Tuesday, January 31

girl, interrupted

Brian and I watched this movie last night. It was a story about a woman (Winona Ryder) who goes to a mental hospital to "rest" after trying to commit suicide. It took place in the late 1960s and was based on a true story.

While there, the main character befriends a group of women in the hospital. The most interesting is the character Angelina Jolie played (she won an Oscar for her portrayal). Given how Jolie was during the "Billy Bob Thornton" years, I'm not sure how much she actually had to act in this film. Nonetheless, it was interesting to watch.

It was a pretty good film if you are into character-driven plots.

Monday, January 30

grilling in january

It was another nice day, so I broke out the grill and cooked some steaks for supper. Mmm. Nothing like grilled food in January. I don't know if I've ever grilled in January before. Of course, we've never had a January like this before either.

In other food news, I completed the yearly update of my recipe file yesterday, printed it out, and put the pages in my recipe binder this afternoon. This year's update was easier than previous year's updates thanks to the latest version of MasterCook software that I had to buy for my new laptop. The latest version definitely has some improvements over the one I had. I still have some issues to work out, but all in all, I like it.

Sunday, January 29

meet the fockers

We caught this one last night. Brian thought it was good, I didn't like it all that much. The laughs just weren't there like they were in Meet the Parents. Of course, when we went to see that movie, I had been cooped up in the house for about eight months with an infant--it was bound to be good. Anyway, the movie wasn't horrible or anything, but I expect a lot from my comedies and this one didn't deliver.

Saturday, January 28

i am the wind

It would be funnier if it weren't true...

You Are Wind

Strong and overpowering. A force to be reckoned with, no one dares cross you. You have the power to change everything around you.
You are best known for: your wrath
Your dominant state: commanding
What Type of Weather Are You?

Friday, January 27

t.g.i.f.

It's finally Friday. Whew! It is also a kidless evening, so we made the most of it. I took Jacob to my parent's after I got off work (at 2:30. yes, working part-time is awesome). I'm refinishing a mission-style desk for them, so I put a coat of shellac on it this afternoon. The desk will have a similar finish as my sideboard (this picture doesn't do it justice).

After I got home, Brian and I headed out for dinner. I had a buy-one-get-one-free coupon for the Brownstown Pub & Eatery, but they are evidently closed for business, so we had to find somewhere else to eat. We ended up in the West End, so we checked out the Parrot Bay Cafe. Their menu was rife with typos (They say halopeno. I say jalapeno.), which had me worried, but everything turned out ok in the end. I had a glass of Merlot that was surprisingly good. In retrospect, I should've found out what kind it was. They had a ton of seafood on the menu, but I had shrimp last night so I wasn't in the mood. Instead, both Brian and I had beef. If I'm ever hungry for seafood, I might check them out again.

When we got home, we started recording our last song for the long-awaited rottenstone EP. The song is a cover, so it's the easiest one we've recorded yet. In fact, if I stop blogging, and get my butt downstairs and record my bass line, we may even finish it this evening.

Sunday, January 22

pittsburgh's going to the super bowl

Who would've guessed this a few weeks ago? Not me, for one. For a change, I'm looking forward to the Super Bowl this year. The way the Steelers have been playing the past few weeks make me think they have a pretty good chance of winning.

Woohoo!

Saturday, January 21

christmas with the kranks

This movie was based on a book by John Grisham. It was ultimately forgettable, but not painful to watch like I Heart Huckabees was. That movie has replaced Joe Versus the Volcano as the worst movie I've ever seen.

But, we did get to drink Margaritas while watching the flick, so all was not lost.

Wednesday, January 18

chiefs game

We attended our third and final social event of the week in the form of a Chiefs game with Judy. We also took our niece Erika. She did a great job of keeping Jake company. The Chiefs won the game handily, so that was cool. The crowd was pretty sparse, but I guess that's what a Wednesday night will get you.

This concludes our socialization for January.

Sunday, January 15

lemony snicket's a series of unfortunate events

Like we didn't sit around enough today watching football, we sat around more this evening to watch this movie. You could describe it with one phrase, "visually stunning". The architecture of the houses involved in the tale were all quite unique and interesting. The movie was based off of the popular Lemony Snickets books. Jake has a few of them, but we haven't read them yet, so I wasn't positive what to expect. But, having seen the previews and knowing that Jim Carrey starred in the film, gave me a clue. The movie was ok. We all enjoyed it, but I started to get a little bored by the end.

steelers 21 colts 18

Now we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief. What a friggin' game. I could do without this much excitement, to tell you the truth. The Steelers persevered despite the horrible call and pulled this game out. I'm so glad that Jerome Bettis didn't have to end his career with that fumble at the end. Next week: Denver.

wine tasting party

My mom decided to host a wine tasting party, so we attended our second of these types of parties last night. It is of my professional opinion that someone should host one of these once an month and invite me and Brian. As usual, we had a blast. It was kind of funny--there were a mix of people at the party, so everyone didn't know one another. Things were kind of subdued until the first round of wine was poured. After that, the volume level kept getting higher with each round of wine.

These parties have inspired me to start keeping a list of all of the wines we've tasted. Since I make a few hundred of bottles of wine each year, we don't get an opportunity to try a lot of different wines (other than our own). So, when we have the opportunity to do so, it seems logical to keep track of the wines we've tried.

Saturday, January 14

happy birthday, ed

Last night we headed over to Brian's parent's house to celebrate his dad's birthday. It was a pretty laid-back affair as it was just the three of us, Brian's parents, and our niece, Erika. But, since I'm all for laid-back affairs, it was a nice evening. The party got started a little later than anticipated because our new nephew, Mackay, was born the previous night and Ed and Ivah went up to New York to meet the new little guy and were running late on their return home. This was the first of our three social engagements this week.

Friday, January 13

lawsagna

Jacob is not a picky eater. I make quite a variety of foods. Some he likes, some he doesn't like, but I've never seen him eat with as much gusto as he did last night when Brian made lawsagna. What is this "lawsagna", you might ask? Well, it's Brian's mother's bastardized version of the Italian classic. Basically, all you do is brown up some onions and ground beef and then add a jar of spaghetti sauce to the pan. In between layers of cooked lasagna noodles, layer velveeta cheese and shredded mozzarella, along with the sauce mixture. Cook at 350 for 45 minutes, and you have lawsagna!

I'll admit, when I first heard of this recipe, I was skeptical, but it actually tastes pretty good. My mother, who is a bona fide Italian, likes it as well. I have no problems eating it, however, out of respect to my Italian heritage, I do not make the dish. Jake, being only 25% Italian, and over 50% English, doesn't have such qualms.

Thursday, January 12

hits

The Doodleman Pinscher has been good to me. I've gotten more hits off of that term than anything else I've posted. It's been a daily stream since I posted about it, though I'm sure the people were disappointed when they got here and didn't find any real information.

I haven't had a lot to blog about lately. Nothing has been going on here, though the next week should prove pretty busy. We have a couple of social engagements lined up, which is unusual for us in January. We tend to hibernate. But, perhaps this "false spring" that we're experiencing is causing us to socialize.

Sunday, January 8

us and them

Brian got me the new Shinedown album for Christmas. I've been listening to it for a few weeks and I have to say that I really like it. It's too early to tell if it's going to stand the test of time, but for now, it's a cool listen. I first heard of this band a few years ago and thought the singer was excellent, but I wasn't really into their songs. Then, they released "Save Me" from their latest album and I really liked the song, so I expressed my interest in owning their cd. The have a few slower tempo songs on there that I could do without (though I do sort of like one of them). And there are two bluesy songs on the album that I think are great (I hear shades of David Coverdale and Ray Gillen on them, and that I really like). I don't know the titles of half the songs or I'd mention them by name. The other thing I like about this band is that all of the members have long hair. What ever happened to long hair? All of the bands used to have it, now everyone's sporting a short 'do these days. But, I digress.

wedding crashers

I am disappointed again. This movie was hailed as the funniest R-rated comedy in years. And, while we found it amusing, it was certainly not the laugh-fest that The 40 Year Old Virgin was. The movie was ok, but rarely "laugh-out-loud" funny. Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn made for good partners in crime, though. I'd like to see them paired up again. Perhaps in something funnier than this was.

Saturday, January 7

sideways

We caught this movie last night. It was OK. Frankly, I expected more from it. I thought it was supposed to be a comedy, but it was more of a dramedy. The story was about two unlikeable fellows who go on a trip (a wine tour of Santa Barbara county) the week before the one guy's wedding and get into the sort of trouble you'd expect. It had some funny moments in it, but was definitely not bordering on hilarity. I suppose if I would've had different expectations about it, I might have liked it more. The margaritas were good, though.

Thursday, January 5

new toy

Dell was (maybe still is) having one of those 18-month-no-finance-charge deals so I thought this might be a good time to get a laptop (because I don't owe enough money to people already). It arrived yesterday. I'm blogging on it right now--in front of the tv, no less!

Now that Brian and I both have laptops, we won't have to talk to each other anymore. We'll be able to sit on the couch in the evenings and IM each other instead. Jake's pretty excited about this, too, because he's going to "inherit" my pc. Now that he's in school he'll be needing a computer for things anyway and I certainly don't want him messing up my computer. He's pissed because he doesn't have a laptop, though. Tell me the kid's not spoiled.

Tuesday, January 3

the incredibles

Brian and I watched this movie last night. Jake caught it Sunday afternoon while I was napping, so he was in and out of the room while we were watching. This movie was, in one word, incredible. Great story, animation, cast, etc. The plot was quite complete for an animated film. We both really enjoyed it. I kept waiting for the villain Syndrome to say "My name is Earl." But that was only because I saw that Jason Lee was playing the part. I'm looking forward to the sequel.

Monday, January 2

the 40 year old virgin

We watched this movie last night. It was freaking hilarious. I'm sure it helped that it was the uncut version of the film. I read that they cut 15 minutes of the film in order to avoid an NC17 rating. That's a lot of profanity. I guess it sometimes pays to wait until stuff comes out on video.

new year's weekend

The past weekend was pretty filling, but fun (besides the fact that I have been sick with a cold all weekend). Friday night, our friend John and his kids came over for a visit. We all had a blast. Drinks, food, and video games abounded. Even though his kids are older than Jake, they always do a great job playing with him.

Saturday night (New Year's Eve), we weren't planning on doing anything, but another friend of Brian's, Slim, invited us to his house for a New Year's Eve party. We generally like to stay home, but this was a pretty low key event and Jake was welcome, so we decided to go. Slim really enjoys cooking (on the grill), so they had quite a variety of tasty grilled snacks to eat. Jake had fun playing with the two girls that were there.

Sunday (New Year's Day) was celebrated in our usual fashion--I cooked up some pork, kielbasa, sauerkraut and dumplings and we washed that down with some sparkling wine (my current favorite is from Domaine-Ste-Michelle. we tried their blanc de blancs this time around).

Today was spent doing stuff around the house and recovering from the weekend. We also put our Christmas decorations away. I can't believe we have to go back to work/school tomorrow.