Thursday, January 31, 2008
U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington , DC 20520
Greeting from USA Embassy,
This is to notify you that it has been long we have been waiting for you
to contact us regarding your consignment box which FedEx Express suppose
to deliver to you but it was on hold by US Department of State Bureau and
requesting for clearance certificate which will be obtain from the origination
of the consignment box before it will be released. We are here to inform
you that your consignment box has been arrived in US embassy and waiting
to receive clearance certificate before the gate pass is given.
1, Your full name
2, Your home address
3, Your occupation
Once you notify us with the following information we will release your consignment
to you. You can contact us with the following information. Contact person, Hon Roland Mark
Website Please click on this link to read important information you should
see before you travel abroad. Note that you are expected to pay only $125 for clearance certificate and you are to pay it to Benin Republic as the origination of the consignment
box in favour of Mr Udealor John as our accountant officer in Benin Republic
Send the $125 through western union or Money Gram once you receive this
mail for immediate release of your consignment box.
Name Udealor John
Zip Code 229
Test Question A
Please treat this as matter of urgency. Note that any unclaimed consignment will be return to FedEx Express courier company LTD. So you are urgently advice to comply with our demand so that we will release your consignment box.
Hon Roland Mark
Public Relation Officer United State Embassy.
FROM UNITED STATE OF AMERICA
I mean once I read it, and the sending address I knew it was spam, but FOR FUCK'S SAKE! And, as it doesn't have any images or attachments or anything else, just a shithead to person e-mail, my spam filter didn't annihilate it. cunts.
For some reason, I'm averaging about 1000 spam mails per week. It's just madness. Oddly enough, my Yahoo mail account is gathering dust - not a whisper. Gmail is flooded with deep spammage. Maybe I'll just have to swap over to Yahoo for a while to come out from under the pork.
Today I played the coward and refused to leave my house. It's been scary out there! Snow storms blasting through every half hour, then melting, pouring rain, bright sunshine, gale force winds. No fucking way in hell I was going out. I didn't even take Shorty to school. Sassy had the bus to take her to and from school, but the poor thing came home soaked anyways - it's that shit out there. I didn't get much sleep last night because of the rain and wind storm. I used to sleep like the dead through storms, but not anymore. I miss those days, they used to be some of the most restful sleeps ever. When will restful sleep return to me? Here's a picture of the disappearing bridge, the snow stole it away.
Also Shorty is an awful actress, but very cute. <- Click it! Click it!!
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
My name is Tatyana and I am 30 . Hope I will be lucky :-)
I don't think that the age and appearance is so important though I am rather pretty. The most important what is inside you and how do you feel about the life. I know this life from many sides and I am rather mature already to know how to make a man happy.
I don't know if you answer me or not. But why not to try? I will regret if not to try. I think we should use every chance to find our happiness. Life is too short to use it only for thinking and dreaming. I try to act but not only to dream.
So here I am :-)
I will not write you much about myself now. I will just give you an idea of who I am.
I work to earn for my living. I have a higher education and I am rather intelligent. The only one I miss is a beloved person and I want to have a family. I have really many interests: music, reading, books, computers, movies, good conversations, sports and many other things which make the life wonderful. I like beautiful clothes and things. I can't say that I have many friends. I know many people but I am very picky about the friends. Friend is a person who will be with me all my life. And I am lucky to have some really good friends. But I am very sociable that is why there are many people I have good relations with.
I live with my mum and she is very friendly though don't understand each other always. I am rather independent. And work to be able to pay for the things I want to have in my life. In some words I can tell you, that I enjoy the life as it is and I love the life with all its aspects. I am very kind (I am not boasting :-)) which hurts me often. But I am strong enough to overcome the hardships on my way.
Well, now it is up to you to decide to write me or not.
Please write to me directly at email@example.com
I must to tell you that I am unable to use mail box of this site because
I used services of the Internet cafe.
I still hope for your reply. Have a good day!!!!!!!
Tempted. Just to find out what happens.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Last night I first dreampt (Always wonder of that's a proper word, some dictionaries say yes, some no) That I was at this castle on a private island and it was owned by John Lithgow and he was insane. Antonio Banderas was there too in his younger self, and some other woman who I didn't pay any attention too. John was trying to bring about the destrustion of the island, but hello, we're still on it! He didn't care. Evidently the island was on a fault line, and the volcano was collapsing and the entire island was being swallowed up into a giant, swirling lava sinkhole that was sucking land and ocean away in it. But Antonio found a boat and we managed to escape, even tried to save John but he was mad-insane and wanted to go down with his island. Then I flashed back to the parking lot and the giant grey dolphin beast swimming for its life from the hoards of seagulls. (Was Husband snoring again? Must have been because he was with me this time) only this time it crashed down into the parking lot. It was stunned for a bit but we tried to steal a peek at it. And then it saw us. Then we saw it had big, sharp teeth. Then we though "Oh Shit!". Then we thought we should get the fuck outta here. It fixed its green slit snakeish eyes on us, got up and started coming for us, swatting seagulls as it stalked. I woke up then. Gave my head a shake and went to the toilet. No more late night snacks for me! Between John Lithgow, sinking lava pits of death and prehistoric flying dolphin beasts trying to eat me I'll suffer the hunger pains.
***Later that morning***
Saw this and am thinking, what kind of parent lets their very young children watch Rambo??? Oh. And because it's Rambo himself that makes it ok? I think if I saw my Dad on TV with a machine gun blowing up people I'd be really scared of him. Or I'd become a school bully "My Daddy's got a machine gun mounted on the Hummer and he'll blast your guts across the school wall if you don't do what I tell you. My Daddy's Rambo, asswipe. Gimme your trust fund account number." But I like the idea of making the kids do 20 push-ups every morning.
Monday, January 28, 2008
I'm in this kind of mood today. (I blame Mark for the inspirational linkage he put up yesterday.)
Does anyone even know how to make a DnD Regular coffee anymore? I'll send a prize to the first person to tell me how to make a regular coffee. After 12 years of no half-n-half I'm rather bitter about coffee.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
1. Link to the person that tagged you. (That would be http://hotfessional.com/ and Kate)
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.
1) I have two toenails on my little toe. They overlap each other and grow independent of each other. You'd never know by looking at them, and the nail that grows on the top, falls off every six months or so. When both of my kids were born, one of the first things I checked was their piggie toes - I didn't pass it on.
2) One of my favourite things in the world is to break the foil seal on the jar of instant coffee. It gives me great joy to pop that paper foil with a teaspoon. Keep me away from drums, as they are very tempting to try and break as well.
3) I once fell for a guy who looked just like Danny Kaye. He never understood my fascination with him (The guy, not Danny Kaye, he was annoyingly modest.), and I never told him. I absolutely love Danny Kaye.
4) I have a voice for Country music, but no love for the genre.
5) I have very weak ankles and have never been able to ice skate or roller blade. Only roller skate. I adore rollerskating.
6) I hate skiing.
7) When I'm feeling stressed or bogged down in life, I'll wait for the winds to blow. I never have to wait very long. One of the good things about living on the coast. I'll imagine I'm encased in sand and salt and as the wind blows it erodes all that sand away and brings me back unburdened. The wind always means hope and clarity to me.
8) I try and find reasons and answers in cloud formations. It may sound weird, but it's a harmless divination.
9) My favourite song of all time is Last Goodbye by Jeff Buckley
10) Some music is so good it will give me goosebumps. Here's a list of artists who give me goosebumps: Barbara Streisand, Olivia Newton John, Jerry Lewis, Danny Kaye, Air Supply, Led Zeppelin, ABBA
11) I'm out of ideas. Ask Me A Question And I Will Answer.
I tag everyone. All of you. Tag Tag Tag Tag...Hey! No ghouls, no den...you're tagged too. Get to it. Comment and I'll add your links to the bottom of this post, that's not a threat but a kind quid pro quo.
Click the text to see.
Friday, January 25, 2008
OK! All right, can we talk about this? What can we do? Well, Girlbits and I went a googling about and found some interesting alternatives. Some weird , something to consider for the future (Don't you love that it contains a bar of chocolate!) and then I found something worth trying. An insertible cup that catches all the flow that I just remove, dump, clean and re-insert? Sounds easy enough and I like that I'll never have to shell out for hygiene products again (Especially as I have to pay TAX on them in the UK what a fucking insult!!), or have to ask Gavin at the gym to open the tampon box. So I've ordered it. Here's hoping it'll be good. I mean, it can't be any more difficult than when I had a diaphragm - which was useless when the Husband insisted on a condom everytime, but it's in the past, in the past.
Whether my Mooncup arrive in any expedient timely fashion I don't know but here's hoping. Hey, have I told you that I'm also getting us girls a Shewee each for when we go to Japan? I don't fancy my chances of peeing in a squat toilet while wearing jeans. I don't wear skirts so it's an essential purse gadget. (ok, really I just want to pee standing up.)
*I had an issue with thrush last year.
**Actually, I think it's just the string.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Husband ate the lat bits of my emergency chocolate. I keep some 75% dark choc from Green&Blacks and I really needed some last night and it was gone. I was insisting he go out and get more...then thought I was being a wee bit OTT and left it. Still want it. Still annoyed at him. It' s not his...
It's been raining for two weeks now. That is getting annoying. I'm fed up with wearing my wellie boots. They bite the back of my leg and I have a sore there now, and no knee high socks to stop it. I end up pegging my jeans, a practice I've not done since I was 14, and stuffing the cuffs into the low boots. Looks dorky. I was skinny at 14, peg-jeans look dumb on chubby legs.
I really want a sauna. Was watching a few Japan youtube blogs and a guy was showing us what a sento is. It's a big public bath with a huge hot soaking tub in the middle. I can't wait to get there. We have something similar here, but it's rather far away. I really think a sauna, hot soak, lounge about would work wonders for me, shame I have to work tonight.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
I'm in no mood to redo the whole thing.
Woke up a bit blue today. Not that I was coloured blue (which I was, husband was a blanket thief last night)but depressed a bit. Feeling a bit lonely. I miss my friend who moved away. I miss my coffee mornings. I am in PMS mode so it's obviously playing a bit of havoc with my moods.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
So they're in a mood, tired and I'm cheering them up but the feedback I get is the opposite. I'm beginning to wonder if I'm autistic or something. Have I got my emotion chip screwed in backwards? Why can't I read people? Why can't people figure themselves out?
You know, it'll always boil down to this: I know I'm right and they're probably just being a dick who wants to talk but doesn't ant to pass a burden but then really wants a hug but EW physical contact with a non-blood relative? Why not just say what's bothering you? Tell me if you want to. If you don't want to talk about it, and then still want to hang out with me, can you cheer the fuck up please?! Take that bad mood, roll it up and shove into the fifth pocket of your jeans and get on with life. Don't be a black cloud on someone else's sunshine, don't become a black hole sucking the goodness from others, DON'T BE A DICK!
Or is it just me?
Seriously, Scottish people can be such a chore.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Yesterday Husband and I were supposed to clear out a list of items from the garage to be picked up for disposal on Tuesday. Yes they've been out in the front of the house for two days for the pure annoyance of my neighbors (Who are annoyed because the old oven is still there - not my fault since the council suspended white goods collection for a full month and are only resuming today. Nice month long vacation...although probably not as they may have needed the extra shifts for regular collection of post X-mas/New Year bin fulls of rubbish) who have twice in recent weeks commented that I should remove the oven. Fuck you and git off my land was on my mind, but "It's under control" was what came out. Literally, I have o time for busy body retirees who have nothing better to do than ring my doorbell and inform me my old oven can be recycled. I've been tempted to put some decorative plants on it to make them think it'll become a permanent fixture. Watch them share out digitalis while fuming in groups over the oven on the front lawn.
But we didn't clear it out yesterday. Nope, we decided to slob about and relax instead. And now I get to do it all alone. In the rain. What's that saying about repent at leisure? Yeah whatever it is, I think it fits. then I have to go to work tonight. I'm really fed up with work now. they've made some changes that I don't like and kept thinking I'd get used to them, but I haven't and it makes my job rather tedious now. Plus all the managers hate the new store manager and they're all just a bunch of crabby faced, dour, grumpy...managers.
On the plus, there are signs of Spring everywhere. bulbs are starting to green and we'll see the first snow drops soon. I've heard baby birds which is insane and even found a couple of broken eggs in the woods (not chicken ones either) which means the wood pigeon and crows are warring for treetop turf again. The alarm now goes off with dawn light instead of darkness. I've seen quite a few large mushrooms in the woods too. Trees are budding and there's one kind, I don't know it's name, is blooming. I should get pictures.
Need this song in my head to keep my feet moving today, I think. It's such a brilliant arrangement. And is that Rob Lowe at the prom?!
Friday, January 18, 2008
What an excellent character impression. I've had this song in my head all Summer and I just think he (the guy the song is about, not Nick Lowe himself) needs a story. He's such a bastard. He doesn't hide what he's doing, and takes pride in destroying the spirit of these women. Again - not Nick Lowe, but the man he's singing about...or as. I don't think Nick Lowe is a dick, but then I've never met him. I did hear him being interviewed on Radio Two with Johnathan Ross and he sounded like a sweetie.
So I'm having a struggle today. Motivation is in the toilet. It's taken me 40 minutes to get dressed this morning, and not because of some injury or wardrobing fog (Those days where you try on everything and it all sucks) but because I don't want to go to the gym, but i must go to the gym. I was at one point sitting on the edge of the bed wearing a t-shirt and wool sweater with gym pants on, a regular bra in one hand, the gym bra in the other and I was completely perplexed about what I was going to do. Do I skip again today (day off yesterday and damn was I sore! Skull Crushers hurt my arms.) and it's raining outside and I'll get wet feet - I Hate Wet Feet! and I sat there arguing with myself. Go and do it and it's done. But it's yucky out and I'm on vacation and I. Don't. Want. To. Tough, go. 40 minutes of hating myself and wanting to hide under big clothes, then trying to motivate myself with gymness wisdom and mentally picturing my lithe self. I currently feel pathetic and mildly motivated to do something about it.
So I'm here, properly dressed for the gym, still considering chickening out, but getting dressed is half the battle. I had a day off yesterday which I slobbed about for most of. Then made sushi with my new sushi roll makers that the Postie brought me - awesome!! Will add pictures later.
Diet is going very well, and being away from work makes a difference. Working with food means constant temptation to eat. Must resist. Will resist. Snacking is under control. I did have a couple squares of Green&Blacks 75% dark chocolate after dinner last night because I was getting crazy sugar cravings. Sucking on the dark chocs really helped. Husband is gyming and dieting too, so it's nice to compare workouts and meals (his side not much as I pack his lunch - isn't he spoiled!) BUT, i have been drinking wine this week. I'm not usually a drinker and yet. the anxiety is there, but no snacking? Erg. I use wine for cooking and usually stopper it and put it in the fridge. Tuesday I accidentally - and I MEAN accidentally - finished the bottle of red I opened for putting into bolognese. As I don't usually drink, I was rather toasted. One glass makes me tipsy, two thirds of a bottle means Toasty Lyvvie. Of course once I realised I'd had too much I was in full panic "What if the house catches on fire and I can't save the kids?" "What if there's an accident and I can't help, or the police come to the door, see me drunk and take my kids away for being an unfit mother?!" In time the adrenaline from all of these terrible scenarios sobered me up some. Wed. and Thurs. I had two glasses of white after dinner. I still hate that foggy-headed slow down feeling alcohol gives. From now on I'll stick to the odd snifter of sherry.
Right. Must get socks and sneakers on next. If I can't find socks...I'm not going to the gym. But as I do the laundry, I know where the socks are. *sigh*
Thursday, January 17, 2008
I see it everywhere and it bugs me. What I see are folks who can't use a/an properly. The rules for this are very simple. A is used when the following word begins with a consonant, and An is used when the following word begins with a vowel. An is also used when followed by a silent H, as in honorable and honest.
Really, really, really easy rule.
So what's with all the An Historical??? It even hurts to say, unless you are French or Cockney and drop your letter H willy-nilly (That's more for Cockneys, not the French). But either way, it's still written as A Historical. Otherwise you'd have to write An 'istorical to show a letter belongs there but it's (linguistically?) missing. The other exceptions are because the word starts with a consonant sound: A following a word beginning with a letter U making an oo or you sound; a unicorn, a unicycle, a used car; or an O making a w sound like one.
An Honourable Mention.
An Anatomy Book.
An Honest opinion.
A One-legged Hippie.
A University Student.
A European Vacation. *
An Hour Away.
I'm done now. Rant over.
The only time I trip about on this rule is the word Herb. As an American I don't pronounce the H and therefore say "An 'erb." The British do pronounce the H and will say A Herb. My rationale is that Herb is a French word and the French don't pronounce the H at the beginnings of words. My rationale has failed me in the past, however. I'm not alone in this, NPR did an article about it a couple years ago
*Dumb joke from primary school: What nationality are when using the toilet? European! (I know it doesn't make perfect sense but an eight year old will like it. I don't know why I can remember that joke, but not the name of my third grade teacher.)
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
So, one of my new motivations is the Podrunner podcast, free on iTunes. 45 minutes of nonstop music to keep me going. Different beats to choose from for faster running or slower walking paces. Something to stomp the feet into the dirt with. Oh, and it's free. They're put together by DJ "Steveboy" Boyett I also like Funky House London Style podcasts, again, great new music, not repetitive and this one seems a bit more into seasons than BPM, but so what it's fun gym music. And this kind of music is perfect for the gym and I don't listen to it anywhere else. I never listened to it as a kid or teenager but in the gym, walking out in town it's the best thing for putting a skip in the step and making me feel alive. I'm lucky I've always like electronica.
I had a mom at the school irk me yesterday with something she said. One of those comments that makes me think; am I being insulted here, or she being really insensitive? I'm going with a mix of both. We were talking about Christmas weight gain and how it's got to come off. I gained seven pounds over the holidays, mostly due to a closed gym, too much rain and every other excuse I can put up into my arsenal of excuses. Basic of it all: I couldn't be bothered. I'd lost a bit of weight when I was sick, and my body was eager to put it back on. Thanks but I was quite happy to say goodbye to it. Anyways, Mom At School was opining about how easy it is to gain weight and hard to take off, motivation is tough, blah blah, then she says "And you lost all that weight last year and it just goes to show how easy it is to put back on." ...excuse me? Seven pounds! I lost over thirty pounds last year, put on a lot of muscle tone and strength and I don't think that was an extreme to use me as an example of weight loss failure. Seven pounds. It took two weeks to gain, it'll take two weeks to lose. Cheeky or what?! I know I have snacking issues, could've lost more but really. Snide bitch offered motivation up on a plate. It's the main reason I don't play with the Muffia at school, they are all so catty. I don't do catty. I'm more punchy shovey, and as that's completely illegal, I just mind my own business.
So now I have my new sneakers broken in, and new tunes to keep me running and a mean Cow to show up: Watch me fly.
Writing had descended into doodling and making up rude crosswords so far...
Go and see my friend Sarah's page, she's just coloured her hair. Isn't she beautiful!? She's...she's...amazing. Pay her money to paint you something. She's gorgeous and talented.
Friday, January 11, 2008
So what will I do with myself with all this extra time?
Well, I was thinking, since I couldn't take part in NaNoWriMo last year due to a million interruptions hell bent on preventing me from accomplishing such a feat, then why not try and get a rough draft of a story done in that week. Sure it can be done. Yes it CAN! I'm sure I could bash out a rough skeleton of a story in that time, shit though it will probably be, but I'm confident in my ability to do it. Apparently I have the gift of gab running just now, considering the posts I've put out recently. With little effort (does that show?)
So why not throw myself into the scrum and get a roughie done in a week, take a week off and then throw myself back in for fleshing up and edits before chucking it into a cupboard for a long rest?
Or I could try and finish Mario Galaxy...
The voices are starting to rise though and anti-smoking campaigns are gaining popularity. But, in typical Japanese, it's a bit weird. Here's some ad counter-ad.
And then, there's this...
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Now, excuse me while I flush the remainder of what was a really nice soup down the pan.
So a few years ago I was thinking, "Hey whatever happened to Amy Fisher? she should be out of jail by now..." and I googled about and discovered she'd written a book, recently got married, was expecting a baby and was writing for a newspaper. Well good for her, I thought. Sounds like she's got her shit together. She seemed humbled.
So when I saw news about a sex tape I thought, oh dear. Is this an attempt to gain fame on an old story with a new scandal? well, you tell me:
Someone should whisper to that guy about lowering his dosages. But Wow. Wonder what Amy has to say...CNN video interview ; Well, ok. Does anyone else sense a theme here in Amy's life? Something around old men and sex? Seems prison may humble a person but it doesn't gift them with the ability to see a swine. Weird how she's a master manipulator, but can't see the strings being pulled around herself? Maybe she's not really a master after all. Also - who is the sparkling bra wearing, sparkling skinned, camera grinning woman in the background?? I think Amy may have been more credible if that woman wasn't there whoring up the stage with her 80's flashback wardrobe. Even The Nanny would've told her to button up. You can't say you didn't want to sell a sex tape, and flash red bra at the same time, or be seen next to a red sparkle bra flasher.
I did YouTube Amy Fisher and found an ET staged confrontation between Amy and Joey that was - it fucking hurt it was so painful. What bright and shining star ever thought it was going to be a good idea to put those two in a room together?? I couldn't believe he was still saying "My Mary-Jo". Of the two of them, I believe her more than him. Then again, I'm now firmly of the opinion: Both of them are complete assholes.
It's things like this that make me wish Freud was still alive.
Now, I'll have to read about this Dr. Phil and Britney debacle...
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Yesterday I started back to the gym. Slight change in routine though, as instead of going first thing in the morning, I'm going while Shorty is in nursery. I've been nervous about timing, getting to the gym and then back to collect the girls after school, but it went brilliantly yesterday and it seems to be much better suited to my life (And wallet as I'll save £3.40 per visit). I can get blogging and housework done in the morning, take Shorty to school for noontime, and then walk to gym, workout, shower, walk back to school and be there in plenty time before 3pm. I know I shouldn't have worried as the gym is only a twenty minute walk from the school, but timing and being late for things is my biggest anxiety. Well, one of. Maybe it's a quirk?
Gym work was hard, but good yesterday. As I've not been much since the start of November, from leg injury, kids sick and then I was sick, then Christmas. I've lost some muscle strength which isn't too surprising, but the body was really keen to work on the cardio machines. Whoosh! And that was without caffeine! Felt great. I did 40 minutes cardio and then 30 minutes weights - arms definitely weaker, but legs seemed just fine; must be all the squats from "lift with your legs" at work. Back in today, and I'm just keeping my fingers crossed the rain stays away. It's still windy out and I can handle that. I can handle rain too, but rain and wind together and I'll give up to just come back home and vacuum instead. (As it turns out, We got soaked and blown all over the bay while walking back home from school. Curse you Mother Nature and your wicked wind too!)
*Sigh* I'm not into cooking tonight, and yet there's a surplus of stuff in the fridge that demands being cooked ASAP! So I decided to make Clearout Soup! Basically, anything that will go into a soup pot and isn't too past it's sell by date goes in. Tonight it's: Two rashers of smoky bacon, a frozen chicken breast, three carrots, one parsnip (How did I miss one parsnip?), half a bag of chopped curly kale, a tin of sweetcorn, a tin of puy lentils, tin of kidney beans (You expected that didn't you?), two baby leeks, sweet red pepper (capsicum style), one onion, two cloves of garlic, the dregs of a bag of brown rice and Greek soup pasta, a big spoonful of brown rice miso and a ham stock cube. I'll season it later with some paprika, pepper and whatever else takes my fancy. smells awesome, if I do say so myself as my stomach growls. (OH forgot the baby zucchini -must've been trying to run away with the parsnip- and celery stalk)
Rather glued to the unfolding developments of the Cassie Edward "plagerism" scandal being reported over at SmartBitches.
Husband just phoned to say he'll be late tonite because the bridge is closed due to the wind blowing down a painter's ledge (one of those carriages that rides on the wires way up high) and making a mess all over the place. No one hurt.
Monday, January 07, 2008
So on perusal of the cupboards I noticed I've got a surplus of tinned organic red kidney beans. I must have bought them on promotion or something, but they need used. So on I go to fine recipes for kidney beans that are NOT chili. As it seems the only thing I ever do with them is eat them alone in a bowl with hummous (a post gym favourite) or make chili. Last night I tried Dr. Dick's Mean and Lean Kidney Bean Hash as I had all the ingredients (apart from Mrs. Dash which I don't think we get in the UK but I have a suitable Schwartz alternative. Fajita spice perhaps) And I wanted to use some turkey, so the Turkey hash it is!
I followed the recipe with one difference; I coated the turkey in seasoned cornflour so they'd get a nice wee crispy coating too. I tossed the meat (don't laugh!) into the pan with the onions and peppers but next time I make this, I'll fry the meat in a separate pan first so the veg doesn't get soggy flour lumps on it. Also I only had small salad potatoes which I boiled and just crumbled up in my hands (Grrrr Crush! Hulk Hands! Grrrr!) over the pan. It cooks up very quickly and it's just a matter of letting it get crisp on the bottom and then turn it so you get more crispy bits.
The family liked it - well except for Shorty, but she has a thing about dinner and won't eat anything at night-time. The rest of us thought it was tasty enough. Not top cuisine, but satisfying enough and it is a one pot dish...well until I fry the meat in a separate pan that is. I think a few fresh herbs tossed in would've helped it, if I'd had any, thyme and oregano. I think it's one of those meals that is going to taste better as leftovers - and guess what I get for lunch today!
My stove top is a mess and will be scoured today - hey! Does anyone know how to get burnt-on marshmallow off of enamel? Been trying for months but no luck and I dread the thought of a razor.
Prior to the holidays I read the frustratingly short e-book by my DearHeart Friend, Crystal Inman, Virtually Yours. And I admit upfront that I was nervous to do so. I already liked this woman for her sense of humour, all round sweetness (No, really Chrys!) and she has a fun blog where I read about her antics with her kids, some trepidations with her ex and the tragedy of losing her house and much loved goofy dog. It's the best part about a blog that you get to know the inner thoughts of people, we know them without ever meeting them. So I already knew I liked Chrys but, what if I didn't like her writing?
Well, lucky for me I didn't need to worry because I loved the story. I'll cheat and steal Chrys' blurb:
"Sarah Sharpe leads a normal life. When she volunteers for a study at the local college, all that changes. She is given special glasses which enable her to enter the scene of her choice in a Virtual World.
Exploring the Virtual World is great. But there’s a catch. A striking, male catch. Blake Canfield. He assures Sarah he’s self-aware and explains he will be her guide.
Sarah is unsure at first, but she quickly grows to enjoy his company. Too much. She soon finds herself falling for essentially a figment of her imagination. How perfect can one relationship be? No strings. Low-maintenance.
But it’s not perfect. It’s the hardest relationship Sarah’s ever been in. Because when she turns the glasses back into the college in three months, Blake will be gone. Forever. And so will Sarah’s heart."
Now, I'll admit when I read that my bullshit meter began to hum, because I had flash images of those early days of virtual reality where folks sat in a big chair tied by wires hand and head forced to watch to lame skiing sequences, but none of that here and damn if she didn't make it work. In this world, it's just a pair of sunglasses and ZAP, you're on the beach in the middle of a luau. Hooray! Smells, sight touches... all the senses really are catered to and never in an over the top purple prose kind of way - which could have been so easy to do but Chrys gets the balance spot on. She carries the suspension of disbelief perfectly. In some ways it reminds me of Internet Love Addiction and the frustrations Sarah goes through trying to appeal to her Devil and Angel on her shoulder about how far she should let herself go with this Virtual character and the denial/repression of her emotional responses and rationalizations are all very interesting to read.
I really liked the characters. Sarah Sharpe is the kind of person I'd want to be friends with; loving, devoted, humble and funny. Verging on quirky (Although the diet cola for breakfast thing made my teeth hurt). The hero, our virtual man, is pretty good too - although he confused the hell out of me. He almost seems to be trying to get Sarah to have sex with him on a bet, although that's never alluded to, and I just felt his "need" for her a bit, well...needy. And once I looked back on the story and picked it apart technically (What?! We all do it...), he was supposed to annoy me because he fucking vexes Sarah to no end. There's a set up in there, and I fell for it. Well Done Chrys, you beat me, Ms. Smarty-Pants MacPlotfinder. *Bow* ...although not entirely, I kind of knew I just went the wrong direction and thought it was the brother...
My only complaint is the ending is too abrupt, and I can't even go into it without killing the ending but one minute Sarah is a pillar of fiery pissed off vixen (rightly so), humiliated, embarrassed (I know they're kind of the same word, but shup and let me get on with it) and then one Heavenly dose of French Toast and all is forgiven?? That must be one damn fine plate of French toast - like on sourdough bread with proper Canadian maple syrup and smoked bacon and laced with tranqs. I wanted to see Sarah's temper slow and then peter out with loving forgiveness, after a proper good argument not just satisfied cravings for an eggy bread breakfast and sugar rush of love - Which I can completely understand as French toast is my favourite breakfast too, but no...the story needed a couple more chapters - heck even one would do - And since Blake is "self-aware" he needs to explain and assert himself a bit more, make more of a show that he's sorry. Then he must prove himself until he bleeds. Ok maybe not bleed, ache a bit at the very least. No humble, big eyed, pleading, groveling. No man should gain a bride by plucking her pity strings At one point I think I recreated the scene with DeForrest Kelly saying "Dammit Sarah, I'm a Man, not a machine!" but It was purely for my own
So, not only did I love Virtually Yours and was left wanting more (Fifty pages! That's all I'm asking. A weekend for you, Chrys.) but I may have to give more e-books a try and I've been a bit dubious in the past having only had one good example from Kate Rothwell (Not to say only one was good, but that I've only read one of hers. I'm sure they're all excellent!). I've been proven something of a e-book snob (coward) and have resolved to change my ways. But I still attest that reading a book from the PC screen is painful.
Now go buy Chrys's books.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
I was a bit disappointed with January's issue, feeling most of the articles were a bland vanilla mix, nothing very eye catching and the interviews were of folks - no offense to any who happen to read this (as if, tcha) - I'm not all that interested in. So I was thinking, perhaps I should cancel this subscription and finally rid myself of the magazine addiction for good. Then I got February's issue in the mail on Saturday. It's amazing! I can't imagine why they started off the year with such grey blahs, and then hit me with glorious colour in February, but lucky for them they did, as I've decided to keep the subscription now.
It seemed every article was targeted right at me. "Oh wow! I'm actually like that!" "I answeed yes to everything!" "That's just so simple a solution to a lifelong problem, why didn't I ever consider it before?" Revelations and brain pops galore. My favourite article was titled The Seven Sides Of You and talks about how we often have several personalities that we employ/deploy for different situations. You wouldn't use the same personality in a job interview that you'd use with the closest pals down the pub. It shows our adaptability. So the mini-quiz asks;
How Multiple Are You?
- Do you find your mental skills, including memory for facts, vary from time to time for no obvious reason? For example, can you sometimes romp through a crossword puzzle, but other times can't answer one clue?
- Do you ever refer to yourself as "we"?
- Do your personal memories ever seem like a film you have seen rather than as something that actually happened to you?
- Do you talk to yourself?
- Do you ever binge on food, cigarettes or alcohol?
- Do you swing suddenly from one mood to another for no apparent reason?
- Do certain circumstances trigger skills of knowledge that in not usually available to you? For example, in a foreign country do you find yourself speaking the language better than you thought possible?
- Do you find yourself adopting the accent or intonation of the person you are talking to or putting on a "telephone voice"?
- When you look into your wardrobe, do you see clothes that you cannot imagine wearing and wonder why you bought them?
- Do vague acquaintances treat you as though they know you far better then you would expect?
- Do friends refer to events they claim to have shared with you but that you cannot recall?
- Do people you trust claim you've told them things you cannot believe you would've ever told them?
- If you come across something your wrote a while ago - an old diary or notebook - do you sometimes fail to realize at first the author is you?
From that I determined I'm Queen of the Schizoids*! (I got a 23) Especially the referring to oneself as "we". I do that all the time, talk to myself as we and us. Also, the bit about acquaintences knowing me better than I'd expect them to, and the very embarrassing problem of forgetting things I've done with people - and sometimes I even forget the people too. Talk about social fucking nightmare, "We did what? When? Really...wow. We had a great time then, huh? Blush, fidget, grin, drink. I once (actually twice with different boyfriends) told my husband about going out to the movies with a mutual friend and how it was a great movie, dinner after, conversation was tops blah blah, and he got pissed off because He Was There Too!! "Oh, of course you were, heh heh, I'm just, uh, winding you up - sucker!" *run away* The article goes on about getting to know your different personalities, talks about the unified self and also goes into how some of these personalities get too big for their britches and become destructive voices in our heads and how to get a rein them in with positive thinking. The more multiple you are, the more of a challenge.
February's issue has an article about how sleep is the new sex - don't I know it. The past two weeks have been bliss and I feel wonderful simply because I can sleep in until eight each morning. The alarm usually goes off at half-six, so isn't it amazing how that extra wee bit of sleep changes my day? All of us are feeling much more relaxed and refreshed. Also there's an article about How to think Like A Thin Person, which is a month late really when just now we're all being saturated with Weight Watchers ads and gym membership promotions.
The typical magazine segments are there to with movie and book reviews and all that normal filler, with a averagely amusing ads section at the back - don't you ever find some magazines have highly amusing ads sections? Honestly, don't skim past them, give them a try. This magazine, of course, has all those "Change Your Life!" kind of things, with weekend courses and spa holidays a few psychics tossed in for flavour. A couple that grab the attention:
Depression? Congratulations! Strange as though it may seem, depression is a sign of health!
Image is So much more Than Colour!
Join a Growing Industry!
Cosmo is even more entertaining with all the love numbers, breast enhancement/plastic surgery clinics and odd assortments of arts and crafts. Anyways, it's one of the rare times when I've red a magazine cover to cover and then went back and read some bits again. I even wanted to leave out articles for the Husband to read, but as it's a chick-mag, he's not very interested. Self-help chick-mag? Would Rather Eat Plastic Doll Parts! But he loves me so he may read it if I nag enough - Oh the joy the ties of a wedding vow give me sometimes!! I know what you're thinking, better him than me, right? Aye...you just wait.
* I say this with deliberate ignorance purely to annoy my mother as I went to university to gain a degree is psychology and know full well the differences between Schizophrenia and Multiple Personality disorder. It's the same reason I pronounce Peugeot cars as Pew-gots as I also can speak French well enough and it annoys her. I just never say "ain't" around her as she has a vicious backhand and zero tolerance for the word.
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
So, after a late night watching Japanese movies, and sipping the last servings of a bottle of port and a bottle of sherry, a bottle of sweet champagne was popped and the Husband and I played Wii games, half cut, until 2am. It was wonderful. I got to sleep in late, and was then given a family sized picnic bento box for family days out in seasons to come - decorated with Totoro autumn scenes. Pocky and hard candies for breakfast the four of us enjoyed the bounty of my birthday, as Husband bought wee bento boxes for the girls, which I love and now want one for myself. Would help resist the lure of the vending machine. I've ordered chopsticks for each of us; training ones for the girls.
House is a mess, but I won't clean it just now. It's my birthday. It's raining out, and rather yucky. Everything's closed. I get to read my book and lounge about the house, cozy, cramped and warm. I get to choose the movies today too. Well, I'd like to think I get to choose, reality is I'll choose "Family favourites" that I can tolerate. Porko Rosso, Mary Poppins, and then most definitely: My Fair Lady and The Little Princess.
*pout* No birthday cake. *pout*
Resolution for 2008: To eat when hungry and to stop when full. No eating from a vending machine. No eating anything from a plastic wrapper. Will run the 5K and 10K races this year - 5K in June, 10K in October.
*sigh* No birthday cake...*sigh*