Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas in Detroit

Tavo and I have returned from the Great White North with full bellies and a treasure chest of booty. Here are some of the highlights of our trip.

We left after work and ended up sleeping in Kentucky on the way up. Did you know that Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky? I always associate him with Illinois...

We stayed at the finest of motels, complete with scary shirtless dude in number 16, looking at us through his door. Why would someone have their door open when it's 30 degrees out? We made sure to use the deadbolt and the chain.

We continued on to Detroit the next morning, and got in right around lunchtime. I took Tavo to my old neighborhood, Cass Corridor, and we drove around looking for a good place to eat. Cass Cafe was open--and they serve beer!

Tavo ordered the reuben, and proclaimed it to be excellent.

I ordered the artichoke and spinach melt, with lemon aioli. Wowza, that was tasty!

(so tasty, in fact, that the picture is blurred)

An interesting feature of the Cass Cafe is their super sturdy bathroom stalls--no one is going to sneak in here.

We also ordered "Ghetto Blaster" beer. Don't be fooled by Tavo's joyous face--this beer was LOUSY.

Tavo is perusing the Metro Times, which I used to deliver. Ahh, it's beautiful, but I don't miss the snow!

On to my next favorite place in Detroit, Belle Isle. Belle Isle is a huge island park on the Detroit River in between Windsor, Ontario (Canada) and Detroit. Here are some pictures of the Detroit skyline.

and some birds...

I'm too cold to get out of the car, so let's take a picture of Tavo, looking out the window. Wonder what he's looking at...


and one goose.

Onward to visit Mom and Dad. On Christmas Eve, we had some cocktails before church. What talented bartenders!

hmm, those cocktails are kicking in pretty quickly...

For dinner, we made Christmas pizza. Dad, don't eat all the olives!

Mom and Dad peruse our creation--notice how each family member got their own section to decorate.

Into the oven you go!

Some salad to go with the christmas pizza...

asparagus? sounds good to me. As a neanderthal, I don't bother with niceties like forks.

and it's time to open presents! Here's Tavo, relaxing by the fire.

I'm still posing gangsta style with Little Sister.

Let's go outside and play with Tavo's new jeep.

and look at my new tires

They're "huggers"

Tavo cleaned off my sister's car for her. For his first time brushing snow off a car, he showed a natural's finesse and skill.

And we drove back to Atlanta. Tavo particularly enjoys Cincinnati.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas from Little Sister and Lini

Hello All,

We made it back from lovely Detroit and will post pics as soon as I upload them. In the meantime my little sister and I will pose, all toughlike, in front of the christmas tree for you. Yes, just for you.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

View from work and a bit of midnight walking

Hello Ladies and Gents--it's time for a dark post. No, no--I'm still full of holiday cheer--I just am gearing up for our winter solstice. Here's the view from my work, taunting me with the dark.

It is dark EARLY now--I generally leave work around 5, and by the time I reach my doorstep, it is quite dark. This doesn't stop us from enjoying the great long as you have the proper equipment, all is good.

Proper equipment being: flashlights!

My friend is on a personal quest this year to complete 60 hikes by the end of the year. I've been a pretty steady hiking partner, who is always up for hikes in the rain, in the 100+ degree heat, dodging snakes...and our latest one, 12 miles after work.

We saved a paved hiking path for our midnight hike. It was about 25 miles south of Atlanta, in Peachtree City. Peachtree City, GA, is unique in that it has 90+ miles of golf cart paths going all around the city. It was a planned city in the 1950's (I think) and almost all residents have golf carts that they drive from place to place instead of hopping in their cars. Sounds like a winner to me! Here we are, getting ready to hike.

This is me:

This is my buddy:

And we're off! Now, during the day, I'm sure all ages of people enjoy driving their golf carts to and fro and we did see a couple of nice cars that would honk lightly and slow down while they passed us. But the majority of people in these demon golf carts were probably 14-18 years old, and they were FLYING at mach golf cart speed, trying to hit poor, silly pedestrians. Of course, it was 8-midnight on a friday night. We managed to get away unharmed, finishing our 12th mile at 12:30 am. Yeah, us!!


Thursday, December 13, 2007

South Dakota--pictures and all

I flew into Minneapolis and met up with Mom and Little Sister to drive the rest of the way to visit family in South Dakota. Because we took small state roads, the entry into the state was without much fanfare--we took a picture anyways:
Wow! Look at all that snow!

We continued on and I snapped a picture of a frozen lake.

This is not just any lake--this is the lake that my grandpa drove into one time after falling asleep behind the wheel of his Cadillac. Lucky for him, the lake is really shallow--he was fine. Surprised, but fine. The car? Not so fine...

Little Sister called shotgun, so I spent my time crocheting scarves for everyone for Christmas. I am a stubborn novice at crocheting. I say this because the only thing I know how to crochet is scarves...and I've been successfully crocheting scarves for almost 10 years now. You'd think I'd get a little ambition and afghan? Nope. They take too long. Time for another scarf.

And here is scarf, posing as a jelly roll.

You can't fool me, scarf! You aren't a jelly roll!

We visited family and I'll spare you the tons of staged pictures, but let it be known that a grand time was had by all, many a casserole and bud light consumed.

One interesting side note--is red beer popular in your neck of the woods? It is EXCEEDINGLY popular here--you can order it at any bar. My cousins and aunt drink it exclusively. Definition of Red Beer: Tomato Juice and Olives added to beer. Here's a picture of the necessary ingredients:

Not my favorite, but I do like a beer chaser with my bloody mary.

On our way back to Minnesota, we passed the Goose Capital. Here's me!

And here is the view of lovely, WARM Atlanta from the plane. Slightly blurry, but it's downtown.

And I'm home! But wait--there's more! Next week we are headed to yet another wonderous vacation destination....DETROIT! Many fabulous pictures to follow.


Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen, borrowed from Tommie at Tuesday Update

And, just because...Here is my new favorite drawing I've seen around town.

I have a 12 hour workday today, so I have a feeling I might be a prolific poster today. Breaks from the grind, you know. Here's to 4 hours down!

1. Name someone you love = Tavo

2. Name someone you secretly admire = well...not much of a secret if I'm blabbing it. I'm always impressed by my students--so many of them have overcome great obstacles to make it here in college.

3. Name someone you are annoyed by = haha, well, some of those lovely students can be a bit annoying, too. Cell phones and eating in the library are my biggest pet peeves.

4. Name someone you think is funny = We were watching Mitch Hedberg last night--too funny!

5. Name someone you love to look at = Tavo, my family, my friends--my students when they REALLY understand the concept I'm covering.

6. Name someone you are inspired by = Single mothers

7. Name someone you are saddened by = all the homeless men and women I see on my way to and from work

8. Name someone who gives you hope = my students.

9. Name someone you frequently think well wishes for = my family and friends

10. Name someone you hope to never see again = jeeze, that doesn't seem nice at all

11. Name someone you would love to reunite with = I wish my friends could all live in the same city as me!

12. Name someone you look up to = My parents, my grandparents

13. Name someone you would like to be for a day = Superman. I think the flying bit would be right on.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

9 degrees below zero is NO JOKE!

Myself and Little Sister chilling, literally, near a snowbank.

Just got back to Atlanta last night, and was picked up by Tavo, wearing a t-shirt, with the windows wide open to let that 70+ degree Southern breeze in. Wow.

I hadn't been to South Dakota during the winter in a loooong time--and this winter was particularly cold. I flew into Minneapolis and met my sister and mom to drive the rest of the way. I'd worn a couple long sleeve t-shirts, a sweat shirt, a fleece jacket, and then my regular jacket--and I was still shaking. Minnesota wasn't that bad, though--16 degrees.

As we entered the plains, the temperature kept dropping. 5, 4, 0, -2, -5...and this does not include the windchill. I think the coldest it got was right around 10 below--and the warmest was right around 6 degrees. Brrr...the snow sounds different when its that cold out. It squeaks.

Luckily, the roads were clear and the snow wasn't drifting--it was pretty much frozen in place. Had a great time visiting family and will post more pictures as soon as I retrieve them from my camera. This nice, blurry number is from my phone--surprise surprise :)

Glad to be back home in sunny ATL!


Thursday, December 6, 2007

walk home

I've got a camera phone now. Oh boy. Very exciting! Now you get to see even more documentation of my life--and it's more pixelated! yeah!

Here are some of the views on my walk home from work.

This house just burned recently. It had been abandoned for years, but was still owned, presumably.

Close up of roof. So pixelated, it's hard to understand.

And here's the edge of cemetery. It's quite cool--I'll probably post some more pics at a later time.

I'm headed out to South Dakota tonight. Tavo is going to hold down Atlanta while I'm gone! I hear that they received 9 inches of snow last weekend. Wow. I'm afraid that my blood has thinned to Southern blood--this may be a bit much for me. I packed my long johns, though.

Keeping warm,

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Fake Beer Brats. hmm....

Have you guys had these?

Although I've been on the vegetarian train for more than a decade, I am very much a newbie to the fake meat delights. They are generally not available in inner city (ahem...ghetto) grocery stores, and when they are, they're ridiculously expensive. I've done the fake chicken patties and nuggets a few times and liked them. I think manufactured veggie burgers are pretty vile.

So--these beer brats have been stocked at the grocery store, teasing me for 4 months. They look so yummy. I LOVED brats when I ate meat. I kept waiting for them to go on sale....nope. $4.99 for 4 hot dogs. Can they be that good?

Let's see what Tof*rky says:

"Tof*rky Beer Brats are the first vegetarian meat substitute designed to cook both in the comfort of your kitchen and outside on your grill!

These Big Dogs actually SIZZLE on the grill and really fill out a bun with mustard and sauerkraut.

Made with Real Tofu, not Hexane Extracted Soy Isolates or powders, and Micro Brewed Full Sail Ale. Certified vegan, satisfying and delicious."

Sounds good...

Last pay day, I bought them. I beer-boiled it and heated up some sauerkraut, toasted the bun. Well, it doesn't taste like a brat. I didn't really expect it to. But it was fairly decent. Not my fave, I'll probably not wake up in the night craving these...but they're okay.

Then the stomach cramps hit. Ugh. blech. Maybe I have some sort of digestive issue with these things, but now I will definitely not eat them again. Any of you who've tried these--did they hit you the same way?


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

looks gross, tastes great

Welcome to my favorite dinner. Only dirties one dish, takes 30 minutes to prepare and costs a grand total of about $1.00

Beans and Eggs for Two

-Mince a small yellow onion and sautee in oil over medium high heat (think translucent)
-While the onion cooks, add cumin, coriander, ginger and cayenne to the pan, to release the flavors.
-Mince some garlic and add it a bit later, careful not to let it burn
-cook down for about 5-10 minutes, and add can of beans. Any beans will do, but black beans are our favorite
-keep heat medium high, and add 1/2 can of liquid (I've used beer, stock, water, wine--be creative)
-cook down, occasionally stirring, for 20 minutes. Add liquid as needed, but this can get quite dry and still be good.
-crack two eggs onto the beans and cover with a lid until eggs are set
-let cool for a minute, heat up tortillas and eat it right out of the pan, using the tortillas as your utensils.

This is good with hot sauce and beer.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Growing Together

Every notice how couples after being together for a minute start to look, act, talk, walk, each other? It is pretty gnarly because I see this happen to my folks and all my bros and sis's. Regardless of race, or age, you slowly become that other person. Reminds me of a morbid urban myth I heard about Liberace. Supposedly he had one of his lovers consistently go to the plastic surgeon to make him appear more like...himself! Now, I question the veracity of that, but it would prolly go along with narcissistic attitude. OK so here are a few of Lini and I. From recently, 6 months ago and early on when we just met. You decide. MORPH!!!!