Monday, October 29, 2007

Open for Suggestions

Inspire me, readers. I am taking suggestions for all things. The following is the list of things I would like some suggestions.

  1. Music
  2. Books
  3. Websites - keep it clean, people.
  4. Beverages
  5. Cozy comforts
  6. Haircuts
  7. Blog topics

Let's Share

Along with Dream Dinners, my new obsession is Simplify Media. This is a revolutionary idea where you share your itunes library with your friends. It is not the illegal kind of sharing where I actually get to put the songs in my library, but instead, I just listen to their library when they are online.

I love it.

Right now, I can listen to Jodi's, Sara's, Amanda's, and Courtney's music. If you want to share music too, just invite me and if I know you, I will say yes. It is my first name and last name all lowercase.

This is what I love about sharing itunes right at this moment...
  • I am using Amanda's music as a bit of a time capsule to my junior high days. I can listen to "What She's Doing Now" by Garth Brooks on Amanda's tunes and go right back to the early 90's when I couldn't get enough of Garth. Oh! And "Burnin' Bridges"...I love that one too! She has a mean collection of early 90's Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith music. What? You didn't know that about me? You didn't know that I used to jam in my bedroom to christian rock in my pre-teen years? Proudly.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Minty Booze

I do not find myself in a liquor store very often. Every once in awhile, I might have to get wine if we have guests, but even then, I have no idea what I am buying. I just make sure it is over $15 and hope for the best.

However, today, I needed some creme de menthe for a cake that I was making. In the midwest, I could find mint syrup in the ice cream aisle at the grocery store, but not here. As I left the grocery store, I couldn't even think where there was a liquor store on the way home.

I found one and wandered without having any clue where to look for this. I saw signs for wines, vodkas, brandies, rums. So, I walked up and down each aisle. I couldn't find it and finally asked a man where to locate the creme de menthe section.

"Section? Try one bottle."

Okay. You don't have to embarrass me Liquor Man. I drink beer. I keep it simple. I am not going to be ashamed of my lack of booze knowledge.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ooo...They are Back

The smut is back.

NIP/TUCK returns on October 30. Set your TIVO if you are fancy and tech savvy. If you are like me, just cuddle into your couch and get yourself ready for ridiculousness that is Dr. Christian Troy and Dr. Sean McNamara.

Look how good they look. They look like they are ready to make Hollywood beautiful.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

My New Thing...Hopefully

Although I love to cook, my energies are low during the work week and I have been quite lazy with my meal preparation. Not only are my energies low after a day of kid-wrangling in kindergarten, but I tend to run out of ideas for dinner. It doesn't matter how many recipe books that I look at or how many recipes that I try, I end up cooking the same boring meals...if I cook at all.

My friend Sara was telling me about her meal preparation store that she goes to once a month. I was interested.

So, next Saturday, I will go to my local Dream Dinners and prepare 12 meals with three servings each. The food is all bought, cleaned, and prepared. I will put the meals together and they provide the tins and covers so I can take them home and freeze them. I think it is a pretty good deal, cost wise. Sure, you are paying for some of the convenient, but I will gladly do that so I do not have to plan and cook 12 meals during the work week. That leaves only eight days where I will have to think of something to cook, but Tim provides dinner every Thursday night. So, that really means that I only have to think of four meals a month!

We have a few meal preparation stores around Philly, but I will start with Dream Dinners. I might try Super Suppers next month. This is my new favorite thing. I am already looking at next months menus at these stores to see where I want to make December's meals.

I do love to plan meals and cook meals, but I will save those energies and creative juices for the weekend meals.

Friday, October 19, 2007

You're Late

Okay, I know I can do better than writing about Dane Cook.

I am not sure how a person can complain about 75 degree weather this late into October, but I can. I am ready for turtlenecks and cords. I am ready for the leaves to change. I love fall and I love being able to pick up a coffee and go for a long drive with Tim on a Sunday. And I wait. The leaves are still on all of the trees and they are mostly green. C'mon!

I am going to a football game on Sunday and I would like nothing better than to wear my puffy vest and sipping on a hot cocoa.

I Don't Even Want to Include His Name in This Title

Who is this Dane Cook and why is he being forced upon me?

I have been forced to watch my fair share of post-season baseball this fall. I guess this guy Dane Cook has a few promos where he talks about the glory that is October. Whenever I see it, I make the same comment to Tim.

I have no idea why this guy is famous. I am sure there is a good reason, but I have never seen him in a movie. I have never seen his comedy act. I attribute this to a whole generational gap that I am thankful for. I think if I was in college when Dane Cook became famous, maybe I would know him. However, he could be my next door neighbor. I wouldn't know.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Midwestern Recipe: Pumpkin Bread

I am a big fan of sweet breads. I like this seasonal treat because it is moist and flavorful. So moist that it really needs to be eaten in two or three days.

1 3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup margarine or butter
2 eggs
1 can of pureed pumpkin
1/3 cup milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Combine all ingredients with the milk and vanilla last. Bake in oven for one hour at 350 degrees. Check with knife. It is done cooking when the knife comes out clean.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Another Tribute

If you are a reader of The Midwestern Position, than you know how I love puffy vests.

Some might see the turning of the leaves or the arrival of Halloween candy as the first sign of fall, but for me, fall means a new puffy vest.

Don't be deceived by this red puffy. My new puffy is kelly green. Quite vibrant and eye catching. I plan to add a cream scarf and the cream hat that I already own to complete the stylish outfit. Did I tell you that my hat has a puffer on know...the puffer ball on the top of the hat.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Question of the Day

Do we ever stop making the same mistakes over and over again?

Does everyone make mistakes over and over again or is there hope for me and all the other people whose foresight is completely obscured by emotions, excuses, or some other unconvincing arguments.

When I look at other people and the choices they make in their lives, it seems that they make the same choice/mistake over and over. It got me thinking about the decisions that I have made in my life. Anything from my ability to lose a little bit of weight, only to gain it back again to accepting unacceptable behaviors from the people in my life.

I guess I am one of many. Sometimes, I will think this is a good quality. For example, I give lots and lots of second chances only to be disappointed. Then, I usually start making excuses for people's behaviors and think my standards are too high. Finally, I get pissed and let them know exactly what I think.

Or even worse! I let it go only to make the same mistake again that leads to frustration.

Let's take weight loss. What it comes down to is that it bores me. Bad. It can keep my attention for about a week. Even when I think about the positive consequences in my life, I still cannot stay motivated to make healthy choices. For example, the beautiful and delicious buffalo chicken cheese steak that I have written about with great love before on this blog. I know that if I eat the whole thing, I will be uncomfortable, but it is so good. So, I make the mistake and eat it...even when I know, but my foresight is obscured by bleu cheese.

I am sure I could think of more mistakes/choices that I continue to make, but I do not need a shame spiral tonight.

Oh and that excuse about "we all make mistakes" is no good when you keep making them. It is time we all start learning from our mistakes.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Because I Can...

Let me complain a little...

The other night, we were returning from Delaware where we had enjoyed babysitting our little cousin, Emmeline. She is three months and so cute. We were on the interstate where they were doing some repairs at midnight. There was only one lane open. The left lane.

Warnings were given for many, many miles prior to the narrowing of the lanes into one lane, yet so many people just kept driving in the right lanes. When it was finally time to squeeze into the left lane, Tim let one person in and kept driving. One guy who drove by all the people waiting their turn in the left lane wanted in and Tim did not let him.

So, he threw up his aggressive middle finger to let us know how victimized he felt.

Really??? So, Mr. Aggressive Driver, you think because you did not show courtesy to all the people waiting patiently in the left lane that we should show you courtesy. When you give people the middle finger, it doesn't encourage us to be courteous to you.

People just have more guts when they are surrounded by metal and glass.

However, just the other day, three teenage girls crossed the street in the middle of a very busy road and not at the crosswalk. They made people slow down and stop so they could cross. So, I honked. Yes, this might have been seen as aggressive, but I wanted to let them know they were not be courteous. However, they let me know with a synchronized middle finger that they did not need the reminder.

Let's just all be nice.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Midwestern Endorsement: Pushing Daisies

Last week, I wrote about my disappointments with some of the fall pilot shows. However, Pushing Daisies do not fit into this category.

Instead, I love Pushing Daisies. It falls somewhere between a mystery and fantasy with lots of quirks in between. The narration reminds me of Ameile which is one of my favorite movies. Unlike so many of the television shows on each evening, it has an interesting concept.

Ned - the guy in the tie - has the skill of returning people to life with his touch, but if he touches them again, they are returned to being dead. Some mystery solving happens along with clever and witty writing between characters.

I see this show as being innocent and simple and not messed up with torrid story lines and annoying self-absorbed characters. I will be watching Pushing Daisies on Wednesdays at 8/7 central.

Down and Sort of Out

I like to claim that I have an immune system of steel. This is not the case this weekend. I felt it sneaking up on me with dry throat. I felt one nostril closing up with whatever mystery gunk is up there.

Well, I woke up with a full blown cold. Solutions...
  • Coffee (of course)
  • Dayquil
  • Childhood orange quilt
  • Reruns of half-hour television shows
  • Tim's laptop computer for look up things that pop into my do some online write this entry.
  • A great husband who will get me glasses of water and make frozen pizza for me.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

No Place for a Deer

Sure, they look cute and fragile, but they are damn fast.

I am rarely put in a place where my most basic verbal instinctive reaction occurs, but today as I drove home from school with a quick stop at the coffee shop, I revealed my words.

I screamed with my window down "HOLY SH..". Why? Well, I didn't expect to have a huge HUGE deer run in front of me in the middle of the city. Not just any deer, but a several horned buck that just kept running down a residential street. I am glad that we were perpendicular rather than parallel because I am sure I would have crashed into something because I couldn't look away from this rare and strange scene.

I just hope there weren't any children around to be shocked by my crass, yet gut verbal reaction.

Monday, October 01, 2007

TV Can Be Quite Good...These Are a Big Maybe

New shows rarely impress me. I usually will find one show a season that I am into. I entered into this new television season with high hopes for two shows, Chuck on NBC and Dirty Sexy Money on ABC. However, after watching the first episodes of each show, I think they both have fatal least in my eyes.

Chuck is clever enough. There are nerdy jokes which I like, but Chuck has downloaded all of the world's secrets into his mind. It will look like someone is going to die or some disaster will happen, but then Chuck reaches into his downloaded subconscious and can figure out the mystery at the last moment.

I am going to give it one more shot tonight with Chuck. I am going to hope that Chuck doesn't have an 'aha' moment during the last five minutes of the show to have an easy solution. Granted, it is a comedy and I should expect holes in the story, but I have high television series standards.

Then there is Dirty Sexy Money. What is there not to like about Peter Krauss. Dreamboat. However, unlike his earlier series Six Feet Under, these characters are an open book from the first 20 minutes of the series premiere. I hope they have not pigeon holed the characters so that there is very little character development.

I think television executives should know better now with excellent shows like The Sopranos or Six Feet Under that are character driven with a slow and unwinding art of story telling. With Dirty Sexy Money, I feel like I know the characters and their possible story lines after only one episode. I try to stay away from shows that are event driven rather than character driven.

This might be premature and I hope I can eat these words, but television executives dumb down shows and I think this is a big mistake. We are big boys and girls with brains. If you write it well, we will watch it.