I’ve been desperately searching for new music to really no avail. I’ve sifted through piles and piles of bands and albums, but nothing has really satiated my need for new jams. So in June, I ended up listening to albums that I was addicted to way back in the day. I don’t remember how I ended up settling on Rooney’s self-titled 2003 release again, but I spent the entire month addicted to it. I even tried to find a song to learn on bass, but my bass technique is crap and their songwriting is a little more complex than I realized, so plans to jam on “Blueside” are temporarily on hold. This album was a favorite of mine during college and reminds me of happy, carefree, sunny days. In the past month, I’ve inevitably turned it on when I’m feeling stressed out, or am in need in a pick me up, or to keep my ears entertained during my fifteen minute walks to class. I came to the realization that it’s one of my favorite albums that I only know the words to if I’m singing along with the songs. I’d never be able to recite the words off the top of my head. Funny how that works. I’ve never been in the habit of learning the words to my favorite albums (with the exception of a few that I really love, or that I learned how to play on an instrument) – I’m much more the type to listen to the different sounds in a track and to memorize guitar riffs or drum fills. The last time I saw Rooney was maybe four years ago when they played Exit/In. I had the time of my life along with the rest of the crowd, who were all dancing and singing along. Talk about a feel good band who are also quite adept at playing/performing their songs. I wish I could see them again, but they’re on one of those hiatuses where everyone wonders why they don’t just admit they broke up. Sigh! I’ve been searching for bands with similar vibes to theirs (the first one that comes to mind is Phantom Planet, of course – same era and a roughly overlapping circle of Californian musicians) but I haven’t found anyone who quite fits the bill. Rooney has a 1970’s rock inspired vibe with a pop/rock twist that is surprisingly anything but generic. Former classic rock and Beatles obsessed (and currently yacht/dad rock addicted) me loves the heck out of this totally niche area of music. Now to figure out where to get more?? Maybe my subconscious is planting the seeds of California into my consciousness to help me come to terms with my impending rerooting on the West Coast. (I won’t go down quietly, I’ll have you know.) press3 As far as the food I was shoveling into my mouth – June was my last month of lectures, which all occurred in a building that was just a few blocks away from Chipotle and their evil $7 burrito bowls. Seeing as how I could buy all the ingredients needed for this bowl for $10 and eat for an entire week, I set out on a quest to recreate it myself (and to relieve the strain on my dwindling grad student finances.) My gym buddy Nancy passed along the idea of broiling chicken to achieve a flavor/texture similar to grilled chicken. I’ve been doing the following:

  • Slice raw, boneless chicken breasts in half.
  • Marinate in something delicious for a few hours (leftover Italian dressing works well, so does any Mrs. Dash flavor + a teaspoon of olive oil)
  • Broil (high vs. low setting) with cookie sheet 6 inches or less from top oven coils, and foil underneath the cookie sheet to catch the drippings. (If the chicken sits in its own juices, the pseudo-grilled effect won’t happen.)
  • When cooled, dice and toss in a tupperware. Use all week!

The rest of the Faux-potle bowl is pretty simple – brown rice (minus cilantro, YUCK), shredded lettuce, salsa, cheese. I’ve been soaking and cooking dried black beans myself because again, poor student me, and for sour cream, I’ve subbed in Greek yogurt. (It’s got the same flavor and texture minus tons of calories and plus plenty of protein.) 4329286464_8340c9626d_z

Thanks Michael Saechang on Flickr for this lovely depiction of my inspiration.

This plan lasted me about a month, until I got sick of it. To find out what I’ve been eating all July, you’ll have to come back to this blog in August!! #CLIFFHANGER

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