Friday, April 30, 2010

Wear a prophylactic...on your ankle!

One of the frustrating things about trying to maintain a good treadmill routine is that I keep twisting and re-tweaking my ankle.  This has been going on for a year now (I've even given up on heels!), but this report about high school volleyball players may hold the solution for me.  It seems like a no-brainer to wear a brace to prevent ankle injuries but, apparently, I have no brain because it's never occurred to me. 'Looks like it's off to the pharmacy this weekend for a little orthopedic shopping.  (How old am I, again??)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

All the wrinkled ladies


From the female comic genius that brought us the Mom song set to the William Tell Overture comes this Beyonce tune:  "'Cuz I like it but I should've put some cream on it...."  Hilarious.  (Click on the middle of the video to see the full-screen YouTube version.)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pure Prairie League and, uh, go-go dancers?


The newsroom was getting kind of noisy today, so I put on some Pure Prairie League via iTunes to drown out the din. Then, I started wondering what PPL I could find on YouTube.  Voila!  This fuzzy clip from Solid Gold circa 1980.  It isn't exactly how I remember them, and not my favorite PPL tune (that would be "Early Morning Riser" or "Angel") but a nostalgic trip down Memory Lane, nonetheless.  Be sure to stick with the video through the Top 10 countdown, complete with big hair choreography (and "Xanadu" big finish!)

More reasons to love that cheeky Julie Child

A Facebook friend turned me on to this collection of Julia Child photos at the online Harvard bookstore.  Wouldn't it be great and unexpected to have a set of these classic black & white photos on my new kitchen wall?  Especially the one above, which was a Valentine's Day card sent to friends by Julia and her husband, Paul.  How fun would it have been to party with those two in Paris? Seriously!

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Great Mouse Hunt

How many reporters and photographers does it take to catch a mouse in the newsroom?  Apparently, all of them.
 But, here's the guy with the quickest hands.  Go, Kevin! And, thank you.

Happy feet, glad gams

The trend story I wrote about "health & wellness" shoes published today. Those are my tootsies in the photo with the Fit Flops I ended up buying.  I wear them all the time. I like them because they're not completely flat but not too high, either.  And, I have to say, my legs feel like they've had a bit of exercise by the end of the day.  Wouldn't it be great if by just wearing sparkly shoes we could completely blow off our workouts?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday sampler

  Everyone seems to have a kitchen remodel horror story. My column today has sparked a few.
  I also wrote a feature story about an interesting guy named Bill James who, among certain in-the-know baseball fans, is considered a deity.
Today, while the men folk head to the ballpark to watch the Kansas City Royals lose play, I'm going to have myself a spa day, starting with a workout and a eucalyptus steam.  Then, it's back to the kitchen supply store for more head-scratching....

Friday, April 23, 2010

Gettin' folksy

   I've always felt a little too young to truly appreciate the American folk music movement of the early 60's, although I loved Peter, Paul and Mary, some Joan Baez (her vibrato always bugged me) and, of course, the prolific if pitchy Bob Dylan.  Joni Mitchell could qualify, too, but I've always put her in another category: transcendent genius.
  Tonight, we've been invited by a friend to a Connie Dover concert.  The Boston Globe called Dover "the finest folk ballad singer America has produced since Joan Baez," which is high praise, indeed.  The problem is, every song I've found of hers, combined with the steady rain outside, makes me very, very sleepy...and it's not the kind of venue where you can nod off and nobody will notice.
  Looks like an afternoon latte might be in order.
 
Enjoy the music and the scenery in this one, too!

Can major cleavage cleave the earth? Really?

I love this story.  And I'm glad this clever, outspoken young woman is getting her 15 minutes of fame.

Boomers "pushed to the limit"

This story in the Hartford (CT) Courant says baby boomers (AKA the "sandwich generation") are missing work to take care of sick parents and other family members.  I can't think of a single contemporary of mine who hasn't been in this boat in the last year or so.  No solution offered here, just a comforting dose of "we're all in this together."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy 40th, Earth Day!

Yikes. It's Earth Day and I didn't do anything special.  Not beyond what I normally do - recycle glass, paper, plastic and cardboard, avoid being a litterbug and drinking from plastic water bottles, and screaming at my family to turn off the blanket-blank lights.  Oh, and we did just buy a new high-efficiency A/C and ordered an on-demand water heater (extra points!!) Had I known it was the big 4-0, perhaps I would've thrown a party.  The truth is, I was too busy.  So, have a happy belated birthday, Earth Day.  And remember, 40 is the new 21!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Christmas in April!

My olive oil club shipment arrived today and it feels like Santa was here!  I used the lime oil to make a fab-o dressing for a spinach, strawberry, walnut and goat cheese salad.  Check out the oils here at Pasolivo.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The kitchen: Before

At a loyal reader's suggestion, I am documenting the "old" kitchen in all its 80's glory....even though I know the "after" shots won't come for months.  Above you see the wall (with the window) that's getting bumped out.  A huge window will replace it.  No cabinets, just glass and little corner shelves flanking the window.  (I just got goosebumps....)
We are taking out this whole wall - the range, upper and lower cabinets are coming out to make room for a cooktop island that will run the other direction.
This is the view of that wall from the other direction.  (I'm standing in the family room, shooting over the breakfast bar.) On the other side is my husbands's desk or what we not-so-lovingly call the crap catcher.  It's outta here.  As is the closet to the right of the desk, where our furnace and water heater currently are...and the soffit above.  Where you see the copper pot rack in the distance is where the double ovens will go.  I'll miss that pot rack, but oh well...
In this shot, the crap catcher is to the left in the foreground. Still not sure what we're going to do with the breakfast bar.  Thinking it might become a dry bar, possibly a wet bar, or a built-in bench so we can slide a table up to it.  By the time we get this sucker done, Lucy the dog will have graduated to a big girl bed, so no doggie kennel.
The fridge will stay where it is.  Can't afford to replace it with a stainless model just yet and, besides, it's relatively new (I just REALLY don't like double-sided refrigerators.)

Equal time for Sweet Baby James...

The countdown to the big concert continues with another teaser.  My all-time favorite J.T. song:

Sunday round-up

   It's Fashion Week here in the trend-setting mecca that is Lawrence, Kansas, and here's the column that's kicking it all off (ha!).  Can a visit from Tim Gunn be in the offing?
   More culturally significant, perhaps, is the story of my cool neighbors who go above and beyond to support the kids in K.U.'s music department.  Can you imagine?  15,000 people have come through their home in the last 14 years for over 500 recitals.
  Meanwhile, the kitchen remodel is going full blast.  The hole for the bump-out is dug and special styrofoam forms are being set that will insulate the foundation according my contractor/spouse.   After that, walls, wiring and plumbing.  Then, let the demolition begin!!
Just a 5.6 ft bump-out, but such a big production.

The happy contractor.
                                                        (He's high on ibuprofen.)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Weekend update

Wow!  It's Friday already.  I've been slacking.  Not really. 'Just been busy with deadlines.  This week, I investigated new "health & wellness" shoes, including Flip Flops (so, of course, I had to buy a pair and, I have to say, they do give the old gams a bit of a workout), MBTs and others.  I interviewed a couple who has held 567 recitals in their home over the last 14 years (none for their own kids), and wrote my column on my acute case of fashion show anxiety. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Carole King countdown


I started looking around for YouTube vids of my favorite Carole King tunes in preparation for the big show with James Taylor on May 21.  This one grabbed me because 1) it's one of my fave CK songs 2) Carole's in great voice and is rocking the piano,3) the girl percussionist is on fire and 4) that sax player is sex-eeeee!  ('Hope she brings the same band to K.C.) Enjoy....

I think I've seen this before, but I can't remember...

This will be one of the most inspiring things you've ever seen, or the most depressing (that is, if your sense of recall is severely limited, like mine):
 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cleaning for a reason: A fabulous idea

I didn't know about the Cleaning for a Reason program until I wrote this story about it for today's paper.  It's a national effort, so if you know any woman who is undergoing cancer treatment and could use a hand with the housecleaning, hook her up asap! 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hey, HGTV! I got your reality show right here!

It will be difficult not to blog every day about the kitchen remodel, but I know better than to think that's fascinating fare for my cherished readers.  Still, I couldn't help but devote just one column to the subject, including a shameless solicitation to my favorite network.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Laminates and hardwoods and bamboo, oh my!

I'm off to the flooring store to look at underfoot surfaces for the new kitchen.  My head is reeling and I have yet to set one toe in the showroom.  I'm liking the idea of bamboo for its sustainability, but I've read it's not very tough....and we need "tough."  Laminate may be the way to go.  But this piece of bamboo is lovely, I think:
If you've "been here/done this" and have any suggestions for me, I'm all ears.  Meanwhile, we did find an affordable double oven we liked (Frigidaire double convection - giddy-up!) so that's one decision down:
I can't say enough about the joys of shopping with a good camera phone.  What an indispensable tool for a dazed and confused consumer like me!

Friday, April 9, 2010

I'm a born-again stage mom!

I've decided Lucy ought to be in pictures - greeting cards, calendars, books. That's why I've sent this photo to the former casting director for Hallmark Cards, asking for advice on getting into the biz.  I don't know if she'll reply, but the die is cast.  Could super-stardom be far away for my precious and well-behaved pup?

How I'll spend my summer vacation

   When I win the lottery tomorrow night (and I will because I feng shui'ed the Wealth & Prosperity corners of my home and, unlike in the past, I actually plan to buy a ticket this time), I think I'll take a cruise on a luxury yacht from Monaco to celebrate.  I saw it last night on the Wealth TV channel (who knew?) Just $250K per week for the vacation of a lifetime for me and 15 of my closest friends.  If only those marble bathrooms were just a tad bigger....

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tiger's shame in Nike's name

Tiger Woods Nike Commercial
OK, I've thought about it all day because I didn't want to post a knee-jerk reaction.  But, here it is: I hate it.  It's creepsville, it's exploitive, it's unprincipled and it's shameful - on Nike's part as well as Tiger's.  How low must we go in this whole mess?

Let the kitchen clash begin!

This is picture from an engagement party my husband and I recently attended.  The couple provided an assortment of props and cartoon-y signage for their guests to use in a makeshift photo booth.  It was a fun little ice-breaker.  But upon viewing the souvenir shot, it dawned on me how apropos our pose was, given that we're preparing to live without a kitchen for at least three months.  Foreshadowing, perhaps?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Oh. My. Dog.

This is Lucy the Cocker Spaniel's favorite thing to do in the world: lay on her back with a bone in her mouth and writhe around on the floor.  Not the most modest position for a young bitch, but hilarious to human onlookers.

Soup's on!

Last month, I started a fun new column involving two of my favorite things: food and eating out.  (No, those aren't completely redundant.) It's called "Recipe on Request" whereby this reporter goes to local restaurants begging chefs to give up the recipes of our readers' favorite dishes.  This month, it was one of my favorite soups at my favorite local eatery.  Check it out.  Mm-mm, good!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Carole and JT together in concert!!

That's right, I'm going!  And I couldn't be more excited.  Thanks, I needed to gloat a little.

Cocktails with a kick

I've been sipping some pretty fancy cocktails lately.  So, I wrote about them. You know what they say:  Write what you know!  But, I learned a few things on this story, too - such as, bacon-infused vodka doesn't work.  Who'da thunk?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Feng shui schwinnng!

   After researching this story on the magic of feng shui, I decided to add a few "cures" to my own abode, especially since the Powerball jackpot is above $100K, which is the point when I start to play. 
   I discovered to my great dismay that the Wealth & Prosperity corner of my master suite was my bathroom.  (Not helpful, due to all the drains which swallow the good chi.)  To stop the giant energy suck, I closed the toilet lid and shower door, and placed a little ceramic bowl I purchased in Mexico on the back of the john.  The bowl was originally filled with sea shells but I thought, "What better symbolism than to have a smiling woman up to her boobs in money?!?" So, I filled the bowl with spare change and went out and bought five tickets for Saturday's Powerball.
  No, I didn't win, but neither did anyone else.  Stay tuned....
 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter sundries

Everyone's a-buzz about the iPad and I'm just getting hip to the smart phone, as today's column explains.

After that Food story I wrote about fancy deviled eggs, I ended up making the traditional kind for this evening's Easter dinner:  one batch with sweet hot mustard and the other with creamy horseradish sauce (both condiments from Hickory Farms).

Hickory Farms provided me with my first "real job" when I was 15.  I lied about my age (said I was 16) in order to cut cheese and Beef Stick in a red gingham check blouse and chambray jumper.  You should have smelled me at the end of a long shift..what was I thinking?  Still, I love those sauces.

Friday, April 2, 2010

NYT says gray is in. Duh!

This is making me feel hip today.  Imagine, young women dying their hair gray to be cool. Love it!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Quote of the day

"To err is human; to arr is pirate."

(Sorry.  Couldn't help it.  April Fool's Day humor...)

Can't remember? Look it up on, uh, Topeka..??!!


   This is what you'll see when you go to Google today.  Funny, on so many levels.  Here's the story.
   Happy April's Fools Day, everyone!