TTUT-Project 52 Update Week 50

Grams: Not a good time, girls. I’m busy.
Paige: You’re dead.
Grams: Well, it doesn’t mean I can’t have a life. –Charmed


Tuesday? Whaa? Ok this month is going by too fast already. Sloooow down. Like IA, Seriously Shawn, and probably the rest of you, I’m feeling really behind in my blogging. I have so many fun things to tell you guys about, but things are crazy busy right now and I haven’t had much time to blog about it all.

I’ve also been awful about updating my Project 52 list. I will say that I haven’t forgotten about my dear old list. I’ve just been too busy checking things off to write about it. Here we are in the final month, and I have to say that while I haven’t done everything on the list, I did make a big dent in it.

Here’s what’s left to do:

Get at least 100 readers: I’m sad that this one didn’t get fulfilled, but I did go from I think 48 or so subscribers to 79. That’s a good solid jump, and I appreciate each and every one of you! Maybe next year I can hit that 100 mark. It would help if I were a better commenter too.

Take a CPR Class
Take a Cooking Class
:

-again sad to say but these probably won’t happen. With the move it was just a crazy year, and we’re pinching pennies now. I’m hoping after the new year I can sign up for at least the CPR class.

Go to the drive-in movie theater:
-well now that we’ve moved the drive in is pretty far away, so again not something I see happening anytime soon. Sad really since the price of the movies are so much less, and the experience is so fun!

Take a boat ride in San Francisco on Stow Lake:
this one is definitely not going to happen, as I ran it by Match and he hated the idea. Ha. So I will come up with something else for next year.

Go ice skating:
This will happen before the month’s end, mark my words. Match PROMISED he’d take me this year. I’ve only been begging him for the last 3.5 years to take me ice skating. It’s happening!!

Visit the zoo:
there is still time, and we live closer to the Sacramento Zoo now, which I would love to visit. I’ve never been and I’ve heard some good things about it. I’m hoping to sweet talk Match into going with me soon. Though all the animals will probably be hiding since it’s winter.

Sing a Song I’ve Never Sung Before at a New Karaoke Bar:
this one is so easy to do, and yet I just haven’t gone downtown yet. I am sure there’s karaoke somewhere in this new town of ours, and I just have to get out there and find it.

As for the reoccurring goals, there are some I’ve done a pretty good job of maintaining, such as making sure I use best buy coupons when I do my shopping, and others I’ve failed miserably at. I’ll wait til the end of the year to do the full recap of those epic failures (and successes!) I’m already looking forward to making my list for next year.

Did you do a Project 52 list this year? Did you keep up with it?

Project 52 Update-Week 31 Date Girl Get Your Gun

Kurt: By the way, there’s something I’ve been meaning to give you. (points a gun at Robin)
Robin: (takes it) My snub-nose .38 police special! I knew I left that somewhere. Every time I watch the news, I think, ‘Oops, hope that wasn’t my gun’.
Kurt: Breaking up was the right choice. –How I Met Your Mother

With just 5 months left in the Project 52 Challenge I’m starting to get busy crossing items off my list. This last week I crossed off #7 on my list: Go to the shooting range and shoot a handgun. Specifically I shot a Sig229 40 Calibur, for any gun buffs out there.

It was a lot cooler than I thought it would be. Before we went I was convinced that I would barely be able to hit the target. I’ve only shot a gun one other time in my life, years ago. It was a shotgun and the kickback knocked me on my ass and gave me a sore shoulder for like a month. And of course I missed the target by about a mile.

Handguns are so much different. First of all there was a slight recoil, but it was nothing. I didn’t stagger back and I was able to keep the gun steady. I wasn’t prepared for my heart to start racing and for my palms to get sweaty after the first shot. It’s a bit of an adrenaline rush and I got all shaky and nervous for a minute. My body got used to the adrenaline after a minute and I started to enjoy myself. It helped that I was hitting the target! Guys, I even got a couple of them square on the x, in the middle of the target. I couldn’t believe it!

Match said it was good that all my shots clustered together, showing that I can hold the gun steady. Now I just have to work on my accuracy and make sure I am in the same spot every time.

I started off pretty close to the target, and then as I got used to holding the gun and firing, Match moved me back a little further.

My aim got worse as I got tired. You would not believe the upper body workout it was! I was amazed. My arms were on fire and my back was sore after just a few rounds. But I still managed to hit that x a few more times!

See the ones that are all far down on the left? That’s when I started getting tired and my arms drooped. It doesn’t help that Match’s gun is really heavy. He said he’d like to get me my own gun someday and it would be smaller and more lightweight. We’ll see, I’m still wrapping my mind around the idea of one handgun in the house!

After I was done Match had to show me how it’s done. Look how much further back he can stand and still hit the target. I’m going to try that the next time we go.

He did a combat shooting, where you’re close to the target but then do a rapid fire quick draw, and then aim for the body and finally the head. It was so fast I didn’t even get a picture the first time he did it.

Don’t mess with Match. He’s hardcore!

Match was so great at teaching me all about gun safety. It helps that he’s so patient and didn’t mind that the first few shots took me forever while I made sure my stance was right. He told me he was proud of me for using good gun safety and never wildly swinging the gun around. He also made sure I read through the rules before I even touched the gun. 🙂

I’m so glad I went to the range. I have been nervous having a gun in our house, especially without knowing how to use it. I think shooting definitely took some of the fear away. I also feel much better knowing just how much force it takes to pull the trigger. You really have to squeeze it, and it makes me a lot less nervous about the gun accidentally going off. Match also educated me on his particular gun, and told me that because it’s a duty weapon, they have to pass a lot of safety tests. It won’t accidentally go off if he drops it, things like that. It made the whole gun in my home issue a lot easier to deal with.

Project 52 Update-Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Garlicy Heaven

Ross: Someone at work ate my sandwich!
Chandler: Well, what did the police say?
Ross: My Thanksgiving leftover sandwich! I can’t believe someone ate it!
Chandler: It’s just a sandwich!
Ross: Just a sandwich? I’m 30 years old, I’m going to be divorced twice and I just got evicted! That sandwich was the only good thing going on in my life! SOMEONE ATE THE ONLY GOOD THING GOING ON IN MY LIFE!-Friends

 

This week I can’t say that I crossed an item off the list, but I’m making progress in my revolving tasks. This week I want to talk about #19 Try 1 new recipe a month. This week I actually made two new recipes and they were so good I just had to share them with you.

I had this major craving for Cuban style food. There’s a great restaurant near us that has super tasty Cuban inspired food but it’s pretty expensive. One of my other goals is to pay down our debt so I decided to opt to make what I’ve been craving instead of spending money on a night out. I’m so glad I did!

On the menu: Cuban inspired pulled pork sandwiches with twice baked plantains on the side.

For the sandwiches, I found this marinade recipe at nothing but a crock (love that name!)

For the twice fried plantains I used this recipe via instructables and I loved all of the details. The pictures helped this at times instructions challenged girl.

The beauty of this meal was that for as flavorful as it was, it wasn’t all that time consuming. I heart my crockpot! I changed up the pork recipe a little so here’s what I used:

Ingredients:

Big ol’ pork shoulder that I found for super cheap at Safeway

ground cumin

oregano leaves that I crushed with my fingers

3 garlic cloves, crushed

fresh squeezed lime juice

water

sea salt

fresh ground pepper

I mixed all of the ingredients well and poured them over the pork shoulder. Then I let it marinade overnight. I got up in the morning and took the shoulder out of the fridge and transferred it to the crock pot. I added a chopped onion and poured just a little bbq sauce on top of the shoulder. Then I cooked it on low for about 12 hours.

I know it looks gross but trust me it smelled delicious. The entire house smelled so good and Monkey was licking his lips all day just hoping for a bite.

After 1o hours, I shredded the pork and added a little bit more bbq sauce

I let it marinate just a little longer, while I made the twice fried plantains.

If you’ve never had fried plantains you are missing out.

The only time consuming part of this meal was really just the frying part. It wasn’t that bad really. And yes I cook in my pj-jays!

For fried food, these are actually fairly healthy. Provided you don’t eat a ton of them like I did.

I think the dipping sauce was my favorite part of the entire meal. It was so simple. Just olive oil, lime juice, and garlic. I dipped my plantains in it, and I dipped my sandwich in it too. It was like French dips but Cuban. Ah-mazing. I toasted up some sandwich rolls in the broiler so they were nice and crunchy, added a tiny bit of mayo and some horseradish mustard, and a zesty dill pickle. Looking at this picture makes me want to make this meal all over again.

Another great part of this recipe is the quantity. It made enough for a small army. Or at least 2 nights of sandwiches, and then one night I turned the leftover pork into Cuban tacos. Normally I don’t eat much pork so I think I’ll try it with chicken next time. Go ahead and try this recipe out. It’s one of those dishes that tastes like you slaved over the stove all day but really just takes a few minutes to throw in the crock pot. Guaranteed to be a huge hit. I know it was in my house!

Project 52 Update Week 28: Fear the Beard, Not the Blood

Tommy: [After they donated blood] I just feel really light headed. You don’t have anymore juice, do ya?
Johnny: You almost fell getting off the table, you pussy.
Tommy: I got up too fast, okay? And you should watch your language in front of the house of God. Back me up on that.
Father Murphy: He’s right.
Johnny: Sorry.
Tommy: Yeah, asshole. –Rescue Me

On Friday I crossed off #48 on my Project 52 list: donate blood. My town was having a memorial blood drive for a Sergeant who had died of Non Hodgkins Lymphoma. He was only 37 years old and the father of two. His wife was there donating too. They held the blood drive at City Hall and the place was hopping. It made my heart happy to see so many people come out to show their support and give blood.

I asked my nurse to take a picture of me donating, and explained that I was a blogger. She wasn’t that fun and didn’t seem at all amused, but she did it.

I did meet some very friendly people while I was waiting for my turn. I kept flashing them thumbs up while I was having my blood drawn. I’m such a dork.

The teeshirts they were giving out were so cool. I’m a Giants fan and they had a whole Giants theme going. Isn’t it awesome?

Don’t mind me looking all disheveled. I walked the 10 minute walk back home and felt a little bit light headed. I plopped down on the couch and proceeded to milk it for all it was worth, making Match get up and fetch me things and making a nice little butt imprint in the couch.

Unfortunately I didn’t heed the warning about not drinking alcohol within 48 hours of giving blood. I overindulged at Monica & Chandler’s going away party and let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. But more on that in another post.

Project 52 Update-#16. Walk on the Golden Gate Bridge

Frasier claims that Niles is afraid of spiders…then also that he is afraid of heights…then also of crowds
Frasier: You are looking at that rarest of beasts: the arachno-acro-agoraphobe! –Frasier

It’s been far too long since my last check in with the Project 52 crew. Mostly because I had nothing new to report. I was still chipping away at the weekly items on my list, but hadn’t crossed off any of the one timers. Well I’m happy to report that last week I crossed off a big item. A 746ft tall item to be exact. #16. Walk on the Golden Gate Bridge

The walk on the bridge was a goal I actually added after the fact. There were a few items on my list that were pure fluff to get the total to 52, and so I removed the “Take a martial arts class” because I don’t think this is something I will ever do this year because there are no good places to take martial arts in our town. I figure walking on the Golden Gate is a total bucket list item and way cooler. 🙂 Also Karen gave us all the green light for substitutions so I feel way less guilty.

We decided to go to SF on Wednesday to escape the heat in the east bay. Well we not only escaped it, but we went on a day when the famous San Francisco fog decided to cover the bridge in a giant blanket. It’s under there, I promise!

Taking our first steps across.

A word of caution to someone who may be going to walk the bridge one day: if you are as afraid of heights as I am-DO.NOT.LOOK.DOWN!

I was terrifed! Also, the bridge vibrates from all of the cars zooming on and off it constantly and this didn’t do anything for my nerves. But I swallowed my fear as best I could and did what any good blogger would do: take lots of pictures!

I felt better having Match there with me. I love that you can’t tell I look freaked out in this picture.

Here you can see a little bit of the fear. See how I’m white knuckling that column? I did NOT want to let go.


Walking on the bridge with Match made me feel secure, except that he kept pulling me over to let the bicyclists pass. Those jerks were riding by so fast! It was extremely annoying. I don’t think they should be allowed. Or they should have the bikes on the other side of the bridge in their own lane. Match kept laughing because every time he pulled me I freaked because I thought he was fake pulling me over the railing. The wind was also blowing like crazy and I was convinced that if I got too close to the railing I would blow over.

Can you believe those cables hold up this enormous bridge? I know there are a lot of them, but I just find that amazing. They aren’t that thick, and it’s crazy to think they hold up something so huge. Oh, and PS no one ever goes only 45 on the bridge. Crazy drivers!

Until you’ve walked on the bridge, it’s hard to appreciate how truly massive it is. It’s pretty amazing to see in person.

While I was very scared, I’m so glad I walked on the bridge. It was a great experience and I may even repeat it…someday.

I also wanted to say a big THANK YOU to my sweet Match for buying me a super late birthday gift, a new digital camera casio. It took amazing pictures and I’m loving my new toy!