Kate, from my favorite blog, For Me, For You, posted 30 Pictures on Friday & encouraged her readers to do the same. The original inspiration comes from here. I thought this would be a good way to kill two birds with one stone: write a blog post & organize my crazy, jumbled iPhoto. This was a lot of work, but a lot of fun & I encourage you to do your own version of 30 Pictures.
01 / someone i spend a lot of time with:
02 / a picture of myself:
03 / a picture of someone in my family:
04 / a picture of something that makes me happy:
05 / an old picture of myself:
06 / a picture of my sibling:
07 / a picture i never posted on my blog before:
08 / a picture of a person i miss:
09 / a relative of mine:
10 / a picture of my favorite place:
11 / a person i can tell everything:
12 / a picture of my everyday life:
13 / a picture from a place i love:
14 / a picture which reminds me of old times:
15 / a picture of friends from my childhood:
16 / a picture of myself:
17 / an unusual picture:
18 / a picture of my spare time:
19 / a picture i’m satisfied with:
20 / a picture of the people who are closest to me:
21 / a person who’s always there for me:
22 / a picture from a time in life i miss:
23 / a picture from last summer:
24 / a picture that makes me sad:
25 / a person who always makes me happy:
26 / someone i’m always having fun with:
27 / a picture i always laugh about:
28 / a crazy picture:
29 / the latest picture of myself:
30 / someone i will never let go of:
For more info on the individual pictures, see Flickr.
Per MK & MHG's recommendation, I finally watched Good Hair. It's the documentary by Chris Rock about, well, good hair. It kind of blew my mind. Barbershop (1 & 2), this is not. While Good Hair is funny, it's not a comedy per se, it's a fairly extensive look at the complex world of African American women's hair & the industry that surrounds it. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
We introduced our friends Jessica & Brian to Korea House. Jessica is trying to expand her ethnic palate & suggested it. It wasn't a home run, but she made a valiant effort, ha ha.
I was only able to run 1 mile with East Nasty yesterday, so something is clearly still wrong with my knee. I'm going to the doctor today. I'll report back. Post-run, Jessica & I went to Mitchell Deli to console our injured selves with breakfast bagels.
Last night John made a new recipe from Cooking Light, Dan Dan Noodles. It was so good!!! I'll post the recipe tomorrow. MK & I have an awards show/texting tradition that we carried on last night. Basically, we watch from our respective homes & text back & forth all night. Here's an excerpt:
Kim: "Oh, no! That white suit is bad." (in reference to Javier Bardem)
We ran it kind of slow because we're both injured, but there were still people around us up until the very end. Things turned sour as we ran out of Shelby Bottoms & onto Lillian Street, specifically the stretch of Lillian between 14th & 11th. For those of you unfamiliar with this stretch of terror, this is where Tabitha Tuders went missing in 2003.
There were a group of runners with us all through Shelby Bottoms, but somehow we lost sight of them as we came out of the park. As we turned onto Lillian, we realized someone was behind us. We assumed it was a fellow runner, until she started yelling at us. It was at that point that we turned around, saw that she was not with East Nasty & saw the HUGE Tabitha Tuders banner hanging from one of the front porches. It was also at that point that Lillian Street transformed into the ninth circle of hell.
People started heckling us from their front porches; a busted up minivan zoomed past us easily going 50 mph & then launched a beer bottle out the window; & the obligatory pit bull in EVERY FRONT YARD went crazy barking & trying their damnedest to escape their surprisingly confining, haphazardly installed chain link fences.
I daresay, that's the fastest we've ever run, & on injured joints to boot. Once we got back to Five Points & took a minute to appreciate still being alive, Jessica quipped that from here on out, she will refer to Run # 8 as the 'Tabitha Tuders Trot'. Indeed.
Aaron Robinson has released a new, 5-song EP titled A Dying Art. You may remember Aaron from his uber popular college band, Imaginary Baseball League. He's a fairly emotive, indie singer-songwriter. I've always liked his music & I think a lot of you will, too. He's had air play on Lightning 100 & WRVU, so locals have probably heard him on the radio, or seen him live belting out Counting Crows covers with My So Called Band.
A Dying Art is available for download here. For those not familiar with Bandcamp, it's a pay-what-you-like system. This project was funded out of pocket for Aaron with considerable help from his friends in the music industry, including one John Baldwin, so whatever you can pay is greatly appreciated.
On Feb. 13th, Aaron recorded an impromptu live performance & live-cast it on YouTube. You can see Aaron perform songs from A Dying Art, as well as other songs on Aaron's YouTube channel, rocknrollsinger. Here is the link to the first track, "Price Is Right":
I met a bunch of girlfriends at Nashville Farmers' Market for February Night Market. I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was a lot of fun. What's not to love about walking around, drinking wine & eating free samples? There were good vendors & I saw a lot of people I know. We ate dinner there, then went to Hot & Cold for dessert. This was my first time at Hot & Cold & I loved it! I'll definitely be going back. Thanks for the treat, Alexis!
We went to dinner with Mike & Amanda. Even though I had barbecue Friday night courtesy of B & C, the guys wanted barbecue, so I acquiesced & we drove to Nolensville for Martin's BBQ. I love Martin's, I just wish it wasn't so far away. I could definitely have more of those brisket tacos in my life.
Back at home, & per Mike & Amanda's recommendation, we watched The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia on Netflix Instant Streaming. This is the follow up to Dancing Outlaw, the 1991 documentary about Jesco White. I've never seen Dancing Outlaw, but John has (of course) & is somewhat obsessed with this ridiculous family of redneck outlaws. These movies are not for the faint of heart. The clip below is from the first documentary & for whatever reason, John thinks it's the funniest thing he's ever seen/heard. It's been on repeat in our house all weekend. You're welcome.
Yesterday I drove to Percy Warner for my East Nasty half marathon training. I'm still opting to stay away from hills because of my knee, so I ran the Belle Meade Blvd again. Next week we're back at Shelby Bottoms, so I'm hoping to increase my mileage once I'm back on flat land. After my run, I met my friend Jen for brunch at Bongo Java. She told me about some secret, dive, karaoke bar in East Nashville called Fran's that I'm now obsessed with going to.
I saw a recipe for this buffalo chicken chili on TasteSpotting & decided to make it last night. It was really good, although it's honestly more of a buffalo chicken tortilla soup, than a chili, but I recommend it to you buffalo chicken fans. You know who you are, Tiffany, Mister Cathope....
And now, without further ado, I introduce you to Jesco White, hater of sloppy, slimy eggs.
Mennonite in a Little Black Dress is a memoir by Rhoda Janzen. The book starts with her husband leaving her for a man & her getting in a car wreck that results in having to move back in with her Mennonite parents until she gets back on her feet.
She obviously writes about her ex-husband & their 15-year marriage, mostly about how bad it was in hindsight, but the book is more about her reconnecting with her parents, her siblings, & her Mennonite roots. Her relationship with her mother is the best part of the book. Her mother is hilarious.
I really enjoyed reading this book. I think a lot of women will identify with the relationships between her, her sister & her mother. It's a lot shorter than it seems as the last part of the book is kind of a 'Mennonite for Dummies' section with history, definitions, recipes, etc. It's a quick read & well worth it in my opinion.
When LCD Soundsystem's new album, This Is Happening, came out last year, Tiffany sent it to me because she, Isvett, & all of Brooklyn went crazy for it. Tiffany warned me that it would have to grow on me. She was right, I didn't like it at first & promptly forgot about it. Then I started hearing this song on KEXP that I liked & sure enough, it was LCD Soundsystem. So I gave the CD another shot. I still don't love the CD in it's entirety, but there are definitely songs on there that I like: "Dance Yrself Clean", "Drunk Girls", & "I Can Change".
So fast forward to a week or so ago & I hear James Murphy on Fresh Air. I know nothing about this guy & assume he's a thirty-something hipster with black hair, black eyeliner & tight, black jeans. His voice totally conveys this mental image. Then the other night I see him on The Colbert Report. He is so not at all what I envisioned. He's a 41 year old man with grey-ish hair & he was wearing a suit. I know!
This latest album is LCD Soundsystem's last as James Murphy is retiring. He wants to focus on running DFA Records & "making coffee...." Anyway, he's a really interesting guy & I highly recommend listening to the Fresh Air interview & trying out some of his music. He's had a lot of big hits since the band formed in 2002. Like myself, you may be pleasantly surprised. Report back!
With Alexis' help, I've been trying to figure out how to watch TV online. I think I've figured it out..... Anyway, I had planned on watching Season 5 of Friday Night Lights, but I could only find the first 2 episodes, so I watched those & then got started on Season 5 of Dexter.
John spent all afternoon working at B.A.'s & then I met him over there around 7:00 for another bourbon tasting. Par for the course, John & B.A. had been 'tasting' all afternoon. I don't really like bourbon, which apparently didn't go unnoticed last time, so I was granted a light pour this time - thank god. Still, it was a lot of fun.
I've been off my knee for 2 weeks, so I decided to take it out for a test run yesterday with East Nasty. They were running a hilly course through Percy Warner, so I opted for the flatter Belle Meade Blvd course. I really only intended to run an easy 3 or 4 miles, but I ended up running the whole boulevard, which is 5.5 - 6 miles, because I was talking & not paying attention. Typical. If you've ever run with me, you shouldn't be surprised that I was talking so much that I accidentally ran twice as far as I meant to. Anyway, my knee hurt a little during the run. Not too bad, just tightness. I iced it & took an Aleve when I got home & it feels okay. It's a tad sore, but it's not swollen & it doesn't hurt. I may try & run again on Wed night. We'll see.
Last night we went to Georgetown Masters to watch The Grammy's because they mastered the big Lady Antebellum album that was nominated for everything. It was a lot of fun, especially since Lady A won so many times.
John quit smoking yesterday. I've known John for 7 years & in those 7 years, he has assuredly smoked more than any other person I know. I'm sure friends of John's can also attest to this. No one enjoys smoking as much as my husband.
I don't know exactly when he started smoking. He didn't start at 15 or 16, like a lot of people, but he's been smoking awhile. I think he started in college, so let's say 10-ish years. I've never smoked & in fact, I abhor it. When we started dating, we had ground rules like, you can't smoke while we eat & you can't smoke while I'm in the car, etc. Yeah, those lasted about 5 minutes.
From the day I met him, he told me he was going to quit smoking when he turned 30, so I somewhat turned a blind eye, or lung, as I knew one day it would come to an end. Sure, every now & then I asked my doctor to give me a chest x-ray, convinced I had second-hand-smoke-induced lung cancer, but who doesn't? Side note: the result of one of those chest x-rays was finding out I had GERD, so not all for naught.
Well, John turned 30 last month, and true to his word, he set about preparing to quit smoking. He went to the doctor, he bought a book, he told all of his friends - this was happening. But when? The doctor told him to pick a day & to stop smoking on that day. He wanted 'that day' to be his birthday, but alas, he had a studio session on the books at the end of January & needed his brain to work (his words) during the session. Understood.
So yesterday was the day. He did not smoke one cigarette yesterday. Although he did eat an entire batch of chocolate chips cookies, chewed 2 packs of gum, & drank a case of Mountain Dew Throwbacks. His mood wasn't as bad as I expected, but it wasn't awesome. It was like living with the sugar devil all day.
Not surprisingly, he was unable to go to bed last night & was still awake & going full throttle when I woke up at 6 o'clock this morning. He's finally asleep, but I can only imagine what kind of crazy nicotine-withdrawal, pre-diabetic dreams he's having. Apparently the first day is the hardest, so at least he's got that under his belt. We'll see how today goes. Of course, as he'll assuredly be asleep for the majority of today, he's already off to a good start.
"Jennifer Egan's spellbinding interlocking narratives circle the lives of Bennie Salazar, an aging former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Although Bennie and Sasha never discover each other's pasts, the reader does, in intimate detail, among with the secret lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs, over many years, in locals as varied as New York, San Francisco, Naples, and Africa."
I really liked this book, although I'll admit, at times it was hard to keep track of all the different characters & time jumps. But again, it's an interesting book. It's honestly probably one of the few books that is going to be better as a movie. I really liked the two main characters: Bennie and Sasha, and enjoyed watching their stories and pasts unfold and intersect.
The book ends in a very bizarre, but cool way. Egan writes the second to the last chapter in a series of graphs and charts.... It sounds crazy and I thought it was crazy when I got to it, but it totally works. The next chapter, the last, was, in my opinion, the best part of the book. She not only wraps it all up, she introduces this futuristic world view where she goes into great detail describing how teens speak and look and how technology has reached babies, who, as it turns out, become the biggest marketing demographic. It's insane, but it's awesome, and it really makes you think about where we're all headed with this huge trend in gadgets, blogs, and social networking.
This book isn't for everyone, but it's a good read and I recommend it if you're the least bit intrigued by what I've said. I own it & I'll happily loan it out.
Today is my friend's last round of chemo, so to celebrate, I made him a chocolate banana cream pie. Actually, I made two pies. I knew there was no way I could make this & just give it away without having a piece, so I made one for us, too.
Mike & Chrissi: I hope you guys liked the pie/quiche (ha!) & congrats for kicking some cancer ass & showing The Hodge who's boss! Now let me know when your eyebrows grow back & maybe I'll make you another pie... Love you guys!
In a saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch & salt. Gradually add milk & cream until smooth. Cook & stir over medium-high heat until thickened & bubbly, about 2 minutes. Add a small amount to egg yolks; mix well. Return all to the pan. Bring to a gentle boil; cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; stir in butter & vanilla. Pour half into the pastry shell; cover & refrigerate. Add melted chocolate to remaining custard; mix well. Cover & refrigerate for 1 hour. Do not stir. Arrange bananas over filling. Carefully spoon chocolate custard over all. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Garnish with whipped cream & chocolate shavings if desired.
In the comments on allrecipes, everyone is very insistent on constant stirring in the beginning to avoid lumps, so I did this. My arm got a little sore, but no lumps. I always have issues with tempering eggs & I did again making this pie. I had tiny bits of scrambled egg that I had to spoon out of the custard mix before it went into the refrigerator. But I haven't tasted any scrambled egg in the pie, so.... Lastly, I made the chocolate shavings per the instructions in this video & it was surprisingly easy. Who knew? All in all, this pie is really good & I definitely recommend it!
My friend Kathy, aka Brickhouse, had some of us girls over to her awesome place in Werthan Lofts to eat Mexican food & drink beer margaritas, which were actually really good. Who knew?
I met Jaime for brunch at Athens Family Restaurant. Jaime's pregnant & craving sweets, so we shared two different kinds of stuffed French toast -- so good! I forgot how extensive Athens breakfast/brunch menu is. I need to remember to eat there more often. Post French-toastapalooza, we hit Pre To Post Modern, where Jaime scored a super cute nightstand, a piece of coffee crumb cake & the accusation of being my pregnant domestic life partner. Got to love Eighth Avenue.
Katie recommended I watch this show on Netflix Instant Streaming: Better Off Ted. I started watching Season One on Saturday & kind of love it. ABC ran two seasons of it in 2009 & 2010 & then cancelled it. I have no idea why, as it's HILARIOUS. Plus! Portia de Rossi! Stupid ABC.....
In celebration of my friend's last chemo treatment this week, I made a chocolate banana cream pie (recipe forthcoming). After letting it cool in the fridge all day, it was finally ready for delivery, so John & I drove out to Bellevue to deliver the pie & hang-out for awhile, making fun of all the pre-Super Bowl festivities. Back home, we ate the pie I made for us (you didn't think I just made one pie, did you?) & laughed through the half-time show. Oh Fergie, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways.
Something is wrong with one of my knees, my left knee specifically, which makes sense as it's always the left side of my body that turns against me. I'm talking to you, hip injury of '07. Preface: my knees never hurt. My hip? Sometimes, but never my knees.
About two weeks ago, my knee started hurting a little after my runs. Nothing too bad, just a little soreness. I ran six miles last Sunday & again, it was a little sore, but I was able to run the six miles. When I tried to run three miles a few days ago, my knee really started hurting around mile two. It hurt so bad, I had to limp the last mile home. Not good. If my '07 injury taught me anything, it's to quit running when it hurts. I've got a call into my doctor, but in the meantime I thought a little internet self diagnosis couldn't hurt.....
I read this question from the article "My knee aches" on RunnersWorld.com: "Is the pain in the front of the knee below the kneecap? Does it get worse as you run? Have you recently added more mileage?"
If the answer is yes, then you may have Patellar tendinitis, which is inflammation of one of the knee-joint tendons. Tendinitis occurs when tissue breakdown outpaces regrowth, & is caused by increased mileage, hills (especially downhills), & pace. Running through tendinitis will make it worse & prolong your recovery. But treated early, it can heal in a few weeks. Here's how: cross-train, ice, wear a patella strap, take anti-inflammatories, stretch, & do exercises to strengthen the joint & quadriceps, such as leg extensions.
Okay, so increased mileage, check. Hills (especially downhills -- Mount Nasty), check. Pace, check. Around the time my knee started hurting, I started taking Saturday Spin classes, which was really stupid in hindsight. I run on Fridays & Sundays, so Saturday is supposed to be my 'rest day', not take the hardest Spin class in Nashville day.
It's been suggested by friends that I have patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), aka "runner's knee", which is another overuse injury. This one can have muscular causes like tight hamstring & calf muscles (check!) that put pressure on the knee & can cause the patella to track out of alignment. Symptoms include tenderness behind or around the patella, usually toward its center. You may feel pain toward the back of the knee, a sense of cracking or that the knee's giving out (yes!). Steps, hills, & uneven terrain can aggravate PFPS. At the first sign of pain, cut back your mileage. The sooner you lessen the knee's workload, the faster healing begins. Avoid knee-bending activities, canted surfaces, & downward stairs & slopes until the pain subsides. As you rebuild mileage, use a smaller stride on hills. Consider orthotics if new shoes don't fix the problem.
I'm pretty sure one of these things is what's wrong with my knee. I'm leaning towards runner's knee, but I'll leave the official diagnosis to my doctor. I didn't run today & I'm not planning on running this week. I may or may not run next Sunday. We'll see. In an abundance of caution, I'm also going to skip Spin this week. I'll probably still go to my weight classes & I guess I'll ride the elliptical some, too. Bleh. I'll report back.
P.S. Highly recommend reading those knee pain articles on RunnersWorld if any of you are having similar issues.
I just finished Decoded by Jay-Z. Ugh, this book was not what I expected. Where to start with all the things I hated..... Well, first & foremost, it's not really about Jay-Z, which I found surprising since it's a MEMOIR. In the last part of the book, which I'm honestly shocked I even made it to, Jay-Z writes:
"When I first started working on the book, I told my editor that I wanted it to do three important things. The first thing was to make the case that hip-hop lyrics - not just my lyrics, but those of every great MC - are poetry if you look at them closely enough. The second was I wanted the book to tell a little bit of the story of my generation, to show the context for the choices we made at a violent and chaotic crossroads in recent history. And the third piece was that I wanted the book to show how hip-hop created a way to take a very specific and powerful experience and turn it into a story that everyone in the world could feel and relate to."
Yeah, that paragraph would have been helpful to read at the beginning of the book, or on the cover, because had I read that, I probably wouldn't have bought the book. Again, this book is rarely about Jay-Z. It's 80-90% about hip-hop & rap in general.
Also, the way the book is actually printed is ridiculous. It's the way I imagine a paranoid schizophrenic would read. I'm well aware of the fact that I'm probably not Jay-Z's target demographic, but come on. Do people really read this way?
The book is divided into 4 parts & each part has 3 or 4 sub-parts. Each part starts with a couple of pages of normal text, albeit with large print, weird spacing & sometimes pictures, but fairly normal. But then! He prints the lyrics to a couple of his songs & has footnotes (FOOTNOTES!) explaining what specific lyrics mean. Oh, & it's not that insightful. If you have even a modicum of prior knowledge about rap or inner-city living, his footnotes are redundant.
I love Jay-Z. I daresay I've watched/listened to many of the tv & radio interviews he's done, at least in the mainstream media (read: Oprah & NPR), so I'd like to think I know a little about his background & he's always downplayed his brief stint into selling drugs. Oh, but not in this book. No, no, no. In the book, he's a hardcore drug dealer & was for many years. Granted, watching 1 episode of Oprah does not a Jay-Z expert make, but there's a huge discrepancy between what he said on Oprah & what he portrays in the book. I'm just saying....
Clearly, I'm not recommending any of you rush out & buy this book, not that any of you probably would have anyway. The one good thing I'll say about this book is that it made me want to listen to more rap (sorry, John). I also realized I don't own as much Jay-Z as I thought I did & I need to download some of the old-school rap that I grew up listening to on cassette tape: Run DMC, NWA, Eazy E, etc.
In closing, I'm going to address Jay-Z directly, because apparently this is the week when I pretend celebrities read my blog.
I know I'm not supposed to hate the player, but this book is bad. I have happily followed you down your numerous career paths: rapper, Def Jam, Roc-A-Fella, Rocawear, etc., but 'author' is something I just cannot support. While I appreciate your obvious need to keep Beyonce in leotards & diamonds, don't quit your day job(s).
Tiffany turned me on to this food blog & now I'm obsessed. The blog is Bitchin' Camero: From Miami with Love. The author, Ms. Camero, lives & works in Miami & loves to cook & grocery shop. A lot of her recipes appeal to me because they're things I already make, but with a twist. Also, a lot of her recipes include steak &/or bacon, so that's always a plus with my carnivore husband.