Monthly Archives: April 2011

Grizzlies for the Win

I have been waiting ten years for this, and I am ecstatic!!

The Grizzlies moved from Vancouver to Memphis in 2001, and my family has been season ticket holders ever since. We’ve been to countless games, witnessed devastating losses, and shared in victorious triumphs. We watched Pau Gasol flail across the court. We saw Stromile be Swift and Posey posting up. We cringed as J Will acted like a punk, and cheered when Mike Miller rained threes. We celebrated as Coach Hubie Brown took his team to their first playoff appearance. We grieved for Lorenzen Wright. We’ve watched Shane Battier come and go (and come back again!). We ached as the Grizzlies got swept not once, not twice, but thrice, in postseason playoff games.

More recently, we applauded as our current team grew into a powerhouse. We acquired my man Z Bo. Marc Gasol improved and committed to solid defense. Shane Battier returned to open arms. We’ve got Tony Allen of heart, grit, and grind legend. Insert Darrell Arthur, Mike Conley, Sam Young, who’s your Haddadi, Xavier Henry, Vasquez, Powe, Ish, and O.J. Mayoooooo. Add Rudy Gay, who is sidelined with an injury but not forgotten, and you’ve got yourself a team to be reckoned with.

And now, a decade later, we get to watch our beloved Grizzlies shine. Longtime Grizz fans have been rewarded for years of loyalty with three playoff wins to date. And in some cases (Game 4, ahem) not only did the Grizz win, they dominated. The games in the Spurs vs. Grizzlies series have been thrilling, and the Forum crowd has been electric. Never before have the Grizzlies games been so packed or so loud, and it is a great thing for the city of Memphis. And as is always the case, now that the Grizz are a hot commodity, everyone wants a piece. But bandwagon or not, it is nice to see this city finally get behind their team. They deserve it.

And for those of us who have been Grizz fans from the beginning, these wins are especially sweet.

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Rites of Spring

For the past several weekends, Jax and I have been traveling to Nashville like it’s across the street. This past Friday was no different. We set out after work with our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, this time to catch the first night of a two-day music festival on Vanderbilt’s campus, Rites of Spring. The sky was ominous and awful weather was projected, but we continued onwards. It was questionable whether the show would go on, uncertain up until the moment they actually let us through the gates. In order to accommodate for the seven hour delay, the lineup was a bit abbreviated, but the band we came for wasn’t booted, and that was enough for me.

Sara Bareilles took the stage just as the skies opened, and she did a fun set that I enjoyed more than I thought I would. We shimmied into our ponchos and sang along to her catchy tunes, but I think it was her Mumford and Sons cover that really won me over. Next up was Public Enemy, which threw all the college kids into a tizzy. And finally, at long last, The National took the stage, and it was a beautiful thing.

Their performance was golden. It was truly mellifluous. If you haven’t listened to The National, you are missing out. Every song is good. No, great. Every song is great. The emotion is there, the lyrics are on point, the music is mesmerizing, and Matt Berninger’s voice is wonderfully haunting. I could have listened to them for hours, but Vandy was being a jerk and cut the sound on their final song. Still, the show was incredible, and I absolutely must see them again.

Tones of Yo, can we make this happen?

 

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National Grilled Cheese Month

April is National Grilled Cheese Month, and you better believe I am celebrating! With cheese being one of my favorite foods, how could I miss such an opportunity??

Grilled cheeses come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and variations, and across the board, they are almost all good. For dinner one night last week, I decided to stick with a simple but upgraded version of the treat. Not that anybody needs step-by-step instructions on how to make grilled cheese, but just if you are curious to my method, I’ve laid it out for you below. This recipe made two sandwiches, one for me, and one for someone special.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine two tablespoons of melted butter, an eighth teaspoon of ground red pepper, and an eighth teaspoon of fresh-ground black pepper in a small bowl, then set aside. These are rough measurements here, by the way; this isn’t an exact science.

Take four slices of bread – I’m using a specialty whole grain bread, mainly because there’s a larger surface area, and more is always better when it comes to grilled cheese – and rub one side of each slice with garlic. Place the slices, garlic-rubbed side down, on a clean work surface, then generously heap on slices of your cheese of choice. For this project, I went with two delicious varieties of Gouda, a Wisconsin and a Rembrandt. Once artfully arranged, top with the remaining bread slice, garlic side up.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Coat one side of the sandwiches with the butter mixture, then place (buttered side down) in the hot skillet and cook until golden – about two minutes. Apply the remaining butter mixture to the tops of the sandwiches, then flip and cook for another couple of minutes. Transfer the sandwiches into the oven to fully melt the cheese and keep everying warm while you are preparing the rest of your meal, which in my case was sautéed fresh spinach and sliced tomato.

Serve hot, and take delight in your cheesy creation!

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Playoff Bound

My Memphis Grizzlies are heading to the playoffs, and I am ecstatic!

I can remember SEVEN YEARS AGO watching the Grizzlies playoff games in my college apartment, screaming for victory like a crazy woman. We were playing the San Antonio Spurs, and we didn’t win a game that series. Not a single one.

The Grizzlies had a couple more lackluster playoff appearances, but nothing in the past five years. And now, being a faithful fan through these rollercoaster years has finally paid off. The Grizz are back, and they are up against the Spurs again. I no longer abhor the San Antonio team, as time heals all wounds, but I reeeeeally hope they don’t advance this time around. I am a Grizzlies fan through and through, and I cannot WAIT to watch them win their first playoff game in franchise history. I can just feel it.

*fingers crossed*

The rudimentary playoff schedule has been announced, and I share it with you here. Mark your calendars and plan accordingly.

San Antonio vs. Memphis
Game 1 – Sunday April 17, Memphis at San Antonio, 12:00 p.m, TNT
Game 2 – Wednesday April 20, Memphis at San Antonio, 7:30 p.m, NBA TV
Game 3 – Saturday April 23, San Antonio at Memphis, 6:30 p.m, ESPN
Game 4 – Monday April 25, San Antonio at Memphis, TBD, TBD
Game 5 * Wednesday April 27, Memphis at San Antonio, TBD, TBD
Game 6 * Friday April 29, San Antonio at Memphis, TBD, TBD
Game 7 * Sunday May 1, Memphis at San Antonio, TBD, TBD
.
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Urban Dare

Yesterday, my girl Kim and I attacked Urban Dare with a vengeance.

And by vengeance, I mean we had no idea what to expect, what we were getting ourselves into, or how we would fare. We were just looking for some Sunday afternoon entertainment.

And Urban Dare did not dissapoint.

You are perhaps wondering what Urban Dare is. It’s a scavenger hunt-style race comprised of dissecting random trivia clues, traipsing around town in search of answers, and taking silly photos to document your conquests. We competed as the unDARE Dogs, with costume inspiration from this guy:

Before we got started, and unbeknownst to us, there was a costume contest. Out of 70 teams competing, only 3 dressed up, and we were one of them. We didn’t win the contest, but we did get countless honks and cheers as we darted around town with blue capes trailing behind. Blue capes that, might I add, morphed into absolute sweat sacks when the sun was shining.

The race kicked off at Young Avenue Deli, where we were given a list of clues to decipher. In order to figure things out, participants were encouraged to use web browsing capabilities, phone a friend, and/or employ the aid of any other electronic means necessary. Because my phone screen had recently shattered and therefore did little to assist us, we were forced to improvise. The moment we got our clue sheet, we called our standby helpers (thanks, guys!!), quickly got our questions answered, and roughly mapped out a route.

First things first, Kim got down on one knee and proposed marriage to a random. Check.

Clue to our second location: “It’s what kids call the elementary school activity where you bring something from home and explain it to the other kids in class. It’s also a hair salon. Get your picture in front of it.” So we did.

Then we convinced a hesitant girl to do a cartwheel for us, completed a quick Scrabble task, and took a photo in front of the record store that goes by the name of Citizen Kane’s fancy estate.

We continued walking/running across Midtown Memphis, taking pictures as required. After several more stops, we were given the challenge of making balloon animal swords. Turns out this is not my forte. Luckily, Kim was able to twist us up some inflatable weapons, and we headed off to our final stop.

We made it back to home base in 1:44, which made us 7th out of 70 teams. Top 10%! We were excited with our performance, but more importantly, we had an absolute blast while doing it.

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