Thursday, December 31, 2009
The novel is essentially about a couple that meets by chance and quickly fall in love, like within two weeks quickly. John is a former rebel-type (with tattoos, drunken memories and one-night-stands to prove it) that the military has softened around the edges. Savannah is the quintessential "good girl." In fact, when John and Savannah meet, she is only in town for a couple months with a group that is building houses for less fortunate families. Kind of like Habitat for Humanity. She's a virginal, churchy, sweet, innocent girl that in many ways is very naive.
Once the two fall madly in love within their two weeks that John is on leave, John is back off to Germany to complete his two year contract with the Army. While he is overseas the two write each nonstop and fall more in love with each letter. However, at this point their love begins it's biggest test... September 11, 2001 and all it's horrific events unfold... In addition to this huge calamity, there is no shortness of death, health disorders or cancer in this novel. The couple experience a whirlwind of emotions along with their adversities. I don't want to ruin the novel (or movie) for anyone, but be prepared for a...different...ending. It's not what I would have thought, but it was a very good ending in it's own way. A Nicholas Sparks ending. I recommend this book, but keep a box of tissues handy...oh, and if you're planning on going to see the movie? Yea, definitely bring a few tissues in your purse because if you cried in The Notebook (like I have EVERY TIME I watch it) then yea...you'll need 'em!
Just a side note...The Notebook is definitely one of those movies for me that is like a train wreck. You love it and you know what's going to happen, but when you're flipping through the channels and you see it on TBS, TNT or any of those other movie channels you HAVE TO STOP AND WATCH IT. You know you're going to ball your eyes out, but it is soooooo good that you can't stop yourself. Other movies that have this same effect on me include Stepmom, Steel Magnolias and Fried Green Tomatoes. Ugh! Tear jerkers! Anyone care to mention their train wreck movies that they can't change the channel from?
Monday, December 21, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
First I start out by putting a dozen eggs in a pot full of water. Make sure all the eggs are completely submerged and then throw them on the stove top. I always sprinkle a good amount of salt into the water. This helps the eggs to separate from the shell later. Set the fire to high and watch for when it comes to a rolling boil. Once it's boiling...like so...set a timer for 10 minutes.
Once the eggs have boiled for 10 minutes, turn off the fire and let the pot sit for a minute or two. I'm not a big fan of pouring out the water and steaming my face, which is why I let it sit for a little bit.
At this point you'll want to grab your colander/strainer. Pour out the eggs and water into the colander. Set your faucet to cold water on low and start peeling your eggs. I hold the eggs under the water while I peel to help with the process. And I simply rap mine against my sink to get the peeling started.
Once all your eggs are peeled, slice them one by one and squeeze the egg white so the yolk dumps out into a separate bowl. Then arrange the egg whites in your serving dish.
Before I mix all the other ingredients into the yolk I like to mash the yolks with a fork. Then, I add in Miracle Whip, mustard, sweet pickle relish, paprika and pepper. I'm not super sure on the amounts, but I would guesstimate that I use about the same amount of Miracle Whip and relish, but half the amount of each of those would be the correct amount of mustard. And I use a good amount of paprika (probably a good 5-10 bangs on the bottom of the jar) and probably a teaspoon or so of pepper. The amounts in this picture are the exact amounts I used for the party today...no additions were needed. Sometimes I have to add a little bit more of this or that to make it taste just right.
What most everyone likes about these eggs is that there's a "just right" mixture of sweet and tart. The pickles give a nice sweetness because I ALWAYS use sweet pickle relish, not the regular stuff. Plus, the mustard gives just enough tartness...but, not too much.
Then...for a surprising little extra.
This gives the eggs a nice, tiny crunch.
See? Not too much. You can't even see it when you mix it up!
After you've filled all the eggs whites, tap the back of the paprika jar some more...just enough to sprinkle a little over each egg.
Yum!! Can't wait to have one for lunch. OK, two...maybe three.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Except, I don't eat one of them. It has nuts in it. I don't like nuts. They're gross. And I know I'm weird. But, I just can't do it. Both of my parents love nuts...walnuts, pecans, almonds...you name it, they like it. Apparently I did not inherit that fondness. Soooo...I don't know where I get this weird aversion to nuts...but, I don't like them. People say to me ALL THE TIME, "Well, why don't you just try it? You might like them now." Like I haven't tried a nut since I was five. You know what? People sneak nuts into stuff ALL THE TIME. So I get a *surprise* taste every now and then...I would venture to say at least a dozen times a year. And you know how I feel about it? Each and every one of those times nuts taste just as disgusting and yucky to me as the last. ::shrug:: Sorry to all you nut-lovers out there.
You're probably wondering where I'm going with this...well, I'm still contemplating a side dish to bring. But, in the meantime a co-worker requested that I bring something like a pie in addition to whatever side dish I bring. This being because she's heard so much about my newfound gift of pie baking due to crusts being easier for me. But, I don't have all the ingredients to make a pie right now. So instead, I decided to make cookies. These cookies posted on Tasty Kitchen. They were so cute and looked like a good idea.
So I started out by purchasing a package of Hershey's Kisses. If you have a helper in the kitchen I highly suggest giving them this "project." I was sooo tired of these foils by the time I was done. And this pile doesn't seem big enough...the pile in my memory is bigger, I guess. But, if you have kids or an anxious family helper. Tell them to, by all means, go for it!
I mixed together all the ingredients to form the dough and was getting ready to dump in the mini kisses. But, these were so cute that I thought I'd take a picture. How cute is that tiny kiss? I love it!
I will say that "rolling" the cookies into balls kind of threw me for a loop at first. In the picture on the recipe the cookies are all right-side-up and showing the kiss as sitting on it's bottom. Try sticking something inside dough, rolling it...and figuring out where the bottom is so you can set them on the cookie sheet. Hmmmm...toughie. But, to tell you the truth, it doesn't matter on these cookies. Mine didn't turn out perfectly shaped like the picture and I don't really care. They're good and that's all that matters!
While the cookies are baking, be sure to store the leftover kisses. They're a horrible temptation sitting out in a bowl! This picture was taken after I'd already snagged three.
At this point while the cookies are baking (in Wizard of Oz voice) pay no attention to the begging dog behind you...
After the first batch comes out of the oven and after you've transported them onto the cooling rack, be sure and sample while the second batch bakes. Mmm! Heavenly!
Once all the cookies have baked and are cool...what can you do to better a chocolate-filled chocolate chip cookie? Why drizzle it with melted chocolate, of course!
To start out I mixed some cream cheese, chopped spinach and sliced green onions in a bowl.
Then, I sliced a pocket in two chicken breasts and stuffed them with the filling. The yellow sauce you see that I slathered on the outside is Grey Poupon mustard.
O...M...G. One thing the recipe blog does not mention is the SMELL. The mustard makes this smell so...darn...good. After 35 minutes in the oven, this was the result and it was awesome.
I ate one of the chicken breasts with some Tuesday night leftovers. Very satisfying meal, I must say. While both are good...I probably won't pair them together again. The flavors from each dish are going for a different effect on your taste buds.
And if you're wondering about the glass in both this blog and Tuesday night's...I always have milk with my meals. So, you'll be seeing milk glasses a lot around here. At least during mealtime.
I started out by boiling some whole wheat pasta in some water (with olive oil and salt).
Once that was nice and hot I added the requisite diced tomatoes, chopped onions and garlic. Mmmm...garlic. Have I mentioned how much I love garlic? And have I also mentioned I always double the garlic quantities in recipes? So while PW suggests three cloves of garlic, I added five or six.
After that heated up I mixed about half the mixture with the pasta I had prepared. I'm not cooking for a husband and a handful of children, so there was no need for me to make five pounds of the stuff. So, I poured the other half of the sauce into a Tupperware-type container and froze it. I figure it'll make a nice quick meal or side dish (for David) next time around. All I'll have to do is cook some pasta and heat up this delectable sauce.
David does not consider a meal a...well, meal, unless it has meat in the starring role. His exact phrase has always been, "Something's gotta die." Nice, huh? So, while this was a savory meal for me on a weeknight...it wouldn't have worked for him. Which is exactly why I tried it out while he was off on business.
If you didn't click on the link for the recipe at the top of this post, here it is again. The PW has a nice link at the bottom of all of her posts to print out her recipes. And feel free to try it with the artichokes if that makes you feel better. Me...I'll continue to hold the stuff at arms' length.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Gordy's recipe is much simpler than mine. And if this is the first time you've made devilled eggs, I would recommend her version. Why? Because I can't give you exact measurements on mine. I just mix and taste until it tastes right to me. The same goes for when I make guacamole and mashed potatoes. I have no clue how much garlic powder I put in my guacamole, nor do I know how much cream I put in my potatoes... But, I will give you the ingredients and some approximations...just not today...maybe Friday...for the eggs anyway.
For now...Eggs. These are ALL Gordy's instructions and ingredients. I do mine a little different as you will soon find out.
Be very quiet...
Make sure no one is looking over your shoulder...
This may not be the exact brand...
But this is Gordy's secret ingredient...
There's numerous brands that make this stuff and I'm not really sure it matters, as they all pretty much taste the same. If you look at the basic ingredients on each one, it's essentially mayonnaise and pickle relish.
You'll want to take a dozen eggs and put them in a pot full of water. Make sure all the eggs are completely submerged. Place the pot on the stove and set the burner to high. Watch pot, but not too closely as you know the ol' saying goes, "A watched pot never boils." Hahaha, I crack myself up.
ANYWAY! When the water is at a full boil, set a timer for TWO minutes. Once the eggs have boiled on high for two minutes, turn the heat off and cover. Let them sit for ten minutes.
Drain hot water and run cold water over the eggs. This will make it easy for you to crack the eggs easily and they will "come out perfectly every time." And I quote Gordy. I love her. She's my "third mom." Have I told you that I've known her since I was five when threw up in my dad's brand new truck from eating too many goodies at her house during a New Year's Eve party? Ahhhh, memories...my dad loves that story, by the way. But, I digress...
If you've never cracked boiled eggs before, just rap them against the counter or sink and peel the shell off. Throw the boiled eggs in a bowl. When you're finished, slice each one and put the whites on your serving tray after squeezing out the yolk into a separate bowl. After that, simply mix the sandwich spread with the yolks until the consistency is correct. Then, spoon the yummy mixture into the egg whites and sprinkle paprika on top. Ta da!
Easy peasy and a crowd pleaser!
This didn't happen yesterday. I made a short trip to the local City Bites on my lunch hour to pick up a take-out order for myself and my boss. Everything looked very promising when I walked in. I was very hungry and I just LOVE their spuds, so I was practically salivating on my drive over there...in between stomach grumblings.
When I walked into the restaurant there was only one person in line ordering. Sometimes when I go, there's a massive line of 10-15 so this made me happy. Why? Because it was friggin' cold yesterday and they're ALWAYS busy on cold days because everyone else has the same idea about their hot, tasty spuds. Regardless, I could see it was going to be a "quick" transaction due to the lack of other patrons. When I walked up the cashier had just given the customer in front of me her total, we'll call her Ms. Customer. Ms. C. started to pull out her wallet and proceeded to fish out a $10 or $20 bill (I wasn't paying much attention at this point) and gave it to him for payment. The cashier looked up and saw me and gave a, sort of, nod of recognition. I go there enough for the employees to recognize me...at least the ones that work the cash registers.
At this point, I began to eye the cookie case. Have you ever had a City Bites cookie? They're the best and apparently they have a couple holiday flavors right now...yum! But, I'm trying to be somewhat good so I just looked longly into the case. The cashier quickly made change (cash and coin) and grabbed the receipt for Ms. C., then immediately looked to me expectantly for my pick-up order request. However, I wanted to wait until Ms. C. moved out of the way so I wouldn't be rushing her and could, also, easily hand him the payment for my transaction. Ms. C. started to fumble with her purse and wallet as she tried to hold both of these and her change. We both looked to her at this point as she appeared to be having some difficulty. I tried to distractly look back into the kitchen area...so as not to make her feel rushed as she was obviously flustered for whatever reason.
Around this time I heard change hit the floor. Spinning my head back around, I was going to help her pick it up, but she had already hunched near the ground to pick up the two or three coins. At this point I happened to make eye contact with the cashier who had a slightly exasperated look. Then, Ms. C. proceeded to put the change in her little change section of her wallet...and then started to arrange her cash money in the correct order and direction in the bill section.
Quick Pause In Story: Am I the only person who just throws it all in the coin section and goes back later to fix it? Like I mentioned earlier, I worked in a bank before. For three and a half years. I'm probably the most OCD person anyone knows about the money in my wallet. All facing the same direction, in monetarily correct order, all right-side up, etc. Of course, this is when I have money. Like I've said previously, I almost always use debit or credit cards so it's rare that I have cash. But, when I do...this is how I am. Nevertheless, I never, ever, ever do this with people waiting in line behind me in a store or food establishment.
Back to the story, Mr. Cashier looks at me now with a somewhat apologetic look. He motions with his head towards Ms. C. who then makes a point to zip and snap her wallet shut and reach to put it back into her purse, throw her purse over her shoulder and head over to a table to sit and wait for her order to be called. This entire exchange took approximately 30-60 seconds after she was handed her change and receipt. This doesn't seem like a long time...unless you're the one waiting on it. Try it. Sit there for a minute and do nothing but pretend to watch someone fuddle around with their wallet.
While this did not ruin my day or greatly irritate me (slightly-yes, but greatly-no)...I just don't understand it. My mother always taught me to be mindful of other people and try not to get in the way. I can't tell you how many times I was told to 'stand back' or 'get out of the way' as a child. Ms. C., who by the way was probably a little younger than my mother, did neither. Granted this incident didn't really hurt anything, but perhaps it makes one think about how you are perceived by others in public. I walked away from the situation with no desire to meet Ms. C. (less desire than I normally would with a complete stranger) while she probably has no idea the impression she made (on me and the cashier).
Just a thought the next time you're in line at your local grocery store or other public establishment...
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Apparently after last year's purple tree, Sandie had aspirations for a red, white and black tree. This tree is completely white (kind of that retro look from the 60s). Then, she purchased some black Halloween tinsel in the clearance bin this year. After ripping off the skeletons and such attached, she had the perfect tinsel for her tree. There's a scattering of white and black ornaments, but the red lights and birds really set the mood for this tree. For the leftover lights and tinsel, there's a makeshift tree skirt at the bottom. Like I said before, gorgeous. So, Sandie, whatcha got in mind for next year?
I hope everyone is enjoying all the conventional and unconventional Christmas decorations that others are sharing. This weekend I'll be looking forward to visiting the Chickasha light show. It is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and has received acclaim across the country for its magnificence...and rightly so! Unfortunately, David doesn't have the patience for this sort of thing. If it's not something he's "in" to his attention span is about ... ... ... that long. Isn't that a guy thing? However, I was able to get his parents to go with us last year (without telling David about how long it usually takes) and they've requested to go again this year. Yay! Wish me luck in the crankiness department when drive down there!
Monday, December 14, 2009
Basically, the gist of this story is that a curator of the Louvre is murdered in connection to a Holy Grail pursuit. The curator's granddaughter and an American symbologist get caught up in the murder investigation as suspects. The rest of the novel consists of their story, while on the run from the authorities. There's numerous twists and turns along the way including an interesting twist on what the Holy Grail actually is. Many people consider the book and movie blasphemous and after reading it...I can see why. Dan Brown does a very good job making a fictional piece of work SEEM believable...but, that's all it does. It seems believable; it's not truth. I'll definitely be continuing to read Dan Brown as this was an excellently played out story line.
Now, I'm on to Dear John so I can finish it and swap books with my friend...that way we'll both be ready for the movie come February! Unfortunately, that's the only book I have going right now. David and I went to Half-Price Books on Saturday to peruse the selection and there weren't any audiobooks from my "to read" list. ::sigh:: I'll try again later this week as their variety changes from day to day, luckily.
Friday, December 11, 2009
They were the biggest hit EVER. Both rolls of quarters ended up being the first items to be frozen.
Last night was the Junior Hospitality Jingle Mingle and we, David and I, participated in that $20 Dirty Santa game. On Wednesday night we were talking over dinner trying to figure out WHAT to take. I know that's kind of waiting until the last minute, which I don't normally do, but hey, it happens. David joked about us just taking two rolls of quarters since the whole idea went over so well at the family Christmas party. Then...mid-salad David had an epiphany. He remembered a certain company's present commercial theme...
Needless to say, an idea was born. I went to Michael's to purchase the googly eyes that night. Then, yesterday on my lunch hour I went by the bank, withdrew $20 in ones and requested the blue money strap. This was the result and it was awesome.
I was a little worried that it wouldn't go over as well as David and I had hoped...but, no worries there. It was the first item frozen in the game. I would highly recommend making one of these if you have a Christmas party to attend that includes a Dirty Santa game. Heck, it might just be a funny way to give someone cash for Christmas rather than in a money envelope or as a check!
It was suuuuuper easy to make. I simply put two slightly skinner sheets of paper between each bill, just to make the stack thicker. Then, after strapping all the "money" together I took a small piece of cardboard and folded it in half to make the shape of an "L." (The package of googly eyes had a cardboard piece folded in half and stapled to the plastic bag containing the actual eyes...I used that piece of cardboard for this part.) After that, I taped the bottom of the "L" to the money strap and the front of the "L" to the two googly eyes. Ta da! Super easy and a crowd pleaser!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
In case you can't tell...it says "ACARTAG." ::chuckle::
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
I'm also totally a debit card girl and swipe for, literally, everything. It's rare for me to have cash, especially more than $20 at any given point in time. Because of this I've noticed all these new places that are putting tip lines on their credit card receipts as well as tip jars out. I am ALL about tipping someone who waits on me at a restaurant or brings my food out to me at a drive-in. These people check on you, refill your drinks, take food back if it's not cooked right and check with you throughout your meal. And those carhops will bring you food whether it's 72 degrees outside or 105 degrees...or 20 degrees like today! But, these places where I am standing at the cash register or sitting in the drive-thru...simply waiting on you to ring me up...really? Especially if I'm in a self-service type place (i.e. salad bar, fro-yo bar)
I was a cashier at a pool in high school...I didn't get tipped. I was a cashier when I worked at Home Depot...I didn't get tipped. I was a cashier at Express and Victoria's Secret...I didn't get tipped there either. And you know what, I didn't expect it either. If I, the customer, am doing all the leg-work, I just can't justify giving you 20% of my ticket.
Am I alone on this? Not to mention the fact that waitresses and carhops typically get paid just a few bucks an hour. If you're getting paid $8-10 an hour to ring up some sales behind a cash register...no, I don't think so. So Starbucks, Java Dave's and all you fro-yo cashiers, stop giving me googly eyes and looking at me funny because I don't give you an extra $2 on my debit card receipt!
Did you notice the order of books though? I had these three classics from a previous purchase way back when...high school, I think. As you can see, this isn't the first time I went through a classics kick. If I remember correctly, I didn't make it through Anna Karenina, but the other two I read. It's been too long to be able to remember though...I don't remember any storylines. We'll see if I can stick to it for at least a little while. My three genre rotation is set in motion:
My Sister's Keeper - fiction
I still need to get a couple to put before Lady Chatterley's Lover, but I think these will keep me busy for now.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Shrimp and Broccoli Packets (from Reynolds Wrap)
2 sheets (12x18-inches each) Reynolds Wrap® Release® Non-Stick Foil
1/2 pound medium raw peeled and deveined shrimp
1 cup instant rice
2 teaspoons seafood seasoning ***
2 cloves garlic, minced, divided (I always use 3-5 cloves, but I love garlic)
2 cups broccoli florets
2 tablespoons butter, cut in pieces
8 ice cubes
1/2 cup water
Preheat oven to 450°F or grill to medium-high.
Center one-half of shrimp on each sheet of Reynolds Wrap Release Non-Stick Foil with non-stick (dull) side toward food. Arrange rice around shrimp; sprinkle shrimp and rice with seafood seasoning and half of garlic. Place broccoli over shrimp; sprinkle with remaining garlic and top with butter. Place ice cubes on top.
Bring up foil sides. Double fold top and one end. Through open end, pour in water. Double fold remaining end to seal packet, leaving room for heat circulation inside. Repeat to make two packets.
Bake 15 to 18 minutes on a cookie sheet in oven or grill 9 to 13 minutes in covered grill. Stir rice before serving.
Serving suggestion: Squeeze fresh lemon juice over shrimp before serving. (I never do this, it doesn't need it-plenty of flavor from seasoning and garlic already!)
Reynolds Kitchens Tip: To pour liquids into packets, hold packets at a slight angle. After folding ends to seal, turn folded ends up to prevent leaking.
Number of Servings: 2
Nutrition Information:(Per Serving)
grams fat 14
% calories from fat 30
milligrams cholesterol 254
milligrams sodium 1204
grams carbohydrates 44
grams protein 31
***Another recommendation: I use this seasoning as my "seafood seasoning" in this recipe. It's also pretty much my "go to" seasoning. Any time I'm in a rush and just want to quickly grill some chicken on my George Foreman grill or any other quick meal in which I want to add some extra spice-this is the seasoning I grab. I will say that a little bit of this goes a long way. While I don't recommend being sparse with it, just don't load the meal down with it either...it gets to be quite much and very salty if you do.
*Yet Another recommendation: Be sure to drain the foil packets before you stir and plop them on your plate. This way, if you happened to add too much water/ice cubes, you don't get a puddle of lukewarm water on your plate (Yuuuuuk!).
I hope everyone is having a Terrific Tuesday and that your knees are bruise-free!
Monday, December 7, 2009
5 peeled & sliced Granny Smith apples
2 tbsp. flour
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
1/4 tsp. salt
1 recipe Perfect Pie Crust
6 tbsp. butter
1. Preheat oven to 375-degrees.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the apples, flour, lemon juice, granulated sugar, brown sugar and salt. Set aside.
3. Roll out two pie crusts into large circles. Place the circles on large baking sheets.
4. Place half the apple mixture on one crust and other half on the other crust.
5. Fold over the edge of each crust so that it covers 2-3 inches of the apple mixture. No need to be artistic - the more rustic the better.
6. Dot the tops of the pies with chunks of butter.
7. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the filling is golden and bubbly. If the crust appears to brown too quickly, cover the edges with aluminum foil for the remaining baking time.
8. All to cool slightly, then slice.
Of course, after this I just popped some Otis Spunkmeyer frozen dough in the oven to bake while I finished preparing to leave and transport my goodies. They went over well, also. If you get a chance to purchase some of this dough I highly recommend the cranberry oatmeal. Very tasty and holidayish.
I'm sorry that I didn't take any pictures of the goodies this weekend, but between the rushing around for the Christmas party AND preparing for mine and David's short trip to Kansas City (to watch the Chiefs lose to the Denver Broncos) I just plumb forgot. I'll try to do better in the future! Hope everyone had a marvelous weekend and got some Christmas shopping done!
Friday, December 4, 2009
Here's my gift idea...
...only the idea is to pick the letters of the recipient's last name. I would LOVE to have one of these for my house and even David's. I've actually considering buying one for David's house, but it seems kind of silly to buy a grown man decorations for his house when he'd rather receive Legos. Yes, Legos. Don't ask.
Another reason why I liked this gift idea is that it seems like something that one would never buy for themselves. One year my stepdad's parents went with an idea similar and it went over extremely well. Only, the premise of their last name hanging was a crocheted doily matted in a frame. They're gorgeous. My parents still have theirs. Regardless, the cheapest ones of the above pictured idea that I could find on the internet was around $100. Really?? Seriously?? It's a few pictures...framed...and that's it. I can understand if you pick an expensive/ornate frame, a detailed matting, an extra large (20x24) version OR if your name was 16 letters. But, for just a plane jane black frame, white matting with a 5-10 letter name??? Reeeeeediculous. About as ridiculous as the pet rock. Just my personal opinion.
Phew...glad my first "mud" blog is out of the way. Now I can get into the good stuff. For the past couple weeks I've had ideas, but they all have involved bathrooms. And I didn't want my first "mud" labeled blog to be about bathrooms. Especially when every other blog is about food. However, one of my ideas/inquiries was why women will breeze into a public restroom, try to push open a locked stall door, then get embarrassed and wait for that person to finish and leave rather than simply squat and check to see if there are feet under the other stalls. Then there's that awkward look exchanged between women when the occupier is exiting the stall. This happened to me last week and mine was the only occupied stall in the entire bathroom. ::sigh:: I wish I could say this was the first and only time this has ever occurred...but, it's not and I doubt it'll be my last.
I hope everyone has a fun-filled weekend. Tonight I'll be viewing New Moon in the balcony of the Warren Theater with one of my best friends. Then, Saturday I'll be participating in a potluck pre-Christmas dinner with my stepdad's family. I love getting to see all my aunts, uncles and cousins even if it only might be this one time per year. Next week I'm sure I'll detail what I bring...but, I'm not going to tell you what it is just yet. You can just live in the anticipation. Then, I'll be headed for a football game on Sunday...in the bitter cold. We'll see if I live through it.