Friday, January 29, 2010

Baker Baker

Baker Baker
Baking a cake
Make me a day
Make me whole again
And I wonder
What's in a day
What's in your cake this time


Even those are Tori Amos lyrics I promise this blog isn't going to make you want to slit your wrists. Why? Because it's about baking! And who doesn't love some flour-y sugar-y deliciousness on an icky winter day? I should stop right here and say that by default, I'm not a baker. I don't really have the patience for it, the counter space for it, and certainly NOT the caloric discretion for it. And yet for years - let's say 15 - I've needed nothing more than I've needed a pastry blender.

If you have ever had to cut cold butter into flour when baking, using two knives like the ginzu guy at hibachi, you too know that it is a rather suckdiggity experience. Mostly because, for me, I'm a precision guy. I want all of the little butter crumbs to be exactly the same size and I don't want to run the risk of one muffin being more buttery than the other (waitforit, waitforit ... THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID!) and so, the other day, I took this yearning bull by the horns and slung my butt into Bed, Bath and Beyond and emerged with an Oxo Good Grips Pastry Cutter in hand.

Armed with my 4-cup Pyrex measuring pitcher (acquired a few months back), and a new silicon baking mat, let's just say there will be no chipped teeth on this summer's poolside confections because I am completely bumping it up a notch with my baking skills. Recognize!

Disclaimer: If you're reading this as a Note on Facebook, it's because my blog - located at www.robbyjohnson.com - feeds directly into my Facebook account. Majikal, right? Point being, if I link a YouTube video or other graphics it may not show up. For your fully-integrated Robby Johnson user experience, visit www.robbyjohnson.com. Let the beat hit 'em, y'all!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

GUM (Gum, Gum)


If anything, THE Robby Johnson is aggressive. At times, over-aggressive. This works in my favor when, let's say, I'm swinging through vines in the upper canopy of a Central American jungle as I bring my special blend of ninja ass whoopin' to unsuspecting guerrilla militants traveling below on foot. Trust me, they never even knew what hit them. But I gotta say, over-aggression isn't so good when it comes to brushing your teeth. And thusly I am a victim of receding gums. Please don't judge me.

If you live in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Dr. Stan Turnipseed isn't your dentist and Crystal isn't your hygienist, it means you don't matter. After yesterday's routine cleaning, I feel like I have failed my gums and for that, I'm really, really sorry. Too much of a good thing. Le sigh.


Disclaimer: If you're reading this as a Note on Facebook, it's because my blog - located at www.robbyjohnson.com - feeds directly into my Facebook account. Majikal, right? Point being, if I link a YouTube video or other graphics it may not show up. For your fully-integrated Robby Johnson user experience, visit www.robbyjohnson.com. Let the beat hit 'em, y'all!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Like A Prayer



I'm so thankful to everyone - all 2 of you - who have inquired as to why my blog has become somewhat, erm, slower. No no no, astute observation, one with merit ... the simple truth is, I've been taking my own "30 Over 30" advice and unfortunately, my writing time has suffered as a result. In all honesty, I think it will return to a more normally scheduled frequency as the daylight continues to grow longer. I am a light-sensitive sleeper meaning, if it's light outside I usually have difficulty sleeping. But if it's dark? All bets are off. Lady Gaga might like to dance in the dark, but homeboy like to sleep in it!

The good news is I've been to the gym 13 times already in January. Mostly for cardio but also for different varied exercise/strength training workouts too. I typically do some sort of pilates daily, even if it's just 20 minutes with peripheral equipment I have at my house.

I also have 3 appointments tomorrow: dermatologist for a full-body scan, my regular doctor for a checkup, and dentist tomorrow afternoon. I'm taking a "health day" to bang them all out once. If you haven't had a physical examination or been to the dentist in over a year, do something good for yourself and go. Prevention is the best medicine, and it's definitely the way of healthcare in the future.

I had coffee with my esteemed pal Eduardo and his SO on Saturday afternoon, and he grimaced when he described Madonna's performance on Help For Haiti Now. I hadn't seen it, but quickly did and had to text him to politely disagree. For a stripped down, live studio performance I thought this was amazing. I saw her on the "Sticky and Sweet" tour in late 2008 and this was, to me, the highlight of that entire set. Hard to believe the song is now 21.5 years old, but still so fantastic. I do think she could lay off the plastic surgery face because, let's face it, she's looking a bit like that ventriliquist's puppet "Madame," but hey, she's still Madonna.

My thoughts and prayers continue to be with the people of Haiti.

Disclaimer: If you're reading this as a Note on Facebook, it's because my blog - located at www.robbyjohnson.com - feeds directly into my Facebook account. Majikal, right? Point being, if I link a YouTube video or other graphics it may not show up. For your fully-integrated Robby Johnson user experience, visit www.robbyjohnson.com. Let the beat hit 'em, y'all!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Freeze Frame


It's not so bad to be inside the box, as long as the resident play things entertain and inspire. (Deep thoughts by Robby Johnson, Vol. IV.XII.)

And when things become formulaic, they start to look formulaic. (Formula + Formula = Formula.) That's what a drag queen might describe as "tired." When something is tired it's predictable, not really memorable, and it lacks the creative package that entices and, essentially, it stops telling a story.

We commonly see this in television programming, music, and many other facets of the visual arts. One, in particular, I find static is the mystical, magical, wedding. Fortunately for brides and grooms in central Alabama and other parts of the Southeast, there's Emanuel Neiconi. He's from Romania, y'all, and that means he's got them European ideas and influences, all refined-like. OK, I'm only having a bit of fun with colloquialism, but the simple truth is Emanuel has an amazing ability to capture moments and images that tell a story, reflect a celebration, and are unique and timeless in their presentation.

I think this is what a drag queen might call "flawless."

Disclaimer: If you're reading this as a Note on Facebook, it's because my blog - located at www.robbyjohnson.com - feeds directly into my Facebook account. Majikal, right? Point being, if I link a YouTube video or other graphics it may not show up. For your fully-integrated Robby Johnson user experience, visit www.robbyjohnson.com. Let the beat hit 'em, y'all!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Basket Case

I didn't know the origin of the derogatory description "basket case." I just knew it meant cray-cray. But now that we're living in the future, and we have access to a ridiculous amount of information, there's really no reason NOT to know anything. The challenge, I think, is recognizing an opportunity to learn - not just pulling information when it's a critical requirement. As a writer, I'm always thirsty for an enhanced vocabulary. Sure, it's not Pythagorean Theorem or anything those math-y sorts know and get paid mad cash to own, but in a battle of words I will see your "gross" and raise you a "macabre," then laugh all the way to the bank.

Wow, I love how this happens. I fully intended to write about my new obsession with organizing my life by a.) purging a bunch of stuff I no longer use or need then b.) containing the previously-uncontained in baskets. Apparently I needed to take that little pit stop at Think Smart first. Thanks for your patience. Currently my living space isn't very pretty. I try to keep everything neat and orderly, but my system has become somewhat disheveled and is bordering on "skinny fat." 

When the very process of attempting to tidy the laundry room by just reorganizing a shelf turns into 6 hours of massive purge and overhaul, you have to just ride out what you know to be a positive ending. In my work environment, we might call these efforts "value-adding." Last weekend it was said laundry room. This weekend it included my breeze storage closet that is 4' x 4' and may've reminded you of Fred Flinstone's closet, and my personal bedroom closet. A massive wardrobe edit has ensued, and I have completely rearranged my closet to be more efficient. Hooray!

The Final Frontier is a bunch of paper/documentation that may or may not be relevant. I have to go through several big storage bins to make these decisions. Whatever "stays," is getting scanned and stored to disk, then shredded. While I do anticipate many more hours of dedicated effort, I am certain the ends will justify the means. This is, after all, what January is for. Right?

Disclaimer: If you're reading this as a Note on Facebook, it's because my blog - located at www.robbyjohnson.com - feeds directly into my Facebook account. Majikal, right? Point being, if I link a YouTube video or other graphics it may not show up. For your fully-integrated Robby Johnson user experience, visit www.robbyjohnson.com. Let the beat hit 'em, y'all!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Carpenter's Son


For about a year I've been contemplating some sort of platform bed for my home office/workout room/guest room space. When I initially added the bed, after selling my elliptical machine (sorry Brian Arnold, I will never forget our 4-hour assembly in the barn apartment in Little Rock!), it was a simple bed frame which offered no storage whatsoever; the fact is the room is quite small and I have a bunch of stuff! 

Browses through IKEA and the like, of course, yielded quite a few options, but none were elevated, so I enlisted the assistance of mi padre. Now, one thing I should say is that I am my father's son in many ways (not just sharing his name), and we both love to work with wood. In fact, I have watched marathon episodes of "Yankee Workshop" more cold Saturdays than I can count and always think, "If I just had $500,000 worth of laser equipment and a serious education, I could be a professional carpenter." Granted, my father's skills are pretty impressive. Mine? Not so much. It's sort of like my attempts at sewing. I have more vision, but am not patient enough for the details. 

Daddy agreed to build me the platform as a Christmas gift, using Southern Yellow Pine (of course!), and though he pushed back several times when I said I wanted a full 24" of clearance beneath it for all of the exercise stuff, he acquiesed. And though it might seem a bit Transformer-meets-funeral-pyre, I love love love it. Right now it works in function (I slept on it the night my parents brought it up as, of course, they slept in my bed) and, for me, form. The good news is that it can be reduced from the legs when I get into a permanent residential situation. For now, I'm going to add a few more baskets for stuff and fluff it up as much as possible.

I love it for lots of reasons: mostly because my dad built it for me. In giving me a more efficient space for storing my workout stuff I have a.) begun using it more and b.) now have an impetus for continuing my office/life organizational edit. 2010 is the year of reduction, spurned on by the addition of 24"!


Disclaimer: If you're reading this as a Note on Facebook, it's because my blog - located at www.robbyjohnson.com - feeds directly into my Facebook account. Majikal, right? Point being, if I link a YouTube video or other graphics it may not show up. For your fully-integrated Robby Johnson user experience, visit www.robbyjohnson.com. Let the beat hit 'em, y'all!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Hazy Shade Of Winter

It's no big secret I luh me some sunset. Like, I get all inspired by the moment, the beauty, and for some reason it instills a sense of peace in me that I find reassuring. When I drove over the bridge last night the sunset down the river was stunning. I nearly stopped my car in the midst of 5:00 traffic just to look at it. (I didn't of course because that would've sucked.) I did, however, rush home, grabbed my camera, and went out alongside the river with Maddie. It was so cold I could only stay for a minute, but I'm really glad I did.

Disclaimer: If you're reading this as a Note on Facebook, it's because my blog - located at www.robbyjohnson.com - feeds directly into my Facebook account. Majikal, right? Point being, if I link a YouTube video or other graphics it may not show up. For your fully-integrated Robby Johnson user experience, visit www.robbyjohnson.com. Let the beat hit 'em, y'all!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Strong To The Finish


I love going home for an extended period of time because I return saying things like, "Lord have mercy," and a host of other really authentic Southern euphemisms. The Robby In My Head (RIMH) doesn't sound like he's from the South but apparently Reality Robby does and sometimes I actually hear him speak and am a bit astonished. Since I mimic a lot of what my mother (and father) say, it actually is comforting because not only does it remind me of them, but it reminds me they're repeating what they learned as well so it makes me feel connected to my grandparents, their parents, and the rest of the chain.

I had a fabulous holiday season. That's pretty much all I can say about it. I got to visit with people I love very much and at this point in my life, that's what it's about. Lately my mom has been white hot when it comes to ideas (even moreso than normal) and while she and my dad visited me overnight last week, she completely "re-did" my kitchen for me at a functional concept level and I am hoping she'll come back to help me execute. I love it when things work more efficiently, and myself have always been able to implement these types of ideas, but it was special to realize for the first time that I'd actually inherited that ability.

The other thing she suggested later in the weekend, at her house, was planting spinach and winter greens in my patio containers. I think this is the best idea ever and am already taking steps to make this a reality.

Disclaimer: If you're reading this as a Note on Facebook, it's because my blog - located at www.robbyjohnson.com - feeds directly into my Facebook account. Majikal, right? Point being, if I link a YouTube video or other graphics it may not show up. For your fully-integrated Robby Johnson user experience, visit www.robbyjohnson.com. Let the beat hit 'em, y'all!