Wednesday, September 28, 2011

pillow talk

For several reasons, we swiftly decided we needed a new bed.  A new bed, a larger bed, a better bed.  The current one wasn't terrible (terrible was our first night in Texas: no air conditioning; air mattress with no sheets- I forgot them, new-wife fail; picture being in a sauna wearing a wetsuit, it was a rubbery hot mess) but an upgrade was in order.

We Goldilocks'ed it around San Antonio:

trying to find the one that was just right.

I had a Tempurpedic pillow for a long time, which I loved, and bought for my dad as a gift.  My mom "borrowed" it and loved it so much that lo and behold, in very little time my parents were the proud owners of a Tempurpedic mattress.  And pillows.  My mom's testamonial is as follows:

Your dad had a kidney stone and was tossing and turning all night and getting up and writhing in pain and I did not wake up once!  He woke me up in the morning to take him to the ER.  I was sleeping so soundly and could not feel him moving!
 After vigorous and rigorous testing, we too decided on a Tempurpedic.  But we decided to go full-tilt.  Really full-tilt.

      With an adjustable bed!

You mean, like a hospital bed? my friend Fred asked.

Precisely! I replied.

Like so:

for lounging!
For relaxing!
The so-called zero gravity position for sleeping
Luke and I greeted the adjustable bed concept with great cynicism as it seems rather gimmicky, but were sold with many peaceful 7 minute trials on mattresses around town.  [The trouble with mattress shopping is that everyone acts with such decorum!]  The hope was that a quality mattress would alleviate and prevent back/neck pain in Luke and me, respectively.

And... it is just so wonderful.  So comfortable for reading before bed, amazing for sleeping.  Also very comfortable flat.  I have never slept on my back before but now I drift off immediately in that position, head and knees slightly elevated.  Ommmmm.

However, it is still an adjustable bed and makes very unromantic whirring noises when moving [completely silent when not moving] and is still a strange sight in the bedroom when not flat and to make it less, er, nosocomial in this regard, I WANT TO GET THIS HEADBOARD AND FOOTBOARD!
Feel free to PayPal some funds my way

We saw this bed at a furniture store in town.  So substantial.  So graceful.  So romantic.

What is your dream bedroom like?  Romantic?  Serene?  Playful?  Scandi-calm or bordello-plush?

My friend's sister is a designer who worked for Playboy magazine for many years (meow) and I love what her website has to say about this:
Your home safeguards your most honest self. Invite-only to the world, your interior walls are entrusted with the care of loved ones, life’s mementos, your passions and insights into your personality. This is your domain – the landscape that motivates and inspires you.

We embarked on this process by getting comfortable.  Next we get pretty!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Gov't issue

A few of my favorite things related to my pared-down routine... Spin Pins/ amazing cheapie Pantene balm that my sister put me on to for buns/chignons without the breakage of elastics. 
Viva la revolucion of dinner, ready, when you come home.  I heart ATK, what can I say. 
High-waisted n sassy Hanky Panky panties, in case you too wear flame-retardant, near-infrared technology-equipped camouflage pants that come up to your navel. 
With your soooo comfy boots (I love these boots.  The arch support is fantastic). 
MD Forte sunscreen which I have been using on and off since college - great under makeup. 
Cetaphil - the definitive cleanser.  My mom has been using it forever, and look at my mom.  NO WRINKLES. 
Look at that face.  Like buttah.

In-laws and outlaws

This weekend we were graced with a too-short visit by the in-laws on their way to see their new grandson.  Luke played a show on Friday and Saturday nights and we went out to Gruene for lunch overlooking the river on Saturday afternoon.  Saturday night found Luke enjoying a great show with an enthusiastic audience and then...a dead car battery.  While waiting for AAA, who saved the day with some heavy-duty jumper cables, several of the vagrants and colorful characters passing through the parking lot (which is located on Austin Highway, the now-seedy former main drag of SATX) approached Luke to ask why he didn't play the Jim Croce they requested (from the other side of the fence) and to inquire if Pat would like to buy a dress that the hopeful seller had jammed into a plastic bag.

Luckily the old Equinox was resuscitated and will live to schlep another day, and Pat and John departed for South Carolina to meet the newest baby.  A very fun weekend!
Lunch at the Gristmill in Gruene, perched over the Guadalupe River

Luke at Nosh

An aside: Alamo gourdo-->
We saw these verrucous pumpkins at Central Market and I wondered, who would want these?  Warts and all?  In an exercise in anthropomorphism, I thought perhaps it was a pumpkin virus but apparently it's been bred for.  (Horticulturists: please work on getting the pit out of avocados and cherries, not making bizarre bosselated pumpkins!)

Awesome Sauce

This is the first dish I have made from this cookbook and it was delicious, hearty and healthy.  Next time I will double or triple it. The whole wheat pasta adds a nutty flavor and nice texture.

Baked Penne and Sausage Supper

1 -14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion, halved and sliced thin
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into matchsticks
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
8 oz hot or sweet Italian turkey sausage, removed from casings
8 oz whole wheat penne
1 cup shredded mozzarella (4oz)

1.  Preheat oven to 425.  Coat 8 inch baking pan with vegetable oil.  Pulse tomatoes in their juice in food processor until mostly smooth (~5 pulses)
2.  Heat oil in 12 inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Add onion and bell pepper and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.  Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3.  Stir in sausage and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.  Stir in processed tomatoes and bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, 6-8 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.
4.  Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to a boil; add pasta and 1 tablespoon of salt and cook, stirring often, until almost al dente.  Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water, drain the pasta and return to the pot.
5.  Add meat sauce and reserved cooking water to pasta and toss to combine.  Spread half the pasta in the prepared baking dish, sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the mozzarella, then repeat with remaining pasta and 1/2 mozzarella.
6.  Bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese is lightly browned, about 15 minutes.  Let cool 5 minutes then enjoy!
PER 4 INCH SQUARE: 380 calories, 13 g fat, 45 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber


Tonight we went to see Ralphie May at the Laugh Out Loud Club... HYSTERICAL!  He was recommended by a colleague of mine and we watched this clip (circa 2003) on Sunday night.  He was even funnier tonight with new material that will appear in his next Comedy Central special.
We laughed and laughed and laughed... it was fantastic.

[Watch if you enjoy both your pasta cooking water and your comedy pretty salty]

Thursday, September 22, 2011


"This," he said, "is the best sandwich you have ever made".

Always on the lookout for roast beef sandwiches ('cause my baby loves himself an RBS), I made this from Rachael Ray October 2011.  Roast Beef Sandwiches with Spicy Roasted Tomato Jam

I didn't read the recipe fully (violating one of my mom's central tenets and most likely the single most important factor in any academic success I've enjoyed: READ THE QUESTION CAREFULLY) and did not purchase any tapenade (which gets stirred into the roasted tomatoes) because mi eposo hates olives.  Here to report it was delicious sans tapenade.  Pumpernickel, smeared with cream cheese (one of my central tenets), high quality roast beef (none of that anemic wafer thin stuff), spicy tomato jam and watercress.

Also, wanted to mention this great book I read during my Tampa trip:

Christopher Kimball and the America's Test Kitchen crew tackle a cookbook from the late 1890s and throw a dinner party with foods and - more challengingly - food preparation techniques from that time, including cooking with a woodstove, boiling calf's feet for gelatin, making calf's head soup (with the successive discoveries upon testing these recipes that one must remove the brains, the eyeballs and oh yes the sinonasal contents of the specimen).  It's a fascinating read as it explores the daily life of people in that time- what did they eat?  What time of day?  What conveniences were available?  What was fashionable? Was the food good?  Who was doing the cooking?  How was yeast procured?  When was refrigeration invented and adopted?  Brimming with history about New England, the evolution of food science and industry, the social upheavals that drove immense change (employment of servants, middle and upper class women taking over cooking and therefore changing the status of the kitchen in the home [once a hot, dangerous place to work, it is now the showpiece in every new American home-- these social changes are explored in depth in Winifred Gallagher's wonderful House Thinking: A Room-by-Room Look at How We Live). These prosaic details are more interesting to me than knowing which treaties were brokered/land masses purchased during this time in history.  Highly recommend!  My favorite anecdote was this recipe for Indian pudding published in the early 1700s in the Plimouth Coliny Cookbook:

Let the molasses drip in as you sing 'Nearer My God to Thee,', 
but sing two verses in cold weather.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

This American Life

... pretty much my favorite thing to listen to and has been helping me through my workouts.

Listening, intently.

Jogging, slowly.

And it inspired my blog title.  Which Luke thought of, not me.  Grrr.

Just listened to this great episode.  Stream, download, just listen!  A gem.

20 Acts in 60 Minutes

Also would like to thank Helen Ziga of the Etsy shop Crafty Graphics for my snazzy new banner and background.  She was great to work with and somehow turned my 'I like pinkorangestripesstarsgeometricsnoblueplease!' into this great design in no time flat.  Thanks Helen!

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Dear Y'all,
I write this from the first booth adjacent to the stage at Charlie Brown's, where Luke is closing out his 30th birthday with a set with Matt Parker. I just downloaded the Blogger app in anticipation of many such a Saturday night. And to create:

Thirty Things I Love About Luke, a Birthday List:

30. He plays and sings every song like he means it, like he wrote it, very intent on taking the listener on the same journey.
29. He always positions himself between me and oncoming traffic (sidewalk) and intruders (en la cama).
28. Eats with gusto. Not shy with condiments. Generous with peanut butter.
27. Nothing beats a great pair of legs.
26. Great confidence, without vanity.
25. Eschews artifice in all things.
24. Sings Annie's Song for me even though he thinks it's emasculating.
23. Nice vocab.
22. We are mystified by the same things: like, following sports and the acquisition of easily visible tattoos (in the words of one comic, Sweetheart, someday that unicorn is going to be a giraffe.) But isn't temporal myopia the same as optimism... and vice versa?
21. Man of his word.
20. Man of many words.
19. Thinks I'm pretty much the cutest, smartest, most-fun-to-be-around thing that ever happened on the planet.
18. Likes my cookin' and did not express *too* much surprise upon this discovery.
17. Not a picky eater. Dovetails with Nos. 18 and 28.
16. Makes sure I always have a bevie. Because I am always thirsty.
15. Is my great champion and protector, but allows me to find my own way when I need to.
14. Equally comfortable in a suit, shorts, glittery spandex hot pants. You know, whatever the occasion calls for.
13. Natural and easy around children, or anyone else for that matter.
12. Capable. Of fixing stuff, drawing up legal documents, writing a song to break your heart, then singing it and putting it back together.
11. Because we are the same.
10. He makes me laugh and laugh and laugh.
9. Because I was used to everything being so hard. And then it was easy and so straightforward and I knew with a never-before certainty.
8. Doesn't mind hot pink here and there.
7. We look forward in the same direction.
6. He just delights me. Knowing that he exists. That I get to love him.
5. No guessing. He will tell you.
4. Unabashed. In everything.
3. Fantastically talented writer of prose and song.
2. We're all in.
1. He always kisses me like he means it. Hallway, wedding, on the way out the door to work. Never a half-hearted or absent-minded kiss in the bunch, not once. 

♥ Happy Birthday, darling ♥

Garage of Good

 Garage of Good is a charity event in SATX that I have been looking forward to since learning about it in a roundabout way on Etsy.  I came across this fabulous vendor and loved her recycled/upcycled fabrics and was thrilled to see that she was located in my new city.  I wrote her a message re: a storefront (she's only online) and she replied that she would be at Garage of Good, had I heard of it?  No, I had not, but an upscale flea market benefiting a local philanthropy held in one of my favorite areas (also less than 10 minutes from Hunkelhouse) was not something I was going to miss!

And, it was fabulous:

Spied this rug (8' x 10'), bought on the spot.  Such a great deal!

I love bright colors and geometric prints, so this was right up my alley.  Much of my personal taste is deeply informed by this book:

Caldecott Medal winner, 1979

Back to the browsing:


Philippe Starck Ghost chairs.  Wanted these, clearly.

Plantings in cool, upcycled containers.

From cutest baby/kids store, BabyBesos.  The Etch-a-Sketch says 'No Hablo'

Duck, duck, gnome.
I had a great time, purchased some great finds and then it was time to collect the hambre hombre for birthday lunch.  (He was sleeping in after playing two shows last night.  The first was La Hacienda, and three of my new AF coworkers and their families came out and had dinner.  Really fun).  Luke wanted to go someplace we had not been before and I suggested this cafe, which I had seen on the way to the G of G.

Large tree in the middle of the place

Over the bar.

Then we did a little furniture shopping and spotted this on the highway:

Was hoping for the license plate LASAGNA or ORNG CAT

Snark aside, I have a lot of respect for passionate people.

Tonight Luke is playing a show with Matt Parker in a show he's dubbed the Dirty Thirty.

Photos/video to follow!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Wreather Madness


So peculiar.

I saw this on Pinterest and had it in the back of my mind... enter long weekend sans spouse.

Tutorial here

So I went to Michael's and purchased 5 balls of yarn, all of which were consumed:

It was a little time consuming but yielded a bright and textural wreath.  In the evening I made the pom poms then had to go back to Michael's today for a hot glue gun.  While I was there I spotted all these glittery feathery spooky-glam odds and ends... and thought, I'LL MAKE ANOTHER WREATH!

I especially liked these glittery crows, I named them Sheryl and Russell.

Pinterest, YouTube and even Google seemed bare of feather wreath tutorials.  Having never done it before, and spent a rather astonishing $60 on supplies (the wreath was $15, the doodads about $1-$4 apiece), I wanted a little direction.  Finding it lacking, I just hot glued everything on there.  Voila, wreath #2.

It looks better in person- in the photos the black roses and leaves blend with the feathers.  Next time: more contrast.  All in all an empowering trip to the craft store.

Oh and this chair?  He and his partner are destined for a fab makeover as part of Operation Loving the Living Room.  These chairs are big and comfy and wonderful and I cannot wait to reimagine them.  BRIGHT!

Mon chairie amour