Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Apartment Tree

My husband and I have been together for a little over five years now.  We started dating in  July of 2007, and by time the year was up, we had already moved him from his apartment in Cincinnati to my apartment in Columbus.  At the beginning of 2008, we bought and moved into a condo in the same neighborhood so that we could have enough space for our combined belongings.  From January 2008 to July 2010, we had a place that we really loved.  A place where we could put up a big tree for Christmas every year.

In July of 2010, I moved us to Dallas Texas, and we were in a tiny apartment.  Thus was the birth of our "Apartment Tree."  The big one didn't fit anywhere, so we bought a miniature tree and miniature ornaments to decorate it.  In 2011, we moved to a larger townhome across the city, so we brought out the big guy again.  But this year, as we find ourselves in yet another too-small-for-us apartment in Colorado, we are glad that we didn't donate the mini tree after its stint in Texas.  Isn't it cute?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Successful Holiday Weekend

I admit that I was nervous about serving a Thanksgiving Dinner that I prepared by myself.  But it all turned out to be quite delicious.  The turkey breast wasn't quite as tasty as when it cooks with the entire bird, but we had the cornish hen to help fill that small gap.  The stuffing came out perfect, and everything else was simpler than I expected.

This year, as with every day of every other year, I am extremely grateful for my ever-supportive family.  I could not have dreamed up a better husband, for following me all across this country while I search for a job and a home that makes me happy.  However, I am so glad this year to finally be thankful for moving to a city and finding a job that truly fulfill that wish.  So thank you also for Colorado.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Chez Erickson Holiday Weekend Menu

A la Chez Erickson for this nice, long weekend at home:

Thursday - Thanksgiving Day - MENU:

A delicious breakfast of Noosa Yogurt and Granola will be available, a la carte. Served with a side of V-8 Fusion Juice and Vitamins. Coffee refills are free.

For lunch, a variety of deli cheeses and meats will be available for personalized sandwiches. We will have honey roasted turkey slices, chicken breast slices, amish swiss cheese and hand-marbled colby jack cheese. If desired, we can also provide kraft singles. All served on wheat bread or a wheat bun, accompanied by mustard, mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, and assorted vegetables. Kettle chips, pretzels or whole wheat gold fish available on the side. Liven up your lunch with a choice of micro-brewed beers.

Our Thanksgiving feast will consist of baked turkey breast and a cornish hen, stuffed with our world-famous dressing. On the side, we will have macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, and dinner rolls. And for dessert, a Pumpkin Supreme pie will be warmed and sliced. Pie available with or without ice cream. Accompany your meal with a glass of fresh Pinot Grigio or a delicious IPA.

Friday - "Black Friday" - MENU:

Service for Breakfast and Lunch will be the same as the Thanksgiving Day Holiday. Thanksgiving feast left-overs will also be available throughout the day, at any time desired.

After a day of avoiding crowds but running some necessary errands, a Dinner of Shredded BBQ Beef will be served, straight from the crock-pot. Plenty of meat will be available, as these left-overs are meant for freezing and storing for the future. If desired, waffle french fries are available as a side dish. Pair the hearty meal with an Oatmeal Stout to complete your plate.

Pumpkin Supreme Pie with ice cream, or Ice Cream Candy bars are available for dessert.

Saturday - Game Day!! - MENU:


CLIF bars and Honey Stinger Waffles will be the center of the Breakfast meal, making the long, daily workouts easier to accomplish.

Upon arrival back at Chez Erickson, a full portion of Skyline Dip will be served during the football games. Accompanied by whole wheat scoops and delicious beer selections. This meal will be sure to fill you up!

If lunch did not quench your daily hunger, we will have a la carte freezer foods available at any time during the evening. Popcorn chicken bites, chicken taquitos, chicken rice balls, potato skin poppers and/or the renowned sturkey rolls can be whipped up! Please give 30 minutes notice for any of these dishes, as they will take time and preparation to cook.

Sunday - Rest Day - MENU:

As we try to get back into a routine for the upcoming week, we will return to a more subdued menu for Sunday. Breakfast is served similarly to Saturday's menu, as daily workouts will be in order again.

For lunch, the chef will be cooking up servings of a new recipe: buffalo chicken soup. This warming lunch can be cooked up on the stove in an hour's time, using the delicious cornish hen left-overs from Thursday's feast. Oyster crackers come on top of the soup to help make the simple recipe fill you up after a hard day on the bike.

By time dinner on Sunday comes around, we will be happy to serve the Thanksgiving feast left-overs, sandwich style. If this is not desired, an array of cereals or lunch meats will also be available.

Circuit of the Americas: Inaugural F1 Race

What an amazing experience my first Formula 1 race turned out to be.  Austin, Texas had every detail worked out, and I don't think it could have gone any smoother.  The city had brought in shuttles from all over, and they were lining the streets every morning and every afternoon, ready to transport tens of thousands of people to the track.  On top of that, the streets of downtown Austin were hosting nightly concerts, events and parties all weekend.

The track itself was beautiful, and I feel certain that every seat had a great view.  We did get a little toasted out in the Texas sun.  We really should have known better, just coming from there a couple of months ago.  But we did not prepare with sunscreen.

We are already talking about going back in 2013.  Maybe a new Erickson tradition?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Negative Splits

I've tried the "running thing" three times now.  My first attempt, while we still lived in Ohio, fizzled out early due to a hip injury.  We were concerned that I'd broken some bone in my pelvis, but X-rays showed nothing.  Unfortunately, that didn't help me feel any better.  I limped around for several weeks and decided that running just wasn't for me.  Too bad it was helping me lose that college weight...  I'd have to find something else.  Then, when I moved to Texas, and was living sans hubby for the first six weeks, I tried it again.  I was bound and determined to look as hot as possible when he arrived in Texas after finishing up his work obligations.  Running in Texas was horrible in the 90 degree heat, but then became wonderful as the fall/winter months arrived.  I loved it even more, as I watched the pounds fall off of me.  Sadly, my hip started screaming at me again, so I found myself on the bike and in the yoga studio more often instead.

This time, I'm employing a coach with years of running experience, who also has a current #1 ranking in local criterium bike racing.  He is a guru when it comes to running technique, heart rate zones, and how to listen to your body after pushing yourself aerobically.  Yes, I'm talking about my husband.  For once, I am going to listen to the guy, and take his advice on how to truly be good at these aerobic sports.  The slowness at which I run while monitoring my heart rate right now is embarrassing.  But it's working.  I have slowly but surely found a comfort in my running.  No more gasping for breath or walking in the middle of my work-out.  It's only been a couple of months, and I'm up to 3 miles.  Well, 3.1 miles...

I ran in my very first 5K race this past Sunday.  Ran for a very good cause and organization:  The Fetal Hope Foundation.  3,000 Coloradans showed up for the race in Washington Park, Denver!  It was 20 degrees outside, and I had three layers of clothes on.  My goal was just to finish.  If I could run negative splits (each mile faster than the last), then that would be bonus.  And if I could finish in under 30 minutes, then even better!  I ran harder than I have in a long time, and I crossed the finish line at 31:27.  I had run a 10:14; 9:58; 9:38.  I couldn't believe I'd run negative splits after all!!

After we crossed the finish line, we had vendors, a food truck, and a live band to help us celebrate.  I got a high-five from my coach, and an excited motivation speech on where we go from here: farther and faster!!  And what better song to greet me personally at the finish line than Journey's "Don't Stop Believing."  Perfect.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

F.U. B.K.

For those of you unaware of the geniusly sloganed T-Shirts that my ID hero once made, this stands for, "FUCK YOU, BRIAN KELLY!" 

Years ago, we had a coach at the University of Cincinnati, and he was going to take us somewhere.  The Bearcats football team, typically known for its half empty Nippert Stadium on Saturdays, were all of a sudden on the map.  We were ranked top 25 and made it into a bowl game for heaven's sake.  It was glorious: watching UC rise up in the rankings higher than its in-state power house, Ohio State.  I proudly wore my b-UC-keye state shirt everywhere.

The elation we felt as a school and as alumnus was only extended when this coach PROMISED that he was going to stick with Cincinnati, and continue to grow our program.  All he wanted was a state-of-the-art athletic facility to work with.  So, we gave him one.  We spent our money to give Brian Kelly everything he wanted.

But did he keep his promise?  Did this man, who we were holding up on the highest pedastel, actually stick around when another opportunity came his way?  He said he would.  He SWORE that he would.  We were prepared to make him a Cincinnati legend.  But did he care?  Of course not.  He turned out to be a sell-out.

I hate watching that chubby face coach the Notre Dumb-Asses these days.  Pulling out a win in the last five minutes of every freaking game you play does NOT make you a good team.  They are highly over-rated.  But because they're Notre Dame, they seem to get special treatment.  But that's nothing new...  Let's point out that this is the only College Football Team that NBC will even show, so they inevitably blow them every weekend on air, holding up their exclusive contract:  "Yes, NBC will air your game every weekend in return for making you sound like the greatest team ever.  Even when you suck."  Then, let's talk about a team that, for all of its history and "grandeur," is able to function outside of any true NCAA Conference.  I guess they're too good for that?

Today, I watched Notre Dame come so close to losing to an unranked Pitt team.  They were down the entire game, and as is typical for this shitty team, they finally started to panic and play in the last five minutes.  Three overtimes!  Three!  Against a team that they should have been able to walk all over, if they were even half as good as the announcers on NBC make them seem.  And yet, I anticipate that the BCS will turn their head at the despicable performance.  All they'll see is another win, and keep them high in the rankings.  Makes me want to puke.

For all of you Notre Dame fans out there, pretending like you shouldn't be ashamed of how horribly your team is pulling out wins this year, wake up.  And Fuck You, Brian Kelly.