Tuesday, May 31, 2011
And the crowd...goes...WILD!!!!!!
Believe it or not, I am as excited about this for dear Karinarina, as I call her, as I am about the first game of the Stanley Cup Finals. I know! That's a lot of excitement two days in a row. I may need to lie down. Apply a cold compress to my brow.
At this point, Roommate usually sighs and makes me a cup of tea. Decaf. Because...well. I need not explain.
Anyway. The book release party is tonight. I'm leaving the job early--yes, I asked. Yes, I got coverage. I'm not a complete savage, you know. Roommate and Best Break-up Ever Man and I are all taking a short drive to Karina's city and celebrating with her. I will not lie to you; there may be squealing.
Stop judging me.
Then tomorrow I fly off to the east coast to see a Very Nice Person. I will land [in theory] forty minutes after the puck drops. VNP has promised to drive straight from the airport to the nearest sports bar. How sweet is that?
But tonight is all about Karina and her book. YAY, KARINA!!!
Now go buy her book. Yes. Now.
Monday, May 30, 2011
I'm abundantly blessed in the fact that the friends I have who serve and have served this country have not given the ultimate sacrifice. I am grateful, immeasurably, to those who have.
With thanks from a grateful nation.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
One of the big challenges of the this "lifestyle change" [pause for requisite vomiting noises now] is finding non-food related rewards. This is really hard! Don't mock, it is. My way of thinking is as follows:
Situation: I did something well!
Situation: I made it to the gym!
Reward: ICE CREAM!!
Situation: I sat through a required work meeting, AKA Coma Of Death.
Reward: FOURTEEN PIECES OF PIZZA, LARGE HOAGIE WITH EXTRA EVERYTHING, STEAK, POTATOES, MUSHROOMS SAUTEED IN BUTTER, A LOAF OF SOURDOUGH BREAD AND AN ENTIRE CHOCOLATE MOCHA CHEESECAKE!!!!
But this is, evidently, bad for one. Apparently, this is counterintuitive to one's lifestyle change.
Roommate and I have struggled to find rewards for our efforts, small and large. The big one was relatively easy: When we reach goal weight, we're going to Italy. We have plenty of time to plan for this. Believe me. Plenty of time. But the little rewards are tougher.
Here's the thing. I need something to anticipate. This is why food was always such a lovely little treat for me. Knowing that I would go out to breakfast after making it through a hideous week helped me get though that hideousness, and hey...I have to eat anyway, right? It's relatively inexpensive [as opposed to a flight to Dublin] and available everywhere. But chicken fried steak and eggs with piles of hash browns and buttered toast is not the best method of reducing the acreage of my ass.
I'm trying to come up with as many mini-rewards for Roommate and myself as I can, but it's not as easy as one might wish. Manicures and pedicures are our fall-back reward, and btw, our nails look fabulous! We buy flowers for each other. And provoke more unfounded gossip, which is really, a reward in and of itself. Heh.
Oh! We will go to see Santana in concert [one of Roommate's favs] after a significant goal is achieved. Not sure what the achievement will be, but there it is.
At twenty-five pounds lost, we will go out to dinner--don't yell! Wait for it--and we will dress up, really dress up, and make it an event. The food will be part of the reward, but we will pick a place that we can enjoy and stay on plan.
Once I'm under a Certain Weight, I will go to Cedar Point Amusement Park and scream my guts out on the roller coasters.
I have no idea what to do for the in-between rewards, though. I suppose I could continue with the flowers. I could develop a shoe obsession. I could expand my collection of teacups.
Yes. Teacups. What?
Fine, you're so clever, you come up with something better.
Friday, May 27, 2011
Tuppence Marie, my wee beastie, was a bargain. No, really. She was. My mother, the Cheapest Woman On The Planet, felt the amount of money I was willing to spend on a puppy from a reputable breeder was unreasonable and instead, found a bargain puppy for me. This was four and a half years ago.
Since then, my baby girl has had necrosis on the head of her femur, femoral head osteotomy, weekly water therapy to rehabilitate the hip, ear infections, dew claw surgery, spaying and endless treatment for skin problems. Yup, she's a bargain!!!
She eats "Limited Ingredient Diet" kibble and is only allowed grain free treats. She is allowed baby carrots and dehydrated sweet potatoes as incentives. She is bathed a minimum of once per week with ketoconazole shampoo. She is known by name at the vet's office.
I have not tallied her actual cost. I am too afraid to do so.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Yes, I have been talking about this to everyone at work. Yes, I did make my coworker's ears bleed when Ryan Kesler tied the game with 12 seconds left in regulation time. Yes, I did jump up and down in my living room, shrieking, when, after thirty minutes of overtime, Kevin Bieksa whapped the weirdest goal in history past Antti Niemi.
Btw, do you think there's an Uncle Niemi? Just wondering.
Fortunately, Roommate is a forgiving soul, was expecting the shrieking...and did not have to work today. Otherwise, things might've gotten ugly.
Must go run around in circles now, shrieking and waving my arms. Don't judge me. After all...
THE CANUCKS WON THE WESTERN CONFERENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
The boy thought about it for a moment. "Mmm, yes," he replied.
"That's nice." I smiled at him as I switched tubes. Dad remained stoically silent. "Are you going to do anything fun?"
"Go to school," he answered. "Then play outside maybe." The child spoke clearly enough, but the letter L was a small challenge for him. I realize this is not something parents wish to have happen in their children's lives, but non-parent types like myself often find it charming.
"I hope the sun comes out for you. Do you think it will?"
The boy considered this possibility with the seasoned cynicism of a native Pacific Northwesterner. "I don't think so." He tilted his head and mulled a bit before adding, "It was a little sunny yesterday, though."
"It did get sunny for a little while yesterday," I agreed. "The sun popped out, but then it ran away and hid again!"
The child frowned and shook his head. "No, the clouds covered the sun."
Well. Right you are, Oh Wise One. How could I argue?
Monday, May 23, 2011
How delightful! Chocolates! Which, as we all know, I adore. And one measly point per yummy bundle of goodness. Could anything be better????
Now we have something that Tonya can hurl at my ravening maw as I'm spiraling into a complete junk-food-deprived meltdown. But wait a minute...
According to myfitnesspal.com,
Calories in Weight Watchers Whitman's Double Chocolate Mousse Candy
Weight Watchers - Whitman's - Double Chocolate Mousse
Candy Servings: 3 pieces ) Calories 160
Total Fat 10 g Total Carbs 24g
Dietary Fiber 6 g
Sugars 11 g
Protein 2 g
When one uses her handy-dandy point calculator on the SmartPhone that is smarter than she is, one learns the this candy is TWO POINTS PER PIECE.
Oh, sure. Eat three pieces and it's five points, but one piece--ONE LOUSY PIECE--and the point value is DOUBLE the purported point value on the packaging!!!!!
WHO'S RUNNING THE SHOW ON THIS STUFF???????
I am appalled. I am outraged.
Normally, one would take this opportunity to hurl chocolates at me at this point, but the points...are askew.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
It's true! Any time I get too full of myself, ANY TIME, I am smote.
Now, I don't think last night's loss for the Canucks had anything to do with me and my inflated sense of self. I'm not quite that delusional. Close, but not quite. I am very impressed with the way the Canucks battled back and lost only by one goal. It wasn't the win I wanted for them, but...it wasn't a 4-0 loss, either.
4-3. So close. So very, very far away.
Assuming enough of the teams still exist on this plane after the Rapture occurs [what time was that supposed to happen again?] Game 4 will be played tomorrow in San Jose at noon. No matter what, there will be a Game 5 in Vancouver.
Again, assuming there are enough heathens in the NHL and working at Rogers Arena. Otherwise, who will drive the Zamboni? Who will fly the planes carrying the players? And oh, wow, wouldn't it suck to be on a flight with an all-Christian flight crew today?
But I digress. Yes, again. But hey, if the end of the world is coming, why not?
I wonder if there will be hockey in heaven. The ice would melt in hell, so not there. Ooo! That really would be hell, wouldn't it? Beautiful rink, excellent equipment...and the ice keeps melting?
Anyway. Game 4, tomorrow. See you there.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Sadly, I've had to change my password so many times, I've now forgotten which was the correct, most recent password.
And, as my happy little sundae of joy needed a cherry on its apex, today is my scheduled day off, it's GORGEOUS out, I have all the free time in the world to work on the yard and put in my garden...and I got called in to work.
Well, who's surprised?
It is a glorious day and I will leave work early today. I get to go see puppies. And The Canucks will face the Sharks at 6:00 PM, my time. And although I have to work tomorrow, I don't have to be there until 8:30 AM.
Half full. The glass is half full.
Where the hell is that waiter?
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
By a landslide.
Darling invisible one, in case you wondered, a FWB is a pal with whom one has sex. No emotional ties, no commitment, no interest in the other person past the parameters of the arrangement. It's a perfect set up for the person who wants the pipes cleaned without the actually investing in the equipment.
Perhaps this is why I have begun to feel like a prostitute. Or at least, like a potential for the job.
I suppose I can count myself lucky that the most of the men on this tally are casual friends or acquaintances. Most of them aren't just looking for a quick roll in the hay before saddling up and riding off. I feel reasonably confident that a few of them might even saunter into the farmhouse for a meal after. Strangely, this does not make me feel better.
Nor does it make me feel any better than so many of these cowboys are married men. I'm not exactly sure why a married man would think to make me such an offer, but there we are. The Desperately Unhappy Married Man. The Contented In All But One Area Married Man. And the delightful Separated But Not Quite Divorced Married Man. [Bonus points if the SBNQD version still has his Merely A Legal Formality Wife still living with him.]
If I think about it too long, my brain starts to bleed.
What about me calls out to this crowd, I wonder? I don't think it's desperation. After all, I know how that feels; I have had the dog under the buffet table feeling before. The eggs are all past their expiration dates, so no rush there anymore. I'm capable of mowing my own lawn and hell, if you dig at a stump long enough, eventually someone will show up with a truck and some chains. So why now? Why the onslaught?
I don't see the benefit.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
"Yes," I replied firmly and okay, a bit snappily.
"But in a way that..." she began and trailed off.
"What, do you think I could couch it in terms that might make a difference? That there's some way I could approach the Omnipotent Comedian that might affect the outcome?? In a way that the OC might not know what I was actually thinking??????!!!" Wearing my best are-you-kidding-or-just-delusional expression, I then performed an impression of myself. Well, me-as-an-incredibly-reasonable-and-diffident-person. Quit laughing. It could happen.
"Hey, look...coupla things I want to go over, if You have a minute...."
Pfft. A blind man could see through that. That approach out of my mouth has more holes than freaking macrame. And not the good, tight, not-stoned-in-the-70s macrame, because that's not really saying anything, is it?
My coworker was silent for a few moments. "Yeah," she said slowly. "I don't know why I said that."
And this is why we need a delete button.
Monday, May 16, 2011
It's true. I hate Mondays. Part of me wants to feel sorry for Mondays, but then the larger part of me beats the crap out of that part and tells it to shut the hell up.
...you hang in there.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
First: CANUCKS WON!!!!! Yes, it was only game #1 of the series, but the Sharks were hot tonight, especially during the first half of the game. The Sharks also scored first, so I was especially pleased that the Canucks came back to win.
Added to this, my lovely neighbor Robin's husband was teasing me relentlessly, saying that the Canucks would lose and that they only have one good player. Oooo...it got ugly after that. Roommate had to drag me out of their home. When the final horn of the game sounded, I reveled in the gloat-call.
Then I tried a new recipe from my darling pal Kristen. She loves to send me sinfully delicious recipes she finds. No, really.
Gnocchi mac&cheese, made with fontina, parmesan and gruyere. http://noblepig.com/2010/08/28/gnocchi-mac-n-cheese.aspx
That's right. Need I say more?
In an attempt to be supportive to the Weight Watchers ordeal, she sent me a recipe for healthy chocolate cake. Plus, I think she was tired of my whining and bursting into tears with every new recipe. With this recipe, I switched the AP flour for whole wheat and made it into cupcakes. Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....
Finally, I battled phyllo dough and...well, I didn't lose outright. I made breakfast pockets for Roommate, with chicken sausage and peppers and scallions and feta cheese and eggs. I have no idea if Roommate will like them.
Friday, May 13, 2011
You know by now, darling invisible friend, how I adore the comments made on this blog. Oh, it's not quite the high-pitched squealy talk that accompanies an email with baby koala bear photos, but I am delighted. Almost gleeful.
No, I'm not about to break into a musical number. Different glee.
Anyway. My dear friend Mo, of the spicy Cuban variety, asked some very good questions in her last comment. If you haven't had a chance to peruse them, here they are:
In order to determine how worthless this new machine is, I will need these 3 questions answered:
Question 1: Why is the power going out at this place so often???
Question 2: Can Windex take care of the smudge problem? Or do you need
some sort of new-fangled cleaner for this new centrifuge?
Question 3: Is there an override to make it stop beeping?
If I may, I shall address these questions now. And, as it is my blog, I may. Heh heh heh.
Answer 1) My building has a day surgical suite on its first floor and requires extensive back-up power sources. No one like a power outage mid-surgery. No, really. I'm serious. Then ask a surgeon. Pfft. Many of the outagesoccur in the off hours, to test these sources. These outages do not have the same effect on the lab, of course, but they happen. What does affect the lab is the out-of-the-blue shutdowns due to wind or other weather or just weirdness in general. I don't know why. I do know the Omnipotent Comedian likes to wait until we're mid-spin on a boatload of specimens. No, I don't know why on that one, either.
Answer 2) Windex or another cleaner would/does work on the smudges. But the smudges still appear. Gah! WHY??????
Answer 3) There is no override for the beeping. Not that I've yet discovered, that is. I do, however, have a sledgehammer. I'm calling that Plan B.
My coworker just asked me if I voted for Obama because, she giggled, "He's all about change."
Blogspot ate my blog from yesterday!!!!!!
I'm a wee bit miffed.
In other news, my parents are in town and staying with one of the aunt/uncle sets for the weekend. We all [Roommate included] met for dinner last night [thanks, Dad!] had a lovely little chat over a nice meal. My Aunt Mary Lynn giggled every time the name of my blog was mentioned. No, seriously. It was adorable. I don't think she'll become a follower, but she was amused by it.
Her darling husband, Uncle Larry, found the blog on his iPhone and immediately honed in on one that featured my mother. My mother sat there, blissfully unconcerned, as he read a tiny snippet of it. I think Mom's opinion is the Internet is just a passing fad. If she has an opinion at all, that is. This is the woman who calls me from the lake cabin to tell her how to turn on the television.
To be fair, it's satellite tv and the remote is fairly complicated. But she makes me look techno-savvy. The DVD player completely stymies her. Let's not talk about texting. It isn't pretty.
Sigh. I will have to revisit the questions asked by spicy Cuban Mo next time.
Disappearing blogs! Gah! What a world.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
"We talked about your unwillingness to change last time," she said. "I haven't seen any real improvement in that area."
So...you're saying my resistance to change is unchanged? Huh. Weird. Whodathunkit?
Look, I know I'm resistant to change. I know it isn't a good quality. But here's the thing, in certain arenas [coughworkcough] change inevitably means disasters of epic proportions.
That last bit might be a slight exaggeration.
But things go wrong in the lab when there's change. Stuff gets lost. Samples are collected incorrectly. Everything takes so much longer, which means work stacks up and people become querulous. I find it distressing. Then I become very put out. Harsh words and bad language often ensues.
I'm just saying.
My antipathy toward the C word now encompasses new work equipment. Don't look at me like that--if the stuff worked, I wouldn't have a problem with it. Or worked as well. I think people bring in new stuff just because it's new, not necessarily better.
I may, however, overreact. The teensiest bit. Like I did yesterday.
The centrifuge in my lab was fine. Fine. But because one had to push back a bit on the lid, a new one was brought in. The baskets [the things that hold the tubes] are strangely shaped, making more difficult to set opposing weights perfectly. This is important, for a centrifuge. It beeps when it's done spinning. Constantly. Until you open the lid. Beeps. Yeah. And the fan is really loud. And if the power goes out as we're spinning samples...we can't open it. That's right. We have to call someone in.
All of this was bad enough, but after the technician left and I was loading tubes into the new [grr!] centrifuge and across the top, I saw...smudges.
"ARG!" I shrieked. "Look! Look, the top is all smudgey!!!!"
"Well, what got on there?" asked my faintly harrassed coworker. "Maybe Nick had something on his hands."
"It's not what made the lid smudgey," I snapped, grabbing a disinfecting wipe and scrubbing the offending marks. "It's the fact that the lid can get smudgey at all. The old centrifuge never got smudgey!"
My poor coworker's lips trembled. "You know, my life was okay until you joined Weight Watchers!! Now, I can't just give you a cookie!"
See? I'm not the only one who doesn't like change.
Monday, May 9, 2011
Hello, beloved. I'm so sorry I haven't chatted with you over the weekend, but I was a little busy. With him.
Haha! Did you believe me? No? Not even for a second? Fine. You're right, actually. I wasn't with him. I was with the lady who wrote/created him. Yes, I had the privilege of hanging out with Big Whoop-De-Doo Author Cherry Adair.
I don't call her that, her husband does. He's called that from the beginning, before she was even published, God bless his sweet heart. He's a good egg, all in all. I keep telling her, "You should marry him."
I find I'm much more successful matchmaking if I stick to people who are already married.
Anyway, Cherry is part of an annual event in a local library and a few years ago, set the precedent of offering a lavish tea. The first was at her house and I got to help. Subsequent years have moved the tea to the event locale, which, gosh, is super convenient. Who wouldn't enjoy packing up ten zillion finger foods and their pretty serving plates?
Oh, yes. Pretty serving plates. We do NOT slap food down on just anything. That's when the beatings occur.
I didn't do as much for the tea this year. I didn't bake any scones. Btw, that's pronounced scahns. Because Cherry said so, in her delicious South African accent. I don't know why, ask her.
I did make deviled eggs [120 of them] with the pretty piped centers. The swirly kind. I also made curried chicken tea sandwiches [96 of them] on cinnamon-raisin bread. The cinnamon and the curry are so yummy together! And I made cucumber tea sandwiches [88 of them] on buttermilk white bread. Cherry was a bit distressed by the thickness of the bread slices, but we agreed that bread from this country was too soft to slice thinly enough and would simply have to do.
The rest of the spread, Cherry made. Well, Cherry and Mr. Costco. They did a great job. Fruit and mini cream puffs and brownie bites and cake and a great big jar of huge, stuffed olives. They worked really hard on their stuff.
And as one of my many rewards, Cherry gave me an autographed copy of "HUSH," her most recent deliciousness in print. That's the cover up top. Go on and look. I'll wait. Yum, huh? And btw...I've read it. It's FABULOUS. I'm just saying.
I'm hoping, if I'm very. very good, I will receive this, from Cherry:
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Yesterday was a huge learning opportunity for me and gosh, how I do adore those! I meander along, thinking, foolishly, of course, that I have sufficient character developed and then whammo! I am presented with personal growth opportunities galore!
Oh, that Omnipotent Comedian...what a giver. Guess what I got this week!
To preface this, allow me to tell you that Weight Watchers assigns point values to foods based on nutritional content and then grants each participant a certain number of points per day, based on weight, age and gender. Obviously, something like a cream puff is going to have a higher point value [9 points for one 2-ounce puff] than minestrone soup [2 points for one 8-ounce cup]. In this system, the lowest assigned number of points is 28. I am at 40.
As I lose weight, my allotment of points will decrease. I know!
Anyway. In this latest incarnation of WW, most vegetables and all fruit have 0 points. Zero. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. This is a great comfort to me as I foresee many days in the future in which I will have inhaled all the point-ed foods I'm allowed to eat and still have miles to go before I sleep. And miles to go before I sleep.
Oh, that Bob Frost. Always repeating stuff. No, not the point. I'm just saying.
So I was bopping along, getting through my day, using the eTools on WW to track my food. [Btw, this is a VERY big deal in WW. "Track your food! Track your food!" Okay, okay. Jiminy Christmas. Take a poop.] After recording the canned pineapple that Roommate and I had picked up on our last grocery story foray, I saw that 1 cup of pineapple, canned in its own juice, was NOT zero points, but FOUR POINTS. FOUR POINTS!!! What kind of sick deal is this???
What, we only get the zero point benefit if the pineapple is fresh?? It was canned in its own freaking juice! Do I hack it off its parent plant with my machete to guarantee this??? After all, after cutting the pineapple open, juice escapes. The fruit is now sitting--gasp!--in its juice. What the hell is up with that?
It's not like I expected stuff canned in heavy syrup to be point-free. I'm not a complete diet dolt. But come on! This is horribly unfair.
Later that day, I was tracking again and entered "peas" into my list. I had a bag of frozen peas in the fridge here at work and thought they'd be a lovely addition to my meal. And what to wondering eyes did appear but a note on the food list:
Peas, green......1 cup.......3 points
Peas. PEAS!!!! What kind of world is this, that PEAS have points???????
I won't lie. There was shrieking. As Roommate was off work for the day, I was forced to use her coworkers as vent receptacles. Then I used my coworkers. Then I vented to Roommate via voice mail and text message.
Me, regrettably shrill on voice mail: Peas! Three freaking points? Are they kidding me? This is ridiculous!! I should get all the damn peas I want!!!!!
Roommate, text reply: Those bastards. Why can't they leave peas alone?
Me, text reply: All I am saying is give peas a chance.
Look, I accept that WW point values will make me unhappy. I'm not deluding myself about burgers or fries or massive volumes of baked goods. I'm not even kvetching about all produce. Potatoes, sure. It's a starch bomb built to transport fat. Corn, okay. It's a grain. I get it.
I may never eat peas again. Yeah. That'll teach 'em.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Well, then you better get on it! Mother's Day is coming!!! Yes, that lovely holiday in which everything one does for the woman who gave one life is "oh...that's too much, sweetie!" and yet, is never really enough.
Excuse me. I misspoke. Or typoed. The woman who carried you in her body for nine months, traversed the Valley of the Shadow of Death to birth you, then has worked like a dog, worked her fingers to bloody stumps for you, you ungrateful, manipulative little shit!
Oh! Gracious. I have no idea where that came from. Anyway.
As I am barren, I will never know the unmitigated joy of opening the crayoned card my offspring has created just for me, or the gift made painstakingly of pipe cleaners and yarn. On the other hand, I'll never have to look at three and a half years of college tuition as something that "just isn't working" for my offspring. Sure, the dog took five obedience courses to pass her CGC, but it's not like she dropped out of Harvard. Or the University of Washington. Slightly lower tuition, but still! That's a boatload of buckage blown out the window.
Perhaps if I lived that role, I would understand my mother a bit better. Perhaps I'd have more compassion for her position. Or maybe I would still have to cling to the two rules that make our relationship so much easier.
Not easy. Easier.
Rules For Getting Along[ish] With My Mother
1) The 200 Mile Rule
I should never, never live closer than 200 miles away from my mother. 200 miles is a "planned trip." Less than 200 miles is "just popping in." Please believe me when I tell you, dearest, we do not want my mother just popping in.
2) The 36-Hour Rule
This means never should Mom and I spend more than 36 hours in each others' presence. This rule is less fool-proof than the other; Mom and I have been at DEFCON 5 within thirty seconds. Without even trying hard. But after 36 hours, explosions are almost inevitable. Collateral damage isn't pretty, either.
Yeah. Well, I'd better get that card in the mail soon! 200 miles is a long way to go for heartfelt sentiment.
Monday, May 2, 2011
That sound you hear is my sobbing.
I found myself staring plaintively at the clock at 0900, thinking, "Only eleven hours to go." I checked the calendar to see if my next day off is still four days away. My coworker Tonya and I have already analyzed the summer holiday schedule and tried to work out if any extra time would be available.
One might have thought that I would have returned to work refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to face work with a new and improved attitude. One would be wrong to think it, but there it is.
I'm wearing black today. And listening to Gregorian chants.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
I can't imagine how the people who lost loved ones to the attacks of September 11th, 2001, are feeling right now. This event won't turn back time or return those who have died. "Closure" is the word I hear, over and over.
I hope closure has been granted.