Sunday, June 9, 2013


Camille recently tagged me with this little game making the rounds--reveal 11 things about yourself, answer 11 questions, and pose 11 questions to five blogger friends. (Thanks, Camille!) As The Hungry Dog has been languishing as of late, I figure what better way to kickstart it than by talking about myself? How fun for all of you.

11 things about me

1. I have recently taken up meditation. Every morning, between the dog walk and the beginning of work, I do a 10 minute session. I cannot explain how much this tiny investment of time and focus has changed my outlook, feeling of peace, patience, and overall well-being.

2. I like to give compliments and I don't understand when people are stingy with them. There are easy and difficult ways to be kind in the world, and paying compliments is among the easiest. They cost you nothing.

3. Although I have never been a picky eater, I have now fully embraced two things I used to detest: eggs and coconut.  This just goes to show that even when you think you won't change your mind about something, it can happen without your permission.

4. My favorite albums are: R.E.M.'s Murmur; Pavement's Wowee Zowee; Ryan Adams' Heartbreaker; and Jack Johnson's On and On.  Each one reminds me of a particular happy time in my life.

5. I'm alternately extravagant and thrifty. Example of extravagance: there's a kind of cracker I've discovered that the husband and I are in love with. It's $9 for about 16 crackers. Example of thrift: I use the same comb I've had since high school. It's missing some teeth but I don't see what sense it makes to buy a new one if this one still works. Did I mention I graduated from high school in 1991?

6.  In college, I was an extra in the movie "Strange Days."

7. About 8 years ago, I considered going to pastry school. I toured a local school and did a short, informal apprenticeship at a well-known restaurant here. After seeing the pastry chef break down in tears over a burned vat of quince paste, I decided being a professional cook was not for me.

8.  My nicknames include: Chuck, Shortie, Cubby, Smalls, Bunga, Fritzy, and Auntie Bowwow.

9. If I could only keep one cookbook, it would be Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, because, aside from my parents, it is responsible for teaching me how to cook. If I could keep another, it would be Firehouse Food, because every recipe is a winner.

10. My favorite smells are: coffee brewing, rice steaming, chicken frying, and lemons.

11. One of the best pieces of advice I have ever heard is something my late father-in-law used to say: "Take care of you and one more." To me, this is not just about tending to your partner, kid, or parent. It's about extending yourself to people beyond your circle, even to strangers, being generous and empathetic. I think if more people did this, the world would be a better place.

11 Questions from Camille

1. What was the last concert you went to?
The Knitters.

2. What was the best concert you’ve ever been to?
The Rolling Stones.

3. Name your top three favorite spices and what you like to do with them.
Cardamom, in baked good; smoked paprika, with roasted meats or potatoes; and grated nutmeg, with any bitter green. 

4. Wine or beer?

5. Do you have a pet? What is the most surprising thing he or she has ever done?
I have a labrador retriever that doesn't like to retrieve and doesn't care about the water. 

6. Where have you traveled that you most want to visit again?

7. What movie can you recite by heart?
"Forgetting Sarah Marshall."

8. Are you a morning person or a night owl?

9. What was the last book you read?
"Beautiful Ruins" by Jess Walter. 

10. Where do you like to sing?

11. When do you feel most content?
 Swimming at Kahalahala Beach in Kauai.

11 Questions for my friends
For these I am tagging:

Shaz at Test with Skewer
Zoomie at Zoomie Station
Sue at The View from the Great Island
Jessica at Jessica's Dinner Party
and my friend Ami at her new blog, Moonchild Maxwell

1. Who or what has had the greatest impact on your life?
2. What is your favorite thing to cook?
3. Where do you hope to travel next?
4. What is your dream job?
5. Favorite book?
6. If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
7. What is your greatest talent?
8. What skill do you wish you had?
9. Do you prefer sweet or savory?
10. Have you ever lived abroad? If so, where?
11. What motivates you to keep blogging?


  1. Oh, fun! I may be the only person on earth who really enjoys memes. Your answers are fun, thoughtful, very cool. I love that your lab goes against her/his genes. My collie-type mutt is like that - she loves water, when most collies shy away and loves to chase other dogs who are chasing balls.

  2. eggs and coconut are both personal favorites (though not necessarily together...)--glad you're on board! :)

  3. Zoom--thanks! Thought you might have fun with this.

    grace: me too!

  4. Welcome back! I enjoyed reading your responses. Totally cool!


  5. Loved finding out more about you :) I totally relate to the extravagance/ thrift bit. Will happily buy $10 tiny tin of spice but use a hairbrush that's years old or wear a T-shirt with holes in it because I cannot bear to part with it. I think it says more about priorities than being thrifty though...that's my excuse anyway.

    And thanks for tagging me, will put my thinking cap on.

  6. Ha! I also use the same comb that I've used since high school. (And I graduates in 1997) It's pink, and still has my initials written on it from when I took it to summer camp. But then I'll go and spend $300 on a purse. Priorities! :)

  7. shaz: Yes, you have to have your priorities straight. Food definitely supercedes hair accessories!

    Erin: Glad I am not alone. And, happy to see you here! Miss your old blog :(

  8. I might have you beat on the comb thing - I've been using the same comb since 4th grade (which was 1987-8, if I'm doing my math correctly)! And I bet the Stones were awesome. When did you see them?

  9. camille: I'm impressed about the comb! I think we saw the Stones in 2005. We were living in our old apartment and one night we thought some neighbors were playing music super loud. We opened up our back door and realized we could hear the actual concert--at the Ballpark--from all the way across the city. The next day we got tickets for the second show! It was awesome.