3.23.2011

Liz


Indulge me for a moment. I saw Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.  I enjoyed Cleopatra. But Elizabeth Taylor will forever and always be to me, the completely perfect encapsulation of a girl lovesick about horses in National Velvet.  There is a scene where she shows up to the Grand National (the greatest and most dangerous steeplechase in the world) with her beloved horse The Pie, and she walks out of the horse box, stunned, marvelling at the sights and sounds of jockeys walking by, crowds of spectators and horses being moved from place to place.  She walks over to a heaping bushel of freshly blooming flowers, closes her eyes, takes a deep whiff of the air and lets out the long blissful sigh: "horses." Like every horse crazy girl, the only smell that matters is the smell of horses. 

I'm sure Elizabeth Taylor has many good friends to greet on the other side, but I'd like to think today includes a fast and furious ride on an old 4 legged co-star. Happy Trails, Liz~

3.21.2011

What's For Dinner?

I'm starting a new recurring section on my blog called "What's for Dinner" in which I tell you what is for dinner, and should you feel so inclined, how to make it. Be warned, I have no idea how to write a recipe, so let me know if I left out something critical.

Also, tomorrow I will post you a nice picture of how it looked. 

"How-To-Keep-a-Man Mediterranean Madness"
(a pita based dish that includes three fillings: curry chickpeas, poached lemon chicken, and cucumber yogurt)

This dish was originally prepared many times in Washington DC, but perfected last spring in order to prove to my 88 year old grandmother that, in her words "you know how to keep a man with a good hot meal." She, then-boyfriend-now-husband, all seemed equally satisfied. This recipe makes enough for 2 grown adults throwing caution to the wind and one old lady who still counts her calories- all of whom intended to leave room for dessert (lemon merengue pie, which I BOUGHT.)

Ingredients:

Curry Chickpeas-
1 can chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans)
1/2 can chicken broth
1/4 white onion, chopped
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 teaspoon yellow curry
1/4 cup cashews
Salt and Pepper to taste

Lemon chicken-
1/2 pound thinly sliced chicken breast
two fresh lemons
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp thyme
lemon pepper to taste (not mandatory, but nice)

Cucumber Yogurt-
1 cup greek yogurt, plain
1/3 tsp Dill
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 cucumber finely chopped

For Chickpeas- mix corn starch and a minimal amount of chicken brother together in a small cup and let sit while you prepare the chickpeas.  drain chickpeas and add to small frying pan with olive oil, onions, and remaining 1/2 can of broth over medium heat. Add spices. let simmer about 2 or 3 minutes, and then add cornstarch mix.  continually stir over low heat for about 7-10 minutes until broth has thickened to a state of sauciness.  if it sasses you and then hits on you, it is properly saucy. If it calls you a dirty name and gets clumpy, you've gone too far. Crush cashews and add at the end.

For poached lemon chicken- slice chicken thinly and add to about 2 cups of boiling hot water.  squeeze in both lemons and add thyme, and let boil until done. drain and sprinkle on the lemon pepper to taste. I like this pretty simple because all the other flavors are so strong.

for cucumber yogurt- all you have to do for this is mix it all together, and let it chill in the fridge about 20 minutes so you're sure that the cucumber and dill make their presence known in the yogurt. If you've never had it, this yogurt is so refreshing and light, and not as evil to the diet as butter, mayo or a number of other moisture giving kitchen aids. You can also substitute low fat or no fat greek yogurt to make this extra waist-friendly, which we all know (and Gram says) is part of keeping a man.  yes, I am being facetious.

Pitas- I recommend whole wheat pitas, and also nuking them in the microwave for 20 seconds or so in one of those big tortilla warmers, which keeps them moist and fluffy.  This recipe is also good in a wrap, if you prefer.

Lastly, I usually also chop up a tomato and some cilantro to pack in with all the yummy ingredients. It's about options, people.

Altogether, this meal takes about 45 minutes to prepare and plate. Enjoy! (or order a pizza and enjoy. I won't judge. But Gram might.)

FaceBoyrd Update

Faceboyrd is the best way I can spell the thing Dan calls Facebook.  I've noticed I make fun of Facebook more now that I'm not on it. Mocking is my only safety net.  I'm ashamed to admit that I don't feel like at this point I have broken the habit in my brain yet at all. I still feel the instant urge to type it in at the first instance of boredom.  I'm optomistic that I will eventually lose that compulsion and be more productive after Lent.

The thing that I am really missing today is pictures. I miss getting on facebook and instantly being able to see pictures of my mom or dad or sisters or friends who are in other states.  I don't really have those pictures up at my desk because a) who prints pictures anymore? and b) who saves pictures that you can just get to on facebook?

My sister told me there are pictures up of my family at Disneyland with my recently widowed Grandma, and that makes me want to cry. I wish I could have been there, and I wish I could see the pictures.  It is one thing to live life without facebook. It is entirely another when life on Facebook goes on without you. 

I've been on facebook since college, so I guess I didn't realize just how important it was to me to always be able to connect to people who aren't right there.  This is especially true when all my family members live in another state. 

In fact, I think this whole experiment has had an opposite effect. I don't have the urge to use facebook less. I have the urge to appreciate facebook MORE. Tchnology is a beautiful thing when used correctly.

3.17.2011

Some Lists of Things I Think

1. I don't get why Celebrities don't think they need to or ought to look professional to go to court.  If Helena Bonham Carter gets to wear whatever she wants (and does she ever) to every awards show and farmer's market, and Celine Dion gets to wear a tuxedo backwards, can't you show up for your appearances concerning your lawlessness looking like a decent human being? And yes, this was set off by Lindsay Lohan's "taupe skin suit." ugh.

2. I can put up with various forms of workday abuse.  Long hours, lots of pressure, complicated instructions- but I have never ever dealt well with being micromanaged.  I turn into an annoyed, unpleasant and indifferent subordinate.  So how's that working for ya, boss?

3. I'm wearing the same blouse today that I wore for St. Patrick's Day when I worked on the Hill. But on the Hill, I paired it with a very bold and poor choice of matching kelly green flats, and all day long I'd wished I hadn't. This year, brown shoes. WINNNNING.

4. I made a bracket.  I let BYU make it to the second round before I envisioned Florida crushing them in agonizing defeat and Jimmer sobbing and convulsing from the three point line, wondering if he could have made just a few more shots, or if anyone else on his team felt like pitching in sometime this year.

5. Aside from the obvious annoyance of going to BYU, it must be extra annoying to be one of "those other guys" playing on the Jimmer Team. Team Jimmer. That's about as much BYU talk as I ever want to put on my blog. Go Utes. (And go my fellow Ute cousin-in-law Jen who just got a scholarship for being a beautiful ballet dancer! woo!)

6.  I figured that halfway through the eighth month of marriage, I would be at least a little more over the whole "inseparable" angle. not even a little bit.

7. Lately all I can think about is how much fun it would be to have 3 or 4 part time jobs instead of one full time job. Where you were never completely invested anywhere and never got bored.  Stupid health insurance.

8. I really really really miss having my own horse. Haven't had one in more than 10 years.  I've goofed around with Ralphie and with Duke (okay, I did really love Duke) but there's something about starting a relationship, making training goals, preparing for little schooling shows and the anticipating and motivation of achieving something with a partner. Even complete and utter failure with your own horse is a million times greater than success with someone else's.

9. My nieces and nephews are the great people in the world. No, not because they're cute, or they say the darndest things (though of course they are and they do).  They're really brilliant people who show love the way my sisters show it as mothers-a profound, complicated and earnest love-that gets jumbled up in small minds occasionally, but is always well meaning. I've never met so many grown up souls in so many tiny bodies, and I miss all of them every day.

10. Zenyatta (the racehorse) is pregnant. The legend lives on.

11. You thought this might end at 10, didn'tcha?

12. I've made grandiose attempts at a great number of things lately, and burnt myself out on all of them.  I've tried to be an extra good wife, a daily horse blogger, a photographer, an instructor-in-training, a superstar at my actual full time job, and try and think about fitting some time to see my therapist in there, too. I'm thinking it might be in my best interest to take it down a notch all around, except the wife and therapist part.  That's what I really wanted to come here and say, I just needed to build up to it.

13. I don't want to be mad at myself for failing, I want to be proud of myself for trying.

14. I'm proud of myself for trying to keep this post funny. I am not so mad that I failed. The end.

15. No, thank you for reading. Now, the end.

3.11.2011

Since I Don't Have My Online Crack, I Will Post More

So far, I have found that the strangest urge to resist with facebook is not defeating boredom or putting off work, but not having a place to SHARE things.  Isn't that funny?  Because of Facecrack, I have the constant urge to share every article, share every witty tidbit, share every link.  It's incredibly self-righteous seeming, isn't it?  "Oh, I loved this article on the dangers of menthol horse joint liniment, I BET THAT EVERY ONE OF MY FACEBOOK FRIENDS WANTS TO KNOW ABOUT THIS TOO! SHARE!!!!"

But you don't want to know about menthol horse joint liniment, do you?  No more than I want to know about my 10th grade penpal's weekend at the Monster Truck Rally, or the condition of that one girl's uterus, bladder, belly button and pants at 26 weeks of pregnancy who I haven't seen in 8 years.  Facebook has turned us into chronic over-sharers.

The good news is, I am trying to break that habit, and the other good news is, I have a blog.  And I DO have something to share which is neither monster truck, uterus, or liniment related.  It's just something pretty:


My sister has the most beautiful things in her Etsy shop. She makes stained glass lanterns, suncatchers, pocket mirrors and nightlights from the most lovely of antique glass slides.  This slide came to her so dear the way that it was that she decided not to interfere with its original state.  This is a slide from the late 1800s of the Thames River in England, isn't it DREAMY?  oh, and you should salivate over her other precious artwork at her Etsy shop, VintageAimee. 

I think this process has already made me more thoughtful about what I share, and what I truly seek in my soul for art and comfort through the day.  Lent is good.

3.10.2011

Oh Lent.

I gave up Facebook for Lent.

I feel better, but I feel worse. I can tell that unplugging from Mark Zuckerberg's vision for the world is going to be harder than I thought.  Can someone go tell me what my wall says? Please?  No! Don't! That's cheating! God will know I love social networks more than him! 

Am I typing fast? am I hyperventilating?? huuuhhh wheez huuuuhhh wheeeeez........

This was probably in my best interest, wasn't it? 

3.07.2011

Some Thoughts on Girl Scout Cookies

I have ZERO memory of ever being impressed by the entire Girl Scout Cookie thing as a child. I did not eagerly anticipate the springtime buzz of blossoming cookie stands in front of grocery markets, nor the faint knocking on my door of a shy but committed young scout.  I didn't salivate at the idea of a fresh thin mint cookie or calculate the slowest way to savor a somoa.

No.  Instead, I ate a cookie or two when my mother brought them home, utterly ignoring in my selfish childhood state the tender way in which my mother must have laid out those thin mints in glee and anticipation, eyes glowing with the reflection of purple and green boxes as if staring into a trunk of fiery rubies.

Girl Scout Cookies, my friends, are for grown ups.

Someone in my office has a daughter in Girl Scouts, and subsequently put up an order form in the kitchen some 3 weeks ago.  The AGONY.  Since putting in my order I've passed half a dozen Girl Scout stands and pined for my own boxes to come, trying to be patient.  What is it about these cookies??  Is it nostalgia for something? Is it merely the anticipation, like wating for a package in the mail?  Is there crack smothered between the caramel and the coconut? 

In the end, I think it's a "simple joy" of adulthood.  It's temporary appeasement from the monotony and hypnotic state of cubicle life that allows you to delve into the sweet and tempting treasure trove of nostalgic chocolate. Kids have it so good, and candy is such a daily part of life, that the miracle of someone bringing you cookies is rather lost on the awesomeness of childhood.  But that miracle could never, ever be lost on someone who sits at a desk all day.  It is quite literally, a sweet escape.

So I raise my office Nalgene to give a toast, to the brave little ladies who pass on these beloved treats to those of us who need it.

yes, yes I did already break into the Samoas.

3.03.2011

My Hair Did(n't)

If there was group therapy for busy women and their hair, I would be in there confessing my shortcomings and trying to do better every week. 

Hi, my name is Lorraine, and I want to look incredibly hot with an extremely minimal amount of time and effort. My poor hair has been sober for 25 years, and could probably use a stiff drink. Have you lost track of this analogy yet? Me too.  Throw a Charlie Sheen reference in there somewhere while you're at it.  But my hair is definitely closer to bi-polar than bi-winning; probably just polar, without the bi. polarized to the bad side.

So, I've been thinking about bangs, about Pixie cuts, and have had insane fantasies of G.I. Janing it, because I think the women who do it are GORGEOUS.  And they spend 10 minutes in the shower, and 0 minutes with a blowdryer screaming in their face.

The crux of the problem is my naturally curly hair-which had its 15 minutes of fashion fame when Christina Aguilera's hair was all WHOA and Shakira's hair, like her hips, didn't lie- just doesn't do easy. I wish so much that I could give my hair to someone who cared, and I could have my sisters' gorgeous brunette shiny straight and ever so manageable hair. (psssst...I think both my sisters actually might be able to...gasp...let it air dry! tears of jealousy do not stop.)  

In the meantime, as I sort out the folicles and ideas that emerge from the inner workings of my blasted skull, I present my dream hair if I had a long face instead of a round face, and a stylist instead of a dayjob.






























  Curse you, Sarah Jessica Parker.