Posted in Generic Ones, Super Duper Easy

#1103 Wear Two Different Shoes

I am willing to bet we have all done this by accident.  Easy enough to do when one is in a hurry and grab a pair of shoes without checking that they match.  To check this off the list, I purposely wore 2 black shoes that were similar, but different.  Only wore them for a quarter of the day but it counts.

Have you done this by accident or on purpose? Similar or completely different types/colors?

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Posted in Festivals/Special Events, It's Artistic/Creative, Super Duper Easy

#1102 Take silly pictures in a photo booth

I can’t seem to take silly pictures. Other people make silly faces, or poses and they turn out. I was at an event with a bunch of friends and we were taking a group photo. the photographer took a couple of photos and then told us to “act goofy” the others made kissing faces or posed in a funny way, what do I do? I threw my hands up in the air and tilted my head. He waited a while to take the shot and by the time he did, I had put my hands down. So, I ended up not “acting goofy”. He then berated my idea and told me I needed to have a couple of drinks and then come back.

Seems like having photo booths and props are a new trend, they are at a lot of events I go to. Or maybe it’s just the type of event I go to that makes sense having a photo booth there.

Have you had fun with photo booths?

Posted in Bon Appetite, Drinks Galore

Recipe #6 Seared Pork Tenderloin

“Everyday Dining with Wine”

Read about this ongoing cookbook challenge here

Ingredients:
dried porcini mushrooms
chicken broth or water
olive oil, butter, salt, pepper, thyme
shiitake mushrooms
pork tenderloins (only I grabbed pork chops by accident)
shallot
red wine
dried figs
demi-glace
red wine vinegar

Wine Recommendations:
French Red Burgundy or Oregon and California Pinot Noirs

I chose Bogle Pinot Noir (from a California winery basically down the street)My Review:

making the sauce takes the most amount of time but it is full of flavor and good to go on top of the pork. I would make this again.

Posted in Generic Ones, Requires Travel

#251 Throw a coin in the Fontana di Trevi in Rome

I went to Italy with my roommate for thanksgiving vacation time during my college semester abroad. We stayed at a little hotel near the Roman Colosseum and went to many of the different sites to see in Rome. So, loved it there. I would go back in a heartbeat. My favorite food has always been Italian and was in heaven. I will say it was hard to get used to eating dinner so late, as their restaurants didn’t open til around 8pm. First time I tried and fell in love with Gelato and specialty coffees while there.

I can recall being surprised a few times of the sites in Rome. The Trevi Fountain, for instance was in small square. Of course it might have felt small as the fountain took up a lot of space and there were crowds sitting around the rest of it. Enjoying the view and sipping their coffees. The other sites amazed me by their size or just the fact that I was there seeing and touching things that have existed BC.

My roommate will have to verify this, but I think this was the first experience I had with a cappuccino. We had walked down a small alley and came upon the square. Was in awe of the huge fountain and got a cappuccino at one of the shops surrounding the square. And of course threw a coin over our shoulder into the fountain. Hoping the legend will come true and I will be back to Rome someday.

I think I will post more photos of this trip another time.

For more information and photos of the fountain, head over here to it’s wikipedia page

Photo below borrowed from wikipedia (who took it from a flicker album) to show you a bit more of the square.Have you been to the Fountain? Throw a coin in?

Posted in Requires Travel

#875 See Stonehenge and Join the Druids

I didn’t join any druids at Stonehenge, but it definitely was a highlight to see in person.

I saw Stonehenge in 1998 when I was there for a college semester. Just so you know it is located in the middle of nowhere in England. It was really neat to see in person, just sad that we can no longer walk among the stones. I can’t recall who this is in the photo with me other than it was another girl that was also in the semester abroad program. Going to Stonehenge was one of the extra group trips that one could take during our time in England.

In May 2010, my mom, sister, and I did happen to walk in the druid garden area in Blarney National Park (located in Ireland). We walked along the garden path and stopped at different places that had plaques explaining a little about different druid monuments where they once did different druid stuff. One of the places was the Blarney Witch Stone. People would leave offerings on the stone for good luck and also so the witch wouldn’t get you if you stayed there after dark. My sister tried putting a coin in the stone, but it kept falling off. We weren’t sure what that was supposed to mean, did the witch want more money?

On the way to Killarney, we found one of Ireland’s stone circles. As you will see, at this one you can still walk around the stones. It is called the Dromberg Stone Circle and has been around for a very long time. It may not look as mysterious as Stonehenge’s large stacked stones, but it still is impressive with the way people formed them and used it for seasons and such (as far as we know).

Have you seen Stonehenge?

Posted in Generic Ones, Home Town, Super Duper Easy

#567 Soak in a Hot Tub

My parents had a hot tub at the house while I grew up. We were very close to a family that shared our back fence. We even made a doorway so we could come and go in each other’s yard and house. They installed a pool. It became fun for us kids to go back and forth, jumping in the pool and then into the hot tub.

Another memory of “soaking” in the hot tub was when I was swimming at the junior college. One of the things swim teams do is shave down before a big race day (like championships). We get together and have a carbed out dinner, and shave our legs so they are nice and smooth and less resistance to go through the water. Some of the guys shaved their heads. I had one of these shave down parties at my house and we crammed a lot of the girls into the tub at one point.

Here’s a fun photo of us showing off our shaved legs.Often times it is nice to just relax and soak in hot tubs. Don’t you think?

Posted in Bon Appetite, Drinks Galore

Recipe #5 – Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Nutmeg & Balsamic Vinegar

“Everyday Dining with Wine”

Read about this ongoing cookbook challenge here

Ingredients:
large spaghetti squash
olive oil, balsamic vinegar salt/ground white pepper, unsalted butter, light brown sugar
grated nutmeg
finely chopped smoked almonds (optional)
(I added garlic)

Wine Recommendations:
Dry Riesling – Paul Blank (Alsace, France)
Slightly sweet Riesling – Hogue (Columbia Valley, Washington State)
Dry Gewurztraminer – Hugel (Alsace, France)My Review:
She wrote that it could serve two as a main course or four as a side dish. Well a large squash makes for A LOT of spaghetti. (side note: that shell is pretty hard to cut in) The first night I made it for a main course. There was lots leftover for my mom and I. I really liked the taste of the balsamic and nutmeg. I used smokehouse almonds and ground them a little to fine but they also added a nice flavor to it all.

I couldn’t find those wine choices at the store, so I went with my favorite Riesling – Chateau St. Michelle. It worked very well together. The dish was tasty, but it seem pretty plain. And having just the vegetable didn’t make for a full, healthy meal.

The second night, I added some chicken and wanted to add feta cheese but it had gone bad so we didn’t use it.

Posted in Learning Lessons/Research Discoveries, Movie Madness, Super Duper Easy

#1873 Learn the Names of the Seven Films in Which John Wayne Dies

Not sure why this is a must do, but now I’ll have to watch the movies, not just learn their names.

  1. The Shootist
  2. The Cowboys
  3. The Alamo
  4. Sands of Iwo Jima
  5. Wake of the Red Witch
  6. The Fighting Seabees
  7. Reap the Wild Wind

Whenever I think of John Wayne I can’t help but also think of a joke I heard a long time ago that totally cracked up my mom and sister too. I googled to see if I could find the description online and came across one post that had it titled that it was John’s favorite joke about himself:

To tell this joke properly requires a physical demonstration. I’ll describe it, then hopefully, you’ll know how to act it out.

This really was the Duke’s all-time favorite on himself. It takes place in what was his favorite restaurant, Ambrosia, on Balboa Island, Newport Beach, California where he lived.

As he was having dinner, a distinguished gentleman approached, introducing himself as Dr. William Thompson. “Mr. Wayne,” said the doctor, “you have been a hero to me for so many years. It is such a privilege to shake your hand.”

“Thanks, Doc,” Wayne responded with his famous grin.

The doctor then bent over and said quietly into Wayne’s ear, “Mr. Wayne, as a physician I couldn’t help noticing that when you went to the men’s room a while ago, you came out with your pants leg wet. Mr. Wayne, I really am a fairly prominent physician here in Balboa, and if you have any medical situation, it would an honor for me to treat you at no expense.”

Wayne stood up, towering over the doctor. [You now have to stand up.] “Well, Doc, you see, it happens every time. I’m standin’ there at the urinal… [you stand with your hands at the appropriate position]… and this feller comes and stands next to me. Then he looks up and says… [you look up in amazement, hands still there, pivot sharply right and shout]… ‘You’re John Wayne!'”

Posted in Sporty Chance/Heart Stopping Adventures

#1676 Break the Tape at a Triathlon (Phase 1)

I did not get to break the tape at the finish line, but this was my first time doing a triathlon, so I’m counting this as phase 1. Phase 2 will be breaking the tape or at least coming in first in my age group.

I raced a triathlon for the 1st time in June 2012.  This is something I’ve been wanting to for a while now.  I just needed to get enough workouts in to be able to finish it.  I mostly worked out, but there were also a lot of lazy days.  I felt very out of shape, but overall so glad I did it.  It was a lot of fun.  Here is a race report I wrote up for beginnertriathlete.com where I found a plan to follow and people to chat with in their forums.

 TRI for FUN Triathlon #1

Sprint (0.5 mile swim / 16 mile bike / 3 mile run)

June 2, 2012 in Herald, California

Weather was sunny about 70 degrees / high of the day was 97 degrees

Total Time = 2h 37m 47s

Overall Rank = 398/421

Age Group = 30-34

Age Group Rank = 24/25

Pre-race routine

racing site was less than an hour away. Woke up and had cereal, toasted wheat bread with peanut butter, and on the drive there had a small bottle of Gatorade.

Got to the site just as the transition opened. set up my spot and then found a couple of people to talk to from a tri club I am thinking of joining. Moved my stuff to their rack. A lady that has done triathlons for a year was very friendly and nice, and a guy that was his first time too. Talking to them calmed my nerves.

I walked around making sure to see where we were coming in from the swim and where to leave, come in on bike, and run. small enough of transition area (421 total people) so it was easy to find my bike.

Swim

Course: U shape course starting on the west side of the swim beach and ending on the east side of the beach

Started off in the water. I was going to be in the back, but no one wanted to tread water on one side of the start line, so I tread water and had hoped that it would help loosen up my muscles.

Took off fast at the start to try to stay away from the pack. swam to the outside the whole way. I think it was because i had a crick on my left side of the neck so ended up doing a shorter stroke with my left arm. felt like a decent enough pace. swam until my hand touched mud, stood up easily enough and ran up grassy area to transition.

I forgot to start the watch at the start and completely forgot to tap it for splits.  So I have no idea what my time was for each leg of the race.

T1

(Transition from swim to bike) sat down and dried off feet, put on sock and then shoes.

re-applied sunscreen to face and arms, put on t-shirt. headband, sunglasses, and helmet. grabbed bike and was off to the next part.

Bike

Course: Out and back from Rancho Seco park onto State Route 104. SR 104 is relatively flat with a couple of rollers thrown in. Had to deal with drivers coming from both directions

Heard a lot of “on your left” as bikers rode pass me. that was frustrating, but I knew I had to just ride since I haven’t done this before. it felt like a good pace to me, but guess it was a bit slow with the number of passerbys. I did have to move to the left once to avoid a pothole and a biker yelled at me to stay on my left. Sorry wasn’t going to ride through that pothole. but i didn’t waste my breath yelling at her back. most bikers were nice, a few added encouragements as they passed. Wasn’t used to the slopes up and down. toward the end, I was really hating even the slight incline.

T2

(Transition from bike to run) got off bike, feet felt like cushioned tops. got the bike racked, helmet off, hat on. made sure to grab a gu. I didn’t have bike shoes, so didn’t have to change that. put on race belt and took off for the run, volunteers all around to point the way.

Run

Course: Grass exit from the transition area and then an out and back on a dirt road. A little bit hilly, but not too high. lots of rocks. had water stations as you left for the run, and at mile 1 / mile 2 marker

by this time, was just doing what i could to finish. I was going run/walk but ended up walking a lot of it. my left foot and lower leg became completely numb. people later said it might have been because the shoelace was too tight. it felt better running for a little bit, then the inside part of my knees cramped up. first time that happened. easily out of breath.  very warm out by this time

Post race

walked around some, ate a banana & some pasta they had there.  was sooo glad that a guy gave the tip to freeze the water bottles the night before so the water was still cold for the bike and run

Posted in Home Town

#431 See A Ghost

The Sacramento Old City Cemetery hosts a few lantern tours in the month of October. They sell out spaces quickly, and so last year, I marked on my calendar the end of August to be on the lookout for tickets. I bought one as soon as possible and couldn’t wait until the night came. I really wasn’t sure what to expect other then seeing gravestones at night. Would I get to see a ghost?

That night (which just happened on a full moon night), I walked in and had to run to join my tour group, as I got there a couple of minutes late. Luckily they had just started and had stopped at the first spot for a story. Turns out there were about 6 different grave sites that we stopped at and heard a story of the resident resting there. A narrator that dressed up and either portrayed that person or as someone that was involved in their story. Which was pretty cool, it is interesting to hear about some of the past life stories.

One of the stories was interactive, in that there were people from the group that became the “suspects” in a person’s murder and the narrator pointed to each one and gave the reason why that person might have murdered the man buried at the spot.

As we listened and walked, you could hear noises among the graves, and turn to look at what might be making them, sometimes it was a “ghost” just standing or kneeling. Other times, they were grave robbers digging up the graves. What really got us was that sometimes, a ghost or zombie like would come walking by us, going through our group, OR stopping and staring at one of us. There was one ghost that decided he like this one lady, well she decided that she didn’t like that and stepped around her husband to the other side of him. the ghost just followed. So she did a little circle walking to get away from him. It was entertaining to watch.

Midway through our tour of the cemetery, we stopped for hot chocolate, cider, and a snack. Sat down on bleachers and watched a short radio show murder story.

 

Then onto a few more graveside stories. The last one stuck with me. It was about a lady that like to dress up and rode into town on her horse. She lived a little out of town at a place called Mormon Island that was now covered by Folsom Lake. That was the first time I had heard about the island. She ended up dying by falling off her horse, but her bustle got caught in the saddle, so she was dragged along.Then this summer, with the drought being so bad, this Mormon Island became uncovered by Folsom lake and there was foundations and little bits and pieces found. It became a great fascination for other people to learn about this lost community.

It was definitely a fun little evening, and while I didn’t see a true supernatural ghost, this “ghostly” experience counts in my book. If ever I do have an encounter, you can be sure I’ll write about it.

Have you gone on any lantern / ghost tours? How about a real supernatural sighting?

Posted in Bon Appetite, Drinks Galore, Festivals/Special Events, Requires Travel, Sporty Chance/Heart Stopping Adventures

Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

I went to Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany around 2002. I thought I’d write up a condensed list of some of stories/memories/experiences I had. I would LOVE to go to Oktoberfest again sometime, especially since I only was there one evening.

What I learned from my First Oktoberfest adventure in Germany:

  • Don’t wait until the day before to decide to go. You’ll only be able to get a room at a B & B outside of Munich in the middle of no-where.
  • Learned that Dachau is a little town outside of Munich, not just a concentration camp. Did you know that?
  • Don’t forget how you got to the B & B, you’ll need that information later
  • Learned they had carnival type rides there. Whoa, is that really a good idea?
  • Don’t be with people that decide to bring a little baby. They won’t let you in the tents/halls where there is beer, food, and fun music and dancing because of all the smoking that fills the air.
  • Beer and some food are available outside, and tables, but it looked more fun inside
  • If you are with people with a baby, you can sneak some free beersteins out, maybe. otherwise you have to buy them
  • Be careful handing your phone off to friends as a precaution to getting split up. Your dad might call to say hi and that friend will have a conversation with him, who has no idea who the person is. Luckily, I was nearby to grab the phone.
  • Do not lean against walls, ever! If you wonder why they are wet, just wait, you will see why lines to the guys bathrooms are so short.
  • You make all kinds of friends sitting at the long tables, sometimes you can understand each other and other times you just smile, laugh, and go along with what each of you are saying even though you have no clue.
  • Shepherding drunk friends back to the train station requires more than one sober person to help, depending on the group
  • You might think Dachau was small in the daylight and easy to navigate the roads, but at night the roads all become circles.
  • It’s spooky driving right past the remains of the concentration camp, especially when you realize that’s what it is and had never seen it. Don’t let your drunk friends convince you to stop to check it out. Don’t worry I didn’t let them.
  • Once you finally get on the road to the B & B in the middle of no-where, try not to get stuck with a train going through. The drunk friends in their wife beaters will try to speak to the occupants in another car for directions. Whether they understood the slurred English or attempts at German are unknown.
  • Make sure you can get into the B & B in the late evening. It took a while for someone to unlock the door
  • Make sure the couple with the baby have diapers. There are no places to buy some in Germany as everything is closed on Sundays.
  • Don’t forget a camera to take photos of all these antics, especially if you need proof when telling some one what they did
only photo I have, this is Dachu’s concentration camp ruins

Have you been to the Oktoberfest in Germany?  Or other big Oktoberfests? Crazy adventures to share? Been to Dachau?

Posted in Generic Ones, Learning Lessons/Research Discoveries

#37 Learn to Drive a Stick Shift

I learned to drive stick shift in a BMW car in Germany. I lived there for about one year with someone (around 2002). We purchased the car and got stick because it was cheaper. He and some friends drove out to the back roads for me to practice on. Well, first, I learned how to at least start from first gear up to 3rd in a parking lot. One thing about parking lots in Germany, they are A LOT smaller than ones here in the US.

After I learned to start and get going, we went to the back roads and I practiced going longer distances. up and down on the gears. From what I remembered I only stalled a few times; and was only late in shifting a few times.

I enjoyed driving in Germany especially on the Autobahn. Side note, there is in fact a speed limit on their freeway, but it’s pretty fast speeds. The thing you have to be very careful of are slow downs, those can come up fast if you aren’t paying attention. Like sudden stops. It was interesting when renting a car, they would break into any music on the radio if there was a traffic report needed to be broadcast in the area.

I also didn’t care much for driving the larger car. It was tight fit in the parking lot spaces and some of the roads.

It’s been quite a number of years now since I’ve driven stick. I know I would have to re-learn how.

Do you know how to drive stick shift?

Posted in Bon Appetite, Drinks Galore

Recipe #4 – Chicken Breasts with Prosciutto & Sage

“Everyday Dining with Wine”

Read about this ongoing cookbook challenge here

Ingredients:
Chicken breasts
Prosciutto
Sage leaves
Olive Oil and Dry Oloroso Sherry

Wine Recommendations:
Italian Nebbiolo, Pio Cesare Nebbiolo d’Alba, Vallana Spanna, Travaglini Gattinara, Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco, Massolino Barolo

I couldn’t find any of these so I bought a Tre Donne Barbari Nebbiolo
My Review:
Her recipe makes for six. I didn’t need to make all the chicken, so I bought 2. Ended up splitting one breast with my mom. It was very easy to make. I guess you only need to use one prosciutto slice per chicken, but I used 2 on each one.

A nice change from having just plain chicken.

Posted in Generic Ones, Looking Forward to, On This Day

40 til 40 Journey Begins Today

Today marks the start of my 40 days til 40 countdown. In the past, I’ve gone on trips or stayed and ate pizza (Oct is national pizza month). This year, I am looking to change things up and do something a little different

In addition to my normal posting of “bucket list” adventures and checking off things from my various lists, I think I would like to document the journey of counting down until my birthday and this milestone number.

Besides the number count for Scrabble, I get to move up in age groups for any races (running, swimming, triathlons) yipee?