Melissa Runs

Sometimes, Melissa runs her legs. Sometimes, she runs her mouth.

Month: September 2013

101 in 1001 list

I am a compulsive list maker. Part of the reasoning behind the compulsive listmaker is that I have a tendency to get overwhelmed and I have found taking big tasks and dividing them into the manageable small task chunks makes me less frazzled and more productive. Also, my job means I have more to do than I could possibly store to memory so I have to write it down anyway.

I also have been a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. I believe that the combination of self reflection and goal setting is a good way to keep a girl grounded. I find that I am more focused with clearly defined goals. As far as self help books, I am a big fan of David Allen’s Getting Things Done. It provides a system to execute your goals — right down to scheduling day to day activities. I might say it changed my life.

I found 101 in 1001 on blogs several years ago. I have thought about trying it out and I am in a place where I

Starting Tuesday, the deadline is Tuesday, June 21, 2016.

  1. Complete this list of 101 things
  2. Make a list of 101 things that makes Melissa happy
  3. Make cinnamon rolls from Scratch
  4. Learn to cook a dinner party worthy meal (or something that won’t embarrass me in front of the foodie friends)
  5. Get a bona fide cooking knife (Wustoff)
  6. Complete the Little Rock half marathon three times
  7. Complete the Arkansas Road Runner Clubs of America Grand Prix (You only have to complete 6 races, I think) I tried it this year and failed. 2013 has not been a good year for me
  8. Complete on marathon
  9. Do the Mississippi River half marathon It is near my grandma’s house
  10. Do yoga two days a week for a month
  11. Drink green monsters every day for a week
  12. Keep AGS Alumni afloat and turn it into a bonafide nonprofit with a speaker every year.
  13. To read all the books listed on the Modern Library 100 best novels list.
  14. To read all the books on the Radcliffe Best 100 novels list
  15. To attempt to learn to speak Spanish Fluently. (yeah we’ll see how this one goes)
  16. To call my Grandma once a week
  17. Go to Kenya
  18. Get a bicycle
  19. Incorporate a bicycle into my exercise routine
  20. Visit Washington DC
  21. See the Dandy Warhols in Concert
  22. Paint my adirondack chairs
  23. Grill something using the Kelly Gee grill seasonings I am getting in October 2013.
  24. Go Sky diving
  25. Make Homemade pop tarts with Nutella
  26. Do the William Faulkner tour in Oxford Mississippi
  27. Visit the Crystal Bridges Museum
  28. Try poutine
  29. Get a professional massage
  30. Get a facial
  31. Buy a classic handbag
  32. Watch 10 classic films
  33. Go to 10 concerts
  34. Donate to random business on Kickstarter
  35. Watch Veronica Mars Movie
  36. Get a crockpot
  37. Get three pieces of Fiestaware to add to my collection.
  38. Host a dinner party
  39. write more often on my blog. (at least one post per week)
  40. Put my day of the dead skeleton set up in my apartment. (yee haww)
  41. Get a cat
  42. Advertise for Bowen 5K every year

Wordless Wednesday: Chair

chair

My Dad made me two adirondack chairs for my new patio.

September Burger Caucus: Mugs Cafe

1/2 pound beef burger with avocado, cheese, and a spicy sauce

1/2 pound beef burger

September 18th was National Cheeseburger day and the Little Rock burger caucus celebrated it at Mugs Cafe in the Argenta neighborhood of North Little Rock. I arrived a little late so the burgers were being delivered to some as I ordered. It was a nice mix of politicos, media hounds, and other random folk. I am “other random folk”.

Mugs is a coffee shop that also serves food. As a result, it doesn’t serve fountain drinks such as Coke or Pepsi. You can buy bottled sodas such as ginger ale, grape soda, and similar bubbly drinks. The decor and layout is definitely a coffee shop vibe with tables spread out for socializing. There is a couch and comfy chairs in the back of the place.

The burger itself was a very generous half pound of beef with “bacon, avocado, lettuce, tomato, pepper jack cheese, and a spicy mayo on an onion roll. Served with sweet potato and apple hash.” (quoting the menu on the website) The pepper jack and spicy mayo means this burger has a kick but it complements not overpowers the beef. It still taste like a hamburger. The sweet potato/apple hash was interesting. I ended up smashing the sweet potatoes with my fork and eating them like mashed potatoes. I wouldn’t characterize the sweet potatoes as mushy though. This was, in my opinion, one of the better burgers in Little Rock and I advise that you make the trek to North Little Rock and check it out.

The best hog is the one in a smoker

Here is a confession. I am pretty apathetic about football. I don’t hate it. I think some schools spend way too much money on it but as far as an extracurricular activity goes, you could do a lot worse. I was in high school marching band so I do understand football. I do manage to have a good time when I go.

One of the fascinating and fun things about football is the tailgating. Tailgating is the practice of people setting up a larger than life picnic style feast in the parking lot of the stadium before the game starts. The particulars of tailgating differ depending on the school. The University of Arkansas plays football games at both the stadium on the main campus in Fayetteville and War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. For people not familiar with Arkansas, Fayetteville is in the northwest corner of the state and Little Rock is centrally located. For many years, Arkansas has tried to make the U of A to be “THE SCHOOL” of Arkansas complete with the Razorbacks being the state team. (Yes there is Arkansas State University and it is a division I school. Another story for another day). The purpose of having the games in central located Little Rock allowed people from all over the state to enjoy the Razorbacks. War Memorial Stadium is located in the middle of War Memorial Park, which includes a golf course. On game day, the entire span of land is filled with trucks, tents, BBQ grills, generators, and televisions.

About a month ago, I was invited to participate in a Kickstarter campaign to raise money so that foodie extraordinaire and hellraiser Kelly Gee could get a BIG ASS Smoker. He plans on competing in BBQ competitions. His first trial run was tailgating at the first Razorback game on Saturday. Now considering that his twelve year old kid kicked my butt in a pie baking competition, I was all about this BBQ.

Oh did I mention that people set up tailgating at like…. 9 in the morning.

I wasn’t having any of that. The game started at 6. I didn’t arrive until 4.

I saw a lot of my food loving friends including the real life urban legend Kevin, Arkansas’s biggest snark master Greg, Dan the Man who has a pair of jorts for every occasion (no really I bet he has a “wedding pair” and a “funeral pair” in his closet) and Kelly Gee, the owner of the Beastmaster and Grand Imp of central Arkansas.

By the time I got there, I got to taste some pork loin and some pulled pork. It was gosh darn tasty and better than some BBQ I have paid money to eat. I heard fawning praise over some wings and ribs. I guess next time I need to make fashionably late a little earlier. I bought some soda and other people had brought food. Dan bought some tasty meatballs. Erin made a plethora of Jello shots. The Cherry Coke one was my favorite.

Oh and the Beastmaster was huge. It would be the official smoker of Fried Green Tomatoes. — if that sort of thing wasn’t illegal and all.

Another friend had a tent further up the way. I visited him for a while and saw a bunch of people I knew.

That’s the thing about tailgating. It’s more about meeting up with people you know: it’s a class reunion, street festival, and happy hour all rolled up into one. If I had made an effort, I could have visited with over fifty people I knew personally and introduced myself to another fifty. But i was all about the relaxing.

Oh the game. Yeah. we won.

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