Return to the Forbidden Planet!

Last Thursday we decided to go to the Straz Center and see Return to the Forbidden Planet. Cheesy Sci-fi?  I’m so in!  It was my first time going to the Straz Center and I was really impressed by the area.  There were lots of places to eat nearby and a library right across the way which you could get to through a glass walkway that made me think of Stephen King’s IT.  Wasn’t there a glass walkway to the library in that book?  But this one is up a floor or two.

Anyways, we got there early and were walking through said walkway when I noticed something odd.

20140612_191033Um, are those Storm Troopers?  Yes, yes they are.  We had time before the show started so we decided to go check it out.  Actually, I would have totally been late to go check Storm Troopers out.  So off we go and guess what?  They were there for Forbidden Planet, and so was Darth Vader! Seriously cool. I mean, you know, to people like me.

Turns out pretty much everyone was there! I even got a picture with Spider-Man to send to my nephews, making me the coolest aunt ever. No, this isn’t it.


After stopping at the bar for a rum and coke (not something you can do everywhere in Florida!) we went in to see the show.

20140612_195810It’s a lot of the Tempest, a lot of Forbidden Planet, a lot of 50’s rock, and a lot of fun!  I was pretty amazed at how much fun we had, they had the entire audience laughing most of the night.  And 4 days later I’m still singing songs from the show.  (Gloria, Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood, Young Girl… )


Did I mention the space monsters?

Somethings Coming


Even in space the Monster Mash is all that.

Monster Mash

If you are in the Tampa area and you are a fan of Shakespeare / sci fi / music / theater or fun  you should really go check them out. You can see the times and prices and get your tickets here. The show is Thursday through Sunday until July 6th.

I was given two tickets to see The Forbidden Planet in exchange for an honest review.

So, how about you?  Have you been to the Straz Center yet?  Have you seen Return to the Forbidden Planet anywhere else?  And the all important question, do you know the walkway in IT that I’m talking about?


10K Update 4 AKA Summer Time…

About that 10K goal.  Ya, I still have it.  But how do you take anything too seriously when it’s summer time and you are living in Tampa? If you know don’t tell me, I don’t want to know.


Ya, huge Sublime fan here.

Summer is always a little bittersweet if you ask me.  The possibilities are endless, except for that whole gotta feed the kids 9-5 thing.  My 9-5 is as a technical analyst. Bet you didn’t see that one coming, I actually have to think 8-10 hours a day.  Nerd that I am I enjoy it, but when I’m done I’m done, and this is what’s left.  🙂

Anyways, back to my 10K goal.   I have been following the plan minus the cross training. I do yoga after every run, sometimes quite a bit, but that’s a much cross training as I’ve done since starting the 10K plan.  Until this week, when summer time hit.

First, I started the Kinetic Revolution 30 Day Challenge which, as all things do that look super easy at first, kicked my butt by the second week and reminded me that people who do not cross train are weaker than people who do. So ya, my legs are a wee bit more tired than they should be.

Then, to celebrate and make official summer I went paddleboarding AND kayaking.  I paddleboarded out, switched with my boyfriend and kayaked back in.  Best of both worlds!  You want some excellent cross training, try anything with a paddle.

Then, to also celebrate and make summer official I went for an hour swim.  It was both hella fun and hella exhausting.

And then I realized.  I have the choice of continuing to try to up my distance running each week, jumping into all kinds of other crazy exhausting but fun other summer activities, or trying to do it all.  I choose a lazy combination of all of the above.  I’m going to stick to running 4 miles on the weekend for a while and swim, paddle, hike, and other summer stuff my heart out.  I still intend to gradually add distance to my ‘long runs’, but not every week until I get used to all the extra stuff I’ve been doing.

I had my eye on a cool sounding 10K in July, but it specifically said it was NOT for run/walkers. That’s intimidating since it would be my first 10K and I’ve never done a 5K that wasn’t a mud run or fun run. Plus some people said that it was not only extremely hot in spite of being a night run, it was extremely dark in some parts which would make me nervous running by myself barefoot or not.

I’m thinking I will let summer be summer, gradually continue with my plan but repeat weeks as much as I want for a while, and look for a 10K when it starts to cool off a wee bit, maybe in September. I feel pretty good about this since paddleboarding and swimming are WAY more exhausting than running so they can only help my running in the long run (no pun intended).

So, what is my current goal? Paddle a lot, run 3 days a week consistently (hopefully including trails but not ticks, a whole ‘nother post)  listen to a while lot of Sublime, Weezer, Slipknot and such, appreciate the local bars, wineries and breweries, visit some aquariums and generally live like a tourist because I DO live in vacation land after all.

These guys agree with me, I’m pretty sure.


I’ll leave you with an entirely inappropriate but yet completely my favorite Sublime song because it’s summer and so I can.


How about you, do you change your plans for summertime even if you are an adult who doesn’t get the benefit of being off for the summer? You should!

I am. After all, I wouldn’t even be kinda zennish if I didn’t.


Margarita Festivities…

Have you ever really looked forward to something only to have something come up to kind of ruin it for you?  Ya, that happened to me at the Margarita Fest.  But not because the Fest wasn’t a great time!

I got up early that morning and headed out to Color Me Rad (which was, you know, rad) where I felt great and had a really fun time with the family.  I went home, had some food and a shower and headed out.  Waiting in line to go into the Margarita FestivaI I started to get a little headache, but no big deal.

We headed straight away over to the shaded VIP tent to grab some margaritas and beer. Thanks to running into Denise of Run DMT I knew to grab 2 drinks to avoid getting back in line so quick; I got a Grand Mango Jalapeno Margarita and a Grand Prickly Pear Margarita.  I’d never had a jalapeno margarita before, and I gotta say it lived up to the hype.

Ya, I know this picture is too big but I just found out I could embed a picture from Instagram so how could I not?

View this post on Instagram

Jalapeno mango #margaritafest

A post shared by Kinda Zennish (@kindazennish) on

After we sat and drank our first drinks (I do NOT have the coordination to walk holding 2 full drinks and not spill one or both) we headed over to the Taco Bus.  I was super excited because I am for sure the last person in Tampa to try their food and what do you know, there they were.  Couldn’t be more convenient!

But then.  We were in line for about 10 minutes (the other food trucks barely had lines, a testament to the addiction this place causes) and I realized I wasn’t going to make it to the front of the line.  I asked my boyfriend if we could run back to the car for some Tylenol and come back, which we did.  I grabbed another jalapeno margarita and we sat in the shade listening to the band and people watching (always, always fun at these events) for about an hour. I didn’t drink my margarita but I did enjoy myself. Unfortunately as soon as we got up and walked back into the sun my headache firmly reinstated itself as the boss of me and we decided to go.

So no Taco Bus, no traditional margarita (tequila is my all time favorite drink), no Naked Turtle (I also love rum. Don’t judge) and no more fun for me.  I spent the rest of the evening staring at but not watching the TV patiently(ish) waiting for the stupid headache to go away enough to sleep.

Drink Naked

Wanna know the worst part?  This was my turn to not be the designated driver and I only drank one full margarita!  What did I do to make karma strike at me like this????? As my 3 year old nephews would say, so sad.

Since I didn’t get to enjoy much of the festivities here’s some links to check out what some other Tampa Bay Bloggers thought. Spoiler alert, they thought it was great.

Run DMT , Never Have I Ever, Loving Life and Casa De Crews

Oh yeah, and final cool things I didn’t do but so hope to next year – this was a dog friendly event, and they had a corona beer bull ride thing.  Check out their twitter feed of the event, it is kind of cool:

Anyways, long story short it was an amazing event and the people who put this on are doing it again August 16th – this time it’ll be the Summer of Rum. Here’s hoping I’m not the designated driver for that one and I get to torture people with drunk tweets!

I received two VIP tickets to The Tampa Bay Margarita Festival in exchange for writing a review and this giveaway. As always, my opinions are all mine.

Have you ever looked forward to an event and then had to make the decision to opt out?  If you are here in Tampa are you planning to go to the Summer of Rum Festival?  If so check back here closer to the festival, I may have some general admission tickets to give away!


10K Update 3 – My Biggest Running Nerd Moment to Date

My last update I fessed up and said I had skipped a week’s running and was therefore going to do a ‘do-over’ week.  This week I didn’t do much better and started to plan on re-doing the week again, but with more running.  Then I decided forget that, time to move on, excuses are starting to stack up around here again…

Sunday night out of nowhere motivation hit and I decided that I would just run my 4 miles and move on to the next week.  Never mind that I hadn’t run hardly at all in two weeks and I’ve never run that far without taking walk breaks. That’s all good and determined and all that other good stuff.  It’s how I got it done that made this my nerdiest run ever.

First, I dropped the air conditioning 4 degrees.  I made myself an ice cold water with Endurolytes Fizz in it, which I had never tried before because seriously, it’s not like I”m running all that far. (It was grapefruit and delicious)  I put Spirit of the Marathon on Netflix and proceeded to run my miles while watching it.

Heck ya it worked!  Between the motivating movie and the fact that I wasn’t dying of the heat I not only ran the miles but could have ran more.  I think that it was the iced drink more than the air conditioner that helped with the heat, I don’t usually drink anything at all when I am running but I have of course run in the cold.

So cha-ching, on to the next week and I’m only 1 week behind from my original plan.

Do you ever use any jedi-mind tricks on yourself to get things done?  Whatever works, right? Right??

VMM10 – Baked Chili Relleno

I haven’t posted for (vegan) Meatless Monday in a while, it’s about time to get back into the habit! Here’s a super-easy recipe for vegan chili relleno.  I was going to make a more intricate filling, but I was running late, Trader Joe’s black refried beans were already flavored with jalepenos, and replacing the cheese in the typical chili relleno with whole beans and stuff doesn’t sound like the right consistency anyways.  Though I may do it anyways the next time.

Here’s how I put them together:


  • 8 pablano peppers
  • 1 can Trader Joe’s refried black beans with jalapenos  (refried beans mixed with a can of green chilis would be good too!)

That’s it.  Not much of a recipe, huh?

Part 1, which I did the day before but of course you could do it all in one day if you are less lazy and/or don’t tend to forget to go back to something after it’s cleaned up and hidden in a paper bag:

  1. Place pobalano chiles on a cookie pan covered with tin foil.  I didn’t grease the pan at all, but I would the next time because they stuck a little.
  2. Move the oven rack up if needed so it’s 6-8 inches below the broiler.
  3. Broil the peppers until blackened, about 10-15 minutes each side, then place in a paper bag to finish.
  4. After the peppers have cooled enough peel off the outer skin.  I found this to be a bit of a challenge, mine were only about 2/3 peeled but I didn’t even notice in the end.

20140526_165759Ya, they don’t look that great blackened but the kitchen does start to smell pretty dang good.

Part 2:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Slice an opening from almost the top to almost the bottom of each pepper and clean out the seeds from the middle.  I pushed them a little inside out and rinsed the seeds out in the sink.

Fill center with about 2 tsp of the refried beans, close the pepper and place on pan.

Bake peppers for about 25 minutes

Serve alone or with a sauce.  I personally always chose to use a sauce or dip when it’s an option!

20140527_191505OK, so maybe you are wondering what the heck happened to that top chilli.  What happened was…  I tried to recreate a ‘fried coating’ type thing.  It actually tasted pretty good but looked ugly enough to be a fail anyways.  If you are curious and can maybe tell me how to improve the look here is what I did:

3 Tbls water (and a splash) mixed with a about 2.5 Tbls ground flax, whipped to dip the chiles in first, then 1 cup spelt flour with pepper, cumin, and garlic powder mixed in to dip the chiles in second.  This was much more experiment than recipe, I just sprinkled the spices in.

I used a tomatillo sauce I found on the food network, mostly because I didn’t know what it was really and figured it was past time to find out. It was really good and I’d definitely make it again.  My son liked it on the rellenos, but next time I’ll make a red sauce for them, probably with chilpote peppers in adobo sauce.  I’m going to try a sauce like that next week to go with vegan tamales if I can pull it off.

That said, the tomatillo sauce is pretty dang good.  It was strangely sweet and I’m determined to find something that it would fit better with.  I did use it as a chip dip too but it’s such an interesting taste it need to be the star of some other show.

tomatillo sauce


1 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed
3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 Anaheim chile, seeded
1 white onion, quartered
1/2 jalapeno chile, seeded
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Juice from 1/2 lime


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Toss the vegetables with the oil, salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables until the tomatillos turn a dark-green color and the onions golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Let the vegetables cool, peel the garlic and blend everything together with the lime juice in a Ninja or food processor.

20140526_154259Have you ever tried a tomatillo sauce? Did you like it and what did you serve it with?