Friday, July 30, 2010

7 Quick Takes, last of July

1. Woot! My student loan interest was reduced. I have a feeling the "oppressive socialist government" is to blame for this. Thank you socialists! I love you!

2. It's about to be reduced even more because starting in the fall I'll be enrolled back in school more than half time. Here's the story of my school journey (in powerpoint form in homage to business degree):

Click to make it larger.

3. This is quite possibly the most amusing (and true!) thing I've ever read.

...But a few times a year, I spontaneously decide that I'm ready to be a real adult. I don't know why I decide this; it always ends terribly for me. But I do it anyway. I sit myself down and tell myself how I'm going to start cleaning the house every day and paying my bills on time and replying to emails before my inbox reaches quadruple digits. Schedules are drafted. Day-planners are purchased. I stock up on fancy food because I'm also planning on morphing into a master chef and actually cooking instead of just eating nachos for dinner every night. I prepare for my new life as an adult like some people prepare for the apocalypse.
Click the link.  You want to click it, trust me.  My favorite line is "...leaving me almost completely useless for anything other than consuming nachos and surfing the internet like an attention-deficient squirrel on PCP. "  The picture with it is priceless.  It's me!  The picture even has blonde hair.

4. I am moving to a new work schedule next week.  Suffice it to say, I've been a bit overwhelmed and my hopes are that this will help that out a bit.  However, shifting schedules around is always difficult so pray for anyone seeing me next week since I'm sure to be cranky.

5. My lightbulb went out in one of my office lamps this morning and I discovered that I did not have any more in my supply drawer so I've had to use my overhead lights.  If I had any doubt that overhead lights DO give me headaches, they are now squashed because I have a headache.  Stupid flourescents!

6. I am going to try out Bikram (aka hot) yoga this Saturday.  Pray for me on that one.  Hope I don't die!

7. I honestly am at a loss to fill 7 slots today.  Sorry, I'm apparently boring.  Hope you have a great weekend.  Mine will (hopefully) consist of movie rentals, a couch and not much else. 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

It's getting hot in here...

Man, am I ever tired of this heat.  Normally the DC area only gets really bad in August but for some reason this year we've been hovering around 100 since early June and every time we think we're getting a break the temps shoot back up.  It's like the heat version of our extreme snow winter.  DC weather fail.

Reasons I hate the heat:

1) I went running outside and had a brief moment of panic thinking I was going to pass out and no one would know.  Then I'd die and mutant creatures from the nasty Potomac River would eat my face off.  Then realized, hey! this weather is probably the perfect moment to try hot yoga since my two options are to run outside in 105 degree weather where I can only get water when I pass my car or to do yoga in a 105 degree room where there are witnesses if I pass out and die and I can drink as much water as I want.  Within those perimeters the choice seems clear.

2) I can only wear each article of clothing once before washing it because of the sheer amount of sweat I'm producing.  I do not blame my deodorant, there is only so much it can do before crying uncle.  This fact is tripling my laundry load.

3) Our office building A/C was lowered even more than normal meaning that in order to stay warm even with my space heater and pashima I have to wear a certain amount of clothing.  That amount of clothing when going outside for even 5 minutes is unbearable.  Plus the shock to the system of freezing, HOT, freezing, HOT is giving me constant mini colds.  Not cool.

4) Our house A/C sucks under normal conditions and REALLY cannot keep up with these temps.  This means that the upstairs of our house (where the bedroom is) can only be kept cool if we set the temp to about 40 which will then freeze my BIL who is currently sleeping in the basement and anyone who may venture to the main floor.  Not to mention, the ridiculous electric costs keeping it this cool would create.  It's just not feasible.  Thus...

5) I woke up this morning and was completely swollen.  I think I had been swelling little by little as the temperature raises and my ring finger was actually discolored and going numb.  I had to coat my finger in soap and keep it under running water to finally wretch my rings off.  Then my finger was revealed to look like this:

Pictures don't really do the grossness justice, I have raised welts all the way around as well as a bunch of bumps and patches of rough skin.

Now, I'm really not too sure what caused this.  Maybe it's the irritation caused as my finger swelled.  Maybe I should remember to take off my rings once in awhile since I do everything with them on including swim, do dishes, shower, cut meat, etc. 

Needless to say, I won't be wearing them for awhile- not that I could get them back on anyway due to the aforementioned swelling of my extremities. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Open Letter to Urban Outfitters

I like your clothes, I like your furnishings. I have spent days upon days on your site and browsing through your store but now? I will not do so anymore. Why you ask?

Because of this:


This shirt should never have been made. It promotes an all too common idea that women are not supposed to eat and are supposed to be as thin as possible. However, what's even worse is the model you chose to put it on. The image that projects is that the girl shown, who is a size 0 after eating a couple burritos from Chipotle, needs to eat less. What does that say to the millions of healthy women out there who do not look like that? Who have real thighs and breasts? Who don't look like they are about to fall over in need of a hamburger?

Oh, my bad. That's not popular. Anorexia is much better. I love weakening my heart, losing bone density and ending up in a hospital being force fed via tube. It's tres chic.

From the women of America- F- you Urban Outfitters.

Double middle fingers up, no love,

Kim

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ten on Tuesday, July's almost over?!?


1. How do you take your coffee on an average day? How do you like your coffee if you’re splurging?
Strong, with enough milk to make it a tan color. Sometimes I'll add a half packet of Splenda.

Splurging?  Lately I've been obsessed with the Mocha Iced Coffee at 7-11.  It's so much cheaper than Starbucks and tasty.  It's not a splurge due to price, it's a splurge due to calories.  A small has 140 calories in it, and who can have just a small?!?

2. What is your genre of books to read?
Fiction.  I love escapist books that don't require a lot of thinking.  Thus a lot of chick lit, Jodi Pinoult and light hearted mysteries.  Reading is an indulgence, I'm not going to make it seem like work.

3. Where do you want to retire, if you could go anywhere?
Somewhere near a beach where I can see/hear the water.  Hurricane evacuations are totally worth it.

4. The 17-year-old you is told to write a 10-minute speech. What topic would you have picked?
Probably music or a random biology topic.

5. What word describes you best?
Hard working.  I rarely do anything half heartedly regardless of what it is.

6. What is the next “event” that you are looking forward to? (ex.: vacation, moving, date, job change, etc)
We are going to try to go on vacation somewhere fun in October for our first anniversary. We don't get to spend a ton of time just relaxing and having fun so that's always a treat.

7. Do you like to discuss controversial topics or do you prefer to avoid those types of conversations?
I can heatedly argue with the best of them, but I generally avoid.  Two reasons for that: 1) I married into a family with opposite political beliefs then my own so it keeps the peace and 2) sometimes things like that can destroy otherwise great friendships.  Why risk it?

8. Would you rather add 4 free hours to each day, or add 1 extra day to the week?
4 free hours to the day.  If we added an extra day to the week I'm sure my company would just make me work it.  No thanks.

9. If you created a sports team; what would your colors and mascot be?
Why create one when there's a perfect one already in existence?  Maroon and orange, hoke bird.

10. If you had to be a teacher, what subject would you teach?
Biology or math.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Vacation is wonderful... even when you only get 3 days.

We left at about 1:30 on Monday and halfway there Alaina realized she forgot her suit.  Yes, we were headed to a resort for the express purpose of swimming/sunbathing/etc and she forgot something most needed- so we took a bit of a detour at a mall to purchase the needed item (plus a few extras for each of us).  We didn't end up getting to the hotel until about 5.

We checked in, explored the hotel and then went to the club suite and took some free snacks and wine out to the balcony to enjoy this view:

Not a bad way to start out- eh?

Then we settled into our room.  Opening the windows we were greeted with this:

The pool complex lit up.  In the background you can see some lights from the marina so that's where the bay was.

We spent a LOT of time at the pool.  Entire days, enjoying some drinks and food served to our chairs poolside:

Floating:

Playing around:


And taking pics to post on our facebook walls in order to make our stuck at work friends jealous:

Does that make us evil?

Nah, this face isn't evil:

What better way to wrap up our last night then toasting our trip with mudslides?

I don't like to share my drinks.

So, maybe I'm a little evil.

Hope you had as great of a last week as I did!

Even if now it's back to a full work week grind, chores, and schedules.  It was a nice way to recharge.

Friday, July 16, 2010

7 Quick Takes

1. Yesterday while in the grocery store line I saw a tabloid with the headline "FINALLY, a baby for Jessica!" (referring to Jessica Simpson) According to IMDB, she was born July 10, 1980 making her 3 months younger then me. Basically the tabloid called me an old barren maid. Thanks tabloid.

2. This was after I had lunch with my mother on Wed and at the end of lunch she said, "I was hoping you asked me to go to lunch to tell me that you were pregnant." Ouch. One two old barren maid punch.

3. Alaina and I are doing a last minute trip to a resort in Maryland next week. We usually go to the beach but I can't take off a full week this year due to work reasons and when going for just a couple days, we get more lying in the sun time if we go somewhere closer. Thus, we are only making it to the Bay, not the ocean.

4. Take a look and get jealous. We are getting a water view room which should be gorgeous.  See, being an old barren maid comes in handy sometimes in that you are old enough to have a good job to pay for nice hotels, you can take last minute trips on a whim and you have disposable income. Booyah!  Take that tabloid and mother!

5. I got mad at Lizzy this morning because I thought she had randomly decided that breakfast time was at 5am.  She kept meowing and headbutting me, then jumping up and off the bed and meowing some more.  I locked her out of the bedroom.  Now I feel bad, because apparently it was the exact time that we had an earthquake this morning.  Too small for us to consciously feel but I bet she did and that's what woke her up.
 
Awhile back, I just happened to work in an office that had one of those huge file rooms just full of file cabinets.  I was in that room when we got another one of this area's small earthquakes but that time I noticed because it made all the file cabinets rattle against each other.
 
6. When I was a teenager, I lived literally on top of a fault line up in the Rocky Mountains.  The high school was also on the fault line and we had to do earthquake drills in addition to fire drills.  They were ridiculous.  An alarm would sound and then they'd play earthquake noises over the loudspeaker while we covered our heads and climbed under our desks or stood in door frames. 
 
The one thing I did take away from that time was to never, ever hang anything over your bed.  If you do and an earthquake hits in the middle of the night, it will likely fall off the wall and land on you potentially knocking you unconscious or worse depending on the weight of the item.  I cringe every time I see bedrooms with large, heavy frames hung right over people's heads.  I'm sure this tidbit was just mentioned as a side note in a much longer lecture and that's the only thing I can remember.  Just another manifestation of my neuroses.
 
7. I ran/walked 5.5 km yesterday.  It has been hovering near 100 degrees here since June.  I don't think I have ever sweat that much in my life.  I think I also pulled a groin muscle.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dropped out!

I am a Weight Watchers drop out. Did I mention that earlier? I may have, I don't really remember. Since dropping out in May, I've been plodding along with my habits gaining and losing the same 5 lbs that I did while in the program and then... I started Pilates.

This is not a wow! after one class I had abs! story because let's face it, I would need about a year of 5 times a week Pilates to give me abs PLUS a ton of cardio. This is a my goodness all the extra weight around my waist is beyond uncomfortable while crunching up into pilates positions story. Also- staring at yourself in a mirror for 50 minutes isn't pleasant either. Every fat bulge starts to look larger and larger. Add to that the recent pictures of me at the picnic and you end up with my going- my lord, I'm fat*, this really needs to be taken care of. Some may say, this was the rock bottom of my food addiction.

Enter my current program. I keep a food journal. I literally write down every single morsel that crosses my lips. I don't eat sugar, I don't eat processed foods. I cut out soda cold turkey. All soda (diet is bad for you). I am drinking water, I am eating veggies. I'm taking the one a day metabolism booster vitamin. If I crave something sweet, I eat fruit.  Now, I am always hungry. I do not take this fact to mean that I am being overzealous about this and can never maintain it, I'm not. I think the "you'll never feel hungry" is one of the biggest lies these "I'm going to be nice and easy for you" programs do. You are retraining your body. Of course you are going to think you are hungry. You aren't. It's because your body is used to constant snacking and large portion sizes so you are being lied to by your brain. Usually drinking some water and/or eating a 0 calorie snack will do the trick.

Throw out all the gimmicks, points, Smart Ones meals, fake sugar free diet food crap, weight loss pills. Stop paying people to tell you what to do. It's not the way to go about it. Losing weight is simple- you put in less calories then you use. A deficit of approx. 500 calories a day will make you lose 1 lb a week. A deficit of 1000 calories a day will make you lose 2 lbs a week. That is well within healthy range.

Figure out your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). This is how many calories you burn on a given day based on a formula that uses your height, weight, age and gender. (http://www.wikihow.com/Calculate-How-Many-Calories-You-Need-to-Eat-to-Lose-Weight)

Then you account for your activity level.

The number you end up with is the number of calories you would eat if you wanted to remain the exact weight you are at the moment. Follow the above guideline for weight loss. If you hate to exercise, technically you can just subtract out the calories and eat less but keep in mind that it's unhealthy to drop below 1200 a day for women (plus it may lead to weight gain since your body will go into starvation mode clinging to it's own fat stores for survival). A much easier way is to try to hit that 500 or 1000 calories is through a combination of exercise and cutting food. Here's a great calorie calculator for pretty much any exercise you can think of (http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/cbc). And here's a database to look up the calorie amounts in foods/drinks (http://www.calorielookup.com/).

If you are someone with a faster or slower metabolism then the norm, this will become obvious after a few weeks. Either you gain weight or you lose too fast. You can adjust the numbers accordingly until you find the trigger point.

See how I know all this, but yet just didn't care? That's laziness defined right there.

I WILL lose 30 lbs. This isn't a "I'm going to try to" it's a I WILL. I'm done with the excuses. I'm done with being asked constantly if I'm pregnant. I'm done with hating the way I look in clothes because I'm lumpy. I'm done with feeling uncomfortable when I exercise due to the extra weight. I'm just done.

My starting weight was 160lbs. My goal is 130lbs. But even more, my goal is to fit into clothes better, to slim down my face, to firm up my arms and for my thighs to not rub against each other anymore.

 
The way I'm going about this is:
  • My BMR is 1665 calories a day. I am trying to lose 2 lbs a week so I would hit my weight goal by mid October (just in time for Halloween costumes!). I need a deficit of 7000 calories a week (or 1000 a day).
  • I have a journal in which I write down everything I eat and everything I do. 20 minutes of housework? Goes in the activity log. Everything counts, no matter how small. Writing down everything you eat makes you pause and second guess what you are eating. Yes, it's a pain but I point out to myself that I won't do it forever. It's about retraining my body to be able to make healthy choices for itself.
  • I am trying to drink water constantly. At work I have a 24 oz bottle that I refill and leave on my desk. I find having it there makes me subconsciously drink more water then I ever thought I would. At home, I try to get up and drink a glass of water every hour. Not a large glass, just 8oz. Sometimes when we think we're hungry, we're just thirsty. This combats that. Plus, it makes you feel full.
  • I hate salad. Really, I hate lettuce. Weird- right? So I will never be someone that eats a salad for dinner and that's it. Instead we are eating from Cooking Light's recipes. They put all the recipes from each issue on line and they are tasty. I am trying to cut out as much eating out as possible (our household has a fast food/Chipotle addiction) and I refuse to eat extra and tell myself I'll work out later. I never do. It's just another lie I tell to myself. I work out first and THEN eat something extra. Everything that isn't processed or sugar is allowed, I didn't cut out carbs or bread or anything like that. Those are gimmicky and completely unsustainable. The key is moderation and going for the healthier options. Homemade is better than processed. Fruit and veggies is better than chips and french fries. Water/juice/milk is better than soda. Common sense really.
  • I hate the gym, so I will never be a gym rat. I hate everything about the gym; the time it takes out of my day, having a plan in my head and then not being able to do it because someone else is on the machine, the culture, the smell, the temperature they keep it, the guys who stare inappropriately at you, the monotony of being on a machine. I hate it all. My plan instead is to sign up for things like my Pilates workshop, some dance classes in the fall, maybe a Yoga package, continuing to do 5/10Ks which force me to prepare for them, Sunday morning walks with Alaina. Things that are fun, I look forward to, with concrete goals and end points.

 
I'll let you know how it goes.

 
*Please bear in mind that fat means different things to every one. To some of you I may appear thin, or completely fine. I am also not saying that because I view myself as fat I think anyone who is larger than me is obese. I think an overall goal is just to be comfortable in our own skin. To have bodies that are proportional, that we feel healthy with and that does not equal a specific number or weight across the board. It's different for everyone.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ten on Tuesday, Vol. 24

1. What is the worst movie you have ever seen?
Battlefield Earth, hands down.

Coming in second is Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time which if you are my twitter friend you've heard my thoughts on before. If you aren't my twitter friend? Why not? Click my link on the right.

2. Do you have a favorite Disney/Pixar film?
Finding Nemo.

3. Do you have a favorite movie from the 80′s?
The Breakfast Club.

4. Are there any movies you saw more than once in the theater?
I saw Ever After 4 times in 3 days. In the theater. Purely because that was back when I was living in my mom's house and I would never say no to anything people asked me to do. I was that desperate to be out of the house as much as possible.

Also, back in my dating days I saw quite a few of the popular movies twice because I would date a few guys at the same time and they would both would want to see the same movie. (Disclaimer: I would not be serious with more than one guy at the same time or anything, I mean like early stage casual we're hanging out trying to figure out how much we actually like the other.)

5. What is one city/area of the US (or country you live if you do not live in the US) that you have not seen but would like to see?
I would love to see Texas. I know so many people who live there or used to live there and I've never seen any part of the state except for the San Antonio airport. It is a common stop for Utah bound persons to get stuck while travelling in the winter and SLC is delayed or closed due to snow.
6. What are your favorite toppings on an Ice Cream Sundae?
Hot fudge and bananas.

7. How many proms did you go to? What color was your prom dress? If you went to multiple proms, what color was your favorite prom dress?
Two, one junior year with my best guy friend and one senior year with my on again, off again high school boyfriend. I think my senior year one was the best because it was a princess dress.  It was just fun to wear.
It was a light blue color.  You can't really tell in the picture.

8. Is there a sport or extra-curricular activity that you didn’t get to try as a child that you wish you would have? (e.g. gymnastics, piano lessons, ballet, etc.)
I loved gymnastics and always, always wanted to do it. All my friends took gymnastics, but for two reasons I never could. 1) there was no where to take them that was on a bus line and we didn't have a car and 2) my mom was neurotic and determined I'd hurt myself.
I went through a phase as a kid when I told everyone that I was a gymnast training for the Olympics. I was a big old liar, liar.
9. How many siblings do you have? Are you the oldest, middle, or youngest?
Zero. I have two stepsisters but I was a big snot to them back when one was really trying to befriend me. Now I regret it because family is important and you can never have too much of it but I wouldn't even know where to start trying to find them.
Actually, technically I have three stepsisters but the first one is so much older than the rest of us that it would never have been practical for any of the three of us to be close to her. she came to a bday party of mine when I was like 8 I think. She was married with a kid who was barely younger than me. See what I mean?
If I count all of us (from my dad's three marriages) I'm the second to youngest. The oldest is by far the winner, then the bottom three of us are all within 5 years of each other.

10. Do you feel like you fit in with your age group? Or do you feel younger/older than your age group?
I've always been older than my age group, I think that comes with the territory of being an only child. You spend a lot of time around adults. It also comes from growing up with my mother who didn't really believe in childhood- once you were technically capable of taking care of yourself, you did. I was responsible for myself before/after school starting at 8. I got myself around on buses by myself when I was 10. I was completely paying for my own clothes/spending money/school stuff by 15. Funny enough though, my mother consistently tells people that I was an irresponsible teenager who put too much on her and didn't help her enough. She just isn't the most "maternal" person I've ever known, it was just easier for her to always think of me as a mini adult that lived in her house. The only area of my life that I have ever been immature about was relationships with others in my peer group and guys.

True story: Once I applied for a job and they called my old place of employment for a reference and asked if my age hampered my job at all, like if I would go out all the time or be focused on things other than work. Their response "if you weren't looking at her you would have no idea that she's as young as she is." Which is true.

Sometimes I feel as old as dirt.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ten on Tuesday, It's July! edition

1. If given the opportunity, would you choose a mediocre job that paid well or your dream job that paid poorly?
I've already made this choice a few times, and always picked the job that paid the best. In the area I live in, you don't really have a choice in the matter especially if you don't have the option of your parents helping you out or living with them for your first few years out of college.

In the long run, I plan to stay in the best paying job possible to pay back car loans, student loans and bulk up a savings account so that when we have kids I can go part time or stay at home.  With that said, if I could find a job that was telecommuting I would take a bit of a pay cut because the flexibility that would give me would be worth it (especially if it were 100% telecommuting so I could work out of state and still effectively do my job.)

2. What is your favorite thing about the 4th of July? (For the foreigners: What is your impression of the 4th of July?) Picnics/BBQs. I love little more than having people over and sitting on the deck.

3. What’s the most random fact you know about American history?
The most random fact is that I know shockingly little about American history.  I know the names of the wars we were in, I know the basic structure of facts regarding "discovery" of the Americas and through the establishment of the US.  I do not know specific dates other then 1776.  I have very little knowledge about the civil war although I live in an area where I'm surrounded by battlefields.  I know really nothing about the people involved even though my mom literally lives down the street from many buildings where George Washington and the like ate, went to church, lived, peed, you name it.

I just wasn't interested in history.  I had other things to care about like biology and math.

4. What is the best fireworks display you’ve ever seen?
I live in DC. I have seen the national fireworks more times then I can count. Most places don't have anywhere near the budget to surpass those.

5. Who taught you how to put on makeup?
My friend Lindsey and the MAC store. I didn't know anything about putting on makeup until about 3 years ago. True story. I look at pictures from before that when I would attempt to do my makeup for special occasions and I shudder. It was that bad.

My mother's method to girl stuff was don't start it and it's easier. That's what she said about everything from makeup to shaving my legs. I think her overall plan was to make me an unattractive hairy she-beast so that I was ostracized and no one would find me attractive. Thus, I would have no choice but to only concentrate on school. 
Related side note: I also had to buy tampons secretly and hide them in my closet because my mother thought they were of the devil.  I did a sport where I wore a spandex unitard and sat in a boat in the middle of water for hours upon hours in the day.  You see the problem.

6. Have you ever gone through a financial planning process? Tell us about it.
No. I wish I had right after I got out of college though. So many shoes bought instead of money saved. What a waste.  We have a whole new set of money issues now, mostly stemming from the fact that we have our money in two separate accounts but I tend to pay all the bills because I'm the one with more time.  So every so often Bill ends up with ridiculous amounts of money in his checking account while I'm counting change to buy a soda at work.  Also, this makes setting a budget for the "household" impossible.  I realize that this is not the best method.

7. What was your favorite outfit as a kid? Bonus points for pictures.
The one that sticks in my head was that in 6th grade I had this oversize sweatshirt with graphic prints that I wore with black and white houndstooth leggings. I thought I was the bomb. (Hey! It was the late 80s/early 90s that's what we wore back then.) I also had a huge Steve Erkel head tshirt that I loved to death in 4th grade I think. So embarrassing.

8. Do you prefer a beach, lake, swimming pool, or no water?
To go into the water? Swimming pool. I don't go into natural bodies of water- between sea creatures and fears of undercurrents it's my worst nightmare. I prefer the beach overall though even if all I do is stick my feet in.

9. Do you recycle? If not, why?
Half heartedly. We are good about soda bottles and beer bottles but not so good about making sure everything that could be recycled is. Part of that is laziness since I think it's stupid to spend the time washing out bottles/cans and removing the labels. Why have they not thought of some automated system to take care of that for us?

10. What are your thoughts and feelings about the Twilight Saga?
This sums it up perfectly:
Twilight rant starts now- look away if you are into Twilight and are sensitive.
You have been warned.


Longer version: It's a bunch of poorly written books by a women with subpar writing skills who got insanely lucky with some ridiculous version of vampires where they don't have sex until marriage and sparkle in the sunlight.  This stupid version is completely explained by the fact that she's mormon.  The fact that she wrote all the books in 3 months or something like that shows how craptastic her writing skills really are (while some of you might say no that shows how skilled she is! No, it doesn't, because no one can write that much in 3 months if it has any level of quality.  I guarantee she just threw some words down on paper and it was completely fixed by her editor's assistant who essentially did all the heavy lifting where writing it was concerned except for the concept.)  I might understand why 11 year old girls like these books because, lets face it, 11 year old girls like any over romanticized story where cute boys obsess over normal girls "just like them" but the fact that grown adults actually read and go to these movies (and like them!) baffles me.

The only thing worse then the existence of these stupid books is the movies and the fact that they made that Robert guy and the chick who plays Bella famous.  Everytime I see them I wish they would go away.  The Robert guy needs to take a shower, badly, and that girl does nothing except for scowl and give barely literate interviews where she likens being a celebrity to being raped.  *Buzz* Incorrect.  Also, who gives two sh*ts if they are dating or not?  I'd like to go to the supermarket and not be assaulted by pictures of them.  I'd love to be able to read the gossip columns I used to like before they were inundated by "are they or aren't they" posts.  I'd also love to go to movies anytime around when one of these are released and not be subjected to Twitards taking pictures of each other kissing the Edward poster/cutout. 

My hatred of this franchise actually extends to my being unwilling to see any other movie that either of them are in out of some small hope that their movies will make no money and they'll go away.  Even when otherwise the movies look good (see also: Runaways).

Second summary: I.Hate.Twilight.  It is an insult to vampires... and werewolves, literacy and the intelligence of the human race.

Aren't you glad you asked?

Friday, July 2, 2010

7 Quick Takes, July 4th edition


1. My husband and I had one of those days where he came home after I went to sleep and left before I woke up. So essentially I haven't seen him in two days. Thank goodness for Iphones and Facebook chat, right? The only proof he had been around was some weary half asleep moments of convo and his signature on our lease addendum that our landlord didn't mail to us until after the new lease year actually started. That one fact pretty much sums up our landlord.


2) One of those sleep hazed convos went something like this:

Him: "I need somewhere other than the floor to put my glasses at night."

Me: "Did you step on them again?"

So when I got up I broke out the measuring tape to see how to rearrange our room allowing for a nightstand. Our room is awkward, not very large with 3 windows that are awkwardly placed (and not even evenly spaced). Due to the windows there's really only one place we can put the bed and due to the fact that we have very very little closet space we also cram 3 dressers in there. None of them match. My issue is that once I get started on a "project" I can't just slightly do it. Now I want new bedding, new furniture, new layouts, new everything. I am trying to contain myself because extra money is not growing on trees.

3) Our 4th of July unexpectedly changed last night at about 10pm. Everyone should know by now how little I like my schedules being changed, so needless to say I'm minorly cranky about it. Not because I necessarily thought the planned idea was the most fun thing to do but because I already wrote it in my planner. In ink. Scratched out words are like nails on a chalkboard to me. Seriously. I habitually will rewrite an entire paper/list/whatever just because I messed up one word, don't like to scratch things out and can't find any whiteout. My neurosis is mesmerizing isn't it?

4) The other reason I am annoyed is because I kind of wanted to throw a 4th of July party with themed food and decorations. It's the best excuse ever to go obscenely tacky! Now it's too late because everyone has plans. Next year, though, we're on.

5) My in-laws moved to South Padre Island, TX approximately 3 months ago. The first hurricane of the season headed in their direction. What luck! I can't go out for a visit until Christmas so here's hoping that the oil stays away from their beaches and no hurricanes destroy it before then.

6) I realized that we have never changed the filter in our A/C unit. We've been there a year and I'd bet that our landlord never thought to do it before then. I looked up instructions and never realized that it was so easy. I'll head out to look for an allergen reducing one this weekend.

7) Have a happy 3 day weekend everyone! Use sunscreen, designated drivers and don't play with fireworks after consuming more than three drinks!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Lemony Orzo-Veggie Salad with Chicken

As I may have mentioned yesterday- it's hot.  Really hot.  A prolonged temperature that we don't normally  see until August and yet, end of June... heat activate!

This has left me with no desire to use my kitchen appliances, especially the oven because our kitchen is tiny and the first floor is tiny so cooking anything with steam?  Steams up the whole house.  Using the oven?  Heats the already warm first floor.

So I present the perfect recipe for this weather.  I made it on Tuesday night and figured out that it does work as a full dinner.  Just the right amount of a full feeling between the orzo and the chicken for a hot summer night.  Plus it only takes 20 minutes to make (even for a slow chopper like myself) and is minimal on the cooking.

Total: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

3/4 cup uncooked orzo
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about one average sized lemon, I use lemon juice out of the container for most of my lemon juice needs but since you need rind anyway this is a perfect excuse to buy a fresh one)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon honey
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast (the original recipe only uses 1 cup but we like food a bit heartier in this house)
1 cup diced cucumber (works out to about 1/2 an average sized cucumber)
1/2 of a large red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (We love onions so I upped this ingredient as well)
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (I hate dill but I can tolerate it in small doses.  For this reason, I put less in then the recipe calls for and it worked out to be quite yummy, even for those who don't like dill.)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese (The original recipe calls for goat cheese but my husband doesn't like goat cheese.  Feta worked nicely- just make sure you don't oversalt the water you are cooking the orzo in or it may make your salad too salty.)

Preparation

1. Cook orzo according to package directions (I cook orzo like pasta, which is probably the wrong way to do it but it works great for all the summer salads I use it for.  I just bring water to a boil add a bit of salt and then the orzo, cook for about 8 minutes).

2. Drain and rinse with cold water (I don't rinse my pasta, it actually pulls off nutrients and flavor when you do that.  Or so Italians say, and since it's kinda their field I believe them.  If you just make sure to not overcook the pasta to begin with it's fine, also just allow a bit of time for it to cool.); place in a large bowl.

3. Combine lemon rind and next 6 ingredients (through black pepper), stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle juice mixture over orzo; toss to coat.

4. Add chicken and next 4 ingredients (through dill); toss gently to combine. Sprinkle with cheese.

Because of Bill's job, we generally eat dinner at different times.  This salad tastes just fine cold and refrigerated.  So great that he ate all the salad that was left in about 20 minutes flat.  Because it was that good.

Original recipe can be found on Cooking Light.  The nutritional information is under it, but if you follow my ingredient list the nutritional info will be wrong.  However, since the original only has 275 calories per serving, I think we all have a bit of room until this would become a fattening meal.

In other food links: Fine Cooking has a new deal where they'll send you one recipe every Mon-Fri that is 30 min or less.  Sign up here.  Just a warning, their normal recipes/magazine generally have multi part recipes that involve a lot of technique and ingredients that aren't in most home pantries/spice racks.  I'm not sure if this new feature will be different, we'll see.