Sunday, March 30, 2008

Child's play

Kids have always liked Dale and Lexi, the 3-year-old daughter of my friends Denise and Nick, is no exception. She kept Dale entertained for a while before dinner last night at their house, where some of us gathered for a night of poker.

I always feel like I have to keep a close eye on Dale when he roughhouses with kids because there have been known to be an injury or two in the past. But Lexi didn't seem to mind all his antics. Could it be because she has a mother who looks like this....

Denise, clowning around as usual at work.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Are we having fun yet?

Dale and I had his grandkids Friday night and decided to kill, oh, about 20 minutes decorating Easter eggs. God, was that fun! Actually, it was a lot of work and a huge mess but it makes me appreciate my mom giving her seven kids this same experience when I was a child. I fondly remember dying eggs at Easter, and I'm sure my mom was just shaking her head and rolling her eyes the whole time, just like I was.

Jaden, 7, and his proud collection of eggs.

Josie, 6, very deliberate.

Luke, 5, had a cracked egg but made the most of it. Enlarge the photo and you'll see his darling freckles.

Dale and the brood with some of their creations.

Spring break is lethal

This week has been excrutiatingly boring. Most days the newsroom was like a morgue due to everyone taking off for Spring Break. (Not to mention six or seven people at the NCAA tournament.) If you enlarge the photo you'll see that there is almost no one in the newsroom behind me. I'm not sure how we put out papers day after day. By Friday, I was ready to use Bonnie's extra-long, extra-deadly scissors to off myself. Lori Buselt and I were the only members of our team working Friday, and she captured this very spontaneous image.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

First we eat, then we blog

A group of friends went to an unusual establishment last night called the Gonzo Grill. It's a very modest house in a residential neighborhood where the owner/chef prepares weekend gourmet dinners for small groups of people. We were the only patrons last night.

Included in our group was Leroy Leep, left, who with his wife Tina sort of arranged our evening. They'd been to the Gonzo Grill several times before and "knew" the chef. It helps to have some connection like that since the chef takes so few reservations, and he's booked or weeks out.

Here, the chef explains his menu while some of the diners pose: Denise, Nick, Carrie and Joe.

Tina, Nick, Carrie and Mike McMillin, waiting for the next course. We had five courses, including ceviche, crab fritters, black bean soup, a Latino-styled beef dish and a trio of sorbets for dessert. Each course was fantastic. We were allowed to bring our own wines, based on the chef's suggestions for pairing them with his creations, and they were spectacular, too. (You can see all bottles in the background, on the countertop.)

Here's the chef explaining how he does what he does. One of the things he does is not "charge" for his meal. Instead, he asks that you pay whatever you think the meal was worth. At the end of the evening, diners just drop their money into a glass bowl sitting on a table at the far right in this photo. Dale and I left $100 for the two of us, which is pretty much what the others did. Of course, we paid for the wine we brought in, too.

In the background is the chef's wife, Anita. This residence is very modest, except for the chef's recently remodeled professional kitchen, which is beautiful. But the rest of it is 1950s ranch. We're all definitely planning to return.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A woman of many talents

Who knew that Ashley Alexendra Dupre -- the $1,000-an-hour hooker hired by Gov. Eliot Spitzer -- could also sing? I'm not sure she has much of a musical career ahead of her, but according to she's definitely cashing in on her notoriety right now.
It seems that "kristen" is telling folks she much rather be a musician than a prostitute and her two songs are selling rapidly at the music-discovery site known as Amie Street.
You can go here to listen to the songs. Who knows, she just might be the next big thing (but I'm doubting it.)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Simple pleasures

I like this photo of Josie, Dale's granddaughter, because she essentially is equipped with everything we need in life: a good dog (love), the TV remote (fun) and her blankie (security.) Really, what more is there??