Martha–It’s Not A Good Thing

I know this may come as a shock to some of you, but I’m a pretty good cook. Cooking, baking, cassaroling, I can do it all. I take pride in my yummy cinnabon cinnamon rolls. Just ask Justin. Every time I make them he mumbles, “These are the best yet!” And then he scarfs down 4 of them. That recipe isn’t for the weak. It takes prep time. So if you’ve got 2-3 hours on a weekend morning, just ask and I’ll give it to you for a small charge.

However, there is a difference between cooking and baking. The microwave cooks it doesn’t bake. Jessi cooks and bakes but that isn’t the difference. You bake things like cakes, rolls or cinnamon rolls. You cook things like steaks, beef stew and noodles. I’ve associated it with baking yummy sweet things and cooking hearty dinner type foods. I’ve never messed up cooking. But I have had 2 incidents while baking. My self-esteem was shot there for a while after those incidents, but I got the nerve to bake again–with counseling. As part of my therapy I will tell you what they were and how they affected me.

1) I wanted a bagel. I didn’t have a job but I had a cookbook. Betty Crocker made it look so easy as she does with everything. So with plenty of time on my hands I decided to make some bagels. In hindsight, I should have just scrounged up the 95 cents and just bought one, but I was a doe head and confident enough to think I could do it. I made the dough and everything was working great. The excitement was growing. Until the instructions said broil for 2-5 minutes. Um, I’d never broiled before and I didn’t even know what it was. I assumed it was some baking term for ‘bake really close to the oven unit.’ So that’s what I did. Almost choking to death with blackened bagel smoke, I scrapped bagel making forever. Boy does Einstein and his brother have a tough job.

2) I wanted to be Martha Stewart one Halloween. No not be her, but I wanted to be crafty and creative like her. I found a recipe on her website for a pumpkin shaped cake. Oh it looked so good and I thought to myself ‘everyone at work will just love me if I waltz in with this.’ “Yes, yes I made it. Oh it was very simple!”

But it wasn’t and I should have written to her and complained that her recipes aren’t up to the standard of me, putting all the blame on her where it belonged. I also should have known that her recipes are for women who don’t work and have a kitchen the size of Wyoming. I had to buy all the ingredients because I didn’t own any of them. This wasn’t the standard chocolate chip cookies, this monster pumpkin was bigger than any chocolate chip cookie.

I started off great, following the directions. But I had two different pans so my final product didn’t line up. And the amount of chocolate that was supposed to be between the layers was well, too much. What a waste. And I should have just bought frosting, that’s a whole other disappointment. Basically the cake looked horrendous. But if you just cut it into slices, it tasted surprisingly good. Ok Martha, I give you that and that’s it!

So the second failure had a better ending, I could still eat it. And thinking back I remember Justin mumbling, “Hey, it still tastes great.” With his loving comments, food in his mouth or not, I have been able to get past my 2 failures with baking. Maybe I should give my cinnabon cinnamon roll recipe to Martha for payback for the cake fiasco. “Try to make those Missy!” Then we are even.

Justin’s Favorite Thai Iced Coffee

Justin has never been a real coffee drinker. Whenever I make a latte at home, he might have one but with lots of splenda in it. He’s more of a hot chocolate drinker. Thats me on a cold, rainy day.

But we recently went to Minnesota and we hung out with some good friends. Jason is an old college friend who never really sleeps. And to keep his computer hacking skills at their finest even when he’s living on 2 hours of sleep, he drinks really strong coffee. One day we were visiting and he was drinking a Thai coffee drink. Justin thought it looked good so he tried it. Now he’s hooked. So to thank Jason, Justin blogged his mad Thai coffee making skills and I bring it to you with limited commercial interuptions.

Recipe: Thai Iced Coffee (Vietnamese preparation as well)

subtitle: Starbucks, drink your heart out!

So here it is, Jason’s famous iced coffee recipe — ripped off by myself (which has also been ripped off of every Thai restaurant in the world).

Here’s what you need:
-Ice
-Coffee (double shot/two parts)
-2 Tbsp. (one serving/one part) Sweetened Condensed Milk (full-fat, low-fat, fat- free, etc.)

Optional: Hammer & sandwich bag (for crushing ice if you like it that way and don’t have a crushed ice ice-maker)

Steps:

1. If you want crushed ice and don’t have a crusher built into your refridgerator, you can simply load a baggie with some ice and smash it with a hammer. If your hammer is nasty you may find it best to double bag. I’ve found that a full tray of ice, crushed, will get me 2-3 servings, depending on how big of a glass I use.

2. Fill your glass 2/3 with ice.

3. Prepare your coffee maker however you like with whatever coffee you like. I have an espresso/cappuccino maker, so I like to do a double shot. Whatever you do, it’s better STRONG.

4. Add the coffee to the glass or espresso shot. You don’t need to use a lot of coffee because the ice will melt when you add it.

5. Add one serving of sweetened condensed milk.

6. Stir

See now you can become a mad Iced Coffee maker, Thai or not.

Tysdal and the Triscuit Factory

Once upon a time there was a young boy named Tysdal. Tysdal was very popular while he marched in Phantom Regiment for 5 years. He was talented, funny, from South Dakota and had a problem with certain words. Not problems such as you and I have. You know, remembering certain ones, how to spell them, and using words that would kill your mom if she heard them. We all need to work on that.

No, Tysdal’s problem was that he kinda slurred some words. Not really a lisp but more of a slur. It wasn’t a Texas drawl either. Remember Tysdal was from N.D., far from Texas, however weird they both may be.

Tysdal’s friends were really good friends especially his Drum Corps friends. He always had someone to sit with at meal times. He was never laughed at when he played the wrong notes. No, his friends were true friends. And what made them even more special to him was they never made fun of his slurred problem. They spoke to him like there was nothing wrong, until one late night on the bus.

It was dark and his friends were sleeping. Everyone worked so hard that day so they deserved the rest. Tysdal was hungry and decided to have a snack. Being a good friend he thought he’d offer it to all of his friends. “Hey, does anyone want a trishkit? A trishkit, does anyone want one?” But to his surprise no one responded and so he asked his sleeping friends again a little louder this time, “Does anyone want a trishkit?” “SHUT THE F*** UP! NO ONE WANTS A F****** TRISCUIT,” a sleeping friend yelled. Tysdal was a little shocked by this comment. Here he was being generous and giving and no one appreciated it.

But it did not get Tysdal down. He stuck with his friends and his friends stuck with him. However, things changed a little bit. They started to make fun of his slurred handicap, but they were still good friends. And he knew that friendship was more important than a trishkit.

Just Humming Along

In Texas, everything is bigger. In Las Vegas, everything is bigger but with chrome. We have a lot of high rollers here. Some are real and some are pretending. If they are good at pretending, then you’d never know they were faking. Unless the car gives it away. One very common car that gives it away the Taurus. This would be a normal, family sedan but somehow it has become a pimped out vehicle. Dark tint, lots of chrome and many dents. That is the common pretend ‘high roller’ car here in Vegas.

But remember those high rollers I told you about–the real ones. They drive things like Mercedes, Lotus’ and Hummers. A Mercedes, fine, it’s a nice brand of vehicle if you take care of them. Keep them clean and looking as expensive as possible. The Lotus, I only brought that up because my friend Aaron has one. You’d think it’s a clown car by looking at it. It’s very small–it’s a wee one. You’d think for so much money you’d get something bigger, but in this case no, wee.

On the other hand, the Hummer started off big and 3 models later, they are still big. I guess the H3 is a little smaller than my house, but they are selling it as “baby bears” size from the Goldie Locks story. Oh, cute it was just right.

I recently witnessed the Hummer (original) try to act like it’s little sister, the H3. I pulled into the drive-thru at the local coffee shop and she pulled in behind me. Not a big deal except she blocked the whole driveway for the other parked people to get out. Number 1. Number 2, I don’t think she could see me in my little WRX because she kept creaping when I wasn’t even moving. Number 3, when the drive-thru line turned to head to the window, she couldn’t make the turn AT ALL. She curbed it.

Now I’ve owned a jeep before and I would purposely curb it, but my turning radius was much better than any Geo or Kia ever made. So it was more fun for me. But this woman had to do it. I almost wished that she just scraped the side of her Hummer because she was on the phone too. If she can afford to talk on the phone and drive such a beast in a drive-thru made for cars like mine and order starbucks with 3 splenda’s, then she can afford a few scratches.

So all you high rollers, fake or not, clown cars or monster beasts, please watch out for us non-high rollers. We don’t want to have to sue you.

Barenaked Ladies–Men


Don’t get the wrong idea here. This isn’t a post on naked ladies. Sorry my male readers, maybe one day. I’d like to introduce you to my friends, The Barenaked Ladies (again, myspace helped our friendship grow). They aren’t new and I’m sure most of you have heard atleast one of their songs. One Week, Another Postcard and It’s All Been Done (a-woo-hoo-hoo). But they have some other songs that the radio doesn’t even consider. Maybe it’s because they are Canadian. Well that can’t be right because Bryan Adams is on the radio (except he sucks).

It’s too bad that BNL’s song don’t do well in mainstream. It seems that they get one, maybe two songs off of a new album played and then that’s the end of it. But let me assure you, that’s not the end of their great music.

Let me start with the first album I got, Stunt. The year was 1998 and I had just got back from Drum Corps. One Week just came out and everyone was talking about the crazy “chicky-china” lyrics. So I had to buy the album to find out what that was all about. I was very happy with my purchase because the rest of the album was just as original as “chicky-china” lyrics. With songs like Alcohol, In the Car and Who Needs Sleep,I’d never heard lyrics and stories like this in a musical format. I Loved it!

“Alcohol, my permanent accessory
Alcohol, a party time necessity
Alcohol, alternative to feeling like yourself
O Alcohol, I still drink to your health.”

The second album was of course the next one in line, Maroon. Not to be confused with Maroon 5. Those Canadian’s can sure sings some crazy songs. I loved the Conventioneers. It’s a typical love story, boy meets girl (at work), they play scrabble, they do it, now work is akward. Oh so tender!

Since they had been around for a while and had many songs, they decided to do a greatest hits. It was a new cd for me. I only owned 2 of their albums and they had 3 prior to that. So it made sense for me to get the greatest hits. And now I love those songs too. So having an account on Amazon.com will help when I finally pick up those 3 cd’s.

Next it was a few years before Everything to Everyone came out. I had basically scratched my two cd’s from playing them so much. I had to replace them! But this album made the wait worth it. You’ve got to give a band credit when they can sing a song about shopping. SHOPPING!

“Well you know that it’s going to be alright
I think it’s gonna be alright
Everything will always be alright
When we go shopping.”

See they do understand the importance of shopping. Everything will be alright.

“So shutup
And never stop
Let’s shop
Until we drop”

Now you want to listen to it huh? It’s a good album, trust me.

And if you aren’t into some of these songs that I mentioned, don’t worry they tackle the important stuff like falling asleep at the wheel, one million dollars (if I had a million dollars….I’d stop working) and the war on drugs.

So you get it all with the Barenaked Ladies. Oh and the song Alcohol is fun to sing it drunk at a karaoke bar.

Business Cards Beware

You know you’ve done it. At your favorite Mexican restaurant, sandwich shop, even at the movie theater. You drop your business card into the fish bowl hoping to win that free beaner, turkey sandwich or that matinee. But months go by with no word. You can’t understand why, they have your phone number even your e-mail address. But you just have to keep paying for that beaner.

Then one day, you get a call. You’re a little thrown off by it. “How did you get my name and number?” Then it hits you. You’ll never win that turkey sandwich but you just won yourself a recruiter call! Who’s the big winner here? You are with a potentially great job from Citigroup! Oh thank heaven they called me at work asking me if I was looking for something in the management field at one of their many new locations. Because you know, I’m a video designer (it says so on my business card) and sales is pretty close to what I’m doing now. I’m not entirely sure if Adan Saldana, 672-0645, knew what a video designer was, but I’m sure it meant that I was management material.

Yes, I’m bossy and I enjoy being in control of directionless people, but not at this stage in my career. Give me another year. He told me that his associate, Leo Gilaine, gave him my card. Leo knows a lot of people. I don’t know Leo and it’s not possible that I would know Leo. I only give my business cards out to some friends and family. I have a box of 500 cards. What else is a video designer supposed to do with them? “Here’s my business card Grandma, if you ever need help with something.” Um, my grandma doesn’t even know how to turn on the computer. So helping her ‘video design’ isn’t going to happen.

But Leo knew that I was smart and bright. Of course I am! He wrote that on the back of my business card, according to Adan. Flattered, I took his name and number and told him that “I’m confused” and offered to call him back later. I think I’ll call him back demanding my free beaner. Actually, it was a sub.

Sidenote: This call did happen at work. Adan made sure he said my name numerous times, like a good sales person does (except it’s not Fo-eell, Adan). And it took some freaking out time after the call to realize that Jimmy John’s Sandwich Shop was the culprit. The one and only time I dropped my card in for a free yummy club lulu, I got this call. So please, keep those cards to yourself. Or at least your friends and family.

Marathon oh Marathon

Why are you hard? The training that is. Why is it so hard? I guess if it was easy, then everyone would do it and if that was true, then what would make me special and different?

It’s been many months since I started this crazed asphalt adventure. It’s not like going on vacation and seeing cool things. It’s more of a physical adventure. I was in something just as crazy as this (drum corps) but I did get to see cool places like Sandusky, Ohio and Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Now there’s a place to vacation at if you like bugs and humidity!

But with marathon training, I see roads with lots of cars honking at me to either get off the road or to encourage me. I like to think that they are encouraging me with their horn, it’s so friendly and non-aggressive. If they knew the difference between pavement and asphalt for runners, then maybe they could share the road a little bit more. They don’t care about my shin-splints. Bad non-runners!

I’ve had a problems with my long runs. I won’t go into details. I’m sure you don’t want to know about gastrointestinal issues or my big toe just covered in popped blisters or so much sweat on my face that it looks like powered sugar. Scully likes to lick it off so that problem is taken care of. But as the long runs get longer, I find ways around these little problems. Thanks again Scully.

And as the time winds down, about 8 weeks until the big race, I find myself saying “15 miles… no problem.” (insert your ‘crazies’here) I’m finding that a full 26.2 miles is a little obsessive. But we will see how I do at the finish line. I might need a wheel chair and a ride home (oh and a gatorade).

So for those of you coming out and supporting me by giving me water/gatorade at mile marker 18-26, I thank you. And for those of you driving, just let me run and keep your horn comments to yourself.

Come out and volunteer. You can sign up at the Las Vegas Marathon
I’ll be looking for you at miles 18-26 with my gatorade.

Get in the Zone

AutoZone that is. I recently found out the discrimination that men feel at Victoria’s Secret while at AutoZone.

Hold on here, men aren’t discriminated at VS, they are eagerly helped by associates wearing all black with a tape measure around their necks (ya, I think of all black when I walk into VS, why aren’t they wearing pink?). All they have to do is walk around touching every bra in sight with a expression that resembles me looking at oil filters. I don’t know the difference between oil filter sizes. Just like men don’t know the difference in cup sizes. But the lovely ladies of VS love men that come in and need their help. They understand the importance of men buying the ‘demi bra’ and ‘seamless panties’ for their lady at home. Not so over at the Zone. Well the bra and panties part. Oil filters and bug wash.

One of the last things that left our apartment in our move was a very full oil pan. The option was to either take that to AutoZone to drain, or take our used goods to the Deseret Industries (the Mormon version of The Salvation Army). I chose AutoZone because someone could come out and drain it for me. It’s oil! I don’t want to spill that all over me. It could happen especially since I was wearing a cream colored top. I wasn’t going to risk it.

I walked in and saw a man helping someone. So I waited. AutoZone has a weird set-up. They have the actual counter that takes your money for oil filters in the front of the store. I had nothing to buy so that wasn’t the line I was heading for. I went for the counter that the men just chit chat at. But there was only one guy there and he was busy. I was the only girl in the whole store and yet, workers walked right by and ignored me. I was looking at them as they passed me. I made it very obvious.

They wear black too, what a coincidence.

The guy that was busy was now busy over at the check-out counter so I stood in line, waiting for him. If he was my only option, I’ll take it. I still looked around and finally made eye contact with a new guy behind the ‘chit chat’ counter. He asked if I needed help. Duh, I had nothing in my hands and a blank, frustrated stare on my face, of course I needed help!

So he helped me. I got my oil pan drained (gross) and I left feeling that using my cuteness and charm got me now where at the Zone. Sorry ladies if I just ruined it for those of you who walk in with your own oil pans and drain it yourself. I just couldn’t. My cream colored top wouldn’t allow it.

Next time Justin can go to the Zone and head to VS for a nice new ‘demi bra’ for me. He’ll be well taken care of at both places. Hope he remembers what cup size I am.