Monday, May 31, 2010

Low-carb score of the summer!

Inspired by "Spice Dreams," the fantabulous cookbook pictured above (to be released later this week), I made a delicious, decadently simple and LOW CARB treat for myself last night.  To a small bowl of softened Carb Smart vanilla ice cream, I added two shakes of cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg, and one shake of chipotle chili pepper (available in your market's spice aisle), blended it well, then re-froze it for about an hour.  The result: sweet creamy goodness with taste bud-tingling heat.  Seriously delectable!  Try it with your favorite vanilla ice cream....or chocolate!  Now, if only I could find a low-carb waffle cone.....

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday in the attic with Cathy

   My column today explains why I'll be spending a good portion of the day in my sweltering attic, boxing up trash I hope will become someone else's treasure.  The good news is, I'll probably lose ten pounds of water weight in the process.
   I hope you have a funner day than me!!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

That's one thing I don't have to do this weekend

   So, Sex and the City 2 is bad. REALLY bad according to, well, just about everybody.  (This gal, however, found a few things to love.) I'm not surprised. The trailer looks tacky, slapstick and poorly lit.  Even the eye candy - shoes, clothes, bags, fabulous locations - that have sucked ogling SATC fans in, in the past, seem ridiculously, offensively ostentatious at this moment in history, even for a fantasy chick flick. Interviews with the cast this week have seemed forced, at best, with the actors feigning enthusiasm while barely veiling their fear. 
  Color me relieved. That's one less thing I feel obligated to do this weekend.  But, no worries, SJP and friends. I trust my Manolo-loving sisters will more than make up for my absence from the box office.  And, yes, I'll probably watch it when it hits On Demand...but only for the sex scenes.

"You just put your lips together...and blow."

Here's a fun one for the movie lovers.  What's your favorite romantic/sexy line from the movies?  Mine is the headline above from "To Have and Have Not."  Of course, Humphrey Bogart always had me at 'hello'.

The little theatre that could

Here's a piece I wrote for yesterday's paper about the Creede Repertory Theatre in Creede, Colorado, a gorgeous place you ought to check out, if you're ever in the neighborhood.  It's really an amazing success story, especially if you think in terms of today's 19-year-olds.  Sort of Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland "lets put a show up in a barn" thing.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Oh man, I love this one...

From i heart quotes on Twitter:
"Maturity is the time of life when, if you had the time, you'd have the time of your life." ~ Unknown

No offense to the LPGA but...

    A friend of mine wore her hair short for years.  When she finally decided to grow it out, her husband confessed he was never crazy about the short do. "You looked like a lady golfer," he told her.  She was mortified.  (For the record, there are lots of lady golfers with nice hair out there today. This conversation took place in the '90s when, apparently, that wasn't the case.) Still, I've never forgotten that, and had lady golfers on the brain while sitting nervously in my stylist's chair this morning.
   Determined to be cool this hot, holiday weekend (which starts tomorrow for moi), I showed my stylist the photo of Michelle Williams (see post below) and said, "If you can't make me look like her, whatever you do, don't make me look like a lady golfer!!"
   The jury's still out but, just to be safe, I'm going to stay off the golf course this weekend...just in case anyone asks me to sign their balls...or bag...or whatever it is lady golfers sign.
  PostScript:  Last night, my daughter pointed out that the new do should be tucked behind the ears to have even a chance of resembling the marvelous Ms. Williams' coif.  Thus, the new pic.  I'm going to test drive this sucker in today's 90-degree heat.  Bring it on, summer!!

It's official: Teenyboppers rule the world

    I had a bad feeling when I dialed in to vote for Crystal Bowersox after her stellar "Idol" performances Tuesday night (something I haven't done since Season 1) and got through OVER 50 TIMES!  I expected busy signals, but no!  "Thank you for voting for Contestant Number 2," the voice said.  Apparently, I was no match for the millions of 6 to 16 year-olds who catapulted lackluster but likable Lee DeWyze to AI top dawg status.  That's OK.  Crystal will be fine and I will buy her album, which really will be a first for me. (Could you just see her feeling the nirvana singing next to Alanis and Joe Cocker last night!? There's nothing more fun than watching someone realizing their life's dream on live TV, is there?)
   It just shows to go you: Never underestimate the power of the teen or tween with a cell phone.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Kitchen update

A friend inquired about progress on the big kitchen project.  Bump out is just about done - framed in, roof on, skylight in place.  Big, sunshine-y window arriving tomorrow.  Siding to be finished after that. ( Gotta love the scaffolding which is now my view from the old window.)  We're taking a break while the menfolk go to Minnesota for five days.  Then, it's demolition time - my husband's favorite thing, and my nightmare.  Oh, and did I mention we're having a garage sale next weekend?  Can anyone spare a few Xanax?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Rocking the pixie...do I dare?

   So, the pixie cut is all the rage in Hollywood, right?  Michelle whats-her-name (pictured above), Hallie Berry, even Tom Cruise's beard wife, whose name escapes me at the moment, is sporting one.  But, is it right for me, Ms. Biggest Head in Her Graduating Class?  (I know this because the nuns gasped - then giggled in an unChristian-like manner - when measuring my head for a graduation cap.)
  After a weekend of perspiration like the one I just had, something's gotta give.  And, since it can't be my clothes (at least, not in public), it's gotta be my crowning glory which is heavier and hotter than a coonskin cap.  Thoughts?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Notes from the Nookie Nazi

This is my column today, in which I rail on the ubiquitous practice of PDA.  I've already received emails from two readers in agreement but I can't help but wonder how many people I have offended.  Oh, well.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

CK & JT's fantasy setlist

    I'm delighted to report that last night's concert didn't disappoint.  Three hours (including an intermission), 20,000 singing-along boomer fans, Row 3 seats, 27 songs and 2 legends made for a fabulous night.  I even ran into my best friend from college who drove up from Ozark, Missouri, with her family for the show.  (She RETIRED yesterday, I was stunned to discover!)
    Here's the setlist, which I'm going to try and recreate as a commemorative playlist on my iPod: 
    Blossom, So Far Away, Honey Don’t Leave L.A., Carolina On My Mind, Way Over Yonder, Smackwater Jack, Country Road, Sweet Seasons, Mexico, Long Ago and Far Away, Beautiful, Shower the People, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman. (Intermission) Copperline, Crying in the Rain, That Sweet Old Roll (Hi-De-Ho), Sweet Baby James, Jazzman, Will You Love Me Tomorrow, Steamroller, It’s Too Late, Fire and Rain, I Feel the Earth Move, You’ve Got A Friend. Encore: Up on the Roof, How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You), You Can Close Your Eyes.

Friday, May 21, 2010

In my mind I'm going to James and Carole

   After weeks of anticipation, the concert finally kicks off at 8 p.m. tonight.  I'm so giddy, it feels like I'm going to a giant high school reunion.  It's been years since I attended a big venue concert and I've completely forgotten the etiquette.  Do people still wave lighters in the air?  Pass joints around?  Beach balls and Frisbees?  Surely, this won't be a crowd that stands on their feet the whole time, will they? 
   Did you know Carole King is 68?  That's right!  Born in 1942.  Wow.
   I'll count the number of tie-dyed shirts I see tonight and report back.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My GMA day

   As a dyed-in-the-wool "Today" show fan, I was completely unaware that "Good Morning, America" is now co-hosted by George Stephanopoulos.  That is, until he did this profile of the head of our local homeless shelter, Loring Henderson.  My bosom is swelling with hometown pride!
  And if that wasn't enough, GMA had much of the cast of MoFam on for a gabfest this morning.
  Gee, I might consider changing my morning TV viewing routine if it wasn't for that thing I'm having with Matt Lauer.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

BBC Bloopers: Good show!

As a former TV news person, I adore TV news bloopers. These, compliments of the BBC, are even more hilarious than stateside bloopers. Perhaps it's because we expect Americans to flub up, but those prim and proper Brits?  Not so much....

Deconstructing "Modern Family"

This is a great piece in NYMag about my favorite sitcom and yours, MoFam. (And if it isn't yours...I mean, really, what is your problem?!)

Better than a mood ring

Here's a cool new website that provides free playlists of music to fit your every mood.  I've been playing around with it and have been pleasantly surprised to find that, with the exception of a few bass-blaring hip-hop numbers, I like what I hear.  Remember "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" by Nancy Sinatra?  You'll find that under 'Lost in Thought'.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A perfect pick-me-up

I was feeling a little blue today, the video below notwithstanding.  Then, I saw this.  Watch it and send it to anyone who needs a lift.

Swagger Wagon

Thanks to my friend, Woody, who posted this gem on Facebook.  This hilarious spot might do for minivans what that hot guy on a horse did for Old Spice.  (Almost makes me sad I gave up my Dodge Caravan....) As always, click twice to watch it full-size on YouTube.

"Treme" turns me on

I can't say I look forward to it with the same unbridled enthusiasm as, say, "Mad Men: Season 4" (premiering July 25, which can't come soon enough, imo), but HBO's Treme on Sunday nights has really grown on me since its debut earlier this spring.  It's a sexy, sultry, swingin' show set in sexy, sultry, swingin' - albeit silt-soaked - New Orleans, 3 months post-Katrina.  Great music, story lines, characters and NOLA-ness.  Highly recommended.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Weekend wrap-up

My Mother's Day massage was blissful.  Melanie the massage therapist even gave me some homework.  To stretch out a tight lower back, sidle your butt up to a wall, lie on your back and put your legs up on said wall so your body achieves a 90-degree angle.  See my self-photographed demo, which required the use of many core muscles to take, by the way:
     (You needn't assume the position nude; I had shorts on.)  Here's a much better demo. 
     I came home all woozy to find that my husband (forced to take a break from the kitchen project due to rain), had unearthed the turntable I bought him 3 years ago - the one that turns cuts from vinyl records into mp3s.  Suddenly, we have 400 new albums of music to listen to AND transfer to our iPods.  Project! He pulled Bonnie Raitt's "Home Plate" which he claims I played 1000 times in 1975.  Really? I hardly remember that, I say.  He put the needle on the record, and I magically recalled every word of every song, both sides. Such great music. Bonnie reminds me of Idol's Crystal Bowersox,  Or, shall I say, Crystal reminds me of her.
      Jamming to records (ah, the rich sound of crackling vinyl), I decided to make a dish from my new cookbook, the Poor Girl's Gourmet - Pasta with Ricotta and Prunes.  I know, right? Sounds like unpalatable fare from the nursing home, but not so!  It was actually very tasty, and the bacon I threw in there didn't hurt either.
   Today's column is about underwear or my spouse's lack thereof.  Not to be confused with 'going commando'.  That's another subject on which I could write volumes, but another time....

Friday, May 14, 2010

Like each other. And laugh at the jokes.

I'll admit I logged on to this @KatieCouric video just to ogle Sting for a few minutes.  He's always been high on my list of RSILF which, of course, stands for Rock Stars I'd Like to Fondle. (I'm married, after all, and so is he. See gorgeous wife of 27 years seated next to him.) And, yes, I was hoping he'd address that whole tantric sex thing. What struck me, in this clip, was their oh-so-simple answer to the obligatory "how does your relationship survive" question. They're in "like" as well as in love.  And she laughs at his jokes.  Note to selves....

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No offense, Carole, but Carly would be awesome!

I've vowed to stop listening to Carole King/James Taylor music after tomorrow, giving me a week of abstinence before next Friday night's concert.  (Kind of like not sleeping with seeing the groom the day before the wedding.  You want it to feel like the first time, if you possibly can.)  Anyway, while cruising YouTube for more appetite whetters, I happened upon this 1977 duet between James and his then-wife, Carly Simon.  Talk about a smoking hot couple making beautiful music together.  'Shame it had to end....

Thursday, May 13, 2010

One for the books

   I'm psyched (do people still say 'psyched', anymore?) because I just committed to participate in the "world's largest community workout" right here in Lawrence, Kansas, on June 8th.  Last year,  on the first annual workout, I believe they made it into the Guinness Book of Records....but I might be wrong.  Regardless, how can working out with almost 3,000 of your neighbors be a bad thing? 
  

True confession: I've joined Curves

     My own considerable curves notwithstanding, I never thought of myself as a Curves kind of gal.  To be honest, after my 8-month stint with a personal trainer (which ended in injury), I never thought I could get a real workout there. But, when the local franchise advertised a grand opening sale that waived most of the sign-up fee, I stopped in for a look.
    There were women of all shapes and sizes (college coeds to grandmas), exercising on a circuit to disco-fied 70's cover songs.  Every 30 seconds, a pleasant - if somewhat robotic voice - commanded them to "change stations now." Some were actually sweating, so I decided to give the machines a try.
     Curves, I take it all back. Your hydraulic resistance machines provide a helluva workout.  It all depends on how fast you pump them.  My glutes are actually sore this morning after 30 minutes, or 3 trips around the circuit last night.  AND, I didn't tweak my ankle again...bonus!
    So, yeah, I signed up.  I may be hearing "change stations now" in my sleep, but that's a chance I'll have to take.  Here's to curves with smaller radii!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ten days till the Troubadour Tour

I just looked at the calendar and realized the big show with Carole and James is just ten days away.  This calls for another whet:

Evian's babies on wheels

Using babies to sell products and services always seems like a good bet.  At least, Evian seems to think so.  Hilarious, yes, but there's a slight, intangible creep factor here.  (Click twice on video to view full-size.)

Romaine recall: Lettuce all be aware

Attention salad lovers:  Here's some early news about a lettuce recall.  It appears to be limited to mass-distributed romaine, but you never know with situations like this.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Secrets of the chefs

And speaking of food, here's a great article written by a colleague which shares some interesting cooking tips that I, heretofore, did not know.  (I think words like 'heretofore' need to be let out and exercised once in while, don't you?)

My execution meal

As a lover of almost all things edible, I'm always wrestling with the question: What would my last meal be if I had a date with the electric chair at midnight?  (What?!! You don't think about crazy stuff like that?)  I came close to the answer with my Mother's Day dinner last night: Seasoned trout on the grill, steamed artichokes with hollandaise sauce (thank God I wasn't getting my cholesterol checked this morning), arugula salad with baked goat cheese and walnuts, warm, whole grain bread with Pasolivo olive oil for dipping and a killer Chardonnay (can't remember the name but it got a 94 rating!) Dessert was strawberries in balsamic vinegar over shortcake with whipped cream.  A meal made even more delicious because all I had to prepare was the hollandaise (I don't trust those idiot kids with my signature sauce) and no dishes to wash. Kill me now....

R.I.P., Lena

I looked and looked at all the Lena Horne videos on YouTube, many of them featuring the great siren in her young 20s.  I liked this one the best, when age, experience and pain drip from her lyrics like the perspiration pouring from her head.  Horne died over the weekend. She was 92.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day morsels

   Here's today's angst-ridden column (because worry never takes a holiday) and a story I wrote about fraternity and sorority house mothers - a later-in-life career I might actually consider, if sleep deprivation wasn't part of the job.
  Happy Mom's Day, everyone.  May you find yourself standing at the brunch buffet of your dreams today! 

Gotta love Betty....

Just in case you missed last night's SNL because you went to bed with an allergy headache after being trapped in a retirement center dining room with fresh flowers all afternoon (oops!  sorry, that was me), here's Betty's opening monologue:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

How does your vertical garden grow?

I've seen this as a growing (sorry) trend on HGTV, my #2 guilty pleasure/obsession.  Today, the NYTimes has a story about gardening on the up and up.  What a great solution for people who have just downsized to apartments or condos, or for those of us who have an ugly exterior wall within view from an interior window.  Color me inspired!  I think I'll give it a go this season.  Here's an instructional blog and video from YouTube, in case you get inspired, too:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The wall is up!

   Progress is, well, progressing on the kitchen remodel and there is the wall, an extension of 5 1/2 feet!  Get a load of that humongo window I'm going to have!
   On the downside, my husband and I were talking about the chaos to come last night and I said, "I'm not worried.  I've been through this before." (We've redone 3 "handyman specials" in our marriage...while living in them.) He replied, ominously, "Nothing like this, though.  It's going to be nasty. And you're older now."  Ouch!  Then, he added. "You might want to move in with your mother for a while."
   Well, except for the 45 minute commute to work, that would be fine.  Especially kitchen-wise. I covet her breakfast area and pantry.  I'm just not sure what she's going to think of the whole idea....

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Goin' bug-eeee!

I've already gotten one email about my column on ants this week, which is much appreciated as I'm getting ready to clean out the upper cabinets (my kingdom for a pair of knee pads!)  The sympathizing reader suggested spraying them with 409.  She claims it "works wonders every time."  To which, I have to ask, "Every time?"  I'm kinda looking for a 'one and done' solution, really.

Random acts of May Day kindness

   Imagine my surprise when I stopped by my office yesterday only to find my missing power cord AND this darling May basket on my desk.  Beside it was a handwritten note that said, "Happy May Day and thank you for writing a wonderful story on our family."  Well!  That just made my May Day.  Now, if I could only figure out which family it is!
   In the meantime, thank you phantom May Day basket-leaver!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

It's May! It's May! The lusty month of May...

Get into the spirit of May Day and "go blissfully astray" with Vanessa Redgrave and the cast of Camelot.  I never knew Vanessa could sing (if she, in fact, can) and I'd forgotten the clever, naughty lyrics... although the Broadway soundtrack with Julie Andrews played constantly at my house when I was a child.  Enjoy!