Tuesday, August 31, 2010

music suggestion

if you like the killers, go buy "habits" by neon trees. been listening to it in heavy rotation for a couple days now. should have bought it a lot sooner...

learn to fly

so many times in life we're presented with opportunities. sometimes we take them and make the most of them, sometimes it's not what we wanted. other times we don't take the chance.

i've learned that we can't be scared to fail. a couple years ago i stepped outside my comfort zone and took a job i probably had no business taking. but i wanted to do something else. it didn't turn out well, as roughly 75% of the company was laid off within 3 months. economic downturn and all that jazz...

i was a little jaded, a little weary of trying anything new after that. but why? the people who we remember in life are routinely the ones who don't play it safe. there's a reason the saying goes, "nothing ventured, nothing gained"...

we can't be scared to take chances and we can't be scared to fail. for me personally, i have a great family and wonderful friends who will still be there even if i stumble. so what do i have to be scared of?

i know God will provide for us. with that knowledge, i am comfortable taking risks to strive for greatness. it has taken me a while to figure this out, but it is extremely gratifying and liberating to realize it.

i hope there is something in your life that you want. don't be scared to go for it. the worst that can happen is you don't get it. but then, you can try again.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Restaurant Review #1

here's a first on the new blog, a restaurant review. this one comes to you courtesy of gatlin's bbq at 1221 w. 19th st. in houston.

first impressions:

the place is small. i mean tiny. there are 2 card tables to sit at if you want the luxury of air conditioning. since i went in august, i wanted that luxury. unfortunately, there wasn't enough room for everyone in my party so outside we went. parking is limited in front of the restaurant, but there is parking along the ditches on either side of the road.

the menu:

no frills, just straight ahead bbq. brisket, chopped beef, sausage, turkey, pulled pork and ribs highlight the meat selection while potato salad, cole slaw, dirty rice and baked beans make up the standard sides. they also have a small assortment of desserts, including homemade cookies, red velvet cake and a lemon cake. i was told they will be expanding these selections down the line.

okay, how did it taste?

i ordered the two meat plate with pulled pork and ribs; I chose dirty rice and ranch style beans as my sides. all meals come with bread, pickles, onions and jalapenos.

okay, i like bbq and this place didn't disappoint. the pulled pork was tender and extremely tasty. ribs were some of the best i've had. they were unbelievably tender, but didn't fall off the bone. to me, that's how a rib should be.

and the sauce. let me tell you about the sauce. they serve it hot, which i don't necessarily prefer. but it was AWESOME. it's a traditional southern, tomato based sauce but it has some heat to it and it's not overly sweet. i literally drank the rest of it once i soaked my pulled pork, it was that good.

the sides were above average. the dirty rice was excellent, served a little more moist than most others i've had. i enjoyed that (there's nothing worse than dry rice), and the spice was perfect. the beans were good, nothing to write home about but solid.

i also tried a couple pieces of the sausage links. wow. moist and with a good snap to the casing, but not greasy. excellent taste.


the two meat plate was $8.50 for a more than adequate portion. i was stuffed when i left. drinks range from $1 to $1.50, so my total was about $11.00. pretty competitive, especially when you factor in how tasty the food is.


i may have found a new favorite for bbq, in the heart of the neighborhood i grew up in. i give this place 4.5 stars out of 5, with the only negatives being the lack of air conditioned seating and less than ideal parking. i'll definitely be back.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

show me what i'm lookin' for

sorry for the absence - blame it on vacation. we were in dallas visiting friends last weekend and in new braunfels until thursday of this past week. i don't take my laptop on vacation, so i rarely am able to update the blog when i'm gone.

i've had lots of time this week to think about where i am in my life and where i want to go. i feel like i'm at a crossroads in my life. normally this would be cause for concern with me, but i am at ease with things. there's a certain peace i feel with where i am and i give all credit to God.

i trust that there's a plan for me. i have no idea what it is, but i know there is one. i just have to remember to pray for it to be revealed to me when the time is right.

i feel somewhat disconnected to some of my oldest and most cherished friends, but i have to let that work itself out. i truly feel like i am being called for a greater purpose.

don't confuse what i'm saying about my faith. i'm not someone to shove it down people's throats. but i am vocal about what i believe and i feel like my experiences in life can help others who have been through or are going through similar situations.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

king of new orleans

i love to cook. i love planning menus, i love prep, i love executing a dish properly, i love people enjoying what i prepare for them.

what i don't like is hype. and unfortunately, that's what a lot of cooking has become. it's a corporate machine. and one of the entities i love and admire is the main culprit - the food network.

instead of showcasing the joy to be derived from cooking, it's been turned on it's side and is now no better than "the bachelor" or "jersey shore". what i mean is that the innocence is gone and it's now all about stunts and ratings.

take "the next food network star" for example; we now have a show about someone trying to get their own show. i don't care about some schmuck who works for a catering company trying to get rich quick because they can make a banana tart.

why not identify up and coming ACTUAL chefs who are both innovative and personable? give them a show. but i think i'm straying from my point.

we live in a culture that, for better or worse, is obsessed with celebrity. and cooking/food has become no exception. i'm not saying emeril, gordon ramsay, etc. aren't good chefs, but why the worship? i tend to agree with tony bourdain's perspective on this topic. that is, who cares?

let's get back to honest food prepared by people who know what they're doing and who want to pass along their knowledge and passion to the consumer. i want chefs who are more interested in their food being appreciated than what their overnight rating was. is that too much to ask?

Monday, August 2, 2010

place in this world

days like today make me wonder what's in store for my future. i had an interview with a staffing agency this morning, but i never get too excited about them. for some reason, i'm just not having any luck lately.

it's hard not to get discouraged, but i am trying to put a positive spin on the situation. for one, i am getting to spend more time with my kids. i take braden to school/daycare pretty much every day and pick him up as well. i'm actually able to get yard work done. i'm caught up on my dvr.

but i'm not kidding myself. i don't have a job and i feel like there's a giant hole. it's nice to have free time, but i'm not built for this. i need to contribute and feel like i'm actually a productive member of society.

this is where my faith has played an important role in my life. i know that God has a plan for me. maybe it's nothing that i can see or something i'm not ready for yet. but i am comforted in knowing that ultimately the decision is in His hands.

now that's not to say i'm going to sit around and just wait for something to happen. while i'm a firm believer that God will provide, i also know that the only way to get ahead is to work. though some would argue what i'm about to say, i don't consider myself a lazy person. i acknowledge that i may take a short cut here and there, but i also value the feeling of a job well done.

i also believe that we create our own luck by staying the course, not giving up and knowing that things will work themselves out in the long run. hopefully that long run is in the home stretch for me.