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30 August 2011

Best blog follower EVER!

I am giving major kudos and claps and snaps and whatever the fuck else a person can give out over the internets to one of my blog followers. To all the rest of you, you had better step up to the plate or I will cut you. This snaps in Z formation goes to Sunny of unknown origins who has decided to bless me and my birthday with a gift certificate to a bad ass spa. I am not sure I know who Sunny is, or maybe I do and the person is just hiding under the cover of the world wide web, but the Sunny I picture in my head looks like this:


If anyone sees the above walking around the streets of the A give them a "Fresh Prince of Bell-Air and DJ Jazzy Jeff "Pssshh"" greeting from me.



26 August 2011

Le sigh and le guns

My birthday is quickly approaching and some shitty things are going on. Leaves me sad and actually ready to get the fuck out of my 20s. I don't really want to talk about it now, but once things get a bit better I will fill you in.

In other news I have 2 more semi-planned (not really since I just made this shit up) 30 x 30 items this weekend. Hopefully I'll get them done so that I can cross more shizzle of the listizle. Also I shot a gun for the first time in my life this past week. Crazy right? That's how I roll. Speaking of the list.. I went to the gun range with 3 co-workers; all of whom are very into the right to bare arms. Oh excuse me, I meant the right to "bear" arms... or did I;) So shooting a gun wasn't really on my 30 x 30, but going to South Africa was which didn't happen. I decided that I would substitute South Africa for shooting a gun. While I realize shooting a gun is a poor substitute for traveling across the Atlantic it has to be done in order to get close to 30 items crossed off. Besides it's my list and I'll say what i can and can't do.

Anyhoo a friend left a gun in my car the other weekend so he said I could have a go with his puppy. That puppy was a mean black glock named Jim Bob. Just kidding. I don't think it has a name, but if it did, it would be Jim Bob 'cuz it sounds mean. Well I played with Jim Bob a bit, but he freaked me the hell out with his constant jumping.. like I was scared he would jump out of my hands.. so I gave Jim Bob up in order to play with a pup named Paulette who was much kinder, nicer, and calmer. She was a .22. While playing with pups I have learned that I am a fairly close shot at close ranges. My co-worker who was showing me the ropes told me it was great that I knew how to use a gun now. Since I'm not planning on owning a gun, I'm not sure how knowing how to pull the trigger will help me. Unless of course there is a zombie attack and I find a gun on a dead comrade who hasn't yet morphed into a blood thirsty zombie. Then knowing how to pull the trigger might help. Let's just hope those zombie guns have large clips because I still don't know how to load the ammo.








**Sorry for the bluriness. My co was taking them on her cellie and they didn't come out so clear which is why I am posting a fabulous picture of myself with Jim Bob below. This was back when I didn't know how to shoot guns. Now I know. :)





16 August 2011

Dos Items

Like I be saying yo'...two more items were crossed off the 30 by 30 list this weekend. #2 Hike a piece of the Appalachian Trail and #8 Go camping are both finished thanks to the help of some friends.




Saturday I borrowed a pack, grabbed a couple of friends, and off we went into the wild wild wilderness. We started off at Walasi-Yi and made our way up Blood Mountain, the highest point in Georgia, via the Appalachian Trail. Our plan was to go up Blood Mountain, take some trails to make a loop, and get back to the car by Sunday afternoon. After the map got dropped on the hike up, we decided a change of plan was in order. We changed the plan to head back down the mountain, cross the street, go under Walasi-YI, the only spot on the whole 2, 200 mile AT where the trail is covered (i.e. a breezeway), and hike the opposite way going southbound on the AT until we got tired and wanted to make our camp. We hiked up a ridge down a steep mountain side, and made camp at the bottom. We never saw any hikers on this part of the AT until the next day when a trail runner past us. We set up camp, T made a banging good camp fire, we cooked up some hot dogs and s'mores, I proceeded to get a bit drunk on my bag of wine, and then I was forced into bed. It was a bit of a rough night. Bella came with and while she is an awesome hiker she couldn't get very comfortable on the ground so she kept moving around, disturbing my tent mates. It also got a bit cold and my fleece was in my pack outside. I didn't get much sleep other than my couple hours of pass out drunk sleep. We woke, ate some delicious cheddar cheese on bagels that I had brought, and hiked out. It was a good time and I now plan on trying to backpack more often.



Next time I am going to need to outfit Bella in some booties (her feet were jacked up from the rocks) and her own pack (I have one, but she chaffed bad last time she had it on). She's also going to need her own blanket to lie on so she will be more comfy. See below for some pics from the trip.




Random rock outcropping











Hiking it up





Close to the top of Blood Mountain










Highest peak on the Georgia piece of the AT trail




Setting up camp. Bella was a bit pooped.





Enjoying a nice glass of wine (or 6) post hike.







Good Morning Appalachian Trail




Bella and I

15 August 2011

Appalachian Trail

Two more items crossed off the list this weekend. I will write about that later, but I wanted you to see this sweet 4.5 minute time lapse with accompanying music of the entire appalachian trail taken by Kevin Gallagher during his six month journey along the 2,200 mile trail. *It doesn't start until 15 seconds in so wait for it.* BTW I was at the 30 second mark this weekend.

Go HERE to see the time lapse.

11 August 2011

Crossings

I just wanted to brag to you fine people about how I just accomplished two more items on my 30 x 30 list and how I will also be completing two more items this weekend. Who's the bees knees? I'm the bees knees! First off I made pizza crust from scratch. I used a Pioneer Woman recipe that didn't call for a rolling pin which is good because I don't have one. Here is the pizza crust recipe:

Pizza Crust
Yield: 2 pizza crusts

Ingredients
1 tsp or 1/2 packet active dry yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

In a mixing bowl, pour the yeast over 1 1/2 cups of warm water, stirring gently. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt. Using an electric mixer on low speed, drizzle in the olive oil until just incorporated. Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture, mixing until the dough forms a ball. (You can also do this by hand.)

Drizzle a little olive oil into a clean bowl. Toss the ball of dough in the bowl and turn over to coat in oil. Cover the bowl with a moist kitchen towel and set in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Divide the dough in half, then using your hands, stretch the dough to the desired shape, pressing it into an oiled pan with your fingers. The thinner the better. The surface of the dough should be lumpy from finger marks -- all the better to receive and hold toppings.
Put Toppings on pizza then bake for 11 minutes at 500 degrees or until pizza crust is browning at bottom.

The other half of the dough may be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 3 days before use, or frozen for up to 6 months.

The first pizza I made was a grilled veggie pizza. I grilled up some zucchini and roasted some red bell peppers. I started with a layer of store bought pesto on the bottom. Then I sliced fresh mozzarella and placed that atop the pest. I threw the grilled and roasted veggies on top of all that and crumbled goat cheese atop. Half of the pizza is pictured below.








The 2nd pizza I made was a potato leek pizza. It was delicious, but whatever you do don't forget to salt the potatoes. I also subbed out turkey bacon for regular bacon.



Potato-Leek Pizza
Yield: 1 pizza

Ingredients
1/2 recipe for Pizza Crust
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 leeks, rinsed well to remove grit and thinly sliced
5 small red or Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced paper thin
1 lb fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
grated Parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper



Prepare the pizza crust by drizzling lightly with olive oil and sprinkling lightly with salt.
In a skillet over medium heat, fry the bacon until cooked but not crisp, then remove and set aside. Pour off most of the grease, but do not clean the skillet. Return it to the stove and, over medium-low heat, saute the leeks until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove the leeks from the heat and set aside.

Using a sharp knife or mandoline, slice the potatoes very thin. Be careful not to allow them enough time to oxidize. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer all over the crust, slightly overlapping the edges. Sprinkle the potatoes lightly with salt, then lay the mozzarella slices in a single layer on top of the potatoes. Place the leeks on top of the cheese, then sprinkle the fried bacon pieces over the top. Add a generous dose of crumbled goat cheese, grated Parmesan, and a sprinkle of pepper.



In an oven preheated to 500 degrees F, bake the pie for 8-11 minutes, until the edges of the crust are golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Slice it into wedges or squares and serve immediately.







The second item I accomplished was paying for someone behind me in the fast food drive thru line. I was on my way home from dropping Kohl, my foster dog, off with the rescue people in Chattanooga... oh did I tell you Kohl got adopted. Yay! It makes me sad that he's gone, but I know he has a great home with a new pug sis. Odd couple you say? Why yes indeed! Anyhoo back to the story. I was on my way home and decided to stop off at the outlet malls to do a little shopping. Post shopping and I was starving I made a quick turn into McDonald's. It occurred me that this was perfect and I could get my list item out of the way. After sitting in the slowest "fast" food line ever I got up to pay and told the country bumpkin lady taking the order that I wanted to pay for the person behind me. "Why you gunna do a thang like that?" she asked. Just said "'cuz" which seemed to placate her and she went on her merry ol' way. I wasn't around long enough to see the person behind me get told their meal was paid for which was a good thing. I hope it was a bright spot in their day though. Getting something for free from a stranger should always be.




Smoochies and I'll be back next week to tell you what 2 things I crossed off my list.

08 August 2011

MOVE

A 1 minute long bad ass movie:


MOVE from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.


05 August 2011

Birfday Gift #2

My #2 birthday gift would be a massage. A nice long, relaxing massage. Sigh, just thinking about it makes me relaxed and calmer already. Who doesn't love a good massage and not one of those sketchy massages at a place called GOLD SPA or green spa or asian love you long time spa?

04 August 2011

Birfday Gift Idea #1

Starting now until my birthday I am going to be posting ideas for birthday gifts for moi. Feel free to get me 1, 2, or as many as you can hold in 2 hands. I'm just sayin'.

Birfday Gift Idea #1 (cost $3999, also known as 4K)

This will probably be the most expensive gift on my birfday gift wish list, but feel free to purchase this excellent gift for me if your heart so desires. My birfday gift idea for today is a trip with REI travel to Bhutan. This trip is called "Festivals of the Thunder Dragon" and consists of a whole lot of hiking, as well as visits to remote villages to check out their local festivals. Anyone who knows me knows I love a good festival. If you wanted to skimp and save $400 I would also accept "Mongolia Multisport: Through the Land of Nomads". Don't be a bitch and not purchase a ticket to the meetup point for me. Also if you buy me one of these trips I would be okay with you buying one for yourself too. I mean, I guess I can hang with you for the 14 days we will be traveling.

02 August 2011

Down an' Out

Another slackadaisical post. I try, I try. Debt deal done. Good thing, since listening to the news caused my anxiety levels to reach new heights. Kind of weird that I would freak that much about governmental money problems, but I gots a lot in the bank and in the markets therefor I need my money to be secure. Besides my own money situations give me anxiety so why shouldn't the free worlds money issues bother me. I am so sick of this fucking government. The petty bullshit politics get on my last nerve. Can we get a multi-party system and get rid of this war between the republicans and the democrats? I think it's like a marriage or any other relationship.. you have to make compromises, not fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, I'm right, you're wrong type of shit. Drives me cu-ray-zay!


Things here are spectaculair and meant to be spelled wrong. OFB (or ol' fat bastard as he is known) has left me alone which is nice. No more heavy breathing in the ear or in the face.. not that heavy breathing in the face under the right circumstances is bad, but when it has to do with OFB it is terrible. My new boss is throwing a party for my co's and I at his lake house which should be interesting. Do I show up with beer? Bottle of wine? Some salvia? The invite said wear a bathing suit, but do I really want to be in a bathing suit around my new co-workers? MMhh, I am gonna skip to hell no on that.


I went on a short trip to Nashvegas this past weekend. It was gravy. Ate at some delicious restaurants, a couple of which I would like to relocate to the A (see Yelp in the next couple days fo deets), took a dip in Mr. Percy Priest, went to a beer fest put on by my homeboys competitor... it was lame; I'm supposed to say that right?, did a bit of downtown bar hopping, and had a couple of Pimm's cups. I'll post some Nashy picks in a couple of days, but until then hold your breath until the count of twelve then go live your life.




Um... lastly my 30th is coming up quick and I have done nothing to prepare. My bomb shelter isn't yet built, this delightful 30 extra pounds are holding on to my body like a vise grip, and I have yet to get anywhere close to finishing my 30 by 30 list. Sort of, kind of, a lot of SAD. My goal is to do a bit o' camping this weekend to at least get one thing out of the way (#8). I am thinking that "#29. Making a pizza from scratch" and "#28. Try baking something complicated" will need to get a move on this week and can I change "#9. Go to South Africa" to "Pay a super speeder fine just for fun.. or because they told you 4 months after the ticket was issued"? Looking at the list makes me want to crawl into a ball. I think I am gonna have to pound this shit out quick like in order for the September 3rd deadline. There are some things that aren't gonna happen like


A. run 2 10Ks... I can do the running, but I can't afford paying for 2 10K races

B. stain the back deck.. a little help please

C. learn how to can...don't have the material and can't afford it:(


But by golly, gee whiz I am going to give it my best procrastination worthy try.