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Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday Unfixed and ReWrapped

think break


Well the blog of a thousand pages always begins with a single word. Its Friday and I have kept my head down all week trying to keep the light inside and concealed. Sometimes that just happens or is the culmination of a month of previous events. Either way, I won't decide which. It's been a long month and it ain't getting any shorter. I suspect I was built to handle it; otherwise, it wouldn't be my plight. I have good news, I have bad news and I have news I can't /won't share; but what's new about that.

I am bordering a nexxus of sorts. It is a crossroads of tradition, theology and opinion; but I suppose we all drive thru these parts. The sun is blotted out by the grey sky holding dominion over a soaked Middle Tennessee day. I watch the people go by aimlessly without purpose from my window, the tower of the bat looms over us all. The people going by busy themselves doing what they do when nobody's looking. I am invisible. That is by blessing. That is my curse. I have found that most of my blessings do come with a big red string. What is a blessing without a curse; what is the light without a shadow; if there were no moon, could there be a sun? I have had some bizarre enlightenings this week. Since I am still digesting, I'll have to give that to you later, maybe. It would seem the older I get that friends and family become synonamus. My friends I will typically see more often than my family. My friends tend to know more about me than my family. It has always been that way for me. Don't know if that is good or bad; but I am sure it is a symptom of something.

It has also been a week of firsts. I ate at PEI WEI for the first time Wednesday. I agreed to visit with someone and they picked the place. I strangled my objection in my mouth, just before they crossed my lips and said yes. I actually dont even know what I had. One was some sort of lettuce wrap and the main dish some type of chicken salad in a bowl; ironicly, I was dining with a Jamacian. It was an enjoyable time of fellowship. I think I am looking forward to the next time. I often get labeled a "conspiracy theorist," probably guilty. Everything happens for a reason at somebody's request. Who can argue with that. I probably should have been taking notes between bites. I kept getting that feeling that this was coming to some point; otherwise one wouldn't give that much information...but what do I know. Anywhooo.

B. Obama


I have heard the term thrown around this week "Great American." I say that because we are living in times that will be written in history (like when isnt it?) with a black man and a woman running for president. My boss came in and ask if we watched the debate. Of course I hadnt; nor did I know it was on. Actually I was at a dinner function and not near a tv; but had I been, I am sure I would have flipped to Sci-Fi. I can always count on them. I dont know if the right person is running for president this year. Seems like slim pickens all of a sudden. Elegant words always hide something and man-women have too much to prove despite being a pretty tough bird. I wonder if Martha Stewart would consider being Vice President. I confess, I actually didnt first think black or woman; I was just listening to the best person with the smartest dialect saying what I could be hip to. I would think that is bigger than sex or race; but apparently not. Due to 911; I am not sure I would want a woman president; but since Lara Croft aint runnin,' I guess Hillary is agood as anybody else. Obama is definitely well spoken, has a beautiful family and has a very engaging growing-up story that America has been parading as its shoulders for years. Its anybody's game; or is it? (oops...conspiracy theorist in me) The machine always wins. Can anything that is "Great American" really be only one color or sex for the whole?

Don Imus is back and I know thats old news. I am not upset about that. I personally think he got nailed. I would rather somebody come out with it to my face than discover the same underneath a corporate suit or uniform unspoken. Talk about blindsighted. Speaking of which, I heard this guy speak at our church last week. Very well educated and eloquent, Bishop Wellington Boone kept ears attentive as some minds struggled to keep up with a swift northern dialect. I cannot say I agreed with everything I heard; but you got it straight from the horses mouth with passion. Needless-to-say, some truths are very uncomfortable in mixed settings but that must occur for change and progress...or so "they" say.

Well thats all I got on a cloudy Friday. I have dinner plans already scheduled tonite so I wont get to play with my iPOD or load any good podcasts; but that will be in another blog. What a great Valentine's Day!

on to the anticipated and probably not over-rated Friday Fixin's

Chef David Tsang Lettuce Wrap

Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wrap Asian Food Recipe by Chef David Tsang


INGREDIENTS:
1/4 C. XOX Sweet Teriyaki (Starport 217)
6 oz. Chicken, diced
1 tsp. Cornstarch
1/4 C. Red onions, diced (1.3 oz.)
1/4 C. Red bell pepper, diced (1.5 oz.)
1/4 C. Water chestnuts, diced (1.5 oz.)
1/4 C.Bamboo shoots, diced (1.4 oz)
1/4 C. Mushrooms, diced (1.4 oz.)
2 Tbsp Green onions, chopped
6 Iceberg Lettuce cups
2 Tbsp. Oil

1. Slice chicken and coat chicken with 1/2 Tbsp. oil and 1 tsp. Cornstarch
2.    Heat a pan at high heat when hot, add oil, chicken and sear about 30 seconds then stir.
3. Add onions and red bell peppers let sear about 20 seconds.
4. Add bamboo shoots, water-chestnuts and mushrooms and stir-fry about 2 minutes.
5. Add XOX Sweet Teriyaki and stir-fry until steaming hot about 2 minutes, and add green onions.
6. Toss well and remove and serve with lettuce cups


Believe me when I say, It's DELICIOUS!!!!




Ahhh....soon.....

Friday, February 15, 2008

Fabulous Friday Fixin's Thursday Kissings

...OK...my apetite is sky-high right now; so lets think about food. It's the day after Valentine's Day and I hope you enjoyed yours half as much as I did. What a holiday. What can be better than love; I don't know and I am sure I've tried it. Se La Vie! Bon Apetite! Love has got to include red hot strawberries and deep sweet chocolate — how could you go wrong with this one. Besides, you can love the calories away. mmmmmm....

ruby red strawberries

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RECIPE: STRAWBERRY BROWNIE SPLIT

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INGREDIENTS:



BROWNIE
1 (15.8 ounce) pkg Brownie Mix
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons oil
1 egg

FILLING
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 to 2 tablespoons Amaretto
2 pints (4 cups) fresh strawberries, sliced

DIRECTIONS: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 9-inch round pans with foil; lightly spray foil with nonstick cooking spray. Mix brownie mix according to box. Divide batter evenly into sprayed foil-lined pans; spread evenly. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool 20 minutes. Remove brownies from pans by lifting foil. Cool completely (about 1 hour) and remove foil. In small bowl, combine whipped topping and Amaretto; fold gently to mix.

To assemble dessert, place one complete brownie layer, top side down, on serving plate. Spread with half of filling mixture. Arrange half of sliced strawberries in thin layer over filling. Top with second brownie, top side up. Spread with remaining mixture. Arrange remaining strawberry slices over top. Refrigerate until ready to serve. END.





Now, on to the dish about my Valentine's Day spoils! First off: I'm a fortunate man. I have a great wifey whom I love and certainly am well loved by; so its a tremendous holiday to enjoy. Last night was spectacular! Upon opening the door, I am overcome with the indescribably delicious aroma from a roast in the oven. (Yes...its straight through the stomach.) Flanked with some veggies for energy and stamina; it's just nice coming home. We dined and watched my almost favorite show, eli stone before dessert (nuf said ... smirk) On to the gadgets! Well she really out did herself this time. Aside from my favorite candies, gummy bears, reeses peanut butter cups and the like, I did get a cool stuffed frog holding heart candies (he's still holding 'em).

But here's the SmackDown. SPI-Dog! Yes, its Spiderman meets man's best friend with an ipod offspring. Spi-Dog is the latest in a huge line of iPod compatible add-ons.
Spi-Dog!


But it goes a whole lot further than relaying the hip beats from your digital music player (or CD player, for that matter) through its nifty internal speaker. It actually jigs along to the music and keeps time, frantically keeping up with the latest techno tunes and rocking on down to more classic guitar-based riffs. As we believe they're called. In fact, this is a contraption that seriously knows its music. But beware, for this is a beast that needs to be fed. And his soul food is music, of course. So pay him too little attention and play him too little music and he'll sulk. You have been warned.

...but wait; there's more! Finally the GrandSLAM SMACKDOWN! Hmmm....its something shiny, small, and hot!

Nano Nano!

ipod nano



Well, I probably dont have to tell you where this gift ranked. What you wouldnt believe is that this ole mac guy knows almost nothing about this Apple trensetter. I like music, I just dont go out of my way for it despite my broad musical tastes. Of course, you already know more about this stuff than I but here's some dish. It’s the small iPod with one very big idea: Video. Now the world’s most popular music player lets you enjoy TV shows, movies, video podcasts, and more. The larger, brighter display means amazing picture quality. In six eye-catching colors, iPod nano is stunning all around. And with 4GB and 8GB models starting at just $149, little speaks volumes. Learn more

Anyway, I have only gotten thirty five songs loaded and still learning how it works. Needless to say, its NICE!


Great woman, great gifts, great love, great marriage, great life, great friends and family and an extremely sweet Valentine's Day.....it's all so exhausting. My fingers are beat. All that is swell; but holding her heartbeat in my arms far outweighs all these. Wifey, I am pretty lucky that I found you and wore you down til we grew better together. Kiss kiss. Still thinking about that fabulous dinner despite my skipping workout again :)... If you were my cheescake.............oops; but you are!




Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Mystic of Surprise



falling snow


This morning started out absolutely beautiful. The snow fell like a sky full of dandruf. It was hypnotic. It got myself and my pensive coworker extremely excited to know we might be home and warm by noon. The ground was littered with mounds of snow beginning to swagger across the street in front of the trash. I could hear the lullabye of the wind just outside my window as it skirted the corners. In moments, it was hard to see across the street; let alone, the street itself. But as they say, "no good deed goes unpunished." By 10am, the clouds broke with a grand smile and by 10:15; there was no snow. (this is the part where the grand organ plays deep low notes of doom in the background) Alas, stuck. We are still here.

love you honey



On the upside of it all. Romance is like a fine symphony. The chords rush together and then hide from each other beneath textures of subtle trebles and basses until they tumble free in some dalliance of audactic extasy. I sent my wifey an extraordinary arrangement today instead of tomorrow. Everything is paled in a crowd. I felt there would be a more significant impact and truely focused attention on a day before the masses mobilize into action. This way, EVERYONE has to notice hers; not only because of their extraordinary beauty, but they were first! Phase one initiated. That's all I can say about that.

Well the snow is gone and the day is half over. Many thing to blog about today but your ears cannot bear the screeching. Love is like a river you have never been on or seen; you take each turn and bend as you will, careful to enjoy the ride, see the scenery, feast upon the catch and spin grand tales of an adventure always around the next bend. :D

Pigs everywhere

Clues they aren't right: notice the pointed unmaintianed ears, the selfish eating habits, lack of personal grooming, and disregard for fine dining...."


Meanwhile, in the event you are looking for Mr./Mrs. Right, here's an entertaining read. Pickled Silly



Monday, February 11, 2008

In Dust We Trust




Dust Invasion

"The invasion has begun. Their numbers already outnumber us 2 million to 1. Swiffer armies are surrounded. Armageddon is coming...." Actual dust mites enlarged for your awareness.





It's always one of those subjects that people always raise an eyebrow...moving. Suddenly, most people start running the other way. Suddenly, everybody is busy and have other things to do...but that's another blog.

Moving is one of those things that reveals what lies beneath and what lies under. Dust, it is the beautiful confirmation that our humanity is temporary; evidence that we are shedding like a radioactive human components with a short shelf-life. It is also evidence of the unseen being more than alive and well. How does it get there? Where does it come from? How does it know where to hide? What can we learn from dust? and finally; If we were dust, would we get dusted or lay forever immersed in the dark private shag corners of our own lives?




Dustmite President
"...the invasion has begun. We're not illegal; we're already here. Revolution is coming...!"


Friday, February 08, 2008

Fixed Friday: Mental Musings to Remember




charmers or dinner
"...you'll never see this recipe on Friday Fixin's"

It's finally Friday for a week that's been almost a year long. I leave you with wisdom and food; a combination for the body and the mind. I'll let you feed your own spirit in your choice manner. Present your charms.




A beauty is a woman you notice; a charmer is one who notices you.

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A diplomat's life is made up of three ingredients: protocol, Geritol and alcohol.

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A free society is one where it is safe to be unpopular.

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A hungry man is not a free man.

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A hypocrite is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation.

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A politician is a statesman who approaches every question with an open mouth.

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Accuracy to a newspaper is what virtue is to a lady; but a newspaper can always print a retraction.

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After four years at the United Nations I sometimes yearn for the peace and tranquillity of a political convention.

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All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions.




feeding time


...and on to the Friday Fixin's

Here's one you can't get your mouth around. It's juicy and delicious and fun for the family on a lazy afternoon or the before the outting snack. Everybody loves a good sandwich. All of this stuff are just good things to have in stock for those just in case moments.

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RECIPE: BAKED SUB SANDWICHES

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INGREDIENTS:
Six 6- to-8-inch hero (hoagie) rolls, split
1/2 cup Italian dressing
1/2 pound sliced deli salami
1/2 pound sliced deli turkey
1/2 pound sliced deli ham
1/2 pound sliced deli provolone cheese
1 large tomato, thinly sliced
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Brush the cut sides of
the rolls with the Italian dressing. Layer the bottom
halves with the salami, turkey, ham, cheese, tomato, and
onion and replace the tops. Place each on a piece of
aluminum foil and wrap tightly. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes,
or until the cheese is melted. Carefully remove the aluminum
foil and serve.

Yield: 6 Sandwiches

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Hearts of Men; the Soul of Angels

dead angels


Its Thursday and its been one of those weeks that lasts a month. The minutes crawl by with the speed of cold molassass on a frozen country morning in the hills of the heartland. My words fight inside my skull like trapped angry popcorn springing and exploding in every direction at all times. I dont know if that is good or bad; on the other hand, I dont know why that matters enuf that I should ask such a question at each crux of the road. And here I sit above the popcorn staring and marveling at the same time of its repeated strains against an impassable barrier. Outside I hear the sirens of a fire engine going to rescue the helpless. Who are the helpless? Was it their destiny or their choice? I dont know; but the popcorn crashes into the dome and then is pelted back to the surface too hot for it to survive and too tired to spring again. The mitosis of thought is like that; with the end of every thought is the birth of another. What magic makes such things so?




Bruce Springstein in my ears attempts to distract me from time seeming to run in reverse. I am listening one of the truely great songs of his bountiful career. Some might argue that music has color; my response would be does life? Are we not all stings of the same chord of a song we think we determine the notes of running down its chorus with few ideas of the notes ahead or when the song ends....? Nonetheless...."Philadelphia;" what a great song with incredible lyrics. The deep haunting of a soul bass draws you into the muse of a story so delicate its deadly and the truth leaks out into yesterday's memories and today's tradgedies....


Philadelphia
I was bruised and battered and
I couldnt tell What I felt
I was unrecognizable to myself
I saw my reflection in a window
I didnt know my own face
Oh brother are you gonna leave me
Wastin´away
On the streets of philadelphia
more...
support a child | support research | support groups

Guess what I am listening to next....

B.B.King

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Camera Made Me Do It






It would seem a daunting task to have something to say everyday. It would seem that the act of living provides something new or at least old again to inspire a different thought. I needed my daily liquid fix since I am a creature of habit. At the coffee shop, the ipod on the counter was already feeding as I carried on conversation. As I received my daily embibbing from the Moon Goddess, the spark ignited. Gadgets! These days we have gadgets out the you-know-what! During my pedicure Saturday, I had a delightful conversation with a young Korean of 14yrs old who couldnt wait to become engrossed in conversation. I think it was the "apple" shirt I was wearing. It has that kind of magic! It would be my second favorite shirt; yes, the glow-in-the-dark smiley face is STILL number ONE! The kid, Hoc, likes to do stop movement animation; so we chatted the entire time. I remember saying to him, "when I was your age, computers would take up this entire room; now you can hold it in the palm of your hand." His eyes squeezed shut from his broad smile. I knew right then he was probably thinking what an old dude. I marveled at his enthusiasm and passion for his project and his hobby. I can remember having that...really having it beyond just being inspired because of a particular project. We talked of gadgets, youtube and myspace as his parents occassionally nodded and smiled.



It became apparant that the camera was allowing him this creative outlet. It became apparent that the new generation was directly linked to technology/media and its progress toward human synchronization. More and more people were going to be helpless without their gadgets in the coming years. I didnt even ask him if he knew what a phone booth was. Stop Action Video


Do these gadgets make us more or less creative? Do they inspire new ways of doing what we were once skilled at doing ourselves? Are they making human contact obsolete? Will the human touch be replaced in the future? As the world grows smaller; does the space between each of us increase?




Tuesday, February 05, 2008

IT doesN'T matter!

our huddled truths


They huddle around our lies while the truth sneeks up behind them


So you played a hard-fought, strategic game....really! Its odd sometimes; but in America, there's only one thing that counts when it comes to life; winning! Did you win? Nobody except your parents or grandparents care how you played. Thats a bit sad; but I doubt it changes the truth of it. I am always concerned when I see all these "psycho" studies that try to make us believe that little Johnny just needs to not have any feelings of fear or inferiority forced on him. We need to eliminate competition in schools. And the list goes on of things that will de-backbone our next generation. Nobody gets to the SuperBowl holding hands and singing CoomByAH! Bodies are broken, heads are crashed, blood gets drawn.

Who are we kidding? They don't believe that either. Stadiums aren't built for losers.
A kid with a busted lip learns where not to put his face. There's a point that all the excuses
go away....thats in the winners circle! Lady Liberty has seen her share of scraps. Ole America
aint backin down much either. Remember the titans; cheer for the 300!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Nobody's Perfect Again

tom bradyIts that infamous day after the SuperBowl when everybody is typically talking about the commercials than the game. Its a somber kind of rainy Monday. I didnt particularly have a favorite; but I like the sound of perfections however boring that may actually be in reality. Such was not to be; at least not in a patriotic sense. All hats off to the Giants, looming tall over the shoulders of defeated men. All hats off to Brady; you don't just accidentally make it to the big dance. The guts to go for it in the last moments speaks volumes. It was a good game; but only truely exciting in the last 15 minutes. It could have been anybody's game. One long touchdown pass and today would have been different or probably not. I am sure it would have still rained. There is no such thing as perfection.



It's Hard to Keep a Good MANning down!


There are only good things to say when it comes to being a MANning! What a legacy and what a great game. Its great to see brothers supporting each other and even liking each other. Its great that they both have SuperBowl rings. Ole dad would be proud. Its been a long hard-fought road; but victory brings it spoils. If we must stand; then let us tower over all normal men.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Fixin' to Ring in the Weekend Friday!

SuperBowl Weekend



Alas....the week has sauntered into a frigid and grey Friday bursting with radiant jubilation of the weekend. But even better than that for some is the symbolic ectasy of this weekend...this SuperBowl Weekend...when playing is hard work and the game has no reset. I have already blogged about perfection, scars and dreams; this weekend will reveal which is still standing at the end of the game.

I suppose it begs the question: If someone were filing our lives, would they see us as benchwarmers, second string or the starters? As cavalier as that question may fall onto this page; its pretty daunting. Even worse if you actually had to wait til the end to know. That reminds me of some old and famous artists....they had to die before getting world fame and recognition in history as one of the greatest. Honestly; so what at that point. What use is a porche in a small town with school zone speed limits? (...thats another whole blog all on its own; and u know what I mean) Ultimately our lives can be stranger than fiction.




After the Patriots wipe the field with "giant" intentions, I will be reminded of the strength in icons and their place in our history as a civilization and a nation. Too many directions to go with that one, so I will let it seep into the ground already rich with the blood of those not on the sidelines or benches. So grab something cuddly and ignite the fireplace and sail through another historical weekend. Yeah, I know, everyone will really only be talking about the commercials. You gotta love "the creatives." I am always amazed by the power of nerds....don't they inspire everyone else so well! In 30-60 seconds your mind is permanently branded by someone you probably didnt even notice in all year long in junior high sitting in class right beside you. The universe has an ironic sense of "poetic justice," doesn't it? But I digress....on to the Fabulous Friday Fixin's! Cry havock, bless the food and get out of the way!!!


Open Wide


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RECIPE: SHREDDED BEEF SANDWICHES

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INGREDIENTS:
1 (2 1/2 to 3 1/2 lbs.) lean chuck roast
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1 envelope onion soup mix
2 or 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 (10 1/2 oz.) can of tomato soup
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon hot ground pepper mix
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:
Trim fat from beef and cut into 4 or 5 large chunks to fit
in crockpot. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over beef.
Cook in a crock pot for 8 to 10 (4 to 5 on high) hours on low.
Pour juice into a small saucepan and simmer on the stovetop
for 15 to 20 minutes to reduce and thicken. In the meantime
shred beef with 2 forks or potato masher. Return thickened
sauce to the beef in the crockpot. Keep warm and serve with
buns and coleslaw.

WARNING: Preparation may be required. Dish is not reccommended for crowds prone to food fights.