Monthly Archives: August 2010

Happy Boreday

Helloooooo… anybody out there?

The title of this post has nothing to do with anything, by the way, except that I find it more appealing than the word “birthday.”  And, considering the start of classes, it’s probably quite apt.  More on that soon.  First, lunch with Mom.

Frozen yogurt, of course.

An extremely overpriced salad, the add-ins of which I no longer recall.  Use your imagination.

Yesterday, I bought four bottles of nail polish, three of which were shades of gray.  I was after a certain shade; I don’t know whether I got it, but this one is pretty close.

Actually, I believe the color is called “black diamond.”  Oh-kay.  But it matched my oh-so-adult shirt.  😉

Anyway, back to class.  I lucked out in that both of them seem to be pretty interesting, albeit not if I have to sit through it for two and a half hours!  And I reserve judgment until further in the semester, but the professors don’t seem to be the types who have some sort of personal vendetta against each student.  In fact, one of them is a self-proclaimed “spaz” and a “pushover.”  Unfortunately, he is also in love with student presentations — there are no fewer than four in the syllabus.  And, of course, there are some in the other class as well.  I hate giving presentations!!!  There is also an insane amount of reading, which I cannot begin to tackle since Amazon has yet to even ship the books which I ordered last week.

All of this, however, is eclipsed by the fact that it is a class requirement to have a Twitter account.  I never bothered with one because I felt like it was just an egotistical thing for me to have.  No offense meant to those of you who do have Twitter; this is how I feel about it in relation to myself, since nobody really gives a damn what I am doing / thinking at any given moment.  Obviously.

First Second Life, and now Twitter?… What’s next?!

This is random, but I’m going to shove it in here anyway before I rush off for some quality time with my pillow.  The girl sitting next to me in one of my classes had the most adorable shoes ever, and I told her so.  She looked so thrilled that I decided to set myself a little “challenge” of issuing at least one compliment per day… doesn’t matter to whom or about what!  It’s so easy to do, and it can really make someone else’s day, so why not do it?  Anyone care to join me??

And with that… I’m off.  Have a happy Tuesday.

“No excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness.” 
~Aristotle

Last Bits of Freedom

Much of this is actually from before my vacation, but I’m a bit backed up, and that gets on my nerves.

Soy Dream: vanilla fudge swirl; Rice Dream: neapolitan.

Vanilla fudge swirl.  Would have liked it to be more … well, fudgy!!  It wasn’t anything super-special, which is good, because I think that they are now marked dairy, and I’d be sad if I loved it but couldn’t have it.

Neapolitan.  I didn’t see, or taste, any strawberry in here.  In fact, I found it hard to differentiate this from the previous product!!

Vanilla yogurt, blueberries, Yogi blueberry mountain flax soy crisps.  I think I wanted to add diluted blueberry jam to this, but the hot water urn was empty and I was too lazy to heat up more water.  Yep… laziness = my specialty.

As a matter of fact, my running shoes didn’t even come out of my suitcase on my vacation.  Unless you count the sore thigh muscles I got from trying not to fall overboard while sitting on the edge of a boat with an oxygen tank strapped to my back, “sedentary” doesn’t even begin to cover my activity level.  Apparently, it’s quite exhausting.  Who knew?

I know you can't see it, which sucks... but there's an octopus in there

Oh, yeah, I mentioned the weird burn on my ribcage… pardon the strange “cropping” situation, it was the only way I could do it that sort of got the point across!

It itches like crazy.  Speaking of which, apparently Antiguan mosquitoes don’t like me quite as much as American mosquitoes.  Which is not necessarily a bad thing, thought it’s a depressing situation when not even mosquitoes like me anymore!

…and I’ve had enough.  If you want to see more pictures, go to Facebook.  😉

Back home again, I tried something that I saw Eden do a few weeks back, and made “French toast” out of a tortilla.

I thought it would be weird, because I used a garden vegetable tortilla and soaked that in an All White / almond milk / cinnamon mixture, and then dipped the strips sugar-free syrup; garden vegetable flavor with sweet flavors?  But it actually worked quite well.

After I tried Calimyrna figs, many people said that they weren’t quite as enamored of fresh figs as I was, but attributed that to the possibility that they’d tried a different variety.  In the name of research, I went out and bought both Brown Turkish and Black Mission figs.

I don’t know… I liked them both!  I think the trick is to get it at the right stage of ripeness.  If they’re not ripe enough, they’re going to be flavorless.  And this is probably just my personal preference, but I like them a lot better when I don’t eat the skin.

Just because it’s really pretty:

Banana berry oats.  It was really hot outside, and I didn’t feel like eating hot oats, so I stuck the bowl in the freezer for a while.  Maybe it’s because of the egg white, but the texture of this was really strange!!  It would have been better hot.

Let’s see, what else?… oh, yes!  My cucumbers have finally started to grow!!

There’s also one round cucumber.  At first I thought it was a kabocha, but it’s growing on the same vine as another cucumber.  Very, very odd.

Because it was my brother’s birthday, I was nice and bought this flavor of coconut milk ice cream:

First of all, I am really slow.  It took a while to figure out that it’s called “Passionate Mango” because of the passionfruit.  I’ve had passionfruit before, and I don’t think I liked it much.  Nor do I like mango, so I didn’t care for this flavor!

This post, I believe, is long and rambling enough… I need to go an enjoy my last night of freedom.  *cue sobbing*  I do not want to go back to school!!!  When I was a kid, I used to get horrible stomachaches the night before the first day of school, and more often than not I’d cry myself to sleep.  We’re not at that stage now, but still.

However, how’s this? … I’m two-thirds of the way through graduate school.  My dad just asked me over the weekend, “What are you going to school for?”  I honestly thought he was joking, but he was not.  And they call me oblivious?!  Gah.

My mom is coming to take me out for lunch tomorrow.  (We’ll say it’s for my birthday, even though it’s not really, since my family celebrates Hebrew birthdays!)  This means… frozen yogurt!  I should be glad that I can’t have frozen yogurt from the “conventional” places… I’d be a lot poorer than I already am.  😉

Have a fabulous start to your week!

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.”
~Albert Einstein

Antigua…

Before I attempt to recap my vacation, I must share this thrilling news.  Monday = my first day of class.  Monday = my birthday.  Yes, I just realized this.  No, I am not pleased about it.

In fact, I am freaking out a little bit, because the workload already seems crushing and I had grown so accustomed to the leisurely pace of summer.  AHHHHHHH!

Okay.  Now.  Back to Antigua.  I did have some Internet, but I chose not to utilize it much, and it was lovely.

Soon after my arrival at the hotel (free room upgrade — woohoo!), I wandered down to the beach.  Curled up with a book, I realized that I had been unaware of just how much I needed this vacation until that moment…

…and then I received a text from my dad, telling me that my niece’s engagement was official and directing me to call my sister and congratulate her.  Blah, blah, blah.  Enter: quality time with the journal.

Oh, and by the way, this was on the bathroom floor.

It was broken.  Thank goodness.

Next morning, ’twas time to dive!

My regulator, as it turns out, was assembled incorrectly.  (Yes, the regulator which I dragged all the way back to work with me to have it assembled by the dive shop, lest I make a mistake doing it on my own.)  I mean, the high pressure hoses were connected to high pressure ports, but the order in which they were assembled made it all but impossible to connect the thing to a tank!  It’s still not optimally assembled, but at least it’s functional now.

On Saturday night, I made a last-minute dash to a twenty-four-hour pharmacy to pick up some Dramamine, because I was planning to take the ferry over to Barbuda (which didn’t happen), and sea sickness didn’t sound like much fun.  Since I had the Dramamine anyway, I used it before going out on the dive.  And I am so glad that I did, because the water was so choppy that I felt nauseated even with the Dramamine… I shudder to think of what would have happened without it!

And someone‘s mask was too tight.

Ah, the beauty of mask squeeze.  Looks like I was punched in the face.

As it turns out, diving + sun exposure = exhaustion, because I fell asleep at 8.30 that night and didn’t wake up again until 6.30 the following morning.  That is, all the time I would have spent at my niece’s engagement party was instead spent sleeping.  Sounds like a great trade-off to me!  I woke up to two missed calls from my mom, and a text apiece from her, my dad, and my brother.  Apparently everyone at the engagement party heard all about how she was freaking out because she couldn’t get through to me.  Good heavens.

Tuesday morning, I wanted to go to Barbuda, but the tour only operates on Saturdays, and I wasn’t about to go through the hassle of taking the ferry on my own.  With my luck, I’d miss the return trip and get stuck there!  I went to St. John’s to do some souvenir shopping instead.  I asked at the front desk how far it was to Heritage Quay, and I was told that it was about a mile.  No big deal — I walk that distance, and more, all the time.  So off I went.

Um — I don’t know what planet that guy lives on, but it was way more than a mile.  And I say this even though I more or less hitched a ride for half the trip.  (Yes, I am aware that this is a stupid thing to have done.)  Needless to say — given the insane temperatures and my nonexistent sense of direction — I took a taxi back to the hotel.

I spend Wednesday doing what I do best — lying around on the beach / at the pool and reading — albeit in clothes because my poor stomach (ribcage) was sunburned!  As careful as I am with my sunscreen, I always seem to miss a spot.  And my attempts to even out this sorry sock tan situation were clearly in vain.

Actually, I got a massage on Wednesday.  As massages go, it was nothing special, but still.  The masseuse asked me how long I’d be there, and I said, “I’m leaving tomorrow.”  Her response was, “But you’re still so white!”  Um, yes.  You say that because you’re looking at my back, which is not the color of a lobster.  For obvious reasons, I am not going to post a picture of my stomach… until I get a chance to crop it.  And, um, this post will end now, because I am running out of time.

I also totally marked everything in my Google Reader as “read” … three hundred plus posts to catch up on?  Cue anxiety attack!  So tell me… anything exciting happen to you in the past week?

Tomorrow is my brother’s birthday, so everyone is coming over for a party… Engaged Niece included.  Oh, joy of joys!

Have a great weekend.

“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”
~Cynthia Ozick

Gone, Forgotten

In a little over twelve hours, I will arrive on a Caribbean island… and my niece will officially be engaged.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but a part of me actually hopes that I won’t be able to get online.  I really, really need a break.

“When we truly realize that we are all alone is when we need others the most.”
~Ronald Anthony

Choose Your Title

Have you ever found yourself unable to decide whether you wanted vanilla or chocolate protein pancakes?  If you are as indecisive as I am, then the answer to that question is a resounding yes.  That is, until I came up with a brilliant solution.

Looks like a black and white cookie, doesn’t it?  I think next time I’m going to try for a “marble” effect!  Chocolate syrup is optional, but highly recommended.

In other random edible news:

romaine, purple pepper, Italian style soy sausage, grilled zucchini

I found a purple pepper at the farmers’ market and purchased it on a whim.  It looks cool, but it doesn’t taste like anything special.  In terms of “regular” peppers, it tastes most like the green, which, coincidentally, is my least favorite.

It has been f-o-r-e-v-e-r since I’ve had a sweet potato, but I bought a bag of them at Trader Joe’s the other day.

Steamed and sprinkled with cinnamon, chili powder, and cayenne pepper.  (In the background: two other current obsessions [barbecue-baked tofu and cauliflower roasted with cayenne pepper, chili powder, garlic salt, and paprika], which I already sorely miss, as I will not see a vegetable over the duration of my trip.)

Remember these gloves?

I said they looked bigger!  They are.  In fact, they are so big that it is extremely uncomfortable to lift while wearing them.  I was going to return them, but that makes no sense since they didn’t cost much more than the price of shipping!  I have no idea what to do with them, but in the meantime…

I went to a store and bought these.  Success.  Finally!

In case you’re wondering how it is that I have time for this post — considering my packing panic — it is because I was very efficient and productive on Thursday evening.  Most of my packing is actually already done!  I’m so glad for that, because the last time I went on vacation, I was on edge all Shabbos, knowing that I would have to pack late on Saturday night.  I am so not a last-minute person.  At least now I don’t need to stress out about this so much.  Which is a damn good thing, because…

I’m sure nobody is interested in reading this; it’s just another attempt for me to get it out of my system.  I’m still feeling all conflicted about this whole situation — if “conflicted” can be a feeling about a feeling!!  But my nephew-to-be is actually going to be staying in my house over Shabbos.  He arrived sometime before I got home from work today, though I have yet to meet him, as we haven’t been in the house at the same time!  Being the social retard that I am, I’m sure you can imagine that I’m not exactly looking forward to an introduction.  Oh, and I learned that he is nearly three years younger than I am.  Which really only makes me feel more doomed — if people as young as he and my niece have managed to figure it out, I may as well just wither and die right now, because there is absolutely no hope for me.  All I seem to know how to do is get older… and older… and older.

Speaking of which, I got together with some friends last night, and they were admiring my camera (tentatively named Cary, but not set in stone yet!)… and in mentioning that my parents paid a portion of the price as  a birthday gift to me, I realized that all of my friends had forgotten my birthday.  (Except for one, but A) she wasn’t there last night and B) her own birthday is a few days after mine, so she remembers.)  Clearly, this didn’t upset me very much, since it took me over a week to notice.  But now that I have noticed… well, I do feel kind of irrelevant and invisible.  Just saying.

Oh, and this Mebar?

It was blueberry almond flax.  But it tasted a bit like freezer burn, because I guess it wasn’t wrapped tightly enough.  I was a fan of the blueberry part (I dehydrated them myself!), but not the freezer burn!!

In following the theory that one ought to give to him or herself what other people will not, I bought roses.

Awww.

I’m going to have a blast over the next twenty-four hours, trying to figure out what I think / feel.  No wonder I have a pounding headache!!  At least I have a stack of magazines to keep me somewhat occupied.  Let the fun begin.

Have a great weekend.

“Hope is but the dream of those who wake.” 
~Matthew Prior
(That can’t be true… I am not asleep!!)

Packing Panic

I am notorious for packing-induced panic attacks.

This is currently on my bedroom floor, because the room where they are usually stored is being invaded by my cousins.  Apparently, I chose a good week to get out of here.

Yes, I am taking four cameras on a four-day vacation.  This is a problem, because the Rebel and the underwater camera both take up a lot of space in a carry-on bag, and I really didn’t want to pack my regulator in my checked baggage, but it’s so bulky that I don’t think I’m going to have a choice.  Especially since I need to take a change of clothes and at least one day’s worth of food on board with me, after what happened with my baggage last time.  Honestly, I wouldn’t have to worry about the weight of my bags if not for the stupid food!!  (Or, alternately, I could remove my clothes, but somehow the idea of doing without food appeals to me a lot more than the idea of walking around naked.  Just saying.)

This is giving me a stomachache.  (Of the anxiety variety.)

Brief interlude before I start to ramble again…

Romaine, snow peas, tempeh, baby carrots.  Tempeh + garam masala = awesome combination, in case you were wondering.  But there were other problems involved in the consumption of this.  I’ll get to that.  Or not.

A cucumber is growing in my garden!!

And, because it’s been a few days…

Guess the Mebar!

Now, back to my regularly scheduled rambling.

I don’t feel.  Okay, that’s probably not what I’m trying to say.  I guess I feel; but I am so out of touch with my own emotions that I’ll be damned if I can identify them. I definitely feel something about my niece (hey, “The Wordy Spinster” would make a lovely blog name!), but I haven’t the faintest clue what that is.  I imagine this is the sort of thing otherwise “normal” people might discuss with their friends, but I am not “normal,” and I don’t have any friends with whom I would want to discuss this, since A) it’s a big deep dark secret until Sunday, and B) it would become all about them after five minutes.  Which would just make me feel trivial.

In all the time I have spent in therapy, I have never, ever called a therapist “just because.”  This morning, I did — not because I felt like the world was coming to an end, but to tell her what my dad’s cryptic statement meant.  I thought I was going to leave a message, but to my shock, she answered the phone.  Of course — this shouldn’t surprise me — she wanted to know how I feel about it.  And I want to tear my hair out because I just don’t know.  Or maybe it’s too complicated for me to wrap my little brain around it, and so I’m copping out of owning my feelings??

Proof of the impossibility of this situation is that I just spent ten minutes staring at the blinking cursor because I had no idea what to type next.  I’ll just refer to the garam masala tempeh above: I like roasting things with garam masala because it smells like cinnamon.  And it tastes like cinnamon, but with a little bite.  Which is perfect for my taste buds.  And I like baby carrots, and I like snow peas, so there is no reason for me to have had to choke it down.  This means that I’m obviously not as unaffected as I think I am, right?… And there is a small part of my brain that rejoices in such circumstances, because it’s so easy to just not eat when I feel like that.

However, that will solve nothing and get me nowhere.  So I just can’t get over the irony that today of all days, I actually ate more than I have since the start of that free fall.  I guess I can look at this as a kick in the pants?… That probably doesn’t make a lot of sense, but I’ve babbled long enough for one day.

Maybe I’ll get lucky and be eaten by a shark!

Happy Thursday.

“The shortest distance between two points is under construction.” 
~Noelie Altito

The Wordy Spinster

Welp, this is going to be a text-heavy post.  Apologies in advance.

I spent all day suffering from separation anxiety — I wanted to get back home to bond some more with my camera!  (I need to give it a name… I’m waiting for inspiration to strike.)  Combined with the fact that I’m generally a fast-moving person, I was less than thrilled to find myself behind someone who was hogging the entire width of the staircase on my way out of the office.  So, like any halfway normal person would do, I said, “Excuse me.”  Maybe I’m nuts, but I believe that an appropriate response to that would be to move over to one side (where you should have been in the first place, because there is supposed to be enough room for people to go up and down at the same time!!).

Well.  You would have thought I’d demanded her first-born child!  I quote: “What the f*** do you want me to do?!”  How about not swearing at me, for starters?!  Goodness.  And, as I tend to do, I was feeling all upset and guilty about what happened, but then I realized that it really isn’t my fault if some people have such a huge chip on their shoulders that it’s a miracle they can stand upright at all.  I mean the type of person who makes me look like Sally Sunshine, which, believe me, is no easy feat.

So, I got on the subway, and when I emerged on the other end of my ride, my phone informed me that I had a new voicemail message.  It was my sister.  “Hi, it’s _____, I wanted to tell you something.”  Now, I may look stupid, but I’m not as stupid as I look.  I knew what she wanted to tell me.  And it had a lot to do with that cryptic statement my dad made to me on Sunday.

In short?  My niece is getting engaged.  (Yes, that niece.)

On Sunday.  AKA, the day I am leaving on my vacation.  Which I planned long before she ever went out with this guy.  So when my sister tells me, “I’m not telling you what to do, and I understand if you can’t change your plans or cancel your ticket / reservation, but [niece’s name]’s engagement party is going to be on Monday“… yeah.  Honestly, I’m not that upset to be missing it.  Not because I’m jealous of her — quite the contrary.  I’m the type of person who can live independently.  She absolutely is not.  (For crying out loud — she isn’t even legal!!)  I shall have to make do with inanimate loves in my life, like my camera!  However, I don’t care to subject myself to the yentas… who will look at me as the poor pitiful spinster aunt.

Of course, I’m not telling my sister that I am glad that I won’t be there since I don’t want to be there — that would just be tactless — but I did tell my mom.  And she tells me that I am “better” than my niece, because I am “prettier and smarter than she is,” and it’s just “this one thing” that ruined it for me.  (“This one thing” = my eating disorder.)  First of all, she is confusing “smart” with “educated.”  I am not smarter than my niece; I just have more expensive pieces of paper that claim I am!  Anyway, I really don’t like to do the whole “what if” thing, and I’m not very pleased right now.

Not to mention… now I am actually going to have to go to a wedding.  And it really, really wouldn’t look good for me to wind up inebriated at said wedding, which is going to pose a major, major problem.

Sadly, because of all the inner turmoil related to this crap, I did not get to spend much quality time with my camera at all.  I tried to take a picture of this with the new camera, but it wouldn’t cooperate, so I just used the old one.  Consequently, you can’t really see anything…

See that pink spot?  It’s an insect bite.  From last night’s flying creature.  I know it doesn’t look it, but it is huge.  As in, it covers a third of my upper arm.

And because I don’t want this to accumulate in my media library, I’m going to plop it in here.  Heaven forbid anyone in this house should voluntarily eat a fresh vegetable, so I need to use up what I’ve got before I leave.  And I have some tofu that needs to be used as well, so to kill a few birds with one stone…

Tofu, baby carrots, baby bellas; and there are snow peas underneath all of that.

I poured some diluted Dijon mustard over it all and popped it in the oven.

All done!

With bulgur.  It was good, but it would have been an awful lot better if I didn’t have to eat while I was upset.  I’ve noticed that a lot recently: whenever I feel like that and I have to eat, I always worry that I’m falling victim to “emotional eating.”  Which is silly, I guess, since it doesn’t make me feel better.  Not even for a second.

This post was supposed to help me sort out what I am thinking and / or feeling, but it hasn’t quite accomplished that.  Too bad, sucks to be me, I’m going to bed.

The Question of the Day would have been whether I’m being a selfish bitch by not canceling my (non-refundable) vacation, but I guess it doesn’t really matter, since I’m not going to cancel it anyway.  I’m going to go and feel guilty about it.  Whoo!

Have a happy Hump Day.

“A healthy body and soul come from an unencumbered mind and body.” 
~Ymber Delecto