Saturday, January 29, 2011


Today we went and saw Airplane! at the AMC theater in White Marsh. Apparently they play old films about once a month. I remember seeing Airplane! as a kid and thinking it was the funniest thing ever.

There were some things I didn't remember, like the disco dancing scene. There were some lines that I didn't realize/remember came from the movie--"Roger, Roger, what's our vector Victor?" and "Don't call me Shirley."

The movie was so simple in its mockery. I don't think this film could be made today. I think it would get mucked up with special effects, political correctness, and bad acting.

Airplane! was still funny. I'm glad we went.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

True Grit

We saw True Grit on MLK Monday and I think I've been putting off blogging about it because I don't think my writing can do it justice.

This movie made me feel. I felt so cold. I felt disgust, pride, joy, and sadness. I did not feel fear. I laughed and I cried. I was really impressed.

One thing I really liked was the dialog. The English they spoke was not the English we speak today. It was refreshing to hear the English language spoken eloquently--to hear the characters express themselves so clearly and passionately.

Excellent writing, wonderful acting, and great sound editing made for a top-notch film. I highly recommend True Grit.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cranberry Oat Bars

So much for staying away from the sweets recipes. I found a recipe on the HoHo site today and mucked about with it and made these bars. Here's my version of the recipe:

Cranberry Oat Bars

3/4 c dried cranberries
1/2 c seedless jam (I used a mixture of blueberry, Dundee, and blackberry)
1 Tbl. lime juice

Oats part:
6 Tbl. butter
1/2 c brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c flax
1/2 c all purpose flour
1/4 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c old fashioned oats

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease and flour 9x9 inch pan.
3. Prepare the filling by combining the ingredients in a food processor and processing until smooth.
4. For the cookie part cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.
5. Add egg and vanilla and mix well.
6. Add flours and spices and mix well.
7. Stir in oats.
8. Spread a little more than half the batter into the bottom of the pan.--This was another case of being more like cookie dough than cake batter. I used the back of a spoon with some oil sprayed on it to smooth out the dough.
9. Smooth out the filling over the dough.
10. Place remaining dough in spoonfulls over the filling and spread evenly.--That is easier said than done, and my dough didn't completely cover the filling.
11. Cook for 30 minutes.
12. Allow to cool completely before slicing.--This is supposed to make 15 squares, but I couldn't decide how I wanted to cut them, so I had a bunch of different sized squares.

These turned out okay. I felt like they were missing something. Might be better with ice cream.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dang It's Cold!

It was really cold here over the weekend. Ross closed the vents in the back room and I noticed it was frigid in there. As you can see on the thermostat it was 23.6 degrees outside and 54 degrees inside. Brrrr.

My Bad Posture = Bailey's New Perch

Bailey has taken to laying on my back when I'm sitting like this. As cute as it is I shouldn't sit this way because it kills my back.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Bailey Loves Ainsmar

Ainsmar picked up Bailey and put her in his lap and she just curled up and went to sleep!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cherry Crumble Cake

Last week I tried a cherry cake recipe with streusel topping from I wanted to use up the leftover cherries from New Year's. Of course I didn't completely follow the recipe. I used a different streusel topping and changed a couple things in the cake. The batter was more like cookie dough than cake batter and tasted much better the second day after it had settled.

Cherry Crumble Cake

3/4 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c cold butter

1. Mix all ingredients with pastry cutter until it forms small crumbs.
2. Put mixture into the refrigerator.

3/4 c + 1 Tbl. butter
1 c sugar
2 eggs
2 1/4 c sifted flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 c bottled or canned red cherries, drained
almond extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Grease and paper an 8 inch springform pan. (I used a 9 inch)
3. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
4. Add vanilla and almond extract. (I probably put about a teaspoon each)
5. Add eggs one at a time, beating well.
6. Add flour and baking powder and mix well.
7. Spread half the cake batter evenly into the bottom of the pan. --This is where things got difficult. The batter is thick and stiff, so I was basically pressing it with the back of a spoon to try and spread/smooth it out.
8. Spread cherries over the cake batter.
9. Sprinkle nutmeg over cherries.
10. Spread remaining batter over the cherries. --Again, not easy.
11. Sprinkle cold streusel over the cake.--I didn't end up using all of it. You can kind of see in the photo how it sort of formed a crust because I used it to fill in the gaps where the cake batter didn't reach the edge of the pan.
12. Cook for 45 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.

I think the almond extract is what really made this good. Like I said, it was much better cold the second day than right out of the oven. I haven't decided what recipe I'm going to try this week. I should probably stay away from the sweets.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Extra Eyes for Black Ops

Ross says I'm the best girlfriend ever (nevermind that we are married) cause I watch him play Call of Duty Black Ops (for the wii) and help him by by telling him if I see guys for him to shoot. One problem that we have is that Ross doesn't know his left from his right. To try and solve this I put two post-it notes on the TV. I put a star on the left side and an apple on the right side. I still haven't gotten the hang of saying "guy on your apple!"

Sometimes I get really into it. Just now I shouted "Claymore!" and actually saved Ross from blowing himself up with his own claymore. I get all excited when he actually pulls of knifing someone or shoots someone in the crotch.

Tonight Ross was putting the kettle on and I picked up the wiimote and decided to play a round. I killed 7 people and died 12 times in a round of hard core free for all. Not too bad for a newbie (Ross just had a round where he killed 3 people and died 12 times).

When school starts we won't be able to sit around playing black ops any more. And maybe I'll stop dreaming about it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

My Freak T1

I can't believe this picture was taken almost a year ago. I've been meaning to post about it for that long! I have a freakishly large spinous process on my T1 vertebra. It makes certain yoga poses like shoulder stand, plow, and deaf man's pose quite painful. I always end up with a sore/bruised spot. It sucks cause I really like deaf man's pose. I'm not any good at any of these poses, and I don't think I'll get any better because when it comes time to do them I only do deaf man's pose (the third one in the photo), if I do any of them at all.

It's all in the Details

While unloading things from the back of Ross's car I found this drawing that Ethan did on the back of a sushi menu. I love all the details that Ethan drew--like Ross's stubble, argyle sweater, and the A buttons on the wiimotes.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Don't Mess With Texas Celebrity Face-Off

This year is the 25th anniversary of the Don't Mess With Texas ad campaign. To celebrate TxDOT is hosting a Celebrity Face-Off. This means you can go to the website, watch the different ads, and vote for your favorites.

My favorite is Willy Nelson, who was voted the favorite in 1998. I also really like the Texas Confederate Air Force ad.

So, if you're a Texan, wannabe Texan, or just curious about the whole Don't Mess With Texas motto check out the ads and vote. The campaign has made Texans realize that littering is unlAWFUL, given us pride in our state, helped clean up Texas, and keep it beautiful. Don't Mess With Texas is no longer just an ad campaign, it is part of our national (Texan) and personal identities.

Friday, January 14, 2011

They Call Me Trinity & Trinity is Still My Name

A while back we watched They Call Me Trinity. It was a really funny western. It has a great scene with Trinity pulling out his gun in fast motion. You can see it in the trailer. In addition to being funny this movie has some great fight scenes. I highly recommend this movie, which is available on Netflix DVDs.

We've had Trinity is Still My Name sitting around the house for a while and we finally watched it last night. It wasn't nearly as good as the first movie. In fact, I'd call it weak. Most sequels don't live up to the first movie, and that's definitely the case with these two movies.

It's hard to imagine these westerns as foreign films, but they are. These are Italian movies.

Here's the movie trailer for They Call Me Trinity. Enjoy the cheesy theme song.

Here's the Best Scene from Trinity is Still My Name

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cherry Pillow, and one Better

Ages ago I bought myself this cherry pillow. It is filled with cherry pits. I heat it up in the microwave and it smells like cherry pie. I have become pretty dependent on it. I heat it up and use it whenever I have any aches and pains. I also sleep with it. Most of the time I put it on my sacrum and that's how I go to sleep. We now have two of these pillows. I love them.

The other day my tummy hurt and I got something better than the cherry pillow. Bailey curled up on my tummy. She doesn't start off hot like the cherry pillow, but she doesn't get cold. If anything she gets warmer. I'm sure my robe and the cold weather had a lot to why she curled up with me, but it was nice anyway.

Acorn Squash

Last week I did try a new recipe: Roasted Acorn Squash. We had some acorn squash leftover from the farm and so I decided to finally cook them up.
This is what the squash looks like:

After I cut it in half and scooped out the seeds and stringy bits:
I put butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup in the center of each half. Then I put them into a pan and added some water to the bottom of the pan. I baked them in the oven (at 400 degrees) for 70 minutes and they were done. With all the sweet goo it tasted good, but definitely isn't my favorite squash. With very controlled addition of butter and sugar each half was only around 200 calories. I think we still have three halves in the fridge that we need to eat. I wouldn't specifically buy acorn squash to make this.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Dark Tower: Song of Susannah

Well, this weekend I finished book VI of the Dark Tower. In book V I was annoyed when Harry Potter and Stephen King were mentioned. Stephen King has an even bigger role in Song of Susannah. That was very, very irksome. It's like when singers mention their name in their songs. Grrr.

Still, I ripped through it. Now I only have one book left and I'll be done with the series. I think the first book was the best of them all so far.

Now that I'm done with the book hopefully I can get back to knitting.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Tea Inventory

I thought I'd make up a tea inventory cause I was thinking of inviting someone over for tea and wanted to be able to tell them what all I have. Geez, I fit a lot of tea into that cabinet.

Loose Leaf
Almond Cake Green
Black Currant
Black Pomegranate
Brown Rice Green
Burnside Oolong
Camellia Blossoms
Cherry White
Don Ding Oolong
Earl Grey
Georgian Village
Ginger-Ginseng Tisane
Green Pu-Ehr
Honey Pheonix Oolong
Jin Xuan
Kabuse No. 2 (Green)
Keemun (Company)
Longetivity Green
Masala Chai
Mauritius Vanilla Black
Mihong Jasmine
Moroccan Mint
Oolong (Taiwanese)
Texas Blend

Earl Grey
Sleepy Time

Friday, January 7, 2011

10th Anniversary Dinner

Last night Ross and I celebrated 10 years of marriage. We went out to Dinner at Liberatore's in Bel Air. I wanted to try something different, and I didn't want to go very far. We ordered the Rustichella as an appetizer. It was bread topped with goat cheese, kalamata olives, onions, raw garlic, tomatoes, mozzarella, and pesto. It was too many very strong flavors colliding at once. Overall, I didn't like it.

For our main courses I ordered the tortellacchi and Ross ordered the filet of Pisa. My dish was pasta stuffed with veal and beef and folded into a giant tortellini. The sauce was a very strong, red tomato sauce. Ross's filet of Pisa was a meat sandwich. The beef was the bread, and in between was a slice of mozzarella and a chunk of portabello mushroom. The whole thing was set on a bed of cooked spinach and topped with a tomato. Not a slice of tomato. A cut-to-look-a-little-fancy roma tomato. Ross also got sides! The entrée came with veggies and mashed potatoes. It was enough food for at least two people. Ross really liked his steak. I liked my pasta, but I thought the sauce was a little heavy and overwhelmed the flavor of the actual tortellachi.

Ross ordered a cappuccino, and it didn't take forever like it does in some restaurants. I thought it was good. We also ordered tiramisu. I like to try tiramisu wherever I can. When it came out we laughed. It looked like some kind of ghetto oreo cookie cake. The taste was good, but I didn't like the texture. The "cake" was topped with ground chocolate that was so chunky that at first we both thought it was mini chocolate chips. I couldn't actually taste the mascarpone. The dessert (I hesitate to call it tiramisu) was basically lady fingers (the soft kind) covered in some sort of frothy white sauce and then topped with ground chocolate. Of course there was chocolate sauce drizzled on the plate.

Overall it was good dinner, but not great. I prefer The Olive Tree. It might not be as hoity-toity, but the food is never disappointing. Sadly, their tiramisu isn't awesome either.

Ross surprised me with a necklace. I feel bad that I didn't get him anything. I'll post a photo of the necklace soon.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Aerial Yoga

Nancy, my wonderfully awesome yoga teacher, invited me to an aerial yoga class. We began with some regular yoga, and then started to use the strap/sling/hammock to help us with our poses. It takes some getting used to, but it was really, really fun. My two favorite things that we did were hanging upside down in full lotus and shivasana. The gentle swaying in shivasana was great. I curled up into the fetal position and rolled onto my right side and that was even better. I guess I like the cocoon feeling.

The glasses on my forehead cracks me up. I could actually see putting something like this up in my house.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Yoga Against the Wall

Today's yoga class was up against the wall. My favorite part was when we went from backbend to downward dog. I like flipping over. It is fun, like a cartwheel. The challenge was to go back the other way. I tried it a couple of times, but I wasn't successful. I was able to kick up into a handstand up against the wall. I'll keep working at flipping back up to the wall.

My teacher invited me to an aerial yoga class. I'm so excited. Maybe I can get her to take a picture of me so that I can post it.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year Everyone!

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Cake is an Essential Food

We bought a pandoro to have for dessert on new years eve. When the checker rang it up she was freaked out because the register wasn't adding tax. The other cashier said that Maryland doesn't tax essential foods. This just goes to prove that cake is an essential food--even cake imported from Italy.

Ross made zabaglione and we had that with cherries and the cake. I started the no C diet today, so I won't be having any for a while.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Managing My Downloads

Kazaa was working wonderfully over Christmas and I downloaded a couple hundred songs. Managing the downloads is business. Not a tricky business, or a hard business, but it's definitely a business. I won't bore you with the details.

We got a terabyte drive over the Thanksgiving weekend and I've backed up all my photos and music. Actually, I've backed up my music twice. It is so much easier to do now that I'll never wait months to back up my stuff again. Today I was importing some CDs into iTunes and screwed something up. It was nice to be able to delete everything and start fresh all over again. I don't think I lost many songs, if any, since I had backed up my music on December 29th.

Among the bounty of songs I downloaded last weekend were a couple of songs I've been looking for for a long time: Water into Wine by Cold Chisel and A Million Miles Away by David Byrne. The David Byrne song was actually ripped from a youTube video. I get my music however I can, as long as it's free! I've put the two songs on the Songs Stuck in My Head list. You can click and download them free.

Goals for 2011

1. Finish The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. I thought I had three books left, but I only have two. Still, they total 1600+ pages in paperback. I just got book VI and it is only 411 pages in hard cover.

2. Read a book in Spanish. Back in college I read Cien Años de Soledad by Gabriel García Márquez and really enjoyed it. I picked up Amor en los Tiempos de Cólera a few years ago, but I haven't been able to get through it. I will give it another go, and if I don't get anywhere I'll try a different book.

3. Finish two knitting projects. I'm about half-way through a project I've been working on for Tejal. I said I'd have it done by Christmas, but I neglected it for a few months. I'd like to get that finished up in the next month, and I'm not sure what I'll make after that. I want a new hat and scarf, so I might work on that.

4. Get back to 140 lb. Over the last year and half I've put on about 15 pounds. This morning I was 153.5. I'm going to start the No C diet and calorie counting tomorrow.

5. Update songs stuck in my head each weekend. I don't know why I don't update it very often, but I'm going to try harder this year.

6. Visit DC. There are still a couple of monuments and museums that I want to see, so I need to do that.

7. Do 90 minutes of Yoga each week. The yoga classes are 90 minutes, so if I go once a week, that takes care of that, but at home I'd have to do a couple of dvds.

8. Go to NYC three times. The year I lived in Baltimore city I went to New York City five times. In the last two years I've only been twice. I needs me some shoes!

9. Go to the drive in three times. We went twice last year, and it was a lot of fun. I'd like to go at least three times in 2011.

10. Try a new recipe each week. I tend to cook the same few things over and over and over again. I need to give some new recipes a try.