Saturday, September 30, 2006

Friday, September 29, 2006

Thursday, September 28, 2006

I love this idea!

So, when I'm stuck for inspiration I can plan my launch party. Just like this lady did.

I'll need a fishing theme instead of a hunting theme, but it sounds like a blast!!

Boxer(s) of the day

I really don't think I can come up with a caption to do these guys justice! Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Fall TV Lineup... and a rant

Sure, everyone loves the crisp air, the fresh apples, school starting up again (would someone tell me that my daughter isn't the only one to make dust angels in the gravel when she's hot at recess??) But my favorite part is the new shows!! YAY!

Here are my thoughts on the fall lineup thus far:

1) Standoff - starring Ron Livingston of Office Space fame and Anna Esposito (evil chick from Alias). I mentally gave this a B after the first episode, but it jumps up to an A after the second episode. I really like it and recommend it.

2) Jerhico - Eh. Love the setup, not so hot on the execution, but it gets a few more tries to see if it goes the way of Standoff or more like Surface from last year (that's not a good way to go).

3) Studio 60 - Ah, Aaron Sorkin. I adored Sports Night like the characters were my best friends. I loved West Wing almost as much. I see great potential here. And, I will say that there is a Christian character who isn't a straw dog opposition character, or all syrupy and annoying (7th Heaven anyone?) She actually talks like a Christian that I'd know from school or church. I'm very interested to see what he does with her. He wrote religion very sensitively in WW, in fact, it's one of the ways I could tell he was gone - Bartlett's attitudes toward religion changed markedly. So, a big hopeful we'll see for this one!

4) Meerkat Manor - ok, not a new show, but new to me. It's on Animal Planet. They follow the "real life travails" of a family of Meerkats in the Kalihari. Last season ended with a cliffhanger about the fate of brave Shakespeare as he was defending the pups against the enemy Lazuli family. Be ok Shakespeare!!! We find out Friday. :)

5) Kidnapped - so far an A - good concept (a guy who retrieves kidnapped people) - good execution - seems like a hard concept to carry through, but so far so good.

6) Smith - Eh... don't like the concept, but I do like the execution. Everyone seems evil. They need to show me real fast why I should want any of them to make it. But, it gets another week.

And I'll take this opportunity to plug Lost, starting next month, can't wait! Also anxiously awaiting The Nine next month.

I have yet to see Gilmore Girls. Those of you who know me know that it's really the closest show to my heart, and it was new last night. It's mocking me from my Tivo box right now. Here's the thing, here's my open letter to Lorelai (or whoever's writing her today)....

Luke waited for you for EIGHT YEARS and you couldn't be patient for a few little weeks while he deals with his CHILD? After all those years of putting Rory first you don't get that??!!!

OK, my real issue here is that it isn't even a little bit true to her character. Sure, she's been a tiny bit selfish in the past. She yelled at him when Jess and Rory got in the accident and it wasn't his fault, but this? No, this isn't her and I personally feel betrayed as a fan. I think that Amy Sherman-Palladino was irritated with the way things went and turned the show on it's ear before she left, but really, why take it out on your fans.

So, I'm not watching till I hear things work out for Luke and Lorelai and then I'll catch up. I may have a long wait, but so be it. I have to protect myself. ;)

Not just a pretty face!

This woman's boxer, Fletcher, saved her life today. Read about it here on Boxer World.

I'll summarize, a rapist in the neighborhood came to her door, and thinking it was her kid running back from the bus stop, she opened it. Her dog went ballistic on the guy and he turned and ran.

In Fletcher's honor, I'll post his picture today for my Boxer Hero of the Day!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Boxer of the day

You didn't think I'd forget, did you?

He wants to play!!!

Tip of the day

If you are using a "smart" hair dryer that shuts itself off when it gets too hot, and the dryer does just that... don't just set it down and walk away.

The dryer will eventually cool down and turn itself back on and you will jump to your feet thinking:

A) Someone broke into your house to dry their hair in the bathroom


B) There are poltergeists in your bathroom drying their hair

C) The hair dryer turned itself back on will be the *last* thing to occur to you.

And I don't even want to think about fire hazards...

Tofu, I'm not scared of you!

The Lemke's made their first foray into the wild world of tofu last night. OK, maybe this doesn't seem too crazy to the rest of you, but I've always been a little intimidated by it - how *do* you cook it?? And I don't like anything remotely resembling the texture of mushrooms, so it really did pose a problem.

Last night I made tofu crumbles. I'm linking to the recipe, but in summary, I took 2 lbs of tofu (extra firm) and pressed and dried it to get as much water out as possible, then I *crumbled* it into a bowl. It looked kind of like feta crumbles (not such a scary thing). Meanwhile, I made a sauce with hoisin, rice vinegar, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, ginger, and garlic. See the recipe for proportions, but know that I at least doubled the hoisin. I love that stuff! Once it all simmered together and then cooled I poured 1/2 of it over the crumbles. Then I baked them for an hour to get a lot more moisture out of them.

That was the hard part - but I have a lot of this, so it's gonna be a short cut from here on out. For dinner, then, I just sauteed veggies I had on hand (onion, red pepper, 'shrooms, green onions) and added some of the sauce from the tofu. Then tossed the tofu in and served it over jasmine rice. YUM!!!! The crumbles took forever, the actual dinner took just minutes.

Gigi loved it and ate it by the fistful - Kira, not so much, but she didn't actually gag like with the eggplant, so that's an improvement!!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Another very special boxer of the day

This boxer pic is courtesy of a friend and blog reader, and as she pointed out, the boxer wants to be a writer, too!

Dinner tonight

I made eggplant parmesan and an upside down apple cake. Here's a burning question... I've been committed to "whole foods" so whole wheat flour would be a necessity, except that I can't eat wheat. So I have gluten free flour that is a blend of rice, soy, and potato flour. How do I know if this is "whole" or "refined"? I have no idea.

Anyway... eggplant parmesan, I created this from several recipes:
1) slice eggplant into 1/4 inch slices
2) dip in egg, then in flour mixed with salt and pepper
3) fry lightly in olive oil (I learned that 2 skillets is ideal here)
4) layer in lasagne pan
5) pour marinara sauce* over eggplant
6) cover in grated parmesan and mozzarella cheese
7) bake till cheese is golde

*I always make my own sauce, but this time I did a simplified version - just sauteed some onion and garlic, added a can of tomato sauce and some basil and voila

The cake was easy too - just chop up some apples and put in the bottom of a pan - bake till soft. Remove from oven and toss brown sugar on top. Then mix up 1 c flour, 1 c sugar, 1/3 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp almond extract, 1 egg, 1/3 c milk, 1 stick butter and pour on top. Then bake till it looks done. :)

YUM!!! The meal scored rave reviews from Randy (despite having ordered eggplant parmesan for lunch - the cad!) but Kira barely choked it down. The cake however was a hit with both of them. Here is a transcript of what was said in the car on the way home from school today:

Me: Kira, I made you dessert today!
Kira: What is it?
Me: Apple upside down cake
Kira: I have 2 questions: What's for dinner, and how much of it do I have to eat to get dessert?

That's my girl - cut to the chase. :)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Word count

I broke 50,000 words! WOOO!!!!!

Check out that sidebar! --->

Boxer of the Day

I love brindles!!! Don't you just want to cuddle him!!

On coming in this morning

"Hey Robin, do you need a new badge? I see you managed to make it through the front door alright!"

Everyone's a comedian...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Boxer of the Day

It's been a while - the love has not waned:

This morning

I could mention the hour plus commute, the fact that I needed to get to a bathroom for over half of it (yet still drank my entire latte - makes you question what I have going on upstairs), or that I fell flat on the pavement right in front of the front door at work (in flats, no less) - but I think this email sums it up:

Good Morning Robin*,
I think we have your keys down here at The Security desk. If you want to come down and get them, it will be here for you.

Clearly, I'm not operating with a full deck today, and as already noted, I *have* had my coffee.

Beware, those that cross my path on this Wednesday!!!

*please also note that my keys have nothing with my name on them and I do work in an office building of several thousand people.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Back in gear

After a kick in the pants from my buddies over at the I Should Be Writing forums, I stopped planning and started writing again. I have a lot of great ideas for how to build in more tension, more plot mirrors and knots, but if I'm not putting the words on the page it won't get done. So, I did another 500 words today - still not a lot, but I'm ramping back up! I think I know where I'm going for the next 10,000 words or so, and that should be good enough to build up the momentum.

Here it goes! I'm still trying to finish by 10/31 and it's fast approaching!


It has come to my attention that some of my blog readers are doing the UltraMetabolism plan and are sometimes at a loss for what to eat. So, I'm going to put some of my meals up here for ideas. :)

On the table last night...

Quinoa Rigitoni with Marinara sauce and Harvest Salad

Quinoa pasta is great b/c it has a ton of protien and cooks in 4 mins!! The marinara was sauteed carrots, onion, garlic + a can of crushed tomatos, fresh basil, bay leaves, marsala wine and salt.

The salad was chopped romaine hearts, diced apples, raisins, bleu cheese crumbles and olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Kira then very cleverly kept telling us all that dessert was a secret and somehow had us all driving her to the bakery for a caramel bar. I'm still not sure exactly how she pulled it off, but it was expertly crafted over the evening!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Frugal Reader Update

So, within a day of listing books I've had requests to ship four of them giving me 5 credits. YAY! So far I've requested "When Washington Was in Vogue: A Love Story" and it's shipped already. Yay, again!! I have 7 books "wish listed" to ship when they come available, also. Thumbs up, so far. :)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Frugal Reader

I have a new favorite thing: Frugal Reader. I'm especially primed to like it, because earlier this week I took a bunch of books to my favorite local bookstore, and was only able to sell 2 for a whopping $4.50 in store credit. Woo hoo.

With this plan, you list the books you're willing to part with. Then you get 1 free credit for listing 5 books (10 for 2). After that you get to shop!! You can pick a book from someone else's list and they'll mail it to you for you to keep, or relist when you're done. Everytime you send out a book (usually for $1.59 in postage) you get another credit.

What about the library? You might ask. Or you might not if you knew my track record with library fines.

Cold Mountain II

I just read that Charles Frazier sold his follow-up to Cold Mountain for EIGHT MILLION DOLLARS based on ONE PAGE.

Actually, I feel a little badly for him - as crazy as that sounds. Because now he has eight million dollars worth of pressure while he's writing his book. It's hard enough to write and not feel like a total hack when maybe it's just your own eyes on it. Knowing someone's paid EIGHT MILLION DOLLARS for it, has to make that self talk all the more extreme.

Good luck to you, Charles!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

How to Write a Novel

I just found this web site thanks to Mur Lafferty and her podcast:
How to Write a Novel

I've added it to the sidebar ----->
but also wanted to draw your attention to it if your at all interested in writing. I think she has great advice and I'm going to start work on the spreadsheet right now!

My favorite bit of advice is to give it a working title that motivates you like "Go little novelist, go!" and put it in a great big font. Now there's some good advice!!


1) I paid my debt at Starbucks today and they told me that they let people do that all the time (skate if they don't have money) and they often come back and pay them. It made me feel good, even though I forked over $8 for lattes - yikes!

2) Update on the Robin Rennaisance - I've lost all the Gigi baby weight. YAY! Sadly, I still have 10 pounds to go to get back to a pre-Kira weight, but I already feel human again. We're still doing the Ultra Metabolism plan and eating lots of vegetarian meals which are cheaper (nice, since the organic produce is so stinkin' expensive). But I'm a little sick of quinoa pasta, so I need to find some new recipes...

3) The novel - poor little word count meter looks stalled, I know. Here's the thing I'm learning. I can turn out the words for a few weeks, then I need to take some time to work on the plot. This is because I don't outline, but the last book I wrote on plot eschews outlining so I feel vindicated.

However - I feel like I'm not making any progress when I take the time to plot. I'm hoping when I actually complete this novel I'll be more comfortable with my process. But for now I'm still fighting the "you'll never get done!" demon on my shoulder.

4) Evidence that I need my head screwed on straight:
  • I've lived in Seattle for 24 of my 31 years and worked at this client for over 3 years... and got lost on the way to work today
  • I work in a campus of several thousand people and discovered today that the security guys know me by name. I'd like to think it's because of my winning personality - but really, I'm sure it's my habit of needing a temporary badge because I've left mine at home.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Why I love Starbucks and humanity in general today

Because if you order your drink and then realize that you've left your wallet at home, having given it to your 1 year old as a chew toy, they'll just smile and hand you your drink and say "catch us next time."

Fortunately I had enough change in the bottom of my purse to tip them!

PS Sadly, this is not the first time this has happened, and yes, they've given me the drink each time.

To be fair...

Here's Gigi looking cute after that last messy baby post!

When babies don't nap...

They tend to fall asleep in their high chair where mom has put them with a piece of chocolate* while she tries to get dinner made.
*dark chocolate - full of antioxidants - practically a health food!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Crapometer update

In case any of you were wondering, I did not get into the crapometer this round. There were 500 entries and 100 were chosen by a random number generator. I might have the guts to post submit my begininning to Evil Editor, but I'm just not sure it's helpful because he only looks at the first 100 words. Unless I set someone on fire in the first paragraph, I don't know how I'd make a great impression in that short a space, but we'll see. ;)

It's probably the best outcome, anyway, since I'm learning a lot by reading all of the entries over on Miss Snark's blog, without actually being snarked myself!

Off to Kindy!

Kira went to her first day of Kindergarten yesterday. I really thought I'd collapse in a heap of tears, but all the psyching myself up for it seemed to work. I didn't really fall apart till I went to Starbucks afterwards and felt sad that I didn't have my little coffee buddy with me. ;0 And she cried when she heard that I went to Starbucks without her and made me promise her I'd never do that sure. ;)

First let's reminisce for a minute:

This is a rare picture of a sleeping Kira. Don't be fooled - she didn't do much of this. And now...

We just arrived in the parking lot....

This would be right before she said "So, when are you going to leave?"

YAY! The first day is done!!!!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Happy Birthday Little G!!!

Little Miss Greta Giselle turned 1 this Labor Day weekend. Where in the world did the last year go? I know it sounds cliche, but I do think this is the fastest year of my life. Wasn't she just this big yesterday...

Apparently that was an entire year ago. Here are some pictures of Gigi's birthday:

Check it out - I baked a cake. I can't bake as a general rule, but managed to pull off a gluten free birthday cake...

And here is the birthday girl:

And one of her sister enjoying the party:

And all ready for bed after the big day!