Ultimate Slacker

If there were a video game of my life over the past few weeks, it would be called “Ultimate Slacker.” I haven’t written a blog entry in ages, as several people — including my mother-in-law — have pointed out. Updating my Facebook status? Yes. But not much else. The Facebook thing makes is that much harder to blog, because I frequently have roughly two sentences that I want to share, not a full epic story. (My proudest status this week — and possibly ever — was “John Mackey finds it satisfying to click “Remove from Friends” after somebody posts something ignorant and homophobic. If only there were a “Remove from Earth” button.” No less epic was “John Mackey is watching Liz Love eat.”) The result, though, is that instead of accumulating enough stuff to warrant a blog entry, I end up with nothing.

Summer is like that. There are few, if any, performances, at least that I attend, so I don’t have any performances to write about. Stories like, “today, I shipped a set for an honor band performance” aren’t likely to keep you coming back for more updates.

The kitchen, like I showed recently, is very nearly done. I’ll post a few more pictures once it’s really, truly finished, but it’ll be a few more weeks. (We’re still waiting on the cabinet front for the dishwasher, but in the meantime, we still have a big black plastic front on the dishwasher. It’s not so slick.)

So what has been dominating my time for the past few weeks? Mostly, it’s cooking in the new kitchen. We’ve made couscous, grilled lemon chicken (twice), sesame noodles, humus, and a bunch of other stuff. Over the weekend, we made a baked omelette for two. Holy crapunzel, that was delicious. (Thank you Ina Garten, the source of almost all of these recipes.)

We also took a day trip to Houston last week. Our friends Sarah and Cory Meals recommended a restaurant called Mark’s American Cuisine. Holy HELL this place was great. We started, as we’ve started most of our festive dinners since our wedding dinner, with some pink Champagne.

First we ordered the appetizer special: Carpaccio of Prosciutto with summer melon and figs. That little bowl in the middle is a melon soup with a broth of Riesling and ice wine. (We love Riesling; we can’t help it. We’re not very wine-hip.)

Our other appetizer was the sliced vine-ripened tomato, roasted pepper, and arugula with two kinds of mozzarella, aged Balsamic, and a green peppercorn vinaigrette.

For her main course, AEJ had the steak.

I went with the pork chops.

If you go to Mark’s, you have to get dessert — even if you’re far too full. We were barfingly stuffed, but how could we turn down one of my absolute favorite desserts, tres leches cake?

And why stop with one dessert? Who the hell only orders one dessert? Wusses, that’s who! We are not wusses (well, not since high school at least), so we also ordered this trio of lemon cake, a lemon curd square, and donuts. That’s right. Donuts.

What else is happening? There’s been a lot of baby deer playtime here at the house — often right outside my studio window.

There’s really been enough slacking, though. At the beginning of next week, I’m going to start writing a new piece. I have three pieces coming up, back-to-back, but I think I’m going to start with the march that I’m writing for Midlothian High School. If you have any thoughts about what this march should do, let me know, ’cause I’d appreciate the feedback.

First, though, it’s time to start dinner! Tonight we’re having roasted red pepper and herb goat cheese sandwiches! Mmm…


asil says

is that midlothian, as in virginia? or somewhere else?

and it's not the riesling that makes you wine un-hip, it's the pink champagne, my friend.

Mark S. says

Hmmmm...A non-standard march would be nice. Kinda like the Symphonic Metamorphosis March. And don't forget to include some sort of melodic phrase for the lows and Horns. They will love you forever and forgive you when they play Kingfishers (The horns will).

Jordan says

Your march should transform into a giant robot.

David says

If you're using basic military march form (a la Sousa), please modulate to some other key than the subdominant. Chromatic mediants would be nice.

I like the idea of the non-standard/'concert march' a lot better. If you end up going this way', I think a full complement of percussion is a must, as well as raucous Eb clarinet and the 'Asphalt Cocktail' trash can and Kevlar drumhead. I also wouldn't be against unexpected meter changes and snippets from other marches/pieces a la Ives's "Country Band" march.

Nathan says

One request for the march would be for a section like the trumpets to be cursed with off-beats for THE WHOLE THING! Payback! Or, just a decent horn part that didn't ---pah, ---pah, ---pahpahpah the whole time.

John says

It's for Midlothian High School in Texas, not the one in Virginia.
And it'll be a little broken from "standard," of course. I'm thinking a big ol' vulgar march with (since that's fun) probably way too much trombone.

And asil, if pink champagne is good enough for Alexis Carrington on Dynasty, it's good enough for me, dahling. (Or should I say, Alexis Morrell Carrington Colby Dexter Rowan.)

Liz Love says


Jonathan says

If you want the ultimate tres leches cake, next time you visit Houston, take a trip to Artista. It's a really fantastic restaurant connected to the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. So, after you grab lunch/dinner, you can go see a professional musical!
Their next production is The Phantom of the Opera. It's a touring cast.

Andrew Hackard says

One of the best tres leches cakes in Austin is not at a Mexican place -- it's at Habana Cuban restaurant on South Congress. Their arroz con leche (a sort of half-soupy rice pudding) is equally superb.

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