I graded this morning. Neale was busy at work as well. In the afternoon, Ismael came by to discuss our basement. We had a few questions and he had a few suggestions. We need to build our new wall first, then the work on the walls/ceiling, and finally the stairs. However, Ismael is having back problems right now so we need to wait until he is healthy. We were thinking about starting next week but I am not going to demo to then have to wait until he is healed. Overall, not a problem for us and our plans for the basement are achievable.
I made Baingan Barta (eggplant curry) for dinner. Neale wants less ginger and turmeric next time. But, a good first attempt.
Last night, we won our first game of the season. I scored a run, drove in one and got a hit that game. I missed two at third during the night, knocked a few down, and made a few good plays. The ones I knocked down were playable and limited damage. One ended well as we were still able to get an out on the play. However, knocking one hot spot down cost me a shin bruise. I would post a picture but it is not pretty. Luckily, I had the cooler from our winery trip still in my car and I was able to use an ice pack after the game. I stopped at the grocery store and picked up a wrap so Neale would not have to see the bump when I got home. I iced it during the night, kept it elevated, and stayed off it today. It looks much better and the swelling is reduced. However, it aches and I did walk or mow because of it.
I went to U haul for my hitch. Their waiting room stinks and there is never that many happy people at the rental center. Since I had a brief time in the car and van rental industry, the vehicles of U Haul are typically needing help, the rates system never is easy to understand, and most people are annoyed because they are moving I found out. Today, I experienced the same thing as a woman began talking to me since she saw that my sandals are Aldo. She did not know Aldo made men's shoes. Then, she told me how STL is shady and Columbia, MO is better. I noticed her tattoo to a dead relative but did not ask her about it. The hitch installer was good guy but did not know how to start a Prius. I had to help him, which is not an uncommon experience for non-Toyota car mechanics probably and some valets we use. They are usually cool about it and so am I.
Tomorrow, Ismael is stopping by to offer advice on the basement project.
Some remaining photos from the weekend.
Nice arm bruise from last week's softball.
Kinda empty at the winery as we got front row easy.
"...the last time I saw Jesus I was drinking bloody mary's in the South..."
I did a practice run of the course yesterday. The difference between running in a circle on track and running towards a goal is noticeable. Afterwards, we went to First Watch for breakfast and started our day. First, we stopped at the Saint Louis Art Museum for the Ansel Adams exhibit. Good but short. Only 8 or 9 prints. We checked out the contemporary art section and went for coffee.
Then. we browsed the Third Degree Glass factory gift shop. In August, we plan to attend a glass blowing session. We have seen them at the Clayton Art Fair but this one will be in their studio so I am sure they can do more work on their projects. Neale wanted to go to Contemporary Art Museum and we did. We learned that Neale does not like to speak to strangers on the telephone.
Part of the 'speech acts' was picking up a phone and actually reaching another person, who had a menu of options to cover about a certain topic. I spoke with a guy for 5 minutes about his art photography. We tried Mad Art after that (home of the Big Ass Art Show) but they had an event set up so the exhibits were closed. I learned the gallery is in an old police station.
Since the AB brewery is right across the street, we did the tour and had free beer.
We came home to feed Ellis and then out to Monarch for dinner.
Today, I had my first 5K of the summer and finished with a personal best time of 25:47. Very good for me.
Yesterday, I took down the PC table that was used for Mega. Mega is the first PC I ever bought and it has been working since 1998. However, it obviously has been passed by due to developments in technology. So, my keeping it up and running was more as a testament to keeping it going. I used it briefly last year when my main PC had a bad hard drive. Neale used it when we moved to this home for work before she got her new work laptop. However, time has passed it by. I will wipe it clean and donate it. As we are redoing the basement in two weeks, we need the space cleared and reorganized. Also, the table next to it is down and stored for use while entertaining. I was also able to removed the printer stand and relocate the DVD player that was on its top and the guitar gadgets are now somewhere else. It never held the printer in this basement. The PC table and printer stand went to Goodwill this morning. Then, I went for a run at the track. But, I had to use the track in Maplewood. Moss Field in Webster is prepping for a cancer walk from 6PM until 6AM. Ellis and I walked this morning. Someone stopped us for directions and I was able to help this time.
Tomorrow, I will do one more run before the event on Sunday. I picked up my race packet today. Finally, a green t-shirt for the race instead of white.
Last night, I tried my first Krav Maga class. It lasts an hour and was a good workout. The first 15 minutes is a warm up and then we work on technique. Last night, we worked our choke defense. I look forward to trying this for a few months. The class is small, the instructor is a decent guy, and their business seems popular. The kick boxing class was intense.
I am switching to Gmail and losing the Hotmail account. Hotmail has developed a spam issue and I do not have a fix for it yet.
My coffee granita was very good but Neale asked for lemon. I made lemon granita last night.
At Costco, I picked up a 5lb. bag of lemons. Neale wanted a lemon shake up since we have them on hand. I used Splenda and she was pleased.
This morning I was up early for summer hours and walked Ellis before 8:30AM. It was not as hot in the morning as it was yesterday nor as humid. Then, I went a run at the track. No sprinklers this time but the track has developed an odor similar to a wharf in some places. The drains must not be working as planned. After playing ball with Ellis in the yard and attempting to get some sun on my pale form, I did errands. I found a few items at Whole Foods and Costco. However, I cannot find empty squeeze bottles for sauces at the grocery store or Big Lots. Neale says Walgreen's may have them and I am trying Bed, Bathroom & Beyond next. Currently, my squeeze bottles are full of bar-be-que sauce. I want to make a batch of vinaigrette and a chocolate sauce to keep on hand.
Last night, Subzero was excellent and Bar Italia was great. Our waiter looked like Robin Williams and I kept on thinking about "One Hour Photo" during the meal.
Neale had a short presentation to coworkers today. It went well. She went to tan and we are watchin' the Mets/Cards tonight.
I saw a new Honda Insight at Whole Foods today. It is shorter than the Prius. I can't tell by how much but it is noticeable. We both like how the Prius is easy to get into and out so I wonder if the Insight is too low. Neale's Mazda is lower than the Prius as well.
Yesterday, I made two bar-be-que sauces. I prefer homemade sauces to prepared store bought in order control the ingredients, namely salt and preservatives. I went with two impressions of the North Carolina-style, which is vinegar based. Mustard was not a main player. The second batch had tomato for a sweet and spicy tang. Since I have a another seitan wing recipe to try, they should come into service soon.
I worked on my batting stance at the batting cages. I believe I am stepping into the ball and not parallel or straight forward. I decided to open a bit towards third. Then, I went to Home Depot for mulch, a Black Eyed Susan, and a shrub caught my eye. I needed a plant for the northeast corner. I cleaned the garage and when Neale came home at five, I had been working outside on 100+ heat index day for two hours. She asked I keep my distance.
Men's Health had a recipe for a Guinness mustard. I trusted their recipe and was not pleased. I have made mustard before and there was a better result. But, the product I made today can be saved tomorrow. I will give it another try.
On Saturday, we walked, watched our niece play in soccer in her 3 on 3 tourney, and saw "The Hangover". Great film. The R rated comedy makes a comeback. Stop it with the PG-13 fluff with a happy ending.
On Sunday, we were up early to see an 8AM game, I called my Dad on the way to wish a Happy Father's Day, and we were home by 10AM as my niece's team was done in one game. If they would have won, there would have been more games but they got outplayed. We walked, went to the Galleria, and had lunch at Schneithhorst. which was busy but good. We at in their bar, which is a bricked cellar and we could watch the US Open while we waited. In the evening, we had dinner at Maggiano's. Yes, it is better than the Olive Garden and the Marconi Grill but that is not much of a competition. We prefer the Hill as we are moments away from it in our neighborhood but they served veal parm and that is what Jack wanted (Neale's grandfather). Personally, if I look around an Italian restaurant and there are no Italians, that tells me something. Maggiano's does charge a premium for their food compared to their competition but their logic is to serve you three servings. For example, I ordered the Italian salad. The waiter recommended I share. It served Jack, Neale, and myself with ease. As for eating some whole wheat penne after fasting for three weeks, I nibbled and take most of it home. Nice to taste regular food though.
We played a double header last night. I am still in a slump. Making good contact but not getting hits. Frustrating. My fielding was good. Missed one, made a few plays, and made a great catch but had to make the throw on the run off balance to first. It bounced once and the tie went to the runner. We played full games, came close but lost both. Get them next time.
I went for a run this morning. 2 miles in 17 mins. 55 seconds. So, if this was to appear on an SAT it may read like this: a man 36 years old who could lose a few pounds runs a mile in 9 mins. After fatigue and on a summer day at 86 degrees, how long will it take to finish the second mile? They had the sprinklers on at the track so I got soaked as well. That actually was refreshing.
Neale said that Steve will visit town during the Labor Day weekend. She called from Arkansas around 5 and she was done. She'll return tomorrow afternoon.
The window installer was scheduled from 1-4 this afternoon. He arrived at 3:50. Lucky for me, he was decent guy and this job was an easy one. He had been having a tough day and the hottest day of the summer was not helping. Window looks great.
I worked out on the Soloflex, jogged on the treadmill, and mowed the lawn. If I can, I want to get an early start so I can walk Ellis.
Tomatoes are looking great and the jalapeños are strong. One planter is struggling so I moved it down to the patio for more sun.
I watched the Mets lose in the bottom of the 9th to the Orioles. I am not watching a game during the Rays series. Terrible game.
Sea Legs ale was racked to secondary and tomorrow I may brew my Hop Head ale. I did not taste the Sea Legs as I have two days left in the fast. I am down to 223, which everyone seems to notice. When I return back to real cooking on Monday, I plan to take a break from sautéing my ingredients during the week. I want to start using steaming more often.
Just when I think I can get to bed earlier than my usual, IFC runs "Halloween"...uncut. Ugh.
Yesterday, I did work in my online classes, went for a walk with Ellis before the heat was unbearable, did laundry, and did some errands. After coming back from Home Depot, I worked in the yard. There was weeding, bags of mulch to spread, and I found space for two more plants. Then, I mowed the backyard. My day was productive but the Mets did not have the same satisfaction. Currently, I am finishing my Star Wars marathon. "Jedi" really did have too many Muppets.
Neale is in the field and working hard. She had a good day but called early quite tired.
"...you have taken your first step into a larger world..."
Nice to read that the Eco-Atkins diet received support from the medical community. I guess if I had to put a different name on what I have been doing for several years with my personal eating habits that moniker would fit. The fast is going well and I have 5 days left. On Sunday, I am having a salad to celebrate and I have had a taste for watermelon. As for what Petey Green was thinking, I have no idea. Don Cheadle was rather toned down in comparison.
Rainy day here. I am working out, running, doing some errands, and joining Neale at a nearby restaurant. Her friend, Krystal, is celebrating her 40th birthday. When Neale turns 40, I think it might not be such a celebration.
I felt like a run this morning so I went down to Rec Center track and did 1 1/2 miles. It went well and I finished in 13 minutes. Neale was about to get up when I got back and we for a ride at the lake. Then, Neale had lunch at Panera while I enjoyed a cup of hot tea. I called my mother while Neale ate to discuss our upcoming trip north. After stopping at Whole Foods, we came home and Neale left for the office.
Yesterday, I played ball with Ellis in the backyard twice and it wore him out as he did not get a regular walk. However, I noticed he was stiff last night and still not normal this morning. We played ball briefly and he was slow coming back. We are taking a break from playing ball and I believe he overextended himself. He is not moving down the stairs like he normally does. If he is not right tomorrow, then I will seek professional help.
It is humid, which is nothing new for a summer day in Saint Louis but the weather forecast predicts storms for this evening. Our softball games are at 8 & 9PM, which could be rather wet. A little rain would be alright as we play on a dirt infield that is an hard as a concrete driveway but a soaking will wash us out.
This is the last week of the fast and it has gone well. My energy has been good, the cravings low, and I do feel better as a whole. But, we were talking to today about eating someplace nice soon as it has been a few weeks. There is not a restaurant in town that would puree my salad. Bar Italia was mentioned as it a favorite and The Good Pie is on the short list. Not your low cal places but we changing our selections as well. Plus, its a treat after a week of behaving ourselves.
We had a great day. The photos of the Race for the Cure walk and the Central West End Art Fair at up (HERE). The Silver Lady and Phoenix Rising did not have anything for Neale's anniversary gift so we went to Charm downtown. She found a pair of brushed gold earrings. Then, we gathered supplies at Costco and I got brew supplies at Friar Tuck's. At Costco, I had some coupons to use but I was two days early. There will be a return trip next week. I made the first Oktoberfest brew (In the Summertime Ale) and the recipe is up on the home brew page (HERE.) I will bottle 12 regular sized bottles for the party and store the rest. The Sea Legs Ale has passed its initial fermentation. I will move it to secondary next week when I brew the Hop Head Ale.
I mowed the front lawn, watered, and fertilized all of our plants. Peppers are going great except for the habaneros. A few more tomatoes are on the vine but their still under golf ball size.
About 2 hours ago, I could not find my cell phone so I called it. It fell out of my gym shorts pocket in my car and slide under the seat. I need to keep it in my right hand pocket.
"...When a man says no to champagne, he says no to life..."
I am finishing "The Deer Hunter". Tomorrow, we have the Walk for the Cure and the Central West End Art fair. Nearby, is a place Or Smoothie and Cafe, which is open on Saturday and serves juice. Yes, there is but a handful of vegetarian and vegan places in Saint Louis. Today, I plan visit the batting cages despite the weather looking grim for Sunday. I need to redeem myself from the last outing but I will be more focused this weekend.
Neale was hungry for pasta and we had leftover Brilla Plus. Since the basil and parsley at ready for harvest, I snipped a few handfuls and made a pesto for her. The recent low cal wine she is liking is not available in Missouri but is sold in the market across my work. I am not going to campus anytime soon but VinoShipper carries it.
The brewing went without a hitch. It is the Sea Legs Ale and the recipe will posted on the Homebrew page.
My trailer hitch has to be ordered. Next week maybe. I am buying the bike rack in Webster at the Hub.
Watchin' the Mets.
~ 11:16 AM ~
"...once again undo by my own genius. Starting to question the genius part..."
Neale had fun but broke even at the horse track.
I am up earlier than usual. I was making plans and reservations for our 4th of July trip and that is done. It feels like a day to take a break from the workout and do something different. Since I have not brewed in a few months, I have a recipe ready to go for a an unnamed American Brown Ale. Suggestions? I have not thought of anything yet. Last night, I planned the next few brews as I have to have two ready for Oktoberfest. I have been wanting to brew a Saison but that is not for my party crowd. For Oktoberfest I have a wheat beer planned and I am still considering the second offering. Maybe a Phat Tyre clone. There a another brew of my Hop Head IPA coming.
Uhaul does not have my trailer hitch in stock. It takes 7-10 days it turns out. Have I mentioned how I avoid using UHaul after my short experience at Budget Rent-A-Car in Terre Haute?
"...After your death you will be what you were before your birth..."
It was a nice morning here. I caught David Lynch's weather report of LA and we are doing much better. Yet, storms are coming. I did not have any outdoor plans for the afternoon separate of Ellis and I playing ball. We played ball a half an hour ago and I worked on the planters. The jalapeños are under a half inch, the herbs are strong, and there are several tomatoes. The biggest tomato is about the size of a golf ball. I harvested parsley for juicing. Habaneros come in bunches but there is nothing but small buds now.
I am going to try to jog today on the treadmill. If that goes well, I will head outside soon.
Rainy morning here but it did not affect our plans. We walked late when Neale cam home. During the day, I got back to my regular workout on the Soloflex. I was using it last week but I was on a modified set rotation to build strength. Despite my limited caloric intake on the juice detox, I was able to finish the workout to my satisfaction. I am looking forward to solid food though. Tonight, I made a black bean puree soup from the Detox book but I needed some heat. When I made the same soup last week, it was too bland. If you can't have salt or fat, heat is a luxury.
I registered for the All-Star 5K, which is during the All-Star weekend and appears to be a flat course through downtown Saint Louis.
We went for a walk through the neighborhood. Neale had lunch with her grandfather and is shopping. She may be at the West County Mall as she was picking up our Race for the Cure materials. Later, I am making her pasta with morels for dinner. We found fresh morels at Straubs and it was rare find.
Despite our efforts yesterday, neither of us were too sore this morning. Neale really enjoys the hiking.
I cleaned my car and did work in the yard before the rain came. Nothing too wet yet.
My detox/juice diet is going well. Today, is day 6 and there is progress. Basically, I am vegan during the period and eating 20 serving of vegetables a day. It is not tough for me already being a veg but I could use some tofu or tempeh. So, after this is over, I want to continue this with modifications, of course.
Neale had fun at Innsbrook with her mom, Debbie. It is a community west of here and Debbie has a high school friend she stays in contact with regularly. There were also a few other of Debbie's friends there as well.
On Friday, I finished my grading and workout early. I made time for an oil change and to take our PC to Geek Squad at Best Buy. They did an excellent job and had it back in 2 hours. The video card I could have done but since the power supply was being installed, I had them do both. If you need a used 300W power supply or a used ATI x800xt card, please let me know as I already listed them on Ebay. As for the improvements with the new hardware, it was worth it. The graphics load faster, games are better, and can run at a higher resolution. Also, I am ready for an HD monitor when one becomes in my price range. Acer screens are still around $180.
Today, it was mild for a Saint Louis summer day. We went for a hike at the Shaw Nature Reserve. They don't allow dogs so Ellis had to sit this one out. We did 4+ miles and photos are posted on the photos page (HERE)
Second day of the fast and it is better than the first. I was tired yesterday but I still found the energy to mow the backyard. Today, it is going better but I have to move the schedule up as we are going to see The Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs.
Earlier we walk before noon because I thought we could get in before the rain. When we reached the midway point to return home it started to rain. It was bearable but not expected. After that passed, about 10 minutes from home, the real downpour came and there was not any cover in sight. Quickly we were soaked. However, Ellis needed a bath so I considered a presoak and got him in the tub. Then, I cleaned the bathroom and worked in my online class.
Neale got busy at work and missed her dentist appointment. She had to reschedule.
There is great softball. There is good softball. Then, there is the massive failures that was our attempts tonight. I say "our" because of the classic "win as a team, lose as team". But, I was not having a good night. I was a mess in the field. I only batted three or four times as we did not have much movement through the lineup. I grounded out to short, hit a medium fly to center (which its nice I finally elevated the ball), and made first on a fielder's choice but then scored a run moving station to station. Overall, a bad night. We are off next week and then I will have a chance to redeem myself. I have a bruise on my shoulder and the index finger on my right hand got hit by a twisting low line drive. It should have a nice bruise. The bruise on my stomach is almost gone and you can no longer see ball seams.
We went for a walk earlier. Played ball with Ellis in the park. I found 10 dollars, which Neale walked right by. I used the cash at the batting cage before the games tonight.
We went for a walk in the afternoon and then to the St. Louis Bread Co. for lunch. I made a pineapple and orange juice for breakfast. The guava was still quite green. I touched up the white lettering on our lamp post before we left for the Taste of Maplewood.
At the Taste of Maplewood, we meet Kelly, Sara, and Stacy (who bought a date whose name I did not catch). The music was provided by the Electric Funk Assembly, which is headed by the powerful Dawn Weber. Then, we went to the Maya Cafe for dinner, which is the very good pan-Latin place that serves a vegan relleno. Their chips and salsa was great. The drinks were tasty. I had a Caipirinha, which was similar to a mojtio without the mint. We came home to relax on the porch and listened to Chill on SiriusXM.
Tomorrow, I have a softball doubleheader.
On Monday, I start my juice detox/fast. Wish me luck.
Since it was not raining, I worked in the yard. I sharpened my mower blades as well. The grass seed I laid down is coming up too. Mowed the lawn and weeded the beds too. The roses are thriving and I trimmed them as well. It was looking so nice that I updated the photos of the house. It is on the photo page here.
Going with the nice day, I polished off our small grill and bought charcoal at Ace Hardware. I did not buy a charcoal chimney since I don't grill that often but I probably should have one. The charcoal was not Kingsford or Match Light. It was Frontier Brand 100% Natural Lump Charcoal and it burned very well. Very little ash left in the grill. The kabobs were very good. Smoky and spicy. I made a marinade last night of hemp oil, Bragg's Aminos, garlic salt, & Blair's Death Rain Nitro powder.
While watching Good Eats (Tender is the Pork), there was a scene featuring two corgis. One was a Cardigan Australian Shepard mix and the other was a black & white Cardigan.
Dinner was chicken fried tempeh. The Colonel would want to try a piece.
Neale and Debbie are out to dinner with our nephews for their birthday. They wanted clothes.
Geek Squad will handle the power supply install. I will visit them soon.
Worldwide 86 people have died of swine flu. Just sayin'.
~ 03:54 PM ~
Last night, we had dinner at Robust. House salads were very good but my baked Camembert was o.k. Neale had chicken satay and we shared some olives. The wine was very good. We had a bottle of Can Blau 2007. Since it was our anniversary, we glasses of champagne on the house before dessert. We shared a mocha creme brulee.
I attempted to install my new video card last night. I got the case open, swapped parts, and fired it back up. However, upon closer inspection I think my power supply is not powerful enough. I believe my power supply is 300 watts and I need at least 400 watts. I don't feel comfortable swapping the power supply so I will have to ask for help on this.
Another lazy day here as it rained overnight and a little more during the day. So, my desire to mow has been pushed to tomorrow.
I went to Costco and Neale has started to take an Omega-3-6-9 blend I bought for her. Before, I left for Costco, I let Ellis out and a light rain passed through while I was in the shower. I am a little concerned on why he did not find cover under the deck table as he was moist when I let him in.
On the way back home from Costco, I noticed that on Lindbergh there is a road called 'Wisteria Lane". Those folks either loved or hated 'Desperate Housewives'.
I stopped at Pancheros' for dinner. The server or 'burrito artist' was being trained. She did a great job as I got a veg burrito with rice, black beans, grilled vegetables, light cheese, habanero salsa, and jalepanoes.
Neale got home around 8:45 and missed the Mets 6-1 win.
Tomorrow, Ellis and I are going to LC as I need to sign a grade/incomplete form. He was last at LC in the May of '08. We may play ball on the grounds. Tomorrow is our anniversary day too.
I did some more research as I am starting my fast on Monday.
~ 02:49 PM ~
"..."Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial 'we.'" — Mark Twain..."
After the mid day rain, we went for a walk yesterday. It was humid but there was a light breeze. Then, we had dinner at Llywellyn's for dinner. Afterwards, we drove around Brentwood and Glendale looking for possible home sales. We saw several good streets in Glendale and one good neighborhood in Brentwood. However, a few parts of Brentwood were not for us.
Today, Neale is off with a coworker doing field work. She is assisting with interviewing a large group of people. She may not be home when I call it a night.
Rainy Memorial Day here. We wanted to go for a walk but it is too wet currently. Also, it is the last day of the Greek Festival that we enjoy. Their food is better than the other Greek Festival in our humble opinions. However, when it rains the humidity in the gym, which serves as the dining area is miserable.
It turns out that Neale and Sara got the date wrong for the party. The party was yesterday not Saturday. Luckily, Shannon was still happy to see them and they had a fine time. They have proposed a trip to Greece when Shannon is done with her Peace Corp. work. It would just a be trip for women and May has been mentioned as good time to get to Greece.
I made orange, mango, & kiwi juice this morning. Then, I did a beet, celery, carrot, ginger, & garlic blend. I never knew I would like carrot juice so much.
I finally watched "Tropic Thunder" last night. Very good.
Neale is home. I am making pasta arrabiata for dinner. The sauce is simmering. Tonight, the recipe is the following:
2 28 oz. Cento Italian Style tomotoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup red wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp. shallots
1 small yellow onion
2 handfuls of basil, torn
2 tablespoons oregano
1 tablespoon fennel
1 tablespoon marjoram
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon red pepper flake
2 cups mozzarella
Barilla Plus penne
While coming home from the Global Market, the rain finally came. It was a brief 10 minute monsoon.
I forgot to check the specs of the video card and my motherboard so I ordered another video card and will be sending the first one I ordered back. I have a PCI Express input not an AGP. However, I will be going back to Geforce after several years with ATI.
Neale approved of the Neko Case show in Indy. We will make a weekend of it and spend a night in Terre Haute so we can hike at Turkey Run and eat at Moggers.
The buffalo wing recipe is coming together. I cut the seitan into chunks for the boil & simmer. When I first started making homemade seitan, I use to boil & simmer the seitan as a whole lump, which produced a spongy product. The chunks has a much better texture.
Earlier, I vacuumed and Ellis provided his usual look of 'why do we do this?".
Watchin' the Mets.
~ 02:15 PM ~
"...Sport, truth, like art, is in the eye of the beholder. You believe what you choose and I'll believe what I know..."
Neale left for her party this morning. She will be back tomorrow. Ellis and I are in search of something fun to do.
Last night, we ate at Roxane in Clayton for our anniversary dinner. It was o.k. but it was nicer to have a night in Saint Louis where you can eat outside comfortably. We had difficult customers next to us. One of the guy's demands was that he would only drink a beer if they had a frosted glass. Surely, he is not living the high life. Afterwards, we went to Cold Stone Creamery where we had not been since February. Well worth it.
I made TVP sausages for lunch yesterday. For a first attempt, it was good. Tonight, I am hungry for seitan 'chicken' wings so I am making wheat meat and researching wing sauce recipes. I am not using a bottled sauce because I like to cook and the amount of salt in most is startling. Plus, a few recipes call for 1 or 2 sticks of butter. What? This is not my last meal....I hope. Hold the stick, I'll take a pat.
I decided to update my video card. Since I had the tower open recently, I think the swap should be a small task. Still looking into HD monitors.
Neale woke me this morning to tell me the ladder fell off the wall in the garage. Her car mirror got bumped but it should not be a problem. I am off to the hardware store to find a hook to make a better storage solution.
Yesterday, we had graduation and the speaker was the curator of the Lincoln museum in Springfield. It was not one of the better graduations I have been to during my time at LC. However, it did move quickly as we had another record number of grads. Afterwards, a coworker invited liberal arts faculty to her home. For once, I was the one coming home after midnight and Neale was already in for the night.
Today, I have to mow the lawn. We have rain coming back to the area starting Saturday. We don't have any plans for the weekend as Neale is headed out of town to a see a friend off to Albania. Yes, the first time Albania has made the journal. Her friend joined the Peace Corps.
Tomorrow, we have dinner plans for our anniversary.
"...IT CAN MAKE AN EAGLE MAKE LOVE TO A BEAR!!!..."
Last night, we ate dinner at J. Buck's and had a drink at Mercury next door. The Cubs v. Cards was not packed but it was a Tuesday. When we arrived at our section, we were suprised to find four Cub fans already shirtless and drunk. Then, there was the use of shouted obscenity, which got the attention of the ushers. It turns out they were from Springfield. Another Cub fan nearby lamented about how Card fans don't have any "balls" because we complained about the use of the f-bomb by children. Hey, baseball heaven isn't for everyone. Eventually, the drunks put their shirts back on, found girls to talk to, and left after the 2 run homer sometime around the 7 inning. I found the Captain's Corner, which is buried off the main walkway but behind the Busch sign above the main gate. I asked a vendor at my section where the Schlafy products were and he said the imported beer was around the corner. Imported? From Maplewood? Hey, who is owned by a Belgium company and fired a bunch of locals last year? Busch beer is hard to come by in the park as well. Mainly, Bud, Bud Light, and Bud Select, which is Neale's choice among the former AB products. The Captain Corner featured Boulevard wheat, Shock Top, Schlafy, and Blue Moon on draft. As for the game, the Cards played well and the pitcher had his best outing of the year.
My classes are up and running. Neale got home at 12:30 so we had lunch and walked before he doctor's visit.
Portland pictures are posted on the photo page (HERE).
~ 01:46 PM ~
"...the high life..."
We are going to the Cubs/Cards game tomorrow. Yes, we will cheer for the Cards as the Mets are not in town. Neale got seats in a section of the park that has a concession stand that actually sells Schlafy products in Busch Stadium.
On Saturday, we went to wine country and visited Mount Pleasant. They waved their $5 cover for the patio but jacked the prices on their wines. Paint the Earth was playing and they did a great job. Ellis was well received and made friends. There is a large old Lab that wanders the property and Ellis got to meet him. However, I was driving so I was watching my intake, which turned out to be a good idea. We ran into our first 'sobriety check point' on HWY 94. It is a perfect spot for the cops as it is the only road out and 95% of the people are coming from a winery. We waited in traffic for 15 minutes and then we met the officer. He asked where I had been and I said the winery. He asked how many I had and I told him. Then, I got the follow the finger test, which I know is one of the few valid tests. Can I mention how easy it is to follow the finger and move your head as a natural reaction to a finger being 6 inches from your head? I passed the test but it was a nerve racking situation as a man with a gun is standing over you. Simply said, people with guns make me nervous no matter what. We came home, fed Ellis, and went to Muggs for dinner. It was very good and quite busy, which was good to see.
Today, we went for a ride, I did some grading, Neale watched Anna play soccer, and I had a softball doubleheader. I went 2 for 6 or 7 and drove in one run. I reached base a total of three times and got as far as third in the first game. I made solid contact but mostly hit the ball on the ground. The hit that drove in a run was a low liner to left field. Needless to say, it takes two at bats for the opposing team to realize I am a pull hitter and I am hitting the batting cage tomorrow to work on opposite field hitting. As for my fielding, I got to play third, which I enjoyed. The first game with this team I played right & right center outfield and my limited lifetime experience in the outfield tripled that night. The only game I played a inning of outfield as a kid was in Pony league and I rotated out from catcher as it was an extra innings or double header. I remember catching an Adam Nueman line drive, which was the only hard hit ball he hit that year I believe as he said later. Then, during American Legion ball I played right field during a late night double header after starting at catcher. I remember our coach (name...ugh?) use to smoke in the dugout. I never had a ball hit to me that night but Jerry (RIP) was pitching a good game. Tonight, I dropped a line drive that I had to leap for but I knocked it down. I also took one off the gut, which should be a good bruise, and the throw was little high over to first. However, I did make a few good catches at third on plays at the base and tag a runner on a force as he was running at me. There was a really good grounder that bounced three times and I made a solid throw to first. The first game we lost 15-9 and the second was ended in the fifth due to the 10 run slaughter rule. We are not hitting as a team but having fun.
Tomorrow, I want to mow as it will not rain for about 6 days, enter my final section of grades to LC, and visit Costco. On Tuesday, I have the pleasure of helping out the faculty for the Staff Appreciation lunch. Wednesday is graduation and the start of the summer semester.
We are eating Pi sometime this week and I am making tamales soon. May go to a Cub/Cards game. I watched them both today and Neale got to see the Mets @ San Fran.
"...Lookin' for that woma/girl,
Who knows love can endure..."
Today, I had to grade for several classes. After 7 hours, there was visible progress. In order to change my perspective, I spent 2 hours working in the yard. I cleaned the backyard gutters and with the new ladder, they are as clean as they can be. Since I have the ladder, I will now replace the backyard corner light above the back bedroom. Previously, I was able to get to that corner by standing in the window below the light but that only allowed me to use one hand. I believe the light is on the same circuit as the rear door light. It has an outlet box and was clearly added after initial construction. However, the lamp section is removed or was sheared off in a storm. So, a simple $20 motion light can easily fill it now and after this coming Wednesday, I have nothing but time until August. I got the gutters cleaned before the rain came to Saint Louis.
This will be the first summer since I was a full time employee that I was not teaching summer sections on campus. Many full-timers wondered how I could teach all year round in a classroom as few of them do. I realized I am in a small department and my colleague was just recently tenured. So, I taught year round for 'quality control' and I love to do it. I thought about changing my decision after I realized we were not moving as I took the time off to prepare for the move. But, I should pull back a bit. I did 10 classes in the fall and 8 this spring. Neale wonders how I do it but she does not question the extra cash it makes either. Summer online classes start next Wednesday.
As of June 1st, I am beginning a detox juice diet. This is my first attempt so I will keep my goals low but I am interested in the process.
We are vacationing in the winter this year. It is the year of "The Southern Crux".
I made pita bread today.
Tomorrow, we have "Bark in the Park" and a trip to wine country.
We saw "Star Trek" after dinner at Growlers. Very good movie but not great. For me, my top 5 sci-fi space based movies are: "Empire", "Star Wars", "Alien", "Aliens" & "2001". Yes, "WALL-E" gets a nod. I wish they played the "G.I. Joe" trailer before the film but I will have to wait. The theater was full on a Tuesday in the IMAX theater. One benefit for living this far south in west county, we are 10 mins. from the Wehrenberg Ronnie's 20 Cine, which was a former drive-in and today, it is quite a modern theater.
After the movie, Neale was using the restroom and I stopped by the front door near near the 'crane grab' stuffed animal machine. I stared into the machine and looked at the variety of stuffed animals. The older Nemos were the higher quality items compared to the cheaper looking teddy bears. I was tempted to play the machine to see if I could actually win something but thought "what would I do with a stuffed animal at age 36?". Ellis would most likely destroy it as he does not like his stuffed animal corgi. I realized that a child plays the machine or has their adult caregiver play the machine to win a prize. Then, if lucky, they win their favorite item, which becomes an item in their life. The typical 'life arch' of the item becomes fascinating to me. It is hugged on the way home, in the bedroom as decoration, there in a moment of comfort, shunned as time goes on, packed in a box or sold or thrown away. Sometimes they live in a box in attic or garage to be rediscovered after years and the memories flood back. Neale could relate as she has the same feeling for her old home on Barret's. It is just a thing as things can be replaced. But, we assign meaning and memory, which is feeling. It is good for me that "Our Town" is not on right now. "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?—every, every minute?"
- Thornton Wilder, Our Town. The stage manager says almost everyone is now asleep in Grover’s Corners. He winds his watch. Eleven o’clock. He tells the audience to get a good night’s sleep.
In my haste, I forgot to update the journal archive. Fixed!
Beautiful day here. We went for a walk and I mowed the front yard. Also, I cleaned the front gutters. I could have done more but I needed to use the Soloflex and the Mets were on at 6.
Neale had lunch with her brother at the Train wreck in Maryland Heights. They had a long conversation about their Dad's health and having the right plans in place.
After reading Men's Health on the plane, I wanted to make a sandwich today. Today's lunch was a hand rolled sushi roll which would have had avocado if it was on hand. I used tempeh, rice, carrot, and cucumbers with wasabi.
I found a bag of red lentils in our pantry so I made a tomato lentil soup for dinner. Neale had some as well.
After work tomorrow, I am stopping for groceries and we plan to see Star Trek. Neale was apprehensive until she saw the Rotten Tomatoes rating of 96%.
Neale had lunch at Hopworks and brought me a growler of their ESB. I spent the day walking around Portland and found Peet's. It was good cup of coffee but I am partial to Kaldi's these days. In search of food, there was not many good options but I found a Chipotle nearby. Then, I was working in my online classes.
Neale came back around 3. Steve and Joan picked us up at 5:15 for dinner. We planned on The Farm but they were closed for expansion. Lemongrass was nearby. They have a small place in an old home and one chef...who is really good! They have a spicy rating from .5 to infinity and I started at a 4, which had a nice heat. Then, we went back to Steve and Joan's house and to a neighborhood near their home called Multnomah.
~ 08:56 AM ~
"...Manny has been Manny..."
That would be pacific time.
We are currently in Portland, OR for a wedding. Neale's stepbrother, Aaron, is getting married on
Saturday. We arrived yesterday. Our flight was 9:50AM from Lambert (STL) to Dallas Fort-Worth (1 hour layover) to Portland, which arrived at 3:30PM our time. The flight went very well and Neale is almost over her cold. We took the train from the airport to our hotel, The Nines. Around 5:30, Steve and Joan stopped by to pick us up for the rehearsal dinner at a nearby pub, Kells. Of course, the Rogue Brewery Kells Irish lager was on draft.
Steve is looking better and is feeling well. Neale is spending the morning with him.
Despite this being a great room, they do not have a coffee maker. I will be venturing down to Peet's Coffee in a few. Then, I will do some work online.
I played my first doubleheader of softball tonight. The good news is I had fun and felt better as we played. Of course, I feel I could have done better. I misplayed one flyball as it kept carrying. I was in right field and right center most of the night with a rotation to catcher. I made contact on every at bat but tripped out of the batter's box on one, which is humbling. I reached base twice, scored a run, and drove in one as well. I did make a catch or two but I will get better with experience. Despite my lack of blazing speed I believe in playing a deep outfield where nothing gets by and I would rather run in on a ball than run back. Also, since the exercise is great, I prefer to hustle as well. Last week, I took a grounder off my ankle because I want to keep the ball in front of me and tonight I bruised the heel of my left hand. It was also quite a scene as all four fields were in use and the guys were fun. We do not have team shirts. I can't make it next week as I will be landing in the airport around game time and we need to pick up Ellis from his kennel.
I mowed the front yard and watered everything. The tomatoes are looking good, the peppers are growing but I am worried about my Cayenne plants. They were small when I bought them and their condition has not improved. I spread the hair on my tomatoes and that was one of the most disgusting things I have done in awhile. The roses look good but I could use one more bush.
~ 12:42 PM ~
"...sitting on you..."
At the Derby party, we randomly draw horses from a hat. We bought six horses and won! However, our pay day at the track would have been much better. After the party, we hung out on our porch and listened in music. First, we played the Radiohead album "In Rainbows" and then switched to Chill on XM.
I picked up Ellis so I could trim his nails and I felt a lump. So, I placed him on the couch on his back and revealed a tick. It was the size of an M & M and was quickly moved to the garbage disposal. Other than that minor problem, he is fine. Neale was exhausted from watching us.
Once again, there was rain in the forecast but none on the ground. Softball is on for 6PM.
I am going to mow the front lawn this afternoon. Neale decided not to go into the office.
On Thursday, we Dined Out for Life at Terrene and Bailey's Chocolate Bar. Terrene is in a part of the Central West End that we rarely see since we don't think of it as the Central West End. It was worth the search as the food, wine, and atmosphere was great. The salads were terrific. Mine was a beet salad with a lite creamy dressing and Neale had green salad. Her entrée was a chicken dish that came on the bone so the I had to cut it off the bone. I had the tofu pho, which was nicely light, not oily, and a very good lingering heat in the broth. The popular appetizer seemed to be the pommes frits (yes, french fries).
I have a new favorite show: Living Fresh with Sara Snow. Since I have started using the juicer on a daily basis, I need to do something with the pulp. I am considering composting. The first few batches of pulp I mixed in with my planting soil.
On Wednesday night, I made an eggplant stew and it turned out well. I prefer Japanese eggplants to the larger variety. In the morning, I made quinoa to go with it.
It rained the last two days so I was unable to work in the yard. Our local weather was predicting rain for this morning so we slept it. However, it is a sunny and warm (62) this morning. We have a Derby party in the afternoon. We have not been to this party in two years since the host had a death in the family one year and a family member in hospital last year. There is a random drawing of horses and a few Mint Juleps to be had today.