Saturday, March 31, 2012

I feel a theme coming on

I spent most of Monday and half of Tuesday weighing our options for a Final Four trip to New Orleans. In the end, after considering travel + cost + time off from work, we decided to stay home in our "lucky space" and have family and friends over for a NOLA style watch party and sleep-over. (GUEST TOWEL ALERT!!)  I'm researching jambalaya recipes now. This one looks doable. I even started my morning with some tasty chicory coffee from TJ's. It's not exactly Cafe' du Monde, but it'll do in a pinch. This Hurricane recipe tempted me but it's so sugary, I think I'll leave that to the amateurs. After all, my lucky cocktail is scotch on the rocks. And you don't mess with the juju.

Who needs it, anyway?

So, someone in Maryland won the big money last night. I say, bully for them. Let someone else deal with the anxiety of instant mega-fortune. Besides, can you imagine the insomnia? I was annoyed enough waking up at 4:45 this morning. Imagine my annoyance if I'd have won all that money. I'd never sleep again! Sore loser? Not me. Of course, I forgot to buy a ticket until it was too late....

Friday, March 30, 2012

Mega Millions Mania (Or, how many "m" alliterations can I come up with in one month?")

Here's what I love about all the people lined up to buy a chance at tonight's $540 million jackpot: Hope springs eternal, despite 176 million-to-1 odds. The downside is all the people who will "bet the rent" on the dream of being a half-billionaire. Yes, I will play, but with a limit of ten - maybe twenty - bucks. Why? Because I'm a cockeyed optimist, too. And, someone's gotta win it...right?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mustard miscellany

Today, my first order arrived from the National Mustard Museum in Middleton, Wisconsin. I have not visited (nor is it on my bucket list), but the NMM is an actual museum where you can learn about, taste and buy just about any kind of mustard you could dream of. I love mustard, especially the fancy-shmancy kinds like Mango Curry and Blue Cheese Dijon. They're so flavorful, so low in calories. And, some of them actually can clear my sinuses! My purpose in buying them, however, was to jazz up my salads. I've been eating a lot of greens lately and I'm tired of tossing them in the same ol' vinaigrettes. I think a little Sweet Orange Chili mustard will spice 'em up.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Downtown Lawrence: Party Central

Photo by Richard Gwin, Lawrence Journal-World
My intimate watch party for ten turned into a New Orleans-style street bash last night when the home team won a spot in the Final Four by beating North Carolina. After the requisite screaming and hugging and jumping up and down, we headed to Mass. Street - honking all the way - where the party was in full swing.
Photo by a friend
The KU students had been away all week on Spring Break but returned at game time and were out in force. Some even flashed naked body parts a la Mardi Gras (no photos available). I doubt many of them will make it to class this morning. Me? I'm going to be pretty late to work myself. I've got a 2-hour premiere episode of "Mad Men" to catch up on.
Photo by Richard Gwin, Lawrence Journal-World (I love this shot.)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

March. Mad Men. Madness.

Wow! What a poster!
Big, big, BIG weekend ahead. My team is still alive in the NCAA tournament, meaning another thrilling game tomorrow night and, knock wood, Sunday afternoon. I'm attending an all-school reunion at my all-girl high school on Saturday night, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Sisters of Loretto (coolest activist nuns ever, check them out here), and then Sunday....SUNDAY... it's the premiere of Mad Men, Season 5. My cups runneth over.

Marvelous Madcapz

Modeling the golf/tennis visor in "Serenity." How did they know to send me the 'calming' color?
We've had a mini-monsoon in these parts lately, so I haven't had a chance to test-drive my new, complimentary sun visor from Madcapz in the actual sun. But, I can attest to the comfort factor (very high) due to the generous adjustable strap and cushy sweatband. Madcapz were invented by a woman named Carrie Bell who, when she began losing her hair due to Grave's Disease, became frustrated by the lack of cute, feminine-looking caps and visors on the market. Read her remarkable story here. Madcapz (and visors, like the one I'm wearing) come in over 30 colors and patterns, have a low-profile style and are 100% cotton. Coming off of my skin cancer treatment, I'll be wearing my Madcapz frequently this spring and summer. IF the sun ever shines again.
Carrie Bell

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"Freaking" firestorm: Part Deux

Wow! Another letter to the editor admonishing my vocabulary. This time, it seems I may be responsible for the death of society from the "rot within." Imagine! Little old moi! That's the beauty of the First Amendment. Everyone has the right to voice their opinion, no matter how freaking freaky it is.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Slumber party of one

This week, after months of just thinking about it, I officially started sleeping alone (in a bed versus on the living room couch.)  Of course, I told everybody about it in my column today. For the record, my spouse is really OK with the move. He says, "When you're happy (read: not bitchy), I'm happy (read: not being bitched at)." I slept 9-1/2 hours again last night, which may be a testament to my snore-free surroundings or my new iComfort mattress with its heavenly cooling technology. (That is an unsolicited endorsement for Serta. They did not, unfortunately, send me a free sleep system.)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spice it up!

My spice drawer, as pictured above in all its messy glory, will attest to my love for all things seasoned. Now comes news that going heavy on the spices is good for your heart, especially when the meal is high in fat, as many of my low-carb favorites tend to be. I wonder if I've always known this, instinctively. I typically add lots of cayenne pepper to my Hollandaise, over-curry my Panang, and double the garlic in my aioli. Healthy or folly? Guess my cholesterol numbers will tell the tale.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

It's a freaking firestorm!

Imagine my surprise, upon returning from a fun and ultra-relaxing weekend in Kansas City with the hubs, to discover my column of last week was causing a bit of a stir online. 'Seems a reader objected to my (over)use of the work "freaking" and wrote a letter to the editor, which prompted many colorful comments, pro and con. (Thanks to the commenter who recognized the literary device, although how 'literary' it was is still debatable.) My skin has thickened to criticism over the years (an upside to getting older) but, unlike Rush Limbaugh, I take no pleasure in offending someone's sensibilities and I've never called it "entertainment." That might have to be the topic of this week's column...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Put your diet on the rocks

March is turning into party season, with a couple of family birthdays, post-season basketball, St. Patrick's Day events and - be still my heart - the premiere of "Mad Men" coming on the 25th. As most of these occasions include alcohol (who am I kidding? we booze on ALL occasions), I've begun alternating a cocktail with a tall glass of ice water over the course of the evening. It keeps me hydrated and dilutes the effects of the liquor, which makes for a much happier BoomerGirl in the morning. Today, I learned that drinking ice water may actually help speed up your metabolism, so you can lose weight. That's doubly delightful, don't you think? Cheers!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Retired? Who, me?!

Today's column tells only half the story about our meeting with the financial advisor. I could actually retire from the work force in 3-1/2 years, if I want to. I'm still freaking out over that one....