7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 185)
I’m so excited about the CNMC next week. It’ll be three days of back-to-back socializing, and it can’t come soon enough!
This may strike you as a strange statement when you recall that I’m as introverted as it gets. This is a good example of the fact that being an introvert doesn’t mean you don’t like people; in fact, a lot of introverts enjoy socializing very much. It’s like a Mars landing: The idea of going to Mars is very cool. You might even enjoy it tremendously. It could even be the highlight of your life! But it’s something that must happen under the most controlled of circumstances, at a very specific time and a very specific place. You can’t just show up at someone’s door, yank them out of their house, toss them into a space capsule, and tell them they’re going to Mars.
And so it is with introverts and socializing. Many of us like it — love it, in fact! But it has to be under extremely precise circumstances…and we need to be able to retreat to our hibernation chambers at the end of it.
My husband and most of the kids are coming to Dallas, and it was a logistical challenge to figure out how to arrange transportation since they’re arriving on a different day than I am, but we’re all driving back together. This is where Megabus came in. When Joe first suggested that one group of us could take the bus, I reminded him that we shouldn’t rule out hitchhiking either, as long as we were thinking outside the Sane Options box. I have a variety of associations with the word “bus,” none of them positive (at least as far as city-to-city travel goes).
But evidently this Megabus company has nice busses with cool perks like free wi-fi on board, and it’s crazy-cheap! An Austin to Dallas ticket is only $5. We ended up having a spirited debate about who gets to take Megabus and who has to drive. (I ended up driving, but I’ll report back on my husband and the kids’ experiences on Megabus.)
I’m ending the summer in the best shape of my life. Granted, this is coming from the person who’s always aspired to be a brain in a jar, so it’s all relative. But I’m definitely more physically fit than ever before, and my secret comes down to one thing: The Texas Cardio Shred.
I need to market this revolutionary new workout program. Basically, you move to Texas and adhere to a regular jogging schedule. Be sure to ignore any ominous signs in the weather (e.g. if you see dark clouds gathering on the horizon, scoff at them and say, “It’s only sprinkling. I’m sure this storm will miss us!”) Go out for your jog, get moving up to a good run, then, just as you’re about to slow to a walk, something like one of the following occurrences will happen:
- You turn a corner to see a WATER WALL O’ DOOM moving toward you at a troubling speed.
- The clouds suddenly clear from the sky and the temperature shoots up about 10 degrees as the sun mercilessly beats down on you, leaving you scrambling for shade in the last few seconds before you pass out from heat stroke.
- You brush by some bushes that are evidently the home of a very large and active yellowjacket colony, and you find yourself being chased by a cloud of angry stinging insects.
About two out of five times you go out to exercise, something along those lines will happen. It’s like having a personal trainer, only better, because it involves real fear for your life and personal safety! Look out for Jen’s Texas Cardio Shred DVD — coming soon! Hey, I could even use that picture I posted on Instagram after one of my more memorable jogs:
Along those lines, my dad has always said that there’s no better workout than riding your bike through the countryside. When I was younger we lived in a semi-rural area for a while, where our house was surrounded by endless miles of countryside. My dad got chased by so many farmer’s dogs that he probably should have tried out for the Tour de France. There was one house in particular that had a big, mean, aggressive dog. Whenever my dad passed that place he would take his feet off the pedals and try to glide by silently. Inevitably, the dog’s head would pop up, he’d narrow his eyes on this two-wheeled intruder, and would take off towards my dad like he’d been shot from a cannon. My dad said that was some of the best exercise he ever got in his life.
Allow me to nerd out for a moment and talk technology: I got a Google Nexus 7 tablet last week, and I absolutely love it. (It’s worth noting that if you buy it directly from Google it’s significantly less expensive than at Amazon and other outlets.) I was able to cut the cost of homeschooling supplies by doing some good bargain hunting, so I used the savings toward the tablet. We’ve got the kids involved in a bunch of activities this year since I’ve heard so many good things about this “leaving the house” concept that everyone else is so into, and so I have big plans for the Nexus in the many hours I’ll spend sitting in my car waiting for the kids to be done with events. Me. In a small, silent space. With a new tablet. It’ll be Nerdvana.
Last year I got an astoundingly delicious recipe from the chef’s kiosk at our grocery store, and then I lost the card. I dealt with it as if I had lost a chest full of rare gold coins, and my despair only grew deeper when Google searches on the ingredients didn’t lead me to quite the same recipe. Long story short, it was in Evernote all along; I’d typed it up so I wouldn’t lose it. (That’s right. The moral of the story is: Sometimes Evernote is too awesome.) Anyway, I have an odd terror of losing this recipe again, so I’m posting it here on the internet for all to see:
Chicken in Garlic Cream Sauce
1 lb. chicken breasts cubed
12 oz. mushrooms
1/4 c. garlic essence vinaigrette (or any vinegarette that has garlic and/or sundried tomato flavors)
2 T sliced garlic
3 T sundried tomatoes
1/4 c. heavy cream
shredded Parmesan cheese
Heat skillet. Add chicken, garlic, mushrooms and oil. Sautee until almost all pink is gone. Add tomatoes, vinaigrette, and cook for two minutes longer. Add in cream and cheese and let boil to thicken. Serve over rice or pasta. Prepare your mouth for the awesomeness it is about to encounter.
You know that I’m enchanted by all the covers of Somebody that I Used to Know, so you can imagine how delighted I was to find the video below which collects a bunch of different renditions of the song, put together by Gotye himself. We just about had an unfortunate coffee-keyboard meeting when I saw the clip at 3:50 (which will be equally hilarious to those who have seen the Walk off the Earth video and its spinoffs.)
(Hat tip to Patrick Hoelscher. I was not previously acquainted with Mr. Hoelscher, but he links to the Cynical Christian and refers to me by my proper title, “The Fulwinator,” so he’s clearly a good person.)