Thursday, May 28, 2009

Talk Radio

I began listening to talk radio recently when I got sick of listening to radio hosts talking on music stations in the morning--go figure. When you spend about 2 hours in the car each day, it's nice to have something to distract you from your misery. I'm glad that I swallowed my pride and switched to AM. I now feel like I am somewhat in the loop of what is going on in the world, and it has even inspired me to read the Wall Street Journal--which previously just decomposed on my driveway. These are the things I've learned so far from the programs I tune in to:

-Radio programs are actually interesting. I have even learned tips on saving money and staying out of debt!

-There are a lot of idiots out there who call in and make fools of themselves.

-Radio hosts are often rude and sarcastic to callers, and I like that.

-Radio hosts take themselves very seriously, and maybe they should.

-Radio hosts like to get people riled up

-You can learn about female reproductive problems while driving in your car!

Take this radio host, for example. I have no idea who he is, but look how happy he is! He gets to sit at his desk and talk and get paid for it. That sounds like any womans dream job to me. I bet this photo was taken just after he talked to a caller that agreed with his opnion, or someone who said something really stupid. This guy loves his job

I feel confident enough in myself that I can admit that listening to Chris Baker on my way home from work is one of my favorite times of the day. He is somewhat ridiculous, but he sure makes me laugh. If you live in Houston, and you're tired of hearing Lady Gaga more than you should, you can listen to Chris Baker on 950AM from 3-5 on weekdays--and during commercials, why not switch over to Sean Hannity on 740AM for some ultra full-on debates.

It doesn't matter to me whether or not I agree with what they are saying, it matters that I am making use of my brain. I decide what's right, they just give me ideas to springboard off of. It's kind of fun. Geeky? Probably so.

So the latest issue that I have been thinking about is the whole "click it or ticket" campaign. The Houston police chief said their goal with this program is to hand out 20,000 tickets a year ($$$). Well, why isn't it to get more people to wear their seatbelt Mr. Police Chief? To promote safe driving? Those are my questions. And why do people have to be told to wear a seatbelt anyway? If they are not smart enough to realize how stupid it is not to buckle up, then by all means don't wear one. I think the idea is the same as what they state in the Darwin Awards: refining the gene pool by weeding out the idiots. That's just what I think though. I mean, how can seatbelts be mandatory but motorcycle helmets not be? I wear my seatbelt, do you?

Friday, May 22, 2009

I <3 Shipleys

I'm probably the only bride, about to be married in two months, who still eats donuts. I should be avoiding these foods, that have been proven to be fattening and horrible for you. I should have the motivation to cut these things out of my diet because I will be wearing a wedding dress soon in front of my family and friends. But I can't resist the donuts. They appear by magic every Friday morning in the kitchen at work. I tell myself each time that I will not eat one next week. That next week I will begin my bridal-starvation-diet. But I know better than that.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


As a relatively new fan of sangria, I am excited to share what little I know about it, and to urge people to discover, or rediscover, the magic.

My love for red wine dates back only a few years, to the college days when I lived with my cousin Laura, my friend Laura, and a girl named Crystal. My friend Laura was a very inspirational and beautiful girl, and she taught me the ways of wine--she was basically my wine guru and our roach infested apartment her ashram. There was rarely an evening in that apartment when wine did not grace us with its glorious presence. If I may steal the words of my friend Ashley, we probably could have saved the planet by recycling all the wine bottles we went through. Needless to say, I like wine, and I have grown to thoroughly enjoy it in it's natural form.

Enter: Sangria. According to legend (history actually), Sangria originated in Spain and Portugal, although it is also commonly served at Mexican restaurants. It is basically a wine punch with endless variations. The word Sangria means bloody, and it's not hard to imagine why. Sangria is typically served as a casual, refreshing drink in the summer--it is simply the perfect to sip on a patio.

The beauty of Sangria lies in it's endless potential to become whatever the creator imagines. The alcohol content is up to you! Typically, a bottle of red wine is used; you may decide whether to use merlot, a cab sav, shiraz and so on. You also can choose how much brandy to add--some people use gin! The truly exciting part, in my opinion, is the fruit. When it comes to adding fruit to your sangria, the options are basically as endless as there are types of fruit. The most common, however, are oranges, lemons and limes. My friend Emily made some wonderful Sangria in Taiwan with peaches and apples as well--but you can really use anything, and it would be hard to ruin it. So go ahead, toss in some mango chunks, some kiwis, a nectarine! Pineapple? Sure! Go bananas--literally!

Here is a basic sangria recipe, but like I said before, experiment away!

- 1 bottle of red wine (or more)

- 1/3 cup of sugar (optional)

- 1/3 cup of brandy (or more)

- 1 lemon, sliced crosswise

- 1 orance, sliced crosswise

- 1 medium pear, diced

- 2 medium peached, peeled, pitted and sliced

- 2 cups of sliced strawberries

- 1 can of ginger ale

You can use lemon-lime soda instead of ginger ale if you prefer, you may vary the amounts of the ingredients above, you may add flavored vodka, you may even use white instead of red wine if you wish. Sangria is tastier if made in advance so that the fruit can soak up the flavors. Knock yourself out! I recommend tripling or quadrupling the recipe and substituting sangria for water. 8 glasses a day baby.

Sangria is typically served in a pitcher with a wooden spoon to be used for scooping out the wonderful infused fruit pieces. This is a sangria pitcher I picked up in Barcelona--I am so looking forward to using it!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hump Day

I am always so surprised when Wednesday rolls around--that it's already the middle of the week. That's when I know I'm going to make it to Friday night. Such a feeling of accomplishment:)

I have been in a creative slump lately. I have some ideas for things I want to try/make, but I just don't have the energy when I have the time and vise versa. I am looking forward to spending a Saturday at my sewing machine, stay tuned.

Speaking of soon, my wedding is just around the corner--how the heck did that happen? We have just over two months until the big day! I'm so excited, but I know it also means that I will be moving away from lots of people who I love, so that will be very sad. But of course I'm mostly excited--thrilled actually. I have my fingers crossed that none of my guests will be harmed in "dangerous" Mexico by the drug cartels, swine flu, hurricanes, or any other natural disaster that could possibly occur. I'm just kidding, I'm not worried at all. Hello, I can't wait to spend a week on the beach eating and drinking all I want 24 hours a day, going to the spa, and oh yeah, GETTING MARRIED. Woah. Two months... woah.

Speaking of getting married, I am getting my biometrics taken and sending my visa to Los Angeles tomorrow--so wish me luck/pray for me please. It's finally happening and I am so so so so happy to get that thing out of my life. Hopefully I will have great news about my approval really soon.

Speaking of going places, let me please indulge myself by posting a photo of some of my newest acquisitions from my trip to Spain. I had already met my quota of items-I-had-to-buy-because-I-was-in-a-foreign-country but then I saw these. They are handmade, of course, from clay and have the nicest glaze. The white chimney is an architectural pattern of the different civilizations that settled Menorca--distinctly Mediterranean if you ask me. Had to own them, even though it meant making another trip to the atm.

And while I'm at it, why not brag photographically on the sweet little pillow I picked up at Pottery Barn with a gift certificate we were given at our wedding shower. I'm into coral/orange lately, and why shouldn't I be--it's wonderful. I am really excited to put all of these things in our little country cottage (if said visa is approved, if said wedding is not destroyed by a hurricane, if....). Which, by the way, we are closing on the house June first! And by we, I mean Sam is signing and so it's all his responsibility:) Only joking. Once it's official I will post pictures, I haven't wanted to jinx anything, I feel like I'm already sort of hanging by a thread.

And lastly, Twilight. I am in the middle of the third book. Wow. By the way, is the whole series called Twilight, or only the first book? I guess I could google that. Cheerio friends, I do hope that I have something original and exciting to share with you soon! Enjoy the week...

Friday, May 15, 2009

It's Friday!

I just returned from my trip to visit my kid sister in Spain this week. I will write more about that and post pictures soon--but not all 596 of them. It was such a nice trip to such a wonderful place, and I can't believe I never did a study abroad program when I was in school! Silly silly me.

I mentioned earlier that I was going to be reading the first of the Twilight books soon. And it finally happened during this trip, as I lay beside the twinkling turqouise waters of the Mediterranean. Yeah, it's pretty silly. "It's an easy read," noted my sister. And what more could you want for beach reading? I will still finish them, although I am struggling at the beginning of the second one. They do not come close to comparing to my beloved Harry Potter. And I didn't expect them to. But it is so nice to dive into a world that is not real, because I reckon life itself is real enough.

Happy weekend! I'm off to celebrate the most deserved college graduation of all time--CONGRATULATIONS LEAH! I've got my party boots packed...