January 2009

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Did you know that if you want your kid to be some sort of sports superstar that you should make sure his or her birthday is on the day or just after the deadline for youth sports groups?  Well, and that the kid is talented and dedicated and all that, too.  But the birthday really helps and in a big way.

I learned this and many other gems from Malcolm Gladwell, one of my favorite writers.  This in itself is a bit of a revelation for me, as I didn’t really think that I had any favorites.  I don’t tend to read more than one or two works from a single writer before moving on to different, sometimes more verdant, sometimes just vacant, pastures.  Him, I like.  I’ve got all three of his books: The Tipping Point, blink, and Outliers.

Each explores small details of life in a somewhat loose but rather engaging fashion.  I like that the books aren’t terribly academic, either.  Don’t get me wrong, I think he is very intelligent, but he isn’t out to prove it in his books.  He’s exploring what makes people successful, what makes a certain type of shoe sell, and why our first instincts really do matter, among other topics.   The fact that he does it in a way that is often humorous and always interesting is what makes me like him so much.

I won’t give any more away because that would spoil the fun of the books, but I will say, if you are curious about patterns and some of the reasons why things happen to be the way they are, I highly recommend his work.  They come from a charming man who is really interested in life, people, and asking questions that get answers.


When we lived in Denver, there was a great breakfast place, since gone, like so much of our past, where we would enjoy these simple, but utterly delicious breakfast bowls.  We walked from our apartment on 11th to Cherry Creek and enjoyed every bite without guilt because we exercised too!  They had a more glamorous name, but I don’t remember it because we always called them the bowls.  I made them this past weekend and thought I’d share the recipe with you.  This makes two, but it is easily adapted.

Breakfast Bowls

2 English muffins, sliced and toasted

1 small can green chiles (you might not use all of them)

4 slices bacon, crumbled, or equivalent in breakfast sausage

grated monterey jack or cheddar cheese – to your liking

3 eggs, poached or or cooked to your liking – make sure they are a little under-done.

4 tablespoons heavy cream


Preheat your oven to 375.  Cut the toasted English muffin into cubes.  Also, if you can find Australian toaster biscuits, use them instead.  They’re great.  We haven’t seen them around here in a long time – like the restaurant where we first got these, they may be gone.  In an ovenproof bowl, layer the muffin, cheese, green chiles, and bacon or sausage, repeating several times.  Top with the egg (I use two for the G-Man).  Put a final sprinkling of cheese over the top.  Drizzle a couple of tablespoons of heavy cream over all.

Bake for about five minutes – until the cheese is a little bubbly.  This is why you want your egg underdone.  It will cook a bit more in the oven.  Remove from the oven, top with a little salsa, if you like, and eat carefully.  The bowl is hot to trot!

If you’ve toasted your muffin well, the texture will be slightly crusty and creamy.  So yummy!

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I know, so cheesy for a title, but I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.  I used to believe that once I made it over a hurdle that was it.  I was done.  Then when I’d see that I was approaching that same hurdle for possibly the millionth time, I would get so bitchy, especially at myself, thinking I had grown beyond it, even though I hadn’t.

Now, with a hefty dose of forgiveness for not being the perfect being I would like and a lot of humor mixed in, I know that there are always going to be more hurdles.  More writing, creating, destroying, befriending, letting go, more yoga sessions, more people I don’t like encroaching into my space.

The cool part, however, is that I now mostly accept that I am an ever-evolving human (this is a hurdle, too!).  I can change my mind, my habits, and my jean size.  If I approach life with an open heart and mind, it is all good, sweet, and wonderful, too.  I don’t need to lament, lambast, or whine, but will when required.  I can keep on keepin’ on.  It’s such a good feeling!

Do you ever have those moments when you believe you are far greater than you really are?  Well, imagine that on one of those days you actually decide to take action, and say, rob a bank.  The 1975 film, Dog Day Afternoon, starring Al Pacino is the nerve wracking, hilarious, and sad version of actual events that occurred in 1972.

I had heard great things about the film, but once we started watching it, I got a little worried.  The bank robbery is going awry about five minutes in, and the film’s got another two hours to go.  Thankfully, I was quickly put at ease, for there were so many twists and surprises that kept me on the edge of my seat.

I’ll reveal a couple and then leave it there.  First, and in my opinion, most odd.  Sonny, the main character, is married and has two kids, but the whole purpose of the hold-up is to pay for a sex change operation for the man he has most recently married.  A man who just attempted suicide to get away from Sonny.  The reason I found this odd is the love that he shows for each of his “wives.”  He doesn’t seem the least bit conflicted about it – he’s just going through life.

Second – the robbers, Sonny and Sal (John Cazale from the Godfather), are pretty nice guys.  So nice, that the hostages they take end up having a great time.  It’s like a surreal party with pizza, guns, and ammo!  This is one of my favorite quotations from the film: “I had to tell him Wyoming isn’t a country.  I’m with a guy who don’t know where Wyoming is, and you think you’ve got problems!”

So, if you’ve got a hankering for something vintage, and of course, a little off beat, give it a try.  You’ll be chanting “Attica!” for the rest of the week.


I knew, just knew I should bring my camera with me today, but I didn’t, and you know this because I wouldn’t start the post this way otherwise.  Anyway, I met my ever-so-handsome hubby for a little lunch at Bridgeport Village today.  He works nearby (oh how I wish he were closer – hey Amber, is your hubby’s place of employment hiring? – that would be a stellar commute) and I occasionally visit for the California Pizza Kitchen salads and a little stop into J. Crew.  BIG SALE!  I bought wool pants, two wool cardigans (one in Bronco Orange!) and a super cute tee for $80.  That’s what I call a bargain.

Gosh, I’m turning into Virginia Woolf – should I buy the flowers?  No, the pants!

Finally, getting to my point, because, seriously, there is one; we also ate at our favorite sweet spot, Pudding on the Rice.  Alas, as I was saying in the beginning, I have no photo, so the bridge that is zooming by like my random thoughts is going to have to suffice.

The very modern and polished interior is run by a wonderfully kind and enthusiastic husband and wife team – though we’ve only met the wife and seen her talk to the hubby on the phone.  They’ve both quit their jobs and put everything they’ve got into this place, trading shifts so one of them will always be at home with the kids, which I think is grand.  Also, even more family oriented, the recipe for the heavenly pudding is her Swedish grandmother’s, and holy smokes is it good.  It is the best I have ever had – creamy, not too sweet, with a perfect texture and great flavor.  We’ve tried the chocolate, cinnamon, peanut butter, mint chocolate chip, cherry, and pistachio (mixed together makes Spumoni – Colleen’s favorite ice cream ever – just in case you wanted to know!).  If you can’t decide on one flavor, like me, she’s happy to put two in a cup.  By the way, the little cup looks rather wee, but it is plenty, unless you plan on skipping dinner.

If you are a local or plan on visiting the area, please give them a try.  And, if you are like my friend Sarah, and do not care for rice pudding – no worries mate!  They also have crepes and frozen yogurt.  We haven’t tried either, but can attest to the heavenly aroma and the smiles on the faces of those eating a crepe.

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