Friday, April 29, 2005

Because It's Fun To Say

In my efforts to lose weight, and still enjoy life, I have been seeking alternatives to foods I generally rely on. Pasta has always had a strong presence in my home as a single person. Pasta is quick and easy to make. It goes good with most things, and can be served hot or cold. It is very kind to your budget.

Unlike many out there who believe that carbs are from the devil, I think there is nothing wrong with them. At least not in moderate amounts. Unfortunately, I tend to enjoy pasta in amounts that are far from moderate.

The major challenge of letting go of my love for pasta is its convenience. Let's face it, pasta doesn't exactly have a strong flavor. It's just a tasty filler. So what could I use that is still quick, easy, and actually has a nice taste?

I thought about brown rice. I actually like brown rice. But I am not so skilled in the art of making rice. I often undercook it. Or burn the bottom. Brown rice seems to elude me further, and takes a decent amount of time to cook.

So I discovered this magical thing called couscous. It is a good source of fiber, and it cooks in 5 minutes. You boil water (a spoonful of olive oil in the water will give it a nice flavor, or you can boil it in a broth of your choice), throw in the couscous, take it off the heat, let it sit for five minutes, and that's it. You're done.

I have been using it instead of white rice with stir fry type dishes and it is really yummy. It just soaks up all the flavors of everything else. The texture is cool too.

This is the latest way in which I plan on trying it (recipe time!)

4 spring onions – finely chopped
5cm (2 inches) cucumber - unpeeled and chopped (I love how it tells me how many cm)
3 medium tomatoes – skinned and chopped
half a red or yellow pepper – deseeded and finely chopped
1 red dessert apple – unpeeled, cored and chopped
25g (1oz) walnuts – chopped
200 g pack (almost 8 oz) feta cheese cut into squares
salt and freshly milled black pepper to season
about 60ml (4 tablespoons) balsalmic vinegar and olive oil mixture
lots o' couscous

Like pasta salad, except without the evil pasta. Yum.

Try couscous. You will like it. Say couscous. You will like it even more.

I should have eaten breakfast this morning. All I can think about is food.

Current Mood: HUNGRY
Listening to: Somebody Told Me by The Killers

Thursday, April 28, 2005


Posted by Hello

Because I am too tired/busy/lazy, you get another useless photo post.

I took this in Washington at the tulip festival they have every year in Skagit Valley (I think that's where it was.) It really is very beautiful, all the different colors and textures. This is my favorite picture, not just because I think it looks cool, but because I had to practically lay on my stomach to get it. Pictures taken in abnormal positions always come out interesting.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Musical Admission

I have something to tell you all. Most of you know of my fondness for music of all kinds. My musical collection can sometimes be not only varied, but obscure. So what, you may ask, is currently in my CD player? Some little known band off of some even lesser known label?


Kelly Clarkson's Breakaway.

Yes. Kelly Clarkson. The product of the first American Idol. I am here to say it's ok to like someone who gained their initial fame from this show. Or at least this is what I keep telling myself.

But seriously, before you all start to judge me, this is a really good cd. Do not be misled by the cheesy adult contemporary stylings of the title track Breakaway. There is more to Ms. Clarkson than sappy balladeering. (is that a word??) The second single off of the album, "Since You Been Gone", aside from being grammatically incorrect, has accomplished something very difficult - it's one of the few songs that is on the top of the charts that doesn't make me want to shove a pointy object in my ear. Plus, we all know how I love a good break-up song. And this cd is full of those. As is the case with most quality cd's, the singles that get airplay aren't the best songs of the bunch, and being that I actually like the singles (except Breakaway) that says quite a bit.

Another thing that makes this a must have in the car, is they are the perfect songs to sing along with very loudly. You know you all do it. Driving down the highway, suddenly we all become accomplished musical artists. Since many of these songs are vocally very powerful, they are perfect for singing/screaming along to. Great for de-stressing. (Sidenote: When having an in-car concert, be sure that your phone is locked/closed, so that no accidental dialing can take place. My former roommates had a very long clip of my own personal rendition of "On My Own" from Les Miserables. Not cool. Fortunately, my roommates love me, so it wasn't too tragic. But that kind of material in the wrong hands...I shudder to think.)

So when thinking over your next musical purchase, you may want to check her out. I think you may be pleasantly suprised.

And to those of you continuing to shake your head and cluck your tongues, first of all, stop, cause you look silly, and two, at least I didn't say I had Ashlee Simpson in my cd player.

Current Mood: Chill
Listening to: Cry Me A River by Diana Krall (you were expecting me to be listening to Kelly Clarkson weren't you? Nope. Launchcast in the office - random makes the day go faster.)

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Sepia Is So Hot Right Now

Signing the Marriage Certificate Posted by Hello
I was having fun with the sepia feature.....old photo from our wedding.

The Cheese Stands Alone

Life gets busier as Lindsey's wedding moves closer. It is less than a month away now. I spent part of yesterday taking the infamous red bridesmaid dress to a seamstress to be altered. I believe that there are somewhere around 100 pins now residing in my dress as it awaits time at the sewing machine. The lady at The Golden Needle decided that the dress should look like it was made specifically for me. Sounds good.

The business with every day running around is making it hard to think of interesting things to tell you all on the blog. But I feel bad just leaving it alone for a long period. So I may post some random photos, so the blog doesn't get lonely.

Next weekend is the bachelorette weekend in Boca, so I am sure there will be something interesting to tell when we get back from that.

Listening to: Purple by Gus Gus
Current Mood: nauseous (not really a mood, but that is what I am currently feeling)

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

My favorite part - the kitchen. We are replacing the old fridge with a black one to match the rest of the place. Posted by Hello

Living room with Fireplace (yes, we have them in Florida) Posted by Hello

Dining Area to Stairs Posted by Hello

Earnest Goes To Camp

So, so tired....

I regret to inform you all that the busy events of the past several weeks (and the weeks to come) have exhausted me to the point of not getting back to my workout routine. The best of intentions are there, but it has yet to transpire. I need a kick in the butt.

Among the things keeping me busy is the search for a new home. We have just been renting an apartment since we got here in December, an apartment that I dislike. The community is terribly disorganized, so nothing ever gets done. Our downstairs neighbors smoke on their porch about 20 times a day (that's not really an exaggeration) which means that we have to run and close our porch door everytime we hear their's open. I think I am developing emphysema from their second hand smoke. Basically, our little neighborhood sucks. So we have been eager to get out.

Last Friday I decided to make an appointment to see a little townhouse not too far from where we currently live. I had found it on (the same site we sold ours on, and the site that found me my job, among many other things) which meant no realtor to deal with, so it sounded promising. I fell in love with the place. It is close to everything that is important to me (Kingdom Hall, job, gym, favorite grocery store, book store, mall, and other assorted shopping places...) and it is very cute. The guy who is selling it has completed renovated the inside. It comes with some of the appliances - we would need to buy a new fridge, washer and dryer, but I am happy about this, since I have wanted to buy a particular fridge, washer and dryer for quite some time. I just love it. Even better, the hubby likes it too.

So yesterday, earnest money was put on the house and a contract was signed. As long as all goes smoothly with the closing, we will have a home at the end of May!

I am so excited! I will try to post some pictures later.

Listening to: Neon by John Mayer (one of my many crushes :) )
Current Mood: Aside from feeling like I am catching something, happy

Friday, April 15, 2005

Bringing Home the Bacon - Part Deux

I reported, quite a while back, that the husband had found a job. You may have noticed that I haven't commented on said job. That is because, although he was told he got the job, he hadn't started yet. Waiting, waiting, waiting on the background check. Then more waiting on paperwork. In the midst of all this waiting, someone called him for an interview.

Wednesday was the phone interview. They liked him and wanted him that same week to meet with the controller and the CFO. That same day, the City job finally came through and told him they were ready for him to start. He didn't want to upset the city, but he didn't want to pass up the possibility of perhaps something better. So, he told the city that he would like to wait until Monday to start (keep in mind, no paperwork has been signed at this point). He informed Job B that if they interviewed him as planned on Friday, he needed a decision immediately.

The interview transpired this morning at 9 am. Three hours later, he finished. Two minutes later, he was told the job was his if he chose to accept it.

The pay is better. The benefits are better (as in, there are benefits). The vacation package is better, as the company is based in France, and the French do not believe that two weeks is enough.

Jaycel is excited, and scared, as the company is different from what he is used to. But the companies that he has been used to haven't been great. Just comfortable. Comfortable mediocrity.

So I am excited. Anyone want to go shopping? :)

Current Mood: Happy happy happy
Listening to: Estoy Aqui by Shakira

Thursday, April 14, 2005


NPR, have I told you lately that I love you?

Tuesday I laid on my bed with a headache and turned the radio on. The radio I speak of is a tiny battery operated one that you usually only break out for emergency use. I have not purchased a stereo since I moved, so if I am not listening to Launchcast on my computer, I have no option other than this thing. It doesn't get very many stations, but it does get 90.7 FM. This is the station that plays classical music and it is the local NPR carrier.

Having a headache, this station seemed to be a good choice. The voices of people on NPR are almost always soothing to me for some reason, so I laid there with my eyes closed listening to what was going on in the world.

This afternoon, there was an interview with Bob Dole. I would have never guessed how entertained I could be by Bob Dole. The first thing I learned is that Bob Dole is old. I knew this, but I wasn't fully aware of how old. The man was born in 1923. That is old, particularly for a man that was fairly recently running for president.

But that's not the amusing part. Bob Dole wrote a book - One Soldier's Story. It recounts his time in WWII, and yes, that attractive guy on the cover is actually him. This book is the reason that he was on NPR. The woman interviewing him, however, had other plans. She asked him all sorts of questions about what is taking place in the political arena at the moment, with questions that ranged from the swiftboat campaign to Schiavo and congress. To each question, Dole gave less and less of an opinion and then repeatedly stated, "but I'm not here to talk about that, I'm here to talk about my book." Dole is not one for subtlety. The woman interviewing him would barely acknowledge this statement..."yes, yes, but what about...."

And that is when Dole became very annoyed.

Dole went off on the bias of media, and how if NPR didn't have a liberal slant maybe he could answer her question, and then he went off on The New York Post. It was awesome. In my head I pictured him shaking his fist at her. And then I thought, no, most people perform the shaken fist (a.ka. the spicy meatball) with their right hand, and Dole would realize this and only get angrier. And then he would run around screaming, "Bob Dole is angry! Bob Dole wants to give you "the spicy meatball"!"

And then I felt slightly bad for playing out a silly scenario in my head that involved a man's disability.

But then I forgave myself, because my head hurt, and Bob Dole, for a moment, allowed me to forget about my pain.

Ahhhh....NPR. Good stuff.

Current Mood: TOO tired (I think I MAY have slept 3 hours last night)
Listening to: Wandering by Ben Folds

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Catch Up

Sorry I have not been updating as regularly as I usually do. Things have been a bit busy, and I have been more than a bit tired.

I also haven't worked out in a week. I know, I know. I was doing so good. I will get back to it this week. I promise.

My sister's wedding shower was Saturday. It went nicely. I think there were more gifts there than people. There were no cheesy shower games, just people eating, chatting, and watching her and her fiancee' open gifts. There were a few people missing that were invited but never RSVP'd. I think that people lack courtesy these days. When you plan a sizable event, there are a lot of expenses involved. When people just don't bother to show up, it irks me. It also bothers me that people who my sister saw fit to include couldn't be bothered to at least make a phone call saying they couldn't be there. It's rude and ungrateful. But enough ranting. There were many lovely people there, who made the shower a nice place to be. Two of the bridesmaids in particular made the shower beautiful (and delicious!) and it couldn't have gone as well without them. You ladies are awesome.

Sadly, the following day I was attacked by my own uterus. (If you are not female and very easily grossed out, you may want to stop reading.)

I have been getting the world's worst cramps for the past 6-9 months. It doesn't always happen, but when it does, I think I am dying. No exagerration. I can't say that I have ever experienced pain so excruciating that it renders me immobile. I pass the time either lying in a bath of warm water, curled in the fetal position, or on my bathroom floor. Screaming, crying, and whimpering are not uncommon. When the pain finally eases (which can be anywhere from one to three hours away) I am so weak that all I can do is lie down.

This time I remembered that I still had some of an earlier mentioned prescription that usually renders me senseless, so I took it early on in the agony. This restricted the pain to a shorter period of time thankfully, and I spent most of the remainder of the day sleeping or lying down.

Now that this has happened to me several times, I have this horrible fear every month of what might happen. It's a terrible feeling not knowing whether or not you may be incapacitated one day a month.

Equally terrible are well meaning friends telling you what might be wrong with you. Don't get me wrong - I like to be well informed and I think it is useful to be aware of the different maladies that I may be afflicted with, so I know what to ask when I go to the doctor. But things like uterine fibroids and endometriosis just don't sound all that fun.

I am better now, but really tired this week. I have a feeling I will be tired for a while to come. Lindsey's wedding is in one month, so I will be keeping busy.

Current Mood: hungry
Listening to: Linger by The Cranberries (aww...high school memories...)

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


I am back from my short vacation. Spent a long weekend on Don Pedro Island with the family. It was really nice. We layed out on the beach, swam in the ocean, fished, and played German board games.

And I am burnt.

After being away from Florida for 4 years I guess I forgot the importance of sunscreen.

So much time has been spent covering myself in aloe and not moving.

This week will be spent catching up at work, and preparing for my sister's wedding shower on Saturday. I may not have much time to write.

Listening to: Follow Your Heart from the Broadway Musical Urinetown (if you are not a Broadway fan, you still must see this play - so funny)
Current Mood: tired