Saturday, June 30, 2012

The incredible, edible egg...

Eggs are probably my favorite food. I can't order French toast, pancakes or oatmeal when there are eggs on the menu. I almost always eat them poached or scrambled, but this looked much prettier! Have a wonderful Saturday morning my friends!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Happy Friday!!

I foolishly scheduled a long walk with an old friend in the middle of the hottest day of the week! So I'm going to be a sweaty mess! BUT it's Friday and that makes it all fabulous!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ready for a beach day!

I am a few weeks away from some time off...time I will spend sleeping on Zuma Beach while my toes dig in the sand. This picture was taken doing just that in my happy place!

Boys and their toys...

Over the last few years my girlfriends and I have been keeping a list of the hobbies we would abhor in our the point of break-up or, in fact, never accepting date number one. 

I thought I'd share some of that list with you tonight.

Renaissance Faire - actors, vendors, or even those interested in attending (I feel VERY strongly about this!!)

Star Trek costume wearing enthusiasts 

Actually, any kind of event where costumes are the norm (except Halloween parties)

Any event where speaking in a ridiculous accent is the norm (except nothing)

Actors (and therefore, waiters)

Rodeo riders, or just those who like the outfits (I think there is a place for the outfits, my friends were adamantly against)

Car enthusiasts...especially old cars that old, unkempt men stand around staring at...

Action figure collectors

Those who chain themselves to trees or other such symbols of the love of Tevas

Snooty wine connisuers or their opposites who think "drinkin' a 40" is the height of cool

Charter members of The Hair Club for Men (I like a bald head, again, my friends)

Coke know who you are (and now bath salt snorting, face chewers!)

Karaoke singers...though among us the degree of disgust varies

and anyone whose desire for diaper wearing has nothing to do with incontinence!!

I am sure this list is not exhaustive, please feel free to add a few. We ladies agreed that we do like our men to have interests and passions, some we could get behind, and others we love them to do on boys night.

I think I most prefer in my man an interest in sports, maybe cleaning house, and me, of course...

Friday, May 4, 2012

Ready for the weekend...

I don't know about you, but I am ready for the weekend!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Zombie Apocalypse is coming...

I learned today that I really have to eat breakfast every morning...or a zombie will eat my brain!

I had that kind of morning, the one you know well where you are running just a tiny bit behind so you run out the door without even a drink of water, thinking, "maybe I will get a coffee on the way."

Then traffic does its "L.A." thing and for no known reason it is backed up in all directions. You are not getting coffee.

Hunger begins so you scrounge in your purse and find a linty, half unwrapped piece of trident and chew it anyway. You hope to subsist on the trident and office coffee until you can run to the cafeteria for a bagel.

BUT, the minute you get into the parking lot, people begin interrogating you about irrelevant nothings that they need to know RIGHT NOW! They don't even offer to carry one of your heavy bags!

It is completely acceptable that you are a little clipped in your responses, your blood sugar is bottomed out and they deserve the flack for being inane anyway. And your bags are really heavy!

Once in your office you make a mad dash to the several coffee urns and find them all empty. You opt for green tea with 20 gallons of sugar. Ahhhhh, that hits the spot...for about 30 minutes.

Soon, you are inundated with more stupid questions and an even more idiotic meeting.

By the time 10 a.m. hits your stomach feels like it is turning inside out, eating itself alive...and you are weak beyond belief. Lunch is an hour away, and it would be stupid to get a snack right now.

BUT, if the zombies came after you at this moment, the event you have been preparing for for years, all the hours of obsessing, training, and planning would be irrelevant.

They would get you, slobber on you, and eat your once mighty brain!

So, again, the lesson I learned today is: BREAKFAST ACTUALLY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Steak thru the heart...

I do not own a grill, which is really foolish in California, the one place where you can cook out all year long and have access to really fresh food. But, I am slow to buy anything for cooking. I have to prove to myself that I will actually take the time to use it. Anyway, I was whining to several colleagues about how I wanted to be able to make a great steak at home, when some crazy suggestions were thrown my way.

Now I am no fabulous cook, but even I know that a boiled steak is not on its way to greatness!

I had almost forgotten the suggestions, and the longing for a steak when I received the following email from a colleague that overheard the conversation and is a renowned foody.
Humorous and Yummy Email from D.F:
"I was totally going to mind my own business, but then someone said something about steaming a steak in an oven and I just couldn’t hold my tongue any longer. I was completely apoplectic . . . on the inside. I mean, dude was straight talking crazy. J

So anyways, per the brief conversation that I inserted myself into . . .

"One Way I Cook Steak by David F."

1. The most important thing to do is to get your steak out of the fridge for about an hour before you’re going to cook it. Room temperature meat will cook properly and allow you to avoid the black on the outside, raw on the inside pitfall.

2. Ideally, you will have been able to season the steak with some kosher salt a day or two before. If you do this, put the steak on a wire rack on top of a plate. Then dome some wax paper over the steak so weird bits don’t fall on it. This is definitely NOT a necessary step and it’s one that I rarely ever do. Chickens are a whole other story.

3. Turn your oven on to 350 F.

4. Put a DRY cast iron skillet over medium high heat if the steak is very thick (1.5 inches or greater) and over a bit higher heat of thinner. Wait at least 5 minutes to allow the skillet to really gather heat.

5. Apply any other seasonings you want on the steak (for me, that’s nothing. I add some black pepper near the very end).

6. Plop the steak onto the very hot skillet. And wait. And wait. And wait. Every once in awhile, grab the steak with tongs and see if the pan is naturally releasing the steak. If it isn’t, then it’s not ready to turn. Once the meat releases, check to see if the bottom is crusted like you want it. You want it as brown as can be but you really want to avoid any char.

7. Once the steak is crusted well on one side, flip it over and put the whole pan in the oven.

8. At this point, it’s all about the thickness of the steak and the doneness that you’re after. If you have a thermometer, then that would be a great guide.

9. If you’re feeling decadent, a couple of minutes before you think the steak will be done, pull the skillet out, place it over low heat on the range, add a few knobs of butter and baste the steak in the butter. Make sure the butter never gets too brown or you’ll just taste carbon.

10. Last, you absolutely need to let the steak rest. A good rule of thumb is to let a steak rest for about half the time you spent cooking it. I’m usually very impatient and just wait about 10-12 minutes. The steak will continue to cook as it rests so you may want to pull the steak out of the oven when it’s rare if you want medium rare. I put a plate on the stovetop as I’m cooking so it’s warm and I let the steak rest on that so it doesn’t cool off as it rests.

And that’s how I do it. It’s a technique called pan roasting. Let me know if you try it.


Friday, September 4, 2009

You can dance, you can jive...

Extra shots from the second Dance website shoot I did for a friend. I had fun trying to make the above motion shots, but did way too many of them! I think the sweaty hair shot below is awesome!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Just like baking...

Have you ever heard that when a cook is upset even their specialty foods don't turn out...souffles flop, cakes don't rise and whip cream never peaks?!!

I was NOT feeling this photo outing.

The classmate I made friends with wasn't there, I was irritated about some dating stupidity that I don't even remember now, and I had a few car problems that were bouncing around in my mind.

I think that mood translated into average photos. On the positive side, I love all things subway, and it is hard not to overcome a grumpy mood when you look at the amazing architecture of Union Station!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Night Photography

I am taking a night photography class once a week at the local community college. I thought that I would learn some specific techniques to capture life after dark. I have had two classes so far, the first in the classroom and the second where we met at the Santa Monica Pier.

The teacher has the "just try everything, I don't want to taint your art by telling you how to do anything" philosophy. That doesn't help me. What does help me are the other photographers...90% men. I can get specific setting ideas from them and then experiment.

I still have NO idea what I am doing, but I have learned a few things. I kinda like taking people pictures at night. I have said before that I am not interested in photographing people, but at night, they can't really tell where your tripod is aiming so they ignore you. I also learned that I need a little mini flashlight in my camera is hard to change the settings when you can't see. That is two things in two classes...not soooo bad!

I took a million pictures of ghost people and actually thought that was fun. I tried to take pictures of the Ferris Wheel in a cool way, but it didn't really work out. I am supposed to choose my favorite two to bring to the next class...still not sure which I will pick for the second one. This first one is my favorite...the ghosts were shopping for hats...while the other freaks where roaming the rest of the pier! If you have ever been there you will know what I mean...people are interesting!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Bright colors, toys, and happiness...

"The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself." ~Benjamin Franklin

"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves."
~James Matthew Barrie

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Too cute for words...

I haven't done any babysitting since I was 15...until last Wednesday. This cute face is attached to the sweetest baby ever. We had a great time reading books, making faces (me) and peeing on people's laps (her.) I wasn't even relieved when mommy and daddy got home. It must be love!

A week of photo shoots!

On Saturday, I took photos of my "niece's" graduation so her parents could actually enjoy the event. (Good job Freddy!) I understand that you miss so much of life if you have the camera stuck to your eye...and your baby's graduation should be enjoyed! It was fun, but I am not super good at taking people...and taking photos of people indoors is really not easy for me.
There is an important moment when you are taking graduation pictures, when you have to walk up the aisle in front of everyone. You crouch down ready to get THE shot of the handshake. You hope the graduate thinks to look your way and stay still, and you hope you don't flop over on your side and create a domino effect with all the other photo crouchers. My moment came and I got a robe and a blur of nervous graduate swishing past the principal. So, I blew the big shot, but even more horrid...I was crouched thinking that I had to uncrouch in front of all those people in my 20 inch heels and do it without looking pained or grunting loudly. It was not my finest moment, but I channeled my inner Beyonce' and swooped up and waddled to the back of the hall and let out a huge sigh of relief!

A few days later, I took photos for a friend's website of her dance class. I had been nervous because I didn't want to disappoint her. I don't have professional lighting and I really didn't know exactly how well I would do. (I obviously have confidence problems!) Her class is "Dances of the World" and it included Bollywood, Charleston, Salsa, Belly Dancing, Samba, was the most fun group fit classes I have ever seen. The energy was great and so much fun. I even quit shooting stills and started filming some of the Bollywood Dancing. Again, I loved it. We spent time before the class taking stills of dance poses with about 6 dancers and later I just walked around the class (and lying on the floor) taking shots. The photos I have included here are random blurry shots and know I can't resist the weird.

I am sure she will use other shots on her site, but I liked these. Next time, I will definitely have to join the fun!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"We're doin' business here!"

This insurance commercial is hilarious! I love when the little boy says "Spanish? That's "como estas? its not something you eat!" Again, I am not sure what they are selling, but they are cute!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Great Great Grandfather - Archie

I am so excited to find this article! My mom found this website that includes info I knew nothing about. It is about my dad's great grandfather's folk art. I had heard that he "whittled" now and again, but that is typically Zimmerman to minimize everything. Well...I am okay with breaking that rule...and I am proud to brag about his art. Very cool Archie!!

The Folk Art of Archie Zimmerman 1861-1961

Pennsylvania folk artist.
Please click on the link above to see these great works of Indiana Folk Art.
If you've got your hands busy,you've got your mind going"
—Archie Zimmerman (recollected)

Folk Art: Pennsylvania 1861

Archibald Buchanan Zimmerman was born August 18, 1861 in Plumville, Pennsylvania. He lived for 100 years. This collection of folk art was rescued in its entirety (minus the later addition of one cock) from near his long time residence of Jasonville, Indiana.
Many of these pieces are dated and show a working span from as early as 1922 to as late as 1955. The stunning joy of finding this collection one day, out of the blue in rural Illinois is astounding. Driving home after a long weekend out antiquing, I put my foot on the dash and frustratingly declared that what we needed was to find some "real folk art".

Phrases I am over...already...

"There's an app for that!"

Sunday, April 19, 2009

My whole life is a lie!

I just read an article in Real Simple magazine by Jonah Leher called "10 ways to be a better thinker." Number 6 says "Be skeptical of your memories."

Apparently, scientists have proved that human memories are dishonest. "The act of recalling an event (say, your eighth birthday party) changes the structure of that memory in the brain."

So every time you open that "file" and think about how happy you were, how much fun you had, or how cool the gift I brought you was, you alter the memory. You ruin the reality, you change the story and make it false! Isn't that horrible?

And, therefore, since I obsess about every detail, of every moment I have ever lived...I guess I can only assume that my whole life is a lie!