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One of my best thrift store finds

brown faux-leather  lace-up ankle boots – $12 (actually kind of disappointed in the price. Thriftique seems to have raised it’s prices?).  ready. for. fall.

Eating

Plants, yay

With the help of my plant doula and this book, I have finally overcome my tendency to kill plants.  So far I am successfully growing kale, golden purslane, spicy mustard greens, basil, cilantro, and tomatoes.  It remains to be seen whether the arugula and green onions will make it.  But still, not bad for a first timer.  I like our concrete back porch and stairs as a growing area; I can look down on it from our upstairs porch and feel like a proud plant mama. And take pictures like a weirdo.

garden1

garden2

garden4

garden6

garden7

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Living out my nerd dreams

As of today I am enrolled in an undergraduate certificate program in Information Systems Design. boom baby. we’ll see if I can hack it. no pun intended.

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Freaky test #2

cardiography

I didn't have dolphins on my wall.

just got back from my stress echocardiogram. wtf. beforehand, they made it seem like i was just going to have to run on a treadmill while hooked up to some wires. what it actually involved was getting an ultrasound of my chest while the technician complained about how bony i was and my ribs were getting in the way, so she kept rolling her little device over my ribs so hard that i nearly cried out in pain. i won’t be surprised if my whole chest is a bruise. they put an IV in me, and that sucked because apparently i have “child-sized veins” so they had to call a special girl to come put the thing in my arm, and then it was like poking out of me and getting in the way of the position they kept insisting that i lay in for the chest thumping. it is just generally not pleasant to have something stuck in you and taped on. apparently this was necessary because they inject you with something called Definity*, to help your heart show up better on the screen. Next: the treadmill part, which was just walking on a treadmill with it getting gradually faster in increments, every 3 minutes. I felt like i was going to trip because my shoes kept brushing one another and it was weird to walk while holding on to a bar. Obviously I’ve never worked out at a gym before. I felt like an elderly person holding on to that bar, especially when the treadmill was going so much slower than I walk in real life. I tired out embarrassingly quickly, I think mostly just because I wanted to get it over with. Three people just watching me get sweaty, and they couldn’t close the hospital gown because I had to wear a jetpack of wires, apparently. Why were they just watching me, you wonder? Because the whole point is to get the ultrasound type thingy (aka the “echo” part) when you’re “at rest” and then when you’re heart is pumping nearly out of control. So once you can’t walk anymore you literally have to sprint from the treadmill back onto the bed where the technician frantically thumps you with her goo and starts snapping images again and re-bruising your ribs with her rolly sensor thing. So she and a doctor and a nurse were all just watching me exert myself, and my boobs were just flapping out in the open with the hospital gown like a fashionable accompaniment to my belt of wires and my blood pressure cuff.

LIFE WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME

Apparently some marathon runner did the treadmill for 35 minutes. I was on it for probably 9 minutes or less. But hey, I was only 6 bpm away from doubling my heart rate. Which is good, I think? I lost so much arm hair from all the tape they used to keep the IV on my arm. The worst thing about medical tests is always the details you least expect. Like excessive air conditioning and getting your skin ripped off and having to lay in weird ways for long periods of time. Oh, and having pleasant conversations about things like breast biopsies and mammograms. Looking forward to when I have to start getting those in 4 years. It was actually nice griping with the nurse about how “it’s a man’s world” and if it weren’t they probably would have invented less painful mammogram methods by now.

*Awhile ago I started getting obsessed with how prescription drug names are designed to subtly evoke a connection between what they do or treat. Examples: Definity defines your heart better (who knows how). Viagra: root word = virility. Ambien? Ambiance/ambient, both peaceful words. Anusol? That’s something you put in your ANUS. Flonase? Obviously generates nasal flow, or stops it. “Help, my allergies have given me an insatiable nase flo!” Now this one I can’t figure out: Xanax. I was just looking at this list of bestselling drugs and I cannot believe they named a depression drug “Abilify”. COME ON GUYS. A little tact, please. I also haven’t figured out Cialis yet, but their bathtub commercials make me doubt that there’s any logic at work there.

Stay tuned for freaky test #3 when I go get vestibular testing for my lingering dizziness. It takes hours so I should have some good stories. And I never said what freaky test #1 was, I had only posted this. Probably because at the time I didn’t want to tell the whole world that I had an ANORECTAL MANOMETRY. But I’m okay with saying that now. If you love your healthcare, set it free.

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Take this quiz

That sinking feeling: a quiz to dispel boredom

Listening

RIP Dio

ronniediophoto
The world was made a better place thanks to your heavy metal diva awesomeness. Rock on forever dude.

Eating, Pittsburgh

BREAKFAST

breakfast

Chomper and I made ourselves an awesome brunch yesterday. I woke up with a craving for bacon, and the nice thing about living within walking distance of the grocery store is that such cravings can quickly be fulfilled. (I actually ate twice as much bacon as what is in that picture). I also gave in to whims involving blueberry pancakes! I have a really easy pancake recipe that is like a blank canvas. It has never not worked for me. I experimented with using half whole wheat flour and blueberries, and it was delicious. I’ve also had success with cinnamon and apples in the past, I think. It’s also really good just the way it is.

The Do-Anything Pancake Recipe:
(makes about 8 large pancakes)

2 c flour (I’ve also used half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour and got good results)
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 c buttermilk (or you can just use regular milk. really.)
1/3 cup milk
2 eggs
1/4 c. butter (I usually melt or soften it a lot before adding)
optional delicious addition:
1 cup frozen(/partially thawed?) blueberries (I just let them sit on the table while I mixed the rest of the batter, so they weren’t rock solid….)

I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve used Bisquick in my day. Why?! There’s no reason for that. Today my next baking goal is to try to make rhubarb cake before the Pens game starts. We’ve been shopping at Right by Nature lately and DUDES: you can get such good deals on produce there. They have bulk organic rhubarb, so you can get how much you need instead of paying $6 for it like at Giant Eagle. Also I am loving their bulk section for trail mixes and nuts. Just sayin’.

I really need to get some image editing software on my laptop so I don’t upload 1200 pixel images of my breakfast plate.

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ways to pass the time at work

…when you’re avoiding frantically applying to jobs and worrying about your future.

1. Plants vs. zombies
2. making a rubber band ball
3. reading Advertising Age, Time, and KM World
4. playing 20 Questions – Old Testament version
5. finding pre-teen girl computer games to download
6. reading about books to read
7. considering blogging. once in a while.
8. online shopping for birthday presents
9. making customized yoga sequences
10. starting to write the next great american sci-fi novel, which will help me vent my frustrations constructively while i work on it for the next 70 years. it will only be discovered after my death, will be published posthumously to great critical acclaim, and will spawn a new field of scholarly inquiry combining gender studies, psychology, science, literature, and military history. i will be featured on news programs with titles like “behind the 21st century cubicle: understanding america’s hidden literary geniuses” (mantooth might also be in this program?) and “minimum wage and creative alchemy: the story behind the 21st century novel” and “science fiction and the female mind: moving beyond the 1970s”

i could make this shit up forever. who wants to take my picture for the dust jacket?

Watching

Favorite underdog pump-up scenes, part 2

This is a continuation (finally) of a “series” started last month.

This month I bring you the most memorable scene from what is probably one of my favorite movies of all time. In this scene, our underdog hero, Jim, attempts to win the girl by winning her father’s approval…by winning a challenge to round-up the herd of brumbies (aka Australian mustangs) who have been terrorizing ranchers and trampling people because they’re led by a reckless stallion (see face-off at the end of the video: that’s him. p.s. he killed Jim’s dad! sort of). The hoarde of dudes in this video are all trying to round up the brumbies because they want the monetary reward, but JIM IS DOING IT FOR LOVE. At 2:27 you will encounter one of the best moments in all of horse film, as Jim and his horse show the slimy mob who’s really got the heart and hooves of gold. Cue the French horns!

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Be aggressive