Friday, August 12, 2011

My Weird Talent

Two posts in one night - how impressive am I? I'm sitting here watching Gilmore Girls, one of my favorite shows of all time, and was excited to notice that a man Lorelai went on a date with was none other than THE Jon Hamm. He looked much different than the Don Draper we all know and love today. Of course he was still handsome and debonair, but his slimmer build and post-Y2K attire rendered his voice the only truly identifiable characteristic. What's that - you want proof?

I know you're impressed with the clarity rendered by the combination of the TV in my childhood bedroom and my cell phone camera.
I think my screen shot somehow looks more like him than it did on the show, but I was still inexplicably excited when I spotted him.

This talent of identifying actors when they look fairly different or unrecognizable actually runs in the family. My mother also has this skill and we're highly impressive together - well, at least to each other. Last week we were watching one of the [awful] Jurassic Park sequels and I was proud when I recognized that one of the characters was none other than Becky of A Little Princess. I know this is an utterly useless talent (though I do impress Leon every now and then when I do something like recognize an extra as an extra from something else), but I still enjoy it. I'm good at recognizing the voices and feel especially satisfied when I identify the narrator on a commercial (See: David Duchovny on Pedigree commercials and Michael C. Hall on the Dodge commercials).
So this got me thinking: what are your absurdly useless talents? Remembering the names of obscure Vice Presidents? An encyclopedic memory of Harry Potter plotlines? Naming obscure Crayola crayon colors (Atomic Tangerine, Macaroni and Cheese, Robin's Egg Blue...anyone? anyone?) Do share and make me feel less weird about my weird and useless talent.

Colorado, caprese and elusive roaming donkeys

I've been having a lovely break in Colorado that is coming to a close far more quickly than I would like to acknowledge. Every visit home makes me exponentially more thankful for all of my wonderful family and friends here. I really appreciate listening to my grandparents' recollections of my childhood, making dinner for my family, meeting a friend for dinner or just visiting face-to-face are so much more meaningful now that I live so far away.

Views like these are just an added bonus

One of my high schools besties invited me to Cripple Creek - our resident mining town turned gambling town - a little while back. I'm not big on gambling, but the Cripple Creek General Store's ice cream and company of one of my favorite person was enough to get me excited about a day of hanging out in casinos. Little did I know that I would catch the gamblin' fever. I was coaxed into sitting down at a blackjack table with my friends where I impressively turned $15 into $50 [and then turned $50 into $0]. Oops! I was still having fun, but a little disappointed about winning some money then losing it all. After some regenerative ice cream I took the last of my cash and played Roulette and some slot machines and eventually ended up [ever so slightly] ahead. The only disappointed part of the day was mine and my friend's failed attempt to find the famous wandering donkeys of Cripple Creek. They - allegedly - are the descendants of the original mining donkeys of yore. We found some donkey poo [not pictured] and some other proof that the donkeys were somewhere, but there was nary a donkey in sight - even when I left a trail of my ice cream down the town's main road.
Our Cripple Creek lunch spot. I loved the kitsch, though it wasn't as emporium-esque as I would have liked.
This town loves its donkeys.
The "approved" treats. There must be too many asshole tourists leaving ice cream trails for the beloved donkeys.
The local theater, already advertising its showing of "The Christmas Donkey."

The average age of Cripple Creek goers is probably around 65. At first I thought this was a condom machine, then I realized it was just stocked with tylenol, antacids and sinus decongestant. Though this well stocked "Li'l-Medic" couldn't prepare me for...
The readily available sharps disposal. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to hate on people with diabetes or any other serious ailment, but never in my life have I ever been somewhere that needed a designated waste bin for needles. Needless to say, me and my other early 20s friends were carded frequently.

My last topic for this rambling post is one of my favorite burger recipes. Well, it's not going to be so much in recipe form since it's just a simple burger, but I highly recommend it nonetheless. Everybody loves a good caprese salad during the hot summer days when tomatoes are at their most ripe and I love thinking of different ways to play with the classic tomato/basil/mozzarella combination.
These are great because they are simple but are a little fancier than your average burger. I got some large whole wheat buns, which definitely elevated the taste of these burgers. Simply make your burger patties as you generally do (about a pound of ground beef for four patties) and grill thick slices of onion on the grill at the same time. Spread a bit of pesto on the top bun and grill for a few minutes until the top and bottom bun are toasty. Melt sliced mozzarella on the hamburger patties and serve with the grilled onion and sliced tomato. What's your favorite way to eat a burger?