100 Word Song – Brilliant Mistake

Ralphie thought it all felt like an episode of The Chicago Code as he and Max cautiously followed the officer out the door and down the hall to the stairwell. She had her gun drawn, a grim, stoic look on her face, and moved with trained fluidity. Contrastingly, it was all Ralphie could do not to trip over his own feet.

Max followed a bit too closely, his head swiveling nervously, hissing into Ralphie’s ear. “This is such a mistake. We’ll be sitting ducks going down the stairs!”

“Are you kidding?” Ralphie whispered, breathlessly, in reply. “This is fucking brilliant!”

This is my response to this week’s 100 Word Song Challenge from Lance, Leroy, and Linda, Elvis Costello’s wonderful “Brilliant Mistake.” 

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WWW Wednesday, February 27, 2013

This is a weekly prompt, thanks to Should Be Reading.

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently I’ve got two titles open:

 Vampires in the Lemon Grove, by Karen Russell. It’s a book of short stories, and while I’m not usually a fan of reading shorts this collection is very enjoyable so far. The vampires are far from the popular versions you might be familiar with today.

 

Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep, by David K. Randall, is a non-fiction look into our heads and nocturnal tendencies. No, it’s not all what that might sound like, keep it clean people. Apparently, humans naturally tend more toward “segmented sleep” than the “solid 8 hours” we so often talk about missing. Intriguing stuff.

I recently finished reading:

 In Milton Lumky Territory, by Philip K. Dick. Dick is well-known and respected for his writing, which I’d say typically falls into the “sci-fi” category, though he wrote professionally for 30 years in multiple genres. To be honest, I only finished this out of respect for the author, wanting to give it a chance to wow me until the end, and while the characters were somewhat interesting, it was more like a train-wreck you can’t look away from than something I enjoyed. Maybe it was the 1950’s setting, but it was boring to me. Plenty of underlying themes to dig out if you’re a fan of Phillip K. Dick.

Next up in the queue:

 Grimspace, by Ann Aguirre. I’m going to give the Sirantha Jax series a try. I’ve never been a big sci-fi reader, but I love a good series, gives me more time with the characters. I heard about this one through my Goodreads friends.

 

 

Cabbage and White Bean Soup with Sausage

Last night I made this delicious soup for dinner. It took roughly an 1:45 from prep to eating, not too bad as far as time, and it was very good if I do say so myself, well worth the minor effort.

Plenty of veggies, low sodium chicken stock, All-Natural chicken-apple sausage = good for you and easy. I used Aidells brand sausage, because that’s what the grocery store had, and it fit the soup perfectly. 

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 12 ounces fully cooked chicken-apple sausages (about 4), halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 4 cups thinly sliced green cabbage (about 1/2 small head)
  • 3 leeks (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise (about 3 cups)
  • 2 cups baby carrots, cut in half lengthwise, then halved crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste concentrate (from tube)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 8 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained

I didn’t use baby carrots, but I don’t think they would add much specifically to the flavor. Use whatever carrots you have. I’d be interested to see how the soup turned out if I used Savoy cabbage or even bok choy. I think a large chopped tomato would go well in this.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add sausage slices and sauté until brown around edges, about 5 minutes. Add cabbage; sauté 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl. Add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to same pot and heat over medium heat. Add leeks and carrots and sauté until soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, parsley, and rosemary and stir 1 minute. Add broth, sausage-cabbage mixture, and beans and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

I tasted throughout the cooking time, as any good chef would, and added salt & pepper very near the end, after everything had cooked together. The tomato paste gave the soup a reddish tint and I think there was a good balance of ingredients to broth. Hope you enjoy as much as my girlfriend and I did.

Hoops for Heart

My daughter is participating in a fundraising effort to support the American Heart Association. Hoops for Heart is an educational, physically active program that encourages kids to learn about their hearts and how to keep them healthy.

The funds raised will go towards helping kids with heart problems, and to develop new medicines and treatments. If you’re interested in donating, or simply finding out more about the American Heart Association, click on the following link, and thanks!

Hoops for Heart

Join me in my efforts to support Hoops For Heart!

1st Annual NHL Blogger Bet

Fellow bloggers and hockey fanatics, @According2Jewls and @TheSimpleDude, and I decided to make a wager on this abbreviated NHL season. If you’re a sports fan you might be familiar with the kind of bets you often see made by the mayors from cities with teams playing in championship games, like the World Series in baseball or the Super Bowl in football. If you’re not a sports fan, the bet usually goes like this: each mayor proposes a prize package of items (often food) unique to his/her city and whichever city’s team loses must then send the prize to the winning mayor.

It’s not a secret that I’m a big St. Louis Blues hockey fan, and as it turns out, Jewels is a lifelong Philadelphia Flyers fan. The Simple Dude, hailing from the frozen north (Minneapolis and thereabouts) brings the Minnesota Wild into the mix, and so we’ve agreed that of the three teams, whichever finishes this season with the best record will be declared Winner, and the other two bloggers will be Losers, and be required to send a prize to the winner. I’m not saying it has to be food, but I when I win I will take Philly Cheesesteaks and a Juicy Lucy. Thank you.

GO BLUES! Long Live the Note!

What are YOU reading?

Thanks to Should be Reading for the fun prompt. It’s always cool to see all the different kinds of things being consumed out there by readers!

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

 Currently reading In Milton Lumky Territory, by Philip K. Dick. Not very far in but it’s intriguing. Dick’s characters seem flat, but more alive than they should be, which is pulling me in but also disconcerting at the same time.

 Also reading Last Argument of Kings, by Joe Abercrombie, book three of his The First Law trilogy. This has proven to be a wonderful ride in a sort of “real-fantasy” setting. Rich characters and a complicated world as backdrop for multiple story lines. Highly recommend.

 And also reading Heir to the Empire, by Timothy Zahn. It was suggested as a jumping off point for someone getting a first taste of the Star Wars extended universe. Zahn has written a number of Star Wars novels.

 I just finished the second book of that trilogy, Before They Are Hanged. It was better than the first book (The Blade Itself) and each of the characters in it are endeared to you further and further as you read on. Good stuff.

 I also recently finished The Long Earth, by Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter. Really fun, had a bit of Pratchett’s Discworld feel, but different enough to stand alone as a fine piece of sci-fi-ish fiction.

 I *also* just finished Star Wars: Scoundrels, also by Timothy Zahn. I had picked it up and intended to read if after Heir but the draw of Han Solo and Lando Calrissian was too strong 😉 I enjoyed it, but honestly I’m more of a swords & dragons kind of geek than a sci-fi reader, despite my love of all things Star Wars.

The next thing I read (after finishing all of the above) may be Gun Machine, by Warren Ellis. With guns a hot topic these days this new novel stuck out enough for me to want to check it out. Gun is his second novel.

I’m Bleedin’ Blue, are you?

I know I’ve not been writing much here, but you can follow me following the St. Louis Blues over at BleedinBlue.com!

I’m not abandoning my personal writing, just struggling a little with time management. End of the month is always busier for me at work, so I’ll have to work things out more evenly moving forward.

If you’re still reading, thanks!