Monday, January 19, 2009

Striking that perfect ten

Southport Lanes
Originally uploaded by PhineasX.

It was Mero's birthday last week and so on Sunday, she got a bunch of friends together to go bowling at Southport Lanes & Billiards. Even though I only live 10 minutes from the bar, I had never been there before. But I remember Mero once saying to me that the bowling alley is so old school, even employing people to score for you, and to clear & set the pins - wonderful!

So off I went, and the fact that my bowling shoes matched my top was obviously a great omen. I got a strike all on my own, and then a couple more - when the boys clearing the pins kicked down some stubborn skittles for me. And bless her, the scorer counted it as a strike!

Fortunately for me, everyone was pretty on par in terms of bowling ability (aka we were all equally terrible) so I felt pretty good at strutting my stuff. We were distracted by birthday cake at one point, so I'm not even sure if we finished our game - but it was lots of fun all the same.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Pasta therapy

Originally uploaded by monkeycat!.

There are few things in life more comforting to me than a bowl of pasta and glass of red wine. It is not necessary for both to be of superb quality either; a good wine is enough to wash down a so-so pasta, just as much as a rustic pasta dish is enough to mask any sub-par wine. They help each other so perfectly, and that makes them my ideal food therapy.

It's not so much that I needed therapy tonight, but I was longing to see L&D as it had been months since we had caught up. I was craving a hearty pasta/wine combo meal, so I asked the boys if they'd like to meet me at "Angelina's", which is equal distance from each of our apartments. Coincidence?!

As with any reunion, there was much to talk about and so much news to catch up on. We toasted the rendez-vous with some prosecco to start, and then the main meals came out.

L chose the mushroom risotto with a healthy dollop of goat cheese on top (I coveted it almost immediately) and D selected the eggplant parmigiana that had so much mozzarella oozing on top of it that I was suddenly so happy. On D's recommendation I selected the linguine mare, with such generous portions of shrimp, mussels and calimari, I was well pleased. And the delicious Chianti Classico that D selected complemented our dishes perfectly.

I regretted not owning any elastic pants after that meal, but I'd like to think that I ended things well by having an espresso and lemon sorbet for dessert - moderation in all things, as they say!

I think a lot of people love the pasta/wine combo as a comforting meal. Granted it's easy to prepare in your own home, but there is something special about having someone else make it for you too.

Friday, January 02, 2009

We're off to an interesting start

Jan 18 / IMG_6351
Originally uploaded by tavopp.

I am quite relieved that I decided not to make any resolutions with the dawning of this New Year. Not only am I not dedicated enough to keep said resolutions; rather I appear to be completely unable to resist temptation of any kind.

Case in point, today's eating habits. The day started with a Potbelly breakfast sandwich (a personal indulgence and quite yummy); then I returned to Potbelly for lunch (and tried a new sandwich option which I found to be so delicious I fear it will quickly became a favourite); and now I am ending my day with cereal for dinner. And raisin toast.

I don't know why I feel obliged to tell you about the toast. Perhaps it's my vain attempt to round out the meal, and (in a way) make it OK that I'm living my day in reverse and having 7 whole grains for dinner.

All this weirdness is my own fault, really. I forgot to defrost any of the alarming amount of food in my freezer. So for dinner tonight, I can either have an iceblock that looks and tastes alarming like beef stew, or I can enjoy cereal and raisin toast. It's scary that I can explain this to you.

Now before you coming rushing over bearing casseroles and potluck dinners, let me assure you that I do have salad ingredients in my fridge. However, when I opened the door to get the milk out earlier, the mixed lettuce greens growled at me, and I believe that the tomatoes are currently waging a turf war with the cucumber for ultimate supremacy over the bottom shelf. It's like "Lord of the Flies" in there right now and much like this entire posting, it's pretty scary stuff.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

A new year, but now what?

Pick me, pick me
Originally uploaded by wabberjocky.

The first day of a new year always makes me wonder whether my energies are better spent looking back over the year that was, or looking ahead to the year that will be.

And so I find myself sitting at my computer table overlooking the Chicago neighbourhood below, in the manner of a Midwestern Carrie Bradshaw, not quite sure where I go from here. When you've got so many options, and so many possibilities, I couldn't help but wonder: can you really have it all?

By choice I had a very quiet New Year's Eve. In fact, I was asleep by 11pm. But I awoke with a headache, and I was tempted to see that as a rather ominous start to 2009, but instead I decided to distribute the blame on my over-zealous heating system and very fluffy winter quilt. In any case, the headache was nothing that a strong coffee and raisin toast couldn't fix!

All the same, I'm a bit restless today and I'm not sure why. It could be early onset cabin fever brought on by the cold wind outside and no real desire on my part to go out. Or perhaps I am anxious about something....but I'm not sure what it could be. Knowing me, it is probably something lame like all the unread magazines that have piled up over the last few weeks - perhaps I'm worried that I'm missing out on so much trashy gossip. Oh the hardship! Yep, these are the things I think about.

Maybe I'm not actually restless; rather, perhaps this is 'contentment' that I'm feeling. It's a strange sensation, that's for sure. No pressure to go anywhere, do anything, be anything. My entire day, indeed the entire year, is ahead of me, with no expectations or obligations. That in itself is kinda scary though.

Perhaps I should just go and do what I told my mother I would do - open up the baby bottle of Veuve in my fridge and toast the new year, toast myself, toast my unread magazines, and even toast the piles of laundry I am trying to ignore.

Doesn't that sound like a splendid way to start ANY year?!