Friday, January 18, 2013

These Brussel Sprouts are Money, Honey.

Holy Mother.  My friend Chelsea, who channels Katniss Everdeen,

stopped shooting arrows the other day for long enough to tell me about a brand new breed of brussel sprout. 

So, without any further ado, let me introduce you to my new best friend:

Chelsea's Holy Mother Bourbon Sprouts

Directions: Roast a package of Brussel sprouts on 450 for approximately 30 minutes or until you achieve a desired level of crispness. Flip 1/2 way through. Remove from oven. Drizzle sprouts with bourbon and honey (just a little of each). Toss.

You are probably thinking that they look slightly charred. But, that is exactly how I like them.

I tried to restrain myself from eating the entire pound in one sitting.  Really I did.

But, I didn't stop until I had eaten all but four.  My mom ate two (she concurs that they are delicious), and I saved the last two for Elizabeth.

So go on.  Get drunk on brussel sprouts this weekend.  Just don't go to the gym right afterwards like did.

Happy Friday,


Monday, January 7, 2013

Reporting in . . .

The other day the Great and Powerful Oz and I woke up to a puddle of piddle in the middle of our bed. Now, I know what you are thinking: one of us peed the bed. But, no.

NO.  I promise.

The Tiny Princess, who frequently relocates during the middle of the night, was strangely still fast asleep in her own bed (she got candy for that). Easy E, who lapses into a death-defying coma every night, was also still asleep in his room.  However, Drama, who sleep walks and has been known to pee in trash cans when doing so, was in the kitchen checking out a recently constructed Lego set. At 5:30 in the morning. Hmmmmmm.

Also suspicious, Thing 1 was in the corner of our room licking himself most inappropriately.  Sorry I couldn't get a picture of that.  You get this instead.

Drama swears that he didn't do it. But he also has no recollection of walking across the bed one night a few years ago and standing over his brother while peeing on him. So I'm not sure that we can trust his version of the story.

And, the cat is strangely silent.  So far, this has been the big mystery of 2013.

Moving on, a number of friends requested that I follow through with my promise of a book report of my recent reads.   In order of preference, here are my top twelve mind-candy mind-blowing books from 2012 (I'm not including Fifty Shades because I've already reviewed it).  Also, please bear in mind that I can only say so much without spoiling for you.

1.   Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

Buy here

I love this book. REALLY LOVE IT.

It's possible that I listed it first because I just recently finished it. Maybe other books further down the list were better. But, books are like ex-boyfriends. As time passes, the reasons why you liked them become less apparent.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves hard, seventeen-year-old love.  This book has it all. She's a high school senior with a clean record and a quirky adopted mom. He's a bad boy with a record of violence and family tragedy. She doesn't want to like him, and as soon as she gives into it he walks away. This book twists and turns and will rip you inside out.  It's got more drama than a Chris Brown - Rihanna reunion.  I'm certifiably dead inside but got goose bumps at least twice while reading it.

So, I say READ IT!  Unless, you have unresolved issues with suicide or child/sexual abuse. Then, forget I said anything.

2.  Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

buy here

I talked about this book a few months ago. It really tickled my fancy.

In this book, we've got college kids with college size baggage.  It wasn't written by a Mormon (i.e. Twilight), if you know what I mean. But it wasn't written by Heidi Fleiss either. It's somewhere beautifully in the middle.

He is a handsome bad boy and is untamable until . . . of course . . . he meets our heroine.  Since she's the only girl on campus that doesn't throw herself at him like Taylor Swift on a boy band member, he can't resist her.  Naturally.  But, all is not what it seems since our good girl is hiding a childhood that could rival Meadow Soprano's.

They are together.  They are apart.  They are together.  They are apart.  You will want to beat her on the head at some point.    But, it never gets old.  And, I will happily get to reread it all over again from his point of view this spring when the not-really-a-sequel comes out.

pre-order here

3.  Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

buy here

It's been a while since I've read this one so it's feeling like my seventh grade boy friend at this point. I can't really remember the details but I know it ended badly.  But I also know this: when I was there, I loved it.

Unlike most books that I figure out before the crucial point, Gone Girl kept me twisting in the wind. We are talking about the height of marital disfunction here. Boy meets girl. Boy marries girl and lives . . . happily ever after . . . until girl goes missing.  All evidence points to foul play.

So who did it? Did he? It would seem so but I'm not telling.

4.  Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan

buy here


Emma is a high school senior just trying to make it through the last year before college. She lives with her uncle and her physically abusive aunt.  She never makes mistakes because to do so means that she won't be able to walk for a week.  And, she doesn't let anyone get close.  Of course.  That is, until a good boy from the right side of town takes notice.  It's all rainbows and unicorns from there. Well, until the next time her aunt beats the crap out of her . . .

You won't be able to stop your self from immediately downloading the sequel, Barely Breathing.

buy here

And, you won't be able to breathe yourself until the third installment comes our this spring. Look at me now, I'm turning purple as we speak.

5.  The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen

buy here

Let's go back to high school again. Are you picking up on a reoccurring theme here?  Callie is a strange girl with serious issues. She doesn't relate to her peers. She doesn't date.  So, you know that something has to be wrong with her.

Fast forward to college. She's almost a different person, but an old acquaintance from high school jeopardizes her new life. And, he really gets under her skin.  The problems are aplenty here. She MAY have sexual abuse issues that manifest as an eating disorder. He MAY have daddy issues that leave him damaged. You will begin to believe that there is no way that these two can work it out. And, you'll wait with baited breath for the sequel (due this spring).

Other books that I have read recently that are worth mentioning:

Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park
The Intituion Series by Amy Bartol

Stay tuned for my next installments of "How to train for the NFL with a broken toe" and "How to make Mondays worse than they already are by fasting."


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Dissolutions and Resolutions

Hey there.   Remember me?  I just wanted to drop by and wish everyone a

Facebook is full of well-wishers making big promises for the upcoming year.  Before I can think ahead, I'm going to look back and reflect on the previous year.

12 Highlights of 2012

1.  Started and quit blogging.

It's self-promoting.  It's narcissistic.  And, I love it.  I love having a couple of glasses of wine . . . or, today, a couple of bloody mary's . . . and just sitting down and writing whatever comes to mind.   I love pretending that I'm funny.  There seems to be a direct correlation between the number of glasses of wine that I have and how funny I think I am. 

So,  if I love it so much, where have I been for the past two months? I haven't had much to say . . . so I said nothing at all.  I think we were all happier that way.

2.   Gave up sugar and then got right back on that wagon.

This blog began as a chronicle of Elizabeth and my struggle to give up sugar during Lent.   For forty days, we were devout.  But, as soon as Lent was over, sugar started sneaking back into our diets.  First, it was just sporadic little lapses of judgment.  Then the lapses started to get more frequent.

Now, it's more like I'm trying to maintain a constant sugar-induced coma.  For example, for breakfast this morning, I had a piece of Oooey Gooey Butter Cake, two Chocolate Chip Cookies, and . . . to level out the sugar . . . some of  my mom's Mac n' cheese.  For reals. 

3.   Discovered a love of angsty, young-adult dys-fictional love.

Additionally, I haven't been blogging the past two months because I wanted to step away from technology and re-engage with the real world. 

I'm totally kidding. 

I've spent every free minute glued to my kindle or iPad.   I have read twelve books during the last eight weeks.  None of them were works of literary art that are going to grow my middle-aged mind.   But, ask me about them and watch my eyes light up.  I love disfunction.  The more trauma and drama, the better.  Basically, I love love . . .  but only if it is hard.  My next blog post will likely be a review of all 12 books.  I know that you can hardly wait.
4.  Decided that I want to write a book rather than a blog.

All the reading got me to thinking that I would like to write a book.  Not about me.  Who would want to read that?  No, if this dream comes to life, it will naturally be full of angsty, young love.  Elizabeth and I are working on the story line.  The Great and Powerful Oz has some good ideas too.  I need to leverage this into a movie option.

I'm going to show Stephanie Meyer and E.L. James how it's really done. 

5.   Broke up Team Shortstack.

I had the best workout group ever.  And, in May, I pulled a Yoko Ono and broke up the band.  I did it in the name of Indians and Crossfit.  I don't regret it, but I do miss the routine of hanging with my girl friends every morning.  Okay, maybe I do regret it just a little.  I also regret that I've gained 10 pounds since May.  See number two above.

6.  Discovered who my true friends are.

Nothing dramatic happened.  But, as one gets older, one begins to focus on the important things in life rather than the minutia.  What I have discovered is that I have some really great friends.  And, I have some pretty shitty friends, too. It's important to know the difference. 

7.  Ran into stuff.  

In April, I ran into a pole and split my head open.  While I was in Hawaii visiting a friend in November, I ran into a doorway and broke my little toe.  While at my in-laws' during Christmas, I ran into another doorway and re-broke the same toe. 

Basically, I run into stuff.  A lot.

8.  Got over the hump.

Elizabeth and I realized that we finally have gotten past the baby hump.  All six of our kids are now over three years of age.  Everyone has stopped peeing and pooping in their pants.  Nobody takes a bottle or needs a pacifier.  Additionally, it means that Elizabeth and I can actually sit down and talk while the kids play. 

There will always be the constant threat of a child requiring some sort of assistance or intervention, but it's nice that the kids have reached a modicum level of self sufficiency.

9.  Gave up showering.

If you see me around town, you may wonder if I gave up showering in 2012.  I usually break up my work day with a workout at lunch time, and I typically don't have time to shower until much later.  So, I'm stinky and foul when I'm doing the kid drop-off and pick-up thing.  

The great and powerful Oz thinks it's disugusting and I should really have more pride.   I think there is a whole blog post to be written on this subject. 

10.  Fell in love with Lavash.

The discovery of Joseph's Lavash Bread was a life changer.  And, then, like a fool, I told all of you about it and made it virtually impossible for me to get it.  Since Walmart is frequently out of it, it is a good thing that I keep a stock of at least five packages in my freezer at all times.  It's my only effort at prepping for armageddon.

If the world goes to shit and we all go into hiding, my loved ones and myself will live off of love Lavash.  The rest of  you are on your own.

11.  Started losing my teeth.

Yeah, this one sucks.  I've said before that my front teeth are loose.  Like, really loose.  During the summer, I did the responsible thing and saw a dentist and then a peridontist.  But, then I went into some sort of deep denial and haven't made any progress on resolving the situation despite being told that my teeth are "absolutely going to get looser and looser" and that at some point I'm "really not going to like the way I look."  By the end of 2013, I could have a whole new grill.

12. Asked for a raise.

If you know anything about my work situation, you know that I have a really sweet gig.   After 12 years with the firm, I have earned their trust.   No one looks over my shoulder.  I make my own hours.   I'm rarely in the office.  I have been told that I am like a unicorn since the young attorneys have heard I exist but have never actually had a sighting.  It's beautiful. 

. . . well, except for the hundreds of partners that I technically work for.  

I shouldn't complain.  But, after five years without a raise and a constant increase in my billable rate, I'm facing my own personal fiscal cliff.  So, at the close of 2012,  I decided to ask for more.   And, I was told, "Yeah, that's not going to happen."
It was awesome.  And, really closed out the year with a bang.  At least they didn't fire me for insubordination.
 The Year to Come

So that's a wrap-up of my year.  After reminiscing about the highlights of 2012, I should probably come up with a resolution for 2013.  I saw something on twitter (GS Elevator Gossip) the other day that made me laugh: 

My biggest New Year's resolution . . .
To not change a f*@#ing thing.

It totally resonanted with me. 
I hate New Year's resolutions.  They are usually overachieving, and, as a result, no one keeps them.   So, I guess my New Year's Resolution is to just keep on trucking.  Basically, I'm going to continue starting things that I can't or don't want to finish.   My motto is going to be "Yeah, that's not going to happen." 
It's going to be a good year.