Monday: Hot dogs.

We’d planned to have a cook out with some friends, but they woke up sick this morning. Also: It’s raining. But the umbrella and I went out there and grilled some hot dogs anyway.

Tuesday: Chicken strips and mashed potatoes.

My mom made this for us when she was visiting a few weeks ago, and Poppy asked if we could have it again.

Wednesday: Pork meatball banh mi.

I’ve had these on my to-make list for awhile. I’m hoping they live up to my expectations.

Thursday: Edamame noodle bowls.

Friday: Pizza

No. 11 was ‘Yes Dear’

All of my regular TV shows have ended for the season, and we’re facing down the summertime TV wasteland. If you don’t have an interest in bachelorettes or big brothers, you’re out of luck. So I was trying to decide what this year’s Netflix summer series would be — two years ago it was “Battlestar Galactica,” and last year it was “Deadwood” — and it got me thinking about my favorite shows of years past. Here, in no particular order, are my 10 Favorite TV Shows:
Rockford's TV shows

The Rockford Files.”

It’s got a great central character who typifies the detached observer anti-hero. He kind of wanders through LA in the ’70s — he’s a good guy with some bad habits, but all in all he genuinely wants to help people despite their past transgressions. He’s smart, he’s funny, and the shows were well-written. Rockford also had great jackets. And one of the best theme songs that any TV show has ever had.

Friday Night Lights.”

A thinly veiled sports show that’s really about human interaction and relationships and the difficulties between coach and student, husband and wife, mothers and sons, fathers and daughters. It doesn’t pull any punches. What the show does so well is peel back the layers and get to how little the game means and how much the people do. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose. I think Coach Taylor believes that, whether they win games or not. And that’s what makes him a real coach.

The X-Files.”

The sci-fi show that took science fiction from the realms of uber-nerdiness and gave it a more mainstream face without sacrificing good writing and good storytelling. The truth is out there.


There’s no show that I run lines from more frequently than “Seinfeld.”

Doctor Who.”

I have watched “Doctor Who” since I was 7 years old. Tom Baker was the Doctor I grew up with (on Saturdays at 2 o’clock). It’s the show that made me feel it was OK to be a little bit geeky.

Freaks and Geeks.”

The best show about not fitting in in high school that ever was made.


The highest of drama set in the frontier west. It was literally Shakespearean in its dialogue and tragedy.


The most frustrating show that I have ever put up with watching. We’ll call it equal parts frustration and, at times, perfection.

Battlestar Galactica.”

This took sci-fi and changed it again. It was a show about relationships and sacrifice and identity. What good sci-fi should be is allegorical, and that’s what it was. If it’s just about monsters and ‘splosions, it’s bunk.

The Outer Limits.”

I remember watching the reruns when I was a kid, and it was very impactful. The stories were very jarring and slightly off-kilter. The images were just very powerful, especially for the time they were produced. And it had some very memorable episodes.

A nice thing that happened this weekend

Last summer, one of the Fancy Hotels in our town was doing a little social marketing by offering a free brunch through Twitter. I took them up on the offer, and a few weeks later they mailed me a certificate good for one free, fancy brunch. It wasn’t an entirely fancy-free brunch, though, because it was only good for one person. I did mention that this was for a Fancy Hotel, didn’t I? Their brunch is fancy to the tune of nearly $40 a person. (Little kids do, however, eat free. So there was that.)

Quite awhile after the certificate arrived, I told my neighbor about it. Not in a braggy sort of way, though. He works at Fancy Hotel’s Brunching Restaurant, and he found it pretty amusing that I had one of their Twitter promo things. Anyway, he said something along the lines of, “Let me know when you make your reservation, and I’ll get Rockford’s brunch for you half-price.”

So here we were, with the opportunity to have a Fancy Hotel Brunch for four for $20. And still! We waited until the very last possible day to use it.

I had intended to make a reservation sometime last week, but I forgot all about it until Sunday morning. Which was, of course, that very last day we could use it. Rockford called in the morning and secured our seats, and we headed over there around lunchtime.

This is getting too long for a post about brunch, so:

  • Poppy was “vacationing” with Rockford’s parents, so she missed out. (Although she wouldn’t have eaten anything other than crackers and cheese anyway, so I didn’t feel too bad about that.)
  • There was a grand piano and a pianist, who let Pete “help” her play “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”
  • The people at the table next to us were exchanging pointers for traveling in foreign lands, and they sounded like bit characters in “The Sheltering Sky.”
  • An astonishing amount of food. Including chilled shrimp and crab legs. And cheesecake. And bacon. And eclairs.
  • At the end of our Festival of Food, our server told Rockford that our neighbor had “taken care of” the rest of the check. (Our neighbor is awesome, and I am going to make some cookies for him. Maybe a pie, too.)

    And that was a nice thing that happened this weekend.