But really, any excuse to watch Diamond Dave is a good one.
Friday, February 29, 2008
Today is Go Texan Day throughout the city as we celebrate the kick off of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The Rodeo is really something else -- it completely takes over the city for three weeks. Last night started a three-day barbecue cookoff that is one of the most coveted tickets in town. Today 15 trail rides will arrive in town with hundreds of riders on horseback (rendering traffic completely FUBAR, but it's a small price to pay for such a big party).
The scope of the whole event amazes me -- check out that Wikipedia entry: 19,000 volunteers, 2 million attendees, hundreds of millions of dollars spent. It seems like everybody in town participates in some way, either by dressing up, attending the events, volunteering, etc.
Not to mention those two little cowpokes above.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
...because today I conducted a junk food taste test just for you. Here are the results:
Soft Batch Homestyle Peanut Butter Cookie
Peanuts are grown in dirt, I believe. The "homestyle" element of this cookie comes from its distinctive dirt taste -- fresh-picked flavor, as it were. But what it lacks in taste, texture and nutritional value it makes up in size. It is a very large, bad cookie.
Hostess Jumbo Honey Bun
Tastes sort of like putting a cigarette out in your mouth. A sticky cigarette. Not recommended. Hostess even disavows them by not putting a photo on their site.
Easily the best out of this bunch. Like a Little Debbie Fudge Round, with more intense chocolate flavor in the cake part (and, obviously, white "cream" in the center instead of chocolate). Nice and chewy; a substantial snack. The package says, "three servings," which I would normally counter with a hearty "ha HA," but in this case, it is at least 1.5 servings, even for the piggy (i.e. me). A package of three cost 99 cents at the gas station; Little Debbie Fudge Rounds are usually 99 cents for a box of ten, but that might not be a good thing anyway, right?
Monday, February 25, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
Saturday, February 16, 2008
1. Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl's mother wrote homemaking books.
2. Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln were born on the same day.
3. St. Fiacre is the patron saint of gardeners and taxicabs.
4. Francoise Gilot married Jonas Salk after she split from Pablo Picasso. (Pink magazine, not online).
5. Billy Joel's wife is a cookbook author. (And, OMG, you should see her closet.) (Town & Country, not online)
6. The Valentine's Day Massacre remains an unsolved mystery.
7. "I did not have 3,000 pairs of shoes. I had 1,060." -- Imelda Marcos (also from Pink).
8. In New York, clothing and shoes under $110 are not subject to sales tax.
9. Audrey Hepburn's singing was dubbed in My Fair Lady.
10. But Rex Harrison recorded his songs during the regular filming -- not in the studio beforehand.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
There are two things I need to get off my chest:
1) The word "gift" is not a verb. It is a noun; it cannot be conjugated. Say it with me Oprah, "Gayle gave me a candle." "We gave the guests a party favor."
2) It is not within human power to "bless" anything. Humans may ask the blessing of God (or whomever), but they cannot do the blessing themselves.
Let's all work together to eliminate this insidious bad grammar before Mamacita completely LOSES HER SHIT on somebody.
Monday, February 11, 2008
I've been collecting these for a while -- just some fun stuff for kids online.
Category I: Rube Goldberg Machines
Emmet is totally obsessed with Rube Goldberg machines -- you know, those elaborate, nonsensical contraptions where one action sets off a series of other actions.
HEMA -- Dutch department store website. Let the page load and you'll see all its tricks.
The Cog -- a Honda commercial on YouTube
Category II: YouTube
Pancakes -- a longtime favorite
Feist: 1-2-3-4 -- music video with great colors and dancing
Lucy and Ethel at the Candy Factory
Mary Poppins' Spoonful of Sugar
Also, Sweet Juniper has a good list for the preschool set.
Category III: Interactive
Bembo's Zoo -- making animals out of the alphabet
Faces in Places -- the Flickr group's blog (that's my contribution above)
Lunchtimers -- a game to play with letter magnets
Jackson Pollock -- make your own Jackson Pollock design
coloriage -- coloring with the mouse
If you have more, leave them in the comments.
Julie has decided on a winner in our Sock Contest; actually, she renounced her own socks and chose two winners. Step right up, Uncle Miles, who suggested "Tubthumping," and Letitia, who suggested "Dancing with Myself." However, we also have an honorable mention in SGM, who suggested "Gold Digger." Furthermore, Julie needs to learn not to renounce nice things that are rightfully hers. So, lordy, that's four pairs of fancy socks.
Contestants not appearing on stage receive ... my hearty thanks! Sorry, no, you cannot trade it in for a box of Rice-a-Roni.
Thanks also to sweet little Julie for letting me exploit her pain. You rock, Julie!
Saturday, February 9, 2008
1. There is a method to the madness of naming items at IKEA.
2. People who lose their sight sometimes have vivid hallucinations.
3. Robert Frost spent winters in Florida.
4. Lincoln Logs were invented by Frank Lloyd Wright's son, John.
5. Frank Woodruff Buckles is the last surviving American World War I veteran.
6. The Palace of Brussels features a mosaic composed entirely of beetles.
7. Some guy was planning a Super Bowl massacre.
8. Dwight Yoakum has his own line of chicken nuggets.
9. Kool-Aid has a line of tennis shoes out, complete with scented liners.
10. Jack Johnson recorded a song with the Black-Eyed Peas.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
So today is Mardi Gras, Pancake Day and also World Nutella Day. To celebrate Mardi Gras you could make jambalaya -- below is the recipe I used on Sunday. I will be celebrating pancake day, myself (the one good reason to show up at church). If you are so inclined to celebrate Nutella day, you could make Uncle John's most excellent Nutella Cookies, too, but you'd better hurry up and eat them before Lent starts.
For more Mardi Gras goodness, I suggest you visit Bayou Contessa for pictures and New Orleans Cuisine for recipes.
Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
5 celery stalks, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup rice
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
3 c chicken stock
*For seasoning mix, combine ¼ tsp cayenne, 1 tsp kosher salt, ¼ tsp thyme, ½ tsp sage, ¼ tsp dried basil, ½ tsp black pepper, and 3 bay leaves.
**best to buy the shrimp on the small side
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
On stovetop, in an ovenproof casserole or dutch oven, cook andouille to render fat. Remove andouille and set aside. Cook onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic in the fat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir, cooking until grains are opaque. Return andouille to pot along with tomatoes and seasoning mix, stirring well to coat everything. Add stock and bring to a boil, then cover and place in oven for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, add shrimp to casserole, stirring them into mixture below stock line. Continue to bake until rice is done and stock is absorbed (about 15 minutes more). If the rice is done but the stock isn’t fully absorbed, well, there are worse things.
Monday, February 4, 2008
Sunday, February 3, 2008
My friend Julie is going through a break-up right now, and is in search of a Theme Song to cheer her up. I'm not really up on my music -- nothing in the Andrews Sisters' catalog seems quite right -- so I'm asking for an assist here. Any ideas for my friend? Now this has to be a kick-ass song to get her through the rest of the winter and, you know, that holiday that comes up later in the month...
So let's make it a contest! Whoever finds a song for our friend will win ... the cutest pair of socks in the world! Seriously, no matter how rainy it is this spring, how could you not be happy in these rainbow striped knee socks? They're from Alex Kabbaz of CustomShirt1.com. Alex is a friend-of-a-friend, and sells the most delicious socks in the world. He sells men's socks, too, and could probably ship them to you in time for that Mid-February Holiday. If you choose the winning song, you can pick black or white, ankle- or knee-length socks.
Anyway, contest rules:
1. Song cannot be about love OR about breaking up (e.g. "I Will Survive").
2. Post your entries in the comments, with a YouTube link if possible.
3. Winner to be determined by my friend Julie (who will get her own pair of cheerful socks, naturally).
4. Contest ends on February 10.
On your mark, get set, GO!
Saturday, February 2, 2008
1. Chef MIMAL resides in the Midwest: look at the outlines of Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana and you'll see the chef in profile. (HT: Papi and Neogaf)
2. Sesame Street has won 109 Emmys.
3. Nine-party coalitions are fragile.
4. The word robot is Czech.
5. Jackson Pollock studied under Thomas Hart Benton.
6. Congress paid $23,950 for the 6,000+ volumes in the Thomas Jefferson library in 1815.
7. San Francisco used to be called Yerba Buena.
8. Sound waves can extinguish flames.
9. Scotty from Star Trek (James Doohan) was in the Normandy invasion on D-Day with the Royal Canadian Artillery.
10. Only the U.S. and the Philippines have commercial bail bondsmen.
Friday, February 1, 2008
Yowza -- I doubt I'm up for this, but maybe you are: AMC is having a special on February 23 where you can watch all 5 of the movies nominated for "Best Picture" for only $30. You also get a large popcorn for free and free refills all day on drinks. In those halcyon, pre-child days I would have been all over this.
Here's a picture of George Clooney. I think he might be in one of those movies. Whatever.