Slowing down

Take a minute. Take 5. Slow down, you’re moving way too fast. Got to make the morning last… heh, sorry. Sometimes my fingers just keep typing.

We sometimes run through life so quickly that we don’t take the time to smell the flowers…or is it roses? Who knows. WHO CARES!

Take a deep breath. Read to your kids. Give your wife/husband a hug just because you love them. Go do something you’ve always wanted to do, but never dared to. Life is too short to keep running so fast that you never see things flying by you unappreciated or un-looked at. (yeah, so my grammar sucks, it’s my blog :P)

I’ve been running around like a loon for the last several weeks and months, slowly working up a killer of a stress pile. I’ve had a bunch of stuff finish up, happen, resolve itself and it just occurred to me that I’ve been fairly absent from my own life because I’m too damn worried about what’s next, and how am I going to handle that, or waiting for THIS to happen and can’t do much until it does, etc.

It all starts with a breath. Going to take a deep one, finish up a thing or two, and go home and spend a nice weekend with family and friends and hopefully have a chance to rehook into my own life.

Fae – thank you for all of your help, love, support, and just putting up with my grumpy ass. I love you more than life.

Making Sushi with Gillian

Since Gillian has been diagnosed with Celiac disease, we’ve been trying to find ways to get her to eat more diverse foods than gluten free(gf) mac and cheese and gf grilled cheese and grilled chicken. I knew enough to download a translated card from the Celiac Disease foundation that listed the instructions and asked a few questions in several languages so the guys at our japanese restaurant could understand and make her sushi. They did, and she loved it.

Problem is, it’s really expensive. So for the holidays, Gillian bought me a sushi kit – a book, some implements and a wish to make it with me. I’m gonna say no to that face? Don’t think so.

First things first. Pour the rice into a big bowl that isn’t white. Why not white? The first thing you have to do is make sure that you rinse the rice to pull off any excess starch and ‘dust’. Put the rice into the bowl and put in water so it’s totally submerged and then some.
You’ll need to mix it around so you get all of it ‘clean’. Gillian kinda liked this part 🙂
Once it’s relatively clear, you’re good to go. Drop it in the rice cooker. If you don’t have one, google what you’ll need to do. My roomie from college gave me the one we used and we love it.
Gillian likes cooked shrimp so we decided on a cucumber, mango, and shrimp roll. Yeah, she’s nuts for mango. The key to cooking the shrimp is to use wooden skewers. You slide it into the shrimp, trying to keep it inside the shell, but not piercing the shrimp itself. The skewers are so when you cook them, they don’t curl up. Curled shrimp is pretty freakin hard to put in a roll from what I hear. We got jumbo shrimp from the Wegmans counter, so they were iced, but not frozen. Get them de-veined too. eww.
If you’ve eaten at enough sushi places and watched them (plus a lot of Iron Chef), you know that you don’t chop up the cucumber. You pare it like you’re peeling an apple, just make it one continuous sheet of cucumber. I managed to get 3/4 of the cuke peeled like this before I broke it 🙂 Gillian peeled the skin off initially and then sliced the sheet into strips, of course eating the ones that were too thick 😉
For those of you who have made sushi before, I know, this looks really sloppy. KEY NOTE TO MAKING SUSHI – WAIT FOR THE RICE TO COOL. I almost burned all the skin off the tips of my fingers spreading this out. Hot sushi also tends to melt or tear the nori. Here we have the bamboo mat with a sheet of nori (seaweed) on top spread with the rice. Don’t do it all the way to the edge, leave about 1/5 of the roll free so you don’t have too much. Another key note – spread it thin or it’ll be one big ball of rice. The other thing I learned is that my ingredients are too close to the middle, needed to bring them towards me a bit more.
Here’s my first roll, cut into pieces. Key Note: hot/warm rice doesn’t cut well. Also: having a container with 4 parts water, 1 part rice-wine vinegar that you can dip the knife into is ESSENTIAL. As you can see, it’s not cut well here. Knife was plenty sharp, I was pushing down too hard, and the rice got too sticky on the knife.
The first roll is finished:

Matt & Gillian make sushi from Matt Cushing on Vimeo.

As you can tell by the thumbs up, I got better as I went along 🙂
We’re done:

We’re done making Sushi from Matt Cushing on Vimeo.

All in all, lots of fun, and something we’ll definitely do again 🙂

Ack! Been too long!

I’ve been so busy lately that I didn’t even realize it’s been a while since I updated.  I think I’ve been waiting for enough time to download the pics and movies I took the other day when I made sushi for the first time with Gillian.  Tre yummy btw if I do say so.  I’ll post about that tonight hopefully.

Feeling okay in the elbow department thankfully.  Went through class on Wed with little to no discomfort, tho I forgot to wear the brace, but I seem to be okay still.   Currently wearing it because of a twinge I felt this morning.  Hoping it’ll go away.  Tho I kinda feel achy all over, not sure if it’s from lack of sleep or what.

Aidan’s winter concert was yesterday, and I gotta tell you…they’re all 7th graders, but they are really pretty good.  The Wind Ensemble is made up of both 7th and 8th, and they were very good.  I’m really proud of my kiddo.

Anyway, Fae’s feeling much better both physically and emotionally which has made life so much sweeter knowing my honey’s back 🙂

I’ll post more about the sushi when I can download the pics.

Oh yeah, I’m designing a website too –  That’s where my girlie goes for a week of camp for the last two years and really loves it.

Almost…cut my…

Hair?  No, sorry.  No references to CSNY today.  Actually I’m growing a goatee, not sure about it tho.  Hmm, I should take a pic when I get home.

No, this is in reference to cutting something else.

I’ve been having issues with my elbow that make it next to impossible to practice Kendo on any kind of regular basis.  I got a cortisone shot before the holidays, and had two weeks off from Kendo for the holidays.  Nice and rested, I worked from home this past Tuesday.  Got excited to go and get my ‘rah rah’ s out as my sister puts it.  I had a bit of a hangnail on my big toe and I went to clip it.

Problem is, as I was about to, the cat jumped on the bed.  Yep, I took off a huge chunk of the top left part of my left big toe.  SHIT SHIT SHIT! I screamed getting up and hightailing it to the bathroom to run it under cold water and then sat on the floor like a total idiot putting pressure on the damn thing.  I finally get it to stop bleeding (like 20 min later) and bandage, gauze, and wrap in tape so it looks like my toe is the size of a baseball.

To add to the equation, about a hour later I get an email from my Sensei saying her teacher, Kato Sensei, is coming to run class.  PERFECT!

So we go and I get dressed and wrap it a bit more and go through stretching and warm ups and I’m feeling good.  Toe doesn’t hurt too much and I’m feeling a good sweat coming on, jacked up for once instead of having to sit out with my elbow.  We go to put our armor on and line up for suriyashi (it’s a moving drill that you move quickly across the gym doing strikes at intervals), and again, I’m feeling good.

And then I look down and realize I’m about to bleed all over the floor.  Everything was soaked through.  AWESOME!

Spent the next 30 min getting it to stop and end up watching once again.  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHRRRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

Picked up some cool tips even tho I couldn’t practice, so it wasn’t a total loss and Aidan got to spar with Kato Sensei which is a plus.  of course I DIDN’T!!!! GGGRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

okay, I’m done feeling sorry for myself.  It’s already feeling pretty okay, should be fine by Tues.  Please say a prayer my elbow doesn’t start hurting again by then 🙂

Sawks Talk:Offseason

Okay, so we got Lackey, Scutaro, Cameron, Hermida, and now Beltre.  We lost Alex Gonzales & even more importantly, Jason Bay.

I’m not sure we’re all that much better off for next season.  I think Scutaro is better than Alex Gonz, so that’s positive.  Surprised that happened, but it seems like they just wanted to switch teams.  Sorry, but as a hitter Cameron is done, fielding?  He’s definitely better than Bay, but Bay’s bat is better.

I’m hopeful that they’ll all hit better in Boston with the Monster only 310 feet away, but I still don’t think we should have dropped money on Beltre when Lowell is a question mark.  Mikey’s a great player, and has been an amazing Red Sock, but even with his injuries and uncertainty, I wouldn’t have made the deal for Beltre.  I would have saved up all my chips and made a play for Adrian Gonzales from San Diego.  Never know, they might do it anyway, using Lowell as a trade piece.

Ideally, I would love to see Youk move to 3rd to make room for Adrian, and have the Sox really start working on this Phenom – Iglesias – to get him ready for the bigs.  Maybe Theo Epstein is working on some midseason trades, who knows.

What it all comes down to is I REALLY don’t believe he’s setting the Red Sox up to compete with the Yankees.  Especially getting Johnson at DH and Granderson to take over in left or center.  They’re going to dominate again next year.  We may make it to the playoffs, but I dunno.

And even tho Lackey’s wife is a total hottie, I still think he’s a bad mouthed, spoiled little brat and I don’t see him p

Back to work? Aww MAN!

Commuting from White Plains to Long Island (say Lawn Guyland if you want to pronounce it right), was nice for a few days, but picking the kids up on Wed and coming home was nice.  Finally got to sleep in my own bed, cuddled up next to Fae and worked half day for New Years Eve (and my anniversary – HAPPY 15th HONEY!) was nice as well.  The rest of the day was pretty easy, Aidan went to spend the night at a friends and Gillian went to spend NYE with my inlaws.  We were SUPPOSED to go out to dinner and a movie and then go join them at their next door neighbors, but it started sleeting like all hell had broken loose, and since my inlaws live up on a mountain, getting Gillian was pretty much out of the question.  Fae and I opted to cruise home and save the money and watch something anyway.  Shucks….New Years Eve, our 15th Anniversary, and no kids.

So disappointed !!  NOT!

The rest of the weekend was nice and relaxing, watched a bunch of movies, helped the kids finish up projects for school, got some writing done as well as a few hours of website work.  Going to take down the tree sometime this week hopefully.

Back to work tomorrow, have to drive Aidan into school with his project for his latin class: he built a replica of the roman armor, shield, and spear, and I didn’t help him all that much at all and it looks really cool!

Happy New Year

So what are your resolutions for this year?  Going to do less of this, or more of that?  A guy I follow on Twitter posted this and it really made me think:

If you aren’t sure of your resolutions are.What labels would you like ppl to apply to you in 2010? Use the answers to create ur resolutions.

So what kind of labels would you like people to apply to you at the end of 2010?