Monthly Archives: March 2010

Part One

How about I skip over the lurid details, because it’s all in the past and there’s no sense in ruminating over things that have already happened?  Instead, I offer you the bullet-point version of the past few days, during which I was ironically, but effectively, made to feel both elephantine and diminutive.

  • Both the first and second seder began after 9.30 PM.  And lasted roughly four hours.  Do the math.
  • Any plans of escaping for a simple walk outside were scrapped due to the relentless rain.
  • My mom totally blew up at me on Tuesday (I think it was because I didn’t want to eat chicken) and informed me that I belong in a hospital, and that after Pesach that is exactly where I am going to go.
  • Coincidentally, not that they’ve noticed, or anything, but I am not actually speaking with my parents at the moment, because my dad did something last night that really hurt my oh-so-tender feelings, and he will never admit that he might be even halfway wrong, so a rational discussion on the topic is out of the question.

I’m done whining.  I just have to keep reminding myself that in a week from today, it will all be over.

Actually, in a week from today, I have class.  My professor finally decided to answer my e-mail … but in his typical helpful fashion, his “advice” was to “look it up in X book.”  Why, thank you.  Now I know exactly what I’m supposed to do.  I mean, really.  Is this why I pay these obscene tuition rates?!

My apologies for the lack of visual stimulation in this post; I obviously could not use my camera over the past few days.  Not that there was anything very exciting to photograph; if you’ve seen one matzah, you’ve seen them all.  And there really isn’t much of a variety from which to choose; unless you’re strictly a meat-and-potatoes person, which I am not, finding something you actually want to eat is rather difficult during this holiday.  I don’t even need to say that this is a source of enormous joy to an eating disorder… wheeee!  Restriction by default!  It’s too confusing for me to sort out how I actually feel about all this… but somehow, I think that the outcome can’t be very good at all.

Additional apologies for my absence in commenting; I think my Google Reader is in the triple digits, which is nearly enough to give me a panic attack, but I do hope to catch up with everyone!!

Have a lovely Thursday… tomorrow is Thursday, right?!… these holidays confuse me so much when it comes to keeping track of the days of the week.

“I’m not confused.  I’m just well mixed.”
~Robert Frost

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The Night Before

Did I disappear?  I don’t know… I didn’t notice, so nobody else would, either.  I can’t decide whether I just want to hide from myself because I feel so disgusting, or if I’m really just too tired and busy and stressed.  Could be both.  But I feel kind of weird about posting about non-kosher for Passover food during the holiday, so …

This was on sale at Whole Foods recently, so I picked one up on a whim… since I apparently have a weird tendency to increase my consumption of hot cereals as warmer weather approaches.

There was no warm weather on Friday, though, so it worked out fine.  Unfortunately, there was also somewhat of an explosion in my wonky basement microwave.

What you see here is only about half of a serving, since the rest of it wound up splattered on the microwave interior.  I wasn’t expecting it to be so voluminous, kind of like oat bran!  It isn’t quite as filling, but that could be because half of it was missing.  I just made it using water and salt, because I wanted to gauge the taste of the actual product.  I loved it.  Tasted like, well, quinoa.  Duh.

And then I was informed that if I do not repent [this morning], I am going to perish.  Seriously… 6.00 AM is too early in the morning for subway proselytizing!  I was wondering just how long she would go on.  Twenty minutes, at least.

I found another semi-palatable way to eat cottage cheese… if I mix it with oats and a lot of cinnamon and Truvia to mask the taste, the oats’ chewiness renders the curds’ chewiness less gag-inducing to me.

The sugar-free apple pie filling didn’t hurt, either.

And some more oats… I’m getting my fill before Pesach, I guess.

With chocolate soy protein powder and chunky peanut butter.  It needed cocoa powder.  Too bad it’s all locked up.

Since I have nothing coherent to say, I will resort to a string of images.  I will say that though I hate this helliday with a passion, it would be kind of nice if produce were so prevalent in this household year-round.

bananas, mini bananas

walnuts, hazelnuts

pineapple, cantaloupe, watermelon, the biggest honeydew I have ever seen

zucchini

English cucumbers

avocado

horseradish (for the bitter herbs)

borrowed my sister's dehydrator

apples, sweet potatoes, kiwi, pears, bananas, zucchini, beets

citrus juicer

And a very strange photo of a feather, spoon, candle and a paper bag.

These are the accoutrements of bedikat chametz (literally, “searching for chametz [leavened bread]”) … basically a ritual performed the night before Pesach to find anything that may have been overlooked during the floor-to-ceiling scouring.  Actually, we hide ten pieces of bread beforehand, so that there is really something to find!  My brother usually follows my dad around the house, but he isn’t home, so guess who was his lucky stand-in?  I took some weird pictures to keep myself entertained.  Or awake.

Say hello to Bunny.

Since I’m on the topic of non-kosher for Passover foods anyway, I would like to state for the record that I definitely ate too many honey wheat pretzels today.  I actually didn’t measure how many, so I couldn’t say for sure, but it was probably two servings’ worth.  Which is not okay with me.  But the whole, “Well, you didn’t eat ‘enough’ today anyway, so it’s fine” mindset has just got to go.  It’s not productive.

I really wish that instead of banning bread / grains for a week, we could all just go vegetarian instead.  Would make things a lot simpler!  Oh, well, too bad life isn’t always about what I want.  I ran around like a headless chicken today looking for tofu, because I won’t be able to buy it for a month after Pesach… don’t ask.  My mom accused me of talking about nothing but food, because I mentioned I was going to a particular supermarket since I knew they stocked that particular item.  I was very offended by this, because I know that I talk about plenty of other things, and if she doesn’t think so, then she just doesn’t listen to me.  Ever.  What a surprise.

In twenty-four hours I will probably be sitting (pacing) on pins and needles, waiting for the first seder to start.  A couple of years back I actually tried to calculate how many “required” calories are in a seder.  The numbers started to freak me out, so I stopped.  But ignorance is absolutely not bliss here.  I am not going to be able to work out until Thursday, and I am going to be sitting around and being a revolting pig multiple times a day.  With my mom harrassing me, as an added bonus.  I just want this all to be over.

I guess I don’t really need to say it, but I won’t be online for the next few days… Monday evening through Wednesday evening, at least.  I wish I could say that I’m taking the time to recharge and attempt to attain some measure of sanity, but what happens will probably be the exact opposite!

“The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention.”
~Richard Moss
(Hear that, Mom?!)

H.A.L.T.

I don’t actually remember where this originated — but I’m sure many of you are familiar with the concept of H.A.L.T. — as in hungry, angry, lonely, tired.  Being in any / all of these states tends to lower your resistance … to things like a pesky eating disorder.  Which totally butt-kicked me today.  This shouldn’t come as a surprise, given my recent lack-of-sleep situation.  I’m far too tired to counter any of this.  Despite the accumulating schoolwork with which I must eventually deal, I planned on coming home, grudgingly eating dinner, taking a shower, and going to sleep.  Except that the cleaning woman is currently wreaking havoc in the bathroom, so I have to put it all back together again once she leaves and before I take a shower.  Guess it won’t be such an early night after all.

Nor will tomorrow night… like last week, I’m getting very anxious about the late hour.  (I can’t even think about the seder, which won’t begin until at least 10.00 PM, if I’m lucky.  Ouch.)  And the same Turtle Mountain dilemma arises.  Damned if I do, damned if I don’t.  A lot of times, it seems, I feel like I need to be given “permission” to eat — while I might not be happy about it then, I can “blame” it on someone else instead of my own gluttony.  (Yes, I realize this is not exactly a sane way to think.  I never claimed sanity.)

Here are some “irritations” of the day!  I loved the Nature Valley vanilla nut granola bar, so of course it is no longer available.  I tried this instead.

Quite good, actually.  And also pretty expensive.  One day, when I am not so overwhelmed by life, I want to try making my own version of something like this.

I had to use a skillet to cook my tofu today.  It worked fine with the Nasoya tofu, but I didn’t have any more of that, so I used Mori-Nu.

It’s all fine and good if you want scrambled tofu… but I didn’t.  I wanted slabs.  They started falling apart when I tried to flip them, so I just gave up and mashed it all together.  It tasted fine, I guess… I just prefer my tofu to be firmer than that.

Earrings…

I remember when I was looking high and low for such “mother of pearl” shell earrings… now I have several pairs, in different sizes and colors.  Figures.

Pesach dose: my family literally does not eat anything that isn’t made at home.  (Apparently I am an exception because I am “not well.”  Whatever.)  Hence, there is a lot of vegetable action going on.  My dad’s workplace actually distributed a lot of things for free, and this is some of what we wound up with.

Sweet potatoes!  They’re not the best quality, as you can see.  I’m hoping they survive until after Pesach, because the best part is the skin… and we have to peel everything.  In case someone was eating bread over the box of sweet potatoes, or something.  (Don’t laugh — we bought a case of lemons last year, and there was a piece of cake inside.)

Lots and lots of carrots… but the curly one in particular captured my attention!

I struggled through the day today, fighting the urge to just collapse on the floor in a sleepy heap.  Mr. J announced that he wanted our time sheets for March by tomorrow, since he won’t be in next week.  When I went to give mine to him, he had his head down on his desk.  He was sleeping.  Do you have any idea what would happen if I spontaneously decided to take a nap in the middle of the day?!  Actually, that’s irrelevant, because it’s not like I would be able to fall asleep anyway.

This isn’t funny.  I really, really, really need to get my ass in gear and do some work, but I can barely even focus long enough to type a coherent sentence.  Sleep deprivation and me do not get along.  I’m so exhausted I could cry, and my stupid body does not seem to be getting the message: when you get into bed, you are supposed to fall asleep!!  Seriously — how complex is that?!?!

And to end off with a nice, neat little circle… that H.A.L.T. thing?  I think one leads to another.  If I am tired, everything I feel is going to be amplified.  I’ve said it before, but I get very cranky when I am insomnic.  Even more reason to be cranky about feeling extraneous!  Sometimes I just sit in front of my computer at work and wonder why on earth I bother at all.

Have a great weekend.

“The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can, well.”
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
(And what if you can’t do anything well? … I guess you’re just screwed.)

Great Transformations

Whoever left me questions tonight on Formspring — I did answer them, but they have apparently been eaten. Sorry about that.  Edit: I guess it didn’t taste good… they reappeared.

This whole “from midnight to 5.00 AM, with several waking periods in between” thing has got to stop.  No matter how tired I am; the moment I get into bed, POOF!, I’m wide awake.  But I can’t function during the day on this amount of fragmented sleep.  I used to be able to do that, but I am an old lady now.  Definitely didn’t help that I was stuck in class until 8.30 tonight.  Major snoozefest… and still no help on this stupid project, naturally!  I sense a problem.

I am so sleep-deprived that I am starting to forget things.  (And if you know me, you know that I do not forget things.)  But as I waited for the train today, I realized that I had forgotten to take a bar with me.  I stopped off in Whole Foods and picked this up instead:

It feels “junky” to be eating chocolate like that.  And I don’t even like this one very much — I prefer the dark chocolate — but of course I can’t find that one anymore.  Whatever.

On Monday night, I bought some vegetables that I can just toss into a salad raw… that way I avoid the whole “lack-of-pareve-appliances” dilemma.  The result:

Romaine, baby peppers, pan-seared tofu, baby bellas.

I’m pretty sure this is the last salad that will be showcased before the helliday.  Speaking of which, here is what happened in my kitchen last night.

Remember this?

Watch the transformation:

Ta-da!!

As for the rest of the kitchen (AKA, the spaceship)… shield your eyes.

This is normally the dairy side.

This is normally the meat side.  The size of it indicates that I live with largely carnivorous people.

This is normally the pareve side — AKA, mine.  😉

The earrings I bought in Grand Cayman made their debut today:

And since I mentioned Grand Cayman, that gives me a nice little transition for this…

In other, really exciting news, I found a way to get to my hotel from the aiport for less than the $116 I’d pay for the shuttle!  It will now cost $26 each way.  Seriously, if I keep spending money on this vacation, maybe someone will end up paying me; the more I spend, the bigger the savings get.  😉

Also somewhat related to this: I bought a wetsuit.  (This one, if you care.) I don’t actually have it yet, because it’s a special order (I want a 5mm, and they don’t generally stock that thickness).  This means that I will not be able to return it.  Instead of asking if it would leave me room to get fatter, I asked if I would be able to lend it to someone who has my build but is X pounds heavier.  (This was actually my therapist’s idea.  I think I should be worried about her ability to craft tales.)  I tried on a few different ones, and I wound up going with a brand that has more “give” — meaning the neoprene is more flexible.  I tried on the size below and the size above what I ended up going with, because they didn’t have any full wetsuits in that size.  Based on the fact that I could get into the smaller one, and the main problem was that I am too tall for it, I really shouldn’t worry about the fact that I might get too fat for a size above that.  But this is me, and I obsess over everything, so I’m busy freaking out.  I won’t actually have the suit for another couple of weeks yet, either.

In hindsight, going to buy a wetsuit is probably not the greatest idea when you’re having a bad time with body image.  I’m already having a hard enough time focusing on anything, considering my sleep-deprived state, but this just gives me another reason to want to come home and get into pajamas.

Sometimes I just want to stop “holding it together” … I want to be able to fall apart and know that I’ll just come back together again, but that won’t happen.  I could ramble on about this for a long time, but I have to go stare at my ceiling.

Have a happy Thursday.

“It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.”
~John Steinbeck
(Well, that certainly explains a lot…)

Post #300 — Giveaway Winner

In one week exactly, I will be at a seder.  Shoot me now.  But first, before I forget: the reason why the refrigerator / freezer is lined in foil is because it’s the same one that we use all year, with food that isn’t kosher for Passover.  According to some people (i.e., my mom), scouring the inside of said appliance is not good enough.  No, we have to cover it too.  Gah.

And the major kitchen transformation takes place tonight… after which I will feel like I am living in a spaceship.  Having every surface covered in foil will do that to you!

Back to today.

Broccoli, corn, chorizo style Smart Sausage.  I had to cook the broccoli in a pot, and the “sausage” in a skillet… but it was actually better that way, because it got a little crispy.

And spaghetti and “meatballs.”   The picture in the link does not adequately portray this, so I took one of my own:

If you’ve been a regular reader of my blog, I’m sure you see the problem here.  I do not like condensed calories.  If there are a lot of calories in there, it damn well better look like it.  I do not think this qualifies:

Don’t ask me what this was doing in my freezer.  I’ve tried it before; I know I wasn’t crazy about it.  I’d rather make my own.  But whatever.

When I got home today, horror of horrors: the Internet was down.  And the phones were out, too, which actually doesn’t bother me at all.  But no Internet?! … It’s back now, obviously, but those were a scary few hours.  Or not, since I spent most of that time at the pool.  I guess the bobbing ladies are too busy preparing for the upcoming helliday, because not many of them were there.  That would explain how I managed to do more laps than I usually do and still get into the locker room far earlier than I thought I would — as it turns out, it’s a lot easier to swim in a straight line than in a zig zag!

I can’t even remember the last time I wore my hair in a ponytail.  I never do it, if I can help it.  But today I did, because my hair just doesn’t like this weather, and I already feel fat and ugly — I don’t need uncooperative hair to exacerbate that.  Feeling the way I do is particularly irksome because it is wholly illogical.  Suppose your car ran out of gas; you’d fill it up, no questions asked.  Not that people are exactly the same as cars, but the analogy is close enough.  I do not know why it does not equate in my head that eating apparently isn’t the sort of thing to which I can say, “Mission accomplished; no need to do this anymore.”  And that annoys me most of all, because there is always that urge to “take a test drive” … you know, “just to be sure I can still do it.”

In more exciting news, I checked the price for my vacation this morning, and it had gone down (after previously going up)!  I wanted to book it then and there, but I won’t enter my credit card number on my work computer, so I had to wait.  During the afternoon, it went back up again… and then a few hours later, back down.  At that point, I decided this is really bad for my blood pressure, and that I am going to book it the first chance I get.  So I did.  And guess what? … I got an additional discount because I am a repeat Orbitz customer.  Yay!  I still haven’t sorted out the airport transportation, though.  $116 is pretty steep…

You know what else is pretty steep?!  I picked up my renewal for my thyroid medication today, and the price has nearly doubled!!  I would like to know this: if my insurance rates keep going up, shouldn’t my co-pays go down?!  I am so going to ask my endocrinologist to double the dosage so I can cut them in half.  I would also like to know why that would be the same price.  There is no logic involved here.  None whatsoever.

And have I whined about this yet? … My sister-in-law was under the impression that my parents are paying my grad school tuition.  No wonder all my siblings seem to think I’m rolling in money!!  This really, really irritated me for some reason.

Oh, yeah, you wanted to know about the giveaway winner, didn’t you?!… Sorry, I couldn’t be bothered to take a screen shot of the Random.org result, but it’s Amanda! 😀 Let me know where you’d like to have it sent.  Thanks to all who entered!

Have a happy Hump day.

“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”
~Babe Ruth

In The Freezer

If, for some strange reason, you wanted to find me last night, this is where you would have had to go:

That’s me in the freezer.  No chance of being locked in there, but I am in an enormous sweatshirt because the damn thing was actually running — my mom said that the knob to turn it off was broken.  And here is the end result!

So ridiculous.  And after all that, my dad gave the knob another little turn, and just like that, the freezer was off.  Figures!

I went to bed with a headache last night; I woke up at 3.15 with a volcano about to erupt in there.  Tonight I am being smart and I actually took the ibuprofen before I go to sleep.  What would be really nice, though, is if these headaches would just stop altogether.

Tried the last flavor of soy yogurt… strawberry.

The texture was not very pleasant.  I know that this can happen sometimes with soy-based yogurt / pudding, but I had to stir and stir and stir, and I still couldn’t get rid of all the chunks.  It wasn’t as sickeningly sweet as the blueberry or peach, but still, not something I’d buy again.  I’ll stick with the plain, thanks very much!

Courtesy of my mini-kitchen:

Romaine, rutabaga, chick’n strips, zucchini.  Actually, I cheated here; my regular microwave was still available at that point, so I microwaved the zucchini and rutabaga.  But it is now no longer an option.  And so…

Remember these Dr. Praeger’s burgers?  I had said that I didn’t like that I couldn’t just pop them in the microwave.  Since I was steaming my vegetables in the (meat) microwave, I couldn’t use the (dairy) toaster to heat the burger, so I nuked it.

So much better this way!!  I microwaved it for a minute, turned it over, and then microwaved it for another minute.  That would probably be one minute total with my regular microwave, because the one in the basement kind of sucks.  Apparently, the lighting doesn’t.  How weird.

It is kind of really pouring right now.  I am not someone who is afraid to drive in bad weather, but this was truly insane: I was barely able to see three feet in front of me!  My windshield wipers could hardly keep up.  Just about mirrored my emotions, really; I went to see my nutritionist.  This is especially fun (sarcasm) on a rainy day — my body always resembles that of a puffer fish, no matter what weight I am, because I retain water like crazy.  Even more so in such weather… rain, humidity, all that fun stuff.  And I have this idea that if I gain weight — even if it’s only a quarter of a pound — then I’ve done my duty, I’m through, everything is fine, I don’t have to keep stuffing my face.  Lucky for you, I am not going to expound on this because I want to go to sleep!  Or, actually, it has nothing to do with your luck… you don’t have to read it, after all.  ;p

I suppose I should have mentioned this yesterday — I’m choosing the winner of my giveaway tomorrow evening, so you still have time to enter!

Have a lovely Tuesday.

“The well bred contradict other people.  The wise contradict themselves.”
~Oscar Wilde

Blah Blah Blah… Mini Giveaway

I’m glad you enjoyed the blow-by-blow account of my oh-so-exciting day(s)… I ought to do one for a regular workday.  It would look something like this: “Sat on my ass.  Sat on my ass.  Sat on my ass some more.”  Yep, my life is really that exciting.  Hard to believe, I know.  :p

Part of my attempts to clean out the freezers included this:

That would be a cappuccino chocolate chip muffin.  Which is all fine and good, except that it was my third muffin in as many days.  And then my mom realized that there is no way in hell that we’re going to be able to condense everything into one freezer, and so she called my sister and asked if she could turn on her extra freezer over Pesach.  So I was eating crazy things for no reason.  On the plus side, now that we do have that extra freezer, I can load up on Steamfresh vegetables — which are on sale this week, and with a coupon, they’ll only be fifty cents each.  Which is a big deal, considering that I eat them by the dozen!

Thanks to the NYC Half Marathon, it took me f-o-r-e-v-e-r to get to the pet shop today!  But this is what I got out of the deal…

Three painted tetras — orange, purple, and blue (even though I asked for green).  And my steering wheel.

An ugly pleco.  And the other side of my steering wheel.

A julii cory catfish.

A moderately successful trip, since I actually wanted a bristlenose pleco (they don’t get as big), and more than one albino cory catfish (ditto), but these will do.  Especially if they live.

Remember this kitchen?

You’ve never seen it cleaned off, but imagine it.  It now looks like this:

It would be pretty easy for a single person to live with this kitchen, even sans oven; there’s a toaster oven, and a microwave that you can’t see here (it’s actually on top of the refrigerator).  The problem is that the toaster is dairy, and the microwave is meat.  Keeping a kosher kitchen means keeping all of these separate, which means I’m having a lot of trouble — if I “roast” something in the toaster, I can’t eat it with something I re-heated in the microwave.  And anything I make using either of those appliances can’t go into the containers I usually use for work lunches, because those are pareve (neither meat nor dairy), and I want to keep them that way.  Hence the pot and skillet on the stovetop — my mom never uses that stovetop.  I have no choice!

This is the result of my first foray into the tiny kitchen.  Pardon the truly awful picture — I didn’t realize the macro setting was on.

Kind of hard to see anything, but that’s green beans with mushrooms, rutabaga, and tofu; the latter two were “pan-seared” after being liberally doused with seasoned salt.  It was quite good, actually, but I prefer an oven because it’s more passive and I don’t need to tend to it constantly!  I also used a different type of tofu than my usual choice, and even though I don’t really like dealing with water-packed tofu, I was quite pleased with this one.

Having completed nothing useful today beyond finally filing my FAFSA and TAP, thanks to oh-so-helpful professorial figures, I’m off to “line the refrigerator and freezer.”  Why we need to do this is beyond me, and every year I get roped into doing it because “you’re the only one who fits inside.”  (This is not true — my brother did it when I was IP, and he is at least six inches taller than I am!)  But before I head for the fun that awaits me…

I’m approaching 300 posts, but due to the impending helliday, food giveaways will not be happening.  However, since these earrings seemed to be quite popular, I managed to get another pair for prize purposes!

For an entry, leave a comment telling me … um, something random.  Because I can’t think of any particular question.  😉  Link back for a second chance to win, and don’t forget to let me know about it!

Have a great Monday.

“Always laugh when you can; it is cheap medicine.”
~Lord Byron