Monthly Archives: September 2009

Long Busy Days, Short Sleepless Nights

…That about sums it up!  If you care for the “abridged unabridged” version, read on.

So this is what I spent my morning doing:

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It was free, basically, because I did it as a “first responder” for my workplace’s emergency preparedness plan.  Now, I don’t mean for this to sound conceited or anything, but seriously?  If the other people there are an indication of the people who will have to save my life should I need help, I’m in trouble.  Maybe it’s just me — I’m sure there are plenty of people who disagree with this — but I’d rather just die than have to recuperate from having every rib in my body broken!  Again, that’s just me.

Anyway, I spent quite a long time last night in futile pursuit of sleep… coupled with a 5.00 AM wakeup call, going to sleep at 2.00… doesn’t work that well!  And Mr. J still hasn’t gotten a clue: I am not his secretary.  This, my friends, is the problem with “promotions from within.”  Job titles and responsibilities get all mixed up.  (Not that I ever was his secretary… so I don’t know how he’d explain that away!!)

Then, like any sane person would do when faced with a crazy workload like I am right now, I went to the pool.  I had to renew my membership, but of course their system was down, so… yeah.  It was back up before I left, so I paid then, but it is so a-g-g-r-a-v-a-t-i-n-g because it is incredibly incredibly slow.  One great thing, though: the water in the pool was warm!!  It was a true “ahhhh” moment; which was definitely a nice change from “OMFG THIS IS FREEZING!!”  One of the other women in the pool told me, “This was made for you.”  Huh … you’d think I complained that it was too cold!  😉

After I went swimming, I had to hop over to my sister’s house, because this technodummy was (and actually still is!) in need of quite a bit of help with a project for a technology class.  Somehow, something that should have taken a few minutes took over an hour… but I should have known that would happen.  I always wind up spending more time at my sister’s house than I expect!  Then it’s time to run home and invent tomorrow’s lunch… the only drawback to bringing it from home is that I have to actually make it.  Which isn’t a drawback, exactly, but it does pose a problem when I have no time to breathe.  And since I have no time to breathe, I’ll waste more nonexistent time and regale you with some pictures.

Continuing with the “seedless raspberry preserves in place of berries”whole wheat hot cereal with sugar-free seedless raspberry preserves:

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I don’t remember where I heard this, but supposedly beans and rice are a good thing to eat before a fast. Hence:

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Brown rice, black beans, and Brussels sprouts roasted with seasoned salt. I actually hate Brussels sprouts — I bought a frozen bag of them once and I was sure I would like them, but I didn’t. I hate to throw things out, so I figured maybe the all-powerful roast would rescue them… and they were bearable. Definitely not my favorite vegetable by any means, but not gag-worthy either. And I will state for the record that while it really does look like a disgustingly huge heap on the plate, it is actually a single portion. Really.

I don’t know if it was the rice and beans, or the fact that I always did fast well, but Yom Kippur was fine.  In the fasting category anyway!  Everyone I know hates fasting because they feel deprived; I hate fasting because I know I’ll have to break it eventually, and that part sucks.  Go, contrary me.

And in other random news, remember my stack of sauteed eggplant? Yeah, there are only two and a half of those left left. This helped:

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Spaghetti squash, sauteed eggplant, meatless mini loaf. Doesn’t look so nice in a stack like that. So…

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That’s better.  And have no fear… three more containers were duly purchased.  😉

In reviews… Molly from POM Wonderful graciously sent me a package of iced teas a couple of weeks back. I have a fear of liquid calories; they are just not my friend. That notwithstanding, I tried the pomegranate blackberry tea today.

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What made me happy? It tastes like blueberry diet Snapple!  (This is, in case you were curious, a wonderful thing indeed.)  What made me unhappy?  Well, the calories.  Duh.  And the sugar content, but it’s all natural sugars, so it’s not so bad.  This is a drink best enjoyed in moderation, though; drink it all at once, and it can get too cloyingly sweet.

(Just as an aside, I’d like to know why “How can a banana hurt someone after a heart attack” led someone to my blog?!  I presume it means how can a banana be dangerous, but I can’t help imagining a banana with a whip or something.)

Not to cut this short, or anything, but I’m hoping to avoid another “short sleepless night,” so I’m off to attempt this phenomenon known as “a full night’s sleep” … have a happy Hump Day!

Jocalation

Jocalation = Jocalat Imitation. Very clever. Ha. Anyway, I’ve wanted to try making my own Larabars for a while, because I don’t like the nuts in them, and I was hoping to be able to leave them out… though then I’d essentially be left with mashed dates! So I compromised and used Emerald Cocoa Roast Almonds (the only almonds I don’t dislike) to try and make a Jocalat bar instead.

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These are the (very very very overpriced!!) dates that I used. Note the
utter genius at work here: contains pits. Fun. Anyway, I put two (pitted!) dates into my mini food chopper, which didn’t like that idea too much. I wound up chopping the dates by hand, and just grinding the almonds. As it turns out, one bag of almonds was too much for two dates, so I added another two dates, and I didn’t even bother chopping those — I just used my hands to incorporate them with the almonds, and that seemed to work just fine.

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I wanted to make one bar, but since I had too many almonds, it turned into two… after refrigerating it overnight, wrapped in plastic wrap, I cut it in half.

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It didn’t exactly taste like a Jocalat… for one thing, my (completely unscientific) proportions were off.  I think one additional date, plus some elbow grease, would have sufficed.  As it was, it was extremely sticky!  And I’d also add some unsweetened cocoa powder next time, because the chocolate flavor kind of got swallowed by the sweetness of the dates.  However, it wasn’t an abysmal failure, so… yay?

A few bits of edible randomness… naturally.

Since the berry season is over, I have to make do…

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…with sugar-free seedless raspberry preserves.

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All stirred up with Kashi Honey Sunshine and vanilla yogurt… it was fine, but I really do prefer fresh berries!!

And in another burst of creativity (ha ha ha, coming from one of the least creative people on the planet), I whipped up some double chocolate pancakes, using whole wheat pancake mix, Splenda, unsweetened cocoa powder, and sugar-free chocolate chips.

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In the microwave, of course.  Then I figured that I might as well just go for triple chocolate, and topped it with sugar-free chocolate syrup.

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You may or may not notice some disparity in the picture quality in this post… that would be because some pictures were taken with my brother’s camera, and some were taken with mine, which appears to be working.  I had gotten so used to his camera, though, which does take better pictures, that I was considering buying a new one anyway.  Not right away, because I’ve been spending too much money lately, but maybe in a few months.  And then I was going to get a waterproof casing for the camera I have now so that I can take it diving with me.  But.  Canon makes casings for almost all of their cameras, and they are waterproof up to 130 feet.  There are only three or four cameras which only have casings that are waterproof up to 9.8 feet.  (What?)  The PowerShot SD300 is one of those.  Guess which type of camera I have.

Now that that’s established, this picture is just to prove that when I say I’m addicted to something, I mean it:

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Do you think I have enough sauteed eggplant?! In my defense, they were on major sale, and they’ll be long gone before the expiration date rolls around. In fact, I think I ought to go buy some more. :p

And speaking of buying things, I was in dire need of a new insulated lunch bag.  (Why are they called “lunch” bags?!  I know they’re most likely to be used for that, but still.)  Apparently it isn’t the season to be buying that, because I had a very difficult time tracking one down!  But I finally did unearth this little treasure:

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It folds up into this little neat package!  Isn’t that cool?  (Yes, I am very easily amused.  I never denied it.)

Far too much time yesterday was devoted to stressing out over grains… I knew I wanted wheat berries, but they just take too long to cook, and so I was pondering the other grains I have at home… I kept vacillating between (quick-cooking) barley, quinoa, bulgur, and millet. It’s incredibly stupid to spend so much time on making such a decision, but I guess that’s what happens to indecisive morons like me! In the end, I went with the bulgur. If you had seen the expiration date on that box, you probably would have fainted… but I figured if it turned out to be bad, I could always trash it and start over with something else. It was fine. Actually, it was more than fine; I haven’t had bulgur in a couple of years, and I don’t know why — it’s good! (It tastes pretty similar to kasha, which I’ve always liked… except that it’s less of a pain to cook.)

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With garlic salt and Birdseye Steamfresh Italian Blend vegetables.

On to some Verbal Vomit… I finally got through to my endocrinologist (he said, “We must stop meeting like this!”), and to make a long story short, it’s not very likely that my skeleton will crumble to dust because of this. Which makes me glad, because my sister (who takes this medication) told me that the only difference she noticed after she started it was that she had a lot more energy. Isn’t that all I ever wanted?! I am actually struggling mightily against the urge to read everything I can get my hands (cursor?) on re: this medication, because I know that I’m going to “accidentally” find a whole slew of people who claim that it made them gain weight… which will convince me that I will, too, and I don’t need any additional paranoia, thank you very much.

Words cannot even begin to describe how freezing cold I was all day today. There are very few things that make me feel completely, inhumanly miserable; being insanely cold is one of them. I could hardly get any work done because if I wasn’t huddled over my little space heater, even my internal organs were encased in ice.  Look, it’s 65 degrees outside.  If it was 65 degrees in your house, you’d turn on the heat.  So why is the air conditioning going full-blast?!

Another mini-rant (well, okay, two): I still have so much work to do.  I’ve hardly done any of it.  I must have some sort of death wish.  And Sunday night / Monday is Yom Kippur.  Holiest day of the year or not, it is my least favorite day of the year.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, the fasting part doesn’t bother me (duh)… it’s the “sit-in-shul-and-pray-all-day” aspect of it that I can’t stand.  I am ADD when it comes to such things.  Even when I was a little kid, my teachers always complained to my parents that I did not stay in my seat.  I just can’t sit still for so many endless hours!!  From the moment it ends, I am dreading next year’s Yom Kippur… and somehow, I have a sneaking suspicion that this is the totally wrong attitude with which to approach it.  Hmm.

Either way, I really do need to get something useful done, and soon.  Agh.

Have a beautiful weekend!

Answers?

Thank you all so much for the responses to my last post… it does help a bit to know that I’m not alone in that, but it also saddens me that so many wonderful, beautiful people who deserve so much better feel that way.  That sounds… trite… but the more I try to explain myself, the worse it will get, so I’ll just leave it at that.

‘Tis long past the time when I should have been asleep, but I literally just walked in the door from my nutritionists’ appointment (same old, same old… sigh), so this will be a quick one.  The “answers” to which I referred in the post title actually raised more questions!  I called the endocrinologist to find out if my blood test results came in yet; they did, and I do have an underactive thyroid, so he told me to fill the prescription he gave me when I was in his office.  (My nutritionist is dismayed because she’s convinced I’m going to lose weight because of it and she’s already telling me to increase my intake, which is completely ridiculous, but whatever.)  It’s a digital age, of course I went online and looked up the medication… and it can cause osteoporosis, so “tell your doctor if you have ever been diagnosed with osteoporosis.”  This endocrinologist should know this about me, since he’s the one who actually sent me for my original DEXA; but it was so many years ago that it’s in my old file which is probably in a landfill by now, and so I had to be a total pain in the ass and call him back again.  And leave a message, which I hate to do.  So I can’t fill the prescription anyway until I talk to him, but all I wanted was to stop being so tired all the time, and he says “it might not be as simple as all that.”  Goodness… is that really too much to ask??

Today was an incredibly irritating day at work; I’m supposed to check over a couple of people’s work, and I absolutely hate micromanaging, but seriously?  These people are just… lazy or something, because they’re making mistakes left, right, and center, and if I’m correcting everything they’re doing, what’s the point in having them do it at all?!  Doesn’t it make more sense for me to just do it to begin with?!  My boss says I should bring it to him and he’ll take care of it, but I have done that several times in the past, and evidently his translation of “take care of it” differs from mine.  According to me, having “taken care of” something means it is no longer an issue.  But hey, I’ve always been a little cuckoo about words and definitions, so fine, it’s me.  I get it.

What I don’t get: I still don’t understand how I used to do this practically every day.

romaine, chickpeas, broccoli, mushrooms, croutons, balsamic vinegar

romaine, chickpeas, broccoli, mushrooms, croutons, balsamic vinegar

Now, compare that with these.

romaine, roasted asparagus, sauteed eggplant, chopped microwaved All Whites

romaine, roasted asparagus, sauteed eggplant, chopped microwaved All Whites

romaine, roasted button mushrooms, roasted green beans, veggie protein link

romaine, roasted button mushrooms, roasted green beans, veggie protein link

What was I thinking?! (Yes, I realize the first one looks … slightly unappetizing, but trust me, it wasn’t. You know my Sonny & Joe’s Theory by now — it’s the saving grace of everything, in my eyes. And roasting can rescue even mushy, icky-looking canned asparagus. So.)

This is turning into something far longer than it should be… I am definitely going to regret this tomorrow.  I have a mountain of schoolwork to do, and I am so tired that I did something incredibly dumb yesterday — no negative repercussions or anything, but it just proves that my mind does not function at a certain level of exhaustion — and if I don’t care for a variation of a repeat performance, which I don’t, I should go to bed.  Right now.  So I leave you with a random jewelry photo.  Or two.

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The week is almost over… yay!  Have a good one.

Skip this one.

I’m all but delirious with exhaustion.  That might explain quite a bit of what is sure to be a senseless ramble… everything always sounds so nicely phrased in my head, and I can tie it up in a neat little package, but when it comes to writing it down… it’s all gone.  I’m trying to do an assignment for my therapist, and I cannot focus on anything for more than two and a half seconds.  Well, I can focus plenty; I just can’t capture it.  Or this, apparently.  Anyway.

This is me… or my daily experience of this wonderful thing called life.  It’s like starting at a new school in the middle of the academic year, when all of the cliques have already been established and you’re the newcomer, the automatic outsider, because everyone is comfortable with the status quo.  Nobody wants to mess up what’s been working so far.  That’s pretty much how I feel on an everyday basis; I don’t fit in anywhere.  I wonder, sometimes, if I ever really did.  I pass by people on the street, and they’re in groups of two or three, and snatches of their conversations float over to me.  They sound perfectly innocuous, so everyday, so… normal.  Did I ever sound like that?  Was I ever completely at ease walking down the street next to someone else, chattering away about some nonsensical thing, “just because”?  If I was, I don’t remember it.  I can’t sugar-coat my high school years and say that everything was wonderful just because I spent a lot of time hanging out with friends; I know that I wasn’t completely happy back then, either.  But I’m also not happy now.  In a way, it’s worse, because “misery loves company,” and ten years ago we were all filled with “teenage angst” and all that… and now it’s just me.  Like the rest of the world kind of fell away.  And I can’t stand my own company, so to be so smothered with my own presence every second of every day is no fun at all.  (Well, now, when I put it like that… I can’t imagine why others wouldn’t feel the same!  [inflect heavy sarcasm here])

I also wonder why I’m in graduate school.  Yes, I want a masters degree… but I’m not completely convinced that this is what I want to do with my life, and it’s kind of a lot of money to be spending just because I don’t know what else to do.  I am just too old to be so clueless.  I know that I’m not “old,” per se — at least not according to conventional societal standards — but considering the community in which I was raised, I may as well be dead.  My age and single?!  The majority of people my age are married with a couple of kids by now.  Whether or not that’s what I want right now isn’t the point; it’s that I am old here, and out of place, because there is no neat little niche for people like me.  Which would go a long way in explaining why I am a “loner.”

This is making it sound like I want to just throw off everything I’ve ever known, but I’m not saying that at all.  It’s true that I’m limited, and always have been — can’t wear this, can’t eat that, can’t go here, can’t do X on Y day — but for the most part, I haven’t ever resented that.  Until recently, that is.  Most people in my community follow a script: go to high school, go away to school or something for a year, come home, get married, have kids, and maybe have a part-time job teaching or as a secretary.  I’m way off the map here, and even though I should have expected this because I have always felt like some sort of weird freak, it still totally threw me, and sent me looking for something, but I don’t know what.  It’s like going out to buy a dress without knowing exactly what you want, but when you see it, you know it.  There haven’t been any dresses for me; just the limitations.  I can only see the things I can’t do… which seems to be everything, unless I’m going to immediately get married and have kids, which clearly is not happening anytime soon.  Or possibly ever.

I’m afraid to say what I need, or what I think I need.  Presumably nobody knows that better than I do, but I’m pretty much convinced that whatever I do end up getting will inevitably turn out not to be it.  That, and I’m also pretty sure that I can’t get it anyway.  I know I think too much, and my own head is not an extremely pleasant place to be most of the time, but I am there quite a bit anyway… and I wonder, what is the point?  I’m fairly certain that there isn’t anyone in the world who needs me to be around.  Family doesn’t count in this equation — they’re family, they’re kind of duty-bound to love you.  I mean someone who gives a crap about me because they want to, not because they have to.

Heaven only knows where someone that young got such a notion, but I remember “not believing in love” ever since I was very little.  I apparently had an extended period of insanity that lasted from when I was sixteen until I was twenty, when I thought I believed in love… or, rather, I thought I did love someone (in a reciprocal way!), while still being aware that for as long as I could remember, I never believed in love.  This made for a very weird set of circumstances, obviously.  And being proven right — that for me there was no such thing — didn’t help to dispel my original theory.

Because I specialize in jumping around in a totally random order, back on the graduate school note, I am feeling like I am going to drown.  For the most part, I do enjoy the actual classes themselves, even if I’m not burning with passion and 100% sure what I am actually going to do with this degree.  But the workload is insane.  I know that I have this reaction every semester, but I’ve never dealt with work, school, and  inexplicable chronic fatigue all at once.  If the latter had its way with me, I’d crawl into bed the moment I got home from work every day and not get out again until the following morning!  I’m not a very pleasant tired person — I can get very crabby and cranky when I am sleep-deprived.  I’m sure you can see how this would be a problem.  And speaking of which… I have an enormous mountain of work to do, and I haven’t even watched last week’s ANTM, but I am going to collapse into bed momentarily.

Just a couple of minor bits of housekeeping first…

I finally decided on a backpack, since I had to take my netbook to school today.  And wouldn’t you know, the classroom didn’t even have decent WiFi.  Gotta love Murphy, huh?

My camera was delivered on Friday, but for some reason I didn’t get it until today.  I snapped a few shots with flash.  I’m too exhausted, and my eyes are practically crossing, so I can’t tell if it still smokes.  I think I may have smelled it; but my senses are simultaneously in overdrive and nonexistent, so judgment on that will have to wait.

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I ate a pear today.  Evidently, I did not choke.  This was, quite possibly, the most overripe, juiciest d’Anjou pear on the planet.  (Too bad I prefer them firmer… I choke on those, but not these.  C’est la vie.)

Good night from a pineapple under the sea.  Where I wish I could be.  (I’ve never actually seen SpongeBob.  Ever.)

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Year Over.

Age appears to have mellowed me.  That isn’t quite right — it’s just that I am so exhausted, both physically and mentally, that I simply haven’t got the energy to panic very much about the fact that I haven’t made the slightest dent in the reading I need to do for school.  I am not at all used to being apathetic, but I guess I’ve run out of steam.  In the plans for tomorrow: wake up just as early as always (5 AM, for the record), even though I don’t have work (due to the fact that Rosh Hashana starts tomorrow night… agh), so that I can be at the lab when they open at 7.30 and avoid getting stuck behind a line of people there.  Gym for semi-sanity.  Home to read everything I need to read by Monday so that I don’t have to deal with it over the holiday.  Go to the library (yay!).  Cook some more.  Take a nice long nap!!!!

Anyway.  As usual, I’m going to meander all over the place in no particular order.

I met my friend for lunch yesterday.  I honestly cannot believe I used to find takeaway salads exciting / appealing…

romaine, kidney beans, sprouts, mushrooms, croutons, balsamic vinegar

romaine, kidney beans, sprouts, mushrooms, croutons, balsamic vinegar

Not to be overly egotistical or anything, but I make better salads than they do. :p (Elise, I totally owe you for being my inspiration to finally start bringing it from home!)

Case in point: this salad I made today. 

 romaine, sprouts, roasted acorn squash, raw corn, edamame, honey dijon vinaigrette

romaine, sprouts, roasted acorn squash, raw corn, edamame, honey dijon vinaigrette

I was actually really excited about this salad; but it did not live up to the hype.  The dressing saved it, but the squash was disappointing.  I was awake until midnight last night to finish roasting it… but apparently I haven’t had much success with acorn squash of late!  It just didn’t have much flavor.  There are so many vastly superior varieties out there, anyway… and I am sort of addicted to buying way too many:

delicata squash, carnival squash

delicata squash, carnival squash

These are lined up on my countertop alongside a spaghetti squash and a buttercup squash; I tried to take a picture of all four of them, but the camera battery died on me, and I don’t know where my brother keeps his charger.  This is the last picture I managed to get before said camera death, which explains why it’s blurry, I guess: 

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For some more randomness, look at this absolutely adorable mini pineapple I saw in the supermarket last night!!  (It was not so adorably priced; I have no idea what one would pay for a regular pineapple, but I have a sneaking suspicion it is far less than this.)

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You know me and my love of mini produce… so it took some self-control not to spontaneously purchase this!!  (The fact that the acid in pineapples [which I actually love] tends to give me canker sores may or may  not have been a contributing factor here.)

Oh, and in case it’s not coming to a location near you… winter appears to be very close at hand.  Sad.  And also just the right weather for this:

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Coming from someone who should never eat hot food, this is kind of strange, but I love soup.  I always have.  And mushroom barley is one of my favorites.  Although it doesn’t need to be freezing outside in order for me to eat soup, so please keep a lid on the frigidity, thank you!

As I mentioned, Rosh Hashana starts tomorrow night; hence, I spent most of the evening in the kitchen cooking (instead of doing my school reading or even watching last night’s ANTM)… I cannot wait until I can arrange my own kitchen the way I please.  I spent ten minutes looking for the thyme, which wound up being underneath a bag of barley, a bag of beans, and two bags of egg noodles… my mom has this habit of just shoving things in, and it is extremely annoying.  Particularly if we already have one, and the old one isn’t moved to the front to be finished first.  Basic stocking rules, people.  Anyway.

 

maple roasted carrots

maple roasted carrots

asparagus quiche in a brown rice crust 

asparagus quiche in a brown rice crust

apple rice pilaf

apple rice pilaf

…And then the camera died, so no more pictures on that front.  I did actually fill both backpacks and took turns wearing them while I was cooking (and yes, I felt very stupid doing that), in order to see which is more comfortable.  Do I even need to say that I am still totally undecided?!  This is getting beyond ridiculous and beginning to verge on completely pathetic already.  I should just close my eyes and point, or something.

My therapist is riding the Medication Train again.  I find it rather ironic that we’re all about developing opportunities that enable me to make choices for myself, and here I have a choice, and a firm opinion for once in my life, and it seems to be worth nothing!  That and many other things could actually spur quite a lengthy Verbal Vomit session right here, but lucky for you, I am far too tired, and need to be at the lab in eight hours, so I will be quiet now.  It will suffice for me to say that I am a little bit freaked out over the holiday, and a lot a bit freaked out over school, and in a weird way I feel like I’m the only person on my little individual planet.  I should really name that planet.  Suggestions are welcome.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday

…how’s that for an original post title?!

This morning, I decided against traipsing out to the gym, only to come back home to go to the endocrinologist.  But since I am a complete zombie until I get some sort of exercise in, I introduced myself to Jillian.  She woke me up, all right.  Also brought home the fact that I need to suck it up and get to the podiatrist STAT!!  But whatever.

To make a long story short… my endocrinologist (who is 74 years old, not that I asked; he voluntarily told me this because I generally speak at a relatively low volume and I guess he thought that would get me to shout!) appointment was rather enlightening.  Apparently, not only is my doctor a moron, but the lab isn’t much better.  I have no choice, really, since my insurance won’t cover any other lab, but the ranges on the blood test results were all off… meaning my thyroid is not as slightly underactive as my doctor said it was.  So.  I get to have another blood test, yay!  Real fasting this time, as in, first thing in the morning.  (I wonder if that means I’m not supposed to drink water either?!)  And if it still shows the same results, I get to take medication for three months and see what happens.  Oh, joys.  Have I mentioned that I hate medication?!  (Only about sixteen dozen times, I know; rhetorical question there.)  He also said some pretty kooky things, considering that I clearly told him I have an eating disorder, but okay, he’s an old dude, I’ll forgive him.  But seriously!!  I’ll spare you the insanity, though.

To finish the second miniature pumpkin:

romaine, chickpeas, roasted broccoli stir-fry vegetables, roasted pumpkin

romaine, chickpeas, roasted broccoli stir-fry vegetables, roasted pumpkin

I found a bag of apple chips in my desk drawer. Well, I knew they were there, but it was high time I actually consumed them, so I dumped them on top of the salad for the crunch factor.

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The only problem is that there was no crunch factor.  Any chance of that disappeared, oh, about six months ago!  There was no “use by” date on the bag, though, which is slightly annoying, but you win some, you lose some.  The chips probably would have gotten soggy in the salad anyway.

Here’s another Sodium Attack:

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Lightlife Smart Strips Steak (which taste exactly the same as the chick’n strips, if you ask me… they just look different), “stir-fried” with Birdseye pepper stir-fry (even though a more appropriate name would be “onion stir-fry” … don’t be so stingy with the peppers, people!).  Yow.

Several exciting arrivals today… first off, my books!  Woohoo!  🙂 🙂 🙂

Second of all, my backpacks finally made it here, which means I’m toting the other four back to Kmart… I don’t know yet which one I’m keeping, but it’s definitely one of the Target backpacks.

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Kind of hard to see, I know… this is the one on the left, and this is the one on the right.  I was sure I was going to stick with the latter — it’s bigger, it opens wider, it’s sturdier — but then I tried them on with some random crap stuffed inside… and I knew there was a reason why I didn’t like that crazy “handle” that so many computer backpacks seem to have.  It’s apt to irritate my neck, but I’m not sure about that, and I don’t want to find out the hard way, so now I’m undecided.  Again.  La la la … though my netbook is giving me issues (already!  I haven’t even set it up yet!), so I have to call Dell prior to using the thing anyway.

Having spent this time writing a post instead of actually working, I am feeling rather unproductive… but I am also far too mentally exhausted to concentrate enough on schoolwork!  But the pile of reading I have to do is quite frightening… I wish I could just absorb it all by osmosis.  Wouldn’t that be nice??  And I need to come up with a topic for a paper.  Once I have a topic, despite my freaking out over the process of writing it, I’m usually okay… but finding a topic is extremely difficult for uncreative types like me!!

Since I’m not getting any actual work done, I suppose attempting to go to sleep is as good an idea as any right now… enjoy your Wednesday!

I DO like fresh pumpkin after all!

Remember my adorable little pumpkins? The ones which were presumably so shiny because that allegedly would keep them from rotting? Well, if that’s what the gloss was for, I have to say that it is highly ineffective! I’ve had a spaghetti squash on the counter for a few weeks, and it’s fine; I’ve had an acorn squash even longer than that, and it’s fine too. These pumpkins? Not so much. So I had to use them up ASAP. Hence…

romaine, chickpeas, roasted button mushrooms, roasted pumpkin

romaine, chickpeas, roasted button mushrooms, roasted pumpkin

Maybe the last time I had fresh pumpkin, it was just a “bad” one?  Either that, or the preparation method is really important, and you definitely can’t go wrong with roasting!!  And just for the hell of it, here’s what happened to my beautifully arranged piles, en route to work this morning…

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Oh-so-sad.  What else is oh-so-sad (actually, it just annoys me) is that while this was really good, I didn’t get to enjoy it fully; I kind of had to gulp it down, because I went to the dive shop today to look into buying a wetsuit.  The guy I went to see?  Yeah, he wasn’t there, because apparently he doesn’t work Mondays.  So someone else was helping me, which was fine… but I hadn’t intended to try on all of these suits!  Wriggling into and out of skintight neoprene in a rather warm shop?  Not exactly the least time-consuming of activities.  Also not for the very body-conscious, but whatever.  As it turns out, I can’t get a wetsuit that will do double duty for the pool and ocean diving; so I’m thinking that maybe it makes more sense for me to just get a rash guard for now.

Anyway.  I was also really rushed because I had to leave work early today to get to class… it wasn’t actually my first day (see my initial freakout over that one here), but I had a week off because of Labor Day, and one of my professors canceled his first class, so for all intents and purposes it was the first day… for that class, at least.  Thanks for all the well wishes, either way!  They were much appreciated.

It was sort of okay, I guess.  I mean, it’s a lot of work.  I am insanely overwhelmed.  I am convinced I’m going to ruin everything and flunk out of grad school, but then I should remind myself that I thought that for my entire first year, and it didn’t happen.  I can do this.  It’s just really, really hard for me to balance everything out and accept that it’s impossible for me to do everything perfectly all the time… and that there are not enough hours in the day for me to do it all.  (Prioritizing = decision making = something at which I royally suck!)

Oh, and this is for Sarah, even though I’m pretty sure I’ve posted these before!

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I’m hugely exhausted — I don’t know what it is about that school building, but I always leave tired and with a headache.  I think it just doesn’t have a very good ventilation system, and the fact that three hours are spent in a stuffy computer lab probably doesn’t help!  The only reason why I didn’t collapse into bed the moment I walked through my front door is because I had to make my lunch for tomorrow… which, of course, involved some roasting!  It’s okay, though, I guess, because I get to sleep a little later than usual tomorrow; my appointment with the endocrinologist is in the morning, so I’m going in late to work.  You think I might finally get to the bottom of why I’m so tired all the time?!

Just as a random little sidenote, check out this absolutely enormous blackberry!!  You can’t tell just how freakishly huge it really is, but it is like The Great Mutant Berry or something.  Yipe.

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Have a great Tuesday!!