Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Bat dog

Not a boxer - but in honor of Halloween - another front paw doggie from Cute Overload!

Boxer of the Day

How kissable is that face?!

More recipes and dinner ideas

I know some of you out there are trying out UltraMetabolism - so I wanted to share some dinners I've had lately that are working out well:

1) Salmon Burgers - I bought these at Costco for $10.99 for 10. They are wild salmon with all organic ingredients. Since I can't have buns, I serve these more like crab cakes. I pan fry them in olive oil, about 5 minutes, then add a sauce on top.

Sauce ideas
  • Plum sauce: I mixed 4 tbsp Hoisin sauce, 2 tbsp gluten free soy sauce, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, and 1 tbsp olive oil in a small sauce pan. When the burgers were done, I drizzled it on top with some chopped green onion
  • Garlic aioli: I took approx 1 c mayo (no high fructose corn syrup in the mayo!), 1/2 c lemon juice, 2 tbsp dijon mustard or so, 2 cloves minced garlic and some salt and pepper. Stir it up and refrigerate for an hour at least then spoon on finished burgers

I had a harvest salad (chopped romaine, diced apples, chopped raw walnuts, blue cheese crumbles, balsamic vinegar and olive oil) to go with, and sauced apples (slice up about 4 apples, peel, toss in a pan on meduim heat with 2 tbsp butter - when they are soft, add some brown sugar and cinammon until it makes a nice sauce - big kid favorite!)

2) Standby Pasta

I made up some marinara sauce yesterday and froze two portions to pull out as needed. The recipe is a melding of two of Giada de Laurentiis's marinara recipes and my own additions:

  • sautee 1 small onion chopped, 4 cloves chopped garlic, a few chopped carrots in olive oil
  • once soft (about 10 minutes) add tomatoes. You can go lots of different ways here, but I love to use Muir Glenn Organic Crushed Tomatos with Basil - 2 28 oz cans
  • add 1/2 cup Marsala wine (any will do - I use cooking wine)
  • bring to boil, then simmer on low for 10 minutes
  • stir in 1/2 c shredded paremesan
  • salt to taste - don't be stingy!

You can refrigerate for use the next day, or freeze. I froze 2 thirds of this, then took 2 chicken breasts, sliced them very thin, and sauteed them with olive oil and garlic, added to the sauce, and mixed up with brown rice penne.

Be warned, brown rice pasta takes much *longer* than semolina does to cook, whereas *quinoa* pasta takes much shorter time. I far prefer quinoa pasta, but it's a little harder to come by.

3) Bean tostadas

I buy either crispy corn tostadas or soft corn tortillas. If they are soft, then I fry them in a little olive oil to make them crispy - your choice. The soft take more work but they don't break in the pantry, either. ;)

Next, heat up some refried beans. I use vegetarian low fat beans, and tonight I'll be trying chipotle style (organic, of course). Spread on tortilla, add chopped onion, green onion, tomato, and cheese. Or, if you're 5, just cheese. ;)

Voila! Serve with chips and salsa if desired and if your 1 year old hasn't spread them all over the kitchen floor to add ambiance.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Two-thirds, baby, two-thirds!!

<----- Check out that word count!

TV Week in Review

I'm finally almost caught up on TV. Watching Grey's Season's 1 and 2 put me seriously behind. Here are some brief thoughts:

Gilmore Girls:

'nuff said


Kate *does* love Sawyer. I know she does. She might love Jack too, but she's gotta love Sawyer.

The Nine:

Still compelling. What did Scott Wolf do in there to make Lizzie so mad?!

Studio 60:

Loved seeing my girl Lauren when she's not being mean to Luke. Love Aaron Sorkin. The whole thing is fantastic.

Grey's Anantomy:

I'm still not caught up through season three, but nevertheless they win the quote of the week contest...

"There is a land called Passive Agresseeva, and I am their queen." Addison Shepherd.

And just for fun, here's a pic of McDreamy himself:

More pets that crack me up

I'm wondering if I could get Norah into one of these...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Front Paw Pet Costumes

Go look now - you won't be sorry!
This is your preview!

Brrr!!! Bundle up Boxers!

I'm getting requests for my boxers! Here's your Thursday fix. :)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Some fun things I laughed about yesterday:

1) Pulling out my lunch bag and seeing that Randy had drawn a Mr. Yuck face on it. I assume it was a commentary on my turkey wrap, but I wasn't really sure. Just a funny thing to greet you at lunch time

2) On getting home, Randy said "Did you special order an eskimo?" Um... what? "Explain this!" he says.
Then, in toddles Greta wearing Kira's new winter coat. I wish I had a picture. It was a walking purple puffy coat with little feet sticking out and a face in the middle of the hood and that was it. She was laughing at herself. Apparently, whenever he tried to take the coat off she'd cry.
3) Kira's comment on going to bed"I hope Daddy *never* puts my lunch in a *paper bag* inside my lunch bag again. And he'd better not write anything on it. That would be so embarrassing!" So, who do you think has her lunch inside THREE paper bags this morning... all with a little note on him. I stopped him when I saw him wrapping it all up in a giant paper grocery bag...
Almost enough to help me forget the 2 hour commute I had yesterday!

More thoughts on publishing

I just read Janet Evanovich's book on writing and discovered that she was published TEN YEARS after writing her first book.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Stephanie Plum books, well, you're missing out, but beyond that I can tell you that they're wildly popular. She's referred to by her first name on publishing blogs as in "If you're Janet, yes, you get to pick your covers" and that sort of thing. Still, she worked for TEN YEARS before publishing her first category romance. That's both encouraging and sobering -- especially in light of Agent Kristin's post today that says she gets approximately 24,000 queries a year, and takes on 4-5 new clients in a good year. Those are some odds.

But it's not about odds, right!

Miss Snark's crapometer is back on 12/15, so I really have to be done and have gone through 1 revision by then so I get in. And then it's query time. WOO!!!! I only have 9 scenes left to write, so it's definately doable, barring natural or unnatural disasters.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Thursday's boxer

I think this guy looks like he's wearing a mask on his ears. ;)

More on the novel

So, my progress has slowed again. Bummer, since this is the month I was really supposed to haul and hit my goal - 90K words (and a finishe dfirst draft) by Oct. 31.

But, here's something key I've discovered. Often writers talk about writing "organically" which really means sans outline and often sans plotting. That's more my style. I despise outlines.

However, I'm writing a mystery here, and while I can do some thinking as I write, I've realized I'm not just coming up with one storyline, I'm coming up with three that I have to weave together. And I'm not talking about sub-plots.

To write a mystery I have to develop:

A) The storyline of the crime, which happens "off screen"
B) The storyline that belongs to my heroine that happens on screen
C) The storyline of my heroine figuring out the mystery in her head. I can't reveal to the readers what's going on in her head, but the clues have to be on screen.

No wonder I was a little stalled. So, I spent some time plotting out these three things and I'm ready to go again. Hopefully this time I can push through to the end and wrap this puppy up!

I've realized that most of my writing support is either from people writing literary novels or SF/F - both of which are well and good but not what I'm writing. I wonder why I can't find a good community of mystery writers online? Hmmm...

Congratulations, Jeffrey!!!!

I have to admit, that for the last several episodes, I've really been pulling for Jeffrey. He started off as the punk rock bad boy, but I think we've seen a lot of sensitivity from him, lately, as well as a really innovative sense of fashion.

He's taken a lot of flak for the "mom challenge," but really, he was put in a very difficult spot and you could feel the frustration coming off of him on the show. Sure, he could have handled it a little better, but I don't think it makes him the bad guy that a lot of people are blogging about right now. I cut him some slack on that one.

As much as I love Michael and Uli, it really came down to Jeffrey and Laura for me here the last few weeks. How can I not root for the pregnant mother of 5 1/2 who's so effortlessly glamorous. I've only got 2 kids and can't pull that off!

After seeing the final collections, I felt the same way, although everyone on the show seemed to have lots of great things to say about Uli's clothes. They still aren't clothes I'd wear - maybe because Seattle is nothing like Miami, but they were very pretty.

I'd honestly wear everything Laura's ever made, including her piece from the recycling challenge. Jeffrey - I can't say the same, but he does have more range and he's very original. I'm so happy that he'll get a chance to develop his line and show what he can do.

Yay Jeffrey!!!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tuesday's Boxer

I hope you are enjoying the boxers. I have a few posts I need to publish but things are crazy busy at work right now. Darn day job!!! So, I'll just leave you with this lovely thought.

Look for more posts this week, I promise!

Doesn't he look like he's trying so hard to be a big boxer!!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Sunday's Boxer

Look at that face!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Boxer of the Day

Today's beauty is a reverse brindle. Boxer's don't come in black, it's like trying to get a true blue Dahlia - the gene isn't there. If you see a black boxer it's probably half lab. But, they do come in "reverse brindle" that almost looks black. So here's today's lovely boxer for your viewing pleasure:

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Glass Ballerina

Yes, this is a Lost post... spoilers ahead if you haven't seen it...

Let's start with the fun stuff:

1) The kiss

How much did we all love the Sawyer/Kate kiss?! It was perfectly done in the moment, and also so "Lost" that Sawyer had an ulterior motive to see how much fight everyone had in them. I was most interested with his assessment of Juliet and the "she'd have shot you, no problem" comment. She's seemed like the "good one" so far, but maybe she's not.
2) Alex

I love that we saw Alex again. So, do we think she's a double agent? Working for the "others" while pretending to be against them? Or is she actually against them and if so has she found her mother yet?
3) The outside world

Wow. Ben (formerly HGI) has contact with the outside world? But he's been there his whole life? How is this possible? I'm very interested in where they're going with this, but don't have a theory yet. Do we think they really sent Michael and Walt home? Or did he kill them?

4) Sun

So, now we have the question answered - Sun being pregnant was not an "island miracle" it was Jae. Oops. I thought she might tell Jin last night. We also have a better idea about why they were leaving Korea. As I recall, Sun was going to ditch Jin at the airport and decided not to.

5) Enemies

"We're not the enemy, but we will be if you shoot me." Done. So, *now* are they the enemy? And if they weren't, who was? The whole cage thing makes me think they are pretty enemy like right now. unless there's another enemy out there, and there could be. Why when they saw the plane crash did they immediately send out "teams". They obviously aren't just hanging out on the island playing coconut bowling. What are they up to?!

6) Nicknames

"Shortcake" Love it!

That's about all, except to way that with all the new show previewing we've been doing, I can say that Lost really stands apart. It seems like all the shows this year are trying to do a Lost/Alias kind of thing - hour long drama, lots of questions, long story arc.... but Lost is still the best at this.

That's all for now...

I've decided

Drew Barrymore. I could handle Drew Barrymore as The Bionic Woman.

Thursday's Boxer

Don't you just want to cuddle her!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Wednesday's Boxer

For some reason, this face reminds me of Greta.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!!!!

The Bionic Woman is coming back!!!

This was my all-time favorite show as a kid. It goes in the hall of fame with Moonlighting, Sports Night, Lost and The Gilmore Girls (assuming I forgive them for this season).

Woo hoo!!!! Now let's talk casting. Who should be the new Jamie Sommers? Comments please!

Right now I'm thinking Lauren Graham would be fantastic (though she really is more of a Wonder Woman, isn't she?) I'd love to see them make Jamie 30-something and put Lauren, Felicity Huffman, Christine Lahti, or Alison Janney in the role. If they go for someone younger, then I'm having trouble coming up with someone, (although I suppose Jennifer Garner is an obvious choice) but I'll tell you who it should *not* be:

Katie Holmes, Jennifer Love Hewitt, or Jessica Simpson.

OK, how about Evangeline Lilly?

Writers Have Responsibilities!

First, let's take a look at the way things were meant to be:

This is what happened the last time they had a fight, then Luke came to apologize. This was back when Lorelai was being written as a real person, not a plot device. Oops, did I type that?!

I'm going to try to keep this positive, instead of just ranting about Gilmore, yet again.

What I'd like to talk about is the responsibility that writers have toward their readers. The goal of a writer is to create a character that lives and breathes in the readers mind, that sucks them into the fictional wall, obscures the 4th wall, and engages the suspension of disbelief.

If you've succeded in doing this as a writer, then, I believe, you need to take very seriously the state of the reader. I'm not saying you can only have a happy ending. My favorite books don't have happy endings (Wuthering Heights, The Great Gatsby, The Age of Innocence), but, they do set up rules for the world they've created, then they create their characters to play within that world. The characters need to remain true to themselves, and true to the world. It's like throwing a racquetball (very appropriate metaphor if you've seen Gilmore this season) in a court. It has to bounce off the walls according to the laws of physics, but you can throw it any direction you want.

Here is where Gilmore is failing miserably this season. Whether or not you think Luke and Lorelai should be together is beside the point (gulp), but the show needs to make the characters act like themselves, or it isn't a story anymore. So right now, Lorelai is rejecting Luke in a way that's completely unlike her, and Rory is responding in a way completely unlike Rory, to serve the interests of the plot. You can't do that!!! If you need the plot to go a particular way, you have to find a way to make that happen while being true to the characters.

For example, if the writers really want L&L broken up (gulp), they could have had Lorelai be a brat and give Luke an ultimatum like she did (very true to character), then had her be stupid with Christopher (a stretch, but still believable). But.. rather than have Luke come apologize and offer to whisk her away to Maryland which is all she wanted *yesterday*, they should have had Luke be mad at her for being a selfish brat (which she sometimes is) and let her go.

As an aspiring writer, I see this as a cautionary tale. It's a wonderful thing to make readers believe your characters, and also a big responsibility.

And one more happy thought:

TV update

So, we've kicked a few new shows to the curb already:

1) Kidnapped - just not as gripping as we'd hoped

2) Smith - really didn't care about the characters. Plot can only take you so far. 24 does this perfectly - it's definatley a plot driven show, but they manage to make you care for the characters in the meantime

3) Jerhico - as my husband said "If I have to see that mother wring her hands one more time I'm going to scream!" 'nuff said.

4) Heros - it got a brief trial last night and we were very hopeful. Greg Grundal and Milo Ventimiglia are big faves, but, no. It didn't even get a second try. Just no. Although I will say that Greg's storyline was good, but not good enough to carry the rest of the show. Apparently it had a very disturbing ending. I was fortuanate enough to be cutting out a million (approximately) bananas out of construction paper for Kira's class, so I didn't see it. Then they said "another surprising Heros ending next week." I don't need a show that will bushwack me like that.

Apparently, we're psychic, because the network kicked Smith and Kidnapped to the curb shortly after we did. Yay us! However, I've also heard that Studio 60 isn't getting stellar ratings and this makes me question the state of humanity.

Tune in people!

5) The Nine - just added to our season pass - so far so good!!!

And lastly, Gilmore Girls. I can't kick it to the curb, it means too much to me, but I'm very, VERY disappointed. Yes, I finally watched the season premiere. Yes, it was painful. So painful in fact that it rates it's own rant in an upcoming post.... stay tuned...

Don't worry, Josh!!

I saw this headline today: Josh Holloway worries about Lost death

This is the pain and the glory of Lost - you never do know what will happen next. But, I do hope that the producers know how central Sawyer is to the show. I *barely* survived Shannon's death. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't survive Sawyer's in one piece!

Tuesday's Boxer

As a rule, Boxer's looooove kitties!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Oh boy.

Me: Kira, I think we should look for a new lamp for you at Target.
Kira: Or we could go to Libby Lu?
Me: Sure, we could look there.
Kira: 'Cause Libbly Lu's hot.
Me: uhhh...
Kira, quickly clarifying: You know, by hot, I mean sexy.
Me... pretending not to hear

The Boxer Who Started it All!

This is the boxer from the pet store that I fell in love with. She's chewing on my finger here. See, she loved me. I hope she's loving her new home somewhere!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Boxers of the Day - Friday

Perhaps one boxer had the last of the biscuits? I think they should kiss and make up. :)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Meanwhile, back on the island...

Lost is back!!!!

**warning** spoilers follow if you haven't seen the episode yet.

So, let's dive right in. First off, it was just great to be back in the company of Jack, Sawyer, and Kate again. I'd almost forgotten how much I love that show... almost.

Things I noticed:

1. The book club - Juliet had a Stephen King book in her hands. I'm assuming this was another nod at The Stand, even though we didn't see the title. I love that they keep reminding us of this. Originally, I assumed that the 2 camps would be led by Jack and Locke. Then I thought they would be the orignal islanders and the tailies. Well, we don't have many tailies left, do we! Now, I'm thinking it's these "villagers" and our plane crash survivors. Although, I'm ready to be wrong again. And why was Juliet so nervous to get things right?

2. "the others" - ok, I think we can now say with certainty that this group of people is "the others". We were defining the others before as the ones responsible for taking the kids, Charlie, Claire, etc, and now we have confirmation that they were dispatched from this group. To what end, is still a mystery. I still think there could be another group of people at odds with these guys, but that remains to be seen.

3. Hanso - so... we still see the remains of the Hanso organization with the "behavioral tests" for the bears, etc. Juliet seemed to say that they were left over from something - maybe these sociologists were abandoned on the island and have reproduced or not aged or something like that?

4. Jater vs. Skater - ok, I've been routing for Jack and Kate since the beginning, but with the last few episodes of last season and now this one, I'm really starting to switch my allegiance. Sawyer just seems to genuinely love her so much and Jack seems so wrapped up in his issues. Though maybe he'll be able to "let it go" after last night? I'd also like to say for the record that this is not at all the same thing as Lorelai going out with Christopher on Gilmore Girls. There was never any doubt who she should be with and she's just crazy right now. Kate's fate has always been ambivilent.

5. Which brings me to the dossier on Jack. Do these guys really have access to information off the island? Or did Ethan collect that info from random people Jack had mentioned things too? Or, remember the poke in the arms, did these guys get sodium pentathol and reveal lots of things to Ben (previously called HGI - Henry Gale Impersonator), et al.

6. Where is Alex? Is she with these guys or did she escape? She seemed to think they were evil, thus freeing Claire.

7. I can't wait to see Sayid take these guys on! He blames them for Shannon's death, so it should be no holds barred.

8. Best line of the episode:

Zeke: it only took the bears two hours
Sawyer: Well how many of them were there?!

9. So, what do we think they plan to do with these guys over the next two weeks? Poor Kate! Who thinks Sawyer is gonna stage a rescue attempt?

10. Who do we think cage guy is? Another prisoner? or a plant. If he's a prisoner, where did he come from?

11. I guess we know why Jack's mom told him he "did this" to his dad and made him go after him in Sydney. I love the complexity they've added to his relationship with is dad.

12. Screen cap of the week:

Can't wait for next week!!!

Thursday's Boxer

This is how Gigi looks when we try to put her in her crib. Let me out!!!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

More on Studio 60...

I just saw the 3rd episode last night. Now I'm officially emotionally involved. That's some good writing.

Also, I read that the relationship between Matt (Matthew Perry) and Harry (Sarah Paulson) is loosely based on Aaron Sorkin's relationship with Kristin Chenowith.

Kristin had a guest role on The West Wing, is very open about her faith, and has had a lot of success on Broadway. But, of course, she's important to me because she played Miss Noodle on Elmo's World. :)
I've also read that the relationship between Matt and Danny is based on Aaron Sorkin's relationship with Tommy Schlamme. But... Tommy has never been on Elmo's World.

Wednesday's Boxer

This was me on the way to work this morning.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Beverage Alert

OK, folks - I know it's a pain to click on a link and take my word for it that this is worth your time, but trust me. Set down your coffee. Make sure you've swallowed, then click here.

I got the link from Agent Kristin - this is Bookseller Chick talking about why life is not a romance novel. :)

Do boxers fetch?

That would be a yes....

More tofu crumbles

So yesterday I made the tofu crumble recipe with masala sauce. I cut corners and bought it (all organic, no scary stuff or GMO's), so it didn't take me nearly as long this time. I just mixed some of the sauce with olive oil and water so that it would soak into the tofu more, rather then sit on top. The crumbles absorbed the sauce perfectly!

Then for dinner, I made jasmine rice and sauteed some veggies, added more sauce and combined them all. Yum! And I took the leftovers for lunch today.

I'd also like to recommed Lara Bars - they are unprocessed, whole foods, just smushed into a bar. They are gluten free, dairy free, vegan, kosher, and all around yummy! It's great if I run out of time to assemble trail mix.

Where you go, I will follow... or not

It's Tuesday night and the Gilmore Girls is still collecting dust in my Tivo. I just read that the theme of this season is... consequences. That makes for some fun tv!!! And I think it's just crazy that there were almost no consequences for Rory and her homewrecking fiascos of season 5, but Lorelai makes a mistake and we devote a whole season to... consequences.

Riddle me this, Batman... how does she choose this:

over this:

or this...

or this or this or this, for heaven's sake

I mean, suspension of disbelief only gets me so far.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Sunday's Boxer

An angel for Sunday...

More thoughts on food

1) Quinoa flakes

I just discovered these. I thought my days of hot cereal were over. Oh no, my friend! The great thing is that because of the protein in quinoa, you feel really good and energetic after eating it. But... even with milk, brown sugar, and raisins - it's not oatmeal. It's still all "sprouty" like regular quinoa. Still, thumbs up overall!

2) Black rice

Really more of a dark, dark purple. First off - don't be fooled, this is a whole grain. So, imagine brown rice, but chewier and, well, black. The other funny thing is that the water in the pan turns aubergine, and you really don't want to get it on your shirt. But... there's so much to it that you really don't need much to fill you up - and it has a higher protein content then regular rice. The story is that the emporer of China (the bag doesn't say which one...) decreed that this rice could only be grown by him - so they call it "forbidden rice"... ooooo.... ahhhhh...