Yes, Soup for You!

I feel like soup is kind of an underrated food. It’s great because you have a whole, (potentially) nutritious meal in one bowl. And it can be pretty simple to prepare. That being said, I had never really tried making my own soup from scratch until this weekend.

Sometimes it’s fun when you are trying to squeeze a few more meals out of whatever is on hand before you break down and head to the grocery store. And on Sunday I noticed that we had some chicken, but not enough for what I might usually consider. So I decided to try my hand at chicken noodle soup.

I looked at a few recipes to see more or less the common proportion of ingredients and spices, and then, in the tradition of male cooks, sort of made it up as I went along. The end result was not bad. It was just a tiny bit salty, so next time I will fix that. Also, next time I might try fettuccine noodles like my dad (the best soup chef in the world) does instead of egg noodles.

Also, I made vanilla pudding last weekend. I usually make chocolate, so I thought I’d try a new recipe. It was pretty good too. All in all, a successful weekend of culinary experimentation.

Monday Morning Confession

Katie and I are both using blue toothbrushes right now; they are just different shades. I felt unusually tired last week, but that still doesn't excuse the fact that two or three times I have accidentally started brushing my teeth with hers.

Pun Overload

Here's a conversation I had with my coworker Michael via email. Eventually I veered from the Middle East toward Africa, before finally getting tired of the puns (which I didn't think was possible).

Joel: And Iran… Iran so far away…

Michael: So, did you hear how most the middle east countries were named? It all happened when Stan came running up to a friend totally out of breath. The friend asks: “Why are you running?” and Stan answers: “I got in a fight!” The friend responds: “well, why are you running away?” in which Stan Responds: “He threw Iraq (a rock), so Iran (I ran)!” “Aren’t you going to get him back?” the friend asks. Out of breath Stan says: “Oh, it Kuwait. (can wait).

Not much later, Stan realizes that the sharp rock had lodged into his leg. The type of rock is technically called af-gan…and so there was an af-gan in Stan. (Afganistan)

Joel: That story makes me Saudi :(

Michael: You are such a Turkey.

Joel: Don’t blame me, it’s Jordan’s fault.

Michael: I hate Jordan. Egypt me the other day.

Joel: Oman, that was the best!

Michael: Well. Maybe for you. But it kind of messed me up. I don’t what Israel and what isn’t anymore.

Joel: Thanks for the lunch invite, but I’ll stay here and eat my Yemen cheese sandwich.

Michael: Are you being Syria(s)? That doesn’t even sound like a real sandwich.

Joel: Well, it is. And I’m adding a bunch of slices of cheese. I’ll probably put ten or Lebanon it.

Michael: If I had a Qatar for every slice of cheese I’ve eaten, I’d be a rich man.

Joel: Be careful outside, with the weather. Bahrain never hurt anyone, though, so I guess you’ll be okay.

Michael: BAH! RAIN is no good! But you know what they say. When life gives you yemens, make Yemenade. I ended up going to Cyprus Credit Union.

Joel: UAE there for lunch?

Michael: No. I’m going to kick Djibouti if you misunderstand my emails again!

Joel: Whoa, take it easy. Maybe a little Qatar music will calm you down. Sorry to reuse one, but Iraq my brains trying to come up with something original.

Michael: Well Somalia have been messin with my cubicle. So…not sure how I feel about that.

Joel: Don’t blame me, I’m pretty sure it was Chad.

Michael: Hmmm. Breaking from the greater Middle East route. That’s like switching from a compact car to a Sudan.

Joel: Give it a try. It’s Libyating.

Michael: Kenya really make the switch that easily?

Terminal Velocity

Last night I dreamed that I went skydiving. I was with some guy who was an expert, and he jumped out without telling me which of the two cords on my parachute I would need to pull. I jumped out and caught up with him in the air, and he let me know which one it was, so I could properly deploy my parachute. It was fun.

Zebra Girl

For Christmas Sam got a superhero cape and mask, with which he changes from mild-mannered (relatively speaking) Sam to Super Strike!

Last night Allison brought them to me to put on her. In addition to the zebra-striped footies she was wearing, it makes quite the costume.

Pointless Anecdote #472

One day when I was in elementary school, presumably in 1988, I was in the bathroom. A boy came in and asked me a question. I can’t remember the question, but it had something to do with Michael Dukakis, the Democratic presidential candidate. The boy then said, “He’s my dad.” The kid had the same bushy eyebrows and dark hair that Michael Dukakis did, and so it seemed plausible enough to my 8-year-old mind.

Every once in a while I think about that odd experience. And today I finally looked him up, to find out that Michael Dukakis has no biological son, just one adopted son who would have been 30 years old at the time. So I have no idea who the kid was.

The End.

Bored Beard

I think it's a good idea to occasionally experience contrasts in life. For example, a miserable vacation taken for one week per year means that the other 51 weeks are that much better. And of course eating your vegetables makes dessert sweeter.

I recently decided to try the beard thing again. And by that I mean I went a few days without shaving and decided to go with it for a while, for two reasons. First, it's nice to have a little extra face warmth during the coldest month of the year, especially when running. Also, it provides something to distract me a little bit from stupid cold, dark, boring January.

A friend of mine said it makes me look 10 years older than I am, which I think is actually kind of funny. But that got me thinking that the best part will be when I shave it and look like I'm in my mid-20s again. Contrast.

And a shout-out to Todd, whose first words to me upon seeing  me (on his wedding day, no less) were, "Does Katie still kiss you?"

Curse You, Janus!

Can we talk about January for a second? I just want to say that it’s the worst month ever. In October, when the weather starts to cool off, you can still look forward to Halloween. Ditto November, with Thanksgiving. And then everyone puts up their Christmas lights, and even in the cold, dark December you have that holiday to look forward to. But that generally stops on January 1. It’s the coldest month (Sorry, Australia, we’re North-America-centric on my blog), and the post-holiday depression is starting to sink in. Any snow on the ground starts to get gray and grimy, and spring is still so far off as to be a  distant memory. You start getting tax information, you find out how much you overextended yourself financially for Christmas, and the whole world just seems to be in a funk.

Or is it just me?

Cover Your Shame

I have a question for all of you: When did it become unfashionable for women to wear pants?

I don’t mean dresses. I mean, they are apparently supposed to wear unimaginably tight leggings, or what appear to be simply dark nylons. It seems like every time I’m in a public place anymore, the pantsless trend is very much in evidence, with everyone looking like they’re one dropped quarter away from busting a seam and mooning the world. And even when they wear jeans, they’re that horrible hipster combo of tight and low-rise, giving everyone a muffin top. Seriously, I thought clothing was supposed to improve your appearance. And sadly, this part of the trend appears to be infecting men, too. It’s been five years since I’ve found a pair of casual pants that doesn’t make me feel ridiculous. I’m getting desperate to find new jeans that don’t feel like jeggings.

I know there’s nothing to be done on my part. Women dress for the scrutiny of other women anyway, so I’m an innocent bystander. And as for the part men play in this, all I can do is hang my head in shame and go patch up my comfortable old levis.

The Grater II

It happened again!

Things I Never Get Sick Of

We all go a little crazy eating the same thing for lunch every day, or the millionth time they play that one song on the radio. Except sometimes we don’t. Why is it that some things can provide us with enjoyment for years and years, while others don’t? I have no idea. But here are a few of my perpetual enjoyments.


  • Listening to They Might Be Giants

  • Root beer floats

  • Watching old episodes of Red Dwarf

  • Telling that joke about the duck and the grapes

  • Bowling on the Wii


What are yours?

Final Tally

Total miles run in 2011: 764

Total calories burned: 91,756 (or about 45 days' worth of food)