Addictions

I don’t have an addictive personality, but if I did, here are some things I could easily see myself getting hooked on.

1. DQ Ice Cream cake. I had some again tonight for the first time in years. The last time I had one was probably my 10th birthday party. It was the sweet taste of nostalgia mixed with chocolate crunchies. The fact that Dairy Queen calls them “Chillabration Cakes”, however, makes me cringe a little.

2. Twitter. I just jumped on the Twitter bandwagon, and I’m starting to enjoy it. It’s still a little strange updating people about the mundane details of my life, but then again, that’s kind of what I do on this blog. If I think of Twitter as a micro-blog, I don’t feel so bad. Plus, I can see what Ben Folds is up to, which is really pretty awesome.

3. Tabbed browsing. Okay… there’s no point in sugar coating it… I’m ALREADY addicted to tabbed browsing. So addicted in fact that Patrick had to put a limit on the number of tabs I can open at one time on Firefox. My max is five. If I exceed this, a pop-up box comes up to scold me. What can I say? I love information overload. I love having the world at my fingertips. I love being able to set something aside, knowing that I can come back to it later. Tabbed browsing rules no matter how you slice it.

4. Bravo. I don’t have cable right now, but the Real Housewives are one of my guilty pleasures. Cut me some slack.

5. Target and TJ Maxx. I’m giving myself a break from both these stores for a while. While I may love them, my credit card does not. They are my oasis in the desert. I am led to water, and I leave satiated but much, much poorer.

6. Saving stray animals. I have been known to rescue a stray cat or two. Some of them I find homes for. Some of them wind up living with me. I’ll be sure to introduce you to Fish Taco and Simba. I’d rescue them all if I could. Nonetheless, spay and neuter your animals, people.

Casserole Mania

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Lately, I feel like I need to remind myself of this when I feel particularly out of control. The list of things on my to-do list is a little harrowing right now, so I’m taking a blog break to tell you about my new plan.

Yesterday, I put the pedal to the metal and got cookin’. The plan for this week is to spend as little time as possible in the kitchen. Ideally, I’ll have enough time left over to hit the gym and enough food left over to have dinner for another day. I made a broccoli rice casserole with Quorn chicken (a vegetarian’s delight!) and two pans of veggie lasagna. I froze one of the lasagnas. When that food runs out, I plan on making veggie enchiladas and freezing some of those. I’ll let you know if that works out and will be sure to provide a recipe for the lasagna. If I can keep it up, I’ll have a happier, saner kitchen and hopefully a happier, saner me.

*****

In other news, my situation with technology right now is flat out comical.

My flip phone, which is practically vintage, shuts off when you set it down with just a tad too much gusto. The power cord for my MacBook is almost kaput. (I currently have a rock I found on vacation weighing it down so it will stay connected properly – don’t ask me why, but it works). And my ipod occasionally powers up – on two-week intervals – before dying again for another couple of weeks. At least my birthday wishlist just wrote itself.

Sad Technology

Props to My Peeps

One of the most terrible feelings in the world is not being able to be completely happy for a friend or loved one when they have good news. “Why not me?!” I sometimes want to shout. Jealousy is a dangerous thing, and today, I’m giving myself full control to say to any shred of envy I harbor: “Go away. You are not welcome here.” So to all my friends who have accomplished something awesome recently, way to go! Pat yourself on the back and, if you’re far away, accept a great big, virtual Texas-sized hug from me. I’m proud of you. Honestly and truly. And I’m lucky to call you my friend.

I have one person in particular to whom I would like to send a virtual hug and high five. That person is my friend Alan (Double-A), who has the most AMAZING little girl. He gave me some good news today that was more refreshing than febreze to a men’s locker room. Alan has set the bar high with his perseverance and courage, and I have a big spot in my heart for him. Plus, he has the greatest nicknames for me ever. He calls me the Knife Wielding Cube (or Cube for short) because of this t-shirt I’m fond of from Bouldin Creek Coffeehouse in Austin.

So, thanks, Double-A, for putting it all in perspective.

Love,
The Cube

Detours

Days after my trip out of west, I am now officially a Texan. I “surrendered” my Tennessee license to the DMV people on Friday, putting the wishful thinking aside for a while. At least I was smart enough to bring a book this time. (If you’re looking for a pretty solid read, I suggest The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender.) I sat there for more than two stinkin’ hours. Why do real life, boring errands always take the most time? Going to the bank, going to the post office, etc. etc. I sometimes wish the lengthy lines would have a fun ride at the end of them or burritos or something. At least then it would be worth the wait.

*****

As promised, a little more about the vacation. Patrick and I spent a lot of time on the trip laughing. At one point, we made a wrong turn on a Sonoma road and pulled into a driveway to turn around. The homeowners had a few goats, and the goats were not happy about our detour. We got bleated at by the most aggressive, meanest sounding, ugliest goat I have ever seen. Not that I’ve seen very many goats. He reminded me of the goat from the 1985 movie version of Alice in Wonderland. Know it? With Carol Channing? And Mr. Miyagi? And John Stamos? Who would have thought all three of those people could possibly wind up in a movie together? And man that movie gave me some serious nightmares. Anyway, I digress. We got bleated at. And then we went and drank delicious Sonoma wine overlooking beautiful vineyards.

Following our wine, we had dinner at a swanky Napa vegetarian restaurant called Ubuntu. I conned Patrick into going because he thought there was a Linux association. The restaurant is also a yoga studio (how cool!), and a lot of the produce is grown on-site. The food was unique but very expensive; fancy culinary words usually mean fancy culinary prices. We dined on fennel and fig leaf gazpacho with smoked pecans; marinated ruby queen beets with goat/almond horchata and avocado; and arbuckle grits with goat’s whey (from the goat that bleated at us, perhaps?), fresh ricotta, blackened and braised favas and lavender mint.

For dessert: a corn pudding with crushed popcorn garnish, nectarines and fresh blackberries. All dishes were as much of a visual experience as they were a taste experience. You couldn’t help but contemplate each flavor as you took a bite. True to yoga form, the dining experience was also a period of reflection. It was an opportunity to try something new, for which I was grateful, but we both sort of left craving a big bowl of macaroni and cheese and some chocolate cake. Maybe we’re not really California people.

The Coastest with the Mostest

I know, I know. Before you berate me for being MIA for the last two weeks, please allow me to explain myself. I have been gallivanting around the West Coast. That probably doesn’t give me much room for forgiveness, does it? But let me tell you, it was the vacation of a lifetime! And driving up the coastal highway doesn’t exactly provide very many opportunities for blogging … or anything, for that matter, other than trying not to throw up while taking pictures out the window of the cliffs below.

Does this picture of Crater Lake make up for my absence?

Crater Lake

No? Well, you’ll just have to wait for the stories then – and there are lots – including one about an angry goat. I’ll be sure to highlight the best parts and worst parts of the trip in upcoming posts (once I get caught up on the things I left behind). For now, it’s off to bed so I can begin real life again tomorrow.