Monday, April 20, 2009

Finally, I keep My End of the Bargain!

Today's post is brought to you by the letter H. At first I thought this letter would be fairly easy to spotlight, but as I've tried to think of my favorite things, making them fit the letter has been harder than I would have originally thought. Here goes my best effort at listing "10 Things I Like That Start With H (In No Particular Order)."

1. Hot and Spicy. I love any food that makes my tongue tingle and mouth burn. It's a little bit better if I get a little perspiration on the forehead and have to sniff just a little bit. If I turn red all over and need a gallon of water just to take the edge off the burn it starts to be a little much. Spicy of the Mexican variety is the best, but Japanese wasabi, Portuguese red pepper, Indian curry, and Thai chili sauce are all in the running.

2. Home Run. Baseball has long been my favorite sport. I love to play it, watch it, read about it. Whatever. I'm a little sad that I didn't think to go up to Cooperstown when Cal Ripkin, Jr. and Kirby Puckett were enshrined. Well, if by some strange chance Will Clark gets in there, that's a no-brainer. Every year I somehow convince myself that this year is the year for the San Francisco Giants (this year included), so here's to the men in black and orange. (As an aside, one of the saddest days of my childhood was when a supposed friend stole hundreds of baseball cards, including the 1986 Topps Update set, containing rookie cards for Will Clark, Bo Jackson, and eventual steroid kings Barry Bonds and Jose Conseco. Then he had the gall to try and trade those same cards to me and then lie and tell me I must have lost them. Jerk.)

3. Home Business. Anyone who has been following this blog in the least understands how we feel about our business. I can't put a price on commuting down the stairs, walking about 25 feet for a lunch break, and seeing my family countless times throughout the work day.

4. Happy Kids. Thing 1 and Thing 2 are almost always happy--laughing, playing together, smiling--and if they are a bit on the unhappy side, it usually means they are hungry or tired. We definitely have great kids. (I'd post a picture, but we have so many all over this blog already!)

5. Harry Connick, Jr. I know when I first became aware of him, Harry was billed as the second coming of Frank Sinatra. He's so much more than that. He's a fantastic pianist, and he gives one of the best concerts I've seen. I've been fortunate enough to see him during is "We Are in Love" tour and later at the Newport Jazz Festival with Stacy when he was performing from his "Come By Me" album. If you like big band music with a New Orleans funk vibe, he's the one for you.

6. Holidays. Anyone who has read anything on this blog knows that holidays tend to be a big deal--even the so-called "minor" ones. Besides celebrating all Christmas Eve, and feasting on Japanese fare on New Year's, we look for unique meals on St. Patrick's Day, buy the leftover candy the day after Easter, eat way too much on our Portuguese-style Thanksgiving, and find some other way to tie food in with any holiday we can think of. And don't forget birthdays! Thanks to Stacy, they are a thing to behold around here!

7. Herbie Hancock, Billie Holliday, and all that jazz. I love jazz music. If I'm being honest, Hancock and Holliday are not my favorite (although I do have CDs by each of them). Being a trombonist I am almost required to choose J.J. Johnson as a favorite artist, and I do so gladly. Other favorites are Wynton Marsalis, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and a whole host of others. Add seeing Wynton direct the Lincoln Center Orchestra to my "must-do" list.

8. Hunger. I'm actually not a huge fan of hunger, but my hunger usually leads to . . . food! As if you didn't know already, food is a pretty important "event" at our home. I love trying new recipes from other countries and cultures. Depending on the day, I enjoy working in the kitchen, cooking old standbys or coming up with something new. And now it's after 9 pm and I'm wondering what I can find in the kitchen right now. Must . . . resist . . . the . . . urge . . .

9. Hershey's. As in chocolate. Even though we have ready access to a lot of Hershey's chocolate, I'm not necessarily partial to it, and I recognize that it has its shortcomings compared to some international types. But I can usually go for a good piece of dark, dark chocolate, and I don't need those boxed chocolates with various creams or cremes or flavors or liqueurs or swirls or nuts or whatever. Plain. Dark. Chocolate. Our friend who works at Hershey Foods once helped Stacy get some really dark chocolate--about 70% cacao if I remember correctly--and that was some good stuff. It reminded me of a chocolate bar I loved in Japan: the Meiji Black (86% cacao--even better). The good thing is I am actually able to savor it over time without devouring it in one sitting.

10. Home. As much as I love to travel and see new places (and old ones, too) I love to be home even more. I don't usually get restless energy that needs to be taken elsewhere. I can find plenty of things to do around here to stay busy and content. And being home with the family is the best of all. In fact, I'm sitting here tonight basking in the wonderful day we've had as a family, a bit jealous that I worked enough that I missed out on some of the fun and games Stacy and the Things had. Fortunately I got to eat lunch together, play The American Girl Game, eat some pizza, go to Thing 1's violin lesson, play Mario Kart, and read some of Thing 2's story to him. If that's not living, I don't know what is!


Boquinha said...

Awesome post, Sweetie! It has been a nice day. I like your list. And it sounds like we need to keep an eye on Will Clark and Wynton. Good to know! Seriously awesome list, especially given a somewhat tricky letter!

emily said...

I don't like super dark chocolate--even Hershey's dark is too dark for me. The only dark chocolate I have ever enjoyed is on a York peppermint patty, and then once when we ate at the Melting Pot and got dark chocolate to dip our dessert in 'cause Dave loves it. That was good.

I like spicy too, but not baseball. SAd about the cards. I like Harry Connick, Jr. but mostly don't like jazz.

Fun list!

J Fo said...

LOVE Harry! Hate super spicy food and am not big on the baseball thing. I love how you guys go so big on the holidays, but sometimes it makes me tired just reading about it all!

Lindsay said...

I have tried to like really dark chocolate. Really I have. I remember being in New York and going to a really fancy chocolate store. We tried some chocolate that had cayanne pepper in it (actually it was hot chocolate, that was soooo thick!). I did not love it, nor ever think that I will. I love Harry Conick! I swear you and my brother are the same person (minus his non-cooking abilities). He is a total jazz guy, was in the marching band, etc. He introduced me to Harry and I have been in love ever since (not really in love). I went to a concert, but I have found that I really love his old stuff like, "Man in the moon," and stuff from that CD. Last one cause this is getting long. We went to a Mexican restaurant on Saturday and they specialize in hot sauces. The names were hillarious for ex. "Smack my a-- and..." there was more to it, but for some reason that was really funny. Scott tried a TINY, TINY taste and his mouth, throat, and gut was on fire. It might have ruined his meal.

Lindsay said...

Excuse my grammatical errors. PLease don't show your kids to show them how "not" to use their words :)

Mom said...

Interesting info and excellent writing. You even made me believe that baseball, jazz and chocolate all start with the letter H. Who is this frenemy who stole your baseball cards? I suppose it is too late for your mother to give him a tongue lashing. Maybe karma has taken care of it.

Dr. Mark said...

I've seen the Smack My A-- hot sauce somewhere and I hear it really is an experience! So, no dark chocolate for this crowd. I guess that means more for me. Mom, Gabe is the one that took the cards. Even years later I tried to get him to come clean but he refused. I think I managed to reconstruct much of what I lost, but it was quite annoying.

Thanks for the tricky letter, Stacy. It made it that much more fun to do it!