Musical Montage

When I was in seventh grade, the only thing I wanted for Christmas was a CD player/boombox. Sixth grade had been the year of the coveted I.O.U. sweatshirts... Seventh grade, however, I needed a CD player. Everybody else had one and my life would probably end if "Santa" didn't deliver.

Santa did deliver, though. I got my CD player. Santa apparently also spoke to my Aunt Janette, who sent me my very first CD's.
  1. Mariah Carey's Unplugged
  2. Toad the Wet Sprocket Walk on the Ocean single
  3. Gloria Estefan's Greatest Hits

I listened to those three CD's over and over and over, until I saved enough money to buy myself a CD: Blind Melon's CD, featuring No Rain.

God, life was good.

I still can sing all the words to Gloria Estefan's Rythym is Gonna Get You and Aunt J is the only reason I know that Mariah Carey's version of I'll Be There was originally done by the Jackson 5. I heard that Toad the Wet Sprocket song on the radio yesterday, which is what reminded me of the first CD's I ever owned.

Do you think the music that a person owns says a lot about that person? I'm not sure what this says about me...


Happy, happy birthday to my love, Dave... He's the greatest person in my life and I can't wait to spend the rest of our birthdays together! 'Appy Bert-day, dere, ah, Bab... Oh, I mean, uh, Dave!


What's Wrong with this Picture?

While out for our birthday co-celebration this weekend, we saw this sign on the table...

Is it just me or isn't a PINT equal to 16 OUNCES?

Basically, they want to charge you $5 for 18 ounces of beer. Gee, but, uh, I think I'll pass on this steal of a deal!

I guess if you're drinking enough, you wouldn't realize the discrepancy.


Faster Than A Speeding Bullet...

A new era is beginning in my life...

I am retiring my old Mizuno running shoes, which have served me well for the past two years and a couple months. They have been well worn and, love them as I have, they should have been replaced about a year ago. After working out the other day and hurting my knee, I am blaming the running shoes (and not my own klutziness) for the injury. This motivated me to go to the local Sports Authority and find these fancy new shoes...

Yes, that's right: They are silver. The purpose of the silver is that, when running, they give the appearance of being a blur... Everybody knows that you run faster in new shoes. But, with the additional factor that my new Nikes are silver, I'll be leaving everybody in the dust.

I haven't worn Nikes for running since high school. I've had a couple pairs of New Balance shoes and, like I said, Mizunos were my most recent pair. I tried to find some Mizunos tonight, but they didn't have any that I liked in my size... These Nikes felt great, though, when I tried them on, and I probably would have bought them even if they weren't silver.

I'll let you know how the treadmill goes tomorrow morning. There's a 5K that I'm signed up to run on May 12... Hopefully, with the silver shoes, I'll be ready.


Quick Observation

Life has been very busy lately... I haven't had any time to even think about blogging, but I will give you this little gem that I realized the other day at the doctor's office...

I was nervous about getting a mammogram done. I mean, I just turned 27 years old! I had heard that it was a painful procedure, but overall, I didn't think it hurt very much at all. The technician even warned me that it would probably be more painful than most because I'm younger than most of the women who have the procedure done.

Here's the realization I came to: You know how when somebody pinches the large, thick part of your arm, it doesn't usually hurt too much? But, if they take just a tiny piece of skin and squeeze it between their fingers, it hurts like a bitch?

Yep... That's right. I was saved from the pain of the mammogram by my (slightly-larger-than-the-average-woman's and REAL) boobs.

I knew you wanted to know that.

*By the way, the mammogram and the ultra-sound of the axillary area were fine. There is some dense tissue that they want me to go to have looked at again in 6 months, but they are assuming it is benign at this point in time. They'll see if there are any changes later.


Don't "House, MD" Me!

Since last Thursday, I've been feeling a little under the weather. Swollen glands in my throat and underarms, which led to nasal congestion, followed by a bit of a cough. What prompted me to finally call the doctor yesterday was the fact that I started to feel that I may be getting the beginning of an ear infection. I can tough it out through the rest of those things; I'm a total baby about ear infections.

When I left the doctor yesterday:
  • I had been tested for strep throat: Negative.
  • Tested for mononucleosis: Negative.
  • Been given a PPD for Tuberculosis: Will go back Friday to have results read.
  • Had to pee in a cup for a: Urinalysis.
  • Was sent to the lab for extensive blood work, including: Hepatitis A, B, and C, HIV and a whole lot of other "checkmarks" that meant nothing to me.
  • Was asked to schedule a: Mammogram, Chest X-Ray, and Axillary something-or-other to check out the glands in my armpits.
  • And finally, referred to a surgeon, who is going to see if they need to: Do a bioposy on the glands in my throat.
  • Oh, yeah... And a prescription for: Amoxicillin.

Now, the reason for alarm, I assume, is that since last June (when I did have strep throat), I've been sick with this same thing approximately four times. Chronic infections, she wrote on my chart.

I scheduled a few of the other tests, but I think I'm going to cancel them. We'll get the blood work back and the antibiotics will work their magic... But I don't really need somebody playing "Dr. House" on me!


Another birthday...

Happy Birthday to Me!

For the next two weeks, Dave and I will only be fifteen years apart in age...

I guess it is possible that it never really goes away, but I feel like I am at a crossroads in my life right now. I am happy at my current job but faced with some difficult decisions... Do I pursue further education and a possible career shift in order to make more money and have (hopefully) more career satisfaction? Do I take a leap and try my hand at a something that I've dreamed of doing since I was a child... even though it could be wildly successful or could fizzle after I've put my heart, soul, and life into it? Do I put both of these on hold for the opportunity to start a family? Do I try to do it all?

It is hard to talk about these things, especially in specifics, because I admit that I have a lot of pride and I would hate to talk about these goals and then fall on my face trying to achieve them. But, I feel that in a lot of ways, it is "now or never..."

I guess introspection is the result of the increasing number of years each birthday brings...


Saturday Morning Skeptic... and Stuff

I admit it: I read junk mail. I look through the catalogs and coupons that are sent in the mail on a daily basis. Occasionally, one will stand out to me, and I'll pull it out thinking, "Ooohh, I could use this." However, I never end up using them and they all end up in the trash eventually.

This morning, I was looking through these little cards, each with an offer, when I came across this one:

"Everyone deserves a smile they can be proud of!" it touts, above a before and after picture of somebody with really nasty teeth, apparently fixed by the the teeth straightening and whitening process advertised on the back of the card.

Maybe it is just me, but somehow I don't think that the "before" teeth were simply straightened and whitened in order to get the "after" teeth. If it is the same person (which the appearance of similar facial hair seems to indicate) there was other major dental work performed in order to reach point A to point B. I have a feeling that it isn't even the same person in both photos, though.

But, I may just be too much of a skeptic.


Several of you requested information about the Citrus Shrimp and Penne Pasta meal that I cooked last week. After seeing that post, Blogarita was so impressed with my culinary skills, that she asked me to be an author on her kitchen blog! I made my first post over there yesterday, so if you are interested in it (or other delicious recipes that Blogarita posts) click on over and check it out.


Speaking of other blogs, I have posted the discussion questions for "Fall On Your Knees" by Ann-Marie MacDonald on the Check This Out book club blog. Those of you who read it along with us and those of you who've read it before, please go on over and add your two cents to the conversation.

Our next book that we'll be reading is "Running with Scissors" by Augusten Burroughs. It was recently made into a movie with Alec Baldwin and Annette Benning. I've already started reading it and it is a pretty quick read, so please join our discussion at our book club. The more, the merrier!

(After this book, we'll be choosing something lighter, from a chick lit line, per the request of Paula and Jen, so stay tuned!)


S'rimp Gumbo, S'rimp Salad, S'rimp Cocktail*

I made this concoction for dinner last night: Citrus Shrimp(s) with Penne Pasta.

See all of those little shrimps? I was too cheap to buy the already peeled and deveined shimp and I didn't have time to wait for the frozen ones to defrost, so I peeled 1.67 pounds worth of shrimp myself. Lots of different things run through your mind while you are doing a task such as that. For example:

- It would totally bite to have to work in a factory as a shrimp peeler. You would spend each day peeling and getting the little leg-things stuck under your fingernails and you would go home each day reeking of seafood. Dave tried to give me a positive way to look at it, saying that I would be the best shrimp peeler in the factory, but really, if the highlight of your life is winning the "Employee of the Month" award at the shrimp peeling factory, wouldn't you want to go jump off a bridge? I probably would.

- In 50 years, it is possible that Dave and I will be at the grocery store and reminisce about the time that I complained about peeling shrimp for this meal. We will lament the fact that we can no longer buy shrimp for dinner since the oceans have been completely fished to the point of emptiness. Ah, the things we take for granted.

- Why am I such a cheapskate that I wouldn't buy the already peeled shrimp for $12.99 a pound instead of the $8.99 a pound? Probably because I had to spend $6.50 for a bottle of toasted sesame oil that the recipe also needed. Next time, I buying the expensive stuff, though.

The meal was a success. It started out as being cooked for only four people, but by the time the meal was served, it had doubled to eight. Luckily, my mother taught me to always be paranoid that there wouldn't be enough food, so I had bought enough to double the recipe. (There was this whole Thanksgiving-mashed potatoes-issue that is seared into my childhood memories...)

I won't bore you with the entire recipe, but just know that it was delicious! I was afraid that the citrus would be too much (it is made of orange juice and corn starch), but it was just enough flavor for the shrimp and not overpowering at all!

(* She said "cock"...)


It's Off To Work I Go...

I have about a 35 to 40 minute drive to work each way, depending on traffic. It gives me a lot of time to think. One of my favorite topics is blog ideas. Most mornings, I come up with some really fun and creative ideas... but forget them by the time I sit at my computer to write them down.


My radio station of choice during drive time is 89.1 The Wood, which is the local university's 'educational' station. They play some eclectic music, mostly adult contemporary, bordering on punk, which I like. They also have no commercials, which is perfect.

The only problem is listening to the college students fumble over their words and the controls, learning-by-doing. Luckily, they don't have too much to do - only the occasional news and weather update. One particular student reads the weather and, if it isn't raining, instructs the listener to go outside and "enjoy the weather." It doesn't matter if the high temperature is below freezing... If it looks pretty through the window, he doesn't have anything else to say!


When I get ready to leave in the morning, I listen to the traffic on another radio station and try to prepare myself for the numerous @$$holes that will be on the road that morning. Nothing pisses me off more than people who don't believe in waiting their turn. An exit only lane is not an invitation for you to speed past everyone else who is waiting in traffic and then cut somebody off to get back into the mainstream traffic; vice versa, if there is a mile-long line of people waiting in an exit only lane to get off the highway, you may not speed past in another lane and then slide into the exit only lane at the last minute.

People feel protected in their cars. If they did this at the grocery store or the license bureau, they get the sh!t smacked out of them. And they would deserve it.


My morning commute also involves a stop at the convenience store to get a hot tea. I don't drink coffee, but I do like a bit of a caffeine kick in the morning. I have a specific routine for getting my tea:
  • Get 24 oz. styrofoam coffee cup.
  • Put 5 to 8 pieces of crushed ice in the cup, in order to cool the super hot water so I don't burn my face off when I try to drink it.
  • Open a Lipton tea packet and place it in the cup.
  • Fill cup with hot water.
  • Put 2 Splenda packets in the tea.
  • Dunk the tea bag a couple of times.
  • Get a stirrer and stir the sweetener into the tea. Wonder how many other people have touched the stirrers before I put it into my cup. Rationalize that the temperature of the water will kill any germs that are on it.
  • 2 more Splenda packets.
  • Stir, dunk, throw away tea bag and stirrer.
  • Try to find the one lid that hasn't been handled by the last 43 people that made coffee.
  • Pay with my debit card for the $1.24 for a large hot tea. Wonder why it costs more for a large hot tea than a small hot tea, since I'm still only using one tea bag, just a little extra water. Think to myself that maybe I'll ask next time.

I don't actually drink any of the tea until I drive the last five minutes to work. I am highly opposed to hot tea being too hot.


My goal is to someday have a job that I can do from home. I don't think I'd miss the commute.