Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Weepies

A few years back (maybe 4?) B & I were wandering thru a Tower Records on a gloomy day. I was feeling rather weepy for no apparent reason when B picked up a CD and laughingly handed it to me.

We had never heard of the band but he bought it anyway.



We ended up loving the CD, especially me and now when I listen to it I think of that time. I think of my little one bedroom apartment in North Hollywood. I think of the late night runs to the local diner. I think of a night that we lost power and lit candles and listened to this album. It brings back sweet memories.

Actually thinking back it wasn't as mellow and romantic as it sounds.

Did I ever mention I'm afraid of the dark? I had been moving furniture at the time the power went out and a mattress was blocking the door. B was in the kitchen making dinner. I yelled for him to come get me... all squished between the furniture. He was laughing.



Me: Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh! I can't see! It's so dark! I'm blocked in! Aaaaaahhhhh!
B: Uh, it's ok, I'm right here ~chuckle~ I'm.right.here.

(Did I mention it was a tiny 650 square foot apartment?)

Me: But it's dark! Do we have a lighter?! Matches?! I have candles and no fire!
Me: The mattress, I can't ~breathes heavily~ it's blocking me in! Where are you?!
Me: Its! so! dark!!!!

B: Follow the light of my watch ~chuckle~

Eventually I made it out and once we ran to the store to get more candles it was kinda fun.

There's my random memory for today.

Don't let my spaziness detract from this adorable husband and wife team.


No amount of coffee
No amount of crying
No amount of whiskey
No amount of wine
No, no, no, no, no
Nothing else will do
I've gotta have you, I've gotta have you


Love,
Dandy Spaz

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Abalone 101

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You've heard of abalone, haven't you? You may have seen jewelry made from the shell of the abalone. Maybe where you live abalone frequents the menus of seafood restaurants.

Around here abalone is hard to get your hands on. The commercial take of abalone closed in California in 1997 and now it can only be free-dived for.

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B has a friend that went diving for some abalone and was kind enough to bring us one. It was like Christmas day for B!

The above picture is what it would look like as you opened the shell. Yeah, it's not so pretty.

There are strict diving regulations. You can only dive north of San Francisco & only during certain months of the year. You may only take up to 3 abalone in a visit and not more than 24 in a year.

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This is what it looks like underneath. It had already been detached and cleaned for us. The knob on top is part of the foot that would attach to the shell. You've seen this on clams or mussels as well.

This thing was massive. We didn't think to weigh it but it was 8 1/2 inches long and 5.5 inches wide. Given the size it had to be somewhere between 15 and 25 years old.

You can only free dive meaning no air-providing devices like scuba gear and you can only detach abalone by hand or with abalone irons that meet certain specifications. The abalone has to be at least 7 inches long... no taking babies. Oh and no use of boats so you need to swim out your darn self. Really, that's not the half of it.

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The next step is cutting off all the purple parts but all this talk about diving has made me hungry. While B preps our abalone I think I'll make sure this ice cream is in good condition.

I regularly dive into our freezer for the elusive carton of ice cream. There are very strict regulations that include but are not limited to partaking in ice cream only after dinner, never eating out of the container, using only ice cream specific scoops, and no more than 1/2 cup per day. Also, no digging for large pieces of cookie specifically.

Of course, all regulations are null and void during the 10 month gestation period. Amen.

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After the cutting of the weird purple stuff we are left with this. Unlike clams or mussels the abalone flesh is much more solid. You can tell by the way the flesh shows the knife marks.

I can only describe the texture as similar to tako (octopus) or mirugai (geoduck) or giant clam. That description probably doesn't help any of you. In any case its solid with a bit of chew to it... but sliced thinly so you aren't gnawing. It's so fresh it doesn't taste the least bit fishy. It's mild and ever so slightly oceany.

For the record there are ways to cook this (and I'm sure change the texture) but for today we're just covering the raw element.

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B sliced it very thinly and then made a sauce for it. Apparently this is the same type of sauce his grandfather used to make. It's a base of white wine vinegar with freshly grated ginger, grated garlic, white pepper, black pepper and a splash of soy.

Have you ever had abalone? How was it prepared?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Let's play catch?

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While we were in Sacramento I found some of the family snuck away for a minute while we were getting ready to go eat.

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As I watched 3 generations throwing and catching the balls...

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I wondered if being a parent means that I need to learn how to do these things.

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Really, I would need to learn. I can't throw or catch.

My parents like to remind me that it's easier to catch if I don't flinch and close my eyes.

I think it has to do with my paranoia of eyeball injuries. There has to be a phobia name for that. I'm just being honest, I might need therapy.

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Either way, I'm sure that my throwing or catching will most definitely result in this... 10 minutes of searching thru bushes.

B says we'll start practicing now.

Unless twirling is an acceptable means of passing the time.

I can twirl with the best of them.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Our fetus has an iPod

Our child will be born into privilege. If not in the financial sense, at least in the sense that it's a privilege to have us as parents. Right?


product-white-classic



There is also the privilege of owning an iPod before birth. You know kids and their technology!

No, we did not buy Peanut an iPod. Peanut's dad is a bit of a nut himself and somehow inherited a broken iPod (or two) that he then had fixed. So we designated an extra iPod to the baby. It's many years old but I don't think Peanut will notice the small grey screen. We'll fill it with lovely songs that mom and dad will enjoy.

I suspect eventually we'll have to fill it with not so lovely but very cheery, repetitive, annoying songs that might drive mom and dad crazy.

The song below is the first song going on Peanut's iPod. When I first heard it many years ago I pictured a scene in which I stood looking down into the crib of my sleeping babe with this song playing softly in the background. I can't believe that will really be happening!

Here is IZ (Israel Kamakawiwo'ole) singing Ahi Wela / Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

The versus are done in both English and Hawaiian




I've been told that some babies really benefit from a little white noise in those first few months. I'm thinking sounds of the ocean or softly falling rain.

Help me pick some music for Peanut's iPod! Did/do you share music with the children in your life? Are they songs that make you sigh and slumber? Are they songs that make your imagination run wild? Are they songs that make you giggle and clap or songs that make you sing as loud as you can?

Anything you or your kids love that should go on here?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Wait, we're newlyweds?

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Sometimes I forget that we're newlyweds. B and I have been together for a long time and we've lived together a couple of years. I can safely say that for at least the last 3 years I waited very patiently for the proposal.

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Actually if we must be honest, I gave B a deadline. We looked at rings in June and by September I was downright antsy. So I wrote in huge letters on the calendar that he had until December 31st to propose. Or. Else.

Patience is indeed a virtue. One that B has and I do not. I'm learning, I just wish I could learn faster.

He did, of course, or we wouldn't be enjoying the nice, blissful marriage we are. It wouldn't be blissful because I might have dragged him to the church and forced him to marry me at gun point. It would have been a very small gun and easy to hide because I think the church generally frowns on forced marriage. Thankfully I did not have to hide a weapon in my bouquet. Now when I think of our wedding day I think of laughter.

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Majority of our photos from the day show us laughing. Friends laughing, family laughing, B & I laughing. So far that joy and laughter has continued on every day. I want to keep that alive.

It seems that even though we've been married less than six months we've already slid out of the role of newlyweds and into another role. The role of expectant parents. I guess I have a hard time focusing on more than one life changing event at a time!

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Not that I don't like this role, I really love it. I've always looked forward to pregnancy. Now that I'm showing, B seems to have a new sense of awe, it's a different reality. I love the way he talks to the baby and rubs my belly and how we send each other messages from Peanut. ~sniffle~ We're total dorks.

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I just have to remember to just soak up this first year of being married. I need to soak up this time of just the two of us. Err... 2 1/2 of us. Sometimes life is moving so fast that it's hard to appreciate the events as they pass us by.

Appreciating a certain time in our lives can be a challenge. Sometimes it's about appreciating the day I've had or just appreciating that the day I've had is over and tomorrow is a new one.

Another day with B is a good one. Did you know we're married?!!!

What do you appreciate right now?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ink Eats & Drinks, Sacramento

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Ink Eats & Drinks

I have 3 words for you: Bloody. Mary. Bar. !!!

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But first, let's take a look around the place. As you can imagine from a place called Ink it has a tatoo motif. On the ceiling are panels with pin-up style inked up gals.

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This is the view from booth looking towards the bar.

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The walls are custom painted to lend itself to the theme.

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But really, the highlight of this post is the never-before-seen-by-me bloody mary bar. When our super sexy and totally adorable server offered the bloody mary bar we all looked at each other with interest. Bloody Mary's were only $7 with the option for an additional shot for $2.

She brought the vodka over ice and the additional shot separately so you can basically make 2 bloody mary's for $9. I've never heard of such a deal! And for the record when it was time for that second round she brough fresh glasses of ice.

Oh I almost forgot to mention that they also have endless mimosa's and $2 screwdrivers on Sat & Sun as well.

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Blue cheese stuffed olives. Heaven.

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Basically a counter is set up with everything you could ever want/need in your ultimate Bloody Mary. You start with a choice of plain tomato juice or bloody mary mix.

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Then you work your way around and add all your favorites. B makes fantastic bloody mary's, I must say.

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Everyone gets to make a bloody mary exactly to their liking.

This post could be a drinking game in which you have to take a big gulp of your bloody mary whenever I say bloody mary.

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Different seasoning and salts with your choice of hot sauce.

Disclaimer: I don't usually focus this much on drinking. I don't think. I'm actually not much of a drinker. But you know how it is when you can't have something.

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A variety of olives, celery, asparagus, lemons, limes, horseradish, hot mustard....

never in my life have I wanted a bloody mary as bad as I did that day. Darn this peanut!

Anyway, totally great idea, no? Talk about sprucing up your next brunch! Wouldn't this be a great spread to wake-up to as a hangover cure while on vacation? I'm just sayin'.

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They have a pretty extensive drink list as well. Apparently they are open until 4 am on the weekends. I must also add that by taking a look around at the cleanliness of the place, you would never know the crazy hours they are open thru the week. Good job Ink.

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I say mom's salad was the winner. Tri tip salad with red onion. corn, tomato, queso fresco, cilantro and chipotle ranch dressing. Totally delicious and there was a lot of meat tossed in there.

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Dad had the Huevos Rancheros served with black beans. It was tasty and I love the presentation.

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B opted for just a simple sausage and egg breakfast but I really loved the potatoes. Crisp on the outside and cooked perfectly.

Food photography tip: Always remove dirty napkins from the camera view. Thank you.

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I had the grilled chicken club with tomato and bacon and it was very yummy. Everyone at the table declared the fries to be amazing. Thin, crispy, delicious.

So there you have it. Great prices, great atmosphere, great service.

So head to Midtown and check out Ink.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Capitol Park World Peace Rose Garden

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This past weekend B & I toured Sacramento with my parents and I got to see more of the area around our capitol.

On Saturday in the 85 degree heat we headed over to these beautiful rose gardens.

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The Capitol Park World Peace Rose Garden features over 140 different varieties of roses.

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The garden is part of International World Peace Gardens that currently have 4 other gardens including those in Mexico and Italy. Each garden has a different peace theme.

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In Sacramento theme is Peace for Women, Children and Families. In Atlanta next to the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site the theme is Peace Through Non-violence.

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I'm ashamed to say I didn't get any clear pictures of the plaques spread throughout the garden! They were beautiful messages of peace written by local youth.

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This rose was huge!

When I was little my uncle told me that in the highest flower in the garden you could find magic fairy dust. We took a walk out into the garden and he tipped the flower and out came this fairy dust and he gathered it in his hand and gave it to me. It was so magical and amazing!

For days and days and days after he left I kept going out to see if there was more and day after day after day I was disappointed. I was quite obsessed. Finally my mom had to tell me that I wouldn't find anymore dust there and I was very upset.

Apparently it was sugar. Hmpf.

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The rose gardens are a popular place for events and weddings.

I forgot to check the highest flower for magic fairy dust.

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I've never realized how many different kinds of roses there are. I would never have guessed that these were roses.

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The edges of these petals are so unique.

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This one flower would make a beautiful bouquet. I love the different directions of the petals. I've seen this recreated in a bridal magazine where the florist took a rose and then added petal by petal until you had this look.

Here it is in all it's natural glory.

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There weren't that may rose buds to be seen but this bush seemed to be a late bloomer. I can identify. I'm still waiting to really bloom. The blooming always seems to happen in all the wrong places.

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These roses are so sweet. If I could plant any roses these would be the ones. But I don't have a garden. I have a balcony. And a black thumb.

I forget to water. Babies don't require watering, do they?

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Perfect how the rose seems to be lifting it's face to catch the sun's rays.

If you are by the capitol you should take a stroll through this garden. The scent is intoxicating.

How is your garden growing?

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Diaper Debate of 2010

bumgenius
BumGenius

Before being pregnant with the peanut I really never thought about what kind of diapers to use. With cloth being relatively unused and disposables super easy and convenient I never thought twice. But now I am thinking twice.

Did you know that one child in disposables adds 1 ton of waste to a landfill? 1 ton!

bumgenius1
BumGenius

Disclaimer: I'm not saying that I will use cloth diapers or disposable diapers for that matter. I may use both or only one or none at all. I may let my child roam naked in our hippie commune. He'll learn to pee on trees and be one with nature.

Oh wait, we live in Orange County.

bumkins
Bumkins

Besides being more eco-friendly they look like they may be more comfortable. They have a much higher start up cost (so to speak) but I've heard they can save you anywhere from $1000 - $2000 per child. Plus, did you know its estimated that disposable diapers take an average of 250-500 years to decompose? So 50 million diapers a day or 1 billion diapers a year going into landfills and sitting there for several hundred years. So does this mean that every disposable ever made is still sitting somewhere? My brain hurts.

snap-ez
Snap-EZ

All that being said....I'm all for the ease of disposables. The thought of personally washing dirty diapers in the same washing machine that I wash my clothes (or peanuts clothes) freaks me out. I hear that you dump any large loads in the toilet and you rinse before you wash. I wondering what the cons are. But I do love the planet... I'm just not sure I love it that much. I shouldn't say that. I'm just unfamiliar with the non-disposable option.

Update: apparently there are also flushable and disposable biodegradable inserts to look into as well. They take anywhere from 50-150 days to decompose if you decide to compost them or you just flush them down the toilet.

SOFT BUMS
SoftBums

So basically I have no stance. I know that cloth diapers have come a long way since little rectangles held together by pins. How on Earth do you pin a diaper on a squirming child? Just the thought gives me more anxiety than trimming their tiny paper-thin nails without hacking off their fingertips.

What do I do when I don't know what I'm talking about?

Well I ask you of course.

Does anyone have experience with cloth diapers? Or diapers with biodegradable inserts?
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