Saturday, March 28, 2009

HOORAY!!!!!!!

I got accepted to go to Korea this summer!!! I applied for this study tour back in January and just got my acceptance letter today. I'll be gone June 22 - July 12. I'm so excited!!

Find out more here.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009

Dirty, Dangerous and Demeaning


This is Eric's first album, according to the facebook directions a couple of posts below.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

An Imaginary Life

I was having trouble falling asleep the other night, and ran across this while browsing YouTube on my iPod. I thought it was beautiful, and touching. And funny!

Enjoy :-)


Another facebook thing


1 - Go to "wikipedia." Hit “random”
or click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random
The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to "Random quotations"
or click http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3
The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”
or click http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4 - Use photoshop or similar to put it all together.

5 - Post it!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My friend, Shane

So, my last post made me think about college. Then, Annie's comment made me think about my college friends. And that made me think about Shane.

I miss him.

I wrote this a year after he died. Reading over it just now made my heart ache for him. It's now been five years since his death. I had forgotten a lot of these things about Shane. I'm glad I wrote this back then. So, for those of you that knew Shane, and especially for those who didn't:
I loved Shane the way you love an old sweatshirt or your 16-year-old family dog. Not that that’s a bad thing at all. In fact, I’d say that’s probably the best kind of love to have. It’s the kind of love you know will always be there. It’s comfortable and loyal and makes you smile when you’re tired.

He told me once that if we hit that “magical age” and still found ourselves single, we’d just have to marry each other. That’s the kind of friend he was.

I still remember the day I met him. He looked up at me with his shy, friendly eyes and grinned as he shook my hand. I knew that was a grin I wanted to get to know.

I don’t think he ever understood why we were friends, why I stuck around. He didn’t know what he was to me, and didn’t believe me when I told him. But he was the world to me, really. Whenever I needed someone to talk to so I could make sense of whatever was happening at the time, he was there. When I needed a shoulder to cry on or a good laugh at a lame joke or a Snickers and a Pepsi, he was there. He was even there when I wanted company on a two hour drive to visit my sister for the afternoon. He was always there.

I’m pretty sure his four favorite things in the world were spaghetti, Snickers, Pepsi and Fazoli’s. Sure, he loved baseball and Duck Hunt, but buy him a spaghetti dinner with unlimited breadsticks and he was the happiest guy in the world. I loved seeing him like that.

I think the hardest part about living, for him, was how much he genuinely cared about other people. He tried so hard to carry the weight of everyone else’s grief so that they wouldn’t have to do it themselves. He ached for people he didn’t even know. I miss that about him. It’s a rare thing to find someone with that kind of compassion. He wanted to fix the world but felt completely helpless as to how. And I think he hated that about himself, his utter inability to eliminate suffering.

He used to call me “cowboy” and tell me that he loved me. He never failed to let me know that: “If I were a dog, I’d probably bark at you.” He always wanted me to call him “my sexy friend” and would pat me on the head whenever I complied. He was funny without even trying. He tried to let me win when we played basketball, but even then I couldn’t beat him. He had countless stories of all the pretty girls he saw on the bus that he almost had the courage to talk to that day. He called me on Christmas to tell me he missed me. And, of course, to tell me about his cool new digital camera. He listened to jazz with me. His car always smelled like peaches. I still can’t smell a peach scented car freshener without thinking of him.

When he died, my world came crashing in. I just couldn’t believe that one of my best friends, the man who had always been there for me, was gone. I ached to share my grief with him. It’s been a year now, but I still think about him a lot. There’s so much I miss about him, so much that won’t ever be the same. But I know I won’t ever forget him or his friendship. He left a part of himself with me, and that’s what makes me okay.



Day in the Life

Okay, so when I was in college, there was a student who did comics for the school paper. His comics were called "Day in the Life." I used to think they were the most hilarious thing on the planet. Even funnier than Pearls Before Swine, which I totally heart.

In fact, I cut out my favorites and filed them away.

Funnily enough, I still have them. I just ran across them recently. So, I'll indulge you all occasionally and share. This one might have been my all-time favorite. My sister Christina and I used to always joke about "those crazy spider monkeys, always havin' a good time..."

I wonder whatever happened to this guy. Oh college... good times.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tagging games

From my cousin JAG's blog.

Pick the 6th folder and 6th picture in your computer picture files and blog about it.

Oh, nice. This is Masha (and Guram in the background). They were a couple of my students when I taught English in Moscow, Russia 5 years ago.

This was during our last week there. I had a really hard time with these kids when I first arrived. In college, I NEVER thought I wanted to be a teacher. I studied history because I love it, but planned to go to grad school and do ANYTHING with my degree besides teach.

So why, then, did I choose to teach English in another country after I finished college? Well, I wasn't ready for more schooling, yet, and I love to travel. That's why I went.

My first few weeks, I hated it. It was freezing (we arrived in January), I was tired (turns out I overdosed on the motion sickness patch I took on the trip over... it was really bad... as in, hallucinating, can't remember full hours of time in the first couple of weeks, etc.), and the kids were maniacs. Really. I couldn't control them.

But, then I fell in love with them.

And when I got back to the States and started working a "regular" job, I hated it. I missed the students. I wanted more. So, I went to grad school, after all... for Education. I've never regretted the decision.

Oh, and wow, I look really skinny here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Birthday wishes

Happy Birthday to my momma!!!!!!!

Cooking

I am so not a cook. I do not enjoy it. However, I made a delicious dinner tonight!

Here it is, from the Eating Well website. (PS. Total calorie = 370 per serving. TOTAL!)

Roasted Pork Tenderloin

4 servings

Active Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ease of Preparation: Easy

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle pork with pepper and salt. Add to the pan and brown on all sides, 5 to 8 minutes.
2. Transfer the pan to the oven; bake until the pork has just a hint of pink in the center and an instant-read thermometer registers 155°F, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. (The internal temperature will increase to 160° during resting.) To serve, cut the pork into thin slices.


Oven Fried Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes

6 servings

Active Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ease of Preparation: Easy

1 pound all-purpose potatoes, preferably Yukon Gold (2-4 medium), scrubbed
1 pound sweet potatoes (about 2 small), scrubbed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon paprika (I couldn't find my paprika, so I used chili powder)
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 450°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Cut each potato lengthwise into 8 wedges. Cut sweet potatoes into wedges about the same size. Place potatoes and sweet potatoes in a large bowl and toss with oil, paprika, salt and pepper.
3. Spread the potatoes and sweet potatoes on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. Loosen and turn; roast until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Serve immediately.


Glazed Mini Carrots

4 servings, 1/2 cup each

Active Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Ease of Preparation: Easy

3 cups mini carrots (1 pound)
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Combine carrots, water, honey, butter and salt in a large skillet. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover and cook until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring often, until the liquid is a syrupy glaze, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Monday, March 09, 2009

New York, New York!

Eric took me to NYC this weekend for my birthday. It was my first time there... yes, his brother lives in Manhattan, and this was my first time. Oh boy. It was a good time, and the weather was bee-yootiful!

We went down Friday afternoon and got there around 7:30. Dinner was at a yummy vegan place called Angelica Kitchen.

Saturday we wandered around the East Village, Chinatown, and Brooklyn. Shopping, hooray! We saw this guy play the 12-string guitar that night in Brooklyn. He was really, really good. James Blackshaw.

Sunday we had the best. bagels. ever. from Ess-a-Bagel. The line was around the corner when we got there. But, yum! Then, Eric and I took a cab uptown to Times Square to walk around for a bit. There were about 5 bazillion people there. We did a little shopping, but mostly we just walked around. I saw the naked cowboy, there. He was across the street, so I just snapped a pic with my phone. He's the one in the middle with no clothes on, lol. In retrospect, I should have gone to get a picture with him, but such are the choices we make on a crowded day in NY.


Here are a few more Times Square pics.

The 5 bazillion people out
Radio City Music Hall
Oh, hi :-)
We left NYC around 4:30... it took about an hour to get through the Holland Tunnel... oh boy. We made it back home, rather tired, at 9-ish. I chose not to look at Eric's speedometer...

We made it safe, though!

On another note, I bought my first pair of Tevas. Eric was worried I had turned into a crunchy dork, but I think they're cute! And oh, so super-comfy.

PS. That band-aid is because I did not get my Tevas until today. I blistered my toe walking around on Saturday because I was trying to be fashionable. It is difficult to love on the city all day and be fashionable at the same time. D'oh.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Happy Birthday to me



Hooray for birthdays! It's been a good one :-)

By the way, according to the NY Times:

Today's Highlights in HistoryBuy a Reproduction
NYT Front Page
See a larger version of this front page.

On March 5, 1946, Winston Churchill delivered his famous "Iron Curtain" speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo. (Go to article.)

On March 5, 1908, Sir Rex Harrison, the Academy Award-winning English stage and film actor, was born. Following his death on June 2, 1990, his obituary appeared in The Times. (Go to obit. | Other Birthdays)

Editorial Cartoon of the Day

On March 5, 1870, Harper's Weekly featured a cartoon about women in business. (See the cartoon and read an explanation.)

On this date in:

1770 The Boston Massacre took place as British soldiers, taunted by a crowd of colonists, opened fire, killing five people.

1867 An abortive Fenian uprising against English rule took place in Ireland.

1868 The Senate was organized into a court of impeachment to decide charges against President Andrew Johnson.

1933 The Nazi Party won 44 percent of the vote in German parliamentary elections, enabling it to join with the Nationalists to gain a slender majority in the Reichstag.

1953 Soviet dictator Josef Stalin died at age 73 after nearly three decades in power.

1963 Country music singer Patsy Cline died in a plane crash near Camden, Tenn., at age 30.

1970 A nuclear non-proliferation treaty went into effect after 43 nations ratified it.

1982 Comedian John Belushi was found dead of a drug overdose at age 33.

1997 Representatives of North Korea and South Korea met for first time in 25 years, for peace talks in New York.

2001 Vice President Dick Cheney underwent an angioplasty for a partially blocked artery.

2004 Martha Stewart was convicted of obstructing justice and lying to the government about why she'd unloaded her Imclone Systems Inc. stock just before the price plummeted.

2006 AT&T Inc. announced it was buying BellSouth Corp., a big step toward resurrecting the old Ma Bell telephone system.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Fun Give-away!

I've never done one before!

On to the details of the giveaway...
The first THREE people to respond to this post will get something made by me!
My choice.
For you.
This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
1- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!
2- What I create will be just for you.
3- It'll be done this year. (might be a little while)
4- You have no clue what it's going to be.It may be a story. It may be a joke book, autographed picture of myself, handmade bag, or a little invention of my own! I may bake you something and mail it to you. Who knows?
5- I reserve the right to do something extremely strange. Believe me... it may blow your mind.
The catch? Oh, the catch is that you must re post this on your blog and offer the same to the first 3 people who do the same on your blog.
The first 3 people to do so and leave a comment telling me they did, win a FAB-U-LOUS homemade gift by me! Oh, and be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it!
Sounds like fun, right? So, let's play!

Monday, March 02, 2009

More on Sebelius

From the White House.

Pictures

Our backyard... lots of snow!






The front yard


Eric's Car


My car... which, by the way, I cleaned off 3 times yesterday


The back deck of the house we want to buy... now I see where all of my weight gain has been going. My humongous butt! Nice.

Snow!


Snow day, today!
I thought any chance of that for the rest of the year had disappeared with our 70-degree weather last week. Not a chance -- there's a whole lot of the white stuff out there!!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

HHS Secretary


I just read in the news that Obama is picking Kathleen Sebelius as Sec. of HHS to replace Tom Daschle (his pick who withdrew over tax issues).

Can I just say... HOORAY!

She was my second pick for VP (after Wesley Clark). I think she rocks.

Plus, how GREAT will it be to have a woman heading health care reform? Fan-freaking-tastic, I say. Sure, sure, men can promise to look out for women's issues when it comes to health, but a WOMAN (a progressive woman, that is), actually will. Yay!

I like what the Kansas City Star has to say about her here (go read the whole thing, it's short!):
Other principles Sebelius is likely to adhere to as President Barack Obama's secretary of Health and Human Services: She favors hiking cigarette taxes to pay for access to health care; she likes smoking bans in public places; she's a big proponent of early screenings for diseases and health problems; she'll look for efficiencies like computerized medical records.

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