Monday, March 31, 2014

Web Wilderness / Branching Out

Today would be a pretty good day to call in sick to work. We're not encouraging you to do this by any means, but if you have a personal day at your disposal, you may considering cashing in on it today. Also, can you believe it's the last day in March?! Good golly gee this month has flown by. 

So, if you find yourself in the office, avoiding work whilst looking longingly out of a window, here are some internet links to help ease you into the work week. 

  • There are a boat-load of really good shows going on this week. Tonight catch Worried Mothers at The Sydney, tomorrow see rad-ass punk rockers Retox at Brother's Lounge or head to the Slowdown for the always amazing St. Vincent, blow out your ears on Wednesday with And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead…at the Slowdown, or head to The Waiting Room to see Warpaint (opening act is Omaha's own Digital Leather) and Thursday you can catch the always entertaining Har Mar Superstar at The Waiting Room. Phew! Seriously, go out and check out some of these shows, you won't regret it!
  • Recently, the goddesses over at Hello Holiday posted a link to the best Tumblr page ever created.
  • A few of my friends posted this video on Facebook this week, and while it's a bit dorky, it's also pretty badass. 
  • We've posted about the amazingness that is The French Bulldog a few times here on this blog, but in case we didn't convince you to visit this heavenly spot, we think the ladies over at The Coop will.
  • This is incredibly creepy and incredibly cute all at the same time. It makes my brain hurt. 
  • I think it's pretty well known around here that we're big RuPaul fans. I recently saw this link to a leak of her latest album, but instead of it just being her songs, she's talking over the track explaining why you should just go ahead and buy it on iTunes. RUPAUL YOU CONTINUE TO BE MY HEROINE! 
  • Even though I complained to all ends about this winter lasting far too long, my love of coats sometimes outweighs my hatred of the wretched cold. 
  • I heard on the radio this week that some new photos from the scene Kurt Cobain's death were found. I'm not really sure how I feel about it, but in case you're interested, here they are. 

This weekend a couple of my dude friends hosted a party - aptly named 'Tis the Saison - where they tapped the Saison they brewed in collaboration with Infusion Brewery in Benson. I'm not much of a beer drinker, but this, this I really liked (and the fact that it was a 10% beer didn't hurt either). 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday Morning Meditation

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Saturday Jams #2.13

Today, I'm off to Macedonia, IA to try to learn more about my heritage, specifically on my mother's side of the family. After my uncle from Oregon visited recently and brought up a bunch of neat stories from their past, I've been interested in learning more about my genealogy. And since today is supposed to be pretty nice and I'm such a nosey Nancy, I'm hoping I can dig up some good info on the family's mark in town. As an avid researcher and NPR listening, I'm always up for a good story. So here's hoping my trip 45 miles southeast will bear an interesting tale or two!  

Charlie Megira & The Modern Dance Club - "Existence"
At a recent visit to The Trap Room, one patron had hijacked the sound system with his iPod and played this band. I immediately had to ask, "who is this?" because I was in love.

Daniela Andrade - "Crazy"
This Gnarls Barkley cover is pretty great. Goddamn that's a great song.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Wind Down / Wound Up

Hooray for my favorite three days of the week! I am looking forward to some warmer weather and organizing my home because I've been living in a mad house lately. If you're looking for to do something more exciting for me, I still have lots of suggestions for you! As the work week winds down WO+SF and crew are getting wound up for the weekend.

FRIDAY March 28
  • Both of us went and saw The Grand Budapest Hotel last weekend at Film Streams. We recommend you grab a date, head to dinner (maybe at Kitchen Table?) and then catch this amazingly quirky and somewhat dark flick!
  • Stop at House of Loom to support a great cause. Local artist Watie White has teamed wtih Habitat from Humanity to take condemned houses in North Omaha and turn them into works of art. HOW COOL IS THAT?! Go early to talk about the project with Watie from 6 - 8, then stay to dance your booty off.
  • Go to a rad art show comprised of t-shirts (!!) and then see a cool rock show with the FIlter Kings and the  Lupines at the Sweatshop.
  • There's a band coming to The Waiting Room tonight called Bear's Den. In our personal opinion, this phenomenon of naming your band after a wild animal has become kind of a nuissance, but Landon Hedges from Little Brazil is opening the show, so there's a potential silver lining.
  • It's the last weekend to catch the Omaha Community Playhouse's production of Ella. 
  • We may not be beer drinkers but we know plenty of 'em, so this one's for you guys: Head to Crescent Moon/Beer Corner USA/Huber Haus, whichever name you prefer for their annual Bockfest!
  • Were you lucky enough to grab Neutral Milk Hotel tickets before they sold out? If so, enjoy the show tonight! Lord knows the majority of the town will be there.
  • If you weren't quick enough to grab tickets, we suggest you enjoy a relaxing night in a quiet bar like The Trap Room.
SUNDAY March 30
  • We haven't brunched lately so this week we plan on trying out Dario's brunch, a place neither of us has brunched before! Maybe we'll see you there!
  • You guys, it's going to be so freaking nice out today. Grab a bottle of wine, your friends and your pets and find a porch or grassy knoll to hang out on. Your legs will thank you later for finally feeding them some well deserved Vitamin D.
  • End the weekend on a high note at open mic night at O'Leavers.
Happy weekend, y'all. If you've ever wondered what a shit stick is, please click below: 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Scouring & Devouring Omaha: Amsterdam Falafel and Kabob

For some restaurants in Omaha, their reputations proceed them. I don't think I can pinpoint the first time I ever tried Amsterdam Falafel & Kabob, but surely it was whilst I was intoxicated. I had heard stories about these fries that came with mayo and that you should eat with a small fork. The rest, is history. 

Amsterdam gets it right with their simplicity. Especially, because let's face it, while their food is delicious sober, it's even more delicious after a few drinks. And the easier you can make it for bros coming over from Beer & Loathing to get some food in their stomachs before they call their moms for a ride home (I can honestly say I've seen this phenomenon happen on multiple occasions. I call it Carol hour because for some reason all of their moms are named Carol), the better. 

My recommendations when at Amsterdam?

  • It doesn't matter what you get, it will be good
  • Eat your curry fries with the fork and definitely use the mayo they give you
  • Spring from the hummus and feta which is just $.55 extra
  • I like the herb sauce, but the garlic is good and the spicy is just that - spicy
  • While the staff might look a little stone and/or like a bunch of dirtbags, they're nice kids who make good food
  • If you take your order home, don't forget to put it away in the fridge before falling asleep because it will make a great meal the following day as well

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Insulator Accumulators

I have very vivid childhood memories of my grandparent's house. Then again, who wouldn't have vivid memories of a house that had an elevator and a greenhouse? There were some other oddities in my grandparent's home including an old beauty salon hair dryer chair (yep, towards the end of her life my grandfather would do my grandmother's hair every day), a few candlestick phones, an organ because my grandmother used to teach piano lessons, and there were always jellybeans in a dish in the kitchen - I would only steal the pinks ones. 

The greenhouse was filled with orchids which my grandfather tediously cared for and these were among his most prized possessions. Other than his glass insulator collection that is - 

The above article was written back in 1966 (I can guess based on my dad's age). I'm not sure where it was published, but my brother came across it a few years ago "in a pile of junk" and was smart enough to scan a copy before it was lost forever. As the article implies, my grandfather Perry's collection sat in his office as President of Southwest Bank. While in 1966 he was up to 110 insulators, by the time he passed away in the early 90's that number was much higher. In fact, I think it was widely believe that my grandfather had the largest collection of glass insulators of anyone. 

My dad has vivid memories of how they came to possess so many insulators (spoiler alert - they stole them). Every summer, they would drive out to California to visit family and along the way, they would stop so my dad or his younger brother could pop out of the car to climb the telephone poles to retrieve these insulators. After getting caught a handful of times, my grandfather obtained an old telephone belt that either my father or his brother would wear as they scaled the pole. Luckily, that side of the Francis family averaged about 6 feet in height, so the ascent was never too terribly taxing on them. 

I'm lucky enough now to be in possession of a few dozen of these insulators. My family literally still has boxes of them, but hey they're heavy, so there are only so many I can bring myself to move around with me. 

These insulators come in a variety of sizes, colors and shapes. The sun and electric current that ran through them affected how they looked by the time my dad was taking them off the telegraph poles. Most of the insulators in our collection are purple, teal or amber. In researching the company names shown on the insulators, most of either Hemingray or Whitall. All were made in the US . 

I've honestly never conducted too much research on the insulators themselves before, because I always just appreciated them for what they were - unique remembrances of a man who I loved, but didn't know for very long. I was pleasantly surprised to find this identifier which I think will help me catalog the insulators I do have around my home, and then maybe I can move on to some of the other ones we still have. 

I'm so happy that my home will always include these glass tokens. Someday my children will get to know their grand-grandfather through these mementos and hopefully my dad will be around to tell them what it was like to scale all of those telegraph poles. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Web Wilderness / Branching Out

Well, at least it didn't snow last night, right? It's still not particularly nice outside, and lately I've been hit with this creativity spurt and this cold weather is really harshing my productive buzz. 

Transitioning into single life means I have more time on my hands to myself, and for the first time in months, I'm really starting to revel in it. I'm finding that I'm more imaginative, I have more story ideas again, I want to photograph everything (I even started carrying around a disposable camera because why not?), and I'm actually feeling more organized. Being able to take time to focus on just me and my interests is such a blessing and something I didn't know how to appreciate for a while. So take that world! 

Each Sunday, I read my weekly horoscope in an attempt to mentally prepare myself for the week. It's the closest thing I've come to faith and so far it works for me. I'm someone who likes to anticipate things or influence the outcome of an inevitable event. This week looks pretty exciting with some work successes and a positive shift in one of my close relationships. If you're looking to ease yourself into this work week, then may I suggest you peruse some of the internet links below? 
  • Son, Ambulance is playing a show tonight over at Pageturner's. Be sure to get there early as this one is bound to fill up quickly. 
  • I don't know how anyone can list off this many questions (or answer them) that quickly, but here's just one more reason we love SJP to add to the already very looooong list. Also, how amazing is her home?!
  • While I have no clue what this guy is saying, these pups' reactions to a treat "disappearing" is pretty GD adorable. 
  • Lately, I've been scooping up Living Social deals and I can't decide whether or not I should invest in this one as well. Thoughts? 
  • If you're like us, Google is your best friend. Here are a few genius tips to help you make the most of your searching experience! 
  • Ok, so I might loath the term "momaha" but I will take their word for it when they say that both Omaha and Lincoln are top rated for women professionals! 
  • I wish I could travel the world, meet these women and take portraits like this
  • This getaway is quite appealing to me at this moment. 
  • Someone buy me this purse please! 
  • Remember our recent post about adding more plant life to our homes? Well I think this DIY might need to be next on our home improvement list!
I saw The Grand Budapest Hotel this past weekend and it was odd, action-packed, and overall amazing -  would you expect anything less from Wes Anderson? Ralph Fiennes definitely steals the show and if you want to catch it in Omaha, here are some showtimes

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Saturday Jams #2.12

Hola weekend! Even though I wish you were warmer, I've got a packed day with brunch at Louie M's, The Grand Budapest at Film Streams and my nephew's birthday party. Let the family festivities begin!

The Faint - "Help in the Head"
Yep, it's the newest jam from The Faint who will be playing here (or finishing up their tour rather) on June 13th.

X-Ray Spex - "Oh! Bondage Up Yours!"
That opening line got me hook, line and sinker. Also a punk rock band with a saxophone player? Why not?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Wind Down / Wound Up

I'm running out of different ways to say how much I like the weekend so please click below to find out how much I like the weekend. 

Yup. I hope you like the weekend as much as I do. Annnnd if you're looking for something to do this weekend we have some suggestions for you! As the work week winds down, WO+SF and crew are getting wound up for the weekend.

FRIDAY March 21

Saturday March 22
Sunday March 23
  •  Oh yeah. There's that little thing called March Madness going on. So patronize your local bar in exchange for their cable. We'll join in for the drinks.
Start your weekend off with a little lip syncing. These dudes got nothin' on the queens of Rupaul's Drag Race, but they're pretty damn great.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Pa-sketti and Meatbulbs

Like most folks will say about their mothers, mine is a pretty great cook. I was lucky enough to be raised in a home where more often than not, we met nightly as a family at the dinner table over chicken and rice, pot roast, pork chops, tacos, and on some very special occasions - spaghetti and meatballs. 

Now that I'm older, I relish those memories and look forward to the times when my family gathers as a whole once again (now with a few more little ones around) at the dinner table. 

Living a single life means that dinner time can be, a little frustrating. You arrive home, tired from work and typically you still have a list of things to get done before calling it quits for the day (or catching up on the TV you missed because you don't have cable). Plus, cooking for one can be…kind of a bummer. 

This past week I was DONE being bummed out. Throwing together a quick and meaningless meal did not sound appealing whatsoever. Since my mother's birthday is this week (tomorrow!), I thought I'd share one of her recipes which is highly favored by my immediate family. 

Growing up. I had always watched and helped her make these meatballs, but I honestly had no idea how easy the process was! Though aren't we all amazed by what our mothers can do when we're younger? I mean my mom went to school to get her Bachelor's degree, had a full time job AND three kids to take care of! I honestly believe a huge reason I am the woman that I am today, has a lot to do with watching my mother accomplish so much with grace, patience and determination.

So, here's my mother's meatball recipe below. See what I mean by easy?!

Now, I'm the type of person who loves to just throw a bunch of spices in whatever I'm making because I love them all. Here, I threw in some garlic salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, chili powder and basil. I spiced my meat directly, but look at my mom's recipe above, I think I was supposed to put them in the sauce? Oh well, my way turned out pretty good too. That's half the fun of trying out traditional family recipes - figuring out what works for you!

Then I added the Italian style bread crumbs (more spices!) and mixed it all together with my hands, because I love to really get into it when I cook.

I thought I had a broiler pan, but I must have lost it in a move. I ended up greasing two 9x13 pans to broil the meatballs. Living in a new apartment with an electric stove means I'm still trying to figure out its kinks. My meatballs ended up cooking really fast on the high broil setting (they weren't in there for the full 6 minutes like in my mom's recipe) but since I was keeping a close eye on them, luckily none got too burnt. Turns out my lo broil setting wasn't hot enough either because my second batch of meatballs took forever to broil. Darn you electric stove/oven!

Once the meatballs are done cooking, it's time to add your sauce. Last summer, I co-hosted a bachelorette party where we served a variety of meatballs in a variety of sauces. So depending on what type of sauce you're wanting, you might want to cook your meatballs differently, i.e. for Sweedish meatballs you'll want to pan cook them, because you'll need the fat to make your sauce.

I went the "traditional" Italian route this week. My mom always just uses some jarred tomato sauce, and due to a lack of time an energy, so did I. The problem here was that I only bought one jar of Pomodoro sauce, which wasn't enough, so I mixed in half of a second jar of Trader Joe's basil marinara. Lucky for me, the mixture turned out amazing!

And here's the finished product over a plate of linguini! I must have done something right because the taste-tester I invited over that night literally licked his plate (uh, yeah, it happened).

Oh, and here's the bit where today's post title comes from. Start back at min 3:16 if it doesn't go there automatically.