Tuesday, July 29, 2008

♪♪ Because The World Is Round ♪♪

With my morning cranberry juice I enjoy catching up my friends' blogs. It's kinda like my private time in the morning. The quiet before doctor appointments, puppy playdates, errands, cleaning, get-togethers, blah, blah, blah, etc.

After an usually up-and-down-day yesterday I'm been feeling frustrated, unsatisfied, bored, & generally pissed off to the point I restrained myself from physically bitch-slapping quite a few people.

I considered writing a rant-post about my yesterday. But after reading this post I realized I needed to focus on the things I love. Thanks, Lemon.

So I selected The Beatles' Abbey Road, pressed the round play button on my iTunes, and began this lovely blog-rant.

1.) My husband is by far the only person who "gets" me on every level. His love leaves me speechless in the best ways possible. I would have lost my mind long ago if not for his level-headedness that always pulls me back to the core of our lives & myself.

2.) As crazy as that moose-puppy Bleu can be, in the mornings when he snuggles under the bed covers and curls up in the crook of my stacked legs, I feel such tenderness for him, even to the point that I love him even when he's butt-tucking through the house after his bath shaking water all over the walls and furniture.

3.) I love the joy the freshly cut flowers I got at our Farmers Market brings me. In fact I love the Farmers Market period. I'm learning to be more creative with food, and it makes me feel happy and healthy to know I'm part of a food community.

4.) One great thing yesterday was that I got to talk to a couple of women who've I respected and adored from a distance for quite some time. Talking with them helped me realize afterward that I need to focus more creating a local community of friends, and that there are like-minded people nearer than I thought.

5.) Each day is a blessing, and thankfully each day starts new. And today I'm not going to obsess about yesterday. I'm going to move forward today. I'm going to create something new, worthwhile, and use all this new day's freshness to my best ability. No point in wasting it on non-love. Today is full of love.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Dog Days of Summer

I've been wondering about the expression "The Dog Days of Summer" for quite some time.

After continually asking FD where the expression came from he told me in btw-fashion the other night that it comes from the constellation Sirius the Dog rising and setting with the sun during July through September.

I easily could have looked this up on Wikipedia but I would much rather hear from FD. It trust his sources more.

We're finding ourselves in the Dog Days of Summer with many visits to friends' and families' places and visits from family and friends. It's wonderful catching up with our loved ones and enjoy the last few weeks before the semester begins. However, it doesn't leave much time for blogging.

Quickly, though, a list of good things to check out from our adventures:

My bro turned 30! Celebrating with him was awesome!

Bell's Brewery: Great microbrews & healthy bar food for a change.

Food Dance: I could live there and eat there all three meals a day every day. And 2 out of 3 ain't bad, right, Gary? Thanks for taking us there, man.

Perrysburg Farmers Market
: Buying almost all of our food sans dairy at the market has been food heaven. I'm dreading winter.

Luginbill Farms
: The BEST lamb chops we've ever had. Find them at the Perrysburg Farmers Market on Thursdays 3-8 p.m.

Bass Pro: Awesome if it's your thing. An hour there is good by me. FD needs 10 hours.

I feel like I'm forgetting a whole lot of good things and related stories. Oh well...

More adventures to come as well as some reflections on finding old friends online, writing, random thoughts on the direction of my blog, etc.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Omnivore's Dilemma The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
While I want to buy this book I'm scared to.

Pollan's _The Omnivore's Dilemma_ is an informative and thoughtful reflection on food and where it comes from in our modern culture. Pollan splices journalistic accounts of his own experiences buying food, working on a farm, hunting and gathering and buying a cow with countless other sources to help credit his arguments and with historical information about food to inform us of the four meals possible in our culture: the processed, organic, grass-fed, and hunted/gathered.

Even though I thoroughly enjoyed the processed, organic, and grass-fed sections, I wasn't as much of a fan of the hunted/gathered section. This particular section seemed a bit over the top for me, especially as a wife of a hunter and fisherman. I've become accustomed to seeing my meal in its dead form as well as in the necessary butchering stage so it can be eaten and discussing it during the meal in terms of the exact hunt, location, weather, circumstances related to the specific day that meal was caught. So when Pollan talks about hunting it's a little over-sensationalized for me. However, I appreciate his newly found respect for hunting.

Some of my fav passages which I'm putting in the review because I couldn't mark up the library book:

page 215 Arthur Koestler's definition of "holon": "an entity that from one perspective appears self-contained whole, and from another a different part."

page 248 The Weston Price Foundation

page 254 "A protest of what exactly is harder to pin down...expense to opt out...distrusting Walmart...wanting to keep their food dollars in town..."

page 257 "Local food, as opposed to organic, implies a new economy as well as a new agriculture--new social and economic relationships as well as ecological ones. It's a lot more complicated."

page 264 descriptions of the grass-fed meal.

page 281 description of his food journey in the simplest of terms "...to look into the food chains that support us as I could look, and recover the fundamental biological realities that the complexities of modern industrialized eating keep from our view."

page 285 "'Nature,' as Woody Allen character says in _Love and Death_, 'is like an enormous restaurant."

By far the most hopeful and mind-blowing part of the book hands-down belongs to the Grass-fed section. I can't explain how I would irrationally move to Virginia just to be near to Polyface Farms even though I have found my own quite fabulous grass-farmer here in Ohio--Luginbill Farms.

Why would I be scared to own this book? Because it's made me so much in-the-know that I can't go to the grocery store without being hyper-sensitive and critical about what I'm putting in my cart, emotionally, politically, and psychologically, which then led me to become obsessed with the food I eat at the wide variety of restaurants we patron. The only time I feel content eating now is after we visit the Farmers Market and return with our local fruits and veggies or at Revolver Restaurant where they tell patrons on the menu which farms the food came from. While I'm not sure all the food we buy at the Farmers Markets grows on sustainable farms, I do feel better about buying food straight from our local farmers.

My recommendation is this: If you sincerely want to know what is happening in America's food culture, read this book. You'll be forever changed.

If you want to be able to happily eat whatever you wish without thinking about it, don't read this book. You'll be in the dark, and that will be a happy, easy place to remain.

As much as I sometimes wish I was in the dark, especially so I could enjoy restaurant eating again, I'm happy I'm in-the-know.

View all my reviews.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Reverend Chicos: Part Deux

After many heated comments from Reverend Chicos' supporters on my first blog review of the restaurant, I've decided to swallow my pride and give it another try.

While it did impress me in some ways, in other ways it still failed me.

Good things first: The service has much improved. Our waitress was very kind, quick, and helpful. She knowledgeably answered our questions about popular drinks, on-tap beers, and popular dishes. She checked up on us consistently but not annoyingly, and she was friendly in her small talk.

The ambiance of the joint was still clean, contemporary, and spacious. In fact, I find the exposed brick walls and tall top seating quite nice.

The drinks were AMAZING! I had a Blue Caribbean martini and a Sangria-tini. Both were delicious and filled with the right amount of booze. Also, my husband couldn't stop singing the praises of microbrews they have on tap. Clearly, Reverend Chicos is a place for young professionals to meet up after work, have a drink and relax, which is cool--BG does need an upscale bar like this.

However, let me qualify the food review by saying that I have become a food snob and Revolver Restaurant has spoiled me.

The food still did not impress me. After asking the waitress what the most popular items on the menu were, I chose the Cuban Panini sandwich from her list. And while it was good, it didn't blow my mind. I had hoped the bread part would be crunchy. Instead the bread became soggy and was tasteless. The mustard overwhelmed the sandwich too.

The cheese on my husband's Chimi-chico was congealed and greasy, and the wrap of it literally consumed the other flavors within it; it was so thick the chicken was lost in it. The rice, sauce, and wrap seemed to be the 3 major components.

I just feel the food lacks passion or care or that "umph" that restaurant food should have. It just isn't as thoughtful as I like my meals to be.

Let me be clear: I do think Reverend Chicos is worth supporting, but my argument is it's a better bar than restaurant. The food just feels generic and much like an afterthought in comparison to their drinks.

The desserts were quite tasty, especially the brownie with fried ice cream. Beware, though, our friend KB who joined us for dindin and ordered the key lime pie found it to be more like a cheesecake than key lime pie. My husband liked his flan well enough.

Honestly, I feel like this review is half-hearted much like our experience was.

I gave it another try, dear Reverend Chicos' fans, and I just can't join your team.

After spending $52 including tip I just felt dismal and I realized would have rather spent that money at Trotters where it's clear they are passionate about their Brown Jug Steak.

I give it 2 1/2 stars out of 5, and I would go back for drinks but not dinner (or any food for that matter).

This is just my humble opinion. I respect if your opinion of the restaurant is different. We all don't like to eat the same things, and we all have different palates. But if you feel the urge to leave a scathing comment, please think twice. Why not try a restaurant like Revolver and see what I deem as thoughtful, meaningful food? Then we can have a real conversation about restaurants, OK?


PS: The Aftermath of Reverend Chicos (through Twitter):

8 p.m.

8:30 p.m.

11:00 p.m.

11:30 p.m.

2:00 p.m. About 6 Tums

6:00 a.m. Finally able to sleep

8:45 a.m. Surmised that Reverend Chicos possibly uses MSG. Was bloated/swollen, nauseous, had headache, and spend much of the night in the bathroom. Trust me, it wasn't from the drinks; my buzz wore off 15 minutes after dinner when I had about a gallon of water.

Be careful if you have a sensitive system and if you choose to eat there.

♫ "Will You Still Need Me; Will You Still Feed Me When I'm 64?" ♫

Seriously, this is why Helen Mirren rocks!

63 and she's still hot.

Here's to you, Helen!

You're an inspiration, lady!

(*sigh* I really need to work out more often...)

Thanks to Plattitude for posting this pic to Facebook and props to Mail Online for the pic.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

"Heaven isn't too far away; Wish we could go to Revolver Restaurant every day!" (My Tribute Song to Revolver)

To celebrate our 3rd Anniversary we went to our FAVORITE restaurant in Findlay: Revolver Restaurant.

On the revolver last night was Jimi Hendrix and not exactly the poppy Hendrix you'd hear on an oldies station. It was all-out experimentive guitar solos. RAD!

We decided we'd be pigs and eat 3 courses instead of the regular 2 AND have dessert.

Oh my, we were pigs. The portions have gotten MUCH bigger. But we kept eating. And after dinner during the car ride home we actually talked about turning the car around and doing it again. Seriously, we love it that much. We barely slept the night before. All day long we verbally were counting down the minutes until we could leave. And to boot we left the house early because we couldn't stand it anymore. Going to Revolver, for us, is like Christmas Eve combo'ed with the eve of going to Cedar Point.

Chef Micheal Bulkowski yet again delivered the food we dream about:

Rabbit with baby carrots (the humor of this dish nearly killed us--us eating rabbit who ate carrots ! Love it!)

"Lake Erie Perch with fondant potatoes, spring peas, & parmesan-lemon-thyme broth"--writing this makes my mouth water. I was in heaven while eating it. In case you don't know I'm a huge fan of Lake Erie!

The apps were out-of-control great and again HUGE portions: FD got pork belly (Oh-so good!) and I got "house cured bresaola" with goat cheese and crackers. And I haven't even begun talking about the cucumber gazpacho and my organic greens salad.

Better yet what about dessert? I forgot to take a picture before it was too late...

The only disappointment: that Debi Bulkowski wasn't there. She's such a fabulous hostess-with-the-mostest!

Another Fab dinner.

And we got all this for $100 with a glass of wine and beer. C'mon! That's stealing, especially in NY where a burger alone can cost $20.

The other thing I MUST mention, too, is that Revolver is seriously "homemade," in my humble opinion: we can see the chefs in the kitchen, they use organic goods, and, for toppers, on the menu they list the LOCAL FARMS they buy the food from!

Again, heaven.

Or at least the white light I hope to see when I go there...Well, obviously I would be in hell if there wasn't Revolver.

Best part of the whole dinner: sharing the experience with my husband and best friend.

I totally can't wait to go there again in August with our good friends from Detroit!!

For more pictures of our experience, visit my Flickr page.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Dot in the Universe Dot in the Universe by Lucy Ellmann

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Once I started understanding and appreciating the experimentation of the blur between first and third person narration, I couldn't put this book down.

The themes/discussions of birth, life, death, love, lust, consumerism, and everything else (I'm leaving out a lot) are incredibly well written.

I laughed many times and other times thought Lucy Ellman actually had entered my brain, especially during Dot's realization and reflection on death and bodily functions.

This book is hardcore, I'd say. Not for the weak in stomach or mind. If you read it, be ready for the vulgar and embrace it. Once you embrace it the book becomes an accurate account of the human experience in its most honest form.

View all my reviews.

Here's to 3 Years and a Lifetime More

Monday, July 7, 2008


And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Com-pa-ny products are now on my Christmas list.

Yes, I start my Christmas list in July.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


THE BEST indy film I've seen in 4-ever!!!

Rent it or Own it! ASAP!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

When It's This Hot Outside...

...why not become a "shower pig" and hang out where it's nice and cool?