Sunday, November 7, 2010

New Clever Platform

If you have been coming here and wondering where I've been- I've been at www.soveryclever.com which now takes you directly to the new platform.  It took me a couple months to figure it out- but I wanted to have much more user interaction- I wanted to be able to get to know the readers better and NING provides a really interesting platform to do so.
Please come and visit me there, become a member- create a profile and let me know what you think.  To catch you up on what I have been doing ...
I'm now a contributing writer to www.bleacherreport.com- a fantastic on-line sports magazine.  I've really enjoying extending the So Very Clever concept to the male realm in their own back yard!  What's next- contributor to Playboy- I'm ready.
I've entered the final stretch for my first novel, "Consumed"- it is available now on www.bn.com, at www.tltpublishing.com and will be published on the 15th of December.
I've been doing a ten minutes segment once a week on ESPN radio Austin with some of the most authoritative voices in sports today.  Erin Hogan and Chip Brown- love, love, love those guys and they have been kind enough to welcome my thoughts weekly.  So Very much fun.  You can hear me live if you go to www.espnaustin.com and download the software.  I am heading to Austin this week to have my segment filmed so look for it on Soveryclever.com in a week or so.
I tell you, I love what I do, I love who I do it with.  What do they say- if you do what you love you will never work a day in your life?  That is how I feel, if only I didn't have a full-time job too.  In time.
OK- let's get ourselves over to the new NING platform and catch up!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

A New Straitjacket

I've had and overheard a few interesting conversations I thought I might share- and yes, about marriage.

The first was a friend of mine told me he thought his wife was having an affair.  We talked about it and what it came down to was that he wasn’t sure- but he had a strong suspicion.  So I said- "So … what if she is?"  He answered- "I can't be with her anymore."  I had to ask why.  He was baffled as to why I would inquire.  He relied on the marital vows as a defense.  Again I inquired.  "Why do you think she had an affair?"   His response was- "How would I know?"

So Very Interesting- don’t you think?  This guy has no idea why his wife might have been having an affair- but I do.  I don’t know his wife very well, but I know him and I can think of a few reasons why she might have had an affair.  Again, don''t forget we've gotten into a whole new articulation of "affair"- now we have "intellectual affairs," "emotional affairs," "physical affairs."- It's becoming increasingly difficult to have any type of relationship with a person of the opposite sex- and that is a shame.

Now, for the same reason all of these different types of affairs exist- the holistic aspect of marriage is no longer being valued.  Apparently, no other person of the opposite sex is allowed to be significant in your life without it being "inappropriate."  Now, instead of this "strengthening" marriage by encouraging the man and woman to value one another first and most- it is tying their hands and making it nearly impossible to function within the intractable confines of marriage.  Marriage is becoming remarkably similar to a straitjacket- actually.  This figures prominently with my post of last month- "Are you COMMITTED to the INSTITUTION of Marriage?"
A man lies to his wife about finances and she wants a divorce.  A woman has an inappropriate exchange with a man and her husband wants a divorce.  A woman doesn't get along with the man's children from another marriage so the marriage needs to end.  Why do we bother getting married at all if the dissolution is so easy?  Are we less commitment-phobic now that it is so acceptable to divorce?

Last I checked- marriage was not one-dimensional.  So, if someone cheats- it is likely the symptom of a problem in the marriage. The best thing to do if you both still value the other person is to sit down with a marriage counselor and find out why it happened and what can be done moving forward to keep it from happening again.
It reminds me of some ethnic cultures that accept a "girlfriend"- the wives are exhausted, overwhelmed by the house and the children, and they are grateful they don’t have to put out as often as the husband wants- OR, the man likes to unload some perversion on someone without disrespecting his wife.  It happens. 
Marriage is not finite- it’s dynamic.  As the two people grow and change, the entity evolves and changes.  It's specious to think part of that evolution won't be intellectual, sexual or social. 

I have another friend from my hometown (which is VERY small)- he married his high-school sweetheart and they moved to a bigger city with more opportunity for him.  He hit his stride in business and has blown it out of the water.  She is no longer comfortable with who he has become. He’s sharp, handsome, charismatic, charming, winsome, successful and ambitious.  This new version of the boy she met in high school does not sit well with her.  She's wracked with fear and insecurity about whether he will outgrow her.  I see it happening, but only because she doesn’t evolve with him and embrace who he is becoming.  She is withdrawing and sulking- acting jealous and suspicious- he is growing resentful and contemptuous.  He hasn't cheated on her- of that I am certain- but her suspicion and desire to micromanage him will erode the relationship quickly. 

She's growing further away so their sexual relationship is on the decline. He might have an affair someday- if he is going to be punished for something, he might as well be doing it.  Her bitterness toward his work is pervading their parenting (alternate complaints about wanting more money and resenting the amount of time he is working) and their friendship.  I hate seeing it happen.

The fundamental problem is that we have stopped viewing marriage holistically.  Look at your spouse and put down all of their great qualities- and I mean defining ones- not "he takes out the garbage without being asked."  Now, think about fidelity- it is but one aspect of marriage and would you really throw away a fantastic father, a loving and dependable husband who provides a nice home and maintains it just because he was unfaithful?  And if he were- do you have the capacity to be introspective enough to ask yourself  "WHY?"

If a marriage is to be successful- it needs to continue to evolve, grow and change with the two people invested in it.  I honestly believe if a woman throws her husband out because he has a casual affair- she wants out.  Of course. if this is the last straw because he is not a good man, provider or father- he should have been kicked out long before. 
I've said this before- I have a ton of male friends and the wives of the ones who are not faithful are the happiest.  Weird. 


Friday, October 15, 2010

A Standing Ovation

Mike preparing for his 2009 calendar shoot

As I walked into the American Airline’s Center last evening for the Dallas Stars home opener against Detroit, I had no idea my Friday game day post was going to take on an emotional bent.

I expected business as usual for the game at which my two favorite teams would face off, but there was so much at play.  I don’t think I had truly wrapped my mind around the fact that Mike Modano would be wearing a Red Wings jersey.  My rational self knew this would be the case, and while I knew he would not be wearing Gordie Howe’s jersey (Clever Girls- Gordie Howe was number 9 on the Detroit Red Wings and easily one of the best players in the history of the game.  His number has been immortalized in retirement- so it was unavailable to Mike, who has alway worn number 9.), it still was absolutely shocking to me.  

Mike was truly the heart and soul of the Minnesota North Stars and then the Dallas Stars- the leader who didn’t need a C on his chest to lead.  He was the marquee player, handsome and magnetic- a man who put asses in seats.  Asses in seats who didn’t know center ice seats were not the same as seats at the 50-yard line.  Mike Modano was responsible in a big way for making hockey come alive in a city that had never seen ice let alone try to stand on it. 

I am not, in any way, minimizing Derian Hatcher’s quiet, stoic and effective leadership as captain- nor am I discounting Brenden Morrow’s capable execution as the new front man. As a matter of fact, from the day I met Brenden, I told his wife he was the future of the Dallas Stars organization.  I’m proud to know all three men and am impressed with how they have maintained their integrity and brought their teams to championships. 

My emotions were startlingly mixed to see Mike in the jersey I’ve revered since I was a child.  A Sterling Heights native- a young star in the state of Michigan- it is poetic to have him go home.  However, when I saw his face, as he received a four-minute continuous standing ovation, I actually choked up a bit.  He misses Dallas- his life was here for more than a decade.  What he accomplished as a Dallas Star might likely never be exceeded, records that might go unbroken.  He left a legacy here and the city of Dallas came to their feet to express their gratitude.  It was lovely.  Awe inspiring.  The true mark of the value of your presence is the appreciation that lingers when you leave. 

Brenden, me and his gorgeous wife, Anne-Marie Carbonneau Morrow
Brenden Morrow is a fantastic leader and a good man, loving father and husband (with a hot wife)- he IS the future of the Dallas Stars- but Mike Modano has left an indelible mark not only on the organization but the hearts of the fans. 

Mike will be an asset where ever he is- he holds the record for the most goals by a U.S.-born player and is a quintessential finesse forward (for Clever Guy’s Girls- this means he is a master puck handler and will find holes that don’t exist- could find the net in the dark and can skate circles around those in his way).  As the number one draft pick in 1988, the North Stars knew then what we all know NOW. 

We all wish you the best of luck and I'm expecting greatness out of you, Mike.  You are wearing my team colors now. 

Mike Modano featured at Hotel ZaZa in one of the Magnificent Seven suites
On a less kind note- I was horrified to see the Wings had not retired Bob Probert’s number, 24.  For Clever Guys’ Girls, Bob Probert was easily one of the most feared enforcers (thugs) of all time.  He spent the bulk of his career exacting revenge on players stupid enough to mess with his fellow Red Wings and then did a stint with the Chicago Blackhawks.  Either way, after more than a decade of battling substance abuse- he passed away a couple months ago from a heart attack while on a boating trip with his family.  I was devastated, as I’d known Bob for 20 years and he was, by far, one of the kindest, gentlest men I’ve ever met.  In light of his contribution to the Red Wings, I’d like request they retire the number.  Thank you.

OK- enough of this emotional shit.  Game day, game day, game day.  What do I want?  That’s easy- a four-game upset.  Auburn, Michigan, Texas and Wisconsin.  Why?  I love UT and hate to see them struggle- I understand everyone has to rebuild, but …  

UM because I detest what RichRod is doing to my team.  I said during my interview on ESPN radio that if RichRod allowed the defense to dismantle this season, he might as well jump in front of a bus- it’s not looking good for him.  He will not be back next year.  Clever Girls- UM is about to face some intense conference defense and Iowa is going to try to stifle Denard Robinson on the run.  So, I hope he’s taken the week to gain some confidence in the air- because if the MSU debacle was any indication of his depth against a strong offense- we are in a river of shit and trying to swim upstream. 

Wisconsin proves a challenge for OSU every year so let’s just hope upon hope they take a header on this one.   I need them to drop the ball so UM’s loss to State isn’t such a detriment.  Right now it’s looking to be MSU and OSU battling it out for the Big Ten Championship and while I will still be able to smile at being there- State won’t win it- so "it just doesn’t matter.  It just doesn’t matter.  It just doesn’t matter."  Clever Girls that is a line from "Animal House," easily one of the all-time Guy movies and a must see.  

Arkansas- needs to take a bath.  I want to make sure Ryan Mallet gains no Heisman cred because I fear he’s about to be knocked out of contention.  This weekend is going to be a huge upset for the Heisman hopefuls.

Taylor Martinez (Nebraska) will go up.  Denard (the current leader) will go down.  Terrelle Pryor will go up, LaMichael James is on a bye (Oregon), Kellan Moore (Boise State) will go up.  So big shake-ups.  Know this stuff, ladies- it’s invaluable. 
I am pretty sure that’s all you need to know for this week.  Big UPSETS WANTED.
I’m over and OUT.  Back at it Monday. 


For more on week 7, click here to go to my Bleacher Report article. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Something HOT for Game Day- YUM

Welcome Clever Tribe!  If you caught me on ESPN Radio this morning with Erin Hogan, here are the recipes I promised.  Don't be intimidated- you won't believe how easy this stuff is to prepare and can be done ahead of time.  The key to game day grub is ease and taste.  

If you didn't catch me on the Bud Light Morning Rush- go to www.espnaustin.com and download the software.  It looks like (for the time being) I have secured a 10-minute segment discussing football and food.  See you next week at 8:45 a.m.  X

Sicilian-Style Shrimp


Place a pot of water on to boil
You will need ice later, so make sure you have some at the ready
1 lb. of peeled and deveined 20-ish count fresh shrimp (from the seafood counter- not frozen in a bag)


To peel and devein shrimp- remove legs. This will open the shell so you can peel it off. I pull the tail from the very end. There is quite a bit of meat in there to be preserved and it looks nicer when they are cooked. Slice the back of the shrimp open from one end to the base of the tail and expose the, well, we will call it a vein, and remove it. Don't cut too deep or you will "butterfly" the shrimp, which is neither here nor there, it just cooks faster and looks differently.


In a large bowl combine the juice of five lemons, a quarter cup of olive oil, kosher or sea salt, a teaspoon of oregano or "Italian spices." Let the spices unfurl a bit while you are cooking the shrimp.


Once the water is boiling, put the shrimp in. As soon as it all turns pink (no longer than four minutes)- remove the pot from the stove and drain contentst in a colander (the thing with all the holes you use to drain pasta). Quickly cover the shrimp with ice- seat the colander in the pot and run cold water over the shrimp. This set is critical because the shrimp WILL CONTINUE TO COOK IF IT IS NOT COOLED. Let the shrimp sit in the cold bath until they feel completely cold.


Add the shrimp to the lemon and oil mixture. Now, if you double or triple the shrimp amount- increase the lemon and oil accordingly. Put this in the fridge for up to two days and serve with the liquid drained.




Meatball Subs

Two large cans of tomato sauce into a crock pot
Add a generous amount of dried oregano
Add a generous amount of garlic powder
I like to add some cayenne pepper, but I like it HOT
Set on medium heat

In a large bowl, combine 2 lbs. of ground beef
1 cup of Italian bread crumbs
½ cup of egg substitute or 2 large eggs
½ red onion, chopped small
5 large leaves of fresh basil, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced

I think the most critical aspect of this meal is the bread.  You are going to want to head to Whole Foods or Central Market and find a really hearty Italian bread.  Do NOT go with a hoagie roll or sub roll unless you want this to turn into casserole after the first bite.  Nobody wants a wet, soggy mess.

Mix with hands (use gloves if this is a repellant concept), then begin making small- to medium-sized meatballs and add them to the sauce. Cook on medium-low until you are ready to eat.

Once the meatballs have cooked for five hours on medium heat they are ready, however, if you are So Very game day CLEVER, you can do this during the week and put them in the refrigerator until Saturday (or Sunday if you like that PRO stuff).  Turn it on low and it can go until you are ready- if it seems to be getting too hot, put it on "keep warm."

When you are ready to serve- cut your bread down the middle from the side to open it up flat. Broil it until it is lightly browned- take the inside out of the bread to make room for the meatballs.

Fill the larger hollowed out side of the bread with mozzarella cheese and then meatballs. Cover with sauce and close (or broil it a bit so the cheese is melty). Cut in half and serve. Yum.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How Did Favre Get Those Phone Numbers?

OK, as you all know, you only have to ask me 12 times before I feel compelled to share my view regarding a subject.  Now, generally I’m disinclined to comment on the NFL and the NBA- why?  Because they are quickly becoming leagues ruled by thugs and miscreants.  Yes, there are some notable exceptions- the Mannings (though I don’t agree with Eli’s crybaby fit when he was drafted), Tom Brady, Grant Hill, Barry Sanders, Walter Payton and many more. Sadly, though, a few stinking rotten carcasses ruin an otherwise lovely walk down a country road.
Sports are supposed to be pasttimes and family events- a part of the fabric of our country- but are quickly turning into political machines. The athletes are overpaid, overappreciated, overworked, undermananaged and allowed to run amuck. 
So, why the FREAKING hell is Brett Favre (whom I don’t particularly care for) being harangued for alleged inappropriate behavior? Because let’s be honest- the conduct of nine of 10 professional athletes, most of which is far more offensive, goes unpunished.  This is absurd and nothing more than a distraction for the Monday night football game.
If you are going to dress the way Jenn Sterger dresses off the "field"- there is a good chance you will become the "target" of some inappropriate advances.  This is directly in line with the woman who wears low-cut shirts and feigns offense when men and or women are preoccupied with the cleavage.  Please stop pretending you are offended- it's offensive.  Wear a freaking turtleneck if it is such an affront to you.
Further- I have to say it- you know what you are getting into when you becoming a sideline commentator and nine of 10 not only accept the cast of characters but have found a clever way to put themselves directly in the path of wealthy players.  Honestly- are we going to pretend that isn’t part of the appeal?  I love sports as much as the next girl- but I have loftier goals than to shove a microphone in the face of a professional athlete or coach. 
Next?  Brett Favre is, well, Brett Favre, and I will not, for one second, believe that any "sideline reporter" who tends to dress like a dancer when not at "work" would be offended by his interest.  If you revere your craft- you will be able to respect his accomplishments and would likely be flattered.  I’d be flattered beyond flattered to be pursued intellectually by Stephen King or Greg Iles.  I doubt highly Brett was rebuffed by any of the women he allegedly pursued via text. 
Further, how did he get their phone numbers?  Did he inquire politely asking if they could sit down and discuss his future, maybe in the form of an exclusive interview? If so, why a "sideline" report and a couple of masseuses?  Are the masseuses independent contractors- so that he'd need to acquire their phone numbers?  It smacks of desire to extort, defame or humiliate.  Am I surprised?  No.  You can guarantee some money has already changed hands from the Favre camp- I just hope these girls put it to good use, maybe toward enriching their careers.  While he does nothing for me- he’s not exactly hideous- he’s famous- rich and tres male.  What is not to love if you are a "sportscaster?" 
The whole thing is absurd.  I have a feeling the texts have been held fast and only now hit their peak sale price due to the Monday night football game. And, yes, I know they were "released" in August, but that was off-season- no one cared.  If he is "reprimanded" for this, when Randy Moss and Terrell Owens are allowed to disgrace the game with their brazen and idiotic behavior EVERY time they take the field, then I'm even more disgusted today than I was yesterday.
To some degree this is a private matter.  What about Tiger Woods?  I KNEW you were going to say that.  Totally different.  Brett Favre has not made a living and built a reputation of bulletproof purity and morality.  He's just a normal guy's guy.  He's not out there protecting his halo- he simply functions.  TWinc. is a different ballgame all together.  Much of his fortune was built on his "character."
OK- enough about that gross topic.  NCAA football.  I'm obviously upset with University of Michigan's performance- Denard is still the Heisman front runner, but we have a problem.  Michigan is about to start a tough conference run and we are all but without defense.  Now, while this has nothing to do with Denard directly, we can’t win without stopping our opponent.  Momentum does matter- and if we are running up the score, but allowing the opponent to do the same …
I stated on ESPN radio the other day- if RichRod allows the defense to implode this season he might as well jump in front of a train. It's not looking good for him. 
Michigan State cracked the top 10 and they already have Notre Dame and Wisconsin behind them- they are in a better position to play OSU for a championship.  There’s no doubt I'm deeply distressed- it wasn't in the bag, at all, but come on. 
Alabama and Stanford dropped the ball as well. The playing field is leveling.  Now, OSU and Boise State and TCU need to fall. 
OK, I'll continue with my Top Five Clever Topics for Guy's Girls Week Seven on Friday.  There will be recipes up on Thursday in conjunction with my ESPN radio segment with Erin Hogan.
Tomorrow I need to run some Clever Commentary- I’ve been itching to explore adultery again.
X

Friday, October 8, 2010

Top Five Clever Topics for a Guy's Girl Entering Week Six

In a feature that will begin appearing up to twice weekly (on bleacher report), here is the first list of five items a woman who might want to be considered a So Very Clever Guy’s Girl should peruse.  I won’t exhaust any of it- as with all things So Very Clever, I will give you the broad strokes and depend on you to delve further if you are inclined.  One reason you might be inclined is if you’ve been invited to view one of the games in question- it is tantamount to locker room talk for guys to listen to well informed sports talk from a woman (as long as it’s not during play).  Another reason you might brush up is if one (of many) of the men in your life is a big fan of one of the teams I reference.  So, don’t be lazy.  Use Bleacher Report- sign up for your man’s alma mater, his favorite professional teams and receive emails daily.  They might as well be holding your hand (the way I do).

5.  Texas does NOT play this week- so if you live there, and are invited to watch football with the guys- do not ask, “When is the Texas game?”  They are on a “bye”- which is a week off from play.  This could be a good time for the bye with Texas- it will give them time to rest (though I doubt that is happening) and gear up for what will likely amount to a good old fashioned whoopin’ by Nebraska.

4.  Florida and LSU play this weekend and both teams are struggling.  Les Miles is still coaching for LSU so it’s an adventure every week.  Clever Girls, Les Miles was an assistant at University of Michigan (a great item to inquire about- note I said inquire about not assert) and was the hopeful for coach when Rich Rodriguez (RichRod) was hired from West Virginia. 

3.  The Michigan State Spartans coach, Mark Dantonio was slated to return to the field with his team for the first time since his heart attack following a win over Notre Dame.  Now, I personally think the overtime win itself was reason enough for the heart attack, but I think it had more to do with the faked field goal run in for a Bates to Gannt touch down.  Pretty awesome stuff- the play, not the heart surgery- though that is pretty impressive as well.  Dantonio will be coaching from a box.

2.  The University of Michigan will take on the Michigan State University Spartans.  This is a HUGE college rivalry and emotion will be a factor.  I could spew stats all day long, but playing in the Big House (the Michigan Stadium) is unlike play anywhere and it can weigh heavily on the outcome.  Bottom line, the best defense wins.  It is questionable whether Michigan’s defense can hold up against the run or the pass (RichRod’s former team, West Virginia, was not known for defense either).

1.  Denard Robinson is likely to be his explosive self and hold his position as number one Heisman choice by the Heisman pundit poll.  I couldn’t be more proud if he were my own.

Here is a fantastic trivia question a So Very Clever Girl posed- How many college teams have mascots that do not end in s?
The answer is 28.  These are the teams and their mascots.  Now, before I give up the goods, I want to make clear- this is not a change for you to show off- guys HATE girls who act as if they know more about sports (or anything else) than the guys.  So, you will say instead- "Oh my gosh- I had someone ask me a trivia question and I could only answer like TWO!  Can you guys help me fill in the blanks?"  They will likely pay worship.  And the teams are:

Alabama Crimson Tide
Notre Dame Fighting Irish 
NC State Wolfpack 
Nevada Wolfpack 
Illinois Fighing Illini 
Marshall Thundering Herd 
Tulane Green 
UMass Minutemen 
Syracuse Orange 
St. Johns Red Storm 
North Texas Mean Green 
Stanford Cardinal 
Navy Midshipmen 
Tulsa Golden Hurricane 
North Dakota Fighing Sioux 
Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix 
William and Mary Tribe
Harvard Crimson
Dartmouth Big Green 
Cornell Big Red 
Hofstra Pride 
Bucknell Bison 
Elon Phoenix
Centenary College of Louisiana Gentlemen 
Howard Bison
Union Dutchmen
St. Francis Red Flash
North Dakota State Bison  

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

So Very Clever Update and Game Day Grub




Welcome soon to be So Very Clever readers.  I hope you were able to catch me this morning on ESPN Austin with Erin Hogan.  If you did, here are the recipes I mentioned on the show.  Enjoy!  Just print them out and hand them off to the So Very Clever Guy's Girl in your life.  If she looks at what you're handing her like it's a used bed pan, you have two options:  Get a So Very Clever Guy's Girl- or steer your girl to this blog so she can learn some tips for becoming a Guy's Girl.  

Pork Tacos
1 package of pork tenderloin (should contain two tenderloins)- not pork roast
salt
pepper
garlic
ground cumin
20 tortillas of choice (use whole wheat from Central Market if you are health-conscious)

HOW TO PREPARE THE PORK
The great thing about this dish is the pork can be grilled or baked (either way, pork should always end up at 170 degrees). If baked- go with an oven temperature of 350 degrees. Season pork liberally with salt, pepper, garlic powder and cumin.  Once cooked, slice and serve hot or cold with tortillas.

BBQ Coleslaw
1 head of green cabbage
1/2 each red, yellow and orange pepper (you can use the other half from Texas Caviar - see below)
Jalapenos
1 bunch of cilantro
1/2 red onion
1 bottle of Kraft Original barbecue sauce
1/3 cup Kraft Light Mayo reduced-fat mayonnaise (or regular fat, if preferred)
cider vinegar
white pepper
1 packet of Splenda

HOW TO PREPARE THE BBQ COLE SLAW
Core the cabbage and slice ultra thin (shred). Julienne the peppers.Cut the japs into rings- core if you don't like the heat.Coarse chop the cilantro after rinsing.Slice half of the red onion- thin. Add the Splenda, a dash of white pepper and a generous portion of the barbecue sauce to the mayonnaise Now, if you want to doctor your Kraft Original barbecue sauce- add to it-

Garlic powder -1/2 tsp
Worcestershire sauce - 1 tsp
Tabasco- a liberal dash, based on taste, for heat
Cayenne pepper - 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp

Feel free to use your favorite barbecue sauce instead. Mix this well and pour over the cabbage mixture. I use my hands to make sure it is well coated. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

TEXAS CAVIAR
(having nothing to do with fish or fish eggs)
This fantastic recipe was introduced to me only last year by Charter Member of the Clever Tribe, Julie. Born and raised in the Dallas area, she has exposed this Yankee Clever Girl to all kinds of fabulous cuisine.

2 cans of black-eyed peas (no bacon), rinsed
1 can of black beans, rinsed
1/2 each red, yellow and orange pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
3 pickling cucumbers, unpeeled and diced bite-size (be sure to wash well first!)
Jalapenos, sliced
Your favorite Italian dressing- I like to make Good Seasons (red wine vinegar and oil)
1 tomato, diced (I add this at the last minute before serving so the tomatoes hold their shape and look fresh)1 bunch cilantro - rinsed, picked and chopped coarsely (I like to add this right before serving because it looks nicer)
Tortilla chips


HOW TO PREPARE TEXAS CAVIAR
In a large bowl combine the black-eyed peas, black beans, peppers, onion and cucumbers, plus as many jalepenos as desired. Add ¾ s of a bottle of your favorite Italian dressing. I am partial to making Good Seasons in the little glass cruette. When you make it healthy, use 2/3 red wine vinegar, almost a third of heart-smart oil (I like Enova) and a splash of water- plus seasoning packet.Shake, then pour over your Texas Caviar. Stir in tomato and cilantro. Chill and serve with a variety of chips- the baked Scoops from Frito-Lay are perfect.

. . .

OK, Clever Tribe- I'm now responding to the "Where TF have you been"s.  As I recall, I believe in May, I made clear I was coming into a season that would prevent me from posting daily.  I'm in the final editing stage of "Consumed."  I've been filming the trailer for the novel, creating the website for my fiction, reworking the So Very Clever platform, and shooting author interviews and podcasts (please don't ask me what these are- I'm filming them and still have NO idea). I've been doing research to position my children's book series with the right agent/publisher, researching Book Two (as yet, unnamed) and managing Clever.

Because I felt I wasn't busy enough (don't forget I'm a professional photographer)- I decided to become a contributing sports writer for Bleacher Report- the most well organized online sports magazine I've seen. Now, don't expect me to spew facts, figures, stats or numbers- why?  Because none of that matters when the two teams take the field.  Emotion is a factor, coaching is a factor, if your dad is kind of famous seems to be a factor, politics- it's just not as easy as your batting average.  Life is coming at me right now- up to 105.4 mph (football, baseball and then hockey beats baseball by .4) so I have to stay on top of things.  You will be happy to know, Bleacher Report was open to my So Very Clever method by which to immerse women into the sports realm, so ... I have decided (after consulting my wise counsel, Erin Hogan from ESPN Austin) to do a twice weekly "Top Five Clever Topics for Guy's Girls."

As is typical with So Very Clever- I am going to give you the broad strokes- this will get you by and allow you to generate intelligent and insightful conversation, but I would recommend you do a little more research if the men/man in your life is a big fan of one of the teams in an upcoming game.  I will run similar content here, but would rather you read at Bleacher Report- they are watching me.

Again- bored here- nothing to do, so I agreed to be a weekly contributor on the Bud Light Morning Rush with Erin Hogan on The Horn in Austin.  That is if they decide I am worthy after my first segment today.

Clever Girls can capitalize on an at-home game day by wearing something a little sexier- a higher heel, because you won't be beating a path to a stadium or tailgate party- a tighter jean, because you will be up and down- and maybe short sleeves.  You don't have to worry about humidity, so go ahead and whip out the flat iron.  I prefer curly- big surprise.

XXX

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Red River Shoot-out 2010

Because I am the luckiest Clever Girl on Earth- I’m currently having an ice cold Bud Light and fresh lime with my go-to sports guy- Erin Hogan of ESPN Austin. I can’t imagine anything as enthralling as the all-football-almost-all-0f-the-time talk we are going to have for days on end. He and the rest of the guys- Sean Adams, Geoff Ketchum, Chip Brown and Chad Hastings- will be at Dick’s Last Resort in Victory Park from 1-7 p.m. Friday and Dick's will be gameday broadcast headquarters Saturday. Come out and get a load of them. Again, So Very Handsome group of guys- any Clever Girl can find something to gaze upon.

However, do not show up if you have not done some research. So, this is a three-part post and I expect you to put some time into your approach to gameday- and I do mean beyond figuring out what jeans you are going to wear (incidentally, the ones that look best should be on the top of your list).

Top Five Reasons a So Very Clever Guy’s Girl Should Read Bleacher Report

  1. Because you're lazy if you don’t.
  1. Oprah is retiring and what the freaking hell else are you going to do during that 40 minutes (in fast forward through commercials) you carved out daily?
  1. They do the work for you- by researching all available media portals to provide the discerning sports talk junkie with the most up to the minute info a Guy’s Girl could ask for.
  1. You will likely not survive for one minute in a group of sports minded dudes without at least reading the top two stories delivered to your e-mail (could not be any easier for you) prior to game day. Unless of course you have Erin Hogan as your front man- as I DO.
  1. I was going to punk out with "It Rules," but Erin insisted we relax a bit and be more Clever. Because it requires so little investment of time to showcase your prowess- why would you not do it? Don’t forget, if you are stumped- say "Wow, I’d never thought of that," or "What do YOU think?" or "You are so Clever." Works every time.

What is higher than one? Like higher than the 4.0 grade point average? Your man will consider your knowledge on par with a nooner. This is the type of thing that happens when E and I share a few beers. So Very Clever commentary – for YOU.


Top Five Reasons Texas is Going to Lose the Red River Shoot-out

  1. Better more experienced quarterback generally wins. V to OU.
  1. The Longhorn’s best receivers are a freshman and a sophomore- the freshman is hurt. The rest can’t catch a cold or run junior high passing routes. Perhaps they would do well on Appalachian State or, hell, on University of Michigan the last two years.
  1. The Texas offense has mastered grab-ass- but that is not as effective as taking anyone to the turf or, hell, even blocking them.
  1. This team is on par with football turf when it comes to rating their football IQ- it seems team play is not as intuitive as it should be for one of the best recruited teams in the nation.
  1. Unless there’s been a personnel change- Greg Davis will still be calling the shots.

Now- just so Julie doesn’t quit speaking to me after almost two decades of friendship- I am going to have to challenge all of this with …


Top Five Reason Texas is Going to Win the Red River Shoot-out

  1. I look better in Burnt Orange than Crimson. Aside from that, I’m pressing E Hogan to be So Very Clever- The Sooners once vaunted D has given up an average of 28 points to the likes of Utah State, Air Force and Cincinnati (are you listening Greg Davis?)

4. The Okies O-line (offensive line) has also attended the grab-ass academy of holding and are drawing some significant penalties. Muschamp's (UT defensive coordinator) front seven (defensive line) will abuse them.

  1. Under pressure, Landry Jones (Clever Girls- this is the OU man at the helm- and by helm I mean QB) makes coffee nervous and becomes color blind. Honestly- there is no end to E Hogan’s Cleverness.
  1. The Sooners have their Greg Davis equal in Brent Venebles who has a similar approval ratings in Oklahoma as our Commander in Chief.
  1. Bob Stoops, once known as "Big Game Bob Stoops" is now "Big Flop Bob" outside Norman. Since being humiliated in the 2004 National Championship game by USC (now, regardless of whether the NCAA strips USC of that title- they still got spanked- and it wasn’t the good kind of ass-slapping) the Sooners are a .500 football team- away from the friendly confines of Norman, Joklahoma. This includes four of five straight drops to Texas.

I’m now relatively sure the amount of s*&^ I'm going to take from Julie is just about what I can stand. I'm going to put up HORNS proudly- I can take a loss as well as the next girl. Hell, I'm a UM fan and I'm from Detroit. It's the hard-knock life for us.

Side note- University of Michigan- D-Rob is clear for play (Denard Robinson) which should make for some riveting play action on Saturday in Bloomington, Ind. I CAN NOT wait. I know, right know, RichRod is counting his freaking blessings for the fact that D-Rob is going to save his head from the guillotine. I was the one in the hood, BTW- I guess I’ll have to WAIT until Jim Harbaugh dares to return to UM.

Have You Seen the Budget Line for Photography YET?

OK, Clever Tribe- it’s time to start putting our heads together and sell some books. As you know, my first novel, "Consumed," is available for presale on bn.com. It can be purchased now but will be shipped mid-December.

I want to reward those of you who are loyal readers of Clever, and/or your family members and friends. So, I am going to run a contest.

This is how it will work: If you or anyone you know is getting married in December of 2010 or in any month in 2011- this is something you want to get involved in.

The RULES-

  1. You have to become a fan of Clever Girl on Facebook. I'll cross check your name with your e-mail.
  2. You have to e-mail me at soveryclevergrl@gmail.com and tell me the bride and groom’s names, and the date and location of the wedding. After this, I will return the e-mail and give you a contest code. This number will allow me to keep track of all your entries.
  3. Refer all your friends and relatives (hell, everyone on your invite list, co-workers etc. …) to http://www.soveryclever.com-/ where they will read and comment daily between now and the 31st of October. They will begin each comment with your order code.
  4. You (bride or groom) and all of your referrals must then purchase "Consumed" athttp://www.bn.com/ and e-mail your receipt to soveryclevergrl@gmail.com- use your contest code in the subject line. When your friends, family members and co-workers order "Consumed" from http://www.bn.com-/ they have to forward the receipt tosoveryclevergrl@gmail.com with your contest code in the subject line (this will be your proof of purchase to be added to the bride's total count).
  5. So, to recap. In order to qualify for the contest you must become a fan of Clever Girl on FB (encourage all your friends and family members to do the same)- e-mail me atsoveryclevergrl@gmail.com and introduce yourself- give me all the details pertinent to your wedding (or your sister’s wedding or you mother’s wedding- whom ever you are supporting). Every day, all of your people need to log ontohttp://www.soveryclever.com/, read the blog and leave comments. All comments have to begin with your contest code so I can add it to your profile. Each person who buys "Consumed" between now and the 31st of October will give you another chance to win. All receipts from http://www.bn.com/ need to be e-mailed to soveryclevergrl@gmail.comwith your contest code in the subject line.

WHAT DO YOU WIN?

In case you didn’t know, I am a professional photographer as well. I have been shooting weddings all over the world for 13 years and simply LOVE it. You can preview my wedding website at www.lidestriphoto.com. At the end of October, I will be offering the person who has followed the rules and referred the most people to Clever Girl and whose "team" has purchased the most copies of "Consumed" wedding photography any where in the country free of charge. Now, this is a $7,000 value. It will include me photographing your wedding for seven hours (continuous time) and giving you a disc of all the images. You will own them and therefore be able to do with them as you wish. I will handle all my own travel expenses.

As an added bonus- anyone in Dallas who refers one hundred people (each referral must also buy "Consumed") will be eligible for an engagement or family sitting (all images on disc). Within one hour from Dallas proper.

So, tell all of your friends who are getting married!! I’m really excited to do this- and thank you so much for your continued support.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Happy Anniversary, So Very Clever!

Clever Tribe- I can not believe it’s been a year already! Thank you So Very Much to all my readers who have been with me since day one and all the new readers. There is so much going on on my end- I’m winding up the editing process on my first novel, "Consumed"- it’s been an a amazingly long process- beginning when I wrote it almost seven years ago. Check this out for details.

I added our first author podcast- a small question and answer portion. This first installment is me interviewing Alisa- we are answering questions from our readers via video. Should be fun. Click here to watch.

This is a defining year- I said I’d be published by 40 and I will have a book published one month before my 41st celebration. Whew. I don’t like when my predictions (especially in football) do not come to fruition.

I’m working hard on Book Two. The research is a bitch- no kidding- and I have a feeling it’s about to become a bit painful. You will understand all of that when you read it.

I want to express my gratitude to you all- this blog has been a gift to me. The most difficult thing for any writer is to write daily and you’ve keep me so inspired this year I have been able to do just that. Your comments and lines of communication have opened up the So Very Clever concept.

At the onset- the blog was simply a place to test drive the content for a book (still upcoming) called "The So Very Clever Girl’s Guide to Being a Guy’s Girl." Immediately, however, the content started evolving and you were asking my opinion on fashion and parenting and wedding planning. I have so enjoyed expanding and the creation of the content has stretched me as a writer. What more could you ask from a symbiotic relationship?

I’ve had women accuse me of marriage bashing. That is not my intent and if you feel offended by my marriage posts- you might want to examine WHY you are offended. Could be you are perpetrating some of the frauds I cite. Just a guess. I find offense usually comes from two places- the other person is on the mark or so far from it there is not reason to be offended.

I plan to explore the male realm vividly in the next six months- there is so much left to experience- I can’t wait. Love all things male- even trimmings in the bathroom sink and socks on the floor. How can you deny things so quintessentially MALE?

There is a bit of a nip in the air and that just gets me all hyped up about football. I promise, Clever Girls- the content in the sports posts will save your ass- especially on game weekends. Don’t just be a wallflower- read up and get in there. Start TALKING.

There is a new platform coming your way as soon as I catch up with social media paragon Jeremi Karnell for some tutorials. He really is the best at what he does, just a bit elusive as of late. I am promising a community where we can all get to know one another better. It’s time to get this thing monetized as well- writing is an addiction and it needs funding.

OK- over and out. Expect UT/OU talk in the next few days, I am lucky enough to be able to spend a couple days with the So Very Clever Crew from ESPN Austin. These guys know the score, so weigh in with them at Dick’s Last Resort on Friday morning!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Thank God for Those Who Dodged Bullets Today

In light of the shooting scare at University of Texas this morning, I have a few things I need to say. I dropped a child I absolutely cherish off in front of Jester (21st & Speedway) on Sunday and as I looked at the tower wistfully I said out loud- "Let’s hope that doesn’t happen again." Merely two days later, I am staring at her dorm on TV- the shooter’s dead body is in the library across the street.

At this point- some confusion exists as to whether there is another shooter than the one who has committed suicide. All students are under lock down and I’ve been able to text Jenny, who is safe in a professor’s office with other students.

When I was in high school, I wrote a paper called- “Punk, Rock and All That Jazz.” There was some speculation at the time (a lot of it by the Big H) punk music caused young people to become violent and disillusioned. My final word on the subject was this- no media can influence you to such an extent if you weren’t a bit off to begin with.

I still believe this. The problem is, mental illness either seems to be rampant these days among young people- or it’s just there are finally diagnoses available. I remember when my parents were young; you were either crazy or you weren’t. There wasn’t much in the way of differentiation. Now, you have ADD, ADHD, tons of personality disorders- some dangerous, some harmless- depression and anxiety. Where is it all coming from?

I have a theory. As parents seem to be consumed with their own lives- I see children being less and less engaged with their nuclear family. We are plugged in to electronics and unplugged from one another. We are more concerned with social media than being social. Our children are growing up without the connections with people- they are digesting massive doses of inappropriate media (movies, TV, video games, comic books, music, Hollywood) and it is EVERYWHERE.

Young people are being bombarded with negative messages, held to impossible learning standards, asked too much of academically, expected to look perfect and HAVE everything. It’s become the new death by consumption. The pressure is one for kids to have it all- be everything to everyone- in order to compete. This pressure coupled with disconnection in their environment leads to loneliness and stress.

If children turn to music, video games and Hollywood as the most substantial source of cultural literacy- their views will become slanted no doubt. However, in my estimation, there is a big leap from shooting people in video games to shooting people in real life. It would take someone not mentally sound to be influenced to such an extent.

HOWEVER- I do believe there is limitless damage that can be done to children witnessing intense violence. It desensitizes them to it making them able to tolerate more and more- we lose compassion in this. A child who might not be strong mentally to begin with is a time bomb.

Parents are So Very NOT Clever if they let their young children watch violent programs and movies- or to play excessively violent video games. Such exposure can "reset' the normalcy button for a young person. "Oh, if you’re pissed off at a classmate- just kill them- I see it on TV all of the time." Children develop the ability to recognize consequences, and if you have a child who has never been held accountable- consequences won’t factor into bad decision making.

I’ve mentioned this before- when I was in high school- a cheerleader from a neighboring town left the house to walk her dog before school. She was following her daily routine when she was shot in the chest by the 11-year-old neighbor boy who wanted to "see what it was like to shoot someone for real."

Now- do "normal" children think this way? No. But children who are a little off and are exposed to intense violence in media can be influenced and desensitized to such an extent it seems well within "normal" to kill or maim.

The joy they take when they "kill" their opponents on a video game could be escalated to a real-life playing field. I believe that Hollywood and media contributed to Columbine and maybe every single "Columbine" there after- and I believe parents are the first line of defense against these messages.

There is no doubt there are those children who are born bad, poorly wired, mentally ill and beyond help- but their problems will be identified early teachers and family friends even if the parents are not willing to see the problems for what they are. A Clever parent will listen. We have enough sociopaths out there.

I think I am going to run an "Indecent Proposal" series. My outlandish thoughts for righting some wrongs.

Enough out of me today.

Monday, September 27, 2010

This and That- But Mostly Football

I need to preface this post and all those that I write between now and October 1st with the notification that my editor, Alisa, is relaxing somewhere on a cruise ship. It seems unfair she would not only leave me but leave me with typos, grammatical errors and- gasp- punctuation issues! You will see rampant use of the "dash" while she is gone and I will take hell for it when she returns.

OK, Clever Girls, University of Michigan might not be your team, and I am sure everyone is tired of me going on and on about my Wolverines, but history is being made here and it’s important for you to read sports-related blurbs because whether or not you or anyone else likes UM- the following names are going to come up time and again this season: Rich Rodriguez and Denard Robinson- RichRod and D-Rob, respectively. A So Very Clever Guy's Girl will know all about this.

Why? Because RichRod came from West Virginia, where he did an impressive job coaching though the translation to UM has been rocky to say the least. He came in insisting he implement a spread offense and we didn’t have the right players to execute it. Finally, his ass and his job are about to be saved by a young man named Denard.

In order to execute a spread option, you need a quick, intuitive, efficient and highly mobile quarterback who can handle the shotgun (the center pitches the ball to the quarterback) and play under center (the center hands the ball off to the quarterback). In the ideal (what UM has with D-Rob at the helm) scenario, you have a solid pocket (the protection area for the quarterback made up of the offensive linemen) giving your quarterback plenty of time to find a receiver or hand off the ball.

D-Rob elevates this set up by having little concern for whether or not the pocket will collapse- if he is unable to execute the desired play he runs for daylight. He doesn’t just find holes- he creates them. Impressive, explosive- which is why I am jacked out of shape about his bruised left knee. RichRod says he is going to play this weekend, but his knee isn’t going to get a break for a couple weeks.

Why else is history being made? Well, two years ago UM had two walk-on quarterbacks and now we have THREE viable options and they all are young boys. I thought for sure they would red-shirt Tate Forcier, but D-Rob’s injury forcie’d a quick decision and Tate now owns a bit of UM football history having completed 12 of 12 passes- an efficiency record for UM. Fantastic- so glad he is being given a chance to redeem himself after the disaster last year. I will never hang the miserable record on Tate. Fact is- he was not the person to lead the charge on an offensive strategy RichRod was forcing. It is, in part, the coach’s job to admit failure- you can’t implement a play style if you don’t have the right players for the job. He should have put more effort into recruiting and found the right players. We suck in recruiting- we got lucky with Denard and perhaps a national championship will help us to regain some of our former glory we deserve as the winningest college football team in history. My gosh, we should have players banging on our doors like UT does. It’s embarrassing.

Now- about those Hogs. The only silver lining to that cloud is that Mallett messed up in the end getting picked off (throwing an interception). The Heisman race is hot already, Clever Girls- so the names Mark Ingram (Alabama), Ryan Mallett (Arkansas) and Denard are going to be coming up a lot. The Arkansas loss will keep Denard at the top of the Heisman pundit poll despite the fact he only played for seven minutes he amassed almost 200 yards- if he’d stayed in that game we’d have hung a hundred on Bowling Green (there is a reason Corvette leaps to mind and not football- but a win is a win). The bad news? 'Bama rolls on and so does Mark Ingram, and the Heisman voters have been itching for another back-to-back Heisman winner. Hell, Archie Griffin was the last one and Sam Bradford blew his chance with an injury.

Just to manage your expectations- you can count on a weekend wrap-up Monday and a gameday post Friday. It’s just through college football season- don’t panic. More good news- Soupfest is October 9th and I've actually brought someone into the fold to simply write down the recipes. They will be coming your way to carry you through football season and chilly northern winters. Yum.

I’m trying to decide how I should commemorate one year of So Very Clever. The anniversary is in two days. Hmmm. Any ideas?

I’d like to thank my new readers for their interest and a special thank you to my So Very Loyal readers.

If you are interested in the progress on "Consumed," check out my fiction site at www.lidestrigriffin.com.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Clever Way Out of Paying for Your Wedding Photos

OK, Clever Tribe- it’s time to start putting our heads together and sell some books. As you know, my first novel, "Consumed," is available for presale on bn.com. It can be purchased now but will be shipped mid-December.

I want to reward those of you who are loyal readers of Clever, and/or your family memberfs and friends. So, I am going to run a contest.

This is how it will work: If you or anyone you know is getting married in December of 2010 or in any month in 2011- this is something you want to get involved in.

The RULES-

  1. You have to become a fan of Clever Girl on Facebook. I'll cross check your name with your e-mail.
  2. You have to e-mail me at soveryclevergrl@gmail.com and tell me the bride and groom’s names, and the date and location of the wedding. After this, I will return the e-mail and give you a contest code. This number will allow me to keep track of all your entries.
  3. Refer all your friends and relatives (hell, everyone on your invite list, co-workers etc. …) to http://www.soveryclever.com-/ where they will read and comment daily between now and the 31st of October. They will begin each comment with your order code.
  4. You (bride or groom) and all of your referrals must then purchase "Consumed" athttp://www.bn.com/ and e-mail your receipt to soveryclevergrl@gmail.com- use your contest code in the subject line. When your friends, family members and co-workers order "Consumed" from http://www.bn.com-/ they have to forward the receipt tosoveryclevergrl@gmail.com with your contest code in the subject line (this will be your proof of purchase to be added to the bride's total count).
  5. So, to recap. In order to qualify for the contest you must become a fan of Clever Girl on FB (encourage all your friends and family members to do the same)- e-mail me atsoveryclevergrl@gmail.com and introduce yourself- give me all the details pertinent to your wedding (or your sister’s wedding or you mother’s wedding- whom ever you are supporting). Every day, all of your people need to log ontohttp://www.soveryclever.com/, read the blog and leave comments. All comments have to begin with your contest code so I can add it to your profile. Each person who buys "Consumed" between now and the 31st of October will give you another chance to win. All receipts from http://www.bn.com/need to be e-mailed to soveryclevergrl@gmail.comwith your contest code in the subject line.

WHAT DO YOU WIN?

In case you didn’t know, I am a professional photographer as well. I have been shooting weddings all over the world for 13 years and simply LOVE it. You can preview my wedding website at www.lidestriphoto.com. At the end of October, I will be offering the person who has followed the rules and referred the most people to Clever Girl and whose "team" has purchased the most copies of "Consumed" wedding photography any where in the country free of charge. Now, this is a $7,000 value. It will include me photographing your wedding for seven hours (continuous time) and giving you a disc of all the images. You will own them and therefore be able to do with them as you wish. I will handle all my own travel expenses.

As an added bonus- anyone in Dallas who refers one hundred people (each referral must also buy "Consumed") will be eligible for an engagement or family sitting (all images on disc). Within one hour from Dallas proper.

So, tell all of your friends who are getting married!! I’m really excited to do this- and thank you so much for your continued support.

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