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Saturday, October 20, 2007

fandom has gone all explody

For those of you not plugged into Harry Potter fandom intravenously, J.K. Rowling says Dumbledore is gay.

I don't make the news, people. I just report it.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Vail Photos!


Lacy and Brandon by the river
Originally uploaded by LacyLu42.

Photos from our recent trip to Vail can be seen here. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

also!

Just to brag a little, I went to yoga last night and left Brandon a cryptic post-it note on the fridge which read, "Gone to yoga. Back at 7. Start dinner please!"

We had talked that morning about the fact that we'd gotten the ground beef out of the freezer to thaw. We planned to use half of it for burgers, half for stuffed peppers. I thought for sure he'd go the burger route.

He didn't. He dug through three cookbooks (only going for the Joy of Cooking last?) to find a recipe and made those stuffed peppers from scratch!

He complained they were a little bland. I said they just needed a touch of salt to be brilliant.

it's a good thing

A few good things from the desk of me:

  • Wegottaeat.com – Since the dawn of the personal computer (or thereabouts), I have been searching for a recipe organization program I could love. I have tried several, loved none. My biggest pet peeve? The TIME it takes to enter each recipe, and the fact that most programs make you enter quantities in decimals rather than standard fractions (ie: 0.66 cups instead of 2/3 cups). I save recipes from all over the place, frequently found on the web, and the last thing I want to do is re-type everything when I feel like a simple cut and paste ought to suffice. Enter We Gotta Eat recipe manager. The smart cookies developing this site (still in beta) realize that a lot of times you just want to copy and paste, and have made it easy for you to do so. Also, it looks like it's got a social function, whereby if your friends are also members, you can share recipes. Cool.

    (I'm already drooling over Cookbook, one of three winners of the "My Dream App" competition, but until it is released, wegottaeat.com has my vote.)

  • Epicurious has a redesigned website that kicks booty, while we're on the subject of recipes.

  • Gaim.com – The community portion of this site has tons of great articles about living well, living whole, living green.

  • Just found out that this lunchbag is on sale at reusablebags.com — I'm totally buying two right now!

  • Bought one of these Chico Bags at Vitamin Cottage a couple of months ago, and I cannot TELL you how handy it is. I keep it in my purse at all times and use it whenever I'm buying just a few things that don't REALLY need a plastic bag. The best part is that It is really easy to stuff back into its carrying pocket — a must for collapsible bags like this.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

fooffera

I think I'm finally coming out of my wedding hangover. It went well, Emily was amazingly beautiful, as always, and I found out that not only is Matt a fine dancer, he's a heckuva singer as well. ;)

If you haven't already seen them, there are a few, mostly blurry, pictures on my fickr page.

Tonight, the hubby and I are going to see "The Little Mermaid" at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. I'm kind of interested, because apparently, based on how this six-week run goes, the show could change dramatically between its run here and its opening on Broadway in December. I'll have to let you guys know what I think. Actually, I'm angling to write a sort of pre-review of it for the winter NYC guide book here at work. We'll see if that pans out.

~*~

Last Friday, I went to my first ever baseball game. Truth be told? It was kind of boring. But as my friend Jeff put it, you don't go to a baseball game for the baseball. We were actually there to support my coworker, Mikey, who won an American Idol-style contest to get to sing the national anthem, and she ROCKED. You can download a recording here if you'd like to listen. Unfortunately, the Cubs beat the Rockies rather soundly, but we had great seats, decent stadium food, and lots of fun with drunken coworkers. Good times.

~*~

I'm reading the most awesome book called "Eat, Pray, Love," and it's beautiful and may be changing my life. It's made me want to take up yoga again and maybe learn to meditate, and I've found an ashram south of Boulder that sounds perfect for both. Of course, what REALLY sounds perfect is a week-long yoga retreat up in the mountains, but I don't see that happening any time soon. Maybe for Christmas...

~*~

On the subject of vacations, however, the husband and I have booked three nights in Vail for our anniversary/Labor Day weekend. I'm v. excited. Apparently, it is also the Vail Jazz Festival and Gourmet Festival weekend, which sounds delightful. They're doing a sale thing for the end of the summer, so we got a pretty swank hotel room for $81.50 per night — because Vail is at 8,150 feet above sea level.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Deathly Hallows Review

I was going to cross-post my entire Deathly Hallows" review here, but in honor of those who haven't read it yet, I will instead post a link to the review on my livejournal.

SPOILERS! Do not click this link until you have finished the book. Then, please feel free to click and read and tell me what you think.

Monday, July 23, 2007

harry potter party in boulder!

Photos from the Boulder Books Harry Potter party on Friday night!


Brandon Potter
Brandon tries on some eyewear at Boulder's version of Honeydukes, Powell's Candy Store

Owls at the Bookstore
Owls! In the bookstore! In the ballroom! That wee one on the left looked so much like Pigwidgeon to me! And he was blind which is why he's part of the rescue.

Potter Mania
Mayhem outside on the Pearl Street Mall. (If you look closely, you can see a very punk rock Tonks standing up taller than most of the crowd near the left edge of the main bookstore window.)


We made a list of all the characters we spotted and BOY were there a lot! Some of the best? There was a teenage couple dressed as Hermione and Harry that were SO good it was scary. We kept getting creeped out every time they walked by. Then there was a dad who was a pretty good family. There was another family — three of the kids had red wigs and were Fred, George, and Ron (with scabbers on his shoulder), there was an ickle wee Draco, a wee little Harry, and then mom was dressed like Tonks, with pink hair and dad? Dad had a wolf puppet on his head. We about died. It was awesome.

There was also someone dressed as the Knight Bus, a Howler, and three brooms (they were wearing grass skirts with broom handles sticking out the backs of their shirts, and nametags that said things like "Cleansweep" and "Nimbus"). There was also a troupe of death eaters complete with metalic masks like in the films, and a little Peeves dressed all in white, with a white face, and a brightly colored bow tie. There was also a Marietta with SNEAK in dots all across her face.

We also invented a game we called, "Not a Costume." You see, Boulder is a pretty unusual place to begin with, so there were some people who may or may not have been dressed up particularly for the party. The lady wearing a wreath of dried flowers and carrying a tambourine? NOT A COSTUME. The bloke in the stocking cap and silk waistcoat smoking an ENORMOUS pipe? NOT A COSTUME.

Anyway, we had a lot of fun. The bookstore was divided into "Houses." You picked up a Marauder's map from Platform 9 3/4 outside the store, then you had to go through each house and get your map stamped. Then you come back out and got to graduate with your Hippogriffs. :D It was fun, and I'm glad we went.

Friday, July 20, 2007

"Words? Words? Words."

I'm really worried that Harry Potter is going to end up like Hamlet. I mean, he's avenging his dead father, sort of in love with the girl next door, but unable to be with her, and more than a little mad. So, I have this bad feeling it's just going to end in a bloodbath. Cos in Hamlet? EVERYONE dies. Literally. Everyone. Horatio is the only one left, so it'll be, like, Neville kissing Harry on his now-scarless forehead and saying, "Goodnight sweet prince. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest," and curtain.

And I will be very peeved. And depressed for months, no doubt.

Note to self: buy kleenex before the weekend.

P.S. If JKR deals with Hermione and Ron with a line saying, "Granger and Weasley are dead," she will be hearing from me.

This is, if I may, a damn fine cup of coffee.

Watched Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me last night. Got it from Netflix cos we have Twin Peaks season 1 on DVD and want to rent season 2 and let me just tell you, David Lynch? Craziest filmmaker ever. I mean, he seriously even gives Salvador Dali and L'Age d'Or a run for his money. And Dali was doing crazy for the sake of crazy, whereas with Fire Walk With Me I got the distinct impression that David Lynch knew exactly what was going on and the rest of us just couldn't follow the plot.

Which is freaking scary.

In other news, I broke the 10k word mark yesterday on my WIP. This is good news for all. (I usually get to at least 30k before I start flailing too much and have to give up.)

Also, I had a dream last night which cast a boy I knew in high school as Oliver Wood. Quite what this says about my brain, I don't know.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

drive-by blogging

Quick link to a great NYTimes article of 101 Simple Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less. Not particularly low fat, but high-class and quick! These are going on my fridge.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Myspace might also be the work of the devil

This has been something of an odd week.

In the past five days, I've had two long-lost friends contact me on MySpace. Is some strange alignment of the planets responsible for this blast from the past? It has to have been a strange sequence of events that prompted both of them to come looking for me on MySpace at almost exactly the same time.

I'm not a big fan of MySpace. It's too busy, too flashy, too full of stupid advertising and a lot of even stupider people. I got a MySpace account originally because my brother in law started posting pictures of the baby there, and I couldn't see them without an account. Then, I attended a workshop at the SCBWI conference this spring where they talked about building a platform and how helpful MySpace could be for that.

I never really thought I'd use it. Right after I signed up, I did a little snooping around, I'll admit it. There's a feature where you can put in what schools you went to and what years, and it will spit out all the members that have put in those same details. It was a little weird, seeing those people. I felt a little stalkerish, and so I never contacted them.

I've now had four truly long-lost friends find me on MySpace and contact me. It's a weird feeling. These people were such a huge part of my life at the times I knew them, and since, they've all sort of faded into that tapestry of memory that stretches out behind us into the past. To have them reappear now is jarring.

It's not that I'm uninterested in talking to them, finding out what they're up to, seeing how they're doing. I think... I think it's just that I feel like I've overcome a lot since I knew most of these people. I didn't like myself very much in junior high and high school, and I probably wouldn't like how people saw me then. To be thrown back into those roles again is disconcerting.

I could ignore them. The internet is awfully good at distancing us from confrontations we don't want to have. It isn't as though I've run into these people on the street (a perpetual fear of mine whenever I visit back home); I could choose not to interact. But the curiosity is too strong. Why did they come looking for me? Why contact me when they could have just passed me by? Why now?

"Unfinished business," Allison called it, and I think she's right. I just wonder now how many more ghosts from my past are going to be paying me a visit, looking to put things right, wrap up whatever loose ends we had between us.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

notes on a life

  • Zucchini plant has its first blossom opening! Lettuce ready to harvest. Green onions coming along well. Tomatoes going gangbusters on the front porch in late-afternoon sun. Strawberries died. :( BUT! You-Pick-Em berry farm discovered in Brighton, offering strawberries and rhubarb this month! Expedition imminent.

  • The Guide at work goes to press tomorrow evening. I get the final color proofs tomorrow and plan to spend the day scrutinizing them for any last-minute changes, typos, etc.

    Oh, and did I mention that we still don't have a decision from the Bureau on a cover? That bit is giving me a bit of an ulcer. Three days 'til we go to press and they sent a photographer to the zoo because they didn't like any of the photos the zoo photographer sent us to use. (Remind me to tell the "attacking elephant" story someday.) Also, damn your run-off elections; we're holding a page back so that we can slip in the names of the city council after the city decides who they're going to be.

  • Business trip to Dallas is planned for next weekend, except that we don't know what hotel we're staying at yet. I kind of hate traveling by the seat of my pants like this. On the plus side, I'm getting to do several things I've always wanted to do in Dallas: the Women's Museum, the Sixth Floor Museum, and Shakespeare in the Park. And on Friday? I get to spend the whole day shopping. For research. God, I love my job.

  • Met with a new writing group last night. All children's authors, several published with small presses. All considerably older than me; when I said that I had been writing since childhood, they said, "And that was what? Ten years ago?" I kind of hate it when older people judge me because I'm young. I'm not even THAT young any more, for goodness' sake. They all shut up when I mentioned that I edit a travel magazine for my day job.


Looking forward to a calm weekend of berry picking and pie making before the crazy sets in.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

close encounters of the marmot kind

OK, so I realize that it's been roughly 17 million years since I updated this blog (OK, less than a month), and while some things have been going on, none of them have seemed important enough or pressing enough to blog about.

Then I remembered, this is a blog; it's supposed to be about my cat and what I ate for dinner. Right?

Onward with the self-indulgent navel gazing!

Overall, we are very happy and well. The Husband has started his new job with CU medical center and has dubbed himself "Lord High Vampire of A Thousand Mice," mainly because his job entails the exsanguination of a whole lot of mice. (Not TOTAL exsanguination, just some each week.) He seems extremely happy to finally be back in a lab.

I myself am still loving my job all to pieces. Sometimes, I find my good fortune at just stumbling into this position baffling. I'll be traveling to Dallas on my very first business trip ever on June 20th and I'm very excited about it. LOTS to do between now and then, including booking travel if we ever figure out how to get the new reservations system to work.

Also, I get a corporate American Express. I feel like such a grown up.

~*~

We've also been trying to take advantage of the fine weather and get out and do a few things. On Sunday, the Mister and I decided to take one of Colorado's scenic byways, the Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park, which is the highest paved road in the country. We stopped at the visitor's center at the very top, and found out that the tundra wildflowers, which only have a six-week growing season, had started blooming, so on the way down, I asked the Mister to pull over so we could have a look.

As we pulled off onto a pullout, I saw a marmot not ten feet from the side of the road. Excitedly, I pulled out the camera and rolled down the window. The marmot hurried right up to the side of the car! I started squeaking and snapping pictures as he stood right up on his hind feet, not a foot from my window. (Pictures to follow.) Another car pulled up behind us, probably seeing the antics of the marmot.

Then, he got down and walked under the car.

We weren't really sure what to do at that point. We sat in the car for a few minutes, trying to look out all the windows to see if he'd emerged on the other side, but to no avail. Then, the car behind us pulled up alongside, and a very nice Australian couple told us that he had gone under, near the back, and was now trying to climb UP into the wheel well, or on top of the exhaust.

At this point, we REALLY didn't know what to do. We both got out of the car, and started trying to make loud noises, though we didn't want to scare him out into traffic! We were both wary that any moment, a Ranger would drive by and stop us for molesting a marmot.

Alas, a ranger did not drive by, though we began to wish for one. The marmot moved out of the rear wheel well toward the front of the car, and then proceeded to try to climb up into the engine bay! I found a stick on the side of the road, and we started hitting the ground and the side of the car, still trying to tell the marmot that this was not a good place to be.

By the way, he was HUGE. Easily once and a half the size of our cat — probably 10–15 pounds of marmot.

Finally, the Husband popped the hood of the car, which startled the marmot enough that he got down onto the ground, and I yelled for the Mister to roll forward, slowly. He did, and Mr. Marmot was left blinking at me in the sunlight. We stared at each other for a moment. I said, "Shoo!" He continued to stare. I moved around to the left, trying to go around him, and suddenly, he bolted, racing back onto the tundra from whence he came.

I got back in the car (after photographing the wildflowers, as they were the original reason we stopped) and we drove for almost half a mile before realizing that the hood was still open.

It was more of an adventure than either of us had counted on.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Former Student


DSCF0084.JPG
Originally uploaded by LacyLu42.

Hey! Check out a slideshow of photos from Emily's graduation at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lacylu42/sets/72157600218820784/show/

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Thursday Afternoon

I've discovered I love to go down to the Platte River Park on my lunch break and sit within view — or at least within sound — of the rushing river water. Sometimes I drive, sometimes I walk, depending on how much time I have to spare. Today, the water is running high and fast with whitewater eddies swirling in the brown water. The grass and trees of the green space are the resplendent verdant emerald of spring, contrasting with the bright blue sky cheerfully dotted with Magrite clouds and the warm red brick of the walkways, bridges, and nearby buildings. I have found a partially shaded bench mere feet from the rushing tumult of the intersection between Cherry Creek and the Platte, next to a flowering shrub I cannot identify.

I am not alone.

On a sister bench just on the other side of the shrub, an older gentleman in a black business suit sits eating a sandwich from its celophane package. A younger man in a classic white polo and chinos that scream "middle management" sits on a step to my left, munching on an apple and a sandwich on white bread from his brown paper sack as he pours over what can only be a TPS report. In front of me, a woman old enough to be my grandmother is sprawled comfortably on the steps next to her bicycle reading a magazine.

We all look up as a red-winged blackbird calls loudly, swooping over our heads to land on a concrete pillar, partially submerged in the rain-swollen Platte.

Across the river, on a velvet-smooth patch of grass, two young women are sunbathing on a blue picnic blanket. A man stands knee deep in the water, trying to coax his timid dog to join him. I watch it scamper close to the edge, then back away, close to the edge, then back away in a comical dance between nature and nurture.

My business-suited companion has long gone. Mister Middle Management peels an orange and stares out across the water, probably at the sunbathers, as my cyclist dons her shoes and gloves before peddaling away. I check my clock and wish it were not almost time for me to do the same. I envy the dogs and humans, cyclists and kayakers, frisbee players and sunbathers, all of whom have somehow managed to have this gorgous Thursday afternoon off.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Boulder market

What a great weekend we had! The weather was gorgeous (sorry to anyone in the Northeast!), and on Saturday we went to the Boulder Farmer's Market. Apparently, that is like the hot spot of the world up here, because I saw one co-worker and his wife and found out today that another co-worker was there as well! (Note to self: remember not to look like crap when going to the farmer's market!)

It was really fun, with all kinds of cool booths. Not a whole lot of produce yet, but we did end up buying some salad greens, carrots, a parsnip, some fresh mushrooms, some goat cheese, and some peanut butter! Lurrrrrvely.

After stowing our purchases, we took a nice walk along Boulder Creek, which runs right through the middle of town. We were hungry when we got back, so we went to the prepared foods area and got lunch! Such cool stuff. Brandon had an ENORMOUS gyro very drippy with yogurt sauce, and I had chicken and veggie dumplings in a soy ginger sauce that were AMAZING. We shared a fresh lemonade and sat on the grass in the sun to eat. That's when we saw the "Step It Up" National Climate Action Day parade go by, complete with a polar bear in water wings! :( There were people from the Sierra Club and lots of other eco-action groups set up to talk to you about changes you can make. (We felt smug, knowing all our power now comes from the wind — we recently switched over through our electric company for only a dollar more per 100 kw hours!)

I thought the other very cool thing about the Market is that it's designated a "trash-free zone" — instead of trash cans, they have receptacles for compostables and recyclables. No trash! Very cool.

~*~

Our patio container garden is doing quite well. We lost a couple of lettuce plants due to... well, we're not sure why, but the others are thriving. We've transplanted a zucchini seedling to its own pot and have nasturtiums and sweet peas in a second pot. And the raspberry bush has started to put out leaves. Hooray!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Bob and Friends


Bob and Friends
Originally uploaded by LacyLu42.

Ray Bans


Ray Bans
Originally uploaded by LacyLu42.

Emily and Dad sporting their kick-ass shades.

Green Thumb

What an amazing day Sunday was! Have I mentioned how much I love Colorado? After rain all day Saturday, Sunday was bright and shiny and clean and deliciously warm.

The husband and I spent the whole morning poking around local nurseries. We have exciting plans for a container vegetable garden out on our patio. We were hoping to buy seedlings, but realized that it's still pretty early for vegetables here; one lady told us that the last freeze isn't predicted until Mother's Day weekend. Yikes! But she did give us some good ideas for crops we could start now, like lettuce, spinach, broccoli, and kale.

We had to stop for lunch, having become overwhelmed with our options, and once we had some food in us, we decided on a plan of action. We purchased two beautiful wooden window box-style planters on sale, some lettuce seedlings, a raspberry bush, a bunch of seeds, and those cute little pop up soil thingies for starting seeds. Oh, and some soil.

Our plan is to start a bunch of seeds indoors and wait out the 4-8 weeks for them to mature and for the weather to warm up some more. By then, we should be able to transplant them outside easily, and we should also be enjoying our first lettuce crop!

I can't even tell you how excited I am to try my hand at vegetable gardening, even if it is only in pots on our patio. The last time I grew vegetables, I was probably about eight years old, and my parents did most of the work! But I still remember the pleasure of eating fresh peas and carrots straight from our back yard.

There's something so satisfying about growing things. Gardens have a lot to teach us, like patience and responsibility. Nothing happens on an artificial time table with a garden; things grow in their own way, in their own time, and they depend on you for food and water and care.

We plan to grow lettuce (as I mentioned), spinach, eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, green onions, basil, oregano, thyme, cilantro, nasturtiums, zinnias, and sweet peas.

And then, today, You Grow Girl posted a review of seed-starting techniques! Must be that time of year.

~*~


Brandon waters the lettuce
The Mister Waters our Lettuce Crop

 



Lettuce crop
The Lettuce Crop (box one of two)

 



seeds
Seeds!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Announcement

An auspicious day for auspicious news.

I wanted to wait until it was all completely final before announcing this, so not to jinx it, but starting today I am officially a copy editor with the publisher of official visitor's guides for dozens of cities and states across North America.

I started with this company a little over six weeks ago as a contract proofreader through my placement agency. The company, managing editor and I clicked, and several weeks ago, they started talking very generally about whether or not I would like to come on full time as a regular employee. Naturally, I was thrilled –– not only because, hey, employment, but also because I really like the company and the work I've been doing here.

So, on my birthday (when I am now closer to 30 than 20, as my husband so kindly pointed out), I have a real job and a first step towards a real career that I'm actually excited about. I am a salaried employee for the first time in my life. I have benefits and a 401(k) –– also for the first time in my life.

I attended my first editorial department staff meeting this morning and had orientation this afternoon where they went over all our benefits (BENEFITS!) and company policies. I have an employee handbook, I ordered desk supplies, I get an email address. Then we went on a tour of the office which was good, because I hadn't actually been around to meet everybody yet, but also a little awkward as I was doing the orientation with three new advertising sales people from New York, Boston and San Jose (as we introduced ourselves, as they said, "Hi I'm Christine from New York," I would say, "And I'm Lacy from downstairs."), and also more than a little silly when we toured the editorial department where I live and work.

And did I mention the benefits? Health, dental, AND vision? Just checking.

Needless to say, I'm really excited about this. Although my title is copy editor, I'll also be assisting on the visitor guides for several markets and writing whenever anybody needs some help, and there's huge potential for growth. My managing editor has already started talking about grooming me to take over my own market as editor.

I swore when I started this job search four months ago that I would not take a full time job if I couldn't picture myself at that company for at least the next five years. It's a little scary (and very grown up) to say, but I really think I could be happy here for at least that long, and it could be a wonderful stepping stone to whatever comes after that.

Also? I'm writing. For a living. Yeah, baby. :D

Monday, March 12, 2007

Ladies and gents, I am going to admit to being DESPERATELY bored today. It's 70 degrees and gorgeous outside, and I'm sitting in a cube proof-reading. The weather people keep cautioning us that March is our heaviest snow month, but it's a little hard to believe with nothing but warm days and blue skies as far as the eye can see.

Also, it was so dark when I got up this morning, I don't think I've ever fully woken up.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

nigella

Last night, I found a very exciting deal at the bookstore -- Nigella Lawson's cookbook, Forever Summer was in the bargain section––for eight dollars! I have no idea why it was marked so far down, but I snatched it up.

I have to admit, ever since watching her show "Nigella Bites" on the Style Network when I had cable in college, I have had a bit of a girl-crush on Ms. Lawson. She's just so fabulous. She's a great chef, she's incredibly stylish, she's British (I'm a terrible Anglophile) and she eats the most ridiculous food, but manages to remain lovely and slim, but not waifish. She also has two adorable British children and an amazing kitchen.

ANYWAY! I got home and I was looking through my new cookbook and I realized that, although I have a copy of her Nigella Bites cookbook––but I've never made anything out of it! Tragedy!

So, looking through it this afternoon, I decided to make a batch of orange muffins. I had everything on hand except self-rising flour. I pulled out my bible––The Joy of Cooking–– and saw that I could substitute regular flour and 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda. Lovely! Mixed them up, they smelled lovely, popped them in the oven, they baked up lovely, broke one open, slathered it in butter and––

BLEH!

Not Nigella's fault. I double checked the recipe, I double checked Joy and––oh dear. I was supposed to add baking POWDER, and instead nearly TRIPLED the amount of baking SODA.

Bleh.

So. A dozen muffins that are inedible, and no more oranges to try again. I am crushed.

But there's a lovely looking stovetop rice pudding that I might try later this week... Hopefully with better results.

denver restaurant week

This last week was Denver Restaurant Week, where more than 150 restaurants in the metro area were offering prix fixe meals for two for $52.80 (5,280 feet is how far above sea level the mile-high city is). Some of these were incredibly swank restaurants like The Palm; others were less swank but still expensive, like Dave & Buster's. We landed somewhere in the middle with The Village Bistro.

We had talked about trying to go to a nice restaurant sometime during the week, but it began to get away from us. Then, I kept reading that all the participating restaurants were booked for the whole week. So on Thursday, I thought if we were going to try it, we ought to do it on a week night -- we wouldn't have a chance at the week end.

So the Husband called up The Village Bistro, a little restaurant we had seen and read about that is quite near us, and lo and behold, they were able to give us a table at six thirty. The restaurant itself is adorable and wee, tucked into a corner of a new shopping center they are building at Zia and 120th where our favorite Caribou Coffee shop is. It has a lovely sort of nouveau loft look about it.

For starters we received a lovely little crab cake floating in a sea of corn bisque with a drizzle of some sort of herb oil and a little pile of fried onions on top. The onions really made the dish, adding a little zing to an otherwise very nice, but very normal crab cake. We were also brought some little sticks of toast, served upright in something reminiscent of the metal stands they serve cones of french fries in at diners like Ruby's, with a lovely roasted red pepper sauce to dip them in. We also got an entire bottle of Shiraz -- and it was a brand I recognized, but now I can't recall the name.

The main course was an OUTSTANDING pork loin drizzled with some sort of lovely cherry vinaigrette and served with mashed sweet potatoes topped with stewed fruit. If there is anything I like in this world it is pork loin with sweet potatoes, and these were done absolutely wonderfully. We savored every single bite. And proceeded to try very valiantly to drink our entire bottle of wine, because...

Dessert was an individual sized chocolate lava cake topped with vanilla ice cream, warm chocolate sauce, and honey roasted peanuts (a nice touch). The cake itself was lovely and rich, but I didn't really notice much of a "lava" center -- but no matter. I was too busy enjoying the chocolate martini they brought for us to share.

So, all of this -- one appetizer, two dinners, one dessert, a bottle of wine, and a chocolate martini -- for $52.80, as promised. Having glanced at the menu before ordering, I can tell you, it was a pretty good deal. The same meal would have cost at least that much -- without the alcohol.

And speaking of the alcohol? We were quite pleasantly tipsy. Good thing we didn't end up going to some posh restaurant downtown... Much shorter trip home from The Village Bistro.

more photos


Baby Seth at Christmas 06
Originally uploaded by LacyLu42.

A few more photos of baby Seth and his entourage up at my flickr page for anyone interested.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Christmas in February

I finally got around to developing and uploading some of our pictures from Christmas! See them all at my flickr page.

Emily in a turban


Emily in a turban
Originally uploaded by LacyLu42.

Emily's favorite Christmas gift. ;)

Grandma with hard cider


Grandma with hard cider
Originally uploaded by LacyLu42.

Grandma's favorite Christmas gift. ;)

Seth and Lacy


Seth and Lacy
Originally uploaded by LacyLu42.

Me and my nephew, Seth (5 mos) at Christmas in Las Cruces.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

eat food

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

Sounds pretty easy, right? Wrong.

I'm still trying to digest all the information presented in Michael Pollan's fascinating article Unhappy Meals from Sunday's NY Times Magazine and the information in his book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Both are hard to summarize, because there's so much pertinent information contained therein, but Pollan's main recommendation is to stop fixating on nutrients and focus our diets more on whole foods.

But that's a lot easier said than done, at least for me.

Some people are super conscious of their appearance, always influenced by the latest fashion magazines and celebrities; I'm hyper-conscious of food, influenced by lifestyle magazines and celebrity chefs. I'm always thinking about food, reading about it, worrying about it, or eating it.

What to do, then, when Mr. Pollan tells me to stop worrying about getting enough protein with my carbs? To stop multiplying calories by grams of fiber? To toss my multi-vitamins?

Frankly, I would love to give up all these silly food affectations and obsessions that I've acquired over the years and return to a simpler lifestyle eating more healthful, whole foods. I tell myself this, and yet, I keep coming up against mental blocks when trying to implement it. (Am I really supposed to go back to full-fat butter instead of margarine??? It contradicts everything I've ever known!) Old habits die hard.

I'm not at a point in my life (financially speaking) where I can go through my kitchen and throw away anything with more than five ingredients, but even thinking about some of Pollan's assertions has me changing the way I'm thinking about food.

It may be a long row to hoe, getting to a place where I am truly living his mantra to "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants," but he's convinced me that it's an important step to take. Maybe I'm past the point when I need to analyze every single calorie that goes into my mouth. Maybe I'm coming to a place where the whole should be more important than the sum of its parts; rather than allowing it to be my whole life, maybe it's time to let food in general become just another part of the whole.

~*~

The Husband and I have started shopping at Wild Oats for our weekly groceries. Our goal was two-fold. First, as I've mentioned, we are operating on limited funds, so we've switched over to the envelope method of budgeting for things like groceries; we pulled out a hunk of cash at the beginning of the month for groceries, and we'll only be using that cash to pay for our food.

Second, we wanted to shop at Wild Oats because, after both reading Pollan's article, we were ready to take the plunge into buying more healthful, organic foods.

The Husband has a piece of paper and a pen and keeps a running tally of everything we put in the cart. The hardest part is figuring out fractions of a pound in the produce section! (Oh, rusty math skills! How you haunt me!) The first time we tried it, we made it through the store and realized we'd forgotten the turkey for a stew we were planning to make -- but we were already at our weekly budget. It was a really interesting exercise, going through the cart and putting back some of the things we'd picked up that weren't on the list, like ranch dressing, ready-made soup, sour cream.

It was also really challenging to only pick out foods that had only five ingredients or fewer. I found an organic raspberry jam with only five ingredients, and though the ranch dressing (that we eventually put back) had more than five ingredients, they were mostly spices. But that rule definitely ruled out a lot of things for us.

Overall, we spent just over $60 for a week's worth of food for two people, and I would estimate that 90% of it was organic whole foods: fruits, vegetables, meat, and milk.

This is actually a food revolution for me in and of itself. As soon as I start thinking about being frugal and keeping to a budget, my mind immediately turns to coupons and cheaper foodstuffs, but the whole idea is to eat better foods, and in this society, better means more expensive. It seems counterintuitive that we should be trying this now, at face value.

On the other hand, how long can we afford to eat the way we have been eating? Maybe the costs of that won't catch up to us for ten or even twenty years, but they will catch up.

We managed just fine on our self-imposed budget, and we got much better quality for our money. Better food, better health, better life. On a budget!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

all you need is love

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone who observes.

I celebrated the day by driving to work in a snow storm, fighting the urge to eat ALL the Hershey's kisses in the break room, and then driving home in even heavier snow. When it snows, my 15-mile commute takes up to an hour, so it's big fun, as you can imagine.

But that wasn't all I did. I also got up early and made brownies from scratch at 6:30, and then, when I got home from work, cooked a nice dinner for my hubby -- with home made brownies for dessert. I also drank 1.5 glasses of a very nice champagne and watched an episode of Dr. Who that the Husband spend FIVE DAYS downloading (it wasn't entirely our dial-up's fault; he went to a coffee shop with free hi-speed and it went just as slow, so it was the connection on the other end that was the problem). We decided to make each other gifts this year. I'm making him an afghan, but it's taking a lot longer than I thought it would.

But! Thanks to our lovely and generous parents, we will also be able to treat ourselves to a nice date this weekend. Thank you, parents!

I'm kind of glad we didn't buy into the hoopla this year. We made cards for each other and for our families, we made our gifts, and we made our nice dinner, and it was really lovely. And really, who needs a special occasion to say, "I love you?" Just last week, I came home to find those very words taped to the hanging ball in the garage that I use to tell me where to park, and it was way more special than any store-bought card or dozen roses could ever have been.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

2007 book list -- january update

Finished Books:
  • The Golden Compass—Philip Pullman
  • 20 Master Plots and How to Build Them—Ronald B. Tobias
  • Peter and the Starcatchers—Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson

Books to Read:
  • Darkside—Tom Becker
  • Making a Literary Life—Carolyn See
  • The Omnivore’s Dilemma—Michael Pollan
  • The Subtle Knife—Philip Pullman

Books Started, but Not Finished:
  • The Last Dragon—Silvana de Mari
  • Traveling Mercies—Ann Lamott
  • The Plot Thickens—Noah Lukeman
  • The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People—Stephen Covey
  • Living the Seven Habits—Stephen Covey