Friday, January 30, 2009

Comfort Food

(yes Matthew this one is for you)

Stress is an amazing thing. Buying a house seems pretty full of the stuff. Anyway at the end of the day I was a wreck. Ready to throw in the towel and give up on this "American Dream" that I seem determined to persue. After a call from my Realtor to help relax me, and a follow up from Julie I had an idea for what I was making for dinner. (Ok it pretty much consisted of chopping some shit up to get the stress thing under control) I pulled a package of stew meat from the freezer and popped it into the Microwave to defrost. Chopped up an onion and saute'd it. (standard practice, evoo) Pulled the onion out of the pan, added a little more evoo and heated that thing up good. I sliced the stew meat into smaller pieces while the onion was cooking. Once the pan was good and hot I dropped in the stew meat. Add some fresh ground pepper (yeah I got a peppermill) and brown/sear that meat up right. This is where it gets fun. Grabbed the beef stock and poured in a cup or so. Put the onion back in and while the stock was heating up I chopped up a couple of cloves of garlic.. Dropped in the garlic, lowered the heat and covered it. let it simmer a bit.

I decided this was gonna be a rice and beef kinda dish. So I get the rice going, and check the beef. Add a little Cumin to the beef mixture, and some more stock.. Let it simmer along, cooking and building flavors, and letting the beef get nice and tender. Anyway about the time the rice is done the beef is ready. Heat up some corn, thicken the juices in the beef for a gravy. There you have it.

I titled this one "Comfort Food". That is what I described above. Beef, rice, gravy... that's comfort food for me. Hell just Rice and Gravy is good enough for me. I don't even need the meat. (shut up Matthew)

Anyway just thought I'd post something up here. Things will go well. I see it happening, and thoughts become reality

Hugz to you all.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It's time to celebrate...

The offer I put in on the house was accepted. Now comes the fun stuff. Getting the inspections done, entering escrow, etc etc. (i really have no idea what comes next but I know there are many things that need to happen between now and me moving in.)

So I'm a home owner (assuming inspections come back clean, etc etc) I know there is some painting to do. (so much easier if it's done before I move in. ) The kitchen will be done in shades of blue. Lighter on the ceiling, darker on the walls. The master suite needs to be in this color I've had for almost two years now. (never did get around to painting my current room.)

Finding out when I can start moving stuff into the house.

Getting rid of the garbage I've got now because I'm not moving all this junk to the new place. Pricing out the closet organizer system I want from Ikea....

Soo much stuff to do ...

Ahhhhh.. yeah...

Hugz to you all.

Man when the universe hits me, it does it all at once. 2009 is starting out as the most amazing year I've ever had.

Monday, January 26, 2009


No, the Coyote never ate the Road Runner. He did, however, catch the bird in one cartoon, produced in 1980 by creator Chuck Jones. That film, Soup or Sonic, was part of a TV special called Bugs Bunny's Bustin' Out All Over. In that film the Coyote shrinks to tiny size but manages to grab the Road Runner's giant (to him) leg. Unfortunately the Coyote is like a tiny insect to the bird. He holds up a sign to the audience: "Okay wise guys, you always wanted me to catch him. Now what do I do?"

It's almost like a vindication. I sooo remember seeing this. I remember the sign he held up at the end... I've asked tons of people and they all thought I was on crack... No one else knew of this one. I guess that's what I get for watching all the Bugs Bunny specials.

Wow this really is shaping up to be a great year.

( ) if you want to read about it yourself.

Didn't Tom Petty say...

The waiting is the hardest part.....

I'm pretty sure it was Tom Petty that sang that. (I could be wrong, but I sure hear his voice.)

So yeah I'm in the waiting pattern. There are times it's fine and good and no worries. There are times where it just drives me fsckin crazy. I want to know if I'm getting the house or not, but then again I don't want to know too soon. Friday is pay day, I get my W2, I can do my taxes for this year. If I'm getting the house I can claim the First time Home Buyers Tax Credit and get $7,500 because I bought a house. If I am smart (and I like to think that I am) I'll put that money into it's own ING account and let it earn me some interest, and then use it for things like Property Taxes, etc. (all those little things they forget to tell you about when you're looking for that house.) Call it a 'housing cost' fund. It would be nice to have that as a 'cushion' for the first few years so I'm not scrambling to cover those expected and unexpected things that pop up.

Nerve wracking and exhilarating all at the same time. Buying a house that is. 30 year fixed about commitment. (see even with the vacation from these blogs the spelling didn't improve.) So can I just do one thing at a time that is like this?? No I've got to end up meeting this great guy and go through trying to get him in my life, and buy a house, and try to not freak out over the budget crisis in the State of California and how I'm a State employee, and if something major doesn't happen soon I could be getting IOU's instead of pay checks. I'm some how thinking that the mortgage company isn't gonna take an IOU on my brand new mortgage.

The answer to dealing with all of this??? BEER. (if you really think about it BEER can be the answer to almost everything.) Bass was on sale at Safeway. It's been YEARS since I've had Bass. So I bought a 12 of it today.

So just a quick update.

Hugz to you all.

Spell check does work!!! This internet thing just might catch on!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

time goes by

Days go by and still I think of you.....

And so we start another blog.. but then VNV Nation comes on and I feel compelled to put some lyrics down.....

"I know it's hard to tell
how mixed up you feel
hoping what you need
is behind every door

each time you get hurt
I don't want you to change
cause everyone has hopes
you're human after all

The feeling sometimes
wishing you were someone else
the feeling as though
you never belonged
this feeling is not sadness
this feeling is not joy
I truly understand
please don't cry now"

Now onto the blog

Where to start??? New bowling ball??? Offer on a house?? Boyfriend????
(yeah I've been a busy boy.) Black Widow Venom is the bowling ball. Very nice ball, and yeah I know I'm back to Hammer. ( Non bowling geeks can skip the next paragraph or two.) See way back when...1993 or maybe even 1994...I was out of the Army, back home and bowling....well it was time for a new ball. The guy in the pro shop (Dorn) told me I should move up to a 16 lb ball and not keep the 14. I was concerned that I would drop the heavier ball. Dorn told me that I'd have no problems with the weight. As it turned out he had a couple of 'used' balls from Nikki G (women's pro bowler, born and raised in the Vallejo area) So he felt one of her old Hammer balls would be a good next step for me. (I think it was the blue one first then the red one.) So I started this bowling journey with Hammer. (I think Dad had a black one, 14 lb and I took that over as I got better) So full circle in a way.

The ball is very NICE and it's one of the few that tells me what I'm doing by the way it hits. (Ok they ALL do that if you just pay attention) I rolled a few games with my nephew just to break it in. We did this BEFORE league bowling that night. Then we bowled 3 games in league. Yeah no one ever said we were smart. So 6 games bowled on thursday. After the first set of three I thought I had it figured out. The first game in league, I fought that ball and tried to steer it, control it. Make it do what I wanted it to do and not just let it roll. 151 was the reward for all that work. (Now at this point some people would be bitching about how bad the ball sucks, and how they just blew $200 plus on a brick......etc, etc.) I knew I had to go back and let the ball do the work. All I had to do was stay behind it, follow through, and hit my mark. The ball would do the rest. Second game.... 203. (Hmm seems to be some logic to this.) So third game comes up (6th game I rolled that night if you've been following along.) and I've warmed up to this ball and KNOW that if I just let it do the work it can be an amazing thing. Last game.....232. Pretty SWEET if you ask me. That was 6 games that night and it's been FOREVER since I've rolled 6 games in that short of a span. So yeah I'm liking my new ball.

New house.... well the reality of life in these times has hit and through the twists and turns it seems as though I can actually BUY a house. (yeah there are many factors here and details that won't be posted.) Suffice it to say that bargains abound, and my act has been pulled together. I looked at 10 different places last Monday, and only two were contenders. The one I put an offer in on is the best of what I've seen and really too nice to be in my price range. It is a foreclosure so I'm sure that's why it's a bargain. Granite counters in the kitchen, a master suite with walk in closet and a bathroom that I could LIVE in. I'll have pics up when I know it's mine. (look for a post by Tuesday next week). Excited??? Hell yeah..

So I met this really amazing guy and damn..... what can I say?? damn.. went out to 1220 last Saturday and it was just soo good. Matthew Baker was just soo great. He gives my man one of his CD's to welcome him to the Energy family. Later on in the night Matthew gave me some great advice, and shock of all shocks I'm actually following it. "Let the past go, all of it. Do the unexpected and just follow this for as long as it lasts." Or words to that effect. (Bartenders were pouring STRONG that night.) It was just how he said it and when he said it. It definately hit home and I'm following that bliss.

Bitter Ball 13 Feb, 2009. Yeppers it's on the Hornblower boat again. Couple of hours out on the bay. Kid Loose, DJ Ajax, Matthew Baker, GHR, Trevor Simpson... Party time!!

Ok I'm out.. it's late and I gotta get up early.

Hugz to you all!!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

A tale of two meals.....

So here you'll have it a couple of ideas to spur your cooking. Last night was bowling night, so that means it's gotta be a quick meal. I was thinking along the lines of ground beef and beef rice a roni.. (quite tasty and quick) I wanted to do something a little different this time around and knew I had a Pepperidge Farms sausage in the freezer. I thought that would give a different spin on the flavor. So I got home and pulled out the sausage, went to grab the box of rice a roni...and saw a box of Long Grain and wild rice mix. So I decided that would be better on the flavors... since I was already adding things I grabbed a can of petite cut tomatos also.

I start the rice cooking then slice up the sausage to brown it up. yes it's fully cooked and ready to use, but I like the taste when I cook it more. Since I'm adding stuff I figured I should saute up some onion to mix in. Garlic, you gotta mince up a couple of cloves and mix that in. (this is kinda how my mind works while I'm cooking...I straighten the steps out below.)

Cook the long grain and wild rice according to the package directions.
Mince/chop an onion, add some EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) to the pan, heat then saute the onion. While the onion is cooking, slice up the sausage. Take the onion out of the pan and then cook the sausage. Drain the grease from the sausage. Deglaze the pan with some white wine. (seriously whatever type you prefer. I generally use something fairly cheap, but a bottle I would drink.) At about this time the rice should be done. Dump the rice into the pan with the sausage, add the onion and minced garlic. Open the can of tomatoes, drain, then add to the pan with everything else. Stir it all together and turn the heat to low. Cover and let it simmer for 5 to 10 mins. (lets all the flavors mix and build....) Enjoy!!!

Soups have been on my mind lately. Probably due to the cold weather and I like a good hearty soup. I did a beefy onion barely thing earlier in the week. So I had orignally planned to do a chicken thing with great northern beans, and whatever else fell into the pot. The beans hadn't been soaked so they were out. (yeah I use the dried beans.) I ended up doing a variation that I made up as I went along. (is that possible??? Hell yes) Bratwurst for the meat, chicken stock (yeah I've found some great packaged stock, it's lower in sodium than Swanson broth/stock) Onion, garlic, corn... as it was coming together I decided some rice would make it hearty and replace the great northern beans... (so the original idea was a chicken/corn chowder kinda thing.) Can you see the flavors? Taste the ideas here??

There are so many other options that you can do here. Variations on the basic theme... Red or Green bell peppers, green onions, even some fresh spinach... parsley, thyme to bring a citrus/lemony flavor...

Never be afraid to try. Get the flavors in your head and then you'll see how to combine them. There is no one 'right' way to do it. Endless variations...

Ok I'm getting hungry again and that's not always for the best....

Hugz to you all