Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I am freezing all the time. That makes me sad. My office is cold because they still have the air conditioning on, apparently. My apartment is cold because my door is broken, and they seem utterly unwilling to fix it - tape does not block cold very well. It's cold outside. And I seemingly have no tolerance for cold anymore. If I didn't know that my thyroid is apparently normal, I'd think it was low again.

Monday, January 29, 2007

I Have A New Goal in Life

I plan to become rich and famous, say and /or do something inappropriate, and enter "rehab" for a couple weeks. I clicked on a link to the "rehab" Lindsay Lohan just went to, and dude! What a setup! Luxury spas have nothing on this place.

How come doing or saying something that would get the rest of us fired at best, arrested at worse, nets famous folk a fancy vacation?

Friday, January 26, 2007

This is the best tea ever. I just had a cup, and it was like heaven. The Cranberry-Blood Orange sounds pretty good, too. The Ginger Peach is, of course excellent (Barnes and Nobel has that), and the Jerry Garcia Cherry is not bad.

Some people get into wine, I'm a tea geek.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Saw the endocrinologist yesterday. She was wonderful. I was very impressed with the way she took time to speak with me. She prescribed hormones to restart my cycle. She said that, based on the last ultrasound, my thyroid might be a little bit smaller - she estimated it was only three times the size it should be now (I shudder to think what it used to be, then). She also said that she was a little concerned by how lumpy it was, but she'd reevaluate it in a few months and decide from there what to do.

Oh, and on a slightly related note, the other medicine my doctor prescribed (and that the endo. increased the dosage on) is having wonderful effects. Without changing anything, I've lost another half size. I am comfortably wearing jeans that were really tight two weeks ago, and didn't fit at all a month ago.

Having hormones that work is a wonderful thing.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Hello, my faithful readers. I have two questions for you today.

First, does anyone want some Mardi Gras beads? I was straightening today, and I realized I still have a huge bag of them left over from a youth conference years ago. The literally grow on trees down here (OK, they are thrown from floats on trees), so I don't want or need them. If you do want some, e-mail me (addy is in my profile) with your address, and I'll send them off to you.

Second, I am working on a short story for a contest I read about at Faith in Fiction (link is on the sidebar, I think). I'll have a slightly gritty draft ready next weekend (in other words, I'll have done an edit - so the draft won't be rough, but it will be by no means a finished product, either). If anyone would like to read, comment, and rip apart, please drop me an e-mail on that as well. I'm never objective about my own writing, and usually think it is worse than it is.

I feel vaguely icky tonight. This new medicine is kicking my butt. I'm wondering if the dosage is too high. I feel like my blood sugar is dropping every few hours, and that I'll be sick if I don't eat.

OK. I'm going back to work. Yes, you read that right.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

I just spent 5 hours editing the most god-awful proposal ever put to paper. And after 5 hours, it is still 10 pages of crap. At least now it is 10 pages of readable crap.

Oh, and the current incarnation of Saturday Night Live is also crap. It is crap with bad music.

You know what else is crap? My front door. I have a sliding glass door, and when I got home last night, I couldn't get it open. When I tried pushing with a hand on either side of the door, the left metal part of the door separated from the glass. I tried calling my building's emergency maintenance number, but it was out of service. I managed, with much cajoling and kicking, to get the metal part close to the glass and get the door open, but there is a gap between the metal and the glass large enough to fit the tip of my finger through. That sucks a whole lot.

In case you can't tell, I'm in a bit of a negative mood.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Go read this. It's funny, but it makes me kind of sad, too. I watched a Nature special on either chimps or orangutans and how hard it is on ones that have been domesticated. It made me cry, actually. Some of them were actually afraid of being outside.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I am spending time discovering the wonders of YouTube in between past performance writeups and resumes. If I didn't I would have lost my mind already, as I have to work this weekend.

Enjoy this Easy Reader clip from The Electric Company. I loved this show more than anything when I was a kid. I really think that it played a huge part in my learning to read as early as I did. I can remember going places with my mom and dad and sounding out the signs around me. I can also remember being as excited about reading as Easy Reader. Before I could read, it was all I wanted to do. Once I learned, it was hard to pull books out of my hands.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Since it did work, let me share Alice Cooper and the Muppets from the greatest TV show ever put on the air, The Muppet Show. It is the only show I can remember watching with everyone from my grandmother to my teenage babysitter, and everybody loving.

I'm Supposed to be Working on Resumes...

But I hate that part of my job. So I decided I would learn how to post YouTube video to my blog. This is a test post from Sesame Street without the dreaded Elmo, and with REM. Let's see if it works.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I find it interesting that so many people I know have entered priesthood, religious life, or the ministry in some way, shape or form. I just found out that another classmate from days gone by is about to be ordained a Catholic priest.

I wonder what all that means...if it means anything at all.

Don't mind me. I am in a bit of a spiritual slump. I'm hoping to be able to go here for a retreat this year on my vacation. I really need that time of renewal.


So I went to the doctor Monday for the annual thing (not the woman thing, the general thing). They took enough blood for all the world to use. The phlebotomist was good though, and I don't have a bruise.

The good news is that my thyroid is still normal, my cholesterol is excellent (she is still surprised by that), and my liver and kidney function is good. The bad news is that my blood sugar was slightly elevated. It wasn't high enough to be really worrisome, but it was high enough for me to see an endocrinologist and start being treated for PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), which I already knew I had and which I was being treated for a long time ago.

So I'm taking a new medication. It has nasty GI side effects, which I'm not looking forward to. It also kept me up all night last night, despite not sleeping well the night before. And I really have to eat breakfast when I take it, or I risk my blood sugar dropping too low.



This must be why no one ever knows where exactly I'm from. And I've been told that I have a good voice for broadcasting. Hmm.. Maybe I missed my calling...

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The West
North Central
The South
The Northeast
The Inland North
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Monday, January 08, 2007

So here is the soup recipe. It came from Whole Foods, and is called Sopa a la Minuta, or Minute Soup. Again, I've given their ingredients and my modifications (and suggested modifications.

1 lb ground beef

Don't get beef that is too lean - you want a little bit of grease for this.

1 Onion
1 Red Pepper
2 cloves Garlic

Again, I just used the creole mix here.

3.5 cups of Beef Broth

You are going to want at least 4. I would say even 5.

1 cup Water

Again, I used more, because I didn't have enough broth.

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch pieces.

The recipe said Yukon Gold, but I don't think it matters.

1 TB Cumin
1 Bay Leaf

I didn't use either of these because I didn't have them and I didn't see the point in buying them if I don't use them on a regular basis. Instead, I just used a bit of Tony's. More on that later.

1/4 lb Capellini pasta

I used angel hair. Feel free to use the pasta of your choice.

The directions say to brown the meat in a large sauce pan, remove it, then soften the onion, bell pepper and garlic in a little bit of the beef fat. I cooked that stuff, along with some mushrooms, in a skillet with the beef because it was easier. The beef I bought was a little too lean, and I almost didn't have any fat in it. Then the directions say to out the beef broth, water and potatoes in the saucepan, bring it to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. I did that, but remember my meat and other stuff is in the skillet.

After the 10 minutes are up, add the pasta and simmer until al dente. I also added some corn and broccoli mix, because I like it. Then add the meat back in and cook until it is warm. If you use a bay leaf, don't forget to take it out.

This is a good, quick soup. Basically, a beef vegetable soup without having to go through the hassle of making broth, and technically with fewer vegetables unless you add them. Total cooking time, not counting peeling and dicing potatoes, was about 20 minutes. The recipe suggests that you can add some chiles too, if you want, but I don't like chiles, so I didn't

I've extolled the virtues of Tony's before, but let me give you a word of warning if you try it - a little goes a long way, and you can go from nicely seasoned to unpleasantly spicy very fast, especially if you aren't used to Louisiana cooking.

On a totally unrelated note, does anyone else think that CBS's new show, "Armed and Famous" is a really, really bad idea?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The casserole turned out really well. Here is the recipe, along with my modifications.

1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green pepper

These three ingredients are in pretty much every recipe in Louisiana. They call them the Trinity. If you are lucky enough to live somewhere where you can pick up Creole mix, I recommend substituing that. It has all of the above, but also parsley and garlic. And you don't have to chop anything.

1 lb peeled raw shrimp

I know this tends to be pricey for those of you in the North. You can use the frozen ones, however, and that is a little less expensive. I recommend medium shrimp, but that is entirely up to you. I bought frozen myself this time, because shrimp season is just about over and the pickings were slim.

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cheddar cheese soup

I chose instead to use a family sized an of cream of mushroom soup. I think cheddar cheese soup is a crime against nature. I did add some mozzarella crumbles, though. I like that.

Cooked rice

I chose to do noodles instead. Kind of an upscale tuna noodle casserole. I didn't cook the noodles, figuring they would cook in the sauce in the oven. If you do this, I would recommend adding some water, too.

1/4 cup of margerine.

I used butter instead of margerine partially because I like it better, and partially because it is slightly better for you than margerine - no transfats. If you wanted to be really healthy I guess you could use olive oil or canola oil, and a little less of it.

The directions say to sautee the first three ingredients and the shrimp in the butter in a large saucepan. I would recommend using a skillet instead. I think you would get better heat distribution that way. Plus, it's easier to stir. I also added some mushrooms and broccoli at this stage because I like them.

When the shrimp turn pink, turn off the heat and stir in the mushroom soup. I also stirred in half the cheese. Then stir in the rice or noodles. Transfer all of this to a 13 x 9 pan. If it isn't nonstick, you may want to use some Pam. I put the other half of the cheese on top, along with some mushrooms. Since I used uncooked noodles, I covered it with tin foil to keep the steam in. Bake it for 30-40 minutes at 350.

That's it, really. Though I did forget to say to use salt and pepper to taste. It really is quite good.

I'm also making soup tonight. I'll let you know how that works.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Shall I share my Saturday with you? I think I shall.

Well, it took me a while to get going today. Saturday is my slow day. Though lately most days have been slow days. I think that's because my thyroid is low again. I'll find out on Monday, I guess. Anyway, regular readers know that I don't have cable, which means I watch a lot of PBS on the weekends, because, well, the sports that are on the other stations are boring usually (though if a good basketball game is on, I'll sometimes watch that). So on a 20 year old Cajun cooking show, I saw a recipe for a shrimp casserole that looked really good and that I think I'm going to make tomorrow. If it turns out as good as it looks, I'll post the recipe tomorrow.

So when I finally got going, I went to Target to buy laundry detergent, which I actually forgot to buy. I did, however, buy bandages, a T-shirt in a really cool shade of blue, an umbrella (finally - we are entering rainy season here), and a cheap bottle of wine (Arbor Mist Sangria Zinfandel. It's one of my favorites, goes good with seafood, and is only $4 a bottle here). When I got to the register and checked out...I GOT CARDED!!! I haven't been carded since I was in my 20's. I know the guy was just following the rules, and I know I'm a young looking 35, but it still made me feel really good. I thanked him for carding me and left with a smile (but without my detergent. Sigh).

Then I went to Shoe Station to buy new tennis shoes. I've been buying Nike since I was in college. They generally fit well, don't rub in weird places, and have good arch support. I couldn't find a 9.5 wide, and I'm tired of 10's sliding off my heels. So I took a chance and bought New Balance. They seem to fit pretty well, so we'll see.

Oh, I bought socks at Target, too. Just thought you should know.

Then I decided to go get Chinese takeout. A place near where I just to work has a dinner special where you get two different entrees, rice, and an egroll for $6.95. Their food is pretty good, too. And their lunch special is only $3.95. Just thought I'd tell you in case you ever find yourself in Baton Rouge at lunch time. Well, I didn't end up going there. Instead, I went to Whataburger. I wanted onion rings, I ordered onion rings, and I ended up with fries. Sigh.

Still, though, between teh shrimp casserole and the carding, it ended up being a pretty good day - even if I don't have detergent.

Tomorrow I am supposed to go to lunch with the young adults at church. I don't know if I will. I think I'm in a different place than they are now. I wish we had another fellowship/spiritual/learning opportunity available that was more...age neutral. All we have is a Bible Study, but that happens during the day, so it is mainly retirees. Then there are the church ladies who make baby blankets, which is also during the day, and also mostly retirees. My pastor has talked to me about leading a book group at some point, but it is so hard for me to commit to a given time right now. My job has me working weird hours. We shall see.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

You know, one of my guilty TV pleasures has been The Apprentice. In the past, I have really enjoyed watching supposedly intelligent and successful people make really stupid decisions. It makes me feel better about myself, sadly.

Well, I was killing time today, and surfed over to the NBC site to get a preview of this season. I think this season can be summed up by "pretty, priviledged people doing silly stuff in a pretty place." Seriously, no fewer than four of the female contestants and two of the males have been models at some point in their lives. They all seem to come from well-to-do backgrounds, and they all strike me as slightly frivolous.

I'll watch on Sunday, but I have a feeling it may not be must-see TV like it was in the past.

Plus, Donald Trump has pretty much lost any respect I might have had for him, which was miniscule at best. I'm not a fan of Rosie O'Donnell, but I don't think he has any room to name call.

This is a great picture. Darrell Sapp is a great photographer. I miss home.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Before you start wondering, I haven't forgotten my promised campaign post. It will just be delayed a couple of days. I figure I owe it to President Ford, the first president I can remember (I'm a little too young to actually remember Nixon's time in office). The 1976 campaign was the first where I more or less understood what was going on. I clearly remember my dad reading editorial cartoons to me about the campaign and explaining them. Yes, we were a somewhat weird family.

But, my friend, this post is about commercials. Specifically, bad commercials. This article in Slate doesn't mention the series of commercials that drive me up a wall. Those would be the air freshener commercials (can't remember if it is Glade or Airwick) with the cartoon animals talking about how much better their lives are with this air freshener. Now, the octopus mother annoys me because she and her offspring don't seem to be living under water. The new one with the skunk husband annoys me because why would his wife care if he smells if she is a skunk too? But then again, she may not be.

The commercial I hate most of all is the one with the elephant married to a centipede. WTF? How would that even work? Think about the scale here, people. Even if you are talking about one of those crazy, huge, jungle centipedes, The elephant is still about 4000 times bigger. And what would the offspring be like. And why are animals suddenly concerned about smelling bad anyway? And where would an elephant and a centipede meet and fall in love. It absolutely drives me nuts!

The new ones for the cough medicine with the mother animals and their babies make me nuts, too. The one where the baby wolf almost gets shot by the farmer because he coughs when he was out trying to count sheep was bad enough, but the one with the anteater not being able to eat ants because his nose is stuffed up is horrible. Especially as we watch the ants race toward his mouth after he takes the cough medicine. These commercials try to be cute but end up being creepy and violent.

OK. I am done ranting now. Except for this article. People who treat their pets like they are people, and in fact treat them better than they would treat some people, should have their heads examined, and should be forced to pay a fee equal to the amount they waste on pet massage and nail polish to a charity that supports the homeless or the working poor. When I am president, I shall issue an executive order to that effect.