Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Inquiring Minds Want to Know...

I wonder how many brain cells I destroy each Wednesday by sitting through the city council meetings? I feel myself getting dumber by the minute as I listen to the truly mind-numbing arguments over city ordinances.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Whittling the Wish List

I've knocked another item off the Wish List! Yes it starts with a 'B' and no it isn't Zach Braff. I got a bicycle! As with nearly everything in my life, there's a funny story connected to my acquisition of a bicycle. Sunday morning, my roommate and I were heading out of the house to run an errand. I pulled out of the garage and that's when I noticed a cute red bike sitting on my neighbor's trash heap. "I want that bike," I said to my roomie. "I'm going to get it when we get back."

A couple hours later, I got back home and the bike was still there on the garbage pile. So I went around front and knocked on the neighbor's door. Nobody home. Hmmm. What to do? I want that bike, but I don't want to just take it without telling my neighbor. But I also don't want anyone else to take it.

Then I had a brilliant idea. I wrote a sweet little note about how I'd love to have the bike and would take very good care of it. Then I taped the note to the seat of the bike, where my neighbor would be sure to see it when she got home.

Sure enough, about an hour later she knocks on my door and tells me I'm more than welcome to take the bike and she hopes I get good use out of it. There's nothing wrong with it other than flat tires. She just wanted a new one and didn't need the old one anymore.

So I am now the happy owner of a red bike. All I need now is a straw basket and a little ringy-dingy bell. Oh...and some tires.

p.s. I acquired this bike while baking my 'A' dessert. Who knows what might happen when I bake 'B'?!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Baking: A-Z

I've started accomplishing my goal! I've baked 'A' right off my list. What you see to your left is a very poor-quality photo of an Apple Pie Cupcake. The idea is to take one dessert and reinterpret it into another dessert. I liked the flavor, but next time I will make them with more apples. The recipe I used didn't specify the size of apples and the ones I had were quite small. But otherwise, everything came out just right and in the perfect quantities. There was EXACTLY enough frosting for the amount of cupcakes I made.
I'm posting the recipe for everyone. I found it on another website. I'm also trying to decide what my 'B' recipe will be. I have a few ideas...
Apple Pie Cupcakes
(makes 24 cupcakes)
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 cup milk
Apple Topping
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
3 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and slice (I would use about 5)
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened at room temp
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
To cook the apples
Place butter and sugar in large fry pan over low to medium heat. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add apple slices and cook for 8-10 minutes or until apples are lightly caramelized. Remove apples from heat and cool completely.
To make the cupcakes
Preheat oven to 325. Line 24 muffin wells with paper liners.
Sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
In a mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and lemon zest.
On low speed, add the flour mixture and mix until flour is barely incorporated. Add the milk and mix until just smooth.
Divide the batter into the muffin wells, filling each well about 2/3 full. Top with the apples.
Bake at 325 about 15-20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool on cooling racks. Make sure cupcakes are completely cooled before frosting.
To frost the cupcakes
In a mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and cinnamon and beat for another five minutes until light and fluffy. Frost the cupcakes with a spatula or piping bag. Optional: lightly dust frosted cupcakes with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007

My Apologies

Dear Friends,

If you have called me, texted me, emailed me or generally tried to spend time with me over the past two weeks, please know I haven't just been ignoring you.

Twice a year we have our on-air fundraising campaign at the station. This is the most exciting and exhausting time of my job. In my time as a journalist I have covered disasters, been on the scene until 2am, been stuck in 100+ temps, pouring rain and sometimes freezing cold. But none of that is nearly as difficult or emotionally draining as being on-air during the fundraising campaign.

All that to say, I am now rejoining the land of the living and promise to be a good friend again. At least until the Spring fundraising campaign.


Thursday, October 25, 2007


That little Gushy-Gram guy is starting to get on my nerves. I guess that means I need to blog a lot to bump him off the page.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Boyfriend Material?

We've long established that I don't have a boyfriend (see wish list). But yesterday I had an opportunity to get myself a boyfriend. However, I think my suitor makes for much better blog material than boyfriend material. Here's the story.

I've been having car problems. So I took my car to the repair shop right around the corner from my house. Throughout the process of describing the problem and filling out the paperwork, the guy who was helping me was clearly flirting with me. I didn't think much of this at the time and tried to maintain a friendly, but not encouraging, manner. Then I asked how long the repairs would take and he said it would be several hours.

Shop Guy: I'll give you a ride to your house so you don't have to wait here.
Me thinking: Uh oh. I don't want to ride anywhere with this guy, let alone have him know where I live.
Me out loud: Uh, thanks. But I live right around the corner and the weather is so pretty, I'll just walk home.
Shop Guy: No, no, I can't let you walk home. I'll give you a ride and then pick you up when your car is ready.
Me: It's not a big deal, I live less than two blocks from here.
Shop Guy: Perfect, I'll have you home in no time.
Me: Sigh. Thanks.

Two minutes later in car...

Shop Guy: So which way do I go?
Me: Turn right here at this intersection.
Shop Guy: Straight?
Me: No, turn right.
Shop Guy: Ok, go straight.
Me as we drive straight through the intersection: Uh, that was the turn to my street right there.
Shop Guy: That's ok. We're going the scenic route via Galveston. (Smiles and winks)
Me: (Nervous laugh) Well you can take the next right.
Shop Guy: You in a hurry to get home? I was thinking we could drive for a little bit and enjoy the day. I don't get to leave the shop all day, this is my only chance to get out.
Me: As long as I'm home in the next five minutes that's fine.
Shop Guy: You're funny. You single? Looking?
Me: Single, yes. Looking, depends.
Shop Guy: Depends on what?
Me thinking: Play the Christian card. That'll shut him up.
Me out loud: Well the biggest reason it depends is because of my faith. I'm Christian and deeply committed to my faith. So that's the most important thing to me.
Shop Guy: I'm Muslim-Catholic. Trying to cover all the bases.
Me: How's that working for ya?
Shop Guy: I'm kidding. I'm actually Maronite. It's a very strict form of Catholicism. Lots of rules, like no sex before marriage. Doesn't work for me. What do you think of that?
Me thinking: Warning! Danger! Get me out of this car!
Me out loud: I think a lot of rules aren't really the best way to please God, but I think no sex before marriage is wonderful. It's honorable to your future spouse and it's obedient to God's word.
Shop Guy: No, it's no good. You gotta figure out what you like. Try someone out before you commit.
Me: I don't think so.
Shop Guy: How old are you?
Me: 28
Shop Guy: So you're telling me you're 28 years old and you've never had sex?! Seriously, are you a virgin?
Me thinking: We're only 7 minutes into this car ride and he's already asking me about my sexual experience!
Me out loud: That's right. I'm a virgin and it is very important to me to honor God by remaining pure until I'm married.

Pulling up in front of my house...

Me: Well, thanks for the ride.
Shop Guy: Sure. I'll call you when your car is ready. And I'll look forward to picking you and bringing you back to the shop this evening to get your car.
Me with straight face: I can hardly wait.

Several hours later...

We went through the whole routine again. Another "scenic" route to the shop. More discussion about dating, sexual activity, religion and life in general. It ended with me getting my car, driving home and realizing that although that shop is two blocks from my house, it's not worth the emotional strain to be a repeat customer.

UPDATE: Shop Guy just texted me! He must have looked up my cell number on my paperwork. Ok...feeling a little vulnerable.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Setting Goals

I've been thinking about goals a lot this week. I'm in the middle of our on-air fundraiser at work, so there's a lot of talk about various monetary and listenership goals.

Then I read a Starbucks "The Way I See It" quote. Nothing quite like an espresso-laced latte at 5:15 in the morning to bring clarity to your life. The quote said "...stop saying 'I wish' and start saying 'I will.' Consider nothing impossible, then treat possibilities as probabilities."

I think that's actually pretty profound. Think about all the things you would do if you considered your dreams as probabilities for your life. Would you travel more? Live in a different country? Learn another language? Give up more of your time and money for the poor and unloved? Read more? Watch TV less? Cultivate a new hobby? The list is endless.

With that idea in mind, I've decided to set a goal and believe that I "will" accomplish it. It may sound a little crazy and many of you may still be of the mindset that it can't be done. But I will forge on. My goal is to bake a list of items starting with each letter of the alphabet. :)

Feel free to submit suggestions.
And yes, I'll be considering some more "lofty" goals as well.

Monday, October 22, 2007


It's a blustery day. That's a Winnie-the-Pooh phrase. I've always liked the word "blustery." Makes me think of cold drizzly days on an English hillside. I need a spot of tea and a hot buttered scone. This kind of day calls for a good Agatha Christie mystery.

Dumbledore is gay. Hmmm. I suppose JK Rowling can do whatever she wants with her fictional characters. But I confess I'm a bit surprised that she would attempt to work this element into the plot of the kindly professor. Makes his relationship with Harry seem a little suspect. Maybe someone should inspect his computer files. I'd hate to find out Dumbledore's intense interest in his young male student was more than just academic.

I don't really celebrate Halloween. But I do love a good bunny cartoon.

I'm so sleepy right now that I actually have a headache directly related to the crunchy droopy feeling in my eyelids. Getting up at 4am has that effect on me. Plus I'm back to the same dilemma I have every year at this time: do I take a nap or just go to bed reeeeaaaalllly early?

I bought three new dresses, one blouse and two pairs of shoes yesterday. I'm going to return one pair of shoes. I thought they were on sale for $15. I checked my receipt and they rang up $35. I don't want them for that price. I also found a dress for $14.95. It needs some slight alterations as it is too large in a couple spots, but I figured at that price I can afford to have it tailored.

I'm just not sure how I feel about the contrasting opaque tights with heels trend.

Friday, October 19, 2007

I got a tattoo!

Well, okay technically it's a henna tattoo. And technically it only lasts about 7-10 days. But I'm still enjoying it. I think it plays up my edgy side while still falling in line with my personal aesthetic.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

"Awesome Blog"

I love this blog! I can think of several "friends" who will really "enjoy" this one. ;)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

True or False

I didn't blog on Friday and Monday because:

T/F: I didn't feel like it.

T/F: I kinda forgot.

T/F: I didn't want to detract from TWO new blog posts on another blog.

T/F: I wanted to see how many comments I could generate by not posting anything new.

T/F: All of the above.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Please, No Jokes

I am sitting at my desk, minding my own business, and my bra just popped open.

Love-Hate Relationship

Things I love (in no particular order):
  • Chilly mornings
  • Chocolate milk
  • Wearing jeans to work
  • Not having to fix my hair
  • Taking a shower
  • Sitting outside and reading
  • Mascara
  • Taking care of my plants
  • Waking up feeling rested
  • Baking
  • Feeling loved

Things I hate (in a particular order):

  • Hot, muggy mornings
  • Plain milk
  • Dressing up for work
  • Not having time to fix my hair
  • Feeling grimy
  • Sitting outside and sweating
  • Blush
  • Accidentally killing my plants
  • Fitful sleeping
  • Cleaning
  • Feeling heartbroken

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Yesterday our intern was working on some items for the newsroom. Somehow she managed to flip her computer screen. Everything on the screen was upside down. Even the mouse moved in reverse. It took three people about 15 minutes to figure out how to fix it. She was mortified. We were laughing hysterically.

You may have to click on the picture to zoom in and see exactly what I'm talking about.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The REAL Myers-Briggs

ESFJ: The Control Freak
Champions of rule and tradition, defender of convention and order, the ESFJ values predictability, consistency, promptness, and continuity. This love of order, stability, and tradition most often manifests as a fanatical and almost compulsive control freakery, combined with an anal-retentive streak that is at once maddening and infuriating to those around them.
ESFJs are often friendly, outgoing, and generous, at least until you cross them. This generous nature, in combination with their obsessive need for control, makes them ideal for such jobs as Jedi master, senior bank teller, or middle management at a large chain department store. Most ESFJs die of heart attacks, at least the ones who aren't slain in a galactic power coup made possible by the rigid, dogmatic inflexibility and self-absorbed narcissism of their Jedi order.

RECREATION: ESFJs are fond of celebrating birthdays, bar mitzvahs, initiations into the grand order of the Golden Dawn, and other momentous occasions. They also take delight in creating elaborate schedules on their PDAs, memorizing the Periodic Table of Elements, and ripping off the heads of those who cross them before laying their eggs in the victim's neck, which hatch into larvae that devour the victim over a period of many years.

COMPATIBILITY: ESFJs are most compatible with ESTJs, who love and cherish the ESFJ's control freakery.

Famous ESFJs: Fame? A Jedi craves not these things!

Read more REAL personalities here.

Monday, October 08, 2007


It's my brother's 21st birthday! Happy Birthday, Big Little Brother!

Friday, October 05, 2007

My Week: Blog Version

I bought 49 books for $12.00. The library was having a sale. And yes, I do go to the library.

I went to the Greek Festival. You've gotta love a festival that doesn't try to pretend that it's about anything other than the food. Really that's the whole reason for going to the Greek Festival. We had spanakopita, tiropita, souvlaki, gyros, loukoumades, baklava, kourambiedes, finikias and wine. Oh and we also peeked inside the Greek Orthodox Church for good measure between eating sessions.

Today I was walking out of a community building and passed by two little old ladies. I overheard one of the ladies say "Oh! She's wearing our earrings!" and the other old lady hollered after me and said both of them owned the same pair of earrings I was wearing. It made me seriously rethink my fashion choices.

I've been pondering all the suggestions for Wednesday blog material. I like Shanna's suggestion the best, but I'm afraid it will take too much research and dedication. But she does raise a very important question: are high-waisted pants REALLY going to make a come-back?

Sometimes you learn things on Facebook that you never dreamed you'd find out about in such a public forum.

Sometimes email is a very confusing medium and must be used with care. Especially when making offers that could entail dates, fake or otherwise.

Sometimes email is a wonderful medium. Especially when it indicates the sender is thinking of me and cares for my well-being and spiritual growth.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Feedback Requested

I need to think of some sort of recurring feature I can put on the blog on Wednesdays.
You see, Wednesdays are the days that I cover City Council. Which means Wednesdays are the days that my brain goes numb and I experience a dull pulsing sensation behind my eyes. These symptoms are coupled with long bouts of inactivity followed by frantic writing and recording of stories on a tight deadline. By 4:30pm, my story is done...and I am exhausted.

Which leads me back to my original point. I need some recurring blog material for Wednesdays. Any suggestions for something you'd like to see featured here on the QQ on a weekly basis?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Soldiering On

In my continued efforts to speed up the arrival of Autumn, I baked a loaf of banana bread last night and I decorated the front steps.
Looks rather Pottery Barn-ish, doesn't it? My offerings upon the altar of Autumn shall continue. I should probably bake some sort of spice cake soon. And maybe make some potato soup or chili and cornbread. It may be 90 degrees outside, but thankfully I have an active imagination and an effective air conditioner. I will celebrate Autumn whether or not she shows up for the party.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Feasting on Redemption

Wounded and forsaken,
I was shattered by the fall.
Broken and forgotten,
feeling lost and all alone.
Summoned by the King
into the Master's courts,
lifted by the Savior
and cradled in His arms.

I was carried to the table.
Seated where I don't belong.
Carried to the table,
swept away by His love.
And I don't see my brokenness anymore,
when I'm seated at the table of the Lord.
I'm carried to the table,
the table of the Lord.

Fighting thoughts of fear,
wondering why He called my name.
Am I good enough to share this cup?
This world has left me lame.
Even in my weakness
the Savior called my name.
In His holy presence,
I am healed and unashamed...

As I'm carried to the table,
seated where I don't belong.
Carried to the table,
swept away by His love.
And I don't see my brokenness anymore,
when I'm seated at the table of the Lord.
I'm carried to the table,
the table of the Lord.

You carried me, my God.
You carry me.


Need. More. Peppermint.

This morning I read this article.

I've just regained consciousness from my fainting fit and am heading to the store for peppermint-scented everything. One can never be too prepared.