Saturday, Saturday!

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Yes, Elton John is still on my brain.

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Thank you so much for all the responses to my survey. And if you haven’t answered – please do! Even if you have not received anything, I’d like to know. I’ve also found a great resource to combat the one email sample that was posted which I will share later.

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Since I do write a bit on politics, I would be remiss not to comment on John Edwards. Though he was never my first choice candidate, I was quite impressed with him at the California Dem convention in April 07 and I liked many of his policies, particularly his commitment to addressing poverty and healthcare with bold ideas that needed to be highlighted. Obviously marital fidelity is not a requirement to be President. So many throughout history have had their dalliances. It’s even rather well known that John McCain strayed from his first marriage when he met Cindy. The issue though, as it was with Clinton, is the lying. That is what is unacceptable. The even bigger issue for me as a Democrat though, is that he and his wife who I admire so much, have disappointed me so greatly now that I know that they knew about this situation and still chose to launch another Presidential campaign. What a risk they took! If Edwards had won the nomination, this revelation would have completely destroyed his chances.  Why would they risk doing that to the party? And yes, I have to lump Elizabeth in on this criticism since she knew before she started campaigning for him. Was it utter naivete thinking they could keep it covered? Or supreme egoism (which John blames for the affair)? Perhaps both. Either way, two previously well received members of the party with some very valuable views on critical domestic topics will be largeley silenced now. What a waste.

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August Dream Dinner #1 which I made on Thursday night:

It’s called Greek Island Shrimp. A nice chunky marinara based sauce with wine and olive oil and spices and feta cheese. Very very good! Leftovers were darn good tonight too 🙂 I know we are going to enjoy the meals even more this month. As I was making them I was thinking YUM! I did avoid anything with fruit/citrus in it this time. I learned last month that no matter how fast and easy something is, or how popular the recipe might be, I just don’t like that! This month there were more tomato sauce based items which is always safe with my family. And September? Oh wow, looked at that menu and know we will love it already. Meat loaf and stew and the pulled pork again and kabobs and…yeah, ok…August first.

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In case it hasn’t been obvious, Sportsboy went to his dad’s on Monday so I have not been on pop warner practice duty. That picks up again next week. Mostly this week has been about my day job since we are preparing for the year end audit. All the schedules are supposed to be finished by the 18th and the auditors arrive on the 25th. After a couple of days of some frustration between people not getting me info, long meetings and then just non stop interruptions with people needed info and help from me, I gave in and went back today. 5 hours on a Saturday alone and I got more done that I had the last two full weekdays! I blasted the speakers with some Alanis and Coldplay and Buffett and plowed through the toughest of the schedules that I needed to get done. Phew!! Thankfully no one else showed up in the basement. Not sure if they would have wanted to hear me singing along as I worked 🙂

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Another birthday approaches. And me with no money 😦  I’d still really love to get the Wii since it would be a family gift that would also help me in my exercise routine, but…sigh…it would mean so much money! We’ll see. I’ll go shopping tomorrow and see what I am comfortable with. I would love to get a small hd tv up in my room which would mean a new hd dvr receiver which I want so that I can watch recorded shows there while pedaling. Then SB could have my current tv/dvd combo for his gaming systems which would be much better quality than his current one. But you see how quickly the $$ output jumps, right? OTOH, I could just get him  a gift card to Game Stop so that he can buy some fun games for the computer or PS2 right? That would be the smart thing to do. Let’s see if I can stick with those smart thoughts tomorrow!!

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Amber, in her favorite pose when it is hot:

Back to my beer and the TV – well earned today!

Next to last July dream dinner

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Hawaiian Chicken. This dish was all inclusive – I added nothing. Well, OK, I felt like having edamame too 🙂 The sauce included black beans, pineapple, green onions, red peppers and garlic in a chicken broth base. Quite good.

I took the plunge and ordered up a bunch of food from the August menu. Unfortuantely the first opening was not until 8/6, but I will live 🙂 Lots of good looking meals though! Even better than July IMHO as far as appealing to SportsBoy too. I am going to run a comparison between May and August as far as what I spend on food to see if this is really as good of a deal as I think it is. Of course I shall report back here 🙂

Dream Dinner #..whatever! – Steak Gorgonzola

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The steaks marianating. This dish was on the “express aisle” for the month of July which meant that everything was pre-mixed for me so I have no idea what is in this! It looks oil based though – kind of like an italian salad dressing.

After 10 minutes under the broiler – with gorgonzola butter melted on top which was provided. I added corn and potatoes to complete the meal. Again, fast and tasty!

I’ve got two more dinners to use and then I think I will shoot for the August menu when SportsBoy is back to see if he likes them too. I think that long term I can envision a combination of DD and my own meals just depending on time.

Posting from the air!

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Ok, not really. I just set this to post when my plane takes off 🙂

Grilled Salmon – ok, broiled in my version. Some garlic dill butter with capers sprinkled on top at the very end. So this one took me all of 10 minutes. I added some peas and a crusty roll on which I slathered the leftover seasoned butter. Can’t complain about that effort! Very yummy.

So since I am in the air as you read this, I had to share some thing that I can promise you at this very moment I am laughing about. Whoever is sitting next to me now think I am completely batshit crazy. I blame Dawn. If you don’t read her blog you should, and beyond that, at least take a moment to read what she posted yesterday – a story about airplane anxiety.Go on. I’ll wait here for you to come back either groaning in disgust or laughing……..

And just in case THAT did not give you the heebie jeebies – how about this story? It was featured on Countdown tonight. Oh, an aside – Rachel Maddow has been filling in for the vacationing Keith Olbermann and I love her! Well, I’ve always loved her on the radio, but I really am thrilled she’s had this much tv air time filling in the last two weeks. Bravo Rachel! I hope she gets her own show at some point. She deserves it. Anyhoo – poor Miss Abbie Hawkins – found a um..*bat*..in her bra! While she was wearing it!! I guess the bat thought it was a lovely place to sleep. She’d hung out to dry on the line overnight you see. Um…..AAAAAAAAACCCKK!!! This will also be front and center in my mind since one of the “attractions” in downtown Austin are the Congress Avenue bridge bats! Most women will be covering their heads to protect their hair. I will think of Miss Hawkins and clutch my chest!!

Ack! I’m supposed to post!

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Being in last day before travel mode, I did not prepare a post for today. I should have taken pictures and written about last night’s dinner. No pictures, but it was Bahama Burgers. The ground beef and seasonings were provided – I had to mix them together and form 3 burger patties. Buns and pineapple salsa were provided. The burger was GOOD. I’m not a fan of pineapple salsa so I skipped that but SweetPrince delcared it a nice topping for his burger. I added roasted potato wedges with some rosemary/garlic seasoning and a salad. Very nice. Tonight I will make salmon which will leave me enough dinners to get through next week for sure.

Meanwhile I have done laundry and packed and made a list of things I need to get tonight (after nails are done and face is waxed – PRIORITIES!!). I like to leave the house clean so all that is now done. I mentally checked out of work yesterday 🙂 It’s so hard to just come to work for 2 days! However, I do have one large task I must complete today and THEN I can space out totally and mentally start flying to Austin.

I downloaded the session list and have my favorites circled. I cannot believe that even the 3rd time around I will get the chance to meet some new faces. Writers such as the much beloved Meteor Blades & Nyceve who exposes the health care industry better than Michael Moore ever could. Orangeclouds will have a food panel, Markos and Harold Ford will debate the differences in the Democratic party between the DLC and progressive netroots. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is sticking her neck out and taking questions (pre-submitted, but still!). Howard Dean and Richard Clarke return for their third years as speakers or panelists. I am a tad disappointed that Obama wont be there – watching the forum last year I was thinking that by this time we would have a nominee (and we almost didn’t!) and for sure that person would be here. But, this is when he is beginning his overseas tour. No matter – nearly every key staffer from his campaign will be there. I think there is an Obama related workshop in every time slot!

What really matters though are the friends I will see. I have to admit to being particularly excited to seeing CommonSenseMainer again. We bonded so well in Chicago and have counted down the weeks and months until Austin. I already warned Bill that CSM will be mine 🙂 He’s arranged a dinner tomorrow night that will be well attended by our Cheers and Jeers friends and more. There are parties being thrown every night. Including – yes! – the return of the chocolate fountain!! We missed that last year.

SportsBoy is now with his grandma in the middle of Sweden (he had been in Stockholm all this time). He has access to IM from there so all is well.

Anyhoo – that is the random and boring post of the day to satisfy my NaBloPoMo committment.

Dream Dinner #4 + This Week in Politics

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Summertime Pasta. Chicken, penne, capers, onions and a very light sauce that was chicken broth based with lemon zest and some other seasons that I just don’t remember! But, it was indeed a very light summery flovred pasta which I paired with some peas and carrots. I got 6 servings of this one so I’ll finally have some leftovers! You see, when there are only 3 servings that really counts as 2 since SweetPrince has a rather errr…hefty appetite! This one was super easy – throw it all in the baking dish and bake for 30 mins. Done. Zero effort tonight. I like that 🙂

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TWIP: Links to two essays stood out for me this week. First, a diary by Kos on Clinton/Obama and their FISA votes which reflects pretty closely the way I have read this situation. Also for the record, I joined the group on BarackObama.com to protest his FISA vote – the group which rapidly became the largest on his site. I applaud him for supporting our right to disagree with him and for providing us a way to organize and do that.

Second, a diary by my new favorite author to plug, orangeclouds115. Not food related though! Just a tale of her encounter with a book store owner and her thought process as she debated issue with him. I normally disagree with calling people idiots – unless of course, they are. And in this case since the guys argument never got more nuanced than “Liberals want a national bedtime!”, well……if the shoe fits! Also, I know this guy is in no way reflective of everyone from the other side. But he’s a funny example of how people can latch onto a very shallow perception of things and never sway from it. Thank you corporate media.

Dream Dinner #3

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Southwest steaks. What I prepared there was the spice mixture that I rubbed on the steaks before cooking them. The long grain rice package was part of a promotional give away from one of their food suppliers that was given to me as I left. So all I had to add was the salad with dried cranberries (my new favorite salad ingredient). I’m rating this as only ‘ok’ though partly for my own issue of leaving the steaks in the broiler too long. I like them medium rare, but they came out more medium well. Still, the effort on my part tonight was just to rub the steaks with the pre-mixed seasoning rub. The rice took 25 mins to cook while I was fixing the steaks. Overall then, a nice dinner for the short time and effort tonight, though perhaps not one I will choose again since I was not thrilled with the flavor of the rub. Of course, I cannot remember what went into it!! I think next time I am going to write down the main ingredients on my labels!Up next: Summertime Pasta tomorrow night.

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Sports Boy is clearly getting a touch home sick or perhaps bored with his routine. It’s been two weeks as of today that he’s been gone and he not only popped up for chats yesterday and again this morning, not only emailed me back in response to my updates from the ballgame last night, he even called again today! Two days in a row! He said he wants to ‘call as much as possible’ before he travels to see his grandmother and will lose the easy telephone and email access. Luckily the timing for that switch to a location when he cannot communicate so much is good. He’ll be with her when I am in Austin.

Apparently his dad had forwarded him a message from Coach (when you see that, I mean his football coach since he will forever be known as Coach to SB) who wanted the boys to keep up a fitness regimen. Well, sharp little SB noticed Coaches email address and promptly sent him a message. Since Coach is literally one of the really really Good Guys, he replied and the two of them exchanged several messages today about staying in shape and (ulp) girls! I emailed Coach to thank him for his patience, but to stop being a bad influence (jokingly of course) – bad enough that he allowed his team to have cheerleaders this year I said. I was hoping to stall the girl crazy stage a little while longer. His reply? “Too late!” Oh joy!

Yes, with the all star teams all losing last night, we are now officially on the countdown to football here! I am sure all of you readers are getting pumped up for it too. Right? All together now: GO FALCONS! 🙂