Sunday, November 23, 2008

make pizza from scratch

Ladies and Gentlemen, you are probably reading this because either consciously or unconsciously you have decided you have nothing better to do (or you just don't want to do whatever it is you should be doing!). Allow me to make a suggestion. If any of you ever need something to do, give me a call. After hours of tinkering in my secret laboratory (read: lub o' ruh tory) I have created a Random Idea Generator.

The actual technology and mechanics of this generator are not important, but they harness renewable energy sources such as positively charged children playing on negatively charged playground equipment.

From time to time I may include an item from this Idea Generator and all who read this are encouraged to try it and comment with their results.

Today's item is "make pizza from scratch". I think I'll try making a new kind of pizza as well. Since we have so much leftover from a pre-thanksgiving thanksgiving feast with our ESL class I think I'll make Turkey and Stuffing Pizza with a Spicy Green Chili Salsa (thanks to Maria) instead of tomato sauce.


In point of fact, Salsa Verde makes an excellent (and healthier) alternative to gravy or cranberry relish for all that white turkey meat. The subtle smokiness of tomatillos marries well with brined white meat.


All this talk about food will have to wait, however, as I've just had the first piece and a half of the birthday cake my grandma made me. If any of you out there think your grandma makes a mean cake, let me just say your grandma ain't like my grandma. This cake is intense. It's so fudgy and moist that you can't eat it too fast or you won't be able to breathe. Yeah. Intense.

Also, I have a birthday coming up and have not yet finalized what my birthday wishes will be. If you need something wished for, please let me know. If it's a worthy cause, I might donate a wish or two.


ps. My sister makes mashed potatoes. I call them her "If I die now, at least I'll die happy" potatoes (though she doesn't know this). They get this name, obviously, because they're so good. But also because if you underestimate them and treat them as a side dish, they just might be your last. This tasty mash has the nutrition facts of a whole meal!


pps. I'm drinking coffee because it calms me down and makes me feel smart. I'm drinking decaf because I don't want to be wired.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Choose your own adventure...

OK, so want to write a choose your own adventure book, but I don't have the time or skills to do so. So here's what i'm gonna do. I'm gonna start the story. And I might even continue it some, but if any of you aspiring writers out there want to help a brother out, feel free to add to the adventure. Simply add a comment to the end of a section with a link to the follow up section on your blog.

For those interested, here are the ground rules:

1. Choose your own adventure stories are written in second person. For the sake of continuity I ask that you write with lots of sensory words and direct actions.

2. No writer writes two consecutive sections of the story (unless a week has passed with no other contributions). This is to be a collaboration.

3. Each "episode" ends with a clear decision for the reader to make. The decision should be simple with only 2 choices and should leave room for the next author to take the story in a new direction or add a new element to the story. These decisions should refrain from leading the following section too much. For example, a good concluding decision might ask "Do you decide to eat dinner at home, or go out to get something?" A leading question might ask instead " Do you stay and eat macaroni, or do you go to McDonalds".

4. This story is PG.

5. There are no other rules

"unquenchable wonton hunger"

when my wife was reading out loud the other day she came to this phrase and we both had to laugh. i picture a funny little man with rounded cheeks suffering from insatiable cravings for crunchy won tons. "more...more!"

that's what i thought of anyway.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

story seed

You look up through the pouring rain at a pickup's tail lights disappearing behind trees and a bend in the road. Your knees and the heels of your palms sting from your rough acquaintance with the black top moments ago. Your dry clothes already are becoming soaked. You curse under the noise of the wind and rain. "Lemming Poo!" (go ahead and say it) You catch a chill as you wipe the droplets from your wristwatch and check the time: 1am. Three hours until even the earliest commuter will be on the road. . . .

You look behind you. More trees. You look up. Skinny and bare, the white trees stand out against a charcoal sky. It's been raining for long enough that the trees are dripping as much as the clouds. The drops are fewer, but larger. No shelter here. "LEMMING POO!!!" You shake your fist at the sky as you howl your curse at the moon. (go ahead, do it) But you know deep down that you can only blame yourself.

You reach for your wallet. Gone. You shove your hands in your front pockets. Empty. You look up to see the trees at the bend in the road lighting up. A car is coming. But who is it? Do you run and hide or do you try to get their attention?

Sunday, October 12, 2008


you know how every website and their mom wants a security question with some piece of secret personal information. well, a lot of these websites are not important to me, so a long time ago I stopped giving them accurate information. i try to make stuff up, because i think that someone somewhere is building a book about me.

My goal is that when someone goes to steal my identity and they open up this imaginary book that the find, proudly displayed on page 15, that my mother's maiden name is Lemming-Poo. Imagine the look on the teller's face when they try to get into my account with THAT one. he he he...

The bride of Christ

For a long time I never really liked Mother Teresa. (am I going to hell for that?) I didn't. I guess I just thought she wasn't sincere, like she was trying to win some international popularity contest and everyone voted for her because she would touch lepers. She didn't seem normal and I couldn't relate to her. The idea that Mother Teresa was a "good person" was just too cliche to really be true.

I just finished a book about her and I can't tell you how moving it has been to realize I was wrong. Mother Teresa was a strong mystic. She longed to have encounters with Jesus. And yet she lived for decades (the majority of her life) without feeling his presence. From the letters she wrote it is clear the pain this caused her--the loneliness she felt. She tried to quench Jesus' thirst--the thirst he felt as he hung on the cross--by giving herself entirely to Him. And yet she almost always felt that he did not come to her and love her the way she so fiercely wanted to be loved.

Eventually she came to believe that this seeming rejection by Jesus was a way she could better relate to Christ's death on the cross and separation from God's love. By reliving the crucifixion she could carry maybe some ounces of Christ's pain for him.

She actually thought and spoke of herself as Christ's little spouse. He was her daily companion, her deep lover. She wanted to be married to Jesus. And she vowed never to refuse Jesus anything he asked of her.

Living out that vow and in the process discovering what it meant wasn't easy, but her faithfulness blows me away. I'll never think of her as cliche again.

But what troubled me throughout the book was the same thing I think she struggled with. She was clearly faithful, but God didn't seem faithful to her. At least, I don't understand His faithfulness. And I'm pretty sure she didn't either.

But somehow in her death I think you can see Jesus was faithful. She was old and had been near death several times. She was more and more excited as she neared her death because she knew it would be a reunion with her long distant lover.

One night she was in the Mother House--a house she had established where the sick and dying of Calcutta could die loved and with dignity--when rather suddenly she complained of back pain. Soon she was having difficulty breathing. Not to sit idly by and be the ones who let Mother Teresa die before their eyes (imagine the ridicule you might get for that...) the sisters there were ready. They brought in a doctor and a priest, a breathing machine and two independent sources of electricity. As they were about to hook up the machine, there was a city-wide power failure and Mother Teresa slowly faded away in the dark.

Though she probably could have been "saved" (in human terms) if there hadn't been a universal power outage, I think Jesus called her back into his arms. I can't imagine that kind of reunion, but I get chills thinking of how powerful Jesus' faithfulness to her felt in that moment. How in the midst of lightless night in Calcutta, God brought his light bearer to the masses back into his bright presence.

It makes me realize a little more how suffering is a part of every person's--and every believer's--experience. There are times and seasons--sometimes years and decades--where God doesn't seem faithful. I think those times are very important times in our lives. I don't understand it, but in someways I wonder if that's the point.

The book was:
Come, Be My Light.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Burger or Gormet Experience?

Howdy. I will add more description in a moment with help from live feedback sources. Sam P. @ 6:36Pm.

Hey, it's me again. 6:42Pm. No bun, twin stacked patties, eating with fork. There is a sauce on top along with caramelized onions in a red wine reduction with, I believe, a chicken broth base. As I eat, I find a creamy bleu cheese sauce between the patties. I simultaneously have the photo I've posted described as "a bloody clam with leeches all over it."

6:48Pm "Pearl of Great Burger" according to live feedback sources. The blue cheese is seen in the following photo. Burger is beginning to cool. Perhaps it is time for a reheat. A Note on the Beer: I like it. It has to my un trained pallette, a malty hoppy taste, smooth, but I think for the full experience I should have poured it rather than take it from the bottle.

6:52Pm. The beer "looks like a heinz 57 bottle". I hear "Pearl of Great Burgers" sounds better. I haven't talked about the tomatoes yet. "Are they pretty sweet?" I don't know if they're sweet. They're a little sweet, but they have a juicy tang, OK? They're not all red - some yellow, some green. I feel they really complete the taste circle. You've heard of complete proteins? When I get some meat, some cheese, some onion, and some tomato I get a complete taste. Its good.7:00Pm Clean Plate Club! Woo Hoo! Now that was fine meal. Beer's still on though! I'll let you know any other interesting morsels I can sink my teeth into...

Special Thanks to luke healy - virtual taste tester and visual food critic. Couldn't have done it with out you...

And for dessert Agave Wheat from Breckenridge Brewery. Sweeter than the last... and as cloudy a beer as I've seen in a long time--felt like i was drinking mulled cider or clover honey. Brewed with real agave nectar--the stuff of mezcal. Cool label.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Funky Blog Name

When I was learning to ride my bike my parents decided to bribe me. If I could ride my bike--without training wheels--all the way around the path in the park they would buy me any Nintendo(r) game I wanted. Eventually I did it and my folks took me to Children's Palace. For those of you who didn't live in KC 20 years ago, Children's Palace was a huge toy store with giant red towers on each corner. If a giant toy store wasn't exciting enough, the castle spires really added to the hype.

So there I was, 6 years old with a free ticket for any nintendo game I could want. I was drooling with anticipation: Ninja Turtles, Contra, Punch-Out...even Wheel of Fortune!

And I choked! I was Gretsky with an open net and I choked! I picked this game no one's ever heard of before called "A Boy and His Blob!" about a boy and his, well...his blob, I guess. It looked like a jet-puffed marshmallow with a mini-marshmallow for a head.

I thought it looked cool because you could feed the blob jelly beans. Tangerine turned him into a trampoline, Licorice a ladder, Root Beer was a rocket, etc. And the only kind he wouldn't eat was ketchup jelly beans. So I played the game for hours trying to get him to eat a ketchup jelly bean. Waste of time.

I picked the name here because of the pun. It feels like something I would have named my e-mail account in middle school. But I think its fitting because I don't really know what this blog will be like and if its anything like my written journal it will be lots of different things at different times--depending on the jelly beans i've been eating.

Advice from older and wiser bloggers is welcome. As well as challenges! I welcome challengers! Just don't leave any ketchup jelly beans in my comments. If the blog eats them, he'll become a petrified marshmallow. And what good is that?

First Post

Tuberculosis and cancer are not the great diseases. I think a much greater disease is to be unwanted, unloved. The pain that these people suffer is very difficult to understand, to penetrate. I think this is what our people all over the world are going through, in every family, in every home.

This suffering is being repeated in every man, woman, and child. I think Christ is undergoing his passion again. And it is for you and for me to help them--to be Veronica [who wiped Christ's sweat with her veil as he carried the cross], to be Simon [of Cyrene] to them.

Our people are great people, a very lovable people. They don't need our pity and sympathy. They need our understanding love and they need our respect. We need to tell the poor that they are somebody to us, that they, too, have been created, by the same loving hand of God, to love and be loved.

~Mother Teresa
as quoted in Come Be My Light
(footnote brackets added)