Posts Tagged 'Food'

Yes, I Did It Again

Cake Batter

I changed my mind again and wanted to have a more subtle, simple design, and something light and fluffy.  Less Darth Vader.

You like?

My kitchen smells like brownies.  That picture is not of brownie batter, it’s of cake batter, and it’s an old picture… but aren’t you just craving brownies now?  Err… if you like chocolate, that is.

I have dinner tonight with Sammy and then work in the morning.  Yuck!  Tomorrow is a special day at work, and it always brings out the jerks.  I don’t get why people complain about something that’s free.  But whatevs.  Then work until Wednesday.  Bah.  Work.  So excited to go back to school.  School a week from Monday! Squee.  But wait until a week from Tuesday and I’ll be complaining.

Ramble ramble.

It’s Too Darn Hot

This Room Is Too Hot!

It’s been a real struggle the last couple nights to get any sleep.  I’m that person who shuts the bedroom heat off in the winter because I fall asleep easier in the cold.  So having it feel like 90-degrees when I’m trying to go to sleep makes sleeping hard.  I know the heat and humidity make some people sleepy, but me?  I just get grumpy.  What do you do, on nights and days like these, especially if you don’t have air-conditioning and the fans just aren’t cutting it?

  • Get air-conditioning. This would be many people’s first solution.  “Why are you complaining, just go buy an air-conditioner!”  Well, since they cost $100 and not everyone has a good window to put them in, we’ll move on from this solution.  However, I believe that you shouldn’t complain if you aren’t willing to find a solution.
  • Swim. A lot of rural areas have ponds and lakes that are good for swimming, at a small fee to get in.  There are often a lot of free beaches, too.  Suburban areas often have neighborhood pools, and anywhere there’s a Best Western, you’re bound to find a pool.  Also, try your local YMCA.  If all else fails, I bet you know one person who has a pool you can dunk into for an hour.  If you don’t….
  • Take a cool shower. Just take about ten minutes and put the temperature to cold(ish).  You’ll feel refreshed when you get out… and it’ll wash the sweat away!
  • Keep the oven off! As amazing as those chocolate chip cookies seem (and believe me, I am a sucker for chocolate chip cookies), the oven is going to increase the heat in your entire house.  On those really hot days, grill some dinner instead of baking it.  And there aren’t a lot of people out there who loathe a good old picnic-style dinner.  Cold cuts and potato salad, anyone?
  • Eat fresh fruit and veggies! Not only are these incredibly good for you and should be eaten all the time anyway, but also all of them are fridge foods, and they’re juicy, and cold.  Personally, I had a slice of watermelon for breakfast.
  • Seek out air-conditioning. If you’re in a suburban area, this is a great time to go window shopping.  A lot of stores have air-conditioning, and as long as you aren’t obnoxious and are moving things around or refusing to leave when the store closes, staff don’t mind if you come in to cool down.
  • Eat out. This dilemma of the temperature around you and eating things.  You can eat whatever you want, and restaurants are usually have their air-conditioning turned way, way up.
  • Head into the cellar. Unless you have a nasty, infested sort of basement, it’s going to be much cooler underground, because heat rises  Bring a book downstairs and pull up a chair!
  • Avoid strenuous activity. If you’ve been thinking about skipping a jog, days like this are days to do it.  A lot of physical exercise on hot days puts unnecessary strain on your body.  Keep cool and relax.  You can do a little extra tomorrow.
  • Shut off the lights. Any electrical thing emanates heat.  If you can see without the lights, shut them off.  If you’re not using the computer or watching the television, shut it off.  It may not seem like much, but if you have a lot of electrical appliances and things running in your house, it will make a small difference.
  • Breathe deeply. It’s just like your soccer coach used to say, short breaths and panting will keep you alive, but that’s about it.  Breathing slowly and deeply (like meditating) will refresh your body and you’ll feel a lot more relaxed.  The last thing you need in intense heat is tension.

Most importantly of all….

  • Keep hydrated! You know, we’re supposed to be drinking approximately 8 10-ounce glasses of water a day.  Human’s are under-hydrated in general, but in the hot weather, it is more important than ever to keep hydrated!  Sweating is our body’s internal air-conditioning and if we aren’t drinking enough water, then we’ll get sick.  Sweating is going to happen one way or the other, but keeping hydrated will save on the stomachaches and headaches and dizziness that comes with the body using our “reserve water supply” in order to condition itself.  Really, you should be drinking water, but drink gatorade or powerade or lemonade or iced tea if you must.  Stay away from soda!  Although you may feel like your thirst is more quenched with soda, the carbonation is actually a dehydrator and it’s anti-productive!

Hope this helps a little, folks, and keep cool!  Goodness knows I’m going to be doing my best!  Personally, I’m going to go eat some more watermelon.  Do you have any additional suggestions to add to this list?  Please, share them!

Melted Chocolate

John and Heather playing the waves.

Good morning sunshine. It’s 10:25 in the morning at the temperature outside is already about 93-degree.  Temperature inside?  Honestly, about the same.  I’m (not) looking forward to 12:30 when I head to work.  It’ll easily be over 100-degrees (at this rate) and I have no air conditioning in my car, and only one window rolls down.  That’s okay, though, because work has air-conditioning.  And there are Reeses in my locker at work.  So between the good ole a/c and chocolaty-peanut-butter-goodness, I think I’ll manage.

I am working on trying to see the good and the bad in everything.  Usually I swing one way or the other.  With my friends, I’m incredibly optimistic, trying to make them see that their situation isn’t all that bad, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  In my own life, I tend to see only the bad.  So I’m working on trying to be more balanced.  Actually, I want to be a more balanced person in general.  I need to balance work-stuff with relaxation (mostly, I do more working than relaxing, but my goal to change that.  I’m stopping my internship (little by little) and I have ever intention of taking Fridays off just for me this year.  To do homework, if necessary, to read a non-school-related-book (ha ha), to draw,, to write… to do something, y’know?  As I type this I keep looking at the massive pile of editing I need to do for my internship.  Aye-yi-yi.  I’ve got three weeks, though.  Heh.

I need to balance eating and exercising.  I thank God constantly that I grew up with a great metabolism, but I am up now, and that metabolism is no more.  I really enjoy eating.  I love the flavours and textures of different foods, so I eat not just because I’m hungry, but because something tastes good (Mexican Wedding Cookies for the win).  I dislike exercising because I find it a boring waste of my time.  I’ve tried exercising at home (only a treadmill, and my landlord is in the basement all the time and he’s a sketchy old man), at the school gym (they’re all athletes and I feel like they’re judging me).  I’ve settled on WiiFit, which I like, except the space to do it isn’t always there and I have to fight for the tele (we only have one television in my house and my family watches a lot of movies…all the time.  Also, the living room is relatively small and it needs to be void of other people to have enough space for certain exercises).  Despite all my usual complaints, though, today marks the first day since I got WiiFit that I haven’t exercised.  You know, I left my water bottle at work, and it’s 93-degrees, and I’m pretty sure that exercising without proper hydration in that temperature isn’t healthy anyway.  And I’ll be burning calories at work, so yeah, not concerned.

I need to balance social time and self-time.  I tend to fill my free time with too much of one or the other.  If I fill all my free time with social interactions, then I feel overwhelmed and I get really short with people.  If I fill it with too much self-time, then I get lonely and whiny and bored (even though I have plenty I’m supposed to be doing).

Those are my goals.  I think they’re fair enough.  I want to learn to appreciate everything I have instead of complaining about everything I don’t have.  Seeing the chocolate instead of the fact that it’s melted.  Hey.  In the end, it’s still chocolate.

Tastes Like Melting Plastic

The lake at Robin Hood Park

Very impromtu last night, I went to a co-worker’s house for a bonfire.  I’ve never spontaneous, but it was fun.  We got marshmallows and graham crackers and Hersey Bars and made s’mores.  Well, sort of.  It was mostly people from work, but they’re all nice people.  Parker played his music and even though he’s big into rap and hip-hop and I’m not… it wasn’t that bad.  Zachary, our host, was a terrible host in the sense that he’s just not experienced at it.  He provided the bonfire pit, but couldn’t find matches or a lighter to start it.  Luckily, someone else had a lighter.  He also offered us “lemonade” which was really Arizona iced tea.  He’s a good kid, but a little flighty sometimes.

He didn’t like getting too close to the fire because it was too hot, so his marshmallows either took forever to roast, or burnt to a crisp, which was kind of funny.  We all showed him the proper way to make marshmallows.  I’m a pushover and it pains me to watch someone do something wrong, so I made him a bunch of marshmallows.  See, I enjoy making them, but not eating them.  I’m weird.

Zach found this old-school retro chair-thing.  You know.  The lawn chairs with the plastic weave and metal frames?  The first time someone tried to sit in it, it broke right through.  Teehee, whoops!  We ended up throwing it in the fire later that night.  The plastic arms were interesting to watch cook, because they melted slowly so it dripped down and stretched out like bubblegum or melted marshmallows.  We just threw it on the fire because it was something to throw on the fire.  It was fun, and I wish I had my camera with me.

It was supposed to rain last night, but it didn’t, and it looks like it’s going to now!  Yikes.  Hope I get to work before it starts!  Still, the bonfire was a nice chance to see people I like at work in an outside-of-work setting.  Besides Zachary and Parker, Kate and Ben were there.  I work with Kate later this afternoon, actually.  Bryan was there too, of course (can I go anywhere without him?  Rarely), but he spent a great deal of his time and energy making fun of Zach.  …  I think all him tormenting is one of the reasons I feel the need to be so nice to him.  I mean, I tease him too, sometimes, but not over the top.  I just feel kinda guilty.  Everybody jabs at him a little (he jabs back, too) but none as hard as Bryan.  …  It’s sad.

Anyhoodle.  I had a lot of fun last night and I needed it after some of my customers, but you will hear more about the rude people of the world in tomorrow evening’s update!

Until then… ciao!

Don’t Rain On My Parade.

Kids dressed up as an elepahnt for the Children and the Arts Day parade in Peterborough, NH; June 22, 2010

“Don’t tell me not to fly, I simply got to. / If someone takes a spill, it’s me and not you. / Who told you you’re allowed to rain on my parade?” ~ Barbara Streisand singing Don’t Rain on my Parade as Fanny Brice in the musical Funny Girl.

So this morning all my plans got condensed and smooshed into teeny-tiny crumbs too small for a mouse.  Sammy’s lovely, furnished basement flooded last night, and the poor dear spent many, many hours with her family containing it.  It was muchos sad, and or plans got pushed back an hour.  But I completely understood, and in her position, I probably would’ve cancelled, so I waited patiently.  This morning, I decided it would be a good plan to try to work on chapter five anyway, so I was feeling good about life.  I pretty quickly forgot about the brief lapse of disappointment and continued my day.

I sat down at my desktop.  I really like my desktop.  It’s a useless piece of crap if you want to actually do anything with it (i.e. games, internet?  Slow as a snail) but for writing, it’s ideal.  No distractions.  I sat, crossed-legged in my office chair and… nothing.  I sighed.  I spun around in circles.  I poked at the keys until eventually (five minutes later) I made a paragraph appear.  That was about all I could handle, so I tottered off to check my email on my laptop, and eat a bagel, and play two rounds of Pokemon with my brother, and play two-and-a-half hours of Rock Band.  All, naturally, incredibly productive for my writing life.

At 2:30, I left for Keene, arrived at my destination fifteen minutes before I was expected (yeowch), achieved a scoop on delicious, different mango-raspberry sorbet from Friendly’s (Free Ice Cream day for the win).  I would like to take this moment to note that I could have had anything on their menu, and I picked sorbet, which is significantly healthier than Mocha Chip or whatever yumminess I usually get.

When I got back to Sammy’s things were still a little chaotic, but I still did get to spend a little time with her.  It wasn’t as much as we were expecting, but I really enjoyed it.  I brought my typewriter for her to play with and she seemed delighted with it, and I liked to see her that happy so I’m loaning it to her for a week.  I trust her.  I know it’ll be returned in tip-top shape. Oh yeah. And I got a page of writing done, too. It wasn’t the whole chapter, but it was important progress.

After that, Bryan took me to Panera Bread (yummy!) where I tried both the Cuban Chicken sandwich (not bad, but I’ll stick to my Smokehouse Turkey) and the French Onion soup (delicious).  Today was a day of trying new things.  We spent some time together and had a delightful evening.  I felt very close to him tonight, and that was nice.  Sometimes, I step back and ask myself “what the heck am I doing with this moron?” but tonight wasn’t one of those nights.  We played half-a-game of Nightmare Before Christmas Monopoly and we sat on the wall beside my driveway and chatted for a while.  It was nice.

So today?  Today presented me with grumpy friend’s parents, a shortened visit due to water disaster, parental badgerings, heat, a troublesome too-social-for-his-means brother… and I worked through it all, had a great day, and I’m in a fabulous mood.  Tomorrow I get to tell Mattie the good news that he’s been waiting for, and you know what?  I’m really happy today.  When everything tried to go wrong, we all made it go right.

So you know what, life?  Don’t rain on my parade.  Because I can capture every drop into a great big, shimmering blue swimming pool, splash around, and have a blast.  Nothing’s going to keep me down today.  It’s a great feeling.

To Whomever It May Concern….

Dan and his Ice Cream; June 2, 2007

“Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos.” ~ Don Kardong.

Dear Mister Jackson,

I am appalled, absolutely appalled with your invention.  I suppose I shouldn’t even call it your invention, since technically some form of it has been worshipped since the time of the Roman “Emperor” Nero.  Nonetheless, of all the people I could have chosen, I have pinpointed you as the most significant individual, and therefore, I am appalled with you, and your invention, too.

You see, Mister Jackson, in 1832, you probably thought yourself brilliant as you sat there, in your posh little home, thinking up new flavors the way Willy Wonka thinks up new sweets.  You didn’t realise that Misters Cohen and Greenfield would take your contribution so seriously and create a flurry of wonderful new flavors that would overrun the state of Vermont.  And then, Mister Jackson, Cohen and Greenfield would take it to another level.  They would break the hearts of children everywhere, telling them no, we don’t care if you liked that flavor, it’s gone.  Gone forever.  How cruel it is to see your favorite flavor lose forever to the Flavor Graveyard!

I haven’t even begun to talk about calories, Mister Jackson.  250 for 1/2 a cup of it?  Why, a proper treat takes twice that amount.  Mister Jackson, really, my hips hate you more than any other part of me.  My dependence on your delights disrupts the equilibrium of my soul.

So Mister Jackson, as I sit here, curled in a corner with a mug of Rocky Road, I hope you feel guilty from your rocking chair in the clouds for the anguish you put me in.

Yours inconsistently,

Amber Harris.

P.S. Put in a good word with Misters Cohen and Greenfield for me, please.  I want my Vermonty Python back.

R.I.P. Vermonty Python

Fluff-a-nutter

Buds on the bush outside my house.

“Happy is what happens when all your dreams come true.” ~ Galinda in the musical Wicked.

This morning is lovely.  The sun is out bright, it’s my official last day of classes, and I found a dollar on the floor this morning.  Granted, I broke my watch getting to said-dollar, but I have the warranty, so JC Penney will give me a new band, I think.  I’m going to go there on Saturday and get it dealt with.  It didn’t upset me, though.  It was one of those “psh, well that figures” things.  I have just enough money left in my student account to get a Fluff-a-nutter for lunch, too, and that makes me ecstatic.

For those unfamiliar with the wonderful world of the Fluff-a-nutter, I feel the need to explain it’s magnificence.  You see, every young American child who isn’t allergic to peanutbutter should have the opportunity to delve into the wonderful world of the Fluff-a-nutter.  Actually, I’m of the opinion that every child everywhere should have the opportunity, but if you’re from the United States and you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients, you really have no excuse.  Okay.  You take white bread, generally.  Thick white bread, if you have it, I think that’s the best.  You spread a good layer of marshmallow fluff on one slice and peanutbutter (chunky, if possible!) on the other.  Smoosh the two pieces together, stick it in a toaster oven for about three minutes, and alakazambalooza!  You’ve got a Fluff-a-nutter.  But there is more to a Fluff-a-nutter than the amazing unhealthiness of it.

Like Kraft Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Gushers, Fluff-a-nutters are one of the staple foods of childhood.  Every time I have marshmallow fluff (it doesn’t have much use outside Fluff-a-nutters and hot chocolate) I’m brought back to my childhood and days of simplicity.  Every bite is a trip back to sitting in the woods behind my house with a Tamora Pierce novel in hand, listening to the rustle of the leaves and feeling the cold stone wall beneath my Indian-crossed legs.  Chasing butterflies, playing with Eddie on the front steps, dipping my feet in the stream.  My old house was a nature wonderland for a child, and I think I’d appreciate it more now than I did then.  Yeah- I’d still sit on boulders and stone walls and read outside instead of being active, but that’s just the way I rock and roll.

I’m going to start doing this thing with different daily subjects (see below).  Probably won’t do all of them every day, but today I’m going to.  Just to see what I can do.  And if I update more than once a day, I probably won’t do most, if any of them the second time, but we’ll see.  This is an experiment.  The pictures aren’t mine.  I photoshopped them, but they’re all Google’d.  I love how Google is a verb.  But yes, the below part today is going to be helluva lot longer than any time in the future.  Tags are also not going to apply to the part below.  Part below also makes me wish there were cuts, like there are on LiveJournal.  Oh well.  Can’t have everything.

Don’t love how a bunch of fem-jocks took over my sitting area.  May need to vacate for sanity’s sake.  I’m a terrible person.

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News Today
In The News Today: I just read an article on MSNBC that complained that the United States isn’t doing enough to enforce religious freedom all over the world.  My question?  Why do Americans think that the religious practices and beliefs of the rest of the world are any of our business?  Isn’t bad enough that we’re enforcing our government-type all over the world without telling people that their religion is wrong as well?  The article says that the United States passed an act in 1998 that stated we’d do more to improve the religious state of the world to be more open-minded.  Psh.  Doesn’t anybody read history?  Number One:  the Puritans (and others) didn’t come to the United States to give religious freedom to anyone but themselves.  I mean in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, back in the day, John Winthrop told people that they had to become Puritan or die.  Massachusetts was to be a “city on a hill”, a place of glorious, rigorous religion.  When the law to separate church and state came about, it was to protect the church against the state, not vice versa.  And here we go again, overriding all our laws.  Elitist much?

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Weather ReportWeather Channel: Looks like today’s going to be sunny, but cold!  Not a lot of wind, though, which is a nice change.  Had to pull my winter jacket out of its stow-away closet again this morning.  Can’t wait until the day I can leave it there for good!  None of yesterday’s snow stuck, by the way… thank goodness!  I might have cried!  The weather report for this weekend is supposed to be gorgeous:  between 70 and 80 degrees tomorrow and Saturday.  Too bad I’m working….  But it’ll be good for the dinner party, I think.  Nice weather puts people in better moods- including me!

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Health ReportHealth Report: That Fluff-a-nutter I’m anticipating today is going to be crazy unhealthy.  It’s the fluff, mostly.  I have this thing for sugar, and yes, I understand, sugar is really bad for me.  But it tastes so good.  Also, I’m been working through the Lindor Truffles I got at the mall a couple weeks ago, and I’m concerned.  I’m 50% certain that I have a cavity.  Maybe two.  Definitely don’t want to go to the dentist, and also can’t afford to go to the dentist.  I’m thinking procrastinate.  Also unhealthy.  Today is going to be an inside day- maybe I’ll vacuum just so there’s some small semblance of exercise.

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Words Worth Getting AtWords Worth Getting At: I haven’t written a thing today.  In fact, most of my writing has just been this blog, which I don’t consider proper writing.  I’ll probably push out a flash fiction of two during my Age of Enlightenment class this afternoon, depending on if he keeps us the whole time.  I also pulled out my half-edited chapter four of Fate last night and put it on my desk.  It’s on my to-do list.  Going to try to keep away from Green-Eyed for now.  I still don’t like my titles, by the by.  I’m burnt out on writing from my Fiction Workshop class this semester, but I plan to finish editing this summer, work willing.

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Financi-SmashFinanci-smash: So I check my bank account and I definitely only have $30 in it.  Granted, I have more money in my savings account, but I’m really, really not supposed to dip into that.  Just got $19 for trading in books (blergh, of course) which brings the cash in my wallet up to $23, which with any luck will cover the last of the groceries I will be getting today.  Need to double check the recipes again, but I think I only need Sweetened Condensed Milk, Cinnamon Graham Crackers, a bag of frozen strawberries, pretzels, and soda (Dr. Pepper, Orangina, Mountain Dew).  *breathes*  That’s probably not going to be more than $23, right?  I get paid tomorrow, hurrah!  If I’d just stop buying things on eBay, the money-thing would be better.  I’ll be working crazy-full-time soon, though, so that will help quite a bit.

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Social LifeSocial Life: I spent time with Sammy yesterday, which was awesome, even though I still have no idea why she agreed to come to class with  me.  Silly chili.  Hanging around her makes me really happy, even when she’s in a foul mood.  She’s such a beautiful person!  Bryan and I also had a really good day yesterday.  I gave Justin a ride to-and-from somewhere yesterday, which I count as an addition to social life, and I was a big person and asked Sean via Facebook if he wanted to hang out sometime.  Brownie points for me!  Maybe for a change this summer I won’t exile myself to my room in solitude.  Now I just need to work on more of the see-people-in-real-life thing, instead of you-are-online-speak-to-me-on-Facebook.  Also need to work on the trust thing, still, and get the courage to share this with other people.

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Random SqueeRandom Squee: Outside the window, I just looked, and the wind was blowing all the petals off the blossoms on the trees down the walkway.  It’s was wicked pretty.  A swirl of these white petals under the perfect blue sky, contrasted with the fiery green.  It looked like a fairytale scene and made me ueber happy.


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something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

competing for the house cup

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