt open on the cover of EW. Didn't really fit with my imagination. The gal who plays Bella doesn't match what I was picturing, either--in the magazine, she looks like a model or an extra from an MTV reality show. I was imagining someone a little less generic-looking. Pictures of the rest of the Cullen family weren't included (that I remember), so I have been entertaining myself on my morning/evening commutes by trying to imagine who I'd cast in the movies. I'm thinking Cillian Murphy for Edward--remember him from Batman Begins? And then, I like Amber Tamblyn for Bella. Although I've been seeing those Traveling Pants movie trailers so much lately, she's probably just seeped in to my subconscious! Still thinking about casting for the rest of the movie. . .

Monday, July 21, 2008

#4: July Nephew Time

No, not more ranting about the 13-year old who stayed with us for a week. Yesterday, we had a family lunch with my parents, brother, SIL and their two little boys.

The littlest fella, C, is just over 16 months old. He adores my parents, especially my dad. Probably because my dad (who he knows as "Poppa") is willing to pick him up and hold him any time. Really, both of my parents are suckers for either of the boys, but I think C tends to favor Poppa just a tiny bit. C is walking fully on his own, now, though he doesn't really talk. He'll repeat some words if you ask him and he's in the mood, but he mostly sit quietly or makes other noises (like a vrooom when he's being pushed around on his little "bike"). He thinks it's pretty funny to point to (or in) his eye if you ask him where his nose, mouth, ear OR eye are located. He loves to eat cherries, and ignored the rest of his lunch in favor of the cherries his mom had pitted & cut up for him. (His love of cherries necessitates shirtless meals for him. When he finished, he had cherry juice from his neck to his navel AND all over his face and head--even the back. He looked like a toddler extra in a horror film.) He also loves to eat whole grapes. There was a bunch of sliced grapes on his plate, but when he moved over to his big brother's chair (after A decided he was finished eating), C happily stole whole grapes off his mom's plate--under her supervision. He's always a tiny bit shy when he first sees us, but he warms up quickly. I played a fun game with him after lunch. He decided that it was hilarious to lean forward across the table towards me and giggle. So, I did the same thing. He decided this was the best game ever, and we involved ourselves in it for a good 10 - 15 minutes. He's so stinkin' sweet! I just want to squeeeeze him.

His big brother, A, turned 3 at the end of May. Right now, he's struggling with potty training. Apparently, he's pretty good about going #1 in the potty, but he's not that in to going #2 in the potty. I overheard him being told that if he goes #2 in the potty, he can watch cartoons again. Poor kid; he LOVES his cartoons. He is talking quite a bit these days, but on Sunday he wasn't very interested in playing with me. He still likes his other aunt (SIL's brother's wife) best, booo! SIL told us a story about her father's birthday party, where A specifically asked Aunt V to take him to the bathroom because "she's his favorite". Grrr! Apparently, I need to start lining my pockets with Dibs, which he loves and enjoyed for dessert. Maybe the kid just prefers brunettes, who knows. Either way, I apparently need to step up my efforts to get him to like me. :o)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thoughts for Thursday

"Verbose Thursday" didn't quite have a ring to it like Wordless Wednesday, so for now I'm going with "Thoughts for Thursday" to explain yesterday's photo.

Last weekend, I shaved K's head for the second time.

When we met--waaaay back in 1997--his hair was about chin-length, growing out from a George Clooney/Ceasar cut. He didn't really have a reason for growing it out, just that he was lazy about getting hair cuts and wanted to really have hair before he started losing it. As a result, much of the time we dated, he had shoulder-length or longer hair. Sometimes I would trim the ends, but he didn't ever seek professional hair help. The shortest his hair ever went was when he got it cut to earlobe-length on The Alamo set, and that cut came along with a movie barber crafting his beard into mutton chops.

About six months before our wedding in 2004, he started talking about getting his hair cut for the wedding. I didn't pressure him, in fact I didn't care one way or another. I'd always known him with longish to long hair. If he had a ponytail on our wedding day, whatev. But, he decided to go short. He got it cut a few weeks before our engagement photos, and somehow he looked even more handsome than ever. I didn't think it was possible. I loved the short hair.

After our wedding, though, he didn't want to keep up the short hair. He decided to grow it out to donate to Locks for Love, so on our second anniversary in 2006, I sat him down in the kitchen, wound his hair into six skinny ponytails and cut. Then I shaved his head down to 1/4 inch all the way around. He may have enjoyed that short cut more if it hadn't been November. (And if I didn't pet or rub his head at every opportunity. That super short hair is soft like a bunny!) He decided to grow it out again.

The past few weeks, he'd been talking about measuring his hair to see how long it had grown. We finally found time to measure it, and it was only 8 inches in a ponytail. I'd read about Pantene's Beautiful Lengths program, so he checked out the website and decided he'd go that route this time around. I don't know if he was just ready for a change, or whether the heat has been getting to him. But whatever the reason, I chopped off more skinny ponytails on Sunday for a great cause.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

#31: More Reading

So I put two and a half days without television to good use: I also read When You Are Engulfed in Flames, by David Sedaris.
Sedaris is one of my favorite authors. I read his first book (Barrel Fever) in the late 90s, and immediately knew I'd be buying anything else he published. Sadly, I've never had a chance to see him read in person. His first (as far as I know) visit to Austin coincided with my wedding rehearsal dinner, and each of his subsequent visits have either conflicted with another big pre-planned event or I haven't bought a ticket before they sell out. (Which usually happens an hour or so after they go on sale, apparently.)
A Plague of Tics (from Naked) remains my favorite story of his, though any story about his brother Rooster would be a close second-favorite. Sadly, Rooster wasn't featured in the latest book, but I still really enjoyed the stories in When You Are Engulfed in Flames. I did laugh out loud several times, particularly when I stumbled across a literary gem like “Shit is the tofu of cursing and can be molded to whichever condition the speaker desires.” Awesome turn of phrase.
I was pleasantly surprised that several of the stories have a poignant ending I wasn't expecting. I think my favorite story of the collection was the last story, which described his battle to stop smoking in Japan. In particular, his descriptions of his struggle to learn the language and a memorable haircut experience were most entertaining.
From the Barnes&Noble website:
Once again, David Sedaris brings together a collection of essays so uproariously funny and profoundly moving that his legions of fans will fall for him once more. He tests the limits of love when Hugh lances a boil from his backside, and pushes the boundaries of laziness when, finding the water shut off in his house in Normandy, he looks to the water in a vase of fresh cut flowers to fill the coffee machine. From armoring the windows with LP covers to protect the house from neurotic songbirds to the awkwardness of having a lozenge fall from your mouth into the lap of a sleeping fellow passenger on a plane, David Sedaris uses life's most bizarre moments to reach new heights in understanding love and fear, family and strangers. Culminating in a brilliantly funny account of his venture to Tokyo in order to quit smoking, David Sedaris's sixth essay collection will be avidly anticipated.

Monday, July 14, 2008

#31: Reading

My book club selection this month was Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace. . .One School at a Time.

The book description sounded inspiring, but I didn't realize there would be more to it than just Greg Mortenson's life story. The book also told the story of a volatile region whose history I know little about.

I had a hard time getting into the beginning of the book, which tells about Mortenson's failed attempt to reach the summit of K2 and his first introduction to the small village where the first school was evetually built. This section included a bunch of quotes from books about climbing and other famous climbers, but instead of giving me more information about what the climbing experience is actually like, it took me out of the more personal story by taking away from Mortenson's own perspective.

I did really enjoy how later parts of the book kept track of individuals who benefitted from being able to attend the schools--especially how they returned to their communities and passed along their knowledge or expertise. I was surprised that the small communities were so eager to educate their girls, since my (stereotypical) first thought was that the culture of the area was oppressive to women and denied them many things I take for granted. I would love to read a sequel about how educated females in these communities have positively affected the region in the long term.

From Publisher's Weekly:
Some failures lead to phenomenal successes, and this American nurse's unsuccessful attempt to climb K2, the world's second tallest mountain, is one of them. Dangerously ill when he finished his climb in 1993, Mortenson was sheltered for seven weeks by the small Pakistani village of Korphe; in return, he promised to build the impoverished town's first school, a project that grew into the Central Asia Institute, which has since constructed more than 50 schools across rural Pakistan and Afghanistan. Coauthor Relin recounts Mortenson's efforts in fascinating detail, presenting compelling portraits of the village elders, con artists, philanthropists, mujahideen, Taliban officials, ambitious school girls and upright Muslims Mortenson met along the way. As the book moves into the post-9/11 world, Mortenson and Relin argue that the United States must fight Islamic extremism in the region through collaborative efforts to alleviate poverty and improve access to education, especially for girls. Captivating and suspenseful, with engrossing accounts of both hostilities and unlikely friendships, this book will win many readers' hearts.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

#4 Nephew Visit: Last Day!

This is the end, my beautiful friend:

* We all slept late on the 4th. First time I've had more than about six hours of sleep in at least two weeks, and it was wonderful.

* We decided to take the kid to Alamo Drafthouse for a movie. When faced with the decision of Incredible Hulk, Get Smart or Kung Fu Panda, he chose Get Smart. Way to go kid, that's what I wanted to see, too.

* Right off the bat, he ordered an enormous coke. He drank it all before the movie started, and asked for a refill. That's A LOT of soda.

* Movie was funny--we all liked it. I think I may have actually heard the kid laugh out loud a few times.

* Of course I went to the grocery store again, after the movie. Trip #4. In his time here, the kid drank: 1.5 containers of orange juice, 1 container of apple juice, 2.5 containers of lemonade, and 2 containers of pear apple italian soda. That's a lot for a week, right? At least he wasn't drinking soda at our house.

* I made delicious blueberry cobbler to eat with our chicken enchilada leftovers. I asked the kid how he liked it, and he said "GREAT!" Obviously, he has excellent taste.

K took the kid to Houston this morning, where SIL was meeting them at other SIL's house to continue on to SE TX. I know K is glad he doesn't have to drive all the way to SE TX to return the kid; this way, he can drop him off and turn around to head back home. We had a good talk (just the two of us) last night about how it's gone with the kid here and whether we think we've had a good influence on the kid. I think we have. Of course, some things about the kid we can't change in a week. He's used to using a new towel, new glass, etc. at home, and even if K says something to him, he didn't always pay attention to those things here. But, he did listen to K on other things, and I think K was able to provide a good example for the kid. I hope they're having a "don't do drugs/don't have sex" talk in the car.

Friday, July 4, 2008

#4 Nephew Visit: Day Five

Ha ha!

* K and the kid met me downtown for lunch, since they were going to the Austin Museum of Art & trying to make a record release party at Antone's. The kid ate his lunch (hickory burger & fries) in about three minutes. Whoa!

* After lunch, he told us his stomach hurt a litte. Duh!

* The kid was sitting quietly at the table, and suddenly said "There's gum on the bottom of this table." Kid, don't touch under the table. Isn't that common sense for most people?

* Discovered the best way to make the kid laugh: "that's what she said" humor. ha ha!

* For dinner, I made the Delish chicken enchiladas. As before, they were delicious. I served everyone two to start. The kid ate one. The next one, he scraped all the cheese off and ate. Then he ate the insides out. More of the carb-free diet, kid?

* The kid is still getting a new glass every time he gets a drink. . .even if it's the same kind of beverage. Yesterday was a new record: 6 glasses. I've run the dishwasher three times already this week.

My current wine glass total is equal to my grocery store total, three. But since we're out of juice AGAIN, I guess I'm headed back to the store today. Is this why people give kids sodas? Because it takes more than a day or two to finish a pack?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

#4 Nephew Visit: Day Four

He's wearing me out, y'all:

* Last night I discovered a secret: 1 (large) glass of wine + leftovers served for dinner = much more relaxed MrsMonkey. I needed to be more relaxed because. . .

* I made trip to the grocery store #3. We were running low on healthy snacks, and very low on juice. Already the kid has consumed nearly half of what I bought. Why does he need half a large bottle of lemonade at 11pm?

* He's been snooping our bedroom. Yes, I went through his bags. BUT, that was in his best interest. We keep the door to our bedroom closed. It is not open to 13 year old guests. But our dresser was rearranged enough that I knew. K had also noticed and was displeased. The kid must have been in there before K got home from work yesterday, since the kid was supposed to set his alarm to be ready to eat lunch when K got home so they could head out early. I liked it better when K had to wake the kid up after work (at noon).

* I also don't like the kid roaming around the house after lights-out. The guest room/bathroom are upstairs, and he should stay up there after we all turn in for the night. He has everything he needs--I saw him take a bunch of snacks and juice up there, even. (I assume he's watching movies in his room, which is fine.) But this morning, there were snack packs in the trash and his glass in the sink. I don't want him messing around with the kitty, I think he's had plenty to eat/drink, and he doesn't need to overhear anything from the master bedroom. Stay upstairs, kid!

* At dinner, he gobbles down his food and leaves the table immediately upon finishing. But, then he hangs around the kitchen or living room until we're finished. Why doesn't he stay at the table? At least he takes his dishes to the sink.

* He seems to feel more comfortable with us, as he's actually talking a little more.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

#4 Nephew Visit: Day Three

Here we go:

* I searched his stuff. K took him out to Antone's to see some live music, and before they left, K and I had a private discussion where we agreed that I should go ahead and take a look. I discovered:
- The kid is using a new bath towel every day and then throwing it in a pile of dirty clothes, as I suspected. I wonder what he was planning to use for his next shower, since I didn't have any other towels in the bathroom. I added a couple, but mentioned it to K.
- He may not have brought a toothbrush or toothpaste. I can't remember seeing either. I know they aren't in the guest bathroom.
- He had a small bottle of extended release Tylenol. I opened the bottle & poured all the pills out to make sure they were all as advertised. They were. I felt like a professional snoop.
- He's messy. Or, he falls asleep watching movies every night. There were DVD cases all over the bed, an empty glass on the nightstand, and snack wrappers strewn about.
- I found an empty travel container, that says it's supposed to be used for pills & q-tips. This is the one item I'm most concerned about--why bring it if it's empty? Does the kid have pills (or whatever) in his pocket? Did he already take what was in there? K is even more convinced that he needs to have the "don't do drugs/don't have sex" talk with the kid.

* Why does the kid get a new glass every time he gets a drink? I came home after work to find 4 glasses in the sink. Kid, I use the same water glass all week. Look into it.

* There are sticky places on the kitchen floor. WTH? Is he sloshing juice around and not cleaning it up? When is he doing this? He allegedly sleeps until K gets home from work at noon.

* Has the kid put himself on his own version of a carb-free diet? On spaghetti night, he didn't eat any garlic toast. On meatloaf night, he ate one bite of delicious potatoes. Yet, he snacks almost constantly on fruit, granola bars, and the occasional sweet. I'm sure if we had more dessert-type items in the house, he'd eat them. He ate a bowl of cereal at midnight after the rock show. He's skinny. Weird.

* He's afraid of our cat. Our sweet, sweet little kitty. I noticed the kid backing away when kitty started to get close last night. I think he and kitty are equally wary of each other.

* I didn't go to the grocery store for a third day in a row, hurray! Of course, there are things I need (most notably, more juice) but I just couldn't do it. Instead, I provided meal #2 and drank (large) glass of wine #1.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

#9: Dinner

I rocked out another delicious dinner this evening, thanks to some minor assistance from K. Last night, I mixed up my Southwestern Meatloaf and stored it in the fridge. Just before 6pm, as I was getting ready to leave the office, I called K and asked him to preheat the oven and put the meatloaf in when it was ready. The meatloaf takes 50 minutes to cook, so I knew it needed to get going close to six. I also made green beans (frozen, in the microwavable steaming pouch) and little tasty potatoes. I bought a 1 pound bag of small white potatoes (there's probably a technical name for these, I just don't know it), scrubbed them, and boiled them for 20 minutes until they were fork tender. I drained the water, chopped them into bite-sized pieces. I added a pat of butter, salt, pepper, and a little garlic powder, stirred them up, and YUM.

Southwestern Meatloaf
(adapted from Cooking Light)

1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
1/2 cup + 1/4 cup salsa (divided)
1/3 cup regular oats
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 large egg white
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375°.
Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl; stir well. Shape meat mixture into a 9 x 4-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Brush 1/4 cup salsa over meat loaf.
Bake at 375° for 50 minutes. Let meat loaf stand 10 minutes before slicing.
Note: To prepare the meat loaf in advance, shape the ground beef mixture into a loaf, wrap in heavy-duty plastic wrap, and freeze. Thaw overnight in refrigerator; bake as directed above.

#4 Nephew Visit: Day Two

Here's the breakdown:

* I hate wearing my bathrobe. My only bathrobe is a thick red long-sleeved chin to toe number that K bought me from Victoria's Secret several years ago. I love it in the winter, when I can get all cozy inside. But having to wear it around the house in the summer so my nephew doesn't accidentally see me in my pajamas? Sucks. So far he hasn't even seen me in my robe, much less the pjs.

* I rocked out a quick dinner last night. I was pretty sure the kid would want to eat earlier than our customary 7:30ish, so I got the spaghetti and meat sauce ready really quickly. I wasn't going to count this as making a weeknight dinner, since I was defrosting my MIL's sauce and just cooking the noodles. But then I also made salad, garlic toast, and my own salad dressing. That's right, I made my own salad dressing on the spur of the moment. I was kickin' ass and taking' names!

* So the kid wanted parmesan cheese with his dinner. I knew K had one of those horrible green cans of the powdered stuff in the fridge, and I'm sure it had been in there since 2004. But the kid said it was okay. . .it just wouldn't come out very easily. I found half a bag of real shredded paremesan, and he used that. But, um, no idea how long that parm had been in the fridge either. Oops.

* O.M.G: the guest bathroom toilet. The horror! I will be having nightmares about it. K will be cleaning it on Saturday as soon as we're back from returning the kid. It's. . .filthy.

* K took the kid shopping. They picked out some school clothes and some cool clothes. Apparently, the kid's school district--his public school district--has adopted a very strict dress code for middle school through high school. It's insane! For example, kids can only wear button down dress shirts or golf shirts. No t-shirts. No visible logos. Only solid colors. No patterns. Pants can only be black, khaki or navy. Shirts must not be the same color as the pants. Shoelaces must be the same color as the shoe, and those colors must be either black, brown, or white. I can't even remember all the rules for girls' shoes, but there were a lot and they were strict. Belts are optional, but must be standard issue leather belts without embellishment or additional buckles if worn. Clothes must be fitted properly (i.e., no baggy pants, no big shirts). Hair must not be distracting. Pretty sure the kid's hairdo falls into the distracting category. The best way to describe his hair would be to imagine a blonde afro. Only, not quite as curly. It stand out a few inches all over his head. He thinks it's very rock and roll. Pretty sure the school won't.

* The kid slept until K got home from work, about 12:30. He took a shower while K puttered around the house before lunch. If he had to be reminded to bathe, at least I wasn't the one reminding him.

*Also, where is his towel? Probably wadded into a soggy ball in the corner of the guest room. Towels don't grow on trees, kid! I only left one additional towel in the cabinet on purpose.

* K and I revisted the "search the bag for drugs/don't search the bag for drugs" discussion. I'm on secret duty at first opportunity. I might wear gloves.

* The kid seems to be enjoying the visit. K said he caught him smiling more than once while they were working on music. He takes his dishes to the sink, and hasn't spilled anything red anywhere (that I know of). He remembers where things go in the fridge, and I haven't found any random trash anywhere. I'm a little afraid to go into the guest room, though.

* Current tally: Trips to the grocery store? 2 Meals provided? 1 I really don't want to go to the grocery store a third day in a row.