» Uncategorized Don’t Eat Off The Sidewalk!

Bike rides and high fives.

I’ve been trying my hand at biking lately.  I spent the past month in Illinois, taking care of my mother-in-law while she beats the shit out of breast cancer.  Except that she is one tough broad, so she doesn’t need much caring.  So mostly I was stuck in a small town outside of my much larger home town, without a car.  So I started taking her bike out, and eventually realized that there was a bike trail two blocks from her house.  And it went all the way to Springfield!  The first time I went, I trucked it all the way to the end and back, nearly eighteen miles, with barely a break.  The second time I went I brought my camera and took it a little easier, stopping to take pictures of interesting points.

The trail ends in the gigantic chain store shopping area, behind Old Navy and next to a car wash.  There’s no place to sit down and I doubt they’d let me walk my bike through the car wash, so the second time I opted to just stop at this park about a half mile from the end.

On the way back from the park is basically an alley between two streets.  Some people have gardens, but this is the only one that was really worth stopping and taking a picture of. After this, the bike path goes along a main road and past a Sonic, which is nice because you can stop and sit at their covered tables and relax a bit.  It’s bad because Somic smells like funnel cake and depression.

Most of the bike path is smooth, flat, and tree lined so you get a light breeze.  But then you get to the part where they’re doing construction on the overpass and it’s a bit of a pain.  A bumpy, crotch numbing, dusty pain.  And hell no I did not get off of my bike and walk through a cloud of dust.

This is fairly close to the beginning, at this point my labia are pretty much begging me to let them take a break and the wind is going the wrong way.  So I stopped at a bench and took this picture, the trail used to be a railroad.  Now it’s situated between a lake and a creek, with the new Amtrak rail on the other side of the creek.  Then I heard shouting and realized that I was in the perfect setting for an axe murderer movie, and despite protests from my crotch, jumped back on the bike and headed home.

And now that i’m back in Tennessee, i’m trying to keep up with biking, but it’s a lot harder here.  Not just because I don’t have easy access to a bike trail, but because, well…this is what Clarksville looks like:

It’s hilly, there are no sidewalks which I know I shouldn’t be riding on anyway, but everyone here zips around like there’s no one on the road but them.  So I actually rode these streets today to get comics, and I road through the grass down the street on the right.  It’s kind of fun to zip down hills, but that’s overshadowed by the fact that i’m constantly praying that some asshole in his sweet tricked out ride doesn’t come roaring over the hill and mow me over.

So while i’m very happy to be at home with my husband and animals (and garden and Xbox and all of that other material crap), I really miss that bike trail.  Smooth, cool, and I could wear my headphones because I didn’t have to worry about diving out of the way of a car if I heard it coming up behind me.

posted: June 4, 2009
under: Uncategorized

I love video game anaologies.

posted: January 20, 2009
under: Uncategorized

Making Soup For Dummies

Before you roll your eyes and say, “Who needs a guide on how to make soup?!”, i’ve determined that there are two kinds of cooks in this world:  those who need a recipe for everything, and those who fly by the seat of their pants.  A lot of times when people ask me for a recipe I shrug, rattle off the ingredients, and that’s that.  I’m not big on measuring or planning ahead, which is why I don’t post recipes very often and most of my cookbooks go unused.

People who need a recipe for everything, I don’t understand.  I am going to assume that they think they can’t cook very well.  I have people tell me all that time that they can’t cook.  That’s like saying you can’t walk or brush your hair or tie your shoes!  It’s not an ability that only some people are born with, like a great singing voice or amazing drawing skills.  It takes a little practice and some experimentation.  So, I am going to tell you how to make vegetable soup.  No recipe, you don’t need it!  Which is why I love soup.  You can make a ton and eat on it for awhile, and as long as you keep the fat and salt in check, it’s really healthy.

  1. Pick out some of your favorite vegetables.  I think carrots are a must have and taste best in soup, but you can make up your own mind.  Onions, carrots, peppers, potatoes, asparagus, cauliflower, green beans, leafy greens, whatever.
  2. Put on some upbeat tunage.
  3. Do all of your prep work on your vegetables first.  Peel, chop, put them all in their own bowls so when you’re ready to put them in you can just go bam, bam, bam with the bowls.  I like my vegetables chopped kind of chunky, myself (less work).  For things like potatoes and carrots that take longer to cook, you don’t want them too big or your other vegetables will get overcooked while you’re waiting for those hard fuckers to get soft.  Also, if you plan on adding beans, rice, TVP, etc. make sure you have those rinsed or cooked, whatever needs to be done.
  4. Heat your oil in your soup pan over slightly under medium heat.  The amount of oil depends on how many vegetables you’re using, i’m going to say 1/2 a tablespoon per cup of vegetables, a teaspoon if you’re worried about fat.  Don’t jump the gun on putting your veggies in, make sure the oil is well heated first.
  5. If you’re using garlic or onions, put those in first, stirring around so everything is good and coated in the oil.  After a few minutes, during which you should stir it once or twice, add in any hard vegetables like potatoes, carrots, anything rooty, basically.  Continue with the occasional stirring for a few minutes, then add the softer vegetables like peppers, asparagus, etc.
  6. Add your seasonings.  I like a little salt (because the broth will probably have salt too), loads of black pepper, and herbs like rosemary, thyme, sage, etc.  Do the occasional stir for about five more minutes.  Now is a good time to pick up your kitchen so you don’t have to do it later.
  7. All of vegetables should’ve brightened up in color by now, and maybe be a little browned.  Time to add the broth.  You can go the pre-made boxed route, or use a boullion cube, or if you’re desperate, water and chicken seasoning.  If you’re worried about salt you should probably go with the first choice.  If you’re using a boullion cube, dissolve it into warm water first.  Add enough liquid to cover the vegetables, or more you you like a really watery soup.  Me, I like it a little thicker so I mix cornstarch into a little cold water and pour that in too.
  8. Add any extras, like beans or rice.  If you’re using leafy greens, put them in low as well.  Turn the heat up a little to get it boiling.
  9. When the pot begins to boil, lower the heat back down to medium low and cover.  It should be bubbling a little, but not going crazy.  Check on it in about ten minutes, poke a potato and carrot with a fork and when they’re soft, soups on!
  10. Chow down, motherfucker.

This instructional blog is dedicated to my mother-in-law, who is starting an exciting new life that will hopefully include making soup (for me).

posted: January 10, 2009
under: Uncategorized

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