Wednesday, June 29, 2011

tis' the season.

I love a good CHICAGO DOG.
And this is coming from someone who avoids most fast food - I am obsessed, so so obsessed, with the new one at Sonic.
The crunch of the pickle, the kick of the pepper, the sweet relish, the zing of mustard, the celery salt, the poppy seed bun!
All for two bucks!
Seriously, it's starting to be a problem. But I keep consoling myself with the fact that it's almost the Fourth of July. And what could be more American?

Speaking of, I finished Freedom. Very messy as my boss Steffie described it, but I could not put it down. I'll be very disappointed in myself if I don't change a lot about my lifestyle and the way I think about America because of it.

I'm on to All the Pretty Horses. Cormac McCarthy has this way of writing that puts you right in the moment, a Texas desert with a thunderstorm rolling in, so lonely and so alive.

And this site is my new favorite in terms of tracking my reads and getting recommendations.

miss patti page, the singin' rage.

More Oklahoma country music fun - these pictures are everything I dream the classic country music past to be.

p.s. Listen to the White Stripes cover Patti's Conquest.

pickin' & grinnin'.

I've been knee-deep in the Oklahoma country music scene for Oklahoma Today's first annual country music issue.

I know where Red Dirt musicians like to dine, I have a new appreciation for Roger Miller, have developed a crush on Blake Shelton, and, next week I get to go to Tulsa and talk to Roy Clark about his favorite instruments - the man is a musical genius, and the clip above (sent to me by Walker who has become addicted to watching Youtube videos of him, direct gchat quote: "im super super super jealous, he's probably legitimately more talented than anyone else we'd ever meet") is further proof.

I think Roy Clark is a good metaphor for Oklahoma: cheesy and Hee Haw and Branson on the outside, real and genuine and a phenom at the guitar, banjo, fiddle, harmonica, and mandolin on the inside. Maybe that's stretching it.

Friday, June 24, 2011


my first boxing match.

Walker's trainers at Western Avenue Boxing Gym were fighting in a match in Oklahoma City and I begrudgingly agreed to go with.

This coincided perfectly with the fact that we'd just started watching The Fighter - so my idea of boxing was one of hardscrabble and Lowell and high drama and bloody hits I couldn't bring myself to watch.

The event itself was a lowrent version of what I'd imagined: hotel ballroom, "ring girls" in slutty tank tops, nice tables at the front, cocktails, silk robes, interesting audience mix...

But the actual boxing was way more interesting than I thought it would be - I was fascinated. It's so strategic and calculated and athletic. It is painful to watch, but not in the bloodyhidemyeyes way I thought it would be, because I couldn't tear my eyes away. I think I'm surprisingly hooked even if there wasn't a fairytale ending: Walker's female coach Becky couldn't box because her opponent turned up 20 pounds overweight, his male coach Travis lost fighting a guy who also came in way overweight.

I liked this description of Travis in the Oklahoma Gazette:
Now 40, Hoffman has the chiseled look of an aged fighter, a body that’s had the softness beaten out of it, and a face wearing scars and breaks like war medals. His career is catching a second wind at a time when most boxers are in their twilight years, but resilience is a family trait; his brother is Mat Hoffman, the death-defying pioneer of BMX freestyle.

Other things I've watched recently:
Talahina Nights at the DeadCenter Film Festival, in lawn chairs on the street.
...Loved it. Had some serious informative holes, but very interesting. Especially effective upon those who scratch their heads at the Kings of Leon's serious swing in style.
Midnight in Paris.
...I'm a big Woody Allen film fan and since this one is getting rave reviews, I thought it would go down in history as one of my favorite films of all time. But, eh. I mean, go see it, it's very cute. It just didn't knock my socks off like some of his other films have.
Super 8.
...a nostalgic summer film. Don't ask more from it than it offers.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

i wish that i could have this moment for life.

This was so going to be a post about feeling blue, because I really miss my boyfriend.

But the other night, on my way home from work, I made a sharp turn into Guestroom and ended up with a $6 AC/DC greatest hits album.
Words can't begin to describe the enormous smile that spread across my face listening to Thunderstruck, Back in Black, It's a Long Way to the Top, and You Shook Me All Night Long. Some things are undeniable classics.

So, in classic Oprah gratitude journal style, thanks for:

summer evenings.
my mom and dad - especially being sandwiched between them on the couch.
edmond suburbia escapes - a run while the sun is setting and the smell of freshly cut grass is alive and well and old neighbors are waving and the front door is left open for me.
meg and casey.
norman and thai food and jersey shore.
croquet in edgemere park.
that guy at the red rooster who unabashedly told us about being raped in prison.
evening chats outside of a closed starbucks with froyo. the calm of listening and being listened to.
where i live: my roommate, washer & dryer, alarm system, fridge magnets, fresh basil, pots & pans, and a fan that whirs me to sleep.
being so in love that an eight hour time difference is killing me.
on the flip side, reveling in those small moments of independence: settling down to a big tossed salad for dinner and whatever I want to watch on television.
the new york times.
the black keys.
skype. oh thank you for skype!
jonathan franzen.
nicki minaj.

I got such great feedback on my last post (sugar snap peas with a drizzle of lemon, olive oil & parmesan, sopressata sandwiches, cold brussel sprouts, homemade cookies, blats (blt + avocado), hearty french salads that have no need for dressing), I thought I'd try again: Best advice for dealing with a long-distance relationship, go!

(Okay, I know I'm being a little silly. He'll be back by the end of July. Can't really imagine my feet in the shoes of someone whose loved one is in Afghanistan right now. Again, I am grateful.).

Thursday, June 16, 2011

what's for lunch?

I would like to touch on a conundrum that's haunted me since the days of the middle school cafeteria: what's for lunch?

I'm picky about lunch in the sense that it has to meet some pretty strict requirements as I tend to go all-out for dinner:
- Cheap. Preferably brought from my house.
- Light. Preferably healthy.
- Satisfying. Keeps me away from the vending machine.
- Quick and easy to prepare, since I'll mostly be scarfing from my desk.
- Not a microwave meal. I don't care how many advances in taste Lean Cuisine makes, there is nothing about a vacuum sealed meal that appeals to me. And my number one rule in life is: don't eat something you don't really want to for the sake of convenience. (I also despise lunch meat, so sandwich-making is out).

I usually end up with a heavy rotation of toasted english muffins + almond butter, ramen noodles (44 cents!), tortilla chips + salsa and/or guacamole, goat cheese + saltines, and leftovers - I live for leftovers, I made really good pasta the other night and it's lasted me several cold pasta lunches.
...always combined with a side of fruit and, if I've skipped my morning coffee, a Diet Coke.

Sometimes this satisfies, but sometimes it doesn't - leaving all hell to break lose.
I resort to microwave popcorn from the break room.
Or I venture out into the immediate barren desert (excluding China Chef, aka "tunnel chinese") that is the downtown lunch scene: a greasy "food court" or a Quizno's/Subway. Immediately hate myself for spending money on a subpar meal.
Where are all the food trucks!? Though I did hear we're getting a coolgreens soon!

Needless to say, I'm open to suggestions.

p.s. Tonight I'm eating at Cajun King, which pretty much requires an all-day fast building up to it. I know this sounds crazy, but I swear the catfish there tastes like angel's wings. If you haven't been yet, go!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

just because it's so dead-on.

We want dessert. We want you to order dessert. What we don't want is for you to ask us if we want dessert.
(Connie Britton, of my beloved Friday Night Lights fame).

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

deep dish or thin crust?

Last night we watched New Hampshire's Republican primary debate - Walker suggested it under the premise that it would be interesting, we really don't know anything about the candidates and their issues.

I like to think of myself as balanced and fair, open-minded and thoughtful - I embraced this challenge with enthusiasm, I'm going to learn so much! Yet last night I realized I am none of those things.
I had to gulp red wine, contort my body into the fetal position, punch Walker in the arm repeatedly, and run from the room every three minutes just to get through it. I am not proud of this.

Lesson learned: You are an unabashed Democrat to the bones when listening to a line of tea party Republicans talk feels like having your skin sandpapered off.

I hate that I'm saying this, but I may just have to tune completely out until election day in order to be a bearable human being and blogger.


I came to the realization yesterday that it is hot. And that all I want to do is smell permanently of sunscreen, slurp popsicles (especially rocket pops), drink rootbeer, wear as little clothing as possible (ugh the agony of business casual in the summer months), and be near water.

And go to Guatemala, specifically Lake Atitlan.
And learn Spanish.
And run early in the morning when you can still get a few wisps of cool.
And I'm obsessed with the maxi skirts at American Apparel. And I haven't liked anything at American Apparel in a while.
And make signature cocktails. Maybe make the grownup purchase of a pitcher.
And cook more: Bon Appetit magazine has a great summer cooking manifesto.
And experiment more with the hotdogs at Mutts. (Who am I kidding, I'm loyal to a fault for a Chicago Dog with super green relish).
And not miss the NBA too much, I've loved all the playoff/finals drama. I even picked up the insane habit of trolling the internet for sports commentary - hello, Grantland.

Monday, June 13, 2011


People ask me why I don’t tweet. Honestly, I’m so sick of myself.
(Blake Lively).

Liking Is for Cowards. Go for What Hurts. By Jonathan Franzen - I'm also currently reading his newest novel, Freedom.

Friday, June 10, 2011

this will make you sick to your stomach.

But I really think it's worth watching. And not because of the impulse to crane your neck when passing a car crash.
Amongst the Weiner scandal and other election/primary muck, this clarified a lot for me. Keep your values at the forefront of your politics. There's a bigger picture. There's a lot of horrible stuff happening. A lot of good stuff too. Don't get lost in what absolutely does not matter.

And as was directed in the Esquire write-up that followed this video,"Now go hold your girlfriend's hand or something."

pomp & circumstance.

First things first - I had my first inflight drink (blame it on the impending meetup of the stressful, yet entirely loveable family that awaited us: mom, dad, grandparents, aunt, sisters and sisters' boyfriends). A Jack & Coke to be exact. And as my sister's friend Vivian said, I'll never fly the same again.

A confluence of events may have made the experience all the more epic: the flight attendant just barely hands over our drinks when it's announced that in-flight service will be canceled due to turbulence, sips reveal these are absurdly strong, we must down them so we can put our tray tables up and toss the cups as is being demanded, the turbulence (which I generally enjoy anyway) mixed with the strong, gulped drinks makes us giggly and enchanted with the sky, the whole thing feels like a rollercoaster meets magic carpet ride and I am on top of the world. Later we are told that no one will be charged for their drinks, because of the suspension in service - i.e. free drinks!

Now, to be a little cheesy.
I've always enjoyed airports and flying, it's not something that scares me at all. In fact I feel safe, tucked into my seat.
But I always have to wear a piece of jewelry given to me by a relative while flying, I always pat the plane right before boarding, and right before landing, I always close my eyes and grip the seat a bit. And I'm always overcome with that ohmygosh we cannot crash, there's so much more i want to do with my life, there are so many people i want to tell i love you too i've been so ungrateful and wasteful andandand.
But when I fly with Walker, I don't feel that at all. Not even a little bit. No wasted life here.

Other highlights:

RISD graduation: it's tradition for graduates to take liberties with the whole monotonous cap and gown thing, which makes it really fun to watch (see above for an example) (my favorite was pretty subtle - a netted veil attached to the mortar board) and, after a moving speech about coming to RISD from Indonesia and finally feeling accepted enough to come out to his parents, the student representative speaker burst into an impassioned rendition of Lady GaGa's Born This Way. Too perfect.

Dinner at Andrew's apartment. Andrew and Meg are really good cooks: orzo, clams, shrimp, short ribs, steak, blueberry pie. I famously dominated the watermelon and corn-on-the-cob. And it was a prime opportunity for my family to get overly sentimental around the table. We're talking round robin memories of Meg. Cozy.

Del's frozen lemonade stands - when you get chunks of real lemon, it's heavenly.

Hot Club! Bar right on the water that hands out free popcorn.

The Oyster Bar! I love slurping em.' The salt, the red sauce, the horseradish.
Plus they had this sweet chili-like dipping sauce for bread that was to die for.

Sitting on the sidewalk to dig into short ribs from Mama Kim's Korean BBQ food truck. My mouth is still watering.

Free breakfast at the Hampton Inn - my mom is the queen of collecting Hampton Inn points. Where I was introduced to Chobani yogurt with pomegranate seeds on the bottom!

The Shepard Fairey designed Nice Slice.

Walking! Walking, walking, walking, walking, walking. I love that about cities.

Benefit Street! My favorite street. Benevolent Street comes in second.

The Wild Garden Mint ice cream at Three Sisters.

Keeping count of all the Dunkin' Donuts. There are soooo many it's unbelievable.

Cape Cod to see Beth & John, this adorable pipsqueak of a woman and her super tall husband, in our lives inexplicably. In one of the more touching moments, Beth gave Meg a sewing machine for graduation.
Eating lobster rolls on the beach. Watching everyone else jump into the freezing cold Atlantic.

Garden Grille - yum! And watching certain members of my family + Walker navigate a vegetarian menu, entertaining.

WaterFire - a bizarre Providence festival.

In conclusion:
It hit me while we were at this little cocktail party for the furniture department, watching my sister win faculty awards, handout fun awards to her peers and just generally look happy/popular/sad to be leaving...
For my 21st birthday I flew east to hangout with freshmen year Meg - though I loved exploring Providence, we were mostly miserable there - huddled in her cramped dorm eating grapefruits because it was bone-chillingly freezing outside and we were homesick and terrified of the hardcore art kids roaming the surrounding areas.
So much had changed.
She had come so far.
She conquered this place.
She kicked ass, grew in so many ways, and managed to remain my Meg.
p.s. We still have to live together.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


(1) a meg design.
(2) hydrangea!
(3) gourmet hotdog truck.
(4) three sisters: an almost uncanny resemblence.
(4) cape cod perfection.
(6) casey and cameron, highschool cafeteria romance.

This afternoon I will be on a plane to Providence, Rhode Island to see Meggity-Meg graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).

It promises to be a swashbuckler of a trip: east coast, oyster cravings, hotdog cravings, hydrangea, art school graduation ceremony, Cape Cod, all three Callahan girls' boyfriends present, the extended family, my Dad -the infamously bad traveler, my Mom en route from Italy, etc.

After which, Meg will be moving to Boston to start a job with Reebok as an Assistant Shoe Designer. There are no words. Whoa.