Saturday, June 30, 2007

Name Our Child (Um, I Mean Web site)

Jeff and I are looking to start up a Web site for our upcoming around the world trip. It's still about a year away but we want to begin documenting the process and getting the site up to speed. But we have one big problem...we can't come up with a name. Seriously, I do not look forward to the day we decide to have a child. I can't imagine what trying to name one of those will be like!

So we're soliciting help. Please place your suggestions in the comment section (yes, lurkers too.) We need all the ideas we get. To see if your idea is a possibility, you can visit, which lets you know if the domain name is available.

Some of the ideas we have come up with so far include:

The name should be easy to remember, not look too odd when all the words are mashed together, and be descriptive of our trip (which will be backpacker style through Southeast Asia, Africa, and South America).


Friday, June 29, 2007

Thoughts of the Day

1. Happy 19th Birthday, Mark! Enjoy your last year of being a teenager. It won't be long before it will seem that the "teen" years were so long ago.

2. If I worked from home, I think I'd be fat. Whenever I get stuck with my writing or bored or whatever, I find myself munching. Two strawberries here. A marshmallow there. A handful of nuts. An olive. A piece of cheese. Anything small and bite-size is a prime candidate for a snack.

3. After this weekend, I only have one more weekend at home before my life gets insane. From July 14 to Labor Day, we're out of town practically every weekend...most of it for weddings or wedding-related events. I'm very happy for everyone whose wedding we're attending, but Lord, I'm a little overwhelmed. Remember when summer meant doing nothing?

4. Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad. 32 years (yesterday)!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Happy First Day of Summer!

I'm going to head to a farmer's market to get out of the office and enjoy a little summer sunshine.

I also have plans for tonight but they're not particularly summery, although fun. My friend Lisa got free tickets to a performance at the music center right next to my home and invited me to go along with her. So we're going to go to a performance in which the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra plays the soundtrack of the Wizard of Oz as it is shown on a big screen. Doesn't that sound like fun? I know Gregory, he of a million viewings of the Wizard of Oz, is jealous.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

To Rice Be True

Yesterday, Rice played Louisville in the opening game of the College World Series. I clearly have ties to both, as Rice is my alma mater and Louisville is my hometown team (and the alma mater of my father and the place where my brother is getting his graduate degrees). And while I knew I was for Rice, I thought that I'd approach the game fairly even-keeled. I would be happy in some way regardless of who won, right?

Um, apparently, wrong. As soon as the game started, my true feelings burst out. I was for Rice, and I was for Rice totally and completely. When Louisville put that first run on the board, I was not happy. When Louisville looked like they were going to trounce Rice, I was pissed. And when Rice ended up pulling it out, I was completely relieved.

I guess alma mater does count for something. (Although I think what mattered most wasn't that it was Rice, but that it was Rice baseball, and that's probably the most intimate tie I have to my alma mater. I'm not sure I'd care so much if it were anything else.)

Anyhow, now that that game's over, Go Cards.

But most of all, Go Owls!

Friday, June 15, 2007

A True Classic

Isn't it nice to know that in a world where it's practically impossible to find something as simple as blades for your razor because after just a year it's considered an "outdated" model, there are some things that stand the test of time? Like Nancy Drew. Apparently a movie version of Nancy Drew comes out this weekend. I'm not a movie person, so I won't be going to see it, but I like to know that it's there, and that it's still considered relevant.

And what's most impressive about it is that Nancy Drew isn't just a relic of my childhood, but of my mother's too. I used to get new Nancy Drew books for my birthday or other occasions (I loved the ones that had two stories in one book, each starting from a different end of the book and oriented in the opposite direction. I keenly remembering having "The Secret of the Old Clock" and "The Hidden Staircase" in a version like that.), but I also remember reading my mom's copies of the books, the ones she'd had since she was a child. In fact, Nancy Drew's been around since my grandma was a child, debuting in 1930! And while she's evolved, and while a number of authors, all under the pen name Carolyn Keene, have penned Nancy's stories, I think it's pretty cool that she's managed to survive all these years. I hope if I ever have a daughter, Nancy Drew's still around for her to enjoy.

Monday, June 04, 2007

What Summer Tastes Like

If you have an icecream maker, then you need to make this. If you don't have one, you need to go buy one, and then make this.

It was so easy and so delicious. Light, sweet...just like summer.

Simply Strawberry Sorbet

3/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 pints (about 1 1/2 pounds or 6 cups) fresh-picked strawberries, rinsed, patted dry, and hulled
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Make the simple syrup: In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, water, and salt. Cook, stirring, until the sugar and salt have dissolved, about 3 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes.

In a blender, purée the strawberries with the syrup and lemon juice until very smooth (you may need to divide this into several batches if your blender is not extra-large). If desired, strain through a fine-mesh sieve for a smoother texture. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. Store, tightly covered, in the freezer...if you don't eat it all right away.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Best Popsicles Ever

This afternoon Jeff and I went to the Asian supermarket in search of dumpling wrappers so we could try our hand at making homemade potstickers. (I'll let you know how that goes.) We found the wrappers and all kinds of other goodies, many of which were quite unusual. The find of the day, however, was these.

I've been looking for these forever...probably even longer than I've been looking for the previously mentioned and miraculously found Pudding Pops. And although most of you just won't get it, I'm sure my family remembers these most awesome popsicles as might anyone who played t-ball, softball, or baseball in the Louisville CSAA during the 80s and early 90s.

Who would have thought that they'd sell them at the Asian market? And who would have thought the image on the package would be so, um, odd?