Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ace of Cakes . . . err, Spades!!

This post is dedicated to Colton, Whaley & JD.

So two years ago, I was all hyped up about some Butternut Squash soup and tried to make it for a group of our friends on New Year's Eve. I was pretty cocky and didn't actually try out the recipe beforehand (I think it was Tyler Florence's) and needless to say it was a bust (at least I thought so). Well, this week on Google Reader, I saw not one, but two different folks blogging about ole Mr. Butternut Squash (I guess its not that weird since Thanksgiving is this week). The wife also had some tasty butternut squash soup the other weekend in Asheville, so I decided I would give it another go.

I'm no expert on Butternut Squash, but I was a little disappointed in the size Publix had (I'm including the bottle of Shiner Bock as a reference and also to try and un-Gay this post as much as possible*).

The recipe I used this time came from Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) via the Amateur Gourmet. If you've ever watched Ina on Foodnetwork, you know she loves to use HEAVY CREAM and BUTTER in almost everything! I always crack up, because whenever she over-indulges in her recipes, she reassures the camera/audience, "You know, it's ok, this is for a special occasion/recipe."

Anyways, I was pretty pleased with how the soup turned out (I didn't use as much curry powder, and added more apple cider). I didn't really think about how much soup this would make, so if anybody is hungry, we have about 2 quarts worth in the freezer!

* I'm also listening to Motorhead right now!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sorry, haven't been too Bloggy this week

So enjoy this picture of Tony Perkis . . .

Though I must say, he is a bit . . . over the top!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Revival Picts and Shameless Self Promotion

The show on Saturday was SWEET!

If any of yall are still bored, check out some more picts I put on Flickr.

I’m also contributing to a new Birmingham music blog called They posted my thoughts on the show earlier today.

Don’t worry, I still have my day job . . .

Monday, November 17, 2008

Shoot Her! Shoot Her!

Oh Man, has anyone else seen the commercial for Kota, the Triceratops?!?! (ok, it came on when the Mrs. was watching Jon & Kate + 8 . . . I was, uh, I dunno, I was doing something in the other room, not really paying attention).

Anyways, I made her re-wind because this thing looked AWESOME! Can you imagine being a 7 year old boy (or 26 year old lawyer . . . JD) and having a life size (ok, it actually looked like it was 3 feet tall) dinosaur to play with?? That thing looked seriously sweet!

PS - R.I.P. Michael Chrichton

PPS - I will proudly wear a "No Worry, Beef Curry" t-shirt if you can find me one . . . 

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The boys are playing those old sad songs

Some might say I’m a Lucero “super-fan” (yes, I bought an original 7” Kiss the Bottle/My Best Girl split off eBay a few years ago). I’ve probably been to 30+ shows since the Summer of 2000 and although spraying PBR on your friends while singing “Tears Don’t Matter Much” isn’t near as fun as it was in college, I still enjoy getting out to see the boys play (they’ve already made two stops in the Magic City this year).

This Saturday, you can catch Ben Nichols (Lucero) with Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music), Tim Barry (Avail), and Tom Gabel (Against Me!) on the Revival Tour at Workplay. Although, they all share punk roots, each has (or about to) released a solo and/or acoustic record recently. In addition to playing their own material on this Tour, it sounds like they’ll be trying out each other’s as well (Check out this song they all teamed up on here)!

Ben Nichols’ The Last Pale Light in the West is based on Cormac McCarthy’s novel, Blood Meridian, and is set to “drop” early next year (but you can pre-order with an instant digital download!). You might know McCarthy as the author of No Country for Old Men (I still need to see that!), and it looks like Blood Meridian is also set for the big screen in the near future.

Anyhow, I’ve never listened to Hot Water Music or Avail, but Against Me! always puts on a good show (they played Workplay in September).

Let me know if anyone is interested in going and check back next week for picts!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Soylent Green is Asheville

Oh man, I’m sure I could really bore you readers with a long detailed itinerary of our weekend in Asheville, NC, and how sweet that town is, but I’ll try my best to keep your attention! Let me try and break it down DDT style.

1) We stayed at the Beaufort House Victorian Inn (my first time at a B&B). It’s funny because you feel like you have to whisper and tip-toe down the stairs because the house creaked like a 100 year old house would. Both of us enjoyed the friendly conversations we had with the other guests at the breakfast table each morning (how random is it we ran into a couple from Troy, OH, where my grandparents live?). We also found out Charlton Heston rented a room here for 6 months in the 1940s.

2) If you had asked me before how exciting I thought a 110 year old house could be, I probably would have shrugged and said, Ehhhh, but seriously the Biltmore is a really cool place (and attracts over 1M visitors a year). The nation’s largest private residence opened in 1895 and had a bowling alley, an indoor swimming pool and 43 bathrooms before most Americans even had electricity in their homes. The audio tour was key and gave me all sorts of new trivia I would otherwise have had to find on Wikipedia . . .

3) In addition to tourists, this town was full of hippies and/or artsy folks. The Mrs. and I played a fun (for me) game called “Count the Subarus” . . . I think we lost count after we saw 5 on one neighborhood street (approximately 75% with Obama bumper stickers). Asheville was also home to Kenny George (of the UNC Asheville Bulldogs), the world’s tallest (7’7”) college basketball player. Sadly, KG had to undergo a career ending surgery on his foot earlier in the year. Another notable AVL resident: Memphis transplant Greg Cartwright (of the Reigning Sound, Compulsive Gamblers, Oblivians, etc.). Oh, you wanted street cred? I saw them Live at Legba Records (TBHS record release – Summer 2002).

4) Twice a year, all the local artists open up their studios (housed in dilapidated old warehouses and factories) for the River Arts District Studio Stroll. We actually didn’t know this was going until Saturday night, but got to see some really interesting stuff Sunday morning. I’d love to see Birmingham “gentrify” an older area like this, I think they’ve started on 2nd Ave North . . .

5) My one regret of the weekend . . . Not having enough time to try all the restaurants! We had dinner Friday at the Corner Kitchen, and Saturday at Fig (Oh, man, the Bass with baby bok choy). Both excellent meals, but I wish we had more time for Bouchon, Table, Salsa’s, Tupelo Honey, 12 Bones, Wasabi, Laughing Seed, Bistro 1896, the list really could keep going and going . . .

Ok, I just have to say one other thing about Asheville . . . Chocolate Fetish! Recognized by the LA Times as one of America’s Best, this Chocolate Shop (get your mind out of the gutter) makes gourmet truffles (at $2 a pop) with some exotic ingredients (Wasabi; Basil & Pistachio; Cayenne Pepper). The French Kiss was hands down the best we tried . . . Dragon’s Kiss was a little too funky cold medina for me . . .

And there you have it, my longest post to date . . . Hope I didn’t bore you all and seriously . . . go visit Asheville!

Monday, November 10, 2008

I read a lot of photog blogs

See question #3. I like how “accountant” is the lame, sell-out, stereotypical profession you choose when you don’t follow your hopes or dreams :(

I’ll just assume that Accounting isn’t as sexy in London as it is in the States . . .

PS - I think I'm going to stick with this "Normal" font size. Everybody ok with that?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Still a Red state

I get a lot of cookbooks as gifts but sadly don't do enough of them justice. Last Christmas I was super pumped when my sis gave me the Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook. These guys (who look a little too light in their penny loafers to me) have some great recipes, but can definitely call for some "exotic" Southern ingredients. Anyways, we had an election party Tuesday night and tried their Red Velvet (cup) Cakes. It took a little guess work to convert the baking time (9-inch round cakes -> mini-cupcakes) but I think they turned out pretty good! The Mrs. also made Cindy McCain's Oatmeal Chocolate (substituted for Butterscotch) Chip cookies. No pictures because they were all eaten!

The wife and I are headed to Asheville, NC tomorrow for a little R&R. The liberal media published a pretty sweet article on Asheville last year and I'm excited to try out the various "foodie" establishments!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Like you wanted to read another thought/commentary on the Presidential election . . .

I think the biggest disappointment of this election had to be “the kids” (hooligans, whipper-snappers, etc.)

I was watching Fox News (big surprise, right?) this morning and they were talking about how this election had record turnout among young voters. Then they played footage from last night showing “young” Obama supporters cheering and celebrating in D.C after Barack was announced the winner.

Woooo Whoooo!!! Yeah!!! Obama!!! Alright!!!

There was one hipster waving a Soviet flag . . .

Hooray Communism!!! It’s the Best!! Workers Unite!!

They had another kid wearing a t-shirt with the hammer and sickle on it . . .

YES!!!!! Reed College!!! Change!!! Michael Moore!!!!

It reminds me of the “Rasta Man” digital short SNL played the other week. Do these kids know why they are waving a Soviet flag?? Or at least why they voted for Obama??

If you are passionate about the issues Obama supports, that’s fine; you have that right as an American. But if you are just voting for him because it the hipster thing to do, you are a moron. And your parents should cancel your tuition to Oberlin.

I just want to ask all of these young people.

So why did you vote for Obama?


Oh, you don’t really know which issues are important to you; you just want “CHANGE”!!


Well why not Bob Barr or Ralph Nader? They were on the ballot. They would bring Change.

(pause . . . puts in iPod headphones)

Ohhhhhh, you voted for Barack because he was on the cover of Rolling Stone.

Or because Jon Stewart fawns over him like a little school girl.

Or because Bright Eyes thinks he’s dreamy?

PS – I promise I will not turn this into a boring “political” blog . . . I’ll make it up to you in the next post . . .

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

(insert clever title here)

Stop! - lyrics by Tom Gabel

Stop! Take some time to think, figure out what’s important to you.
Stop! Take some time to think, figure out what’s important to you.
Stop! Take some time to think, figure out what’s important to you.
You’ve got to make a serious decision.

It could be me up there in stage lights.
It could be me on the TV in your living room.
It could be me jet setting with my band all across the world.
Appearing live in concert one night only, tickets sold out.

Stop! Take some time to think, figure out what’s important to you.
Stop! Take some time to think, figure out what’s important to you.
Stop! Take some time to think, figure out what’s important to you.
You’ve got to make a serious decision.

There I am giving candid disclosure to press in interview.
There I go on my way through the crowd up to the podium.
On behalf of our fans we’d like to accept this award.
Smile for the camera boys, gold record in hand.

Stop! Take some time to think, figure out what’s important to you.
Stop! Take some time to think, figure out what’s important to you.
Stop! Take some time to think, figure out what’s important to you.
You’ve got to make a serious decision.

All of our lives in waiting.
All of our lives traded for their roses and applause.
All of our lives dedicated to shoving it right back in their *** face.

Stop! Take some time to think, figure out what’s important to you.
Stop! Take some time to think, figure out what’s important to you.
Stop! Take some time to think, figure out what’s important to you.
You’ve got to make a serious decision.
You’ve got to make a serious decision.

Stop! Take some time to think.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Nenamoosha Crush Party - Fall 2K1

Just want to welcome the Harden’s* to the blogosphere! Jonathan and Heather are expecting in December and wanted to jump on the family blog bandwagon . . .

Jonathan’s ferocity on the fĂștbol field is matched only by his loyalty as a friend.** Can’t wait to meet Jackson in a few months!

*I also want to welcome any new blog stalkers! I think you know you’ve “made it” as a blogger when you have a dedicated audience of blog stalkers . . . I’m assuming I have that now . . .

** I am allotting myself one sentimental post per month.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Well, um, actually a pretty nice little Saturday

This post is for my friend, Cooper. After I e-mailed him to say I started a blog, he replied:

"I'm sure it's riveting stuff like, "so last night I was watching 'Two and a Half Men' . . . "

I've always considered myself a semi-handy kinda guy. I mean, I know I can't "flip" a house by myself or anything, but I installed a new kitchen sink a few months ago. And I've crawled under our house to re-wire some outdoor speakers, etc. Today I added another skill to my ever expanding list of, um, skills . . .

Curtain Hanger-Upper

Window Treatments are Punk as ****