Friday, January 30, 2009

How I Got My Kitchen Aid Mixer

I have to say my mom is pretty cool and I’m not just saying that because I am pretty much an exact replication of my mom. I say it because she makes horrible bets and as a result I’ve gotten a lot of free stuff.

I’m not the only she makes bets with; in fact I’m pretty sure that it is her favorite pastime. For example, when I was away at college and my younger brother was still at home for some unknown reason they got into a discussion about how many times I had braces growing up: little bro said twice and my mom said, “Only once, are you kidding me?! I think I would remember shelling out that kind of dough!” Of course, a bet had to be made as to who was right and I was promptly called and asked the question. No “How are you?” “How’s college treating you?” Just, “How many times did you have braces?” Not even a goodbye. Anyway, the answer was twice. Yes, I had terrible terrible teeth. So my brother got new bedding while my mom went to the orthodontist and demanded that after all the money they’ve received from our family there should at least be a chair in the lobby dedicated to our family.

Two years ago I went on vacation with her to the Oregon coast and did not buy one thing for myself. Every game of cribbage or cards played was with the caveat that loser pays for breakfast or loser pays for coffee etc. etc. Like I said I received a LOT of free meals.

But by far the best bet I made was, alas, my last because my dad finally told her she had to stop because he was tired of buying all this free stuff for me…that and I almost had her hooked for a free computer twenty minutes later and he just couldn’t let that happen.

It occurred right after I moved into my Green Lake apartment and was whining constantly about how I didn’t have a kitchen aid mixer. I mean, how was I supposed to bake cookies?! How does one LIVE without a kitchen aid mixer?! My live was incomplete without one! I couldn’t sleep at night!

So, anyway, one day my parents, big sis, and nephew joined me on a walk around the lake and lunch at a local restaurant. At lunch my mom ordered calamari and when it came my sister, mom, and I dug into the rings but only my dad would eat the squid. I, by far, was the most grossed out by the squid with their little heads and would look at my dad in pure disgust every time he nonchalantly popped one in his mouth. My mom, of course, was curious as to what my price would be - as in just how much would it take to get me to eat one of those things. The perfect situation for a bet. At first it was hypothetical with my mom simply asking, “If you were to get a free yellow kitchen aid mixer would you eat the calamari?” Of course, I replied saying there was no way for me to know without the offer actually being on the table and, well, her curiosity got the better of her and a concrete offer was made. It did take me a good forty-five minutes to grow a pair and eat the damn squid and we had to tell the waitress multiple times do NOT take the plate away. I really have my sister to thank for finally saying to me, “Just eat it for the love of all things holy! It’s a free kitchen aid mixer! I can’t even look at you right now. You disgust me.” It was just the push I needed. A week later my parents showed up at my apartment with a kitchen aid mixer wrapped in squid recipes.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hear Me Out

I have an issue with some bloggers. (None of you of course). Specifically, people who portray themselves as perfect, people who don’t let any of their personal flaws onto their blogs. Seriously, come on people – nobody’s perfect! Isn’t the whole allure of blogging to connect with people and what better way to connect than through our inadequacies?

I notice these people tend to have theme blogs; for example: cooking or designing. There are a couple cooking blogs that I read and enjoy, but for the most part after reading a typical cooking blog I just leave feeling fat and like a failure simply because I don’t always use organic ingredients or because I didn’t get up an hour early to make myself an extra healthy and filling breakfast. Of course, I don’t read these blogs because I’m not masochistic, but the point I’m trying to make here is there’s room out there for more down to earth cooking blogs.

Soooo, what I’m trying to get at here is I should start a cooking blog. It would be in the format of a cooking show and it would be a half hour of me running around the kitchen digging through drawers cursing because I can’t find the right pan, drinking wine straight out of the bottle, and yelling at nobody in particular because I forgot to turn the oven on after I put the potatoes in. Go ahead. Try and tell me this isn’t the best idea you’ve ever heard. YOU CAN’T!

People would watch and think to themselves, “Man, if this girl can get dinner on the table I could probably cook a five course gourmet feast!” And they would be right. It would boost everybody’s self esteem.

Designing blogs also tend to grind my gears because they act like it all came together so easily and I haven’t seen that many that offer solutions for small rooms and or any that have good ideas for people who aren’t rolling in the dough. Of course, there are some good ones out there, but as I said before there’s room for more practical ones. I mean, really, shouldn’t the practical blogs outnumber the “Look how great I am and you will never be as cool as me” blogs?

So. I should also start a designing blog. I think the format would be pictures of different rooms with mismatched furniture and clutter everywhere and I would write rambling discussions about how I can’t decide what to do with the room resulting in absolutely nothing getting done. People would just shake their heads and say, “well, at least I am not as much as a mess as that girl.” Once again, raising people’s self esteem. The blog’s tagline could be, “Feeling bad about yourself? Grab yourself a drink and kick back because you’ve come to the right place.” It’s a bit long for a tagline, but you get the idea.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I wish I could hibernate

I am glad to report that I am in a better mood this morning – I know that’s all you guys could think about this weekend. However, I don’t think it was Ikea that improved my mood I think it was all the sleep I got. I went to bed early Friday night (I have such a busy social life) and stayed in bed until about noon Saturday morning. I know I should feel guilty about that because I “wasted my day” and all that jazz, but I REFUSE! I quite enjoy my sleep and I haven’t been getting nearly enough and I am such a happier person when I get my much needed twelve hours of sleep.

Ikea was nice even though afterwards I started to feel bad about the appalling amount of money I spent. We had gone intending to get a new TV stand. Chuckles just bought a new TV that dwarfs our old TV stand, making the whole thing look somewhat ridiculous. Unfortunately, we didn’t find a TV stand that we liked, but I found a couple footstools I liked that we set up as a kind of bench in the living room. We needed more sitting, but there isn’t room for an actual chair so the “bench” works as an alternative.

Also, I found dining room chairs that I liked and other miscellaneous stuff. Since I just recently bought a new SLR camera I really need to stop spending money for a while. It’s just that once I start I can’t stop!

This might end up like that time in college when I had to freeze my debit card in a bag full of water that way any time I needed to use it I had to defrost it for a day with the ending result being that I didn’t make any impulsive purchases.

Anyway, I really have to share what I saw as I was waiting in the loading zone for Chuckles. It was a young girl wearing flip flops with leg warmers that had pom poms on them with a bleached denim mini skirt with spandex shorts underneath. So I understand that leg warmers are making a comeback, but I am pretty positive that you shouldn’t be wearing them with flip flops and I sure as hell wouldn’t go with multiple trends from the eighties in one outfit. All she needed to finish the whole thing would be Day-Glo colored top. I tried to take a picture, but I’m too slow and couldn’t get my camera out of my purse fast enough. You’ll just have to trust me when I say she looked ridiculous.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sorry, but I have to let the anger out

I’m so tired you guys. So. very. tired. I know it is Friday and that should be enough to wake me up and get me through the day, but I have a group meeting tonight and that is the LAST thing I want to be doing on a Friday night.

I know that I will be incapable of being productive today and that will make it just crawl by. Really, though, I have spent this entire week doing miscellaneous projects to help out coworkers and every time I have a question it completely stalls the whole thing and I have to wait for the question to be answered before I can continue. Anyway, it is making work just crawl by, which is partially why I am being so negative this week, but what I really want to talk about today is selfish people and how they have been driving me NUTS lately.

First, Wednesday night it was The Enemy. At school there is a limited amount of seating for people that get to campus early, which isn’t usually a problem for me because I get there early in the hopes of getting a good parking spot. This week when I arrived an hour early during which I planned on enjoying my book I walked up to the classroom where there are two couches outside for people where The Enemy had camped out spreading her stuff over all of the couches leaving no room for anybody else to sit forcing everyone else to sit on the floor or stand. Thoughtful of her huh?

In her defense she wasn’t the only person doing this – there were other couches where people had sat down and proceeded to take up multiple seats by spreading their schoolwork out around them. But what really grinds my gears here is that there are tables for that stuff. They obviously don’t want people to sit next to them and are simply being selfish and thoughtless.

Honestly, I would have said something, but I saw somebody I knew and just sat down on the floor next to them. On a completely unrelated note, she misunderstood “quarterly” in class and was convinced that there were four months in a quarter and arguments that that would make a 16 month year did not faze her.

Also selfish are people who decide too late that they need to change lanes, but they can’t get over so they stop until somebody lets them in and causes a traffic jam in the process. Instead, they should just turn around at the next light, but, noooooo, instead, they are lazy and insist on causing a huge backup regardless that it would probably be faster if they just turned around.

Also selfish are people who stop to talk in the middle of the teeny tiny grocery aisles of Trader Joe’s and block my access to the pita chips. Try being aware of the people around you.

I think it is apparent from this rant what kind of mood I’m in this week. Hopefully, it will turn around this weekend – we are going to Ikea tomorrow. Ikea will either completely overwhelm me with all the possibilities or I’ll just be so happy that I’m not at work or studying that I won’t give a shit – let’s all cross our fingers for option number 2.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I swear I'm not trying to kill kitty cat

As some of you know I am not what you would call a “fan” of Chuckles’ cat, Poopsicle. In fact, Chuckles has threatened to have an autopsy done when Poopsicle kicks the bucket because he alreadys suspects me of plotting her death. But I always try to be nice to her and if not nice at least tolerant, but, as of this morning, Poopsicle is officially scared of me.

At first I felt bad about this, but now I think it’s not such a bad thing; maybe now she’ll stop drooling on me or rubbing her face against my glasses (supposedly to itch a hard to reach spot, but I think she’s just trying to annoy the hell out of me…and succeeding).

I think she first started to be fearful of me when I was making a pesto sauce last night and she was in the utility room, which is right next to the kitchen, and I started the blender every time she tried to leave the utility room, which would cause her to run and hide every time. I swear I wasn’t doing it on purpose, but she started to become very suspicious of me.

Then this morning when I was in a huge hurry because I was running very late she ran right in front of me and I stepped right on top of her. After hissing at me she spent the rest of the morning hiding behind the washer and dryer. Believe me when I say this is quite unusual because usually she won’t let anything get in the way of her begging for more food.

Anyway, I really hope that when I get home tonight she continues to hide behind the washer instead of running around me and whining while I do yoga, which, in fact, does bring out murderous tendencies that will inevitably be directed towards her.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Thing About Life is That One Day You'll Be Dead

I just finished reading the book The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead by David Shields. Sounds uplifting doesn’t it? The book starts out with babies and discussing their development and continues on through adolescence and so on through old age.

Initially, I found the book interesting, that is until I got to the part of the book that talks about how it is all downhill once you reach the age of thirty, at that point I started to freak out a little bit. So, essentially, I’m at the top of my game right now physically that is. Apparently, my IQ started descending five years ago. I’m really not happy that things are going downhill considering that I’m not happy with where they are.

I have never really thought too long and hard about what aging entails, but this book forced me to…unfortunately. Never before have I examined my head looking for my first gray hair, but now that I know that it is nothing short of miraculous that I’ve made it this long without any grays I can’t stop looking. Now I understand what my cousin, who’s only twenty-nine, meant when she said she is paranoid about getting wrinkles and applies massive amounts of anti-aging cream every night.

I’m sure this paranoia is only a phase and within a week I’ll have forgotten that my body is slowly falling apart, but I haven’t forgotten yet and hopefully the small changes I’ve made will stick with me. For example, when I went to the grocery store yesterday I bought (you aren’t going to believe this) Wheat Bread! I know it’s unheard of. I always swore up and down that white bread would be the last thing that I would give up. But, not only did I buy wheat bread, but I made healthy muffins last night. They are apple pecan and I was a bit suspicious considering the lack of sugar and butter and the use of whole wheat flour, but they are damn good!

Maybe this whole eating healthy thing isn’t so bad. I’m gonna give it a little test drive this week. I also did a new ab workout on Saturday and all day Sunday I was walking around like an old lady – it was pathetic. Now my motivation for working out isn’t to rock a bikini in the summer, instead it is in an attempt to age gracefully and not walk around like an old lady and have strange people derisively call me Grandma (and by strange people I mean Chuckles).

Here’s the recipe for the muffins if anyone else is as afraid as I am of their body decaying:

Apple Pecan Muffins


· Cooking spray (or cupcake liners, which I used)
· ¾ cup plus 2 T packed brown sugar
· ¼ cup chopped pecans
· ½ t ground cinnamon
· 1 cup all-purpose flour
· 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
· 1 t baking soda
· ½ t salt
· ¼ cup canola oil
· 2 large eggs
· 1 cup natural applesauce
· 1 t vanilla extract
· ¾ cup lowfat buttermilk
· 1 Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored and cut into ¼-inch pieces (which I labeled on my grocery list as GD apple causing me later to wonder why I referred to the apple as “God damn”. I’m smart.)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 12-capacity muffin pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar, the pecans, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, whisk the remaining ¾ cup sugar and oil until combined. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in the applesauce and vanilla. Whisk in the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Whisk just until combined. Gently stir in the apple chunks. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan and sprinkle with the pecan mixture. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of 1 of the muffins comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the muffins to loosen them and unmold. Cool completely on the rack. I found that this made more than 12 muffins – I filled the tin too much, but it probably should have made 18 muffins.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

What is with the outhouse?

Usually I’m not a fan of running on the track, but lately I have been jogging on the track in Edmonds partially because of all the snow in December and I got a fancy schmancy running watch for Christmas and it’s been easier to test it out on the track.

There are some distinct advantages to using the track though and it really isn’t as tedious as I thought it would be. First of all, there are no hills and no matter how many different routes I have tried in Edmonds there is absolutely no avoiding crazy hills.

But even better than that is the people watching. Usually there are only one or two other people on the track, but they never fail to be interesting. Last Thursday when I went there was some guy running and the entire time he carried on a conversation over his cell phone. That in and of itself is weird if you ask me, but that might be because I am one of those people who is incapable of carrying on a conversation during any sort of strenuous activity, anyway, if you had assumed that the conversation was over a Bluetooth you’d be wrong – he held the cell phone the entire time. Also, he was such a loud talker I could hear him when he was on the other side of the track over my music. So he pretty much ran two miles while yelling into a cell phone. That’s weird right? He also took a break halfway through to use the outhouse…and didn’t pause the conversation. Yes, he was talking so loud I could hear him when I ran by the outhouse…I guess he could have been talking to himself, but my guess is no.

Strangely enough on Sunday morning another jogger took a break to use the outhouse and all I have to say about that is how bad do you possibly have to go when you’re only running for ten minutes and you live down the street? No, I am not stalking fellow runners I just saw him leave his house because he lived so close to the track.

There also happens to be a skate park next to the track and Sunday morning there were a bunch of little punks hanging out there and one of them was the miniature version of Turtle from Entourage. Seriously, Turtle has a little brother and he lives in Edmonds.

I guess I should also explain The Enemy as there were so many questions about her. Technically, she has never really done anything to me it’s just that she annoys the hell out of me. At first I couldn’t really say exactly what it was about her that exasperated me so much, but I figured it out last night. She’s loud. Now, I don’t want you to get the idea that all loud people infuriate me, in fact, I, myself, tend to be loud, especially when I get excited or drunk and my voice goes up by about ten decibels and I get groups kicked out of campgrounds. But The Enemy is not loud in an “I’m unaware that I’m being loud” way or an “I just have a booming voice” way, she is loud in an I want everybody within 100 feet of me to hear about how cool I am. In my first class in my graduate program I had to sit right next to her and I spent four months trying desperately to block out the sound of her voice and her constant, CONSTANT, talk about her FABULOUS wedding and her FABULOUS job and HOW CUTE ARE HER SHOES?! Not cute, not cute at all. Oh, and unsolicited advice is also her specialty. You see she’s a know it all. See, now you’ve got me started. If I don't stop now this will turn into a ten page rant.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Bad

Remember on Tuesday when I selfishly wished it would rain so I wouldn’t have to run? Well my wish was granted to say the least. I think what they said on the radio this morning was that there is “catastrophic flooding” in areas.

Although, I would like to say that I don’t think the blame should be placed solely on me because I know that I wasn’t the only one wishing for rain – after that crazy snow storm that’s all anybody was saying: “Oh, why won’t it rain?!” “I wish this infernal snow would stop and we could go back to good old-fashioned Seattle rain.” See? This isn’t all my fault.

Plus, I have to say it’s better than the snow, sure, they had to evacuate more than 30,000 people and some people aren’t able to get home because there’re so many flooded roads, but I’m not trapped at home and that’s what really matters here.

Also, in completely unrelated news, the ENEMY IS BACK! Yes, the original enemy. I realize that there are some of you that might be lost at the moment because, unfortunately for you, I’m a dimwit and deleted all the entries from last spring about the ENEMY, but no need to fret because I’m sure I’ll have plenty more stories to share about how passionately I hate her. Hate actually might not be the right word because I was truly delighted when I saw we had a class together. However, my delight might have been derived from the fact that she was late to class and there were no seats left so she had to sit for three hours in the windowsill. HAHAHA!!! I laughed. At her expense. Good times.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy New Year!

I have never been one to make resolutions – mostly because I don’t really enjoy failing at things. I have only made one successful resolution in the past and that was to try something new every month. I could repeat that resolution, but I can’t think of twelve new things that I really want to try. Anyway, my point is resolutions aren’t really my shtick – I usually can’t even stick to them for a day so a year is out of the question.

This year I decided to attempt to make some resolutions and I figured the trick to being successful at keeping them was to be super specific. My first resolution is to be more healthy, specifically by following the training schedule I printed off from Runner’s world, which means running every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday and cross-training with yoga. I also specified only three excuses that were valid for me missing my workouts: 1. I have a test or project due that week, 2. Family emergency, and 3. I feel nauseous. Of course, on Sunday I really didn’t feel like running so instead I pretended I was nauseous – see how well that works! But I haven’t given up – I will run today and from now on NO EXCUSES! Actually, I just thought of a fourth excuse – I really can’t run if the weather isn’t permitting aka no running in snow or thunderstorms, but other than that I HAVE to run. HAVE TO. Do you hear that Megan?! You HAVE to run today. Man, I hope it starts raining…

I also might give up soda at some point this year, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up if I were you – that stuff is like crack cocaine to me. Seriously, if for some horrific reason Diet Cherry Pepsi was made illegal tomorrow I would be out on the streets giving blow jobs in an attempt to get my fix. So, yeah, I’d like to think in six months I would be willing to give it up, but I’m really not that optimistic about it.

My second resolution is to be more organized this year. I am quite scatterbrained, which makes everything I do a giant fiasco. My room, car, office all constantly look like they have been recently torn apart by a hurricane. So. I need to fix this, but given my complete lack of focus this is difficult. My plan so far is write everything down in my date book and I mean everything. For example, today I wrote down “Cook dinner” and I followed that up with exactly what I’m cooking because, you never know, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that I would get home and absentmindedly turn on the TV only to discover there’s a Law and Order marathon on and next thing you know it’s 11 o’crotch and I haven’t moved from the couch or it’s possible that I would plan on making biscuits, but then absentmindedly start boiling water for no apparent reason. So obviously I need everything written down since my brain is never focused on what I am actually doing. While I’m at it I should probably schedule in sleeping because this whole surviving on six hours of sleep doesn’t really work for me – I mean yesterday I got on the freeway and had gone a couple exits before I registered that I was going north when I really needed to be going south – see? Scatterbrained.

My third resolution is more of a fun resolution: to be more adventurous with my style. I spend a fair amount of time (and by “fair” I mean ridiculous) perusing fashion mags and fashion blogs like The Sartorialist and Garance Dore and yet my style is way too conservative. I am just so much of a pussy I always go with the safe outfit, but this year will be different. This year I plan on wearing outfits that are “Sartorialist worthy”. Basically my goal is to try more daring and different combinations. Sooo those are my resolutions for 2009 feel free to take bets at how long it will take for me to fail.