Thursday, March 31, 2011

let's hear it for the boy.

A) I love Top Chef like I imagine most people like American Idol. And I'm so happy Richard Blais finally got his deserved victory last night - the moment where he looks straight into the camera, tears flooding his eyes, and says, "I willed this. I willed this to happen," - oh gosh, it killed me.

B) I also enjoyed this profile on "The Freak."

"Fifteen minutes before one of his first big-league starts, Lincecum was spotted tucking into a Philly cheese steak on the clubhouse couch in his underpants and shower shoes."


(Limoncello making).

As much as my Dad worries, and as tedious as setting the alarm and closing the curtains every time you leave the house is - Spring really reminds me why I love the Oklahoma City neighborhood I live in: an intermix of socioeconomic statuses, every street different from the next, overgrown flowering brambles, plenty to look at while running because absolutely nothing is the same, wild dogs, ragtag children, homes designed from a bygone era.

There's this woman who lives by us on a corner lot and right around 5pm (and sometimes even early in the morning) I catch her sitting out in her yard in a white, plastic Adirondack chair, completely and totally engrossed in a book with several dogs running around at her feet.

Out there until the sunset fades.

Her parched lawn fenced in by chain link, transformed into sandy beach.

Spring seems to be her season - but I've also seen her out in the winter bundled up like an Eskimo, eyes peeping through a tightly drawn hood.

I love it, warms my heart: proof that having the good life is really quite simple sometimes.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


(Mouth-watering pictures found here).

One of my favorite things about work is that we have these monthly wine and beer classes when we get new features in - we all pile into back tables right before closing and swish through the bottoms of glasses while our resident wine supplier/guru tells us what we should be tasting.

As we are getting a totally revamped drink menu, this week's wine class was a religious experience.
I love the descriptors: leather, perfumed, perfect for summer on the patio, notes of apricot, unoaked, coffee, Argentinian, spicy, spritz, aggressive, layered, bite, bright, medium-bodied, ripe plum, smooth, finish, creamy, delicate, citrus...
I love how some make your mouth go completely dry and some fill it with juiciness.
How you can taste a scent.
I love the acid in white wine, the richness of red and the completely new discovery of rosé (which is apparently the hot new thing, and not your prissy aunt's White Zinfandel).
I love food pairing - how well certain wines enhance certain foods (and vice versa): cheese and olives and Italian sausage, etc. And how Italians believe there's no such thing as too much wine, it all depends on how much food you eat alongside it.

...we also sampled a lot of beers and while I don't feel like I quite get it yet, I see the art in brewing as well.

So while I wont be claiming expert status and sticking the tip of my nose into every glass of wine - I feel like I have a definite, lifelong, exploratory interest and enjoyment in a great glass of wine alongside a great plate of food.

Monday, March 28, 2011

a "Carrie person?"

This past Sunday I caught the series finale of Sex and the City on television. Goodness, I forgot how much I adored that show - and absolutely hated the movie - haven't even attempted to see the second one, which I'm certain I've addressed somewhere on this blog.
(Meg and I used to covertly rent episodes at Blockbuster in high school and watch them upstairs, locking a curious Casey out of the room, and turning the volume below a whisper anytime something too risque happened).

Anyway, I came to the realization that, though I always thought of myself as more of a "Carrie person" - I am quite clearly a "Miranda person" that's under the delusion she's a "Carrie person." Quotation marks necessary.
Don't laugh - this may have done more for my own self-actualization than any amount of yoga classes and world travel combined.

currently reading.

At twenty-three, Dexter Mayhew's vision of his future was no clearer than Emma Morley's. He hoped to be successful, to make his parents proud and to sleep with more than one woman at the same time, but how to make these all compatible? He wanted to feature in magazine articles, and hoped one day for a retrospective of his work, without having any clear notion of what that work might be. He wanted to live life to the extreme, but without any mess or complications. He wanted to live life in such a way that if a photograph were taken at random, it would be a cool photograph.
(David Nicholls, One Day). of those books that makes you think, gosh, I just love books. They're really quite miraculous little things.


My plan was to go on this tirade about all the bumper stickers out there that I can not stand!

But instead of potentially offending everyone, I decided to go positive and take a lesson from the one bumper sticker I can stand, that even brings a smile to my face when I'm stopped at a red light behind it - and I'm not even that big of a dog lover!

I was reading an interview in Elle with Ty Burrell who plays Phil Dumphy in Modern Family and he described his character as basically a dog in human form - which I thought was the perfect description.

Friday, March 25, 2011

please tell me someone else heard this.

I do not keep a normal, daily schedule at all, nor do I spend a lot of time in the car - but somehow I randomly caught all three parts of an on-going NPR saga I found about as fascinating, and ultimately depressing, as a soap opera:

Part One:
NPR does a story on a child mentoring program in Portland where the mentors are paid. A reporter had interviewed one of the at-risk children (Anthony) when he was eight and was returning ten years later to follow-up on him.
Anthony turns out to be in college and interested in a career in music.
Conclusion: Mentoring makes an impact!
See: Money For Mentors: Portland Program Sees Success

Part Two:
A brief aside by Nina Totenberg that NPR recently discovered that the Anthony they followed-up with was not the same Anthony the reporter interviewed when he was eight. Apparently there was confusion within the mentoring program, because both Anthonys were the same age and had the same last initial.
Every step will be taken to track down the real Anthony B.
I'm thinking, well that's weird...

Part Three:
They were able to track down the original Anthony in the story - he dropped out of high school, threatened to kill his landlord, robbed a Safeway and is currently serving time in a Juvenile Detention Center for armed robbery in which a victim was put into a hospital after being badly pistol-whipped.
The entire conclusion and point of the piece has changed. My conclusion: life is just not that simple.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

miss'n d.c.

I want tortoise shell glasses SO BAD.
(And Five Guys. Yum).

Coveting via Rockstar Diaries.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Inspired by Walker's perfect and impressive Lent track record, I decided to give up Facebook, alcohol and soda for Lent.

I have epically tanked at the first two, with soda failing at a close second.

This is not for lack of willpower, but more like I can't get my heart and mind to focus on the objective. Can't whole heartedly get into it. Commit. Honestly, I just don't care enough. Not sure when that will happen. Or if it will ever happen.

But last night at trivia (where our group celebrated last week's $75 win by logically buying a $75 bottle of champagne, hence the pictures) a new friend comforted me with words she'd heard in church the past Sunday, that it's never too late to try again. Which I thought was a nice thought. It's never too late.

is that too much to ask.

Just want a woman who can walk on a wire
With a trembling glass in her hand
(Jakob Dylan, This End of the Telescope).

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

proud ponytails.

There's a brief aside in Haruki Murakami's memoir What I Talk About When I Talk About Running where he describes his daily runs near Harvard in Boston and how he gets passed all the time by these young college girls with their swinging ponytails he describes as proud.
And you can just picture it, hot pink sports bras and energetic bursts side-by-side with this tiny Asian man in his 50's, hardened from running multiple marathons with the gait of someone running for distance and endurance alone.
He's not lamenting them or belittling them, he's just describing the cycle of life and the way things look from his perspective and I love the juxtaposition he creates.

There was an elderly jogger in our neighborhood my Dad affectionately nicknamed "Stoneman," who would run past our house every night with the same serious, determined gait and stone face, not waving back, no smiling at his neighbors, just focused on the asphalt ahead. Watching him pound was painful, yet inspiring.
On trips back home I've notice he's walking now, beside his little wife and their even tinier dog. But his walk seems to be grating against his body, screaming at the hard and fast fact that it won't allow him to run anymore.

I think about these images a lot more now, slightly embarrassed by my own wagging ponytail and the fact that I'm listening to T-Pain's Take Your Shirt Off as I round the track past the balding guy I imagine is listening to Johann Sebastian Bach while hammering it the entire day. But also slightly proud.

Timely, since all news from Japan right now is literally jaw-dropping:
Murakami translated The Great Gatsby into Japanese and I find this fascinating - I mean, how do you get that essentially American storybook quality to come across in such a foreign culture - what are things the Japanese could relate too in that story? And what would be harder to understand?
(But translations on the whole fascinate me).

Sunday, March 20, 2011


So when do you get to the point where you no longer feel you're on the educational system time table, because the entire past week felt like Spring Break even if I didn't take a break from work or go anywhere.
I totally let go: skipped spin classes, ate warm fluffy doughnuts after sleeping-in too late, reorganized my room, adopted a mint plant, etc.

I also got an iPhone (if you knew my previous phone, you'll recognize this as a major step in my life) which I'm pretty much obsessed with. Thus, I decided to document my "not a Spring Break Spring Break" via the iPhone camera. Don't worry, it's only a matter of time before I download hipstamatic.

- My first trip to the dog park! We took Walker's dogs Remy and Schilo and met up with some friends and their dogs: Winston, Kira and the hilarious bulldog appropriately named Higgins.
- We won Lost Ogle Trivia Night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- I finished Nick Flynn's Another Bullshit Night In Suck City. Highly, highly recommend.
- We celebrated St. Patrick's Day at the fun Midtown McNellie's street party. Note to self, invest in a green outfit.
- Walker's Mom took us to the Oklahoma City Museum of Art to see the extremely interesting George Nelson furniture exhibit (hello Meg!), as well as a last look at the Chihuly collection before it's closed a year for restoration.
- Christa's Wedding Day - mimosa brunch and beautiful reception at the Harn Homestead.
- We made the mistake of seeing Riding Hood. Avoid it at all costs. But do stock up on old-fashioned candy from Pinkitzel beforehand, the gummy soda bottles and soda pandas are always a classic.
- Walker and I competed against each other in a cupcake-making contest, judged by the one and only Colby Wedel and her refined palette. Walker made cupcakes that revolved around a corn theme and I made chocolate cherry cupcakes with a chocolate ganache inspired by this recipe by the one and only Pioneer Woman - I'm sure it's hard to guess who won.
- Colby let me tag along with her to a couple of free Barre3 classes and, as she promised, I'm addicted.
- I listened to Josh Rouse's Subtítulo ad nausem, there always seems to be a perfect album to pair with every year's blooming red bud tree season.

Starting today I'm promising one post every morning, Monday through Friday. I need to get myself on some sort of schedule.

Monday, March 7, 2011

world news.

The lane next over is always faster
And you wait so long until you're so bothered
But right after you complete your merge
The lane you started in gets going
And while you wait for your luck to change
All you can think of is where you started

You don't like anything on local radio
So you fumble around 'til you land on NPR
And listen to world news

Well, a bomb went off in the parking lot
Of a newly opened sunni marketplace
And a cloud covers your car at just the right time
For you to see the dark on your face
in the mirror

(Local Natives, World News).
...a band I thought I didn't like, but it turns out I really do.

Also, I've always liked The Black Keys, but I just decided that they're really, really, really good.

My dream apartment is the one in Taylor Swift's Back To December video. Bike in the living room and clawfoot bathtub.

Okay, read this: Giving Life After Death Row.

Splurged on a Votivo Red Currant candle. So worth it.

Watched Waiting For Superman. Which was an impromptu rental from Redbox, such an unlikely source for documentaries.
Gives you a lot of food for thought. Some particularly riveting moments and some not so much. Would love to hear the opinion of a teacher.
But god, some things really need fixing.

Due to a very, very generous gift he just couldn't turn down, Walker now drives a Hummer. An H3 to be exact, thank goodness it's not an H2. No I'm not joking. Listen closely to hear my soul screaming from the passenger seat.

dream wedding.

One of my dearest friends from high school, Christa Towns, is getting married Saturday.

I so have to do a blog post about this, because Christa was totally the girl in high school who wanted to be a wedding planner and already had her own wedding planned out to a perfect t. I think we even bought her a wedding planning book so she could start compiling all her ideas early.

Between college, making the gigantic leap to kindergarten teacher, meeting her wonderful cowboy and fellow teacher fiance Gabe, etc., Christa's values, priorities and obsession with all things wedding has changed (for the better) - but that in no way means that I've lowered my expectations for a great wedding or that it's a smidge less unfathomably unbelievable that I'm old enough to be at the point where I'm attending her wedding.

I mean, Christa's house was the high school house, where everyone felt comfortable: banging through the screen door, a hug from Debbie (her mom) and a wave to Kevin (her brother) whose eyes were always permanently glued to the glow of the computer screen, chilling in the hot tub, watching Alias on a weekly basis (Michael Vartan was definitely the groom in every fantasy wedding scenario), the front yard epically TP'd, etc.

And Christa,
Like the house she grew up in, equally as able to make you feel instantly comfortable, warm and loved.
The bravery and fierceness of her love.
The naturally sexy, scratchy voice that normally takes smokers years to perfect.
Being scooped into a perfect hug - I am really going to miss the fact that she no longer lives down the street from us and I won't get an immediate response when I text her need a hug asap.
Fills the room with her presence.
All the good people she surrounds herself with.
A balanced voice of reason - often my source of sanity.
One of those people you can't imagine not being a part of your life.

We both loved 13 Going On 30 in high school - which I would still proudly put on my top ten movie list.
So for the Penningtowns marriage, I envision the very last scene of the movie: newlywed bliss as you move into a warm home (even if it is in Luther), pink converses and (of course) Razzles.