Tales of adventure (which includes, but is not limited to, the lost art of money folding, bad bowling skills, and secret admirer valentines)

It’s funny how going out and doing stuff can make you realize how much you don’t go out and do stuff. That made sense, right? Basically, I hit the town yesterday. I’ll tell you all about it only because if I didn’t, I’d probably be wasting my life on Pinterest right now. Or watching reruns of Psych. I’ve heard it both ways.

When choosing a “fun activity” to do with your friends Marie and Emarshily, pick something all of you are actually good at. If none of you are good at bowling, maybe you shouldn’t go bowling. How can you tell if you’re not good? If you are 16 and your two friends are both 17 and all of you ask to have the kiddie bumpers on the lane put up, you’re not good.

When going bowling, one does not simply use their real names, just as one does not simply walk into Mordor. You have to pick cool, hip names. I used Napoleon, which totally stood for Napoleon Bonaparte, not Napoleon Dynamite… and my bowling mates were The Dowager and Heathcliff. Oh, and I can’t bowl to save my life.

80 points. And that was with the bumpers up. Oof.

Marie was so upset I lost, she threw a temper tantrum right in the middle of the bowling alley and started smashing that weird podium thing. It was awkward. We were fingerprinted, had our pictures taken, and then were escorted out by 2 huge security guards. Thanks, Marie. They’re totally never letting us back in there now.

After bowling, we ran across the street to get lunch at IHOP. I love IHOP. Although I don’t love the name, because when I type it out, I feel like I have to put it in all caps since it’s an acronym and then I shout in my head. Story of my life. When you go to IHOP (shouting again…), do yourself a favor and specify a waiter/waitress with a sense of humor. Ours didn’t. I ordered a Belgian waffle and there was the option to get fruit on it, so I said to the waitress, “Could I have the Belgian waffle with that blueberry stuff on top?” And she looked at me like she was Luke Skywalker and I was Darth Vader telling her I was her father.

People that work at IHOP have weird names. Take our waitress for example. Her name tag said Beashariquedstify or something like that. All I know is that there were way too many consonants for it to be a real name. And she introduced herself as “bee”. I wanted to ask her how she pronounced her real name and also what was going through the mind of her mother when she named her that, but I didn’t. So I decided we should fold her tip into tiny paper airplanes.

APPARENTLY people don’t like it when you turn their tip into art, because she totally gave us the evil eye as we were leaving. Um, her loss. Look how awesome those are.

So that’s how I spent my Sunday afternoon. How was your weekend? Did you find out that the secret admirer valentine you hired someone to send to someone else was basically interpreted as a death threat? Is it the second year in a row that you’ve sent out secret admirer valentines and both years the receivers of the valentines have been severely weird out? No? Then I envy you.

All you need is love/potato salad

I have a question. And before you ask, no, it’s not “Why won’t Christian Bale marry me?” or “Why can’t I be more like Kevin Clash, the guy who does Elmo’s voice on Sesame Street?” or even “Why can’t all food be coated in peanut butter and/or chocolate, deep fried, and then fed to me by Christian Bale while Elmo tells me a story?” No. Especially that last one, since it makes me doubt my sanity a bit. It’s “What are Ryan Reynolds turkey meatballs”? Ryan Reynolds turkey meatballs has become a daily term people google to find my blog. Could someone please explain? I’m officially weirded out. And Kevin Clash is seriously amazing. Not that I watched a documentary on him last night and I’m seriously resisting watching it again right now…

Also, Downton Abbey Christmas special? Can we discuss please? First off, the whole Bates and Anna drama needs to go away. I know I wasn’t the only one who secretly wanted Bates to hang. And I say that in the least morbid way possible. You understand. The scene where they all dance together was adorable. Especially when The Dowager and Thomas dance. *SWOON* On an adorable scale of 1 to a basket of puppies handed to me by a leprechaun wearing a tutu, I’d say the dance scene ranked pretty near the top. Although now that I’m picturing it, a leprechaun in a tutu doesn’t sound so cute anymore. Wow. I think I’ve just mentally scarred myself for life. Good job, Picco. Oh and we all saw the whole Matthew and Mary stuff a mile away. I won’t spoil things for people who haven’t seen the episode yet, but Matthew proposes and then they awkwardly twirl in the snow. Whoops, did I just say that out loud?

Speaking of Downton, ummm, Thomas Barrow. Why isn’t this man a real live person and why isn’t he in my life so we can sinisterly plot things together? And then sinisterly bake sinister food together and speak of sinister things, such as Miley Cyrus and how freaky weird she is. Tell me that wouldn’t be oodles of fun.

And since I’m all over the place tonight, I just thought I’d throw in that I’m sick. So sick that the overall sick levels of my sickness have reached maximum capacity. See, I’m so ill that I thought that would make sense when I typed it out. The sad part is that it totally did in my head… Obviously I need to catch a cold more often because when I do get mildly ill like I have been the past 3 days, I do things like start 1000 piece puzzles in the middle of my bedroom floor that I know I’ll never finish, as well as wake up with classic songs we all know and love, such as Benny and the Jets and Grease Lightning, going through my head. Someone take me to a doctor pronto. Or come help me do a 1000 piece Audrey Hepburn puzzle. Either one would be much obliged.

Luckily, all of life’s ills are solved by potato salad. Even if one of the potatoes wasn’t totally cooked all the way, and maybe I might have added a bit too much mayonnaise, it still made me happy. Food tends to do that. As does watching Batman Begins. Could someone please tell Christian Bale’s manager that I’m completely obsessed with him? PLEASE?

Oh, and I boiled two different foods tonight. Potatoes and eggs. Both of which I’m not a big fan of. AND I hate boiling stuff because the dumb water never boils. Not to brag or anything, but I’m pretty impressed with myself.

Potato Salad

2 pounds clean, scrubbed potatoes (I used 6 medium ones, since I don’t have a kitchen scale and I’m really bad at guessing weight, age, and gender. You only think I’m joking. Do you know how frustrating it is not being able to tell if that creepy person you see is a man or woman? And then not being able to let it go that you can’t tell? It’s awful.)
6 eggs
1 pound bacon
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup relish
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise (I used 2 cups tonight and it was a bit much…)
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. If you’re like me, you might as well go cure cancer while you’re waiting for the water to boil. If you’re not like me, TEACH ME YOUR WATER BOILING WAYS.  Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain.
Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, peel and chop. In that order. You do it out of order and things will get all wonky.
Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
Chop the cooled potatoes, leaving skin on. In a large bowl, combine the hard boiled eggs, bacon, celery, and relish. Add mayonnaise, salt and pepper to taste. Chill for an hour before serving. Enjoy immensity.

Chicken pot chicken pot chicken pot pie

It finally snowed. I’m happy.

I got a valentine. I’m beyond happy.

Yes, I had to pay for it, but it’s the first non-manditory valentine I think I’ve ever gotten. The band Sunderland (which I saw when they opened for Honor Society) had a Valentine’s Day package. I sent them $25 (which was also pretty much my life savings. I’m broke.), and they sent me a valentine, a CD which had their new song, a video, and some pictures of the band on it, a rubber bracelet thing, and candy. Um, I love them. And it was totally worth every penny, especially since I forgot that I had sent money and my mom was like “Um, who is Sunderland and why did they send you a package?” Happy days. That being said, feel free to send me a valentine. It’s not too late. I’m still accepting secret admirer valentines and/or chocolate until…forever. Hint hint.

As Cousin Violet said on the episode of Downton Abbey last night, “All this unbridled joy has given me such an appetite.” Luckily, I made food.

Yesterday, I made chicken pot pie. I’m pretty sure I could live off this stuff.

Today I made lime cilantro chicken. For someone who really doesn’t like chicken at all, I’ve sure made it a lot lately. And there’s still a package of chicken in the fridge that I need to make tomorrow. Oh joy.

Two things. One, I love cilantro. I could eat it by the pound. I think. Second, can we please discuss last night’s Downton Abbey? It was two intense hours of walking paraplegics, eloping Irish chauffeurs, and more Mr. Bates+Anna drama than any of us cared about. Who was scared of Thomas’ temper tantrum? Who wants to make fun of me because in those two hours I went from hating Matthew to thinking he’s the coolest thing since Mr. T? Although Thomas still wins the intense stare contest against Matthew. I spent much of the episode texting my friend Marie who was also watching it. For those of you who doubt my sanity, here’s some of the conversation that proves you right:

Marie: BALLKOBNJIEWOWLFJIFFJ!!!!!!
Me: OH THE DRAMA
Marie: I KNOW!!! DRAMA. MATTHEW AND MARY. CAPSLOCK.
Me: I. Love. Matthew.
Marie: Uh whatever, he’s mine.
Me: whatdaheck?!
Marie: NO YOU MAY NOT KISS HIM FOO.

And it went on for pretty much the entire episode. It was pretty intense.

Please meet my new best friend, the cast iron skillet. I’m going to grill everything on it from now on. Bacon, chocolate,  the new Mrs. Anna Bates… Come on, you know she’s kind of boring you too.

I guess I should talk about the food a bit. Um, this is raw chicken.

This is delicious cooked chicken with cool grill marks on it. Any questions?

Oh, and I totally loved Branson and Thomas and Sybil last night. End of story. I’ll stop talking about Downton now.

Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa*

*If the avocados your mom picked up from the store were so unripe that they could double as a weapon, you’ll have to leave out the avocado part like I did…

Chicken

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray

Salsa

1 cup chopped plum tomato (about 2)
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 avocado, peeled and finely chopped

Combine the cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, and chicken in a large bowl. Mix and stick in the fridge for an hour. Remove chicken from marinade and throw out the marinade. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Heat an awesome grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan and cook 6 minutes on each side or until done. Dodge the oil splatters so you don’t get 3rd degree burns like I almost did. *ehem*

For the salsa, combine the tomato, lime juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Add avocado, and stir gently. Serve over chicken. I also served it with Mexican rice and it was delicious. And don’t worry, I can read Mexican.

In which it’s my half birthday and I make a cake for myself and eat a majority of it

As they say in England, “Happy Half-Birthday, Picco.”*

*said with a British accent

Since it’s my half birthday, I made myself a cake, cut it in half and stacked the layers on top of each other, and then spelled “hap birth” in peanut butter and chocolate chips. Because that’s just how I roll.

Dear producers of Ace of Cakes, look at the icing work on this cake. Don’t hold back your feelings of complete and utter impression. You know you need me on the show. I’ll be waiting to get in contact with you.

Sadly, this isn’t a made-from-scratch cake. I just dumped out the Betty Crocker cake powder stuff, added some eggs, water, and oil, mixed it, and stuck it in the oven. Easy. Which is exactly how I like my food preparation to be. The picture of the slice of cake above took forever to take, in case you were wondering. The dumb cake kept falling over. So I had to prop it up.

Woah. Spoonlighting just got professional. Do you think you can handle it?

Oh and I think I’m going to write a cookbook. I don’t know how, I don’t know when, I don’t know how many Christian Bale references will be in it, but it’s going to happen. Get excited.

Ode to a search engine

People are weird. I know this just by looking at my blog stats to see how people found my blog today. Since some of the phrases are pretty hilarious, I’ve compiled a few short poems/haikus/whatever that I wrote using only the terms people googled to find my blog. Each line is one search term. And I swear I’m not making any of them up.

“driving lesson” “awkward silence”
are british boys cute
bacon grease

duct tape rose
i’m fifteen
need for food in our life

ryan reynolds turkey meatballs
you know you’re a damian mcginty fan when
brian regan jail

greens batman cookie mix
most awesomest batman converse
hot girls wearing batman shirts

how do u pronounce downton abbey
excuse me while i bake all day

i’m not always sarcastic sometimes i mean every word i say
be sure you’re not surrounded with idiots

“heaping spoonful”?
melty butter globs
psychotic nerve
i love bacon

who is christian bale’s aunt
owls in the family (weeps)
harry potter went downhill after goblet of fire
creative stupidness

You’re impressed with my mad poetry skills, I can tell.