Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Peace up, A-town down

This summer's first trip to Atlanta was a short one. The less-than-24-hour whoosh to A-town, however, gave me an excuse for a long weekend, and it put a little diversion in my life. It was a wonderful preview for the 2nd visit, which will be in July!

We arrived a few hours before the baseball game, in which we visited with the Howards (Thomas' sister, brother-in-law, and nephew) and gave over to the musings and whims of Isaac. In this Hallmark-esque candid I captured, Thomas and Isaac singing a song with muppets and their celebrity friends:

(side note: if grad school doesn't work out, my next career move will be to work for Sesame Street. No joke.)

After visiting, we made our way through the thick, thick Georgia air to Turner Field. We love baseball! (That shine on our faces was put there by the devil gods of heat and humidity.)

Go Braves!

Sadly, they lost, and we changed our expressions.

How I love making faces!

Before I wrap this ballpark hot dog up, I will add an event that makes a first for both T-bag and me--Thomas made it to the jumbo-tron! Tuh-wice! A cute little kid that was behind us and to the left was gettin' funky with his inflatable tomahawk, and when they captured his ultra-psychedelic moves, the Atlanta crowd also got a little bit of Thomas to go with them!

Peace up, and peace out,

Monday, June 22, 2009

Going to Oxford-town

Last weekend, mumsy (aka mom, May-rann, and Mrs. Hambelton) and I made the sojourn to Oxford, Mississippi, my future home for the next two years. This was our tentative itinerary:

1. Walk around the school, familiarizing with the buildings I may spend my waking (or sleeping) hours
2. Walk around the square, making stops at the various book stores (which were all the same store, with slightly different names). We ended up buying lots of books. I know I'm about to have to purchase many "serious" books, but my justification for the fun purchases was that I still have a month and a half to read what I want. Ready, set, read!
3. Visit the condo where my future roommate and I will be living
4. Eat dinner with roommate and grill her relentlessly about her living habits, making sure they are harmonious with my own. (ha! just kidding) I'm just glad she didn't say anything about what Ellen referred to as "nesting." She's actually pretty neat--I almost wish I had something crazy to say about her...NOT!

We also tried to visit the Faulkner house. We drove past a very official-looking placard, you know, one of those historic site notices, but I'm almost positive it was just in some body's yard. It didn't have the stature and place in history that I imagine Rowan Oak would. Besides, it was very residential. And by that, I mean if I had knocked on the front door, I'm sure that a man with no shirt and his scruffy little poodle-schnauzer would have greeted me.

Before dinner, we had about 2 hours to kill (there isn't that much to see in Oxford...go figure), so we stopped in "Oxford Mall" and saw the only movie that was playing at the moment: Land of the Lost. Wouldn't recommend that one.

Our last stop was Rooster's - a restaurant/bar where we met Elizabeth, the very nice, down-to-earth, normal person who is letting me live out of her condo. You might say she's a craigslist oddity. :)

The visit to Oxford served its purpose, and now I am geared up to pack my things and move them back to good ole Mis-a-sip (thanks for the nickname, Danielle!). Oxford, as mom put it in 2 very different ways, is "a small town with a big history," and in a completely different context, "not a shopping mecca."

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Proof I can cook...sort of

A few weeks ago, I posted a bit about cooking, and I requested recipes. Thanks to Courtney Bradshaw Howe (via facebook), I have become addicted to a website that calls itself "a community driven visual potluck." Tastespotting.com is a drool-fest and a half. Every day I visit this site, browse through the little squares of tasty treats and such, and lust after things like margarita cupcakes, caprese pasta, and strawberry lemonade.

The thing about tastespotting.com is the photos. It seems that they are either professional photogrophers or professional chefs. Either way, they know how to make that food look GOOD.

So the purpose of this post is to say that I (and my stomach) have been so inspired to try some of these recipes, and in tastespotting fashion, I've taken pictures of them all. FEAST your eyes upon my not-so-professional shots of tasty, tasty things.

Monkey Bread:

Thanks, Megan, for the Bundt tin! This scrum-diddly-umptious creation is basically butter, sugar, cinnamon, and biscuits. I don't know why they call it monkey bread--that's probably not the best name--but I don't think butter-sugar-biscuit-bits is actually better, either. The recipe I used--and a better photo--are here.


Thank you for this recipe, Shannon! I didn't use any meat for this recipe, just spinach. And the white stuff on top is fake parmesean--which probably didn't make for the best picture, but I assure you, it was gooooood eatin.

Here's a slice of it:

Cheese+spinach+spaghetti sauce+noodles=:p (yum!)

And last but not least, homemade potato chips, before:

And after:

I also got a recipe for chicken rotel (thanks Laticia!) and blueberry "butter" (it was more like jelly--Thanks Paula), and I didn't take any pictures of that, but that doesn't make them less delicious, by any means. In the future I will surely be making treats and taking pictures of them. Tastespotting has led me to have unrealistic expectations for my food, so I hope it doesn't decide to stop posing! :)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Roger not 'Rob'bed

Usually I leave the sports commentating up to Thomas, but I'm going to butt in on this one. The French Open final between Roger Federer and Robin Soderling is the topic of this post--so if you are a sports buff, but aren't into tennis, feel free to have a merry jaunt on over this website for other big-time sports happenings.

I thought this match was great--it was played well, both men carried themselves very honorably, and there was even a shocking interjection when a "jester" ran onto the court and waved stuff in Federer's face before being tackled and hauled off the premises. And Roger won (can't you tell I'm a fan?), and as expected, gave a tear-laden (and bilingual!) speech to top it all off.

As much as I enjoyed the match and the fact that my pick scooped up that last grand slam to put himself in the history books, I felt so badly for Mr. Soderling. He was doomed the moment he stepped out onto the clay. And everyone knew it. The whole world was rooting for Federer at this point--the crowd knew it, and said so with each chant, and the commentators went on and on about how Federer was a "peaceful warrior" and so forth. At one point they said something to the effect of "usually the crowd wants a good match, a close match, but not today." Everyone knew Federer had to win this--even from the moment his rival lost in the quarterfinals.

I am very happy Federer got to join my 2 favorites of all time (Sampras and Agassi) with his achievement. But I am also happy that Soderling's play didn't reflect that the world was not on his side. His demeanor was never dejected, and he continued to play the way he might against any other opponent. His joke at the end, that nobody beats him 11 times (Federer has beat him 10), to me, said, "Keep bringin' it, Rog."