occasionally, I forget how to cook edible food

OMG, I’m watching American Idol and there’s this guy with a terrible stutter who is like the BEST singer ever. That’s crazy. Who knew?

Mostly I don’t watch American Idol. Mostly I just watch Grey’s Anatomy and Modern Family. But I was eating dinner and it’s on. I know, I know, I shouldn’t be eating dinner at 9pm, but that’s just the way my day has gone. And I wasn’t TRYING to eat then. Actually I was trying really hard to not really have to cook anything at all.

I wanted to avoid cooking so badly that I almost just ate eggs, but then I remembered I ate eggs for breakfast this morning. Not that I really have a problem with lots of eggs, but I would feel like a total loser if I ate them twice in the same day. Plus, aren’t they supposed to be little cholesterol bombs or something? I decided to cook a sweet potato instead.

I should have made eggs.

Seriously, I know how to cook sweet potatoes, but I don’t know what I was thinking with this one. I pretty much tried to cook it every different way that it’s possible to cook a potato and then decided that each method was either not effective or was taking too long. I finally went for the fix all and decided to mash it. And those burned bits from the previous cooking attempts turned it into a really unusual color, let me tell you. Kind of like a grayish sandy sort of clay color.

No worries! I solved this problem by eating in the dark. Which sort of worked, except that I hadn’t taken the skins off so the texture was a little … odd. But it was tough to pick the skins out without being able to see them. It was also tough since I threw some leftover turkey bacon in there, and I sure didn’t want to pick that out. Actually in the end I pretty much sifted through the second half of the mashed potatoes (which I was eating out of the serving bowl, in my typical heathen fashion) to pick out and eat the bits of bacon without the potato. At least I got my bacon. All’s well that ends well, right?

Guess what? They just decided to keep the stuttering guy! I think he’s my favorite, if I ever watch this again.

There’s something else I meant to say, but I’m being super scattered and can’t remember what it was. Maybe I’ll just say a few things and hope one of them was it.

I don’t like sheep. Seriously, after this week, I really don’t like sheep.

I got whipped in the FACE by somebody else’s jump rope at CrossFit; actually, it felt like it was more like being whipped in the eyeballs. I couldn’t see ANYTHING for about 30 seconds (ahem, I should really get to take 30 seconds off my WOD time, don’t you think?), but I don’t have a single mark on me to back my story.

I think spring is here. I know it was frigid and windy today, not at all springtime weather. But it just FELT like spring. 

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real world science experiments are the best

I decided to have an experiment today to find out exactly how big a chunk of glass you can suck up with the vacuum cleaner. I was just feeling sciency that way. Only the experiment required quite a bit of setup. You see, I’ve never broken glass on carpet before, because, generally speaking, it’s a lot harder to do. But I managed it anyway. I’m just that industrious.

Okay, what actually happened is that the carpet in my room was getting all bunchy on one side and to even it out I had to move my night table off of it. But my night table’s got drawers and all kinds of crap in and on top of it, so I wasn’t looking to actually lift and carry it. I just sort of scooted it away from the wall and proceeded to push-me-pull-you it across the room. Without unplugging my lamp.

So yeah, moving the table while the lamp was attached to the wall pretty much guaranteed that I would have some glass shards to do my vacuum experiment on. In fact, I’m surprised only a light bulb broke considering that I had about six things made of glass or porcelain on the table. Roomie obviously heard me crashing around and yelled in to see if everything was okay. I told her the lamp “fell,” instead of confessing that I had moved the furniture out from under it. Of course, it occurs to me now that she’s going to read this and find out anyway. But I’m too lazy to rewrite it, and she’s stuck with me no matter how idiotic I am.

And the answer to my scientific question is that the vacuum cleaner is a clumsy person’s best friend. It can handle amazingly large shards of glass. Hopefully, I didn’t cause any permanent damage to its insides.

Actually, today was a sciency day altogether. I found out the answers to some of the world’s other most burning questions including “How sketchy can you let your spinach get before you cook it?” and “How much can you drag a futon cushion on the ground without grossing out the person who owns it?”

(By the way, the answer to that last question is, as much as you like if the owner is the person carrying the other end and dying as you both struggle to carry it up three flights of stairs.)

Subject change! Speaking of food (I was speaking of food a little while ago, if you look carefully), I have discovered that fresh salsa is an amazing addition to scrambled eggs. Now that I don’t eat cheese much anymore, I was noticing that eggs taste kind of boring when all you add is spinach. It’s much too difficult to chop any other vegetables up myself though. Fresh salsa, my friends, is the perfect solution.

Still speaking of food (which we actually are this time), roomie bought about six tons of bananas this week, and we’ve been struggling to use as many as possible in our baking. Tonight we’re down to the last two bananas! It feels like such an accomplishment, considering the ridiculous amount we started with. So I’m going to go eat another banana muffin, watch the sixth Harry Potter movie, and enjoy my Sunday night NOT doing anything useful.

made my day

Today, one of my friends at work told me that I was the nicest person he’d met in the last year. Made my day.

A year or so ago, the nicest person I know mentioned that she thought maybe the “meaning of life” was to do nice things for other people (this made sense in the context of the conversation, I promise), and I decided I should make a conscious effort to be nicer.

Generally, I tend to forget all about this resolve for conscious kindness because I get all wrapped up in my own life. So it was extra good to hear that I might actually be doing it by accident.

if you get lost more than I do, you deserve an award

Let’s talk about what a terrible driver I am.

Actually, my navigational skills are the real catastrophe. Poor driving usually ensues because I’m too busy wondering where I should be going to concentrate on the task at hand. So let’s talk about me getting lost and how it’s not my fault. It’s not my fault the same way it’s not roomie’s fault she’s practically a midget.

I’m only allowed so much navigational success in one day, and I used up all mine trying to get to the bar after CrossFit last night. I was meeting some friends (actually one friend and a bunch of her friends, but I sound cooler if it seems like I have multiple friends) for Monday night trivia at a bar near the box. Again, we have me doing social things after working out and not showering; it’s amazing I have any friends at all. Anyway, I only knew the name of said bar, not the location. I was thinking I could look it up, but I spent too long shopping at Costco and very nearly didn’t make it to the WOD at all. (See what happens to my scheduling ability when I don’t have work to keep me straight?)

My GPS had never heard of the place and I couldn’t look it up on my dumbphone, so I resorted to quizzing the other people at the WOD to get directions. I was relieved to find out that the bar happened to be on the same road as my office, which is probably the only reason directions were of any use to me.

And, folks, I made it there like I totally knew where I was going. There was no driving past it, and no U turns, and no having to call people and asking them to repeat directions or give me landmarks. I felt like I was Harry Potter and had just found my way through the maze in the Tri Wizard Tournament.

It was wonderful.

Trivial was also wonderful, and nobody seemed to think I smelled too bad. I meant to leave early since I had a bit of a drive home and still had some stuff to do, but then I was sucked into a conversation about kettle bell swinging and got a free beer from the old lady at the next table over (I don’t know how this happened either, so just go with it). So I ended up leaving a little later. Okay, no problem. I’ll still be home by 10:30.

Until I miss my exit on the highway. I was singing along so enthusiastically to my musical soundtrack that it took me a couple of miles to notice. No worries though, I could just whip out my trusty GPS and only add 10 extra minutes to my drive home. But once it had taken me off the highway on some mysterious exit I decided to take matters into my own hands for some strange reason.

In case you were wondering, if you get off the highway and do a U turn and get back on the highway, you will be going in the SAME direction as you were before. Not the other direction. Anything your brain might be telling you to the contrary is simply a combination of tiredness and beer. Not to be trusted.

Now I had gotten all the way into the city and my GPS, probably acting in self preservation, decided that we had to get off the highway altogether and take some other road home. Which was fine, until I realized that it meant we would have to sit through the five-minute-long red light at the intersection of death. Ugh. (See how my GPS is somehow becoming a person in this story? That’s how helpless I am without it.) But it couldn’t be helped. So while I was spending half my life waiting for the light to change, I decided I needed to go get some gas at Costco before going to work tomorrow. I was being so on top of things doing this the night BEFORE instead of tomorrow morning.

And friends, another public service announcement: when Costco closes at nine, so does their gas station. Duh. What kind of idiot wouldn’t know that?

Great. Turn around after that little detour and go home.

But no. The fun isn’t over yet! The universe was apparently pretty pissed that I’d lucked out and gotten to the bar so easily, because I drove past MY OWN STREET. I immediately pulled into an empty lot to assess the situation. Could I turn around? No. There was a median in the middle of the road. My only choice was to keep going and drive to the end of the road to turn around, which meant I would have to spend ANOTHER five years waiting for the light to change at the intersection of death.

It was 11:10 when I got home.

I had 17 miles left in my gas tank.

It’s not my fault, I tell you. Nobody could possibly mess up a drive they do every day of the week as much as all that without some extra help. I think there was a wrackspurt in my car.

goodness

I’m so talented. I managed to change out of my work pants and into jeans while driving last night. Past a church, no less. I don’t know why the church is important, but it felt scandalous to be driving momentarily pantsless past a church. Don’t worry, I was only going about five miles an hour.

But aside from that actually, I feel like I should warn you that this is one of the thinking posts rather than a funny one. The reason I was changing my pants in the car last night was because I was driving from work to a friend’s barn to ride one of her horses, but I was in a hurry to get there because the sky was looking ominously grey and rainy. We’ll skip the background story that explains whose place it was and why I felt the need to ride in a potential rainstorm at six o clock on a Friday night. Just know that’s what I chose to do with myself.

I almost didn’t go, because I still felt miserable and unable to breathe, because the weather forecast was uncooperative to say the least, because I had (still have) a bunch of freelance work to catch up on. But in the end, the lure of horse sweat hay dust won me over.

If something makes you really happy, try to find a way to do it. No matter how inconvenient or unconventional.

As soon as I stepped out of the drizzling twilight and into the cozily lit barn, as soon as I greeted my fellow horse people and gave my horse a good scratch on the forehead and started to curry the dirt off of his neck, I felt better. While I was riding in the dark and the damp, the night air didn’t feel cold and wet and longer. It was refreshing, brushing across my face and settling into my collar and my boots.

I love riding this particular horse because (aside from the fact that they share the same name) he reminds me of my old horse. They’re very different rides, but similar personalities. I felt like I was home again.

After riding and being invited into the house for Friday night pizza and some comical shared stories about the numerous ER visits we’ve received courtesy of our equine friends, I bundled back into my car for the drive home. And everything seemed right with the world. Wet snowflakes nearly the size of my palm whipped merrily past the windows while I blasted the heat on my feet in their unlaced paddock boots. Every song that came on the radio felt like my favorite song in the world. Maybe it was the magic of knowing I had a three-day weekend ahead of me, or maybe it was the barn dirt under my finger nails: I was still sick and still had work to do and was still $750 dollars poorer than last week.

But I didn’t care, because my life is so full of good things.

at least it’s not as bad as drinking expired milk

I think my cold medicine is expired. Actually, I know it’s expired because there’s a little label on the back saying “expires 12/12” or something along those lines. Yup, I’m pretty impressed with my Sherlockian ability to work that one out too. But if it is expired, it’s only JUST expired, so it should still work at least a little bit. Why, then, is my nose running like a waterfall?

I’m being super disgusting today. I can’t just sit quietly sniffling in my corner; that would be much too civil for me. Instead, I keep making those gross horking noises that make everyone in my vicinity first move just a little bit further away from me and then wish heartily that I would blow my nose or maybe just go away. But I AM blowing my nose, and it’s not helping very much.

Thank goodness I ended up working a gazillion extra hours last week, so I don’t feel guilty about the fact that it’s taking me about a million years to accomplish basic tasks THIS week. I swear I spent 20 minutes lost in the archives trying to file something today. Of course, this may also have to do with my technological ineptitude, but since I’m sick, I may as well use one of the only benefits that come with it and make excuses for myself.

I feel like the universe is refusing to play fair with me at the moment, and I want to file a complaint with the customer service department. I slept for about 10 hours a night and took TWO naps over the weekend. I put in my time, so why do I still feel like I’m dying? That wasn’t a fair trade, not for someone who has a guilt complex about oversleeping.

Know what else sucks? My bag of banana chips from Trader Joe’s. Actually, the banana chips couldn’t have sucked that much because they’re almost gone by now (along with about five chocolate-covered Oreos, a half dozen sugar cookies, and two servings of white bread), thanks to the will-power-sapping effect that being sick has on my appetite. But the banana chips have ended up costing me a grand total of (drum roll) $747.21. Think of all the races I could have signed up for with $747!

At least I managed to keep the insurance out of it, which I think will be cheaper in the long run. Especially since I drove over the curb last night pulling out of the parking lot at work and have pretty much come to the conclusion that I simply can’t drive. End of story. Everyone has things that they’re bad at; mine just include mundane tasks that don’t present a challenge for most people, like driving, or relationships, or remembering to turn off the oven when I’m done with it.

People, I still haven’t given up hope of marrying that rich NFL player and becoming a millionaire.

fantastic friday

Actually, another f word comes to mind at the moment, but it was SUPPOSED to have been a fantastic Friday. For once, I not only had plans like a cool person on Friday night, I actually had to CHOOSE between plans (or else do that thing where you try to split your time between two groups of people, which never really works out). The friends from work were going to happy hour at the local favorite and the friends from CrossFit were doing some sort of Korean grill after the last WOD. In fact, I say this in the past tense, but they are all still doing those things. Only I’m not.

Because my new best friend the February Flu decided to pay me a long overdue visit last night. Woe is me, I know, I know. People get sick, whatever. But I had cool plans!! You don’t understand how infrequently I get to interact with the word ‘cool,’ or how pleased I was feeling that I have all these wonderful, real-world friends now that I no longer have the context of school in which to meet people.

So I’m sick. Big deal. I decided to cancel the cool plans, but I still had to go through with the uncool plans of dragging my ass out of bed and going to work. I would have stayed home from that too, but I had two proposals due at three this afternoon, and since I hadn’t had time to start them until, oh, three yesterday afternoon, they weren’t exactly very polished. Or very finished. Or even very much started. 

By the time I turned them in at two-thirty, my mental state was (read: still is) quickly approaching mush. So I left to go home and take a nap. But I was pretty hungry by then too (somehow, being sick always seems to bolster my appetite while at the same time sapping me of any willpower as far as eating healthy is concerned.) I decided that I MUST have some oatmeal when I got home, but I was also having the maddening attack of depression/guilt that always accompanies not being able to go to CrossFit on a day that I had planned to. This situation makes me inordinately grumpy but also makes me feel even worse about eating food that I shouldn’t. Like oatmeal.

I decided that oatmeal was no longer necessary, but I MUST have the closest substitute I could think of: namely, creamy buckwheat (a terrible misnomer, as there is no wheat involved). However, I don’t happen to have any, and the usual grocery stores have been failing me in my quest for this item.

Enter, Trader Joe’s. It’s on the way home, so I stopped to check. And although they also did not have buckwheat of any variety, I was getting so hungry that I suffered an impulse-buy attack and left with a bag of banana chips so I could munch on the way home. They’re really not much healthier than potato chips, but they APPEAR to be, which makes it all better. So while I was distractedly munching on my banana chips and feeling guilty about the 459,038 grams of fat I was consuming along with guilt over the money I’d impulsively spent when I had a kitchen full of food at home, I hit somebody else’s car driving out of the parking lot.

Don’t drive sick or hungry, people.

This was turning out to be one heck of an expensive bag of banana chips. After exchanging insurance informations and such with what turned out to be an extraordinarily pleasant human being (a trying task in itself since I couldn’t find my insurance card), I took my rage on the banana chips by consuming half the bag. And you know what? The next time you get angry at inanimate objects, try eating them. It helps.