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Miss me?

Okay, likely you didn’t realize I was gone so long but here I am!

2009 has been an interesting year so far…lots of singing, drinking, running…a promotion, trip to NYC.  It’s been fun and stressful all at the same time.

I just got back from a 5 day trip to NYC to visit a friend who was over from Paris.  We had a great time and I’ll be uploading pics soon.

In the meantime, tell me what your favorite WP themes are!

http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/

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Triplets…

Not these kind:

THESE KIND

I’ve been dealing with insomnia these past few weeks…I’m not sure if it’s stress at work or something else, but I find interesting things to think about as I’m laying in bed, trying to sleep but knowing that my mind will not let me.
Last night (err, today) I was thinking about triplets and how people struggle with this rhythm, particularly the quarter note triplet.  People want to turn it into a dotted rhythm of sorts.  I find that choirs have a hard time with this, myself included.  But recently some light bulb went off in my head and now I can’t NOT do it correct.  The second triplet is always quicker than you think it should be.

I know this is boring music talk to many of you, but this is honestly an issue with many musicians (albeit, mostly singers…I think our brains work differently than instrumentalists).  Our choir is singing a piece written by a friend of mine (who wrote it when he was 17, the bastard!) that has many quarter note triplet rhythms in it.  I think my love of this piece is really what had me figure out the triplet…that and our director beating it into our heads that we were not consistently doing it right! 😉

And because I’m random and like to make tangents, I’m going to share the beautiful text of the song my friend wrote.  It’s written by the great poet, Lord Byron.

WHEN we two parted
In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted
To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
Sorrow to this.
The dew of the morning
Sunk chill on my brow—
It felt like the warning
Of what I feel now.
Thy vows are all broken,
And light is thy fame:
I hear thy name spoken,
And share in its shame.
They name thee before me,
A knell to mine ear;
A shudder comes o’er me—
Why wert thou so dear?
They know not I knew thee,
Who knew thee too well:
Long, long shall I rue thee,
Too deeply to tell.
In secret we met—
In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive.
If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee?
With silence and tears.

When we two parted
In silence and tears.

In continuing with my cooking something new once a week, I decided on a stir fry last week.

When I mentioned something to my friend Ben about looking for recipes for stir fry, I got the slap in the face!

“What??  You don’t need a recipe for stir fry!!  You just throw what you want into a wok or skillet”

“But I want it to be authentic…I’ve never made stir fry before!”

“You’re crazy…just throw go down the asian isle in the grocery store and find what you need!”

So, that’s what I did.  Mind you, I think I ended up buying too much but I figure I’ll use it at some point.  So here it is, Melanie’s recipe for Shrimp Stir Fry

1/2 lb of fresh shrimp (raw)

Broccoli (1 cup)

Water Chestnuts (sliced, one can)

Red and Yellow Bell Pepper (1/2 of each)

Baby Corn (3/4 cup)

Carrots (1/2 cup)

Snap peas (1/2 cup)

Vegetable (or Canola) Oil (2 TBSP)

Minced garlic (2 TBSP)

Sesame Oil (1 TBSP)

Soy Sauce (1 TBSP)

Chop up and or dice all vegetables.  Set to the side.  Clean shrimp, removing outer shell and tail.  Set burner to high and add oil.  Once heated, add garlic then vegetable.  Cook until tender, then add shrimp.  Mix together so as not to burn the stir fry.  Add in sesame oil and soy sauce.  Serve over rice or eat on it’s own!

…2009 has been crazy so far!  I can’t believe January is almost over!!  I’ve had travels, a birthday, lots of crazy stuff going on at work and I feel like I’ve neglected my blog.  I have to catch you up on the recipes I’ve made the past couple of weeks but I’ll do that in a later post.

I wanted to write about a conversation I had with a friend recently.  We were talking about relationships and how when it doesn’t work out, we always say something along the lines of, “well, their loss!”

It got me wondering though…”their” must be “you” at some point, right?  What if it’s not “their loss” but “YOUR loss”….what if you’re the one who is fucking up every relationship you get into?  Rather depressing but something I started thinking about in regard to my past relationships or potential relationships.  Am I doing something to keep me in a single state?  I’ve talked about self sabotaging behaviors in the past which I think I’ve displayed on occasion….but what if it really is ME?  Between my friend and I we started a downward spiral of self questioning/loathing…of course we laughed it off at the end.  Surely it’s not us?!  We’re amazing, talented, attractive people!!

But….what if it IS me?

My favorite painting…

…don’t ask me why I was reminded of this recently.  Maybe someone mentioned The Lourve, maybe someone said martyr….but whatever was mentioned, it reminded me of one of my favorite paintings that happens to hang in The Lourve.  La Jeune Martyre or The Young Martyr by Paul Delaroche.  I happened upon it on my only visit to The Louvre and was immediately entranced.  I was lucky enough to find a print of it in The Lourve gift shop and bought it.  To this day I’m not sure what exactly was the inspiration for the painting.  I’ve read that the paining is Delaroche’s depiction of Rhea Silvia’s attempted murder by Amulius. If you look to the background in the original painting, you can see the figure of an angry male figure looking down upon the woman in the Tiber. In the legend, Rhea is ultimately saved by Tiberius the river god and they were married. Tiberius gave Romulus and Remus, Rhea’s twin sons by Mars, God of War to a she wolf to raise and Romulus later killed Remus and claimed “Rome” his own.
I was immediately struck by a wave of sadness when I saw it…but also the beauty of it.  So simplistic.  I’m sure some would be bored by this painting, but I’ve never had such a strong reaction to a piece of art (unless in utter disgust…;-) ….anyway, sharing it with you now.  What are some of your favorite works?

La Jeune Martyre - Paul Delaroche, 1855

La Jeune Martyre - Paul Delaroche, 1855

What is YOUR soundtrack in life?

What is YOUR soundtrack in life?

I started thinking about this last night…as I get older, the more music plays into my life.  And I think about the songs that have weaved their way through my life…through my childhood, important, tragic, exciting moments of my life.  I don’t want to forget the music that has gotten me through my tough times or made me who I am.  I guess since I’m gaining a year in a few days it made me start thinking about putting together a list of songs that have played a part in my life.

This will be an ongoing project…I think it’ll take a while to put together put once I complete it, I’ll post it here.

What is on the soundtrack of YOUR life?

For my second recipe, I again went for a Weight Watcher recipe.  Part of the reason I did this was because I was trying to figure out what I wanted to make while at work and I knew I could research recipes on their website.  I wanted something easy that wouldn’t take a lot of time as I had a long day at work.  I stuck pretty much to the recipe, using canned corn instead of corn on the cob (really…I don’t know why they suggest corn on the cob when you’re going to take the corn off the cob anyway!)  I also opted not to use corn oil….I didn’t see any point in adding it to the recipe since it wasn’t used to cook the chicken.  I also couldn’t find taco seasoning at the Safeway I went to (I’m sure it was there, I just couldn’t find it and was in a hurry) and instead opted to cook my own chicken (chicken breast cutlets with oregano, salt cooked in balsamic vinegar).  I also decided to make these open faced tacos, using whole wheat tortillas and adding a small amount of shredded cheese.

Overall I was pretty happy with how it came out.  It was easy and tasty.  No culinary masterpiece but a good weeknight meal.

Southwestern Chicken-Bean Salad

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main meals

POINTS® Value: 5
Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 0 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
This crisp, refreshing salad takes only minutes to make if you begin with precooked chicken breasts, available at most supermarkets. Serve our salad as is, or roll it in tortillas for finger-lickin’-good wrap sandwiches.

Ingredients

2 medium scallion(s), chopped
1/2 medium sweet red pepper(s), chopped
1/2 medium bell pepper(s), chopped
15 oz canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2 piece(s) corn on the cob, kernels removed
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp corn oil
8 oz chicken breast, cooked, skinless, chopped
2 tbsp reduced-sodium taco seasoning, about 1/2 a 1.25 oz packet
4 tbsp cilantro, fresh, chopped
4 tbsp fat-free sour cream

Instructions

  • Combine scallions, peppers, beans and corn in a large bowl; toss until well mixed.
  • Add lime juice and oil to bean mixture; toss to coat. Add chicken, taco seasoning and cilantro; toss. Top with sour cream and serve. Yields about 1 1/2 cups salad plus 1 tablespoon sour cream per serving.