Friday, February 29, 2008

In Honor of Leap Day



But really, any excuse to watch Diamond Dave is a good one.

Go Texan Day


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

You Can't Say I Never Did Anything For You...

...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.

Oreo Cakesters
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

Happy Birthday, Daddy!


Daddy, originally uploaded by houston mamacita.

Daddy was in town this weekend keeping the city safe from clay pigeons. Thanks, Daddy!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

10 Things I Didn't Know Last Week

Picture via People

1. The Fug Girls wrote a book.

Sorry, that's all my brain could manage this week. Fingers crossed for some awesome Fug tomorrow night!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Happy Happy Joy Joy

Tina Fey is hosting Saturday Night Live tomorrow night!

Thanks again Park Bench

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hump Day Humor

White Whine, where white people lodge complaints.

Chuck Norris Facts: "Chuck Norris can sneeze with his eyes open."

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's bouquet


Valentine's bouquet, originally uploaded by houston mamacita.

Emmet and Becca picked it out -- it's very pink.

What Has Barack Obama Done for You Lately?

Barack Obama Is Your New Bicycle.
(it's funny -- keep hitting the page reload button to see more of them.)

via Kottke

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day


I hope your box is full!

Photo: Emmet's Valentines box

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Currently: Researching Boarding Schools

I am so scared of having teenagers.



via Boing Boing

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Party at SGM's Place

Go visit our friend SGM and play along in the Lucky Spring Shoe Guide caption contest. Here are some of SGM's entries:

For the Love of God, People

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

What mamacita is ...


Kids' Web

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.

The Envelope Please...


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!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

TINAFEYTINAFEYTINAFEY!

The trailer for the new Tina Fey movie is out!

Hat tip to my new favorite blog The Park Bench ("a gathering place for nerdy women").

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Happy Fat Tuesday!

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 pound andouille, sliced into rounds
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
seasoning mix*
3 c chicken stock
1 pound peeled shrimp**

*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

What mamacita is ...

Reading













Planting









daffodils photo by Flickr user Sandi Marie

He's Got Moves

Quick video -- check out this high school wrestler's backflip.



HT: Lady Andrea

Sunday, February 3, 2008

A Contest!

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!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Johnny Fedora and Alice Bluebonnet

starring the Andrews Sisters!



For Uncle John.

Visine Not Included


George Clooney, originally uploaded by houston mamacita.

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.

Improv Everywhere Strikes Again

This time they had 200 people freeze in place at Grand Central Station for a full five minutes. They did such a great job -- I don't know if I could stand so still for a full five minutes.