Sunday, March 29, 2009

Oh My GaGa

I can't help it.

I love her.

Even more so because she is actually talented. Read here for more info.

Meanwhile, try and stop yourself from dancing to this. Yeah, didn't think you could.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Me: Did you shave your eyebrows?
DH: Yes, it's better than not doing anything.
Me: It looks like you mowed a patch of grass.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Part I - Eating Through Our Kitchen

One of the many joys of moving is realizing that no, you do not want to take all of the food in your house with you. Thus begins the process of eating everything in our pantry and fridge and only replenishing items such as milk, break, and bananas (a staple in our house).

To make things even more complicated, we will be traveling for two months and then living with family after that until we get a house of our own. Thus providing further incentive to empty it all out.

This was our first main meal in the ~6 week process. And yes, we probably have enough food in our house to last that long.
As you can see, the theme is "hodgepodge". We have a lovely ensemble of hot wings made with frozen chicken and Texas Pete Hot Sauce and of course bleu cheese dressing, red potatoes cubed and cooked with olive oil and lipton onion soup mix (I highly recommend this, very delicious), and what else would pair so well with these things but spaghetti squash with margarine and brown sugar.
This meal was actually very good despite the "melting pot" of items. I'm dreading when we get down to eating the panko bread crumbs with who knows what else. The creativity is going to be bustin' out and I'm not sure if that is a good thing...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Jack Daniel's - A Review

Okay, so this isn't really a review because I am 100% biased but if I were going to review Tennessee whiskey it would be based on 1) smoothness; 2) taste; 3) value; 4) how well it mixes with diet coke / can I take a shot of it without cringing; and new on the scale for whiskey 5) if I can drink it straight on the rocks.

In all aspects, Jack gets a big fat A+.

A couple of weeks ago, the DH, my cousin from Texas, his girlfriend and I had the pleasure of going on the Jack Daniel's tour in Lynchburg, TN. Lynchburg is located in a dry county so unfortunately no tasting ensued, well, until we got home and drank some of my Step-Dad's Gentleman Jack. As one tour guide said, "This is the wettest dry county around".

Check out some pics from the tour:

This is the spring where they get the water from to make the whiskey. Jack's statue is outside the spring, he was only 5'2"!

140 proof whiskey before it is "mellowed". I definitely singed some nose hairs just walking by that thing.

Fermentation process. That was one intense yeast smell.

Mellowing. The whiskey is mellowed over sugar maple charcoal that the distillery makes by burning a bunch of wood soaked guessed it, whiskey.

The barrels are made at the distillery as well and are seen here while the whiskey matures. Jack Daniel's has a green label, I'm personally not a fan just because I associate Jack with being delicious and the green isn't so delicious. But it is probably the best green label whiskey on the market.

This is a barrel of whiskey. You can buy an entire barrel of the Single Barrel whiskey for only $10,000. They ship you the barrel itself when you buy one and you get your name on a plaque in the room pictured here. WalMart Germany had purchased seven of these. Haha, I don't know why I find that so entertaining.

If I am ever able to purchase one, that barrel will be proudly displayed in my front yard.

If you ever get the chance, definitely go on this tour. You can purchase commemorative bottles there but regardless, it is probably the best "adult beverage" tour you will go on even though there is no tasting.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Education System - A Review

I'm feeling very "reviewy" lately so I'm rolling with it. As some of you may know, I am a Big Sister in the Big Brother Big Sister Program. I highly recommend this program but don't think about it unless you can actually be committed to your little.

On to the Review.
I went to visit my little at her new elementary school. This was probably the most entertaining 30 minutes I have had in my life besides the time I saw Jim Gaffigan or when Smashley Boyner developed what we now call the T-Rex.

In 30 minutes I learned that:
  1. Teachers ruin the lunch. We had to be quiet almost every five minutes. The kids at my table could talk to me since I am an adult. One teacher got so annoyed she made them put their heads down on the table. Every kid in there was no more than 10 years old. Um, did teachers miss that part in their college education where you learn that kids have a lot of energy? And you know, that maybe, they need some time to RELEASE IT.
  2. My little has recess twice a week. See above comment about energy.
  3. An eight-year-old she is in school with claims to have had sex with some other kid in the sandbox. EIGHT YEARS OLD. I didn't know what sex was when I was eight and sometimes I'm still not sure if I do now...(kidding of course)
  4. Kids are starved for genuine adult attention. All of them were word-vomiting what was going on in their lives to me. One little boy told me his father has 10 children with a couple of different women. The boy lives with his older sister who doesn't smack him with a shoe as much as his Dad did. Isn't that good news? Another little girl has an older brother that likes to smack her but her Mom usually isn't around to punish him when he does it. One boy's father lives in Florida. I have experienced this in my own life and I can tell you, especially for a boy, this is not a good thing. Unless of course he isn't being beaten with shoes because of the distance. I mean seriously, these kids need to be talking to someone about these things so they don't grow up dysfunctional adults.
  5. Teachers talk to children like drill sergeants. There is nothing fun about the classroom. Not all teachers do this of course but some of my favorite teachers were the ones that knew how to control the classroom without being Nazis.

There is so much more one can get into on this subject, I haven't even touched the tip of the iceberg. I guess it just saddens me that little lights are going off all over the country because of environments like these. A lot of these kids are "at risk" and frankly, they will stay that way in that environment unless they have an intense amount of perseverance.

Most of my lunch was fun and the kids are used to all of the above listed items, I just couldn't help but notice some of these things as I strongly abhor that teaching style.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Burritos - A Review

It is time for a burrito review. Anyone that personally knows me, knows that I LOVE burritos. For those of you unfamiliar with this thing called a "burrito", please proceed to the definition before reading.

For my review, I will not be including popular chains including:

  • Taco Bell - Fast Food chains are not included despite my love for the cheesy bean and rice burrito. Don't even get me started on the bell taking it off their dollar menu and reducing the net weight that was once an entire half pound.

  • Baja Fresh - Not good enough to compare.

  • QDoba - Again, does not compare and many of the burritos are not "traditional" nor is there one that combines all great ingredients. I'd have to order three burritos to get the one I want.

  • Salsaritas - Not good enough to compare. Terrible value.

Now, on to the review. The following burrito establishments will be graded on 1) Value; 2) Taste; 3) Atmosphere

  1. Chipotle -F Now, some of you may disagree with the failing grade of Chipotle. But quite frankly, the atmosphere sucks, chips cost extra and there is no salsa bar. The taste is okay. I get that some of you love the cilantro lime rice. But you know what, you can add cilantro and lime to any burrito at the other three chains.
  2. Baja Burrito - C Now, this is local to Nashville but I threw it in here because it is really popular. The atmosphere is great and includes a fun patio. The value is decent but again, chips are extra. The taste, well, it is okay but the effects of the food on your digestive system make the burrito a bad choice. Stick with the fish tacos or quesadilla.
  3. FreeBirds - B- Freebirds is primarily located in Texas with one of the original locations in College Station - aka - the location of Texas A&M. This location gets an A+. However, we are reviewing the chain as a whole. The other locations I have been to have a terrible atmosphere with the music playing entirely too loud. If I want to scream in order to have a conversation, I'll just go to a loud bar. I believe this became a problem AFTER one of the original owners sold out in 2007. The value is decent, you can get a ridiculously large burrito for not a lot of money. The flavor is decent but the atmosphere leaves a bad taste in my mouth cancelling whatever good burrito taste is millin' around en mi boca.
  4. Moe's - A Now, I know this may surprise some of you but Moe's has a little hidden weapon called CHIPOTLE RANCH. The atmosphere is okay, the value is great, especially considering chips are included and there is a salsa bar with some delicious tomatilla salsa. But the real closer is the ranch. It is delicious. So delicious, that the franchise located on North Shore in Knoxville, TN charges $0.50 to add it. If you order the kid's - sized burrito that comes with a miniature drink and cookie, they don't let you get rid of the cookie so you can have a normal size drink. Needless to say, that location gets a big fat F. That is the problem with franchises but whatever. Get the ranch and lots of it. I like to get that extra tortilla that has accumulated at the top and bottom of the burrito, tear it off, layer it on top of a chip and dip it in the tomatilla salsa. Heaven in my mouth. I don't even need the cheese, lettuce, pico, chix, black beans, etc. Just a softened tortilla with the ranch to put on top of a chip to dip in the salsa.

And there you have it people.