6000 Steps a Day

Last week, our 4-H agent brought my classes new pedometers (they’re all about the health, you know- we pledge our health to better living every time).  I got one, too, and I’ve been wearing it every day at school.  I put it on before I go out the door and then take it off when I get back home.  On a typical day at school, I’ve found I walk around 6,000-7,000 steps from 8:30-3:30, depending on what the kids are doing that day.  On days that need much more guidance or monitoring, it sometimes goes up to 9,000.  Of course, that doesn’t count any of the steps after I come home, change into clothes with no pockets (so I have to take off the pedometer), and proceed to do light cleaning, laundry, dinner, and work out.  Yikes.  I think I’ll try wearing it ALL DAY until bedtime (which means I need to find something to wear in the evening with pockets on it) and see what happens.

We also spent the week discussing my husband’s choices for a literary agent!  Yes, he is agented.  He is now with TriadaUS.  His agent is Uwe Stender.  I’m very proud of him, but not at all surprised.  He’s talented in more ways than is really natural.  This week was also his birthday (he got a magic set and a knitted Viking hat with an attached beard), so what a nice present!

This Week’s Book(s)

I’m done with Galateo!  You think I did something awesome, but that was a seriously short book.  I’m working on the yearbook and I’ve been battling all the myriad diseases the kids have been spreading around, so the reading-for-pleasure went to the wayside.  Sorry about that.  I DID read, though, so the objective was still met.

Last week’s subject was French literature.  Can I count Mastering the Art of French Cooking?  Ok, thanks.

This week’s subject is 14th century literature.  I totally want to to re-read The Canterbury Tales because I was required to read it in twelfth grade and ended up loving it.  Ms. Tilley let us in on all the dirty secrets and jokes and we were hooked.  I miss that woman.

Still working on:

People of the Weeping Eye (North America’s Forgotten Past)

This one’s tailored to what I want to read about-  ancient Mississippian culture.  The 13th century of North America sounded pretty interesting because we study the Mound Builders in 4th grade social studies.

I also wanted some fiction, so I went with

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (Signet Classics)

The tales of Robin Hood started popping up in the 13th century, so what better way to satisfy the topic?  And although I adore the Disney version, I am excited to read the more derring-do version originally created in the way-back-when.

This Week’s Movie

Confession:  I couldn’t order The Third Man on Amazon Prime because my debit card got marked for fraud (nothing happened, I think it was just because I shopped at Kroger or Target).  I now have no access to anything unless I use a check.  Which I think I have one of around here somewhere.

Picture of Something That Happened This Week

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This needs no explanation.

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I’ve Gone Viral

I mean literally.  I’ve had a virus for a week or so, mostly in the head and nose region.  Now it’s made its way into my chest and I’m breathing through a damp sponge and walking around with about as much energy as the sponge.  Needless to say, my reading is behind.  My cooking is behind.  My behind is pretty behind, too.

This Week’s Book(s)

I’m still working on these.  Galateo is pretty interesting so far and has a really enjoyable voice and a tone of “Just don’t be an ass, ok?”.

Galateo: Or, The Rules of Polite Behavior
It’s a treatise on polite behavior in 16th century Italy.  How can you not read that?

Unfortunately, the bad weather means that I still haven’t received the book.  I love my Kindle apps (and my Kindle) but I really like holding my books, too.  So, we wait.  Politely.

For the coming week, we’re reading 13th century literature.  Now, granted it doesn’t have to be written in the 13th century.  Thank God.  I can’t handle any more Dante right now.

For this week, I chose two books (now I have three to read, eventually):

People of the Weeping Eye (North America’s Forgotten Past)

This one’s tailored to what I want to read about-  ancient Mississippian culture.  The 13th century of North America sounded pretty interesting because we study the Mound Builders in 4th grade social studies.

I also wanted some fiction, so I went with

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (Signet Classics)

The tales of Robin Hood started popping up in the 13th century, so what better way to satisfy the topic?  And although I adore the Disney version, I am excited to read the more derring-do version originally created in the way-back-when.

This Week’s Movie

Synecdoche, NY is an enjoyable enough movie.  That’s all I really have to say about it at this point.  It was a little sad, considering Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s recent death and most of what I was thinking about through the movie is that we’ll never get to see more of him.  He was such an interesting actor, seeming both remarkably intense and incredibly humble from moment to moment- and sometimes in the same moment- that I really didn’t think much beyond him and his life during the movie.  I think this week will be different because we’re watching…

The Third Man (again, Amazon Instant Video, 2.99)

Picture of Something That Happened This Week

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We made some tarts.  They were very, very good.  The Knave of Hearts did indeed steal and eat the tarts, but I haven’t decapitated him yet.

Apparently this is my 200th post.

In the weeks and months between the last post and this, not much exciting has happened- at least in terms of my personal life and/or earthquakes in my village.

My best friend got engaged (hooray!), my other best friend made Teacher of the Year, the Tennessee education system continues to be in turmoil, and Brooks and I both got food poisoning (or possibly Norovirus; or possibly both) over winter break.

I’m not going to get philosophical.  I’m just going to walk in here like I’ve never been gone and start posting again.  I’m doing a few challenges- 52 Books in 52 Weeks, A Movie a Week, and a relationship thing that I can’t talk about here because it’s not supposed to be something Brooks is actually aware of, for the most part.

So, without further ado (notice it’s not adieu- why would you be saying goodbye a lot in French?)

This Week’s Book(s)

Last week’s selection was supposed to be about Italian and/or Roman history, so I chose something very carefully.  I love history, but I don’t really enjoy reading sweeping overviews of time periods.  Give me a snapshot of culture or daily life or give me a biography and my sparkler will sizzle just right.  In the week previous, I had delved back into Dante’s Inferno, which, let me tell you, was not as interesting as my college assignment to read The Divine Comedy.  I don’t know why, really.  I guess I just wasn’t in the mood.

The book I ended up with this week was

In the weeks and months between the last post and this, not much exciting has happened- at least in terms of my personal life and/or earthquakes in my village.

My best friend got engaged (hooray!), my other best friend made Teacher of the Year, the Tennessee education system continues to be in turmoil, and Brooks and I both got food poisoning (or possibly Norovirus; or possibly both) over winter break.

I’m not going to get philosophical. I’m just going to walk in here like I’ve never been gone and start posting again. I’m doing a few challenges- 52 Books in 52 Weeks, A Movie a Week, and a relationship thing that I can’t talk about here because it’s not supposed to be something Brooks is actually aware of, for the most part.

So, without further ado (notice it’s not adieu- why would you be saying goodbye a lot in French?)

This Week’s Book(s)

Last week’s selection was supposed to be about Italian and/or Roman history, so I chose something very carefully. I love history, but I don’t really enjoy reading sweeping overviews of time periods. Give me a snapshot of culture or daily life or give me a biography and my sparkler will sizzle just right. In the week previous, I had delved back into Dante’s Inferno, which, let me tell you, was not as interesting as my college assignment to read The Divine Comedy. I don’t know why, really. I guess I just wasn’t in the mood.

The book I ended up with this week was

Galateo: Or, The Rules of Polite Behavior
It’s a treatise on polite behavior in 16th century Italy.  How can you not read that?

Unfortunately, the bad weather means that I still haven’t received the book.  I love my Kindle apps (and my Kindle) but I really like holding my books, too.  So, we wait.  Politely.

For the coming week, we’re reading 13th century literature.  Now, granted it doesn’t have to be written in the 13th century.  Thank God.  I can’t handle any more Dante right now.

For this week, I chose two books (now I have three to read, eventually):

People of the Weeping Eye (North America’s Forgotten Past)

This one’s tailored to what I want to read about-  ancient Mississippian culture.  The 13th century of North America sounded pretty interesting because we study the Mound Builders in 4th grade social studies.

I also wanted some fiction, so I went with

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (Signet Classics)

The tales of Robin Hood started popping up in the 13th century, so what better way to satisfy the topic?  And although I adore the Disney version, I am excited to read the more derring-do version originally created in the way-back-when.

This Week’s Movie

This week’s movie is Synechdoche, NY (Amazon Instant, 2.99- this is the only place I could find it streaming and apparently the monstrous monopoly TimeWarnerXfinityCast doesn’t have it in its catalog right now).

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Picture of Something That Happened This Week

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Delicious Valentine’s Day dinner and hijinks just before I got sick the very next day.

Maybe I’m luuuuuuuuuuuuurve sick.

Third from the Top

Third blog down on the reader, third line in:

 It is freaking amazing, my head still hurts!!!

I’m not even going to be creative.  I’m applying this to Evil Dead.

After much apathy, I agreed to go see this with my husband.  We see movies pretty much every weekend.  It’s our thing.  I was apathetic about it because it’s a remake of a classic film that’s precious to many.  From what I’d seen and read, it wasn’t an exact remake, not committed to the original’s brand of snark.  Yawn.  But it’s a horror movie, so I was okay with seeing it.  Wasn’t expecting much.

Although it definitely wasn’t a dedicated copy, Evil Dead paid its respects to its original.  There were moments that were genuinely humorous in a horrible way.  The iconic props from the original made their appearances.

The last fifteen minutes are amazing.

I haven’t been really enthusiastic about the ending of a movie for a long, long time.  This one had me throwing hand signs and yelling.  Worth it.

Stuff and Sundry

  • Workout went fine as it was cardio and easy enough.  Two miles.  NBD.
  • Shameless season 3 ends tomorrow.  This is horrible, but also for the best for my sanity.
  • We went to a pizza joint that was rated 93% on Urbanspoon.  It was mediocre at best- and I’m not a food snob and definitely not a pizza snob.  I felt sorry for Brooks, who is kind of a pizza snob (or at least knows a good pie from a bad one).
  • I am nothing like my zodiac sign.  Somebody told me I needed to do my “whole chart”, so I did that and it was even more off.  There is literally a fault in my stars!
  • We randomly ran into friends at the movie theater seeing the same movie, so we all just sat together.  Situations like that make me glad to be alive.  The universe was all, “Here, have a nice surprise.”  Usually it’s kind of a bitch, so it was nice to see the universe not being such a douche today.

Things I Found Being Lazy

  • Nothing.  You get nothing.  I was out all day seeing movies and eating bad pizza and buying groceries.  The best I could give you would be an angry feline or a dancing Korean and I’m sure you’re way past that.

Today’s Pic

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Wot?

So, tonight was a special night.  It was Hunger Games night.  It was Gosh night!

Gosh is an Ethiopian restaurant on Sutherland Avenue.  My fellow movie-goers and I (my husband, Brooks, good friends, Meg and Steve) were not familiar with Ethiopian food, but Brooks and I have made an elaborate plan to visit every non-chain, non-Asian-buffet restaurant in the MetroPulse Food Guide that just had its annual publication.

Brooks and I had recently been to the Hibachi Grill & Buffet and felt sorely abused by the experience.  Note to self (and everyone, really):  do not expect great things from an “Asian” restaurant that features hot wings, pizza, macaroni and cheese, and corn dog nuggets on the buffet.

In other words, we needed cleansing.  Food cleansing.

Because our friends are excellent people and adventurous foodies, too, we invited them out to celebrate The Hunger Games opening and my 34th birthday.  Meg was kind enough to gift me with a wonderful souvenir from her recent trip- a Hunger Games lanyard!  The mood was set nicely with the movie (great, not excellent) and we were off to the restaurant.

We already knew from reading a couple of reviews that the Ethiopian food is served with a thin, pancake-y, crepe-y bread that you use for your utensil.

Brooks and I ordered a Vegetable Sambbussa, a lentil and vegetable stuffed flaky pastry, as an appetizer and shared that along with a glass of Tej, a honey wine that tasted like a less yeasty mead.  Delicious!

We both opted for the Gosh Combination, which is a pizza-pan-sized piece of the aforementioned bread topped with six different dishes to try.  Your table receives a basket of rolled-up crepes to use for eating.  The servings were spot on with just enough of four vegetarian dishes and two meat dishes for two people to be satisfied.  I especially enjoyed Tikil Gomen, a cabbage, carrots, and potatoes dish that went perfectly with our bread.  I also enjoyed the Kik Alicha, a split-pea dish.  Brooks liked everything on the platter, but his most favorite is reported as Yemisir Wot, a spicy lentil dish.

Both parties felt the need for coffee, tea and dessert.  Brooks and I had the Mandazi, an absolutely delicious, dense, pastry with caramel sauce.  Unlike many other places, the dessert portion was the right size.  Our friends ordered the Date Cake and enjoyed it although we’ll warn you now- it’s absolutely soaked in rum sauce!  Both husbands enjoyed Buna (Ethiopian coffee) with dessert and I had a cup of Kemem Shay (spiced tea).  The coffee was reported as excellent, not too strong, and “different”.  My tea was a bit like chai but not as heady or spicy, just very pleasant and easy to drink.  I drained my mini-kettle!

The ambiance at Gosh is wonderful.  The lighting is conversational but not too bright, an entertaining video of Middle Easter music and dance plays in the background, and the furnishings are clean and sturdy.  No, it’s not Cracker Barrel with things hanging off the walls, but it does invite conversation and lent itself to our experience.

The service is outstanding.  Servers and all the staff were absolutely friendly, accommodating, helpful, and quick.  Food came out in a very timely manner and we were not rebuffed when we asked for lessons on how to properly say the names of the foods and drinks.  We felt extremely well taken care of and welcomed.

We will DEFINITELY be visiting Gosh many more times in the future.  The prices are very reasonable, the food is delicious, the service is outstanding, and the experience is unique and entertaining.