Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Edge of Glory

Fitness Glory, that is. Ladies and Gents, I have joined the Mark Fisher Fitness madness (click on that link. Go to their website. Do it.) and am participating in their Holiday Hotness Extravaganza. mwahahha! A hot body will be mine by Christmas...just in time to binge eat and cocktail it up with my loving and slightly dysfunctional family :)

Your probably thinking, 'But Morgan, you hate the gym.' Well guess what guys, this is not a gym. It's a Ninja Clubhouse. And we don't train on boring machines, we do 60 minutes of the most insane kettleball, resistance, and circuit training around. And we do all of the above to solid jamzzzz from Rocky, Flashdance, or maybe a little 'Dirty Diana' from the King of Pop or B. Spears or Katy Perry. Who's to say? Regardless of the tunage, we are doing all of the above in the most nurturing, supportive, kick-a$$ environment. Seriously, I have found my fitness match.

Reasons why I decided to do this: on the website they reference 1)ninjas 2) unicorns 3) and there are photos of Mark punching a man in a Twinkie costume. Also, I too want to achieve FITNESS GLORY. And so began my Holiday Hotness Extravaganza journey. Not gonna lie, we are half-a-week in and my legs are just a touch sore (sarcasm) and tracking my food intake and trying to eat at least 100g of protein a day is proving to be a bit challenging. Luckily, I get tips and encouraging emails from Mark that end with ' VICTORY WILL BE YOURS', or Brian (another Ninja trainer, equally as bad-a$$) yells 'LET'S NAIL THE SHIT OUT OF IT' and references the Cold War just when you think you don't have another rep in you. You guys, I wish you could all do this. I've never had this much fun while workin' out my bod. It's semi-painful fun, but fun nonetheless.

So yeah, that's really it. Just thought I would share. And on that note, I leave you with a few images to wet your fitness palette.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

[insert witty Thanksgiving-themed title here]

It's shaping up to be a pretty great Thanksgiving. We're not having Turkey and I'm dressing up as an Indian.

In all seriousness though, we really are not having turkey and I really am going to be wearing a rather chic aztec-inspired cape.

TopShop (have I mentioned that my love of that store is borderline-unhealthy? and also draining my bank account?)

This is why I love taking over the holidays: making your own traditions, playing by your own rule book, and (this is big for me) no rushing off after the meal to zone-out to ESPN. Ugh, I can't stand that. This year, Dave and I are going rogue and saying farewell to our fine, feathered friend. You see, we are in agreement that it's not our favorite protein and since it's just us (and a few wonderful pals, one of which is a vegetarian) we thought, What the heck?! If we're not nuts about turkey then why spend the days brining, basting, and roasting a bird we feel rather indifferent towards? (except on sandwiches. I do thoroughly enjoy a good turkey sandwich)

So here's the new game plan: I am rubbing a pork loin roast with rosemary, garlic, s&p, coarse grain mustard, dijon mustard, honey, and wrapping that sucker in the most beautiful thick cut bacon I have ever seen!! This apartment is going to smell DIVINE. My level of enthusiasm over this hunk of meat is OFF THE CHARTS, my friends. As for the rest of menu, we're doing twists on the familiar favorites. I'm trying a new stuffing recipe chocked-full of chanterelle, oyster, and hen of the woods mushrooms with lots of lemon and toasted pine nuts. We're revamping the classic green bean casserole, mashed potatoes (with brown butter, hello?), a roasted root veg salad that I am salivating over. Ya know, just giving Thanksgiving a little face-lift. I'll let you know how it goes.

In other news, I wish you all the happiest of Thanksgivings! I'm certainly thankful to have each one of you in my life. If you find yourself without any plans or get a little stir-crazy, then come on over! We'll be sipping fall cocktails and playing 'The Thankful Game', courtesy of Miss Julia Bray.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Meatball Shop

Meet my new friend, The Meatball Shop.

Last Sunday I reunited with The Marvelous Wonderettes for a little concert in midtown (that's the show for which I received my BroadwayWorld Nomination). We had a lovely time and I found myself finishing-up around the same time that Dave was closing-up the restaurant. We took advantage of this opportunity and decided that we could both benefit from yet another meal. So where did we go at midnight on a Sunday evening, or rather an early Monday morning? THE MEATBALL SHOP. With 3 locations, one in the West Village, one in the LES, and one in our lovely little neighborhood, these fellas are bringing meatballs to the masses. And boy-howdy are they doing it well.

We were welcomed to the joint by white subway tile, salvaged wood, an awesome bar, and the familiar tune of Outkast's 'Bombs Over Baghdad'. Ya know, I felt right at home. Our super cool server explained the hands-on ordering system: the menus are all dry-erase, complete with check boxes next to every item and plenty of markers. The menu itself boasts everything from 'Naked Balls' (4 meatballs of your choosing and your choice of sauce with a side of Focaccia bread), Meatball Sliders (again you choose your ball and your sauce), The Smash ( a ball or two on brioche with sauce and either mozz or provolone cheese. toasted. melty deliciousness. I just can't), Heroes, and the list goes on folks. They also have a huge list of daily specials, their sides are just divine (um, collard greens with garlic confit anyone?), and did I mention that there are about 10 different choices of meatballs and sauce??

I checked the spicy pork meatballs with spicy tomato sauce.

Dave opted for a variety of sliders.

Dave and I settled in, ordered our cocktails. For Dave, a sensible beer. For myself, a green tea and black tea concoction with bourbon-steeped pears and peaches. And then, because we couldn't resist, we each had one of their signature jello shots. This weeks treat: A Manhattan. It was a little heavy on the gelatin, but, overall, a fun treat from the bar.

I'll take my antioxidants with a shot of booze...

The infamous Manhattan Jello Shot

We had a great time and rolled out of there around 1:30 a.m. full of spicy meat balls and mushroom risotto. Considering they serve until 4 a.m. most nights, we will definitely be back. Like I mentioned, Dave and I share a need to eat a full, well-balanced (ahem) meal between the hours of 11:30-1:30.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Bernard the Elf and Musical Fruits

Before I begin, let me just say that, yes, I am aware that I am the most inconsistent blogger of them all. In all fairness, life has been beyond full lately (for which I am most grateful). However, shows, travel, and random daily adventures have left little time for online re-caps. And, more often than not, I think 'Why would anyone care to read my opinion on {insert HOT TOPIC here}. This morning I find myself with a free hour before I meet with my new personal trainer (more on this later) and boat-loads to share. These are only 2 of the more recent highlights. Indulge me, if you will.

My mother called the other day to inform me that Hayden (my adorable nugget of a nephew) had received a package from the North Pole. Apparently, he was beside himself. My sister asked, "Have you spoken with Santa recently or made any requests?" Hayden's response: "Not that I can remember, but I MUST have." He proceeds to open the package where he finds an elf and instructions from Santa that read as follows: 'Dear Hayden, Please provide my elf with a loving home this holiday season while he helps me keep an eye on you! Feel free to name him. Or her.' Without any hesitation, Hayden declares that he shall be 'Bernard'.

Allow me to pause for a moment and just say that my sister is the best mom ever. Not only did she send my nephew a package from the North Pole but she's having waaaaaaaay too much fun putting Bernard in various situations every morning--something Hayden finds HILARIOUS. His early morning schedule is as follows: 1) wake up 2) ask for juice 3) find Bernard 4) laugh hysterically and telephone close relatives about it.

3 days ago, Bernard was found having hijacked Hayden's plane and crashed into a light fixture

2 days ago, Bernard was found having gathered all of Hayden's 'friends' (stuffed animals. He sleeps with all 37 of them) and reading 'The Night Before Christmas'.

1 day ago (and this is my personal favorite) Bernard the Elf took all of Hayden's underwear and hung them on the tree, leaving a trail of Batman and Spiderman dungarees down the hall.

I now look forward to the phone calls/photos from my sister depicting Bernard's latest escapades and hearing my nephew cackling in the background over that crazy elf.

And on a completely different note, my pal Julia and I were riding the train one morning when we noticed a slightly insane gentlemen talking to himself and verbally assaulting random subway passengers. We did the usual: avoid eye contact, try not to laugh, and continue with our own conversation. This worked beautifully for about 5 minutes. Then he decided to proposition us.
He graciously invites us for a 'romp' in the snow, gives us his name, phone number, and email address( and then seals the deal with this statement: "I wouldn't extend that invitation to just ANYONE with a bun on top of their head."

Please keep in mind that Dan is no spring chicken, roughly late 50's and about 150 lbs. overweight with what appears to be an abscess on his left leg, which explains the use of the walking cane. He informs us that he is an artist. He gives us the address of the hotel who's lobby he likes to frequent. And then says, "You've probably heard of my work...Musical Fruits." To which we respond, "Pardon?"

"Yeah, ya know, Musical Fruits. I got Kiwi on bongos, Apple on clarinet, Banana back there bein' an asshole."

"Ah, ok, Musical Fruits. Interesting concept. We'll have to look that up."

We said our goodbyes, and while I didn't forget about (who could?) it slipped my mind to investigate the musical fruit. Until now. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Dan Stuart masterpiece: MUSICAL FRUIT.

I believe I can speak for Julia and myself when I say, 'Thank you, mass transit, for this incredible gift.'