20 September 2010

So Happy Together

I have to admit an unhealthy, nay, awesome obsession of mine: chips and salsa. Come to my house anytime of the year and you are guaranteed to find a bag of chips and a jar of salsa. After a quick pantry check, I can officially say that I have two bags and 4 jars (two opened, one unopened, and one that has been sealed with super glue, never to be opened by human hands). Take me out to a restaurant with the bottomless chips and salsa and you'll find the waiter giving me an uncomfortable look as he brings out our fifth serving.

This obsession with chips and salsa came about my senior year at Penn. My roommate and I became unofficial salsa testers in our third floor living room while watching Bones reruns and weeping during PS I Love You. We attempted to branch out and find our favorite salsa. Sadly, the year ended before we could make any official statements to the press on our top picks. The verdict is still out and I’m still testing salsa brands when I’m feeling adventurous. At the moment, my go to brand has been Pace Medium Thick ‘n Chunky, but that could change next week.

From my current salsa preference, you can guess that I prefer the medium spice level. Mild provides no excitement for me. You’re eating the salsa for the flavor and fun, not just to shove boring vegetables atop a crunchy chip down your throat. Anything hotter than medium means I can only eat a few chips without feeling like my mouth is on fire, which hinders my need to eat as many chips as possible in one sitting. That hindrance is unacceptable, so I choose to go with medium to satisfy my tongue and fill my belly.

In case you’re worried that I’m not getting all the nutrients a growing girl needs, I do enjoy branching out to other dip options. Guacamole is delicious, especially when it’s homemade. I also have found that melting down some Velveeta and mixing it together with salsa makes for quick and easy queso. If you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned potato chips and their accompanying dips it is because I just don’t like them. Potato chips are a bit too greasy and the dips have never appealed to me. To put it simply:

Give me tortilla chips and salsa or give me death!

17 September 2010

Stina on Sports

A good friend of mine from waaaay back in the day, Christina, was a standout lacrosse player in high school for the Westhill Warriors and a standout lacrosse player for four years at Gannon University where she was also a contributing sports writer for "The Gannon Knight". She's currently back in the Cuse working for a local community college and pursuing her love of sports writing.

She frequently posts insightful and intelligent sports commentary on her blog Stina on Sports. It's great to have a woman's point of view in a male-dominated arena. I've never been a huge sports fan, which some find hard to believe considering I was a college athlete (yes, I retired after freshman year due to multiple surgeries), so I love reading her blog to feel like I know what's up in the sports world. I have a better knowledge than many people (male or female) of what constitutes a good or a bad play in most sports, but I don't keep track of key players, top coaches, and championship caliber teams. This comes in handy when I want to comment on a recent play, but not when the discussion turns to the players' prospects in the NFL or what team they're in talks to go to and how that will change the league. Her blog covers it all, from NFL conference predictions to the recent scandal with the Jets and female reporter, Ines Sainz.

And she's pretty to boot! Too bad she's engaged, gentlemen.

I encourage all of my readers, male or female, to give her a look. I promise you won't be let down.

16 September 2010

On the Hunt!

Finding motivation is a tricky, tricky hunt. I can sit at my desk claiming that I am going to start writing at that moment, but 4 hours later all I've done is browse the internet and watch shows on Netflix. I can check out 3 books about writing and inspiration from the library, thinking they're going to lead to some divine epiphany, and only open them the first day I have them. I'll start writing something, blog post, paragraph in a story, poem, then get distracted and forget where I was going with my idea when I come back. How people write whole novels in a short period is beyond me. 400 pages? That's baffling. I don't know if I have 400 pages of words in my brain.

Why am I rambling on about motivation? Because I finally found some today. I had been sitting in my home office since 9am wasting time on Gchat, Netflix, and any other sites (I visiting TFLN for the first time in weeks, it was that bad.) I could find when I decided to give my back deck area a try. It's been too hot down here to spend more than 30 seconds outside without hating life, but today is gorgeous. 90 degrees with a very nice breeze. Add overhead fans on full blast, and I'm shockingly comfortable on this Florida afternoon. My husband built a very nice picnic table a few weeks ago, so I've decided to test it out.

I've been out here for about 45 minutes and have written this post, created a cure for cancer, and realized one of our screens is broken. I stand proud with G.W. when I say "Mission Accomplished"! Motivation found, people! The fresh air and Vitamin D helped to release my words. Let's see how long this will last.

Smile, George. You're making me look bad.

10 September 2010

More Thank Yous!

When I was younger I used to loathe the days following Christmas and my birthday because my mother would force me to sit at the kitchen table and write endless thank you notes. At the time, I felt like they were completely unnecessary; hadn't I thanked Grandma enough at Christmas dinner for the check? Hadn't I given my aunt a big hug and kiss on the cheek after opening my beautiful sweater? What would a note card with "Thank You" printed on the cover and the same 3 sentences I wrote for every other thank you card on the inside actually accomplish? I bet Grandma didn’t even read these! Child labor! I should call child protective services!
----Whoa. My whiny teenage-self just reared its ugly head. Back to the mature, intelligent, controlled me. ---

Now that I'm older and have a firm grasp on manners and etiquette, I find it is crucial to send a thank you note. Not only does it let the sender know that their gift was received, but it lets them know that the thought and care they put into choosing a gift for you is appreciated, even if they only sent a check.

Maybe I'm a little old-fashioned, but thank you notes are simple and easy. You don't need to spend 15 minutes on a single note, but making sure that you don’t repeat the same three sentences on every note is important. After writing nearly 100 thank you notes after my wedding, I know that it’s surprisingly not hard to change up your notes for a large group of recipients. Always mention the gift given and how you plan to use it and you have a personalized thank you note.
What brought me to this tangent? I’ve had an influx of friends tell me they’ve been reading and enjoying this here blog and I want to thank my friends and family for supporting my babblings. So, thank you to everyone who reads this blog and sends it along to others to check out.
hahaha the frog moves