Day 661–Happy Halloween

If I had started this thing five days earlier (almost two years ago) I would have had day 666 on Halloween.  Certain things just shouldn’t happen.

Yesterday was not, in fact, epic.  It was decent. Not great. Tolerable.  I’d do it again I suppose.  Whoops.

My uncle, when referring to the Katy area, calls I-10 “the river.”  He says you never under any circumstances want to go north of the river.  Today we had to go north of the river, because we needed cat food and craved Arby’s.  It was just as disastrous as predicted.  Part of this, I confess, had to do with going to Walmart on Halloween. DON’T EVER GO TO WALMART ON HALLOWEEN.  Those weren’t even costumes…shudder.

Practice was a blast today because we focused on offense.  An hour and a half of straight shooting.  At the end of it I like to do penalty shots to determine how many laps they need/get to run, usually by me playing “goalie” and the kids making me look like an idiot.  Today I switched roles because our starting keeper was at practice.  Not gonna lie…for some inexplicable reason I turned into freaking Pele for five minutes.  I have very little discernible skill at soccer, I usually can’t shoot or pass straight, and force/accuracy is a complete crapshoot.  Today I was literally unstoppable.  I felt so bad at my random stroke of luck I took a lap off their end total. Thems the breaks.

My Halloween is ending with a viewing of Young Frankenstein, which Abby doesn’t think is funny. This is unacceptable.

Breakfast–Classic Lucky Charms.  Awesomeness.

Lunch–Arby’s! I had a roast beef sandwich and one of their new turkey sandwiches with fries.  The roast beef was delicious as always…the turkey needs to go away. Bring back the chicken Arby’s.

Dinner–Pasta carbonara.  Spaghetti with bacon, garlic, and green peas.  It was really, really good.

Dessert–A massive piece of my dark chocolate pumpkin pie.  I love that pie.

St. Germains, New Girl, and practice tomorrow.  Gonna work on some defense.

Have a good one.

Day 659–Happy Birthday Kimberly!

So our friends the Gutowskys decided to engage in an epic game of oneupsmanship (its totally a word) over the last month.  Joel is a huge Astros fan, so Kimberly surprised him by taking him to Chicago to watch the last series of the year in Wrigley. Joel, on the other hand, decided to throw Kim not one but TWO surprise parties with friends.  Last night a group from their church got together for dinner (whilst we were participating in the carving of the pumpkins) and tonight ten of us met for dinner at Lupe Tortilla.  Apparently they don’t do surprises that often, but if the trend continues, Joel’s birthday in February is going to be chaotic and awesome. I’m excited. (And then my birthday’s going to happen two weeks later and be a dud. Sweet.)

Practice was phenomenal today.  We found ourselves a goalie, I switched a couple of positions on the fly with great success, and generally felt in control the entire time. I’d call that a win.  Now I just need to keep it up for four more months.

Breakfast–Bagels!  Cinnamon Crunch and Cherry Vanilla.  I couldn’t stop at one…carb fail.

Lunch–Leftover soup from Gringo’s that I somehow heated to a molten consistency and burned the fire out of my mouth.  Impressive for a broth-based soup with no dairy in it.

Dinner–Lupe Tortilla fajitas, because why would you go to Lupe and not get fajitas?  Beef with corn tortillas. That’s where its at.  And the leftovers will be consumed tomorrow…I’m already excited about it.

Tomorrow is going to be EPIC.  I’ve two great days in a row…I hope the hot streak continues.  But even if it doesn’t, God is still God, and that’s more than enough for me.

Have a good one.

Day 658–Pumpkin Carving

A time honored tradition for the St. Germain/Toy/Henderson Life Group is the annual pumpkin carving bonanza.  A tarp, lots of cheap plastic tools, and two dozen pumpkins can lead to one crazy night.  I chose to carve mine in the image of the FC Dallas bull mascot (their season ended today…sad face), which happened to look exactly like Toro from the Houston Texans.  Convenient when I didn’t want to take it home…

We also got to enjoy Casey’s favorite part of pumpkin carving: roasting the seeds.  I must say, they were pretty amazing.  A nice salty ending to a meal filled with comfort-food indulgence, courtesy of me. (Who else?)

This weekend also saw the Moores come down to visit so Abby could check some eyes and dispense some glasses.  Having six people in our apartment was interesting (hint: not enough room) but its always a special time when family is around, and it was awesome to get to show off our church to them.  Sugar Grove didn’t disappoint either, with a great sermon, incredible worship, and class wasn’t too bad. (I taught, so there you go).

Breakfast–Beer bread and a bagel.  We had every conceivable breakfast option out (that we owned at least) from cereal to toast to oatmeal to granola, with frozen waffles and eggs and whatnot in the freezer/fridge.  I just wanted some bread.

Lunch–Gringo’s!  I had tortilla soup, and by that I mean I ate WAY too many chips with salsa and therefore only ate half my soup.  At least I’ve got lunch for tomorrow.

Dinner–Beans, cornbread, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin seeds.  I made my honey-cayenne cornbread with doctored up pinto beans, then whipped up a few of my pumpkin pies, including one with dark chocolate ganache on top.  Shockingly (to me at least) it was the most popular.  Thankfully I also made a chocolate sauce and cinnamon whipped cream to help the “normal” pumpkin pie get eaten.  I’m quite full though.

Practice starts tomorrow! Woohoo!

Have a good one.

Day 656–Cold Snap

64. The high in Houston today was 64. It was absolutely GLORIOUS.  It was nice enough to open the door and let in a little fresh air, and then it actually got chilly enough to have to close it.  If it was the start of colder weather here, it’d be great, but it’s supposed to be 80 again by Wednesday.  Sure is nice while its going on though!

The Moores are coming to hang out for the weekend, which is awesomeness.  Grandma came all the way from Pennsylvania to get her eyes checked, and Katy’s coming down from Abilene.  Going to be a packed house, but company is always appreciated.

Breakfast–Chocolate Lucky Charms.  Still great, but the lack of variety is problematic.

Lunch–Leftover pumpkin chili and honey-cayenne cornbread.  On a related note, I made pumpkin chili last night!  For the Thursday night running sessions we’ve been trying to come up with things I can make in advance and bring with us to the St. Germains.  Last night we decided to share the goodness…and man, it was good!  The leftovers rock too.

Dinner–Maple-roasted acorn squash filled with sauteed sweet potato, apple, and peanuts.  The filling was supposed to be made with pecans but I didn’t have any, and it was supposed to be made with substantially less sage than I added…read the recipe incorrectly.  Other than over-saging and not being able to get the maple syrup to caramelize, it was really REALLY good.  Great fall meal.

Dessert–…but it wasn’t perfect.  So we decided to get some cake from Ooh La La bakery.  I had part of a piece of chocolate Italian creme cake… the part that’s left is calling out to me from the fridge.

Tomorrow I’m making a lot of pie and hanging out with family.  Kind of a perfect Saturday.

Have a good one.

Day 654–Weigh Up Day

In a perfect world, that would have said “Weigh In Day.”  In a perfect world I wouldn’t have gained a pound this week.

So in this world, I clocked in at 227, meaning I still have a LOT of work to do for #213by2013.  Not impossible…but a lot of work.

In other news, I’m digging the new show Arrow.  I’m definitely a comic book nerd, not in the sense that I read comics, but in the sense I like the characters and appreciate new takes on them.  I even liked the Ryan Reynolds-helmed Green Lantern, which I think makes me the one.  Tonight’s episode was really good, although the voice-over/backstory stuff needs to get ironed out. But for episode 4 (I think?) it’s got my attention and my DVR.

The food situation today was weird.  Kind of backwards even.  So…don’t judge.

Breakfast–An Eggo with chocolate peanut butter goodness and a sliced apple.  So…dessert basically.  It was good though–salty, sweet, crunchy, creamy–just kind of weird.  We also slept in and had breakfast at like 10:30, so there you go.

Lunch–Pei Wei, because what Abby wants, Abby gets.  Mandarin Kung Pao chicken with fried rice and a spring roll.  I love this Pei Wei because they lightly sauce the entrees, which is where most of the calories are found, and yet you still get all the flavor.  Someone today missed that memo because both my order and Abby’s Mongolian Beef were swimming in sauce.  I didn’t eat most of it.  Lunch was at 3, which of course affected dinner.

Dinner–Bowl of Chocolate Lucky Charms before church.  Wasn’t hungry enough for a full meal, so went with the Charms.  Basically I had dessert for breakfast, lunch for lunch, and breakfast for dinner.  And then at church we literally sat around, talked, and ate candy.  I’ve had a ton of sugar in the last four hours, and my body is revolting because of it. Viva la revolucion indeed.

Last day of conditioning tomorrow as well as New Girl at the St. Germains.  And I have to do lots of work. But the first two are actually fun, so lets focus on that.

Have a good one.

Day 653–Holding Shape

Manchester United managed to pull off another ridiculous, come-from-behind victory today, giving up a brace to Alan before a brace from Chicharito and a lucky backheel from Jonny Evans claimed the three points.  The annoying part is that the two goals they gave up in the first twenty minutes were utterly pathetic.  A complete failure by the defense to mark attacking players coupled with the inability to maintain shape left them open to goals…probably should have been more than two.  Holding shape refers to players–in this instance the backline of defenders–maintaining position and a line of defense.  If someone moves out, someone else has to come in to take his place.  It’s the same principle in basketball of switching on a pick and roll.  It’s not difficult, it just requires discipline and a little concentration.

Holding shape in life is proving to be just as complicated as Man U made it look today.  With everything I’ve got going on, if I take time and effort to work on one thing, I have to be able to shift back and cover all my bases.  Concentrating on soccer all day leaves school work high and dry, and spending all my time at church means keeping the house clean suffers.  It’s a delicate balance, one I’m working on mastering.

Breakfast–Lucky Charms, of the chocolate variety.  Still wonderful.

Lunch–Ramen, of the oriental variety.  I diced up some asparagus and zucchini, added a splash of soy sauce and sriracha, and bob’s your uncle.  I’m still not sure what that means, but it sounds cool when Jamie Oliver says it, so there you go.

Dinner–Potatoes, of the baked variety.  I sliced up some chicken, added onions and spinach, another splash of sriracha, and piled it all on a baked potato.  Really, really great meal.

Dessert–Abby decided to treat me to DQ, so I had a Reese’s Blizzard.  It was goooooooood.

Day off for Abby tomorrow! Woohoo!

Have a good one.

Day 652–Romans 13:1

You know how sometimes you just have those days where everything seems to go wrong, or at least slightly off-kilter?  Welcome to my Monday.

Started out by being completely unable to go to sleep last night, so I was up until 2:30 working on a project for school because I couldn’t turn my brain off and that seemed like the most productive way to focus my energy.  Logically, that led to me thinking about being done with this class and graduating next August, so I got on ACU’s website to try to register for my last “summer” class.  Guess what? It’s not being offered!  At least not yet…according to the GST, its usually offered “at the end of the summer…basically part of the fall semester.”  In other words, it’ll be offered AFTER COMMENCEMENT, if at all.  They haven’t talked about it yet, or even discussed when August commencement is going to be in the first place.  So I may walk, then take my last class (and at the same time completely interfere with any teaching job I might have since it’ll be the second or third week of August) or I might not be able to graduate  at all in the summer and be forced to wait until December.  Stellar.

Anyways, so I didn’t sleep well, woke up feeling tremendously groggy, then realized I had to do laundry because everything was dirty and if I wanted to leave the house (which I did…conditioning this afternoon) then I needed to clean me some clothes.   This led to me working on more class stuff while sitting in the living room so I could hear the washing machine and know the second it was done.  In case you were wondering, my clothes finished drying 7 minutes before I needed to walk out the door for practice.

At practice we got to deal with the awesomeness that is Houston in late October–88 degrees with 85% humidity.  Autumn will happen in January, or so I’m told.  We had another weak turnout for conditioning (although I greatly appreciate the kids that do come consistently. I’m definitely remembering that) and some weak effort from a few kids, and then on my way home some moron tried to run me off the tollway because he doesn’t know how to merge (a common problem here in Houston).  He tried to run me into the wall, then when I finally got into the lane, he sped up next to me and tried to swerve into my car before speeding off.  Best part?  They worked for an automotive repair company.  Trying to create business fellas?

Thankfully, my lovely wife had the brilliant idea to go out for barbecue for dinner, saving me the task of trying to cook dinner, and I’ve been able to relax a little bit. You know, when I’m not trying to figure out why I’m friends with some people and their idiotic political ramblings.  I’m glad I serve a King and not a president.

Breakfast–Chocolate Lucky Charms. Duh.  Cereal night let me reload the pantry with goodness.

Lunch–Omelette (or omelet? Should I say omelet because I’m a boy? Or check with the gender of the egg? French is dumb sometimes) with asparagus, zucchini, and flank steak.  It was…meh.

Dinner–Red River Barbecue, courtesy of Groupon.  Thanks Groupon.  I had ribs, turkey, and lots of okra…the fried variety.  I wonder why eating badly makes you seemingly feel better? Because I’ll bet I regret it tomorrow…

More conditioning, more school work, and (hopefully) a little more sleep tomorrow.

Have a good one.