Author Archives: Mia V

Featured Pet: Spartacus #6597

Pet-of-the-Week-TV-Spartacus-6597-1Spartacus (#6597) is a four-year-old male Bernese Mountain Dog/Shepherd mix. He was picked up and brought in to SCRAPS and is now looking for a new forever home. He is young and full of energy and, while he wants to be a good boy, doesn’t always pay attention to what is being asked of him when he gets too excited. He would definitely benefit from some obedience classes and luckily SCRAPS offers them twice a month for FREE. He would be great with a family of adults and old kids, as his size and exuberance might be overwhelming for smaller children. The adoption fee for Spartacus is $87.04 and includes neutering, micro-chipping, and licensing, among other things. If you are interested in adopting him, please come to SCRAPS and ask for him by ID number 6597!

Featured Pet: Snookie #5821

Pet of the WeekSnookie (#5821) is a spayed two-year-old tortoiseshell tabby cat. She’s sweet and playful and loves to eat, which is evident by the extra pounds she is currently carrying around. She was brought in to SCRAPS along with 13 other cats after her previous owner passed away. While she was in a large pet family before she was taken care of very well and is now looking for a new home where she can find love – and hopefully a diet! She has no current health issues but will need to lose some weight so that she can stay healthy. She would be fine with a family of any size, with or without kids, and does well in a multiple cat household. The adoption fee for Snookie is $40 and includes micro-chipping and licensing, among other things. If you are interested in adopting her, please head out to SCRAPS new location at 6815 E Trent, Spokane Valley, and ask for Snookie by ID number 5281!

Featured Pet: Bella #6360

bellaadoptedBella (#6360) is a beautiful four-year-old Border Collie. She has a lot of energy and loves to play, run, chase frisbees, and cuddle. She isn’t a puppy any longer but even adult Border Collies need time and attention or their behavior can become destructive. While she knows basic commands such as “sit”, she could use a little more obedience training. Luckily SCRAPS offers FREE dog training classes twice a month! Bella was surrendered by her last family because they didn’t have the time to give her all of the attention and training she needed. She would do great with a new family that is active and has a lot of time to spend with her. The adoption fee for Bella is $87.04 and includes spaying, micro-chipping, and licensing, among other things. If you are interested in adopting her, please come to SCRAPS and ask for her by ID number 6360!

Adventures in Spokane, part Thirty-Four: Where I Watch Some Movies, Eat Some Food, and Get Splattered with Blood

AdventuresInSpokaneThere’s a song that comes to mind these days that I know from Blazing Saddles. I’m not going to sing it to you because A) this is a blog and B) it’s highly inappropriate BUT the gist of it is about being tired and it seems rather fitting this morning.

I’m tired, folks.

I may have over-scheduled my August just a leeeeeeetle bit.

In the last two weeks I’ve seen movies, gone to musicals, been splattered in (fake) blood, dressed in costume, eaten noodles, planned events, gotten tattooed, and pondered buying ALL the fish (an inside joke mentioned here specifically for the benefit of my awesome tiny/tall gal pal). I’ve also taunted sharknados, scolded snakes for biting teachers, worked out my poor tired body, and laughed so hard at puppets I almost started to cry.

I’ve been BUSY, folks. And now I’m kinda worn out.

But it has all been worth it because I’ve been having a blast.

And just WHAT, may you ask, has been keeping me so dang busy the last couple of weeks? Well let me go ahead and tell you!

I saw both Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and The Goonies for $1 at the Garland Theater. It has been awhile since I’ve seen Fear and Loathing and I’d forgotten how surreal and brilliant a film it is. Hunter S. Thompson was a mad genius and Terry Gilliam is still a mad genius and with their powers combined they could certainly make one mad, genius film.

The Goonies didn’t manage to hold up quiet as well as I had hoped. I’ve seen it in the last couple of years but it’s different on the small screen. The composite shots aren’t quite as obvious when the picture is shrunk down nice and small. And the end is really REALLY hokey. BUT. I still pretty much love this movie. I’d watch it again on the big screen, though I don’t know if I’d pay more than a buck for it.

puppetnudityI got in viewings of two different musicals recently. Since I go most years without seeing ANY musicals, this is actually quite a feat for me. First I headed out to CdA to see the Lakecity Playhouse version of Avenue Q. This was the second time in life I’ve gotten a warning about puppet nudity, which still makes me giggle. The whole show made me giggle, really. And laugh. There was lots of laughing. I don’t have a lot of experience with local theater or live musicals, but I have to say that I thought Avenue Q was amazingly well done. The actors/singers were fabulous, the puppets looked great, the set was clever, and the music was catchy. I was really REALLY impressed and will be taking in another show at Lakecity sometime this season.

Evil Dead the Musical wasn’t nearly as polished and put together. The songs were kind of goofy, the audio was a little off, and sometimes the actors looked a little confused on what to do next. HOWEVER, it was still based on one of my fave movie trilogies of all time, several of the songs and dances were pretty hilarious, the punning Deadite was great, and I got totally sprayed down with fake blood during the second half. The blood splatter alone pretty much made it worth it to go.

avenueq2You can’t go out adventuring around town without hooking yourself up with some tasty eats (at least I can’t at any rate). I had a great dinner at Sushi Maru full of popcorn shrimp and crispy gyoza and excellent seared salmon (which I kind of had to fight for because people at a table right ahead of me on the conveyor belt kept trying to grab it all – not cool guys, not cool at all). Linnie’s Thai served up delicious noodles with beef and broccoli, as well as a tasty little cocktail full of tequila and other wonderful things (and called a Sassy Senorita).

During a Girl’s Night at Sapphire Lounge I wolfed down an amazing flatbread pizza topped with cheese, meat, roasted red peppers, and balsamic vinegar. My goodness it was good. I also had myself several cocktails, including one of the tastiest and most unique Amaretto Sours I’ve ever had. That was my first visit to Sapphire and I enjoyed the atmosphere as well as the food and drinks. I also had my first experience at Nudo Ramen House and promise it will not be my last. Though almost painfully hip in its decorating scheme, the food was excellent. The gyoza were steamed just like I make them at home (and yes, I make amazing gyoza at home) and my giant bowl of Miso ramen was wonderful.

I love ramen, though I’ll never be able to look at the cheap instant stuff the same way again. Sigh. Oh well.

evildeadNot every outing was just fun and games recently. I had a very important meeting with my fellow local Modified Dolls to discuss plans for upcoming charity events in the area. Of course we had our meeting at Aloha Island Grill and ate tasty food while discussing things, but that didn’t make it any less of a serious matter, though the giggling over silly personal matters might have. Whatever. We do what we want at meetings! And we came up with some awesome plans and ideas for the coming months so watch out for info about events coming up.

That wasn’t actually all I did over the last two weeks BUT this post is getting ridiculously long so I’m gonna start wrapping it up. You can hear about my experience at KuroNekoCon on our Mia Con page. There’s even pictures so give it a look! Expect some more updates on the page after this coming weekend, as the Fox28 digital media team will be heading out to SpoCon for lots of scifi/fantasy goodness. I’ll be back here in a week or so to talk about singing Mormons, riffing on Godzilla, and playing with baby reptiles. To pass the time until I return, why don’t you head out for some adventures of your own? If you’re lucky you might see me bouncing around town while you’re out there (and if you can find me I’ll give you a prize)!

- Mia V.

This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
Lakecity Playhouse
Evil Dead the Musical
Riverside Event Center
The Garland Theater
Sushi Maru
Linnie’s Thai
Nudo Ramen House
Sapphire Lounge
Aloha Island Grill
WA Modified Dolls

Featured Pet: Violet #6175

violetadoptedViolet (#6175) is a ten-year-old spayed female long-haired Siamese mix. She’s a beautiful older lady who loves to cuddle and nap in the sunshine. She and her brother Elroy were surrendered to SCRAPS when their previous pet parent moved out of state and decided not to take them along. Many people think it’s too much trouble to move with a pet, but at SCRAPS they’ve got some helpful tips to make the process easy to handle.

Violet has no current health issues but is a senior pet and will need some special attention paid to her diet and exercise. She would also do best in a family with older kids or just adults, as she has grown to like peace and quiet in her golden years. The adoption fee for Violet is $40 and includes micro-chipping and licensing, among other things. If you are interested in adopting her (or her brother Elroy), please head out to SCRAPS new location at 6815 E Trent, Spokane Valley, and ask for Violet by ID number 6175!

Mia’s Con Blog, KuroNekoCon

In case you missed it (and I don’t know how you could have when we mentioned it daily for a few months) last weekend was KuroNekoCon, Spokane’s very own anime convention. For two days anime, gaming, fantasy, comic book, and sci fi fans converged on the Spokane Convention Center to hang out, buy stuff, wear costumes, attend panels, and dance the night away. It was a swell time with swell people and I was there, because of course – Mia and conventions go together like honey mustard and just about everything (trust me on this one).

This was my very first year at KuroNekoCon and I was excited to see what a smaller anime convention had to offer. Sakuracon was already pulling in 20,000+ people by the time I attended at first so I never knew what it was like in its smaller days. There is certainly a lot to be said for a convention with hundreds of attendees versus thousands of attendees (I’m not really sure on the numbers for that, it just seemed like hundreds of people to me). I could walk through halls without squishing past a bunch of other people. There were no lines to go up and down stairs, there was breathing room in panels, and fighting to look at items in the vendors’ hall wasn’t necessary.

It was nice. Small but nice. Intimate in a way that a larger con can’t quite manage anymore. Fox 28 was the official TV sponsor of the convention and we got our own booth in the vendors’ hall where we gave away posters, raffled off goodies, and showed episodes of The Simpsons for fans and passersby. It was fun to chat with people about our programming, which shows were their favorites, which shows they missed from our line-up (oh Almost Human, we still all miss you SO MUCH), and which shows they were excited to see coming up this Fall. Posters for Bones, House, How I Met Your Mother, and Animation Domination were snatched up like they were going out of style. And dozens of people showed up for the raffle drawing Sunday evening. It was pretty cool.

I attended a voice actor panel on Sunday with actress Natalie Hoover presiding. She was pretty dang adorable. She came bouncing in the door and immediately wanted to show us all the charms she’d bought in the vendors’ hall. Then she launched into an interesting hour of talk about her own experience in the voice acting business, her tips and recommendations for breaking into the business ourselves (if we were so inclined), and why she loves being a voice actor. I don’t have any interest in doing voice overs myself (and my vocal range is nothing to write home about) but it was cool to listen to an insider’s view of the industry and what it’s like to be a part of it.

There were some other panels I saw on the schedule that might have been cool to check out, but I really spent most of my time down in the vendors’ hall at the Fox 28 booth or wandering around looking at awesome stuff I forced myself not to buy (though I did scoop up some Mario Kart inspired keychains for myself and the tiny/tall roommate because they were super cute AND I like to support independent artists). I also hung out a bit at the Blackwolf Gaming Center booth with the owner of that fine establishment. She’s a greatly entertaining lady who shares my love of exotic pets, tattoos, and pondering the appropriateness of spandex body suits. If you’re into gaming you should probably check out her business in Spokane Valley. Just saying.

All in all I had a pretty good time at KuroNekoCon. I chatted with con staff about their thoughts on the convention, how it was going, where they saw it headed in the next few years, and why they volunteered to be a part of it. I chatted with Fox 28 viewers about programming, with gamers about being immersed in anime culture, with parents who were there with their kids and had no idea what was going on, and with kids who were excited to be surrounded by fellow fans. It may not have been quite the whirlwind weekend I’ve experienced at bigger, longer conventions, but that didn’t detract from my enjoyment of it even a little bit.

And it was fun to be dressed up in a popular cosplay costume. I attended as Louise from Bob’s Burgers (seemed fitting with the whole Fox connection) and had people stopping to talk to me, snap my picture, and tell me how much they enjoyed the show. A cosplay win like that totally makes it all worth it.

 

Featured Pet: Presley #5777

presleyadoptedPresley (#5777) is a two-year-old male hound dog. He was picked up and brought in to SCRAPS and is now looking for a new family who can keep up with his boundless energy! He is smart and eager to please but needs some obedience training to stay well behaved (and you’re in luck because SCRAPS offers FREE training classes!). Presley would do best with a family of active adults with no children or older children, as his size and energy could be overwhelming for small kids. The adoption fee for Presley is $87.04 and includes neutering, micro-chipping, and licensing, among other things. If you are interested in adopting him, please come to SCRAPS and ask for him by ID number 5777!

Adventures in Spokane, Part Thirty-Three: Where I Fall Down a Hobbit Hole, Enter the Promised Land, and Am Definitely Not Always in Spokane

AdventuresInSpokaneI don’t know about you, ladies and gents, but I’ve been having a busy busy summer. I just realized it will be August at the end of the week. Where the heck did July go? I woke up one morning and it was gone.

Anyhoo, so what have I been up to the last four weeks (four weeks, seriously, it’s been that long since I posted an installment of Adventures in Spokane? Shame shame shame on me for neglecting all my wonderful readers)?

Well…

I went to Vancouver (WA not Canada though that would’ve been cool too) to see my wonderful (and very tall) cousin marry his wonderful (and very tall) soulmate. It was a fun ceremony and a great reception with a Spanish theme and I had a delightful time even though I was almost the shortest person there (my niece is two so her being shorter than me doesn’t really count).

Seriously folks, I felt like a hobbit that had wandered into Rivendell by mistake. I have never seen so many tall, beautiful people in one place in my entire life. If the gorgeous tall lawyer with the Australian accent sitting across from me during the reception hadn’t been so nice, I might have knocked over his chair or something, just to remind him there are people down in the lower stratosphere.

corvallisAfter the wedding I went with my family over to Corvallis to visit my aunt and uncle who’ve been living there since forever (or at least the last 30 years or so). We stopped in Portland on the way and I finally – FINALLY PEOPLE – got to spend some time in Powell’s books.

I’ve been dreaming of Powell’s for years and yet every time I’ve been in the area something has kept me from going there. But not this time. NOT THIS TIME.

The family gave me 35 minutes in the store. It wasn’t nearly enough time but I didn’t waste it on wallowing. I bought two books and also inquired whether it would be possible to bring a tent and just live in the poetry room. They laughed like my question was funny but I was very serious. I’ll let everyone know how the move goes.

After Powell’s we walked around downtown a bit and ended up at Noodles and Company for lunch. Brilliant restaurant idea behind Noodles and Company, by the way. We thought it would be all Asian-style cuisine but it turned out to have a menu that included multiple kinds of noodle dishes. I had myself some Pad Thai, my dad had stroganoff, my niece sampled some chicken noodle soup, and my sister had whole wheat linguini. It was a fun, random way to spend lunch.

Corvallis was nice. I wasn’t there very long and spent most of the time at my aunt’s house, eating delicious food and playing in the garden. I may have also spent some time fondling my uncle’s collection of vintage hardback books and first editions. The hundred year old Mark Twains smelled particularly wonderful.

dinosaursBack in Spokane (because I always end up back here eventually) I took my six-year-old nephew on a playdate to Discover the Dinosaurs. Billed as having “40 life size dinos in their natural environment” I was a little disappointed that they had around half that actually out on display. Some of the animatronic elements didn’t work and not everything was marked with proper signage. But while I was a bit underwhelmed, my nephew had himself a grand ol’ time. At one point he even told me it was his “greatest dinosaur day EVER!”

When Rifftrax Live: Sharknado came along I was much more … whelmed? Over-whelmed? Whatever. It was awesome. That’s the important thing. Fans of the ‘so bad it’s fabulous’ SyFy movie, my tiny/tall roommate and I giggled and laughed our way through the film on the big screen, with the wonderfully snarky and hilarious addition of commentary by the Rifftrax guys (the MST3K guys in case you didn’t know). I am not too proud or ashamed to admit I’m excited for the premiere of Sharknado 2: The Second One on July 30th AND the next Rifftrax Live event – Godzilla!

swimmingWhile that seemed like plenty to keep my occupied during July that’s not all I did! I managed to squeeze in some meals at Waddell’s and Sushi Maru, as well as some movie time at the AMC Riverpark Square for 22 Jump Street (way better than expected, by the way. I really enjoyed it). I had an editorial lunch with a fabulous new young adult author, helped celebrate my cousin’s son’s first birthday with cowboy style, babysat two adorable young men who used me like a jungle gym, and attended an annual meet-up of my cousins that included much swimming, eating, s’more making, snarking, and playing of Cards Against Humanity. I’m not sure anything bonds a family quite like playing CAH together. Whether that is a good or bad thing I’ll let someone else decide.

And THAT, folks, is gonna wrap up this installment of Adventures in Spokane. I’m sure there was some other stuff that went on this month but I’m tired from typing and I’m sure you are all tired from reading. I’ll be back soon (ish?) to talk about bat country, singing puppets, and anime inundation. To pass the time until I return, why don’t you head out for some adventures of your own? If you’re lucky you might see me bouncing around town while you’re out there (and if you can find me I’ll give you a prize)!

- Mia V.

This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
Powell’s City of Books
Noodles & Co
Rifftrax Live
Waddell’s
Sushi Maru
AMC Riverpark Square
Cards Against Humanity

Heat Returns Along with Danger to Pets

scraps logoThis weekend the Spokane area enjoyed some relief from the soaring temperatures, but the forecast for the next few days shows escalating heat and that can be dangerous for pets left in a vehicle while the owner runs an errand.

The last day over 90 degrees in Spokane translated into 15 calls of dogs confined in hot cars for SCRAPS Animal Protection Officers. Two of those owners face charges and fines for leaving their dogs in vehicles that were both above 110 degrees.

“Despite repeated warnings, people are still taking their pet with them for a trip to the store,” said Nancy Hill, Regional Director of SCRAPS. “Those few seconds inside a car in the heat could be fatal for your pet – even if you open the window an inch or two.”

SCRAPS is asking the public to leave their pets at home during these extreme temperatures.

The signs of heat stoke include:
1. Heat stroke begins with heavy panting and difficulty breathing.
2. The tongue and mucous membranes appear bright red.
3. The saliva is thick and tenacious, and the dog often vomits.
4. The rectal temperature rises to 104° to 110°F (40° to 43.3°C).
5. The dog becomes progressively unsteady and passes bloody diarrhea.
6. As shock sets in, the lips and mucous membranes turn gray.
7. Collapse, seizures, coma, and death rapidly ensue

 

(SOURCE – SCRAPS press release, July 2014)

Pinterest:Impossible – Gyoza and Teriyaki Chicken

pinterestimpossiblelogonobackgroundThere’s just something about having family in town that makes me want to cook. Call me crazy (you wouldn’t be the first) but feeding a large group (at least half a dozen adults and two kids going through a picky phase) of people whose opinions actually matter to me seems like an excellent challenge. AND an excellent opportunity to try out some more recipes from Pinterest!

Last week for Family Dinner I made gyoza, Teriyaki chicken, and chicken fried rice. I pulled gyoza (or potstickers if that name works better for you) and Teriyaki chicken recipes from Pinterest and used my own tried and true fried rice recipe. I’ve spent YEARS perfecting that one and am quite proud of it.

And to be completely honest here, I’ve made gyoza before so they weren’t a huge challenge for me. The recipe I found was not exactly the same as the one I’ve used in the past, however, and two times out of every five that I make gyoza I burn them a bit, so there is still some work involved for me in making them.

chinesefood

Before you ask, yes, of course, I made substitutions and changes to the recipes. I can’t seem to help it. I like stuff the way I like it and that is that. The gyoza called for cabbage to be included in the filling along with the pork, but I’ve never thought it was necessary. The pork is so flavorful by itself (well with all the spices and seasonings mixed in) that cabbage seems superfluous to me. PLUS it always seems that if I buy cabbage I don’t use enough in the gyoza and there is tons left over and I don’t know what to do with it. I’m cool with cabbage but I don’t love it and I don’t want to be eating it for weeks just because it comes in giant quantities.

I also took out the shiitake mushrooms and I’m not sorry. I don’t like mushrooms and I don’t want them in my gyoza. So there.

Gyoza are wonderful and delicious and addictive, but they also take awhile to make as you have to individually fill the little wrappers and then fold them properly so they don’t fall open while cooking. THEN you have to fry them a bit til the bottoms are a light brown and then steam them a bit so the sides are nice and chewy. It is an involved process that takes more than a few minutes and so I needed the dishes that I was making along with the gyoza to be a bit simpler. That’s why I was very happy to find a Teriyaki chicken recipe that was made in the slow cooker. I set up the chicken and sauce before I left for work and by the time I got home it smelled amazing and tasted even better. The only change I made to that recipe was cutting up the chicken before adding to the slow cooker. I thought it would be easier to deal with once it was cooked if it was cut into small chunks.

The fried rice turned out to be the most complicated (and messy) dish I made, and that was mainly because I was making it in my dad’s kitchen without the use of my giant rice cooker and electric wok. Juggling different mix-ins between frying pans and big pots was not the easiest thing to do but I managed as well as I could. And the rice turned out pretty tasty, if I do say so myself (and I do!).

Between the gyoza, Teriyaki chicken, and fried rice, I’d have to say everything turned out well. My family ate lots of food and my picky five-year-old nephew even ate two gyoza, so I’m counting this Pinterest:Impossible a success!

- Mia V.

 

*Be sure to check out all the great recipes we have on our Fox 28 Foodies Unite! and Pinterest:Impossible boards!

**Interested in my fried rice recipe? Just let me know in the comments and I’ll be happy to share!

SOURCE – gyoza
SOURCE – crock pot teriyaki chicken