Thursday 13: Early Fall snapshot

“I’m really angry with you,” I spat while simultaneously trying to shovel falling noodles into my mouth and protect the mizithra-covered strands under attack. Mr. T cackled, still stabbing at the good half of my Manager’s Special.

That man. That man stole my spaghetti. That man stole my spaghetti and lived to tell the tale.

Somehow I got my burgeoning anger under control (think “Joey doesn’t share food!“) but I noticed that our “conversation” was drawing the interest of surrounding patrons and our demure young waiter. Apparently diners are not used to folks waging Great Spaghetti Battles in public.

For me and T, just another Friday night date. And a lovely piece of this Thursday 13 life snapshot.

1. Recent photo:

Joined T for a Sunday morning “missing man” formation flight in honor of a local pilot who passed away.

2. Current obsession: Homemade smoothies. Lately, my favorite concoctions include tropical berry (vanilla yogurt, lowfat milk, banana, crushed pineapple, frozen mixed berries) and chocolate peanut butter (firm tofu, lowfat milk, chocolate powder, vanilla, agave, peanut butter). Occasionally I make “ice cream smoothies,” but not (yet) for breakfast.

M-5 gifted me this book and the sequel
for my birthday. Love it!

3. Recent read: “A Dog’s Purpose.” Like “Marley and Me,” but written from the dog’s point-of-view and far less sad. Makes me think that Goliath maintains a whole inner monologue I don’t know about. (Okay, probably not.)

4. Startling fact: I cannot whistle. Apparently my whistling career, like my American Idol dream, is just not going to happen. When asked to describe my whistling, Mr. T said, “I’m not sure I should.” And then he proceeded to full-on mock me (I used to really love this man).

5. On my mind: The Big D.

6. Even more on my mind: The Market.

7. Something surprisingly tasty from my kitchen: Butternut squash mac and cheese. After reading about a “creamy and light” version of mac and cheese in Cooking Light (see here), I sucked up my general dislike of squash and got to work. To my intense surprise, the casserole was quite tasty! For a light-ish,  vegetable-filled meal, I give it a solid B+ for texture and taste. The critiques: T wished for more gooeyness and I couldn’t get over the lingering sweetness (which is what I hate about butternut in the first place). My liberal dose of cayenne was overcome by the squash and cheese, so next time (if there is indeed a next time) I will amp that up!

8. A culinary misstep: Garlic cauliflower “bread sticks.” Billed as no-flour bread sticks that taste “just like bread,” I prepped these bad boys with care. I riced cauliflower and cooked it in the microwave. I shredded cheese. I baked. I sprinkled. I burned. I mis-read the directions and broiled for an excessive amount of time. To give these sticks a fair assessment, I will need to re-do. Since they look so tantalizing (and because I have a ton of cauliflower leftover), I will give ’em another shot.

9. Something I’m proud of: Passing my data meeting where I defended my dissertation data and analytic directions before my project committee. This means that I’ve been given the go ahead to start writing. I’m seriously contemplating locking myself in an internet-less closet for a few days and banging out a chapter or two.

10. Excellent news: My friend Holly’s 3-week old is starting to recover from his open heart surgery. He’s making wonderful progress this week and we in his fan club refer to him as “Russell the Muscle.” Hooray for the Dovich-Irland family!!

11. Humbling moment: Trying the weight lifting “Body Pump” class at 24-Hour Fitness and not being able to straighten my arms for three days after. Sad, but true. Luckily, I went back this week and the soreness did not hit me so bad (even though I increased my weight!).

12. A favorite recent photo:

Such a happy dogaroo.

13. Something I’m looking forward to: March 18, 2013. That’s the approximate date of my dissertation defense according to the timeline I just submitted for a fellowship application. Stay tuned!


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