Lexd's Blog

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How Palmer’s Saved Christmas January 12, 2011

Filed under: other — lexd @ 2:45 am
Tags: , ,

I know, I know, I know. I’m terrible at updating this thing, and have been lately. Busy, travel, etc. You know the deal.

In hopes of making up for it, here’s a poem a few of my friends wrote. For some context, Palmer’s is a real hole-in-the-wall bar here in my hometown that has been around forever … and it is ALWAYS open, even on Christmas. A few of my friends ended up there after their traditional Christmas movie-watching tradition was sold out, and wrote this poem in thanks. As a result, they get free drinks all day on Christmas every year from the crew at Palmer’s.

Without further adieu:

How Palmer’s Saved Christmas
By David, Jason and Mike

This tale starts with a movie on Christmas Day
Just three guys and Brad Pitt; I swear it’s not gay

But the tickets were gone; they were all sold out
“What do we do now,” David said with a pout

So they went to the Tully’s to do some thinking
And with a shrug David said, “Let’s just go drinking.”

So we called all the bars and not one gave an answer
We just wanted to drink and sing “Tiny Dancer”

But they forgot ’bout the bar that in town sucked the least
A little hole in the wall called Palmer’s East

He pulled out his iPhone and called in a flash
“What’s that, you’re open? Hooray! Kick ass!”

“I love you,” shouted Jason and hung up the phone
They’d soon all be drinking and not going home

They fell in behind Jason, who led them astray
“Dammit,” said Mike, “You’ve been drinking all day.”

A left and a left and a left once again,
He led them to placed they’d already been

Their toes were all frozen, but all hope was not lost;
For nothing can warm you quite like the sauce

“It’ll be empty,” said Mike, “And rather depressing,”
But lo and behold Palmer’s was full—a true Christmas blessing!

On Jager, on Stoli, on Cap’n and Henny!
“A pitcher my good man, the first of many!”

On barley and hops, on water ‘n yeast
Their ale was filling, a true Palmer’s feast

And you most of all, little shot of tequila
You’re always there for us when we really need ya

So with bellies full of beer and table full of glasses
Jason, David and Mike were drunk off their asses

So it was there that they sat and drank straight through Christmas
It was depressing that our families did not even miss us

And so ends the tale of how Palmer’s saved Christmas.
Cheers!

I can take no credit for this. But I’d like to.

Currently loving: My job (seriously, not joking/brownnosing), hard-boiled eggs (weird, I know, I know), and Grooveshark (when will Apple let them put their app through!?)

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Bah … humbug? December 2, 2010

Filed under: other,rant — lexd @ 10:19 pm
Tags: ,

It’s starting to freak me out … I cannot seem to get into the holiday swing of things. What’s even worse:

It doesn’t feel like I even WANT to.

I know I’ve mentioned umpteen times that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year, and I sort of think I got burned out after that. After all, I was hungover and still managed to cook for 6 hours that day.

I’ve already crossed two gifts off my list (Mom_D and Dad_D), and after some time on the Interwebs, I picked out what I am buying brother and sister. I’ll probably get a ridiculous sweater for my dog. And, BF and I are limiting ourselves to a “$50 budget” this year. (I put that in quotes, because odds are we’ll both spend more than that … we always do. But I’m seriously limiting myself to ~75. Seriously.)

I don’t particularly want to listen to holiday music. I have no desire to put up decorations. I sort of want to send Christmas cards, but at age 25, the majority of your friends are nomadic and the thought of trying to get everyone’s mailing addresses intimidates me into lethargy. The thought of (more) snow just kind of pisses me off. The kicker: I don’t even feel like doing holiday arts and crafts.

This upsets me, because while I loathe being forced into an early Christmas celebration,  I really do enjoy the holiday season (most years). I can’t figure out what my problem is. And, it’s the 2nd of the month already! There are only 23 days left for me to get my ass in gear … and then it’s another ~340 days before I can get excited again.

Possible causes I’ve come up with so far:

  • I’m just busy. Between 2 jobs, maintaining a workout schedule and everything else, holiday stuff just sort of seems like a chore.
  • I have become inexcusably frugal, and I’ve started to hate the idea of carrying around a lot of “stuff.” That being said, the idea of dropping a ton of cash on said “stuff” is kind of silly to me.
  • My brother and sister really really really really like to celebrate Christmas early. I may or may not have been put off by their enthusiasm last month … and that default state of mind is carrying over into December.
  • Holiday traffic/shoppers make going anywhere an epic pain in the @$$. This has the tendency to make me frustrated.
  • I miss BF, and am in a transitional living state after having my own home for three years, which I was free to decorate (or not decorate) as I pleased.

Anyone else feeling this way this year, or am I just Scrooge right now? I got a little taste of joy yesterday buying gifts for Mom_D and Dad_D, but it fizzled pretty quick :-\

Ninja Edit: After some thought, I realized that I initially wrote this post in a very negative light. I changed some words around, because I don’t mean to be negative. I’ve been happier in the last few months (particularly in the last few weeks) than I’ve been in a really long time … my friend even told me to cut it out the other day, I was creeping him out so much. So, I’m not angry. Just frustrated as to why the holiday spirit seems to be eluding me this year!

Currently loving: Flannel (I can’t help it), reading men’s fashion blogs (SO much insight), leggings. I cannot wear enough leggings right now.

hilarious image from akaporn

 

COMMENCE: The best time of the year November 16, 2010

Filed under: food — lexd @ 7:00 pm
Tags: , , ,

Guys? Guys? Guys? Guys? Guys? Guys? GUESS WHAT?

Thanksgiving is in T-minus NINE DAYS. There is no emoticon that can express the size of my smile right now.

Ok, just for the heck of it: 😀

I know I wrote about it last year, but I have to do it again. People, this is my favorite holiday of the entire year. More than Christmas, more than my birthday (especially now that I’ve passed 25). Why? Because a D family Thanksgiving looks like this:

Cooking + eating + beer + football

Have you ever seen a more perfect equation?

As is our tradition, we’re going to shake up at least one of the recipes we always have. (TBH, I don’t know why we do this. Everything usually turns out SO delicious … we just can’t stop trying new stuff, I guess. Some people skydive. My dad and I shake up Thanksgiving recipes. It’s that kind of rush.) I’ve already done the unthinkable and decided on a new green bean casserole recipe, to get that french onion/mushroom soup monstrosity off of our table. Of course, the recipe I chose isn’t too risky … it’s Pioneer Woman’s green bean casserole recipe. I tell you, that woman does with food what Michaelangelo did with marble. To be honest, I am trying to resist copying her entire meal. Kind of kills the fun of recipe-hunting.

We really liked the stuffing recipes we did last year … gluten-free swiss chard stuffing (although I’ll be sure NOT to get any red chard this year. Pink stuffing never looks yummy, unfortunately), and a gluten-free cornbread and sausage stuffing. Over the next 9 days, I think I am going to try and turn my gravy recipe gluten-free … we’ll see what I can make work. It’s SUCH a good recipe, though. Thank you, Sunset magazine.

As far as everything else goes, it’s still up in the air. We generally have garlic mashed potatoes, crescent rolls, this jell-o ring my mom makes every year (I think that might be the one recipe out of my reach, though), sweet potatoes/yams, and cranberry sauce.

As I mentioned above, I am currently recipe-hunting. And, I am feeling sort of overwhelmed. I’ve developed quite the arsenal of food blogs over the last year, and THEY ARE ALL DOING A THANKSGIVING SERIES.

One thing I do want to accomplish this year, however, is to have some more vegetables that aren’t slathered in mini marshmallows, butter, or cream sauce. I know, blasphemy on the most gluttonous holiday of the year. But I’ve been doing a really excellent job incorporating more fruits and vegetables in my diet, and I’m going to be hurting next Friday if I don’t try and keep that up. We’ll see what I can slip by the family. Maybe something from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan?

Also … I want to tell you a secret before I sign off. (I am a huge nerd, I just did shifty eyes after typing that … and there is nobody here but me.) I think I am going to try and replace at least half of the mashed potatoes on our table with …

CAULIFLOWER.

Bear with me, and check out this recipe from Cheap, Healthy, Good. I’m going to lobby to replace the potatoes entirely, but I have it on good authority that you can mix potatoes and cauliflower without sacrificing taste … but saving serious calories. Or, maybe that broccoli/potato/red pepper mash I’ve made a few times?

Now you see the pickle I get myself into the week before Thanksgiving. And this is BEFORE I realize I haven’t even started thinking about Christmas yet.

Currently loving: Pumpkin yogurt, my new running shoes (Mizuno Wave Rider 11s) … they let me run without shin pain!, HARRY POTTER MOVIE RELEASE THIS WEEK

delicious picture by scubadive67

 

Superbowl Sunday February 7, 2010

Filed under: food — lexd @ 3:35 pm
Tags: ,

In the tradition of lameness, BF and I are going to be hanging out in our apartment to watch the Superbowl today. We were going to invite some people over, but

  1. We waited too damn long to reach out (people usually have their plans set up before the day of)
  2. Everyone seems to be having a party of some sort this year.

As is my habit, I am making way too much food for the two of us. At first I tried to justify it by saying, “well, people could come over” but even as of yesterday we had no takers, and so the two of us are going to have to plow through the following:

  • These oven-baked (blasphemy, I know) wings from SeriousEats.com
  • This salsa from Pioneer Woman (this recipe literally makes like 8 cups, so be careful or you’ll be eating salsa for weeks)
  • Mark Bittman’s guac
  • The Kitchn’s hummus
  • Black bean dip made from those beans I slaved over last week (ps — if you put those beans in a food processor and go to town, you get delicious black bean soup!)
  • Mushrooms stuffed with spinach and goat cheese. I’m using the Lex_D recipe for this (read: no recipe at all), which means they’ll probably have 1357109379013 other ingredients.

As I write this, BF brought up that he thinks we need another protein (he says dips do not count), and has given me the following options:

  • Mini burgers
  • Fried chicken (he seems to be leaning towards this one)
  • Ina Garten’s roasted shrimp cocktail (I am leaning towards this one, easy+cheap+yum=WIN)
  • Mini sandwiches
  • Pizza
  • Taquitos (now he is just getting ridiculous, taquitos won’t fly here)

We are currently at a stalemate. Will update when we make a decision.

 

New Year’s Resolution January 7, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 10:25 pm
Tags: ,

I dislike New Year’s resolutions. They say that it takes about 6 weeks for people to break these resolutions, and I’m no exception to that.

For years, the D_Family wrote up resolutions at the same Chinese restaurant we frequented every New Year’s Eve, and then gave them to Mom_D for safekeeping. The following year, we’d bring ’em out, and see who was able to keep their word the longest. The winner received a $50 gift certificate to the store or restaurant of their choice, compliments of Mom_D and Dad_D.

I never won.

I could come up with excuses for why I was never victorious (it could be because my siblings would often set stupidly easy resolutions and win by default), but the fact of the matter is that I think this is why I do not like resolutions. They reek of failure to me.

I used to set really concrete resolutions, which were very measurable. “Lose 15 pounds.” “Save 10% of after-school-job income.” Etc.

Then, when I realized that I wasn’t achieving those, I went with something more generic, that I could fudge achievement with if need be. “Be happier with my body.” “Be comfortable with what’s in my savings account.”

Unfortunately, I couldn’t quite hack these, either.

So this year, I am making one resolution to rule them all:

CHOOSE HAPPINESS.

I got this idea from this post over at Dumb Little Man. I figure that if I take 1 second every time I have the option to feel a certain way about something — and take the initiative to be happy about it — everything else will fall into place.

Snarkiness is funny, but I think it’s wearing on me. It’s time to get happy.

fireworks photo from ahisgett’s Photostream

ring photo from that.with.the.camera’s Photostream

 

Holidays, busy, back on the wagon December 30, 2009

Filed under: food,gaming,other — lexd @ 5:56 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Right, like everyone else I’ve been busy, hence the lack of posts.

I had a very enjoyable Christmas, thank you for asking. I got pretty much everything I asked for (and before you go off on a “you are so spoiled” tangent, I asked for things like scarves. This was not a big-budget list), which is great. I actually scored not one but two cast-iron skillets (bf sort of mismanaged the distribution of my list).

And, I am shamelessly keeping both of them. I seasoned them the day that I got them and can’t wait to use them to put a wicked crust on something. And then slide it in the oven to finish, no pan transfer necessary! *swoon*

I had to return a cookbook (I already owned it), and ended up getting the most recent “How to Cook Everything” by Mark Bittman. It’s got the highest reviews I’ve seen in a LONG time for a book on Amazon. I am so excited about it.

BF challenged me on Sunday night, claiming I have these awesome cookbooks and I never use them. Ultimately, this is true. I didn’t realize I’m the only person I know who reads (and re-reads) cookbooks like actual books, not just when I need a recipe. Of course, I do cook from them (I think I’ve made 1/3 of the recipes in Ina Garten’s Back to Basics). So, I went through my Cooking Light 2006 cookbook and made this badass broccoli/potato puree.

Stay with me on this one. You take 2 c. of mashed potatoes (either your own or store-bought if you are on a serious time crunch), heat them, put them aside. Boil ~8 c. broccoli florets (it sounds like a lot, I know) for about 7 minutes, and put them in a food processor with 1/2 c. parmesan cheese, 1 t. olive oil, 1/4 c. milk, and 1/4 t. red pepper flakes. Pulse the hell out of it (the recipe says “until smooth”) and then mix all that with the mashed potatoes. Salt to taste.

It is awesome, and it is good for you (as long as you don’t make your mashed potatoes 50/50 with butter). Try it. I urge you.

Speaking of food, as I previously mentioned, I fell off the wagon before — and during — Christmas. Hard.

I refuse to dwell on it. I did really well, dammit, considering my food compulsions. It’s over, and Monday, I turned over a new leaf. I am eating well, and kicking ass at the gym. I am no longer on birth control. My pants are fitting just a smidge looser. This is encouraging.

I got a mixer called “The Ninja” for Christmas from my mom (bonus points for the sick name). It’s like one of those magic bullet blenders, but way better. Her timing was actually perfect, because at the beginning of each year, I usually do a 3-7 day cleanse just to start things off on the right foot.

Last year I did one of those GNC packs, but since I already eat pretty well, I didn’t feel like it had much of an effect on me. I think it’s designed for people whose bodies are really in bad shape, and as I’ve mentioned, I’m probably at the healthiest I’ve ever been (albeit the heaviest, but working on that).

This year, along with one of my coworkers, I think I’m going to do a juice (or maybe just raw foods) cleanse for anywhere from 1-3 days … maybe longer if I think I can hack it.

I’ve been making this drink for the last couple days that I’ve seen on Oprah. You’re supposed to make it in a juicer, and what I didn’t realize, is that this is different from my Ninja. Ninja is a mini blender, perfect for shakes and smoothies (and sauces and hummus and on and on … yes it came with a cookbook). Not a juicer. This makes drinking this beverage a challenge, because it turns into veg-sludge if I don’t add enough water. And even with lots of water, it ends up being thousands of miniature chunks of produce.

Hard to swallow.

I am working on what to do about this, but I think this is the route I’m going to take for the cleanse. It’s just 3 days, right? Has anyone ever done this before?!

Also, Zelda: Spirit Tracks is freaking awesome. That is all.

skillet image from cbertel’s Photostream

broccoli image from supa_pedro’s Photostream

Ninja photo from Amazon

 

Video game quest update December 23, 2009

Filed under: gaming — lexd @ 4:19 pm
Tags: ,

I’m about to be a bad, bad girl.

Steam is having its year-end sale, and about a bajillion  games I want to play are on there, some of which are on sale  for less than $10.

While I’m still concerned about the issues I’m having with Mass Effect playing on Steam (pissed), I am probably going to buy Braid (for a whopping $2.49, people!), see if it works, and then go from there.

In the “Less than $10” and “Less than $5” categories alone, Braid, Machinarium, Deus Ex and Counter Strike are for sale. I mean, come on, people. I would have to be batshit crazy to not take advantage of this.

In the name of setting myself up to succeed for my superfluous video game quest resolution, I am going to make some purchases on Steam tonight.

But don’t tell … I’ll be in BIIIIG trouble. 🙂

Steam image from Steam.com