Monday, July 23, 2012

Atlanta mini-cation

Misty and I had a mini-vacation this weekend, heading to Atlanta to see yet another performance from 311 (our third within a year -- I think we can stop now, don't you?).  On our way into town we ate at a burger joint in Little Five Points called The Vortex -- the outside of their building is shaped like a skull, and you enter through the mouth.  The decor may be creepy, but our burgers were superb.

We got to the concert plenty early, so we had time to walk around the parking lot and check out the tailgating crowd.  At almost any other show, there's an unwritten rule that you don't wear the t-shirt of the band you're going to see.  It's concert fashion taboo.  That's not the case with 311.  The fans are very much a community.  We saw plenty of people proudly displaying their shirts from past Unity Tours, the Pow Wow festival, the band's Caribbean Cruise, and 311 Day.  After a while it started to rain, so we headed into the amphitheater to find cover.

Our seats this time were right up front.  There were only a couple rows separating us from the pit.  Unfortunately, the sound was horrible.  It was as if someone turned the treble all the way down on a stereo.  You could hear a lot more bass and drums than guitar, and it was hard to make out S.A. Martinez's lyrics at all (oddly enough, everything sounded fine for both opening acts The Aggrolites and Slightly Stoopid).  Nevertheless, we had a good time.

In the morning we had breakfast at Dekalb World Market (I never tire of their ham & cheese croissants) and then stopped by Trader Joe's on our way out of town so we could finally replenish our stock of Corn and Chile Tomato-Less Salsa.  That may seem an odd way to cap off a vacation -- even a mini-cation -- but you'd understand if you'd ever tried that salsa.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A kid's food nightmare

Misty cooked up something last night that would make any kid run crying from the table.  It featured two commonly-hated vegetables, goat cheese, and an African grain most people can't pronounce.

Since there was no recipe, the dish doesn't have a name.  It was a scramble of chicken & apple sausage, spinach, roasted sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts over a bed of quinoa and topped with goat cheese.

Of course it was delightful.  And of course our kids wouldn't touch it.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Darth Emily

It was hard being at work today because around 11 a.m. Misty posted this photo on Facebook.

Emily hadn't been feeling well for almost a week.  She started out with a couple days of low-grade fever, but nothing to warrant getting worked up about.  From there, she progressed to a persistent cough.  She said it felt like a tickle in her throat that just wouldn't go away.  You could tell she wasn't knocking anything loose while coughing though, and she didn't have any nasal congestion.

Last night during dinner, Emily started coughing and couldn't stop.  She couldn't eat.  I sat with her on the couch for a bit just holding her and trying to help her calm down enough to relax her little lungs and get a breath.

Misty took Emily to the doctor today, and it turns out she has pneumonia.  As if that didn't make me pity her enough, I feel really bad because she had been worried about getting a shot, but I promised her there was no way she was going to need one for a cough.  She had to get two.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Playing with an iPad

Kendall got hold of the iPad I have checked out from work and played around with its Photo Booth program.

This is what $500 will buy you, folks.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Kendall's hobbit-hole

Kendall was painting today when she showed me a circle she'd made.

"Daddy, what do you think this is?" she asked me.

Me: "A circle."

Kendall: "Yes, but what else is it?"

Me: "A wheel?"

Kendall: "No."

Me: "A head?"

Kendall: "No."

Me: "An orange?"

Kendall [becoming exasperated]: "No! And don't say 'a peach' next."

Me: "I don't know. What is it?"

Kendall: "A door!"

Me: "... a hobbit door?"

Kendall: "Yes! But whose door is it?!"

Me: "Bilbo's door?"

Kendall: "Yes!"

She has no idea how proud this makes me.

Friday, July 13, 2012

My dinner with Mitt Romney

I had a really weird dream last night in which I had dinner with Mitt Romney.

Misty and I were with three friends in Huntsville getting ready to visit someone in the hospital.  It was around 11:30 at night, and before we went to the hospital we stopped to eat at Chick-fil-A.  The restaurant was across the street from UAH, and it was about the size of The Varsity in Atlanta, with a number of different rooms for seating.

One of the rooms was set up like a small art gallery, but instead of paintings, framed newspaper front pages from historic events were hanging on the walls.  Mitt Romney was in the newspaper gallery room looking at the pages and remarking about why he thought certain events were particularly significant.  Someone in our group invited Romney to join us for dinner.  He ended up sitting across from me, and as we chatted I thought to myself, "He's really a nice guy. He comes across as so much more down-to-earth in person."

Finally it dawned on me, "I'm sitting across the table from a candidate for President of the United States! I've got to take a picture of this and post it online."  But when I pulled the phone out of my pocket it had a jewel-encrusted case with unicorns on it.  "This isn't my phone," I thought.

Then I woke up.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Secret ingredients

I came across some interesting signs today that I'd never noticed before on the loading dock of the building next to my office.  There were labels for "bulk sugar" and "caramel," and another faded, rusty sign (not pictured) was labeled "dextrose."

I wasn't sure what the signs were for, but when I showed the photo to Misty, she knew immediately.  They're ingredients for Dr. Pepper, since this is the old Dr. Pepper Building.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Literature from the imagination of a 5-year-old

While tucking Kendall into bed tonight, she told me she'd finished the third chapter of her book today.  This is quite an accomplishment, since Kendall cannot yet read.

Nevertheless, she picks out 100-page books from the young readers section of the library, and she makes up her own stories as she "reads" them.  She does the same thing if she finds a book I've checked out in the back seat while she's riding in the car.  I'll listen to her flip through the pages as she narrates her own version of "The Corrections" or "The Hunger Games."

Kendall shared with me the elaborate plot of her latest book which involved a group of fairies, several goblins, and Jack Frost.  It sounded pretty exciting.  I can't wait to hear how it turns out.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Simple family time

Tonight we had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, The Boot, and afterward we hung out on the lawn at The Preserve. It was a simple way to spend the evening that provided a lot of humor.

Emily and Kendall started out by trying to coax a squirrel out of a tree by gathering a pile of nuts. Next they had a series of races, but Kendall lost every time, even when Emily gave her a big head start, because Kendall can't figure out to run in a straight line. From there, they moved on to gymnastics -- Emily doing somersaults that looked more like attempts at headstands, and Kendall with the worst excuse for cartwheels you've ever seen (of course we cheered for everything while trying not to laugh).

When the girls started their usual routine of, "Mom... Mom... Mom... Mom...," I offered them $100 if they could catch a bird. That worked for a little while until it turned into: "Dad, how much money will you give me if I can lift this rock?" ... "How about if I can rip this tree out of the ground?"

At that point, we realized our relaxing time had come to an end. It's probably for the best. The entire time we were there, two little girls across the street kept screaming "Be quiet!" at us over and over again, even though we weren't really making any noise. I don't know what their problem was.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Sweet teeth

Kendall doesn't have a sweet tooth. She has sweet teeth. In fact, she says all of her teeth are sweet teeth, with the exception of one "vegetable tooth."

Which vegetable? Sweet potatoes.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Beauty and the BEAT

Question: What if "Beauty and the Beast" took place in New Orleans instead of France?

Answer: Pure awesomeness.

Note: I'm not sure that the scenes are actually from New Orleans, or even intended to represent New Orleans. It's just the feeling I got from the beginning of the video.

Monday, July 02, 2012

The jellyfish fields

I can't claim credit for this one, but I wanted to make sure it was preserved in my blog.  From Misty's Facebook page:

How have I gone all my life without knowing how to make strawberry jelly??? Luckily, Kendall was kind enough to explain the process: squish up a jellyfish. Squish up strawberries. Mix.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Maple-glazed salmon, plus salad with berries and goat cheese

This is maple-glazed salmon with a side of salad including greens, raspberries, blueberries, almonds, cucumbers, and goat cheese.  Of course Misty made it.  No recipes to link to this time, though -- it's her own creation.

I don't usually like salmon that much, but this was sooo good.  The goat cheese in the salad caught me off guard at first, but after a couple bites I got accustomed to the taste and ended up loving it as well.