Bingo! Doggo DNA

When we adopted Gravy last April, the shelter suggested we get a DNA breed test for him. Maricopa County guessed he was Australian cattle dog mixed with chihuahua, but the shelter wasn’t so sure.

It took a bit for him to get comfortable with a mouth swab, but we finally sent one in. Turns out it’s not chihuahua, but rat terrier! Our sweet girl Boomer was also part rat terrier and this news made us feel really happy. We’ve seen some of her joyful energy in him since he’s been getting more and more comfortable with us.

Gravy DNA results showing 43.9% Rat Terrier, 33.1% Australian Cattle Dog, 10.6% Supermutt, 9.4% Shih Tzu, and 3% American Pit Bull Terrier

I don’t know how accurate these tests are, but folks of the internet seem to think Embark is the best one. Adopting a stray at 4 years old with no known history can be tough, so it’s nice to feel like we know a bit more about him.

They also showed us another dog in the Phoenix area that has sibling-level DNA similarities with Gravy. Fun to think about our little guy having a brother nearby.

Gravy, a little cattle dog mix, next to Mr. DNA from Jurassic Park who is saying “Bingo! Doggo DNA!”

Life with Gravy is so good and hopefully soon we’ll be finding another pup for him to hang with.

My quick thoughts on chips

Eleanor from The Good Place on the couch eating tortilla chips and a glob of salsa falls off her chip before it reaches her mouth

Just joining the chip conversation that Dave Rupert, Jonathan Snook, and Peter Mullen have been bloggin’ on their own blogs.

I am not very opinionated on what gets called a chip, so covering “snacks” here too.

1. Tortilla chips should be as thin as possible. Some chip breakage is just expected. Blue corn > white corn > yellow corn.

2. Ruffles are made for dip. Any non-nacho dip should be eaten with Ruffles. Wavy Lays not accepted.

3. Salsa Verde Doritos are best. Pair with (Diet) Dr. Pepper.

4. Pretzels are good if classic Snyder’s of Hanover. Others accepted if covered in yogurt or milk chocolate. The only flavored pretzels are Dot’s honey mustard.

5. Burgers should not be served with chips. Sandwiches should be served with kettle-style chips. Unless a Subway sandwich, then crunchy Cheetos.

6. Pringles are for eating on a boat on a lake. Fits perfectly in a cup holder and floats.

7. All chips taste better in the car. Road trip meal.

My favorite series of 2023

This year I questioned why I only include debuts on this list! Some of my favorite television this year was from returning shows including The Afterparty, Mythic Quest, and a brilliant season 2 of The Bear. That Forks episode, sheesh. I loved the endings for Succession, Never Have I Ever, and Loki (which really stuck the landing). And of course LEGO Masters is always a bright spot.

Maybe next year I will include returning series, but for now, here are my fave miniseries and series debuts from 2023.

Diane Morgan as Philomena Cunk standing behind foliage and in front of some ruins 10. Cunk on Earth

comic book style characters including Scott Pilgrim and pink-haired Ramona Flowers 9. Scott Pilgrim Takes Off

characters in gold tinted monochrome including Rebecca Ferguson, Tim Robbins, Common, David Oyelowo, and Rashida Jones 8. Silo

illustrated collage of fantasy characters featuring Warwick Davis as Willow 7. Willow

Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen laughing at a party 6. Platonic

Brie Larson in 1950s hairstyle and dress with a pencil behind her ear 5. Lessons in Chemistry

Harrison Ford using his fingers to make Jason Segel smile 4. Shrinking

Ali Wong and Steven Yeun angry with gritted teeth, sticking their heads out of their car windows 3. Beef

Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey look back at the camera before a post-apocalyptic, overgrown city 2. The Last of Us

close-up of Natasha Lyonne lowering her sunglasses, a vintage blue car and open road are reflected in the lenses 1. Poker Face

My favorite movies of 2023

This list was harder to narrow down than past years. I saw a lot of good movies, but they all seemed to be the same level of good? No major standouts for me! Because of a difficult first half of the year emotionally, I really gravitated towards comfort films and comedies.

Some honorable mentions include Bottoms, Barbenheimer, Missing (a spiritual sequel to 2018’s Searching), Across the Spider-Verse, Killers of the Flower Moon, and Godzilla Minus One (which was a surprise for me). I’ve also been really enjoying the Wonka soundtrack. Also Benny Safdie in Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret.

bearded Nicolas Cage in a pullover sweater and holding a rake looks up at the sky with mouth open 10. Dream Scenario

Mike Faist with a 1970s mustache and tinted glasses in front of a 70s patterned background and a kid playing pinball 9. Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game

a basically dressed Awkwafina looks concerned next to a pigtailed Sandra Oh who is excitedly raising her arm in the air 8. Quiz Lady

collage of cast members including Tom Cruise, Hayley Atwell, Pom Klementieff, and Rebecca Ferguson 7. Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part 1

four young Asian women sit on their luggage and look exhausted; one is holding a small pig 6. Joy Ride

Jennifer Lawrence squeezes the face of Andrew Barth Feldman 5. No Hard Feelings

Rocket the raccoon walking in front of the Guardians (whose legs can be seen) 4. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Paul Giamatti in a sweater vest and bowtie, Dominic Sessa in an arm sling, and Da'Vine Joy Randolph in a winter coat 3. The Holdovers

collage of cast members including Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, and Regé-Jean Page all in their DnD garb 2. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

Greta Lee and Teo Yoo look at each other on a train 1. Past Lives

The JFK Wedding Cake

I love wedding cake. The density of the cake is usually perfect with interesting fillings and real buttercream. A fluffy cake is nice, but I prefer a cake with some body. No whipped cream frosting here. I want the stuff that tastes like a grocery store bakery sheet cake but fancy.

I’ve tried cakes from a few nice bakeries around Phoenix for birthdays and other holidays, but the special occasion cakes just aren’t wedding cake. Good, but not the one.

Then I tried the JFK Wedding Cake.

round white cake with pink frosted decoration, a slice is cut out to show layers of white cake, pink frosting, and raspberry jam

Montilio’s Baking Company in Boston has been making their Presidential White Cake for over 70 years. JFK and Jackie served it at their wedding (hence the nickname). It’s “three layers of white cake interspersed with raspberry preserves and raspberry frosting, and it’s topped with sweet vanilla buttercream.”

It’s perfect. And you can order it in the dang mail. $90 is a bit rough, but it made for a special moment at my mom’s birthday brunch. And it was delicious.

Magnificent. 10/10 no notes.

slice of cake with white and pink frosting and layers of white cake, pink frosting, and rapsberry jam

Now I’m just counting down the days until the next birthday so I can order it again.