Monthly Archives: September 2011

MTV in Shreveport… In other words, my big television debut

About a month ago, when I was still bursting with enthusiasm to try absolutely everything in Shreveport and was buying Groupons like they were going out of style, I purchased a Groupon for Peak Physiques. It’s a no excuse, push your limits, workout space that offers evening classes. Like most normal people, I decided this was exactly the type of thing I needed to be a part of in a new city.

Weeks went by and I found myself reluctant to go to the classes. Until tonight. The Groupon was about to expire and I decided to buck up and just go.

When I arrived I was assured that I could go at my own pace, that I would be able to keep up, and that the hour-long class would be an intense leg workout. Since I was a runner, I was told I should be fine.

I felt good about all of this until I noticed the camera crew filming several completely shredded patrons in the center of the space.

“Um, are you guys filming a YouTube for your Facebook or something?”

“No, MTV is filming a reality series on MMA fighters.”

“LSU Football players? Why are they training here?”

“No, MMA Fighters. Mixed Martial Arts. You know, cage fighters?”

“Oh. Yeah, sure.” (I have never seen a cage fight in my life. I’m still unclear what it involves).

“Don’t worry, they won’t film you.”

Famous. Last. Words.

The instructor called everyone together and I was the only female. That’s right. A team of MMA Fighters and me. At that moment I wanted to go home so badly but then the thought of the alternative – running in 92° again – was so unpleasant, I figured that there was no way this could be worse.

The workout started with a fast-paced warm-up and quickly progressed into a level of intensity that left my body trembling. At one point, as my lanky, uncoordinated body  hobbled through suicides, lunges, burpees, bear crawls, and box jumps, I felt unsure if I was going to laugh, cry, vomit, or emit a combination of all three. I’m pretty sure in my state of delirium I murmured something about seeing spots and having a ringing in my ears.

And then, miraculously, the hour of torture was over. As I struggled to catch my breath and say silent Hail Marys that I wouldn’t end the night in the LSU Emergency Room, I was approached by one of the MTV guys. He needed me to sign a waiver so that they could use the footage with me in it.

I almost died.

My big television debut involves me wearing ratty workout clothes, with frizzy hair, sweating profusely, and on the verge of going into cardiac arrest.

I’m pretty sure they’ll probably cut the footage, but if not you can look for me in the new MTV series, Caged, airing in early 2012 (likely February).

According to Variety.com:

“Caged,” which takes places in rural Louisiana, examines twentysomethings who gather to fight in cages — all the while trying to figure out what to do with their lives.

The MMA website claims it’s the Jersey Shore of the South. The irony is uncanny.

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The most amazing use of Photoshop ever. Thank you, Nick Walsh.

When Facebook sent me a notification that the famed Nicholas Walsh had tagged me in a photo, I almost dropped dead when I viewed the image. Behold, the most hilarious use of Photoshop ever to involve my mug shot. I love how Gidget even made it onto the poster. I love this so much. Thanks for the much needed laugh, Nick : )

… Now if only I can get my hair to look like that in real life.

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Sign of the times

I get such a kick out of the drive-by advertisements around town and I felt compelled to share some of my favorites:

A true testament to the power of prayer…

The world’s most expensive fast food drive-thru.

It took me awhile to figure out that this meant “grilled.”

But then again… maybe not? Perhaps this explains the chicken’s condition (see previous photo above)

Buyer beware… but at least they can’t be accused of false advertising?

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My new favorite running partners

The best part about having a running trail next to grazing pastures is that there are seldom other human beings around to bestow judgment if you spontaneously sing aloud to your iPod. The worst part is feeling guilty about eating cheeseburgers.

Here is a very rudimentary attempt at using the video camera feature on my  iPod nano (proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks) to capture the cows that I run by almost every single day. Notice how it escalated into a staring contest.

 

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The best banana bread. EVER.

When it’s a rainy day in the country…

… and you have a bunch of almost-black bananas that are starting to release an unpleasant odor in your apartment, then it’s a no-brainer that you should make banana bread from scratch. Seriously, what else was I going to do? Don’t laugh. This is the best banana bread I’ve ever had. I’m not kidding.

It’s so delicious that I have felt compelled to share my recipe (no secrets here):

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened at room temp.
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325° F.
  2. Butter a 9 x 5 x 3 in. loaf pan.
  3. Cream the sugar and the butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat well.
  5. In a small bowl mash the bananas and mix in milk and cinnamon.
  6. Add the banana mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until combined. Add in baking soda, baking power, salt, and sift in flour until well blended but do not over mix.
  7. Pour batter in a pan and bake for 1 hour.
  8. Set aside to cool on rack for 15 minutes.
  9. Enjoy : )

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Another failed attempt at domesticity: Rice Weevils

Now that I’ve settled in a fairly regular cooking routine, I thought that I had planned a fool-proof meal for a Monday night. Chicken and Rice. The chicken was practically created for idiots like myself since I bought it already stuffed and in the pan. All that I had to do was literally turn on the oven and wait for the timer to tell me it was done.

But it wasn’t the chicken.

It was the rice.

A few minutes into cooking it, I noticed black pieces floating to the top of the broth. I pulled one out with my wooden spoon and noticed that this black fleck that I had assumed to be a piece of burnt rice (likely) had wings and legs.

A panicked Google search (“there are bugs in my rice??”) led me to several pages indicating that they were either Rice Weevils or Pantry Moths.

Down the drain went the entire pot and here’s the funny part: I was less freaked out by the bugs and more upset about the fact that yet another dinner was ruined and this time it wasn’t my fault.

I did the only reasonable thing possible. I knew we needed a starch to pair with the chicken so I dug deep into the pantry and located my In-Case-of-Emergency Brownie Mix.

Turns out that chicken doesn’t pair very well with brownies so Gidget enjoyed a second dinner while I enjoyed my brownie entrée.

I think that ultimately everyone was happier this way.

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Words of remembrance

I think the Star-Ledger (NJ) has said it best (click image to enlarge).

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