Monday, March 31, 2008

Am I famous yet?

Hey look! I'm on the internet! (at the bottom)

The sad thing is that the only category where I was any help was "The Science of Poop." I swear, it's because I'm studying science, not my scat.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Thursday, March 27, 2008

F-R-Double E- No! the long way!

I'm free! Yesterday was my official last day of work for the psychiatrist. I turned in my keys and said my goodbyes. Quitting can feel so good :-) I think a year's notice was adequate, don't you?

Yesterday was also another rousing night of Movie Club. This time Justin and Julia picked the Canadian comedy Strange Brew. Funnier than the terrible jokes was hearing Ben crack up at them.

Today is a beautiful rainy morning! I indulged in a little sleeping in, then did some school prep work and my aerobics. Later today I have the delight of peeing in a cup for the drug test. I look forward to seeing Amanda tonight, who is visiting Denver through the weekend. Yea!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Spring Cleaning

Ahh, the sense of accomplishment. With no dictation or office work today, I decided it was finally time to do some deep cleaning. I emptied the kitchen onto the patio and mopped the whole floor. I scrubbed the baseboards. I wiped the greasy dust off the top of the fridge. I mopped the bathrooms by hand with rag. I even cleaned my oven, something I had vowed to do for my own enjoyment, instead of only when I move out of my apartment. I only got one chemical burn on my elbow. Pretty good.

And now I can kick back with a cold diet coke and rest. Sure, I need to clean the carpeted areas of the house, but that can wait another day.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Peanut Butter Bars


I had a craving for peanut butter and chocolate. Mom made these delicious bar cookies a lot when we were younger. I called her for the recipe and in less than an hour I had my own pan.










2/3 cup shortening
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder

Combine the wet and dry like you would for a standard cookie recipe. Poor batter into a jelly roll pan (I used a large rimmed baking sheet. Is that the same thing?).

Bake at 350 for 15-25 minutes. Generously sprinkle chocolate chips on top and let melt. If you need to dash to the store to buy more (like me) then just pop the sheet pan back in the cooled oven for a minute. When they are nice a melty spread the chocolate over the top. Let cool completely then cut into bars.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Back in Lakewood

How cute is Zaley getting with her cute mom????


Speaking of cute, my ward goes all out for it's quarterly enrichment nights. Here are some ladies describing the SIX cakes we can choose from (all lovingly baked by the sweetheart in the foreground).


Not quite as cute, these three got together to play the new Smash Brother for Wii. Brian is discovering the wonder of babies, and Ben is lapping up some Izzy love. Nate is fully involved in his Smash.


Jem wrestling with her new pal Briscoe (who favors a zombie style slo-mo attack), while the humans played board games.


Tonight I bake lasagne and go for a walk up Green Mountain with our friends and dogs.

Visiting SLC

Last weekend I had the pleasure of visiting my family in Utah. My brother and sister live in Salt Lake and my parents drove up from Grand Junction (I echo my sister's sentiments - hurrah for my parents, we love them so much!)

The main event was Amanda's spring musical, Once Upon a Mattress. Details of her directorship and the performance are her blog, linked above. I enjoyed it immensely! She should be proud of her students. I've never seen middle school performances as great as the shows she puts out.

Aside from that the weekend was all about food and shopping!


Here is Andy showing us around the shop where he works. He showed off the vegetable display he arranged :-)

Here's my mom's sister Martha and her daughter Caitlin, down from Logan for a lacrosse game. On the right is the cast of Amanda's show giving her a well-deserved congratulations!

Doing what we do best - talking and eating.

Mmmmm...hot chocolate. Mom told stories of working at Arctic Circle while we noshed on their shakes and fries - don't forget the fry sauce!

While it snowed as if it were December we cozied up in a french bistro for a late night dinner. Delicious!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Up To

Cooking holiday feasts of corned beef and spiral ham. The holidays are too close this year!

Playing The Phantom Hourglass.

Reading Pride and Prejudice.

Knitting the final large piece of my sweater vest. Then trim and finish!

Searching for a PDA. Regis requires it but they are quickly becoming obsolete. Not many options. Do I dare buy one used?

Completing background checks and immunizations for Regis.

Sewing
curtains for the bedroom and craft room.

Watching Ben play N+ and Resident Evil while I knit.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Supper time!




Italian split pea soup (my pressure cooker brought down the cook time from 3 hours to 30 minutes!). On the right: Korean spiced beef rolls. These were ok, but not as flavorful as I would like. I had to eat it with steak sauce or teriyaki sauce to boost the flavor quotient.


A variation on Betty's spinach pie with sauteed mushrooms and feta cheese. On the right is a mini meatloaf (bake several in a muffin tin) with steamed green beans and garlic cheddar biscuits.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Chinese Swans



Huh. So, my first thoughts were that this was an interesting take on the ballet. Neat costumes. The acrobatics don't really have the same beautiful line and symmetry that good ballet has, but those are neat tricks.

Then about 3 minutes 45 seconds in my jaw dropped. That was INSANE.

Then I thought about it, and really it makes sense that of all people it takes a ballerina to execute that kind of balance. After all, their training yields the utmost in strength and balance combined with movement. So I guess it's not surprising that when you combine ballet and acrobatics you can get something like that. Still. Wow. Strange production though. Did they only do these two scenes? What else is that large audience going to watch?

UPDATE: I have received so many comments on this video! Here are some more thoughts
-I can't speak for their acrobatics, but their ballet dancing is just as high quality as any professional company in the states. The grace and performance of the main dancer would guarantee her a primo position were she to move here. She blows the Colorado Ballet dancers out of the water.

- On the other hand, if this is part of a larger full ballet, what an odd show that must be. I was totally annoyed that a spotter comes out to help, it ruined the theatrics. But then again, it seems necessary.

- The main swan is either the most skilled/trained/naturally gifted ballerina evah, or she is under a real evil spell by a real Rothbart/Devil. First, she does the incredible feute pirouette and STOPS IT in arabesque en pointe (which seriously, only really really good dancers can do that well).

- Then my mom pointed out that she rotates while in arabesque on his head. I can't figure this out. It's faster than a promenade but slower than an arabesque turn. I don't think there's any trickery to the guy's hat - there's no way a motor could fit on it and be strong enough to turn her that fast. I thought maybe he gave her a little push when he pulls his hand off, but I didn't detect any. Also, she speeds up into the turn, rather than slowing down after a push. So maybe she's just doing a fast promenade en pointe. But you HAVE to understand how freakishly hard that is - how few ballerinas can do that - and she's doing it on his head?!?

So yeah, I'm pretty much as blown away as everyone else with this video.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Harding Test

(Ben wants me to post something so he can read it :-)

This Gnarls Barkley video has been banned from MTV because it failed the Harding test. A quick net search explains "The Harding Test is the common name for the Harding Flash & Pattern Analyser developed by Cambridge Research Systems. The purpose of the test is to help determine broadcast flash patterns that may cause epileptic seizures in viewers."

I'm surprised because the black and white doesn't seem that bad. I found MIA's Boyz video much worse, and there was no news of it being banned.





As a side note, who else is disappointed with the return of 90s fashion? Not so much because it was bad (although it is, and so is the 80s which we are phasing through) but because it lacks originality. Every couple seasons the fashion industry decides - yes, decides - that a decade is hip again. They reinvent the fabrics and colors, channeling the shapes. Blah. Why not something new? Will 2001-05 fashions be hip next year? Do I need to wait for three years for them to catch up with the current time? Or will they start over again with the 60s? You know, I read a few style blogs and more than anything they make me annoyed with fashion. I guess I read them so I can make sense of what I see on the racks.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Quiz time


Need a break? Take the Arrested Development Quiz. I'm ASHAMED I didn't get 100% so I'm not posting my score. Seriously. Ashamed. I better start over again with episode one. After I finish Twin Peaks (Don't tell me who killed Laura! I'm trying very hard to avoid spoilers).

Silhouette Masterpieces


Link

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Sun and Snow

We had crazy Colorado weather last weekend. Saturday was 70 degrees and I think everyone in the metro area was out enjoying the warmth. We fought through the mountain bikers to hike up Green mountain. I took this picture of Ben and Jem in the same spot as the right hand picture, nearly one year ago.

Then Sunday we awoke to blustering winds and snow.


Sometimes you may hear me complain about Jem moping around the house. This is her waiting for Ben to come home. She stared at the door like this for 45 minutes.


Progress undone

I'm knitting a sweater vest. This is the biggest project I've done with yarn, more complicated than scarves and hats. Following the pattern will actually matter. I'm very excited about it. I used birthday money to buy the yarn and I want it to be put to good use, something I'll actually wear. Miranda helped me pick out this lovely charcoal combination from the Recycled Lamb shop. I bought 6 extra large skeins.

This is the back piece of the vest, just before I realized I made a major mistake in counting inches. So I ripped it back to the light grey ribbing and started over again :-) I'm not too downtrodden, because I really really want to get this right. I'm more confident in understanding the pattern now and I think I have my gauge adjusted appropriately.

My sewing machine is fixed so when I finish this vest I can pick up my half-done sewing project. Apparently it just needed a thorough tune-up and a little tightening. It sounds beautiful now, no more clunking!

Tonight we indulged in a craving brought on by the snowy evening by going out to Woody's in Golden with friends. I love their pizza buffet and giant sodas, especially on a wintery night. Now we have friends to play games and let the dogs play. I hope this gets Jem very tired so she just wants to sleep all day tomorrow.

Monday, March 03, 2008

XOPC

Ben's birthday present finally arrived! The XOPC is shockingly small. Ben is very excited to create programs for it. He plays with it almost as much as his xbox ;-)

What's for dinner?


Black bean burgers with potato salad. Jamaican Me Crazy chili. Yummy, with lots of leftovers.


My attempt to recreate my dinner in SF. Creamy tomato sauce with peas and sausage. It was tasty, but not as divine as I remembered. Ben said I must have forgot to put the crack in it. (which I would non-jokingly translate as veal stock and butter)


Moroccan squash and chickpea soup from Mark Bittman's international cookbook. I also made crackers (in his big yellow book) and sun-dried tomato cream cheese dip.