Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
Jonathan the lion is described as “vocal, attention seeking, expert nap-taker”. Hmmm…
Actually, the resemblance is quite striking.
While the Big Cats slept, we made our way to the Primates. I am always astonished by the Chimpanzees and how human-like they are. Two of them were entertaining the kids by clapping their feet, beating on the glass, jumping up and down and LAUGHING. Their distinct personalities and individualism were amazing to watch. For instance, not all Chimpanzees are extroverts craving attention. In fact, Jonathan wasn’t the only one with a doppelganger at the Houston Zoo.
Nope, we spotted my twin as well, off in a corner, snuggled in a blanket, just trying to get some peace and quiet. I was seriously waiting for her to plop in a Gilmore Girls DVD and settle in for an afternoon nap.
That, my friends, is what I call a good day.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
We’ve learned from out short time in Houston, that you can’t let good weather go to waste. So we took the perfect forecast and put it to good use this weekend and partook in some classic Houston activities.
Since Jonathan had Friday off and I got off work at 2, we took Bailey and headed over to Memorial Park. We ran one loop around the main park (about 3 miles) and then took Bailey off leash in the Arboretum. The Arboretum has been a life changing resource for having an active dog in the city. Our friends Brian and Jill introduced us to the wooded hiking trails and we try to go as often as possible and let Bailey run herself ragged.
We so often get frustrated with the attention she requires. Seriously, before you fall for the adorable Brittany breed- read the label. These dogs are non-stop energy, even for the most active dog owners. They really do need a decent sized yard. Did I mention we live in the city? A decent sized yard is about 200,000 over our budget. I run her upwards of 25 miles a week and it doesn’t even put a dent in her hyperactivity.
However, it is a thing of beauty to watch her run wild (see above picture- she’s the adorable white blur in the back). We just let her loose in the Arboretum and she zigzags at a full sprint until before we know it, she’s run 20 miles in the time it took us to hike 3. Glorious! By the time we headed home Friday, she was happy and more importantly, tired, which we’ve learned is a serious accomplishment.
Friday night we grilled porkchops and went for frozen yogurt at Menchie's in the Heights. We discovered Menchie’s last week and I am full on obsessed. It is self-serve and they have about 15 fun rotating flavors to choose from. By fun flavors, I’m not talking about your average variety vanilla-chocolate-strawberry, but gingerbread, cake-batter, red velvet, peanut butter, pumpkin, etc. And the toppings are equally exciting. Once I saw they had frosted animal crackers as a topping, I knew I’d be a lifelong customer. And plus, how fun is it to say "Menchie's"? That alone is worth a weekly visit.
We capped off the night by watching Never Let Me Go (Meh- read the book instead). Sound like a good day? Well it was nothing compared to the bliss that was Saturday...Saturday was such a good day that it deserves a spot in the Good Days Hall of Fame. Or at least good enough to deserve it’s own blog post.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Move over Animal Farm. Just a minute there Poisonwood Bible. Not so fast Count of Monte Cristo. Maybe next time Harry Potter. That’s right; there’s a new favorite book of all time in the house and it is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Trust me, I absolutely hate jumping on bandwagons and usually resist doing so at all costs, but this is seriously worth the hype.
I started reading The Hunger Games last week and was unable to put it down. It took all the self-control I have to stop reading at night and just go to sleep, knowing that I had to wake up at 5 AM. I wish I was the kind of person who didn’t feel completely unethical about playing hooky from work, because this is a book I could have happily finished in one sitting.
I finished reading the book Friday night and by Saturday, Jonathan was hooked. As we read in bed Saturday night, I found myself feeling jealous that he was reading The Hunger Games and I was not. I woke several times Saturday night and into the wee hours of Sunday morning to find Jonathan still reading, and it turns out he finished it around 2:30 in the morning. In one delicious sitting.
So I’m sure by now, you’ve already had a bazillion people tell you how good The Hunger Games is and you probably already know the premise of the story, but just in case: The Hunger Games is a sci-fi young adult novel set in post-apocalyptic America, in a nation known as Panem. Each year, the Twelve Districts that comprise Panem each send two children to fight to the death for fame and fortune. The story follows Katniss Everdeen in her ambivalent quest for survival.
Suzanne Collins deserves a Standing Ovation. Her writing style is simple and effective and her plot and character development are truly magnificent. As a writer, I could definitely learn a lot from her about the pacing of a novel. Reading The Hunger Games, I never felt rushed. In fact, I wanted to savor every chapter in order to hold on for a little bit longer and truly experience the story. I can’t wait to read the next two books in the series, Catching Fire and Mockingjay.
In fact, I’m thinking they would perfect books to read in one sitting. On a beach. In Hawaii. In January. Holla!
And it turns out, though the book that I am reading may not be at the best-book-ever level, The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova is pretty amazing, especially if you like that whole spooky, paranormal, vampire, historically accurate mystery novel type of thing. And really, what’s not to like about that?
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Ingredients: Orange slices, honey syrup, St. Germain Liquor, Champagne To make the syrup is super easy, and it is also super impressive to say “Yes, I made the honey syrup from scratch”. You just mix one cup of honey with one cup of water and stir over heat until it simmers. Then you let it cool before putting it in whatever fancy container you want. Since I was attending a football game and not a bridal shower, I put it in a disposable ketchup bottle. You know, all fancy like.
You got that right, Honey Badger: We're number 1. Geaux Tigers!