Travels of Zow Zow
Friday, October 27, 2006
Bullet Bonanza
  • I believe my dog has been watching (or reading, but that's probably less likely) Stephen King's It. He's had a long history of being scared of walking on anything shiny (tile floors, metal etc) however, in the last few days, he's had an annoying habit of avoiding metal grates and drains on his walk. This morning, for example, he almost walked out in front of a truck because being 4 feet from a drain was just a little too close. Luckily I had a tight grip on his leash and yanked him back. But, seriously, no clown is going to pull you down. I promise.
  • This is hilarious. And that's coming from someone who owns 2 Coach purses.
  • The apple butter is really freaking delicious. For something that has no fat in it, it is thick, rich and luscious. I keep thinking of new things to put it in (like oatmeal this morning, or muffins yesterday). I may even have a new cookie recipe to share, but I have to wait until they come out of the oven before I feel confident in them. And so little effort--my kind of thing.
  • Last night's CSI might have been the grossest one I've ever seen. Pretty much anything dealing with stomach contents icks me out.
  • Our new neighborhood has some funny rivalries. I try to stay out of it, but the one neighbor that no one likes keeps accosting me to try to tell me her side of the story. I really don't care, but I can now see why she's unliked.
  • TTFN (sorry, listening to the Winnie the Pooh ride on Mouse House Radio, and now Tigger's in my head--Ta Ta For Now)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Holy Hell
For the love of God, the last few days have sucked royally. I don't think anyone needs to hear anymore of my own personal Medical Drama (take that ER), but the good news is, I'm on the mend. Let's just put it this way, my little headache cow refused to go away, claiming that leaking spinal fluid prevented its departure. Sick ass m'fer.

Because I haven't fulfilled my recipe sharing responsibility recently, I will give you two. One that is tried and true, the other will be made tonight, but I'm pretty sure will be delicious.

Halloween Snickers Mix
(I have no idea where I found this, but I've made it for at least the last few years)

Mix together:
Candy Corn
(or alternatively, just use peanut M&Ms)

Even if you don't like candy corn, eating it with the chocolate and peanut flavors tastes just like a snickers. I swear! Plus it's festive. You've got to love that.

Overnight Apple Butter
(Thanks to Cooking Light, Oct. '04)
This is good on toast, pancakes and a side for pork or turkey. I think it would make a good gift as well. I'll let you know how it turns out!

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground mace
10 medium apples, peeled, cored, and cut into large chunks (about 2 1/2 pounds)

Combine all ingredients in a 5-quart electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 10 hours or until apples are very tender.

Place a large fine-mesh sieve over a bowl; spoon one-third of apple mixture into sieve. Press mixture through sieve using the back of a spoon or ladle. Discard pulp. Repeat procedure with remaining apple mixture. Return apple mixture to slow cooker. Cook, uncovered, on high 1 1/2 hours or until mixture is thick, stirring occasionally. Spoon into a bowl; cover and chill up to a week. I'm pretty sure it will keep longer and it does seem to freeze well

I plan to use an immersion blender instead of the strainer as I think it will be really messy as written

Stovetop variation: Combine all ingredients in a Dutch oven. Cover and cook over medium-low heat 1 hour or until apples are very tender, stirring occasionally. Strain through a sieve as recipe instructs in Step 2. Return mixture to pan. Cook, uncovered, over medium-low heat 15 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently.

Yield: 4 cups (serving size: 1/4 cup)

Sunday, October 22, 2006
Headache Cow
The test on Friday went fine. I had a weird/bad reaction, though it had more to do with the position I had to lay in for 30 minutes, than the actual injection of contrast. When I'm on my stomach for any length of time, the fractured vertebra slides around and cause loads of pain. 2 days later, and I'm still having severe pain when I walk or stand. Not normal for me, but it's getting better so I'm hoping another day or so and I should be back to "normal."

Another side effect is a splitting headache. But, I was able to finally use something I've seen a few times, and I think it worked! Who says you can't learn things in Vegas.

We love the Blue Man Group, and before the show, they take the audience through a little visualization to help rid yourself of a headache. I will share what I stole from them LOL

"Imagine your headache is a cow"

"Picture the cow grazing in a field"

"Now, Kill The Cow"

"Cut up your headache cow into steaks and roasts"

"Distribute the meat to stores across the tri-state area"

"Imagine families across the country eating your headache cow steaks until there is nothing left"

Feel better?

Friday, October 20, 2006
And Now for Something Completely Different
After that depressing foray into self-pity--fun stuff! (At least to me!)

One of my very favorite places/things to do is the Safari ride at Disney's Animal Kingdom. I've been on it enough to know the whole spiel by heart, but I could ride the dang thing 15 times in a day, and still think it's cool.

Here's a little picture of the safari vehicle

And this is my favorite animal, a Thompson's Gazelle (or Tommies). You can't really tell from this picture, but they're tiny little things--like 2-3 feet tall.

I'm pretty excited to go to Disney again this December. I can't believe it's only 6 weeks away!

In other, sort of ironic news, I made myself a birthday cake on Wednesday, but planned to not eat it until Thursday. I haven't had very rich food in some time (couple weeks), so after three delicious bites, I had to stop. It was too much deliciousness LOL Dieting leads to more dieting--very strange!

Thursday, October 19, 2006
A Very Unmerry Birthday to You!
*Warning--whiny, jumpy, annoying post below. Proceed at your own risk*

At what point in our lives does a birthday lose its magical glow? I suppose it's probably different for each person, but I believe every "adult" has experienced what I'm experiencing today.

I think it might have something to do with the fact that as a kid, a birthday is a very special day, and while you have to do some of your normal every day activities, there's cupcakes and balloons as well. You wake up to a special breakfast or get to stay up past your bedtime. And perhaps it's magical because you believe something changes on that day. Suddenly, you're a year older. One day changes everything.

But then, at some point, you begin to realize that really nothing changes. You may still get speical treats, but that day is the same as every other day. A week later, and you feel the same. Which may not be a bad thing--because at some point, you stop wanting to be older and the while the birthday changes the number, it doesn't actually effect how you feel--thereby lessening the significance.

I'm not really sure where I'm going with this. I am feeling somewhat melancholy today, but it's not because I feel neglected. I got flowers this morning and my best friend sent me a bucket of treats.

At the same time, today is nothing special. I'm nervous about tomorrow. I go in for a CT Myleogram, where dye is injected into my spine and x-rays are taken. I have to spend about 9 hours in the hospital. Or at least, I'm telling myself I'm nervous for sympathy. I actually think it's going to be fine, but I like the sad eyes I get when I say "9 hours in the hospital." I'm a sick person. And now I'm thinking I shouldn't have included that part, but whatever, we're all allowed to be sympathy whores here and there.

No big concluding thought, just asking that you don't buy into my desperate cries for attention. I don't really need it. I'm just having a bad day.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006
To Watch or Not To Watch
I had a late work night and had to TIVO Project Runway. As soon as I got home, I looked at the results online (I hate surprises).

I am NOT pleased with the winner. In fact, the winner makes me want to kill myself.

So do I watch, knowing I will want to throw things at the tv and then jump out the window?



In my dream, I told the winner how much they suck. And he agreed. So, I think I'm gonna watch LOL

Monday, October 16, 2006
“The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.”
-Mike Murdock

I woke up unusually early, even for me, worried about money, my back...all sorts of things.

I was halfway through my shower when I realized that something was wrong. Something fishy had happened. I was using the body wash BEFORE my exfoliator. I have a very specific routine in the shower; I do things in a particular and logical order (At least in the shower, not so much in the rest of my life). So, at dark-o'clock this morning, I was flabbergasted to find myself totally out of order.

I realize this is not exactly the end of the world. In fact, it's pretty stupid that I even noticed. But it did get me thinking--what about this morning changed my routine? Was it the early wake-up? Was it the worried mood I was in? Do other people have such a regimented shower routine, and do they ever stray from it?

As a kid, I had anxiety attacks in the middle of the night. Of course, I didn't realize it at the time, nor did I confess to anyone what was happening. I would just wake up, usually around 3 or so, with terrible stomach aches and in paralyzing fear/angst/worry. I worried my teachers would call my parents and tell them about all of the homework I didn't do. I worried that my dad was in the Mafia and we would be the victims of a drive-by shooting (and yes, this was WELL before the Soprano's--I have no idea where this came from). I worried about so much that my stomach would get these huge knots and I could not fall asleep.

A hot shower was my only remedy. I would put the water on as hot as I could handle, and just stand there until I could relax. Until I felt the worries of my 8...10...14 year old mind wash down the drain. Then I'd towel of, throw my PJs back on, and crawl shivering back into bed. It's almost like the change in temperature helped me fall back asleep.

I worry still, as evidenced by this mornings unpleasant wake-up. I think it's telling that my first instinct is to hop in the hot, hot shower until I stop thinking about whatever it bothering me. Funny, how some routines don't change.

Friday, October 13, 2006
Friday's List-o-Palooza
1. Cell phones have replaced lighters at concerts. Who'd a thunk? It was slightly cool to see a sea of bluish light instead of the expected yellow/orange. But it's not the same (oh, and Roger Waters is still cool)

2. Lumbar Puncture are two words you do not want to hear from your doctor (oh, and I did!)

3. Being on a diet both sucks and does not suck. On the one hand--yeah me for being faithful for the last few days. Boo me for being hungry all of the time and wanting cookies. And ice cream. And cake. I want to invite friends over so I can have real food.

4. I am actually missing working. I was a teacher, but since we moved, I've been caught in the bureaucracy that is education and my credential is taking a while. I really miss my sixth graders from last year. But I mostly miss a regular paycheck.

Thursday, October 12, 2006
Oh How I've Missed You...
My sweet, sweet Whole Foods. It has been far too long since we've been together. We used to be so close, just a short 3 minutes apart. And now, you taunt me by keeping yourself 25 minutes away. I suppose it is my fault, this divide. I was the one who left in the first place. Why didn't I think to check into the nearest Whole Foods when deciding to buy a home?

And now I have found you again, conveniently located on my way to work. You are no run of the mill Whole Foods. Oh no, you are the ultimate in delicious foods super store. You tempt me with your wood fired pizzas and chocolate bar. The vast array of hot foods and salad bar. The freaking gelato and crepe station. You are everything a Whole Foods should be, and more.

And yet, as I am embarking down a more controlled eating plan, delicious apricot crepes are no longer options to have. So soon after we have reconnected, now I must ignore you once again. The carmalita bars must wait for a VERY special occasion. My mid-afternoon snack is now a predetermined apple and granola bar. I can not venture through your doors for fear of your offerings pulling me off my much needed diet.

Someday we will be together again. Until then, continue feeding the masses overpriced and all-natural foods. I will return.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006
The Break-Up Song
I have a friend, who I've know FOREVER--since the 7th grade. We went to the same college, played polo together. She was a bridesmaid in my wedding. I consider her a good friend.

Sort of. Hubs always makes fun of me, because I sort of have a love/hate relationship with her. I liken it a boyfriend that you stay with, just because it's easy? Like it's more hassle to not have that boyfriend then to stay with him, even if you don't like him very much.

She recently moved up to Washington as well, and I was excited about the fact I'll have another "built in" friend up here. But, now I'm not so sure.

I told her that we weren't going "home" for Thanksgiving, and somehow, she got herself invited to our house for dinner. I don't mind. T-Day is more fun if there's more people to share the food. But then comes the demands--she is a root vegetable person (mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes etc.) and offers that she can bring them. Cooking is my realm, esp. the starches. So no, you can't bring them.

Of course, she doesn't eat turkey so we can have something else, right? Like steak or hamburgers?, again. Sorry honey, turkey is Thanksgiving and if you're going to invite yourself over, your damn well going to eat what we like.

I didn't say anything to her. I'm afraid of confrontation. I'm hoping someone else invites us over so we don't have to deal with it. It's dumb to stress about something like this, over a month away, but I am stressed. It's enough to make me use my free Southwest credit to go "home" just to escape!

Monday, October 09, 2006
Peculiar Ponderings
A collection of random questions I've thought of in the last 24 hours:

1. Why does my dog lay in the sun until he gets so hot, he pants and his tongue flops out? By extension, why does he stare at me until I open the shades so there is sun, so he can get overheated and drool on the carpet?

2. (In regards to my wonderful "well-woman" visit this morning) Are you freaking kidding me--puppies and bunnies on the ceiling. WTF?

2. (Part B) Is it rude to not want to talk while being felt up by a perfect stranger? I'd rather just suffer the indignity in peace and quiet, trying not to figure out the significance of the poster on the ceiling.

3. When a web site for an organization says "no appointments needed", but you actually need an appointment--is that grounds for a massive freak-out, or am I out of line?

4. (Not really a question, but more of a PSA) "But you seem to be getting around fine" is never an appropriate response when someone says they're in serious pain, OK?

5. (Imagine me, sitting on the couch, jaw dropped and sputtering) What the hell is wrong with people? I will follow up someday with a story about the horrible middle name I was stuck with by my drunk/high parents--but at lease it was only my middle name.
BILOXI, Miss. -- Yet another newborn has been named ESPN.

Leann Real promised her avid sports fan husband that if they had a son he'd get to pick the name. ESPN Montana Real was born this week at Biloxi Regional Medical Center.

Husband Rusty chose ESPN (pronounced Espen) after the sports network and Montana after football legend Joe Montana.

The youngster isn't alone. Three others were cited in a 2005 Web site story about the network's 25th anniversary: Espn Malachi McCall and Espn Curiel, both of Texas, and Espn Blondeel of Michigan.

"We were the talk of the hospital," Rusty Real told The Sun Herald. "The nurses kept asking my wife if she was really going to let her husband name him ESPN. She said, 'Oh, yes."'

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

Sunday, October 08, 2006
I feel awesome--this week on Best Week Ever, they covered those God Awful Secret commercials. And they feel the same way I do.

Of course, the show was funny. I was not. So, I actually don't feel that great. I feel kind of un-funny.

Must think of something to amuse you with.....

Thursday, October 05, 2006
June Cleaver I am not
I'm a terrible housekeeper. Seriously, not only can I not keep up with EVERYTHING that needs to be done, I'm pretty damn lazy and unmotivated.

So, when my husband brings me a list on a white board this morning--a TO-DO list, I'm pissed. Really pissed. At him, of course. How dare he try to tell me what to do, to treat me like a child. Laundry, dishes..I call bullshit.

But then I realize, I'm not actually mad at him. I'm furious with myself. I don't work or earn any real income right now. For the first time in my life a literally have no money (having put every penny of my savings into the house) so I'm even more of a burden on my hard working Hubs.

Why is it so hard for me to contribute? Why is it so easy to play online or watch TV all day, while ignoring the needs of the household? And maybe that's why I was so mad this morning. I do need a list, a schedule, or I'm going to piss away the day. What the hell is going to happen when we have kids? Our kids will be in dirty clothes playing on the unvacuumed floor with cheerios in their hair. It will be disgusting. I DO NOT want that to happen.

Here's my resolution, an hour or an hour a half a day working on the house is not too much. It doesn't even have to be in a row. 15 minutes here to unload the dishwasher, 20 minutes there to wipe down the bathrooms. This, I can accomplish and stop feeling a free-loader. This, I can change.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006
I Won't Grow Up
I have an issue. My family (including the Hubs) thinks I'm insane. All due to a teeny, tiny little addiction is Disney.

Yes, I'm 6. I freaking love Disney and the park in particular. We've gone at least once a year since I've been an adult, often more than once, and we frequent the Florida version more than the much closer LA version. We've got a trip planned again for December, and I'm already excited, no, drooling at the idea of going back.

My love has hit an all time low this morning. I discovered Live365 and Mouse House Radio. It plays the soundtracks from the rides, shows and parades. Hell, I even listened to the music from the fireworks (which is far more entertaining than one might imagine--no big booms to get in the way). I'm not sure what I'm more depressed about:
a) I can visualize almost every ride I hear the soundtrack to
b) I smile at my favorite parts of the ride, almost like I was actually on it

On the one hand, at least I'm not alone, right? The channel wouldn't exist unless someone else wanted to hear it. On the other, umm...right I'm NOT 6 and maybe at some point I need to figure out that my happiness shouldn't rest on animatronic characters.

In other news, I've been working on this idea for a book (or perhaps blog) for about a year now and a trip back "home" this weekend (as an aside, at what point does my new home become "home"?) just reinforced that I think at least researching it would be a good way to spend my free time.

It's not a novel or fiction, but rather a guide for coaching girls. I've been doing it for a long time and I have lots of theories on how to approach girls, especially in team sports. I want to compile them to help others out there create more positive experiences for female athletes. Anyway, I am looking at a few months of "bed rest" after the first of the year (I see the doc on Friday about that, post to follow, I'm sure), and it might be a good thing to focus on. Thoughts?