Monday, May 25, 2009

I forgot the best part!

People! In my post yesterday, I had so much fun talking about the sights and sounds that I FORGOT to talk about the highlight of my day! So let me tell you about it.

While Thomas and I were waiting on some equestrian games to begin, a wasp sat on my shoulder. After a small freak-out moment (my eyes just got really big, basically), I used my mighty thumb and my terrorizing fore-finger to *flick* the little guy away from my face. I mean, you just can't be O.K. with a stinging bug being two inches away from stinging you in the eyeball. Whew! When I thumped the little bugger, he/she left a little residue on my shoulder--maybe from where I thumped it so hard.

Here's the best part, and I wish that blogger let you record things, but since it doesn't, I'll do my best. A man behind me, who was probably from the Midwest, maybe Wisconsin or Chicago, commented on my situation. But this big, bald guy behind me says, "A BEE 'r somethin' la-unded ahn 'er an he POOPED!"


He tried to comment further, but I escaped the situation and blew up with laughter. It was definitely one of the highlights of the day.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Little Britain in Middle Tennesse

This weekend, Thomas and I went to the Tennessee Renaissance Festival, about 25 miles outside of Nashville, for some turkey legs, bawdy pub humor, jousting, and people watching. We arrived in Arrington, TN at about lunch time (don't think we didn't time it that way!), salivating for a big ol' turkey leg. Unfortunately for us, everyone else's taste buds were doing the same thing because they ran out of turkey legs while we were still standing in line. Boo! So we split a sausage sandwich instead, in an attempt to be "exotic."

Next, we wandered around for a while, waiting for "Axel the Sot" to do his comedy routine. In that time, we saw some tourney games--you know, all the horseback games that aren't jousting-- and we observed several games that we didn't have the money to play--like archery, the axe throw, a knife throw, the mug slide, where you try to slide the stein down the bar onto a target, and a test of strength, which was basically the equivalent of the carnival game where you hit the target with a sledgehammer to ring the bell. There was also a human chess match going on, which was pretty neat. It got kind of old though, what with all the coreographed battles between two [over]actors happening. And let's not forget the "birds of the gauntlet." They were, let's see, badass. You don't want to cross those dudes. Man.

When it was time for Axel the Sot, we headed back to the pub, grabbed some ale, and took our seats. Our drunk sailor-comedian was full of some funny vulgarities. After his jokes and songs, we headed to the tournament field for the most anticipated event: the joust!

No one was unhorsed during the jousting, which was probably for the best, because all of the jousters had white beards and looked like Dick Cheney. But there were some shattered lances, which was ne-e-e-at.

Going to the Renaissance fair was a fun experience, and I'm glad it was had. (rhyme!) I think the most interesting part of it all was the different people there. It made you wander what that person with the bad British accent* and the fake fox tale and the elf ears and the fairy wings and the chainmail and the really dark makeup did for a living. Did he/she have all that stuff lying around, or did they buy it before such an occaision? Did he/she feel more comfortable dressed in Renaissance/Computer game/typical British*/fantasy attire than their regular clothes (which, quite possibly, could have been what they were already wearing)? What really matters, is that they were there, and I had the privilege to observe them.

*Even though it was a Renaissance fair, almost everyone there was a part of Elizabethan England, or they were a part of Fern Gully, which was neither English nor Renaissance. :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


You are not reading a culinary whiz's blog. I merely wish I had the knife skills of my food network heros, their know-how, creativity, or their seemingly innate ability to put together the perfect combination of ingredients. I wouldn't know where to get fondant in the first place, and even if I could get my hands on some, I wouldn't know what to do with it. I'd most likely end up on here. 3/4 of my experimentations end up begrudingly shoved down my throat (because let's face it, I can't afford to waste food--even bad food), and the rest ends up covered with disdain in a Ziploc container, just waiting to be consumed by the garbage disposal.

That being said, I've been trying a lot of new foods and recipes lately. My latest successes have been lentil soup, squash casserole, and a recipe my friend Anna sent me called African peanut stew. All of these trials have taught me that I am really good at following a recipe (and making spaghetti, but really the only experimenting I do there is with different combinations of veggies to throw in there, and I think the difficulty that comes with screwing up spaghetti is beyond my ability level...thank goodness).

So please, reader(s), send me your recipes! Browsing the food network website isn't always reliable, and I love sharing recipes with people. In fact, I'll start the sharing. Here is the recipe from the Nance family (that would be my mom's side of the family, for you non-related folks floating around this blog) for banana pudding. I guess you could call it Ba-Nance-a Pudding!! (I'm almost positive this recipe is pretty common, but as far as recipes go, I wouldn't really know!)


Instant Vanilla Pudding (NOT the sugar free kind)
About 4-5 bananas
A box of Nilla Wafers (insert copywright symbol here)
2 cups of milk (I think 2 is right--I always just look on the back of the pudding box where the directions are, and subtract the given amount by one cup.)
the Large tub of Cool Whip
a large can of Eagle brand condensed milk

Combine the pudding mix, the milk, and the condensed milk--it's easiest to use an electric mixer her. Mix in the cool whip with a spatula. Start making a layer of Wafers on the bottom of casserole dish--it doesn't really matter the size or shape. Add a layer of sliced bananas, then add a layer of pudding mix. Do this (wafers, nanners, pudding) until the dish is filled, then top it with the rest of the pudding mixture. We always made a border around the dish with wafers, so it sort of looking like a banana pudding crown, and then used the crumbles at the bottom of the box to sprinkle over the top of the pudding. In other words, don't be stingy with the wafers.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Perpetual Student

I've found that since I graduated from college, checking my email just isn't that fun anymore. To compound the matter, I haven't been able to shake the habit of compulsively checking my email. So, when I would check my school email every 30 minutes, I would have at least a few emails, telling me about a friendly social event or that last fateful day that I could drop a class with a "W." Now, I'm like Pavlov's dog--except there is no dogfood. I want the dogfood!

So I've decided to sign up for a word-of-the-day from I know it's not the same, but at least it isn't offering some awesome deal. I don't need $11 DVDs! At least this way I can gain some useful (or not) information, right?

Today's word of the day:
tyro \TY-roh\, noun:
A beginner in learning; a novice.

How appropriate that tyro is my first word! Since we are having so much fun here, let's use it in a sentence.

"Look, Charles, a tyro."

We did it!! Now YOU try!