Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Art of Letter Writing - Carolina Basketball Edition


Dear Stinky Guy in Front of Us:

It's called a daily shower with soap. Look into it.

Dear Band Members:

Playing "Living on A Prayer" when the opposing team enters the arena....GENIUS.

Musically Astute
Dear Redneck in the Section to Our Left:

"Defense" only has two syllables. When you say "de-FEE-nse" not only do you sound stupid, but it messes up the rhythm of the cheer.

An English Teacher's Daughter
Dear Gentleman Behind Us:

It's a basketball game. People stand up to cheer. Yes, we can hear you whining, and we don't care. I'm sure you have a very comfortable couch; stay home if you want to sit down the entire game.

An Upright Fan
Dear Play-by-Play Announcer:

Thank you for telling us which player the foul was called against and how many fouls that player has for the game. One about telling us WHY the foul was called because the ref's hand signals tell me nothing.

A Basketball Newbie
Dear Smith Center Maintence Persons:

What is this...Flush by Number? Another casualty of the drought...the freedom to choose which direction I flush. Also: the sign was clear enough, I don't need a tutorial on the handle itself.

A Conscientious Flusher
Dear BD:

When there's only 1 minute left in the game and we're up by 30 points, you no longer have to live and die by every shot. It's pretty certain that we're going to win.

Your Loving (but almost deaf) Wife

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Dear Meteorologists:

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sunday Stitches: An Update

Sunday Stitches is on temporary hiatus. We should return to our regularly scheduled programming next week.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Just wonderin'...

(This is an actual sign right down the road from our house.)

Operation King Cake 2008: Successful

Last year I made several attempts to bake a King cake during the Mardi Gras season, and they were all dismal failures. BD and I resentfully referred to them as King crackers because the dough would never rise. It was a lot of work, including 10 minutes of kneading the dough and 2 hours waiting for it to rise, only for it to turn out flat as a pancake. I later discovered that I had the water too hot, so instead of activating the yeast, I was actually killing it.

Enough time has passed and the pain has dimmed, so I decided to give it another try this year. I would really like to bring one to work to share with my co-workers who have never had a King cake. I also had some success a couple of months ago with yeast, so I had a little bit more confidence in myself this time.

I started the process by activating the yeast with warm (not too hot!) water.

Then I sifted together my dry ingredients and created a hole in the middle for the wet ingredients.

After the dough was mixed and smooth, the kneading begins - a sticky and messy process, but just when your hands feel like they're about to fall off eventually the dough gets elasticy and shiny.

Now for the waiting...first the dough rises for an hour and a half, until it doubles in volume.

Then you "forcefully" punch it down with your fist and sprinkle with cinnamon. After forming into a twisted ring, the dough has to rise again for an hour.

It bakes for 20 minutes and then it's covered it green, yellow and purple icing. (I was out of blue food coloring to make the purple.) We got a little ahead of ourselves and put the icing on too soon, so it was really runny. I didn't hide a baby in this cake, but I probably will for the one I bring to work.

It turned out really well - the consistency was perfect. We enjoyed a piece (or three) while it was still warm from the oven.
Laissez les bon temps roule!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sunday Stitches: A Series (Part 4 of X)

(Part 3 of the series is here.)

Most of our weekend was filled with the following activities:

(a) being pissed at the meteorologists' forecast of 3-6" of snow because we only got about a 1/4"

(b) mourning a Carolina basketball loss to Maryland

(c) cleaning the house for company visiting next weekend

(d) preparing my grad school application writing sample

However, I did find time for some stitching. I would have more finished except I had to unstitch EIGHT ROWS to correct a mistake I made while trying to watch a movie and stitch at the same time. Lesson learned.
Week four:

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Kip says, "May I please have some supper?"

I Steal Only What I Can't Afford*

We recently got a new DVD-R/VCR combo player. One of the reasons BD picked this particular model is because it has a digital tuner, so when the cable goes digital next year we won't have to get a box for the downstairs TV. Last night he got it hooked up so that the cable runs through the new machine, so we can record shows (yes, we're probably the last people without TiVo) on DVD. And guess what else we discovered - we can now access some of the digital cable channels illegally for free! It's mostly the local network affiliates that also broadcast in high-def on the digital tier. But, still...illegal free is good!

You totally can't see it, but in the bottom left-hand corner it says "WRAL HD."

*Obscure song lyric reference (hint: Disney movie)

Motivation 101

Almost 2 years ago I decided that I wasn't getting enough exercise in my daily routine. I walked our dog pretty regularly and called it exercise, so I couldn't understand why my butt was outgrowing my jeans. Errr...have you seen Kip lately? He weighs 80 lbs; it was really more him walking me than the other way around. I was basically just along to ensure the safety of the neighborhood squirrels and cats (and to scoop the poop). But, judging from the tightness of my pants, I was not getting enough aerobic activity. (Me: Who knew? You: Duh.) I woke up on a random Saturday morning and decided I was going to start running. I started slowly - just running a small portion of the route I usually walked - and built up so that now I run slightly over 3 miles on a regular basis. As I ran, not only did my pants get looser, but I started feeling better about myself in general. The vet said it was good for Kip, too and then even BD started joining in on the fun. Now, don't get me wrong...I don't think I'll ever be one of those "I heart running" people; you won't exactly catch me counting down the time until I get to run again, but I do enjoy the benefits of running (i.e. smaller pants size and still eating fast food). However, in spite of the not-really-enjoying it part, I'm working on increasing my distance this year. I'd like to be capable of a 10-mile run or *gasp* maybe even a 1/2 marathon. To do this, I need some motivation. Not motivation to run, obviously, since I'm already doing that, but motivation to run farther. And none of that "If I can run 10 miles, I'll buy myself new shoes" motivation...that crap doesn't work for me. I need to SEE my progress. And so, I present to you, my bloggy friends: The Motivation Board - a white board on the fridge where I can track my distances daily, weekly, monthly and YTD. (Me: Impressive, no? You: ZZZZZZ...huh wha?)

Also: I stole this idea from the sidebar of a blog I lurked on recently, but I cannot find the blog again. If the original author happens to read this, please comment so I can give credit!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sunday Stitches: A Series (Part 3 of X)

(Part 2 of the series is here.)

I was so excited because I actually got to move my hoop to a different location on the fabric this week! You know, nothing so motivating as it taking 2 weeks to cover a 6-inch circle of fabric.

Week three progress:

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Sunday Stitches: A Series (part 2 of X)

(Part 1 of the series is here.)

Thanks to having New Year's Day off work, I made a lot of progress early in the week. I didn't get a chance to work on it as much at the end of the week. I bought an embroidery hoop which has helped me go a little faster as I stitch because it holds the fabric taut.
Week Two:

Happy Birthday, BD!

Friday was BD's birthday; we had a quiet evening at home with presents and cards and homemade brownies.

Here is his cool, new Mojo shirt:

Here is his most exciting present: he's going to go to driving school and drive a NASCAR car on a super-speedway track!