Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Red, White and Blue Salad

I've become a fan of themed parties and I always try to come up with a food that fits the theme. Not only did I get the chance to cook beets for the first time, I created a pretty salad for Memorial Day. Ingredients included: mixed greens, blueberries, goat cheese, beets and pecans.

My first experience with beets not in pickled form was very pleasant. I'll have to look for more recipes with them!

Monday, May 30, 2011


Don't you hate it when you've been saving your money for something and it ends up going into your car? It always feels like you have nothing to show for all the money you spend. Well, I went and took pictures of my brand new muffler and windshield wipers. (Yeah, I really need to hit up a car wash!)

At least I have something to show for the $400 I dropped...sorta...

Monday, May 23, 2011

One year post Lost

Can you believe it's been one year since Lost was on? Everyone has their own opinions on the series finale, and a lot of people were angry about it. I don't want to say I was angry, yet I also wasn't a fan of it. I think underwhelmed describes my emotions on it. Regardless of whether you loved it or hated it, I think we can all say we were entertained for several seasons of the show, and I think the Lost Party we threw was incredible. I didn't have my blog back then, but I still wanted to share some pictures from it.

We all picked our favorite characters to dress up as for the party.

Vanessa chose Cindy, the stewardess that gave Jack an extra bottle of booze on the original Flight 815. Often seen with The Others, but never explained. What was the deal with that?

Peloso was everyone's favorite captain, Chesty! I mean Frank Lapidus, complete with an Air Ajira badge!

 Renee picked Olivia, the Dharma school teacher.

Greg represented the original ghost hunter, Miles.

Mary Beth went with Eloise Hawking, aka Ellie, aka Leader of the Others, aka Mrs. Whidmore, aka Farraday's Mommy...

Mario delved deeply into the role of our disillusioned hero, Jack, epic beard and all. He's got his St. Sebastian medical ID, beer and our favorite tattoo. That's what it says, it's not what it means...

I didn't like any of the female characters on the show, so I was at a loss for who to dress up as. Renee came up with a brilliant idea. She suggested I dress as the #8 bunny, seeing how Ben was my favorite character of the show.

Something about this clip makes me laugh. Every. Single. Time.

Mario and Vanessa went all out their decorations. From labeling every bit of food in the house with Dharma tags, to displaying it in John Locke's suitcase (you can see the luggage tag if you look closely) to the drugs in the Mary statues found on the island. Renee made some delicious Dharma cupcakes and I created cookies I called "Pieces of Arzt" (I couldn't find my pictures of them, but they were sugar cookies rolled into the shapes of finger nails with almond slivers for fingernails and red food coloring to represent blood. Topped off with raspberry jam, they were created for Hurley's line, "Dude, you've got some Arzt on you!"

The other part of Lost that I will never sour over is the hauntingly beautiful music of Michael Giacchino. I listen to it all the time. It's a regular whenever I'm hiking or taking pictures down at the beach. I like to imagine I'm an extra, walking along the shore in an epic scene from the show.

I thought I'd throw up a couple of my favorite Lost websites. 

Never Seen Lost is a brilliant blog that follows the final season of Lost by, you guessed it, somebody that had never watched an episode before. This website made many unbearable episodes hysterical and his cartoons are outstanding. Who doesn't miss Sad Day Monster? I found myself looking forward to these recaps much more than Doc Jensen's. 

Speaking of, thanks for never finishing your Lost theory Doc. You've been saying we'll get it for over a year now, and quite frankly sir, I do not believe you...

F@$! Yeah Lost (sorry about the name, I didn't pick it!) has lots of little posts, usually silly artwork and updates on the cast and future projects they're doing. How can you not love these valentine's day cards?

So let's remember the good times we had with this show. It was ground breaking on so many levels, it was a great ride. I, for one, am thrilled that I was able to share the experience with such great friends.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

After the Rapture/Raptor? Mac & Cheese

As promised, pictures of my creation: After the Rapture/Raptor? Mac & Cheese. My original idea was to use all dinosaur shaped pasta, which, I discovered is not readily available. I did come across some Chef Boyardee dinosaur shapes, so I rinsed those off and combined them with other pasta shapes that I thought would be appropriate for the end of the world: crazy bugs and a few heathens left behind for hell on earth. Then, I added dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets into the mix. I couldn't decide if the larger dinosaurs were going to be stuck in the mac and cheese like a tar pit or if they were eating the bugs and heathens left behind after the rapture. Unfortunately, the mac and cheese shapes aren't very recognizable after being baked with tons of extra sharp cheddar cheese, brie and panko bread crumbs, however, it tasted outstanding.

Oh, hey, we're all still alive. How about that?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

End Times

Not that I believe in any of this garbage, but these images crack me up. I'm sure you've seen them all by now. Above is from After The Rapture Pet Care, and below, a brilliant prank I hope people actually pull.

I found the image at a blog here, not sure if they came up with it originally or not. I'm planning on going to the first birthday for my cousin's son then going to my friend's "After the Rapture (Raptor?)" party. Since it's dinosaur themed, I came up with an After the Rapture Mac & Cheese dish. I'm not sure if it'll work out quite as well as I'm planning. If it does, expect pictures.

I've put an entire album over on the playlist, over to the right there. The second album in the Eels Trilogy, End Times, seemed like a very fitting record to listen to today, as I'm sure you're all sick of listening to R.E.M.'s It's the End of the World by now. End Times is one of E's heaviest albums, filled with sorrow and loss.

Enjoy, and if you do get raptured and/or raptored today, it's been real!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Maple Story Music!

In case you didn't know it, I can be a really big dork at times. Case in point: my excitement over my latest find. I was waiting for the last section of the day and thought, hey, I wonder if anyone has Maple Story music out there. Maple Story is a fun side scrolling game which allows you to play with your buddies online. I haven't played it in years, but it did take up a large chunk of time when I moved into my studio apartment in Seymour. Hey, I didn't have cable or Netflix yet. Besides it being fun to virtually hang out with friends who lived in other states, I LOVED the music. For anyone out there that shares my affinity for game music, here you go:

I was an archer and my hometown was Henesys.

One of my favorite/worst memories was the night I decided to hunt Evil Eyes with Andrew. I left the computer for a minute to pour myself another drink, checking with Andrew first that he'd protect me. I came back to the screen to find poor Druhh dead. You lost all experience levels when you died in this game, so it was a major pain. Thanks again for that, Dru! But, in his defense, he did rescue Karl from the Eos Tower...

By far, my favorite soundtrack comes from Sleepywood. Such a chill place to take a break from all the monster hunting in the dungeons that even had a sauna.

Here's my character's, Druhh, progression. From my lowly training days, to my full fledged bowman status, and even one with my faithful pet pig, Wilbur. I nearly fell over laughing to find that I still had this image!

After all this, I'm almost tempted to start playing again. Except for the fact that I wouldn't remember any of the keyboard shortcuts and from my quick link posting for this blog entry, it looks like a ton has changed on the game. So tonight, I'm going to listen to some great tuneage and dream about Druhh and Wilbur fighting some wild boar. Here's hoping she finally finds that diamond she's been looking for for the past 3 levels!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Two Years

That is exactly what happened when I tore my ACL two years ago today. Well, maybe that's not the real story, but my coworkers definitely cheered me up with some pretty fantastic photoshopping. As devastating as my injury was at the time, I look back at it now as a major turning point in my life. Recovering from it reminded me that I was a strong person that could come back from anything. I used the rehab as a platform to get back into shape and make my body stronger so this would never happen to me again. Two years later, I've stuck to that goal.

Addy keeping me company after my surgery.

It's important for me to be as active as possible. When you have any kind of leg injury, you realize how much you take the simple things for granted. Just being able to walk on a sunny day was impossible the first few weeks. This morning, Trainer Steve really ran me through the ringer with circuit training. Burpees, tire jumps, plenty of different squats, mountain climbers: pretty much all the things I struggle with. (And he came up with this workout not even knowing this was the anniversary of my injury!) I got through 4 sets of circuits without any pain, just a little bit of a grumpy left hip. I still need to do more stretches to get it to loosen up.

Next, I went to the batting cages. Last year, I went with a few of my coworkers and it was my first official test of my knee in a real sporting environment. Obviously, I had been cleared by my surgeon and had been working out hard for many months. I was so nervous! I remember my legs were actually shaking as I waited for the first ball. I was very timid as I stepped with my surgical leg every pitch, but it got easier and easier every round. This year, I didn't even hesitate. I didn't feel injured at all. I felt...normal. And it's been so long since my body has felt that way.


I'll leave you with a clip from Family Guy. I tore my ACL in May, but didn't have surgery until August. I remember this strange dripping sensation in the back of my knee. It felt like drops of water were running down my skin, but on the inside. Gross, I know. Vanessa teased me that my ACL was flailing around like one of those wacky inflatable waving arm guys and that's what I was feeling. Well, it was actually my body slowly deteriorating what was left of my ACL. Even more gross, right? 

Be active, be safe and face your fears head on!

Friday, May 6, 2011

You know it's a bad week when...

...your computer doesn't even want the fonts to display properly anymore. I like to think of it as an artistic rendition of our front page. What a long week at work! I'm gearing up for a busy weekend, putting together some photo gifts for moms and hitting up the batting cage tomorrow morning! There will be a longer post explaining why I'm so excited for that. Happy Friday, all!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Just Before The Storm

The perfect splat of rain hit my windshield at a red light as I drove into the gloom this morning. Hey, look! My music player is updated! Huzzah!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I'm Not Listening!

Is it wrong that I immediately thought of Gollum when I saw the photobomb girl from the royal wedding?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Something Old

I'm sure everyone was up late last night to hear the presidents announcement. I instantly thought of this picture and wanted to share it. I took this the day after September 11th, as Milford held a vigil. I was only just 21, working at the camera shop, shooting with my Canon Elan 7, that's a film camera, kiddies.  I would love to take a picture of the same girl 10 years later; I think it would make a great series.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

First Hike of the Year

I just got back from my first hike of the year. I finally got to use my Christmas present from my brother and sister-in-law: an amazing set of hiking pants from Mountain Hardwear. It was also the first test of my Barefoot shoes. I loved the shoes, but they separated a little bit at the toe. Hopefully, this is just a defect and not bad design. (Update, Hawley Lane gave me a new pair!)

As you can see, it was a gorgeous day outside. It felt amazing to be out in the sun! My knee felt great, my toenail is almost fully regrown (you don't want to know!) and my entire body felt strong. I can't tell you how happy it makes me to be able to keep up with everyone this time around.

On our way back down the tower path, we ran into the weirdest looking dog of all time. I thought a mix between a Shepherd and a Basset Hound was an awkward looking dog...

(Yes, this is a real dog!)

The dog we happened upon was a mix of a Basset Hound and...a St. Bernard. He was even more squat than the picture above, and his head was two times too big for his body. It seriously looked like someone took the head of a fully grown St. Bernard and slapped it on the body of a Basset Hound. If you're having a hard time imagining this, let me help you.

(This is a photo illustration, not a real dog, but pretty darn close to what it looked like!)

On a side note, the music player over on the side isn't updating and I've yet to hear back from Grooveshark about it. The option to export my playlist as a widget is gone, so please excuse the Easter songs at the top.