Thursday, May 25, 2006

A priest, a monk, and a rabbi go into a deli on 19th and.............

We have been really bad at starting the food aspect of this blog. We said we love to eat and cook, but where is the evidence? Well, let’s begin. We had one of the best meals I’ve had in a while last night, and at home no less. Very simple, and very fast.

The soup is a variation of vegetable soup. This one is full of garlic, leeks, tomatoes, chickpeas, zucchini and spinach. We keep everything really rustic in this hearty soup. But the real star of the meal was the sandwich, or if you please, the Panini. We got the bread from a local bakery, and then thinly sliced salami, ham, and provolone from the butcher. Sergio made an olive dressing from chopped green olives, olive oil, vinegar, salt, oregano, and pepper. And we finished it off with spicy mustard and a few minutes under the grill to make the cheese all melty.

Quote of the Week

"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."
George Washington

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Sickness in pursuit of health

Running makes me want to vomit, from sheer dislike of the activity, and from the body’s necessity to rebel against things it can't handle.

I asked Sergio what I should say about the run yesterday. Above is his comment. I think that sums it up pretty well. He ran nine miles yesterday and I ran 5.5. The sun seemed to think it was mid-August and the humidity was unbelievable. By the end of the night we both seemed to be suffering from dehydration/heat stroke symptoms. It was really lovely. I do not recommend long runs in the summer in Arkansas. I don’t think Sergio does either.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Quote of the Week

Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.
Mahatma Ghandi

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Learning to ride a bike

Today we witnessed an unique sporting event, at least for these parts. It was the Joe Martin Stage race, a bicycle race, and we spent the better part of our sunday in awe of these athletes. Moving at speeds often faster than 35 mph and around turns of greater than 90 degrees these competitors rode shoulder to shoulder and wheel to wheel, some for more than 90 minutes, it was impressive. And since I really don't know much about the sport I'm going to post some pics and let you see for yourself.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A little light reading

This is a list we came up with sitting at a restaurant last night. These are some of our favorite books. They are simply books we have enjoyed, not necessarily the most well-written or critically acclaimed. It includes both our individual and mutual favorites. I will leave it to you to guess which books go with which person.
I must note that Sergio feels Lonesome Dove is the best book ever written, and has ranked it first. The rest are random and pretty much in the order we remembered them.

1. Lonesome Dove - Larry McMurtry
2. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
3. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
4. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
5. The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
6. Cannery Row - John Steinbeck
7. The Little House on the Prairie series - Laura Ingalls Wilder
8. Jarhead - Anthony Swofford
9. The Things they Carried - Tim O’Brien
10. The Giver - Lois Lowry
11. The Outsiders - S.E. Hinton
12. Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
13. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
14. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay - Michael Chabon
15. The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
16. The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
17. The Killer Angels - Michael Shaara
18. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
19. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest - Ken Kesey
20. Me Talk Pretty One Day - David Sedaris
21. John Adams - David McCullough
22. Where the Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak
23. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - John Berendt
24. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J.K. Rowling
25. Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery
26. Ava’s Man - Rick Bragg
27. Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry - Mildred D. Taylor
28. The Partly Cloudy Patriot - Sarah Vowell
29. Where the Sidewalk Ends - Shel Silverstein
30. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
31. Sarah, Plain and Tall - Patricia Maclachlan
32. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

We would love to hear what your favorite book is or any reading suggestions you might have for us.

Quote of the Week

Silly things do cease to be silly if they are done by sensible people in an impudent way.
Jane Austen, Emma

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Saturday Night Boxing

De La Hoya VS. Mayorga; the boxer VS. the puncher, the Golden Boy VS. the chain smoking thug. And yes I fell victim to the odds makers tonight, I placed a paltry sum on Mayorga. I knew it wasn't rational, it wasn't a good idea but it would have paid so well. In the end De La Hoya did boxing a favor and took it out of the judges hands and TKO'd Mayorga in the 6th, in an impressive show of power and patience he simply outclassed Mayorga. I whinnied in joy, it is the Kentucky Derby weekend after all, Dawn involuntarily clapped, and my friend and fellow bettor Ryan lamented as our bad bet went down; it was a good fight, one sided though it was.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Great television

What do three 20-something friends do for a fun Thursday night? Well they watch two hours of PBS, of course! In fact, for the last four nights Sergio and I have been watching Texas Ranch House, a show that takes 21st century men and women and puts them into an authentic 19th century Texas ranch setting. It is a mixture of reality TV and educational video, and we were addicted. Last night was the finale, and I have to say, no show has ever ended so perfectly.

The show is made up of the ranch owner’s family, the Cooke family, the Girl of All Work, Maura, the Foreman, Robby, and the Cowboys. And you should know from the beginning that Robby is Sergio’s new hero. A cowboy through and through and the only person that kept the ranch running while everything around him deteriorated. He and the cowboys seemed to be the only people on the show who could immerse themselves into the setting and get any enjoyment out of the experience.

So why was the ending so perfect? Well you need just a little background for this. The Cooke’s were abysmal ranch owners. Disrespectful of their cowboys, greedy, disorganized, and at times, just dirty. Mr. Cooke yelled at his workers early on, and tried to weasel them out of their money and horses after they had kept the ranch running and turned a profit despite bad management. He couldn’t be bothered to ride out with his men, was a nuisance when he did, and kept bad books though he is an accountant in his daily life. Mrs. Cooke spent time sewing, lazing in her underwear, and undermining her husband and men at every turn, while she should have been cleaning the dishes that sat outside in the heat with old food on them for EIGHT days. And then wondered why the flies were so bad they could no longer go outside.

The cowboys kept the show worth watching for educational benefit, wrangling cows, driving cattle, and embracing the cowboy way. And they were funny, too. Jared and Johnny were often the (intentional) comic relief of the show. The cowboys showed true camaraderie with one another and their foreman. You cheer at the end when they band together in the way you hope real cowboys might have done.

And just one quick note on Maura. Though I respect her feminist ideals, since she is an anthropology student in her daily life I feel she should have been able to empathize better with the women that lived over a hundred years ago, and respect them. She did a disservice to those women by not understanding the hard work they were accomplishing alongside the men, not trying to be the men.

The reason it ended so well is because PBS allowed a panel of experts to assess the ranch, determining whether it would have made it past the first year. Vindication at last. The bad guys were called out and lampooned for their bad decisions and blamed for the inevitable ultimate failure of the ranch, and the good guys were credited with the ranch’s initial success, especially Foreman Robby. It was absolutely perfect, if only because it brought the Cooke’s so completely out of their holier-than-thou delusions and left the cowboys laughing. Just great TV all around. I mean it is narrated by Cousin Eddie* after all, does it get better than that?

*Randy Quaid

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Quote of the week

"The reason is, because it's of more importance to community that innocence should be protected than it is that guilt should be punished".
-John Adams on defending British troops involved in the Boston Massacre.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A movie review

We watched “Everything is Illuminated” last week and are just now getting around to posting about it but not because it wasn’t good, it very much was. Really I’m just lazy. Anyways, this is a very interesting film and at least in the movie version this is a story driven by the often over the top and always strange characters in it. The cast includes a compulsive collector, a Ukrainian hip hopper, a blind driver, and any number of the dapper looking Ukrainians that pepper this film with bad teeth and bad attitudes.

The film is worth seeing for lots of reasons but not least of which is the song “everybody wear purple” that plays at the ending credits, it’s fantastic.

I can’t add much to Sergio’s take. I felt the same way about the film. I thought it was quirky and comical, and then quietly sad. It stuck with me for a little while after we turned it off, and for me, that is a sign of a good movie. I think Alex the Ukrainian hip-hopper and “premium dancer” stood out the most for me. I loved his broken English.

Irrelevant picture of Eliot